Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘enterprise’

Why #ALpolitics Should’ve Elected @RonSparks2010 – @GovernorBentley In His Own Words: “I had no clue.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Having made no bones about it, I remain searingly and scathingly critical of Alabama Governor Robert Julian Bentley, a retired physician-turned-Republican legislator from Tuscaloosa, who is twice elected governor – in 2010, and in 2014.

While I wished him well after his initial victory in the governor’s race against his Democratic opponent then-Secretary of Agriculture and Industries, Ron Sparks, he has disappointed the state since Inauguration Day 2011 when he put his foot in his mouth at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, where on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 17, 2011 – mere hours after taking the oath of office and inauguration – he said in part, “There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit. But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister. Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

It was at that point that Rebekah Caldwell Mason became his Communication Director, and later, Senior Political Advisor-cum-paramour.

More to the point, however, I have maintained that among other things, as an elected official, he has been feckless, and clueless.

But, let’s let him speak for himself.

Here’s in part what Governor Bentley said in a speech to a statewide gathering of city officials in Montgomery, May 2013, “You know where I came up with that idea? Ron Sparks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Examining Right Wing Rhetoric in Memes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 27, 2015

How accurate, or true are Right Wing statements?

How accurate, or true are Right Wing memes?

Regardless of one’s political beliefs, party affiliation, or ideological inclination, it’s always good to consider the truth of statements in memes that – like flotsam and jetsam – are dispersed throughout the Internet… particularly upon Social Media sites such as FaceBook, and Twitter. And unfortunately, in many cases, they are the veritable garbage, the effluent detritus of communication.

So… let’s examine some of the argument in the meme seen here, and see if it still holds water.

Government has necessary services, and provides the same.

Consider road construction as one example.

To create & build roads (which themselves increase opportunity) government must purchase things – raw materials, and manpower, among them.

Now… exactly where is any “government factory” for that, eh?

That’s correct – there is NONE.

EVERYTHING “we the people” by and through our government – at ALL LEVELS, Federal, State, and Local – purchase comes from the Private Sector!

EVERYTHING!

Consider also what may be the greatest example of Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Democrats Vote to Save Jobs: ABC Privatization Bill Dies in Senate Committee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A bill by State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) to privatize the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has died in the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee by a 7-6 vote along party lines, with one Republican voting ‘NO.’ The vote received applause from attendees.

A substitution bill presented by Orr would’ve changed the suspension penalty for Selling to Minors from one year to one week, and increased taxes, was also adopted along party line vote.
Orr said earlier that, “Part of our job is to downsize government,” and demanded a committee vote be taken on his bill today.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Administrator Mac Gipson testified that employees are paid from mark-ups from sales in the state’s 176 ABC stores. He also noted that by comparison, there are 587 private package stores in the state.

In Alabama, liquor is marked up at Read the rest of this entry »

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What is it like to be a Woman Business Owner & Inventor Terrorized & Threatened by Right Wing Extremist Gun Owners?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 3, 2014

More power to you!

The GOP has been hijacked by extremist elements.

It’s time to put those sorry, low-life punks in prison for collusion, terrorism and anti-American activity.

***

***

‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby

By JEREMY W. PETERS
APRIL 27, 2014

Belinda Padilla is trying to market a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.  Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Belinda Padilla is trying to market a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.
Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. A few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers were all it took.

Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”

Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it. Ms. Padilla and the manufacturer she works for, Armatix, intended to make the weapon the first “smart gun” for sale in the United States.

But shortly after Armatix went public with its plans to start selling in Southern California, Ms. Padilla, a fast-talking, hard-charging Beverly Hills businesswoman who leads the company’s fledgling American division, encountered the same uproar that has stopped gun control advocates, Congress, President Obama and lawmakers across the country as they seek to pass tougher laws and promote new technologies they contend will lead to fewer firearms deaths.

Lately, there has been little standing in the way of the muscle of the gun lobby, whose advocates recently derailed Mr. Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, a Boston doctor who has expressed alarm about the frequency of shooting deaths.

And despite support from the Obama administration and the promise of investment from Silicon Valley, guns with owner-recognition technology remain shut out of the market today.

“Right now, unfortunately, these organizations that are scaring everybody have the power,” Ms. Padilla said. “All we’re doing is providing extra levels of safety to your individual right to bear arms. And if you don’t want our gun, don’t buy it. It’s not for everyone.”

In Georgia on Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that allows people to carry guns in bars, government buildings and even some churches. The National Rifle Association called the measure historic.

In West Virginia, one of several Read the rest of this entry »

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BIG OIL’s Corrupting Influence in American Politics: Propping up Corrupt Regimes to Prop Up Profits

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014

Report

Slick Moves

The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.

That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.

Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig

Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.

These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.

Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.

