Monday, May 31, 2010

Jerry Clower on Education

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Peaceful little flotilla, eh?

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This is going to be fun.

Karl Denninger had never heard of Jerry Clower before and I just introduced him to the Coon Huntin' Story.

Today is going to be a fun day. hehehe.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Charter v. Public

Nice little story in the Wall Street Journal this weekend comparing a charter school and regular public school in the same area.

"At Santa Fe South, the school day is 45 minutes longer; graduation requirements are more rigorous (four years of math, science and social studies compared with three at public schools); and there is a tough attendance policy.

This year, the majority of Santa Fe South's graduates will attend a vocational, two- or four-year college. About one-third of the graduates from Capitol Hill plan to get a higher education.

While neither school is allowed to select students, Santa Fe South can turn them down if it's full. Capitol Hill must welcome anyone who wishes to enroll. Santa Fe South, whose teachers are on a one-year renewable contract, can remove incompetent instructors more easily than Capitol Hill, where teachers are unionized...

At Santa Fe South, 95% of the students are poor enough to qualify for a free or discounted lunch. Ms. Pankhurst has students who work eight-hour shifts into the night and students whose parents have had to return to Mexico.

If Ivan missed school, Ms. Pankhurst called home. If he was disruptive in class, she ordered him to do pushups....

In ninth grade, Laura—who some friends nicknamed "Pocahontas" because of her long, black hair, tan skin and large brown eyes—enrolled at Capitol Hill High School. About 96% of the students are eligible for a free or reduced lunch. Two police officers are assigned to the school, which was once featured on the History Channel series "Gangland."

Mr. Souza, a seasoned public-school administrator, is the seventh principal to head the school in the last decade....

He feels it is unfair to compare Capitol Hill to a charter school like Santa Fe South. For one, Mr. Souza says that he doesn't have the flexibility to discipline employees or teachers like a charter school. Capitol Hill must also enroll "anyone who walks in," he says.

Budget constraints and bureaucratic, political and legal hurdles are another reality, while charter schools operate free of many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. "In a perfect world, education would be directed by educators," he says. "When the law, budget and everything else is designed by legislators, this increases the challenges."

On Friday, Oklahoma City's teachers' union, the American Federation of Teachers Local 2309, said no one was available for comment
...." Article

Of course, Derek Johnson and Willie Perkins will ignore stories such as these as in their feeble minds, charter schools are a brainchild of the Klan.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

No comment


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African teachers helping Cajuns

As someone who grew up learning French in elementary school, its rather disheartening to see French culture decline in South Louisiana. The Wall Street Journal reported this week on how the state is using African teachers to reverse this trend:

"This talented teacher and dozens more from West Africa form a veritable French Foreign Legion of imported educators here. They join staff from Canada, Haiti, Belgium and France itself, as Louisiana's present-day Acadians—the "Cajuns"—struggle to preserve a language languishing on the Bayou.....

For decades, it was forbidden to use French in Louisiana's public schools. Many a Cajun family remembers a grandparent who came home from school in tears after being punished for not speaking English, a language few spoke at home.

But in the 1960s, Cajuns successfully adapted African-Americans' civil-rights efforts to gain minority status. Benefits included a mandate to teach French in all public schools. Foreign governments—particularly France and Belgium—pitched in, subsidizing their teachers' passage to Louisiana.

Initially, there was resistance by some Cajuns to African educators, who were often the first blacks to teach in rural schools. Today's parents take a broader view. "It's expanded his horizons, having an African teacher," says Mrs. Comeaux.

Her son is glad to have Mr. Hounnou, too. "He's pretty interesting," 12-year-old Phillip says enthusiastically. "He told us about African culture, like the masks and stuff." Mr. Hounnou also encouraged his students to watch French broadcasts of this year's Winter Olympics, the seventh-grader says.

Native teachers are scarce in the immersion programs. Of the 11 working in the schools of St. Martin Parish—considered Cajun country's epicenter—only one was born in Louisiana. The others are from France, Canada and Belgium. Both Belgians were born in Africa—one in Cameroon, the other in Senegal...."Article

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Charles Evans: CAUGHT. (Updated)

Take a look at the face of a scumbag: Charles Evans, Jr. He was apprehended at Metrocenter yesterday. Way to be incognito Charles. A white guy at Metrocenter or even worse, the only customer at Metrocenter. Didn't anyone ever tell you that if you want to avoid being arrested, you have to blend in with the crowd? Not be the crowd or the token minority? Of course, this is the guy that got over $70 million in fraudulent real estate loans (Sure Collette, go ahead and sue me.) and didn't have the sense to stick a few million away somewhere so he could hit the road if he ever got caught. Evans intake report

Update: Evans did not appear before Judge Olack in the 1:00 PM hearing. He was held on a criminal complaint of resisting arrest and went before Magistrate Judge Anderson at 2:00 PM. Evans reached for a bag that marshals later found had a gun when apprehended. Evans filed two documents with the court this morning: statement to the court and Emergency motion for release from custody.

The complaint provides more details about the arrest:
The deputies "attempted to arrest Charles Evans for an outstanding warrant issued by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. We encountered Charles Evans and I identified myself as a law enforcement officer, at which time Charles Evans ran and jumped into his vehicle. Charles Evans then forcibly resisted this officer's arresting and pulling him from the vehicle. Charles Evans than began to reach for a blue/gray, softcase firearm bag on the floor of the vehicle which contained a loaded firearm. Your affiant then forcible struggled with Chaarles Evans to keep control of the bag. Despite repeated warnings from Deputy Sanford, Evans continued to resist arrest and was subsequently subdued by a less0than-lethal device and arrested." Copy of complaint

Update II: Judge Olack released Evans to house arrest pending resolution of the criminal complaint filed against him in U.S. District Court. The defendant must wear an ankle bracelet and is confined to an address in Ridgeland. Copy of order

Update III: Amy McCullough provides some more details in the Mississippi Business Journal:
"After the judge’s ruling, Evans could be heard complaining to his attorney about the conditions at the Madison County Jail. “It’s 62 degrees in there,” Evans said.

Collete then told the judge that Evans was sleeping on the floor at the jail with a garment similar to a hospital gown and requested that the judge ask that he be given a bed.

Anderson said she would ask the Marshals to investigate the situation."Article

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Canton Junta at it again

This message was sent by Mike Kent, Superintendent of Madison County Schools, last night:
"I am sure that most of you are aware that the City of Canton Zoning Board is scheduled to hear a request from local developers on TUESDAY, JUNE 1 at 3:00 p.m. to rezone approximately 26 acres at the intersection of Old Jackson and Sowell Roads to allow for construction of 300 apartment units.

Although this area has been annexed into the city limits of Canton, there is case law from the Mississippi Supreme Court that distinguishes between city limit boundaries and school district boundaries. If apartments are built on this site, the Madison County School District will have the responsibility of educating children who reside there.

In recent years, all of the District’s planning, demographic studies, bond issues, etc. have been based upon numbers consistent with zoning regulations in Madison County which currently favor single family residences. With that as a rationale, the Madison County School District opposes the construction of apartment complexes and any other high density residential complexes.

