Zika Virus Dangers in Shreveport

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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

Protecting and Defending Should be more than Rhetoric

Omar Mateen
Omar Mateen

by Marion Marks

Omar Mateen was never classified prior to Saturday evening with specific “terrorist” traits or organizations at the time he walked into the club immediately before he started pulling the triggers because his profile and available documented work records, fell into many groups, most containing only degrees of “Red Flags!” But, in as much as America is under attack from many enemies, it seems to be common sense that we all failed to properly diagnose the apparent problems. For those failures we must regroup and make certain the same mistakes don’t happen again.

10_04_Visualize_2As night follow day, we seem to repeat the same tragic logic, refighting battles over Second Amendment rights and who can purchase and carry what and where. Getting beyond the same critical rights discussions must become our first mission if we expect to change history and Read more

Analyzing GOP’s High-Stakes Gamble on Donald Trump

Trump-box-01
Ultimate Fighter!


by Marion Marks

The great attraction Donald Trump followers appreciate is the ease with which he rolls off seemingly sophisticated denunciations of groups, federal programs or movements that many voters believe are ripe with bureaucratic waste. If the hate-filled vitriol weren’t so well received by an audience eager to denounce what they perceive as dirty politicians and non-deserving government benefit recipients. Who hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon, denouncing the “Welfare Cheat”? Voters feel governmental institutions need streamlining and purging across the board. Pointing out dangers of the rabid dog running the streets gets universal approval.

Red Queen-OFF WITH HEAD
OFF With her head!

The Trump call for fixing the system fits the pattern of the outside party rallying cry, but the solutions he suggests are like the Red Queen calling to Alice, “Off with their heads!” Everyone cheers, but no one wants to be on the chopping block.

The words “Working Solutions” just don’t exist in the Trump campaign plan, and every case where Trump is questioned is met with Read more

Lessons Muhammad Ali Taught We Should Learn about Donald Trump

imageby Marion Marks

The lesson Muhammad Ali teaches us about Donald Trump is appreciating the most fantastical American figure of his age, a self-invented charismatic character who was consistently honest and insightful. The Ali image is appealing in both simplicity and depth as opposed to the Trump contrived reality-show star shell. Ali, born Cassius Clay in Jim Crow-era Louisville, Kentucky, was a mere skinny, quick-witted kid, whose self-supporting parents were a simple sign painter and a house cleaning maid. Ali only took up boxing at the age of twelve to avenge the indignity he suffered from a bully who stole his most prized possession, a shinny red bicycle.image

Ali created his amazing persona, many considered the most famous person in the world, a supreme athlete who became vindicated by the Supreme Court, an artist or wordsmith whose blend of pugilistic force, improvisational wit, ballerina balance and a jet-engine blasts mastered Read more

Donald Trump Twilight Zone – Credibility Gap Harms “GOP CRED”

credibility gap Nixon-AgnewThe 1960’s White House Press corps frustration with press releases, basically intentional lies told to the press, was a foundation for the acceptable but not-so-inside term that became a fad board game called “Credibility Gap.” Younger journalists sought evidence, often “leaks”, supportive of contentions that the administration was lying about activities not authorized by congress. All too regularly, the evidence turned up.

In December 1962, at the annual meeting of the U.S. Inter-American Council, Senator Kenneth B. Keating (R-N.Y.) praised President John F. Kennedy’s prompt action in the Cuban Missile Crisis. But he said there was an urgent need for the United States to plug what he termed the “Credibility Gap” in U.S. policy on Cuba.

What was called a Credibility Gap has turned into a modern-day Credibility Challenge, and the acceptability of press releases becomes a daily fact check by the media, bloggers and political operatives, often intent upon using the slightest factual inconsistency as the edge of a wedge to cry liar. “Gotcha” moments begin as slips in fact checking, the slight exaggeration of basically correct information or outright intentional lies. The power of facts is in the ability to bludgeon opponents with inaccurate use of basic truths by finding flaws in logic or having a spokesperson whose credibility has previously been proven Read more