The Equality Act will establish Progressivism as the national religion of the United States

The Equality Act of 2021 perfectly illustrates many fundamental differences between the political left and the political right.  The most fundamental difference being that the political left insists on forcing their beliefs on everyone else while the political right is perfectly fine with everyone believing what they want to believe. 

The political left is hell bent on destroying all traditional norms that have allowed society to properly function.  These norms are moral, cultural, and scientific.  The Equality Act is a perfect vehicle for destroying these norms.

The political left has a great disdain for the United States Constitution.  Those on the left elected to political office do not see themselves to be restrained by that document in any way. Every aspect of the Equality Acts violates the Constitution.  Most notably that act violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  If passed progressivism would be established as the official national religion of the United States and no other religion would be tolerated.   The free exercise of religion clause would be demolished by that despicable act.

The type of government framework created by our Constitution is a bottom up federal republic not a top down totalitarian democracy.  For many decades progressives have been working very hard to turn this country into a totalitarian democracy where every aspect of our lives is dictated by the federal government.  The Equality Act is a perfect example of this.

Biological sex is the one true dividing characteristic defining the human species.  It is a fundamental truth that humans are either born male or female. There is a very small percentage of those born that have chromosomal abnormalities.  As you can see here, millennia of recognizing biologic sex will be thrown out the window by the Equaliy act. House Passes ‘Equality Act’ to End Legal Recognition of Biological Sex (breitbart.com)

The House passed House Passes Equality Act to End Legal Recognition of Biological Sex Equality Act Thursday, which would eliminate the legal definition of biological sex, cater to gender ideology, and designate protection for the unborn as “pregnancy” discrimination.

Gender identity is an artificial construct.  I believe everyone is free to identify as they wish but also everyone is free to disregard whatever someone identifies as.  You cannot force anyone to behave in a manner they do not wish to behave in or to believe what they do not wish to believe in.   This is enshrined in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  The Equality Act forces everyone to follow progressive beliefs on so many fundamental issues.  11 Myths About H.R. 5, the Equality Act of 2021 | The Heritage Foundation

The Equality Act—introduced as H.R. 5 in the House of Representatives on February 18, 2021—makes mainstream beliefs about marriage, as well as basic biological facts about sex differences, punishable under the law. Every person should be treated with dignity and respect and no one should face discrimination. But the Equality Act makes discrimination the law of the land by forcing Americans to conform to government-mandated beliefs under the threat of life-ruining financial and criminal penalties.

The Catholic Church in America is rightly outraged and deeply concerned by the Equality Act.  Here is a Letter_to_Congress_on_Equality_Act_Feb_23_2021 chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The remaining quotes in this article are from that letter.

Human dignity is central to what Catholics believe because every person is made in the image of God and should be treated accordingly, with respect and compassion. This commitment is reflected in the Church’s charitable service to all people, without regard to race, religion, or any other characteristic. It means we need to honor every person’s right to gainful employment free of unjust discrimination or harassment, and to the basic goods that they need to live and thrive. It also means that people of differing beliefs should be respected. In this, we whole-heartedly support nondiscrimination principles to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.

The Equality Act purports to protect people experiencing same-sex attraction or gender discordance from discrimination. But instead, the bill represents the imposition by Congress of novel and divisive viewpoints regarding “gender” on individuals and organizations. This includes dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting “gender” as only a social construct.  As Pope Francis has reflected, however, “‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.’ … It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.”1Tragically, thisActcan alsobe construed to include an abortion mandate, a violation of preciousr ights to life and conscience.

Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. It would also inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans of any faith or none.

The letter goes on to list different ways the Equality Act will negatively impact Catholics. Each of which gravely violate the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment.

punish faith-based charities such as shelters and foster care agencies, and in turn their thousands of beneficiaries, simply because of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§§ 3, 6)

force both people and organizations in many everyday life and work settings to speak or act in support of “gender transitions,” including health care workers and licensed counselors, even when it’s against their professional judgment (§§ 3, 6, 7)

risk mandating taxpayers to pay for abortions, and health care workers with conscience objections to perform them, ultimately ending more human lives (§§ 3, 6, 9)

force girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in school sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who claim to identify as women (§§ 6, 9)

expand the government’s definition of public places into numerous settings, even forcing religiously operated spaces, such as some church halls and equivalent facilities owned by synagogues or mosques, to either host functions that violate their beliefs or close their doors to their broader communities (§ 3)

exclude people from the careers and livelihoods that they love, just for maintaining the truth of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§ 3)

discriminate against individuals and religious organizations based on their different beliefs by partially repealing the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, an unprecedented departure from that law and one of America’s founding principles (§ 9)

