Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Amy Coney Barrett And Radicalism – Religious & Political

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Perhaps by now you’ve heard of the sad and tragic news out of France, that recently, Samuel Paty, a 47-year old male teacher was brutally decapitated by a radicalized 18-year old, Russian-born male Muslim student. Though one committed the heinous act, at least 10 students have been arrested for participation in the plot. The prime suspect is a Chechen refugee.

According to Reuters, the episode began when several Muslim parents were angered earlier this month after Paty taught a mandatory “moral and civil education” class on freedom of expression, and had shown to his pupils 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which were originally published in a Danish newspaper before republication in Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical publication renown for their anti-establishment satire poking fun at the far right, and aspects of Catholicism, Judaism and Islam.

The Guardian reported that a parent of one of the students in Paty’s class had posted a response to an angry video complaining about the class. The respondent wrote: “I am a parent of a student at this college. The teacher just showed caricatures from Charlie Hebdo as part of a history lesson on freedom of expression. He asked the Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished, out of respect … He was a great teacher. He tried to encourage the critical spirit of his students, always with respect and intelligence. This evening, I am sad, for my daughter, but also for teachers in France. Can we continue to teach without being afraid of being killed?”

The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo recently republished for a second time the same cartoons (also seen here) the day before the beginning of a French trial of Read the rest of this entry »

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Is America Liberal?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 30, 2020

Some political voices decry “liberality” in American laws as if it were something evil.

However, consider the following three recent TRUE events.

In a certain town, along a well-traveled Read the rest of this entry »

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Consistently Reaffirmed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 15, 2020

Here’s another argument for the jus soli case for citizenship, versus the jus sanguinis.

Just in the case you may not be aware of the two terms’ meaning, they are Latin literally interpreted as “law of soil,” and “law of blood,” more commonly referred to as “by soil,” and “by blood,” respectively, and refers to the principle of citizenship being obtained from the location of one’s birth, and of citizenship obtained through ancestry of one’s parents’ citizenship.

Here’s a simple explanation to further clarify:
• Under the principle of jus soli, one who is born in San Francisco, California is a citizen of that city, state, and of the United States.
• Under the principle of jus sanguinis, one who is born in San Francisco to parents of Indian and Jamaican extraction is Indian and Jamaican.

Once again, jus soli refers to “the principle that a person’s nationality at birth is determined by the place of birth,” while jus sanguinis refers to “the principle that a person’s nationality at birth is the same as that of his natural parents.”

Historically, jus sanguinis came from Roman law, whereas jus soli came from English common law.

Before proceeding further, some background is helpful for greater understanding.

Kamala Harris with her Jamaican grandmother Miss Chrishy in Browns Town Jamaica

The jus soli system, sometimes also referred to as the “birthright citizenship” system, is common in developed nations that desire to increase the number of their own citizens (population).

A few nations that use jus soli are:
• Argentina
• Barbados
• Brazil
• Canada
• Colombia
• Jamaica
• Mexico
• Pakistan
• Peru
• United States
• Uruguay

Several European nations follow the principle of jus sanguinis, which generally means that citizenship is conferred by birth, and is obtained from a parent who is already a citizen of, or naturalized in that nation. The principle of jus sanguinis is contrary to jus soli because, according to the principle, the mere fact that a person is born in a nation does not, in and of itself, confer citizenship.

Some European nations that use jus sanguinis are:
• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Luxembourg
• Portugal
• Romania
• Spain
• United Kingdom

Some nations have a blend of the two – soli, and sanguinis – although one is typically predominate.

If a nation adheres to the “jus sanguinis” or right of blood system, the child inherits a parent’s citizenship. So, for example, if your father and mother were each from a different jus sanguinis nation and you were born in a jus soli jurisdiction, you would be able to claim citizenship in three countries.

And, as is often the case, there are exceptions to whatever rule a nation follows because of treaties with other nations, including, for example, the determination of citizenship of children born to foreign diplomats, who are recognized as being citizens of the country that sent their parents there, as is done in the United States.

As well, people born on a foreign flagship or airliner are entitled to claim citizenship in the country under whose flag the vessel was registered.

The 14th Amendment, Section 1 states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall Read the rest of this entry »

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(Not So) Random Coronavirus Thoughts From The Other Side Of The World

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Andaman and Nicobar Islands chain showing North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal, off the east Indian coast.

Remember the Stone Age Sentinel Island tribe members?

Sentinelese tribesman shooting arrows at an Indian Coast Guard helicopter sent for a Health and Welfare check upon the remote, Stone Age islanders following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Way out in the middle of the Indian Ocean’s Bay of Bengal on Sentinel Island, they are the world’s last known “uncontacted” people, meaning that no one other than them has ever known their language, they likely don’t know how to make fire, and are a hunter-gatherer type primitive people.

Reckon the coronavirus has wafted their way?

We’ll likely never know if they survive, or not, since we (civilization/humanity) don’t stop by for a visit and cup of tea every now and then – regular, or unplanned.

One of the last known official attempts at contact with them was via helicopter, when Indian government officials performed a type of “health and welfare safety check” following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and were fired upon by a tribesman using a bow and arrows.

After that, the last time anyone ever “checked upon” them was around November 2018, when the now-deceased self-styled missionary John Allen Chau violated Indian law by visiting the island, and later, was killed by them in his misguided evangelization efforts.

But what if somehow, they’re immune to COVID-19?

We’ll likely never know.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia watching the military parade alongside aging veterans. Credit–Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik, via Agence France-Presse; Aging veterans in their 80s and 90s joined Mr. Putin on the reviewing stand, nearly all of them without masks, to watch 14,000 troops march in tight formation to stirring martial music. Tanks, missiles and other military equipment then trundled through the square in front of the Kremlin, followed by a flyover by strategic bombers, fighter jets and helicopters.

Macho, Macho Man… I’ve got to be a macho man.

Like his Russian buddy Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump doesn’t wear any protective nose/mouth face mask/covering against the coronavirus. The man is tough – cheap steak tough. Like chickens, he eats rocks… to digest his food, since he has no stomach to speak of.

June 24th, Putin, along with many other elderly Russian veterans of WWII, participated in Read the rest of this entry »

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DJ Trump Plays Americans For Fools

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2020

So… the Bullshitter in Chief went to Allentown, PA today – to Owens & Minor, a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) manufacturer’s distribution facility, no less – and REFUSED to wear that Made in America product, and had the audacity to say in part, that:

“You know, we’ve been doing testing at a level that nobody has ever done it before. We cannot get any, and we cannot get the press to write about it or write fairly about it. And nobody has ever done. We’ve done double what anyone else — if you add up all of the countries in the world, we’ve done more testing than all of the countries in the world added up together. Nobody has ever done anything like that. And we have the best tests.”

Look, Americans aren’t dummies.

And he’s just blowing smoke. Purely.

Just because someone doesn’t have a university degree doesn’t make them a complete blithering idiot.

Seriously.

And you don’t have to be a brainiac to know that America (330,000,000) has MANY MORE people than Spain (46,752,506).
And the UK Read the rest of this entry »

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America! You’re GROWING!!! GET COUNTED! Because SIZE MATTERS!

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

Here are a few factoids for your entertainment.

• There are SO FEW people in Wyoming, that they have enough room on their automobile license plates to depict a cowboy on a bucking bronco… and STILL have plenty of room leftover for numbers & letters for EVERY car in the state.

• There are MORE people in Nashville, TN (669,053) than there are in Wyoming (578,759).

• There are MORE people in Tennessee (6,829,174) than there are in Colorado (5,758,736).

