Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stay Tuned

Pardon the hiatus. There are interesting things happening in politics, but I have many too many interesting (time-consuming) things going on in life at the moment to catch up.

I fully expect to be back at 100% sometime this month.  That means 2+ in-depth blogs per week, plus a blogcast and political book of the month mixed in for April.

Stay Tuned.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dark Horse Mississippi Blogcast: Episode 1 -- Mississippi Jobs Graveyard on Governor Phil Bryant's Watch

In this exclusive, first ever DHM blogcast, Dark Horse Mississippi takes a detailed look at Governor Phil Bryant's economic record, using satellite images to show the "graveyard" of factories and other employers that have significantly reduced their workforce or closed down entirely under Governor Bryant. 

Two themes emerge in Governor Bryant's economy: 1) the corporate cronyism that caused Mississippi taxpayers to be cheated out of tens of millions of dollars by risky companies like Twin Creeks Technologies in Senatobia and Handy Hardware in Meridian; and 2) the withering or dying of important corporate citizens such as Viking Range in Greenwood, Huntington Ingalls in Gulfport, and Lane Furniture in Saltillo.

Governor Bryant claims job gains during his administration, but this video proves him wrong on many levels. If you pay close attention, Bryant never touts a "net job gain."  Instead, Bryant claims that economic stimulus initiated by his administration led to the attraction of a few thousand new jobs, but Bryant's figures do not account for jobs lost.  Bryant is like the gambler who only remembers the last hand.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Supertalk's Paul Gallo Calls Out the "Black Nag"…. Should DHM Visit Supertalk Next Week?

I haven't listened to Supertalk Mississippi today except for a few minutes this morning.  But it is my understanding that Paul Gallo wants me to visit his show next week in what he calls a "Cahoonas [sic] test."

I'm guessing this is all about my prior blog post about Supertalk Mississippi entitled Pigs at the Trough.  Supertalk had not reached out to me before this and had barely covered any of the same things I cover, even though national media has.  So I'm guessing Supertalk's interest must be of the blood honor sort that used to occasion challenges to duel generations ago.

In a duel, certain rules are set beforehand.  I am interested in ground rules, before I go into someone else's house for what would likely be a verbal ambush.

I am also concerned that the whole point of this blog is to point out things that are difficult to point out in Mississippi.  I am anonymous because I value personal and professional relationships and do not want to risk economic or social reprisals against me or, more importantly, those around me.  I also value my privacy.  But then again, at some point people will know who I am.  And some already do.

But were I so inclined to have a sit down or showdown or whatever you want to call it with professional talker Paul Gallo, what is in it for me?  Mr. Gallo certainly benefits.  He has his honor to protect, which I admit perhaps my blog post called into question.  But for Gallo, conflict also equals ratings, and ratings are his life blood.  

For myself, I see no benefit except a similar sort of blood honor.  For Gallo to call me "black nag," whether a double entendre racist dog whistle is intended or not, shows that he is not above games.  It is the oldest trick in the book to call your enemy the wrong name or refuse to say their actual name.  

I am deciding what to do.  Any thoughts or advice?

Pigs at the Trough: The Hypocrisy of Paul Gallo's Anti-Teacher Rhetoric

The right-tilting media mugshot of Paul Gallo, the influential host of the coveted morning drive spot on the conservative radio network, Supertalk Mississippi (Photo: Mississippi Manufacturers Association

Supertalk Mississippi's Paul Gallo looks like that high school guidance counselor or shop teacher that you caught buying socks in Wal-Mart.

Though he may have the look of a teacher, Gallo is not a teacher.  And he cares little for teachers.  Gallo made that clear on Tuesday when he made insulting, false, and hypocritical statements about educators in the state of Mississippi.

Here's what happened in a five minute segment toward the end of his six-o-clock hour on Tuesday:

1) Gallo denounced a bill that would grant teachers a $2,500 raise between now and July 2015. The bill would place Mississippi closer to par for teacher salaries among other Southern states.

