Warm Southern Breeze

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Archive for the ‘– Read 'em and weep: The Daily News’ Category

Has news ever been limited to the rag we hold between our hands?

Can American Health Insurance Be Repaired?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 17, 2017

Naysayers to the “public option,” or “single payer” health insurance plan claim that it’s “socialized medicine.” You know… much like what Military Service Members  – and their families – in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines have access to. And to be certain, the health insurance “money grab” came through Richard Nixon‘s signature on a bill written by  Massachusetts’ U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy… the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973.

Before that law was passed, it was ILLEGAL to profit from delivery of healthcare services. Now, we have avariciously rapacious Wall-Street masters slave driving the people for more and more and more and more profit. The greedy, never-ending quest for profits has quickly deteriorated the American healthcare delivery system, which was once a marvel of the world. Now, according to the World Health Organization 2000 report of its 191 member nations health systems, the United States ranked 37th in efficiency worldwide, while France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, and Malta round out the top five most efficient nations for delivery of healthcare services. Japan ranks 10th, while the United Kingdom is 18th, and Canada is 30th. The United States is sandwiched in between Costa Rica, and Slovenia, respectively.

Truth be told – and it’s sad to say – there are probably as many corrupt Democrats as there are corrupt Republicans, neither of whom have the people’s best interests at heart, or in mind. Such ones’ solitary concern is with their own wallet, and how they can profit privately at taxpayer expense. That includes graft through directing contracts and business toward friends’ business interests.

Look at Read the rest of this entry »

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Should Churches Be Taxed?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In response to Lakewood Church, and Joel Osteen’s initial refusal to open the doors of that facility to be a refuge from the torrential storms deluging Houston:

If I’m not mistaken (and I could be), late former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace advocated taxing churches & other religious institutions.

I think there is genuine merit in considering the argument – pro & con – why churches should remain tax-free institutions, particularly given that their ostensible purposes include Read the rest of this entry »

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Charter Schools Hoodwinking Hypocrisy 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The authors of this article write:

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

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

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Open Letter to University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2, 2017

Open Letter to University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell

Re: Megan Rondini

Dear Dr. Bell,

As you know, Megan Rondini was a former honors student at the University. On July 1, 2015, Megan was subjected to a traumatic sexual encounter with the son of Terry J. Bunn, a prominent Tuscaloosa businessman and power player on Alabama’s political scene. At the time, Megan was 20-years old and had a bright future ahead of her. That future was cut short when she committed suicide on February 26, 2017.

Dr. Stuart R. Bell, PhD, is the 29th president of The University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, AL.

I understand that Terry Bunn was, and may still be, a member of the University President’s Cabinet. This group’s power inside the University is quite impressive. For all practical purposes, it is an invitation-only oligarchy. Members of the President’s Cabinet can make good things happen for the University. They can also make bad situations go away.

Terry Bunn’s son, T.J. “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr., is a real problem for you and the University. Megan Rondini filed a rape report against Sweet T fourteen days before you took office. Sweet T was a 34-year old bar regular at Innesfree Iris Pub on University Boulevard in Tuscaloosa on the night in question.

As a result of the Bunn family’s status within the University and its “pillar of society” standing in the larger Tuscaloosa community, Megan got “home-cooked” in the Tuscaloosa County criminal justice system. Former district attorney Lyn Head, acting in concert with two Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigators, cleaned up Sweet T’s messy situation for the Bunn family. Investigator Adam Jones transformed Megan from an alleged sexual assault victim into a criminal suspect solely because of Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

June 27, 2017

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

Dear Mr. Bunn,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—//—

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

Toxic Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Appear at Leadership Blue Gala

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

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

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

Whose idea is this? Wasserman Schultz’s?

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

We already are questioning Read the rest of this entry »

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Russians Hacked Into Election Software

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

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

—//—

Russians Hacked Into Election Software, Databases In 39 States

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

By Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NY @SenSchumer Mocks Insecure #Loser @POTUS @realDonaldTrump 

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

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

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Trump Appointee Wants To Cut Off Bears Ears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jeff Sessions Should Resign

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

EDITORIAL—
by Donald Watkins

Jeff Sessions Should Resign

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign his office. President Donald Trump does not like, trust, or respect him.

Sessions reportedly offered to resign two weeks ago amid Trump’s growing frustration over the Attorney General’s decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into ties between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Trump has blamed Sessions for Read the rest of this entry »

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In Defense of Photographer Tyler Shields and Comedienne Kathy Griffin

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 1, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing?

“Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” by Cristofano Allori, c.1613

Photographer Tyler Shields‘ recent depiction of comedienne Kathy Griffin holding an effigy of Donald Trump’s decapitated head is nothing new in artistic circles, neither is it new among political practitioners, or religious adherents.

“Judith Beheading Holofernes,” by Caravaggio, c.1598-1599

Caravaggio painted “Judith beheading Holoferenes” c.1600.

Cristofano Allori, completed “Judith with the Head of Holofernes” c.1613.

Artemisia Gentileschi, c.1614–18 similarly depicted that scene in “Judith slaying Holofernes.”

Lucas Cranach the Elder completed “Judith with the Head

“Judith,” by Franz Stuck, 1928

of Holofernes” in 1530.

The so-called “outrage” is focused upon the female model Kathy Griffin, not the male creator artist and photographer Tyler Shields.

“Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” by Lucas Cranach the Elder, c.1530

Why?

Men have always been fearful of powerful women. And Tyler Shields’ photograph is nothing new under the sun.

In The Book of Judith Read the rest of this entry »

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Deceit And Treachery Continue In #ALpolitics

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 21, 2017

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past 4 years or more, Alabama’s two-term Republican Governor Dr. Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D. was forced to resign from office amidst ongoing impeachment proceedings resulting from a sex & corruption scandal in which he significantly abused the power of the office for personal gain, then under pressure, and facing possible felony charges, entered a plea agreement in which he pled guilty to two misdemeanor campaign finance violations, agreed to other court-ordered stipulations including never again to “seek or serve in any public office,” pay fines & court costs, surrender campaign funds, render Community Service as a physician, submitted his resignation, whereupon Republican Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey – formerly State Treasurer – took office as Governess.

It seemed most everybody was happy as a lark.

Until…

Until those damn pesky reporters started snooping around the back door.

Then, it turns out, they found evidence that strongly suggests she isn’t in good health, and so much so to the extent that her ability to govern and think clearly may be called into question.

According to an investigative report and story by Josh Moon, a Journalist with Alabama Political Reporter, “Gov. Kay Ivey’s office declined to confirm on Thursday that she had been admitted to a Colorado hospital for “stroke-like” issues in April 2015, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency all but did. Read the rest of this entry »

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