Warm Southern Breeze

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Archive for the ‘– Business… None of yours’ Category

The stock market retracted 1% yesterday and THE SKY IS FALLING!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 24, 2022

 The way some of those clowns write, one would think the sock… er, stock market had crashed, that Mount Vesuvius had become active once again, and that nuclear war had broken out all over.
 
This is just so MUCH BULLSHIT. (Or instead, perhaps that should that be bullshittery?)
 
I mean, seriously… a 1% and a 1.6% decline?
 
Are you kidding me!?!
 
That’s a “plunge”?

It’d be like dipping the very tip of your little finger in a finger bowl moistened with a few drops of water and then claiming that you went swimming in the Pacific Ocean. 
 
If anyone went to any store anywhere and saw a sign reading “HUGE SALE! Up to 1.6% off EVERYTHING!” they’d laugh the store to shame for promoting such an asininely ludicrous bit of blatantly fraudulent puffery and nonsense.
 
The stock market is that store.

And yet, Read the rest of this entry »

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WIN Failed, But Government Cheese Won

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Losing WIN, and Feeding the Poor:
Ford, Carter & Reagan have important lessons to teach us.

Remember Gerald Ford, and his WIN — “Whip Inflation Now” — campaign?
 

It was a failure.

The two premises of that effort — encouraging increased individual savings, and reducing personal spending — were not merely ineffectual, they were also justifiably ridiculed because they did absolutely nothing to lower prices.
 
In a TRULY free market economy, not only is government allowed to compete, but prices, as others and I have continually said, are controlled by the seller, NOT the buyer. The SELLER is the one setting prices. 
 
For example, if Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Marathon, Valero, and Phillips 66 (in the TOP 10 largest oil companies globally by revenue) were to reduce by 25% their consumer prices of gasoline & diesel fuel (and, they could), that would significantly change, at least on some level, the volume of sales/consumption. 
 
Yet the study of economics also tells us that merely lowering prices will not always increase consumption to a certain price level. Consider bananas; if more folks ate more bananas, their prices ~might~ decline, but only modestly, and certainly not by 25%.
 
Though agricultural production has some similarities to industrial production, it fundamentally relies upon a renewable resource to satisfy demand (including an often-fickle, and increasingly angry and uncooperative Mother Nature), where as oil does not, because petroleum is a finite resource.
 
And THAT is PRECISELY WHY others and I maintain that establishing a windfall profits tax (WPT) could be used to help consumers -and- companies that rely upon petroleum for their existence, because it would return TO THE PEOPLE a ~fraction~ of the excessive portion of the rapacious profit made by Big Oil companies which are paid to their executives, overlords, and Wall Street wheeler-dealer shareholders.
 
• Congress first enacted a WPT in 1917 which ranged from Read the rest of this entry »

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Corrupt SCOTUS Radicals’ Roots Go Through Reagan Directly To Nixon

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 10, 2022

Joker in Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. has presided over THE MOST radicalized Supreme Court in well over 100 years.

Since his nomination by then-POTUS George W. Bush, and Senate confirmation by a 78-22 margin, Roberts has demonstrated, time, and time, and time again, that he, and other radicalized SCOTUS GOPers, have no respect for the legal concept of stare decisis, precedent, or other staid legal matters, the purpose of which is to provide stability to civil society.

What do Robert Bork, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts have in common?
To find out more, read on.

If, in the law, nothing is TRULY ever settled, and any court now, or in the future, can simply overturn any law or decision with which they disagree — regardless of how long it’s been in effect, and regardless of what their confirmation testimony was — then our nation’s foundation is insecure.

And like subterranean termites tunneling into a well-built house, practically undetected, it is showing signs that it has been undermined. And just as with termite damage, exactly how extensive it is, how severe it has become, and what repair costs will be, remains to be seen.

Since becoming Joker in Chief Justice in September 2005, he has presided over 20 reversals of opinion, some dating as far back as 1911.

That case was Leegin Creative Leather Products Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007), which overturned the 1911 decision in Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co., 220 U.S. 373 (1911).

What do Robert Bork, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts have in common?
To find out more, read on.

In the Leegin case, the matter brought before the SCOTUS was one of violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act through price-fixing by Leegin, which, as the court’s decision stated in the beginning, that, “in Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co., 220 U. S. 373 (1911), the Court established the rule that it is per se illegal under § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U. S. C. § 1, for a manufacturer to agree with its distributor to set the minimum price the distributor can charge for the manufacturer’s goods.”

Further, the court noted that, “on appeal Leegin did not dispute that it had entered into vertical price-fixing agreements with its retailers.”

A “vertical agreement” is the integration of two or more businesses in a supply chain. A “horizontal” merger would be the combining of two or more companies that did essentially the same thing.

Vertical agreements are generally illegal because they tend to eliminate competition, create a monopoly, artificially increase prices and otherwise adversely affect a free market.

And yet, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Leegin.

Why?

This is where matters begin to show the influence of relationship and affiliation.

What is fascinating, and disturbingly telling, is that the Roberts-led radical court quoted a book on anti-trust law authored by Read the rest of this entry »

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Grocery Co$t$ to be PERMANENTLY HIGH because of Chinese-owned $mithfield Food$

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 28, 2022

史密斯菲尔德食品

Wan Long, RIGHT, Chairman and CEO of WH Group, formerly called Shuanghui International, shakes hands with Charles Larry Pope, President and CEO of Smithfield Foods, at a press conference of WH Group in Hong Kong, China, 14 April 2014.
Two subsidiaries of Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co have gained access to the Russian market, after its parent company — WH Group Ltd, the world’s largest pork producer— acquired US pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc and bought a stake in Campofrio Food Group SA of Spain, the largest pan-European packaged meat products company, last year. The two Heilongjiang-based companies — Wangkui Shuanghui Beidahuang Food Co and Heilongjiang Baoquanling Shuanghui Food Industry Co — got the official nod after their production facilities and products were examined and assessed by officials from Russia’s meat products watchdog, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, in August, Shuanghui Development said on its website. To widen its import market for meat, the Russian government agreed to import meat products from five Chinese suppliers by the end of August, indicating the nation has taken a flexible strategy to balance the supply and demand relationship, while the US and its European allies are trying to squeeze the country’s trade space in the world market.

Chinese translated as “Smithfield Food”

Amidst the cacophony of overall price inflation in fuel, food, and other items, there are numerous underlying and related causes.

There are not merely one, two, or even three contributing problems to this lingering miasma, and rather, like a line of dominoes tumbling, one after another, significantly increased prices in consumer goods are taking a toll on Americans, whose incomes — unlike those of CEOs, and other high-level corporate executives — have not risen in response.

Consider food.

The United States Department of Agriculture found national slaughter capacity reductions [i.e., the CLOSING of abattoirs/processors/slaughterhouses] in pork, and cattle, of 35-40%, and 30-40%, respectively, which have translated to hyper-inflated costs to consumers.


NOTE: Big Oil has done similarly. They’ve closed their oil refineries & capped wells, thereby creating a false shortage, and simultaneously INCREASED prices, resulting in record profits not seen since the 1950’s.

THAT is why fuel prices are sky high.

There is NO OTHER REASON.

The Energy Information Administration has a page dedicated to Refinery Utilization and Capacity in the United States which shows that 679 oil refineries were closed and not utilized in 2021 — the GREATEST number ever, since 1985.

For more detailed information, see this entry: https://warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com/2022/06/28/energy-information-administration-data-shows-how-big-oil-is-abusing-consumers/


But business practices, related closures and production slowdowns in abattoirs and processing facilities have their roots elsewhere in time, and policy.

On June 10th, 2022, the communist Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods announced the following:

Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced that it will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. The company will decrease its sow herd in Utah and is exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. Smithfield will service customers in California with its Farmer John brand and other brands and products from existing facilities in the Midwest.

(see: https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/press-room/2022-06-10-Smithfield-Foods-to-Close-Vernon%2c-CA-Facility-Reduce-Hog-Production-in-Western-Region/)

• A little less than a year ago, in early July 2021, Smithfield settled (for $83M) a Class Action Federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing it of price-fixing, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Energy Information Administration data shows HOW BIG OIL is ABUSING CONSUMERS.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The
EXCLUSIVE REASON
WHY GAS PRICES ARE HIGH
is because
OIL COMPANIES HAVE CLOSED REFINERIES
&
REDUCED REFINERY INPUTS.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s website (https://www.eia.gov/) has a page dedicated to “Refinery Utilization and Capacity” (https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pnp_unc_dcu_nus_a.htm) which shows that, NOT ONLY have BIG OIL companies CLOSED REFINERIES, they have also DECREASED OIL PRODUCTION (Gross Inputs to Refineries) — BOTH which have contributed EXCLUSIVELY to hyper-inflated gas prices, and bank-busting profits for BIG OIL & their stockholders.

In other words, they’ve also “capped oil wells.”

One way to INCREASE PROFITS is to PRICE GOUGE, another is to MANIPULATE THE MARKET.

BIG OIL companies are doing BOTH.

Refineries — which are owned by oil companies — have been CLOSED BY THE OIL COMPANIES, despite making bank-busting RECORD PROFITS. Read the rest of this entry »

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Would another “government cheese” type program work today for meat?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 26, 2022

Hearken back about 2 years, or thereabouts, when the COVID pandemic was descending into its deepest throes in our nation, when news came out of South Dakota that employees at a meat processing plant there in Sioux Falls began to suffer rampant infection with the viral disease. 
 
Around March 25, 2020, the first news of an infected employee was shared with the Argus Leader’s FaceBook-based tip page when an anonymous tip was sent that an unnamed employee had tested positive for the disease. They published the story online the next day at 0735 with the straight-forward headline “Smithfield Foods employee tests positive for coronavirus.” (see: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2020/03/26/smithfield-foods-employee-tests-positive-coronavirus/2914475001/
 
The Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, though a company spokesperson, Keira Lombardo, Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, had confirmed to the to the paper the veracity of that claim, and asserted that the unnamed employee was being quarantined for 14 days, with pay, at their residence, and would not be permitted to return to work until given medical clearance to do so. The exceeding majority of employees there were immigrants, and refugees from all over the world – including Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Nepal, with over 80 different languages spoken in the plant – most of whom did not speak English, and rumors had been circulating of other employees who had earlier fallen ill and were hospitalized with a mysterious disease. 

Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods pork processing facility in Sioux Falls, SD, where the American COVID-19 pandemic first began to escalate among immigrant & refugee employees characterized as “front-line” workers. A company spokesperson said a majority of meat they export to China are so-called “underutilized” products that are allegedly not consumed in the U.S.

 
In the 3-week period that followed, positive cases of coronavirus among plant employees rapidly escalated from 80, to 190, then to 238. And by April 12, with 644 confirmed cases, the number of infected individuals at the plant accounted for about 55% of all cases statewide, with a per capita concentration of 182.25 per 100,000 — far exceeding those of more populous neighboring states, greater even than Chicago, and Seattle — while Sioux Falls’ population was a little over 192,000. Ultimately, the number of positive cases continued skyrocketing, and eventually had at least 761 positive employees.

 

After the 1st confirmed death, and under mounting pressure from Republican Governor Kristi Noem, and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, both who wanted the plant to close for 2 weeks, officials at the plant announced that Read the rest of this entry »

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Looking at Russia and Criticizing America -or- Through the Looking-Glass… Albeit, Darkly

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 17, 2022

“Russia is scouring the country for manpower and weapons, including old tanks in the Far East, after using up much of its military capacity since invading Ukraine”

see: https://twitter.com/Quicktake/status/1536830368254410756

see also: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-14/russia-turns-to-old-tanks-as-it-burns-through-weapons-in-ukraine


In the coming months & years, Russia will be verging on the brink of utter & thorough economic collapse. Political collapse is also all but certain, for NO NATION — including the United States — can continually sustain war/armed conflict efforts without some sort of price which they’ll pay — in one way, or another.

