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It’s NOT Illegal For Weirdos To Serve

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 22, 2020

It’s a good thing that American Presidents don’t nominate weirdos or extremists for the Supreme Court.

Amy Coney Barrett as Hannibal Lector, the psychotic, psychopathic weirdo in the movie series “Silence of the Lambs.”

People who have 7 kids – adopted, or not – are certainly outside the norm.

As is forbidding the use of birth control – and that’s almost exclusively a religious matter.

And now that businesses can have religion, which god do they worship – Mammon? Was it the Commerce Clause that Jesus died for? Or, was it people?

But after all, “businesses are people, my friend.”

And since money is free speech, what’s next?

To be frank, being outside the norm is not illegal in the United States.

It’s not illegal to be a weirdo.

Goodness knows, there are plenty of them in all 50 states.

Belonging to a weird religious cult shouldn’t disqualify one for service – at least according to the Constitution, which has a renown “no religious test” clause.

I mean, we could have, and there is no legal compunction forbidding, Moonies to serve us in our government – any government, federal, state, or local – and, that’s perfectly A-okay according to the Constitution – as it should be.

People who believe the Earth is flat could serve us in government – and while there’s not a “no scientific test” clause in our Constitution, I would imagine that most reasonable people would agree that, like the Moonies, those who believe the Earth is flat are weirdos, and extremists.

People who believe in alchemy – the fraudulent and disproven notion that gold can be made from lead, various ores, or things that do not contain elemental gold – could be elected, or appointed, and serve us in our government.

Why, even those who have belonged to the Ku Klux Klan have served on the Supreme Court – Hugo Black, an Alabamian.

And the virulently infamous racist George C. Wallace was elected as Alabama’s governor FOUR times.

Stranger things have happened.

May they never happen again.


theguardian.com

Revealed: Ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse

by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, in Washington, D.C.
Wednesday 21 Oct 2020, 0500 EDT
Last modified on Wednesday 21 Oct 2020, 2337 EDT


Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the supreme court has prompted former members of her secretive faith group, the People of Praise, to come forward and share stories about emotional trauma and – in at least one case – sexual abuse they claim to have suffered at the hands of members of the Christian group.

In the wake of the allegations, the Guardian has learned that the charismatic Christian organization, which is based in Indiana, has hired the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to conduct an “independent investigation” into sexual abuse claims on behalf of People of Praise.

The historic sexual abuse allegations and claims of emotional trauma do not pertain specifically to Barrett, who has been a lifelong member of the charismatic group, or her family.

But some former members who spoke to the Guardian said they were deeply concerned that too little was understood about the “community” of People of Praise ahead of Barrett’s expected confirmation by the Senate next week, after which she will hold the seat formerly held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Two people familiar with the matter say that more than two dozen former members of the faith group, many of whom say they felt “triggered” by Barrett’s nomination, are participating in a support group to discuss how the faith group affected their lives.

“The basic premise of everything at the People of Praise was that the devil controlled everything outside of the community, and you were ‘walking out from under the umbrella of protection’ if you ever left,” said one former member who called herself Esther, who had to join the group as a child but then left the organization. “I was OK with it being in a tiny little corner of Indiana, because a lot of weird stuff happens in tiny little corners in this country. But it’s just unfathomable to me – I can’t even explain just how unfathomable it is – that you would have a supreme court justice who is a card-carrying member of this community.”

Barrett was not asked about her involvement in People of Praise during her confirmation hearings last week, and has never included her involvement with the group in Senate disclosure forms, but has in the past emphasized that her religious faith as a devout Catholic would not interfere with her impartiality.

People of Praise is rooted in the rise of charismatic Christian communities in the late 1960s and 1970s, which Read the rest of this entry »

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Use WordPress? Hate Gutenberg? Good News!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

To much chagrin, and outcry of many long-time WordPress users, the company unilaterally decided to switch to a “block editor.”

It has not gone over well.

Run atop JavaScript, “Gutenberg,” as it’s called, runs entirely in the web browser, according to the company.

The longtime, stable editor built using the WYSIWYG HTML editor TinyMCE which parlayed WordPress into a power player and preferred “provider” in the web design world, has come close to being abandoned, in lieu of something touted as “new and improved!”

It is not, and anything but.

The rollout was unceremonious.

It was almost as bad as a violently forced kiss on a first date – or, maybe even worse.

If some of the technical jargon is beyond you, not to worry, we’ll do our best to explain how this is not only applicable to you, but to all of their customer base – including the no-cost gratis accounts hosted on WordPress dot com, such as this site – and how they could have done better, and apparently, have taken a lesson from, at least for the time being.

First is Customer Service.

WordPress has been a pretty good company and enthusiastic member of the tech community, and has definitely found their niche as the practical backbone of the web design world insofar as a significant portion of the world’s major websites – some which you would immediately recognize were I to name them (Microsoft, the White House official site, the UK National Archives, Sony Music, UPS (United Parcel Service), Target, The New York Times, The Walt Disney Company, Tribune Media, Vivendi {a French multimedia company}, Toyota, the official site of the government of Sweden, Wired, Variety, Best Buy, Xerox, Etsy, Home Depot, Fortune, The New Yorker, Reuters, Skype, Yelp, Chicago Sun-Times, People, IBM, GoDaddy, etc.) – and comprise at least 37.6% of ALL websites, while 62% of the fastest growing companies do so.

WordPress has become a “Content Management System” (not to be confused with CMS – the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services of the U.S. government), which sounds all nice and knowledgeable, even “professional” – use of acronyms and abbreviations make it seem to others like you’re sophisticated. However, being plain-spoken is more admired, and reaches more people than being a jargon-using weisenheimer technogeek.

To date, WordPress has been responsive to the needs of their customers insofar as creating a usable, workable product, which is fully scalable to comport to the specific needs of each individual user. Whether BIG or small, WordPress had been responsive.

Next, is ease of use.

Artist’s rendition of what it might have looked like in Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press workshop.

WordPress’ learning curve has been short and shallow. Having emerged from the initial fray of bloggers, WordPress has emerged the clear winner. That includes among contenders like “the Great G,” also known as Google, which continues hosting their blogging service called “Blogger,” and among newcomers like Wix.com – which ostensibly, at least as it would seem, is what WordPress is working up against. Not that it’s a contender by any stretch of the imagination, but it promotes itself by claiming that “When you choose Wix, you don’t just get a drag and drop website builder. You get the whole package. Free reliable web hosting, top security, the best SEO and a dedicated support team to help you along the way.”

WordPress has long had, and continues to have, an excellent, even enviable, gratis service.

That solitary combined three-part claim – “free,” “reliable,” and “drag and drop” – has appeal. Among those who study such matters, the word “free” has continually shown itself to be a powerful and motivating word… because, everyone wants something for nothing. And in an increasingly costly world, “free” can be perceived as a significant benefit – even if it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be. And while reliability is almost taken for granted, though again, claims are not always what they’re cracked up to be.

And then, there’s the “drag and drop” aspect.

THAT is what is most concerning to WordPress.

Despite the fact that Read the rest of this entry »

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Judging Amy: Is Amy Coney Barrett A Right-Wing Radical?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 19, 2020

With the nomination and practical acceptance of Amy Coney Barrett being ramrodded through roughshod by the Republicans, it’s almost a practical assurance that the Judge from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will fill the seat vacated by the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It’s worth noting that the Federal Judicial Center “the research and education agency of the judicial branch of the United States Government,” notates her history (to date) as being a “nominated to the bench as Judge, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was by POTUS Donald J. Trump on May 8, 2017, to a seat vacated by John Daniel Tinder. She was confirmed by the Senate on October 31, 2017, and received commission on November 2, 2017.”

So if she’s approved to be a Justice on the Supreme Court, it will have been done in less time than it took for her original nomination to be confirmed to the Federal judiciary – 5 months 24 days, versus 3 weeks 3 days/24 calendar days (to date), and counting.

Amy Coney Barrett at investiture to the Federal bench, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Proceeding therefrom, it now appears that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will no longer be tilting at windmills, but instead, will be significantly tilting toward the far right side of the political spectrum – the right-wing nut job side.

