Stories for February 2006


Tuesday, February 28

Colonel Reb: To Be Or Not To Be

The Daily Mississippian offers dueling opinions on whether Colonel Reb should be saved. Take it from Doctor S, it's time to retire the slavemaster.

Bush Approval: 34; Cheney: 18

CBS News has a new poll out that shows President Bush with the lowest approval levels of his presidency...while Vice President Dick Cheney has a lower approval level than the APR on the outstanding balance on most people's credit cards. Fewer than half of Americans approve of Bush's handling of the so-called "war on terror" for the first time since 9/11/01, and for the first time fewer than half believe that Bush cares about people like themselves. And only 30 percent approve of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

This Is Why It Takes Balls To Play Soccer

Here's a pair of amusing and disturbing stories from the wacky world of soccer, via

1. When a Manchester United player suffered a broken leg during a match with Liverpool, Liverpool fans attacked the ambulance taking the player to the hospital.

Monday, February 27

In March 2006, Women Rule in Mississippi

Bestselling author Jessica Tilles

I am glad to say while the nation recognizes March as Women's History Month, Shadow Play Entertainment will be recognizes "Women Rule Month", a celebration to the strong women that are MAKING history everyday. In partnership with "Conversations with C. A. Webb" the following will be highlighted during March 2006:

LCD Soundsystem iTunes Remix Album

On March 14th, DFA/Capitol Records will release LCD Soundsystem's Introns, a digital album of b-sides from U.K. vinyl singles, remixes and other rare gems previously unavailable in the U.S. The collection will be available strictly as a download, available through iTunes and other digital retailers.

Hoop It Up

Mississippi's greatest sporting event, the MHSAA Boys and Girls State Basketball Tournament, starts Monday at the Mississippi schedule. Here's the schedule (from The Clarion-Ledger):

The World Loses A Brilliant Mind: Science Fiction Writer Octavia Butler Dies

Science Fiction Writer Octavia Butler Dies

SEATTLE (AP) -- Octavia E. Butler, considered the first black woman to gain national prominence as a science fiction writer, has died, a close friend said Sunday. She was 58.

50 Governors Oppose Bush's Guard Cuts

AP is reporting:

Governors crossing party lines are criticizing Bush administration policies on the National Guard, questioning a budget plan they say will cut Guard strength and leave states less able to respond to homegrown emergencies like hurricanes or a feared pandemic. The state leaders, attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, hoped for answers from President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at a White House gathering Monday. "We're going to fight that tooth and nail," said Republican Gov. Bob Taft of Ohio. "The National Guard is not just important from the standpoint of disaster response in the state of Ohio, and homeland security, but is crucial for overall military preparedness. It would be a real mistake to cut back."

Together, But Separate

Inside her yellow bungalow home in Belhaven, artist Vidal Blankenstein tries to explain the effect her painting "Her House" creates. The painting, which is representative of much of Blankenstein's work, is rendered in a mix of pale and dark acrylics on board.

A ‘Star Wars' Game? Brilliant!

Xbox | PS2 | PC

You know, I might be a little biased against "Star Wars" games. It's not that I don't like the franchise. I love "Star Wars." I even have a pair of Boba Fett underw—uh, never mind. But so many games based on the popular series have come out, it's really hard for one to capture my attention.

Sunday, February 26

Hiphop Tackles the "N" Word and today's Youth in upcoming forums

Worldwide Westside Magazine and Shadow Play Entertainment Presents the "Free 2 Flow" Summit (

Mississippians Standing Up for Justice

Welcome to the JFP's new Justice Blog. This blog is dedicated to the quest for justice in old Mississippi civil rights cases. It is also a place we can collect our own work toward that goal to date — the work of a group of native Mississippians who are investigating and publicizing both well-known and little-known civil rights cases of the past. This effort began in earnest when the JFP led an online petition drive, called "Real Mississippians Aren't Racist," calling for the prosecution of the murderers of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, and then picked up steam when the JFP team reported and blogged about the Killen trial in a personal and immediate way that no other media outlet did. Our efforts really paid off when we joined with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and published an in-depth story that kicked off a national media frenzy about the long-forgotten Henry Dee-Charles Moore killings, and revealed that one of the primary suspects is still alive, contrary to reporting by The Clarion-Ledger and The Los Angeles Times.

Will Mississippi Go ‘Blue' After Katrina?

Buried in a story today by The Clarion-Ledger's Ana Radalet is an intriguing question: How many new Democratic voters will Mississippi gain due to Louisiana evacuees? One also has to wonder how many "red" voters the GOP is going to lose on the Gulf Coast due to the terrible responses to the hurricane.

Worshiping ‘The Gods of Business'

I just finished listening to The Gods of Business on "Speaking of Faith." This was a *great* program, and very thought-provoking about how far the business world, over all, has gotten from basic morality and ethics. Here's the basic description:

Saturday, February 25

Melton Plans to Re-Arrest Acquitted Man

Anyone else think it's odd that Mayor Melton is reacting so dramatically different to the latest acquittal of alleged gang members after being so lukewarm about the "Grayhead" acquittals? In both trials, a major witness backed out of testifying, helping enable acquittals. In both cases, the young men are accused of horrible crimes. But in the Grayhead case, Mr. Melton seemed offended that they were called "gang" members, and in this case, he is clamoring for Vidal Sullivan to be re-arrested, even saying he will take it to a different county—leaving a Mississippi College professor to warn that the public should be very concerned about Mr. Melton's statements.

Thursday, February 23

Colonel Reb Rides Again?

Doctor S will definitely be checking the Daily Mississippian's Web site this week.

Ramsey Cartoon Shades of Schwindaman

We appreciate the compliment, Marshall, but a note of appreciation would have sufficed.

Well, I guess this is a compliment to the JFP's editorial cartoonist, Darren Schwindaman. Today's Marshall Ramsey cartoon copies Darren's cartoon of two weeks ago almost directly, except using Joe Camel instead of the Marlboro man/cowboy. I'll try to get a PDF of Darren's version up today, site problems allowing.