For us, since 2001 until this administration, in the Middle East (Afghanistan, then Iraq), we have opted to build weapons of war, over repairing & rebuilding our internal infrastructure here at home. We have quite literally “beat our ploughshares into swords, and our pruning hooks into spears.”

We have opted to subsidize the makers & builders of bombs, bullets & matériels of death, over life-giving, life-sustaining healthcare & education “to the least of these, my brethren.”

Grim Reaper statue, Cathedral of Trier, Trier, Germany

We have paid the piper, because we CHOSE to dance to the merry macabre tune of death, rather than choosing LIFE for those who are breathing, and food for the living.

We have given to the rich, and demanded from the poor, we have turned upside down & perverted the Constitution by saying “corporations are people, my friend,” and given power to them, while robbing it from The People, all while allowing the coarse grit of wealth to abrade the thin veneer of “justice” by Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Brother is NOT the Government, it’s CORPORATIONS

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 17, 2022

Yeah… it’s fixin’ to get POLITICAL — as in ALL UP IN YO’ BIZNISS!

Almost EVERYONE complains about Congress, but not everyone votes. Some don’t for religious reasons, some don’t because that RIGHT has been voided by the government, others just don’t give a shit because they say “no one listens to me, anyway,” and for the greatest part, they’re correct. With a Representative-to-People ratio of 1-to-766,000, there’s no question — you’re NOT being heard, and they don’t care… or else ongoing & necessary would’ve happened long ago.

BUT!

There IS a group(s) who ARE listening to & watching you… all WITHOUT your knowledge.

You could call them “Big Brother,” but it’s NOT the government… it’s private enterprise — corporations not only in America, but worldwide.

Yeah.

You see, Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s Talk Taxes!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 30, 2022

We have a crazy economy, for sure.

And, it seems to be working best, and most, for the über-wealthy, the out-of-touch-with-reality “multi-billionaire class” type folks, and their corporations. You know… the ones who pay little-to-no income taxes upon their vast wealth.

Those are the ones who have no idea what a gallon of milk costs, what diapers cost, what childcare costs, and who, instead of going to Disneyland, Dollywood, or down the road for vacation, dish out million$ from their morbid exce$$ to fly to outer $pace ju$t for fun, or buy boats so big that they won’t fit under a bridge on an inland waterway where they’re built so they get the government to temporarily dismantle the historical landmark just to sail through it, etc.

We’re talking about folks like Jeff Bezos and his Amazon Corporation, Elon Musk and his Tesla/SpaceX corporations, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha” CEO of holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Warren Buffett, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and Bloomberg founder/owner Michael Bloomberg, all who round out the Top 10 Wealthiest People in America.

These are men who are individually, each worth more than the entire GDP of Iraq — U.S.$201,472,000,000 — and 163 other nations in the world.

And combined, they’re worth U.S.$1,346,600,000,000 — between the GDPs of Spain (U.S.$1,439,958,000,000) & Mexico (U.S.$1,285,518,000,000), ranked 14th & 15th, respectively, internationally, of 216 nations.

According to Forbes, their wealth is practically unimaginable, which “membership” in the Top 400 grouping now requires a minimum net worth of $2.9 billion, up $800 million from a year ago.

As well, the vast majority of them are greedy, also according to Forbes, which wrote,

“The 400 wealthiest Americans saw their collective fortune increase 40% over the last year,
to $4.5 trillion.

What hasn’t increased?

Their generosity.

The number of Forbes 400 members who gave away more than 20% of their net worth since last year’s list,
dropped from 10 to 8,
while those who gave away less than 1% of their wealth went from 127 to 156.”

Imagine that, eh?

I got mine, good luck getting yours.

They’re probably cheapskate tippers, as well. Not at all like the anonymous folks who leave a $1000 tip for a $25 meal, or skinflints who chisel the pizza delivery driver.

What an attitude, eh?

But, let’s talk about income taxes, which are not paid by such folks, who craftily, and legally — yes, legally — hide their money from the tax man through various mechanisms, some of which frankly, are abusive, such as Read the rest of this entry »

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Gas prices got you feeling pinched?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 18, 2022

Here’s everything that Congress has done about the matter.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Yeah.

Bupkis.

Nada.

Isn’t that what Congress specializes in doing — NOTHING!?

But, in all fairness… Congress (the House) did pass legislation about hair styles.

That’s NOT a joke.

Or, is it?

H.R.2116 – CROWN Act of 2021 — “An act To prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s texture or style of hair.” — was referred to the Committees for Judiciary; Education and Labor; Budget. In a roll call vote held on 03/18/2022, the act was Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 235 – 189 (Roll no. 82).

And to compound problems, the Mass Media hasn’t done a good of their job of reporting on what exactly HAS been done… as in what bills have been written, and sent to committee. And there have been some, with full information — including the text of the bills — about which are linked herein to the Congress.gov website.

Of course, Republicans have little of any substance to offer except for “tax cuts,” which is their standard tune, and their answer to all of life’s problems.

Yeah.

But, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being manipulated by the Mass Media?

That’s because YOU ARE.

Is there anything else it could be called when full information and details of bills that could help We The People are purposely omitted from being reported upon?


In an article headlined “Gas prices are near record highs. A fuel tax holiday could give consumers some relief.” NPR reported today (Friday, 18 March 2022) that “the Georgia House last week approved a bill to suspend the state’s 28.7 cents a gallon motor fuel tax through the end of May.”

Given that the Energy Information Administration shows that taxes account for only about 15% of the price of gasoline and diesel fuel, a so-called “tax holiday” would hardly provide any substantial relief, if any at all.

Jeff Davis, a Senior Fellow with the Eno Center for Transportation — a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan think tank founded in 1921 by traffic safety pioneer William Eno that examines transportation issues across modes and levels of the federal-state-local government chain — is also the Editor of the Eno Transportation Weekly, and said that cutting the federal gas tax really won’t save drivers much money.

“Well, you know, we’re paying Read the rest of this entry »

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GOP Traitors Spent July 4, 2018 In Russia. Why?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 18, 2022

WHY would

U.S. Senators:

• Richard Shelby – R, AL

• Jerry Moran – R, KS

• John Kennedy – R, LA

• Steve Daines – R, MT

• John Hoven – R, ND

• John Thune – R, SD

• Ron Johnson – R, WI

-and-

U.S. Representative

• Kay Granger – R, TX-12

ALL GO TO RUSSIA on July 4, 2018?

Oh… wait… here’s the answer:

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-legislators-shelby-kennedy-arrive-moscow-mission-improve-ties-observe-economy/29334313.html

U.S. Legislators In Moscow On Mission To Improve Ties, Observe Economy

Updated

(with video)

U.S. Senators • Richard Shelby – R, AL; Jerry Moran – R, KS
• John Kennedy – R, LA
• Steve Daines – R, MT
• John Hoven – R, ND
• John Thune – R, SD
• Ron Johnson – R, WI
-and-
U.S. Representative
• Kay Granger – R, TX-12
all met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Kremlin in Moscow, July 4, 2018.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says a visit by Republican members of the U.S. Congress should improve ties between the two countries’ legislatures.

The U.S. lawmakers are in Russia this week on what they say is a mission to try to help revive relations, which are severely strained, and observe how Russia’s economy is doing after four years of Western sanctions.

At a meeting on July 3, Lavrov said he hoped the visit will “symbolize the renewal of relations between the parliaments” of the United States and Russia, something he said was “very timely” ahead of the summit in Helsinki — the first full-fledged meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

“We come here realizing that we have a strained relationship, but we could have a better relationship between the U.S. and Russia, because we have some common interests around the world that we could hopefully work together on,” Senator Richard Shelby (Republican-Alabama) told Lavrov at the start of their meeting. “We could be competitors — we are competitors — but we don’t necessarily need to be adversaries.”

The U.S. lawmakers were also meeting with State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, a close ally of Putin, and Konstantin Kosachyov, the chairman of the Federation Council’s International Relations Committee.

The Duma is the lower house of Russia’s parliament, and the Federation Council is the upper chamber. Both are dominated by parties loyal to the Kremlin, and virtually all legislation passed by the parliament has the blessing of the Kremlin.

Before arriving in Moscow late on July 2, the U.S. legislators met in St. Petersburg with the city’s governor, Georgy Poltavchenko, and expressed hopes for improving relations. Poltavchenko told them he was “ready for cooperation on all fronts.”

The legislators were invited to Russia by U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman and are considered to be sympathetic to or allied with U.S. President Donald Trump, who plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 in an effort to revive Russia-U.S. ties after years of deterioration.

“We will have to wait and see, and go from there, but we recognize that the world is better off, I believe, if Russia and the U.S. have fewer tensions,” Shelby said.

Senator John Kennedy (Republican-Louisiana) told CNN he hoped the group would be able to meet with Putin, though Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov there were no plans for Putin meet with the legislators.

“I want to be able to meet with government officials, try to establish some rapport, talk about common interest, talk about common problems,” Kennedy said, emphasizing that his goal was to “establish rapport between the United States Congress and the Putin administration.”

All members of the delegation voted to pass the legislation last year that tightened and expanded sanctions on Russia, originally imposed over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The legislation, which Trump opposed, also makes it extremely difficult for Trump to lift the sanctions without congressional approval.

Kennedy said he wanted to see how Russia’s economy is doing.

“Some say it’s in shambles,” he told CNN. “Others say with the increase in the price of oil, it’s doing much better. Others say [Russia is] spending all their money on Syria and weaponry and the people are starving to death. Others say that’s not true. So I don’t know.”

Asked if he would bring up the topic of alleged Russian meddling in U.S. elections, Kennedy said, “Now, I don’t want to do anything to start an international incident, but I believe in talking frankly about these things.”

Kennedy told CNN that there had been a lot of “serious allegations that Russia has interfered with not just our elections,” but with elections in France and Germany as well as with Britain’s vote in 2016 to exit the European Union.

The congressional delegation arrived in Russia on June 30 and plans to stay until July 5. Also included in the group are Senators John Hoeven (Republican-North Dakota), John Thune (Republican-South Dakota), Jerry Moran (Republican-Kansas), Steve Daines (Republican-Montana), and one House of Representatives member, Kay Granger (Republican-Texas).

With reporting by Reuters, AP, CNN, and TASS

RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.


18 USC Chapter 115: TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=%2Fprelim%40title18%2Fpart1%2Fchapter115&edition=prelim

Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Russian Oil Should Be Sold Worldwide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 9, 2022

I’ve done a 180º on the matter of selling Russian Crude Oil & Natural Gas (NatGas), and placing economic sanctions upon that nation.

I think that President Biden (POTUS BIDEN) should even consider INCREASING importation of those Russian fossil fuels.

Further, I think that we should be pursuing “business as usual” within Russia.

Matter of fact, so should the peace-loving world, particularly and especially all European nations.

Why?

Number one, embargoes, economic sanctions and other physically non-violent means are Read the rest of this entry »

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Putin, Zelenskyy, and Biden Walk Into a Bar…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 5, 2022

Putin, Zelenskyy, and Biden walk Into a bar.

Putin orders a Ukrainian invasion.

Biden says, “I’ll have the same.”

Zelenskyy spends all his time trying to keep the bartender from serving either one.


Western “media” outlets, and others — including the U.S. Congress, most notably — are but paying lip service to Ukraine, and their struggle to oust the tyrannical madman and international terrorist, Russian president Vladimir Putin.

