Posts Tagged ‘politics’
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statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts.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 - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Business... None of yours | Tagged: gas, war, abuse, SEC, government, wealth, news, money, law, resources, corruption, Wall Street, greed, Congress, regulation, business, history, United States, politics, illegal, influence, oil, power, Energy, BIG OIL, enterprise, UBS, Offshore drilling, Africa, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mining, lobbyist, European Union, Foreign Policy, Angola, Securities & Exchange Commission, drill, continent, Global Witness, human rights, international finance, lobby, Dodd-Frank Act, Dodd-Frank, ilicit, bribe, NYSE, Stock Exchange, SBM Offshore, Weatherford International, New York Stock Exchange, Switzerland | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 22, 2014
At the federal level, TEApublican types have decried our national deficit, much – if not most – of which came about as a result of placing the price of a decade of warfare on a proverbial credit card. I refer, of course, to the Persian Gulf War, Gulf War II, Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the invasion of Afghanistan, etc., all of which occurred during the previous administration.
Compounding that problem was that corporate and personal income tax rates upon the wealthiest was cut, while simultaneously, the veritable house of cards was crumbling, having been built upon the miry, sinking sands of Wall Street deregulation & greed gone wild.
Nevertheless, as our nation has struggled and clawed its way back to some semblance of fiscal sanity, there have been voices arising whom assert that the federal government’s “bailout” of banks & other large, corporate enterprise has been a gross mistake, and that such a bailout should have never occurred. And, while there will doubtless be volumes written, and debates held about the good and the bad of the ordeal, what’s been done, has been done, and it’s practically all over, but the crying. So the only thing we can do now, is live & learn, and move on.
And yet, respecting one underlying problem which arose corollary to the matter, is the loss of jobs here at home. Again, it was complicated by ‘globalization,’ which – good, bad, or indifferent – is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: Alabama, Congress, David Nuttall, Democrats, economic, economic expansion, economic infrastructure, economy, entrepreneurship, Federal government of the United States, government, High-speed rail, history, infrastructure, Interstate Commerce, Interstate Highway System, law, local, maglev, money, monorail, north Alabama, people, politics, private enterprise, Republican, Russia, safety, tax policy, taxes, tea party, train, transportation, United States, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 20, 2013
Did you know? (No, you probably didn’t.)
In a report dated August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) conducted a criminal and administrative investigation and found that Alabama claimed, and was paid millions in unallowable performance bonus payments under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIRPA).
This FRAUD was because of INCOMPETENCY in Alabama governance.
The HHS OIG found that the Alabama state agency overstated its FYs 2009 and 2010 current enrollment in its requests for bonus payments. The State agency overstated its current enrollments because, rather than 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: abuse, ACA, Alabama, Alabama Legislature, Associated Press, Barack Obama, Bentley, budget, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, CHIP, CHIRPA, CMS, Crimson Tide, defraud, federal, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GOP, government, governor, health, HHS, incompetence, incompetency, insurance, Medicaid, Mississippi, money, Montgomery Alabama, news, Obamacare, OIG, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, politics, PPACA, quiet, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, State Children's Health Insurance Program, United States, waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 14, 2013
More than a few folks recall the significant benefit the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided this nation, and how our nation’s infrastructure (roads, waterways, electrical power grid, etc.) grew during that time. In Monte Sano State Park, in Huntsville, Alabama, there are cabins which are STILL standing, and which are in EXCELLENT repair, that were constructed by the CCC. It is testament to their quality, and to the effort to put people to work in this nation in the aftermath of the Great Depression.
Sadly, this largely Republican-led, “just-say-no” congress has done NOTHING to produce or encourage any type of jobs. That is to say, they have written NO BILLS to promote, encourage or stimulate hiring. NONE.
And yet, there is a sure-fire, time-tested way to get folks back to work – and what is being done about it?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Civilian Conservation Corps, economics, economy, George Miller, Great Depression, jobs, John Kline, money, Monte Sano State Park, policy, politics, Republican, United States, United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce | 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 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 Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Twitter hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate has been trending, off and on, for the past several weeks.
Naturally, the GOP faction, led by Speaker of the House, John Boehner, claims they “appreciate” college students, and “sympathize” with their predicament – which is a crippling blow to our nation, to students, and to universities, public and private, throughout the union.
However, their inaction – more accurately described as passive aggressive behavior – their actions are neither stalwart nor honorable, for they steadfastly refuse to collaborate to do the Good and Right Thing by the people. By claiming they desire to help, and then through their inaction, they actually damage the entire nation.
That type behavior, formerly formally diagnosed by the mental health professionals as “Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder,” is a chronic, long-term condition in which a person seems to actively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them.
