Posts Tagged ‘business’
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.
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.
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 »
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: Amazon.com, aQuantive, billionaire, business, Capitalism, capitalist, Civil War, Clothing, Congress, creative, Economic inequality, economy, employees, entrepreneur, food, Franklin D. Roosevelt, government, healthcare, Henry Ford, House, House of Representatives, housing, income, income taxes, insurrection, iphone, Jeff Bezos, middle class, millionaire, Minimum wage, money, Nick Hanauer, Occupy, occupy movement, Pacific Coast Feather Company, peace, plutocrat, policy, politics, polity, poverty, Qliance Medical Management, representative, Seattle, senate, shelter, taxes, United States, Wage, wealth, wealth gap, wealthy multi-billionaire | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 23, 2014
I am overjoyed to learn of this OUTSTANDINGLY EXCELLENT news!
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 »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: Beverages, brotherly love, business, coffee, coffee roasters, drink, entrepreneur, faith, Florence, food, goodness, happiness, Happy Day, happyness, ice cream, Jesus, joy, love, Lyons, neighbor, peace, people, reconciliation, religion, Shirey, Shirey Ice Cream | Leave a Comment »
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.”“
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.”
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 »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - 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: BIG OIL, BP, BP PLC, business, Chevron, Chevron Corporation, Christianity, ConocoPhillips, ConocoPhillips Company, economy, employees, ExxonMobil Corporation, ExxonMobile, faith, fracking, geotag, geotagged, government, greed, hamburger, income, jobs, labor, Laborer, manufacturing, Marketplace, McDonald's, minimum, Minimum wage, money, North Dakota, oil, practice, raise the wage, religion, rent, restaurant, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Skill (labor), Total SA, United States, unskilled, unskilled labor, Wage, Wall $treet, Wall Street, Walmart, wealth, workers | Leave a Comment »
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.
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!
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 »
Posted in - Business... None of yours | Tagged: AB, Alcohol, ale, Anheuser-Busch, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Atlanta, August Schell Brewing, BATF, beer, Beer Institute, Black Crown, Blue Moon, Blue Point, Blumer Brewing, brew, Brewers Association, Brewing, Bud Light Platinum, Busch, business, CO, Colorado, Coors, Coors Light, corn, craft brew, drink, Fort Collins, Full Sail, Full Sail Brewing, GA, Georgia, Goose Island, Helles, history, Hood River, hops, InBev, India Pale Ale, IPA, Irene Firmat, Jim Koch, Kolsch, Kona Brewing, lager, Leinenkugel's, Long Board Lager, Mama's Lil' Yella Pils, microbrew, Microbrewery, Miller, Miller Lite, MillerCoors, Minhas Craft Brewery, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MolsonCoors, New Belgium, OR, Oregon, Oskar Blues, Pabst Blue Ribbon, PBR, pils, pilsener, pilsner, Portland, Prohibition, SABMiller, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Session Lager, Shift Pale Lager, Shiner Bock, Shock Top, Summer Helles, SweetWater Brewing, Symphony IRI, Take Two Pils, taxes, treasury, wheat, Yuengling | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
He drew a circle that shut me out–
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
by Edwin Markham, April 23, 1852 – March 7, 1940
That brief poem, or epigram, by Edwin Markham summarizes succinctly the idea upon which I will expound in this entry.
In the past several days, it came to light that a Shoals area Alabama entrepreneur, Garrett Shirey – who, with his brothers Reese & Austin, are founders and co-owners of Shirey Ice Cream in the northwest Alabama town of Florence, population 39,447 – had Tweeted at least two uncharacteristic and very unbecoming messages. The specific dates and times they were made, and the content can be seen in the screen shot images of the Tweets, both which appear later in this entry.
First, some background.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: Ages and Ages, Alabama, Bacon, banana, business, candy, commerce, dessert, DIVISIONARY, Do The Right Thing, editorial, Edwin Markham, Elvis, entrepreneur, FaceBook, faith, Fat Elvis, Florence, food, Fudge, Gay, honey, hope, ice cream, jobs, LaGrange College, LGBT, love, malt, money, news, OpEd, opinion, peace, Peanut butter, Percy Sledge, reconciliation, Shirey Ice Cream, Shoals, Tweet, twitter, University of North Alabama | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 3, 2014
More power to you!
