Holiday Hours For Local Banks

Capital One – regular hours

Citizens National Bank – close at noon on Christmas Eve, close at 2:00 pm on New Year’s Eve

Community Bank of Louisiana – close at 11:00 am on Christmas Eve, close at noon on New Year’s Eve

MidSouth Bank – close at 1:00 pm on Christmas Eve

Progressive National Bank – closed all day Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Red River Bank – closed all day Christmas Eve and close at 2:00 pm New Year’s Eve

Sabine State Bank and Trust Company – closed all day on Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve!

By Steve Graf

It’s Christmas Eve and all across the world kids are waiting on the man called Santa Claus to make their dreams come true. It’s with great anticipation that most children will have a hard time going to sleep tonight. Some will even try and sneak a peek just to confirm or deny their thoughts that he really does exist. Now before we get to the reason we love the old man in the bright red suit, let me give you an angler’s perspective about this special time of year.

As I have stated before, bass fishermen are a funny bunch. They are guys who believe in many different things. One is their ability to catch and figure bass out. They think they are smarter than the little green fish they pursue. It’s a group that, when push comes to shove, are the most intelligent outdoorsmen on earth. But there are a few who are very superstitious, especially when it comes to things like a banana in the boat. If you want to upset a pro angler, get in their boat with a banana…they will freak out. It’s a superstition that goes all the way back to when our country’s settlers sailed across the ocean with bananas on their ship (which is a whole other story). Just like most families do on Christmas Eve, some anglers have rituals they do before every event. There are some anglers like Kevin Van Dam (greatest bass fisherman of all time) who have their wives make them lucky cookies to carry with them on tournament day. Some anglers will only eat at specific restaurants on certain nights of the week during the tournament.  Some guys even wear the same underwear two or three days in a row if they are doing well in the event.

But one other thing we bass anglers believe in….Santa Claus! That’s right, we do believe in jolly Ole Saint Nick. You know the man in the bright red suit with black boots and a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Here are some reasons why we think so much of Ole Saint Nick….

  1. He does so many good things for everyone young and old.
  2. He’s committed to doing a good job every Christmas Eve.
  3. Just like bass fishermen, he has high expectations of himself.
  4. He takes great care of all the little people (Elves).
  5. He takes pride in his sleigh looking good, like anglers do with their bass boats.
  6. He makes sure all the reindeer are taken care of like anglers do with their outboard engines.
  7. He gives attention to the misfit toys and makes them feel special.
  8. Just like bass fishermen, he pays attention to detail.
  9. Since the beginning of time, he never fails to do his job.
  10. But the greatest reason anglers love Santa Claus….HE was the man who gave all of us anglers our first rod and reel combo.

It’s the belief in Santa that makes Christmas special, especially in the eyes of children. It does your heart good to see them light up once they get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Now there are a few (depending on age) who are scared out of their mind upon the sight of Santa Claus, but over time and as they grow up, Santa usually wins their love and support. I can remember as a kid going out early Christmas morning and looking for deer tracks in the front yard just to convince myself that he is real. I knew for a fact that he did not land on our roof since we did not have a chimney. My brother and I always left the traditional cookies and milk, but as I got older, I wondered why he would drink warm milk….but he always did!

I hope today’s article helped to jog your memory and take you back to a time when we were all so young and innocent. This truly is a special time of year as we get together with family and friends. But I want you to remember the real reason for the season, and that’s the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the reason for this great celebration that we have all come to love and cherish. So, this Christmas enjoy all the food, gifts and family gatherings, but make sure you give thanks to Lord above for sending us his only son who sacrificed his life for each of us. I would like to wish each of you a “Merry Christmas!” Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

A Stop On The Riverfront

By Nicole Tull

Santa made one last trip to Logansport Riverfront before Christmas. Wednesday night, families were invited to the pavilion for hot chocolate and cookies provided by Logansport Chamber of Commerce and Whataburger of Joaquin. A line of children anxiously awaited their turn to tell Santa their last-minute requests. Parents and grandparents were equally anxious to capture memorable moments. Santa sat in a rocker with his elf helper alongside him handing out candy canes. Most children were delighted to have an up-close chat, while others were a little more cautious of the bearded stranger.

