Friday, July 3, 2020

Craig Ford: Solving Alabama’s unemployment crisis is a matter of patriotism

  Patriotism is at the top of my mind these days as we prepare for this weekend’s Fourth of July celebrations. I feel a great sense of pride in our nation, even though I often disagree with political leaders at various levels of government.

  You can love your country and love many things about your country but still see problems and areas where we can do better as a city, state, or nation. And one of the areas where we seem to be struggling in Alabama is with our unemployment situation.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

How racism in the US health system hinders care and costs lives of African Americans

  As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the U.S., the virus hit African Americans disproportionately hard. African Americans are still contracting the illness – and dying from it – at rates twice as high as would be expected based on their share of the population.

  In Michigan, African Americans are only 14% of the population but account for one-third of the state’s COVID-19 cases and 40% of its deaths.

  In some states, the disparities are even more stark. Wisconsin and Missouri have infection and mortality rates three or more times greater than expected based on their share of the population.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - GOP Senate Runoff in less than two weeks

  Folks, we are less than two weeks away from the election contest for the U.S. Senate seat. The runoff between former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville may be close and will definitely be interesting.

  The two conservatives were in a virtual dead heat in the March 3rd GOP Primary. Congressman Bradley Byrne (1st District) finished a strong third.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Seven years after Shelby County vs. Holder, voter suppression permeates the South

  JoAnne Bland was only 12 when she collapsed in horror on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965. State troopers were brutalizing people all around her – including her sister – with tear gas, clubs, whips, and rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire, simply because they sought the right to vote.

  Television footage of the “Bloody Sunday” attack sparked national outrage, galvanized public opinion in favor of Black suffrage, and mobilized Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

  Bemoaning uneven individual and state compliance with public health recommendations, top U.S. COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci recently blamed the country’s ineffective pandemic response on an American “anti-science bias.” He called this bias “inconceivable,” because “science is truth.” Fauci compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to “anti-vaxxers” in their “amazing” refusal to listen to science.

  It is Fauci’s profession of amazement that amazes me. As well-versed as he is in the science of the coronavirus, he’s overlooking the well-established science of “anti-science bias,” or science denial.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Devil in the detail of SCOTUS ruling on workplace bias puts LGBTQ rights and religious freedom on collision course

  The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling extending workplace discrimination protection to cover sexual orientation and gender identity was cheered by LGBTQ people and allies. Indeed, the June 15 decision represents a big win in the fight for LGBTQ equality.

  But buried towards the end of a 33-page majority opinion written by conservative stalwart Justice Neil Gorsuch is a sober warning that those celebrating the decision might have initially missed.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The need for education reform didn’t die with the defeat of Amendment One

  When voters defeat a proposed state amendment, it is often thought that the matter is put to rest. That is often the case, but when Alabama’s voters went to the polls in March and shot down a proposal to replace the elected state board of education in favor of one appointed by the governor, they only answered the question of the board’s composition.

  They did not answer the deeper problem of the board’s accomplishment.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Don’t rename those military bases. Close them instead.

  A controversy has erupted over the naming of U.S. military bases here in the United States. The bases are named after Confederate generals and there are people who want to change that. They want the bases to be named for more politically correct military figures.

  I’ve got a better idea: Let’s not rename the bases. Let’s close them instead.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Can people spread the coronavirus if they don’t have symptoms?

  Screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-quarantine are good at preventing sick people from spreading the coronavirus. But more and more evidence is suggesting that people without symptoms are spreading the virus too. Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, explains what is known about asymptomatic spread and why she thinks it may be a big part of what is driving the pandemic.

What does it mean to be asymptomatic?

  SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – can produce a range of clinical manifestations.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - How has the coronavirus affected Alabama politics?

  As we end the first half of 2020, there is no doubt that the coronavirus is the story of the year. The coronavirus saga of 2020 and its devastation of the nation’s and state’s economic well-being may be the story of the decade.

  How has the coronavirus affected Alabama politics? The answer is negligibly, if at all. The Republican Primary Runoff to determine the nominee for the junior U.S. Senate seat was postponed by the epidemic. It is set for July 14, which is right around the corner. The race between Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions should be close and interesting.