I’m no expert on bathroom lore but I believe the segregation of public restrooms, showers, and locker rooms into biologic male and biologic female was first done by local custom, then it was codified into local and state law.  It was first a voluntary arrangement that was codified into law.  It was done to protect the safety, privacy, and modesty of both sexes, but especially females.   It is a societal arrangement that has worked extremely well perhaps many hundreds of years.  The Equality Act will destroy that putting females young and old in danger.  It will also have devastating psychological impacts on women and girls.  The decisions involving these facilities should be made on the local level by those living in the community.  The federal government should not play any role in these decisions and is not granted the authority by the Constitution.

The extremely negative impacts the Equality Act will have on women’s sports has been well documented.

Report from Louisiana: Teacheritis

Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I have about three months left in the classroom until I retire. I hope I can make it. It’s close…so close, yet seems so far away.

I have loved teaching; I’ve loved my kids, but I am so done with administrative decisions that devalue the human being in front of that classroom. I know every single job has its drawbacks and there are those ridiculous things that irritate a person everywhere they go. I’m not alone.

I am sure that part of my current negative attitude is more due to the fact that I’m about to be able to walk away than that my workplace is unbearable, because it is in no way unbearable. I love my admins in my school, my co-workers, my students, and my classroom itself.

And if this was a normal year, without Covid, it would certainly be better. But, y’all. I am exhausted just thinking about these next few weeks. This has been the most difficult year of my career.

Tell me if I’m being petty or ridiculous. It won’t hurt my feelings.

I have to be in my classroom or on duty to supervise kids at 6:55. I have first block planning, so I don’t have a class until 9:05, but that first block planning is often taken over by meetings, trainings, and on rare occasions covering another class. We will give the ACT test in two weeks and I won’t have a planning period then, but, mostly I have first-block planning.

My first class is at 9:05 and runs until 10:40. Next class, 10:45 – 12:15. At 12:15 students have lunch and beginning this week they will eat in my classroom as we attempt to make-up those snow days. I am required to have some instructional video or activity for them during this lunch period. And I must, of course, be in the room to supervise. Then my last class comes in at 12:40 – 2:15.

I have to go from 9:05-2:15 without a restroom break, unless I call someone, anyone, to come relieve me for a minute.

Not so bad, you think? Right? Hey, at least your day ends at 2:15, right?  No, not right.

Papers must be graded, lessons prepared, presentations done, copies made for the next day. Grades must be entered into the online gradebook, and then you have parent conferences or calls to make. There are the Behavior Tracking Forms to be filled out, emails to be read and responded to, and other random paperwork that comes across my desk. Time must be made to meet with or check on my mentor students. And don’t forget the cleaning and sanitizing because of Covid that needs to be done to the computers and desks.

Truly, I’m exhausted.

I honestly know on some level that it’s because I know the end is nigh, but really, it’s so easy to feel like the tasks just keep piling on. Nothing is ever taken away, just more piled on.

Okay, so I’m venting. 

I think it’s really best that I retire now, at 25 years, rather than go to 30 years for a little more money. I don’t think I have the tolerance or the energy to do all of this. I’m not sure I’m giving my students my very best anymore.

And that breaks my heart.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport, at Medium, and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

The “For the People Act of 2021” will make stealing elections the new normal for Democrats

It is safe to say that the successful theft of the 2020 presidential election by the Democrats has greatly emboldened them.  It took an amazing amount of effort by state and local Democrat officials, both elected and those that volunteered. The Democrats in the House of Representatives are now attempting to codify all of the dirty tricks they used into a rather odorous piece of legislation they refer to as “For the People Act.”  If it passes Republicans will find it extremely difficult to win future federal elections.

The For the People Act is described in great detail in this National Review article.  Here is their analysis of the bill:

H.R. 1 would federalize and micromanage the election process administered by the states, imposing unnecessary, unwise, and unconstitutional mandates on the states and reversing the decentralization of the American election process—which is essential to the protection of our liberty and freedom..

It is important to keep in mind the Democrat Party is now controlled by the most radical leftists who want to dominate all aspects of the lives of every American.

For the remaining portion of this article I will copy provisions from the National Review and add my own analysis.  All emphasis was added by the author of the original article.

