Thank you, Little Rock.
Last night, from the second row, I sang Suzy Q with Dale Hawkins when the rockabilly legend invited us to join him.
The night before I harmonized with Willie Nelson.
Last week I was the first to see new films on their way to bigger screenings.
The first Sunday in May I toured gardens designed by our native-son-gone-national, P. Allen Smith.
In late April I struggled with who to hear among nationally known writers scheduled to speak the same hour.
Little Rock gave me all this — at Riverfest, at the Little Rock Film Festival, at the Little Rock Garden Club Tour, at the Arkansas Literary Festival.
I've missed three times as much. But I was busy. The museum where I work celebrated the grand opening of its new Indian exhibit, then put on its annual Territorial Fair.
I did hear Roy Reed's Arkansas wisdom at the Clinton School, and enjoy Cliff Baker's charisma as he oriented us to Blooms, at Wildwood.
What a concentration of creative energy and dreams these events represent. What a pool of patrons backing those dreams, and crews of volunteers pulling them off, to whom we are indebted.
Organizers, thank you. Thank you for every one of your headaches. You've given us rich experiences. They are big city opportunities. We've enjoyed them in a community with so few big city annoyances.
What a place to call home.
Neo-cons have missed boat
Before Vasco de Gama rounded Africa's Cape of Good Hope at the end of the 15th century, the only known methods for delivery of goods to China involved dealing with the peoples of Arab lands. Then as now this proved to be both costly and unreliable. De Gama opened up a sea route from Europe to Asia and took the Middle East out of the loop.
Last week Barack Obama announced that we would raise the MPG standards for all vehicles and start the country on a path toward energy independence. He didn't look much like Vasco de Gama but it was clear that the country has stepped off in a new direction. We as a nation are now going to pursue policies that will free us from our dependency on Middle Eastern oil. It is nice to have a president with a working knowledge of history.
What Newt, Rush, Dick and the other remnants of the neo-conservative movement need to realize is that they are now irrelevant. It doesn't matter if they show Obama to be a European style socialist or even a card-carrying communist. They can prove that Nancy Pelosi personally water boarded Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton flew one of the planes on 9-11 and FDR caused both the great Depression and our current economic woes; it won't make any difference. The wind has shifted. The ship has sailed and neo-cons missed it. My advice for them — cash in your chips, get in your V8 powered SUV and go out to the golf course.
A quote from Ernest Dumas: “Ignorance and bigotry are a bad combination. They are the weapons of a demagogue.”
I agree 100 percent. Think, people, think. Question, people, question. That is why you have a brain.
Ernest Dumas may have little tolerance for prejudice against Jewish-Americans but he has a high tolerance for prejudice against European-Americans. In fact Dumas' brand of liberalism has been tolerating a perpetual condemnation of white people for decades. They have decided it's more important to indulge the resentments of the civil rights organizations to keep them in the Democratic Party than to include whites in a principle of respect for all people.
Europeans brought to this continent a civilization that was more humane than the indigenous societies they replaced. If another race had discovered the Americas the native people might have been completely eradicated. Still civil rights organizations are emboldened by liberals who imply that America's human rights record is worse than all others to seek legal discrimination against whites through affirmative action, in spite of the fact that ethnic conflict in the developing world has done more harm to people than centuries of colonialism, slavery and Jim Crow.