Saturday, February 28, 2009

A different version

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I report, you decide.

The toxicology reports on the Irbys are complete and have been sent to JPD. Unfortunately, JPD refuses to release this information. The Clarion-Ledger reports:
"The Jackson Police Department knows whether alcohol or drugs played a role in a crash that killed two doctors but is withholding the information so it can be presented to a grand jury.
JPD investigators will turn over the information to the Hinds County district attorney's office.
"The results are evidentiary in nature and, therefore, cannot be released," police spokesman Lt. Jeffery Scott said Friday. "It is part of our policy not to release toxicology results. That's the way we've always done it, and this case is no different
." (By the way, grand jury proceedings are sealed.)

Lets see if this is true or not and also how long it takes to get toxicology reports. Here are some news stories I dug up online:

"Petal 04/22/08 Woman Arrested for DUI in Deadly Wreck
A 20-year-old Madison County woman was arrested near Hattiesburg Tuesday morning and charged with driving under the influence causing death.
Shelby Leigh Brown, a University of Southern Mississippi student, turned herself into Petal police around 10:00 Tuesday morning. Brown was involved in an accident that resulted in the death Kaitlyn Bryant, 20, of Sumrall earlier this month.
Investigators say toxicology results showed that Brown was over the legal limit at the time of the accident.
Brown appeared in court, where bond was set at $100,000
WLBT story on Hattiesburg wreck

"Starkville 04/27/08 DUI Manslaughter Charges in MSU Accident (KF Note: this was ONE DAY after the wreck)
A Starkville man faces a DUI-Manslaughter charge following a fatal crash Saturday at Mississippi State University. Joshua Buckner, 20, and three others were reportedly traveling on the MSU campus when their vehicle struck a light pole near Bryce Griffis hall.
Buckner is being held at the Oktibbeha County jail. Bond has not been set pending further investigation.
Charlesy Collins, 19, also of Starkville, died in the crash. He was a student at East Mississippi Community College.
Two other passengers were treated and have been released
WLBT story

"Jackson 06/12/06 Man Faces Aggravated DUI Charge
A man arrested after a fatal car accident Saturday night is now charged with aggravated DUI. Kenneth Boclair is being held in the Hinds County Detention Center without bond. The wreck happened late Saturday at Highway-80 and Terry Road. Police say Boclair rear ended a pick-up truck. The truck's gas tank caught fire and its driver William Atlas was killed
." (KF Note: This arrest happened TWO days after the fatal wreck.)
WLBT Story

"December 15, 2006 Raymond Woman Charged with DUI
Test results indicate the woman who crashed into two surveyors in Clinton last month had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
Forty-four-year-old Connie Musgrove Brewer of Raymond posted her 51-thousand dollar bond. She is charged with DUI and DUI disfigurement/severe injury. Brewer is accused of driving into Jeremiah Howard and Brian Jones on Highway 80 in Clinton, severely injuring them both. Brewer's test results show she was under the influence of isopropyl alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .03% and acetone, with a blood alcohol content of .17% A date for a preliminary hearing will be set later in Clinton municipal court
." WLBT Story

"Byram 08/21/07Alcohol Detected in Driver Who Caused McGowan Wreck
Toxicology tests reveal a Jackson man had been drinking before last week's wreck that killed a Clinton firefighter and his wife.
The wreck happened August 12 in Byram. A truck driven by Christopher Spell, 26, collided with a Volkswagen occupied by Eddie and Vickie McGowand and their two daughters. The girls survived, but their parents died in the wreck.
Spell was not seriously hurt. No word yet on what his blood alcohol level was. The legal limit is 0.08. So far, no charges have been filed.
The McGowans' daughters are now living with their grandparents. A trust fund has been set up for them at BankPlus. Anyone can donate there or at the Clinton Fire Department, where Eddie McGowan was a captain
." WLBT Story

"02/29/08 Game Warden Charged with DUI after Fatal Crash
A Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officer has been charged with three felony counts of aggravated DUI related to a crash in Oktibbeha County that killed two people and seriously injured another.
Twenty-five-year-old Ryan Crick was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries or death shortly after the crash on January 25th. The latest charges came on Wednesday, and he was released on a $15,000 bond.
Crick is a game warden who has been with the department for about four years. He lives in Ridgeland and works in Madison.
Crick has been suspended with pay from the Wildlife department since the accident.
WLBT story

"Jackson 02/28/08 Man Jailed after Wreck with Sheriff/Chief McMillin
Hinds County Sheriff and Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin is back at work after his SUV was totaled in a crash Wednesday night. Nobody was seriously injured, but McMillin says he's sore, and he's not very pleased about what happened to his SUV.
McMillin says it happened as he was returning to Jackson from a Mississippi State University basketball game. A white Buick Park Avenue ran a red light and sideswiped McMillin's Ford Expedition around midnight at the intersection of Southwest and Gallatin streets.
The driver of the Buick, Michael Paul Davis, 26, is being charged with DUI, reckless driving and five other charges. Davis didn't have a driver's license or any insurance. He also had an expired inspection sticker.
"I haven't checked on him," McMillin said. "I'm not concerned with his welfare."
McMillin says about five officers came to his aid after the crash. He adds that Davis walked away from the scene and came back about fifteen minutes later.
Davis is being held at the Hinds County Detention center. No bond has been set
." WLBT Story

By the way, its normal for state lab to take this long. Here is an unrelated story I found on the CL online: "Lab tests key in 3 reservoir fatalitiesFebruary 1, 2000 •• 402 words •• ID: By Clay Harden/Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer The investigation of the Jan. 22 reservoir boating mishap that killed three people could languish for weeks until toxicology test results are in, officials say. Madison County Coroner Alex Breeland said Monday State Crime Lab test results could take up to two weeks to arrive. Preliminary inspections of the bodies by Breeland detected no obvious alcohol use or trauma but that lab results would be needed to confirm those findings."

I report, you decide.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

JFP: Brad Dew's murder was of "urban-myth status"

Original newspaper articles:
Dew Murder News Articles I
Dew Articles II
MDOC Page of Lamar K. Phillips

I simply can not believe the Jackson Free Press published the following passage in an article about the arts community around Millsaps Avenue:
"In the ’90s, this big crime wave came through and sort of freaked everybody out,” Richardson says. “From what I heard, it was rolling along, and just, in a matter of months, it was gone—the whole art district.”“Yeah,” Young says reluctantly, “I guess you could say there was a crime wave. It seems like a long time ago, though. What happens is, you get a couple of guys breaking into buildings, but then they move out of town or get arrested, and it stops.”“
I would stay at the studio overnight and the next morning, I’d have no tires,” Robinson laments.
“Around ’93, Midtown was considered more of a ‘war zone’ than a community,” admits Habitat spokeswoman E.J. Rivers, referring to the heyday of the nation’s crack epidemic, which did not spare Jackson.
“You’d pick up the paper and people (would) be killing each other all over the place,” Miriam Weems, 13-year veteran of 121, says. “Clients would tell me they didn’t feel safe coming there.”
“Midtown reached its lowest ebb in the early-’90s,” Burks explains........
“And then there was a death in the family,” Robinson says bluntly, addressing the elephant in the room.
The facts are murky. “I’ve heard someone say, ‘My friend got murdered on Millsaps Avenue. I don’t go down there,’” current tenant Drew Davis says.“That didn’t happen anywhere in the neighborhood. It’s farce to think in those terms, so I’m not even going to discuss it,” bristles photographer Gretchen Haines.
But (the killers’) car was spotted outside the Mosquito earlier that evening,” Robinson insists. “I think maybe it was supposed to be a robbery.” She hesitates. “It was such a painful experience for so many people.”
Documented crimes did increase in Midtown throughout the 1990s, but the collapse of the Art District can be traced to a single event. The death of Brad Dew, a Mosquito employee and Millsaps honor student, was too traumatic for the close-knit community to survive and too frightening for the patrons to ignore. His wrecked, bullet-pocked car was found one night after he closed the club and then failed to meet his friends at W.C. Dons. The story obtained urban-myth status, and even now, details are muddled.
But one undisputed fact remains: The car was found at the intersection of West and Mayes Streets, several miles north of Millsaps Avenue. The Mosquito flashed across local news anyway, “as if it had happened right out the front door,” Robinson says. And that was it for the nightclub and Gallery Restaurant..." Jackson Free Press story

"Urban-myth"? "Details are muddled?" Car was found several miles away? Supposed to be a robbery? "Farce"? The only farce is Ms. Haine's quote, as there are so many facts wrong in this story (in addition to the crassness of some of the words used). It's time to remind everyone what exactly DID happen that horrible night in 1992.