People with this disorder resent responsibility and show it through their behaviors, rather than by openly expressing their feelings. They often use procrastination, inefficiency, and forgetfulness to avoid doing what they need to do or have been requested by others to do.
Common characteristics of Passive-Aggressive personality disorder include:
- Acting sullen
- Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
- Being inefficient on purpose
- Blaming others
- Feeling resentment
- Having a fear of authority
- Having unexpressed anger or hostility
- Resisting other people’s suggestions
A person with this disorder may appear to comply with another’s wishes and may even demonstrate enthusiasm for those wishes. However, they:
- Perform the requested action too late to be helpful
- Perform it in a way that is useless
- Sabotage the action to show anger that they cannot express in words
The nut of the whole ordeal is that people who exhibit such behavior are inherently selfish, non-communicative, manipulative, and greedy.
And there you have it, Passive Aggressive Behavior.
It’s the perfect definition of the Republican Congress.
Oregon Explores Novel Way to Fund College
By DOUGLAS BELKIN Updated July 3, 2013, 12:25 a.m. ET
As lawmakers in Washington remain at loggerheads over the student-debt crisis, Oregon’s legislature is moving ahead with a plan to enable students to attend state schools with no money down. In return, under one proposal, the students would Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: aid, assistance, behavior, Bloomberg Businessweek, career, college, College football, creative, creativity, Economic Opportunity Institute, education, Financial Times, funding, future, Google, GOP, grants, health, help, hope, John Boehner, Law School Admission Council, legislature, loans, Mark Hass, mental health, mind games, money, Oregon, Oregon Center for Public Policy, passive aggressive, Passive Aggressive Behavior, Pay It Forward, Pell Grant, politics, Portland State University, Republican, selfishness, Speaker of the House, U.S. News & World Report, university, Wall Street Journal, Working Families Party | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Shadrack McGill makes Alabama a laughingstock.
Or rather, it’s his wife who does so.
Of course, the state apparently don’t need that much help to appear as such, anyway.
FYI, the man in question Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: AL, Alabama, Alabama Public Television, Alabama Senate, Charles Bishop, FaceBook, Good Morning America, GOP, Huntsville, Huntsville Times, Legislator, Lowell Barron, news, NorthEast Alabama, politics, Republican, Shadrack McGill, strange, strippers, weird | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Alabama State Senator Shadrack McGill (R,8th District), photo from his Facebook page
By now, the whole world knows of the fracas that that the wife of Alabama State Senator Shadrack McGill (R-8th District) has caused.
What first began as a post on Senator McGill’s Facebook page has suddenly turned into a worldwide free publicity campaign.
Even the Daily Mail – a newspaper in the United Kingdom – has picked up the too-weird-to-be-true story in an article entitled “Alabama state senator’s wife lashes out on Facebook against women who are ‘soliciting her husband for sex’ after ‘strippers showed up at their house’.”
“Multiple times since being in office he has gotten emails from women (who may not even be real) inviting him to explore, also sending pictures of themselves.”
What strikes me as particularly curious is the fact that apparently neither Senator McGill nor his wife Heather made any remarks or comments of any type, kind or variety when he alleged that it first occurred, nor did he alert authorities when a suspicious knock came at his door in the dead of night.
Referring to the first alleged incident, Senator McGill said, “Me and my wife 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: ABC News, Advance Media, Alabama, Alabama Senate, Alabama State, American Broadcasting Company, Birmingham News, campaign, dancers, FaceBook, God, gogo, Good Morning America, GOP, Heather McGill, Huntsville, Huntsville Times, liar, liars, McGill, news, photos, pictures, politics, Republican, sex, Shadrack McGill, strange, strippers, United States, weird, whores, women | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 1, 2013
Recently, Moore, OK was devastated by a mile-wide twister.
Serves ‘em right.
God hates fags.
Our government should do nothing.
Everybody knows, this is an act of God.
God is punishing Oklahoma for their wickedness.
This is purely a religious matter, and government should get out of the way.
This has NOTHING to do with climate change.
Insurance companies should cancel & deny coverage.
They have that right.
Suck it up.
The reader should understand, this is PURE SARCASM.
What is sarcasm?
