Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘NPR’

NPR F***s Up

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Today, A.C. Barrett was administered the Constitutional oath as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court by SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas.

She must still be administered the oath of office.

It’s only her SECOND job as a judge.

And she hasn’t even been a judge a total of 3 years yet!

Not even!!

Can you say “GREENHORN”? “Wet behind the ears”?

Recall that she came from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – her first job as a jurist, which Trump also gave her. No doubt, he’ll expect something in return.

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed her nomination along a party line vote, 52R-48D.

It only took 31 days from nomination to confirmation for the Republican Senate Majority Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell of Kentucky to ramrod her through the process – a record time. She must like being Read the rest of this entry »

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Overburdened Police

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 8, 2020

There’s been much “water under the bridge” in the last 50 years, or so.

Like it, or not, America has changed.

And frankly, not all change is good. Not all change is for the better. And we all recognize that fact, whether we voted, and voted for Trump, or someone else.

That’s a common unifier among us all regardless of what political affiliation – if any – we may have. We know that change has come, and some of it hasn’t produced the good it was purported to bring about.

Some of the change has been oblique, some of it has been blatant, some of it may have been justified, and some of it may have been a handout, or a head on a silver platter as a political favor.

Again, not all change is good, nor has all change been good. But neither is it all bad.

Change is necessary. We change diapers on babies regularly, and (should) change politicians regularly for the same reason – when they’re full of poop, they’re stinky, and dirty, and if left in place too long, will irritate the skin, and lead to infection.

In an interview article entitled “How Much Do We Need The Police?” by Leah Donnella, published June 6, 2020 on the NPR website, she spoke with Dr. Alex S. Vitale, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, and is a Visiting Professor at London Southbank University. For the past 25 years, he has consulted with police departments and international human rights organizations, served on numerous boards, conducted research, and authored numerous books, scholarly articles, and articles of public interest on matters of law enforcement.

In the interview, his observations were not merely prescient, but keen, some of which were, quite frankly, obvious – although at the time, we may not have noticed what would have occurred. But after problems did begin to emerge, we did nothing.

It’s the “Frosted Lucky Charms” mindset – thinking that if we do nothing, it’ll all be “magically delicious,” or miraculously go away… like the POTUS said of COVID-19 at a New Hampshire rally, February 10, 2020 when he said in part, that, “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

And now, as the saying goes, “the chickens have come home to roost.”

The fruit borne of the changes which have been made in many matters that do NOT pertain to police, that do NOT pertain to law enforcement, that do NOT require law enforcement intervention, that are merely either civil, health, or social matters, have been unfairly and unjustly thrust upon police whom have been tasked with responding to them.

In a very real way, they’ve been unjustifiably overburdened, and have by default, commanded to do many things OUTSIDE the scope of law enforcement. It’d be like asking a groundskeeper to also be a nanny. It’s also patently and preposterously absurd.

That blatantly points to the need for Read the rest of this entry »

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“Newt Gingrich Says ‘You’re Welcome'” Reveals GOP Strategy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 15, 2018

I find significant ignorance, irony, even hypocrisy in Newt Gingrich’s political theories.

There’s no denying that he has significantly influenced American politics, and by some standards, coarsened it, even made it highly unpalatable. It is undeniably unpleasant – even for numerous long-time observers, participants, and others.

But moreover, I find Gingrich’s model deeply, and inherently flawed.

But first, to set the background, here’s the transcript of a brief interview NPR’s Rachel Martin had with The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins as heard on NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday, October 15, 2018, about his recent interview with Newt Gingrich.

NOTE: ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY FOLLOWS THE TRANSCRIPT.

Rachel Martin: “Newt Gingrich will tell you he saw something in Donald Trump early on, that made him believe Trump could win the presidency. And that ‘something’ Gingrich saw, has a lot to do with how he sees himself. The former Speaker of the House made a name for himself by breaking a lot of political mores, and refusing to compromise with the other side – much like President Trump.

“The Atlantic magazine’s McKay Coppins spent some time with Newt Gingrich recently, for a profile he did. It’s called ‘Newt Gingrich Says ‘You’re Welcome.'”

