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You are visiting my site on: September 27, 2023

Thank goodness, elections are all over and we can get back to some normality. Unfortunately, for all of us in Louisiana, we’re the only state in the nation that has its gubernatorial elections in 2023. So we will take a break for the holidays, then get back to all the politics again.  What do you do? If you’re not happy with your choice of candidates for a particular office right now, it’s either not voting, or picking in the last of your two evils. Is there a third choice? Quite frankly, yes. It’s an idea that I proposed back in 1973 when I was a newly elected state senator.  Now, 50 years later, can you believe that the Wall Street Journal is endorsing the idea?  Take a look at my new column about this concept, and see what you think. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

“The votes are in. No matter who runs for office, no matter who controls the White House, Senate or the House of Representatives now or in the future, “we the people” have already lost.”  These are the chilling words of John Whitehead, one of the most vocal advocates against government abuse, and the taking of many of our basic freedoms. John is a constitutional attorney, author, and founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new article is worth the read as the Justice Department and the FBI continue to erode freedoms in America.  You can read John’s article now by Clicking Here.

Are you ready for more electioneering and more politicians, asking us for your vote? I’m sure not. For goodness sakes, let’s take a break from all the political rhetoric. I write about this in my new column. The question I raise is, what difference to did all this campaigning make? Are we still not in the same politics and posturing  that we were a few weeks ago? And are there really any reformers we can turn to? Check out my new column, read my thoughts and see what you think. You can read it all now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

I’ve written several columns over the past few weeks about my first legal client, Jerry Lee Lewis.  If you’re interested in learning a lot more details about Jerry Lee’s life, and my relationship with him, I recorded a podcast recently that gives a great deal of information. You can listen to it at the link below.

This week, Rannah Gray and I talk about the role of local newspapers in our communities and why they need to survive. You can listen now: Go to https://datelinelouisiana.buzzsprout.com.

 

Jerry Lee Lewis went a long way from Ferriday Louisiana, traveling worldwide, and became the King of rock and roll music. But when it came to pick his final resting place, he told his wife he wanted to come back home to Ferriday.  I traveled this past Saturday to my old home of Ferriday, and greeted hundreds of old friends who had turned out in the pouring rain to attend the Killer’s funeral.  Fans came from all over the world to honor Jerry Lee.  I write about this personal experience in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

A huge hit on the FBI.  Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee in Washington  say in a report just released that the FBI is “rotted at its core,” has a “systemic culture of unaccountability” and is full of “rampant corruption, manipulation, and abuse.” The report is over 1000 pages long.  To read news reports of the ineptitude of theFBI, Click here.

There’s a sadness that is taking over the world of rock ‘n’ roll this week. One of the all-time greats, the Killer himself, has passed away at 87. That’s right! Jerry Lee Lewis, from my hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana, is no longer with us.  Jerry Lee was my first client when I was a young lawyer starting out cold in Ferriday. He will certainly go down in music history as one of the all time greats. I wrote a new column about my memories of the Killer this week. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

I don’t know about you, but I love flash mobs. Large groups  dancing in public places that seem spontaneous, but obviously are well planned. Remember the movie Grease?More than 250 people participated in a “˜feelgood’ stunt this morning during rush hour at the Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium. Grease is definitely still the word! What did you think? Please leave a comment in the section below and remember to share the video.

The Ukrainian War has received strong support from a number of American allies at the strong urging by the Biden Administration. But as the war has drug gone, some of the support is starting to weaken.  Italy’s new Prime Minister has been buddying up to Vladimir Putin, and India is trying to stay neutral. Great Britain has been consumed in its own political and economic problems. So who is our strongest supporter who is pushing for continuing aid to Ukraine? Is it, could it be, who? France?  That can’t be right. We’ve been jumping all over the French for years. But take a look at our history and their current support that I have written about in my new column.  You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.  

On the latest Dateline Louisiana podcast, Rannah Gray and I are talking about the Katrina story we can’t forget — portrayed in the Apple TV mini-series, Five Days @ Memorial. Lives tragically lost, questions unanswered. What would you do? You can listen here now: by Clicking Here.  

Do you want to see how arbitrary and shortsighted our federal court system is? Take a look at this article involving a and effort by St. Louis minister to distribute a few sandwiches to the homeless.The city of St. Louis did not violate the First Amendment rights of a Christian pastor and his assistant by threatening to prosecute them for handing out bologna sandwiches to the homeless, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.  To res this ridiculous legal decision, Click Here.

