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What lies ahead for us

Pay attention to what is happening in Portland, Ore. The New York Times said, "Federal agents dressed in camouflage and tactical gear have taken to the streets of Portland, unleashing tear gas, bloodying protesters and pulling some people into unmarked vans."

I believe what you're seeing is a prelude of what you'll see nationwide in a Trump second term. Federal officers in military gear with no names and no identification on their uniforms. The Trump administration can and will deploy them to any city or area where there is any opposition to his policy.

Remember he loves tyrants and dictators and longs to be one; if he is re-elected, he will achieve his goal. There can be no opposition allowed to any administration rule or directive. In the spring of 2021, the Bureau of Prisons will construct camps in the desert where repeat offenders will be sent for "re-education training." When asked what his goals are for his second term, he can't tell you, but he has shown you in Portland.

JOEL BUCKNER

North Little Rock

Wear mask for others

I am thankful that Gov. Asa Hutchinson has issued a statewide mask mandate. He is correct that there would have been a lot of resistance to a mandate if he had issued it much earlier. I also agree that the mandate by itself won't dramatically reduce the number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas. It is still up to each one of us to wear masks that properly cover the mouth and nose every time we will be near others in public. I hope all of us will choose to do our very best, and this moment becomes a turning point in our war against this disease.

In addition to this mandate, these are my top five reasons each of us should choose to wear masks. 5. On a per capita basis, Arkansas has risen from No. 43 to as high as No. 19. We can do better than this. 4. A lower number of cases will improve the chances that schools will reopen and stay open this fall. 3. There is no good reason to avoid wearing a mask, and we should be united in this war. Some say they are not wearing a mask in public because they are fighting for personal freedom; instead, many will think these "freedom fighters" are either ignorant in confronting this disease or arrogant. 2. We should wear a mask to not only protect the general public but also for the sake of others that we rely on. This would include health-care providers who will be exposed when they are treating us if we get sick, and the grocery store employees who provide our food. 1. Since wearing a mask protects others, I think it is the Christian thing to do. Thanks, Arkansas.

PAUL SIMMS

Little Rock

Has it shifted at all?

I wonder if Mr. Brummett's opinion of his beloved New York Times has been altered at all by the resignation letter of Bari Weiss. I sense it has only deepened his admiration.

THOMAS HARPER

Helena

Party gobbledygook

"If the Democrats win" was the title of a recent Voices page correspondence from North Little Rock, prophesying the end of the world as we know it should Uncle Joe Biden be allowed in the White House. Antifa will be in charge, the First and Second Amendments will be abandoned, unborn babies will be aborted in the streets, there will be no money, no jobs and, God forbid, the Green New Deal will be the order of the day.

It sounded as if this poor gentleman had spent so long in the Fox News echo chamber that he believed this right-wing gobbledygook. Perhaps it was intended as a spoof or parody, or better yet, perhaps the letter was from a Russian bot trying to spread disinformation among us unsuspecting Arkies, having confused the now digitized Arkansas Democrat-Gazette with other forms of social media.

I imagine if you asked the average Arkansan what Antifa was three months ago they would have guessed a small island in the Caribbean. I certainly did not know that the term is just a shortening of anti-fascist. There was a time before Trump when most Americans were anti-fascist. One hopes many still are.

Rather than if the Democrats win, let's focus on when the Democrats win. Undoubtedly, corporate taxes will go up, as will income taxes on the wealthy. After all, someone has to pay to clean up this mess the Republicans have made of our country. Yes, there is a new day coming, hallelujah, by and by!

DAVID ELI COCKCROFT

Little Rock

Changed since then

I read a book recently by Erik Larsen called "The Splendid and the Vile" about the destruction and tragedy that Londoners suffered under the ceaseless bombing of the German blitz of 1940-41. It got me thinking of America's own experience on the homefront during the war.

Though the disruption was nothing as severe as London's, life was suddenly more difficult and uncertain. Ration books were issued that limited the purchase of everything from tires to sugar, which prompted Victory Gardens to flourish in towns and cities. Citizens were encouraged, largely through civic pressure, to take part in scrap metal drives and war bond purchases. And of course loved ones were away, often for years at a time.

Something tells me we modern Americans could never have cut it back then. Now when we are asked to wear masks for the good of all, a request that would have seemed a trifle during World War II, too many of us whine and protest, mistaking inconvenience for oppression. There are cries of "constitutional rights" and even wannabe commandos in costume parading around state capitols with their requisite black rifles, looking tough for the cameras. Conspiracy theorists and science-doubters abound while someone like Dr. Fauci has his life threatened.

It makes me despair for the future of our great nation.

ROBERT MARTIN

Midway

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