Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘research’

The Economy WILL Crash. It’s only a matter of “WHEN?”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Economics has long been called the “dismal science.”¹

Perhaps it’s because they either a.) Tell the truth, or b.) Warn about bad things to come. Either way, it’s hardly a French tickler, and more like a Marquis de Sade.

But, some folks don’t enjoy hearing the truth, or as the actor Jack Nicholson’s character Guantanamo Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup raged upon the witness stand in the 1992 motion picture “A Few Good Men,” that “You can’t handle the truth!”

Of course, we’re familiar with how that movie turned out.

Free economies are based upon consumer spending. Period. Full stop.

If consumers don’t have money, they don’t spend. That’s easy enough to understand.

And, if anything, the coronoavirus pandemic has shown up how poorly prepared this president’s administration has been, and continues to be.

Again, those aren’t “nice words” to hear or read, but they are the unvarnished truth.

To say that “the economy is improving” is a mischaracterization of enormous proportion, so much so, and to the extent that, it’s either whistling past the graveyard, or Whistler’s Mother – both of whom are dead.

The economy was “doing well” according to some estimates. Those estimates included the DJIA, the stock indices of various firms and select industries, and some hedge funds. The “essential” worker bees were just hanging on by a thread in their retail, meat processing, and low-paid food service industry jobs. And once they got sick, they were fired, and… BAMMO! The shit hit the high-speed fan.

Suddenly, there were no more “worker bees” and the economic house of cards began to collapse with each puff of wind from COVID-19 patients’ coughs.

Fortunately, Congress (as in the House of Representatives) had the wisdom and foresight to actually bail out THE PEOPLE this time, and to give a much smaller hand-out to industry. The familiar cry “Where’s MY bailout!?!” was the primary sticking point with the previous administration in the process of recovery from “the Great Recession” when Big Business and industry got practically everything their hearts desired, but the people got nothing. Literally, nothing. Bupkis. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not even a peck on the cheek after they were screwed.

This time, The People who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 were given an extra $600 per week of Unemployment Compensation, which was set to expire July 31. Ever seeking cheap labor to fill their stores, factories and farms, the Republicans decried the matter, but agreed to go along with the plan, hoping that the administration would  have a more cohesively unified plan to stop the assault of COVID-19 upon America’s lives, young and old, alike.

But as it became increasingly clear that nothing of the sort was going to happen, and that an extension of such benefits would likely become necessary because either businesses went belly-up, or couldn’t guarantee their employees’ safety on the job (as protection against COVID-19), the employees, many of whom were already at risk of serious injury from such infection, declined to return to work, and continued to draw their extra $600/week Unemployment Compensation.

But hey! A bright spot!

Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, and other industry monoliths were doing A-okay, and were even increasing profits! So yah… it was all sweetness and pleasantries once again for the Billionaire Class.

But The People.

Those pesky people.

Those essential sacrificial lambs of industry… what to do with them? Those who could – and still had jobs – worked from their residences. Those who, for whatever reason Read the rest of this entry »

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French Scientists Discover COVID-19 In December 2019 BEFORE The China Outbreak

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

This information, which was reported just yesterday (Monday, 4 May 2020), is turning the entire understanding of this disease on its ear.

Previously thought to have originated in China, COVID-19 is now thought to have been spreading globally long before the outbreak in Wuhan, China ever occurred.

An interesting observation:
This individual –and– “Patient Zero” in Wuhan were BOTH fishmongers.

A germane question:
Could this virus be related to, or capable of being transmitted in aquatic wildlife?


Who: 42 year old man born in Algeria, lived in France for many years, worked as fishmonger

What: retrospective investigation for SARS-COV2 (novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19) in respiratory samples collected

Where: intensive care units (ICUs) of hospital north of Paris, France

When: December 27, 2019

Why: Presented to emergency ward with hemoptysis (coughing up blood/bloody sputum), cough, headache and fever, evolving for 4 days

How: RT-PCR test (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) the most sensitive technique for mRNA (genetic) detection and quantitation currently available

Additional Facts: Last trip was in Algeria during August 2019. One of his children presented with ILI (influenza-like illness) prior to the onset of his symptoms. His medical history included asthma, type II diabetes mellitus. Had not visited China.

