Monday, January 28, 2008

Mispronounced word costs principal his job

I posted a little headline a few days ago about Jr. High principal Darrel Tucker being cleared of using the "n-word" over a school intercom that appeared in The Panolian, Rumor Dispelled. Apparently nobody heard the principal use this word right away, but after some thought and talking some people decided he must have used this word. One poster in the comments section, who apparently actually heard the comment, said he or she believe the principal was reading something and stumbled over the word "ignorance," which with the "n" and the "r" sound might have sounded like the "n-word."

The school superintendent conducted an investigation, all of the teachers were asked to write down what they heard, and the principal was cleared.

There were apparently some racially motivated protests and the principal was then removed, even though he had been found to have done nothing wrong. The Panolian, Letter sent home. The comments on both stories are as enlightening as the stories themselves.

There's plenty of racism in evidence here, but it doesn't appear to be from Mr. Tucker. I guess anyone making announcements over an intercom would to well to tape record their comments from now on.

Meanwhile, in other Panola County news, the North Panola school district doesn't seem to be doing so well: State school board mum, but takeover of NP creeps closer.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Company wants DeLaughter rulings examined

DeLaughter subject of new legal wrangling reports the NE Mississippi Daily Journal.

JACKSON - Attorneys representing a North Carolina aerospace company that is being sued in circuit court of Hinds County want the rulings in the case to be examined because of the ongoing judicial bribery investigation surrounding Judge Bobby DeLaughter.

The case - Eaton Corp. vs. Jeffrey Frisby el al - was being heard by DeLaughter.

Former Booneville attorney Joey Langston pleaded guilty Jan. 7 in federal court in Oxford to offering DeLaughter a bribe through former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters in another case.

In motions filed in Hinds County, the attorneys representing Frisby said it has come to their attention through what appeared to be accidental e-mails that Peters was working on behalf of Eaton in the case.DeLaughter was a prosecutor for Peters when he was district attorney.

In Langston's plea agreement, he admits he worked with Peters and former state Auditor Steven Patterson to influence DeLaughter to rule favorably in a legal-fees lawsuit. DeLaughter has denied he did anything wrong.The Frisby attorneys also accused Eaton of "illegal compensation to a fact witness" in their case...more...

A bigger mess than this I have never seen. Does anyone doubt that dozens, if not hundreds, of cases involving these clowns currently named and yet unknown in this unfolding scandal are going to have to be reviewed and perhaps reopened? Normally once an appeal deadline passes that's it and the case is over forever, but surely that won't apply where there is evidence of misconduct by a judge and one party to the suit. It will be interesting to see.

Of course, everyone is innocent until proven otherwise, and often what looks like criminal behavior is merely horribly unethical. But we'll see.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chief Justice knew details but not names in bribery case months in advance

From the McComb Enterprise-Journal:

Long before the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictments of Dickie Scruggs and other attorneys in an alleged attempt to bribe a circuit judge, Mississippi’s chief justice knew about the case.

“I had known about this (case) for many, many months, because it was reported to me in advance without naming the lawyers,” Chief Justice James Smith told McComb Lions on Tuesday. “I knew everything except the lawyers involved.”

Smith went on to say that corruption was a problem for a very small percentage of lawyers and judges in the state "one-tenth of one percent." That's one in one thousand. Well, my guess is that more than one-tenth of one percent of the lawyers in North Mississippi just pled guilty to judicial bribery and this thing hasn't even gotten started good.

But I get the chief justice's point. Most lawyers are honest, but not 99.9 percent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Coach O now a Saint

Saints hire Orgeron as defensive line coach reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. In other matters, Ole Miss just paid Coach O $1.2 million in a lump sum instead of the $1.35 million he was to receive over the next two years, at his request.

I'll dispense with running the first graphs of the news story, you can follow the link above. The comments from the Times-Picayune readers are more interesting:

I think Coach O was a good hire for the Saints. I commend Sean for hiring him. Ed his a hard worker and put his all into everything hedoes. He's a good man. I am so proud for Ed.

Good hire??? I thought it was an April fool's joke when I hear they were considering him! This dude won, what? Nine games in three years at Ole Miss (maybe it was 10??). If you stink up the joint as a head coach at the college level then I have some major concerns about what he'll do in the NFL.
Maybe he'll do some Hummer commercials when he gets to New Orleans.

If he was so successful at all or his previous locations, why is he out of a job now?

