Warm Southern Breeze

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Archive for the ‘– Did they REALLY say that?’ Category

Stupid, incredible, incredulous things people say

Give Me One Reason

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 11, 2017

In a November 18, 2015 interview with Tavis Smiley, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman talked about her forthcoming “Greatest Hits” album and the remastering of her songs for it, and said in part about that process that, “Often turning the volume up means compression. And when you compress things, it’s great in a way because it’s louder, but it also takes the dynamics out. So we were really careful because, when you start to do that too much, you lose all of those little low and high moments, and a lot of those things matter in the sparse arrangements that, you know, are represented on some of these songs.” 

In audio recording, the term “compression” means that Read the rest of this entry »

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Charter Schools Hoodwinking Hypocrisy 

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mark Weber, who blogs as “Jersey Jazzman,” is earning his Doctorate in Research and Statistics while teaching in a New Jersey public school. He is a sharp critic of shoddy research, especially of charter schools’ fantastical claims.

In his latest post, he asks why CREDO, the charter-evaluating institute at Stanford University run by Macke Raymond, continues to use an invalid metric – one which has never been scientifically sound – to evaluate charter schools’ performance.

Journalists, who have little expertise in evaluating research claims, eagerly, though ignorantly, promote such unsound claims by writing things like School X produces an additional “number of days of learning.”

That happened most recently in Texas, where charter schools finally matched the test scores of public schools – aka so-called “failing schools” for which charter schools are supposed to be the rescuers.

Continue learning…
http://wp.me/p2odLa-hSK

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Southerners Still Want Segregated Schools Because Hatred Runs Deep In The South

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Following is an excerpt to a soul-searching article about the resegregation of schools in the South. 

After the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, racial discrimination was prohibited in any federally funded program. But in 1964, there was very limited federal aid to schools. However, in 1965, Congress passed the Elementary and Zsecondary Education Act, and there was quite a lot of federal money for schools that enrolled poor children. The Office of Education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare took the Brown decision seriously. Top officials in the Lyndon B. Johnson told Southern districts that they would lose federal funding unless they presented real data on the racial distribution of students and faculty. 

So did the federal courts. Southern districts, governors, and legislators offered “school choice” proposals. They were a farce. Federal officials rejected them. Federal courts rejected them. 

Within ten years after the passage of ESEA, the South had more integrated public schools than any other region. 

But then the great rollback began. With more conservative justices on the federal courts, the zeal to follow through on the promise of the Brown decision faded. The Department of Education, created in 1980, never had the energy and focus of the LBJ officials. 

The authors of this article write:

“As we continue our “anti-dumbass” campaign to champion and improve Southern public schools for all students, we maintain our focus on the influence poverty, race, and racism continue to play in schools. Within the current political and cultural climate, there looms a growing sense of separation, where private interests replace democratic interests and the rich and powerful profit while the poor and underserved continue to struggle. You might think we were living in the 1930s or 1940s. This is, however, 2017, and the resegregation of public schools is increasing at an alarming rate. 

“As parents and proud Southerners we constantly ask ourselves, Read the rest of this entry »

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Forgiveness Transforms And Redeems Lives

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Photo of St. Maria Goretti attributed to February 13, 1902, about five months before she was attacked by Alessandro Serenelli.

Maria Goretti was not even 12 years old when she rebuked the attempted rape by her 18-year-old neighbor July 5, 1902. After the death of her father, she and her family became so poor that they had to move in with neighbors. Alessandro Serenelli, the 18-year-old who attempted to rape her was so angered at her refusal, that he used an awl and stabbed young Maria more than a dozen times. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, operated upon without benefit of anesthesia, and died less than 24 hours later… but not without first forgiving her attacker. And upon her deathbed she received the sacraments, and offered forgiveness to her attacker. But her forgiving was not yet fully complete.

Judges in Serenelli’s case considered Read the rest of this entry »

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Megan Rondini Fought #ALpolitics Corrupt Wealthy Power System

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 29, 2017

Megan Rondini Fought The Power Of Money

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on June 29, 2017
Used with permission

T. J. “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr., in his Tuscaloosa, AL residence

By now, a lot of people have read or heard the story about Megan Rondini and her encounter with T. J. “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr. Sweet T is the son of Terry J. Bunn, Sr., a well-known and powerful member of the oligarchy that runs the state of Alabama.

Sweet T is also the man Megan accused of raping her on the night of July 1, 2015, at his mansion in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He admits to having sex with Megan on the night in question, but claims it was consensual.

Megan was a 20-year old University of Alabama honors student. Sweet T was a 34-year old big game hunter and employee at his father’s Tuscaloosa-based construction firm.

