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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Meeting on fluoride concerns results in heated exchange

  • On Monday, a community action meeting was hosted by Secure Arkansas at the Heber Springs Community Center.
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  • On Monday, a community action meeting was hosted by Secure Arkansas at the Heber Springs Community Center. Founder/Chairwoman Jeannie Burlsworth spoke to a small gathering about their concerns regarding an Arkansas law requiring city water systems servicing populations of over 5,000 to maintain a set fluoridation level for the water. Secure Arkansas claims that by requiring water systems to include fluoride, the state is subjecting citizens to dangerous industrial byproducts imported from China and Mexico. Burlsworth said all they are wanting is a manufacturer's statement on the contents of containers of fluoride used by public water systems. Fluoride has been used in American public water systems for decades and many experts have credited it with helping improve American dental health significantly.
    The discussion eventually moved from the issue of fluoride to the group's belief that the United States is in danger of losing its national sovereignty to the mysterious "Agenda 21". Agenda 21 has increasingly become a fear in some circles who believe that America is being subjected a sustained effort to create one world government by the United Nations. Often dismissed as conspiracy theorists, these groups firmly believe that the groundwork has been laid for a U.N. land grab that will subvert American law and property rights to an international governing body. Burlsworth claimed these efforts are a communistic effort for mass redistribution of wealth and predicted Americans should prepare to see a large scale and rapid violation of imminent domain in the near future. She also claimed most legislators know about Agenda 21 and our freedoms are being given away through ordinances, regional planning, etc. It should be noted that belief in a grand conspiracy to create a one-world government has been circulating among the political and social fringes for over two decades.
    The evening ended with a heated exchange when local J.P. candidate Jacque Patchel Martin stood and claimed the meeting was actually a set-up to promote the Paul White campaign. Paul White is running as the independent candidate in the Arkansas Senate race against Missy Irvin and Zac White. Paul White is a vocal opponent of the Arkansas fluoride mandate. Martin went on to accuse Jack Abrahamson, a White supporter, and the White campaign of propagating lies about Senator Irvin and that the White campaign was a "personal vendetta" against Irvin and its purpose was not to win, but to derail the Irvin campaign. She stated the American system is a two party system and an independent candidate has no chance of winning. She also accused Secure Arkansas and the White campaign of being anarchists and just as dangerous as the "far left". The verbal arguments between participants continued until Martin was escorted out of the Community Center by security, with both Martin and security exchanging heated words upon her exit. You can see a video of the exchange on our website at www.thesuntimes.com.
    Page 2 of 2 - It should be noted that Martin was not there as an official representative or spokesperson for the Irvin campaign. The Sun-Times spoke with Senator Irvin and she reinforced her campaigns focus on a positive message and said, "My opponents have engaged in negative attacks. I don't believe these attacks are productive or what voters want to hear. Voters want to know where we stand on issues and what we have done in support of these positions. I have not engaged or responded to their negative attacks and do not intend to. I intend on remaining focused, positive, and honest about the serious issues we are facing in Arkansas."
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