Far too few Americans are aware that We The People are in charge of this great nation

Thanks to many decades of progressive indoctrination an alarming number of Americans mistakenly believe those individuals holding political office or occupying some government bureaucratic positions are the lords and masters over the entire population.  The level and wide spread nature of ignorance regarding this most fundamental principle would shock the founding fathers of the United States.

Control over the governmental by the people was one of the most important founding concepts of this nation.  That concept is enshrined in the Preamble of our Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Because We the People created this nation we are in charge.  When we hold elections we do not choose rulers we choose elected officials who are our political servants.  Elected officials we have sent to the United States Senate and House of Representatives have ignored the will of the people and the Constitution for decades yet we keep reelecting these individuals and when we do elect someone new they exercise the same bad behaviors as incumbents. 

Our elected officials have created a gigantic federal bureaucracy and given that unconstitutional leviathan enormous amounts of power over every aspect of our lives. 

None of this is right yet we do nothing about it. The Declaration of Independence states quite clearly that We the People of the United States have every right to fix everything that is wrong with the federal government.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

We are now in the middle of our most severe constitutional crises since the Civil War thanks to the concerted effort by Democrats in six State to steal the Presidential election from President Trump.  So far all efforts to set things right so far have failed because all efforts have relied on some level of government.  Because the election is in the process of being stolen for Joe Biden, he will not have the consent of the governed.  We the people have every right to make sure the rightful president is ultimately inaugurated.

Democrat and RINO governors are placing all residents of their states under house arrest and shuttering businesses across their states in the name of fighting Coronavirus.  These extremely harsh measures violate the constitutions of the states and are not supported by any form of science.  These measures are best challenged on the state level.

The Constitution of Massachusetts states quite clearly that we the people of this state are the absolute bosses here.

Article V.  All power residing originally in the people, and being derived from them, the several magistrates and officers of government, vested with authority, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, are their substitutes and agents, and are at all times accountable

The Constitution of Massachusetts states clearly also that we have every right to take charge and reform our state government if it becomes abusive to us, which it clearly is right now.

Article VII.  Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi proved that mass nonviolent civil disobedience is by far the most effective means of dealing with any form of government injustice.

Report from Louisiana: The Vaccine

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Happy New Year! We are spending the holiday in south Louisiana in our cabin on Bayou Teche. Because I will be driving back on Sunday and back at work on Monday, I’m writing this post on the actual first day of the year. We just finished our traditional “good luck” New Year’s meal which of course includes cabbage and black eyed peas. I also cooked a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin stuffed with andouille sausage and shrimp. We are sitting pretty fat and happy right now.

I took a moment to check some emails today and I see where the school system will soon be offering the Covid-19 vaccine for teachers and school staff. The vaccine should be available to us in the next couple of weeks. Am I going to take it? You bet I am. Sign me up. We will be getting the Moderna vaccine, I am told.

I’m so sick of this virus and the limitations it has put on everyone. I guess it varies somewhat from state to state, but honestly the restrictions that so many business owners must face seem so absurd. For example, we drove over the levee this morning to stop by Turtle’s Bar which is on the Atchafalaya Basin. The swamp is beautiful at any time of year, but there is something about it in the winter that just draws me.

Steve asked Tanya, the bartender, “Well! Did y’all have fun last night?” because, of course, New Year’s Eve, right?

“Yeah,” she said, “until 11:00.” Bars in Louisiana are required to close at 11:00. Because apparently the virus does not spread until after 11?  Who knows? We were the only people in there at that hour, along with one other guy and with the exception of the people who live on houseboats there that walk up to her window to place an order.

We stood at the bar and swapped stories for a while, and I tried to pull up one of the bar stools to sit down. “Oh, you can’t do that!” Tanya said. “It’s against regulations because of Covid. You can’t sit at the bar.” But…you can stand at the bar and that is okay. 

Even stranger – the bartender can serve you at the bar but she can’t walk over to your table and serve you. You have to walk to the bar to get your drink, and you have to wear a mask when you walk to the bar, but once you sit back down, you can take it off again.

