Monday, September 1, 2014

Daniel Kochis: U.S. allies should do more to confront ISIS

  Make no mistake, ISIS’s methodical march of savagery across the Middle East threatens more than the religious and ethnic minorities caught in its path. The United States and its allies, especially those in the region, have every reason to be concerned about the human cost of allowing ISIS to roam freely.

  Any rational person must be disgusted by the cold-blooded murders (often by truly heinous methods), forced conversions, rape, pillaging, and plunder perpetrated by this Islamist army. The refugee crisis grows by the day; thousands of Yazidis and Christians remain trapped on Mount Sinjar in north-western Iraq. Shiite and Yazidi holy sites and Christian churches have been destroyed. It appears that even the dead will not be spared, as ISIS reportedly destroyed the tomb of the prophet Jonah revered among Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Michael Josephson: Excellence is achievable

  As I watched nearly five dozen eager graduates of the Los Angeles Police Academy throw their hats in the air celebrating their achievement, I knew they were the survivors of a rigorous training, and that their journey wasn’t over.

  Ahead of them would be a full year of supervised field training, and it’s unlikely all of them would make it through their probation.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jacob G. Hornberger: The Murder of James Foley

  In response to the Islamic State’s execution of American journalist James Foley, President Obama referred to Foley’s killers as a “cancer.” That, of course, implies that anti-American terrorism is like a disease, one that strikes at nations willy-nilly, without rhyme or reason.

  Obama’s cancer metaphor for ISIS brings to mind what President Bush said about al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks — that the terrorists were motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1420: Acting in faith

  We spoke in faith. We prayed in faith. We sang in faith. We marched in faith. It is the same faith the children of Israel had when they marched around the impregnable walls of Jericho some 3,500 years ago and the walls came tumbling down.

  We spoke in faith. We prayed in faith. We sang in faith. We marched in faith. It is the same faith of which the children of Birmingham spoke, prayed, sang and marched with some fifty years ago and the walls of legal segregation came tumbling down.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: Fobbed in ‘78

  The 1978 Alabama governor’s race between the three heavyweights, former Governor Albert Brewer, Attorney General Bill Baxley, and Lt. Governor Jere Beasley, was expected to be titanic. All three men had last names beginning with the letter “B.” The press coined the phrase “the three B’s.” The Republicans were relegated to insignificance on the gubernatorial stage. The winner of the Democratic Primary would be governor.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sam Fulwood III: Will the troubles in Ferguson point toward a new way forward?

  Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself by writing a presumptuous summation of the turmoil roiling the streets of suburban St. Louis. After all, it’s been just a few weeks since the fateful moment when a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. How can I be certain this event and its immediate aftermath will yield historical significance?

  Well, I can’t. Yet I’m compelled to look ahead, hoping there is greater meaning in the death, destruction, and despair of today’s news. The future has to be better. So I trust that what’s happening in the street-level conflicts and clashes in Ferguson are the birthing pains of a new American social order, one that will be more inclusive of all voices and not defined exclusively by predominately white political, economic, or military wishes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Charles C. Haynes: ‘Cross at Ground Zero’: History lesson or state religion?

  At a time when Americans are deeply divided over the meaning of “separation of church and state,” a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week provides a much-needed case study in how the First Amendment’s establishment clause is supposed to work.

  In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel dismissed a challenge by atheists to the display of a cross-shaped beam at the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero in New York City.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Richard Garrett: The Alabama Legislature must respond to tort liability expansion

  Last Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court denied a rehearing in the case of Wyeth v. Weeks. This let stand a holding that name-brand drug manufacturers can be held liable for alleged misrepresentations or failures to warn in regard to generic drugs that they did not manufacture or distribute. The Court’s reasoning is shared by a very small minority of courts, both federal and state. To quote Justice Murdock in his dissent:

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.