These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of Read the rest of this entry »

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Offshoring American Enterprise: Good, Bad, or Indifferent?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 24, 2013

I may step on a few toes with my next remark, but I can always apologize, and ask forgiveness if it so be the case that my remarks are found offensive.

However, suffice it to say, that our nation’s Congress, has, for at least the past 20 years, or so – and even moreso in the past decade plus – embarked upon a very Read the rest of this entry »

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Walking on Holy Ground: Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken Cafe & Museum, Corbin, KY

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 6, 2013

While in Kentucky, make certain you visit the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green.

Journeys

In Kentucky, Fried Chicken History

By
Published: August 24, 2012

WHEN making his rounds as a traveling salesman for a Chicago printing company, Duncan Hines would occasionally pull off the Dixie Highway in Corbin, Ky., and eat at Sanders Cafe. In the 1939 edition of “Adventures in Good Eating,” his pioneering restaurant guide, he recommended the cafe and its adjoining motor court as “very good place to stop en route to Cumberland Falls and the Great Smokies,” highlighting its “sizzling steaks, fried chicken, country ham, hot biscuits.”

The Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, KY / Jonathan Palmer for The New York Times

The Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, KY / Jonathan Palmer for The New York Times

The cafe is still there, only now it incorporates a museum and holds down a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, for one huge, unignorable reason. The owner, chef and resident genius of the place was none other than Colonel Harland Sanders, who, on this hallowed ground, cooked the first batch of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Cumberland Falls does not work the magic it once did, and Corbin itself is not high on anyone’s list of tourist destinations. But the Colonel Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum is a modest must. In addition to capturing a pivotal moment in the mass-marketing of American vernacular food, it evokes a dreamlike time, before the arrival of the Interstate System and its proliferation of fast-food restaurants and chain hotels, when traveling the American highway was a thrilling, high-risk proposition, with marvelous discoveries and ghastly disappointments waiting at every turn.

In its present form, the Sanders Cafe and Museum was born in 1990, the 100th anniversary of Colonel Sanders’s birth. JRN, a Tennessee-based company that operates nearly 200 KFC franchises in the Southeast, was about to open a modern KFC restaurant next to the old cafe. To mark the great birthday, it put out a call for artifacts and memorabilia that would allow it to celebrate the Colonel, his cafe and his fried chicken.

All sorts of stuff Read the rest of this entry »

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President Barack Obama to visit Chattanooga, Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chattanooga is an old, old, old, old city.

It’s older than Civil War old.

Throughout the city there are narrow streets, many (if not most) of which need widening and repaving. Interstate 24, which leads into the city, is in sore need of widening. Because of the twisting, winding route it takes as it leads into, through and around the city and it’s numerous mountains and hills, it can be treacherous. When any slowdown for any reason occurs, traffic can be backed up for 15-20 miles, or more. When wrecks occur on that route, they’re often fatal, and create even longer delays. The only other major route into the city is US Highway 72. There is no bypass. If there are problems on either of those two routes, significant delays can take hours. (See a Google Map of the area.)

It has a university – University of Tennessee, Chattanooga – with other smaller colleges & universities nearby (Lee University, in Cleveland & Southern Adventist University, in Collegedale). One of three hospitals in the area (each which has numerous campuses) Erlanger, is a Level One Trauma Center, and teaching hospital for the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Memorial Hospital, is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives system, and is a teaching hospital, while Parkridge Hospital is operated by TriStar Health.

Because of industrial waste released by area manufacturing, in 1969, Chattanooga had the filthiest air in the nation. The Tennessee River which serves as a boundary for the area was equally polluted. For many years, troubles GALORE plagued the city, including economic inequality, poor race relations, deteriorating economic infrastructure, rapid population decline, and departure of industry.

Recognizing that the city and area residents were suffering a slow suicide, officials and interested citizens embarked upon a plan to revitalize the area, including cleaning up industrial waste, reinvigorating the economy with employment opportunity, and looking forward, rather than backward.

EPB (Electric Power Board), one of the public utilities in the area, came upon an idea to infuse their power grid with Fiber Optic cable to enable better response times, to pinpoint areas of concern, and to re-route electricity during power outages when lines were downed by trees or severe weather. They faced stiff opposition in the form of legal fights by Comcast (principally), yet were successful in overcoming. In turn, they sold High Speed fiber optic Internet Connectivity to area residents at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to the Wall-Street-traded Comcast. They also provide better service.

While the area’s renaissance is by no means complete, it has advanced with enormously significant strides.


 

Obama to visit uneven Chattanooga area recovery


published Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Mike Pare, deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mike Pare MPare@TimesFreepress.com phone: 423-757-6318

Mike Pare, Deputy Business Editor, Chattanooga Times Free Press; MPare@ TimesFreePress.com phone: (423) 757-6318

by Mike Pare
view bio

When President Barack Obama flies into Chattanooga on Tuesday to tout new economic initiatives, he’ll see a city recognized in a national study as a metro area emerging from the recession as an “economic frontrunner.”