The Deck Was Already Stacked Against Megan

At the time of the sexual encounter in question, Megan did not know how well connected Sweet T was to the governor of Alabama, the University of Alabama, and the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office. The Bunn family’s “pillar of the community” status in Tuscaloosa was recognized inside the local law enforcement community as well. All of these connections robbed Megan of a fair opportunity to receive justice from the night she reported her rape complaint against Sweet T until the day she committed suicide.

Megan Rondini

DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, AL

Following a rape kit exam at a local hospital after she escaped from Sweet T’s home, Megan entered the Sheriff’s Department as an alleged rape victim. At the most traumatic time in her life, Megan had no knowledge that the deck was already stacked against her. Once Megan named Sweet T as the perpetrator of her sexual assault, any chance she had of prosecuting a rape case against him evaporated.

What is worse, investigator Adam Jones bullied Megan by reading Miranda rights to her for actions she took in escaping from the scene of the alleged rape. Once Jones read her these constitutional rights, Megan was transformed from a sexual assault victim into a criminal suspect.

Using strong-arm tactics, criminal investigators were looking for ways to charge Megan with Read the rest of this entry »

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Megan Rondini’s @UofAlabama Death: Attorney @DonaldVWatkins Is On The Job when #ALpolitics Is Off The Clock

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017

Open Letter to T.J. “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Dear Mr. Bunn,

My name is Donald V. Watkins. To my knowledge, we have never met. The unfortunate incident that happened to Megan Rondini at your home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the night of July 1, 2015, has brought us together.

You got to know Megan in life, at least on that one night in July when you admitted to having sex with her. I have only gotten to know Megan in death.

I am a trial lawyer and investigative journalist. I usually work on the difficult cases most prosecutors are afraid to touch, or on exposing the cases where prosecutors have “fixed” the outcome for the benefit of rich and powerful people.

I am very familiar with how some law enforcement investigators and prosecutors “fix” cases for the oligarchy that runs Alabama. I have seen this type of prosecutorial misconduct occur throughout my 44-year legal career. I also understand how prosecutors sometimes use the grand jury system as cover for their unwillingness to prosecute rich and powerful people. Whether a case is indicted or not often depends upon the socio-economic status of the parties involved and how a prosecutor presents the evidence and applicable law to grand jurors.

I understand sexual assault cases in Alabama (and elsewhere). To me, a sexual assault is not just a sex crime; it is an act of violence against the victim. In many cases, the deck is already stacked against female victims of sexual assaults by the very nature of our male dominated world of law enforcement.

One version of the “truth” in Megan’s case resulted in her allegations of sexual assault against you going away. Former Tuscaloosa District Attorney Lyn Head reportedly presented Megan’s sexual assault case to a Tuscaloosa County grand jury several weeks after her February 26, 2016, death and that body took no action against you.

Today, Megan is dead and you are walking around free. The criminal justice system in Tuscaloosa worked well for you. The same system failed Megan miserably.

My job is to find and report the whole truth in Megan’s case. I have been doing this kind of work for a long time.

You may be familiar with some of my most recent work. In 2014, I discovered and reported the shocking truth about the wife-beating conduct and marital infidelity involving Read the rest of this entry »

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Will That Be Cash, Pizza, Praise, Or Nothing?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Decades ago, Dale Carnegie expounded on the power of praise in his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

In it, he wrote in part that, “…there is one longing – almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep – which is seldom gratified. It is what Dewey calls Read the rest of this entry »

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“Let’s be honest. Debbie Wasserman Schultz makes Democrats want to vomit, not vote.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz should get out of politics. She has ruined any semblance of good will with voters of any political stripe, particularly and especially among Democrats. Her blatant covert violation of party policy and rules which was exposed by WikiLeaks still smarts among Democrats. It was corruption on the same level as that of Trump. Pure & Simple. Both parties are sadly corrupt, and virtually no one has the people’s back.

—//—

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D, FL-23), was former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and was forced to resign in disgrace following revelation that she and others exerted influence upon the party’s Presidential nomination process against Bernie Sanders (VT-I), who campaigned under the Democratic party ticket.

Toxic Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Appear at Leadership Blue Gala

By Leslie Wimes
June 13, 2017 – 10:00am

Clearly the new regime at the Florida Democratic Party learned nothing from the chorus of boos that Debbie Wasserman Schultz received at the DNC convention.

The resounding chants of “shame” spewed at the disgraced former DNC chairwoman, forced to resign in infamy, hasn’t convinced the failing party that putting the most divisive figure in recent Florida Democratic political history on stage at its biggest fundraising event will be a big mistake.

Whose idea is this? Wasserman Schultz’s?

Is she still pulling the strings in the party? If the new chair, Stephen Bittel, thinks this is a great idea, then perhaps his judgment has to be seriously questioned.

