Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘OpEd’

In Response to John Goodwin’s FaceBook Post

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 5, 2016

A man named John Goodwin made a public post on FaceBook, which also included a link to an OpEd published in the Washington Post on November 9, 2016, which was written by Charles Camosy (PhD, University of Notre Dame), and entitled “Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch.” Dr. Camosy is an Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, and the author of a book entitled “Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for A New Generation.”

Mr. Goodwin’s FaceBook profile is sufficiently ambiguous of himself, though in his public post which is time & date-stamped 9:45AM, November 10, 2016, and ostensibly geolocated from Washington, D.C., he wrote of himself that, “I haven’t posted about the election mostly because 1) I do this for a living and most of you don’t,” which would lead one to suppose that at some level, he works in or with public policy, or more likely, with politicians.

I do not.

However, suffice it to say, that for many, many, many years, I have remained immensely interested in public policy, though I do not now, nor have I ever made my living from it, or influencing, or attempting to influence others in elected office.

In other words, I have taken the high road.

Mr. Goodwin’s public post to FaceBook is linked herein, as is the article upon which he expounded.

https://www.facebook.com/goody37/posts/10154328123133884

In order to fully understand the matter of discussion herein, I encourage the reader to fully read this item following herein, as well as Mr. Goodwin’s post, and the OpEd upon which he opined

I have responded to Mr. Goodwin’s post as follows:
His words appear italicized, and in “quotation marks.”
My commentary follows immediately after.

“…not everyone lives in big cities.”
• That is correct. The United States Census Bureau says that 80.7% of American reside in urban areas. In fact, they report that “the population density in cities is more than 46 times higher than the territory outside of cities.” So that leaves a whopping 19.3% in rural areas.

“I didn’t grow up with money.”
• Money had been invented by the time I was born. But seriously, someone votes for Donald Trump as if the wealthy are advocates for the impoverished or even the average American? C’mon. Mr. Born-With-A-Silver-Spoon-In-His-Mouth? Really?

“…not everyone went to elite colleges.”
• According to the United States Census Bureau, “in 2015, almost 9 out of 10 adults (88 percent) had at least a high school diploma or GED, while nearly 1 in 3 adults (33 percent) held a bachelor’s or higher degree.” I’m in the 33%. So I’m an elite. Thanks!

“You think they (people who eat at Read the rest of this entry »

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Criticizing Stephen Hawking

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Renown astrophysicist Stephen Hawking appeared on the Larry King Now show June 2016, and was interviewed by the esteemed long-time journalist.

In the interview, among the comments Hawking made was that “We certainly have not become less greedy or less stupid. The population has grown by half a billion since our last meeting, with no end in sight. At this rate, it will be eleven billion by 2100.”

News of the interview was covered by USA Today, and subsequently by The Intellectualist website, both which focused upon Professor Hawking‘s remark as referenced above.

This is worth noting:
The article quoted Hawking as saying, Read the rest of this entry »

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Alpha Phi Recruiting Video In Alabama Sets Off Firestorm Of Criticism

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Alpha Phi Sorority at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa has come under intense scrutiny recently after a 4 minute “recruiting” video was released on YouTube and promoted through other Social Media (SoMe) venues and sites.

Controversy erupted following publication of an OpEd entitled “‘Bama sorority video worse for women than Donald Trump,” on the AL dot com website by A.L. Bailey.

News of the wretched video quickly went “viral,” and made national and international news in numerous news outlets, from television, to radio, and the Internet.

A.L. Bailey was recently interviewed by representatives from the Alabama Media Group division of Advance Publications and a condensed version of the hour-long interview was published on their website AL dot com.

The video, which was quickly removed after having been posted (though once posted on the Internet, nothing really ever “disappears”), according to some sources, had at least 500,000 views in the day or two in which it was first available.

Following is commentary of a D.C.-based attorney friend and native Southerner whom viewed it, along with the video following the commentary.

