Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘university’

Alabama As A Third World Nation: How True Is It?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 26, 2014

Editor’s Note, Saturday, 15 October 2016: Since Sunday, October 26, 2014, the date of this original publication, Yellowhammer News blog has thought to create their own entry (herein linked) obliquely contradicting the data supplied and referenced in this entry, which has now been published for over two years. Though they do not refute the data cited herein, instead, they refer to an Alabama-based data analysis company, and present data exclusively from the United Nations’ Human Development Index to support their assertion. In stark contrast, we use source citation and and references to the variety of sources used to compare Alabama to Third World Nations.

Also entitled as: How does Alabama compare with Third World Countries?

In so many comparative rankings for quality of life within our 50 United States, Alabama and Mississippi seem in a dead heat for last place. In a veritable “Race To The Bottom,” Alabama and Mississippi scrap over being in last place. In fact, it’s been a long-standing joke – with the sad, bitter sting of truth – that Alabama’s State Motto is not Audemus jura nostra defendere,” which has been translated as: “We Dare Maintain Our Rights” or “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” but rather “Thank God For Mississippi.”

And just so we’re singing on the same sheet of music, and on the same verse, a “Third World Nation” is one which were at one time colonies “formally lead by imperialism. The end of imperialism forced these colonies to survive on their own. With lack of support, these colonies started to develop characteristics such as poverty, high birthrates and economic dependence on other countries. The term was then affiliated to the economic situation of these former colonies and not their social alliances to either capitalism or communism.” In a more modern sense however, a “Third World Nation,” is more readily thought of as being one of several “underdeveloped nations of the world, especially those with widespread poverty.” And it is in that sense to which I refer to Alabama as “a Third World Nation.”

In essence, what that term refers to is Quality Of Life. And, there are many aspects of life that can be measured, such as rates and incidences of crime, employment/unemployment, education, health/sickness/disease, responsive & efficient government, availability of clean water, sewerage, utilities such as electricity, natural gas, supporting infrastructure to deliver those utilities, which includes transportation, roads, highways, airports, railways, and access to the same. There is much more to life than the mere availability of food, clothing and shelter. For example, who would want to eat raw meat, wear bearskins, and live in a cave? In context, those three items are certainly fulfilled. And if that’s all there is, then all is well… right?

Demonstrating that, again, there is MUCH MORE to life than the mere availability of food, clothing and shelter.

Consider, for example, Public Health.

Rates of Obesity, and Obesity-related Diseases (also called chronic, or long-term problems) such as Diabetes, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Stroke, and certain types of Cancer, in Mississippi and Alabama are among the highest in our United States. While Obesity is quickly becoming an epidemic of significant national proportions, it is particularly problematic in Read the rest of this entry »

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Is a college education ~really~ all it’s cracked up to be… anymore? Or, why has tuition increased 300% in 30 years?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

College costs expose the false meritocracy of the American dream

The cost of an education in America has risen so much that only the wealthy and indebted can attend. The system doesn’t work

Post by Chris Arnade Photography.

 Chris Arnade received his PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. He spent the next 20 years working as a trader on Wall Street. He left trading in 2012 to focus on photography. His "Faces of Addiction" series explores addiction in the south Bronx neighbourhood in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @Chris_arnade


Chris Arnade received his PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1992. He spent the next 20 years working as a trader on Wall Street. He left trading in 2012 to focus on photography. His “Faces of Addiction” series explores addiction in the south Bronx neighbourhood in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @Chris_arnade

theguardian.com, Wednesday 18 June 2014 07.30 EDT

watermelons

As a college student, Chris Arnade picked Florida watermelons to pay for school. His daughter can’t do the same.
Photograph: Alamy

When I entered Wall Street in 1993 with a PhD, I was an anomaly. One of my bosses was a failed baseball player, another a frustrated jazz musician. One of the guys running one of the most profitable businesses, in both my firm and all of Wall Street, was a former elevator repairman. Their college degrees – if they even had them – were from all sorts of schools, not simply the Ivy leagues.

By the time I left Wall Street a few years ago, the only people being hired were the “play it safe kids”. The ones with degrees from Princetons and Harvards. You know, the ones who had organized a soup kitchen in eighth grade (meaning, really their parents had) to load their resumes. The ones who had gone to the state science fair (meaning their parents or nannies had spent many weekends and nights helping with a science project).

 Few of these hires where rags-to-riches stories. Most had parents very much like those already working on Wall Street – wealthy and dedicated to getting their children whatever they needed, regardless of cost. Many were in fact the children of Wall Street parents.

It is not just Wall Street. Most of the best paying jobs now require a college degree, or post-college degree, and still rarely hire from state schools. They want Ivy schools, or similar. That feels safe.

