I take great exception to the sentiment expressed in the guest column by Professor Robert Moore, "Blow by blow/How democracy is destroyed."
The good professor is outraged by federal riot control measures in Portland, where (it is reported) demonstrators (rioters?) are throwing incendiary devices over the federal courthouse fence and starting fires. Reasonable people would assume this is the definition of a riot. It would seem the feds are properly declaring it as such. Professor Moore waxes indignant about abuse of power by federal officers trying to protect property and restore order, comparing it to measures used in fascist Germany.
Apparently we have reached the point in this country when protecting the rights of rioters and terrorists (yes, at some point protesters have become terrorists) is more important than civil order. "Evil triumphs when good people do nothing," Professor Moore trumpets. "Vote in November to protect American Democracy 'from enemies, both foreign and domestic,'" he writes.
Indeed! It is time to decide who are the enemies of democracy: (a) the "protesters," (b) the weak government in Portland, (c) President Trump, or (d) professors who can't identify the enemies.
Compare and contrast
I frequently traverse the intersection of Shackleford and Kanis roads in west Little Rock. More on that in a moment.
The Empire State Building in the middle of downtown New York City was built beginning in the year 1930 and completed in an astonishing one year and 45 days. It stands 102 stories tall.
Now, back to the west Little Rock intersection. What seemed like a pretty ordinary intersection upgrade has been going on for the better part of two years with no end in sight.
Why my 80-year-old brain chose to compare these two projects left me wondering. Then it hit me. I just wanted to think about anything other than covid-19, riots, demonstrations, politics, Donald Trump, Joe Biden; well, you get the picture.
Till next time.
To remember history
I value my past. I want to learn about my heritage. Where I come from helps me to know where I'm going. President Trump is right to defend our history of this great land. This includes our history books, flags, monuments, cities and farms. Evidence of these things should never be erased.
There was a time in our history that hundreds of people had slaves; it was wrong but acceptable at the time. Hopefully this will never happen again. The American Indians were terribly mistreated; some actions came because of ignorance. Communication was very bad, almost none. The West was unknown to many.
Let us pray for equality in our country. We also must maintain law and order. We need to abide by the law, sometimes even though we do not agree. I try to accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.
Shadow of the noose
At the very moment that the casket of John Lewis triumphantly mounted the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the attempt by our junior senator to suppress the true history of Black people in America brought nothing but shame on the great state he pretends to represent, and causes one to wonder whom he might intend to please.
In support of workers
I read about the debate in Congress over another stimulus package to help rebuild the economy with various stimulus programs. Several things in the reporting caught my attention, the infighting within the Republican Party notwithstanding. First and foremost is the notation that many Republican Party members have voiced concern that extending the current $600 weekly federal jobless benefit may allow unemployed workers to receive more in unemployment benefits than they would by returning to work. What?
It can be argued that if a worker receives more in unemployment than returning to work, then the employer is at fault by not paying an adequate wage. So let's discuss raising the minimum wage and not giving tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. And let us discuss help for the real small businesses of this country: the "mom and pop" shops, local (not chain) restaurants and small specialty contractors and fabricators who provide the real backbone of our economy. Yes, I know that chain restaurants employ local workers, but many local restaurant owners dip into their own pockets to help staff in times of need.
For most of the past 50 years I've worked various jobs in the entertainment industry. I've been a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees for 37 of those years, so I'm acutely aware of the unemployed workers (actors, designers, musicians, stagehands) that want to return to work but cannot until the country opens up. Congress wishes to penalize these people? To make matters worse, many are being criticized for asking that the $600 weekly benefit be extended; they are accused of asking for a "handout," getting something for nothing. It's not something they necessarily want and it's not a wish for a handout, but until they can safely return to work, it is something that many of them need and deserve.
It's time for Congress to act in support of the workers of this country, period!
North Little Rock