Saturday, October 19, 2019

Eight things you need to know about poltergeists – just in time for Halloween

  Halloween is the time of year when interest in the paranormal peaks and people celebrate all things supernatural. Of particular fascination are stories and tales of ghosts and ghouls and poltergeists.

  The term poltergeist comes from the combining of two German words: poltern (crash) and geist (spirit or ghost). So in other words, a noisy or unruly ghost or spirit. Although less common than traditional hauntings, reports of poltergeist activity date back to the first century. In modern times the phenomenon has generated several major films and television programs.

  So with this in mind, here are the eight most important things you should know about poltergeists.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hank Sanders: Sketches #1687 - Forgiveness is powerful, but there is a strange sense of forgiveness in these United States of America

  Forgive. Forgiving. Forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness is strange. In whatever form, forgiveness is powerful. I believe strongly in forgiveness. I have spoken about forgiveness on many occasions. I have written about forgiveness on various occasions. I have shared my thoughts on forgiveness right here in Sketches. But there is a strange form of forgiveness in these United States of America.

  First, allow me to say several things about forgiveness. Forgiveness is really about the person doing the forgiving. It is not about the person who did wrong. The old African proverb frames the issue superbly: Not forgiving is like drinking poison and waiting on the person we refuse to forgive to die. Yes, yes, yes!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Craig Ford: Charter schools in Alabama continue national trend of waste, fraud and corruption

  One of the biggest arguments against charter schools is that they have been hotbeds of waste, fraud, and corruption. Nationally, charter schools have cost the taxpayers over $100 million in fraud and corruption.

  Now, Alabama has become the new victim of corruption and waste at the hands of charter schools.

  Nicole Ivey was the principal of LEAD Academy, the first charter school in Montgomery, until a few weeks ago. Ivey was fired after she raised questions about whether the school was following state laws that govern charter schools.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - Congressman Jack Edwards, an Alabama legend, passes away

  One of the most outstanding congressmen and leaders in Alabama history is Congressman Jack Edwards. He passed away three weeks ago at age 91.

  He was born with the full name of William Jackson Edwards, III. However, he was always known as Jack. Although he was renowned as a Mobile/Baldwin County congressman, he was born and raised in Jefferson County. He received his early education in public schools and graduated high school in Homewood.

  He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1946. He continued his military service from 1946 through 1951 and served during the Korean War.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

What’s so wrong about lying in a job interview?

  Getting a new job is tough.

  I know this not just because of my own research as a professor studying the intersection of business and ethics but also because of the countless candidates I interviewed for major firms in my previous career. It’s this experience I bring to mind as I consider a question I’ve seen and heard asked recently: When is it ethical to lie in a job interview?

  Philosophers and ethicists have identified many schools of thought around what makes a certain action ethically “good” instead of “evil.”

Monday, October 14, 2019

How Columbus, of all people, became a national symbol

  Christopher Columbus was a narcissist.

  He believed he was personally chosen by God for a mission that no one else could achieve. After 1493, he signed his name “xpo ferens” – “the Christbearer.” His stated goal was to accumulate enough wealth to recapture Jerusalem. His arrogance led to his downfall, that of millions of Native Americans – and eventually fostered his resurrection as the most enduring icon of the Americas.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Electoral College will never make everyone happy

  With the presidential election looming, worried observers of politics have already asked whether the Electoral College will again deliver a victory to the candidate with less than a majority of the popular vote.

  This has happened in two of the last five presidential elections.

  Critics like Vox’s Ezra Klein contend that this phenomenon is not only undemocratic but also politically biased because Republicans were the beneficiaries of both of these Electoral College hiccups. “American politics is edging into an era of crisis,” Klein writes.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Who are the real friends of the troops?

  Ever since the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, it has been an article of faith that Americans should thank the troops for their service in those two countries.

  Yet, with the exception of libertarians and a few leftists, the fact is that during the two decades of death, injury, suffering, destruction, and out of control federal spending and debt that threatens to send the government into bankruptcy, the overwhelming majority of Americans never openly demanded that the U.S. government bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Friday, October 11, 2019

A brief history of television interviews – and why live TV helps those who lie and want to hide

  First, it happened on Fox News. Chris Wallace asked White House adviser Stephen Miller about the president’s decision to use private lawyers “to get information from the Ukrainian government rather than go through … agencies of his government.”

  Miller’s response began, “two different points –” when Wallace cut him off.

  “How about answering my question?” Wallace asked. Miller, changing the subject, ignored Wallace.

  Wallace’s question was never answered.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Confederate statue graveyard could help bury the Old South

  An estimated 114 Confederate symbols have been removed from public view since 2015. In many cases, these cast-iron Robert E. Lees and Jefferson Davises were sent to storage.

  If the aim of statue removal is to build a more racially just South, then, as many analysts have pointed out, putting these monuments in storage is a lost opportunity. Simply unseating Confederate statues from highly visible public spaces is just the first step in a much longer process of understanding, grieving, and mending the wounds of America’s violent past. Merely hiding away the monuments does not necessarily change the structural racism that birthed them.