Against mass executions
I would like to add my voice to those expressing horror about our planned Arkansas April executions beginning on Easter Monday. As a physician, I am particularly troubled by the rush to execute eight people because execution drugs, medications meant for healing, are going to expire and Arkansas won't be able to get more of them because pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to let us have them for the purposes of killing. I also think it's extremely important for everyone to understand that the drug combination is all but guaranteed to cause torture of these humans. Whatever we think of the death penalty and the crimes that these individuals committed, this is not the way for civilized humans to treat each other. Please contact Governor Hutchinson and ask him to stay all of the executions.
Bow to the NRA
Apparently the NRA, the SEC and the evangelical churches pretty much own Arkansas. The legislative message from this session? Guns for everyone anywhere and any place (oops, except for the Razorback Temple of worship). Free speech and assembly? We don't need no stinkin' protest and assembly. Campus cops? We don't need no stinkin' campus cops. What do they know? All our problems will be solved by more guns, more religion, more executions and more corporate influence. Anything else is just "fake news." Ease your mind and just lock and load.
From the web
In response to last week's cover story, "Suffer the immigrants":
Ours is a country of immigrants, but what part of "illegal immigrants" do people not understand? As with any time that we intentionally break the law there is always the possibility of getting caught and of facing the consequences.
Fear is a terrible thing to live with. Thank you for making people more informed by publishing articles like this one. Knowledge is power. I will repeat what Pope Francis said from the CS Newsletter:
"It's hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help," he said. "If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I'm a hypocrite."
The world needs Christians to witness God's mercy through service to the poorest, the sick (and) those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families, he said.
From the web in response to Gene Lyons' March 30 column, "Never his fault":
I think the Affordable Care Act was the crowning achievement of Obama's presidency. I think the Trump repeal plan was extremely flawed.
That said, Gene Lyons' attack on every single thing Trump has done makes this opinion laughable. Lyons is a sore loser — why, not everybody who read his columns voted the way he wanted — and now he sounds, in this column and others on this subject, like a petulant child.
Ask yourself, looking at Hillary Clinton's record, would she have been a better president? Based on what? Her policy in Libya? It was so disgusting, yet no one ever wants to discuss it, least of all, Gene Lyons.
Where is the unbiased intelligence? He is so willing to bash Trump, yet his undying love for Clinton, etc., is disturbing. How about a deep look at her — never happened during the election year, won't happen now. I believe, based on her Republican hawk record, we would be at war with Iran now. Sorry, ANYTHING would be better than that. Let's wait and see.
Investigator of both sides
@investigator of both sides: Shouldn't we all, including Mr. Lyons, focus our attention on the president we have and not the one we don't? While it is difficult to imagine Ms. Clinton not being a better president than Mr. Trump based on what we've seen so far, it's pointless to speculate about it. We've got plenty of serious, actual issues that need solutions now.
For anyone who has had to deal with a chronic liar as a co-worker, client, boss or spouse, the challenge is always at what point do you find a way to terminate the toxic relationship.
Bow ties are back in style
In response to an Arkansas Blog report that Rep. Kim Hendren's attempt to ban Howard Zinn's books from the public schools had increased interest in his book "A People's History of the United States":
I have to admit the first thing I did upon hearing Hendren's ban attempt was to see if my local library had the book. They do. Seems I wasn't the only one interested either.
It would have been nice if Hendren was as curious. Don't even try to read it? Just try to ban it out of hand? Bright fellow. Very bright and curious fellow indeed, "curious" being used in more than one sense of the word.
Reminds of some years ago when William Manchester's two-volume history "The Glory and the Dream" was controversial in the Conway schools. It made people want to read Manchester's good works just to see what the controversy was about. That's what usually happens.
The Postal Service at one time banned "Lady Chatterley's Lover" from being sent in the mail. The book was passed on from family to family until covers were worn off.
Correction: A letter to the editor in the March 27 issue of the Times was edited inaccurately. The letter, from Mike Watts, should have read that House Bill 1405 "would also reduce the maximum compensation per employee subject to unemployment taxes from $12,000 per year to $10,000."