Kissinger needs to go
Time for Henry Kissinger to retire. He is out of sync with the world's politics today.
Peter the Great and Tsarina Catherine understood that Russia's best future would be alignment with the West. However, Joseph Stalin and the communists changed all that. Mikhail Gorbachev recognized it, but Boris Yeltsin was too inebriated to act on it. Vladimir Putin was his go-to guy and managed to outmaneuver all his competition. Instead of turning to the West, he did a Stalin and turned inward, surrounding himself with toadies he made very rich and who bow to his wishes.
I believe Kissinger is wrong on Ukraine. Ukraine should cede no territory to Russia. It would only embolden Putin. Kissinger should be for the removal of Putin and the opportunity of Russia to finally shed its paranoia of Western imperialism.
Yes, we need Russia to change. We need the whole world to align itself against Communist China. China means to rule the world economically. It wants to rule the seas, the canals, control access to the world's natural resources, especially important minerals and metals, and make the rest of the world dependent on its manufactured goods.
Covid has shown just how dependent we are on products made in Red China. That needs to change just as much as we need regime change in Russia.
Like Germany in war
Of all the war movies TCM aired over the Memorial Day weekend, "Battle of the Bulge" really hit home. The plot was Germany's last stand to turn the tide of World War II. Germany committed its best tank commander to the task. The flaw in the Germans' plan was their lack of fuel. They scrounged for it. In one scene the German tank commander (Robert Shaw) shows the general a chocolate cake that was sent from Boston. He said the Americans have so much fuel they can afford to send this chocolate cake across the Atlantic.
What a far cry from America today. If we were to engage in a conventional war (like Ukraine), I believe we'd be just like Germany in 1944, thanks to the policies of Joe Biden. I can't see our tanks, planes or ships being powered by windmills or solar panels, especially on the cloudy windless days depicted in this movie. Art has imitated real life, and it's a scary thought.
In the vote against the red-flag law proposed in the U.S. House, Steve Womack suggests that we need to "harden schools" among proposals to increase funding for mental health and school security. This past school year in Arkansas, there was someone shot to death in Hot Springs in the crowd attending a high school graduation, and shots fired outside the North Little Rock graduation ceremony. Both of these events were at convention centers/arenas.
How would you "harden" a high school graduation ceremony? Matter of fact, how would you "harden" a building against the high velocity of the AR-15 round anyway? That round can penetrate a brick wall and cracks concrete. Unless you are committed to taking away these weapons, every other argument to try and live with them is complete nonsense.
North Little Rock
No longer surprises
I would describe my reaction to the endorsement of Chris Carnahan by the state Republican Party as one of astonishment, but that would be naïve because astonishment implies surprise and nothing the state Republican Party does could surprise me.
In 2000, the voters of Arkansas wisely chose to make judicial elections nonpartisan. Of all elected positions, it makes sense that judges, by virtue of their duties and responsibilities, be impartial and objective and should not be associated with political parties. The resolution and Rep. David Ray's comments spell out the reasons for the endorsement. Carnahan's views are perfectly aligned with those of the Republican Party.
It seems a supermajority is not enough for the Republican Party of Arkansas. They further gerrymandered legislative seats in their favor and now they hope to seal their autocratic rule over Arkansas by openly gaining control of the court system. I believe if we look around the world (Hungary is a classic example), we will see one of the hallmarks of autocratic governments is to control the judicial process. Personally, I will trust the citizens of Arkansas to make their own choices free of political endorsements and "dark money."
One last comment: I am always baffled by the arguments the originalists or textualists put forward. I would remind them that there are many things not mentioned in either the U.S. or Arkansas constitutions. Additionally, when they were written, advances like electricity (and its effects on communications, personal privacy, financial transactions, etc.) did not exist, life-prolonging medical advances were not available, and firearms in the Second Amendment were flintlocks and other single-shot weapons. The people who wrote these documents trusted that a well-educated and nonpartisan judiciary would be able to interpret their application in the context of current times.
PHILLIP J. PETERS
Have better chance
You have to wonder about a country that limits a shotgun to three rounds to give ducks a sporting chance while allowing 30-round magazines in assault-style rifles when it comes to children in a classroom. A nation that advocates changing shotgun pellets from lead to steel to reduce death from toxicity for surviving ducks, but permits .223 tumbling bullets in assault rifles to better ensure that no one survives in a classroom.
Right now I'd rather be a duck than a politician without principle, willing to sacrifice children for their career.