Once the children happily finished their treats, families took advantage of the riverfront. The park has been transformed into a lighted wonderland making paths of dancing decorations. As the sun set, you could see Christmas balls, icicles, people, and flower light creations found along the riverfront. Families spontaneously posed for pictures as they walked along, soaking up the memory making opportunities.

Sheriff Captures Elf

Sheriff Richardson would like to let DeSoto Parish parents know that an Elf was found earlier today in the area of Grand Cane. He was believed to be Breaking & Entering (Misdemeanor) and was found to be in possession of what he claimed to be snow (turned out to be flour). Some items could be used to destroy any nice living room or kitchen right here during the Christmas season.

Although all charges have been dropped, he appears to like it here. If you have an elf in your home, he may be away for a few days. We hope to eventually identify him, so for now we are calling him Kenny “Jingles.”

Kenny says he has made many new friends. He plans to visit more frequently next year, so stay tuned. He assures us that Santa will pick him up and drop him back off at his house on Christmas morning.

Just wanted to let y’all know that your elf may not be around for a few days. We know some of you need the sleep.

ETC… For Friday, December 24, 2021

The missing juvenile the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office posted on Wednesday, Dec. 22nd has now been safely located.  As usual, the original post has been removed to avoid confusion and for the safety of the juvenile.  We thank everyone for sharing the post and assisting in this matter.

A reminder to throw away carefully after Christmas.  Thieves love to cruise by your house the trash day after Christmas and shop for things to steal.  If you leave the box in plain sight, the bad guys will know you got a new, bright, shiny whatever.  Don’t give them a chance.

The Louisiana Department of Health is pausing administration of monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments at LDH-run mAb treatment sites in response to a federal decision to cease state allocations.  LDH sites previously offered two mAb treatments: REGEN-COV and bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together. However, recent data demonstrate that these two monoclonal antibodies are not effective against the Omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant circulating in the U.S.

In-House Jail Visitation Postponed

Issued by DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Department on December 23, 2021.

Out of an abundance of caution regarding the safety of our inmates, the DeSoto Detention Center has chosen to postpone all in-house visitations until further notice.  Due to the current rise in COVID-19 cases, we cannot take the risk of COVID-19 entering or spreading throughout our facility. 

No matter how minimal or serious symptoms of the current strain may be, our office feels that this precaution is a necessary and temporary measure we can easily implement as a preventative measure for the health of everyone in our facility.  Loved ones may still video, call, or text visit by using CitiTeleCoin, which can be found in the DeSoto Sheriff App if you have not already created an account.  We thank the public for their patience and understanding.

Visits With Santa

Santa Claus is back in town and will make stops in two locations in DeSoto Parish today.  First in Stonewall this morning then in Logansport this evening.

This morning at 10:00 am Jolly Ole St. Nick will be at the new municipal building in Stonewall.  His visit lasts until 1:00 pm.  Come with your children and their wish list.  Enjoy hot coca and cookies with Santa.

Then this evening, Santa will be at the Riverfront Park in Logansport.  There will be hot chocolate and cookies with Santa this evening from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  Here is your children’s chance to get a word and let Santa know they’ve been good this year.

Logansport Loads Up All District Teams

Logansport Football cleaned up the district honors this year! All of these kids know the definition of hard work! Going to miss the 7 seniors earning these honors, but extremely excited to return 10 of the 17! Back to work!

Head Coach Kevin Magee was named District 3-1A Coach of the Year.  He lead the Tigers to state runner up and a trip to play in the Superdome.

Players selected to the All District teams were B Kam Boykins and WR Jayven Claybrook named Offensive Co-MVPs.

First Team All-District Offense QB Kam Boykins, RB Jace Thompson, WR Jayven Claybrook, OL Kolton Kinley, and OL Tonzaiha Bland.

Second Team All-District Offense WR Jacob Contario and OL Cade Thompson.

Honorable Mention All-District Offense WR Jakelan Dagley, WR Thalemius Hill, OL Cratelyn Henderson, and OL Nathan Wheless.

District 3-1A Defensive MVP DB Jumaercus Hill.

First Team All-District Defense DL Tonzaiha Bland, LB Steve Holloway, DB Jumarcus Hill, and Flex Jayvon Claybrook.

