Tommy Durham's cartoon Feb. 4 depicts issues that are raw nerves for most Little Rock drivers. Over the past few years I have driven in several cities including New York, Atlanta, and Houston. I put Little Rock second on my list of unpleasant places to drive. Houston is on the top. It seems to me that on I-430 and I-630 NASCAR rules apply. If a driver can squeeze a bumper in front of a car then he (or she) has the right of way. If a driver puts a turn signal on, indicating a wish to change lanes, this only incites the desire of nearby drivers to cut them off. It's worse here than NASCAR. NASCAR drivers don't spit or throw fast food rubbish out of their windows while playing bumper tag at 180 mph. Big SUVs and high-end sedans seem to be the cars that I dislike the most; especially when I see them 12 inches off my rear bumper.
Three weeks ago I was trying to go from I-430 to I–630 and got caught out in the center lane and figured I would have to go up to Rodney Parham and come back. Part of the NASCAR rules forbid giving a person a break even if their turn signal is on and they ob-viously need to change lanes. A big Escalade that was behind me slowed down and gave me space to move into the turn lane. Kudos to you, polite driver!
Later I was going south on I-430 and wanted to get off at the Col. Glenn exit. Again I had not made my move soon enough. A lady in a big new Cadillac sedan slowed down to let me in. Kudos to her! Last week I was desirous of turning left across Markham from a parking lot and the situation seemed hopeless. I could feel the drivers behind me getting impatient as if they were waiting for the green flag to drop at Daytona. A man driving a Navigator slowed down to let me out. Kudos to him!
Each of these drivers turned a frustrating situation into a pleasant one. I've tried to pass the good feelings along as I wait to see the driver of a Hummer make someone's day a little better.
Peace by Piece
I have been following from afar the news articles about the Peace by Piece Conference in Searcy. As a former Arkansas native and a Christian fellowshipping with folks of the Churches of Christ, I would like to make a few observations.
The Harding administration, it seems to me, has not done anything to criticize in declining to host the conference. If the conference organizers had insisted that a synagogue or mosque provide a venue for this, no one would question those communities of faith having a right to decline, based on philosophical differences.
The student organizers said a lot about differences in goals and the lack of understanding on the part of the administration. Perhaps that goes two ways. This and other Christian colleges have promoted helping the poor and daring to live out Jesus' words. Thirty years ago, I remember college students from a Church of Christ school who were encouraged to work at Camp Shiloh in New York state with inner city kids. The counselors decided these kids needed more than a one- or two-week good experience, so they moved into these kids' dangerous neighborhoods. One of these young persons was murdered as they came home from work one day. This sounds to me very much like what Peace by Piece organizers want their college mentors to en-courage.
I have known Harding faculty (and employees of other Church of Christ colleges) who have gone and lived what these students are talking about doing. Because of them, I myself moved to a third-world country for a few years and worked. I remember first coming to Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in LR as a teen and being blown away by the wonderful example of many adults who practiced what they preached. In the almost 40 years I have been associated with the Churches of Christ I've seen numerous acts of generosity, practical loving action, and sacrifice.
I hope that these student organizers of the Peace by Piece Conference go on to do many of the great things they planned. But I hope they will not take piecemeal Jesus' teachings — throwing away knowledge of God and salvation — which are foundational to the peace, love and justice they wish to promote.
Dishonest TV ads
You might have seen television ads sponsored by a group called the Committee for Truth in Politics. The ad is against H.R. 4173, and claims that it gives Wall Street and big banks $4 trillion in bailouts. I was appalled. Fortunately, I had access to the Internet and looked up what this dreadful H.R. 4173 actually said. I was surprised to find it was the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. It's the legislation that protects consumers from being ripped off by credit card companies and puts restrictions on the banks and Wall Street to make it illegal for them to play fast and loose with depositors and investors funds.
The ad is a total lie.
I looked up information about the Committee for Truth in Politics. They won't reveal who or what footed the bill for dozens of TV ads that attempt to mislead people. Do you think it might be Wall Street, the big banks and the credit card companies?