Enforcing of the law
Law and order should be enforced by uniformed police under the control of local civil authority, not by armed strangers who show up in monster trucks. Or would the police rather that those who disagree with the latter form their own militias to take back their streets?
Thus far, the actions of the president's armed supporters have been anything but "well-regulated." The self-serving words and subsequent self-preserving actions of the 17-year-old alleged shooter in Kenosha demonstrate that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Or perhaps his intentions were not so good to begin with?
I think our "exceptional" society has less to fear from the guys with umbrellas than the guys in love with firepower. In either case, if the police do not give priority to the practice of the First Amendment over the practice of the Second Amendment, we may bleed for it.
That's why I disagree with "defunding" the police: I want more money spent on the training of police to recognize and act as if unarmed people of color sleeping in a restaurant drive-through, or selling "hot" cigarettes on a street corner, or in possession of a "hot" $20 bill, or asleep in their own homes are not threats to American "exceptionalism."
On systemic racism
Until our Black and brown brothers and sisters are free from hatred and systemic racism in America, all lives do not matter.
By dismissing Black Lives Matter and replacing it with All Lives Matter, you are comfortable with your own privilege because police brutality does not personally affect you or your loved ones.
Until good cops stand up and report the bad ones, all lives do not matter.
Until police officers who blatantly abuse their authority are held accountable for their willful actions, all lives do not matter.
Until policies are changed to send a clear message that racism and the abuse of power will not be tolerated within the city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, all lives do not matter.
You see ... until Black Lives Truly Matter ... All Lives Matter is a false narrative used to justify the oppression and injustice of the most marginalized among us.
Misuse of the office
The newspaper recently reported that taxpayers have shelled out $900,000 to support the businesses of the current occupant of the White House since his term began. His supporters appear to disregard his constant lies, horrendous attacks on the environment, stoking of racism, and lack of common decency. Can they not at least take umbrage at this flagrant misuse of their own funds?
The recent traumatic arrival of Hurricane Laura underscores the importance of mobilizing to combat climate change. The craven inhabitant of the Oval Office continues to enable his cronies in the oil and gas industries and issues frequent executive orders which imperil our survival and the survival of our four-legged brothers and sisters. I will be sending out letters for the Sierra Club, and I will cast my proud vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Like electoral college
Question for John B.: You're playing a tennis match and in the first set you win six games at love, while your opponent wins six games which all go to deuce. A 7-point tie-break is played, which your opponent wins 7-5 to take the set. Then in the second set, the same thing occurs and he wins the match 7-6.
You've won a total of 94 points while your opponent has taken 74 points. Do you shake his hand (or in these covid-19 times do an elbow bump) and tell him he's the second-place winner?
In different realities
Over the years, I have tried to take the opinions of those with whom I disagree seriously, and to respond in a civil and thoughtful manner. Lately, this has gotten to be difficult.
I look at what is going on in the world and hear people saying things that I cannot believe any sane person could say. It appears that a number of people believe that their wanting something to be true makes it so. I watched much of the Republican convention and was amazed and appalled at the nonsense that was spewed. (Paul Krugman said the only words in Mike Pence's speech that weren't lies were "a," "and," and "the.")
Watching Donald Trump speak on any topic convinces me that he has no empathy, or any normal human emotions, and is concerned only with his own interests. Yet I hear people telling me he is warm and caring. (People need to read Mary Trump's book; some bad genes there?) I hear people discount anything in The New York Times, or other legitimate sources, as "fake news," and somehow, Joe Biden, who holds no office, is responsible for the disorder in our cities, while Trump, who has been president for almost four years, bears no responsibility.
I hear Trump taking credit for the best economy ever (it wasn't), while in fact he was simply there while the recovery that had begun under Obama continued, and his actions, e.g., tariffs and tax cuts, slowed growth, bankrupted a bunch of farmers, and generated a $1 trillion deficit. And that's all pre-virus.
How am I supposed to respond to people who choose to ignore objective reality or who are lying through their teeth? Respectful disagreement no longer seems appropriate.
Rent a moving truck
John Brummett, do a majority of Arkansans a favor and move to another state.