An open letter to Mark Martin
When you entered office at the Capitol, you immediately changed the news channel on the public television in the Capitol Rotunda to Fox News. It had been set to a more mainstream and moderate news source by your predecessor. With the results released by several recent surveys (Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll and University of Maryland) that indicate a person having no exposure to news at all has better knowledge of events than someone who watches Fox News (either Republican or Democrat), I'm hoping you'll do the right thing and change the channel back. Will you do your part to help Arkansas citizens be better informed? Or will you continue to subject both public employees and visitors to the "news" channel that distorts facts and promotes disinformation?
From the web
In response to an Arkansas Blog post on Nashville News Publisher Mike Graves' column on the De Queen-Nashville high school football game in which he wrote (and subsequently apologized for saying) that he was "embarrassed for the decent citizens of De Queen, especially when the prayer and our national anthem were ignored by the thugs in the crowd who kept their caps on" and asked "when we give the illegal so much, how do we expect them to have any respect or regard for America?":
I don't know about anyone else here, but I am tired of people speaking their minds, then apologizing for it. The apology means nothing. Stick to your guns. If you say what you believe, then stick to it. This is America. So what if people are offended?
I'm more offended by these apologies that always come out than anything else. I don't think what the man said is worthy of all this hoopla. That is a problem in today's society with the Internet and such. Things get blown out of proportion in a hurry, and then the TV news has to get a hold of it and try to stir up the pot.
I went to Fort Baptist Northside in the early '90s with the sons and daughters of Vietnamese and Laotian refugees. Their parents, most of whom spoke no English, took whatever jobs they could find, from furniture factory jobs down to the chicken plants. A few families started restaurants or Asian food markets. The high school age kids worked too so the family could make ends meet. Sound familiar?
Today, many of those students are now doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers, etc., and their children speak little to no Vietnamese. Twenty years from now, I see no reason we won't see the process repeat itself with the Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, just as it has many times before, including my wife's family who came to Subiaco, Arkansas, from Germany 100 years ago.
In response to an item on the Arkansas Blog, "Occupy Wall Street is making a difference."
It amazes me that people in power are swayed by protesters screaming out against them from a safe distance. Ole LBJ heard the sea of anti-war protesters outside the fence day and night until it bothered him so much he chose not to run for a second term. He could have ignored the noise and had a second term with no one so much as knocking a hair out of place yet the protesting finally got to him and he slunk off to Texas to die five years later.
I'm glad it works! Protesters have saved us from some of the worst of the 1%, and we've already seen the power of those dirty hippies trashing our precious parks. Winter doesn't seem to be slowing them down much but I predict next spring will be a watershed moment. We've got the winter to let the Occupy message foment in our minds and I think by next spring a whole lot of us Centrum Silver folks will get our Occupy on.
In truth our election system and our government has become so corrupted it hardly works at all. Hundreds of years of special-interest sponsored amendments and bills and tax breaks have spoiled the soup. Can anyone name an aspect of modern American life that hasn't been corrupted? Can't even trust your kids to your local priest, for crying out loud. And if the boy plays football — look out!
It's high time we have a major adjustment. The way things are we can't keep kicking the many many cans on down the road. It's time to take our medicine and deal out a lot more medicine for those who can't handle the truth that America is a cesspool of corruption controlled by Fascism in the form of Citizens United. A country of war profiteers. An oligarchy taking us back to pre-Civil War days when Massa held all the cards. It will not stand! Occupy your mind and the rest will follow!
Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include name and hometown.