2) Gallo scoffed at a part of the same bill that offered a teacher "stifend" [sic] (in Gallo's terminology) for improvements at schools.

3) Gallo cynically and predictably drove a wedge between private sector workers and public sector workers by suggesting that individual listeners should oppose any raise for teachers if their own wages had not risen. By that logic, should some of Gallo's unemployed listeners demand that teachers forfeit their entire salary?  Just think, Gallo is peddling so much economic division between the public and private sector, yet talk radio clowns like Gallo frequently complain that Democrats are all about class warfare.  The nerve!

4) Gallo mocked the idea that "right out of college," a teacher should make $34,390 under this proposed bill.  What other profession except maybe a social worker makes less than $35,000 in a career that requires a four-year college degree?  Artist?  Journalist?  Nope, those professions do not yet require a degree or a license for that matter, although degrees may be preferred in those fields.

5) Gallo cynically suggested that not passing a bill to increase and train a new class of the state's force of highway patrolmen was reason to oppose this teacher pay raise bill.  Again, make no mistake: Gallo was pushing the divide and conquer class warfare strategy of the anti-government wing of the GOP.

6) Gallo incorrectly "guesstimated" that a local school district supplement, along with this proposed teacher pay raise bill (at $34,390), would place many or most first-year teachers in the $40,000 starting salary range.  Some district supplements may be $1,000 or $2,000, but there are also schools that offer a measly couple hundred dollars for supplemental pay because of low property valuation in those districts, which leads to lower property tax revenues and therefore lower local supplements to teacher salaries.  Go figure, all Mississippi districts are not as wealthy as the suburbs around Jackson near which Paul Gallo lives and works.

7) Gallo also suggested that a teacher works 9 months per year during the segment.  As any teacher or school administrator can explain, the 9 month work calendar for teachers is a falsehood.  Teachers work during the summer (which is just over 2 months, not 3, as Gallo suggests) in professional development, curriculum planning, and sometimes summer schools or extra-curricular activities.  Aside from peddling a patent falsehood regarding the 9 month work year lie, Gallo's point seemed to be that teachers make too much money since they are not working during all of that time.  This perpetuates a convenient myth for teacher-bashers like Gallo.

For teacher-bashers like Gallo, the goal is to conjure up images that teachers sip Mai Tais on some island resort for a quarter of the year, thus again trying to sow some discord among teachers and their natural economic allies in the lower tax brackets.  The sad reality is that teacher salaries are so appallingly low that many teachers pick up extra work in the summer to avoid receiving public assistance.

The worst part about Gallo's teacher-bashing is that it was just plain hypocritical.  Suggesting that teachers work 9 months per year is like suggesting Gallo's workday as a radio host consists only of sitting on his behind in front of a microphone and speaking his mind for two or three hours.  Of course, between daily segments while he is off the air, Gallo is presumably handling lots of his own administrative business, marketing, networking, show planning, and professional development.  But why give Gallo the benefit of that doubt when he clearly wants to assume the worst of teachers' "off-air" time?

Even more troubling, Gallo and the rest of the political commentators on his network are not captains of private enterprise fighting the good fight against government waste, as they claim to be.

A few years ago, Tom Freeland of NMissCommentor published a blog exposing Supertalk Mississippi's parent company Telesouth as the recipient of millions of dollars in state taxpayer funded advertising revenue -- approximately $6 million from Mississippi taxpayers between 2004 and 2011.

Based on that seven-year-trend and where we likely are more than three years later, the amount Supertalk Mississippi receives on the government advertising dole must be approaching $10 million by now.  That can buy a lot of donuts for Gallo's studio, which translates to a lot of feasting at the government trough for Paul Gallo's Supertalk farrow.

