Stories for October 2004


Sunday, October 31

Mississippi Gospel and Bluegrass Opry

Mississippi Gospel and Bluegrass Opry - Sat., Nov. 13, 6:30-9:30 p.m. The Diplomats, Larry Wallace Band, Harmony & Grits. Pearl Community Room, next to Pearl City Hall, Old Brandon Rd. $7.50, Kids free. 924-1175.

The JFP Election 2004 Cheat Sheet

Print 'n' Carry to the polls. Vote with us or against us... Just VOTE!

Election Commission – Sean Perkins (1), James Rice (2) Frank V. Figgers Jr. (3), Jan Hillegas (5)


"... the missing link between Public Enemy and Louis Armstrong." - Village Voice. "...a peerless group of musicians who kick ass..." - Offbeat. Straight outta N'awlins, the Soul Rebels bring the funk to their city's spirit of jazz tradition and deliver it--hip-hop style--into the 21st Century, without sacrificing the integrity of their musical heritage. On February 8. 2005 the Rebels release their third album, Rebelution (Barn Burner Music); it's their most progressive and poignant statement yet.

IRS Probes NAACP; Group Calls It Suspicious

The NAACP has revealed that the U.S. government if probing it for crossing the line into politics. AFP reports:

Molly Ivins Calls the Election for Kerry, the ‘Uniter'

Molly Ivins this week:

Without fear of contradiction, I can say that George W. Bush has turned out to be a divider, not a uniter, for the past four years. Sheesh, if we get any madder at each other there will be fisticuffs, brethren, I say fisticuffs.

Appearance of ‘Man Who Got Away' Doesn't Matter

The New York Times reports that the re-emergence of bin Laden isn't having an affect on voter opionion:

4,000 Al-Qaida Members Escaped at Tora Bora

Editor & Publisher is reporting: "Today, in a story sent to Knight Ridder newspapers, the bureau examined the current, and perhaps crucial, election debate in the aftermath of the new Osama bin Laden video: Did the U.S. military let the terrorist leader escape in Tora Bora nearly three years ago? [...] The report revealed that two KR reporters and two photographers were at Tora Bora during the battle, and photographer David Gilkey of the Detroit Free Press and reporter Drew Brown traveled there a year later, interviewed Afghan fighters, retraced al-Qaida escape routes and talked to Pakistani intelligence officers who were tracking al Qaida. 'Their reporting,' KR recalled today, 'found that Franks and other top officials ignored warnings from their own and allied military and intelligence officers that the combination of precision bombing, special operations forces and Afghan forces that had driven the Taliban from northern Afghanistan might not work in the heartland of the country's dominant Pashtun tribe.'"

Saturday, October 30

Deuce McAllister and Partners Sign King Edward Deal

Good Jobs and Outstanding People

<b>Web Exclusive</b>

In the midst of a Presidential election it's easy to get caught up in the event, to fixate on the media coverage and the seemingly infinite analysis and forget about all the other things. Regardless of the latest partisan rifts, elections highlight the fact that America will always endure. Mississippi endures, too. In fact, judging from what I saw this week while traveling around our state, I can tell you that Mississippi is not only enduring, we are prospering.

Losing Your Voting Virginity

In a story printed in our one of the JFP's youth voting issues, Jane Eisner argues that older people should help young people celebrate the right to vote—and give them a reason to vote:

Friday, October 29

Questions of Faith

Why I'm Voting Tuesday

<b>Web Exclusive</b>

The hip-hop generation has been much maligned—partially because apathy runs rampant in our demographic. "Why should I vote?"or "My one vote won't make a difference" or even better, "I'm too busy" are all these familiar excuses? The scary thing is ... every vote counts. This is probably one of the most important elections in the history of politics. The very welfare of this country and the lives of thousands of servicemen overseas hinges upon the decisions we make this November.

Why John Kerry Should Be Elected President

Web Exclusive

How many of you remember your parents talking about the president? I remember as a child I wondered why we elected such terrible presidents. Truman could hardly get anything right, it seemed to me, and Eisenhower was not much better. Why, any one of the adults we knew could've done a better job!! Of course, what I didn't understand at the time was the emotions and exaggerations that are part of politics. Politics can certainly stir the emotions, and it's good that it does. We should care, and care a lot, about the decisions that we as a country make; decisions about sending our young people to war, about caring for our retirees, about preserving the beauty of our country for future generations, about protection of our liberties, our right to speak our minds, to bear arms and to have a fair trial if accused of a crime.

Standing By Our Men

Jackson Wives Speak Out for Soldiers Who Said 'No'

At 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, someone in Iraq called Jacqueline Butler to tell her, "Your husband has been arrested, read his rights, charged for disobeying a direct order, and now he is being held in a tent." As soon as Jacqueline hung up, she called her brother and later tried Rep. Bennie Thompson's office, where she spoke with Michael Montgomery, and then she called The Clarion-Ledger to see if they could help her find some truth in the matter. What did she find? There were other troops' family members in the Jackson area doing the same thing: They had received similar calls on the same morning.

Songwriter to Bush: Stop Using my Song!

AP is reporting::

Ralph Nader

Report: 100,000 Iraqi Citizens Killed in War

Bloomberg is reporting:

Rankin Anti-Liquor Flier Bashes Jackson

The Clarion-Ledger is reporting:

Thursday, October 28

Springsteen: ‘The Future Is for the Passionate'

80,000 Turn Out for Kerry, Springsteen in Wisconson

Salon reports:

Bush Campaign Doctors Campaign Ad

This story is burning up political circles. Salon today:

Just In: Ashcroft Sending Poll Watchers to Mississippi


Giuliani Blames Troops

Nothing like supporting our troops. Salon reports:

Madison Mayor's Husband Arrested for Corruption

Clarion-Ledger reports:

U.S. Supreme Court

Jermal Clark - District 3

Two Democrats are vying for the position. Jermal Clark is challenging incumbent Frank Figgers Jr., who has served two terms. Clark, however, is not running a very vigorous campaign from what we can see.

Josephine Anderson - District 2

Wednesday, October 27

"The Best Of…," Clan of Xymox

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

As progenitors of the Euro-Disco movement in the mid-80's, Clan of Xymox' trademark sound was that of atmospheric synths, driving bass lines, danceable beats and gothic vocals. After a triumphant run on the college charts in the late 80's, the popularity of CoX began to wane stateside. However, they continued output for their devoted European fans and only just recently [2003] made their "Farewell" album. "The Best of Clan of Xymox" captures their 20-year presence almost perfectly and includes several remakes of their earlier classics.

"This Island," Le Tigre

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Kathleen Hanna, former front-lady of Bikini Kill and Julie Ruin, now heads the trio of Le Tigre and she delivers the goods true to her riot-grrl punk roots. What is so refreshing about Le Tigre is their ability to utilize electronics and punk kitsch to create a sound that is truly original. One might call them feminist electroclash, but this would be a gross overgeneralization- even though there are elements of both in their music. To be released one month before the U.S. Presidential election, the message of This Island will certainly energize many younger voters against the ongoing evil of Dubya- hopefully it will pay off at the polls on Election Day.

"Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth?" The Soft Pink Truth

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

The Soft Pink Truth is to house music as Prefuse 73 is to hip-hop. Dissecting the house sound down to its sinews and reconstructing it into something totally phunktastic is the prime objective of SPT, which is the musical alter ego of Drew Daniels [aka one half of Matmos]. 2003's "Do You Party" was the toast of many music critics best of list and their latest will most assuredly repeat this same success.

Best in Sports in the Next 7 Days

High school football, there are two potentially interesting JPS games on tap: Vicksburg vs. Murrah, 7 p.m. at Newell Field, and Forest Hill at Madison Central, 7:30 p.m. (620 AM).

Seed of Growth

Circus of the Seed is a Frankenstein set loose in the streets of Jackson. No, they are not out to get you, and they are not looking for a bride. Simply put, they are a creation unlike anything you have ever seen or heard before. Not fitting into any one musical genre, Circus of the Seed is the product of four very different guys who stitch together elements of jazz, rock and funk in a way that would make even Mary Shelley proud."We try to make it so that all of the people around here can enjoy our music—any age group, any clique," says Stephen Phillips, trumpet player and singer.

