Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘rights’

To Trump, or Not To Trump: Religion, Politics, and Voting

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 28, 2019

As I pondered how to begin this entry, numerous thoughts occurred to me about the possible pathway it could take. But the bottom line (Already? Yes, already.) is that what I really want to do is talk about politics and religion.

Sure, almost everyone has heard the adage and encouragements to avoid talking about those two subjects, and almost always to avoid them at holiday family get-togethers. And then, there’s “polite company,” in which one doesn’t want to appear controversial, start a quarrel, or possibly offend someone.

But this is none of the above, and you’ve read this far, so here we go.

Globally, within the last 50 years, and more so since the 1990’s in this nation (the United States), there has emerged a politically active religious movement which has innervated the halls of government at the national and state levels. Local politics has some effect, but nowhere is it more seen and felt than at those two levels.

We have seen the emergence of right-wing extremism in almost all religions, and it’s certainly most visible in the Abrahamic monotheistic religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – three sects of a common religion from the same family which essentially share the same god.

In recent history, we have seen it demonstrated as a revolt against liberalism (which is properly defined as “freedom”) in Iran in 1979, in which right-wing religious extremists of the Islamic religion, led by the Ayatollah Ruholla Kohmeni (1902-1989) overthrew the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980). Since that time, the nation has remained under the oppressive religious regime of the Islamic Republican Party.

We have also witnessed events such as the rise of radical Islam in the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS, or ISIL), and numerous sects in other Middle Eastern nations, many of which were formerly free from religious influence in government.

While there are many other complicating features of those nations’ internal struggles, such as governmental oppression, totalitarianism, involvement by foreign governments in propping up leaders seen as useful to those same governments, etc., suffice it to say, it is true that the revolutionary forces were almost exclusively religiously motivated by fear of losing their religion at the hand of the existing governmental state.

In the United States, led in large part by the Reverend Jerry Falwell (1933-2007), founder of Liberty University, and supported by Evangelicals such as Pat Robertson (b.1930) and his 700 Club and Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) led by Paul (1924-2013) and Jan Crouch (1939-2016), and a veritable host of other high-profile religious leaders who used television, such as Oral Roberts (1918-2009), Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003), Kenneth Copeland (b.1936), Jerry Savelle (b.1946), Marilyn Hickey (b.1931), Jimmy Swaggart (b.1935), et al., have exercised significant political sway upon a large portion of the American voting public, which in turn, elected officials and politicians who would do their political bidding in Washington, and in states’ capitols nationwide.

Once described as “values voters” who measured candidates on high moral character, Evangelicals now unify behind an unholy trinity of nativism, xenophobia and White grievance. They have exchanged ethics of accountability principles, to thinking “the end justifies the means,” and have stopped searching for personal character and leadership quality in political leaders, and instead have accepted the actions and morality of their chosen candidates if their election objectives are met.

Such actions are problematic not only for religion, but for government as well. Because if religion has become a tool used by government, it has lost its own internal moral compass, and its influence and usefulness as a force for public virtue, private morality, and social unification has become worthless. And even if that is true (and increasingly, it seems so), then America has lost its own unique character of adherence to principles of tolerance, seeking peaceful resolution to problems, and its own commitment to equality under law.

All those groups and people have one thing in common: they constrain freedom in people by using religion to manipulate government. And yet, as evidenced by numerous hind-sight observations in the 2016 General Election, the irony – and disturbingly eerie parallel – of the matter, is that Evangelicals are no longer adherent to orthodoxy, or traditional “old time religion,” which has become as equally a motivating religious fear factor for them, as much as it is for radical Islam.

In Middle Eastern nations, it has been more violent, but the objectives are the same: Wrest control of the existing government away from its leaders, and install religious extremists in power; curtail personal freedoms; subjugate and limit women to child-rearing and housekeeping roles; deny women education – keep them illiterate; deny women access to contraceptives or abortion services, thereby forcing them to become pregnant and give birth; deny women – and others – voting rights; deny women and others freedom of movement by forbidding them to drive automobiles; force everyone to adhere to the state religion, or face harsh punishment or execution for disobeying, or speaking against it.

