Thursday, June 28, 2007


The Hattiesburg American tells us that "Details of USM student's arrest may be divulged." They changed their headline from earlier in the day, which read "Police may divulge details of arrest."

Bob Hopkins, the chief of University police, has always held his tongue about what Wainwright wrote that was so "threatening." Now it looks like it's time to put up or shut up--the stuff is coming back from the crime lab. Here's the heart of the story:

In the two months since Wainwright was arrested, investigators haven't released details about the threats, allegedly made through, a popular networking site that allows users to communicate through e-mail, blog posts, instant messages and bulletins.

Nor has Weathers' office received a case file from investigators.

"The person that's working it is off this week, but I was assured I would have it Monday or Tuesday," he said.

Southern Miss Police Chief Bob Hopkins said last month that his office was awaiting results of forensic testing from the state crime lab before turning the case over to Weathers' office.

Of course, the "student" is Yuri Wainwright, currently being held in Lamar County jail on $1 million bond for "posting threats over the Internet." I noticed that this and most other Wainwright-related stories say that what he's charged with carries a sentence of between 5-20 years. I don't know where they're getting that sentence from. Here is what I wrote about the situation on the ol' forum today...

Post 1

According to the MS Code, "Posting of messages through electronic media for purpose of causing injury to any person," the vague statute Wainwright was charged with violating, doesn't carry a sentence of 5-20 years. Here is a quote from the code:

"A person who violates this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years or a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both."

So he may have already served his time. We know from the UPD website what statute he was charged with, but that entry has rotated out of the entries on the UPD crimelog website. Also, a Hattiesburg American story about Wainwright that was at this link
has now disappeared.

They've got 7 months now to bring a case against Wainwright. If Yuri did do what they say he did, then it's good they caught him before he did anything to anyone.

However, Bob Hopkins has repeatedly maintained that the messages that got Wainwright in trouble were written and posted before the Virginia Tech shootings. He's never said how long before the VT shootings these were posted. We do know that they waited until two days after VT and two days before the Columbine anniversary to arrest Wainwright.

The VT massacre happened on Monday, April 16. Yuri logged into his MySpace page for the last time on April 17. So there were two days between VT and Yuri's arrest--theoretically two days in which Wainwright could have carried out his theoretical threats. Glad they acted fast!

I can't wait to read what Wainwright supposedly wrote. We should have known a long time before now what he said that was so bad that he's been held for over two months on $1 million bond.

Again, if he really did make specific threats, then I'm glad they got him. If he didn't--and I suspect that this is the case--they've really done our justice system a disservice.

Post 2

I'm not sure where the possible sentence of 5-20 years for posting threats on the Internet is coming from. It's mentioned in many articles about the Wainwright case, including this most recent one.

Neither the law I mentioned above or the "cyberstalking" statute--97-45-15 of the MS Code--have a penalty of up to 20 years. In fact, all the sentences are 5 years or less. Perhaps there's a change in the law that has happened very recently and the websites have not yet been changed to reflect it.

When one Googles "internet threats mississippi code," one is taken here.

When one goes to the "Chapter Index" at the bottom of the page, one finds a list of all the sections of chapter 045 of title 97:

A quick look through them reveals that none of them mentions a possible penalty of over five years.

The only statute that even mentions "threatening" is 97-45-15, which is not what Wainwright was charged with. In the definitions (97-45-1), "Credible threat" is defined thusly:

"a threat made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety."

What they have to prove

Which means that they'll have to prove Wainwright's intent, which is not easy to do, especially given the cryptic, disjointed nature of the writing of his I've seen. The "apparent ability to carry out the threat" is obviously easy to prove, which is why they keep bringing up the guns found at the place Wainwright was living.

And I guess that the target of the supposed threat could be proven to have feared for his or her safety since Wainwright was obviously turned in by somebody. Actually, though, the process by which Wainwright's "threats" were discovered has not been discussed much in the press.

