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
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
Marketing Donald Trump in today’s political climate is like marketing nuclear bombs to third world countries. The fear of what may happen if they get “the bomb” must be weighed against the rationalization of a greedy salesman who has a lengthy record of “What’s in it for me?”
Watching the Republican Party hierarchy step in line behind Trump closely resembles the tragic march many Louisiana Republicans took as they lined up behind David Duke in the 1991 governor’s race against Edwin Edwards. Political expediency bought their souls for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver. Fortunately the white establishment Republican vote was crushed by a coalition who found a common voice in “Vote for the Crook”.
It would be easy to write it off as just politics, but Louisiana remainsis the laughing stock of the nation for the ease with which we elect and promote buffoons who are later revealed for the clowns they always were. Records prove still-sitting senator David Vitter as a diaper-wearing Read more
After every tragic terror attack or shooting, in every country, even in the USA, we allow time to wash our memories and fade our initial focus to solve underlying problems. Perhaps the greatest human-instigated mass calamity on the European continent since World War II will force some unified effort of like-minded nations to confront the evil that has proven its ability to rain terror on friendly soil.
These terrorists have proven that at least one group of nations, not the French alone, were not prepared to meet the threat they posed on free and open society. In the digital age, with increased security technology, when professionals are not engaged to Read more
“I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we’re led to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear and it’s worse than fear – it’s active disengagement.” Ken Burns
The “Winners” of the Republican beauty contest this week appear to be those best able to make cynical addresses about anything President Obama, the Democratic Party or “Big Government” stands for related to social justice. Beauty contestants should be so lucky, as they must generally sway judges on far less objective standards. The greatest slight, the biggest laugh or the most absurd comments seem to nudge the polls and may determine the top ten contestants in the next round of presidential musical chairs.
Donald Trump may the the greatest influence the electoral process has seen in years if he changes the tone of discussion toward real problem solving, however the tone today seems to be geared toward cynical disengagement to protect turf. Trump could be seen as the explosive that sparks discussion, but if constructive dialogue does not follow, the Republican party continues to self destruct.
Poll winners in the early rounds appear to be those least likely to be prepared or have capacity for government Read more
(This is one in a continuing series of articles concerning the Caddo Parish School Board property tax millage proposition set for a May 2, 2015 election. If approved by voters, CPSB nets another $108,000,000 for new schools and other buildings.)
In its lead editorial today, The Times opposes the Caddo Parish School Board’s tax plan soon headed to Caddo voters. The editorial well hits many of the plan’s weaknesses. Here is the editorial.
For those of us who have been working, some of us almost full-time, to defeat this proposal, the newspaper’s reasoning for its opposition is important. Those details include this notably clear statement:
“For example … we don’t see the current student population in southeast Shreveport justifying building a completely new school there.”
The CPSB plan is perhaps most deficient, and most tied to, its failing record on school closures. Not only does the present plan offer a mere promise for school Read more
Little Free Libraries (LFL) are a “Hot Button” topic on the agenda of the Shreveport City Council meeting Tuesday (3 pm, 505 Travis Street). The City Council, led by Jeff Everson, hopes to close a chapter of community uproar that the national media attention brought fire on the Metropolitan Planning Commission’s (MPC) violation citation (CASE # ZVC1400245 zoned: R-1H) against Frederick and Teresa Edgerton for operating a LFL. Unfortunately, Resolution 19 in current form does not solve the problem. Rather, it raises numerous questions, delays a lasting decision, and provides the possibility that LFLs could be banned in the future.
To Councilman Everson’s credit, when he learned of the MPC cease and desist letter to the Edgertons, he began working immediately to assist his constituents and resolve the existing problem. Unfortunately, it appears his work, based on the information that I believe was presented by the MPC to the general public, may fall short of resolving the real issues. In his interview on The Talk of the Town with Tom Page, Everson reiteratesRead more
[Previous articles in this series can be read here and here.]
The formula for good government is simple and direct: the governed commit to battle as necessary for transparency in all elected officials do in the public interest. Holding officials accountable for their actions is otherwise impossible. The assumption, therefore, is that a participating public actually knows what elected officials are doing.
In Caddo and Bossier Parishes, the dramatic de-emphasis of hard news reporting about local government has become wind in the sails of self-serving elected officials. As that condition persists over extended periods of time – as it has here – accountability disappears.
More directly put, official malfeasance becomes systemic when there is no downside risk in it. Then, officials so inclined deliberately, Read more
When Edwin Edwards was elected Governor, running against David Duke, we learned“Vote for the Crook!” Statewide, voters understood un-indicted Edwards, closely aligned to shady deals and abuse of office for years, was NOT the evil of challenger David Duke. Edwards built a coalition of forces united in preventing worse evils from control of the reins of government.
Edwards, in the October primary of 1991 with incumbent Governor Buddy Roemer, Clyde Holloway and others, engineered the eventual Edwards-Duke run-off. Duke had his best showing statewide and captured the majority of white voters, who basically selected racist, self-serving economic or bigoted tenants of Duke’s platform over what proved public-spirited and more honorable Edwards campaign rhetoric. Louisiana did “Vote for the Crook!” Read more