So, given that Judge Barrett, whom for one year clerked for late Justice Antonin Scalia, well-known for his interpretive style on the court – which he called “originalism,” and “textualism” – we can expect more nonsensical rulings in the 40+ years to come, the time for which she could reasonably be expected to rule.

Just like Neil Gorsuch’s infamous “Frozen Trucker” case.

And just so you’ll know – not that you would know – there’s a rather telling, and disturbing side of Judge A.C. Barrett’s judicial perspective, and interpretive style.

Case in point to illustrate: Kanter v Barr – a case in which she dissented involving a man who pleaded guilty to one count of a Federal Felony – mail fraud involving Medicare.

In the court’s ruling – an “en banc” decision, involving three judges – they wrote that: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Trump Depression

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 18, 2020

Trump’s economy is SO BAD

How bad is it?

Trump’s economy is so bad, that he has LOST MORE than was gained under his administration.

When he took the Oath of Office in January 2017, POS45 was given a THRIVING economy by his predecessor, the Black Democratic President (that’s GOT to gall POS45, don’t you know!?!) Barack Hussein Obama.

Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, presented graphically data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis about our national economy.

And, just for funsies, and perspective, data from the First Quarter 2005 until Current – 2nd Quarter 2020 is shown.

And as you can see plainly, the last time the economy was performing at this level, was in the 1st Quarter 2015 – over 5 years ago.

5ive years.

That would be the next-to-last year of President Obama’s 2nd term.

Yeah.

Trump has

SQUANDERED AWAY EVERYTHING,

AND THEN SOME!

Kinda’ sounds like a Bible parable, or some such thing.

Isn’t that what he’s done historically with his casinos and their 6 associated Chapter 11 bankruptcies?

But look also at this: The sudden precipitous decline, the rapidly massive downturn in Trump’s economy is the WORSTTHE WORST (he likes superlatives) – since records began being kept in 1947. Maybe even worse than the Great Depression.

But look also at this: The sudden precipitous decline, the rapidly massive downturn in Trump’s economy is the WORSTTHE WORST (he likes superlatives) – since records have been kept in 1947. Maybe even worse than the Great Depression.

Trump’s economy is now at the point
where Obama’s economy was
in the 1st Quarter 2015.

Put another way, Trump has Read the rest of this entry »

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Click here for our coronavirus response.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 14, 2020

This now-iconic image of late country music legend Johnny Cash was made at his San Quentin Prison, California concert in 1969 by photographer Jim Marshall, who had said, “John, let’s do a shot for the warden.” The photo was relatively obscure until 1998 when Cash began working with legendary producer Rick Rubin to create Cash’s American Recordings album series, which revitalized his career shortly before his death, and introduced him to a new generation of fans in several musical genres. Rubin, who produced acts such as The Beastie Boys, Slayer, Metallica, and Tom Petty, had never produced a country artist, and quickly called it a “trendy scene” after being snubbed by Nashville. So he paid $20,000 for a full page ad in Billboard magazine which featured this image, and sarcastically read “American Recordings and Johnny Cash would like to acknowledge the Nashville music establishment and country radio for your support.”

Part of the tragic irony of this coronavirus ordeal is that in addition to the modest bailouts that have been given to Americans, and small businesses, they were also to the corporate community.

The need was tremendously underestimated, and much of the benefits, such as a boost to the unemployment compensation, concluded at the end of July… but the needs and the bills just kept coming. There was no reprieve for them, including the rent, and mortgage payments.

Banksters, you know… they love to tell you how much they love mama, babies, apple pie, and the girl next door, but when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, suddenly, they’re the enemy who’d rather give you a shiv, than the time of day. After all, they have the money – and LOTS OF IT – and you don’t, so they call the tunes. So, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

Now, if you think about it, that’s just a bizarre, and nonsensical maxim, because well… you’re standing in your boots, and pulling on the straps is a totally useless exercise. It’s like looking for a mythological sky hook, or a snuffleupagus.

But grit, and determination, you know. That’s the American way – and all sung to Frank Sinatra’s version of “(I did it) My Way.”

The reader should infer significant sarcasm in the remarks above.

However, there is no sarcasm in the following commentary.

In this present situation in which we find ourselves, BIG BUSINESS has, once again, made out like a bandit with the handouts given to them by Congress.

In their earnest desire to make things good for the American people, Congress has seen fit to include families and individuals this go ’round in the latest state-funded bailout of the failed economic system. And, that’s a good thing.

I purposely use the word “failed,” precisely because had it not failed, it would not have exposed the weaknesses inherent in it the way it was. But now that masses of people have “suddenly” discovered that they’re just a paycheck, or two, away from total financial ruin, and homelessness, it signifies that Read the rest of this entry »

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OSHA Fines Chinese-Owned Smithfield Foods For Causing Employees’ COVID-19 Infection

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 13, 2020

Human life is cheap to Corporate America.

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. For Failing to Protect Employees from Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for failing to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus. OSHA proposed a penalty of $13,494, the maximum allowed by law.

Agency: Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Date: September 10, 2020
Release Number: 20-1684-NAT

With a paltry, even laughable, mere $13,494 on the line, it’s not even a good slap on the wrist. They make that in a fraction of a second of business operations.

Remember: Smithfield Foods has NOT BEEN an American company since selling out to the Chinese in 2013. Good old fashioned Corporate American Wall $treet greed sold out America and Smithfield to China.

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.

And the corporate masters are STILL selling out the people. Just read their laughable response later down. They’re actually protesting the poor token of a penalty.

Seriously. They are!

Even the right-tilting tabloid New York Daily News owned by Rupert Murdoch, has written about the fractional pittance which has been assessed upon the corporation by the OSHA.

Billion-dollar meatpacking companies fined total of $30,000 after 10 worker COVID deaths, 1,600 infections

By Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News, September 12, 2020 at 10:12 PM

And Congress has the power to act. However, with Moscow Mitch misleading the Senate, there’ll nothing be done about anything the House sends to that traitorous rich bastard.

WH Group, formerly known as Shuanghui International, bought the venerable American company known for their hams since its 1936 inception in Smithfield, Virginia, for $4.7 billion in 2013. In fact, it was the region’s Native Americans who taught the Paleface settlers to the area the unique curing process they’d created well over 500 years ago, and which increased in popularity as time went on.

After the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) claimed that the sale would not endanger national security, Smithfield then became a subsidiary of that publicly traded Chinese corporation. However, as Michigan’s Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow told PBS in 2014 “Food security IS National Security.”

I’ve written about that problem previously, on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 as:

Smithfield Foods Chinese Pork Project is a Wall Street Happy Meal Deal: American Prices Will Increase

More than anything, it looks like the Loser in Chief is in cahoots with the Chinese.

I mean, after all, if he’s as big and bad on them as he claims to be, this fine would be 100x time amount to start with.

Yes, that’d be USD$1,349,400.

It’s HIGH TIME for a 75/25 rule of law!

Simply put, it goes like this:

75% of any businesses’ ownership MUST be American to enjoy a 25% corporate tax rate.

Presently, the Federal Corporate Tax Tate is set at 21%. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the so-called “Trump tax cuts” which, true to course, benefited only the wealthy), the tax rate was 35%. I have little doubt that the law will be repealed, thus increasing the corporate tax rate.

There MUST be a punishment exacted, and penalty paid for corporations which despitefully exploit their domestic American existence!

What’s more, Congress could, and should, also enact a 60/40 rule of law, which, again, simply stated, is that for companies which are employee-owned, they must be at least 60% owned by employees – either direct, indirect (trust), or hybrid – in order to enjoy certain additional tax benefits not available to other corporate-owned businesses. By so doing, it would encourage employee ownership of businesses.

Corporate alienation and isolation from the day-to-day lives of their employees and the Average American is highly problematic, and such a rule would go a long way toward readjusting in a positive manner the lopsided and skewed income and wealth gap in the United States.

And much to my surprise, I have just learned that Corey Rosen, Founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that promotes employee stock ownership, has written an OpEd published in The Hill which states in part that,

“Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), one of the most conservative members of Congress, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), one of the most liberal, have both introduced sweeping proposals to broaden employee ownership in the U.S. That surprising fact testifies to just how practical—and urgent—this idea is.”