We are told that "university police were notified by a faculty member that Wainwright had posted disturbing messages and emails on the popular website."

We don't know if the professor that turned him in was the target or if someone else was. It's entirely conceivable that the target of the "threat" was completely unaware of a "threat" and therefore could not have feared for his/her safety.

Monday, June 25, 2007


The idiot and the vampire (i.e., Bush and Cheney) are slowly, quietly, casually setting themselves up with dictatorial powers. The latest evidence of this is Cheney's bizarre, unfounded assertion that the vice president's office is not "an entity within the executive branch."

We are one hurricane or domestic "terror attack" away from totalitarianism.

"New revelations that Cheney and Bush have openly declared themselves to be have total power and the ability to bypass law and oversight should be a code red emergency. They are moving to implement everything necessary for a total takeover should a catalyst event provide the opportunity. Given that this administration has a history of cooking up its own catalysts we should be very wary indeed."

Another reason Kucinich is a badass...and why the MSM marginalizes him

Kucinich has actually introduced articles of impeachment against Cheney. No other presidential candidate, senator, or congressperson has had the cojones to do this. Bush and Cheney must be stopped, yet no one has stepped forward to help Kucinich advance this very necessary step against the idiot and the vampire (or in this case, just the vampire).

Big liberal blogs like Daily Kos and Americablog have already gone on record saying they don't support impeachment. They are still laboring under the delusion that our government is still "ours." That is to say, they think that all the Democrats have to do is demonstrate to the public that their policies are better for the country, and consequently, they'll win elections.

Even if that were true, there is still no excuse for not bringing impeachment proceedings against the idiot and the vampire...

Friday, June 22, 2007


So my local paper has been following a story on the FBI investigation into Alcatec, a company owned by the wife of one of Haley Barbour's nephews and they had this update today:

"Alcatec began in 2000 as a laundry service for students at the University of Mississippi. In 2004, it was awarded two General Services Administration (GSA) contracts - totaling $675,750 - to provide and maintain washers, dryers and showers at Camp Shelby.

After Hurricane Katrina, Barbour was awarded another set of GSA contracts, worth $6.4 million - much of it no-bid - to take her shower services to the Coast.

Alcatec qualified as a minority-owned firm during the bid process. Barbour, an American citizen and active in Republican politics, was born in Guatemala. She said she used her maiden name, Ramirez, when she made the bids, so that federal officials would not know of her family ties.
Actually, that's not an update, it's the background--but it's brand new to me, as I haven't been following the story at all. I just found that last paragraph oddly interesting--that she would admit using her maiden name instead of her presumably legal name on an application for a federal contract. Isn't that misrepresentation of some sort? Or falsifying documents?

She sure doesn't look like a minority in the one picture I've seen of her.

And for a poor, humble Guatemalan girl, she was able to afford some pretty top-notch schooling--she graduated from Westover, a private girl's school in Connecticut, and then from Goucher, a private college in Maryland. Seems to me she wanted to (and did) pass for mestizo when she is more likely a peninsular or criollo...I mean, sometimes being rich and well-connected just isn't enough to get the contract...

Although this New York Times story makes note of how well Mrs. Barbour/Ramirez/Barbour's? company was doing with the federal contracts after Katrina:

"PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss., Dec. 6 - Rosemary Barbour happens to be married to a nephew of Mississippi's governor, Haley Barbour. Since the Reagan administration, when Mrs. Barbour worked as a White House volunteer as a college student, she has been active in the Republican Party.

She also happens to be one of the biggest Mississippi-based winners of federal contracts for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

To some contract watchdogs, this could be an example of how the federal government responsibly reached out to give a piece of the billions of dollars in federal hurricane-recovery work to a small Mississippi-based company owned by a Latina. Mrs. Barbour, 39, who was born in Guatemala but now lives in Jackson, Miss., is certified by the United States Small Business Administration as a disadvantaged small-business owner."

