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Leadership matters

Dear editor:

Living during a pandemic brings desperation for leadership at the local, state and national levels. When the outbreak of COVID-19 started, very few individuals wore a mask. The president set the tone of the nation's perspective of the virus by calling it a hoax. A few weeks ago, the president started to wear a mask and called it patriotic! The number of individuals wearing a mask grew. Public health should not be a partisan issue.

Leadership does matter.

The United States is yearning for strong leadership. Vote!

Timothy L. Yates

Royal

'Necessary' evils?

Dear editor:

Musing over The Esteemed Senator Cotton's assertion that "chattel slavery," by which our great nation was built, was a "necessary (my italics) evil," I found his admission admirable, if not quite disarming. If I were African American, I'd probably say: "Now that you've confessed, what about reparations? What about legislation to give aid to the class of descendants, along with the rest of the downtrodden -- Native Americans, Asians, the "poor white trash" left behind by the smug and sanctimonious still battening off the "masses yearning to breathe free?" And notice how "breathe free" strikes a bell, a sad inharmonious note of the vicious inhumane masquerading as human beings.

What they are, and Senator Cottonmouth stands staunchly among them, is a coterie of the contemptible, the straggling fetor of history.

They are not anything new, alas, but part of a line of cruelty beyond tabulation, though we can note a few standout examples of perpetrators of "necessary evil."

In the good old days of Imperial Rome, 600 followers of Spartacus were crucified at intervals along the road and allowed to putrefy in the southern sun as an example to all who would dare claim freedom.

The Inquisition relished a good old auto-da-fé for Jews and infidels, just an odd way of manifesting Christian compassion and mercy.

Vlad The Impaler had 200-plus impaled to stud a field to deter the Austrians on the march, and it did, indeed, make a formidable and effective deterrence.

On the way to taking their land and displaying empathy in such expressions as, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," our American forbears sent gifts of smallpox-infected blankets to their might-have-been hosts and hostesses, the latter being subject to friendly rape from time to time by our heroic soldiers.

Jews and Gypsies and the unwanted defectives were rounded up, their goods confiscated, their homes given over to Party Loyalists, and told that "Arbeit macht frei!" (Work frees one!), on their way to being starved, gassed, and disposed of in communal ovens.

This devils' list is hardly more than a hint at the horrors done as "necessary evils."

It bears thinking about when those in charge try to justify their iniquities.

Stuart Jay Silverman

Hot Springs

Gun ownership

Dear editor:

Both Mr. Bradley Gitz and Mr. Cal Thomas had columns addressing gun ownership in Monday's The Sentinel-Record.

Mr. Gitz addressed the nation's feeling that government forces cannot protect American citizens so personal armament is now a necessity. This seems in direct opposition to the standard support of the Second Amendment that citizens should keep firearms in case they need to rebel against government forces. Advocating a strong police force then needing guns to protect themselves from the same force seems quite strange.

Mr. Thomas states the St. Louis couple was well within their rights waving automatic weapons at peaceful marchers inside a gated community. I wonder if he also feels protesters have the same right to wave automatic weapons at conservatives opposing their constitutional rights. Quite a picture arrives in one's imagination protesters and conservatives both waving automatic weapons at each other. I can only fearfully think of the result of such a confrontation.

Bill and Joyce Fritz

Hot Springs

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