Mr. Rosen also pointed to 2019 research by Rutgers University which found in part, that “employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) enable families to significantly increase their assets, shrinking—though not eliminating—gender and racial wealth gaps,” and wrote that “ESOP companies helped employees gain a better understanding not just of corporate financial issues—most ESOPs have some form of open book management—but also personal financial planning. Many companies offered employees an increased voice in how their work was organized, providing a level of personal agency lacking in most jobs.”

How China purchased a cut of America’s prime pork industry (RevealNews.org)


OSHA fines Smithfield Foods $13,494 for not protecting South Dakota workers from COVID-19, faces backlash from company and workers – Agweek

Written By: Jeremy Fugleberg
Sep 10th 2020 – 1pm.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Smithfield Foods $13,494 for failing to protect employees at its Sioux Falls meatpacking plant from exposure to COVID-19, OSHA announced Thursday, Sept. 10, and both the company and the union that represents plant works are objecting to the decision.

The workplace safety agency said the Smithfield fine was the maximum allowed by law for the single violation it found at the plant, which for a time was one of the largest COVID-19 hotspots in the nation. OSHA cited the company for one violation of failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious harm.

A COVID-19 outbreak at the plant in March and April sickened 1,294 employees and killed four, OSHA said. It also sickened hundreds of family members and other close contacts to workers.

“Employers must quickly implement appropriate measures to protect their workers’ safety and health,” OSHA Sioux Falls Area Director Sheila Stanley said in a news release. “Employers must meet their obligations and take the necessary actions to prevent the spread of coronavirus at their worksite.”

The OSHA fine is “wholly without merit” and Smithfield Foods will contest it, said Keira Lombardo, the Virginia-based company’s executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Edible Fake Food Is A Real Problem, But Who Has Your Back?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 7, 2020

Food Fraud: How Do You Know What You Buy Is What It’s Labeled As Being?

What is it, how often, and where does it occur?

Who does it?

What’s being done about it?

Sure, you may pooh-pooh the thought, the idea, the notion, that someone, anyone (people) could be defrauded in food purchases.

And quite frankly, the reason why, is that YOU TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.

Yes, 99.99% of ALL PEOPLE in the United States TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT THEIR FOOD IS WHAT IT IS LABELED TO BE.

Milk, for example, comes from a mammal, such as a cow, or goat – NOT a plant, NOT a nut (almond) – a MAMMAL.

Horse, or donkey milk isn’t a popular item in the States. And I don’t think that I’ve ever seen, or heard of camel’s milk anywhere stateside.

But, there is NO SUCH THING as “almond milk.” It’s actually a HIGHLY PROCESSED, chemically-produced, made-in-a-chemical-laboratory concoction that’s a poor wanna-be ALMOND JUICE, or some other disgusting kind of slurry of crushed almonds that couldn’t make the cut for edible snacks.

If you want REAL FOOD, only buy REAL FOOD.

Same thing goes for the gobbledygook parading as “turkey bacon.” There’s NO SUCH THING. BACON COMES FROM THE PORK BELLY – NOT GROUND-UP, HIGHLY PROCESSED TURKEY MEAT.

The etymology of the word “bacon” (its origin and derivation) is from the:

“early 14c., “meat from the back and sides of a hog” (originally either fresh or cured, but especially cured), from Old French bacon, from Proto-Germanic *bakkon “back meat” (source also of Old High German bahho, Old Dutch baken “bacon”). Slang phrase bring home the bacon first recorded 1908; bacon formerly being the staple meat of the working class and the rural population (in Shakespeare bacon is a derisive term for “a rustic”).”

Chicken, beef, pork… same thing. Not only is it by law, USDA inspected to be free from diseases or defects, and for cleanliness and sanitary conditions of slaughter and preparation, it’s the world’s HIGHEST quality for those reasons.

And, believe it, or else, in some nations – such as China, or India – food is REGULARLY adulterated (contaminated and mixed with) non-food items such as cellulose (paper/wood pulp), then sold to unsuspecting consumers. And, it’s NOT illegal.

Adulterated, and purposely mislabeled food is NOT a problem with a limited scope, or occurrence, and sadly, in recent years, with the proliferation and increase in global trade, it has increased in volume, and incidents, at home, and abroad.

For examples of other such instances, see:
https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-fraud-olive-oil-and-avocado-oil/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4014182/food-fraud-avoiding-fake-product/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2019/02/17/5-fake-foods-and-food-scams-you-need-to-avoid/

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/over-%E2%82%AC100-million-worth-of-fake-food-and-drinks-seized-in-latest-europol-interpol-operation

https://realfoodfakefood.com/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-fake-food-sector-unlicensed-products-knock-offs-supply-chain-contamination-public-health-alibaba-walmart-inscatech-a7880341.html

https://www.fraud.org/fraud_food

https://nationalpost.com/life/food/food-fraud-hits-one-of-italys-most-famous-products-raising-questions-about-effectiveness-of-gourmet-labels

The United States’ food safety and health laws have historically prevented such abusive, deceptive practices from occurring. It doesn’t mean, however, that it never occurs. I have written about this subject previously.

And yet, mostly-Republican administrations (including this one) have attempted to cut back on Read the rest of this entry »

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Nova Scotia’s Canadian Cannabis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 30, 2020

Weed is popular.

Nova Scotians found that out after that Canadian island province located in the North Atlantic,  legalized cannabis for adult recreational use, along with the 9 other provinces and 2 territories.

Cannabis, which Canadians nationally made 100% legal in October 2018 in every Canadian province and territory, had remained illegal for adult recreational use and largely unregulated until then.

The largely rural, Christian Catholic/Protestant, English-speaking provincial island just off the coast of the American state of Maine, has a population approaching 1 million, and demographically, the 25-44, and 45-to-64 age categories constitute the majority of the population, followed by those aged 65-and-older.

The Canadian government also found that in the 4th quarter of 2019, of all Canadian provinces, 27.5% of Nova Scotians had Read the rest of this entry »

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Money, Sex, and Politics: Is Jerry Falwell, Jr. A Closeted Bisexual?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Editor’s Note: The point of the headline of this entry is to expose what appears to be the presence of blatant hypocrisy in Falwell, and in the greater Evangelical community, if not the practical entirety of the Christian religion, in its long-standing intolerance toward, and abhorrence of same-sex attraction, and their continual denial of civil rights, and even basic human rights to that community.

By now, you’ve probably heard of, or read about, the escapades and/or exploits – sexual, and otherwise – of Jerry Falwell, Jr., the once-and-soon-to-be former President of Liberty University, the Lynchburg, VA-based private Christian school founded by his late Baptist pastor father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr.


UPDATE: As the article was being written, Falwell had not resigned. By press time, he had.


Most recently (Monday, August 24, 2020), Reuters News posted a news report in which Jerry Falwell Jr., the President of Liberty University, whom is an attorney by education and real-estate developer by experience, was named by a Miami-based long-time sexual play friend of his, and wife Becki, in which Falwell Jr. played the cuckold role. Of course, in an official statement to the Washington Examiner, a well-known right-wing sympathetic D.C. Beltway news group, Falwell has denied all culpability, claimed he was being blackmailed and pointed the finger of sexual blame at his wife. Exclusive: Falwell says Fatal Attraction threat led to depression & STATEMENT BY JERRY FALWELL, JR.

Giancarlo Granda, who was befriended by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and wife Rebecca “Becki,” while working as a pool attendant at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a renown luxury hotel, and was later backed by them in a business venture involving an area gay youth hostel, poses for a portrait in Washington, U.S., August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Falwell’s relationship with Giancarlo Granda – the 29-year-old man claiming to have had 6 years of cuckolding sexual liaisons with Jerry and Becki Falwell – goes back several years, and Falwell claims that Granda was attempting to blackmail him.

In October 2019, the Miami Herald published an account that detailed an undisclosed financial settlement Falwell made in Federal court with Read the rest of this entry »

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Jerry Falwell, Jr. Watched As Pool Boy Banged His Wife… For 6 Years

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

Well, well, well…

Since 2012 America’s Evangelical Protestant religious power couple, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his wife Becki, have been sexually playing with the pool boy, with whom they later partnered in business – as well as monkey business.

Will we see Falwell Junior crying his eyes out on television, begging for forgiveness, like Jimmy Swaggart did after he was found to have frequented prostitutes in 1988?