Say what?! When a "disadvantaged minority" is neither

How can a graduate of Westover and Goucher who worked in the Bush 41 administration and married into a powerful political family at age 24 be legitimately certified as "disadvantaged?" Even if she was born in Guatemala?

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that her story about using her maiden name might be just that--a story, to try to throw us rubes off the nepotism/cronyism trail. I'm sure she probably is registered with the SBA as a disadvantaged minority and actually did fill out the paperwork with her maiden name, but that's likely only because one of Haley's or her own old Washington buddies or friends of friends helped her cook up that cover story...when they found out that she was born in Guatemala and her maiden name is Ramirez, a Latina/minority/disadvantaged-sounding name if there ever was one...

But this seems like an abuse of "disadvantaged minority" status by both Barbour/Ramirez and the SBA. Because the "disadvantaged minority" Rosemary Barbour is neither...

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I probably shouldn't post this stuff, but I can't really resist. As a musician, I'm very picky whenever I listen to a recording I've made. I cringe whenever I hear the slightest hesitation between beats or something else that's "off" somehow.

This is due in no small part to the impression that I've accepted, or created, or had created for me, that "the pros" and/or "the legends" don't make "mistakes" in their recordings. So I have to admit that I get some gratification out of spotting the little things that are "off" in classic recordings. And I was reminded of that yesterday when I was listening to Vince Guaraldi's classic "Linus and Lucy"--a classic tune and a great performance.

I'd heard the little finger slip before, but never thought to post anything about it. But I'd also heard a little finger slip a month or two ago in Neil Young's "After The Goldrush" that I'd never, ever noticed before. So I thought it'd just be fun--and make all of us amateur (and probably professional) musicians feel a little better about ourselves--to compile a list of well-known artists leaving something in a recording that they, like I sometimes do, hope no one ever notices.

Because hey, at some point you gotta say "It's good enough" and move on. You can never achieve perfection and why would you want to?

Here's what I can think of off the top of my head:

1. Vince Guaraldi-"Linus and Lucy" finger slip on piano keys on return to first section :50
2. Neil Young-"After The Goldrush" finger slip on piano keys after the line "hoping it was a lie" (the first time) 1:46
3. Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads-"Crazy Train" notes in solo not doubled exactly (after joining back in unison following a harmony section) 3:05
4. Soft Machine-"10.30 Returns To The Bedroom" finger slip on organ 2:07 (this was not off the top of my head--I heard this while I was looking for CD/mp3s of the songs mentioned above and was listening to the song while flipping through CD books and searching the computer) If there was a ever a reason to listen to Soft Machine, that sweet distorted organ is it...that might sound sarcastic, but I'm being serious...I love the Soft Machine organ stuff...

Please feel free to add any others in the comments or email me at and I'll update the list as I get entries.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Not an exact quote, obviously...

Lieberman won't hear of pulling out of Iraq despite mounting casualties--over 3,500 dead and 10,000+ wounded. To him, that means we're making "significant progress." At any rate, to the warmongers, the current casualty rate in no way constitutes an argument for stopping the war. In fact, the more casualties we inflict and receive, the longer we need to keep fighting, according to this logic. It's like the "it's only a flesh wound" knight in "The Holy Grail" and we all know what happened to him.

Now Lieberman asserts that Iran may be responsible for the deaths of 200 soldiers and that's why he wants to attack Iran. Rather than suggesting that we move our troops in Iraq out of harm's way so that won't happen anymore, Lieberman wants to send more troops into the meatgrinder. And if and when we do attack Iran and more of our soldiers start dying, that will only be a reason for us to send more to the slaughter, according to Lieberman's logic.

I can't believe Ned Lamont lost to this clown...

I don't think I said exactly what I meant above.

