By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – So much negative news this morning in the headlines…tension, anxiety, anger, and sadness (that limo crash in New York – awful!).

All this anger is one of the reasons I quit full-time political blogging a few years ago: I was mad all the time.  Frustrated because I couldn’t really change anything and nobody was listening.  Well, it’s not that so much as I was just preaching to the choir.  I could feel my anxiety and rage building every single day of the Obama presidency.  I had to walk away.  And guess what?  The world did not implode when I did!

At any rate, I really wanted to pull out some good news for you this morning to try and achieve some balance in perspective, so let’s try this.

I was happy to see that Johns Hopkins has announced a new research building to be named after Henrietta Lacks.  Finally!  You certainly are familiar with the story behind Rebecca Skloot’s groundbreaking book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which told the story of Henrietta and her family.  Skloot’s book is terrific and I use it in my sophomore English classroom every year; my students are thoroughly engaged in the story and it sets us up for so many terrific debates on ethics and moral issues.  Sometimes it is difficult for kids to imagine a world before they were born and so as angry as they tend to become about what they see as an injustice done to Henrietta, they get a chance to learn about a different time in history where medical ethics were not dominated by HIPAA.

From Baltimore:

Johns Hopkins and descendants of the late Henrietta Lacks announced plans to name a new research building after Lacks in honor of her impact on science and medicine.

The new building will be built next to the Berman Institute of Biotechs’ Deering Hall and will support programs that “enhance participation with members of the community in mutually beneficial research opportunities.”

Groundbreaking on the building is scheduled for 2020 and is anticipated to have a 2022 completion date.

Henrietta Lacks was a young mother of five from eastern Baltimore County who, despite radiation treatment at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, died in 1951 of an aggressive cancer. Lacks was the source of the HeLa cell line that has been critical to numerous advances in medicine.

More good news:

It’s NOT good that there’s a new potential hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, but it does make me happy that our Cajun Navy is already on top of it and while they are still working and volunteering in the Carolinas after Florence, they are mobilizing for any potential damage to come from Hurricane Michael.

I’m so proud of these guys and of my friend Rob Gaudet who works tirelessly on crowd funding to help people who lose so much during these storms.  If you can volunteer, donate, or help in any way with what these great people do, go here and let them know.

The Pelicans are coming back to Louisiana!  (Not a sports team – REAL pelicans!)

Drew Brees is pretty great!

The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival 2019 is looking VERY exciting!  Featured writer this year is Rebecca Wells!  Sign me up!

My mood is already lighter.  I’m feeling so inspired right now that I’m going to clean off my desk, box up some of my old research material for my now published book (I’ve been procrastinating this) and make room to start seriously working on my next book project.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25.

Got this request from Harriett Baldwin a few min ago

referring me to this post at Weaselzippers

Her son is going into hip surgery on Tuesday. He will then be laid up and need care for about 6 weeks.

At the same time, a lot of other things have caused them to be in a financial crisis and they are in need of immediate help.

You can check out their story and GoFundMe here, which good son William put together.

He’s a good Conservative, raised well by his mom. And he actually voted for the first time in the primaries this year.

It’s hard for Sandy, who was the past president of the Junior League, always volunteering and looking out for others, to ask for help.

So if you are able to help out Sandy and William, they would greatly appreciate it.

Go and kick in, my tipjar can wait

Screwtape:   When humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, only believe in us, we cannot make the materialists and ethics. At least, not yet.  I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalize and mythologize their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us [demons and devils], (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The “Life Force”, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work—the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”—then the end of the war will be in sight. 
C. S. Lewis The Screwtape letters #7

A final post on the Kavanaugh nomination before we move onto real life.

One of the more interesting stories on the Kavanaugh front was reported on by Stacy McCain

Friday at midnight, a group of witches will cast a “binding spell” against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, following a ritual devised for this occasion by a Baltimore-based wizard. Michael M. Hughes is author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change, and leads a Facebook group for “resistance witches and magicians.”

