It's bad for Arkansas
Just as we were thinking state government couldn't get worse, along comes Sarah Sanders announcing she is running for governor because she is tired of Arkansas competing at the bottom rung. She said she is nationalizing her election pitch and defeating the "radical left" is her goal, when in fact, the "radical right" is what needs to be defeated because they are the ones passing so many stupid laws. She needs to "pitch" to the large majority of Republicans in state government.
Her radical goal is to change Arkansas. She is all for abolishing state taxes. I hate to see what she would put in place to offset state taxes. I believe cutting out state income tax would be stupid, would cinch Arkansas to being 50th in the country, and would undo what Arkansas has accomplished in the last century. It seems Sanders, like her old boss, Trump, is a big authoritarian liar. Her daddy should have taught her to lie is a sin.
We do not need more inept leaders like Sanders in Arkansas. The past several years of lawmakers are the worst I have ever witnessed and she would only encourage them to carry on with their nonsense.
Citizens of this state need to elect a governor and Senate and House members who "think" about the consequences of their "thinking" before they pass legislation. Things which immediately come to mind are bad election laws, masking, and especially abortion laws which do not make exceptions for rape and incest.
To produce a greater group of "thinkers," it would be helpful to first remove legislators from their role in redistricting (gerrymandering). One party should not dictate redistricting. A bipartisan group would really need to "think" what's best for all Arkansans, which Republican U.S. House and Senate members do not do and neither would Sanders and Republican state legislators.
Hot Springs Village
Doesn't grasp irony
Thank you, Mike Masterson, for posting "Inmate's appeal" in your column. Am I the only one to see the irony in this situation? Here is a man who refused to pay court-ordered child support, and he complains about the lack of basic necessities? He has meals, a cot and a roof. The mothers of his children are not guaranteed these basic necessities.
These mothers have children with growing bodies and growing feet, but this inmate complains that the commissary cannot stock shoes. Does the letter-writing inmate catch the irony?
Anyway, letters such as his are like ice cubes on a hot sidewalk in the month of August.
The 'masters of war'
Re Richard Mason's column last Sunday: Dear Sir, first, please thank your son on my behalf for his service. I am in complete sympathy with your piece on the stupidity, immorality, social upheaval, divisiveness, resource drain and sheer human waste entailed in committing overwhelming forces to brushfire wars and the support or defeat of tinpot dictators. So I will not fault you for leaving out the major factors that compel and maintain said commitments, namely greed and profit.
In the two decades since the Twin Towers, the returns on investment in "masters of war" such as Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics and Raytheon have been nothing short of gargantuan, well-promoted as they are by retired ranking military officers seated in their corporate offices, along with their connections--both unofficial and through openly declared lobbies--with legislators and executives at all levels of government. These people--and their clients in government--comprise a small unprincipled elite for whom the reasonless metastatic explosion of their own wealth weighs in their scales far more than the cataclysmic portion of human suffering for which they deserve indictment.
The only reason I feel free to speak is my secure status as a nobody, a gnat so infinitesimal as to go unnoticed by the aforesaid established machinery. My only satisfaction comes from knowing that they, too, shall have to stand before God.
(As a bit of a snarky P.S., I wonder who the Taliban will be guided by now, given their lack of resources and all that U.S.-built infrastructure and equipment.)
Parents must monitor
In the recent article about northwest Arkansas students viewing/posting child pornography, this statement appears near the end: "One key to preventing kids from becoming involved in child pornography is parental involvement."
It is not one key to prevention, it is the key. Giving a kid (and yes, a teenager is a kid) a connected smartphone without supervision is akin to giving them a loaded pistol or free and ready access to alcohol to use and consume however they see fit. The same is true of unsupervised home computers or laptops.
I have raised two daughters in the age of Internet and smartphones. There were no PCs in bedrooms. Our communal PC was in a family area. Their smartphones were a privilege, and they understood passcodes were always shared. If Mom and Dad called or texted and a response was not soon forthcoming, privileges could and would be revoked. It was clearly understood that their phones did not belong to them, but to Mom and Dad. If we decided we needed to look at how they had been using their phones, that would not be a problem, because, after all, they were our phones.
I realize how draconian this will sound to many parents, but the reality is that all this was explained to our kids in a manner in which they understood we had their best interests at heart and it was for their ultimate protection. There was absolutely no resentment over this and, over a period of eight years or so, we probably perused their phones once or twice. The Internet is much too dangerous a place to allow your kids free, unsupervised access.
What's the difference
They can't make me take that shot although I know what the "facts" are. Anyway, I don't have time. I've got to do my taxes.