Report from Louisiana: Opening School

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – We are about five weeks from opening school in Louisiana, and teachers are beginning to get anxious. Certainly parents and students are as well, but teachers are natural planners and we like to know the lay of the land with as much advance notice as possible.

Districts across the nation have started releasing tentative plans, but we all know that could change on a dime. Most look like hybrid plans – part virtual school, part in-person. There are also all-virtual options for parents who don’t feel comfortable sending their kids back to school just yet.

I see a lot of concern about masks; both teachers and students are generally going to be expected to wear masks to school. I see lots of concern about social distancing, about number of students in a classroom, and about spacing kids out on the bus.

What I don’t see a lot of is concern for the teacher. In discussion threads I’ve been reading, many parents can’t wait to get their kids back to school, for a variety of reasons, and many seem comfortable that their kids will be safe. After all, it’s older folks who are mostly catching COVID-19, not young kids. We haven’t seen a lot of outbreaks in day care centers, I’m told.

Teachers across the country have a great deal of anxiety about returning to the classroom. There are a great many teachers near retirement age, or that are currently eligible to retire but just haven’t wanted to. These are the teachers expressing the most concern right now; many of us are caring for elderly family members or are in an at-risk group ourselves. Some of us live with immunocompromised people. So yes, we are invested in being certain that school opens safely.

From ABC News:

Some teachers around the country say they are nervous about returning because of underlying health conditions or concerns about infecting family members. Others say they are frustrated by the lack of clear guidance from officials about what’s safe. And for some, it’s about child care if their own kids are only back at school for a handful of days during the week.

The result is an inevitable clash between leaders pushing aggressive reopening policies in states like Texas and Florida and teachers, some of whom say local officials need to think more about what they are asking teachers to do.

There is so much conflicting information, it is difficult to believe anything or to truly know what is safe and what isn’t. After months of social distancing and stay at home orders, how can we just return to school with any degree of certainty that things will be safe?

Overall, a combined 54 percent of American voters said they are somewhat uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with reopening K-12 schools for the beginning of the coming school year, according to the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that assessed the nation’s mood about students returning to day cares and schools shut down by the pandemic.

Some districts are offering either virtual learning or in-person learning that “almost totally” disregards CDC guidelines because social distancing won’t be possible and students might not be wearing masks, said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of a school superintendents association.

“A lot of states along the Southern belt are just planning to move ahead with, all students, all come, and to me, that is going to be a horror,” he said.

And on the issue of masks, many school districts are recommending them but can’t mandate them unless they supply them. Or can they? How is it different than a mandated dress code? And what if a student refuses? What about students with asthma or other concerns?

So many unknowns.

And yes, we still have a few weeks. Things can change very quickly as we all know.

But I worry.

I worry about bring this virus into my home. I worry about getting sick, myself. I worry about exposing so many more people to the virus by opening schools and all that brings.  So many surfaces to clean! Where will all those Lysol wipes come from!? This is certainly a logistical nightmare for district decision-makers on so many levels.

What are your thoughts on the new school year? Would you be comfortable sending your kids into a public school in five weeks?

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 and Twitter @paustin110.

Trump at Mt. Rushmore Reality vs Spin

Katherine McClintock: What’s going on here?

George Washington McLintock: Now Katherine, are you going to believe what you see, or what I tell you?

McLintoch! 1963

I watched the President’s speech yesterday via an online live stream. It was an interesting speech because it was a speech that wasn’t so much about himself as it was about America.

He talked about our history, he talked about why Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt were great and contrasted that with those who have torn monuments down and have publicly torn America down. It was less a speech about himself as it was a speech about loving America vs hating America and explaining why America is great.

What was even more interesting than the speech was watching the left in real time spin it into something that it wasn’t. It was sheer audacity given that the ability to see the President speak and hear him in his own words was but a click away.

The President was bluntly stating truths, truths that people have seen and experienced. Moreover his willingness to call out the left for what is had been when schools, business’ and corporations have been cowering in fear is pivotal if people are going to have the courage to stand up to them.

I think this tweet (via Instapundit) says it all

I submit and suggest that no objective person who watched that speech can come to the conclusions that these four headlines state and this is why the left in general and the media in particular are terrified of large events with the President speaking and also hate when he tweets It’s much harder to spin the people when they’ve seen and heard what has been said themselves.

