Monday, July 30, 2007

Ridgeland Native Faith Hill Calls Out Skank at Concert

A friend of mine went to see the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert in Lafayette, Louisiana last weekend. She posted on http://www.tigerdroppings.com/ the following:
Anywho, right when Tim came on he walked to the side of the stage and did some usual handshaking with the crowd while he was singing. As he was doing this he said "HEY GIVE ME MY RING BACK!!" during the middle of the song. Some whore hussy wanch took his wedding ring right off his finger! He said it a few times and pointed at the girl. I think the security guards took care of her. Then, at the very end of the concert when Tim and Faith were doing the finale Faith walks up to the side of the stage and points to a woman on the front row and says "Girl, someone needs to teach you some class! You are so disrespectful! You don't just grab someones balls!"...Apprently this large woman grabbed Tim's ya yas pretty good when he was walking through the crowd. The woman was still like a statue for the rest of the concert. I would have been mortified if I were her! http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/MessageTopic.asp?p=5076285&Pg=1

Well, it turned out someone DID get it on video:


Well now, apparently it is starting to hit the news media. Once again Kingfish beat them to it. ;-) http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070801/NEWS01/70801019/1002

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A-1 Pallets: Build It Up or Tear it Down?



The Cotton Mill Restoration Project, before and after photos, at Wahington, Utah.http://www.pjhmutah.com/restoration.htm

As the A-1 Pallet/Frank Melton saga continues, one possible solution has been virtually ignored by the Reeves, Mr. Melton, and the media. Mr. Melton makes a valid point when he calls it an eyesore as the pictures taken last week show (link at end of story). The Reeves make valid points as well when they state that they have fixed all code violations, are an employer in a declining neighborhood, and operate a viable business that pays taxes. They also point out that part of the plant was once a mill that was constructed in the 1800's.

Surely there is a place in Jackson for buildings of historic value. Has anyone examined the possibility of restoring the historic part of the plant, for which Mill Street was named? Perhaps the mill should be part of a restoration project, turning part of it into a museum that gives character and history to Mill Street. While this may not be the best solution, it has not been discussed by the parties involved and is ignored by the media.

A brief search of the internet reveals a plethora of projects restoring mills nationwide (The search terms "grant", "mill", and "restoration" were used). What typically happens is that various combinations of private and public groups seek grants from a variety of sources. Once funding is obtained, the mills are restored as much as is feasible, usually a museum is added, and in some cases, the business that was operating at the site of the mill still functions as before.

Some of these projects are:
The Harrison Grist Mill Restoration (Ontario, Canada)http://www.ocl.net/projects/harrington_grist_mill/index.shtml
Heritage Grist Mill Association (New York)
http://www.morleygristmill.com/execsummary1.htm
Old Brick and Mill Forge in Whitinsville (Massachusetts)
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2006/10/16/historic_mill_is_cutting_edge/
The Mill at Anselma (Pennsylvania)
http://www.anselmamill.org/restoration.htm
Columbine Mill (Colorado)
http://www.littletongov.org/history/histlandmarks/columbinemill.asp
Hansford Mills Museum (New York)
http://www.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2005/07/06/brite3.html

A restored mill allowing the Reeves to operate their pallet-recycling business will enhancethe character of the area (which is primarily industrial), bringing a shot in the arm to an area that sadly looks more and more like a war zone as Jackson has a historical landmark truly worthy of the designation. Unfortunately, such a solution will not be reached as long as the Mayor is in sledgehammer mode and the Reeves are forced to defend themselves against his tactics. Even if the merits of the Mayor's case are strong, this is still a solution that should be considered by the parties. It is a shame that it has been ignored by the media which seems to be more interested in food fights than in solving problems.

Other posts on this subject:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/is-1-pallets-eyesore-you-be-judge.html

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And Now a Word From Our Sponsor (NOT Safe for Work)

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On a Date? Please Try to Relate!

In a previous post, I related to you the details of a very boring date with a male about my age. (http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/this-cougar-will-never-be-found-caged.html). He spoke of his weight gain, high cholesterol, etc. I have been asked by more than one male in my general age range, to address the subject of what to talk about if you are a guy over 35 and out on your first date or two with a woman. Since I am not restricted to Cougar activity alone, I have decided to give this a shot.

If I am on a date with a guy close in age to my own, this is what is enjoyable to discuss on the first date or two:

1. Tell me about your job – not just what your job title is, tell me what it is you DO. Do not say, “I am the VP of Sales for a small technology company”. (yawn)

2. Discuss your high school and college days, your sports, your activities, some funny stories. Do not tell me, “I went to a private school in the Delta and then to Ole Miss where I was a KA”. (All that tells me is you were a preppie and probably wore pink and green madras shorts and an Izod with the collar turned up).

3. Ask me about MY job. After all, I do like to talk. Make me the focus of the conversation for a while. (You will get extra bonus points for that).

4. Bring up the subject of how great you think I look (even if I have a piece of salad between my teeth) and expound upon that thought for a moment.

5. If you run and/or exercise regularly, tell me about your schedule. Do you run or exercise early or late in the day? (This gives me a hint of whether you are a day or night person, for possible stayovers in the future).

6. Approach the subject of another date if you like me, the sooner the better. (This will cut back on the 5 date rule. If you don’t know what THAT is, take me home and go for that 3 mile run you’ve been putting off).

7. And last of all, tell me how much you love your Momma. Any man who loves his Momma will respect a woman he is with. This works much better than “You had me at hello”.

If you need further suggestions for conversation, email me at:
dwfinms@gmail.com.
I’ll even throw in some free advice if you like.

Other posts by DWF:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/sunday-morning-coffee.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/if-you-want-to-join-safari-better-pack.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/if-stella-can-get-her-groove-back-so.html

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Counter-Insurgency for Beginners

While fighting the current insurgency in Iraq, our military is once again re-learning the same lessons it forgot after Vietnam. One surprising fact I discovered while reading Fiasco by Thomas Ricks, a Pulitzer-prize winning writer for The Washington Post who is very well read on military and counter-insurgency matters, is that during the post-Vietnam era, the Army mothballed the counter-insurgency tactics and strategies in a desire to forget the Indochina experience. While some sections of the military, such as The U.S. Army Special Forces (which is almost a separate branch of the Army and thus not included in this critique), studied counter-insurgency methods and applied them successfully over the years, such strategies were largely ignored inU.S. Army doctrine, thus leaving our military woefully unprepared for recognizing and fighting an insurgency.

Colonel David Galula, a Frenchman, wrote what is considered by military experts to be the leading book on counter-insurgency: Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0275993035/ref=s9_asin_title_1-1966_g1/103-4225939-7336636?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=062AAPXRKB5KVRNA8AV2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=278240701&pf_rd_i=507846) It is only 97 pages but each sentence is a nugget of strategy and information for fighting an insurgency.

Col. Galula graduated from St. Cyr Military Academy in 1939 and served in the French army in the North Africa campaign and the liberation of Italy and France during World War II. In addition, he later served in China, Greece, Indochina, and Algeria, which gave him the opportunity to personally study the civil wars and insurgencies in each country.

