Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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

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Hobby Lobby Hypocrisy: Investment in Contraception Manufacturers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby’s Hypocrisy: The Company’s Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers

When Hobby Lobby filed its case against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, its retirement plan had more than $73 million invested in funds with stakes in contraception makers.
—Molly Redden on Tue. April 1, 2014 6:00 AM PDT

Hobby Lobby supporters pray to end abortion outside the US Supreme Court. Jay Mallin/ZUMA

When Obamacare compelled businesses to include emergency contraception in employee health care plans, Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores, fought the law all the way to the Supreme Court. The Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the company’s owners argued, forced them to violate their religious beliefs. But while it was suing the government, Hobby Lobby spent millions of dollars on an employee retirement plan that invested in the manufacturers of the same contraceptive products the firm’s owners cite in their lawsuit.

Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan have stock holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby’s health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.

These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other stock holdings Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s what the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision ~REALLY~ means

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 30, 2014

In essence, here’s what today’s SCOTUS ruling in the Hobby Lobby case means:

We’re good with Sharia Law as long as it’s for business purposes.

Think about that next time someone’s favorite religious nut job goes to court.

Because of extremist, right-wing religious radicals, women are again being relegated to second class citizens, WITHOUT full rights and being further  victimized by having access denied to birth control/oral contraceptives – i.e., Ortho Novum 777, progesterone, estrogens, etc. – NOT abortion.

Those medications also treat other diseases exclusive to women, including polycystic ovarian disease, endometriosis, amenorrhea/ dysmenorrhea, etc.

The question before the court was this:

“At issue here are regulations promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), which, as relevant here, requires specified employers’ group health plans to furnish “preventive care and screenings” for women without “any cost sharing requirements,” 42 U. S. C. §300gg–13(a)(4). Congress did not specify what types of preventive care must be covered; it authorized the Health Resources and Services Administration, a component of HHS, to decide.”

One’s private personal religious beliefs should never be on trial.

Yet now, because of extremist right-wing radicals, the door is now opened wide to mandate any employee of a “closely held” multi-national corporation, to FORCE them to adhere to THEIR religious beliefs… even when it jeopardizes their health.

Any well-read, well-studied Christian should be familiar with Read the rest of this entry »

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

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 29, 2014

May he rest in peace, and his memory be blessed.

EVEN AS PASSENGERS – FRONT OR REAR – WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS!!!

***

UPDATE: Friday, 08August2014

Philip Lutzenkirchen Autopsy: Blood Alcohol Content 0.377

AUBURN, Ala. — Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen died in a wreck early Sunday morning outside of LaGrange, Ga.

He was 23.

Lutzenkirchen’s fatal accident occurred in Troup County, just southeast of LaGrange, at approximately 3:06 a.m. Sunday morning, according to Master Trooper B.N. Talley of the Georgia State Patrol, who responded to the scene.

“It happened at the intersection of Upper Big Springs Road and Lower Big Springs Road,” Talley said. “The vehicle was a 2006 Chevy Tahoe and the driver missed a stop sign at the intersection of those two roads, which is more or less a ‘T-intersection.’ They traveled through the intersection off into a churchyard. They were out of control for about 450 feet.”

General area of crash, killing Auburn University football great Philip Lutzenkirchen'

General area of crash, where Auburn University football great Philip Lutzenkirchen was killed

Specific location crash site

Specific location crash site

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) spins a football during Auburn's first Spring practice of the 2012 season, Friday March 23, 2012 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Hal Yeager)

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) spins a football during Auburn’s first Spring practice of the 2012 season, Friday March 23, 2012 in Auburn, Ala.
(AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Hal Yeager)

Auburn H-Back Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) stretches with teammates before the Chick-fil-A Bowl game in the Georgia Dome Saturday night in Atlanta, Ga., December 31, 2011. Lutzenkirchen is a native of Marietta, graduating from Lassiter High School. AJC photo by Jason Getz

Auburn H-Back Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) stretches with teammates before the Chick-fil-A Bowl game in the Georgia Dome Saturday night in Atlanta, Ga., December 31, 2011. Lutzenkirchen is a native of Marietta, graduating from Lassiter High School.
AJC photo by Jason Getz

At that point, Talley said, the vehicle overturned, ejecting three of the four passengers.