For anecdotal evidence that Supertalk Mississippi is the government "welfare queen" of Mississippi's public airwaves, anyone who listens to Supertalk Mississippi should notice that during every commercial break, the state through various state agencies interjects for a public service announcement of some kind or another.  How interesting that Supertalk rose to prominence around the same time Republicans took over Mississippi politics in the early 2000s!  Anyone listening to Supertalk Mississippi will recognize that it is already the state propaganda organ of the Republican right wing, but the advertising records since the Republican takeover of Mississippi also comprise a monetary paper trail that may help prove a link between the GOP and Supertalk Mississippi.

While state advertising can be of tremendous public benefit in some circumstances, should the state be advertising on a network that bashes teachers who are on the front lines of the state's mission of improving its citizens' quality of life?  Apparently many state agencies think so.

Gallo and company are a hypocritical farrow, a litter of piglets suckling Mississippi's teat while claiming the government milk itself is poison.  In the same segment on Tuesday when Gallo spewed his anti-government venom at teachers, he called one of the architects of the newest teacher pay raise bill -- Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves  -- "Napoleon."

I wonder if Gallo meant to call Reeves "Napoleon" as an allusion to the tiny dictator of early modern France.  Or was Gallo comparing Reeves to the leader of the pigs in the George Orwell classic Animal Farm who was also called Napoleon?

In the spirit of Gallo's rant, I submit that the real pigs in the mold of Animal Farm's Napoleon are Gallo's farrow at Supertalk Mississippi.

About 2 minutes and 50 seconds into the video clip from an animated version of Animal Farm, which is embedded below, you'll hear the Supreme Leader of Animal Farm, Napoleon, conspiratorially tell his fellow pigs:

"My loyal followers: On farms owned and operated by pigs, there is order and discipline.  Our lower animals do more work and eat less than on other farms.  This will encourage you to make your lower animals work even harder and eat even less…. To peace and plenty and to pig law!"

Just think of talk radio host and anti-teacher windbag Rush Limbaugh as Napoleon and the lesser pigs as wannabe national conservative windbags like Paul Gallo and JT from Supertalk Mississippi, and you get the picture.  Because all of these talk radio hosts benefit from millions of dollars in state (and federal) public service announcements while simultaneously bashing public sector workers who toil like the lower animals of the Animal Farm fable, we can find no better spirit animal for any of these "political entertainers" than a pig.  Those like Paul Gallo indeed walk in the boorish hooves of their piggy idol, Rush Limbaugh.

Pigs at the Trough: Teacher-bashers like the nationally syndicated talk radio host Rush Limbaugh (center) and Supertalk Mississippi's JT (left) and Paul Gallo (right) make millions every year on behalf of their affiliated radio stations in ad revenue from the state and federal government while suggesting that teachers are greedy for wanting higher pay.

Through some Orwellian doublespeak, I expect Paul Gallo or someone on his behalf in the Supertalk Mississippi farrow to respond to this blog in boorish fashion, if they respond at all.  When you point out the pigs' hypocrisy in Animal Farm, the pigs will say: "All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others."  (See barn-side proclomation below)

I guess that those on the government dole at Supertalk Mississippi believe they should be treated not just equal to but "more equal"than teachers in the state of Mississippi.  If teachers do not receive significant pay raises in the coming years, I will blame Paul Gallo's farrow.  And in the next session, I would hope that teachers will lead a divestment campaign of Mississippi's taxpayer dollars from this anti-government network.  After all, if we can't afford to pay teachers more, we can't afford to tell our citizens what various state agencies do to the tune of seven-figure public service announcements.  And if state divestment does not work as adequate deterrence from Supertalk trying to sabotage teacher pay raises, I would hope that teachers start a boycott of Supertalk's advertisers.  It is time that the lower animals fight back against the pigs at the trough.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Who Killed the Mayor?" Grief, Conspiracy, History, and Opportunism: The Death of African American Politicians in Mississippi

Cartoon by Marshall Ramsey @MarshallRamsey about Hinds County Supervisor Kenny Stokes' baseless suggestions that Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba was murdered

"I believe that someone killed him [, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba].  Now I can't prove it, but I'm going to say it.  That's how I feel in my heart," Kenny Stokes, a Hinds County Supervisor, told a reporter in a video posted on television station WAPT's website.  Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba died of natural causes, according to the Hinds County coroner.

