Lie, cheat, steal

In America we have come to the place where none of the above seem to have a direct consequence of punishment of our elected officials. Lie about what you do or have done, cheat on your taxes or your spouse, steal from your employer. We have become accustomed to these acts, sometimes criminal, on the federal and state scene, but when in comes to the local level it gets real to us. Kade Holliday ran on the Green Party ticket for county clerk. After winning and being sworn in, he switched to the Republican Party. Then he lied, cheated and stole from the taxpayers of Craighead County. We are still waiting to see what his punishment will be. He is doing everything he can to buy his way out of prison. Now, Candace Edwards. She surely must have violated her oath of office but says she did nothing wrong. Our county judge says she lied but seems to look the other way and is willing to “move on.” A quorum court member says “at least we have her coming to work now.” Really? You and I would never get the same treatment as our elected officials but our taxes do pay their salaries and provide good benefits for them! Not good enough. Never was, never will be. We should demand better service (doing your job), honesty (taking responsibility), integrity, (not needing a watchdog). Not good enough! Dot Johnson Jonesboro

Research

Calvin Clements shouldn’t get by with the insulting statements in his March 8 letter, using ignorant, deplorable, brain-addled, stupidity, Neanderthal and other derogatory words to describe some governors for opening their states to return to normality. His complaints aren’t factual. According to the CDC, Florida has had 150 deaths per 100,000, while California is at 140 fatalities per 100,000 (statistically insignificant) since the pandemic began. Florida has had roughly 3 percent more COVID-19 cases per capita than the U.S. total, but 8 percent fewer deaths. Overall, death rates per 100,000 residents are 40 percent higher in blue states than in red states (71.2 deaths per 100,000 residents versus 50.9); red states were also much more open with their economies. An open economy and open schools are critical for youth. CDC data shows “a 24 percent increase in emergency room mental health visits for children ages 5 to 11, compared to 2019. Among adolescents ages 12 to 17, that increase is 31 percent. … CDC also reported one in four young adults had contemplated suicide in the previous month,” and suicides were up 67 percent for ages 12 to 17 from 2019 to 2020. Mr. Clements, how important is it to keep us all locked down? How many families must go bankrupt for you feel safe, how many should lose their livelihoods or jobs, their health insurance, their life savings? What number should surrender their lives for your feelings of safety? Clements ignorantly criticized Republican acceptance of Biden’s vaccine distribution plan claiming, “There was no coronavirus ‘plan’ on Trump’s agenda when Biden took over the presidency.” Fact checking revealed that “President Biden’s ‘wartime effort’ goal … relies on a daily average that was repeatedly bested under former President Donald Trump.” Has Calvin even read his beloved stimulus bill? Republicans were resistant to pass it because only 9 percent ($825 billion) of the nearly $2 trillion is dedicated to actual COVID relief. More than $1 trillion goes to Democrat spending projects like bailing out pension plans in blue states, Amtrak (perennial budget buster), “Family planning (abortion) services,” and billions bailing out ineptly run blue states’ unemployment and budget woes. Those states love the pork. Clements complained Republicans forced a reading of this 5,593 page bill everyone voted on. So, they just needed “to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it?” Obviously many Americans like this bill because of the $1,400 checks for everyone. If Sen. Nancy Pelosi and friends had just cut the pork, most could receive checks for almost $6,000. Yes, many are proud of the Republicans’ resistance to this pork-filled atrocity. Calvin, do some research before calling others ignorant. Bobby L. Hester Jonesboro