Letter to the Editor

Citizen Forum

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Apologizing for alderwoman

Dear editor,

I am always proud to be part of this hamlet we call Eureka Springs AR but recently an event made me not as proud. I made a special trip to apologize to the staff of the Carroll County Clerk’s office and to the Carroll County Clerk representing myself as a concerned citizen of Eureka Springs AR. I told them that I did not condone of the reported totally inappropriate “bullying” behavior and verbal assault made  by a representative of the City Council to them and that in my behavior or any member of my family this would not be allowed or condoned.  I hope all Eurekans agree that this “bullying” behavior is not  condoned or allowed.

God Bless,

– Ferguson Stewart

To my three members of Congress

 Steve Womack, when you are pressed about whether or not you will vote for the most recent version of Trumpcare your people say that you can’t comment because you have not seen it. Granted, it is hard to focus on something that is continually morphing. Yet you voted for the House version without hesitation, or any comprehension of it. Maybe you are afraid that not enough people will be losing the insurance that they have for the first time in their lives because of the ACA. We know that you are going to vote for or against whatever your Republican leadership tells you to. If they tell you to vote yeah, you will do it, if they tell you to be deaf to yeah votes at the Republican convention or in the House, that’s what you do.

I’ve had the very rare privilege to see you three times, face to face. I am one of “those people” as you referred to voters that tried to educate you on just how wrong you are, tried to drag simple yes or no answers out of you. There, as well, you turned a deaf ear and affirmed that you represent the voice of the people who voted for you, and not all Arkansans, even though your supporters are always in very short supply at town halls, your mobile offices and your brick and mortar offices. I am anxious to see you again. Your representative from your Harrison office says that you have been invited to the passion play, excuse my error, the Great Passion Play. I would like to invite you to meet with the rest of us in Carroll County at the Eureka Springs city auditorium or some other large capacity facility while you are in the area. I would also like to campaign for a dish that could be served in your honor during your visit. The Steve Womack sandwich, which would consist of all white meat chicken, wrapped in an American flag and garnished with arrogance.

My junior senator, Tom Cotton. You spend most of your time in D.C. defending the White House or trying to create diversions for them. When the country needs to know everything about our administration’s entanglements with the Russian government, you talk about Iran, or making references to Obama administration mistakes. I get it Tom: Trump good, Obama bad. When you had your opportunity to question former FBI director James B. Comey you wasted it in trying to change the subject. You are an excellent advocate for President Trump; however, that is not your job. You are supposed to advocate for Arkansas. When you do actually appear here in Arkansas, you act not so much as a puppet but one of those articulated figures that can be posed and positioned at the will of your handlers. You are obviously trying to buy time for this dishonest, paranoid, corrupt and hopefully short-lived Trump presidency and all the people who become more dishonest, paranoid and corrupt daily around him.

When it comes to immigration all you can say is that we need to get rid of as many as we can that are already here and let fewer and fewer new immigrants in every year. The world is in need of refuge for millions of humans and all you can say is “not here.” Why is that? What philosophy are you working from? White Europeans ripped this land away from those who were here by force so that we could tell the rest of humanity to stay the hell out unless we need cheap expendable labor. I’m sorry, you said that people can come here if they already have a high earning potential. I stand corrected. That will come as great news to the sick, the poor and the huddled masses. The lesson here is that we keep control of this place by force until someone more powerful or devious can take it away from us. Truly Christian words to live by, Senator.

My senior senator, John Boozman, aka, The Phantom, hides, whether in D.C. or in Arkansas. I am told he holds actual meetings, although I am not sure with whom. Maybe we could see him if we posed as Walmart or Tyson executives. There was a sighting of him by actual Arkansas voters in D.C. They had come to talk to him about healthcare and he had them sent away. Some were arrested. He was spotted at lunch, so he does exist. He holds telephone town halls that I have listened in to, in which he took eight calls in an hour and a half. The thing about a telephone town hall is he does not have to hear the reaction of the hundreds of people on the call. He is evidently extremely bashful. If he ever has a public meeting here, I will drive, bicycle, walk or crawl to get to it, even if it is in the farthest possible point from NWA. He is a do- nothing-but-vote-the-way-he-is-told senator. As a doctor you should have some real, practical reforms to the ACA to propose. Right. Where are they?

Ashamed to be your constituent,

– Mark Eastburn

True or False?

Editor,

For those who think Eurekans are emotional crackpots:

1. The American people are no longer able to govern themselves and need help from foreign governments?

2. Only the wealthy should have healthcare that doesn’t send them into bankruptcy?

3. Seeking the help of a hostile foreign power to win elections is not considered treason?

4. Does Vladimir Putin choose his words very carefully because that is the patient and careful way to achieve world domination?

5. Did Nikita Khrushchev say, “We will bury you?” And my favorite, “The U.S. will fall into our hands like an overripe piece of fruit?”

6. Can hatred, fear and greed be used as tools to make people vote for something they don’t really want?

7. Can a strong stance of apathy and avoidance of facts protect your cherished freedom?

8. If clues are dropped on some folks, should they have the weight of a hammer, or perhaps a hammer and sickle?

I like to joke with people a lot, but things is getting serious for this old hillbilly. Peace.

– Danny Foddrell

The gift of giving

I have to admit, with some chagrin, that I simply do not understand why our “representatives” seem to want to cut every single program in the government that could conceivably help their constituents. Are the rich so destitute that we who work for a living for rather low wages, we the elderly on Social Security and Medicare/MedicAid, we the hungry children, we the single mothers who work two jobs with no childcare provided and go home to try to feed, clean and raise children, we who have been left out of the “American dream,” we new immigrants or undocumented people who work at jobs no other people will do — are we to go without because of our “elected representatives” and our “unelected president” and their greed?

Erich Fromm, the psychologist, said, “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” Greed is one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” in early Roman Catholicism, “deadly” not merely because it constitutes a serious moral offense, but also because it spurs other sins and immoral behavior.  Now, modern Protestant fundamentalists believe just about everything is a sin, we are all sinners and they do not designate one sin any more deadly than another, but I especially abhor greed.

Greed, however, seems to be fundamental to modern American government, in those who purport to be the guardians of our democracy. In psychological studies done at the University of California, Berkeley, scientists found: The more money people have, the less empathy; the rich are less ethical because they see greed as good; the rich really are more selfish, and that economic inequality is making our country sick (literally). The researchers postulated, also, that people can change, even rich people.

I worked for a rich woman who created The Foundation for a Compassionate Society based on her theory of the Gift Economy. She divides giving into exchange and gift-giving. Giving in order to receive — exchange — is ego-oriented. Exchange creates and requires scarcity. Maybe this “exchange philosophy” is why the Republicans and the executive branch lie about the budget. They yammer about how we need to cut here, obliterate there because we do not have “enough.” We have enough to give the very rich a generous tax break!

Gift-giving, on the other hand, has the advantage of “restoring mothering to its rightful place in the constitution of the human,” according to Genevieve Vaughan, She walks her talk and gave more than $30 million to progressive and feminist causes. She told me there was plenty enough to go around. “It is not because of a fatal flaw in human nature that we act so inhumanely to one another ... but by starting over, [we can put] gift giving first as a theme for understanding the world.”

There is really not scarcity in this very rich country of ours. It’s just a matter of how we want to distribute the wealth.

— Trella Laughlin