To understand Kenny Stokes' wild-eyed assertions -- and even more importantly the people who may believe Kenny Stokes -- one must understand four things: grief, conspiracy, history, and opportunism.  

1. Grief 

Two of the five stages of grief are denial and anger, according to the famous study by Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross Stokes or at least those who believe as Stokes does -- that Mayor Lumumba was murdered -- may be experiencing denial and anger as a natural response to grief.

2. Conspiracy 

About a year ago, someone murdered a gay, black mayoral candidate in Clarksdale named Marco McMillian.  Many at first speculated that since McMillian was found nude, beaten, and burned, he was the victim of a hate crime.  It seems those initial assumptions were false.

Bill Luckett, the attorney, businessman, philanthropist, and former gubernatorial candidate who went on to be elected Mayor of Clarksdale in 2013, told National Journal in an interview about the death of McMillian:
"Everybody inferred that some white redneck kind of person did it… They didn’t say it in those words, but it was certainly inferred. Gay, black candidate murdered in Mississippi and, by the way, it’s a very conservative state. Go figure."
In fact, an African American named Lawrence Reed was arrested and charged for the murder, after Reed wrecked the victim McMillian's car.  Aside from the "smoking car" as their evidence, prosecutors seem to be bringing their case against Reed on the theory that McMillian died as a result of a lovers' quarrel.

Reed's trial was moved to neighboring Quitman County.  Adjudication of Reed's guilt or innocence is pending, but this case is an example of where Mississippi's stereotypical Grisham-esque conspiracy theories fell apart upon a cursory inspection of the evidence.

But something strange seems to be going on, if you are a follower of African American politicians in Mississippi and can do simple math.

A year ago today, a friend pointed something out to me.  At that time in March of 2013, within five months, five members of the Mississippi state legislature died.

1) Bennie Turner (D West Point) died at 64 in November 2012 of a brain tumor.

2) Alice Harden (D Jackson) died at 64 in December 2012 from a "lengthy illness."

3) David Gibs (D West Point) died at 76 in January 2013 after resigning his post for health reasons at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session.

4) Joe Gardner (D Batesville) died at 68 in February 2013 of an "apparent heart attack."

5) Jessica Upshaw (R Diamondhead) died at 53 in March 2013 of an apparent suicide.

In March of 2013, conspiracy theorists of the tinfoil-hat-assault-rifle-toting type (see the Tea Party) popped up focusing on the death of Jessica Upshaw and something to do with a United Nations project called "Agenda 21."

But anyone who can do simple math will see that the coincidental part about the five deaths in five months is that the first four were all African American Democratic lawmakers.  None of those four were young, but their death rate of one per month as minority members of a 174-member-body were far exceeding their expected mortality rate.

Aside from the African American Democratic lawmaker common thread, there was this: In the obituaries of these four, they are also all described as passionate advocates of public education.  Later that legislative session, more than a month or so after the last death, several education reforms became law in Mississippi that initiated the first big push of the privatization of the state education system.

My take on the natural deaths of these four is that being a black Mississippi lawmaker and watching all that you work for be dismantled by the new Republican majority is a stressful situation in which to find yourself.  And stress is hazardous to your health.  My deepest sympathies are with those families still grieving, and I mean no disrespect to their honor and memory as public servants by discussing their deaths again here.

But if you were more conspiracy-minded, you could see something else aside from coincidence in the deaths of these four lawmakers.  I'm surprised there was so much hullabaloo and conspiracy theorizing over McMillian's death last year and Lumumba's death this year but hardly any of that about the four black Dems who died at the beginning of last year's GOP steamroller of a legislative session.