• The TOTAL number of students (13,131), faculty, and staff (9,253) at Vanderbilt University, and employees at the now-independent University Medical Center (24,039) totals 46,423, which, in effect, makes it a city unto itself, and is why the University (and MC) have the state’s ONLY state-certified police force, with full authority to perform EVERY law enforcement function of the state. They’re also voluntarily, and fully accredited by three law enforcement accrediting bodies, one international, one national, one state:

CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies)
IACLEA (International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators)
TLEA (Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation)

Here’s a factoid sheet on VUMC (Vanderbilt University Medical Center).

Speaking of size (because, yeah… size matters!), we’re growing! And by “we” I mean to refer to the United States.

For example, did you know that: → Population Rank

• Denver’s population is 716,492. → 19

• Atlanta, GA’s population is 498,044. → 37
(And was once called the “New York” of the South.)

• Jacksonville, FL = 903,889 → 12
• Fort Worth, TX = 895,008 → 13
• Columbus, OH = 892,533 → 14
• San Francisco, CA = 883,305 → 15
• Charlotte, NC = 872,498 → 16
• Indianapolis, IN = 867,125 → 17
• Seattle, WA = 744,955 → 18
• District of Columbia = 702,455 → 20
• Boston, MA = 694,583 → 21
• Detroit, MI = 672,662 → 23
• Portland, OR = 653,115 → 25
• Memphis, TN = 650,618 → 26
• Fresno, CA = 530,093 → 34

Comparatively, these cities’ names, while familiar, might conjure up population pictures that are not necessarily what one might imagine.

For example, who would’ve thought that San Francisco (883,305) and Charlotte (872,498) are almost identically populated? Size Rank → 15, 16

Or Denver (716,492) and Nashville (669,053)? →  19, 24
Or Boston (694,583) and El Paso (682,669)? → 21, 22
Or Las Vegas (644,644) and Louisville, KY (620,118)? → 28, 29
Or Atlanta (498,044), and Read the rest of this entry »

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Bernie Sanders Addressed Georgetown University On Democratic Socialism

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 29, 2020

Try as they might, pundit and naysayers of most all stripe continue to castigate, demonize, and mischaracterize Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as a “socialist” in the “classical” sense.

The “classical” sense, or definition of “socialism” is when a government controls the means -and- the method of production. Period. End of conversation.

In the United States, there has NEVER been, nor will there ever be, any “government factory.”

So, there’s that to consider.

But, think about the coins and currency (money) in your pocket.

You might have an argument for calling it “socialist,” because it’s
• made by the government,
• on government-owned machines,
• using government-owned paper, ink, and metals,
• by government employees, and is effectively
• owned by the government (on temporary “loan” to you, though it is in actuality, a promissory note, itself – but monetary theory is a topic for discussion another day).

BUT… the reason it’s NOT socialist is that EVERYTHING – the inks, the metals, the papers, the stamping and printing machines… EVERYTHING – was obtained by Publicly Bid Open Contracts FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Yeah.

So, there’s also that to consider.

And then, there’s our military… which issues official government-owned uniforms to government employees, who work using government-owned equipment, and their healthcare – which is given at NO COST TO THEM -and- TO THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS – using government-owned equipment, in government-owned healthcare facilities and hospitals, with government-owned-and-provided medicines.

And, in that scenario, the government employees control the means –and– the method of production, per se. It’s a “socialist” system if ever there was one!

But,, once again, ALL of those materials, and all the manpower to perform ALL those functions COMES FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR via Publicly Bid Open Contracts.

Yeah.

So, there’s that to consider, as well.

Guess it must not be “socialism,” eh?

At least since 1931 (and likely at least 20 years or so earlier), the great “demon” of socialism has been a source of name-calling and fear-baiting in government.

The word “socialism” has been tossed around more than a Caesar’s Salad with oil and vinegar dressing. And, it’s only done for political hay-making purposes. In other words, it’s much like “The Boy Who Cried ‘WOLF!'”

Here are two examples from the Congressional Record of 1931:

Congressional Record–Senate, 28Feb1931, p6448

You see, in October 1917, something happened in Russia, and that country changed its name, which included the word “socialist” in it. Thereafter, it was easy to demonize the word, simply because of association with what happened in Russia.

The “something” that happened in Russia was the “October Revolution,” (i.e., the Russian Revolution) in which Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) and his merry band of men (mostly) known as the Bolsheviks, overthrew the Russian government, which at the time had been long ruled by Czars from the Romanov family, the royal family of Russia – which was a 300-year long imperial dynasty (the 2nd in Russian history), and one of ineptitude, nepotism, incompetence, excess, corruption, and hubris – which in all fairness, also included a few successes, but exceedingly few.

Congressional Record – House 2March31 p6850

It was actually the 2nd (or 3rd, depending upon what source you read) that year, with the first being in March (or February, again, depending upon what source you read). An earlier revolution in 1905 had also happened, and the situation and circumstances of the that revolution was culminated in the 1917 revolutions. Riots, work stoppages, strikes, food shortages, economic upheaval, lack of industrialization, were almost commonplace, and social upheaval was in the air, and in the hearts and minds of Russian civilians.

In the early 1900’s, Russia was one of the most impoverished nations in the world, and most European countries, and did much of the world, viewed Russia as being a backwards, and undeveloped nation, which was also plagued with high poverty, among other social ills. It was only a relatively few years earlier, in 1861, that serfdom had been made illegal in Russia, though it had been illegal in Europe for much longer.

“Serfdom” is a practice of the landed gentry (wealthy real estate/properly owners) in which indentured servitude of the lowest social class members, called “serfs,” occurred, though which the impoverished serfs were in some way indebted to the land owner, typically in exchange for the privilege of working a plot of land for their own purposes, which in more modern times in America is called share-cropping. After serfdom was outlawed, the former serfs had freedom to organize, and they did.

Industrialization, which occurred much later in Russia than in other nations, was the harbinger of significant social change. Between 1890 and 1910, the populations of the well-known cities St. Petersburg, and Moscow, doubled in size. Such overcrowding brought along other social ills such as destitute living conditions for industrial workers, and with it, disease.

Decisions to grow agricultural products in the harsh northern Russian climes were similarly fraught with difficulty, and production was stymied, which in turn brought about food shortages, and their accompanying ills. In conjunction with the Crimean War (1854-56) arising from Russian pressure on Turkey which directly threatened British commercial and strategic interests in the Middle East and India, combined with Russian involvement in other armed conflicts (notably with Japan), their economy was brought to a practical stand-still.

The “Bloody Sunday Massacre” of unarmed peaceful protestors by government troops in St. Petersburg on January 22, 1905, set the stage for even greater civil unrest shortly thereafter.

THE POINT BEING…

History is full of events of people revolting when food and housing – 2 of the 3 most fundamental human needs of food, clothing, and shelter – cannot be obtained.

The same thing happened in the United States, albeit with less violence, during the Great Depression.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, aka “FDR”, and his administration, sought to do everything humanly possible to PREVENT another occurrence of a “Great Depression” by correcting laws that led to the problem.

In the years since, Republicans (mostly), have done their damndest to tear down, and destroy everything FDR accomplished – including their wet-dream of privatizing Social Security – in order to hand it over to Wall Street speculators, who are salivating like hungry dogs to get their greedy hands on The People’s money.

