September 23, 2014

Museum District Area Not Only Site for Costco

By AnnaWolfe

Mayor Tony Yarber continues the fight to obtain a Costco in Jackson, even after encountering setbacks in last month's zoning meeting, and now says that the location on Lakeland Drive is not the only location Costco will consider, WAPT reported.

"Whether it's there or other flourishing areas on (interstates) 55, 20 or 220, it remains to be seen," Yarber said. "Costco has made clear to us over the last couple of weeks that their commitment is to be in this market."

Since initial concerns from the community regarding the rezoning of green space north of Lakeland Drive near the I-55 intersection, the City's position was that if Costco were to come to Jackson, it would only be interested in that area. Costco has also expressed interest in two other locations along Lakeland Drive in Rankin County, but stringent liquor laws in that area makes them less desirable for the retailer.

The Jackson City Council is scheduled to discuss Lakeland Drive rezoning further on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m.

September 22, 2014

T.I. "The King" Gets The Key (to the City)

By R.L. Nave

Verbatim release from City Hall:

The City of Jackson is pleased to announce that Clifford “T.I.” Harris will be in Jackson, MS on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 to raise awareness on key issues with youth in the metro area. T.I. will be delivering a message wrapped around the basic principles of being safe, being productive, and being better. The American rapper and entrepreneur will focus on galvanizing youth in several Jackson Public Schools to avoid making the same mistakes that he once made. T.I.’s awareness tour will end at Forest Hill High School at 2pm. T.I. is committed to continuing his “road to redemption” – an effort that was sparked by his passion to see kids progress and develop positively.

The City of Jackson will present T.I. with the key to the city for his unwavering dedication to seeing youth and young adults become positive influences within the community. The key to the city ceremony will be held on Wednesday at 9:30am and will feature Mayor Tony Yarber, Sherriff Tyrone Lewis, and the Sonic Boom of the South. The City of Jackson, in partnership with the Hinds County Sherriff’s Office, has committed to support T.I.’s message not only to raise awareness about safe living and productivity, but through a collective mission to eliminate crime in our communities.

T.I.’s message of safe, positive, and progressive living is a testament to the mission of National Night Out, which is an annual initiative held within the city. This year, the City of Jackson & the Hinds County Sherriff’s office have committed to “giving crime a going away party” together! This is the first time that both agencies have completely partnered in their efforts to raise awareness about crime prevention and create a safer living environment. The National Night Out Kick-Off event is Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 5pm till 9pm at the Mississippi Agriculture Museum.


September 15, 2014

Schools Join MAEP Lawsuit

By AnnaWolfe

Jackson, MS – Five Mississippi school districts have joined the fight to recover their share of almost $134 million owed to them by the State of Mississippi under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (“MAEP”).

Greene County, Humphreys County, Leland, North Bolivar and West Bolivar, join Clarksdale, Clay County, Greenville, Hattiesburg, Leake County, Okolona, Prentiss County, Richton, Simpson County, Smith County, Tate County, Wayne County, West Tallahatchie and Wilkinson County in seeking declaratory judgment to restore funding owed to them by the State. Previous release reported Forest Municipal would join legal action. School Board representatives have confirmed they will not.

The new districts will be joined into the same legal action with the original fourteen districts that filed legal claims in Hinds County Chancery Court in August. The districts allege the State of Mississippi has violated its own laws requiring full funding of the MAEP formula as amended in 2006. The law allowed the State a three-year period – 2007 through 2009 – to phase in full funding to the amounts called for by the formula.

The legal action also seeks to require the State to fully fund MAEP at the current formula levels the law requires. The State of Mississippi has failed to fully fund MAEP in every fiscal year since 2010.

As noted previously, under Miss. Code Ann. § 37-151-6, the law clearly reads:

Effective with fiscal year 2007, the Legislature shall fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

Under Mississippi law, use of the word “shall” imposes a legal and binding agreement with the people of Mississippi. It is compulsory and provides no room for interpretation by the State. If the court rules that use of the word “shall” is open to interpretation, the State would be unable to make people pay their taxes, prosecute hundreds of crimes, or truly function as a government.

