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. (http://clintonsthomas.com/)

Recent Articles

Avenue Trio’s “Be The Change” to Perform Benefit for Pathway Resource Center

Texarkana, USA: Avenue Trio has selected Pathway Resource Center of Texarkana to be part of the group’s nationwide tour called “Be The Change.” Avenue is a Gospel music group out of Nashville, Tennessee made up of Kacey Kemp, Haley Kemp, and Jonathan Mattingly. The group is known for “exceptional harmony and power full messages of encouragement and hope.” During the concert, there will be an opportunity for individuals to participate in a community-wide choir led by Steve Hurst of the Steve Hurst School of Music. The event and the community choir workshop are free to the public. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas Needs Tim Griffin

Opinion: When it comes to candidates for Attorney General in the State of Arkansas, none can rise above or outshine Tim Griffin. To be frank, Tim Griffin will be the Attorney General Arkansas is going to need for the foreseeable future.

Few would argue with the statement, “There is no substitute for experience” and Griffin’s resume is a sounding board of experience. However, he is not only experienced in state law and politics, but he also has a background extending from federal law to Washington D.C. and into the heart of the United States Military.

Starting in 1995 Griffin gained experience working on an investigation into the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  He served as the Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform.  In 1999 he was the Deputy Research Direct for the RNC and worked directly with George Bush on the election campaign. In 2005, Griffin worked directly with the White House as a Special Assistant to the President.  By 2006, Griffin was appointed to serve as a United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. 

Tim would go on to run for Congress and win. He served two terms before deciding to come home to Arkansas and raise his family. In Arkansas, he has served two terms as the Lieutenant Governor. While serving and working in D.C. and Arkansas, Griffin also managed to serve in the United States Army Reserve where he currently holds the rank of Colonel. Tim served in the Iraq War and earned numerous awards for his service.

Arkansas faces an unprecedented time of potential and outright overreach from the federal government.  That overreach has gone into schools, challenged the rights of the Second Amendment, included vaccine mandates, and regulations put in place which directly hurt Arkansas families and workers.  We need Griffin to face these challenges. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office is the largest staffed state office serving the citizens of Arkansas.  There are more than 100 attorneys working directly under the Attorney General to ensure the rights and liberties of Arkansas citizens are not violated.  There is simply no better person than Tim Griffin to lead this fight.  He knows Washington, he knows Congress, he knows the law, and he knows the plight of our veterans.  Tim Griffin has the background, the experience, the knowledge, and most importantly the dedication to lead Arkansas as we face these challenging legal times ahead. 

When you go to the polls in May and again in November, remember Arkansas is in a fight for the future of your children. The battles in the court systems today will determine the freedoms, the rights, and the future for all of us in Arkansas. The choice can not be any clearer. The only person prepared to fight for us in the next four years is Tim Griffin. Tim’s experience, leadership, and skill will propel us into positions of victory for Arkansas. You must cast your vote for the future of Arkansas and that means you must vote for Tim Griffin as your next Attorney General of Arkansas. Tim’s campaign is online: Tim Griffin
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Reflecting on Veteran’s Day

Thank You

Sometimes we Americans need reminders about our veterans and today is one of those reminder days.  Today, we celebrate Veteran’s Day.  It comes and goes each year and often with little fanfare or notice.  Sure, some people put out flags, others have federal holidays, and if we are in a crowd of people we recognize and thank the veterans present.  But what does being a veteran really mean? Being a veteran in its simplistic form means that a man or woman joined a branch of the United States military and served our country.  That person may have been drafted, or he or she may have decided to volunteer.  Regardless of the method of the call, that man or woman answered it.  They showed up, signed up, and completed some physical exams.  From there they were sworn into the service and given a date for basic training. 

Imagine being a young person, perhaps 18 or 19, and deciding to leave home.  Just yesterday you were playing football for the local high school team or cheering them onward.  You were in classes with friends.  You celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving with your family.  Your mother was likely still cooking your dinner and maybe even washing your clothing.  Now, on the day you prepare to leave for basic, you are going into an unknown world.  You are leaving home no longer a child, but an adult with adult responsibilities. 

