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Smart Talk, Oct. 8



Clinton's triple play


Former President Bill Clinton will do Hot Springs and environs Oct 17. There's a reunion of his Hot Springs High School class. There's the annual Dick Kelly Golf Classic in nearby Glenwood and, at 5 p.m., he'll be the draw at a campaign fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Mike Ross of Prescott. Tickets are $100 “or whatever you can afford,” Ross wrote on his Facebook page. Not to worry if you've got the shorts from medical bills. Insurance companies have already picked up plenty of slack for Ross.


Steel-makin' man


The Wall Street Journal caught up with some old news last week — that Gov. Mike Beebe had designated $2.5 million from his discretionary federal stimulus money toward renovation of the old Rock Island bridge by the Clinton Library. Looking for undue influence, the Journal didn't seem to find any. But it did get a fine quote from the governor's spokesman, Matt DeCample.  Said the article: The bridge renovation is “going to create jobs and put our steel mills to work,” he added. It remains to be seen how much steel will be required and who'll supply it, but why stop with steel. It's going to take a lot of Arkansas rice to feed all those bridge laborers, not to mention Arkansas eggs and chicken to give them protein. And good Arkansas generated-power to drive their tools. Lots of office supplies to gin out news releases extolling the project. Well, you get the idea.


Trick or treat?


Halloween's coming up and many people have commented on a seasonal attraction near the Bryant exit from Interstate 30. It is Field of Screams, a commercial Halloween attraction with ghoulish ghost stories and special effects on display nightly through October ( The photo is of one of the props. It's hanging from a tree near a sign advertising the entertainment. The obvious Halloween connection hasn't prevented doubletakes, particularly among black motorists. This cellphone photo has been widely circulated in Little Rock's black community, mostly with critical comments. We posted the photo on our blog and asked for reactions. It was an interesting inkblot test. Many said black people need to be less sensitive. “Paranoia at its worst,” said one reader. On the other hand, though few saw ill intent on the part of the exhibitor, many were disconcerted. Said one reader: “All that comes to my mind is Billie Holiday's ‘Strange Fruit.' Tear it down!”

What do you think? A harmless Halloween decoration or a mite too scary?


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