Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1419: The Jericho Wall March

  Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down. This is a refrain from a Negro spiritual made famous by the late great Mahalia Jackson. This refrain came to mind as I contemplated an upcoming Jericho Wall March.

  The story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho is a powerful Biblical story of faith, unity, marching, crumbling walls and victory. We are currently in a Jericho moment. Therefore, we need the Joshua kind of faith, unity and moral action to bring down the modern day Jericho walls.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gene Policinski: Media and Missouri: What the heck is going on?

  What in the heck is going on with the police in Ferguson, Mo., and journalists?

  The St. Louis suburb has been the scene of peaceful protests and charged emotions, and nightly chaos and occasional looting, since the Aug. 9 shooting death of a black teenager, Michael Brown, by police officer Darren Wilson.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: Sympathy for the governor

  Albert Brewer began the writing of George Wallace’s political obituary by beating him in the first primary in 1970. However, Wallace arose from the grave by playing his ever-present race card. He trumped Brewer with the race issue in the primary runoff and came from behind to win, thus, resurrecting his political career. Wallace would be governor again for a third time.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Michael Josephson: Planned abandonment

  Management guru Peter Drucker advocated a practice he called planned abandonment. He stressed how important it is that managers develop the wisdom and courage to regularly review what their organization is doing and determine whether it’s worth doing. He urged executives to note and resist the systemic and emotional forces that make it difficult to abandon activities that drain resources, detract from central goals, or otherwise impede progress.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sam Fulwood III: Correcting the media’s skewed perspective

  Alarmed and frustrated by the news reports of a police officer shooting and killing an unarmed black teenager last weekend in a St. Louis suburb, C.J. Lawrence, an attorney from Jackson, Mississippi, monitored the horrific scenes as they unfolded on traditional and social media outlets. Through it all, Lawrence imagined what it might be like if he was the subject of the media’s unflinching stare.

  Eighteen-year-old Mike Brown was shot shortly after noon on Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, a predominately African American community of about 21,000 people just northwest of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Details surrounding the shooting remain sketchy, but the outrage is undeniable, sparking protests against the police. Some rioting and looting occurred on Sunday night, and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. More-peaceful protests took place Monday night as marchers challenged police with shouts of “Don’t shoot me!” Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened on Monday a civil rights inquiry into the shooting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1418: All we have to do is pass the test

  “When you are being tested, all you have to do is pass the test.” These are words of wisdom from my dear mother who passed on from this world seventeen years ago. I called up her words because I am being tested. You are being tested. We are being tested. We just have to remember that all we have to do is pass the test.

  It is painful for me to see where we are in Alabama and where we are headed. I see it on so many fronts: voting; health care; education; jobs; workers’ rights; women’s rights; immigration; civil justice; criminal justice; political extremism; etc. I don’t despair; I just tell myself that it’s a test, and all we have to do is pass the test.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: The epic Wallace vs. Brewer showdown

  Upon Lurleen Wallace’s death in May of 1968, Lt. Governor Albert Brewer moved up to the governorship. Brewer was no novice in state government. He came to the legislature from Morgan County at a very early age and rose quickly to become Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives during his second term. He won the 1966 lieutenant governor’s race against two state senators without a runoff.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Melissa Boteach: Reimagining our social contract

  Every year, the Bureau of the Census releases its estimate of how many Americans lived below the federal poverty line at a specific point in time during the previous year. For the past several years, the official poverty rate has remained steady at about 15 percent.

  Hearing this statistic, one might conclude that the same 15 percent of Americans remain stuck at the bottom, year in and year out, constituting the nation’s poor. But look beyond the point-in-time data, and you will find an important but rarely discussed fact: It is not the same 15 percent year after year.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Michael Josephson: Grocery store ethics

  You can tell a lot about people’s character by how they act at the grocery store. I remember being in a crowded store when there was a shortage of shopping carts. A prosperous-looking fellow was pushing a cart when another man stopped him.

  “Excuse me,” the second man said, “but this is my cart.”

  The first guy looked really annoyed. Instead of apologizing, he protested, “But someone took my cart.”

Friday, August 8, 2014

Brandon Demyan: Big government’s Uber problem

  As Birmingham continues its evolution to become a modern and relevant city, recent ordinances designed to make it difficult for food trucks, Uber, and other innovative businesses to operate are putting that vision in reverse.

  What is Uber?