Remember This? Stanley’s Stump

Stanley Bert Eisen was born on January 20, 1952 in New York City.  On that day, doctors and nurses immediately realized Stanley had been born with a congenital deformity known as Microtia.    The deformity prevented his ear from forming properly and left him deaf in his right ear.  Rather than being deaf in his right ear, it would be better stated that he was deaf on his right side because there was no right ear.  Stanley was born with a stump where his right ear should have been.    

Stanley recalled that he had a “less than optimal childhood.”  His parents refused to acknowledge that Stanley had a deformity.  Rather than explaining his deformity and that he was half-deaf, his parents simply ignored the issue altogether.  Stanley recognized his deformity at an early age when people would stare at the right side of his face.  Stanley looked into mirrors and compared his left ear and the stump on the opposite side.  He knew he was different.  Stanley had trouble hearing on his right side but his family never spoke of his half-deafness.  Stanly recalled, “I was an angry, dysfunctional kid with a real image problem and a hearing problem that put me under constant scrutiny.  My family’s way was, ‘Everything’s OK.  Forward, march.’  But the idea that you make someone stronger by ignoring their pain shouldn’t be called ‘tough love.’ It should just be called ‘no love.’”

Stanley also struggled to fit in at school.  Being deaf on his right side, Stanley found it hard to tell from which direction sounds originated.  When everyone else responded to a sound by looking in a certain direction, Stanley usually looked the other way.  In a crowded room, he had a hard time differentiating people’s voices.  All of the voices sounded like jumbled up gibberish.  Because of his deformity the other students at his school treated him cruelly.  They teased and bullied him endlessly.  Stanley struggled with depression and social isolation.  He became a loner as his distrust of people grew. 

Stanley found solace in music.  His parents listened to classical music, which Stanley loved.  Stanley aimed his good toward the speakers and eagerly absorbed everything from Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and Stephen Sondheim.  On February 9, 1964, the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show in what were the early years of the British Invasion.  Twelve-year-old Stanley watched in awe.  The Beatles wore their hair long, which quickly became fashionable.  Stanley realized that wearing his hair long would hide his deformed ear and it was in style.  Once his hair grew long enough, strangers stopped staring at his deformity.  “What I found over the years,” Stanley said, “was that what you deny and cover up doesn’t cease to exist, and even if you can hide something from the public, you can’t hide it from yourself.”

Stanley became an artist.  Through the years, he has earned millions of dollars off of his artwork which includes portraits, abstracts, and logos.  Art collectors around the world proudly display his work among their collections.  The prestigious Wentworth Gallery still sells his original artwork in their galleries.  Stanley’s work in the arts afforded him the required surgeries to rebuild his disfigured ear.  In 1982, 30-year-old Stanley had fiver surgeries in which doctors removed cartilage from one of his ribs and constructed a new right ear.  Still self-conscious, Stanley kept his hair long, which was in style in the 1980s.

In 1988, Stanley saw the London company perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.  He claimed that that show changed his life.  Stanley said “I had this momentary revelation, an epiphany where I went, ‘Wow, I can do that.”  For ten long years, Stanley dreamed of playing the part of the Phantom, a disfigured musical genius who was in love with a young protegee whom he had trained.  Finally, in 1998, Stanley got an audition to play the Phantom in the Toronto, Canada, production of The Phantom of the Opera.  In its ten-year run at the Pantages Theatre, the play had sold more than seven million tickets at $135 each for decent seats.  Stanley felt a personal connection to the Phantom.  He explained, “Here’s somebody who has a disfigurement that they’re covering and they’re trying to reach out to a woman, and, as much as they want to do it, they don’t know how.  Well, that pretty much summed up my life…”                     

To play the part of the Phantom required multiple auditions for singing, movement, and acting.    Stanley realized that this audition process was probably his only shot to play the Phantom.  Stanley prepared as best he could.  He had seen the play numerous times and knew the songs by heart.  There was no need for Stanley to worry.  Stanley passed the audition and got his coveted role.  For the first time since the 1960s, Stanley cut his long hair.  He had a month of rehearsals and voice lessons six days a week to prepare for the production.  Stanley told a reporter that playing the part was “the hardest work [he had] ever done.”  The critics, doubtful at first, thought he brought something special and new to the character.  Once his stint with the Toronto company ended, Stanley returned to his artwork. 