In the parlance of sexual play, watching while another man has sex with your wife/partner, is called “cuckolding.”

Frankly, this event – in, and of itself – is no big deal, per se, and is certainly nothing new. By that, I mean that everybody involved was in agreement, and as Evangelicals often flout, there’s power in agreement. And frankly, no one was harmed, and everyone agreed to it. Furthermore, no criminal or civil laws were broken.

What was broken, however, was Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s trust with the private religious university he led, the general public, his followers, and those within his religious circle.

In common parlance, that’s called betrayal, and hypocrisy.

Maybe native Kentuckian, and U.S. Army veteran Larry Flynt, the longtime publisher of Hustler magazine, and renown First Amendment warrior, will pay for the pictures, for undoubtedly, there are some.



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a claim likely to intensify the controversy surrounding one of the most influential figures in the American Christian conservative movement, a business partner of Jerry Falwell Jr has come forward to say he had a years-long sexual relationship involving Falwell’s wife and the evangelical leader.

Giancarlo Granda says he was 20 when he met Jerry and Becki Falwell while working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in March 2012. Starting that month and continuing into 2018, Granda told Reuters that the relationship involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.

Granda showed Reuters emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987. “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in an interview. Now 29, he described the liaisons as frequent – “multiple times per year” – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells’ home in Virginia.

His friendship with the Falwells eventually soured, Granda told Reuters, in part because he wanted to dissolve his ties with the couple and fell into a business dispute with them.

Giancarlo Granda, who was befriended by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr and his wife Rebecca while he was working as a pool attendant at a luxury Miami Beach hotel and was later backed by them in a business venture involving a youth hostel, poses for a portrait in Washington, U.S., August 10, 2020. To match Special Report USA-FALWELL/RELATIONSHIP REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Granda first emerged as a figure in the Falwells’ circle two years ago, when BuzzFeed News reported that the couple had befriended Granda and gone into business with him, buying a Read the rest of this entry »

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Common Sense: An Endangered Species?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Perhaps it’s been said before – “common sense isn’t so common anymore.”

Maybe even, at one time, or another, you’ve said as much.

Common sense, of course, is a thought process that implies a.) one is thinking, and b.) one is using process of reasoning.

And, without exception, EVERYONE thinks. Not everyone exercises good judgment.

Some take common sense for granted, while others do not.

Common sense may arise from experience, and/or education, and sometimes, experience is a harsh taskmaster – lessons learned aren’t always learned the easiest, or best way. But, it’s education nevertheless.

Point being, is that when we think, we use our highest and best faculties, which separates us and makes us unique in the animal kingdom.

So let’s quickly talk about common sense and politics – an area in which many seem to disagree, some even vehemently, and unfortunately, sometimes violently.

When we fight, we often “lose our mind,” and are motivated and actuated by feelings… which can often betray us. Yet, even in structured fighting, such as war, we employ our faculties of reason to win the victory. War, its strategies and tactics, is studied, and taught. So that very act itself demonstrates that our thinking faculties are a higher order than feeling.

Note that instead of saying “I think,” many people say, “I feel.”

That, I think, is a mistake to say that one “feels” rather than “thinks” when expressing an opinion, for it – the feeling – is something which rationally, one cannot argue against. Feelings may be pleasant, or unpleasant. And if one feels this way, or that way, it is a merely a feeling – and may be, and often is, fleeting, or passing – it is temporal, and lasts only briefly. Consider the feeling of being sad, bloated, or even gassy.

This too, shall pass.

But let’s not delve too deeply into the matter, not to become too philosophical or analytical, per se, and suffice it to say that we want to share some common sensical thoughts – ones that many, if not most, or, even all, could agree upon – in the realm of politics.

It is, after all, political season, and we human beings are political animals. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Does Trump Prop Up His Failing Coronavirus Economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

He orders the Federal Reserve Chairman to buy stocks, bonds, and Exchange Traded Funds.

Yep… buying stocks and bonds will work just perfectly, because BUSINESS!

How much sense does that make, eh?

Buying stocks in companies that could go belly-up because NO ONE is BUYING their stuff is nonsensical – it’s a non-starter, a non sequitur.

Jerome Powell, Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve speaks to guests during a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, June 4, 2019.

Then who’s left holding the bag, eh?

You, me, and the taxpayers.

Instead, the Fed should just GIVE MONEY TO PEOPLE… who in turn will SPEND IT.

And THAT is what those firms need – paying customers.

You see?

It’ll end up in the companies’ hands, anyway.

So as long as Read the rest of this entry »

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What Condition Is Our Condition In?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 6, 2020

“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.”

– partial lyric from “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” as popularized by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, 1968

Some critics would point to the recent economic downturn caused by our nation’s inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic as proof positive that we should completely forego any attempts or efforts to control spread of the disease.

With cries of “I want my freedom!” and other similar remarks, of right-wing extremists, in conjunction with their attacks on states’ capitols (most notably in Wisconsin) with loaded assault rifles, and their attempts to disrupt the legislatures, are evidence, and proof positive that the “wrong wing” is purely misguided, and even

The American Industrial Production Index (IPI) “measures levels of production by the manufacturing sector, mining – including oil and gas field drilling services – and electrical and gas utilities. It also measures capacity, an estimate of the production levels that could be sustainably maintained; and capacity utilization, the ratio of actual output to capacity.”

The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) publishes the IPI in the middle of every month, and revisions to previous estimates are released at the end of every March.

In short, it is a head-on, unvarnished examination of the underlying ability of the industrial sector to meet the demands placed upon the economic infrastructure in order to continue and sustain economic growth.

If you’re really froggy, the Federal Reserve states this about the IPI, which they call the INPRO:

The Industrial Production Index (INDPRO) is an economic indicator that measures real output for all facilities located in the United States manufacturing, mining, and electric, and gas utilities (excluding those in U.S. territories).(1)
Since 1997, the Industrial Production Index has been determined from 312 individual series based on the 2007 North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes. These individual series are classified in two ways (1) market groups and (2) industry groups. (1) The Board of Governors defines markets groups as products (aggregates of final products) and materials (inputs used in the manufacture of products). Consumer goods and business equipment can be examples of market groups. “Industry groups are defined as three digit NAICS industries and aggregates of these industries such as durable and nondurable manufacturing, mining, and utilities.”(1)(2)
The index is compiled on a monthly basis to bring attention to short- term changes in industrial production,. It measures movements in production output and highlights structural developments in the economy. (1) Growth in the production index from month to month is an indicator of growth in the industry.
For more information regarding the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization index, see the explanatory notes issued by the Board of Governors.

References
(1) Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization.” Statistical release G.17; May 2013.
(1) For recent reports on market and industry groups, please visit the Board of Governors.

Now, if you’ve managed to slog through (or skip over) the preceding information, you’re in good shape to continue.

The American economy as demonstrated by the Industrial Production Index has NOT changed significantly since 1999.

Simply look at the “90” line along the vertical column, and follow it through to April 2020.

Because of President Pollyanna’s approach to governing, decline in the economy – which could have been prevented – the economy is essentially back to where it was in 1999.

Federal Reserve Economic Data, Industrial Production Index, January 1998-June 2020

Up, down, up, down… it’s like a roller coaster – until about 2015, when it hits a high in November 2014 of 106.6634, then “recovers” slightly to March 2016 at 101.4155, then increases again, until it peaks in December 2018 at 110.5516, then pegs along around 109/110, and then, in February 2020 at 109.3246, thereafter falls to 91.1991 in April 2020, where it begins to show some modest improvement through June to 97.4587.

As we all know, things don’t stay down, and once again, it’ll eventually return to elevated levels, but we don’t know exactly how long it’ll take.

Federal Reserve Economic Data, Real Disposable Personal Income (RDPI) 2010-June 2020 –– As shown here, the CARES Act provided a GENUINE and substantial economic stimulus, which is still ongoing.

And in an effort to stave off almost certain practical wholesale economic collapse, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020.

As seen in the FRED graph (Federal Reserve Economic Data), even though Real Personal Disposable Income (RDPI) has declined somewhat since significant boost to a high in April, as of June, the effects of the CARES Act were still ongoing, and have not fallen below February, or March levels – which is a good sign. It means that the economic boost WORKED by placing money in the people’s hands.

