By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – It’s a rainy, fall day here in Louisiana and we are one week away from fall break at school, and less than two weeks away from publishing day for my book, so my attention span is all over the map right now.  I have only some loose, disconnected thoughts for you this week:

The Kavanaugh Circus:  Ditto what Fausta said.  One hundred percent ditto.  Last I checked, her post had not received an Instalanche but it certainly should have.  Well done, Fausta!   For my part, I’m watching the hearings distantly and with disgust.  No wonder people are sick of politicians.

Education in Louisiana: We are accustomed to being at the bottom of every type of good-list in Louisiana (or at the top of The-Worst-Place to… lists), but it looks like our education rankings are fixing to take a blow.  When school letter grades come out on November 8, The Advocate reports that “the number of F-rated schools is expected to rise by 57 percent and those with A ratings drop by 38 percent, according to a 2017 analysis by the state Department of Education.”

It is, in fact, expected to be so bad that schools will receive two grades: one under the old system and one under the new in an attempt to soften the blow.

Meanwhile, Louisiana, like many other states, is facing a critical teacher shortage and while some suggest that pay is the problem, I would suggest that the Louisiana version of Common Core in the core subject areas is also playing a huge part in the vacuum of qualified teachers in this state.   Every ELA teacher I know has an exit plan: either hang on the few years to retirement or move from the classroom into either administration, library science, or counseling.  And the new teacher candidates aren’t coming.  They’re changing course.

This will get worse before it gets better.

Book Talk:  When people send new books to our Classroom Library Project, I try to read as many of them as I can if it is a title I haven’t read before.  My daughter sent Monica Wood’s The One-in-a-Million Boy to us and I just finished it yesterday.  What a stunningly beautiful book.   Her writing is exquisite and her characters so endearing…the plot is simple but complicated.  It is charming and I’m going to buy a copy for all of my friends for Christmas.  Go read it.  Now.

Speaking of the Classroom Library Project, a very nice lady shared our project on her social media this past week which resulted in a mini-flood of about a dozen books for our new classroom library!  My students were so excited as they dug through the new titles, thumbed the crisp new pages, and selected titles to read.  The generosity of strangers can be so heartwarming!

And finally, my own book will be published on October 10.  Cane River Bohemia is a biography of Cammie Henry who had an artists and writers colony at her plantation home in central Louisiana during the 1920s and ‘30s.  She was a remarkable woman and hosted such luminaries of the day as Lyle Saxon, Sherwood Anderson, Alberta Kinsey, Doris Ulmann, Julia Peterkin, Ada Jack Carver, and Caroline Dormon.  She was also the employer of folk artist Clementine Hunter.  Cammie was an early preservationist and restored not only her plantation home, but other cabins and structures on her property.  Additionally, she salvaged parts of other homes and brought them to her own.  Her archival collection at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana is filled with original manuscripts sent to her by all types of writers, famous and not famous, for her examination.

I’m incredibly nervous about the book because I want everyone to love Cammie as much as I do.  People keep telling me to relax and enjoy it, that the hard work is done, but that’s so much easier said than done.

I will work on this!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia.  Follow her on Instagram @paustin25.

If you want to understand what the left is Doing to Brett Kavanaugh: King Solomon prophetically saw it coming:

Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.

He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, Because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father.

Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”

Wisdom 2:12-20

When Brett Kavanaugh went to mass on Sept 23rd this was the first reading. Boy did King Solomon know the Democrats or what?

Talked to a friend who is now a US citizen who used to live under a murderous tyrant.  He loved the idea of Kavanaugh fighting back.  I’m wondering if the left reminded him of the days when a Tyrant spoke and you were destroyed.

There is one aspect of the Kavanaugh FBI business that nobody is talking about. Since the FBI doesn’t come to conclusions in theory any allegation no matter how lacking in evidence or sanity might be leveled against the judge and the bureau might dutifully include it in their report. Now if we had the FBI of Efrem Zimbalist Jr. such a thing would be unthinkable, but with the FBI of James Comey, it’s completely believable.

Ironically if the FBI acts like a law enforcement agency rather than the leader of the NeverTrump resistance they are likely to guarantee Kavanaugh at least 53 votes and maybe even 55. It’s also going to make both folks like Geoff Diehl who said this was all BS and Charlie Baker who called for an investigation both look good. The inability of the left to grasp what the Kavanaugh stuff is going to do to them in swing districts that Trump won never ceases to amaze me.

On The Other Podcast staring Robert Stacy McCain and William Hoge I predicted the GOP will keep the house because of Kavanaugh.  Nobody else seems to think so, but you watch.  There are at least 10 Trump seats that dems need to win.  After Kavanaugh the GOP will crawl over glass to vote against these asses, bank on it!

One thing about Charlie Baker, while he is a bit of a squish republican he hasn’t been shy about backing state level GOP members who aren’t squishes.  A local paper actually hit him for it.

Saturday I did a mini-tip jar drive on Twitter than included tweeting out my interviews, Q & A’s etc that I covered this year. it took nearly 4 hours and included 190 different videos and I didn’t include all the videos from some events.

Sometimes I forget just how much work I do each year

If you went to Las Vegas and bet $199 that after three games the Cleveland Browns would have a better record than the New England Patriots, you’d be so rich that every pol in the nation would be begging you for money.  However if you bet that this would continue in week four you would have lost.

Four teams in Baseball are playing a 163rd game to determine division winners in the NL today.  The Brewers play the Chicago Cubs and the Rockies Play the Dodgers.   The Losers in those games play each other in the one game wild card and the loser is bounced.  Can you imagine finishing the season tied for 1st and then being bounced after two straight losses?  It’s going to be a horrible week for someone.