The noise of 2021
This week's news, sports with commentary from Neal Moore and Bill Russell
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Analysis: Some Said the Vaccine Rollout Would Be a ‘Nightmare.’ They Were Right.
Basketball: North Little Rock loses for first time this season
Bill Russell: Disappointed in Lowery
As a resident of Maumelle, I was disappointed State Rep. Mark Lowery signed on last month to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit contesting the Presidential election in at least four states on what appears to be the belief of election fraud and the belief that State Legislatures should set the rules for elections rather than local officials.
Rep. Lowery took this action after multiple Courts, Republican judges, and Republican election officials including the President’s own appointed U.S. Attorney General and Director of Cyber/Election Security declared after a month of investigations that there was no evidence of significant election fraud to justify overturning election results.
I’m no legal authority but it is also beyond my comprehension that a Republican-laden Supreme Court would refuse to hear such a lawsuit if it believed there was credible evidence of significant fraud or unconstitutional conduct.
I am nearly 75 years old, served 31 years in the military and as a political independent have voted for candidates of both parties. I believe that the Constitution IS the United States, and I will vehemently oppose any action by either Party that even remotely appears to be an assault on Democracy for political power. The “facts“ seem to be that in 2016 Donald Trump won the Presidency with 306 Electoral Votes and no significant election fraud. In 2020, Joe Biden won the Presidency with 306 Electoral votes and no significant election fraud.
In recent weeks I have heard Conservatives comment that it felt like society was “rigged against them."
Conservatives control the Supreme Court and for the past four years controlled both the Presidency and the U.S. Senate.
It is past time for all this posturing, division, and mythology to cease and for real Leaders to tell the people the simple truth: Joe Biden won the Presidency.
Hopefully our State Legislature will move to address such issues as Covid deaths, health care, economic relief, and the protection of hospitals, teachers and students with the same zeal that many have shown for overturning elections.
Guest columnist Bill Russell is a retired Army Colonel, and a retired Communications Specialist with the University of Arkansas. He lives in Maumelle.
MOORE ON MAUMELLE: My Take
It’s time to take a look at the Good, Bad and Ugly from 2020 and early 2021.
The Good was demonstrated by the incredible people working the front lines in all sort of positions including the medical profession, teachers, parents teaching at home and the generosity and willingness of those who helped the helpless and less fortunate.
The Bad would have to be Covid itself. More than 350,000 dead. More millions sick. Unfortunately, many more will be sick and many more will die. Over 3,800 of your fellow Arkansans have died. Don’t get numb and dumb. Do the safe things.
And now to The Ugly. The resistance of a sitting president and other “patriots” to accept the outcome of the clearly decided election. His actions and reactions are a worldwide embarrassment. And the actions of the self-aggrandizing “protesters” on the Capitol Wednesday were deplorable: putting police, Capitol workers and even themselves in harm’s way. All this encouraged and incited by the petulant in chief. The protests turned to anarchy and sedition and true Americans wept as we watched it all unfold on television.
We will soon be transitioning to a steadier hand at the helm. It can’t happen fast enough. America needs to heal.
Top 10 Things I Look Forward to in 2021
Getting THE vaccine.
Sending my kids back to school.
Eating in restaurants.
Going to a store without having an anxiety attack.
Hanging out with friends.
The freedom to move about the country.
Being able to hold my grandkids, especially the babies, without fear.
Hugs. (And Kisses.)
Attending an event. Any event. Concerts, sporting events, movies.
Watching or attending sports with people in the stands.
The distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine is a disaster. Miraculously, the vaccines were developed and tested in just under a year. And now, we can’t seem to get it into the arms of those who so desperately need and deserve it. All I’ve seen is finger-pointing, excuses and incompetence. But I’m not going to place any blame, because I’m not really sure why it’s not more organized. Check the nightmare in Florida for evidence.
Bloomberg has been tracking vaccination progress across the country and about 17.5 million doses have been sent out, yet just over 5 million shots have actually been administered.
In Arkansas 152,175 doses have been distributed to the state, 40,899 have been administered representing 26.9 percent of the total available doses.
Maybe we should turn over the distribution to Amazon and the inoculation planning to Chick-fil-A.
Word of the Week
I ran across a new word this week that seems to describe where we are today. That word is Infodemic: a massive amount of widely and rapidly circulating information about a particular crisis or controversial issue, consisting of a confusing combination of fact, falsehood, rumor and opinion. Not sure it’s a real word, but it’s certainly fitting.
See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore is a public relations consultant and resident of Maumelle. Send your Maumelle news or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trumpeter swans make glorious noise
Sometimes you have got to get out of the house, out of town and on the road for a bit.
In these pandemic times, and in winter, diversions like that can be hard to come by, but when you get the chance, you should take it.
Such was the case recently when my wife noted that the Trumpeter Swans had returned to Magness Lake near Heber Springs in Cleburne County.
So a road trip was in order, and the drive was easy enough from central Arkansas at a little more than an hour.
On the outskirts of Heber Springs, instead of turning north and going into town, take Arkansas Highway 110 east not quite four miles before turning left on Hays Road. There’s no signage, but a pretty steady stream of traffic on the paved county road is a tipoff.
A gravel lot provides ample parking by the lake, and there’s no admission. There’s also no bathroom, so plan accordingly.
On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon, about a dozen cars were parked by the lake, and roughly 60 Trumpeter Swans were looking stately on Magness Lake.
You can’t miss them and even if you did, you’d still be able to hear them.
Cornell University described Trumpeter Swans as ”our biggest native waterfowl, stretching to 6 feet in length and weighing more than 25 pounds.”
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said, in comparison, “Canada geese living in Arkansas weigh about 12 pounds.”
So the swans are more than twice the size of those annoying birds.
A fence keeps the Trumpeters on the water and away from the onlookers, which on that recent trip was about 20 people.
These swans are believed to be from the Midwest, and Magness Lake, an oxbow off the Little Red River, is their furthest home south.
Cornell University said “Swans have expanded their range in recent years as they continue their comeback from near-extinction. In fact, the species now nests across a broad swath of the Midwest/Great Lakes and in scattered portions of the Northern Rockies.”
The Trumpeter Swans arrived in Arkansas in the early 1990s and have come back year after year. They tend to arrive in November and depart in mid-February.
Game and Fish said the best chance to see them in action is in the late afternoon.
There’s a feeder of shelled corn near the parking area, and that is the only recommended feed.
For more information, go to heber-springs.com.
Thank you for your words. I had missed the fact that Rep. Lowery had been a part of the Texas AG's attempt to interfer in another state's election. AG Rutledge should not have had her name involved with it. In my estimation, this does not help her cause of wanting to be the Governor of Arkansas. She will not have my vote. And, neither will Lowery if he runs again.