The GOP has been hijacked by extremist elements.
It’s time to put those sorry, low-life punks in prison for collusion, terrorism and anti-American activity.
‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby
By JEREMY W. PETERS
APRIL 27, 2014
Belinda Padilla is trying to market a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.
Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. A few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers were all it took.
Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”
Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it. Ms. Padilla and the manufacturer she works for, Armatix, intended to make the weapon the first “smart gun” for sale in the United States.
But shortly after Armatix went public with its plans to start selling in Southern California, Ms. Padilla, a fast-talking, hard-charging Beverly Hills businesswoman who leads the company’s fledgling American division, encountered the same uproar that has stopped gun control advocates, Congress, President Obama and lawmakers across the country as they seek to pass tougher laws and promote new technologies they contend will lead to fewer firearms deaths.
Lately, there has been little standing in the way of the muscle of the gun lobby, whose advocates recently derailed Mr. Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, a Boston doctor who has expressed alarm about the frequency of shooting deaths.
And despite support from the Obama administration and the promise of investment from Silicon Valley, guns with owner-recognition technology remain shut out of the market today.
“Right now, unfortunately, these organizations that are scaring everybody have the power,” Ms. Padilla said. “All we’re doing is providing extra levels of safety to your individual right to bear arms. And if you don’t want our gun, don’t buy it. It’s not for everyone.”
In Georgia on Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that allows people to carry guns in bars, government buildings and even some churches. The National Rifle Association called the measure historic.
In West Virginia, one of several 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: Armatix, business, CA, California, enterprise, entrepreneur, extremists, female, firearms, guns, handguns, inventor, law, money, news, Obama, pistol, pistols, policy, politics, POTUS, right wing, rights, safety, Surgeon General, terror, terrorists, threats, weapon, whackos, woman | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 28, 2014
Here’s a fun-n-easy guessing game!
(Emphasis on “easy.”)
Don’t be scared or intimidated by the fill-in-the-blanks.
(Which appear as _?nation?_.)
It’s really only two answers.
(The other answer is _?currency?_.)
HINT: (None of which are “United States.”)
The CIA World Factbook
The _?nation?_ economy has experienced continuous growth and features low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system. By 2012, _?_ had experienced more than 20 years of continued economic growth, averaging 3.5% a year.
Demand for resources and energy from Asia and especially China has grown rapidly, creating a channel for resources investments and growth in commodity exports. The high _?currency?_ has hurt the manufacturing sector, while the services sector is the largest part of the _?nation?_ economy, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs.
_?nation?_ was comparatively unaffected by the global financial crisis as the banking system has remained strong and inflation is under control.
_?nation?_ has benefited from a dramatic surge in its terms of trade in recent years, stemming from Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: banking, banks, business, CIA, CIA World Factbook, economy, fun, Games, international, intrigue, jobs, policy, trade, World Factbook | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 17, 2014
Historically, our nation has prospered when tax rates on the ULTRA wealthy and corporations were highest.
In the period following World War II, under President Dwight David Eisenhower – a Republican, and former Supreme Allied Commander / 5ive Star General – Corporate Tax rates have continually declined.
Now, during the Obama administration, they are at the LOWEST they have EVER been.
Corporate Income Tax Rates have continually declined the peaked during the Eisenhower administration. The formula is: b/(a+b) Where (a) Corporate Profits After Tax (without IVA and CCAdj), Billions of Dollars, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (CP); And (b) Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income, Billions of Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted (FCTAX)
Tax Havens Leave U.S. Filers $1,259 Tab Each, Report Says
By Apr 15, 2014 –
U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.
“Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law -– all supported in one way or another by tax dollars -– but they avoid paying for these benefits,” U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.
“Instead, ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” it said.
In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group concluded.
