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Sunday’s letters to the editor

May 15, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

The war on women

Dear editor:

Based on a real incident set during the Crusades of the 14th Century, if a woman was raped, she generally kept it to herself for good reason. Raping a woman was not a crime against the woman, but was a property crime so a crime against a husband, if there was one. In the film, she was married to a knight who was off fighting in the Crusades and a man he had considered a friend, raped his wife. She told her husband when he returned and he filed suit against the rapist and the king and asked for a duel. At that time of theocratic rule alongside a king, if the duel took place and the husband lost, it was felt that showed God chose the truth, so it meant the wife lied about being raped. Should that happen, she would be stripped, shorn (of hair) lashed to a wooden post by a collar, whipped then burned alive.

Women have long been considered the property of men and not allowed to control property themselves until more recently. In the U.S., we had fewer rights of property ownership than back then, when at least the widow who was raped could keep her property, not so in the U.S. in the 19th century. We did not get the vote until 1920. We needed a man's signature to buy on credit until the 1970s and in some states, women could still be beaten legally until the 1980s, for God's sake. And now, the Republican Party isn't satisfied, and it's women as their latest target to war against as a new campaign tool. Being against all minority groups, against gays, immigrants, trans children, unions, teachers, education, voting rights, Postal Service, and ban books they disagree with, this latest war on women is bringing out the worst of the worst in these soulless men who lack all compassion for anyone and care only for their jobs. They will not stop until we wind back the clock to the 1700s. You see, they offer nothing to the people but hate, fear and poverty, so they have to have something to campaign on, and we're just one of many targets.

Judith Zitko

Hot Springs Village

Condescending tone

Dear editor:

Reading your viewpoints section today found me in a state of absolute incense. You chose to print not one, but two viewpoints by conservative men, for whom abortion will be a simple theoretical issue.

Mr. Gitz' take on the matter seemed to be that these women are just up in hysterics (a word he used twice) that Roe vs. Wade is likely to be overturned. Are any of your readers aware that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. in 2020 is 23.8 deaths per 100,000? This is with access to abortion, mind you. There is nowhere for those figures to go but up if Roe v. Wade were turned over.

For those men, these may be acceptable casualties as long as their understanding of the Constitution is upheld or Republicans are winning. For me, these are real women who are ripped from their families and communities too soon. Women who matter as actual people, not acceptable theoretical losses. Forgive me for being "hysterical" at the increase of preventable loss of life. Gitz went on to claim that "Most legal scholars inwardly know that Roe was poorly reasoned, but, being supporters to a right to abortion, don't want to make much of a fuss about it." Where is his research? I understand this is a viewpoints column, but do the writers get to claim to simply know the thoughts of others?

Gitz also demonstrates a staggering intentional misunderstanding of the Ninth Amendment, through which he claims the right to abortion was "poorly reasoned." Mr. Thiessen, on the other hand, took the approach that this was a political victory for the Republicans. Forget the lives forever changed and lost, but thank goodness the Republicans have a win, as if this were a mere sporting event to him. At least Mr. Thiessen didn't feign telepathy, like his peer Mr. Gitz. Thiessen repeatedly chooses to regurgitate sound bites from such unbiased sources (ha!) as Fox News that use biased data and abortion to vilify Democrats, claiming, "The new Democratic orthodoxy is taxpayer funded, abortion-on-demand up to the moment of birth." Who is having abortions up to the moment of birth? I want real data, because this reads like a campfire story cooked up to scare pearl-clutching Republicans.

I can guarantee that any woman getting an abortion in the third trimester did not do this on a whim. This would be a rare, heartbreaking decision made with a health care professional. This clearly means nothing when you're rooting for Republicans in a midterm election year, like you're rooting for your team at the Super Bowl. I am disgusted that the viewpoints section today was dominated by men adopting a condescending tone, reducing legitimate concerns to mere "hysterics" and hyperbole due to the fact that this is a women's issue and therefore nothing that will affect them personally. Shame on these authors that they can't be bothered to look any further than themselves, but I guess that's what gives you a viewpoints column.