Second Team All-District Defense DL Blake McFadden, DL Dekameron Tarbrough, LB Hayden Rolfe, DB JaCaleb Robinson, and PR Jayven Claybrook.

And Honorable Mention All-District Defense DB Jacob Contario, DB Thalemius Hill, DB Jakelan Dagley, and LB Jayce Thompson.

Special photo presentations featuring these students are posted on the Logansport High social media.  The school said, “Thanks to Josh Hankins Photography and Shootin’ on Faith Photography for capturing these great shots!”

Books for School Children

DeSoto Parish students received a surprise Thursday afternoon ahead of the upcoming holiday break. The DeSoto Parish School Board partnered with DeSoto Leaders of Faith to supply each student with their own personal copy of a book to own and read over the winter break in support of the Louisiana Department of Education’s literacy initiative occurring state-wide.

“We hope to make this Christmas break an opportunity for students to engage with a book that brings them joy and spark conversations across grade bands parish-wide. Our district staff has created a literacy challenge so students can showcase their books and accounts of reading in the parish with pictures and social media posts. We want to thank our Leaders of Faith and our extraordinary DeSoto staff for making this happen for our PreK-12 students. We truly are trying to make #TheDeSotoDifference,” stated superintendent Clay Corley.

Students received books in grade bands Thursday afternoon at each of the campus’ giveaway celebrations. Students are asked to take pictures reading and engaging with their books at home, with friends and family, and hashtag their literacy celebrations with #TheDeSotoDifference #LouisianaLiteracy. All pictures and videos posted with the hashtags #TheDeSotoDifference and #LouisianaLiteracy will be entered to win a prize drawing.  The deadline to participate is January 2nd, with winners announced on January 3rd.

Crafts and a Movie

Come this afternoon to the Pelican Branch Library.  It is a family craft day.  The project is to make a reindeer ornament.

And while you’re there, enjoy a screening of the new Hone Alone movie.  The library will serve popcorn and more.

It all begins at 1:00 pm today at the branch library in Pelian.

To Miss A Chance Like That

By Teddy Allen

“…and this is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket, and lying in a manger.” –  Luke 2:12

“Only God could have thought of giving us Christmas,” the pilgrim told me.

“I no longer wonder why the world turns again every year to the Babe born in the innkeeper’s cattle shed,” he said. “A baby bundled tightly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Simple enough to be new every year, miraculous enough to be eternal, tender enough to be personal. Only God would have done it that way.”

“No official proclamation. No fuss. No Madison Avenue ad campaign. If man had done it he would have made a great production. But God did it the way God does so many things in the world. The coming of dawn and the setting of the sun are quiet things. Sleep needs no trumpets to announce it. Flowers bloom in silence. Falling snow makes no more sound than the cat’s paw. And so it was with the coming of the Savior of the World. Just the whimper of a baby, asleep on the hay.

“That’s just like God,” the pilgrim said.

“Bethlehem tells us that the loveliness in life is not in the things that we possess, the titles and checkbook balances and plaques on the wall. Bethlehem tells us that the loveliness in life is in our relationships. ‘Come see the baby. Come spend time with us, and come spend time with the baby…’

“That long ago Judean night when Heaven dipped down to Earth, there were no costly jewels, no golden streets, but instead a place where God was at home in a stable…a place where shepherds were as welcome as wise men…a place where, for a moment, nothing in Creation was more important than a donkey who bore on his back a suffering woman, a woman of God’s favor, a woman who stepped into a barn on the brink of the Fullness of Time and into a place where a stable filled with animals was a temple fit for a king.

“That’s so like God. To send his one and only son into a place humble, a place where voices joined in chorus with the first cry of a newborn. There is nothing in the world so new as Christmas, and nothing in the world so old.

“Bethlehem tells us that God is awake while most all the world sleeps. It was while the world lay in darkness that God chose to come down to Earth. He came into a world of darkness then, He comes into a world of darkness now. Isn’t it comforting to know that in a time of darkness and despair, God is always awake, is alive, and is still ruling the universe?

“Christmas asks us to follow the star, to look for the light, and to listen for the baby. Where there is light, there can be no dark, and so it was into the night that the baby came.