We have attempted to gain permission to speak at the meeting on Tuesday, but have been told that the deadline to be placed on the agenda has passed and that we will not be allowed to address the zoning board about our concerns. This makes it all the more imperative that we have as many citizens as possible attend the meeting to show the board that we oppose this zoning request.

We will keep you updated on any new developments in this matter; but I strongly encourage you to plan to attend the zoning meeting on Tuesday, June 1 at 3:00 p.m. at the Canton City Hall.

Thanks for all you do to support our schools!


I wonder if Karl Banks will call the Canton Mayor and Aldermen "cowardly". Kent shouldn't be too surprised. This is the same bunch that throws citizens in jail if they show up at city hall meetings with video cameras or protects thugs like Escobedo or whatever his name is.

Note: By the way, citizens of Madison County: You not only have no say-so on this matter, you also are going to be paying for it as well: $3 million in TIF bonds.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ward 1 rumblings

Well, apparently some are banking on Weill assuming the bench next year. Hearing Quentin Whitwell, lobbyist extraordinaire and writer of all things whiskey, and Marcus Ward, Frank's little protege, are going to run. Am sure more will jump in.

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Christie stands up to teacher demanding $83,000/yr

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Miles

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Looking for something to do this weekend?

Looking for something to do this weekend and don't want to be in Jackson? Geaux to New Orleans as two of my favorite events will be taking place: Greekfest and the Wine & Food Experience. The WFE is at the Superdome and features some of the leading wineries and local restaurants. Like wine? Check out some of these wineries: Alexander Valley, Chateau St. Michelle, Francis Ford Coppola, Rodney Strong, Silver Oak, and a whole bunch you probably didn't even know existed. List of wineries. As for the restaurants, just read it and drool: Antoine's, Arnaud's, Brennan's, Bourbon House, Zea's, Commander's Palace, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Galatoire's, Palace Cafe, Ruffino's, Ruth's Chris, Superior Grill, and many others. List of restaurants.

Greekfest is a wonderful New Orleans tradition held every Memorial Day weekend at the Orthodox Church on Robert E. Lee. Greek dancing, Ouzzo, Greek cuisine, beautiful Greek women (and men for Stiletto and DWF), Greek music, and more. Nothing like the festivals here in Jackson, its a party for everyone. Yes, it is kid friendly (assuming your kid doesn't freak out if he sees an actual beer) and there is quite a bit of stuff for children. So if you are bored this weekend, head down to New Orleans.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jena 6 thug arrested again

Ladd's little hero, Mychal Bell, was arrested yet again. The Alexandria newspaper reported:
"Bell was arrested on Saturday and charged with simple battery after a fight at Brown's Barber Shop on Park Street in Jena.

LaSalle Parish Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a call about the fight, and Bell admitted to getting into a fight, although he called the incident "a big misunderstanding," according to a report by Lacie Terral, deputy sheriff for criminal records.

"While being booked and after being read his Miranda rights, Mychal stated to deputies that he had hit the victim in the face and grabbed him in a headlock and slammed his head on a table as they were falling to the floor," Terral wrote in a press release. "When asked why he did this, Bell stated because (the victim) was running his mouth about him." Article

This is not Mr. Bell's first or second or third brush with the law. He was arrested 18 months ago for shoplifting, battery, and resisting arrest at a Monroe mall. He decided to commit suicide shortly afterwards but failed in his attempt as apparently while he is good at kicking everyone else's ass, he can't kick his own. When he led the pack and beat up Justin Barker in the Jena 6 incident, he had already been arrested twice for beating up a female and trashing a family home. Apparently Mr. Bell has learned absolutely nothing from all of his brushes with the law.

Jena 6 posts: Jena 6 Update, Bell arrested again, Bad apples don't fall from the tree, Is this the real story of the Jena 6?, Beat up student, get red carpet treatment, Heroes or Hoodlums?

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Monday, May 24, 2010

House faces $700,000 shortfall, Perkins & Scott want state to pay for their out of state trips

Budget information given to committee

The House Management Committee met on May 11 to discuss a budget shortfall for the next fiscal year (see below for a list of members). House Clerk Don Richardson and a staff employee briefed the committee on the House's budget problems. This correspondent was the only person in attendance who was not a member of the Legislature despite media reports on the meeting.

Mr. Richardson didn't mince any words and took the bull by the horns: The worst-case scenario for the House's operating budget projected a shortfall of $500,000. Unfortunately, the actual shortfall was going to be $700,000 if no action was taken. Mr. Richardson also stated special sessions were "eating us alive".

He said there were three actual budgets:
1. Members' expenses while in session. These are set by law and can not be adjusted short of changing the law.
2. Monthly expenses. Set by law and can not be changed by the House leadership.
3. The Contingency fund: everything else. He called this the House's operating budget.

Mr. Richardson stated there were no actual programs to cut. Any cuts would have to be found by either laying off employees or reducing expenses not mandated by statute. He said there was enough money to make it through the end of the current fiscal year in June, and through January, 2011 if no action was taken. He stated the budget was currently "$25,000 in the black". Mr. Richardson and Speaker McCoy made it very clear they wanted to address the projected deficit in the meeting and not "kick the can down the road". All members agreed with the need to address the problem immediately. The mood was summed up by Speaker McCoy: "We've got a chore to do. The budget is what it is."

Several options were examined by the committee. The issue of member voucher days was raised. Legislators are allotted a maximum number of paid days to visit Jackson on behalf of their constituents. Concerns were raised about problems their constituents had with state agencies and how they were able to assist in such matters. Speaker McCoy made it quite clear voucher days were very important and should only be cut as a last resort. It was pointed out reducing such expense only saved $200,000.

Mr. Richardson gave them the following options:
1. Cut expenses
2. Cut staff
3. Cut travel expenses.

The committee avoided cutting staff members, as it was pointed out the level of employment was already at a bare minimum. Mr. Richardson said $200,000 could be saved if the House stopped reimbursing members and employees for in-state travel. He estimated another $200,000 could be saved by a similar ban on all out of state travel expense reimbursements. The cut in staff travel would save $75,000 as well. Representatives Percy Watson and J.P. Compretta both said the House should cut reimbursement for all travel expenses.

However, two members took very strong exceptions to the proposed ban on out of state travel reimbursements. Representatives Willie Perkins and Omaria Scott both heatedly objected to such cuts. Both members were quite animated as they argued as members of national associations, the state should reimburse them for traveling to meetings held by those organizations.

Ms. Scott called it an issue of "fairness" and was quite vigorous in her objections. When the issue of the Medicaid bailout before Congress was mentioned, Speaker McCoy stated it was being debated and they could not count on its being passed in a timely manner. Ms. Scott said the federal government should not help all of the states. She said "they are calling us fascists, socialists, communists. I wouldn't give these states anything either if they had called me all that."

Mr. Perkins then said he was "concerned with the suspension of out of state travel" and that he wanted the state to pay for him to travel to national board meetings. He point blank told the committee "if there is an across the board suspension of (reimbursement for) out of state travel, ya losing me." Ms. Scott chimed in and argued again the state should pay for out of state travel to national associations.

