Not So Fast, Mississippi!

Doug Masson sort of summed up the Indiana General Assembly’s current legislative session when he posted “Indiana should change our slogan from “Honest to Goodness, Indiana!” to “Not so fast, Mississippi!”

Our lawmakers are back in session: engaging in childish vendettas against the lone Democrat who won statewide office, ignoring environmentalists and family farmers who oppose creating a constitutional right to use “effective” farming techniques (aka a “right to pollute” measure desired by the big corporate farms),  advancing a “religious” right to refuse service to LGBT customers, exempting charter and voucher schools from ISTEP….the embarrassing list goes on. And on.

Granted, Mississippi has a definite head start. One recent bit of news from the state that keeps “Hoosier” from meaning “bottom of the barrel”: a Justice Court judge in that state has just been accused of striking a mentally challenged young man and yelling, “Run, n—–, run.” (And yes, the elided word is just what you think it is.)

Reading about that incident was appalling enough, but as I read further, I discovered that in Mississippi, the only requirement to be elected judge of a Justice Court is a high school diploma. (There are those in the Indiana legislature who share Mississippi’s contempt for education, although we haven’t taken it quite that far. Yet.) After taking office, the judges are required to take up to six hours of training a year.

Six whole hours. Every year. That should compensate for the lack of college or law school.

It may seem that Mississippi has a lock on the batshit crazy medal–but back home in Indiana, we’re barely at the midpoint of a long legislative session. Don’t count Indiana out.


  1. SK: I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment. Milton Bradley could use our legislature’s agenda and actions as the basis for a new board game – one with no clear objective and no winners, ever. Suggested name for the new game: WTF??

  2. Sarah Palin has a BA in journalism and look how far she has gone. Indiana legislature has an obvious contempt for the importance of educating all Indiana residents; it’s contempt for the election of Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, stands in the way of providing education as stated in the Indiana Constitution as well as specific responsibilities of an elected state official. The definition of GOP should be translated to Greed Overlooks Poverty. There are no Republican officials or big businesses on their list of targets to destroy. In their cowardly way of bullying the “little guy” on all levels they still rely on our tax dollars to support their war on education – and pollution, and religion – and as Sheila stated, the list goes on. I have stated before that I have often feared FOR my country; now I FEAR my country and my state, wondering what rights they will take away next. You must agree that Mississippi does have better weather.

  3. What a thought. Indiana looks so good because Mississippi looks so bad. But remember that Kansas is trying hard in that competition. May end up in a dead heat. Literally dead.

  4. I seriously cannot even imagine what goes on in their minds. Blank spaces?

    What is their thought process? There probably isn’t one.

    The sane people in Indiana are definitely outnumbered by the insane.

  5. Watch out– Oklahoma is coming up fast. Their legislature is considering a bill to outlaw AP History classes. Apparently, the AP curriculum is “too negative” about American history. They also want the 10 commandments taught in history class.

  6. Cheryl’s right. And Oklahoma already has a state entity devoted to promoting marriage. That’s where our fine legislators got the idea from.

  7. You know, in St Louis I was surprised to discover Hoosier is a term used as a synonym to redneck or trashy (as in, “this party is totally Hoosier”).

    Second, a question, it’s ludicrous that a sitting judge is required to have no more than a HS education. But, how many judges in MS only have a HS degree?

  8. If there was a bumper sticker, “Not so fast, Mississippi”, or other pithy remark, I would buy two.

  9. I was at the committee hearing for HB 1320 this afternoon. It barely lasted any time at all, and time allotted for individual public comment was severely truncated. I should have expected as much given it wad held in the claustrophobic basement room that serves as a passive aggressive “be lucky we let you in at all” warning used for this purpose only when they consider public input to be no more than a formality (most of the time). I suppose I can take solace in the fact that working as a citizen advocate would be even more trying in Mississippi. God bless dixieland (I hear god is back in Mississippi’s court system after all)

  10. Now, now, now, my Hoosier children…….such talk, especially on Ash Wednesday. Remember, I created Mississippi and other states of the former Confederacy as well as Indiana, and that your President Lincoln once chided those of you who were certain I was on their side that they ought to be concerned about whether or not I was on their side. Being eternally Me, I must remain strictly neutral, and buy neither bumper stickers or license plates.

    Although if I did, I’d probably go with the Indiana specialty plates for IYG.

  11. Sheila Kenndy nails it, as usual! The machinations of Indiana’s legislative process grow ever more frightening as our elected officials strive mightily to drag us back toward the Dark Ages. Bill after bill is proposed to thwart the best interests of Indiana residents. And Hoosiers will continue to vote these greedy, bigoted, ALEC members into office, while priding themselves on being ignorant of politics.

  12. Paul Ogden, federal judges are required to have graduated from an accredited law school, and, at the time of their appointment, must be a member in good standing of a state bar.

    So, while a high school diploma is not an explicit requirement, it is implied.

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