Now I presume that people reading this blog have seen the speech (if they search youtube the 1st results are spin) but if you haven’t watch it and judge for yourself

The gauntlet has been thrown down and the next three months aren’t going to be pretty.

Update: via Don Surber: Nailed it!

Expect more of this

District Attorney: What did you tell him?

Ness: I told him his name is in the ledger too.

District Attorney: His name wasn’t in the ledger…

the Untouchabes 1987

I suspect there are a lot more photos like this and the reason why it took so long for her to be arrested is that there are a lot of establishment types who are terrified of what she can say.

I would not be surprised if that was the reason why getting rid of that prosecutor in NYC caused so much fuss. I wonder how many asses were being covered?

Let’s see if she lives long enough for us to find out.

Ham Radio, Homebrew, and great political conversations

I’m writing this week’s article from a rather unusual location – in a tent, in the middle of a farmer’s field, out in the boondocks of Thompson Connecticut.  Surrounding me are three other tents, a few camping trailers, four generators, a bunch of laptop computers, and over a dozen radio transceivers.  Strung up in the trees is about a mile of wires in the form of antennas.  The day before this was an empty field and tomorrow afternoon it will be an empty field again. 

This is my station

The two dozen individuals gathered with me in the middle of this field for the weekend have two things in common, we are all ham radio operators and we all belong to the Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association.  All across this country thousands of clubs gathered in similar locations and thousands of individuals operated from their homes. This weekend all of us Amateur Radio operators are taking part in the single largest emergency communications exercise in the world, which is known as Field Day

Field Day is something we Amateur Radio operators take very serious because emergency communications is the heart and soul of Amateur Radio.  Whenever there is a major disaster such as a hurricane or an earthquake the only communications into and out of the affected area is through Amateur Radio.  We provide essential communications during medium and small scale disasters also. 

For the weekend my club, which is a small club, set up five complete stations.  All of the stations are completely self contained, running on either generators or deep cycle marine batteries charged by solar panels.  The wire antennas are all strung up in trees by ropes.  From these portable stations we were able to contact over a thousand similar stations all across the United States and many across the globe.  I personally talked to France and Sotland along with 30 states..

All year round we plan for Field Day and we continuously practice our emergency communications skills and test our equipment.

Field Day is also a social event.  We always have a potluck supper and we gather together all weekend just to gab.  The club I belong to is one of the hardier clubs, we decided to hold our usual Field Day despite the Coronavirus. 

The social aspect of Field Day allows me to combine two of my other favorite hobbies, brewing beer and engaging political discussions.  Every year for Field Day I brew up a batch of Field Day Amber beer and bring it to share with everyone.  It is always a big hit with the club members. 

Even though we are located in New England there is a large percentage of conservatives and libertarians in our club.  All sides of the political spectrum get along great in our club.  The Coronavirus did not deter any of us right wingers from attending.  This weekend I engaged in a great many enjoyable political discussions with fellow patriots and many liberals.   Beer and political discussions go so great together,

Over the Last 30 Days We’ve Learned….

A statue of Abe Lincoln with the emancipation proclamation and a freed slave is a racist symbol of white supremacy and must be removed, however naming an anti trump the “Lincoln Project” is not only fine but deserves to be supported and celebrated by all right thinking people.

A new spike in corona/wuhan/ccp virus cases that took place two week after mass gatherings encouraged by the press and by medical professionals have nothing to do with these mass gatherings…but gatherings at bars and restaurants at even 25 or 50% capacity are hazardous to the public health and must be reversed to contain the spread of the virus.

If you suggest that leaving 30,000 residents of the city of Seattle to be ruled by mob is bad, you are afraid of Democracy, particularly if you’re Donald Trump. If, however said mob protests in front of the house of the Mayor who chided the President for fear of Democracy, then said mob is to be dispersed using all the force that the Seattle police can muster.

The killing of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis is a national story worth of national yea international protest and outrage. The killings of Byron Crawford and nine other blacks in Baltimore, Michael Osby and 8 other blacks in LA, Joseph Gist and 64 other blacks in Chicago during the month of June are all local stories and not worthy of protest or outrage of any type.