And now, the GOP wants to stop it all.

Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it best today on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” program when interviewed by the host Jim Cramer who asked,

 “I like your spirit of being more upbeat, more optimistic so I will offer this: why can’t you go across the aisle and say, ‘Representative Lewis, civil rights legend, would have loved it if we could do something for the totally disenfranchised in this country. No matter what, can we give a huge chunk of money to the people who are disenfranchised, to minorities who want so badly to stay in business and can’t and to people who are trying to go to college or have student loans who are minorities who are the most affected because they had the least chance in our country?’ That’s got to be something both sides can agree to.”

In reply, Madam Speaker Pelosi said,

“Yeah.  That’s the problem.  See, the thing is, they don’t believe in governance.  They don’t believe in governance, and that requires some acts of government to do that.  But just what you described is what Mr. Schumer, Chuck Schumer, is proposing that we do with some of the resources in the bill.  And that – you described Chuck Schumer’s proposal exactly, in addition to the Heroes Act.

If we’re talking about how much and how long and how targeted, if we’re going to juggle some of this money, let’s focus it where it’s going to do the most good.  And basically, economists tell us, spend the money, invest the money for those who need it the most, because they will spend it.  It will be a stimulus or at least a stabilization of – and that’s a good thing.  Consumer confidence is a good thing for the economy.  You know that better than anyone.

And one of the things we want to do just before we leave on this, what we’re trying to do to help hotels, which are big employers, restaurants, which are big employers and the rest, is to lower the threshold for how someone can qualify for a second loan.  Republicans have it at 50 percent.

Nydia Velázquez, our Chairman, is urging a 30 percent threshold or 30 percent of revenues, of losses from the previous year.  It was based on the previous quarter – the similar quarter of the former year.  Now, we’re talking about the whole year, and 30 percent rather than 50 percent, which would make, I’m told by the hospitality industry, a big difference for them.  Many jobs, many entry level jobs, many union jobs, many people of color jobs, and I would hope that they would consider that.

Jim Cramer:  Okay.  I’m so glad you mentioned Congresswoman Velázquez, who is my Congresswoman.  I think she knows small business better than anyone.  I also believe that Chairman Powell would agree with that.

Speaker Pelosi, thank you for coming on Squawk on the Street.

Speaker Pelosi:  My pleasure.  Thank you.  Always a pleasure.  Thank you.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: Former Governor Rick Scott Watched Over Unemployment System Revamp

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

In a recent interview published Tuesday, 04 August 2020, with Jim DeFede Investigative Reporter for WFOR-TV ch4, Miami, FL’s CBS affiliate, Governor Ron DeSantis made some startling comments, the most notable of which was about the state’s Unemployment Compensation system.

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, succeeded Rick Scott, also a Republican

While acknowledging the state’s Unemployment Compensation system was previously aged 40 or 50 years, and therefore, by some means, inefficient, it was revamped in the last 5, or 6 years during the administration of then-Governor Rick Scott, also a Republican.

While he didn’t explicitly blame the former Governor, he left little room for speculation that Rick Scott had a hand in frustrating a system for claimants and claims upon the state’s UC system.

An earlier news item published 28 May 2020 by ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV ch28 in Tampa, identified that Read the rest of this entry »

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How BAD is Trump’s Economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Trump’s economy is so bad, that…

Before we talk about how BAD it is, first…

Let’s turn to some official agencies to answer that question.

We’ll start with information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the St. Louis Federal Reserve’s Economic Data.

Here’s a picture – it’s said that they’re worth 1000 words.

The DARK GRAY is Trump’s term in office, while the white line reflects the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP – “real” means adjusted for inflation year-to-year) – which has consistently increased since Obama’s first quarter in his first term in office.

The MEDIUM GRAY (and DARK GRAY) areas represent the extent of Trump’s Economic Losses.

The LIGHT GRAY (at G.W. Bush’s end of term in office -and- presently) are representative of Economic Recessions.

So now that you’ve had an opportunity to examine the chart, let’s Read the rest of this entry »

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Things Will Get Worse

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 26, 2020

With a little over 330 million people, America has about 4.3% of the world’s population.

And yet, with 26.1346% of the world’s cases, we’re the undisputed leader as the world’s repository for COVID-19.

And with 146,934 lives claimed so far, the United States has Read the rest of this entry »

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ICE Facility Employees Spread COVID-19 -and- Tuberculosis at Home and Abroad

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, July 25, 2020

Richmond Correctional Center, Alexandria, LA is owned by LaSalle Corrections, headquartered in Ruston, located directly SOUTH

Actions by employees of LaSalle Corrections – a Louisiana-headquartered private prison company with operations in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, and extensively in the Pelican State, which runs the Richwood Correctional Center (RCC) in Alexandria in the northern part of Louisiana – have spread COVID-19, and very likely other diseases to other individuals within the company, community, state, nationally, and internationally.

Located at 180 Pine Bayou Circle, Richwood, Louisiana 71202, (ICE facility website) RCC is a medium-security, 1129-bed capacity facility leased to the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The immigration detention center is also COVID-ravaged, and employees’ actions have likely created new diseases, and spread others – including Tuberculosis, and COVID-19 – because employees there regularly:

• Quarantined tuberculosis patients with COVID-19 patients, essentially creating Read the rest of this entry »

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Should We Give Tax Dollars To Churches?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 13, 2020

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Since before our nation’s founding, the framers of the Constitution had very powerful feelings about religion. Not that they were religious men and women, per se – some were, some weren’t – but that they didn’t want the government to tell them how they ought to worship, if they so chose to do.

In fact, they despised the idea so much that some folks (think “pilgrims”) traveled across an ocean in a small wooden sailboat which was little more than an over-sized primitive row-boat, to a far-away land, where literally no one knew them, just in order to escape the overbearing behavior of the ruler of the government (a king), who also just so happened to also be the head of the officially-recognized, governmentally-supported and approved state-sponsored religion – The Church of England.

Yeah.

Governmentally supported.

“Supported” as in “took tax money to give to the church” – the state-sponsored church… the one of which the king was the head – the chief priest, if you prefer.

Yeah.

THAT church.

So, they got so sick and tired of the “long arm of the law” reaching into their pockets and Read the rest of this entry »

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White Lady Antebellum Steals From Black Lady A

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 9, 2020

White Folks Trying To Steal From Black Folks

Southern White Musical Trio Attempting To Steal Name From The Black Woman Who’s Used It For 20+ Years

OH!

The irony!

White folks sue Black woman who’s been known professionally as “Lady A” for 20+ years.

The original Lady A is a 61-year-old black singer who’s released multiple records under that name, and said in part that

“This is my life.
They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that,
for them,
is just a moment in time.”

Lady Antebellum’s very actions exemplify and perpetuate the sense of White Entitlement.

For several years they didn’t give a rat’s rip about the name, and “suddenly” they care.

Yeah… right.

And so now, the racist bastards are gonna’ try and steal it from her… legally.

In a July 8 story in Billboard headlined as “The Band Lady A Files Lawsuit Against Singer Anita ‘Lady A’ White: Exclusive” Melinda Newman wrote in part that

“The suit also alleges that after conversations broke down between the band — whose members are Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and David Haywood — and the singer and their respective attorneys, White’s new counsel “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand.” While the dollar figure is not mentioned in the suit, a statement concurrently issued by the band says the amount is $10 million.

““Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the group said in a statement. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.””

Variety picked up the news as well, and in an article headlined as “‘Lady A’: Group Sues Singer for Right to Share Name, Says Lawyers Demanded $10 Million; The Nashville trio says it was granted a trademark on “Lady A” in 2011 after five years of use, but the blues singer of that name first released music in 2010. So much for a planned joint single.” which was published Jul 8, 2020 5:30pm PT.

The information for the story came from an Instagram post made by the trio which in part read:

“It was a stirring in our hearts and reflection on our own blindspots that led us to announce a few weeks ago that we were dropping the word ‘Antebellum’ from our name and moving forward using only the name so many of our fans already knew us by. When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment. We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that.

“Instead, we shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together. We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place. We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose.