All of this is to say: don't underestimate the power and allure of conspiracy theories in general as the motivation for those who now believe Lumumba was murdered.  As blind and irresponsible as those peddling the Lumumba murder conspiracy and the other conspiracies may be, the numbers for black politicians in the last year and a half have not been good.

Those coincidental numbers fuel the allure of conspiracies in the black community, but there are larger forces at work than humanity's general obsession with vast political conspiracies.  The dark history of our state is another reason why some now may believe wrongly that Lumumba was murdered.

3. History

This factor should require little explanation.  For more than a century in Mississippi and in the United States overall, it was open season as far as the killing of African Americans and especially their leaders -- whether by the lynch-mob's rope, the klan's night-rides, or the assassin's bullet.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but remember that there are people still alive today who experienced the shock and horror of racially motivated murders of blacks in Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s:

Medgar Evers
Emmett Till
James Chaney
Rev. George Lee
Lamar Smith
Mack Charles Parker
Herbert Lee
Cpl. Roman Ducksworth Jr.
Louis Allen
Henry Hezekiah Dee
Charles Eddie Moore
Vernon Dahmer
Ben Chester White
Wharlest Jackson
Benjamin Brown

Many of these murders happened in or around the Jackson, Mississippi area where Stokes made his baseless assertion that Lumumba was murdered.  And do not forget that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in Memphis, just a few hours away from Jackson.  All of these murders contribute to the awful legacy of terror in this state in the 1950s and 1960s.  But more importantly as an explanation for those who suspect foul play in Lumumba's death, all of these murders were the end result of real conspiracies targeting the African American community in the 1950s and 60s.  And do not underestimate the role that Lumumba's own civil rights work in the 1960s plays in those believing that he is just the latest martyr for that cause.

Wrong as the conspiracy theorists like Stokes are, they have statistics and history on their side because of the bloody, shameful past of our state.

4. Opportunism

At the end of the day, we can ignore all of the rest of the causes for Stokes' baseless assertion that Lumumba was murdered -- including 1) anger and denial based in grief, 2) the vaporous but alluring trail of conspiracy, and 3) Mississippi's dark history of civil rights murders -- and just focus on the immediate cause of Stokes' baseless assertion that Lumumba was murdered: his own opportunism.  

Stokes was a friend and supporter of the late Mayor Chockwe Lumumba.  Stokes was also a friend and supporter of the late Mayor Frank Melton, Lumumba's predecessor as Jackson Mayor and a figure who was also, like Lumumba, a controversial African American who died while holding the mayoral office.  

Stokes has made a habit of placing himself near the seat of power.  Does he have his sights on an even more prominent role as a leader in the African American political community?

Is Stokes self-aggrandizing power in a cynical way by exploiting the sincere grief of this community?  Or is he capitalizing on the human tendency to believe in conspiracies when we cannot logically explain coincidences?  Or is Stokes, in a depraved attempt to take the reigns, scratching the race record's surface so that it will be stuck perpetually in the bloody loop of the 1950s and 1960s?  Can we not sing another song in 2014 when our president is African American and most in Mississippi are closer on the issue of race to Dr. King than Governor Barnett?

The late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (left), after being endorsed by Kenny Stokes (right) in the Jackson mayoral runoff election in 2013. (Photo: The Jackson Free Press)

DHM Political Book of the Month: Before House of Cards… there was All the King's Men

Tonight is Oscar night, but I doubt any of the movies are as good as the 1949 winner of Best Picture, All the King's Men, a scene of which is embedded above.

Of course the book is even better than the movie.  Below are some of my favorite excerpts from Robert Penn Warren's novel, All the King's Men, which is a masterpiece and a window to some truths on Southern Politics American Politics.

I find these quotes timely no matter what election is going on but especially when intrigues and insurgents arise in the forms of Chris McDaniel and Travis Childers to challenge Mississippi's last political powerhouse that is not retired, jailed, or dead (or faded because of some ignominy).

