Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘history’

Thoughts On Fidel Castro’s Death & American Foreign Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cuban President Raoul Castro – Fidel Castro’s younger brother – announced on Cuban television late last night (Friday, 25 November 2016) that Fidel had recently died, aged 90.

There are powerful lessons in Cuba for America.
Among them:

• When Corporations rule government, corruption inevitably ensues.

• American Foreign Policy has almost always favored Corporate Business Interests, especially in modern history.

• For well over 60 years, American Foreign Policy has largely been a disastrous failure.

The United States had dominated Cuba ever since the island nation became independent from Spain following the Spanish-American War in 1898, and Castro deeply distrusted America for that reason. Shortly after he assumed power in Cuba, at the invitation the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Fidel Castro made his only trip to the United States, and later met with then-Vice President Richard Nixon April 15, 1959 shortly before returning to Cuba. Eisenhower purposely avoided Castro, and specifically played golf that day to avoid any possible opportunity of meeting with him. Within four months of Castro’s trip to Washington D.C., the Eisenhower administration had drawn up a plan to overthrow him.

“In a manner certain to antagonize the Cuban people, we used the influence of our Government to advance the interests of and increase the profits of the private American companies, which dominated the island’s economy. At the beginning of 1959 U.S. companies owned about 40% of the Cuban sugar lands – almost all the cattle ranches – 90% of the mines and mineral concessions – 80% of the utilities – and practically all the oil industry – and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.”

Remarks of then-Senator John F. Kennedy at a Democratic Dinner, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 6, 1960, from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Acknowledging that it was a “glaring failure of American foreign policy… that our own shortsighted policies helped make,” then-Senator John F. Kennedy, remarked at a Democratic Dinner, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 6, 1960 that Cuban regime change under Castro ended in the overthrow of the brutal, bloody, and despotic dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.”

Ironically, under Batista, the twice-president tyrannical military dictator of Cuba, the idyllic island nation was Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Sessions: Suitable Or Not For United States Attorney General?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is Republican Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III suitable to be United States Attorney General?

Some say “yes,” others say “no.”

Let’s examine his record – it should speak for itself.
The legal term for that concept is “res ipsa loquitur.”

1.) Sessions said of the SCOTUS decision in Shelby County v. Holder (570 U.S.___(2013)), an Alabama-based case which gutted important parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that “Shelby County has never had a history of denying voters and certainly not now,” even though Shelby County’s history of discrimination is well-documented and ongoing when in 2008 the small town of Calera in Shelby County drew a gerrymandered voting map which excluded their only Black councilman out of office.

Gerrymandering Explained, by Steven Nass - original post here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203407721984998

Gerrymandering Explained, by Steven Nass – Each square represents a precinct. See original post here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203407721984998

Before Calera’s local elections in 2008 the town had redrawn its city boundaries which – even though the town’s Black voting-age population had grown from 13-16% – eliminated the only majority-Black district which had been represented by Ernest Montgomery since 2004, and decreased the voting-age Black population from 71-30% by adding three overwhelmingly White subdivisions while failing to include a large surrounding predominately Black-populated neighborhood.

The United States Department of Justice objected to Calera’s actions, and notified City Officials, who defied the DOJ’s orders and held the election anyway which caused Mr. Montgomery to lose the election by two votes, of which he said “they voted against me because of the color of my skin.”

2.) When Sessions was Alabama Attorney General he supported the “separate but equal” policy ensconced in Alabama’s 1901 Constitution in Amendment 111 which to this day deprives impoverished children in Alabama of a right to public education because public support for school funding collapsed after its passage, and since the early 1990’s created enormous funding disparities in school systems statewide which remain, despite legislative attempts to remedy.

3.) Sessions voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (Public Law 103–322).

4.) Sessions is a fierce opponent of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973(a)) and called it a “piece of intrusive legislation.”

