Sunday, June 24, 2018

Golden nuggets for free-expression advocates in an unusual case

  The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida (17-21) has some golden nuggets for free-expression advocates even though at first glance the opinion might seem quite narrow. The case involved a carping critic of the local government who alleged that city officials concocted a comprehensive plan of retaliation against him, including arresting him at a public meeting after he had filed an earlier open-meetings lawsuit against them.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The ugly truth about President Trump's extreme anti-immigrant campaign

  President Trump may have backed down from his monstrous policy of separating children from parents who bring them across the border, but the executive order he signed this week was just another exercise in deception – a fig leaf that won’t conceal the ugly truth about the extreme anti-immigrant campaign he’s leading.

  As we all know, Trump didn’t need an executive order to change the policy, one that his homeland security chief initially denied even existed.

  And contrary to Trump’s scapegoating of Democrats – “that’s their law,” he earlier claimed – there was never any law that required him to rip terrified children away from their parents and cram them into kennel-like pens.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Where change happens: The aftermath of sexual harassment

  When sexual harassment occurs, the effects can be devastating and far-reaching for everyone in the workplace. Often the immediate response, quite appropriately, focuses on what should be done to resolve the problem, which includes what actions are needed to protect and empower the survivor and to punish the perpetrator. But, that is only one aspect of the change that must take place.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Parker Snider: Monopoly and locksmiths

  I love the game of Monopoly. The hope that I will land on expensive properties first, the poker-esque bluffing, and the art of deal-making with unsuspecting friends makes for a great game night.

  Even though I love Monopoly, I don’t always enjoy it. When I’ve missed out on important properties and am mortgaging the few I have left to pay the winner, I’m not having any fun. When it’s obvious I will not win and I slowly move from competitor to benefactor, I’m not thankful and neither are others facing a similar end.

  I think this distaste says something obvious: Monopoly is great for the winner. Crowding out competition and increasing prices because you have the power to do so is a fun sport for the already-powerful yet detrimental to the mobility of others.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse – Judicial races highlighted

  This is not just a gubernatorial year in the Heart of Dixie.

  We have every state constitutional office up for election, and that includes lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and Alabama Agriculture Commissioner.

  We also have a good many of the state judicial races on the ballot. We have nine seats on the Alabama Supreme Court. We have five judges on the Court of Criminal Appeals as well as five seats on the Court of Civil Appeals. All of these judicial posts are held by Republicans. Therefore, it is more than likely safe to assume that the winner of the Republican Primary will be elected to a six-year term and can be fitted for their robe, at least by July 17. In fact, Democrats usually do not even field candidates in state judicial races.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Trump got played in Singapore, but that’s a good thing

  Conservatives are a fascinating lot. Throughout the Cold War, they steadfastly maintained that the Cold War was necessary because communist tyrants were hell-bent on conquering the United States and subjugating the American people. That is, in fact, why the U.S. national-security establishment intervened in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and sacrificed more than 100,000 U.S. soldiers — supposedly to prevent the communists in North Korea and North Vietnam from ultimately coming to America and taking control of the United States.

  The conservative mantra throughout the Cold War was encapsulated by the title of a book written in 1962 by a conservative curmudgeon named Fred Schwarz: You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists.) The idea was that the communists were incorrigible liars who had one goal in mind: the defeat and Red takeover of the United States.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Dylann Roof murdered nine people because of a lie about 'black-on-white crime'

  It’s been three years since Dylann Roof massacred nine black parishioners in a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.

  As he methodically shot his victims at the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church with a Glock pistol, court testimony reveals that Roof said, “Y’all are raping our white women. Y’all are taking over the world.”

  How did Roof become so immersed in white supremacist propaganda about black violence that he would be driven to murder?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Biggest threat to democracy might be the loss of local newspapers

  If you’re reading this column in your local newspaper, congratulations! Just by skimming your eyeballs over this page, whether it’s in print or online, you’re doing a vital service for your hometown, and for democracy as a whole. (Go ahead and take the rest of the day off.)

  It’s no secret that local journalism is in trouble and has been for quite some time. According to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center, the weekday circulation for U.S. daily newspapers has been on the decline for twenty-eight consecutive years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that between 1990 and 2016, the number of newspaper employees in the U.S. declined from 456,300 to 183,000.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1618 - I learned so much, and I lift Bruce Carver Boynton!

  I learned so much. I had heard the stories on many occasions, but I never heard the full story. I did not even know that I had not heard the full story.

  The story is about Bruce Carver Boynton of Selma. The focus is on an act of resistance by a 21-year-old boy/man. It happened way back in 1958. It impacted him for the rest of his life. It impacted a whole lot of people for the rest of their lives. It impacted me for the rest of my life. I was sixteen years old at the time and did not know about this act of resistance. I learned so much.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Trump’s perverse view of patriotism

  In an act of petty revenge against the Philadelphia Eagles, President Trump put on display the concept of patriotism that unfortunately has come to characterize America in the era of the national-security state — a concept that perverts the genuine meaning of patriotism on which America was founded and which characterized the nation throughout the 1800s.

  The controversy began when Trump scheduled a ceremony at the White House to celebrate the Super Bowl win by the Eagles. Most of the members of the team, however, decided to boycott the event, which, not surprisingly, caused Trump to go ballistic. Rather than continue with the ceremony with the ten players who were coming, Trump disinvited the entire team and decided to hold what he considered to be a “patriotic” event at the White House.