Wednesday, Hughes published instructions for an “Emergency Ritual” intended to prevent the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, whom Hughes calls a “lying, entitled, arrogant, rapey piece of garbage.” Those participating in the ritual are directed to use two candles, a tarot card and other implements, while reciting various magical incantations,

I saw the tweets go out on this and as a Catholic I naturally counted with the Rosary of Our Lady.  As I said on twitter:

Now this is a perfectly natural response for a devout Catholic to this, but what I found interesting was the lack of response on the left to this. We didn’t get leftists give speeches about science, or insisting that this is all hokum or that these people would be better off protesting or voting. They simply ignored it.

Given they had reported on witches trying to hex Trump in puff pieces like this one at the daily mail:

Men and women worldwide had pledged to cast a spell under the crescent moon
Singer Lana Del Ray had earlier tweeted a photo of herself saying: ‘At the stroke of midnight Feb 24… the ingredients could be found online’
Twitter was flooded with photos of witches posting photos of their spell set up

or this one at the Huffington post which published the items for the hex

The spell instructions have gone viral, and there is a group on Facebook dedicated to answering all the questions people may have.

Performing the spell takes a good deal of dedication, including amassing the following:

or Vox

“My thought from the beginning,” he told Vox, “was that Trump’s presidency was surreal and abnormal, therefore there was a need to counter him and resist his administration beyond the normal channels like public protests, petitions, emails, and calls to representatives.” Hughes, likewise saw the spell’s efficacy as, in part, granting a kind of power to its participants: “One very powerful element of the spell is its ability to allow participants to take back their power from the out-of-control administration.”

or Patch

Ever since Catland Books began hosting these ceremonies, Bracciale pointed out, the president and his administration have suffered repeated scandals and setbacks. (Among them the damning testimony of ex-FBI Director James Comey, a confession from Donald Trump, Jr. that he cavorted with the Russians, all those failed attempts to lock down a White House spokesperson and the horrible joke that is Trumpcare.)

“Just look at Kellyanne Connway,” Bracciale said. “It looks like the life has been sucked out of her. She looks like she’s wasting away before our eyes.”

You might wonder why only Stacy McCain found this newsworthy, when in the past this kind of thing was worth at least an uncritical puff piece. I suspect they did not because they realized that not only would this news if disseminated to the general public would not only hinder their ultimately failed effort to stop Kavanaugh but might have added fuel to the GOP voter fires that have now been reawakened just a month before the midterm election.

Suffice to say these spells were ineffective or rather as I would put it our prayers were more effective which brings up my second point. Observe this tweet concerning the two sides in this process

Note the absolute rage in those opposed to Kavanaugh vs the peace in the side of the other. It was a contrast noted by J. Christian Adams who was in the senate Gallery during the vote, at PJ media:

I was in the Senate gallery this afternoon when Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed. You would have thought I was at an exorcism in an insane asylum.

Perhaps you were watching on television and heard the disruptions, though you certainly didn’t see them. The attenuated audio probably didn’t catch the frightening, incoherent shrieking – including the lingering screaming and howling as they were being dragged down the hallways outside the gallery.

If there was any doubt that the opposition to Kavanaugh was unhinged, uncivil, disruptive, rude, and borderline nuts, my experience in the gallery made it clear.

Now again as a devout Catholic this is no surprise. These people are fighting to continue the demonic human sacrifice of children on the altar of materialism (You must abort that baby or your prospects in life will be destroyed). Stacy McCain in a follow-up piece said:

Once the party of the working man, Democrats have become the party of the screaming woman. Trump has literally driven them insane.

I think there is actually something more to this, something rather sad.

During the Obama years there were many frightful reverses that directly affected Christians in general and Catholics in particular. They were painful and discouraging but we were able to fall back on the words of Christ to handle it even when Christians were jailed we understood it was part of the Job Description:

Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.

and through that perseverance, prayer and  our faith in God we saw it through.

Contrast this to the left.  They have rejected God, they have rejected religion and have made their politics their faith, when they fail, when they lose, what do they do, what CAN they do.  Who can they turn to?  Not to God they consider devout Christians the enemies, to their witchcraft, it has no utility or power, to the left that has used them, what can they do but use them again.

They have nothing, so naturally all they can do is shout and scream to the air in vain frustration without hope or consolation.

If you want to see what a post Christian society looks like, it looks like a lot of protesters making noise in frustration and without hope

They are sheep without a shepherd, without the good Shepherd.  They are to be pitied and prayed for


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