Warm Southern Breeze

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Stupid, incredible, incredulous things people say

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

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

史密斯菲尔德食品

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

Chinese translated as “Smithfield Food”

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

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

Consider food.

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


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

THAT is why fuel prices are sky high.

There is NO OTHER REASON.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BIG OIL companies are doing BOTH.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Grim Reaper statue, Cathedral of Trier, Trier, Germany

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

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

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Big Brother is NOT the Government, it’s CORPORATIONS

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

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

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

BUT!

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

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

Yeah.

You see, Read the rest of this entry »

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Marsha Blackburn + Josh Hawley = Kennelmates

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 8, 2022

Needing an election-year straw-man punching bag, numerous Republicans, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Josh Hawley of Missouri — who had three times previously approved Judge Jackson’s three earlier Federal judicial nominations, most recently in April last year to the D.C. Circuit — suddenly falsely accused the judge of being lenient toward child sexual abusers, in effect, not merely being an ideological moral equivalent, but much worse, as a promoter of such crime. Fact-checkers say such malicious slurs are not only fictitious, but deliberately misleading, and that Judge Jackson’s sentencing decisions were 100% in line with her peers on the Federal bench.

Hawley is Blackburn’s kennelmate, her own in-bred ideological offspring.😎🤣🧐😳


Full Senate Approves Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th Supreme Court justice.

The Senate voted 53 to 47 to confirm her nomination to the United States Supreme Court, primarily Read the rest of this entry »

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Gas prices got you feeling pinched?

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

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Yeah.

Bupkis.

Nada.

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

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

That’s NOT a joke.

Or, is it?

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

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

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

Yeah.

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

That’s because YOU ARE.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY would

U.S. Senators:

• Richard Shelby – R, AL

• Jerry Moran – R, KS

• John Kennedy – R, LA

• Steve Daines – R, MT

• John Hoven – R, ND

• John Thune – R, SD

• Ron Johnson – R, WI

-and-

U.S. Representative

• Kay Granger – R, TX-12

ALL GO TO RUSSIA on July 4, 2018?

Oh… wait… here’s the answer:

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

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

Updated

(with video)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With reporting by Reuters, AP, CNN, and TASS

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


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

Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Russian Oil Should Be Sold Worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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Putin, Zelenskyy, and Biden Walk Into a Bar…

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

Putin, Zelenskyy, and Biden walk Into a bar.

Putin orders a Ukrainian invasion.

Biden says, “I’ll have the same.”

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.) Morons.

2.) Morons.

3.) Morons.

4.) Morons.

5.) Morons.

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

I do.


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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what I found.

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

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

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

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Tennessee GOP Governor Bill Lee Gives Insipidly Milquetoast State of the State Address

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 31, 2022

If you want to see, and hear, what an insipidly milquetoast governor Bill Lee is for Tennessee, simply watch a few minutes of his disgustingly loathsome address, delivered to the General Assembly, Monday, 31 January 2022.

It is weak, weak, weak.

As the namby-pamby, weak-kneed, say-little-do-nothing Republican Governor Bill Lee gave his State of the State address today, I thought his knees would buckle under the weight of his featherweight words.

His was a vapidly bland address, delivered in a monotonic voice, devoid of fervor or passion, full to overflowing with the null set of simply maintaining the status quo. Nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing life-changing… a real snooze-fest.

He said NOTHING about Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Intelligence Community’s Unclassified COVID-19 Assessment Summary

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 24, 2022

The United States’ Intelligence Community (IC), whose members are enumerated and linked below, collaborated upon an investigation on the source, and cause (root cause analysis), and origin of the virus that causes COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2. For the greatest part, their assessment is complete, though undoubtedly, portions of it will remain ongoing for an unknown time being.

Their conclusions were recently de-classified, and released to the general public, and published online.

Their 1.25 page summary assessment follows, below the enumeration of IC members & agency/organization links.

Summary available here:
https://www.odni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Unclassified-Summary-of-Assessment-on-COVID-19-Origins.pdf

The FULL 18-page assessment may be found here:
https://www.odni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Declassified-Assessment-on-COVID-19-Origins.pdf


Members of the U.S. Intelligence Community include the following:


UNCLASSIFIED

Key Takeaways


The IC assesses that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, probably emerged and
infected humans through Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

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

Dr. Diane Ravitch, PhD

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

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

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

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

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 19, 2021

While I NO LONGER make any claims to be “religious,” practice any religious faith, or have anything to do with any kind of religion, faith, or the practice thereof, there are some things that, it seems to me, if there was a god/dess, such a being would be unlike us in practically every way… at least most of us.

Such a “god/goddess” or supreme being, would be concerned with our lives, the lives of humans on Earth, and with practically, or actually, every picayune thing associated with life here on this planet.

The relationship of humans to one another, to each other, the relationship of humans to the planet upon which they live, and upon which they rely as the very source of life itself, for food, for water, for clothing, for housing, for EVERYTHING — EVERY LITTLE THING — that pertains to life, including every minuscule joy, or momentary and passing pleasure, happiness, the taste of food, of smell, perfumes, aromas, all kinds of love, including sexual pleasures… ALL THAT would be a concern of a supreme/divine being, simply because that being loves those who live upon, and from, the Earth.

There is no god/goddess/supreme/diving being like that. At least there is none like that preached from most pulpits in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other houses of worship. And so, therefore, by virtue of that lack, that absence, I am led to conclude, that substantial lack, that fundamental absence of such a being — that again, being a being which is so full of love, and wisdom, that it cannot help but give, for giving is its very nature — that there is not such a one. There is no god/goddess/creator/divine being.

