My name is Tom, and I’m a….

From downtown Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Totally stolen (including the headline) from Scott Barretta’s Facebook feed. Scott took the picture, too.

Some observations about “shifting sands” arguments

I’m sure someone out there will find this group of quotes handy for some future brief-writing project.

The shifting sands of this argument are distressing. Even in this court it is difficult to pin down exactly what the Infelises’ contentions are and what the support for their argument is.

United States v. Infelise, 159 F.3d […]

Sign posted so you don’t show up at the courthouse in Houston in the wrong attire

Just trying to prevent a possible fashion faux pas.

And, also, there’s this, to help prevent a more disgusting sort of faux pas.

The halls of the courthouse in Houston are chock-full of advice and instruction.


A short history of Civil Rights hoaxes, possibly part of an ongoing series


August 16, 1913:  Yes, there are people out there who believe that Leo Frank really did murder Mary Phagan and the charge of anti-semitism is a hoax.  Seriously.  This was of course a Southern-fried version of the blood libel, one of history’s most vile hoaxes.

After the October, 26, 1934 lynching of Claude Neal […]

This “it’s a hoax” crap has a long and discouraging history as a racist trope

I find it very depressing that, seeking someone to speak for the local community, the New York Times went with this:

“It’s a mistake to base any decision on this, whether it was done by white racists or whether it was a hoax,” said Frank M. Hurdle, an Oxford lawyer and blogger. “Now, if you […]

Only a lawyer (well, a judge) would contend something was both “peaceful” and “hostile.”

Recall the elements for adverse possession. There must be use:

(1) under claim of ownership; (2) actual or hostile; (3) open, notorious, and visible; (4) exclusive; (5) peaceful; and (6) continuous and uninterrupted for ten years.

Rice v. Pritchard, 611 So.2d 869, 871 (Miss.1992).

Not to mention notorious.

Notice to the World. But of What?

This is my favorite entry, ever, in a land records index, even better than those entries in 19th Century handwriting that looks like they were written in very artfully arranged but faint human hairs.

Yes, that’s right: Three entries for “Illegible Name.”

Personally, I’ve never scanned an index for entries for “Illegible Name.” Although […]

Sometimes you just have to see the front page of a physical newspaper

This picture, which looks prtty much like my idea of Armagedon, is above the fold on the front page of today’s New York Times. I would quite likely have missed it had I not gone out to pick up my Mother’s physical newspaper. Stunning picture. How it looks on the paper is depicted below. […]

Anachronisms that would not be missed if they disappeared

The calling of the criminal docket in Mississippi circuit court.

Just waited through an exceptionally long one, and am still waiting for something to actually happen. In my experience, the only good that has ever come out of one of these things was hearing an amusing name.


Chef Kelly English says no to proposed “Turn Away The Gays” bill in Tennessee Legislature

Kelly English, the chef-owner of Restaurant Iris and Second Line in Memphis was already one of my favorite regional chefs and someone I knew to be a great guy. I’ve had his food a number of times and always loved it. He’s got Oxford roots, too– went to Ole Miss and had his first job […]