Sheriff Scott Franklin's Dad

Sheriff Scott Franklin's Dad

Old frogs better start jumping

I get a lot of emails – some good and some not so good – some I agree with and a lot I totally disagree with. One email arrived last week that I totally agree with.

The message is somewhat simplistic, but it does contain a lot of truth that is worth examining. I have lived through most of what it talks about, as have all of you my age or older, and you can testify to the truths contained therein.

The message was titled simply, “The Frog Theory”…

“If you drop a frog in boiling water he will leap right out. If you slowly heat the water he will be content until it’s too late to get out. That is exactly how history works. It moves slowly and we never really see any danger until it’s too late.
Remember how suppressed workers were before unions came along? The unions leveled the playing field. Unfortunately, over a long period of time the pendulum swung too far. Slowly, businesses and factories closed and jobs left the country. We were comfortable and didn’t see the change coming. We blamed everyone except ourselves for what happened. We weren’t alert to how slow things change over time.

World War II, and the Korean War, demonstrated how powerful a united nation could be. Our nation, and our families, were united. The father was the head of the family and the President was the head of the nation. Both were highly respected. We were content and happy.

We were good at fighting a hot war but we were unprepared to fight a cold war with the communists in the 50’s. They knew they couldn’t change us but they didn’t care. Their philosophy was to wait it out and capture the minds of our children. They loaded our colleges with many of their professors and waited. It didn’t take long to see the results.

The 60’s ushered in the radicals, drug culture, student protesters, and the Vietnam War. The aim of the cold war was to divide and conquer. They divided our families and the nation. The secret to defeating a polite and respectful people is to scream. The louder and longer you scream the better your chance of winning. Radicals are masters at this form of attack. They know if you constantly scream and repeat a lie it will eventually become the truth.

The media, and Hollywood, hammered us with hate America themes and stories. Our service men, and women, were jeered, cursed, and spit on. Even the people, who latter wanted to become their President, thrashed them. We lost our first War in history. There was no hero’s homecoming for our fighting men and women.

The Reverend King, who was raised in the old school, peacefully changed the race issue and united the people. When he died the new breed of leaders like the Jesse Jackson’s, Lewis Farakon’s Al Sharpton’s, and Rev. Wright’s put a lid on his efforts and turned racism into a money making machine.

Corporations were green-mailed by threats of protests, product boycotts, or endless lawsuits. Every issue, large or small, became a race issue. The public recoiled in fear of being called a racist. Their voices were silenced because one word could cost you a career, get you fired, or get you sued.

Even politicians buckled under to the pressure. The Florida legislature issued a formal apology for having slavery 200 years ago. They were thanked by being asked for compensation. There is no end in sight for this kind of nonsense. America didn’t capture slaves and bring them to America. Their own people sold them to slave traders from several nations. This knowledge doesn’t stop the screamers. History is what it is and you can’t change it. There have been many tragic events in history. You acknowledge them and move on.

They divided our nation into two separate Americas. We now have Americans, and African-Americans, although Africa has nothing to do with being an American. You can be one or the other but not both. You are what you were born to be. You do not subordinate our country to any foreign nation. It’s equivalent to flying the African flag above the Stars and Stripes. If you hyphenate two countries America always comes first.

This election year could be the turning point in our history because the frog theory has come into play. It’s time to step back and look at how the country has slowly changed since the cold war started. Don’t get caught up in all the hype. George McGovern was the first Presidential candidate to test the waters with college students. The Clinton’s played a big role in his campaign. It was the worst campaign ever run. He was crushed in the election.

Step two was to infiltrate all the information vehicles such as radio, newspapers, magazines, TV and movies. They were quite successful at that. Jimmy Carter was the first President to demonstrate the leadership skills of the far left. Weak military, high taxes, runaway inflation, 19% mortgage rates, and plain incompetence ended his career in Washington. Iran, a small country at the time, took American hostages and kicked sand in our face. By negotiating from weakness, Carter could not get the hostages released.

