Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Keep a weather eye on the horizon – a legal storm is brewing

  I don’t know if you’ve ever had the displeasure of being at sea when a major storm develops. It is disconcerting to say the least. As the deck pitches and rolls, the mental review of the all-hands disaster planning takes place in the mind. Pulling into a safe harbor and putting feet on dry land is a multi-layered relief.

  In Alabama, we have a legal storm brewing on the horizon, and businesses, churches, hospitals, and non-profits are all sailing directly into the maelstrom.

Monday, August 3, 2020

To reduce world hunger, governments need to think beyond making food cheap

  According to a new United Nations report, global rates of hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. The report estimates that in 2019, 690 million people – 8.9% of the world’s population – were undernourished. It predicts that this number will exceed 840 million by 2030.

  If you also include the number of people who the U.N. describes as food insecure, meaning that they have trouble getting access to food, over 2 billion people worldwide are in trouble. This includes people in wealthy, middle-income, and low-income countries.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Black Lives Matter meets the moment

  After a neighborhood watch captain killed unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, I spent hours watching the media coverage. I turned to social media, posting, retweeting, and sharing my outrage at this senseless act that prematurely took a young man’s life.

  Like many others, I changed my profile picture to a selfie in a hoodie, like the one Trayvon was wearing when he was killed – a sign of solidarity with those who knew his murder should never have happened.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Empire kidnapping on American streets

  Lest any observer refuse at this late date to acknowledge that the full weight of the police state is pressed on the American citizenry’s neck, let the recent developments in Portland, Oregon settle the debate conclusively.

  Unidentified federal police are now snatching American citizens off the streets of Portland. Their victims receive no due process because the proceedings are entirely extrajudicial – no warrants, no Miranda warnings, no phone calls to lawyers.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Research on voting by mail says it’s safe – from fraud and disease

  As millions of Americans prepare to vote in November – and in many cases, primaries and state and local elections through the summer as well – lots of people are talking about voting by mail. It is a way to protect the integrity of the country’s voting system and to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, which continues to spread widely in the U.S.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Black deaths matter: The centuries-old struggle to memorialize slaves and victims of racism

  In an open lot just a block or so from where George Floyd was killed while being detained by officers, 100 plastic headstones were carefully placed.

  Created by artists Anna Barber and Connor Wright, the “Say Their Names Cemetery” sprung up in south Minneapolis in early June as protests over police brutality prompted a more wide-ranging conversation over the legacy of slavery and racism in the United States.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - Conventions will be anticlimactic

  The presidential race is on. It will be incumbent Republican Donald Trump vs. former Vice President and 36-year veteran Democrat, Delaware U.S. Senator Joe Biden in the November 3rd General Election.

  Both men have clinched their parties’ nominations. Therefore, the Democratic National Convention, July 31-August 2, and the Republican National Convention set for August 25-28, will be anticlimactic. It is doubtful that either convention will break any television rating records.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Three principles for reopening schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

  For months, parents and educators have worried about whether or not schools will be able to reopen safely this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. State and local officials have struggled to balance competing priorities and answer complicated logistical, educational, and public health questions. For the safety of students, families, and educators, science must drive these decisions. Yet recently, President Donald Trump began a politically-driven pressure campaign to force schools to physically reopen across the country. Over the past several months, the Trump administration should have been providing resources and assistance to local leaders that would help them implement social distancing, provide personal protective equipment, and plan for a safe reopening. Instead, President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have undermined guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an apparent attempt to deflect criticism over the administration’s failure to contain the COVID-19 crisis.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Russian cyberthreat extends to coronavirus vaccine research

  A Russian cyberespionage group that hacked into election networks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now attempting to steal coronavirus vaccine information from researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. The governments of those three countries issued a warning on July 16 saying that the group known as APT29 or “Cozy Bear” is targeting vaccine development efforts. The group, which is connected with the FSB, Russia’s internal security service, had gotten inside the Democratic National Committee networks prior to the 2016 election.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Constitution doesn’t have a problem with mask mandates

  Many public health professionals and politicians are urging or requiring citizens to wear face masks to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  Some Americans have refused, wrongly claiming that mask decrees violate the Constitution. An internet search turns up dozens of examples.

  “Costco Karen,” for instance, staged a sit-in in a Costco entrance in Hillsboro, Oregon after she refused to wear a mask, yelling “I am an American … I have rights.”