Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Another One Bites The Dust… Hopefully

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another criminal scumbag has cost the taxpayers of Alabama untold tens of thousands of dollars.

Yeah.

Sho’ nuff!

That mofo be a dumbass, f’sho!

Chaunce Martel Williams, aged 28, sustained life-threatening injuries after a police chase of some distance, after he attempted to elude police.

Chaunce Martel Williams, aged 28, sustained life-threatening injuries after a police chase of some distance, after he attempted to elude police. His two passengers are in serious, but not life-threatening condition.

Here’s what the whelp did, according to local news reports.

Huntsville police say 28-year-old Chaunce Martel Williams Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple Recall: iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 25, 2014

Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.

Eligibility

If your iPhone is in working order and exhibits the symptoms noted above, use the serial number checker below to see if it is eligible for this program.

Only iPhone 5 smartphones sold between September 2012 and Read the rest of this entry »

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The Future of Computing, the Internet & Healthcare

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 24, 2014

“Mature” applications’ resurrection will hinge upon touch-screen technology which will further cement the GUI as a future power broker, and external scripts -which presently have numerous problems inherent to their own shortcomings- will become inherently integrated within the framework of an OS while HTML will morph into a similarly integrative & secure distributive computing platform (P2P), which proof of concept has been demonstrated by BitTorrent & Tor. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Penultimate Reading List

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 22, 2014

Summertime is quickly drawing to a close, and some of you -no doubt- have enjoyed (or at least attempted to enjoy) reading a few good books during these past few months.

However, just in the case you didn’t, and if you’re looking for a good list from which to choose, either for yourself, your children, or others, here’s an EXCELLENT starting point.

Most are novels, some are not, many are classics, some are from antiquity, some from modernity, some obscure, while others (and their authors) renown. In some cases, authors are not listed because many -if not most- of the works are so renown, or they’re simply unknown; and in the cases where some help could help identify or clarify, the author’s name is provided.

While by no means is this list wholly complete, it’s a damn good start.

If anyone has read at least 1/3 of these, they may consider themselves reasonably well read.
 (While I’ve not read all of the selections, I have read many – and am familiar with most.)

And remember, if you can’t read, you’re doomed!
Don’t ban books!

1.) Daphnis & Chloe (Longus),
2.) I, Robot (Isaac Asimov),
3.) To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee),
4.) Lord of the Flies (William Golding),
5.) The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas),
6.) Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift),
7.) The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck),
8.) The Catcher in the Rye (J.D.Salinger),
9.) The Hound of the Baskervilles (Arthur Conan Doyle),
10.) Frankenstein (Mary Shelley),

11.) 1984 (George Orwell),
12.) The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells),
13.) David Copperfield (Charles Dickens),
14.) Don Quixote (Don Quijote de la Mancha),
15.) Moby-Dick (Herman Mellville),
16.) Metamorphoses (Ovid),
17.) The Napoleon of Notting Hill (G.K.Chesterton),
18.) Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)
19.) Ulysses (James Joyce),
20.) Catch-22 (Joseph Heller),

21.) Robinson Crusoe,
22.) Clarissa (Samuel Richardson),
23.) Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë),
24.) The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne),
25.) Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert),
26.) The Brothers Karamazov ( Fyodor Dostoyevsky),
27.) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stephenson),
28.) The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde),
29.) The Call of the Wild (Jack London),
30.) The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame),

31.) Men Without Women (Ernest Hemingway),
32.) Brave New World (Aldous Huxley),
33.) The Plague (Albert Camus),
34.) Charlotte’s Web (E.B.White),
35.) The Lord Of The Rings (J.R.R.Tolkein),
36.) On the Road (Jack Kerouac),
37.) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,
38.) Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov),
39.) The Tin Drum (Günter Wilhelm Grass), Read the rest of this entry »

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Record Breaking Alligator Caught in Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 17, 2014

Here’s how a record-breaking, 1,000-pound-plus gator was pulled from Alabama River

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

Gator15 Gator14 Gator13 Gator12 Gator11 Gator16 Gator17 Gator18 Gator19 Gator20 Gator21 Gator27 Gator26 Gator25 Gator24 Gator23 Gator22 Gator28 Gator29 Gator30 Gator31 Gator32 Gator33CAMDEN, Alabama – Mandy Stokes put her pearls on Friday night.