House of Strain

A Review of "The Grudge"

This Halloween season's requisite "spooky house" flick, "The Grudge," tries in vain to combine American and Japanese horror genre sensibilities, with clunky, derivative, disappointing results. Director Takashi Shimizu has adapted his own 2003 film "Ju-on: The Grudge" for American audiences (who certainly couldn't just rent a subtitled version of the original), but something seems to have gotten lost in translation.

[Halloween] Cool Costumes and General Stupidity

For adults like me, Oct. 31 is a great day. And, no, it's not because my youngest son will turn 26 that day and thankfully be too old for the draft Dubya assures us will not ever happen. (Talk about scary.) It's because Oct. 31 is Halloween, a chance for adults to create costumes, to frighten others and to get scared silly—all in fun.

Questions of Faith

While the question of whether the walls between church and state will come tumbling down in American politics causes much discussion across the United States, religious issues are drawing bold lines between the two main candidates in Mississippi's 2nd congressional district.

JFP Election Guide 2004

Major Candidates and Issues

The race for U.S. president is coming down the wire with two major candidates vying for the job—and third-party candidates that are getting very little attention, including Ralph Nader, whom even many supporters urged to sit out the race this time to ensure that he doesn't hand the presidency to Bush. The race seems neck-in-neck going into Election Day, although astute observers believe that many voters—probably for Sen. John Kerry—are being under-polled because they are young and mobile, and many rely on cell phones. A week from Election Day, the momentum seems to be on Kerry's side after victories in all three debates and a flood of negative news, both domestically and in foreign policy, about President Bush's policies and record.

Small Business

October 28, 2004 Given our country's sluggish economy, both presidential candidates say they will help spur small business growth over the next four years. Their strategies are very different, however. President Bush, in a speech to aviation workers in Wisconsin, elaborated on his tax relief plan, which emphasizes the reduction of personal tax rates. He claims that cutting the personal tax rates has a positive effect on small businesses, because most of them are subchapter S corporations or sole proprietorships, which means they pay tax on corporate profits on their personal returns. "If 70 percent of the new jobs in America are created by small business, and by reducing all tax rates puts money into small business' pockets, it seems to make sense that people ought to be supporting the tax cuts all across America," Bush says.

Tort Reform

October 28, 2004 "Tort reform"—which, in the past few years, has primarily meant capping non-economic damages in medical- and product-liability lawsuits—has been a major political football in Mississippi over the past few years, including a huge driver in election-year fundraising and a serious component of our recent race for the governor's mansion. Early this summer, in a special session, tort-reform interests won a $500,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in all medical liability cases, along with in any general business liability case. The Bush administration believes that tort reform should happen at the federal level, and it has introduced a federal cap of $250,000 of non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. But it hasn't passed Congress. Instead, tort-reform supporters have focused on individual states, where they've had success placing caps in more than 23 states in the past 15 years.

Gay Marriage

October 28, 2004 With countries such as Spain and many others making gay marriage legal, is it time that America takes the same step? That question has made gay marriage and civil unions the hot-button wedge issue of the 2004 election. Some analysts say Sen. John Kerry's reference in the last debate to Mary Cheney—the vice president's openly lesbian daughter—hurt him in the polls. Kerry's exact words were: "If you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as. If you talk to anybody, it's not choice. I've met people who struggled with this for years, people in a marriage and they struggled with it. I've met wives supportive of their husbands or vice versa when they finally broke out and allowed themselves to live who they were, who they felt God had made them. We have to respect that." Kerry proponents, and many homosexuals, point out that the only way one can view his answer as bad or offensive is if the person finds homosexuality to be bad or offensive.

The Economy and Taxation

October 28, 2004 "It's the Economy, Stupid," is the famous line posted on the Clinton campaign's war room wall during the 1992 campaign. The conventional wisdom is that in most election years, people vote with their pocketbooks—if the economy has been good under an incumbent, he'll often be re-elected; if it's been bad, then the incumbent faces an uphill battle. The situation faced by the Bush administration has been anything but typical. There has indeed been a recession, and there's been wartime spending. The economy was declared to have been in recovery as early as 2001 by many academics, although there was fighting over that until mid-2003. In the past year, about 1.7 million private -sector jobs have been created; while this is good news, job growth seems to have slowed in the summer of 2004. Economists say about 1.6 million jobs must be created per year to keep up with population growth, meaning unemployment levels remain flat or, when adjusted for "discouraged" workers, actually continue to rise somewhat. The Bush administration will face the election with a net job loss—the first administration to do so since the Hoover administration in 1933.

NCAA Places Mississippi State on Probation

Here's MSU's take on it.

Today the NCAA placed Mississippi State University on a four-year probation for four years because of football recruiting violations that occurred between 1998 and 2004. The NCAA stripped the university of eight scholarships over the next two seasons and banned Mississippi State from any 2004 postseason play. Also, the NCAA cut the school's expense-paid recruiting visits in each of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years to 45, which is 11 fewer than the NCAA maximum. Former Coach Jackie Sherrill escaped a bit unscathed: Allegations of unethical conduct against him were dismissed.

State Behaving Badly

More than 30 years after Mississippi's incarceration system was declared unconstitutional in the landmark case Gates v Collier, the Mississippi Department of Corrections is again being accused of subjecting its prison inmates to unauthorized mistreatment, prompting the ACLU to announce the formation of its first Prison and Jail Accountability Project.

[Wiggs] For the Rest of Your Life?

The winner of the presidential election of 2004 is almost certain to define the composition and direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for at least the next 20 years. And lest you believe that won't make much difference, reconsider the fact that among the issues that the Supreme Court took upon itself to decide in 2000 was who would be our current president. Given the way Election 2004 is shaping up, perhaps the current Supreme Court will be determining who will be our next.

Zen and the Art of Optimism

I don't know about you, but this election season is damned stressful. Even as George Bush rolls out television ads with wolves lurking to terrify Americans into voting for him, it's the idea of a second Bush term that scares the crap out of me. I truly am worried about the future and what's happening to American freedoms during this arc of history.

Malcolm White

One might think you'd get to know someone after living for 40 nights in a five-by-seven-foot tent, a 15-foot canoe by day, bathing in the river, fending off crawling critters, heat, cold, solid sheets of rain for just under 500 miles through the heart of a state that runs right through the middle of my heart. However, it's just not that simple.

Mayor Announces New Farish Street Businesses

Herman's Picks

The future of downtown Jackson looks promising with all the talk of out-of-town consultants, the convention center, Farish Street and the King Edward. Friday night is the next great night to be downtown. All ye party people eighteen and up can vibe to the sensation of hip-hop master of 601, Kamikaze at 105 Capitol. But not yet, Friday night's show has been rescheduled to next Friday, Nov. 5.

Tuesday, October 26

Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies

Veteran BBC broadcaster John Peel has died at the age of 65, while on holiday in Peru. Peel, whose radio career spanned 40 years, was on a working holiday in the city of Cuzco with his wife Sheila when he suffered a heart attack. He was BBC Radio 1's longest-serving DJ and in recent years had also presented Home Truths on Radio 4. Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said Peel's contribution to modern music and culture was "immeasurable". Read More Here...

Eminem's October Surprise

His new video.

aughty and Nice

New Stage has outdone itself with "Don't Dress for Dinner." If the play were a stand-up comic, I'd say she starts off just a bit slow, but quickly grabs tightly onto your funny bone and gives it a delightful workout.

