The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race returns each October.

  • Visit the Miss-Lou by Clarisse Washington

    Mammy's Cupboard, 555 Hwy. 61 South, Natchez, 601-445-8957, Open Monday-Saturday 11a-2p

    Daily Lunch Specials $9.50-10.50

    Tuesday: Brazilian Black Beans, Yellow Rice, Green Salad, Broccoli Cornbread

    Wednesday: Chicken Rosemary, Garden Rice, Tossed Salad, Broccoli Cornbread

    Thursday: Roast Pork Loin, Garden Rice, Southern Green Beans, Tossed Salad, Broccoli Cornbread

    Friday: Chicken Pot Pie, Layered Salad, Broccoli Cornbread

    Saturday: Red Beans & Rice, Layered Salad, Mexican Cornbread
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    Historic Downtown: Between Main and Franklin streets is the hub of Old Natchez with tree-lined streets, old homes, plenty of places to walk and view restored historic properties. Restaurants, antiques and gift shops, banks, bars. Very visitor friendly. Safe day and night. Call the Chamber of Commerce for specific sites worth visiting, 601-445-4611.

    Vidalia Riverfront: A mile-long river walk and the best views of the Mississippi River highlight this spectacular collage of scenery of new facilities including restaurants, a hotel and amphitheater. The river walk is the perfect place to unwind, relax and get a touch of exercise.

    Delta Music Museum: A restored post office in downtown Ferriday offers a glimpse into the lives of Ferriday's most famous musical natives: Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Swaggart, and PeeWee Whittaker. Free admission, 318-757-9999.

    Natchez Visitor Reception Center: Offers an orientation to the area through exhibits, maps, brochures and displays. Located next to the Mississippi River Bridge, the center features The Natchez Story, a good cinematic introduction to the history and culture of the region, 800-647-6724.

    Duncan Park: Nice tennis facilities and 18-rounds of golf, picnic tables, driving range, handicapped accessible playground, nice biking and walking. Golf just $28 ($23 seniors), cart included. Inexpensive recreation, 601-442-5955.

    Longwood and Rosalie: These homes offer the best of the best tours of pre-Civil War mansions. Longwood, an unfinished octagonal house (800-647-6742), and Rosalie, with its original furnishings and beautiful gardens (601-445-4555), have great family histories.

    Antebellum Home Touring: Natchez Pilgrimage Tours offers individual and group tickets to antebellum mansions year-round. Fall and Spring Pilgrimages offer more than 30 homes on tour, all restored, beautifully furnished with priceless antiques, art and collectibles. Many homes feature exquisite gardens and landscaped grounds, 800-647-6742.

    Magnolia Bluffs Casino: This downtown casino offer Las Vegas-style gambling, dining, and entertainment. Call the 1-888-505-5777 for info.

    Downtown Carriage Ride: The guides know just about every story about every building and the people who lived there during Natchez’s historic past. Get tickets from the drivers themselves at the Canal Street Depot. Carriage rides are just $15 per person, $5 for children age 12 and under, a real value when you consider the quality and beauty of the tour.

    Grand Village of the Natchez Indians: A historic site and museum commemorate the Natchez Native American culture. Mounds rebuilt, nature trail, picnic tables, tree-covered grounds. Free admission. School and civic groups welcome, 601-446-6502.

    Natchez in Historic Photographs: Nearly 100 years of Natchez history is captured in photos hung on the walls of Stratton Chapel of First Presbyterian Church. More than 300 photographs from the 1850s-1950s. Free admission, donation requested, 601-442-4751.

    Natchez Museum of African-American History: This museum on Main Street offers more than 600 artifacts that interpret the life, history and culture of black Americans in Mississippi from the 1890s to the 1950s, 601-445-0728.

    Historic Jefferson College: The oldest educational institution in the state is now a museum; the 19th century school buildings detail the history of this military prep school, nature trails and picnic area, school tours welcome, 601-442-2901.

    Natchez National Historic Park: The park includes two properties, Melrose and the William Johnson House. Melrose is a stately antebellum home built in 1848, situated in a lovely park-like setting. Outbuildings are preserved. Tours are offered. The William Johnson House is a three-story townhouse, once owned by a free black businessman, 601-442-7407.

    St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge: This 25,000 acre refuge, located along the Mississippi River from Cloverdale Road to the Homochitto River, offers a nature trail, fishing, hunting and wildlife watching opportunities, 601-442-6696.

    Natchez City Cemetery: This cemetery was established in 1821 and contains graves dating to the 1700s. Many of Natchez's historic figures are buried here. Tours are available, 601-445-5051.

  • International Trade Thuggery by Walter E. Williams

    President Donald Trump's threats against American companies looking to relocate in foreign countries have won favorable review from many quarters. Support comes from those alarmed about trade deficits, those who want a "level playing field" and those who call for "free trade but fair trade," whatever that means.

    Some American companies relocate in foreign lands because costs are lower and hence their profits are higher. Lower labor costs are not the only reason companies move to other countries.

    Life Savers, a candy manufacturing company, was based in Holland, Michigan, for decades. In 2002, it moved to Montreal. It didn't move because Canada had lower wages. Canadian wages are similar to ours. The mayor of Holland offered Kraft, the parent company of Life Savers, a 15-year tax break worth $25 million to stay. But Kraft's CEO said it would save $90 million over the same period because sugar was less expensive in Canada. Congress can play favorites with U.S. sugar producers by keeping foreign sugar out, enabling them to charge higher sugar prices, earn higher profits and pay their employees higher wages. Our Congress has no power to force the Canadian Parliament to impose similar sugar import restrictions.

