Walter Patterson Herald Columnist“The secret to my success was that somehow I always managed to live to fly another day.”
– General Chuck Yeager
In my lifetime, I have never seen such an assault on our Constitution or our way of life by the leftist in this country who want to change our society and force socialism, or worse, on every American.
Capitalism is under a vicious attack. Earning wealth is no longer an American value. Personal responsibility has gone out the window. The new mantra is, “Let the government take care of you.” Over 10 million Americans are now drawing Social Security Disability Insurance, and nearly half of our population is on food stamps.
Scandal has gripped Washington, and it is clear to any objective observer that President Obama and Hillary Clinton fabricated a story on Benghazi that will no longer fly. President Obama drew a “red line” in Syria and now he claims that he does not know who used the poison gas – Syrian army regulars or the rebels.
Since the rebels are a rag-tag bunch, it would seem that the answer to that question is crystal clear. It seems to me that the only party with access to the poisonous gas is the Syrian army, but that’s just me.
Under Obama, almost everything is getting worse. The Federal Reserve continues to pump $85 billion dollars a month into the stock market. Today, the stock market is over 15,000, but this is the equivalent to a “cocaine” high.
We’ve had this experience before. Do you remember Jimmy Carter and the 20 percent interest rates? The same economic conditions that caused the Carter presidency to fail are now in play.
At some point in the near future, interest rates must rise. I don’t know how high they will rise, but I know that the result will be brutal to our anemic economy. Moreover, the recession or depression that follows will be much worse than the Carter disaster.
Janet Napolitano, “Big Sis,” is purchasing even more rounds of ammunition. She sent out a questionnaire that asked ammo manufacturers: “Are you capable of producing large quantity orders of any training caliber specified with a short turnaround time of 30-60 days? What would your lead time be for an order of 2 million rounds of a single type listed above?” According to one Washington news analyst, “This is increasing concerns that the federal agency is continuing its arms buildup in preparation for domestic unrest.” As I’ve stated before, there can be only one reason to buy ammunition on this scale: to use it against the American people.
But enough of the bad news. If you look far enough over the horizon, you can see some clear sky. Washington insiders are already labeling President Obama as a “lame duck” president. That means that now much of what he wants done is not going to get done. His inexperience is beginning to show. No chief executive would dare lie to his staff or to the American people.
It may take some time, but the truth usually finds a way to come out. The Benghazi Scandal will be hung around his neck and Hillary’s. Hopefully, the American people will wake up and see Hillary as the incompetent prevaricator that she is. Remember her screaming to Congress, “What difference does it make now?” You will see that played over and over in political advertisements, and they will be very effective.
Obamacare is under attack – by Democrats. They can see the angry storm that this legislation is going to bring, and they are beginning to worry about their re-election chances. The chief supporter of this nightmare bill, Senator Max Baucus, has already declared that “it is going to be a train wreck.” He has, also, elected to retire from the Senate. He may be smarter than I thought
Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has chimed in and seconded Baucus’s analysis, but then he had the temerity to say, “The federal government is not spending enough money on the implementation of Obamacare and it’s the Republicans fault.” Any Republican who votes to give one penny to this socialist boondoggle must be removed from office immediately. Remember, only 42 percent of Americans are even aware that Obamacare is law. Shocking!
The National Rifle Association had a great convention. Membership is up dramatically, and it appears that we still have a fighting chance to preserve our Second Amendment rights.
As General Yeager said, “…I always managed to live to fly another day.”
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorI was thinking long and hard about what hints I could drop to my husband Jason with the approaching Mother’s Day celebration.
Normally, I let conversations linger to what movie I might would want to catch soon or what new restaurant I was interested in trying.
I have even been known to leave advertisements from the newspaper right next to the remote control or near the coffee pot. (That trick landed me a watch that I wanted on Christmas).
In the end, Jason has always managed to do something really nice for me since I first became a mother five years ago.
We usually do a simple date night alone because with two kids constantly pulling you in every direction, a quiet evening alone is sometimes the best thing.
At first, I was happy with a movie date but I have started to give that a second thought.
My perfect Mother’s Day could begin with breakfast in bed. All the times I bought those vintage serving trays at garage sales, it’s time we put them to use.
Jason could bring the tray to me early Sunday morning before church. Relaxing in bed, I could enjoy a cup of coffee with a cinnamon roll and maybe even catch up on some reading.
What a minute...do I really think this would work?
First of all, the commotion in the kitchen would probably wake me up first. There would be no such thing as Jason lightly tapping on the door to bring my tray into me.
The baking pan would probably be dropped into the sink, echoing through the house.
Our daughter Elsie would be screaming for Daddy to make her some milk as he tried to make a fresh pot of coffee.