That’s almost Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: Barack Obama, Bloomberg, business, Congressional Budget Office, corporations, Democrats, federal, haven, IBM, Internal Revenue Service, money, news, overseas, politics, Public Interest Research Group, Republicans, Revenue, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, tax haven, taxes, U.S. PIRG, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 14, 2014
It’s easy to talk about “the jobs situation” in Alabama. It’s especially easier to talk about it when it doesn’t affect you… directly. It’s like armchair quarterbacking.
There’s probably much truth to the statement that Alabama’s legislators aren’t directly affected by job loss in the state. They have jobs. As musician Steve Miller sang in his song “Take the Money and Run,” they make their “living off other people’s taxes.” That goes for Republicans AND Democrats. Such an observation, of course, is not to demean those who do “make their living off other people’s taxes,” because our military, public safety and others vital to our local, state and national well-being are among them. It is however, an acknowledgment of, and call to responsibility – not merely accountability – because accountability is the only remnant once responsibility has departed. And that is how the “Blame Game” is played.
In the previous entry entitled “Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?,” we looked at facts & figures about job loss & job creation during Governor Bentley’s administration.
In this entry, we examine some details on the extent of the damage done to families & individuals under his administration.
And so, let’s again refer to some previously-mentioned facts & figures, and introduce some new ones so that we can better understand the nature, scope and and extent of the situation, and corresponding problems Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Alabama, Alexander City Alabama, Bentley, business, car, cooking, EBT, food, food stamps, GOP, groceries, health, healthcare, hospital, insurance, Jasper, jobs, List of Governors of Alabama, money, mortgate, New York City, population, rent, Republican, Robert J. Bentley, rural, SNAP, transportation, unemployment, United States, utilities, WIC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 12, 2014
When campaigning for the office of Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley – a retired dermatologist physician who at the time was an elected representative from Tuscaloosa County – promised if elected governor that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.”
When pressed on the matter, he later defined “full employment” as having state unemployment somewhere around 5%. It is a promise to which, as of the date of this entry – 12 April 2014 – he has kept. In other words, Alabama has NOT reached “full employment,” and he has not been paid a salary. He has, however, been compensated for out-of-pocket expenses (the governor’s office has a budget, so why would he personally have any such expenses for work in an official capacity?), though he has received – as legislator, a legally-mandated $1.00 per month salary. Since his election to the governorship, he has not received a salary.
Let’s examine Governor Bentley‘s employment record.
During Governor Robert Bentley’s watch, International Paper – the large paper mill formerly known as Champion Paper, in Courtland, and the largest employer in Lawrence County – closed and cost the area economy & state 1100 jobs. Those jobs were Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Alabama, ale, American City Business Journals, analysis, Balch & Bingham, Barack Obama, beer, Bentley, business, craft brew, Democrats, economy, entpreneurship, facts, Fail, fail blog, failure, Florence City Schools, GOP, government, Governor Bentley, health, healthcare, International Paper, jobs, loss, microbrew, Microbrewery, money, news, Oakwood University, Pilgrim, policy, politics, record, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, Sara Lee Corporation, tax, taxes, Terry Sewell, university, Wall Street, Wayne Farms | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014
The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.
Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.
That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.
Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.
These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.
Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.
These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of 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: abuse, Africa, Angola, BIG OIL, bribe, business, Congress, continent, corruption, Dodd-Frank, Dodd-Frank Act, drill, Energy, enterprise, European Union, Foreign Policy, gas, Global Witness, government, greed, history, human rights, ilicit, illegal, influence, international finance, law, lobby, lobbyist, Mining, money, New York Stock Exchange, news, NYSE, Offshore drilling, oil, politics, power, regulation, resources, SBM Offshore, SEC, Securities & Exchange Commission, Stock Exchange, Switzerland, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, UBS, United States, Wall Street, war, wealth, Weatherford International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr (R, Decatur) has proposed eliminating the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board‘s retail outlets statewide.
Senator Orr represents the Third District, which includes Morgan, Madison and Limestone counties in the Alabama State Senate.