5.) Sessions voted against Read the rest of this entry »

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Terrorism In The South

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 6, 2016

quantrills-raiders-1924-reunion

Reunion of Quantrill’s Raiders, circa 1924, Oak Grove, Missouri. The first official reunion occurred in 1898, more than 30 years after Quantrill’s death and the end of the Civil War. The circled figure is Jesse James. Image from the Jackson County Historical Society and the Truman Library.

quantril-reunion-1901

The 1901 reunion of Quantrill’s Raiders in Blue Springs, MO. Note the tag in the upper LEFT corner of the image. Sim Whitsett was at this reunion and is probably in this picture. Also in the picture is Frank James (center front, named). The first picture of the Quantrill veterans (Sim Whitsett was in attendance) was taken at the 1900 reunion. The picture is of a parade of the attendees on horseback. The 1901 is the first group photo in which the faces of individuals can be (barely) distinguished.

In response to a post expressing justifiable criticism of terrorism at home and abroad, it occurred to me that terrorism itself is nothing new… not even in the United States. So, I thought to share a brief overview of it, which appears as follows.

—/—

You forgot all about the War Between the States.

The Southern rebellion, of course, was often comprised of loosely associated rag-tag bands of incompetents and criminals, which thrived and often deserted formal association with the Confederate Army, and ransacked their way throughout the countryside.

mosby-uniform-night-of-stoughtons-capture

John Singleton Mosby, image from his memoir. His note reads: “This picture is a copy of the one taken in Richmond in January 1863: The uniform is the one I wore on March 8th 1863 on the night of General Staughton’s capture. John S Mosby”

The rebels were known for such terroristic activities as Read the rest of this entry »

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Known vs Unknown: A Voting Rationale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 3, 2016

Someone opined that they hoped the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee would be elected.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Here’s why:
As we have suffered, never before has there been a more grotesque figure campaigning for the noble office of the President.
party_democrat

party_republicanThe candidate has never served in an office of Public Trust, nor ever served in any Elected Office. There is literally no shred of evidence of governing competency, much less experience, in any Public Office, and though our Constitution states that the minimum eligibility requirements for the office are to be “a citizen of the United States… the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States,” we have never elected an individual as President whom has never served in any capacity of Public Trust, nor Elected Office.

And so, in that regard, the candidate is a significantly Unknown Quantity. That can be, and often is, fraught with enormous peril.

We expect Read the rest of this entry »

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Even With #ALpolitics @ALGOP & @GovernorBentley’s Iron-Fisted Control, Alabama STILL Thanks God for Mississippi

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fraud, waste, and abuse are rampant in Sweet Home, and it’s KILLING the state.

Cronyism and corruption remains alive and well, despite claims to the contrary as asserted by the GOP, which now rules Alabama with an Iron Fist.

If it could be said that states have personalities, Alabama’s would be bipolar, and schizophrenic. Reeling from fear – though they deny it – they continue to perpetuate and indeed, cultivate the very worst of the very worst in human behavior.

It’s not that Alabama or its people are bad, it’s that fear rules their hearts, and fearing that want and poverty will overtake them (ALERT! It already has.), they continue to elect those who pander to their fears. As a result, they get what they deserve.

It’s HIGH TIME – as was said in the Star Trek television series – “to BOLDLY go where no man has gone before!”

No one praises cowards, or cowardice. And yet, so many praise Alabama’s politicians, who are veritable Cowardly Lions.

Alabama has had – and continues to have Read the rest of this entry »

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Understanding ISIS Origins: Islamic Extremism & American Middle Eastern Foreign Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gustav "Gust" Lascaris Avrakotos (January 14, 1938 – December 1, 2005) CIA Field Case Officer

Gustav “Gust” Lascaris Avrakotos (January 14, 1938 – December 1, 2005) CIA Case Officer, and Afghan Task Force Chief

After the Paris terrorist attacks of Friday, 13 November 2015, news media is awash in reports of seemingly innumerable variety. There is so much information, it’s almost like sifting sand or searching for a needle in a haystack to understand anything about the whys and wherefores of an evil international effort that has morphed into ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Charlie Wilson and a group of Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. February 25, 1987. Contact sheet 1 photograph 16.

