by Max Brantley
The week has begun. Closing out:
* THREE DEAD IN EL DORADO BLAST: Channel 4 here on an explosion that killed three at Long Brothers Oil Company in El Dorado. Vapors in an abandoned tank apparently ignited. A resulting fire also burned two vehicles.
* HUCKABEE: $5 MILLION A YEAR MAN: Thanks to Roby Brock for pointing me to an interesting Bloomberg report on Cumulus Media's strategy to grow, using Mike Huckabee to challenge Rush Limbaugh. The deal could produce $5 million a year for Huckabee, with sufficient station pickup, the article says, plus Cumulus' boss built a studio in Huckabee's home in Florida to keep him off the road. Huckabee spins Republican red meat with a smile, Bloomberg says. Limbaugh's listeners always liked the snarl. How it plays out will be worth a lot of money, either way, to all concerned. Huckabee still nurses his resentments, such as frequent airport screening despite the fact that "Good God, I was the governor of a state....." Yes, but as Huckabee himself once said, it was a banana republic.
* GETTING FRACKED: Perils of shale gas exploration are varied and not always widely known. For example: There's frac-sand mining to get at a vital ingredient used in the fracking process. Taking the silica sand can remove an important element in water filtration. And, in Wisconsin, the linked story says, reclamation of mined land just isn't happening, among other concerns. Who cares about Wisconsin and sand mining? And, anyway: Doesn't that mining smell like money to you, even if it does ruin the rural landscape?
Well, would it make you feel any different if you knew they mined this sand in Arkansas, too? Members of the Shale Caucus need not answer; your cheer is noted, Sen. Rapert.
* REOCCUPY LITTLE ROCK: Former state Rep. Robert Johnston, more civicly engaged each passing year, proposes to begin an every-Thursday demonstration at the former Occupy Little Rock campsite at 4th and Ferry. He invites supporters to join him. Check it out:
INVITATION FOR THURSDAY/ 24 MAY/ 9 OR 10 AM
Please join me at 4th and Ferry for a few minutes or an hour.
I will be protesting this Thursday for an hour and probably on subsequent Thursdays. I’m pretty sure some friends with join me. Will you be one of them?
Bring a chair [lawn?] ,an umbrella , a sign, a flag, a cool drink. If you can’t come at 9 but can at 10, come then picking up the ‘torch for a new generation’ If you want to come for a time other than 9 or 10 on Thursday, feel free. Let me know by return email and I will begin a roster of the Dedicated to Free Speech, Free Assembly, Free Petition.
I have informed but not consulted with Occupy Little Rock. This is independent but associated. ‘Occupy Little Rock, Jr. ‘Occupy Little Rock, Sr.’ ‘Veterans of Anti-War Protests of the 20th and 21st Centuries’ ‘Minutemen/women for Freedom’ have been suggested.
Some of you may be inventive enough to bring a grill,a guitar, a CD player for music, and serious beverages.
I would hope this has some elements of a Happening, either this Thursday or subsequently, [but not quite like Woodstock.]
If you can’t make this Thursday at 9 or 10 but can the following Thursday, 31 May at 9 or 10, let me know and I’ll meet you.
My concept is that we will share this big old parking lot with the supposed fleet of Tour Buses that need it across the summer – although I have seldom seen more than one or two [if that] there in my frequent passbys. Some of you might want to stand in front of the looming buses akin to protests in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
Robert's e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org