Mr. Watson tried to mediate and said the cuts were not permanent but they "needed to get travel in-line to save discretionary days." The Speaker then said he wanted to deal with it now. Mr. Watson followed his lead and moved for a vote on suspending reimbursement for travel expenses for members and employees. Mr. Perkins objected and moved for a separate vote on the banning of reimbursement on out of state travel expenses. He further stated "I want the minutes to show I objected." Only two other members voted with Perkins in his opposition, Scott and Coleman. The motions passed and the committee banned said travel by members and employees.

Members: J. P. Compretta, Chairman Members: Richard Bennett; Credell Calhoun; Linda F. Coleman; Rita Martinson; William J. McCoy; Willie J. Perkins, Sr.; Thomas U. Reynolds; Margaret Rogers; Ray Rogers; Omeria Scott; Percy W. Watson

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Abused Animal Photo of the Day

"Rarrat with Animal Control says it looks like someone used a nail gun.
Miraculously, the cat they are now calling "Grace," seems to be doing fine.
It was purring when officers found it.
"It's the worst case of animal torture officials in northwest Iowa have ever seen.
Sioux City Animal Control officers received a tip Wednesday and picked up a female Calico cat with a nail had been driven into its skull.
Grace underwent surgery at a local veterinarian clinic Friday and is said to be doing well. Veterinarians at Siouxland Animal Hospital say the prognosis for Grace is good. She was purring and eating shortly after her surgery.
They say if the nail had hit just a millimeter or two in another direction the cat might not have made it.
It's unknown where the cat came from, but authorities are asking for any information to help them track down who is responsible. Animal control says they've received a few tips about who may have done this to Grace, but they are still investigating.
Grace will be kept at the animal hospital for the next week or so while doctors monitor her condition. Animal control is taking donations to care for the cat. When Grace is better she will be put up for adoption." Article

Mississippi Farm Bureau doesn't think crimes such as this should be first-offense felonies. Earlier post

Oh, and lets not forget this part since someone at Farm Bureau might think I'm trying to sell insurance on this website:
The use of Mississippi Farm Bureau's name and logo in this post is for criticism of MFB policies and additional commentary. Such a use is deemed fair use under the following statute:

"(d) The following shall not be actionable under this section:
1) Any fair use, including a nominative or descriptive fair use, or facilitation of such fair use, of a famous mark by another person other than as a designation of source for the person's own goods or services, including use in connection with:
(B) Identifying and parodying, criticizing, or commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods or services of the famous mark owner;
(2) Noncommercial use of the mark; and
(3) All forms of news reporting and news commentary
Mississippi Code Section 75-25-25

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Democrats turn on themselves

Time to slap Jere Nash with some reality. Kim Stassell writes in the Wall Street Journal about the civil war in the Democratic Party. Remember last year when Lotus of FOLO started turning on Obama? Well, some people must be perpetually at war, if not with society, then with each other. While the Nash and his pals in the media focus on Rubio and Paul, they almost completely ignore the trend in the Democratic Party that began a few years ago when Lamont challenged Lieberman. She writes:

" the primary challenges are also the result of mismanaged expectations. Barack Obama allowed the left to believe he was one of them. Some of his campaign promises certainly fed its hopes: He'd close Guantanamo, pass union "card check," renegotiate Nafta, leave Iraq. Adding to the left's exuberance was the party's filibuster-proof Senate majority.

But Guantanamo is still open, card check is still dead, Nafta is still functioning, and troops remain in Iraq. Meanwhile, the president dangled the public option in front of his liberal supporters, only to further enrage them when he lost that fight. All this has forced Democratic congressmen to take the blame for failures like card check.

The base has interpreted the policy failures as proof that the decision to sit back while the Democratic Party elected more moderates was a mistake. The response has been for unions and grass-roots groups to throw their money and support behind more liberal candidates. Democrats are currently battling as many, if not more, ugly primary challenges than Republicans..
." Column

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Funny but true

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Karen Irby files motions for resentencing and recusal of Judge Green

Judge Green's recitation of a poem she composed to represent what she thought were the views of Dr.'s Mark Pogue and Lisa Dedousis are the subject of two motions filed yesterday by Karen Irby. Mrs. Irby is now represented by local attorney William Bell.

Mr. Bell filed a Motion for re-sentencing. He made the following arguments in his motion:
1. Judge Green used a poem she "personally drafted".
2. The poem is "in effect a victim's statement".
3. The poem "contains comments and statements a judge is not permitted to produce, use, and/or consider in sentencing a defendant."
4. Judge Green wrote her poem on behalf of the deceased and thus "wrongly interjected herself into the sentencing. The poem showed a "severe bias" against Karen Irby.

The motion also claims Judge Green's stating "Mississippi was a zero tolerance state" was simply not true and showed extreme prejudice against the defendant. The motion also states at the end that Mrs. Irby's counsel was ineffective. Copy of motion for resentencing.

The poem again figures prominently in the Motion for Recusal. Bell again called the poem a victim's statement and argued the judge is barred by law from making such a statement. He called it "testimony" and claimed judges are "prohibited from providing evidence and testimony in a cause of action, including a sentencing hearing." The Jackson attorney went further and stated Judge Green was not supposed to be an "advocate for the victims" but was to be "impartial". He also points out the Court completely ignored the wishes of the victims families and such actions are further proof of the Judge's bias. Copy of Motion to Recuse

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Friday, May 21, 2010


Update: 10:50 PM. SWAT team is in the house as I type this. 10:58 PM. Just got a report the house is in flames. Awaiting confirmation but my sources have been right all day so far. 11:00 PM. Just got report from another source that "a crazy plume of white smoke erupted from the house." 11:02 PM: Same source: "Sirens heard now". 11:11 PM: House in flames. Swat team was Highway Patrol. One of the weapons he had was a, ready for this? M203. Mitts is now dead. Shot himself. Barricaded in bathroom.

8:40 PM. JJ has been informed gas was used but no movement detected. Was also informed UMC helicopter landed but no independent confirmation. Am hesitant to post this information but sources are in law enforcement. (20 minutes later) Fox40 just confirmed a helicopter landed but said it might have something to do with investigation (ya think?) so I'm sticking with my UMC claim. Sources have also informed this website Pitts and his partner split recently. The lack of movement doesn't mean what it normally would in my opinion as this guy probably has gas masks. I can report all electricity and utilities have been cut off. CL just reported tear gas was used.

Here is the story of what happened. Mitts went to psychiatrist's office at 212 Key Drive in Madison this morning. Something transpired while there between he and the doctor that set him off. He talked about killing the wife and kids. Someone at office freaked and hit the silent alarm. Police showed up and chased him to his house in Lake Caroline. He fired over thirty rounds at the police. JJ has learned the Mississippi Highway Patrol is about to take over the operation in Lake Caroline.

