From the web:

In response to Ernest Dumas’ Dec. 10 column, “The case for gun regulation”:

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Dumas wrote: “Antonin Scalia, who penned the 2008 order that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to weapons aside from the military purpose spelled out in the prefatory clause ‘a well regulated military being necessary to the security of a free State … .’ Preserving the militias that Southern states thought were threatened by the new Constitution’s grant of power to create a federal army might have been the primary reason for an arms amendment, but not the only one. Scalia’s opinion in 2008 was a lengthy linguistic disputation on what an independent clause means and how the term ‘keep and bear arms’ should mean ‘for self-defense in the home’ as well as for military action.”

I think James Madison, in “The Federalist Papers, No. 46,” answered that very well: “[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … [where] the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”



Runner, context is everything. James Madison wrote No. 46 during a shaky period just after the Revolutionary War. He doubted the federal government could raise enough men to create a permanent standing army and believed state militias “officered by men chosen from among themselves” could help fend off another attack by a European country. It’s clear he interpreted the “militia” wording of the Second Amendment as an organized military force, perhaps like today’s National Guard. Madison would never have countenanced individuals running around willy-nilly with Glocks and AR-15s.


Wanda Tinasky

In response to Gene Lyons’ Dec. 10 column, “Ravings from the right”:

Obama doesn’t care about what happens with ISIL so long as he can get gun control and whip Americans into a furor against each other.

Obama has been divisive and flaky. He genuinely doesn’t care if Americans get killed so long as he doesn’t have to attack ISIL himself. He will be happy to let other countries carry the weight, even if the long-term consequences of that include a dominant Russian military that loses all respect for American balance to its ambitions.


Steven E.

Just because you don’t agree with the president’s stance doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care. It just means that he doesn’t care the way that you think he should. And yeah, best douse that fire, Steven.

Robert Dear is a Christian terrorist, and he’s not the first one to pop up on the horizon. The problem is religious fundamentalism, not any particular religion. All religion produces extremists. That doesn’t mean all religion is bad, just that they are all equal.


So why is it a problem that somebody besides us is dropping bombs and why not the Russians? They certainly played their part in the fine mess in which we find ourselves when they invaded Afghanistan. Surely we all recall that al Qaeda was birthed there, much the same as ISIS was birthed from the de-Baathification of Iraq. What could possibly make anyone think that we can bomb this problem once and for all out of existence? It will be with us for the foreseeable future. We need to grow up and realize that we live in a world with very real, very intractable issues.

Mack Paul

In response to “Asa World approach to health care: Get mean” on the Arkansas Blog on Dec. 9:

Sounds like Asa [Hutchinson] wants the feds to leave Arkansas in the lurch. Pull the money and let Asa solve the problem. Bootstraps, personal responsibility and all that. Show us all that less federal money and intrusion will make the state stronger. Poor, decrepit, ignorant — but stronger. Gee Asa, what a great plan for success.



Arkansas is ranked 49th in health care. How does taking people’s health insurance away help our ranking?


Sounds like that Fox News uproar about the poor having refrigerators or air conditioning. These just keep more people from getting sick and ending up in that great doctor’s office, the ER.

couldn’t be better

Looks like posturing to me. Primaries are coming and he needs to protect some legislators from tea party supporters. Some of this stuff was promised in 2013 and the feds will say “no” to part.

Meanwhile, back to listening to “What’s Going On.”

Screen name taken

In response to “The Medicaid lockout: Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s proposal to bar beneficiaries from coverage for six months if they miss premium payments” on the Arkansas Blog on Dec. 14:

Lockouts are not entirely lacking in merit, in my opinion. For example, they could be imposed every time the state passes a law that is subsequently ruled to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution. When the federal decision is handed down, every member of the Arkansas Legislature who voted for the bill and the governor who signed it should immediately be locked out of receiving their state salary for a period of six months in order to help pay for the taxpayers’ losses in defending the legislation. An unsuccessful appeal would trigger another six-month lockout.

Such a “stick” could be useful in correcting irresponsible legislative behavior, which is detrimental to the state as a whole.


Did Jesus say that poverty is one’s own fault? Did he condemn those who could not pay their bills to the wealthy?

The Bible says clearly that when you punish people in poverty, you punish Christ, and when you reward the wealthy for their greed, you advance the devil.

Yet such an attitude is the foundational principle of modern American free-market conservatism.

Paying Top Dollar for Legislators

Yes, yes, Gov. Asa Clayton Powell, use every trick in the Republican playbook to lock sick people out of the health insurance market. Nothing says “I Love Jesus” more than dooming a sick person to an early, miserable death. Oh, imagine the children who’ll suffer because of no way to see a doctor! This is an arKansas government-sanctioned post-birth abortion!

I’m currently watching a spinning wheel on the website. Several weeks ago we contacted an insurance agent who promised to help us, but apparently he’s too busy to even return our calls. So today my wife launched into trying to get 2016 health care by using the website, which is supposed to work this time around. Not that this is connected to Asa’s dirty little trick, but since my wife had to go to work I’ve been keeping an eye on the spinning wheel on her computer. Therefore I’ve been thinking about health care all morning.

Obamacare ain’t no gift. I don’t know how slightly poorer people than us can manage to make the high insurance premium at the first of every month. We’ve had to do many dirty dances to make ours every month, and I’m aware enough to know our high-premium, high-deductible and many co-pays [policy] is slowly putting us under the bridge. Anytime I have a test or a procedure, I get a bunch of bills from people I never saw or heard of. What if you bought some hamburger meat and a gallon of milk at the grocery store and two weeks later you got additional bills for the items you purchased. Also, when you bought the meat and the milk, you saw a price tag that told you how much you were going to pay at the register.

When the kids were growing up, many a time I got to the register and had to put something back because I didn’t have the money to pay for everything. This happens across arKansas more times per second than I can guess at. Yet, one never knows the bill in advance when you go to the doctor and on top of that is the high premium and co-pays, and the high deductible and all the extra bills from outer space.

But Asa thinks good-for-nothing, lazy people are getting something for free and God has told him to smite them at every turn, as hard as he can. What an absolute prince of a man Asa is. What a golden reflection of organized religious he is. I’m sure he’s appointed a blue-ribbon panel of his cronies to study this problem, each getting a high salary and sharing his belief that the NRA-USA would be better off without these parasites. Of course, without all the sick and the poor, it means MORE FOOD FOR US!