Our son James would be moaning about how he would like a cinnamon roll and not another Honeybun.
During all this, Jason would be (trying to whisper but really yelling) about how the kids need to settle down because “Mommy is still sleeping.”
In reality, I won’t be asleep. I will be waiting in bed for my tray, really itching just to get up to assist with the situation going on in the kitchen.
And I can predict that once Jason brings me my breakfast in bed, the kids won’t be too far behind ready to join me.
James will jump into the bed with me, throwing the sheets up around him as be bounces from one side to the next.
Elsie will grunt as she tries to pull herself up onto the bed. I will bend down to pull her up, and she will immediately go for my food.
By the end of the morning, my bed will be a wasteland of wrinkled sheets with sticky handprints all over them. My breakfast will be devoured by a hungry infant. My coffee will be cold because I couldn’t drink from a hot cup with two bouncing kids by my head.
And that reading I had in mind...it will include Winnie the Pooh or the latest dinosaur book.
I can’t predict the future, but I have a pretty good idea at seeing what “might” happen.
And you know what? It will be the best Mother’s Day ever.
Perhaps it would be nice to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet, but where is the fun in that?
The kids don’t understand why Mommy needs “me” time. Relaxing is not on their agenda. But they want their Mommy.
James wants me to see his latest flip on the bed that he can do. Elsie wants to share a few pieces of sweet rolls with me. And who can pass up a funny book?
And I want that for this Mother’s Day. I want to spend a day with my family. I don’t want to have a moment alone.
I can honestly say that I want a crazy, wild, need a nap but we don’t have time for that kind of day.
Give me a backyard with a plastic pool and a few water guns. Give me two hyper children who want nothing more than to run around without a care. Give me a husband next to me on the patio watching the kids run wild.
That would be the perfect Mother’s Day. Without them, there’s nothing to celebrate.
Jason Patterson Editor & PublisherFour months into the year the Yazoo Chamber of Commerce has welcomed four new businesses to the community. That’s encouraging news for Yazoo City, especially considering that these new businesses are spread out over the community.
Mutual Credit Union was the first to open, providing a serious boost to the new life seen in the Fifteenth Street business district. Manager Diane Copes reported that the Yazoo branch welcomed more new business upon opening than any other Mutual branch.
Next up was Tom’s On Main, which has been a tremendous blessing to the efforts to revitalize Main Street. The place is packed every time I visit.
The Chamber then welcomed Visions Physical Therapy. The business opened next to Rite Aid, filling the only void in that shopping center that had been briefly vacant. With renovations taking place at the former Essco location next to McDade’s, our shopping centers will all be at full capacity.
That’s something that many communities would love to be able to say, especially those in the Delta.
Taste A Vision was the most recent new business to join the Chamber. This new restaurant not only offers another great dining experience, but it also brings much needed life to the former Kentucky Fried Chicken location downtown. Yazoo needs a strong restaurant in that location, and native daughter Carol Jean Ellis seams to have a plan for a business that will thrive.
These small businesses are part of the backbone of our community. More are on the horizon, and I’m looking forward to cutting some more ribbons in the coming months.
Despite all of the positive momentum, great obstacles remain. None are greater than the dysfunctional state of affairs within our city school district.
In the two city council meetings since the district was placed on probation by the state’s accreditation board, the issue hasn’t even been discussed. Our aldermen aren’t responsible for running the school district, but they are responsible for appointing the people who are. With all of the problems that currently exist, it would seem like a good time to be hearing from these appointees about their plans to turn things around.
There is no bigger issue in our community today. It should be treated like the emergency that it is.
The city has made some real progress in the battle against blight. Those efforts have hit another gear since Russ Carter was hired as building inspector.
But it’s no small task. There are many dilapidated properties in the city. Cleaning them up is a sensitive issue that elected officials are often reluctant to address, but it’s something that is critical to the welfare of any city.
Abandoned homes or buildings with overgrown lots spread like cancer in neighborhoods. Few people with the means to get away from such filth will tolerate it. And why would they?
I recently had a conversation with a business owner who was considering making a significant investment in Yazoo City, but he was concerned that the town might be dying. His concern was based on the observation that he saw dilapidated properties in the historic district of town and even spotted a house that had clearly burned long ago still standing on North Street. It was inconceivable to him that a healthy town would tolerate such a mess.
As much ink as I’ve dedicated to this subject, some of you may be wishing that I’d climb down from my soap box and move on to another topic, but I believe we must stay on top of this issue before the problem becomes insurmountable. We’re making progress, but we must keep our feet firmly placed on the accelerator if we want to keep moving forward.
