The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Charter Member of the Lawson Road Gang Sounds Off

I've made some interesting observations since moving home to Arkansas, formerly known as the Land of Opportunity. I think these days the slogan here is the Natural State. I wonder what would be the UnNatural State? Utah, maybe?

(Sorry 'bout the jab, Deke)

But I digress. I have been known to do that on occasion.

As I was saying, being back down South is anything but boring. Leave it to my home town to build a Big Dam Bridge as part of its expanded hike-n-bike trails. Rumor has it CAT (that's Central Arkansas Transit) is seriously contemplating adding bicycle racks to their buses, something I dearly miss from living on Puget Sound.

I noticed today as my mother and I were running endless errands*, there seemed to be more three-year-old Kerry bumper stickers on the freeway than those for W. Almost as if those who supported Kerry were damn proud of it, and Shrub's folks are finally getting sick of the horse hockey being shoveled at them. Arkansas may be a small southern farming state, but the politics are more progressive than one would assume. Folks here are somewhat aggressively plain spoken, and will tell you what they think, while unfailingly managing to be polite about it at the same time. I think this is where I got my ingrained sense of fair play.

Speaking of which, our new Democratic Governor Mike Beebe (that's pronounced like the Red Ryder gun) is in the process of keeping one of his most important campaign promises: rolling back Arkansas's idiotically regressive grocery tax. The Repugs in the State Ledge offered a lame-ass income tax credit instead, and Gubner BB quite correctly nixed any such noise on the grounds the grocery tax hits the poor and elderly the hardest, and a large proportion of those folks don't even pay income tax. I'm impressed and tickled.

Also coming down the pike in this new bluer day is the rollback of the consolidation of the state's Department of Health and Human Services, and the boost in funding to make it possible. After watching first-hand the Repug-lead killing and defunding of services in Texas, it's nice to see some of the same errors that were made here being rectified. And who oversaw the Greedy Old Party's moronic agenda in the Natural State the last few years? Why, none other than Mike Huckabee, Arkansas' latest ex-Gubner and recently-declared Presidential candidate. He's been enthusiastically endorsed by our old friend Tom "The Bugman" Delay. 'Nuff said on the Huck's credentials.

On the flip side of the coin, I was rather dismayed to see the local CBS affilliate devote almost ten minutes at the top of the late news broadcast last night to a local gentleman and his website on the Rapture. Four or five minutes after the weather, or sports, as a human interest story I might could have stomached. I'll be composing my letter to the head of the news department at KTHV soon after I finish writing here. And God, please save me from your followers.

So folks, at the end of the day it looks like my expectations about moving home are being met. There's some personal challenges, there's some things I'm really happy to see, there's a few that make me roll my eyes, but mostly it's just good to be back home.

As a postscript: To all you folks I read and blog with on a regular basis, please don't take it personal if I haven't been to your Places lately. I will be by soon as my schedule settles down, and you're damn sure not forgotten.

*Said endless errands being trying to get my AR driver's license reinstated. We finally got it accomplished, but it involved two separate days, one trip downtown, three to Southwest Little Rock, and another to West Little Rock to rearrange insurance to the state's finicky pleasure. I may have learned fair play here at home, but now I remember Arkansas is also where I learned to despise mindless bureacracy, too.


Blogger azgoddess said...

so glad you didn't get lost in blogger-land...and glad to have ya back!!

it's nice to hear of good change happen...thanks for the update!

7:39 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Good luck with all that mess. It must feel good to have some issues resolved. I love your insights about the state of Arkansas.
Miss you!

10:46 AM  
Anonymous D.K. Raed said...

oh it's so nice to see you getting back into it, mel! here in the unnatural state of utah, we also have that ridiculous grocery tax. some legislators are talking about removing it, but only on what they consider "necessary food items". Who's gonna try & tell me my twinkies and dingdongs aren't necessary? Lobster is necessary, but The BK Whaler isn't?

Good to know we aren't the only ones with a local rapture guy on tv. On slow news days, we get to hear about someone who calls himself the Parowan Prophet. Google him sometime for a real larf. Listen, I don't know my second coming from my first coming, but I sure wish SOMEONE would come get him & lock him away.

You keep giving them hell, mel! You'll thrive where ever you are. And now you've got a local driver's license, you can schedule some sanity revival trips, right? ~~ D.K.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Spadoman said...

Good to see you Mel! I haven't been on the blogs scrolling around as much as I'd like either. But a visit is a visit and I ain;t gonna come here and say Hello to my friend.

Some of that stuff sounds damn good. Maybe you just getting into the state brought the tally of prgressives over rethugs over the top and things will get better and better.

Hang in there. I know where you are.


5:40 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Sanity revival indeed! Me and lil' Bubba are scheming on logistics to go fetch my bike in TX; hope to be on the road soon.

Another odd observation I've made here? We apparently have a gourmet squirrel living in the vacinity of Mom's house. When I checked her oil the other day I saw that he's been storing acorns on the engine block. Must like 'em toasted.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Spadoman said...

A Valentine for you today.


6:58 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Well, happy hearts and overpriced flowers to you too, Spads!

And to everybody else...namaste.

7:55 AM  

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