Wednesday, February 22

Is Neo-conservatism Dead?

In a much-discussed New York Times Magazine essay, SAIS (Johns Hopkins) professor Francis Fukuyama argues that neo-conservatism has failed miserably, with even the Bush administration distancing itself from the ideas that it used to justify the Iraqi War:

BeerTalk: Mississippi Brewing

Back in the days of bootlegging moonshine, the town of Kiln became known as the bootleg capital of Mississippi. Given its secluded location and proximity to the Gulf Coast, it was the perfect site for distributing illicit libation made around the state. Even though alcohol is no longer illegal, in most counties at least, the reputation that Kiln acquired during prohibition lives on to this day.

What Brown Did for Me

My mother recently apologized to me for a portion of my childhood—her cooking. When I think of a 1970s kitchen, I don't recall the gold and avocado green appliances; I remember all of the brown food that mother cooked. For the most part everything that my normally creative mother cooked ended up being varying shades of sepia and burnt umber. Not to knock brown food items; I live off potatoes and have developed a newfound love of almond butter. My mother's cooking, however, caused me to equate most earth-toned foods with one particular word—bland.

Body/Soul: God's Green Acre

The first time I saw it, I thought it was too ugly to eat. Really. A bundle stood tall on the back of the Rainbow Whole Foods produce counter—huge dark green/blue/gray leaves with purple veins and fleshy bulges all over them. Ick. And they looked chewy, too. I wasn't into chewy green things at the time, so I passed them by.

Mayor Axing Police, Fire Budgets

Mayor Frank Melton sent out a Feb. 10 memorandum demanding that all city departments—including fire and police—take radical measures to rein in spending.

Take That, O Disloyal Ones!

Immediately following a Jackson City Council work session in January, Mississippi Link publisher/owner Socrates Garrett was all smiles. Council President Marshand Crisler had informed him that it was looking like the council was going to vote to award him the city's legal ads. The Link bid $5 for a 100-word ad published three times—the lowest-cost bid submitted this year.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Junior college basketball, Southwest at Hinds (Utica, women, 6 p.m.; men, 7:30 p.m.): The Eagles play their final regular-season game before the state tournament.

[Music] For The Love Of Music

From bands that don't speak English to the return of "big-boned cats," Jackson native and half of the Compositionz management duo, Michael Robinson, 32, takes us on a musical stroll.

The Second Storm

Last week, the House released "A Failure of Initiative," a report on the government's failures in Katrina. The report details the "organizational paralysis" that bottled up critical information for hours, even days, as information awaited "confirmation" by one agency after another.

‘No Child Left Behind' Favoring White Kids

OK, this is just what I was talking about at the end of my recent column, "For These Are All Our Children": A new Harvard study is finding that 'No Child Left Behind' is benefitting white kids more than kids of color—as certain schools are allowed to negotiate around the requirements of NCLB. (See Barbour's efforts to give "good" schools "home rule.") This stinks, people. Racism is becoming much more sophisticated these days.

Reeves Gets His Way

Weeks ago, an amendment to HB 284 spun heads in the House when Rep. John Reeves, R-Jackson, sought to add an amendment allotting Jackson seven of 13 seats on the Hinds County 911 Emergency Commission. Even without the amendment, HB 284 re-tooled the board, increasing Jackson's representation to five members, instead of its current two.

Invisible Coast

Photos by Chris Davis

A half-year after their world changed forever, lots of people on the Gulf Coast are thinking about desolation. They wake up to it every morning. They live through it every day.

Confusion Reigns

"Anytime it clouds up now, my 4-year-old asks, 'Mommy, is the hurricane coming again? Is it going to kill us this time?'" Marissa Jones said. Jones, an evacuee from Gulfport with five kids, aged 4 to 17, is facing eviction from her hotel room as a March 1 FEMA deadline approaches.

Wait, And Wait Some More

On Oct. 1, Mayor Frank Melton announced that he was dissolving the city's Crime Prevention Unit with only days' notice. Charging that the members were not doing their jobs—despite the workers collecting hundreds of hours in comp time—Melton dismissed the division as inefficient, vowing to replace them "within days" with his Quality of Life Division, staffed with volunteers.

[Kamikaze] Spike's Daze

I've always been a fan of Spike Lee, especially for his "take no crap" stance against the Hollywood establishment.

[Stiggers] Buck Shot All Up In Your Booty

"It's Boneqweesha live with members of the McBride family as they respond to V.P. Cheney's lil' shootin' accident in Texas."

[Greggs] You're Already There

This week I've been wistful. I don't know exactly when this mood came about, but I know that it has definitely been affecting my behavior. This mood might have lent itself to listening to Michael Buble's song "Home" on repeat 437 times.

BizTalk: Fusion Heats Up

High school friends and college roomies Tripp Douglas and Darth Bledsoe live a dream hatched in late-night dorm conversations—to own their own coffee house.

Bernice Rayford

"I made up plays, poems, anything I could recite on the front porch. It was my stage, and the audience were my parents, brothers and sisters," Bernice Rayford, 44, told me in her soft Southern accent. "I was the youngest of 10; I always got a standing ovation." Now she's the author of three short novels.

Damned If He Did; Damned If He Didn't?

OK, should we be more concerned if he did, or didn't know, that this was happening? This looks really friggin' bad either way for this beleaguered White House. What could possibly be next!?! A P is reporting

New Projects for Downtown, Bailey Magnet Areas

First to downtown: there's an article in today's Clarion-Ledger about a new project

called Old Capitol Green. This will be an eight-block project bounded by Pearl Street to the north, Commerce St. to the west, South St. to the south and Jefferson to the east. Once finished, it will consist of the following:

[Comedy] No Secrets for Lesbian Comic

When stand-up comic Suzanne Westenhoefer performs at New Stage Theatre on Friday, it will be her first performance in Mississippi. As she talks to me on the phone from her Hollywood home, she explains how excited she is to be coming to Jackson for a show.

Tuesday, February 21

Say it ain't so! Bryant Gumbel Playing the Race Card?

