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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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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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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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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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“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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America: Very nearly 105,000 COVID-19 cases… and INCREASING

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 28, 2020

Yesterday (Friday, 27 March 2020), at 7:20 AM CST DST, there were 85,991 Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the good ol’ USA.

That’s an INCREASE of 21.9162%.

If that pattern continues to hold, we could expect to see at least 127,902 cases by Sunday, 29 March 2020.

In stark contrast to China, or even Italy, the United States today has 21.7871% MORE cases than does China, which yesterday, had 81,894 confirmed cases. Today, China’s 81,996 morning figure is a mere 0.1245% increase.

Some experts attending the Hospital Association of America have predicted that America could see 96,000,000 US coronavirus Read the rest of this entry »

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10 GOOD Things COVID-19 Will Cause.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Every period of change in human history has been preceded by chaos and upheaval.

COVID-19 novel coronavirus is exposing our weaknesses, our strengths, where changes are needed and must occur, and where we are performing well.

This illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. Image credit: CDC.

There will be positive outcomes, of course, one of which will be that it is no longer necessary for some people to assemble, or congregate in one place to work. It is being proven that work which can be performed remotely, i.e., from one’s residence, will be increasingly utilized, and that will be a net positive outcome in several ways.

Here’s a list of…

10 GOOD Things COVID-19 Will Cause.

• One, it will reduce going-to, and coming-from work-related commuting traffic volume.

• Two, it will increase employee satisfaction, insofar as one will not fight traffic in order to get to work, or home from work.

• Three, because fewer automobiles will be on the roadway, it will reduce automobile emissions, and therefore yield an environmentally net positive result.

• Four, because traffic will be reduced, navigation will be Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Renewable Energy Cheaper

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Read the original report here:
https://carbontracker.org/reports/handbrake-turn/

Nearly $640 billion coal investments undercut by cheap renewables: research

by Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly $640 billion of investment in coal power capacity worldwide is at risk because it is cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables, research by think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative showed on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows out of the towers of the coal-powered Kosovo Power Plant A in Obilic, near Pristina December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Hazir Reka/File Photo

Institutional investors are increasingly withdrawing from fossil fuel companies due to the risk their assets will become stranded as tougher emissions-cuts targets discourage their use and renewable energy becomes even cheaper.

The report examined the economics of 95% of coal plants which are operating, under construction or planned worldwide.
Globally, 499 gigawatts (GW) of new coal power capacity is planned or under construction with an investment cost of $638 billion.

More than 60% of global coal plants are currently generating electricity at a higher cost than could be produced by building new renewables.

By 2030 at the latest, it will be cheaper to build new wind or solar capacity than continue operating coal in all markets, the report said.

The capital recovery period for new investments in coal capacity is usually 15 to 20 years, making these investments risky.

“Renewables are out-competing coal Read the rest of this entry »

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Welcome to our Incestuous Fiscal Orgy – State Farm Privacy Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Take notice of this text of the upper area of the note:
Why are we sending you a Notice of our Privacy Policy?

“Federal law permits banks, investment companies, and insurance companies to provide all their services under one organization. This same law requires State Farm to share our Notice of Privacy Policy in writing with you each year you are insured with us or maintain an account with us.”

Let me re-emphasize this point:
“Federal law permits banks, investment companies, and insurance companies to provide all their services under one organization.”

This law – the Glass-Steagall Act – since its inception in Great Depression era America in 1933, FORBADE the incestuous fiscal orgy under which this nation now suffers.

The Glass-Steagall Act was the subject of intense lobbying efforts by Banks, Insurance Companies and Stock Brokerage Houses to repeal the law, and especially intensified circa 1960’s, climaxing in the late 1990’s under a Republican-controlled House and Senate.

The 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act allowed commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to consolidate, or commingle, their business.

Previously, it prohibited any of those institutions (banks, insurance companies, and stock brokerage houses) from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, or insurance company.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Public Law 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999), was signed into law by President Clinton.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU and ME, AND HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU and ME?

The recent financial melt-down in this nation – now being called “The Great Recession” – is due in large part to the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act, because the banks that made bad loans, the insurance companies that insured the real estate and commercial paper, and the stock brokerage houses that traded the stocks of both, and owned both, were greedy for more gain, and eventually began to invent complex mechanisms and artificial commercial paper which came to be known as “derivatives.”

In essence, those “derivatives” were based upon Credit Default Swaps – another complex and inherently evil type of financial thing/device – which was described by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in March 2010 as “Credit-default swaps, where you insure your neighbor’s house just to destroy it and make money from it, that’s exactly what we have to curb. We must succeed at putting a stop to the speculators’ game with sovereign states.”

The types of investments that most people tend to be familiar with, such as stocks and bonds, involve betting that a company or government will do well. In stark contrast, a credit default swap (CDS) allows an investor to bet that a certain bond issuer will do poorly, or fail – not be able to meet its obligations. In financial markets, the CDS is sometimes thought of as a form of Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Man Pleads Guilty To Selling Cars He Didn’t Own: Where’s the crime?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 24, 2020

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, and various related published stories, 35-year-old Robert Brandon Malone of Prattville, AL plead guilty Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in Federal court to three counts of wire fraud, and one count of transporting a stolen vehicle in a scheme in which he sold cars he did not own.

United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell, and Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson made the announcement.

The United States Attorney’s Office issued a news release 20 February which outlined the facts of the case, as follows:

“According to court records, in April of 2017, Malone posted a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck for sale on the advertising website craigslist. However, the truck was actually a trade-in vehicle to the dealership for which he worked at the time. After the post, he was contacted by a potential buyer and represented to him that he was the actual owner. The buyer made the purchase, but returned the vehicle after learning that Malone did not own the truck. Malone did not refund his money.

“Later, in January of 2018, Malone was working on a Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck for someone and was storing it at his shop. Once again, he created a craigslist post listing it for sale although the owner had not given him the authority to do so. A potential buyer contacted Malone and arranged a trade for another vehicle. Once he learned that Malone did not own the truck, it was returned to the rightful owner. However, the vehicle that was traded was not returned.

“Finally, in November of 2018, Malone went to a car dealership in Georgia and was in the process of completing the paperwork to purchase an Audi R8. However, before the purchase was complete, he drove the vehicle off the lot and back to Prattville. He contacted someone that he knew was in the market for an Audi and they drove to Prattville to look at the vehicle. The purchaser gave him a down payment for the car and left his F-150 with Malone to hold temporarily until he could return to pick it up. Malone did not wait for the owner to return, instead, he listed the truck on Instagram and sold it to another individual. Ultimately, the Audi was returned to the dealership and the truck to the Audi purchaser. However, neither victim recovered their losses.”

Now, this is where things get interesting.

Just in the case you’re not aware of it (and I wouldn’t expect 95-98% of readers to be, though I could be surprised), such an activity isn’t illegal on the stock market… per se.

First, let’s review the core facts of the above-mentioned case.

1.) In the first instance, by virtue of his employment, he (Malone) was in possession of a vehicle, which he sold to a willing party. The willing party returned the truck when he discovered that Malone didn’t have title to it, and Malone didn’t refund his money. A case for theft could possibly have been made, but was not, because under Federal law, Read the rest of this entry »

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Woman Is STILL The Nigger Of The World: Violence Against Women, A Global Problem

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 1, 2020

What do Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Angela Merkel of Germany, Brigitte Macron of France, Aung San Suu Kyi of Indonesia, and Sonia Gandi of India have in common?

If you guessed that they are subjects of Italian artist Alexsandro Palombo, then you’d be correct.

In the images, all the women all have black eyes, numerous additional wounds to their face, cuts and bruises to their neck and upper torso, including fresh blood… it is explicitly clear that they all have suffered at the hands of an abuser.

Fortunately, the pictures are pure fiction.

In each of the images of the women, the artist digitally altered photographs of them to make it appear as if they all have been victims of savage assault.

The artist Alexsandro Palombo‘s work is on display in Milan, Italy, and his FaceBook site is linked to his name.

Using a computer software to alter the images, the Read the rest of this entry »

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Milk… it STILL does a body good!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Food color.

What a compelling subject, eh?

Doubtless, it’s a spell-binding topic, and certainly one bound to keep readers’ rapt attention!

Thrilling and exciting!

Compelling even!

Except that, things aren’t always what they seem.

First, however, you’ll need to be buttered up for this one.

