Warm Southern Breeze

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Archive for the ‘– My Hometown is the sweetest place I know’ Category

Mayberry, May – ber – ry! Remember when Aunt Bea and Clara wrote their song? Whose hometown isn’t the sweetest place they know? (It could be, but might not be.) But aren’t we proud of where we are?

Famous Last Words

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 29, 2019

Brought to you by Twitter.

Jim Jordan is a Republican who has represented Ohio’s 4th Congressional District since 2007.

It – the blatant hypocrisy – would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.

Representative Jordan continues to be an outspoken critic of the Impeachment Investigation which the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (aka the House Intelligence Committee) has been conducting over the past couple weeks. The committee has been investigating allegations that President Trump abused the office of the President and betrayed the American people, and possibly even violated law, by withholding Congressionally-mandated and approved monies specifically appropriated for Ukrainian defense against our common enemy, Russia.

In 2014, Russia invaded Crimea, an independent autonomous territory in the Southern Ukraine bordering the Black Sea, following civil unrest there. At the time, Ukraine was in the midst of socio-political turmoil as a national revolution was under way.

Then-former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was friendly to Russia, had requested assistance from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Read the rest of this entry »

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Re-Examining Personal Income Taxes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 18, 2019

Those who encourage tax cuts on the wealthy & corporations are misguided.

Here’s why:
They mistakenly believe that by reducing taxes upon the wealthy, it will increase their consumption – or, that in their benevolence, they’ll “create jobs” for the masses. (Which is also why they’re treated like “sacred cow job-creators.”)

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The wealthy already consume more. They consume more conspicuously, and they consume more governmental services.

No one “hates” the wealthy.

At least I don’t.

But, we ALL expect them to pull their fair share, not shirk their responsibilities, and we expect them NOT push their fair share onto others who are less capable.

I continue to analogize the matter this way:

There are THREE people who MUST move an 800-pound boulder:
1.) A Strongman body builder;
2.) An 80-year old, 80-pound Granny, and;
3.) An Average man.

Should we tell Read the rest of this entry »

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America First!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 18, 2019

Let’s not mince words: I believe in a STRONG Federal government.

Period.

While no government is perfect, ours is becoming “a more perfect union” because of the Federal government, which is comprised of “we the people.”

It has rarely become more perfect because of states’ actions. It has been Federal actions which have unified the 50 states under a common banner – the Constitution.

As evidence of that, one only need look to history for examples.

It was the Federal government that abolished Slavery.

It was the Federal government that gave women the Right to Vote.

It was the Federal government that gave 18-year-olds the Right to Vote.

It was the Federal government that gave Blacks the Right to Vote, and the Civil Rights Act.

It was the Federal government that gave same sex partners the Right to Marry.

It was the Federal government that struck down anti-miscegenation laws.

It was the Federal government that protected children from sexual predators worldwide.

It was the Federal government that protected underage women from sexual exploitation in pornography.

It was the Federal government that protected Prisoners from sexual abuse.

And, it was the Federal government that protected people from housing discrimination.

The list is longer, but by now, you should get the point.

Government is NOT “the problem” – contrary to what Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address when he proclaimed that “government is the problem.”

For if government was the problem, then the solution to that problem would be the abolition of it – and that is anarchy, the absence of government.

So, the Federal government is not your enemy.

Because YOU are the Federal government.

YOU are “we the people.”

And in our nation, the people have the power, so… power to the people – right on!

Again, our nation is by no means perfect, but we are becoming a more perfect union because of what we do.

One of our nation’s enduring principles is equality under law, as ensconced in the 14th Amendment which states in pertinent part that in Section 1, that,

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States,
and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law;
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of the laws.”

“Due process of law…”  and “equal protection of the laws.”

Those two clauses have been instrumental in bringing equality and the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity since the 14th Amendment was ratified July 9, 1868.

So tell me, please why it is that blatant injustices like this still exist?

KC family had full-time jobs, but no one would rent to them. Can a proposed law help?
https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article237281324.html

Until Tiana Caldwell was diagnosed with a second bout of ovarian cancer last year, her family’s finances and housing were stable. She had no idea they would be homeless within months.

She started treatment, and the bills piled up quickly. She and her husband, Derek, fell behind on their rent, and that summer they were evicted.

Tiana Caldwell and her family were evicted while they struggled to pay the rent as well as her medical bills from her ovarian cancer treatments. Because of that eviction, landlords refused to rent to them. Finally they have found a stable home. Jill Toyoshiba JToyoshiba@kcstar.com

“At one point, I did maybe think it would be better if I didn’t make it,” said Caldwell, who is now in remission. “I just couldn’t stop fighting, even when I thought that maybe that was what was best.”

After the eviction, the family was marked. The blemish on their record made landlords wary of renting to them, even though she and her husband held full-time jobs. After months of searching, they found a home and moved in, but on their first night, sewage backed up into the bathtub and toilet. Caldwell said the house was declared uninhabitable. The family was homeless once again.

For about six months, they lived in cheap hotels or stayed with her husband’s relatives. They tried to keep life as normal as possible for their 12-year-old son, AJ, but some things — like having his friends over — weren’t possible.

“He wasn’t able to do any of that, and he couldn’t tell anybody why because he was ashamed,” Caldwell said. “He didn’t want his friends to know.”

Caldwell’s family is just one of 9,000 households who face eviction each year in Jackson County, a rate housing advocates say is a crisis.

She joined KC Tenants, the organization pushing Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council to adopt a tenants bill of rights. …

In his State of the Union address January 11, 1944, late, former POTUS Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a Second Bill of Rights, saying in pertinent part, that: Read the rest of this entry »

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The United States is Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

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

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

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

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

Read on to see how.

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

What’s “Economic Infrastructure”?

Glad you asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All of that brings us to our next point.

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

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

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

Why not?

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

Continuing…

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

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

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

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

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

Check this out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does that hit home hard enough?

And yet, we’re almost there.

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

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

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

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

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

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Green New Deal? How about Economic Infrastructure New Deal, instead?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Whether one “believes” Climate Change is “real,” or not, is totally a specious argument.

Specious means “superficially plausible, but actually wrong.”

Why is it specious?

Arguing about what causes rain while your roof is leaking is pretty stupid, don’t you think?

And yet, that’s exactly what’s happening.

This map shows federal flood damage claims from 2008 to 2018. Flood risk in many parts of the U.S. is on the rise, in part because climate change is driving more frequent and intense storms, higher seas and extreme rain. Extreme rain in 2013 caused catastrophic flooding in Boulder County, CO, including dangerous flash floods. Similar storms in 2011, 2014 and 2019 flooded much of Holt County, MO. –– Flood Insurance Claims Per 1,000 People, 2010-2018

Some people (Climate Change Science deniers) are arguing about the causes, while the devastation it wreaks continues UNABATED.

Instead, what we NEED TO DO is REBUILD -and- EXPAND our crumbling national Economic Infrastructure to – as much as possible – reduce the influence these events have upon us.

Even BIG INSURANCE companies all agree that the economic losses our nation is suffering CANNOT be sustained without serious lasting damage to our national economy.

The Geneva Association (properly, The “International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics”) is a leading international think tank of the insurance industry, which detects early ideas and emerging debates on political, economic and societal issues concerning the insurance industry.

In November 2018, they published a research paper titled “Global Weather Catastrophes, Trends, Losses, Insurance Costs Source: Managing Physical Climate Risk—Leveraging Innovations in Catastrophe Risk Modelling,” and in it, wrote in part that,

“Over the last three and a half decades, we have observed a trend of rising economic losses from extreme events globally. Between 1980 and 2017, Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE reported 17,320 disaster loss events. Of those, 91.2% were caused by weather-related extremes (meteorological, hydrological and climatological events), accounting for 49.2% of the total of 1,723,738 lives lost, 79.8% of the total USD 4,615 billion in reported economic losses and 90.1% of total insured losses of USD 1,269 bn.

