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An example of bullying

Dear editor:

Mr. Dennis Bosch sent a Letter to the Editor published on March 1 entitled "What is truth?" He asserted that my letter of the previous week about bullying attracted his "attention by its one-sided accusations and its questionable factual authenticity." Later in the letter, he stated that gender is not "evidence of truth rather than supportable proof. Really do women always tell the truth?" So, Mr. Bosch apparently regards the observations, experiences and research I based my concerns on as fabrications and lies.

His arguments lack critical rigor. In the first place, I did not assert "that Donald Trump is responsible for all bullying." I said that bullying increased in regions where Trump won. The study done by the University of Virginia is discussed in a reader-friendly report which you can access on the internet. This is a correlational study which concludes that the increase in school bullying goes along with Trump's victory to a measurable, statistically significant extent. So I didn't claim he caused all bullying. However, it was a good study. The researchers had been surveying a group of school districts since 2013 about bullying and their scores all fell within the same range. That was until Trump won in some districts. The other districts continued to make equivalent scores, whereas the number of reports of bullying in districts where Trump won increased from about 1 in 6 incidents to 1 in 5.

I listed a series of personal observations. Observations are valid data. I had only my own experiences to recount but I found them worth stating. The only way Mr. Bosch would know if my observations were "nonsense," "unlikely and unprovable," and "equally ridiculous," were if he were there as I experienced these events. He wasn't.

Mr. Bosch paid particular attention to an incident in which a bodybuilder rushed over to accost me because he overheard me and another older woman (I am 76) discussing Trump during the presidential campaigns. This was over two years ago. I found it striking because usually women my age are allowed to speak their thoughts. My companion was an older woman, too. I did not report this to the police because we both immediately shut up and let him speak his peace and then quietly stepped away. I did not see him again after this incident. He did succeed in silencing us. Mr. Bosch wasn't there, so how could he know this was a particular individual by name? He couldn't have. This incident convinced me that it is all the more time to speak up.

His letter has inaccuracies and does not stand up to the standard of critical thinking. It is itself an example of bullying. We need to discuss our political opinions according to the rules of civil discourse, not try to silence others. That is the sort of thing that goes on in dictatorships.

Valerie Jones Gonzalez, MS, Ph.D.

Hot Springs

Reading suggestion

Dear editor:

I keep seeing a lot of the letters sharing the scriptures in their answers, and I may be guilty also. I thought it would be nice if the readers of our town newspaper knew that they can actually read the New Testament from Ash Wednesday to Easter. By reading six chapters a day they could gain quite a bit of knowledge from Matthew to Revelation just in time for Easter.

I do this each year and between Easter to New Year's Eve, they might even wish to study the Old Testament. Doesn't hurt to brush up on history. I've found that the New King James version is easiest for children to understand. This would make a great family time adventure.

I personally enjoy reading a different Bible version each year, just to keep me sharp. I like rotating the versions yearly, just remember your Catholic Bible has extra Books, but it can still be accomplished to get the Bible read in a year.

Happy reading!

L.J. Gibson

Hot Springs

Doin' Time for Kids

Dear editor:

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the members of Zeta Chi, a chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International sponsored "Doin Time for Kids," a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital located in Memphis.

A very heartfelt "thank you" goes out to all the "Jailbirds" who worked so hard to meet their bail, and also to many Zeta Chi members who assisted by serving as bailiffs, judges, photographer, pledge writers, money managers, office managers, providing food, etc.

We appreciate Jailbirds Bill Wood, John Holt, Linda Smith and Donna Sheppard, supporting us by raising their "bail" money. Zeta Chi member Jailbirds included Karen Akins, Ann Becker, Regenia Bettis, Fran Blanchet, Coni Hall, Roberta Hatcher, Sherry Miller, Kathy Nichols, Jerri Roper, Glendalyn Spicer, Linda Weadock, Ginger Yates and Shelby Church.

We want to thank Orr Cadillac for allowing us the use of their facility, which was a perfect place to hold this fundraiser. Also, our thanks go out to Judy Langeder for her assistance in preparing the Orr Cadillac showroom, providing work tables and her wonderful support of our workers.

Others that deserve a great big "thank you" are Kathy (Zaxby's) and Susan McFerrin who provided lunch for our Jailbirds, members and workers.

Another "thank you" goes out to Scott Cates, Frank Deuschle and Alan Janske, owners of the Brick House Grill, who donated food and beverages to our Jailbirds and members for our Pre-Event Party that was held Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Brick House Grill.

We can't thank every one of these individuals enough for their support in helping us raise $23,050 for continuing research at St. Jude Children's Hospital. This is our best year ever, and donations are still being received.

We are excited about the success of this wonderful worthwhile project and want to thank the community and all of those who gave their time and money to this cause. We will see you again next year!

Shelby Church, chair

Ann Becker, adviser

Coni Hall, co-Chair

Kathy Nichols, co-Chair

Doin' Time

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Liberal definition

Dear editor:

Thank you, Mr. Foshee! I have been searching for a brief definition of communism (I won't honor it by capitalizing it, however). Now you have provided it in a sort of illogical way. If I read you correctly, because communism is a political system and Democrats are politicians, it follows that Democrats are communists? Wow! Let's see. My grandmother was a woman and she was from Alabama, so everybody from Alabama is a woman. I think I have it now. Or, are all grandmothers from Alabama?