Bush breaks with GOP on same-sex unions

Washington Times reports:

Bloody Sox

1. St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa has done a lousy job so far.

America's greatest sportswriter, Charles P. Pierce, analyzes the first two games of the World Series and comes to two conclusions:

Monday, October 25

ABC Poll: Voters say U.S. on ‘Wrong Track'; Kerry Ahead

ABC News is reporting: "Skepticism about the nation's direction is boosting John Kerry's campaign for president: Fifty-five percent of likely voters say the country is on the wrong track, and their discontent is fueling Kerry to an even race against President Bush. Overall, 49 percent of likely voters now support Kerry, 48 percent Bush, 1 percent Ralph Nader. Given polling tolerances that's essentially a tie, but it is the first time since Aug. 1 that Kerry's held a numerical advantage, however slight, in ABC News polls. A weekend advance did it: Saturday and Sunday were two of Kerry's three best individual days since this daily tracking poll began Oct. 1. Today's results are based on Thursday-Sunday interviews. Discontent is the necessary element in removing an incumbent from office, and Kerry clearly has harnessed much of it: Among likely voters who say the country's on the wrong track, 84 percent support him."

Lose To State, Lose Your Job

It's official: Florida football coach Ron Zook was fired on Monday, just two days after his team was upset by Mississippi State, 38-31. However, Zook will finish the season, much to the relief of Florida-haters everywhere. Does this mean is finished?

Sunday, October 24

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Doctor S was correct, the Mississippi State-Florida game did get ugly ... if you're a Florida fan. For those in the right (that is, the state of Mississippi camp), it was a thing of beauty. Doctor S brings you some quotes from the Gators. And when you finish those, check out ... if you can fight your way through all the Gator fans, that is.

Saturday, October 23

Daily Newspaper Endorsements: Kerry Leads So Far

Click story for a full list, updated as more come in.

Editor & Publisher is keeping track of daily newspapers' presidential endorsements. Through today (Oct. 23): "Sen. John Kerry continues to pile up the newspaper endorsements, but in a reversal of past trends it was President Bush who nabbed the larger papers in today's update of E&P's exclusive tally. While only adding four papers to his total, Bush did win the backing of two big papers. [...] Kerry now leads 48-34 in the number of papers that back him. In our updated chart below, we find that Kerry now leads Bush in the circulation of papers backing him by almost 2-1, but just a few days ago the incumbent trailed 5-1 in that category. Kerry's papers have 8.9 million readers while Bush's clock in at 4.7 million, so far." Would Kerry Throw Us to the Wolves?

A misleading Bush ad criticizes Kerry for proposing to cut intelligence spending — a decade ago, by 4%, when some Republicans also proposed cuts.

Sinclair Opts for 'Fair and Balanced' After All

New York Times reports: "After stirring up protest over its plans to broadcast a documentary critical of Senator John Kerry, the Sinclair Broadcast Group presented a program last night that gave short shrift to that film and offered instead a measured analysis of the debate over Mr. Kerry's Vietnam War record. The hourlong special program, produced by the news department at Sinclair, a major financial supporter of Republican candidates and which regularly features conservative commentary on its newscasts, included as many backers of Mr. Kerry as critics.

No Evidence of Election Terror Plot

CNN is reporting that talk about an election terrorist plot is overblown: "U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials say they have found no direct evidence of plans for an election-related terror attack after a five-week investigation, the Washington Post reported in its Saturday edition. Citing unnamed officials in an article on the newspaper's Web site, the Post said a key CIA source who claimed knowledge of such plans has since been discredited, casting doubt on earlier pieces of evidence pointing to an attack. [...] But even after hundreds of interviews, immigration arrests and other efforts, law enforcement officials said they have been unable to detect signs of a plot in the U.S., nor have they identified specific targets, dates or methods that might be used, the paper reported."

Rapper Eminem Slams Bush in Rolling Stone

First American Conservative, now Eminem. This excerpt is from the issue of Rolling Stone that hits the streets the first week of November:

Rome on Late, Late Show

Doctor S caught Jim Rome, the uber-popular radio sports talk show host and ESPN TV host, on Friday night during his guest stint on CBS' "The Late, Late Show." CBS is still looking for a replacement for Craig Kilborn (who used ot be on ESPN ... interesting). Rome has said on his radio show that he would love to get the CBS gig, and who can blame him?

Friday, October 22

A Very Red October

Doctor S faces a conflict when the World Series starts on Saturday. The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals are his two favorite teams. So no predictions. No, make that Cardinals in seven. But now he agrees with Slate, the Houston Astros are cursed. And the New York Yankees should be.

American Conservative Magazine ‘Endorses' Kerry

Are you sitting down? American Conservative magazine just 'endorsed' John Kerry:"Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation's children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliché about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy. Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal—Bush has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American can't be found to do it—and you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail." [...]

Mayor Johnson Weekly Newsletter 10/22

King Edward Hotel- This week the Jackson Redevelopment Authority's board voted unanimously to authorize an agreement with Historic Restoration Incorporated (HRI) to renovate and redevelop the King Edward Hotel. This agreement will allow HRI to begin work on Phase I of the project. The developer will begin some demolition, environmental abatement and clearing of debris, necessary for developing the structure. This work should begin in January. HRI has stated that they are going into this project fully intending to convert the historic landmark into a vibrant mixed-use development comprised of condominiums, office space, an upscale restaurant, a gourmet coffee shop and other retail space. Check out some of Historic Restoration's mixed-use and other developments at: Phase II of the Metro Parkway Groundbreaking Draws a Crowd needs your help

[verbatim] We are looking for examples of false or misleading political mail regarding the presidential campaign. If you receive any, please send them to us. We promise not to use your name without your permission, but we won't be able to return the material you send. Please do include your name and a telephone number or email address where we might contact you in case we have questions.

Brian Wilson "SMiLE" Interview

Robert Schneider from The Apples in Stereo interviewed Beach Boy Brian Wilson for Denver's Westword. It was a dream-come-true... almost. Click here to find out more!

Thursday, October 21 $8 Million Worth Of Distortions

Two Bush ads full of misleading and false statements ran more than 9,000 times in 45 cities last week.

Is the White House ‘Scrubbing' Its Web site?

The blogosphere is presenting evidence, or at least arguments, that the White House is throwing potentially damning transcripts, audio and video down the memory hole. Read more here.

[Lott] Iraq: Neither ‘Wrong' Nor ‘Distracting'

It's inconsistent for any songressman or senator to wake up one day and say our troops don't have enough equipment or that the reconstruction of Iraq isn't going well, when they've voted against paying for these things. And it's surely strange to say Saddam Hussein was an evil killer, and in the same breath to say America should have let him go. Yet, these are precisely the positions some are struggling with in the height of this political season, trying to find neutral ground in what should be a not-so-neutral War on Terror. I believe most Americans see through it, as do our military men and women. I hope the terrorists see it that way, too, and are not somehow falsely emboldened by the shallow side of America's internal politics. An Avalanche of Misinformation

With election day approaching the tempo of ads is increasing, but not the level of factual accuracy. Both sides are making false or misleading claims in their ads.

Two More Factchecks re: Kerry

How Liberal is John Kerry?

A new RNC ad claims Kerry is "the most liberal man in the Senate." Actually, his lifetime rating is 11th or lower, depending.

GOP-Funded Firm Accused of Destroying Dem Ballots, More

Salon today has a piece about Sproul, the RNC-funded firm under fire for doing all sorts of things to squelch the Democratic vote:

Wednesday, October 20

I Want a Reality-Based President

I want George Bush out of the White House. I think his "conservative" administration has been anything but fiscally conservative, and I'm sick of George Bush dodging responsibility for his actions.

Best in Sports in the Next 7 Days

High school football, Bailey at Ridgeland, 7 p.m.: The metro-area rivals meet in a region game at Madison Central. … Jackson Prep at Hillcrest Christian, 7 p.m. (1240 AM): The academy rivals are battling for the district title.

CD Release: Buffalo Nickel

Mississippi and regional favorite Buffalo Nickel will celebrate the release of their new disc, "Noise and Conversation" on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004, at Hal & Mal's. One unusual twist to Buffalo Nickel's' brand of Americana flavored music—which they affectionately refer to as "honk-n-roll"—is that all of the members participate in the writing process.