There is a Rand report online, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG478-1/, from the early 1960's written by Col. Galula that forms the basis for this well-respected book. Rand has provided free versions for downloading. There is a 14 page summary, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2006/RAND_MG478-1.sum.pdf , and the much longer original report, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2006/RAND_MG478-1.pdf.

If you do not wish to read the longer version, read its introduction as it contains some truly keen insights by the French Colonel:
The absence of counterinsurgency doctrine: “In my zone, as everywhere in Algeria, the order was to ‘pacify.’ But exactly how? The sad truth was that, in spite of all our past experience,we had no single, official doctrine for counterinsurgencywarfare.”
• The perils of failure to recognize the signs of a buddinginsurgency: “ ‘Ordinary banditry,’ said a high-ranking governmentofficial in Algiers . . . By the time the insurrectionwas finally recognized for what it was, only drastic politicaland military action would have reversed the tide, and slowlyin any case.” (Sound familiar? Remember when Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld casually dismissed any talk of an insurgency?)
• The insurgents’ urban terrorist strategy: “The rebels realizedthat they could achieve the greatest psychological effecton the French and on world opinion at the cheapest price bystepping up terrorism in the main cities, notably in Algiers,which served as headquarters to most French and foreign correspondentsand thus acted as a natural amplifier. A grenade or a bombin a cafĂ© there would produce far more noise thanan obscure ambush against French soldiers in the Ouarsenis Mountains.”
• The imperative of separating the population from the insurgents:“Our forces were vastly superior to the rebels. Then whycouldn’t we finish with them quickly? Because they managedto mobilize the population through terror and persuasion . . .It was therefore imperative that we isolate the rebels from thepopulation and that we gain the support of the population.This implied that under no circumstances could we affordto antagonize the population even if we had to take risks forourselves in sparing it.” ( This is one of the reasons for the "surge". Give the Iraqis a measure of security and then they begin to help American troops as well as develop politically.)
• The concomitant imperative of not inadvertently alienatingthe indigenous population: “If we distinguish betweenpeople and rebels, then we have a chance. One cannot catch afly with vinegar. My rules are this: outwardly treat every civilianas a friend; inwardly you must consider him as a rebel allyuntil you have positive proof to the contrary.” (Our massive sweeps did not follow this principle and instead treated all Iraqis as the same, thus driving them into the arms of the insurgents.)
• Promoting women’s rights to counteract support for theinsurgents: “Reflecting on who might be our potential alliesin the population, I thought that the Kabyle women, giventheir subjugated condition, would naturally be on our side ifwe emancipated them.”
• The emphasis on policing rather than military tactics incountering an insurgency: “While the insurgent does nothesitate to use terror, the counterinsurgent has to engage inpolice work . . . The police work was not to my liking, but itwas vital and therefore I accepted it.”
• The fallacy of a decapitation strategy to defeat an insurgency:“Then, five top leaders of the rebellion, including BenBella, had been neatly caught during a flight from Rabat toTunis. Their capture, I admit, had little effect on the directionof the rebellion, because the movement was too looselyorganized to crumble under such a blow.” (This accounts for why the insurgents are not stopped even when we kill or capture Saddam, Zarqawi, and other leaders. How many times have we successfully taken out a leader of the enemy and then heard Sean Hannity et al crow about how we are turning the corner and the insurgency will decline, only to see that it keeps operating at the same levels? Their ignorance on counter-insurgency warfare is obvious as it is clear that the insurgents operate in cells, which avoids the dependence on top down leadership so prevalent in our military. Thus when we take out one leader, a few more pop up to replace him. The insurgents are not the Mafia, where the capture of a few Dons will destroy their effectiveness).
• The critical importance in a counterinsurgency of an effectiveinformation operations campaign: “If there was a fieldin which we were definitely and infinitely more stupid than our opponents, it was propaganda.” (Any student of the Iraqi war will attest to the fact that we have completely failed to follow this principle. We were slow to combat the use of Al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets by the insurgents. Nearly a year went by before we established a network in Iraq, thus giving the enemy time to spread its message unopposed. Considering the high rates of illiteracy in the Arab world, it is very crucial that this principle is followed when fighting the enemy).
• The importance of sealing off the borders: “The borders withMorocco and Tunisia would easily have required 100,000men to control with reasonable effectiveness, given theirlength and the local terrain. In order to save personnel, it wasdecided to build an artificial fence, a project which was completed along both borders by the spring of 1958.” (This was something we COMPLETELY failed to do in Iraq. Wolfowitz completely ignored the issue of the borders, thus resulting in a stream of assistance from Iran and Syria in much the same way China sent aid, advisers, and support to the Viet Minh. He thought that within a year or so after the overthrow of the regime was concluded, that only 30,000 or so troops were needed (P. 97 of Fiasco). When General Shinseki told Congress that probably close to 300,000 troops would be needed, he was publicly backstabbed by the Rummie/Wolfie axis even though he turned out to be correct. )
• The importance of according humane treatment to capturedinsurgents: “Throughout the war our prisoner camps wereopen for unannounced inspection by the International RedCross, the reports of which were made public . . . In the bestcamps, efforts were made to sift the tough prisoners from thesoft; where it was not done, the camps became schools forrebel cadres.” (Does this REALLY need any comment?)

It is quite clear that there is very little informed discussion about Iraq among our elites and those who consider themselves to be educated. The opponents of the war say bring them home now while ignoring the fact that due to logistics, it would require 12-18 months just to withdraw from Iraq. Too many of the more vocal hawks say we just need to put pressure on Iran and Syria, kill the leaders, and just pour more troops into the war. While they continously bicker, it is worth noting that counter-insurgency has been successfully fought in other areas. Colonel Galula had success against the Algerian rebels during his tenure in that country and observed the successful counter-insurgency in the Philipinnes. A reading of his counter-insurgency strategies will show exactly what we are fighting, how we have made serious mistakes in Iraq, and how best to correct those mistakes. There is much to be learned from his writings by both supporters and opponents of the Iraq War. One thing has not changed: the ability to forget hard-earned lessons while being impressed by ivory-tower credentials and titles. Hopefully, the perfumed princes in Washington and other places will realize the type of fight this war is and act accordingly.

additional posts on this blog on related topics:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/use-of-internet-by-islamic-jihadists.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/good-interview-with-author-of-fiasco.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/jihadists-use-of-media-and-internet-to.html

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Support Your Local Business.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8QL52780&show_article=1

Apparently the Moveon.org and DailyKos crowd is engaging in their own censorship of the media. Funny how they make friends with pornographers like Larry Flynt but want to shut down media outlets they don't like while promoting the fairness doctrine.

They are initiating a harassment campaign against businesses who advertise on Fox News. Just as a bully picks on those who cannot fight back, so are these groups. The story reports that instead of going after the major corporations first, these groups advise harassing local businesses.

"At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who is running commercials on Fox, Gilliam said. The groups want to first concentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to national commercials.
"It's a lot more effective for Sam's Diner to get calls from 10 people in his town than going to the consumer complaint department of some pharmaceutical company," Gilliam said.
" As Mr. Gillman correctly surmised, local businesses don't have their own PR departments and legal departments staffed with lawyers and thus are easier targets.

However, the way you deal with rats is by putting the spotlight on them. If any businesses are harassed by these spoiled brats, I would like to know about it as I will put the spotlight on them in this blog. If they list the local businesses on their little websites and discuss what they are going to do, I'd like the link emailed to me as I will post it and expose them. Then, if a few people want to call or email the business to show some support, they can if they want to do so.