As evidence of mostly Republican effort (though in all fairness, some Democrats have been involved, as well – aka “establishment Democrats,” or Wall Street Democrats In Name Only, or DINOs) to tear down the laws and rules protecting the people, look at the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (repeal and replaced by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – 145 pages, and signed into law by President CLINTON in 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act passed in 1933, signed by FDR, was 37 pages in length, and forbade the commingling of money from Insurance companies, Stock Brokerage houses, and Banks, i.e., each industry could not perform the roles which the others did), which led DIRECTLY to the “Great Recession” during the George W. Bush administration, in which numerous “too-big-to-fail” banks collapsed, insurance companies went under, people lost jobs, and automobile manufacturers requested a bail-out… while the people got no bail-out.

Following, are the transcribed remarks made by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at Georgetown University November 19, 2015 about what he means when he mentions “democratic socialism.”

––––––––––––––••••––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––••••––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––••••––––––––––––––

In his inaugural remarks in January 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked out at the nation and this is what he saw.

He saw tens of millions of its citizens denied the basic necessities of life.

He saw millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hung over them day by day.

He saw millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

He saw millions lacking the means to buy the products they needed and by their poverty and lack of disposable income denying employment to many other millions.

He saw one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

And he acted. Against the ferocious opposition of the ruling class of his day, people he called economic royalists, Roosevelt implemented a series of programs that put millions of people back to work, took them out of poverty and restored their faith in government. He redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our country. He combatted cynicism, fear and despair. He reinvigorated democracy. He transformed the country.

Bernie Sanders delivers his long-awaited speech on Democratic Socialism at Georgetown University. He also speaks about his vision for bringing American foreign policy into the 21st century.

And that is what we have to do today.

And, by the way, almost everything he proposed was called “socialist.” Social Security, which transformed life for the elderly in this country was “socialist.” The concept of the “minimum wage” was seen as a radical intrusion into the marketplace and was described as “socialist.” Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance, and job programs that put millions of people to work were all described, in one way or another, as “socialist.” Yet, these programs have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.

Thirty years later, in Read the rest of this entry »

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Would You Visit A Cuban Beach?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Suppose that one day, you were on the beach in Varadero Beach, which is slightly EAST of Havana, Cuba, or in some other scenically tropical locale in that Caribbean island nation.

And on that day, suppose that it was a lovely sunny day, with pretty puffy white clouds floating around, the temperature was a balmy 82ºF, and a gentle breeze was blowing across the Gulf of Mexico onto the beach where you were located.

You’d probably say that it’d be an idyllic setting, for sure. Maybe even a picture perfect day on a lovely sandy-white beach!

Agree?

Now, suppose that you returned home and you said to your friends, “Wow! What a beautiful day it was on the beach in Cuba! It was a wonderfully lovely sunny day, clear skies, with a mild breeze, and 82ºF. It was absolutely PERFECT!”

And then… just as the words left your mouth, your friends started to call you a “communist sympathizer” simply because you told them how beautiful and perfect a day it was while you were on the beach in Cuba.

It’d be absurd, wouldn’t it?

And you’d think they were at least two bricks shy of a load – right?

In essence, that’s what some are doing to Bernie Sanders.

Simply because Read the rest of this entry »

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Should Attorney General Bill Barr Resign?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 13, 2020

I think there’s little question that this administration is very likely the MOST corrupt administration in the history of our nation. Not even the Nixon administration could hold a candle to it.

And, to be certain, corruption needn’t be blatant, nor does it require violation of law. There is such a thing as “legal corruption,” and this POTUS and his administration are living, breathing, examples of such legal corruption.

Roger Stone, center, pictured in 1985 with fellow Republican operatives Paul Manafort, left, and Lee Atwater. (Photo By Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post).

So, exactly what IS corruption?

While words usage and meaning often changes over a period of time, one can discern what words meant by examining their origin and derivation, which is called “etymology.”

The etymology of the word “corrupt” shows that, as an adjective, it emerged in the early 14c., and meant “corrupted, debased in character,” and was derived from the Old French word “corropt,” meaning “unhealthy, corrupt; uncouth” (of language), and came directly from the Latin word “corruptus,” which is the past participle of “corrumpere” meaning “to destroy; spoil,” while figuratively it means to “corrupt, seduce, bribe.”

The Latin word itself was an from assimilated form of the Proto-Indo-European past participle stem of “rumpere” meaning “to break,” and a Sanskrit source states that a portion of the word from that language meant “to suffer from a stomach-ache.” It was also used a verb and meant to “deprave morally, pervert from good to bad.” Around that same time, it included, and incorporated a use and meaning to be “guilty of dishonesty involving bribery.”

There is a “longstanding difficulty about the term “corruption” and its use in social science and political advocacy.

“Corruption” implies deviation from some ideal state, and so defining corruption usually involves an implicit or explicit selection of a baseline standard of “correct” behavior. The three most common possibilities – none entirely satisfactory – are:

1. Law (“corruption” entails violation of specific legal prohibitions on, say, bribery, nepotism, embezzlement, etc.)

2. Public opinion (“corruption” involves acts, or patterns of behavior, that would be viewed by most citizens as wrongful abuses of power, whether or not they are illegal)

3. Public interest (“corruption” involves acts, or patterns of behavior, that contravene the public interest—whether or not the actions in question are illegal and/or the subject of widespread disapproval).

The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University writes that there are “…two specific forms of corruption across American states: illegal and legal.

We define illegal corruption as the private gains in the form of cash or gifts by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups.

“It is the form of corruption that attracts a great deal of public attention. A second form of corruption, however, is becoming more and more common in the U.S.: legal corruption.

We define legal corruption as the political gains in the form of campaign contributions or endorsements by a government official, in exchange for providing specific benefits to private individuals or groups, be it by explicit or implicit understanding.

“Such dealings are, in turn, one aspect of the broader issue of Institutional Corruption which, Read the rest of this entry »

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New Threats Emerge In 2020

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 10, 2020

When Russia – our sworn enemy – decided that they wanted to influence the election, to cause Donald Trump to win… I mean… what do you say!?!

If it had been Hillary Clinton, I would’ve been against it.

But it wasn’t.

But the thing is, is that, the Russians have achieved what they wanted to do – and that is to get the President elected. And when you acknowledge that fact, you have to come to the conclusion that, for that reason, he is an illegitimate President regardless of how many Electoral College votes he got. And the Electoral College should be abolished. Because it was designed for a country 250 years ago.

And the problem with that – not bashing the Constitution – but the idea is, “it’s time for a change,” because right now, when you can communicate with someone on the opposite side of the globe, when you can talk to someone in Hong Kong, when you can talk to someone in London, England, when you can talk to someone in Sydney, Australia, when you can talk with someone in Banff, Canada, when you can talk with someone in Switzerland, and in Mumbai, India, SIMULTANEOUSLY, and have a conference call, you KNOW that worldwide global instant communications has revolutionized the way that we are able to think about things. That is a transformation of UNPARALLELED proportion! When one person can have a voice and speak around the world – globally, in an instant – our forefathers never dreamed of anything like that. They certainly didn’t dream of an automobile. And they could not have dreamt of satellites. They certainly couldn’t have dreamt of rockets. They didn’t even have electricity, for heaven’s sake! And they came up with this idea of the Electoral College.

Why?

Because communications was not instant n 1776, or in 1787 when the Constitutional Convention was established. They had to wait WEEKS, or even MONTHS, before people could be able to hear about what was going on. And now, we can have it in an instant. You have it on your cell phone.

Look, the Communist Chinese government has now written a Social Media app called Read the rest of this entry »

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Spies Like Us

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 22, 2019

Here’s a Question for You, the reader:

Do you think it’s possible that within our government, practically unknown to most, that deep within the machinations and operations of the wheels of government – the agencies, the bureaus, the watchdogs – that keep America safe and secure, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare of our nation, with liberty and justice for all… do you think that it is beyond the pale to imagine that there are Read the rest of this entry »

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POTUS Obama: Sen. Warren is “absolutely wrong” on Trans-Pacific Partnership. But is she?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 2, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written 11 May 2015, though unpublished. The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), is/was a “free-trade” pact among the nations of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and United States signed on 4 February 2016, though it was NOT ratified, and thus, did NOT take effect. All 12 members nations signed the TPP 4 February 2016.