It all borders on the absurd.

I have several musician friends who were at home last night, without a gig, for the first time in their careers. No live music is allowed.

But hey, the casinos are apparently non-viral zones because all of our local riverboat casinos are in full swing.

The numbers for new cases and hospitalizations are higher now than they have ever been. I have more friends now who are sick than I ever have. One of my best friends has had fever for two solid weeks now and it runs about 102 even taking Tylenol and Advil every three hours. She has no taste or smell and says it’s the worst she’s ever felt in her life. Her husband is a heart patient and he has recently tested positive as well. I’m quite concerned for both of them.

I’m ready for people to be able to get back to work, for businesses to reopen and recover, and for the music to begin again. I’m ready to see full sports stadiums and concerts. I’m ready to teach school mask-free and to see my students’ faces and smiles again.

So, yes, I’ll take the vaccine. I’m not concerned. Bring it on.

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.

Conservatives need to defend others in free speech battle

By John Ruberry

Free speech is under harsh attack in America courtesy of wokeism. Such warnings about free speech are nothing new–but in the past much of the danger has been imagined. For instance I was in college when The Clash released Combat Rock. On the opening track, “Know Your Rights,” Joe Strummer sings of those rights, “all three of them.” The third right is “free speech,” with a caveat. That right could be used if “you’re not dumb enough to actually try it.” Assuming that Strummer was addressing his core audience, American and British youths of the early 1980s, what he said was at best a gross exaggeration.

Not so in 2021.

I received the inspiration for this post by listenening to Ben Shapiro’s December 24 podcast, Goodbye, 2020.

Shapiro is among the many commentators who predict a purge–my word, not his–of dissident voices, meaning conservative ones, on social media such as Twitter, beginning with Donald Trump as soon as he’s not president.

Absurdly, people like Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, still claim that social media is a neutral conduit of information. Twitter for a while prevented the posting and distribution of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story on the microblogging platform claiming that the laptop details were hacked and illegally obtained. Wrong on both counts. Twitter had no problem with Tweets linking to the New York Times story about Trump’s income tax returns–those returns may have been obtained by hacking. Regardless how those returns were accessed the person who did so broke the law.

What to do?

Forge alliances.

“Well first of all we’re going to have to rely on people, believe or not, who are moderate liberals,” Shapiro said in that podcast, “who are sick of watching the Overton window shut.”

And that means conservative have to defend those liberals who cross the cancel culture.

An incident on Twitter comes to mind. Three years ago in this space I reviewed the documentary XTC-This Is Pop, which was about the spectacular rock back that emerged in England in the late 1970s. That post got a lot of retweets, including one from the XTC Fans Twitter page, run by the now-dissolved group’s former leader, Andy Partridge. A committed liberal, Partridge’s Tweets, although often sarcastic, were entertaining and usually well-thought out, whether it was about music, religion, or politics.

In 2019 some people with too much time on their hands accused Partridge of anti-Semitism after a series of Tweets–not well-thought out this time–about American Middle East policy that devolved into an online shouting match about Israel and religion. Partridge, a strident atheist, went a little too far, I admit, but taken into context with his overall sardonic attitude, those Tweets weren’t a big deal to me. I planned to write a blog post on Marathon Pundit defending him, but then Partridge cancelled himself on Twitter by deleting the XTC Fans account and I moved on to other things.

One of those Twitter accounts Partridge engaged with was “Jon Devin Nunes’ Prostate.”

You know, some people take Twitter too seriously.

Back to Partridge. No one knows why he deleted his account–perhaps he decided that he was spending too much time on social media. He certainly broke a Twitter rule of mine: Never feed online trolls.

I believe if Partridge wasn’t an older white male a Twitter mob would not have bothered to object to those controversial Tweets. For instance the media, with a few exceptions, have not called to task Georgia US Senate candidate Raphael Warnock for his anti-Israel comments.

There will be other efforts to silence dissidents on social media. Mostly against conservatives. But against liberals too.

