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Looking ahead 

Looking ahead

Some final thoughts about the recent presidential primaries: I actually feel sorry for candidates like Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Chris Christie and all the other experienced governors who knew how to run a state, but got bumped out of the presidential primaries by Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. The entire state of Florida knew about Rubio's 2012 credit card fraud. Why did the "drive-by media" virtually ignore Rubio's character flaw? And most voters knew Cruz was born in Canada, causing doubt about his presidential eligibility. The governors should sue Cruz. What a waste! No wonder Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. At least now House Speaker Paul Ryan can see his "Atlas Runs for President Ayn Rand" fantasy come true.

Things look worse for the Democrats. FBI Director James Comey is just waiting for his "prompt" to release information about his investigation into the Hillary Clinton email controversy. This prompt will likely come from Sen. Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, who is probably waiting for Hillary to eliminate Bernie Sanders at the Democratic nominating convention in late July. With Sanders out of the way, Grassley and Comey can defame Hillary with FBI charges and practically guarantee a win for Trump. Even if Hillary wins the November election, Congress may disqualify her in 2017.

Gene Mason

Jacksonville

From the web

In response to an article in the May 26 issue about the state's criminalization of the painkilling herb Kratom:

I suffer from syringomyelia, a progressively debilitating spinal cord disease; sciatica; scoliosis, and degenerative disc disease. Doctors had me on Fentanyl, a drug 100 times stronger than morphine, oxycodone, lyrica and more. I spent all my time in bed just hoping I would sleep and never wake up. After discovering Kratom, I was able to kick the Fentanyl and went from 12 prescription meds to four and was able to get back a life that resembled mine. Now that I can no longer get Kratom I don't know what to do. I do not want to go back to where I was because I'm certain I will lose my ability to function again. It's simply terrifying.

Cynthia Hemphill Moffett

Unfortunately, for every story like those of "Lisa" and Susan Ash, there are hundreds that simply involve men from 18 to 55 taking Kratom on a daily basis for its euphoric effects. Some of them, if asked, would offer up some kind of flimsy pretext — usually something impossible for medical science to confirm, like chronic back pain — but the majority are just polysubstance abusers and do it for kicks (and to avoid the sometimes severe withdrawal effects). Browse the online Kratom forums (like r/kratom on Reddit) and you quickly see that this is the case. 

Having said that, I still think that an outright prohibition is an extraordinarily short-sighted move on the part of an ignorant, reactionary, and irresponsible state government. It is this type of Neanderthal, out-of-touch ignorance that has plunged Arkansas into one of the worst opioid abuse crises in the U.S. Yes, it should be removed from head shops, and yes, irresponsible vendors should be punished, but there is a way, with proper state regulation that involves input and cooperation from the specialist medical community, that Kratom can be sold responsibly to adults that need it for pain, or to mitigate the disastrous health effects of opioid addiction. 

Mark my words: These ignorant and cowardly state legislators will be on the wrong side of history — just watch.

RandolfChurchillMD

In response to Max Brantley's column on Gov. Hutchinson's "free lunch" approach to funding highways:

Leonard White, my economics professor at the U of A back in the '80s qualified that maxim this way:

"There is no such thing as a free lunch for society, but there can be a free lunch for certain individuals."

I believe he had that right.

hugh mann

In response to an item on the Arkansas Blog about Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd of Rogers to join up with Donald Trump at a religious political gathering:

So Ronnie Armani wants to rub hands with the greatest non-Christian in the country right now. Maybe he can tell him how to pronounce "2 Corinthians." Floyd has a habit of skirting the IRS charitable regulations so he can keep his mansion and plane and $5,000 suits, but maybe it would be good if an IRS agent just happened to be in the audience.

couldn't be better

In response to a report on the Arkansas Blog about John Goodson and other lawyers that a federal judge found colluded in "forum shopping":

These lawyers are a great example of how many of the 1 percent are leeches on society, adding no value, creating no jobs, developing no new technologies. 

I'd sentence them to a year working at a minimum-wage job with no benefits, not because it relates to their crime but simply because most of us are tired of these rich bastards skimming all the money out of the economy.

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