“In 2017, weather-related extremes accounted for 97% of total reported economic losses and 98.2% of Read the rest of this entry »

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Mexico President Obrador Rejects Trump’s “Offer” to “Help” Mexico… Reckon Why?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Here’s the lowdown on the latest horrific murder of a Mormon family with USA/Mexico dual citizenship.

The LDS church (Latter Day Saint) denies association with them, i.e., they’ve already been “thrown under the bus” by their leaders because they were “fundamentalist” and practiced polygamy – an historical Mormon practice, which they now deny… because of historical political pressure.

The modern Republican party has pushed the “one man, one woman” Evangelical version of marriage, despite the fact that historically, Mormons went West to practice their faith without intrusion by government.

And yet… in 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act to prohibit that exclusively religious practice by Mormons.

So much for religious tolerance, eh?

A peace-loving family was killed Read the rest of this entry »

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Open Letter To Joe Biden

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 2, 2019

Dear Joe Biden,

 

It’s time to say “Bye-Bye” Sleepy Uncle Joe!

C’mon… quit already, Joe!

Geebus!

Look… it’s not your age (related dementia), I hope, because historically, we all know that you’re prone to gaffes – some worse than others.

VERY!!

Everyone knows it.

But FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

This is purely absurd!

Presidential mix-up: Biden confuses Andrew Johnson with Andrew Jackson as he slams Trump in Iowa

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-biden-confuses-andrew-johnson-with-andrew-jackson-in-iowa

Joe Biden confuses Andrew Johnson with Andrew Jackson in Iowa

See also: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/joe-biden-confuses-andrew-johnson-with-andrew-jackson-in-iowa/ar-AAJJkOs

You just DO NOT have what it takes, your ideas are NOT what America needs now, and
• Your campaign treasury is low,
• POS45 actually ~wants~ to campaign against you (then who’ll be beaten “like a drum,” eh? Seriously!), and
• You’re clearly running on Obama’s coat-tails.

And, that’s beside the fact that history is AGAINST you.

It’s important to consider the historical record, Joe, because, well… because we learn from history.

Since our nation’s founding, ONLY 5ive former VPs have ~ever~ been independently elected to the Presidency – on their own – apart from succession.

The last one was George H. W. “Poppa” Bush.

Perhaps you recall Mr. “Read My Lips, ‘no new taxes'”?

I think everyone does.

That singular promise was what charted the course of his presidency, trying to fix what Reagan messed up after tripling America’s national deficit with his tax cuts, which the Department of the Treasury warned him in advance that the economy and budgeted revenue would take a 9% hit.

He ignored them.

And, to his everlasting credit, Poppa Bush attempted to remedy the problem after taking office, and seeing the devastation which Reagan caused Read the rest of this entry »

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“Dear Santa, Can I cook microwave popcorn on the stove-top?,” and other preposterously absurd questions.

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

Some years ago, while attending university, during the Christmas season, I portrayed “Santa” on a local television station.

The show was aptly called “Letters to Santa,” and was a LIVE TELEVISION BROADCAST PRODUCTION, which aired, appropriately enough, in the late afternoons after grade-school children were out of school for the day.

The show’s tenet was simple enough, children would send their letters to Santa, care of the television station – some of which would be read during the show (live, on the air), in conjunction with live participants who would attend with their parents to tell the Jolly Old Elf if they’d been naughty, or nice, and what they’d like for Christmas.

The show’s Executive Producer (who has long since gone to the great broadcasting center in the sky) did his best to prepare me for the role, which included off-the-air role-playing scenarios, and other tips and tricks for how to handle the attendees, and studio viewing audience, which also included how to effectively deal with children who might be fearful, belligerent, timid, crying, or demonstrating any other of the numerous emotions for which they’re renown for demonstrating – including their parents, who can sometimes also act like their children.

Fortunately, such a topsy-turvy scenario didn’t present itself… as best I recollect.

Because it was important to him, to the station (for community relations purposes) – and to the parents – to not place the parents in a untenable scenario by being perceived as an anything-you-want wish-granting jolly old elf (whose promises to children the parents might not be inclined, or able to keep), it was crucial to give as non-committal an answer as possible when the children sat on Santa’s knee to make their requests – however scant, or numerous they may have been.

While most children were reasonable in their requests – and honest about their year-long behavior – some children (very few) were not, and had lengthy lists with seemingly endless self-centered wants. Again, like standard normal distribution in statistics tells us, those children were very few, just as were the ones who had no requests for themselves.

Of course, there were a few occasional socially-related requests such as getting mama, or daddy out of prison or jail, wanting family members to get well (some who had terminal illnesses), and the like.

Not very many wanted world peace, or any such thing.

And naturally, there were a few who, for whatever reason, simply didn’t “believe in” the Jolly Old Elf.

I guess for some parents, it easier to tell their children a lie, than it is to present a simple truth – there is NO “Santa Claus” who flies around the world in a reindeer-driven sleigh delivering toys to children. Besides, Jolly Old St. Nicholas might get arrested for Breaking & Entering if he was able to scoot his corpulent carcass down a soot-laden chimney… which might be in use during the winter.

That wouldn’t end well.

But the 1952 song “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus,” written by native Mississippian Jimmy Devon Boyd (1939-2009), does a well-enough job of explaining the truth about the matter, anyway.

Speaking of which, the song was banned in Boston by the Catholic Church the year it was released, which claimed it was overtly sexual.

Of course, that only made the recording by the then-13-year-old boy sell better.

But… if you stop to think about it, Santa Claus is banging your wife!

And, it gives an entirely new meaning to “Ho, ho, ho!”

There’s a reason that Jolly Old Elf is so jolly!

And, that’s exactly what the Catholic Church taught. (Never mind the pedophile priests.)

PRO TIP: Write a Christmas-themed song. It’ll provide money to you annually, and for your heirs – 70 years after your death. Not a bad deal, eh?

Anyway… back to the Santa story.

It took me aback to Read the rest of this entry »

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How did we ever get into the mess we’re now in?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Democratic Presidential nominee candidates Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) continue to make the case that corporate America has harmed, and continues harming, the very field upon which they sow the seeds of their profit.

They further make the case that such governmentally-approved behavior is not merely injurious, but is unsustainable – if not fatal – to those same corporations, and ultimately, to the American economy upon which it feeds.

Citing examples of such greed and rapacious corporate profiteering by their über-wealthy owners and Wall Street overlords (to whom they are fiscally accountable and must share profits), and in conjunction with misguided Federal tax policy (led almost in whole part by Republicans), Senators Warren and Sanders show how overseas and foreign “outsourcing” – all in the name of increased corporate profits – have damaged average American families, including the cities, towns, and states wherein they reside, whom have all witnessed and suffered from wholesale corporate abandonment to foreign soil.

Slow learners are discovering that America’s narsicisstic wealthy “businessman” president – whom they elected, hoping he would be their knight in shining armor coming to their economic rescue – has also sold them out for his own self interests, exactly like his party’s predecessors. They were merely expendable pawns whom he deceived in his egocentric reality show/chess game. They’re merely the red-capped collateral damage in his monkey-business trade war.

Nowhere are the result of such policies more
plainly and painfully evident than in middle America,
where once-thriving factories have become hollowed-out shells

the veritable rotting skeletal corporate detritus which has
fostered and driven
the Opioid Epidemic in many states.

Once-renown industrial cities like Detroit, where the Big Three of the automobile industry – Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors – reigned since the early 1900’s, and supplied high-paying Labor Union wages with genuine, and significant healthcare and retirement benefits to generations of families. Children attended well-funded public schools, states and cities prospered, thrived and expanded exponentially. Teens who chose to attend college or university did so without incurring debt, and training for technically-skilled jobs and labor was supported by almost all secondary schools.

Then, as if seemingly unnoticed, small things began to change. It was if America’s hard-working men and women, and middle-class families had become the proverbial frogs in a pot of water, never noticing the water temperature was increasing, until they were boiled to death… while yet alive.

