Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Huntsville Judge Donna Pate Sentences Daniel Ray Proctor to TWO Life Sentences on Theft

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alabama‘s prison system will again be pushed to the taxpayers’ breaking point by stupidity such as this sentence. It is extreme – even with the increased severity of punishment required for habitual offenders.

This is the so-called “Three Strikes and you’re out” law in action.

Realistically, “Three Strikes and you’re out” only applies in baseball games. But someone thought it sounded cool, and morphed it into a law in California. Subsequently, California’s prison population has exploded because that state adopted that law. They’ve now seriously modified it. It may be time to rethink sentencing guidelines in Alabama. But the likelihood of that happening is practically negligible.

Thanks to our legislature, this man will now burden every honest Alabama taxpayer.

That’s not to say he and others like him should not be punished, but rather acknowledges the failure of a pop-culture-driven bumper sticker slogan to effectively remedy, ameliorate or mitigate criminality. In essence, there is little or nothing done to correct, and much done to punish. Oddly, every state has a “Department of Corrections,” rather than a ‘Department of Punishments.’ There’s a reason for that, and it’s because there is a two-fold purpose (to punish and correct), with the higher one being correction.

Yet standing in stark contrast is the as-yet-untried, and officially indefinitely delayed case of Amy Bishop, the Harvard PhD-educated biology professor who went on a shooting rampage and killed three, and wounded three other colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Even though she has a track record of mental instability, Read the rest of this entry »

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A Retrospective: Bush & the GOP’s Promises VS Reality

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 19, 2012

Does anyone remember this?

Nope. Probably not. That’s why it’s being posted here… to remind us all.

In the first Presidential Debate in 2000 with Vice President Al Gore, Jr. and former Texas governor & GOP candidate George W. Bush, the forum included questions on the topics of budget & economy, governmental reform, healthcare, Social Security, tax reform, education, energy & oil, foreign policy, homeland security, war & peace, and abortion.

As you read the responses below, consider how Read the rest of this entry »

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“Gone With the Wind” heir leaves estate & 50% trademark share to Church

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 17, 2012

Apropos for the item is another famously Southern line by the Allman Brothers Band:
“You can’t take it with you, everybody knows. You can’t take it with you when you go.”

Can’t Take It With You
BMI work #177287
By Richard Forrest “Dicky” Betts- BMI – 56772062
Don Johnson – NA – 0
EMI BLACKWOOD MUSIC INC – BMI – 223437493
PANGOLA PUBLISHING

Mitchell Heir Leaves Estate To Archdiocese

GRETCHEN KEISER, Staff Writer

Published: August 16, 2012

ATLANTA—The Archdiocese of Atlanta has received a substantial gift from the estate of Margaret Mitchell’s nephew, Joseph, including a 50 percent share of the trademark and literary rights to “Gone With the Wind.”

The estate of Joseph Mitchell included a multi-million dollar bequest to the archdiocese and the donation of his home on Habersham Road in Atlanta.

One of two sons of Margaret Mitchell’s brother, Stephens, Joseph Mitchell died in October 2011. He was a member of the Cathedral of Christ the King and asked that, if possible, Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan as running mate; Damage Control begins

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan, ‘Brown Noser’? The Wikipedia Edit Wars Begin for Romney’s Running Mate

By Megan Garber

Aug 11 2012, 9:13 AM ET

Now that his candidacy is official, Paul Ryan’s Wikipedia page will become a battle ground.

Paul Ryan voted biggest HS Brown-Noser

Paul Ryan’s classmates vote him “Biggest ‘Brown-Noser.'” pic.twitter.com/P2DrIncJ Photo via Twitter via @ryanlizza – Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker, Contributor for CNN

In high school, Paul Ryan’s classmates voted him as his class’s “biggest ‘brown noser.'” This little tidbit is a source of delight for political opponents of the Wisconsin representative-turned-Romney-running mate; to his supporters, in general, it’s an irrelevant piece of youthful trivia.

But it’s also a tension that will play out, repeatedly, in the most comprehensive narrative we have about Paul Ryan as a person and a politician and a policy-maker: his Wikipedia page. Late last night, Politico reports — just as news of the Ryan choice leaked in the political press — the first substantial edit to that page removed an extant “brown noser” mention:

removing prom king and brown noser from article –see discussion on “talk” page

But then another user put the “brown noser” mention back in. Because: relevant!

And then another user removed it again, explaining:

Removed unnecessary statement from Early Life about … “Brown Noser.” This is not needed in article is not common in such brief survey sections.