Yet, as a scientist, I must admit that we do not yet know, nor can prove, and so therefore, it is reasonable and rational to suppose that the possibility might exist, however small, that there might be such an one. But again, the likelihood is so minuscule, so microscopic, that its practically (for all practical purposes) non-existent. If it, the possibility, were but one grain of sand on the Earth, it would be so substantial, so life-changing. But those who have changed their lives have done so themselves, some with help of others, while others have done it alone. Jesus of Nazareth is even reputed to have told the renown parable story known widely as “The Prodigal Son” who “came to himself,” or as some versions put it, “finally came to his senses.” There is no indication that the son had any help in the matter.

But, it’s nice to think about the possibilities that a “supernatural,” even divine being exists, because again, if it were so, it would be a global game-changer. But, it’s also nice to think about eating all the ice cream, cake, pie, and other sweet treats that one could possibly want, without having any adverse side effect, like weight gain.

And so, this creature, this divine/supreme being… I think about a song which became popular some years ago Read the rest of this entry »

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Merry Christmas! Will Santa bring you a gun?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 19, 2021

This image of a c.1950’s United States family with a Christmas tree depicts a male child with a “toy” gun aiming it at his younger sister seated upon father’s lap.

Contrary to popular belief, it hasn’t been uncommon to gift children with deadly/lethal firearms around Christmastime.

And so, the mass shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford Township in suburban Detroit by Ethan Crumbley, whose parents James and Jennifer Crumbley gifted him with a pistol, were only doing what has for years been a rite — gifting kids with guns.

We give toys to children, and if a child abuses a baby doll, ripping off its head and limbs, burning and beating it, we would almost immediately suspect something is amiss, awry, and seriously wrong with the child who did such things to it.

But, we seem to have, or express, some faux sense of amazement, pseudo-bewilderment, disdainful incuriousity, or worse, apparently think little-to-nothing, of a mid-to-late teen who maliciously uses firearm(s) to kill people, though that is the ostensibly exclusive purpose (the “proper use”) for which they’re created.

On 30 November 2021, Ethan Crumbley, a 15-year-old sophomore student at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, Michigan, a Detroit suburb, murdered 4 students, injured 7, which included a teacher, with a high-capacity semi-automatic pistol gifted to him by his parents James and Jennifer Crumbley.

All 3 are charged with Read the rest of this entry »

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Nose/Mouth Protection Was Once Popular Among Right Wingers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The now-defunct Moral Majority was a far-right-wing, extremist political arm of a primarily Protestant Christian Fundamentalist organization founded by the now-late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. (1933-2007), Founding Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, in Lynchburg, VA, who infamously filed, and lost, a defamation of character lawsuit against pornographer Larry Flynt (1942-2021), Founder of the Hustler magazine empire, which was ultimately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Based upon First Amendment principles, the SCOTUS found that Flynt’s plainly-marked parody depiction of Falwell fell under protected speech, holding that “the First and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit public figures and public officials from recovering damages for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress by reason of the publication of a caricature…” and noted that “the State’s interest in protecting public figures from emotional distress is not sufficient to deny First Amendment protection to speech that is patently offensive and is intended to inflict emotional injury when that speech could not reasonably have been interpreted as stating actual facts about the public figure involved.”

Moral Majority Report, July 1983, AIDS

In other words, the First Amendment protects parodies of celebrities or other public figures, even if they are intended to cause distress to the subjects depicted/portrayed.

Such a matter is now ongoing and involving soon-to-be-former U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican who has represented California’s 22nd Congressional District since 2003. CD 22 is in the state’s fertile San Joaquin Valley farmland area, and encompasses parts of Fresno, and Tulare counties, which includes portions of the cities of Fresno, and all of the cities of Clovis, Tulare, and Visalia.

Nunes is infamously litigious, and as some would characterize it, is thin-skinned, and becomes very “butt-hurt” when he is mocked, satirized, or parodied publicly, which has occurred regularly on Twitter, where the satire account “Devin Nunes Cow” (Nunes has interests in dairy farming in the district), and several other parody accounts, including some naming his mother, regularly poke fun of him.

Ironically, the two men Falwell and Flynt, later became good friends, and frequently appeared together in several public venues on college & university campuses, including on the Larry King Show.

Dr. Heather Murray, PhD, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Ottawa, Canada, (see her faculty page here) recently wrote the following, in part, about the matter of the far-right-wing now refusing to wear protective nose/mouth coverings (aka “face masks”) during the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus (aka COVID-19) pandemic, whereas once, they were gung-ho to wear them, despite the fact that Read the rest of this entry »

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Chrystul Blue Persuasion

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Look over yonder
What do you see?
The sun is a-rising
Most definitely
A new day is coming (whoo-hoo!)
People are changing
Ain’t it beautiful? (whoo-hoo!)
Crystal Blue Persuasion

Better get ready
Gonna see the light
Love, love is the answer (whoo-hoo!)
And that’s alright
So don’t you give up now (whoo-hoo!)
So easy to find
Just look to your soul (look to your soul!)
And open your mind

Tommy James and the Shondells wrote and performed that song, which became a hit, rising to the Number 2 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop singles chart for 3 weeks in June 1969. And more recently, it enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as thematic music for the phenomenally popular multi-year teevee serial drama “Breaking Bad.”

