Winn Parish Arrest Report

WINN PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Name: Clarence Merel Burton
Date: 09-14-2020
Age: 50
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge: First Degree Rape, Sexual Battery, First Degree Rape, Attempted Second Degree Rape, Sexual Battery, Sexual Battery
Bond: No Bond

Name: Brittany Ann Kellog
Date: 09-16-2020
Age: 19
Address: Joyce, LA
Gender: Female
Race: White
Charge: Failure to Appear
Bond: $763.00

Name: Harold K. Remo, Jr.
Date: 09-16-2020
Age: 33
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Failure to Appear
Bond: $751.00

Name: Elvis Ramirez Rivas
Date: 09-17-2020
Age: 37
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Hispanic
Charge: No Driver’s License
Bond: Released with Citation

Name: Amanda Lynn King
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 43
Address: Dodson, LA
Gender: Female
Race: White
Charge: Possession of Schedule I (THC), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Bond: $25,000

Name: Robert Earl Starkey III
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 35
Address: Jonesboro, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White 
Charge: Improper Lane Change, No Motor Vehicle Inspection, Expired License Plate, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia x 2
Bond: $5,000

Name: Daniel Levi Barnett
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 18
Address: Goldonna, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Male
Charge: Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling
Bond: $25,000

Name: Daniel Levi Barnett
Date: 09-20-2020
Age: 18
Address: Goldonna, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge: Misdemeanor Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile
Bond: See previous entry * Total Bond $25,000

Name: Avery Brown
Date: 09-22-2020
Age: 24
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Criminal Damage, Attempted Simple Escape
Bond: None Listed

Name: Marcus D. Davis
Date: 09-22-2020
Age: 30
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Criminal Damage, Attempted Simple Escape, Possession of Contraband X 2
Bond: None Listed

Name: Marcus D. Booker, Jr.
Date: 09-24-2020
Age: 33
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Bench Warrant – Failure to Appear
Bond: None Listed

Name: Shannon Farmer
Date: 09-23-2020
Age: 32
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Assault Aggravated X 2, Assault Simple Battery Aggravated
Bond: None Listed

Name: Leonard Rhodes
Date: 09-23-2020
Age: 51
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Criminal Trespass, Resisting Arrest or Officer, Failure to Report Probation and Parole Violation
Bond: None Listed

Name: Joshua Silas
Date: 9-23-2020
Age: 28
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: White
Charge:  Simple Criminal Damage to Property, Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling
Bond: None Listed

WINNFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Name: Dekator T. Pittman
Date: 09-21-2020
Age: 38
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Simple Battery
Bond: $550.00

Name: Lereginald J. Walker
Date: 09-25-2020
Age: 20
Address: Winnfield, LA
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Charge: Domestic Abuse Battery
Bond: None Listed

 


SECRETARY OF STATE PROVIDES INFORMATION ON ABSENTEE BALLOTS

BATON ROUGE, La.— In the last few days, Parish Registrars of Voters across the state began sending out absentee ballots. This year will see the highest number of absentee ballots ever cast in a Louisiana election.   To ensure voters have their absentee ballot counted, this instructional video shows step-by-step how to properly fill out and return an absentee ballot. 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 30 by 4:30 p.m., and the deadline to return an absentee ballot is November 2 by 4:30 p.m. As a reminder, to ensure all ballots are received in time to be counted, the United States Postal Service recommends that all absentee ballots be requested 15 days prior to the election and mailed back 7 days prior to the return deadline.

The list of reasons to apply for an absentee ballot can be found here


FBI AND CISA PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING ELECTION DISINFORMATION

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are issuing this announcement to raise awareness of the potential threat posed by attempts to spread disinformation regarding the results of the 2020 elections. Foreign actors and cybercriminals could create new websites, change existing websites, and create or share corresponding social media content to spread false information in an attempt to discredit the electoral process and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions.

State and local officials typically require several days to weeks to certify elections’ final results in order to ensure every legally cast vote is accurately counted. The increased use of mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 protocols could leave officials with incomplete results on election night. Foreign actors and cybercriminals could exploit the time required to certify and announce elections’ results by disseminating disinformation that includes reports of voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud, and other problems intended to convince the public of the elections’ illegitimacy.

