Category: Washington Politics

2017 Resolution: a Better Free Press

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 by Marion Marks

“Surprises” in presidential, as well as other, elections are the norm, and 2016 was no exception. The spaceship did not come down from Mars and impregnate Nancy Reagan! But, WHOPPERS this year were really not difficult to clarify so we could focus on facts, even if the facts didn’t support our desires.

The issue of these fake stories, and the Russian hacking was that too many people spent too much time and resources away from the central issues of the democratic election process. It should be as simple as teaching a child to bat in baseball or  softball: Keep your eye on the ball! Read more

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Drawing the Red Line

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by Marion Marks

Mobile, AL – The city cuts an historic cedar tree from a public park for a Trump rally backdrop, and citizens and the media denounce the action. The outcry appears to be quite partisan, as Trump supporters don’t see any issue with using a tree in this manner, “after all it’s only a tree and it’s a renewable resource.” Yet the logic defies any appreciation that Trump backers fought so hard to denounce Clinton for supporting. Just who’s tree is it anyway, and why would people get so upset about something so simple?

We need to be clear that trees, animals and people are all part of the balance of our lives. It’s not about any single tree. The case is about respect for those things that make our society, cities, states, America a civil society — It’s that thing that recognizes the “whim to please” or the “casual twitter” should not promote Read more

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Coming Full Circle in America

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by Marion Marks

Christmas, for young and old as well as Americans of every faith, is a time of change in many aspects of life. It’s a transformation for people who discover new values and capabilities as they observe changes that surround them. To many the season is about personal change, but to others it may simply be a time when change surrounds others – inertia and fear restrict them from participating in the spiritual evolution.

Sesame Street’s Elmo embodies doubts and fears like children everywhere at Christmas. But, in 2007, Elmo has help coming to terms with his fears when Alicia Keys emboldens his confidence to appreciate the seasonal Do You Hear What I Hear. Repeating the message is a way many of us discover a new appreciation for childhood lessons we need to repeat as well as relearn, even those who think they know it all.

This song, written in 1962 was intended as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis, very much like the shadows and fears of today as we approach the same holiday with Read more

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Those Who Walk the Walk Should Lead

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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

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Moving Beyond the Bitterness

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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

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Avoid the Abyss

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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

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American Politics in 7 Minutes

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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

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