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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...

Commentary: Natural Gas Won't Solve Climate Change

Subscriber onlySome see hydraulic fracturing, and the resulting natural gas glut, as a boon for the economy and the solution to our energy problems. But the truth is that, absent a realistic plan for solving climate change, the flood of natural gas is going to make everything even worse. Continue reading...

Commentary: America can't solve Mideast's problems

Subscriber onlyWe are one tough nation, full of testosterone and ready to tangle. You can see it in recent policing events in Ferguson and New York City; in America's far higher rates of incarceration, murder, gun ownership and capital punishment as compared with other industrialized nations; in our violence against women, violence against children, violent films, violent TV, violent football and violent rap songs; in the broken, rough, impersonal and visually violent nature of most of our inner cities; and especially in the broken lives of many of our own people. Continue reading...

Long-term Cost for Coal Energy Is Too High

Subscriber onlylt Continue reading...

Commentary: Fayetteville becomes a bicycling town

Subscriber onlyFayetteville is becoming a real bicycling town. The trails continue expanding, many students bike to campus, and there are more and more bikes on city streets. This is good in so many ways I can't list them all. I congratulate former mayor Dan Coody for having the vision to initiate the trail system, and Mayor Lioneld Jordan for the having wisdom to expand it. Continue reading...

Commentary: Good news, and lessons, about ozone

Subscriber onlyAmong environmental disasters, such as increasing carbon-dioxide levels, biological extinctions equaling those caused by the asteroid collision 65 million years ago, and the half-million Americans who die annually from smoking, there is heartening news about a calamity that didn't happen. Continue reading...

Commentary: Good Reasons To Vote Green This Election Cycle

Subscriber onlySome of my friends tell me that progressives throw away their votes when they opt for Green Party candidates. They argue Greens can't win, and that such a vote only helps elect Republicans who are even more conservative than the available Democrats. I've followed this reasoning for decades, voting for the least bad choice between the Republican and the Democrat. Continue reading...

Commentary: The tragedy, and lessons, of Hiroshima

Subscriber onlyI was eleven on that August morning in 1945 when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima. It carried the explosive energy of 18,000 tons of TNT, an energy equal to the total conventional bomb capacity of 4,000 World War II heavy bombers. People still debate the effect of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs on the conduct of the war. Many of my friends will disagree, but my conclusion is that Hiroshima hastened the end of the war, saved many American and Japanese lives, and was far less horrible than the planned alternative, a long ugly battle following invasion of the Japanese mainland. I do think we should have waited much longer than three days before dropping the second bomb. Continue reading...

Commentary: From Fayetteville To The Nuba Mountains

Totten, Others Risk Lives To Deliver Aid To Those Trapped By Conflict In Sudan

Subscriber onlyWe're all kin. Continue reading...

Commentary: World's Energy Future Is Changing

Subscriber onlyThe tide is turning. Energy use is entering a time of fundamental change and great hope. Some changes have surprised me and changed my views about energy use and the climate problem. Continue reading...

Commentary: U.S. Must Proceed With Care In Middle East

Subscriber onlyWe need to keep our thinking caps on as America is once again drawn into Middle Eastern chaos. We frequently either charge in with guns blazing, or else shrug the whole thing off. Neither will do. Continue reading...

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