Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

This is what revolution looks like.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 30, 2020

When I think about all those sissified wanna-be “macho men” White boys in Michigan and other places running around with their assault rifles hanging off them like penises in a porno movie talking all kinds of shit, that 2A is supposed to protect us from an oppressive government, etc…

You’ll note one very interesting thing here.

No guns among the people.

THIS IS WHAT REVOLUTION LOOKS LIKE!

When he activated the Ohio National Guard, Republican Governor Mike DeWine said, “Acts of violence, cannot, and will not be tolerated. This violence must stop.”

Right, bitch… you little sawed-off Republican runt.

Go tell that to George Washington, John Paul Jones, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Nathanael Greene, Marquis de Lafayette, Alexander Hamilton, and so many others.

This nation was BORN of violence.

It’s in our blood.

It’s our “family tradition.”

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Republican Hypocrisy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 29, 2020

Surely Republican hypocrisy and lies surprise no one any longer.

Now, about that “swamp” thing…



White House Press Secretary Voted By Mail 12 Times In 12 Years

by Steven Portnoy, CBS News
May 28, 2020

Washington — White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail a dozen times in the last 10 years, according to Florida voter records reviewed by CBS News, a revelation that comes amid her own criticisms of efforts to expand mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

A voting history report from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections shows that McEnany “voted absentee” in every election, both general and primary, since November 2008. At times during that span, McEnany, a Tampa native, attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Most recently, she voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary in March.

While the report shows that McEnany voted “absentee,” Hillsborough County election officials said that its system uses the phrase “voted absentee” for any voter who votes by mail, whether they are in the county when they receive a ballot or not. Florida voters can opt to submit ballots by mail for any reason, according to the state Division of Elections.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported McEnany’s voting history.

McEnany defended her record of voting by mail, saying in a statement, “Absentee voting Read the rest of this entry »

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Southern Super Villain: William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 28, 2020

As I’ve pondered the often tragic events of the past several days, weeks, and months of news items concerning the deaths and abuses of men – mostly, but of women as well – of color in our country, from states as far south as Georgia, to as far north in Minnesota, I weep.

When I see, read, and hear of deaths which would otherwise be called “murder” and “assault” at the hands of law-enforcement officials, by every day citizens, retired law enforcement officers, and even mere civilians in public parks, I not only cringe, but throw up in my mouth just a little bit.

The not-so-subtle cheapening of human life, particularly of Black lives, is not merely disgusting, it is fully and completely immoral and entirely irreligious, for it is neither pietistic, and certainly not humanistic.

“The Lost Cause” title page, 1866

And when I think about how and why we got to this point, and wonder how the demonic deification of diabolical deeds, and grandiose glorification of such evil and treachery occurred, I consider “The Lost Cause” as the root cause. It is the single-most practical perpetuation of all such wickedness which continues to live and roam among us.

In a much earlier entry entitled “Terrorism In the South,” and dated October 6, 2016, I wrote about some survivors of the American Civil War, whom have been long dead.

While I confess to not being a student of the Civil War, I do take a modest passing interest in a backgrounder of some of its lesser-known facts, such as the romanticizing efforts of “The Lost Cause” which was, and remains, an attempt to ennoble the matter of slavery, its savageries, and the war by Southerners which sought to perpetuate it.

The Encyclopedia of Alabama writes this in part about The Lost Cause:

The term “Lost Cause” emerged at the end of the Civil War when Edward Pollard, editor of the Richmond Examiner, popularized it with his book The Lost Cause, which chronicled the Confederacy’s demise. The term swiftly came into common use as a reference not only to military defeat, but defeat of the “southern way of life”—a phrase that generally referred to the South of the antebellum period, when plantation slavery was still intact. Since the late nineteenth century, historians have used the term “Lost Cause” to describe a particular belief system as well as commemorative activities that occurred in the South for decades after the Civil War. Commonly held beliefs were that the war was fought over states’ rights and not slavery, that slavery was a benevolent institution that offered Christianity to African “savages,” and that the war was a just cause in the eyes of God. Commemorative activities included erecting Confederate monuments and celebrating Confederate Memorial Day.

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy; frontispiece to author Edward A. Pollard’s 1866 book The Lost Cause

When describing the Lost Cause, historians have employed the terms “myth,” “cult,” “civil religion,” “Confederate tradition,” and “celebration” to explain this southern phenomenon. Many of these terms are used interchangeably, but they all refer to a conservative movement in the postwar South that was steeped in the agrarian traditions of the Old South and that complicated efforts to create a “New South.” For diehard believers in the Lost Cause, the term New South was repugnant and implied that there was something wrong with the values and traditions of the antebellum past. For individuals devoted to the idea of the Lost Cause, the Old South still served as a model for race relations (blacks should be deferential to whites as under slavery), gender roles (women should be deferential to their fathers, brothers, and husbands), and class interactions (poor whites should defer to wealthier whites). Moreover, individuals believed that the Confederacy, which sought to preserve the southern way of life, should be respected and its heroes, as well as its heroines, should be revered. Indeed, white southerners, for whom the Lost Cause was sacred, argued that the members of the Confederate generation fought for a just cause—states’ rights—and were to be honored for their sacrifices in defense of constitutional principle.

One could think of The Lost Cause as a “We’ve always done it this way” kind of thinking – which ironically, are also “The Last Six Words of a Dying Organization.”

Nevertheless, as many historians note, photographs of individuals from that era are exceedingly rare, as are those of the more infamous individuals such as William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson, a notoriously wicked, savagely brutal, wantonly profligate, dissolutely treacherous guerilla terrorist gang leader of Confederate mercenaries who is widely thought to have personally killed at least 52 human beings, based upon a cord he kept in his pocket, which when found upon his corpse, is reputed to have had as many number of knots in its length.

You could think of “Bloody Bill” Anderson as the “MS-13 of the Civil War.”

To describe his actions and life as reprehensibly reprobate, cravenly pusillanimous, even proliferately profligate, ignominious and pervasive is not strong enough to convey the utter depths of depravity of his darkened soul.

As a young man aged 22, he quickly became a scumbag of the First Order by making money stealing and selling horses – a type of automobile theft of the antiquated day – all along the Santa Fe Trail, as far away as New Mexico.

After “Bloody Bill” Anderson’s father’s death – he was shot in self defense by A.I. Baker, a Confederate-sympathizing judge in the Council Grove, Kansas area, after being threatened by him because the judge had issued an arrest warrant for the son for horse theft after numerous complaints by area ranchers and farmers – he doubled down and became a murdering thief, wantonly hijacking and murdering travelers, stagecoaches, United States soldiers and civilians in and around Missouri.

His loyalty was to no one but himself, and was known to have remarked that he sought to fight as a Confederate mercenary – for money, rather than for principle, or fealty.

