Posts Tagged ‘frank’

Photo by KWON JUNHO on Unsplash


By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – What in the world was in the water in DC last week that the crazy “ban on gas stoves” got so much traction?!

Have we got nothing else to talk about?! To regulate?!


Apparently we are through talking about $6.00/dozen eggs and it’s a good thing because you won’t be able to fry those eggs on a gas stove if the internet is to be believed.

So, no, the government isn’t coming for your gas stove but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to. Full disclosure: I have a gas stove, I’ve always had a gas stove, my parents and both sets of grandparents had gas stoves. We are all part of the 35% of homes in the United States that use gas stoves. In fact, when the power grid went down in the last winter storm my gas stove stood by steadfastly ready to heat my water for coffee and we were still able to cook meals.

I have never been able to properly make a roux on an electric stove; I find them incredibly unreliable.

So yes, it concerns me a great deal to think the government has nothing else to do (or to regulate) than my gas stove.

They are “a health hazard,” proponents of this say, but my gas stove has never hurt me in over sixty years. I think I’m pretty safe. And in fact I don’t know a single person who has ever been attacked by their gas stove.

Oh, I know. They’re citing a “toxic stew” of chemical pollution and elevated cases of asthma in homes with gas stoves. Maybe we should all go back to cooking on campfires. Or will they regulate wood next?

I just can’t take this seriously and am sick to death of over regulation.

If they’re really running out of things to regulate I can give them some suggestions. Just saying.

 By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Epiphany has come and gone and now it is Mardi Gras season. This is a very big deal in Louisiana and of course especially in New Orleans who relies on those tourist dollars in a big way.

One of the major krewes in New Orleans, Endymion, announced over the weekend that the Grand Marshall of their parade would be actor Mel Gibson.

Now, when I read that shortly after the announcement, I admit, my very first thought was…”Ooooo his father is a Holocaust denier…is Mel Gibson even relevant?” Then I let it go and moved on about my day.

And then later I opened my news feeds and Gibson is out.

As it turns out the outcry against Gibson as an anti-Semite and a racist was enough to cause Endymion to walk back their choice:

Local Jewish leaders were outraged that Endymion had sought to celebrate Gibson, given the celebrity’s history of antisemitic and offensive remarks and outbursts. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Rabbinic Council issued a joined statement saying they were “appalled that Endymion chose Mel Gibson as the parade’s 2023 Grand Marshal to begin with.”

The statement said, “Mel Gibson has a long history of making antisemitic, racist and misogynistic slurs. While the actor has made half-hearted attempts to apologize for his remarks over the years, there is still a great deal of pain associated with his name and deep wounds in the Jewish community from those controversies, which may never heal. Given his history of fueling antisemitism and other forms of hate, we find his choice as Grand Marshal of Endymion was completely insulting and shortsighted.

“Although we are relieved he is no longer riding, we hope the Endymion leadership will take the opportunity to learn why the selection of Mel Gibson caused such pain and disappointment to the Jewish community, as well as the marginalized communities he has harmed in the past.”

Well. That didn’t take long.

I don’t really follow pop-culture much so while I did remember reading about Gibson’s father years ago, I did not actually know that Gibson had the same reputation against Jewish people. I personally find it abhorrent, if true. A quick internet search finds several documented instances to support these claims, and the concerns of the ADL. I won’t link them because it is disgusting and if you want to read that garbage you can find it, easily.

For me, I’m eschewing “city” Mardi Gras once again this year in favor of the Cajun tradition of courir de Mardi Gras. Now that…THAT is Mardi Gras! Oh my heavens what an experience!

As for Mel Gibson, well, as of this writing he has not issued a statement.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

By: Pat Austin

ARNAUDVILLE, LA – Each year my husband and I abandon Shreveport and go south for New Year’s. We actually come down here five or six times throughout the year but always at New Year’s. Shreveport sounds like a war zone all night long.

