Monday, June 19, 2017
Shake, rattle and roll
Hearing about the shooting at an American baseball field on Flag Day, June 14, I was reminded of a nursery rhyme: "Tweedledum and Tweedledee agreed to have a battle; for Tweedledum said Tweedledee had spoiled his nice new rattle. Just then flew down a monstrous crow, as black as tar-barrel; which frightened both the heroes so, they quite forgot their quarrel."
Perhaps this coming July 4, televised "breaking news" will be the live reporting of a five-course dinner party, hosted by four couples whose last names (in alphabetical order) are Clinton, Kaine, Pence, and Trump.
Dinner entertainment will be provided by the other 2016 presidential candidates, who will sing "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America," "My Country Tis of Thee," and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Dessert will be served by disabled veterans, foster children, rehabilitated prisoners, and survivors of domestic violence, homelessness, and human trafficking, followed by viewing of a documentary on good sportsmanship-like conduct.
Background music at dismissal will be provided by a local high school band playing "Fanfare for the Common Man."
(P.S. A friendly reminder on the invitation list will read: "No cellular devices, firecrackers, recording devices, or pie-throwing allowed at table.")
LINDA L. SCISSON
Speaking of disasters
Conservative Bradley Gitz's column on June 12, "Trump and conservatives," makes a weak point by comparing Donald Trump's first five months to what Hillary Clinton's term would have been. If I read him correctly, Trump has been a disaster, but at least it's been a conservative disaster.
Being questioned about obstructing justice, angering almost all of Europe, alienating virtually the entire Muslim world, failing to fill important governmental positions, and inability to succeed with health care or budget plans with a Republican Congress Seems to me a complete disaster for a United States president.
Hot Springs Village
We need to do better
Thanks for the recent piece about recycling. We all need to do better, and this helps us. I wish those plastic grocery bags were illegal to make and to use.
It is a shame if those of us who are really making the effort have our recycling thrown into the landfill because someone can't tell the difference between the green top and the yellow top on their can!
Not atypical rantings
We should all be concerned that the rantings expressed in the letter by Kathy Martone of Eureka Springs are not atypical. There are thousands and perhaps millions of people with similar rage because they did not get their way in the last election.
Let's hope the proper authorities have ensured that such people do not have access to firearms, and let us pray that they are kept a safe distance from any gathering of people with different points of view.
Past time for closure
Anyone who has dealt with or read about the Arkansas Department of Human Services realizes it is probably the worst-run, ill-managed division of state government, but revelations last month are beyond comprehension.
Clarence Garretson was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting minors in his care, most foster children. Between 1998 and 2004, the department placed 35 children in Garretson's home. That alone should have been a red flag.
Now at least seven people are suing individual members of the department: Former directors Kurt Knickrehm and Richard Weiss, along with Debbie Williams, Nikole Hurst, Carol Gillis, Patsy Chase, and Robbie McKay. Allegations in the suit are that these employees ignored repeated pleas, complaints, and allegations from the victims. Also included was Logan County director Dick Pickarts, who the suit says "obtained actual knowledge" of at least one case of sexual abuse, but did nothing.
These employees will have their day in court; if they are found guilty, however, I don't believe civil penalties are sufficient. If proven, I would urge authorities to seek possible criminal charges. Their neglect and incompetence (again, if proven) ruined peoples lives.
It's wishful thinking to believe Leslie Rutledge would take up the cause. Our attorney general is too busy making media appearances, so she's probably not apt or capable. Perhaps a courageous prosecutor who knows something about the law will.
Regardless, it's obvious the agency is a train wreck. Poor management, ineptitude, and frankly, just uncaring people who have long ceased to fulfill their mission to protect the most vulnerable children in our state. It's past time for Asa Hutchinson to dismantle this organization and start from the ground up.
Just window dressing
Little Rock has struggled with this homeless problem for years. On one hand the city leaders don't want to appear heartless; on the other, it seems they want to continue unabated in their quest to revitalize downtown Little Rock with their strategy of "build it and hope like hell they will come." I noted in a recent article the quotes from the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and Downtown Partnership folks wanting to protect their sacred downtown turf.
Unfortunately for the average taxpaying Little Rock citizen, it appears we are burdened with leadership that has a singular focus: Downtown is the promised land. I think all this homeless discussion is window dressing covering the real mission: Drive them out of sight so that our tourist-visitors don't see them. Don't be surprised if the city offers to provide free transportation (at taxpayer expense) to get the homeless out of downtown Little Rock.
Editorial on 06/19/2017
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