This is at once an impressive and an appalling intro to one of those ugly interracial porn videos. At first you think it might actually be a genuine recruiting video for the University of Alabama chapter of the Alpha Phi sorority. There is a clever use of 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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Why the LGBT community should support Shirey Ice Cream in Florence, Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Edwin Markham, American poet,

Edwin Markham, American poet

Outwitted

He drew a circle that shut me out–

Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in!

by Edwin Markham, April 23, 1852 – March 7, 1940

That brief poem, or epigram, by Edwin Markham summarizes succinctly the idea upon which I will expound in this entry.

In the past several days, it came to light that a Shoals area Alabama entrepreneur, Garrett Shirey – who, with his brothers Reese & Austin, are founders and co-owners of Shirey Ice Cream in the northwest Alabama town of Florence, population 39,447 – had Tweeted at least two uncharacteristic and very unbecoming messages. The specific dates and times they were made, and the content can be seen in the screen shot images of the Tweets, both which appear later in this entry.

First, some background.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Common Core Textbooks: Who Calls the Shots?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 5, 2014

Alabama continues to be the butt of every joke – from the psuedo state motto “Thank God for Mississippi,” to those which are more biting – every laughingstock must have its basis in truth.

And the truth is undeniable.

Alabama consistently ranks below practically every marker for achievement, success, well-being and health.

Alabama has been on the wrong side of history, which for many, dates back to the days of the Civil War… which ended in 1865.

One could hardly imagine that an event settled nearly 150 years ago would motivate so many to such an extent that they would behave so vociferously, so negatively so vehemently and violently. And yet…

To be certain, Alabama has wonderful people – people who are kindhearted, generous to a fault, loving, diligent, creative, honest, conscientious, forthright, compassionate, intelligent, and more. And yet, for all those positive character qualities, there is always at least one bad apple that spoils the whole bunch, that sours the deal, that gives the entire state a black eye. Such is the case with those naysayers whom oppose Common Core educational standards.

There are people who, when faced with evidence, continue to choose to believe a lie. For example, there is a “Flat Earth Society,” whose members state that their purpose (according to their website) is to establish “… a place for free thinkers and the intellectual exchange of ideas.” “Free thinking” and “intellectual exchange” must acknowledge the truth of facts. And the fact is, that Earth is NOT flat. Any assertion contrariwise is so preposterously absurd that is it is not merely asinine, it is psychotically deranged to so believe.

Such problems of belief contrary to the truth are among those which face Alabamians. From a scientific, factually valid perspective, a belief is an idea held to be true, even though there may be insignificant or no evidence to support the idea held to be true, or the outcomes which would naturally emerge from the same. From there, it’s a short step to conspiracy thinking, Area 51 space aliens and the loony bins that still walk among us. But those lunatic fringe elements exist in every state, not exclusively in Alabama.

Nevertheless, former Alabama Governor Bob Riley has again written of his support for the attainment of educational excellence in state public schools, his first OpEd – Why I Support Common Core Standards – having been published in the conservative digest National Review.

 

***

 

RILEY: The truth about Common Core textbooks

In Alabama, final selections are made locally

By Bob Riley
Friday, May 2, 2014
Just about everyone is familiar with the old idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s a valuable metaphor, but as it turns out, it’s also very useful literal advice as it relates to the growing public policy debate over Core State Education Standards.

My wife Patsy and I are very lucky to have all our children and grandchildren living close to us. We love being part of their daily lives and watching our children raise families of their own.

A fifth-grade teacher helps students at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Delaware (AP Photo/Steve Ruark) Photo **FILE**

A fifth-grade teacher helps students at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Delaware (AP Photo/Steve Ruark) Photo **FILE**

A few weeks ago, one of our daughters shared with me a textbook belonging to her son, a public school student in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Ala. Something on the cover of my fourth-grade grandson’s textbook alarmed her, and after she showed it to me, it triggered an investigative instinct in me as well. On the cover, in bright red letters, unmistakable, were the words “Common Core State Standards.”

