With all that has happened in 2020, we seem to be unraveling as a country. And then there is President Trump firing all the inspectors general, accusing Joe Scarborough of murder, threatening to sic the dogs out on the demonstrators like some modern day Bull Conner. And there is more, much more. I do not care what your political leanings are, presidents are not supposed to act this way. It would be different if his attacks on government accomplished something for you and me, but all we have to show for it is 100,000 dead, 40 million out of work and rioting in the streets. So, for the life of me I can’t understand how you can keep supporting him. The people of Nelson County are good people and some of you are my neighbors.

I am not asking you to become Democrats. This does not have to be a binary choice. You do not have to vote for Biden. Drop Trump. There are other Republicans. Elect Pence. Trump or the country, folks.



Stand up for your rights

I try not to mention names in my letters to the editor for various reasons, but I must say that Carlton Ballowe’s letter in the May 21 edition was precise and clear. There was, in fact, an attempted coup that anyone who can think reasonably can see. Yet, I do not believe that any of the guilty ones will be brought to justice. Faith in our system of government will not be restored from the top down, ever. After 50 years of paying attention I believe that it can only be restored from the bottom up! “We the People”, those of us who can still think objectively to some degree, must stand together and demand the restoration of our constitutionally protected, God-given rights, and in no uncertain terms. We are dealing with rogue politicians who are in fact criminals and enemies of our country. Their behavior makes this reality perfectly clear. This latest shut down of our constitutional God-given rights is unprecedented in American history.

They have taken down the last remaining remnants of our rights due to a virus?

Wake up my friends. Anger is in order here. And righteous action on any and every level is what is necessary. Demand that your representatives hear your voice.

And God help us all if they refuse.



Hold to faith in times of trouble

Many look for faith in God to comfort what is happening to our nation. Whether it is the result of COVID-19 and the resulting disturbance from the death of George Floyd. The seeking of Godly wisdom is much better than influence from evildoers enticing bad behavior, such as burning, rioting, and destruction or stealing of personal property. Many who have gotten into the fray were raised in God fearing homes but turned their backs as they became influenced by the world for personal benefit or just following the crowd. The removal of police officers to uphold the law is a bad move, or knee-jerk reaction. This suggestion is the rejection of godly truth and lack of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7-19 clearly records what happens when fools despise wisdom and discipline. If you were raised in a home of godly faith and once attended church, then now is a good time to give it another look. Don’t let peer pressure drag you down a road of poor choices that dishonor who you could be. When participating in prison ministry, I heard over and over again, inmates understood they took the wrong road of evil. The forgiveness is a door that only you can open to find Jesus Christ waiting. When you return to church ask about the free offering of forgiveness. America is a great country and you need to choose wisely while living here. Many have given their lives for you and your children to keep this country great, a Judeo-Christian nation. Don’t let them down and don’t let us down.



Battle brewing in aftermath of George Floyd death

The American people were appalled by the video recorded death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The concern of the American people regarding the conduct of the offending officers has been clearly displayed. Surely, the Minnesota leadership understood the potential for nationwide outrage. Further, one must consider the organization and in-place logistics required to create such an immediate nationwide protest. Finally, after almost two weeks of nightly destructive riots associated with protests, the apparent underlying intent of the entities behind the protest is revealed.

The exposed purpose of the protests, to change the nation’s concept of “law and order,” raises the issue of national political party participation. Our founders constructed a federalist form of government with two distinct governing authorities, a federal government responsible for common threats, foreign and domestic, and the sovereign states responsible for all other matters. The governing legislation of “law and order” are a state determination to be done in accord with the U.S. Constitution. The House of Representatives is in the process of creating a “Justice in Policing Act of 2020” intended to place some policing authority and methodology in the hands of the federal government which essentially places policing power in the hands of a political party and “Deep State Washington”, not the people of their state. Where does citizen gun ownership play into this new “law and order” concept?

The death of George Floyd has been transformed into a national referendum which may finalize the subjugation of the sovereign states in violation of the governing concepts of our founders. The nation is in the midst of a serious political battle for power between “We the People” and a “Washington Deep State.” It important that all Americans pay attention and defend our founders’ dream or kneel and kiss our master’s ring.