Life-saving medications like insulin for diabetics, antibiotics to treat and cure once-deadly infections, blood pressure medications which reduced strokes and many other hypertension-associated health problems, even the plastic bags which contained Normal Saline – typically given as adjunctive intravenous therapy in hospitals – began to be manufactured overseas, and along with it, came precipitous price hikes. So-called “pharma bros” took shockingly unjust and unimaginably avaricious pecuniary advantage of old-line medications – which had for years been off-patent – and jacked up their prices 5000%, or more, which placed them out of reach for many whose very lives depended upon them.

The giant, sloppy, wet kiss given to the Pharmaceutical Industry by Republicans under President George W. Bush in Medicare Part D didn’t help. Pharmaceutical companies were allowed to, and did, raise their prices, and Medicare – the single largest purchaser of medications in the world – was forbidden from negotiating for better, lower prices by that same law, which in turn, passed the price increases along to the insured, most of whom live on nominal, and fixed incomes.

Exorbitant pharmaceuticals hold patients hostage to disease,
as hapless physicians and feckless regulators are
paralyzed to become
Wall Street extortionists’ socioeconomic ransom.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southernbreeze/4611472833/

The Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” which solidified corporate personhood, and essentially said that “money is free speech” has neither helped. For if money was free speech, then the poor man would have none (thus violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and the First Amendment which guarantees Freedom of Speech), and our laws were, and are, written for all equally.

Neither has the subsequent 2014 Alabama case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission which “struck down Read the rest of this entry »

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So Far, It’s Liz’s To Lose

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 19, 2019

Biden Struggles To Reverse Fall

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/466515-biden-struggles-to-reverse-fall

“Biden has consistently cast himself as the candidate best positioned to defeat Trump in 2020, and electability has always been at the center of his message.”

—//—

It’s helpful to recall that Biden was the creator of the “electability” argument.

Think about it: Why would ANYONE make such an inane argument?

Such a matter or concern has never before been made.

Candidates and POTUSes have always been (and will continue to be) elected based upon their appeals to voters who think they’ll do the best job.

Vice President Joe Biden, Official Portrait 2013

To express concern for “electability” (defined as “who can beat candidate _X_?”) is to Read the rest of this entry »

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Donald Trump And The Republican Party Are Like A Bob Seger Song

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The unhinged surreality made-for-television game show world that is the Current White House Occupant’s mindset is now laid bare.

Amidst the debacle that is playing out on the world’s stage in the open air of the Washington, D.C. Beltway, Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States has unilaterally taken it upon himself to rule as an authoritarian demagogue, and – as much as possible (legally, or not) – to fire, discharge, or force the resignation of seemingly countless honorable career public servants; to compel the engagement of numerous Federal agencies to perform his private political dirty work, and to stymie Congress as much as possible by claiming either Executive Privilege, or unlimited Constitutional authority under Article 2, despite the fact that the Congress (the House and Senate) is significantly and Constitutionally charged with oversight of the governmental operations.

He has played friendly with America’s enemies, including Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and others, while making enemies of America’s long-standing allies such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and others.

He has abused the power of the Office of the President to unilaterally reveal National Security secrets to the world, and to America’s enemies.

He has treacherously abused, mocked and belittled America’s Intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Director of National Intelligence, and by so doing, harmed the morale of those revered agencies, but by so doing, has compromised American National Security in the world.

America is not respected in the world any longer. And, it is exclusively because of Donald J. Trump.

This bizarre presidency is like no other – literally, in every way – and despite his campaign sloganeering to Read the rest of this entry »

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Homemade Tomato Sandwich

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 19, 2019

I’ve never been much of a ‘mater sammich kind of guy.

But I had to do something with the 2 HUGE ones which I purchased a few days ago.

So, I made one.

…which I’m eating w/a fork and knife.

Seriously.

I’ve always hated having dirty hands, and eating w my hands.

In fact, I have long known how to eat fried chicken w/a fork.

But that’s beside the point.

What’s on it?

Between two sourdough heels, there’s fresh basil (sweet & chocolate), tomatoes, Vidalia onions, garlic powder, coarse kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, Duke’s mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, with sambal oelek, and a sweet pepper. Read the rest of this entry »

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Florida Couple Gets Naked In Cop’s Car

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

USA Today, ever the paragon of journalistic integrity (hardly), has reported on a young man and woman who were arrested around 11:30PM ET in Nassau County, FL for DUI.

The problem began while they were riding their bicycles.

According to Jordan Culver, writer of the article, an unnamed “Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw Megan Mondanaro, 35, and Aaron Seth Thomas, 31, riding bikes without lights on around 11:30 p.m. Friday in Fernandina Beach.”

According to the article published September 17, 2019, 6:49PM ET, “Both riders cut into the middle of the road and were nearly hit by a car, which led the deputy to conduct a traffic stop, according to the [Deputy’s] report.”

In the report, the Deputy wrote that when the pair was stopped, he “detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from both of them.”

The news story stated that the Deputy “also noted Mondanaro and Thomas both had bloodshot and watery eyes and were slurring their words.”

The story then states that the two were “arrested on DUI charges and placed in the back of the deputy’s patrol car.”

The arresting Deputy then searched Mr. Thomas’ backpack and found 7 full cans, and 1 empty can, of the alcoholic malt beverage “Four Loko.”

The arresting officer’s report then stated in part that, “While I was outside my patrol vehicle, Megan and Aaron took their clothes off and Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Southern Mass Shootings In One Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 1, 2019

What the hell!?! Damn!

I was ready to go to bed after wrapping up a blog entry on Joe Biden’s support of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) which was responsible for the “measure that allowed dealers to sell rifles, shotguns and ammunition through the mail, and, eventually, the internet. It limited federal inspections of firearms dealers while allowing them to sell guns at gun shows, which helped them grow in size and popularity. And it made it easier for private collectors to sell guns without obtaining a federal dealers’ license, which would play a role in what later became known as the “Gun Show Loophole.””

ref: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/biden-voted-nra-when-senate-nation-were-very-different-n997311

And what do I see?

Shooting At High School Football Game Injures Multiple Teens In Mobile, Alabama

First thought that came to my mind was the lead sentence in this entry.
The next thought was, “Ban all guns. The motherfuckers obviously can’t handle them, and don’t need them.”
Then, I thought, “Well… maybe we need to make it more difficult for just anyone and everyone to obtain firearms. Something that’d be ‘Constitutionally-approved.'”
Seriously, this shit has got to STOP!!!
Why couldn’t we pass a law mandating Read the rest of this entry »

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Dying Skills

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 25, 2019

America is a wealthy nation.

There’s no question about it.

Even with the scourges of poverty, and homelessness affecting it, the United States is, per capita, among the wealthiest nations in the world.

The United States Census Bureau reports that “The official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 percent in 2016. This is the third consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the pov­erty rate has fallen 2.5 percent­age points, from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent.”

The 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that “On a single night in 2018, roughly 553,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. About two-thirds (65%) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters or transitional housing programs—and about one-third (35%) were in unsheltered locations such as on the street, in abandoned buildings, or in other places not suitable for human habitation. Homelessness increased (though modestly) for the second year in a row. The number of homeless people on a single night increased by 0.3 percent between 2017 and 2018.”

According to various census measures internationally, there are very nearly 7.6 BILLION people in the world today. The United States ranks third globally in population with very nearly 330 Million. Only China and India respectively, are more populous, each with over 1.3 BILLION residents.

Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, and Mexico, in order, round out the Top 10 most populous nations.

Extrapolating from the population, that’s nearly 1 out of every 597 people who are homeless in the United States. Expressed as a percentage, that’s 0.16757575% – a little over 1/10th of 1%… well UNDER 1%.

The International Monetary Fund in 2018 ranked the United States as the 10th wealthiest nation globally. The World Bank in 2017 ranked the United States as 11th wealthiest, and the Central Intelligence Agency from 1993-2017 ranked the United States as the 13th wealthiest nation as measured by Gross Domestic Product per capita.

When measured by adult median wealth, the United States ranks 21st, according to a 2018 Credit Suisse report.

That’s among a ranking of 170-190 nations for all four measures.

And when a ranking of total wealth is considered, the United States ranks first globally – again, according to the Global Wealth Report 2018 by Credit Suisse.