Bloody Bill shortly became mixed up with another ne’er-do-well guerilla leader named William Clarke Quantrill around May 1863, who headed the equally infamous guerilla terrorist group Quantrill’s Raiders, to which the equally infamous criminal brother duo of Frank and Jesse James briefly belonged. They, along with Cole Younger and his brothers Jim, John and Bob Younger, another notorious criminal cabal who were also part of Quantrill’s Raiders, and following the Civil War, joined with Jesse’s brother Frank James, to rob trains.

And, believe it, or not, perversely enough, there is a William Clarke Quantrill Society, which reveres the man, and his criminal cabal outlaws, and Read the rest of this entry »

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969 New American COVID-19 Deaths Today

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 28, 2020

In the space
of a few hours,
America’s
COVID-19
Death Toll
has gone from 100,647
to
101,616

an increase of
969.

COVID-19 update May 28, 2020 AM

COVID-19 update May 28, 2020 PM

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Alabama… oh, Alabama.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Opinion writer Kyle Whitmire, who opines for the website AL dot com, recently wrote a damning indictment of the sad state of affairs which continues to be Alabama.

In his regularly-appearing column dated May 17, he wrote in part that three months ago, that “the Alabama Senate passed a resolution recognizing the great looming public health emergency — porn,” and that “State Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Mountain Brook, introduced the resolution moments after lawmakers gaveled in, and the Senate passed it easily on a voice vote.”

The vast majority of the state’s legislators in both chambers are Republican.

Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) defended a plan to spend $200 million on a new Alabama State House but says his caucus is “not in the mood” to expand Medicaid.

He also noted that “More than half of Alabama counties don’t have hospitals where a woman can give birth to a baby.”

Alabama has 67 counties, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that as of July 1, 2019, the state had 4,903,185 residents, 45.2% of which are Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard Work

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Thinking is hard work — which is why Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING NEWS! Alex Jones Teaching New York City Rats!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 25, 2020

Alex Jones would feel right at home.

Definitely NOT the Pied Piper.

Or, is he?

And, for the benefit of those unaware of the association and correlation, here’s a wee bit of a backgrounder:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethcohen/2020/05/02/what-alex-jones-said/


Starving Rats Are Reportedly Turning Into Cannibals And Attacking One Other As Their Restaurant Food Supply Disappears

By TPorter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)

• The CDC has warned that rats are growing increasingly aggressive amid the coronavirus epidemic, and advised on what people can do to stop infestations in their neighborhoods.

• The rodents usually feed on rubbish in restaurant bins, but with many outlets closed or only offering takeout they are empty.

• Videos have been posted on social media of rats swarming deserted streets in New Orleans and New York streets.

• Pest control officials say that some rats are resorting to cannibalism and infanticide to survive.

Rats are growing increasingly aggressive in their hunt for food as restaurants across the US Read the rest of this entry »

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Which is more important – money, or life?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 25, 2020

One again, Republicans are demonstrating their lackadaisical reckless attitude toward human life, and thereby proving that they care little, if anything, about Americans of any stripe.

Whether young, old, infant, geriatric, sick, healthy, able, disabled, veteran, civilian, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, well-educated, poorly-educated, gay, straight, bi, gender non-conforming, or anything of all points in between – it makes no difference. Money is their god. The Almighty Dollar rules.

They and their feckless titular leader are forcing ALL Americans to bow before the altar of Mammon, sacrificing our wise elders, children, even the unborn, to the all-consuming selfish fires of commerce.

The radicalized members of the Party of Trump are your “Death Panels.” They are the very thing Republicans warned America which would happen if the PPACA were to become enacted — which is not even anything even remotely close to Single Payer/Medicare For All.

And yet, even though they’ve continually tried their damndest to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka “ObamaCare,” and every vestige of it since the day it was enacted on March 23, 2010, they’ve still not managed to come up with any alternative whatsoever.

Nada.

Bupkis.

Not only have the GOP’s dire predictions not come true, nor have they even remotely happened, but they’re still showing America what they think is TRULY important – money, money, money… MONEY!

––//––

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/13/poll-coronavirus-reopen-trump-republicans-252726

Republican voters have undergone a significant shift on the coronavirus in a few short weeks.

A month ago, half of GOP voters said they were more worried about Read the rest of this entry »

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Arrogant Kelly Loeffler

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 22, 2020

Loeffler: “Not dropping out” of Georgia US Senate race after stock trade controversy law violation

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/499116-loeffler-says-she-wont-drop-out-of-georgia-senate-race-after-stock-trade

Kelly Loeffler was appointed by narrow-margin-of-victory Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp to fill the unexpired term of three-term Georgia Republican US Senator Johnny Isakson who resigned from office at the end of 2019 due to Parkinson’s disease.

The gubernatorially-appointed temporary fill-in “Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler told Politico she is not dropping out of the Georgia Senate special election despite facing scrutiny over $20 million in stock sales she made following a closed-door Senate briefing in January about the coronavirus.

“Not only am I not dropping out, but I’m gonna win,” Loeffler told the news outlet Thursday.

“Loeffler, who is married to New York Stock Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher, has said she does not control her own stock portfolio and that she was unaware of the exchanges. She has submitted documents to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, both of which are investigating trading action among senators around the coronavirus pandemic.”

Loeffloer’s net worth is reportedly well over $500,000,000, and is being investigted by the FBI and the Senate for suspicious stock sales timing in response to insider knowledge of the coronavirus obtained in the Senate.

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DJ Trump Plays Americans For Fools

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2020

So… the Bullshitter in Chief went to Allentown, PA today – to Owens & Minor, a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) manufacturer’s distribution facility, no less – and REFUSED to wear that Made in America product, and had the audacity to say in part, that:

“You know, we’ve been doing testing at a level that nobody has ever done it before. We cannot get any, and we cannot get the press to write about it or write fairly about it. And nobody has ever done. We’ve done double what anyone else — if you add up all of the countries in the world, we’ve done more testing than all of the countries in the world added up together. Nobody has ever done anything like that. And we have the best tests.”

Look, Americans aren’t dummies.

And he’s just blowing smoke. Purely.

Just because someone doesn’t have a university degree doesn’t make them a complete blithering idiot.

Seriously.

And you don’t have to be a brainiac to know that America (330,000,000) has MANY MORE people than Spain (46,752,506).
And the UK Read the rest of this entry »

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DJ Trump Spins The Tunes, America Dances

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2020

How ‘ya doin’ Murka!?!

DJ Trump here!

We Makin’ Murka Grape A’gin!

Forget those old COVIDiseased tests!

They’re worthless!

Fake news!

This is all fake news, folks.

“It could be that testing is,
frankly, overrated.
Maybe it is overrated.”

DJ Trump, May 14, 2020, 2:56 P.M. EDT, Owens & Minor, Inc. Distribution Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania

“You know, we’ve been doing testing at a level that nobody has ever done it before. We cannot get any, and we cannot get the press to write about it or write fairly about it. And nobody has ever done. We’ve done double what anyone else — if you add up all of the countries in the world, we’ve done more testing than all of the countries in the world added up together. Nobody has ever done anything like that. And we have the best tests.”