Area Development, a national business magazine covering site selection and relocation, ranked metro Chattanooga at No. 86 — in the top quarter — among 380 metro areas examined for the study titled “Leading Locations for 2013.”

While in Chattanooga Obama is expected to unveil new ways to spur the nation’s sluggish economic recovery.

At the Amazon distribution center at Enterprise South industrial park, the president will see a growing, state-of-the-art distribution facility with 1,800 full-time jobs created since 2011. The Chattanooga facility, along with Read the rest of this entry »

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Magic City Brewfest: Renewed excitement in 7th year with passage of Alabama’s Homebrew Law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

Moylan's Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Moylan’s Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Cheers to beers: Alabama raises a glass to home-brew, Brewfest and craft breweries

(Gallery by Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Kathryn Tuggle | ktuggle@al.com By Kathryn Tuggle | ktuggle@al.com
Follow on Twitter
on June 02, 2013 at 8:56 AM, updated June 02, 2013 at 9:39 AM

This weekend Birmingham played host to a sold-out Magic City Brewfest at Sloss Furnace, featuring more than 200 different beers from more than 70 craft brew­eries around the nation. Although 2013 marked the seventh annual Brewfest, it was the first since home­brew became legal in Alabama, thanks to legislation passed in May.

Because home-brewers in Alabama can now share recipes and bond over their successes and struggles, Brewfest has a renewed “electricity” in the air, said Gabe Harris, president of Free the Hops, the grassroots non­profit that worked to help pass the home­brew bill.

“It feels great to have home-brew legal in Alabama,” Harris said. “Every craft brewer at Brewfest started out as a home-brewer, and everyone is really excited to be here this year.”

Because craft brewers across the state feel passionately about spreading the home­brew “gospel,” the Home-brew Association set up a tent at Brewfest specifically to edu­cate people about the brewing process.

“We’ve had tons of peo­ple at the tent asking some really intelligent questions,” Harris said.

Spencer Overton, home­brew manager at Birming­ham brewery and bar Hop City, said Birmingham is now on the “cutting edge” of craft beer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Climate change benefits English wine growers now producing high quality sparkling wine

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 29, 2013

British winemakers credit climate change for boom in bubbly sales

By , Published: April 28, 2013

CUCKMERE VALLEY, England — Blessed with soil similar to France’s Champagne region, vineyards in England nevertheless produced decades of low-grade goop that caused nary a Frenchman to tremble. But a Great British fizz boom is underway, with winemakers crediting climate change for the warmer weather that has seemed to improve their bubbly.

Sparkling wine undergoes an early fermentation process at the Ridgeview Wine Estate in East Sussex, England. Warmer summers are producing wines competitive with some from France. - GRAHAM BARCLAY/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Sparkling wine undergoes an early fermentation process at the Ridgeview Wine Estate in East Sussex, England. Warmer summers are producing wines competitive with some from France.
– GRAHAM BARCLAY/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Increasingly hospitable temperatures have helped transplanted champagne grapes such as chardonnay and pinot noir thrive in the microclimates of southern England, touching off a wine rush by investors banking on climate change. Once considered an oxymoron, fine English sparkling wine is now retailing for champagne prices of $45 to $70 a pop. In recent years, dozens of vineyards have Read the rest of this entry »

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Would President Obama privatize TVA & Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shoals: Privatizing TVA is ‘a bad idea’

By Mike Goens
Managing Editor
Matt McKean/TimesDaily
4/21/13

Anglers fish below thousands of feet of power lines that run from TVA’s Wheeler Dam turbine systems. Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. Matt McKean/TimesDaily

Anglers fish below thousands of feet of power lines that run from TVA’s Wheeler Dam turbine systems. Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. Matt McKean/TimesDaily

If President Barack Obama needs help orchestrating an effort to privatize TVA, he shouldn’t expect much support from the Shoals.

Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. They fear a privately owned TVA will lead to higher electricity rates, job cuts, more flooding problems and navigational issues on the Tennessee River and other waterways under TVA’s jurisdiction.

“The first questions you need to ask are what’s the gain for government and what would be gained by the community,” said Steve Hargrove, manager of Sheffield Utilities. “If the purpose is to make things better and there is reason to think it’s possible, I would be the first one interested in sitting at the table and talking about it. I just don’t see advantages of privatizing at this time.”

Obama brought the issue to the table through his 2014 budget proposal, which was released last week. He said selling TVA should be explored as a means to increase revenue by as much as $25 billion, money that could reduce the federal deficit and pay for other government services.

Hargrove has a unique perspective to the debate, having worked at TVA for 33 years before retiring as plant manager at Colbert Fossil Plant. He became manager of Sheffield Utilities in December.

His department purchases electricity from TVA and provides power to about 19,000 customers in Colbert County.