You have to admit that hiring a defensive coach (any D coach) at this point, is a very, very good sign that the Saints are indeed serious about becoming better then they currently are.
Orgeron may not have set the world on fire as the Head Coach at Ole Miss, but he is apparently HIGHLY regarded as a defensive line coach, as Loomis stated in this article. Read what the aricle says....
"His reputation precedes him," Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said. "He's a fantastic coach. He's done a great job at every place that he's been. And we got so many recommendations from people that have worked with him and played for him, that it was kind of overwhelming to be honest with you."
For those that look as his Head Coaching record and compare THAT to what he will be required to do for the Saints, those "fans" don't understand what Orgeron's true value is to this team.
With Head Coaching experience and very, very successful outcomes as a D-Line coach, this is almost a no-brainer for the Saints.
You can't compare is Head Coaching pitfalls to his hugely successful D-Line creations of his past. As a D-Line coach he had more recommendations than anyone out there, which tells me that Sean Payton is serious about having each of his units perform to some of the top levels of the NFL........

By the way, here's the famous Hummer ad:

Also see, Col. Reb is Crying

Mississippi River is a changing

Agriculture Changing Chemistry of Mississippi River says a report from the National Science foundation.

Apparantly farming is resulting in more water getting in the river, and also more carbon, which forms carbon dioxide. So now I guess we have to quit farming because it causes global warming.

Midwestern farming, and increased water flowing into the Mississippi River as a result, have injected the equivalent of five Connecticut Rivers' worth of carbon dioxide into the Mississippi each year over the last 50 years, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature.
The research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"It's like the discovery of a new large river being piped out of the corn belt," said Peter Raymond, lead author of the study and an ecologist at Yale University. "Agricultural practices have significantly changed the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi."

The research team analyzed Mississippi River data as much as 100 years old. The data had been warehoused at two New Orleans water treatment plants....

Sen. Cochran endorses Romney

Cochran jumps to Romney reports The Hill and other news outlets.

Senate Appropriations Committee ranking Republican Thad Cochran (Miss.) announced Wednesday that he is supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the GOP primary, making him the first backer of former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) to endorse another candidate.

Romney hopes that Thompson supporters will vote for him in Florida next week. Winning the support of a veteran Southern senator like Cochran might help him reach that goal.
The Mississippi senator, in an interview with MSNBC, cited Romney’s economic experience as a major draw for voters seeking a president who can strengthen business.

“I think Gov. Romney has laid out some ideas that will be received very well by the Congress: reducing taxes, letting people who are earning money from savings accounts, who are middle-class investors, be able to derive those benefits tax-free,” Cochran said. “This will encourage more saving; it will help strengthen our economy.”

The senator said Romney would bring to the White House the ability to work across party lines and “the same quality of leadership that he brought to the state of Massachusetts.”

It's good to know Cochran was able to find a candidate who could work across party lines. But isn't that why we're supposed to vote against McCain?

Student Columnist: Blacks can't be racist

A columnist for the Ole Miss Daily Mississippi, whom I presume to be black, explains in today's paper why it is impossible for blacks to be racist or to discriminate against whites. Don't laugh -- this view is quite common amongst blacks.

An excerpt from Racism is one-way street:
No one can argue against the overwhelming power of the white race.
They are the elite, they are the policy makers and their sheer numbers make them the deciding factor on almost all popular opinions.
By simply being the majority, they hold enough of the powerful positions to deny loans, to deny access to country clubs, to charge more and effectively oppress the minority.
In return, what can be done against them?
The majority cannot be discriminated against; they cannot be oppressed and any allegations of such is an obvious cry for pity that should be ignored.
No minority has the power to limit or influence the opportunities of the white majority, and in actuality, most minorities barely have the power to influence their own opportunities......

My reply to the author could go on for pages. I would only say that any time a person is in a position to harm another, then that person is certainly able to discriminate against that person. And the notion that blacks can't be racist is just ridiculous. I would also point out that in many parts of the country whites make up a small minority of the population. Can they be discriminated against then?

Gulfport gets US Airways service

Gulfport is getting new service from US Airways starting May 4, reports the Sun Herald: Direct flights to be available from US Airways.