No, she wasn’t going out to dinner with the family.

She was going alligator hunting.

Ever since Keith Fancher and his crew pulled a 14-foot, 2-inch, 838-pound alligator from the Alabama River in 2011 to set the standard for the largest ever legally killed by an Alabama hunter, Stokes had jokingly told friends and family that if she was ever drawn for a tag, she would wear the necklace so she’d look good when being interviewed after breaking the record.

Stokes got her tag this year and the pearls still hung around her neck Saturday afternoon.

It was about 10 hours after she and husband John Stokes, brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his children Savannah, 16, and Parker, 14, brought a monster alligator to the check-in station at Roland Cooper State Park near Camden in Wilcox County.

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Biologists had no trouble measuring the beast at 15 feet even, but they had to call for some relief when trying to weigh it.

The first attempt completely destroyed the winch assembly used to easily hoist most average gators. It was the same mechanism used to weigh the Fancher alligator.

Enlisting the assistance of a park backhoe to lift it, a WFF biologist officially called the weight at 1,011.5 pounds.

COMPARING IT TO OTHER BIG CATCHES

Those dimensions easily make the Stokes Gator the biggest ever killed in Alabama. Alabama does not have an official record-gator program, but its regulated hunts have only been underway for nine years, so records are easily accessed and current.

“Truthfully, after I saw the Fancher Gator, in my mind I was thinking there’s no way we can catch anything bigger than that,” Mandy Stokes said. “When I finally saw it the full-body mount at the Gee’s Bend Terminal, the main thing I remembered was the size of its feet. When I saw the size of the foot on this one, I knew it was a good one.”

Maybe the best one ever. An internet search suggests the Stokes Gator may be the largest American alligator ever legally killed by a hunter.

Just this June, Safari Club International declared a 14-foot, 8-inch, 880-pound alligator killed in Chalk Creek near Lufkin, Texas by Justin Wells of Bossier City, La., in 2007 as the new world record.

It’s not clear which metric – length, weight or a combination of both – SCI used to make its declaration.

A September 2013 story on Outdoor Life’s Website tells the tale of a 13-foot, 9-inch, 1,100-pound gator killed by Drew Baker in Arkansas. Baker’s gator is the Arkansas record, but the story makes no mention of it being in contention for world record status.

Stokes’ gator measured 70.5 inches around the stomach, 46 inches around the base of the tail and had a 16-inch snout measurement.

THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF THE CATCH

No matter by which standard alligators are measured, Mandy Stokes said Read the rest of this entry »

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Reasons to Oppose Common Core from the Left & Right

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 11, 2014

Once, I supported Common Core.

Now, I do not.

Read on to understand why.

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***

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Everything you need to know about Common Core — Ravitch

January 18, 2014

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/01/18/everything-you-need-to-know-about-common-core-ravitch/

Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has become the leader of the movement against corporate-influenced school reform, gave this speech to the Modern Language Association on Jan. 11 about the past, present and future of the Common Core State Standards.

Here’s her speech:

As an organization of teachers and scholars devoted to the study of language and literature, MLA should be deeply involved in the debate about the Common Core standards.

The Common Core standards were developed in 2009 and released in 2010. Within a matter of months, they had been endorsed by 45 states and the District of Columbia. At present, publishers are aligning their materials with the Common Core, technology companies are creating software and curriculum aligned with the Common Core, and two federally-funded consortia have created online tests of the Common Core.

What are the Common Core standards? Who produced them? Why are they controversial? How did their adoption happen so quickly?