If you are a student of politics, especially of the southern variety, this book is a must read.  Excerpts below are based on my old marginalia, and the page numbers are provided from a 2006 Paperback Edition published by Harvest Books of Harcourt, Inc.
Governor Willie Stark: "Yeah, I'm Governor, Jack, and the trouble with Governors is they think they got to keep their dignity.  But listen here, there ain't anything worth doing a man can do and keep his dignity.  Can you figure out a single thing you really please-God like to do you can do and keep your dignity?  The human frame just ain't built that way." (Page 58)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "Well, I didn't have to try to remember.  I could remember but I didn't want to remember.  If the human race didn't remember anything it would be perfectly happy.  I was a student of history once in a university and if I learned anything from studying history that was what I learned.  Or to be more exact, that was what I thought I had learned." (Page 60)
Governor Willie Stark: "It's dirt makes the grass grow.  A diamond ain't a thing in the world but a piece of dirt that got awful hot.  And God-a-Mighty picked up a handful of dirt and blew on it and made you and me and George Washington and mankind blessed in faculty and apprehension.  It all depends on what you do with the dirt.  That right?" (Page 69)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "You could see Willie standing on a street corner, sweating through his seersucker suit, with his hair down in his eyes, holding an envelope in one hand and a pencil in the other, working out figures to explain what he was squawking about, but folks don't listen to you when your voice is low and patient and you stop them in the hot sun and make them do arithmetic." (Page 91)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "It was Willie's luck.  But the best luck always happens to people who don't need it." (Page 97)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "Also there was the small matter of God.  People said that God had taken a hand in the schoolhouse business.  That God had stepped in on Willie's side.  The Lord had justified him.  Willie was not religious by any ordinary standards, but the schoolhouse business very probably gave him the notion--which was shared by a lot of the local citizenry--that he stood in a special relation to God, Destiny, or plain luck.  And it doesn't matter what you call it or if you go to church.  And since the Lord moves in a mysterious way, it should not have surprised Willie that He was using some fat men in striped pants and a big car to work His will.  The Lord was calling Willie, and Tiny Duffy was just an expensively dressed Western Union boy in a Cadillac instead of on a bicycle.  So Willie signed the receipt." (Page 99)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "He was a lawyer now.  He could hang the overalls on a nail and let them stiffen with the last sweat he had sweated into them.  He could rent himself a room over the dry-goods store in Mason City and call it his office…" (Page 102) 
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "Just stir 'em up, it doesn't matter how or why, and they'll love you and come back for more.  Pinch 'em in the soft place.  They aren't alive, most of 'em, and haven't been alive in twenty years.  Hell, their wives have lost their teeth and their shape, and likker won't set on their stomachs, and they don't believe in God, so it's up to you to give 'em something to stir 'em up and make 'em feel alive again.  Just for half an hour.  That's what they come for.  Tell 'em anything.  But for Sweet Jesus' sake don't try to improve their minds." (Page 108)
Jack Burden and His Mother Conversing: Mother: "Now, Son, don't you, please don't--" Son: "Don't what?"  Mother: "Don't get mixed up in--in anything."  Son: "All I said was I could reach out and knock off ten thousand.  And not graft.  Information.  Information is money.  But I told you I'm not interested in money.  Not the slightest.  And Willie isn't either."  Mother: "Willie?"  Son:  "The Boss.  The Boss isn't interested in money."  Mother: "What's he interested in, then?"  Son: "He's interested in Willie.  Quite simply and directly.  And when anybody is interested in himself quite simply and directly the way Willie is interested in Willie you call it genius.  It's only half-baked people like Mr. Patton who are interested in money.  Even the big boys who make a real lot of money aren't interested in money.  Henry Ford isn't interested in money.  He's interested in Henry Ford and therefore he is a genius." (Page 188-189)
