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A different country

Dear editor:

I have never considered not living in the United States of America. Life has been pretty good here. My pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness has been successful. As I ate breakfast this morning, I became "woked." We are no longer united as a culture. We are no longer pulling the wagon together as a team. We no longer appear to have the common goals of owning a home, educating our kids, and enjoying the freedoms provided in the United States Constitution -- a document and an ideology that has worked well for 244 years.

Something evil has happened. There is no longer any sense of "decorum" in our government. Dignity and the exchange of ideas have been replaced by character assassinations, lies and dishonesty. The losers of our last presidential election attempted to stack the deck against their opponent -- and they lost -- and they went berserk.

The USA I grew up in has now become a Banana Republic. The FBI and the Justice Department have been used for political purposes by losers. The House of Representatives has been used for political purposes by losers.

There has been no spirit of cooperation during the past four years from the losers on the left. This once great country has been reduced to one wherein "woke" folks want more entitlements than taxes can pay. They do not care if it bankrupts us or places an undue burden on those who pay taxes.

Thugs roam our streets and create mayhem and death. There are rants about defunding those who keep the peace and protect our citizens. Lawlessness has become the norm in many cities and towns.

As other countries have become socialist and collapsed, many in the U.S. fail to see the big picture and recognize the dangers. In our large cities, criminals are caught and released to only be caught and released again.

It seems that our values, our morals, and our civility have all disappeared. We allow the killing of innocent babies as a form of birth control. All of us, except the American Indian, came from immigrant families who left their homeland so they could raise their families and enjoy liberty and happiness in a new country. Our forefathers made this country great. Yet, we don't want to allow others into our country when they no longer have a country in which they can safely live without fear from thugs, cartels, and even their own government.

Yep, I have lived in the same house for nearly 20 years but I no longer live in the same country that was here when I moved in. Our country has somehow lasted for nearly 250 years, but it has been overrun by those who want to do away with history, the electoral college, and they want to politicize the Supreme Court so that it makes laws instead of simply doing what it was intended to do.

Yep, I live in a different country now -- but my address had not changed.

John Grillo

Hot Springs

Appointed rulers

Dear editor:

This is in response to John Crawford's letter ("Biblical leadership") of Sept. 9.

Mr. Crawford, you cannot compare our culture with that which the Apostle Paul experienced. The people of his time were ruled by tyrannical leaders based on fear. So far, our leaders today receive respect for the offices they hold (not necessarily for the person) which is what God had ordained (Romans 13:5-7). We are to obey the laws instituted by these elected authorities as appointed by God (Romans 13:1), but not "every idle word that men shall speak"(Matthew 12:36).

Mr. Crawford seems to mix his biblical acuity with that of mythical tales such as his "Amazonian female culture." I become skeptical of those who believe God's Word contains fairy tale miracles compared to man's ideas of what they accept as truth. God has said that rulers are in place because of His decree and judges mete out justice (Proverbs 8:15-16). When the Hebrews clamored to have a king rule over them like other nations, God told Samuel to "hearken unto the voice of the people" (1 Samuel 8), and Saul was chosen by God to become Israel's first earthly ruler. However, Saul became a terrible king and, perhaps, an example to all that we should be careful of who we vote for.

Having attended seminary, studying and teaching the Bible, I have always believed that King Solomon was the son of David, not the other way around. There are many different translations of the Bible flooding the market today, and I'm wondering if Mr. Crawford might have been studying a misprinted one.

Mr. Crawford, as I stated in my letter to Ms. Jones, God appoints rulers but does not interfere with the way they govern. He is an all-knowing God of things that were, that are now, and what is to come. He gives us many opportunities daily to obey Him. The Bible tells us that while the Hebrews are God's "chosen people," they continually turned their backs on Him, and He had to chastise them. Sin has a ripple effect that affects many because of one person. The Hebrews were defeated many times by the small kingdom of Ai until God revealed that Achan had stolen items from God's treasury (Joshua 7). Not until Achan and his family were stoned to death and burned were the Hebrews able to win their battles in the promised land.