A. Bowen

Hot Springs

Milestone in stupidity

Dear editor:

Today, May 12, is a milestone in stupidity: 1,000,000 Americans have died of COVID. What has the government done? Spent trillions helping other countries. While rent, food, gas, and everything else keep going up. But the rest of the world is getting help. But our own country won't be honest or help its citizens. Congress fights down party and religious lines. People who don't want the vaccine claim their body, their choice. But our Supreme Court, which is supposed to be nonpartisan, is about to oppress women by taking away abortion rights.

We've sent billions to the Ukrainians, with partisan voting. For a war we have no business being involved in. Americans just going to Ukraine to fight. Like they are on vacation just to kill a Russian. Social media right now is more ridiculous than ever. But again our government, state and federal, can't do a thing to help the American people.

When are you all going to wake up? No one is helping us. I like to sum it up to my friends in the simplest way I know how, because people are stupid. How is it I can't get a pothole on my road that's been there for almost 10 years fixed? Because they don't have the money. But we have money to buy the police tanks and other ridiculous things we as a community don't need.

In October, the United States will be completely broke, like all the money will be gone. No one is talking about it. This is what the Republicans and Democrats have achieved. But you still vote for them ... stop.

We need leaders who actually care about people, not their religion, or any other company or lobby that control them. Enjoy the summer COVID wave. Enjoy $5 gas. And don't get me started on food prices. Don't forget the baby formula shortage. I mean, I guess children in America who are dying from starvation every day, is way better than abortion. As long as you're happy and you feel your opinion has been validated. Put your Bibles down. Think for yourselves. Stop letting the preacher with the Rolex and Cadillac tell you how to think and how to vote. It's time to fix this country. But are any of you capable to get off social media for five minutes to do it?

Ron Swanson

Hot Springs

Sweet music

Dear editor:

Music is the universal language! Apolitical! If you are like me, exhausted by the barrage of negative political ads on TV and radio, and desire a rest for your listening ears, you should have been with me at the first of the Art Form Series sponsored by the Hot Springs Jazz Society. The series begins each summer on the second Wednesday evening of May and continues through August, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Garland County Library Auditorium.

Last night, emceed by Jim Kelly, bassist Don Colquitt, band director at Fouke High School and a founding member of the Texarkana Jazz Orchestra, along with drummer Russell Roberts, retired public schoolteacher, and pianist Josh Lawrence, professional player in the region, presented a soothing program of songs like "In a Mellow Tune," "I Love You," and "Imagine." They also chatted about the role of each member of a jazz group and how they all work together to please an admiring audience of lovers of jazz.

The Hot Springs Jazz Society is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation of jazz, supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council and by the National Endowments for the Arts. Its benefit Mardi Gras Costume Ball, delayed from February due to COVID-19 problems, is planned for May 21 at Hotel Hot Springs, with a welcome to the public.

John W. "Doc" Crawford


Diverting from truth

Dear editor:

It's obvious Larry knew exactly who I was referring to in my letter condemning anyone who defended Putin. If that were not the case why would he have replied with such a long-winded piece of fluff trying to divert from the truth? Hmm.

Gary Vogt

Hot Springs Village

Let the people speak

Dear editor:

Last week's leak of the Supreme Court draft indicating that the court will effectively overturn Roe vs. Wade was hardly earth-shattering, given the politicization of the current members. It also laid bare the hypocrisy of those cheering the decision. By and large, these people who presume to know what's best for a woman's body and her life are the same ones who've been chanting "My body, my choice" for the past two years when asked to simply wear a mask in public to protect their fellow Americans, and refusing to take a vaccine to protect themselves and others from a virus that has now claimed over a million U.S. lives.

My own stance in relation to abortion has always been that unless you've adopted a child or raised one through foster care, you really don't have the right to an opinion. You're talking the talk without walking the walk.

That said, now that we're going to have thousands of unwanted children born in low-income, low-education, single-parent households, get your checkbooks out. Someone has to pay for a future that likely includes taxpayer-funded birth, health care, education, HUD housing, food stamps, free lunch programs, and in high percentages, eventual incarceration. If you're in, be prepared to be all in.

If you argue states' rights, I'll go along. On a statewide vote of all citizens. Not the legislature. If states' rights means what it intends -- the will of the people, not the politicians -- then by all means, let Arkansans vote. If we've learned nothing, it's that we don't have the warmest knives in the butter running things at the state Capitol. And they rarely have anything outside their own self-interest and political agendas in mind. So let the people speak.

Anthony Lloyd

Hot Springs

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