Mad as a March hare

Alas, it seems our local newspaper, the Sentinel Record, is determined to make Hot Springs known more for its wingnut provincials than as an international tourist trap. The following article was front-page, above the fold, in today’s Sunday edition. Read it and weep. These people really believe that Trump and Jesus are two sides of the same coin of the realm, the so-fantastic and amazing mammon that will make America great “again”…

But maybe, just maybe, there’s a silver lining to these regular gatherings of loons. Cannot our professional, practiced purveyors of Hot Springs (as a worthy destination for all manner of fleecing unwary visitors) work their lemons-into-lemonade alchemy? Surely there is a way to turn these spectacles into an attraction, a novelty for beginning birdwatchers perhaps? Or a reason for anthropologists to convene and opine on the nature of American idiocy crouching behind the facade of patriotism?

— Jacques d’Nalgar, Dimanche 5 mars 2017

March supports president

By Max Bryan, 03/05/2017

FEATURED SPEAKER: Jan Morgan, owner of The Gun Cave, right, prepares to take a selfie with Barbara Williams, of Benton, following her speech at the March 4 Trump rally Saturday morning.

Scores of people toting signs and flags gathered in downtown Hot Springs on Saturday to march and rally in support of President Donald Trump.

Arkansas’ March 4 Trump rally was part of a nationwide show of support for Trump, as proponents gathered in different cities Saturday to rally behind the president.

The Arkansas event started on Arlington Lawn in Hot Springs National Park, as speakers roused the crowd and patriotic songs filled the air, and was followed by a march along Bathhouse Row to Hill Wheatley Plaza to the south.

Diane Silverman, one of the event’s organizers, said that she hoped that it would bring people together behind a common cause.

“We want people to choose, of their own free will, to unify behind our president for the sake of the welfare of the country,” Silverman said. “There’s such a divide that we want to give people the opportunity to choose to get on board so that we can get on board with what we need to do in this country.”

The event’s speakers — Silverman, fellow event organizer Joyce Shelor and Jan Morgan, owner of The Gun Cave — spoke on different topics as they related to the president.

“We welcome all who have accepted our invitation to support our president,” Shelor told the crowd.

Shelor said she voted for Trump not because he was the “lesser of two evils,” but because she had done her own independent research. She said that she truly believes that Trump will “make America great again” as his campaign slogan preached, mentioning that her generation remembers a time when the country was “great.”

Shelor told The Sentinel-Record that she believes Trump will create more jobs and stimulate the U.S. economy, and will cut government regulations on businesses.

Morgan’s speech followed along those lines, as she, too, associated the concept of American freedom with businesses facing fewer regulations.

Morgan also said that she believes Trump will keep the judicial and legislative branches’ power in check, and later told the newspaper that she thought the judicial branch “overstepped their power” when federal courts struck down his executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.

“If he feels that the security of this country is at risk, he had the executive power to stop — temporarily stop — people from coming in from countries that we feel were the greatest areas of terrorist organization,” Morgan said.

GATHERING: March 4 Trump rally attendees gather on Arlington Lawn in Hot Springs National Park Saturday morning.Silverman stressed that Saturday’s event was an inclusive one, pointing out that part of Hot Springs’ history is that it used to be open to any Native American tribe, so they could interact freely with each other.

“It sort of wakes up the loving American spirit that resides in our soul,” Silverman said.

“We need to be thankful for two people that are bringing the glory of the Lord back to America,” said one man who attended Saturday’s rally, referring to the president and first lady Melania Trump. He said that he appreciated the fact that he had heard the first lady publicly recite the Lord’s Prayer at a recent rally.

Another attendee, Larry Shores, was bearing a tall U.S. flag with a sign hanging in the center of the pole, which gave the pole the shape of the Christian cross. On one side of the pole’s sign was written “Jesus,” and on the other side, “Trump.”

Shores said he is grateful that Trump is president of the United States because he believed that the nation was previously moving toward Islamic rule. He said that Muslims entering the United States from the Middle East wish to impose their law over the nation.

“He stands up for America, and he stands up for freedom,” Shores said.

Morgan described Trump as a president that will make our country “safe, free and great” and that he is the people’s President.

“Donald Trump is for all the people,” Morgan said. “We need to move forward together as a nation, into the future, fighting for our country.”

MARCHING: Supporters of President Trump head back to Arlington Lawn after marching to Hill Wheatley Plaza at around noon Saturday. The march followed the March 4 Trump rally Saturday.

Permanent link to this article:


  1. An explanation of the title of this post:

    More about the endlessly self-promoting Jan Morgan:

  2. The funniest thing about these “scores” of Trumpers who bothered to show up is that this was the front-page hype the day before (albeit below-the-fold) this time:

    March4Trump’ rally coming to Hot Springs

    By David Showers (Sentinel Record), Saturday, March 4, 2017

    Arlington Lawn will be one of 50 nationwide satellite locations piggybacking on the “March4Trump” rally in Washington, D.C., today.

    Joyce Shelor, organizer of the Hot Springs event, said today’s rally is in response to recent demonstrations espousing opposition to President Donald J. Trump. She said she’s expecting several hundred people to assemble on the Arlington Lawn at 11 a.m. and proceed down Bathhouse Row.

    According to the national march’s website and the Republican Party of Arkansas, the Hot Springs gathering is the state’s only scheduled “March4Trump” event.

    “We want to show our support in light of all the anti-Trump marches that have been going on across the country,” Shelor said. “We already have over 200 RSVPs on the Facebook page, and way over 400 who are interested in coming. We have people from four hours away that are coming.

    Shelor said local gun range owner and Second Amendment advocate Jan Morgan will address the rally. The National Park Service said the group has a permit to assemble on Arlington Lawn. A gathering of 25 or more people requires one, the NPS said, adding that its law enforcement personnel will be on hand.

    “We’re required by federal law to monitor all events,” a spokesperson said.

    The Democratic Party of Garland County issued a news release earlier this week to announce it won’t organize any opposition to the rally.

    “While we are aware (today’s) pro-Trump event was initially created and promoted by an out of state organizer unaffiliated with our town, out of respect for our friends and neighbors who make up the vibrant heart of our diverse community, the Democratic Party of Garland County has no plans to counter or oppose this rally,” Hayden C. Shamel, party chair, said in the release. “Our party does not condone or support confrontation or violence of any kind and will not engage with any individuals seeking to cause controversy.”

    Shamel told The Sentinel-Record she issued the release in response to inquiries about the Garland County Democrats’ potential response to today’s event.

    “We were contacted by numerous individuals about the rally, asking if we planned to organize opposition,” she said. “We would never oppose any group’s right to peacefully assemble. We look forward to a peaceful demonstration of support for the president. It’s part of the political process, and part of who we are as a country.”

Comments have been disabled.