While in the United States such drastic measures have not all occurred, little by little, led largely by Republicans, states and the Federal government are enacting laws limiting hard-won civil rights, such as 18-year-olds’ Right to Vote; denying women access to contraception, and limiting therapeutic abortion.

While the argument has changed in tenor and is now couched as a “right to life” (a phrase not found in the Constitution, but only in the Declaration of Independence – “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”), its beginning is unmistakably religious in origin, having first been promulgated by the Catholic Church, and later adopted by Evangelical Protestants as a tenet of their faith, as well.

But, because many don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on that subject, those who would restrict others’ freedoms, instead, take a circuitous, surreptitious route to force their beliefs upon others, ultimately, by making voting more difficult, and hoping they’ll stay away from polls on Election Day. Because when voters don’t vote, freedom is the ultimate loser. And sadly, that is how some want it – because they think there’s just too much freedom – and wrongly claim that responsibility is absent from freedom.

This Spring, the Republican-dominated Texas State Legislature enacted legislation which forbids any early voting polling place from being open less than the full 12 days of the early voting period. The net effect is that 9 sites on college and university campuses in the state – as well as 6 campus polling locations in Fort Worth, 2 in Brownsville, and others throughout the state – will be forced to close, effectively disenfranchising very nearly 14,000 full-time student voters.

In Wisconsin, despite the fact that there has never been a case of deliberate student voter fraud in state history, the Republican-led state legislature passed legislation that requires poll workers to check signatures ONLY on student IDs, even though many schools have removed signatures from them because it’s a security risk, since the IDs are also used as debit cards, and room keys. As well, that same law mandates that IDs used for voting purposes must expire in 2 years, while most Student IDs are valid for 4 years. Not only that, but students with acceptable IDs must also show proof of enrollment before being allowed to vote. While the state’s colleges and universities have diligently tried to meet all ID requirements for the students to use school IDs to exercise their voting rights, the end result has been statewide student voter chaos.

In New Hampshire, a Republican-led effort which became law now requires newly-registered voters who also drive, to establish “domicile” there by obtaining a New Hampshire Driver License and automobile registration, which can cost hundreds of dollars annually. The catch is, it affects students almost exclusively, because 60% of the state’s students come from outside the state. That too, was a Republican-led effort by the former Republican Speaker of the House, William O’Brien, who in 2011 promised to restrict student voting and said they are “kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience.”

In Texas, which ranks dead last in voter turnout, the state’s Republican legislators have restricted student voter pre-registration to 2 months before the student’s 18th birthday, excludes use of college and university-issued ID cards, mandates that state driver licenses be used -and- only if they sign a form swearing that they could not reasonably obtain an “accepted” voter ID, and explain why.

Tennessee isn’t too far behind. That state’s Republican legislators use a convenient loophole in the law requiring election officials to help register high school students to avoid fulfilling their obligation, do not accept student IDs as valid for voting purposes, and have excluded out-of-state Driver Licenses as forms of valid Voter ID. The state’s 4 most populous cities – Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, and Chattanooga – also have significant student populations, and no on-campus early voting polling locations. However, a recent law requires those who would – for pay – register voters, to take a 30 minute course offered by the Secretary of State, while those who would – not for hire – register voters out of a sense of civil service, are not required to take the course. Although, the state’s General Assembly does allow expired IDs such as United States Passport, military photo ID, TN driver license, and TN handgun carry permit with photo, and photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, to be used as valid forms of Voter ID.

Sunny Florida doesn’t fare so well, either. That state’s Republican Secretary of State outlawed on-campus early voting sites in 2014, but following a Federal court challenge, the decision was overturned and 60,000 votes were cast on campuses statewide in the 2018 election. Not to be outdone, the state’s legislators re-enacted the ban and required all early voting sites to have “sufficient non-permitted parking,” which is often difficult to find.

