Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Everything is Coming Apart

Everything is coming apart.There’s no place to hide. We depend upon each others sanity. We drive down a two lane road betting the car coming towards us is not being driven by a homicidal/suicidal maniac. We live in a state of mutual dependency.

We assume our leaders have a modicum of good will and sanity so we can watch football and go to the gym. We assume civilization will run itself like a perpetual motion machine. Not so. Never has. Never will. One person’s passivity provides another person with more space at the political table to dominate and manipulate. “The love of money (and power) is the root of all evil.” The rapaciousness of the very rich and very powerful must be checked by the idealism energy and tenacity of the many.

Might doesn’t always make right. Sometimes right magnifies might. Huh? Read it again it makes sense. Ask John Lewis and the surviving family members of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney.

The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are not going to save us. Franklin’s response to the question about what the constitutional convention had produced is instructive…”A republic if you can keep it.” Can you dig it? It doesn’t run itself. We run it by our engagement…Or others run it because of the vacuum left by our disengagement. Shaw had it right. ” Democracy is a device that ensures that we are not governed any better than we deserve.” the corollary is that the people who outwork us get the government they deserve.

It’s on us. It always has been. We don’t chose our time or place to live but we chose how to respond to the challenges of that time and place. Kant said an enlightened person is a person with the courage to have his or her own opinion. If you don’t have an opinion, get one. Courage, same drill. Continue Reading…….

A few thoughts about last night’s candidate forum

After catching myself up on last year’s Bay St Louis election forum I was reminded of the differences between the two communities in terms of the political environment. Waveland’s political scene is far more laid back with the various aldermen candidates agreeing with each other more than a few times. Even better from my standpoint on the panel was that every candidate that appeared for the forum last night was prepared and knowledgeable of the issues in the community, something that was not true last year in the Bay.

Geoff Belcher of the Sea Coast Echo and WLOX’s Doug Walker rounded out the panel and again we didn’t toss out any softies. Doug kicked off the Mayoral portion asking about the heart of Waveland being left out of the newly created opportunity zones. To the extent Waveland is still redeveloping from Hurricane Katrina I focused questions to both the Mayors and Aldermen about their visions for development on the Highway 90 corridor, including a tie vote Mayor Smith broke allowing live oaks to be cut. There was no such thing as a right or wrong answer to these questions. My goal, as it was last year, was to get the candidates to differentiate themselves on the issues and I think the panel accomplished that.

Here are the candidates that attended last night:

Ward 1 Alderman: Henry Tebbe (R), Jeremy Burke (I)
Ward 2 Alderman: Laronne Lewis (D)
Ward 3 Alderman: Shane Lafontaine (D)
Ward 4 Alderman: Charles Piazza (I), Sara Cure Clark (I)
Mayor: Mike Smith (D), Tommy Longo (I), Jay Trapani (I)

No Shows:
Ward 1 Candidate Jay Fountain, Ward 2 Alderman Bobby Richardson, Ward 3 Candidate Don Siebenkittel, Ward 4 Candidate Brice Phillips, Ward 4 Candidate Mark Kidd Continue reading “A few thoughts about last night’s candidate forum”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Liars, Creeps Suck-Ups and Saudis

We’re being governed by liars, creeps, and suck-ups. What other words would you use to describe Jared Kushner, John Bolton, Giggling Mike Pompeo, Chuckling Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Donald (He Denies It) Trump, and the behavior of the Trump Administration in the aftermath of the gruesome murder and dismemberment of an American Resident inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul?

Who sits at the top of this suck-up chain of command? A name no so-called liberal dares to mention, Sheldon Adelson. He is, by far, the most powerful private citizen in both the United States and Israel. Say that out loud and some jerk like Bret Stephens at the Times will charge you with “dealing in anti-semitic tropes.”

Liberals are cowed. Unfortunately, that’s their default state. They’ve got no problem gang tackling Kavanaugh, waxing outraged at comparative nobodies like the Mercers and the Kochs or some dopey evangelical with a bird nest hairdo who gets caught on a recording talking weird with his mistress. Rachel will work that for weeks.

Where the hell did the Saudis get the idea that they could kill and dismember an American Resident in the Saudi Consulate in a NATO State, Turkey? Reflect on that please. Turkey is a tried and true friend of the Untied States. They fought and died with us in Afghanistan after we were hit by individual Saudi citizens under the direction of Saudi Osama bin Laden. Continue Reading……..