As my favorite writer is Voltaire, I don't think much of people on the left or right side of the spectrum who want to close down media outlets or censor news they don't like (although I am all for accountability of the media as any regular reader of this blog knows).

Email me at kingfish1935@gmail.com if there is any local news on this harassment campaign for me.

Click Here to Read More..

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Hell is HOT!!!"





If you get off at the Crystal Springs North exit and drive towards Monticello, you will see two lots with a variety of "Christian" signs condemning evil and warning us of the dangers of hell. Some of the messages are:
"Hell is hot"
"Remember Lot's Wife"
"Hell is never full"
"Stop Gambling"
"There are no sinners in heaven" (I thought we were all sinners)
"It was Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve"

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Great Minds Thinking Alike?


Hehehe. I truly think Marshall Ramsey reads Jackson Jambalaya on a regular basis. In the post about A-1 Pallets Wednsday I wrote: "Independent contractors? That must mean the Mayor cannot hire the Wood Street Players Lawn Service crew for a Ridgeway Street reunion after exchanging lawnmowers and weedeaters for sledgehammers and blowtorches." http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/is-1-pallets-eyesore-you-be-judge.html

Mr. Ramsey drew the above cartoon that appeared in The Clarion-Ledger today. Unlike some editors in Jackson, I won't write a long post talking about how the Ledge rips me off or how I continously scoop the Ledge. Instead, I will just smile and laugh, appreciating Mr. Ramsey's talent and sharp wit because I love the cartoon.

Update: Apparently I was wrong and in following the best practices of journalism which are considered to be industry standards, I will give Mr. Ramsey his due. In a very pleasant email exchange with me he wrote: "I love the blog, but in my defense, I did idea earlier in the week so that I could focus on the Neshoba cartoons. And let me repeat, I love the blog. You're having fun with it." So there you have it. Mr. Ramsey beat me to the punch creatively so kudos to him although I will say that Melton DOES make it too easy sometimes. As for you nit-picking nabobs out there, I called him first to get permission to use his quote. ;-) However, the point of the post was not to have fun with Mr. Ramsey but to put a spotlight on a great cartoon.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is A-1 Pallets an eyesore? You be the judge.




For more photos, go to: http://s177.photobucket.com/albums/w222/prplhze2000/A-1%20Pallets/

A-1 Pallets on Mill Street in Jackson has been the subject of much controversy recently as Mayor Frank Melton seeks to demolish it, calling it an "eyesore". The business is owned by Monte, a candidate for Hinds County Tax Assessor, and Charlotte Reeves, former Jackson mayoral candidate. The Reeves obtained a restraining order preventing Jackson from condemning and demolishing their business, appearing on local talk radio shows while granting interviews in which they defend their business (See below for links to media coverage.).

Mayor Melton has been persistent in his crusade to tear down the pallet-recycling plant. The Reeves won a temporary victory in court last week against Mr. Melton: A Jackson business that Mayor Frank Melton has vowed to demolish obtained a judge's approval Friday to extend a temporary restraining order against the city.
Also, the restraining order was expanded to ban not only the city, but also the mayor, city employees and any independent contractor with the city from demolishing any structures or buildings at A-1 Pallet, 1000 N. Mill St., "or to in any way interfere with business operations of the plaintiff until further order of this court."
http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707210351.

Independent contractors? That must mean the Mayor cannot hire the Wood Street Players Lawn Service crew for a Ridgeway Street reunion after exchanging lawnmowers and weedeaters for sledgehammers and blowtorches.

The restraining order was sought because the Mayor "vowed again today to tear down A1 Pallet, a day after the Jackson Historic Preservation Commission granted the owners a 60-day reprieve from demolition.
Looking down from the Fortification Street overpass onto the five-acre property with reporters and news photographers, Melton said he planned to override the commission’s ruling and proceed with demolition when the weather was more agreeable." http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070711/NEWS/70711032
Part of the plant was a Mill that is over 100 years old and thus the basis for the historical preservation controversy.

One aspect of the news coverage of this controversy that has been lacking has been visual coverage of the plant itself through the use of photos. Is this business an "eyesore" as the Mayor called it and a hazard to the surrounding community or is it an viable business with historic value to the community that needs to be protected? Photos have been taken and a link provided to an album of them online so that a more thorough review of the plant and the surrounding neighborhood can be made by the citizens of Jackson: http://s177.photobucket.com/albums/w222/prplhze2000/A-1%20Pallets/

I have had no contact at all with Mr. and Mrs. Reeves or their representatives. I am undecided as to whether this plant is an eyesore and should be torn down using proper legal channels or if it is indeed a historic structure and should be incorporated into any urban renewal projects as it sits less than a mile from downtown Jackson.
One idea that might be looked at is that of building a wood fence. It is the back part of the plant that is an eyesore. Erecting a wood fence would go a long way in hiding the more non-aesthetic features of the plant. One must also ask (this was suggested by DWF) if the Reeves have looked at getting a grant to restore the mill, convert part of it to a museum that shows how the mill process worked while leaving the business in place, thus improving the area. Working on such a project is not as fun as swinging sledgehammers but there would be something for everyone if undertaken by all parties concerned.

However, the print media has not taken advantage of the internet to give Jacksonians the whole story. Since the issue at hand is the appearance of the plant and the surrounding area, it would seem that the media should show us what it looks like instead of merely describing it in a few written words.

Media Coverage:
Note to news organizations that use photos and story, including link listed above to photobucket album, please cite to http://www.jacksonjambalaya.com/
Note: There are spelling errors in the quotes. Several. I left them in there in an example of the "jackassery" part of this blog.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More on Bennie Thompson's Roadblocks to Fighting Terrorism

After posting Friday about Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton, opposing giving airplane passengers immunity from lawsuits if they notify the authorities about other passengers engaged in suspicious behavior, some of his other positions on national security issues came to light that reveal a disturbing side to his thinking on fighting terrorism. (Bennie Thompson, terrorist sympathizer)

Congress passed the Port Security Act last fall but in the conference committee, removed a provision that would have prevented convicted felons from working in sensitive dock security jobs through the use of background checks (There are over 400,000 dock workers in this country). Unfortunately, the unions saw background checks as a bigger threat than it did terrorists using convicted felons to compromise port security. Its no surprise that the unions would take such a stand: the Gambinos, Cosa Nostra, Al Qaida, whats the difference? Once you begin to roll around in the mud, all pigs look alike after awhile.

As John Fund of The Wall Street Journal wrote: "But the House-Senate conference drastically watered down a Senate-passed requirement that aligned the standards for hiring dock workers with those used at airports and nuclear plants. The statute still bans workers who have been convicted of treason, espionage and terror-related offenses--a mere handful at most. But a seven-year time-out period on hiring those who've committed crimes such as murder, bribery, identity fraud and the illegal use of firearms was dropped in the dead of night at the behest of unions fearful that too many of their members could lose their jobs."Column


Mr. Fund then points out Mr. Thompson's role in watering down these common sense security measures: "Mississippi's Rep. Bennie Thompson, the ranking Democrat on Homeland Security, told colleagues that "we should not play judge and jury" and opposed even the final statutory ban on felons convicted of treason and terror-related crimes." (Note: additional sources: Investor's Business Daily,New York Post)

Given the mob's long history of ties to the dockworkers unions and their members, one should have a healthy respect for the possibility of ties developing between the mob and terrorist groups. It boggles the mind that Mr. Thompson opposes logical measures such as barring those convicted of treason or terrorism from working in our ports, where it would be easiest to smuggle in arms, explosives, or a WMD. However, after compromising our national security and helping unions with ties to the mob, one must wonder how seriously Mr. Thompson does take the issue of our security.