“We have the best tests.

What kind of asinine statement is THAT?!?

COVID-19 will likely put that sumbitch out of our misery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump’s Made America GREAT Again!!!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Editor’s annotation appears in the conclusion.

GREAT job, Mister President!

Way to go, Republicans!

We’re Number 1!

Trump has made America GREAT AGAIN!

Now, let’s Keep America Great Again!

COVID-19 Morning Update May 12

We can’t let the Democrats get in the way of Republican success!

Over 1,347,936 Confirmed Cases of COVID-19, and increasing daily!

In fact, MORE than ANY OTHER NATION in the world!

And the best part?

COVID-19 Nightly Update May 11

More deaths than any other nation, as well!

In fact, now, with 80,684 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, soon America is on track, and will soon have MORE than the TOTAL Deaths of the United Kingdom (32,141), Italy (30,739), and Spain (26,744) COMBINED – 89,624!

And face it… a few folks will have to die to KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

COVID-19 Morning Update May 11

But their sacrifices will NOT be forgotten!

They’re PATRIOTS and HEROES on the FRONT LINES of the ECONOMY!

They’re Warriors for Wall Street!

We can’t let the Made in Wuhan Chinese Virus stop us!

We’re NUMBER 1!

Dow Jones Industrial Average 12-31-1970 to 5-12-2020

And the precious Stock Market is STILL HIGH!

Even with the present minor downturn and slight course correction, it’s HIGHER THAN IT’S EVER BEEN!

Trump has MADE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

And we MUST KEEP ON MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

WHO CARES ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT!?!

Just more FAKE NEWS by Never Trumpers!

FOUR MORE YEARS!

“We are gonna win, win, win. We’re going to win with military, we’re going to win at the borders, we’re going to win with trade, we’re going to win at everything. And some of you are friends and you’re going to call, and you’re going to say, ‘Mr. President, please, we can’t take it anymore, we can’t win anymore like this, Mr. President, you’re driving us crazy, you’re winning too much, please Mr. President, not so much, and I’m going to say I’m sorry, we’re going to keep winning because we are going to make America great again. I will not let you down.”
— Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump Friday, May 20, 2016, 145th annual NRA convention, Louisville, KY

“We’re going to win. We’re going to win so much. We’re going to win at trade, we’re going to win at the border. We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’ You’ve heard this one. You’ll say ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.’” Trump said. “And I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep winning, winning, winning, We’re going to make America great again.”
–– Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Thursday, May 26, 2016, Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark, Billings, Montana

“We’re gonna’ win with trade, we’re gonna’ win with health, we’re gonna’ win at so many levels! We’re gonna’ WIN! WIN! WIN! You’re gonna’ get so tired of winning, you’re gonna’ say, ‘Mr. President, PLEASE! We don’t wanna’ win anymore! It’s too much!’ And I’m gonna’ say, ‘I’m sorry! We’re gonna’ keep winning! Because we’re gonna’ make America great again!’”
— Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump days before the November 2016 General Election


THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — APRIL 2020

“Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: U.S. to LOSE $4 TRILLION GDP, 2.5 MILLION Jobs in 5 Years

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 11, 2020

“Over time, these impacts will also affect businesses’ ability to provide well-paying jobs, further reducing incomes. If this investment gap is not addressed throughout the nation’s infrastructure sectors by 2025, the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP, resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025.

“Moreover, workers who are employed will earn lower wages, and in the long term, many higher paying jobs in technology and other leading sectors will be replaced by jobs that fulfill needs brought on by the inefficiencies of deteriorating infrastructure.”

There you have it!

Why focus upon repairing, rebuilding, replacing, and expanding America’s deteriorated economic infrastructure?

Because not only will YOU lose money and unemployment will increase, but American Gross Domestic Product will seriously decline, and that means reduced profitability for businesses of all types and all sizes – from Mom & Pop small and minority-owned businesses, to corporate giants, as well.

That finding is from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and their report “Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future,” which was published in May 2016, as the final update from four previous reports in the Failure to Act series published in 2011 and 2012. In those reports, the ASCE examined 10 infrastructure sectors critical to American economic prosperity.

Those reports were followed by a fifth, comprehensive final report entitled “Failure to Act: The Impact of Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future,” which focused upon the total economic loss which would occur because of America’s failure to act in more than one sector.

The purpose of the report was to provide a total overall analysis of the economic implications of continuing to fail to invest in multiple infrastructure categories.

Even the Central Intelligence Agency sees America’s problems for what they are. It’s as plain as the nose on one’s face. And it’s NOT a partisan, Republican versus Democrat type of issue. It’s a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY.

Even America’s spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), sees the problem clearly, and has recognized not only it, but the increasing inequities of income distribution, as well.

“Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure…

“…the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the return to capital. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.”

Now that we’ve identified the problem, let’s consider a workable solution.

Nothing is free in this nation, nor anywhere else, for that matter. And EVERY government runs on taxes, and has done so at least since the time of the Roman empire. And face it… if the Romans built aqueducts and roads that have lasted for at least 2000 years, we can too – and should.

Simply put, income tax rates WILL Read the rest of this entry »

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Guess What’s a Matter of National Security?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 10, 2020

Even our spooks see it.
Why?
It’s a matter of National Security.
Period.
End of conversation.
“Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.”  
 
“But the globalization of trade, and especially the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the return to capital. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.”
The ONLY question remaining is:

What are we Read the rest of this entry »

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11 States’ Attorneys General Ask DOJ To Investigate Meat Packers’ Price Fixing

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Everything old is new again.

1919 characterization of BIG BUSINESS interests

Earlier, I had written about the obvious, which was that the concentration of meat processing facilities and a corresponding reduction in their numbers, does not portend well for the American consumer, neither for the competitive market, nor for farmers – and ONLY for Wall$treet-traded international conglomerate BIG BUSINESS.


The Attorneys General of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming have jointly signed a letter requesting United States Attorney General William Barr to investigate concerns of Price Fixing by the nation’s largest meat packers.

The AGs’ request comes after a March 19, 2020 letter sent from Senators M. Michael Rounds (SD-R), Kevin Cramer (ND-R), Steve Daines (MT-R), and John Hoven (ND-R) to AG Barr urging the “Department of Justice investigate continued allegations of (meat-packer) price fixing within the cattle market and to examine the current structure of the beef meatpacking industry for compliance with U.S. Antitrust law.” Reuters had earlier reported the Senators’ request 30 March.

Drovers, the nation’s oldest livestock publication, and beef industry specific news reporting agency, earlier reported 31 March 2020 that “Cattlemen have complained that surging meat prices due to the COVID-19 crisis hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. During the crisis, CME futures prices plunged lower along with the stock market, but wholesale beef prices rose 22% to a peak near $257 per cwt.”