Original Post: Husband's name is Keith Mitts. Wife is Irina. 109 South Hampton in Lake Caroline. Just paid off a mortgage less than a month ago. Document Loan was paid off because the house was sold to a Harvey Green on April 15, 2010. Copy of deed Mr. Mitts is the co-owner of Solutions Advantage, LLC. Mr. Green was renting the house to Mr. Mitts for a month after closing. Mr. Green was supposed to move into the home tomorrow.

Received this email a few minutes ago from someone in the same building as this doctor's office:
"Was downstairs in Dr. (physc) office wearing a bullet proof vest, saying he was killing them. She pushed silent alarm, cops swarming, not sure how he got out of here and to LC…. His wife and son were up here too. I didn’t see them leave so I have no idea if he took them or left them or what."

I just called the Madison County Chancery Court and there is nothing filed under his name. Thought I would go ahead and squelch that one before it started. Here is a video found on his Facebook page:

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Copy of arrest warrant

An arrest warrant has been issued for Charles Evans, Jr. by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Neal Olack. Judge Olack issued the warrant after Evans failed to appear in court.

IF YOU KNOW OF EVANS WHEREABOUTS, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT KINGFISH1935@GMAIL.COM so he may be apprehended by me or law enforcement.

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CL blogger tries to spin real estate sales.

Ted Dearman blogs over at the Clarion-Ledger how much the real estate market has improved this year:

"The Clarion Ledger Reader Editorial Board just met with a group of area realtors. There was some very interesting discussion. First, the Jackson Metro area housing market appears to be reviving. The 444 homes sold this past April was nearly double the 229 sold in January. And the monthly inventory of houses listed for sale in April was 8.31 months compared to in 14.27 months in January." Column

This is just a little sleight of hand by Mr. Dearman as January is usually the slowest month for real estate sales. April through September are usually the busiest. A comparison of sales figures for January and April will almost always show a huge increase. A more accurate measure would be to compare the sales data from a year ago.

The monthly Associated Press/ReMax Monthly Housing Report reveals the number of homes sold in the metro area were 479 a year ago (report):

Number of Transactions
Current Month: 479
One month change: -7.71%
One year change: -6.63%

Active Inventory
Current Month: 3.995
One month change: -5.24%
One year change: -5.47%

Month's Supply of Inventory
Current Month: 8.3

Days on Market
Current Month: 117
One month change: 13.15%
One year change: 19.64%

So the data shows there has actually been a slight decline in housing sales when compared to a year ago and the inventory is unchanged as well.

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You knew this was coming: public school bailouts

We bailed out Wall Street, GM, Chrysler, Medicaid, so why not...... public schools. Just like the generals in WWI whose idea of fighting a war was feeding troops into the meatgrinder of trench warfare despite the results, so does the president of the American Federation of Teachers want to keep pouring money with the same dismal results:

"The federal government didn't let Wall Street fail. Why would we do less for our public schools, which undeniably are too important to fail? Almost every state will be unable to provide adequate funding for public schools until the financial situation improves.

The short-term solution to ensure kids start the next school year without major disruption is federal legislation to provide a $23 billion infusion to states to avert educational and economic disaster. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Local Jobs for America Act. A similar measure, the Keep Our Educators Working Act, is pending in the U.S. Senate. President Obama has thrown his support behind this emergency legislation.

And there is no doubt that this is an emergency. School districts finalizing their 2010-11 budgets are making tough decisions right now about drastic steps such as whether to cancel summer school, shift to a four-day school week, or issue layoff notices to teachers" Article

Meanwhile, a Catholic school in Harlem takes the worst students and shows how top-notch education for poor kids can be provided at a fraction of what is spent on public schools:

"On June 10, Cristo Rey High School in East Harlem will graduate all of its 50 seniors. All come from families near or below the poverty level. All will attend college. Most were accepted into seven colleges.
Begun in 1996 with the goal of making its students ready to attend college, the Cristo Rey Network now has 24 high schools teaching some 6,000 students in the U.S.—in big cities like Chicago, L.A. and New York; in Sacramento, Portland, Waukegan, Detroit and elsewhere. Virtually all the students in the network's schools are Latino or African-American. St. Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, my hometown, is near St. Clair Avenue and 55th Street, a hard neighborhood. Its college-acceptance rate this year was also 100%. .....

Cristo Rey explicitly does not take the highest-scoring students. Father Joe Parkes, the energetic Jesuit who serves as president of Cristo Rey New York High School, noted that the first time this year's graduates took the Iowa Test of Educational Development, their average score fell in the 48th percentile. Cristo Rey pulls its student body from the middle of the pack, at best. Four years later, they go to college.

This is not the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. It is a system that works, literally. The system's financial support model, which pays students to work, is surely one of the most innovative ideas seen in awhile in American education.

Every student at a Cristo Rey high school works full time one day a week with a local private company or not-for-profit. For entry-level work—real work, not make-work—the companies pay student teams between $20,000 (Denver) and $30,000 (Washington, D.C.). That money goes into the school's annual budget.

The employer gets a Cristo Rey student every day of the week, freshmen through seniors. So on a Tuesday, the school might assemble all the sophomores and shepherd them to work, and gather them in at day's end. This means the students have to do five days of school work in four days, and that alone may have a lot to do with the success rate.

That work contributes about 65% of a school's budget and keeps average tuitions low, at about $2,350. As a former president of the network has noted, "Our students are by far and away our biggest donor....."Column

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Santelli: Stabilization isn't a cure

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Haley in the lead

Yup, the other Haley is currently leading the race for the Republican Gubernatorial nomination according to Rasmussen:

"A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters shows Haley earning 30% support. She’s followed by State Attorney General Henry McMaster who picks up 19% and Congressman Gresham Barrett with 17%. Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer captures 12% of the vote." Article

Here is a clip of her in action:

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Mississippi near the top in Mortgage DQ's

Mississippi ranks near the top in terms of Mortgage delinquencies according to this chart published by the financial blog Calculated Risk. The red portion is delinquencies 90 days or more late and the blue portion are those less than 90 days. Read the analysis at Calculated Risk.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No comment

The shooter, Marcus Edwards, 27, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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Jim Rogers: "Time to correct"

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Latest crime stats

Jackson crime stats for week ending May 16, 2010.

Major crimes overview for Jackson for week ending May 16, 2010.

City of Madison crime reports through May 17, 2010.

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Police report in Irby case

JJ haf obtained a copy of a fubftantial part of the police report in the Irby cafe. Included in the report are officer ftatementf, witneff testimony, crime fcene report, and the actual police report. While there are interefting detailf in the report, there are no bombfhellf.

Police report

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Still looking for Barbie's replacement

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Billy Redd running for Madison County Supervisor

Madison County resident Billy Redd is running for the position of District 2 Supervisor in that county. The seat is currently held by Tim Johnson, who announced he will not run for re-election. Mr. Redd is currently the chairman of Boys & Girls Club of Mississippi. JJ interviewed him last week.

JJ: What is your background?
Redd: "I was born in Starkville and moved to the Madison-Ridgeland area in 1975. I had a well-traveled childhood as mom was a missionary. I graduated from the old Madison-Ridgeland High School that is now home to Tulane and went to Mississippi State. I put myself through school by moonlighting as an auto mechanic while a student. I married, had two daughters, divorced, and remarried three years ago. My two girls are twelve and seventeen. The youngest currently attends First Presbyterian and will enroll at Madison Middle School next year. The oldest attends the School of Arts in Brookhaven.