He attempts to justify his position by asking a rhetorical question, on pretense of being modern: “The fundamental question, I think, for us as legislators and as a state, is, should the state of Alabama Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Uncategorized | Tagged: ABC, Alabama, Alabama Senate, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Alcoholic beverage control state, Arthur Orr, Bentley, business, California, competition, Decatur, Distilled beverage, employment, Free Market, government, jobs, merchant, Mississippi, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Orr, Republican, retail, sales, United States, Washington | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 24, 2013
I may step on a few toes with my next remark, but I can always apologize, and ask forgiveness if it so be the case that my remarks are found offensive.
However, suffice it to say, that our nation’s Congress, has, for at least the past 20 years, or so – and even moreso in the past decade plus – embarked upon a very Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: Africa, Ancient, Ancient Egypt, Big Business, business, corporation, Democrat, Egypt, employees, enterprise, entrepreneurship, faith, Golden Parachute, GOP, government, Hebrew, Hebrew language, Hebrews, history, jobs, money, Moses, people, Pharaoh, policy, politics, profit, prophet, religion, Republican, Seychelles, tax, United States, values | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 6, 2013
While in Kentucky, make certain you visit the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green.
In Kentucky, Fried Chicken History
Published: August 24, 2012
WHEN making his rounds as a traveling salesman for a Chicago printing company, Duncan Hines would occasionally pull off the Dixie Highway in Corbin, Ky., and eat at Sanders Cafe. In the 1939 edition of “Adventures in Good Eating,” his pioneering restaurant guide, he recommended the cafe and its adjoining motor court as “very good place to stop en route to Cumberland Falls and the Great Smokies,” highlighting its “sizzling steaks, fried chicken, country ham, hot biscuits.”
The cafe is still there, only now it incorporates a museum and holds down a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, for one huge, unignorable reason. The owner, chef and resident genius of the place was none other than Colonel Harland Sanders, who, on this hallowed ground, cooked the first batch of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Cumberland Falls does not work the magic it once did, and Corbin itself is not high on anyone’s list of tourist destinations. But the Colonel Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum is a modest must. In addition to capturing a pivotal moment in the mass-marketing of American vernacular food, it evokes a dreamlike time, before the arrival of the Interstate System and its proliferation of fast-food restaurants and chain hotels, when traveling the American highway was a thrilling, high-risk proposition, with marvelous discoveries and ghastly disappointments waiting at every turn.
In its present form, the Sanders Cafe and Museum was born in 1990, the 100th anniversary of Colonel Sanders’s birth. JRN, a Tennessee-based company that operates nearly 200 KFC franchises in the Southeast, was about to open a modern KFC restaurant next to the old cafe. To mark the great birthday, it put out a call for artifacts and memorabilia that would allow it to celebrate the Colonel, his cafe and his fried chicken.
All sorts of stuff Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Round, round, get around, I get around. | Tagged: business, Colonel, Colonel Sanders, commerce, Cumberland Falls, dining, Duncan Hines, eating, enterprise, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, food, Harland Sanders, history, Jonathan Palmer, Kentucky, Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, local, National Register of Historic Places, New York Times, travel | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 28, 2013
Chattanooga is an old, old, old, old city.
It’s older than Civil War old.
Throughout the city there are narrow streets, many (if not most) of which need widening and repaving. Interstate 24, which leads into the city, is in sore need of widening. Because of the twisting, winding route it takes as it leads into, through and around the city and it’s numerous mountains and hills, it can be treacherous. When any slowdown for any reason occurs, traffic can be backed up for 15-20 miles, or more. When wrecks occur on that route, they’re often fatal, and create even longer delays. The only other major route into the city is US Highway 72. There is no bypass. If there are problems on either of those two routes, significant delays can take hours. (See a Google Map of the area.)
It has a university – University of Tennessee, Chattanooga – with other smaller colleges & universities nearby (Lee University, in Cleveland & Southern Adventist University, in Collegedale). One of three hospitals in the area (each which has numerous campuses) Erlanger, is a Level One Trauma Center, and teaching hospital for the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Memorial Hospital, is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives system, and is a teaching hospital, while Parkridge Hospital is operated by TriStar Health.