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Use of the Internet by Islamic Jihadists

Two recent studies have been released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on the use of the internet by Islamic Jihadists.

In recent testimony before Congress, representatives from MEMRI stated that:

"Extremist Islam makes extensive use of the Internet. [1] One can hardly imagine the growth of radical Islam and its jihadi organizations in recent years without the immense reach, impact and capabilities of the Internet. The threat posed by Islamist websites has recently been demonstrated by three cases: the case the New Jersey group that planned a terrorist attack on FortDix; the planned terrorist attack on JFK; and the attempted car bombings in the UK. According to media reports, the terrorists in all three cases were inspired by jihadist websites. There were also two recent court cases in Britain and Switzerland in which terrorists were convicted of using Internet sites to promote terrorist activities.
The National Intelligence Esitmate recently published by the U.S. National Intelligence Council stressed the following, "We assess that the spread of radical - especially Salafi - Internet sites, increasingly aggressive anti-US rhetoric and actions, and the growing number of radical, self-generating cells in Western countries indicate that the radical and violent segment of the West’s Muslim population is expanding, including in the United States. The arrest and prosecution by US law enforcement of a small number of violent Islamic extremists inside the United States - who are becoming more connected ideologically, virtually, and/or in a physical sense to the global extremist movement - points to the possibility that others may become sufficiently radicalized that they will view the use of violence here as legitimate..."
[2] .....

The Internet serves as a tool in the military training of jihad fighters by circulating military guidebooks on weaponry, battle tactics, explosives manufacture, and other topics. An example is Al-Qaeda's online military magazine Mu'askar Al-Battar (The Al-Battar Training Camp), published by the Military Committee of the Mujahideen in the Arabian Peninsula......
Some websites also carry courses on manufacturing explosives and even guides for making homemade dirty bombs. [4] .....

In practice, the two types of online activity conducted by terrorist organizations - military activity and informational activity - are intertwined. Prominent terrorists played (and continue to play) an active role in online media activities. For example, Fares Al-Zahrani, an Al-Qaeda leader who was arrested in August 2004 by the Saudi authorities, used to write on Islamist forums and on Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi's website "Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad" under the pseudonyms Abu Jandal Al-Azadi and Al-Athari. [7] Another senior Al-Qaeda operative, Abd Al-Aziz Al-Anzi, who likewise participated in clashes with Saudi security forces, headed the Al-Qaeda Media Council, and was referred to as "the information minister of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," was also very active online. He recruited Al-Qaeda supporters on Internet forums, and was a supervisor on the Al-Salafiyoon website (www.alsalafyoon.com ), under the pseudonym Abd Al-Aziz Al-Bakri. He also wrote regularly for Al-Qaeda's online magazine Sawt Al-Jihad (The Voice of Jihad), under various pseudonyms, among them Abdallah bin Nasser Al-Rashid, Abd Al-Aziz bin Musharraf Al-Bakri, Sheikh Nasser Al-Najdi, and Nasser Al-Din Al-Najdi. [8] ............."
http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA37407

In a separate study, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty revealed the extent of the Sunni Insurgent media network.

"Iraq's Sunni insurgency has developed a sophisticated media campaign to deliver its message over the Internet through daily press releases, weekly and monthly magazines, books, video clips, full-length films, countless websites, and even television stations. Part of the target audience for insurgent media projects are mainstream Arabic-language media, which often amplify the insurgent message to a mass audience.
The popularity of online Iraqi Sunni insurgent media, the authors contend, reflects a genuine demand for their message in the Arab world. A response, no matter how lavishly funded and cleverly produced, will not eliminate this demand. The authors argue that efforts to counter insurgent media should not focus on producing better propaganda than the insurgents, or trying to eliminate the demand for the insurgent message, but rather on exploiting the vulnerabilities of the insurgent media network....."

http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/06/830debc3-e399-4fa3-981c-cc44badae1a8.html

Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal writes "Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas" by Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo (with Radio Free Iraq correspondents, two of whom were abducted and murdered this year) is an astounding compilation of the high-tech methods being used by the insurgency in Iraq to propagate the ideology of the Islamic jihadist movement. This is the blogosphere for killers. ".....

A 28-minute film by Ansar al-Sunnah, "Just Vengeance," records the kidnapping, interrogation and execution of Shiite policemen. Another video of a suicide bomber's truck exploding reveals the centrality of distributable media: It was filmed from three different camera angles. Jihadist video comes in several file sizes: high resolution (up to 500 megabytes), medium (8 megabytes) or in highly compressed files for downloading to mobile phones, popular in PC-deficient Iraq. They enable free uploads of the videos via Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and DivX.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/

What is clear is that the enemy is using the internet on a large scale to achieve several goals. One is to spread its message and recruit new members. Another is to engage in spreading propaganda as well as issue orders and pass along messages to members around the world. In interested in further reading on this subject, check out the following post from June:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/jihadists-use-of-media-and-internet-to.html

MEMRI also has an Islamist Website Monitor Project:
http://www.memri.org/iwmp.html

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Morning Coffee

OK, it’s Sunday morning. I’ve had my coffee and my wheat toast, so why am I not content? Perhaps it’s because my latest prey has escaped me.

I guess it was inevitable, but yes, my 25-year old has stopped replying to my text messages. What’s a Cougar to do? Perhaps there is a kitty cat out there without cellulite or wrinkles that has taken my place. I am not in competition with them, because body-wise I can’t beat them, but I dare them to compete with me intellectually. One of the greatest lessons of life I learned was that sex is so much more than just physical (though temporarily that is great).

If you find someone you lust after AND can talk to, you better keep them! When I’m 70 and sitting at home, I know I will remember fondly my 25-year old, but more importantly, I will remember that one person who could talk to me about politics, philosophy, books, religion AND who I could wake up with and feel content.

In the meantime, until I find my next Mr. Content, this Cougar is open to a new hunt. Have you guys seen any prime available prey? :-)

Write me: dwfinms@gmail.com

other posts by dwf:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/if-you-want-to-join-safari-better-pack.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/this-cougar-will-never-be-found-caged.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/if-stella-can-get-her-groove-back-so.html

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Bennie Thompson: Unwitting Friend of Terrorists?




This should outrage every American. Republicans in the House tried to pass legislation that would protect tipsters from nuisance lawsuits by terrorists. The Washington Times reported:
Mr. King and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the provision after a group of Muslim imams filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against US Airways and unknown "John Doe" passengers. The imams were removed from US Airways Flight 300 on Nov. 20 after fellow passengers on the Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight complained about the imams' suspicious behavior.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070720/NATION/107200094/1001

The Washington Times also reported that Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, initially opposed the legislation, expressing concern that it would lead to racial profiling.