The day prior, 30 March, Drovers reported an increase in beef and poultry production, by writing that “U.S. meat and poultry production increased an estimated 10% during the week ending March 28, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). Over the past four weeks, combined production of beef, pork, chicken and turkey was up 8.5% compared to the previous year.”

Numerous meat processing facilities nationwide have closed, after many of their employees became sick after infection with COVID-19 novel coronavirus. In response, Tyson Foods CEO John Tyson purchased a full-page advertisement in the Sunday edition New York Times which contained a letter he had written claiming that “The food supply chain is breaking.” Tyson is the nation’s 2nd largest food producer.

The ostensible cause of such plant closures he blamed upon others, not upon his company’s practices, and stated that “there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.”

And on April 12, the American CEO of the Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods had earlier written that “Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today that its Sioux Falls, SD facility will remain closed until further notice. The plant is one of the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S., representing four to five percent of U.S. pork production.”

On April 28, the Editorial Board of Newsday, a daily newspaper serving the greater New York City, and surrounding areas, wrote in part that,

“The federal government, late to react to the food crisis, must work with meat processing plants to get more protective equipment for workers, clean shared equipment, and reconfigure workstations so that physical barriers create at least six feet of space between them. Farming operations should be more nimble when markets change. Local food banks, which banded together after superstorm Sandy to improve their response to disasters, must do the same for pandemics.

“We can do this. We have enough food. We need to be smarter and better prepared so it’s not wasted and gets to those who need it.”

Soon thereafter, on April 30, Forbes magazine writer Jim Vinoski also took exception to the claims made by the executives, and wrote in concluding part that,

“Dave McLennan, CEO of Cargill, struck a much better note than Tyson did. He’s another guy we should listen to. Cargill is the largest privately-held company in the U.S. based on revenue, producing and distributing agricultural products such as sugar, refined oil, chocolate and turkey, and providing risk management, commodities trading and transportation services. They have sales of $115 billion annually, with $8.9 billion of that in food, and they employ 160,000 people. Appearing on “Leadership Live With David Rubenstein,” he said, “I think I would characterize it as the food supply chain is under strain. But there’s a lot of supply chains that are under strain due to what’s happening… I think basically, the ability of us to produce food is still there… The food industry and the food supply chain is resilient. I think the people that work in it every day are resilient. So I think it’s under strain, but I don’t think it’s broken.””

Even the President has jumped into the fray to investigate the highly-concentrated meat processing industry, and said he has asked the DOJ to investigate if the big industry’s players may have acted wrongly, or broken any laws – particularly the Sherman Antitrust law.

On Tuesday, April 28, citing the Defense Production Act, the President issued an Executive Order for meat processing facilities to remain open. Critics pointed out the obvious, which was that if employees could not come to work because of their own, or others’ sickness or disease, that the executives could not begin to operate those facilities.

A year earlier, following a fire at a Tyson-owned Holcomb, Kansas beef processing facility, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue had directed the USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to launch an “investigation into recent beef pricing margins to determine if Read the rest of this entry »

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Who are YOU willing to sacrifice for this economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Your Money, or Your Life… You Choose.

Presently, there are increasing calls clamoring for our states’ and nation’s economies to be returned to a state of “normalcy” (whatever that may be, or look like). Those voices are largely cacophonous, often belligerent, threatening with violent, even lawless displays, such as in Michigan recently, when renegades and insurrectionists stormed the State Capitol building armed with loaded assault weapons, and battle accouterments such as helmets, flak jackets, and bullet-proof vests, threatening to kill the Governor, and attempted to seize the Legislative floors.

In response, some states’ Governors are “reopening” their states’ economies, which have been largely shuttered for the benefit, and protection of the Greater Good, preservation of Public Health, and the prevention of loss of life, through unwitting dissemination of a particularly insidious and occult disease for which we have no cure, neither validated, nor verified treatment, nor vaccine – the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19.

It seems to me that, in essence, what is being done – not merely said – is presenting a “your money, or your life” robbery type scenario, a practical sacrificing of human life upon the altar of filthy lucre to the god of mammon, through the high priests of Read the rest of this entry »

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French Scientists Discover COVID-19 In December 2019 BEFORE The China Outbreak

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

This information, which was reported just yesterday (Monday, 4 May 2020), is turning the entire understanding of this disease on its ear.

Previously thought to have originated in China, COVID-19 is now thought to have been spreading globally long before the outbreak in Wuhan, China ever occurred.

An interesting observation:
This individual –and– “Patient Zero” in Wuhan were BOTH fishmongers.

A germane question:
Could this virus be related to, or capable of being transmitted in aquatic wildlife?


Who: 42 year old man born in Algeria, lived in France for many years, worked as fishmonger

What: retrospective investigation for SARS-COV2 (novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19) in respiratory samples collected

Where: intensive care units (ICUs) of hospital north of Paris, France

When: December 27, 2019

Why: Presented to emergency ward with hemoptysis (coughing up blood/bloody sputum), cough, headache and fever, evolving for 4 days

How: RT-PCR test (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) the most sensitive technique for mRNA (genetic) detection and quantitation currently available

Additional Facts: Last trip was in Algeria during August 2019. One of his children presented with ILI (influenza-like illness) prior to the onset of his symptoms. His medical history included asthma, type II diabetes mellitus. Had not visited China.

See also: COVID-19 in France since December, hospital test suggests
Researchers testing old samples found COVID-19 in a man treated a month before France confirmed its first cases.
(https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/covid-19-france-december-hospital-test-suggests-200504154024084.html)

See also: French hospital discovers Covid-19 case from December
Man found to have had virus a month before government confirmed first cases
(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/04/french-hospital-discovers-covid-19-case-december-retested)

See also: After retesting samples, French hospital discovers COVID-19 case from December
(https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france/after-retesting-samples-french-hospital-discovers-covid-19-case-from-december-idUSKBN22G20L)

See also: French hospital discovers country’s first known Covid-19 case, from December
A French hospital which has retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered that it treated a man who had Covid-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.
(https://www.france24.com/en/20200505-france-s-first-known-covid-19-case-was-in-december)

See also: After Retesting Samples, French Hospital Discovers COVID-19 Case From December
(https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/05/04/world/europe/04reuters-health-coronavirus-france.html)

See also: Genetic Study Shows COVID-19 Was in France Weeks Before The First Case Was Reported
(https://www.sciencealert.com/genetic-investigation-reveals-covid-19-was-circulating-in-europe-before-cases-were-reported)


International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

Available online 3 May 2020, 106006

Highlights

• Covid-19 was already spreading in France in late December 2019, a month before the official first cases in the country.
• Early community spreading changes our knowledge of covid-19 epidemic.
• This new case changes our understanding of the epidemic and modeling studies should adjust to this new data.