In an unobtrusive article cross-published in Smithsonian Magazine (also at https://www.ZocaloPublicSquare.org/2020/01/15/when-the-government-decided-the-spread-on-your-toast-should-be-pink/ideas/essay/), author Ai Hisano addresses food color.

Instead of being professionally prepared as a chef, restaurateur, food historian, or nutritional anthropologist, author Ai Hisano is Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University, Japan, and has been the Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow in Business History at Harvard Business School, where she most recently authored Visualizing Taste: How Business Changed the Look of What You Eat.

Though her article isn’t difficult to swallow, it was rather bland and under-cooked, because while she did the job fairly well enough sharing some interesting tid-bit details about the history of oleomargarine, she failed overall to address the underlying concern – and therefore the premise of – the rationale for the existence of laws regulating the color of oleomargarine.

Again,
the unspoken and underlying concern
for the color of margarine
– the question
Why was it a concern?
–  failed to be addressed.

That concern is fraud.

Sadly, food fraud remains a concern today – even in the United States.

For example, producers of plant-based non-dairy imitation milk products such as “almond milk” are rapidly being caught in the cross hairs of public intrigue with their highly-processed, made-in-a-chemistry laboratory pseudo-natural products by making numerous varieties of claims about their product(s), none of which are proven, nor represent any improvement in public health, though their marketing obliquely intimates as much.

It is inherently fraudulent to label a product as being a certain thing when it is not.

That is plain and simple.

And I write this with all sincerity: It makes me Read the rest of this entry »

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Politics, Religion, And Sex

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 10, 2020

https://www.statesman.com/news/20200109/court-rejects-appeal-arguing-that-latex-clad-dancers-are-nude-under-texas-law

PPL can be so stupid.

I think we’re living in an extraordinarily stupid era.

Sure, there are ~some~ smart folks, and some genuinely genius things have been, and are being done. But, on the whole, this age is small-minded, and inordinately consumed with a desire to make, by force of law, others behave according to the privately-held sacrosanct tenets of select individuals or groups who are, in effect, writing private law, instead of public law.

Most such individuals and groups are ultra right-wing religious radicals, zealots of the First Order, who, legally mandate others to behave according to their private principles. The ostensible effect is impressing casual observers that the adherent/practitioner believes, because their behavior demonstrates adherence and obedience to those rules and regulations. It also thereby gives automatic imprimatur to them. In such tenets, they see themselves as performing the will of their god/ess, and by extension, being pleasing to the same. It is a form of wholesale cultural appropriation and subjugation.

It is, in effect, a hypocrisy, a type of lip service which has been ridiculed and mocked via memes such as “Jesus is coming. Quick! Look busy!,” and others similarly.

In essence, in its simplest, purest form, it boils down to one group of people wanting to control another group of people, and to force them into submitting to their privately held beliefs, most of which are religiously motivated, and often predicated upon a “thou shalt not” type law.

However, the highest, if not entire, notion of religion is not only freedom, but of self-improvement and self-regulation. Religion ostensibly seeks the betterment of the individual, and by natural extension, the whole, the collective, the corporate, the community.

By working on an Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Should Churches Should Be Taxed?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ownership of these churches in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was transferred to the parishes. As a result, the churches are excluded from the bankruptcy estate available to clergy abuse victims. [Photographer: William LeGoullon for Bloomberg Businessweek]

Tax churches because they’re businesses, plain and simple. The product or service they provide is religion and/or spirituality.

Bloomberg Business News published the findings of their most recent financial investigation, which showed that – as expected – like any nominally competent business organization, or conglomerated international corporation, the Catholic Church in the United States has moved to protect its assets from being considered part of any potential judgments/settlements arising from individual or Class Action lawsuits initiated by individuals (plaintiffs) who as children were abused by priests, and now are adults.

From a business perspective, one could think of it as the Church opposing members who may be potential or prospective “creditors” in any liability arising from sex abuse cases.

The Federal Government needs to RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) them, because they’re clearly corrupt as evidenced by:
• Perpetrating, and perpetuating, sexual abuse, by;
• Deliberately hiding and shuffling perpetrator priests, and by;
• Deliberately shifting and hiding assets in response to lawsuits.

Catholic Church Shields $2 Billion in Assets to Limit Abuse Payouts

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-01-08/the-catholic-church-s-strategy-to-limit-payouts-to-abuse-victims

“In many cases, churches precede bankruptcy by transferring and reclassifying assets.

The effect is to shrink the pot of money available to clergy abuse victims.

“That and Chapter 11’s [bankruptcy] universal settle­ments and protections from further claims have been an effective Read the rest of this entry »

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Enjoying Your Trump Tax Cut? You’re Paying The Trump Tax.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 29, 2019

In September of this year alone, Americans paid a record $7.1 billion in Trump Taxes.

That’s tariffs, for those who don’t understand.

And, just to be certain… tariffs are taxes (duties) one nation places upon certain imported goods from another nation(s) which are NOT paid by the nation from where the goods originate (exporting nation), but are paid by the ultimate consumer of the importing nation.

Trump’s little “trade wars” with China, Mexico, Canada, and goodness knows who else, have now been proven to have harmed the American Economy, and the American Employee.

Yes, it’s official – the Federal Reserve published findings of their research “Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector” and concluded in part that:

“We find that the 2018 tariffs are associated with Read the rest of this entry »

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Federal Reserve Study: Trump Tariffs Hurt Economy & Employees

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 28, 2019

It’s official!

In their research work “Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector,” Aaron Flaaen, a Senior Economist, and Justin Pierce, a Principal Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, make their findings that Trump’s Tax Increase – aka “tariffs” – have actually harmed the Economy, and Employment.

“Since the beginning of 2018,
the United States has undertaken unprecedented tariff increases,
with one goal of these actions being
to boost the manufacturing sector.
In this paper, we estimate the effect of the tariffs
—including retaliatory tariffs by U.S.trading partners—
on manufacturing employment, output, and producer prices.”

“Higher tariffs are also associated with relative increases in producer prices via rising input costs.”
– Abstract; p.1

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices.”
– Section 1; p.3

“Since the end of 2018, however, manufacturing output has declined noticeably and manufacturing employment growth has stalled.”
– Section 2.1; p.5 Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Unhinged

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 28, 2019

But, we’ve known that for quite some time.

WYSIWYG.

It wasn’t as if he was participating in a “bait and switch.”

We’ve seen and heard his errant behavior live, 24-7-365 via satellite, cable, and network news, radio and television, for many years, and now, the cash-strapped media for whom he has been a practical godsend – a true answer to prayer for increased ratings and advertising rates – is obliquely questioning his legitimate fitness for office?

So OF COURSE they’re covering him like white on rice!

Once he was impeached, the media scrambled to find out if impeachment had affected his bowel habits – if he was becoming excessively gassy – especially in public; or if instead of smoothly flowing stools, he was experiencing slight constipation.

–//–

Once again, POS45 is mentally obsessed with Read the rest of this entry »

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Even MORE Famous Last Words

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 7, 2019

“You all just got a lot richer.”

– POTUS Donald Trump, to friends Friday night, December 22, 2017 at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, FL, after signing his tax cut bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97)

In response, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Tweeted that “At least Trump is finally telling the truth about his tax bill.”

The Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan, objective investigative branch of Congress, reported that the Trump tax cuts did not benefit the average American worker. Only $28 Read the rest of this entry »

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Feds Investigate Giuliani

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 16, 2019

“Oh! What a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!”

– from the play “Marmion,” Canto VI Stanza 17, by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Scottish author & novelist

Rudy Giuliani (RIGHT) at the James J. Fox cigar bar in London, with Lev Parnas (lower LEFT) and, Igor Fruman (speaking on the phone), and a third, unnamed associate. (Obtained by ProPublica)

Yesterday, Friday, 15 November 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported around noon Eastern Time, that Federal prosecutors in Manhattan were investigating whether Rudy Giuliani – a former Federal Prosecutor who is Trump’s personal lawyer – stood to profit personally from a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) venture in Ukraine, which has been linked to corrupt oligarchs, and other corrupt officials, some of whom may have been, or may be yet, associated with the Ukrainian government – including two Naturalized American Citizens, Lev Parnas, and Igor Fruman.

Lev Parnas was born in Ukraine to Jewish parents who emigrated with him to the United States when he was aged three, while Igor Fruman was born in Belarus to Jewish parents, and later moved to Detroit.