Using the Gini Index – a measure of the overall equality of life – the United States ranks Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans’ Wet Dream

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

Abolish all “social safety net” programs along with all Progressive, New Deal, and Great Society eras’ legislation, agencies, and bureaus, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Clean Air Act of 1970, Clean Water Act of 1972, including reversing Roe v Wade, and repealing the 17th Amendment.

Return America to the “good ol’ days” of a dog-eat-dog, wild-wild-West, unmitigated, unregulated free-for-all.

Face it, many – if not most – GOPers think FDR a pariah, a veritable scion of the dread “socialism,” and LBJ as traitor to the “Lost Cause.”

The GOP is winning – hands down – the rhetoric game. And they’ve allowed it to be ratcheted up to 11 with the 45th president. And if things continue as they have been, he’ll cruise to re-election just as handily as he did before.

Most everyone in the world who has been paying even the least bit of attention, knows full well what he’s capable of saying… er, scratch that. He’s a loose cannon, and as unpredictable as a bull in a china shop, who’ll literally say anything, for any reason, at any time. Just be assured it’ll be an utter wreck by the time he leaves. And he’ll deny he ever did anything.

And the people are completely stupefied and stymied – frozen, like deer in the headlights – by the proliferation of it all. The multiplication of mass media, their advertising-funded talking heads – network, or not – are concerned exclusively with eyes on the set, and website click-bait revenue, and nothing more. It drives ratings, and increases the price they can ask for advertising.

For them, it’s all about the green.

Money.

And that’s the game the GOP plays… in part.

Fear is the other.

Simply let some GOP sycophant say something like “those illegal-alien loving, socialist Democrats are gonna’ take away your jujubees, make harvesting honeycomb illegal -and- raise your taxes!,” and POOF! Just like that, the lemmings are running off… to the voting booth, with a voter guide published by some coalition of religious fanatics who have jumped on the exploitation of victimization bandwagon and falsely claim that the “Big Bad Wolf” of Washington is going to take away their religious freedom, and force their children to be sacrificed to Molech.

But instead, they’ve only laid out their genuine imitation faux sheepskins to be fleeced by the wrong god – the one whose hair they comb every morning. Their shepherds are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing, living in multi-million dollar mansions, flying in their privately owned jets, and living the high life, all financed by the impoverished, and laid upon the broken backs of those whom they claim to heal – all while paying no taxes.

If the Democrats would simply STOP responding to every vacuous, puerile comment made by the pablum-puking infantile Idiot in Chief, and were to take command of any debate on matters of public policy, and explain to the people how they will either be harmed, or positively helped in very concrete ways, they would quickly gain the confidence of many disaffected registered voters who now sit on the sidelines stewing in silent disenfranchisement.

But the sway of stupidity, and the siren song of public opinion, drives the ever-shifting winds of change. And the sands of time fall through the hourglass just as timelessly as it has marched on for the last 50 years and more.

I can understand the immense sense of frustration which was the motivating animus that propelled Trump into the Oval office.

However, I cannot understand how so many completely Read the rest of this entry »

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Government Spending

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah. Think about that one for a while.

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

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

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

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Racism Rampant In The South

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 21, 2019

Rampant racism continues in our United States, especially and particularly in the South.

Or, so it seems.

One would’ve hoped for “a more perfect union,” especially by now.

But, that’s progress, and “progress” is a dirty word to many – especially to Southerners – whose loathsome contempt of, and resistance to change is as ignobly infamous as their Lost Cause (of the Confederacy) following defeat in our nation’s Civil War.

Curtis Flowers was tried for the SAME crime SIX times in Mississippi. If that doesn’t violate the intent of the “Double Jeopardy” clause of the Constitution, I don’t know what does. (Image from Mississippi Department of Corrections.)

Synopsis: A Mississippi Death Row inmate was prosecuted SIX times for the SAME crime by a prosecutor with a history of racial bias in jury selection.

The case was SO egregious, that the sole, long-silent Southerner, and only Black SCOTUS Justice, Clarence Thomas, who has for many years maintained literal silence on the bench, asked a question – the last question he asked was THREE YEARS AGO.

NPR wrote that arguments before the SCOTUS Justices in this case were “more passionate and fact-filled than usual.” (SCOTUS case transcript linked above, and here: SCOTUS case Curtis Giovanni Flowers v Mississippi 17-9572)

The case the Justices heard Wednesday, 20 March 2019, involved the conduct of Montgomery County District Attorney Doug Evans, in the tiny town of Winona, Mississippi, and his relentless pursuit of a conviction of Curtis Flowers.

With a population well under 5000, Winona is practically a village, and of the modestly-sized tiny town, NPR wrote that it’s a place “where everybody knows everybody.”

Curtis Giovanni Flowers is a black man who had NO prior arrests or convictions before he was arrested and accused of a quadruple murder in the town.

After Flowers’ arrest, he was Read the rest of this entry »

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Close To Home: An Alabama Native was First to Hike the Entire US/Mexico Border

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 9, 2019

“Border Walk,” by Mark J. Hainds, an Andalusia, Alabama native, documents his journey as the first individual to have trekked along the 1954 miles of the US/Mexico border.

While the Washington Post is getting clicks on their news feature story headlined “Is the border actually lawless? This father and son are hiking all 1,954 miles to find out.,” it was actually Mark J. Hainds, an Andalusia, Alabama resident, who was the first person to have ever hiked the length of the US/Mexico border.

In November 2014, the Research Associate and Research Coordinator with Auburn University and the Longleaf Alliance, resigned his 20-year-plus positions, and took temporary leave of his family, to hike the 1,954 miles of the US/Mexico border.

PBS documented his journey in a full-length feature film named “La Frontera,” which can be viewed for free at the link below:

https://southdocs.org/project/lafrontera/

His book “Border Walk” which describes his journey, was published in March 2018, and in April he authored an article which was published on Daily Kos website (“I Walked the Entire US-Mexico Border”) about his journey which also referenced his book.

He leads that story by writing, “On November 24th, 2017, I became the first person in history to have walked the length of the US-Mexico border.”

His feat was reported by:

• The Houston Chronicle in October 2016 (“A walk along the border: Man traverses Texas-Mexico line for documentary“)

Vice in October 2016 (“We Talked to the Man Walking the Length of the US-Mexico Border“)

• The Associated Press April 2017 (“Day 14: Fellow border travelers meet, in the middle of nowhere“)

• The San Diego Tribune July 2017 (“For 700 miles, hiker kept the border in view, and on his mind“)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Flooding Rains Damage Alabama and Tennessee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 24, 2019

America could build infrastructure to PREVENT tragedies like this from happening. And by “tragedy,” I mean to refer to the damage done in the wake of such climatological events – REGARDLESS of their causes, whether human-influenced, or not.

We once did build infrastructure, or rather, attempted to, after the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, when nearly 30,000 square miles of land along the lower portion of the Mississippi River was flooded to depths up to 30 feet, and stayed flooded to that extent for well over two months before receding. That natural disaster displaced well over 1.5 million people, and killed thousands directly and indirectly.

After that, Republican POTUS Calvin Coolidge refused to call a Special Session of the then-adjourned Congress, and rather than initiating governmental action, wanted to raise money to facilitate recovery efforts through bake sales, church raffles and private philanthropy, which he also thought should be dealt with at a local level, rather than Federal. It’s NO exaggeration to write that.

Obviously, that approach didn’t work. So Coolidge, who couldn’t be bothered to go and visit the people in the areas devastated, came under significant pressure for his lackadaisical do-nothing attitude, and assigned the task of “doing something” to then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who – though Stanford-educated as an infamously mediocre student who failed all the entrance exams but mathematics – had led food distribution efforts in post-WWI Europe.

Newspapers were not kind to Coolidge, and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger (in Mississippi) wrote, “It has been necessary to school President Coolidge day by day a bit more towards the realization of the immensity of the catastrophe.”

The Paducah News-Democrat (in Kentucky) wrote that Coolidge had either “the coldest heart in America or the dullest imagination, and we are about ready to believe he has both.”