There is no shortage of “I stand with,” or “I support Ukraine” expressions, either by decorative building lights in the evening, or signage so expressing. Even some businesses are in on the symbolic support, including liquor stores, which have conducted well-publicized publicity stunts to waste Russian vodka.

Then, of course, there’s the moron factor — GOPers who support the invading force, and its tyrant Putin.

In response, the President has stated that he’ll impose strict sanctions against Russia, but again, it’s a largely symbolic effort because it’s merely halfhearted, and fully hypocritical, because of things like this:

Treasury Department Assures Wall Street It Can Still Trade Russian Oil And Gas

March 4, 2022
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/treasury-department-assures-wall-street-it-can-still-trade-russian-oil-and-gas/ar-AAUDaAu

In a stunningly hypocritical move this afternoon Read the rest of this entry »

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Assassinate Vladimir Putin? Or Try Him in the International Criminal Court in The Hague?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 3, 2022

Vladimir Putin sits at the end of a 40-foot-long table in the Kremlin for 2 reasons:

1.) So the men at the other end can’t smell the fear in his breath, and;

2.) So they can’t see the cowardice in his eyes.

Vladimir Putin is an evil man, and an International Terrorist.

For that reason (being an International Terrorist), the CIA, our military intelligence, and other such officials in our government are EXEMPT from Executive Orders Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s What POTUS BIDEN Should Do Regarding Putin

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 3, 2022

I wish — with ALL MY HEART — as a show of solidarity and unanimity with the Ukrainian people, and as a fearsome show of force, might & power — including as a warning to the world, that POTUS BIDEN would:

1.) Order NON-STOP, 24/7 air superiority strikes by aircraft to fly out of Ramstein AFB, Germany (near Kaiserslautern) including use of long-range heavy bombers including the;

Read the rest of this entry »

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Five Takeaways on Five Takeaways -and- Russian Oil in America

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 2, 2022

1.) Morons.

2.) Morons.

3.) Morons.

4.) Morons.

5.) Morons.

Don’t you just hate what most journalism has become?

I do.


Recently, I sought a friend’s opinion about POTUS BIDEN’S SOTU, who in response wrote that, “I thought Biden was a joke. He is providing Putin with the money for the war. It has been reported that the US is the largest purchaser of oil from Russia. He talked about funding the police, securing the border, it was all lies.”

I could have guessed any response would have been as much, given that individual was a Trump voter. But, what shocked me was the claim that “He is providing Putin with the money for the war. It has been reported that the US is the largest purchaser of oil from Russia.”

That friend and I have known each other for several years, and on Saturdays we would regularly “solve the world’s problems” over breakfast at area restaurants. And here’s the interesting part: When we got down to brass tacks, didn’t insult each other’s ideas or opinions, and worked to the fundamental root cause of problems, we actually saw eye-to-eye on many topics. We just had to move away from the temptation to play the “sport” of politics, which is now all-too-often, par for the course.

But on the matter of the claim that POTUS BIDEN “is providing Putin with the money for the war,” and the related claim that, “It has been reported that the US is the largest purchaser of oil from Russia,” I set out to disprove what, on its face, prima facie evidence, if you prefer, seemed outrageous.

So, I visited the Energy Information Administration’s website to learn more. (AKA “Your Tax Dollars At Work.”)

Here’s what I found.

On a page entitled “U.S. Imports by Country of Origin,”  in 2020, the United States imported from a total of 72 nations a GRAND TOTAL of 2,877,890 thousand barrels of oil. (NOTE: 2020 is the most recent year for which annual information is available, while monthly data for July–December 2021 is available. The July-December 2021 monthly figures may be found toward the bottom of this entry, below the horizontal line.)

The Top 10 nations from which the USA imported oil are, in order, with volumes (in thousands of barrels):

1.) Canada — 1,509,646
2.) Mexico — 274,757 Read the rest of this entry »

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Our “Privacy” Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 14, 2022

Policy is NOT law.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, defines policy as:

1. A plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters: American foreign policy; the company’s personnel policy.
2. a. A course of action, guiding principle, or procedure considered expedient, prudent, or advantageous: Honesty is the best policy.
b. Prudence, shrewdness, or sagacity in practical matters: It is never good policy to speak rashly.

Policy can change at any time, for any reason. It is not set in stone.

Furthermore, policy is not legally binding, nor is it a promise, and can be violated at any time, for any reason whatsoever, even by the one that establishes “policy.” A company does NOT have to abide by their “policy.”

Companies that have so-called “Privacy” policies are simply pulling your leg. They’re buffaloing you, pulling the wool over your eyes, fooling you, into believing that they actually “care” (give a rat’s ass) about you.

They do not.

To them, you’re nothing but a sales tool, to be exploited, bought, sold, and traded on the open market — a means to an end, that end being increasing their bank account.

Seriously.

Now, think about it for just one moment: Why, or what possible legitimate business reason, would ANY company have to “respect” your “privacy,” unless they had an ulterior motive (or policy) to violate it to begin with?

That’s like a couple going out on a first date, and one says to the other, “I don’t kiss on the first date,” while the other says, “That’s okay… I don’t mind. But I fuck on the first date,” and then proceeds to rape the one — but doesn’t kiss.

So to the other’s way of thinking, the one’s “policy” of not kissing was upheld.

That’s what a so-called “privacy” policy is like to businesses.

It’s like going into a dressing room, changing clothes, and admiring yourself in the mirror, only to find out later that it was a “one-way mirror,” and that you were not only being watched the entire time, but being recorded, as well — AND, that the video was sold — all without your knowledge, or consent.

How about THEM apples, eh?

Yeah.

THAT is what’s going on.

Why?

Because Congress has NOT given Americans any online privacy protection laws like the European Union has.

Or Japan.

The Fourth Amendment of our Constitution states, verbatim:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,
and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,
and particularly describing the place to be searched,
and the persons or things to be seized.

That amendment is NOT limited to the government, because Read the rest of this entry »

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WV Charter School Company Robs Kids of Education, Puts Taxpayer$ Money in CEO’s Wallet

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 9, 2022

In an entry entitled “Denis Smith Warns West Virginians About Charter Schools” published today (Sunday, January 9, 2022, 9:00AM), in the introductory portion of that entry, Research Professor of Education and historian Dr. Diane Ravitch, PhD, wrote that,

“Denis Smith was a teacher and an administrator in West Virginia. He moved to Ohio where he worked in the State Education Department. His last position before retiring was in the office of charter schools (misleadingly called “community schools” in Ohio, even when they operate for profit).”

Dr. Diane Ravitch, PhD

Dr. Ravitch also wrote that “the link works but doesn’t permit me to copy any print.”

She was referring to a guest Opinion-Editorial authored by Denis Smith which was published January 3, 2022 in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which is WV’s largest newspaper, about a recent state judicial ruling, that attempts by K12 Inc., a Wall $treet-traded, private, for-profit charter school management company, to create a publicly-unaccountable school district inside a school district that only they could control, was illegal under state law. He further opined about the miasmatic mess that the state’s legislators had created with their charter school law.

Nationally, there is an almost overwhelming abundance of complaints from coast-to-coast about the total costs and losses, not all of which are monetary, that have come directly from the charter school “movement,” which is, at its core, a private profiteering effort funded by public tax dollars, regardless whether the charter school is for-profit, or not-for-profit. No more, no less. It is, in essence, an unaccountable system which owes fealty to corporate owners, not to the taxpayers who fund them. For additional information, see:
https://NetworkForPublicEducation.org/chartered-for-profit/

As a courtesy to her, to her readers, and to others, the Op-Ed to which she referred is Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is America Subsidizing Communism?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 5, 2022

You know, the irony of the Opioid Epidemic is that folks are seeking relief from pain… pain which is psycho-social, emotional, not related to disease, injury, or surgery. But pain, nonetheless.

And what might the cause of that pain be?

Joblessness, homelessness, hopelessness.

Why don’t they have a job?

Ask Congress.

They were the ones who sent their jobs overseas in the misguided notion that it’d help our nation’s economy.

Yeah.

Right.

And there’s a Santa Claus, too — and an Easter Bunny, and a Tooth Fairy.

The Sackler family and other pharmaceutical makers were only capitalizing upon human tragedy by peddling pain relief.

And oddly, that’s what was needed… in addition to a job.

But you can’t sue Congress.

However… you CAN vote the bastards out of office — and should.

Every goddamn one of ’em.

ALL Republicans, ALL Democrats, ALL Independents.

ALL OF THEM.

And then, establish Term Limits for Congress; 20 years combined elected Federal service ought to be enough for anyone. That’d be 10, 2-year terms in the House, or 3, 6-year terms in the Senate (18) plus 1, 2-year term in the House, or any combination thereof. Remember when Newt Gingrich promised that with his “Contract on America”? Promises, promises. He also cheated on his wife, and asked her to sign divorce papers while she was on her near-death bed following cancer surgery. She survived. He remarried. Divorced his 2nd wife. He’s now on the 3rd one. Funny thing, too… Gingrich led the cavalry against then-POTUS CLINTON when he was accused of getting a blow job from Monica Lewinsky in the oral… er, Oval Office.

Yeah. What a guy, eh?

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

It was on September 4, 2009 when Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama 3rd Most Foreign-Owned Farmland in USA

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 17, 2021

THIS! is honest-to-goodness COUNTRY🥓BACON!!😋

In its uncooked state (this is cooked), it does NOT require refrigeration!

NONE of that mass-produced, factory-farmed, Made-in-China, Made-for-China gobbledygook.

You KNOW that Smithfield Foods has been OWNED BY THE CHINESE “Shuanghui Group” (now called “WH Group” because it sounds more “American,” you know) since 2013 and paid US$4.72B to buy the Smithfield, VA-based American company.

WH Group’s “global headquarters is strategically located in Hong Kong, with regional headquarters in China and the U.S.,” while the “Headquarters Shuanghui Development in Luohe, Henan Province,” China, and WH Group’s U.S. Headquarters of their Smithfield Foods division is in Smithfield, Virginia.

For more information see: WH-Group.com

For more information see: Shuanghui.net

For more information see: SmithfieldFoods.com

WH Group is also one of the LARGEST FOREIGN OWNERS of American farmland, with 146,000 acres and that separate sale was worth US$500M, according to the USDA.

Put another way, 146,000 acres is 228.1252 square miles… that’s nearly 20% (18.79% exactly) of the entire state of Rhode Island, which has 1214 square miles.

Unbridled greed in the extreme, aka AVARICE, is to blame. And Americans laws DO NOT FORBID, nor punish, such BAD BEHAVIOR. In fact, it’s REWARDED & ENCOURAGED.

Blame Congress — which has been bought & paid-for by Corporate lobbyists — for their FAILURE TO PROTECT AMERICAN DOMESTIC INTERESTS. THAT is a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY.

But let’s do something else. Let’s examine HOW MUCH U.S. land is owned, or controlled by, foreign interests.

Using a 1978 law — the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, which requires foreign entities to report farmland transactions to the USDA’s Farm Service Agency — the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting examined USDA & other Federal data to determine how much land is owned/controlled by foreign interests.

They found that in 2016, foreign investors that year acquired at least 1.6M acres of U.S. farmland. And USDA data shows that either through direct ownership, or long-term leases, foreign investors control at least Read the rest of this entry »

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Should You Panic? You’re Being Stalked Online… Legally.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Polly want a cracker?

How about a cookie, instead?

And to make it even better, we’ll make it a STALKING COOKIE!