After college I worked for the family at Redd Pest Control. I worked at the company and did literally everything: sales, pest control jobs, mechanic work, and managing. I left Redd in 1994 and went back to school at Millsaps for my MBA (awarded in 1996). I joined Boys & Girls Club as a board member and later became Chairman in 1997. Our chapter has an operating budget of $2.6 million and 130 employees. My salary is $78,000.

2. What prompted you to run for Supervisor?
'I first became interested around fifteen years ago. We need more good qualified folks to run for office. I'm a conservative. I started seriously looking at running six months ago. We need to go in there committed to good, fiscally conservative practices and open government. There is a great deal of frustration with our government right now. I would like to see the meeting times changed to one that is more convenient and webcast them as well. I was a volunteer firefighter for the City of Madison for fifteen years."

3. What do you think of the Board of Supervisors agreeing to reduce lot sizes and minimum square footage for homes? What should the county do, if anything, to help developers ride out the storm?
"The developer should know going in what the guidelines are. I lean alot more towards "we had an agreement first". This recession is going to be over in a year or two but the mistakes we make on this issue can stay with us for thirty years."

4. Would you vote to keep Rudy Warnock as County Engineer?
"I think we should put it out for bid with the right qualifications. I'm a big believer in third-party integrity and have no problem with third parties coming in and reviewing work."

5. Do you think professional services contracts such as attorneys, engineers, and bond work should be bid out or just given to the best qualified, which all too often, comes down to the contractors with the best connections, not the best deal for the taxpayers?
Yes, we ought to take bids, but on a strict list of criteria so the services are equal so we aren't taking what appears to be the lowest bid when in reality it isn't."

6. Do you think Madison County should put contracts online for review by the public? " I don't see any problem with that." Vendor payments? "No harm in doing that at all."

7. What should be some of Madison County's goals for the next five years?
"short term: restore confidence in county government. Need to improve tourism and economic development projects in the long term."

8. What is your relationship with Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler?
"I've known Mary for a long time. I like what our city has been able to do. We've had a very good relationship. I've let her know that I'm running. See no problems working with her. Could easily work with Gene (Mayor of Ridgeland) as well."

9. What do you think should be done with the bond issue that was passed for the Reunion interchange and other projects?
"Lets go back and look at how the bond issue is appropriated and see if anything needs correcting if its still possible to do so. Lets look at everyting we are doing: contracts, agreements. We need to make certain we clear any perception of favoritism in our government."


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Todd Burwell representing Karen Irby, Farese response has interesting info

Todd Burwell is now representing Karen Irby in the civil suit filed against her by the families of Mark Pogue and Lisa Dedousis. Mr. Burwell filed a notice of appearance with the court on February 22, 2010. Mr. Burwell is known for his current representation of Robbie Bell in other cases.

John Booth Farese, the attorney for the deceased, filed a response on February 26, 2010 to a motion Stuart Irby filed to quash his notice of deposition. The response is very interesting and quotes at length from the depositions taken by Zoraya Parrilla, M.D. and Clea Evans, PhD. earlier this year. Both doctors treated Mr. Irby in their respective capacities at Methodist Rehab Center in Jackson. All I will say is pages 11-12 are very interesting. Copy of response

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Madison County Comptroller's house in foreclosure

Wells Fargo has instituted foreclosure proceedings against Quandice Green, the comptroller for Madison County. Wells Fargo filed a Substitute of Trustee notice in Madison County Chancery Court on April 13, 2010. Mrs. Green and her husband Roy borrowed $268,000 on their Cypress Lake home on December 14, 2007 from Realty Mortgage. The loan was sold to Wells Fargo. Deed of trust Such notices are usually the first step in foreclosure proceedings. The Cypress Lake Property Owner's Association also filed a lien against the Greens for $939 in unpaid homeowner's association dues on April 17, 2010. Lien

The Madison County website states"
"The County Comptroller, pursuant to the discretion granted the Board of Supervisors in Section 19-3-61 of the Mississippi Code, is responsible for funds received, expended or handled by the Board. The Comptroller's Department consists of four employees, including Comptroller Quandice Green, a Certified Public Accountant, Loretta Phillips, Myrtis Sims and Christy Gleason."

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Its always worse somewhere else

Think domestic violence laws are weak in Mississippi? Check out in this Times-Picayune story yesterday about what a cluster**** they are in New Orleans:

"nearly all of the roughly 3,000 domestic-violence arrests made by New Orleans police annually in years past were sent to Municipal Court, and when they got there, more than half the cases were dismissed. In those that weren't, the city attorney's office often sent offenders to a 26-week anger management program in lieu of trial. Though data is spotty, there were few if any trials..." Read it and weep

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dio Dead

Dio probably jammin' in hell as we speak.

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The event covered by these pictures were alluded to in a letter written by one of Karen Irby's friends to Judge Green. What took place was a couple of years ago Karen and Stuart Irby were on their way to Destin. They took the route most of us take, Hwy 49 to 98 through Mobile. An SUV flipped on Hwy 98 around Lucedale. The two year old girl had unbuckled her seat belt and ironically the mother was trying to fix it when the accident occurred. Child was thrown thirty feet from the SUV and knocked unconscious. The Irby's stopped.

Stuart helped the mother out of the car. The mother was incapacitated but later recovered. Karen performed mouth to mouth on the child. There was a small child that was injured and suddenly had no mother. Karen flew with the child to the hospital and stayed with the child until family members arrived at the hospital. What strikes me is the irony of it all as we all have the capacity in us for good and evil, to do good and make mistakes.

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Fordham publishes study on how autonomy affects charter schools

Bored and need a study to read tonight? Fordham University just published a study on how autonomy affects the performance of charter schools.

"In the fall of 2009, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute teamed up with Public Impact to grade the autonomy extended by charter laws in twenty-six states that are home to more than 90 percent of America’s charter schools. Analysts also examined 100 individual charter contracts in those states to uncover further restrictions imposed by fifty of the country’s most active charter authorizers, entities that collectively oversee nearly half of the country’s current crop of charter schools.."

The study is worth reading and gives some ammo to charter school advocates who must deal with opponents such as Representative Perkins and NAACP Derek Johnson who think such schools were created by the Klan.


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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Olga's now serves wine and spirits

Olga's just got its liquor license and now serves wine and other fine drinks. No more brown bags. Try the blackened prime rib appetizer. One of my favorites.

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A tale of two Ledgers

Have pasted two CL stories regarding the Irby case in the comments section.

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Parkins Pharmacy

The milk shake recipe. Someone steal it for me.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Mercedes: No "Black-Box" in car

JJ obtained a copy of a letter sent from Mercedes to JPD concerning the installation of an "event data recorder" in the ill-fated Mercedes sedan driven by Karen Irby. Mercedes attorney Frank Berenz sent a letter on February 24, 2009 to Sgt. Joe Cotton of JPD. Mr. Berenz states:

"the subject Mercedes-Benz vehicle is not equipped an Even Data Recorder or "Black-Box" that would be of assistance to the JPD in reconstructing the accident. Unlike certain other manufacturer's vehicles, the subject Mercedes-Benz does not record the speed of the vehicle at or about the time of impact nor does it store information regarding braking input at the time of impact..."