See also: COVID-19 in France since December, hospital test suggests
Researchers testing old samples found COVID-19 in a man treated a month before France confirmed its first cases.
(https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/covid-19-france-december-hospital-test-suggests-200504154024084.html)

See also: French hospital discovers Covid-19 case from December
Man found to have had virus a month before government confirmed first cases
(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/04/french-hospital-discovers-covid-19-case-december-retested)

See also: After retesting samples, French hospital discovers COVID-19 case from December
(https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france/after-retesting-samples-french-hospital-discovers-covid-19-case-from-december-idUSKBN22G20L)

See also: French hospital discovers country’s first known Covid-19 case, from December
A French hospital which has retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered that it treated a man who had Covid-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.
(https://www.france24.com/en/20200505-france-s-first-known-covid-19-case-was-in-december)

See also: After Retesting Samples, French Hospital Discovers COVID-19 Case From December
(https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/05/04/world/europe/04reuters-health-coronavirus-france.html)

See also: Genetic Study Shows COVID-19 Was in France Weeks Before The First Case Was Reported
(https://www.sciencealert.com/genetic-investigation-reveals-covid-19-was-circulating-in-europe-before-cases-were-reported)


International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

Available online 3 May 2020, 106006

Highlights

• Covid-19 was already spreading in France in late December 2019, a month before the official first cases in the country.
• Early community spreading changes our knowledge of covid-19 epidemic.
• This new case changes our understanding of the epidemic and modeling studies should adjust to this new data.

Abstract

The COVID-19 epidemic is believed to have started in late January 2020 in France. We report here a case of a patient hospitalized in December 2019 in our intensive care, of our hospital in the north of Paris, for hemoptysis with no etiological diagnosis and for which RT-PCR was performed retrospectively on the stored respiratory sample which confirmed the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Based on this result, it appears that the COVID-19 epidemic started much earlier.

SARS-COV-2 was already spreading in France in late December 2019


Introduction

After its onset in December 2019 in China, the new coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) spreads widely in several countries, causing COVID-19 illness.1 World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.3 France reported the first cases of SARS-COV-2 related infection on January 24, 2020.5 Both cases had a history of travel to Wuhan.6 To the best of our knowledge, these 2 cases are believed to be the first confirmed cases in France. COVID-19 most commonly present with influenza-like illness (ILI).7 While China was facing COVID-19 outbreak, European countries were struggling with seasonal influenza.8 Clinical symptomatology between COVID-19 and ILIis similar,we therefore decided retrospectively to look for SARS-COV2 in respiratory samples collected in the intensive care units (ICUs) of our hospital near Paris.

Methods – Retrospective analysis

Selected records

We reviewed medical record of ICUs patients admitted for ILI between December 2, 2019 and January 16, 2020, with a negative RT-PCR performed at admission. Every respiratory sample collected in our hospital are 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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Scandalous!!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 9, 2020

Reproduction of an original photograph of Prince George of Greece and Denmark (1869-1957) and Princess Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962). Prince George is sitting to the right wearing military uniform. Princess Marie is standing beside him to the left with her right hand resting on her hip. She is wearing a pale coloured dress and strings of pearls. There is a wooden wall behind them. The photograph is signed and dated. Prince George of Greece and Denmark was the second son of George I, King of the Hellenes. Princess Marie Bonaparte was a descendant of Emperor Napoleon I, an heiress and a psychoanalyst. They married in 1907.

Identify the TRUE statements about Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962), great grand-niece of Emperor Napoleon:

1.) Was anorgasmic.

2.) Was a psychoanalyst.

3.) Helped advance Read the rest of this entry »

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Federal Reserve Study: Trump Tariffs Hurt Economy & Employees

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 28, 2019

It’s official!

In their research work “Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector,” Aaron Flaaen, a Senior Economist, and Justin Pierce, a Principal Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, make their findings that Trump’s Tax Increase – aka “tariffs” – have actually harmed the Economy, and Employment.

“Since the beginning of 2018,
the United States has undertaken unprecedented tariff increases,
with one goal of these actions being
to boost the manufacturing sector.
In this paper, we estimate the effect of the tariffs
—including retaliatory tariffs by U.S.trading partners—
on manufacturing employment, output, and producer prices.”

“Higher tariffs are also associated with relative increases in producer prices via rising input costs.”
– Abstract; p.1

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices.”
– Section 1; p.3

“Since the end of 2018, however, manufacturing output has declined noticeably and manufacturing employment growth has stalled.”
– Section 2.1; p.5 Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the Banana Boat Sunk?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 17, 2019

You’re fixing to lose the bananas in your breakfast cereal.