The Tarheel State hasn’t been very friendly to student voters, either. North Carolina’s Republican legislators passed a Voter ID law in 2018 that accepted student IDs as valid for voting purposes, albeit with caveats so burdensome that even major state universities couldn’t comply. While the law was relaxed somewhat, confusion still exists, and consequently, less than half of the state’s 180 accredited institutions have sought Voter ID certification for their students’ IDs.

Aside from the common denominator of student status, the single greatest factor in all these cases is that students reliably vote for Democratic candidates.

Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found in a March 2019 poll that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The SCOTUS gets FUCT – but not FCUK – for a day.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 21, 2019

And based upon the outcome, we could get fuct for a lifetime.

Think about it…

Only 5ive people decide the fate of a nation with very nearly 329,000,000 people – which is the 3rd most populous nation on Earth.

5ive.

Just 5ive Justices, that is, who are appointed to life-time jobs – which, when first written, was NOT in the clause which states in Article III Section 1. that “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.”

When the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) was formed by the Constitution in Article III, and after the first U.S. Census was taken in 1790, there were found to be 3,929,214 people in this land.

Fast forward 230 years.

In 2017, New York City’s estimated population was 8,622,698.
Los Angeles’ estimate was 3,999,759.

Chicago’s was 2,716,450.
Houston’s was 2,312,717.

Phoenix’ was 1,626,078.
Philadelphia was 1,580,863.
San Antonio was 1,511,946.

San Diego was 1,419,516.
Dallas was 1,341,075.
San Jose was 1,035,317.

So perhaps you’re beginning to get the point – and now you Read the rest of this entry »

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Hoda Muthana

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 21, 2019

Can ANYONE tell me (or anyone else), exactly WTH is “a legal basis to return to the country” of one’s citizenship/origin?

Asking for a friend, you see.

Hoda Muthana, seated in the foreground, participates in a broadcasting class at Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama, on August 18, 2011. (Image by Beverly Taylor/The Birmingham News)

Seriously.

If you’re born in the United States, it’s territories or protectorates, then you’re AUTOMATICALLY an American citizen. That includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, all U.S. Military bases worldwide, and here’s the list of U.S. protectorates:

American Samoa
Guam
Palau – While an autonomous nation, the United States provides defense, funding, social services, and the American dollar is the currency of exchange.
Puerto Rico
US Virgin Islands
Midway Atoll, Bikini Atoll, Johnston Atoll, Baker, Howard, Wake – all uninhabited islands

No questions asked… except by GOP whack-jobs, like “birthers” and other conspiracy theorists, who hallucinated after drinking the Libertarian kook-ade and concocted some hare-brained scheme to assert Barack Obama was born somewhere else, other than Hawaii.

So, yeah… New Jersey must not be a state, anymore.

And Alabama… well, it’s a state of mind – and a very sad one, at that.

Thank gawd for Mississippi, eh?

So it turns out that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, aka “Pompous Ass #2,” recently (as in yesterday, 20February2019) wrote that Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Problems Exist Because There’s No National Uniform Voting Standards Law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cindy McCain, widow of late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain (1936-2018)

Cindy McCain, widow of late Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, on Thursday, November 8, 2018 criticized the Arizona GOP about a state GOP-initiated lawsuit over counting mail-in ballots by Tweeting, “ I am one of those mail in ballots. I was under the impression my vote was always counted.

Her Tweet was in response to the Arizona GOP’s efforts to get a judge to issue orders to stop counting mail-in ballots in the race for US Senate to fill the seat being vacated by Jeff Flake, a Republican. The two candidates, Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema find themselves in extremely close competition.

 

 

Both candidates are also Arizona Congressional Representatives. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has represented the 9th Congressional District, while Republican Martha McSally has represented the 2nd Congressional District.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/415894-cindy-mccain-rips-arizona-gop-for-suing-over-counting-mail-in-ballots-i-am

In court Thursday morning November 8, 2018, state Republican leaders were challenging mail-in ballots in Yuma, Navajo, Apache and Maricopa counties after the GOP parties in those counties filed a lawsuit challenging the way counties verify signatures on mail-in ballots that are dropped off at the polls on Election Day. The lawsuit did NOT allege any type of fraud.