As scholars of the humanities, you are well aware that every historical event is subject to interpretation. There are different ways to answer the questions I just posed. Originally, this session was designed to be a discussion between me and David Coleman, who is generally acknowledged as the architect of the Common Core standards. Some months ago, we both agreed on the date and format. But Mr. Coleman, now president of the College Board, discovered that he had a conflicting meeting and could not be here.

So, unfortunately, you will hear only my narrative, not his, which would be quite different. I have no doubt that you will have no difficulty getting access to his version of the narrative, which is the same as Secretary Arne Duncan’s.

He would tell you that the standards were created by the states, that they were widely and quickly embraced because so many educators wanted common standards for teaching language, literature, and mathematics. But he would not be able to explain why so many educators and parents are now opposed to the standards and are reacting angrily to the testing that accompanies them.

I will try to do that.

I will begin by setting the context for the development of the standards.

They arrive at a time when American public education and its teachers are under attack. Never have public schools been as subject to upheaval, assault, and chaos as they are today. Unlike modern corporations, which extol creative disruption, schools need stability, not constant turnover and change. Yet for the past dozen years, ill-advised federal and state policies have rained down on students, teachers, principals, and schools.

George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama’s Race to the Top have combined to impose a punitive regime of standardized testing on the schools. NCLB was passed by Congress in 2001 and signed into law in 2002. NCLB law required schools to test every child in grades 3-8 every year; by 2014, said the law, every child must be “proficient” or schools would face escalating sanctions. The ultimate sanction for failure to raise test scores was firing the staff and closing the school.

Because the stakes were so high, NCLB encouraged teachers to teach to the test. In many schools, the curriculum was narrowed; the only subjects that mattered were reading and mathematics. What was not tested—the arts, history, civics, literature, geography, science, physical education—didn’t count. Some states, like New York, gamed the system by dropping the passing mark each year, giving the impression that its students were making phenomenal progress when they were not. Some districts, like Atlanta, El Paso, and the District of Columbia, were caught up in cheating scandals. In response to this relentless pressure, test scores rose, but not as much as they had before the adoption of NCLB.

Then along came the Obama administration, with its signature program called Race to the Top. In response to the economic crisis of 2008, Congress gave the U.S. Department of Education $5 billion to promote “reform.” Secretary Duncan launched a competition for states called “Race to the Top.” If states wanted any part of that money, they had to agree to certain conditions. They had to agree to evaluate teachers to a significant degree by the rise or fall of their students’ test scores; they had to agree to increase the number of privately managed charter schools; they had to agree to adopt “college and career ready standards,” which were understood to be the not-yet-finished Common Core standards; they had to agree to “turnaround” low-performing schools by such tactics as firing the principal and part or all of the school staff; and they had to agree to collect unprecedented amounts of personally identifiable information about every student and store it in a data warehouse. It became an article of faith in Washington and in state capitols, with the help of propagandistic films like “Waiting for Superman,” that if students had low scores, it must be the fault of bad teachers. Poverty, we heard again and again from people like Bill Gates, Joel Klein, and Michelle Rhee, was just an excuse for bad teachers, who should be fired without delay or due process.

These two federal programs, which both rely heavily on standardized testing, has produced a massive demoralization of educators; an unprecedented exodus of experienced educators, who were replaced in many districts by young, inexperienced, low-wage teachers; the closure of many public schools, especially in poor and minority districts; the opening of thousands of privately managed charters; an increase in low-quality for-profit charter schools and low-quality online charter schools; a widespread attack on teachers’ due process rights and collective bargaining rights; the near-collapse of public education in urban districts like Detroit and Philadelphia, as public schools are replaced by privately managed charter schools; a burgeoning educational-industrial complex of testing corporations, charter chains, and technology companies that view public education as an emerging market. Hedge funds, entrepreneurs, and real estate investment corporations invest enthusiastically in this emerging market, encouraged by federal tax credits, lavish fees, and the prospect of huge profits from taxpayer dollars. Celebrities, tennis stars, basketball stars, and football stars are opening their own name-brand schools with public dollars, even though they know nothing about education.

