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Barbara Bush. 1925 – 2018.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away this past week and was laid to rest yesterday.

(Courtesy AF Branco at Comically Incorrect.)

The quote in Branco’s cartoon is from a commencement address Mrs. Bush gave to the 1990 graduating class of Wellesley College. Her appearance there would not be without controversy:

According to [Edward] McNally, a presidential speechwriter called to the East Wing to join the first lady’s team in preparing for graduation season, the address she would give at Wellesley was essentially the same as she would give at St. Louis University and other schools that year.

But Wellesley would be different. Students there had voted to invite African American writer Alice Walker, who declined. After Bush was announced, some seniors complained. Bush may have been a Smithie, but she had dropped out at 19 to marry a patrician young Navy pilot named George H.W. Bush. Not quite the Wellesley way, 150 of them said in a petition protesting the choice.

“To honor Barbara Bush as a commencement speaker is to honor a woman who has gained recognition through the achievements of her husband, which contravenes what we have been taught over the last four years at Wellesley,” it read.

The controversy grew. President Bush publicly defended his wife’s life choices. Pundits weighed in and Barbara Bush, who had never been a lightning rod, found herself at the center of a national debate about the nature of feminism that would continue for decades.

As you listen and watch the speech, you can see in Barbara Bush a certain class and grace that seems to be missing in politics and the public eye today. Instead of being vindictive and attacking those who had attacked her, she “flipped the script” and acknowledged the protests and then moved onto her message, refusing to be drawn into the trumped up controversy.

Her speech, her advice, and her exhortations are the stuff of legend.

(Transcript can be found here.)

While we love the quote above, we also love the advice and humor in the end of her speech:
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Skim Milk Revisited.

Stop us if you heard this one before: government agency requires dairy to label milk from a cow as an “imitation dairy product.”

If you have been paying attention and following this blog for a little bit, you may remember that in 2016 we covered the strange case of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services (DACS) outlawed a farm that skimed the fat off of their milk creating “skim milk” from labeling the milk as “skim milk” because the DACS was following federal guidelines that say that if a creamery removes the fat from milk, it must also add vitamin A and D back into the milk. It is somewhat important to note that the DACS was following Federal Department of Agriculture guidelines on what could be called “skim milk.” The DACS did not have to follow those guidelines, but chose to do so.

For those creameries that are advertising their products to be “100% natural,” the labeling rule presents a problem in that the creamery cannot add the vitamins and claim to be “100% natural” (and they don’t want to add the vitamins) or their natural milk product had to be labeled as an “imitation milk product” under the law.

The folks at the Institute for Justice took up the case and after being denied by a local district court, they won on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit.

However, the ruling only applied to the State of Florida which brings us to the case of the South Mountain Creamery, a farm in western Maryland.

South Mountain has been legally selling its products in Maryland (which doesn’t have the ridiculous labeling requirements) and wanted to expand their market into Pennsylvania. Upon writing Pennsylvania officials, South Mountain was told that Pennsylvania labeling law is the same as the Maryland law but there was a problem.

Because the milk would be crossing state lines the milk would have to comply with federal labeling standards – the ones that require the natural skim milk to be labeled as “imitation milk” or “imitation dairy product.”

The owner of South Mountain Creamery, Randy Sowers, is taking the FDA to court and like the farm in Florida, is being represented by the Institute for Justice.

Now Randy is taking steps to stop the FDA’s ban of honest labels. He is suing the FDA in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania for violating his constitutional right to free speech.

This means, of course, that federal tax dollars will be used to defend a non-nonsensical rule that was made by an unelected official in some back room years ago.
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Yes, Socialized Medicine Can Be This Stupid.

We are almost at a loss for words.

This is the new policy for England’s National Health Service:

Biological women who legally define themselves as men will not be routinely scanned for breast and cervical cancer, even if they retain these organs and remain at risk, the National Health Service (NHS) has said.

However, at the same time, biological men who regard themselves as women are being invited for cervical smear tests – even though it is impossible for them to have a cervix – an official guidebook states.

The guidelines, which will put lives at risk and encourage a physically impossible test on non-existent organs, have been introduced to avoid “triggering gender dysphoria” in the transgendered, NHS material indicates.