Take This Life and Love It

Take two young men, both of whom write songs, sing and play guitar. Then mix in the Internet. Stuff the guys and what they'll need to survive on the road into a 2000 Chevy Blazer. Be sure they've left their regular-guy, 9-to-5 jobs. Shake, mix and move from town to town, state to state, from across the southwest and Texas, and continue on to the East Coast, then make your way back across America's heartland until you've reached the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. What you've got is the "Death of a Day Job Tour, 2004" complete with Matt Hopper, 25, and Andrew Norsworthy, 28, at the wheel.

[Dance] Shall We Salsa?

If you've ever dreamed of gliding across the dance floor like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, you're not alone. Growing up on those old black-and-white musicals on TV made me long to be the graceful dancer on the screen. Later, I wanted to be fiery and sexy Rita Moreno in "West Side Story," demure and sexy Olivia Newton-John in "Grease" and just-filled-with-lust Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing." Whew. Alas, I am merely someone who can and will do the Electric Slide, just as soon as I hear the music and can make my way to the dance floor. Two left feet and no partner, that's me.

Generation Me-Me-Me

Carrie is 2 years old, with curly brown hair and Windex-blue eyes. In a still-life portrait, she would be adorable. In three dimensions, she's a cross between a Gerber baby and the Tasmanian devil.

Health Care

October 21, 2004 Of all the issues in this presidential campaign, health care is probably the most confusing. But a few facts are clear: 45 million Americans (including children) do not have health insurance, prescription drug costs are through the roof, and seniors aren't getting what they need. Both Bush and Kerry have extensive plans to reform most every aspect of health care in an attempt to provide more coverage to more Americans. President Bush's first plan, if re-elected, is to "Cover the Kids," which will include a nationwide campaign. Many states, including Mississippi, are participants in CHIP (Child Health Insurance Programs), which allows coverage for children, but numbers of applicants are not as high as the number eligible.

[The JFP Interview] Rep. Chip Pickering

Rep. Chip Pickering has big, conservative shoes to fill. His father, Charles Pickering, is a conservative and a judge—respected by many, scorned by others. The father headed the campaign of the first President Bush in Mississippi, and was, later, the second President Bush's controversial choice for a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seat. The son has spent much time defending his father's honor and arguing that he has changed with the times since his past connections with segregationists. "I grew up in a political family, and all of that contributed to what I am doing today," he says.

NOFX - Greatest Songs Ever

Bay area legends NOFX are back, and they're as humble and soft-spoken as ever. That is to say, "not at all," as THE GREATEST SONGS EVER WRITTEN (BY US) is NOFX at their sneering, snarling best with 26 old fan favorites and one new ode to those old fans and punk rock brethren ("Wore Out The Soles Of My Party Boots").

Welfare and Poverty

October 21, 2004 The public hasn't heard the word "welfare" as often as it did in the last three presidential elections, perhaps due to the bipartisan Welfare Act of 1996 signed by President Bill Clinton. However, the topic remains important because it addresses the needs of Americans with lower incomes or no incomes at all. Mississippians should take special interest. The state's poverty level, nearly 20 percent of the population, is the highest in the nation. During the last presidential debate in Tempe, Ariz., moderator Bob Schieffer asked Sen. Kerry if it is time to raise the minimum wage. Kerry replied saying, "It's long overdue time to raise the minimum wage. And, America, this is one of those issues that separates the president and myself. We have fought to try to raise the minimum wage in the last years. But the Republican leadership of the House and Senate won't even let us have a vote on it. We're not allowed to vote on it. They don't want to raise the minimum wage. The minimum wage is the lowest minimum wage value it has been in our nation in 50 years. If we raise the minimum wage, which I will do, to $7 an hour, 9.2 million women who are trying to raise their families would earn another $3,800 a year."

[The JFP Interview] Justice James Graves

When James Graves first walks into the room for our interview, I'm amazed by his stature. He's a big man. He almost makes me feel like David standing near Goliath until he reaches down and shakes my hand and smiles—not a politician smile, but an early-morning genuine smile. Sitting down, he seems no smaller. When he speaks, his big hands move firmly but smoothly, with the exact rhythm of his voice. But he's not intimidating—not after a few minutes, anyway. He's just someone's dad, even if he happens to also be a Supreme Court justice fighting to keep his seat.

[Chick] Monkey See, Monkey Do

It's true that all those horrible things you did to your mother will come back to haunt you. I hate it as much as you, believe me. There is nothing more obnoxious than a sanctimonious mother telling a daughter, or son, all the horrible things said mother endured for her child and how all those things will very soon come to pass as some type of divine, maternal retribution to tell the daughter, or son, "I told you so!"

Public Education

Illustration by Ken Patterson In all four presidential/vice presidential debates, the moderators failed to ask a single question about public education and the candidates' views on President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" education reform act, passed in January 2001. The candidates themselves tried to insert points about NCLB in answers to other questions—Bush, for instance, said his education plan was an alternative to raising the minimum wage—but no substantive discussion of public education, and how the presidential candidates differ, occurred. Perhaps this means that the candidates either agree on the need for NCLB—after all, Kerry voted for it—or that Kerry does not have substantially different ideas about public education. Not exactly.

Assaulted by the Media

The Soulshine room was abuzz with the huge crowd there for the first presidential debate, and I was sitting at the bar, enjoying a beer or two. The first offense occured when I was on my way to the bathroom. I was approached by a familiar-looking woman who turned out to be a local news anchor. Kindly enough, she inquired if she might ask me a question or two concerning the debate.

[Stiggers] Fo' Mo' Years: Trick or Treat

Other Brother Productions presents a Ghetto Science Team horror film. Election Day 2004, morning. Lil' Ray-Ray is up from a pleasant night's rest. After a thorough grooming session, our hero is ready to exercise the right to vote. On his way to vote, Lil' Ray-Ray stops by Grandma Pookie's for breakfast. She laments about the overwhelming cost of Medicare, prescription drugs, food, gas and energy.

¡Ni Una Mas!

Millsaps College senior Jessica Lester has traveled extensively through Latin America. "I've seen a lot of the injustices and extreme poverty [there]," she says. That's why it is so vital to her that people are aware of the mass femicide occurring in northern Mexico.

Center Foes Hold Court

The debate over a convention center tax proposal, on the ballot this November for Jackson residents, heated up this week with the two major campaigns showing decidedly different tactics. A youthful convention center rally took place on Saturday in favor of the proposal, including an enthusiastic speech by Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., a slide show of supporting information for the plan, and musical appearances by The Broken String Band and the Vamps.

Montrel McClenton

Madison Central sophomore Montrel McClenton, 16, looks right at home seated in front of the computer monitor, TV screen and editing equipment at Back Porch Film & Video, at the Mill Street end of Keener Avenue. He should. For the past few years, McClenton has been learning the ropes from his step-dad Ted Davis, owner of Back Porch. On its colorful business card, the company's motto says, "We help you tell your story." That they do.

Yellowcard DVD, Relient K and more

Tomorrow, November 2nd, Capitol Records will release Yellowcard's Beyond Ocean Avenue: Live at the Electric Factory DVD, NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 17 and NOW DVD 2, as well as Relient K's mmhmm.

Trent Dabbs- "Quite Often," by Palmer Houchins

Oxford, Miss., spawned a movement with the pioneering alt-country of Blue Mountain, stylized the past with the hipster neo-blues of Fat Possum Records, and in the past two years, jumpstarted the careers of songwriters like Josh Kelley and Charlie Mars. Looming behind much of that renaissance has been producer Dennis Herring whose studio, Sweet Tea, has brought in a roster from the legendary (Elvis Costello, Buddy Guy) to the late-breaking (Modest Mouse, Counting Crows).

Tuesday, October 19

"Apples and Synthesizers," Solvent

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Described by The Wire [UK] magazine as "gleefully blurring the lines between modern techno and vintage techno-pop," Solvent is at the forefront of the electronica genre. Apples and Synthesizers is certainly testament to Solvent's old meets new electro-pop approach, as hints of electroclash, IDM and Kraftwerkian synth lines permeate into an infectuously fresh mix. Listen up for this one!


Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

The dusty sound of archival Polish jazz from the 60's and 70's, sampled into a rich space age lounge texture. This is the best way to describe the Wroclaw, Poland duo of Skalpel- newest recruits on the Ninja Tune labels Foreign Legion. If you know what Ninja Tune is all about, then you will most assuredly love this fun foray into jazz beats. If you don't know Ninja Tune, then you should start with this.

A Time to Gain

Changes galore have taken place at BRAVO! in Highland Village—with a new menu, new grill, new wine tastings and new décor.

Ground Zero Blues in Clarksdale


Sat 11/27 - The Deep Cuts Blues BandWed 12/1 - The PerrysFri 12/3 - Guitar Charlie Blues BandSat 12/4 - Mem Shannon & the MembershipWed 12/8 - Big A Blues AllstarsFri 12/10 - Watermelon Slim Blues BandSat 12/11 - John Horton & Mississippi SlimWed 12/17 - Mississippi 145 Blues BandFri 12/24 - Big T & the Family Blues BandSat 12/25 - TBAWed 12/29 - Minor BluesFri 12/31 - New Year's Eve Houseparty starring Jimbo Mathus & hisAll-star Blues Revue.

Kerry Has Wide Support Among Blacks

AP is reporting:

Blacks prefer Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry over President Bush by a nearly 4-to-1 margin, though their support for the Democrat is down slightly from the backing Al Gore received in 2000, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music Concert

Obtainable at door and by mail by check to MA'AM, 103 Magnolia Street, Edwards, MS 39066

The Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music presents The Rose Ensemble "Slavic Holiday - An evening of hymns and folklore from early Bohemia, Poland & Russia." Sat., November 6, 7:30 p.m. St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 5400 Old Canton Road (corner Westbrook, opposite the Synagogue) Jackson, MS., Tickets: $15 ($7 for students). Read more about the concert here.

Jazz Society Monthly Juke

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

Monday, October 18

Symphony Orchestra presents Beethoven's Fifth

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Bravo Series presents Beethoven's Fifth Symphony: Hear it Again for the First Time. Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m. Thalia Mara Hall. $25+. 960-1565.

Music at the Mounds

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians: Music at the Mounds - Sat., Oct. 23, 11-2 p.m. Volunteers perform gospel, country, and jazz music. Free. 400 Jeff Davis Blvd., Natchez. 601-446-6502.

"The Silent Hours," The Open

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Flashback to the mid 1980's and remember the atmospheric wash of guitars ala Cocteau Twins- now, on to the early 1990's and the sweeping wall of sound by Slowdive and psychedelic soup of The Verve- fast forward to 1997 and the grand theatrics of Radiohead- move onward once more to 2001 and the driving bass lines of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the vocal styles of The Doves. Now, you have a taste of what Britain's newest hype-darlings, The Open, have to offer. Recorded by Cocteau Twin bassist Simon Raymonde, "The Silent Hours" is an all-encompassing journey through the vicissitudes known as life.

[Rev] No More Nice Girl

I've been so nice lately. I gave away pumpkins from my garden to local children, I've been smiling at strangers and I donated money for disadvantaged teenagers. I've been so nice, I reached niceness overload and got jilted into a mean streak. I've been cutting in line at the grocery store, making fun of people with speech impediments and dissing your mama.

8Ball & MJG Strike GOLD w/Bad Boy Records Debut Album

Hip-hop icons 8 Ball & MJG prove that they live up to title of their sixth studio album. 'Living Legends', the first project the pioneering Memphis rap have released on P. Diddy's Bad Boy Records, has been certified gold and is approaching platinum status.

MC to stage Moliere's The Misanthrope

For ticket reservations call 925-3935.

Clinton - The Mississippi College Players will present Moliere's The Misanthrope on Oct. 21, 22, 23 25, and 26 at 7 p.m. and on Sun., Oct. 24 for a 2 p.m. matinee in Aven Little Theater. Tickets are $3.00 for students, faculty/staff, or seniors and $5 for adults.

Red Sox Are A Riot

The hooligans have officially taken over Boston. After rioters burned newspaper boxes near Fenway Park last season when the Boston Red Sox won the AL Divison Series, police told newspapers to remove their boxes during the AL Championship Series. Here's the Doctor S solution: Remove the rioters, instead. What happens if the BoSox win the World Series? Nuclear weapons? Thank goodness the Yankees will eliminate the Sox any minute now. Just How Many Bills Has Kerry "Passed?"

Bush said Kerry passed five bills. Kerry said he's passed 56. Who's right? That depends on the definition of "passed" and "bills."

Tiger Blues

How bad has it gotten for the Jackson State football team? Opposing players are making jokes. After Southern whipped the Tigers 45-7 last Saturday, Jaguars quarterback Thomas Ricks said (his voice dripping with sarcasm): "Jackson State always comes in focused and ready to play us. It was a little surprising that they took it a little bit easy on us this time." Funny stuff. And outgoing coach James "Captain Queeg" Bell managed to top himself in the Bizarre Statements Dept. To Doctor S, it sounds like the Tigers have quit on Bell.

Friday, October 15

Mutiny On Lynch Street?

Doctor S isn't so sure that Jackson State football coach James "Captain Queeg" is going to finish his second and last season as the Tigers coach. The wheels appear to be falling off and the spies tell Doctor S that the Tigers are on the verge of mutiny. Bell's actions this week have stirred the ire of the Tigers and Tigers fans. First, Bell told linebacker Joseph Scott that he would be suspended for Saturday's game because he wore different cleats from the rest of the team during the Alabama State game. Then Bell denied he had suspended Scott, who leads the SWAC in tackles. Then a story in The Clarion-Ledger on JSU's offense (or lack of) revealed dissension among the coaches on play calling, which Queeg, uh, Bell denied. And Bell said he wasn't going to use his third-string quarterback anytime soon because "I don't play to lose, I play to win." Since when, Queeg?

State Ready To Begin Bouncing

Mississippi State finally released its men's basketball schedule this week. Good news for Dog fans: At least 18 regular-season games will be on TV. Better news for Jackson fans: The Bulldogs are returning to Mississippi Coliseum on Dec. 22 to play Jacksonville State. The Dogs last played in Jackson two years ago and an overflow crowd turned out to watch them defeat Georgia State. Thanks to returning All-America Lawrence Roberts, State will be ranked among the nation's elite going into this season.

Thursday, October 14 New and Recycled Distortions in Debate #3

The debates are over and the results are clear: both candidates are incorrigible fact-twisters.

Bush said most of his tax cuts went to "low- and middle-income Americans" when independent calculations show most went to the richest 10 percent. Kerry claims Bush "cut the Pell Grants" when they've actually increased. Both men repeated misstatements made in earlier debates, and added a few new ones.

Barbour Postpones Medicaid Transition

PR from the Governor's office:

(Jackson, Miss.) -- Saying that a litigation (sic) had confused 50,000 Mississippi Medicaid recipients beyond repair, Governor Haley Barbour said today he would postpone the state's efforts to transition those recipients to Medicare and look to Medicaid reform opponents to come up with the $100 million needed for Mississippi's cash-strapped Medicaid program if the transition does not go into effect.

Wednesday, October 13

"The Romance of Plants," Jonathan McLeran

At our best we sometimes find ourselves and our opposite joined, at eternal odds, in stalemated singularity. Our most solid completeness and best art often come from this constant and synchronous pulling in all directions from our innermost core. This sort of inspirational dichotomy is apparent in the local Popaholic recording artist and one-man band known as Jonathan McLeran. His first solo release, "The Romance of Plants," is an instant infection of the '60s psych-pop harmony of "Pet Sounds"-era Beach Boys and The Byrds juxtaposed against the modern indie-pop melody and hip fluidic sensibility of Pavement.

The Convention Center Quandary

Although the JFP did its own feature story on the convention center a few weeks ago (Sept. 23-29, 2004), and I've talked to many of the players personally, I was still hoping that The Clarion-Ledger's recent package of stories and opinions would help me come to a conclusion about the convention center's viability. But what I read was just more of the same, and I'm not much closer to a decision on what makes the most sense. (Although I did get a giggle out of Sid Salter sounding off in support of new taxes and a big-government municipal project.) By next week, the JFP hopes to endorse one way or another. But we need a few more answers first. Kerry's Tax Ad: Literally Accurate, But Misleading

[Verbatim alert] [Kerry's] ad says "the middle class is paying a bigger share of America's tax burden." True. But it's a smaller burden all around. And the richest still pay the most.