Because of industrial waste released by area manufacturing, in 1969, Chattanooga had the filthiest air in the nation. The Tennessee River which serves as a boundary for the area was equally polluted. For many years, troubles GALORE plagued the city, including economic inequality, poor race relations, deteriorating economic infrastructure, rapid population decline, and departure of industry.
Recognizing that the city and area residents were suffering a slow suicide, officials and interested citizens embarked upon a plan to revitalize the area, including cleaning up industrial waste, reinvigorating the economy with employment opportunity, and looking forward, rather than backward.
EPB (Electric Power Board), one of the public utilities in the area, came upon an idea to infuse their power grid with Fiber Optic cable to enable better response times, to pinpoint areas of concern, and to re-route electricity during power outages when lines were downed by trees or severe weather. They faced stiff opposition in the form of legal fights by Comcast (principally), yet were successful in overcoming. In turn, they sold High Speed fiber optic Internet Connectivity to area residents at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to the Wall-Street-traded Comcast. They also provide better service.
While the area’s renaissance is by no means complete, it has advanced with enormously significant strides.
Obama to visit uneven Chattanooga area recovery
published Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Mike Pare, Deputy Business Editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press; MPare@ TimesFreePress.com phone: (423) 757-6318
by Mike Pare
When President Barack Obama flies into Chattanooga on Tuesday to tout new economic initiatives, he’ll see a city recognized in a national study as a metro area emerging from the recession as an “economic frontrunner.”
Area Development, a national business magazine covering site selection and relocation, ranked metro Chattanooga at No. 86 — in the top quarter — among 380 metro areas examined for the study titled “Leading Locations for 2013.”
While in Chattanooga Obama is expected to unveil new ways to spur the nation’s sluggish economic recovery.
At the Amazon distribution center at Enterprise South industrial park, the president will see a growing, state-of-the-art distribution facility with 1,800 full-time jobs created since 2011. The Chattanooga facility, along with Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Alabama, Amazon, Atlanta, Barack Obama, Bristol, business, center, CEO, CHA, Chattanooga, Chattanooga Tennessee, Chattanooga Times Free Press, CLEVELAND, Columbus, connectivity, Dalton, Democrat, Democratic, economic, economy, enterprise, EPB, fiber optics, fulfillment, Georgia, high speed Internet, Huntsville, Indiana, Internet, Jeff Bezos, jobs, Kingston, Knoxville, living, Louisiana, manufacturing, Memphis, money, Nashville, Nooga, Obama, Odessa, policy, politics, president, private enterprise, region, regional, Rome, South, southern, taxes, Tennessee, Texas, TN, TVA, United States, University of Tennessee, Volkswagen, wages | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 2, 2013
Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!
Moylan’s Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cheers to beers: Alabama raises a glass to home-brew, Brewfest and craft breweries
(Gallery by Tamika Moore | email@example.com)
This weekend Birmingham played host to a sold-out Magic City Brewfest at Sloss Furnace, featuring more than 200 different beers from more than 70 craft breweries around the nation. Although 2013 marked the seventh annual Brewfest, it was the first since homebrew became legal in Alabama, thanks to legislation passed in May.
Because home-brewers in Alabama can now share recipes and bond over their successes and struggles, Brewfest has a renewed “electricity” in the air, said Gabe Harris, president of Free the Hops, the grassroots nonprofit that worked to help pass the homebrew bill.
“It feels great to have home-brew legal in Alabama,” Harris said. “Every craft brewer at Brewfest started out as a home-brewer, and everyone is really excited to be here this year.”
Because craft brewers across the state feel passionately about spreading the homebrew “gospel,” the Home-brew Association set up a tent at Brewfest specifically to educate people about the brewing process.
“We’ve had tons of people at the tent asking some really intelligent questions,” Harris said.