Bradley Dew was an honor student and starting linebacker on the Millsaps football team. Highly respected by his fellow students, he was just another hard-working college kid trying to make it in life. He got off work one night (The Mosquito) and was stopped at the intersection of West and Mitchell. A car with two punks, Kendrick Phillips and Cedric Morris, were alongside Dew. Phillips opened fire on Dew, riddling his truck with bullet holes and hitting Dew while chasing him down the street. The bullet entered the lungs and nicked the aorta, killing him a few moments later as his truck crashed into a house on the corner of West and Conti, which is NOT "a few miles north of Millsaps Avenue".

Phillips bragged about killing a white boy on West Street and killed someone else six days later. The idiot used the same gun for both murders. He pleaded guilty to TWO counts of first degree murder. Cynthia Speetjeens (remember her? Hint: Robbie Bell and Bobby DeLaughter) was the prosecutor for Hinds County and signed off on the deal , as Phillips was sentenced to two life sentences that were to run concurrently. The plea and sentencing were very controversial, as under Mississippi law at the time Phillips has been eligible for parole since 2003. Back then a life sentence meant one could be paroled after only ten years. THIS was the main case that caused the legislature to enact the 85% rule since life did not mean life in Mississippi.

Dr. Dew, the father of Brad, discussed the facts of the case in an interview:
"Brad was a very outstanding kid. He had just finished his junior year at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He had been selected an all-conference linebacker and just been selected to Phi Beta Kappa. He decided to stay there and work for the summer and early in the morning of June 7 he was returning home from work. There were two young men who for reasons known only to them had decided they were going to murder the next person who came down the street. They did not know Brad. There was no previous connection. Unfortunately that next person was Brad. They chased him through the streets of Jackson taking turns shooting at him until finally he was killed instantly by a single shot. He was 21 years old. Dr. Dew on The Grief Blog

The quotes mentioned from the Jackson Free Press are simply disgusting. First of all, this was not an "urban-myth" (yes the story mentioned his murder but someone explain what they meant by urban-myth status). Such language is grotesque and very insensitive to the friends and family of Brad Dew. This reporter for the "smart alternative" newspaper reports "the details are muddled" and "murky". They are not muddled but are very clear as the murder was heavily reported. The reporter obviously did no research whatsoever as the story was reported on the front page of the Clarion-Ledger seven times, the front page of the sports section once, and was the subject of a lead editorial as well. A simple search on google using the search terms brad, dew, and Millsaps yield the story of Dew's murder in the first page of results. The newspaper articles included this post were easy to find as they only required a trip to the Department of Archives downtown at lunch today.

What this story sounds like is Ms. Ladd's minion had her little template for a story: a promising arts community is trying to make it in Jackson after being nearly wiped out by racist white people in Jackson who have an irrational fear of crime and black people. Unfortunately for the writer, there is this little matter of a liberal, progressive-type college student who was murdered for fun by two black animals in the same area, which conflicts somewhat with the premise of the story. Well, if the facts are inconvenient, just ignore them as they often do at that publication. Such tone-deafness is all too often the norm, not the exception, as they named Robbie Bell "most intriguing person of 2007", falsely reported the victim in the Jena 6 beating of hanging nooses, and ran a headline about the Irby crash while not mentioning two doctors were killed. (Mr. Irby's daughter used to work at the JFP). Ms. Ladd has herself stated people who think the leading problem in Jackson is crime are "ignorant".

I'm sick and tired of these experts on everything, who in reality know absolutely nothing, appointing themselves our moral guardians and preaching to us from Mount Olympus. No murder or death is too holy for them to use if it means they can make a point. (Remember, they bragged they covered the Heather Spencer murder better than anyone). I don't think I've ever been so angry after reading one of their stories as reading this one, as I was in school down the street at the time. Everyone in Jackson knew about this murder and was horrified by the cavalier manner displayed by these beasts who bragged about killing Dew. Many of us saw what his family and friends suffered and are outraged by the sloppy reporting and innuendos that were present in this so-called story.

Returning to the Dew's murder, it must be pointed out Phillips has been eligible for parole since 2003. The Parole Board reviews his case every 18 months and his family comes down here from Knoxville every time it's up for review in order to ensure he is not released. I've kept up with this case because when the media reported in 1993 he was eligible for parole after ten years, I promised myself I would make it a point to see if he was released when ten years had passed ,as the fact he is even eligible for parole is slap in the face of all Mississippians. The family and community has suffered enough from this murder and should not suffer from sloppy reporting and editorializing.

Note: Dr. Dew has turned this tragedy into something positive (for lack of a better word and I apologize for not thinking of one) as he wrote two books about dealing with grief: Tunnel of Light and Rachel's Cry. They can be found at

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Kidd did not Play

The Clarion-Ledger reports today:
"A Jackson woman who pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI in a wreck that killed a 52-year-old Missouri man was sentenced today in Hinds County Circuit Court to serve 15 years in prison.
Circuit Judge Winston Kidd heard about two hours of testimony during 23-year-old Courtney Savoie’s sentencing hearing.
Savoie had a blood alcohol level of .25, more than three times the legal limit, when she crashed head-on into the vehicle of Lyndon Bowlin, 52, of Missouri.
The collision occurred just before midnight on Jan. 6, 2008 in the eastbound lane of I-20 near the I-55 interchange. Savoie was driving in the wrong direction without her car’s headlights on when the crash occurred.
“This was a very sad occasion because the defendant had no previous criminal history but caused an untimely death of a father, husband, and a man loved by many people,” District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said.
Kidd sentenced Savoie to 20 years, but suspended five of those years.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009


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Color photos from WWI

Found this online that is pretty interesting. Someone dug up some color pictures from World War I.

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Survival of newspapers

L. Gordon Crovitz writes in the Wall Street Journal what he thinks newspapers should do in order to survive in these changing times. He advocates newspapers charging a subscription, something I have always thought they should do as it made no sense to me why they gave away their product. He opines:

"With newspapers in cities across the country on the brink, an old idea is being resurrected in the hope of saving them: They should charge for access to their journalism on the Internet. This is a great idea, but about 10 years late.
Time magazine published a cover story earlier this month headlined "How to Save Your Newspaper." In it, former Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson noted how odd it is to charge for subscriptions in print but not online. "Even an old print junkie like me has quit subscribing to the New York Times, because if it doesn't see fit to charge me for its content, I'd feel like a fool paying for it. This is not a business model that makes sense.".....

For a decade beginning in the late 1990s, I was the Dow Jones executive chiefly charged with defending the paid-subscription business model of The Wall Street Journal's Web site. The skunk at every Internet-bubble-era garden party, the Journal team was often told we "just didn't get it," that information wants to be free and the paid model was idiotic.......
Conversely, when advertising fell in the early 2000s and then again more recently, having highly profitable online subscription revenues seemed like genius.
The truth is simpler: People are happy to pay for news and information however it's delivered, but only if it has real, differentiated value....

By 2007, the Journal's Web site had reached one million paying subscribers who value full access and convenient navigation to its unique business news. Another 20 million people each month read Journal articles made available free. Likewise, the Financial Times and ESPN generate significant online revenues from subscribers, along with free content. So do consumer services such as Consumer Reports and Zagat. Steve Jobs proved we'll pay up to $1 for digital songs on iTunes, and Amazon's Kindle established $10 as reasonable for a digital book. Beyond the Web, consumers pay monthly cable or satellite charges in the thousands of dollars per year.
Yet few city newspapers try to generate revenues directly from readers online, a huge problem now that advertising is so weak in print and online. Something needs to change if these newspapers and their large news staffs are to survive. The market capitalization of the New York Times Co. last week fell to the $500 million range -- what the MarketWatch Web site cost Dow Jones to acquire just a few years ago. Thus the renewed focus on new business models.
For years, publishers and editors have asked the wrong question: Will people pay to access my newspaper content on the Web? The right question is: What kind of journalism can my staff produce that is different and valuable enough that people will pay for it online?......."

The rest of the column is pretty interesting and makes some salient points. Newspapers have fallen into the trap poor salesmen find themselves in all too often: If you don't ask the client to pay and close the sale, you'll never get the sale. Newspapers need to quit giving their product away if they want to survive. Cutting back to three issues a week or the number of stories won't earn more revenue as they are just slow walks down a dead end street. Unfortunately, too many newspapers have bought into the idea that because people expect online newspapers to be free, they should not charge online fees. Yet they wonder why they are going broke.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Congratulations to the Northside Sun.

Got my Monday edition of the Northside Sun and thoroughly enjoyed reading its news, sports, and other features. After decades of being a weekly newspaper, its nice to see Wyatt is now publishing his paper twice a week when so many newspapers are cutting back on coverage. Hope it works out for him.

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Mississippi is a feudalist state?