It would implement nationwide the worst changes in election rules that occurred during the 2020 election and go even further in eroding and eliminating basic security protocols that states have in place. The bill would interfere with the ability of states and their citizens to determine the qualifications and eligibility of voters, to ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls, to secure the fairness and integrity of elections, to participate and speak freely in the political process, and to determine the district boundary lines for electing their representatives.

Just about the entire bill is unconstitutional.  The States are granted the authority under the Constitution to set the time, place, and details of state and federal elections.  The federal government is granted a supervisory role only, leaving the states to actually manage the elections.

Seize the authority of states to regulate voter registration and the voting process by forcing states to implement early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, online voter registration, and no-fault absentee balloting.

All of these provisions have been used extensively in blue states to make sure the Democrat party will continue to hold power even if the population of the state changes to Republican.

Make it easier to commit fraud and promote chaos at the polls through same-day registration, as election officials would have no time to verify the accuracy of voter registration information and the eligibility of an individual to vote and could not anticipate the number of ballots and precinct workers that would be needed at specific polling locations.

It is so obvious that these provisions will make election fraud by Democrats so much more easy. It would not be possible to verify any of the same day registrations.  Individuals could travel from polling location to location and those ineligible to vote in elections would do so easily. 

I was going to add analysis after each section explaining why each would make future theft of elections easier but there is no need.  I changed my mind because it is so obvious to anyone.

Degrade the accuracy of registration lists by requiring states to automatically register all individuals (as opposed to “citizens”) from state and federal databases, such as state Departments of Motor Vehicles, corrections and welfare offices, and federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Labor, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services. This would register large numbers of ineligible voters, including aliens, and cause multiple or duplicate registrations of the same individuals and put federal agencies in charge of determining a person’s domicile for voting purposes (as well as that individual’s taxing state).

Constitute a recipe for massive voter registration fraud by hackers and cyber criminals through online voter registration that is not tied to an existing state record, such as a driver’s license. 

Mandate no-fault absentee ballots, which are the tool of choice for vote thieves. It would ban witness signature or notarization requirements for absentee ballots; force states to accept absentee ballots received up to 10 days after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Election Day; and require states to allow vote trafficking (vote harvesting) so that any third parties—including campaign staffers and political consultants—can pick up and deliver absentee ballots.

Prevent election officials from checking the eligibility and qualifications of voters and removing ineligible voters. This includes restrictions on using the U.S. Postal Service’s national change-of-address system to verify the address of registered voters; participating in state programs that compare voter registration lists to detect individuals registered in multiple states; or ever removing registrants due to a failure to vote no matter how much time has elapsed.

Ban state voter ID laws by forcing states to allow individuals to vote without an ID and merely signing a statement in which they claim they are who they say they are.

Expand regulation and government censorship of campaigns and political activity and speech, including online and policy-related speech. H.R. 1 would impose onerous legal and administrative compliance burdens and costs on candidates, citizens, civic groups, unions, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.

Transfer the right to draw congressional districts from state legislatures to “independent” commissions whose members are unaccountable to voters.

Limit access to federal courts for anyone challenging H.R. 1. The bill would prohibit the filing of any lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of H.R. 1 anywhere except in the District Court for the District of Columbia and would allow the court to order all plaintiffs and intervenors, regardless of their number (such as all 50 states), “to file joint papers or to be represented by a single attorney at oral argument,” severely limiting the legal representation and due process rights of challengers.

If the Republicans in the Senate cave and do not filibuster this legislation so it does not pass when comes up for a vote, that will be stupidest move they could ever make.  I was going to say that even the Republican establishment could not be spineless or dumb enough to not stand up strongly against this abominations, but I am no longer sure.  If the Democrats pass this through reconciliation or other dirty tricks it would be another coup, one that would be nearly impossible to reverse.

Report from Louisiana: How the South was Crippled by a Snow Storm

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As you are probably aware, the South was hit with a crippling snowstorm last week, something for which we are woefully unprepared.

In Shreveport it has been a “perfect storm” of catastrophe, and while I realize it could be so much worse (see: Lake Charles, LA where many still live in tents or gutted homes due to hurricanes), it has been mind boggling how less than a foot of snow can cripple a city for over a week.

Is it any coincidence that Shreveport’s infrastructure is crumbling, literally, and we have had three mayors since 2006, all Democrats?

Our water system is literally crumbling under the pothole ridden city streets. During this snow and ice event last week at least eight major water mains have broken and countless other leaks and breaks across Shreveport. As a result, some 10,000 people in town still do not have water, now into Day Seven. Most other water customers have very low water pressure. We have been under a boil advisory for a week and will be for at least five more days, minimum.