Conservatism must embrace free speech. And that means relying on for allies, not just the moderate liberals that Shapiro spoke of, but also center-line liberals too in order to fight this crucial battle. And keep in mind no political ideology is always correct.

As for the fundamentalist far-left, the tiny tail wagging the cultural dog these days, I believe they’ve already isolated themselves, as Isaac Asimov said of the 1960s radicals, into a “no-man’s land of the spirit.” Think of the bleating sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

But right now in the culture wars the far-left is winning.

Fight back.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

At the close of 2020 our Constitutional Republic hangs in the balance

As every day passes it appears more likely that the Democrats will succeed in their theft of the presidency for Joe Biden.  By all appearances, all that stands in the way of the theft being successful are the Republicans in the US House and the US Senate, where Vice President Pence will play a major role.  It is a long shot considering how spineless the Republicans in the State legislatures have proved to be in handling the election theft and how spineless the establishment Republicans in Washington DC have proved to be time and again.

On January 6th the electoral votes will be counted during a joint session of the US Congress.  Thankfully seven states, including all six of the disputed states sent both Republican and Democrat electors so there is a slim hope.

The Supreme Court completely failed the American People and the Constitution when they failed to even hear the case brought by the State of Texas, and many similar cases. The Judicial branch on the federal and state level has done nothing to stop this outrageous theft. It has been widely reported that the Supreme Court failed to take up the Texas case because Justice Roberts feared Left wing rioting and bullied the Trump appointed justices into going along with him.   If that is true they failed the Constitution and the American people because of their cowardice.

If Joe Biden is illegitimately awarded the presidency that will sound the death Nell of our Constitutional Republic, especially if the  Democrats win the two Georgia Senate races.  The Democrats have demonstrated a remarkable loathing for the American Constitution, most notably the First and Second Amendment, and all restraints on federal government power.  The Democrats have informed us that they will stack the Supreme Court with liberal justices and do away with the Filibuster.

The Democrats will be so emboldened if they succeed in stealing the election that they will attempt the same outrageous behavior in  every succeeding election so that Republicans will hardly win any future elections.  The Democrats will make sure that all of the dirty tricks they used this time will become institutionalized in federal election law.

The American people are the only line of defense truly left to prevent the theft of the election. There is a massive rally scheduled in Washington DC on January 6th.  This rally better be the largest and most passionate rally that ever took place.  It better be so massive that it puts the fear of God into the members of congress and stops all business in Washington DC for many days.  Similar rallies across this country will be needed.

I fear that this theft of the election, if it comes to pass, will result in violence.  Theft of an election is in fact a coup.  Will every single one of the tens of millions of passionate Trump supporters simply step aside and let this theft happen?  So far Trump supporters have proved to be far less violent than those on the left.  Will that continue if Biden is inaugurated?  No one truly knows the answers to these questions.  I’ve heard a lot of rumblings on social media, and also a lot of open talk.

If the worst comes to pass in the form of an open civil war it will be the fault of the Democrats who succeeded in stealing the election, the Supreme Court who failed to do their duty, and spineless Republicans who failed to do what is right.

Report from Louisiana: Wuhan Diary

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As an avid and constant reader, I decided to do the Reading Challenge on Goodreads again this year; last year I set the lofty goal of 100 books and missed the mark with 63 out of 100 books.

This year, because of the pandemic, probably, I did better. I set a lower goal of 75 books and so far I’ve read 82. I’ll probably be at 83 by the end of the year.

Currently I am reading Wuhan Diary by Fang Fang, which is the collected dispatches, or posts, from the renown Chinese author during the 76 days of the Wuhan lockdown. While most of us are tired of Covid, tired of reading about Covid, and tired of all things Covid, I am enjoying the book.

To me, it is interesting to see what it was like in Wuhan in the days after the pandemic broke. Fang Fang’s frustration with the situation is evident and she is well aware that the government censors are reading and taking down her posts. Her readers would screenshot the posts and share them via text message to each other, and in many ways she became the voice of the pandemic in Wuhan as people in lockdown were starved for information that was not filtered for them.