From FOLO:
"lotus says:
February 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm
mag, not having lived there since early childhood, all I know is what I witnessed decades ago firsthand and have learned here over the past 15-16 months. That said, Mississippi’s civic society sounds as close to feudalism as I know of in this country. Really uncomfortably close to it.
Apparently Alabama and Louisiana are in much the same shape, and maybe some other states are too. But I declare, if you’re not inured to it, it’s pretty stunning to see what’s passed for acceptable behavior there."


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Congrats to Sen. Horhn

I've ripped the Senator from Jackson a little for not getting his bill allowing Jackson to raise its sales tax out of committee as he is running for Mayor. Well, time to throw a bouquet out for his perserverance as he was able to get a modified form passed out of the Senate and sent to the House.

"Jackson voters will decide whether to raise taxes to help fix roads and hire more police if legislation that cleared the state Senate on Friday continues advancing.
Senate Bill 3268 cleared the full Senate with 30 lawmakers supporting it and 18 voting against it. Twenty-nine votes were required for the bill to pass. It could come up for more debate before heading to the House.
The bill allows the city to seek voter support to add a 1 percent sales tax on all items except hotels, restaurants, groceries, prescription drugs and purchases of large equipment such as vehicles and farm equipment.
After a similar bill died earlier this week, supporters of the legislation added provisions intended to provide accountability as to how the revenue is spent.
The surviving legislation requires an annual audit of the revenue and establishes a commission to oversee how the money is spent. Major economic development projects also were removed from the list of beneficiaries.
Raising sales taxes would require at least 60 percent of Jackson voters' support, according to the bill. If approved, the tax hike is expected to generate $21 million per year.
Seventy percent of the revenue would be used to fix roads, and 30 percent would be used to hire more police and raise officers' pay, according to the bill.
The measure also stipulates the tax hike would disappear in five years
...." Clarion-Ledger Story

Predictably, Senator Redneck, oops I meant Hob Bryan from Amory, voted against it. I call him Senator Redneck because he is a bumpkin from Amory who just happens to wield some power in the Senate and his noted for his anti-Jackson stances. His crowning achievement is when he managed to steal the music museum from Jackson (thanks in no small part to Harvey sitting on his ass) for Meridian. His concern for poor people he states in the article was strangely absent when he voted to kill a bill allowing a new hospital to open in NE Jackson a few years ago that St. Dominics and Baptist opposed. Of course, he didn't mind getting CON's for new hospitals in HIS area. However, Horhn and others were able to overcome such opposition and pass this bill out of the Senate.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mississippi Republicans stick a finger in the public's eye.

Republicans in the Mississippi Senate should be ashamed of themselves as they cowered before Governor Barbour and told the public to take go jump in the lake. Senator David Blount sponsored SB# 2921, which would have shortened the time required for a government body to respond to an open records request from 14 business days (3 weeks in calendar days) to 7 business days. What stirred up the Governor against this bill was that it would have limited his ability to deny the public access to public records by demanding outrageous fees for information that belongs to taxpayers. You Republicans remember the taxpayers don't you? They are the ones who are your boss and who you claim to protect when you criticize McCoy and Obama.

The clause in question read:
"SECTION 2. Section 25-61-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-61-7. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, each public body may establish and collect fees reasonably calculated to reimburse it for, and in no case to exceed, the actual cost of searching, reviewing and/or duplicating and, if applicable, mailing copies of public records. The actual cost shall not include any amount paid to a person or any other entity who is not an employee of the public body unless there is no employee of the public body capable of fulfilling the records request; any staff time included in the computation of the actual cost shall be at the pay scale of the lowest level employee competent to assemble the response to the request or the actual cost of complying with the request if there is no employee of the public body capable of complying with the request. Such fees shall be collected by the public body in advance of complying with the request
." SB#2921 text

This prevents any public official from helping his attorney friends by claiming such a request needs to be "reviewed by outside counsel" and then charging a taxpayer thousands of dollars. Shades of Buddy Newman and Governor Bilbo. Or Edwin Edwards. The vote to recommit the bill to committee, thus killing it, was supported mainly by Republicans:
"Yeas--Albritton, Brown, Browning, Burton, Carmichael, Chassaniol, Clarke, Davis D. (1st), Fillingane, Flowers, Gollott, Hewes, Hopson, Hudson, Hyde-Smith, Jackson G. (15th), King, Kirby, Lee P. (35th), McDaniel, Mettetal, Michel, Nunnelee, Ward, Watson, Yancey. Total--26."

The next time they ask you for your vote, remember what they think of you and that when push comes to shove, they are no different than the Democrats in keeping government hidden from the taxpayers. There is currently a bill still alive that has passed the House and has been referred to committee in the Senate, HB# 1048 by Norquist. It keeps the provision in place where someone requesting public records doesn't have to pay for private employees to "review" the request but unfortunately, doesn't have the requirement that such requests be answered in seven business days.

The next time the Mississippi Republicans preach to you about limited government and opening government up to the people, throw this vote back in their faces as when push comes to shove, they are just as pro-government as any Democrat in the legislature.

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Did the government panic? makes an interesting claim:
"I now believe that the United States government went into full panic mode in September, 2008 and continues in panic mode to this day. This has serious implications for the future direction of the economy. Those in government who truly understand the current situation must have serious doubts as to whether the United States financial structure will survive in any form close to what it is today.
My case for this scenario has developed as a result of a number of factors including Congressman Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania blowing the lid off the fact that there were serious runs on money market funds back in September 2008, and the fact that the government, early on, took an active hand in trying to kill this news...."

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Results of Clarion-Ledger poll are in.

Last week JJ had an online poll: "What would cause you to completely quit reading the Clarion-Ledger?" There were 154 votes and the results were:

Charge a subscription price for the website 37 (24%)
Lay off Marshall Ramsey 28 (18%)
Cut back on number of print issues 27 (17%)
Get more liberal 16 (10%)
Raise the prices more 14 (9%)
Get more conservative 7 (4%)
Make it smaller 5 (3%)
Lay off Rick Cleveland 5 (3%)
Lay off Sid Salter 2 (1%)
Discontinuing most columnists such as Dear Abby 0 (0%)
Lay off Jerry Mitchell 0 (0%)

So charge for the website (which I still think they should), Lay off Marshall Ramsey, or cut back on the number of print issues and you will lose more readers.

By the way, did anyone notice they cut out the national columnists on the Sunday editorial page?

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Market Ticker on the radio

Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker ( has his radio show online from 3:30 to 4:30 CST today and will be taking calls. If you missed the show, you can still listen to it on his website. Enjoy.

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Toxicology Reports & Campaign Donations

Fox40 News reported last week on how long it would take JPD to get the toxicology reports for Karen and Stuart Irby in the deadly crash that took place two weeks ago:
"FOX 40 News spoke with Lt. Jeffery Scott with the Jackson Police department who said that it could take months for the crime lab toxicology reports to come back. He said it would be unlikely for the case to close quickly. Right now JPD is still investigating the accident. FOX 40 News also spoke with with the state crime lab to see if there was any back log in the toxicology department and to see how long it normally takes them to make their report in similar cases. After talking with the crime lab FOX 40 News has learned that some of the toxicology reports in the Irby wreck have been completed and released to JPD. The technician that FOX 40 spoke with couldn't get specific but said that there is no back log at the crime lab and was irritated that JPD would say that toxicology reports could take months to be completed. The technician said that most reports are finished with in a week. When FOX 40 asked Lt. Scott about the released test he said that JPD would no longer be commenting on this particular case......
Police say it could be weeks and even months before they're investigation is complete
Fox 40 Story

The Clarion-Ledger reported Friday part of the toxicology report was complete and sent to JPD: "The Mississippi Crime Lab has released a portion of the toxicology results from last week's crash in Jackson that killed two doctors.
But lab Director Sam Howell couldn't specify Thursday what was released to Jackson police and said it could take several more weeks before the entire toxicology report is complete
JPD gets part of toxicology report

Despite which story is more accurate, it is clear the media discovered JPD received at least part of the toxicology report. What is disturbing is the statement by Officer Scott that JPD will make no more comments about this case after he said the toxicology report could take "months" to complete. Months. Anyone familiar with how such reports are processed doesn't believe for one second it will take months to determine if Mrs. Irby was driving while under the influence of alcohol that horrible night.