Other cities around us, I know, are also under boil advisories; we are not the only ones, to be fair.

But our Shreveport leadership had virtually no plan to address the aftermath of this storm. We do not have snowplows down here or stockpiles of salt for the roads. We don’t get this kind of thing very often, but when you have at least a week’s notice that a storm is coming, wouldn’t you expect leadership to have a plan for recovery?

Local volunteers are the ones who got out with tractors and other construction vehicles and on their own dime cleared the roads in the city.

Neighborhoods pulled together: those with water shared it with those who did not. No water distribution sites were set up by the City until seven days after the storm hit. Neighbors took care of each other.

If your water needed to be cut off at the meter because of a break, a neighbor was there to help you; if you called the City for help you either got a busy signal or a promise to come out in a day or two.

When the grocery stores were literally bare because trucks were stranded on the interstate for miles in both directions, neighbors shared their food and set up sites at local churches. The community donated meals to the veteran’s home who had no water and no food to feed the men.

On Saturday, six days after the storm and two days after the volunteer network cleared the roads, Mayor Adrian Perkins showed up for a photo op on social media praising the National Guard who just rolled into town to clear roads. I’m not throwing shade on the National Guard, but I have to wonder why a photo op is more important to Adrian Perkins than actually taking care of his people.

Three days ago, our City Council had “an emergency” meeting on Zoom to address overtime pay for city workers in this crisis and other issues. There were representatives from the water department and homeland security there as well. Shreveport’s Chief Administrative Officer, Henry Whitehorn (appointed by Mayor Perkins last year), told residents without water that they could call 211 and the city would pick them up and take them to a safe shelter until the crisis was over. People began calling 211 and nobody there knew anything about that, but they could provide the phone number to the food pantry.

Yesterday, seven days after the storm, the city set up a handful of water distribution sites that would open at noon. By 12:01 the site nearest to me was out of water (they started early) with lines of cars backed up for miles, waiting. There is no water in the stores to buy. The National Guard brought in water and people sat in these lines all day and got a case of water. The effort continues today, primarily by local volunteers and nonprofits.

All in all, this has been a mess and an utter failure of City leadership. From the power grid failures, to water failures, to leadership and communication failures, what has kept people going has been each other. Neighbors helping neighbors.

If this event has taught me anything, it is perhaps that sometimes we need to slow down, quit staring at screens, and become more involved in our communities. Appreciate the little things, like a toilet flushing without having to manually fill up the tank because there is no water pressure. Don’t take things for granted, like clean water coming out of your faucet. Help those among us that might need lifting up.

And hey, I’m ready for spring, y’all. Snow is pretty for a minute, but this girl is ready for spring.

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.

Lincoln statues under attack in the largest city in the Land of Lincoln

Lincoln: The Man in 2008

By John Ruberry

On Wednesday, in response to the summer riot in Chicago that nearly toppled a Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park last month–it and another Columbus statue have been since placed in storage–Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago Monument Project revealed 41 monuments that “have been identified for public discussion.” 

The project’s web site cautions, in bold print no less, “No decisions have been made about the following monuments.”

Yeah, right. BS! Imagine that you work at a company where the annual reviews are conducted each December. But in June you are informed that you’ll soon have a mid-year review but then are told, “Don’t worry, nothing is wrong.” At that point a wise person will begin the process of résumé updating. 

The statues, reliefs, and plaques include monuments honoring four presidents, several memorials recalling the first Europeans to visit Chicago, Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette, as well as generals, a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and many public art pieces with Native American themes. And yes of course those two Columbus statues. Oh, if you are one of those people who believe Leif Ericsson was the real European discoverer of America don’t be smug. He’s on Lightfoot commission’s list too.

This not a list of shame. It’s a tragic shame that there is such a list.

Five of the 41 monuments are Abraham Lincoln statues–and there are five Lincoln statues in Chicago. Hmm. Widely considered by liberals and conservatives as the greatest American president, the Great Emancipator’s presence in Illinois is profound and inescapable. “Land of Lincoln” is emblazoned on every Illinois license plate as is Honest Abe’s visage. 

