Healthcare expansion isn't working
Just like Leonid Brezhnev's Five Year Plans in the good ol' days of the Soviet Union, all of you in Central Planning can't understand why your grand scheme of nationalized medicine isn't working out as you command. More people are losing medical insurance than are getting it. The numbers of uninsured are increasing, not decreasing. Insurance premiums are increasing, not decreasing. Medical costs are increasing, not decreasing, and medical care is going to become less available, not more accessible. Go figure.
Healthcare expansion is working
I wish everyone's experience with the Arkansas Health Connector has been as positive as mine. I know some folks are frustrated, but the problems with the Arkansas system are not nearly as bad as the snags people are experiencing on HealthCare.gov. Any criticisms of the problems with the federal system should include criticisms of states that have demonstrated that they don't care whether citizens have affordable health care. I am also proud of our state for expanding Medicaid, and serving as a model to other states. Governor Beebe's fellow governor in Ohio, a Republican, just bucked the Republican majority legislature there and expanded Medicaid. His actions should be commended.
Wm. Jay Sims
In response to this week's Arkansas Reporter article on Mount St. Mary's firing of Tippi McCullough:
We would like to thank the members of the local faith community, particularly those in leadership positions, for their rejection of the theological position that a marriage between two loving, committed adults of the same gender is inherently immoral. Your voices give hope and comfort to all who strive for a more just world.
Scared of meat business
I am not scared of all the witches, zombies, and assorted goblins wandering about on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.
This is the industry that:
Mutilates, cages and butchers billions of cows, pigs and other sentient animals. Feeds carcasses of cats and dogs killed in pounds to chickens. Exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages.
Exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating wholesale market prices.
Punishes documentation of its abuses through unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws. Promotes world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals.
Generates more greenhouse gases than any other human activity. Generates more water pollution than any other human activity.
Creates a permanent "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico that dwarfs the BP oil spill.
Creates deadly antibiotic-resistant pathogens by feeding antibiotics to animals.
Creates epidemics of salmonella, listeria, and other infectious diseases. Promotes mortality from diabetes, heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other diseases.
Now, that's really scary. And this is why I am dropping animal products from my menu.
From the web
In response to the Arkansas Blog post "Pork producers suggest more danger to Buffalo River from people than pigs" that included a letter from Jerry Masters, executive vice president of the Arkansas Pork Producers Association, defending the embattled C&H Hog Farms:
While I applaud all of the efforts by our finest scientists to cure cancer and heart disease, there is another pervasive malady that appears to be striking significant portions of our society. Yes, I'm talking about selective amnesia. The first signs began to appear when folks started saying "there was a recession during the Bush administration?" More recently we've heard "what Mayflower oil spill?" and "government shutdown, huh?" So it must come as no great shock when our friends in the agribusiness industry say "National River, our people told us the Buffalo was a sewer, are you sure?"
Let's see, we know that this commercial hog operation has 6,500 pigs pooping every single day. And we know that 100 percent of that poop is near Big Creek that flows into the Buffalo River. Experts can calculate how much per day will be produced and has to go somewhere. And we know that waste will NOT be treated, unlike the human waste from visitors to the Buffalo National River. We know from numerous catastrophes in other states what happens when these pig waste lagoons burst or leak, resulting in massive contamination that is impossible to completely clean up. Or would the letter writer have us believe the result of a burst lagoon would somehow be different than it has been in North Carolina, Iowa and other states?
We also know that people living within a several mile radius of such commercial hog factories suffer respiratory problems as a result. And we know there is a school in Mount Judea within that radius. And we know that a lagoon with hundreds of thousands of gallons of pig s**t smells like a rose, don't we Mr. Masters?
We do not know how many human visitors poop in the Buffalo River watershed each day. We do not know how much each person poops per day.
Finally, we know that Arkansans impacted by this commercial hog factory make up the core opposition, not out-of-staters. But if out-of-staters being involved is so important, how about an out-of-state secretive corporation like Cargill that answers to no one swooping in to threaten the nation's first national river. Still so concerned with out-of-staters, Mr. Masters?