Her frustration with the initial position that the virus is not contagious from person to person is clear. She does not mince words, despite the censors. As the lockdown in Wuhan drags on, it has been interesting to read how neighbors worked together to supply each other with fresh food, medicines, and supplies.

The book also shows that we are not all that different; Fang Fang loses many friends and colleagues to the virus; she deals with the same problems we all have: shortages, misinformation, isolation.  She worries a great deal about the mental health issues that result from the lockdown and she worries about the marginalized who cannot get medical treatment, especially in the earlier days before the temporary hospitals were constructed.

She also has very relatable problems, like running out of dog food. (She cooked rice for her dog when this happened.)

Sometimes she even challenges the censors. She wants to be seen as a witness, not necessarily a critic. As a result, her voice is honest, and heartbreakingly real.

I’m not finished with the book yet, but I do recommend it. Somehow it seems fitting to end this year of the pandemic with Wuhan Diary.

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.

The latest Coronavirus stimulus is an enormous lump of coal in the stockings of every American

After nearly six month of petty partisan bickering the Republicans and Democrats finally agreed on a stimulus package to help the American people who are suffering due to the Coronavirus lockdowns.  The package they came up with is a major slap in the face to every single American, a slap that is all the more brutal because it comes just days before Christmas. 

Shame on the Democrats for being the party that blocked the second round of stimulus for months while Americans suffered just so they could score political points.  Shame on the Democrats for stuffing the stimulus package with so much garbage that help foreign countries and Democrat special interests far more than the American people.  Shame on the Republicans for going along with this travesty.

It would be far better for the American people if these small minded, cowardly politicians did not lockdown large segments of the American economy.  These lockdowns do, at best, hardly anything to stop the spread of Coronavirus.  These lockdowns do far more harm to the American people than any possible good they could do. If it wasn’t for these lockdowns the American economy would be roaring and no stimulus would be needed.

This Breibart Article describes the monstrous pork filled betrayel of the American poeple passed by both parties.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive $900 billion coronavirus relief and stimulus bill on Monday evening, mere hours after the nearly 6,000-page legislation was released.  It was unlikely any members read the entire legislation.

The bill, which included $1.4 trillion in stopgap spending to prevent a government shutdown, was ostensibly the result of bipartisan negotiations that reached an agreement less than 24 hours before. It includes $600 stimulus checks for American households and a temporary expansion of federal unemployment benefits by $300, half the amounts paid earlier this year.

But the legislation also includes many hidden provisions completely unrelated to coronavirus, many of which appear to be the work of individual legislators, acting at the behest of specific lobbyists and interest groups who seized the opportunity.

Here is only a small sample of goodies foreign governments will receive from the stimulus bill. The list is from this Breitbart article.

  • For some countries, Christmas came early:
  • $169,739,000 to Vietnam, including $19 million to remediate dioxins (page 1476).
  • Unspecified funds to “continue support for not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Kabul, Afghanistan that are accessible to both women and men in a coeducational environment” (page 1477).
  • $198,323,000 to Bangladesh, including $23.5 million to support Burmese refugees and $23.3 million for “democracy programs” (page 1485).
  • $130,265,000 to Nepal for “development and democracy programs” (page 1485).
  • Pakistan: $15 million for “democracy programs” and $10 million for “gender programs” (page 1486).
  • Sri Lanka: Up to $15 million “for the refurbishing of a high endurance cutter,” which is a type of patrol boat (page 1489).
  • $505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to “address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States” (pages 1490-1491).
  • $461,375,000 to Colombia for programs related to counternarcotics and human rights (pages 1494-1496).

This Breitbart article documents a rather egregious betrayal of the American people.

A year-end spending package meant to provide Americans with economic relief during the Chinese coronavirus crisis includes using United States taxpayer money to fund border security in foreign countries.

As part of the more than 5,590-page spending bill, the deal provides the country of Jordan with “up to $500,000,000” in taxpayer money “to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.”

The title of the American Thinker article Republicans and Democrats come together to rob American taxpayers says it all.