“Philip was one of them,” Talley said,” and he was killed at the scene.”

The driver of the vehicle, Joseph Davis, was also killed.

Lutzenkirchen, who was seated behind Davis, was not wearing his seat belt. Talley said they “are still looking into” how fast the vehicle was traveling when it ran through the stop sign.

Updates to come.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/06/29/3177530/breaking-former-auburn-tight-end.html?sp=/99/210/

Impact location – Google Maps
https://goo.gl/maps/WJl8b

Google Earth
http://j.mp/1mbxzMR

Auburn great Philip Lutzenkirchen killed in car accident

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on June 29, 2014 at 12:09 PM, updated June 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Former Auburn star Philip Lutzenkirchen has died in a car accident Sunday morning, AL.com has confirmed.

According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the accident occurred at 3:06 a.m. in Troup County outside of LaGrange, Ga.

“The vehicle was a 2006 Chevy Tahoe and the driver missed a stop sign at the intersection of those two roads, which is more or less a ‘T-intersection,'” said Master Trooper B.N. Talley of the Georgia State Patrol. “They traveled through the intersection off into a churchyard. They were out of control for about 450 feet.”

According to Talley, the vehicle then overturned and ejected three of the four passengers, including Lutzenkirchen, who was killed at the scene.

The 23-year-old from Marietta, Ga., was one of the most popular Auburn players in recent history. He ranks first in touchdowns by a tight end in school history with 14 from 2009 to 2012.

Lutzenkirchen saw his collegiate career end after suffering a major hip injury against Ole Miss in 2012. He signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis in April 2013, but was released four months later due to the lingering injury that eventually required surgery.After hanging up the cleats, Lutzenkirchen had been working at a wealth management company in Montgomery and volunteering with the football team at St. James School in Montgomery. St. James head coach Jimmy Perry confirmed the news of his death with AL.com.

Several of Lutzenkirchen’s coaches, teammates and fans have shared their condolences after hearing the news.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pitchfork in the Road: America’s Economic Future – Poverty & Insurrection, or Abundance & Peace?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 28, 2014

“How much is enough?” is a qood question to ask many folks, especially some among the Wall $treet crowd.

And to be certain, the two principles of “the worker is worthy of their hire,” and “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain” are equally compelling ethics.

As those two ethics concern our nation’s economy, we can point to times in history where various nations suffered revolution, and the most common causes of revolution.

In fact, I wrote at length about it in this blog in 2011, and observed in part that, “…it’s not as if uproars have never happened before. They happen with great regularity and frequency. In fact, they’re quite predictable. Yes, predictable. It’s called “history.” The maxim goes something like this: “Those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” And so, any reasonable or prudent person should ask, “What are the lessons of history?””

Just remember this: Food, Clothing, Shelter. If you can’t get them with what you have, you’ll fight, kill, go to war, or civil insurrection, to obtain the basic necessities of life.

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

By NICK HANAUER
Nick Hanauer is a Seattle-based entrepreneur.

July/August 2014

Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires

You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.

Nick Hanauer

Nick Hanauer
With over 30 years of experience across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, retailing, e-commerce, digital media and advertising, software, aerospace, health care, and finance. Hanauer’s experience and perspective have produced an unusual record of serial successes. Hanauer has managed, founded or financed over 30 companies, creating aggregate market value of tens of billions of dollars. Some notable companies Include Amazon.com, Aquantive Inc., (purchased by Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion), Insitu group (purchased by Boeing for $400 million), Market Leader (purchased by Trulia in 2013 for $350 million). Some other companies include Marchex, Newsvine, Qliance, Seattle Bank and Pacific Coast Feather Company. – Photo by Robbie McClaran

Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are Read the rest of this entry »

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Cooking Tips & Tricks: Just in time for Independence Day, July 4th cookouts and get togethers!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 27, 2014

What’s your favorite outdoor cooked food? Barbecue? Grilling? Chicken? Beef? Pork? Fish?

