Mike Masterson recently wrote two columns in which he foisted on the reading public ideas that not only inflame, but likely misinform Arkansas Democrat-Gazette readers.
First, Mr. Masterson, in his apparent infinite wisdom, suggested to all of us that covid-19 was likely a left-wing, press-induced scam. At the time, I thought his comments were irresponsible, but naïvely assumed he would share a later mea culpa and walk them back. However, I noticed Tuesday that he ended his column with another exceptionally irresponsible phrase: "Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you."
I have no problem at all with Masterson's "Golden Rule" admonition, but the "go out into the world" statement followed a long list of statistics concerning deaths by illness which again implied that covid-19 really was nothing to worry about. Since when are such illnesses as heart disease, cancer, stroke, or Alzheimer's transmitted through a viral pandemic, Mr. Masterson? Oh, that's right; they're not! Either Mike Masterson doesn't get it (a frightening scenario for someone who is given such exposure by the Democrat-Gazette), or he has another agenda. Perhaps he simply believes that he knows more than health experts in virtually every country in the world. These experts are recommending almost uniformly what Mr. Masterson apparently believes are overly-extreme measures to curb this pandemic.
I strongly recommend that he speak with a reputable microbiologist and others in the health-care industry who know far more than he does. His suggestions in both columns were the height of irresponsibility at a time and in a world where real leadership and positive influence are so badly needed.
Socialism in the GOP
Seems to me Republicans are socialists--corporate socialists. Wall Street bailouts, banking industry bailouts, insurance industry bailouts, energy industry bailouts, auto industry bailouts, airline industry bailouts, cruise industry bailouts, hotel industry bailouts, small business bailouts, farm industry bailouts, and on and on and on.
I thought the holy grail of the Republican Party was free-market capitalism. I guess not. If you own a business and want a bailout, just ask a Republican. They will be happy to accommodate. Whatever happened to being responsible? Corporate America acts recklessly and Republicans do not hold them accountable. They just bail them out. The Republicans currently in power have manipulated the Federal Reserve and created huge tax cuts to the benefit of corporations.
Our governor, Asa Hutchinson, is also a corporate socialist. He gave about a million dollars in taxpayer money to a lumber company doing an almost exclusive business with Walmart. Corporate socialism? Definitely. Sen. Tom Cotton's family, from my understanding, has an incorporated farm that received subsidy payments. Corporate socialism? Definitely. Remember that both Tom Cotton and French Hill are Republicans. Republicans are corporate socialists. Vote for a Democrat and save us from corporate socialism.
I was distressed to read that people in Warren were blaming Mrs. Beverly Reep for getting sick with coronavirus because she made a long awaited/dreamed of overseas trip. Instead, her family should receive community support.
After years of teaching, she deserved the opportunity to see the most visited city in the world, and it is unfortunate that her trip ended with illness.
No, this isn't normal
I heard a TV newscaster the other day describe the onset of the coronavirus as the "new normal." This phrase has become cliché to me and is useless, just as other clichés are.
To describe the current situation as normal is, at the least, darkly laughable, and at the most, very unprofessional for a broadcaster. How can anyone reporting on this pandemic describe what is going on as normal, in any true meaning of the word? Although some of what we have been asked to do may be new to us, it is not new in terms of historical fact. There have been outbreaks such as this in history and recently, the Ebola outbreak posed an even greater threat to world health.
If one accepts the phrase, "the new normal," I have to think that they are brushing the situation off lightly or refusing to accept reality. We, as a country, cannot accept any such situation as normal, for we would then be open to accepting others, more or less dire, in the same fashion. We cannot be flippant in our remarks, for we are in a very serious situation.
My philosophy for a problem that has arisen is to work through the problem, not accept it as something we can live with. I look around, read the paper and listen to broadcasts where factual information is passed along that I can use. I urge everyone to utilize these facts in their problem-solving. A prayer now and then would not hurt either. I see a measure of panic in some that apparently are not listening. I include among them those hoarding supplies, those going to hospitals and test sites without symptoms, and others who apparently have let fear take over from reason. We can achieve a final solution to the current situation by working together to solve the problem through listening and applying factual information. As time goes by, more information will become available.
For now, enjoy what is normal. That includes the onset of spring, color returning to our beautiful state and the opportunity to enjoy nature in all its forms.
Editorial on 03/22/2020
Print Headline: Letters