“If you want to know why so many people do not like Common Core, there it is,” said my daughter. Parents are under the impression that a central, national entity is dictating what our children read and learn, she continued, and every time a parent disagrees with the subject matter or struggles with a new method of math, we do not have to look far to find where to place the blame.

Then she asked me: “If there is no required reading list, no required curriculum for Common Core, why are these books labeled as belonging to and adhering to Common Core?”

Quite frankly, I did not know the answer. I was certain that no single organization in Washington D.C. or elsewhere dictates what children in the Homewood public schools read. I could not explain, though, why my grandson’s textbook made it appear that such a group does in fact exist.

I did what I always do when I don’t know the answer to something — I ask someone who does know.

Betty Winches is the assistant superintendent of instruction for Homewood City Schools, a top-rated public school system, and for years I have known her to be a world-class educator and academic leader in the schools. So I asked her the same question that my daughter asked me: “If there is no Common Core reading list or curriculum, why are the textbooks in Homewood’s schools labeled “Common Core?”

The answer, as Betty explained to me, is Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama’s Quandary: Nur$ing Homes, or Home Care?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 5, 2012

It’s almost like trying to patch a roof while it’s leaking.

October 04, 2012

This Week in Alabama Politics

By Steve Flowers
It is basic public policy that you either have to raise taxes or reduce government services. It has become a cardinal sin in Republican politics to even say the word tax much less enact any increase in revenue. Our legislature is now overwhelmingly Republican and they are real Republicans. They take their no new tax pledge seriously as does our Republican governor. Therefore, when the dicing and crafting of the 2013 budget was being processed, new revenue enhancement measures were not on the table. It is doubtful that you will see any tax increase proposals anytime soon in the Heart of Dixie.

The state’s new budget year begins this week. It will be horrendous. There are draconian cuts to basic state services. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that mandates a balanced budget. We are in dire straits but at least we are not deficit spending like other states. California is teetering on bankruptcy.

This past year’s budget was bad. Teachers and state employees pay was cut this time last year. However, if you think that last year was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is the year that the chickens have finally come home to roost. The federal stimulus manna from Heaven has provided a lifeline salvation for several years but those dollars are gone. This fiscal year may well be the worst dilemma since the Great Depression.

My contention is that it is worse than the Depression years. During that era the state Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s still true: Alabamians are “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One must understand the audience to whom Mr. Archibald writes his Birmingham News OpEds.

They’re the same ones who found hometown favorite criminal Richard Scrushy – monikered as “America’s First Oblivious CEO” – “Not Guilty” of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, who to date, remains the solitary individual ever charged with its violation. Alice Martin, then Federal Prosecutor for the Northern District of Alabama, who failed to obtain a guilty verdict in the case, could have moved the trial to New York City – home of Wall Street – or “in Washington, D.C., or in New York City where pecuniary intricacies are understood,” but rather chose Birmingham, Alabama as the trial venue. John C. Coffee, professor of securities law at Columbia Law School, accurately said of the case, that “much of the information was over their heads” and jurors were “sick of trying to understand evidence that was beyond them.”

This remark – right, or wrong (but mostly right) – remains true for Alabama:
Citizens in the state are “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.

In context of course, historically, one should recognize Read the rest of this entry »

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Republican Father of ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate Denies He Ever Created It

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

Liar.

Weasel.

Republican.

Can you smell the hypocrisy cooking?

Column: Don’t blame Heritage for ObamaCare mandate

By Stuart Butler

Updated 2/6/2012 10:40 AM

Is the individual mandate at the heart of “ObamaCare” a conservative idea? Is it constitutional? And was it invented at The Heritage Foundation? In a word, no. {ed. note: That’s utter bullshit, which you’ll understand why as you read on.}

Column-Dont-blame-Heritage-for-ObamaCare-DNUT42U-x

Stuart Butler, By Kate Patterson, USA TODAY (The liar looks happy as a lark, doesn’t he? Apparently, there’s no joy in Mudville.)