This is a problem. Businesses have abdicated their primary role in hiring, handing it over to colleges, which have gladly accepted that role, and now charge a shit-load for it. Want a job kid? Pay $60,000 a year for four years. Then maybe pay for another two to get a MBA.

Yet, those best schools do not teach kids anything radically different from what the average colleges do. They do not prepare them better for the day-to-day work of Wall Street. Those finance skills are learned with experience and instinct after two years of training – on the job.

Rather, a prestigious education is a badge given to students who can follow the established rules, run through the maze, jump through hoops, color between the lines, and sit quietly. It shows that they really, really want to be a grown-up. For that, they pay $60,000 per year.

It has become a test. Are you part of the meritocracy?

It also has become a barrier of entry to professionalism – a very costly barrier of entry.

Harvard University
A rigid system of ‘feeder’ schools is in place for parents who want their children to attend schools like Harvard, which have a reputation for then ‘feeding’ major Wall Street firms. Photograph: Porter Gifford/Corbis

Read the rest of this entry »

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Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 12, 2014

When campaigning for the office of Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley – a retired dermatologist physician who at the time was an elected representative from Tuscaloosa County – promised if elected governor that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.”
ref: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/06/robert_bentley_extends_no-sala.html

When pressed on the matter, he later defined “full employment” as having state unemployment somewhere around 5%. It is a promise to which, as of the date of this entry – 12 April 2014 – he has kept. In other words, Alabama has NOT reached “full employment,” and he has not been paid a salary. He has, however, been compensated for out-of-pocket expenses (the governor’s office has a budget, so why would he personally have any such expenses for work in an official capacity?), though he has received – as legislator, a legally-mandated $1.00 per month salary. Since his election to the governorship, he has not received a salary.

Let’s examine Governor Bentley‘s employment record.

During Governor Robert Bentley’s watch, International Paper – the large paper mill formerly known as Champion Paper, in Courtland, and the largest employer in Lawrence County – closed and cost the area economy & state 1100 jobs. Those jobs were Read the rest of this entry »

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#DontDoubleMyRate: How a Passive Aggressive GOP Congress Damages Our Nation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Twitter hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate has been trending, off and on, for the past several weeks.

Naturally, the GOP faction, led by Speaker of the House, John Boehner, claims they “appreciate” college students, and “sympathize” with their predicament – which is a crippling blow to our nation, to students, and to universities, public and private, throughout the union.

However, their inaction – more accurately described as passive aggressive behavior – their actions are neither stalwart nor honorable, for they steadfastly refuse to collaborate to do the Good and Right Thing by the people. By claiming they desire to help, and then through their inaction, they actually damage the entire nation.

That type behavior, formerly formally diagnosed by the mental health professionals as “Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder,” is a chronic, long-term condition in which a person seems to actively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them.

People with this disorder resent responsibility and show it through their behaviors, rather than by openly expressing their feelings. They often use procrastination, inefficiency, and forgetfulness to avoid doing what they need to do or have been requested by others to do.

Common characteristics of Passive-Aggressive personality disorder include:

  • Acting sullen
  • Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
  • Being inefficient on purpose
  • Blaming others
  • Complaining
  • Feeling resentment
  • Having a fear of authority
  • Having unexpressed anger or hostility
  • Procrastinating
  • Resisting other people’s suggestions

A person with this disorder may appear to comply with another’s wishes and may even demonstrate enthusiasm for those wishes. However, they:

  • Perform the requested action too late to be helpful
  • Perform it in a way that is useless
  • Sabotage the action to show anger that they cannot express in words

The nut of the whole ordeal is that people who exhibit such behavior are inherently selfish, non-communicative, manipulative, and greedy.

And there you have it, Passive Aggressive Behavior.

It’s the perfect definition of the Republican Congress.

Oregon Explores Novel Way to Fund College

By DOUGLAS BELKIN Updated July 3, 2013, 12:25 a.m. ET

As lawmakers in Washington remain at loggerheads over the student-debt crisis, Oregon’s legislature is moving ahead with a plan to enable students to attend state schools with no money down. In return, under one proposal, the students would Read the rest of this entry »

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An Encyclopedic Investment

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 24, 2013

The word ‘encyclopedic’ is often thought of as meaning voluminous, or containing great, or significant knowledge. However, even a casual examination of the word shows something entirely different.

In the middle of the word is ‘cyclo,’ which as we would imagine, refers to something circular, or round. Who hasn’t heard of a bi-cycle, a cycle with two wheels?

And then, there’s ‘pedia,’ and we’ve all heard of ‘pediatrics,’ the health practice concerned exclusively with children. Children, of course, need instruction and teaching.

