Siloam Springs annexation fails and other election tidbits
Apparently the voters of Siloam Springs voted down the annexation. I'm referencing this page from the Benton County website listing local results concerning Northwest Arkansas and national elections. The newspaper's website isn't updated with the Wednesday edition yet, and they may not have waited up for results anyway (My wife wouldn't have when she was managing editor.).
I'm befuddled at this result. As my wife pointed out a few weeks ago to me, the annexation is somewhat inevitable (unless population suddenly begins to decline, which seems quite unlikely in the near future), and the longer the residents put it off, the more it's likely to cost them in the end. You have to wonder if the misinformation which prompted people to advocate against annexation stuck with the community, instead of the facts.
I hope Ben elaborates on this for us in the near future.
On the Siloam Springs mayoral race, my wife and I are equally disappointed. When I went to bed last night, Mike Kenney (our preferred candidate) was ahead by a whopping five votes. I figured a race that close would prompt another look at the ballots, and apparently I was correct. This morning the same page I referenced above shows David Allen in the lead by nineteen votes. Allen is somewhat notorious for walking around town with a rude and entitled air. He's part of the Allen Canning clan (see Popeye Spinach), one of the most established and powerful families in the community.
We were hoping for some fresh and objective blood in that office, and perhaps someone with enough sense not to leave their grotesque horror film props in a downtown window display during a campaign. In truth though, the office holds very little power in our community. The mayor's office functions as a community representative, ambassador and tie-breaker in the city board; he doesn't actually get to vote on board issues. We'll miss the outgoing "Moose" Van-Poucke, who's held the office with a distinguished grace for more than twenty years.
On Arkansans endorsing a state lottery, all I have to say is that I'm glad for pay-at-the-pump. In the good old days, when a bloke had to walk into a gas station to pay for his overpriced petrol, I often ended up sufficiently annoyed having to wait for someone in front of me to choose their particular scratch or lotto ticket. Then scratch off in line, and buy more because they lost.
I've heard lotteries best described as a "tax on people who can't do math." When I worked with a house painter in college, the guy constantly complained about not being able to pay his electric bill. Of course, had he not smoked a pack or more a day and spent another $20 every morning on scratch and lotto tickets, he surely would have been able to afford electricity.
Money for education is the number one platform people use to present a lottery. Throwing money at education doesn't necessarily make it better. Further, there are numerous stories of how coming into so much money so quickly utterly and ruined lottery winners.
I found it interesting that the state Governor opposed the lotto, which was originally proposed by the Lt. Governer.
On the Presidential election, the big shebang: Enh. Let me say first off that I voted for a third party candidate. Secondly, let me say that I'm proud our country elected an African American. Thirdly, don't get your hopes up too high if you're excited about an Obama presidency. It's still politics, people. The new guy may be orating in a lot of lofty bipartisan language, but actually pulling significant change off in Washington is a completely different story, even with a democratic Congress. It's difficult to change laws, and there's a reason for that.
To conservative Christian readers, who might unnecessarily be moping about today, I'll add this: One of the most poignant things I read in regard to the McCain and Obama tussle this week was on Facebook, where a friend pointed out that both candidates are broken people that God loves. Just like the rest of us. I hope Obama does well, and I'll be praying for the man in his leadership role (a role I'd never, ever want to take on personally).
My wife and I conversed last night before the television festivities began — and before a migraine forced me to retire at 8:30 — about how we've both ended up in a similar political disposition over the past few years. That disposition is best described as moderate in common language, though neither of us used that term. The change for us has been to move away from being reactionary one-issue voters (a type of person that exists a lot of the time on both ends of the American political spectrum) to realistic voters who can see pros and cons to both of the major parties, as well as third parties. In essence, we're trying to be more intelligent about the whole process. We're trying to take in all aspects of an election (which isn't really possible unless it's your full-time job) instead of robotically regurgitating whatever.
In the midst of this conversation I realized how most Americans are not prepared to do this. I wasn't prepared to think like this. My parents, who weren't all that involved politically anyway, didn't teach me this (no hard feelings mom and dad). Our culture doesn't teach us this either, or our public educations. Frankly, it's easier to pick a side than it is to say, "Well, this party has this right, but that party has that right." Doing so means a person actually has to wrestle through a decision and acknowledge that the decision is never really so cut and dry as the human mind prefers.
Tags: Siloam Springs , Arkansas , Politics , President , Election , Annexation , Lottery , Mayor
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