Taking on trainers
As our legislators return to work this week, they will take up House Bill 1040, preventing athletic trainers from practicing in nonclinical settings and severely restricting what they can do to provide assistance to students.
As someone who has worked in college athletics for the better part of the last 15 years, I have seen up close the fine work that our certified athletic trainers do to keep our student athletes healthy.
However, State Rep. Joe Farrer (R-Austin) apparently does not see the value in the services provided by my colleagues in the athletic training profession. Perhaps, as a physical therapist, he stands to have a personal financial gain due to these restrictions, as the treatment of certain spine injuries and post-surgery rehabilitation — treatments that ATCs are licensed to conduct — would be reserved for off-site physical therapists under this legislation.
In a Dec. 20 story on KARK-TV, Channel 4, Farrer was quoted as saying "some local physical therapists and I have had some issues with some of the athletic trainers in our area. We need to clear up some of these issues."
Perhaps Farrer would like to clear up his conflict of interest in introducing this insidious legislation — if conflicts of interest even bother us anymore. But that is unlikely, as he was apparently "too busy" to discuss this legislation with KFSM-TV, Channel 5, in Fort Smith earlier this week.
Certified athletic trainers not only help students heal from injuries, they help prevent injuries, and in some cases, they save lives. Would the same interventions by athletic trainers that saved the life of a college student athlete in Arkansas be illegal because of Farrer's issues?
Just a few short days ago, the Mississippi State University basketball team's bus was just 200 yards away from a car that flipped in a single-car accident. Riders on the bus pulled the driver from her car, and she was then evaluated by the team's athletic trainer. Would that evaluation be illegal in Arkansas because of Farrer's issues?
The needs of our students are greater than any issues causing Farrer any personal consternation, and frankly, his complete lack of sound judgment in introducing this terrible bill gives me full confidence to say that I trust the talented and competent certified athletic trainers in the state of Arkansas far more than a politician with an axe to grind.
This bill currently sits with the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee in the House. I implore the members of that committee not to let Farrer's issues take precedence over the wellbeing of Arkansas students. Kill this atrocious legislation immediately.
Paul T. Smith
The fallacy of deterrence
Last week's article "The 91st Arkansas General Assembly: It's going to be a beast" was, overall, an excellent summary of significant legislation we may expect this year. However, I wish to correct one statement from the article regarding guns on college campuses.
In reviewing circumstances related to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon (2015), the article incorrectly stated that UCC banned guns in violation of Oregon state law. In fact, individuals (including students) with concealed handgun permits were allowed to carry their weapons on the UCC campus and in classrooms. This fact was reported by Politifact in November 2015 when a Florida state senator declared UCC was a gun-free zone).
UCC was anything but a gun-free zone. It was known at the time of the shooting that many students had concealed handgun licenses and were carrying concealed handguns on campus. At least one of those students spoke to news media immediately following the shooting.
We are told that permitting concealed handguns on college campuses will deter mass shooters. UCC proves the fallacy of the "deterrence" argument. Knowing there were armed civilians on the UCC campus, the shooter attacked anyway. Perhaps he was hoping for a firefight that would create additional casualties? We may never know, or we may learn more when the final report of the shooting is released later this year.
Arkansans Against Guns On Campus
From the web
In response to "The 91st Arkansas General Assembly: It's going to be a beast":
2017 will be the first year where we really find out exactly how heartless some of our elected legislators can actually be. We had better buckle up, because we're in for a long, bumpy ride here in Darkansas!
Thank you to the Arkansas Times for organizing this important information. Thank you Rep. Greg Leding for providing the public with a plan of action. There are still a few legislators with common sense and decent morals. I know their names. I really believe we need to hire an exorcist for the Arkansas State Legislature. They are being socially harmful, irresponsible, unreasonable, irrational, counterproductive, discriminatory, overreaching and they are hurting the state economically by driving away business and tourists. Why do they hate the people of Arkansas? Because we get in the way of the Arkansas Legislature's true God: power and greed. The political machines have offered them a lot of easy money to go down in the history books as unpatriotic traitors to their state and their country.
In response to Ernest Dumas' Jan. 12 column, "Glass houses":
The USA has meddled in the attempts of people in numerous other countries to govern themselves. That other countries and governments, and corporations spanning all the above, might use psy-ops to influence our governance should be understood. However, we should hold our leaders accountable for making false, perhaps dishonest, perhaps misinformed (lying or just dumb) statements to us, and we should try to educate an electorate capable of recognizing and responding to such challenges. These are likely to be the nature of future invasions of our borders. The redcoats are coming, via the internet and similar mechanisms, not so much by the boats and planes of yesteryear. I felt much better having a president who demonstrated the capacity to comprehend, understand and work in the nuanced gray areas of modern challenges than I feel looking forward to having a simpleminded bully thumping his chest and not really thinking about anything in particular.
In response to Gene Lyons' Jan. 12 column, "Hillbillies":
I mostly agree with Gene; however, he failed to point out that, in the introduction to the book, J.D. Vance stated that he was a conservative in his political views and was not pretending to present an academic and unbiased viewpoint of his subjects. This book was too personal for that. This explains his tendency to assign some blame to the "hillbillies" for their own predicament. However, that does not diminish his explanation of the failure of government, or why the people are the way they are.
Because I put my name on what I write, I have avoided many discussions on race in Arkansas. Perhaps I need to find a pen name, because my experience has been that anyone who contends there isn't hateful and two-faced racism from border to border in this state has lived a sheltered life. Regarding the book, I don't understand the empathy for the racist views. Call it as you see it, if you're gonna write about it.
I've seen Mr. Vance interviewed once about his alleged "memoir."
It took even the likes of me about three minutes to determine that he is a complete and utter fraud; he's had about as "hardscrabble" a life as Ivanka Trump and, since she's at least nominally in business, she probably works a lot harder.
Of course, you may want to buy this big pile of crap for investment purposes; I hear that a copy of Clifford Irving's bio of Howard Hughes commands a high price on eBay these days.
My problem with the haters is that they have pretty much destroyed the concept of "common good," and are against anything that would improve the common good because it would help people they don't approve of. Doesn't matter why they don't approve, they're just against helping those "others" even if it would also help them. And "others" is most easily defined by race. Because it's so easy.
Vance at least acknowledges that he doesn't understand why more people don't escape the same way he has, which, in my mind, makes him a whole lot less smart than what he thinks he is.
On the issue of hate: Many ignored voters felt "hated" by the press and Clintonites — constantly referred to as "uneducated" — as if formal schooling is the only definition of "educated" — and constantly lumped together as racists, xenophobia-ites, etc., and totally ignored by the Democrats. Vladimir Putin didn't stop Clinton from going to Wisconsin. The self-righteousness of the press was truly ridiculous and still is. Liberal used to mean caring for all the people — whatever happened to that concept? Hubris.
Investigator of both sides