No other nation in the world has inflicted so many changes or imposed so many mandates on its teachers and public schools as we have in the past dozen years. No other nation tests every student every year as we do. Our students are the most over-tested in the world. No other nation—at least no high-performing nation—judges the quality of teachers by the test scores of their students. Most researchers agree that this methodology is fundamentally flawed, that it is inaccurate, unreliable, and unstable, that the highest ratings will go to teachers with the most affluent students and the lowest ratings will go to teachers of English learners, teachers of students with disabilities, and teachers in high-poverty schools. Nonetheless, the U.S. Department of Education wants every state and every district to do it. Because of these federal programs, our schools have become obsessed with standardized testing, and have turned over to the testing corporations the responsibility for rating, ranking, and labeling our students, our teachers, and our schools.

The Pearson Corporation has become

Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Prison System Teetering on Federal Takover

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014

Every single word in this OpEd is spot-on.

Alabama is on the verge of a complete takeover of it’s prison system. That is a VERY sad indictment, and fact. Further, most Alabamians are COMPLETELY unaware of the dangers the state faces.

Alabama is a state in crisis.

Fiscal crisis from a failure of long-term management, unwise, unsound policy, unnecessary prolonged and costly legal battles at the state and federal levels over inane laws which have had no positive effect upon the state, from policies and procedures which have only burdened the people, tax giveaways to corporations, funded corporate welfare, an inequitable personal income taxation system which has hampered and hamstrung state growth, and further placed the state’s citizens into poverty.

Face it folks… I don’t give a damn about what political colors you wear, or how or what you describe yourself as politically in Alabama… if everything were peaches and cream in the state, then why in the Hell is the state’s poverty level 18% – 4 percentage points ABOVE the national average?

Why is the state sick in their persons? Of all states, Alabama continually ranks high in rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., even among CHILDREN!

Why does the state have a high crime rate?

Why are Alabamians largely “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”?

WHY?

WHY?!?

WHY!?!

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Why Alabama Cannot Wait on Prison Reform: Guest Opinion

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (center), speaks  speaks to media members during a tour as Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (left) and warden Carter Davenport listen at the St. Clair Correctional Facility Fri., March 16, 2012 in Springville, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (center), speaks speaks to media members during a tour as Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (left) and Warden Carter Davenport listen at the St. Clair Correctional Facility Fri., March 16, 2012 in Springville, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

Guest opinion By Alabama State Senator Cam Ward
August 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 9:05 AM

By Cam Ward

Prisons are an issue that would never rank high on any list of priorities for the people of Alabama and understandably so.  With unemployment hovering near 7 percent and many schools in need of repair, people ask me why prison reform should be a major subject at this time. The answer is simple – because our failure to maintain a good corrections system is going to push over a fiscal cliff that we may never recover from.

For years as our corrections system became more crowded the political leadership in Montgomery turned their eyes to issues more palatable to the voters during election time. The general feeling for decades has been “let’s wait and deal with that when we have more money.”

As we waited our system grew to 192 percent capacity and despite this incarceration rate our state has the 8th highest violent crime rate in the country. Both of these statistics point to a failing system of corrections.

In addition to allowing for a broken system to continue down a path of inefficiency we have also created a fiscal nightmare of the likes our state has never seen before. While we spend Read the rest of this entry »

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Philip Lutzenkirchen Autopsy: Blood Alcohol Content 0.377

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014

This is indeed tragic news, a permanent stain of shame awash a wave of indignation.

To put things in perspective, Blood Alcohol Content is expressed in percentages and abbreviated as BAC. In medical terminology, it measures a concentration ratio of blood to ethanol alcohol (beverage alcohol).

So, BAC of 0.10 (which is 0.10%, or one tenth of one percent) would be written as BAC 0.1, and would mean there is 0.10 g (gram) of alcohol present in every deciLiter (dL) of blood.

