Our money's worth
Regarding P. Allen Smith and being "given" money to promote the state of Arkansas: As his show is seen nationally on PBS, this may not be the worst idea. But if we give him almost a million dollars to promote the state, we, as state taxpayers, should be able to tour his garden home on Highway 10 for free instead of being charged almost $100. Once a month he could open it for free tours for residents of Arkansas.
That is my 2 cents, which would not get me through the gate currently.
RICHARD D. BLOESCH
North Little Rock
Language and votes
First: "Assault weapons." A nebulous classification, usually meaning "scary-looking." Often applied to hand grips, scopes or magazines (aka clips). The very name "AK-47" conjures scary images. In a real "assault weapon," as in combat, the rate of fire can be full automatic. Nothing fully automatic in this country can be obtained without expensive and extensive licensing requirements. Of course, that's not how criminals get their weapons.
The assault weapons ban of 1994 expired in 2004, with this result, according to Wikipedia: "A 2017 review found that the ban did not have a significant effect on firearm homicides." Handguns are far more often used in the commission of crimes, including murders. Look at the big city crime rates, especially those already having the toughest gun laws. Strict gun laws haven't translated to safety; guess who doesn't care about the law?
Second: The electoral college was a very wise decision by our founding fathers. Anti-democratic? The difference between a pure democracy and a constitutional republic is profound. But it's starting to look like almost all of the Democrat candidates for 2020 are leaning to the extreme left. Open borders, illegals are not criminals, free health care to all including illegals, even before our veterans or our homeless, free college and child care for all ... socialism sounds good until you run out of someone else's money. How did that work for Venezuela, Cuba, or anywhere else it's been tried? Small Scandinavian countries are far from pure socialism. It's been said that nobody has yet achieved "pure socialism," therefore the failures somehow don't count.
Our words do matter
Given what we know about the El Paso shooter's motive and the almost identical rhetoric from Trump that the gunman used in talking about the crisis at the border with regard to illegal immigration, the statement in a letter published Thursday which said that it takes one to know one takes on a whole new meaning when we compare the wording of the killer's manifesto and the words Trump has used.
It should bother everyone that an alleged mass murderer regurgitates the same words our president has used. It seems that the racist Patrick Crusius knows the president quite well.
Just saying--words do matter, you know.
Deny and marginalize
I believe the president's rants against members of Congress were to fire up "proud of it" bigots. He needs those who usually don't vote to turn out this time. He already has the casual sort, who deny they and the president are bigots. His squinting NRA-sanctioned recitation after the latest shootings was too little, too late. His insincerity could not have been clearer if he had actually winked. The only way to show he is not a hypocrite is to personally apologize to the members of Congress he disrespected.
I believe denial of his bigotry is denial that bigotry exists; or maybe it does, but it's not a big deal. Like climate change, bigotry might be happening, but blah, blah, blah ... Denying and marginalizing are useful tools. They enabled and continue to enable all manner of mischief, from slavery to my unhealthy eating habits.
Bigotry and climate change are not everyday problems for most. Republican politicians give us permission to "believe in" them or not--like Santa Claus. Most importantly, combating both has costs. Big money is at risk for industries that contribute to climate change. Consumers and taxpayers will bear higher costs. Taking Earth for granted is so easy, but so dangerous. Cutting corners on maintenance always backfires. Always.
The main costs of combating bigotry are crazy psychic stuff--loss of "better than them" status; dilution of racial identity; the risk of white children dating "them"; sharing our country with "heathens"; admission of stupidity and moral and spiritual corruption.
Works for the wealthy
It seems we have a president who is worse than a bull in a china shop. He breaks almost everything he touches. When a blatant appeal is made to a foreign country to interfere with a presidential election in the United States, all executive privileges should be suspended. Can't Republicans stand on their own two feet? Their policies stink, and to my knowledge none of those corporations that received tax relief returned to the United States. It was just a way to give the wealthy more money, including himself.
I believe President Donald Trump has no respect for the democracy that made him rich (as far as we know). He and his administration are willing to sell democracy to "make a deal" with people who hate democracy. It's easy to understand how he ran his business. It's my belief he, like Scarlett O'Hara, is willing to lie and cheat to turn a profit. Accumulating wealth is fine if it is made honestly, but who is honest today?
I wonder if he would put his grades in school up against those of "low IQ" Joe Biden. And what does he consider bad information? Why don't the media ask that?
On those headlines
John Brummett challenges us to write a better 28-character headline for The New York Times.
How about: "Trump lies again. Surprised?"
Here is another: "Trump, denial and deflection."
Here is another: "Trump Dayton words vs. deeds."
Editorial on 08/11/2019
Print Headline: Letters