The US Census Bureau estimated the 2017 population of Apache County as 71,606; Navajo County as 108,956; Yuma County as 207,534; and Maricopa County as 4,307,033. Maricopa County is location of the PhoenixMesaGlendale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area. Together, those four counties comprise 66.9% of Arizona’s 7,016,270 estimated 2017 population.

Maricopa County Judge Margaret R. Mahoney

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney ruled that the counties should continue doing what they’re doing, and set another hearing for 2 p.m. Friday. And as of Friday morning, Sinema had a 9,000 vote lead over McSally. However, by Friday afternoon, her lead had expanded to over 20,000 votes.

When the two parties met in court, there was little fanfare, no grandstanding, and no contentious sparks flew, so it made for very poor political theatre, though others nationally attempted to inject false explosive allegations and deceptive narratives into the matter by deliberately gross mischaracterization.

The primary point of the suit involved a much more mundane matter, and specifically, the legal challenge was focused upon on a lack of procedural consistency in the time frame that counties allowed voters to correct signature “issues” on mail-in ballots.

And in only a matter of minutes after the AZ GOP held a grandstanding news/press conference in which they made accusation saying, “The Democrats are stealing the election and we’re not going to allow it,” and immediately before the court hearing, all of the counties and the Republican groups had come to an agreement, which Judge Mahoney approved with no fanfare.

The settlement, was that all of Arizona’s 15 counties would allow voters to verify the signatures on their ballots through 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Martha McSally, R-AZ

Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ

And the overriding irony of the matter, is that the counties whose election practices they ended up changing, were largely run by Republicans.

As of Saturday, 10 November, the Democrat Kyrsten Sinema still had about a 20,000 vote lead over Republican Martha McSally, according to The Arizona Republic, online as AZCentral, which is the state’s most-widely circulated newspaper.

There were also an estimated 360,000 outstanding ballots still being counted statewide. Of those, an estimated 266,000 are from Maricopa County.

For now, Sinema is leading in Maricopa and Pima counties by a net 83,652 votes. McSally’s lead in the state’s other 13 counties is 65,113.

Arizona’s protracted vote-count is due in large part to the need to verify signatures for those who vote by mail, which represents the bulk of ballots.

So far, the Democrat Sinema is winning the Republican-leaning Maricopa County by 3.3 percentage points.

One reason the race and ballot count is so hotly contested, is because the Republicans are in jeopardy of losing a Senate seat in the state for the first time in 30 years. As well, what also makes this race particularly interesting, is that Maricopa County has traditionally been a GOP stronghold, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 130,000.

But, in essence, here’s a nut of what’s been happening not only there, but in other states, as well.

In some states, there are so-called “exact match” laws, rules, or regulations concerning the signatures of voters who cast absentee, or mail-in ballots, and in essence, those “exact match” laws, rules, or regulations give broad discretion to anyone counting those ballots to exercise their personal opinion – untrained, non-expert, unscientific independent judgment – about someone’s signature, specifically, whether they believe it was signed by the person who attested to signing it, or not. In other words, no expertise is required.

That is problematic for several reasons, not the least of which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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How To: Increase Voter Access, Voter Participation, Vote Security, Voting Ease

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Today is Election Day!

The 2018 Mid-Term Elections are NOW underway!

Which brings us to another point:
With the proliferation of confusing and contradictory laws varying from state-to-state, often-unnecessary voter purges, voter suppression efforts, disenfranchisement attempts, and often outright intimidation, it makes perfectly good sense for Congress to step up to the plate, and take control of the 50-state hodgepodge patchwork mishmash voting-related varieties to establish National Uniform Voting Standards.

They certainly have the authority, as evidenced by the various laws concerning voting, including the 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (aka Motor Voter), and others.

Now, they should act!

There are MANY excellent examples we could follow, including 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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Why All Christians Should Support Abortion Rights

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 15, 2017

I support abortion rights for women. Here’s why.

Freedom, Liberty, and Independence.