Tommy explained the song this way:

“First of all, I was becoming a Christian at that time, and we never thought a thing about it. We never thought that doing something semi-religious was any big deal. We didn’t think of it as being politically incorrect or anything like that. We just did what felt right. I wrote ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ with Eddie Gray and Mike Vale. Eddie came up with the little guitar riff, and Mike and I did the lyrics. And it just felt very right as a sort of semi-religious poetic song, but it turned out to be one of the hardest records I’ve ever made.”

The past couple weeks, the nation’s eyes have been upon Kenosha, Wisconsin. Now, they’re turned to Brunswick, Georgia, a tiny town of 15,210 with a 55.1% Black population, and a 33.1% White population.

It was almost difficult — and perhaps still is — to go a day without seeing, hearing, or reading something about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. The talking heads, pundits, prognosticators, and their ilk were all a twitter about whether this, that, or the other, would happen, and in the process whipped their followers — whichever side of the fence they sat upon — into a frenzy.

It’s good for their ratings and corporate earnings, you see. So, yeah… it’s all about the money, and the media ~does~ have a dog in that fight. I’ll spare you the details of the matter, because by now, if you’ve been paying attention, you know it all. The media made sure of that.

That’s what the mass media these days does to us all — force feeds us a steady stream of bad news like geese fed by gavage, then harvested for their artificially enlarged fatty liver. That French delicacy is called foie gras. However, the only thing that’s changed about us, is our hearts. They become artificially hardened, calloused and insensate to the suffering of others.

But maybe you’re not affected.

Kyle Rittenhouse draws numbers randomly to select jurors in his case (L), and Chrystul Kizer (R); both cases are in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

So let me tell you about another 17-year old child, also in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who’s charged with Read the rest of this entry »

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Is North Korea Behind U.S. Fentanyl Deaths?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 20, 2021

Fentanyl-laced marijuana has been found in Connecticut.

This is yet ANOTHER damn good reason to:
1.) Legalize;
2.) Tax, and;
3.) Regulate
cannabis — 100%, for Adult Recreational, and Medical Use.

It should be noted, that in Connecticut, Adult Recreational Use of cannabis (aka “marijuana”) is legal, and like in every other state where it is legal, in one form, or another (as Adult Recreational and/or Medical), is subject to rigorous testing and held to the highest standards… no pun intended.
See: https://portal.ct.gov/cannabis/

The fentanyl-laced marijuana was purchased on the black market, which much like illegally-produced liquor during Prohibition, also caused death, and blindness. Now, home-based beer and wine production, along with distilling and entrepreneurship in spirituous beverage production, is legal nation-wide, and such problems are exceedingly rare.

“This is the first lab-confirmed case of marijuana with fentanyl in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States.”

— Dr. Manisha Juthani, MD, Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner

The Connecticut Overdose Response Strategy (CT ORS) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services, have recently received reports of overdose patients who have exhibited opioid overdose symptoms and required naloxone for revival. These patients denied any opioid use and claimed to have only smoked marijuana.

Recent incidents where only marijuana use was reported but naloxone was required.

• July 2021 – 11 cases
• August 2021 – 9 cases
• September 2021 – 9 cases
• October 1 – 26, 2021 – 10 cases

The reported incidents were dispersed across Connecticut. Several jurisdictions had multiple overdoses with opioid symptoms attributed to marijuana, however, no pattern was detected. In early October 2021, Plymouth, CT, had several overdose incidents where naloxone was required for revival and patients claimed to have only smoked marijuana. At one of these overdose scenes, Plymouth Police Department was able to secure a sample of the marijuana for testing at the state laboratory, which tested positive for fentanyl.
https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Press-Room/Press-Releases—2021/Officials-From-The-Connecticut-Overdose-Response-Strategy-And-The-DPH-Issue-Warning

A legal marijuana crop in Uruguay.

But here’s the kicker:
How long before black market fentanyl-laced marijuana makes its way down South, or to other areas of the nation?

And here’s another thought:

EVERYBODY who’s been paying attention knows how lethal fentanyl is, and the numerous deaths that are arising from its deliberate contamination in other street drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and now, cannabis. And, for a person/group in such a “business” would have to be a fool to distribute a substance that they knew would kill their clientele. It’s just bad for business to destroy your customer base. So, why would any one in their proper mind do that, eh?

I submit to you that NO narcotrafficking cartel would even stoop that low, or be that stupid, to eliminate their customers.

And so, if it’s not a narcotrafficking cartel, who could it be?

It’s just my opinion, of course, but consider the possibility that it actually –might– be America’s enemies, like North Korea, Russia, China, etc. It’d be a fantastic way to eliminate your enemy little-by-little, inch-by-inch, and in that process, demoralize their resolve, and divert resources.

I continue to maintain, for example, that Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

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

What a crock!

“Sustainability” my ass!

You wanna’ know what’s “unsustainable”?

Life without water. Life without food.

Besides… the fucking avocados are Hecho en Mexico.

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

NOT ‘Murka.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Critical Race Theory

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 3, 2021

If your skin is White, you’re not a bad person. If your skin is Black, you’re not a bad person. If your skin is Brown, you’re not a bad person. if your skin is Yellow, you’re not a bad person. If your skin is Red, you’re not a bad person.

Skin color doesn’t make a person bad.

The way people act makes them bad.

And it just so happens, that I know of, the ONLY Black member of the KKK was Dave Chappelle’s fictitious character in the skit “Clayton Bigsby, the World’s Only Black White Supremacist.”

Other’n that, all KKK members have been White, as have all neo-Nazis, and other such bigots.