“I am a believer in the private sector, but I would fear their mission would be different than TVA’s,” Hargrove said. “The mission of TVA is not to make profit, and the mission of the private sector is to make a profit. They have to answer to a board that wants to maximize profits. When your primary goal is to make a profit, that becomes a higher goal than helping the community.

“TVA has had its problems, and bad decisions have been made, but its mission is good and they are an established part of the communities.”

Hargrove said residential rates for TVA customers in the Southeast are among the lowest 25 percent in the country and Read the rest of this entry »

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Georgia Wine Exportation Increases

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

While this story is about the nation known as Georgia, given the numerous convoluted and antiquated laws governing beverage alcohol in the Southern United States, it could very well be Georgia… Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, or Arkansas.

Something Old, Something New: Georgian Wines Adapt To Changing Market

April 17, 2013

by Glenn Kates

KISISKHEVI, Georgia — Seven years ago, Burkhard Schuchmann, a retired German railroad executive, arrived for the first time in this lush region, where the snow-capped Caucasian mountains cast a long shadow over the grapevines that line the low-lying fields.It was 2006 and Russia had recently imposed a crippling embargo on Georgian wine.Schuchmann decided to open a winery nevertheless.

“To see it from today’s point of view, Georgians can be lucky that the embargo came,” Schuchmann says. “Because then they were forced to [focus on] quality and to think about marketing. There was no need before.”

After mostly “satisfactory” inspections by Russia’s consumer-rights agency in February and March, Georgian wines will soon be sold in Russia again. But Russians, perhaps expecting the sweet, syrupy taste of years past, may be surprised by the changing nature of Georgian vintage.

Georgian makes new wine

Burkhard Schuchmann opened a winery in Georgia because he thought he could compete outside of Russia by modernizing the industry.

In 2005, Georgia exported 80 percent of its wine to Read the rest of this entry »

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Tennessee may modernize antiquated beverage alcohol laws

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tennessee has some very strange and peculiar laws regarding the regulation of beverage alcohol, most of which remain rooted in the Prohibition Era, and in in fear.

And, true to form, it would be no wonder that Baptists – the arch-conservative religious political right wing activists of the right wing party – are directly involved in efforts to keep the state mired in the antiquated bad old days of yore.

Tennessee is unique in the regard that state law forbids sale of wine except in state-licensed liquor stores. To clarify, the state of Tennessee has an unusual combination of laws that forbid sales of wine in any other type store save one that sells liquor. Further, sales are prohibited on Sunday. Beer, however, is able to be sold in grocery stores… but only if the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is under 6%.

Alabama once had a similarly prohibitive content law, along with bottle size restriction – which severely limited the sales of domestic and imported craft/micro brew beers and ales. Alabama no longer has such prohibitive limitations.

And then, if one considers the implications of that law – mandating the sale of wine be exclusively limited to sales in liquor stores – the state actually sanctions the liquor enterprise itself, rather than being a neutral, regulatory body. In Tennessee there are no state-operated liquor stores as there are in Alabama. To have a state-run enterprise is not contradictory to the free market, because the state is a direct competitor in the market, which frequently has the lowest priced products, because taxes are the markup/profit margin for the state. Contrasting that model with the private retailer, the private retailer must make a profit atop the taxes which the state charges (after they purchase from the state at a wholesale cost – the same cost the state sells to the general public), thus increasing the retail price above what the state sells it.

Supporters and opponents of a bill that would let grocery and convenience stores sell wine undertook one final push to sway Tennessee lawmakers Monday ahead of a make-or-break vote in the state legislature.

Liquor store owners, grocery store operators, wine shoppers, a sheriff, an addiction specialist and a minister were among the people allowed to testify at a special hearing held a day before the Senate State & Local Government Committee is to vote on the biggest rewrite of Tennessee’s liquor laws in decades. Members guarded Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama State House Committee OKs Home Brew Bill

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finally!

Little by little, in some regard, Alabama is moving into the 21st century.

House committee approves bill that would legalize home brewing of beer

By Mike Cason | mcason@al.com
February 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee today approved a bill that would allow those 21 and older to make home brewed beer, wine, mead and cider for personal use.

Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville. (Robin Conn/The Huntsville Times)

Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville. (Robin Conn/The Huntsville Times

The bill, by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, would limit the total production to 15 gallons every three months.

The committee approved the bill after a public hearing, putting it in position for consideration by the House of Representatives.

Several home brewing enthusiasts spoke in favor of the bill.

Jason Sledd of Huntsville told the committee he took up home brewing as a hobby last year.

“At the time, I had no idea what I was doing was illegal in the state of Alabama,” Sledd said.

Sledd said he learned home brewing was illegal after joining a home brewers club.

Rep. Berry Forte, D-Eufaula, said he was opposed to the use of alcohol because of what it had done to some family members. He asked Sledd whether he brewed beer in front of his children.

