Friday, March 27, 2015

Charles C. Haynes: LGBT rights, religious freedom and the Utah miracle

  Whatever your faith or sexual orientation, what happened in Utah on March 12 should make you proud to be an American.

  That’s the day Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law groundbreaking legislation – Senate Bill 296 – protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment while also providing exemptions for religious institutions and protections for religious speech.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1450: Attacks on public education are mounting in Alabama

  Attacks on public education are mounting in Alabama. The attacks just keep coming. They come from different directions. They come in different forms. They come from different sources. The attacks on public education are mounting in Alabama.

  I personally know the power of public education. The public schools I attended were very separate and very unequal. However, without public education I would not have gone to school since my family of 15 was very poor (13 children, a mother and father). I certainly would not have graduated from high school or college or law school. I would not be serving in the Alabama Senate. I would not be writing this installment of Senate Sketches. Public education was one of the foundations of any success I may have achieved. The attacks on public education are mounting in Alabama.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Morris Dees: Fifty years later, we must rededicate ourselves to the Selma-to-Montgomery marchers' cause

  Fifty years ago today, I was standing near the steps of the Alabama Capitol when Dr. King spoke at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery March.

  It was a triumphant moment.

  The courage of those on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday had awakened the conscience of the nation and inspired people of good will from around the country to join in a great cause.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: Can the doctor cure the General Fund?

  Our good doctor governor, Robert Bentley, has done a thorough physical exam on the state’s finances and his diagnosis is that the General Fund needs additional revenue. His Republican comrades in the legislature have been trying to starve the patient for the past four years. If the patient is an analogy to the state government, the approach over the past four years has been to put the patient on a rigid diet of starvation and bleeding to death in pretty much the same way that George Washington’s doctors did in his day. The patient according to basic tenets of medicine or government should weigh about 180 pounds. The legislature has starved the patient/government to 120 pounds of skin and bones.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Michael Conathan: Tracking seafood from bait to plate

  “Is this local?”

  This question, posed by consumers in restaurants and food markets across the country, has become a ubiquitous catchphrase. It even served as the subject of the very first sketch on IFC’s uber-hipster comedy series “Portlandia.” The bit focused on a cloying couple so concerned with the premortem welfare of the chicken offered on a bistro’s menu that they ditched dinner to ride out to the farm and check the bird’s paperwork.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Michael Josephson: Good karma

  I get lots of emails containing words of wisdom. I appreciate every one of them, but one time I got a real keeper. Here are 17 incredibly powerful observations attributed to the Dalai Lama worth posting on your bathroom mirror. Learn them and live them. They will improve your life.

1. Follow the three Rs: respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for your actions.

2. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Senate Sketches #1449: How we made it over: 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

  When our children’s children ask, “What mean ye these stones? You can tell them how you made it over." These are words from the Biblical Book of Joshua. They refer to the way the children of Israel miraculously crossed over the Jordan River on dry land to enter the Promised Land. I cite this passage to ask the question, “What mean ye these happenings at the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the 1965 Voting Rights Act?” I also want to tell how we made it over.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Richard M. Ebeling: Americans see big corruption in big business

  A recently released report on the degree of confidence that Americans have in the country’s leading political and economic institutions shows that few of these institutions are held in high regard by the public.

  The survey was conducted by NORC, a respected research organization at the University of Chicago. It was found that only 11 percent of those asked expressed significant confidence in the institution of the presidency of the United States. About 23 percent of the citizenry expressed positive confidence in the Supreme Court. But, seemingly, no one has confidence in the United States Congress. Only seven percent of Democrats and five percent of Republicans expressed any great deal of confidence in the legislative branch of the federal government.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paul Larkin: Justice Department giving away the public’s money to third-party interests

  For the past decade, the U.S. Justice Department has engaged in the dubious practice of giving away the public’s money when it settles a case, by sometimes conditioning a settlement on a company’s agreement to donate money to a third party of the government’s (or the defendant’s) choosing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: A few things Alabama's doing well

  Alabama may be in the lower tier of the country in some categories but not when it comes to providing health insurance for children. In that one category we excel.

  Brian Lyman with the Montgomery Advertiser provided an excellent study revealing that Alabama leads the south in taking care of its young people when it comes to giving them health coverage. A recent Georgetown University study showed that Alabama leads the south when it comes to healthcare for children. Remarkably we are ranked in the top 10 states in America.