Gay rights are human rights
I have a few observations on the article on the governor's speech to the Stonewall Democrats. While I can appreciate the governor's opinion on marriage on a personal level for his own life, I question how and why it should affect government just as I questioned the marriage amendment when it was adopted.
When we were fighting to put the Domestic Partner Registry into Eureka Springs in 2007 it honestly did start as a health care issue, but it quickly turned into a human rights issue. Night after night I would go home and remind myself that as the mayor I represented all residents of this city, their health and well-being.
As I thought about that and knew that I was facing a battle, I just couldn't find a valid reason not to help a certain segment of our citizens because of their personal sexual orientation. To discriminate against any constituent in housing, employment, health care, or equal rights under the law is not only unthinkable, it's demeaning. Quite frankly, it's beneath us all.
I grew up in the '60s in Texas and watched the racial wars. I never thought I would see the same thing happen in this day and age, but unfortunately it is. It's just moved on to another set of people. Knowing that our legislature and governor willingly let legislation fail on hate crimes because of homosexual issues makes me question our ethics. How do you look at another human and judge them as less than you are simply because they don't believe the same as you do?
But be assured, gay and lesbian people deserve their rights just as we all do, and I feel sure that they will fight to get them. I just hope that Arkansas isn't the last state to recognize them as human and equal. That would truly be embarrassing. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
The president decides
Even for a Chicago politician, this is an all time low. To take something as important as the staggering amount of debt that our country has accumulated in the last couple of years and turn it into a crass political ploy is not a pleasant thing to behold.
The president knows, as does anyone who can count past 20, that the government has more than enough money coming in on a daily basis to pay our debt obligations and 70 percent of our budget obligations. What the president knows, but not everyone who can count past 20 knows, is that after the U.S. debt is serviced, it is the president who will decide who gets paid and who doesn't with the huge amount of money that is left after debt service.
When the president says he can't guarantee that seniors will get their Social Security checks after Aug. 3, it is because the president, not Congress or the Republicans, chooses not to send Social Security checks to seniors. If the president chooses to spend the money that seniors invested in their retirement (Social Security) on other things of greater import, such as financing a Russian steel manufacturer to the tune of $730 million to upgrade a steel mill in Michigan or keeping the hundred or so billion dollars left over from the stimulus program as his political slush fund or a couple of trillion dollars on his botched healthcare scheme (that most people don't want), then we know where the president's priorities lie.
Make no bones about it, there is more than enough money to pay Social Security, the military (one of the only truly Constitutional functions of our government) and most of the government's obligations if only the president would stop shoveling money at his friends and political allies.
As we used to say when I was in the Marines, this man has stooped so low he could crawl under the belly of a snake with a high hat on. He can't guarantee that the military will get paid or that seniors will get their Social Security checks. Who is President Obama trying to kid? For shame Mr. President, for shame!
John "Jock" MacGregor
From The Web
News of a Little Rock police officer shooting a man pointing a gun at him on the corner of Markham and Scott Streets at 2 a.m. early Sunday morning prompted a long and lively comment thread on the Arkansas Blog about crime in the River Market. For more comments, visit arktimes.com/rivermarketshooting.
More cops are needed in the River Market. Memphis has tons of cops on Beale. Same for Bourbon St., many of them on horseback. Our city depends on tourism and convention business much more than most residents realize. If we can't provide an environment in our entertainment district where residents and visitors feel safe, we will begin to lose that business. It's not a good thing when the folks staying at the Capitol and Peabody are discouraged by staff from walking down to the River Market because it's unsafe, but that's what's happening right now. Add cops, widen their patrol routes and run off loiterers.
We drove across the bridge last night around 1:30 a.m. on the way home from the Arkansas Queen trip. As we passed this location, there were several hundred youth standing around on corners right where the shooting happened. When we tried to make the turn onto 3rd, pedestrians were blocking the roadway and harassing motorists in their vehicles. We had to veer around three young men standing in the roadway who were staring at us while blocking traffic. They were being cheered on by a group of 20 or so young women on the sidewalk. I've lived in a city of 3 million and have visited most large metro areas of the US. I've never experienced anything like what I saw last night. Never seen anything like this in LR.
I've been here most of my life, and what I saw last night will prevent me from patronizing any business in the River Market area after the workday rush is over. I'm sure glad I didn't move into Block 2. The area is simply not safe.
If real estate developers create an artificial "entertainment district" where one never existed and if that "entertainment district" consists after dark solely of a bunch of bars serving young people, why would anyone be surprised when those young people get sloshed and cause trouble after midnight?