Stories for September 2004


Thursday, September 30

Ceola James

" />Former Ninth District Chancery Judge, Ceola James , is seeking a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court, District One, Position 2. This seat was left vacant by the retirement of Justice Fred Banks from the bench in 2001. Ceola previously qualified to run in the special election that was set for November 5, 2002. James E. Graves, Jr. was appointed as an interim Justice in 2001 until a special election could be held, but the one year appointment was extended to three years when the special election that was set for November 5, 2002 was retroactively cancelled by the Mississippi Legislature. The general election will take place on November 2, 2004. She is happy to be back on the ballot! The general election has drawn two new candidates, Samac S. Richardson and William L. "Bill" Skinner. All candidates are non partisan. No party primaries were necessary. Please consider Ceola James. She needs your vote.

Bill Skinner

"/> William Louis "Bill" Skinner, II, a Mississippi native, was born into a family of Mississippi Law Enforcement, and has continued that legacy to this day. Bill, the oldest son of Minette Skinner and the late Louis Skinner, was born February 9, 1959, at the Holmes County Community Hospital in Lexington, Mississippi. After the birth of Bill's younger brother, Michael, in September of 1961, the Skinner's moved to Jackson, Mississippi where Bill's father was a member of the Jackson Police Department. Louis Skinner joined the Jackson Police Department as a raw recruit in October of 1960. In September of 1962, Bill's youngest brother, Chris, was born, and for the next nine years, the Skinner household was very busy. The Skinner boys, as they were known in the neighborhood, enjoyed the all American childhood with parents that made sure they were involved in church activities as well as sports. By 1971, Bill's father, Louis, had progressed to the rank of Detective Lieutenant with the Jackson Police Department, and began to head a new FBI Intelligence Unit in Jackson. On August 18, 1971, seventeen Jackson Police Officers joined seventeen FBI agents in a joint effort to apprehend a Republic of New Africa (RNA) fugitive wanted by the Detroit Police on a murder warrant. As a result of the confrontation, a gun battle erupted lasting about twenty minutes. In that twenty minutes, Bill's father was shot by one of the RNA members and never regained consciousness. Twenty-one hours later on August 19, 1971, Louis died. After Louis' death, the police-training academy in Jackson was named "William Louis Skinner Police Training Academy" in his honor. After Bill's father's death, his mother, Minette, furthered her education while raising 3 young boys (Bill was twelve, Mike was eleven, and Chris was eight). She enrolled in Hinds Junior College, Raymond, and graduated as a special honor student. She then entered Mississippi College, Clinton, and graduated with distinction having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education. In the fall of 1981 she became a full-time teacher at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Jackson and spent the next eighteen years there. In August of 1998, she retired, and afterwards was inducted into Alpha Delta Kappa national teacher honorary. Minette now divides her time between her grandchildren and spends many weekends in Lexington helping to take care of Bill's grandmother, Ruth Moore. Bill's younger brothers Mike and Chris, are career law enforcement officers. Mike is a Lieutenant for the Hinds County Sheriff's office. He is married to Nicole Berryhill Skinner and they have one son, Michael Louis Skinner. Bill's youngest brother, Chris, worked for 19 years as a Lieutenant for the Hinds County Sheriff's office, but is presently employed as a Captain of Security at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is married to Judy Newton Skinner and they have two sons, Christopher Wesley Skinner and Brett Lawrence Skinner. Bill attended Marshall Elementary School, Peeples Junior High, and Wingfield High School, all in Jackson. In 1980, Bill, following in his father's footsteps, graduated from the William Louis Skinner Jackson Police Department Training Academy as a Certified Law Enforcement Officer. He patrolled Precinct One for three years and Precinct Three for seven years. Bill became a Jackson Police Department Training Instructor for four years and a member of the Pistol Team for two years. In 1982, Skinner joined the Jackson Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and was their primary door entry person for thirteen years with nine years as a trainer. Bill has trained SWAT teams all over Mississippi. As a Jackson Police Officer, Bill received two Distinguished Service Stars and a nominee for the Billy Hickman award and was nominated numerous times for Officer of the Month and Officer of the Year. He served on the Board of Directors of the State SWAT Association and was second Vice-President of the Jackson Police Officers Association. While employed for Jackson Police Department, Bill attended Hinds Community College and in 1990, Bill received his Associate of Science Degree. He then enrolled in Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi (MC), to pursue his Bachelor's Degree. After receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree, Bill entered MC's Graduate School to receive his Masters Degree. On August 31, 1992, as a Jackson Police Officer, Bill was injured in the line of duty. Due to the extensiveness of the injuries, Bill was no longer physically able to be a police officer and was forced to take a medical retirement from the Jackson Police Department in May of 1994. To date Bill has undergone eleven shoulder surgery's, as a result of his in the line of duty injury. In 1998, Bill graduated from Mississippi College School of Law. In January of 2000, Bill opened his own law practice, Skinner & Associates, LLC, in Raymond, Mississippi. Bill's primary practice was Family Law and Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Committals. Bill is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and the Hinds County Bar. He is a certified mediator through Southern Arbitration and Mediation. On November 22, 2000, Bill was elected Hinds County Justice Court Judge for District Four, receiving almost 72% of the vote in a special election. As a Justice Court Judge, Bill was the first judge in Hinds County Justice Court to use alternative sentencing for convicted criminals, which required defendants to attend and successfully complete such classes as, drug and alcohol counseling, anger management, domestic violence counseling and perform community service. Bill was also instrumental in developing a Bond Probation program, which allowed defendants to be released on bond and have them report to a probation officer. This reduces the likelihood that they will commit another offense while they are awaiting trial. He assisted in the draft handbook for the Crime Victim Compensation Program for the State of Mississippi and also assisted the Mississippi's Coalition Against Domestic Violence in drafting legislation to amend a law that would revise the domestic violence provisions of the warrantless arrest statute. Bill is currently enrolled at Jackson State University, where he has completed the classroom requirements for the Public Policy and Administration Ph. D. Program, and is presently working on his dissertation, which, will address the current Domestic Violence statutes and their effect on reducing the cycle of domestic violence. On August 15, 1995, at Sugarland Wedding Chapel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Bill married Angela "Angel" Darlene Terry Skinner. She is the daughter of Charles and Betty Terry of Clinton, Mississippi. Angel was born at Hinds General Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. She has two older brothers: Mitch Terry and Glenn Terry. Angel attended Baker Elementary School, Peeples Junior High, and Wingfield High School. She graduated from Hinds Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree. In 1992, she and Bill attended Mississippi College where Angel received her Bachelors and Masters Degree in Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations. During her graduate studies, Angel was employed at the Clinic for Women of Central Mississippi, in Jackson. She continued her employment after graduation and worked as their billing and insurance specialist until 1999. Angel has remained in the medical field but since moved to Medical Practice Solutions, a billing and management company, to become the Business Office Manager and consultant for MAE Physicians Surgery Center, LLC, an ambulatory surgery center in Jackson. Angel also serves as the Hinds County Republican Party's Secretary and member of its Executive Committee. Today Bill and Angel have three children: Tiffany Rena' Skinner (20), William "Trey" Louis Skinner, III (7), and Angela Nicole "Nikki" Skinner (1). Tiffany is a student at Hinds Community College, Trey is at Gary Road Elementary School, and Nikki attends Christian Love Preschool in Jackson. Bill and his family live in Raymond, Mississippi, and actively attend Wynndale Baptist Church in Terry, Mississippi. During Bill's leisure time he enjoys walking, martial arts, riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle, riding dirt bikes with his son, coaching little league baseball, scouting with his son, and traveling each summer with his family. Bio and picture taken from the official Bill Skinner campaign website