Yeah… “stalking” as in “we’re watching EVERYTHING YOU DO ONLINE — where you came from, how long you stay, when you arrive, when you leave, what you click on, hover over, move around upon, your age, sex, where you live, your income, your education level,

• your employer, how long you’ve been there, your kids, their ages, the schools they attend, where you worship if you do, what car you drive, how far you drive,

• what size clothing you wear, your political identity, voting proclivities, what you eat, where you shop for groceries,

• who your doctor is, what conditions you’re being treated for, with what medications, how regularly you take your meds, what your allergies are,

• what teevee shows you watch, who your ISP is, how long you’ve been with them, your cell phone number & provider,

• how much your utility bill was last month, what you read, what you subscribe to, what type computer you use, where you use it, what your email address is, how much email you get,

• how many phone calls you get, how long your conversations are, how many and to whom you send/receive text messages, how many pets you have, their ages, sexes, and breeds, what and how often you feed them, who their veterinarian is,

• how much money is in your bank accounts, how much your mortgage is, and for how long, how many cars you’ve ever owned, how much you travel and where,

• your hair and eye color, your parents’ names, their addresses, birthdates, ages, when and where they and you were born, how many moving citations and/or parking tickets you and they have ever had, who your neighbors are, their and your skin color,

• when and if you menstruate, how often and with whom you have sex, if you use a condom, use any other form of birth control… you get the idea.

Frankly, NONE of that should be public knowledge, but, it is. And, it ALL can be bought for a price.

And YOU ARE THE COMMODITY bought, sold, and traded.

And so, would it surprise you to know that ALL that information cited above — AND MORE — is ALL available to be purchased?

In the EU, their citizens have PRIVACY LAWS that protect them from being stalked by online companies.

But not in the USA.

Again, whyzat?

Congress.

In the USA, NO ONE has any “right” to their own intellectual property, specifically, that means ANY, EVERY, and ALL information about you: YOU, as a human being, what your habits are, your daily routine, your purchases, your income, your medical diagnoses, your doctors, medicines, who you have sex with, when, how, if you use birth control, or not, what animals you own, how much you make & pay taxes, how often you drive, if you do, where you go, how far on average you drive on a daily basis, what size clothes you wear, who your friends & family are, what your genetic information is, and the list just goes on, and on, and on, and on from there.

Yes… YOU are a commodity – an intellectual SLAVE – to be bought, sold, and traded. And what’s worse, ANYONE can obtain that information. ANYONE. All they have to do is… PURCHASE IT.

That’s NOT a joke.

Just think of it this way:

STALKING.

It’s happening, you just don’t know it.

And THAT’s the whole point.

You are, in essence, an electronic slave, the intellectual property of others, not your self. For if you were your own property, you would Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s Talk About AVOCADOS! (Confronting lies, ignorance, and fear in modern journalism.)

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 12, 2021

Yesterday, I happened upon a story (a poorly written, and unconvincing one, at that — and there are several) about a complaint that someone, or some group, was making to so-called “chefs,” who in response were removing the avocado from their menus, ostensibly because of some alleged character flaw characterized as “un-sustainability.”

Avocados are a nutrient dense, heart-healthy food, production of which is SUSTAINABLE, and lucrative, for this, and other nation’s economies… contrary to what the goddamn ignoramuses tell you. There are PLENTY of academically, statistically, economically, and scientifically validated facts about avocados in this entry, ALL from HIGHLY REPUTABLE sources which almost every one DIRECTLY CONTRADICT the goddamn lies and BULLSHIT that so-called “journalists” write, and hope to get you to believe.

What a crock!

“Sustainability” my ass!

You wanna’ know what’s “unsustainable”?

Life without water. Life without food.

Besides… the fucking avocados are Hecho en Mexico.

Yeah, you stupid motherfuckers… Mexico produces the lion’s share of the world’s avocados, followed by Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, Haiti, Chile, and Israel.

NOT ‘Murka.

A business intelligence report on the global avocado market wrote this, in part, about the fruit:

“Avocados contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, including 25 essential nutrients. It also contains phytochemicals, like beta-sitosterol and antioxidants, like lycopene and beta-carotene. The essential nutrients are increasing the demand for the fruit, globally, and therefore acts as a major driving force behind the growth of the avocado market. The demand for avocados is increasing globally due to their health benefits as it increases vision, prevents heart-related diseases, and helps in improving digestion. The increased demand across the globe has resulted in increased production. According to FAOSTAT, avocado production was 5.7 million metric ton in 2016, which has increased by 12.7% and reached 7.1 million metric ton in 2019.”

FAOSTAT is the Statistics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

So… that’s not enough facts, figures, and statistics about avocados?

You’re about to get more than you can shake a stick at. So, sit tight, and hold onto your hat. We’re about to go on a whirlwind ride!

Here are more facts, figures, and statistics about avocados, from NASS, 2020 (National Agricultural Statistics Service — i.e., your tax dollars at work):

In 2020 the United States produced 206,610 tons of avocados. That same year, economic value of U.S. avocado production was $426 million. California’s 2020 avocado production value was $411,720,000, with 47,300 acres in production, which yielded 3.98 TONS / ACRE.

For comparison, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in Q3 2021 was $23.173496 TRILLION. California’s avocado production DOES NOT even make it into the state’s Top 10 most valuable agriculture products, which are:

  • Dairy Products, Milk — $7.47 billion
  • Almonds — $5.62 billion
  • Grapes — 4.48 billion
  • Pistachios — $2.87 billion
  • Cattle and Calves — $2.74 billion
  • Lettuce — $2.28 billion
  • Strawberries — $1.99 billion
  • Tomatoes — $1.20 billion
  • Floriculture — $967 million
  • Walnuts — $958 million

In California, avocados are the 16th most valuable crop. Tomatoes, strawberries, hay, oranges, rice, tangerines, almonds, pistachios, broccoli, and lettuce all outpace the state’s avocado production value.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that in Q2 2021, the value of California’s Gross Domestic Product was $3,290,170 million ($3.29 TRILLION), and accounted for 14.5% of U.S. GDP.

In the U.S., a total of 52,720 acres were in stable avocado production. Certain varieties, such as the Hass, have a tendency to bear well only in alternate years. That’s a 50% reduction biennially. How would you like it if your income fluctuated like that?

In the past decade, U.S. avocado consumption the U.S. has doubled, and is now about Read the rest of this entry »

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Good Chef, Bad Chef: Thief Chef Mario Batali Faces Sexual Misbehavior Charges

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Previously, celebrity chef Mario Batali had plead settled a Class Action lawsuit instead of going to trial over substantiated accusations that he and his business partner had long been stealing employees’ pay. Now, he’s been credibly accused of sexual abuse and/or misbehavior – meaning that there was enough evidence for the city government prosecutor to bring charges against him.

He has paid dearly, financially, and reputationally.

Now, he has a lousy reputation.

And, it would not surprise me in the least to know that in some secret, surreptitiously clandestine way, he’s hiding, or protecting his money as best possible.

As I began to investigate the matter, I learned that on several occasions he has sexually abused female employees. At the hearing for one such incident, while he plead not guilty, and then paid several hundred thousands of dollars to settle, he said that, “My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions.”

The first is a story from 2012.

The most recent story appears at the bottom, below the image of him, and is about his arraignment on indecent assault and battery charges stemming from allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman after taking a selfie with her at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

Batali must see the light at the end of the tunnel… and, it’s a train headed straight toward him.

Mario Batali Exits His Restaurants

From

The 20-year partnership between the celebrity chef Mario Batali and the Bastianich family of restaurateurs was formally dissolved on Wednesday, more than a year after several women accused Mr. Batali of sexual harassment and assault.

Mr. Batali “will no longer profit from the restaurants in any way, shape or form,” said Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who will head day-to-day operations at a new company, as yet unnamed, created to replace the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group.

The new company will operate the group’s remaining 16 restaurants under a new management and financial structure. Mrs. Bastianich Manuali and her brother, Joe Bastianich, have bought Mr. Batali’s shares in all the restaurants. They would not discuss the terms of the buyout.

Several famous chefs and restaurateurs have recently been accused of sexual harassment, but Mr. Batali is the first to surrender all his restaurants.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/dining/mario-batali-bastianich-restaurants.html


Thief Chef Mario Batali

In Proverbs, the Good Book says “Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving.

“But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house.”

I would hardly imagine Mr. Batali qualifies as “starving.”

What, then, should his punishment be?


Mario Batali Agrees to $5.25 Million Settlement
Over Employee Tips

By Benjamin Weiser, Associated Press
March 7, 2012, 6:10 pm

“The celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali and a business partner have agreed to pay $5.25 million to Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook is now Dead

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 30, 2021

FACEBOOK is now Dead.

Long live Facebook!

The company formerly known as “Facebook,” whose CEO/Chairman of the Board is Mark Zuckerberg – whom is Jewish – amidst increasingly withering criticism of longstanding unscrupulous, unAmerican, and unethical activity by the company, has recently announced that he has unilaterally decided to change the company’s name to “Meta.”

The perverse irony of that matter, is that the English word “meta,” as spoken, is the Hebrew word for “dead.”

The Hebrew word מֵ֣ת (mêṯ) is a verb, in the perfect, third person tense, and is the singular of מוּת (muth) meaning “to die,” or “to kill.”

That’s entirely appropriate, of course, considering that the company has conducted internal research which has conclusively proven that Facebook’s secret algorithms have caused suicides in pre-teens, especially little girls.

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-knows-data-instagram-eating-disorders-suicidal-thoughts-whistleblower-2021-10

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook executive and data scientist for the social media behemoth, testified October 5, 2021 before the United States Senate Commerce Committee’s Sub-Committee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, and stated in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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A Common Sense Approach To Lowering Medical Bills

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 24, 2021

Common sense approaches work well.
Unfortunately, common sense isn’t so common, anymore.

Why Medical Bills Can Be Lower in Maryland


Illustration by Alvaro Dominguez

For the past 18 months, while I was undergoing intensive physical therapy and many neurological tests after a complicated head injury, my friends would point to a silver lining: “Now you’ll be able to write about your own bills.” After all, I’d spent the past decade as a journalist covering the often-bankrupting cost of U.S. medical care.

But my bills were, in fact, mostly totally reasonable.

That’s largely because I live in Washington, D.C., and received the majority of my care in next-door Maryland, the one state in the nation that controls what hospitals can charge for services and has a cap on spending growth.

Players in the health care world — from hospitals to pharmaceutical manufacturers to doctors’ groups — act as if the sky would fall if health care prices were regulated or spending capped. Instead, health care prices are determined by a dysfunctional market in which providers charge whatever they want and insurers or middlemen like pharmacy benefit managers negotiate them down to slightly less stratospheric levels.

But for decades, an independent state commission of health care experts in Maryland, appointed by the governor, has effectively told hospitals what each of them may charge, with a bit of leeway, requiring every insurer to reimburse a hospital at the same rate for a medical intervention in a system called “all-payer rate setting.” In 2014, Maryland also instituted a global cap and budget for each hospital in the state. Rather than being paid per test and procedure, hospitals would get a set amount of money for the entire year for patient care. The per capita hospital cost could rise only a small amount annually, forcing price increases to be circumspect.

If the care in the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine system ensured my recovery, Maryland’s financial guardrails for hospitals effectively protected my wallet.

During my months of treatment, I got a second opinion at a similarly prestigious hospital in New York, giving me the opportunity to see how medical centers without such financial constraints bill for similar kinds of services.

Visits at Johns Hopkins with a top neurologist were billed at $350 to $400, which was reasonable, and arguably a bargain. In New York, the same type of appointment was $1,775. My first spinal tap, at Johns Hopkins, was done in an exam room by a neurology fellow and billed as an office visit. The second hospital had spinal taps done in a procedure suite under ultrasound guidance by neuroradiologists. It was billed as “surgery,” for a price of $6,244.38. The physician charge was $3,782.