Sledd said he did, and said he was teaching them the responsible way to use alcohol.

“They will have years of experience of seeing an adult drink alcohol and not being intoxicated,” Sledd said.

Joe Godfrey, executive director of ALCAP, Read the rest of this entry »

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Growing America’s Middle Class and Increasing Profitability

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some time ago, a friend shared an unsolicited comment about “ObamaCare” before all the ruckus over it had reached the SCOTUS. He had observed about a fellow he knew and described as “a snaggle-toothed Tennessee hillbilly,” whom had joined the United States Army. He observed that the fellow had some health needs, among them poor dentition and the need for corrective lenses. Upon his enlistment, he noted that the fellow was given proper healthcare, and all of his needs – food, clothing, housing, and healthcare – was provided by the United States government.

“Now, why did they do that?,” he asked rhetorically.

Answering his own question, he said quite simply, “because they know Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Business Profit Model Harms Long Term Profitability

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Perhaps the most telling rationale, or motivation for the course upon which corporations have set is explained in this statement by ANDREW SMITHERS: Yes, the current way in which managements are rewarded is perverse from an economic viewpoint. Adam Smith pointed out that some characteristics of human beings such as greed, which are often unpleasant at a personal level, can nonetheless bring social benefits. But this is not necessarily the case under current remuneration systems; greed is increasingly the cause of harm rather than help to the economy.

The long and short of it, is greed. And in that paragraph is the solitary mention of the word or practice.

Philosophically, this time, this period in our nation’s history – and in the history of the world, and in the greater, long term picture of humanity – is yet another prime example, and case in point illustrating why and how the selfishness of greed is unsustainable and genuinely evil.

Capital Wins, Labor Loses, But Andrew Smithers Says It Can’t Go On

MAKING SENSE — December 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM EDT

BY: PAUL SOLMAN

Warehouse manager at operations desk on computer. Photo courtesy of John McBride & Company Inc.

Warehouse manager at operations desk on computer. Photo courtesy of John McBride & Company Inc.

Paul Solman: Jon Shayne is not just the world’s No. 1 econo-crooner, belting out economics tunes of his own invention under the stage name Merle Hazard at his own website and for the PBS NewsHour audience on inflation, on the Greek debt crisis, on the euro crisis in general, on too-big-to-fail banks, and most recently, on the fiscal cliff.

No, Shayne/Hazard is no one-trick pony. He is also a noted money manager, recently highlighted by Forbes magazine for his perspicacity in stock-picking. Wrote Forbes: “If you follow the stock market, Jon Shayne is worth a good, long listen. Especially now.”

Having listened to Jon plenty over the past few years, I agree, especially with his emphasis on the increasing share of national income commanded by the owners of capital, in contrast to labor. This angle is the focus of Forbes’ story as well.

So I asked Jon to elaborate for the Making Sen$e audience. He has done so by interviewing the person who inspired his thoughts on the subject, British economist Andrew Smithers, who formerly ran the asset management business of S.G. Warburg, and now Read the rest of this entry »

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Hostess with the mostess? Try CEO with the mostess. Hostess executives attempted to deceive investors, creditors & legal system before filing bankruptcy.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 19, 2012

As the saying goes, It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”

At this point, apparently, she’s not yet begun, although she is “in the house.”

And, from our “WTF?!?” files, comes this item:

In early February, Hostess had asked the bankruptcy judge to approve a sweet new employment deal for Driscoll. Its terms guaranteed him a base annual salary of $1.5 million, plus cash incentives and “long-term incentive” compensation of up to $2 million. If Hostess liquidated or Driscoll were fired without cause, he’d still get severance pay of $1.95 million as long as he honored a noncompete agreement.

The committee representing Hostess’s unsecured creditors alleges that information it has gathered suggests “the possibility” that the company converted a chunk of its top executives’ pay from performance-based bonuses to salary, “at least in part to sidestep” rules designed to ensure that companies in bankruptcy aren’t enticing their employees to stay on board with the promise of cash, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y.

This solitary example is a wonderful one for illustrating what is WRONG with corporate governance and corporate operations in the United States. It’s an even more sad commentary that laws must be enacted to require people to do the right thing. At this juncture, the judge overseeing the Hostess Brands Inc. bankruptcy is doing precisely that.

Hostess and Bakers Union Asked Accept Strike Mediation

The judge overseeing Hostess Brands Inc. declined to approve the company’s liquidation today and asked management and the bakers’ union to enter mediation tomorrow to resolve the strike that the maker of Twinkies and Wonder bread said forced it to shut.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said at a hearing in White Plains, New York, that there are “serious questions as to the logic behind the decision to strike.” Hostess and the bakers’ union agreed to Drain’s request to enter confidential mediation under his supervision.