So in other words, with a BAC of 0.377 Mr. Lutzenkirchen was EXCEEDINGLY DRUNK, quite possibly even to the point of alcoholic toxicosis (alcohol poisoning), and very possibly, unconsciousness.

There is no doubt he was a beloved collegiate athletic figure.

For him to die in such an undignified manner… I have no words.

There are four very sorrowful lessons which may be learned in this tragedy:
1.) FRONT OR BACK, ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT;
2.) NEVER EVER DRIVE INTOXICATED;
3.) NEVER EVER ALLOW ANYONE INTOXICATED TO DRIVE, and;
4.) NEVER EVEN THINK ABOUT RIDING WITH AN INTOXICATED DRIVER.

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UPDATE: Friday, 08August2014; Add Linked Story

Philip Lutzenkirchen, aged 23, Auburn University great Tight End #43 & Ian Davis, U of Georgia athlete killed in wreck ejection

Philip Lutzenkirchen and driver were legally drunk in deadly crash, according to toxicology report

By Brandon Marcello | bmarcello@al.com
@bmarcello on Twitter
on August 06, 2014 at 9:45 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 10:29 AM

AUBURN, Alabama – Former Auburn star Philip Lutzenkirchen and the driver of the vehicle that crashed on June 30 and resulted in their deaths were both legally drunk, according to documents released Wednesday.

Wesleyan's Ian Davis (5) steals second base in a game vs. Greater Atlanta Christian School on March 25, 2008, in Norcross. (Jason Getz / AJC) Davis was the driver of a vehicle in a multiple-fatality crash in the early morning hours of June 29, 2014. The vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign and traveled approximately 451 feet before overturning several times in a church yard, according to Georgia State Patrol. Davis and former Auburn Tigers tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen died in the crash. Photo by Jason Getz

Wesleyan’s Ian Davis (5) steals second base in a game vs. Greater Atlanta Christian School on March 25, 2008, in Norcross. (Jason Getz / AJC) Davis was the driver of a vehicle in a multiple-fatality crash in the early morning hours of June 29, 2014. The vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign and traveled approximately 451 feet before overturning several times in a church yard, according to Georgia State Patrol. Davis and former Auburn Tigers tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen died in the crash. Photo by Jason Getz.

Joseph Ian Davis, the driver, registered a blood alcohol content level of Read the rest of this entry »

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Strategy Advice 101 for @Griffith2014

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Alabama is a deeply “red” state (some say “redneck,” which may also be accurate), which is to say, that the state has historically voted Republican for the past several years; all of the state’s top office holders are Republicans, and both houses of the legislature are similarly controlled by Republicans.

The website 270ToWin.com had this remark about the state’s political alignment: “Alabama became a GOP stronghold starting in 1964, voting for Democrats only in 1968 and 1976 (for native son George Wallace and Jimmy Carter, respectively). The initial shift was largely in response to white conservative voter uneasiness with the civil rights legislation that was passed in the mid-1960s, which was effectively exploited by the Republicans’ “Southern Strategy.” In 2012, Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by about 22%, almost identical to John McCain‘s margin of victory in 2008.”

Frankly, the Democratic party in Alabama has been virtually decimated, and there are very few candidates identifying themselves with the party. Many state office-holders are running unopposed, including other Federal seats, including incumbent United States Senator Jeff Sessions.

Taking a clue from the George Wallace playbook (Wallace was a STRONG and almost constant campaigner), there are 67 reasons why I wouldn’t give Parker Griffith a strong chance at winning the governorship.

For example, has he Read the rest of this entry »

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Wabi Sabi Love: The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wabi Sabi Love:
The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships

By David Hill

Love. It’s right up there with air, food, and water as the most necessary of ingredients for existence. And yet it is one of the hardest things to find, and perhaps an even harder thing to hold on to.