Jim Giles

"/> Jimmy Darrell Giles was born in Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi in 1959, son of James Stanton Giles (tow boat diesel mechanic on the Mississippi River, born in Waynesboro, Mississippi in Wayne County, graduate of Byram High School, killed in automobile accident in 1970) and Margaret Rose Hutchins (successful small business owner, frame shop, born in Carthage, Mississippi in Leake County, graduate of Central High School, retired). Giles' father was an avid fisherman especially at Mississippi's Oxbow Lakes where many a bream and white perch were caught with cane poles. Giles is certain that when he gets all of Mississippi's third congressional district fishermen to the polls, he wins. Period. Giles' mother lived off what is now Old Highway 49 South between Highway 80 and Highway 49 in Rankin County where her family frequently had to seek shelter at the Salvation Army because of flood waters, where she attended Richland schools and where she had occasion to walk through water to get to the school bus. Giles' people are like the overwhelming majority of people in Mississippi, rooted in poverty. The power and money in Mississippi are held by greedy people who belong in country clubs, not politics! Giles advocates, government by the people, not by the rich. He also advocates money for working families, not taxes! Giles graduated from Clinton High School in 1977. Giles then went on to Mississippi State University on a football scholarship where he earned B.S. and M.B.A. degrees in 1981 and 1982. Giles did not have much talent as a football player and left the team after playing two years on the "Scout Team" (Third Team). After completing college Giles attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, France where he received two degrees in French, where he lived with a French family in the Latin Quarter and where he saw massive student protests against socialist president Francois Mitterand. While living in Paris, Giles attended church at the American Church in Paris on the Seine River where the children of America's elite congregated more as a social event than a spiritual exercise. Giles learned first hand the basic contempt held by rich Democrats and Republicans for his home state as if Mississippi held a monopoly on all evil and ignorance. A quiet and shy kid growing up, Giles began speaking up in defense of Mississippi and has been defending her ever since. Giles evolved politically from Republican to libertarian to independent. Giles believes the Republican and Democrat parties to be two wings of the same entity, and that ultimately, it's okay to put your own people first. Jews and Negroes do. In 1983 Giles was hired by International Business Machines Corporation in New York City where he worked on Madison Avenue as a systems engineer and marketing representative next door to trump Tower. Giles was hired more specifically by an Irishman, Robert J. Riordan, with whom he later had a falling out over criticism of Mississippi. Time and time again, the more profitable path, the political path would have been to stay quiet when others put down Mississippi but not Giles. In 1988 Giles departed IBM for a job in Europe, promoting an amusement game to military facilities for Converse Germany where he saw the Berlin Wall come down and Eastern Europe go free. Landing back in Atlanta, Georgia in 1992 Giles sold window cleaning services until 1994 when he became a political activist and founded Southern Initiative to promote pride in Southern heritage and advocate limited government in the eleven ex-Confederate states. Southern Initiative has since been dissolved and Giles is now engaged in a perpetual Independent political campaign. Only 35% of the eligible voters show up on Election Day. Giles' local campaign is aimed at those who don't vote and those who hold their nose when they do. Giles says, "No more phony elections!" His campaign is serious about pro-life and pro-family. Are you? He will fight to stop taxing and killing children. Immigration is the largest threat facing America today and Giles says, "Defend American borders now! Support immigration? Then you pay for them!" Giles, 45, single, who lives in rural Rankin County once an avid runner completing the New York City Marathon in 1987 with a time of 4:15:41, owns and operates a web hosting company, Rebel Army dot Net. Giles stands 6' 4" and weighs in at 230 pounds, a deeply flawed individual with a ferocious temper but his heart is in the right place! Biographies, especially political biographies are primarily aimed at exaggerating the candidate's virtues. Giles will be the first to admit that he is dumb as a fence post but that his determination to represent the PEOPLE is without peer. Unlike Chip Pickering, Jim Giles will never pretend to be somebody that he is not. Bio and picture taken from the official Jim Giles campaign website

Chip Pickering

/> Congressman Chip Pickering hails from a longtime Republican family from Laurel, Mississippi. Currently serving his fourth term representing Mississippi's Third District, he was first elected to Congress in 1996, at the age of 33. Chip serves as Vice Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and also serves on the Agriculture Committee. He is also an assistant majority whip in the House of Representatives. Before coming to Congress, Chip pioneered the first full-time presence by a Southern Baptist missionary behind the Iron Curtain in Budapest, the capital of then communist Hungary. President George H. W. Bush appointed Chip to the United States Department of Agriculture to bring economic and democratic reform to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Later, as a member of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's staff, and as a professional staff member on the Senate Commerce Committee, Chip helped shape the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. He continues to be a leader on telecommunications and technology issues reflecting the growing importance of these industries to Mississippi's economic future. Chip served as George W. Bush's Co-Chairman of Mississippi for Bush 2000 and has been chosen again this year as President Bush's Co-Chairman of Mississippi for Bush 2004. Chip's growing record of achievement has earned him a reputation as an effective voice for Mississippi's interests, a rising star in the Congress, and a champion for the changes that are transforming America's economy in this century and beyond. Chip holds a bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi and a masters degree in business administration from Baylor University. Chip is married to the former Leisha Jane Prather of Memphis, Tennessee. Leisha is an accomplished pastry chef with some of her creations featured on the Food Network. She also operates an event planning business. She has coordinated events for the Presidential Inauguration, planned the 9-11 Widows' Baby Shower in New York, worked with the First Lady's Luncheon, and catered dinners for some of the most prominent names in Washington, DC including Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's chief advisor. After graduating from the University of Mississippi where she was a cheerleader, Leisha worked with high school students while serving on the staff at a church in Dallas, Texas. She has also served in missions work in China, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Palmer Home for Children, leads the Congressional Members and Families Committee, and works with organizations including the Republican Spouses, Congressional Club, and the International Club. Chip and Leisha have five sons: Will, Ross, Jackson, Asher, and Harper. The Pickering family resides on a small farm in rural Madison County. Bio and picture taken from the official Chip Pickering campaign website

Terry P. Johnson - District 5

Terry P. Johnson has lived his entire life in the Fifth Supervisors District of Hinds County. He has the experience necessary to conduct the general and special elections in an honest, timely, impartial manner and to keep the lists of registered voters of up-to-date and available. His educational degrees include a B. M. degree (music education) from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, an M. M. degree (organ performance) from Mississippi College in Clinton, and an M. E. degree (secondary education with emphasis on English) from Mississippi College. Additional training has been completed at Jackson State University in Jackson. In elections, he worked for twenty years as a poll manager. For the past seven years, he has been hired by the Democratic Party to coordinate its primary elections. For these elections, he has hired qulified the candidates, approximately five-hundred poll managers and additional staff, designed the ballots, corresponded with the hosts of the polling places, organized the supplies, and certified the results. As the chairperson of the municipal election commissioner for the past twelve years, he has also completed the above tasks and, in addition, has been responsible for the voter rolls and the purging of the roles. Three years ago, he was elected by the Mississippi Democratic Executive Committee as the co-chairperson of the Elections Sub-committee. Acting in that capacity, he has conducted training sessions for poll managers in Hinds, Holmes, and Scott Counties. He has been elected to represent the Fifth District on the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee for four consecutive terms. He has previously served as the co-chairperson of its Affimative Action Sub-committee. He has also served as a special advisor to the Young Democrats of Mississippi - Hinds County chapter. He is a member of ECAM (Election Commissioners Association of Mississippi), Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, and the Jackson chapter of the NAACP. He is presently the organist for the (Episcopal) Church of the Good Shepherd in Terry and the First Presbyterian Church in Hazlehurst. He previously served as the organist at the Terry United Methodist Church, where he was the church treasurer and Sunday School superintendent. He is an adjunct instructor of Belhaven College in Jackson and the interim librarian of the Power Academic and Performing Arts Center in Jackson. A former dean of the Jackson Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), he has performed concerts in Hinds, Copiah, Forrest, Simpson Counties and Tangipahoa Parrish, Louisiana. He has also performed in two operas and numerous dramatic productions, a number of combined community services, and has composed and performed music for silent movies. His writings have appeared in a variety of Mississippi publications. He has been fortunate enough to be an active volunteer for the Radio Reading Service (since its first year of existance), International Ballet Competition, New American Freedom Summer, March of Dimes, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jubilee JAM (since its first year of existance), Terry High School, Perryman Elementary School, Mississippi Education Television, Friends of Terry, Carey Children's Street Theatre, Playhouse North, the Jackson-Hinds Library System, Glories of Baroque Dresden exhibit, Mississippi Department of Health, Multiple Sclerosis Society of America, and other organizations.

Wednesday, September 29

Godsmack: DVD debuts Top10, band breaks record most Top 10 rock hits

Have you experienced Godsmack live? Coming Home Studios in association with SRS Labs and Zoe/Rounder is pleased to announce the release of the new long form live in concert DVD "Godsmack - Changes," which bowed at #7 on Billboard's Top Music Video Chart.

Of 'Rednecks' and 'Shoe-Shine Boys'

Web Exclusive

Today at 4 p.m. Mayor Harvey Johnson called for the State Fair Commission to speak out against the views of white supremacist Richard Barrett, while stopping short of calling for a boycott of the Mississippi State Fair in October. "I would like the commission to go on record saying that they are against the views of the Nationalist Movement and urge the attorney general to re-open this case," Johnson said at a press conference at his office.