In a few short hours you will be prepared, given new clothing, and most likely introduced to someone way more demanding than your school teachers ever thought about being. You will be in rooms filled with others following the same footsteps. You will train, you will learn, and then you will train some more. Just when you think the physical and mental training is complete, someone will have the bright idea that you need to be pushed just a little more. So, you will be pushed. Finally, when all that training is done, you will be ready to serve…somewhere. You may find yourself on a ship in the middle of the ocean, or a remote outpost secluded by woods, snow, or even sand.  You will have time off, but not really since you are almost on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  After all, our military has to be ready for anything. 

You will sign up for exotic places to serve like Japan or Hawaii and you will end up serving somewhere like Afghanistan.  You will just get used to the language, the people, and make new friends when the military will decide you need to go somewhere else. 

If you have a family, you will drag them around the world as you move. One day you may be in Germany and then the next day you may find yourself back in the states. You will put in for the transfers you want, and accept the transfers you get. If you are lucky, the only time you will fire a weapon will be for practice. If you are unlucky, then your country will call you to fire that weapon in the name of freedom at people you have never met or known.

Then, for some may be as fast as it started, you will come home. There will be changes to your hometown. You will not recognize the football team anymore, the city will have grown or maybe faded. Your mother will be older and your father will be slower. For a time, you will feel like you missed so much. Whether you are serving for two years, four years, or twenty, you will come back a different man or woman to a different home.

At first, you may not realize it, but you are a veteran now. There have been times that being a veteran meant you were called “baby-killers” and other horrible names, but to those of us that recognize the sacrifice of youth, years, and time, you will be honored as a veteran.

The title veteran does not come easy…it is earned.  It is earned from the moment the boy or girl takes an oath to serve to the moment a man or woman steps out of the service.  The veteran gives a part of themselves…they give a part of their lives to this nation.  The veteran has given so that the flag will still fly over this land.  The veteran has given so that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will still matter to each American.  The veteran has given not for glory or for statues and great honors…no, the veteran has given for you and me. 

Today we honor those veterans who have given so much to this country. We will put out our flags, smile, clap for them, honor them, and thank them for their service. Tomorrow the flags will be put away, the “Thank You” post will stop on social media, and life will return as normal. Today is our reminder day. But tomorrow we need to keep in mind that the veteran is still here. In a society that seeks heroes daily, it’s nice to know that the American hero known as the veteran can always be found among us throughout the year and not just on one special day. *

* “Reflecting on Veteran’s Day” was originally published in The Four States News November 11, 2020. Continue Reading →

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Clocks Fall Back Tonight

Daylight Savings Time ends

Fall means “Fall Back” one hour on the clock

Tonight at 2:00 a.m. most of America will turn back their clocks by one hour. While some states have opted out of the age old tradition, others like Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma still participate in the process. Most internet based clocks, such as cell phones, I pads, computers, Google and Alexa devices will automatically adjust. the exception to the rule for internet based devices is set in the control function. Because some states do not participate in the “Spring Forward” and “Fall Back” tradition, there is options to set the device to ignore the time change. Continue Reading →

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Miller County Republican Committee to Host Former State Chair Doyle Webb

Former State Chair Doyle Webb, candidate for Arkansas Lt. Governor will speak at the November Republican Meeting. Miller County, AR: The Miller County Republican Committee (MCRC) will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday, November 9, at Reggies Burger on Stateline. The meeting will start at 6:30 and feature guest speaker Doyle Webb. Webb is a former Chair of the Republican Party of Arkansas and a candidate for Lt. Governor of Arkansas. Webb will speak first, followed by a ten-minute recess to allow guests and members to talk directly with Webb. Continue Reading →

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Michael Rayburn Announces Candidacy for District 8 Justice of the Peace in Miller County

Image provided by Elect Michael Rayburn for District 8 JP

Miller County, AR: Michael Rayburn is announcing his candidacy for Justice of the Peace of District 8. Rayburn is a 1998 graduate of Genoa High School and a Navy veteran. He holds a Bachelor of History and a Masters in business. In 2018, he retired from the Navy and returned to his hometown of Genoa to raise his family.

While serving twenty years in the Navy, Rayburn served in a variety of capacities. He was the Lead Financial Counselor for a large Navy Command where he had to oversee 2400 sailors and their training. He also taught at Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University where his primary focus was to help hundreds of people learn how to become debt-free and retire with financial freedom. During his last six years in the Navy, he was stationed at the National Security Agency as a Cryptologist.

