Just no comparison
I miss the days when American men and boys of all races had short hair, neatly combed or crew cuts, and women had long hair; no tattoos. Females wore dresses or skirts with hemlines below the knee. You could see a person from behind and know which gender he or she was. There was no such group as the LGBTQs and if someone didn't know whether he or she was a he or she, it never showed up in the newspapers, and men/boys didn't try to play on females' sports teams.
Our nation's flag and national anthem were respected by all Americans, and children were taught to stand at attention and salute when Old Glory passed in front. Men and women married and had children. They didn't just move in together and live in fornication.
Men worked and their paychecks paid the family's bills while the wives stayed at home, doing all of the housework, washing clothes, cooking and all other assorted jobs. The family sat down together for supper and there was no fast food or obesity. One car to a family was usually maximum, and many families had none at all. Kids either walked to school or rode bikes. There was no TV or cell phones so family members visited with each other and listened to the radio. Young people said "Yes, sir" and "Yes, ma'am" to their elders and men opened doors for women.
There is so much more to be said, but in short, I miss the pure class of days gone by. The present is so cheap in comparison.
About water policies
I agree with the spirit of the opinion by Jerry C. Jones on a national water policy. However, I have serious reservations about his ideas.
Importantly, I don't think a national water policy is possible, except perhaps as an idealistic philosophical statement. Legally, water rights vary across the country, such as riparian rights common in the east and prior appropriation rights in the west. In the former, upstream landowners have first rights but can't damage downstream landowners. In the latter, "who got there first" is all-important; they have "senior rights" that supersede all others. Even the federal government can't overrule those rights.
Mr. Jones provides examples based in California, particularly rice production, whose water usage, he maintains, could meet the needs of the three largest cities in the state. So he essentially frames the issue as agriculture versus cities ... should a heavily water-consuming crop be grown in arid regions? The counterpoint might be "Why should huge populations like Los Angeles continue to grow in an arid region?" Unless L.A. is able to switch to desalinization or other source, why prioritize its water use over agriculture? Anyone who has read "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner or "The Dreamt Land" by Mark Arax can see that both cities and agriculture in California have essentially and sometimes literally stolen water.
In 2022, Arkansas produced about as much rice as the next five states combined. California's rice production will likely fade because of lack of water, but its "mining" of water may not until there is no alternative. It is enough of a challenge for us in Arkansas to utilize our water sustainably for agriculture, people, industry and our natural environment. Do we think the federal government could do better than the states, or basic principles of supply and demand, scarcity and abundance, or our good sense?
I believe the push for government money for private schools and homeschooling is a threat to our democratic republic. The primary argument employed is that public schools indoctrinate students with a secular belief system that is antithetical to beliefs and values of God-centered religion. That false argument leads to educational environments in which many homeschool- and private-school-educated individuals are encouraged to think of public-school-educated individuals as spiritually or morally corrupt and therefore unfit to hold public office. If more and more K-12 students are educated in such environments, it will be increasingly difficult to find the political consensus necessary to maintain our democratic republic.
Public schools do not indoctrinate students in a God-centered religion, but they also do not teach students to reject God-centered religion. The founding fathers of our democratic republic were determined to avoid a state-sponsored religion. Religious instruction of children was to be left to families and religious institutions, not supported by government money.
For those interested in further reading on this challenge facing our democratic republic, I suggest reading about the work of Michael Farris, Tiffany Justice and others who work to take billions of tax dollars from public schools. "The Christian home-schooler who made 'parental rights' a GOP rallying cry" published by The Washington Post is very informative. That article can be found at washingtonpost.com/education/2023/08/29/michael-farris-homeschoolers-parents-rights-ziklag.
WINSTON F. SIMPSON
All you need to know
A tale of two headlines, Saturday: "Sanders calls special session to lower taxes," "Medicaid coverage of 72,000 is cut off." Want to know the values of our politicians? Read those two headlines again.