[Music] American Band Stands

"If every Deadhead in the state of Florida had voted in the last election, it would be a very different world today," reflects Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. Weir, of course, is referring to Bush's slim 537-vote margin of victory in Florida in the 2000 election. And his point is applicable not only to Deadheads but punk rockers, folkies, indie rockers, hip-hop heads and metal heads.

Our Three Writers

On the Web site for the Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series, about its Sept. 30 offering of Southern writers, there's the question: "How much better does it get than this?" You get the rare chance, beginning at 7:30 p.m. that night, to hear three superb Southern writers and humorists speak—Roy Blount Jr., Julia Reed and Jill Conner Browne—and answer questions from the audience.

Poll: Americans Uninformed About Bush, Kerry

AP reports: "If matching presidential candidates to their positions on basic issues were like a 'Jeopardy!' category, most Americans wouldn't earn a single dollar. More than half of those polled by the National Annenberg Election Survey didn't know President Bush alone favors allowing private investments of some Social Security money. Nearly as many didn't know that only Democratic candidate John Kerry proposes getting rid of tax breaks for the overseas profits of U.S. companies. Importing drugs from Canada? That's a Kerry issue, but nearly half either didn't know or thought Bush also supported changing federal law to allow for drug imports from Canada."

It's About the Issues, Stupid!

The polls say this, the polls say that. This group is alleging this, this group that. Who cares about voting? The candidates are all alike. At the JFP, we reject the idea of "horse race" campaign reporting—that is, reporting on the race more than the issues at stake. Too often, what really matters gets lost in the sensationalist headline of the day. So, between now and Election Day, we will feature at least two major issues each week, breaking down the positions of the presidential candidates, as well as local politicians, as best as we can. In addition, we are launching the 2004 JFP PoliticsBlog at with a special page prepared by Ayana Taylor on each candidate who will appear on Jackson ballots in November—from president to local election commissioners. We will also feature these issue summaries on the blog, where you can comment on the candidates and the races.

Between You and The Polls

In the 1970s a group of young Americans put their foot down, breaking a barrier to voting in the United States. The age limit was dropped, allowing 18-year-olds the right to vote. But today many people are still turned off by the democratic process in the United States because it is filled with barriers to voting for quite a few of its citizens. However, there are ways to legally get around at least some of them.

Losing Your Voting Virginity

With the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971, the dream of universal suffrage in America came close to being realized. By granting the right to vote to 18-year-olds—those Americans who were old enough to fight but not old enough to vote—the nation had ended a struggle that had taken centuries, a struggle to ensure that every adult could become an active citizen, no matter his or her race, gender or economic background.

[Taylor] Giving Our Forefathers the Finger

Last year in the hot August sun, I stood at a five-way intersection in Yazoo City, passing out push cards for my mother. She was running for justice court judge in Yazoo County. As the day progressed, so did the traffic. As I busily distributed cards and bellowed, "Vote for Alva Payton Taylor," most of the response was superb. So many people gave me their word that they would take a stand and go to the polls. Some of them even put the icing on the cake saying that they would vote for Mama when they got there.

Pennies for Your Votes

The day after the Capital City Convention campaign was announced last week, Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal, owners of BRAVO! and Broad Street restaurants, pledged 1 percent of their sales between then and the election to the Capital City Convention fund. The two did so in dramatic fashion,with Good spilling pennies on the sidewalk in front of his podium while saying, "We're putting our two cents in." Good estimated that his company's total donation could be $5000 or more, based on the prior year's sales.

X Marks the Boycott

Nearly 40 years ago, in Mississippi, the state fair was segregated. There was a white fair and later a fair for black people. This October, many of the children and grandchildren of those who fought to integrate this 143-year-old tradition say they will boycott the fair due to the presence of an avowed white supremacist and an old man from Neshoba County accused of plotting three of the nation's most notorious murders.

To Live and Die in Dixie

Sometimes the light comes from unexpected places. Last week, I sat down in front of my monitor and my e-mail blooped in. There was one from Jill Conner Browne, the Sweet Potato Queen author. I figured it was about her brand-new funny book, out next week. It wasn't.

eZra Brown

With a soft voice laced with traces of his native South Carolina, eZra Brown speaks earnestly about the positives he's found in Mississippi since coming here in 1992. "I'm excited about the way Mississippi is actually growing. Young fire is a good thing. … There's gold everywhere."

Innovation: A Review of Tales of Symphonia

When someone thinks of a Role Playing Game, they picture a group of characters with gravity-defying hair standing in a row waiting to take potshots at an equally outrageous group of enemies waiting across from them. Well, Tales of Symphonia includes most of that, but there is some variation on the tried-but-true RPG formula: the "Get-Attacked-While-U-Wait" approach has gone out the window.

[Stiggers] Check Yo Sources, Even If It's Gossip

Here's an important message from Sis Boneqweesha Jones, president of the Hair Did University School of Cosmetology and On-the-Scene Journalism, for Advanced Toe Nail Applications/On-the-Scene 501 students.

Admission o' the Year

The Indianapolis Star reports: Norman Ornstein, a congressional analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said the issue (gay marriage ban) is being pushed by Republicans to energize their conservative base. "The upside potential in convincing the Christian conservative community that Armageddon will come if John Kerry and Democrats are elected is greater than losing Log Cabin Republicans and some socially moderate Republicans," Ornstein said.

Tuesday, September 28

Rebels Flatt-Lining, Eagles Soaring, Bad-News Bulldogs

After last Saturday's loss to Wyoming, it's clear that Ole Miss does not have a quarterback controversy: Ole Miss has a quarterback problem. Coach David Cutcliffe admitted as much on Monday. Things have gotten so bad that third-stringer Robert Lane might see action. But that's just one of the problems for the Rebels, who are hurting physically and mentally. ... Meanwhile, Southern Miss is the best college football team in the state so far. But the Eagles are facing a dangerous game at South Florida on Saturday. And USM has internal problems, too. ... This just in, LSU has scored against Mississippi State again. Quarterback Omarr Conner is out for three weeks with a knee injury, which makes Kyle York the starter. The Bulldogs are double-digit underdogs going into Saturday's game at Vanderbilt. One local talk show host said that it's the first time the Commodores have been double-digit favorites in an SEC game since the invention of color television. Doctor S thinks finishing 2-9 might make the Dogs overachievers.

M-Braves Announce Schedule

The Mississippi Braves have announced their schedule for 2005, the Class AA club's first season in its new home in Pearl. The big question: Will the new stadium be ready in time for the home opener on April 18?

Monday, September 27

Gris Gris

--- Herman Snell and Alex Slawson

The San Francisco based Gris Gris (pronounced Gree Gree) are the real-deal embodiment of the darker 1967 psychedelic acid rock. Their debut self-titled album is the best of Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the 13th Floor Elevators, and the Rolling Stones' "Satanic Majesties." The Gris Gris are a darkly organic, stoner-friendly Troggs, that Billy Corgan, Jeff Mangum, and Thurston Moore would approve of. Put away your Can and Nuggets compilations, and pass the dutchie.

Jackson First Stop on AntiFolk the Vote Tour

[Press releease] MUGSY Records, the ARTIST WORKER ACTION LEAGUE and SOFTSKULL PRESS join the League of Indy Voters to launch the 2004 ANTIFOLK THE VOTE Swing State Tour.

Friday, September 24

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 9/24

Mayor Johnson Endorses Reassurance Contact Program for Elderly and Physically Challenged Individuals. This week Mayor Johnson endorsed a very important program of CONTACT® the Crisis Line of Jackson called "Reassurance Contact". Reassurance Contact seeks to meet the special needs of people who are elderly or physically challenged and living alone by placing a regular phone call at a pre-arranged time to those individuals. The calls can serve to check on the client's well being; to affirm that someone does care by sharing a few minutes in friendly conversation; and to provide emergency follow-up. This program is free. "This is a wonderful program," said Mayor Johnson. "Many of our elderly and physically challenged live alone. Many of them are fiercely independent, and they want to maintain their independence. They'd like to continue to live in their homes, but their relatives and friends worry about them - worry that they may fall, or become ill, and the may not be able to call for help. This program can truly be a lifesaver!" If you or someone you know would like to become a client, have questions or would like more information, please call the Contact office at 713-4099. There are also opportunities to be trained as a volunteer. JPD Completes Chaplain's Orientation The Jackson Police Department completed a Chaplain's Orientation course Tuesday, September 21, 2004. Fifteen volunteer chaplains finished the two-day course. The course was developed to help the chaplains become more familiar with the Jackson Police Department. It also addressed the duties of a police chaplain and gave the chaplains an opportunity to make recommendations on their police chaplain duties to help make them more meaningful and productive volunteers. The chaplains will soon be seen during Patrol Division Roll Calls and riding with the officers. They are a resource that may be called on during disasters, as well. Mayor Johnson to Proclaim September 27-October 1, 2004 "Dollar Wise" Week

September 21 Music Releases

At long last, the JFP weekly music releases are back!!! After several weeks of scant releases, the various record labels comprising this list have inundated the market. In fact, there are a total of 529 new music releases for this week alone. Given the average number of releases per week is approximately 120, this should truly be a feast for our collective ears.

