Archive for January 31, 2022

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT  — My husband has taken to walking through the grocery store commenting in a very loud voice, with obvious disdain, “Let’s go Brandon!”

He does most of the grocery shopping in our house and does a lot of it on the nearby Air Force base where the commissary allows us to save a bit of money. We also shop at a couple of neighborhood grocery stores; you know how it is…this store has better meat, that one better produce.

My husband is absolutely incensed at the rising prices for groceries and is quick to comment, “And we haven’t seen anything yet!”

As it turns out, he’s not wrong.

Kraft Heinze and Proctor & Gamble have announced huge price hikes coming to a store near you very soon.

Kraft Heinz (KHC) said in a recent letter to its customers that it will raise prices in March on dozens of products, including Oscar Mayer cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, bacon, Velveeta cheese, Maxwell House coffee, TGIF frozen chicken wings, Kool-Aid and Capri Sun drinks.

The increases range from 6.6% on 12oz Velveeta Fresh Packs to 30% on a three-pack of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon. Most cold cuts and beef hot dogs will go up around 10% and coffee around 5%. Some Kool-Aid and Capri Sun drink packs will increase by about 20%…Last week, Procter & Gamble (PG) said that it was raising prices for its retail customers by an average of about 8% in February on Tide and Gain laundry detergents, Downy fabric softener and Bounce dryer sheets. Conagra (CAG), which makes such brands as Slim Jim, Marie Callender’s and Birds Eye, recently said it will raise prices later this year as well.

We are seeing the steepest hike in prices in nearly forty years.

Add to that grocery shelves that still have bare spots on every aisle and it’s no wonder that grocery shoppers are getting irritable.

Sometimes I even feel like a hoarder…my son, for example, favors a certain blue sports drink. It’s been very hard to find, but today I went to the store and found the shelves full of this drink! I bought several eight-packs just because I wasn’t sure when it would come back around. I know this only adds to the problem, but….

And so, my husband blames Joe Biden for all of this and walks through the store with his blood pressure rising, angrily tossing things into his card, saying “Let’s go Brandon” in a loud voice, ignoring the side eye glances from other shoppers.

Imagine how fun he will be to shop with when all these companies raise their prices this spring!

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

By now you might have seen via the Washington Examiner the story of Charlotte Bellis who is a pregnant journalist from New Zeeland who was covering the Taliban for Al Jazeera. found to her utter surprise that she was pregnant and has been unable to get back into her native country for the birth of her daughter despite being vaccinated and boosted due to the stupid COVID rules her country has adopted.

The irony of course being that after leaving Qatar because it’s illegal to be pregnant and unmarried (oddly enough no protests by western feminists at the Qatari embassy, unexpectedly of course) and having to leave Belgium where her partner and father of her child NY Time Photo Journalist named Jim lives because foreigners can only stay there three months out of every six where could they go where they both had visa’s for?

The problem was the only other place we had visas to live was Afghanistan. I organised a meeting with senior Taliban contacts, “you know how I am dating Jim from The New York Times, but we’re not married, right?” “Yes, yes we respect you both and you are foreigners, that is up to you.” I nervously continued. “Well, I am pregnant and I can’t get back into New Zealand. If I come to Kabul, will we have a problem?” One translated for the other and they smiled. “No we’re happy for you, you can come and you won’t have a problem. Just tell people you’re married and if it escalates, call us. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”

Yes they were welcomed into Afghanistan while New Zeeland has continued to reject them despite the bad PR this is giving the country and the massive amount of paperwork hoops they have navigated to be rejected.

We got letters from New Zealand obstetricians and medical experts to confirm the dangers of giving birth in Afghanistan and the impact of high stress during pregnancy. We included ultrasounds, letters in support of our relationship, bank statements, our Covid vaccinations including boosters, evidence of my resignation and our travel itinerary since. Between Jim and I, we submitted 59 documents to MIQ and Immigration NZ, including a cover letter written by our lawyer summarising our situation.

Vup they’re vaxxed AND Boosted and they’re still not letting then in. That’s a pretty good hook to show the COVID insanity irony that’s sweeping the west.

In my opinion however there is a bigger irony to this story, one that you would not know if you had only read the Examiner piece but is hidden in plain sight at the very start of her piece in the New Zeeland Herald that the Examiner story is based on:

For years I had been told by doctors I would never have children. I threw myself into my career and made my peace with it.

Hold on, do you mean to say that her doctors, those people trusted with diagnosing illness and giving advice on survival, extensively trained in the west with degrees from universities, licensed by the state and the final arbiters of what the “Science” says concerning these matters were WRONG about her ability to have children, and not just one doctor, MULTIPLE doctors over the course of years had told this young woman that is was not possible to have children to the point where she had to mentally make piece with it got this completely and utterly wrong?

Did they get their degrees at the same university as Fauci?

So think about it New Zeeland is keeping her out of the country of her birth because of COVID rules Rules supposedly based on science and the advice of Doctors…

…which are the same folks that insisted for years that this woman was not capable of having a child.

THAT is the ultimate irony here that lays waste to the COVID madness but there is another irony that is illustrated in this piece that exposes a hole in western culture.

This lady and the NYT guy Jim clearly like each other. They got together in Belgium, they got together in Afghanistan and he was trying to get into New Zeeland to be with her at the birth of their child. They clearly value each other and the child they will have together they child she never thought she could have. The child she calls a “miracle”. As a devout Roman Catholic an obvious question came to me

Why didn’t they just get married?

Think about it for a second. If they had gotten married she could have kept her job and her health insurance and not had to start on this three country quest in the first place. Instead they are both jumping though multiple hoops through three countries as they attempt to get into a 4th when all of this could have been avoided if the these two people who at the very least seem to like each other VERY much simply said “I Do”.

Some say: Well marriage is just a piece of paper, well so are the visas and forms they are filling out to try to get back into New Zeeland and they didn’t have a problem with that did they? It would be no more complicated being married with a child holding jobs that send them around the world then it would be being unmarried with a child doing the same thing.

It’s moments like this when the advice my father gave me and that I’ve given my sons really rings out: “If she’s good enough to sleep with, she’s good enough to marry.”

Personally I think this miracle child is worth it.