Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Written by Rep. Richard Hudson
I am yielding my space this week to Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. It is refreshing when a North Carolina politician stands up and boldly speaks out in defense of our fundamental American freedoms. It makes no difference that Hudson is a Republican. He is asking the questions all North Carolinians and Fayettevillians need to be asking — regardless of their political affiliation. We need to know things like when will life get back to normal? When will the country open up again? How long will it take for us to recover?
These questions transcend political affiliation, and it’s disappointing more people are not speaking out and objecting to the curtailment of their rights, lives and livelihoods.
Where is the outrage?
Personally, I’m proud of Hudson for standing up for what he believes in and not being afraid to make his positions known to the public. That’s bold and fearless leadership that deserves, if not support, at least our respect. There are far too few people in our community with such conviction willing to speak “truth to power.” Tisha Waddell, Matt Richardson, Troy Williams, Margaret Dickson, Karl Merritt and Pitt Dickey. Like I said, too few.
In conclusion, I hope that more citizens, regardless of race, political affiliation or creed, will come forth and use their First Amendment rights to express how they feel about their freedoms and liberties before the harsh reality sets in that freedom isn’t really free.
Thanks for reading Up & Coming Weekly.
— Bill Bowman, publisher
When will life get back to normal? When will the country open up again? How long will it take for us to recover? These are the questions I hear every day from folks at home and, the truth is, nobody can say for certain. Just like you, I’m eager to get back to the way things were so we can restart our economy and go on with our lives.
By now we are all familiar with terms like quarantine and social distancing. For the most part, it is encouraging to see that these strategies are having an impact. However, I believe that now is the time for us to begin to look to open the country through a safe and deliberate process, especially for communities or people that are not at high risk.
Many business owners I have met with over the phone or video conference say they have gone to great lengths to make sure that their employees and customers they serve are in a safe environment. Because of these efforts, it has become clear that more businesses are able to safely open, and as I said during a town hall last week, I believe this is the path we need to be headed down while maintaining proper safety precautions.
As part of this effort, last week I partnered with Lowe’s to secure 100,000 face masks for our communities. Together, we delivered 50,000 masks to Cabarrus Health Alliance in Kannapolis and 50,000 masks to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, I have worked every day to get workers and health care providers the resources they need. I’m proud to work with Lowe’s to make 100,000 masks available for our region, which will help meet the needs of health care workers and patients on the frontlines. This is one small, but important step in advocating for more resources for our community so that we may reopen the country.
With this in mind, I believe one group of people that should return to work immediately is the United States Congress. I have joined many of my colleagues in repeatedly calling for Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to bring us back into session so that we can negotiate a bipartisan response to the coronavirus crisis. However, instead of bringing us back to work together on behalf of our country, this week we were in session one day to vote on a partisan, 1,800-page Democratic wish list written in secret in Pelosi’s office.
Not only did this $3 trillion bill — the largest spending bill in American history — fail to address real needs of the country, but it also included a laundry list of items not even related to coronavirus. These included direct payments to illegal immigrants, a blanket release of federal prisoners, a taxpayer-funded bailout of union pensions and an overhaul of our election laws. That is no way to serve the American people.
It’s beyond time for the House of Representatives to come back to work. Folks are hurting and expect us to work together on the problems facing our country. Thankfully, this bill has zero chance of ever becoming law. But the time for politics is long over. I’ll continue to work every day to help our community and get our country back to work.
Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Written by Jimmy Jones
I thought we needed a little humor. While working for the military, one of my commander’s favorite questions to almost any problem or decision started with “Does this make sense?” Then after weighing his options, he would answer with his orders followed by “Does that make sense?”
That is the approach that we should demand from our leaders. Not political partisanship but common sense like that of Thomas Paine’s little pamphlet back in 1776. The one calling for some intellectual consideration for the common man.