Name calling is an activity in which many of us indulge. It is something we learned in childhood. It gives us some sort of strange satisfaction, a feeling of closure, to label concepts or persons and file them away in handy categories. That way we won't have to deal with them.

If my doctor did this, I might die a premature death. If he gave my ailment a hard to pronounce medical term without prescribing a treatment, would I get well? "Oh, you have liposarcoma. Lots of people have that!" I would be in great danger of dying of cancer.

So, categorize me as a "liberal" or "socialist" if you like, or perhaps "communist." Maybe I'll agree with you.

But after you have made yourself feel good because you have set me aside with others like me -- others you have condemned out of hand -- please listen to what you are saying, and explain what you mean. How exactly does what I believe or practice contradict what you believe is good for humanity?

I want you to understand my side, as I have tried to grasp the intent of the "conservative" or "ultraconservative" notion. It is not fair to shove me into a box and close the lid just because of your preconceived ideas.

So let me help you understand who I am. What does it mean to me to be a "liberal?"

I believe in caring about the welfare of others, and I am willing to sacrifice on their behalf.

I am concerned about the condition of the earth and the ways we seem intent on making it unlivable.

I want the term "neighbor" to include everyone, and not just the people living next door, or just in America, or the ones with whom I agree.

There is much more I could offer about my deepest beliefs, but I do not want to seem to be trying to sound like a "good guy." Please don't put me in that box.

I am trying as hard as anyone else to "love my neighbor as myself," a very tough job sometimes, making sure that any walls I build have a positive purpose and not just a selfish aim.

Gordon Smith

Hot Springs

'Expanding' access?

Dear editor:

Oh, to be among the wealthy, and have a congressman like Bruce Westerman. One such as myself can only imagine. Last week, Westerman unveiled and sponsored a 230-page proposed bill that would eliminate one of the Affordable Care Act provisions that required business owners with 50 or more employees an option to at least offer group coverage, on the ridiculous premise of "what we're trying to achieve with this bill is to have fair access to health care and to have more choices. ... "

Let's make one thing clear: With Congress refusing to allow health care providers to operate across state lines, limited choices are the only choice to most. In Arkansas, we only have access to three health care providers. So Westerman is saying that his bill, which would effectively push most people into paying their single individual premiums versus a lower price under group employer coverage, is "expanding" access?" That's blatantly false. They will pay more.

Westerman also said, "I think one of the problems with the Affordable Care Act is trying to force Americans to do something they may not want to do." So Americans don't want health coverage? That's ridiculous. They want it, they just can't afford it, and this proposal will make it more expensive. He went on to make a statement anyone can see that is patently untrue: That "there's no evidence repealing the employer penalties would result in more Americans being uninsured."

That's simply not true, I worked for a company that didn't do it until forced to, despite grossing over $12 million a year, until they reached the 50 employee threshold. And they will not do it for their employees if this bill is passed.

The bill also raises caps for "high risk" policyholders, namely older Americans. Currently, premiums on this group are capped at 300 percent of the rates charged to younger, low-risk Americans. Westerman would raise the cap on older Americans to 500 percent annually. Thanks for the "Biscuits with Bruce," those biscuits just got more expensive for Hot Springs Village residents and older, fixed income Arkansans.

In short, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities termed Westerman's bill as "bad for consumers and a large tax cut for high-income earners."

As per his tenure in Congress, Westerman has proved again he's out for big business, corporations, lobbyists, and the average Arkansan falls at the bottom of the totem pole.

Casey Alexander

Mount Ida

5G good or bad

Dear editor:

Have you ever asked yourself what the possible dangers of cellphones could be? Or is there any?

Have you ever asked yourself what the possible dangers of 5G could be? Or is there any? This information is out there and available to all who want to research the dangers coming through these new technologies.

More than 31,000 people have signed an international appeal to the United Nations, World Health Organization, the European Union, Council of Europe and governments of all nations to stop 5G on Earth and in space. It should be noted too that as of March 2017 5G Wi-Fi has not been tested for human safety exposures.

Millimeter waves do not travel well through buildings, and they tend to be absorbed by rain and plants. This interferes with the signal. High-frequency waves like MMWs also have much shorter wavelengths that can't travel far.

To counter this problem, 5G will utilize smaller cell stations, and the technology of beam forming, that will scramble/unscramble and redirect packets of data on a no-interference path back to us. This could mean wireless antennas on every lamp post, utility pole, home and business throughout entire neighborhoods, towns and cities.

I also want to know if I can say no to having one attached in my yard. I worry this could affect our plants, bees that pollinate our food, birds and all forms of life. From some of the reading I have done it sounds like we are apt to be bombarded by really high frequencies at low, short-range intensities.

The California Brain Tumor Association issued a news release that cited several studies pointing to the dangers of pulsed, electromagnetic radiation. DNA damage in those close to a cell tower was documented in "Impact of Radiofrequency Radiation on DNA Damage and Antioxidants in Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes of Humans Residing in the Vicinity of Mobile Phone Base Stations" published August 2017 in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine.

There is so much more out there to learn. We are moving so quickly in our advances in technology and my worry is to what and to whose expense should we trust these new ideas coming into our city and homes. How is this going to affect our children and all forms of life?

I would think too that this will really put us over the top in air pollution. Should we be worried?

Tori Marrin

Hot Springs

Editorial on 03/10/2019

Print Headline: Sunday's Letters to the Editor

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