Cooking the books, er magazines

I popped into Penzey’s spice store recently and as I was paying I glanced at their cooking magazine, One.

One headline drew my eye: “Recipes for Restorative Justice.” What? Can’t they leave the politics behind? Evidently not, because it has happened before. In fact, I stopped my subscription because social issues seemed to be teamed with recipes and that’s not something I’m looking for in a food magazine. Earlier topics included prisons (complete with a picture of President Bush); immigration; and gay living. Gourmet managed to get into it, too, before it expired, with green emphasis and sly anti war articles. Bon Appetit flirts with the green movement, too, but it hasn’t gone full into that yet. Perhaps that’s why it’s still on the newsstand.

Sheriff Candidate Offers Views

William P. “Bill” Oldham

For the past 7 ½ years, I have served as the Chief Deputy of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.  Prior to that, I served for over 27 years with the Memphis Police Department, where I rose through the ranks from patrolman to Director.  During my tenure at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, I have been part of the Command Team that has brought professionalism, effectiveness and National Accreditation to our Jail and the Law Enforcement Divisions of the SCSO.  VISION AND STRATEGIES In terms of reducing crime in our communities, and the optimal role for the Sheriff’s Office in this effort, we must work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners as well as neighborhood, civic and faith based leaders to make Shelby County as safe as possible. I support the Operation Safe Communities Initiatives. This is a plan developed by the private and public sectors to make Shelby County one of the safest communities of its size. We worked with the organizers and the Memphis/Shelby County Crime Commission in developing the fifteen strategies of the Operation Safe Community Initiative. We use the Data Smart Policing Model to deploy deputies using strategy based upon sound data and research. We belong to twelve task forces in collaboration with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to attack crime and criminals who know no jurisdictional boundaries. We pursue every opportunity to share information and develop partnerships with all law enforcement agencies in Shelby County and the surrounding area. We support vertical prosecution and additional resources for our DA’s Office. We have developed programs to mentor youths, work with youthful offenders to educate them and turn them around. We support Drug Court and Assist with its funding. Some of these “Best Practices” were brought to our community to assist us in addressing issues of high importance. The SCSO should be a leader and a resource in making our county safer.  When addressing management philosophy, and the best ways of managing a law enforcement agency with several distinct missions, including law enforcement and jail management, I believe that in order to maintain the public trust we must be an organization of integrity and professionalism. We must be responsive, accessible, inclusive and accountable to the citizens we serve. It starts with me. I am accountable to our citizens and our employees.  I believe that the key to the professional, efficient and effective management of a Sheriff’s Office is to clearly articulate the vision and assemble a leadership team of professionals with experience and integrity and assist them in making the vision a reality. As required by A.C.A. and C.A.L.E.A., goals and objectives are established each year and benchmarked with desired results, responsible parties and time lines.  This builds accountability into the process and allows for input and ownership from the executive staff which then fosters team building and inclusion. It will also be my intent to provide opportunities for the staff to receive the best executive training available. We will annually review “Best Practices” from other local and national organizations to identify those that could assist us in our mission, as mentioned above.  When feasible and necessary, we will bring in outside organizations, such as the Police Executive Research Forum, as we did in 2004, to study our operations and make recommendations to enhance our capabilities in the law enforcement area, and organizations such as Carter Goble Lee to work with us on Jail Master Planning, as we did in 2007. I am pleased to have been rated the top candidate for Sheriff by the Coalition for a Better Memphis.  I have also been endorsed by the Commercial Appeal in the upcoming Republican Primary, as well as by numerous current and past law enforcement professionals (please check my website for a complete listing).  Thank you for your consideration, and please vote Bill Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff, in the May 4th Republican Primary.

A Perspective

At the SRLC in New Orleans I had a chance to talk with a couple who had lived in New York. Inevitably, I asked the question I always ponder about New York and that is why is it that the place hit the hardest on 9/11 doesn’t seem to understand the nature of the enemy.

The wife explained to me the horror of the day and how she saw people jumping out of skyscrapers to their deaths. The smell of death was in the air for 3 months. It wasn’t until Christmas Day that it departed.

She and her husband could not understand the indifference to the threat their fellow New Yorkers exhibited. They felt the city would be hit again and moved to Galveston.

I do not think they will ever regret that decision.

Get with the Program

Today marks the beginning of a blog-a-long reading of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. At you can read along with them and the next day read scholars’ opinions on what each article means.

Since my schooling in the 60s-70s seemed to ignore how our government works, I find myself ignorant of much I should know. So I’m off to read Article 1 and see what I’ve been missing.

Best line of the conference

Rick Perry surprised a lot of attendees with his dynamic speech. For me, he encapsulated everything we feel today with this recommendation to any candidate running: “Tell the people I am going to Washington, D.C., to make it as inconsequential in your life as possible.” Amen!

He went on to say the role of government is to protect, not provide. We’re in a debate between democracy and socialism. Perry’s platform boils down to 3 things: a strong military, secure our borders and deliver the mail on time.

“Until you get those three right, how about leaving the rest alone?” he said.

Top Draw

Of course, the main speaker everyone wanted to see and lined up an hour and a half before, was Sarah Palin. She had many people championing her, especially veterans. Each seat in the ballroom had placed on it a cellophane wrapped caribou jerky with a tag, “An Alaskan Snack from Sarahpac.”

To her question “Do you love your freedom?” she got a roaring response. Palin noted that “the party of Lincoln and Reagan is back!” Good to hear that she emphasized her party affiliation.

Media reported her retort to Obama, who criticized her as “no nuclear expert,” chiding him by noting  his career as a community activist was hardly good preparation for nuclear expertise. She targeted the Obama doctrine as one that appeases our enemies and makes enemies of our friends. Palin spoke of the smoke and mirror energy plan of Obama and dubbed the EPA as the “Energy Punishment Agency.” When she said “shoot” as a minor expletive, she quickly apologized with a wink. My favorite comment, “Don’t retreat, reload,” brought laughter and applause as well.

Anyone who discounts this lady does not have an idea of her enormous popularity.

“They have declared war on us”

When Andrew Breitbart spoke at the SRLC he was full of passion for our country.

Breitbart, a Tulane grad, said he was enjoying being back in New Orleans. He had come from the earlier tea party protest in Searchlight, Nevada, Harry Reid’s home town. He described his encounters with the left who purposefully tried to steer Tea Party people to the path away from their gathering. “They are fishing for hate,” he said.

“Why is it that the left gets to throw around “racism” yet if I want to use the word socialist I have to go to the DNC and ask permission?”

“The left wants to social engineer us and their favorite tactic is to accuse you of what they are doing to you. They have declared war on us.”

It was great to hear his enthusiasm and his encouragement for Republicans to get out and confront the opposition, even if it isn’t something you like to do.