The New York Times however, saw things differently only because they were unaffected, and wrote, “Fortunately, there are still some things that can be done without the wisdom of Congress and the all-fathering federal government.”

But the Chicago Tribune thought little of the hare-brained scheme, and instead headlined a story with “Coolidge Backs Gigantic Flood Control Scheme,” while their Editorial Board wrote, “Only the resources and jurisdiction of the federal government can cope with the task of flood control.”

Coolidge’s contempt for government was well-known, and he disparagingly said, “If the federal government were to go out of existence, the common run of people would not detect the difference.”

Instead of governmental action, the Coolidge White House started Read the rest of this entry »

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Economic Infrastructure Strained By Severe Weather And Climate Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EJ Bradford’s Killer, A Hoover PD Cop, Cleared By Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 7, 2019

Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford Jr. was shot and killed by a Hoover Police Officer on Thanksgiving night 2018 inside the Riverchase Galleria mall.

The word “vomitorium” describes an exit in a coliseum, and stems from its Latin root word “vomus” which means “to spew forth.”

Spew is what this report does.

And exit is what AL AG Steve Marshall does in regard to this case and matter.

From page 23 of the 24 total pages:
“First, a reasonable person could have assumed that the only person with a gun who was running toward the victim of a shooting that occurred just three seconds earlier fired the shots.”

Right… assailants with guns run TO the scene, just like cops. (sarcasm)

WRONG!

The AG’s report contains an error of the First Order by presuming that ordinary citizens would behave like Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) and run TO the sound of gunfire.

Most folks run AWAY from gunfire.

“A reasonable person” would do similarly.

Which, I suppose, would mean that LEO’s are therefore NOT “reasonable.”

Again, that is contradictory to the AG’s report which presumes that reasonable people run TO the sound of gunfire.

That also makes everyone on the scene who fled, unreasonable.

And on page 8, the report states “The officers engage Bradford, who stands holding a gun and then, unlike others at the scene, runs toward the gunshots.” (emphasis added)

The AG’s claim not only contradicts his later assertion, it does NOT even make logical sense, because Read the rest of this entry »

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 4, 2019

The yearbook photo ruckus with the Virginia Governor is, in my estimation, totally blown out of proportion, and this Op-Ed succinctly expresses what’s being overlooked, which is the PRESENT -and- the TRACK RECORD.

Wallace and Dr. James Hood admire Hood’s University of Alabama, Ph.D in Higher Education Administration diploma at Wallace’s Montgomery, Ala., home May 19, 1997. Wallace denied Hood admission to the University of Alabama in 1963.

Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace, right, is shown at the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery with a meeting between presidential hopeful Rev. Jesse Jackson in this July 21, 1987 photo. In the 1980s he renounced his segregationist views, and he won his last term as governor (1983-87) with support from black voters.


There’s a significantly vast difference between the photo under question, and the matter of Iowa Representative Steve King, whose words and actions are not merely oblique, but blatantly white supremacist / racist.

I think also about late former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, who remains the only four-term Governor that State has ever had.

An August 26, 1994 photo of Wallace in an emotional moment as he shares a hug with friend Connie Harper at a celebration of his 75th birthday.

Several years following the 1972 assassination attempt upon him in Maryland, he campaigned for, and won re-election to an unprecedented fourth and final term in 1982 while wheelchair bound… and with the broad support of the African American voting community in the state, without whose support Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Marijuana: Is there money in it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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Almost-Darwin Award Winner in Mississippi

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 10, 2019

More gun stupidity from Southerners.

This time, it was an almost-Darwin Award Winner from Louisiana who was hunting in Mississippi with friends.

Last week, Alabama had a Darwin Award Winner, meaning that someone did something stupid which resulted in their death.

And yes, it involved a rifle, and the now-late wife of a cop.

And yes, they too were “hunting.”

And, just like this idiot, it also involved an automobile.

LESSON: Firearms and Stupidity DON‘T mix.

Former LSU OL Matt Branch Lost Leg in Hunting Accident; Friend Says Dog Shot Him

Tim Daniels, January 9, 2019

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2814785-former-lsu-ol-matt-branch-lost-leg-in-hunting-accident-friend-says-dog-shot-him

Former LSU Tigers offensive lineman Matt Branch lost his Read the rest of this entry »

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The Liar Speaks Tonight

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Liar in Chief won’t tell his subjects these inconvenient official truths.

—//—

“While cross-border migrants often make headlines, the largest number of illegal migrants settling in the US each year is those who stay in the country after their visas expire.

“According to the most recent reports by the Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Migration Studies, a non-partisan think-tank, the number who overstayed their visas has outnumbered those who crossed the border illegally every year since 2007.

“Canadians make up the largest group of these illegal migrants, followed by Mexicans.”

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44319094

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Marijuana in Alabama: Show me the money!

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

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

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

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

1.) How many people would purchase it?

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

3.) How frequently would they purchase?

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

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

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

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History Repeats Itself: How Alabama’s Anti-Crossover Voting Law Violates the Constitution

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 10, 2018

Alabama Political Reporter news writer Brandon Mosely wrote in a story headlined “Alabama secretary of state releases updates on crossover voting,” and published December 7, 2018, that “the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday that it has discovered 398 violations of Alabama’s new crossover voting rules in the 2018 election cycle.

“At the conclusion of the 2017 United States Senate Special Election Run-off, the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office reviewed a formal, routine election report indicating that 140 individuals had been given credit for voting in the Democrat primary election on August 15th and then voting in the Republican run-off election on September 26. This action, termed crossover voting, is an action which would violate the State’s new crossover voting law (Act No. 2017-340).

“… under Alabama law it is illegal to vote in both a party primary and then vote in another party’s primary runoff. In the general election, voters are allowed to vote for candidates from both parties and/or independent or minor party candidates. 66 percent of Alabamians straight party voted in the 2018 election. Alabama does not have party registration, so any voter is allowed to participate in the party primary of their choice.”

He cited Act No. 2017-340, which as summarized on the state legislature’s website as, “Act 2017-340, SB108, amends Section 17-4-2.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to voting, to allow the Secretary of State to use electronic poll books instead of printed lists of qualified voters.  The act also prohibits any voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the preceding primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held.”

A PDF image of the actual document, which was signed by the Governor Kay Ivey, May 22, 2017, 1:30PM, may be found here>http://arc-sos.state.al.us/PAC/SOSACPDF.001/A0012111.PDF.

The act, which originated as SB108 (Senate Bill) and was sponsored by Senators Tom Whatley, Cam Ward, Clyde Chambliss, Tripp Pittman, Bill Holtzclaw and Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh – all Republicans – states in part that the law will “prohibit a voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the preceding primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held.”

The purpose of the bill (now law as Code of Alabama 1975,17-4-2.1(9)) was ostensibly to Read the rest of this entry »

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Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford, Jr. –– May he Rest In Peace.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 25, 2018

SHOTS FIRED!

Black Man With A Gun!

Birmingham, AL metro area showing Hoover, south of Birmingham, and the Riverchase Galleria mall, south of Hoover.

“They took out the threat. Our plan works.”
– Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis describing how uniformed HPD LEOs killed Emantic Fitzgerald “EJ” Bradford, Jr.

It was a Black Friday in more ways than one.

Gunfire erupted late Thanksgiving night around 10PM Central Standard Time in Hoover, Alabama, a small suburb south of Birmingham and part of the Greater Birmingham Metro Area.

It was Black Friday eve at Riverchase Galleria – the state’s largest shopping mall – where holiday shoppers where amassed for huge sales and deep discounts at local and national retailers, many of whom have had a presence there for the over 30 years its been a Jefferson County jolly green sales tax giant.

“The Threat,” Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr., has been neutralized. “Our Plan works,”
said Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis.

