Thursday, September 24, 2020

Hank Sanders: Sketches #1737 - Whatever you count, that’s what you will have the most of

  My mother, Ola Mae Sanders, was a very wise woman. She had a seventh-grade education, but she was wise way beyond her schooling. She was a poor person, but she was wise way beyond her poverty. She had a bunch of children, but she was wise way beyond her huge family of fifteen. She was just a very wise woman with many wise sayings. One such saying was, Whatever you count, that’s what you will have the most of.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - All politics is local

  With it being a presidential election year, an election for one of our United States Senate seats, and all of the interest that goes along with those high-profile contests, it has gone under the radar that most of our cities in the state had elections for mayor and city council seats last month. Mayors serve four-year terms, and to most Alabamians, they are the most important votes they will cast this year.  

  The job of mayor of a city is a difficult and intricate fulltime, 24-hours-a-day dedication to public service. They make more decisions that affect the lives of their friends and neighbors than anyone else. The old maxim, “All politics is local,” is epitomized in the role of mayor. Folks, being mayor of a city is where the rubber meets the road.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Can Trump and McConnell get through the 4 steps to seat a Supreme Court justice in just 6 weeks?

  United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, thrusting the acrimonious struggle for control of the Supreme Court into public view.

  President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have already vowed to nominate and confirm a replacement for the 87-year-old justice and women’s rights icon.

  This contradicts the justification the Republican-controlled Senate used when they refused to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s pick for the Court after the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped shape the modern era of women’s rights – even before she went on the Supreme Court

  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, the Supreme Court announced.

  Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement that “Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature.”

  Even before her appointment, she had reshaped American law. When he nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, President Bill Clinton compared her legal work on behalf of women to the epochal work of Thurgood Marshall on behalf of African-Americans.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Vaccine mandates vs. religious beliefs – the legal arguments for the upcoming coronavirus lawsuits

  The longer COVID-19 rages on, the more the United States appears to be hanging its hopes on the development and rapid, mass distribution of a vaccine.

  Getting a safe and effective vaccine out to the public could be a game-changer health experts believe. But stopping the virus’s spread will only happen if enough people choose – or are required – to get vaccinated.

  But while some people may see it as their “patriotic duty” to get vaccinated, others won’t.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Bridging America’s divides requires a willingness to work together without becoming friends first

  Amid two crises – the pandemic and the national reckoning sparked by the killing of George Floyd – there have been anguished calls for Americans to come together across lines of race and partisanship. Change would come, a USA Today contributor wrote, only “when we become sensitized to the distress of our neighbors.”

  Empathy born of intimacy was the pre-pandemic solution to the nation’s fractured political landscape. If Americans could simply get to know one another, to share stories and appreciate each other’s struggles, civic leaders argued, we would develop a sense of understanding and empathy that would extend beyond the single encounter.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Faith and politics mix to drive evangelical Christians’ climate change denial

  U.S. Christians, especially evangelical Christians, identify as environmentalists at very low rates compared to the general population. According to a Pew Research Center poll from May 2020, while 62% of religiously unaffiliated U.S. adults agree that the Earth is warming primarily due to human action, only 35% of U.S. Protestants do – including just 24% of white evangelical Protestants.

  Politically powerful Christian interest groups publicly dispute the climate science consensus. A coalition of major evangelical groups, including Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, launched a movement opposing what they describe as “the false worldview” of environmentalism, which supposedly is “striving to put America, and the world, under its destructive control.”

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Trump’s law-and-order campaign relies on a historic American tradition of racist and anti-immigrant politics

  The Republican Party made it clear in its national convention that it intends to make restoring “law and order” central to this fall’s presidential campaign.

  As he did when he first ran in 2016, President Donald Trump highlighted law and order in his 2020 acceptance speech.

  “Your vote,” Trump said, “will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans and whether … we will defend the American way of life or allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - The presidential race is underway

  Now that the national political party conventions are over and the nominees have been coronated, the battle royale for the White House is in full throttle. The nominees, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, will shatter the age barrier. Whoever is elected will be the oldest person ever elected president. If Donald Trump is reelected, he will be 75 when sworn in.  If Joe Biden wins, he will be close to 79.  When I was a young man, folks at that age were in the nursing home... if they were alive. By comparison, 60 years ago when John Kennedy was elected, he was 42.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Monuments ‘expire’ – but offensive monuments can become powerful history lessons

  Historical monuments are intended to be timeless, but almost all have an expiration date. As society’s values shift, the legitimacy of monuments can and often does erode.

  This is because monuments – whether statues, memorials, or obelisks – reveal the values of the time in which they were created and advance the agendas of their creators.