Friday, June 27, 2014

'Hidden' Facebook page has treasure trove of old Holly Springs photos, stories

    A couple of years ago Candice Holbrook Logue created a page on Facebook called "Celebrating Growing Up in Holly Springs." This page was quickly joined by more than 200 people who uploaded all sorts of great historical and not-quite-yet historical photos.
    The page was set up as an "event," rather than as a group. So when the event dates passed, so did everyone's link to that page -- and to all of the wonderful old photos and stories it contained.
    I thought the stuff was lost forever, but I found a link to the inactive page with my Facebook Activity Log, and you can go to it by following the link above. It's a shame the page can't be converted to a group, but at least now everyone can have a link to it through this blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I've lost respect for Thad Cochran, but I support my party's nominee; Chris McDaniels should, too

    I voted for Chris McDaniel on Tuesday and I would do so again. My support for McDaniel wasn't because Thad Cochran was a raving liberal, but rather because he was a squishy conservative.
    But my candidate lost. He lost because Cochran ran an immoral, unethical, race-baiting campaign that relied on scaring or bribing Democrats to come to the polls and vote for him. Cochran literally sent one set of messages to white voters while PACS supporting him phoned blacks telling them how much Cochran supported Barack Obama.
Click to enlarge
    The flyer at right was apparently distributed throughout parts of the Mississippi Delta. Note the lack of required statements as to who paid for the flyers. That's the kind of advertising that can be bought when people named "Scooby Doo" are given massive amounts of cash "walking around" money.
    Certainly McDaniel supporters have every right to be angry over Cochran's manipulation of Democratic black voters, many of whom made it clear that they would be supporting Democrat Travis Childers in the fall. We all have a right to be angry that Cochran and his handlers have nearly destroyed the Mississippi Republican Party. But anger doesn't change the fact that Cochran won.
    Sen. John Stennis had as his first and last campaign slogan "Plow a Straight Furrow." And Thad Cochran owes his electoral success in both his first and last campaign to the black vote. Cochran never would have been elected back in 1978 if Charles Evers hadn't siphoned off most of the black vote, allowing Cochran to take office with a mere plurality of 45.3 percent to 31.8 for Maurice Dantin and 22.6 for Evers. I know many people at the time wondered if Republicans had funneled just enough money to Evers to allow him to make the race, but I've never heard anybody make any credible claim to that effect.
    The respect I once had for Thad Cochran is gone. For as long as I live I will have a distaste for him, the Barbours, and the other big-money lobbyists surrounding him.
    But this November, I will hold my nose and vote for him. That's what Republicans agree to do when we vote in our party's primary. Anyone who thinks Cochran is "just the same" as Travis Childers is deluding themselves. For starters, a vote for Travis Childers is a vote for Harry Reid. I'm not the biggest fan of Mitch McConnell, but I do like him a lot more than I do Harry Reid. I really, truly can tell the difference in the things they do and don't support.
    Make no mistake, those of us who are conservative will have ample opportunity for payback. There will be a reckoning, in fact numerous reckonings. But failing to support the most conservative candidate this fall because we've gotten our feelings hurt isn't going to advance our interests.
    Chris McDaniel needs to stop with the hissy-fit and essentially say what I've said in this blog post. He then needs to say that he will support Thad Cochran in the fall for the reasons I've stated above. It's just my opinion, but if McDaniel fails to do this I believe he is finished politically.
    Let's concentrate on fixing the things we can. McDaniel ought to make a beeline to Jackson and file a bill creating a closed primary system for Mississippi. Now that this genie is out of the bottle this scenario is likely to be repeated again, with both Republican and Democratic victims. It's time for Mississippi to join a number of other states which protect party primaries from outside interference through proper party registration.
    There are more elections ahead, and we have a better idea now of who is a conservative and who is a kinda-sorta-maybe-sometimes conservative. We can fight these future battles accordingly so long as we keep our powder dry.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Election update: Turnout low on the Coast, up in Madison County

    This post will be updated as the day or evening goes on:    

    Here are a few election items gleaned from Faceboook and Internet news sites:

    Turnout at the Oxford 2 precinct was up slightly when I voted at 11 a.m. I predict that about 100 additional voters will vote in this box, and most will be for Cochran.

    The Sun Herald reports that turnout on the Gulf Coast is very, very slow. Few voters, and few volunteers outside polling places. A low turnout here hurts Cochran.

    A friend's Facebook message said the turnout at the Holly Springs National Guard Armory was beyond low. "Wish I could say we are really busy, but it is very slow. Didn't think it could get much slower than last time, but I was wrong." This is bad for Cochran, but not many votes here in any event.

