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Readers Speak

Truth does not always come from government

Dear Editor:

We have heard it before, during the Vietnam War, the distortions, the outright lies, and misinformation from our politicians and generals about winning the war, number counts and inundating the American people with skewed statistics: Johnson, McNamara, Westmoreland, Nixon, et. al.

American Vietnam War fatalities officially numbered 50,000 plus. Many returning GIs later succumbed to the ill effects of Agent Orange; others suffered PTSD and some committed suicide. Even so, the five-month death count of COVID-19 has exceeded the SE Asian 10-year war death count.

Unlike Johnson, who pursued his Great Society goals of civil rights and social programs and the well-intentioned but ill-fated Vietnam War, our present Commander-in-Chief is reluctant to use his war powers to muster the necessary material for our current struggle. He was slow to act, to organize a federal program to combat the pandemic. He assumes no responsibility for failure yet demands praise and public appreciation when things go well. He uses executive authority to reward loyalty and to punish critics. Four Inspectors General (Compliance Officers) have been fired. He calls them “rats” when they blew their whistle on wrongdoing. He specializes in magical wishing, superlative promises and promoting his alternative reality.

Governors, lacking a federally directed plan to test-track-treat, have had to step up and seek a balance between “public safety” and “individual rights,” not an easy thing to do. Governors had had to compete with each other for supplies and devise their own plan and guidelines. They had to assume the Commander-in-Chief’s forfeited responsibilities and later had to contend with public goading from the White House.

His reading of prepared scripts paints him as a reasonable person but his ad lib comments and behavior and night time tweets reveal a far different person — a bitter, petty and self-absorbed person.

During the Vietnam War, it was returning soldiers and the media’s nightly news that told us the truth, not the President and their lackeys. Today, I believe the nurses, doctors and scientists.

The Vietnam War divided our country: youth versus older Americans, progressive versus conservative, formally educated versus blue collar, and urban versus rural. Not too unlike today’s camps.

Also, again racial classes and lower income Americans die in greater proportion as they help fulfill our nation’s civilian and military front line ranks.

The senators and representatives who say nothing about their leaders’ missteps and misinformation and wrong-headed policies and opt to “go along to get along” are not doing their job. That kind of behavior kept us in Viet Nam for 10 years. Legislators are not elected to act like “I know nothing” Sgt. Schultz from TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes.” This is serious.

Citizens need to step back and evaluate what we are being told. Who is saying what? What is their motive? Is the speaker reliable?

We have been there before when legislators place party loyalty checks and balances and voters surrender their critical thinking.

Deja vu.

Don Scott,

North Warren

We’re getting close to ‘Midnight in America’

Dear Editor,

I wanted to comment on the crisis that continues to cripple our nation. It’s deeply disturbing how the coronavirus has turned our country upside down. We are being “fundamentally transformed” from a freedom loving people to a population being ruled by fear and intimidation.

As time has passed, the information regarding the virus has changed dramatically. The recovery rate is at 98%, and for people under 60 the chances of succumbing to the virus are equal to the common flu. With that being said, the stories continue to mount of death rates in many places being inflated. As this lockdown continues, there is credible debate whether confining everyone to their homes only prolonged the virus’ effect. In addition, patients with other serious conditions have had their treatments put on hold for months. Meanwhile, the British scientist who created much of this havoc with his completely inaccurate models has been fired in disgrace! No one is denying the tragedy of this pandemic, but it appears as if something else is underway!

Many years ago, there was a political campaign that featured the slogan, “It’s Morning in America!” It was a new day dawning, with an administration promising to lead our country out of its malaise. Today, it’s sadly, “Midnight in America;” with many of our elected officials behaving not as servants of the people, but as “banana republic” dictators!

Every day we hear of some courageous individual wanting to open up his or her small business, only to be persecuted by their state government. A woman in Texas, who attempted to open her beauty salon, was ordered to jail! Another individual in New Jersey tried to reopen his gym, only to have the Health Department close his building without any inspection. Here in Pennsylvania, we have restaurant owners in York who have had their license revoked for the audacity of wanting their livelihood back!

But, the most troubling aspect of this is the war on faith! In a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, worshippers in several states are being treated with contempt and denied their Constitutional rights! Even many of those who have been reduced to attending services in their vehicles, are cited for illegal parking or have their license numbers recorded by police!

In ancient Israel whenever they drifted too far from God, He allowed them to go into captivity, usually under a foreign power. Today we are experiencing the same thing, only from OUR OWN LAWMAKERS! If this isn’t “Midnight in America,” then we’re getting dangerously close!

John A. Peterson,

Chandlers Valley

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