Every Friday I treat myself to a triple-dose of Dana D. Kelley, the columnist whose bleached-out photo accompanies his column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
I read him over breakfast - true, after everything else in the paper, but we’re still there for each other in the morning.
Later, I read him after lunch. And then I’ll read him once again, soon after that, this time just to assure myself that yes, once again, he has given me, if not food for thought, at least grist for my mill.
I may read Dana D. Kelley more than he does.
In his June 1 column for the ADG, “The right crime perspective,” Kelley writes about an article from Forbes magazine, which analyzes the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, listing the most dangerous cities for women in the United States.
To the shame of everyone in the state, Pine Bluff is listed as one of the cities.
In the interests of public safety, Kelley is passing this information along to us.
Continuing a strand he took up some time ago, his seeming disappointment that violent crime rates are actually dropping in this country, he plaintively asks what difference it makes if it is still higher than it was 50 years ago. If violent crime continues to drop, I imagine it will upset him even more.
The fun in reading a column like this is wondering how long Kelley can restrain himself, and get to the real points he is trying to make.
1960 - also the magical year of Kelley’s birth, seems to be the year where everything sort of went wrong for America, and this great country of ours began its long dark walk down the back alleys away from the Real McCoys world he seems to revel in.
Well, somebody (or groups of somebodies) is responsible for these rising crime rates, and Kelley has the guts to point us in the right direction, telling us that:
“Almost every state’s crime rates are multiples of what they were a half-century ago, and it’s a complete dereliction of duty by our government leaders not to identify and address the reasons for such a wholesale escalation.”
There’s trouble in River City, and it . . .
Kelley goes on to tell us that:
“Tackling violent crime and its causes means analyzing and addressing some touchy issues - like race, education and poverty.”
Well, race isn’t really all that touchy a subject for Dana D. Kelley, whose column often seems as though it is offered to those whose thoughts on race belong in some darker parts on the country, circa 1960.
After all, being squeamish - politically correct, I suppose - about discussing race is no excuse for our failing to restore America to the the sort of lives our grandparents led.
As Kelley finishes off:
“All our kids of all races, especially those of immigrants who weren’t here in 1960 (and don’t know how safe ours streets were) deserve it.”
Yeah, those Irish and French immigrants who weren’t here in 1960.
Kelley tries to be subtle these days, but he will, eventually, drop another gem like this from his column of last October, “No More Spades?”:
“Even though someone who swindles social programs is actually harming a needy neighbor, few politicians have the gumption to call a spade a spade.”
NWA Times: Greg Harton versus Mark Kinion and Matthew Petty
In his Monday morning commentary today, “Every individual has an Opinion: Aldermen should avoid using political power on issues for which city has no direct responsibility,” Greg Harton of the Northwest Arkansas Times takes Fayetteville Aldermen Mark Kinion and Matthew Petty to task for their efforts to have the City Council take a stand on “Corporate Statehood,” which is destroying the democratic process in this country.
In doing so, he rewrites Fayetteville history a little.
The Fayetteville City Council - and Fayetteville Board of Directors before them - has a proud tradition of voting on such resolutions, whether they be concerning human rights, nuclear power or the rights of the people of Tibet.
Please don’t pretend that you don’t know that.
In doing so, Fayetteville is no different from many other cities across the United States.
But there is a larger issue at stake here.
Even though such a resolution won’t do a whole hell of a lot - overnight at least - to stop the corporate takeover of the democratic process, it may cause many who haven’t thought about what is happening to give it some thought.
To reflect upon what is happening to their country, and what the future may be like for their children.
It is good for the democratic process.
It sort of makes one pine for the days (not so long ago) when such a subject might be discussed on the Government Channel on a roundtable, when the aldermen in question could discuss it with those on both sides of the issue.
In the end, though, it really isn’t that a couple of aldermen are bringing up a resolution not directly related to city business that is sticking in Harton’s craw; he is taking up the mantle for those corporations who have been so foully maligned in recent months.
Quote of the Day
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. - Woody Allen