Rayburn currently operates a vending machine company and Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning of Texarkana. He has since opened Oxi Fresh in Sherman, De Kalb, and Clarksville Texas, and has taken over the operation of the Oxi Fresh in Shreveport and Bossier City Louisiana.

Rayburn is a member of the Miller County Republican Committee where he has been active and represented the public as a member of the Miller County Elections Commission.  Rayburn has turned in his resignation to the Elections Commission and will focus his political experience from that position on his run for Justice of the Peace of District 8. 

Michael and his wife Cherrie plan to continue to live in Genoa and raise their three children in that area.  Rayburn states that during his time in the Navy he was in twenty-three different countries, and despite being able to see the world, he could not wait until it was time to retire.  Rayburn says he had one place and one place only where he wanted to spend his life and that was Miller County, Arkansas.  Rayburn says he feels a strong need to serve the community where he grew up and the place he has always called home. Additional information about Michael Rayburn for District 8 Justice of the Peace may be obtained online at Facebook. Continue Reading →

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Texarkana Arkansas City Clean Up Planned for Saturday

Texarkana Arkansas will host a city-wide clean up on October 23

Texarkana, AR: The City of Texarkana Arkansas and the Texarkana Arkansas City Beautiful Commission will host a city-wide clean up from 9 am to noon on Saturday, October 23. Volunteers for the clean up can meet at Bobby Ferguson Park near the small pavilion on the Fairgrounds side of the park at 9 am. Teams will spread out in different directions and to targeted areas around the city. Your team may have an area in mind and that’s great, but if you need an area, City Beautiful members will be on-site to assist you in finding the perfect location to clean. Supplies will be provided – all you need is your willingness to make your city beautiful. Continue Reading →

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Chris Carnahan Visits Texarkana on the Campaign Trail

Judge Chris Carnahan is a candidate for the Arkansas Supreme Court, Position 2

Judge Chris Carnahan

Texarkana, AR: Judge Chris Carnahan visited the Miller County Republican Committee in Texarkana Tuesday evening to present his case for election to the Arkansas Supreme Court, Position 2.  He was accompanied by his father, a retired Arkansas State Trooper, and welcomed by the committee for his second visit.  Judge Carnahan presented facts about his history as a lawyer, a Circuit Judge, a Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, and his current position as Divisions One State District Court Judge. 

Judge Carnahan has a long history of trying to assist defendants to reclaim their own lives rather than having them spend time in the Arkansas overcrowded prison system.  For nonviolent offenders and traffic offenses, he often seeks community service instead of fines.  Carnahan stated that if a defendant cannot pay their fine, then a court imposing a fine is simply a way to return the defendant time and time again to the same courtroom setting.  By providing alternatives to fines, the community has benefited and the defendant can often avoid a second round in a courtroom over unpaid fines. 

Carnahan currently presides over a Sobriety Court with a target of treating people with alcohol and addiction problems.  One rumor concerning the judge which has followed him into the campaign trail is that he is more likely to sentence a misdemeanor defendant to school.  Often he is faced with misdemeanors where it is apparent to the court that the defendant does not have the means to lift themselves out of the cycle of crime.  Access to a GED and other educational and service-related sentencing has allowed people to find employment and leave criminal activities behind. 

Carnahan has a past history of serving as an Executive Director for the Republican Party of Arkansas.  He is a member of the Gun Owners of American and the National Rifle Association (NRA).  He believes in the rule of law and in providing a fair and open trial for any and all defendants.  Perhaps most importantly in the Judge’s life is his relationship with Christ.  He expresses not only to be a follower of Christ during conversations, but he also proudly proclaims this relationship in his campaign material.  When asked about the Constitution, Carnahan referred immediately to a quote he has on his flyers.  He says, “I will protect the entire Constitution and promise you that I will not legislate from the bench.”  Several legislators were present for the visit Tuesday evening, and Carnahan referred to them for issues of legislation and law-making.  He stressed that was not the job of a judge, an attitude he promises to carry to the Arkansas Supreme Court. Continue Reading →

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The Government COVID Vaccine Mandate is Wrong

COVID-19 Vaccine (Yale Online News)

