Take it easy on Hogs
From an old lady who taught kids for nearly 30 years: Fayetteville and the whole state, these 18- to 22-year-olds have already had the stuffing stomped out of them. If you ever want them to recover and be able to leave it all on the field ever again, be careful how you welcome them home and treat them. No one knows where and how they need to improve better than them and the coaches.
If you've ever had supportive compassion for our Hogs, this is a good day to pull it out and use it all week. I mean, when even Wally Hall picks you to lose, what can we expect?
On antique-car plates
I am an octogenarian living on a modest income, largely Social Security. One of my few indulgences is keeping an old truck, a 1997 model of Japanese ancestry. This old fellow is only driven a couple of thousand miles per year at best, and mainly serves as "yard art" unless one of my children borrows it for an afternoon.
I have looked forward to the fun of obtaining an Arkansas "Antique Vehicle" license plate in 2022, only to find that the Arkansas Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, now requires a vehicle to be 45 years old for this special license, instead of the previous 25, with other new restrictions as well, in order to qualify. This law was successfully (and quietly) sponsored in 2019 by Republican Rep. Jack Fortner, after previously introducing it in 2017 and quickly withdrawing it after protests.
Fortner admittedly owns some previously (antique) licensed old vehicles. He feels that some people were "cheating the state" by obtaining this cheap ($7) plate which does not require renewal, for use on daily driven cars which happen to be 25 years or older.
Apparently only certified Republicans are endowed with the wisdom to decide what privileges we common folk are entitled to.
JOSEPH E. "JERRY" GARDNER
North Little Rock
Before and after birth
The opinion piece by guest writer Gwen Ford Faulkenberry stating that the pro-life stance of some Christians doesn't address the actual life of a person is spot on.
If you ignore the life of the woman, before, during and after pregnancy, you are not pro-life. If you are going to ignore the life of a baby forced to be born by legislation, then you are not pro-life.
All pro-life Christians should read Ms. Faulkenberry's column. Unless you are willing to do all that it takes to lift up a life, you may want to rename your movement to pro-birth.
Act on vaccine equity
For most Arkansans, receiving the covid-19 vaccination is a simple process. You walk into your local grocery store or health center and leave with your first vaccination in less than 30 minutes without ever having to worry about affordability or accessibility. This has largely contributed to our increasing vaccination rates, which are now around 45 percent.
However, as scientific experts have indicated, in the fight against covid-19, nobody is safe unless everybody is safe. Many low-income countries are imposing new lockdowns to stop the third wave of covid-19 infections because they've been denied access to covid-19 vaccines. And now they are dealing with the highly infectious Delta variant, one of the many variants which have risen in countries with low or virtually nonexistent vaccination rates.
Arkansas, like many U.S. states, has been hard-hit by the Delta variant as we have seen during the last few months with hospital ICU beds being completely occupied with covid-19 patients with several patients dying at my local UAMS hospital.
Global vaccine equity is not just about equity for the world's poorest population, but it is a way for us to prevent future covid-19 variants, which may be even more deadly or, worse, resistant to our current vaccines.
To restore the safety and livelihood of our fellow Arkansans, we must advocate for President Biden and Congress to lead a global effort to bring together industry, governments, and global health institutions to urgently increase the supply and distribution of vaccines.
The cost of inaction will be the lost lives around the world, including in Arkansas. Are we willing to bear these consequences, or will we take decisive action on global vaccine equity?
Cases of 'settled law'
In the Dred Scott decision of 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Black people were not citizens of America and therefore the rights and privileges of the Constitution did not apply to them. This was "settled law" for quite some time until a more enlightened U.S. Congress and Supreme Court recognized this ruling's injustice and granted equal rights of citizenship to Blacks.
In the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that through a right to privacy granted by the Constitution, the government could not prevent abortions. With a few court-mandated modifications, this is "settled law." It is just a matter of time before a more enlightened U.S. Supreme Court rules that life does begin at conception and these lives can not be denied their constitutional rights as the Blacks in 1857 were denied.