We already are questioning Read the rest of this entry »

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POTUS Trump Visits Camp David Father’s Day Weekend 2017

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Roughly 62 miles away from the Washington D.C. Beltway, hidden away in the northeastern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in north-central Maryland, very near the Pennsylvania border, along the Catoctin Mountain Park ridge in the Monocacy Valley near the town of Thurmont, lies a 4-acre park-like U.S. Navy base called “Naval Support Facility Thurmont.”

Its coordinates are: 39°38′54″N 77°27′54″W

Its construction began in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration, and was completed in 1938. Originally built as a camp for federal government employees and their families, it was converted into a presidential retreat and named “Shangri La” by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1942. Some years later, President Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed it “Camp David” in recognition of his father and grandson, both whom were named David. It has borne that name ever since.

Camp David is operated by the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps, which calls it “Naval Support Facility Thurmont.”

Every President has made use of it since it’s construction. FDR hosted British PM Sir Winston Churchill there. Eisenhower held his first Cabinet Meeting there. JFK allowed White House staff to use it when he wasn’t there. LBJ met with the Australian & Canadian PMs there. Nixon & Ford used it. Carter brokered a peace negotiation with Egypt & Israel known as the Camp David Accords there. Reagan used it more than any president, and hosted British PM Margaret Thatcher there. George H.W. Bush’s daughter Dorothy was married there. Clinton used it extensively and hosted British PM Tony Blair there numerous times. George W. Bush hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, British PM Gordon Brown, and Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen there, as well. Obama hosted the 38th G8 summit there in 2012, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, and the GCC Summit there in 2015.

Trump called Camp David “rustic,” and has avoided it thus far in his first few months in office.

In an interview with The Times of London and the German newspaper Bild in January 2017, Trump said in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: Jeff Sessions’ Honesty Questioned

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 16, 2017

Despite all the “best intentions,” United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Republican, and former Senator from Alabama, cannot keep the questions from coming. Our nations Intelligence Services have clearly identified involvement by a foreign government, specifically, Russia, in our 2016 General Election, to specifically sway voters for Donald Trump. Furthermore, those same intelligence agencies have also identified successful hacking efforts 39 states’ voter databases. These are not mere accusations. There is hard-core, irrefutable demonstrable evidence. Furthermore, Russia – though some say it no longer a “communist” nation – is NOT an American ally, nor will they ever be. Even before the rise and “fall” of communism in Russia, that nation and it’s leaders had NEVER been our “friends.” Consider also this fact: Even though Russia may no longer claim they are “communist,” the Russian political leaders now in power are the very same ones who were in power when Russia “was” communist. It reminds me of a song by “The Who” entitled Won’t Get Fooled Again” which states in part, “Meet new boss… same as the old boss.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Republican Senator from Alabama, is sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Lobbyist For Russian Interests Says He Attended Dinners Hosted By Sessions

Richard Burt contradicts Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he didn’t believe he had contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests during Trump’s campaign

An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week.

Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.

“I did attend two dinners with groups of
former Republican foreign policy officials
and Senator Sessions.”

– Richard Burt, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany
during Reagan administration, and
Russian lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Asked whether Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt’s role as a lobbyist for Russian interests – a fact that is disclosed in public records – or had any reason to be confused about the issue, Burt told the Guardian that he did not know.

Several media reports published before Trump’s election in November noted that Burt advised then candidate Trump on his first major foreign policy speech, a role that brought him into contact with Sessions personally.

Burt, who previously served on the advisory board of Alfa Capital Partners, a private equity fund where Russia’s Alfa Bank was an investor and last year was lobbying on behalf of a pipeline company that is now controlled by Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy conglomerate, first told Politico in October that he had been invited to two dinners that were hosted by Sessions last summer, at Read the rest of this entry »

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Russians Hacked Into Election Software

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The ONLY FAILSAFE means to electronically count ballots is by using an Optical Scanning system. Votes can be counted manually, and Voter Intent can be determined by examining ballots. I write from experience as an Election Official in numerous elections. Can any electronic device be hacked? Yes. But physical ballots are the “backup” which can be examined to check against any suspicious machine, or software.

—//—

Russians Hacked Into Election Software, Databases In 39 States

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they complained directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.”

By Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON – Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.

“They’re coming after America. They will be back.”

– Former FBI Director James Comey testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington declined to comment on the agency’s probe.

Russian officials have publicly denied any role in cyberattacks connected to the U.S. elections, including a massive “spear phishing” effort that compromised Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, among hundreds of other groups. President Vladimir Putin said in recent comments to reporters that criminals inside the country could have been involved without having been sanctioned by the Russian government.

One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.

Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.

One former senior U.S. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U.S. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.

As the first test of a communication system designed to de-escalate cyber conflict between the two countries, the cyber “red phone” — not a phone, in fact, but a secure messaging channel for sending urgent messages and documents — didn’t quite work as the White House had hoped. NBC News first reported that use of the red phone by the White House last December.