Charlie Wilson (center) and a group of Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. February 25, 1987. Contact sheet 1 photograph 16.

Unquestionably, what happened is evil, and inexcusable. And just like any other crime, prosecutors search for motivations.

“But why would they!?,” you may ask.

In a nutshell, it’s PsyOps (Psychological Operations) work to understand the basis for motivation, because to prevent further occurrences, one’s mind must be changed.

But without further ado, here’s an easy way to understand what has happened, which will form the foundation, and guide understanding on what is happening.

What would it be like if Christians fought each other like the Hatfields & McCoys?

That’s what’s happening in Islam today.

Sadly, Saudi Arabia long ago Read the rest of this entry »

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How Radical Has The GOP Become? Listen To Mike Huckabee To Know.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 31, 2015

Having read that Mike Huckabee made a veiled remark suggesting that he would “send the FBI or the National Guard to close down abortion clinics” (specifically, he said “We’ll see when I’m president” in response to the question), it didn’t surprise me one iota.

I’ve warned that those folk – the GOP – are radicals, and are Hell-bent upon transforming our beloved nation into their warped version of a “free market” state. We’ve already entered into the beginning phase of Gilded Age v2.0 with the advent of Ronald Reagan, because it was during his two-term tenure that the seeds of these ideas were sewn.

Former Mississippi Governor Republican presidential candidate former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd annual meeting Thursday, July 23, 2015 in San Diego.  (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Former Arkansas Governor, and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd annual meeting Thursday, July 23, 2015 in San Diego.
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

As one type evidence, note that alternative energies, solar, etc., were ousted from official White House consideration. Witness that he had the solar hot water heating panels and collectors removed from the White House. Had we doubled down on recycling, and other forms of energy – wind, geothermal, etc. – we would be LIGHT YEARS ahead of where we are now with respect for our energy independence.

Another type of evidence was the successful repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which was originally enacted Read the rest of this entry »

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What Does It Mean To Be A Boot Licker In #ALpolitics, And Who Are They?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 26, 2015

BOOTS 1630 Jacob Duck-A Guardroom Interior

Various styles of “cavalier” boots, which are also called “thigh high” boots, from which the term “bootlegger” is believed to have originated. Note the boot’s high shaft which extends to, and often over the knee, and the widening taper to accommodate the thigh’s size & shape. The style originated in Spain with early cowboys, and was entirely one of functional design, then later took upon a fashionable trend among the well-to-do, moneyed nobility class.
Background image is oil on panel, dimensions 9.8 x 7.5 inches (25x19cm), entitled
A Guardroom Interior,”
c.1630 by Jacob Duck (1600-1667), a Dutch painter whom specialized in such guardroom images and contemporary period paintings.

To be certain,
it’s NOT “boot liquor,”

which in a sense could be
(or perhaps has been)

morphed into bootlegger,
which is a person who
illegally sells liquor.

The term itself derived from
the practice of
hiding a flask of liquor
in a
high-legged boot.

But to be certain,
the term
“boot licker”
is a
derogatory term
used to describe
someone whom is Read the rest of this entry »

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Beans So Bad Even My Dog Won’t Eat ‘Em

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dogs’ll eat anything.

Well, almost anything.

Yeah, they were are that bad!

You know beans’ve gotta’ be REALLY bad when even a 4-day hungry dawg won’t eat ’em!

Or, any food.

Bad Beans front s

You KNOW food is genuinely bad when even a hungry dog won’t eat it!

It’s summertime, and truth be told, folks and critters don’t do much eating.

‘Cept for bears. Bears chow down during summer. They eat up, meat up, and sleep it all off over winter.

But this was the case with Read the rest of this entry »

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If Alabama Was A Loaf Of Bread

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 31, 2015

If Alabama was a loaf of bread, candy canes and root beer floats.

Pineapple ice cream cotton candy, pecan pies, Festhalle chicken, eggs ample, cinco de mother may I?

Johnny Monkeyshines, Goat Hill Hamburger Helper, largely poor, uneducated and easy to barbecue.