A jury last week in Parkland, Florida recommended Nikolas Cruz get life in prison for killing 17 people, sparing Cruz from a death sentence after his lawyers argued he had a troubled upbringing.  I read a great deal about this case and I wasn’t impressed with his “upbringing” argument.  Hey, life growing up can be tough, but one isn’t excused for such unspeakable, horrific brutality that took place.  I would have voted for the death penalty.  The fact remains that the death penalty is rarely enforced throughout the United States today. And one reason is that innocent people are being convicted. I write about the LOUISIANA situation in this weeks column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

 

Rita Gardner passed away recently. This name may not be recognizable to you, but she’s someone that I have followed her for a long, long time, and her involvement in the longest running musical in American history could’ve influenced my life. In 1960, she originated the lone female role in an Off Broadway show that became part of theater history thanks to a record-setting run.  It was called “The Fantasticks” and it ran off broadway  in the historic Sullivan Theater.  The opening song, made famous by Barbra Streisand, was called “Try to Remember.”  I loved the show, and auditioned for the lead role as the bandit El Gallo when I was at Tulane University Law school in New Orleans. I sang this lead song, and a number of others in the show that got good reviews in the local press.  The show’s producer, Lore Noto, called me to see I wanted to come to New York to audition for the lead role.  I chose to stick with the law. Who knows what might’ve happened. But it’s nice to look back. And guess what?  I still do a pretty good rendition of “Try to Remember.”

Charles Cook a well-known writer for the National Review, a publication with conservative leanings, but well respected with their  unbiased articles.  Cook’s article this month is titled: “The Case for Dismantling the FBI.”  Cook’s conclusion is that there have been a long list of abuses by the FBI, and that the agency should be completely rebuilt and reorganized.  A well written article that you can read now by Clicking Here.

 

Life and death.  Two different stories in this week’s column about one popular Louisiana official who survived cancer. And a serial killer who was to be put to death before he died in prison.  Eighteen years ago this week, Derrick Todd Lee received the death penalty in Louisiana. He was the state’s most notorious and prolific serial killer. I was there in the courtroom when the verdict was handed down.  And a survivor, my friend former Congressman Billy Tauzin.  Check out my new column filled with a little history. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing box above or by Clicking Here.

Washington DC is full of phony supposed leaders who pushed for more military involvement around the world but never served a day in the military. These blowhards are called chicken hawks. And there are lots of them around. I was exempt from the military draft back in the 1960s, but I still joined the army and served my country. So few of our leaders do so today. Here is an outstanding article by Future of Freedom Foundation founder Jeffery Hornberger about all these chickenhawks who want to get America in war after war. To read it, Click Here.

It’s a new week and that means the latest episode of Dateline Louisiana just dropped! This week, Rannah Gray and I have a laugh or two about Louisiana’s unique brand of humor. You can listen here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/…/11358896-episode-15-the…

Insurance rates for both homeowners and businesses in Louisiana are going through the roof. Companies are going broke, and the state run program, supposedly put together to help policyholders, wants a 63% increase. What? That’s just outrageous. Has the legislature done enough to curtail these high insurance rates and should Louisiana have an elected insurance commissioner?  Most of the other states in the country bring the office under the governor.  So what should be done?   I set out several solutions in my new column now posted. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Every week, Dateline Louisiana takes on topics Rannah Gray and I hear talked about in Louisiana. You can catch any episode at www.datelinelouisiana.com or the latest one by Clicking Here.

 

The Government’s War on Political Freedom!

Check out the column below by our friend John whitehead with tTe Rutherford Institute.  John makes the point that the FBI never stops and Sheffers to invade itself in our personal freedoms. You can readers complete column by Clicking Here.

“In so many of the little places of everyday life in which life is lived out, somehow democracy doesn’t exist. And one of the creeping hands of totalitarianism running through the democracy is the Federal Bureau of Investigation“¦ Because why does the FBI do all this? To scare the hell out of people”¦ They work for the establishme and the corporations and the politicos to keep things as they are. And they want to frighten and chill the people who are trying to change things.”””Howard Zinn, 

Discredit, disrupt, and destroy.

That is how the government plans to get rid of activists and dissidents who stand in its way.  This has always been the modus operandi of the FBI (more aptly referred to as the Federal Bureau of Intimidation): muzzle anti-government sentiment, harass activists, and terrorize Americans into compliance.  Indeed, the FBI has a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures.