Simply put, sarcasm is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - 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, - Transfer: How do we get THERE from HERE? (Add a 'T'.) | Tagged: Activism, Alabama Baptist Convention, Baptist, Bob Dole, Boy Scout, Boy Scouts of America, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, climate, Climate change, climatology, environment, extremes, extremists, faith, First Baptist, Fred Phelps, Global Warming, God, GOP, Helena, Home insurance, insurance, irony, Kansas, Moore, Moore Oklahoma, news, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Organizations, Pelham, politics, radical, radicals, religion, Republican, right wing, sarcasm, Scout, Scout troop, Texas, tornado, truth, United States, weather, whacko, whackos | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 27, 2013
Be sure to ask Sen. Sessions if he is going to voluntarily give up a portion of his Senatorial salary since the Senate last month passed a measure urging their members to forgo 20% of their salaries as part of sequestration.
Kudos, however, to Sen. Bob Corker R-TN, who has NEVER pocketed any of his Senate salary.
He donates it ALL to charity.
He’s worth over $19 Million.
Few senators sacrifice pay amid cuts
By Russell Berman – 04/03/13 05:00 AM ET
Only a few senators are planning to forfeit a portion of their salaries to charity or the U.S. Treasury while sequestration is in effect, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.
The Senate last month passed a measure urging members of the upper chamber to forgo 20 percent of their salary during sequestration. Most senators, however, are keeping quiet on whether they will follow through.
During a marathon session of budget votes, the Senate approved by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling on lawmakers to donate 20 percent of their pay to charity or return it to the U.S. Treasury.In his floor speech, Graham noted that about 500,000 to 600,000 federal employees will be furloughed because of sequestration and that senators should “feel what other people are feeling.”
Yet in a survey of Senate offices by The Hill, only Graham and Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) have indicated they would give up some of their take-home pay.
In a recent press release, Begich — who is up for reelection in 2014 — said 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, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: avarice, Bob Corker, budget, Chuck Grassley, Claire McCaskill, DC, Democrats, GOP, government, Graham, greed, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, money, Nancy Pelosi, news, pay, politics, Republicans, salary, senate, senators, sequestration, sequster, taxes, treasury, wages, Washington DC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 20, 2013
This OpEd is probably some of the best, and most genuinely warranted criticism of President Obama which I’ve yet read.
As late former president Theodore Roosevelt wrote:
“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.* Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”
-Theodore Roosevelt’s OpEd Column entitled “Sedition, A Free Press and Personal Rule” published May 7, 1918 in the Kansas City Star
*Roosevelt’s sharp criticism of President Wilson‘s leadership during World War I led the Post Office to warn that the Star that such views might cost the paper its second-class mailing privileges.
Obama A Big Hypocrite? Ask Legal Schnauzer, Roger Shuler
By Joan Brunwasser (about the author) Permalink
Life Arts 5/18/2013 at 22:24:54
My guest today is Legal Schnauzer, Roger Shuler. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Roger.
JB: Your recent piece The President Paints Himself Into An Ethical Corner By Voicing Outrage Over Evolving Scandal At The IRS is pretty scathing. What’s got you so upset?
RS: In early January 2009, just a few days before he took office, President-Elect Obama said he intended to “look forward, as opposed to looking backwards” on apparent crimes under the Bush administration. As president, Obama seems to have followed through on that pledge because his Justice Department has failed to review political prosecutions such as the one involving former Governor Don Siegelman in Alabama, where I live.
Political prosecutions, of course, were just of one of many improper acts on the justice front during the Bush years–torture, warrantless wiretapping, firings of U.S. attorneys were among the others. In essence, Obama issued a decree that no one would be held accountable for those acts.
Obama’s “look forward” statement made no sense at the time, and it makes even less sense now, coming after he expressed outrage the other day over disclosures about the IRS targeting conservative groups for political reasons. Obama said in a news conference that he would not “tolerate” such actions, that wrongdoers must be held “accountable,” and the problem must be “fixed.”
But his inaction toward the DOJ shows that he will tolerate the targeting of political opponents, that he will not hold individuals accountable for such actions, and he will not take steps to fix the problem. Obama was uttering empty words at his press conference about the IRS. Many of us expect that from a Republican chief executive; we should demand better from a Democrat.
JB: For readers unfamiliar with the Siegelman case, Roger, can you give us a brief overview of what happened and why anyone outside of Alabama should care? It didn’t happen under Obama’s watch so how can he be blamed?
RS: Don Siegelman was a Democratic governor in a deep-red state, a state where Karl Rove has a strong power base. Siegelman accepted a campaign donation from a businessman named Richard Scrushy, and then appointed Scrushy to a health-care regulatory board–a board on which Scrushy had served under three previous governors.