"From a Basement on the Hill," Elliott Smith

-- Herman Snell & Alex Slawson

One of the most profound songwriters of our generation, Elliott Smith died of a self-inflicted stab wound on Oct. 21, 2003. This highly anticipated posthumous release is due out on Oct. 19, days from the one-year anniversary of his untimely death. Contained in these recordings are material written during Elliott's "Figure 8" tour [2000] and includes the unreleased studio work preceding his death. This is an exemplary volume in the discography of an exemplary musician.

Thursday, September 23

"Monk ‘Round the World," Thelonius Monk

As composer and improviser, the significance of pianist Thelonious Monk in the world of modern jazz mustn't be underestimated. Many of his tunes such as "Blue Monk" and "Epistropy" have become well-worn jazz themes, and his oblique approach to melodic improvisation, angular and unpredictable, has influenced countless musicians in and out of jazz since his arrival in the late 1940s with the now canonized Blue Note recordings. Now comes a collection from the family vault (under the auspices of Thelonious' son, T.S. Monk and producer Joel Dorn) on Hyena records. Entitled "Monk 'Round the World," this is a sampling of live performances caught mainly in Europe from 1961 to 1964, straight out of Monk's "late" period. As an example of what he was up to during that time. this is a safe bet, notable as always for the contributions of tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, one of Monk's most stalwart collaborators. His bluesy tone is a highlight on all the tracks found here, which include fine versions of "Ruby My Dear" and "Rhythm A Ning." The CD is especially valuable for a bonus DVD capturing Monk's then-quartet performing three songs live in London in 1965.

Wednesday, September 22

Dizzee Rascal, Air, Franz Ferdinand Top Shortlist

XL Recordings and Matador Records are thrilled that DIZZEE RASCAL has made it to the final round of the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize. His critically acclaimed debut album "Boy In Da Corner" was nominated for the award by journalists Margeaux Watson, Neil Strauss and Thor Christensen. The nine other acts nominated are Air, Franz Ferdinand, Ghostface Killah, the Killers, Loretta Lynn, Nellie McKay, the Streets, TV on the Radio and Wilco.

Sweet Home Paradox

"Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South." You can tell by the title of this book what it's going to be about, right? Not exactly. What we have in Mark Kemp's new book (Free Press, 2004, $26) is much more than what it appears to be on the surface—it's a cathartic treatise on the author's life in and with the music of his formative and adult years and the musicians who brought it to him. It's a story much like that of other Southerners who were born in 1960, whether they're guys or gals. That's because for some Southerners, questioning the status quo of race and the acceptability of the changes in music after the British invasion and with the rise of Southern rock came naturally, much to the chagrin of their families, much to the confusion of themselves at times. Kemp wasn't satisfied to float through life; he looked for anchors to hold him and platforms from which to make the jump to the next step. For him, music was both.

A City to Love

<b>Young Jacksonians Are Doing It For Themselves</b>

"The old generation is dying," muses 23-year-old Ginger Williams, adding that she doesn't mean to be morbid. "A younger generation is pushing through and taking leadership." Sitting with her boyfriend, Jason Marlow, and friend William Goodman, Williams is not only a part of that new generation, she is a driving force. Williams grew up in Jackson but left to attend college, three colleges to be exact, as a teenager. She and Marlow both just relocated to Jackson, ready to help push the young creative community forward. They both talk of Mississippi, and Jackson in particular, with love in their eyes.

[Drink] Java for the Proletariat

Legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee. He noticed his goats became frisky after eating the berries from a certain plant. As the person in charge, the herder did not want the goats to know something he didn't, so he tried the berries himself. Most likely apocryphal, the legend contends that pumped up on the caffeine, all had a good time. We share a common coffee heritage with our bearded animal friends—I will never think of chevre in the same way again.

[Rev] Burning Car

By the time you read this, you will have missed Burning Man. You will have missed the blistering heat and dust on the playa, an ancient lake bed where revelers camp in the Black Rock Desert in northwest Nevada. You missed the various wacky theme camps with names like Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro or the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet, and their attendant freewheeling sexual exploits and barter society values. And of course, the pyrotechnics that make Burning Man what it is—the torching of a giant humanoid sculpture—was missed. But most of all, you will have missed the art cars.

[Stiggers] Cadillac Is the Word

Financially challenged individuals! If you missed out on Oprah's car giveaway, don't fret! The Ghetto Science Team may have a car for you courtesy of H.B.N. Instead of giving away brand new Pontiacs, the Ghetto Science Team's Hoopty Bargain Network will sell you affordable pre-owned and/or refurbished late-model automobiles.

[Chick] These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

I am a bitter, vindictive bitch. And everybody knows it. "Says who?" Says my ex-husband Richard Cranium (we call him RC for short.) And he's right. Divorce has taught me a lot about myself, and I admit to being bitter. I admit to missing my split-plan suburban home and book club and goldfish pond and "Howdy neighbor!" neighbors and financial stability and a slower pace and, most of all, those moments with my child that just happened when I was not so stressed.

Festival of Hope

Several things make the 21-year-old WellsFest unique among Jackson's festivals—there's no charge for admission or parking, it's completely alcohol and drug free, and the proceeds of every sale, not just the runs, go to the beneficiary. This year it's Our House, a Catholic Charities project that shelters homeless and runaway youth ages 12-17, with the goal of having them return home someday.

JFP Lists: Signs of Life, Rest in Peace, Wish List

A creative boom, of sorts, has hit the city over the last couple years—not to mention a renewed interest in supporting locally owned businesses over dull national chain stores (what the JFP dubbed two years ago "Think Global, Shop Local"). Nightlife never left downtown, but even more spots are joining stalwarts like Hal & Mal's and George Street. Many businesses are finding new reasons to move back into the city instead of hiding out in the suburbs where many in the emerging Creative Class don't get to very often. Following is an undoubtedly incomplete list of many of the signs of life that we have witnessed at the JFP, as well as a wish list and a rest-in-peace roster. Add your suggestions to these lists. Who knows? Maybe your wish will come true.

Not In My Backyard

Some residents of the Fondren community are steadfastly protesting the building of a 40-bed crisis intervention center for the mentally ill in what they consider their backyard.

Sleeping With the Giant

So, we're 2. Our determined little rag has defied the odds—at least the mythical barriers that some folks thought were absolute reality. I remember the skepticism from a handful of folks around town well: "Mississippians don't read!" "How are you going to reach out to the black community?" "You need to decide what you're going to be: a paper for North Jackson or for West Jackson. They already have their own paper, anyway." "Young people don't care about Jackson; they're just biding time until they can bolt." "What artistic community?" "This city will never support a progressive newspaper."

Jay Losset

When Jay Losset, 28, talks about Jackson, you can tell he's excited. When I interviewed him, he moved to the edge of his seat when he mentioned the changes going on in Jackson, rocking back and forth and moving his hands wildly as he discussed the city.

Attack of the Orange Barrels

<b>City Revitalization Isn't Easy, But It's Under Way</b>

Humanity, in general, is like a germ. it comes along, consumes all that is consumable, makes more of itself, leaves a bad smell everywhere, then moves on to repeat the process in a new unspoiled area. It's the human way. We see it in action all the time. How many countless cow pastures and serene woodlands outside every corner of Jackson have been covered over by thrown-together cookie-cutter houses good for falling to pieces after 20 years? Reversing a behavior that's so deeply engrained in the human subconscious is no easy matter, but people in Jackson are trying to come together to do it. The revitalization doesn't stop with the Convention Center that's to be voted on this November. There are many other projects, small and large, either underway or slated for development soon.