Federal authorities arrested the two men October 9, 2019 at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C. as they both sought to leave the United States with one-way flight tickets on Lufthansa Airlines flight to Frankfurt, and charged them with illegally contributing to Trump’s election campaign. Deeming them flight risks, a Federal Judge in Northern Virginia set bail at $1 million each, and the pair are still in custody.

Lev Parnas (left) and Igor Fruman are shown after their arrest on Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

The Federal indictment said Parnas acted “at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials,” and though none were named, it was well known that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s primary critic in the Ukrainian government was Yuriy Lutsenko, who at the time was the Ukraine’s Prosecutor General and well-known to use the law as a weapon for his own personal political fights.

Federal Prosecutors indicted two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, along with Parnas and Fruman, and accused them of funneling money to state and federal candidates in exchange for potential influence, noting that the four men wanted to set up recreational marijuana businesses in Nevada and other states, and sought political help to obtain the necessary licenses.

NPR reported 23 October 2019 that, “a company called Global Energy Producers (GEP) gave $325,000 to America First Action, the superPAC supporting Trump.” GEP is a shell company created by Parnas and Fruman.

According to Trevor Potter, a Republican former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), General Counsel to the now-late Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain in his 2000, and 2008 presidential campaigns, who is now an investigator and founder of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a non-partisan, non-profit legal advocacy group which monitors money and political campaigns, CLC found that the campaign contribution came from GEP which appeared to be a shell company, and as he described, was “a blank slate.”

As Potter recalled, “The company hadn’t existed. It had been formed literally a couple weeks before the contribution. It had no website, no history of political activity, so you’re thinking this is most likely a company created to make this contribution. You have to disclose on the FEC reports the true source of the money, who the contributor actually is.”

Establishing a shell company to donate political contributions is an illegal act under Federal law.

As CLC further investigated, they found that GEP – through Parnas and Fruman – had donated to then-Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican who represented Texas’ 32nd Congressional District. Sessions was defeated by Colin Allred, his Democratic challenger in the November 2018 election.

In his official capacity, then-Representative Sessions, who was Chairman of the House Rules Committee, wrote a letter in 2018 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stating that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch should be fired, and accused her of expressing “disdain” for the President and administration.

In July 2018, CLC notified the FEC of possible campaign finance violations by Parnas and Fruman.

Interestingly, in a totally separate, and seemingly unrelated turn of events, Dale W. Perry, the American owner of a large energy company doing business in Ukraine, first got wind of Parnas and Fruman after they’d met with one of his former business partners in March 2019, and described an unusual plan.

Perry characterized Parnas and Fruman’s scheme saying, “What was so troubling was, it was basically the presentation of the intent to take the gas sector back to where it was during the Yanukovych regime.”

Viktor Yanukovych is the former Ukrainian President, who, as Perry said, was “a heck of a lot more corrupt,” was friendly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in office 2010-2014, was removed from office by the Ukrainian parliament February 2014, went into self-imposed exile in southern Russia that same month, and in January 2019 was tried and convicted in absentia of treason by Ukrainian court after it was discovered he had written a letter to Putin March 1, 2014 asking him to use Russian army and police forces to restore order in Ukraine, which in turn, led to the Russian invasion of Crimea. He has been in exile since 2014.

Petro Poroshenko, considered a Ukrainian oligarch, succeeded Yanukovych, who in turn was defeated May 2019 by Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, and won with 73.22% of votes cast.

In May, as part of the celebration and acknowledgement of Zelenskiy’s election victory, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to serve as the senior U.S. government representative at his inauguration. While there, in a private meeting with Zelenskiy, Perry pressed him to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board. Those in attendance left with the impression that Perry wanted to replace the American representative, Amos Hochstein, a former Diplomat and Energy Representative who served in the Obama administration, with someone “reputable in Republican circles.”

Rick Perry, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy – official portrait

During that same trip, a second meeting occurred at a Kyiv hotel, which included Ukrainian government officials and energy sector business individuals. At that meeting, Secretary Perry was explicitly clear that Trump wanted to Read the rest of this entry »

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The United States is Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 8, 2019

I considered naming this entry “It’s All Bad: Bridges, Schools, Roads, Dams, Aviation, Drinking Water, Energy, Inland Waterways, Ports, Schools, Wastewater, Solid Waste, Transit, Public Parks, Hazardous Waste, etc.,” but decided to change it.

Perhaps the initial title was some help to guide the reader in the direction the entry would go.

Eventually, it’ll cost you money… but it’s already doing that.

Read on to see how.

Bluntly, America’s Economic Infrastructure sucks, and blows gnarly chunks.

What’s “Economic Infrastructure”?

Glad you asked.

Broadly, “Economic Infrastructure” refers to several categories of physical improvements which facilitate civil society, providing it an opportunity to grow.

Sometimes also simply called “infrastructure,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines 16 categories, or Critical Infrastructure Sectors, including (in alphabetical order):

1.) Chemical – converts various raw materials into over 70,000 different products essential to modern life, including Basic, Specialty, and Agricultural chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Consumer products

2.) Commercial Facilities – diverse sites that draw large crowds of people for shopping, business, entertainment, or lodging.

3.) Communications – provides a critical, enabling function and integral component of the U.S. economy, underlying the operations of all businesses, public safety organizations, and government via terrestrial, satellite, wireline and wireless transmission systems

4.) Critical Manufacturing – metals, machinery, transportation equipment, electrical, appliance, components

5.) Dams – dam projects, navigation locks, levees, hurricane barriers, mine tailings impoundments, and other similar water retention and/or control facilities.

6.) Defense Industrial Base – enables research, development, design, production, delivery, and maintenance of military weapons systems, subsystems, and components or parts to meet U.S. military requirements.

7.) Emergency Services – paid and volunteer at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels of government, including city police departments and fire stations, county sheriff’s offices, Department of Defense police and fire departments, and town public works departments, including private sector resources, such as industrial fire departments, private security organizations, and private emergency medical services providers

8.) Energy – provides an “enabling function” across all critical infrastructure sectors. More than 80% of the country’s energy infrastructure is owned by the private sector, supplying fuels to the transportation industry, electricity to households and businesses, and other sources of energy integral to growth and production across the nation.

9.) Financial Services – depository institutions, investment products providers, insurance companies, other credit and financing organizations, and providers of the critical financial utilities and services that support these functions, and allow customers to: Deposit funds and make payments to other parties, Provide credit and liquidity to customers, Invest funds for long and short periods, Transfer financial risks between customers

10.) Food and Agriculture – composed of an estimated 2.1 million farms, 935,000 restaurants, and more than 200,000 registered food manufacturing, processing, and storage facilities. This sector accounts for roughly one-fifth of the nation’s economic activity.

11.) Government Facilities – a wide variety of buildings, located in the United States and overseas, owned or leased by federal, state, local, and tribal governments. Many government facilities are open to the public for business activities, commercial transactions, or recreational activities while others not open to the public contain highly sensitive information, materials, processes, and equipment. These facilities include general-use office buildings and special-use military installations, embassies, courthouses, national laboratories, and structures that may house critical equipment, systems, networks, and functions. In addition to physical structures, the sector includes cyber elements that contribute to the protection of sector assets (e.g., access control systems and closed-circuit television systems) as well as individuals who perform essential functions or possess tactical, operational, or strategic knowledge.

12.) Healthcare and Public Health – protects all sectors of the economy from hazards such as terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters. While healthcare tends to be delivered and managed locally, the public health component of the sector, focused primarily on population health, is managed across all levels of government: national, state, regional, local, tribal, and territorial.

13.) Information Technology – operated by a combination of entities — often owners and operators and their respective associations — that maintain and reconstitute the network, including the Internet, central to the nation’s security, economy, and public health and safety as businesses, governments, academia, and private citizens

14.) Nuclear Reactors Materials and Waste – provide electricity to millions of Americans, to the medical isotopes used to treat cancer patients.

15.) Transportation Systems – moves people and goods quickly, safely, and securely through the country and overseas. Includes Aviation, Highway and Motor Carrier, Maritime Transportation System, Mass Transit and Passenger Rail, Pipeline Systems, Freight Rail, Postal and Shipping.

16.) Water and Wastewater – Safe drinking water is a prerequisite for protecting public health and all human activity. Properly treated wastewater is vital for preventing disease and protecting the environment. Thus, ensuring the supply of drinking water and wastewater treatment and service is essential to modern life and the Nation’s economy.