It was 132 years ago this week. That’s the birthdate of one of Louisiana’s most powerful United States senators whoever served representing the Bayou state.  Senator Allen Ellender was a legend in the U.S. Senate serving for 35 years until his death in 1972.  I had quite an initial meeting with Ellender at a rural courthouse in North Louisiana.  I tell of my experience and also about attending his funeral, all in my new column that is now posted. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Every week, Dateline Louisiana takes on topics Rannah Gray and I hear talked about in Louisiana. You can catch any episode at www.datelinelouisiana.com or the latest one by Clicking  Here: 

This week, September 18th through September 24th, is Banned Book Week all over Louisiana and all over the nation.  The week has been recognized for over 40 years. So why is there such a rage in banning books today? National groups are coming into states like Louisiana to push for banning books that have been classics for many years.  What has cause they renewed efforts to undermine freedom of expression, a foundation of our American democracy? I write about this important and concerning issue in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

 

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts,

not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.“ “” Abraham Lincoln

It continually amazes me as to how the federal government ignores these specific requirements in the constitutional amendments that are part of our basic law of the land. Unfortunately, although the Bill of Rights was adopted as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, in America today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.  My friend John Whitehead, who heads up the Rutherford Institute, was a guest on my national syndicated radio program on several occasions. He writes eloquently about the abdication of our Bill of Rights.To learn more of these abuses, Click Here.

 

Here’s a statistic that will surprise you. A national website has named New Orleans as the top city in America to retire. What are these people smoking? New Orleans is in a state of meltdown right now with murder and overall crime out of control. The leadership there is dysfunctional, and the locals feel unsafe to even go to the grocery store or fill up their car with gas. Carjackings by young thugs are happening all over the city. What in the heck is going on in what should be one of the great cities of America? I write about the Crescent City’s problems in my new column now posted. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Don’t mess with JB when he’s working out. One tough guy at 82.

This month marks the 30th year anniversary of the FBI massacre at Ruby Ridge. It was simply an example of Militarized Central State Versus Individual Life and Liberty.  A chilling story of an FBI sniper who shot Vicki Weaver in the head as she held her ten-month-old baby at her home in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The sniper also shot her husband Randy Weaver in the back, trying to kill him.   Read this deeply troubling account  by Clicking Here.

 

Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.  Both are iconic figures in American political history. They also are, in my opinion, the two most important figures in Louisiana history. Without the intervention activities of both Jefferson in Jackson, Louisiana could well not be a state today. But are they getting the respect they deserve? I write about these two important figures, and how they are being negated by the Louisiana Democratic Party. Look over my new column and see what you think. You can read it by going to the Flashing Red Box above or by Clicking Here.

John Whitehead heads up the Rutherford Institute, a think tank that is trying it’s best to protect our basic freedoms.  Here’s what he says about the FBI. “The government’s henchmen have become the embodiment of how power, once acquired, can be so easily corrupted and abused. Indeed, far from being tough on crime, FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers.”  You can read this chilling article by Clicking Here.

It’s pretty obvious that President Biden does not read my weekly columns. He went ahead last week and forgave billions of dollars in student loans.  Both Republicans and Democrats were highly critical of the President’s action.  There are so many unanswered questions. How much is this forgiveness going to cost the taxpayers? Will loans be forgiven for all incoming students and for years to come? Was it even legal for Biden to forgive these loans?  These are all important questions that need to be answered. I write about this controversy in my new column now now posted. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

One of best websites that works towards protecting our basic freedoms is The Rutherford Institute headed up by John Whitehead.  John has been a guest on my nationally syndicated radio program on several occasions. He is tireless worker pointing out government abuse and undermining the basic freedoms of all of Americans.  Here is what John writes in his new expose.’ “With every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention.”  You can read John’s full comments by Clicking Here.

“We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction.“””Harry Truman

 

This week’s Dateline Louisiana podcast is a subject dear to my heart. I know everyone has a story to tell and if you’d like to write yours, join Rannah Gray and me as we share some tips to get you started. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts…or just click here: www.datelinelouisiana.com.

Former representatives Steve Carter was a champion for early learning programs in our schools throughout Louisiana. He unfortunately died of Covid related problems almost 2 years ago. The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate has a story of how this program is slowly being funded, and praises Steve Carter for h efforts.  Steve was my brother-in-law, and we all sure miss him.  You can read the whole Morning Advocate story by Clicking Here.

It’s hard to remember just when America was so divided as a nation. It seems like we’re split on so many issues. Trump- anti-Trump, Red StateBlue State, the list is long.  Can we learn anything by going back to the Civil War when Lincoln faced dealing with a divided nation? I think so. America has good times ahead, and I write about it in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above, or by Clicking Here.

 

Here is a recent interview that I did concerning coming Louisiana elections, as well as the seizure recently of boxes of records located at the home of former president Donald Trump in Florida. Check it out and see if you agree.