The standard for a bribery conviction in the campaign-donation context is that the prosecution must prove an “explicit agreement” in a something-for-something deal (known in legalese as a “quid pro quo.”) No evidence at trial pointed to such an unlawful deal, and the federal judge presiding over the case (a George W. Bush appointee named Mark Fuller) gave incorrect jury instructions that did not include the “explicit agreement” requirement. He allowed the jury to 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: A Free Press, Alabama, apeal, appeal, Atlanta, Barack Obama, Democrat, Don Siegelman, Elena Kagan, Free Press, George W. Bush, GOP, injury, IRS, justice, Kansas City Star, Karl Rove, law, legal, miscarriage, Obama, OpEdNews, politics, Post Office, prosecution, Republican, Richard M. Scrushy, Richard Scrushy, Roosevelt, scandal, SCOTUS, Siegelman, Theodore Roosevelt, United States, Woodrow Wilson, World War | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 15, 2013
Las Vegas has the highest metropolitan suicide rate in the U.S.
“I’ll add that there’s one more feature here, of Las Vegas, which I think bears mentioning. And that is what I kinda’ think of as a sort of “frontier culture” mentality among residents, and I think, even among visitors.
“That Las Vegas is this sort of place of place of total license. You know… its the ‘Wild West,’ it’s an open frontier for all kinds of immorality and exploration of vice, and… the entire self-branding of Las Vegas as this place where that is not only tolerated, but actually sanctioned.
“You know, the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” kind of mentality – produces, I think, a kind of… sort of libertarian ethos of ‘go it alone, do it yourself.’ And help seeking in this sort of framework is perhaps not accepted or valorized the way it is other parts of the country.
“These kind of cultural arguments are always very hard to make. They always sound deeply unscientific. But, in a lot ways, I think that’s exactly where a lot of the explanatory power comes from… is in this understanding the culture and values underlying people’s behavioral sense.”
- Matt Wray, sociologist, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and co-author of a 2008 paper entitled “Leaving Las Vegas: Exposure to Las Vegas and Risk of Suicide” / excerpted from Freakonomics Radio, episode #92 “Gambling With Your Life,” released April 27, 2011
Of late, attention has been increasingly given to the suicide rate of veterans returning home from the horrors of war in the Middle East, specifically, from their numerous extended tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While in retrospect, many acknowledge that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: 2003 invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Air Force, Al Qaeda, Arabian Peninsula, Army, budget, CNN, death, Death of Osama bin Laden, Democrat, drones, Esquire, expense, Explanatory power, extremism, faith, George W. Bush, government, GWOT, help, insanity, Iraq, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Nevada, Leaving Las Vegas, Libertarian, List of countries by suicide rate, Matt Wray, mental health, Middle East, military, news, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, Peter Bergen, Philadelphia, policy, politics, radical, religion, Republican, soldier, spending, Taliban, Temple University, terror, United States, United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, USA, Vega, Vegas, war, wouned warrior | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 1, 2013
Part of the Great Hypocrisy of Alabama‘s über GOP-dominated state government is that on September 18, 2012, voters approved the Governor’s request to take money from the Alabama Trust Fund using the specific language in the Special Election to Amend the state’s Constitution “to provide adequate funding for the State General Fund budget”… “by transferring funds from the Alabama Trust Fund to the State General Fund beginning with the state’s 2012-2013 fiscal year and concluding with the state’s 2014-2015 fiscal year.”
It’s equally important to understand and know, that the time of the election, however, there was no repayment plan, and only recently has the legislature acted, and has the governor signed, to repay any monies taken.
And now, the Governor wants to TAKE $6 Million earmarked for the State Parks and put it into the General Fund.
It’s prima facie evidence of utter incompetency, pure & simple.
More to the point, however, specifically regarding any contract with private entities to operate any private enterprise on public property, it seems to me that such an operation is also prima facie evidence of incompetency because to do so says in essence that ‘we’re not capable, nor do we have the ability to operate any operation profitably.’ And that, my friends, is a most damning indictment.
It’s bad not only for that reason, but because since private enterprise holds the key to the operations, they can call the shots, and raise the prices (cost of operations) at will, by merely citing an increase in cost of operations (without justification or evidence). And then, the state is left holding the contractual bag, while the private entity claims squatter’s rights on public property.
Gov. Robert Bentley says Gulf convention center a key to help parks survive funding cuts
By Mike Cason | firstname.lastname@example.org
March 27, 2013 at 10:39 PM, updated March 28, 2013 at 7:02 AM
MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday he hopes to help minimize the effect of funding cutbacks on the state parks system.
Bentley’s budget plan for fiscal 2014 called for taking $6 million earmarked for state parks and placing that money in the General Fund.