Altogether, every item in those categories all facilitate commerce, private enterprise, are component parts of a local, and state economy, and as a whole, comprise the national economy. Some of the sectors, such as Food and Agriculture, and Communications, are almost wholly owned by private enterprise. In fact, the only publicly owned, i.e., governmentally-owned, are Government Facilities. There are perhaps a few others, but there are very few, and very far in-between.

Each sector is interconnected; there is not one sector which stands alone, self-sufficient and isolated. Some sectors are more interconnected than others, such as the Communications sector, while others, such as Dams, may not have as many connections. But each one is interdependent upon the others. What affects one, affects all others. It is like a line from the John Donne poem Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII, most often called “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” which states in pertinent part that, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

All of that brings us to our next point.

As it pertains to common use by all, Economic Infrastructure is considered by Engineers, Architects, Urban Planners, Politicians, and even Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders as being – at the most fundamental level – those faculties and facilities which enable and promote commerce, and improve the lives of residents.

Before going further, let me interrupt that train of thought to say this about socialism.

Properly defined, socialism is a condition in which the government controls the means and the method of production – such as with a government-owned factory. The former Soviet Union (now known as “Russia”) had many such government-owned factories.
The United States has NEVER had any such thing.
And, if one considered the coinage and currency in their pockets
– minted and printed by the United States Treasury Department on government-owned machines –
it is STILL not considered an example of socialism.

Why not?

The raw materials – the paper, ink, metals, and machines to make it – all came from the Private Sector via publicly bid contracts.

Continuing…

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rates America’s Infrastructure a “D+.” https://www.InfrastructureReportCard.org/

The ASCE identifies some 16 very similar categories of capital improvements as being (in alphabetical order):
1.) Aviation
2.) Bridges
3.) Dams
4.) Drinking Water
5.) Energy
6.) Hazardous Waste
7.) Inland Waterways
8.) Levees
9.) Ports
10.) Public Parks
11.) Rail
12.) Roads
13.) Schools
14.) Solid Waste
15.) Transit
16.) Wastewater

About the report, they wrote in part that “Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Infrastructure Report Card, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F. Since 1998, America’s infrastructure has earned persistent D averages, and the failure to close the investment gap with needed maintenance and improvements has continued. But the larger question at stake is the implication of D+ infrastructure on America’s economic future. The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card found the national grade for infrastructure remains at a “D+” — the same grade the United States received in 2013 — suggesting only incremental progress was made over the last four years toward restoring America’s infrastructure. ASCE evaluated 16 categories of infrastructure in the 2017 Report Card, with grades ranging from a “B” for Rail to a “D-” for Transit.

Consider also this: “The need for wastewater infrastructure exceeds $271 Billion.”

So… how does this affect you, and your family?

Check this out.

In 2016, the ASCE published a document titled “Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future,” which stated in part the following:

“The cost of deteriorating infrastructure takes a toll on families’ disposable household income and impacts the quality and quantity of jobs in the U.S. economy. With deteriorating infrastructure, higher business costs will be incurred in terms of charges for services and efficiency, which will lead to higher costs incurred by households for goods and services due to the rising prices passed on by businesses.

“As a consequence, U.S. businesses will be more inefficient. As costs rise, business productivity falls, causing GDP to drop, cutting employment, and ultimately reducing personal income.

“From 2016 to 2025, each household will lose $3,400 each year in disposable income due to infrastructure deficiencies; and if not addressed, the loss will grow to an average of $5,100 annually from 2026 to 2040, resulting in cumulative losses up to almost $34,000 per household from 2016 to 2025 and almost $111,000 from 2016 to 2040 (all dollars in 2015 value).

“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.

“Closing each infrastructure investment gap is possible, and the economic consequences caused by these gaps are avoidable with investment.”

Does that hit home hard enough?

And yet, we’re almost there.

What about the roads in your town, city, state, and nationwide? Are they in pristine condition? I sincerely doubt it. Pothole-filled roads tear up your car, don’t they? That costs you money, and time, because you gotta’ find another way around the rotten roads so your car won’t be destroyed by traveling upon them. But, what if you can’t?

Business Insider magazine recently published a story headlined about America’s most dangerous bridges in all 50 states.
https://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-bridges-america-2017-5

Reckon what it’d cost to fix ’em ALL? Not just to fill every pothole, or fix every cracked roadway, but to (if necessary) rebuild EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY road in the United States? And while you’re at it, expand and build more – and add to it coast-to-coast high-speed, mag-lev monorail trains. China, Germany, England, France, Japan, and other nations already have high-speed trains, and monorail trains are even in Disneyland.

WHY CAN’T WE BUILD A BETTER SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE TO USE?

Imagine what it’d be like to be able to Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Makes a Non-Educator Secretary of Education, Then Reading Scores Drop. What’d you expect?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 1, 2019

Trump selects a billionairess (Betsy DeVos) to be the Secretary of Education – a woman who has:
• Only attended elite private schools her entire life, has
• Never stepped foot in a public school, and has
• Never even once been a teacher, teacher’s aide, or in any administrative capacity of any school whatsoever, and
• Doesn’t have an advanced degree, and her 1979 Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree is in Business Economics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Then, reading scores “suddenly” dropped.

What’d you expect?

Seriously.

At least she was honest about what she wants to do to you with her money.

“But DeVos understands political interests, and that money is the mother’s milk of politics.  And she does expect something in return.

“In a 1997 op-ed for RollCall, she wrote, “My family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party … I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence,” the piece reads. “Now, I simply concede the point. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues.  We expect a return on our investment; we expect a good and honest government.  Furthermore, we expect the Republican Party to use the money to promote these policies and, yes, to win elections.”

Of course, her only “solution” to the problem is to increase school vouchers which purposely drain public tax dollars AWAY from public schools to private schools.

Yeah, that’ll fix it.

Starve the monster.

––//––

Reading Scores on National Exam Decline in Half the States

The results of the test, which assesses a sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students, will inevitably prompt demands for policy change.

By Erica L. Green and Dana Goldstein
Oct. 30, 2019

WASHINGTON — America’s fourth and eighth graders are losing ground in their ability to read literature and academic texts, according to a rigorous national assessment released Wednesday that is likely to fuel concerns over student achievement after decades of tumult on the educational landscape.

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, speaking at a press conference in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, 30 October 2019. Photo by Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times.

Two out of three children did not meet the standards for reading proficiency set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Education Department.

The dismal results reflected the performance of about 600,000 students in reading and math, whose scores made up what is called the “nation’s report card.” The average eighth-grade reading score declined in more than half of the states compared with 2017, the last time the test was given. The average score in fourth-grade reading declined in 17 states. Math scores remained relatively flat in most states.

Only 35 percent of fourth graders were proficient in reading in 2019, down from 37 percent in 2017; Read the rest of this entry »

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One word: Plastics.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 14, 2019

Film buffs may recall the 1967 classic motion picture which cast Dustin Hoffman as the central character/protagonist, and included vocal music by Paul Simon (performed by Simon and Garfunkel), and instrumental music by Dave Grusin.

Featuring enduring classic Simon and Garfunkel hits as “The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Scarborough Fair,” the music may be the most enduring part of the film.

It was Dustin Hoffman’s first serious motion picture acting role, and became the foundation upon which he would later build his career, and later, achieve international stardom.

While two movies in which he was role cast were released that year – The Tiger Makes Out, and The Graduate – it was the latter for which he became most renown.

Based on the novel by Charles Webb, the screenplay was written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, and though described as a blended comedy, drama, romance genre film, its high-brow humor on a low-brow topic edges on the dryly sardonic-to-noir, while the drama is real.

And romance?

Well, it’s hardly romantic.

Read the July 19, 1968 critique of “The Graduate” by Jacob R. Brackman published The New Yorker, which essentially makes the same conclusion.

What else could be said for an early horny housewife MILF movie?

Because that theme – that “Ben Braddock” (played by Hoffman), a soon-to-be recent university graduate, is dating Elaine Robinson, a as-yet-ungraduated peer at an in-town university, and their relationship progresses to the point of marriage (for Elaine, but not for Ben), all while a steamy, purely sexual relationship is developed between Mrs. Robinson (played by Anne Bancroft) who first initiated overtures toward Ben, to which he later succumbed – is what drives the story along.

As his natural senior, Mrs. Robinson clearly takes unfair selfish advantage of Ben’s naiveté, and in that sense, demonstrates not merely manipulation, but abuse.