Bible photo backlash

Donald Trump used a Bible in his photo-op this past week and that leads me to say he knows as much about the Bible as he does the constitution: very, very little. They are both just props to our grifter president.

I can understand and stand with the protestors of police violence in this country. Too many times our police forces raise the violence level by just showing up with all their military paraphernalia. Militarizing the police is a stupid, dangerous idea. Likewise the idea of using the military as police. But we must address the violence and intimidation that originates in everyday citizens. It was reported that the Philadelphia police were treating the armed Boogalooers that showed up at the city’s protest much better than they were treating the unarmed protestors. That is absolutely backward. There are scared members of our society who feel the need to walk around armed, intimidating their fellow citizens. When we defund the police these people will be ready with their AR-15s, their leaders will be no better than warlords. Is this a situation that will lead to more unity? I think not.

We also need to realize that while the protests are going on the most important rally to attend is the one at your local polling station on Nov. 3. Organize the thousands of protestors to stay safe through the rallies and make sure they are ready to vote. We need all of today’s protestors to be alive, registered, and prepared to change the country on Nov. 3. We can do better.



A time to come together

It’s about time. In fact, the outrage being expressed nation wide against George Floyd’s murder and systemic racism in general is long overdue. As a white man I can only empathize with the plight of African American citizens. I can never really understand the pain, anxiety, and anger black people must feel. I pray that people all across the United States band together to finally take concrete steps to erase the wounds left from 400 years of oppression.

However, like gun control, correcting racism will take more than thoughts and prayers. It will take involvement from all segments of society. White citizens will need to stand up, recognize our collective guilt, and allow ourselves to be led by the leaders of the black community. For only those who have lived with the daily burden placed on black people by the American system of injustice, inequality, and outright disregard are qualified to define this agenda and demand redress. It is past time for white power, used to its own advantage against fellow Americans, to end.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. The arc is long, but the time for justice is now. Pray, pray hard, but find something to do. Now.

What I will continue to do is to work to ensure that Donald Trump is not re-elected this November. Trump, Barr, and his supporters who champion his version of dictatorship must be removed. How do you feel about a man who is so afraid of the people he represents that he has the White House surrounded by a defensive wall? He is a coward, a criminal, and he is doing his best to imitate the dictators he so admires. He is a danger to our country, the constitution and the world. He must go. Get more than mad, get people out to vote! Saint Augustine wrote, “what is a political regime when devoid of justice, but organized crime?” Does that hit too close to home given our current situation? It does to me. So, think through the pledge of allegiance, and when you get to the end where we espouse “liberty and justice for all” consider how we attain those goals without first destroying systemic racism and getting Trump and his allies far, far away from the White House.

By the way, have you ever seen a man look more uncomfortable than Trump did while holding that bible on the steps of St. John’s church? He looked as if he thought it would bite him.



Another look at COVID-19 numbers

In a recent letter to the editor (“Looking up the numbers”, June 4), the writer noted that influenza fatalities each year were not well publicized. He also referenced having read that the 2019-2020 flu season had 63,000 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiles the influenza statistics. The CDC stresses that influenza deaths in any year is always an estimate. Since 2010 they have used the same methodology to estimate the “final” number, a methodology based on many factors of which hospitalizations is of major importance. The 2018 and 2019 numbers are still rated preliminary. The 2020 season is exceptionally preliminary.

The CDC does present a 62,000 influenza death number for 2020 with a huge “however.” And that is, the number is presented in a range going as low as 24,000. The American Legion article the writer referenced may not have mentioned that. The bottom line is the CDC doesn’t know yet. Based on hospitalizations alone, the CDC notes that for influenza “the number of hospitalizations estimated so far this season is lower than end-of-season total hospitalization estimates for any season since CDC began making these estimates.”

The two virus counts are not lumped together. With the best data collection efforts – different methods for each virus – general magnitudes of infection can be seen but precise separation is difficult. There are now over 110,000 deaths attributable to COVID-19 in the US. This ranges from 2 to 9 times the deaths attributable to influenza in 8 of the previous 9 years and 75% more than in the 9th year. A reason for continued high profile in the press.



Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.