Waveland City Elections Political Forum Set

Lana Noonan sent in the following:

The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government is sponsoring a Political Forum for the upcoming Waveland Municipal Elections on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:00pm at the Waveland City Hall Board Meeting Room on Coleman Avenue.

The moderator for this year’s forum will be Joe Gex, and a panel of local journalists will question the candidates on the issues Waveland has faced in the last four years, and plans for the City going forward.

The media outlets participating in the Forum will be the Sea Coast Echo, WLOX Television, and Slabbed New Media.

Candidates may bring campaign materials for distribution, and those wishing to participate should call Lana Noonan at (228) 493-4358

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: I Know I’m not the only one

Posted on October 9, 2018
I know I’m not the only one who likes and has supported Barack Obama and ended up supporting Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

How could that be you ask. Easy. In politics, hate (or dislike) is a far stronger motivator than love (or like). That’s not my bright idea, it’s the observation of a couple of very savvy political operators, Kevin Phillips and Ed Rendell.

Phillips was a strategist in Richard Nixon’s 1968 successful Presidential run. He helped develop and implement Nixon’s southern strategy. According to Phillips, “the secret to politics is understanding who hates who.” Ed Rendell, a two term Governor of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee has said, “In politics hate is a far stronger motivator than love.”

Applying Phillips ideas, say you’re running in a part of the country that is suspicious of the New York Times, the Faculty at Harvard, and Wall Street. The strategy would be to tie your opponent to those so-called “enemies of the people” and tell the world you believe they represent the essence of evil. In case you haven’t noticed, Trump is pretty good at implementing the strategy. And, by the way, none of us is immune from being pulled in one direction or another by what we literally can’t stand. Talk to the people in those three PA counties that gave Hillary less than 20% of the vote. Obama never got blitzed like that anywhere. He even got the votes of people who “knew” he was a Muslim, born in Kenya. Continue Reading……..

Imagine in November you had a choice……

Between a candidate funded by corporate and out of state special interests including “dark money” and one funded by a large number of individual contributions? Assuming the candidates have no political affiliations, which candidate would you vote for? I’ve asked this question to several people over the past few weeks and now I’d like to see what you guys think.

Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 3: Sups Refuse to Hold Tax Collector Accountable

Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club
Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club

Paul Hampton’s take on the Yacht Club tax exemptions is worth reading because it tells the story of two tax collectors, Tal Flurry and Jimmie Ladner. For lack of a better term the wordsmithing was artful but it is also clear Flurry reads past the comma in the tax exemption statute:

Pass Christian, he said, is chartered as a for-profit business. Biloxi’s clubhouse is exempt but its marina, where it has slips for rent is on the tax rolls.

Lana Noonan suggested in comments that Ladner get a seeing eye dog pronto because he is fooling no one following this story:

The Biloxi Yacht Club officials get it. They pay taxes on their Marina because, as he said, “we receive revenue on the Marina slip rentals.” I like Jimmie personally, but does he need a seeing eye dog? Read past the comma on that statute. In fact, Jimmie said to the Sun Herald, “do we want public officials who interpret the law anyway they want?” No, Jimmie, but that is what we have right now. Allowing the poor to subsidize your fun is about as low as it gets.

For the taxpayers in Hancock County this is a simple matter of fairness. Continue reading “Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 3: Sups Refuse to Hold Tax Collector Accountable”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: I Don’t Believe Dr. Ford

Posted on September 24, 2018

Why should I believe her? I haven’t met her. I haven’t seen and heard her describe what she claims happened to her and respond to questions about the details of that event. In fact, none of the the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the exception of Sen. Diane Feinstein, have met her.

So, she starts out entitled to as much respect and credibility as any human being one encounters for the first time. But, in Dr. Ford’s case, she has revealed herself to us incrementally, by what she has done. She has demonstrated that she is clever and strategic and calculating. Clever to the point of sneaky.

When President Trump announced he was nominating Kavanaugh to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Dr. Ford started the process of telling her story…anonymously. How is what Dr. Ford did with her anonymous campaign any different than writing on a restroom wall “Judge Kavanaugh tried to rape me”?

Isn’t there something wrong, on its face, with leveling a charge against someone without putting your name on it? If you’re having trouble with the question, you shouldn’t. It stinks. It reveals the character of the person making the charge. It puts their character in question.

For 60 days, Dr. Ford got her story out, anonymously, and allowed the hearings to come and go. With her story fully in the the public domain and the firestorm raging at fever pitch she reveals her identity, hires three (!) lawyers and public relations folks, raises serious money on Go Fund Me and says she’ll testify if her conditions are met. Continue Reading……