Abstract

The COVID-19 epidemic is believed to have started in late January 2020 in France. We report here a case of a patient hospitalized in December 2019 in our intensive care, of our hospital in the north of Paris, for hemoptysis with no etiological diagnosis and for which RT-PCR was performed retrospectively on the stored respiratory sample which confirmed the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Based on this result, it appears that the COVID-19 epidemic started much earlier.

SARS-COV-2 was already spreading in France in late December 2019


Introduction

After its onset in December 2019 in China, the new coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) spreads widely in several countries, causing COVID-19 illness.1 World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.3 France reported the first cases of SARS-COV-2 related infection on January 24, 2020.5 Both cases had a history of travel to Wuhan.6 To the best of our knowledge, these 2 cases are believed to be the first confirmed cases in France. COVID-19 most commonly present with influenza-like illness (ILI).7 While China was facing COVID-19 outbreak, European countries were struggling with seasonal influenza.8 Clinical symptomatology between COVID-19 and ILIis similar,we therefore decided retrospectively to look for SARS-COV2 in respiratory samples collected in the intensive care units (ICUs) of our hospital near Paris.

Methods – Retrospective analysis

Selected records

We reviewed medical record of ICUs patients admitted for ILI between December 2, 2019 and January 16, 2020, with a negative RT-PCR performed at admission. Every respiratory sample collected in our hospital are Read the rest of this entry »

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Beef, Pork, Chicken Prices to INCREASE Significantly

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Concentrated American Business Operations Spell Economic Disaster

We apparently either forgot, or didn’t learn our lessons in the events which led up to the Great Depression.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-30/the-coronavirus-won-t-bring-the-end-of-big-meat-processing-plants

Colloquially, through our nation’s Federal laws governing business practice and ownership, etc., we’ve “put all our eggs in one basket.” As a result, when one factory or industry hiccups or sneezes, the entire system gets sick. The same principle is true for many other businesses and aspects of our economy.

You’ve probably read my expressions on a topic very much like this before.

“The concentration of America’s meat packing industry is ultimately a symptom of its weakness, rather than its strength.”

Despite being the world’s second-largest meat consumer after China, the U.S. slaughters almost all of its annual production of meat in just 835 facilities.

Five decades ago (in most American’s lifetimes) there were OVER 10 times as many such facilities. Anecdotally, an Epidemiologist friend share that, “Growing up in the 50’s there were dairy farms all over the South. There are very few now.”

That’s:
🐖130 million pigs
🐄33.6 million cows
🐑2.3 million sheep

If anything, those figures significantly understate how extremely concentrated the slaughter industry is.

In fact, about 66% of America’s pork is processed through 24 giant facilities owned by just 4 companies:
1.) Smithfield Foods Inc.; 2.) JBS SA; 3.) Tyson Foods Inc., and; 4.) Clemens Family Corp.

Over 80% of beef comes from just 12 abattoirs owned by 4 companies:
1.) Tyson; 2.) JBS SA; 3.) Cargill Inc., and; 4.) Marfrig Global Foods SA.

And of the two groups of meat processors which represent 50% of the meat categories consumed in America, pork and beef, 2 companies – Tyson, and JBS SA – own or control a significant portion of that market, 25%, based upon the number of competitors in the 2 categories, pork and beef.

Tyson, which is headquartered in Arkansas, is American-owned, unlike Smithfield which is headquartered in Virginia, and owned by Chinese interests. However, a full 66% of Tyson’s operations are overseas, and the company boasts that they control 20% of the entire American market share of meat by writing that “1 in 5 pounds of chicken, beef, & pork in the U.S. is produced by Tyson Foods.”

Chicken farmers are modern-day sharecroppers, and Tyson acknowledges as much by writing that, “We supply the birds and feed, and provide technical advice, while the poultry farmer provides the labor, housing and utilities.”

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a Washington, D.C. based lobbying organization for the major players in the corporate-owned industrialized meat industry – NOT mom & pop-owned Family Farms, which are increasingly rare – writes this on their website about the meat industry in America: Read the rest of this entry »

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Scientific, Peer-Reviewed Study: Conservative-Only News Consumers Ill Informed, Believe COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

No surprise there.

There’s a reason why Fox News is monikered Faux Noize.

The Republican party is NO LONGER the “Grand” Old Party.

It’s NOT the “party of Lincoln,” and hasn’t been for quite some time.

Since circa 1964, it’s been the party of the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society, libertarians, and other radical elements. And, it was seriously ushered in during the Reagan administration when in his first inaugural address, the B-movie actor and longtime GE mouthpiece said in part that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

It’s easy to understand that if “government is the problem,” the solution to that problem is elimination of it. And that is anarchy. And yet, in his carefully crafted address, that was precisely what he was intimating – the abolition of government. For in his next sentence, he said, “From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule…”

It’s not difficult to see that his slashing of the Top Personal Income Tax bracket for the wealthiest Americans from 70% to 50%, and then to 28%, in conjunction with reductions in Capital Gains tax rates, and the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts,” also monikered as the “Death Tax,” which is properly known as the Estate Tax, which only wealthy Americans have ever paid, was purposely designed to eliminate government, rather than to refine its operations, increase efficiency, or reduce fraud, waste, and abuse at any level.

When he said, “It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed,” it could not have been made any more clear that his was a “starve the monster” approach to an alleged, though imaginary, and non-existing problem, that government was too big and the “monster” was the government.” And that was despite what he said in that same address that “Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government,”
because it couldn’t have been made more clear what his ultimate objectives were.

He again clearly identified government as being an evil monster when he said, “It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.” Hardly anyone could have done a better job of setting up a Straw Man Argument, for afterward, he beat that government straw man to a pulp.

Again, it is beyond the scope of the pale to imagine that a more populous nation would need fewer laws, or fewer people to efficiently and effectively conduct operations to provide for the demands and needs of more people. For that would be an inversely proportional relationship, that somehow a larger (more populous) nation, with more inventions, more businesses, more works of art, science, and other forms of creativity, would need fewer laws to govern their behavior and operations, and at some point in time, would eventually disappear.

The contradictions in his speech were blatant, and his intentions were fully uncloaked. Bluntly stating that “It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment,” he set about using his skills as an actor reassuring the people in a grandfatherly way that he had their best interests at heart, despite what he said otherwise.

The notion of “self-rule” is one which is emphasized by the ultra-radical group headquartered in Auburn, Alabama known as the Mises Institute, which promotes a heterodox economic world view, which includes anti-government sentiment, and the belief in the idea of anarchy – a world without government – and a “free market only” solution to everything as a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems.

Again, while Reagan was a B-movie actor, he was an actor nevertheless, and in his years on the stump for General Electric nationwide, he honed his public persuasion speeches to a fine edge, and was able to parlay that into a run for the White House which he won twice being monikered as the “Great Communicator.” But the language he used, while delivered quite well, was “dog whistle” language for anti-governmental radicals, all whom he welcomed into the GOP’s “Big Tent.”

