Category: Our Place in History

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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Technology & eMail Perspective

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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

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The Narcissism of Trump Candidacy

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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

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Caddo Commission Votes NO to Transparency

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by Marion Marks

Resolution No. 82 of 2016 by The Caddo Parish Commission was discussed and voted down in regular session by a 6-5 margin, effectively not asking that the Caddo IDB get any more than minimal annual reporting that they may also have to request from SBP regarding the most valuable commercial asset the IDB has on the books, the former General Motors Plant.

Currently the former GM Plant remains a money-making tool for Stuart Lichter/SBP, who controls the purse strings of Elio Motors and collects far more rent based on liquidating the assets on the former GM premises, moveables being owned by Elio Motors and possibly some non-movables owned by the IDB “see story”. If syphoning off the government grants tied to luring new high-dollar jobs and manufacturing into the premises those jobs other than three, have yet to be created. Elio and SBP have tied up the facility for three years and refused offers of existing manufacturing corporations to buy, lease or otherwise locate to the site. RACER Trust has Read more

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Media Guilty – Suicide Confirmed

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advertising-the-backbone-of-journalismby Marion Marks

Reading the Shreveport Times, it’s all too often interesting to evaluate just how much backbone and investigative journalism exists regarding the examination and reporting of local or national issues, particularly noting the long-term annual loss of subscribers and the shrinking small business base. However on Sunday an editorial on the water billing error appeared that gives me hope that the spine and backbone may be returning to the once-proud local paper.

There have been may questions concerning the choice of stories that make the front section and those that never makes it to press. These choices cause long-time subscribers, concerned citizens and news junkies to question the integrity of the Gannett staff, or has it only been the lazy path of least resistance, “not rocking the boat.” Locally Read more

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The Gutter Gets Even More Foul

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trump-logic-of-time-arguementby Marion Marks

At 9:00 last night I felt like the gutter couldn’t get any fouler, but obviously I was mistaken. The thought of explaining it all as locker room humor” is an embarrassment to coaches and athletes everywhere, because we wouldn’t allow this – EVEN IN A LOCKER ROOM. And, the gutter trash has exceeded my ability to comfortably filter it without feeling I have to bathe in a strong cleaning agent.

I’m EXTREMELY embarrassed for Republicans who will have to explain to their children and grandchildren their responses to this history.

say-when-drink-wine-to-forget
Social drinking gone awry…

Yes, Hillary screwed up her emails, cell phones and the pattern of addressing questions regarding them. But, all that being said, the surface of Trump’s character flaws has barely been scratched. We have met an enemy, and his traits follow a pattern that even Trump has described about other – It can’t be fixed!

From a review in the Opinion pages of the New York Times, the following links have been verified by David Leonhard and the sources linked concerning Trump statements last night:

He lied about a sex tape.

He lied about his lies about ‘birtherism.’

He lied about the growth rate of the American  Read more

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Trump Moral Gymnastics Flops

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By Marion Marks

After the Donald Trump 2005 video that was as abusive of women as any locker room high school gutter explosion, the Trump campaign appears to have huddled in the back room. Failing to return to speak with the press after multiple discussions today, the feeling is that the “moral” contingency has moved into hibernation until the election is over. The religious right is holding their collective breaths in hopes that the moment might pass. And Paul Ryan is “SICKENED” by Trump’s comments.img_8839

Other than that, the polls will continue to be measures and the down-ticket will distance from the presidential candidate, Trump. Dominoes will continue to be stacked and the chips will “fall where they may.”

Sunday’s presidential debate is in question, but I’m betting that Trump finally admits he made a major screw up. And, since Trump made his record more transparent on his history of the treatment of women, the women’s vote may move like the tides of Hurricane Matthew, over the tidal barriers. Hurricane Trump may move further out to sea, and America and the Republican Party might admit we dodged a potential nightmare.

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Voting to Burn Down Our Home

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Make America...
Make America What Again?

by Marion Marks

Linking Donald Trump to public anger is a clear parallel that demonstrates that national sentiment against anyone in elected office and frustration with the status quo of government today. The ease with which Trump harnesses anger parallels the 1968 Nixon campaign, rallying “Ignored Americans” who supported a governmental crack down on dissidents, blacks and hippies. Nixon convinced white voters that, left unchecked, the radicals were coming to burn down their homes.

Richard NixonThe 1969 “Troubled American” issue of Newsweek based many articles on the results of their commissioned Gallup Poll that measured the sentiment of the white majority. Today the numbers may also be comparable to what they found:

  • 56% supported the government crackdown by the government
  • 85% of whites felt that black militants were getting off too easily
  • 65% felt that unemployed blacks were more likely to get Read more
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