Copy of letter

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Then there is this case from Rankin

Alexander Alford. Indicted for killing Michele Stork in 2008 while driving under the influence of a substance. Pled guilty and represented by Tom Royals. Judge Samac Richardson sentenced Mr. Alford to 15 years but suspended 9 years of the sentence contingent upon supervised visitation.

Didn't see Michael Guest raising hell about this one while he was bragging on tv about a woman getting sentenced to 50 years for driving drunk and paralyzing a little girl. Guess dead bodies don't look as good on tv as parading paralyzed children in a courtroom.

Documents from case

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Toxicology Report Obtained, .09 BAC Results Confirmed, No Drugs at Time of Wreck, Charges filed


JJ has obtained a copy of the toxicology report for Karen Irby produced by the Mississippi Crime Lab. It does indeed state the sample provided has a BAC of .09. It also states her system tested negative for all drugs except morphine, which was given to her at the hospital. It must be pointed out she tested negative for cocaine. Many rumors flew around town about supposed cocaine use by Mrs. Irby. The reports show such was not the case and there were no other drugs in her system at the time of the wreck. It should also be pointed out the report is based on samples taken with expired labels on the vials.

Copy of report

WLBT is reporting Karen Irby filed charges against her husband. See link below for documents. Thanks to WLBT for providing a copy of the affidavit and warrant.

Copy of charges

Note: So the judge dismissed as there were no probable cause hearing? Gee, I think all of the people who were arrested based on simple affidavits would love to know about that little procedure.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A word from our sponsor

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Karen Irby now in MDOC custody.

My only comment because the media frenzy will start soon enough:

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Corey McDonald's lawyer emails me

Received this email Tuesday concerning my post about Sims Garrett and Corey McDonald:

"To whom it may concern:
I have spoken with Mr. McDonald concerning you recent blog posts concerning his relationship with Mr. Simms Garrett. I have known Mr. McDonald for over three (3) years and have found him to be an honest man who operates his business with the utmost integrity. Mr. McDonald is a former marine who has never been convicted of any crimes whatsoever. Mr. Garrett on the other hand has obviously had his fair share of run ins with the law. I understand that you are entitled to free speech and you are just conveying 3rd party information to your audience, however, Mr. McDonald emphatically disagrees with the truth and veracity of your article/blog and finds same to be libel/slander. Portraying Mr. McDonald in such a false light could have a devastating financial impact on his business.
I appreciate you candor at the end of your article displaying that this is only Mr. Garrett's side of the story, but that statement comes only after having referred to Mr. McDonald as a wannabe Dog the Bounty Hunter etc., etc.,. Unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can rely upon Mr. Garrett's information, I kindly request that you remove his name from your blog and/or any future articles you choose to publish.

Best regards,
Gary Lee Williams
Associate Attorney (Licensed in AL & MS)
Rainer Law Firm, PLLC"

I replied:
"I aslo know how to use discovery as well."

To which he replied:
"Sounds like you want to be a lawyer. Are you?"

My reply is made in this post:

Mr. Williams, you are more than welcome to file suit and find out if I know how to use discovery. Also be aware that I will use all legal tools at my disposal, including the application for Rule 11 Sanctions and filing of bar complaints since no slander or defamation was made. Mr. McDonald is more than welcome to submit his side of the story for publication. Keep in mind that if you are to sue me for said post, part of the subject matter involves the Ridgeland Police Department. Since truth is an absolute defense to charges of slander and defamation, it is conceivable I would be forced to file discovery motions requesting records and testimony from the Ridgeland PD as well as your clients business practices and client lists.

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Live to fight another day.

Remember that little public records fight I am having with PERS over SLRP? PERS refuses to disclose how much is in the SLRP fund. PERS considers such information "data" and argues I should have to use the information from its annual report filed nearly a year ago. Well, I filed an opinion request with the Ethics Commission. The MEC didn't address this issue at its meetings in April or May. I was told this week that hopefully they will address it in June. Nice. I filed this request with PERS back in early February. Earlier post.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The door shuts on another life.

No one knew what to expect today in Judge Green's courtroom today as Karen Irby appeared for sentencing after she pled guilty to killing Lisa Dedousis and Daniel Mark Pogue on February 11, 2009. The courtroom was packed with family members and media while an overflow crowd waited outside the closed doors. A fragile Karen Irby clad in black sat in silence while Stuart Irby was conspicuously absent. Shades of Robbie Bell avoiding her son's sentencing came to my mind several times today.

Judge Green stated she received over 100 letters (I later learned only two were negative.). Judge Green was professional, at times gracious, and spoke softly throughout the hearing. John Booth Farese, the attorney for the families of the deceased, said the families had statements to make to the court. Dr. John Dedousis, brother of Lisa, showed his true worth as a man as he stepped up to the podium and delivered a statement few will ever forget as it was damning towards Stuart Irby and JPD yet compassionate towards Karen.

Dedousis first told the Court his parents were unable to attend because the ordeal had causes his father to have some recent heart problems. Lisa Dedousis "dedicated her life to serving others". He then recollected how Karen Irby met with the families the week before she pled guilty. She admitted her guilt to them, offered everything she had, and apologized for killing their loved ones. Gasps were heard as John Dedousis thundered forth with his next statement: "Stuart Irby is a violent person" and that "Karen Irby had been living in fear." He claimed Stuart and Karen had met with DHS that morning concerning possible child abuse committed against Karen's nine-year-old daughter by Stuart. JJ reported on this matter earlier this year and published police reports obtained through public records requests. DHS did meet with the Irbys on February 11. Sources have informed JJ Mr. Irby was very flippant to the interviewer and wasn't bothered at all by a child abuse investigation. Sources have also stated that the investigation did not progress any further.

Dedousis continued with more statements: "the investigation was not thorough or complete", "a fight ensued and Stuart assaulted Karen, grabbed her hair", "Stuart had two glasses of whiskey, then three more double shots of whiskey and some wine." He thanked the people of Hinds County and asked the District Attorney to bring charges against Stuart Irby.

Paul Steve Pogue, the brother of Daniel Mark, was more subdued and simply said "as a Christian family, we believe in forgiveness", "Karen was a victim of Stuart's continued abuse", and "asked for the minimum sentence." Farese then told Judge Green the families did indeed request she impose the minimum sentence.

Karen Irby addressed Judge Green as she made a final plea for mercy. Somehow, someway, she was able to tell the Court through her tears and the terror that was evident in her voice she "prayed for mercy", "the grief was indescribable", and that she begged for her children. The courtroom was deathly silent for over a minute as crying was heard from several in attendance. As I wrote a few weeks ago "While justice was served, there was no victory here, no reason to celebrate, just a numbing sense of tragedy about something that should never have happened. Two doctors who should be enjoying their marriage vows and helping others, a mother at home with two kids, a family legacy once well respected in Jackson, all destroyed."

