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Numbers and Politics


Part 2

I want my political leaders to know their numbers. Like Judge Executive Gerry Lynn and Mayor Ronnie Joyner did when they, along with Deb Masterson Pike, and myself worked to relocate the Confederate Monument to Brandenburg, and later with the History Museum. I was fortunate to meet and correspond with Judge Executive Stith and Mayor Joyner again this year, concerning funding for the Museum.

When I first met Judge Stith, he said to me, “I’m a numbers guy.” That was one statement I wanted to hear. Numbers are important. I remember some 20 plus years ago when Fran and I barely had our cabin roofed in, Mr. Randal Hardesty knocked on our door, asking for my vote. He explained he was running for Magistrate and needed votes. I told him he had my vote. When he asked if I wanted to know which party he represented, I told him no. He was the first candidate to care enough to ask for my vote, the rest took it for granted. That spoke volumes about the kind of man he is. It was about then I learned more than one third of county taxes supported the jail. I had never thought about tax apportionment, but that percentage seemed too high. My father was also a numbers guy, and he sired me.

I remembered Dad telling me, “Son, figures don’t lie, but liars figure,” that is correct! Woody Guthrie stated it differently in the folk song “Pretty Boy Floyd.” He wrote, “Some men rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.” Add to that, some rob and lie to you by over hyping a problem on 24-hour news shows and other media. They use scare tactics designed to get laws enacted by emotion. These often result in taxation and loosing rights and freedoms. In example, the Covid-19 epidemic and all of the unnecessary, in my view, mandates. Let’s view this “crisis” through the eyes of history.

In 1918, the Spanish Flu was brought into this country, probably by contagious encounters with soldiers returning from WW I. Our population at that time was approximately 2,700,000 and 675,000 died from that pandemic, or 25% of our total population. There were no vaccines, but the government asked people to wear face protection, not to meet in large groups, wash their hands, use good hygiene, and quarantine. Sound familiar? So far, I can find nothing mandated by the Federal or State governments. Our current population is 330,425,184, and 573,099 have died from Covid-19, over the last year and four months. A single death is terrible, but everyone will die of something. Nearly 102,000 fewer people have died from Covid-19 in 16 months than those who died of Spanish Flu. That percentage is by comparison, 1.7%, of our population. Covid is not our worst epidemic, and not as bad as the common flu. Yet, Washington and Frankfort create that impression. Why? Just hold on to your pocket books and bill of rights. Based on written reports accessible on line, each year 61,000 deaths arise from the flu, or about 5,100 deaths per month. Covid has killed about 3,600 people per month. Make no mistake, Covid-19 is real and bad, but less so than the common flu, and we accept that as normal! We’ve only had a vaccine for about six months, but the first flu vaccine was used in 1942. Everyone, calm down. Remember, in 1918 the government suggestions were identical with today. Wear face protection, do not meet in large groups, wash your hands, use good hygiene, and quarantine. Since 1918, what’s different except vaccines, unavailable in our doctor’s offices; apparently, nothing. Why then? To raise taxes and limit freedoms? That’s what I think.