The FBI and CISA urge the American public to critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources, such as state and local election officials. The public should also be aware that if foreign actors or cyber criminals were able to successfully change an election-related website, the underlying data and internal systems would remain uncompromised.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Seek out information from trustworthy sources, such as state and local election officials; verify who produced the content; and consider their intent.
  • Verify through multiple reliable sources any reports about problems in voting or election results, and consider searching for other reliable sources before sharing such information via social media or other avenues.
  • For information about final election results, rely on state and local government election officials.
  • Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.
  • If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about election-related problems or results.

The FBI is responsible for investigating malign foreign influence operations and malicious cyber activity targeting election infrastructure and other U.S. democratic institutions. CISA is responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats. The FBI and CISA provide services and information to uphold the security, integrity, and resiliency of the U.S. electoral processes.

VICTIM REPORTING AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The FBI encourages victims to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local field office (www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field). For additional assistance and best practices, and common terms, please visit the following websites:


Senator Louie Bernard: Special Session Begins Today

Members of the Louisiana Legislature head to Baton Rouge for the Special Legislative Session that starts today. It will be a 30 day session. The legislature called itself into session and the call lists 70 items for lawmakers to consider.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder is quoted in a news release that the special session will focus on three main objectives:

1. Hurricane Laura disaster relief and recovery efforts
2. On-going issues with COVID-1 especially relative to funding and the economy
3. The state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.

Senator Louie Bernard told The Journal that he mostly agrees with Schexnayder that these are the priority items. He would add working to assure that the MFP formula for funding public education is kept in place. Bernard said, “My concern is that it should not be downgraded because there are fewer kids in school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are not in school right now, but they will be back, and we need to assure sound funding for education.

On the Unemployment Trust Fund, Bernard said it is low on funds and needs to be replenished. He added, “There are the Main Street and the Front Line Worker programs that have not spent all the funds allocated to them. This might possibly be an option for the Unemployment Trust Fund. It’s something we will probably look at.”

Bernard cautioned, “The call contains 70 items and that is too much. We would be better off focusing on things that we can do in 30 days.” Below is the proclamation calling for the special session and the 70 items that are included. Senator Bernard said, “When we put too many things in the call it makes it cluttered and makes it too hard to get everything done.”

Please review:


Budget Sweeps Cause Unclaimed Property Program To Fall Short Of Money To Pay Claims

State Treasurer John M. Schroder announced on Sept. 23 that the Unclaimed Property Program is once again temporarily short of the money needed to pay claims because of state budget sweeps. A similar shortfall arose in September 2018.

The program had a balance of $623,715.10 on Sept. 22, leaving it short of the money needed to pay all pending claims. Since 1973, more than $600 million in Unclaimed Property has been used to balance the state budget, leading to shortfalls in the ability to pay claims.

People and businesses may need to wait several weeks to claim their Unclaimed Property. Businesses traditionally remit lost money to the state in late October, which will generate enough funding to resume paying claims.

“Unclaimed Property isn’t the state’s money. It belongs to the people and businesses of Louisiana. We shouldn’t have to delay returning people’s money to them,” said Treasurer Schroder. “I’m thankful the citizens of Louisiana will be able to vote Nov. 3 on whether to place Unclaimed Property into a trust fund. A trust fund will prevent future shortfalls. Unclaimed Property is the people’s money. They shouldn’t be told to come back in four weeks to claim it.”

Constitutional Amendment No. 7 will create the Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund to protect Unclaimed Property beginning July 1, 2021. Through the fund’s investment earnings, it also will create a state revenue source that doesn’t raise taxes or spend people’s Unclaimed Property.


KENNEDY, JOHNSON ANNOUNCE NEARLY $1 MILLION TO SUPPORT LOCAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), a member of Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today announced that nearly one million in grant funding is headed to local and state agencies to support law enforcement in Louisiana.

These funds, administered through the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), support a broad range of law enforcement activities to prevent and reduce crime based on unique state and local needs. The federal funding can be used for training, hiring additional personnel, and procuring equipment and supplies, among other things.

“We keep Louisianians safe by giving law enforcement the resources they need to serve and protect. The support Attorney General Barr is showing for Shreveport, Natchitoches, Bossier City and other law enforcement will extend to every member of those communities,” said Kennedy.