However, because it was NOT ratified by all signatories before 4 February 2018, it will become effective ONLY after ratification when at least 6 nations with a combined GDP of more than 85% of the GDP of all signatories have signed.

Further, because the United States withdrew from the TPP, it also significantly and adversely affected it. The TPP agreement will become active only after all signatories have ratified it within two years of signing.

—//—

President Obama recently criticized Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) for her clarion call warning of the potential damage the Trans-Pacific Partnership could do to United States’ economy.

Sen. Warren has said that “This is hardly a hypothetical possibility: We are already deep into negotiations with the European Union on a trade agreement and big banks on both sides of the Atlantic are gearing up to use that agreement to water down financial regulations.”

The President countered saying, “This is pure speculation. She and I both taught law school, and you know, one of the things you do as a law professor is you spin out hypotheticals. And this is all hypothetical, speculative.”

President Obama further dismissed her criticisms out of hand saying, she’s absolutely wrong,” about the concerns she and others have raised, and appeared to throw down the gauntlet for open, frank discussion of the still-secret trade pact which would include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

The President gives the USTR broad power to keep secret information about the trade policies it advances and negotiates.

United States Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, “More than two months after receiving the proper security credentials, my staff is still barred from viewing the details of the proposals that USTR is advancing.”

A Senate bill – S. 3225 – which would require the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to disclose all its TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) documents to every member of Congress was introduced May 23, 2012 by Sen. Wyden, who is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness. In that capacity, his office is responsible for conducting oversight over the USTR and trade negotiations.

Speaking from the Senate floor, Sen. Wyden said the purpose of the bill was “to ensure that the laws and policies that govern the American people take into account the interests of all the American people, not just a privileged few. Congress passed legislation in 2002 to form the Congressional Oversight Group, or COG, to foster more USTR consultation with Congress. I was a senator in 2002. I voted for that law and I can tell you the intention of that law was to ensure that USTR consulted with more Members of Congress, not less.” 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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Another Year Over, And A New One Just Begun

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Welcome aboard!

Glad to have you in the New Year!

Curious about how the New Year was looking, I messaged some friends in Germany, where it’s 7 to 8 hours ahead of the Central Time Zone. She and their boy were visiting his father over the winter holiday season, where he was stationed on Active Duty with a Special Forces unit.

The “New Year” is often depicted as a babe, a veritable infant, wearing a diaper and banner sash with the year imprinted upon it, while the outgoing year, the “Old Year” (Father Time), is depicted as a decrepit old codger wearing a tattered cloak type garment with a staff.

When I’d earlier messaged my friends, I’d asked if they had any special plans. Not everyone celebrates the incoming New Year, you know. She replied, “Not sure quite what we are doing, there are several parties to choose from.” (Don’t you just marvel at our ability to communicate INSTANTLY to the opposite side of the world!?! Seriously. How great is that!?!)

Several hours later, just about the time when the New Year was dawning in Germany, I sent a message which stated, “How does the New Year look so far? Got any clothes on?🤣”

The reply, “Happy New Year. Hardly. In the hospital. C has a broken ankle.”

Of course, upon hearing such, one would naturally ask, “How’d THAT happen?”

As most might suppose, the typical way one breaks the ankle is by Read the rest of this entry »

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Work With What You Have

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 4, 2018

And you thought you were busy? Consider Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1744 – 1821), the first citizen born in the United States to be canonized, who was canonized Sunday, September 14, 1975 in St. Peter’s Square by Pope Paul VI.

She was a New York Read the rest of this entry »

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GOP Cause & Democrat Effect

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 8, 2017

POS45 and the GOP are showing the people why the Democrats will sweep the House & get control of the Senate next year. 

The GOP continually demonstrates they care NOT for humanity. Their god is money and greed. In their warped imagination, people are expendable. Protect a fertilized egg or zygote, and neglect those whom are living and breathing. Take from the poor, give to the rich. I got mine, good luck with yours.

As my late father said many times, Read the rest of this entry »

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NY @SenSchumer Mocks Insecure #Loser @POTUS @realDonaldTrump 

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

America’s Official Pussy Grabber in Chief, Multiple Bankruptcies Expert, Prevaricator in Chief, Liar in Chief, Traitor in Chief, Liar & Cheat, Narcissist in Chief, and Overall Scumbag held his first Cabinet meeting yesterday (Monday, June 12, 2017) which was widely covered by news reporting agencies, and with his usual audacity and unmitigated gall claimed that Read the rest of this entry »

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German Grocer Aldi To Heat Up U.S. Competition

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

German Discount Grocer Aldi Sets U.S. Expansion Plan

Aldi says it will open nearly 900 stores, invest $5 billion over five years

Aldi says it will open 900 stores and invest $5 billion over five years. Photo by Anthony Devlin/Zuma Press

By Heather Haddon
June 11, 2017 9:00 p.m. ET

Competition in the U.S. grocery sector is about to get more fierce.

Discount grocery chain Aldi is expected to unveil on Monday plans to invest $5 billion to open nearly 900 stores and remodel hundreds more in the U.S.

The expansion, over the next five years, puts the German grocer on track to becoming the third-largest food retailer in the U.S. by store count, behind the larger Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co., and a growing threat to traditional food retailers.

Aldi said it is expected to have a total of 2,500 locations across the U.S. by 2022. Its plan comes as another German discounter, Lidl, is set to open its first 10 stores in the U.S. on Thursday as part of a multiyear expansion.

Executives at Wal-Mart and Kroger have been preparing for the growth of the discounters for years. Wal-Mart has been sprucing up its stores and slashing prices on some products in select markets, while Kroger continues to drive down costs to compete.

But the discounters could have a big impact on the U.S. grocery market as they did in Europe. Their market share there has steadily grown while traditional supermarkets have seen theirs fall.

Deep discount chains in the U.S. are expected to grow by up to 10% a year through 2020, five times the rate of traditional grocers, according to a recent report by consulting firm Bain & Co.

“It should absolutely be more than scary to traditional grocers and retailers,” said Mikey Vu, a partner in Bain’s retail practice.

Many shoppers in the U.S. are unfamiliar with Aldi. The chain has been in the U.S. since Read the rest of this entry »

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American Poverty: Where is it, and what does it look like? Is it even what we think it is?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 12, 2017

You’ve likely seen a meme floating around referencing how America’s Most Poverty Stricken counties voted Republican.

Yes?

I decided to research the matter to see:
1.) If it was true, and;
2.) Exactly what else I’d find.

While my analysis isn’t fully complete, there are already some early fascinating findings.

Breaking down Poverty into two categories – Per Capita Income (PCI) and Median Household Income (MHI) – has shown “the usual suspects,” but exposed some not-so-usual ones, as well.

For example, we often hear that West Virginia is a very High Poverty state, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Data from the United States Census Bureau (USCB) backs up those claims… yet only to a limited extent.

But, “pockets” of poverty may exist in an otherwise not-so-poor state (and they do), and a state may have a high number of Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Is Not Now, Nor Has It Ever Been, The United States’ “Friend”

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

Recently, in response to posts of the images herein, some made remarks pursuant to Americans’ involvement in Russian matters. More specifically, they concerned visits by retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn’s December 2015 visit to Russia in December, and Rex Tillerson’s 2013 award by Vladimir Putin.

