Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Most school shooters get their guns from home – and during the pandemic, the number of firearms in households with teenagers went up

  Four days before a 15-year-old sophomore killed four students and wounded others at a high school shooting in Michigan, his father purchased the firearm used in the attack.

  That the teenager used a weapon from home during the Nov. 30 attack is not unusual. Most school shooters obtain the firearm from home. And the number of guns within reach of high school-age teenagers has increased during the pandemic – highlighting the importance of locking firearms and keeping them unloaded in the home.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Tax cuts seem to be everywhere – except in Alabama’s future

  Kansas, one of a handful of states alongside Alabama that still fully taxes the sale of food, recently announced a bipartisan plan to “Axe the Food Tax”. 

  Just before Thanksgiving, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a budget into law that will make sweeping changes to the state’s tax code, fully repealing the corporate income tax by the end of the decade and cutting the personal income tax rate by 1.26% over the next five years.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Three major wins for workers in the bipartisan infrastructure package

  On November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. The new law will invest $1.2 trillion in rebuilding crumbling roads, bridges, and public transportation systems; supporting advanced energy technologies and clean water infrastructure; closing the digital divide; and modernizing the electric grid. These investments will create hundreds of thousands of good construction and manufacturing jobs that pay decent wages and benefits; are located in the United States; and have the potential to increase access for women, workers of color, and LGBTQI+ Americans.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The concrete effects of body cameras on police accountability

  Without video evidence, it’s unlikely we would have ever heard of George Floyd or witnessed the prosecution of his killer, a Minneapolis police officer.

  The recording of Floyd’s killing echoed the documentation in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two Black men who were killed at the hands of police.

  The circulation of such videos – witness cellphones, dashcams, and police body-worn cameras – have helped awaken a protest movement centered on police accountability and systemic racism in the United States.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Want to take an online course? Here are 4 tips to make sure you get the most out of it for your career

  The “Great Resignation” has left a lot of people with time on their hands. And while this time may be a welcome respite from the daily grind, most folks will need to get back to work eventually. For many, this period is a time of reflection and a chance to pursue a new career.

  But how do you make the switch? And even if you plan to return to the same field, how do you show that you have kept current with the changes and trends that affected most industries during the pandemic?

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The most powerful space telescope ever built will look back in time to the Dark Ages of the universe

  Some have called NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope the “telescope that ate astronomy.” It is the most powerful space telescope ever built and a complex piece of mechanical origami that has pushed the limits of human engineering. On Dec. 18, 2021, after years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns, the telescope is scheduled to launch into orbit and usher in the next era of astronomy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Confederate Christmas ornaments are smaller than statues – but they send the same racist message

  As Christmas approaches, many families undertake a familiar ritual: an annual sojourn to the attic, basement, or closet to pull out a box of treasured ornaments bought, created, and collected over years, even generations.

  Hanging these ornaments on the tree is an opportunity to reconnect with memories of personal milestones, holiday icons and, in many cases, destinations visited.

  But, I argue, it may be time to take some of these old travel keepsakes off the tree.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Retail... why I hate Christmas

  I work in retail, therefore, I hate Christmas. Yes, that's what I said: I HATE CHRISTMAS. People often cluck their tongues and shake their heads in appalled disbelief when I tell them this, and then they often follow up the shaking of their heads with the same response: "I love Christmas because people are nicer to each other."

  Obviously these people do not and have never worked in a grocery store during the holiday season. Wherever these kindler, gentler folk are, they definitely aren't anywhere near my place of employment. Of course, I work at the customer service desk, which on any given day, is overcrowded with pissed-off patrons demanding refunds and making general threats in order to get free food. During the holidays, this volatile behavior inevitably increases twofold, only to be compounded by the insane repetition of the Muzak in the background playing the 975th version of "White Christmas."

Monday, November 29, 2021

Find the spirit of Christmas that you once had

  Every year the Christmas season comes earlier. It used to be that we put up our outside Christmas lights on the last weekend of November. Shortly after, we gradually transformed the inside of our house with Christmas decorations. This culminated with the purchase of a real pine tree, which we decorated shortly before Christmas, at times as late as Christmas Eve. The earliest that we went to get our tree was a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Hanukkah’s true meaning is about Jewish survival

  Every December, Jews celebrate the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, perhaps the best-known and certainly the most visible Jewish holiday.

  While critics sometimes identify Christmas as promoting the prevalence in America today of what one might refer to as Hanukkah kitsch, this assessment misses the social and theological significance of Hanukkah within Judaism itself.