Forms of electricity
Electric cars are fun to drive, economical to operate, and require very little maintenance. Recently I drove my GM all-electric car to Virginia and back, charging at the numerous fast-charging stations along major highways. My average cost of electricity for driving is just under 2.5 cents per mile. All the major car manufacturers have made significant financial commitments to transition to electric vehicles. I disagree with your Jan. 30 editorial that questioned if GM can produce "affordable and efficient electric vehicles which can go more than down the block without recharging." I am sure they can; they already have.
Like electric vehicles, solar generation of electricity is less expensive, requires very little maintenance, and has no harmful emissions. Solar systems can generate electricity for less than 6 cents per kwh; my cost from Entergy is about 12 cents per kwh. Many towns, schools, businesses, and residences have installed solar power systems, and Entergy and the electric co-ops are rapidly increasing their use of solar power because they recognize the obvious benefits of solar. We must continue to have laws and regulations that promote the expansion of solar in the Natural State by all parties and prevent the large utility companies from monopolizing solar power.
On another topic, the U.S. should have been prepared for an attack on the Capitol at any time by terrorists, foreign or domestic. Heavily armed troops should have been immediately available. As soon as a perimeter line or the windows and doors of the Capitol were crossed, the Capitol defenders should have started shooting. It is inexcusable that hundreds of terrorists were able to invade the Capitol to delay the finalization of the election and to search for the vice president and other government officials to capture or kill.
Have a race problem
The Harry-Meghan interview has renewed our discussion about racism. For me, a good starting place is the song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" from the musical "Avenue Q."
This song tells truth: All of us humans are racists. I know of only one person who was zero percent racist; he walked in Galilee 2,000 years ago. All the rest of us fall somewhere on a scale from 1 (nearly nonracist) to 100 (totally racist). I spent over 50 years preaching against racism and working in civil-rights causes, yet I know I have a number like everyone else. I hope it's in the single digits, but it may be in double digits. Hard to say.
A great many people adamantly deny their racism. They would rip your face off if you suggest they're racist. That's because of denial and delusion, powerful psychological mechanisms that are at work in all of us. When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 on a 5-4 vote, Justice Roberts, speaking for the majority, reasoned that the U.S. had largely outgrown the racism that existed when the act was put in place in 1965. Roberts' words were glaring examples of the kind of denial and delusion that plague all Americans.
When 74 million Americans will vote for a presidential candidate who is blatantly racist, it's obvious that racism is in overdrive. The majority of those voters will deny that they and their candidate are racist, but what they're testifying to is that they are perfectly OK with his racism. Add on to this the current efforts in over 40 states to suppress the votes of people of color and you see that racism is in high gear.
Yes, the British monarchy is highly racist. It's built on class distinction and white privilege. No shock here. One of the healthiest things we Americans could do is at least admit that we, too, have a race problem.
We'll come together
As it was in the Civil War, so it is today. One side was right and one side was wrong. We outgrew slavery, thanks to Jesus and the spirit of his commandment. We shall outgrow the present conflict.
I came into this world during the Depression of the 1930s at the beginning of the Second World War. We came together as one nation. We were all on the same side. Even children contributed to the war effort by collecting scrap metal and rubber tires for tanks and trucks. We flattened tin cans and packed them in boxes to make airplanes.
When the war was over, schoolchildren packed boxes with soap, toothbrushes, combs, etc., for German children. My roommate at Columbia was a German my age. He remembered getting those care packages from American children. When the American Army came to their town, he told me how afraid they all were, huddled in the school basement behind their teachers, their arms outspread in front of them, when two Black soldiers burst in with guns at the ready. They thought they were going to die. He had never seen a Black man. The soldiers said, "It's over now, you are safe." Then they handed out candy bars to everyone.
We had a national motto then. E pluribus unum: "Out of many, one." But it was more than that. The unspoken part of our motto was "One for all, and all for one." And this motto extended to our former enemies, Germany and Japan. Our Congress passed the Marshall Plan, and we spent $15 billion rebuilding Europe. As a result, all the nations of Europe became our trading partners and our allies against the expansion of Soviet Communism. They embraced the ideas expressed in the Declaration of Human Rights. None of them voluntarily became communist, but all became social democracies.
Moment to remember
Attempting to put things in perspective, while being surrounded by today's chaos, I like to take time to focus on those occasional, wonderfully unforgettable moments we've all had along life's path. Here's one I'd like to share.
This particular moment, from many decades ago, was at a family dinner which was coming to an end late on a summer evening. As we gathered outside for our goodbyes, my brother's son, about 4 years old, just stopped and stared at the sky. After a moment, he turned to his mother and asked, "What are all those little lights?" She said they were stars.
And he asked, "Why are they there?" She smiled, and without hesitation, answered, "God put them there to make the sky beautiful." That was good enough for him as he got into the car and fell asleep.
Those words forever changed the way I see the night sky.
North Little Rock