A: “But not from made up stories…..”

In 2013, Vadimir Putin (LEFT) personally awarded Rex Tillerson (RIGHT) with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal, which is the highest honor Russia bestows on foreign citizens, and is given to foreigners whom the Russian government believes have helped Russia and its people.

Me: “The image of United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Putin is from Putin’s award to him with Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013.

“Here’s another goodie!

“Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin at a 2015 dinner for the RT news channel in Moscow. RT is Russia’s propaganda “news” agency, along with “Sputnik.” Photograph: Michael Klimentyev/ Sputnik/Kremlin/EPA”

A: “You can also find where Obama and his cronies met with Russians too”

Me: When President Obama met with Putin at the G8 and G20 summits, it was in his official capacity as President and world leader.

“When Mike Flynn met with Putin December 10, 2015, he did so as a private citizen/civilian, because he retired from the Army in April 2014 after he had been fired from his position as Director of Defense Intelligence Agency because, which as Colin Powell had been told by Defense Intelligence Agency director Vincent R. Stewart, was because Flynn was “abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc.”

Michael Flynn (seated LEFT, holding device to ear) and Vladimir Putin (seated RIGHT) at a December 10, 2015 dinner for the RT news channel in Moscow. RT is Russia’s propaganda “news” agency, along with “Sputnik.” Photograph: Michael Klimentyev/ Sputnik/Kremlin/EPA

“After he retired from the Army, Flynn went to work for RT, which is the Russian government-supported propaganda agency. Flynn is also a Registered Foreign Agent with the Justice Department.

“In their January 2017 report “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” America’s intelligence agencies reported that RT was “The Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet” and that RT America is set up as an autonomous nonprofit organization “to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”

“Same thing for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – who has never held public office or trust – he was a private citizen when Putin awarded him Russia’s Order of Friendship medal.

“And let me tell you something and make it EXPLICITLY CLEAR:
Anyone friendly to Russia is Read the rest of this entry »

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Attorney, Entrepreneur, Banker Donald V. Watkins Offers POTUS Trump Advice

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 27, 2017

Donald V. Watkins is an American Attorney, Entrepreneur, and Banker.

Donald V. Watkins is an American Attorney, Entrepreneur and Banker.

–––//–––

March 26, 2017

Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump

Dear President Trump,

I am a longtime political independent who cherishes America’s form of participatory democracy. Even though my ancestors were slaves who worked on plantations in Mississippi, my parents, siblings and other relatives finally got a chance to vote after Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and President Lyndon Johnson signed it. I have even held elective office within this democracy.

I believed in America when I could not drink from public water fountains or use bathrooms that were reserved for “Whites Only”. I did not sit in an integrated classroom until I entered college at Southern Illinois University in 1966. I attended law school at the University of Alabama from 1970 to 1973 on a desegregation scholarship awarded to me by the national office of the NAACP. I arrived on campus a full year before any black athlete played on a sports team at the University.

Donald Trump, 45th United States President, official portrait

When I started practicing law in 1973, a few diehard segregationists in Alabama’s court system openly referred to me as the “nigger lawyer from Montgomery” during official court proceedings. I was not addressed as “Attorney Watkins” or “Mr. Watkins” in these courtrooms until sometime in 1976. A few judges just barked out instruction to me without ever looking me in the eyes or addressing me as a human being.

I got through all of these degrading experiences by focusing on the American flag in each courtroom I entered. To me, Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump lies. We know that. But why? And what effect will it have upon his presidency, the nation, and GOP?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Donald John Trump, elected November 2016, and inaugurated January 20th, 2017, is the 45th United States President. Official portrait

One might as well ask why a bird flies or sings.

Trump is a one-man show. He bullies others to get his way. He doesn’t know how to collaborate, or cooperate with others.

He’s also emotionally insecure, hence the sense of an inherent need to constantly obtain approval as evidenced by an inordinate desire to obtain adulation and adoration from media.

But, there’s more.

Why Trump Clings to Discredited Lies

by Donald V. Watkins
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Used with permission

Even though the FBI and all of America’s national security agencies have stated emphatically that there is no evidence that President Barrack Obama, or anyone else, wiretapped Trump Towers during or after the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump still claims his phones were tapped. Other than his Twitter rants about this wiretapping, Trump has offered no proof to validate his claim.

So why does Trump cling to this now discredited lie?

Based upon my observations of Trump over the past 20 months, I have notice several disturbing character traits that facilitate Trump’s ready ability to take a mental flight from reality and truth. These traits are scary and dangerous to the American people.

First, Trump is a Read the rest of this entry »

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All Trumped Up Over The FISA Court

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

Imagine, or pretend for a moment that you were President of the United States.

You would be literally be “the boss of” and have access to a vast trove of over 14 different American Intelligence & National Security agencies.

If so desired, you could watch video of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, see photographs of his corpse and burial at sea, and examine the report made of his DNA following his death and capture. By virtue of the Office of the President, there would be virtually nothing to which you would not entitled to know, or view in the agencies of the United States government. You would be able to see the code-named TOP SECRETS of our government. You would have full and unfettered access to the highest levels of secret information… including Nuclear Access Codes.

The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, State, and Justice, along with all their myriad divisions and offices – ALL Executive level agencies – which includes the FBI, US Marshals Service, Secret Service, DEA, ATF, Coast Guard, and more – would ALL be under your ultimate control, and you would be their Boss.

The CIA is an independent agency.

Because the FBI and the NSA are Executive level offices/agencies, it is NOT a stretch to imagine that the President ~COULD~ Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions Lied Under Oath Orally And In Writing In Attorney General Confirmation Hearings

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 2, 2017

As part of the Confirmation process for Attorney General,

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions takes oath before his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in his Confirmation Hearing as United States Attorney General.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) takes oath before his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in his Confirmation Hearing to be United States Attorney General.

in January, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked nominee Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for answers to written questions, one which was: “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?”

Sessions wrote a one-word response: “No.”

During the Confirmation Hearings before the Judiciary Committee on January 10, Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) asked Senator Sessions, “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

Senator Jeff Sessions stated, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Jeff Sessions: “I did not have communications with the Russians.” (C-SPAN)

Justice Department officials said that Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak: Privately on Read the rest of this entry »

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#BREAKING*!* America has elected a TRAITOR as @POTUS.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

When I was a young boy, my father gave me his Hallicrafters brand shortwave radio. When the tubes warmed up in the metal chassis, I could tune in numerous worldwide broadcasts in myriad languages. I also found the music from other nations equally enthralling.

Stations from the Netherlands, Swaziland, Australia, Rhodesia (now South Africa), England, Spain, China, Japan, India, Germany, Poland, and all points in between opened my mind and expanded my intellectual horizons. Many broadcasts were in the nation’s native language, though some broadcasts were in English, including some from Russia.

As I listened to Russian Pravda shortwave news broadcasts (which were in perfect, accent-free English), my father warned me that what they told were lies.

Even though what the Pravda news broadcasters said sounded “reasonable” and even “true,” Pravda, which was then the Communist government-owned propaganda agency, would tell “little” lies, or twist and pervert the truth and facts of the story, so that it made the entire story false. They never bothered to tell a “whopper” of a lie, just a few little changes here, and there, which when compiled, changed the entire story into a lie. Interestingly, the word Pravda in Russian means “truth.”

That is a distinctly and uniquely Russian technique, which hasn’t changed. We recently were subjected to it on an unparalleled level in our recent General Election with the abundant proliferation of Internet-based “Fake News” from impoverished former Communist-bloc nations which our nation’s Intelligence and Security Agencies later reported was used specifically to sway the vote for Donald Trump. Never in the history of our nation has external national influence ever been used to elect a Presidential Candidate.