They are joining most of the majors. The airport is currently served by AirTran, American Eagle, Continental Express, Delta, Northwest and Columbus, Ohio based Skybus, along with Allegiant Air and Myrtle Beach Direct Air. Visit the airport's website at

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Memphis Home Invasions

Home invasions have become commonplace in Memphis. Here's the latest from the Commercial Appeal: 2 Overnight home invasions, one man shot

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies are searching for two suspects who shot a man last night after breaking into his home near Raleigh.
It happened at about 10:30 Monday night in the 4100 block of Allendale cove, in the Laurel Hills subdivision.
According to investigators, the men broke down the front door and saw two children, a 12 year-old girl and a 13 year-old boy, watching television.
The children’s father, Ray Perry, 39, heard the commotion and confronted the two men, who shot him in the stomach and leg.
He remains at The Med in stable condition.
Perry’s two children were not harmed during the incident....
Another home invasion robbery occurred at about 2 a.m. today in the 5200 block of Castleman Cove, near Cottonwood and Mendenhall.
An unidentified number of armed and hooded men broke into the home and stole a number of items....

Now for the Mississippi connection. The DeSoto Times Today and the Memphis Daily News report that while home sales were off in 2007 from the record 2006 levels, the DeSoto County housing market remains relatively strong as buyers continue to flood out of Memphis. So DeSoto County may not be completely recession-proof, but it may be immune from the housing slump that the rest of the country is having.

Unfortunately, one day the criminals are going to start coming into DeSoto County to live. Then Tate County will get to be recession-proof for a while.

Rep. Thompson endorses Obama (surprise!)

The Baltimore Sun reported at noon on Tuesday that Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson had endorsed Sen. Barak Obama for president. Here's the item as it appeared on the Sun website: Mississippi Congressman Endorses Obama

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Congressman Bennie Thompson, an African-American Democrat from Mississippi, endorsed Barack Obama in a conference call a few minutes ago.
Thompson is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
African-American members of Congress have been closely divided between Clinton and Obama. But in recent weeks support for Obama has surged among black voters.
Mississippi is not likely play a key role in the Democratic nominating contest. The state does not hold its presidential primary until March 11.

I've always hated the term "African-American." It's awkward and stilted, and no one was expected to use it until Jesse Jackson ran for president a few years back. I just find the term ridiculous.

Of course, Barak Obama really is an African-American. His father was from Kenya and he has met his African ancestors. But since everyone has used the term improperly to describe all American black people, we now have no term to use to describe black Americans with immediate ties to Africa. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that in a few years African-American will be considered a pejoritive and we can get some word for black folks with fewer sylables.

In getting Thompson's endorsement, Obama is getting the endorsement of one of the biggest racists in the Congress. In his early days in office he refused to meet with any white person in his office unless they were accompanied by a black. I hope we can't expect more of the same from Obama.

Monday, January 21, 2008

New York Times takes note of Mississippi Justice system

The Jan. 20 edition of The New York Times had a long feature on the Mississippi justice system and the saga of Dickie Scruggs and friends. Boy is this a mess. Everyone wondered why Trent Lott resigned suddenly from the Senate, but clearly the mess his brother-in-law is in must have weighed heavily on his mind. Here's the link: The Legal Trail in a Delta Drama.

Scruggs's defense may rely on the fact that the judge who was offered a bribe was repeatedly told that the bribe was not from Scruggs and that Scruggs did not know about the offer. Prosecutors apparently failed to inform the judge of this fact when getting an order for a wire tap, a tap which eventually gave them enough evidence to get guilty pleas from former state auditor Steve Patterson, New Albany attorney Tim Balducci and Booneville attorney Joey Langston. If this is indeed the case, then Scruggs may be able to argue that any testimony by Patterson, Balducci or Langston is "fruit of the poison tree" and not admissible in court.

Nobody wants to see anyone get off for any crime on a technicality, but after watching the Duke Lacrosse case from afar last year, I have little use for prosecutors who withhold information from judges in order to get warrants and wiretaps. I'm sure Scruggs will be well represented by counsel, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Unfortunately, Mississippi isn't going to look very good.

Meanwhile, in the rumor mill, the FBI supposedly sent out at least 51 "target" letters to Mississippi attorneys and perhaps judges last week, informing them that they are a target of investigation. I've heard numbers as high as 100, but 51 is the number that keeps cropping up, so I suspect that number is correct. Also, we need to remember that Dickie Scruggs and some of these other lawyers got rich representing the state of Mississippi in lawsuits, including the famous tobacco suit. Just how were they picked again? This could get really interesting and really ugly before it's over.