Is he a healthy spokesperson for such a cause as race relations?

Of all people to bring race into an issue, Bryant Gumbel has sparked controversy with his attack on the Olympic Winter Games saying... "Count me among those who don't like them and won't watch them ... Because they're so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too...So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention...So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they're done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God's sake, let the games begin." -----

Here we go

Here is a NYT article about Alito's first day warming the seat.

Reza Aslan on Islam

Reza Aslan, the internationally acclaimed author of "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam" (Random House, 2005, $25.95), will speak in Jackson on Wednesday, Feb. 22, as part of the Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series. A native of Iran, Aslan has a master's of theological studies from Harvard and is a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He will reflect on Islam, the fastest-growing religion in the world, challenging the "clash of civilizations" mentality and the "hijacking" of his faith by power-hungry demagogues, self-serving clergy, and radical fundamentalists.

Portrait Of A Black Man

The other day, I stepped into a place that was quite familiar to me. It felt comfortable, forgiving, consoling, almost like home. There was a faint smell of old cologne and cigars in the air, chased by Eckstine's "Jelly, Jelly" and "Jesus will fix it."

LaLee's Letters of Love

I had to post these two letters to the Editor of the CL. Mainly because they offended me, horribly.

They were in response to the follow up article regarding LaLee. The woman in the Delta who was the focus of the documentary the 'Legacy of Cotton'.

Sunday, February 19

Controversial Show Airs in March

Mark your calendars: F/X debuts the reality show "Black.White." on March 8 at 9 PM CST. It is an experiment where two families switch ethnic identities for a few weeks while living in the same house.

How to Help MS with its case of the Crabs

Creative people have so many hurdles to overcome as they strive for success. Not only do they have to convince themselves that their idea and/or plan is with pursuing, but they also have to deal with the negativity of those on the outside. Let's face facts, when it comes to the unknown the only known fact is that nothing is guaranteed. What might appear the next big thing today may end up forgotten tomorrow. Again, uncertainty is the only constant.

ARTICLE: "Full House" Star Admits Meth Problem

Jodie Sweetin has been clean for almost a year. I wish her the best.

From Yahoo! News/E! Online:

Please support suicide prevention for Native American youth

Take action today!

Indian Youth Telemental Health Demonstration ProjectHelp prevent suicide among American Indian and Alaskan Native youth

ARTICLE: Sliding, Squeeze Plays and Stealing Home: The Legacy of Negro Leagues Baseball gets kudos from me for this article. Four pages of near perfection. Cool Papa Bell was mentioned at least twice.

Saturday, February 18

Promoting your brand? How Far Would You Go?

"For me, jail was like spending seven years in a writer's studio...Most guys in prison complain that time drags by. But there weren't enough hours in the day for me." --- Dewitt Gilmore

Friday, February 17

Torture of Children in Florida

This is not unlike what officials were doing to the children of Mississippi in our training schools for decades. It is simply unbelievable that this crap is allowed to go on in 2006 to poor kids, and especially poor children of color—the people with the least rights or respect in our country. Then, of course, the mother-f*cks try to cover it up. As far as I'm concerned, every one of these guards should go to prison for the rest of their lives, along with any officials who authorize such torture of children. AP is reporting:

Stanford Tree Gets Ax

The Stanford University band fired its tree mascot after she showed up drunk for a basketball game. The band was already on "alcohol suspension" so the tree had to go. "We don't want to risk our core mission of rocking out and bringing funk to the funkless," a band spokesman said.

Update: W.C. Don's Still Open for Business

Note: See comments below this posting for update from management.

The City of Jackson announced Thursday afternoon that both northbound lanes of State Street between Tombigbee and Capital streets are temporarily closed to traffic for the remainder of the week. City Engineer Tim Bryan said the shutdown is due to a wall collapsing at the W.C. Don's Restaurant at 218 S. State Street around 10:00 a.m. on Thursday.

1,500 Feared Dead in Phillipines Mudslide

A big day for prayers. AP is reporting:

Thursday, February 16

Judge Orders White House to Release Spying Info

What a week. First, Cheney shoots somebody; now this. AP is reporting:

A federal judge ordered the Bush administration on Thursday to release documents about its warrantless surveillance program or spell out what it is withholding, a setback to efforts to keep the program under wraps.

Breaking: All Five ‘Grayhead' Defendants Found Not Guilty

After four hours of deliberations, a jury has acquitted the five defendants accused of kidnapping and assaulting Michael Sanders to warn him away from talking to the police. Police say that Aundre Mason, 29, Darnell Turner, 28, Terrance Womack, 29, Elisha Moton, 26, and Corey Redd, 27—allegedly part of a "gang known as "Grayhead"—shot Sanders in the leg, duct taped his mouth and locked him in a car trunk for several hours on March 10, 2004. However, today the jury exonerated the five men of this crime.

Home, Sweet Homestead

Last week, The Jackson Free Press ran a story about Jackson Mayor Frank Melton's dual residency in Texas and his filing for homestead exempt status in Tyler, Texas, rather than in the city he serves as mayor. More information from the Hinds County tax assessor's office shows that Melton has consistently filed an application here for "owner occupied real estate" classification on his home at 2 Carters Grove in Jackson, for the last five years, saving him around $2,300 every year he claimed the 10 percent classification.

Melton Vows to Veto Ad Decision, Help Ledger

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting:

The Anti-Feminist Left

If you think liberalism implies feminism, think again.

Just ask Lakshmi Chaudhry. The editor-in-chief of In These Times, Chaudhry wrote a

Wednesday, February 15

Breaking: Mayor Accepts 911 ‘System Remedies'

Councilman Ben Allen just posted the following news on Adam's Talk this week about the 911 saga:

Barbour Won't Be Prez in 2009. No Kidding.