And, to teach the truth about that matter, and that grotesque spectre in our nation’s history, that governments — Federal, State, and Local — have historically, and systematically discriminated against Blacks, is nothing new. It’s been going on since Black people were forcibly placed on this nation’s shores.

The 1999 Class Action Lawsuit against the USDA in Pigford v Glickman (Pigford as an individual, representing a class of people v Dan Glickman in his capacity as Secretary of the USDA) claimed that the agency had discriminated against Black farmers on the basis of race and failed to investigate or properly respond to complaints from 1983 to 1997.

Pigford v. Glickman class action racial discrimination lawsuit against USDA 1999

And Pigford #2 is the name used to identify an expanded case that includes more victims, including African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and females, which grew out of the fact that thousands of claimants missed the original Pigford #1 filing deadline of October 12, 1999 to be included as member of the class in that suit.

So yeah, racism is alive and well in our nation, and in our government — EVEN IN THIS MODERN AGE.

Few Blacks/Negroes ever came to these shores of their own free will. Most who came here were enslaved, bound in chains, and sold as property. Them, and their children, and their children’s children. And beyond.

History is NOT Critical Race Theory.

Critical Race theory simply asks two questions:

First,

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

And second, Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

He has paid dearly, financially, and reputationally.

Now, he has a lousy reputation.

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

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

The first is a story from 2012.

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

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

Mario Batali Exits His Restaurants

From

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

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

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

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

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


Thief Chef Mario Batali

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

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

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

What, then, should his punishment be?


Mario Batali Agrees to $5.25 Million Settlement
Over Employee Tips

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

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

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Why Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is a See You In Tea

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

Iowa’s Banana Republican Senator, the 88-year Old Man Charles Grassley, is mad because Joe Biden’s Border Patrol seized his fentanyl.

Bessie Hendricks, who at 114 is Iowa’s oldest resident, and old enough to be Grassley’s mother, isn’t having any of it, and thinks the whippersnapper Grassley needs to “stick it where the sun don’t shine.”

“Chuck must be getting Alzheimer’s,” said the supercentenarian. “There’s no other way to look at it. I mean, why would anyone in their right mind complain about taking deadly, addictive, illegal drugs off the streets? Right?”

The Shady Oaks Care Center resident bemoaned the current state of the GOP saying, Read the rest of this entry »

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SC’s Miss Graham: “We give you guns for a reason. Use them!”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 1, 2021

The Capitol Hill Police only made one mistake:

They
should have used flame throwers,
and
turned
every goddamned one
of
those sons of bitches
into
burnt toast
&
crispy critters.

So, more power to Lindsey Graham, at least on this matter.

If those bastards are not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and convicted, it will be a travesty of justice.


As lawmakers were being evacuated from the Capitol on January 6, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to use the firearms they had been authorized to use, in order to stop the insurrectionists who had breached the building to threaten Congress.

According to a long-form piece published by The Washington Post on Sunday, the Senator was furious that lawmakers were being forced to evacuate and yelled at the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms,

“What are you doing? Take back the Senate! You’ve got guns. Use them! We give you guns for a reason. Use them!”

The Senator also called former POTUS Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and told her what her daddy should say to the rioters to calm them, and have them vacate the Capitol.

“You need to get these people out of here. This thing is going south. This is not good. You’re going to have to tell these people to stand down. Stand down.”

The Senator was Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook is now Dead

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

FACEBOOK is now Dead.

Long live Facebook!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dog Came to Me in a Dream and Said…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 25, 2021

…and Dog said, “Don’t get the vaccine.”

I was going to vaccinate Dog against rabies.

So, I asked Dog, “Dog, do you want to get the vaccine?”

Dog said, “I’m worried that it’ll make me sterile.”

I reminded Dog that she’d been spayed since shortly after she adopted me, about 5ive years.

Dog then said, “I need to be free to make my own decision.”

I reminded Dog that Read the rest of this entry »

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A Common Sense Approach To Lowering Medical Bills

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

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

Why Medical Bills Can Be Lower in Maryland


Illustration by Alvaro Dominguez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In subsequent decades, Read the rest of this entry »

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Observations from Dave Chappelle: The Closer

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 10, 2021

Last night, I watched Dave Chappelle’s “comedy” show “The Closer” on Netflix.

The word comedy appears in quotation marks because, Mr. Chappelle’s performance is not comedy. Not practically, anyway.  Only virtually.

Did the audience laugh? Yes, a few times.

But a few laughs does not a comedian make.

Is Dave Chappelle a funny man?

He sure is! And, he’s had some absolutely BRILLIANT strokes of comedic genius — at least to my way of thinking.

The list of Mr. Chappelle’s awards for comedic excellence tell but a partial story, and includes:

3 Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album;

5 Emmy Awards — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2021, Dave Chappelle, Host Saturday Night Live “Host: Dave Chappelle”),

• 2-Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) (2018, Dave Chappelle: Equanimity; 2020, Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones),

• Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special (2020, Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones), and

• Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2017, Dave Chappelle, Host Saturday Night Live “Host: Dave Chappelle”); and the coveted

Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., among others. Of note, Richard Pryor was the award’s first recipient.

He’s certainly not a comedian along the lines, or in the style of comedienne Carol Burnett (also a Mark Twain Prize laureate), and her co-stars Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Vicki Lawrence, but when his series “Chappelle’s Show” (2003-2006) was in production on The Comedy Channel, one of his most brilliant pieces (in my estimation) was “Clayton Bigsby, the World’s Only Black White Supremacist.” Perhaps you’re familiar with it.

