Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Give heroes choices
Saturday's op-ed by Nicole Hart was spot-on. It's time we give our heroes choices to treat their service-related injuries sans side effects. The growing acceptance of cannabis use either for medicine or recreation is a welcome change, lest we continue wasting resources on the failed war on some drugs and its results. Canada has joined Uruguay in legalizing cannabis outright, we should too, the responsible will be, others will be held accountable.
In a related article, science and religion are working together at Johns Hopkins University in a study on the effects of psychedelics on clergy volunteers; apparently they have been at this a while and some believe these drugs could be vital in treating mental illness.
Brave new worlds are here, and we couldn't ask for a better "soma" than cannabis, much safer than alcohol and not poison like cigarettes. We should urge President Trump to get cannabis off the Schedule I list. In the words of former President Obama, "we have bigger fish to fry" with North Korea, natural disasters, and continued racial strife. I couldn't agree more!
Inappropriate at best
Actually, I was never told that cussing was abusive (I'm 70). However, I do believe and was told as a child that cussing was a sign of a lack of vocabulary and demonstration of vulgarity.
Let's face it, most cuss words are descriptors of the most base aspects of human behavior--things best kept behind closed doors. Can you really think of any profane words you would consider appropriate to say in front of your mother, your pastor, or your child? Therefore, other than the occasional "damn" when you have hit your thumb with a hammer, cussing at all seems inappropriate at best. Enough said.
Not telling full story
Marjorie Greenberg's guest column in Sunday's paper was, well, interesting. No doubt Arkansas has a higher tax burden than many surrounding states. Of course we don't want to lead these rankings. It's bad for businesses.
But while extolling the virtues of low taxation, which everyone likes, she omits one key fact. Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana constantly struggle to balance their budgets.
Oklahoma will be in special session later this month to "try" to deal with an estimated $878 million shortfall. Texas just went through a similar special session. Louisiana even considered a gasoline tax increase of up to 23 cents per gallon earlier this year. They are still trying to close the rest of the gap of what was a $2 billion shortfall, and rumors of a ballot initiative to raise gross production taxes on oil and gas are afloat in Oklahoma.
Unfortunately, Arkansas' recent status as a significant energy producer is over and is not likely to return, so we don't even have that luxury.
Everyone likes low taxes, but we also like good roads and educated children, both of which are good for business. Sure, consider cuts and better management for efficiency, but let's not kid ourselves about the budget health of surrounding states. Not telling the full story borders on irresponsibility.
Absurdities on parade
Statues and monuments honoring Confederate generals and soldiers are part of history? Both sides are to blame for the violence in Charlottesville? Abortion is "our" Holocaust? The Voices page has been littered with these absurdities in recent weeks.
It seems even the often fact-bereft Bradley Glitz was all riled up about equal protection being denied white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other scrapings from the bottom of the moral barrel who are now the darlings of the alt-right and the not-so-alt-right.
History is written in books. It is not a statue in a public park. Southern states initiated a bloody rebellion against their own country to protect and perpetuate the evil of slavery. The white majority who erected these statues honoring the Confederacy were the ones trying to change history.
There was violence on both sides in World War II. Do any of us doubt which side was right? Neo-Nazis and white supremacists spew hatred and incite violence and their apologists in the press and in the White House point fingers and whine when others retaliate.
Equating the Holocaust with women choosing to control their own bodies is the ultimate historical obscenity. Six million people murdered because of their religion, race or ethnicity. Burned in ovens after being tortured, starved to death and gassed. Genocide on an industrial scale.
I am not a woman, I am not a Jew, but I know the difference between legal abortion and the Holocaust. I can tell the difference between Planned Parenthood and the Third Reich. God help you if you cannot.
DAVID ELI COCKCROFT
Definition still applies
I too have never written a letter to the editor, but here goes. Jimmie Thomas says that comparing abortion to the Holocaust is an insult to the survivors, and then gives the literal definition of holocaust.
How is the murder of 54 million babies (in the U.S. alone) not a holocaust? Oh ... do you know how unwanted fetal tissue is destroyed? It is incinerated. They will never know the language, culture or literature of this world. I believe that satisfies the definition of holocaust.
Our identity as nation
A former student of mine posted on Facebook: "Are you a member of a tribe indigenous to the Americas who would be willing to share some stories and history with my English classes this month?"
The fact that she placed a want ad for indigenous individuals reveals much about our identity as a nation. Even our current president married an immigrant who took a bit of time to become legal.
Editorial on 09/12/2017
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