In further commentary on Congressman Thomposon's actions, Debra Burlingame of The New York Post reported that:Meanwhile, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, took the floor to oppose King's motion - and to defend the lawsuit against John Does. "We should be tolerant," he argued; people shouldn't be singled out because they "look different."

Mr. Thompson is either stupid or is being disingenious. Passengers are not being reported based upon how they look but for what they are doing. If these Imans had simply acted normally, there would have been no problem. However, they did not just go to their seats and enjoy the flight. "In fact, the flying imams triggered concerns by a variety of unusual actions, as well as words that roused the concern of another Arabic-speaking passenger. Witnesses say that House members started booing Thompson. "http://www.nypost.com/seven/04022007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/libs__lawsuits_1st__safety_2nd_opedcolumnists_debra_burlingame.htm?page=0 (Note: Debra Burlingame is sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed at the Pentagon on 9/11.)

Congressman Thompson was militant as always. "Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, opposed the motion over loud objections from colleagues on the House floor, forcing several calls to order from the chair.
Absolutely they should have the ability to seek redress in a court of law,” said Mr. Thompson, who suggested that protecting passengers from a lawsuit would encourage racial profiling." http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2007/03/house_gop_seeks.php

So because Mr. Thompson has memories of the Klan from the 1960's, he opposes protecting Americans from terrorists? If an American sees suspicious activity (like terrorists practicing a "dry run" to determine what the security measures are) and reports it, he is currently at risk of being sued by the terrorists for doing his duty as a law-abiding citizen. This evil use of our laws must be stopped.

CAIR (Council of American-Islamic Relations with ties to terrorists and their supporters) has made it clear it supports such efforts to intimidate Americans from reporting suspicious activity as noted by Ms. Burlingame: "The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will certainly push for that. After all, the radical "civil rights" group - which supports the terrorists of Hamas and has received millions in funding from Saudi Arabia - is paying the lawyers in the "Flying Imams" lawsuit.
Nihad Awad, CAIR's executive director, defends the suit's targeting of ordinary citizens. The clerics, he explains, will only sue passengers who made false reports or acted in bad faith. But the suit cites an "elderly couple" who watched the imams in the gate area and then made a cellphone call. How will CAIR determine who the couple called and whether anything they did was intended to discriminate against the imams, without first finding out their names and forcing them to defend against the charge? What about their civil rights?"


In Minnesota, the Imans that were removed from an airplane in the well-publicized incident last fall after behaving very suspiciously. In true American fashion, the Imans decided to sue the airlines and would not preclude a lawsuit against the passengers who reported the activity.
(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17874497/).

The Imans made the passengers nervous because: "Other passengers had gotten nervous when the men were seen praying and chanting in Arabic as they waited to board. Some passengers also said that the men spoke of Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States; that they requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles and stowed them under their seats; that they were moving about and conferring with each other during boarding; and that they sat separately in seats scattered through the cabin.

As MSNBC reported, "Billie Vincent, a former director of security for the Federal Aviation Administration, said he is troubled by the mere attempt to identify the passengers who raised concerns.
Airline passengers “are your eyes and your ears,” said Vincent, who now owns an aviation security company. “If attorneys can get those names and sue them, you put a chilling effect on the whole system.”

Recently terrorists have plotted to attack Fort Dix, blow up the fuel lines at an airport, bomb London nightclubs, and commit other atrocities. All too often the first line of defense is citizens notifying law enforcement of suspicious activity such as the brave Circuit City employee who reported the photos he saw in the course of his job. Americans should not have to worry about spending thousands of dollars on lawsuits from terrorists who twist our laws to help them kill more Americans.

One hopes that Congressman Thompson takes the security of all Americans seriously. It is clear that when it comes to the protection of terrorists versus the protection of law-abiding American citizens who only wish to stop terrorism, Mr. Thompson is more concerned with the protection of terrorists. Bennie Thompson, who has made a career out of racial politics, is more worried about rednecks in white hoods than bomb-throwing terrorists in black masks.

Note: No mention in The Jackson Free Press or The Clarion-Ledger of Congressman Thompson's comments.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fingering Crime

The Clarion-Ledger reports last Sunday:
"Mark McCreery, board chairman for the anti-crime watchdog group SafeCity, said Jackson's low number of felony arrests comes as no surprise. Felony indictments, the next link in the judicial chain, have been averaging about 1,400 per year, he said. That's fewer than four a day - right on par with the city's felony arrest rate.
The solution starts with the basics, he said.
"You've got to have very sound practices with respect to intelligence and investigation," he said.
In recent months, McCreery has criticized JPD for only employing one fingerprint specialist, although it takes the signature of two specialists to introduce fingerprints as evidence. The city has relied on the state Crime Lab to review its fingerprint evidence.
McCreery said the city police only take fingerprints for the most violent crimes, a fact corroborated by Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson.
"We're not fingerprinting, for a large part, in Jackson anymore," McCreery said. "You've got to get back to good police techniques."


Hmmm....so how many consultants and unconfirmed department heads have we been paying at over $70,000 a year? Couldn't the city have not rewarded one of Melton's friends with a fat salary and instead hired a fingerprint specialist so that more criminals could be prosecuted?

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Al Qaida on the run in Iraq.

Michael Yon writes a dispatch from the front.

"Al Qaeda’s ultimate failure in much of Anbar and now in parts of Diyala relates back to one of the pillars of success—or failure—in this war: Values. People who understand how to tamp down this war realize the critical pillar that values can play into success or failure in counterinsurgency, or COIN.....

In appearance, few might suspect that Abu Ali would stand up to the American military. In talking with the soft-spoken Abu Ali, his manner is similar to that of experienced American combat leaders. He is direct and clear in his speech (through an interpreter), and his intelligence is evident. An intelligent enemy who knows the dangers—who is not part of an insane death-cult promising 72 virgins and eternity with God to martyrs—and yet stands his ground against Americans over a long period, must possess great courage and annealed strength. Even among enemies, those qualities command grudging respect. I told one man in the back of the Stryker that after standing his ground with the Americans and surviving this long, al Qaeda was hopeless when Abu Ali and the 1920s shifted their martial attentions.
While we were driving in the belly of the Stryker into Buhriz, I asked Abu Ali, “What did you do to al Qaeda?”
Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me: al Qaeda are not Muslims. (Both Sunni and Shia have said nearly the exact same words, at times on video.) Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked....


Before the tape was running, I asked Abu Ali why he and the 1920s turned against al Qaeda in Buhriz. Speaking through LT David Wallach, a native Arabic speaker, Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping . . . every type of torture they have done.”
The recent stories of baked children came to mind. I asked if Abu Ali had heard about children being baked. Ali said no, he had not heard such a story, but he would not be surprised if it were true because al Qaeda had done so many crimes, such as cutting off a man’s head, putting it up on a stick and parading it around town.
Ali said people had been afraid in their own homes because of al Qaeda. I asked if he had fought Americans and Ali laughed and said through Wallach, “What kind of question is that?” I chuckled.....


