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Medical weed: What images do you see?

Unless Arkansas somehow becomes competitive in the presidential race, which it probably won’t, the state’s airwaves won’t be crammed with political advertising by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Pity our unfortunate fellow Americans in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida for that one. In Arkansas, the only race between candidates that might be mildly interesting is the one for U.S. Senate between Sen. John Boozman and Conner Eldridge.

Heroes ensnared in bureaucracy

Recently, the local CBS television affiliate, KTHV, broadcast a report about Joe George, a Pearl Harbor survivor and hero of the ill-fated USS Arizona. Through George’s efforts, the lives of six other sailors were saved, but there was a catch. Because a superior officer had ordered George to stop, the hero sailor was never officially recognized by the Navy for his act of bravery.

Traveling Cruz’s higher low road

Political conventions are supposed to be the place where differences are set aside and the party faithful fall in line behind whoever has the proverbial nod. As the Republican party brought its party to a close last week there were still many of the faithful who hadn’t quite taken the medicine. Then there was Sen. Ted Cruz.

Sitting Bull still instructs us

As many inspirational leaders often have, the leader of the Hunkpapa Lakota tribe and (eventually) the entire Sioux Nation, Sitting Bull, gave his life in furtherance of human rights for his people. Sitting Bull earned his name because of his reputation as a courageous warrior — who, like a bison bull, would dig in and fight rather than flee.

Legislators codify diligent discrimination

Almost every day the theocratic dullards holding the wheel of Arkansas state government prove they are out of step with both mainstream America and modern Christian values. Even so, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s minion continually embarrass and retard the Natural State’s place in our great nation.

Spend less to tax less

Lt. Governor Tim Griffin is pushing an idea: Cut spending first and then cut taxes. It’s so crazy it just might work, which is why he wants to try it in Arkansas and why, hopefully, someone will try it in Washington, D.C.

Legislators codify diligent discrimination

Almost every day the theocratic dullards holding the wheel of Arkansas state government prove they are out of step with both mainstream America and modern Christian values. Even so, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s minion continually embarrass and retard the Natural State’s place in our great nation.

Steering the national will

One hundred-fifty years ago this week, Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth mortally wounded U. S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater at Washington, DC. History well records the sequence of events: Booth’s furtive move into Lincoln’s private theater box; the fatal shot to the back of the head; the assassin’s leg-breaking leap to the stage and his infamous cry of “sic semper tyrannis!”

Protect them to protect us

On this day in 1866, the cause of animal welfare took a giant leap forward. New York philanthropist and diplomat, Henry Bergh, founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Bergh’s interest in protecting animals began while he served as the U. S. representative to the court of Russian Tsar Alexander II. While at this post, Bergh often saw the Russian peasantry mercilessly beat their work horses with whips and knouts.

Tesla vs. dealers: Let buyers decide

America is the land of the free - unless your idea of freedom includes a right to build cars and sell them directly to the public, rather than through a third party. For those who try to do that, America morphs into a semi-feudal system of state-law trade barriers and bureaucracy whose ostensible purpose is to protect consumers but whose actual one is to protect incumbent holders of automobile retail franchises, as expert testimony confirmed at a Federal Trade Commission conference on the subject in January.

Putting words in someone’s mouth

I recently saw a silly cartoon that gave me an idea for this column. The first frame showed two siblings sitting on the floor amidst piles of torn paper. The second frame showed the older of the two with a comic bubble showing a lightbulb above his head. He then began sticking bits of paper in the younger one’s mouth, saying, “Chew! Chew! Swallow!” at the younger’s loud cry, the mother rushes in and asks, “WHAT’S going on here?” The older calmly answers, “Aw, nothing, I’m just puttin’ words in Timmy’s mouth.”

Modern privateers still influential

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress issued a document entitled, “Instructions to Commanders of Private Ships or vessels of War, which shall have Commissions of Letters of Marque and Reprisal, authorizing them to make Captures of British Vessels and Cargoes.” This declaration gave the captains of privately owned commercial ships the right to attack and plunder British ships without any legal consequences. Thus began the long American tradition of private military contractors.

Pacts old, new and irrelevant

Twenty-five years ago today, the Warsaw Pact came to an end. Formed as a military counterpoint to the West’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the original assembly included the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Albania.

Council trapped under logical rubble

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this point in the situation, but recent efforts by certain members of the Pine Bluff City Council to construct a false victim narrative around Garland Trice; and a concomitant effort to vilify Danny Bradshaw (dba Mr. Brick) really strain credulity. At the most recent meeting of the council, members Steven Mays, George Stepps and Thelma Walker each exhibited a rationale that borders on delusional.

Hutchinson denies huddled masses

Many opponents of so-called trickle-down economics hold that the much vaunted benefits to America’s wealthiest individuals never quite flow to the bottom. Interestingly, data from a 2015 report by the Urban Institute suggests that the mechanism does in fact work, just not in the way proponents would like to believe.

SCOTUS history against GOP

With the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the Republican party has waged a rhetorical war against any nomination President Barack Obama might make for a successor. As of this week, that nominee has a name: Merrick Garland. While Garland’s previous vetting en route to the Federal Appellate bench was strongly bi-partisan and without controversy, his road to the Supreme Court may be yet more rocky.

For Hollingsworth;for progress

As the March 22 primary runoff elections are fast approaching — and early voting already underway — we urge voters to mark their calendar and help the city continue its recent progress. To this point, we heartily endorse incumbent Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth came in as a successful business person but a political outsider. Four years ago that’s exactly what this community needed. Hollingsworth, having been hardened in the forge of Pine Bluff politics, is the one person who can continue to facilitate the progress we are now experiencing.