In the opening of the brief interview, Rachel Martin begins by saying, “So… you went to spend some time with Newt Gingrich, and he suggested that you do so at the Philadelphia Zoo.”

McKay Coppins: [chuckles] “That’s right!”
Rachel Martin: “How come?”

Coppins: “Well, he is a famous animal lover. He, ah… you know, donated to zoos around the world. He… he loves animals. But I think also, what became clear to me as I got there, is that, he ah… he sees animals as Read the rest of this entry »

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Beat the Heat with Buttermilk Popsicles?

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

A good and longtime friend shared recently about making buttermilk popsicles at home with family, using a recipe presumably which came from Steel City Pops, a trendy nouveau foodery in Birmingham, AL. And giving credit where credit is due, Alabama has some mighty fine eateries, and an amazing wealth in it’s diversity of food. As evidence of that fact, Chef Frank Stitt, owner of Birmingham restaurants Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant, and Chez Fonfon has been on the James Beard Foundation Award‘s radar for quite some time, and most recently, NPR recognized the excellent oysters produced by Murder Point Oysters using farming methods in that Bayou La Batre, Alabama Gulf Coast town, which were also feted by Chef Emeril Lagasse. Alabama food is a literal treasure of gastronomic proportion. And it’s not just limited to the holiest of holies… barbecue.
(👉Get your Alabama Barbecue Trail app here!👈😋)

Now, I confess an aversion to buttermilk except in cooking. And the reason, of course, is that I’ve tried it. And not just once. In fact, I recollect as a youth visiting with relatives in Read the rest of this entry »

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Medgar Evers, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift & Scott Beason walk into a voting booth…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 13, 2013

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

June 12, 2013, marked the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ death in Jackson, Mississippi.

Bob Dylan’s music on Medgar Evers was recently featured on NPR’ afternoon news program, All Things Considered.

As the guest spoke, it occurred to me that the primary difference between this era, and the era of the late Civil Rights leader is that the exceeding majority of today’s youthful musicians are out for the almighty dollar, rather than speaking their hearts and minds for the causes of truth, justice, and the American way.

It’s all about the money.

And according to some, there is perhaps no better representative of the “me” generation than Taylor Swift.

Historical Racist Promotional Image - Citizen's Council of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Historical Racist Promotional Image – Citizen’s Council of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Not being familiar with the body of Miss Swift’s work, I must rely upon interviews with her, and from remarks by those whom are familiar with her work. And it seems that there are many who utterly despise her work, for no other reason than that “practically every song she sings is about herself.”

And in defense of Miss Swift, regarding her work, she has said, “I’ve been very selfish about my songs. I’ve Read the rest of this entry »

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If government IS the the problem, then the Constitution is the BIGGEST problem. Therefore, abolishing the Constitution would solve all problems.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 3, 2012

Contrary to Ronald Reagan’s assertion, government is NOT the problem.

Government is OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people.

If government were the problem, the Constitution would be the BIGGEST problem.

Essentially, that argument – the one that claims “government is the problem” – is a self-refuting idea (aka self-defeating argument). In other words, it inherently & naturally contradicts itself.

The observant (astute) reader will recall that it was Ronald Reagan who made that specious claim.

Again, if “government is the problem,” then anarchy is the answer; for anarchy is the total absence of government.

So… there’s your GOP “logic.”

As I continue to write, and opine, and explain, the GOP has been taken over by radical leftists who are Hell-bent upon destroying government.

Again, I have written, if government is evil, then those involved in government are evil. Why then, would someone admit they are participating in, and desire to participate in an evil process?

That too, it self-contradictory.

And that too – that government is evil – is a GOP argument.

It’s pure idiocy.

On Defense In Era Of Anti-Big Government Sentiment

by NPR Staff

Listen to the Story / All Things Considered [11 min 29 sec] / Add to Playlist / Download / Transcript

September 2, 2012

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In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was making the case that government was a necessary and positive part of American life. Contemporary Democrats are having less success with the argument.

Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they’re up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against “big government.”

The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.

“Woodrow Wilson, who is still conservative by modern liberal standards, does allow for a pretty dramatic expansion of government,” Zelizer tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

The real turning point, though, was Read the rest of this entry »

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No more “Click”…. no more “Clack.” Tappet Brothers hang up their act.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh no!

