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Opinion

Republicans and racial fears

After the 2008 presidential election, it was obvious that American politics was entering a new era in which race would figure less than it had before. For the first time in our history, we had a president who was not white, and it was bound to have a profound, positive impact.

Remembering Dean Duncan

A few minutes after Dean Duncan slipped peacefully into the next life, one of his family had an idea, a very good one. A nephew who had been looking after Dean’s mutt, Poochie, rushed home and brought him to the hospice. Poochie was entitled to his own farewell.

Flying with Ford Falcons

On this day in 1959, Henry Ford II staged a 21-city news conference via closed-circuit television. During the broadcast, Ford unveiled “the easiest car in the world to own.” It was the automaker’s newest model, the Falcon.

Promoting promotions and grants

As reported by The Commercial, five members of the Pine Bluff City Council along with several individuals from Mayor Debe Hollingsworth’s staff, recently met to discuss the prospect of creating two new positions in city government. During the meeting, held last Thursday, the group that the city needs to hire a communications/marketing director and a grant writer. We concur.

Poorly watching the watchers

In December 2014, a report was released by the U. S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that contained a number of disquieting revelations. Among the more stark details were the findings that the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency had been using interrogation techniques that were far more brutal than had been previously acknowledged.

Squashing the wrong problems

You know when you’re on your porch, and you notice a spider crawling by, but then you look closer and realize it’s not a black widow or a brown recluse, so it’s not poisonous, but then you wonder if maybe you could be wrong, so therefore it could be a threat, and plus it’s a nuisance? Those things multiply, and maybe they’ll get into the house, so you squash it just to be sure.

The grift that keeps on taking

The cornerstone of American criminal justice is Due Process. As a foundational principle for the U.S. Constitution, we can trace its origins back to Chapter 39 of Magna Carta, in which England’s King John promised that “[n]o free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseized or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”

No need for bullish jesters

As has been widely reported, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently made yet one more ill-advised remark that unjustly criticized another person. In this instance, while speaking to the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, last Saturday, he said of fellow Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, “I like people who weren’t captured,” a reference to McCain’s imprisonment by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. McCain’s captors tortured him so severely that McCain is still unable to raise his arms above his head.

Rising tide submerges broader values

The culmination of an 11-year construction effort, Egypt’s Aswan High Dam was completed on this day in 1970. Since the hydroelectric plant went into service, Aswan has produced nearly half a trillion watts of electricity. This success spurred economic development while controlling the notorious seasonal floods of the Nile River. Even so, this progress came with equally high costs.

Choosing between our necessities

Owing to a decrease in population, the Jefferson County Quorum Court finds itself in the grasp of a familiar devil’s bargain: falling revenue and the question of cutting back. Perhaps the greatest bone of contention concerns the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and that agency’s share of the burden.

The day music got much smaller

Ever heard of a thing called the Moving Picture Experts Group -1 Audio Layer III? On this day in 1995, this mouthful of techno jargon was officially released to the public. Known more commonly as an MPEG-1 or by its file extension, mp3, the algorithm underlying this invention made possible the explosion of digital music; and spelled the long quiet death of the compact disc as king of musical storage.

Of monkeys and misguided men

We recently published an editorial response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s ill-advised rejoinder, “We want to be careful as to what monuments and designations go there (at the Arkansas Capitol). … We don’t want just every group putting a statue on the Capitol grounds.” Without rehashing that topic, a timely anniversary reminds of us of similar themes. On this day in 1925, 90 years ago, the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” began in Dayton, Tennessee.

Either a pantheon or none

Yet again the champions of theocracy have reared their misguided heads. This round of pharisaical bigotry comes on the heels of a request by the Universal Society of Hinduism to place a statue of the Hindu god Lord Hanuman on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.

Mom liked you best

We’ve all heard of Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp. Only the devotees of history and Western lore will know that there were also two more Earp brothers, James, the eldest, and Warren the youngest. On this day in 1900, 115 years ago, Warren Earp was killed in a barroom brawl at Wilcox, Arizona.

We’ve been here before

The recent United States Supreme Court decision overturning several states’ bans on gay marriage is likely to be one of the most contentious and difficult findings in our nation’s history. This ruling’s potential to fracture the American people owes to the fact that both sides in the debate believe they are morally correct. When framed in such terms, there is little room for reasoned discussion. If “you” don’t believe like “we” do then you’re probably going straight to hell. That’s not how great nations think or act.