During the most recent legislative session, the State placed over $400 million in its “Rainy Day Fund” while underfunding education by more than $250 million. Filing for declaratory and injunctive relief is the only way for school districts to recover the money that has been kept from them over the past 6 years. These districts are also seeking injunctive relief to require the State resume full funding of MAEP for all districts going forward – not just those that have joined in the lawsuit.

Now that the suit has been filed, school districts that have not already joined the legal action may do so without court permission until the State’s answer is due. The Attorney General must answer on behalf of the State on or before September 29. After filing of the answer, remaining districts may only join after court permission is granted. School districts that fail to file for legal action may lose the right to recover any of the lost revenue.

For additional information, contact George Shelton at (601) 927-3044 or George@Company-Politics.com. You may also find more information at www.maeppromisecampaign.com or go to www.facebook.com/mississippiadequateeducationpromise.

September 12, 2014

Give Us Your Ideas: How to Be the Change in Jackson

By Donna Ladd

Every year, to celebrate the JFP's birthday, we put the focus on great things happening in Jackson. This year, we're ratcheting up the effort with a special "GOOD Ideas: Be the Change in Jackson" issue to celebrate the JFP's 12th birthday. The issue, publishing Sept. 24, will include all sorts of great ideas of things we can all do to bring positive change in Jackson.

But here's where you come in. We want our readers to share YOUR best ideas for Jackson, whether or not it's an idea that is already happening or you think it should or could. For the next week, we will collect your ideas and publish as many as we can pack into the birthday issue.

Here's how to share: Email the ideas to ladd@jacksonfreepress.com with links or other information; or tweet or Instagram them using the hashtag #btcjxn. We'll get as many in the issue as we can.

Then is where it really gets fun, and the rubber hits the road. We're asking our readers to take a 30-day "Be the Change Challenge" in the Jackson metro to help encourage others to get involved, no matter how big or small, to help our city/metro reach its full potential. We challenge you to do something to Be the Change Jackson every day for 30 days starting on Thursday, Sept. 25. Snap pictures of you and yours being-the-change and use the hashtag #btcjxn on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. We will give gift cards from local businesses to random be-the-changers over the 30 days. If you participate every day for 30 days, you will go into a drawing for a large grand-prize package of gift cards (we'll announce soon exactly what will be in it).

Gandhi told us all to "be the change we want to see in the world"; we urge you to focus your efforts on our city in the next month or so to help inspire others, and especially our young folks, to step up and do whatever is in their power to do.

Thank you for whatever you can do and for inspiring others! Remember #btcjxn.

September 11, 2014

TedxJackson Speakers Announced

By R.L. Nave

The speaker lineup for the first TedxJackson, taking place Nov. 6 is out. Here they are:

Marina Bers, Professor at Tufts University, co-founder of KinderLab Robotics

George Bey, Professor of anthropology, researcher of Mesoamerican archaeology

Joel Bomgar, Founder and chairman of Bomgar

Jill Connor Browne, Author and humorist, Queen Boss of the Sweet Potato Queens

Gary Butler, Founder, chairman and CEO of Camgian Microsystems

Kristi Henderson, Director of Telehealth, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Kermit the Frog, Actor, singer, author, Muppet

Andy Lack, Chairman of Bloomberg Media, media industry veteran and visionary

David McRaney, Author and journalist

Melody Moody, Executive director of Bike Walk Mississippi

Hakeem Oluseyi, Professor of physics and space sciences, TED fellow, Science Channel contributor

Joe Reardon, Former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, economic development consultant

Robert Santelli, GRAMMY Museum executive director, music historian and author

Joe Stradinger, Founder and CEO of EdgeTheory, technology investor and entrepreneur

Richard Summers, University of Mississippi Medical School professor, physician, researcher, scientist

Herman Taylor, Cardiovascular researcher, physician, former director of the Jackson Heart Study

September 11, 2014

Report: Jackson State a Top 20 HBCU Value

By R.L. Nave

Verbatim press release:

For the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News has produced a ranking measuring the quality of the undergraduate education at historically black colleges and universities. In order to be on the list, a school must be currently designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an HBCU. To qualify for the U.S. News ranking, an HBCU also must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must be a school that is part of the 2015 Best Colleges rankings.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines an HBCU as "any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary (of Education) to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation."