Spencer Overton, homebrew manager at Birmingham brewery and bar Hop City, said Birmingham is now on the “cutting edge” of craft beer. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AL, Alabama, ale, Art, beer, Birmingham, brew, brewski, business, craft, craft brew, craftbrew, creation, creativity, drink, enterprise, entrepreneurship, government, history, Homebrew, Homebrewing, law, legislation, micro, North Carolina, Overton, private enterprise, sales, Sloss Furnace, Spencer Overton, twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
If you like bacon, ham, pork sausage, barbecue, ribs, or any other pork product – including cold cuts & pizza – get ready to pay at least 2 – 4 times more, and for shortages.
Wall Street minions – who manage Smithfield, an American company no more – have no patriotic qualms about taking food off your table and out of your mouth to feed the mouths of the people who steal our nation’s military secrets, defraud our motion picture & music copyrights, and have an historical track record of Shanghai-ing anyone & everyone who gets in their way.
You think I’m kidding, or that I don’t know what I’m writing about?
Just recollect back a few months – oh, say about 7 – to Thanksgiving in November 2012 when pecans were 2x – 3x the price they were usually.
And why was that?
After all, pecan farmers had a record bumper crop… and that typically translates into lower prices for consumers.
It’s because the Chinese suddenly discovered they liked pecans, and were willing to pay premium prices (translate: much MORE then you’re willing to pay), and so the growers shipped pecans over to China.
As I continue to contend, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.
Okay… so it may cost more. So what?
How about this?
Were you aware that the Chinese company that bought Smithfield sold pigs that had been fed a substance banned in the USA & England & other nations?
Shuanghui Group, China’s largest meat processor, sold pigs fed Clenbuterol in 2011. Here are three links about the ordeal.
And, would it surprise you to find out that Goldman Sachs is one of the top investors?
1.) “According to Chinese government data, 18 outbreaks of food-related clenbuterol poisoning occurred between 1998 and 2007. The most recent report indicates one person died and more than 1,700 others fell ill.”
2.) “Meanwhile, at Jiyuan Shuanghui’s processing facilities, of the 689 pigs awaiting slaughter, 19 tested positive for clenbuterol. Shuanghui, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, has shut down the Jiyuan branch affected by the contamination so it can conduct its own inspection.”
3.) “And in recent months the additive has earned notoriety in China after a string of people got sick from eating pork products full of it. Hundreds took ill in one incident in March, and this week, 286 people in Hunan province after eating pork contaminated with ractopamine, a chemical very similar to clenbuterol. Chinese livestock farmers began using clenbuterol in pig feed in the late 1980s to boost growth and get animals to market faster, but it was banned in 2002 as the health risks of eating the meat became better understood. Clenbuterol-tainted meat dizziness, headaches, hand tremors, and other unpleasantness. It’s especially risky for people with heart troubles.”
Shuanghui Agrees to Acquire Smithfield Foods for $4.72B
By Shruti Date Singh and Jeffrey McCracken – May 29, 2013
Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., China’s biggest pork producer, agreed to acquire Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) for about $4.72 billion to boost supplies for the nation that’s the biggest consumer of the meat.
Closely held Shuanghui, parent of Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. (000895), will pay $34 a share for the Smithfield, Virginia-based producer, both companies said today in a statement. The offer is 31 percent more than yesterday’s closing share price.
China’s consumption of pork is rising with the expansion of its middle class while there are questions being asked about the safety of the country’s food supply. Smithfield’s livestock unit is the world’s largest hog producer, bringing about 15.8 million of the animals to market a year, according to the company’s website. It owns 460 farms and has contracts with 2,100 others across 12 U.S. states.
The takeover is valued at $7.1 billion including debt, which would make it the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company, according to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Bacon, barbecue, BBQ, bellies, belly, Bloomberg, business, CBOT, Chicago, Chicago Board of Trade, China, corporate, cost, farmers, food, food poisoning, food safety, food security, Goldman Sachs, greed, ham, history, inflation, jobs, markets, money, Morgan Stanley, New York, pecans, Pizza, poison, pork, pork bellies, ribs, sausage, shank, Shuanghui, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Smithfield, Smithfield Foods, takeover, traitor, Troutman Sanders, Tyson Foods, United States | 2 Comments »