Neither is Mr. Chappelle’s comedy style like the acerbic, even venomous, late comedian Don Rickles, infamous for his notoriously wicked, and caustic sense of humor.

Nor is Mr. Chappelle’s humor like that of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who, as he constantly reminded us, got no respect. His brand of self-deprecating humor was his iconic comedic trademark.

No, Mr. Chappelle’s style of humor is somewhat a blend of the above-mentioned comics, and incorporates elements of them all.

To be funny, comedy must, and does, Read the rest of this entry »

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Contradicting Adam Parkhomenko

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 9, 2021

Adam Parkhomenko recently wrote a brief political Opinion piece which was published on the website Today’s Big Stuff dot com and entitled “This might be our last chance to listen to Hillary.

Full Disclosure: Mr. Parkhomenko is a 30-something political consultant/strategist who has an extensive record of support for Hillary Clinton, worked briefly on the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 as an Assistant Campaign Manager during the Democratic primary, and in 2003, while then a 17-year-old student at Northern Virginia Community College, established the candidate-unaffiliated website VoteHillary.org, an in an effort to convince voters to support her 2004 campaign to be the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee. He promoted his piece on Twitter, writing that, “I haven’t written about Hillary Clinton in a few years but I hope you will take three minutes and read this and retweet to pass it on. I worked for her for over a decade and I think what she’s saying is important and we should listen to.”

Young Mr. Parkhomenko’s ardor for his preferred candidate could be understood in the light of his obvious zeal for her, and overlooked, or even forgiven, since such eagerness often overlooks another’s flaws, because often, when in love, “the object of one’s desire can do no wrong.”

Mr. Parkhomenko couches the introduction of his threadbare piece as Hillary being a political prophetess or seer by using metaphoric imagery such as “time machine,” “villagers,” and “danger that was coming.” Naturally, that presupposes that the “villagers” are morons, or at least seriously daft in some manner.

Of course, one could suppose where he was headed with such colorful descriptors, which is the shaming “but they didn’t listen,” the I-told-you-so taunt of “it turned out she was right,” along with a repeat of the earlier “and the villagers are ignoring her again.”

Next, he takes square aim at blaming external factors, rather than a flawed candidacy, by writing pointedly, “first of all because she’s a woman. And second of all because her name is Hillary Clinton.”

I suppose her name could have been “Rapunzel,” or “Juliet” and she would have been blamed for cakes and biscuits not rising, or any other such nonsensical tripe. That’s not to say that women have not been subjected to some type of sex-based discrimination, for they have. But to blatantly assert or claim, that she was “repeatedly invited by the national media to just go away despite,” he further attempts to spread blame so thinly that it’s quite easy to see through.

It also reminds one a childhood moralistic tale entitled, “The Remarkable Story of Chicken Little,” in which the protagonist, a hen character named “Henny Penny,” had an acorn to fall on her head, and then loudly, though erroneously, warned exclaiming that, “THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Mr. Parkhomenko seems to express bafflement, and befuddlement that his favorite candidate never won the nation’s highest political office, and quoted her, writing that “I’m astonished that more people don’t see, or can’t face…” That quote, of course, was a statement made in agreement by Ms. Clinton in a non-challenging, puff-piece interview with Jennifer Senior, a staff writer at The Atlantic during the Atlantic Festival, where she appeared “virtually” live, Thursday, September 30, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Mr. Parkhomenko added his own remarks which echoed a similar sentiment by writing “why in the world would the villagers ignore someone who…,” and similarly “why would they ignore someone who…”

So let’s examine just a few things, as he has, in order to allow him – or, anyone else – to more clearly see a picture which apparently, has not yet emerged.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Though I loathed her, and still do, I voted for Hillary Clinton over the Republican candidate, because: 1.) She had some experience in politics, and was 2.) “The devil you know,” whereas the Republican candidate was utterly inexperienced politically, and was “the devil you didn’t know.”

First, like it, or not, Hillary is a lightning rod. And to remind our readers, a lightning rod is a metal stick placed vertically atop elevated structures in order to DRAW lightning, and thereby allow it to be run (conducted) to ground through circuits and conduits in order to prevent damage to the structure. Again, a lighting rod attracts lightning, which is a powerful, and natural destructive force. And that describes Hillary to a ‘T’ — a lightning rod.

To be characterized as a “lightning rod” – a thing which draws powerful, troubling and destructive forces – is not a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Baptist and a Methodist walk into a bar…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 9, 2021

old school B&W magician wand top hat rabbitThey’re both shot dead by the Church of God, who is then fought by the Assembly of God, and then attacked by the Church of Christ; and next, the Mormons come along, who are suddenly blindsided by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists, while the Catholics & Episcopalians both fight the Presbyterians & Lutherans on the side. In walk the Moonies with the Unitarians, and everybody turns on them. Meanwhile, the Quakers, the Amish, Mennonites, and Buddhists stand by and watch it all unfold.

That’s the gist of what’s happening in the Middle East— a bunch of goddamn religious nuts fighting each other over their private interpretation of their preferred religion.

Here in America, goddamn religious nuts want to inject their preferred flavor of religion into government (which the Constitution specifically forbids) by sticking their noses into other peoples’ private lives, outlawing certain medical procedures which they find objectionable (What’s next? Colonoscopies? Pap smears? Testicular exams?), forbidding birth control, in vitro fertilization, freezing embryos, stem cell research, denying sex education and healthcare to everyone, while they secretly molest children, young girls, and teens, then go preach about “sin” and “love” afterward, and tell their parishioners along with the news media that Wiccans and Satanists had been doing it all along, by calling it “Satanic Ritual Abuse.”

