Sunday, November 23, 2014


Stephen King specializes in giving readers nightmares, but his latest bestselling novel,11/22/63, draws its strength from a wistful, widely shared daydream.
A yarn about a time traveller who thinks the best way to make the world a better place is to foil the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, Mr. King’s hefty tome impressively demonstrates the staying power of the JFK myth – the idea that the youthful president embodied all the noble aspirations of the sixties and that his killing was the beginning of the violence that destroyed the dreams of the decade.
It’s joined on the bestsellers list by Chris Matthews's Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero. Mr. Matthews, the motor-mouthed host of the MSNBC political talk show Hardball, gets misty-eyed when talking about his lifelong fascination with Mr. Kennedy.
As the books' sales show, a large and receptive public likewise continues to worship at the shrine of JFK. Polls show that the U.S. public ranks Mr. Kennedy as among the greatest of American presidents, often in the same league as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Rarely is popular mythology so completely disengaged from historical reality.
To place Mr. Kennedy in the same pantheon as Lincoln and Roosevelt is absurd. Lincoln presided over the Civil War and freed the slaves, Roosevelt laid the foundations for the American welfare state and led a reluctant nation into the Second World War.
Mr. Kennedy had no comparable achievements. Save for the assassin's bullet that gave him a martyr's halo, he was a mediocre president, distinguished mainly by his combination of eloquent rhetoric and often-reckless foreign policy.
Curiously, the cult of Kennedy is particularly strong in liberal circles, even though he was among the most conservative Democrats ever to be president. One character in11/22/63 says that stopping Lee Harvey Oswald's great crime is a chance to “save Kennedy, save his brother. Save Martin Luther King. Stop the race riots. Stop Vietnam, maybe.”
Not likely, actually: The son of an isolationist, Mr. Kennedy came of age politically in the late 1940s, when the tide of Cold War sentiment was at its highest. His father was close friends with Joseph McCarthy, and unlike other Democrats JFK never turned against the blacklisting senator. Indeed, like that famed demagogue, he consistently derided any attempts to negotiate with the Soviet Union or China as evidence of appeasement and unmanliness.
In the 1960 presidential campaign, Mr. Kennedy ran to the right of Richard Nixon on foreign policy, falsely accusing the Republicans of allowing a “missile gap” to develop. As president, he gave free rein to the military-industrial complex that his predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, had criticized. Mr. Eisenhower's attempt to apply a rational cost-benefit analysis to military spending went out the window under Mr. Kennedy.
Not only did military spending increase by 13 per cent under Mr. Kennedy, but he also militarized government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which became a showcase for the strutting of American power.
Foreign aid also became a Cold War tool under Mr. Kennedy, with the Alliance for Progress providing cover for America arming and training the militaries and police forces of Latin America. The military coups that rocked countries such as Brazil and Chile in the 1960s and 1970s were often led by American-trained military men.
Mr. Kennedy is often credited for his sagacity in handling the Cuban Missile Crisis. What gets forgotten is the fact that at the root of the crisis was the president's determination to spur counterrevolution in Cuba, from the Bay of Pigs fiasco to numerous assassination attempts. In avoiding nuclear war, he merely defused the crisis he helped to create by his own belligerence.
In an authoritative introduction to the bookKennedy's Quest for Victory, historian Thomas G. Paterson summed up JFK's foreign policy as consisting of “escalation in Vietnam; an arms race of massive proportion and fear, including the bomb-shelter mania that the administration stimulated; a huge increase in nuclear weapons; neglect of traditional, patient diplomacy; involvement in Third World disputes beyond America's capabilities or talents to resolve; greater factionalism in the Atlantic alliance; and a globalism of overcommitment that ensured crises and weakened the America economy.”
If Mr. Kennedy was reckless abroad, he was a foot-dragger at home. On the most important domestic issue of the day, civil rights, he followed a policy of caution. Virtually all the major domestic achievements of the 1960s came under his successor, Lyndon Johnson, who was prodded by the civil-rights movement to a much bolder course of action than Mr. Kennedy ever dared.
The Johnson presidency was troubled because the epic achievements of the Great Society were undermined by the Vietnam War. Perhaps one use of the JFK myth is that it allows liberals to separate out the mixed legacy of the sixties, crediting Mr. Kennedy with the achievements of the era while laying the blame on LBJ. If anything, that gets it backward.
“The heart of the Kennedy legend,” journalist James Reston once said, “is what might have been.” Stephen King plays to this dream by offering a pure fantasy. But what might have been wasn't – and what really was is not the stuff of legends

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Dear Editor,

I am hoping you are a true believer in freedom of speech and that you will help me exercise mine. I was surfing the internet and found an article (*please see below) in a Shreveport newspaper that I believe is worth local people reading. The article helped me to understand why one of our local politicians did not retire but in an odd move did choose not to run for re-election. This was a huge pay cut.  I hope you will post this because it answers the question, “Why Mike Little did not run for re-election in 2012?” It also leaves the very possible prospect of him running again when voters have had a chance to forget his involvement in some of tehse things.

