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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't have the right | Not much of a threat | Grift already started

September 21, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

Don't have the right

The Democrat-Gazette had a recent editorial supporting the concept of mandatory vaccinations, citing a 100-year-old law (Jacobson v. Massachusetts) sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

Now I know we have this unfounded reverence for the Supreme Court as if it has never made a bad decision. Unfortunately, since men and women sit on the Supreme Court, they do make mistakes, albeit not with any frequency. Do a little research and you see the few bad decisions, some of which have been reversed.

I for one don't believe our government has the right under our Constitution to force any citizen to do anything, no matter how wrapped it is under the phony umbrella of "for the common good."

If you let this elephant under the tent, we will shortly use this questionable decision to force our citizenry to buy certain products, live in government-selected housing and locations, and of course shut up when our questionable betters in the government decide to impose their will upon us.

We have a government of the people, not of some appointed or elected government official.


Hot Springs

Not much of a threat

I love our Ozarks and all the wonderful businesses that drive our prosperity. I was an enviroment, health and safety professional for a couple of decades at a large company. I'm retired now but dealt with all three forms of OSHA on a regular basis: the feds, state programs that have a charter, and our state Safety Division as part of the Arkansas Department of Labor that provides assistance but has little real enforcement authority.

It's important to know that federal OSHA can't just walk in and disrupt your business without a warrant. Typically it takes them two or three months to get a warrant so sometimes in spite of coercion and threats they eventually wander off looking for a softer target. It's interesting that if a bunch of businesses required warrants it would probably clog up OSHA's legal departments for years.

OSHA can't fine anybody, either. If it finds something, all it can do is propose penalties. A business can accept or deny or negotiate proposed penalties with OSHA. OSHA prefers to avoid litigation as it strains resources so it often reduces proposed penalties to a fraction of what it originally wanted. Only a judge in court can drop the gavel and compel a company to pay up.

Is noncompliance risky? I'm not sure exactly how many the agency has today, but there were only eight federal OSHA inspectors assigned to Arkansas before I retired. There are probably more than 30,000 affected businesses statewide they have to cover. Think of the odds. It's obvious they can't begin to make a dent inspecting, so mandates only work if businesses voluntarily comply.

Knowing the reality of it, I don't see a reason to fear or fall for Biden's threats because they are a lot less dangerous than they appear. He's asking OSHA to bite off a heck of a lot more than it can chew. I'm being mindful that just because some scary beast is snarling and acting all froggy doesn't mean it is actually much of a threat.



Grift already started

"State buys kids books from Huckabee firm." Sarah isn't even in office and the nepotism and grifting have begun. If that isn't bad enough, the $510,748 used are federal dollars that were to be used on coronavirus relief.

Not for food for the hungry in a state that ranks first in food insecurity. Not for the homeless to provide a safe place to sleep. Not for rent for the people who can't afford to pay rent. Not for salaries for people out of work. No, for books.

The Huckabee and Republican priorities are clear. The grift is on! Shameful.



Vaccines and politics

CNN released an updated survey of the national vaccination rates and how they relate to several variables such as education level, ethnicity and political leaning. One of the categories, political leaning, stood out. Eighty-six percent of individuals leaning Democrat are vaccinated with at least one shot of the covid-19 vaccine. For those leaning Republican that number was 58 percent. Doing some simple math leaves us with 14 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of Republicans completely unvaccinated.

Another well-known and widely reported fact is that 99 percent-ish of those across the country on ventilators and dying of the covid-19 virus are the unvaccinated, including an increasing number of children.

Putting these observations together suggests that three of four people (75 percent) dying of covid-19 in the USA presently are Republicans. Put another way, of the 2,000 individuals who died Sept. 15, 1,500 were likely Republicans.

Meanwhile, in the "red states," the mantra of the day is that "we will not comply" with vaccine mandates and requirements. This despite almost 250 years of logical precedent, George Washington's army and smallpox, and 100 years of consistent legal precedent supporting such mandates in the public heath interests. Some Republican governors are suing and appealing court rulings that permit schools to mandate masks to protect schoolchildren ineligible for vaccination. All right, good masks are only about 85 percent effective at protecting against infections, and the vaccines are only about 99 percent effective at keeping individuals out of hospitals.

What possibly could have led to such madness? We propose that it must be the insidious presence of another virus, the Republican Stupidity Virus (RSV) that is acting synergistically with covid-19 on a large segment of those of that political persuasion. At the current rate, by the national election of 2024 there will be about 1.5 million fewer Republican voters. More than enough to swing the election.


Little Rock

Trash is everywhere

Mr. David Dickey laments about trash on rural roads. Has he been to Little Rock lately?


Little Rock

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