If there is a time when JPD should not follow past cases and give any appearance of stonewalling, this is it. In 2007, the Irbys contributed $9,000 to McMillin's re-election campaign. Considering McMillin's relationship to the Irbys, it is imperative JPD handles this case in a manner that is professional and open to the public while respecting the families and the due process rights of the Irbys. If there is a time when JPD should not follow past cases and give any appearance of stonewalling, this is it. A quick examination of the campaign finance reports reveal they were his largest campaign donors or if not, they were among the leaders:

Irby State PAC 6/29/95 $500

Stuart Irby,Jr. 6/25/99 $1,000
Irby P.A.C. 6/28/99 $1,000
Stuart M. Irby 7/2/99 $250

Stuart M. Irby 1/28/03 $2,500
Charles Irby 3/21/03 $100
Charles Irby 3/21/03 $5,000
Stuart M. Irby 4/2/03 $2,500
Stuart M. Irby 4/15/03 $750
Irby P.A.C. 6/26/03 $1,000

Stuart Irby 6/13/07 $4,000
Charles Irby 6/13/07 $5,000

Total: $23,600
source: Campaign Finance Reports

It should also be mentioned Stuart Irby only gave $500 to the campaign of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith in 2007.

One may ask why this information is posted on this website. The Clarion-Ledger is rotating this story among several reporters (four so far), increasing the likelihood some aspects of the story will not be reported properly. Message boards at various websites have exploded with accusations, hateful rhetoric, and malicious rumors while emotions run strong. Several posts have been made in an attempt to squelch some of this. The local media, in its various formats, is limited how much time it can devote to this story and, right now, is focused on Frank Melton

Everyone is hoping Mr. and Mrs. Irby survive and recover. If laws were broken, there will be a time for prosecution and further commentary. Let's not make a bad situation worse by withholding the truth concerning the condition of Karen Irby while behind the wheel. The rumors surrounding this event will be far more hurtful to her and her family. Give her the opportunity to do what is right. Don't give her a cloud of malicious lies and rumors to hide from.

Right now there are families that need prayers, confused children wondering when Mom and Dad will be home, and a medical profession now missing two pairs of healing hands. Let's make the truth known, and begin the next phase of this tragic journey. While this takes place, JPD needs to be forthcoming with information regarding this wreck and avoid certain appearances.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Brent's Drugs

Ate at Brent's Drugs yesterday. Hamburger, fries, and large vanilla malt.

I'm still full.

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Best damn comment I've seen on the Melton trial.

Better than anything Steffey has spewed or any of the so-called journalists covering the trial. About time someone called out this judge. Jury should've been sequestered when it was obvious the Melton team was improperly contacting witnesses. Melton should've been held in contempt and thrown in jail. This commentor on the Jackson Free Press's website nailed it:
"I’ve been quiet long enough. Dante Alighieri’s said that “the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” So please indulge me as I give my analysis in the Frank Melton case:
The federal judge is relatively new to the bench. Regardless, this jury should have been sequestered. In Melton's 1st trial before circuit judge Green, she sequestered the jury and Melton pled guilty. In Melton's second trial the appointed county judge (acting as a circuit judge) didn't sequester the jury and there was an acquittal.
Robert Walker and Goldia Revies should have been sanctioned for talking with potential juror during jury selection. They should have been at least fined. First of all they should have been working, as should all the other city employees at the federal courthouse. The message to the public would have been that the court was not tolerating disrespect and disregard for the criminal justice system or the court.
Melton's tampering with witnesses should have been met with swift sanctions by the judge. Melton’s bond should have been revoked and he should have been placed in detention/or house arrest for the duration of the trial. The court should have sent a strong message to all parties and the public that he would not tolerate any illegal conduct. The judge began losing control of his court early in this trial. Check your calendar, the tampering (discussing and gift giving) with Michael Taylor took place during the time when Melton was supposedly hospitalized or resting in Texas.
When the prosecution rested on Thursday. The court should have taken motions and immediately started Defendants' case. After all, the Defendants had 2 weeks to get there witnesses together while the jury was being chosen and the prosecution was putting on their case. Even in a capital murder case, a jury is picked within the first day or so. The trial rarely goes into the second week.
When court recessed from Thursday (2/12/09) to Tuesday (2/17/09) (5 days), two things occurred. First, the opportunity for jury tampering/tainting increased. Second, it gave Defendants 5 days to increase the number of witnesses and revamp a defenseless case.Generally, the jury is read instructions, the lawyers do their closing statements and the jury begins deliberations. Nothing should come into the jury after they begin deliberations. If a judge starts late and the jury doesn't finish for the night, he should’ve sequestered the jury and start the first thing the next morning. There has been continuous interruption of the jury's deliberation. Juror must remember the testimony as best they can from open court. Trial transcript brings into the jury a court reporters note that may or may not contain what each jury heard during the trial. posted by guidryb on 02/22/09 at 09:28 AM"

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Concerning Matt Steffey

Would someone please explain to me WHY he is considered to be a criminal law expert, as he has no expertise in that area of law? I should know as I took a year of constitutional law from him at MC. The only reason he even teaches criminal law is because they needed a professor to teach it, so they dumped the criminal law-oriented classes on him. This is a pattern at MC School of Law as Professor Judy Johnson teaches the criminal law and procedure classes as well, even though she is an expert in labor law and has no background in criminal law. Are there no true experts such as former judges, criminal defense lawyers, or prosecutors the local media can quote instead of someone who has a better chance of seeing a courtroom because of a traffic ticket than he would from his actual practice of the law?

Oh, and would someone also explain to me why Tricia Raymond, Executive Director of MADD, has been veeeeeeery quiet about Melton's drinking as its come out in court?

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Remembering Dr. Lisa Dedousis and Dr. Mark Pogue

His obituary in the Clarion-Ledger:
"Dr. Daniel Mark Pogue, MD, was 35 when he was called home to be with our Lord.
He tragically died Wednesday, February 11, 2009, with his fiancee, Lisa Dedousis.
Services will be held Friday, February 20, 2009, at 1 pm from the chapel of McClain-Hays Funeral Home in Philadelphia. Rev. Bill Freeman will officiate. Burial will follow in Burkes Cemetery in DeKalb. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 5-8 pm at McClain-Hays Funeral Home.
Mark was born March 6 in Meridian. He went to elementary school in Columbus. He was an Eagle Scout at age 15. Mark graduated high school from Neshoba Central in Philadelphia in 1990. After graduation, he had several occupations, he was a mechanic, factory worker, and in construction before he decided to pursue the medical field. Mark started as a phlebotomist, as he worked his way through lab school. He graduated from Meridian Community College with a degree in Laboratory medicine in 1995. Mark worked in the lab until he decided to venture into physician practice management and recruitment. He worked at Neshoba County General Hospital as Director of Physician services until he enrolled in medical school in 2002. Mark's dream of becoming a doctor took him to the Caribbean, then England where he graduated from St Christopher's College of Medicine in 2005. Mark did his fourth year medical school training in the U.S. at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, Johns Hopkins and Habor Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He then came home and enrolled in University of Mississippi Medical School's Family Practice program. He was to graduate from UMC this June. At UMC, Mark was awarded the "Gary W. Jefcoats, DO" teaching award for residents who exemplify outstanding teaching characteristics in the areas of medical student, resident, and patient education. Upon completion of his residency, Mark planned to practice rural medicine at Dewitt Hospital in Dewitt, AR.
Mark asked Lisa Dedousis to be his wife in December 2008. They planned to wed after Lisa finished her residency in Internal Medicine at Jersey City Medical Center, NJ.
Mark was such an extraordinary person, he touched the lives of everyone he met. He will be deeply missed.He was preceded in death by his father, Mack Pogue; and grandparents, John and Helen Burkes, and Frank and Thelis Pogue.Survivors include his mother, Jane and husband, James Ray Joiner of Collinsville; brother, Steve Pogue and wife, Marsha of Olive Branch; niece and nephew, Shelbie and Nick Pogue; and uncle, Jimmy Burkes and his family of DeKalb.
Pallbearers will be Chuck Beasley, Derek Ogelsby, Aaron Morgan, MD, Jimmy Burkes, Glenn Williams, and Ollie Burkes. Honorary pallbearers are TJ McMullin, Billy Burkes, and Johnny Burkes.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Dewitt Community Hospital Foundation. The foundation was formed in 1997 for the purpose of developing, managing, and granting charitable support to meet the health related needs of the area. Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than 4.5 million dollars for renovation and construction. Website:
Published in the Clarion Ledger on 2/19/2009"

From a comment on the Clarion-Ledger's website:
"Jesus Mom: I attended the funeral today. It was tragic and sad. Mark was a fantastic man, good natured and great hearted. I never met his soon to be wed. The biggest part of this situation is that two doctors were taken well before their time. What could they have accomplished in life? Well, Mark would give his left hand to help someone......His patients loved and adored him. When I first met him, I didn't know he was a doctor. That is why I refer to him as Mark. I later learned of his passion for others and job. He amazed me at being the type of person that treated everyone as himself. I took video of the entire funeral today, watched it tonight on my dvd....All the comments, family, friends, colleagues......What we would consider coworkers he was considered family. He loved people and practice. One statement that he made to Pastor Bill stood out....As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Rest in Peace Mark......Tell Jesus I say Hi personally, since you are there...smile2/21/2009 3:36:37 AM "

Related posts:
JPD: Toxicology could take months
Remembering Dr. Lisa Dedousis
No title for this one

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

JPD: Toxicology could take months.

