Sunday, July 15, 2018

Three reasons why you should care about occupational licensing reform

  During my years working in public policy, there have been a handful of issues that have gotten me fired up. Typically when I tell people about them, they have some level of understanding—a state lottery, education and school choice, taxes and budgets, things like that. These days, when I’m asked about the issue I most care about and I say “occupational licensing reform,” I’m often met with blank stares. Once I start explaining the issue, however, people start to understand why it is so important, not just to me, but to all Alabamians.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Does it really matter that Americans don’t know exactly what the First Amendment says?

  The majority of Americans are supportive of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment but are also unaware of exactly what those rights are, according to the recently released 2018 State of the First Amendment survey by the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute.

  When asked if the First Amendment goes too far in the rights that it protects, more than three-fourths of Americans disagree. That’s fairly good news, but it’s somewhat tempered by the fact that a third of Americans cannot name a single freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Another third can only name one. Only one survey respondent out of a sample of 1,009 could name all five. And 9 percent of Americans think that the First Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. (For the record, that’s the Second Amendment.)

Friday, July 13, 2018

U.S. dictatorial fangs at the World Cup

  In his Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821, entitled “In Search of Monsters to Destroy,” John Quincy Adams warned the American people that if the U.S. government ever became an imperial, interventionist government, it would inevitably become like a dictatorial regime.

  A good example of how right Adams has been shown to be has occurred during the World Cup matches. The dictatorial nature of the U.S. government came through loud and clear in the case of Rafael Martinez, a star soccer player on the Mexican team.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1622 - I’ve got independence on my mind!

  Independence is powerful, and there are many dimensions to independence. I have independence on my mind, my heart, and my spirit. So I want to share several personal experiences involving independence. I've got independence on my mind.

  There is our internal independence. There is our external independence. Each will affect the other. However, they are very different. We must understand both. We must seek both.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse – Primary runoffs next week

  Well, folks, if you voted in the Republican primary, you may want to go back to the polls next week and finish selecting the GOP nominees for several important state offices. If you are a Democrat, the only reason you will need to vote on Tuesday is if you have a runoff in a local race, and there are very few of those around.

  We are still a very red Republican state. There are 29 elected statewide officials in Alabama.  All 29 are Republicans. When all the votes are counted in November, that 29 out of 29 figure will more than likely remain the same in the Heart of Dixie. The Blue wave has not reached here. There were twice as many Republican voters, 590,000 to 283,000, as Democratic voters on June 5. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons

  With North Korea accusing Secretary of State (and former CIA Director) Mike Pompeo of engaging in a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,” it should be increasingly obvious to most everyone that North Korea is not going to destroy its nuclear bombs.

  This should not surprise anyone. The dumbest thing that North Korea could ever do is to destroy its nuclear capability. One thing is for sure: No matter how brutal North Korea’s communist regime is, it’s not stupid. The North Koreans know that the second that they were to destroy their last nuclear bomb, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and his communist regime would become one great big nothing-burger in the eyes of President Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Seeing the power of compassion, hope, and work first-hand

  Three years ago, I had the privilege of visiting South America for the first time. During my stay, I—along with the rest of my group—met a family whose story broke our hearts.

  Led by a single mother, the family lived in an aluminum-roofed and mud-filled house in the middle of a village town square, right between two churches. Her adult children still lived with her in their home: one blind and two deaf, blind, and intellectually disabled. Their abusive father abandoned them long ago.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Survey reveals people believe in media as watchdog

  The most encouraging part of the 2018 State of the First Amendment survey is the public’s embrace of the ideal of the media serving as the watchdog of a free society. The American public recognizes the essential importance of a vibrant and free press to serve the interests of the public as a check against government.

  According to the survey, nearly three-fourths of those surveyed (73%) either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement – “It is important for our democracy that the news media act as a watchdog on government.”

Saturday, July 7, 2018

‘The Rosa Parks of the transgender movement’

  It’s an open question whether Sylvia Rivera left home or was thrown out. Either way, she said she was relieved to be rid of the “viejita” – or little old lady – who was embarrassed by the child she considered an effeminate grandson.

  Rivera, whose mother died and father abandoned her, was finally on her own. She was only 11 years old.

  By the time she was 17, she would be well on her way to becoming, as one writer would later call her, “the Rosa Parks of the modern transgender movement.”

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Supreme Court’s deference to the Pentagon

  Imagine a county sheriff that took a suspected drug-law violator into custody more than 10 years ago. Since then, the man has been held in jail without being given a trial. The district attorney and the sheriff promise to give the man a trial some time in the future but they’re just not sure when. Meanwhile, the man sits in jail indefinitely just waiting for his trial to begin.

  Difficult to imagine, right? That’s because most everyone would assume that a judge would never permit such a thing to happen. The man’s lawyer would file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. A judge would order the sheriff to produce the prisoner and show cause why the prisoner shouldn’t immediately be released from custody. At the habeas corpus hearing, the judge would either order the release of the prisoner based on the violation of his right to a speedy trial, or he would order the state to either try him or release him.