Naturally, all such relationships of that type are mostly kept secret and frowned upon in polite society, and this case is certainly no different, which provides the tension for the drama in the film. Only this one turns toward blackmail, and the farcically shallow, emotionally manipulative, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship is only suggested, and is rarely fully displayed in the film – though there are moments – and again, demonstrates the vacuous depths of Mrs. Robinson’s emotional, psychosexual needs, and the treachery to which she goes to fulfill her unmet needs.

Moreover, the humor is frequently dead-panned, and is by no means slapstick. A 1968 review of the movie in The New Yorker described it as “European moviemaking done right in the heart of American movieville,” and I couldn’t agree more – which is not to say that the film (and book) are unworthy as art, or entertainment, for they are. But as a genre, “because American films straggle so far behind literature and European films in reflecting the actual quality of modern life, rudimentary negativism can easily be taken for truthfulness, and a decade-old vision can appear to be “ahead of its time.””

And so it is with “The Graduate.”

But the movie and its themes were not my intended target.

Instead, the subject I wanted to focus upon is Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the Banana Boat Sunk?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 17, 2019

You’re fixing to lose the bananas in your breakfast cereal.

And banana pudding will become only a sweet memory.

Grocery stores may no longer be selling bananas.

Why?

The global crop is dying, and will soon be dead.

Global as in worldwide.

Dead as in extinct.

Extinct as the Dodo bird.

Which, by the way, is thought to have become extinct c.1690 – a very long time ago. So naturally, there are no photographs of the Dodo bird, since the development of photography (yes, it’s a bad pun) was begun c.1826 with the image entitled “View from the Window at Le Gras,” which was made by Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France.

A harmful soil fungus, for which there is no known remedy, has begun to affect banana crops worldwide. Found in Taiwan in the 1990’s, the fungus, which resides naturally in the soil, is a variant of Read the rest of this entry »

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“Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Self dealing.

You’d think it was a crime, eh?

But, did you know that it is NOT illegal to shift campaign money into your private account?

Actually, directly, it is.

On their website, the Federal Election Commission states in part that, “Using campaign funds for personal use is prohibited.” (https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/making-disbursements/personal-use/)

They state further that, “Commission regulations provide a test, called the “irrespective test,” to differentiate legitimate campaign and officeholder expenses from personal expenses. Under the “irrespective test,” personal use is any use of funds in a campaign account of a candidate (or former candidate) to fulfill a commitment, obligation or expense of any person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign or responsibilities as a federal officeholder.”

But indirectly?

That’s a horse of an entirely different color.

In the white-collar criminal underground, that’s called “money laundering,” which is the practice of shifting money through legitimate business enterprises in order to make it appear as if the money was obtained legitimately.

And that is but one reason why the FBI encourages accounting majors in university to consider joining their service – because scouring the financial books of businesses and other entities takes a well-trained eye to discern criminal wrong-doing.

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump stood in Trump Tower, New York City, and said, “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.” (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-donald-trump-announces-his-presidential-candidacy/)

With that remark in part, he announced his candidacy to be the GOP’s nominee for President.

Of note, that was also when he’d made his now-infamous remark that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably — probably — from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.”

But earlier – 5 years earlier, in fact – he’d said to Fortune magazine in April 3, 2000, that, “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.” (https://fortune.com/2000/04/03/what-does-donald-trump-really-want/)

In December 2018, Forbes magazine reported that Read the rest of this entry »

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Automattic To Buy Tumbler from Verizon

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 12, 2019

It’s just fun.
Or money.
It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
Can you hear me now?

–//–

Verizon to Sell Tumblr to WordPress.com Owner

Carrier sheds blogging site for nominal amount as part of media unit revamp

Tumblr is a free service that hosts millions of blogs where users can upload photos, music and art, but it has been overshadowed by rival social-media sites.

By Sarah Krouse
Aug. 12, 2019 4:00 pm ET

Verizon Communications Inc. (stock symbol VZ) has agreed to sell its blogging website Tumblr to the owner of popular online-publishing tool WordPress.com, unloading for a nominal amount a site that once fetched a purchase price of more than $1 billion.

Automattic Inc. will buy Tumblr for an undisclosed sum and take on about 200 staffers, the companies said. Tumblr is a free service that hosts millions of blogs where users can upload photos, music and art, but it has been dwarfed by Facebook, Reddit and other services.

Verizon became Tumblr’s owner through the carrier’s 2017 acquisition of Yahoo (symbol AABA) as part of a bid to build a digital media and advertising business. The wireless carrier began seeking a buyer for Tumblr earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It discussed a potential transaction with a handful of parties, people familiar with the matter said. The sale price isn’t material to Verizon, one of the people said.

Verizon is in the process of revamping its media group, which struggled to meet revenue targets in recent years. The business, home to legacy Yahoo and AOL web properties such as HuffPost, TechCrunch, feminist media brand Makers and celebrity-interview site Build, is increasingly focused on subscription and original content.

The Tumblr acquisition is the largest ever in terms of price and head count for Automattic, the company’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg said in an interview. The San Francisco company has a stable of brands focused on Read the rest of this entry »

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Could “Uncle Joe” Biden become POTUS?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 16, 2019

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) official portrait

Joe Biden (D), official VP portrait

Much is being made about the impending Sanders v Biden match-up in the Democratic party for the 2020 General Election.

Detractors of the Democratic party say that Biden has a better possibility of being the party’s nominee because – as one Republican pundit wrote – “Biden, and others running for the Oval Office, are terrified that Hispanics and blacks – who reliably vote Democratic – might be swayed by rising wages or better job prospects, to vote for Trump.”

News writers, who are supposed to have (one hopes) some degree of objectivity, seem to have also fallen prey to the Biden 2020 siren song, and have written remarks like “Mr. Biden’s advantage with black voters not only helps him amass delegates ahead of the Democratic convention, but helps counter the widespread perception that he is a candidate running on a bygone appeal to the white working class.”

Recently, a Quinnipiac University Poll published May 15, 2019 found that in Pennsylvania, “former Vice President Joseph Biden is over the 50 percent mark in a matchup with President Donald Trump, leading 53 – 42 percent.” Quinnipiac University is “a private, coeducational university in Southern New England” with campuses “in Hamden and North Haven, Connecticut.”

Overall, the poll found that “Trump leads 90 – 7 percent among Pennsylvania Republicans. Biden leads 93 – 6 percent among Democrats and 51 – 37 percent among independent voters.”

Other top Democratic contenders matched up against Trump as follows:
• Senator Bernie Sanders (I) VT 50% – 43% Trump
• Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 47 % – 44% Trump
• California Senator Kamala Harris 45% – 45% Trump
• South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg 45% – 44% Trump
• Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) 44% – 46% Trump

In stark contrast to assertions by GOPers and other naysayers of the Democratic party that economic conditions are favoring the GOP and Trump’s re-election, Mary Snow, a Polling Analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll said that “More than half of Pennsylvania voters say they are better off financially than they were in 2016. But the economy isn’t giving President Donald Trump an edge in an early read of the very key Keystone State.”

Other general detractors to the Democratic party note with some sense of disdain that Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has called himself a “democratic socialist,” and seek to add credence to their argument by noting that some national-level GOP elected officials and others have said that “If we can run a race against a person that’s an out-of-the-closet socialist and promoting socialist ideas, it’s a great contrast for us.”

Donald Trump

Yet the poll also found that among respondents, 53% said “it is more important for a presidential candidate to be a great leader” while 38% said “it is more important for a candidate to have great policy ideas.” And that sets up an immediate turn away from policy to personality – a veritable cult of personality.

In the modern sense, the term “cult of personality” refers to a scenario in which Read the rest of this entry »

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POTUS Obama: Sen. Warren is “absolutely wrong” on Trans-Pacific Partnership. But is she?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 2, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written 11 May 2015, though unpublished. The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), is/was a “free-trade” pact among the nations of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and United States signed on 4 February 2016, though it was NOT ratified, and thus, did NOT take effect. All 12 members nations signed the TPP 4 February 2016.

However, because it was NOT ratified by all signatories before 4 February 2018, it will become effective ONLY after ratification when at least 6 nations with a combined GDP of more than 85% of the GDP of all signatories have signed.

Further, because the United States withdrew from the TPP, it also significantly and adversely affected it. The TPP agreement will become active only after all signatories have ratified it within two years of signing.

—//—

President Obama recently criticized Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) for her clarion call warning of the potential damage the Trans-Pacific Partnership could do to United States’ economy.

Sen. Warren has said that “This is hardly a hypothetical possibility: We are already deep into negotiations with the European Union on a trade agreement and big banks on both sides of the Atlantic are gearing up to use that agreement to water down financial regulations.”

