Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Reagan’

Dog Whistler For Sale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

UrbanDictionary.com states this about the popular cultural meaning of “Dog Whistle:

“Dog whistle is a type of strategy of communication that sends a message that the general population will take a certain meaning from, but a certain group that is “in the know” will take away the secret, intended message. Often involves code words.

“Republicans say they want to make civil rights for gays a state issue, which is really just a dog whistle strategy for saying that they will refuse to grant equal rights on a federal level.”


Trump To White Minnesota Audience:

“You Have Good Genes.”

by Christopher Wilson – Senior Writer, Yahoo News
September 21, 2020

It’s called a “dog whistle,” a word or phrase in a speech that is unobjectionable on the surface but conveys a coded message to partisans, by analogy to high-pitched sounds that are audible to dogs but not to people. Richard Nixon leaned on it heavily during his 1968 presidential campaign, referencing “law and order” and a “war on drugs,” further codifying racial appeals from Barry Goldwater for “states’ rights” and “freedom of association.” Ronald Reagan took it to another level in 1976, demonizing a “welfare queen” who fraudulently collected $150,000 in government benefits, a barely concealed appeal to the race and class resentments of White voters toward Blacks.


Ed. NOTE: Reagan’s demagogic demonization of an ostensibly Black woman as a “welfare queen” is a highly-popularized modern-day Republican myth. Linda Taylor, a Tennessee-born White Chicago-area resident, was given the miscreant moniker by the Chicago Tribune in October 1974, which also focused upon her personal possessions – jewelry, furs, and a Cadillac – though the real story of her behavior was much worse, and more complicated than a relatively minor case of simple welfare fraud. In 2013, Josh Levin, Editorial Director for Slate, wrote an extensively detailed report of the real-life character who Reagan mythologized on his campaign trail, exclusively in an effort to capitalize upon the “shock and awe” factor to gain voter support for his candidacy. Reagan’s use of exaggeration as a raconteur was renown, and in a January 1976 campaign rally, as any good story-teller would, he embellished that character by claiming, “In Chicago, they found a woman who holds the record. She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.” While much has been written about Reagan’s well-known penchant for demagoguery, little of what he claimed was true, though he made significant political hay with it by portraying one isolated problem as a wholesale representation of systemic organizational failure, which he later used to justify reducing spending on social welfare programs. While Taylor did go to prison for committing about $8000 in welfare fraud (the 2020 value of which would be about $36,500), she was more memorable for her theft-claim and bigamy scams, which frauds were discovered only years later, along with probable murder and kidnapping for which she was never indicted. Levin wrote, “For Linda Taylor, people were consumable goods, objects to cultivate, manipulate, and discard. For Ronald Reagan, Taylor was a tool to convince voters that the government was in crisis.”


By that standard, President Trump’s riff about the “good genes” found among the people of Minnesota — an 80 percent white state — wasn’t a dog whistle. It was a train whistle, folding in Trump’s long-held belief that some people, himself especially, are simply born with superior traits to others.

“You have good genes, you know that, right?” Trump said during his Saturday rally in front of a nearly all-white crowd in Bemidji. “You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

The racehorse theory is the belief that some humans have a better genetic endowment than others, and by breeding two superior people you end up with superior offspring. The belief in eugenics, the pseudoscience of trimming out “inferior” bloodlines to increase the quality of the gene pool, is part of a long, racist history in America, from forced sterilizations to research funded by the Carnegie Institution, among other wealthy foundations. Earlier this month, charges surfaced that a doctor at an ICE facility was performing unwanted and likely unnecessary hysterectomies on detained immigrant women, which would prevent them from having more children.

“It’s not just eugenics in theory, but it’s eugenics in practice,” said Steve Silberman, a historian whose Read the rest of this entry »

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Reagan quoted Lincoln about Trump

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 16, 2020

“You know, the first Republican President once said, ‘While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.’

“If Mr. Lincoln could see what’s happened the last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement. But, with the virtues that are our legacy as a free people and with the vigilance that sustains liberty, we still have time to use our renewed compact to overcome the injuries that have been done to America these past three-and-a half years.”

– Ronald Reagan, July 17, 1980, Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, Republican National Convention, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI, quoting Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

Thought to be the last beardless portrait of Lincoln, this photo was made August 13, 1860 in Springfield, IL by Preston Butler, “for the portrait painter, John Henry Brown, noted for his miniatures in ivory. … ‘There are so many hard lines in his face,’ wrote Brown in his diary, ‘that it becomes a mask to the inner man. His true character only shines out when in an animated conversation, or when telling an amusing tale. … He is said to be a homely man; I do not think so.'”

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) served two terms as President of the United States 1981-1989

It’s nothing short of ironic, tragically amazing, and Read the rest of this entry »

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GOP: For The People -or- An Elitist Whites Only Club?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Today, NPR published a story headlined as “Trump Defied The 2013 GOP Autopsy. So Was It A ‘Failure’?

The NPR article is largely a rehash of a Politico article published in March 2016 which was entitled “Trump kills GOP autopsy.

The premise and the conclusion in the NPR headline are both wrong, just as much as it is in the Politico article.

Both articles point to a 100-page report entitled “Growth & Opportunity Project” published in January 2013 and authored by Henry Barbour, Sally Bradshaw, Ari Fleischer, Zori Fonalledas, and Glenn McCall, which was an unvarnished review of the party, its operations, strategies, tactics, and policies, among others. In essence, it answered the question “how does the national Republican party become more appealing and relevant?”

The report was the December 2012 brainchild of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus following the defeat of GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan, who charged the party’s co-chairs with “making recommendations and assisting in putting together a plan to grow the Party and improve Republican campaigns.”