Over here, the fact of al Qaeda murdering children is just that: it’s a fact. How they chose to commit the murders is a variable that changes from incident to incident. I’ve written often about how Iraqis, as a rule, love and greatly value their children. This makes the children especially vulnerable as targets for terrorists. That is a brutal fact.
Al Qaeda drinks and uses drugs here. This is not propaganda. This is not even news, it’s a fact that
I wrote about back in 2005. Zarqawi, the now-dead former leader of AQI, was best known for causing the deaths of thousands or tens of thousands of Iraqis, and raping women all over the land and over in Jordan. Whether Zarqawi raped women from village to village, or one woman from each village, I do not know. But Zarqawi cultivated his image like a pro. Rape and murder were his trademarks.
The same Zawahiri who issued al Qaeda’s latest call for recruits sent
a letter to Zarqawi back in 2005, warning him to stop cutting off people’s heads and broadcasting it. Zawahiri’s version of a “Values Message” cautioned Zarqawi that these grostesqueries were losing al Qaeda the support of Muslims. He was right. Al Qaeda is no longer welcome in Baqubah......."

Read the rest of Mr. Yon's dispatch at: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/al-qaeda-on-the-run-feasting-on-the-moveable-beast.htm. Its the best reporting on the War in Iraq you will find on the internet.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If You Want To Join The Safari, Better Pack What You Really Need

OK guys, so you’ve become interested in a "Cougar" that has shown an interest in you and you have no clue what to do next. Beware, you are the prey!

This safari will require much more than an outback hat and sunscreen. Here are the rules of the hunt:

1. Never tell an older woman she looks great for “her age”. Tell her she looks great, period.
2. We do not want to hear how your Mother loves that television show too, how your Mother makes lasagna with homemade pasta…..
3. Talk to us. We really enjoy exploring the idea of you having a brain along with other key attributes.
4. Yes, you can spend the night. After all, you probably don’t look that great in the morning, either.
5. Relax. We are not after you for anything permanent at all, so have fun and enjoy the journey.
6. Yes, you can call us sexy and send us flowers. We are older, not dead.
7. If you don’t want to see us again, it’s OK. Don’t make excuses or have the 7th funeral for your maternal grandmother coming up. We actually LIKE the truth.
8. Don’t expect us to buy you dinner. We are still women and enjoy the respect of being treated like one. (However, if you are cute enough, you’ll get a free dinner anyway-yes I know, a double standard).
9. Be yourself. There’s a reason you were chosen as the prey and it’s not because we want to capture you and hang your head on the wall. We have other activities in mind. (And if you can't be yourself, it must mean you're not mature enough yet to know who you are).

At the end of the safari we may or may not take home our catch. It depends on how much fun the hunt was, the complexity from beginning to end, and the rush of adrenaline upon capture. Or to put it simply, if you are too easy to catch, you WILL be returned to the wild. After all, it’s always more exciting to capture a lion than a lamb.

P.S. I’m wearing the leopard print thong to bag my next prey. Stay tuned.

Need advice on getting that sexy older woman interested in YOU? Email me: dwfinms@gmail.com.

Other posts by DWF:
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/06/if-stella-can-get-her-groove-back-so.html
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/this-cougar-will-never-be-found-caged.html

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer's Almost Over!

Well, for most schools in Mississippi, summer vacation is coming to a close. All of us teachers are about to return to our classrooms while parents head to the stores to get school supplies. Now is the time to get in those last minute trips to the beach! While there is still some time left, encourage your children to read. This refreshes memories and reading skills as well as preparing them for a fresh start this school year. Here are some favorites that would be great to finish the summer:

  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (K-2)
  • Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard (K-2)
  • The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg, author of The Polar Express (K-2)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff (K-2)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (3-4)
  • Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson (3-4)
  • Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (3-4)
  • Superfudge by Judy Blume (3-4)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (5-7)
  • A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck (5-7)
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (5-7)
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (5-7)

Many of these books are Accelerated Reader books, as well, and can help kids in the upcoming school year. For more books, be sure to check your local library, or the following links for AR lists for the state. Happy reading!

http://www.quizlist.net/(j0ku0e55g33yjhe5ex1aq03o)/BookList.aspx?lid=12277&oid=0

http://www.quizlist.net/(vtuku0qrw2ok0u45ypma1mrk)/BookList.aspx?lid=12279&oid=0

http://www.quizlist.net/(fctkilqu1xcbep45y1fnrurg)/BookList.aspx?lid=12278&oid=0

Other posts by Cliffnotes from the Classroom: http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/07/teachers-have-summer-off-hah.html. Cliffnotes is an elementary school teacher in Mississippi. Feel free to email her for additional recommendations.

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All about Jazz? What if i don't know anything about jazz? Where do I start?


Anyone who knows me knows I love jazz. From the sounds of Trane and Bird constantly playing on my stereo to the framed print of Miles Davis hanging on the wall, I am constantly surrounded by jazz. A friend recently asked me to burn some cds for him as he had never been really exposed to jazz except for the easy listening type of jazz one hears in restaurants. Its boring nature discouraged him from listening to more jazz. During a recent visit to Bourbon Street, he and some friends walked into Maison De Jazz where he heard Jamal Sharif (I knew who played that night as I know the place very well.). After commenting that he was surprised he liked what he heard, I burned some cds from the masters: Monk, Trane, Sonny, and Miles. The next time I saw him, I discovered a jazz-lover had been born. Since then, I have had numerous people ask me about what they should buy if they wanted to sample some jazz but do not know where to begin. As I am not a critic but just an aficionado of that American treasure. I recommend the following albums. Feel free to offer your own recommendations as I am no expert by any means. As there is still much jazz I have not listened to, I apologize for any omissions of albums that belong on such a list.

1. Sonny Rollins & Thelonious Monk. The first track smokes as Sonny starts at full speed with his sax, taking you on a journey that shows you what jazz is. I can't describe what that "what" is, you just have to hear it. Monk and Rollins only play together on only three of the five tracks but those three tracks are fairly memorable. http://www.amazon.com/Thelonious-Monk-Sonny-Rollins/dp/B000FZET5W/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184516157&sr=8-1

2. Monk in Paris, Live at the Olympia. This is Thelonious Monk at his peak with his best quarter, including Rouse on sax. The sound quality is perfect as the concert sounds as if it were recorded yesterday. As one reviewer on Amazon wrote:
"If you share an avocation for jazz that sounds as fresh today as it did 40+ years ago, do your self an enormous favour and pick up this CD/DVD. It is a wonder from every standpoint. Monk was ever and always his own man, and his son's comments throughout the booklet are absolutely the best way to describe how his father's work crept up on you, got inside you and set you on flights of wonder. Both concerts featured here showcase his quartet of the sixties, especially Charlie Rouse, and the dynamics of the sound are really terrific." The performance of Bright Mississippi is simply stellar as Monk and Rouse bring out the best in each other as the creative tension erupts into an outpouring of jazz heaven.
http://www.amazon.com/Monk-Paris-Live-at-Olympia/dp/B0000CC82Z/ref=sr_1_1/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184516347&sr=1-1

3. Crescent or Live at Birdland by John Coltrane. Yes, A Love Supreme is considered to be Coltrane's masterpiece. However, it might be a bit much for someone who has not listened to much jazz. Crescent is a studio recording. This cd is very underrated and compared to his other albums is an afterthought but it is filled with gems such as Crescent (the sexy slow playing of the sax that starts the song pulls you into the rest of the album) and Lonnie's Lament. I recommend Birdland because jazz is defined by its unruly, improvising nature. How American. America has never been defined by rules;it is constantly changing, improvising, adapting, as does jazz. Jazz is about playing live in front of an audience, expressing the notes as they rise up from the soul. Just as one's soul is always changing, so does jazz, even if its the same song. This live album puts Trane on display before an audience and he delivers. One reviewer on Amazon wrote:

