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My recent columns on the radical reported misbehavior of police officers in Parkin drew numerous comments in my email basket. Readers seemed especially outraged that so many motorists have been being pulled over for alleged "inattentive driving" and/or "dim taillights."

Those fines as administered by the court in town appeared to average more than $200 each.

The largest unresolved question is what our state police and/or the county prosecutor's office will do to end this years-long violation of innocent motorists traveling along U.S. 64 through Parkin and adjacent Earle.

Surely some responsible public agency with authority will step up and put an end to it.

It seems the shameful practice by this community's officers for years has been widely known and locally condoned as a means of community enrichment. I'd strongly suggest meaningful action and accountability has been in order for a long time now.

Here is a fairly typical response from reader Cynthia Skinner: "I am totally blown away at this Third World kind of activity in our backyard. Thanks for blowing their cover. ... I do not understand why no one has challenged this faux law. I am sure that an electrician would testify that a light is either on or off, there is no dim. And there should be a definition of 'inattentive driving.' ... A major blow to the efforts of tourism people when a major archeological site is there. A couple of us need to do some research over there, but afraid to go ... especially with my out-of-country plates that can't be verified here. Please keep on [this]."

Have a Parkin and or Earle police story of your own to share? Drop me an email. I'll keep telling the stories until something meaningful and permanent is done to stop the pillaging.

RIP common sense

Let's each pause for a moment of solemn silence to observe the demise of common sense in our United States.

There was a time when our population not only applied common sense to most matters and decisions, but prized it for its basis in rational and logical thought.

We realized it was the fallibility of people, not the cars or trucks, behind the accidents on our highways, and that it was people rather than forks that caused their obesity.

Common sense alone told us the customer was always right and work and resulting accomplishments and advancements (once known as a work ethic) are to the human spirit as water is to a parched hiker in the desert.

It was through common sense we learned much about this life we share, such as realizing the more we shield others from their inevitable travails in life based on the consequences of their choices, the weaker and more dependent they become.

Common sense told us to keep our fingers off the triggers of our weapons and the safeties always on. Common sense told us not to eat laundry detergent or put condoms in our noses, or cover our smooth skin in tattoos at 23 when we may live to be a wrinkled 85.

It taught us when to keep our thoughts to ourselves and to realize that whatever we share even with friends or lovers is likely to come back to bite us should the winds of affection shift. Common sense also assured us that whatever we're convinced is true today can and often does change dramatically with the emergence of additional information.

Common sense told us we don't build outhouses over our wells, and how self-destructive and foolish it is to needlessly risk our goose that lays golden eggs by penning it near a wolf's den. It told us to wait until after freezing weather to plant flowers outside, and to value precious lasting relationships over the shallowness and transience of material acquisitions.

Along similar lines, the essence of common sense teaches that the things we do for ourselves in this lifetime are buried with us. It's only what we do for others that carries on.

And it certainly violates my common sense for society to approve of partial-birth abortions while charging one who murders a pregnant woman with double homicide.

Yes, valued readers, it is fitting and proper that we pay a proper farewell tribute to the valuable trait of common sense gained from the experiences life offers and that served our nation so well over generations (sound Taps here).

I, bean-counter

I'm far removed from being a CPA or numbers-cruncher. Yet apparently I am a competent bean-counter.

A nice officer at the Equity Bank in Harrison called the other day to inform me I had won its grand prize for most accurately guessing the number of coffee beans in a large jar displayed in the bank's lobby.

To think, I'd supposed all along the most rewarding thing for me during that drop-in had been a free cookie and bag of popcorn.

And yet there I was unexpectedly basking in the glory of prognosticating prizedom. They even took a photograph of me proudly holding the jar.

I'd guessed it contained 3,812 beans when the actual number was 3,800. The prize, you ask? Not a million dollars or a thousand or a hundred. Nope, appropriately enough, I was handed a gift certificate for $25 to what else but the local Mudslingers Coffee Shop.


Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist. Email him at

Editorial on 04/29/2018

Print Headline: Back in Parkin

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