If you are a person who breaks windows, topples statues and sets fires you are expressing your 1st amendment right to protests against violence and injustice, but if you are a homeowner who when threatened by a mob that breaks through your game, arms himself to defend your family and property you are a dangerous proponent of white supremacy.

Report from Louisiana: Protests

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Are people protesting where you live?  I know many cities across the nation are dealing with protests, some peaceful, some not so much.

In Shreveport, there have been protests and marches every weekend since the George Floyd incident exploded in the media. The focus of the protest this weekend seemed to center around the Confederate monument which stands in front of the courthouse. This is not news. The monument has been in litigation between the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the parish administration for years now. There is, in fact, another court date tomorrow. The protesters are angry that the monument is still there and want to see it moved to another location. Plenty of them want it simply destroyed.

I have not seen my city more racially divided since 1988 when riots erupted across Shreveport which drew national attention at the time.

Protesters gathered on the courthouse lawn Saturday and paced back and forth on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse bearing large, heavy guns.  Counter-protesters in support of the monument gathered on the sidewalk across the street, also heavily armed. No weapons are allowed on courthouse grounds, of course, and so those with the weapons stayed on the sidewalk while others took turns taking the microphone to speak or share their latest musical endeavor. Club music played over the PA between speakers. For the most part, it was a peaceful demonstration although there were reportedly a couple of arrests and verbal altercations between the two sides.

As photographs of the day, and live video streaming, began to filter onto social media, people expressed outrage and concern at the large number of heavy weapons on both sides.

One car backfire on Texas Street could have turned the whole thing into a very ugly scene.

On the other hand, Louisiana is an open carry state and so as long as your AR15 is visible, it’s just fine to carry it around in public.

The BLM group has vowed to be on the courthouse lawn every Saturday until the monument is removed. As long as they have a permit, they have the right to do this.

All eyes right now will be on the court action tomorrow. The case on the Confederate monument has been in litigation for years, even up to the US Supreme Court (which declined to hear the case); the UDC and the parish are currently using different legal angles and paths to continue fighting in the courts.

Both sides of the issue vow to be in the courtroom tomorrow – this time without the weaponry.

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 and Twitter @paustin110.

Under the Fedora: Courage, Courage, Courage

I’m old enough to remember when “conservatives” made it a point to tell people like me that fighting the culture wars didn’t matter.

How’s that working out for ya?

The lack of courage to make the fight is proving very costly in the end.

My lack of surprise that Justice Roberts Old Yellowstain ruled with liberals as the swing vote (reversing his own vote on a similar case when he was in the minority when Justice Kennedy was still on the court) on an abortion case was matched by my lack of surprise at his ruling with conservatives on supporting the right of the executive branch to fire appointees and a Blane Amendment case.

Roberts pattern is pretty simple. If a case is high profile for the left or his vote is the decisive one he will not risk being excluded from the left’s society. But if his vote does not matter or the case is not one that the media gives prominence old yellowstain is free to vote as he thinks.

There is nothing sadder than a judge without courage.

A UPI story (via Instapundit) notes that the latest spike in Corona/Wuhan/CCP virus among the young in Miami coincides with protesters that took place two weeks ago.

This corresponds to spikes in other cities where (coincidentally) large protests were not only encouraged but endorsed by medical professionals.

Now in my opinion even if the Doctors and other medical processionals had the courage to warn against the dangers of such moves the media/left wold likely have still pushed young heads full of mush to act.

But at least they would not have any guilt.

Things seem to be going slowly in Seattle with some people leaving, some staying and others arriving to try to keep the police from taking aback. John Sexton notes that there are competing goals and narratives in play while Ed Morrissey notes that it’s the opinion of some that it will take more force than the Seattle Police have to clear things out.

If course if there was more courage when facing violence in Seattle we would not have reached this point.

Finally there are traces of courage that are still public

This girl is likely going to face hell for standing for the flag, at least for a while but I also suspect that when all of this is done, she will be remembered while the rest of that team is forgotten

On Your Mark; Get Ready

Don’t Be Like King Josiah

by baldilocks

Fletch Daniels at American Thinker:

Nobody gets to sit this one out.  The cultural enforcers expect everyone to parrot their talking points publicly, to destroy all resistance, forcing dissenters to grovel in submission.  That’s the whole idea behind the “silence is violence” aggression.  Cultural violence is quite the opposite of silence; it is forcing people to say what no sane person should believe in order not to be destroyed.