Do you have a garbage man that is this lively and enjoys his day to the fullest?  We all should have such a happy attitude.

So just what’s up with this raid on the residence of past president Donald Trump? Is he hiding secret government documents for some  nefarious reason to undermine democracy? Or is all this just a public records dispute that should have been handled directly between the current and past presidents? What about all this FBI overreach? For justifiable reasons, the FBI has been blasted by legitimate news media outlets across the country. What can be done to straighten them out? I look at all these issues in my new column  now posted. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

 I spent 8 years managing orderly elections when I was Secretary of State. This week on Dateline Louisiana, Rannah Gray and I talk about the current state of voting in Louisiana and throughout the country. It’s Dateline Friday and you can listen to Episode 7 by going to https://www.buzzsprout.com/…/10892725-episode-7-voting…

How much was that lottery amount? $1.3 billion.  Come on, that’s the loft wall. What an earth would you do if you won over $1 billion?  I suppose we all dream every now and then about riches. But this is out of the ballpark. So just what would you do if you won? What would you spend your money on? I’m generally a practical, down to earth guy. But even I was enticed when that kind of money became involved. I write about what I would do if I won the lottery in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

It’s Friday and this week Rannah Gray and I going global on #datelinelouisiana! You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music…or just click here: www.datelinelouisiana.com. Thanks, everyone!

A nice visit and a presentation about books this week to the Good Old Boys Club at the Kenner Knights of Columbus Hall. I was invited by Dr. Gary Arnold, and it was certainly a lively group. “My Louisiana Odyssey” was purchased by a number of members. It’s good to be back out on the speaking circuit again talking about the many books published by The Lisburn Press.

 

We are in the midst of baseball season, and the season of politics is just a few months away as we approach congressional elections. So do you have a favorite? What rings more true to you- baseball or politics?  And are there similarities between this grand sporting event and our national elections? You might be surprised at my old opinion and my own reasoning. Take a look and see what you think. You can read my new column now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

You might want to take in our new podcast that is has been posted. My colleague Rannah Gray and I talk about what to do about gun violence in America today. We normally talk about Louisiana issues, but so many killings in recent months need all of our attention. You can listen to the podcast now by Clicking Here.

With all the serious matters we talking right about today, every now and then we need to include a little humor in our lives. Check out below some of the complaints by travelers to their travel agents. A few examples are

  • 1. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”
  • 2. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”
  • 3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

You can see a lot more of such complaints by Clicking Here.

You never know what Rannah Gray and I will be talking about on the Dateline Louisiana podcast! You can listen to Episode 4 wherever you get your podcasts…or right here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/…/10892700-episode-04…

 

Is there a happier place to live than in Louisiana? A recent survey by the U. S. National Bureau of Economic Research, Louisiana found that the Bayou State  is by far the happiest state in the nation.  Have you heard about the five Fs?  They best describe what’s happening here in the deepest of the deep southern states today. Take a look at my new column and see if you agree. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Rannah Gray and I have a new podcast out about the strange and interesting world of Louisiana politics. You can listen to it now on any podcast site by just plugging in www.datelinelouisiana.com. You can also check out all of our recent podcasts by Clicking Here.  Hope you will give it a listen.

Here’s interview that was created a number of radio stations by the sounds of the show, my friends Chris Tidmore and Hi McEnery.  The show runs on stations throughout Louisiana, it’s always been lighthearted program with the two hosts.  My friend Rannah Gray also joined the show, as we’ve started a new podcast to together.  Pictured above with me is Rannah Gray and Chris Tidmore. If you’ve not heard our podcast, take a listen my going wherever you listen to your podcast and pick up the show Dateline Louisiana.  You can also access all of the past podcasts by going to DatelineLouisiana.com<iframe 

We live in a different world today then when I grow up. Going and coming from school, and daily safety were just not an issue. Today, protecting your children is often the only issue. What should we do as parents to see the schools protect our children more? There certainly have been failings  as we saw in Uvalde, Texas. Nearly 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers were at the scene on May 24, including 91 state troopers, the Texas House investigative report said, and none took initiative to lead the response. Most of us think that local police officers should do more. Much more in keeping your kids from harm.  I write about these recent tragedies in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

If you haven’t listened yet, the new dateline Louisiana podcast is gaining a number of new listeners.  Several new episodes have now been posted, including great discussions on  all the interesting and exquisite food you can find in Louisiana.  So be sure and check out all these new episodes. You can listen to all the podcasts that have been posted so far by Clicking Here.