The truth is you’re not perfect, and neither is your spouse. But you can be perfectly imperfect together. In Wabi Sabi Love, international bestselling author and relationship expert Arielle Ford applies the wisdom of Wabi Sabi-the ancient Japanese idea of illuminating the beauty in imperfection-to love relationships. Wabi Sabi Love is the practice of exploring, embracing, and cherishing the quirks, irritations, and limitations that make you and your partner unique and that form your shared history as a couple.

Wabi Sabi Love provides the tools to see yourself, your partner, and your partnership in an entirely new light, develop a deep and profound appreciation for each other, and experience more balance, harmony, and joy in your relationship than ever before. Wabi Sabi Love teaches you to:
• Turn conflict into connection and differences into mutual passions
• Move from “annoyed” to “enjoyed”
• Establish new beliefs and habits that better serve your relationship
• Cultivate humor, humility, and generosity to diffuse those moments when you would     normally retreat or slip into tired judgments, criticisms, or resentments

Here is one of the stories you will find in this book:

Mrs. Lee’ Story
The cool, quiet room was overflowing with the grieving faces of friends and family as the funeral director invited Mrs. Lee up to the podium to speak.* The petite, elegant widow walked slowly to the front of the small chapel and calmly began her eulogy. “I am not going to sing praises for my late husband. Not today. Neither am I going to talk about how good he was.” Mrs. Lee’s eyes flashed. “Enough people have done that here.” She took a deep breath, allowing the air to fill her lungs before she continued. “Instead, I want to talk about some things that will make some of you feel a bit uncomfortable.”

Several people stopped fanning themselves and sat up a little straighter. “First off, I want to Read the rest of this entry »

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The Different Ways Men and Women Communicate

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Different Ways Men and Women Communicate

by Stephen Martin and Victoria Costello

Although not uniformly present in all couples, gender differences in communication style and content preferences are common enough to wreak havoc in many marriages. It’s important to remember that these differences can make communication in marriage more difficult, but on their own they do not cause marital breakdowns. They can also lead to joy and delight if you recognize the differences and appreciate each other for them.

The Way Women Communicate

Research is now proving beyond a shadow of a doubt what you’ve probably known since you entered adolescence and began paying serious attention to the opposite sex: Men and women tend to talk for different reasons, and the two sexes process information differently.

Scientists have discovered that women really do hear more than men. Just think about the running debates that go on between spouses about the preferred volume of a TV or stereo. Then apply this principle to the tone used by a man and a woman in an argument. Which spouse is more likely to be impacted by a raised voice?

Fact

According to noted marriage researcher John Gottman, PhD, women are the ones who most often bring up difficult topics for discussion with their spouses, in fact 80 percent of the time. Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, notes that this communication dynamic is dominant in the “good” as well as the “bad” marriages he observes in controlled laboratory settings.

Neurologists also say that men see and perceive visual stimuli more clearly than women do. Think about maps and directions as an example. Then apply this principle to your facial expression during a difficult discussion with your husband. What is more likely to create distance: a calm, sympathetic expression or a scowl? An easier example might be how Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Misplaced American National Priorities: Fraud in the Department of Defense

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Department of Defense is a bloated organization, rife with fraud, waste and abuse.

Even then-Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Donald Rumsfeld remarked on Monday, September 10, 2001, that, According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. … We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well.”
ref: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430

More recently, on December 21, 2010, the Governmental Accountability Office wrote that they “cannot render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.”
ref: http://www.gao.gov/press/financial_report_2010dec21.html

In his capacity as Acting Comptroller of the United States, Gene Dodaro wrote that, “(1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that have prevented DOD’s financial statements from being auditable, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.”
ref: http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy2010/10gao1.pdf

Included in that scathing report of fiscal recklessness and laziness were “material weaknesses involving an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments, information security across government, and tax collection activities,” which were rife in “three major agencies— DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor— did not get clean opinions. Nineteen of 24 major agencies did get clean opinions on all their statements.”
ref: http://www.gao.gov/press/financial_report_2010dec21.html
ref: http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy2010/10gao1.pdf

No entrepreneur, accountant, fiscal analyst, businessman or Chief Financial Officer in their right mind would tolerate what has been allowed to happen with it. Consider the F-35 Lightning II aircraft as a case in point.