    Jim Prince reports that turnout is up in Madison County. This is Cochran Country. Another Facebook friend reports that Coahoma County turnout is up slightly. A few extra votes for Cochran.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Feds force Oxford Schools to make students pay more for lunches that they like less

    The Oxford School District is raising the price of full-pay lunches from $2.25 to $2.75 for the next school year, according to a memo from Nutrition Director Richmond Smith to the school board.
    The memo states that the increase is being mandated by Section 205 of the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Essentially what the federal government has done is to force school districts to comply with all sorts of expensive federal directives in exchange for increased reimbursements for students on the free and reduced lunch program.
    Now the schools are being required by the federal government to raise prices on full-pay students to help pay for lunch changes that they did not want and do not like.
    Oxford is not alone in raising prices. Schools all over the country are increasing prices to comply with this new federal intrusion.  And some schools are just opting out of the federal school lunch program altogether. Almost 1,500 school have said "No thank you" to federal funding and regulation of school lunches since changes went into effect.
    Nationally about 1.6 million full-pay students have stopped buying their lunch at school since the federal government began micromanaging the program. That's about seven percent of the 25 million students who were buying their own lunch at school each day. With lunch prices increasing, expect this number to rise. Most people don't like to pay more and get less.
    I don't blame the Oxford School District for making these changes; it is just complying with federal law. But this is certainly an example of how an increase in federal spending can make the lives of the supposed beneficiaries worse instead of better.

I managed to resist the urge to cut the grass naked yesterday, but just barely

    My dad says when he was a boy there was a lot of excitement when someone came running into one of the little furnish groceries around Slayden or Mt. Pleasant and shouted, "Y'all come quick! Cousin [redacted] is plowing naked!
    I'm not sure what possessed my cousin to plow naked, but for the first time in my life I had the urge to cut the grass naked yesterday. Watch the 15-second video above and you'll understand why.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Illegal immigrant protest urges lawful citizens to pay more taxes to give criminals more benefits

A Roma man holds a sign reading "More taxes for you = more benefits for us"  during a demonstration on 'International Roma Day' at Republic Square in Paris, on April 8, 2014.

    The Gypsy, or "Roma" man on the right certainly has figured out how welfare and the politics of entitlement work, even if his appeal isn't very effective. An illegal immigrant to France, he was a participant in "International Roma Day" in Paris.
    The sign translates to read as follows: "More taxes for you = More benefits for us." What the sign fails to explain is why law-abiding French citizens should tax themselves to provide benefits for Gypsy criminals in the country illegally.
    The sign is a clear statement of what is in store for nations that fail to police their borders and control illegal immigration. The lawful citizenry will face higher and higher taxes as the dregs of society pour in to claim the free goodies.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lucy Hurdle, RINO hunter

    Jinny, my daughter Lucy and I were talking about the Cochran-McDaniel senate campaign, including some of Cochran's gaffes on the campaign. No need to repeat them all here. I'll make a list later.
    However, I told Lucy that Cochran was not even aware that House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor had been trounced in the Republican primary. Lucy didn't know who Eric Cantor was, so I set out to explain.

Me: "Eric Cantor is the Republican Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. He's a conservative, but he supported amnesty for illegal aliens."

Lucy: "Well then he's not a conservative."

    I might add that Lucy almost snapped her line. She's 14 and she's figured out what it's all about. Why can't our Democrat and Republican overlords?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ole Miss Sigma Nu has year's most famous party after video published on Gawker, TotalFratMove

    (UPDATE: This story and video are now viral.)

    You know it was a great party when both Total Frat Move and Gawker share your video.
    That's what's going on with the video of the this year's Ole Miss Sigma Nu spring party, with a Woodstock theme. The fraternity, or somebody involved in the fraternity, got Oxford-based Skymasters Photography to create a video of the event. Apparently using a drone to film a fraternity party is so over the top that nobody had thought of it until now.
    Gawker and Total Frat Move both picked up the video from Youtube after is was uploaded on June 9. The video has been viewed almost 25,000 times since then. The music is Slow Down by, appropriately enough, Poolside.
Jenner Jordan
(Click to enlarge)
    Skymasters is owned by recent Ole Miss grad Jenner Jordan, a former writer and photographer for You can read his bio here.
    I've got to say, it looks like it was a great party, and it certainly makes Ole Miss look like a fun place to be. It's a good recruitment video for both Sigma Nu and Ole Miss. So congratulations to all involved.
    I bet we'll see more of these party vids next year. Party on, dudes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Don't be fooled! Most federal money coming to Mississippi belongs to its citizens as a matter of right