So, Gov. Haley Barbour has made it official: He's not running for president in 2008. What tickles me about is that Haley Barbour doesn't have snowball's chance in hell of getting the presidential nomination, or even to be the vice presidential nominee. I thought it was so quaint to hear Mississippi "pundits" talk about what a great chance he had at the presidency. Who are they fooling? (Or, what are they smoking?) They clearly do not understand what most of the rest of the country thinks of Haley Barbour: that he is a right-wing zealot who openly courts the racist vote–and is ]very, very close to the lobbyist and fund-raising scandals of late.

‘Coon Hounds' Poem Causing Controversy

Read the poem here.

WMC-TV is reporting that a folksy poem by Paul Ott, proposed to the Legislature as the state poem, is causing controversy, with a group of Ole Miss professors and students saying it doesn't exactly make Mississippi look very, well, smart.

Re-opening The Evers Case?

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton launched into a tirade last week over his desire to give the Jackson international airport the full name of former NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers, who was assassinated in his driveway in 1963.

Body/Soul: Living In The Now

Can you feel your feet? No, not with your hands. In this moment, can you feel the sensations going on in those two things that carry you around all day? What about your left little toe? Can you feel "inside" it? Chances are good that unless the poor thing is yelping in pain, you've given it no thought at all. How about the inside of your right knee? Or the tip of your left shoulder blade? Are you living in your body, or is your body simply following your brain around?

Make It A Medley

Peas and carrots. Broccoli and cauliflower. Tri-colored bell peppers. Sure, I like a good veg medley from time to time, but what I really crave most days is a great wine "medley."

A Whole Lotta Puddin'

In the midst of Mardi Gras, self-indulgence becomes a virtue, and what carb-loaded, butter-laden, sugar-crusted Crescent City dessert better thumbs its nose at caution than bread pudding? The origin of this classic Creole dessert is generally credited to frugal cooks who did not want to waste stale bread, hence the connection with and subsequent flourishing of the dessert in New Orleans and the need to deliciously utilize all those staled poor-boy loaves. In a brilliant jump of culinary improvisation, old bread, combined with sweeteners and fats such as eggs and butter, is elevated to the status of a soufflé-like treat, one that begs many variations and adaptations.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Winter Olympics, figure skating (7 p.m., Ch. 3): It's time for men's figure skating. Why? Expect the worst from NBC

Amid Shouts, A 911 Overhaul

The mood in the House on Feb. 8 was affable, as it had been throughout most of the Legislative session since it opened in January. Lawmakers passed more than 10 bills in a row with only minimal argument and a healthy smattering of jokes.

Do The Right Thing

This story originally ran in the Daily Mississippian, Ole Miss' student newspaper.

The ‘Lord's Work'

In a silent but massive social shift, the Mississippi House voted unanimously to allow Medicaid to pay for home care for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries.

[Music] Straight From The Heart

The annual HeARTS Against AIDS Benefit is reminiscent of a general admission concert—people pushing through crowds, juggling water bottles and cameras, and hoping not to find their hands in accidental contact with personal parts of strangers' bodies. While wineglasses and gourmet-food platters replaced water bottles and cameras at Hal & Mal's on Saturday night, those at the benefit fell under the spell of some of Jackson's most eclectic musicians.

What The Tuck!?!

In November 2002, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, a long-time Democrat, shook a few corners of the Mississippi political underground by announcing that she would now be called Republican Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck. "I feel that the Republican Party is more in line with my conservative philosophies," Tuck said in a statement. Nick Walters, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Authority, told The Clarion-Ledger in 2002 that Tuck "has essentially been governing as a Republican, and her switch would only serve to make her conservative stands compatible with her political party."

One of Mississippi's Best-Kept Secrets for Artists

I had to buckle down and do it this week. It was time-consuming and a bit intimidating, but I finally got it done. What? The application for the MS Arts Commission Artist Roster.

Coretta, Betty and Me

It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States.

[Tisserand] Throw Us Something, America

The silence can be terrifying. Not just the silence that still shrouds so much of greater New Orleans—the silence of neighborhoods on the brink, homes and schools empty, stores shuttered, communities scattered, friends out of touch.

[Stiggers] What Would Kanye Do?

Ghetto Science Public Television and Kunta "Rahsheed X" Toby Film Works present "Moments in Angry, Black History."

No. 22, Vol. 4

<b><u>She Had It Coming</b></u>

It is indeed laudable that you are pressing to have this unfortunate young woman's remains returned to her family in Omaha ("Missing Shannon," Feb. 2-8, 2006), and the authorities involved do deserve to be castigated for dropping the ball, but let's keep this whole affair in perspective. Use of the term "family" for her relatives in Omaha is a bit of a stretch—your description does not approach the concept of "family" as many people appreciate it. It seems from your article that every step of this woman's life was leading her to an untimely end; hers just happened to be in Jackson.

Marek Dlouhy

Marek Dlouhy, 25, is a man who gets around the world. The native of the Czech Republic grew up in Jicin about an hour from Prague. He came to the U.S. in 2000 to dance with Ballet Magnificat.

Tuesday, February 14

Is Jackson ready for the emergence of "Homo-Hop"?

"Heterosexuals are very comfortable with the idea of gay boys parodying hiphop, and alot less comfortable with us doing it. And particularly if we do it well" Tim'm West in interview with Reporter Lynne Johnson (2001).

Blood Sport

This has nothing to do with sports, but in honor of Tuesday's pseudo-holiday, you should rush out and find a copy of "My Bloody Valentine", a 1981 slasher film that's hilarious (but only unintentionally). Doctor S just wants you to suffer like he did 25 years ago when he went to see it at the theater. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Blind Man's Bluff

Set to the teetering-toward-the-edge-of-lunacy strains of the Ukranian punk-Gypsy band Gogol Bordello, "Everything Is Illuminated" comes on like a Molotov cocktail. By its conclusion, though, it transforms into something far mellower. And along the way, it conveys Eastern Europeans' long tradition of combining rollicking absurdity and a melancholy so deep, it pulls you along helplessly like a dingy in a cruise ship's wake.

