Jackblog entries for October, 2012 | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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Entries for October, 2012


October 29, 2012

Halloween Company Uses Sexual Ads for Children's Costumes

By Jacob Fuller


Spirit Halloween, owned by ACON Investments, is running ads for costumes the company labels for teens and tweens with sexual references and innuendo.

The Mississippi State Chapter of the National Organization for Women, a liberal feminist group, and Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, are two organizations that rarely see eye-to-eye. Spirit Halloween's advertisements, which blatantly market sex to underage girls, have given the groups a common enemy to fight.

One advertisement for a "Rag Doll Teen Costume" finished with the lines: "you are all grown up now, so why not find out if big boys like to play with dolls!"

Spirit Halloween responded to a campaign on Twitter and Change.org by removing most of the sexual references in their teen and preteen costume descriptions. Many parents are still boycotting the company, though, because they still sell many costumes for minors which feature short skirts, low-cut tops and long stockings, which the women at NOW think are too sexual for young girls.

“Although Spirit changed the shocking sexual content in many of their kids’ costume ads in response to a Twitter campaign by outraged parents and consumers, the issue still remains that Spirit Halloween and its owner, ACON Investments have refused to pull their totally inappropriate sexualized children’s costumes off the market. They are marketing extremely revealing, short, tight-fitting dresses and skirts to our children – many of their kids costumes look like adult fantasy sex costumes. This is not about adult women's choices to wear sexy costumes, this is about Spirit Halloween and ACON marketing sexualized costumes to girls as young as 9 and 13 years old – they are offering sickening and horrible costume choices for children that parents don’t want,” Miss. Now president Laurie Roberts stated in a press release.

You can see the advertisements with the sexual innuendo here: Spirit Halloween

You can also sign the petition to boycott Spirit Halloween here: Change.org

October 18, 2012

Court Confirms: DOMA Unconstitutional

By RonniMott

Appeals court upholds decision that DOMA is unconstitutional.

October 12, 2012

Letter to Sheriff's Department

By Jacob Fuller

Dear Captain Joseph Daughtry, I have attempted to call you multiple to no avail, so I'm hoping you will read this.

Last I checked, you are the spokesman for the Hinds County Sheriff's Department and go-to media contact. Over the last couple of months, I have attempted to contact you to set up an interview with Sheriff Tyrone Lewis. In late July and early August, around the time of the disturbance at the Hinds County Detention Facility, which devastated Pod C at the jail, we spoke a few times about what was happening there. We also spoke about setting up the interview with Sheriff Lewis, which you assured me you could do.

Every call I've made to your office and cell phone since that conversation has gone unanswered and without response. I left multiple messages, requesting the interview, but never heard back from you.

Of course, I have other responsibilities, so I moved on and let the lack of a response go.

Recently, though, a deputy from your department, Zack Robinson, was arrested by the FBI on conspiracy charges. So today I called your office and your cell twice, each. On dialing one of the numbers, the phone rang several times before the line went silent with no message. The other rang before a voice mail service answered, with a recording of your voice. Unfortunately for me, or anyone else trying to reach you, the voice mail storage is full and cannot receive anymore messages.

Maybe I am being unfair, but it seems like the official spokesman for the Sheriff's Department in the largest county in the state should have open space on his/her messaging system so that media, citizens and other departments can notify you that we are attempting to reach you, when you do not answer your phones.

I would attempt to call someone else in your department, but every time I have, they have redirected me to you, which I know will be unsuccessful.

If you read this, feel free to call me at 601-362-6121 ext. 22 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Any other time, you can reach me on my cell at 601-529-7671. Both numbers have working voice mail answering services and plenty of empty space on them for you to leave a message.

Thanks, Jacob D. Fuller

October 8, 2012 | 1 comment

Surprising, and Testy, Comments by Rep. Ryan on Crime, Guns

By Donna Ladd

Today I saw a tweet about Rep. Paul Ryan getting testy with a reporter and stopping an interview so I clicked over to see what he was saying. But what was most interesting was not the testy part; it was what he actually said before that in the clip.

Did a prominent Republican just say that President Obama isn't trying to regulate guns any more than a Romney-Ryan administration would? If so, the NRA is wasting millions on ads in swing states.

But more important, Ryan made an admission out loud, on a camera, that most Republicans never have: that "inner city" crime results from poverty. As someone who has studied the connections between crime and poverty for many years, as well as the political strategies around inner-city crime, I immediately recognized what a remarkable statement that was (even if it shouldn't be). Just go back and read anything written by Reagan and Bush drug czars about the hopelessness of "super-predators" (racist rhetoric now debunked) to see what I mean. Right here in Mississippi, conservatives won't admit that poverty leads to crime--or at least creates the conditions that make it much more likely.

Of course, if you keep listening, you'll see why Republicans don't like to admit the link between crime and poverty: because it takes resources and education to create the "opportunities" that Ryan said are needed in challenged communities. And when the reporter asked him a very logical follow-up of how that need fit with the Romney-Ryan plan for tax cuts, he got testy, accused the reporter of putting words in his mouth and ended the interview.

Meantime, Gov. Romney said in the debate last week that he would put all costs for education and health care back on the states. That means that poverty in Mississippi will go up -- because we can't afford to pay these bills. Just look at the state Legislature now: It won't even fund adequate education when it has the money to. "Adequate" education. And guess what: We have a crime problem in Jackson, and increasing in suburbs and rural areas, as a result. It's not just an African American problem (as conservatives such as Bill Bennett wanted us to think); we have a serious white gang meth operation in the state in areas like Florence.

This video was very instructive: Ryan gets it to a point, but he's not willing to do anything about it, even as he's not willing to do anything to make it a bit harder for about-to-be criminals to get their hands on firearms. Unaddressed poverty + lack of education + strapped state resources + a state soaked with guns = a much more dangerous place for all of us to live. How can you not be willing to address any of those issues if you have even a basic understanding of the roots of crime (which Ryan indicated)? Even if you ...

October 2, 2012

It's Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By RonniMott

Take some time and remember our fellow Mississippians who are in danger every day in their own homes.