From Fox 40 News:
"Some Irby Lab Results Back, JPD Mum
By Stephen Peteritas

FOX 40 News spoke with Lt. Jeffery Scott with the Jackson Police department who said that it could take months for the crime lab toxicology reports to come back. He said it would be unlikely for the case to close quickly. Right now JPD is still investigating the accident. FOX 40 News also spoke with with the state crime lab to see if there was any back log in the toxicology department and to see how long it normally takes them to make their report in similar cases. After talking with the crime lab FOX 40 News has learned that some of the toxicology reports in the Irby wreck have been completed and released to JPD. The technician that FOX 40 spoke with couldn't get specific but said that there is no back log at the crime lab and was irritated that JPD would say that toxicology reports could take months to be completed. The technician said that most reports are finished with in a week. When FOX 40 asked Lt. Scott about the released test he said that JPD would no longer be commenting on this particular case.
Jackson Police blocked off a two lane section of Old Canton Road in an attempt to recreate the fatal accident that killed two medical students and severely injured two prominent Jacksonians. Police are investigating the accident. The recreation should aid them in figuring out the speed of the vehicles and give a better idea as to what happened. The section of Old Canton that police are using for the reconstruction will be blocked off for most of the working day Monday. Law enforcement officials are on scene to help traffic pass by without confusion. Police say it could be weeks and even months before they're investigation is complete
Fox 40 News story

Anyone buying this?

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Battlestar Galactica last night

Was an underwhelming episode. Too much Cylon love triangle stuff. Missed a great opportunity to have Ellen explain how the final five and the Cylons began to Adama and the rest of the leadership. It would have been fun to see the shock on their faces. Then there was the matter of giving guns to Baltar's cultists. Didn't make sense until I saw this on a board:
"I had the priviledge this evening of watching a slightly longer rough cut at a frak party I attended tonight. And there was something really, really key that they had to cut for time (the rough was 11 minutes longer): there are not enough Marines left alive on the Galactica now to handle all required police & civilian duties. At the beginning of the rough cut version, the Marines give up on the food distribution, sensing a riot. They abandon the food rations...immediately after they leave, the Sons of Aries show up, guns in hand, and take what is left. Also before the credit roll, Adama/Roslin/Lee are arguing about introducing Centurions into the Galactica to pick up the slack in security issues and policing the civvies on the ship. Adama refuses to allow it. At the end of the episode, Baltar's plea to Adama is longer -- he clearly wants his little cult-turned-militia to pick up guns in service of civilian policing and food redistribution. Use his cult, instead of Centurions.The whole plot thread became that much clearer with this extra material, and gave greater depth to the internal struggle Adama must be going through as he watches his ship become "blended."

That made alot more sense, especially when Baltar said there was no government. I think where this season is going is the Galactica is wearing out, attrition due to combat and turmoil is thinning their ranks, and the Cylon rebels and Colonialists join after some more bloodshed.

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"What the hell was that?"

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Stanford: The Carnage Continues

It really pains me to write this as I know some of the victims, but the destruction in Baton Rouge is only now becoming known. The Baton Rouge Business Report's Editor wrote today:
What we know right now is that the human toll is very real—and it’s being felt particularly hard in Baton Rouge, the city where Stanford’s investment division was born in the 1990s when a couple of former Merrill Lynch brokers hooked up, through a relative, with a Texas billionaire to form Stanford Group.
"How much local money is invested with the company isn’t known for certain. Area financial executives estimate between $200 million and $300 million is in the CDs under investigation and that Stanford’s entire Baton Rouge book is close to $1 billion. Moreover, they believe that Lafayette area investors have as much as $250 million in those CDs. The CD investments are probably gone, the best-case scenario being clients recovering 30 cents on the dollar. Think about it: roughly half-a-billion dollars has likely disappeared in an instant.
When the list of investors goes public—and it will—you’ll see a mix of the rich and [by B.R.’s standards] famous, as well as those folks Sarah Palin likes to call Joe Six-Packs, those working-class people who trusted Stanford Group to make the most of their hard-earned retirement savings. In a one-degree-of-separation city like Baton Rouge, I’ll bet Les Miles’ salary [assuming he’s willing to give it up] that you know at least one person on the list..."
J.R. Ball Editorial

Sufficeth to say, several hundred million dollars disappearing suddenly from the Baton Rouge economy is huge. It won't surprise me at all if businesses and foundations collapse. My understanding is there are also some attorneys with something to worry about, as they steered their clients to Stanford.

Over on, the following comments were made:
"Meauxjueaux: 'These are not good hard working people getting wiped out. They are people who play the same get-something-for-nothing, get-monster-returns-with-no-risk game that the big boys do. They are just playing with smaller decks. Joe Sixpack owns just as much blame in all this mess as everyone else. I know these people. For the last 10 years I've heard everyone gush at cocktail parties about their "killer investments" and their "awesome flips" and their condos paid for by beach renters. Very few of the people I heard these stories from were actually of sound mind and reasonable investment strategy. Most were arrogant boasters."

"Tigerdog83: It's shocking to me that more people didn't see problems with this years ago. 8.25% returns on CD's from a bank in Antigua?"

"Bilj:dad had a friend try and reel him into this. Guaranteed an 11% long as you leave your money in. stayed the fuck away from that"

"Tigerbaitn08: This guy (Referring to a bank CEO who supposedly gave him this info) knows what he talking about so I believe him, BTW, he specifically said $100M out of River Ranch and $800M out of BR as a whole."

"Camp Randall:I don't believe him. No way there is that much BR money in it. There's a lot but not 800 million. Edit: Nevermind. It is least 25 FAs in BR and the books are prob 50-600 million each. Yikes."

"Tigerdog83:I don't know. There are more LA people involved in this than you would think at first. I've already heard of one case for $4M in Shreveport. Multiply that times a couple thousand people and it might not be too hard to come to that amount."


"Mr. LSU: I understand the amount is much larger than the $800 million in BR, I'm hearing it is much closer to 1.7 billion in the BR region. Included in that number are some of the wealthiest individuals in BR who tied up their entire investments with Stanford--one individual in particular had her entire fortune tied up, another individual lost over $23 million, and I know of a third who lost everything. All those names are names who are the upper crust of BR. A couple of attorneys said that they were worried that their clients businesses were going to fold because of the massive wealth loss they took and that one person was worried that over one hundred of their employees were going to be let go very soon. Also heard that several BR law firms invested their clients' settlement funds in those CDs."

When asked how law firms were investing client's money, Mr. LSU replied "Structured Settlement proceeds". He further states:
"Hossana is going to have some real problems because Jason Green was one of the major supporters of that Church and on the Board. The CDs were not insured by the US government. One of the wealthiest individuals in that of Louisiana was a victim in this thing and I understand she has lost almost everything. Also hearing a major B.R. developer was a victim. The victims in BR will be emerging over the next few weeks as the lawsuits start hitting federal court."

"Tigerbatin08: Check that!! I reconfirmed it today as I met with the CEO and Pres of Bank in Laffy, $100M in Laffy and $800M in BR so far and those figures are sure to increase."

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A Jackson tradition comes to an end.

For years I, along with many others, have enjoyed going to Memorial Stadium and running up and down the steps as we attempt to punish ourselves on a regular basis. I've been out there running bleachers regardless of the weather. 104 degrees, 20 degrees, rain, sun, didn't matter.

Unfortunately, this tradition has come to an end thanks to a few changes made at the stadium recently. This week I went to the stadium for my weekly workout at lunch and voila, there was a heavy gate with a keypad in front of it, similar to those seen at apartment complexes. A quick call the to stadium revealed that the stadium is now closed off to runners. I spoke to the manager, Mike Marsh today and found out why the stadium is now closed to Jacksonians.

The new gates were funded by Homeland Security. Mr. Marsh said Homeland Security is tightening stadium access across the country. For some strange reason, Homeland Security seems to think a single person walking around an empty stadium (and thus, very visible) is more of a threat than someone who is able to "case" a stadium during a football game when he is hidden by 20,000 people. Mr. Marsh said that in order to qualify for the grant, management had to restrict access to the stadium during the day.

Mr. Marsh also said they were having a problem with homeless people walking around (never mind all the times I've been there I've never seen one), people leaving trash ( despite the 20,000 drunks trashing the place every Saturday night), and people running on the seats themselves (guess he hasn't been to an actual football game there. He might be surprised at the punishment dished out to those seats). I suggested he post a sign requiring runners to sign in on a list at the office and write down their license numbers but was told Homeland Security made that impossible. (My impression was he was not interested at all in accommodating local runners but instead was more than happy to pass the back off to the federal government).