Thus, we can Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s not a joke. Republican voting states have lower education & income.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 18, 2012

Like it, love it, or hate it… there must be something to 1.) Richard Nixon’sSouthern Strategy,” and; 2.) The line made famous (or infamous, depending upon one’s perspective) by then-Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in 1993 about being “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.“ And, for the readers’ benefit, in context, he wrote, “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.”
— Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in a February 1, 1993 news story.

America’s Best (and Worst) Educated States

Published October 15, 2012

24/7 Wall St., Michael B. Sauter and Alexander E.M. Hess

The number of Americans with college degrees has increased steadily in the last decade. According to the latest government data, 28.5% of U.S. residents 25 or older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011, up only slightly from 27.2% in 2005. While the number is relatively unchanged, there are substantial differences across the country. In West Virginia, the state with the lowest graduation rate, 18.5% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. In Massachusetts, the state with the highest graduation rate, the figure is 39.1%.

Best & Worst educated states & voting record

Best & Worst educated states & Presidential voting record

This article was originally published by 24/7 Wall St. 

Based on education data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s’ American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. states with the largest and smallest percentages of residents 25 or older with a college degree or more.

The difference in median income between those with only a high school diploma and a college degree is dramatic. The median pay for U.S. adults with just a high school diploma was $26,699 in 2011. For those 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree, median annual earnings came to $48,309. Residents with a graduate or professional degree did even better; median annual earnings was $64,322.

Differences in poverty rates related to education are just as dramatic. For U.S. adults with at least bachelor’s degrees, the percentage living in poverty in 2011 was just 4.4%. For adults with only a high school diploma, 14.2% were living below the poverty line.

The effects of wage gap by education becomes clear when comparing the states by graduation rate. Of the 10 states with the largest percentage of college-educated residents, eight are in the top 10 for median income. Among the worst-educated states, eight are among the 10 with the lowest median income.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of U.S. residents 25 or older with at least a bachelor’s degree for 2011 from the annual American Community Survey. From that survey, we obtained Read the rest of this entry »

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UAH Professor Killer Amy Bishop Pleads Guilty

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The reader should understand: The cost of trying capital cases – cases in which the penalty is, or may be death – are EXCEEDINGLY more expensive than any other case, simply because of the numerous levels of mandatory appeals. Thus, by pleading guilty, and spending the rest her natural life behind bars – without the possibility of parole, and being given humane healthcare – the District Attorney, Amy Bishop and her defense attorneys have saved Madison County, Huntsville, and the State of Alabama many MILLIONS of tax dollars.

That is true, even given that she may live perhaps another 40 years – though that is highly unlikely, simply because incarceration exacts a physical toll upon a person’s life, shortening it by many years. Estimating a cost of $20,000/year (which includes the total cost of employees to guard & manage the system, cost of operations, etc.), and supposing she lives another 40 years (which is less likely, than not) the total flat-line cost would be $800,000.

A 2004 report entitled “State Prison Expenditures, 2001” by James B. Stephan, Statistician for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, of the Department of Justice, found that the cost of food and medical expenses, food service & utilities cost per prisoner in Alabama was $1776. Alabama’s Average Annual Operating Cost per prisoner was $8128 – THE lowest of 50 states. Other components of cost – employee cost, salaries, wages, benefits, supplies, maintenance, contractual services, and other aspects of facility operation, etc. – account for nearly 96% of all operating costs. According to the report, of all states, Alabama has the HIGHEST per-prisoner cost of utilities as a percentage of operating expenditure, at 5.7%. Perhaps it’s time to rethink solar, wind and other sources of renewable energy?

Sep 11, 3:15 PM EDT

Ex-prof pleads guilty to killing Ala. colleagues

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An ex-professor pleaded guilty Tuesday to fatally shooting three colleagues and wounding three others at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, court officials said.

Amy Bishop, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of capital murder involving two or more people and three counts of attempted murder. She had earlier pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Amy Bishop before bench 19514615_BG2

Amy Bishop pleads guilty to murder and attempted murder in Madison County.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty against the Harvard-educated Bishop and it was not immediately clear if they would drop the penalty as part of the plea deal. Sentencing will be after arguments are heard at a hearing on Sept. 24.

Prosecutors say Read the rest of this entry »

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The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

Investing in economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a sound decision because
1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS comes from the private sector (and always will), and;
2.) Economic capacity and economic opportunity expands.

Note also these two remarks:

Corporations won’t hire more workers just because their tax bill is lower and they spend less on regulations. In case you hadn’t noticed, corporate profits are up. Most companies don’t even know what to do with the profits they’re already making. Not incidentally, much of those profits have come from replacing jobs with computer software or outsourcing them abroad.