It seems most every day we see something that I like to call “Stupid Stuff of the Day.” I asked people to write about their “stupid” COVID stories and send them to me. Here is what I got:
- When applying for North Carolina’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for contractors and self-employed workers out of work due to COVID-19, one of the questions asked was, “Are you willing to look for other employment?”
There was not a place to respond with,
“No, I had a job, but Gov. Cooper will not let me do my job.”
What they are saying is, “You can work, but only at places he deems essential.”
— Frustrated Unemployed Hairdresser
- I was at Wendy’s yesterday. I ordered a double cheeseburger. “Sir, we are no longer serving double burgers so that other customers may also get food.”
So, I ask, “Can I get two cheeseburgers?”
“So, if I pay for two cheeseburgers, I can get them, and damn everyone else. Can’t you just put them together and throw out the extra bread.”
“Um, um. No, Sir.
— Al Reid
- Individuals in a car by themselves wearing a mask.
— Paul Douglas Vandeventer
- I had a repair guy come to my house to replace a window. I went to introduce myself and shake his hand when he showed up. He said he couldn’t shake my hand because of the coronavirus. He then proceeded to walk into my house. While measuring the window, he handed me one end of the measuring tape to help him. He handed me the quote for replacing the window. I agreed to his price. He did the payment on his phone and handed me his phone to sign for the payment. I handed his phone back to him and went
to shake his hand. He once again reminded me he couldn’t shake hands because of the coronavirus.
— Jay Plyman
- I went to the grocery store to buy 6 pounds of ground chuck. They said I could only buy two packs of meat at 1 pound per package. I told them I was looking for 6 pounds. So that means I would have had to get six packages. I went to the meat counter and told them I needed 6 pounds of ground chuck. They went to the back and got me two 3.4-pound packs of grounds chuck. You do the math.
- Last week, my wife and I went to get a COVID-19 test at a drive-up test facility. We both (had) flu-like symptoms back in March after a cruise.
The lady drilled a stick up our noses and when she was finished, she said, “You two will have to quarantine yourselves for five days.”
I asked her why, and she said “that’s the process since you wanted to be tested.”
I don’t understand how these people can be smart enough to shove something up my nose but not smart enough to know that it has been over a month-and-half since we were sick, and I am not staying home. We just wanted to know if we had had the COVID.
- I just heard one of the local drive-in theaters is reopening and plans to practice social distancing by spreading the cars out further from each other. … You’re in separate cars already. What about in normal traffic, at a red light, in a parking lot or a drive-thru? Are you freakin’ kidding me?
— Jeff Campbell
- Common sense is not common.
- A friend of mine and I traveled to West Virginia. We made reservations to stay the night at a large hotel chain in Charlottesville. As we pulled up, there were only three cars in the parking lot. The door was locked. We rang a bell, and the manager opened the door. There were tables set up in front of the check-in desk to keep people back.
The hotel manager looks at us and says, “I have to ask that you two to stand at least 6 feet apart.”
My friend looks at him and says, “We just drove seven hours in the same car.”
The gentlemen replied, “Sir, we are taking the COVID-19 thing very seriously.”
He then asked if we needed a room with two beds. My friend replied, “Yes.”
The manager responded, “You are in room 427,” and handed us our keys.
I looked at him and asked, “So we can share
He replied, “Yes.”
Then, I asked, “ We can share the same bathroom?”
He replied, “Yes.”
My friend asked, “We can ride up in the same elevator?”
The manager responded, “Yes.”
My friend and I looked at each other, and my friend said, “Makes sense to me,” and we just laughed and shook our heads as we realized that we were the only people on the fourth floor.
— Jimmy Jones
As we all hear of these stories, most people understand that those working down in the trenches are just doing what the government is mandating. I think most people are not laughing as much at the people around us, but deep down inside, we are sadly laughing at the leadership (or lack thereof) of our elected officials.
When all of this is said and done, the last laugh for the men and women in high places will be had at election time.
And that, my friends, may not be a joke at all.