And banana pudding will become only a sweet memory.

Grocery stores may no longer be selling bananas.

Why?

The global crop is dying, and will soon be dead.

Global as in worldwide.

Dead as in extinct.

Extinct as the Dodo bird.

Which, by the way, is thought to have become extinct c.1690 – a very long time ago. So naturally, there are no photographs of the Dodo bird, since the development of photography (yes, it’s a bad pun) was begun c.1826 with the image entitled “View from the Window at Le Gras,” which was made by Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France.

A harmful soil fungus, for which there is no known remedy, has begun to affect banana crops worldwide. Found in Taiwan in the 1990’s, the fungus, which resides naturally in the soil, is a variant of Read the rest of this entry »

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Close To Home: An Alabama Native was First to Hike the Entire US/Mexico Border

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 9, 2019

“Border Walk,” by Mark J. Hainds, an Andalusia, Alabama native, documents his journey as the first individual to have trekked along the 1954 miles of the US/Mexico border.

While the Washington Post is getting clicks on their news feature story headlined “Is the border actually lawless? This father and son are hiking all 1,954 miles to find out.,” it was actually Mark J. Hainds, an Andalusia, Alabama resident, who was the first person to have ever hiked the length of the US/Mexico border.

In November 2014, the Research Associate and Research Coordinator with Auburn University and the Longleaf Alliance, resigned his 20-year-plus positions, and took temporary leave of his family, to hike the 1,954 miles of the US/Mexico border.

PBS documented his journey in a full-length feature film named “La Frontera,” which can be viewed for free at the link below:

https://southdocs.org/project/lafrontera/

His book “Border Walk” which describes his journey, was published in March 2018, and in April he authored an article which was published on Daily Kos website (“I Walked the Entire US-Mexico Border”) about his journey which also referenced his book.

He leads that story by writing, “On November 24th, 2017, I became the first person in history to have walked the length of the US-Mexico border.”

His feat was reported by:

• The Houston Chronicle in October 2016 (“A walk along the border: Man traverses Texas-Mexico line for documentary“)

Vice in October 2016 (“We Talked to the Man Walking the Length of the US-Mexico Border“)

• The Associated Press April 2017 (“Day 14: Fellow border travelers meet, in the middle of nowhere“)

• The San Diego Tribune July 2017 (“For 700 miles, hiker kept the border in view, and on his mind“)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Formerly titled, “With Trump WYSIWYG: Who Voted For, And Supports Him?”

African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus, near Lake Panic, Kruger National Park, South Africa, 31 December 2013
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), Derek Keats, https://www.flickr.com/photos/93242958@N00/19448654130M

One either loves, or loathes, Donald Trump.

One does not simply “tolerate” him.

He is a divisive political figure.

He is starkly contrasted to former POTUS George W. Bush, who in a May 6, 1999 interview with David Horowitz of Salon magazine, famously said, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.”

Trump is a divider, not a uniter.

For Trump, e pluribus unum means nothing, even though we are the United States of America.

And for those who voted for him thinking he’d change, that he was merely spouting hollow campaign rhetoric, they might as well have asked a leopard to change it’s spots.

With Trump, WYSIWYG.

Specifically, I mean to refer to him in his executive Presidential capacity.

And yet, strangely enough, he has coalesced support from diverse, divergent sub-groups within, and without the GOP. The importance of that feat cannot, and should not be underestimated, glossed over, or minimized, because understanding it is key to political success, especially for Read the rest of this entry »

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Oops… there goes the “Good Guy With A Gun” theory. #2A

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 14, 2018

In a direct blow to the firearm radicals (aka “gun nuts”) crowd’s assertions, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has shown that, contrary to what the tax-free National Rifle Association has publicly claimed, “of over 14,000 incidents in which the victim was present, 127 (0.9%) involved a SDGU.” (Self Defense Gun Use)

In other words,

“a good guy with a gun”

does NOT

lower nor reduce criminal activity.

What is the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)?

The BJS writes this about the NCVS:
“The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 135,000 households, composed of nearly 225,000 persons, on the Read the rest of this entry »

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God Is Mysterious, Naturally

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Today is the memorial of Albert Magnus, known as Albert the Great, Bishop, Doctor of the Church.