“To me, not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark over this case which I think will only be answered in litigation,” Drain said. “My desire to do this is prompted primarily by the potential loss of over 18,000 jobs, as well as my belief that there is a possibility to resolve this matter, notwithstanding the losses the debtors have incurred over the last week or so.”

Hostess CEO & executive pay outrageous

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Hostess hasn’t spoken with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union since August, said Heather Lennox, a lawyer for the company. Hostess is seeking permission from Drain to pay bonuses to key managers while closing operations that will leave most of its 18,500 workers unemployed. Any agreement arising from the mediation would probably come too late to save the company, Lennox said.

“Things have gone too far to repair themselves under the current form,” Lennox, a partner at Jones Day, told Drain. “It would be very hard for us to recover from this damage even if there were to be an agreement in the near term.”

‘Best Shot’

“Our best shot is to see what we can sell as going concerns and have the company continue that way,” she said. The hearing to consider Hostess’s request to wind down was postponed until Nov. 21.

Hostess said Nov. 16 that it would shut, claiming that a weeklong strike by the bakers’ union forced liquidation. The union blamed management’s concession demands, while some employees blamed both sides. Strikers were still outside the company’s facilities today, Hostess’s lawyers said.

Corrina Christensen, a spokeswoman for the bakers’ union, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the mediation.

Teamsters

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, whose members distribute Hostess products, had ratified a new contract with 8 percent in wage concessions and 17 percent in benefit reductions.

“The Teamsters will closely monitor the mediation between the BCTGM and Hostess management and assist in any way we can to help the two sides reach an agreement that keeps the company’s doors open,” Ken Hall, the Teamsters general secretary- treasurer, said today in a statement.

The judge may be creating risk for both sides that encourages them to reach a deal, Ken Russak, a bankruptcy attorney at Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato in Los Angeles, said today in an interview. “The bankruptcy judge would much prefer to have the parties work something out than having to Read the rest of this entry »

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Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer gives new iPhone 5 to all Yahoo! employees & pays their cell phone bills

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 16, 2012

In reality, she offered a choice from among 6 smartphones.

She is also also going to pay its employees data and phone bills.

Marissa Mayer Just Gave Every Yahoo Employee An iPhone 5

Nicholas Carlson | Sep. 15, 2012, 11:32 PM
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer just sent an email to all of Yahoo’s full time and part time employees in the US, promising them a new Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer with Michael Arrington founder and former co-editor of TechCrunch at TechCrunch Disrupt September 14, 2011. Photo by Kevin Krejci

“People are happy,” says a source at the company.

A couple weeks ago, we reported that new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was considering giving every Yahoo employee a new iPhone or Android smartphone.

Mayer has now put that plan into motion through a program Yahoo is calling “Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun!”

We learned about this plan from an internal memo, which we received from one source and confirmed with another.

Through the program, Yahoo employees will have a choice of phones: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920.

Yahoo is also going to Read the rest of this entry »

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The iPhone Stimulus

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 14, 2012

Gonna’ get yours?

The iPhone Stimulus

By PAUL KRUGMAN, September 13, 2012

Are you, or is someone you know, a gadget freak? If so, you doubtless know that Wednesday was iPhone 5 day, the day Apple unveiled its latest way for people to avoid actually speaking to or even looking at whoever they’re with.

So is the new phone as insanely great as Apple says? Hey, I’ll leave stuff like that to David Pogue. What I’m interested in, instead, are suggestions that the unveiling of the iPhone 5 might provide a significant boost to the U.S. economy, adding measurably to economic growth over the next quarter or two.

Do you find this plausible? If so, I have news for you: you are, whether you know it or not, a Keynesian — and you have implicitly accepted the case that the government should spend more, not less, in a depressed economy.

Before I get there, let’s talk about where the buzz is coming from.

A recent research note from JPMorgan argued that the new iPhone Read the rest of this entry »

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Chinese Economic Slowdown is in the Making TRANSLATION: America is coming up!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As the Rota Fortuna – the wheel of fortune – goes, one side goes up, while the corresponding side goes down.

America’s turn is next.

We’re comin’ up!

Bears at the heart of the dragon

Global Insight
September 12, 2012 3:50 pm, By Jamil Anderlini in Tianjin

Among the corporate titans and global leaders attending the World Economic Forum in the eastern Chinese city of Tianjin this week a fascinating division appears to have formed.

In quiet conversations and background chats with Chinese officials and analysts about the state of things in China, the tone of despondency and cynicism was pervasive while the views of international attendees on China were generally bullish and upbeat.

Rota Fortuna - the Wheel of Fortune

Rota Fortuna – the Wheel of Fortune – Fortune and Her Wheel: Illustration from Vol. 1 of Boccaccio’s De Casibus Virorum Illustrium (On the Fates of Famous Men) (1467, Glasgow, Glasgow University LIbrary)

At one point, during Read the rest of this entry »

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The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

Investing in economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a sound decision because
1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS comes from the private sector (and always will), and;
2.) Economic capacity and economic opportunity expands.