Their extensive work is sometimes called the “GOP Autopsy,” though its proper name is the RNC Growth Opportunity Book 2013. That report may be downloaded from this site in the preceding link, or via the Internet Archive.

Their work which culminated in the report included contacts with over 52,000 people, conversations with over 2600 people within and without the Washington, D.C. beltway, “with voters, technical experts, private sector officials, Party members, and elected office holders,” Republicans of all ideological backgrounds, including those who had left the part for various reasons. They also conducted a poll among 2000 Hispanic Republican voters, as well as with “political practitioners at the state and national level and also conducted a survey of GOP pollsters [and] consulted with independent pollsters.” They noted also that “more than 36,000 individuals participated in our online survey to determine priorities and to identify additional volunteers for the Party.”

It was an almost-exhaustive work which identified that the party needed to increase its outreach to youth, women, and minorities, if it was going to flourish.

But at its core, and in the introduction, is an acknowledgement that the GOP is the Read the rest of this entry »

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All The Gold In California

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 6, 2020

Y’know… one thing which I appreciate about the Bloomberg site, is that they don’t seem to be exclusively limited to interests of business, per se.

That is, matters of business MUST, and do, involve people – as employees, and customers – and without either of those two groups of people, no business would exist.

For many years – I don’t know how many, but for a very L – O – N – G time – I have taken exception to, and disagreed with the statement that “the customer is the most important person in any business.”

From my perch in the catbird seat, I demurred, and stated that the EMPLOYEE is the most important person in any business, because a disgruntled employee can cost beaucoup bucks in lost sales/revenues. And many disgruntled employees will sink a company – regardless of who is at the helm. That’s because the adage is true, that the sailors run the ship, not the captain. And they allow the captain to do so (to lead them) by their consent – the consent of the governed. A mutiny is a very serious matter.

Point being, is that happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers buy things, and say good things about the company, and the employees.

It was only relatively recently that I learned that Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group, a privately-held multinational venture capitol conglomerate – says the same thing, that employees are the most important people in any business.

The irony of ironies is that despite the political differences in the many seemingly disparate voices today, is that Republicans, Democrats, and all others, want the same thing: A good job, a decent place to live, secure transportation, ability to feed themselves and their family, education for their children, and to be healthy enough to enjoy it all. Food, clothing, and shelter… those are not hard things to understand. Neither are they difficult to obtain. They’re not like the mythical “unobtainium.”

But we the people, despite what some may say otherwise, are not in a good place in this nation for the long-haul. What has happened, is that within our lifetimes, we the people have been sold a bill of false goods that somehow less is more, that the larger and more populous our nation becomes (we’re right at 330,000,000 – the third most populous on Earth, behind China and India, respectively each with over 1 BILLION more than us), the smaller the government will become, that somehow, mysteriously or magically, at some point, it will eventually disappear – because we’ll all be able to self-govern and therefore do not need external governance.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And yet, that’s PRECISELY what “the Great Communicator” Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address immediately after he proclaimed that “government is the problem.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

Now, my point is NOT to “bash Regan” per se, but to point out the obvious – which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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Scientific, Peer-Reviewed Study: Conservative-Only News Consumers Ill Informed, Believe COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

No surprise there.

There’s a reason why Fox News is monikered Faux Noize.

The Republican party is NO LONGER the “Grand” Old Party.

It’s NOT the “party of Lincoln,” and hasn’t been for quite some time.

Since circa 1964, it’s been the party of the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society, libertarians, and other radical elements. And, it was seriously ushered in during the Reagan administration when in his first inaugural address, the B-movie actor and longtime GE mouthpiece said in part that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

It’s easy to understand that if “government is the problem,” the solution to that problem is elimination of it. And that is anarchy. And yet, in his carefully crafted address, that was precisely what he was intimating – the abolition of government. For in his next sentence, he said, “From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule…”

It’s not difficult to see that his slashing of the Top Personal Income Tax bracket for the wealthiest Americans from 70% to 50%, and then to 28%, in conjunction with reductions in Capital Gains tax rates, and the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts,” also monikered as the “Death Tax,” which is properly known as the Estate Tax, which only wealthy Americans have ever paid, was purposely designed to eliminate government, rather than to refine its operations, increase efficiency, or reduce fraud, waste, and abuse at any level.

When he said, “It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed,” it could not have been made any more clear that his was a “starve the monster” approach to an alleged, though imaginary, and non-existing problem, that government was too big and the “monster” was the government.” And that was despite what he said in that same address that “Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government,”
because it couldn’t have been made more clear what his ultimate objectives were.

He again clearly identified government as being an evil monster when he said, “It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.” Hardly anyone could have done a better job of setting up a Straw Man Argument, for afterward, he beat that government straw man to a pulp.

Again, it is beyond the scope of the pale to imagine that a more populous nation would need fewer laws, or fewer people to efficiently and effectively conduct operations to provide for the demands and needs of more people. For that would be an inversely proportional relationship, that somehow a larger (more populous) nation, with more inventions, more businesses, more works of art, science, and other forms of creativity, would need fewer laws to govern their behavior and operations, and at some point in time, would eventually disappear.

The contradictions in his speech were blatant, and his intentions were fully uncloaked. Bluntly stating that “It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment,” he set about using his skills as an actor reassuring the people in a grandfatherly way that he had their best interests at heart, despite what he said otherwise.

The notion of “self-rule” is one which is emphasized by the ultra-radical group headquartered in Auburn, Alabama known as the Mises Institute, which promotes a heterodox economic world view, which includes anti-government sentiment, and the belief in the idea of anarchy – a world without government – and a “free market only” solution to everything as a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems.