Few stand against this pressure, which is why nearly all major companies and organizations have come out with quisling statements of support of the name of a vile Marxist organization like Black Lives Matter.  It’s why Hillsdale College’s response was so notable, because it was a rare exception to the rule.  (This was not surprising coming from one of the only places in America still putting up statues to honor our tremendous heritage of liberty when the cultural zeitgeist is to rip them all down and start at a Marxist Year Zero.)  Hate groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter operate quite freely in this environment, serving as the cultural shock troops and the terrorist wing of the cultural tyrants who have taken over the Democrat party.

Consider just a few of the displays we’ve watched over the last few weeks.  A football coach had to apologize for wearing a One America News sweatshirt…in Oklahoma.  We watched as most of our senior military leaders bowed before their cultural masters.  We watched as statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and even an assortment of abolitionists either were destroyed or came under attack, even as discussions of replacing the National Anthem erupted from the propaganda and activist cultural tyrants.

We watched as the weaponization of the federal bureaucracy by a U.S. president against a president of the opposite party was unveiled before our eyes to a massive shrug by the seditious media, who see it as a wonderful use of state power by their fellow leftist travelers in the bureaucracy.  They are smug in their belief that they can use their cultural power to protect the perpetrators, whom they regard as heroes.

We even watched as a sports league that caters to a conservative audience was complicit in perpetrating a crazy Jussie.  We observed an emboldened social media giant censoring the president of the United States for promising to protect Americans.

We also watched what I believe is the vilest propaganda campaign of my lifetime, when every cop in America was slandered as a racist with barely a protest.  The guardians of civil order, who put their lives on the line every day, often under unimaginably difficult circumstances, to protect their fellow Americans, are being demoralized and hounded out of service.  This has created the fertile ground for a massive increase in lawlessness that will result in a significant rise in the deaths of black Americans, showing that black lives matter not a lick to those claiming that name.

I wish I had a dollar for every American who uttered the phrase “never in my lifetime did I expect to see…” over the last few weeks.  We are living in the upside-down when patriotism is outlawed, the vilest of criminals are celebrated, and brave law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line daily are slandered as the worst of society so thoroughly that it descended into evil farce, when a kid’s show, Paw Patrol, came under attack since it is apparently racist to have a positive police character in a children’s show.

This is war, and the left is playing to win.


I’d like to see far more people vocally pushing back against the mob within their social circles.  Every person who pushes back emboldens others to do the same.

So, would I, but each person who does so has to be prepared first, and the primary area of necessary preparation is in the spiritual realm.

I know that I’m not alone in think that our country finds itself here because it has turn away from God. We have seen the results of this before; God lifts up His hand of protection and of favor just a little bit – not a total removal. And, suddenly chaos, anger, and fear seem high, wide and deep.

All I’m saying is that is we are plainly seeing the result of doing things the secular way; of raising children to hate each other and themselves. Of believing that if something isn’t perfect – like our history – that it should be eradicated.

Newsflash. Nothing in this world is perfect. Will every imperfect thing be blown up and every imperfect person be dead before the rampaging mobs figure this out?

I think that Daniels is right, action must be taken. But don’t run out there halfcocked, like that couple in St. Louis did while defending their lives and property.

They weren’t fully prepared, though they had just enough. Learn from them. (Side note: I heard that they’re Democrats, fans of Biden. After what has happen to them in the last few days — including being doxxed, I wonder if that is still so.)

Plan your rhetorical tactics and strategies. And take all your self-defense classes and whatnot for when those don’t work.

But if you act against the marauders without preparing your soul, you’re making the same mistake this country has been making for the last sixty years. You will make things worse, not better.

However, between the Wuhan pestilence and the hordes of demons er rioters, looters and mayhem-makers, it’s certain that a ton of people are talking to God already — more than was so in December 2019, at any rate.


Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Pats Pick up a Bargain Cam

On my way back from Pastime Pinball in Manchester VT today (more on that tomorrow) my son took a peek at his phone and suddenly anounced that the Patriots had signed Cam Newton to a one year deal:

Newton has been a shell of himself for most of the past two seasons. First a shoulder injury, followed by surgery. Then a foot injury, followed by surgery that sabotaged his 2019 season and led to new Panthers coach Matt Rhule releasing him in April.