The ground had earlier been ploughed at the 1964 Republican National Convention at Cow Palace in Daly City, CA (immediately adjacent and SOUTH of San Francisco) when then-NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller was granted 5 minutes to address the delegates to request adoption of language in the official party platform which would “repudiate here and now any doctrinaire, militant minority, whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Bircher which would subvert this party to purposes alien to the very basic tenets which gave this party birth.”

He was booed for over 16 minutes.

The language was simple, and read as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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CDC Chief OK’s FREE COVID-19 Testing for ALL

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 27, 2020

If you, your loved ones, or someone you know, needs, or wants to be tested for COVID-19, GO GET TESTED AT NO COST TO YOU!

THIS IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH!!

And, EVERYONE IS AT RISK –  not just the elderly, infirm, or those with other health conditions – EVERYONE!

Representative Porter questioned Dr. Redfield in committee on Capitol Hill March 12, and as a long-time consumer advocate attorney, discovered the law provides that CDC Director has FULL AUTHORITY to “authorize payment for the care and treatment of individuals subject to medical examination, quarantine, isolation, and conditional release…”

See the video on her Twitter timeline.

Read 42 CFR 71.30.

§ 71.30 – Payment for care and treatment.

(a) The Director may authorize payment for the care and treatment of individuals subject to medical examination, quarantine, isolation, and conditional release, subject to paragraphs (b) through (h) of this section.

(b) Payment for care and treatment shall be in the Director’s sole discretion and Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Tax Cuts Aided & Abetted Economic Collapse

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 20, 2020

The parallels are eerily similar. Republican POTUS, tax cuts, rising stock market, job losses… Great Depression.

Of course, there are other markers along the way, but the primary ones are self evident.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase wrote no less than twice that a recession was coming in the company’s April 6, 2020 letter to shareholders. “Recognizing the extraordinary extension of new credit, mentioned above, and knowing there will be a major recession [emphasis added] mean that we are exposing ourselves to billions of dollars of additional credit losses as we help both consumer and business customers through these difficult times.” p10
-and-
“Halting buybacks was simply a very prudent action – we don’t know exactly what the future will hold – but at a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession [emphasis added] combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008.” p15

Bluntly put, it wasn’t China that started this problem.

Just like in the Great Depression, and the “Great Recession,” it was the United States.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase

And the entire world suffered.

Not only did Dimon unequivocally state that we will suffer “a major recession,” and reiterated it writing “the future… will include a bad recession,” but he also identifies problems that most Democrats (Bernie Sanders notably among them) have long identified, which Republicans refuse to even hear – critical problems in health, healthcare, education, (within the purview of domestic security), infrastructure, declining wages, increased poverty, failed immigration policies, governmental inefficiency at Federal and state levels, and more.

Dimon continued by writing,

“Of course, America has always had its flaws. The current pandemic is only one example of the bad planning and management that have hurt our country: Our inner city schools don’t graduate half of their students and don’t give our children an education that leads to a livelihood; our healthcare system is increasingly costly with many of our citizens lacking any access; and nutrition and personal health aren’t even being taught at many schools. Obesity has become a national scourge. We have a litigation and regulatory system that cripples small businesses with red tape and bureaucracy; ineffective infrastructure planning and investment; and huge waste and inefficiency at both the state and federal levels. We have failed to put proper immigration policies in place; our social safety nets are poorly designed; and the share of wages for the bottom 30% of Americans has effectively been going down. We need to acknowledge these problems and the damage they have done if we are ever going to fix them.

There should have been a pandemic playbook. Likewise, every problem I noted above should have detailed and nonpartisan solutions. As we have seen in past crises of this magnitude, there will come a time when Read the rest of this entry »

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Greedy Corrupt U.S. Senators

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 20, 2020

The United States Senate is controlled by a corrupt cabal of Republicans, none of whom are racial/ethnic minority. It’s LITERALLY (at least on the GOP side) an all-White enclave.

Yesterday at his incessant bully pulpit coronavirus harping press conference, the Liar in Chief claimed to not have known about her insider trades. That, coming from a man who prides himself, and publicly boasts about having all sorts of knowledge, and whom is well-attuned to media (especially television, and Twitter) of all kinds.

Senator Kelly Loeffler, R-GA

Q Mr. President, why on that task force did you include Senator Kelly Loeffler? There’s some questions about whether she may have —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, because she’s the senator from a great state, a state that I love: Georgia.

Q But there’s some insider trading issues with her.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I — that, I don’t know. I really don’t know about that. But she’s a senator from Georgia, and she was included in the list, absolutely.

Go ahead. A couple of more. Go ahead, please. Yeah.

Most folks want to talk about Richard Burr, the first known case of Insider Trading on coronavirus information in the Senate..

But when we’re talking about Insider Trading, let’s not forget the gubernatorially-appointed Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, whom $old million$ of dollar$ of $tock THE VERY DAY (January 24) she attended a private, Senators-only meeting about coronavirus, and Tweeted about it. The Daily Beast was the first news outlet to report her nefarious deed.

But, let’s take a look at who’s shafting the American public by NOT playing fair and square and abusing their insider knowledge:

• Richard Burr, Republican North Carolina Senator – Net Worth $3M+

• Kelly Loeffler, Republican Georgia Senator – Net Worth $500M+

• James M. Inhofe, Republican Oklahoma Senator – Net Worth $9M+

• Ron Johnson, Republican Wisconsin Senator – Net Worth $30M+

Senator Richard Burr, R-NC

• Diane Feinstein, Democrat, California Senator – Net Worth $90M+

Nope, no trend or common denominators at all. Totally random. /sarcasm

All Senators,
80% Republican,
60% Male,
100% White,
100% Multi-Millionaires

• When he retires from the Senate in 2022, Burr will have been in Congress (House & Senate) a TOTAL of 27 years

• Loeffler is married to the CEO of the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, and others, is a political “newbie” appointed by Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp to temporarily fill the unexpired 2016 term of Johnny Isakson who resigned 31 December 2019 to care for his Parkinson’s disease. Loeffler intends to campaign for the office during a Special Election.

• Inhofe has been in Congress 33 years, and 17 years in Oklahoma State & Local politics TOTAL POLITICAL TIME=50 years

• Johnson is a political newcomer, and was first elected in 2010 to the US Senate
TOTAL POLITICAL TIME=10 years

• Feinstein was first elected to the Senate in 1992, before that she was 18 years in California Local politics
TOTAL POLITICAL TIME=46 years

Here’s a very simple solution:

Require all such financial assets (stocks, bonds, securities, including real estate, etc.) to be placed into a Blind Trust for the duration of their term of office.

Problem solved.

Insider trading by Congress? It’s time to fix the law

By Patrick Augustin, Francis Cong and Marti G. Subrahmanyam, Opinion Contributors — 04/19/20 01:30 PM EDT


Is trading by Congress illegal? Should members of Congress be allowed to trade financial securities that are sensitive to private information? The “coronavirus trades” made by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and his wife just prior to the March ’20 market crash raise these questions and signal the need for changes to the law. Some proposals go as far as banning stock trading by members of congress outright. The other extreme is to allow full discretion. The right solution is in between: Only allowing public officials to trade securities based on broad market indices.