Again, while Reagan was a B-movie actor, he was an actor nevertheless, and in his years on the stump for General Electric nationwide, he honed his public persuasion speeches to a fine edge, and was able to parlay that into a run for the White House which he won twice being monikered as the “Great Communicator.” But the language he used, while delivered quite well, was “dog whistle” language for anti-governmental radicals, all whom he welcomed into the GOP’s “Big Tent.”

The ground had earlier been ploughed at the 1964 Republican National Convention at Cow Palace in Daly City, CA (immediately adjacent and SOUTH of San Francisco) when then-NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller was granted 5 minutes to address the delegates to request adoption of language in the official party platform which would “repudiate here and now any doctrinaire, militant minority, whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Bircher which would subvert this party to purposes alien to the very basic tenets which gave this party birth.”

He was booed for over 16 minutes.

The language was simple, and read as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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Re-Examining Personal Income Taxes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 18, 2019

Those who encourage tax cuts on the wealthy & corporations are misguided.

Here’s why:
They mistakenly believe that by reducing taxes upon the wealthy, it will increase their consumption – or, that in their benevolence, they’ll “create jobs” for the masses. (Which is also why they’re treated like “sacred cow job-creators.”)

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The wealthy already consume more. They consume more conspicuously, and they consume more governmental services.

No one “hates” the wealthy.

At least I don’t.

But, we ALL expect them to pull their fair share, not shirk their responsibilities, and we expect them NOT push their fair share onto others who are less capable.

I continue to analogize the matter this way:

There are THREE people who MUST move an 800-pound boulder:
1.) A Strongman body builder;
2.) An 80-year old, 80-pound Granny, and;
3.) An Average man.

Should we tell Read the rest of this entry »

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The United States is Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 8, 2019

I considered naming this entry “It’s All Bad: Bridges, Schools, Roads, Dams, Aviation, Drinking Water, Energy, Inland Waterways, Ports, Schools, Wastewater, Solid Waste, Transit, Public Parks, Hazardous Waste, etc.,” but decided to change it.

Perhaps the initial title was some help to guide the reader in the direction the entry would go.

Eventually, it’ll cost you money… but it’s already doing that.

Read on to see how.

Bluntly, America’s Economic Infrastructure sucks, and blows gnarly chunks.

What’s “Economic Infrastructure”?

Glad you asked.

Broadly, “Economic Infrastructure” refers to several categories of physical improvements which facilitate civil society, providing it an opportunity to grow.

Sometimes also simply called “infrastructure,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines 16 categories, or Critical Infrastructure Sectors, including (in alphabetical order):

1.) Chemical – converts various raw materials into over 70,000 different products essential to modern life, including Basic, Specialty, and Agricultural chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Consumer products

2.) Commercial Facilities – diverse sites that draw large crowds of people for shopping, business, entertainment, or lodging.

3.) Communications – provides a critical, enabling function and integral component of the U.S. economy, underlying the operations of all businesses, public safety organizations, and government via terrestrial, satellite, wireline and wireless transmission systems

4.) Critical Manufacturing – metals, machinery, transportation equipment, electrical, appliance, components

5.) Dams – dam projects, navigation locks, levees, hurricane barriers, mine tailings impoundments, and other similar water retention and/or control facilities.

6.) Defense Industrial Base – enables research, development, design, production, delivery, and maintenance of military weapons systems, subsystems, and components or parts to meet U.S. military requirements.

7.) Emergency Services – paid and volunteer at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels of government, including city police departments and fire stations, county sheriff’s offices, Department of Defense police and fire departments, and town public works departments, including private sector resources, such as industrial fire departments, private security organizations, and private emergency medical services providers

8.) Energy – provides an “enabling function” across all critical infrastructure sectors. More than 80% of the country’s energy infrastructure is owned by the private sector, supplying fuels to the transportation industry, electricity to households and businesses, and other sources of energy integral to growth and production across the nation.

9.) Financial Services – depository institutions, investment products providers, insurance companies, other credit and financing organizations, and providers of the critical financial utilities and services that support these functions, and allow customers to: Deposit funds and make payments to other parties, Provide credit and liquidity to customers, Invest funds for long and short periods, Transfer financial risks between customers

10.) Food and Agriculture – composed of an estimated 2.1 million farms, 935,000 restaurants, and more than 200,000 registered food manufacturing, processing, and storage facilities. This sector accounts for roughly one-fifth of the nation’s economic activity.

11.) Government Facilities – a wide variety of buildings, located in the United States and overseas, owned or leased by federal, state, local, and tribal governments. Many government facilities are open to the public for business activities, commercial transactions, or recreational activities while others not open to the public contain highly sensitive information, materials, processes, and equipment. These facilities include general-use office buildings and special-use military installations, embassies, courthouses, national laboratories, and structures that may house critical equipment, systems, networks, and functions. In addition to physical structures, the sector includes cyber elements that contribute to the protection of sector assets (e.g., access control systems and closed-circuit television systems) as well as individuals who perform essential functions or possess tactical, operational, or strategic knowledge.

12.) Healthcare and Public Health – protects all sectors of the economy from hazards such as terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters. While healthcare tends to be delivered and managed locally, the public health component of the sector, focused primarily on population health, is managed across all levels of government: national, state, regional, local, tribal, and territorial.

13.) Information Technology – operated by a combination of entities — often owners and operators and their respective associations — that maintain and reconstitute the network, including the Internet, central to the nation’s security, economy, and public health and safety as businesses, governments, academia, and private citizens

14.) Nuclear Reactors Materials and Waste – provide electricity to millions of Americans, to the medical isotopes used to treat cancer patients.