The answer to why Little did not run for re-election is: The sky was falling! The man has never had an opponent and he must be a little too chicken to run with such a perilous political sky!

In 2012 when former District Attorney Mike Little decided he would not seek re-election, the right people knew his political world was falling apart but most had no idea how far his political world had crumbled.  Below is a reminder of some of the things known to the public that the former D.A. would have contended with had he run (Please note Little did not retire, he just did not run for office – he is still working.):

1. The election was in 2012 and Mike Little’s brother, Sheriff Brodie Little, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for selling meth and other drugs. If Little had run for election, the local media would not have been able to suppress that a jury had found his brother’s “public service” which was near the Louisiana portion of I-10 had ended in a long prison sentence. Some may call that irony or coincidence since Little in his position as D.A.was one of the top law officials overseeing the drug wars near I-10 in Texas.

(PICTURE of Littles below-)

2. Mike Little had just failed in an effort to divert the public’s attention to Judge Cain’s office where he publicly accused them of spending too much on travel while at the same time refusing to mention fellow Democrat and friend, Phil Fitzgerald to a grand jury. The public was demanding an open and exhaustive investigation of Fitzgerald and the big money FEMA contracts awarded to his relative. Little’s job is to investigate and prosecute alleged perpetrators of such alleged crimes, but he refused to do it.

3. Little had falsely charged and indicted Republican activists and multi-state private investigator Ray Akins for organized crime. This charge came with no probable cause and one that no doubt will end up in a future lawsuit against Little. Before Akins was even accused of any wrongdoing, he had very publicly questioned Little’s spending of hundreds of thousands of discretionary funds and the deals the D.A. was working with criminals after a jury had found them guilty and sentenced them. (Note: After these public accusations the Judge that cooperated with this after sentencing “wheeling and dealing” lost his bid for re-election in a very rare defeat of an incumbent District Judge in Liberty County).

4. Little’s Democrat party was believed to be in the midst of an election shut out across many counties in Texas.

Former District Attorney’s decision not to run did not leave him completely out of the race however. Little has been like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain ever since.
He tampered with a Grand Jury, shutting it down a month before its term was over, and among other things, he successfully encouraged the newest and youngest and most inexperienced lawyer on staff to run. Logan Pickett’s well known family name and his connection to his father, Mayor of Liberty Carl Pickett helped him to edge out his competition in the Republican primary, but it also helped Little set up a successful transition into a new job. His new job, by way of the Mayor’s appointment, is city judge.

Mike Little undoubtedly wants to rebuild his image and put some time between the crimes of his brother and his next pursuit of office. He wants us to forget that he failed to give Liberty County grand jurors an opportunity to review the facts on County Judge Phil Fitzgerald’s FEMA problems. He wants to voters to forget the mail theft in the courthouse. He was voters to forget allegations of him tampering with a grand jury when he tried to dissuade them from continuing any investigation of his behavior. Under Little’s direction, Ray Akin was buried under legal bills, but Little will have to continue to throw mud on Akins name and those activists that demanded answers and questioned his public service if he really wants to resurface and run for one of the judicial benches..

Below please find the news stories related to what has been written here:

  • SHREVEPORT -- Albert D. "Bodie" Little, a former Winn Parish tax assessor and sheriff, was sentenced Friday to 13 years, four months in federal prison after his conviction earlier this year on methamphetamine and other charges.

    U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. "Beth" Foote also ordered that Little be supervised for three years once he's released from prison, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said in a release.

    Little, 62, was convicted in February of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of meth, one count of possession with intent to distribute meth, and two counts of use of a police communication facility to facilitate drug trafficking.

    Little and 10 other defendants were indicted on the drug charges in July 2011. All of Little's co-defendants pleaded guilty before they went to trial. All have been sent to prison for sentences ranging from five years to 12 years.

    Little still faces state charges. He was indicted by a Winn Parish grand jury in August 2011 of malfeasance in office, abuse of office and perjury.

    Little was the parish tax assessor before he won the sheriff's seat in 2008.

    "Former Sheriff Little knowingly chose to break the law and now he is paying the price for his betrayal of the trust the citizens of Winn Parish placed in him," Finley said.

    The case was prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Joe Jarzabek

Thanks for promoting public dialogue. If anyone has a different view of Little, olease invite them to comment on my letter.

Alleged Criminal, Michael (Mike) Little

Convict, Albert D. (Bodie) Little
AKA- The I-10 and Hwy 59 Drug crew...


Please take time to read this story so you will be aware of the decisions our local government makes. The government works “for the people” and sometimes I am not sure they realize that.