I got terrific care at both hospitals, and the doctors who provided my care did not set these prices. All of the charges were reduced after insurance negotiations, and I generally owed very little. But since the price charged is often the starting point, hospitals that charge a lot get a lot, adding to America’s sky-high health care costs and our rising insurance premiums to cover them.

It wasn’t easy for Maryland to enact its unique health care system. The state imposed rate setting in the mid-1970s because hospital charges per patient were rising fast, and the system was in financial trouble. Hospitals supported the deal — which required a federal waiver to experiment with the new system — because even though the hospitals could no longer bill high rates for patients with commercial insurance, the state guaranteed they would get a reasonable, consistent rate for all their services, regardless of insurer.

The rate was more generous than Medicare’s usual payment, which (in theory at least) is calculated to allow hospitals to deliver high-quality care. The hospitals also got funds for teaching doctors in training and taking care of the uninsured — services that could previously go uncompensated.

In subsequent decades, Read the rest of this entry »

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Swing Voters Hold Key To United States Future

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 3, 2021

GOP Voters Did NOT Want A Second Helping Of Trump

And, in their estimation, Trump v2.0, i.e., Trump 2024, is 100% OUT OF THE QUESTION.

Comments from the focus group referenced in the article linked below illustrate the GREAT NEED for our nation to be focused upon PROGRESS & CHANGE.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion, or any nation’s actions, catastrophic, or otherwise, tomorrow will happen.

It’s inevitable.

PROGRESS WILL OCCUR.

BUT, we could all do something to PREVENT bad things from happening, and should. We should improve conditions for our residents and humanity, rather than to allow them to suffer by negligence and neglect.

And yet, whether we do, or don’t, the sun will still rise.

Time marches on.

Recall the adage,

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

That quote is by Dr. Jessie Potter, PhD (1922-1994), Founder/Director, National Institute for Human Relationships, Oak Lawn, Illinois; faculty member University of Illinois Medical School, Northwestern University Medical School, who was featured speaker at the Friday opening of the seventh annual Woman to Woman Conference, in an article entitled “Search For Quality Called Key To Life” by Tom Ahern, published in “The Milwaukee Sentinel” of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 24 October 1981; the quote appearing on Page 5, Column 5.

In my estimation, and in the estimation of that focus group’s members, America and American policy – domestic, and international – has REGRESSED, rather than progressed.

Progress supposes improvement. It’s like progressing from 3rd Grade to 4th Grade, or beyond. Progress implies a journey, and ALWAYS supposes improvement — getting from “Point A” to “Point B,” and beyond.

Like the primarily-Republican voters in this focus group, I too, have voted FOR candidates who were neither my first, nor best, choice. Sometimes, you vote for “the devil you know,” rather than “the devil you don’t know.”

I voted for Hillary, though I utterly loathed her for various reasons; besides being a proverbial “lightning rod” for controversy and division, rather than unity, another one being that she demonstrably screwed Bernie, and though what she did was not illegal, it was exceedingly unethical, and that she did it in secret, was very telling about her character. Had she not done that, Bernie would have most likely been the Democratic party‘s nominee – NO ONE ELSE had crowds the size of his – NO ONE.

But, because she had governmental experience, and was the nominee, I held my nose and voted FOR her. Similarly, I voted FOR Biden, though again, I much rather preferred Bernie, because I thought and hoped that Biden would essentially be a “yes man” to the party’s Progressive ideas. And quite frankly, I don’t think he’s ever demonstrated effective LEADERSHIP with ideas.

BIDEN is a conciliator, and after the previous administration, our nation was very ready for significant “conciliation.”

“Boring government” can be a good thing, per se — at least insofar as what it’s compared to in the immediately preceding administration.

Bold new ideas are not Biden’s forte. That’s Bernie’s bailiwick. And, as we all know, sometimes, “you gotta’ go along, to get along.”

We’re not even a year — 8 months 13 days, or; 36 weeks 3 days, or; 255 calendar days – into this administration, and yet, the prognosticators, pundits, and political soothsayers are busy at work. In my way of thinking, that demonstrates a deep longing for CHANGE. Not change from the GOP, but fundamental, wholesale CHANGE in governmental operations, i.e., PROGRESS.

Do we need change in our nation?

You bet your sweet bippy we do!

The colloquialism “politicians are like diapers on babies; both need changing regularly” is not mere hyperbole, it is true.

Consider our income tax system.

No one genuinely “likes” paying taxes – has anyone, ever? Even though it’s a patriotic duty, I don’t think so. But in your and my lifetime, the graduated income tax system in our nation has been highly compressed (there are now fewer brackets than ever), and the top rate for the highest income earners (multi-millionaires & multi-billionaires) has been so significantly reduced, that the net effect is a so-called “flat tax,” in which everyone – the wealthy and the impoverished – pays the same percentage rate, regardless. That’s an inherently unjust system, simply because the wealthy and the impoverished pay the same price for a gallon of milk, or loaf of bread. It just takes a BIGGER BITE out of the poor man’s paycheck, than it does the wealthy… who probably owns the farm –and– the bakery –and– the store that sells it.

It simply boggles my mind to know that Jeff Bezos, by FAR the world’s wealthiest man -and- his corporation Amazon, PAID NO INCOME TAX LAST YEAR… or, the year before, or the year before that. And he wasn’t the only one, not by a long shot. Elon Musk and Warren Buffett are also on that list of shame. Men whose names are practically household words, like Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg all come to mind. They too, paid little, if any, personal income tax compared to the Average American. To my way of thinking, that’s just plain wrong. Maybe you think differently.

What angers me particularly, is that, Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s Talk About… Critical Race Theory

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Before we enter into a discussion about Critical Race Theory, let’s ask a question, or two.

First, is discrimination based upon skin color, ethnicity, national origin, or any other factor, something that can be eliminated by law?

Or, is it a flaw, a character defect permanently present in humanity?

At its root, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other ‘isms and phobias are based upon an inherent dislike, even to the point of hatred, of others who are dissimilar in some aspect, and because of that dissimilarity thereby become the object, and target of scorn and hatred from and by a perpetrator. Any discriminatory behavior by the perpetrator is justified by the same upon the alleged differences in the object (the one(s) being discriminated against), i.e., the victim(s), and subject, i.e., the perpetrator – the “hater” and “hatee,” if you will.

Various laws, including liberal laws regardless of their age, have thus far failed to eliminate such innately discriminatory practices, and damages, from law, or from business. The myriad laws in our nation touching upon the slave trade, slavery, and discrimination stand as ongoing evidence of that fact.

Everything Old Is New Again

In Abraham Lincoln’s day, a segment of the Republican party then called “Radical Republicans” — a faction within the Republican party comprised primarily of Northern altruists, industrialists, former Whigs, practical politicians, etc., led by Thaddeus Stevens in the House of Representatives, and Charles Sumner in the Senate, from about 1854 until the end of Reconstruction in 1877 — were renown for their goal of immediate, total, and completely permanent eradication of slavery, without compromise. They were opposed even by members of their own party, as well as by Democrats.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Today, within the Democratic party, the Progressive faction is opposed by “moderates,” and they’re all opposed by Republicans.

And even within the Republican party today, there are also splinters and divisions. The “Trumpers” aka sycophants of the 45th POTUS, and the more level-headed, even-keeled moderate faction of the party.

There are lessons to be learned from history… if only we’ll learn them. And sadly, it seems as if we’re condemned to repeat them, time, and time, and time again.

It was Spanish-born American philosopher/poet George Santayana (1863-1952) who wrote that…

“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”

So… what about Critical Race Theory?

What is it?

Where’d it come from?

Who invented it?

What does it say, do, or advocate?

The very heart, the “nut,” or crux of the matter is addressed above, and could be stated this way:

Is it possible to eradicate discriminatory practices, and any associated damages, through legislation, and if not, to what extent are such discriminatory practices present, and how can they be rectified, or ameliorated, if at all?

Essentially, Critical Race Theory is a sophisticated, esoteric, high-level legal academic pursuit, which acknowledges that, to this point historically, laws (again, even liberal laws, regardless of their age) have failed to eradicate racism, racist practices, and discrimination, and asks if legal avenues (laws) are able to eradicate it, or if it’s a fixture permanently etched upon the human heart, and thereby inherently present in all laws, and if so, to what extent.

So yes, it’s a broadly-encompassing theoretical legal academic pursuit, and a question which possibly, might never be answered. Yet, there is understanding to be gained by such pursuit, and it is just plain wrong to chastise those who pursue such high-level questions and thinking.

16th Century Thought Police, and The Law of Unintended Consequences

Such chastisement is akin to the Church’s history of punishing or excommunicating scientists “back in the day” who posited that Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter To A Longtime Friend

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 20, 2021

Following are excerpts of a letter to a long-time friend who has historically voted for Republicans… almost exclusively, at all levels – local, state, and federal.

I have not.

As I recall, the last Republican for whom I voted was Reagan in his first campaign. Yet, I have not voted for Democrats whom I either do not like, nor think they would do a good job. And, I would vote for a Republican… if I could find one worth voting for.

I cannot.

And the party nowadays is in wholesale disarray, which further complicates matters. One faction wants to tear it all down, while another radicalized faction has actually attempted to burn it all down by attempting to overthrow its Constitutionally-ordered processes… and to add insult to injury, it was at the behest of the sitting President. And neither faction wants to repair anything, much less economic infrastructure.

“Privatize it all!” is their battle cry.

Yet, he is like me in this regard: He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of ANY political party. He is also like me insofar as he cares for the future of our nation, which, more specifically, means We the People — the Common Man.

“Blind Men Appraising an Elephant,” c.1800-1850, by Ohara Donshu (d.1857), Japanese Edo Period, Brooklyn Museum

But, to casual observers, they would not know that how we are similar, and would rather, note our seeming dissimilarities, when in fact, the opposite is true. We are more similar, than not — at least we are, on an essentially basic, fundamentally root level.

As I have long stated, we — he, I, and many others who, superficially seem to disagree — are like the proverbial blind men describing an elephant, which is an ancient moralistic tale about human nature with origins in the Indian subcontinent which is known as far back as circa 500 BCE.

“Our individual views of the universe may be different from one another’s because we each encounter only one small part of what is there. The ancient Hindu parable of the six blind men and the elephant — wherein each man describes only the part of the elephant he is touching, forming an incomplete representation of the whole — is an illustration of such individual differences. The elephant, a metaphor for the universe, is perceived by one man as a snake (because he feels the trunk), by another as a tree (because he feels the leg), and so on. However, individual differences in perception are not usually as large as the differences between the six blind men’s percepts of the elephant. The differences are not so large because perception is a complex phenomenon resulting from multiple small effects, such as many different genes and accumulated experiences, acting mostly separately.”

— “Individual Differences In Perception,” entry by Ariella Popple, PsyD, PhD, in “Encyclopedia of Perception,” E. Bruce Goldstein, ed., 2010, SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California


Hey Bud-E! How you are?

Still taking a licking, and keeping on ticking?

How’re your eyes? Still in your head?

Your eyes we can fix. My hearing, we can’t.

I’m going deaf.

No kidding.

My hearing loss is now much more significant than previously. And, I contend that it was because of the loud *!*BOOMS! *!*BANGS*!* & *!*EXPLOSIONS*!* to which I was exposed while in the Army. Training, of course. And so far, I’ve been denied a Service-Connected Disability rating. But, to be certain, I’ve not hammered the piss out of ‘em — the VA, that is — to get such a rating, and more importantly TO GET HEARING AIDS WHICH I DESPERATELY NEED!