His most recognizable piece of art is well known around the world.  He was the artist who created the logo for the band KISS with its lightning bolt s’s.  He created the artwork for several of their album covers as well.  He was also one of the four artists who created KISS.  Stanley adopted the first name of one of the Beatles, the band he watched on the Ed Sullivan Show so long ago.  For the last half century, the world has known Stanley Bert Eisen as Paul Stanley. 

Sources:

  1. The National Post (Toronto, Canada) March 12, 1999, p.4.
  2. The Windsor Star, March 12, 1999, p.16.
  3. The Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada), May 26, 1999, p.29.
  4. Calgary Herald, May 27, 1999, p.48.
  5. Lansing State Journal, June 27, 1999, p.40.
  6. The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) January 3, 2001, p.20.
  7. New York Daily News, April 7, 2014, p.34.
  8. The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pennsylvania), April 13, 2014, p.B2.
  9. The Vancouver Sun, April 25, 2014, p.42.
  10. WentworthGallery.com. “Paul Stanley.” Accessed June 14, 2020.
    http://wentworthgallery.com/stanley.html.

My Opinion – Censorship By Twitter & Facebook Is Stunning

By Royal Alexander

Only days before the election, these tech giants block access to damaging news about the candidate they support

The censorship we have witnessed this week is a perfect example of why millions of Americans trust neither the national media nor social media. This is the behavior of totalitarian regimes and dictatorships.  Not America.

The New York Post, one of the oldest and largest newspapers in the world, broke a story regarding the discovery of credible evidence in the form of emails revealing that Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate, Joe Biden, clearly leveraged his dad’s then-position as Vice President by gaining favors from his dad that benefited the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.  One 2015 email indicates that Vadym Pozharskyi, a Burma adviser, thanked Hunter Biden for “giving an opportunity” to meet former VP Joe Biden. 

This new, independent revelation regarding influence-peddling by Hunter Biden is obviously newsworthy given that the former VP has repeatedly said he had “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”  The new emails strongly suggest that former VP Biden was not only aware of his son’s business dealings but actually participated in meetings to benefit him.

Regardless, Facebook immediately stated that it “was reducing [the New York Post article’s] distribution on our platform.”  What this really means is Facebook would tweak and alter its algorithms to limit the ability of users to view, discuss or share the article.

Twitter’s effort to suppress the Post article went well beyond Facebook’s.  Twitter entirely banned all users’ ability to share the article on both its public timeline and private Direct Message function.  Twitter first responded to attempts to link to the article with the “error” response.  It later changed its response by telling users who tried to post and circulate the article that it judged its contents to be “potentially harmful.”

Twitter then continued its censorship efforts by locking the account of the New York Post itself!  The next day, the Post published a similar article highlighting likely influence-peddling by Hunter Biden with, this time, a Chinese energy company for which he was apparently to be paid $10 million a year for “introductions alone.”  Twitter banned that article as well.  (Imagine the screaming we’d see if even a whiff of this kind of corruption could be attributed to Don, Jr., or Eric Trump regarding Pres Trump.  On behalf of Joe Biden, though, there is media blackout).

It’s simply insufficient to say that no duty of fairness and evenhandedness is owed by Facebook and Twitter because the First Amendment only applies to government, not private, actors.  Government censorship of speech is not the only kind.  Private sector suppression of speech is equally threatening, chilling and damaging.  Democracy can only function with a free exchange of information.  Facebook and Twitter may not be government actors, but they are quasi-public entities, and they are behemoths.  They are essentially monopolies and possess enormous leverage as a result. 