    In my last post I objected to the claims made by liberals that Mississippi is a giant welfare case, unable to survive without massive federal aid.
    Among the claims made by the Thad Cochran tax-and-spend crowd is that Mississippi gets three dollars from the federal government for every one dollar paid by Mississippians in federal taxes, and that therefore we mustn't cut spending. This three dollar figure overstates the case; indeed for 2012 Mississippi or Mississippians did receive about three dollars in federal money for every dollar paid. But the average over several years is about two dollars.
    Liberal Republicans are trying to convince people that any effort to rein in out-of-control federal spending will cut of the flow of these funds. Well, it's simply not the case.
    My last post addressed this issue in general terms. Let's look now at the specific federal spending based on a 2010 report from the U.S. Census.
    In 2010 the federal government sent approximately $31.5 billion to Mississippi. The chart above, from the Bigger Pie Forum, shows how that money was spent.
    In 2010 Mississippians received $9.8 billion in various retirement and disability payments. As a state we have two to three times the average number of military pensioners, and many people work in other states and then return to low-cost Mississippi to retire. These pensions are a  matter of right, not a gift to Mississippi by magnanimous blue states.
    Next up, at $9.7 billion, is "Other Direct Payments," which include Medicare benefits; excess earned income tax credits; unemployment compensation; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; housing assistance; agricultural assistance; federal employees life and health insurance; student financial assistance. None of these programs are targeted to Mississippi. People get this money if they are entitled to it, regardless of what state they live in.
    So $20 billion of the $31.5 billion is pensions and welfare. People are going to get this money wherever they live.
    In 2010 $2.6 billion was spent on "procurement." In other words, the federal government bought things. This isn't a handout; it's a value for value exchange. Three billion was spent on various federal salaries.
    And then there were $8 billion in grants, everything from the Small Business Administration to the Department of Education. The Census lists 32 different agencies or categories of spending. If any cuts are to be made it will come from "grants." But such cuts will affect every state, not just Mississippi.
    When Republicans start championing runaway government spending on the grounds that our state is getting more than our share, our nation is in trouble. I suppose those who think like this would find it a terrible thing if every person on welfare or unemployment in Mississippi were to suddenly get a job. After all, that would mean fewer federal dollars flowing in.
    The fact is that most of what we as Mississippians receive from the federal government is ours as a matter of right. Cutting back on waste isn't going to affect the pensions and benefits received by our citizens. It will make us a stronger state and a stronger nation.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Claims that Mississippi is just a federal welfare case are simply liberal propaganda

    I'm sick of hearing the old saw that Mississippi receives three dollars in federal "aid" for every one dollar we pay in taxes.
    Okay, sure, our state has lots of poor people. As a result our state may receive a few dollars extra in federal aid. It should be pointed out that much of this aid does great harm, by encouraging illegitimate births and discouraging work. The federal school lunch program now forces schools to serve bad-tasting food that children won't eat.
    But those who make the outlandish claim that Mississippi receives more than its fair share of federal money invariably treat Social Security benefits, military pensions, and military spending as some type of giant welfare program when tallying their figures.
    Citizens are entitled to their Social Security benefits regardless of where they live. Many people from Mississippi work in other states and then return to our state to retire. As a result Mississippi receives more in Social Security payments than most states. But this isn't welfare. It isn't aid to our state. It is money these people are entitled to, regardless of which state they live in.
    The same is true for military pensions. The most recent chart I could quickly find is from 2005, but it shows that Mississippi has a well-above-average percentage of military pensioners. For example, in 2005 Mississippi had 25,623 military pensioners out of a population of just under three million. Ultra-wealthy Massachusetts had only 19,365 military pensioners out of a population of 6.5 million. Pennsylvania had 46,556 out of a population of almost 13 million. On a per capita basis, Mississippi has two to three times the number of military pensioners than does the average state. So yes, as a result Mississippi gets a substantially disproportionate share of federal pension and Social Security benefits.
    The disproportionate number of military pensions paid to Mississippi residents is evidence of the fact that we in Mississippi are more patriotic than the average American. We are, basically, better people. As a state we owe no thanks to the nation for the payment of military pensions to which our citizens are entitled. The very suggestion that these pensions are some sort of welfare is an insult to both the state of Mississippi and to Mississippians who have served our nation with honor. Military pensions are not welfare. They are not a gift. It is money to which our citizens are entitled, regardless of where they live.
    Finally, Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula builds quite a number of navel vessels for the military. My guess is that it's cheaper to build a naval ship in Mississippi just as it's cheaper to build a car in Mississippi. We, as a state, owe no "thank you" to the nation for selling the military naval vessels at a fair price. The nation should thank us for supplying affordable ships. Those who supply the military are not the recipients of charity.
    Liberals who promote the idea that Mississippi receives a disproportionate share of federal money do so purely to harm our state. It is, to a large extent, a false claim.
    I'm tired of our veterans, our retired people, and our shipyard workers being treated as poor, welfare cases sucking on the national sugar tit. They aren't. These people have earned what is theirs. As a state, we shouldn't be punished for being better people than residents of other states.
    This liberal, Yankee nonsense needs to stop, and needs to stop now. Just quit!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Atlantic article, failure to speak to supporters raises issues about Cochran's fitness to serve