W.C. Keller, Bellingrath Handyman, Werner von Read the rest of this entry »

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Evolution is not Contradictory to Scriptural Creation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 23, 2015

And God said, “Let there be light,” and POOF! As if by magic, the sun suddenly appeared fully formed and functional!

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” And POOF! As if by magic, every bird and fish was fully formed & functional, and there were bazillions of ’em!

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image.” And POOF! As if by magic, Adam, the first human, was fully formed and functional.

Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?

It should. Yet that’s precisely what it says. Of course, the “And POOF! As if by magic” part was added for purposes of ludicrous illustration.

And, it is equally preposterous to imagine that God is a magician, and that POOF! As if by magic, everything just suddenly appeared.

What we see and understand – if we can use observations of the natural world to guide us – is that Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Get Elected In Alabama: Convince the “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to vote for you.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2015

It’s a classic variation upon the theme of a “straw man argument.”

But if you’re like most folks in Alabama, you’re probably so “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to know what that is.

So, I’ll tell you.

You cite an example of thing you oppose (and which many others would oppose) – even though it’s false (example: “The air in our city has killed thousands of babies!”) – and hammer on it, until you beat it up. Never mind that the example you use is pure bullshit and a total lie. That way, you get your opponent distracted from the REAL issues by responding to your bullshit lies. Studies have shown that when you repeat a lie – even if you are repeating it to refute it – the repetition can reinforce the lie in the minds of some people.

Read on.

Insight: How To Get Elected In Alabama

By Hardy Jackson

In my more than half-a-century of following politics — state, local and national — I cannot recall such a general disgust with the quality of the folks who govern us.

How, I hear it asked repeatedly, did these people get elected?

The answer, of course, is that they got the most votes.

But that is not the answer most people want.How to Get Elected in AL politics

What they want to know is how these politicians were able to convince a majority of Alabama voters to cast a ballot for them.

Well, I’m gonna tell you.

Today, politicians in Alabama get elected because they have mastered a strategy that has gotten Alabama politicians elected as long as there have been politicians and elections in this state.

Here is how it works.

First, a candidate must convince voters that 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 Governor Bentley signs Executive Order No.4 Creating Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Yesterday, Monday, April 6, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley, MD signed Executive Order No.4 creating a 38-member “Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force.”

Though the unspoken ostensible purpose of the task force is to likely make recommendations to the Governor for the expansion of Medicaid in Alabama, it’s being couched to the less-than-observant (or less-than-smart, take your pick), as a home-grown alternative to the big bad wolf of D.C. known as “ObamaCare.”

Again, for the benefit of the uneducated, in addition to decreasing fraud, waste and abuse, increasing efficiency, eliminating discrimination against women, children & people with “pre-existing” conditions, mandating numerous improvements to the quality of the delivery of healthcare from all states in order to receive payment (performance-based payment), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (sometimes abbreviated as ACA, though popularly known as “ObamaCare”), contains a provision encouraging (but not requiring – that decision was made the U.S. Supreme Court) the state’s governors to expand Medicaid for their impoverished residents. The law provides for 100% payment for so doing, then gradually declines to 90%.

Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.

Governors in Kentucky and Arkansas have decided to Expand Medicaid in their states, and are already enjoying savings.

Currently, Alabama’s matching portion (the %age it pays to purchase Medicaid) is 32.4%; so to expand Medicaid, and have it ALL paid for, and then to pay a LOWER rate than is presently being paid is one of the smartest fiscal decisions the state could make.

Already, the Governors of Kentucky and Arkansas – both well-known Republican strongholds, with opposition to the ACA – have expanded Medicaid in their states, and are already reaping the rewards.

Here’s a chart showing the compensation plan to the states: Read the rest of this entry »

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Somebody’s Gonna’ Get Killed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's NOT mere "courtesy," IT'S THE LAW!

It’s NOT mere “courtesy,”
IT’S THE LAW!

I was run off the road while riding my 10-speed bicycle.