They owe a duty of fairness for many reasons, not least because Twitter and Facebook directly benefit from a valuable legal advantage contained in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  This law protects them from any legal liability for content published on their sites, much of which may be defamatory.  These two giants should not be allowed to receive valuable federal benefits on the one hand then also take the position that “we are private companies so we can suppress speech whenever we like.”

These two companies are no longer, if they ever were, neutral arbiters simply operating information exchange platforms.  They have become the equivalent of media companies who regularly make editorial decisions in the composition of their news feeds and in so doing, reflect a distinctly Leftist bent.  They remain legally unaccountable for damage done by the content on their platform and they have broad discretion to censor 3rd party speech.  This is too much.  I am hopeful changes to Section 230 will be made to limit the legal protections of social media companies.

Given the special status they enjoy, Twitter and Facebook have an obligation to act in the public interest and they are not doing so.  I would support the DOJ either breaking them up on grounds of antitrust and monopoly or Congress removing their Section 230 advantage and regulating them as public utilities.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Grant Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


Notice of Death October 20, 2020

GRANT:
Janice Marie Prestridge

Visitation: 9:00 a.m. until time of service Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at Rush Funeral Home, Pineville
Service: 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, in the Chapel of Rush Funeral Home, Pineville
Interment: Following service at Malone Cemetery, Ball

WINN:
Alexander Vert Tait, III
June 03, 1955 – October 17, 2020
Service: Thursday, October 22 at 2 pm in the Mt. Zion Cemetery of Wheeling

Genevieve Ozelle Adams
November 10, 1927 – October 17, 2020
Arrangements TBA

NATCHITOCHES:
Brent Druien Thompson
October 04, 1930 – October 19, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 2 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Ken Babers
October 15, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 24 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Billie Hayes
October 14, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Martin Luther Howard Sr.
November 7, 1920 – October 1, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Vanilla Hardy
May 11, 1970 – September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA


PSC Endorses Campbell Plan to Let Electric Co-ops Offer Internet Service

Rural electric cooperatives serving 14 North Louisiana parishes were authorized today by the Louisiana Public Service Commission to enter the internet business and help bridge the digital divide.

“Today the Public Service Commission made a bold statement: we are for rural broadband,” said Foster Campbell, PSC member representing North Louisiana.

Meeting online because of the coronavirus, the five members of the PSC voted unanimously for Campbell’s plan to support internet initiatives by Claiborne Electric in Homer and Northeast Louisiana Power in Winnsboro.  The two cooperatives will use federal grants and low-interest loans to offer high-speed internet in rural areas from Webster Parish eastward to the Mississippi River.

“Everyone wants internet service now,” Campbell said.  “It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”

Campbell said rural electric cooperatives have for decades served rural residents and businesses, so it’s appropriate that they offer broadband as well.

“During the New Deal the big electric companies didn’t want to bring power to rural areas, so President Roosevelt created electric co-ops and the government helped them get established,” he said.  The cooperatives paid back the government assistance and now offer some of the cheapest electricity in the country.

“We’re going to use that successful business model – targeted federal investment – to deliver broadband to areas that have few other options,” Campbell said.

Federal agencies are expected to distribute more than $600 million in Louisiana over the next 10 years as grants to expand high-speed internet service. 

“These are our tax dollars,” Campbell said.  “Few public needs are as vital now as broadband access, so we should capture these dollars for Louisiana and bring internet benefits to education, health care and business.”

The two Louisiana co-ops are part of a trend across the country of New Deal-era power cooperatives offering broadband.  Campbell said North Louisiana has more areas without good internet service than many other regions.

The PSC vote means the two cooperatives can create internet subsidiaries that will seek government grants and low-interest loans to bring fiber-optic and wireless broadband service to members and non-members in their coverage areas.  Commissioners said other co-ops in Louisiana may follow suit.