The White House provided evidence gathered on Russia’s hacking efforts and reasons why the U.S. considered it dangerously aggressive. Russia responded by asking for more information and providing assurances that it would look into the matter even as the hacking continued, according to the two people familiar with the response.

“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama. “Given that our election systems are so decentralized, that effort meant working with Democratic and Republican election administrators from all across the country to bolster their cyber defenses.”

Illinois, which was among the states that gave the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security almost full access to investigate its systems, provides a window into the hackers’ successes and failures.

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to Read the rest of this entry »

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NY @SenSchumer Mocks Insecure #Loser @POTUS @realDonaldTrump 

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

America’s Official Pussy Grabber in Chief, Multiple Bankruptcies Expert, Prevaricator in Chief, Liar in Chief, Traitor in Chief, Liar & Cheat, Narcissist in Chief, and Overall Scumbag held his first Cabinet meeting yesterday (Monday, June 12, 2017) which was widely covered by news reporting agencies, and with his usual audacity and unmitigated gall claimed that Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Appointee Wants To Cut Off Bears Ears

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 12, 2017

In this photo taken April 26, 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks at the Interior Department in Washington. Ryan Zinke is recommending that the new Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be reduced in size and says Congress should step in to designate how selected areas of the 1.3 million-acre site are categorized. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday recommended that the new Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be reduced in size and said Congress should step in to designate how selected areas of the 1.3 million-acre site are managed.

Zinke made the recommendation as part of an interim report to President Donald Trump on the scenic swath of southern Utah with red rock plateaus, cliffs and canyons on land considered sacred to tribes.

Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands, calling the protection efforts “a massive federal land grab” by previous administrations.

In this June 22, 2016 file photo, the “House on Fire” ruins in Mule Canyon in Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that the new Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be reduced in size and says Congress should step in to designate how selected areas of the 1.3 million-acre site are categorized. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Trump and other Republicans have singled out former President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears, calling it an unnecessary layer of federal control that hurts local economies by closing the area to new energy development. They also say it isn’t the best way to protect the land.

Zinke toured Bears Ears last month on foot, horseback and helicopter and met with Read the rest of this entry »

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German Grocer Aldi To Heat Up U.S. Competition

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 12, 2017

German Discount Grocer Aldi Sets U.S. Expansion Plan

Aldi says it will open nearly 900 stores, invest $5 billion over five years

Aldi says it will open 900 stores and invest $5 billion over five years. Photo by Anthony Devlin/Zuma Press

By Heather Haddon
June 11, 2017 9:00 p.m. ET

Competition in the U.S. grocery sector is about to get more fierce.

Discount grocery chain Aldi is expected to unveil on Monday plans to invest $5 billion to open nearly 900 stores and remodel hundreds more in the U.S.

The expansion, over the next five years, puts the German grocer on track to becoming the third-largest food retailer in the U.S. by store count, behind the larger Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co., and a growing threat to traditional food retailers.

Aldi said it is expected to have a total of 2,500 locations across the U.S. by 2022. Its plan comes as another German discounter, Lidl, is set to open its first 10 stores in the U.S. on Thursday as part of a multiyear expansion.

Executives at Wal-Mart and Kroger have been preparing for the growth of the discounters for years. Wal-Mart has been sprucing up its stores and slashing prices on some products in select markets, while Kroger continues to drive down costs to compete.

But the discounters could have a big impact on the U.S. grocery market as they did in Europe. Their market share there has steadily grown while traditional supermarkets have seen theirs fall.

Deep discount chains in the U.S. are expected to grow by up to 10% a year through 2020, five times the rate of traditional grocers, according to a recent report by consulting firm Bain & Co.

“It should absolutely be more than scary to traditional grocers and retailers,” said Mikey Vu, a partner in Bain’s retail practice.

Many shoppers in the U.S. are unfamiliar with Aldi. The chain has been in the U.S. since Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Sessions On His KKK “guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot” Quote

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 12, 2017

Many have said Jeff Sessions didn’t say it, and have gone back and forth on the matter.

Let’s bury that hatchet – once and for all – squarely where it rightfully belongs.

Here, from the Congressional Record, is Jeff Sessions’ 1986 testimony under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee following his nomination by then-President Ronald Reagan to a Federal Judgeship.

Recall that he was Read the rest of this entry »

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Why I Don’t Work Construction

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 11, 2017

Why I Don’t Work Construction

by Aaron Rudolph

“You’re a big guy. You should be working construction.”

– a woman in line at Kmart

Every time I swung a sledgehammer,
shattered the faces of bricks,
the poems would stammer
like aces from my sleeves, failed tricks.

I’d bend down, pick up debris, Read the rest of this entry »

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