“At a time when our law enforcement officers need support more than ever before, this is a key investment in our local and state agencies. We need to make certain that everyone who serves so bravely has the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs effectively and keep our communities safe,” said Johnson. “From day one, President Trump and AG William Barr have shown their support for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and I am thankful for their continued commitment to that effort.”

The following DOJ grants were made in Louisiana:

· City of Shreveport – $117,440
Funded initiatives may include supporting drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.

· Bossier City – $37,560
Funded initiatives may include supporting drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.

· City of Natchitoches – $12,490
Funded initiatives may include supporting drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, information sharing initiatives, or other programs aimed at reducing crime and/or enhancing public/officer safety.

· Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice – $61,109

Funds will be used to bring facilities in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to better protect individuals from sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

· Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice – $10,868

Funds will be used to bring facilities in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to better protect individuals from sexual abuse and sexual harassment in state-run juvenile correctional facilities.

· Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections – $498,759

Funds will be used to administer the Adult Reentry and Employment Strategic Planning Program, which aims to reduce recidivism among newly released offenders.

· Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance – $39,774
Funds will be used to administer the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Grant Program which provides loan repayment assistance for local, state, and federal public defenders and local and state prosecutors.

· State of Louisiana Office of Youth Development – $156,588
Funds will be used to bring facilities in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) to better protect individuals from sexual abuse and sexual harassment.


Notice of Death September 27, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Lester Edwin Keeth
October 26, 1946 – September 24, 2020
Service: Tuesday, September 29 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Natalie Wilson
September 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jessie Sawyer
September 24, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Vanilla Hardy
May 11, 1970 – September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Laraja Brianne Nicholas
July 10, 1997 – September 23, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 11 am at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, located at 2654 Highway 1226 in Clarence

Willie Baldwin
September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA


Severe Weather Outlook – Flash Flood Watch for Winn Parish

Flood Watch
National Weather Service Shreveport LA
352 AM CDT Wed Sep 23 2020

Lincoln-Union-Jackson-Ouachita-Sabine-Natchitoches-Winn-Grant-
Caldwell-La Salle-
Including the cities of Colfax, Natchitoches, Columbia, Zwolle,
Olla, Many, Dry Prong, Ruston, Farmerville, Winnfield, Montgomery,
Jena, Grayson, Pleasant Hill, Jonesboro, Clarks, Midway, Monroe, and
Bernice

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...

The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of north central Louisiana and
  northwest Louisiana, including the following areas, in north
  central Louisiana, Caldwell, Grant, Jackson, La Salle, Lincoln,
  Ouachita, Union and Winn. In northwest Louisiana, Natchitoches and
  Sabine.

* Through late tonight

* Additional rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated higher
  amounts possible.

* Flooding may occur in urban and poor drainage areas.  Heavy
  rainfall may also cause flooding of creeks, streams, and rivers.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to
Flash Flooding. Flash Flooding is a very dangerous situation. You
should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should
Flash Flood Warnings be issued.


Winn Parish Arrest Report

WINNFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Name: WASHINGTON, NATASHA
Date: 09-14-2020
Age: 32
Address: WINNFIELD, LA
Gender: FEMALE
Race: BLACK
Charge: BENCH WARRANT

Name: KELLY, JACOB
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 28
Address: GRAYSON, LA
Gender: MALE
Race: WHITE
Charge: THEFT

Name: BLACKSTUR, LESLIE
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 32
Address: HANNIBAL, MO
Gender: FEMALE
Race: WHITE
Charge: BENCH WARRANT, POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE, OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE

Name: DAVIS, TRISHA
Date: 09-19-2020
Age: 35
Address: HANNIBAL, MO
Gender: FEMALE
Race: WHITE
Charge: ACCESS DEVICE FRAUD X 5, POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

Name: SAPP, JOHNNY
Date: 09-20-2020
Age: 60
Address: WINNFIELD, LA
Gender: MALE
Race: BLACK
Charge: SIMPLE BATTERY


Window to Winn By Bob Holeman

Hurricane Laura dealt havoc to Winn Parish, leaving a tangle of downed trees, damaged homes and a spaghetti mix of wires, broken power poles and transformers that left us without power and in a communication blackout.