“The gift in the manger reminds us that the joy and truth of Christmas can be recaptured. There is nothing in the world like a baby. The whole silly world stops when a baby is born. God, a baby at Bethlehem…

“The wonder of it all…

“There is nothing as tragic as missing something of great importance when there was no reason to have missed it at all. Such was the experience of those who missed the first Christmas and the experience of those who miss Christmas today. One of those was the innkeeper in Bethlehem. He should not have missed it, because he was so close to it. He missed the Greatest and the Most Important Birth in all of history, right in his own backyard. This child of prophecy, this baby sent to restore and to redeem, born right under his nose. But he was so preoccupied with business, with noise and crowds and himself that he missed the first Christmas in history. He had no room.

“What a tragedy, to miss a chance like that.”

Contact Teddy at

Originally Published: December 2009

I-49 Closure Delays Motorists

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office posted about 10:30 Thursday morning that I-49 was re-opened to traffic.  The interruption was caused by cleanup after an 18-wgheeler overturned.

It was in the southbound lanes just south of the Stonewall exit that was blocked.  The initial alert to motorists was issued by DPSO about 3:45 am Thursday  For some time there was only one lane open to motorists.

SCAM: Electricity Will Be Shut Off

DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office has been made aware of a Scam circulating the area regarding someone presenting themselves as a Utility Company.  Phone calls were received from different numbers claiming that they were an electric company, and were about to shut off power to the address due to lack of payment. 

As a reminder, if you should receive such an unexpected or unsolicited call, hang up, and call your utility company directly to verify information before making any type of payment. 

Remember, scammers have gotten better and more believable lately.  Do not fall victim, do not give out any personal information, and do not accept any phone numbers to call back either.  After doing your due-diligence, simply block the number and continue having a Merry Christmas!

Disguised To Be Recognized

By Brad Dison

On Friday morning, December 23, 1927, a gang comprised of ex-convicts Henry Helms, Marshall Ratliff, Robert Hill, and a fourth man who had no criminal record, Louis Davis, headed to the First National Bank of Cisco, Texas.  Davis was a last-minute addition to the gang.  While the other robbers dressed in casual everyday attire that would allow them to blend in perfectly with the other customers, Davis wore a flashy suit that stood out like a sore thumb.  Davis wanted to disguise his identity.  This was his first foray into crime and he wanted everyone’s attention on him while the other three robbed the bank.  The gang was unconcerned that the Banker’s Association had recently posted a $5,000 reward which could only be redeemed for dead bank robbers.   

The town of Cisco was bustling with activity.  With cheerful smiles, the citizens wished each other a “Merry Christmas.”  Miss Ella Andress, head of the Spanish department at the Cisco High School, went into the bank in Cisco to cash a check.  Once her transaction was completed, Miss Andress walked away from the counter and out the bank’s door.  There, she met the man in the flashy suit as he was entering the bank.  He brushed up against Ms. Andress and left small bits of cotton on her coat.  She glanced at the guy wearing the flashy suit, gave him a smile, and kept walking.  She was anxious to get home to start her Christmas holiday.  Mrs. B.P. Blasengame and her daughter followed the man in the flashy suit into the bank.  She needed to cash a check as well.     

The man in the flashy suit did not approach the counter but stood by the door.  The other three bank robbers casually entered the bank and pulled their pistols.  Thinking quickly, Mrs. Blasengame grabbed her daughter and ran from the bank.  As they ran, they yelled to everyone within earshot that the bank was being robbed.

While the three men went nearly unnoticed in the bank, everyone noticed and instantly recognized the man in the flashy suit.  They could describe his every feature and could even call him by name. 

The four bank robbers walked out of the bank with $12,200 in cash and $150,000 in securities.  Had Mrs. Blasengame not escaped, the robbery might have been successful.  A hail of gunfire erupted between the heavily-armed bank robbers and police chief G.E. Bedford and officer George Carmichael.  Stray bullets flew everywhere.  Within seconds, injured people, including innocent bystanders, started falling.  Wounded in the gun battle was the man in the flashy suit, gang member Marshall Ratliff, police chief Bedford and officer Carmichael, and innocent bystanders Marion Olson, Brady Boggs, Pete Rutherford, R.L. Day, Oscar Cliett and Alex Spears.

