To respect each other
Most white men would love to have a Black buddy. Problem is Blacks have written their own language and white guys don't understand what they are talking about most of the time. Also, people make fun of Black and white friendships. There is so much we could teach and learn from each other.
We can stop this racist stuff and just begin to show each other respect for a change. Respect is a great gift! No one has ever been offended by too much respect. No one wants to fight because of too much respect. Respect can change America and the way Black and white brothers look at each other.
Let's go fishing, hiking, let's go to your house and listen to some music or play cards. Let's go to a basketball game and root for the same team. You can tell me who the players are. Let's start this right now. We can do it. We can change America and make it a more friendly place to live. If you are Black and need a good white 73-year-old man, USAF Vietnam vet as a friend, that's me.
RONALD E. SMITH
Our shared humanity
Kudos to Coralie Koonce for reminding us of our shared humanity.
An obscenely large gang of states has decided to severely limit the number and type of people who can vote in this country. In red states, they're trying their best to game the system (cheat), severely limit democratic access, and make a very specialized list of "disallowable" voters. (Actual voter fraud!)
They're hoping that smart, well-informed people will stay home. Mail voters will be a dying breed, as will LGBT voters. They'll demand 15 forms of ID from the elderly who don't drive. They'll probably put armed guards out so folks without ichthus (fish) symbols on their electric cars can't find a place to park on Election Day. And those of us with simple human compassion will be arrested on sight if we're caught within 10 feet of the polling place with water bottles and snack bars for others.
Tucker Carlson, M.T. Greene and QAnon, the ree-lie-a-bull news sources, probably think we should also scratch off vegans, women who make their own pie crust, people who don't replace the TP roll, and intellectuals who read history or science books. I, personally, will be summarily executed for wearing my "T---- is a moron" T-shirt. Yet "patriots" (???) who think President Biden is rationing hamburgers and that Jews have flame-throwing lasers will be led to the front of the line with their MAGA hats, Confederate flags and Uzis and allowed to vote twice for the loser-prez again. (Yes, folks, he lost -- big time.)
How long will it be before we all understand that our fragile democracy lies on a bed of engaged, informed participation by all of us -- hopefully of good will? And that our government derives its powers from the consent of the governed -- every single one of its citizen-voters? No colorful exceptions -- period. Cruelty is unbecoming of a great nation.
When will we learn that there is no "them"? There is only "us."
First, read actual text
I wish that people would at least read the Second Amendment before they started preaching. It's only one sentence; it wouldn't take long. And start at the first part of the sentence, not the last, and study upon the primary part awhile. Don't just rush ahead like a child hungry for dessert and chow down on the delicious part: muskets, sawed-off shotguns, .50-cal machine guns, hand grenades and other such. That part, when pushed to the front of the sentence, obfuscates all the other relevant points of view.
The Second Amendment is about the best way to guarantee the security of the state. Recent events definitely prove this is still a relevant issue. Who can forget the sight of your elected representatives running, being driven off the floor of the Senate and House? So much for republican government versus mob violence. So much for "a well regulated militia" solution: It didn't work in this our post-Pearl Harbor preemptive-strike era. Maybe we need to find a new champion for legislative protection from political mobs.
So, Arkansas now moves to join the self-labeled patriots who want to block the federal government from restricting sawed-off shotguns and machine guns from the hands of mobs. Why don't our Arkansas representatives read the Second Amendment (part I) first and study upon a mob coming to drive them out if they don't follow Trump's lead? It's not that far-fetched; it is not that hard to imagine; just rerun the mountain of clips of fools with flags and bear spray attacking your national government. "It will be wild!"
Of course the solution for some will always be ... more guns.
Control the applause
Listening to President Biden speak Wednesday night, I conjured up a fanciful vision of how presidential State of the Union and joint-address-to-Congress speeches might be different.
I want the speeches to start this way: "We're all busy people, and it's late at night. Please hold any and all applause until the end of the speech. This isn't a high school pep rally. It's an occasion to ponder what serious problems we're facing and how we might address them. So, kindly just listen and think. We'll be out of here much earlier if we drop the stand-and-applaud or sit-and-scowl charade."
If you can do that ...
If you can get up at the clock's stroke of midnight on the first of the month and head to the casino with your government deposit in your account and required to show ID to enter, then you are physically able to get out and go vote at your determined voting site.