It happened in a residential part of town, very near home, and upon one of the widest roads in town…

Capable of 4 lanes of 2-way traffic, with parallel parking along both sides, the road also ran adjacent the football stadium & high school.

I loved to ride my bicycle, and would do so almost daily, for at least five miles. And that was long before the song “Bicycle” by Queen was popularized. In fact, it was upon a “road bike” much like the ones seen in the video below.

Recollecting that Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sweet Salvation That A Little Old Knife Can Bring

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I don’t recollect exactly what year it was when I first heard the song “Woman Child” by the late singer/songwriter artist/musician Harry Chapin. I do recollect, however, that a young lady then near my age, was a fan of his, and it was through hearing some of his music she was playing that I learned of him.

It was perhaps his 1978 album “Living Room Suite” which I had seen her playing, but it was his second album “Sniper and Other Love Songs,” released in October 1972, which I subsequently purchased, which so powerfully affected me.

Chapin died tragically in July 1981, aged 38, and though the exact cause of his death was undetermined, he was thought to have suffered cardiac arrest while driving, which was explained as the likely cause of his wreck. The truck driver into whose path he swerved, along with the assistance of a passer-by, rescued him from his burning 1975-model Volkswagen Rabbit, and he was subsequently flown to a nearby hospital where a team of perhaps 10 or more worked fruitlessly for nearly a half-hour to save his life.

Chapin’s artistic creative style might be considered similar, somewhat, to that of a troubadour or wandering minstrel, because each and every song on that album – and indeed, every song of his – was a well-crafted, and expertly told story. The stories weren’t from a fantastic, idealistic fantasy life, but were from everyone’s work-a-day life. The struggles, trials, tribulations, joys, victories and crushing blows of unjust defeats in life were all subjects in his songs. From “W – O – L – D,” to one of his best-known “Cat’s In The Cradle,” Chapin’s gift of lyric and music made each song a veritable raconteur’s masterpiece.

As many older older teens are, at that time Read the rest of this entry »

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The Penultimate Reading List

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 22, 2014

Summertime is quickly drawing to a close, and some of you -no doubt- have enjoyed (or at least attempted to enjoy) reading a few good books during these past few months.

However, just in the case you didn’t, and if you’re looking for a good list from which to choose, either for yourself, your children, or others, here’s an EXCELLENT starting point.

Most are novels, some are not, many are classics, some are from antiquity, some from modernity, some obscure, while others (and their authors) renown. In some cases, authors are not listed because many -if not most- of the works are so renown, or they’re simply unknown; and in the cases where some help could help identify or clarify, the author’s name is provided.

While by no means is this list wholly complete, it’s a damn good start.

If anyone has read at least 1/3 of these, they may consider themselves reasonably well read.
 (While I’ve not read all of the selections, I have read many – and am familiar with most.)

And remember, if you can’t read, you’re doomed!
Don’t ban books!

1.) Daphnis & Chloe (Longus),
2.) I, Robot (Isaac Asimov),
3.) To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee),
4.) Lord of the Flies (William Golding),
5.) The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas),
6.) Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift),
7.) The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck),
8.) The Catcher in the Rye (J.D.Salinger),
9.) The Hound of the Baskervilles (Arthur Conan Doyle),
10.) Frankenstein (Mary Shelley),

11.) 1984 (George Orwell),
12.) The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells),
13.) David Copperfield (Charles Dickens),
14.) Don Quixote (Don Quijote de la Mancha),
15.) Moby-Dick (Herman Mellville),
16.) Metamorphoses (Ovid),
17.) The Napoleon of Notting Hill (G.K.Chesterton),
18.) Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)
19.) Ulysses (James Joyce),
20.) Catch-22 (Joseph Heller),

21.) Robinson Crusoe,
22.) Clarissa (Samuel Richardson),
23.) Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë),
24.) The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne),
25.) Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert),
26.) The Brothers Karamazov ( Fyodor Dostoyevsky),
27.) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stephenson),
28.) The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde),
29.) The Call of the Wild (Jack London),
30.) The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame),