            Our home got power back after 10 days but it was two weeks before our internet and TV service was restored.  We then tuned in to see what damage Laura has wrought but found no coverage of a storm that had devastated Louisiana, for she was now two weeks old.  There was scant coverage even of the wildfires that continued to rage along the Pacific west coast.

            Instead the media, both left and right, seemed to focus their airtime on the acts of social and racial hatred that boiled over in a number of metro areas.  They’d like to hold that this is what America is today, a Republic founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic whose wheels have fallen off after some 250 years; a nation that has turned from God and is so flawed with discrimination in that quarter century that it can’t be fixed.

            I’m going to suggest that they’ve got it wrong.  Let me tell you a little about what we saw in Winn Parish following Laura.  I think it may give you a window into the fabric of which the American people really are made.  We saw it after Katrina in 2005.  We’re seeing it after Sally now.  And I’d like to believe we’re seeing it as people reach out to help others in the western fires.

            When the hurricane’s winds had passed, folks didn’t wait on government to solve the problems.  Capable homeowners and loggers alike came out to clear roads alongside first responders where possible so folks could get through.  And they looked for ways to help each other.  A huge tree crushed the home of a police officer not far from us and his neighbors took him into their own home.  Across the parish, neighbors helped others put those familiar blue tarps over damaged roofs and offered other acts to help families impose some order over chaos.  When the National Guard arrived with water, ice and MREs at distribution points, people drove up to carry those supplies to others having difficulty.

            I was touched to see action by one group that some of us might call the “Entitled Generation.” These are young people we’ve labeled as not willing to work toward a goal because they believe they deserve it.  I was proved wrong again when volunteer distribution points for supplies and meals were manned in part by a host of young people.

            Let’s talk for a bit about a strike force of 68 Tennessee volunteers who brought love, hope and tree removal to some 250 home sites here over a two-week period.  A tremendous support team from area churches allowed them to work with minimal interruption.  A third team was planned for an additional week but urgency for help following Hurricane Sally saw that team redirected to the east.

            Ron Thompson, a Baptist Convention missions coordinator from Natchitoches arrived here once roads were passable and communication possible and worked with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s disaster relief team.  The first group of eight arrived from Tennessee just a week after Laura had struck but when they found that First Baptist Church of Winnfield could host 30, the team quickly expanded to 30.  Group Two had 38.

            With two bucket trucks, a tractor, and Bobcat plus power saws, the volunteers daily broke into four teams and went to separate sites based on work orders prepared by a prioritization of requests.  Local volunteers had gone out to assess and prioritize work requests that were called in so that the Tennessee crew could help as many as possible in their limited time here.

            Harold Renfroe of Lexington, one of the youngsters at 62, said that one lady had “two great big trees down on her horse pen.  She had given up, thinking we couldn’t do anything.  But we did.  At the end, we presented her a Bible.  She broke down and cried.  So did we.  She didn’t realize we’d drive down this far to cut up her two trees.  We can’t get over how friendly and appreciative people here are.”

            “It’s not all about roofs and trees and tarps,” Thompson pointed out.  “It’s about the people who live there and their relationship to Christ.  Our team members can’t work and saw trees nonstop.  They take breaks and talk with homeowners.  One of the team has been involved with disaster relief for years and told me this was the first time he’s had to opportunity to lead a man to Christ.”

            Johnny Grimes observed that everyone was appreciative, never expecting more than the team could provide.  When asked how they could repay these volunteers, the answer often would be, “Is there a church nearby you could start attending?”

            “We came to give them hope,” said LaDonna Tucker of Signal Mountain.  “There was a lady, a widow who had no idea what she could do next.  Her trailer had a tree through the middle.  We got the tree out and put a tarp over the trailer.  We also got six big trees out of her yard.  When she got back and saw what we had done, she just sat in her car and cried.”  She hadn’t believed her home would look that whole again.

            David Owens, also of Signal Mountain, echoed that when a storm victim returns from work to find their property cleaned up of the downed trees and debris, they have a feeling of hope after all.  They’d left that morning wondering what their next step would be.

            When the teams show up, perhaps they can’t fix all the damage they encounter but they can give a little hope, Thompson said.  One older gentleman said, “You don’t know how much this means.  It’s a lot that someone cares, remembers and is there to help.”