15.) Transportation Systems – moves people and goods quickly, safely, and securely through the country and overseas. Includes Aviation, Highway and Motor Carrier, Maritime Transportation System, Mass Transit and Passenger Rail, Pipeline Systems, Freight Rail, Postal and Shipping.

16.) Water and Wastewater – Safe drinking water is a prerequisite for protecting public health and all human activity. Properly treated wastewater is vital for preventing disease and protecting the environment. Thus, ensuring the supply of drinking water and wastewater treatment and service is essential to modern life and the Nation’s economy.

Altogether, every item in those categories all facilitate commerce, private enterprise, are component parts of a local, and state economy, and as a whole, comprise the national economy. Some of the sectors, such as Food and Agriculture, and Communications, are almost wholly owned by private enterprise. In fact, the only publicly owned, i.e., governmentally-owned, are Government Facilities. There are perhaps a few others, but there are very few, and very far in-between.

Each sector is interconnected; there is not one sector which stands alone, self-sufficient and isolated. Some sectors are more interconnected than others, such as the Communications sector, while others, such as Dams, may not have as many connections. But each one is interdependent upon the others. What affects one, affects all others. It is like a line from the John Donne poem Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII, most often called “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” which states in pertinent part that, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

All of that brings us to our next point.

As it pertains to common use by all, Economic Infrastructure is considered by Engineers, Architects, Urban Planners, Politicians, and even Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders as being – at the most fundamental level – those faculties and facilities which enable and promote commerce, and improve the lives of residents.

Before going further, let me interrupt that train of thought to say this about socialism.

Properly defined, socialism is a condition in which the government controls the means and the method of production – such as with a government-owned factory. The former Soviet Union (now known as “Russia”) had many such government-owned factories.
The United States has NEVER had any such thing.
And, if one considered the coinage and currency in their pockets
– minted and printed by the United States Treasury Department on government-owned machines –
it is STILL not considered an example of socialism.

Why not?

The raw materials – the paper, ink, metals, and machines to make it – all came from the Private Sector via publicly bid contracts.

Continuing…

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rates America’s Infrastructure a “D+.” https://www.InfrastructureReportCard.org/

The ASCE identifies some 16 very similar categories of capital improvements as being (in alphabetical order):
1.) Aviation
2.) Bridges
3.) Dams
4.) Drinking Water
5.) Energy
6.) Hazardous Waste
7.) Inland Waterways
8.) Levees
9.) Ports
10.) Public Parks
11.) Rail
12.) Roads
13.) Schools
14.) Solid Waste
15.) Transit
16.) Wastewater

About the report, they wrote in part that “Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Infrastructure Report Card, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F. Since 1998, America’s infrastructure has earned persistent D averages, and the failure to close the investment gap with needed maintenance and improvements has continued. But the larger question at stake is the implication of D+ infrastructure on America’s economic future. The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card found the national grade for infrastructure remains at a “D+” — the same grade the United States received in 2013 — suggesting only incremental progress was made over the last four years toward restoring America’s infrastructure. ASCE evaluated 16 categories of infrastructure in the 2017 Report Card, with grades ranging from a “B” for Rail to a “D-” for Transit.

Consider also this: “The need for wastewater infrastructure exceeds $271 Billion.”

So… how does this affect you, and your family?

Check this out.

In 2016, the ASCE published a document titled “Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future,” which stated in part the following:

“The cost of deteriorating infrastructure takes a toll on families’ disposable household income and impacts the quality and quantity of jobs in the U.S. economy. With deteriorating infrastructure, higher business costs will be incurred in terms of charges for services and efficiency, which will lead to higher costs incurred by households for goods and services due to the rising prices passed on by businesses.

“As a consequence, U.S. businesses will be more inefficient. As costs rise, business productivity falls, causing GDP to drop, cutting employment, and ultimately reducing personal income.

“From 2016 to 2025, each household will lose $3,400 each year in disposable income due to infrastructure deficiencies; and if not addressed, the loss will grow to an average of $5,100 annually from 2026 to 2040, resulting in cumulative losses up to almost $34,000 per household from 2016 to 2025 and almost $111,000 from 2016 to 2040 (all dollars in 2015 value).

“Over time, these impacts will also affect businesses’ ability to provide well-paying jobs, further reducing incomes. If this investment gap is not addressed throughout the nation’s infrastructure sectors by 2025, the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP, resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025.

“Moreover, workers who are employed will earn lower wages, and in the long term, many higher paying jobs in technology and other leading sectors will be replaced by jobs that fulfill needs brought on by the inefficiencies of deteriorating infrastructure.

“Closing each infrastructure investment gap is possible, and the economic consequences caused by these gaps are avoidable with investment.”

Does that hit home hard enough?

And yet, we’re almost there.

What about the roads in your town, city, state, and nationwide? Are they in pristine condition? I sincerely doubt it. Pothole-filled roads tear up your car, don’t they? That costs you money, and time, because you gotta’ find another way around the rotten roads so your car won’t be destroyed by traveling upon them. But, what if you can’t?

Business Insider magazine recently published a story headlined about America’s most dangerous bridges in all 50 states.
https://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-bridges-america-2017-5

Reckon what it’d cost to fix ’em ALL? Not just to fill every pothole, or fix every cracked roadway, but to (if necessary) rebuild EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY road in the United States? And while you’re at it, expand and build more – and add to it coast-to-coast high-speed, mag-lev monorail trains. China, Germany, England, France, Japan, and other nations already have high-speed trains, and monorail trains are even in Disneyland.

WHY CAN’T WE BUILD A BETTER SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE TO USE?

Imagine what it’d be like to be able to Read the rest of this entry »

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How did we ever get into the mess we’re now in?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Democratic Presidential nominee candidates Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) continue to make the case that corporate America has harmed, and continues harming, the very field upon which they sow the seeds of their profit.