If an HBCU is listed as Unranked in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings, it is also listed as Unranked in the HBCU rankings

In total, there were 80 HBCUs eligible to be included on the list; 69 of those were ranked and 11 of those were Unranked.

  1. Spelman College
  2. Howard University
  3. Morehouse College
  4. Hampton University
  5. Tuskegee University
  6. Xavier University of Louisiana
  7. Fisk University
  8. Florida A&M University
  9. Claflin University
  10. North Carolina A&T State University
  11. North Carolina Central University
  12. Tougaloo College
  13. (Tie) Delaware State University
  14. (Tie) Dillard University
  15. (Tie) Morgan State University
  16. (Tie) Winston-Salem State University
  17. Johnson C. Smith University
  18. Clark Atlanta University
  19. Jackson State University
  20. Elizabeth City State University
  21. (Tie) Lincoln University of PA
  22. (Tie) Tennessee State University
  23. (Tie) Alabama A&M University
  24. (Tie) University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
  25. (Tie) Bennett College
  26. (Tie) Bowie State University
  27. Alcorn State University
  28. (Tie) Albany State University
  29. (Tie) Fayetteville State University
  30. South Carolina State University
  31. Bethune-Cookman University
  32. Virginia State University
  33. Oakwood University
  34. Norfolk State University
  35. (Tie) Philander Smith College
  36. (Tie) University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  37. Prairie View A&M University
  38. (Tie) Fort Valley State University
  39. (Tie) Kentucky State University
  40. Stillman College
  41. (Tie) Alabama State University
  42. (Tie) Central State University
  43. (Tie) West Virginia State University
  44. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
  45. (Tie) Paine College
  46. (Tie) Southern University and A&M College
  47. Savannah State University
  48. Livingstone College
  49. Texas Southern University
  50. (Tie) Bluefield State College
  51. (Tie) Florida Memorial University
  52. (Tie) Grambling State University
  53. (Tie) Mississippi Valley State University


September 11, 2014

Federal Judge Dismisses Oakley Training School Lawsuit

By R.L. Nave

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate has dismissed a federal lawsuit over conditions at Oakley Youth Development Center.

According to a press release, Mississippi Department of Human Services officials credit the ruling with the agency's efforts to "better the conditions for all youth adjudicated delinquent and assigned to Oakley through Mississippi youth courts."

“The Division of Youth Services has worked to improve conditions and education, while ensuring the safety and security of youth at Oakley,” said MDHS Executive Director Richard Berry. “We appreciate the Department of Justice and the federal court’s affirming the progress and advances made for youth in state custody.”

Gov. Phil Bryant also weighed in, through the release, saying: “I want to thank Richard Berry and the Mississippi Department of Human Services for working hard over the last nine years to bring conditions to their current levels at the Oakley Youth Development Center. The diligence of their staff to meet the many compliance issues is apparent, and they have succeeded in improving the center drastically from where it was from almost a decade ago.”

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an investigation of Oakley and the now-closed Columbia Training School in response to three federal lawsuits alleging abuses ranging from staff forcing students to eat their own vomit, to hog-tying students and leaving them naked in dark cells for days at a time. The DOJ successfully sued Mississippi to correct the brutal treatment of inmates and the deplorable conditions of the facilities in 2005, and had worked with the DHS to devise and implement a plan of action.

DHS added: "In 2010 the state had met 51 of those requirements, and an amended agreement was entered into by all parties. Earlier this year the federal monitor assigned to the case found that OYDC had maintained substantial compliance with the 23 remaining provisions for a significant period of time. As a result of that report, DOJ and the State of Mississippi filed to dismiss the suit.