The big benefit of the Carter years is that they were followed by the Reagan years. The nation got a clear look at the difference between a weak nation and a strong nation. Every student should know this difference. When Ronald Reagan took over, the hostages were quickly released, taxes were lowered, inflation dropped, mortgage rates dropped, and the military was strengthened. Russia quickly waved the white flag and waited for another Democrat term.

Clinton took over Carters uncompleted social programs. He weakened the military and tried to pass large government programs. While he was tied up with his personal problems his lawyers ran the country. He passed up three opportunities to take out Osama Bin Laden. This eventually cost us the loss of our Twin Towers, thousands of American lives, and got us involved in a war with Iraq.

By the end of his term the left had captured a large share of the media and it flexed its muscle in 2000. The hate Bush campaign got off to a roaring start. The brainwashing theory of repeating the same story over and over again was launched.

There were endless stories about our evil nation and its President. Top-secret plans were leaked to the press and printed for the entire world to see. Hollywood cranked out documentaries about the evil Bush administration and our evil military. They laid the groundwork for the next election. The ACLU flooded the courts with lawsuits and the Democrat party became a law firm. Almost every incumbent, or his or her spouse, is a lawyer.

They now have the perfect candidate because they can squash criticism by playing the race card. If you don’t like Obama, or criticize him, you are a racist. They can hide his inexperience and background by turning him into a rock star and singing change and hope. They don’t tell us what kind of change, or how it will be done, only that you should hope for the best. By keeping the hype going they don’t have to put anything of substance on the table.

The only thing we really know about Obama is that his wife has never been proud to be an American. They want us to believe that his liberal college professors, Rev. Pfleger, his ties to radicals Bill Ayer and Lewis Farakon, and listening to the Rev. Wright’s hate talks for 20 years, had no influence on his thinking. If they didn’t, then who did? He wasn’t in business and didn’t see fit to serve his country. These people launched his political career and their organizations received earmarks in return for their campaign donations and political help. They must have had some influence. Rev. Wright’s church received over $15 million. That’s only one small local church. Think on a national scale.

The change being promoted is a change back to the Carter years. It started in 2006 when the lawyer party took over. There have been endless lawsuits and investigations in retaliation for the Clinton years. It keeps the lawyers busy but does nothing for the economy. The economy has been in a downward spiral since they took over.

 

Returning to the Carter years of high taxes, high inflation, and a weak military is not the change we are looking for. We cannot cower to a bunch of crazies whose only goal in life is to kill us.

The old sage’s (over 50) will have to play a big role in this election. The young people simply don’t know what the aged know. The advantage of aging is the knowledge you accumulated. You know what United States Means. You know what the seldom-heard word respect means. You know how wonderful freedom and independence is. You know the difference between a strong and a weak nation; and you know what it takes to keep it strong. You know history because you have lived it.

Although the old guard is dying off, and getting too tired to fight, they have to muster one more charge. If they don’t, our children, and grandchildren, will never know the joy and freedom that is the bedrock of our country. The heat is slowly being turned up and the water is getting hot. The old frogs better start jumping before it’s too late.”

 

Olla man arrested for assault rifles

Olla,La.-Dennis Clem's "girlfriend"-Tanya "littlefeather" Smith escaped to Houston from Olla.

Olla,La.-Dennis Clem's "girlfriend"-Tanya "littlefeather" Smith escaped to Houston from Olla.

 

LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Detectives recovered four assault rifles last week, including one AK-47 fully automatic rifle, second from left, from the home of an Olla man. Keith Mitchell Smith was arrested for illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Olla-An AK-47 fully automatic assault rifle and three other assault rifles were recovered last week in an Olla home which landed a 50 year-old Olla man behind bars.

Keith Mitchell Smith, of 263 Keen Street, was arrested by LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s detectives Friday, July 25, for illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon and unlawful possession of machine guns.