“Meanwhile, the wealthy don’t create jobs, and giving them additional tax cuts won’t bring unemployment down. America’s rich are already garnering a bigger share of American income than they have in eighty years. They’re using much of it to speculate in the stock market. All this has done is drive stock prices higher.”

The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term

Monday, September 10, 2012

The question at the core of America’s upcoming election isn’t merely whose story most voting Americans believe to be true – Mitt Romney’s claim that the economy is in a stall and Obama’s policies haven’t worked, or Barack Obama’s that it’s slowly mending and his approach is working.

If that were all there was to it, last Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August – below what’s needed merely to keep up with the growth in the number of eligible workers — would seem to bolster Romney’s claim.

But, of course, congressional Republicans have never even given Obama a chance to try his approach. They’ve blocked everything he’s tried to do – including his proposed Jobs Act that would help state and local governments replace many of the teachers, police officers, social workers, and fire fighters they’ve had to let go over the last several years.

The deeper question is what should be done starting in January to boost a recovery that by anyone’s measure is still anemic. In truth, not even the Jobs Act will be enough.

At the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, Romney produced Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama: I love my state, and despise her corrupt officials.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This entry starts out in a wee bit different tenor, then points directly at the problem.

Read on to see what I mean.

Not many folks may recall Alabama‘s state song, which lyric reads, “Alabama, Alabama, I will aye be true to thee. From thy Southern shore where groweth, by the sea the orange tree.”

As a kid, I kinda’ thought it was Read the rest of this entry »

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Nutrition Professor’s “Twinkie diet” shows promise

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 9, 2010

‘As a healthcare professional licensed in…’

Yeah, that’s how blowhards might start writing this, but I’m gonna’ shoot it to you straight, no chaser… even though I am a licensed healthcare professional.

Here’s the “scoop” – which perhaps should be a scoop of ice cream. For 10 weeks, Mark D. Haub, Associate Professor, and Assistant Department Head of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University, consumed less than 1800 calories daily, and lost 27 pounds.

His body fat decreased from …Continue…

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My Abortion Story

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 22, 2010

I’m a Registered Nurse.

I’m a man.

Here’s my abortion story. …Continue…

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Good News! California’s Nurse:Patient Ratio Law Saves Lives!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it!

Should that, or

“Told ‘ya so!”

be the cry?

California and her residents, often maligned within and without, on occasion do come up with some good ideas.

Here’s one of the better ones. …Continue…you REALLY DO want to read this!

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Please describe what you were doing when the problem happened:

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I was seated at the kitchen table, listening to satellite radio  – “Give A Little Bit” by Supertramp was playing – having taken a large sip of Fighting Cock 103 proof Kentucky whiskey, followed with a swig of Yuengling Original Black & Tan beer, while reading the Sunday funny papers from the Huntsville (Alabama) Times. Outside the window, a couple was looking around the property next door. Here comes the woman now, from around the corner. Oh… the table at which I’m seated is adjacent a window. I was breathing, and my blood was circulating, and I was thinking that …Continue…

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Huntsville Hospital… all that AND a bag of chips? Wow! …NOT QUITE!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 22, 2010

Most folks don’t know it, but Huntsville Hospital is NOT, has not ever been, does not meet criteria for, and is not making any plans to obtain or become:

1.) a certified or verified Trauma Center;
2.) meet the a) American College of Surgeons, or, b) American Trauma Society qualifications for Trauma Center status;
3.) an Academic Medical Center;
4.) university affiliate;
5.) teaching hospital;
6.) research center; nor
7.) Nursing Magnet Hospital.

So what? What does that mean for you, your family, friends and others in this part of the Tennessee Valley? …Continue…

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Woud you pass the Amy Bishop buck, please?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remember the old teevee commercial for Polaner All Fruit?

Folks attired in formal wear – tuxedos and evening gowns – were seated around a dining room table enjoying their prim and proper meal, when the camera focused on one fellow whom said with a distinctly hick-sounding country-twang, “Would you pass the jelly, please?” Whereupon, the gentlemen appeared shocked while the ladies seemed to faint.

The announcer then said, “Don’t dare call it ‘jelly’!

William Delahunt, the Congressional Representative for Massachusetts’ 10th District, was the Norfolk District Attorney when Amy Bishop …Continue…

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Follow the Bishop Money Trail

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 20, 2010

Could federal authorities step in on the Amy Bishop case?

Revelations of fiscal wrong-doing by the Bishops may soon emerge.

Dr. Amy Bishop, PhD, in addition to being a murderer, is also a liar.

On an “Affidavit of Indigency and Order” (an affidavit is a sworn document, i.e. one that is given under oath), Amy Bishop checked the “no” box the following questions: …Continue…

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