Governor Willie Stark: "No.  I'm not a lawyer.  I know some law.  In fact, I know a lot of law.  And I made me some money out of law.  But I'm not a lawyer.  That's why I can see what the law is like.  It's like a single-bed blanket on a double bed and three folks in the bed and a cold night.  There ain't ever enough blanket to cover the case, no matter how much pulling and hauling, and somebody is always going to nigh catch pneumonia.  Hell, the law is like the pants you bought last year for a growing boy, but it is always this year and the seams are popped and the shank bone's to the breeze.  The law is always too short and too tight for growing humankind.  The best you can do is do something and then make up some law to fit and by the time that law gets on the books you would have done something different.  Do you think half the things I've done were clear, distinct, and simple in the constitution of this state?" (Page 204)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "For what reason, barring Original Sin, is a man most likely to step over the line? … Ambition, love, fear, money."(Page 289)
Governor Willie Stark: "You thought you'd trick me--trick me into buying him.  Well, I'm not buying him.  I'm going to bust him.  I've bought too many sons-of-bitches already.  Bust 'em and they'll stay busted, but buy 'em and you can't tell how long they'll stay bought…." (Page 348)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "Yes, I am a student of history, don't you remember?  And what we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of bad and the bad out of good, and the devil takes the hindmost." (Page 372) 
Governor Willie Stark: "Doc, you just don't understand politics.  I'll be frank with you.  I could run this state and ten more like it with you howling on every street corner like a hound with a sore tail.  No offense.  But you just don't understand." (Page 384) 
Governor Willie Stark: "Now an individual, one fellow, he will stop doing business because he's got a notion of what is right, and he is a hero.  But folks in general, which is society, Doc, is never going to stop doing business.  Society is just going to cook up a new notion of what is right.  Society is sure not ever going to commit suicide.  At least, not that way and of a purpose.  And that is a fact.  Now ain't it?" (Page 387)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "[W]hen you get in love you are made all over again.  The person who loves you has picked you out of the great mass of uncreated clay which is humanity to make something out of, and the poor lumpish clay which is you wants to find out what it has been made into.  But at the same time, you, in the act of loving somebody, become real, cease to be a part of the continuum of the uncreated clay and get the breath of life in you and rise up." (Page 423) 
Governor Willie Stark: "Jack, politics is always a matter of choices, and a man doesn't set up the choices himself.  And there is always a price to make a choice.  You know that.  You've made a choice, and you know how much it cost you.  There is always a price." (Page 516-517)
Reporter-Turned-Operative Jack Burden: "Maybe a man has to sell his soul to get the power to do good." (Page 593)
Sugar-Boy, One of the Boss's Men:  "He could t-t-talk so good.  The B-B-Boss could.  Couldn't nobody t-t-talk like him.  When he m-m-made a speech and ev-ev-everybody y-y-yelled, it looked l-l-like something was gonna b-b-burst inside y-y-you…." (Page 635)
The Man Who Was Not Jack Burden's Father: "The creation of man whom God in His foreknowledge knew doomed to sin was the awful index of God's omnipotence.  For it would have been a thing of trifling and contemptible ease for Perfection to create mere perfection.  To do so would, to speak truth, be not creation but extension.  Separateness is identity and the only way for God to create, truly create, man was to make him separate from God Himself, and to be separate from God is to be sinful.  The creation of evil is therefore the index of God's glory and His power.  That had to be so that the creation of good might be the index of man's glory and power.  But by God's help.  By His help and in His wisdom." (Page 658-659)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Lynching of the James Meredith Statue: If student suspects are adjudicated guilty, what is the appropriate consequence?

From NBC News: Students hold signs at a demonstration around the James Meredith statue at the University of Mississippi on February 18, 2014.
If you don't know about the lynching of the James Meredith statue by now, this is not the place to find an introduction to the story.  Just google it.  The purpose of this post is to gauge community feelings on the subject of consequences for the student suspects if they are adjudicated guilty of the act.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts on the appropriate response.  The poll below attempts to be comprehensive of all possible types of punishment: criminal, financial, and social.  If you have something to add, comments are welcome.

What is the appropriate consequence for student perpetrator(s) of the desecration of the James Meredith statue at the University of Mississippi? free polls