The President countered saying, “This is pure speculation. She and I both taught law school, and you know, one of the things you do as a law professor is you spin out hypotheticals. And this is all hypothetical, speculative.”

President Obama further dismissed her criticisms out of hand saying, she’s absolutely wrong,” about the concerns she and others have raised, and appeared to throw down the gauntlet for open, frank discussion of the still-secret trade pact which would include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

The President gives the USTR broad power to keep secret information about the trade policies it advances and negotiates.

United States Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, “More than two months after receiving the proper security credentials, my staff is still barred from viewing the details of the proposals that USTR is advancing.”

A Senate bill – S. 3225 – which would require the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to disclose all its TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) documents to every member of Congress was introduced May 23, 2012 by Sen. Wyden, who is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness. In that capacity, his office is responsible for conducting oversight over the USTR and trade negotiations.

Speaking from the Senate floor, Sen. Wyden said the purpose of the bill was “to ensure that the laws and policies that govern the American people take into account the interests of all the American people, not just a privileged few. Congress passed legislation in 2002 to form the Congressional Oversight Group, or COG, to foster more USTR consultation with Congress. I was a senator in 2002. I voted for that law and I can tell you the intention of that law was to ensure that USTR consulted with more Members of Congress, not less.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Government Spending

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

About that “government spending” thing being a boost to the economy:

Yes, it’s true. We found that out early on, which was how our nation recovered from the Great Depression.

So… here’s the spending we need now (no, it’s not the “Green New Deal”) – INFRASTRUCTURE!!

Oh, and EVERY red cent that “we the people” spend through our government comes from the Private Sector.

Every material – raw or finished – and all manpower comes from the Private Sector; and only after public notices via competitive open (public) bidding.

Yeah. Think about that one for a while.

There is NO “government factory” in our nation. Never has been, never will be.

So, yeah… every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers rates the overall quality of American economic infrastructure “in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement.”

In 2017, American Economic Infrastructure’s quality was graded as Read the rest of this entry »

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Make America Great Again: A How-To Guide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Jim Cooper, a Democrat, is the US Representative for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

Jim Cooper, who represents Tennessee’s 5th Congressional Distict, and is a Democrat, is also a Rhodes Scholar (economics & politics, Oriel College), and Harvard JD grad, after earning the BA in economics from UNC Chapel Hill.

He’s a fiscal conservative, and has long said that, because our government uses a cash accounting system (which is ILLEGAL for businesses to use), our government’s debt is very likely much larger than is estimated.

For that reason, he’s also long advocated changing the accounting method the United States government uses.

TN CD5 is essentially Davidson County (metro Nashville), and includes the adjoining Cheatham & Dickson counties to the WEST.

See:
https://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/cong_dist/cd113/cd_based/ST47/CD113_TN05.pdf

Oh… and as you might surmise, cutting taxes is NOT how to stimulate the economy. It is by government spending. Which is also why cutting taxes is a very bad idea, since it kills the goose that laid that golden egg. (This Internet thing came about by government spending, which has created an entirely new economy, and billionaires… and, it began as a DARPA research project. Just like GPS.)

As I continue to maintain,

our government is NOT “too big,”
it is MUCH TOO SMALL to be
either efficient,
or effective.

Think about what it’d be like going to a restaurant with a 100-seating capacity, finding it filled with patrons, and only one waiter and one cook. No one would get any service, and they’d be a fool to think otherwise.

That’s what has happened, and is continuing to happen to our government.

With very nearly 329,000,000 people, we are the THIRD LARGEST (most populous) nation on Earth – China ( 1,419,124,987) and India (1,365,986,094) are 1st & 2nd, respectively.

The GOP’s “starve the monster” approach to governance, i.e., kill/reduce/eliminate the source of the “monster’s food,” e.g., taxes, and you’re well on your way to a privatization scheme the likes of which neither our nation, nor the world has ever seen. Hopefully, that won’t happen. But, that’s what you get when Grover Norquist has said, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
– from an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, May 25, 2001. Read the rest of this entry »

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The SCOTUS gets FUCT – but not FCUK – for a day.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 21, 2019

And based upon the outcome, we could get fuct for a lifetime.

Think about it…

Only 5ive people decide the fate of a nation with very nearly 329,000,000 people – which is the 3rd most populous nation on Earth.

5ive.

Just 5ive Justices, that is, who are appointed to life-time jobs – which, when first written, was NOT in the clause which states in Article III Section 1. that “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.”

When the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) was formed by the Constitution in Article III, and after the first U.S. Census was taken in 1790, there were found to be 3,929,214 people in this land.

Fast forward 230 years.

In 2017, New York City’s estimated population was 8,622,698.
Los Angeles’ estimate was 3,999,759.

Chicago’s was 2,716,450.
Houston’s was 2,312,717.

Phoenix’ was 1,626,078.
Philadelphia was 1,580,863.
San Antonio was 1,511,946.

San Diego was 1,419,516.
Dallas was 1,341,075.
San Jose was 1,035,317.

So perhaps you’re beginning to get the point – and now you Read the rest of this entry »

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Narcotrafficking: The Last Truly Free Market

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 14, 2019

Think about it… a massive global industry and multi-cultural international enterprise with tens, hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of employees, producers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and customers with ZERO Government regulation of any type, on anyone for any reason – no taxes, no regulatory oversight, nor requirements of any kind whatsoever, where a willing buyer and a willing seller meet each other.

And yet, the government seeks to eradicate it (even though their “efforts” have done exactly the opposite), by strengthening Read the rest of this entry »

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Data: Legalized Marijuana Does Not Increase Alcohol Sales

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Good news for cannabis legalization advocates!

“In the three states with the longest history of legalized recreational marijuana sales – Colorado, Washington state and Oregon – there is no evidence that legalization has had any impact on spirits sales, nor is there any evidence that it has impacted total alcohol sales.”

That’s according to research conducted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

In other words, cannabis legalization – neither recreational (nor medical) – has had no effect, either positive or negative, upon beverage alcohol sales in states were cannabis is legal, either for recreational, or medical purposes.

David M. Ozgo, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the Distilled Spirits Council analyzes market trends for DISCUS, and said in part that, “The data show there has been no impact on spirits sales from recreational marijuana legalization.”

David M. Ozgo, Senior VP and Chief Economist, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Mr. Ozgo also produces an annual spirituous beverage industry review, and provides tax and regulatory effect analyses, including Read the rest of this entry »

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Cohen In Constant Contact With Federal Investigation Attorneys

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 28, 2019

“I am in constant contact with the Southern District of New York regarding ongoing investigations.”

– Michael Cohen, former attorney and “fixer” for Donald J. Trump, under oath to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, February 27, 2019

 

That one sentence early in Mr. Cohen’s testimony before the committee is substantial, regardless of whether anything else he said is true, or not. There is no legitimate reason for him to make such a claim, especially if it was a lie.

Consider also the “Liar’s Paradox,” referring to knowing how to discern when a liar is telling the truth. Frankly, however, everyone – WITHOUT EXCEPTION – has lied at one time, or another; therefore, using the faulty “logic” used by Republicans, everyone is a liar… including them. Yet, they except themselves simply by ignoring that fact. So therefore, their hypocrisy is exposed.

Such exercises are part and parcel of logic and reasoning, which is also a branch of mathematics, and forms a foundation upon which philosophy and even the legal profession exists – particularly and especially in criminal trials. In other words, deduction is based upon a formula which can be expressed on paper.

But there are also behavioral (physical) clues exhibited by the liar, which may (though not always) include “body language” such as fidgeting, facial movements and gestures, including eye movement such as covering the mouth and/or looking away, intonation and inflection in their voice and tone of speech, observation of breathing patterns, use or avoidance of certain words, exaggeration of details, response to questions, repetition of certain words, sentences, or phrases (a type of stalling to increase time for crafting a lie), including a “mid-sentence jump” (changing the train of thought in the middle of expressing an idea), deflection (a conversational control tactic which changes the focus of the topic by not directly answering the question), and more.

Michael Cohen takes oath before his testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Wednesday, 27 February 2019.

The Southern District of New York refers to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, a Federal court which has been in existence in New York, NY, since 1789.

The Attorney’s Office writes this about their mission:

“The Office prosecutes cases involving violations of federal laws, and represents the interests of the United States government and its agencies in criminal and civil matters. The Office investigates and prosecutes a broad array of criminal conduct of every conceivable magnitude, even when the conduct arises in distant places.”