The Russians and their evil government have long been our sworn enemies. And yet, we now – or, more accurately, the GOP – act as if everything is hunky dory.

It is not.

We saw Donald Trump repeat lies from the Russian propaganda agency Read the rest of this entry »

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You Voted For Trump Because…

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

Ben Mallicote – Any guy with a god... er, dog must be A-okay.

Ben Mallicote, FaceBook profile image –
Any guy with a god, er… a dog must be A-okay.

Ben Mallicote recently shared the following on his FaceBook page.

You may also be interested in reading his blog.

—/—

You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to be in Wall Street’s pocket. Trump wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and eliminate the Fiduciary Rule, letting Wall Street return to its pre-2008 ways.

You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s emails. The Trump administration is running its own private email server.

You voted for Trump because you thought the Clinton Foundation was “pay for play.” Trump has refused to wall off his businesses from his administration, and personally profits from payments from foreign governments.

You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s role in Benghazi. Trump ordered the Yemen raid without adequate intel, and tweeted about “FAKE NEWS” while Americans died as a result of his carelessness.

You voted for Trump because Read the rest of this entry »

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Build The Wall: A Simple How-To Primer

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 8, 2017

On June 16, 2015, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for United States President, he said in part, “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”

Trump has estimated construction costs could range from $8-12 Billion, that it should be be made of precast concrete, rise 35 to 40 feet, or 50 feet, or higher, and that it doesn’t need to span the entire distance of the border, but only half because of natural barriers.

Accurate official Cost Estimates to build The Wall are sketchy, and a 2009 report by the Congressional Research Service  found that the challenges include “costs versus benefits, location, design, environmental impact, potential diplomatic ramifications, and the costs of acquiring the land needed for construction.”

Projected costs vary widely, and the report stated that:

The Corps of Engineers study predicted that the costs of constructing a double layer fence consisting of primary fencing and Sandia fencing would range from $1.2 million to $1.3 million a mile, excluding the costs of land acquisition. The Corps of Engineers also predicted that the 25-year life cycle cost of the fence would range from $16.4 million to $70 million per mile depending on the amount of damage sustained by the fencing.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that border fencing would cost $3 million a mile to construct and that maintenance would total roughly 15% of the overall project costs per year.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the border fencing constructed by the end of FY2007 (using mostly the Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to construct the fencing) cost about $2.8 million a mile. The fencing constructed in FY2008, using mostly private constructors, cost about $5.1 million a mile.

In “Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives” entitled “SOUTHWEST BORDER SECURITY: Additional Actions Needed to Assess Resource Deployment and Progress; Statement of Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security and Justice” published Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office stated that:

“In addition, with regard to fencing and other tactical infrastructure, CBP reported that from fiscal year 2005 through May 2015, the total miles of vehicle and pedestrian fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border increased from approximately 120 miles to 652 miles. With the completion of the new fencing and other tactical infrastructure, DHS is now responsible for maintaining this infrastructure including repairing breached sections of fencing.”

See also: Highlights of GAO-16-465T, a testimony before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives.

And make no mistake, Public Law 109–367 enacted by the 109th Congress, also known as the “Secure Fence Act of 2006” requires that “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors…” at specified locations. But in typical Congressional fashion, the law was changed in 2008, and the fence requirements contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, still mandates the construction of a fence covering “not less than 700 miles” of the border, but eliminated the requirement that the fence be double-layered. According to “Remarks by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson: “Border Security in the 21st Century” – As Delivered,” “in Fiscal Year 2000 we had 10 miles of secondary fence along the southwest border; today we have 36.3 miles of secondary fence.”

Citing a U.S./Mexico Trade Deficit of $50 Billion in 2014, and a $54 Billion Trade Deficit for the first 11 months of 2015, Trump has proposed reinstating tariffs on Mexican goods in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump said, “When they say Mexico can’t pay for the wall, I say of course they can. We have a trade deficit with Mexico that’s unbelievably big. … It’s billions and billions of dollars — far more than what we’re talking about for the wall.”

His claim that “I will have Mexico pay for that wall,” would ostensibly be done by reinstating tariffs, otherwise known as “taxes” on goods “Hecho en Mexico.”

However, there is another potential manner in which he could “have Mexico pay for that wall,” which would be to 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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Thoughts On Fidel Castro’s Death & American Foreign Policy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 26, 2016

Cuban President Raoul Castro – Fidel Castro’s younger brother – announced on Cuban television late last night (Friday, 25 November 2016) that Fidel had recently died, aged 90.

There are powerful lessons in Cuba for America.
Among them:

• When Corporations rule government, corruption inevitably ensues.

• American Foreign Policy has almost always favored Corporate Business Interests, especially in modern history.

• For well over 60 years, American Foreign Policy has largely been a disastrous failure.

The United States had dominated Cuba ever since the island nation became independent from Spain following the Spanish-American War in 1898, and Castro deeply distrusted America for that reason. Shortly after he assumed power in Cuba, at the invitation the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Fidel Castro made his only trip to the United States, and later met with then-Vice President Richard Nixon April 15, 1959 shortly before returning to Cuba. Eisenhower purposely avoided Castro, and specifically played golf that day to avoid any possible opportunity of meeting with him. Within four months of Castro’s trip to Washington D.C., the Eisenhower administration had drawn up a plan to overthrow him.

“In a manner certain to antagonize the Cuban people, we used the influence of our Government to advance the interests of and increase the profits of the private American companies, which dominated the island’s economy. At the beginning of 1959 U.S. companies owned about 40% of the Cuban sugar lands – almost all the cattle ranches – 90% of the mines and mineral concessions – 80% of the utilities – and practically all the oil industry – and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.”

Remarks of then-Senator John F. Kennedy at a Democratic Dinner, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 6, 1960, from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Acknowledging that it was a “glaring failure of American foreign policy… that our own shortsighted policies helped make,” then-Senator John F. Kennedy, remarked at a Democratic Dinner, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 6, 1960 that Cuban regime change under Castro ended in the overthrow of the brutal, bloody, and despotic dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.”

Ironically, under Batista, the twice-president tyrannical military dictator of Cuba, the idyllic island nation was Read the rest of this entry »

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Can @realDonaldTrump this?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Day 5: The standard has been set… by a Black man.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – the huge government bureaucracy established by Executive Order 13228 under President George W. Bush on October 8, 2001 – and it’s subsidiary bureaucracy the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), from 2009-2015, President Barack Obama has deported over 2.5 Million illegal immigrants… more than the George W. Bush administration.

Statistics for this year (2016) are not ready, because… the year hasn’t ended. Duh!
So, there are more to be added to the “we kicked you out because you broke the law” rolls.

Really? Obama deported more illegals than Bush?

Yup.

He’s deported so many illegals that he’s been nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief.”

In fact, he’s deported MORE than any other administration in history.

MORE than Reagan.

MORE than George H.W. Bush.

MORE than Clinton.

MORE than Carter.

In fact… MORE than ALL OF THEM COMBINED!

Oh yeah.

Ouch… that’s gotta’ smart!

The Office of Immigration Statistics (a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security), says 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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Hillary & Trump: Two Deeply Flawed Candidates

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

By many accounts, the 2016 Presidential Election year is a complete campaign in the ass. Two deeply flawed candidates manipulated and exposed deeply flawed processes in both major political parties, not the least of which is for the GOP, how to vet their candidates more thoroughly, and have the ability to remove them from official party candidacy, and for the Democrats, how to maintain candidate neutrality, and prevent party officials from influencing candidates of the top officials’ choosing toward nomination. I predict many much-needed changes on the horizon for both parties… following the November General Election.