I wrote this a year ago: "This town is getting to where you can't have any damn fun. Want to take your kids to play golf? Want to ride go-carts? Batting cages? Ride some rides? Forget it. Want to go to a water park without driving an hour only to find out it is filled to capacity? You are out of luck. Want to go hear some music and have a drink while enjoying a nice day the water as we used to do at the Dock? Don't bother. Want to go to a bar like the Subway in the old days and hear some music all night long? Mac don't want you to have fun. Feel like having a smoke or enjoying a cigar at a place where the owner allows you to do so? The Smoke Nazis want you to go to hell. Want to enjoy some greenery downtown? Don't worry about it as Watkins and his bunch bulldozed the last section of grass downtown instead of all the old buildings screaming to be torn down. Like the way development is spread out on I-55 North as you drive by the Deaf School? HA!! Duckworth wants a nice concrete jungle in its place."

Just one more thing we can no longer enjoy in Jackson.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Market Ticker's Weekly Radio Show

Monday's at 3:30 PM, CST on

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Someone finally said it. Greatness at CNBC.

About time someone called out Obama and his housing plan, as it's a complete joke and is going to disappoint many people and ruin the housing market if it passes as proposed. This video is great.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Uh-oh. Stanford Group and LSU/Ole Miss ties

Think the Stanford Group was just affecting some poor ole rich folk? Guess again. Standord had ties to several college football programs close to home.

Stanford sponsored the LSU cheerleaders as well as the squad at Ole Miss:
"10/03/2007 by
BATON ROUGE -- Stanford Group Company has announced that it will become the Official Sponsor of the LSU cheerleading team.
This is only the second sponsorship of its kind granted by an institution, the first being Stanford’s sponsorship of the University of Mississippi cheerleading team last year which the company is continuing this season. This unique sponsorship provides scholarship funding for the LSU cheerleading program, as well as an internship program for qualified members of the squad to work at the company’s Baton Rouge office. Stanford Group Company is a member of the Stanford Financial Group, a global network of financial services companies

However, the ties to LSU didn't just stop at sponsoring cheerleaders as two executives of Stanford sat on the Professional Advisory Council of the LSU Foundation. LSU Foundation website:
Mr. Jason Green
President, Private Client Services
The Stanford Group Company
445 North Blvd., 8th FloorBaton Rouge, LA 70802
W: (225) 381-0505
Fax: (225) 381-0650

Mr. Grady J. Layfield, CPA
Managing Director, Private Client Services
The Stanford Group Company
P.O. Box 3558Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3558
W: (225) 381-0600

Stanford also sponsored numerous events at LSU and had additional ties to Ole Miss as well (One of its members sat on the Business School's Banking & Financial Advisory Board). Regardless of what the investigation finds, it is clear both LSU and Ole Miss will suffer from their association with Stanford.

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Remembering Dr. Lisa Dedousis

This is the story from her local paper. She'd come down to Jackson to see her fiance for Valentine's Day.

"Med Center mourns 'model resident' doctor
Monday, February 16, 2009
Jersey City Medical Center is mourning the loss of a doctor that officials described as a "model resident," who had gone to Jackson, Miss. to be with her fiancé for Valentine's Day, but instead was killed in a horrific car crash last Wednesday night.
According to Jackson police, a Mercedes Benz collided head-on with a Chevrolet truck carrying Dr. Lisa Dedousis, an internal medical resident at the Jersey City Medical Center, and her fiancé, Dr. Mark Pogue, a third-year resident at the University of Mississippi's West Jackson Family Medical Clinic.

Mark Rabson, a spokesman for the Jersey City Medical Center said Dedousis, a first-year resident, was well liked by hospital staff.
"She was an outstanding medical resident and doctor," Rabson said. "When staff found out about the tragic accident we were all visibly moved and upset. She was a model resident and doctor and our thoughts go out to family and friends."
Rabson said the hospital is planning a remembrance service.
Dedousis' brother, Dr. John Dedousis, is a physician on the staff of the Jersey City Medical Center and has a private practice in Bayonne. Family members declined to comment yesterday.
The truck carrying Dedousis and Pogue crashed into an apartment building retaining wall and exploded, according to reports. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency responders extricated Karen Irby, who was driving the Mercedes and her husband, Stuart. Witnesses said the Mercedes had been going "pretty fast."
" Jersey Journal Story

There is a Facebook page for remember her and Dr. Pogue: "Please pray for the families of the Dr. Mark Pogue & Dr. Lisa Dedousis"

Main post on this story:

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No action for Jackson from Fenator Horhn

Fo much for that talking point. One of Fenator and current Jackfon Mayoral candidate John Horhn'f claimf if he can get thingf done for Jackfon in the legiflature. I'm ftill waiting to fee where thif legiflative proweff he bragf about if becaufe it fure hafn't been on difplay helping Jackfon lately. He couldn't even get hif bill to allow Jackfon refidents to vote on raifing their own falef tax out of committee:

"A bill that would allow Jackson residents to consider raising sales taxes has stalled at the state Capitol.
House Bill 1622 failed to gain enough support in the Senate Finance Committee today. Supporters said they will reintroduce the measure in another committee to try to keep it alive as the 2009 regular legislative session continues.

The bill would have allowed the city of Jackson to add a one percent sales tax on all items except hotels, restaurants, groceries, prescription drugs and purchases of large equipment such as vehicles and farm equipment." Clarion-Ledger story , Bill status on legislature's website

fo we are fuppofed to believe thif mover and fhaker of the legiflature who can't get a bill that would help hif campaign gain more credibility out of committee can fomehow get more for Jackson out of the legiflature when he if NOT a member of it?

But hey, forget Lake Hico and the fales tax. He goef to the right partief and fitf on a few boardf.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Poll: Should the French Plantation Scene have been included?

Latest poll question on JJ was whether the French Plantation Scene should have been included. The results were:
Should've been included. 8 (20%)
No. They were right to leave it out. 7 (17%)
Huh? 24 (61%)

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Best qb ever.

How would you like to be a defensive back in coverage and have .19 looking in your direction? That would be scary. Starr was pretty good too.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Most recent home sales for Jackson metro-area

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Wealth: Gone in three generations.

Mish wrote a very thought-provoking piece about the Chinese proverb that says wealth does not last three generations:

"Meaning: It's rare the wealth of a family can last for three generations (the 2nd may see the value of hard work, the 3rd, forget it)......
one of the 3rd generation children decided to carve out a career as a financial advisor. She made the following insightful observations:
1. Her grandparents did a fantastic job of consistently placing 10% of their monthly income into an equity investment over a 45 year period.
2. As they had generated sufficient capital to live off the dividend income there from, her grandparents had stuck with their equity investment throughout their retirement.
3. Unfortunately, her parents had failed to adopt a savings ethic and they had relied optimistically on their inheritances to generate their own retirement income.
4. The 3rd generation children (herself included) failed to comprehend the importance of generating an income and as a result were unable to adopt a savings plan or meet their own costs.
Time to start again.....

Another interpretation of the expression involves the changing role of attitudes towards debt and asset accumulation over time. This is how I see it:
Few alive remember the great depression. Most boomers headed into retirement have seen rising asset prices all their lives. Those boomers thought they could live off their houses and/or investments in the stock market, expecting prices to rise forever, even though it was mathematically impossible for that to happen. Now, headed into retirement, boomers are realizing they are actually savings poor given that asset prices have crashed.
Moreover, children who have seen their parents wiped out in bankruptcy or foreclosed on are going to have a completely different attitude towards debt than their reckless parents did. Expect to see more frugality from parents and their children alike.
Three generations from now the lessons of today will have again been forgotten and the cycle will repeat...." Interesting post by Mish

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

In honor of Frankie feeling better

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No title for this one.

Update: Just got a credible but unconfirmed report on the speed of the Mercedes as that particular model has a black box that records the speed. All I will say now is it is less than three times the posted speed limit.

Original Post:
Everyone was shocked by the news late Wednesday night concerning the wreck involving Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Irby and two young doctors, Mark Pogue and Lisa Dedousis, who were engaged to each other. Everyone's hearts and prayers go out to the families of these people as they seek to pick up the pieces from this horrible tragedy. I am posting on this subject for one reason only and that is because I've heard some of the rumors and accusations flying around Jackson, and it's time to put a stop to some of them. Such rumors do nothing but smear people who did nothing wrong and hurt those who are grieving by giving them the wrong idea about what happened that night.

The facts reported so far and some other things I have learned from multiple sources are this:

1. The Irbys left the Jackson Country Club shortly before the wreck.

2. The car they were driving was claimed by witnesses to be speeding at over 70 mph. A quick view of the Mercedes supports this claim. The speed limit is 40 mph on that part of Old Canton Road. I've been in a head-on collision at 50 mph with an 18-wheeler and the damage was nothing close to that of the Mercedes, much less the truck. The impact was so hard the truck exploded almost immediately. Clearly the car was going much higher than the posted speed limit.