I’m fairly certain that my little northwest Louisiana city isn’t the only one with this problem. Shreveport has a population of about 180,000 so it’s not a great big city. In 2021 we had 100 homicides; we had 50-something in 2022 and multiple shootings. There is zero manufacturing; our jobs are in the public school sector, in the hospitals, and in gambling. The Shreveport/Bossier metro area has four aging casinos. If they go the city will implode.

Some see hope: voters ousted our inexperienced one-term Democrat mayor in favor of a Republican attorney who has been around for a long time. We will see what he can do. It won’t be easy.

On New Year’s Eve, Saturday night, we had one homicide which occurred during a carjacking and, nearby, while teenagers were doing donuts in their cars in an empty shopping center parking lot there was a terrible crash with multiple injuries. This parking lot nonsense happens every weekend and nothing is done. “At least they aren’t shooting people! It’s good clean fun,” they say. Until someone gets hurt.

This afternoon a local news anchor posted a photograph of literally handfuls of empty casings picked up off the street by a young lady in front of her grandmother’s house. One bullet came through someone’s roof and landed in the middle of someone’s living room. Gunfire exploded all over the city.

And people wonder why I want to move.

Down here in Cajun country the only gunfire we heard was someone shooting a deer. We spent New Year’s Eve at the local brewery listening to top Cajun musicians playing accordion, fiddle, and guitar and singing classics like D. L. Menard’s “The Back Door.” The teenagers played board games and went to bonfires. On New Year’s Day we were invited for pork roast, black eyed peas, cabbage and dirty rice at an old hole-in-the-wall bar over the levee on the Atchafalaya Basin. Everyone here is open and friendly and nobody is trying to kill anybody or waste perfectly good ammo firing it up into the air.

Life is easier here; happier. Genuine.

I’m returning to Shreveport on Monday afternoon, reluctantly, but I am hoping that by New Year’s 2024 I will be celebrating at my own home here in paradise and not dodging gunfire in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – My husband has Type 2 diabetes which runs in his family. And now the drug he needs to fight this disease is in short supply due in part to off-label use as a weight loss drug.

His medication is currently “on back order” and we are hoping he doesn’t run out before his refill is available to be processed by the pharmacy. If it does, his blood sugar will rise which creates a multitude of potentially serious problems.

He works extremely hard to control his diabetes; he exercises daily; he watches his diet, sees a nutritionist that specializes in diabetes management and has lost nearly 45 pounds by doing this over the past three years. He monitors his blood sugar throughout the day and his endocrinologist has called him an “ideal diabetes patient.”

Yet now he can’t get his medication because of this off-label use and supply chain issues. Both Ozempic and Wegovy are being used for weight loss. Even Elon Musk has boasted of using Wegovy to help his recent weight loss.

Because my husband monitors his blood sugar throughout the day his doctors also recommended one of those scanner things where you just scan this implanted device with your phone and it records your numbers which also makes it simple to provide to your doctor, but neither of his two insurance companies (including TriCare) will pay for that. So he continues to stick his finger.

It’s not that I’m trying to share all of his medical business, but I just find all this very troubling. I know there have been many times when off-label use of a drug has been beneficial; I don’t have a problem with that. But it just really troubles me that we can’t, in this country, stay on top of providing life saving medications to those who need it.

My husband has a touch of conspiracy-theorist in him; he swears that there is probably a cure for diabetes, but it is a billion-dollar industry and big pharma doesn’t want that known. I don’t know about that but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Obesity is a major problem in this country and if this drug helps with that so much the better. We all know that there will be abuse though by people who simply lack the discipline to manage weight loss. That’s not always the case of course, but those people are out there.

Frankly, I’m over all this supply chain conflagration. I’m tired of shortages, of bare shelves at the grocery store, and of rising prices because of it all. I paid nearly $5 for a dozen eggs last week – what’s up with that?!  And at the post office today, one worker. “Nobody wants to come to work!” she said. The line was out the door with people trying to mail holiday packages, and only one employee in the entire post office.

I’m not sure what the answer to all this is, but I have a few ideas.