We're all connected
I had never considered that efforts to protect Americans from illness and agonizing deaths could be equated to murdering 6 million humans. But then, I am from a time when "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" and "l am my brother's keeper" were basic tenets of American/Christian behavior. I fear that we have fallen far below our past standards.
Joining in efforts to protect our nation from the ravages--health and financial--of covid-19 is no less than required by our shared humanity. As has been written, "No man is an island."
A recent Sunday's letter-writer from Mountain Home undoubtedly accepts many benefits from others who contribute in many ways which make possible the lives we all enjoy. Precautions taken to prevent disease transmission are no more a burden in reality than the precautions taken to provide for safe food and water.
The refusal to assist in protecting our neighbors and our communities from disease is, I believe, based in an inability to imagine how interdependent we really are on each other. This loss of empathy is being furthered by political winds which further divide us into opposing political camps.
Are 800,000 covid-19 deaths not going to be enough?
DENNIS A. BERRY
Protect legal system
Suppose you have been accused of a crime. Should you have to prove you did not commit that crime or should the accuser or their representative have to prove you committed the crime?
In our justice system, as in that of most other countries, one might commit a heinous crime and that act be recorded and reported on all forms of local and national media. However, if the perpetrator does not confess, that person is only an alleged perpetrator. Stated in another way, you are innocent until it is proven you are guilty in a court of law.
The failure to conclude someone is guilty of a crime does not mean they are innocent. In fact, what the "innocent until proven guilty" part of our common-law justice system attempts to guarantee is that, as responsible citizens of our nation, we had rather let the guilty go free than punish the innocent.
The legal system we have, flawed as it may be, is designed to protect all of us, and we should make any amount of effort needed to protect it.
One reason our freedom of speech is so precious is that one is welcome to voice, in a non-threatening way, an opinion about the outcome of any event. That right extends to conclusions reached as a result of some legal action. Moreover, that voice is welcome to raise itself to a crescendo level via demonstrations. Even if we vehemently disagree with that outcome, when all is said and done, one should ask if one wants to return to when lynching was our solution to perceived failures of our system of justice.
If not, then we must agree to peacefully disagree, recognize no system works perfectly, and protect our legal system that guarantees one is innocent until proven guilty.
Taken out of context
As is often the case, an individual’s comments are taken out of context. Typically this is done to sensationalize an opinion or mislead someone such that they adopt that opinion as their own. I believe such is the case with the recent letter from Deborah Suttlar. Ms. Suttlar asserts Sarah Sanders is the “epitome of ‘white privilege.’” That supports the idea that a person is given unfair advantage in life based on their skin color. That may be Ms. Suttlar’s opinion, but I believe it is not supported by any evidence she provides. To make that statement as fact is wrong.
It is Ms. Suttlar’s right to an opinion, but to cite as evidence that both Sarah and her father are racists based on a statement Mr. Huckabee made regarding the 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court decision as “the law of the land” is incorrect when taken out of context. Mr. Huckabee did make that statement and unfortunately he is correct in the fact it was never overturned. Of course we all know the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution made it unenforceable.
Mr. Huckabee made his reference to Dred Scott in an attempt to make an argument that the recent, at the time, Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual marriage did not make such marriage right, just as Dred Scott did not make slavery right. His argument was ineffective and ill-advised as it opened the door to the same incorrect assertion Ms. Suttlar makes.
Perhaps Ms. Suttlar is unaware of the context within which Mr. Huckabee said what he said. However, this newspaper claims that letters are checked for accuracy as to statements of fact. I believe these sorts of letters do no one anything other than a disservice in the spiteful atmosphere in which we now live.