“Sonny” is from Cambodia. I don’t know the story of how he arrived in Liberty, but I do know he is a very hard worker and he prides himself in taking care of business. And I know he is a very likeable family man and, like you and me, he is trying to earn a living and provide for those depending on him.

A few years ago Sonny bought the building my family owned on the road going into the city park. He moved his donut shop into part of the building and began making arrangements to open a seafood restaurant in the part that housed Athletes Choice.

The effort to open that restaurant has been tangled up with the City of Liberty’s inspection and permitting department now for well over a year. I am not sure what the problem is since several different people have had restaurants there but Sonny’s sign that let’s people driving by know seafood and steak is available has been up for many months. Currently, he is still dealing with City of Liberty and will not be able to open until he has some kind of success.

Next time you drive by, or next time you are trying to think of where else you can eat besides the same ole places, you might wonder “why”….. why is it taking so long for this experienced Cambodian restauranteer to open his doors and serve the public? What can possibly be taking so long?

You can eliminate the possibility that the owner ran out of money or is refusing to spend the money it takes to open. That is not the case. A simple answer is “I do not know.” But I have tried to help the situation twice because I thought it might be a communication problem. Sonny speaks English, but it is not his first language. After my second unsuccessful attempt to help, I have changed my question from “what needs to be done to get the restaurant open” to “what kind of city do I live in.”

From information related to me by all sides I know the city does not like the fact Sonny’s carpenters moved walls and did other work without them pulling a permit. I knew that after my first visit with the City weeks ago. I was told then that there was no real problem, Sonny just needed to hire someone to provide the city with plans to the building and he would be back on track.

Weeks and weeks later, Sonny approached me and asked me to speak to the parties involved to see what else he needed to do to open. He told me to talk to Louis Bergman, the County Engineer.

Louis was very nice and very helpful. He told me he drafted the plans to the building and it should be all the City of Liberty needs. When I told him they were still not allowing Sonny to open, he looked disgusted and gave me a much fuller evaluation of the situation.

County Engineer Bergman told me he has done a great deal of work in Cleveland and is familiar with the new woman that deals with these types of matters for the City. He told me she was run out of Cleveland because she was so difficult to deal with and that she had many problems with Hispanics in particular. I shook his hand and thanked him for any help he had given Sonny in dealing with all of this. He wished me luck because “the City will not return my calls.”

Next, at the City of Liberty department I had visited weeks ago, I asked for someone who could help me on this matter. A woman appeared and indicated she could help me. I told her I was a friend of Sonny’s and wanted to help if there was a communication problem. She assured me there was no communication problem. I told her I figured there was because the County Engineer said no one would return his calls. After a few minutes of visiting with this city employee, I could tell I was getting nowhere. She kept referring me to the code book. I asked for a written list of what Sonny had left to do to be in compliance and be able to open. I knew he had spent a great deal of money and expected the list to be small. She was not rude, but she was obviously not going to help Sonny. She refused to give me a list and referred me to her supervisor on the matter.

A few minutes later I found myself in the Assistant City Manager’s office trying to help my Cambodian friend resolve issues that were stymied in the halls of our city government. Sonny pays about $5,000 a year in taxes on that building alone and no telling how much in sales taxes on his donut business. When the Assistant City Manager sat down and asked me very kindly what he could do to help me, I couldn’t help but think what it must have been like all these months to be from a foreign country, speaking a different language, and trying to deal with whatever it was the problem is.

So after the gentlemen told me that the City would not even consider giving Sonny a list of what else was left to do (“because they could be libel if it does not agree with the code”), I asked him to consider what it must be like to be a foreigner in this situation. I had hoped liberty was represented by people that were more willing to go the extra mile and be the kind of public servant I assumed they already were. Instead, I got this nonsense by the people that would inspect the building that they could not provide a lsit of what shortcomings they had found that would be inspected the next time they were called out.

I was left with a handful of questions. What kind of City do we have? What kind of government contorts their job into that of creating roadblocks to taxpayers instead of being helpful? Who do these people think they work for? This Assistant City Manager said he was insulted when I intimated to him that Sonny might file a lawsuit thinking he being was treated fairly. I thought Sonny was the victim and I was giving this man a heads up, but I found out he was the one being treated poorly.

And that I was the one mistreating him! I apologized to him, but I can’t help but wonder if he realizes the climate he is in. There are many people who are tired around here of feeling like the taxpayer has become the dog that is wagged by the public servant. There are plenty of people who would like to see this eating place open. There are many taxpayers who don’t like to hear these kinds of stories.

I hope Sonny will find someone at the City that will go out of their way to help him open his restaurant. No laws should be broken, but if the Mayor rents out a seafood restaurant to people in town, I expect Sonny to receive every bit as cooperation much as they get. He should be treated like someone who helps pay the bills, not like a troublemaker.