A 21-year-old Black man identified as Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., of Hueytown, AL, was observed fleeing the shooting scene while brandishing a handgun, was engaged, shot and killed by a uniformed Hoover police officer, according to Hoover Police Captain Gregg Rector.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis, said, “Thank God we had our officers very close. They heard the gunfire, they engaged the subject, and they took out the threat. That threat could have materialized into a lot more people being injured. Thank goodness that did not happen. We have a plan and our plan works.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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Feeling Stuffed on Thanksgiving

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 22, 2018

iPhone 6 screenshot showing maximum memory capacity (128GB) reached, and proportions of memory used by category

Not to worry… my iPhone’s got you beat.

It’s more stuffed than you are.

Or, more stuffed than your Thanksgiving turkey.

Or your turducken.

Seriously.

“Turducken,” is a word-blend of turkey, duck, and chicken, which is a de-boned dish of the three fowl combined, which is then cooked.

And it’s just barely Thanksgiving morning!

But that’s GigaBytes, and you’re human bites – it’s not an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

And, that’s okay, because we often compare disparate items. You know, like oranges to truck stops, or oxygen concentration ratios to seat cushions.

Anyway… the human stomach’s average capacity is about 1.5 – 2 Liters.

Maximum capacity is 3 – 4 Liters.

Put in perspective, the upper end of the maximum capacity of the human stomach is the equivalent volume of TWO 2 Liter soda bottles.

The low end of the average capacity of the human stomach is about 75% of one 2 Liter soda bottle – 1.5 Liters.

In fact, the human stomach – which essentially is a muscle sac, and when empty, is about the size of your fist – can expand to hold up to 4 Liters of food. That’s more than 50 times its empty size.

Of course, some folks’ stomachs are bigger.

Seriously.

Bigger body = bigger stomach.

And you’ve certainly heard the age-old adage “big feet, big… need big shoes.”

But, even though you, and others may be quite hungry – famished, even – this Thanksgiving, you probably won’t quite be eating like wolves… even though you may wolf your food down.

You see, after a successful hunt, a wolf pack Read the rest of this entry »

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Kyrsten Sinema Makes Arizona & American History

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Arizona Representative Kyrsten Sinema D-CD9, has won the Senate race against opponent AZ Representative Martha McSally, R-CD2.

Arizona Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat who represented Congressional District 9, has won election over Representative Martha McSally, a Republican who represented the state’s Congressional District 2.

Her election is historical for at least two different reasons, the first being that she is the state’s first female US Senator, and second, she will be the first openly bisexual Member of Congress. She is also the first Democrat Arizonans have sent to the Senate since 1995 after Democrat Dennis DeConcini’s loss to Republican John Kyl.

Following the death of Republican Senator John McCain, who since 1987 was the state’s longest-serving senator, Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey temporarily appointed Kyl in September 2018 to fill the remainder of the term of that vacated seat. In a press conference following Governor Ducey’s announcement, Mr. Kyl said he would not seek re-election for the remainder of the term in the 2020 Special Election to fill the seat.

Reps. Sinema and McSally were campaigning for the seat vacated by Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Problems Exist Because There’s No National Uniform Voting Standards Law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cindy McCain, widow of late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain (1936-2018)

Cindy McCain, widow of late Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, on Thursday, November 8, 2018 criticized the Arizona GOP about a state GOP-initiated lawsuit over counting mail-in ballots by Tweeting, “ I am one of those mail in ballots. I was under the impression my vote was always counted.

Her Tweet was in response to the Arizona GOP’s efforts to get a judge to issue orders to stop counting mail-in ballots in the race for US Senate to fill the seat being vacated by Jeff Flake, a Republican. The two candidates, Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema find themselves in extremely close competition.

 

 

Both candidates are also Arizona Congressional Representatives. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has represented the 9th Congressional District, while Republican Martha McSally has represented the 2nd Congressional District.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/415894-cindy-mccain-rips-arizona-gop-for-suing-over-counting-mail-in-ballots-i-am

In court Thursday morning November 8, 2018, state Republican leaders were challenging mail-in ballots in Yuma, Navajo, Apache and Maricopa counties after the GOP parties in those counties filed a lawsuit challenging the way counties verify signatures on mail-in ballots that are dropped off at the polls on Election Day. The lawsuit did NOT allege any type of fraud.

The US Census Bureau estimated the 2017 population of Apache County as 71,606; Navajo County as 108,956; Yuma County as 207,534; and Maricopa County as 4,307,033. Maricopa County is location of the PhoenixMesaGlendale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area. Together, those four counties comprise 66.9% of Arizona’s 7,016,270 estimated 2017 population.

Maricopa County Judge Margaret R. Mahoney

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney ruled that the counties should continue doing what they’re doing, and set another hearing for 2 p.m. Friday. And as of Friday morning, Sinema had a 9,000 vote lead over McSally. However, by Friday afternoon, her lead had expanded to over 20,000 votes.

When the two parties met in court, there was little fanfare, no grandstanding, and no contentious sparks flew, so it made for very poor political theatre, though others nationally attempted to inject false explosive allegations and deceptive narratives into the matter by deliberately gross mischaracterization.

The primary point of the suit involved a much more mundane matter, and specifically, the legal challenge was focused upon on a lack of procedural consistency in the time frame that counties allowed voters to correct signature “issues” on mail-in ballots.

And in only a matter of minutes after the AZ GOP held a grandstanding news/press conference in which they made accusation saying, “The Democrats are stealing the election and we’re not going to allow it,” and immediately before the court hearing, all of the counties and the Republican groups had come to an agreement, which Judge Mahoney approved with no fanfare.

The settlement, was that all of Arizona’s 15 counties would allow voters to verify the signatures on their ballots through 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Martha McSally, R-AZ

Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ

And the overriding irony of the matter, is that the counties whose election practices they ended up changing, were largely run by Republicans.

As of Saturday, 10 November, the Democrat Kyrsten Sinema still had about a 20,000 vote lead over Republican Martha McSally, according to The Arizona Republic, online as AZCentral, which is the state’s most-widely circulated newspaper.

There were also an estimated 360,000 outstanding ballots still being counted statewide. Of those, an estimated 266,000 are from Maricopa County.

For now, Sinema is leading in Maricopa and Pima counties by a net 83,652 votes. McSally’s lead in the state’s other 13 counties is 65,113.

Arizona’s protracted vote-count is due in large part to the need to verify signatures for those who vote by mail, which represents the bulk of ballots.

So far, the Democrat Sinema is winning the Republican-leaning Maricopa County by 3.3 percentage points.

One reason the race and ballot count is so hotly contested, is because the Republicans are in jeopardy of losing a Senate seat in the state for the first time in 30 years. As well, what also makes this race particularly interesting, is that Maricopa County has traditionally been a GOP stronghold, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 130,000.

But, in essence, here’s a nut of what’s been happening not only there, but in other states, as well.

In some states, there are so-called “exact match” laws, rules, or regulations concerning the signatures of voters who cast absentee, or mail-in ballots, and in essence, those “exact match” laws, rules, or regulations give broad discretion to anyone counting those ballots to exercise their personal opinion – untrained, non-expert, unscientific independent judgment – about someone’s signature, specifically, whether they believe it was signed by the person who attested to signing it, or not. In other words, no expertise is required.

That is problematic for several reasons, not the least of which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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How To: Increase Voter Access, Voter Participation, Vote Security, Voting Ease

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Today is Election Day!

The 2018 Mid-Term Elections are NOW underway!

Which brings us to another point:
With the proliferation of confusing and contradictory laws varying from state-to-state, often-unnecessary voter purges, voter suppression efforts, disenfranchisement attempts, and often outright intimidation, it makes perfectly good sense for Congress to step up to the plate, and take control of the 50-state hodgepodge patchwork mishmash voting-related varieties to establish National Uniform Voting Standards.

They certainly have the authority, as evidenced by the various laws concerning voting, including the 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (aka Motor Voter), and others.

Now, they should act!

There are MANY excellent examples we could follow, including Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

Ever been to a busy restaurant?

Who hasn’t?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Size Matters: Neither The Congress Nor The Supreme Court Are Big Enough

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 22, 2018

Should we, as reasonable people, expect the size of our Congress – specifically, the House of Representatives – to be permanently fixed at 435 members, and never increase representation according to an increase in population? And with regard to the the Supreme Court, should only 5 people decide the fate of a nation, why not a few more, like 13 or 17?