Punting Piney Woods

The Piney Woods boys basketball team is out of the MHSAA playoffs (again). The Tornadoes, one of the best teams in the state, were among the favorites to win the Class 2A title. The MHSAA threw Piney Woods out of the playoffs last week for illegal recruiting. Then, it was reported that an agreement had been reached that would allow Piney Woods to play as long as coach Wayne Brent did not attend the games. On Monday, a Hinds County judge denied an injunction by the school and the MHSAA said the team wouldn't be part of the postseason.

Melton Ramps Up Morals Crusade

Mayor Frank Melton is showing his feminist side in his attempts to close down all sexually oriented entertainment in Jackson and "redefine" life in Jackson as we know it. The Clarion-Ledger reports:

Abramoff's Ties with White House Emerging

The obvious is starting to become even more obvious. AP is reporting:

Does Mississippi have BLACK UNITY?

Wih so much talk this month about race relations and how far society has come with dealing with the issue of race, I am reminded of a quote I heard some time ago: "In order for blacks to be involved with racial unity, there has to be black unity."

Monday, February 13

What's in a Blog?

Winter colds can really cramp your blogging style. They can also make you stop and think about what you're blogging about in the first place.

Sunday, February 12

Episode 3: Revenge of the… Combine?

In a recent talk with Gamespot, Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi unveiled an interesting tidbit- The expansion pack for the newest entry into the Half-Life series has been renamed 'Half-Life: Episode 1'. Lombardi confirmed that this meant regular content being released over Steam, Valve's online distribution service.

C.A. Webb Launches New JFP Blog

Poet, author and all-around Jackson creative personality C.A. Webb has launched his new JFP blog. C.A. has been posting provocative forum threads, including the currently hot thread on Spike Lee's appearance at Ole Miss. We welcome C.A. to the JFP Web site.

Robert Moore: New Police Chief in Rockford, Ill?

The Rockford Register Star is reporting:

Lalee: No Better Off Today

Gary Pettus has a good follow-up today on the story of Lalee Wallace, a Delta grandmother who was the subject of an HBO documentary. The JFP did a story about Lalee and the film way back in our first issue. The story shows that little has changed for poor people like Lalee in the Delta -- as if a film could change a system engrained by years of slavery, Jim Crow and poverty:

Saturday, February 11

ARTICLE: Income Affects Antidepressant Response

It took a study to figure this out???

Is the JFP Helping Loosen the Buckle on MS' Bible Belt ?

I think this question is one to be discussed since I have not seen a magazine or any periodical out since I relocated to MS in 1996 that so forwardly addresses the issues of pro-choice and various degrees of sexuality. This recent issue is one example of the paper's acceptance of diversity, but is by far not the first.

Republicans Speaking Out Against Bush Wiretaps

Would real Republicans please stand up? The New York Times is reporting:

Friday, February 10

Thoughts on Spike Lee's Comments in Oxford

Thought you all would find this interesting: Spike Lee visited University of MS today (something I had heard nothing about here locally) and made national news.

Bush Overheard Trying to Secretly Justify Wiretaps

AP is reporting that, after reporters were asked to leave, President Bush privately (he thought) told the Republican Caucus his rationale for wiretapping Americans without their knowledge:

White House Knew of Levee Break Night of Storm

The New York Times is reporting:

Thursday, February 9

Love Isn't Just For Breeders

Tyler Luna, 18, who is from Terry, Miss., and Brandon Tate, 21, who is from Baton Rouge, La., are approaching their first anniversary. They live together in Brandon.

New Releases: The Lovetones "Meditations"

— Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

The Lovetones — "Meditations" Purveyors of psychedelic paisley pop a la post Sgt. Pepper's Lennon meets "Waterloo Sunset" take note. These metaphysical wordsmiths bridge that beautiful gap to cerebral and heady new traditionalists in a pastoral wash of The Church ("Hey Day" era), Mojave 3, Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club ("Love Burns") and The Occasion. It comes complete with ever so slight a dash of sitar and that phat organ psychedelia.

New Releases: Adult. "Gimmie Trouble"

— Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Adult. — "Gimmie Trouble" Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus are the brain and brawn behind Adult., a Detroit- based retro-electro/dance punk unit that has released 2 LPs and several EPs since 1999. Because they also run the Ersatz Audio record label, they haven't devoted as much time to their music as they would like. Hence, their newest is the first Adult. release on Thrill Jockey records and the label transition definitely pays off in the sheer energy heard on the tracks. Hints of (punkish era) Siouxsie or Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) styled vocals, Devo-influenced keyboards and Joy Division darkness permeate this full length in a nervously brilliant way, much the same as this summer's "D.U.M.E. EP." Actually, this release has a lot of the atmosphere found on the Siouxsie and the Banshees classic long player, "Kaleidoscope." Much denser than 2003's "Anxiety Always" and on par with 2001's brilliant "Resuscitation," this highly anticipated release delivers the goods!

The Naked Truth

We could hardly look at how we love in Mississippi without a tour of our own red-light district. Despite the conservative religious climate of our state, we have no shortage of exotic dance clubs and business is brisk.

The Art of Love

Graphic Illustration courtesy of Rob Cooper

It is said that "life imitates art," so who better to ask about love than Wendy Eddleman and Rob Cooper? Both artists are Jackson natives, have jobs working for some of Jackson's most recognized artists and are active in their own acts of creation (including children). Their talents range from working with glass, to illustration, to painting, to jewelry and both are killer cooks. On a rainy Thursday morning I caught up with them in the glass studio creating on their own before beginning their workdays.

Are The Baptists To Blame?

Mississippi is for lovers, but even the greatest love stories sometimes hit a snag. As of 2001, Mississippi had an annual divorce rate of 5.4 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That rate was surpassed by only six other states. Despite the fact that we're the buckle on the Bible belt, we get divorced and in engage in infidelity at a higher rate than California or New York. In fact, a survey conducted by the Barna Group in 2001 found that 29 percent of Baptists are divorced, a percentage that is higher than for any other denomination. Even atheists and agnostics have lower divorce rates. This raises a beguiling question. Are the 58 percent of our population who are Baptists to blame for our high divorce rate?

