Saturday, August 18, 2018

Common roots of the wars on immigrants and drugs

  I just read a very insightful article about the history of the war on drugs, entitled “How America Convinced the World to Demonize Drugs” by J.S. Rafaeli. The central theme of the article is that while nations around the world have their own particular drug laws and drug wars, the overall originator and instigator of the global war on drugs is the U.S. government.

  What particularly fascinated me about the article, however, was the way it showed how the war on drugs originally intersected with the war on immigrants.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1627 - The frightening force of a powerful personality

  “Why do all these people believe Trump? It’s obvious that he lies all the time. They have documented his lying more than 3000 times in the year and a half he has been president. It makes no sense!” I get some form of this question very often. I may not answer the question, but I address it. I think it’s the frightening force of a powerful personality.

  During the election, one of my grandchildren by foster relationship was a Trump supporter. I talked with him on several occasions. He is well over voting age. Each time my grandchild agreed that it made no sense to support Trump for president. However, the next time I would talk to him, he would be supporting Trump for president.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Craig Ford: Every school should have a school resource officer

  Now that school has started back, a lot of attention has been given to the issue of school safety and security.

  Concerns over school safety and, particularly, the possibility of a mass shooting are nothing new. Though the Columbine massacre that happened nearly 20 years ago was not the first school shooting, it became the first in a wave of shootings that has plagued this country right up to the shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe just a few months ago.

  That’s why most school systems throughout Alabama used the summer months to improve school safety by tapping into funds that the Alabama Legislature unearmarked earlier this year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Inside the Statehouse – Brett Kavanaugh to SCOTUS assures Trump a legacy

  The appointment of a United States Supreme Court Justice is one of the most profound legacies that a U. S. President can achieve. The opportunity that President Donald Trump was given to appoint Neil Gorsuch to the High Tribunal last year will be a monumental achievement of the Trump administration.

  The chance to name a second Supreme Court appointment will be a colossal legacy for the Trump presidency. The appointment of two seats on the Supreme Court has given Trump an indelible place in U.S. presidential history.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Trump’s war on Turkey for Pastor Brunson

  Every year, thousands of American citizens are incarcerated in foreign countries. Yet, President Trump has decided to go to war to secure the release of only one of them. What gives with that?

  The citizen who is receiving the privileged treatment is Andrew Brunson, an American pastor incarcerated in Turkey. He is charged with participating in an attempted coup in 2016 against Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Learning fiscal responsibility from the fall of MoviePass

  One year ago, a relatively-unknown company announced that, for a monthly fee of $9.95, subscribers could see one movie a day without paying anything at the box office. That’s right – even though the average movie ticket in the U.S. is $9 – a $9.95 monthly subscription could get you into 31 movies.

  Since last August, three million film-goers have subscribed to MoviePass, the company offering this seemingly too-good-to-be-true service.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh threatens Americans’ fundamental right to vote

  Last week marked the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). In the years since the VRA’s enactment, however, its protections have not gone unchallenged. In a 2013 decision in Shelby v. Holder, a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the VRA, a provision that prevented certain jurisdictions from unilaterally manipulating their voting policies and procedures. This ruling allowed legislators to enact discriminatory laws that make voting more difficult for both people of color and low-income Americans. With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy this past July, it is essential that the Senate demand a fair, independent nominee who will defend the fundamental rights of Americans.

  Brett M. Kavanaugh is not that nominee. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a willingness to turn a blind eye to voter suppression and racial discrimination. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Americans will almost certainly face further erosion of their voting rights.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1626 - Injustice is rolling

  Injustice. Injustice. Injustice. Injustice is rolling down like rivers of waters and unrighteousness like a mighty stream. No, I did not make a mistake and put “injustice” where I should have put “justice” or “unrighteousness” where I should have put “righteousness.” No, I am not talking about Biblical times when the prophet Amos lived. Injustice is rolling down like rivers of waters.

  I am not talking about far off places. I am not talking about far-off times. I am not talking about Africa, South America, Asia, etc. I am not talking about past times of slavery and segregation. I am talking about right now. I am talking about right here in Selma, Alabama.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Rollback of EPA clean car standards will cost you at least $500 a year

  On August 2, the Trump administration proposed rolling back the clean car standards, Obama-era regulations that require new cars for model years 2017-2025 to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. In addition to the environmental impact that has already been reported by the New York Times and the Washington Post—which could be massive, since cars and trucks account for 45 percent of U.S. oil consumption and 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—this rollback will be expensive for the American public.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Who owns your body?

  Norma Brickey, an eighty-two-year-old mother, has been driving the streets of Columbus, Ohio, with a sign in her car window reading, “My son needs a kidney, O positive,” followed by her phone number. Both she and another of her sons have had kidney transplants. All three suffer from polycystic kidney disease, a condition in which cysts form on the kidneys.

  Her son who is still waiting for a kidney transplant goes to dialysis for four hours and then goes to his job as a nurse for 12 hours. He has been on dialysis for almost two years. “This is the year I’m going to find him a kidney,” says his mother. She doesn’t “make extra trips for people to see the sign.” She just does her errands, and almost every day gets a call.