"Numerous changes have occurred at Oakley since 2005. Expansion of medical and dental services, better mental health care, and an updated education program accredited by Mississippi Department of Education are just a few of the programs now successfully operating at facility. Although DYS has had numerous challenges to overcome, the division has accomplished its goal of meeting the requirements of the lawsuit."

September 9, 2014

Jackson Gets Adulterous

By AnnaWolfe

There are 22,000 Jackson residents on AshelyMadison.com—the dating website with the slogan, "Life is short. Have an affair." A study released today shows that 9 out of ten of the highest ranked Jackson neighborhoods based on number of affairs are north of Fondren.

Ashely Madison CEO confirms this is consistent with the link between money and cheating.

“The Jackson data is consistent with what we’ve seen in other cities,” says AshleyMadison.com founder and CEO Noel Biderman. “Affluence is a common element found on most cities’ top ten lists while the proclivity to cheat often goes hand in hand with opportunity. Those with discretionary income and freedom to travel are even more likely to stray.”

Top 10 Jackson neighborhoods with the most affairs are:

Heatherwood 9.3% Bellvue Oaks 8.8% Fondren North 8.7% Northgate 8.3% Woodlea 7.9% Northlake 7.4% Woodhaven 7.1% Rolling Hills 6.6% Lake Trace 6.2% Woodville Heights 5.8%

Average Ages M: 37 F: 35

Female/Male Ratio 2014: F: 45% M: 55%

Female/Male Ratio 2012: F: 31% M: 69%

Members in Woodville Heights have the most children, on average. Members in Heatherwood have the most affair partners.

September 5, 2014

Starkville First to Grant LGBT Benefits

By AnnaWolfe

WASHINGTON, DC—This week, Starkville became the first city in Mississippi to extend essential medical benefits to the partners of city workers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, commended the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for acknowledging the dignity and worth of LGBT citizens in Starkville.

“Loving LGBT couples should have equal access to medical care, and we applaud the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen for their leadership on this critical issue,” said HRC Mississippi Director Rob Hill. “This measure successfully provides the necessary benefits that the partners of hardworking LGBT city workers deserve, and the city of Starkville demonstrated its commitment to upholding the Golden Rule by treating them with dignity and respect.”

The item passed by a unanimous 7-0 vote Tuesday night. This week, Mayor Parker Wiseman also announced plans to appoint two LGBT liaisons to support the needs of and provide resources to the LGBT community, including working with the city’s police department. Earlier this year, Starkville was also the first city in the state to pass a resolution welcoming LGBT people and their families. The resolution recognizes all citizens should be treated with respect and equality.

According to a 2014 study by HRC, 57 percent of LGBT people surveyed have called Mississippi home for more than 20 years, however, almost half have experienced harassment in a public establishment; 41 percent of those earning less than $45,000 have experienced at work; and roughly a quarter have experienced harassment from a public servant like a police officer or firefighter. HRC Mississippi is working across the state to change hearts and minds, advance enduring legal protections, and build more inclusive institutions from the workplace to the church pew.

September 2, 2014

'Stand to Expand' Rally: Citizens Support Medicaid

By AnnaWolfe

On August 3rd, Michael Johansson celebrated his 65th birthday and became eligible for federal government funded Medicare. While he said he is grateful for the coverage, he is saddened that other citizens of Mississippi are denied federal government funded Medicaid.

This is why he has coordinated a monthly rally called “Stand to Expand,” where Mississippi citizens will come to express support for Medicaid expansion the first Sunday of each month at the south steps of the capitol building from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Johansson pledged that he will rally until “Medicaid is expanded for the tens of thousands of women, men and children who are in dire need of healthcare.”

Johansson called the state’s failure to provide adequate healthcare to the people “shameful, inhumane and callous treatment of our citizens.”