    The Atlantic had an interesting article that was released on Election Day about Thad Cochran, entitled The Last of the Naive Republicans. I would urge every Mississippian to read it.
    The article describes the 76-year-old Cochran as being hustled around by his handlers like a prop, unable to answer many questions posed to him. I would urge anyone concerned about Cochran's ability to continue to represent Mississippi in Washington to read it.
    A couple of paragraphs from the article:
On his way to the exit, Cochran held out his hand to me. I had met and interviewed him less than half an hour before. "Hello, how are you doing?" he said with a kindly smile. "I'm Thad Cochran."
    And later in the article:
Onstage at the rally, Cochran read from paper notes. It was a stock speech of generic Republican lines, a marked contrast from Cochran's rambling performance earlier in Meridian. Cochran read slowly and deliberately, looking up from the podium every so often. The other politicians surrounding him onstage appeared nervous about whether he'd make it through the text, but he did not stumble. "President Obama has taken us down some wrong paths, but starting tomorrow, we can get America back on the right path," Cochran said. "That starts with repealing Obamacare!" Belatedly, he thrust a finger forward, then waited as the crowd applauded forcefully.
    Now, this is just one reporter's opinion, but the tenor of the article is not that of someone with an ax to grind against Cochran. When a candidate's handlers appear nervous over a veteran politician's ability to read a simple speech, it is cause for concern.
    Cochran failed to address his supporters after election returns showed him being slightly edged out for his opponent, 49.5 to 48.9 percent. A relatively unknown name on the ballot took in enough votes to likely force a runoff. Win, lose, or draw, why in the world was Cochran unable or unwilling to address his supporters?
    I had planned to vote for Cochran until the last few days of the campaign. Even if he has irritated me from time to time, for the most part he has served Mississippi well. But rarely has he spoken out firmly in support of Mississippi's conservative values, which is part of what I want from a senator.
    But whether Cochran is physically and mentally capable of continuing in the job is a fair question that has to be asked if we are to vote again in three weeks' time on which man will represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. It's not a pleasant subject, but it's an important one.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Honeycrisp apples are the best fruit known to man, but I'm not paying $3.99 a pound

    I don't eat a lot of fruit since it's so healthy for you, but I do love Honeycrisp apples.
    I had never even tasted one of these until a couple of years ago. Up until that time I would only eat Fuji applies.
    The story about Honeycrisp apples is halfway interesting, and you can read about it on Wikipedia. The cellular structure of this apple is actually bigger than in most apples, which results in a juicier fruit when you bite into it. And they're sweet, too.
    I'm a bargain shopper when I go grocery shopping. I buy what's on sale and get my meat off the about-to-rot rack. But I'm willing to pay extra for Honeycrisp apples, as would most people who have tasted them.
    Everybody has limits, though. I strolled past the apples in Kroger a couple of days ago and saw my beloved Honeycrisp apples offered at $3.99 a pound. No! Just no.
    I wasn't willing to settle for cheaper, mushy, foul-tasting apples, so I bought a bag of Fritos instead. They were pretty good.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I like and admire Thad Cochran, but my primary vote is going to be for conservative Chris McDaniel

    Three weeks ago I had pretty much made up my mind to vote to re-elect Thad Cochran in the Tuesday, June 3, Republican primary for U.S. Senate. I've now decided to vote for Chris McDaniel.
    I like and admire Thad Cochran; he has served our state well. But I've often been irritated on those thankfully rare occasions when he voted to support liberal causes. And as McDaniel has pointed out, I can't recall a single instance where Cochran has led the charge for conservative ideas or values.
    I was horrified when I heard the news that a McDaniel supporter had gained entrance to Rose Cochran's nursing home and had taken her photograph without permission. Yet Cochran's response has irritated me as well.
    The McDaniel campaign had apparently been aware for some weeks that some nut had taken things too far. The Cochran campaign criticized McDaniel for not calling the police. The only problem with this is that for several weeks Cochran was aware of the breach as well and he didn't bother calling the police, either. "Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle."
    Ultimately, my decision is based on my belief that McDaniel will be more likely to stand firm with Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and other Senate leaders in finding new solutions to problems where our current efforts have failed. I simply have never heard of Cochran supporting out-of-the-box solutions to problems that simply are not going away.
    In the end, I'm happy with a victory by either candidate. Thad's a good man and has been an outstanding senator. If he prevails on Tuesday my only interest will be in helping him to be re-elected in the general election in November. Should Thad lose, his loss will bring me no joy.
    But as a voter I'm going to vote for the candidate whom I feel is most closely aligned with my views and those of a majority of Mississippians. I think that candidate is Chris McDaniel.