God allowed Hitler to come into power whom the people wanted until the "Final Solution" for the Jews was initiated. What sin (if any) was committed by the Jews for over 6 million to be slaughtered will never be known. We all have the time to repent of our sins and turn to God for salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

I pray that America will "turn from their wicked ways" (2 Chronicles 7:14) before it is too late!

Donald Cunningham

Hot Springs

Careful what you wish for

Dear editor:

A belated reply but I had to let cool down my ire. ...

I refer to "Letters," Sunday, Sept. 20, and the unenlightened diatribe put forth by Ms. Christine Bosch.

One of the sadnesses of our country is that so few of our citizens travel -- a population of over 300 million, and yet only about 700,000 passport holders. As a result of which, most of my fellow countrymen and women are politically naive.

Of her many, and highly questionable, criticisms of the Democratic Party, one is " ... The Democratic Party promotes socialism." As, in its entire history, the United States has never been ruled by a socialist government, how would Ms. Bosch know how socialism is manifest? Like most Americans, Ms. Bosch is unable to differentiate between socialism and communism, which are two very different philosophies.

I have lived in four different countries, Brasil, the Republic of Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S.A. Ms. Bosch infers that both Cuba and Venezuela are socialist states. They are not! They are communist countries. And I can assure Ms. Bosch that of the two main U.S. political parties, the GOP is right-wing, the Dems centrists. If Sen. Bernie Sanders is a socialist, I'm Clark Kent. ...

Since the end of World War II, at some time or another, the U.K. has had some five socialist governments, one of which (the Blair administration) was an ally of President George W. Bush in his unwarranted war against Iraq, even siding with the Republican president in the assertion that there was " ... evidence of weapons of mass destruction," all of which turned out subsequently to be utterly untrue. So Ms. Bosch, have those socialist administrations turned the U.K. into a totalitarian state, eh?

However, we Americans have a president who is turning this country rapidly into an authoritarian state, which is but one goose-step away from fascism.

Ms. Bosch, be careful, be very, very careful, for what you wish.

Michael Dryhurst

Hot Springs Village

'Invisible' workers

Dear editor:

I have been following The Sentinel Record's COVID-19 coverage and want to share the story of invisible but essential workers such as myself who are caring for our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities during this crisis.

Direct support professionals, or DSPs, work 24/7, often in people's homes where we cannot practice social distancing. We support people who need help with basic hygiene, medical care, health and nutrition, connecting with loved ones, taking medications and more -- all despite having as hard a time as hospitals (or harder) securing PPE.

Yet Medicaid-funded disability service providers are at risk of closing permanently because they lack funding to cover overtime and hazard pay for DSPs, which are essential during this pandemic. While there have been some federal programs to help, and those programs are appreciated, this funding falls short of what is needed as the pandemic stretches on. The provider I work for recently cut back on staff, and the DSP who were not laid off are picking up the slack, working with numerous individuals instead of just one. We are also working lots of overtime to make sure our consumers have care, because sometimes staff have to be quarantined when they show symptoms and are awaiting the results of their COVID test.

Also, the individuals who were laid off would rather stay home and draw unemployment and the bonus because it's paying them more than if they came back to work. This is a lopsided system that is not benefiting the people who truly need the help.

Without DSPs, the people with disabilities -- especially the medically vulnerable -- risk being institutionalized because they have nowhere else to go. When they contract the virus, they are being hospitalized (or hospitalized longer) because they lack support to recover at home -- further overwhelming our already taxed hospital infrastructure. And, in the worst cases, people with disabilities are dying needlessly, often at far higher rates than their neurotypical peers. Because people with disabilities often have other underlying medical conditions, the virus is more lethal to them.

This is a matter of life or death. Congress must step up on behalf of people with disabilities and the DSPs on which they rely and find a way to fund Medicaid disability supports. Congressman Bruce Westerman, people with disabilities in Arkansas and my fellow DSPs desperately need your support. Please don't let these forgotten faces continue to go uncared for.

Stephanie Frank

Morrilton

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