The man in the flashy suit lay on the sidewalk, too injured to make an escape.  His three co-conspirators, including the wounded Ratliff, dropped their loot, grabbed two girls whom they used as shields, and fled from the scene in a car.  Their plan had failed miserably.  Once the bank robbers were at a safe distance, they released the girls.  The girls told Young county officers that one of the robbers had been shot and another had blood on his face.  The bank robbers drove north trailed by several police officers.  Officers surrounded the men who had run on foot into a wooded area near Ivan, Texas, about forty miles northeast of Cisco.  

The three remaining bank robbers were eventually captured.  Marshall Ratliff was lynched by an angry mob.  Henry Helms was executed by the State of Texas.  Robert Hill was sentenced to life in prison, but was eventually paroled.  The man in the flashy suit, in his first venture into a life of crime, died where he fell.  Even today, nearly one hundred years later, the citizenry of Cisco reminisces about the bank robber and call him by name.  Only people who have studied the failed bank robbery know the name Louis Davis, the man in the flashy suit.  Everyone else just remembers the time the bank was almost robbed by… Santa Claus.


  1. El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas), December 27, 1927, p.1.
  2. The Austin American (Austin, Texas), December 28, 1927, p.8.
  3. El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas), December 27, 1927, p.1.
  4. Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas), June 29, 1962, p.2.
  5. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), September 17, 1972, p.81.

Staff Spotlight

The most recent Staff Spotlight from DeSoto Schools is Ms. Gloria Pegues with NDHS Food Service.  She is loved by all she serves in the North Desoto High School Cafeteria.  Principal Phillips said, “She is very positive and upbeat.”

DeSoto Schools thanked Ms. Pegues for being the DeSoto Difference.  Principal Phillips said, “She helps maintain a positive culture in our cafeteria.  She has a huge heart and that helps make her part of the DeSoto Difference.”

Making Smiles Happen

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office was happy to assist DeSoto Parish Fire District #1  in surprising the kids at Caring Hands Daycare with some Christmas cheer!  Fire Chief Mark Magee and his teammates arrived with Santa and a truck load of gifts to pass out.  The kids took turns taking pictures with Santa and the Fire Engine. 

DeSoto Deputies were on scene to help out and keep the Grinch on his toes.  The Grinch was eventually taken into custody after attempting to steal a few toys and is currently being detained for questioning at the DeSoto Detention Center. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

NSU Local Graduates

Northwestern State University awarded 662 degrees to 656 graduates during Fall 2021 Commencement exercises with four ceremonies held over two days, Dec. 15-16.  NSU also awarded 412 degrees to 409 Summer 2021 graduates.  It was the first commencement program presided over by Dr. Marcus Jones, who was named NSU’s 20th president in November.

Fall graduates are listed by hometown below, followed by the list of Summer graduates:

Gloster – Meggan Stewart, Bachelor of Science.

Joaquin, Texas – Maci McDaniel, Bachelor of Science.

Keatchie – Sarah Gentry, Bachelor of General Studies.

Keithville – Daniel McDonnell, Associate of Science in Nursing; Kiara Lafitte and John-David May, Bachelor of Arts; Katie Briggs and Janae Richardson, Bachelor of Science; Sarah Ballenger-Rodie, Alexis Britt, Monique Lewis-Moton, and Deja White, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Logansport – Trenton Timmons, Bachelor of Arts; Kendoyle Cox and Kelsey Holloway, Bachelor of General Studies.

Mansfield – Madison Welborn, Bachelor of Science.

Pelican – Tyler Howard, Bachelor of Arts.

Pleasant Hill – Shunterika Fields, Bachelor of Science.

Stonewall – Caiti Johnson, Bachelor of Arts; Shderrica Whitaker, Bachelor of Science; Kassidy Parker, Valerie Smith, and Cara Wineinger, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Haley Carpenter, Master of Education.

Summer 2021 graduates are listed as follows.

Gloster – Angelica Gandy, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Keatchie – Amber Nash, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Mansfield — James Sowell and Brianna Sudds, Associate of General Studies; Emily Welborn, Bachelor of General Studies; Frita Bristo, Post Baccalaureate Certificate.

