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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Reached an epiphany | On colorectal cancer | Can't get worse, right?

January 8, 2022 at 4:06 a.m.

Reached an epiphany

While watching/listening to the president's speech on the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021, and then listening to Fox News commentators' response to it, I had an epiphany (1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; (2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking.

For a very long time, I have emphasized that "It's the message, not the messenger." I have now come to the realization that I must qualify my message in today's American world of political division. It's, in fact, both the message and the messenger.

I seem to first determine who I can trust and who is untrustworthy and from that point on sift all information, news, data, and opinion through that filter. I have found myself accepting or rejecting information as much based on who is speaking as what they are saying.

Consequently, I have come to realize that, for me, I must give full attention to both the message and the messenger.

There are some that I simply cannot trust regardless what they may say at any one time. I have more work to do to become trusting again, and I suspect many of us do as well. This, to me, is what is most disturbing about these past few years of lies and organized division that has infected our public lives.


Little Rock

On colorectal cancer

I know that we are facing many serious illnesses and deaths from covid-19. My heart breaks for those who are dealing with it, but cancer is still out there, killing our families.

We recently lost our adult daughter, Carrie Hale, to colorectal cancer at the age of 41. She had battled it for 10 years. She was in stage IV when they finally found what was causing her pain. We also lost her brother Justin to cancer at age 5½. My mother, Carleen Thorn, was not diagnosed until late stage.

I am an advocate with a nationwide cancer group, currently working to have March proclaimed as "Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month" in all states. We also hope to have it happen here in Newton County. Our county has a higher than normal percentage of young people with colorectal cancer.

Early screening ages need to be reduced further. Insurance guidelines have been lowered from 55 to 45 for colonoscopies to be paid, which is wonderful progress, yet we need it lower yet. I would like it to come down to 30. Another issue, in other states, is the fact that while a colonoscopy is paid for, if polyps are removed or a biopsy is taken, this is not covered at all. I am very proud of Arkansas, which passed a bill to cover these expenses.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. of those 20-49 and expected to be the first cause by 2030. Yet, if diagnosed early, it can be cured. I urge people to pursue early screenings. It saves lives.



Can't get worse, right?

In the past year, the D.C. in Washington, D.C., has evolved from District of Columbia to Democrat control to damage control. I sure hope 2022 gets better for everyone.


Tumbling Shoals

Look to the parties

I think John DiPippa did a poor job of promoting his notion of getting rid of the Electoral College, stating it was obsolete and undemocratic and caused the Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol. Somehow the Electoral College "allowed Trump and allies to advance absurd legal theories about the election." If Trump's legal theories were absurd, the system was obviously successful in refuting them. That doesn't keep lawsuits, frivolous or not, from occurring, as anyone can sue anyone for anything in this country. He finds the lawsuits "laughable" and "undemocratic," but where is the connection to the Electoral College?

He is correct in stating that the Electoral College "no longer filters the choice of a president through a small body of wise, disinterested persons." That hasn't happened because of the Electoral College, however, but because of the power of political parties growing to the extent they control the nominating process by deciding who the party chooses to run. The Electoral College delegates are sworn to the political party how they will vote and, except for two states, the presidential candidate will be the winner of that state's presidential election. It would seem to me that the culprit in reducing our choices for president lies with political parties that have become too powerful and controlling in the nomination process, not the Electoral College.

DiPippa's rant seems to me to be more about hate for Donald Trump and Republicans than about anything with the founding fathers' Constitution. If we want to talk about changes, here are a couple to ponder: Term limits for senators and representatives, and a recall, no-confidence vote of the elected president as the English have for their prime minister. Seems to work for them.



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