What’ll I listen to on the weekends?

NPR’s Car Talk guys hang up wrenches, microphones

By Ros Krasny

BOSTON | Fri Jun 8, 2012 2:24pm EDT

(Reuters) – Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of National Public Radio’s popular “Car Talk” program, will retire in September after decades of dispensing automotive repair and driving advice laced with a side of wicked humor.

Handout photo of Tom and Ray Magliozzi

Undated handout photo courtesy of Car Talk shows Tom (R) and Ray Magliozzi. REUTERS/Richard Howard/Car Talk/Handout

The pair, in their guise as the self-deprecating Click and Clack, the Tappett Brothers, have been taping the weekly show for WBUR, Boston’s public radio affiliate, for 35 years, but say it is time to “stop and smell the cappuccino.”

Elder statesman Tom Magliozzi turns 75 this year.

“My brother has always been ‘work-averse,'” Ray Magliozzi, 63, said in a statement. “Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him.”

NPR will Read the rest of this entry »

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Are the Kentucky Derby horses abused animals? Here’s what you may not know about horse racing.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 11, 2012

Again, here is an issue about which many – if not most – are unaware.

Did you know, that on average, 24 horses a week die at racetracks in the United States?

Would you inject cobra venom in your pet?

Would you deliberately numb its pain just so it could race and possibly win?

What if afterward it breaks its legs and must be destroyed?

“Since 2009, more than 6,600 horses have broken down or showed signs of injury. An additional 3,800 horses have tested positive for illegal drugs. That figure underestimates the problem because few horses are tested for substances. At least 3,600 horses have died either racing or training at state-regulated tracks.”

At what cost winning?

A Derby Win, but a Troubled Record for a Trainer

May 10, 2012 By and

Last summer, the trainer Doug O’Neill was formally sanctioned after one of his racehorses at Hollywood Park in California tested positive for illegal drugs.

A year before, in 2010, O’Neill was punished for administering an illegal performance-enhancing concoction to a horse he ran in the prestigious Illinois Derby— the third time he had been accused of giving a horse what is known as a milkshake. Four months later, he was accused again of giving a milkshake to a horse in California.

Doug O’Neill, in this 2006 photo – trainer for 2012 Kentucky Derby winner “I’ll Have Another” – has been cited for giving drugs to his horses. (photo by Chris Carlson/Associated Press)

Over 14 years and in four different states, O’Neill received more than a dozen violations for giving his horses improper drugs. O’Neill’s horses also have had a tendency to break down. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the horses he trains break down or show signs of injury at more than twice the rate of the national average.

But none of it — the drug charges or the rate of damaged horses under his care — has much impeded O’Neill’s rise in the ranks of racing, and so there he was last Saturday, saddling I’ll Have Another, the surprising 3-year-old who won the 138th Kentucky Derby.

O’Neill’s Derby victory places him — and his troubled record — center stage at a time when thoroughbred racing is facing perhaps its greatest ethical reckoning. There is legislation before Congress calling for federal regulation of the sport. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has appointed a task force to investigate a spike in the number of catastrophic breakdowns at Aqueduct Racetrack, which races thoroughbreds.

Industry groups representing breeders, owners and racetracks are proposing new drug rules and integrity measures to better protect the horses and riders.

“I have been guilty of Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Illegal immigration now zero sum game

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The original title was “Illegal immigration ceases.”

To which I began this entry with “Okay, maybe not.”

But, according to the findings made in this independent report, it’s pretty near zero, if not already in the negative numbers.

And, for the fascist, racist right-wing legislators in the states of Alabama & Arizona, that’s good news!

Why?

That means they can stop collaborating with Kris Kobach to write racist legislation, and start working on genuinely serious problems!

Of course, this de-escalation from a “crisis” may actually show them up for what they are: Clueless Incompetent Boobs.

BTW… this was also reported on the NPR afternoon news program “All Things Considered.”

Released: April 23, 2012

Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less

by Jeffrey Passel, D’Vera Cohn and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera

The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.

The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.

The report is based on the Center’s analysis of data from five different Mexican government sources and four U.S. government sources. Read the rest of this entry »

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Occupy Republicans

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 17, 2011

We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.