Late Monday night, in a huge, secretive rush, Congress passed a combined virus relief and omnibus spending bill that’s almost 6,000 pages long and, in less than a year, will spend $2.3 trillion that does not exist.

The bill’s length alone is enough to justify a second American Revolution. It should have been a simple bill: Checks for Americans in need (with provisions to prevent the French Laundry and its ilk from ever receiving another penny of taxpayer money) and basic funding for basic government. I’m thinking maybe 100 pages, max.

Here is more from the American Thinlker article

What’s in this super-secret bill that Monoparty doesn’t want us to see? People are frantically trying to acquaint themselves with its contents but a few hours is not enough time to familiarize oneself with the details of a document more than 5,600 pages long. The broad outline is that $900 billion, or 39% of the $2.3 trillion, will go to Covid relief, with the remaining $1.4 trillion slated for funding the government through September 2021.

For Americans hurt by the Democrats’ (and some Republicans’) sustained attacks on the American economy, there will be a $600 stimulus check for people earning less than $75,000 per year or married couples earning less than $150,000. I may be speaking out of turn here, but I don’t think $600 will make a big difference to people in the upper brackets, while a larger check would make a huge difference to people in the lower brackets.

Thank you for the Christmas slap in the face Democrats and Republicans.

Report from Louisiana: NOLA Mayor attacks Christian Singer Lauren Daigle

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As Louisiana politicians go, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is on her way to being as infamous as any of them.

Cantrell has come under criticism for her harsh economic restrictions in response to Covid-19 in New Orleans compared to the rest of the state.  She has placed stringent restrictions on high school athletic events which likely contributed to the Louisiana High School Football Playoffs relocating their games from the Superdome in New Orleans to Natchitoches, Louisiana at Northwestern State University.  Her tough occupancy restrictions for the Superdome would not enable many fans in the stadium; conditions are more favorable in Natchitoches; this move will cost New Orleans a chunk of tourism dollars from the multiday event.

In her latest move, Cantrell has verbally attached Christian singer and Louisiana native Lauren Daigle for spontaneously singing at a French Quarter protest last month.

The rally was a pop-up Let Us Worship rally staged by Californian Sean Feucht who has been doing this all across the country to protest Covid restrictions on churches and worship services. Daigle, who lives near the French Quarter, was reportedly riding her bike in the area, stopped, and when she was recognized and asked to sing, she complied. Naturally, it hit social media as a clip was posted by Feucht, and the firestorm began.

The protest “flouted coronavirus restrictions.”  Participants were “not wearing masks.” There “were thousands of people there.” There were “hundreds of people there.” Daigle “endangered first responders.” Criticism rained down.

Mayor Cantrell lashed out at Daigle in a December 9 letter which she wrote to Dick Clark Productions – the organization organizing the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event which was to spotlight New Orleans in an eight-minute segment of the broadcast.

Cantrell asked that Daigle not be involved with the broadcast because of her participating in the protest at the French Quarter. Cantrell wrote,

“Miss Daigle cannot and should not be rewarded with national media exposure and a public spotlight. She harmed our people, she risked the lives of our residents, and she strained our first responders in a way that was unconscionable – in the midst of a public health crisis. That is not who we are, and she cannot be allowed to represent New Orleans or the people she willfully endangered.”

Daigle responded to the kerfuffle last week with a statement which said, in part:

“I’m disappointed that my spontaneous participation has become part of the political discourse and I’m saddened by the divisive agendas of these times. I would have been, and still would be, honored to represent our city on New Year’s Eve and although I was aware of discussions regarding my involvement, an offer was never made. I have wept, pleading for this chaos to dissipate and for harmony to return. We need unity when people are desperate, suffering, starving or out of work.”

Mayor Cantrell’s attack on Daigle has been criticized by Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser who oversees tourism for the state. His office has pulled their financial subsidy for the city’s participation in the NYE event. In response, the city of New Orleans will pony up the $500,000 from their own “cultural fund.” This move has drawn criticism from some city council members who would rather spend the money locally in support of local artists, but the mayor contends that the national exposure is more important.