            An operation like this takes a lot of support and much organization.  First Baptist hosted housing and a meal site for breakfast and dinner.  Thompson said pastors Dr. Jerry Pipes and Danny Keyes responded to any of the team’s requests.  Westside Baptist of Natchitoches provided the mobile kitchen capable for providing 150 to 200 meals.  Many churches provided volunteers, resources and food to assist the visitors.  “The food is great.  I usually gain some weight during these mission projects,” confessed Doyle Pittman of Chattanooga. 

A mobile shower unit was refreshing for the hard-working volunteers while its laundry unit was run nonstop by local volunteers.  Thompson praised the support of sheriff and emergency operations coordinator Cranford Jordan on logistics, information and food for the teams.  The Food Bank and generous cash donations also kept the serving tables loaded.

One of the volunteers carries an experience that allowed him to see Winn’s disaster from a different perspective.  Bill Luttrell was serving as a missionary in the Abaco Islands near Bermuda when Hurricane Dorian struck a year ago.  “After you go through this, you feel defeated, in a mental fog.  You’ve lost everything.  It’s hard to get anything going.  Then someone shows up to give you a little hope.  You can take your first step.”  He returned to the United States once communication was re-established after Dorian.  When he then went back to Abaco, he was one of those able to provide a little hope to those still in the devasted islands.

Of the appreciation Luttrell witnessed here, one comment stands out.  The two teams from Tennessee completed work at 250 sites.  Despite this accomplishment, there are still many more requests in the folder.  One homeowner who’d called in pulled up to the crew on their final day in town and called out, “Even if you don’t get to my house, thank you for what you’re doing for our community.”

On a personal note, when I first heard this disaster relief team was from Tennessee, I wondered about the possibility of any coming from the small town east of Knoxville where my daughter now lives.  Chances were good.  We visited the first crew one evening to discover that eight had traveled from Dandridge, with five of them members of Laura’s home church.  Small world.

That’s my observation.  I feel that what we’ve seen here since August 27 gives a truer representation of what America really is than is portrayal in the media.         

A Tennessee volunteer cuts limbs from a tree that landed on a home during Hurricane Laura

Following breakfast and a devotional, the Tennessee crew breaks into smaller teams and heads out very early each morning.  This is the crew of Week 2

‘Before’ photo shows a tree that has smashed through a trailer

‘After’ shows the trailer as the homeowner saw it later, with the tree removed, trailer tarped and lard cleaned up


Help Us Reduce Their R.I.S.K.

Members of the Northwest Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force (Task Force), which is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations, have noticed a disturbing trend in the rise of sexual predator cases. For instance, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has reported a 200 percent increase in online sexual predator cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Because of this trend, the Task Force has launched “Project R.I.S.K.” (Reliable Internet Safety for Kids).

Since March of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed our youth more to the internet than ever before. Today, the internet not only entertains and connects our youth with their peers, but a vast majority of them are using the internet for virtual schooling. This increase in internet activity allows more opportunity for predators to interact with our youth. As we see in all cases, predators will also adapt to their changing environments.

In this Public Service Announcement (PSA), which launches Project R.I.S.K., leaders of area law enforcement agencies provide advice to help prevent predators from victimizing children. Leaders advise all guardians (parents, teachers, custodians, etc.) to place ALL devices (computers, laptops, tablets, and phones) in common areas. Phones, even those with no service, allow the same access to predators as a computer or other device. Guardians need to know what apps are on these devices and also know their children’s passwords. Project R.I.S.K. encourages all guardians to engage in their children’s activities.

All agencies in our Task Force share a united front to eliminate all human trafficking type cases; however, to be more successful, we need assistance from the public. We understand many guardians want to protect their kids but may not know where to look for “reliable internet safety information.” Project R.I.S.K. has asked all agencies in our Task Force to post this reliable information on their websites, so guardians will always have this information at their fingertips. Finally, members of the Task Force will be available to meet with citizens, local government officials, community organizations, school boards, churches, and other groups to discuss Project R.I.S.K. and internet safety.

 


My Opinion – The National Narrative Is A Deceit

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

George Orwell

We are living in a strange time when our country’s elite seek to create, rather than discern, the truth they want.  