Note also these two remarks:

Corporations won’t hire more workers just because their tax bill is lower and they spend less on regulations. In case you hadn’t noticed, corporate profits are up. Most companies don’t even know what to do with the profits they’re already making. Not incidentally, much of those profits have come from replacing jobs with computer software or outsourcing them abroad.

“Meanwhile, the wealthy don’t create jobs, and giving them additional tax cuts won’t bring unemployment down. America’s rich are already garnering a bigger share of American income than they have in eighty years. They’re using much of it to speculate in the stock market. All this has done is drive stock prices higher.”

The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term

Monday, September 10, 2012

The question at the core of America’s upcoming election isn’t merely whose story most voting Americans believe to be true – Mitt Romney’s claim that the economy is in a stall and Obama’s policies haven’t worked, or Barack Obama’s that it’s slowly mending and his approach is working.

If that were all there was to it, last Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August – below what’s needed merely to keep up with the growth in the number of eligible workers — would seem to bolster Romney’s claim.

But, of course, congressional Republicans have never even given Obama a chance to try his approach. They’ve blocked everything he’s tried to do – including his proposed Jobs Act that would help state and local governments replace many of the teachers, police officers, social workers, and fire fighters they’ve had to let go over the last several years.

The deeper question is what should be done starting in January to boost a recovery that by anyone’s measure is still anemic. In truth, not even the Jobs Act will be enough.

At the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, Romney produced Read the rest of this entry »

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More evidence that Government $pending boo$t$ economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recollect the brouhaha over Vice President Joe Biden‘s remark Thursday, July 16, 2009 in Alexandria, Virginia?

He was speaking at an AARP-sponsored town hall meeting also attended by AARP CEO A. Barry Rand, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

Vice President Biden said, “Now people, when I say that, look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ that’s what I’m telling you.”

{ref: http://cnsnews.com/node/51162}

“And folks look, AARP knows – and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know – that the status quo is simply not acceptable. Its totally unacceptable. And its completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially, Were going to go bankrupt as a nation. Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ I’m telling you.”

Of course, Vice President Biden was speaking in context of the Affordable Care Act – also commonly known as “ObamaCare” – which the Government Accountability Office has shown has already demonstrated significant cost savings and proven to be business-stimulating legislation, and that to eliminate it’s protections would cost the federal government even more in the long-term.

Analogously, it’d be like having a fuel inefficient automobile – one that only got about 5 miles/gallon, or less. If you were to purchase even a used vehicle with twice the fuel economy – 10mpg – you could realize significant overall long-term savings. Simply ceasing driving will not solve any problem, but would rather create more problems.

Similarly, could you imagine having an inefficient Heating/Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system? You gotta’ stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter – there’s no way around it. And to lower your average monthly utility bills by even 1/3 would be beneficial.

So, here’s a shocker for armchair philosophers, political pundits, amateur economists, Radical Republicans, TEA Party types and more: Government spending – in part – is a significant driver of our nation’s economy. And, spending on economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a most wise investment.

Why?

Because 1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the PRIVATE SECTOR, and; Read the rest of this entry »

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Support Schools & Private Enterprise, Drink Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Whiskey

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 9, 2012

Having apparently not blogged about this, I find myself remiss that I so negligently – if inadvertently – omitted this news story… which I’m about to bash.

Before I proceed however, Alabama‘s governor, Dr. Robert J. Bentley, MD (a retired dermatologist), when he was campaigning for the office, on Thursday, June 17, 2010 vowed that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.” To his credit, he has lived up to that vow, and has only accepted what is legally mandated – $1.00/month as representative, and has been reimbursed for minimal incidentals or travel-related expenses. The state’s records show he has collected about $2,100 in travel reimbursements during his term as governor. Alabama’s governor’s salary is about $112,000; and so far, as governor, he has only been paid $2 in salary.

Part of the irony of liquor, taxes and employment is that Dr. Bentley is a Southern Baptist. And for many years he has been a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa. As a denomination, Baptists are well-known and avowed tee-totalers, who continue to badmouth beverage alcohol. I suppose in some way, they could be considered modern Prohibitionists. But here, in this scenario, Alabamians – whose population is significantly Protestant – have enjoyed the jobs and money that making whiskey provides.

I suppose, however, that the irony is not lost on others, for the Amish grow tobacco, yet eschew its use. Similarly, many religious Afghanis (most who practice Islam) have grown marijuana and/or opium poppy to provide for their households, yet use neither. The discussion of the ethics of such decisions would be fascinating – at least it would be to me.

Now, on to the news.

It’s not the news, per se, but the atrocious writing which aggrieves me so.