You see, T, my good friend, this – my example – is but ONE of MILLIONS MORE exactly like me. Good and decent pubic education, college degreed, honorable service to our nation, and despite it all, not having healthcare insurance, nor the ability to shell out $10,000, or more, for hearing aids. And if my glasses break, I’m similarly up shit creek. And forget about my teeth. I’ve not seen a dentist in I-don’t-know-when. My next-door-neighbor D, who is 1 year younger than I, and a widower, had all his teeth pulled recently so that he could get fitted for dentures. ALL of that he had to shell out of pocket. ALL OF IT. And he delivers flowers for a living. A very modest paying job – not even $15/hr.

I’m fully certain that you KNOW that I am unapologetically FOR THE PEOPLE. And, I think you know me well enough to know that, by NO MEANS, am I “anti-business,” and rather, am anti-BIG BUSINESS — a scenario in which profiteering comes first, and people are an afterthought. THAT is a “cardinal sin,” because it demonstrates conclusively that, LITERALLY, we (our nation, our people, by and through our elected officials) DO NOT CARE FOR OUR OWN. And, I know the Scriptures well enough to know (and, I would hope that you do, also) that such a tact is 100% diametrically opposed to Biblical/Judeo-Christian principles. And indeed, it is against the principles of EVERY religion.

“If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].”
1 Timothy 5:8 AMP

For TOO LONG we have disregarded the sage, prophetic advice of POTUS Dwight David Eisenhower, a 2-term Republican, who, before campaigning for President, during WWII was Supreme Allied Commander – our nation’s last 5-star general.

And concurrently with that, we have continued to reduce income tax rates upon the wealthiest Americans, and their corporations, while simultaneously reducing and compressing the number of income tax brackets, thereby placing an increasingly undue responsibility and burden upon the impoverished and working families. Again, that burden has shifted AWAY from upon the wealthy, to be foisted upon the poor. Such an action is fundamentally UNJUST.

In his Farewell Address to the nation, delivered January 17, 1961, as POTUS, that speech, now known as the “Military Industrial Complex” speech, he warned about what we are now experiencing in our nation, and in part said: Read the rest of this entry »

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America’s Test Kitchen & Chinese Junk

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 11, 2021

Occasionally, I read the numerous emails sent out by “America’s Test Kitchen.”

And when I write “numerous,” I mean NUMEROUS. They’re practically bordering on SPAM.

And, they almost always want you to buy some cheap, Fabriqué en Chien Chine (tr. “Made in China,” but, it might as well be “Made in Dog”) junk. Hmm… Chinese junk. Seems there is an historical watercraft called — interestingly enough — a “Chinese junk.”

China, Miscellaneous Scenes: Junks near Ningpo
Creator: Fong, Ali
Subject: Hartung’s Photo Shop
Local number: SIA RU007263 [SIA2008-2923]
RU 7263 – Arthur de Carle Sowerby Papers, 1904-1954 and undated, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Place: Ningbo Zhuanqu (China)
Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives


And ATK’s latest flop is… testing silicon spatulas.

Yes, you read that correctly – silicon spatulas. It must’ve been a VERY slow day week in the test kitchen.

While I once found them informative, they’ve been slipping. And one thing that gripes me about ATK is that many of their “recommendations” aren’t worth a hot hoot in Hades. As an example, consider a venerable, almost ubiquitous, household kitchen appliance… the blender.

Not too long ago, ATK, as they usually do, produced a video comparing various brands of the kitchen appliance. That one, of course, happened to be about blenders. Their hands-down, long-time winner was the Vitamix 5200, priced at $449… BUT! Made in Cleveland, Ohio, and FULLY guaranteed — everything about it (i.e., “a motor blender base and any containers purchased together”) will be repaired, or replaced AT NO EXTRA COST — for 7 years if ANY part fails “due to a defect in material or workmanship or as a result of normal wear and tear from ordinary household use.” FINALLY! FINEST QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA!

ATK’s “next best” choice model was the Breville brand Hemisphere Control model, priced around $200 – Made in China, and with only a limited, one year guarantee.

While the site and accompanying video(s) show excerpts from their “tests,” and the host gives an adequate description of the “tests” and their staff’s findings – the advantages and shortcomings of each of them – one thing they fall grievously short on is… 1.) CLEANING, and; 2.) LONG TERM DURABILITY TESTING.

Granted, ATK conjures up some “torture” tests that most cooks won’t come close to performing, such as plunging a searing hot skillet into an ice water bath, or banging the thing on a concrete block… just to see what would happen. In industry parlance, that’s called “destructive testing,” meaning that the piece, or thing, being tested is likely to be damaged, or destroyed in the process.

I happen to own a couple Breville brand products, one of them being the no-longer-manufactured Hemisphere model blender, and the other one being the still-manufactured Breville brand Barista Express model espresso machine with integrated grinder.

The TOTAL purchase price for BOTH items – shipping + tax included – was around $1000+/-.

Now, to give kudos to the Australian company, their design team Read the rest of this entry »

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Another One Bites The Dust: Healthy 36yo Alabama Man Didn’t Last 30 Days Against COVID-19

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 9, 2021

COVID-19 wins again!

On July 20, Josh Tidmore, an otherwise healthy 36-year-old Alabama man, came home from work with “a slight cough” and at the time, thought it was just “sinus trouble.”

By August 11 — a mere 23 days later — he was dead.

He leaves behind a 35-year old widow, Christina, and 3 orphaned children.

Josh Tidmore, an otherwise heathy 30-year old Alabama man didn’t last 30 days against COVID-19

Josh believed the lies he read on Facebook about the coronavirus, and unwisely thought he was “healthy enough” to overcome it. Christina said that neither one of them “knew anyone who got real sick from COVID, and figured we would be ‘OK.'”

Was she ever wrong.

Deadly wrong.

Christina explained their reluctance to get vaccinated, in part, by saying,“It wasn’t a political thing, we didn’t want to because we didn’t want to; and the information is such a fight right now, and we thought we were young and healthy it will be okay, and we will wait to see if there is better information.”

There wasn’t.

Christina, who was neither vaccinated, had earlier contracted COVID and recovered. Josh wasn’t so lucky.

Christina and Josh both tested positive for COVID-19 on July 26, and then quarantined for two weeks.

A few days later, Josh was admitted to Marshall Medical Centers South, in Marshall County, AL, and from there, he only got worse.

Christina’s traumatic “wake-up call” came at the hospital when she witnessed Josh die from cardiac arrest, directly caused by the deterioration of his lungs from the COVID-19 infection.

Christina saw and heard Dr. Jenna Carpenter, MD, a Critical Care Pulmonologist who, with her team was caring for Josh, “run a ‘code'” on Josh — medical parlance for ‘his heart stopped beating, so we’re going to pound on his chest until his ribs break, inject strong chemicals into his veins to irritate his heart, and then shock the beejeebers out of him… all in the hope that his heart will decide to start beating once again.’

It didn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another One Bites The Dust x2: Alabama Couple Dies of COVID Shortly After 30th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 6, 2021

Alabama Couple Dies Of COVID Just Weeks After 30th Wedding Anniversary
https://www.al.com/news/2021/09/alabama-couple-who-worked-at-chick-fil-a-and-died-of-covid-made-our-world-just-a-bit-better.html

Jerry and Deborah Watson died just days apart from COVID-19. The two were longtime fixtures at the Gadsden Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Jerry and Deborah Watson, who lived in Gadsden, AL and worked together at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant for many years died just days apart from each other of COVID-19.

Debbie was the store’s General Manager, and with her husband Jerry had celebrated Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans: “THE SKY IS FALLING!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 6, 2021

Spendthrift Democrats ignore looming bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare
By Liz Peek, Opinion Contributor — 09/04/21 03:00 PM EDT
Liz Peek is a Fox News contributor, conservative commentator, former partner of the now-defunct major bracket Wall Street investment banking firm Wertheim & Company, who worked as a oil industry research analyst on Wall Street over 20 years.

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/570809-spendthrift-democrats-ignore-looming-bankruptcy-of-social-security-and


Liz Peek’s “bash piece” is purely tripe.

Let’s take it line-by-line — all my remarks are highlighted in GREEN and some are emboldened.

Here’s her opening line:

Are Democrats serious about confronting the impending collapse of Social Security and Medicare? It sure doesn’t seem so.

WOLF! WOLF! WOLF! Remember the Aesop’s fable of “The Boy who Cried ‘WOLF!'”?

Next line:

Instead of focusing on the looming bankruptcy of these programs, Democrats are pushing to spend $4-$5 trillion on a progressive wish-list of expensive new federal giveaways. Perhaps they believe that promising voters free college, free child care, free elder care and so much more will distract them from realizing that our most important safety nets are falling into disrepair.

“Federal giveaways,” she writes. You mean like TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY & THEIR CORPORATIONS? That’s CORPORATE WELFARE. And we mustn’t forget Jeff Bezos who paid NO INCOME TAX, nor did his MEGA CORPORATION AMAZON. And then, there’s the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts,” which DOES NOT TAX inheritance… even though it’s like winning the lottery. They did NOTHING TO EARN IT. And that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Next line.

Moreover, President Biden and congressional Democrats want to significantly hike taxes to pay for shiny new entitlements. But taxpayers are already facing big hits just to maintain the ones we already have.

Refer to the preceding paragraph about income tax rates for individuals, and corporations, and those who do NOT pay income taxes — the wealthy. They DO NOT see the paying of taxes, including income taxes, as being a patriotic duty. And yet, it is. During the 2-term Republican administration of President Dwight David Eisenhower, income tax rates upon the wealthiest Americans was 90%+, and upon corporations was 50%+. AND DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION, OUR NATION GREW LIKE GANGBUSTERS. Some complain about “tax and spend.” And yet, that is EXACTLY how it works. And the spending goes RIGHT BACK INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR, which is where it originated. Presently, in 2021, the highest personal income tax rate is 37%, while the highest corporate income tax rate is 21%.

Next couple of paragraphs.

This week, the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs released their annual reports; the news is not good.

The bottom line: Both funds are running out of money, faster than expected. Both Medicare and Social Security will need to be propped up, the sooner the better. Specifically:

    • Medicare’s Part A Hospital Insurance trust fund will go broke in five years; outlays are projected to exceed income by nearly $600 billion over the next 10 years. Over the longer term, we would need a 27 percent increase in the payroll tax or a 16 percent spending cut to keep the program running.
    • Gross spending on Medicare will increase from 4.1 percent of our entire economy this year to more than 6 percent over the next 20 years.
    • Social Security will become insolvent in 13 years. Under current law, the administration cannot guarantee full benefits to today’s retirees.
    • The trustees’ report says that Social Security will run cash deficits of $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years, equal to 2.3 percent of total taxable payrolls.
    • Social Security is estimated to post a cash-flow deficit of $147 billion this year, equal to almost 0.7 percent of GDP

The date of projected insolvency for these entitlements moved closer over the past year; the proposed remedies from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) become more draconian as time goes on.

The link provided by the author, Liz Peek, was NOT to an official United States Government website. It was to a group calling themselves “Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.” And even that group DID NOT present a link to official sources. Yeah… that sounds about right. Find someone who’ll agree with you on everything you say, and present that echo chamber as reality.

Here’s the “2021 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE AND FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS“:
https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2021-medicare-trustees-report.pdf

Here’s the Social Security Administration’s “SUMMARY OF THE 2021 ANNUAL REPORTS“:
https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html

Here’s the “Fact Sheet: 2021 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports” from the United States Treasury:
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Fact-Sheet-2021-Social-Security-and-Medicare-Trustees-Reports.pdf

Here’s the Social Security Administration’s “Social Security 2021 Trustees Report.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Understanding Morons

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 29, 2021

NOTE:

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Recently, a reader responded to an entry about Afghanistan, writing in part, that, “Calling them “morons” for not being educated on this in a country that is still partly stuck in the stone age seems a tad bit inappropriate.”