At a cost now exceeding $400,000,000,000 ($400 Billion – that’s very nearly 1/2 Trillion), it is by far, THE most costly program EVER to have emerged from the DoD. Among the numerous reasons why it is THE most expensive program ever, are Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hay yaw! We r 2 smaart 2 vote 4 dimokraps!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

(Editor’s Note: The reader should recognize the following commentary as sarcastic and comedic. Butt if’n yew don’t, pleez kuntinyew ta votes Teapublican.)

 Maryland State Police have classified anti-immigration graffiti spray-painted July 13, 2014, on the former Army Reserve Center in Westminster, Md., as a hate crime. The facility recently became embroiled in controversy when the Obama administration considered using it to house immigrant children caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. (Christian Alexandersen, Baltimore Sun Media Group / July 14, 2014)

Maryland State Police have classified anti-immigration graffiti spray-painted July 13, 2014, on the former Army Reserve Center in Westminster, Maryland, as a hate crime. The facility recently became embroiled in controversy when the Obama administration considered using it to house immigrant children caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. (Christian Alexandersen, Baltimore Sun Media Group / July 14, 2014)

Hay yaw!

Eye nose wot u r dewin!

U plane too takke ovur thu worl!

UR bad 4 thu ekonommy!

UR lak eye rak eze.

Wii nose haw too and kin spil!

Wi haz un edjewmuhkayshun and wii don need no edjewkayshun!

Ar tacks munny wuz will spennt.

Ar graded 5th gurade.

VOTE REPUBLIKKKlan!

 

Anti-immigrant graffiti removed from Westminster Army Reserve Center,  July 15, 2014  - The act of vandalism is being investigated as a hate crime.

Anti-immigrant graffiti removed from Westminster Army Reserve Center, July 15, 2014 – The act of vandalism is being investigated as a hate crime.

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To What Extent is the American Economy Propped Up by Arms Sales?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What should one expect when the whole damn defense industry has been whored out to arm the krazees of the world?

In a very prophetic manner, in his Farewell Address to the nation, January 17, 1961, then-President Dwight David Eisenhower warned about the “military industrial complex,” saying:

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

US sells $11 BILLION worth of arms to Qatar

Published time: July 15, 2014 09:46
Edited time: July 16, 2014 12:55

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

Washington and Doha have signed the largest arms deal of the year, preparing to enhance Qatar’s military capabilities with $11 billion-worth of Apache assault helicopters, PAC-2 missile defense complexes and Javelin man-portable anti-tank missiles.

The deal has been signed on Monday in Pentagon by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatari Defense Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah. Altogether Qatar is buying 10 batteries of Patriot missile defense systems and 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles manufactured by US defense industry giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and 24 Apache helicopters made by Boeing, an anonymous US official told the AFP.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Man finds GOD in Eggplant

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Apparently, for some, the kitchen is their church.

From our “See? God IS real – this eggplant proves it!” files comes this item:

Workers at a Baton Rouge restaurant say they saw the word ‘GOD’ in their eggplant.

http://wapo.st/1mK5355

Baton Rouge restaurant employee finds ‘GOD’ in sliced eggplant

Posted: Jul 08, 2014 12:06 PM CDT Updated: Jul 08, 2014 4:19 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – When an employee at Gino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge cut into an eggplant Monday, he found “GOD.”

Chef Jermarcus Brady couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “I saw a miraculous image formed by the seeds,” said Jermarcus Brady. “It spelled out the word God!” Chef Brady has many responsibilities, one being cutting, salting and sauteing eggplants.