ADHD/ADD Conference

Jackson Convention Center: The $65 Million Question

Update: On Thursday morning, Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal, owners of BRAVO! and Broad Street restaurants, announced that they were pledging 1% of their sales between now and the election to the Capital City Convention fund. Good and Blumenthal both expressed support for the convention center, saying it would be good for business and downtown Jackson. Good says they chose the 1% approach "to validate how inconsequential 1% is to a restaurant transaction, when compared to the great good it can serve." Good estimated that his company's total donation could be $5000 or more, based on the prior year's sales. by Todd Stauffer

Tuesday, September 21

It's About the Issues, Stupid!

George Harrison DVD

Capitol Records will release George Harrison's The Dark Horse Years 1979 -1992 DVD in the U.S. on Nov. 2. The DVD includes performance and promotional videos, interview footage, a deluxe booklet with rare photographs and original Dark Horse illustrations, plus a history of the label written by Olivia Harrison.

Samac Richardson - Position 2

"/>Originally from Neshoba County, Philadelphia, Mississippi, Samac is the son of Myrtis and the late Burdette Richardson. His parents were both school teachers; his father also served two terms as Neshoba County Circuit Clerk. Samac has one brother, Dr. C. David Richardson, an ophthalmologist in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Samac graduated from Philadelphia High School in 1965 before attending East Central Community College. He received a B.S. degree in Accounting from Mississippi State University in 1970, and a Juris Doctor degree from The Jackson School of Law (now the Mississippi College School of Law) in 1975, where he served on the Honor Council. He is also a 1993 graduate of the National Judicial College. While attending law school, he was employed by The University of Mississippi Medical Center as Project Administrator for Family Planning and Nurse Midwifery and The Central Mississippi Planning and Development District as Fiscal Officer. He has been married 34 years to the former Libby Ashley of Franklin County, Mississippi, and they have resided in Rankin County, Mississippi since 1972. They have two children, Kim and Steve. Kim has a B.A. degree in Communications from Mississippi State University and is a program manager for the Mississippi Law Enforcement Liaison Office. Steve also has a degree in Communications and is attaining a second undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University in Computer Science. Samac is a Gideon, and they are members of Pinelake Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge, York and Scottish Rite Masonic Bodies and Wahabi Shrine Temple. When he has free time, he enjoys fishing, particularly fly fishing, and outdoor activities, including gardening with Libby. Bio and picture taken form official Samac Richardson campaign websites

Bennie G. Thompson (Democrat, Incumbent)

"/> A native of Bolton, Mississippi, Congressman Thompson was educated in the public schools of Hinds County, Mississippi. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tougaloo College, and a Masters of Science degree from Jackson State University. He went on to complete extensive coursework at the University of Southern Mississippi toward a doctorate degree in Public Administration.

George W. Bush & Dick Cheney (Republican, Incumbent)

/> George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn into office January 20, 2001, after a campaign in which he outlined sweeping proposals to reform America's public schools, transform our national defense, provide tax relief, modernize Social Security and Medicare, and encourage faith-based and community organizations to work with government to help Americans in need. President Bush served for six years as the 46th Governor of the State of Texas, where he earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative who shaped public policy based on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, strong families, and local control. President Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, and he grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1968, then served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. President Bush received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1975. After graduating, he moved back to Midland and began a career in the energy business. After working on his father's successful 1988 presidential campaign, he assembled the group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989.

Hustling "HuStle"

In case you somehow missed one of the promos, which seem to be running once every 3 minutes on ESPN, the sports network will debut "HuStle," its TV movie on the fall of Pete Rose on Saturday at 8 p.m. The movie has a couple of big names, actor Tom Sizemore in the lead and one-time big-name director Peter Bogdonovich behind the camera. ESPN has turned its "SportsCenter" show into a corporate whore by running "news" stories on its production. The Cincinnati Post calls the Charlie Hustle biopic accurate but lacking soul, wit and insight. Sports Illustrated's Mark Bechtel says he couldn't pay attention to what was going on in the movie because of the pelt on Sizemore's head.

In Case You Wanted To Know

Ever wonder why the NFL rarely plays games on Saturday? Here's why.

John F. Kerry & John Edwards (Democrat)

"/> John Kerry has never forgotten the lessons he learned as a young man – lessons that have been strengthened in his 19 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has learned that America must work with other countries to achieve our goals and the world's common goals. From his ground-breaking work on the Iran-Contra scandal to his leadership on global AIDS, John Kerry has distinguished himself as one of our nation's most respected voices on national security and international affairs. As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, he worked closely with John McCain to learn the truth about American soldiers missing in Vietnam and to normalize relations with that country. As the ranking Democrat on the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, he is a leading expert on that region, including North Korea.

Monday, September 20

Wells Fest

21st Annual WellsFest Alcohol/drug-free family festival. Sept. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jamie Fowler Boyll Park, Lakeland Dr. next to Smith Wills Stadium. Free. Music, food, pony rides, arts, crafts, a silent auction of goods and services, fine art auction, and children's activities. Runaway/homeless youth shelter gets proceeds. 10 a.m. Wells Review (alt/acoustic), 10:30 a.m. Lydia Brantley (alt. folk), 11 a.m. Chris Gill & the Soleshakers (rock/blues/soul), 11:45 PFC (country/acoustic/rock), 12:30 p.m. The Pates (folk/rock), 1:15 p.m. These Days w/Jewel Bass (R&B/Jazz), 2 p.m. Caroline Herring, 2:45 p.m. Debbie Buie/Hammond, 3:30 p.m. Rhonda Richmond (Jazz), 4:15 Brian Fuente (rock). Info/volunteer 353-0658.

American Guild of Organists Recital

American Guild of Organists Recital Tougaloo College's Woodworth Chapel Fri., Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. Go straight after entering through the security gate on County Line Rd., and turn right into the first parking lot, from which you can see the chapel.

Farish St. Heritage Festival

Farish Street Heritage Festival Sat., Sept. 25, 3 p.m. until. $12 Be-Bop/$15 gate. Bennie Lattimore, Vicky Allen, Pat Brown, The Canton Spirituals, Paul Porter of the Christianaires; Kamikaze, Topez, 5th Ward Webie, 24-7, Terrell. Two stages of live music, children's activities, soul food, and cultural activities. 960-2384.

[Hightower] Wailing to the High Heavens

It's always a hoot to hear corporate lobbyists wailing to the high heavens about the scourge of "frivolous lawsuits," demanding that Congress bar people from suing them.

Sunday, September 19

Rebels Win, Bulldogs and Tigers Fold

Saturday wasn't the greatest day for Mississippi's college football. Here's your roundup:

- Ole Miss won, thanks to Jonathan Nichols' field goal in overtime. Tupelo, Biloxi

Saturday, September 18

The Soft Side of Loud, by Lynette Hanson

Fortepiano—forte means loud, piano means soft—is the instrument of choice for Rachel Heard. It wasn't always so. The Juilliard graduate, with a bachelor's and master's in music, remembers thinking in 1985, "I've gone to this esteemed school; now what do I do?"

Tricia Walker "The Heart of Dixie" Debut

Songwriter Tricia Walker, a native of Fayette, Mississippi, will debut her new CD, The Heart of Dixie, Wednesday, September 29, 2004 at the Bluebird Café, 4104 Hillsboro Road, Nashville, TN beginning at 9:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be obtained by calling

Friday, September 17

Kerry Goes After Cheney, Haliburton and ‘Mess in Iraq'

AP reports: "Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday that the Bush administration ignored overcharging in defense contracts awarded to Halliburton, the company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, calling it evidence of the president's mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

Thursday, September 16

"Antics," Interpol

-- Herman Snell & Alex Slwson

Interpol- "Antics." The boys finely dressed in black suits finally unleash their highly anticipated sophomore release. The overall music formula is much the same as on their 2002 debut, "Turn on the Bright Lights"- vocals that hint of Ian Curtis and Morrissey over music that is gothic influenced post-punk delivered with an atmospheric and grandiose bent. However, the comparisons stop here. "Antics" has a more straight up, in your face and almost minimalist feel. So, does it compare to their first album? The jury is still out on this one, but the first few listens definitely didn't carry the emotional impact of their debut. Perhaps this is intentional.

Johnny Ramone Dies At 55

AP Reports: Though they never had a Top 40 song, seminal punk band "The Ramones" left a formidable imprint on the rock genre. The quartet's impact was evident Wednesday when guitarist Johnny Ramone died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home surrounded by family members and rocker Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and singer Rob Zombie. Ramone, who had been fighting a five-year battle with prostate cancer, was 55.

Bourbon Street Jazz Society

Bourbon Street Jazz Society Meets the last Sunday of each month. Sept. 26, Oct. 31, Nov. 28. Colonial Country Club Ball Room, 5635 Old Canton Rd. 3-6 p.m. $8. Dance or listen to the traditional, New Orleans Dixieland Jazz of Ron Welch, Randy Dickerson, and The Bourbon St. Jazz Band. 354-5646.