That poor ol’ mythological “devil” is an easy punching bag, and catches hell for everything. Must be why the Rolling Stones composed “Sympathy for the Devil” in 1968.

magician tophat wand rabbit

After speaking a few magic words, and waving his magick wand, (on table) God pulls the unimaginably vast cosmos out of his top hat.

Meanwhile the widow, the orphan, prisoners, the stranger among you, and the least of these all look at them in dismay and wonder if there really is any such thing as “god,” because from their perspective, it sure doesn’t look like it.

Fuck ‘em all.

Every goddamn rotten one of ‘em — the dirty rotten religious bastard hater hypocrites.🖕🏽

They’re no better than the goddamn Muslims who are at each others’ throats.

And according to the bizarre monotheistic Judeo-Christian-Islamic mythology, not only are they a bunch of inbreds, anyway, but their “god” is a magician who spoke a few magic words and *!*POOF*!* like a rabbit out of a top hat, everything just appeared out of nothing everywhere (ex nihilo, it’s called in their theological seminaries)… in 6, literal 24-hour periods.

That’s not even a good fairy tale.

Then, there’s their “giant boat that saves the world” myth – or, at least Read the rest of this entry »

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Swing Voters Hold Key To United States Future

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

GOP Voters Did NOT Want A Second Helping Of Trump

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

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

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

It’s inevitable.

PROGRESS WILL OCCUR.

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

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

Time marches on.

Recall the adage,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do we need change in our nation?

You bet your sweet bippy we do!

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

Consider our income tax system.

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

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

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

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Sex With Aliens, And Infanticide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 29, 2021

While perusing through old SMS messages with a friend, searching for messages that the system didn’t send in order to clear them out, I happened upon this jewel:

https://archive.fo/G7wtb#selection-4998.0-4998.1

FIRE POWER DELIVERANCE MINISTRIES WITH DR STELLA IMMANUEL

Deliverance from Spirit wives and Spirit Husbands (Incubus and succubus)

This tormenting spirits are responsible for breaking marriages, hatred by earthly spouse serious gynecological problems, Marital distress, miscarriages, impotence, untold hardship, financial failure and general failure at the edge of breakthrough. In fact studies shows that seven out of ten people in the church are affected by these spirits.

Everyone needs this information. Isa 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Get knowledge and be free in Jesus name.

The subject of the evil spiritual marriage has been grossly mis- understood by many people. While some hold erroneous views, others demonstrate partial knowledge of this all- important subject. The problem of evil marriage goes beyond dilettantish purposes.

Evil marriage is a deep subject. It affects many people. From our spiritual research and statistical findings, we have gathered that seven out of ten ladies who profess to be born again are involved, consciously or unconsciously, with evil spiritual marriage. In the same vein, seven out of every ten Christian men are, consciously or unconsciously, affected by evil spiritual marriages.

More than any other power, these spirits have destroyed marriages

Many women suffer from astral sex regularly. Astral sex is the ability to project one’s spirit man into the victim’s body and have intercourse with it. This practice is very common amongst Satanists. They leave their physical bodies in a dormant state while they project their spirits into the body of whoever they want to have sex with.

“9. I send thunder fire of God to burn to ashes the children born to the marriage, in Jesus’ name.”

—//—

Turns out, those nut-jobs have been at it for a very long, long, long, long, long time.

To what “nut-jobs” do I mean to refer?

The nut-jobs that believe in demon sperm, having sex with spirits (most bad ones, never good ones) being causative of disease, impotence, and other maladies and health problems.

But note this item, number Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s Talk About… Critical Race Theory

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything Old Is New Again

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

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So… what about Critical Race Theory?

What is it?

Where’d it come from?

Who invented it?

What does it say, do, or advocate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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White Tennessee Residents In A Slave Trade Town Oppose Teaching Slavery History

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 23, 2021

In a small Tennessee town with a population of 83,454 — comparatively, Huntsville, AL has 100,000 more — where, in the public square, in front of the county courthouse, from which numerous lynchings occurred, on the site of a former slave trading market, stands a statue known by locals as “Chip,” so nicknamed for the chip in his hat.

“Chip” has been around since 1899, and, in a sense, could be thought of as a relative “newcomer” to the community, per se — which was founded 1799 — though an enduringly stalwart one, at that.

“Chip” is made of the finest Italian marble, and, according to the United States Geological Survey, which measured, calculated, and installed a marker upon its base in 1931, stands 648.82 linear feet above sea level. Nearby Nashville is only slightly more elevated at 1160 feet above sea level.

While “Chip’s” maker is largely unknown (though it is thought to be one of many such replicas installed), what is known about him is who commissioned him — the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

You see, “Chip” is homage to the Confederacy, and to Confederate soldiers.

Upon its base is enscribed the following: Read the rest of this entry »

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Partisan Hacks Abound

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

One would NOT mention something if it were NOT part of the equation.

It’d be like mentioning Tostitos at a cake-baking contest, the theory of relativity to 3rd Graders, a taco soup recipe to Chinese citizens in Shenzhen, or the merits of a ’57 Chevy during discussion of a cardiac surgical procedure. TOTALLY out of place.

The very fact that SHE — Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett — mentioned it, is sufficient.

“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.”

— Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Sunday, 12 September 2021, at the McConnell Center, University of Louisville, KY, a venue created by Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell

Similarly, one would NOT need to be convinced if a thing, saying, or claim had utterly no credibility. It’d be like claiming (falsely) that “the sun rises in the west.” Any casual observer can plainly see that the sun appears to “rise” in the east, because of the Earth’s rotation upon its axis. That is to say, Earth spins in an “easterly” direction.