3. After the 911 call was made, 20 minutes passed before anyone from JPD or JFD showed up, even though there are two fire stations only a few blocks away.

4. Update: both have improved. See the Caring Bridge site for details on their conditions. Multiple sources have told me not to be surprised by the toxicology reports. The website Caring Bridge gives updates on their conditions and there is a guestbook if someone wishes to make any comments or prayers. Doctor sent this link to me about the scale used for comas and thought it might be useful for those of you reading the Caring Bridge site. GCS Scale

5. Time to dispel one rumor: the police turned off their lights when they called in the tag. Not buying this one and I tend to believe Mr. Vance of the JPD. JPD has a no-pursuit policy for such high-speed chases involving traffic violations, something understandable after the death of Mr. Fowler's daughter, Jamie Fowler Boyll. Also, at 70 mph or so, it would have taken the Irbys only a couple of minutes to get from South River Oaks to Newland. In that time a cop would have had to pick them up, follow them, call in the tag, have a supervisor recognize who they were, and call off the chase before the Mercedes entered the area where witnesses saw the wreck take place. It doesn't add up and it is very doubtful the police were able to do all of that within 60 seconds or so. Until someone can show some real evidence such as a copy of a database search with a time stamp for that plate, such speculation does nothing but upset the victims' families and give the appearance of some type of cover-up when none existed. Even if the police were chasing the Mercedes, there was very little they could have done in that little amount of time. The second WLBT video posted below delves into the chase issue.

6. An investigation IS taking place. Investigators were knocking on doors in the neighborhood Friday as I personally answered one of the visits. The crime scene van was parked nearby for several hours Friday. See the second WLBT video for story on crash reconstruction investigation.

The mere thought of someone rich and well-connected getting drunk and then driving so recklessly two doctors are killed shocks the senses. Families are ruined as two promising young doctors are dead, a third person may still die, and there are small children who face the prospect of not having a father or a mother (due to injuries and possibly jail). Both families need prayers. If it is clinically determined Mrs. Irby was drunk, then she needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law possible, including vehicular homicide. If she was drinking, she made the choice to start drinking and made the choices along the way to get behind the wheel. If she drove drunk and killed these two doctors, it's not a tragedy but an outrage and she deserves to be in jail for as long as the law allows. Under the law, a blood alcohol test is mandatory as there was a fatality so all the speculation and rumors will be put to rest soon enough. However, we've had enough death and need to say a prayer that both survive and the families of the deceased recover and receive comfort during this time.

Media notes and further comments:
WLBT story from February 12
WLBT video
WLBT story February 13
WLBT video
February 12 Clarion-Ledger story
February 13 Clarion-Ledger story
February 14 Clarion-Ledger Story
WLBT story on crash reconstruction investigation
Clarion-Ledger story on crash reconstruction investigation

A Facebook page has been set up for the deceased: Please pray for the families of the Dr. Mark Pogue & Dr. Lisa Dedousis

There is a Facebook page set up for the Irbys: Praying for Stuart and Karen Irby for those who are interested in praying for their recovery.

The message boards of the Clarion-Ledger have been filled with posts covering the full range of emotions as friends, family members, and readers have made their feelings known:

Some comments from family and friends of the deceased (I'm posting them because everyone is talking about the Irbys but frankly, the two young doctors no longer with us need to be remembered). The number of comments removed probably set a record for the website.

"was Dr. John Dedousis' daughter or sister. He is my doctor in Bayonne, NJ and he was closed due to a family emergency. It was in our Bayonne newspaper but hasn't given any details. My prayers go out to him and his family in this tragic time. I pray for everyone involved but also that justice is served here. God Bless The Dedousis' and Pogue Families, and, of course, I would be heartless if I didn't include the Irby's. Barbara Kuzminski 2/14/2009 9:29:06 AM"

"As Lisa's niece I'd like to take the time out to thank everyone who has been praying for my family as well as Mark's. They both are two amazing people, and this is a tragedy that we will all live with every day for the rest of our lives. Although the circumstances are devastating, it is important not to make assumptions about what happened that night. There were no BAC levels released, so making accusations does not benefit anyone, especially the families of those hurt. However, with that being said, traveling at that type of speed is out of control and unnecessary. Thankfully, her children were not in the vehicle, but if it was up to me, I would want to see her in handcuffs on her hospital bed. In my eyes, she is a murderer and should have to live with that guilt for the rest of her life. It is karma that will be the real punishment
Again, I appreciate everyone's comments who has mentioned my family as well as the Pogue's. They were two beautiful people,and are in God's hands now.
2/13/2009 5:48:22 PM

"Dr. Mark Pogue’s biological father is deceased, but he has a strong loving step-father who is helping Mark’s mother weather this tragedy. Mark’s mother and step father do not live in Jackson but do live in the state of Mississippi. Mark’s mother is a nurse and a wonderful person who has given much to her local community and the state of Mississippi through many years of being a great mother and an accomplished nurse. Mark also has an older brother who is providing wonderful support to his mother at this time of their loss and sadness. Mark’s extended family from Mississippi to Virginia, Illinois to California are praying for and supporting his mother. It is so tragic that Mark’s and Lisa’s lives were taken at a young age. Both were soon to be full-fledged Internal Medicine Doctors and most important of all, to be married. We were so proud of Mark and his achievements and the wonderful and beautiful young lady (Lisa) that he was to marry. I am one of Mark’s great-uncles
2/17/2009 11:56:59 AM

"Mark was my husband's best friend. Mark had known what it was like to have plenty (of money) in his lifetime and he had known what it was like to have no money (at one point in medical school things got so bad he was living in his car). He was an entrepreneur as well as a doctor, having once owned a home iv infusion business. He never judged anyone based on whether they had money or not. He was a person who valued character. Think if the tables were turned. "2 rich doctors kill philanthropist and his wife in wreck". He would want the facts to come out and then justice to be served. He would not want to be crucified simply because he was rich, and I'm sure he wouldn't want that for the Irby's. Mark, we love you, and miss you terribly. 2/15/2009 12:34:49 PM "

"My husband and I met Mark back in Philadelphia, MS around 1999 or 2000. At the time he was a lab tech. My husband, a doctor, was talking to Mark about a lab result one day, and realized the incredible intelligence Mark had. He suggested Mark think about going to med school. Mark was like...oh I'm too old to do that now! But my husband convinced him he was not too old and it could be a reality. So they investigated together what might the fastest way be to do this because the traditional route would cost a lot of extra years. Mark ended up starting med school in the Caribbean and then transferred to England. Then he did several rotations here in the states and ended up at UMC for his residency. We had wished that he did not have to go to Arkansas to work after residency because we wanted him to stay here. The whole time we knew Mark, he was the most loving, genuine, caring, and loyal friend a person could have. We love you Mark. You will always be in our memories.
2/13/2009 9:22:11 AM

One of the more clueless comments came from someone a commenter called "Buffy":
"I am still upset that the fact that Karen can be charged with manslauhter. It was an accident, and she and her husband are such good people who are so refined. Shouldn't the fact that she killed 2 people be her punishment since she will have to live with that everyday? I don't know much about legal, but is there anyway she can avoid charges? I feel so bad for her and her husband is fighting for his life. She is so much younger than he is and obviously loves him, they need to let this situation bring them to their knees and take their marriage vows seriously. For richer for poorer, for better for worse, for as long as you both shall live. On Valentines Day as he fights for his life, I hope she will stand by her man no matter what condition he will be in the future. God Bless all who are involved.
2/14/2009 9:09:06 AM

Then there is the typical tone-deafness at the Jackson Free Press with the headline "Jackson Businessman and Wife Hospitalized after Head-On Collision" over this article:
"University Medical Center officials confirmed today that they admitted Jackson business man Stuart Irby and his wife Karen after a head-on collision on Old Canton road around 10:30 p.m. last night.
Stuart Irby was in critical condition this morning; Karen Irby was in serious condition.
The Irby’s black Mercedes collided with a pick-up truck, according to WLBT, which burst into flames, killing both passengers. Officials have identified the truck’s passengers as UMC resident, Dr. Mark Pogue, and his fiancé, Lisa Dedousis, from New Jersey.
"Horrific is probably too light of a word to describe this accident," Jackson Police spokesman Jeffery Scott told WLBT. "There
were two individuals inside the Chevy pickup who were subsequently burned to death after the collision."
posted by Ronni M on 02/12/09 at 03:33 PM

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

"I Get No Respect"

Rodney Dangerfield as he leaves the Oxford courthouse.....

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Where the idea for credit default swaps started.

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Melton: the noose tightens.