Wednesday, September 15

Kerry to Bush: ‘You Own It'

John Kerry unleased a new campaign theme today, which paints George W. Bush as the "Excuse President" by focusing both on lost jobs and on the mounting casualties (and apparent disarray) in Iraq.

Nothing Is Static

"A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning." – Rumi

Actresses to Watch: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

They're the sparks that add glamour, glitz and guts to area theater. They make us laugh, cry, think, ogle and admire every power-packed performance. A bevy of acting talent has emerged on the local theater scene, ladies who keep us coming back for more.

Leave My Kids Alone

Early the morning of Sept. 2, a mother stood at the intersection of Highway 80 and Highway 18 with her two children, protesting the new Jackson Public Schools mandatory uniform policy, as traffic sped by. Their sign read"Suspended Not Dressed for JPS."

For Whom the Zell Tolls

Admittedly, we have a rough history of treating each other badly sometimes, and we stubbornly act against our best interests too often and—perhaps worst—we are notorious for sending up the wrong people to speak on our behalf. And we might possibly have the lowest self-esteem, especially here in Mississippi, than on any patch of geography on the planet.

Do You Like My Painting?

Painting by Ellen Langford

Ellen Langford, now 37, used to be one of those people who thought getting out of Mississippi was the thing to do. She had spent 17 years growing up here, and it was time to go. She was an artist then, headed to Colby College in Maine to free herself and grow.

James Anderson

James Anderson's favorite phrase is "theater begets theater." He loves to get others excited about theater by doing it himself. "Theater is all about intentions and getting the right wig if you do a period piece," says Anderson, who is a veteran of theater in Mississippi at age 55. And good intentions are exactly what he has for the stages here in Jackson.

Virgins, Tramps and Dolls

At first smile, Michele Coffield Walker, 21, is a charming girl. Even her tight-curled blonde locks exude sweetness. But when she gets to the derby, outfitted in old-style rollerskates, she's going to be ready to kick ass.

Best in Sports in the Next 7 Days

Thursday, Sept. 16

High school football, Provine vs. Forest Hill at South Jackson, 7 p.m.: The Rams look to rock the Rebels.

[Music] Goodbye, Voices

The band Guided by Voices has always had one of the great back stories in rock 'n' roll: a group of middle-aged men from blue-collar Dayton, Ohio, recording lo-fi albums in their basements for a small, but adoring local following.

[Drink] Smoothie Operator

When my niece Sasha comes over, she heads for the raspberry patch. When her pile is big enough, we make the world's best smoothie.

Censored! The 10 Big Stories the National News Media Ignored

In late July more than 600 people showed up in Monterey, Calif., to speak at a Federal Communications Commission hearing on ownership concentration in the news media. The participants were a diverse group, young and old, activists and workers, but they had a single consistent message: The mainstream news media have been doing a deplorable job of covering the day's most important stories.

Doin' the Cha-Cha for Equality and Rent Money

Electric Slide Foundation of America presents the 2004 Post Olympic Cha-Cha Slide/Steppin' Dance Competition and Voter Registration Drive for World Peace and Rent Money.

A Republic Without Citizens

Thomas H. Keane and Lee Hamilton conclude the preface to the 9/11 Commission Report with these words: "All of us have had to pause, reflect, and sometimes change our minds as we studied these problems and considered the views of others. We hope our report will encourage our fellow citizens to study, reflect—and act."

‘A Real Buzz': Young People Expected to Vote in Record Numbers

New York Times today: "After dismal turnout by young voters in 2000, surveys this year show that interest in the election among the young is near the highest level it has reached at any time since 18- to 20-year-olds were given the vote in 1972. And state election officials say registration of new young voters is coming in at levels they have not seen in years. Polls in the spring and summer from the Harvard Institute of Politics, the Pew Research Center and MTV all found that young people say they plan to vote at a rate that will far eclipse the low-water mark of four years ago. The pool of potential young voters is substantial - about 40.6 million Americans ages 18 to 29, or one in five eligible voters, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, or Circle, a nonprofit research group that has concentrated on the youth vote.

Tuesday, September 14

BREAKING: USM Game Delayed

Southern Miss' football game with No. 10 California, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed due to worries about where Hurricane Ivan, which is projected to come ashore somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. A makeup date for the game has not been set.

Bach To Blues Series

Bach To Blues Series Trinity Lutheran Church hosts a series of sacred and secular music, every 3rd Sunday, 6 p.m. 6401 Hwy 18 W. at Siwell Rd. Share music and a Harmony Meal after. Sept. 19: Al Sager (1950's harmonica), Terry Fletcher (keyboard). 371-2332, 372-8851.

Bush Calls Kerry Campaign ‘Pathetic'

AP reports: "President Bush chided Sen. John Kerry and fellow Democrats on Monday for asserting that Republicans will undermine Social Security, calling the strategy 'the most tired, pathetic way to campaign for the presidency.' Traveling by bus through the southwest corner of this battleground state, Bush tried to improve voters' perceptions of his domestic policies by condemning Democrats for going negative—even as he held Kerry's plans up to the harshest possible light. "'I'm running against a fellow who has got a massive, complicated blueprint to have our government take over the decision making in health care,' the president said. 'Not only is his plan going to increase the power of bureaucrats in your life, but he can't pay for it unless he raises your taxes. What would you expect from a senator from Massachusetts?" Bush said, as a partisan crowd cheered the reference to Kerry's home state and its liberal leanings.

Monday, September 13

Church Concert

Wells United Methodist Church Concert Sept. 19, 7 p.m. Lelon Thompson will present "De' miei bollenti spirit" from "La Traviata", "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love" from "Finian's Rainbow", "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge, the romantic favorite "Mona Lisa," the Beatles hit "If I Fell" and others. Free. 2019 Bailey Ave., near the Jackson Medical Mall. 353-0658.

Will the GOP Try to ‘Suppress' Non-White Vote?

Columnist Bob Herbert writes in The New York Times: "More than 80 percent of the population of Detroit is black. This is very well understood by John Pappageorge, who is white and a Republican state legislator in Michigan. 'If we do not suppress the Detroit vote,' said Mr. Pappageorge, 'we're going to have a tough time in this election.' Oops! Republicans aren't supposed to actually say they want to suppress black votes. That's so retro. It's so Jim Crow. This is the 21st century, and the thing now is to do the dastardly deed, but never ever acknowledge it. That's where our friend Pappageorge went wrong. After his startling quote was published several weeks ago in The Detroit Free Press, Mr. Pappageorge, who is 73, apologized and said he certainly never meant to suggest that anything racist or illegal take place. But he reiterated to me in a phone conversation last Friday that he did indeed mean that the vote in Detroit needed to be kept down."

(Film/Performance) So Bad, It's Good

Scattered across the desolate solar system exist the bleary-eyed mining men of Jupiter who know nothing of women, and the sexually frustrated, all-female (Southern Belle no less) population of Venus. The surrealist noir B-movie landscape of a 1950s-style, campy black-and-white sci-fi odyssey "The American Astronaut" will be presented by director Cory McAbee—who also stars in, scored and wrote the film that began seven years ago at a Sundance Writer's Lab workshop.

[Rev] Lady Driver

Hey! Truckers don't like to be called truckers. I know because I had the pleasure of interviewing Suzie Baxman about her experiences as a driver—a lady driver. She's done long haul and local driving on and off for the past 30 years, driving a 1945 Diamond Rio, a yellow school bus, and her current ride, a 1984 Peterbilt 359 with a dump box on the back!

Signifying Plenty

I admit that I haven't finished reading every essay in Ellen Douglas' amazing new book. I simply can't bear for it to end. I read a couple of lines, then close my eyes to let them fully sink in. It is almost unbearable to be so entertained and challenged.

Friday, September 10

Beggars Banquet New Releases

GBV DAY: Log on to where Beggars USA are petitioning for GUIDED BY VOICES DAY in every city on their final tour. It's already been declared Guided By Voices Day in Boston (today!), Philadelphia, and Washington DC, as well as non-tour towns Tuscaloosa AL (August 28), Walla Walla WA (Sep 1), and Normal IL (Sep 4). GBV's remarkable final album "Half Smiles Of The Decomposed" came out Aug 24, and tour dates are available at

Fox News Poll: Bush Lead ‘Razor Thin'

A Fox News poll released yesterday finds that Bush's convention bump in the polls has smoothed out, and the two men are nearly in a dead heat in nationwide polling: "Thoughts of the Republican National Convention (search) appear to have faded as quickly as memories of Labor Day at the beach, as less than a week after the GOP gathering in New York City the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows the presidential race in a dead heat. Clearly President George W. Bush made gains in critical areas such as leadership and trustworthiness, but just days after his convention ended, Bush's edge over Democrat John Kerry(search) is razor thin." ...