Jemarcus Brady holding the "GOD" eggplant (Source: Jemarcus Brady)

Jemarcus Brady holding the “GOD” eggplant (Source: Jemarcus Brady)

“When you sliced into it, the pattern showed from the seeds that were forming in the inside the letters G-O-D as God,” said Brady. “I couldn’t think of anything. I just had to tell somebody to come look at it.”

Brady showed the eggplant to the owner of the restaurant and fellow coworkers and took photos, but he believed it was meant to be shared with everyone.

Brady says he is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Congressional Pay: Too Much, Too Little, or Just Right?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 7, 2014

Years ago, I said “build a Federal Barracks for members of Congress, and have them march to work.” I still think having modest Federal Housing for members of Congress is a good idea.

Regarding their level of pay/compensation, the article’s point – that D.C. is an expensive place to live – is well taken, and it is my considered opinion in light of that fact which gives further credence to the idea of modest Federal Housing for members of Congress. In fact, if their salaries were, by law, capped at twice the median American household income (which, according to the article is now approximately $51,000), it could be an even better idea.

And, the value of the housing they would receive from the Federal Government could also be be considered a type of income. Perhaps even they could be paid a Basic Allowance for Housing in a similar fashion to our military service members for such housing.¹ An apartment building complex would most likely be the best option for in-town accommodations, which could be convenient to their work location, and it could be jointly managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Park Service.

However, with this present miasmatic congress, I hold out little hope for any such creative laws limiting congressional compensation, or introducing Federal Congressional Barracks/Housing to be introduced – though I believe it should be done, and is long overdue, along with Term Limitations. A total of 20 years elected federal service is long enough for anyone. Two terms in the Senate (12 years), and four terms in the House (8 years) should be enough for anyone, would reintroduce vibrancy into the process of national governance, and introduce more people to the process of elected public service.

Congressman’s Lament: $174,000 Isn’t Enough To Make Ends Meet

by Liz Halloran
April 04, 2014 3:05 PM ET

In what world does an annual salary of $174,000 meet the definition of underpaid?

That would be in the nation’s capital, where soon-to-be-retired Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said Americans should know that their members of Congress — as the board of directors for the “largest economic entity in the world” — are underpaid.

The longtime congressman made his comments Thursday after the House voted for the sixth straight year to deny members an automatic cost-of-living raise they’re entitled to under law.

Not surprisingly, reaction to Moran’s assertion was Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

South Carolina BBQ Restaurant Chain Refuses to Serve Blacks Claiming Religious Objection

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 4, 2014

SC Restaurant Owner Refuses To Serve Blacks, Cites Religious Beliefs

July 2, 2014
By Manny Schewitz

In South Carolina, a BBQ restaurant owner (Maurice’s Piggy Park BBQ) claimed that he was within his rights to refuse service to blacks based on his religious beliefs. In the case brought before the Supreme Court, Maurice Bessinger stated that his religion required him to keep black people from eating in his restaurant, although he was perfectly OK with taking their money, so long as they ordered their food to-go.

The attorney representing the petitioners suing Piggie Park also addressed in court the “First Amendment religious privilege claim that petitioner asserted that his religion required him” to deny service to black customers.

“I’m just a fair man. I want to be known as a hard-working, Christian man that loves God and wants to further (God’s) work throughout the world as I have been doing throughout the last 25 years.” (Source)

And now for you who actually took the time to read the story instead of basing your outrage solely off a headline before sharing with an ALL CAPS blurb of “SEE? I TOLD YOU THE SOUTH WAS FULL OF RACISTS!!!”, this case was Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More Hobby Lobby Store Hypocrisy: Investigation finds close ties to creepy resigned Southern minister sex molester

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This just gets creepier and creepier.

In light of these recent revelations, perhaps the SCOTUS might want to vacate their decision.

http://www.motherjones.com/print/255256

Mother Jones

Hobby Lobby Funded Disgraced Fundamentalist Christian Leader Accused of Harassing Dozens of Women

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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