All we’re hearing in the press are several high profile decisions from the US Supreme Court. But quietly, other decisions have eroded your basic constitutional rights. Something the Supreme Court Has done a lot recently.Although the Supreme Court stopped short of overturning its 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, the conservative majority declared that individuals cannot hold police accountable for violating their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. By shielding police from lawsuits arising from their failure to Mirandize suspects, the Supreme Court has sent a message to police that they no longer have to respect a suspect’s right to remain silent. In other words, concludes legal analyst Nick Sibilla, “the Supreme Court has effectively created a new legal immunity for cops accused of infringing on the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.”  See full details by Clicking Here.
 

There’s a major effort in Washington, both by the president and key members of Congress, to pass legislation forgiving current student loans. The amount of these loans currently exceed $1.7 trillion. And that ain’t chump change.  So is this something that Congress and the president should do? Is it fair to the those who earlier  paid off all their student loans? And who’s going to pay all the bill?  Lots of questions to ask, and I address these issues in this weeks column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

The Keystone pipeline has become an issue that now dominates criticism of the President by  pleading how important the pipeline  is to the economic future of Louisiana. My reaction? Hogwash! The issue will not mean diddlysquat to the Bayou State. No new jobs will be created and not a dime of economic development. Read my view in my now column now posted. You can read it by going to the Flashing Red Box above, or by Clicking Here.

I’m excited to tell you about a new podcast that is taking off this week with my cohost Rannah Gray. For years, Rannah and I broadcast a nationally syndicated radio program that you could listen to right here on this site.  We have started a new podcast called Dateline Louisiana, where we discuss the various attributes that make Louisiana, in our opinion, one of  the most interesting states in the whole world. You can listen to our first episode right here on this website. Just Click Here to listen to Episode one. 

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Fifty years ago this month, the Watergate break-in took place in Washington. It seemed like a minor event at the time, but the whole political mess continued to  unwind  and led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Like most of the rest of the country, I was an avid observer of the whole process. I had met Nixon on several occasions, and I talk about it in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

One of the important issues missing from the whole gun debate is the violence that takes place at the movies, on TV and in video games.  Yet we see time and time again the fist kind of violence influences potential mass murderers. Check out daughter Campbell Brown’s article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal a few years back that is right on point.  You can read it by Clicking Here.  

 

All things considered, Jupiter seems like a pretty scary place. More than 300 times bigger than Earth (and twice the size of all the rest of our solar system’s planets combined), the King of Planets has double the strength of our gravity and an exceptionally dense, dry atmosphere. And you know that Big Red Dot on its surface? Well, apparently that’s a storm that’s been raging for centuries. Truly terrifying stuff.

But some scientists now reckon that Jupiter could be even more beastly than we previously thought. An article in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics says that the planet may have become its ginormous, monstrous self by eating other planets. So I guess we better keep our guard up. We don’t want to be gobbled up by Jupiter. What a way to go!

Kudos to my colleague John Whitehead for his  continuing to stand up for our freedoms. He writes  regular columns on his website The Rutherford Institute. Here’s what he insightfully says this week:

“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught.”””Hunter S. Thompson

“The groundwork has been laid for a new kind of government where it won’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty, whether you’re a threat to the nation, or even if you’re a citizen. The burden of proof has been reversed. No longer are we presumed innocent. Now we’re presumed guilty unless we can prove our innocence beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Rarely, are we even given the opportunity to do so. Although the Constitution requires the government to provide solid proof of criminal activity before it can deprive a citizen of life or liberty, the government has turned that fundamental assurance of due process on its head. Each and every one of us is now seen as a potential suspect, terrorist and lawbreaker in the eyes of the government.”

The recent legislative session at the state capital of Louisiana provided an excellent chance for legislators to deal directly with the nation’s highest automobile  insurance rates. There were a number of positive suggestions that were offered to legislators. But with all was said and done, nothing of any consequence happened. So policyholders in the state will wallow in the outrageous costs of automobile insurance.  Just what problems were ignored? I set out a detailed list in my new column that is now posted. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

How about my two good-looking and quite athletic grandsons, Eli and Asher Senor? In New York City for Asher’s bar mitzvah. And watching these two guys play lots of great tennis

So what do you choose? Exercise or reading a good book. I say you can do both. I’m at my local health club 5 to 6 days a week, and always bring a book along. If it’s time to ride on my recumbent bike, I can both ride and read. My rule of thumb is that if you have five or six minutes while you’re waiting, sitting, or even standing, it’s good to pull out a book. Just suggesting! And for some interesting reading, go to The Lisburn Press Bookstore at www.thelisburnpress.com.

