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Sunday’s Letters to the editor

OPINION February 12, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

American Heart Month

Dear editor:

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the world. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Almost 3 out of 4 of those happen at home.

If you're called on to do CPR, you will likely be saving the life of someone you love. The members of our community need us. Our children need us. Our neighbors need us. Our co-workers need us.

The American Heart Association recognizes this need and has a plan to help. You can be the difference by learning CPR to save a life. The American Heart Association is committed to being the leader in resuscitation science, education, and training.

This February during American Heart Month, the American Heart Association is specifically focused on learning the lifesaving skill of CPR and we want every family and home to have someone who knows CPR. With the help of local supporters, we can help more of our community be prepared when called on for an emergency.

As an American Heart Association advocate and pediatric nurse, I encourage you to Be the Beat by learning CPR to be the difference and save a life.

Sophe Sligh

Registered nurse

Arkansas Children's Hospital

Hot Springs native

No-nonsense leader

Dear editor:

Letters to the Editor appearing during the last two weeks (Jan. 29 and Feb. 5) have been to a large extent critical of our newly elected governor and of the Legislature. My opinion is that Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a no-nonsense conservative and is exactly what Arkansas needs to move forward.

I am going to offer a different perspective from that in some of the letters, starting with Courtney McKee's Jan. 25 letter. Ms. McKee does not seem to think that protection from "men in skirts" is a "real issue," and that our Legislature should not try to legislate "our morality and our religion." The real issues mentioned by Ms. McKee include teen pregnancy, food insecurity, increasing poverty, and gun violence.

I submit that these problems are a direct result of the weakening of the family structure in America. Contributing to this weakening are government policies which subsidize single motherhood, promote acceptance of the LGBTQ+ lifestyles (of which men in skirts is only the least objectionable manifestation), and create division by promoting Critical Race Theory and the rest of the "woke" agenda. The dual idols of "wokeness" and climate change (See Gary Clingman's letter) have replaced God, and we are subjected to more and more pressure to conform in their "worship."

Then there is Ron Swanson's letter that says that Arkansas is "a state that claims it hates immigrants!" Say what? I don't know of one American who hates immigrants, but there are those of us who hate government policies that allow illegal immigrants to flood our country.

Lastly, there is Ken Cook's letter, which applauds his indoctrination by his teachers. Did any of them indoctrinate him into believing that God might have made a mistake in the gender he was assigned at birth, and caution him into keeping such indoctrination from his parents? I think not! Mr. Cook has another letter regarding libraries, stating that Dan Sullivan should "legislate more money to help them meet their needs." I know for sure that the Garland County does not need more money. They have a dedicated 0.5% sales tax!

To summarize, I applaud Gov. Sanders and the common-sense reforms she is implementing. Doing away with mask and injection mandates is another step in the right direction. Perhaps if those of us who support her will speak up more often, the progress will continue!

Ellen Varhalla


Balanced budget

Dear editor:

I wish someone would please explain how Republicans can focus on only half the public debt problem, spending, which they also do, without mentioning income? Republicans tend to spend while they cut income through tax cuts and Democrats increase income to at least attempt to balance a budget and pay for their spending, which has been done the past two years and the debt was reduced by $1.7T in just the first two years.

The last administration increased the debt by a similar amount, but about all they did for four years was cut taxes and waste money building a wall that's never been built.

The important half of a balanced budget is income. And Republicans cut income with their constant tax cuts, mostly for corporations and the wealthy which have allowed at least 25% of huge and immensely profitable corporations to pay little to nothing in federal taxes, with the burden shifting to those of us who can least afford it.

Consumer costs for the people and the government continue to rise. I will repeat myself: If you have X amount of income and you spend more than you are earning, then you, too, create debt. In fact, nearly all Americans have debt, yet they think the federal government can have a balanced budget? Anyone who thinks that knows nothing, and most don't about how government works and really know next to nothing about how the economy works, let alone government, which is a result of the gutting of our educational system and yet they want us to believe we need a balanced budget at the federal level?

They say states have balanced budgets, and yes, they do, but they also incur debt by selling bonds to raise funds for special projects. States also rely on the federal government for bailouts, as does Wall Street as do the people when natural disasters strike, so I would love to know how they think, if they think or react, on how the federal government could ever have a balanced budget without completely collapsing. Please, I want to know.

Judith Zitko

Hot Springs Village

Against capitalism

Dear editor:

I can't help but smile as I see the leaders of the Democrat party rattle their sabers. They are not really running for anything. The truth is that they are running against capitalism.

Capitalism is an economic system in which there is a competitive market that is motivated by profit. Profit allows businesses to hire more workers and pay more taxes. Profit allows businesses to expand and build and create commerce. Those who work are rewarded with more pay and thus they enjoy more creature comforts.

Socialism is a system (proven to be an unworkable theory) in which capitalism is changed to communism and those who work are taxed to reward those who do not work -- while the governing class (the ruling class) enjoys being taken care of by those who work. (Sometimes the ruling class is richly rewarded by being given ridiculous book deals and exorbitant speaking fees.)

Currently, in the United States, there are 11 states that have more adults on government handouts than who work.

The Democrats advocate higher taxes so that more government give-a-way programs can buy more votes -- thus keeping the governing class (the ruling class) in power and accumulating wealth.

By the way, Robin Hood did not rob from the rich and give to the poor. He robbed from the tax collectors and returned the money to the common people so they could live and enjoy their lives without the government pillaging what they worked hard for to feed their families.

Socialism and Communism have routinely and systematically failed in the past. The Soviet Union collapsed because of it. Greece is bankrupt because of it. Venezuela and Puerto Rico are insolvent because of Socialism.

I wonder how much longer our beloved United States will last?

John Grillo

Hot Springs

Working class squeeze

Dear editor:

We are starting week five of what should be an eight- to nine-week session. However, state legislators have already voted to fatten their paychecks by doubling the session.

Of course, the reason wasn't just the money. It was to give the governor even more time to present her "cornerstone" legislation. But teachers have waited long enough. Democrats and at least one Republican voted to consider raises in last year's special session. Teachers were told to wait, they would get a raise in the next session. The school year started with a huge teacher shortage. The load on teachers has increased in all of the schools. There is a stand-alone educator raise bill already filed and referred to committee.

Meanwhile, our governor hopes we will have a draft next week, week five for the Legislature, but well into the school year for the teachers. The governor's bill is a D.C.-style omnibus bill designed to push through controversial measures, like vouchers. I wish that were the end, but it repeals the teacher fair dismissal act and bars the teaching of history. Back to vouchers, though. How many in the legislature stand to benefit from the handout of public dollars that vouchers represent? Do they have children or grandchildren or some other interest in a private school?

Well, I know my senator, Matt McKee, stands to benefit. Will he vote to give himself $32,000 extra, per year, when he doesn't need it? If passed, the governor's swindle will immediately take $456 million per year out of public schools and dole them out, even to the rich.

And why is Lanny Fite sponsoring a bill to raise sales taxes on all of us? I can barely afford to eat in the city of Hot Springs already. Arkansas has the fourth-highest sales and local taxes in the nation, yet we are one of the poorest. This Republican legislature is squeezing the working class to pay for their tax giveaways to the rich. Don't let them keep fooling you. Vote them out.

Cortney McKee

Hot Springs

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