GOP 2016: Make America Hate Again

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Cleveland Today...
Cleveland Today…

by Marion Marks

The mantra or clamor from the Donald Trump Convention seems to be calling voters to demand the country to bring back a spirit of the way things were when “times were better in our country.” The state of America today is definitely not what the Republican Party of Donald J Trump wants voters to believe has any values worth emulating. Clearly, according to Trump faithful, the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton America that followed the George W. Bush presidency must have dropped over a cliff in a different universe from what most of us remember in 2008.

And, we have learned this week from the Cleveland 2016 GOP Convention that the art of divisive politics has taken a new identity that closely resembles reality television. Everything that came out of Trump supporters’ mouths was that Hillary and Bill Clinton set a new standard for evil and divisive politics and a world order that is un-American. Not only could nothing positive have come out of the Clintons, but all they did, along with President Obama, was to allow foreign devils to take away jobs, rights, and possessions of loyal American citizens.

Aliens have come across our borders and destroyed our economy, ruined our Read more

Reconciliation – Crossing the Divide

donald-trump-jokes-that-he-could-shoot-somebody-and-not-lose-any-votersby Marion Marks

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and my supporters wouldn’t leave me.” – Donald J. Trump

Admitting publicly that committing an act of murder would be acceptable by any group, much less an entire major political party, should be abhorrent to an entire culture. The filters of the media should still echo cries of the foul nature of these words, spoken by anyone of authority. There is NO condition where this statement is acceptable, but too many people remain silent.

Immediate questions we must ask of people who believe these words are acceptable should begin with:

  1. Can this person qualify to own a lethal weapon? (Perhaps he’s not eligible to own a gun?)
  2. Is this person in need of a mental evaluation? (Has he had a break with reality?)
  3. Would this person be a threat to incite a riot or other group chaos? (perhaps he has already!)

insane-life-quotesThe last thing I would do is limit a sane person’s right to defend himself by attacking the Second Amendment. But such new levels of deranged action, racism, Read more

Caddo Anticipates Diverse Transportation Plan

Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Sidewalks
Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Sidewalks

by Marion Marks

The use of local funding to initiate a codified “Transportation Vision” for Caddo Parish seems to now be nearing approval. This vision required joint action by “Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), the City of Shreveport, the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD), Caddo Parish Commission and other government entities.”

I became aware of this work when I filmed the Bicycle Forum last October [Draft plan] along with following actions of the various agencies mentioned above that was related to the ongoing plans. As I recently followed public emails that indicated this program may actually become a reality, I am finding that some of the money spent to educate public officials and staff was money well-spent!

From one email: “The reason the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was submitted to the federal government is because we recognized that what U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined in his Transportation Vision was becoming and Read more

The Troubling Spectrum of Justice

Police Respons-Stephenson
KSLA TV– Shreveport, LA

by Marion Marks

On June 25 the Shreveport Police Department conducted one of the most successful large-force actions, centered around the 500 block of Stephenson, without any loss of life and no shots fired by officers. Officers arrived on the scene after several 911 calls reported a loud, angry-sounding suspect firing a weapon at a residence. The suspect who needed medical assistance was spotted by responding officers who set up a perimeter and properly evacuated neighbors before proceeding. (Complete Police Report & 911-call chronology)

This episode made little more than a blip on the news, mostly because no one was killed or wounded (KSLA coverage). Without personal loss or loss of life, the media tends to ignore what transpires. Because of proper planning and training, there wasn’t much more to report. Twenty-four (24) officers responded and did what they were trained to do.

It’s when no shots are fired and little attention is paid that law enforcement does Read more

Zika Virus Dangers in Shreveport

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. health officials are telling pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin America and Caribbean countries with outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and causes only a mild illness in most people. But there’s been mounting evidence linking the virus to a surge of a rare birth defect in Brazil. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

by William B. Wiener, Jr.

For all inhabitants of Shreveport, the City Council, and Mayor Tyler, the issues of the Zika virus will reach critical mass if we fail to understand the potential dangers and begin to address them properly. We must remember that in 1873 Shreveport was devastated by the Yellow Fever epidemic which killed one-fourth of Shreveport’s population.

Yellow fever is initially spread by mosquitoes, then human to human, and Yellow Fever is active today and potentially spreading Read more

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

James A Baldwinby Marion Marks

The level of uneducated and hate-filled social media commentary directed at candidates, supporters or anyone who dares question, understand or clarify issues regarding volatile candidates, parties or those working in the political process is the order of the day[S.O.P.]. Any educated effort to understand the status quo of a candidate, a candidate’s position papers, platform points of opposing party prior to their national convention appears to have disintegrated into pitched battles and third-grade name-calling. Sadly, the hostile name tags seem to stick.

imageAn illustrated Donald Trump, and his current branded campaign promoting conservative family values carrying a large voters base, sold as the desire for “greatness,” is, however, running off the rails. For any factual observer, Trump’s campaign never addresses specific issues related to social or political progress, because in the world of “those illegal immigrants who are taking all our stuff,” equality and basic human decency, and the Read more

Shreveport – We Are Not an Island

by Marion MarksReconcilliation-tagged

Discordant race relations dominate many Shreveport contract discussions, economic development, politics and conversations about the general state of affairs in Shreveport. Hearts and minds change slowly, survival and protection of self-interests determine who gets what and how much. The lesson “Follow the Money” seems to be the constant – everywhere. Demographers eagerly point to data demonstrating why it should be clear to all that Shreveport is measurably shrinking, while demands for limited resources continue to grow.

Charleston Dinner
One Charleston Dinner

Comparing Shreveport to other southern cities working through racial tensions becomes more difficult to explain to educated critics because other cities have equally compelling and unique stories. One well documented success story is Charleston, South Carolina, where, following tragedy,  the calm and tempered work of determined activists is exemplified in their Reconciliation program, based on the Nat Fuller Dinner. This historic concept originally held in Read more