All across America, the voting process is under siege.  And much of the criticism is directed at secretaries of state who are the top election officials in most states.  A number of groups, many tied to the past president, say there is widespread voter fraud, and the whole system needs to be revamped. So is there any truth in this?  Are there any glitches in the system that compromise the integrity of the election process?  I talk about this controversy in my new column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Two of Louisiana’s most colorful governors certainly are Edwin Edwards and John McKeithen.  They were political allies when McKeithen  was governor and Edwards served as a congressman from southwest Louisiana. Then Edwards was elected, and the relationship between them became strained. I was a first hand observer to the highs and lows of their relationship, and I talk about it in my new column now posted. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Sad to say, but another week- another school shooting. It seems like these deranged killers are popping up way too often. And the police response in Uvalde, Texas has been absolutely appalling. Domestic terrorism in America continues to rise. What if anything that we do about it? I express my thoughts about the terrible shooting it in Uvalde in my new column now posted. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

A nice evening visiting with my friend Charlie Cole overlooking the Mississippi River. Charlie has been working for a number of years on his wonderful project of restoring Como plantation outside of Saint Francisville as a wonderful getaway. The Como Plantation Retreat has been in the works for several years””a vision that has transformed this historic property into a site for spiritual contemplation for Christians of all denominations. Take a look at http://comoplantationretreat.com

This week, I want to tell you all about me and the Killer. Well, not that kind of killer. I’m talking about one of the great country music and rock ‘n roll singers of all time. He’s from my hometown in Ferriday, Louisiana and he was just inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. I’m talking about Jerry Lee Lewis. You’ll be surprised to learn that he was one of my first clients when I opened up my law practice in Ferriday. I’ve known him for many years. You can read all about my experiences with the king of rock ‘n’ roll in my new column now posted. To read it, go to the Red Flashing Box above or Click Here.

 
So how long will he wait?
In Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, a revolutionary creation, the symbolic Godot never comes. Will he show up for this guy?  Some say Godot represents death, unless the only thing that comes.  Hummmmm!  I don’t know about that. But I did like the play.

Randy Weaver has passed away.  Three decades ago, he was entrapped by an ATF agent.  Federal agents subsequently killed his son and wife. The Justice Department denied that anyone’s rights were violated but still paid a multi-million dollar settlement for the Weaver family’s wrongful death lawsuit.  Federal abuses at Ruby Ridge, the subsequent FBI coverup, and the outrageous arguments that federal lawyers made in court to protect the FBI sniper helped awaken legions of Americans to the danger of boundless federal power.  To read more of this tragic event and the continuing overreach of the FBI, Click Here.

What’s going on in my home state of Louisiana and across the nation? A crime wave of violence from coast to coast. Political leaders in both parties who  scream for attention, but offer few solutions. We as Americans deserve better. Much better! I take on the thorny subject in my new column now posted. Where is America’s leadership? And what can you and as average citizens do about it? You can read my column now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

I would be remiss not to comment on the passing of my longtime friend Mickey Gilley. He was one of my first clients when I started my law practice in the small town of Ferriday in Northeast Louisiana. Mickey was a  country music star whose Texas nightclub served as the inspiration for the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, died in Branson, Mo. He was 86 and had just come off of the road, his favorite place, having played ten shows in April,” according to Farnum’s statement. “He passed peacefully with his family and close friends by his side.”

When I began my career in Louisiana politics, Nickie performed at several fundraisers in my behalf. We stayed in touch over many years, and I considered him a special friend.  Across his career as a singer, Mickey garnered 17 No. 1 singles between the late 1960s and 1980s, including his 1974 cover of “Room Full of Roses.” His soulful renditions of early rock and roll hits and soul songs cemented him as a country artist who was able to cross genres. Mickey’s family included artist Jerry Lee Lewis and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart as cousins.  God Bless Mickey Gilley.

I’m sure you recognize actor James Cromwell. He’s played major character actors in any number of movies. In the popular series the crown, he played Prince Philip and did an excellent job. Well now he’s created a really sticky situation.  Incensed by the “senseless upcharge” at Starbucks for nondairy milk, the “Succession” and “Babe” actor where he serves as an honorary director, staged a protest Tuesday at a Midtown Manhattan location of the coffee chain. If anyone wanted him to leave, they were out of luck as he “” along with another protester “” superglued his hand to the counter in what can best be described as a “glue-in.” PETA live-streamed the protest, which quickly began trending on social media, where the stunt was met with a menagerie of praise and (mostly “Babe”) jokes.