Nice to see someone at Omnibank isn't' asleep at the wheel. The Clarion-Ledger reported the local bank is suing Mayor Melton's wife for non-payment of a flood insurance policy:
"OmniBank has sued the wife of Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, saying the couple defaulted on a $301,967 home-equity line of credit they took out in 2007 on a Jackson home.
The default is due to failure to keep flood insurance on the property, according to the complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in Jackson
But Melton said Thursday his flood insurance policy expired in December and he renewed it.
"They sue me every time I'm late on something. It's no big deal," Melton said Thursday while leaving his federal trial in Jackson in an unrelated matter.
But the bank said in the complaint that it purchased flood insurance on the property to protect its interest at a total cost of $2,961.83. The lawsuit says the Meltons owe for the insurance premium and interest from Jan. 22.
"OmniBank has requested reimbursement for such insurance, but no payment has been made and no insurance has been obtained to replace the policy purchased by OmniBank," according to the complaint...." Clarion-Ledger Story

Melton can claim he paid it all he wants but the paper trail doesn't lie and Frank is a known liar. I can guess one very good reason Omnibank is going ahead and suing for the balance of the loan itself and has something to do with Frank's first mortgage on his home.

The first mortgage on his home was a 5-year balloon note that became due in full in December (as reported in JJ and later on WLBT) to Bancorpsouth. The note has not been released according to court records yesterday. The Mayor has either not paid it and foreclosure proceedings will commence at some point or it was paid but the bank has not filed the released yet at the courthouse.

Omnibacnk probably is trying to get first in line at the courthouse for any recovery of a claim against Melton as Bancorpsouth has the first lien.

Earlier post on Meltons' first mortgage becoming due in full

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear Cynthia

If you're going to wear that top, get implants.

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How we got here.

I first read this story in the Wall Street Journal in 2005 and remember how much it sickened me to read it as craziness abounded on almost every sentence. Reading it now is still a sobering experience in light of the current meltdown:
"As real-estate mania intensifies, the mortgage industry keeps making it easier to borrow. "Low documentation" loans are catching on, including ones where lenders simply take borrowers' word about their income and don't ask for pay stubs. Repayment terms sometimes are stretched as long as 40 years, to help shrink monthly payments. In the most common twist, lenders aren't requiring even token efforts to repay principal in the early years of a mortgage. Interest-only payments suffice. In some cases, borrowers can even pay less than that, allowing interest to pile up and be repaid later.
Skeptics worry that this easy-credit euphoria could end with a real-estate crash and waves of problem loans. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan warned in June that housing prices in some areas appeared "unsustainable," adding that he was concerned about "the dramatic increase in the prevalence of interest-only loans." In a recent Wall Street Journal survey of 56 leading economists, 11 named a possible housing bust as their biggest worry for the economy.
For now, default rates are low and property prices remain strong. Many aspiring homebuyers are willing to try anything that stretches the amount they can borrow, since house prices continue surging while wages fail to keep pace. Aggressive lenders are enjoying the boom while it lasts.

That is just the appetizer as Mr. Ray, a loan officer at the time, offered the "Freedom Loan" to his clients:
Fifty miles north of San Francisco, Benchmark is a small, fast-growing mortgage company that typifies the industry's current stampede into interest-only lending. Benchmark gets about 60% of its business from loans with such features....
In an interview, Mr. Aldridge scoffs at people who pay down their mortgages, month by month. (He is the owner of Benchmark)"That's just a way of transferring money to your heirs," he says. "As a borrower, I'd rather make smaller payments and have the money myself."......
Benchmark does much of its business in California, catering to welders, flight attendants and others who want to buy or refinance $500,000 homes. Callers hope to borrow most of the home's value, drawing on household incomes that average just $70,000 a year. At Benchmark, such middle-class strivers are greeted with open arms. True, they may be hard-pressed to cope with traditional mortgages that require principal repayment each month. But they can handle interest-only mortgages with smaller monthly payments....
If even that amount seems too steep, Benchmark offers something called the Freedom Loan. For the first few years, it lets borrowers choose between standard repayment terms -- and a "minimum payment" option calculated on a 1% teaser interest rate. For the first month, that option fully services the mortgage; after that, the interest rate climbs above 5% and the minimum payment covers only about two-thirds of monthly interest due...."

Such garbage loans were justified by the following pitch:
"Benchmark's top executives encourage such serenades. "We paint pictures," says Lance Diener, the company's executive vice president for sales. "This is all about people improving the quality of their lives. If you can save $800 a month on your mortgage payments, maybe you can buy that brand-new Cadillac Escalade...."

Read the rest. Its good. The REST of the story

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Got the bubble-headed bleach blonde...comes on at five.....

Joe Kalahar of WLBT reported on the requests by Mississippi cities for their share of funds awarded to the states in the federal stimulus package that just passed Congress. The money quote from the story is here:
"Jackson, Meridian, Biloxi and Hattiesburg make up the bulk of the state's listed requests. But according to stimulus watch dot org, Natchez made the largest total request at nearly seven hundred million dollars and the largest single request for a project called the Forks of the Road Heritage Trail.
"I've checked with the mayor and city council, all the city officials, nobody has made a request like that for Natchez," said Rep. Robert Johnson, (D) Natchez.
But requests that are legitimate include four olympic size pools and seven splash parks for the city of Jackson

How many problems are there in this passage? Since Representative Johnson said no one made such a request for Natchez (the request at issue was for $600 million for ONE project), shouldn't Mr. Kalahar have asked the mayor and city council members WHO made the request? One would think that's a part of Journalism 101 but Mr. Kalahar just let that denial fly right by his pretty little head without checking it out with other officials. My favorite part of this story is where Kalahar calls FOUR OLYMPIC-SIZED POOLS and SEVEN SPLASH PARKS LEGITIMATE REQUESTS!!! Pools and splash parks are legitimate needs.

Maybe he hides in his little cubicle when he's not on assignment, but in case he hasn't noticed, there are MANY more pressing needs than seven damned splash parks for Jackson. Jackson has a water/sewer system in desperate need of an overhaul, roads falling apart, creeks that need dredging, and schools in need of repair. However, calling swimming pools and splash parks "legitimate" needs makes one wonder if he's even thinking about what he is reporting. I suspect he doesn't think critically, as I remember this story he did on Jim Hood and foreclosures a few weeks ago.

Jim Hood bragged about how he and other Attorneys General sought to have the bankruptcy laws changed so judges could alter mortgage contracts as he thought such modifications would keep homeowners from losing their homes. Kalahar gleefully (and yes, gleefully, I saw him report the story) reported:

"Hood says a simple change to the federal bankruptcy code could give judges the discretion to order a loan modification and keep families in their homes.
"Not let people get away with a free home or anything; just adjust their payment schedule and try and knock off some of these excess charges," said Hood....

If it passes, the code change could be a win-win for both the homeowner and the lender. (Kalahar's words, not Hood's, and he said it in a very cheerful manner as if he'd found some really good news for the audience)
"They want to agree because they want people to continue to live in those homes. They want people to continue to pay the debt," said Hood
..." Story

Really? How do you know its a win-win for the lender? Because Hood told you so? Did it cross your mind that you might want to actually go ask......... a mortgage expert or an officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association whether this was true? Since I've worked in the mortgage business for over ten years, I think I know a little bit more than you or Mr. Hood about this matter and I can say on some authority this is not a "win-win" as you put it for everyone. What such a change will do is raise interest rates and require larger down payments from homebuyers at a time when the economy is weak.

When lenders set their rates, they use a pricing model that factors in the costs of the mortgage itself, the risk, the size of the down payment, and the ability to foreclose on the property in case of default. That is why the loan is considered to be secured. I realize you only learned to write stories in journalism classes but this is remedial finance stuff that millions of frat boys learn every day after sorority swap night while hung over. When you reduce the ability of the lender to recover on the security, the loan is now riskier. Because the lender doesn't want to get burned, he's going to require more money from the homebuyer for a down payment and probably increase the interest rates as his collateral now is less secure. Such a scenario is actually what is driving this housing crisis: lenders are failing because h0mes are worth less than what is owed to them when they are forced to foreclose. Before a lender will take such a position because of a change in the bankruptcy law, he is going to cover his ass before giving a seller a check for $300,000.

This is not sloppy reporting but rather an inability to think critically, ask basic questions, and do basic research. Before anyone thinks I'm being too harsh on this reporter, here is a story by Monica Hernandez in the same broadcast on a similar subject. Notice how she talks to a realtor, an owner of a mortgage company, a landlord, and a tenant thus covering all sides of the story. Story on renting. Contrast her reporting with the story by the other reporter who got a tingle down his leg while he told us gleefully how something harming homebuyers is a "win-win" for everyone and seven splash parks are a "legitimate" need.

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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