Best In Sports In The Next 7 Days

Big night for high school football with Callaway vs. Lanier at Hughes Field, 7 p.m.: You will get a lot of bang for your sports entertainment dollar with this classic JPS matchup. And that's not counting halftime.

College Football At The Half

The college football season has reached the halfway point (roughly). So it's time for Doctor S to pass out the mid-term grades for Mississippi's college football teams. Doctor S grades on the curve … Dead Man's Curve, that is. Wins and losses count the most, but style points figure into the grades, too.

Paper Clips and Short Skirts

Take a look at the glossy, full-color brochure. Even if there were no words on the cover, you'd still get the gist from the graphics—a Menorrah, a film projector reel and a glass of iced tea with lemon and mint. Jewish Cinema South returns to Jackson Oct. 16-19.

Playing The Draft Card

Young People Fear a Call-Up. Should They?

On the evening of Oct. 5—after the Red Sox beat the Angels in the first game of the playoffs, and before the evening debate between Vice President Richard Cheney and Sen. John Edwards—the full U.S. House of Representatives met on Capitol Hill and voted, for the first time in the lifetime of most of today's college students, on legislation to reinstate a military draft.

[The JFP Interview] Jim Giles Wants a ‘White Nation'

In 1964 Jim Giles would have fit perfectly into Mississippi society. His public appearances would have brought cheers and applause from people who would publicly and proudly call him a friend and a great leader. Unfortunately for Giles, though, the year is 2004, and in the past 40 years the rules have drastically changed. Those people who years ago would stand in line to shake his hand now hide their conviction for his cause. Though it is possible that privately, very privately, they might still pat him on the back, it is difficult to live and work in today's multi-cultural, mixed society while exclaiming loudly, "This should be a white America again!"

"Church of the Ghetto P.C.," o9

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Like digitized sonic spray paint splattering against a pulsing wall, o9's newest is an amalgam of various sub-styles in the Intelligent Dance Music [IDM] sub-universe; blip-core, laptop electronica, glitch-funk. Obvious influences are post "LP5" Autechre, Jega and Hrvatski, but o9 stands apart as well as among. Logarithmic beats, minimalistic treats and all points in between- a pulsing and schizoid breakdown of sound as heard in 3D. Words escape when attempting to describe this phenomenal release.

[Stiggers] It Is Winter in America, Baby

Your presidential candidate for 2004, Mo'tel Williams: "Ladies and gentlemen! I know it's late. But since Jessie and Al are past tense, I think I have a chance. I'm not here to lie to yawl, even though everybody else has. Case in point: African-Americans were promised 40 acres and a mule, received nothing and were fooled.

"Automagic," Worm is Green

Reviewed by Alex Slawson and Herman Snell

Beginning in the bedroom of Arni Asgeirrson as little more than ideas created on his laptop, Worm is Green has evolved into the newest entry on the Icelandic electronispheric music scene. Along with his collaborators, Asgeirrson and Co. flesh out these ideas through glitchy digital sounds and live instrumentation [bass, guitar and drums]- and then come the cherubic vocals of Gudridur Ringstead. The highlight of "Automagic" is the cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart," but the entire album is absolutely lovely from start to finish.

[Lynch] It's Hard Being Green

President Bush may have stammered the most during the second debate when he was asked to defend his environmental record. Indeed, when I put the words "Bush, bad and environment," into my Internet search engine, a bloody 404,000 hits popped up, the first 50 of which spoke almost exclusively on how Bush has seemingly waged war on the planet, according to some very outraged environmentalist groups.

‘It Is A New Day'

Under the hottest sun of the week, hundreds of college students from all over the state united as one entity for the sake of principle, on Oct. 6, the first day of the Mississippi State Fair. Students from Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University marched from JSU's campus to the fairgrounds chanting, singing and waving signs in the air. The student march was initially planned in response to white supremacist Richard Barrett's announcement that Edger Ray Killen, suspected of helping plan the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba County in 1964, would be setting up an exhibit at the fair.

October 12th Music Releases

Hello Everyone!!! Listed below are the new music releases for the week of October 12, 2004.

Comparatively speaking, this is a quiet week for new music. However, there are a several noteworthy gems worth mentioning. First, there are new releases from American Music Club, Camper van Beethoven, TV on the Radio and a soundtrack by Massive Attack. Also of interest is a compilation celebrating Matador Records 15th Anniversary (with a Bonus DVD), rarities and B-sides from No Doubt, a Strokes live album and new albums from Afrika Bambaataa, Alison Moyet, Duran Duran and The Rollins Band. Finally, there are TONS of re-issues and artist collections. Just scroll down the list and see for yourself.

Clarence Lovelady

Clarence Lovelady, 58, came to Jackson 40 years ago to attend Jackson State University from his hometown of Forest. Lovelady majored in English Education, and later returned for a masters in public policy and administration and then a PhD from Ole Miss.

Tuesday, October 12

[Just In] Florida Sued to Prevent Disenfranchisement

[Joint Press Statement by Advancement Project, AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, People For the American Way Foundation, and Service Employee International Union/vertatim]

New GOP Ads to Target ‘Lawsuit Abuse,' Edwards

Time is reporting: "A new wave of Republican attack ads is coming this week, but this time their target is the No. 2 man on the Democratic ticket, John Edwards. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the November Fund, a new 527 group dedicated to attacking Edwards, a former plaintiffs' lawyer, and 'lawsuit abuse,' will this week launch an ad campaign that portrays him as a cause of the crisis in the medical system. [...] The November Fund, started in August by former GOP Senator Bill Brock and former Ronald Reagan White House aide Craig Fuller, begins running TV ads (which can't, by law, mention Edwards' name) and newspaper and direct-mail pieces (which can) in four states this week. [...] The Fund won't have to disclose its funding sources or how much it has raised until Friday, but Brock said the group had more than $5 million "last time I looked," starting with $500,000 from the Chamber.

Cell Phone Users Under-polling?

I have to gloat for a minute. I've been saying this exact thing for the last month to anyone who would listen. I truly believe the polls aren't reflective this year, partly due to this cell phone issue. I know this because Todd and I don't have a home phone and use our cell phones. There are lot more out there like us these days in the tech generation. The political game is changing. AP today: ‘Pro-Bush Puffery on Economy, Medicare'

New ad claims Bush inherited an economy "already in recession" and that 41 million seniors "now have access to lower cost prescriptions." Wrong on both counts.

Monday, October 11

[Rev] I Was Too Busy Driving

Where to start? Back in May I wrote a column about high gas prices when a barrel of oil was being traded at $40, a 14-year-old high. Last week, it hit over $50 a barrel, the highest recorded price since 1983, the first year oil was traded on the stock market. Gas prices, analysts say, will quickly follow the ballooning price of oil. According to the New York Times, oil prices are up 55 percent this year, and have doubled in two years.

Saturday, October 9

What's Milton Bradley's Game?

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley is a talented ballplayer. He's also angry as hell. He's an equal opportunity hater ... this season he's lashed out at teammates, umpires, journalists and even fans. Team officials and the LA media have coddled him all season. Did they create a monster? Soon enough, the St. Louis Cardinals will eliminate the Dodgers from the playoffs and Milton will be able to sulk in private.

Distortions Galore as Bush and Kerry Tie in Second Debate

CNN Reports:

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken right after the town hall meeting-style debate found respondents giving a slight, statistically insignificant edge to Kerry over Bush: 47 percent of them went for Kerry and 45 percent for Bush.