I thought about it more today and what I was trying to say is that Lieberman's logic is so fucked up...because 3,500 dead is not horrific enough for him to want to stop fighting in Iraq, yet 200 dead is so horrific that we have to start another war with Iran in which we'll surely kill more people and have more of our people makes absolutely no motherfucking doesn't add up. It's wasteful and sick and murderous, the way this guy has a hard-on for war.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Kucinich proved almost 30 years ago that he has the massive balls it takes to stand up to the corporatocratic privatizers that want to create an "ownership society," all right. One in which they're the owners and we have to pay through the nose to get what was rightfully ours to begin with.

I wonder why more parallels weren't drawn between Gray Davis' recall and Kucinich's recall which, like Hugo Chavez, he survived. And again, like Chavez, the corporatocracy put out a hit on Kucinich (see above). But they didn't get him!

Why I'm glad I didn't vote for Lieberman (and Gore) in 2000

Because of this nonsense:
''I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,'' Lieberman said. ''And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.''
Yet Lieberman insists that we're making progress in Iraq, so we have to stay there. What an immoral, warmongering jackass.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich kick ass. I just read one of my favorite blogs and the proprietor had the following to say:

Dennis Kucinich and Gravel are just annoying. Yeah, I get it, some of you like Kucinich. And that's nice. Joe likes his dog Boomer too. It doesn't mean he should be on stage with the real candidates. Kucinich has zero chance of winning, as does Gravel - they shouldn't be on the stage taking time from the serious candidates.

What the fuck is this guy's problem? Aravosis, I mean. They "shouldn't be on the stage?" They aren't "serious candidates?"

What has Hillary Clinton ever done compared to Mike Gravel? Gravel was in the Army in the 50s. He entered the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. He filibustered against renewal of the draft--by himself--and Nixon was forced to let it die. What has Hillary Clinton ever done that's even remotely comparable to any of that? For that matter, what have Obama or Edwards done that are remotely comparable to any of that?

For Pete's sake, Clinton and Edwards both voted for the Iraq war. Gravel is unequivocally against it and the imperialist/neocon/corporatist agenda that fueled it. Clinton and Edwards now say they don't like the war, but they still favor the imperialist/corporatist agenda.


Kucinich voted against the Patriot Act. He voted against the war in Iraq. He is also against the imperialist/corporatist agenda. For Christ's sake, he's introduced articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney.

Gravel and Kucinich have more principle, conviction, and good ideas than the rest of the Democratic candidates put together. They are serious candidates, but of course they have no chance of winning if major liberal blogs like Americablog insist on parroting the mainstream, corporate media tactic of following the horse race. What the hell is the liberal blogosphere for if not to promote candidates that actually stand for what we say we want?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

IRAN AS AN EXCUSE... find new ways to make enemies out of the whole world...

I'm kind of relieved in a way, now that I realize the Bushies know they're full of shit when they accuse Iran of "meddling" in Iraq, which of course is the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black. How do we know this? Because of this story from the AP (so this link will be dead soon):

President Bush is defending plans to set up a missile defense system in Russia's back yard, despite the strain it has put on already-tense U.S.-Russian relations.

The president told a group of foreign reporters that the weapons system is in response to Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and that the missiles will be aimed at Iran, not Russia.

Bush wants to base part of the system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Bush is telling Putin, who correctly refers to this move as imperialism (note that I didn't use quotation marks), to "get over it." Get over it? Really?

Too bad we don't lead by example in "getting over" things. Or I should say, we only "get over" things that we can make money on. Like for example, we've never "gotten over" the fact that Cuba is a communist country, but we've really put China's communism behind us. If Russia put a missile "defense" system in South America somewhere, the right-wing freakos would never "get over it," no matter how many times Russia assured us the missiles weren't aimed at us.

And all this is happening at at time when we need to be reducing our military presence around the world, not increasing it. But I guess the military-industrial complex won't rest until there's a missile aimed at every person on earth, depleted uranium in every river, and unexploded ordnance on every playground. It's an ugly, yet highly profitable, vision of the world.