Meanwhile, during the entire proceedings, Mac stood in the side door used by Judge Green with his arms folded with a stern face that at times glared. This was a Mac that didn't like to be questioned about anything regarding this case. A Mac that refused to go on camera today with WAPT and last month with WLBT about how the Irby case was handled and was rude to the reporters involved. A Mac that attacked this blogger in the Jackson Free Press for his coverage of the Irby case yet refused any questions from all media in town. A Mac that confronted the DA a few weeks ago over the Irby trial. A Mac so angry that day he screamed at the DA and threw books across the room as told by numerous sources who were present.

Judge Green then addressed Mrs. Irby. Judge Green took her duties very seriously as she reminded Mrs. Irby that for all of the letters received on her behalf, there were two doctors who were not able to write letters. Judge Green read a letter she had composed on their behalf. A letter she wrote thirty minutes before the hearing today. Some thought such actions by the Judge were nonsense but what this correspondent saw was a judge having empathy for the victims and reminding everyone that for all of the talk about Stuart and Karen, the fact remained two doctors were dead thanks to the actions of both Irbys (Oh, how the end of the Great Gatsby came to mind. "That is how Tom and Daisy were..".). Judge Green said the allegations made by Dr. Dedousis against Stuart Irby were a "charge for another day for another judge". She told Karen "these themes are not new to me". Judge Green said "I've often had to sentence good people" and that "80% of the people she sentenced were parents". That last statement was the foreshadowing of what was to come as it was clear where Judge Green was going in her ruling.

Everyone has seen the videos by now. They don't portray the shock in the courtroom as Judge Green announced the sentence: 20 years reduced to eighteen years for each count to be served concurrently. Tears flowed freely among Karen's friends and others as it sunk in how a door was shut on yet another life in this horrible tragedy. Shock was the order of the day as whereever I went in Jackson today, people expressed shock at the sentence. Karen was led away in handcuffs as Mac personally escorted her to her new life. It was quite simply stunning to realize Judge Green had completely ignored the families and imposed such a sentence on Karen Irby. While justice was served and Dr.'s Pogue and Dedousis were "honored" today, there were no winners.

Note: Correction time. WLBT reported on the Irby's marital problems and used several documents. Want to guess where they came from? You got it. This website. Go to 1:52 of this video and look at the printing in the upper left hand corner. It says Kingfish. I use fax to email service to create .pdfs. Thats my work unattributed on the site.

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Working on my post right now.

Sorry I'm late. Had to decompress (the meatloaf at Auditorium is excellent) and then go to a legislative committee meeting at 2:00 (House Management). Working on post now and reviewing all video and my notes.

I will say this. Today showed what an intellectual and journalistic slut Donna Ladd is and yes, I used that four letter word.

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18 years

18 years. You all saw it. I'm somewhat blown away right now. Will write more in a few.

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At the Irby sentencing

Packed courtroom. Only two rows of seating. Haley, Megan are here. My prediction? Time served will be 5-7 years. Family will ask for leniency.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Soto victim comes forward.

JJ spoke to another person arrested by former Ridgeland police officer and MADD's Officer of the Year Daniel Soto. Sims Garrett was arrested by Daniel Soto in November, 2008. Mr. Garrett was good friends with bail bondsman Corey McDonald. Apparently, Mr. McDonald had some problems with a lady. Mr. Garrett was out with some friends at Juleps in October, the young lady called and asked if she could come up there one evening, was told sure, and she hung out with several guys at the Jackson establishment and the group, I stress group, not couple, went to the State Fair, and that was it.

Strike one against Mr. Garrett: Mr. McDonald was Mr. Soto's roommate. Strike two against Mr. Garrett: Mr. McDonald got the idea Mr. Garrett went out with his ex-g/f and went nuts. Mr. Garrett said his friend called him in the second week of November and said "I'll kill you m******f******, you're dead". Mr. Garrett thought nothing of it and went on about his business. (This is a good reason why when such threats are made, always a good idea to at least file a police report at the time.)

Several days later, Mr. Garrett and some co-workers went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Over a three hour period of time, Mr. Garrett said he had two to three beers and that was it. Sims got a call from Corey's assistant, Shannon. She asked him what he was doing, he told her, she asked him to come by, he said ok and left. He was pulled over near the Breakers by Officer Soto and another officer. Mr. Soto said he was "swerving" and nearly hit another vehicle. The police officer started to give him a field sobriety test. Mr. Garrett asked him if it was such a test (walk the line) and Mr. Soto replied "it sure is". Sims told the officers he would not take the test and was arrested. Mr. Garrett told JJ the amount of time from when he was pulled over to when he was put in the police car was no more than ten minutes.

When Mr. Soto arrived at the police station with his prey, Corey McDonald was already at the station writing the bond. Mr. Garrett paid a $320 cash bond. However, the story gets crazier. Sims ate lunch at a local restaurant (which will remain unnamed). The waitress knew all of the parties involved and told Mr. Garrett "Sim's, you're so f****n stupid. They were in here talking two days ago about how they set you up." Strike three.

Mr. Garrett was understandably outraged and forgot a fundamental rule when dealing with cops or bail bondsmen: keep your mouth shut no matter what happens. Since he and Mr. McDonald were friends, he called the bail bondsman and told him "what you did was wrong, somehow, some way, I'm going to get you back for all of this. You took food off of my daughter's table." Not a good idea.

Mr. Bad-ass McDonald appears at Mr. Garrett's residence a few days later on a Saturday night pounding on the door. The bailee opens the door, only to find himself slammed against a wall and told "bitch, I'm revoking your bond." Mr. McDonald placed Sims in the car. Did I mention the ex-g/f, probably the cause of all of this mess, was sitting in the car? Shades of Barry Goff and Uggie. The Dog-wannabee drags him out of the car and throws him into the booking area. He tells the on duty-officer he is revoking his bond, slapped Sims on the back hard, and walked out after informing him he would have to stay in jail until Tuesday. The officer was a little more reasonable and let Sims call David Moore for bail.

Mr. Garrett is now represented by Chuck McRae. His case has been bounced back and forth between Justice and County Court and is yet to be resolved. It must be pointed out this account is only Mr. Garrett's side of the story. It also must be pointed out that oddly enough, there is no video camera evidence from the police car.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Farewell to a Great Man

A Great Man passed away this weekend: Dan M. Lee. Retired Chief Justice Dan M. Lee. Former pilot in WWII, Pacific Theater. Prosecutor. Lawyer. Judge. Justice, then Chief Justice. I knew him since I was born as he was one of Grandad's close friends. We knew him back when he was a lawyer, then a judge. Never forget when he sat in our den and told us how he was running for Supreme Court Justice. I was a kid back then and didn't get what all he was running for but I just remember being impressed by him, like he was the Uncle you always wished you had. Kind, down to earth but rugged and straightforward, that was Dan Lee. As I got older, I got to know him better. I'd visit him at his office. I remember how proud he was of me when I told him I was shipping off for basic training as I'd enlisted in the reserves. I remember feeling like I had grown up when I told him that and saw him when I returned. The feeling of having something in common with someone like that can't be described even though I never saw combat as he did.