“Most, if not all, who are eligible for this healthcare program—100% paid for by the federal government for the first years of the program & 90% thereafter—are citizens living under great financial stress. To add to their anxiety, having a sick child or a diabetic parent who cannot afford healthcare treatment is intolerable, if not cruel, for a society such as ours. This crisis could be solved by mere approval of the legislature and the governor's signature,” Johansson said.

Johansson points out that the number of uninsured Mississippians has risen, which is a disgrace when one considers the state’s reputation of being generous and hospitable. This, Johansson said, must change.

“This rally is unaffiliated with any organization. It is a TRYPARTISAN EFFORT (take out the "I" and ask the "Y") welcoming like-minded Republicans, Democrats and Independents who agree with Medicaid expansion for Mississippi. I urge any signage brought to the rally be respectful and be directed towards the cause of Medicaid expansion and not be directed against government officials or political parties,” Johansson said.

The next rally will be this Sunday, September 7th at 2 p.m.

August 29, 2014

Justice Has No Timetable: A #mssen Retrospective

By AnnaWolfe

“Justice has no timetable,” said State Sen. Chris McDaniel throughout the course of his challenge to U.S. Senate run-off election results against Sen. Thad Cochran. In the past two months, McDaniel has complained relentlessly about Mississippi’s election process, the one he has a hand in regulating as chairman of the Mississippi Senate Elections Committee.

From the beginning, the McDaniel camp tried to make the claim that so many “bad” votes were cast in the June 24 runoff between their guy and Cochran, that not only did they want Cochran’s win reversed, but they wanted McDaniel named the winner.

They made the claim that the use of election poll books was intentionally screwed up to skew the vote. When Pete Perry, Hinds County GOP Chairman, said that poll workers only found about one-fifth of the votes claimed to be invalid in Hinds County, the McDaniel camp said otherwise.

They compiled a binder of “evidence.”

The McDaniel camp blamed racial messaging. They blamed Democrats.

At more bizarre times, they involved a California blogger in the madness and even named their own lawyer as one of those “bad” votes. When the attorney general’s office launched an investigation into the shady election happenings, the camp’s spokesman was named in said blogger’s subpoena (which ended up on Twitter).

The validity of the challenge was further challenged when the Republican Party refused to hear the case.

Then, when the challenge finally reached the courts, it was shut down before things could get even sillier. Justice may have no timetable in the eyes of McDaniel, but today the presiding judge dismissed the case because he took too long to file.

Of course, McDaniel could always appeal. After reporting on the developments of this story in the last few months, believe us, we’ll be expecting it.


August 29, 2014

Childers Responds to McDaniel Lawsuit Dismissal

By AnnaWolfe

Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator Travis Childers responded to Judge Hollis McGehee's decision to dismiss Sen. Chris McDaniel's lawsuit challenging the election results of the Republican run-off for U.S. Senator. Childers looks forward to debating Cochran on issues including the minimum wage and equal pay.

JACKSON, Miss. — I congratulate Senator Cochran on his win today in court. The allegations of the past couple months have raised serious questions about the electoral process, and I strongly believe we must ensure that every vote in Mississippi counts. With the Republican primary finally nearing the end, it is time for Senator Cochran to focus on the issues of today and spell out his vision for the future. I look forward to a spirited discussion and debates about the issues that affect millions of Mississippians.

The senator and I differ on increasing the minimum wage. I believe the minimum wage should be a living wage. We differ on demanding equal pay for women. If a woman does the same job as a man she should be paid the same and not 76 cents on the dollar, which is the current average. Women are the heads of many Mississippi households and co-bread winners in many others. Women pay the same for milk, gas and child care as a man and it's only right they be paid equally. These are just two of the many issues we must debate in the next 10 weeks.

Mississippians deserve no less.

August 28, 2014

JPS Agrees to Refrain From Convocation Prayer

By AnnaWolfe

"...the District will ask its convocation speakers to refrain from religious activity," Jackson Public School District Superintendent Cedrick Gray wrote in a letter after complaints about prayer in school convocations.

(Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2014)—In response to the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center’s letter sent on Aug. 25, 2014, the Jackson Public School District in Jackson, Mississippi, has agreed to eliminate religious activity, including prayers and sermons, at future convocations for its faculty.

“We’re very pleased that the school district has promptly responded to this issue and has made assurances that future school-sponsored assemblies will comply with the Establishment Clause,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

Earlier this week, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the school district on behalf of a concerned teacher, who reported that a Christian reverend included prayers, a liturgical call and response, and biblical references in his remarks. Other speakers at the event also included religious language in their speeches and specifically invoked Scripture, “God” and the “Lord.” In a letter sent yesterday, representatives from the district state that such religious activity will not be included in future convocations.

“By upholding the separation of church and state, the school district is respecting the rights of teachers of minority faiths, as well as the rights of teachers who do not profess any faith,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

A copy of the letter sent to the school district can be viewed here, and a copy of the school district’s response can be viewed here.

August 26, 2014

Feminist Majority Foundation Launches Pop Quiz

By AnnaWolfe

WHEN: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WHERE: Online

WHAT: Pop Quiz for Equality

ARLINGTON -- Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, but it was a right that took decades to realize. This landmark Amendment institutionalized every person’s right to participate in the electoral process regardless of sex, and now it’s time to use the priceless power of the vote to advance another crucial amendment for women’s rights: the Equal Rights Amendment.

This Women’s Equality Day, the Feminist Majority Foundation is taking this important anniversary in the fight for women’s suffrage to continue building momentum around the Equal Rights Amendment with an online quiz testing voters’ knowledge of the ERA.

The Equal Rights Amendment will finally cement equal rights under the law – for all – for the first time ever in the United States Constitution. Now it’s time to make sure voters know what the ERA is all about, and how they can be agents in the fight to ratify the ERA right now!

Take the quiz and join the conversation all day long: Follow @majorityspeaks, @femmajority and #WED2014 all day for reasons to ratify the #ERANow!

August 22, 2014

Dow Jones: Miss. Offers Little Bang for Bucks

By R.L. Nave

Only one other state delivers less bang for the buck for residents than Mississippi, a new poll from Dow Jones-owned MarketWatch shows.

The poll looks at taxes that residents pay compared to the quality of services they receive. Although Mississippi's tax bills are relatively low—averaging $6,210 per year—our "residents get a very poor rate of return from what they do pay (this state has the worst government services in the nation). It (has) got the worst economy in the nation, and its education (49th) and health (46th) ranking aren't much better."

Mississippi finished ahead of neighboring Arkansas, which offers residents the least bang for their buck, and behind Louisiana, the survey says.

August 22, 2014

Lee Vance Named JPD Chief

By R.L. Nave

The following is a press release from Mayor Tony Yarber:

Mayor Tony Yarber on Friday, Aug. 22, announced Lee Vance as Jackson’s new police chief, saying his experience in law enforcement and commitment to community collaboration made him the right person for the job.

“He has proven leadership and respect in the community and among the rank and file in the Jackson Police Department,” Yarber said. “He also shares the administration’s vision for a holistic approach to crime-fighting and crime prevention.”

Vance has more than 27 years in law enforcement. He has served as interim chief since former Chief Lindsey Horton announced his retirement last month.

“I’m honored Mayor Yarber has entrusted me with this crucial public safety position. This is my hometown, and the well-being of Jackson citizens is my top priority,” Vance said.

Vance is certified and trained in management, preparedness, leadership and other various aspects of law enforcement. He rose through the ranks in the JPD, serving as patrol officer, public information officer, patrol sergeant, police lieutenant and commander.

August 20, 2014

Christian Right Exploits High-Profile Deaths

By AnnaWolfe

On American Family Radio’s talk show "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" yesterday, the group's spokesman offered his explanation for the events that have led to the movement in #Ferguson. The policeman who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown did so because, Fischer says, Brown was "hyped up" on marijuana. Fischer cites recent reports that Brown may have had marijuana in his system, making him go "berserk" on the policeman. He also includes reports that Brown was shot six times in his front.