And, I’m Catholic.

I have a cousin who Read the rest of this entry »

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Roy & Kayla Moore: #ALpolitics Crazy Train Conductor & Engineer

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ahem… there is NO such term as “full term” abortion.

In fact, it was Kayla Moore, Roy Moore’s wife, who invented that nonsensical term. The facts of that matter are indisputable, for inventing an improperly incorrect term, and her promotion of it.

Furthermore, as another wrote, “full term abortions are illegal.” As well, because they have believed the Father of Lies and elected his representative as POTUS, Evangelicals have been willingly been taken for a ride on the Crazy Train. Now, they apparently want to get off. And, that’s just too bad, because there’s no return ticket from that trip. They’ve screwed themselves, alienated and isolated themselves into a Jim Jones-like cult, and damaged the good name of the faith which they ignorantly purport to hold.

Considering the legal right to an abortion granted in 1973 by Read the rest of this entry »

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An Early Champion Of Native American Rights

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, July 1, 2017

A baptism conducted by California mission friars is shown in a sketch displayed at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala in San Diego, California July 27, 2016. This drawing is part of a collection of sketches depicting mission life by California artists A.B. Dodge and Alexander Harmer rendered in the early 1900’s. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Today, Catholics recognize the life and work of Junípero Serra, a Franciscan priest who in 1776 was working in California to demonstrate the love of Christ. In 1988 Pope John Paul II beatified him, and in 2015 Pope Francis canonized him in Washington, D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during his first visit to the United States. Among the most famous of the 9 missions Fr. Serra established is San Juan Capistrano, which today is renown for the beautifully massive annual migration of swallows from from Argentina, which occurs March 19, when they establish nests in the ruins of the Great Stone Church. Fr. Serra was born on the Spanish island of Majorca 1713, and up until the time he entered priesthood aged 35, he had been a professor. Inspired by the story of the missionary work of Saint Francis Solano in South America, he traveled across the Atlantic to a largely unknown land, and landed in Vera Cruz, Mexico, where he and a companion friar followed Read the rest of this entry »

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Citizens United Ruling Violates Equal Protection Clause

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 6, 2017

Nick Hanauer, a multi-billionaire about whom few have likely heard, authored a highly publicized article not too long ago warning about wealth inequity. Increasingly, the wealthy are realizing that a strategy of cutting taxes upon the wealthy and their corporations is not a recipe for American success, precisely for the reason that it adversely affects economic infrastructure, and jobs, among other damages.

However, one needn’t be wealthy to realize and understand that money, and the unreasonable desire for it known as avarice (an extreme form of greed), and the unwieldy power that accompanies it, are corrupting influences in any nation, and particularly in our United States because of SCOTUS ruling in the 2010 Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision which Read the rest of this entry »

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Answering @chrkirk: Electoral College’s Voting Problems Violates Equal Protection Clause

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 19, 2016

New York Times Op-Chart: How Much Is Your Vote Worth? This map shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents. Source: The United States Election Project at George Mason University.

How Much Is Your Vote Worth?
From: New York Times Op-Chart November 2, 2008
This map shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents.
Source: The United States Election Project at George Mason University.

Having read the article How Powerful Is Your Vote? by Chris Kirk several times, I still disagree with it. The article’s premise is that by using the Electoral College (EC) system, the votes cast in less populated states are somehow “more powerful” than those in more populated states. To posit such an assertion is to demonstrate a wholesale lack of understanding of the system. That is not to say the EC system is perfect, nor that changes to it are not needed; rather, it only acknowledges the author’s fundamentally deep misunderstanding of the manner in which the system is established, and a virtually wholesale ignorance of the Constitution.

Apparently, as evidenced by the graphic seen herein, others are similarly misguided. However, one would expect more from George Mason University. Much more, in fact. However, to understand – as I mention later – the bias is strictly and exclusively from including 2 Senators in the number of Electors. Dr. Mark Newman, PhD, who is the Anatol Rapoport Distinguished University Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan correctly writes that “The electors are apportioned among the states roughly according to population, as measured by the census, but with a small but deliberate bias in favor of less populous states.