‘There Is Sexiness In Longevity'

Dean and Ann Blackwell of Jackson are approaching their 25th wedding anniversary, and they've been together for 28 years. They have four children, aged 13 to 20. Dean had to catch a flight early in our interview, but I BENT THE RULES AND let him add a comment at the end, because hey, it's amore. They offered us frank advice on how to make love prosper year in and out.

Wednesday, February 8

How to Fail At Reporting: By Suzanne Collins

I'm sorry that this has nothing to do with video games, but as a member of the press, I have to address stupidity this painful.

Anti-Valentine Contest Entry

Thank you for your support! :-)

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Next Stop, Tyler?

Despite promises to the contrary, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton still has not filed for homestead exemption status in the city he governs, according to information obtained from the Hinds County Tax Assessor. Melton filed for homestead exemption on the house where his wife lives in Tyler, Texas, in 1997, and still has not filed elsewhere since.

ARTICLE: Sharpton Knocks "Boondocks"

Aaron MacGruder indicated on Nightline last month that as a satirist, there are some things he may say that will rub people the wrong way. I don't know he was expecting this sort of a rub.

BoozeTalk: Drink Pink

I've never been a froufy drinker. Not really. My favorite cocktails have a couple ingredients max, and don't go anywhere near a bottle of simple syrup, or a blender for that matter.

What I did not know about Coretta Scott King…

...that I wish I did. I always hate finding out good things about people after they're gone.

"It was as if she was born for the breadth and depth of responsibility that she incurred as the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. Indeed, she was strong, if not stronger than he was," Young said. "And she waged that struggle in a beautiful and graceful manner."That was aptly demonstrated when a few days after Dr. King's assassination on April 4, 1968, and before his funeral, Scott King led garbage workers in a march in Memphis and later assumed her husband's role at the helm of the Poor People's March in Washington, D.C."There were times I thought my decision would be to leave Medgar because I was scared of losing him. Coretta, on the other hand embraced [her husband's] vision and embraced him," Evers-Williams said. "After Martin's assassination she focused in on the thing that was most important to her and that was keeping Martin's life and work in front of the public and never letting it die. That was her life."For the next four decades, Scott King continued that work. For 27 years (1968-1995) she devoted her life to building and developing the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, a monument to her husband's life and philosophy. She also lobbied to make Dr. King's birthday, Jan. 15, a national holiday, a fight she won when President Ronald Reagan signed the Act of Congress in 1983. It was first celebrated in 1986.And she fought other battles, traveling throughout the nation and the world in pursuit and in support of racial and economic justice, employment opportunities, gay and lesbian rights, the needs of the poor and homeless, parity in health care, AIDS awareness and the reduction of gun violence among other concerns.Sarah Brady, who started the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence after her husband Jim, then-press secretary to President Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in an assassination attempt on the president, said Scott King was a mentor, a hero, a friend and a partner in the fight against gun violence."[She] had strength and grace in equal parts," Brady said. "She worked hard to raise her family under an immense burden [yet] she gave of her time and labor to a great many important causes."Scott King led goodwill missions to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe and lent her wisdom and support to world leaders like Corazon Aquino, Kenneth Kaunda and Nelson Mandela, who she supported in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. She also met with religious leaders like Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

Vivian M. Kelly

Vivian M. Kelly, 42, always knew she wanted to write. A favorite school teacher in Edwards encouraged her to never give up on her dreams, advice she took to heart. "When Love Ain't Enough" (GNE Books, $16.95), the first of her planned series of novels, deals with realizing that one's sexuality is a treasured asset, not a stereotypical weapon to be wielded by others bent on destroying you.

A Tamperin' They Will Go

Last week, the Mississippi Senate followed the lead of Gov. Haley Barbour in pushing for "home-rule" for the top-rated school districts in the state. The Senate voted 30-to-19 in favor of SB 2602, which supporters say would exempt schools from having to file needless paperwork with the state and allows the most freedom to the state's topmost rated schools, allowing those districts greater self-governance in regard to hiring and education practices for district employees.

Wrong Inmate Released

Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said Monday that county officials released the wrong person last Thursday when Willie McGregory got out of the Hinds County Detention Center, possibly due to an indictment snafu.

Motorola OK'd; City Fights Back

Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted Feb. 6 to approve the E-911 Council's recommendation of an Emergency Communication system built by Motorola for the city of Jackson.

The Best In Sports In 7 Days

Rodeo, Dixie National Rodeo (7:30 p.m.): The roping, riding and chewing goes on nightly through Feb. 15 at the Mississippi Coliseum, pardner.

All In Moderation

The WP has suspended comments on its web blogs due to excessive hate speech and fighting among posters.

[Music] The Suitors Come Calling

"So, be honest—is this, like, gonna make us famous?" Chaz Lindsay, lead vocalist of The Suitors, asks jokingly.

For These Are All Our Children

Febuary 8, 2006

[Greggs] Male Rules For Dating

While sitting down and enjoying an "adult beverage" with a few guy friends the other night, the topic of dating came up. Now, I've always maintained that I wouldn't write about dating in a column. I've previously mentioned that I just don't do it well, and recent events in my life prove it. Dating for me at this point consists of believing that Michael Buble speaks to me through the radio. He is commanding me to stalk him. Every time he sings "Save the Last Dance For Me" with that Sinatra-like smoothness, he's shooting a rainbow straight through my heart laced with obsessive compulsion and covered in a restraining order. That man knows exactly what he's doing.

[Stiggers] Angry Moments In Black History

Bruh Jojo: "Thirty years ago, I was one of the first black students to attend a predominately white, private high school. I encountered my most challenging moment during an American history class. The lesson of the day covered slavery, chapter 8, page 246 of the freshman American history book. All of the attention fell on me, Jojo, the black kid, as Mr. Jones asked me to read out loud brief paragraphs about slavery, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

[Kamikaze] Our Victories Are History

I've never really liked the idea of Black History "Month." There'll be another slew of black history programs (yawn). We'll hear the same speakers speak, and my kids will once again hear about Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman in school. Pretty standard stuff. We'll sing, we'll pray, we'll celebrate the lives of Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. We'll talk about the marches on Selma and Washington. We'll talk about slaves traveling the underground railroad and black folks getting attacked by police dogs in Birmingham, Ala. We'll applaud the passage of the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action. Basically, we'll let America give us a collective pat on the head and a hearty "good job."