Thursday, September 9

"Smoke+Fire," Neulander

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Based on their name, one might assume that Neulander are a German group. However, this neo-retro-electro duo reside in New York City. Actually, Korinna Koll [vocalist/chanteuese] is from Austria and Adam Peters [former keyboardist of Echo and the Bunnymen] is British. Neulander describe themselves as "The Human League doing battle with Neu." One listen to "Smoke+Fire" unveils an almost dream-pop tonality, with Korinna's sultry vocals floating in technicolor over the glitchy, loop based sonic textures. In any event, this release is disarmingly refreshing and a best of 2004 contender! For free streaming audio, go to their website and click on Neulander.

[Lott] An Equal Education

<b>Web Exclusive</b>

Recently I was pleased to welcome Monticello native and U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige back home to Mississippi. He spoke to 6th and 8th graders in Pascagoula, observing them and taking some thoughtful questions from the students. It was a real honor for me to have the U.S. Secretary of Education visit the school I had attended and which now bears my name, but, more importantly, it was thrilling to have this particular education secretary here.

Did Cheney Go Too Far with Attack?

New York Times today: "Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the nation was more likely to 'get hit again' by terrorists if John Kerry was elected was one of the toughest attacks launched in a presidential election in 40 years. But Mr. Cheney's latest assault on Mr. Kerry, which startled Democrats and Republicans alike, raised a central question even in this notably ferocious presidential campaign: Is it possible for a candidate to go too far, and alienate the very voters he is trying to court?

John Lennon "Acoustic" Compilation Hits Nov. 2

On November 2nd Capitol Records will release two John Lennon albums: the new John Lennon "Acoustic" and a remixed and remastered version of Lennon's classic "Rock 'n' Roll" with bonus tracks. Both releases were supervised by Yoko Ono. John Lennon "Acoustic" brings together some of the world's favorite acoustic Lennon tracks together on one album for the very first time. Seven of the album's seventeen tracks are available for official release for the first time.

Wednesday, September 8

Left Behind: The Reality Bites

First, the good news. Jackson Public Schools announced last week that three schools—George Elementary, Murrah High School and Power APAC Elementary—all reached Level 5 for the 2003-04 school year, which is the Mississippi Department of Education's highest rating. George Elementary showed the greatest improvement, going from a Level 3 to a Level 5 school in one year.

When A Plan Comes Together

"I love it when a plan comes together" was the signature line of George Peppard in his role as Hannibal Smith on the 1980s TV show "The A Team." It's unfortunate that I can't get it out of my head, but it's apropos in more ways than one. I recently saw George Peppard again in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," as I seem to be on an inadvertent VHS tour of Audrey Hepburn's career. Because many of my neural pathways were developed in the 1980s, it's difficult for me to see Peppard in any setting and not think of Hannibal Smith. It's my own personal hell.

Kirti Naran and Rina Patel

In a corner shop at the Bel Air Shopping Center, 1999 Highway 80 West, there's a quiet—yet totally unintended—sociological experiment underway, wrought at the skilled hands of Kirti Naran, 31 (pictured, left) and Rina Patel, 26 (right).

Best in Sports in the Next 7 Days

Thursday, Sept. 9

College football, Millsaps vs. Mississippi College at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m. (1240 AM): The longtime Division III rivals open the season with the Backyard Brawl. Wouldn't this rivalry become even more intense if it was played at the two schools' cozy stadiums instead of rattling around in Memorial Stadium? … Junior college football, Mississippi Delta at Hinds, 7 p.m.: A pair of unbeaten teams meets in Raymond.

[Jacktown] What's New in the Streets, by Alphonso Mayfield

The biggest deal over the last month was Louie from "Louie's Wild Weekend" coming to town to interview cats for a book that he is penning on Southern hip-hop. Interviews will also be aired on his show in the UK. "Louie's Wild Weekend" is a very popular English show where the host spoofs different areas of popular culture. Imagine a British version of the Ali G show. This isn't the first time Jacksonians have appeared on the show. The Godfather himself, Mello T, appeared in an episode a while back.

Picture Imperfect: A Review of "Wicker Park," PG-13

The trailer for Paul McGuigan's "Wicker Park" wrongly portrays the film as a thriller, a sort of Generation X "Fatal Attraction." While it certainly has its darker elements (many of the plot points and characters are undeniably Hitchcockian), the film itself doesn't pack nearly the level of adrenaline that its preview suggests it does. This is definitely a strange, frequently suspenseful account of romantic fixation, but one that actually doesn't fit neatly into any genre, and certainly not that of a thriller.

Crossing the Line?

Madison and Rankin cops are angering both drivers of color and white business owners. Are they going too far?

[Aust] The Wrong Side of the Right

With the shadow of the Republican National Convention fading, there are many stories that were overlooked by press outlets or purposefully ignored. One scandalous story that barely hit the waves is the "outing" of U.S. Rep. Ed Schrock, R-Va.

You See the Blue Lights: What Next?

To some, the question of police harassment is simple: If you're doing something wrong, the police should be able to stop you, no matter what. And if you're not drunk, why not just take the Breathalyzer test rather than "act guilty" by refusing?

JFP Index: Driving While Drunk

• Percentage of the 2002 DUI arrests of state residents age 20-54 with a blood alcohol level associated with problem drinking: 99

The Mayor and the Cowboy

Hundreds of Jackson citizens poured through the doors of the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center to hear Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. give the annual State of the City address on Aug 31. Thirty minutes into his speech, on the other end of High Street, about 50 people (not including media) stood in a banquet room of the Clarion Hotel to hear former TV producer and mayoral candidate Frank Melton discuss his campaign platform.

Log Cabin GOP Votes Down Bush Endorsement

AP reports: "The Republican Party's largest gay and lesbian organization, which endorsed President Bush in 2000, is withholding its endorsement of the president for re-election because of his support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The national board of Log Cabin Republicans voted 22-2 Tuesday night to hold back the endorsement and called Bush 'disloyal' to the 1 million gay men and lesbian women who it said supported his candidacy four years ago.

The Altar of Football

Across the country, college football fans just got started planning their lives around their team's schedule. New York Times reporter Warren St. John, born in Birmingham in 1970 into a University of Alabama football-fan-family, shows in his new book, "Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey into the Heart of Fan Mania" (Crown, 2004, $24), that he thoroughly understands that statement. For St. John, there's nothing out-of-the-ordinary about believing that Bear Bryant's a deity, nor is it strange to feel high as a kite when your team wins or so low as to be underneath the abused sod of the field if they don't.

[Hightower] Fleecing America's Soldiers

It's been said that you don't know what hell is until you've had an insurance salesman in your living room, prattling on eternally about term life annuities.

Tuesday, September 7

Former Gov. Kirk Fordice Dead at 70

Here is a statement from his family, following by a statement from Gov. Haley Barbour: "It is with a sad heart that our family announces the death of Daniel Kirkwood Fordice. Our beloved father lost his battle with leukemia earlier today at University Medical Center in Jackson. Over the last several weeks as news of his illness spread, our father was buoyed by the supportive calls, letters, visits and prayers he received from Mississippians across the state. The people he served while in office served to lift his spirits during his final days. We would like to express our gratitude to all of those who have been so kind to our father and to our entire family over the years. "

Monday, September 6

Denying the Troops a Secret Ballot

A New York Times editorial: "Members of the military will be allowed to vote this year by faxing or e-mailing their ballots - after waiving their right to a secret ballot. Beyond this fundamentally undemocratic requirement, the Electronic Transmission Service, as it's known, has far too many problems to make it reliable, starting with the political partisanship of the contractor running it. The Defense Department is making matters worse by withholding basic information about the service, and should suspend it immediately."