It is an incentive-laden deal worth up to $7.5 million and Newton will have all the incentive in the world to prove he can return an elite level and secure a monster free-agent contract for 2021 and beyond.

Here is what Giants cornerback James Bradberry told me in April about his former Panthers quarterback: “He’ll have a bigger chip on his shoulder than anybody in the league, I feel like. Everyone’s against him. I know he wants to prove all the doubters wrong.”

Now Cam Newton isn’t Tom Brady and he’s not expected to be, but if he manages to be Cam Newton that just might be good enough to get them to the playoffs and maybe beyond.

I would have rather have seen Brady, but given the kneeling and the rest of it I don’t care all that much either way, but it is interesting to note that Belichick traded one QB who is known to have a chip on his shoulder to motivate himself for another who would also be thinking the same thing.

Things would be so much better in the US if the news media was worthy of our trust and respect

All across the board, on every single issue the Mainstream News Media has failed the American people.  They have gone way past failing to inform us on so many key issues, they are intentionally misinforming us.  This has produced truly disastrous results, namely the recent rioting that rocked so many US cities and the Coronavirus lockdowns that have crippled the US economy and destroyed so many businesses.

The Mainstream News Media is more than deserving of the label Fake News, which I will use for the remainder of this article.  They have completely thrown out all objectivity, and are now the propaganda arm of the Democrat party and the progressive side of the political spectrum.  This article News Media Credibility Rating Falls to a New Low indirectly provides the proof of the bias, which reached an extreme level during the Obama Administration, only to be surpassed during the Trump Presidency.

As America grapples with a historic crisis under the leadership of a Republican president who frequently derides the media as “fake news,” new Morning Consult trend data finds Americans’ views of the fourth estate’s credibility have hit a new low during the Trump administration, largely driven by declines among Republicans.

The share of U.S. adults who said nine leading media outlets — including CBS and The New York Times — were credible has dropped roughly 9 percentage points since December 2016, from 60.6 percent to an average of 51.2 percent today. Last year, the average credibility rating sat at 55.4 percent.

As was seen in last year’s analysis, Republicans are driving this drop.

If the Fake News was not so incredibly biased toward the political left then the disapproval ratings of the networks by both parties would be roughly equal.  The drastic lopsidedness of the disapproval and approval is proof that the coverage is severely slanted to one side.

Sadly Fox News is no longer the Conservative powerhouse it used to be and that shows in the media survey.

Fox News is the only media entity to remain relatively unscathed, though the share of GOP adults who find it credible has slipped 6 points since 2016. Two-thirds of Republicans say the “Fair and Balanced” outlet is credible, a figure that’s more than 20 points higher than the next outlet’s credibility rating among Republicans (CBS, at 46 percent). 

The Fake News has particularly failed the entire nation during the Coronavirus and the survey proves it.

The poll comes at a particularly sensitive time for news information, as residents across the country seek out accurate reports on the coronavirus pandemic. Recent polling shows a country divided over the job that news media is doing: Fifty-five percent of respondents in a March 13-22 Gallup survey disapproved of the news media’s handling of the coronavirus in the United States, while a Pew survey, fielded March 19-24, reported that 54 percent of the public said the news media is doing a “good” or “excellent” job responding to the outbreak.

From the very beginning of the Coronavirus crisis the Fake News gave far more airtime to the scientists and experts that had predictions of doom and gloom. I believe this was done on purpose so government officials would lockdown the United States and tank the economy in an attempt to influence the 2020 election.  This has resulted in enormous amounts of pain and suffering as businesses all across the US close for good.

The media is going to keep the panic over Coronavirus going until the election in an attempt to cram through mail in voting everywhere and to keep the economy sputtering along so they can hammer President Trump over it. This Bloomberg headline is proof of that: Virus Surges Across U.S., Throwing Reopenings Into Disarray.

Would the recent riots that resulted in such terrible destruction have occurred if the media had not jumped to the wrong conclusions and taken them to such an extreme during the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown incidents?  Many years of the Fake News pushing the false narrative that the US is still a systematically racist nation provided the fuel and lit the fuse of the recent riots. Fake News needs to be held accountable, not by the government, but by its viewers.