Fast and Loose With “Worked for Former U.S. Sen. John Stennis”

Another left-of-center writer, David Dallas of the Mississippi Business Journal, has jumped on the bandwagon to change the state flag. Along the way in his column, Dallas also takes cheap shots at Lt. Governor Tate Reeves. Perhaps we should review Dallas’ own credentials. At the end of each column he writes for the MBJ, the publication notes that Dallas “worked for former U.S. Sen. John Stennis.” Just as there is truth in lending and truth in advertising, there should be truth in journalism credentials. As someone who worked on a congressional staff for 14 years, I would argue that if you worked for a U.S. Senator that means you worked on his personal Senate staff, his staff in the state or even his committee staff since Stennis was chairman of two powerful committees. You could even stretch working for Stennis to being on his campaign staff for one of his re-election campaigns. In fact, Dallas’ so-called “work” for Stennis came after Stennis had retired and was living back in Starkville. Dallas, who also worked at the Stennis Institute, was paid by Mississippi State University. As a graduate student at MSU, Dallas and two other State students took care of Stennis 24 hours per day. Stennis was in very poor health after he retired and before he died. Dallas and the others drove Stennis to his home in Starkville provided by MSU, drove him to church, took him to Stennis’ hometown of DeKalb, pushed his wheelchair and was generally a personal assistant to Stennis.

Calls Lt. Gov. Reeves “Tater” 12 times

In his recent column about the state flag, Dallas called Lt. Gov. Reeves “Tater” 12 times. That’s pretty disrespectful and tacky, at best. In praising House Speaker Phillip Gunn as “courageous to a point” for Gunn supporting Mississippi changing the state flag. He notes that Gunn is “sincere enough with his Christian love and faith.” Is that a suggestion that those on the other side of the issue cannot have Christian love and faith? Dallas adds that the “hate-base” has been the backbone of the Mississippi Republican Party. Evidently Dallas’ graduate education did not teach him that the South’s most racist governors, Ross Barnett (Miss.), George Wallace (Ala), Lester Maddox (Ga) and Orval Faubus (Ark) were

all Democrats. Dallas also goes as far as to suggest that Gunn may be the only person who can keep Lt. Gov. Reeves from moving into the governor’s mansion after Phil Bryant’s expected second term. While I have a lot of regard  and respect for Speaker Gunn, I hope he doesn’t count on a vote from Dallas. Dallas will surely be voting for a Democrat. His, along with some previous columns for MBJ, is a reason some people refer to the publication as the “Mississippi Anti-Business Journal.”

Supporters of state flag change should applaud Jeppie Barbour and company

Those who are supporting a new state flag received a bonus this week when a group who oppose changing the state flag held a rally Monday outside the state Capitol in Jackson. A featured speaker was Jeppie Barbour. Barbour should not have any illusions that he was chosen to speak other than the fact that he is the brother of former governor Haley Barbour. I personally cringed when numerous pictures of the rally appeared to show more Confederate battle flags than the current Mississippi flag. Of course, “Dixie” was also played at the rally. I cringed even more when Barbour was quoted as saying the South won’t be “bossed around by a bunch of Yankees.” The rally looked like a KKK event without the hoods and sheets.

Memphis mayor wants to dig up bodies of Confederate general and his wife

Where will it end? On the other side from Jeppie Barbour you have black Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton. In a recent press briefing, Wharton said he wants to dig up the bodies of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife. Forrest and his wife are currently buried in a city park. He may be mayor of Memphis but only a sick person would want to dig up and remove two bodies that have been buried in the park for more than 100 years. Some people have a far larger agenda than just getting rid of the Confederate battle flag. As an interesting footnote: Mayor Wharton is a graduate of Ole Miss.

Worst newspaper front page of the year

The entire front page of the July 4 issue of The Clarion Ledger contained the pictures of state legislators who have stood their ground and not responded to the newspaper’s survey on changing the state flag. By a lopsided margin, way more than half of the state’s senators and representatives have not been bullied by the CL.  Obviously the newspaper’s constant advocacy of changing the flag is an effort to put them in consideration for a Pulitzer Prize nomination or for other newspaper awards.

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