What if I told you Congress needed about 1000 MORE Members of the House of Representatives? And, what if I told you the United States Supreme Court needs to have AT LEAST 13 Justices, and that THEY should choose from AMONG THEMSELVES the Chief Justice?

You don’t wear the same size clothing you did when you were aged 10, 15, or even 25. The People’s representation in our nation’s governance needs also needs to be properly fitted.

Having MORE Representatives would NOT cause “more logjam politics,” nor would it cause corruption, but instead, would significantly increase efficiency -and- the ease with which laws would get passed, and bad or old laws get eliminated or changed. Criminality is most often done in secret by a few. Rarely is criminal activity, even in organized crime, ever on a large scale like an army invasion. It’s always a little thing, like guerilla warfare. There were only 7 co-conspirators with President Richard M. Nixon in the criminal Watergate break-in, burglary, wiretapping, attempted cover-up, and resulting scandal. The pace at which our government moves is not merely unresponsively sluggish, it is deliberately and negligently slothful. It is being reasonably asked to do things we tell it to do, and in the process, being denied the resources – money, personnel, and time – necessary to perform those tasks. Government can, and should move much more quickly. And historically, it has.

Think of it this way:
You have three dogs, and one chicken bone. Throw it down and watch them fight.
You get two more chicken bones, and each dog has one. Problem solved.

Some would raise the matter of Constitutional interpretation in opposition to the idea, and think we should hold to a strict Constitutional interpretation – whatever “strict” is, or means – and it typically means that the modern thinkers imagine they can, and therefore attempt to conjure up a mind-reading session to interpret what the framers of the Constitution intended or hoped… even though they’ve been long dead. Sure, they gave us the Constitution, along with a means and method of updating it, which itself means that it’s not static, and can be changed. And it has been changed many times since its inception. It is a living document, not a dead one into which we attempt to blow the breath of life. It lives still.

Some think we can interpret the Constitution according to our unique needs, which the original framers could not have begun to fathom. And the fact is, that’s what we’ve always done. At least until the last 50 years, or so, until the time which gradually, the specious notion that smaller is better crept in under cover of negligence, and “downsizing” became part of the popular corporate and political vernacular. In effect, such talk is discussion is only about inefficiency, and how they have not effectively used the resources they have, nor planned appropriately.

There is no doubt that the framers of our Constitution could never have imagined that man would walk on the moon, that geosynchronous orbiting and interplanetary traveling satellites would tell us about our precise location on Earth, and our solar system, and that more than twice the computing power of history’s largest space rocket (Apollo V) could fit in your shirt pocket, or that our union would have well over 330,000,000 residents.

Button Gwinnett (1735–1777 was the first signer of the Constitution, and was later, briefly the Governor of Georgia.

And it goes without saying that Button Gwinnett, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, James Madison, George Washington, and others in their era, had no idea about antibiotics; they had no inkling that magnetic fields could peer deeply inside the human body to detect disorder; that dental implants and multi-organ transplants would exist; or that we would send a telescope to orbit our planet and peer deeply into the cosmos to see star systems hundreds of billions of light-years away -and- then replace it with an even better, significantly improved, more perfect one to see into the edges of the time -and- send a satellite hurtling toward the sun to learn more about the blazing fiery hydrogen fusion orb which is the center of our universe.

Artist’s 2009 rendering of the James Webb Space Telescope, which will replace the Hubble Space Telescope.

None of those things and more which we daily take for granted – such as GPS on smartphones – could have ever been imagined by our Founding Fathers… or their mothers, or children, and never were.

We are as different, and our needs are as immensely diverse from our nation’s founders as night is from day, and there is no reason why we should not “update” our government according to the manner for which it is prescribed.

In 2019, we have more patents, more copyrights, more inventions, more discoveries, more science, more creative works of myriad kind, and – of course – many, many, many, more people. Many!

If it was anything, it was but a pipe dream that one day, unmanned remote control aircraft could be silently flown around the world, eavesdrop on conversations, take pictures in the dark to deploy guided missiles, drop bombs, and kill people… and that we, on the opposite side of the globe, could watch it unfold live, as it happened, as if it were macabre modern gladiatorial entertainment.

Portrait of Robert Boyle (1627-1691), by German painter John Kerseboom (d.1708), which is publicly displayed at Gawthorpe Hall, in England.

In the age and era of the founding of our nation, the concept of microscopy and the cell theory was relatively new. Robert Hooke, considered the “father of microscopy” had just discovered cells in 1665, and Robert Boyle (Boyle’s Law) were contemporaries in 1662, while Sir Isaac Newton died in 1727 – a mere 60 years before our Constitution was written.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t publish his most famous experiment which used lightning and a kite to prove that lightning was electricity until 1750; Orville and Wilbur Wright didn’t get off the ground at Kitty Hawk until 1903; Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic – penicillin – in 1928; and the planet Pluto wasn’t discovered until 1930!

We’re talking about 242 years ago, “when giants and dinosaurs roamed the Earth.”

In a way, our nation’s founders were giants, and yet, in another way, they were dinosaurs who could fathom no idea – not even a minuscule hint – and because of it, were literally clueless about the greatness that America would become.

To give them their due, however, their curiosity and liberality served them well then, and it serves us well now. Our form of government is, in the history of humanity, among the shortest-lived, but the most remarkable, and successful.

Congressional Coffee Hour (Senate). 2 May 1961, Blue Room, White House, Washington, D.C.; L-R: Senator Quentin Northrup Burdick-D, North Dakota (1908-1992); Senator Wayne Lyman Morse-D, Oregon (1900-1974); President John Fitzgerald Kennedy-D (1917-1963); Senator Thomas Henry Kuchel-R, California (1910-1994); Senator Hubert Horatio Humphrey-D, Minnesota (1911-1978); Senator Roman Lee Hruska-R, Nebraska (1904-1999); From the JFK Library; Photographer: Robert LeRoy Knudsen, (1929-1989)

In a sense, though while Greeks and Romans were inspirations, Americans perfected the three-branch bicameral democratic republic form of government. And we’re still perfecting it today. It’s part and parcel of that “in order to form a more perfect union” thing.

So, now it comes time to mention the obvious: While some loudly say government is too large, others say it is way too small to be either efficient or effective. I am among those in the latter camp, and will show and explain why as follows.

First, it’s preposterously absurd to imagine that a foundling nation with a total population which was then less than half the size that New York City is now, would, could, or should have a smaller government as it grew and matured. In the same way, no one wears the clothes they did as a 10-year-old child, and as adults, they purchase and/or make larger garments to suit their needs and wants. Similarly, no one should expect government to decrease in size.

More than anything, these matters speak directly to efficiency and effectiveness of government, which our nation’s founders also understood very well, which is also why Read the rest of this entry »

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How Has the GOP Improved Alabama Quality of Life?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 31, 2018

In almost every measure of the quality of life, Alabama comes up short. Seriously short. Or, to couch it in somewhat Biblical terms (which most Alabamians of any political or religious stripe would understand… and, which most any reasonably well-read person would as well), “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” ref: Daniel 5:27 (NIV)

This is not a Republican thing, per se, nor is it a Democratic thing. It is an ongoing statement of the poor quality of of almost EVERYTHING in Alabama. The root of most every problem plaguing Alabamians lies with the state’s 1901 Constitution which, among other things, FORBIDS local self-governance known as Home Rule – the basic principle upon which our democratic republic was founded – which is that EVERY person has a voice, a vote, and a say-so in how things are run from the grass-roots level, and that all are equal under the law, which is no discriminator of persons.

That is in large part why on almost every statewide ballot there are questions pertaining to counties or cities, and why the entire state must vote on what people in the opposite sides of the state do, and why they have a say-so in other towns and cities governance. Think of it as allowing your nosy neighbors a say in how you do things in your house.

Yeah, I know… weird, isn’t it? Maybe “stupid” would be another, better, or more accurate choice of words.