They further make the case that such governmentally-approved behavior is not merely injurious, but is unsustainable – if not fatal – to those same corporations, and ultimately, to the American economy upon which it feeds.

Citing examples of such greed and rapacious corporate profiteering by their über-wealthy owners and Wall Street overlords (to whom they are fiscally accountable and must share profits), and in conjunction with misguided Federal tax policy (led almost in whole part by Republicans), Senators Warren and Sanders show how overseas and foreign “outsourcing” – all in the name of increased corporate profits – have damaged average American families, including the cities, towns, and states wherein they reside, whom have all witnessed and suffered from wholesale corporate abandonment to foreign soil.

Slow learners are discovering that America’s narsicisstic wealthy “businessman” president – whom they elected, hoping he would be their knight in shining armor coming to their economic rescue – has also sold them out for his own self interests, exactly like his party’s predecessors. They were merely expendable pawns whom he deceived in his egocentric reality show/chess game. They’re merely the red-capped collateral damage in his monkey-business trade war.

Nowhere are the result of such policies more
plainly and painfully evident than in middle America,
where once-thriving factories have become hollowed-out shells

the veritable rotting skeletal corporate detritus which has
fostered and driven
the Opioid Epidemic in many states.

Once-renown industrial cities like Detroit, where the Big Three of the automobile industry – Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors – reigned since the early 1900’s, and supplied high-paying Labor Union wages with genuine, and significant healthcare and retirement benefits to generations of families. Children attended well-funded public schools, states and cities prospered, thrived and expanded exponentially. Teens who chose to attend college or university did so without incurring debt, and training for technically-skilled jobs and labor was supported by almost all secondary schools.

Then, as if seemingly unnoticed, small things began to change. It was if America’s hard-working men and women, and middle-class families had become the proverbial frogs in a pot of water, never noticing the water temperature was increasing, until they were boiled to death… while yet alive.

Life-saving medications like insulin for diabetics, antibiotics to treat and cure once-deadly infections, blood pressure medications which reduced strokes and many other hypertension-associated health problems, even the plastic bags which contained Normal Saline – typically given as adjunctive intravenous therapy in hospitals – began to be manufactured overseas, and along with it, came precipitous price hikes. So-called “pharma bros” took shockingly unjust and unimaginably avaricious pecuniary advantage of old-line medications – which had for years been off-patent – and jacked up their prices 5000%, or more, which placed them out of reach for many whose very lives depended upon them.

The giant, sloppy, wet kiss given to the Pharmaceutical Industry by Republicans under President George W. Bush in Medicare Part D didn’t help. Pharmaceutical companies were allowed to, and did, raise their prices, and Medicare – the single largest purchaser of medications in the world – was forbidden from negotiating for better, lower prices by that same law, which in turn, passed the price increases along to the insured, most of whom live on nominal, and fixed incomes.

Exorbitant pharmaceuticals hold patients hostage to disease,
as hapless physicians and feckless regulators are
paralyzed to become
Wall Street extortionists’ socioeconomic ransom.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southernbreeze/4611472833/

The Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” which solidified corporate personhood, and essentially said that “money is free speech” has neither helped. For if money was free speech, then the poor man would have none (thus violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and the First Amendment which guarantees Freedom of Speech), and our laws were, and are, written for all equally.

Neither has the subsequent 2014 Alabama case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission which “struck down Read the rest of this entry »

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The GOP Hopes That You Keep Sleeping

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

America has become like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, which has slowly, but steadily, increased in temperature to the point that it is boiled alive without realizing it.

As the story goes, if the frog were dumped into boiling water, it would immediately jump out.

But, since the water’s temperature was initially comfortable, even pleasant, and only slowly increased, the frog gradually became acclimated to it, and therefore was, in effect, desensitized to the inevitable, impending danger, and died slowly.

For the past nearly 50 years or so, and more specifically, within the last 38, America has swooned under the siren song led by the GOP, which in part started off with the not-so-oblique condemnation that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” (As Brian Gurney, a private citizen from California, noted: “You can’t govern if you don’t believe in government.” But set up a straw man, and beat it to a pulp – demonize the Constitutional effigy.) And to sweeten the deal, and help matters along, a little bit of “They’re individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life,” was thrown in for good measure (“a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” you know).

In order to facilitate that destruction, first was an appetizer of dessert – across-the-board personal income tax rates were cut 23%, which made the majority of working-class Americans and families very happy.

But then, calling them “job creators,” (veritable sacred cows which should be left alone to wander about in traffic and poop anywhere they desire) another round of personal income tax cuts came around, this time for the elites, and personal income tax rates upon the very wealthiest Americans was dramatically slashed to less than half the former rate – from 70% to 28%.

And then, there came cries and demands for liberty, and freedom from the tyranny of genuine governmental slavery in the form of, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And truly, who could disagree? But that was quickly transformed into efforts to squelch personal liberty as healthcare decision-making in the most intimate of, and deeply personal matters involving reproduction, by providing opportunity for nosy neighbors (government) to tell others how they ought to run their lives according to the dictates of others’ religious convictions, all under the auspices of government.

Dissatisfied with that aspect of control, they sought to again meddle into the private lives of others – despite the fact that their private liberties were not encroached upon – and the sanction of committed legal relationships in the civil sector were forbidden to select individuals… just like it once was with ethnic minorities. And when in indignation they invited the SCOTUS to step in and rule (hopefully to their advantage, though contrary to their own religious writings), which ruled against their religiously-motivated (no religious test), publicly-sanctioned governmental discrimination (equal protection under law), they loudly cried ‘FOUL!’

