Natural State at risk
The television screen glows orange with the ongoing news of Western wildfires devouring forests and homes. Having grown up in the dry wheat hills of eastern Washington, I know these lands and landscapes being destroyed amid an expanding fire season supersized by climate change. Now, with my children growing up in Arkansas within and learning to love these lands and landscapes, I ask myself, will they live to see climate change bring such fires here? Will the Buffalo River we've floated down someday blaze? Will Pinnacle Mountain inevitably brighten the night of Little Rock's western horizon as a pyre illuminating our inaction? Will the vistas and valleys of Petit Jean be recognizable when the remaining trees stand as blackened matchsticks?
Amid these very challenging times, we must also remember and act upon the transformative havoc that unaddressed climate change will bring, lest the beauty and legacy of the Natural State end in embers and ash. I favor a carbon fee and dividend approach to fighting these fires of the future, but I just ask you as proud Arkansans to favor some kind of meaningful action. As we consider which leaders to choose, please give a moment or longer of consideration to how they will meet this challenge. Are they worthy of our children's future? Are they worthy of the Natural State?
A grand experiment
The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the states the powers and authority not given to the national government. This allows each state to govern as it deems fit and provides an opportunity for each to be an incubator for creative ways to govern; then we the people can determine if these new ways would be beneficial to our local and state governments.
In this summer of unrest and turmoil, a modest proposal is suggested. Those that propose a drastic change in the way government is conducted, including law enforcement, should be given the opportunity to enact their proposed changes. This experiment may show us that the vast sums spent on law enforcement are unnecessary and can be utilized in more beneficial ways. A brave new world may emerge from this experiment; one where people live in peace and harmony without the need of law enforcement, and a real summer, and even century, of love can commence. Every state and municipality will be able to learn from this grand experiment and follow the successful paths.
Cities that have a large vocal outcry to defund the police should be allowed to do so. New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle are the ones that immediately come to mind. Far be it from me to limit it to these cities.
I do have some selfish reservations about this proposal. I have visited most of these cities from time to time and enjoyed the experience, particularly New York, and hope to be able to visit again in the future, though for my tastes they are great places to visit, not live. Also, I have my thoughts on how this will end, and am concerned for friends' safety who live there, until the goal of utopia is achieved.
Will they serve well?
As a youngster, before TV, my favorite radio program was called "Mr. District Attorney," and he was my hero. The opening to the show went like this: "Mr. District Attorney, champion of the people, defender of truth, guardian of our fundamental rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, and it shall be my duty as district attorney not only to prosecute, within the limits of the law, all persons accused of crime perpetrated in this county, but to defend with equal vigor the rights and privileges of all its citizens."
Now, other than those who have paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom, I am no longer sure who my real heroes are. Not all, but many of our representatives have strayed from the principles of that old radio program. Many are only interested in building a winning record as they work their way through the system on toward the Washington swamp. The power and control over people, once gained, becomes almost impossible to eliminate. With political power comes wealth, and special interests don't want that to change.
Before I vote, I take a legal pad, draw a line down the middle, write the goals and accomplishments of each candidate, and make my decision based on the facts. This helps answers the question: What has he/she done to and for others, are they only looking for the power and control and the wealth that comes with it, or will they represent me within the principles of that old radio program? How well will they adhere to the admonition "Do unto others as" ... well, you know the rest. Anyway, we will see.
Matter of golf course
At the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump said he was going to be too busy to play golf. As of March 2020, he is essentially the 10th highest-paid athlete in the U.S.: $50.6 million a year. So in three years, $152 million, played at his own golf resorts.
Taxpayers have paid for golf carts, hotel rooms and meals for his Secret Service agents. It being Donald Trump, don't be too surprised if we were billed for his golf cart, hotel room and meals too. No wonder he doesn't want us to see his tax returns.
Donald Trump plays golf and tweets while 177 million-plus people have died of covid-19, and he says, "It is what it is." He just doesn't care. Do you?
Commies like him too
By the way, did you know that Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was endorsed by more than one American political party? He is also endorsed by the Revolutionary Communist Party of America. They think he will be most amenable to their platform. The Revolutionary. Communist Party. Of America.
If you are one of the first two, you have your man. If you love the last, are you not appalled?
KARL T. KIMBALL