As of this writing, “brown noser” stands. As does a maybe-mitigating piece of Ryan-as-high-schooler trivia: that he was also voted prom king. But that equilibrium could change, again, in an instant.

Now that Ryan’s confirmed, Read the rest of this entry »

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How to End This Depression

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

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

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

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

Why?

Because Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the private sector.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politics.

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

How to End This Depression

May 24, 2012

Paul Krugman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Support Schools & Private Enterprise, Drink Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Whiskey

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 9, 2012

Having apparently not blogged about this, I find myself remiss that I so negligently – if inadvertently – omitted this news story… which I’m about to bash.

Before I proceed however, Alabama‘s governor, Dr. Robert J. Bentley, MD (a retired dermatologist), when he was campaigning for the office, on Thursday, June 17, 2010 vowed that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.” To his credit, he has lived up to that vow, and has only accepted what is legally mandated – $1.00/month as representative, and has been reimbursed for minimal incidentals or travel-related expenses. The state’s records show he has collected about $2,100 in travel reimbursements during his term as governor. Alabama’s governor’s salary is about $112,000; and so far, as governor, he has only been paid $2 in salary.

Part of the irony of liquor, taxes and employment is that Dr. Bentley is a Southern Baptist. And for many years he has been a deacon at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa. As a denomination, Baptists are well-known and avowed tee-totalers, who continue to badmouth beverage alcohol. I suppose in some way, they could be considered modern Prohibitionists. But here, in this scenario, Alabamians – whose population is significantly Protestant – have enjoyed the jobs and money that making whiskey provides.

I suppose, however, that the irony is not lost on others, for the Amish grow tobacco, yet eschew its use. Similarly, many religious Afghanis (most who practice Islam) have grown marijuana and/or opium poppy to provide for their households, yet use neither. The discussion of the ethics of such decisions would be fascinating – at least it would be to me.

Now, on to the news.

It’s not the news, per se, but the atrocious writing which aggrieves me so.

Actually, the plant will be near Decatur, Alabama. More specifically, it will be located in the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex, along Alabama Highway 20 in Trinity, Alabama. The complex is located in Lawrence County, which is the adjacent county WEST of Morgan County.

Lawrence County, AL_overview

Location of Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex in Lawrence, County, Alabama

But this raises another question, and it is this: If someone wrote that New York was in Los Angeles, you’d think them insane, right?

Well, why then would you not think the same for those who make such egregious errors as is so blatantly displayed in the following headline, and story?

DAMN IT, MAN!

GET IT RIGHT!

And Read the rest of this entry »

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JPMorgan Chase CEO blames “Errors, Sloppiness & Bad Judgement” for $2B Credit Default Swap & Derivatives loss

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 10, 2012

Give particular attention to this sentence, which is found later in the article: “Bank executives, including Dimon, have argued for weaker rules and broader exemptions.”

Give attention also to the last paragraph of the second story: “Of course, this loss only goes to show how weak the Volcker Rule is: Dimon is adamant, and probably correct, in saying that Iksil’s bets were Volcker-compliant, despite the fact that they clearly violate the spirit of the rule. Now that we’ve entered election season, Congress isn’t going to step in to tighten things up — but maybe the SEC will pay more attention to Occupy’s letter, now. JP Morgan more or less invented risk management. If they can’t do it, no bank can. And no sensible regulator can ever trust the banks to self-regulate.”

Is there any remaining argument against deregulating banks?

Is there any remaining argument against re-instituting the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated Banks, Insurance & Wall Street and forbade them from commingling in each others’ businesses)?

Ahead of the Greek financial crisis – in which Goldman Sachs had a direct and unscrupulous role by hiding sales of financial vehicles from Greek, European & American regulators – German chancellor Angela Merkel said this at a March 5, 2010 press conference in Berlin with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, (ref: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a26n.U6qS6cU):

Credit-default swaps, where you insure your neighbor’s house just to destroy it and make money from it, that’s exactly what we have to curb.”  

Now, I wouldn’t expect you or the average reader to be knowledgeable about these things. Honestly, most folks aren’t. But that’s not a condemnation of you, dear reader. Rather, it is a statement acknowledging that banks, bankers, Wall Street types, and Insurance firms do not want to be regulated, and would rather operate free-willy-nilly – without any rules. You and I must  abide by rules. Why shouldn’t they? And as they have consistently demonstrated, they cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

For additional information on Goldman Sachs involvement in the Greek Debt Crisis, I refer you to this 02/08/2010 news item from German news magazine, Der Spiegel: “Greek Debt Crisis How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt,” By Beat Balzli.