Albert was known for his vast knowledge in all areas of learning. He was Saint Thomas Aquinas’ tutor, a man skilled in all the sciences of his age. Albert did not fear science; for him there was no contradiction between what he learned about the natural world through scientific observation and what he believed as a person of faith. People of mature faith have nothing to Read the rest of this entry »

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Keep Your Horse And Your Heart Healthy: A How To Guide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

In the late-1970s, a pioneering medication was discovered in Japan which was made from a single microorganism.

Isolated at the Kitasato Intitute, Tokyo, Japan, it came from a single Japanese soil sample, and has had an immeasurably beneficial impact in improving the lives and welfare of billions of people worldwide. And, despite continued research since, it has only been found in Japan.

While it was originally introduced as a veterinary medication and found to kill a phenomenally wide range of internal and external parasites in livestock and companion animals, it was quickly discovered to be ideal in combating two of the world’s most devastating and disfiguring diseases which have plagued the world’s poor throughout tropical regions for centuries. It’s now being used free-of-charge as the exclusive tool in campaigns to eliminate both diseases globally, and has also been used to successfully overcome several other human diseases, with new uses for it continually being found.

Few medications can seriously lay claim to the title of ‘Wonder Drug’, and penicillin and aspirin are two that have perhaps had the greatest beneficial effect on the health and well-being of Humankind. But this medication can also be considered alongside those worthy contenders, based on its versatility, safety and the beneficial impact that it has had, and continues to have, worldwide — especially on hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.

The medication treats Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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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Your Tax Dollars At Work: Taxpayers Subsidize CEO Pay, Here’s How #BonusLoophole

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 3, 2016

Executive Excess 2016: The Wall Street CEO Bonus Loophole

This 23rd annual report reveals how taxpayers are subsidizing financial crisis windfalls.

By Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati, August 31, 2016

CashingInOnTheCrisis-Graphic-1-1This report is the first to calculate how much taxpayers have been subsidizing executive bonuses at the nation’s largest banks.

The study focuses on a 1993 Clinton administration reform that was intended to rein in runaway CEO pay by capping the tax deductibility of executive compensation at $1 million. But the new rule included a huge loophole for stock options and other “performance” pay. As a result, the more corporations hand out in executive bonuses, the lower their tax bill. This perverse incentive for excessive compensation has been a major factor in the explosion of CEO pay.

The financial bailout program closed this loophole for recipients, but only until Read the rest of this entry »

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Meteorology, Mama & Baby -or- How I Was Befriended By Luck

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 10, 2015

It was Easter Sunday, 2010, and unknown to me, dumb luck had befriended me.

Pure dumb luck.

Even scientists believe in it.

In 1996, Duncan C. Blanchard, a meteorological researcher then affiliated with the State University of New York at Albany, authored a scientific paper entitled Serendipity, Scientific Discovery, and Project Cirrus” published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in which he cited Project Cirrus (1947-52), a period and project of research from which “many serendipitous discoveries and inventions were made, opening up areas of research still being pursued today.”

Blanchard’s work was cited a decade later in 2006 by David M. Schultz, who was then affiliated with the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, and the NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma in a research paper entitled The Mysteries of Mammatus Clouds: Observations and Formation Mechanisms. In it he wrote that what little we know about mammatus clouds was, because of their nature, “obtained largely through serendipitous opportunities.”

In other words, what little we know about the clouds (so named after human breasts because of their appearance), has been obtained by pure dumb luck – although, being prepared, and being in the right place at the right time does account for something.

In conversation recently with a dear, and longtime friend, I shared about Read the rest of this entry »

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Study: Cannabis Legalization Does Not Increase Underage Use

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Consumption Of Marijuana With Respect To The Passage Of Respective State Medical Marijuana Laws

The Lancet Psychiatry – Jul 20, 2015

    The Passage Of Medical Marijuana Laws Could Improvise Medical Usage Of Marijuana, With Due Investigation

 

Background

 Adolescent use of marijuana is associated with adverse later effects, so the identification of factors underlying adolescent use is of substantial public health importance. The relationship between US state laws that permit marijuana for medical purposes and adolescent marijuana use has been controversial. Such laws could convey a message about marijuana acceptability that increases its use soon after passage, even if implementation is delayed or the law narrowly restricts its use. We used 24 years of national data from the USA to examine the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and adolescent use of marijuana.

Methods

Using a multistage, random-sampling design with Read the rest of this entry »

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Which are the BEST & WORST States for Nursing Practice?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The nursing industry – like most segments of the economy – is in a state of significant transition under the weight of major overarching socioeconomic dynamics, from the aging U.S. population and the Affordable Care Act to the student loan crisis and concerns about the future of key entitlement programs. It’s therefore understandable if recent nursing school grads aren’t sure where to turn once they receive their diploma.