I live on Lincoln Avenue in a Chicago suburb–that street winds its way south into Chicago and Lincoln Park, where you’ll encounter what Andrew Ferguson in his book Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America says is “what is generally thought to be the greatest Lincoln statue of the nineteenth century, a towering figure by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.” That makes this statue, generally referred to as Lincoln Standing although its formal name is Lincoln: The Man, a masterpiece. Yep, a masterpiece. So much so that it has been recast several times, and those Lincoln: The Man reproductions can be found in Parque Lincoln in Mexico City, Parliament Square in London, Forest Lawn Cemetery–Hollywood Hills, and the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield. Earlier this month Little Marathon Pundit and I visited the Detroit Institute of Arts, where we found one of the many miniatures of Lincoln: The Man

Of course back in Chicago the original artistic triumph is “under public discussion.” In Grant Park sits another targeted Saint-Gaudens work, Abraham Lincoln: Head of State.

Also troubling is the aforementioned Marquette and Jolliet memorials on this list. Jolliet, while crossing the Chicago Portage in what is now southwestern suburban Cook County, noted that it would be an excellent location for a canal, one that would connect the watersheds of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Lincoln, while a member of the Illinois legislature, was a proponent of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, which opened 17 decades after the Marquette-Jolliet expedition. While that canal very well may have been built without either men, if it hadn’t, Chicago may have ended up like many other small cities on Lake Michigan, like Sheboygan, Wisconin. (Oh, I’ve been there–it’s a lovely place by the way.)

George Washington has two “nominations” from the Chicago Monuments Project, including his horseback statue in his namesake park. McKinley Park’s statue of William McKinley is in peril too. Does that mean their park names will be next? While Grant Park doesn’t have a Ulysses S. Grant statue–Lincoln Park does. He has a nomination too, as do his fellow union generals Phil Sheridan, on Sheridan Road no less, and John Logan, whose statue stands in Grant Park.  

Lori Lightfoot is a failed mayor in a city that is in clear decline. Failed mayor? She’s up for reelection in a little more than two years and already there is speculation as to who her opponents will be. Since I declared Chicago a city in decline last summer its retail cash cow, North Michigan Avenue, has been hit by the announment of two closings, a massive Gap store and Macy’s at Water Tower Place. Chicago’s streets are potholed disasters, there are omnipresent red-light cameras to contend with, the murder rate is soaring, as are the number of car jackings. Taxes are oppresive, and its financial millstone, the worst-funded municipal pension progam in the nation, has never been properly addressed. Oh, this appears to be a little thing but graffiti is no longer routinely cleaned up along Chicago’s expressways. The proliferation of kudzu-like graffiti foreshadowed New York City’s descent in the 1970s.

Instead Lightfoot zooms in on statues and monuments to pander to her leftist base. 

The ultimate responsibility for this real-life dystopia of course goes to Chicago’s misguided voters. What was it that H.L Mencken said of democracy? Ah yes, here it is, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Chicago voters are a special kind of common people it seems

That being said there has been surprisingly little anger here in the Chicago area about these possible monument removals, as coverage has been modest and a major snowstorm earlier last week, on top of another one, had people focused on more immediate needs. 

But that needs to change. Click here on the Chicago Monuments Project web site to offer your thoughts. As always, please be polite–but be firm too. The form asks for a ZIP code. A Chicago one will make you more acceptable to those reading the replies; choose any 606 ZIP code between 60601 and 60661. Just saying.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. He has visited Lincoln’s birthplace, his Springfield home, Ford’s Theatre, and the Peterson House, where our 16th president passed away.

Be very afraid of the Biden Administration’s coming crackdown on the domestic extremism

The Democrats who are now in control of the Federal Government are exploiting the Capitol Hill riot to a level even I had not expected, using this one incident of violence as an excuse to begin a clamp down on those of us they consider to be the enemy. Can you guess who they are?  This is even more despicable because there is a chance this sorry affair was perpetrated by leftists.

This is right out of the standard progressive playbook and is captured in this prophetic quote by Rahm Emanuel:

You never want a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

In response to the riot the Biden administration is proposing a rather extreme crackdown on those of us on the political right.  Of course they are cloaking their proposal in the usual progressive double speak.  Those of us who are fluent in their deceptive use of language would have no trouble deciphering the ominous message inside their proposal, which is documented in this White House Briefing Transcript.  I’ve included the full text relating to the proposal.  After each paragraph I will add my analysis and some sarcastic comments.

I also have some news to share on the President’s response to domestic violent extremism.  The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat. 

Of course those of us who deal with reality, unlike those on the political left know the “violent extremists” they will crack down are those who believe in individual rights, honor the Constitution, and know the truth that presidential election was stolen from President Trump.   The Democrats will ignore those who committed the vast majority of the real violence the past decade or so, their own side of the political spectrum.

