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Local Secretary's Message

By DeLynn Hearn

WOW! What a National Testing Day! We tested a total of 24 prospects, with two members of the media testing in Eureka Springs and Conway. I'm sure that there would have been media members in Nashville, too, except that everybody who works for the paper is kin to Danny Graves. Bill Westerman and Joe Barda did a great job in Eureka Springs, and we got some good publicity for our group, as well. We expect to test another dozen people in follow-up sessions conducted by Duke Heath, Danny Graves, and myself. Already we have newly accepted members signing up, and I expect to increase our total membership by around 10%.

Let's talk about liberty vs. security. [And let me put a disclaimer in right here: I don't see what goes into the newsletter until it arrives in my mailbox, so my comments are not directed at anyone who has written their opinion here.] We give up conveniences, and maybe liberties, all the time because we choose to do so as a society and as individuals. We do this because there is some sort of pay off. Don't get me wrong, I like the liberties we have in this country. I want to keep them. But I choose to take a test to geta driver's license because I want to drive myself places. If I choose not to get the license, it wouldn't be a restriction on travel for me. It might mean I have to travel more slowly, or the arrangements would be more cumbersome, but I could still take off on foot to just about anywhere I choose to go. I don't consider this a huge infringement on my liberty, although I know some people do.

I'm glad there are people who get all riled up either way, because they are the ones who keep me aware of what's going on and the possible repercussions. However, my experience with most of these folks is that they will fight to the death for you to be able to exercise your right to make your own choices--as long as they are the same choices they make.

You see, I want to be allowed the dignity as an adult human being to make these choices for myself, and to accept the consequences for my own actions. I also recognize that I have to take into account the greatest good for the greatest number when I, as a member of society, help make the decisions that affect us all. That helps me accept that things don't always go the way I think they ought to.

Enough of my rant. Let's move on to something more interesting. Like my personal life. Since my last column, my vehicle has been towed. Three times in twelve days. Well, actually MY vehicle only got towed twice. The other time it was just the vehicle I was driving. My car was in the shop for a substantial portion of September and October. Then there is the fact that each week in November (OK, except for Thanksgiving) I'm working a thirty-six hours shift for a project at work. Oh, and I should be defending my master's thesis before the next M-Ark issue. And I'm buying a house. It appears I'll be moving around Christmas. Anyone want to help? (Don't you need to use up that annual leave before you lose it at the end of the year?) Anyone like to paint? (The living room is now pink -- that's got to go.) Anyone good with wood floors? I'm expecting a barrage of positive responses to these questions. So there is no stress in my life.

As for birding, I have nothing new to report. But there is a rumor that a tufted duck is in the state, and, if the sighting is accepted by the records committee, this will be the first time this species has been found in Arkansas. I intend to see this bird before it leaves or is shot. I'm busy, but (at least until January 1st) you can try to contact me at

DeLynn Hearn