JPMorgan Chase acknowledges $2 billion trading loss and ‘many errors’

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 10, 6:05 PM

JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, said Thursday that it lost $2 billion in the past six weeks in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the company takes with its own money.

The company’s stock plunged almost 7 percent in after-hours trading after the loss was announced. Other bank stocks, including Citigroup and Bank of America, suffered heavy losses as well.

“The portfolio has proved to be riskier, more volatile and less effective as an economic hedge than we thought,” CEO Jamie Dimon told reporters. “There were many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment.”

The trading loss is an embarrassment for a bank that came through the 2008 financial crisis in much better health than its peers. It kept clear of risky investments that hurt many other banks.

The loss came in a portfolio of the complex financial instruments known as derivatives, and in a division of JPMorgan designed to help control its exposure to risk in the financial markets and invest excess money in its corporate treasury.

Bloomberg News reported in April that Read the rest of this entry »

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Pure Joy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 28, 2011

A few weeks back, I enjoyed an outing with a neighbor, and we later returned to make s’mores.
Honestly, the chocolately, marshmallow, graham cracker cookie treat is a fairly new thing for me, having discovered them less than a year ago, when they were introduced to me by another friend who was ecstatically telling me about how delicious they were.
Not being a big fan of marshmallows – I genuinely don‘t like them in any form – I reluctantly tried them.
Okay… no big whoop.
I still don’t like s’mores.
BUT!
This young lady obviously does!
Isn’t she the cutest?!?
Pure Joy

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BMW Tapped $3.6 Billion in Federal Reserve Funds During Financial Crisis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 3, 2010

BMW Head Quarters in Munich Germany.

BMW Headquarters, Munich, Germany - Image via Wikipedia

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, secured funds from the U.S. Federal Reserve during the financial crisis to boost liquidity as other sources dried up.

BMW’s largest transaction under the Fed’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility was for $3.62 billion on Jan. 30, 2009, according to data released yesterday. BMW made “intermittent” use of the Fed program for refinancing at a time when other forms of credit were frozen, Mathias Schmidt, a spokesman for the Munich-based automaker, said today.

“We tapped into this program in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis …Continue…

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Them’s FIGHTIN’ words! – Audio Post

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 6, 2010

Sometimes, you REALLY just have to wonder!

I wonder… was it an intersextion or intersection?

It was OUT there, to be certain.

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Half kilo of coffee

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ever notice how most coffee sold in the USA is 12 ounce size? This is marketed and sold in Germany.

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Good night, sleep tight; have pleasant dreams tonight.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, July 31, 2010

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Hey! Who ate my cheese?!?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 23, 2010

Breakfast of Champions with the King

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Murfreesboro, TN Civic Plaza

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

Also doubles as ampitheater

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Katydid, Katydead

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 1, 2010

It’s a dead bug.

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Eye of Round roast, vegetables

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 27, 2010

Served up. Everything was just fine! Vegetables had texture, and the meat was able to be pulled apart.

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Hamburgers and bread

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 26, 2010

Breakfast… for what it’s worth.

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God’s Gift to Your Morning

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 12, 2010

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I figured if I waited long enough, fortune would turn in my favor

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 4, 2010

Remember the other pic?

Sunrise in Alabama

I travelled to Murfreesboro, TN that morning for a 9AM appointment.

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Allahu Akbar! Terrorism Works! South Park Infidels stopped from mocking Muhammed.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thank you, Islamist extremists, for demonstrating that freedom isn’t free.

If there’s one thing you can’t tolerate, it’s tolerance.

I don’t watch South Park. On rare occasion, while “channel surfing,” I’ve passed through it, stopping only briefly. What I’ve seen has never impressed me.

Sure, there are folks whom enjoy the program, but I’m not one, and I never have been.

Most recently however, it has come to the attention of the people of the United States of America – sometimes also known as “the Great Satan” by Islamist extremists – and throughout the world, that some Muslims will kill you… if they don’t like what you say.

What a shame. What a damn, crying shame.

Before I continue, let me say this: …Continue…

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Wachovia Bank Guilty of Mexican Drug Money Laundering

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 18, 2010

For a root of all the evils is the love of money, which certain longing for did go astray from the faith, and themselves did pierce through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (YLT)

Wachovia Bank officials in Miami plead guilty to federal drug money laundering charges in Miami. As part of their agreement, the bank will forfeit $110,000,000 ($110 Million) and be fined $50,000,000 ($50 Million).

Federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, and Drug Enforcement Administration officials found detailed evidence supporting …Continue…

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