Pleasant Hill – Jacory Jones, Associate of General Studies.

Stonewall – Prisilla Villarreal, Associate of General Studies; Ashleigh Terzia, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Lions Club Hears From Animal Shelter

By Van Reech

The Mansfield Lions Club had their final meeting for 2021 at the Clista A. Calhoun Center this past Tuesday, 12/12/21, noon.  Guest speakers were Connie Griffin, Dir. and Barbie Higginbotham, Asst. Dir., for the DeSoto Parish Animal Shelter which is a department our the DeSoto Parish Police Jury.  They brought Connie’s pet, Jet, who is a Border Collie and is a “Rescue Dog” who was saved at the Shelter.  Border Collies are very smart, and Connie had him do several tricks obey several commands.  He was very well behaved even with all the Lions.’ Lunch bustle.  The ladies told a little of what the Shelter does and some of the benefits they provide to our Parish.  They spay or neuter every adoptable animal caught and these are then shipped North where there is a great demand for adoptable pets because of stricter neuter and spay laws.  Unfortunately, some animals are too sick, old, or untamable to adopt out and have to be euthanized.

Because the tax that funds our Shelter AND pays for our mosquito control was not renewed their budget was severely slashed.  They are in the process of trying to apply for grants to help out but, also, are reaching out the as many people as possible for help.  They have developed a new website so that any donations will be separate from the Police Jury’s General Fund and will go directly to them.  Let me point out that with 2021 closing out and many of you looking at Tax Credit opportunities the Shelter is a 501c and completely deductible.

Editor’s note:  The DeSoto Parish Police Jury at the regular meeting Monday afternoon will take up a resolution to transfer a portion of American Rescue Plan Funds to the solid waste fund and general fund for animal services.  Also at the meeting Monday the Jury will give public notice of a meeting January 18, 2022 to consider calling a special election to authorize an ad valorem tax for animal control.

Shown in the photo L to R are Connie Griffin – Dir. and Barbie Higginbotham – Asst. Dir.  back row; “Jet” and Van Reech – Lions Club Pres. front row.

Crimestoppers For Christmas Cash

Money Talks, and Santa is in the Spirit of Giving.  Get your extra Christmas money by turning in an anonymous tip on Criminal Activity within DeSoto Parish. 

The Sheriff’s Office said, “Jump over to our DPSO CRIMES & ARRESTS page, or search the Most Wanted Suspects in the DeSoto Sheriff App.  WE PAY FA$T CA$H for information that leads to the identification or arrest of those who aim to ruin Christmas.”

By working together, we can make this holiday season a safer, and more abundant celebration!

America’s Adversaries Are Watching Her Closely

By Royal Alexander

If there was one area and set of issues upon which both political parties could make common cause and find agreement in this highly partisan time one would reasonably conclude it would be in matters of foreign affairs and national defense.

That is why, as I watch the Biden Administration, it strikes me that every American president, regardless of party, would seemingly recognize the great dangers to our country across the globe and the desire of ruthless nations to seize the opportunity and fill the vacuum when they sense American weakness, either because we are unaware or incapable of stopping their advances and aggression.  In fact, that insight and experience was a major selling point of Joe Biden, as a presidential candidate.

That is also why I find troubling the actions taken by Russia, Iran, and China in the last year. 

Russia gives every impression of itching to invade Ukraine, with Russian troops massing on that country’s border.  Russia is poised to exploit the perceived weakness and ineptness of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its diminished capacity for deterrence as Russia ramps up its covert espionage operations and deploying (abusing) its critical role as a regional supplier of energy against Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus to starve them of heat and brutally bring them to heel. 

What is urgently needed here to check Russia’s advances is for NATO to invoke its Article 4 powers contained in the NATO Treaty, a powerfully symbolic and practical action that would begin to stabilize and reassure that region.   I would note that the Trump Administration deserves great credit for demanding that NATO members catch up and then consistently meet their financial obligations to the Organization for times such as this.