That kind of drivel – prosaic use of language such as “a stirring in our hearts,” and words such as “heartfelt,” phrases like “all come together and make something special and beautiful” – are purposely designed to pull at the emotional heartstrings of readers, and are nothing but a manipulative tool.

And for Southerners, at least – and Lady Antebellum is a musical ménage à trois of Three White Southerners – one must include religion, so it’s entirely apropos to let folks know that “we prayed.”

They just have the wrong god – mammon.

This entire ordeal stinks to high heaven of racism, and White Entitlement – it is the VERY embodiment, the quintessential substance of everything and every ideal that the Black Lives Matter movement stands for, and fights against – White Power.

It also shows Lady Antebellum’s utter lack of creativity.

A creative person could’ve announced a New Name Contest and given the three runners-up “consolation prizes” of $10,000 each, while the Grand Prize Winner – all which would be submitted and chosen by fans – a $100,000 cash prize.

But no… Lady Antebellum is not that creative.

The Three White Bitches would rather expend much more money to lawyer up and very publicly legally steal from a Black Woman.

There are a variety of names which they now ought to be called:

• Entitled White Thieves
• Three White Folks Stealing Names
• The Southern Bi-Sexual Ménage à Trois
• Three Musical Confederates
• Sorry… Not Sorry
• Three White Lives Matter More
• All White Meat: Two Men and a Woman
• We’re Richer Than You
or, the most apropos…

• Three Clueless White Southern Shitheads.

But if they really want to stay with the architectural theme, they could take:

• Ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright
• Greek Revival
• Dorian Columns
• Corinthian Scrolls
• Split-Level Singers
• Ranch-Style Songsters
• Idols of Excess
• Marble Columns
• Three Colonnades
• Spiral Staircase (that name has been used as “Spiral Starecase”)
• Cupola Singers
• Belvidere’s Belfry

Of course, another altogether unique option is:
The Band With A Racist Name

Joe Coscarelli of the New York Times wrote and confirmed the proceedings which the Nashville trio made “In the weeks that followed [the announcement made by Lady Antebellum to change their name], an apparent détente between the two parties, initially celebrated on social media by both sides, faltered when representatives for White “demanded a $10 million payment,” the band said in a statement on Wednesday. Now, the platinum-selling Nashville group has filed a lawsuit that seeks no monetary damages, but asks the court to affirm “a trademark we have held for many years.”

So apparently, the figure of $10 million came up in negotiations between Lady Antebellum and Lady A, which Lady A seemed to have proposed for use of the name “Lady A.”

The group apparently refused.

They’re only worth about $84 Million… and counting.

Ten million wouldn’t even begin to put a dent in their savings or checking accounts… or in the accounts of their corporations, or their accountants, or army of lawyers, or the numerous members of their extended entourages.

But seriously, the platinum-selling threesome has confessed being lackadaisical in their name choice, so this shenanigans is nothing but pure laziness on their part.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8504311/Country-band-Lady-A-files-suit-against-singer-name.html

Now, before you go off all half-cocked, read on… to become full-cocked.

Yes, this entire ordeal is stupid.

And what exactly is “this entire ordeal”?

“This entire ordeal” is that Read the rest of this entry »

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All The Gold In California

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

Y’know… one thing which I appreciate about the Bloomberg site, is that they don’t seem to be exclusively limited to interests of business, per se.

That is, matters of business MUST, and do, involve people – as employees, and customers – and without either of those two groups of people, no business would exist.

For many years – I don’t know how many, but for a very L – O – N – G time – I have taken exception to, and disagreed with the statement that “the customer is the most important person in any business.”

From my perch in the catbird seat, I demurred, and stated that the EMPLOYEE is the most important person in any business, because a disgruntled employee can cost beaucoup bucks in lost sales/revenues. And many disgruntled employees will sink a company – regardless of who is at the helm. That’s because the adage is true, that the sailors run the ship, not the captain. And they allow the captain to do so (to lead them) by their consent – the consent of the governed. A mutiny is a very serious matter.

Point being, is that happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers buy things, and say good things about the company, and the employees.

It was only relatively recently that I learned that Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group, a privately-held multinational venture capitol conglomerate – says the same thing, that employees are the most important people in any business.

The irony of ironies is that despite the political differences in the many seemingly disparate voices today, is that Republicans, Democrats, and all others, want the same thing: A good job, a decent place to live, secure transportation, ability to feed themselves and their family, education for their children, and to be healthy enough to enjoy it all. Food, clothing, and shelter… those are not hard things to understand. Neither are they difficult to obtain. They’re not like the mythical “unobtainium.”

But we the people, despite what some may say otherwise, are not in a good place in this nation for the long-haul. What has happened, is that within our lifetimes, we the people have been sold a bill of false goods that somehow less is more, that the larger and more populous our nation becomes (we’re right at 330,000,000 – the third most populous on Earth, behind China and India, respectively each with over 1 BILLION more than us), the smaller the government will become, that somehow, mysteriously or magically, at some point, it will eventually disappear – because we’ll all be able to self-govern and therefore do not need external governance.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And yet, that’s PRECISELY what “the Great Communicator” Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address immediately after he proclaimed that “government is the problem.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

Now, my point is NOT to “bash Regan” per se, but to point out the obvious – which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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Adults As Spoiled Brats

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 5, 2020

These are Trump supporters.

America is doomed.

Well, maybe not totally.

VOTE IN NOVEMBER!!!
(And DO NOT vote for Trump!) Read the rest of this entry »

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Donald Trump: An Accidental President

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 29, 2020

Donald Trump was never serious about becoming president, and campaigned exclusively as a lark, in order to better position himself in upcoming contract negotiations with NBC.

Thus said Howard Stern at least 3 years ago.

While it may have been a topic of some minor discussion earlier – and therefore not discussed much at all – Howard Stern, radio “shock jock” and self-described “King of All Media” – has been a long-time friend of the Current White House Occupant, the Liar in Chief himself, Donald J. “DJ” Trump.

As such, when Trump told Stern his plans, Stern said he advised Trump not to run, and later, again advised him to drop out of the running to become the Republican party’s nominee.

Trump has been a guest on Stern’s eponymous “The Howard Stern Show” many, many, many times. And socially, away from the microphone, Stern and Trump have enjoyed a long-running friendly relationship. Suffice it to say, Trump and Stern are intertwined – not quite inexplicably, or even inexorably, but definitely inescapably.

With over 24 appearances over 20 years, it would be reasonable to say that Trump has some level of relationship with Stern.

And, as you might imagine, there’s Read the rest of this entry »

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The Economy WILL Crash. It’s only a matter of “WHEN?”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Economics has long been called the “dismal science.”¹

Perhaps it’s because they either a.) Tell the truth, or b.) Warn about bad things to come. Either way, it’s hardly a French tickler, and more like a Marquis de Sade.

But, some folks don’t enjoy hearing the truth, or as the actor Jack Nicholson’s character Guantanamo Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup raged upon the witness stand in the 1992 motion picture “A Few Good Men,” that “You can’t handle the truth!”

Of course, we’re familiar with how that movie turned out.

Free economies are based upon consumer spending. Period. Full stop.

If consumers don’t have money, they don’t spend. That’s easy enough to understand.

And, if anything, the coronoavirus pandemic has shown up how poorly prepared this president’s administration has been, and continues to be.

Again, those aren’t “nice words” to hear or read, but they are the unvarnished truth.

To say that “the economy is improving” is a mischaracterization of enormous proportion, so much so, and to the extent that, it’s either whistling past the graveyard, or Whistler’s Mother – both of whom are dead.

The economy was “doing well” according to some estimates. Those estimates included the DJIA, the stock indices of various firms and select industries, and some hedge funds. The “essential” worker bees were just hanging on by a thread in their retail, meat processing, and low-paid food service industry jobs. And once they got sick, they were fired, and… BAMMO! The shit hit the high-speed fan.

Suddenly, there were no more “worker bees” and the economic house of cards began to collapse with each puff of wind from COVID-19 patients’ coughs.

Fortunately, Congress (as in the House of Representatives) had the wisdom and foresight to actually bail out THE PEOPLE this time, and to give a much smaller hand-out to industry. The familiar cry “Where’s MY bailout!?!” was the primary sticking point with the previous administration in the process of recovery from “the Great Recession” when Big Business and industry got practically everything their hearts desired, but the people got nothing. Literally, nothing. Bupkis. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not even a peck on the cheek after they were screwed.