 

Well like it or not, I’m moving on up. I’m talking about age. Eighty two years old this week. In the past, I would have assumed that this is really old. Not so says me. Yes, a lot of water has pasted under the bridge, but I’m convinced I still have a good ways to go. We all have concerns about mortality, and I’m surely no different. Well, you play the cards you are delt, and make the most of it. I write about all these concerns in my new column now posted. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Mega country music singing star Garth Brooks is certainly a national treasure. But it’s hard to top the thousands of fans that packed LSU tiger stadium this past Saturday night. It was a Garth Brooks weekend with diehard fans traveling from hundreds of miles just to see the king of country music. He wasn’t always so popular. I have a personal story to tell about the first time I heard Garth Brooks, and about being the only person to pay attention to her singing. It’s a special story for me, and I want to share it with you. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

Did you know that some so-called celebrities go ahead and hire a book stylist? A book is recommended to carry around and let people think you are a real intellectual and regular reader. Hey I’ve got a good idea. Just sit down and read a book!

 
Now look all you guys and gals. Ain’t nobody messin’ with me. You can see below, I got friends. Remember “The Incredible Hulk” in the U.S. TV series that ran in the ’70s? Well,the Hulk came to Baton Rouge this week to hang out. With me-right? Well alright. He did open up a new health club, Crunch, in the Hammond Air Shopping Center.  Lou Ferrigno has been added to a new series called “The Offer.” The 10-episode drama series will air on Paramount Plus. It’s based on the experience of two-time Oscar-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy (played by Miles Teller), about the behind-the-scenes events of the original 1972 film “The Godfather,” according to Variety. Ferrigno’s role is Lenny Montana, the former wrestler and mob enforcer who played Luca Brasi in “The Godfather.” A real kick to visit with Lou.

It’s a simple fact with no disagreement. Violent crime is running rampant all over Louisiana. In fact, a number of the most violent crime ridden cities in America are right here in the Bayou state. So what can be done about it? Newspaper editorials and columns are calling for a new study commission. What? We studied the problem for years. Give us specifics our citizens are calling out! So that’s exactly what I’ve done in my new column now posted. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above, or by Clicking Here.

Being from Louisiana, and having spent a good part of my life in New Orleans, I really love the street performers take their music seriously, and give awesome performances. Here is one of the best performers. Every Breath You Take – The Police | Karolina Protsenko & Daniele Vitale Sax

Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is back on the political scene again. She is a candidate for the one congressional seat in Alaska. Over 50 candidates are qualified to run against Palin. So what do you think about this controversy and outspoken lady? I have my opinions. In fact, I almost rubbed shoulders with Palin. Take a look at my new column where I talk about some of the highs and lows of her political career. You can read it now by going to the Flashing Red Box above or by Clicking Here.

Sunrise church this Sunday Easter morning at the Flora-Bama service in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I’v been a regular down here on the Redneck Riviera for the past 56 years.

Someone asked me what this was a picture of. I told them this was just a typical gas station down here in Louisiana.

The Louisiana legislature is under the gun during its current regular 2002 session, and for good reason. Policyholders who own property  are livid about the cost of insurance, and the way insurance companies are failing to adequately adjust claims. And it’s because property insurance is by far the most expensive in the entire country. And its been that way for a number of years. So what’s the problem? Why can’t the insurance department and the legislature take aggressive action to address these high rates? And why does it take months to get a claim settled in the first place? I address these disturbing issues in this week’s column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above, or by Clicking Here.

Well, we here at The Lisburn Press hope you feel the same way about happiness. If you live down in the deepest of the deep southern states, you know we have so many productive authors, and so many good books to read. I hope you go to our website and look at all the new publications that are coming out of The Lisburn Press Bookstore. Take a look at www.TheLisburnPress.com, and see if you find something adventurous.

 

Baird Dodge, principal second violin of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs “Over the Rainbow” in the courtyard of his residence, as tenants gather on the fire escapes to enjoy the music.What a thoughtful musical gift from a gifted musician.

We want to let all you folks who come to The Lisburn Press site know the new feature we will be beginning in the next several weeks. We will host weekly interviews with a cross-section of writers, many who pen their work with The Lisburn Press. We will also host a cross section of other authors who have written both fiction and nonfiction about Louisiana and the deep South. so we hope you all will stay tuned for this new feature. Check out more book information at www.theliburnpress.com.