Friday, October 8

Millsaps College Hosts Presidential Hopeful

Green Party Presidential candidate David Cobb will speak at Millsaps College on Monday, Oct. 11 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 215 of the Ford Academic Complex on the College campus. Cobb, a native of Texas, served as the General Counsel for the Green Party of the United States until declaring his candidacy and was the Green Party of Texas (GPTX) candidate for Attorney General in 2002. He graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993, and had a successful law practice until early 2000. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Darby Ray at 601-974-1337 or email [e-mail missing]

Democrats, NAACP Challenge Fla. Voting Policy

AP is reporting: "The state Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit accusing Florida's secretary of state of violating federal law when she told elections supervisors to reject incomplete voter-registration forms. The party asked a judge to order Glenda Hood to reverse her instructions to the state's 67 counties. Hood's office told counties they should disqualify voters who failed to check a box confirming they are U.S. citizens, even if they signed an oath on the same form swearing they are. She and other state officials maintain that state and federal laws require the box to be checked.

‘Weak' Jobs Report Precedes Bush-Kerry Debate

Reuters reports more bad news for the Bush administration: "U.S. businesses added 96,000 jobs to payrolls in September, the government reported on Friday, a weaker-than-expected total that was expected to sharpen a presidential debate later in the day over the economy's direction. [...] The September job-creation total came in below Wall Street economists' forecasts for 148,000 new jobs. The department also revised down its estimate of August new jobs to 128,000 from 144,000 it reported a month ago. Most jobs in September came in the services sector, while manufacturers shed 18,000 jobs last month after increased hiring in the two prior months."

Thursday, October 7

Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series Presents Political Program

On the eve of what well could be another squeaker of a presidential election, the Millsaps College Arts & Lecture series is bringing two prominent Mississippi politicos to the stage to present their views on the upcoming election. Former governor Ray Mabus and Congressman Chip Pickering will appear Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Ford Academic Complex on the Millsaps College campus to offer their analyses of this year's presidential election.

Voter forum precedes quartet of Mississippi debates

A Political Forum on Saturday will offer the first of five opportunities for Mississippians to study issues and candidates before Election Day. Secretary of State Eric Clark will lead the introductory Political Forum, then U.S. Representative Benny Thompson and Mississippi Supreme Court justices will be featured in four televised debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Mississippi and WLBT-TV (Channel 3) this month. A panel of journalists and League members will question the candidates in each debate.

[The JFP Interview] Jill Conner Browne Tells All

What's pink and green and read all over? The answer, of course, is the Boss Queen herself. Best-selling author and Jacksonian Jill Conner Browne, 51, has done it again with her latest Sweet Potato Queen tome, "The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, or Dead" (Three Rivers Press, 2004, $13.95).

Mississippi Voter Forum, Debates On Way

From the Mississippi League of Women Voters: A Political Forum on Saturday will

Election Day. Secretary of State Eric Clark will lead the introductory Political Forum, then U.S. Representative Benny Thompson and Mississippi Supreme Court justices will be featured in four televised debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Mississippi and WLBT-TV (Channel 3) this month. A panel of journalists and League members will question the candidates in each debate.

Kerry to Address Black America Thursday Night

BET News is reporting: "Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry will take his case directly to Black America tonight, hoping to convince African Americans that he is more suited to be president than his predecessor. The 30-minute interview, to air at 8 p.m. tonight on BET, comes on the heels of Tuesday's heated debate between vice presidential rivals Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards and on the eve of a second debate between Kerry and President Bush.

Bush & Kerry's 'Southern Strategy': Ignore South

AP reports:

Chip Pickering Votes to Protect Pledge, Tax Cuts

[Verbatim statement, Sept. 23, 2004]

Pickering on votes: 'protects the values and finances of Mississippians'

Disaster in the Making: Will the Next Hurricane Be the Big One?

Here's a story we ran in Oct. 7, 2004, questioning whether federal policy and budget changes—and homeland security concerns—are trumping protection from natural diasters. We're pulling it back to the top of the site due to Hurricane Katrina.

[Chick] I Think Smitten, I Think Smite

Once upon a time in the Best of the New South lived a fair peasant woman inside a shoe. She had a son who yelled "Never wear panties to a party!" to the Baptist minister. She had her dog Zeke who discarded enough hair in her home to stuff a comforter and choke all guests. She had bills to pay and promises to keep and miles to go before she could sleep, but she had cute shoes, good music and great wine. And it was good.

Wednesday, October 6

In Case You Didn't Notice ...

Doctor S just noticed that Southern Miss is ranked 12th in The New York Times college football poll. Unfortunately, the computer program that ranks the teams was written by Jason Blair.

The Best in Sports in the Next 7 Days

Thursday, Oct. 7

College football, Houston at Southern Miss, 6 p.m. (ESPN2 and 1180 AM/104.3 FM): The Eagles figure to feast on a CUSA cupcake.

Up and Down the Avenue

On Bailey Avenue, from Woodrow Wilson to Northside, there's only one chain fast-food joint, McDonald's. And that's a good thing. There's plenty else to eat on Bailey. Here's the lowdown on what you can find to eat up and down the avenue. At the Woodrow Wilson end, Munches Restaurant, 2632 Bailey Ave., 981-3878, serves their Daily Lunch Special beginning at 11 a.m., Monday through Saturday, closing at 9 p.m. except on Friday and Saturday—their menu proudly proclaims: YES, We are OPEN until 1 a.m. Fri. & Sat. The Daily Lunch Special is $4.99. Wednesdays, when it's spaghetti, potato or green salad, sweet peas, rolls and fried chicken, is their biggest day. Now for the unreal savings. With a $20 Lunch Card, good for an entire year, the Daily Lunch Special price drops to $2.99, no matter how many times that fried chicken calls your name, and it's on the menu Monday through Friday. Plus, there's free delivery on four or more orders.

[Jacktown] Money Talks, Money Walks

I've been traveling a bit, but I'm back to give you guys the latest goings-on of hip-hop throughout our fine nation. To begin with, lawyers for civil rights legend Rosa Parks have released a statement from her doctors that assert that she suffers from dementia and should not answer questions relating to her lawsuit against Outkast. Parks, 91, filed the suit over the group's hit song "Rosa Parks," which was featured on their five-mic release, "Aquemini." They are using Parks' cancellation of a meeting with President Bush in 2001 as proof of her condition.

The War in Iraq

October 7, 2004 It appears that the single most important issue of this campaign is the war in Iraq. Even as other domestic and security issues are part of the debate, it seems that the American electorate will demand that the president they elect be able to bring a successful and relatively swift conclusion to end of the war in Iraq—somehow. Perhaps for that reason, it's the most difficult issue to pin the candidates down on. To say that President Bush's approach is "steady as she goes" and Kerry's is "to change the direction" is an oversimplification that would seem to utterly ignore the actual issues and problems on the ground in Iraq. Both candidates have positions that are more nuanced, and both appear to be less than candid on how their approach will solve the problem.

[Silver] The 30-Year-Old War

I'm glad I'm not running for president. My service record would be made public, and while there's little in there that's embarrassing other than my grade in navigation, it's not the stuff of the greatest generation, either. To avoid stomping through rice paddies, I joined Navy ROTC at Tulane and majored in sociology. It was a way to defer the worst of the war and ensure that when I went, I would go on my terms.

The Next ‘Greatest Generation'

The 2004 JFP/Collective Youth Voter Rally started with a bang. In case anyone thought the JFP-sponsored rally was going to be some "pinko" event, Ayana had scheduled Jim Giles as our first speaker. You know, Jim Giles, the whites-first dude who is running against Rep. Chip Pickering for Congress and who makes Chip look a bit rosy around the edges. Some folks were shocked when Giles headed to the stage, his big-ass Confederate flag-emblazoned pick-up truck parked out front. But, as Ayana and I and host Kamikaze explained to the crowd, the JFP rally was a free-speech zone. We'd asked people to not engage in personal attacks and to stick to the issues. Of course, for Mr. Giles, the issues are how much special treatment "the negroes" (his word) get.

[Stiggers] Like a Wino Clutches his Bottle of Thunda Burd

The Cootie Creek Fair hosts representatives of S.O.A.C. (Society of Angry Caucasians ) handing out propaganda to people passing by. Some folk stare curiously at the controversial figures while other folk just walk away.