The South Will Rise Again

Alternet is featuring a provocative piece by Nina Burleigh, who argues that the "Old South" is "crumbling away." More: "The change has not been sudden, but more of an erosion. Slowly, slowly – as slowly as the hundred long years of Strom Thurmond's life – the reign of white and black men who came of age in an era of separate drinking fountains and burning crosses is ending. Republicans – as they are wont to remind black voters – freed the slaves under Abraham Lincoln. The South was dominated, though, by white male Democrats throughout the first half of the twentieth century, until LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Southern majority turned to the Republican Party, which has been quadrennially tossing racist red meat to poor whites ever since. LBJ predicted that was ahead, remarking, when he signed the law, 'I have signed away the South for a generation.' It turned out to be two. But forty years later, with Thurmond's death, the retirements of North Carolina's Jesse Helms and now, Sen. Fritz Hollings of South Carolina, and Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia in 2004, the old conservative bulls in the Senate who have retarded the South's social progress for decades are finally letting go."

A Winning Debut

The moment Sylvester Croom and Mississippi State fans have been waiting for since Croom was hired last Saturday finally came on Saturday. Croom, the first African-American football coach of an SEC school, coached his first game. Before an overflow crowd of maroon-clad State faithful at Scott Field, Croom led the Bulldogs to a 28-7 victory over Tulane. Not exactly a big upset, but when your team has won a total of eight games over the last three seasons, any win is a big one for a Bulldog fans.

Thursday, September 2

‘Dixiecrat' Zell Miller Wows Republicans

Conservative columnist/blogger Andrew Sullivan had this to say about Georgia "Democrat" Zell Miller's performance at the convention last night: "Zell Miller's address will, I think, go down as a critical moment in this campaign, and maybe in the history of the Republican party. I kept thinking of the contrast with the Democrats' keynote speaker, Barack Obama, a post-racial, smiling, expansive young American, speaking about national unity and uplift. Then you see Zell Miller, his face rigid with anger, his eyes blazing with years of frustration as his Dixiecrat vision became slowly eclipsed among the Democrats. Remember who this man is: once a proud supporter of racial segregation, a man who lambasted LBJ for selling his soul to the negroes. His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric. As an immigrant to this country and as someone who has been to many Southern states and enjoyed astonishing hospitality and warmth and sophistication, I long dismissed some of the Northern stereotypes about the South. But Miller did his best to revive them. The man's speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude."

Wednesday, September 1

The Death of Conservatism (As We Know It)?

Conservative columnist David Brooks rethinks today's Republican Party in the cover story of this week's New York Times Magazine: "Democrats may imagine that the G.O.P. is an amalgam of fat cats and conservative ideologues, but things feel different inside Republican circles. Inside there are, beneath the cheering and the resolve, waves of anxiety, uncertainty and disagreement. You hang around Republicans, and you begin to hear all sorts of discordant things. Jesse Helms recently remarked he wouldn't have voted for the tax cut if he'd known how bad the deficit would become. Three of the senior right-wing columnists -- George F. Will, Robert Novak and William F. Buckley Jr. -- have come out, in their different ways, against the war in Iraq. I had lunch recently with a senior Republican official who said his party had succumbed; it was ''defeatist'' about reducing the size of government. As Will himself has observed, under President Bush, American conservatism is undergoing an identity crisis."

She Got the Power

Women are definitely doing it for themselves as Nov. 2 draws closer. Despite resistance by the governor's office, Mississippi Women for John Kerry pulled together a crowd of about 200 women (and men, including former Gov. William Winter) to rally in the capitol rotunda on Aug. 26 at 11:30 a.m. The rally was held on the 84th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Fall Arts Preview

<b>ArtMIX Returns to Fondren</b>

Sept. 2 marks the return of ARTMix in the Historic Fondren District of Jackson. Come mix it up with artists in their studios and merchants in their stores, throughout the neighborhood, with business hours extended until 8 p.m. It is a great way to take advantage of the cooler weather (soon, soon) and a great time of day to enjoy our fair city. When else can you see twinkling urban lights from a rooftop in Jackson? Artists Latrica Graves and Susan Davis are featured at Cups on Old Canton. Check out paintings and furniture like no other in Gallery 119/Article; Fondren Traders has local artwork as well as interesting yard art. The first evening of ARTMix also marks the first of four art shows entitled "The Four Seasons of The Cedars"—"Autumn" features abstract expressionist works by Richard McKey and William Goodman, opening at 7 p.m. The Cedars is only a short Steel Magnolia Trolley ride away from Fondren to 4145 Old Canton Road. Subsequent shows will feature other media for each season.

Fall Arts Preview, cont.

<b>Literary Treats</b>

If you're the type who thrives on seeing authors in the flesh, and hearing them read, the fall signing and reading season holds promise for you. September's highlights at Lemuria include "Dig, Plant, Grow: A Kid's Guide to Gardening," by Jackson's own Felder Rushing who will be signing and reading on Sept. 4, beginning at 11 a.m. Borders in Dogwood Festival is where you can find Louisiana Cajun author Deborah LeBlanc signing her novel "Family Inheritance" at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7. Ellen Douglas signs at 5 p.m. and then reads from her collection of essays, "Witnessing," at Lemuria on Sept 8. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler visits Lemuria on Sept. 15 to sign and read, starting at 5 p.m., from his collection of short stories based on 15 early 20th-century postcards from his collection. There are special signing rules for Gen. Tommy Franks' visit to sign "American Soldier" on Sept. 21 at 4:30 p.m. Call Lemuria at 366-7619 so you don't cause a snafu.

[Lynette's Note] Because They'll Thank You Later

What do you do when your sweet and sexy husband dies at the age of 36, leaving you to raise two cutie-pie sons, ages 7 and 4, all by yourself? Why, you come home to Mama, Daddy and your brother, right?

[Williams] Republican Ophelias

Thank you, Swift Boat Veterans, for chucking the blocks out of memory. It all comes back to me now: Vietnam, anti-war protests, Civil Rights struggles. But not at all in the way John O'Neill is re-telling it.

McKey Maxed Out

The next time I get a shipment with funky styrofoam packaging too cool to throw away, I'm taking it straight to Studio 3242 North State, workplace of artist Richard McKey. You know the place—you've seen the studio next to Parents for Public Schools on State Street: a cool building of natural wood and ruffled tin sporting wild sculptures of mannequin arms and scrap metal on a lot with a 20-foot drop from the street. A parcel of land unwanted, cast off, seemingly unbuildable, until McKey's vision of a studio created a landmark and a work of art in itself.

[Eastburn] Love Your Soldier

It is Monday night, and I am driving my oldest son, 19, to a hotel where he will wait to be picked up by a bus. We've stopped at K-Mart for toothpaste and shampoo and a prepaid telephone card and other last-minute incidentals. I grab a pad of unlined paper and a box of envelopes, hoping they will remind him to write. We drag out his departure as long as we can. When the bus picks him up at the hotel, it will deliver him to the United States Army. A reservist, my son will spend the next 10 weeks getting fit, training to be a soldier, should he be called to active duty. The odds are great that he will. We are, after all, at war.

[Stiggers] Ain't No Use in Going Home

Sgt. Lil' Pookie Peterz III, of the Mr. Cholly battalion, spent 15 grueling months in Iraq fighting the terrorists to preserve and maintain the free world. After completing a de-briefing session, he is sent home from his tour of duty. Our hero anticipates a gracious return home to ticker-tape parades, honorary hero's honors, his assistant manager position at the Crunchie Burga World, the Range Rover with the 27-inch rims, a loyal fiancée, and a loving family who has to give him the sad news.

Black Bar: Just Do It

Political awareness has been a theme of many groups across the country in recent months; even the MTV Video Music Awards turned this year's show into a rally to get young people to vote.

London Branch

Photo and story by Lynette Hanson

The day I sat down to talk with London Branch, 67, he was dressed in a kelly green and old gold retro-style knit shirt with a collar, tucked neatly into his slacks.

Wire Completes "Wire On The Box"

DVD/CD Set Showcases Only known 70's performance footage of Art Punk's Influential Work. Rockpalast, an hour long studio concert slot on WDR in Germany established itself as the country's most important "serious" rock music show in the 70s and had a ear for punk music ahead of its time. They invited a young Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Robert Grey, and Bruce Gilbert, a.k.a. WIRE to perform live, during a particularly fertile period of their history – in-between the releases Chairs Missing and 154.

Quote o' the Week

"I'm going to do what I have to do. I don't give a damn about what anybody has to say." — Mayoral hopeful Frank Melton to daughter of crime victim, Aug. 25, 2004

Mayor Harvey Johnson: State of the City

The Quest For Gold

A group of economists forecast how the Olympics medals race would turn out. They were wrong. Now you know why your stock portfolio is taking a beating.

Tigers Eye Hurricane

Jackson State is supposed to open its football season on Saturday by playing Hampton in Orlando, Fla. But the threat of Hurricane Frances might force the Tigers to move the game.