The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve.  We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis, and on a respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities. 

What are the chances of the Biden Administration actually respecting the constitutionally protected free speech of those on the political right?  Negligible at best considering the track record of the extreme leftists now controlling the Democrat Party

Our initial work on DVE will broadly fall into three areas.  The first is a tasking from President Biden sent to the ODNI today requesting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS, on domestic violent extremism.  This assessment will draw on the analysis from across the government and, as appropriate, nongovernmental organizations. 

The Biden Administration will be relying on the oh so corrupt deep state which is still way too full of Obama cronies.

The key point here is that we want fact-based analysis upon which we can shape policy.  So this is really the first step in the process, and we’ll rely on our appropriate law enforcement and intelligence officials to provide that analysis. 

When has the political left ever relied on actual facts?  That quote about fact based analysis is laughable.

The second will be the building of an NSC capability to focus on countering domestic violent extremism.  As a part of this, the NSC will undertake a policy review effort to determine how the government can share information better about this threat, support efforts to prevent radicalization, disrupt violent extremist networks, and more. 

The Biden Administration will be building an infrastructure to clamp down tightly on those who are not politically in lock step with the radical political left.

There’s important work already underway across the interagency in countering DVE, and we need to understand better its current extent and where there may be gaps to address, so we can determine the best path forward. 

I interpret this paragraph to mean that the Biden Administration will crackdown and harass those of us who want to share information about and educate others about the US Constitution and our founding principles.  If I’m wrong about this please let me know.

The third will be coordinating relevant parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE.  This considered, an NSC-convened process will focus on addressing evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media, opportunities to improve information sharing, operational responses, and more. 

The federal government will now be working closely with the corporate tyrants who have been working overtime to silence conservatives and everyone else on the political right.  That is how I interpret this last paragraph.  Free speech and the Constitution mean nothing to the Biden Administration.  Their earlier protestation is laughable in the extreme.  When have leftists ever respected the freedom of speech of those who are not leftists?

Report from Louisiana: Snowpacolypse 2021

One of the most attractive reasons to live in the Deep South is the winter. Seldom do we suffer the frigid, biting cold that the more northern states endure. In Louisiana, if we have three or four days below freezing, that is considered winter. Those subzero days need not be consecutive.

This week our weather forecasters have been alternately giddy and panic-stricken at the prospect of an incoming “polar vortex” that is expected to bring single-digit temperatures for most of next week. Even better, we also anticipate snow and ice, they tell us.

This means almost certain power outages.

As you can imagine, this has caused a flurry of activity as people rush to the grocery store for bread, milk, bottled water, and batteries. Not many of us in northern Louisiana have a generator; those are more common in southern Louisiana where hurricanes cause power outages for extended periods of time. My neighbor does have a portable generator which he cranks up the moment the power goes out, however.

Some of us old-timers remember when the Red River froze back in 1983 after a week of subfreezing temperatures. It hasn’t been that cold for that long since but people still talk about the river freezing as a benchmark of record-setting cold weather.

People in different parts of the country tend to scoff at our inability to deal with cold weather. I have a niece in Iowa who howls with laughter when we close the schools for less than an inch of snow or ice, but as I said, we aren’t accustomed to this phenomenon and we don’t know how to drive in it. We don’t have salt trucks or snowplows.

So, instead, we go to the grocery store and buy bread.

The weather forecasters have been telling everyone for several days to wrap pipes and cover plants. I have a friend who has directed her husband to cover each of their sixteen peach trees in an attempt to protect the fragile blooms and the peach crop.

Soon the three local television stations will dispatch their intrepid reporters out to stand along the interstate to report on live local road conditions. They will breathlessly interview local officials about running sand trucks along overpasses and news websites will post a running list of Weather-Related Closures long before anything actually closes. Every school kid in town will religiously monitor this list. So will their teachers.

What does it say about us that we react this way to extreme weather? Is it the change that draws us in? Do we feed off misery and suffering? Whether it is a hurricane or a polar vortex, the weather forecasters give us days and days of this advanced information and ever-changing, uncertain news. Sometimes the storm materializes and sometimes it doesn’t, but we are always prepared, I suppose.

At least we always have bread and milk.