31.) Men Without Women (Ernest Hemingway),
32.) Brave New World (Aldous Huxley),
33.) The Plague (Albert Camus),
34.) Charlotte’s Web (E.B.White),
35.) The Lord Of The Rings (J.R.R.Tolkein),
36.) On the Road (Jack Kerouac),
37.) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,
38.) Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov),
39.) The Tin Drum (Günter Wilhelm Grass), Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Beer Still Bets on Lager

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 20, 2014

If you’re a beer drinker, if you enjoy quaffing the suds, a cold one after work, or on a summer day, you may be interested to know that Anheuser-Busch (now Anheuser-Busch InBev), Molson, Coors (now MolsonCoors), Miller (now SABMiller) are NOT American-owned companies.

That’s right.

They’re foreign-owned, multinational corporations – every one.

The Craft Brew Beer industry in America is the antithesis of Big Beer, which in large part, developed as a result of consistently poor quality products made by Big Beer, and their inattention to customers. The emergence of me-too wanna’ be ‘craft brewed beers’ made by Big Beer is a sure sign that they’ve noticed what’s happening – a reduction in beer consumption, i.e., their sales.

Those sales have gone to micro & craft brewed beer, and their American-made, locally-sourced mom & pop competitors.

More power to locally sourced craft brewed beers!

Cheers!

***

Why Lager Is the Future of Craft Beer

BY Jason Notte | 06/19/14 – 10:00 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) — Small craft brewers and the craft divisions of huge international breweries can talk about wheat beers, shandies and even IPA all they’d like: This is still lager country.

Despite recent gains by craft beer and recent shifts by Anheuser-Busch InBev, MolsonCoors and SABMiller toward brands including Blue Moon, Shock Top, Goose Island and Leinenkugel’s, the overwhelming majority of beer sold in this country is lager or some derivative thereof. It’s been so relentless and pervasive that even hard-line craft beer advocates have begun embracing it in its light, familiar form.

Consider that MolsonCoors/SABMiller’s MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev still sell about 74% of the beer this nation drinks. Consider further that Corona and Heineken make up roughly another 10% of that market. Throw Pabst, Modelo and newly “craft” brewer Yuengling into the equation and 18 of the 20 best-selling beers in the U.S. are some form of either lager or pilsner.

You can argue that most are losing sales — and many including Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite and Busch are. But import brands including Heinkeken, Corona and Modelo saw sales rise even during the recession. The same holds true for Coors Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Yuengling, with each posting double-digit percentage point gains in 2012 alone, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

The problem isn’t lager, but the overall beer market. The Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau reported a 1.5% decrease in overall beer sales and a 2.6-million barrel loss in beer production. That’s basically akin to shutting down Boston Beer’s Samuel Adams brand (which produced 2.7 million barrels in 2012) for an entire year. Beer consumption overall has fallen in four of the past five years, with many of the slumping mainstream brands responsible for the damage. That has reduced reduced beer’s share of the overall alcohol market from 55% in 2000 to 49% in 2012. Meanwhile, craft beer volume increased by an estimated 15% last year, with imports putting up roughly 5% growth.

The Beer Institute, a beer industry organization based in Washington, points out that Read the rest of this entry »

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Why did Parker Griffith vote AGAINST the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 6, 2014

English: , member of the United States House o...

Official portrait, Parker Griffith, MD as freshman member of the United States House of Representatives, Alabama 5th Congressional District.

53rd Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Jr., MD - campaign photograph

Campaign photograph – 53rd Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Jr., MD

As a politician, Parker Griffith has been described as “maverick.”

To describe it diplomatically, he has been “somewhat unpredictable.”

To be blunt, he’s a loose cannon.

His most recent political aspiration includes 2014 candidacy for Alabama governor under the Democratic ticket, challenging first term Republican Robert Bentley (described as “wildly popular”), whom is similarly a retired physician, and former Alabama State House Representative from Tuscaloosa, whom has publicly announced his opinion that he will be re-elected during a tour of Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, where sexual assaults, and abuses of innumerable kind have become so rampantly commonplace that Alabama’s prison system is verging upon federal takeover.