He was one of the reasons I went to law school as he asked me when I was in eighth grade if I ever thought about being a lawyer. My father about died when I told him what Dan said as he hated attorneys but the thought stayed in my mind ever since. When I was in college I took the LSAT on a lark and surprised myself by doing well. He wrote my recommendation letter for law schools and next thing I knew, I was sweating the rule against perpetuities like so many other shysters. Dan would call me up and tell me when I should come watch a hearing at the State Supreme Court. I saw some good ones. I'd then go to his chambers afterwards and learn quite a few things that weren't taught over on East Griffith Street as he smoked his pipe.

I talked to him some after he left the Court. He retired for a short while, maybe a year, and the returned to practice. He joked that his wife, who was talented in her own right as an artist and psychiatrist, was about to go nuts as he was home so much so he went back to practicing his first love, oil and gas law, and helping the Court out from time to time.

There as something about Dan Lee that commanded respect not seen much in the legal profession today. Too many attorneys today are impressed by themselves, anxious to show off their latest rolex, adverstising their exotic vacations, first into the exclusive neighborhoods, grabbing a trophy wife when the first or second wife gets a little too familiar, and always bragging about themselves, or feeling the need to call themselves Darth Vader. The real Darth Vader never had to tell anyone who he was. They just knew. Dan Lee didn't know the wine list at Char, he just knew the law.

Dan was none of those things. Walking down the street with him was always an education. People came out of the woodwork to say hello to Dan. There was a quiet strength about him. The kind that didn't crumble at the first sign of trouble or was easily ruffled. He knew what he was about. It wasn't just lawyers who would approach him. It was ordinary people: policemen, janitors, regular people who never walked on a marble floor or had a business card. He treated everyone the same: with respect and kindness and it was reflected back to him every day of his life.

While he garnered respect as a man and Chief Justice, he had all the respect in the world for the Mississippi Supreme Court. He always though the Court itself should be a hallowed institution in Mississippi that commanded respect because it had earned it. He didn't think much of law clerks who were seen out late at night in bars during the week. He thought if you were a member of the Court, be it a Justice or janitor, you were the Court wherever you were in public and should act like it. It was a respect rarely given by our leaders today, as they too often see every office and court as a political football and forget about the institutions themselves. Duty, honor, respect, courage, humility. Such were the virtues Dan M. Lee showed throughout his life. Yes, I've cried tonight. But even though now I'm sad and am glad his suffering is over, I know I was blessed for knowing him and became a better person for it. Somehow, I don't think I am the only one who can say that about Dan M. Lee. Farewell Judge Lee, you will be missed.

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Frank is Gone (posted a year ago)

I think this sketch by Marshall Ramsey yesterday, one of his best, says it all. Feel free to comment.

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Today's reading of the health care bill.

Here is today's reading of the health care bill. If you are reading this for the first time, I've been reading the health care bill page by page and posting each reading here so you can follow along. Most of you don't have time to read a 2500 page bill so I'm taking this slowly and digesting each section online. After we read the health care bill, we will then tackle the reconciliation. Unfortunately, they are not combined into one text yet so this is how we have to do it. See the sidebar on the right side of the page for a collection of all readings.

Page 183. Section 1323: Community Health Insurance Options.
This section establishes a "Community Health Option". Health care providers do not have to participate (Section (a)(1)). Individuals do not have to join(a)(2). A state can ban exchanges from offering such a plan. Section (b) o page 184 states the government will "establish a community health insurance option" that offers coverage. The usual buzzwords of value, choice, competition, and high quality are included. Plan must meet the same requirements as other plans. Page 185 states a state can require the plan to offer more than the minimum coverage of services. Individual can pay out of pocket for services not covered by this plan. The community help option can not limit "access to end of life care". (p.187).

The government will establish premiums that are based on geographical areas. It expects them to cover "sufficient costs." All enrollees are treated as members of one national pool. Providers will love this. The "Secretary shall negotiate rates" for the reimbursement of providers. Payment rates can't be higher than the "average reimbursement rates" paid by health insurers in that exchange." CHO's must also meet solvency standards (p.189). The government will provide the start-up capital for CHO's. CHO's must be administered by a nonprofit. A finding the operator is for-profit will result in sanctions. The contract will have a term of five to ten years. The contract is awarded after the competitive bidding process is used.

Copy of bill

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ole Miss Student Union Jai Ho Break-out

Now who is the girl who started this little commotion?

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Fannie Mae DQ's nearly 14% and rising.

Table 9

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Apparently some Republican refuse to grow up

Found this little ole GOP website. Can't figure out if it was put up by the Dekes or Tekes.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Time to return fire

Apparently Mr. Karl Banks has been upset over my previous posts on his land dealings and votes in Madison County. I've been called a "coward" and "unfit for humanity". I found the last term funny coming from someone who was arrested for domestic violence in 2002. Last time I checked, I was never accused of beating my wife. However, I digress.

It seems some think I've been accusing Mr. Banks of "profiting" from his land. I've done no such thing for one very simple reason. Until Mr. Banks actually leases or sells his land, he makes no profit on the land, a fact that seems to escape some reporters, although he does earn a larger tax bill on reassessment if the value has increased.

I have reported the land belonged to members of the Banks family before 2005. However in 2005 Mr. Banks and his brother Fred formed an LLC that took title to the property in question. Property two thousand feet away from Calhoun Station Parkway and adjacent to the site for a proposed water park. I don't think there is anything shady about Mr. Banks owning land. Its been my contention that too many black leaders push a liberal theme of government dependency that has harmed the black community so I am all for someone like Karl Banks leading by example and putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to earning a living.

Where I have the problem is Mr. Banks voting on anything pertaining to Calhoun Station Parkway and the water park (which the school board declined to approve). Although those are not his properties, it is quite clear they will increase the market value of his adjacent land, something he can not fail to notice. It would be no different than a supervisor in 1965 owning a large tract of land two thousand feet from E. County Line Road and then voting for every motion that came before the Board to expand the road, install water, sewer, and other utilities, and make other improvements that would open up his land for development. Mr. Banks voted over 15 times for such motions.

The issue is not Mr. Banks owning land but whether it is ethical, even if legal, for him to cast these votes and in many cases, propose the motions himself. It is my contention such votes are not ethical and therefor grounds for calling for his resignation. Governor Mabus tried to fire General Farmer for similar issues twenty years ago. I thought his logic was sound then and think it is sound now as Mr. Banks sits in a position of public trust and should avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. As stated earlier, Mr. Banks is well within his rights to own such land. However, he should have recused himself for any such votes to avoid any appearance of such a conflict.

It is also my opinion Mr. Banks broke the law by not disclosing on his economic interest form his ownership in Miller Banks Realty and any land holdings associated with the company. It is regrettable the other supervisors, including gadfly D.I. Smith, were silent when this arose at the meeting Monday. However, I still stand by my earlier position regardless of Mr. Banks insults and diatribes.

Earlier Post, Earlier Post I

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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