What’s the deal with marinades?

Bunk, or not?

And what’s a “smoke ring” on barbecue?

And what about the red stuff that runs out of beef when it’s cut after cooking – is it blood?

For answers to all those questions, and ~more!~ tune in to Read the rest of this entry »

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Howard Baker 1925 – 2014: Photographer, United States Senator, Ambassador

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 26, 2014

Howard Baker, 18 years United States Senator from Tennessee, Republican Majority Leader, widely respected by Democrats & Republicans as “the quintessential mediator, negotiator and moderator,” Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan, Ambassador to Japan under President George W. Bush, and award-winning Photographer has died aged 88 in his Huntsville, Tennessee home of complications from a stroke Saturday, 21 June 2014.

He said of his photographic hobby that it “may be the only place where I can reasonably aspire to perfection.”

Mr. Baker began his photographic hobby as Read the rest of this entry »

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Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson visits Alabama and advocates teen brides

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In a town infamous for it’s bigoted, inglorious racist history, and “dry” Oktoberfest, comes this not-so-unusual item.

The north-central Alabama town of Read the rest of this entry »

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Is a college education ~really~ all it’s cracked up to be… anymore? Or, why has tuition increased 300% in 30 years?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

College costs expose the false meritocracy of the American dream

The cost of an education in America has risen so much that only the wealthy and indebted can attend. The system doesn’t work

Post by Chris Arnade Photography.

 Chris Arnade received his PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. He spent the next 20 years working as a trader on Wall Street. He left trading in 2012 to focus on photography. His "Faces of Addiction" series explores addiction in the south Bronx neighbourhood in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @Chris_arnade


Chris Arnade received his PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. He spent the next 20 years working as a trader on Wall Street. He left trading in 2012 to focus on photography. His “Faces of Addiction” series explores addiction in the south Bronx neighbourhood in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @Chris_arnade

theguardian.com, Wednesday 18 June 2014 07.30 EDT

watermelons

As a college student, Chris Arnade picked Florida watermelons to pay for school. His daughter can’t do the same.
Photograph: Alamy

When I entered Wall Street in 1993 with a PhD, I was an anomaly. One of my bosses was a failed baseball player, another a frustrated jazz musician. One of the guys running one of the most profitable businesses, in both my firm and all of Wall Street, was a former elevator repairman. Their college degrees – if they even had them – were from all sorts of schools, not simply the Ivy leagues.

By the time I left Wall Street a few years ago, the only people being hired were the “play it safe kids”. The ones with degrees from Princetons and Harvards. You know, the ones who had organized a soup kitchen in eighth grade (meaning, really their parents had) to load their resumes. The ones who had gone to the state science fair (meaning their parents or nannies had spent many weekends and nights helping with a science project).

 Few of these hires where rags-to-riches stories. Most had parents very much like those already working on Wall Street – wealthy and dedicated to getting their children whatever they needed, regardless of cost. Many were in fact the children of Wall Street parents.

It is not just Wall Street. Most of the best paying jobs now require a college degree, or post-college degree, and still rarely hire from state schools. They want Ivy schools, or similar. That feels safe.

This is a problem. Businesses have abdicated their primary role in hiring, handing it over to colleges, which have gladly accepted that role, and now charge a shit-load for it. Want a job kid? Pay $60,000 a year for four years. Then maybe pay for another two to get a MBA.

Yet, those best schools do not teach kids anything radically different from what the average colleges do. They do not prepare them better for the day-to-day work of Wall Street. Those finance skills are learned with experience and instinct after two years of training – on the job.

Rather, a prestigious education is a badge given to students who can follow the established rules, run through the maze, jump through hoops, color between the lines, and sit quietly. It shows that they really, really want to be a grown-up. For that, they pay $60,000 per year.

It has become a test. Are you part of the meritocracy?

It also has become a barrier of entry to professionalism – a very costly barrier of entry.

