Wednesday, October 11, 2017
A promise of autumn
The coolness in the air on a recent morning surprised me when I went to retrieve my paper. So I sat in a chair to take it in. The wind bore the promise of autumn, hinting that summer was finally gone. I looked at the high clouds racing in from the south and felt the wind from the north and wondered how that was even possible.
Different kinds of little birds were flying and chirping. Several in particular were very acrobatic, tumbling and flying at the same time. I should be better at identifying birds by their songs, but I'm not. Oh sure, I know the crows.
From the east, a tease of sunrise showed beneath the clouds, but it was only a thin line of orange against the gray. The gusting breeze felt so good that it stirred me.
Then the pitch of insects kicked in. It was an odd noise, a high pitch and a low pitch at the same time. I wondered how that was even possible.
As the insects reached a crescendo, the birds stopped flying and the clouds became darker. The breeze picked back up and that felt really good. But the call of farm-fresh eggs for breakfast lured me back inside.
All deserve safe home
Arkansas is a "conservative state," and I acknowledge this--however, we talk about "the need to build relationships" and "it takes time to build these relationships."
How much time does it take? Will we ever have the political will to address this reality? Shelter is a basic human need; it follows after the physical needs (for air, water, food, rest, and health). We must work to help provide resources to assist our citizens in accessing quality, appropriate housing to meet their needs.
I have been working with housing advocates to seek resources for affordable housing for more than 20 years, and this work has been with many outstanding elected representatives. However, even now, in 2017, we still are running into brick walls and roadblocks. What is the real issue? Why do some of our current leaders apparently not see a need to address housing issues of our vulnerable Arkansans?
We as responsible citizens should affirm: 1. Every child deserves a safe place to call home; 2. A place to call home offers seniors (and persons with disabilities) an opportunity to live and grow with independence and dignity; 3. Our veterans should have access to safe, affordable housing; and 4. Hardworking Arkansans should be able to afford a home and still have enough money for groceries and child care.
Will we ever have the political will to address this reality? Shelter is a basic human need.
Rich Roy is co-chairman of Housing Arkansas.
Get priorities straight
Donald Trump is hollering about these players kneeling during the anthem and disgracing the flag. The same Trump that had so many deferments so he wouldn't have to go fight for this same flag.
He's already lost more than a dozen crooked members of his staff. He needs to get his priorities straight. He's too busy worrying about his ego, trying to impress everybody.
No alteration needed
I would like to respond to Aimee Crochet's letter that appeared in Monday's Democrat-Gazette. It seems Ms. Crochet contends that the Second Amendment needs to be changed because the "well-armed militia" addressed by the Second Amendment has evolved into today's well-armed National Guard.
This is true. The problem is that the modern National Guard is not a militia established to protect the rights of the citizenry. Today's National Guard is an integral part of the U.S. military establishment whose mission is to protect the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
As has been demonstrated in the past, the National Guard can be "nationalized" at any time to defend the government of the United States, not the rights of the citizenry. I have no problem with this; I spent 25 years in the active Army and Army Reserve. It works for the defense of this country.
While I agree that there need to be changes to gun ownership laws (e.g., there is no legitimate reason a civilian should own a fully automatic weapon), I believe the Second Amendment does not need to be removed or altered.
It would help tremendously if the existing laws and regulations related to gun purchases and ownership would be fully enforced.
I note with interest the push to produce a commercially acceptable driverless car. Hardly a day passes without a mention in the media; however, I remain a bit skeptical. As a former pilot, I remember the early days of the auto-pilot when one was never sure what was to happen when it was engaged.
There is a lot of good press about this emerging technology, but I fear that there is a hidden agenda. It is only my opinion, but I think the real impetus driving this technology is its application to the trucking industry. Can you imagine those seemingly endless miles of semis on the interstate highways with not a soul at the steering wheel? The Department of Transportation says that there are 3.5 million truck drivers. That is a fairly large segment of the population to be sidelined without work.
It should be interesting to see the Teamsters Union's response. They have shown some rather unique ways of expressing their dissatisfaction in the past.
ROBERT W. BEST
Editorial on 10/11/2017
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