Reasonably and logically, no liar would lie about being “in constant contact with” a Federal Attorney’s Office, or a Federal Court, after an investigation has concluded.

The fact that Mr. Cohen made such a comment is telling, simply because Read the rest of this entry »

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Economic Infrastructure Strained By Severe Weather And Climate Change

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 10, 2019

Increasingly, there’s a political tie-in to almost every news story published these days. And frankly, I’d much rather write about other, more benign, or even pleasant topics. But, these matters affect us all, and our very lives and livelihoods are at stake. So, because these are pressing matters, I give heed to them, as I hope you do also.

Recently, NPR News published a story while our nation was in the throes of the “Polar Vortex,” which is the name now given to a severe “cold snap” which plunged much of the Midwest and East into literally Arctic temperatures. In fact, as we we’re told by numerous meteorologists and other weather / climate scientists and researchers, the Arctic was actually warmer than many places affected, most notably including Chicago, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis–Saint Paul), Iowa, Pennsylvania, and other states up through the area, with some locales suffering from temperatures which dipped down into the -23ºF range, or lower. Many Low Temperature records were surpassed, and when combined with Wind Chill Factors, temperatures feel like at least double that (-40ºF), and more.

A Minnesotan is extremely bundled up protecting every square inch of exposed skin while awaiting public transportation outdoors during extremely dangerous cold conditions which occurred during the 2019 Polar Vortex.

By all estimates, it was one of the most severe such events in recorded history, and was also the cause of numerous deaths of people of all ages and sexes (21 at last count, not all who were homeless), due of course, to cold temperature extremes. Homeless shelters throughout the affected areas were literally accepting anyone and everyone, and numerous other organizations and agencies created emergency shelters for others to avoid the deadly conditions. Area residents were severely warned to avoid going outdoors at all costs, simply because inadequate dressing, or any exposed skin would certainly suffer frostbite, or worse.

But there was another, largely overlooked problem which was only given cursory attention. And that was the effects and strains the severe climatic conditions placed upon infrastructure, which is often called economic infrastructure.

Essentially, infrastructure describes a nation’s internal facilities that enable business activity, which are fundamental requirements for economic development, which is vital to improvements in a country’s standard of living, and consists of facilities, activities and services that assist to increase overall economic productivity at a national level.

Infrastructure has two broad component parts: 1.) Social Infrastructure, consisting of basic services such as education, training, including health, sanitation, potable water supply, housing, sewerage, etc., while; 2.) Physical Infrastructure directly supports economic production, and consists primarily of supporting the production and distribution of products and services including agriculture, industry, and trade, supports, and directly increases productivity.

An example of Physical Infrastructure would be the production of hydroelectric dams by the Tennessee Valley Authority, creation of electrical power, communication, and natural gas delivery grids, roads, waterways, airports and railways for transportation, and potable water and waste treatment plants and their related delivery mechanisms and systems.

All those components must not only be created and developed, but they must be continually maintained, and improved as necessary, to continue to provide services vital to the economy. And it is maintenance which proves frequently to be the Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Marijuana: Is there money in it?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 24, 2019

Is there money to be made LEGALLY in Alabama from marijuana?

The short answer is, “YES.” There is significant money to be made in Legalizing, Taxing, and Regulating Cannabis in Alabama for Adult Recreational (ARU), and Medical Use (MMJ).

Figures are now coming in from Massachusetts showing sales volumes, and taxes after that state legalized, taxed, and regulated marijuana for Adult Recreational Use, and Medical Use, and the figures are amazing.

Simply put, the Cost:Benefit ratio of keeping cannabis illegal is prohibitive to society at every level, federal, state, and local. There is NO reasonable, rational reason to continue cannabis prohibition. It costs more fiscally and socially to maintain than there is benefit derived from it being illegal. Taxpayers are no longer willing to foot the bill to so stridently harm their fellow citizens for responsible use of a substance that research shows is significantly less harmful than either alcohol, or tobacco, and which even the DEA has acknowledged has not killed anyone, nor has ever been a cause of addiction.

Today’s most recent story in the Boston Globe by Nearly $24 million spent on recreational marijuana sales in first two months.”

Customers crowd into Theory Wellness in Great Barrington on January 11, 2019, the opening day of its recreational marijuana sales.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans Started The Idea Of Government Shutdowns

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 7, 2019

The “Blame Game” is a popular political football not only in our nation’s capitol, but across the nation in statehouses. The “polarization” oft described by news outlets and “fake news” is a direct result of practices used by Republicans, which began in large part with Newt Gingrich.

You know, the Newt Gingrich who was the Georgia Republican having an extra-marital affair while trying to impeach then-President Clinton for a sexual tryst with White House Intern, Monica Lewinsky. Yes, the same Newt Gingrich who divorced his first wife (Jacqueline “Jackie” May Battley, who was his high school geometry teacher) while she lay in hospital recovering from cancer surgery while he was campaigning in hopes of becoming the GOP’s presidential nominee.

That’d be the same Newt Gingrich who next married a Congressional aide (28-year old Marianne Ginther) with whom he was philandering while married to his first wife Jackie, and asked her to marry him before having divorced his first wife, and then married Marianne a mere six months after divorcing Jackie, who also asked her (Marianne) if she would be interested in having an “open marriage” in which he could have a mistress and a wife.

And yes, it’s the same Newt Gingrich who in the exact same pattern, did the exact same thing when he married his third wife (Callista Bisek) by carrying on a six-year adulterous relationship with her, whom was also a Congressional aide, and then later moved to divorce his second wife Marianne after learning she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and the third wife whom Trump later named as Ambassador to the Holy See, as an ultimate insult, and slap in the face to the Pope, the Vatican, and all that the Church believes in, and stands for. It’d be like naming neo-Nazi/White Supremacist/Holocaust denier to be Ambassador to Israel, or an industrialist to be Secretary of the Interior, or a climate change denier to be administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Wait…

That Newt Gingrich.

The same Newt Gingrich who wrote the so-called “Contract with America” which was broken the first day Republicans took the oath of office following their win of the House and Senate – the first time since 1953 – even though they all signed vows that stated “If we break this Contract, throw us out.”

Yeah.

THAT Newt Gingrich.

Now, the Bully in Chief is blaming Democrats because he can’t get his way – which is BILLIONS MORE for a “concrete, rebar-reinforced wall,” which has since devolved into “steel slats,” or even less, a simple “barrier.” Notice how things are changing already? Next thing you know, it’ll be a row of concertina wire spooled across the 1954 miles of U.S./Mexico border.

Frankly, it’d probably be much cheaper, not only in the immediate term, but in the long term, as well. You see, one of the things that NO ONE – not even the Congressional Budget Office, nor the Government Accountability Office – has studied is “how much the upkeep of ‘the wall’ will cost American taxpayers.

But here’s an even more disconcerting thing: The ever-shifting comments of the Current White House Occupant on the matter, which have ranged from this comment from a campaign speech given Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at his Trump Tower office building in Manhattan:

“I would build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

To one of his highnesses more recent Twitter rants which was:

“Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal. Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work. $5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!” January 2, 2019

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Promises.

Lies.

Broken promises.

More lies.

Say anything to get elected, or if you prefer, to get into Lady Liberty’s & America’s pants. The net effect is the same.

Look, I’m no fan of either Gingrich or Trump as human beings, and I think that Trump is vastly out of his league in any government, much less at the Federal level, and as President. He’s told more brazen lies than almost anyone can remember, and has sown confusion in our nation, which is not only demoralizing domestically, but makes us look like buffoons in the eyes of our international allies, and enemies. But, to give credit where credit is due, I think Read the rest of this entry »

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Marijuana in Alabama: Show me the money!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 5, 2019

How Much Money Could Alabama Earn By Legalizing, Taxing, and Regulating Marijuana?

How much money could Alabama stand to realize if it Legalized, Taxed, and Regulated (LTR) cannabis for Adult Recreational Use (ARU), and Medical Use (MMJ)?

In order to make a reasonably accurate estimate, we need certain pieces of information from reliably accurate sources, such as:

1.) How many people would purchase it?

2.) How much tax would be placed upon it?

3.) How frequently would they purchase?

There are other questions, but let’s start by answering those three.

First, let’s determine how many people consume marijuana in the state – adults, of course.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), is an annual survey which first began in 1971 and is conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It’s conducted under the auspices of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Danger, Will Robinson… DANGER! Big Brother IS Watching -and- Listening!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 3, 2019

Feeling paranoid?

