Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

Inequality in Government: Is there Racism in Mississippi? In 2014? Say it ain’t so!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 4, 2014

It occurred to me recently in a couple conversations I had with friends in various parts of our United States, that equal representation is a matter with which we still struggle.

While on occasion I’ve opined about injustice through inequality – the United States’ Constitution guarantees Equal Protection and Equal Rights under law via the 14th Amendment – it occurred to me recently that there are some who “just don’t get it.”

More to the point, I was spurred by a photograph sent to me by a friend in one of our Northern sister states – the Land of the Frozen Chosen, sometimes also referred to as “The Great White North.”

In gentleness, I refer, of course, to Minnesota.

It was a photograph of my friend’s co-worker which sparked my interest, and subsequent curiosity.

The co-worker was Afro-American, aka “Black.”

I was somewhat surprised to see a Black person in Minnesota, so I queried the Census Bureau for some Quick Statistics about our United States.

Here’s what I found:
Only 5.5% of Minnesota’s population is Black.

In comparison to the United States at large, 13.1% of our American population in general is Black. And in Alabama, 26.5% are Black, while in neighboring Mississippi, 37.4% of that state’s residents are Black. Alabama’s Eastern neighbor Georgia has a closely similar percentage with a 31.2% Black population, while Tennessee is nearly half, with a 17% Black population.

Examining some other states, I found that Alabama’s Southern neighbor, Florida has a very closely similar Black population with 16.6%, while Louisiana’s Black population is just about double with 32.4%. The “Natural State” of Arkansas has a 15.6% Black population, while North and South Carolina are almost evenly tied with 22 & 28% respectively.

On the other hand, Texas has a lower Black population than either Tennessee or Arkansas with only 12.3%.

Kentucky? Only 8.1% of Kentuckians are Black.

Interestingly, of the 16 players on the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, only 6 are not Black. In other words, 62.5% of the team is Black – a clear majority. And yet, the state’s general population is completely and disproportionately unrepresentative of the team.

What about Virginia? With a 19.7% Black population, Virginia stands in distinct contrast to West Virginia, which only has a 3.5% Black population – a very stark contrast, indeed.

But what about some of the other Midwestern states?

Missouri has an 11.7% Black population, while only 3.2% of corn-fed Iowans are Black.

From Minnesota moving West, South Dakota has a mere 1.7% Black population, while Montana…

Well.. there just about no Black folks in that state, at all. Only a mere 0.6% – 6/10ths on one percent – of that state’s residents are Black.

A casual observation would be that it’s mighty White up North.

But let’s bring it back on home to Mississippi…

In a recent post shared by someone else on 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
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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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POTUS Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election speech transcript & video

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 11, 2012

Transcript of President Obama’s Election Night Speech

Published: November 7, 2012

The following is the full text of President Obama’s victory speech on Wednesday (Transcript courtesy of the Federal News Service).

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (Cheers, applause.)

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.

(Cheers, applause.) I want to thank every American who participated in this election. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you voted for the very first time — (cheers) — or waited in line for a very long time — (cheers) — by the way, we have to fix that. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone — (cheers, applause) — whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference. (Cheers, applause.)

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (Cheers, applause.) We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. (Cheers, applause.) In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

(Cheers, applause.)

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. (Cheers, applause.)

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (Cheers, applause.) Let me say this publicly. Michelle, I have never loved you more. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s first lady. (Cheers, applause.)

Sasha and Malia — (cheers, applause) — before our very eyes, you’re growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. (Cheers, applause.) And I am so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now, one dog’s probably enough. (Laughter.)

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics — (cheers, applause) — the best — the best ever — (cheers, applause) — some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.

(Cheers, applause.) But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together. (Cheers, applause.) And you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way — (cheers, applause) — to every hill, to every valley. (Cheers, applause.) You lifted me up the whole day, and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in. (Cheers, applause.)

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or — or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young Read the rest of this entry »

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Hurricane Sandy Pummels East Coast, Stresses Cities’ Weak Infrastructure

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Like many, I’ve read a few stories, and seen a few pics from the landing of Hurricane Sandy on the United States Eastern seaboard.

Honestly, it’s difficult to go throughout the day not hearing at least one story about the extreme climatic conditions that’ve been wreaking havoc for thousands of miles, stretching North into Canada and South into the Appalachian foothills of Tennessee & North Carolina from the hurricane’s epicenter located in the New York City & New Jersey areas.

Though unlike many, I’ve not stayed glued to the weather news or developments.

Extreme climatic events in remote affected areas – unusually early and deep snowfall, including heavy rain – have accompanied this unparalleled severe weather event. Yet one of the odd things about this storm, is that – as hurricane strength is measured – it’s not a powerful storm.