Harvard University
A rigid system of ‘feeder’ schools is in place for parents who want their children to attend schools like Harvard, which have a reputation for then ‘feeding’ major Wall Street firms. Photograph: Porter Gifford/Corbis

Read the rest of this entry »

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Lyons Coffee Roasters @LyonsCoffeeAL in Florence, Alabama announces reopening! Oh Happy Day!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 23, 2014

I am overjoyed to learn of this OUTSTANDINGLY EXCELLENT news!

Happy Day!

You’ve read the headline, so you “know” something of the “bottom line.”

A few weeks back, I had written a thoughtful Op-Ed about the matter entitled “Why the LGBT community should support Shirey Ice Cream in Florence, Alabama,” and encouraged peaceful reconciliation.

In part I wrote…

An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” does nothing more than increase eyeless, toothless people. It multiplies injury, and eventually claims everyone.

“On the other hand, in stark contrast, love covers a multitude of sins.

“Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Do good to those who hate you. Let the light of your good deeds shine so brightly so that many others can see it, who will then give praise to your Heavenly Father because of them.

“Those ideas are truly revolutionary values.”

I do not know whether or not Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Pays Unskilled Labor US $80,000/year?!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 22, 2014

“For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”
-1Tim5:18

Lately, much has been made of raising the Minimum Wage, which does nothing more than establish a minimum standard.

But who cares about minimums?

We should strive to exceed!

Some well-known, publicly-traded, highly profitable firms, however, revel in greed, and wallow in the slop, when they can do far better for the employees who operate their businesses.

The question is often asked “why pay unskilled workers $10 or even more per hour?”

It’s a valid question, and deserves a genuinely thoughtful response.

So, let’s pose that question to BIG OIL COMPANIES in Williston, North Dakota, where…

“oilfield companies pay unskilled 19 year-olds $80,000 a year.”

 

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/mall-middle-what-used-be-nowhere

by Dan Weissmann
Monday, June 16, 2014 – 15:21

Williston, North Dakota, has the nation’s highest rents. Thanks to the fracking boom, a basic apartment in Williston costs more than something similar in New York or San Francisco. And it comes with a lot fewer amenities.

For instance, shopping. If Walmart doesn’t have it, the nearest outlet is at least two hours away. Now, a Swiss investment firm has announced plans to Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Beer Still Bets on Lager

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 20, 2014

If you’re a beer drinker, if you enjoy quaffing the suds, a cold one after work, or on a summer day, you may be interested to know that Anheuser-Busch (now Anheuser-Busch InBev), Molson, Coors (now MolsonCoors), Miller (now SABMiller) are NOT American-owned companies.

That’s right.

They’re foreign-owned, multinational corporations – every one.

The Craft Brew Beer industry in America is the antithesis of Big Beer, which in large part, developed as a result of consistently poor quality products made by Big Beer, and their inattention to customers. The emergence of me-too wanna’ be ‘craft brewed beers’ made by Big Beer is a sure sign that they’ve noticed what’s happening – a reduction in beer consumption, i.e., their sales.

Those sales have gone to micro & craft brewed beer, and their American-made, locally-sourced mom & pop competitors.

More power to locally sourced craft brewed beers!

Cheers!

***

Why Lager Is the Future of Craft Beer

BY Jason Notte | 06/19/14 – 10:00 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) — Small craft brewers and the craft divisions of huge international breweries can talk about wheat beers, shandies and even IPA all they’d like: This is still lager country.

Despite recent gains by craft beer and recent shifts by Anheuser-Busch InBev, MolsonCoors and SABMiller toward brands including Blue Moon, Shock Top, Goose Island and Leinenkugel’s, the overwhelming majority of beer sold in this country is lager or some derivative thereof. It’s been so relentless and pervasive that even hard-line craft beer advocates have begun embracing it in its light, familiar form.

Consider that MolsonCoors/SABMiller’s MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev still sell about 74% of the beer this nation drinks. Consider further that Corona and Heineken make up roughly another 10% of that market. Throw Pabst, Modelo and newly “craft” brewer Yuengling into the equation and 18 of the 20 best-selling beers in the U.S. are some form of either lager or pilsner.