LPSO Detective Leland Guin said the department received information that Smith was attempting to sell a fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle and immediately launched an investigation.

“Myself, along with detective Tracy Clark and Chief Narcotics Officer Robert Terral went to Smith’s residence around 6 p.m. last Friday,” Guin said. “Once there, Smith denied possessing any weapons and gave us consent to search the premises.”

Located on the same property as Smith’s residence is a mobile home where his son lives. A search of this trailer found four assault rifles, including the AK-47 detectives were told Smith was trying to sell.

“Along with the AK-47, we also found three SKS assault rifles, one that had a military night-vision scope mounted, along with many rounds of .30 caliber ammunition that fit all four rifles,” Guin said.

Although the guns were found in the son’s house, the investigation by detectives secured evidence to prove the assault rifles were owned by the elder Smith.

“A fully-automatic weapon is illegal in the United States ,” LaSalle Sheriff Scott Franklin said. “The military night-vision scope mounted on one of the SKS rifles is also illegal.”

The rifles are similar to guns used by individuals in school shootings and other high profile shooting incidents in recent years, although the sheriff was quick to point out that the department’s investigation has not revealed any information that would indicate Smith had any such plans.

“As far as we know, there was no such intention by Smith but we do know that he was trying to sell one of the illegal guns,” Franklin said. “This investigation is not over and there is a possibility ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) will become involved in this case.”

Franklin said right now, Smith is charged under state law concerning the firearms but if the ATF becomes involved, the case would be upgraded to federal status.

Smith was booked into the LaSalle Parish Jail where he remains under a $15,000 bond.

His unidentified son was not charged in the case.

Community Relations Panel gives report

No Mention of Judicial Discrepancies

No Mention of Judicial Discrepancies

Rev. Dominick DiCarlo, chairman of the Community Relations Panel, delivered the panel’s final report to Jena Mayor Murphy McMillin and members of the Jena Town Council at a special meeting held Tuesday night of last week. Shown seated behind DiCarlo are four members of the panel, Rev. Jimmy Young, Jewel Johnson, Clare Wilson, and Bo McCartney. Panel members not shown include Clifton Jackson and Chief Christine Norris, with Rev. Michael McIntosh and Charlene Ranton serving as alternates. The panel was created in November of last year to address barriers that may exist within the community of Jena.

Jena-The Community Relations Panel, created by the Jena Town Council during November 2007 to address barriers that may exist within the community of Jena, finished its work in June and submitted its findings to the mayor and council members during a special meeting last Tuesday night.

Panel members named by Mayor Murphy McMillin and approved by the council included: Rev. Dominick DiCarlo, chairman; Clifton Jackson; Jewel Johnson, secretary; Bo McCartney, Christine Norris, Clare Wilson, and Rev. Jimmy Young. Alternate members were Rev. Michael McIntosh and Charlene Ranton.

Rev. DiCarlo, chairman, presented the report to the council. He pointed out that the goal of the panel was to improve the quality of life for all citizens in the areas of economy, law enforcement, education, and recreation.

“Panel members approached the task with an open mind and a willingness to learn,” the chairman said. “The process was divided into three phases: information gathering, assimilation of information, and composition of recommendations.”

The information phase included presentations from invited experts, research of public documents, review of historical data, and personal observations. The assimilation phase involved condensing the collected information into manageable categories. Finally, the recommendation phase was the culmination of both information (discovery) and assimilation phase.

“The process was panel driven,” Rev. DiCarlo said. “With agreement, the panel chose four areas of study: employment, criminal justice, education, and recreation. The panel completed one area of study before proceeding to the next.”

“Working in an advisory capacity, the Community Relations Panel submits the following observations and recommendations to Mayor McMillin and the Jena Town Council for their consideration,” the chairman stated.

