Musings on America
I guess seat belts are the rule nationwide now. Yet there are places where motorcycle helmets aren't required. What's up with that?
There's an actual tax law called the Johnson Amendment that prohibits all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This applies to churches, yet some, especially among these mega churches, are openly, blatantly ignoring it. Who's asleep at that wheel at the IRS?
Social media is harmful in more ways than one. Studies have shown that poor reading comprehension is exacerbated by too much exposure, and it's also the only news source for many. In other words, social media is dumbing us down.
At one point many were ready to pull the plug on public education; then the pandemic hit and suddenly those same people just couldn't live without open schools.
Rural America relies heavily on Social Security and Medicare, yet there are red-state politicians who would at the most do away with these programs altogether, or at the least raise the retirement age to the point where most of us would have no choice but to literally die on the job. Now there's a depressing thought. Ask Tom Cotton how he feels about it.
New low for Ramirez
I'm used to cartoonist Michael Ramirez being an idiot, but portraying Joe Biden in a wheelchair with a bike helmet is a new low in poor taste.
Not much like Jesus
I am a regular reader of Richard Mason's Sunday column and normally nod in approval of his efforts to make El Dorado greener and more sustainable.
But I imagine I am just one of many readers who have pointed out that his column last Sunday missed the mark. There is a glaring contradiction that must be pointed out. The columnist (or editor) chose the title "Would Jesus use a plastic straw?" There is nothing remotely Christian in the response Richard shares with us. Quite the opposite. Leave Jesus out of this.
Mr. Mason shares that he was "clenching his fists" and he has "regrets, and one is that [he] didn't throw that punch."
Quite frankly, mixing the desire to throw punches while at the same time putting Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in the headline is appalling.
Times have changed
I had to chuckle at Gerald Holland's letter on Sept 10. He was defending his "climate change is a hoax" belief by stating that hurricanes were much worse in the 19th century than nowadays, based on the number of deaths.
Really? Did he not realize that meteorology has improved since the Galveston 1900 hurricane, and deaths are less because folks can now evacuate the coastline ahead of the storm?
And he's concerned that jobs related to the hydrocarbon industry will be lost (they were saying that about the horse and buggy industry 120 years ago). With millions of barrels of oil (42 gallons = barrel) being extracted a day, we're eventually going to run out. If you don't believe in climate change, believe in that fact.
The same idea, really
Note to Randy Johnson: I'm no student of the Bible, but it seems to me that if we all obeyed the 10 commandments and lived by the teachings of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount then we'd essentially have achieved world-centrism. Different words, same idea. Look it up.
Better use for money
The USDA estimates the poverty rate for children in Arkansas in 2022 at about 26 percent. That's one in four, or about 150,000 human children. If these kids are going to have a ghost of a chance of getting out of poverty and pursuing happiness, they need all the education they can get. They need the best public schools the state can provide.
It was disappointing to see the Legislature adopt the governor's LEARNS Act which through vouchers disproportionately drains money from public school budgets. Now, while school budgets suffer, our government says its budget surplus indicates taxes are too high and cuts taxes for higher incomes and corporations. Was any thought given to using the tax-cut money to replenish the school budgets that will be drained by the LEARNS Act? Finally, one can only wonder how many special tutors could be purchased with the money that is going into the ground in the Capitol tunnel.
Memo to restaurants
I would like to say a few words to the restaurants here in Arkansas:
The temperature in your restaurant should be comfortable for your customers. Playing "freeze out" because you set the thermostat to please the cook in the kitchen is not the way to retain customers. I've actually been in some restaurants where the dining area has been cold enough that I warmed my hands over the coffee with thoughts of not coming back.
If you insist on playing music in the restaurant, it should be "easy listening" and in the background. I didn't come to your restaurant for a hard rock or hip-hop concert at the loudest possible volume. I shouldn't have to talk over the "music" in order to talk to my table companion.
If you're not customer-oriented, do you really expect to stay in business?
North Little Rock