Snake bite your fault
A man picks up a frozen snake and thaws it out, then gets bit. The man asked the snake why it did that and it said, "you knew what I was when you picked me up!" Eighty-plus years ago Bob Burns' satire made a mockery of Arkansas and described the state as shabby, ignorant, lazy, and living in shacks. It took 50 years for Arkansas to overcome that picture, and it still lingers in many minds. Look at our campgrounds, filled with out-of-state tourists coming to enjoy the beauty of our state and leaving their trash. Tourism is a major income.
Our workers are described as low-cost and not educated to take high-paying jobs. Big companies are coming to our state to take advantage of our residents who struggle to make it on their minimal income. We have recognized hospitals and corporations moving in, thanks to Asa; local residents are getting jobs, but few that exceed the pay needs of our residents yet. Families are moving in from both coasts to take advantage of our low property values and taxes.
As I see it, our schools were working to keep up and get the younger people educated to take the new jobs. We had the opportunity to elect a man who studied our state's needs and how to meet them with what is available in our state. He didn't win. Instead we have a Legislature that is defying the votes of the state to enact their wants; children are being penalized for who they are and shamed. Government is not trusted. And worst of all, our state is again the butt of jokes from comedians. I hurt for my state.
You knew what she was when you voted for her.
Need 'in-hand' picks
Just what has happened to our retail business world? I myself am very old, but am still able and enjoy getting out to shop for food, household items and personal items and clothing. With Internet online "shopping," there are so few paper advertisements or flyers to serve us seniors who so badly need "in-hand" visual choices.
Staying home 24/7 is not healthy mentally or physically. There are no complete telephone books or catalogs to serve our needs. We seniors grew up using them and I believe it worked very well, with requiring personal and human efficiency, which is almost nil today. Seniors, do you agree or somewhat agree?
Bailing out the bank
It seems the Biden administration has decided to bail out the millionaires and billionaires who had deposits in Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures most bank accounts up to $250,000, which covers the vast majority of all depositors. SVB had several million-dollar depositors whose accounts were insured up to the $250,000. Through their own deposit mismanagement, these depositors stand to lose a lot of money.
The FDIC is funded from fees paid in by all banks including your local bank. To protect them it appears the Biden administration plans to allow the FDIC to cover these losses by charging all banks an increased insurance fee. Therefore, your bank will need to increase your banking fees and/or decrease interest it pays on your deposits to counter your bank's increased operating expenses. Therefore, you, the taxpayer, are going to bail out these multi-millionaires who have paid millions into election campaigns of your elected representatives. And that's the way it is!
Need some answers
I have a few questions for the General Assembly: What data are you using to write bills this session? Can you tell me how prevalent is grooming by transgender individuals in public restrooms? Exactly how many of those cases have been reported?
How many people have been harmed by witnessing someone dressed in clothing that does not match their genitals? What is the documented emotional impact on children who attend Drag Queen Story Hour? What is the adverse effect on children who watch Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Daffy Duck and scores of other male cartoon characters dress as women? How many churches or other organizations perform Womanless and Tom Thumb weddings; how does that negatively affect the children who witness or participate in them, and can the performers be arrested?
Where is critical race theory taught in Arkansas and what has been its impact on those students? How much is it going to cost public schools when the state money leaves with the child?
How long is the waiting list of adoptive parents for unintended pregnancies (looks like we have too many in foster care right now)? Who is going to pay for the care of babies born with non-life-sustaining deformities because they couldn't be aborted when it was humane to do so and how will the state support those grieving parents? How many women's lives are you willing to sacrifice to stop all abortions?
What is "obscene" and on what scale do you decide what is "harmful to minors"? (Do not underestimate the determination of a teenager forbidden to view or read something.)
Finally, what is "woke"? Find out. And then stop saying it.
Defining our state
My bona fide: I have been a Republican since I stepped off the plane in San Diego in 1968. In my spit-shined shoes (the pair you keep back for inspections), my new Hong Kong suit and my discharge papers from active duty ... I was the "new" post-war generation.
Now, on the downhill slope of my 70s, I find out I am part of another new generation, CWAPs. We are conservatives without a party. I don't remember leaving, but my party sure left me after November 2020.
I am contemplating the next four years of Republican state rule under our recently elected "Queen Monarch." Wondering what the predominant governance will be like.
I say we give her a chance, but a foreshadowing is beginning to reveal the answer. All this jammed-through legislation of late, coming from the governor's office. Bills addressing CRT, trans restroom usage, pronouns, locker rooms, ending affirmative action and most stupid of all, the librarian liability bill for having the wrong book on the shelf.
Are the almost 600,000 Republican voters so spun up about bathrooms and pronouns that this is what they want our state government spending their time and our money on? Are these the critical path issues they think will define our state?
Look, the sensitivity mode on my BS meter is on a low setting, but it beeps every time our governor and our legislators preface a new round of proposed bills with the words, "to protect the good people of Arkansas and to protect our children."
What Arkansans need protection from is crime, drug dealers, the next pandemic, and the degrading of our liberty to read, speak and live as we choose. Most of all we need protection from knee-jerk, partisan "nitwittery" coming from the state Capitol, not drag queens, the trans community, locker rooms or books!
JAMES R. WOOD