Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

A published writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction in both the digital age and the pre-digital age of publishing. Currently serving as editor and writer for the Four States News, all while living life across the four states region from Texarkana, USA.

Recent Articles

The Fourth July and a Nation Tested

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The other night I was watching a show. The characters were complaining about all the riots, burnings of businesses, peaceful and non-peaceful protest, the government overreach, abuse of powers, and all the significant issues affecting the United States.  For several minutes the main character went on a rant about everything that is wrong with the United States.  He talked about how we treat people, the way we have expanded, our tendency for wars, and how our leaders have been corrupt.  It all struck a chord, and for a moment, I thought I was watching a news commentary from today.  A quick check of the show’s original air date indicated it aired first in the 1970s.  The program was over forty years old, but it sounded like a newscast from today.  It served as a gentle reminder that what we face today is nothing new for the United States. The United States has always been tested.  It seems that all great nations are tested throughout their history.  From the very start, we faced tests as a small country rolling into the unclear waters of rebellion against England. We had no idea how it would turn out.  The men who met secretly and signed the Declaration of Independence knew they could be the signing their death sentences.  Many of them lost fortunes, lives, and all they had for merely signing their names to a paper that said we want to be independent.   Had they lost that war, there would be no United States, and since the winners always write history, there would be no heroes in Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and others.    These men were not perfect.  In fact, in their times, they were very far from perfect.  We must remember that had they been faultless, they would have been excellent subjects to the crown.  They would have been loyal, trusting of the King, and they certainly never would have risen in rebellion.   

From that moment forward, the United States has been tested.  We have faced foreign invasions, the issues of slavery, reconstruction, expansion at the cost of land that belonged to others, and an inequality system that often elevates the rich over the poor.  Even during the formative years, we often forget that things like the Boston Tea Party had little to do with a “party.”  The truth is their protest turned into a riot that destroyed property as tea owned by merchants was tossed into the harbor.  While we celebrate it today for the Sons of Liberty and their finest moment working as a catalyst that eventually sparked independence, it was a riot.  

Since Independence, tests continued with world wars, conflicts, financial crisis, desegregation, racism, and so many more challenges.  No, we are not perfect, and neither are the heroes who came before us.  Most American heroes were simply men and women in the right place at the right time to take a stand or action that helped propel the United States forward. Through each test the United States has faced, we have grown and grown better from it.  Regardless of the flaws of the founding fathers, the fact is their actions secured this nation.  Tests came in the forms of horrible events toward our fellow men and beautiful moments of discovery and advancement.    Whether you like the history or not, it has been a test for the United States.  The country has risen above and grown to be better today because of the test. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Joint Operations Center Releases Information Regarding Face Coverings Order

Texas Capitol

Texarkana, TX: The Join Operations Center for Bowie and Cass County Texas has issued information and links related to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order today regarding face coverings. Lisa Thompson, Public Information Officer for Texarkana, released the following summary of the information contained in the order:

The Executive order requires all Texans, effective tomorrow at 12:01 p.m. to wear a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.  

Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:1. any person younger than 10 years of age;2. any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;3. Continue Reading →

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The Use of “Emergency Powers” May Be Just Another Test of Control

Opinion: There has been a lot of talk about government overreach and control recently. Government overreach and control was especially seen during the three months of “shutdown” and “stay at home” orders of the pandemic. People debated, discussed, and worried that the government was exercising excessive overreach and control. Like many, I believe in some areas; officials did overreach the limits of their power. I also think those instances of overreach will need to be discussed, reviewed, and someone will have to deal with the consequences of overreach. Continue Reading →

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Debate on Confederate Monument in Texarkana Has Increased Petition Drives

Currently at least three petitions are running online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument in downtown Texarkana

Texarkana, USA: At least three petitions are currently online concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument near the federal courthouse and post office. One petition calls for the monument to be removed and placed in a museum for study and history, a Texas side petition calls for the monument to remain, and a third is for Arkansas side residents requesting the monument to stay. The petition from Black Lives Matter Texarkana has requested that the monument be moved to a museum, cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried or in another area out of the “public square.” The petition is being prepared to be presented to the City of Texarkana, Texas. The petition also recommends a possible plaque to be placed at the monument’s current location to show historical context. Continue Reading →

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COVID-19: Caution Still Urged for Fourth of July Weekend

Public is being encouraged to avoid large gatherings, social distance, and take other precautions

CDC.gov

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across the nation and in the four states area. Currently, public officials like Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin Harrison continue to encourage people to avoid large gatherings. Harrison recently had to coordinate and oversee the process of decontaminating the Miller County Courthouse due to a new outbreak of COVID-19. She feels that the larger gatherings of people will likely contribute to COVID-19 being transmitted. She is stressing social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and taking all the CDC and Arkansas Health Department recommendations seriously. Continue Reading →

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4th of July Celebrations Could Increase COVID-19 Cases

Across the country cases of COVID-19 are increases and state, county, and local officials continue to warn the community about large gatherings. On June 23, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson in his daily briefing warned aginst large gatherings for the Fourth of July weekend. Miller County Emergency Management followed up on the warning stating that the “number of COVID-19 cases has increased to a number unexpected by health officials. Miller County went on to state the following general warning:

Right now, the very best action you can take is to AVOID large public gatherings and keep a distance from others. Texas has already responded by closing bars and reducing the number of people allowed in restaurants as of June 26. Continue Reading →

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Liberty-Eylau Pitcher Signs with Goshen College

Ben Witterstaetter signs commitment to Goshen College

Ben is joined by his family and coaches for this Liberty-Eylau released signing picture

Texarkana, TX: Ben Witterstaetter has signed a letter of intent and acceptance to attend Goshen College. Ben is currently a senior pitcher for the Liberty-Eylau baseball team. He is being recruited to play baseball for Goshen. Goshen College is located in Indiana and is a private liberal arts college. The college has been ranked number one in Indiana by Washington Monthly. Continue Reading →

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Two Local Arkansas Women Elected to National Convention

Every four years the DNC and the RNC hold national conventions with delegates and this year two Texarkana, Arkansas women will be in attendance at the RNC. Texarkana, AR: The Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the Republican National Convention (RNC) are both gearing up for their respective conventions later this year. As part of that process, both conventions usually have delegates. For the Republican National Convention, delegates are elected from districts and then at a state level . These delegates go to the national convention and cast the votes for the party nomination for President. Continue Reading →

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Considering Compromise For the Confederate Mothers Monument

Opinion: Over the last few weeks social media, mainstream media, and conversations in Texarkana have been divided concerning the Confederate Mothers Monument in downtown Texarkana. One side views the monument as heritage, history, and part of the beauty of the historic district of the town. The other side views it as a symbol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As one local media outlet stated, about the only thing anyone agreed on was to disagree. If we honestly look at the facts, and we look at them objectively as well, all sides have a valid point. Continue Reading →

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Fireworks Should Not Launch Near Animal Shelter

Opinion: As we draw close to the Fourth of July weekend, I searched on social media and other outlets to determine when and where Sparks in the Park would be this year. What I found has somewhat disturbed me. Texarkana United, which appears to be an exceptional organization in Texarkana, is holding a Fourth of July event in downtown Texarkana. According to their Facebook page, it will be to celebrate God and our country. In a video released by the group, they stated there “will be fireworks over the city of Texarkana” during the event downtown on the 4th of July. Continue Reading →

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