—/—

by Gary Cosby, Jr.
Used with permission

WARNING:  This is a long post. It is also my final political post before the election.

I am not an editorial writer but today I am going to play one on Facebook. First, let me say, everyone is welcome to comment; however, if your comment uses foul language or is abusive to anyone else, your comment will be deleted. One of the great problems we have today is our lack of ability to disagree and still have civil discourse; therefore, we will practice it or be censured. Keep in mind, this is my opinion and you do not have to agree with it. Thank your First Amendment rights for that.

By now, we all know this presidential election cycle has presented us with the two poorest candidates in memory, perhaps in all of American history. Certainly there have been poor candidates running for one party or the other throughout our history but not facing one another in the same election.

They have turned the presidential debates into bad Saturday Night Live skits. In fact, I doubt the writers of SNL would have been able to dream up anything this hideous. The American political scene will never be the same and Read the rest of this entry »

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Terrorism In The South

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 6, 2016

quantrills-raiders-1924-reunion

Reunion of Quantrill’s Raiders, circa 1924, Oak Grove, Missouri. The first official reunion occurred in 1898, more than 30 years after Quantrill’s death and the end of the Civil War. The circled figure is Jesse James. Image from the Jackson County Historical Society and the Truman Library.

quantril-reunion-1901

The 1901 reunion of Quantrill’s Raiders in Blue Springs, MO. Note the tag in the upper LEFT corner of the image. Sim Whitsett was at this reunion and is probably in this picture. Also in the picture is Frank James (center front, named). The first picture of the Quantrill veterans (Sim Whitsett was in attendance) was taken at the 1900 reunion. The picture is of a parade of the attendees on horseback. The 1901 is the first group photo in which the faces of individuals can be (barely) distinguished.

In response to a post expressing justifiable criticism of terrorism at home and abroad, it occurred to me that terrorism itself is nothing new… not even in the United States. So, I thought to share a brief overview of it, which appears as follows.

—/—

You forgot all about the War Between the States.

The Southern rebellion, of course, was often comprised of loosely associated rag-tag bands of incompetents and criminals, which thrived and often deserted formal association with the Confederate Army, and ransacked their way throughout the countryside.

mosby-uniform-night-of-stoughtons-capture

John Singleton Mosby, image from his memoir. His note reads: “This picture is a copy of the one taken in Richmond in January 1863: The uniform is the one I wore on March 8th 1863 on the night of General Staughton’s capture. John S Mosby”

The rebels were known for such terroristic activities as Read the rest of this entry »

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Known vs Unknown: A Voting Rationale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 3, 2016

Someone opined that they hoped the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee would be elected.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Here’s why:
As we have suffered, never before has there been a more grotesque figure campaigning for the noble office of the President.
party_democrat

party_republicanThe candidate has never served in an office of Public Trust, nor ever served in any Elected Office. There is literally no shred of evidence of governing competency, much less experience, in any Public Office, and though our Constitution states that the minimum eligibility requirements for the office are to be “a citizen of the United States… the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States,” we have never elected an individual as President whom has never served in any capacity of Public Trust, nor Elected Office.

And so, in that regard, the candidate is a significantly Unknown Quantity. That can be, and often is, fraught with enormous peril.

We expect Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Hillary Clinton’s State Dept Quid Pro Quo Pay-To-Play Is A Corrupt Practice

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 28, 2016

Formerly titled “Why @HillaryClinton’s @StateDept Quid Pro Quo Pay-To-Play Is A Corrupt Practice”

Accountability is what remains once responsibility has fled. The citizens of the United States must demand higher standards from their public servants, and officials, and severely punish violations of the same.

—/—

Bill and Hillary Clinton, Meet Jozette Berry, Alisha Cole and Lashonda Smaw

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 28, 2016
Used with permission.

Former Jefferson County, Alabama revenue clerks Lashonda Smaw, Alisha Cole, and Gazette Berry (pictured from left to right). They engaged in the same unethical conduct that is involved in the Hillary Clinton "cash for prioritized access" scandal. Each woman was investigated, criminally charged with felony ethics violations, and convicted in court. Their total take in gratuities was $120. The total gratuities involved in the Clinton scandal is $156 million, and nobody is under a criminal investigation.

Former Jefferson County, Alabama revenue clerks Lashonda Smaw, Alisha Cole, and Gazette Berry (pictured from left to right). They engaged in the same unethical conduct that is involved in the Hillary Clinton “cash for prioritized access” scandal. Each woman was investigated, criminally charged with felony ethics violations, and convicted in court. Their total take in gratuities was $120. The total gratuities involved in the Clinton scandal is $156 million, and nobody is under a criminal investigation.

In 2013, Jozette Berry, Alisha Cole and Lashonda Smaw were Jefferson County, Alabama revenue clerks who worked in the downtown County Courthouse and the Center Point Satellite Courthouse. These low-level public servants accepted cash gratuities for cutting people to the front of the 4-hour long, slow moving, car tag line. Cole was caught accepting $20 on two occasions in August 2013. Berry and Smaw were caught accepting $40 on a single occasion in April 2013.

After a local Fox TV news team publicly exposed this criminal conduct, there was immediate and widespread condemnation of the women’s actions. It made national news. This was declared an ethics violation on the part of each woman.

In December 2013, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Berry, Cole, and Smaw for using their public office for personal gain, which is a felony in Alabama and an ethics violation as well. Each woman faced 2 to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

These women did not have friends in high places. They were not connected to the Obama White House, or the U.S. Attorney General, or the Director of the FBI. They did not hold any political office. They did not have New York spin-doctors or high-powered lawyers to argue that they had done nothing wrong. In short, they had no one who could “fix” their criminal case, or make it go away.

Jozette Berry and Lashonda Smaw, who are black, eventually pled guilty. Alisha Cole, who faced two felony counts of ethics violations, went to trial and was convicted. Berry received a sentence of 12 months of hard labor in the county jail. Imposition of Berry’s sentence was later suspended and she was placed on 2 years of unsupervised probation. After her conviction, Cole received a three-year suspended sentence and two years of unsupervised probation. Smaw’s sentence for her ethics violation is unknown at this time.

The guilty pleas for Berry and Smaw and guilty verdict for Cole ended a multi-year joint criminal investigation by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Public Corruption and White Collar Crimes Unit, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and the Birmingham Police Department. After the criminal cases ended in May 2015, the local DA proudly released the following statement: “We are grateful to have partners in law enforcement who are Read the rest of this entry »

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What are taxes for? Who should pay them? Should you pay more, or less?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 31, 2015

Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign

Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign

It infuriates me to see signs & posters like these, because THAT is what taxes are for!

And, if there aren’t enough taxes collected from the wealthy (and obviously, there aren’t), then we see “drives” and other collection points like this.

Just this evening, in conversation with my neighbor, she shared with me about how her co-worker – a young, single mother – recently confided in her, and said that she didn’t earn enough money to make ends meet – to pay the rent, keep the lights turned on, and feed her family and that she regularly has to go to a local food pantry (which itself often runs out of food because the need is so great) to augment her meager ability to purchase food – and that she, herself, didn’t have supper because she chose to feed her children, instead.

My neighbor remarked, Read the rest of this entry »

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Somebody’s Gonna’ Get Killed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's NOT mere "courtesy," IT'S THE LAW!

It’s NOT mere “courtesy,”
IT’S THE LAW!

I was run off the road while riding my 10-speed bicycle.

