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'Bout my generation

I was born in 1943, just ahead of the "baby boomer" generation, but I see myself as one of them. Looking back from here, I think we need forgiveness, but I don't know who to ask for it.

We had our way a lot, mostly because we were a tidal wave. We changed attitudes and assumptions, music and media, standards and, yes, society. Our choices drove politics in the USA. Racism would end, we said. It didn't. Men and women would be on equal footing--still up in the air. We meant to lead humankind toward sanity in the way we live together on Earth, but it often seems our species is more destructive than ever. Speaking of Earth, we were the first to look at that luminous little blue and white sphere from a distance and swear to take care of it ... hardly.

Who to ask for forgiveness? Our children or their children? Do we dare? Maybe our creator? No, that conversation divides us into warring camps quicker than just about anything else can. Ourselves? After all, we tried, didn't we? Maybe you can get your mind around that. I can't.

At our age, is there anything we can still do?


Mountain View

Ward versus at-large

Are we smarter now than we were in 1787? The U.S. Constitution was written then. In a sense, the states were the "wards" and the federal government was the "at-large." This balanced government structure has provided for the growth of the strongest democracy the world has ever seen.

What is the goal of Little Rock? Do some homework and Google "ward versus at-large." Arguably, one of the best discussions is on the National League of Cities website. It seems the overwhelming main reason for ward-only cities is to achieve complete racial balance in city government, which is a very good goal. No one can argue against that goal.

The main goal, and a very good goal, for our failed city school system was complete racial balance.

Do we have any other goals for Little Rock? Do we want a state capital that has a major university with state-of-the-art research that employs some of the world's brightest minds? Do we want a state capital that attracts some of the top medical minds in the nation with state-of-the-art medical research? Do we want industries that require well-educated employees from our school systems? Do we?

If you Google and do some homework, you may decide we need to keep our balanced city government. Maybe having both "ward" and "at-large" city directors gives us a better chance of accomplishing more than a single goal for Little Rock.


Little Rock

Students raised bar

I have three children and four grandchildren, which translates into lots of concerts. On May 9 I saw and heard one of the best high school concerts I have ever heard in my four-score years.

The Parkview High School choirs sang an hour-long concert of "The Songs of Les Miserables." Under the direction of Carolyn Foreman and Mary Shollmier, the 70-voice choir, soloists and duets were all superb. Having seen the musical twice and the award-winning movie, the concert was every bit as enjoyable as the full stage production. The students raised the bar on high school concerts. Thank you.


North Little Rock

Symbol for inclusion

CBS' Sunday Morning aired a segment on the Statue of Liberty on Mother's Day. I found the timing of this piece a welcome remembrance of the symbol for inclusion that Mother Liberty has always been and should still stand for.

This era of hate and nationalism indoctrinated by Mr. Trump is not who we are. Remember, if you're not a Native American, you're an immigrant.



On what is written

George Orwell wrote: "[I]f thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."

Somewhere it is written: Start with a quote, get in a joke, then say your piece. So, here's the joke, then the rest will follow: Q: How can you tell a fanatic? A: You can't tell a fanatic anything. They'll tell you.

Thanks to those whose letters express their faith passionately without alienating me with bigoted hatred or afterlife concentration camps. One such recent letter-writer said we were made in his image and that the basis for her faith was "It is written." This puzzled me somewhat. As I look upon the faces of all I meet, I see that humans have images of both their parents. So couldn't we also say that they are born in her image as well? Because, truly, that is also what is "written" in the face of every person you see.

Do we need patriarchy demanding that men be given precedence in respect, authority and image over everyone? Do we need matriarchy asserting the same? And where do I find the idea for believing that neither need control our thoughts? Not only written on the faces of all I see, but written in our wonderful Constitution; and, likewise, written on my heart.

Much has been written by humans over the past thousands of years, much of it also rewritten since it first appeared. And much of it was simply edited out (like the 14 books of the Bible removed by the Vatican back in the 17th century). A good bit of it is actually ignored, not only by those who don't belong to a certain belief but also by those who do belong to that belief. For some reason, the obvious rule of religion is you just choose what you want to believe, then tell everyone, "It is written."

Such an arbitrary rationale does not move me, making no more impression than a dust mote floating aimlessly to the ground. As Marshall McCluhan said, "All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values."

These are my words: As you see ... they are "written."


Little Rock

Editorial on 05/15/2019

Print Headline: Letters

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