“What the ... ?” were two-thirds of my initial comment upon trying to read Derek Jenkins' movie ‘review' of “Gomorrah” in your April 30th issue. Were Derek not so keen to display his overall knowledge of obscure filmdom and filmmakers, we might have learned a little more about the film itself; now I've got to research Belgium's Dardennes brothers, neo-realists like Lance Hammer and So Yong Kim, and poverty fetishists Larry Clark and Harmony Korine to determine if I want to go see “Gomorrah.” If Derek starts throwing around “snarky” and “Manichean chiaroscuro,” then I'll know he's trying to be Philip Martin. Nicholas Winding Refn's “Pusher” trilogy and Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, indeed. Just tell us about the damn movie!
I know your readers disapprove of the term “socialist,” but try to explain American liberalism to a European without using the word! You idolize European socialism, and abhor the free market system. I'm not sure whether it's the governmental stability of Italy you admire, or perhaps the wonderful economy of France. Maybe it's the three-month waits for an MRI in England that attracts you.
At any rate, you should be thrilled by President Obama's nationalization of the banking system. Did you notice that the Feds are going to forcibly convert the non-voting stock they took for the TARP money into common, voting shares? So, as with the auto companies, we will have bureaucrats in the boardrooms, hiring and firing and directing the company's future.
And Timothy Geithner said that banks that want to repay the TARP money because they're in better shape now won't be ALLOWED to do so; that HE will decide when and if the government will accept repayment based on HIS judgment of the progress of the U.S. financial condition. In other words, we're going to change that non-voting stock to voting stock, and you can't stop us just by paying off the TARP money!
Hugo Chavez must be green with envy. President Obama has managed to seize control of both the American auto industry and the entire American financial establishment, and do it without once using the word “nationalize.” Brilliant! But don't dare use the word “socialist.”
Re the mess with disclosing addresses of concealed weapon permit holders:
What a disaster.
If it makes you feel any better, my boss is a gun enthusiast but thinks concealed permit holders should be disclosed to the public.
I had to quit talking common sense to the gun nuts. They always bring up the “knife” argument. But some day — and it's happening in some instances now — gun owners (including collectors) will have to go through the feds to sell anything.
North Little Rock
Orders no excuse on torture
Why are the words “torture is illegal” so difficult for even the most brain dead members of our society to comprehend?
Gross mistreatment, brutalizing, torture (“enhanced interrogation”) of persons in government custody, besides being against the law, totally ineffective and inadmissible in a court of law, is also cowardly and sadistic.
Necessary force on the other hand is proper, lawful, unavoidable in most instances and should not be confused with how a person is treated once in custody.
Between the hectic years of 1968 and 1973 my law enforcement activity was centered on drugs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, religious cults and other radical fringe groups, from both sides of the political spectrum, that were proliferating in south eastern Michigan.
During that period I had the opportunity to work with agents from most of the federal enforcement agencies and I do not believe any of those professionals would have hesitated to say no to any suggestion that they indulge in clearly unlawful conduct such as torturing prisoners unable to defend themselves.
President Obama does not want to prosecute the underlings who actually performed torture under the Bush regime, which is fine perhaps, but only if they agree to testify against their superiors, as I refuse to accept the excuse of “just following orders,” regardless of their source.
Not a Christian nation
Recently the largest newspaper in Arkansas informed me that they would no longer print my rebuttal to Christians who claim that this country was founded on Christianity. Their persistent claim that this is a Christian nation and that our laws are based on Biblical morality is a figment of their imagination. The framers of our Constitution made no mention of God or Christianity.
James Madison, the father of the Constitution, wrote, “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.” There are those who say, “wait, the Declaration of Independence refers to God.” Sorry, but it only refers to a creator and in the mind of Thomas Jefferson the word creator cannot in any way be construed to mean the God of the Bible as he was a deist.
This is a free country, for Christians and non-Christians alike. It is not a Christian nation. Christians seem to experience a degree of intellectual difficulty in grasping that concept.
The right to hunt
Couldn't agree more with John Brummett's column regarding Steve Faris and the “right to hunt amendment.” I strongly dislike adding this as an amendment to the Arkansas State Constitution
In 2004-2005 there were hunting clubs in which men paid to hunt WOMEN with paintball guns. Some were called Bambi clubs. The girls signed up for it, got paid to run through the woods while the hunters hunted them. When this was discovered to be occurring, the public was appalled and huge outcry caused these ‘hunting clubs' to stop or close down. If these gun people think they have a right to hunt whatever's moving, it's Dodge City...and you know what that means.
How do we know that won't happen here if this is considered a “right to hunt” state? We don't.