And then, when more of their hand-picked, fair-haired children ruled against them, that rights were not absolute (D.C. v Heller), that not just anyone had a right to own, possess, or brandish any firearm, anywhere, at any time, they couldn’t stand it any more, and falsely accused the SCOTUS of partiality and of siding with their opponents whom they continuously maligned, despite the fact that they were ruled against by one of their own most staunch hard-liners.

Feeling emboldened, their most powerful, yet little-known instigator went public and said in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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Roger Stone Indictment – Read it here.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 26, 2019

Roger Stone Federal Criminal Indictment raises more questions than it answers.

It has now become clear that GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone, may have worked with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Guccifer 2.0, an ostensible Russian hacking entity or operation which likely operated directly under the auspices of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian cyber counter-intelligence unit, aka “troll farm,” to influence the outcome of the 2016 General Election for GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Roger Stone is the same one who Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign fired after discovery of a personal ad he and his wife had placed in “Local Swinger Fever” a swingers magazine & website. The ad read: “Hot, Read the rest of this entry »

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Stand FIRM, Mr. President! STAND FIRM!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Way to go Mr. President! Way to go!

Don’t let those little snowflakes push you around!

You tell Ann Coulter (the White Supremacist) and Rush Limbaugh (the drug addict) to go to Hell!

Aside from now being aged 72 years – making him the OLDEST president ever to ever accede to the office at age 70 (he’s fond of superlatives, you know, and Reagan was 69 when he became president) – he probably needs Read the rest of this entry »

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Republican Party Corruption: How did it get that way? – Part 2

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 16, 2018

As mentioned earlier, the roots of modern corruption in today’s Republican party run deep, even past the Barry Goldwater presidential nomination era in 1964, when racism was fully and tacitly welcomed into the party – because by then, Communists like Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961), and James Burnham (1905-1987) Founding Editor of The National Review magazine, had already been 20 years welcomed aboard, and are still venerated to this day.

We’ve identified the problem, so a solution must be made, for it would be useless to criticize without offering a solution.

Then-President Ronald Reagan, in his first Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981, infamously said in part, that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” But contrary to his nice-sounding assertion, though specious claim, government is NOT the problem, for if it were, abolishing government, in favor of an anarchy, would solve the problem. And as we’ve been shown and continue to observe, for at least since the time of his presidency, Republicans continue actively destroying almost every vestige of organized and civil government through “downsizing” or “right-sizing” (destructive language couched more comfortably, as “a kinder, and gentler” euphemism), through “starve the monster” (denying money/funding), through abolishing agencies and “outsourcing” tax dollars which are used properly used to fund public programs, and instead diverting them to private enterprise through “charter schools” – like addicts do with narcotics prescriptions – and through dissipation by allowing block grants and the like.

Increasingly, that has become the m.o. – the modus operandi, their way of working – of the formerly Grand Old Party, which claims “states’ rights” as the banner for their justification, when instead, it should be the Jolly Roger.

However, most rational people would maintain that if a problem exists, it should be analyzed and corrected, instead of destroying the institution where a problem may be found. Don’t burn down the house just because the roof has a leak. Either patch the leak, or install a new, and better roof.

Yet today’s Republican Party is Hell-bent upon burning down the house. Such an objective, such a philosophy, and such a mindset is not merely misguided, not just un-Constitutional, it is inherently and virulently Read the rest of this entry »

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Republican Party Corruption: How did it get that way? – Part 1

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 15, 2018

George Packer, Staff Writer for The Atlantic, wrote an excellent, article examining the historical “modern” roots of today’s GOP, which was published yesterday, December 14, 2018, in an article entitled “The Corruption of the Republican Party.”

The article’s subtitle states that “The GOP is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.”

To be certain, when he cited corruption, he acknowledged that he didn’t mean to refer to “the kind of corruption that regularly sends lowlifes like Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic former governor of Illinois, to prison,” specifically noting that “those abuses are nonpartisan and always with us,” and excluded another kind of corruption such as “vote theft of the kind we’ve just seen in North Carolina – after all, the alleged fraudster employed by the Republican candidate for Congress hired himself out to Democrats in 2010.”

Rather, he states that the particular corruption to which he refers is not based upon one, two, or even three specific examples of types of corruption, but instead “has less to do with individual perfidy than institutional depravity. It isn’t an occasional failure to uphold norms, but a consistent repudiation of them.”

“A consistent repudiation of norms” – that is the very essence of today’s perversion of the modern GOP, as George Packer wrote.

They are no longer a “big tent” party as once described in 1967 by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan to the Republican Assembly on April 1, at the Lafayette Hotel, Long Beach, California, when he said in part that,

“The Republican Party, both in this state and nationally, is a broad party. There is room in our tent for many views; indeed, the divergence of views is one of our strengths. Let no one, however, interpret this to mean compromise of basic philosophy or that we will be all things to all people for political expediency.

“In our tent will be found those who believe that government was created by “We, the People;” that government exists for the convenience of the people and we can give to government no power we do not possess as individuals; that the citizen does not earn to support the government, but supports a government so that he may be free to earn; that, because there can be no freedom without law and order, every act of government must be approved if it makes freedom more secure and disapproved if it offers security instead of freedom.

“Within our tent, there will be many arguments and divisions over approach and method and even those we choose to implement our philosophy. Seldom, if ever, will we raise a cheer signifying unanimous approval of the decisions reached. But if our philosophy is to prevail, we must at least pledge unified support of the ultimate decision. Unity does not require unanimity of thought.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Solving America’s Opioid Crisis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

In a recent Press Conference, USAG Jeff Sessions said POS45 “asked her [Kellyanne Conway] to coordinate and lead the [opioid crisis response] effort from the White House,” saying she was “exceedingly talented,” noting a minor DEA Field Office reorganization was underway.
ref: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-sessions-and-acting-dea-administrator-patterson-announce-new-tools-address-0

As a licensed Healthcare Professional with immense interest in Public Health and related Public Policy, I have followed the aggressive increase in this epidemic for many years. And, I remain highly negatively critical of the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations for chronic, abject failure to stop it, and of the Trump administration’s ongoing failure to effectively utilize American diplomacy to stop it.