    One of the unappreciated benefits of international trade is that it helps reveal the cost of domestic policy. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can impose high costs on American companies, but it has no jurisdiction elsewhere. Our Environmental Protection Agency can impose costly regulations on American companies, but it has no power to impose costly regulations on companies in other countries. Congress can impose costly tax burdens on American companies, but it has no power to do so abroad. Restrictions on international trade conceal these costs. My argument here is not against the costly regulations that we impose on ourselves. I am merely suggesting that we should appreciate the cost of those regulations. The fact that a good or service can be produced more cheaply elsewhere helps.

    Trump's threats to impose high tariffs on the products of companies that leave ought to be a worry for us -- namely, whether we are going to have another president who flouts the U.S. Constitution. Here's how Article 1, Section 7 of our Constitution reads: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills." President Barack Obama has circumvented the Constitution and Congress through executive orders. His success in doing so has put too much power in the hands of the executive branch. One wonders whether Trump plans to broaden that power by implementing trade tariffs through executive order.

    In early December, Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications company, pledged, after meeting with Trump, to invest $50 billion in the United States, a move that would create 50,000 jobs. I wonder whether Trump would support Japanese domestic interests that might want to prevent so many jobs from moving away from Japan. A few weeks ago, when it was announced that Peter Navarro was appointed to lead the new White House National Trade Council, Trump said Navarro will work to "shrink our trade deficit." Yet more foreign investment would put upward pressure on America's trade deficit.

    Some Americans support trade restrictions because they think there is a problem with having a trade deficit, i.e., buying more from foreigners than they buy from us. But when foreigners sell us goods and take home U.S. dollars, what do they do with those dollars? The answer to that question lies in the fact that ultimately, dollars are only good in the U.S. They can go from country to country, but they sooner or later wind up in the U.S. as claims on what we produce.

    By the way, all trade is fair in the eyes of the parties trading, or else they would not trade. It's third parties who seek to interfere.

    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

  • The War on Cops by Thomas Sowell

    Even in this age of runaway emotions, there are still some people who want to know the facts. Nowhere are facts more important, or more lacking, than in what has been aptly called "The War on Cops," the title of a devastating new book by Heather Mac Donald.

    Few, if any, of the most fashionable notions about the police, minorities and the criminal justice system can withstand an examination of hard facts. Yet those fashionable notions continue to dominate discussions in the media, in politics and in academia. But Ms. Mac Donald's book of documented facts demolishes many fashionable notions.

    Consider one of the big talking points of politicians and others who claim that the harsher penalties for people selling crack cocaine than for people selling powder cocaine show racism, since crack cocaine is more likely to be used by blacks.

    The cold fact, however, is that black political and community leaders, back in the 1980s, spearheaded the drive for more severe legal penalties against those who sold crack cocaine. Black Congressman Charlie Rangel of Harlem was just one of those black leaders who urged these more severe penalties. So did the New York Times, the promoter of many crusades on the left.

    Fast forward to the present, when both black leaders and the New York Times are blaming white racism for the more severe penalties for selling crack cocaine. If you want to see what they were saying back in the 1980s, check pages 154-159 of "The War on Cops."

    When the political winds change, politicians change. But that does not change the facts about what they said and did before.

    As in her previous book, "Are Cops Racist?" Heather Mac Donald put hard facts front and center -- and those facts devastate many a fashionable notion in the media, in politics and in academia.

    One of the most popular arguments used in many different contexts is to show that blacks have been disproportionately represented among people stopped by police, arrested or imprisoned, as well as disproportionately represented among people turned down for mortgage loans or for other benefits.

    Although many people regard these "disparate impact" statistics as evidence, or virtually proof, of racial discrimination, suppose that I should tell you that black basketball players are penalized by NBA referees out of all proportion to the 13 percent that blacks are in the American population.

    "Wait a minute!" you might respond. "Blacks are more than just 13 percent of the players in the NBA."

    Black basketball players are several times more numerous than 13 percent of all NBA players. This is especially so among the star players, who are more likely to be on the floor, rather than sitting on the bench. And players on the floor most are the ones most likely to get penalized.

    The difference between the percentage of blacks in the general population and the percentage of blacks in the particular activity being discussed is the key to the fraudulent use of "disparate impact" statistics in many other contexts.

    Hillary Clinton, for example, decried a "disgrace of a criminal-justice system that incarcerates so many more African-Americans proportionately than whites."

    The most reliable crime statistics are statistics on murders, 52 percent of which were committed by blacks over the period from 1976 to 2005. If blacks are convicted of far more than 13 percent of all murders, does that mean that racism in the courts must be the reason?

    On the benefits side, there was instant condemnation of mortgage lenders when statistics showed blacks being turned down for prime mortgage loans in 2000 at twice the rate that whites were turned down.

    Seldom, if ever, did the media report that whites were turned down at nearly twice the rate that Asian Americans were turned down -- or that Asian Americans' average credit scores were higher than the average credit scores of whites, which were higher than the average credit scores of blacks.

    Such facts would have spoiled the prevailing preconceptions. Many facts reported in "The War on Cops" spoil many notions that all too many people choose to believe. We need to stop this nonsense, before there is a race war that no one can win.

    Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Downtown Natchez offers delightful ambience. Pictured here is the convention center complex.