In Montgomery, when the part-time Legislature with full-time pay convenes (total compensation for legislators approximates $50,000/year), they are constitutionally required and mandated to legislate local matters, because the constitution literally FORBIDS local people from making local decisions.

The legislature is further hamstrung, and the people are thereby harmed, by the inordinately short period of time to which they are similarly constitutionally constrained to meet – 30 meeting days in a  105 calendar day period. Who could get ANYTHING done for 4.8 million people in such a short period of time? Seriously… WHO?

Consider public corruption as an example of how problematic the 1901 Alabama State Constitution truly is. Most recently, the GOP-dominated Legislature, Governor’s office, individual legislators (predominately GOP), and other ancillary agencies (Alabama State Troopers/Department of Public Safety, later known as ALEA, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, etc.) were involved in corruption scandals, the likes of which the state hasn’t seen in, like… FOREVER! Seriously. The extent and degree of severity of corruption which has recently plagued Alabama is unparalleled.

Once the GOP-dominated Legislature was in power, they promptly set about improving the practically toothless Ethics Laws which many of them promised to change, if elected. Ordinarily, that’d be a good thing. Mike Hubbard became Speaker of the House, and the state’s top executive branch offices – Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries – were all filled by Republicans.

Now, here’s where the problems begin.

All THREE branches of government – the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial – were touched by serious corruption. As a natural consequence, the people’s business was impeded and damaged, which also wasted the taxpayers time, money and resources to investigate and prosecute.

But perhaps the MOST costly price paid was continued damage to the state’s already tarnished image in the public eye, nationally and internationally… as if it could get any worse.

Governor Robert Bentley was the subject of Federal and State investigations over whether he misused public funds, and violated campaign finance law to further his extra-marital involvement with a female aide. Corollary to that, he was also facing impeachment… the first ever Alabama governor to face such serious public scrutiny and reprisal.

The Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and other legislators were facing investigations and indictments by the Attorney General for possible violations of ethics laws, and other related laws. Named as witnesses were many well-known, high-powered big business lobbyists, and their clients.

The State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was facing a SECOND investigation in his second elected term over his refusal to obey and uphold Federal Law, and a Federal Judge’s court order to obey the law, which meant he could face public trial by the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission (his peers), and a SECOND possible expulsion from the bench.

The Governor accepted a plea deal to two lesser misdemeanors, resigned from office, repaid monies, performed community service, and promised to never again hold public office.

The Chief Justice was found guilty and removed from the bench – a SECOND time.

The Speaker of the House and other legislators were all found GUILTY of violating the very Ethics Laws they passed – which were all felony violations.

As well, over a dozen current legislators and others (high-powered attorneys, former legislators, lobbyists, business owners, etc.) are STILL being found GUILTY of, or pleading GUILTY to violating Federal and/or state law, including bribery, mail fraud, Medicare fraud, misuse of public office, and various other forms of abuse of public trust.

And then, there’s the sheriff from Etowah County, Todd Entrekin, who was found to have LEGALLY redirected funds which were to have been used for feeding inmates (three-quarters of a million dollars), to his own personal use, to, with his wife Karen, purchase a luxurious beachfront house on the Gulf Coast.

All but one of those identified are Republicans.

But again, this is not an “Us versus Them” or “Republican versus Democrat” problem. It’s a corruption problem, the predominate root of which lies with the 1901 Alabama State Constitution. Consequently, the entire state suffers.

Harvard University’s Center for Ethics researched Legal and Illegal corruption in all 50 states three branches of government, and found Alabama wanting by most measures.

Of course, it neither helps that Alabama has a continuous and ongoing history of voting for one party, or the other – so that there’s rarely if ever a mix of parties in power. It’s quite literally, a bipolar type of operation, which goes from one extreme, to the other.

Alabama has had SIX constitutions, and the one under which it now labors is not even the best of the five which preceded it.

The state’s present constitution – the 1901 Constitution – has well over 900 amendments. That one thing alone makes it the most bloated and inefficient of any such type of governing document in the entire world – hands down, bar none.

The Dictionary of Alabama says this about Alabama’s 1901 Constitutional Convention:
“Called primarily to establish White supremacy by disfranchising Blacks, the Constitutional Convention of 1901 continues to shape Alabama politics in the twenty-first century. The convention also concentrated power in the state legislature, decreased opportunities for Home Rule, and established voter requirements that even many White men could not meet, reducing the political influence of the state’s many poor Whites. The 155 delegates to the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1901 codified Black disfranchisement and increased the political power of the state legislature at the expense of local government.”

So when combined with the fact that it STILL contains racist language, and provisions which have been Read the rest of this entry »

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Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passes musical scepter and crown to Candi Staton

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin (1942–2018)

On this day in which we mourn the passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, it seems fitting to acknowledge a similarly renown 78-year-old soul singer from the tiny north Alabama town of Hanceville whose new album will be released soon.

Aretha Franklin at FAME Recording Studios, in Muscle Shoals, AL. Her first Number One hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” was written for her by her friend Ronnie Shannon, produced by Jerry Wexler, and released in 1967 – was recorded at FAME Studios with the guidance and direction of Rick Hall. It almost didn’t get cut (and was the only song recorded at that session) because of tensions between her then-husband Ted White and a member of the Muscle Shoals Horn Section, and Jerry Wexler and FAME owner Rick Hall.

The two artists share numerous similarities, and could – for all practical purposes – be considered musical sisters by virtue of their musical upbringings. The producers, musicians, engineers and others – including their families – in whose orbit they traveled, are similar, if not identical, as are their life stories.

The other to whom I refer is Candi Staton.

Linked below, NPR previews the album (linked on the page) which will be released August 24, and supplies a brief story about her 30th album which is entitled “Unstoppable.”

“Unstoppable” is Candi Staton’s 30th album.

That woman, of course, is the unstoppable Candi Staton, whose previous album “Life Happens” released in 2014, was also the very last one her early mentor Rick Hall of FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals – who guided her career change from gospel to soul, including that of Aretha Franklin with her first Number 1 R&B hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” – produced before he died of prostate cancer on the second day of this new year aged 85. On that album, she collaborated with other Alabamians of musical renown, including Jason Isbell, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Cooking Turkey Naked

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Turkey in the oven!

Gotta’ get a head-start on Thanksgiving, don’t you know!?

It’s 13.68lbs (6.2kg), and will be cooking approximately 4 – 4.5 hours at 370ºF  (187.7ºC).

I’ll check it around the 3 hour mark, give or take.

I’m cooking it “naked,” as seen.

The bird, not me.

I’m wearing clothes.

And since Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

White Male Domestic Terrorist Commits Early Morning Earth Day Mass Murder #AR15 Shooting @WaffleHouse In Nashville, Tennessee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 22, 2018

The AR-15 rifle used in the Nashville Waffle House Mass Murder on Earth Day, Sunday 22 April 2018.

Let’s start Earth Day with some sad news.

Around 0325 this morning (Earth Day, Sunday, 22 April 2018), a White male gunman using an AR-15 rifle opened fire at the Waffle House, 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville and shot 6 persons, 4 fatally – 3 died at the scene, 1 at the hospital. The 2 others are being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Crime Scene tape surrounds the Waffle House, 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville, TN where an early morning Mass Shooting Murder occurred around 0325 Sunday, 22 April 2018.

A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle.

He was reported to be Read the rest of this entry »

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Yes, it’s true: Possessing a single #marijuana cigarette is a #felony in #ALpolitics.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 1, 2018

At the stoke of midnight tonight, 1 January 2018, at 0000 hours, California will become the 8th state (11, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam) in the union to legalize, tax, and regulate the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes to adults over age 21. Presently, 73,213,005, or 22.39% of Americans have legal access to recreational cannabis.

To match Special Report MARIJUANA/CALIFORNIACalifornia voters approved Proposition 64 November 2016 by 57.13% with 7,979,041 votes, which allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their homes. In 1996, California was the first state to permit medical marijuana when voters passed Proposition 215.

In addition to legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana, the new law also provides for the levying of two taxes upon the sale of cannabis – a 15% tax on the retail price of marijuana, and a tax Read the rest of this entry »

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