Mississippi white woman with gun orders Black couple off campground — gets $250 misdemeanor fine

❝ A white woman in Mississippi who was accused of threatening an African American couple with a handgun while shouting at them to leave a KOA campground has been fined $250, and will receive a misdemeanor charge.

Only $250. A misdemeanor.

❝ Imagine if the race roles were reversed!

Mississippi “justice” ain’t changed a whole helluva lot in the last century or so.

All of Mississippi’s beaches are closed by toxic algae


Get out your jogging sandals, folks. You ain’t going swimming.

❝ Summer’s the perfect time to hit the beach — unless you live in Mississippi.

Along the state’s Gulf Coast, all 21 of the state’s beaches have been shut down for swimming due to a blue-green harmful algal bloom (HAB), according to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality…

❝ HABs occur when “colonies of algae — simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people” or wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says.

The toxic algae can cause rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, the state agency warned…

HABs aren’t rare. In fact, every US coastal and Great Lakes state experiences them, the NOAA says. However, they are popping up with increasing frequency due to climate change and increasing nutrient pollution, according to the NOAA.

Shameful. Causes are inclusive. Decades of mismanagement of most of the waterways in the Mississippi system. Lousy regulation of farm chemicals. You name it – the Mississippi probably suffers from it.

Morgan Freeman Turns His Mississippi Ranch Into Honeybee Sanctuary

❝ Morgan Freeman has long been known for having a voice of gold, using his clout and vocal talents for such worthy causes as environmental conservationist group One Earth. But it has also become apparent that the beloved actor also has a heart of gold–especially now that he has devoted his ranch to helping save honeybees.

The 81-year old actor took up beekeeping on his 124-acre Mississippi ranch as a simple hobby in 2014, largely in reaction to the mass die-offs that were occurring and continue to this day.

❝ “There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the planet … We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation … I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too.”

“As she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’ so we have got acres and acres of clover, and we have some planting stuff like lavender, I have got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.”

❝ While Freeman’s efforts may not be enough on their own to turn back the tide of adverse factors facing bees, his example is an inspiring signal that people are beginning to grow more conscious of the winged pollinators’ importance to humanity.

An example to us all.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

3-Tons of Dead Feral Pigs Made for a Helluva Experiment


Before

❝ In nature, mass mortality sometimes happens. More than 200,000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan drop dead in a matter of weeks; 337 dead whales wash up in a remote fjord in southern Chile; some 300 reindeer in Norway are felled by a single bolt of lightning— all that has happened since 2015. There’s evidence such spectacular displays of death are increasing in frequency due to climate change…

The problem is the die-offs are unpredictable. Once one has happened, scientists can’t go back in time to make the baseline measurements that would allow them to say how exactly an ecosystem has been changed by a sudden jolt of animal carcasses…

❝ …The team needed an immense mass of dead animals. Luckily, wildlife biologist Marcus Lashley of Mississipi State had connections with people at state and federal agencies who are responsible for combatting a wildlife pest that currently plagues Mississippi and many other states.

A few phone calls later, the dead feral pigs started streaming in…

❝ …on July 5th, 2016, with the help of some technicians graciously loaned to them by colleagues, they dragged 6,000 pounds of dead pigs into their study plots and left them to rot.

Almost immediately, camera traps recorded dozens of vultures descending on the piles of pigs. Sticky traps to collect insects had to be changed daily because “you couldn’t have stuck another one on there,” Brandon Barton of Mississippi State University says. The writhing maggot swarms on the carcasses were several inches deep.

Vultures and maggots were to be expected, of course, but the intensity of the response awed the researchers. “We were completely unprepared for what happened,” Barton says…The biological response was so extreme that the researchers had to abandon some of their sampling methods…

❝ Even now, more than a year later, the sites remain ecologically scarred. “Will they ever go back to normal? Probably not,” Barton says…Though not much is left of the three tons of dead pig they started with, the researchers plan to continue monitoring their experimental plots until they’re indistinguishable from the surrounding forest—which may be never, they note. “We’re going to measure this for the rest of our careers,” Lashley predicts.

RTFA. Truly interesting. I’ve blogged before about decomp, learning from the natural processes is an important part of criminology. This study takes a look at death in another direction.

An interesting read. If you’re up for it.

“Clean Coal” Plant Billion$ Over Budget Should Just Give Up And Burn Natural Gas


Click to enlargeWilliam Widmer/Politico

Round and round the money goes and where it comes out nobody knows

❝ A coal gasification plant in development in Mississippi is more than $4 billion over budget and years past deadline — and now it may have to rethink plans to burn gasified coal in favor of cheaper natural gas after a recommendation from state regulators.

The recommendation was made to prevent potential rate increases as the Kemper County plant continues to face cost overruns. Kemper was supposed to be up and running by 2014, for less than $3 billion. But the plant has now run up a $7.5 billion tab and may need redesigns on a critical part, a process that could take up to two years to complete, according to E&E News. No official decision has been made yet, but the Mississippi Public Service Commission made it clear last week that burning cheaper natural gas instead of gasified coal may be a long-term solution for the facility…

❝ According to a carbon capture and storage project database maintained by MIT, plans for Kemper started in 2004 but “costs began increasing almost immediately, especially once construction began in 2010 and the company discovered that many of the original designs needed major changes.” Specifically, pipe thickness and metallurgy appeared to have been miscalculated, and, after those changes were made, the support structures for the pipes had to be changed…

Fossil fuel pimps rant and rave against subsidizing any projects for alternative energy. At the same time, it’s business as usual for coal-based plants getting billion$ in subsidies and forgivable loans to keep on cranking out projects that don’t do a damned thing other than suck up taxpayer money and spew out pollution.