Elli Williams

In front of Rainbow Whole Foods Co-Op grocery store, Elli Williams, 25, sits cross-legged on a concrete block. A small herb garden breathes behind her. She wears a simple blue and white tie-dyed shirt and jeans. Her long blonde dreadlocks crawl and twist down her back. A small silver hooped earring hangs on her bottom lip. Her originality is refreshing.

What exactly makes a chicken exotic?

This is the best article I've seen in a long, long time.

I Got A Right To Sing The Blues

"Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" (written by Lanie Robertson, musical arrangement by Danny Holgate) opened at New Stage Theatre last week, and I was lucky enough to catch the opening-night performance. The show, directed by Patrick Benton, depicts Billie Holiday late in her career, when she has returned to Philadelphia to perform at one of her old haunts. Throughout the course of the revue-style show, Holiday sings some of her most famous songs and comments on the often stormy experiences of her life as an artist, a drug addict and a woman in love.

Breaking News: Nothing is Happening, Dammit.

There. I said it.

Seriously. I've had about enough of this. Jack Thompson isn't making an ass of himself, Uwe Boll is hiding somewhere, no good games are coming out... Not a single Chinese gold farmer has starved to death playing Everquest II in the past month! You want to hear the story of the day in the gaming world? Alliance owns Horde in World of Warcraft.

Tuesday, February 7

Where to Take Your Sweetheart

Valentine's Day makes us think about love, which quite naturally leads many of us to thoughts of enjoying food with our significant others. Jeanne Losey, former poet laureate of the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs, penned a delightful poem on love, with a twist. "One Valentine's I just thought of it and wrote a silly poem," Losey, 80, told me when we talked on the phone last week. She was tickled that I'd found the poem on the Internet and agreed that I could share it with those celebrating Valentine's Day in the Deep South.

Monday, February 6

Obama vs. McCain

Ladies and gentlemen, let the gloves come off! In the high tension of Washington politics, especially in the shadow of the Abramoff scandal, a war of words has erupted between two of the more statesman-like Senators in the Capitol. It is something I never thought I would see. I'll let you be the judge of how this is playing out. Go to this link:

Sunday, February 5

Oh, No: Not An ANGRY Woman!

This is pathetic; the GOP is going to have to do better than playing the angry-woman card. If not, they're going to p!ss off a lot of already-perturbed female voters, and they really ought not do that. The Associated Press today:

So What's New?

Around every corner is a new wine to try, some obscure varietal calling out for experimentation or a just-released new vintage of one of your favorite standbys. There is no end to the world of wine. Old wines continue to evolve in the bottle, while new wines tempt us with their mystery. Each time I go to a wine shop, I am almost always overcome with curiosity. Will it disappoint me? Dare I take it to the party on Saturday night?

Michael Beattie Salutes Medgar Evers

Executive Director of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Michael Beattie has been working on a tribute concert to Medgar Evers' life since October 2003. But in spite of the months of planning and a number of other ongoing projects, Beattie says composing the concert has been fun. Held on Feb. 7 at Thalia Mara Hall, the tribute concert is an amalgamation of events.

Saturday, February 4

Joey Speaks

Doctor S could dole out analysis on Sunday's Super Bowl, but that would put all of those lesser analysts out of work. Instead, he offers some words of wisdom from Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, courtesy of the Mighty MJD.

Ole Miss Legend Vaught Dies

John Vaught, the man who built a football dynasty at Ole Miss in 25 seasons as head coach, died on Friday night. He was 96. Vaught, who led the Rebels to six SEC titles, was to Ole Miss football what Bear Bryant was to Alabama football, and none of his successors has been able to live up to his legacy.

Hideo Kojima Lays Down the Law

When people say the name Uwe Boll, some might think of a disgusting, slimy bug that eats crap for a living. Members of the gaming community, on the other hand, envision a disgusting, slimy human that makes crap for a living. Uwe Boll has been the producer/director of several massive box-office failures based on videogames.

Nick Judin's JFP Blog Launches

Party On, Big Ben

In case you haven't heard, the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL on Sunday. Doctor S doesn't know if the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is going to play like a champion, but dude definitely knows how to party like a champion. Hopefully he and Keith Richards can get together while they're both in Detroit.

NFL Girls Gone Wild: The Police Report

That's right, the police report on the Carolina Panthers lesbian cheerleaders has finally been made public. Doctor S has to agree with Deadspin that it reads like a letter to Penthouse. ("Dear Penthouse, I never thought this would happen to me ...")

Open for Business

Hello, and welcome. This, as you've probably guessed, is my blog. In order to provide the great city of Jackson with up-to-the-minute coverage on the political front, I've taken it upon myself to...

Friday, February 3

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First section here. Shows up on blog. Should be kept short.

Rest of post goes here.

Still Divided Over Race?

See what you think.

The Creative Loafing's John Sugg (from Atlanta) is back with a rather sweeping package of stories on race relations in South, with much focus on Mississippi. (Sidebar on continued efforts for justice here, but curiously doesn't mention the Dee-Moore case.)

Thursday, February 2

Donna Ladd on WLEZ, 5 p.m, to Talk About Arts

Bonnaroo 2006 !!!

June 16-18, Manchester, TN: Radiohead, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Phil Lesh, Beck, Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, Neville Brothers, Bela Fleck, Buddy Guy, Damian Marley, Ben Folds, My Morning Jacket, Steel Pulse, Cat Power, Medeski Martin & Wood, Nickel Creek, Gomez, Blues Traveler, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Dresden Dolls, Son Volt, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Soulive, Devendra Banhart Band, Sasha, Seu Jorge, Marah, and more.

Coachella 2006 !!!

