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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.

Better ordinances not crusades

Sometimes Pine Bluff City Council Alderman Steven Mays is like a dog with a bone: once he seizes on an issue, he just won’t let it go. Most probably recall the time and effort wasted with his crusade against the 71602 ZIP code. In shades of zealousness that are eerily similar, he has decided to waste the people’s time with a protracted and pointless harangue against contractor Danny Bradshaw of Mr. Brick Antique Buy and Sell, who has contracted with Pine Bluff to remove some of the collapsed buildings along Main Street.

Drop the appeal, open the file

Since writing my last weekly newspaper column for publication on Dec. 29, ending a run of more than 40 years, I can’t say I’ve missed the regular deadlines. But I have missed having an outlet for expression, which is important to a writer.

Trump’s feast of incoherence

The reviews of Donald Trump’s grand foray into foreign policy agreed on one thing, which is that Trump can’t even agree with himself. His Wednesday speech was an exercise in self-contradiction, a feast of incoherence, a walk up the down escalator.

Twined fantasies doom the poor

Watching the predictable machinations of the Arkansas State Legislature has become tiresome. Whenever the state’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens are concerned, Republican lawmakers invariably see how close they can get to unconstitutionally punitive restrictions and mandates.

Echoes of pandemics close to home

There were a pair of stories this week that reported on major public health issues potentially affecting Arkansas. The first of these by Arkansas News Bureau reports on an announcement by Arkansas state health officials. In it Arkansas health officials said Tuesday the Shelby County Health Department in Tennessee has confirmed six cases of measles in the Memphis area and said some Arkansans may have been exposed to the infectious disease. The second ANB story reflects the Arkansas Department of Health report of a fourth Arkansan infected with the Zika virus, that has been spiraling globally.

Trump played checkers; they played chess

If this presidential election were a chess match, somebody like Sen. Ted Cruz would be calling “checkmate” on the Republican Party nomination about now. Instead, it’s checkers this year, and Donald Trump is winning because he knows that’s the game being played.

Why felons should be allowed to vote

America has 2.2 million jail and prison inmates, and everyone worries about what will happen when they get out. Some of us worry that they will seek out new victims and commit new crimes. Some of us worry that they will head to the nearest courthouse and register to vote.