– President Ronald Wilson Reagan, June 6, 1985, speaking at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Here’s the rest of his remark in context.

“In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy.”

When Reagan asked the crowd whether millionaires should be paying more or less in taxes than a bus driver, the crowd resoundingly responded Read the rest of this entry »

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Veteran’s Day 2009

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 9, 2009

I’m proud to have served my nation in the uniform armed services, having done so voluntarily. I think every young American should do similarly. And, I believe our nation should provide significant benefit to those whom so choose.

Some years ago, I envisioned what I called a “234 Plan,” which would:

  1. Double pay grade for two years up to pay grade E-3 for initial enlistees;
  2. Require a minimum of Four Years of service;
  3. Pay for four years of higher education, up to and including Ph.D., with the ability to transfer benefits to first-degree relatives;

and perhaps most importantly,

4. Provide such income as federally Tax-Free, forever.

At current pay rates, that would be slightly under $76,000 for a period of two years at pay grade E-3 – not a bad nest egg. And then, there’s the 30 days paid vacation, head-to-toe health care, incentive/bonus pay for skills, BAH (basic allowance for housing), and a host of other remunerations and fiduciary potential – all of which are added to Basic Pay, thereby increasing take-home pay. Potentially, managing money wisely, a young enlistee could emerge from a four year commitment with very nearly $125,000 in pocket, VA health benefits, GI Bill benefits, and more.

The money could be used wisely, or squandered. But the principle would forever be federally tax-free – and I think it should be at the state level, as well. It’s well known that young enlistees have high levels of “disposable” income. But WISE fiscal management could yield significant benefits to them individually, and by extension, to our nation.

Part three of the plan I envisioned – higher education – was implemented when President Obama signed the Post 9/1 G.I. Bill, providing the most comprehensive expansion and provision of educational benefits our troops have received since F.D.R.’s presidency.

I recollect a report entitled “Young Virginians: Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve,” having read and saved it September 2, this year. It was authored and advised by an impressive cadre of Generals, Admirals, field-grade officers, and senior executive NCOs, from all branches of the service, and “supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Pre-K Now, campaign of the Pew center on the States.”

Interestingly, NPR has only recently reported on it.

The problems the report addresses are from a thorough examination of Virginia, though it’s findings can be extrapolated to the United States at large.

According to the report, the three greatest problems disqualifying American youth from service to our nation include:

1.) Criminality – felony and serious misdemeanor offense;

2.) Education – failure to graduate high school, and low achievement in reading & math, 30% unable to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test; and

3.) Health – specifically obesity, although asthma, eyesight, hearing, mental health, ADHD and additional health problems factor in, thereby disqualifying over half of all young adults.

Additional disqualifiers include single custodial parenthood, and drug or alcohol abuse.

These are all social ills.

Mission: Readiness – Military Leaders for Kids is a bipartisan, nonprofit, national security organization of more than 80 retired generals and admirals,” whom “accept no funds from federal, state, or local governments,”  and “call on all policymakers to ensure America’s security and prosperity by supporting interventions proven to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law. Pre-K Now collaborates with organizations and policy makers to lead a movement toward high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.”

In recent political history, social programs have been an “easy target” for many of the Republican stripe whom have seriously reduced or eliminated such programs’ funding, effectively or outright killing the very programs that could have done much to have prevented these anathemas.

Ironically, prison construction and maintenance is a capital expenditure. And of all the world’s nations, ours has more incarcerations per capita than any other, having exploded (doubling 2.5 times) since 1980 (though incarcerations remained relatively stable since 1920, according to the U.S. Department of Justice).

How’s that THAT for the so-called “Reagan Revolution?” It sounds more like a “Contract on America” rather than “with America,” to me.

Wonder why no more.

Governance is much more than infrastructure expenditures, and military readiness includes a strong social component.

Our Constitution calls it providing “for the common defense,” by promoting “the general welfare,” to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

Healthcare is an integral and unequivocal part of that equation… as we can now painfully, and plainly see.

I suppose it would be apropos and germane – though perhaps trite – to conclude with a line from advertising: “You can pay me now… or, pay me later.”

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