It’s all a huge mess, and really quite unnecessary.

Cantrell’s rush to criticize Daigle seems misplaced. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sent a letter of support to Daigle should she and Dick Clark Productions choose to “relocate the event” to “more hospitable areas of the state.” He reminded her that Cantrell has previously allowed protests in the city, including a Black Lives Matter protest this summer. And the Naught Nawlins swinger convention was allowed to go ahead, which incidentally resulted in a Covid outbreak.

In light of that, Cantrell’s criticism seems rather harsh, and it does seem that she could be costing her city some tourism dollars in times when they are most needed.

I’ve never listened to Lauren Daigle’s music very much, but I think I’m going to give her a listen. And I will not be watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

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.

Sorry but I’m too outraged and disheartened to write a coherent article this week

For the past few days I’ve been struggling to come up with an idea for this week’s article but I’ve just got too much anger and disappointment coursing through my mind which is making concentration difficult. 

I am so absolutely outraged that so far all of the efforts to derail the theft of the presidential election by Joe Biden supporters have fallen short, leaving only increasingly desperate measures left. 

The failure by the Supreme Court to even hear the lawsuit brought about by Texas, and signed on to by more than twenty other states, was a particularly staggering blow.  It appears that the Supreme Court is not going to lift a finger to even investigate the all too obvious theft of the election by Democrats.  It was a particularly cruel blow when all three of the Trump appointed justices failed to vote to hear the case.

What is most disheartening to me is the absolutely spineless response by Republican law makers on the federal and state level.  This election is being stolen, where’s the outrage?  Why aren’t the Republicans on any and all news broadcasts and holding  nonstop TV news conferences demanding a full investigation and complete audit of all six battleground states?  Are the Republicans too afraid of bad press and provoking riots by those on the left that they are almost silently letting this outrage happen?

The dramatic turn to the left by Fox News was a particularly nasty surprise. I watched the coverage by Fox News on election night and it made me sick.  So few people are even aware of the rampant election fraud and other election shenanigans that took place simply because the mainstream refuse to admit that it happened.

I believe that we the people, rather than some level of the government, are the only agents who will prevent this election from being stolen.  Non violent mass protests are the key. The two massive Trump rallies that took place in Washington DC are a good start but much larger and more sustained rallies are needed and they are needed fast.  They need to take place across this nation. I’m afraid that there is too much fear and apathy for that to happen.

I am still worried that this whole situation could spiral out of control into violence as we get closer to Inauguration Day.  The stakes are just to high and the theft of the of the election was just so egregious.  I see a lot of calls for an actual civil war by those on the right on social media.  I hope and pray that I am worrying needlessly about the possibility of violence.

Report from Louisiana: Church

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I grew up in the Episcopal church; I went to Sunday School, was confirmed, sang in the choir, the whole thing. As I got older, and busier, and my focus became diverted in the wrong directions sometimes, I quit going. And when you stop going to church on Sunday, it’s really hard to get back in the swing of it.

For a variety of reasons, my husband believes “the end times are upon us,” or very near, and so he wanted to start going back to church. He’s not crazy or a zealot – he’s just retired and has a lot of time on his hands where he reads too much social media. If that won’t convince you that the devil is knocking on the door, nothing will.

Long story short, we have been attending services at the church where I grew up for the past several weeks, and I’ve found that I am actually enjoying it. Part of my reluctance about returning to St. Paul’s was not the church itself, but the memories within. So many of the people I loved that I share memories with there are gone…my mother, my godmother, my godfather, various members of the congregation, some favorite Sunday school teachers, the exuberant piano player who led us in song in the children’s choir….

And the memories have been hard to face. So many Christmases in that church, red poinsettias lining the altar. The traditional Christmas songs.

I get so sentimental this time of year anyway, and returning to the stomping grounds of my youth have been…challenging, but so worth it.

I’m making new memories there, remembering happy times, and I know those I miss so much would be glad I am there. And in a way, they are there with me, still.