Regarding Iran, nuclear talks are purportedly back under way but there is no credible reason to believe Iran will now, or has ever, slowed its effort to enrich uranium and make nuclear bombs.  The so-called Iran-Obama nuclear deal was largely a farce because, while the prohibition on that country’s development was intended to last 25 years, the agreement also allowed Iran to produce unlimited amounts of enriched uranium after 2031 with no restriction on the purity of the nuclear material.  That’s an unnerving thought.  Another important missing factor was that U.N. inspectors would never have been allowed to—freely and unannounced—inspect nuclear sites to verify compliance.

The Wall Street Journal recently stated that “Iran has been scaling up its nuclear program since mid-2019, a year after the Trump administration exited the nuclear deal and then imposed sanctions.  Iran then breached the limits on its uranium stockpile, the purity of the nuclear fuel it was producing and resumed work at the underground Fordow site.”

In return for its agreement and “compliance” with the Obama deal, Iran would receive what it sought most—international sanctions relief—including the recovery of over $100 billion in oil-sales revenues that had been frozen overseas due to these U.S. sanctions.  The Obama administration also generously—and secretly—sent an airplane filled with $400 million in cash to Iran as something akin to a cash incentive.

Regarding China, the Chinese Communist Party has made clear that it will do whatever it determines is necessary to win what it sees as an inevitable war with the U.S.   Economically, militarily, and geographically, the United States faces a stark and growing threat from China.  We have known this for some time but recent examples of cyberterrorism, hacking, industrial espionage, and the theft annually of hundreds of billions of dollars of intellectual property highlight this fact.  (Over the last decade alone it is estimated that the Chinese government has stolen some $6 trillion of U.S. intellectual property).

Further, this aggression by China includes conventional—and even nuclear—warfare, terrorism, and biological, cyber, economic, data and political warfare.  For example, China for the first time is building a naval base in the Atlantic Ocean, off the African coast.  The U.S. simply has no choice but to move aggressively to rebuff this multifaceted threat to America’s safety, security, and viability. 

Recent news has also highlighted the fact that Russia and China have conducted joint military exercises and are helping Iran avoid economic sanctions.  Russia and China have also reportedly developed hypersonic missiles, a fact that apparently surprised U.S. intelligence. (N.Y. Post).

This seems to be the conclusion: our President likes to talk about “robust diplomacy” (what is that exactly?) as though talking and false bravado will cause our iron-fisted, vengeful adversaries to retreat.  It won’t.  Once again, we have a president who believes the way to peace is through concession and appeasement.  (It’s impossible to best Churchill’s great line that “an appeaser is one who hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough—it will eat him last.”). 

Further, as columnist Cal Thomas points out in The Daily Signal, “evil must be opposed, or it grows in nations, as well as in individuals.  The crime wave in America is partly the result of soft-on-crime judges, prosecutors, and district attorneys, and of calls to defund the police.  Criminals naturally see this weakness as an opportunity to loot and kill, fearing few, if any, consequences.

If Putin invades Ukraine, if China invades Taiwan, if Iran finishes a nuclear bomb, if North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un decides to move against South Korea, all of them may see this as the ideal opportunity to engage in behavior they might think twice about if America had a strong president.

Just as criminals tend to avoid places where there is effective security and bullies’ prey on people they perceive as unable or unwilling to fight back, so, too, do leaders of “evil empires” feel emboldened when they conclude they will not be effectively opposed by the ‘strongest nation in the world,’ a nation that under Biden is increasingly seen by our adversaries as feeble.” (Cal Thomas, The Daily Signal).

The Biden Administration simply must respond to these growing threats with clarity, strength, and resolve or else the result could be catastrophic for the world and for the United States.  In the meantime, we should continue praying for our nation.  

Shout Out to Math Teachers

Huge shout-out from DeSoto Schools to Karen Delgado & Lainee Cosby.  They have contributed to the LA Dept. of Education ‘s Accelerate Math Initiative. They are #TheDeSotoDifference.  Please visit…/accelerate-math.pdf….

DARE Graduation at Logansport School

The Logansport Chamber of Commerce said, “We had a great visit Monday with Logansport Elementary 5th Grade Dare Graduation. So proud of our school and Captain Dean Register with the DeSoto Parish Sheriff Office for the program of DARE.”

The Chamber added, “These kids were so excited to share what they have learned about good drugs and bad drugs and how to avoid peer pressure.   Great job kids!!!

Thank you Sheriff Jayson Richardson.”