"Certain albums, or even songs if you will, have special meaning for me. This can be at varying levels,some serving as touchstones in my life with others occupying larger and deeper cerebral pockets in my psyche.----John Coltrane's Live At Birdland falls into the latter category. I consider it literally dear to my heart. The opening track, Afro Blue is amazing in it's emotional intensity.The quartet functions so congruently ,arriving at peaks and valleys with unbelievable precision. Mccoy Tyner's brilliant solo builds gradually.With polyrhythmic and powerful underpinning from elvin's drums,it results in a frenzied trance-like plateau.The explosive tension that is reached by the two(with rock solid bottom from bassist Jimmy Garrison),is resolved only with 'Trane's re-entry on soprano;an emotional wail that's beyond the limiting descriptive qualities of mere words.-One must "hear it" or better still "feel it". At the other end of the spectrum with respect to tempo and mood,is the somber Alabama.The song is a musical and spiritual ode to the tragic church bombing in Birmingham in the early 60's.It is truly beautiful in its sadness,yet somehow hopeful. I Want To Talk About You is evidence of what Coltrane could do with a ballad.It exudes love and tenderness.His extended coda stands as one of the truly magical expressions in all of jazz history. We are fortunate to have this music preserved and available to us.Less fortunate are those who for whatever reason,can not perceive how vital and uplifting it is.Coltrane's Live At Birdland is very special indeed. "

If you like Trane, I recommend Soul Trane, A Love Supreme, and Ole.
Crescent:http://www.amazon.com/John-Coltrane-Crescent-Quartet/dp/B000003N8R/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184516898&sr=1-1
Live at Birdland:
http://www.amazon.com/Live-at-Birdland-John-Coltrane/dp/B000003N8O/ref=sr_1_1/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184517231&sr=1-1

3. Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane, Live at Carnegie Hall. This album is an absolute masterpiece. There is an interesting story behind it. These two jazz icons played together for less than a year and it was thought that there were very few recordings of their work. As the editorial review said on Amazon.com: "Every year sees a crop of newly found jazz gems, but rarely are listeners treated to anything as special as this 1957 concert recording of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, which was accidentally discovered in an unmarked box by a Library of Congress engineer early in 2005." The engineer had no idea what was recorded on the tapes. It was soon realized this was literally a masterpiece that had been lost, not one of these collections of outtakes from the cutting room floor that are repackaged years later in a shameless attempt to squeeze more money out of fans.

I chose this album for this list because one of the hallmarks of jazz is improvisation and the lack of rules. In jazz, musicians are not bound to a band like they are in rock music. Typically in jazz, a group is put together based upon a musical concept. When the creative effort plays out, the group breaks up and they join other bands, even if the band is still fairly successful in contrast to rock music where bands stay together for the sake of staying together. A fun part of learning about jazz is learning about the individual musicians and comparing how they play with each other. I can compare an album of the Duke and Trane playing together to Trane and Monk to Monk and Rollins to Miles and Trane to Parker and Miles and so on. Much different than rock music where one drummer stays with one lead guitarist or singer for 20 years.
http://www.amazon.com/Thelonious-Monk-Quartet-Coltrane-Carnegie/dp/B000AV2GCE/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184517742&sr=1-1

4. Miles Davis: Live at Carnegie Hall, Miles Davis:Highlights from the Plugged Nickel. Miles had so many masterpieces that it is almost impossible to choose a first cd to recommend for a beginner without starting a civil war. Of course, many will recommend Kind of Blue as it IS the biggest selling jazz album of all time with the likes of Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane appearing in the band (It was also Duane Allman's favorite album). However, today's younger listeners might find it a bit too mellow for their tastes so I chose live performances that I think are a good dose of Miles.

One Amazon.com reviewer opined on the two disc Live at Carnegie Hall:
"To my mind Miles never played better than at this recording. There is a new searching and driving vitality to his playing which probably indicated that he had reached the absolute peak of his powers but was still pushing himself further. His technique was certainly better than ever. Don't let the imperfections of the recording as an inadequate document of sound disturb you - not really worth worrying about, as one can hear enough to know that this was an exceptional performance. Hank Mobley on tenor complements Miles well, and the new rhythm section whips the horns along with great impetus. The tracks with Gil Evans and his orchestra have a spontaneity lacking on the more polished studio-recorded equivalents. This record is not immaculate - but it is a very great one and clearly a must-have for any serious Davis fan, because he plays here in a way that he doesn't on any other recording, and produces unusual excitement even for this, the most permanently satisfying and richly artistic musician in jazz, whose music is sure to go down the centuries as great by any standard at any time. - Joost Daalder "

Highlights from the Plugged Nickel is considered one of Miles's best concert performances. It is culled from an 8-disc set (if you want to really listen to live Miles, buy this box set. Warning: Its not cheap). Herbie Hancock and Wayner Shorter are members of this quintet. The music is edgy, always pushing the envelope but never alienating the listener. Miles is at his best playing live and this masterpiece showcases him in his lair.

If you want to listen to more Miles, I recommend: Round About Midnight (Coltrane on sax), Kind of Blue, In Person Friday Night at the Blackhawk, Live at Newport 1958 (Coltrane again), and of course, Bitches Brew (Chick Corea and John McLaughlin are in this ensemble).

Live at Carnegie Hall: http://www.amazon.com/Miles-Davis-At-Carnegie-Hall/dp/B0000062EZ/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184518631&sr=1-1
Highlights from the Plugged Nickel:http://www.amazon.com/Highlights-Plugged-Nickel-Miles-Davis/dp/B000002BCO/ref=sr_1_2/103-4225939-7336636?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184519072&sr=1-2

5. Diz 'N Bird at Carnegie Hall. Two of jazz's all-time greats from a 1947 show what they are made of in this performance. A Night in Tunisa is sizzling. Parker takes sax-playing to another level on this song. The sound quality is very good (amazing what is being done with current remastering techniques). Dizzy and Bird are at their best. As written on Amazon.com:
"This is one of the few live recordings made of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie from the period when Parker was at his height. The west coast recordings made in California are scrappy, most likely due to the fact that Parker was strung out and could barely lift his horn. On this recording though, Parker is sensational. His tone is bright and uplifting. His phrasing soars and he is continually inventive; his lyricism is clear and concise and never falling back on his well known staple of licks, a tendency which characterised his later live recordings.(ie: Bird at St Nick's) Dizzy is also in fine form. My personal favourite is 'Dizzy Atmosphere'. It is taken at a furious tempo and Parker laps it up. His lines are long, rich and complex and really deserve the title 'sheets of sound' (which was coined by Ira Gitler to describe Coltrane in his pre-quartet years.) The recordings have a fine jam session feel and really warm the heart. There are two drawbacks to this album. Firstly, the sound quality of the rhythm section is often so poor it is inaudible. This is particularly evident on 'Ko Ko', where Parker sounds almost as though his is practicing sets of scales unaccompanied. Without the rhythm, this sounds quite boring. Secondly, three quarters of the album is taken up by Gillespie and his big band playing watered down versions of bebop classics. However, the cd is worth purchasing for the Gillespie/Parker sides only."