Hurricane measurements grade storm intensity according to wind strength, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Pharmaceutical Firms Lie, Cheat & Steal from America’s Elderly, Orphans, Poor and Helpless

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 8, 2012

A few points for the reader to consider:
This fraud was national in scope, involving a $3 BILLION settlement, of which the North Carolina Attorney General was able to recoup $31.8M. Pfizer, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Forest Labs, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca have also all plead guilty to deceptive and fraudulent marketing. It’s very likely a drop in the bucket in comparison with the greater scope.

The four most expensive Pharmacy frauds in the United States history have occurred since George W. Bush oversaw the rewriting of the Medicare Part D drug benefit in 2003. In order of their value, they are:
GlaxoSmithKline – $3 Billion, 2012
Pfizer – $2.3 Billion, 2009
Abbott Laboratories – $1.5 Billion, 2012
Eli Lilly – $1.4 Billion, 2009

The so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription Part D drug plan was closed by President Obama. That “doughnut hole” was created under the George W. Bush administration, who caved in to lobbyists from BIG PHARMA, and allowed them to write much of that aspect of the 2003 revision of the Medicare Part D law (also known as the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA), and refused to allow Medicaid the opportunity to bargain for prices with pharmaceutical firms.

Advertising is expensive. Advertising for medications on television, radio, Internet, magazines, billboards, buses, and any other place where advertising is sold, is illegal in some nations. It was once illegal in the United States, until the 1980’s when the FDA OK’d it under pressure from the Reagan administration.

IMS Health, a medical data firm, calculates that drug companies’ business in the United States alone earns more than $300 billion a year.

Last year, GSK had $20 Billion gross profits on $27 Billion in revenue. So don’t let anyone EVER fool you into believing that drug companies don’t make enough money, don’t have enough profits, or enough profit margin.

Pharmaceutical companies spent Read the rest of this entry »

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Michelle Obama fires up America with Keynote Speech to Democratic faithful in Charlotte

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not only was her speech more well received than Republican Ann Romney‘s, but that one night of the DNC was more enthusiastic – i.e., FIRED UP – than was the entire RNC event in Tampa.

It was EXCITING to know that the Average American does NOT want to return to the “Bad Old Days” of bad policy as they experienced under the Bush II administration, which was responsible for the bail-out called TARP, starting wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, outsourcing American jobs, increasing the size of government, cutting taxes on the wealthy, the so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription program (written by BIG PHARMA), and a whole lotta’ other genuinely bad things.

It was EXCITING to know that personal freedom – religious, private, healthcare – is an instrumental part of the Democratic Platform, as opposed to the RNC which supports… going back via the legislative time machine to the 1800’s, when child labor was common, women couldn’t vote, any non-white person was a second-class non-citizen & couldn’t vote, etc.

Transcript: Michelle Obama’s Democratic Convention Speech

September 4, 2012

Below is the full transcript, as prepared for delivery, of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.

Thank you so much, Elaine…we are so grateful for your family‘s service and sacrifice…and we will always have your back.

Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country. And everywhere I’ve gone, in the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit.

I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.

I’ve seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay.

I’ve seen it in people who become heroes at a moment’s notice, diving into harm’s way to save others…flying across the country to put out a fire…driving for hours to bail out a flooded town.

And I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families…in wounded warriors who tell me they’re not just going to walk again, they’re going to run, and they’re going to run marathons…in the young man blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan who said, simply, “…I’d give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do.”

Every day, the people I meet inspire me…every day, they make me proud…every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.

Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege…but back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we’d begun.

While I believed deeply in my husband’s vision for this country…and I was certain he would make an extraordinary President…like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance.

How would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight?

How would they Read the rest of this entry »

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North Carolina Republicans Seek to Outlaw Scientific Research

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 24, 2012

Seriously.

They are.

It’s kinda’ like the gun saying, albeit with a peppermint twist:

“When ‘they’ outlaw science, only outlaws will be scientists.”

The whole scientific process means that folks get up and argue about it, and demonstrate their findings, and argue their conclusions, and implications for the same.

This is a prime example of Republican idiocy.

Utter stupidity brought to you by TEApublican TEAvangelical radicals.

Yes, radicals.

What’re these people?

Stupid?

Wait… that was a rhetorical question.

In North Carolina, a fight over sea levels and science

After a state report predicts higher ocean levels, based in part on global-warming data, new legislation seeks to all but outlaw such projections. The bill has drawn ridicule, as well as scrutiny of the state’s new political climate.

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times

5:00 AM PDT, June 24, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. — When scientists at a state commission predicted that North Carolina’s sea levels could rise 39 inches by 2100, coastal business and development leaders weren’t alarmed at the prospect of flooding. They were outraged by the report itself.

They complained to state legislators, saying the projection could trigger regulations costing coastal businesses and homeowners millions of dollars.

Johnnie Mercer Wrightsville Beach NC

Waves lap against Johnnie Mercer’s Pier at Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, N.C. (Paul Stephen / The Star-News / May 29, 2012)

The result is House Bill 819, a measure that would require sea level forecasts to be based on past patterns and would all but outlaw projections based on climate change data.

