From the web
In response to David Koon's Aug. 10 cover story, "Farmer vs. Farmer," on a murder linked to a quarrel over the herbicide dicamba and the herbicide's effect on East Arkansas:
Let the free market solve the problem. There should be NO regulations of any kind on any farmer. Corporations are people too, and they spent millions developing these products and deserve a return on their investment. The loss of a few farmers' crops is inconsequential when compared to the needs of a multibillion-dollar international corporation. Just because one farmer shoots another farmer, and just because millions of dollars of crops have been damaged, there's still no reason for the government to get involved. Let the courts handle it.
Ivan the Republican
I have serious concerns on the safety of dicamba and its use. How safe is it to inhale, and is it readily washable off fruit and vegetables that it doesn't kill in private gardens? My dad is still dealing with health issues from chemicals that were used on our farm years ago that were later removed from the market as being too dangerous to use.
A well-researched article, David. Very sorry for the Wallace family. It was disappointing to read Republican state Rep. Joe Jett's comments about the state government not being able to do anything to help the farmers.
In response to the Arkansas Blog post on the police dispersal of homeless people waiting for a meal at a church on West Markham St., who, according to a post by a nonprofit aid group, were called "an eyesore" by one officer:
"Eyesore" being the operative word here. Apparently it's offensive to some with power to have to see what homelessness and hunger look like. Out of sight, out of mind. The homeless are not the reason my hubby freaks out whenever I tell him I need to make a trip to Little Rock or the reason he calls or texts excessively from all parts of the world until I assure him I am on the way home. Homeless and hungry people are not the reason almost none of my girlfriends will make the trip with me anymore, despite attempted bribes of free lunch or a shopping spree. If only the police department and the city would do whatever it takes to hire a full staff and devote every accessible resource to fixing the real problems so folks can resume enjoying the pleasures our beautiful capital city has to offer without fear. I miss that a lot. There always have been and always will be homeless and hungry people. Hiding them doesn't qualify as a Band-aid. The hungry and homeless don't even appear on the radar of the image our country has right now of Little Rock, Arkansas.
One wonders why the city fathers keep talking about the number of open police jobs to justify not requiring cops living in Little Rock and crime ... but they can place all these cops at this location instead of in the neighborhoods that are experiencing the problems, because Lance Hines does not like looking at them when he drives to City Hall? Or because the Republican legislators who eat at Doe's and ran for office as Christians don't want to see homeless people? Republicans don't live by Jesus' example.
How ironic that there will probably be a 24/7 guard mounted by the Capitol Police watching over the next monolith by Sen. Jason Rapert, but those dedicated to living out the precepts of their religion by aiding the less fortunate among us are threatened with arrest. All the while, fascist TV preachers publicly extol crude and nutty Drumpf as the lawd's chosen. There is no doubt that ours is an "exceptional" nation.
This city needs new leadership. The drifting and clueless City Hall needs to be cleaned out. And how come, when Little Rock has as many murders this year as Oakland, Calif., that the Little Rock Police Department is busy harassing the homeless and stopping people on Cantrell by Dillards going 5 mph over the speed limit instead of being out and stopping these murders and cracking down on hardened criminals?
Follow the chain of command all the way back to who really authorized orders for the police to use excessive harassment tactics against people breaking bread together. Remember the RFRA? The Arkansas Senate voted to approve a bill that supporters said will protect religious freedoms: House Bill 1228, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville. As an example of the protections the bill would provide, Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, said "a church in Texas was granted the right to continue a program to feed the homeless under Texas religious freedom law." I would suggest that a statue of Baphomet placed on the state Capitol grounds would more accurately represent the morals, character and laws of a majority of the Arkansas government. They will most likely claim they were not aware of this police action. Someone in authority ordered the police to place a surveillance camera across the street.
In response to an Arkansas Blog post on eStem charter school head John Bacon's writings that the school's success can be traced to its "demographics":
It is nice when he gets taxpayer money, plus funds poured on him by the Waltons, and then can go out and give a faulty rationale for their success. Since taxpayers aren't represented in the Little Rock School District and apparently can't have a vote to take the rate down to the state minimum, he is just another financial crook living off the efforts of others. These types just wear a business suit rather than a mask.
Couldn't be better
In response to an Arkansas Blog post that the University of Arkansas made a list of 20 schools most unfriendly to the LGBT community:
Husband and I have six weeks left before we leave Arkansas, and the South, for good! Hallelujah!
Quicksand in court
Arkansas's court system is like quicksand: You don't know how bad it is until you're stuck in it.
Did you know that when you post bail with a bail bondsman, you never see that money again? If you show up like you're supposed to for your day in court, the money you paid stays with the bail bond company. Even if you show up and are found innocent, you don't get your money back.
I always thought that if defendants showed up as scheduled, the bail money was returned. Not so! If you're arrested and bail is set at $10,000, you pay $1,000 to the bondsman. But even if you keep your court date, that money is gone. Vanished. The bondsman keeps it.
Is this justice?
And of course if you're too poor to post bail, it's even worse. Even if you are willing to show up in court when ordered, you're stuck in the jail for weeks or months because you're poor — but that's a subject for another letter.
The system stinks and the public needs to know how bad it is.