This week, State Parks Director Gregory Lein wrote a letter to elected officials and others saying some parks could close and Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: $6 million, Alabama, Alabama Trust Fund, Bentley, budget, fiscal, GOP, government, governor, Gulf Shores Alabama, Gulf State Park, Hurricane Ivan, news, politics, Republican, Robert Bentley, State park | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 24, 2013
The word ‘encyclopedic’ is often thought of as meaning voluminous, or containing great, or significant knowledge. However, even a casual examination of the word shows something entirely different.
In the middle of the word is ‘cyclo,’ which as we would imagine, refers to something circular, or round. Who hasn’t heard of a bi-cycle, a cycle with two wheels?
And then, there’s ‘pedia,’ and we’ve all heard of ‘pediatrics,’ the health practice concerned exclusively with children. Children, of course, need instruction and teaching.
Thus, we can Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 23, 2013
The GOP recently acknowledged that, among other aspects of their party’s alienation from the American mainstream, they need to modify and change not merely their image, but their appeal to Hispanics, which have largely voted for Democratic candidates.
The irony of their acknowledgment is that they want to do the very thing they’ve demonstrated why and how they’ve alienated themselves from the American mainstream… hire a Mexican to do their work.
As reported in VOXXI, by Grace Flores-Hughes on March 19, 2013, “The Republican National Committee plans to hire political directors from the Hispanic, Asian, African American communities as well as from women’s groups.”
Read her story: “The ambitious coming out of the Republican Party”
The numbers prove it: The GOP is estranged from America
Andrew Kohut is the founding director and former president of the Pew Research Center. He served as president of the Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989.
In my decades of polling, I recall only one moment when a party had been driven as far from the center as the Republican Party has been today.
The outsize influence of hard-line elements in the party base is doing to the GOP what supporters of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Andrew Kohut, Democratic, Democrats, Gallup, George McGovern, GOP, Mitt Romney, news, Obama, Pew Research Center, policy, politics, poll, reality, Republican, research, statistics, The Gallup Organization | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 10, 2013
The lack of news outlets in the states three major newspapers all which publish only three editions weekly (Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, and the Huntsville Times, now known as “Alabama Media Group” which newspapers are all owned by the same privately held mega-firm that owns Sports Illustrated & Conde Nast – Advance Publications, aka Newhouse News) has – in my estimation – contributed to the demise of public involvement in governance, and to a great degree, influenced voters from participating in their own governance by keeping them ignorant.
However, that does NOT mean that there is no news, nor does it mean that there is a news blackout. What it means is that in those three major cities in the state, there is a dearth of reporting of state events.
For example, the Montgomery Advertiser reported recently that in an email message to his staff, Governor Robert Bentley “demanded that his cabinet members and the state employees who work for them not discuss with state legislators any concerns they might have with a proposed overhaul to state law enforcement agencies.
““I do not want any cabinet head or any member of their department to lobby against this. Tell your employees to contact ONLY Blaine Galliher if they have any questions or concerns. NO ONE is to talk to members of the House or Senate in opposition to this legislation,” Bentley wrote in an email sent to cabinet members by his executive assistant on Feb. 12.”"
Governor Bentley is showing his true face… that of a tyrant.
The year Alabama legislators took over schools
Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press
My father grew up poor and never finished high school but was incredibly resourceful. He could “figure things out.” He did his own plumbing, wiring and construction. But on occasion, Dad’s chief asset became a liability. So confident was he in his ability to fix anything that he refused to admit that he didn’t know everything.
That is a good description of the new Republican Legislature. They were elected for good reasons: The hubris, arrogance, excesses, patronage abuse, corruption and demagoguery of Democrats. But the 2013 Legislature reminds me lots of the Democrats they replaced.
Republicans, who hold all state offices and a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, have decided that they know better than anyone how to do everything.
Take education, for instance. Three successive reform-minded state school superintendents — supported by a business community concerned about the loss of one-third of Alabama manufacturing jobs since 2000 and fearful that schools were not producing a labor force skilled enough to compete in the global economy — began reforming education.
They introduced model early childhood programs, world-class math and science curricula, a reading initiative widely copied nationwide, tougher graduation standards, and took over failing schools and malfunctioning systems characterized by patronage politics and financial profligacy (think Birmingham).
Education reformers organized A+ Education Partnership and joined this battle. Their hugely successful “best practices” center and life-changing college-readiness program that enrolls record numbers of students in demanding advanced placement courses constitute instances where Alabama set national standards rather than followed them.
So what does the new Republican Legislature do? 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: AEA, Alabama, Alabama Legislature, Auburn University, Bentley, Birmingham News, Democrats, education, George Wallace, GOP, government, hubris, Huntsville Times, K-12, legislature, Middle School, Montgomery Advertiser, politics, Republican, Republicans, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, school, schools, stupidity, taxes, United States, Wayne Flynt | Leave a Comment »