Section 1: Employment

Panel members interviewed various employers within the community. The following observations and recommendations are being made:

Observation #1 After surveying various industries in the Jena area, the pre-employment qualification required by most in the Jena area was a high school diploma or GED. According to the most recent U.S. Census Data (2000), 27% of Jena residents do not have a high school diploma or its equivalency. Thus, more than one fourth of Jena residents do not possess the basic qualification most commonly required by local employers surveyed.

Recommendation #1 – The panel recommends that the Town of Jena use the local media and other appropriate outlets to emphasize the importance of a high school diploma or its equivalency for local employment. It also recommends the placement of periodic public service announcements (PSA5) indicating the location and scheduling of local GED services.

Observation #2 – The Town of Jena, along with LEDD, aggressively pursues the creation of new jobs for the local economy. The panel recognized the need of both local employers in attracting qualified employees and potential employees in discovering job opportunities in Jena. However, panel members could not locate a clearinghouse whereby local employers could list job vacancies and potential employees could discover job vacancies.

Recommendation #2 – The panel recommends that the Town of Jena develop a clearinghouse (e.g., town web site) for employment opportunities. It also recommends that the town encourage local business and local industry post their vacancies at said clearinghouse. Finally, it recommends that the town periodically publicize the location of said clearinghouse in Jena and in its surrounding communities.

Observation #3 – The panel recognizes the out migration trend of our young graduates for employment opportunities in other areas.

Recommendation #3 – The panel recommends that the Town of Jena sponsor a local job fair for high school students highlighting local employment opportunities. It also recommends that the town highlight the quality of life benefits of small town living.

Observation #4 – The panel recognizes the real need for skilled laborers in our area. Our community’s infrastructure needs craftsman in carpentry, certified plumbers, certified electricians, machinists, CDL drivers, and other skilled trades.

Recommendation #4 – The panel recommends that the Town of Jena, along with other appropriate entities, provide local training opportunities for these trades.

Section 2: Law Enforcement

Panel members interviewed LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin and Jena Chief of Police Paul Smith. Interviewees were asked various questions relating to law enforcement issues within the community.

The following observations and recommendations are being made:

Observation #1 – The panel recognizes the effect alcohol and substance abuse has upon the Jena community. Alcohol and substance abuse is no respecter of ethnicity or gender. Approximately 60% of the crimes committed within our community are related to drugs and alcohol. In addition, during the period February 2007 through February 2008, 60% of all pleas entered were for drug or alcohol cases.

Finally, at the time of this report, seventeen of the last twenty convictions were attributed to a drug or an alcohol related crime. The negative impact upon person, property, the Criminal Justice System, and community life cannot be understated.

Recommendation #1 – The panel commends local and parish law enforcement for their aggressive stance in combating substance abuse in our parish. However, alcohol and narcotics use is not only a law enforcement problem, but a problem for the entire community.

Therefore, the panel recommends that the town solicit the community’s support in addressing the alcohol and substance abuse problems. It recommends a public awareness campaign and the development of a community strategy to address the problem. Such strategy could utilize the resources of community clubs, churches, civic groups, local law enforcement, local political leadership, and other town and parish resources in combating the problem.

Observation #2 – The need for additional manpower within the Jena Police Department. This is both a safety issue and a crime prevention/crime detection issue. The panel’s concern is for both the safety of the citizenry and the safety of the responding Jena patrol officer. Without interagency support, there is no margin for safety.

Recommendation #2 – The panel recommends that the town explore options that will lead to additional manpower resources within the Jena Police Department.

Panel members also interviewed LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters and discussed the impact of crime upon our community. The following observations and recommendations are being made:

Observation #1 – There isn’t a substance abuse rehabilitation center in LaSalle Parish.

Observation #2 – DARE officers do have a significant impact in combating drugs.

Observation #3 – Lack of a holding (pre/post adjudicatory) facility for youth ages 12 to 18.