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorWhen my son James climbed up in my lap the other night to give me a good night kiss, I felt the familiar feeling of peanut butter and jelly on my cheek.
A little sample of supper remained on his top lip and it somehow managed to outrun my dish rag.
Walking into my bathroom to wipe it off, I couldn’t help but stare at it for a moment.
Those PB&J kisses are probably the best ones around.
I have had many readers tell me how much they love my columns because of my subject material. I have even had a few to tell me to write about something else.
Other than childhood memories of my own, I write about my family.
My children take up most of my time. Sitting at my computer to write my columns, I am surrounded by photographs of my children and husband with a few pieces of kindergarten artwork as well.
My family is my life.
Nothing makes me happier than a mother who has far more experience and wisdom than me tell me she can relate to things I write in my columns.
Some have told me it reminds them of raising their own children. A few have even given me tips.
But all of them have always told me to enjoy these moments while they last. I have even seen tears in some of their eyes as they remind me that it goes by very quickly.
There are moments when the world seems to drag you on. Your patience runs thin. Work consumes your time. And life simply takes a toll.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there are some nights at home when I just ask myself how will I get through another day of deadlines, stress and bad news.
But I have found that the best remedy is seeing my two children run toward me with smiles of their faces and skips in their steps.
They don’t know about those bad moments. They probably wouldn’t care to hear about my bad day, or at least they wouldn’t understand it. They don’t have “bad” days yet.
All they know is that their Mommy is home, and they are happy.
That moment is what makes the bad days go away.
Now mind you, I am still the mother who can give spankings, issue a few time outs and send a kid to his room. But I am also the mother who applies bandages, gives hugs freely and will kiss a kid into submission.
All the good and the bad that come with being a mother is well worth it.
I know there will come a day when my children will be too cool to hug me goodbye at school. Saying I love you may prove hard. And those PB&J kisses will surely disappear.
But they will still be my kids, and they will always be mine.
These moments don’t last forever, and there will come a day when they will be gone. But I don’t plan to miss one second of them.
So, yes, I do write about my family more than the average person might.
But I savor these memories, and I want to capture everyone of them.
It’s not everyday you can write about pet snakes, midnight hugs, baseball games and dance recitals.
It’s not everyday that you become a mom.
Jason Patterson Editor & PublisherMy initial reaction to the news that the Mississippi Department of Corrections plans to close the facility that allows inmates to work in Yazoo was selfish.
“How are we going to afford to replace that labor,” I thought.
State inmates provide a valuable service locally by helping keep the cemetery maintained, picking up debris and performing other duties.
Some people refer to this as “free” labor, but it’s far from free. The average cost for a minimum security state inmate (the inmates who present less risk to the public) is $49.50 per day, which comes to $18,067.50 per year. We might as well be sending them to college.
With such significant investments being made, the taxpayers have a right to expect something in return. Nonviolent offenders - all of them - should be expected to work. The small work center operated in Yazoo City provides a tremendous service to this community. The city will likely struggle to fill the void when the inmate labor is gone without either raising taxes or pulling workers from other jobs. I think most Yazooans would agree that the last thing we need is any less attention to any current responsibilities.
I understand that the MDOC must look for ways to save money, and the reported savings from closing Yazoo’s satellite work center are significant. But I don’t see why the MDOC can’t inform the nonviolent state inmates residing at the regional correctional facility in Yazoo that they will be reporting to work in the morning.
“Boys I’ve got some bad news. From now on instead of getting our exercise playing basketball and other games, we’re going to be pushing lawnmowers and picking up trash.”
That would not only give something back to the taxpayers who are spending so much money housing inmates, but it would also give those inmates an opportunity to experience an honest day’s work.
I believe that every reasonable effort should be made to help inmates have a better chance to actually become productive members of society when they are released. Programs to help earn a GED or learn some job skills are worthwhile. The more an inmate can learn, the better chance he has of getting a job on the outside.
Learning that hard work won’t kill you is one of the first lessons many of these offenders need to learn.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on corrections, and I’m sure there would be costs that I haven’t considered. But I don’t see why the personnel currently used at the work center can’t be transferred to picking up inmates at the regional jail and taking them out on daily work assignments.
These costs will be reduced from the MDOC budget, but they will be passed along on the local level. Yazoo City residents are going to tolerate Glenwood Cemetery being allowed to return to the state it was in when the city wasn’t allowed to use state inmate labor. It was disgraceful. Someone is going to have to pick up the tab. Considering that our city leaders were recently trying to figure out why the street department can’t even keep the streets swept, I don’t think Yazoo City is going to be able to take on the responsibility without raising taxes.
MDOC needs to reconsider this decision and look for other ways to save.