It was during his tour of that prison that “Our kindly country doctor governor toured Tutwiler in early March and quietly said, “we are probably going to have to build some new prisons in my second term.””

Griffith’s greatest obstacle is his past. More specifically, the greatest mountain he must conquer is his decision to switch parties (from Democrat to Republican) while in his first term in Congress, which abruptly ended his political aspirations.

The nightmare of his actions still haunts Alabama voters, many whom have not forgotten – including those in his hometown, Huntsville & Madison County. Like the ghastly spectre in Charles Dickens’ classic fiction “A Christmas Carol,” Parker Griffith must come face-to-face with the Ghost of Election Past, and Bentley with the Ghost of Alabama Yet to Come.

And in this real-life play, Bob Cratchit is played by the people, while 18.1% of the state’s population (the state poverty rate) are cast as the sickly child, Tiny Tim. They and others are the ones whom are denied by the Scrooge, played by Governor Bentley and Republican-dominated state legislature.

In reality, Griffith and Bentley play dual roles in this real-life political /social /medical /economic drama.

Charles Dickens circa 1850: he ‘kept on going by taking on too much’. Photograph: Herbert Watkins

Is there salvation for Griffith?

Will Bentley expand Medicaid?

Can anyone really help the citizens of Alabama?

Tune in next time! when we hear _?_ say…

Griffith’s last foray into politics – as Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District – did not bode well, for after the first full year of a two-year term, he announced he was changing political party affiliation, for which he was resoundingly criticized at home by his constituency, in the press for his actions, and then subsequently resoundingly defeated by GOP challenger “Mo” Brooks in the 2010 Republican primary.

When he represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, Parker Griffith voted against Read the rest of this entry »

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More Government Cheese Bhurger, sir? Welfare Cattle Ranching: Digging into the Cliven Bundy ordeal

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 25, 2014

I’m not a funnyman like Jon Stewart of the Comedy Channel.
However, Stewart does a good job – indeed, an excellent job – of excoriating right-wing zealot Sean Hannity over his inconsistencies of argument in support of Cliven Bundy… the man who knows everything about the Negro.
In fact, Stewart does a damn fine job… in a manner that perfectly shines a light upon Mr. Hannity’s hypocrisy.

If you’d like to take a few minutes to be entertained and educated, here’s the URL for the episode in which Stewart skewers Hannity.
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/full-episodes/ig155d/april-21–2014—gina-mccarthy

And, if you’re kinda’ froggy, and like to get the facts (just the facts, ma’am… just the facts), here’s some research I performed for my benefit.
Yeah.
I’m selfish like that.
I didn’t do it for anyone else but me.

Enjoy!

***

At issue is Cliven Bundy’s claim to land use – not ownership.

The area in question is 150 square miles in the 500,000 acre Gold Butte area along the Virgin River in Nevada.

Bundy claims that his family “homesteaded” that land since 1877, and by virtue of that claim, unlimited right of use to the land belongs to him.

In essence, Bundy claims a right to graze the land where he has allowed his cattle to roam – and therefore, because his cattle have been there, he claims unlimited use of the land belongs to him, although he cannot produce any document demonstrating any essence or component of such claim, nor of ownership – such as a survey, easement, bill of sale, quitclaim deed, bills for taxes, or taxes paid.

For over 20 years, Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze on that tract of Federal land – land to which he has no ownership, deed or right of use – and since 1993 has ceased paying grazing fees, which, by his own admission, is in arrears at least $300,000.

Here’s a partial time line to the current date which highlights significant events in the ordeal.
1973
■ Cliven Bundy pays grazing fees to the BLM for the next 20 years.
1993
■ The BLM modifies Bundy’s grazing permit by reducing the size allowed for his herd to 150 and restricts where his cattle can graze in the Gold Butte area. He refuses the permit and stops paying grazing fees. The BLM cancels his permit. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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