This time, The People who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 were given an extra $600 per week of Unemployment Compensation, which was set to expire July 31. Ever seeking cheap labor to fill their stores, factories and farms, the Republicans decried the matter, but agreed to go along with the plan, hoping that the administration would  have a more cohesively unified plan to stop the assault of COVID-19 upon America’s lives, young and old, alike.

But as it became increasingly clear that nothing of the sort was going to happen, and that an extension of such benefits would likely become necessary because either businesses went belly-up, or couldn’t guarantee their employees’ safety on the job (as protection against COVID-19), the employees, many of whom were already at risk of serious injury from such infection, declined to return to work, and continued to draw their extra $600/week Unemployment Compensation.

But hey! A bright spot!

Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, and other industry monoliths were doing A-okay, and were even increasing profits! So yah… it was all sweetness and pleasantries once again for the Billionaire Class.

But The People.

Those pesky people.

Those essential sacrificial lambs of industry… what to do with them? Those who could – and still had jobs – worked from their residences. Those who, for whatever reason Read the rest of this entry »

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Iowa Republicans Foul Up Farm Bill

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 22, 2020

Republican Kim Reynolds is Iowa’s first female governor. So far, not good. As Lieutenant Governor, she succeeded to the office upon the resignation of Governor Terry Branstad to become U.S. Ambassador to China in May 2017. She won the 2018 election with a narrow plurality of votes – 50.26%, over Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell with 47.53%.

When I read the headline

Smokable Hemp Possession Or Sale In Iowa Punishable With Fines, Jail In State’s New Hemp And CBD Regulations,”

the VERY FIRST THOUGHT I had was…

I’ll bet “Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds” is a Republican.

Yep.

Sho’ nuff!

What the hell is it with these goddamned GOPers these days, eh?

Stupid mofos!

Seriously.

Stupid.

Kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

They could fuck up a wet dream.

Iowans are NOT happy with her… or with Republicans.

Iowa Starting Line, a news source of Iowa politics wrote a story dated August 6, 2017 and headlined as “Iowa Now Dead Last In GDP Growth Under All-Republican Control” which stated in part that there was

“Very bad news this week for both Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported the second quarter economic growth by state (GDP). Iowa’s economic growth was a negative .7%, dead last among all 50 states. Of the 50 states, 48 had positive growth in this period. Only Iowa (-.7%) and South Dakota (-.3%) had a negative growth rate.

“While one quarter’s performance doesn’t predict future growth, it’s a huge embarrassment for the Iowa Republican Party. The Republican Governor and the GOP control majorities in both branches of the Legislature and have driven Iowa’s economy to last place in the nation. They can’t blame the Democrats for this economic disaster.”

Look what Republicans did to the Voting Rights Act.

Look what they did to money in politics.

Look what they did in Citizens United.

Look what they did to the PPACA, aka “Obamacare.”

Look what they’ve done to Voting access in the various states, through purges and reductions in polling locations.

Look what they did to the economy with a fouled-up practically non-existent Federal response to COVID-19.

Look what they’ve NOT done for American protectorate “shit hole” countries like Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Look what they did to minority communities of almost every variety.

Look what they’ve done to healthcare and the disastrously abysmal lack of healthcare for Americans.

Look what they’ve done to Social Security.

Look what they’ve NOT DONE for the nation’s Economic Infrastructure!

Look what they’ve done to the tax system.

Look what they’ve done to schools and public education.

Look what they’ve done to our Law Enforcement, Justice, and Corrections/Penal systems.

Look at what’s NOT happening to online monoliths like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

Look at what’s happening to your privacy.

If you’re not wealthy and White, you’re trash.

At least that’s how they see it.

It’s time to get those pieces of garbage OUT of the nation’s and states’ capitols.


Smokable hemp possession or sale in Iowa punishable with fines, jail in state’s new hemp and CBD regulations

Smokable hemp possession or sale in Iowa punishable with fines, jail in state’s new hemp and CBD regulations

Published June 19, 2020


New regulations clarifying the types of hemp and CBD products that are legal to sell and purchase in Iowa took effect with the enactment of the Hemp Consumer and Public Safety law on Wednesday.The law changes certain provisions of the Iowa Hemp Act, which Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed to legalize hemp production in the state in May 2019.

Until now, products containing CBD were illegal to be sold or purchased over the counter in Iowa, as CBD still qualified as a controlled substance in the state.

CBD could only legally be sold in a small number of approved pharmacies.

Smokable hemp remains illegal in Iowa and the new rules impose penalties and restrictions on any harvested hemp used for inhalation such as cigarettes, vaporizers and others.Retailers caught selling smokable hemp products and consumers found using them could face “a serious misdemeanor” punishable by up to a year of confinement and a fine of $315-$1,875. Read the rest of this entry »

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Donald Trump… Bless his heart.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Two thoughts.

1.) I am no fan of the current President.

2.) The Current White House Occupant is not only a blithering idiot, and utter incompetent, but is a dictatorially-inclined abuser and bully.

That’s why he demands “loyalty,” rather than honesty and expertise. He micromanages, and fires anyone whom has any disagreement with him – no matter how minuscule.

And to be certain, as I have maintained for years, and continue to maintain, I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of any political party. I’m a GDI – God Damn Independent.

That’s also why ALL polls relating to his job performance/approval rating during the past 4 years have ONLY briefly – March 25 – April 6 this year, and May 15 – 19 – been above 46%.

That’s 12 + 5 days = 17 days. Only 17 days out of 1618 calendar days. Expressed as a percentage, that’s 1.0506%.  In 4 years 5 months 5 days, that’s only 1 day out of every 95 days has been a day in which he had the approval of more than a minority of Americans – 46% – not even a plurality.

The majority – 54% – have never approved of his performance.

Not even once.

The highest his approval rating has been is 47.4% which occurred, oddly enough, on April 1, 2020.

Most of the time, his approval rating has floated between 40% and 44%. It’s now at 42.3%, with the lowest being 37.1% on December 16, 2017. Even his beloved Fox News has found that 1207 Registered Voters who were polled May 17-20 this year overwhelmingly disapproved of him by a 10 point margin, 44 to 54.

In fact, in the totality of all polls conducted since the term of his presidency began, by well-known, highly respected, and legitimate polling organizations such as Gallup, Pew Research, Marist College, Quinnipiac University, Harvard-Harris, Reuters-Ipsos, Emerson College Polling, Monmouth University Polling Institute, etc., the OVERWHELMING and EXCEEDINGLY VAST MAJORITY of all polls conducted since the first one which was done by Reuters from the period 1/20-1/24, NONE have ever been over 3 %age points spread.

So, it’s not even close.

But moreover, the claims made about him – that he is racist, and bigoted – merit examination, and warrant genuinely serious consideration.

And it is in that vein in which we must ponder the question:

Is Donald Trump racist?

The aphorism “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” is apropos here, because his late father, Fred J. Trump, was a well-known racist, and was once arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in New York City. And though at the time, it was not “front-page news,” per se, the report of his arrest was a matter of record which was published in the New York Times, and is validated by now-public Census records which verify his address, which was also published in the story.

A Washington Post story about the matter dated February 29, 2016 by Philip Bump, National Correspondent, stated in part, that:

“The predication for the Klan to march, according to a flier passed around Jamaica beforehand, was that “Native-born Protestant Americans” were being “assaulted by Roman Catholic police of New York City.” “Liberty and Democracy have been trampled upon,” it continued, “when native-born Protestant Americans dare to organize to protect one flag, the American flag; one school, the public school; and one language, the English language.”

“It’s not clear from the context what role Fred Trump played in the brawl. The news article simply notes that seven men were arrested in the “near-riot of the parade,” all of whom were represented by the same lawyers.”

Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father, was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in New York City, on Memorial Day 1927. “Brawls erupted in New York led by sympathizers of the Italian fascist movement and the Ku Klux Klan. In the fascist brawl, which took place in the Bronx, two Italian men were killed by anti-fascists. In Queens, 1,000 white-robed Klansmen marched through the Jamaica neighborhood, eventually spurring an all-out brawl in which seven men were arrested. One of those arrested was Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Rd. in Jamaica.”