The concern over insider trading by members of Congress is not new. Academic research shows that investment strategies that mimic trades by members of thU.S. Senate and thHouse of Representatives outperform the market by more than Read the rest of this entry »

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Billionaire Explains Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 18, 2020

linkedin.com

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed (Parts 1 & 2)


By Ray Dalio

Co-Chief Investment Officer & Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, L.P.

Summary

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a middle-class family by parents who took good care of me, to go to good public schools, and to come into a job market that offered me equal opportunity. I was raised with the belief that having equal opportunity to have basic care, good education, and employment is what is fair and best for our collective well-being. To have these things and use them to build a great life is what was meant by living the American Dream.

At age 12 one might say that I became a capitalist because that’s when I took the money I earned doing various jobs, like delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and caddying and put it in the stock market when the stock market was hot. That got me hooked on the economic investing game which I’ve played for most of the last 50 years. To succeed at this game I needed to gain a practical understanding of how economies and markets work. My exposure to most economic systems in most countries over many years taught me that the ability to make money, save it, and put it into capital (i.e., capitalism) is the most effective motivator of people and allocator of resources to raise people’s living standards. Over these many years I have also seen capitalism evolve in a way that it is not working well for the majority of Americans because it’s producing self-reinforcing spirals up for the haves and down for the have-nots. This is creating widening income/wealth/opportunity gaps that pose existential threats to the United States because these gaps are bringing about damaging domestic and international conflicts and weakening America’s condition.

I think that most capitalists don’t know how to divide the economic pie well and most socialists don’t know how to grow it well, yet we are now at a juncture in which either a) people of different ideological inclinations will work together to skillfully re-engineer the system so that the pie is both divided and grown well or b) we will have great conflict and some form of revolution that will hurt most everyone and will shrink the pie.

I believe that all good things taken to an extreme can be self-destructive and that everything must evolve or die. This is now true for capitalism. In this report I show why I believe that capitalism is now not working for the majority of Americans, I diagnose why it is producing these inadequate results, and I offer some suggestions for what can be done to reform it. Because this report is rather long, I will present it in two parts: part one outlining the problem and part two offering my diagnosis of it and some suggestions for reform.

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

Before I explain why I believe that capitalism needs to be reformed, I will explain where I’m coming from, which has shaped my perspective. I will then show the indicators that make it clear to me that the outcomes capitalism is producing are inconsistent with what I believe our goals are. Then I will give my diagnosis of why capitalism is producing these inadequate outcomes and conclude by offering some thoughts about how it can be reformed to produce better outcomes.

Part 1

Where I’m Coming From

I was lucky enough to Read the rest of this entry »

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Donald Trump made America Number 1

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Donald Trump has made America Number 1 again!

Here’s a look at the leader board as of Saturday, April 18, 2020, 2000 ET (0000 GMT).

Top 25 Most Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Internationally


Global – 2,317,759
732,197 – United States
191,726 – Spain
175,925 – Italy
149,149 – France
143,342 – Germany

115,314 – United Kingdom
83,787 – China
82,329 – Turkey
80,868 – Iran
37,183 – Belgium

36,793 Read the rest of this entry »

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America! You’re GROWING!!! GET COUNTED! Because SIZE MATTERS!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Here are a few factoids for your entertainment.

• There are SO FEW people in Wyoming, that they have enough room on their automobile license plates to depict a cowboy on a bucking bronco… and STILL have plenty of room leftover for numbers & letters for EVERY car in the state.

• There are MORE people in Nashville, TN (669,053) than there are in Wyoming (578,759).

• There are MORE people in Tennessee (6,829,174) than there are in Colorado (5,758,736).

• The TOTAL number of students (13,131), faculty, and staff (9,253) at Vanderbilt University, and employees at the now-independent University Medical Center (24,039) totals 46,423, which, in effect, makes it a city unto itself, and is why the University (and MC) have the state’s ONLY state-certified police force, with full authority to perform EVERY law enforcement function of the state. They’re also voluntarily, and fully accredited by three law enforcement accrediting bodies, one international, one national, one state:

CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies)
IACLEA (International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators)
TLEA (Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation)

Here’s a factoid sheet on VUMC (Vanderbilt University Medical Center).

Speaking of size (because, yeah… size matters!), we’re growing! And by “we” I mean to refer to the United States.

For example, did you know that: → Population Rank

• Denver’s population is 716,492. → 19

• Atlanta, GA’s population is 498,044. → 37
(And was once called the “New York” of the South.)

• Jacksonville, FL = 903,889 → 12
• Fort Worth, TX = 895,008 → 13
• Columbus, OH = 892,533 → 14
• San Francisco, CA = 883,305 → 15
• Charlotte, NC = 872,498 → 16
• Indianapolis, IN = 867,125 → 17
• Seattle, WA = 744,955 → 18
• District of Columbia = 702,455 → 20
• Boston, MA = 694,583 → 21
• Detroit, MI = 672,662 → 23
• Portland, OR = 653,115 → 25
• Memphis, TN = 650,618 → 26
• Fresno, CA = 530,093 → 34

Comparatively, these cities’ names, while familiar, might conjure up population pictures that are not necessarily what one might imagine.

For example, who would’ve thought that San Francisco (883,305) and Charlotte (872,498) are almost identically populated? Size Rank → 15, 16

Or Denver (716,492) and Nashville (669,053)? →  19, 24
Or Boston (694,583) and El Paso (682,669)? → 21, 22
Or Las Vegas (644,644) and Louisville, KY (620,118)? → 28, 29
Or Atlanta (498,044), and Read the rest of this entry »

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“Radical reforms” are needed to stabilize economy.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 6, 2020

The Financial Times is no slouch organization – neither are they “left-leaning,” nor “liberal,” per se – at least not in the common, modern political sense.

They’re as “conservative” as they come.

And to read that “an irregular and precarious labour market,” combined with “monetary loosening by central banks [that] will help the asset-rich,” the loss of income by ” the young and active,” multiplied by

In short, nothing but “radical reforms” – defined as “reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades” – will save individual nations’ economies, and the global economy at large.

The “laissez faire” attitude toward business, economy, and finance must be replaced by governments taking “a more active role in the economy,” including making “labour markets less insecure.”

Investing in public economic infrastructure, i.e, considering “public services as investments,” reconsidering the notion of “redistribution” of wealth, in conjunction with eliminating “the privileges of the elderly and wealthy,” and implementing “basic income and wealth taxes” will no longer be “considered eccentric.”

In short, “you must offer a social contract that benefits everyone.”

Suddenly (it seems), Bernie’s ideas aren’t so “radical,” anymore.