Actually, the plant will be near Decatur, Alabama. More specifically, it will be located in the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex, along Alabama Highway 20 in Trinity, Alabama. The complex is located in Lawrence County, which is the adjacent county WEST of Morgan County.

Lawrence County, AL_overview

Location of Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex in Lawrence, County, Alabama

But this raises another question, and it is this: If someone wrote that New York was in Los Angeles, you’d think them insane, right?

Well, why then would you not think the same for those who make such egregious errors as is so blatantly displayed in the following headline, and story?

DAMN IT, MAN!

GET IT RIGHT!

And Read the rest of this entry »

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Digital divide? What digital divide? We don’t need no stinking “digital divide”!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 8, 2012

“Digital divide?”

What “digital divide”?

We don’t need no steenking “digital divide”!

Funny, ironic, and true.

Haves, meet Have-Nots.

How the digital divide developed in New Orleans & what that means for the future of news there

by Tracie Powell Published July 5, 2012 4:00 pm Updated July 5, 2012 7:03 pm

Come September when changes at The Times-Picayune take effect, not only will New Orleans become the largest city without a daily newspaper, its residents will likely become some of the most disconnected in the country.

New Orleans lags behind the rest of the U.S. when it comes to broadband Internet service connections, according to an investigative report produced by the nonprofit journalism organization The Lens in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. About half of Louisianans subscribe to broadband services while the national average is 60 percent. Those who do subscribe to broadband Internet service tend to be white and in higher income brackets, the report shows.

Only 43 percent of Americans who make less than $25,000 a year have home Internet access, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce study. “It’s clear that, in the midst of moving toward digital news, many people still need access to information that doesn’t require a computer,” Jesse Hardman writes in the Columbia Journalism Review.

This is especially true in New Orleans, where half the residents make less than $35,000 a year and The Times-Picayune will emphasize digital products, Hardman states. The concern should not be about a business decision, “but on how the citizens of New Orleans are going to get important information if they are not online,” he writes.

Poorer, more African American areas of New Orleans, such as the Lower 9th Ward, have broadband subscription rates between 0 and 40 percent while those living in more rural parts of the area account for subscription rates between 0 and 20 percent, Matt Davis writes in The Lens.

It’s harder to profit from the investment in broadband infrastructure in rural areas where fewer residents live further apart. Among poorer residents, broadband – and even newspaper subscriptions – tend to be luxuries for job seekers or people who are still trying to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina nearly seven years ago. The Picayune’s decision to print only three days a week means fewer newspapers will get passed around local barber shops, beauty salons, cafes and convenience stores — places where many people who don’t have broadband access at home often go to exchange information about what’s happening in their neighborhoods.

At the same time, private business executives and public officials seem to be in denial. They aren’t planning for a diminished newspaper presence and are holding out hope that a hero will swoop in and buy The Times-Picayune, even though the paper isn’t for sale. They also continue to support policies that favor the telecom industry rather than working to make broadband more affordable.

The other primary sources of information for poorer residents, television and radio, will have to step up their game to fill in the gap once the Picayune ceases daily publication, media observers say.

Why the Digital Divide

New Orleans is one of the most digitally divided cities in the country. The Lens’ report contains Read the rest of this entry »

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Weather Extremes Not Just in United States

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 8, 2012

Here is Wisdom.

(Either that, or pragmatism.)

If there is nothing humans can to to lessen the severity or frequency of these, and other extreme weather events, then the very least that should be done is to significantly improve infrastructure to more effectively manage them, and to mitigate potential for damage.

And that is spelled I – N – F – R – A – S – T – R – U – C – T – U – R – E.

What’s “infrastructure”?

A definition of infrastructure from the New Oxford American Dictionary: “the basic physical and Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the idea of “SMALLER GOVERNMENT” is a myth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 2, 2012

I never cease to be amazed at the silliness, tomfoolery, and outright stupidity – that’s being kind to so describe such behavior – that some elected fools… er, officials assert.

The Seat of Government

The Seat of Government (Photo credit: Ewan-M. via Flickr)

For example, one of the most popular, well-known and oft-repeated mantras of the TEA Partiers and other radical Republicans make is one of “smaller government.”

Allow me to be uncompromisingly forthright – also known as wholly blunt: Read the rest of this entry »

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Dusting with WD-40… and the other 1,999 other things you can do with it.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WD-40 is an amazing product.

According to the company it was developed by some outer space types whom were researching a formulation for a type of lubrication that would displace

WD-40

WD-40 with the new "Smart Straw," an attached folding straw.

water.

Water, as you may know, actually supports oil – which is why we see oil floating on the surface of water, rather than sinking down below the surface.

The initials “WD” stand for “Water Displacement,” while the “40” is the 40th formula that was tried. Thus, WD-40.

Here’s what the company’s website says about their premiere product. Read the rest of this entry »

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