In this week’s column, I take a look at the question of jut how important is Ukraine to the interest of the United States. Should we be actively engaged in this country over 6000 miles away from our borders? Probably so, but with caveats.  Why is Vladimir Putin  so intense on invading Ukraine?  It is America picking in choosing what countries they going to defend? Check out my thoughts and see if you agree. Read my column now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

A special day at the Garden District bookstore in uptown New Orleans with a presentation by popular author Karen White. She has written over 30 books, and tells great stories about New Orleans, the French quarter and the south. It was a treat to visit with her at the bookstore. Pictured below shows my visiting with Karen, and a second picture with bookstore owner Chris Tidmore and author Rannah Gray.

 

In this week’s column now posted, I write about the importance of America’s relationship with Ukraine, and how far America  should go in protecting this country some 6000 miles away. Pictured below are some of the political commentary showing this relationship. And I hope you will read my column listed above.

 

 

 

 

A warning for my readers. There is a new strain of Covid that is lurking through some parts of the world, that could be quite dangerous back here in the U.S. A lot of us have been lulled into thinking that our lives are back to normal, and we are not really affected by any additional lingering challenges from Covid. Let me tell you by my own personal experience. That’s just not the truth. I can also tell you that you don’t want to go through a serious Covid infection. Again, I know from personal experience. I write it all out in my new column. You can read it by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

One of the most stunning multimedia art exhibits is the current van Gogh exhibit is traveling throughout America. Lucky for us, it should be in New Orleans soon. Van Gogh was troubled through most of his life, but was pure joy genius when it came to painting. He died broke, but his paintings today sell for multi, multi millions. Below is part of the exhibit that is being shown throughout the country now. I hope you can see it.

Louisiana legislators and insurance regulators are belly hoeing a host of new “catastrophic laws” to hold insurance companies more accountable. But just what are these proposals, and are they even necessary?  My new column raises questions about why the insurance department is not enforcing the laws that are already on the books.  Policyholders in the state seem to have  little consumer protection, and insurance rates continue become more and more unaffordable. So what can be done? I take a look at this complicated and messy issue in my new column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

 

 

 

This is not a photo from 1941. This is a photo from March 2022 in Ukraine with all the color taken out. Yes, a chilling reminder that history does repeat itself.

The fighting gets worse in Ukraine. And whether Americans like it or not, we are directly affected. It just seems irresponsible for anyone in the U.S. to stand on the sidelines. So what can an individual do?  I list a number of opportunities to help in my second column I’ve written on Ukraine. Take a look and see if there’s something you’re interested in. Or if you agree. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

We all know parents involved at the school their children and things are going right. Here’s an amusing take on parents complaining, even though their children miss school a great deal. Take a look.

Gas at $4.45 in Baton Rouge. Here’s how I’m preparing.

Countries across the world are expressing concern about what’s happening in Ukraine today. But are we as Americans and particularly here in Louisiana understand the economic and military toll this war will have right here at home?  There is going to be sacrifice regardless of how much America becomes involved. And this sacrifice could well continue for a long time to come. I write about this international tragedy in my column this week. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here. 

 
The Ukrainian Library Association was supposed to be holding a conference this week, but something came up. Books, that define the culture of a nation, are always at risk when war breaks out. A note on the association’s Facebook page explains, “The insidious, brutal and bloody aggression of the Russian Federation prevented us from realizing our plans.”
In “The Library: A Fragile History,” Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen write, “Libraries had always been a target of conquering armies.” Although Russia is a signatory of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property, Vladimir Putin’s bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine aligns with his claim that it’s not a real country. As a former KGB agent, he’s just following the empire’s old playbook. In “Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century,” Rebecca Knuth observes, “The Soviet Union, in the interest of extinguishing national identity among its constituent nations, was guilty of some of the most egregious cultural destruction.”
We sure hope that that libraries survive the onslaught taking place in Ukraine.

Time sure does fly, don’t you agree?  From the Louisiana Senators who were elected in 1971, only four of us are living today. In the picture below, we were suited up for a basketball game against the House of Representatives. All four of us in the photo ran for governor of Louisiana. Pictured from left are yours truly, Bob Jones from Lake Charles, Bill Dykes in the center who is now deceased, Lois Lambert from Gonzales and Paul Hardy from Baton Rouge. I’m sure we could all play just as well today, don’t you agree?

 

I started out in Louisiana political life back in 1972. There sure have been a lot of the changes in our priorities, how we live, our moral values, and what we think is important. And it’s not all good. There’s been a proliferation of gambling in numerous forms, loosening of drug laws, and a whole changing attitude of our personal priorities. Personally, I miss some of the good things about the old days. I write about these concerns in this weeks column. You can read it now by going to the Red Flashing Box above or by Clicking Here.

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