Here’s why.

To be clear, full understanding of this matter requires understanding the complex nature of ALL interrelated & intersecting measures, including history & background. This matter also directly includes International Terrorism.

For many years, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) has tracked the world’s predominant grower of opium poppy, which is used to make illicit narcotics – NOT prescription medications. (I specifically differentiate between the words “drugs” to describe illicit substances, and “medicine” to describe prescription treatments.)

Afghanistan remains the world’s greatest Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Sessions On His KKK “guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot” Quote

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

Many have said Jeff Sessions didn’t say it, and have gone back and forth on the matter.

Let’s bury that hatchet – once and for all – squarely where it rightfully belongs.

Here, from the Congressional Record, is Jeff Sessions’ 1986 testimony under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee following his nomination by then-President Ronald Reagan to a Federal Judgeship.

Recall that he was Read the rest of this entry »

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How TRUE is “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”? You’d be surprised… or, maybe not.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Remember how ANGRY some folks got when Michael Weisskopf (b.1946) of the Washington Post wrote on February 1, 1993 (link to original article with the WaPo’s editorial addendum) that the simple-minded evangelical groupies of Jerry Falwell (who himself died in 2007), Pat Robertson (b.1930), et al, that:
The gospel lobby evolved with the explosion of satellite and cable television, hitting its national political peak in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“Unlike other powerful interests, it does not lavish campaign funds on candidates for Congress nor does it entertain them. The strength of fundamentalist leaders lies in their flocks. Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.

“”The thing that makes them powerful is they’re mobilizable,” said Seymour Martin Lipset (d.2006), professor of public policy at George Mason University. “You can activate them to vote, and that’s particularly important in congressional primaries where the turnout is usually low.”

“Some studies put the number of evangelical Americans as high as 40 million, with the vast majority considered politically conservative.”

[ed. note: The excerpt, which has frequently been distilled to “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command,” is provided here in full proper context with leading and following sentences, not merely excerpted, in order to thoroughly show proper context.]

It’s true.

Folks don’t get mad because of falsehoods.

They get mad because of truth.

It’s true.

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), in 2015 (22 years AFTER that was written), 32.5% of the American public aged 25, or older, have a Bachelor’s Degree (Table 1.), which is CLEARLY a minority. Thus, we see automatically the “largely” part of “uneducated.”

The USCB has also performed research on income, which is similarly delineated and categorized by education. For the year 2011 (18 years AFTER the remarks were made), and those aged 25+ with at least a Bachelor’s Degree, the average income was 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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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 »

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Ronald Reagan: “I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 18, 2013

History’s a funny thing, ain’t it?

FaceBook The Internet is full of false “quotes” attributed to such luminous historical figures as Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers, along with fallacious – even mean-spirited and evil – attempted parallels to Hitler and the sitting President Barack Obama.

It’s just pure hatred. That, ignorance and selfishness.

But when it comes to one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, a two-term Republican President held in high esteem by Democrats and Republicans alike, no one really likes to recall the things he said.

And so, here for your perusal and consideration, is an historical redux.

Enjoy.

Reagan’s 78th Birthday Includes Posh Party, Campus Speech, Courtesy Call

JEFF WILSON , Associated Press
AP News Archive Feb. 7, 1989 5:54 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Ronald Reagan celebrated his 78th birthday by saying he’s had enough of retirement and was ”saddled up and ready to ride again” for a balanced federal budget and repeal of the two-term presidency.

The 40th President’s birthday celebration Monday included an office chat with Japanese Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, a black-tie party and a speech to students at the University of Southern California, where he was serenaded by the USC Marching Band.

”One of my biggest disappointments as president was I wasn’t able to balance the budget,” Reagan told the college audience.

Reagan received extended applause when answering a question about over-the- counter military weapons, such as the AK-47 assault rifle used to gun down five Stockton schoolchildren last month.

”I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense,” he said. ”But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

The speech was Reagan’s first public event since a spirited welcome home airport rally Jan. 20, the day he relinquished the presidency to George Bush. The former president said Read the rest of this entry »

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Ronald Reagan co-signed letter supporting Assault Gun Ban

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Second Amendment, as some have so misbelieved, has no limitations. However, as we all know, there are limits to our First Amendment freedom-of-speech rights. For example, one cannot yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. It is reasonable, therefore, that limitations should similarly exist for the Second Amendment, some of which already include denying firearm ownership to convicted felons, and those who are mentally unstable.

As some have come to so interpret it, the purpose of the Second Amendment is to empower citizens with the ability to overthrow a despotic government – not to hunt wild game. If that be the case, one mustn’t be intellectually dishonest about the matter, and must acknowledge if that interpretation is at least accurate in part, then the Second Amendment was written to give citizens the right and authority to kill their governmental leaders.

Regarding how the spirit of the Second Amendment might be honored while simultaneously providing sane regulation to prevent tragedies as we have most recently witnessed, I offer the following.

The Second Amendment reads

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

• People who own firearms – particularly military style assault weapons – should be required to, as part of their ownership – be active members in good standing of “a well regulated militia.”

• Individuals who only own hunting firearms could be exempted from militia participation requirements.

• All firearm owners should be required to pay a federal tax upon acquisition of the firearm, no matter the type.