Suddenly (it seems), Elizabeth Warren’s ideas aren’t “way out in left field.”

Suddenly (it seems), Andrew Yang’s “Freedom Dividend” isn’t “extremist.”

Suddenly (it seems), everything old is new again.

But, you know the saying,

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

–– George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish philosopher, writing in The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress (1905-1906), “Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense”

The post-WWII Bretton Woods agreement, which pegged international currencies to the U.S. Dollar, which was itself based upon the “Gold Standard,” will again be in the fore of discussion, and was unilaterally abolished by then-POTUS Richard Nixon through a series of measures called the “Nixon Shock” which effectively destroyed the Agreement, which was created when the world’s nations assembled in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish a globally stabilizing economic system.

The Federal Reserve writes this about the Bretton Woods agreement:

“The international monetary system after World War II was dubbed the Bretton Woods system after the meeting of forty-four countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. The countries agreed to keep their currencies fixed (but adjustable in exceptional situations) to the dollar, and the dollar was fixed to gold. Since 1958, when the Bretton Woods system became operational, countries settled their international balances in dollars, and US dollars were convertible to gold at a fixed exchange rate of $35 an ounce. The United States had the responsibility of keeping the dollar price of gold fixed and had to adjust the supply of dollars to maintain confidence in future gold convertibility.”

Up until the time of the “Nixon Shock,” employees’ wages in the United States had generally kept pace with increases in GDP, or economic output. But after the “Nixon Shock” in 1971, wages have essentially flat-lined, while GDP has risen.

In response to Nixon’s unilateral decision, the ten leading developed nations in the world – Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States – entered into an agreement monikered as the Smithsonian Agreement which was a temporary agreement negotiated in 1971 which adjusted the system of fixed exchange rates established under the Bretton Woods Agreement and created a new standard for the dollar, to which other industrialized nations then pegged their currencies to the U.S. dollar.

As Certified Financial Analyst Michael Lebowitz, wrote in 2016, “unshackling the U.S. monetary system from the discipline of a gold standard, allowed the Fed to play a leading role in replacing the Virtuous Cycle with an Un-Virtuous Cycle. Eliminating the risk of global redemption of U.S. dollars for gold also eliminated the discipline, the checks and balances, on deficit spending by the government and its citizens. As the debt accumulated, the requirement on the Federal Reserve to drive interest rates lower became mandatory to enable the economic system to service that debt. And this effectively changed the course of U.S. economic history.”

These observations, and others, are, and have been, borne out by others, as well, such as in February 14, 2019, by Bloomberg writer Noah Smith, who wrote about wage stagnation in part that, “Workers lost a lot of ground between 1973 and 1994, and didn’t make up enough of it between 1994 and 2009. Stronger worker representation within companies, as well as government health care, would help restore some of those losses.”

But perhaps the simplest explanation I’ve ever heard, or read, about the value of good, strong and effective regulation is one which I’ve said for many years, which is this:

Regulations strengthen markets the same way that regulations create competitive sports, and operate machinery. Remove regulations and games become a pointless free-for-all, while removing or changing regulations on an automobile engine (such as through changing timing), and it will self-destruct fairly quickly.

But again, it seems that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Are our memories truly that Alzheimered?

Or, do we just not give a damn?

I contend that for some, Read the rest of this entry »

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Mayo Clinic to have COVID-19 Antibody Test by Monday

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 3, 2020

“How can I know if I’m FULLY recovered from COVID-19 novel coronavirus?” is a question that gets asked by many, particularly by those who have been infected by COVID-19.

Unfortunately – to this point, at least – the answer to that question has been “We don’t know.”

Fortunately, however, researchers have rapidly doubled-down on their research, intensified their efforts, and are becoming fruitful.

Here’s a brief story about one such effort.

MPRNews.org

Mayo Clinic expects COVID-19 antibody test to be ready Monday


The Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building
Pedestrians cross the street as they leave Mayo Clinic’s Gonda Building in Rochester, Minn., in 2016. Mayo researchers say they’re close to releasing tests that would tell whether a person has had and recovered from COVID-19.Alex Kolyer for MPR News file (Minnesota Public Radio)

Researchers at Mayo Clinic expect to release a test that would tell whether a person has had and recovered from COVID-19 on Monday. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports the University of Minnesota is also narrowing in on an antibody test.

The tests would help public health officials understand the scope of the outbreak and identify people who could safely be in public to help with relief efforts. They would also help in an effort to treat critical COVID-19 patients with plasma from individuals who have recovered.

Elitza Theel is director of the Mayo Clinic lab testing COVID-19 antibody tests. She spoke with MPR News host Tom Crann Wednesday.

You can listen to the interview by clicking on the audio player above, or read the transcript below, which has been edited lightly for clarity and length.

Q: Tell us first, what is an antibody?

A: Antibodies essentially recognize the virus and can help inactivate and kill it.

It’s important to know that these types of tests are different than all of the molecular tests that are being done off of nasal swabs or throat swabs. Those tests detect viral genetic material [to show whether the coronavirus has infected that person].

These [blood serum] antibody tests are detecting a person’s immune response to that virus. It takes, in some cases, 10 to 11 days for a person to mount an immune response and produce these antibodies, so these tests aren’t going to be used as a diagnostic in patients that are presenting with two or three days of symptoms.

Q: Tell us how soon they’ll be ready

A: At Mayo, we hope to have it available as early as next week. We will be doing kind of a slow roll out because, similar to the situation with molecular tests, there’s a limited supply of these tests. We’re hoping that commercial manufacturers will ramp up here in the next few weeks so that we can make it available much more widely.

Q: Then it can go straight to to doctors, public health departments, or is FDA approval needed? How does that work?

A: FDA approval is not needed at this time. However, laboratories that are offering these tests have to go through a very rigorous verification process to make sure that the tests they’re offering provide the right results.

Clinicians will be able to order this in individuals who they think having are a result for would be helpful to either guide return to work [decisions] or further quarantining.

Also, you may have heard about the convalescent plasma treatment trials. As we wait for antivirals and vaccines to be developed and deployed, we need some sort of bridging therapy. So, the idea here is to identify individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, collect their plasma, make sure that it has the antibodies, and then use that plasma to treat acutely ill patients. We’re basically providing somebody else’s antibodies to ill patients who maybe don’t have an immune response mounted yet, and these antibodies would essentially help to fight off the virus.

Q: How close are we on plasma treatment?

A: Clinical trials are starting very soon, both here at Mayo Clinic as well as many other locations across the U.S.

Q: Why is it important to have this information about how many people have been infected, even if they are recovered?

A: There’s a couple of reasons. One, we know there’s a significant number of individuals who have been infected without symptoms. So, knowing the true number, the true denominator of individuals who have been infected with COVID-19, would allow us to determine the true case fatality rate. And then the other reason this is important is identifying when, as a community, as a region, as a nation, we’ve reached herd immunity status.

Read the rest of this entry »

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