That concern is not unique among recent graduates, regardless of industry, but both the magnitude of the issue – the nursing industry is expected to grow far faster than the average occupation through 2022 – and the various day-to-day demands placed on nursing professionals – from overstaffing and mandatory overtime to unionization and allegations of systematic disrespect – are indeed profession-specific. With that in mind, WalletHub decided to take stock of the nursing industry in order to help nurses, particularly the newly minted of the bunch, lay down roots in areas that are conducive to both personal and professional success.

We compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of 15 key metrics that collectively speak to the job opportunities that exist for nurses in each market, how much competition there is for each position, differences in the workplace environment, and projections for the future. You can check out our findings as well as Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Common Core Math

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 29, 2014

According to Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, high schools in the state have achieved an 80% graduation rate. While that sounds impressive, there is an underlying problem, which is this:

How do we know that the children being graduated are competent?

Competency is exemplified as being able to do something successfully. So if merely graduating high school was sufficient demonstration of competence, everyone with a high school diploma would be competent. But sadly, we know that is NOT the case. For example, one need only look to private high schools to so illustrate. Very few private high schools have any such problems. And, it is not to say that all public schools suffer problems. And yet, it is evidence as well that many courses taught in 1960, or even 1860 at the “high school” level are more advanced than those taught today.

For example, consider the following courses of study were required for a diploma of graduation from Middletown City High School, Connecticut in 1848: Read the rest of this entry »

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Butter really IS better!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Food Marketers Made Butter the Enemy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:00 AM PDT

James McWilliams—a historian who has made a name for himself in prestigious publications like the New York Times and The Atlantic for his contrarian defenses of the food industry—is back at it. In an item published last week in the excellent Pacific Standard, McWilliams uses the controversy over a recent study of saturated fat as a club with which to pummel food industry critics like the Times‘ Mark Bittman.

Here’s what happened: A group including Harvard and Cambridge researchers analyzed 72 studies and concluded that there’s no clear evidence that ditching saturated fat (the kind found mainly in butter, eggs, and meat) for the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind (found in fish and a variety of vegetable oils) delivers health benefits.

Bittman responded to the study’s release with Read the rest of this entry »

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Global Educational Attainment, 1950-2010

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 4, 2013

Educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010

Robert Barro, Jong-Wha Lee, 18 May 2010

Empirical investigations of the role of human capital require accurate measures across countries and over time. This column describes a new dataset on educational attainment for 146 countries at 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2010. The new data, freely available online, use more information and better methodology than existing datasets. Among the many new results is that the rate of return to an additional year of schooling on output is quite high – ranging from 5% to 12%.

It is widely accepted that human capital, particularly attained through education, is crucial to economic progress. An increase in the number of well-educated people implies a higher level of labour productivity and a greater ability to absorb advanced technology from developed countries (Acemoglu 2009). Empirical investigations of the role of human capital require accurate and internationally-comparable measures of human capital across countries and over time.

Our earlier studies (1993, 1996, and 2001) constructed measures of educational attainment of the adult population for a broad group of countries. This column introduces a new data set (available at barrolee.com) providing improved estimates for 146 countries at 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2010. The data are Read the rest of this entry »

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How out of touch with reality is the GOP?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 23, 2013

The GOP recently acknowledged that, among other aspects of their party’s alienation from the American mainstream, they need to modify and change not merely their image, but their appeal to Hispanics, which have largely voted for Democratic candidates.

The irony of their acknowledgment is that they want to do the very thing they’ve demonstrated why and how they’ve alienated themselves from the American mainstream… hire a Mexican to do their work.

As reported in VOXXI, by Grace Flores-Hughes on March 19, 2013, “The Republican National Committee plans to hire political directors from the Hispanic, Asian, African American communities as well as from women’s groups.”
Read her story: “The ambitious coming out of the Republican Party”

The numbers prove it: The GOP is estranged from America

By Andrew Kohut, Published: March 22

Andrew Kohut is the founding director and former president of the Pew Research Center. He served as president of the Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989.

In my decades of polling, I recall only one moment when a party had been driven as far from the center as the Republican Party has been today.

The outsize influence of hard-line elements in the party base is doing to the GOP what supporters of Read the rest of this entry »

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