Those Who Walk the Walk Should Lead

stephen-king-books-movies by Marion Marks

“Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different.” ~ Stephen King

Serious voters really are just the citizens who have earned the right to talk and walk and engage in political discussion. Voters are the consumers of democracy in the truest sense of the word. But we also consume stories of those who are both engaged and disengaged with the democratic process, Republicans, Democrats, members of the Green Party, Libertarians as well as those with no formal party affiliation. The loudest too often are non-participants!

All that said, we who have been engaged with the process believe, rightly or wrongly, that we have earned the right to criticize the system as well as those who attempt to manipulate the process from the fringes. It is the manipulators who we should focus more attention on limiting from our attention. They spend far too much time distracting us from important issues.

When the Greeks established the voting process, based on educated Athenian men who owned land, the world of governing moved to a new level of participation. Perhaps the Read more

How Low Are Our Standards?

shreveport-police-Blue Ribbonby Marion Marks

Only three candidates Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler named among the seven finalists for the post of Police Chief have any advanced education degrees. The mayor’s educational and career background should cause this shortcoming to be alarming. In a time of advanced digital technology available locally and cyber crimes in our own area a broader experience and background in leadership should be a necessity. And, it is very sad that beyond and MBA from Centenary College, the next most senior and “academic” credential is from our local institution that I had to research online to determine their accreditation: Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary, Inc. also found in Dunn & Bradstreet as an “unverified entity.”.

The finalist list includes Interim Police Chief Alan Crump, SPD Sgt. Janice Dailey, SPD Sgt. Rodney Horton, SPD Lt. Greg Jones, Caddo Sheriff’s Office Capt. Darwin Jones, SPD Cpl. Benjamin Raymond, and Assistant Shreveport Chief of Police Wayne Smith. The chief is expected to named prior to the end of the month based upon final interviews and other considerations that are generally at the discretion of the mayor. [LINKS TO APPLICATIONS AND EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS]

leadership-quotes-by-henry-fordCorporal Raymond scored the highest among the original 19 applicants who took the civil service exam, 95%. Interim chief Alan Crump scored among the lowest. Shreveport has regularly been noted as Read more

Moving Beyond the Bitterness

dove_peaceby Marion Marks

Hatred, rancor, bitter scarred feelings and sadness of the past year of political discourse are all many of us see or feel. The battle for control of America, many believe, was decided regardless of what we said or did. We were powerless and played by the powerful.

But I believe America is still the winner of an election where most of the actions were the result of the decisions where all could have turned out differently. The process was never glamorous, but it was the will of the voters. And, with all the flaws and claims, America will work through the morass of rancorous partisan squabbles.

The grueling 2016 campaign doesn’t even come to an end in Louisiana until after the December runoffs. And, even then, we will have more noise as the “lame duck” session of congress determines what to do prior to the newly elected officials being sworn in and taking their seats in January.

However, it really is time to come together and move past the bitterness and squalid bickering that has marked the last year. So, here are five suggested strategies for cleansing the bitterness from our lives and our palettes.

1. Measure people by deeds and actions rather than political opinions

People in your circles are more than the sum of their political statements and opinions. If these people were in your life because they brought values to the discussion previously, they Read more

Avoid the Abyss

abyssBy Henry C. Walker

Like me, you have a few friends who, when asked about the presidential race, will only say that they “can’t stand” Hillary, with no factual aid at hand, except to add with equally feckless brio that they “don’t trust her.” Such retorts aren’t responsive, of course, at least as being aids to their initial response. My main worry is that many of them can, at least some of the time (I’m being generous), become intellectually lazy and just decide not to vote, and then when the nightmare of a Trump presidency descends, and we recoil in horror at, God forbid, who he nominates for the Supreme Court, and we realize that, God forbid, Roe v. Wade will be reversed, and all we can say and do is to close our eyes & say “We told you!”, which is, you will agree, just too inadequate, pitifully so, and ultimately, the fact that we would be devastated, just doesn’t matter…

OK, even at this point, as close as we are to Tuesday, I need to give you as much real true facts as I can, hoping that you can at the very least help Caddo Parish carry for Hillary as we did for Read more

American Politics in 7 Minutes

quotes-on-the-internetby Marion Marks

Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom,” delivered what has been referred to as “The most honest minutes in television history” when his character was asked “Why America is the Greatest country in the world?” The two other panelist in the university panel discussion gave traditional, compact answers to the student, but Daniel’s character went off-script, so to speak, by challenging the student and the system, quoting statistics of why America is falling short of it’s better self. “No, America is NOT the greatest country in the world…” [jump to 3:05 if you only want the ‘meat’ of the clip]

Daniel’s enumerates point by point short comings of the current generation of leaders and aspirants to leadership. From education, healthcare and criminal justice, points of failure are recognized, but these are not necessarily fatal flaws, as some candidates would have citizens believe. These are a recognition of human frailties as well as a recognition of where Read more

Technology & eMail Perspective

web-trackingby Marion Marks

Many of you are aware that our firm has worked with a number of government cases that require absolute secrecy and complete blackout of information. And, in the political season everyone wants to gossip and seek snippets of data that may give some inkling as to what is going on behind the scenes. As with the current political climate, we are “Mum” when it comes to even hinting about what is going on behind the electronic curtain pertaining to any ongoing case where we are investigating “officially.”

woodward-clinton_emails-nixon-tapes2However, the FBI approached us last week with a very unusual request where NO non-disclosure or even discussion of any requirement regarding secrecy was the topic of conversation. Normally we’re not allowed to talk about this stuff, but someone forgot to talk to a judge or something so I’m legally allowed to share it with you at this time without risk of Read more

The Narcissism of Trump Candidacy

trump-blood-whereverby Alan J. Lipman,
 – Dr. Lipman has been a professor at Georgetown University and The George Washington University, and has held positions at Yale University School of Medicine and The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder of The Center for the Study of Violence and Washington Psychotherapy. The views expressed are his own.

As a clinical psychologist, I have worked with many narcissists over the past 30 years, and have taught how to detect and treat such behavior. That’s why it isn’t hard for me to spot some of the signs, even from a distance, in Donald Trump.

trump-trade-center-tiradeFor a start, there is the severe inability to focus on consequences other than those which directly affect him. There is a significant lack of empathy for the nation, and the impact that personal decisions made in rage would have upon the nation and its citizens. There is also the impulsivity with which Trump makes decisions of sweeping consequence, as well as the inability, even with the most stringent preparation, to prevent eruptions. All of this suggests narcissism. And together these Read more