The reader’s thoughts were duly noted, and had some bearing upon a portion of the entry – the introduction. That individual could have written a recipe for spongecake in response, and it likely would have been published. But, a thoughtful, intelligent, cogent, somewhat compelling, and expansive argument was made in response to the commentary – which is more than can be said for some other sites, where diatribes, thoughtless, mindless jibber-jabbering, and provocative commentary is sad par for the course.

But it was the word “moron” that aroused my curiosity, so to be certain, I sought to investigate further the origin, derivation and historical use of the word – its etymology. Here’s what I found about the word “moron” on the EtymologyOnline website:

moron (n.)

1910, medical Latin, “one of the highest class of feeble-minded persons,” from Greek (Attic) mōron, neuter of mōros “foolish, dull, sluggish, stupid,” a word of uncertain origin. The former connection with Sanskrit murah “idiotic” (see moratorium) is in doubt. Latin morus “foolish” is a loan-word from Greek.

Adopted by the American Association for the Study of the Feeble-minded with a technical definition “adult with a mental age between 8 and 12;” used as an insult since 1922 and subsequently dropped from technical use. Linnæus had introduced morisis “idiocy.”

The feeble-minded may be divided into: (1) Those who are totally arrested before the age of three so that they show the attainment of a two-year-old child or less; these are the idiots. (2) Those so retarded that they become permanently arrested between the ages of three and seven; these are imbeciles. (3) Those so retarded that they become arrested between the ages of seven and twelve; these were formerly called feeble-minded, the same term that is applied to the whole group. We are now proposing to call them morons, this word being the Greek for “fool.” The English word “fool” as formerly used describes exactly this grade of child—one who is deficient in judgment or sense. [Henry H. Goddard, in “Journal of Proceedings and Addresses” of the National Education Association of the United States, July 1910]

• The Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition, defines “moron” as, anobsolete term for a person with the highest grade of mental retardation, equivalent to the modern classification “mild mental retardation.”

• Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary states that “This outmoded and imprecise term is best avoided in medical speech and writing because of its pejorative lay connotations.

• Segen’s Medical Dictionary, writes this of the word, stating that it is “An obsolete term formerly used for an individual with mild mental retardation (IQ 50–69). Vox populi – A derogatory term used indiscriminately for an obtuse person, regardless of that person’s tested IQ.”

Of course, I have often said, “There’s no moron like an oxymoron.”

And you can quote me on that.

But the term, now often considered a pejorative, has fallen out of favor with the “influencers” of society, social media platform morons who Read the rest of this entry »

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All Afghanistan REALLY Wants Is…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

While it may sound simplistic,

I have long maintained – and in the last 20 years often said – that what the United States needs to do with regard to Afghanistan, is…

Send select, expert teams from the USDA, about 40 or 50 John Deere tractors, combines, and various other farming & harvesting equipment (and give JD a tax break for donating them, they’ll appreciate that) — and truckloads of seed corn, wheat, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and other foodstuffs, including silage/forage, and show the people how to use and care for the tractors, plant, tend, and harvest, the crops, care for/manage the soil, and their animals.

Why?

All those people REALLY want to do is:

1.) Feed themselves, and;

2.) Feed their livestock.

Help them solve those two problems, and we’ll have a friend for life.

And, for the faithful, there’s this matter to consider as well:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
— Romans 12:20 (GWT)

The Nation Suffers From Severe Localized Food Insecurity:

Due to civil conflict, population displacement, and economic slowdown – the food security situation worsened in recent months due to the impact of COVID‑19 as informal labor opportunities and remittances declined; between November 2020 and March 2021, about 13.15 million people were estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity and to require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 8.52 million people in “Crisis” and 4.3 million people in “Emergency”; the food security of the vulnerable populations, including IDPs (Internally Displaced People) and the urban poor, is likely to deteriorate as curfews and restrictions on movements to contain the COVID‑19 outbreak limit the employment opportunities for casual laborers (2021).

Yes, there are problems to be overcome – most notably low education levels perhaps being the most problematic – and the language barrier can be, and has been, relatively easily overcome. But education Read the rest of this entry »

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Farm Ponzi Scheme Nets South Dakota Man

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 19, 2021

Such fraud doesn’t exist only on Wall $treet, you know.


South Dakota Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges In Feedlot Scheme
8:00 pm, Aug. 10, 2021
https://www.agweek.com/news/crime-and-courts/7148308-South-Dakota-man-pleads-guilty-to-federal-charges-in-feedlot-scheme

SIOUX FALLS — A Corsica, South Dakota, man has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and money laundering charges related to his operation of a custom cattle-feeding business that involved millions of dollars.

Robert Blom, 59, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering last month as part of a plea agreement that was accepted by the U.S. District Court on Aug. 2.

Robert Blom, 59, a cattle farmer in Corsica, South Dakota, will be sentenced for his crimes in November 2021.

With the charges, Blom faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, with a 20-year maximum for each count. Blom is also subject to a fine of up to Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian Facebook Meddling Behind Anti-Vax/Anti-Mask Uproar

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 12, 2021

Far from being a “Batman” logo, the Russian GRU, is that nation’s military foreign intelligence unit, and is a “holdover” from Russia’s Communist days, and remains chock full with communists. Remember: Just because Russia allegedly isn’t “communist” any more, does NOT mean that they’re not, or that they’re now America’s “friend.” They are NOT. The same folks that were in power when Russia was openly communist are STILL IN POWER. And that includes Vladimir Putin.
Their logo reads: RF Armed Forces MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

This PROVES my suspicion, that RUSSIA has been, and remains the culprit behind all this hubbub about anti-vaxxers.

Only an enemy could have created such dissension in our nation – which works to their advantage.

America has NEVER been like this… EVER!

And you know what else?

You’ll NEVER hear Tucker Carlson, Fox News, nor any other so-called “conservative” talking heads mention this.

And you know what else was “covered up,” per se?

The twelve GRU officers who were mentioned in the Mueller Probe indictments.

But hey… that’s old news.

“While Trey Gowdy went on his “Benghazi 2.0” tirade during the Strozk hearing, and random Democratic Congressional members used the probe to attack the FBI, the government of Russia was silently toasting members of their security services on a job well done. Meanwhile, the Russian government seems to be able to breathe a sigh of diplomatic relief, and pat their intelligence officers on the back. After all, President Trump is as giddy as a virgin teenage boy on prom night about meeting Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in Helsinki. “I wonder if he’ll be my new best friend?”

But this is not.

NSA-CISA-NCSC-FBI Joint Cybersecurity Advisory on Russian GRU Brute Force Campaign

Press Release – July 1, 2021
FORT MEADE, MD – The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released a Cybersecurity Advisory today exposing malicious cyber activities by Russian military intelligence against U.S. and global organizations, starting from mid-2019 and likely ongoing.  This advisory is being released as part of Read the rest of this entry »

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“I beg your pardon… I never promised you a White House Rose Garden.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Recently, renown Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss posted a tweet of some relatively minor historical significance, which included an image of the “new” and apparently not-so-improved White House Rose Garden, which was markedly revised during the previous administration.

Image accompanying Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss’ tweet of the White House Rose Garden after Malaria’s macabre makeover of it, August 2020.

His observation created an uproar.

It’s the same type syndrome seen in Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 moralistic tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”; no one says anything at the time, and then, when the king goes bonkers, everybody still oohs and aaahs about how beautiful, lovely, and perfect his new garments are… even though he’s wearing none.

But when the lone voice of a child points out the truth, suddenly, everyone loses their head.

Apparently, the last time the garden revision was “re-introduced” — shortly before the Republican National Convention — the announcement of changes made to it didn’t cause as much a stir as this reminder of last year’s event.

Malaria’s macabre “makeover” mockery couldn’t have been less well received… again.

Tens of thousands of people flew off their handles on Twitter — the Twitterverse was all a twaddle — and many, if not most, of them didn’t have nice things to say. Of course, nowadays, that is an expected par for the SoMe (Social Media) course.

And, as is similarly par for the modern course, “journalists” find themselves writing about what worthless things were posted about some inanely foolish event mentioned on Facebook, or in this case, Twitter. It’s amazing what passes for “journalism” these days.

But, the stir it created was found worthy, even, of a response by the aesthetes at Architectural Digest magazine who weighed in on the fracas, ostensibly to Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple Computer To Make “Back Door” For iPhones

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 5, 2021

Apple Computer, Apple Juice: Which One’s Better?

So… I just read this story:

Apple unveils plans to scan US iPhones for images of child sex abuse
By Rebecca Klar – 08/05/21 05:22 PM EDT
https://thehill.com/policy/technology/566603-apple-unveils-plans-to-scan-us-iphones-for-images-of-child-sex-abuse

Sounds good, right?

At least, superficially, perhaps.

The second sentence reads in part, “but security researchers and advocates are warning the scanning update — along with one that aims to give parents protective tools in children’s messages — could pose data and security risks beyond the intended purpose.”

But, here’s the creepy part:
“Apple said its method to detect the abusive material is “designed with user privacy in mind.” Instead of scanning images in the cloud, the system performs “on-device matching” using a database of known child sexual abuse material image hashes provided by child safety organizations.”

Did you get that?

“A database of known child sexual abuse material image hashes provided by child safety organizations.”

Now, what follows is a rather simplified version, and quite frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me to know that Law Enforcement authorities are onto that game. But here’s something even more sophisticated: Image hashes.

Here’s a primer on the matter:
https://jenssegers.com/perceptual-image-hashes

It almost does the same thing, albeit with a slight twist – it’s not encrypted.

The technology is called PhotoDNA, was invented by Microsoft, and essentially, works from a known database of child pornographic images, and analyzes them (creates a “hash”) thereby creating a unique digital identifier for each and every image, that is resistant, or impervious to change, such as the elimination of color, or adjustments made using photo editing software/algorithms, including of size, and analyzes each cell/pixel’s intensity gradients, or edges.

But again, it’s based upon ONE premise: An unencrypted file.

Immediately after reading the headline, I saw the flaw.

That flaw is base upon the presumption that customers of Apple’s iCloud service are uploading UNENCRYPTED files.

HOWEVER… PhotoDNA is alleged to work with encryption.
See: https://5rightsfoundation.com/uploads/5rights-briefing-on-e2e-encryption–csam.pdf

In a very simple way, here’s what Read the rest of this entry »

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 13, 2021

“You can shine your shoes and wear a suit.
“You can comb your hair and look quite cute.
“You can hide your face behind a smile.
“One thing you can’t hide,
“Is when you’re crippled inside.”

– John Lennon, “Crippled Inside,” from his 1971 album “Imagine”

Everything is BIGGER in Texas.

Including assholes.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott leaves the podium after speaking at the 11th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast May 7 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn) See BREAKFAST May 7, 2015.

The news item linked below, is from Daily Wire, a so-called “conservative” reporting outlet.

Texas’ BIGGEST problem is an incompetent and crippled Governor.

It’s not just his legs that are lame.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/governor-abbott-democrats-who-fled-texas-to-stop-democracy-will-be-arrested-immediately-upon-return

But then, what can one say about a 26-year-old man who, as new Vanderbilt University Law School graduate studying for the upcoming bar exam, while out jogging with a friend on July 14, 1984 in Houston’s wealthy River Oaks neighborhood, in a freak accident, had an oak tree to fall upon him, and then, sued the landowner, and the tree service company, and won a literal tax-free insurance jackpot for life?

