Common sense lost

Well, it was disheartening to say the least to see all these people crammed into the Touchdown Club. There were hardly any masks, and the people (600, according to the newspaper) were practically sitting on top of each other. I will say it lives up to its name, and in this case, covid scored the winning touchdowns with a final score of Covid-19: 600, Common Sense: 0.


Small stone

Vaccination working

Vaccines are phenomenally effective in reducing the severity of infections that “get lost”. Severity is greatly reduced essentially 100 percent of the time, but no vaccine has ever been absolutely 100 percent effective in preventing infection, so the more people vaccinated (Yay!), The more “revolutionary” cases, very few involving hospitalizations and deaths, the percentage of which remains infinitely small.

Isn’t that an example of pure and simple mathematics? So why isn’t it flagged that way?

Oh wait, I got it. Too boring to report a clear and simple result that has always been absolutely and mathematically predictable if it can be tweaked to stoke fear instead. How does it work for us?

What is really working for us? Vaccination. Vaccination works wonderfully.

This is what we really need to know, and more of us are embracing it.


Small stone

Extravagant spending

Expenses, expenses and more expenses. Looks like Congress will never control it. A great congressman once said, “a billion here and a billion there and soon we’ll be talking about real money.” Today it’s a trillion here and there and we’re talking real money. But most important is the obscene debt that hangs over future generations.

Looking at past history, from my perspective, Congress has been a very poor manager of the funds it takes from its citizens. Do we really want a bigger government? When you look at the waste and mismanagement of past policies, I think the answer is obvious. Do you think maybe future children will look back and thank us for overwhelming their generation?

There is no free meal. Someone is always paying.

If we can’t pass a balanced budget amendment or term limits, perhaps a restriction on legislative action should be considered. Why not require 75% approval for every invoice / action? Could that help bring back some tax savvy?



Covid and hospitals

You don’t need to read between the lines. Headline on page 1 of Wednesday’s Democrat-Gazette: “Hospitalizations Decrease by 44”, with the caption “State Adds 2,223 New Cases; deaths from covid increase by 45 ”.

Does anyone other than me see some sad irony here? Hospitalizations drop by 44, deaths increase by 45 …

Well, that’s one way to dump old intensive care beds. I imagine that one or two of the 2,223 new cases might need one …


Small stone

To Biden supporters

For a long time, I endured letters to this newspaper that ridiculed Donald Trump and those of us who supported him. We have been ridiculed as ignorant backcountry peasants. Every time John Brummett mentions Trump’s name, he hits us. Poor people … God bless them … they’re just simple-minded country people who don’t know the difference.

This debacle in Afghanistan is not just for Joe Biden, but for all who supported him. It’s hard, but I resist the urge to insult myself. I have a question for John and all those who have supported this president: how are you feeling today? Are you ready to defend your vote?

For some reason, I don’t feel so simple-minded today.



Support our libraries

Growing up in a working-class family of seven, we spent a lot of time at the Little Rock, southwest branch of the Central Arkansas Library System. I did not know then the financial and logistical difficulties that parents go through to have their children read. Knowing what I know now as a practicing librarian, my parents could never have maintained our reading interests without the resources available from CALS. Without the opportunities offered by our local library, I’m sure none of us would have become the lifelong learner we all are today. I have seen families like mine walk into my library every day for the past 14 years.

I am delighted to see that Nate Coulter and the CALS Board of Directors are working to ensure that these opportunities are available for the next generation of Arkansawyers. The modest increase in mileage they are asking for will go a long way to meeting the short and long term needs of the people of central Arkansas. The average homeowner will see their bill go up by around $ 14 per year, but what they will receive in return is far more than $ 14 which will take you somewhere else.

There is always something going on in the library, including nothing at all. We’re one of the last places where a person can just exist without expecting to have to pay for something or, frankly, to do anything. The notion of libraries as a “third place” – a common space outside of work and home – is a notion that we have worked hard to cultivate and even harder to maintain. Creating and maintaining welcoming and functional spaces doesn’t come cheap, nor does providing well-stocked and organized library collections and offering programs to entertain, educate and delight.

As Rex Nelson recently joked, ignorance is expensive. We can no longer afford ignorance in Arkansas. Please vote yes on November 9th.


Hot Springs

Adam Webb is president of Advocates for All Arkansas Libraries.

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