Early Voting Begins Friday

Voters who want to vote early for the Presidential General and Open Congressional Primary Election on Nov. 3, 2020, may do so in person from Oct. 16-27 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 25) at Grant Parish court house located at 200 Main St. in Colfax. The Registrar of Voters office will be open 8 AM – 7 PM for each day of early voting. 

When you go to the polls to cast your vote in an election, be sure to take one of the following:
  • a driver’s license,
  • a Louisiana Special ID,
  • LA Wallet digital driver’s license,
  • a United States military identification card that contains the applicant’s name and picture, or
  • some other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature.
Voters who have no picture ID may complete and sign a Voter Identification Affidavit in order to vote; however, it is subject to challenge by law.


LWFC Chairman Pleased With Court Decision Barring California From Banning Sale of Louisiana Alligator Products

The chairman of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) praised a federal court’s ruling to enjoin California from enforcing the statutory ban on the importation, sale and possession of alligator and crocodile products in the state.

The California law criminalizes the sale and possession of alligator and crocodile parts in California. The ban would have had far-reaching, negative consequences for Louisiana’s huge alligator farming industry, estimated to be worth more than $100 million annually to the state’s economy.

“We are encouraged by the court’s decision. We know this is the first step and not the last. But it gives Louisiana’s vital alligator industry the ability to continue operating in California and beyond,” said Bill Hogan, chairman of the LWFC.

Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for California’s Eastern District issued the ruling earlier this week, indicating that there are serious questions as to whether federal laws regulating the sale and importation of crocodilian species, preempts the California law, such that a preliminary injunction is warranted. The ruling also found that implementation of the law would cause significant and irreparable economic harm to Louisiana’s alligator industry.

California may appeal the decision.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s office, representing the LWFC, joined plaintiffs from the alligator industry in filing suit in December of 2019 challenging California’s ban, which had been scheduled to take effect on the first of this year. As a result of these law suits, the court issued a temporary restraining order on December 27, 2019 prohibiting enforcement of the California ban.

If the ban on alligator products had been imposed, Louisiana’s alligator industry would have lost California’s lucrative high-end fashion market for the sale of skins used for shoes, boots and handbags, which is a major source of revenue. It would have also deprived the industry from using California ports as a method of international distribution, specifically to Asia.

Louisiana’s alligator industry, under the guidance of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and its restoration programs, has brought the alligator population from near extinction to nearly 3 million alligators in the wild and on farms in Louisiana.


2020 PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

There are seven (7) constitutional amendments to the Louisiana Constitution that will be on the ballot for the November 3, 2020 election. Listed below are each amendment and an explanation of what a yes (for) or no (against) vote means.

Amendment 1 “Do you support an amendment declaring that, to
protect human life, a right to abortion and the funding of abortion
shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
State that nothing in the Constitution protects a right to abortion.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Leave the Constitution with no specific language on abortion.

Amendment 2 “Do you support an amendment to permit the
presence or production of oil or gas to be included in the methodology
used to determine the fair market value of an oil or gas well for the
purpose of property assessment?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Allow for a well’s oil and gas production when valuing it for property tax assessment.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Keep the current methods of oil and gas well assessment.

Amendment 3 “Do you support an amendment to allow for the
use of the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day
Fund, for state costs associated with a disaster declared by the
federal government?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Allow the Budget Stabilization Fund to be tapped when there is a federally declared disaster.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Continue to restrict use of the Budget Stabilization Fund to revenue shortfalls.

Amendment 4 “Do you support an amendment to limit the
growth of the expenditure limit for the state general fund and
dedicated funds and to remove the calculation of its growth factor
from the Constitution?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Create a new state budget spending limit with probable slower growth.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Continue the current method for an expenditure limit.

Amendment 5 “Do you support an amendment to authorize local
governments to enter into cooperative endeavor ad valorem tax
exemption agreements with new or expanding manufacturing
establishments for payments in lieu of taxes?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Provide new options for manufacturers and local governments to schedule payments instead of property taxes for industrial expansions.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Leave the current system as the only set of options for property taxes, payments or exemptions for manufacturers.

Amendment 6 “Do you support an amendment to increase the
maximum amount of income a person may receive and still qualify
for the special assessment level for residential property receiving
the homestead exemption?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Allow homeowners with higher incomes to qualify for the property tax assessment freeze.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Keep the current income threshold for property tax freezes.

Amendment 7 “Do you support an amendment to create the
Louisiana Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund to preserve the
money that remains unclaimed by its owner or owners?”

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Protect unclaimed property money in a new trust fund.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Keep the current program that benefits the state general fund.

Proposition Shall sports wagering activities and operations be
permitted in the parish of Winn?

A VOTE FOR WOULD
Permit sports wagering in the voter’s parish.

A VOTE AGAINST WOULD
Forbid sports wagering in the voter’s parish.

For an independent, non-partisan review of the amendments click below to read the Public Affairs Research Council’s PAR Guide to the 2020
Constitutional Amendments.


Grant Parish Husband Charged With Second-Degree Murder of Wife

A man from the Rock Hill community in Grant Parish is in jail after the Rapides and Grant Parish Sheriff’s Offices said he murdered his wife. At a press conference on Wed. Oct. 7, the two sheriff’s offices released information about their investigation.

“We couldn’t have done this by ourselves, and this is a perfect example of agencies working together. The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office was quick to find the person we had asked for…agencies to be on the lookout for,” Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain said. “The deputy found him probably within an hour or two hours after we had asked for some help.”

McCain said the support from Rapides Parish law enforcement and first responder response was tremendous.

“I want to make sure they understand how much we appreciate their help. This is a perfect example of law enforcement agencies and fire departments coming together to work for the communities that we serve,” McCain said.

The suspect is Clifford Lee Matney, 32, who faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Jasmine Jeannine Matney, 32. It started with a missing guns report, then a missing persons report in the Rock Hill Community. That person turned out to be Jasmine.

“We got there yesterday morning, along with the fire department from Alexandria and the Pineville fire department, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, they sent some scuba divers and the VA fire department helped us out and they were able to discover the body of Mrs. Matney.”

After deputies issued a “be on the lookout” for Clifford, Rapides Parish deputies found him a short time later in Tioga on Monday, Oct. 5. On Tues. Oct. 6, investigators found Jasmine’s body in Bayou Rigolette in Rapides Parish. Clifford had been released from prison this spring and had a history of domestic violence. Sheriff McCain explained how and where Jasmine’s body was found using a map. She was located at the bridge in Rigolette Road in Rapides Parish.

Clifford also faces charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and obstruction of justice. The 35th Judicial Court Judge Danny Willett set his bond at $1,000,000.


Unrestrained Driver Killed in Grant Parish Crash

Grant Parish – On September 28, 2020, shortly after 4:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop E began investigating a serious injury crash on Louisiana Highway 8 at Stewart Lake Road. This crash ultimately took the life of 34-year-old Aaron A. Hingle of Pearl River, LA.

The initial investigation revealed a 2008 Nissan Quest, driven by Hingle, was traveling eastbound on Louisiana Highway 8. As Hingle approached a debris clean-up crew, he failed to adhere to a displayed work zone sign and a posted flagman warning him to stop. Hingle, who was unrestrained, struck the rear of an unoccupied 2020 Ford dump truck parked in the eastbound travel lane. As a result, Hingle sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital to be treated. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis.

On October 3, 2020, Troop E was notified that Hingle had succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead late last night.

While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes in our state. Louisiana State Police urges all motorists to stay alert while driving. A lapse in one’s awareness can have deadly consequences. If motorists witness hazardous situations on any Louisiana highway, they may dial *LSP (*577) to be connected to the nearest Troop to report that activity.

Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt is one of the most important decisions that a motorist can make. While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.

In 2020, Troop E Troopers have investigated 38 fatal crashes resulting in 46 fatalities.


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