Abbott’s settlement included Read the rest of this entry »

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Cheating On Taxes, Bumming A Ride, And Economic Growth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Renown U.S. economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) identified an economic theory – the “horse and sparrow” – which he described thusly:

“If you feed the horse enough oats,
some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”

Today, we call that “trickle down” economics – the theory popularized and promoted by POTUS Ronald Reagan. Never mind that the word “trickle down” just sounds so very wrong – the picture of urine being foremost – but the renown London School of Economics has recently put the kibosh on that idea, after studying history of 38 nations over 50 years which did the same thing – cut taxes on the wealthy in the hopes that it would provide economic stimulus of various and sundry types.

It did not.

For anyone who’s been paying even the slightest amount of attention, they would know that the world’s wealthiest man – Jeff Bezos – paid practically no income taxes on his vast personal fortune, neither did his corporation, Amazon. He was by no means the only one who shirked their patriotic duty by cheating the government, there were many more – billionaire pal Elon Musk is among them.

Dr. John Kenneth Galbraith, PhD, was a noted economist and author, the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Harvard University, former Ambassador to India, and former Presidential Advisor. Internationally renown for development of Keynesian and post-Keynesian economics, he was equally well-known for his wit and candor, evidenced in his prolific writings, which included over 30 books. His last book was a 1999 memoir “Name-Dropping,” in which he wrote about the historical individuals whom he’d known in his long, colorful life as an economist, professor, ambassador, and lifelong liberal.
Harvard University News Office image handout

As well, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, another billionaire, took unfair and unjust advantage of a Roth IRA – a savings vehicle created and designed to benefit the working families of America – and using tricks and maneuvers not available to the average person, turned a retirement account worth under $2000 in 1999, into a $5 billion tax-free windfall by the end of 2019. That same year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $2.3 billion – less than half of his Roth IRA’s value.

In stark contrast, the average Roth IRA was valued at $39,108 at the end of 2018.

So, we have one perspective, but let’s put things in even more clear focus, shall we?

How much is $5 billion?

If every single one of the 2.3 million people in Houston, Texas were to deposit $2,000 into a bank today, the total of all their accounts would still not equal what Peter Thiel has in his Roth IRA.

Of course, since a Roth IRA is a retirement income savings vehicle, taxation of deposited funds is not just significantly deferred until after the 60th birthday of the depositor, it is 100% TAX FREE FOREVER. So in essence, he cheated the system.

While you, I, and other patriotic Americans are dutifully paying our income taxes like the loyal citizens we are – paying for all of our nation’s governmental services, military service members salaries, defense budget, and more – most all wealthy Americans are very happy to continue shirking their responsibilities to pay their fair share, and are even more happy that you, I, and every other red-blooded patriotic American are picking up the tab for them.

This article details exactly how PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel truly cheated a system which was NOT designed for wealthy individuals.
https://www.propublica.org/article/lord-of-the-roths-how-tech-mogul-peter-thiel-turned-a-retirement-account-for-the-middle-class-into-a-5-billion-dollar-tax-free-piggy-bank

This article cites prospective Congressional action which will likely be taken following publication, and discovery of the abuses of the Roth IRA by Peter Thiel, and other ultra-wealthy individuals.
The Ultrawealthy Have Hijacked Roth IRAs. The Senate Finance Chair Is Eyeing a Crackdown.
https://www.propublica.org/article/the-ultrawealthy-have-hijacked-roth-iras-the-senate-finance-chair-is-eyeing-a-crackdown

Now, as for the Horse And Sparrow Theory, a research paper by the London School of Economics found that, contrary to the assertions of those who promoted them, tax cuts upon the wealthy DO NOT improve the economy in any way whatsoever.

The study examined Read the rest of this entry »

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A Taxing Proposition

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.


A penalty, on the other hand, is intended altogether to prevent the thing punished.”

–– U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., dissenting opinion, “Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue,” 275 U.S. 87, October term 1927, p100

On that court were Chief Justice William Howard Taft; Associate Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; Willis Van Devanter; James C. McReynolds; Louis Brandeis; George Sutherland; Pierce Butler; Edward T. Sanford, and; Harlan F. Stone.

Holmes, Brandeis, and Taft are the only names many remember from that group.

Then-POTUS Warren G. Harding, a Republican, nominated Taft, also a Republican, to become Chief Justice (1921–1930) following the death of CJ Edward Douglass White, a Democrat, whom Taft had appointed as CJ in December 1910, while Taft was serving as President (1909–1913). Taft is, to-date, the only individual to have ever served in both positions – President, and SCOTUS Chief Justice.

But, here are a couple interesting facts:

1.) From July 4, 1901 until December 23, 1903, Taft was Governor-General of the Philippines, having been appointed by POTUS William McKinley. Having held that office previously, he should have recused himself from the 1927 case “Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue.” But, he did not.

2.) Edward Douglass White served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, was a strident segregationist, and upheld racist laws which came before the court, including the notorious Plessy v. Ferguson case which gave rise to the “separate but equal” doctrine, and reinforced racist practices in the United States.

Today, such obvious conflicts of interest would not be tolerated. And I note this with a mark of appreciation: Justice Brett Kavanaugh recently recused himself (did not participate in) from a recent case before the court, because his father held some stock in one company being represented to the court.

Technically, “involvement” at that level exclusively doesn’t violate ethics rules, but having erred on the side of caution – exercised jurisprudential reservation – is commendable. That is because it demonstrates Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s True: The Über-Wealthy Pay ZERO Income Taxes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Moochers.


We are disclosing the tax details of the richest Americans because we believe the public interest in an informed debate outweighs privacy considerations.

Today, ProPublica is launching the first in a series of stories based on the private tax data of some of our nation’s richest citizens. We obtained the information from an anonymous source who provided us with large amounts of information on the ultrawealthy, everything from the taxes they paid to the income they reported to the profits from their stock trades.

In the coming months, we plan to use this material to explore how the nation’s wealthiest people — roughly the .001% — exploit the structure of our tax code to avoid the tax burdens borne by ordinary citizens.

Many will ask about the ethics of publishing such private data. We are doing so — quite selectively and carefully — because we believe it serves the public interest in fundamental ways, allowing readers to see patterns that were until now hidden.

Tax experts have long understood that the wealthiest Americans reap outsized benefits from the federal tax code’s emphasis on taxing income rather than assets like stock holdings and property. Yet, when The New York Times disclosed in 2020 that President Donald Trump had amassed so many deductions he paid no taxes in 11 of 18 years, it was assumed that his case was an anomaly, reflecting the unique breaks real estate developers receive under our tax system.

It is now clear that there isn’t just one such taxpayer — there are many, in multiple industries. We believe that disclosing the identities of billionaires who paid little to no taxes in years their fortunes grew by billions of dollars will help readers understand the magnitude of the tax advantages the ultrarich enjoy.

https://www.propublica.org/article/why-we-are-publishing-the-tax-secrets-of-the-001


“America’s billionaires avail themselves of
tax-avoidance strategies
beyond the reach
of
ordinary people.
Their wealth derives from the
skyrocketing value of their assets,
like stock and property.
Those gains are not defined
by U.S. laws as taxable income
unless and until the billionaires sell.”

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Typical Americans his age paid more in taxes than they saw in wealth growth over that period.

For every $100 of wealth growth from
2006 to 2018,
typical Americans paid $160 in taxes.

Bezos paid only $1.09.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans of business, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.

Taken together, it demolishes

The Cornerstone myth of the American tax system:

That everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most.

The IRS records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.

Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, amassing little wealth and paying the federal government a percentage of their income that rises if they earn more. In recent years, the median American household earned about $70,000 annually and paid 14% in federal taxes. The highest income tax rate, 37%, kicked in this year, for couples, on earnings above $628,300.

The confidential tax records obtained by ProPublica show that the ultrarich effectively sidestep this system.

American multi-BILLIONAIRES
LEFT to RIGHT, TOP to BOTTOM: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg), Rupert Murdoch (News Corp), Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Carl Icahn (Icahn Enterprises), George Soros (Soros Fund)

America’s billionaires avail themselves of tax-avoidance strategies beyond the reach of ordinary people. Their wealth derives from the skyrocketing value of their assets, like stock and property. Those gains are not defined by U.S. laws as taxable income unless and until the billionaires sell.

To capture the financial reality of the richest Americans, ProPublica undertook an analysis that has never been done before. We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period.

We’re going to call that their true tax rate.

The results are stark. According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their net worth rise a collective $401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.

It’s a completely different picture for middle-class Americans, for example, wage earners in their early 40s who have amassed a typical amount of wealth for people their age. From 2014 to 2018, such households saw their net worth expand by about $65,000 after taxes on average, mostly due to the rise in value of their homes. But because the vast bulk of their earnings were salaries, their tax bills were almost as much, nearly $62,000, over that five-year period.

No one among the 25 wealthiest avoided as much tax as Buffett, the grandfatherly centibillionaire. That’s perhaps surprising, given his public stance as an advocate of higher taxes for the rich. According to Forbes, his riches rose $24.3 billion between 2014 and 2018. Over those years, the data shows, Buffett reported paying $23.7 million in taxes.

That works out to a true tax rate of 0.1%, or less than 10 cents for every $100 he added to his wealth.

In the coming months, ProPublica will use the IRS data we have obtained to explore in detail how the ultrawealthy avoid taxes, exploit loopholes and escape scrutiny from federal auditors.

Experts have long understood the broad outlines of how little the wealthy are taxed in the United States, and many lay people have long suspected the same thing.

But few specifics about individuals ever emerge in public. Tax information is among the most zealously guarded secrets in the federal government. ProPublica has decided to reveal individual tax information of some of the wealthiest Americans because it is only by seeing specifics that the public can understand the realities of the country’s tax system.

Consider Bezos’ 2007, one of the years he paid zero in federal income taxes. Amazon’s stock more than doubled. Bezos’ fortune leapt $3.8 billion, according to Forbes, whose wealth estimates are widely cited. How did a person enjoying that sort of wealth explosion end up paying no income tax?

In that year, Bezos, who filed his taxes jointly with his then-wife, MacKenzie Scott, reported Read the rest of this entry »

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America Invented Global Narcotraffickers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 4, 2021

Make no mistake, I openly advocate for the wholesale legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis similarly as is done for beverage alcohol — though I have not always. And yet, as a licensed healthcare professional, I am under no misguided notion that there are genuine scientific considerations to be had.

Like many others, this is not a simple matter, per se — it is as complex as we human beings, with myriad matters which “Just Say ‘NO!’” has never, nor will ever, satisfy. Science and understanding is not advanced by the word “NO!”

Similarly as well, there is practically no disagreement that historic American jurisprudence on the matter not only had its genesis with deep roots in racism – which remains to this day – but has almost single-handedly created the global criminal cabal of narcotrafficking enterprises that have now become international terrorist organizations. It has now become a matter of national security, and not just for the United States. Global security is predicated upon addressing these concerns.

Jesus Malverde is a mythical figure, allegedly born as Jesús Juárez Mazo on December 24, 1870, just outside Culiacán, the state capital of Sinaloa, whom is said to be the “patron saint” of “narcotraficantes” (drug traffickers), and is known by his devotees as “el ángel de los pobres” (the angel of the poor).
According to legend, he was a lifetime resident of Sinaloa, an historically poverty-stricken area which is now recognized as the de facto headquarters location for a bloodthirsty global narcotrafficking cartel bearing the state’s name, which is infamous for their nefarious misdeeds, cold-blooded murders, and other heinous acts.
The legends, which vary widely, typically assert that Malverde was a “Robinhood” type character, who stole from the wealthy and distributed to the poor. In reality, narco-money has significantly revitalized Sinaloa, and to a large extent, reinforced ancient customs, including the veneration of folk saints as Jesus Malverde.

It is, in fact, fueling the civil sociopolitical upheaval in Central American nations such as Read the rest of this entry »

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