All women aged 50 to 70 who are registered as a female with their GP are automatically invited to breast screening every three years, and the practice is thought to save more than a thousand lives a year.

“If you are a trans man [biological woman]… you won’t be routinely invited for breast screening. We recommend you consider having breast screening if you have not had chest reconstruction (top surgery) or still have breast tissue,” the document reads.

Go ahead and try and explain how the science of medicine should bow down to some sort of political correctness and “feelings” because we don’t understand.

And yes, it is all about “feelings,” and not science:
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Twitter Engineers To “Ban a Way of Talking” Through “Shadow Banning”

This is a case where a private company is free to do whatever they wish when it comes to content.

However, the morally and ethically correct thing to do is to tell people that you are banning or preventing their content from reaching people.

That’s not what Twitter is doing. In this undercover video, Twitter engineers say they are actively “shadow banning” content from people which allows the tweet to appear in their stream that they can see, but no one else can see it.

Frankly, this is rather despicable.

In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, eight current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

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Boom.

One of the premises of a tax cut is that it allows the taxed person or company to spend more money, which in turn helps the economy grow.

As proof, here’s what has happened with some businesses since the passage of the Republican / Trump tax plan:

Gee, that was fast. Just one day after the tax bill was finally passed, companies were already scrambling to do things with their money. It’s an impressive list and, no doubt, not comprehensive:

AT&T’s CEO said the company will hand out bonuses of $1,000 to more than 200,000 of its workers in the U.S., thanks to tax reform.
Comcast NBCUniversal, not to be outdone, also handed out a special bonus of $1,000 to more than 1,000 employees, thanks to “passage of tax reform and the FCC’s action on broadband.”
Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg said his company will spend $300 million, with $100 million going to charity, $100 million for workforce development (including training and education for Boeing workers), and $100 million for “workplace of the future” infrastructure.
Fifth Third Bankcorp said it will give 13,500 employees a bonus and lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Wells Fargo also raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and said it would donate $400 million to community and nonprofit groups in 2018.
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Ellis, Loans, County Commission And Blue Origin.

Yesterday, the County Commission took up an interesting topic of whether it could borrow $8 million dollars to give to Blue Origin as an incentive to establish a facility here in Brevard County.

Via Wikipedia:

Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos with its headquarters in Kent, Washington. The company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work. The company motto is “Gradatim Ferociter”, Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously”. Blue Origin is developing a variety of technologies, with a focus on rocket-powered Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space. The company’s name refers to the blue planet, Earth, as the point of origin.

(Bezos himself is the richest man or second richest man on the face of the earth (depending on the value of stock he holds). In December, his net worth passed the $100 billion mark but has since dropped to just below the $100 billion level.)

When Blue Origin was looking for places to establish a facility, the North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ) hopped up and said “pick us.” To make the move, Blue Origin wanted $8 million dollars.

There were several problems. First, the NBEDZ didn’t have $8 million laying around. They would have had to borrow the money to pay Blue Origin. Problem 1A was that no financial institution would loan the NBEDZ the money. The NBEDZ came to the County Commission and basically said “Got $8 million to pay to Blue Origin?”
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Most Transparent Administration Evah Was More Corrupt Than People Could Imagine.

Politico has broken a story as to how the Obama administration blocked investigations into Hezbollah in order to make a deal with Iran – a deal that the Obama administration heralded as being great for peace in the world, but that Iran never intended to follow and has not followed.

The Politico story is long, but a must read for anyone who truly cares about the US and the depravity of Obama and those in his administration who supported him.

A global threat emerges
How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
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Commissioner’s Smith Request For Advertising Of “Censure Ordinance” Pulled From Agenda.

This past Saturday, we wrote a post on Commissioner Curt Smith’s request for funding for the advertising of a public hearing concerning his proposed “Censure Ordinance.”

The request popped up on the agenda that was revised at 9:39 AM on December 1, 2017.

This is a screen shot of that version of the agenda.

Yesterday, we got a notice from one of our ninjas that the item had been pulled from the agenda. Initially we could not find that to be true by going through the Brevard County Meeting Portal site, but the Clerk of the Courts site had an updated version of the agenda that was changed at 10:52 AM on December 4, 2017. A screen shot of the updated agenda is below.
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