Art Hobson

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Daunting numbers

United States gun culture at heart of too many deaths

Subscriber onlyIn a recent interview with BBC, President Obama was asked about gun violence in America. He stated, "That is an area where ... I've been most frustrated and most stymied." Continue reading...

On the horizon

Earth-sized “telescope” to shed light on black hole

Subscriber onlyA monster lurks at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. You won't see this monster directly, and you won't even see the stars residing anywhere near the center, but you can gaze in the center's direction by finding the constellation Sagittarius. Continue reading...

Commentary: Region needs passenger rail

United States ignores true costs of cars, highways

Subscriber onlySuppose you want to get to Dallas from Fayetteville. It's 333 miles by car amounting to 5 1/2 hours one way, not counting stops for gasoline, eating and unwinding your cramped body. Continue reading...

Commentary: Once again into Iraq?

Subscriber onlyA few days ago, Sen. John McCain of Arizona called the capture of the key Iraqi city of Ramadi by the Islamic State terrorist group "one of the most disgraceful episodes in American history" and slammed President Obama's decision to withdraw American troops from the country in 2011. He's wrong on both counts. His views are an example of what's wrong with our national security policy. Continue reading...

Commentary: Greenhouse gases at root of new geologic epoch

Greenhouse gases at root of new geologic epoch

Subscriber onlyOur planet is probably beginning a transition to a new geological age caused mainly by greenhouse gases we continue dumping into the atmosphere. Continue reading...

Why Islam needs a reformation

Author, ex-Muslim proposes five tenets of change

Subscriber onlyIn September 2001, Islamic terrorists flew hijacked planes into buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C., killing 2,952 people. According to a recent book, "It is foolish to insist, as our leaders habitually do, that the violent acts of radical Islamists can be divorced from the religious ideals that inspire them. ... They are driven by an ideology embedded in Islam itself, in the holy book of the Quran as well as the life and teaching of the Prophet Muhammad contained in the hadith. Let me make my point in the simplest possible terms: Islam is not a religion of peace." Continue reading...

Commentary: Absent agreement, Iran, U.S., Israel on path to war

Absent pact, three nations on path to war

Subscriber onlyOne of history's greatest tragedies was the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945, a calamity compounded three days later by a second bomb exploded over Nagasaki. It was, like most tragedy, made virtually inevitable by foregoing blunders: revengeful treatment of Germany following World War I, U.S. failure to join World War II when it began in 1939, thoughtless responses to Japanese aggression in Asia during the 1930s, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Since 1945, nuclear weapons have remained humankind's greatest single immediate threat. Continue reading...

Commentary: Stop the car subsidy

Shifting general tax revenue to roads a bad idea

Subscriber onlyArkansas came close to another wrong turn in transportation infrastructure. Despite recent voter approval of a new half-cent sales tax that raises $2.3 billion for roads over 10 years, state highway officials' estimates might lead one to conclude Arkansas highway system "is on the road to destruction," a recent editorial in this newspaper said. Continue reading...

Commentary: A smarter approach to Ukraine

West’s actions up the ante with Putin’s Russia

Subscriber onlyAt this writing, a welcome cease-fire in Ukraine has been arranged but not yet activated. If it's activated, I'm guessing it will fail once again and we'll be back to considering other options, including U.S. involvement by supplying deadly weapons. This would be a huge mistake, a formula for endless war and escalation. Continue reading...

Commentary: Radical faith does harm

The terrorist tragedy in Paris demonstrates once again how the world is ravaged by contradictions between medieval delusions and science-based society. Think of apes with technology. As Carl Sagan put it, "Sooner of later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." We see these corrosive effects in the backward nature of the highly religious parts of the world, including the Middle East and the United States, by far the most religious of the industrialized nations. Continue reading...

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