The bill, now under discussion by a legislative conference committee, has been ridiculed nationwide. It was mocked by comedian Stephen Colbert and savaged in a Scientific American blog post titled “N.C. Considers Making Sea Rise Illegal.”

It has also focused attention on the political shift in North Carolina, where Republicans in 2010 won control of the state Legislature for the first time in a century. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Homeless to Harvard: North Carolina teen gets Ivy League full ride scholarship

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 10, 2012

To read of this story causes several emotions and thoughts to arise within me.

One, is of sorrow and pity.

Another, is of relief that the community pitched in to assist.

Another is of joy that she is on a trajectory for success.

Yet another is of frustration that these scenarios exist… and do so largely without others’ knowledge.

Even another is of a tinge of anger, for the injustice.

While another is of pride for her resolute attitude and dogged determination.

On the whole, however, it is a “happy ending” to an otherwise difficult, even horrifically tragic story. And it is precisely those kind of success stories we so love to hear. The stories of those whom have overcome adversity – to have excelled despite the most severe adversity, even affliction – is the type of success story, the proverbial Horatio Alger story, that we Americans and all people, love to hear.

From scrubbing floors to Ivy League: Homeless student to go to dream college

By Vivian Kuo, CNN
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Fri June 8, 2012

Lawndale, North Carolina (CNN) — It’s before sunrise, and the janitor at Burns High School has already been down the length of a hallway, cleaning and sweeping classrooms before the day begins.

This particular janitor is painstakingly methodical, even as she administers a mental quiz on an upcoming test. Her name is Dawn Loggins, a straight-A senior at the very school she cleans.

On this day, she maneuvers a long-handled push broom between rows of desks. She stops to pick up a hardened, chewed piece of gum. “This annoys me, because there’s a trash can right here,” she says.

The worst, she says, is snuff cans in urinals. “It’s just rude and pointless.”

With her long, straight dark blonde hair and black-rimmed glasses, Dawn looks a bit like Avril Lavigne. But her life is a far cry from that of a privileged pop star.

She was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. The teachers and others in town pitched in — donating clothes and providing medical and dental care. She got the janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program.

She’s grateful for the work. But it’s where she’s going next, beyond the walls of Burns, that excites her most. She applied to four colleges within North Carolina and one dream university. She’ll graduate soon before heading off, leaving her dust pan behind.

120606082929-homeless-to-harvard-2-story-body

Dawn Loggins is working as a janitor to make ends meet.

For now, there’s Read the rest of this entry »

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Legendary Finger Picker Guitarist “Doc” Watson dead at 89

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 31, 2012

“Doc” Watson was proof that no matter the difficulties, trials or tribulations that life throws your way, if you put your heart and soul to whatever your hand finds to do, you can excel.

May his memory be blessed.

Doc Watson, Blind Guitar Wizard Who Influenced Generations, Dies at 89

May 29, 2012
By WILLIAM GRIMES

Doc Watson, the guitarist and folk singer whose flat-picking style elevated the acoustic guitar to solo status in bluegrass and country music, and whose interpretations of traditional American music profoundly influenced generations of folk and rock guitarists, died on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was 89.

Doc WATSON-1-obit-articleLarge

Doc Watson performing in New York in 2005. (Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos)

Mr. Watson, who had been blind since he was a baby, died in a hospital after recently undergoing abdominal surgery, The Associated Press quoted a hospital spokesman as saying. On Thursday his daughter, Nancy Ellen Watson, said he had been hospitalized after falling at his home in Deep Gap, N.C., adding that he did not break any bones but was very ill.

Mr. Watson, who came to national attention during the folk music revival of the early 1960s, injected a note of authenticity into a movement awash in protest songs and bland renditions of traditional tunes. In a sweetly resonant, slightly husky baritone, he sang old hymns, ballads and country blues he had learned growing up in the northwestern corner of North Carolina, which has produced fiddlers, banjo pickers and folk singers for generations.

His mountain music came as a Read the rest of this entry »

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John Edwards, and How to Indict the Ham Sandwich

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 5, 2011

John Edwards official Senate photo portrait.

John Edwards, U.S. Senator, North Carolina (D), official portrait

In legal circles – in which I do not travel – there is a common saying (one which can be found on Wikipedia – the so-called “fount of all knowledge” – please excuse me while I find the vomitorium) – which says  “A good prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.” 

It is that aphorism – an aphorism, which by the way, is defined as “a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation” – upon which I begin this entry.

John Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, Democrat, and former presidential candidate, was discovered to have fathered a child out of wedlock while he was married to his now-late former wife Elizabeth, whom was also an attorney, and whom died of a recurrence of cancer.

Fearing public censure, “handlers” for former Senator Edwards’ presidential campaign sought to Read the rest of this entry »

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