Recommendation – The panel recommends that the Town of Jena, in collaboration with other governing bodies, address these issues. Given that many treatment facilities and correctional facilities are privately owned and operated, the panel recommends that the Town of Jena investigate the need for and potential business interest in establishing a substance abuse rehabilitation facility and a youth holding (pre/post adjudicatory) facility in LaSalle Parish.

It also recommends that the Town of Jena, in collaboration with other governing bodies, address the need for a DARE officer.

Observation #4 – The church community has a significant role in preventing drug use in the community.

Recommendation #4 – The panel recommends that the Town of Jena request that the local clergy address the problems of substance abuse with their congregations. It recommends that the appropriate authorities provide the clergy with information relevant to the request (e.g., impact upon person and property caused by substance abuse, impact upon community life, criminal justice resources necessary to combat substance abuse and drug arrests/prosecutions.)

Section 3: Education

Panel members interviewed representatives from The LaSalle School Board’s Truancy Office, Families In Need of Services (F.I.N.S.), and Mr. Roy Breithaupt, LaSalle Parish Superintendent of Schools. The following observations and recommendations are being made:

Observation #1 – The lack of parental involvement plays a major role in school truancy. This is particularly true in grades 6 through 12. Also, when parents are involved in their children’s education, truancy rates drop. Finally, parental involvement in a child’s education benefits the child, the school, and the community.

Recommendation #1 – The panel commends the LaSalle Parish School District for their reductions in truancy rates. It recommends that the appropriate authorities initiate a public awareness campaign to stress the absolute necessity for parental involvement in a child’s education. It also recommends that the residents of Jena show strong support for school educators’ efforts in reducing truancy.

Observation #2 – There is a correlation between drug use and the dropout rate: as drug usage increases, so does the dropout rate.

Recommendation #2 – The panel commends the LaSalle Parish School District for having one of the lowest dropout rates in the state of Louisiana. It recommends some form of early intervention by appropriate school and law enforcement authorities for students showing signs of drug use.

Section 4: Recreation

Observation – The Town of Jena lacks after school activities (e.g., recreational, educational, leadership and civic training) for children and youth.

Recommendation — The panel recommends that the Town of Jena explore options that would address this community need. It believes that a weekday program with structured learning and activities will provide the community with needed after school activities.

Conclusion

The panel believes the observations contained in this report do adversely affect the quality of life in our beloved Town of Jena. Therefore, as we work toward a better quality of life in Jena, the panel respectfully submits these recommendations for the Mayor and for the Counsel’s consideration.

The panel recognizes that citizenry involvement in community life contributes to the good quality of life we all desire. Some of our recommendations may require further study. Many of our recommendations cannot be implemented without the cooperation of several entities working toward a common goal. Most will necessitate the development of strategies for implementation. However, all will require the support of Jena residents.

The panel believes that character defines a community. Jena has many good qualities and a deep faith in God. Throughout our service we have noted the good character of our citizenry and the dedication of our leadership. It encourages our community to look to the future with a strong belief in God, a gracious spirit for all its citizens, and a committed will for better, days.

The panel acknowledges that Jena is not perfect. Jena has some of the same problems of other small towns. However, with bold leadership, both public and private, Jena can resolve any weakness it may have. Problems not-with-standing, the panel is glad to report that Jena is a great place to live.

Our beloved Jena is home to friends of different cultures. The panel believes this to be an asset to our community life. Our strength as a community is enhanced by the diversity of our citizenry. Therefore, it encourages business to harness the asset of our different cultures by continuing an equal opportunity employment practice. It encourages business to recruit from the areas of under representation, thereby utilizing more of the talents of our citizenry. It challenges our community friends to invest in Jena, its clubs, its civic events, and its recreational events. While Jena has many cultures, we are one people, one race…the human race.

The panel members express their appreciation for the Mayor’s and Council’s concern for and commitment to the Town of Jena. We thank you for the opportunity to serve as panel members.

Respectfully Submitted,
The Community Relations Panel
of Jena, Louisiana