John Lausch needs to stay as US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

Blogger with Durbin in Chicago in 2020

By John Ruberry

Last Monday the Justice Department asked 56 U.S. attorneys to resign. There were two exceptions, John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, will stay on as the special counsel for the investigation of the Russian collusion hoax, and David Weiss, the prosecutor for Delaware, who is pursuing the probe into Hunter Biden’s taxes, and presumably, more.

Among the others are John R. Lausch Jr., the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, which of course includes that cesspool of corruption, Chicago and suburban Cook County. Appointed in 2017, Lausch has been methodically hacking away at the blighted forest that is Illinois government ever since. Among those indicted under Lausch’s term are a Chicago alderman, two suburban mayors (one of them was also Cook County commissioner), and two members of the Illinois General Assembly. They have one thing in common–all are Democrats. Lausch has chipped away at the political machine of state Representative Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who until last month had been state House speaker for all but two years since 1983. Lausch uncovered an alleged scam involving Commonwealth Edison, Illinois’ largest electric utility, that has led to the indictment of four senior executives at that company, as well as a longtime lobbyist with decades-long ties to Boss Madigan. 

Madigan is the midwife of the Illinois pension debacle and he is the man who destroyed Illinois. Sadly, those aren’t crimes.

Lausch seems to be closing the ring on Madigan, who remains as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, a post he’s held since 1998. Madigan maintains his innocence and he has not been charged with any crimes. But he’s a tough one to investigate–Madigan doesn’t use email and he doesn’t own a cell phone. There’s a lot of smoke surrounding the 78-year-old legislator–but so far no fire has been discovered. 

It took a lot longer than it should have but Illinois’ insipid Republican Party, the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters, finally pursued tying other Democratic candidates to Madigan, which led to a pretty good, but not great, general election for conservatives last autumn. The best result was the resounding defeat of the so-called Fair Tax Amendent, which would have replaced Illinois’ flat rate income tax with one with graduated rates. As I’ve quipped a few times before, Illinoisans finally figured out that if the Democrats were given an unlimited budget they would exceed it. 

After the general election Illinois’ two Democratic US Senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, called for Madigan’s resignation as party chairman. No, they didn’t suddenly realize that Madigan is toxic to Illinois; Durbin and Duckworth didn’t like the general election results here. 

The state House took care of the speakership problem, the Democrats ousted Madigan last month but replaced him with a longtime ally of the Boss. 

The day after the Justice Department announced those federal prosecutor resignations, in what the Chicago Tribune called “a lame news release,”  those two party-line hack senators called on Biden to keep Lausch on the job. I am very suspicious of their motives. Duckworth is up for reelection next year and if the federal investigation into Chicago area corruption stalls she might get the blunt of the blame for not convincing Biden to keep Lausch in place. 

Durbin is the new Senate Justice Committee chairman and prefers not to be accused of keeping corrupt Dems in power in his home state. Back to gerrymandering and Madigan: Aftet the 2010 census the state congressional map was redrawn to be much more favorable to Democrats. The 8th congressional district was transformed from a competitive one to a layout favoring Democrats. In 2012 Duckworth ousted the Republican incumbent, future never-Trumper Joe Walsh.

Remember, for many Democrats Madigan has been very good to them. His skills at gerrymandering have produced supermajorities in the General Assembly and have bolstered Democratic numbers among the Illinois US House delegation. There may have never been a Senator Duckworth had she not won that House race in 2012. Through government and compliant corporations like Commonwealth Edison, Madigan has been able to hand out contracts, favors, and jobs to those loyal to him–as well as their relatives.

Lausch needs to be kept on the job in Chicago. 

Biden’s nominee for Attorney General is Merrick Garland, a Chicago area native who was nominated by Barack Obama to the US Supreme Court seat that eventually went to Neil Gorsuch. But he hasn’t lived here in decades. Yet my guess is that Garland has kept his eyes on the fetid muck in Illinois. Perhaps he can put in a good word for Lausch to Biden or whoever is making the calls in the White House on federal prosecutors.

Sorry to be repetitive, but I have to keep mentioning this fact. Illinois has lost population every year since 2014. 

People have wised up. But not me. Not yet.

UPDATE February 23: Last night Michael Madigan resigned his post as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Last week Madigan gave up his House seat after 50 years in the General Assembly. Term limits anyone?

This afternoon, according to multiple media reports, Lausch will keep his job as US attorney until a replacement is found and presumably confirmed.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Some random reflections on the mess our country is now in

For the past couple of days I’ve been struggling to come up with a topic for this week’s article.  I’m not experiencing writer’s block.  It’s just that there is just so much wrong with our country right now, so much wrong at so many levels.  There are too many topics to choose from so I guess I’ll write about each topic that’s troubling me so much right now.