According to the Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 & 3, Electoral Votes in each state are equal to Read the rest of this entry »

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I had a Late Term #Abortion.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 21, 2016

I HAD A LATE TERM ABORTION.
IT IS NOTHING LIKE DESCRIBED BY TRUMP.
PLEASE DON’T BASE YOUR VOTE ON THE FEAR MONGERING HE IS DOING.
PLEASE READ MY EXPERIENCE:

I had to have a late term abortion. It was the worst moment in my life. What made it even worse was the State of Utah had made it illegal. I had one dead twin. The other had severe Spina Bifida, and would only have lived with life support, in great pain, for a few days.

by Alyson Draper
October 19 at 8:46pm · Midway, UT
used with permission

I lay on the hospital floor, bawling hysterically, for twelve hours, waiting for an ethics committee of the health care corporation to Read the rest of this entry »

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What is it like to be a Woman Business Owner & Inventor Terrorized & Threatened by Right Wing Extremist Gun Owners?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 3, 2014

More power to you!

The GOP has been hijacked by extremist elements.

It’s time to put those sorry, low-life punks in prison for collusion, terrorism and anti-American activity.

***

***

‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby

By JEREMY W. PETERS
APRIL 27, 2014

Belinda Padilla is trying to market a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.  Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Belinda Padilla is trying to market a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.
Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. A few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers were all it took.

Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”

Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it. Ms. Padilla and the manufacturer she works for, Armatix, intended to make the weapon the first “smart gun” for sale in the United States.

But shortly after Armatix went public with its plans to start selling in Southern California, Ms. Padilla, a fast-talking, hard-charging Beverly Hills businesswoman who leads the company’s fledgling American division, encountered the same uproar that has stopped gun control advocates, Congress, President Obama and lawmakers across the country as they seek to pass tougher laws and promote new technologies they contend will lead to fewer firearms deaths.

Lately, there has been little standing in the way of the muscle of the gun lobby, whose advocates recently derailed Mr. Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, a Boston doctor who has expressed alarm about the frequency of shooting deaths.

And despite support from the Obama administration and the promise of investment from Silicon Valley, guns with owner-recognition technology remain shut out of the market today.

“Right now, unfortunately, these organizations that are scaring everybody have the power,” Ms. Padilla said. “All we’re doing is providing extra levels of safety to your individual right to bear arms. And if you don’t want our gun, don’t buy it. It’s not for everyone.”

In Georgia on Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that allows people to carry guns in bars, government buildings and even some churches. The National Rifle Association called the measure historic.

In West Virginia, one of several Read the rest of this entry »

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American Entitlement Culture

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 10, 2013

Recently, I happened across an item which read “When they analyze the demise of western society due to the entitlement epidemic, it’ll trace back to giving kids awards just for showing up.”

Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to discern sarcasm when reading, and I rather suspect there is at least a smidgen of sarcasm in that brief remark.

Sarcasm, of course, can, and is often used to convey a truth, or truths about numerous subjects, and is a teaching tool, as well.

Because I often use dictionaries to aid my understanding, I chose to look up the definition of the word “entitlement.” Here’s what I found:
As a verb, to “entitle” is to give someone a legal right, or a just claim to receive or do something.

For example, in the United States, the First Amendment is an entitlement to Read the rest of this entry »

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There’s something to be said for mothers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 21, 2013


1“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,a for this is the right thing to do. 2“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”b

4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” cf.Ephesians 6:1-4 NLT

Politically, it certainly seems that Southerners have been more often wrong, than correct.

And today, continuing the tradition of Radical Liberal Republicans who endeavor to remove voting rights and foist more atrocities upon the nation, they continue to be “right” about being wrong.

Consider the following:

SUNDAY Aug. 18, 2013

“On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment Read the rest of this entry »

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Gay Marriage, Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, Marriage and Civil Rights

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What you’re about to read is NOT about religion.

For a brief moment – if you can – set aside a religious mindset (if you have one) about homosexuality.