Not to worry.

You just think you are.

But it’s true.

YOU’RE BEING WATCHED.

-and-

Did you know?

Even the direction-finding app Waze is owned by Google.

The G will eat your babies.

The G has already eaten your lunch.

And G, you didn’t even know it.

The G is Google.

So, here’s the deal: You THINK you’re searching for something and the search will return UNBIASED results… right?

WRONG!

From Forbes, Mar 5, 2012, 12:34pm: “Google will track what you search for in its search engine facility and then use that intelligence to its advantage.”

But we can go back even further to see where “You’re not the customer; you’re the product.”

In 1973 the artists Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman broadcast a short video titled “Television Delivers People.” An anodyne soundtrack played while sentences in white text on a blue background slowly scrolled upward. The messages displayed thematically matched the saying under exploration. Emphases were added to the excerpt by Quote Investigator: 1

Commercial television delivers 20 million people a minute.
In commercial broadcasting
the viewer pays for the privilege of having himself sold.

It is the consumer who is consumed.
You are the product of t.v.
You are delivered to the advertiser who is the customer.
He consumes you.
The viewer is not responsible for programming——
You are the end product.

If you think that anything has changed, you’re WRONG AGAIN.

This time, it’s Google.

And not only is there online Google, there’s now the danger of Amazon’s Alexa listening device, which increasingly is being found to be not only INSECURE, but invasive.

Truly…

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!

Look, I’m not now, nor have I ever been one to be conspiracy-minded, nor any kind of fear-monger. But THIS is not surreptitious, this is BLATANT! Echo/Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google’s Home Assistant are ALL privacy invaders! Those so-called “smart speakers” are ALWAYS LISTENING! They’re snoops! Blatant eavesdroppers! And the tragic irony is, folks freely give up their privacy to have that “shiny new thing.”

Okay, perhaps you don’t have that “shiny new thing,” and if you don’t, GOOD FOR YOU! But Read the rest of this entry »

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Ex-NYC Top Cop: Pot “Addictive”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 31, 2018

Bill Bratton, Ex-NYC Top Cop, Says Pot “Addictive”

Former New York City Police Commissioner William “Bill” Bratton appeared on a Sunday call-in interview on the radio show “The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis” on WNYM 970 AM (Hackensack, NJ) recently, and was asked about his thoughts on the legalization of cannabis in New York State for Adult Recreational Use (ARU).

William “Bill” Bratton, was NYC’s Police Commissioner 1994-96, 2014-16, and LAPD Chief 2002-2009

He said in part that, “At this particular time, I still strongly oppose it. I think there are too many unanswered questions. We still don’t have effective capabilities in law enforcement to deal with the issue of driving while impaired by the use of marijuana. It is as addictive as any other drug. We don’t really know the full effect of that drug on the development of children. I guarantee that about the same as alcohol is very available to young people, marijuana – particularly the way it’s being proposed in this state in terms of allowing people to grow it in their homes, as well as the widespread distribution of it – young people will be getting their hands on it. There’s the compounding feature of the smell of it. Nobody wants to live in a building, in an apartment building, a public housing project, on the streets, in the parks, with the pervasive smell, which you’ve already started to see an increase in the use of it on the streets. The enforcement lessons of… (unintelligible) There are too many unknowns. And, ah… ” etc.

Fortunately for you, dear reader, I’ve researched the matter, and can address just about all his questions.

He claimed that: Read the rest of this entry »

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Does This Trump-Caused Market Slump Foretell Recession?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Of course, the Stock Market is NOT the economy, but for many, it’s the easiest touchstone to consider approximating the economy. And because most Americans are NOT heavily invested in Wall Street, its performance only nominally and indirectly affects them.

However, for those traders whose livelihood depends upon its gains or losses, such as corporate and investment banks, and brokerage houses, speculators, derivatives traders, hedge and other type funds, and the like, it doesn’t portend well.

And then, Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, while vacationing in Mexico, decided to call on Sunday the CEOs of 6 of the largest banks in America (Brian Moynihan of Bank of America; Michael Corbat of Citi; David Solomon of Goldman Sachs; Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase; James Gorman of Morgan Stanley; and Tim Sloan of Wells Fargo), and then Twitterized it ex post facto. The media managers at Treasury decided to inform the public that… “The CEOs confirmed that they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations. He also confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues, and that the markets continue to function properly.”

The Current White House Occupant is Mad at Mnuchin, and wants to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, ostensibly because Mnuchin told POS45 that Powell would be a good choice for Fed Chairman. That’s according to four anonymous people, who were described by Bloomberg News as being “four people familiar with the matter” and speak “on condition of anonymity.” Where I come from, and live, that’s called cowardice. It might be called something else in Trumpanzeeville.

In the days ahead, POS45 will Read the rest of this entry »

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A Guide To Increasing Company Value

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 19, 2018

Almost everyone who has worked in sales has heard the mantras “the customer is always right,” and “the customer is your most important person.”

And as anyone who has worked in healthcare can attest, neither of those statements are true.

For example, consider the patient who, arriving at the ED (Emergency Department) said to the physician, “My doc says my sugar is high so he gave me this medicine for diabetes.”

Naturally, the physician asked, “Do you take it?”

The patient replied saying, “No, ’cause I don’t have diabetes, just high sugar.”

And then, another Physician who explained to the patient’s mother her child’s diagnosis and therapeutic interventions saying, “She has a concussion, she needs to rest in bed in a quiet dark room until she is better.”

The mother then asked, “Can she go to the fair?”

Conventional wisdom often monikered as “common sense,” sometimes follows the pithy axiom that “common sense isn’t so common anymore.”

For years, I’ve maintained that the customer is NOT “always right,” nor are they the “most important person” in any business.

Instead, the most important person in any business are the employees.

Some CEOs have gotten a bad rap, often justifiably, because while seeking to return corporate profit and shareholder return, they’ve cut resources and employees. Like the abusive Pharaoh of the Exodus account in the Old Testament, they demand to “make more bricks with less hay.” Of course, we know how that story ended – not well.

So naturally, it delighted me to read some time ago that Sir Richard Branson, a renown entrepreneur and philanthropist, has similarly long held that thought and said, “Put your staff first, customers second, and shareholders third.”

In a 2014 interview with Inc. magazine, Sir Richard said, Read the rest of this entry »

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Ever Had A Bad Restaurant Experience? Here’s What You Can Do.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Ever been to a busy restaurant?

Who hasn’t?

By “busy,” I mean one with many customers/patrons while you’re there. It could be any style restaurant, of course, such as a fast-food place, but more particularly, I mean to refer to restaurants that have wait staff.

In such a busy restaurant, the place will typically be crowded, practically all seats will be filled at every table, and if there’s a bar counter with chairs, it’ll be filled up too. And  on football game days, some restaurants are filled to capacity, often just as much as they’re filled on weekends year round.

It seems eating/dining out is a type of American pastime. It’s common to hear others say “go there, try that, try the new dish” at this, that or the other restaurant.

Doubtless, at some time or another, at any type of restaurant, we’ve experienced slow or poor service, and even poor quality of food in some of them. Even the well-known Waffle House chain restaurant can have moments when they’re overwhelmed with customers, thereby stressing the cook and wait staff.

So, think about how long it took you to be seated, then be waited upon, then to get your drinks, and then food, and how well (or not) your needs were attended do during the meal.

With any crowded restaurant, the large number of patrons can overwhelm the wait staff, and the kitchen staff. Yes, it can be frustrating, but you’re hungry and/or have made plans or reservations, so you don’t want go to another restaurant – and often won’t. After all, you’re already there. And it’s a hassle to do that. Right? So, you settle, suffer, and endure the poor service.

The source of the problem, and the primary matter to be addressed is inadequate staffing. What is a proper ratio of waitstaff to customers? And what is a proper ratio of kitchen staff to customers? How many chefs and line cooks does it take to support a given amount of tables during peak hours? How many bussers and host staff are needed? How many bartenders? An effective staffing ratio is the answer to those questions and others related to effective, efficient service in a full house restaurant.

In a restaurant that seats 100 people, it would be absurd to imagine that only 1 waitstaff could effectively meet the needs of all 100 patrons. Similarly, it’d be equally preposterous to think that only 1 cook could effectively or simultaneously prepare enough food for 100 patrons. That’s completely ignoring the number of Read the rest of this entry »

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