I know with all my heart that treating every single individual as the truly unique person we are is far superior to the identity politics peddled by the political left.  If you divide us up into artificial groups based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or any characterization you automatically set one group against another.  Just look at how left has vilified white people.  It is just shocking to me.  I know this is nothing compared to how blacks were treated during slavery or segregation, both are also examples of liberals and their identity politics. Treating every individual the same with the same worth, no matter the color of their skin, leads to far less hate and division.

It is absolutely amazing to me how much liberal propaganda infects all levels of the news.  I noticed this decades ago, and it keeps getting worse.  Every single local news broadcast here in Massachusetts is nonstop liberal nonsense.  Hopefully it is different in red states, but I doubt it.  Even the weather is infected, they are constantly pushing global warming and climate change propaganda.  There are so few outlets that actually tell the truth left, especially after Fox News turned traitor.  I am so outraged after the firing of Lou Dobbs.

The crack down against conservatives on social media after the riot on Capitol Hill has reached levels that are on par with the most totalitarian nations.  Check out this article from the Federalist.

Censorship and blacklisting are serious unjust cultural acts that increasingly filter Americans into second-class citizens based on their political viewpoints. The censorship and blacklisting that we are seeing in America right now is viewpoint discrimination. Censorship and blacklisting need to be fully rejected by American society before they become accepted cultural norms that make even worse injustices likely and more possible.

It is truly horrific watching the Biden regime dismantle and destroy the American economy, which is documented in this American Thinker article.

the Biden Administration, the Democrats in Congress, and their fellow-travelers in the Ruling Class are determined to permanently stifle economic growth by their infatuation with hypothetical climate change thus undermining energy development as well as manufacturing.  They credulously claim that the theoretical green energy revolution will replace these jobs and wealth, but that will take decades if at all, and will be far too little and too late to prevent national insolvency. 

Their determination to raise business taxes as well as dramatically increase job- and business formation-killing regulations is anathema to promoting growth.  Their resolve to institute what is tantamount to economic central planning by the bureaucrats in Washington will cause enormous dislocation in financial resources, thus, throttling access to capital for expansion or new business formation.

There is so much more I could write about here in this article but I have to stop now because my blood is boiling too much.

Report from Louisiana: Loose Thoughts

By: Pat Austin

Some loose, random thoughts this week:

Books: Finally, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles comes out this week!  I had the privilege of receiving an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) las year and I just loved this book. If you enjoy historical fiction at all, put this one on your list.

Navigating dual timelines, Miss Charles weaves an engaging plot between two characters, Odile and Lily. Set in both WWII Paris and 1980s Froid, Montana, we are drawn into both their stories knowing they will soon combine, and they do in a beautiful way.

Odile begins a new job as a librarian at The American Library in Paris at the onset of WWII, and her narrative is peppered with Dewey Decimal references which could have been very odd and distracting but is in fact absolutely charming. As the employees of the library work to protect their books, and themselves, during the Nazi occupation of Paris, it is interesting to note that many of the characters in this novel are real people and many of the events also all to real.

This is a novel for all book lovers, library lovers, history lovers, and anyone who wants to get lost between the pages of an interesting story for a few hours.

Also out this month, but I have not yet read, is Kristen Hannah’s The Four Winds, set in the dustbowl. I have it on hold at the library.

Covid Recovery: I’ve done a lot of reading over the past ten days because I’m too fatigued to do anything else. Steve and I are both moving past our Covid symptoms but the ongoing fatigue is staggering. I feel lucky and grateful that neither of us has the terrible congestion and lung symptoms, no high fever either, but man this fatigue….I can’t get past it. I’m still off work; planning to return to the classroom on Wednesday, but it will be very low energy for the time being.

Mardi Gras:  As you probably know, there are no parades or big celebrations for Mardi Gras this year which is really strange. But, have you seen the float houses in New Orleans!? They are so cool…people are putting the floats artists to work making props and decorations for their homes, dressing their houses up like giant floats! Some of them even play music like the real floats. Go online and check those out if you get a chance!

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is doubling down on the Covid restrictions in these last two weeks of Mardi Gras season. She’s closing all bars and certain streets. Large gatherings are strictly forbidden. Tourists are discouraged.

Strange times.

Super Bowl: did you watch? We just had it on for background noise. I watched the Puppy Bowl. I’m just ready for baseball season.

Y’all have a good week!

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.