Indio, CA., Sat. April 29: Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, Damian Marley, My Morning Jacket, Ladytron, Clap Your Hands & Say Yeah, Cat Power, Animal Collective, Devendra Banhart & more. Sun. April 30: Tool, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Bloc Party, Paul Oakenfold, Scissor Sisters, Sleater-Kinney, Mogwai, Wolf Parade, the Go! Team, Stellastar*, Digable Planets and many, many more.

Wilco in Meridian

Wilco in Concert March 15, at the Temple Theatre, in Meridian. Tickets on sale now via WILCO TICKETS. Public On Sale begins Thursday, February 3, at noon at The Temple Theatre Box Office. (601) 693-5353. 2320 8th Street.

Is Bush Neglecting the Gulf Coast?

USA Today reports today that many Coast residents feel slighted by the State of the Union address:

MAEP changes

Wednesday, February 1

Mayor Leads Morality Raid

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton took his mayoral duties into Center Folds strip club, in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Melton showed up after 1 a.m. with two other police officers and claims he found violations of the city's nudity laws.

DIY: Making Foccacia

For some, cooking is a form of both physical and spiritual nourishment. In a time when it becomes more and more difficult to find a young person with the desire to cook, Ashton Deakin, 24 years old, has a passion for baking bread. "To me, baking bread is an art form, and a great loaf of bread is just a beautiful thing," Deakin says.

More Than A Pharmacy

The 1920s were a high time for the booming capital city. Jacksonians flocked to the Majestic on Capitol Street to see Douglas Fairbanks in "The Thief of Baghdad," and the Lamar Life Insurance Building (where Eudora Welty's father served as vice president) loomed overhead as the city's first "skyscraper." In beautiful Smith Park there were picnics and evening concerts. If you needed a prescription filled, you would go to Cain's Pharmacy on Fortification Street in the heart of the Belhaven business district. By the 1950s, however, a grocery story had swallowed up the storied pharmacy.

Missing Shannon: Family Wants Closure

August 29, 1999, was the last time Theresa McKinney heard from her daughter, Shannon. It was the mother's birthday, and Shannon always called her mother back home in Omaha, Neb., on holidays from wherever she was. She also regularly called her own little daughter, 4-year-old Alyssa, asking her to sing to her and tell her she missed her mommy.

Calling 911 For 911

Last week, Ward 1 Councilman Ben Allen exploded at the idea of Jackson being shackled to an emergency communication service that may be too costly. Allen also fears the new system may be incompatible with a statewide emergency communications system to emerge later this year, governed by rules of the Department of Homeland Security. Allen and Hinds County Emergency Management Director Larry Fisher argued specifically over the county's eagerness to purchase a Motorola communications system, instead of waiting for the state to pick its own system (which would finance Jackson's system in the process).

Scared of Xenophobes?

A great number of the bills pushing through the Legislature this session—more than in most years previously—deal with immigration and immigrants.

Make Friends, And Build A City

What we call the "Best Of" season in January here at the JFP always ends with a big bang in the form of our Best of Jackson party, which happened this year in the Electric 308 building in downtown Jackson. It was an extraordinary event this year, attended by hundreds of folks … and at least one cute little dog. We had exceptional food from a slew of local restaurants (all of whom were big winners in the Best of Jackson 2006 reader poll), and entertainment ranging from bellydancing to fashion models to DJ Phingaprint, who is not only Jackson's Best club DJ, but also the secret ingredient to turning a good party into an outstanding party.

A Hospitality Check

When I saw the fax on my desk, inviting me to a 2006 Breakfast with the Legislature with the Mississippi Hospitality & Rest-aurant Association, all the memories came flooding back. As kitchen manager of my local Irish pub, I had really developed reverence for the relationship between a chef and his patrons. It was my privilege to provide a predictable, friendly experience beyond the daily grind for my customers.

[Stiggers] Working For Mr. Cholly

Boneqweesha: "It's Boneqweesha live, covering the grand opening of the Let Me Hold Five Dollars Insurance Company's Daddy McBride memorial building. I'm with Daddy McBride, patriarch of the McBride family and inspiration for L.M.H.F.D. Insurance Company. Daddy, I know that you and the McBride family are proud of this achievement today."

Vol. 4, No. 20

<b><u>An Open Letter to Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck</b></u>

As a physician and ex-smoker (four packs a day, clean for 20 years), I'm an advocate of helping smokers quit. I know the terrible health consequences of smoking. However, I am befuddled by your recent decision to poke a stick into the eye of Gov. Barbour with your tobacco/food tax legislation which, as you know, is not revenue neutral.

Running Out Of Gas

Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin says his fleet is suffering from increased gas prices and claims the Hinds County Board of Supervisors does not have a serious grasp of the problem. The board denied McMillin's request for $58,750 at its recent board meeting, forcing McMillin to swap money from other places in the department. McMillin says he has accounted for past budget deficits within the Sheriff's Department by leaving department vacancies unfilled.

The best In Sports In 7 Days

Pro basketball, Cleveland at Miami (7 p.m., TNT): Cleveland's LeBron James, who's starring in some amusing sneaker commercials, faces Miami's Shaquille O'Neal, who can't act or rap.

[Music] ‘Me Only Have One Ambition'

Be ye from the hills or valleys, at some point you have more than likely bobbed your head slowly to Bob Marley's declaration, "No woman no cry." But just like with any true artist, there's much more to be said of this musical icon other than trivial facts about his music. Some call him a musical prophet.

Dr. Charles Kimball

Dr. Charles Kimball is a Baptist minister, but the focus of his scholarship has always been the religion of Islam. The professor of comparative religion at Wake Forest University has written extensively on topics such as Islamic militancy, and has traveled to the Middle East on no less than 35 occasions in order to help during times of political and social unrest. Many of those trips were made during 1983 to 1990, when Kimball served as the Director of the Middle East Office at the National Council of Churches.

Martha Jenkins

There's no way you'd take your first look at Martha Jenkins and think, "This woman is 41 years old and has three children, ages 9, 8 and 6." No way. And while all of that is true, it's not the whole picture.

Bush Stretches to Defend Surveillance

The Los Angeles Times is reporting: