In this age of Google there are many people alive today who don’t realize that there was once a day when the only way to access the sum of Human knowledge was to purchase a set of Encyclopedias

While you can still buy the printed version most people just google information, but for my money if I want an actual fact, rather than trusting open source like Wikipedia, I think I’d stick with the Encyclopedia Britannica with it’s long history and reputation

Editorial quality has been Encyclopædia Britannica’s top priority since the company was founded in 1768. Britannica’s methods for ensuring quality have changed over time, but their purpose has remained constant: to generate and validate content that represents the best, most up-to-date knowledge available. Readers today may find it amusing that Britannica’s first edition, published in 1768, says about California that “[i]t is uncertain whether it be a peninsula or an island.” But for the small group of men in Scotland who were responsible for that first edition, this claim was the result of the best research possible at that time with the resources accessible to them. Over the following two centuries, Britannica established its reputation for clarity, accuracy, objectivity, and fairness by drawing on the best authorities of every era, whether the latest published scholarship or the most respected Nobel Prize winners.

As a rule you get what you pay for. and Britannica is infinitely more valuable than Wikipedia.

And yes I admit it, I always love a reason to link Monty Python.

By:  Pat Austin

Detail of Caddo Parish Confederate monument

SHREVEPORT – Indulge me this week.  I’m so sick of national politics I just can’t bang out one more post on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or the uninformed masses who continue to believe that raising the minimum wage is the answer to our problems (sorry about that last one – someone on Facebook rattled my cage this morning).  Actually, Facebook is the devil.  Let’s don’t talk about that, either.

I’m finding my interests these days turning more to local issues and the snake pit that is our local government; this is not very good fodder for a blog like this one with national readers as a rule, so I save that stuff for my own blog.  However, we do have a sort of regional controversy going on around here as of late with the brouhaha over the Confederate monuments.  I’ve written about it here on this blog before, but I’m sharing this with you now as an example of the ever important principle of “unintended consequences.”

Here in Shreveport we have a term-limited local official who is bound and determined to remove the Confederate monument that stands outside our Caddo Parish courthouse before he leaves office.  He’s tried several times over the years to have it removed and has never been successful primarily because the little patch of land it stands on was donated to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1903. Although a formal deed was never recorded, the donation is recorded in the minutes of the Police Jury meeting when the land (and a $1,000 donation toward the commission of the monument) was given.

Back in those days people did business with a handshake and a good word, so it’s not surprising that a deed was never filed, but it would make things a bit more clear today.

Here is where the unintended consequences come in.  This local official is still pressing the monument issue and now it seems that the parish may not own the land upon which the courthouse sits at all.  There is a possibility that the land actually belongs to the heirs of a man named Larkin Edwards who was an interpreter for the Caddo Indians; the Caddo Indians were so fond of Mr. Edwards that they reserved and donated large parcels of land to him in their treaties with the government.

Talk about a can of worms…talk about unintended consequences…

We don’t know how all this is going to turn out: maybe it will just die on the vine as it has in years past, or maybe some attorney will grab hold of it and find some heirs to make a claim, or maybe some other resolution will be found.  In the end, it seems to me, that the only winners here will be the lawyers.

As to the issue of Confederate monuments, there have been pushes to remove them from public spaces and to change names of highways or schools named after Confederate generals.  As this blog attracts readers across the nation rather than just down here in the South, I am curious what the nation as a whole thinks of this.  Is it a movement to erase or revise history?  Do these monuments belong in front of courthouses or as in the case of New Orleans, in the middle of a traffic circle?

I’ve heard, but not yet researched, that there are movements to remove Union monuments in the North as well.

Curious what you think.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Yesterday I talked about a wedding I attended Saturday night and the British expats I spoke to next door, there was a 2nd conversation that took place that evening that was worth repeating.

AT our table was a couple that included a woman who had just retired after 38 years of teaching middle school.  I had wanted to be a teacher in my youth until the combination of Prop 2 1/2 passing and the 1st computers arriving at my high school took me in a different direction and I often wondered what might have happened if I had taught history, so I asked her what has been the biggest change from the time she started til the end.

She answered without hesitation that while the students were pretty much the same the parents were vastly different.  When she started if  a kid was doing wrong or goofing off as kids are won’t to do the parents would come down on the kids and back up the teacher, today however parents wanting to be the friends of their children tend to come down on the teachers and back up their kids no matter what.

This was no surprise to me as I’ve heard that story over and over again.

Unfortunately that leads to kids who never know consequences, never know discipline and feel entitled.  That’s why they grow up so afraid of chalk.

That’s pretty bad for a society, but you know what’s even worse, a society that does this:

A woman spanked her children after she says she caught them stealing and her subsequent arrest has touched off a firestorm about spanking, discipline, parental rights and abuse.

The question is — how much is too much?

The single mother of six apparently found out that three of  her kids (boys ages 10-13) broke into a neighbor’s house and stole property. After spanking the kids with a belt, she was taken to jail and her other children removed from her home.

Nothing teaches a child respect for the law and discipline like jailing their parents for spanking them over committing a B & E.

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