We are viewing the equivalent of a distorting mirror in a carnival or fair.  We’re not allowed to say what we are truly seeing because it doesn’t fit the national media political narrative that our form of government is oppressive and that we are a nation of irredeemable racists.  

We’re not supposed to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or that fear of a mob shouldn’t determine who is prosecuted and who isn’t, or who is thrown out of college or fired from their job.  It’s grotesque to have hundreds of people outside of a courtroom demanding that someone be found guilty.  What if they’re not? (This is why courts require evidence of a crime, not perceptions, opinions, or grievances). 

We aren’t allowed to point out that the crime, violence, vandalism, and destruction we see occurring nightly in American cities is illegal and should be punished, and that these are not “peaceful protests.”  We aren’t allowed to say that all black lives matter—not just the fraction of black lives taken by white police officers—but also the hundreds of thousands of black babies aborted every year as well as the thousands of black lives tragically lost as a result of black-on-black crime in American inner cities every year. 

We aren’t supposed to notice that the months-long rioting, looting and destruction has only occurred in states and cities headed by Leftist governors and mayors.  We also aren’t allowed to point out that the virus mandates are arbitrary at best; or, that we find it transparently stupid and indefensible that people are allowed to march in massive protest rallies but not to attend church or the funeral of a loved one. 

Or, to remember that the original goal was to “flatten the curve” not commandeer our lives and wreck the economy.  Or, that the damage we have done to our national economy during the shutdown is likely worse than the virus itself.  If we suggest anything like this we are attacked as being anti-science and wanting people to die.   

We’re not supposed to say that the most critical problem destroying many American inner cities is crime—armed robbery, murder, gang violence, drug dealing and drive-by shootings—because the national media political narrative is that the police are the problem and somehow if we defund them everything will be better.  Or, that what is really needed in crime-filled inner cities is not less law enforcement but more.

Or that our form of American free-market capitalism is the greatest economic system ever created and has lifted millions out of poverty, inspiring millions more worldwide who urgently seek to come here for the great freedoms, hope and promise of a better life.  And that maybe we shouldn’t create in America the very socialism these people are desperately fleeing!  

Don’t state that Communism, and Socialism, its precursor, is a cold, dark, atheistic ideology that denies people basic human rights and views the individual as nothing more than a cog in the wheel of an all-powerful government; or that historians estimate roughly 100 million were killed under communist rule in the 20th century; or that the anarchy and chaos of Antifa and the Marxist tactics  and public embrace of Marxist ideology of Black Lives Matter (“if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system”) is not the way to advance freedom and justice or make democratic change because they guarantee the opposite will occur.   

We are not allowed to agree that while America is, indeed, an ethnic and cultural melting pot, the large majority of those who immigrated to America did so legally, and we shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the healthcare, welfare, education and Covid-relief of those in the country illegally.

Particularly now, we have an obligation to speak the truth about what we are seeing, and we must do so in order to preserve the America we love.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


John Bell Edwards Releases Statement in Response to Lawmakers’ Call for Special Session

Late Monday afternoon, Gov. John Bel Edwards responded to lawmakers’ call for a special session.

He released the following statement:

“At a time when our state is dealing with the COVID-19 health emergency, hurricanes, and one severe weather event after another, I am concerned that the Legislature has again called themselves into a month-long session with an agenda of 70 items. This session will occur at a time when the public will again be restricted in their access to the State Capitol and their ability to give needed public input. 

“From the beginning of this emergency, I have relied on public health experts and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to guide Louisiana’s response to this historic emergency. Further, this response has been in line with the measures taken by our neighboring states that have unfortunately also been enormously impacted by COVID-19.   

“Put simply, the measures we have taken in Louisiana are working and we are making significant progress. However, to abandon these efforts in defiance of the unanimous advice of the public health experts and the Trump administration would seriously jeopardize the lives of our people and the gains we have made. Further, it is important to remember our work in containing COVID-19 is far from done, as Louisiana still has the highest number of per capita infections in the country. 

“I am hopeful that the Legislative leadership will significantly narrow the scope and the duration of this session so that they can do the work they deem necessary, while at the same time working in a bipartisan and cooperative manner to address our significant challenges in an honest and transparent manner. Louisianans have come too far to have all of our effective and life-saving work upended.”