As an ‘institution,’ marriage confers legal benefits to each spouse which are enforceable in courts of law in all 50 states.

For example, the following is a partial list of legal benefits Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Are there good reasons to leave FaceBook?

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

Sure there are!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leaving Facebookistan

May 24, 2012
Posted by
Welcome to FaceBookistan!

Welcome to FaceBookistan! You are now leaving FaceBookistan.

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

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A Short History of “Privacy” in American Jurisprudence

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 3, 2010

[Note: This entry was originally entitled “Privacy,” and was transferred to this site, having previously been posted by me on Monday, May 3, 2010 at 2:57pm.]

“Privacy” is a relatively new term in American jurisprudence, and public dialogue. Former US Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, an AL native, wrote against “privacy” in his dissent in Griswold v Connecticut.

The development of our right to privacy emerged, interestingly enough, from Griswold v Connecticut, a 1965 Supreme Court Case which challenged the state’s 1879 criminalizing of a married couple’s use of contraceptive devices. Appellants were the Read the rest of this entry »

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Corporate Choir Crap

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 17, 2009

I sing in our parish choir. Though I’m a new member of the parish and choir, I’m not new to singing, having sung and been musical since a young child. As a matter of fact, I earned scholarship to attend university on the trumpet. So I definitely know my way around any musical rehearsal or activity.

Recently, we performed at “Santa’s Village,” a Christmas seasonal and decorative activity of Alabama’s Constitution Village in downtown Huntsville. As well, we’ve been “invited” to perform at “Bridge Street Town Centre,” a recently-constructed shopping center, er… excuse me, a “premier mixed-use lifestyle center,” adjacent Cummings Research Park.

Our choir director recently sent out an ‘oh, by the way…’ e-mail message stating in part that there was “some more info about… the release form that needs to be signed and returned” and that “you cannot perform without it.”

After browsing that SEVEN pages of corporate crap… I made the following observations and remarks.

  • “Performers are responsible for ensuring that their audience does not block customer traffic, access to vendor stalls, or cause a safety hazard.”

Should we bring our own bouncers, too? (Y’all keep in line, ’cause introducing…  “The St. Mary’s Bouncers!”)

  • “Juggling knives, swords, sharp sticks or other objects deemed dangerous are strictly prohibited. All dangerous activity will be stopped. Failure to comply will result in a call to Huntsville Police Department and removal from the grounds.”

Dang! There goes crowd control!

  • “Drinking of alcoholic beverages or performing while intoxicated or under the influence of controlled substances is prohibited.”

There goes having a beer with a sandwich, and wine with the meal.

  • “All signage displaying the name of the act must be professionally made or computer generated. They cannot be handwritten.”

For years, painters have hand-written signs all over this town and America. Would it be acceptable for a computer to print a hand-written font… say, Comic Sans or Chalkboard, for example, be acceptable? And what about Chinese or Japanese? That ancient and classic form of writing is one of the world’s highest forms of calligraphic art which is done exclusively by hand.

  • “I give permission to Bridge Street…. including… recordings or videos, without charge and without reservation, all or a portion of my story… I waive any rights…”

Nope. “Audemus jura nostra defendere.” It’s Alabama’s state motto, and means, “We dare defend our rights.” Women? Wanna give up that right to vote? Any non-white folks wanna’ voluntarily reduce themselves to the 1/3 person they were before Emancipation? Nope. I didn’t think so. I think I’ll keep my rights. Isn’t that what our troops are fighting for? Voluntary surrender our rights to some corporate mogul? I don’t think so.

  • “… will indemnify, defend with counsel acceptable to… Wells Fargo Bank…”

Wait just a dog-gone minute. Didn’t I pay for their bail-out? And now you want me to have legal counsel “acceptable to…” you? I don’t think so! What’s next? Perhaps my choice of breakfast food is not acceptable. We private citizens accept responsibility. Why can’t corporations?

You know, I’m all for singing and having a good time – such as what we enjoyed at Constitution Hall Village – and we weren’t required to so anything but show up and sing.

This is not fun.

Count me out.

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