Opinion: The battle over required COVID-19 Vaccinations is catching headlines across the nation. The country has a president who has now dictated a requirement for a significant number of Americans to be forced to take the COVID vaccine Vaccine without congressional laws or approval. There are past legal judgments that seem to support the government’s stand. However, just because a ruling in the past kept something legal does not mean that the same ruling will apply today. I believe the vaccine is good, has been scientifically proven to work, and is an essential step in fighting COVID. That is my view though, as I also believe in the individual right of choice. In other words, because I believe in the science behind the vaccine does not mean you have to believe in it.  Freedom of choice is one of the foundations of the United States.  We are free to decide our paths daily.  When it comes to vaccines, not even the federal government has a standard requirement for institutions such as schools.  Each state decides the annual school vaccines taken by students.  States self-govern, determine what vaccines will be required for public school attendance, and allow for exemptions.  Exemptions can range from medical exemptions, religious exemptions, and even down to that freedom of choice.  In simple terms, you have rights.  The only area where you do not have rights when it comes to standard vaccines is the military.  Anyone who has ever joined a military branch can tell you that you’re going to get vaccinated…whether you want to or not, but that military obligation also removes many of your freedoms and choices.  That’s just part of the military. 

So in the “Land of the Free,” we now have a situation where the government tells us we have to be vaccinated or tested if we fit specific criteria.  If you work for a company with more than one hundred employees – you know, Walmart, Dillards, McDonald’s, Burger King, Ford, GMC, Sony, Best Buy, grocery chains, etc., you have to have the COVID vaccine or weekly testing.  At this point, it’s not clear what the government may require next if you test positive, but it’s also not clear how a company will monitor for breakthrough infections in those vaccinated.  The only certainty is that you can submit to the testing, or you can get the vaccine – there’s your choice in the “Land of the Free.”  Further, those companies funded with federal monies – which is ultimately your money – are required to vaccinate or test weekly.  This requirement means all the small facilities providing long-term care, small medical facilities, even your local doctor’s office will have to vaccinate or submit to testing.  

Naturally, many companies wasted no time implementing these changes – you can’t blame them since the government has indicated enormous penalties for non-compliance.  Sure, they are going to act now and get ready. However, since there is no indication of who will pay for the mandatory weekly testing, most businesses appear to have simply decided to let people refusing the vaccine be terminated.  This termination policy is being seen first in hospitals and medical settings.   

We now have a situation where the medical staff in many hospitals are being terminated.  Some of these nurses, doctors, and others have been working in the medical field for years.  They were the front-line workers in the pandemic when it started…with no vaccine.  They came to work, wore PPE, took a deep breath, and jumped in to fight COVID daily.  They have been hailed as heroes.  While other businesses and schools shut down, people stayed home, travel was restricted, these medical men and women went to the front lines, and they fought.  They cried, they lost patients, they saved patients, and ultimately some of them even gave their lives in the fight.  The medical community in this country stepped up in our hour of need.  They continue to step up.  Now, they are being told to take the vaccine or hit the road.  Some of them have taken the vaccine – it was their choice, but others have decided they do not want it.  The same people who walked headfirst into COVID-19 when others stayed home are now being fired for not wanting a vaccine because they exercise their own choice – their freedom.  

Whether you are pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine does not matter – we can all have our own opinions.  You can feel like your opinion is correct, and that is okay.  But regardless of your opinion, when the people who fought on the front lines in the war against COVID with no vaccine do not want the vaccine, and then they are being fired, there is something wrong in the “Land of the Free.”  Choice and Freedom are the foundation of our country.  If we throw that away for a vaccine, then where will our government stop?  
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Republican Women to Host Social at Crossties Event Center

The Miller County Republican Women will host a social event on Tuesday, September 28, from 4-6 pm at Crossties in Texarkana. Texarkana, AR: The Miller County Republican Women (MCRW) will hold a membership social on September 28th at Crossties in downtown Texarkana. The social event will feature a key speaker, the Republican Chair of Arkansas, Jonelle Fulmer. In addition, several outstanding guests are expected to attend, including chairs from surrounding counties in Arkansas and Texas. According to MCRW member Diana Lowe, elected officials from the area have been invited as well as fellow Republicans from Texas. Continue Reading →

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