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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: A hypothetical case | The left versus right | Not tragic to them?

January 11, 2022 at 3:02 a.m.

A hypothetical case

Attorneys like to argue by using hypotheticals. Assume that my wife tells me falsely that our neighbor John has called her "a stupid slut." Enraged, I grab my revolver, run to John's house, break down the front door, and shout "I am going to kill you." John hears me and hides under his bed. Unable to find him, I leave.

Further assume that these events are captured on John's home security video which he takes to the local prosecutor who charges me with attempted murder. My defense counsel argues to the jury that I was merely a visitor in John's house who inflicted no physical harm upon him.

Does this hypothetical sound apropos one year after the riot at the United States Capitol where violent intruders carrying a wooden gallows screamed "Hang Mike Pence" but were unable to get their hands on him because he and his key advisers were spirited away by their security forces?

In the hypothetical, the judge would instruct the jury that under the law the crime of attempted murder does not require any infliction of physical harm on the intended victim. The classic example, of course, is shooting at someone with the intent to kill but missing him.


Little Rock

The left versus right

A must-see TV program: A debate between left thinkers and right thinkers. Judges would come from countries not familiar with U.S. politics if possible. Three contestants for each team, and the winners will receive $2 million each; the losers nothing. If the judges cannot select a winner, then all contestants would donate $20,000 to their favorite charity.

Here are the topics and their thinking: Kyle Rittenhouse--left guilty, right not guilty; Jan. 6-- left riots, right demonstration; BLM/Antifa--left fair groups, right Marxist groups; Statue removal--left racist people, right heroes; Joe Biden--left becoming great, right inept like Obama; Police--left defund, right let them do their job; Trump--left Senate should convict, right great under tough going; 2020 riots--left justified; right criminal behavior.

Now here's the twist. The left must debate for the right thinkers and vice versa. You would agree there would be no winners except for the various charities. Of course, if they had been able to debate their way of thinking, the results would have been the same, only nastier. Let's hope that 2022 will find a congenial togetherness among the two ways of thinking. If love were to dominate each one's thoughts, would we not have a better United States of America?


North Little Rock

Not tragic to them?

Re congressional observation of the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection: As a registered voter in Arkansas, I would like to know why not one of my congressional representatives was present for this ceremonial moment acknowledging this latest tragic moment in our history. Seems they were in concert with others of their party in this matter. Could they have been playing Follow the Leader?


Little Rock

Books not for burning

You would think nearly a quarter of the way into the 21st century, immersed in the Internet and awash in a flood of digitized, streaming media, the last thing people would be up in arms about are the dusty descendants of a 15th century technology whose first product was the Holy Bible. Yes, books are back in the news; the pitchforks and torches are out and headed for a library near you.

As a former independent bookseller, nothing reminds me of the good old days more than a swarm of enraged parents and the spineless state legislators who enable them. Oh dear, our children may learn about anatomy and human sexuality from somewhere other than the playground or the Internet! I certainly hope so.

If systemic racism doesn't exist, why does a book about it concern and upset you? If your religious foundation can be shaken because Heather has two mommies or because some penguins happen to be gay, I'm afraid your kids were headed for trouble anyway.

Books should challenge and engage the minds of readers of all ages, the young as well as adults. Teachers and librarians are sensitive to the valid concerns of parents and the public about content and age appropriateness. They are trained professionals. Let them do their jobs.

We must continually fight for the rights of all to read and be read to rather than bow to the pressure of narrow-minded and misguided parents who want to ban everything they do not understand or agree with. A nation that bans books will ban people; a nation that burns books will burn people. Surely if history has taught us anything about autocracy and the willingness of the inflamed and ill-informed masses to engage in hysterical attacks on people and ideas they do not understand or agree with, it has taught us the hierarchy of ignorance and intolerance--first ideas, then books, then people.


Little Rock

The best disinfectant

I agree with Sen. Dan Sullivan's concern in this sense: Why did Washington County, in a Request for Qualifications for a $25 million jail expansion (which we likely don't need), select an out-of-state firm over local (in-state), qualified, and less expensive submissions in a very private process? Never mind that we haven't yet approved this or determined the need after exhausting all other options.

I suppose with these and many other confusing decisions, follow the money. Who benefits? Sunlight is the best disinfectant.



Print Headline: Letters


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