"We know now he did have marijuana in his system," Fischer explained, "and we've had stories, remember, we've had stories from Colorado, people going berserk on marijuana and killing people, hyped up on marijuana. So it's more dangerous than people think."

Not only does Fischer lack evidence to back up his claim that Brown was an aggressor, but, in the words of the late Robin Williams, "Marijuana enhances many things, colors, flavors, sensations, but you are certainly not f***ing empowered."

Speaking of Williams, the Christian right has attacked the actor following his recent death as well. While Rush Limbaugh alluded that Williams' suicide was a result of his liberal worldview, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said Monday that Williams' death justifies gay conversion therapy.

"…Why aren’t you trying to outlaw rehab? I ask the question because such activists are trying to ban a form of mental health treatment—not drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but 'sexual orientation change efforts' ('SOCE'), also known as 'sexual reorientation therapy.'"

Sexual reorientation therapy, or reparation therapy, has nothing to do with the death of the beloved comedian, and it is also considered unscientific and ultimately harmful by the American Psychiatric Association.

But scientific evidence won’t stop organizations like the AFA or the FRC from using death to push an ideological agenda.

August 19, 2014

Carson announces Ward 1 candidacy

By AnnaWolfe

Today, Jackson attorney Dorsey R. Carson, Jr. announced that he will be running for city council to represent Ward 1 and replace Quentin Whitwell, who resigned earlier this month.

“After much thought, consideration and prayer with our family and friends, I am proud to announce my candidacy for Jackson City Council, representing Ward 1. Having lived most of my life in Northeast Jackson, I have never seen our city so poised for growth and prosperity as it is right now. I will use my talents to help us seize this unique opportunity, and will fight for all of our people and businesses. We humbly ask for your support in our work and campaign, and for your vote in the special election," Carson said.

August 12, 2014

The Tea Party's Prayer

By AnnaWolfe

The Tea Party’s Prayer:

“We ask for your blessing upon the conservatives in this state, that they might stand strong and firm. Father, we even ask for you to bless our enemies, and Lord they are truly our enemies that head the Republican Party and the whole political establishment.

‘We’re asking, Father, for two things. We’re asking, Father, that you would expose them, set division amongst them, set them one against another, bring confusion and fear into their camp, into their thinking, for the purpose of pulling them down, for casting them down out of their high offices and reducing them, Lord, to having no power in this state.

“So, Lord, that you might raise up and seek the righteous in the positions of power that this state might once more be a state that honors you in all that it does.”

I’m not this good at satire. These words, in this order, were truly spoken when Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson included them in his opening prayer at a Tea Party meeting on Monday.

Something tells me this is not how Christianity works.

Still, the crowd gave a generous “mhm” as the man on the stage asked God to smite the GOP.

The group was welcoming blogger Charles Johnson from California to speak about the U.S. Senate election, through which he’s made a name for himself. Tea Partier Tricia Raymond called Johnson a fearless bulldog, saying “God gave us this red-haired man.”

The red-haired prophet then went on to chastise Mississippi’s 76-year-old U.S. Senator for living in a house with his executive assistant and defended the men who broke into the Senator’s wife’s nursing home to take pictures of her by using the First Amendment as justification.

“Father, we’re asking that in all of the tribulations were asking you to bring upon them, that it would work change in their heart—that you would use it to bring true Godly sorrow, that they might truly repent for their iniquity and their wickedness, for that they would be restored to you, that you would have honor in the state of Mississippi for the great works that you’ve done in correcting and purifying the government and rescuing and saving the worst of us,” Nicholson went on about the establishment Republicans.

It was the most ominous tea party I’d ever been to.

August 1, 2014

And It Continues: McDaniel Announces Press Conference Monday

By AnnaWolfe

In case anyone is worried that Mississippi's U.S. Senate election madness is winding down, Sen. Chris McDaniel announced today he will be holding a press conference Monday.


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