But, what else could be said about a court that INCREASINGLY issues “emergency” rulings, colloquially known as the “Shadow Docket,” WITHOUT proceedings, WITHOUT hearing ANY argument?

That tactic DENIES citizens their Constitutional RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN AN OPEN & PUBLIC COURT OF LAW.

NO ONE BUT she brought up that topic.

So, yeah… Amy Coney “I’m not a partisan hack” Barrett, Read the rest of this entry »

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Letter To A Longtime Friend

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

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

I have not.

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

I cannot.

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

“Privatize it all!” is their battle cry.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hey Bud-E! How you are?

Still taking a licking, and keeping on ticking?

How’re your eyes? Still in your head?

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

I’m going deaf.

No kidding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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America’s Test Kitchen & Chinese Junk

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 wins again!

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

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

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

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

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

Was she ever wrong.

Deadly wrong.

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

There wasn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Here’s her opening line:

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

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

Next line:

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

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

Next line.

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

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

Next couple of paragraphs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another One Bites The Dust: Pregnant Alabama RN & Fetus Die of COVID-19

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 5, 2021

Family says, “We’re glad she’s not suffering.”

Alabama Family On Pregnant RN & Fetus Dead from COVID
Published: Aug. 23, 2021, 5:39 p.m. – Updated: Aug. 24, 2021, 7:27 a.m.

Haley Richardson, RN, a 32-year old Labor and Delivery Nurse who worked at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL and lived in Theodore, AL in Mobile County, died of COVID-19 on August 20, 2021. She was NOT vaccinated. The baby within her – whom she had named Ryleigh Beth – had died 2 days before she did.

Her widower, Jordan Richardson, will be taking care of Katie, their 3-year old daughter whom she orphaned. She was pregnant with the couple’s second child, which died in utero 2 days before she did.

Haley and Jordan Richardson with daughter Katie.

Jason Whatley, a family friend whose wife was maid of honor at Haley’s wedding, reported that Haley contracted COVID-19 in late July or early August, about three weeks before she died, and said that, “She was home sick for about a week and then her heart rate went up.”

Haley was initially admitted to the University of South Alabama Health system’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, then after a few days, was transported to the ICU at USA Health’s main hospital campus also in Mobile.

Haley’s mother, Julie Mulkey said, “After about three or four days in the hospital, the OB told her that she was going to lose the baby. And she continued to get worse and worse. At some point, they basically told her that we’ve got to start treating you as if you didn’t have a child. We’ve got to do what we can for you because the baby is going to pass anyway.”

Mr. Whatley said physicians treating Haley had earlier placed her on a transfer waiting list to the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital to be connected to a ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine, sometimes also called a “heart/lung machine,” which Read the rest of this entry »

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Joe Rogan Has COVID-19… And He Could Die.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

I, for one, am SUPER GLAD that Joe Rogan has professional healthcare credentials, and is licensed as such following his passage of national licensing board examination, following extensive education.

Otherwise, I sincerely doubt he could be believed.

Death will come knocking at ol’ Joe’s door soon enough. Make sure you have your traveling shoes on, Joe. You’re gonna’ need ’em.

But hey!

If Joe Rogan said it, it’s ~GOT~ to be true!

Stupid motherfucker.

Moron.

Maybe he’ll drown from the fluid in his lungs in his bed while sleeping.

It’s happened.

Who knows?

According to the story, he’s been prescribed Read the rest of this entry »

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America’s Military Budget Must Be Halved… AT LEAST

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 30, 2021

It is NOT an “unpatriotic” matter to assert, or claim, that America’s military budget is out of control. Numerous boondoggles over the past several years – most notably the F-35 program, now recognized as an untenably disastrous failure – have proven as much.

Former WWII Supreme Allied Commander, 5-star General, and 2-term Republican President, Dwight David Eisenhower, warned in his January 17, 1961 Farewell Address that,

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

• See: “The US Air Force Quietly Admits the F-35 Is a Failure“; By Joel Hruska, February 25, 2021 at 8:38 am
• See also: “The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed“; By David Axe, February 23, 2021, 08:00am EST
• See also: “What Went Wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter?“; By Michael P. Hughes, Scientific American, The Conversation US, June 14, 2017
• See also: “This Country Is Spending $1.7 Trillion on Planes That Don’t Work“; By Charles P. Pierce, February 25, 2021
• See also: “F-35 Failure: The Air Force Wants a Different Replacement for Its Aging F-16 Jet Fighters“; By Mark Episkopos, February 25, 2021
• See also: “Israel Is Hiding That Its State-Of-Art F-35 Warplane Was Hit By Syrian S-200 Missile – Reports“; SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence, 2017-10-17T 09:56:39+00:00
• See also: “The F-35 tells everything that’s broken in the Pentagon“; By Dr. Sean McFate, PhD, 03/11/21 01:00 PM EST
• See also: “The sad saga of the F-35: Too big to fail, too expensive to fly“; By Jamie McIntyre, Senior Writer, March 18, 2021 11:00 PM

In conjunction with that measure, of slashing the budget for the Department of Defense, we must also require a period of national service from our young people – two, or three, years of mandatory service after high school graduation is NOT too much to expect from, or ask of them in return for the blessings of liberty for ourselves, and our posterity. Plus, it would make Congress and the President think long and hard – twice – before so freely sending their children into harm’s way.