You can argue that most are losing sales — and many including Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite and Busch are. But import brands including Heinkeken, Corona and Modelo saw sales rise even during the recession. The same holds true for Coors Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling, with each posting double-digit percentage point gains in 2012 alone, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

The problem isn’t lager, but the overall beer market. The Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau reported a 1.5% decrease in overall beer sales and a 2.6-million barrel loss in beer production. That’s basically akin to shutting down Boston Beer’s Samuel Adams brand (which produced 2.7 million barrels in 2012) for an entire year. Beer consumption overall has fallen in four of the past five years, with many of the slumping mainstream brands responsible for the damage. That has reduced reduced beer’s share of the overall alcohol market from 55% in 2000 to 49% in 2012. Meanwhile, craft beer volume increased by an estimated 15% last year, with imports putting up roughly 5% growth.

The Beer Institute, a beer industry organization based in Washington, points out that Read the rest of this entry »

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A Father’s Day Essay

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 15, 2014

This year, 2014, my Pop will begin his 82d year of life in good health.

I am blessed, fortunate, happy and to be envied to have him with me now. Some of my peers’ fathers have been long departed.

A friend once said to me that “we never truly become men until our father dies.” In that sense, I suppose I’m still a youth… even though my teen years have been long departed.

My Daddy - v42

My Dad – When he looked at this photo, he said with a smile, “Who’s that? I’m going to have to get a new mirror!” I love my Pop. He’s a swell fellow – a real gentleman – with quite a life’s story! Raised in poverty in rural West Alabama, he knows how to pick cotton by hand, remembers when electricity came to his family’s house, the electrician’s name who wired their house, and so many other hard-scrabble stories of a life unknown to many of us in this day & age.

My dad is a Southern man. Having grown up in abject poverty in rural West Alabama, he was not merely acquainted with “everything but the squeal,” but was intimately familiar with a very real daily struggle for existence, where food was precious, and life even more so.

On occasion, I still hear him recall with utter amazement how much food he saw wasted – literally thrown into the garbage at San Diego Naval Station – where he attended Basic Training before shipping off to serve in the Korean War aboard the U.S.S. Juneau – CLAA-119, also known as “The Galloping Ghost of the Korean coast.” To his then-18-year-old eyes it was a culture shock which he remembers to this day. In his first day there, he saw more food thrown away than he had ever seen in his still-tender life. The adage “waste not, want not” is practically embedded into his DNA.

For those unfamiliar with the term “everything but the squeal,” it refers to the use of every part of the hog for food, and material. Nothing would be wasted. The fat would be rendered into lard, some of the meat would be preserved by smoking, while some parts were made into sausage. It was also time in which neighbors would help one another in the preparation of the animal. (If you’re interested in seeing & reading about some of the various aspects of hog butchering, see here.) It was only many years later that electricity came to my dad’s house – and he remembers the electrician’s name, and date the house was wired.

I recall tales he shared with me of his youth of “hog killing time,” which refers to the first enduring snap of cold weather, which was the proper time to slaughter a hog because the preservation of it’s parts would be more readily facilitated. That is, spoilage would be significantly reduced, because it could be stored in cooler conditions. Their “refrigerator” was an ice box – literally. ‘What’s an ice box?,’ you may ask. An ice box is literally a box into which a 100 pound block of ice was placed to cool food items. Not many items, mind you, because the creek was still a location where food items which readily spoiled were placed. Milk, dairy, meat and select other foods were regularly stored in a special box made to keep critters out, and keep food cool by the running water.

Naturally, not having electricity also meant that the meals were prepared in a “wood cook stove,” literally an implement which had to be tended night and day by his mother to prepare the family meals. Temperature regulation was achieved by moderating the amount of wood, the type of wood (seasoned dry or unseasoned green), and the variety of wood (species, such as oak, hickory, pecan, birch, pine, etc.).