Sound and Fury

With all the talk about boycotts and protests against Richard Barrett's white-supremacist booth at the Mississippi State Fair, it was his own guest Edgar Ray Killen who stopped the plan cold.

Living, New York Style

Though the general consensus is that downtown Jackson is dead, a hairdresser and an architect stand strongly in opposition. Architect Robert Polk owns the 736 South President St. building, where he and his family reside in one of the three completed loft-style units. He has owned the building for the past nine years. Currently, aside from the three living units, there are several businesses in the building, including a photography studio.

Tambra Cherie

Tambra Cherié, local television personality and host of "Admission Granted," which airs on CBS affiliate WJTV, says her job is a perfect combination of all that she loves: "I like public relations, music and fashion. The show has combined them all."

2004 PoliticsBlog Live!

Thanks to the hard work of reporter Ayana Taylor, our 2004 PoliticsBlog is live now. We are featuring information on candidates, as well as the issues discussions that are running in the paper between now and the election. We welcome your comments and links to further information you think would benefit voters—either under the candidate's blog or under the Issues links. We're still working out a few design kinks, so bear with us on those. But let us know any technical kinds that indicate that something isn't working right. Write: [e-mail missing] to report problems. Cheers, again, to Ayana.

YOU Can Help Protect 2004 Election Integrity

Election Protection Volunteer Training Schedule

The Mississippi Center for Justice announces the following training sessions for folks interesting in helping to protect this year's elections. Note that Jackson's program is THURSDAY, Oct. 7, so hurry!

Herman's Music Picks

In my mind, the Mississippi State Fair is the official kick-off to riding down the road with windows down, and hanging body parts out in the breeze. In my mind the acting for the Fondren Theatre's production of "Arcadia" on the lawn of the Cedars is just a little better with the temp in the 70's and a breeze floating by. Any of the outdoor fall events on the lounge list are more enjoyable this time of year. October is just a fine time to shift your social calendar into gear. So browse the expanded lounge list online a little slower these next few weeks.

Report: Saddam Not In Pursuit of Weapons

AP is reporting: "Undercutting the Bush's administration's rationale for invading Iraq, the final report of the chief U.S. arms inspector concludes that Saddam Hussein did not vigorously pursue a program to develop weapons of mass destruction when international inspectors left Baghdad in 1998, an administration official said Wednesday. In drafts, weapons hunter Charles Duelfer concluded that Saddam's Iraq had no stockpiles of the banned weapons but said he found signs of idle programs that Saddam could have revived once international attention waned. 'It appears that he did not vigorously pursue those programs after the inspectors left, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in advance of the report's release. Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, was providing his findings Wednesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee. His team has compiled a 1,500-page report. Duelfer's predecessor, David Kay, who quit last December, also found no evidence of weapons stockpiles." Cheney & Edwards Mangle Facts

A few report just in: "Getting it wrong about combat pay, Halliburton, and Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals.

Bush Grounded for Skipping Exam

MSNBC Reports:

More than a week after a court-imposed deadline to turn over all records of President George W. Bush's military service, the Texas Air National Guard belatedly produced two documents Tuesday that include Bush's orders for his last day of active duty in 1973.

Tuesday, October 5

White Noise

From the four pages of acknowledgements to chapters like "Why I'm a Virgin" and "Who Will Stand Up for Old People," Ben Ferguson's first book "It's My America Too" (William Morrow, 2004, $23.95) seems more concerned with impressing those aforementioned "old people" than providing a voice for a largely un-categorized generation. At no point does Ferguson drop the pretense of being a good little Southern boy to address his generation—he's too busy pandering to the grownups. He uses words like "whippersnapper" and "youngblood" to describe people his age. He opens every chapter with giant, grayscale American flag clip art. It is almost inconceivable that someone Ben Ferguson's age could be this comically out of touch with, well, people his age.

Vote, @#%$ It! (The College Student Voter Guide)

If every college student in the state of Mississippi voted this year, you would probably be the most powerful voting bloc in the state. Here's what you need to know, courtesy of Mississippi Secretary of State Eric Clark.

"Nouvelle Vague," Nouvelle Vague

Meaning "New Wave" in French and "Bossa Nova" in Portugese, Nouvelle Vague lives up to its loaded moniker in a variety of ways. The brainchild of French multi-instrumentalist Marc Collin and producer Olivier Libaux, this is a great collection of 13 classic songs from the late 1970's / early 1980's post punk / new wave era reworked from the ground up. Essentially, the songs were stripped of everything but the basic chords and remade with a jazz lounge / bossa nova sensability. The vocals, which were sung by 8 females from France, Brazil and the U.S., add to the exotic cocktail flavor heard throughout.

Monday, October 4

[Rev] Think Again

On Sept. 1, Ford announced that because of a sharp drop in sales last month its vehicles were piling up in the warehouses, and so they would cut back car and truck production by 7.8 percent. Around that same time, I was madly sending messages to Ford via the Rainforest Action Network ( that automatically composes letters like "Dear Mr. Ford: I am writing to express my deep concern about your company's disproportionate contribution to America's oil addiction and the global warming crisis."

The Death of Grass Roots?

The Web site isn't exactly what one would expect. There aren't any passionate people promising to stand up for issues, no local communities to join, no petitions to sign. The site, instead, is designed for political moguls looking for someone to send out a few e-mails to interested constituents, build a trendy Web site—and then more than likely charge them a fortune. This, it would seem, is a contradiction of what "grass roots"—rough-around-the-edges ground-up activism—is supposed to mean.

Saturday, October 2

Republican Women Defecting to Kerry

Leigh Flayton writes in Salon about Republican women planning to vote for John Kerry this year due to George W. Bush's extremism: "Judith Allen, longtime Arizonan and lifelong Republican, says her choice is clear. She is voting for John Kerry on Nov. 2 and says there's plenty more where she came from. Allen is not a lone voice, crying in the wilderness. She currently serves as a volunteer coordinator for the group, Republicans for Kerry, which believes in 'putting aside partisan politics to do what is right for America.' In spite of recent polls to the contrary, Allen says her fellow Republicans, turned off by the Bush administration's sharp turn to the right, are defecting in droves to the other side. If what these Arizonans want is any indication, Bush may well be in trouble. Since Arizona earned statehood in 1912, no Republican has been elected president without carrying the state." [...]

Friday, October 1

Upcoming Sugar Hill Releases

Sept. – Dolly Parton's "Live & Well" CD and DVD are getting a great response. Her great, big tour (dates available here: is kicking off on October 14 in Greenville, SC.

Wife Says Edgar Ray Killen Not Attending Fair

Associated Press is reporting: "A reputed Ku Klux Klansman under investigation for the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi has no intention of joining a white supremacist group at next week's state fair, his wife said Friday. Betty Jo Killen, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from her home in Union, said her 79-year-old husband never told Nationalist Movement leader Richard Barrett that he would attend the fair. 'He has nothing to do with the booth,' she told The AP. 'That is Richard Barrett's doing. Richard Barrett wanted publicity and he got plenty.'"

JFP Blog Blew Up in September!

The Best in Sports in the Next 7 Days

High school football, Greenwood at Callaway, 7 p.m.: This game at Hughes Field brings back memories of some epic clashes back in the days of the old Big Eight Conference. … Also, Murrah at Madison Central, 7:30 p.m. (620 AM): The irony of this game is that many Murrah graduates are now the parents and grandparents of Madison Central students. … Brandon at Northwest Rankin, 7 p.m. (1180 AM, 104.3 FM): Meanwhile, a pair of Rankin County rivals will rumble out in one of those unincorporated areas.

Did Kerry Win the Debate?

A New York Times editorial today called Bush's performance "downright petulant": "George W. Bush is famous for fierce discipline when it comes to sticking to a carefully honed, simple message. Last night he reiterated this campaign message once again - that "the world is safer without Saddam Hussein" and that things are, on the whole, going well in Iraq. [...] But last night Mr. Bush sounded less convincing when he had to make his case in the face of Mr. Kerry's withering criticism, particularly his repeated insistence that the invasion had diverted attention from the true center of the war on terror in Afghanistan."