A contemporaneous story published about the matter in the “Daily Star noted that Trump was detained “on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so.””

As well, when he was aged 27, Donald found himself – along with his father – named in a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The charge?

Racial discrimination in housing practices.

Fred Trump, as enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census. The address listed for “Fred C. Trump” is the same address given for Fred Trump in the 1927 story of his arrest at a KKK rally in the Jamaica neighborhood of New York City.

“In October 1973, the government accused Fred and Donald Trump of violations of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 at 39 Trump-built-and managed buildings in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

“The Trumps were drowning in evidence of systematic racial discrimination. On at least seven occasions, prospective tenants had filed complaints against the Trumps with the human rights commission, alleging racially discriminatory patterns and practices. 

“Investigative journalist Wayne Barrett, writing in the Village Voice, reported that the evidence of racial discrimination against the Trumps was overwhelming.”

For 2 years, the Trumps fought the suit with an attorney whom Donald met in a bar while cruising for sex – “Le Club, located on 55th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, an exclusive watering hole for demimondaine café society” – Roy Cohn.



“During their 63 years of marriage, Fred carried on a long-term affair with his secretary, according to Burleigh [journalist Nina Burleigh in her book Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women], who writes that Fred “was such a man of habit that he took her to lunch at the same Italian place near his office in Brooklyn for years.” Trump biographer Harry Hurt wrote that Fred was nicknamed “King of Miami Beach” for his rampant philandering in South Florida back in the day. But Donald himself judged it as a strong union: “I always told my father I made more money than him but he had a very successful marriage, he really did.”

– Elise Jordan, “How Donald Trump’s Mother Did—and Didn’t—Shape His Life,” Vanity Fair, May 7, 2020

From: “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private,” by Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, May 14, 2016, New York Times

Again, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Some have asserted that support of Trump among the Black/minority community is/was significant, and helped in great part to put him into the White House. There’s no evidence to support that claim.

One only need examine his administration for STRONG anecdotal evidence. Dr. Ben Carson, MD is the token Black in his administration, and serves as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – an agency often associated and affiliated with minorities.

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To Reboot the Economy, $pend on Economic Infrastructure!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 7, 2020

This is nothing new, per se.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has been saying this for quite some time, as well, which is that throughout America – coast-to-coast – we need to repair, enhance, and expand American economic infrastructure.

And, I’ve been saying that what we TRULY need to reinvigorate the economy since the onset of economic woes via the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, began to take its toll on our nation’s economy, is a wholesale reinvestment – top to bottom – in a repair, and expansion of our nation’s economic infrastructure.

While the “bailouts” for the individual citizens was good, and some of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses was also good, we STILL need to do MUCH, MUCH MORE!

And there’s something else which – of necessity – must be done. And that is, to CHANGE the Income Tax structure for ALL Americans, to expand and increase the Personal and Corporate Income Tax brackets (which since about 1980 has been compressed and reduced, so that now, the net effect is a flat tax), and to increase the rates upon the rich, wealthy, and well-to-do, and to lower, or eliminate them upon the impoverished, and disabled. And that includes ELIMINATING the Income Taxes Reagan imposed upon Social Security, and the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts.”

Such a measure WILL “pay for itself” through enhanced, and expanded economic capability and capacity, and will prepare America for the next 50 or more years.

Oh!

And one more thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read that, and other entries associated with economic infrastructure, on this site by searching for the term “economic infrastructure.”

A final, parting thought:

We aren’t out of the woods yet… not by a long shot. Such economic prognostication is shared by many within, and without various universities, educational institutions, economic think-tanks, governmental, and non-governmental agencies throughout this, and other nations. And economic infrastructure spending would be like putting the country on a defibrillator, and giving it steroids, all at the same time.

The Chinese have.


Rebuild the Stalled Economy With Infrastructure Investment

By Scott Paul
Scott Paul is president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

There are two discussion topics that federal policymakers should be having right now: relief and recovery. Relief, for the estimated 40 million people this pandemic has put out of work as well as the millions of others impacted by the steps taken to slow its spread. Recovery, for the day when it’s safe to return to work but the demand for goods and services is still missing.

Some economists predict many jobs will simply disappear as industries use this moment to reorganize, compounding the economic crisis our nation faces.

But, as we all know, this isn’t the first time we’ve faced an economic crisis. In the 1932 presidential election, Franklin D. Roosevelt decisively beat President Hoover because of the latter’s inability to revive the economy in the early years of the Great Depression. Democrats eschewed Hoover’s volunteerism and leveraged the power of government to spur an economic revival, passing a landmark domestic preference bill that the lame duck president signed – the Buy American Act of 1933 – and then cleared the way as FDR expanded the federal response to the crisis.

The banking system was reorganized. Labor protections were established in exchange for regulating industrial production levels and price coordination. Farms were Read the rest of this entry »

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BLS On Unemployment Figures: We Know We Were Wrong – We Were Just Kidding… Just Kidding!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 7, 2020

If the workers who
were recorded
as
employed

but
absent from work

due to
“other reasons”
(over and above the number absent for other reasons in a typical May)
had been classified
as

unemployed on temporary layoff,
the overall unemployment rate
would have been

about
3 percentage points higher than reported
(on a not seasonally adjusted basis).

However,
according to usual practice,
the data from the household survey
are
accepted as recorded.

To maintain data integrity,
no ad hoc actions are taken
to reclassify survey responses.

Below is the full image of their addendum on the report “THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MAY 2020,” which may be found on the BLS website as linked here.

The pertinent part is the final paragraph, which is pasted above, and appears in red.There you have it.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has OFFICIALLY STATED that the Present Unemployment Rate is THREE POINTS HIGHER than officially stated.

They noted also that in the three preceding months of March, April, and May 2020, that responses to the monthly survey were down -9.5%, -12.6%, and -15.1% correspondingly to the month, from last year for the preceding 12 months, and averaged.

Th agency noted also that “BLS and our partners at the Census Bureau take the misclassification error very seriously, and we’re taking additional steps to address the problem.”

Part of the problem, as they note, is with classification.

In a lengthy explainer, the agency wrote that, “In May, 8.4 million workers were classified as employed with a job but not at work during the survey reference week (not seasonally adjusted). Although lower than the 11.5 million not at work in April, this measure remains about twice the typical level at this time of the year. This likely reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Their explanation of “with a job but not at work” is apparently integrated into the idea of going to a central, or common location to work (such as at an office building, or factory site), and of that they wrote in part that, “BLS tabulates data on Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

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

There you have it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything old is new again.

1919 characterization of BIG BUSINESS interests

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beef, Pork, Chicken Prices to INCREASE Significantly

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

Concentrated American Business Operations Spell Economic Disaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trump Tax Cuts Aided & Abetted Economic Collapse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase

And the entire world suffered.

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

Dimon continued by writing,

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

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

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Greedy Corrupt U.S. Senators

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

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

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

Senator Kelly Loeffler, R-GA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Richard Burr, R-NC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a very simple solution:

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

Problem solved.

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

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


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

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

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Billionaire Explains Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

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

linkedin.com

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


By Ray Dalio

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

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

Part 1

Where I’m Coming From

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

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“Radical reforms” are needed to stabilize economy.

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

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

They’re as “conservative” as they come.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, you know the saying,

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

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

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

The Federal Reserve writes this about the Bretton Woods agreement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are our memories truly that Alzheimered?

Or, do we just not give a damn?

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

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

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

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

That’s an INCREASE of 21.9162%.

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

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

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

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10 GOOD Things COVID-19 Will Cause.

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a list of…

10 GOOD Things COVID-19 Will Cause.

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

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

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

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

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Report: Renewable Energy Cheaper

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

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

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

by Nina Chestney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Welcome to our Incestuous Fiscal Orgy – State Farm Privacy Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, this is where things get interesting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fortunately, the pictures are pure fiction.

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

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

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

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Milk… it STILL does a body good!

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

Food color.

What a compelling subject, eh?

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

Thrilling and exciting!

Compelling even!

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

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

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

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

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

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

That concern is fraud.

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

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

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

That is plain and simple.

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

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Politics, Religion, And Sex

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

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

PPL can be so stupid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By working on an Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Should Churches Should Be Taxed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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