A Novena for China

Chinese Catholics are in a terrible situation. They can't practice their faith openly, and they don't have the support of the Vatican, who recently sold out and allowed the Chinese government to pull all the strings and appoint bishops. Even though the Vatican will ultimately have the last word, in reality, if you pick the … Continue reading A Novena for China

Un-packing the Court, Etc.

Happy autumn! Herewith a few odds and ends from my notebook. Un-packing the Court As I write this, the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is still up in the air. Whatever my preferences and my views of the current uproar, I have my doubts about the ability of 51 Republicans to agree … Continue reading Un-packing the Court, Etc.

Report from Louisiana: What Fiscal Cliff? There Was a Fiscal Cliff?

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – Normally, news of a $300 million surplus at the end of the State’s fiscal year would be good news, but here in Louisiana it is prompting questions and accusations amongst the political talking heads. All summer long Louisiana residents were pummeled with news that our budget was facing a terrible … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: What Fiscal Cliff? There Was a Fiscal Cliff?

Apartment living and people

I've been living in an apartment with my family as my house is being constructed. The last couple of months have reminded me why I'm not fan of apartments in the first place. We moved in on a Friday morning, and that evening around 9 pm I saw a group gathering outside to smoke. They … Continue reading Apartment living and people

Will NHGOP Flip a Congressional Seat or Two?

Just in case you think Democrats are talking through their hats when they predict a "blue wave" in November, let me give you a peek at my state's 2018 recent Congressional primary.  I admit that New Hampshire is a small sample size. This is a cautionary tale, not a prediction of anyone's "wave." Our entire … Continue reading Will NHGOP Flip a Congressional Seat or Two?

Report from Louisiana: ELA Teachers told to Remove Novels from Classrooms

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT -- One of the unintended consequences of Common Core (or whatever your state’s iteration of Common Core is) has been an attack on the classroom library and independent reading. In the move to implement a “Tier 1 curriculum,” the first thing to go is anything that does not align with that … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: ELA Teachers told to Remove Novels from Classrooms

Secretary Mattis, the UCMJ, and the power of the ISIC

Secretary Mattis recently released a memo directing commanders to make better use of the military justice system, likely in response to the plummeting number of court martial cases across all services. For the non-military person, this might sound absurd: why are we unhappy when we have less crime among the ranks? A bit of explanation … Continue reading Secretary Mattis, the UCMJ, and the power of the ISIC

Report from Louisiana: Random Thoughts

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – Some random thoughts this week: Book Reviews:  I’ve finished reading two books this week: What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren, and Educated by Tara Westover.  Both have been books that leave what I call a book-hangover, which is to say that they were both so good that it’s been … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Random Thoughts

Report from Louisiana: Waiting for Gordon

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – Last night as I was watching LSU’s trouncing of the Miami Hurricanes on television, I received a text message from a friend which included a screenshot of the new tropical storm in the Gulf, Gordon, with the question “Am I the only one who can feel a faster heartbeat and … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Waiting for Gordon

A tale of two negotiators

President Trump and Pope Francis are about as far apart on the spectrum as you can get. Both men lead large organizations and have tried to implement big change. Most importantly, both are renegotiating deals. Let's compare those results. Pope Francis has been working to reunite a breakaway faction, called SSPX, most of his time … Continue reading A tale of two negotiators

Report from Louisiana: Controversial Criminal Justice Reform

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPOT -- Last week Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator visited with Erin McCarty and Robert J. Wright on our local 710 KEEL radio about Governor John Bel Edwards touted Criminal Justice Reform. The bipartisan legislation revamping the way Louisiana deals with criminals and crime was passed in 2017 in an attempt to … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Controversial Criminal Justice Reform

When Obama mocked McCain

By John Ruberry While "the betters" on the Sunday talk shows were praising John McCain, who died from brain cancer Saturday, Mrs. Marathon Pundit turned to me and asked, "Why isn't anyone talking about the number of houses he owned?" The TV talking heads weren't. In his laudatory statement about the Arizona senator's passing, of … Continue reading When Obama mocked McCain

Thoughts after Rome

When an opportunity for me to visit Rome came up unexpectedly not long ago, I dropped everything, including blogging assignments. I will probably never have another crack at a trip to Italy with my husband. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to go. I figured I might be able to … Continue reading Thoughts after Rome

Report from Louisiana: More Loose Thoughts

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – My post here last week was one of random thoughts and musings and that’s what I have for you again this week, if you’ll indulge me. On Blogging:  It’s been a few years now that Pete asked me to join his crew and contribute to this space and in all … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: More Loose Thoughts

Report from Louisiana: Loose Thoughts

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – I’m headed back to my second week of school this week and let me tell you, it has taken me all weekend to recover from week one!  Not that anything went wrong, but it does take all of one’s energy to lay down a good foundation for the semester in … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Loose Thoughts

Pope Francis is a terrible CEO

If the Catholic Church was a corporation, Pope Francis would be it's CEO. And in terms of a company, the Catholic Church is pretty impressive: ~1.3 billion members, a few hundred billion in assets, missionary operations throughout the entire world, and the inspiration for great organizations such as Catholic Charities USA. It's a big order … Continue reading Pope Francis is a terrible CEO

Report from Louisiana: Thanks for the Books!

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – My summer is over.  It’s back to school for me tomorrow to begin year twenty-four.  Or is it twenty-three?  I can’t remember. I want to take a moment today to thank the readers of this blog for their donations to my new classroom library; so many of you hit that … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Thanks for the Books!

What matters in NDAA 2019: pay, career, cyber and China

The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed this week. You can be forgiven if you missed the announcement, because it certainly didn't make headlines. I didn't find out until I checked my email and received my automated Defense News. I'll go out on a limb and say that because it passed in a normal … Continue reading What matters in NDAA 2019: pay, career, cyber and China

Report from Louisiana: Drag Queen Story Hour

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – Not much surprises me anymore but I have to admit, I’m surprised that this, via The Hayride, is a thing now: At an annual American Library Association conference in New Orleans, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) officially introduced “Drag Queen Story Hour” to librarians across the country. … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Drag Queen Story Hour

Stop trying to “find yourself”

I've noticed a troubling trend. When faced with adversity, setbacks or the like, a lot of people decide to go off and "find themselves." You've probably heard it too. The vision you and I have is someone trekking off into the woods for a month and then suddenly emerging as a "new man" or "reformed … Continue reading Stop trying to “find yourself”