Suffice it to say, his was a hard scrabble life. And it’s certainly neither joke nor exaggeration to say that they were so poor, someone had to come from Washington to tell them there was a Great Depression going on!

Dad honored his father and mother. He was Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

*!* ATTENTION ALABAMA RESIDENTS *!*

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 14, 2014

ATTENTION ALABAMA RESIDENTS:

Please continue to fund out-of-state K-12 schools, and send Tennessee, Georgia & Florida kids to college by purchasing Tennessee, Georgia & Florida Lottery tickets.

• Today, in Tennessee, over 100,000 students benefit annually, and Republican Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill written by Republican TN legislators which will pay for 2 years of community/junior/technical college education for every Tennessee high school graduate.

• In Georgia, over 1,600,000 students have benefited from Georgia Lottery.

• In Florida, over 650,000 students have received over $4,290,000,000 since 1986 to attend higher education.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pride and Prejudice: Things Alabama will never hear Governor Bentley say

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 13, 2014

For your benefit, here is a brief record of things any Alabama resident will never hear Alabama’s Republican Governor Robert J. Bentley, MD, say:

 

‘I was wrong, and I apologize; please forgive me.’

‘Even though I’m the Chief Executive Officer of the State of Alabama, the legislature and I haven’t accomplished everything for the people that we hoped to do.’

‘I accept full responsibility for the sexual crimes, atrocities, horrid conditions and deaths from neglect & violence in Alabama’s prisons.’

‘I have asked for the resignation of Mr. Kim T. Thomas, Esq. as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, whom I also appointed January 17, 2011.’

‘Even though out of all 50 states Alabama’s personal income tax structure is well-known, and highly documented to burden the most poverty-stricken, I have done nothing to correct, change or modify it.’

‘While increasingly, today’s jobs require a highly-educated and healthy workforce, I have done nothing to promote either.’

‘Even though I said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of our citizens,” I have Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft pulls Skype v5.0 from Apple App Store: Is Skype dead for Apple iOS?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 12, 2014

Apple App Store iPhone screenshot of Skype, by Microsoft

Apple App Store iPhone screenshot of Skype, by Microsoft, shows unavailable software when attempting to update Skype.

Microsoft announced two weeks ago that their Skype software division had produced a new version for iOS devices.

According to MSFT, the highly anticipated version 5.0 was supposed to be “remastered for iPhone,” and described as “the most refined version yet,” and was promised to be “faster, smoother, more integrated, smarter.”

Suddenly, to the dismay of many iOS device users, the Skype software was no longer available, and had pulled from the Apple App Store.

The solitary cryptic response Microsoft/Skype offered was “We are in the process of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, End Of The Road | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Participation Reports May 2014: Don’t Believe the “Spin”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 8, 2014

This will be of interest to the curious, especially those who seek and search for the truth.

Asserting to cite data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CNS News recently reported that the Labor Force participation rate was at a 36-year low.
The headline to that story reads:
37.2%: Percentage Not in Labor Force Remains at 36-Year High
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/372-percentage-not-labor-force-remains-36-year-high

Upon examination of the BLS website, the data was found to be honest and accurate.
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

Information on the data set presented is:
Data extracted on: June 8, 2014 (4:07:31 PM)
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Series ID: LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over

Following is the chart as shown on the BLS website:

Chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of Labor Force Participation, Seasonally adjusted http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

Chart #2: From the Bureau of Labor Statistics of Labor Force Participation, Seasonally adjusted http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000 Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate, age 16+

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the information is accurate – that is, if it accurately represents the thing it purports to represent – then there is a genuine cause for concern, perhaps even alarm. But first, sometimes, information has to pass the “smell test.” If it just doesn’t sound right, dig a little deeper.

However, there is a DEFINITE skew which, when considered, renders the interpretation of the findings questionable, at best.

Since there are TWO separate entities reporting the SAME information, how could it possibly be inaccurate, or incorrect?

Let’s consider further, to determine if such alarm might be genuinely warranted.

Searching for Labor Force Participation Rate datasets from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - 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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