The Feds have no idea how to grow decent pot

❝ The only marijuana researchers can legally obtain for studies looks like something you would scrape off the bottom of your shoe after walking on a grassy field.

This is not an exaggeration. Take a look at this photo, courtesy of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies:

This is the marijuana that researchers were sent for a study looking at whether pot can help treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

❝ Due to federal prohibition and regulations, all of the marijuana used for US research is provided by one facility at the University of Mississippi through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). But researchers have complained for years that the quality of marijuana that NIDA supplies is terrible — typically far below what you can get from state-legal medical or recreational marijuana markets or even the black market.

The photo above exemplifies this. The marijuana looks like it’s made up more of leaves and stems than the actual bud you’re supposed to smoke. As anyone who’s ever smoked pot can tell you, you’re typically supposed to throw out the leaves and stems — meaning what you see in the photo is basically garbage to the typical user. Usable pot is supposed to look chunkier and laced with crystals that are high in THC (which is what gets you high).

❝ Here’s an example of higher-quality pot, taken before the stems are fully removed:

It ain’t just aesthetics, folks. The questions of usability, effectiveness, say, as a product to be used to wean Americans off opioids – are relevant.

RTFA for all the details and discussion.

A Black church in Mississippi was burned in the name of Trump

❝ A black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire on Tuesday night. Fire fighters arrived to find Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church “heavily engulfed in flames,” Mayor Errick Simmons said in an interview; the fire took nearly an hour to contain. No one was in the church at the time, and no one was injured. On the side of the church, beneath the blackened windows and roof, the words “Vote Trump” have been spray painted.

❝ The fire is being investigated as a hate crime, Simmons said. Federal authorities, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives, are helping local authorities with the investigation, which is part of the standard procedure for church fires….“I see this as an attack on the black church and the black community.”…

❝ Arson is notoriously difficult to prove…In this case, though, someone left a calling card about politics. It’s not yet clear who set the fire, if anyone set it; whether the person who set the fire is the same person who wrote the graffiti; or why, if the fire was intentional, Hopewell M.B. Church was the target. One thing is clear, though: At some point, someone decided to attach the name of Trump to a burned black church…

❝ Ain’t nothing new. Race hatred is as old as the American Confederacy and the slave economy that justified out-of-date and failed economics with racism. A practice that continued legally in the United States for decades.

Today, we have a Republican presidential candidate whose family was found guilty – twice – of conducting business as a racist enterprise. He has no problem with the dregs of American politics – still dedicated to bigotry, apartheid, as social norms.

New Hampshire now the least religious state in the United States

❝ New Hampshire is the least religious state in the U.S., edging out Vermont in Gallup’s 2015 state-by-state analysis…Mississippi has extended its eight-year streak as the most religious state, followed closely by neighboring Alabama…

Hmmm. Think education has anything to do with this?

❝ Gallup classifies Americans into three religious groups based on their responses to a question measuring religious service attendance and how important religion is in their daily life.

Very religious Americans are those who say religion is important to them and who attend services every week or almost every week.

Nonreligious Americans are those for whom religion is not important and who seldom or never attend religious services.

Moderately religious Americans meet just one of the criteria, either saying religion is important or that they attend services almost every week or more.

❝ Gallup began tracking several religious indicators on a daily basis in 2008. Some of these indicators have shown significant change over this time, most notably the percentage of Americans who report no formal religious identity when asked to name their religious preference. But the percentage classified as very religious on the basis of their attendance and view on the importance of religion has stayed remarkably stable.

Yup. My view on the not-usefulness of religion hasn’t changed since 1951. Been an atheist ever since. Extended the depth of that understanding through studies in science and philosophy in following years.

Keep moving, Bozo: clowns are banned in this Mississippi county

A Mississippi county has had enough of the creepy clown craze, at least until after Halloween.

Kemper County supervisors this week banned people from wearing any clown costume, mask or makeup in public. The local law carries a $150 penalty, and it will be lifted Nov. 1.

The Kemper County Messenger reports…that supervisors President Johnny Whitsett says it’s a matter of public safety because people could react badly if they get scared by a clown in their yard.

You know – the same reaction they get if they see 4 or 5 Black folks voting.

Lee Rowland, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney in New York, says the First Amendment protects most clothing choices. She also says it’s “a ridiculous use of government authority …. to dictate which Halloween costumes people can wear.

No surprise. The culture inbred in a great many conservatives simply feels that if something offends you personally, make it illegal. That often includes the whole range of civil rights, civil liberties in the state of mind called Mississippi.

Arizona newspaper receives death threats after endorsing Hillary

hillary-endorsement

❝ For the first time in 126 years, The Arizona Republic endorsed a Democrat for president, Hillary Clinton. Almost immediately afterwards, the death threats started rolling in.

…“Well, it’s been crazy around here,” said Phil Boas, director of the editorial page. He says the Republic has seen…subscription cancellations, angry phone calls, and yes, death threats.

❝ Still, he stands by their decision. “The things [Donald Trump] has done, making fun of disabled people and rolling back press freedoms, you know a guy who would do that and crush our freedoms in one area will do it in others as well,” Boas said.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it, again. Arizona is the Mississippi of the west.