The U.S. Supreme Court will put the middle issue to rest. The answers to the first and last can come from me. After all, I headed Heritage’s health work for 30 years. And make no mistake: Heritage and I actively oppose the individual mandate, including in an amicus brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, the myth persists. ObamaCare “adopts the ‘individual mandate’ concept from the conservative Heritage Foundation,” Jonathan Alter wrote recently in The Washington Post. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews makes the same claim, asserting that Republican support of a mandate “has its roots in a proposal by the conservative Heritage Foundation.” Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi and others have made similar claims.

The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that Read the rest of this entry »

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Is is true that “economics is a faith-based pursuit forever in search of a new deity”?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Do not put your faith in the false deities of economists

June 18, 2012 8:14 pm

By Philip Stephens

Economics is a faith-based pursuit forever in search of a new deity. Those who believe in a compassionate God struggle to explain how such a being can allow such terrible misery to be inflicted on life’s innocents. Belief in the canons of economics demands a comparable leap of imagination.

When I first started writing about the subject for the FT during the early 1980s, Margaret Thatcher worshipped at the altar of something called “monetary base.” The government, this creed promised, had only to regulate the quantity of notes and coins circulating in the economy and just about everything else would fall into perfect place.

Soon enough, monetarist fundamentalism proved a false prophet. The experience led to the annunciation of the heretical Goodhart’s Law. Bearing the name of one of the trade’s distinguished free thinkers, this says that as soon as Read the rest of this entry »

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Are there good reasons to leave FaceBook?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sure there are!

However, there are probably as many good reasons to stay.

And yet, for the good reasons to stay, there are genuine concerns, not only with governmental agencies worldwide, but with FaceBook itself.

It IS possible to almost wholesale “lock down” your FaceBook account, but one must decide if those actions are worth it, or not.

Further, another option is, that one could delete everything that could be deleted from FB – likes, comments, posts, etc. – and make invisible those things that cannot be deleted.

Of course, there’s no reason one could not have more than one FB account, either.

However, with all this, it might be wise to consider the ultimate in security, which was proposed several years ago: Public Key Encryption.

Leaving Facebookistan

May 24, 2012
Posted by
Welcome to FaceBookistan!

Welcome to FaceBookistan! You are now leaving FaceBookistan.

I established a Facebook account in 2008. My motivation was ignoble: I wanted to distribute my journalism more widely. I have acquired since then just over four thousand “friends”—in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the Middle East, and of course, closer to home. I have discovered the appeal of Facebook’s community—for example, the extraordinary emotional support that swells in virtual space when people come together online around a friend’s illness or life celebrations.Through its bedrock appeals to friendship, community, public identity, and activism—and its commercial exploitation of these values—Facebook is an unprecedented synthesis of corporate and public spaces. The corporation’s social contract with users is ambitious, yet neither its governance system nor its young ruler seem trustworthy. Then came this month’s initial public offeringof stock—a chaotic and revealing event—which promises to put the whole enterprise under even greater pressure.There are many reasons to be Read the rest of this entry »

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Continuing Stubborn Ignorance

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Having recently read this Op/Ed columnist’s article, I found the author’s remarks spot-on… so much so, that I am sharing them here for your benefit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Within the past decade, I’ve written three columns titled “Deception 101,” “Stubborn Ignorance,” and “Exploiting Public Ignorance,” all explaining which branch of the federal government has taxing and spending authority. How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens get away with statements such as “Reagan’s budget deficits,” “Clinton’s budget surplus,” “Bush’s budget deficits and tax cuts” or “Obama’s tax increases”? Which branch of government has taxing and spending authority is not a matter of rocket science, but people continue to make these statements. The only explanation that I come up with is incurable ignorance, willful deception or just plain stupidity; if there’s another answer, I would like to hear it.

Let’s look at the facts. Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution reads: Read the rest of this entry »

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