One thing I’ve noticed, I’ve been so shocked at how low the attendance numbers are compared to what I remember. Obviously part of this is because of the pandemic, but I know just from the church directory that just came out that numbers are nowhere near what I remember. Is this the case everywhere? Do people not go to church anymore? I live in the South where pretty much everyone is either a Baptist or a Catholic, and I can say for certain that the Baptist church that I pass on the way to the Episcopal church is packed with cars.

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, I guess. Maybe people stay home and do church on the internet.

Side note: the first Sunday my husband and I attended, about four weeks ago, our Rector announced his retirement later this year and the formation of the Rector Search Committee. I was really sad, because he’s been there for decades and is very popular.

The next Sunday, literally the next week, the bright, young, Assistant Rector announced that he has been transferred to another church; he and his family are being sent to Texas.

So. We were sort of scared to go back on week three, because….who else would be leaving?! But, things have been quiet since then and nobody else has hit the door.

Y’all have a good week, enjoy the Christmas season, and don’t get bogged down in the little stuff.

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.

Rest in Peace Walter E Williams

I was greatly saddened by the passing of Walter E Williams.  He was one of the two authors most responsible for me becoming a Libertarian and free market warrior, the other is Thomas Sowell. Through my teenage years, until I was in my early twenties I was a hardcore progressive/socialist.  It was through an exhaustive amount of reading and research that led to my great political enlightenment.  Walter Williams played a major, and very entertaining, part in that awakening.

As you can see from this quote, which appeared in the February 8 2006 article On Bogus Right, Walter Williams was a very outspoken critic of the federal government, and of the redistribution of wealth.

Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do — redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.

Walter Williams was an Economics professor at George Mason University.  I know he must have been a very informative and entertaining teacher because I’ve watched a great many videos of him speaking and T saw him on TV quite often. He was an outspoken critic of socialism. Here is a  quote from the article Evil Concealed by Money, 19 November 2008.

This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, coercion or taking the property of one person, to accomplish good ends, helping one’s fellow man. Helping one’s fellow man in need, by reaching into one’s own pockets, is a laudable and praiseworthy goal. Doing the same through coercion and reaching into another’s pockets has no redeeming features and is worthy of condemnation.

Here is another quote on the subject from Socialist Promises 25 May 2019.

Socialism promises a utopia that sounds good, but those promises are never realized. It most often results in massive human suffering. Capitalism fails miserably when compared with a heaven or utopia promised by socialism. But any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. Mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist. It turns out that for the common man capitalism, with all of its alleged shortcomings, is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires. By most any measure of human well-being, people who live in countries toward the capitalistic end of the economic spectrum are far better off than their fellow men who live in countries toward the socialist end.

Walter Williams was as big a proponent of free market capitalism as he was a critic of socialism.

Capitalism, or what some call free markets, is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way individuals amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. With the rise of capitalism, it became possible to amass great wealth by serving and pleasing your fellow man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and produce and market it as efficiently as possible as a means to profit. A historical example of this process would be John D. Rockefeller, whose successful marketing drove kerosene prices down from 58 cents a gallon in 1865 to 7 cents in 1900. Henry Ford became rich by producing cars for the common man. 

Here is a quote by Walter E. Williams from All It Takes Is Guts that I’ve shared on social media many times

But let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you – and why?”

The following two quotes are from memes I shared on Facebook.  I tried to track down the source of the quotes but Google failed me.  I’m 100 percent positive they’re accurate. I remember reading them in articles recently,―

Most of the great problems we face are caused by politicians creating solutions to problems they created in the first place

Whether we want to own up to it or not, the welfare state has done what Jim Crow, gross discrimination and poverty could not have done,  It has contributed to the breakdown of the black family structure and has helped establish a set of values alien to traditional values of high moral standards, hard work, and achievement.

I’m going to end this article with a very recent quote from a Daily Wire Article

The biggest casualty from the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with the disease. It’s the power we’ve given to politicians and bureaucrats. The question is how we recover our freedoms.