It happened in a residential part of town, very near home, and upon one of the widest roads in town…

Capable of 4 lanes of 2-way traffic, with parallel parking along both sides, the road also ran adjacent the football stadium & high school.

I loved to ride my bicycle, and would do so almost daily, for at least five miles. And that was long before the song “Bicycle” by Queen was popularized. In fact, it was upon a “road bike” much like the ones seen in the video below.

Recollecting that Read the rest of this entry »

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The U.S. Economy In 6 Simple Pictures

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Picture #1:

It’s fairly explanatory. American corporations are making profits hand over fist. They’re making more profit now, than before the “Great Recession.” In fact, they’re making more than DOUBLE from their lowest during that time.

Corporate Profits After Tax

Corporate Profits After Tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Record Breaking Alligator Caught in Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 17, 2014

Here’s how a record-breaking, 1,000-pound-plus gator was pulled from Alabama River

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

Gator15 Gator14 Gator13 Gator12 Gator11 Gator16 Gator17 Gator18 Gator19 Gator20 Gator21 Gator27 Gator26 Gator25 Gator24 Gator23 Gator22 Gator28 Gator29 Gator30 Gator31 Gator32 Gator33CAMDEN, Alabama – Mandy Stokes put her pearls on Friday night.

No, she wasn’t going out to dinner with the family.

She was going alligator hunting.

Ever since Keith Fancher and his crew pulled a 14-foot, 2-inch, 838-pound alligator from the Alabama River in 2011 to set the standard for the largest ever legally killed by an Alabama hunter, Stokes had jokingly told friends and family that if she was ever drawn for a tag, she would wear the necklace so she’d look good when being interviewed after breaking the record.

Stokes got her tag this year and the pearls still hung around her neck Saturday afternoon.

It was about 10 hours after she and husband John Stokes, brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his children Savannah, 16, and Parker, 14, brought a monster alligator to the check-in station at Roland Cooper State Park near Camden in Wilcox County.

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Biologists had no trouble measuring the beast at 15 feet even, but they had to call for some relief when trying to weigh it.

The first attempt completely destroyed the winch assembly used to easily hoist most average gators. It was the same mechanism used to weigh the Fancher alligator.

Enlisting the assistance of a park backhoe to lift it, a WFF biologist officially called the weight at 1,011.5 pounds.

COMPARING IT TO OTHER BIG CATCHES

Those dimensions easily make the Stokes Gator the biggest ever killed in Alabama. Alabama does not have an official record-gator program, but its regulated hunts have only been underway for nine years, so records are easily accessed and current.

“Truthfully, after I saw the Fancher Gator, in my mind I was thinking there’s no way we can catch anything bigger than that,” Mandy Stokes said. “When I finally saw it the full-body mount at the Gee’s Bend Terminal, the main thing I remembered was the size of its feet. When I saw the size of the foot on this one, I knew it was a good one.”

Maybe the best one ever. An internet search suggests the Stokes Gator may be the largest American alligator ever legally killed by a hunter.

Just this June, Safari Club International declared a 14-foot, 8-inch, 880-pound alligator killed in Chalk Creek near Lufkin, Texas by Justin Wells of Bossier City, La., in 2007 as the new world record.

It’s not clear which metric – length, weight or a combination of both – SCI used to make its declaration.

A September 2013 story on Outdoor Life’s Website tells the tale of a 13-foot, 9-inch, 1,100-pound gator killed by Drew Baker in Arkansas. Baker’s gator is the Arkansas record, but the story makes no mention of it being in contention for world record status.

Stokes’ gator measured 70.5 inches around the stomach, 46 inches around the base of the tail and had a 16-inch snout measurement.

THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF THE CATCH

No matter by which standard alligators are measured, Mandy Stokes said Read the rest of this entry »

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To What Extent is the American Economy Propped Up by Arms Sales?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What should one expect when the whole damn defense industry has been whored out to arm the krazees of the world?

In a very prophetic manner, in his Farewell Address to the nation, January 17, 1961, then-President Dwight David Eisenhower warned about the “military industrial complex,” saying:

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

US sells $11 BILLION worth of arms to Qatar

Published time: July 15, 2014 09:46
Edited time: July 16, 2014 12:55

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

Washington and Doha have signed the largest arms deal of the year, preparing to enhance Qatar’s military capabilities with $11 billion-worth of Apache assault helicopters, PAC-2 missile defense complexes and Javelin man-portable anti-tank missiles.

The deal has been signed on Monday in Pentagon by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatari Defense Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah. Altogether Qatar is buying 10 batteries of Patriot missile defense systems and 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles manufactured by US defense industry giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and 24 Apache helicopters made by Boeing, an anonymous US official told the AFP.

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Black Journalist Confesses: “I’ve used the n-word.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Op-Ed speaks volumes.

Read on.

Confession of a black journalist: Like Paula Deen, I’ve used the n-word (Opinion from Anthony Cook)

Anthony Cook, Huntsville Times Community News Director

Anthony Cook, Huntsville Times Community News Director

By Anthony Cook | ACook@al.com
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on June 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM, updated June 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM

When I first heard about the dust-up over food mogul Paula Deen saying the n-word, my first reaction was “Um … OK.”I considered it just that – a dust-up. Big deal.But when it was reported that her extremely popular cooking show was being dropped from the Food Network, my thoughts changed to: “This is a big deal.”I’m guilty of spending the occasional Saturday morning in front of the tube with my wife, watching Paula whip up some Southern comfort food.When I heard she’d used the n-word at some point in her life, I wondered how I’d view her the next time she was on TV, concocting something you could almost taste through the screen and telling us “This is so good, y’all.”

But, apparently that’s not gonna happen. Not only has Food Network dropped her show, but Smithfield Foods has dropped her as a spokeswoman, and QVC and Walmart are considering doing the same.

This writing isn’t a defense of Paula Deen. She’s a big girl. She can take care of herself. And those businesses that are dropping association with her are just that – businesses. They have to consider the bottom line, which can be greatly affected by blows to their image. They essentially have been left with no choice.

I began to see the hypocrisy of expecting white people to adhere to a standard that I was not upholding myself.

As a black man, this writing is my attempt to point out Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Suicide, Libertarianism, and Religion -or- Why “No man is an island.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 15, 2013

FACT:
Las Vegas has the highest metropolitan suicide rate in the U.S.

“I’ll add that there’s one more feature here, of Las Vegas, which I think bears mentioning. And that is what I kinda’ think of as a sort of “frontier culture” mentality among residents, and I think, even among visitors.

“That Las Vegas is this sort of place of place of total license. You know… its the ‘Wild West,’ it’s an open frontier for all kinds of immorality and exploration of vice, and… the entire self-branding of Las Vegas as this place where that is not only tolerated, but actually sanctioned.

“You know, the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” kind of mentality – produces, I think, a kind of… sort of libertarian ethos of ‘go it alone, do it yourself.’ And help seeking in this sort of framework is perhaps not accepted or valorized the way it is other parts of the country.

“These kind of cultural arguments are always very hard to make. They always sound deeply unscientific. But, in a lot ways, I think that’s exactly where a lot of the explanatory power comes from… is in this understanding the culture and values underlying people’s behavioral sense.”

Matt Wray, sociologist, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and co-author of a 2008 paper entitled Leaving Las Vegas: Exposure to Las Vegas and Risk of Suicide” / excerpted from Freakonomics Radio, episode #92 “Gambling With Your Life,” released April 27, 2011

Of late, attention has been increasingly given to the suicide rate of veterans returning home from the horrors of war in the Middle East, specifically, from their numerous extended tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While in retrospect, many acknowledge that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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