• All firearm owners should be required to submit to a federal background investigation and security clearance, including fingerprinting.

• Military style firearms could be subject to an acquisition tax, the amount of which could be the equivalence of the purchase price, or more – similarly to the tax imposed upon fully-automatic weapons.

• Annual accountability for all firearm owners – essentially asking the legal status of the individual, e.g., whether they’ve been arrested, or convicted of any disqualifying crime or behavior, and performing mandatory annual background checks with federal, state & local Law Enforcement Agencies.

• Lying or attempting to deceive to obtain a firearm by deliberately misleading would be a federal crime, the punishment of which could be determined – perhaps even including a ban on ownership for a set period of time, up to and including a permanent lifetime ban.

Ford, Carter, Reagan Push for Gun Ban

May 05, 1994|WILLIAM J. EATON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON — Three former presidents endorsed legislation Wednesday to ban the future manufacture, sale and possession of combat-style assault weapons as a closely divided House neared a showdown today on the hotly controversial issue.

Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan sent a letter to all House members expressing their support for the measure, effectively joining President Clinton in urging approval of the ban.

Together, the four make a formidable lobby, stretching across Read the rest of this entry »

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How to End This Depression

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 29, 2012

It’s been said that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

The distinguished Dr. Krugman – who accurately foretold in 2001 that the “Bush Tax Cuts” would create significant deficit (and they did) – understands the role of government in providing opportunity for entrepreneurs and private enterprise, and the equally important role that government has in responsibility to protect public health and safety.

The long and short of it is this: Government spending on economic infrastructure (including education) is a good investment because it yields significant immediate and long-term results.

Why?

Because Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the private sector.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the aforementioned premise, and the numerous times about which I have written in detail about the same. This entry illustrates with three excellent examples of that principle.

Naysayers and critics miss one very important factor in their analogy, which is that the Federal government has the power and authority to print money. The way that factor relates to the issue at hand is this: While the government could – in theory, and in reality – print enough money to give $10,000 to every man, woman and child in this nation the net effect of so doing would be to devalue the money, which would be resulting from inflation.

How to correct, resolve or work within the guidelines of that factor is to understand that one very important role of government is to provide OPPORTUNITY for entrepreneurs and private enterprise. By providing opportunity, government is also encouraging private enterprise and entrepreneurship. And, for the strict Constitutionalists, courts have continued to uphold and acknowledge that such power is contained within the Preamble’s clause “to promote the general welfare.”

Further, for the “anti-Big Government” naysayers, it is preposterous (contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous) to imagine that, in this era, with every technological advance, invention and discovery which has been made since 1776, and with our population (now approaching 312,000,000), that we would have fewer laws, rules and regulations than when we first began.

And, for those who say we should balance our budget, I would agree. However, I hasten to point out, that the last time that was done was under Eisenhower and LBJ. That does not excuse us from an ongoing civil discussion and debate about how to effectively manage our nation’s budget. Perhaps a formula of some type which would take into account GDP, debt (outstanding Treasury notes), trade deficit, population growth, birth rate, and other factors – with an “escape” mechanism for times of civil emergency or war, of course.

For such, we need technocrats – experts in areas of operations – rather than bureaucrats. Perhaps in an advisory role. But then again, we have those.

So… why don’t we work together as we ought?

Politics.

It seems that “Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.”

How to End This Depression

May 24, 2012

Paul Krugman

The depression we’re in is essentially gratuitous: we don’t need to be suffering so much pain and destroying so many lives. We could end it both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines—anyone, that is, except those who have actually studied the economics of depressed economies and the historical evidence on how policies work in such economies.
Obama in Master Lock factory Milwaukee

President Obama on a tour of the Master Lockfactory in Milwaukee with the company’s senior vice-president, Bon Rice, February 2012; Susan Walsh/AP Images

The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.

But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.

Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.

But some readers will wonder, isn’t a recovery program along the lines I’ve described just out of the question as a political matter? And isn’t advocating such a program a waste of time? My answers to these two questions are: not necessarily, and definitely not. The chances of a real turn in policy, away from the austerity mania of the last few years and toward a renewed focus on job creation, are much better than conventional wisdom would have you believe. And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: Read the rest of this entry »

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A: 1.4% Q: What is the annualized spending growth rate under Obama & lowest rate of any president since Reagan?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who’s the Biggest Spender? Obama or Bush?

By BRUCE BARTLETT, The Fiscal Times June 1, 2012

Lately, there has been some controversy about the growth of spending under Barack Obama. It began on May 22 with a column by Rex Nutting of MarketWatch, which concluded that the rate of growth of federal spending under Obama has actually been trivial compared to the last 4 presidents.

According to Nutting’s calculations, spending has grown only 1.4 percent per year under Obama – one-fifth the rate under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Following is a chart accompanying the article.

There has been a considerable amount of debate about Nutting’s calculations, which fly in the face of Republican dogma. Much involves technical accounting issues, such as how to allocate spending during fiscal year 2009. This is important because fiscal year 2009 began on September 1, 2008 during Bush’s administration, reflecting his priorities. By the time Obama took office on January 20, 2009 the fiscal year was almost half over; he didn’t submit his first budget until February 26, 2009 and the fiscal year 2010 budget is really the first one that reflected his priorities.

Nutting assigned the bulk of fiscal year 2009 spending to Bush, an assumption that other analysts have questioned. Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post found that Nutting overstated his argument in various ways. But the PoliFact site of the Tampa Bay Times concluded that the Nutting column was essentially correct.

Aside from the political implications, the reason this debate is important is because there is a tendency for people to conflate spending, deficits and debt, as well as confusing rates of change with absolute levels.

The difference between 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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