The reviewer makes a good point. Bird and Diz only play together on the first five tracks, then the rest of the tracks are played by Diz and his band. However, those first five songs are more than worth the price of the album.
One sad story about this album shows Bird's talent as well as the tragedy that was his life. Bird's wife and manager discovered him passed out in the bathtub on the night of the concert. They got him out of the tub, dried him off, clothed him, carried him to the cab, literally carried him up the stairs, borrowed a plastic sax from someone, and pushed him out on the stage, where he played a masterpiece of a performance. Keith Richards never played half as well in such a state.
There are plenty of good websites on line to if one wants to learn more about jazz. See the jazz links on the right of this site. The Jazz at Lincoln Center broadcasts featuring Ed Bradley are great for learning more about jazz. Reading Wikipedia entries for the jazz greats is fun to read while helping you learn more about jazz as well along with its interesting, but sordid history.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Melton Backs Sheriff's Opponent, Part of the Axis of Melton Ignores It.

Mayor Melton hosted a fundraiser for Tyrone Lewis, candidate for Hinds County Sheriff, at his home last night. This story was only reported by three local media outlets: WAPT (http://www.wapt.com/news/13673165/detail.html), WLBT ( http://www.wlbt.com/global/story.asp?s=6788500), The Jackson Free Press (http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=14199_0_27_0_C) and completely ignored by The Clarion-Ledger and WJTV. The JFP scooped everyone (again) in having a copy of the invitation on its website: http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/foi_pdfs/LewisFundraiser.pdf.

It is no surprise that Melton is backing an opponent of Sheriff McMillin as it was McMillin who arrested him and also sent his deputies to arrest Melton's thug protege, Michael Taylor.

What is ridiculous is how blatantly Melton lies. He tells WAPT: "Melton claimed he didn't organize or know about the two-hour fundraiser being held at his home Friday night.
In fact, the mayor said he first heard he was hosting the event from a 16 WAPT reporter."


A mayor that is known for being a total control freak has no idea that there is going to be a fundraiser at his home for one of his employees with a large group of people attending? This is a mayor that keeps the police mobile command center parked at his home when he is there. I'm starting to wonder if this man is capable of telling the truth as he lies about even the smallest things when there is no reason to do so. Hey Mayor, here is a piece of advice. Politicians endorse candidates all the time. Just say Lewis is your boy, we all know he is.

However, back to the media coverage. The Clarion-Ledger and a member of the Axis of Melton, WJTV (WLBT being the other) carried no mention of the fund-raiser. Apparently they do not think that a Mayor actively supporting and funding a candidate for Sheriff while denying he is doing so is newsworthy. Considering how WJTV ignored the Michael Taylor story, this lack of coverage is not surprising but one would expect our local newspaper to cover this story considering that earlier in the week, it published a story questioning whether Melton was actively supporting candidates opposing District Attorney Peterson.

It must also be noted that The JFP and WAPT reported the fund-raiser before it happened and also had copies of the invitation. Kudos to those two journalistic bloodhounds for a job well-done. WLBT did cover the story but according to the story linked above, it was after the fund-raiser took place.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

One Galaxy or Two?


Is this one galaxy or two? The jumble of stars, gas, and dust that is NGC 520 is now thought to incorporate the remains of two separate galaxies. A combination of observations and simulations indicate the NGC 520 is actually the collision of two disk galaxies. Interesting features of NGC 520 include an unfamiliar looking tail of stars at the image bottom and a perhaps more familiar looking band of dust running diagonally across the image center. A similar looking collision might be expected were our disk Milky Way Galaxy to collide with our large galactic neighbor Andromeda (M31). The collision that defines NGC 520 started about 300 million years ago and continues today. Although the speeds of stars are fast, the distances are so vast that the interacting pair will surely not change its shape noticeably during our lifetimes. NGC 520, at visual magnitude 12, has been noted to be one of the brightest interacting galaxies on the sky, after interacting pairs of galaxies known as the Antennae. NGC 520 was imaged above in spectacular fashion by the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, USA. Also known as Arp 157, NGC 520 lies about 100 million light years distant, spans about 100 thousand light years, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Fish (Pisces).

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Camille Paglia Rocks!



Here is the latest column from one of my favorite writers, Camille Paglia. I love her writing style that is sharp, witty, and makes a point as few others can. This column is long, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy.
Here are some excerpts:
Too many of my fellow Democrats seem to underestimate the dangers and difficulties looming over the next century. Western values of individualism and free expression would be obliterated under the fundamentalist regime sought by militant jihadists. ....

I agree with you that the Republicans did not "steal" the 2000 presidential election from Al Gore, and that history will indeed show that the Florida controversy was preplanned and fomented by a cadre of Democratic partisans, above all that braying ass, Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida. It has always baffled me why Republicans failed to take a more aggressive stance toward rampant voting irregularities in big-city Democratic wards from coast to coast. That stuff has been par for the course for ages: We all know that John F. Kennedy (whom I campaigned for as an adolescent) won the White House by a slim margin thanks to Mayor Richard J. Daley's hanky-panky in Chicago. .....

Yes, President Bush is unwavering in his policy. He proclaims it and sticks to it. You may be right that this is a noble proof of character, deep and resolute. On the other hand, it could also be a sign of rigidity and limitation. Strategy in war or football should be adaptive, constantly adjusting to changing circumstances. In my view, the president has shown terrible judgment in choosing advisors (from the vice president on down), who have not served him well. My lack of confidence in the president's managerial ability is based on his weird reluctance to fire anyone, no matter how mediocre. This is not the trait of a strong, capable leader who claims to serve a higher cause.
You speak of my party wanting to "choose defeat," while yours wants "victory." Is that stark opposition truly our only choice? Or has your party painted itself into a rhetorical corner with its polarized talk of victory and defeat? Isn't it possible that you have created a nightmare of words from which we cannot wake up? I don't regard the prudent preservation of American lives and treasure as a "defeat" but rather as a sensible acknowledgment of the reality principle. Not all of our desires, hopes, and ideals can come to pass. That is the human condition.
You say that if we don't stay and win in Iraq, we'll be back there in 10 years. I think you might well be correct. The Iraq chaos, which we instrumentally helped foment, will probably spread and destabilize the entire Middle East -- a momentum that has already begun.........


Your assumption that those who oppose the Iraq war must be Marxists or radical leftists does grave disservice to American political dialogue. It is clearly based, in my case, on a doubtlessly blissful ignorance of my actual views. Though I voted for Ralph Nader in the 2000 election, I am a libertarian Democrat who has been regularly vilified by other Democrats because I think for myself and refuse to mouth the rote platitudes of the party line. Far from being a Marxist, I have praised capitalism for having produced the modern emancipated woman, among other things. Marx was an important political theorist, but the application of his ideas to living societies has been generally disastrous.
The automatic political stereotyping displayed in your letter has been rampant among both Republicans and Democrats for a decade. It inflames the process and produces paralysis in Congress. This strident partisanship has made many cable TV talk shows virtually unwatchable. .......

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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