The money saved should be redirected toward other, much more needful things at home, such as Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Moron Has Died

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 30, 2021

Guess who’s saying “Death to Republicans!“?

The coronavirus.

Morons.


The leader of an anti-mask movement in Texas has died from COVID-19.

Caleb Wallace, 30, who created a group called the San Angelo Freedom Defenders that conducted a rally to combat what he called “COVID-19 tyranny,” has died after spending over a month in the hospital, according to a message posted by his wife, Jessica Wallace, on a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover his hospital bills.

“Caleb has peacefully passed on. He will forever live in our hearts and minds,” Jessica Wallace wrote in a post on Saturday.

Caleb Wallace checked into the Shannon Medical Center on July 30 after contracting COVID-19, according to The New York Times.

Earlier that month, he organized a rally for people who were frustrated with the COVID-19 mitigation measures that had been put in place to contain the current surge in infections.

Caleb Wallace reportedly started feeling symptoms associated with COVID-19 — shortness of breath, high fever and a dry cough — on July 26, and they worsened the next day, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times.

He initially refused to go to the hospital and get tested for the virus, instead opting to take ivermectin — an anti-parasite medication used mostly in livestock that the Food and Drug Administration recently urged people not to take to treat COVID-19 — along with high doses of Vitamin C, zinc, aspirin, and an inhaler.

“Every time he would start to cough, it would turn into a coughing attack, and then that would cause him to completely go out of breath,” his wife Jessica said. “He was so hard-headed. He didn’t want to see a doctor, because he didn’t want to be part of the statistics with COVID tests.”

On July 30, however, a relative took him to the hospital, where he remained until his death.

Within days after his hospital admission, he was placed on a ventilator – a “breathing machine” that mechanically inflates the lungs with oxygenated air through a tube stuck down the throat.

“He couldn’t breathe on his own,” Jessica said. “The first week Read the rest of this entry »

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Understanding Morons

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

NOTE:

Readers of this blog are free to respond to anything they read herein, or elsewhere, and little-to-no effort has ever been made, nor will be made, to restrain their expressions, nor to prohibit, or “censor” their ideas. Further, email addresses stay within the confines of this blog, exclusively, and are NEVER sold, bartered, traded, given away, or divulged in any manner or form whatsoever – nor have they ever been. We do not employ the practices of FaceBook/Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter/Jack Dorsey, or other social media maven/multi-billionaires which make a fast buck off selling their readers private information, or online habits – as do most other corporate/commercial sites, Internet Service Providers, including Alphabet, Inc., parent firm of Google/YouTube, etc., and its founders Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.


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

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

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

moron (n.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you can quote me on that.

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

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Working Toward A Change In American Foreign Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 28, 2021

As you read this OpEd, initially, it seems to move toward the idea of nation building, but then, directs itself toward more direct involvement Congressional management and oversight of foreign policy, the constitutionally-mandated Separation of Powers, encourages a SCOTUS decision on the extent of Presidential War Powers, and curtailing the use Executive action to enact foreign policy by skirting such oversight, asserting that Executive diplomacy is not a formal treaty, and therefore not subject to Congressional oversight.

In short, while illustrating problems in American foreign policy through Executive action, it places the onus of responsibility upon Congress, where it rightfully belongs, and relegates the President’s role to primarily one of public persuasion in such matters.

Ours is a constitutional democratic republic, and we should act like it, rather than falling prey to “the grandiose belief” … of the “irresistible the siren call of personal diplomacy” by Presidents.A


What Trump’s Disgraceful Deal With the Taliban Has Wrought

by Dr. Kori Schake, PhD
August 28, 2021

Dr. Schake is Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Before joining AEI, Dr. Schake was the Deputy Director-General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She has had a distinguished career in government, working at the US State Department, the US Department of Defense, and the National Security Council at the White House. She has also taught at Stanford, West Point, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, National Defense University, and the University of Maryland.

The American Enterprise Institute is an independent, non-profit, public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world.

The work of their scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in their belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.

AEI scholars are committed to making the intellectual, moral, and practical case for expanding freedom, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening the free enterprise system in America and around the world. Their work explores ideas that further those goals, and AEI scholars take part in this pursuit with academic freedom. AEI operates independently of any political party and has no institutional positions. Their scholars’ conclusions are fueled by rigorous, data-driven research and broad-ranging evidence.


Believing you’re uniquely capable of bending things to your will is practically a requirement for becoming president of the United States. But too often, in pursuit of such influence over foreign policy, presidents overemphasize the importance of personal diplomacy. Relationships among leaders can build trust — or destroy it — but presidents often overrate their ability to steer both allies and adversaries.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev had built such a solid relationship that during the Reykjavik summit most of Reagan’s administration worried he would agree to an unverifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. Bill Clinton believed his personal diplomacy could deliver Palestinian statehood and Russian acceptance of NATO expansion. George W. Bush believed he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, and Barack Obama believed he could persuade Mr. Putin it wasn’t in Russia’s interests to determine the outcome of the war in Syria.

But in both hubris and folly, none come close to matching Donald Trump. For someone who prided himself on his abilities as a dealmaker and displayed an “I alone can fix it” arrogance, the agreement he made with the Taliban is one of the most disgraceful diplomatic bargains on record. Coupled with President Biden’s mistakes in continuing the policy and botching its execution, the deal has now led to tragic consequences for Americans and our allies in Kabul.

Mr. Trump’s handling of Afghanistan is an object lesson for why presidents of both parties need to be Read the rest of this entry »

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