Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Despite one good verdict in the murder of George Floyd, the Black community still ‘can’t breathe’ as police killings continue

  Nearly a week before the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd by placing a knee on his neck for over nine minutes, I, Tafeni, was conducting an interview in front of the Civil Rights Memorial Center and was asked what my expectations regarding the pending verdict would be.

  At the time, there was no verdict, and closing arguments were set to begin the following day. I paused. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it. But as I reflected on this moment, I realized my expectations weren’t high at all. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Hank Sanders: Sketches #1769 - Memories are so powerful

  It was 74 years ago. I wish I had not done what I did. Every time I think about it, I squinch up inside. Even after so many years. Memories are so powerful.

  It was the first day of school. I was supposed to go into the primer classroom. My oldest brother, Sam Arthur Sanders, had been to primer and was now going on to the first grade. I did him very wrong. I know before I share this experience that most will not see the wrong. However, I remember the wrong I did and squinch up inside more than seven decades later. Memories are so powerful.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The rise of female UFC fighters obscures profound exploitation, inequality

  The mixed martial arts pay-per-view event UFC 261 features two bouts that would have been unheard of just 10 years ago.

  Russian-born Valentina Shevchenko will fight Jessica Andrade, a Brazilian and an out lesbian, for the women’s flyweight title on April 24, 2021. That same night, Rose Namajunas, an American of Lithuanian descent, will square off against Zhang Weili, who has caused the popularity of the UFC to surge in her native China, for the women’s strawweight title.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Anti-transgender bills are latest version of conservatives’ longtime strategy to rally their base

  On April 6, 2021, despite Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto, Arkansas became the first state to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming medical care like hormone treatments designed to delay puberty in transgender youth. So-called “puberty blockers” are used to delay the physical changes associated with puberty and provide time for transgender young people to consider their options.

  Arkansas physicians now face criminal penalties if they prescribe puberty blockers or other forms of cross-gender health care to transgender youth. Twenty other states are considering similar bills. Some would classify puberty blockers and other gender-affirming medical treatments as child abuse or would revoke the medical licenses of physicians prescribing these therapies.

Friday, May 7, 2021

How Biden’s paid leave proposal would benefit workers, their families and their employers too

  The Biden administration is proposing a massive expansion of federal benefits through a 10-year US$1.8 trillion package that includes new spending on child care, the continuation of the expanded child tax credit, and more robust nutrition programs. Notably, it would introduce a new federal paid family leave benefit costing an estimated $225 billion over the next decade. If it is fully phased in as proposed, workers could get up to $4,000 a month for a total of 12 weeks in paid leave to care for a newborn, another loved one or themselves.

  The Conversation U.S. asked Joya Misra, a sociologist who studies how public policies influence inequality, four questions about paid leave in the U.S.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Clean slate is critical for a healthy democracy

  Widespread civic engagement is the bedrock of a healthy democracy. Yet Americans with criminal records face severe consequences that dramatically limit their ability to fully participate in their communities. These restrictions not only harm those with records but also weaken the strength of American democracy writ large, as critical perspectives are left out of community engagement and advocacy. To improve this state of affairs, the United States must embrace policies for those with past criminal records that encourage both a culture of rights restoration and participation. As a baseline, this effort must involve the widespread adoption of policies that ensure the automatic expungement of eligible criminal records.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The managed economy destroys the First Amendment

  The First Amendment guarantees people the right of free speech. It is a restriction on the power of the federal government to punish people for criticizing federal officials or for saying things that the government doesn’t like. 

  Why did our ancestors want the Constitution amended in that way? Because they were certain that the federal government would end up attracting people who would have the desire and the inclination to do bad things to people who criticized them or said things that public officials didn’t like. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Biden administration is fulfilling its conservation promises in the first 100 Days

  With the passage of a massive economic rescue bill, more than 200 million vaccines distributed, a historically diverse Cabinet in place, and a pledge to cut carbon emissions upward of 50 percent, it’s clear that the Biden administration has wasted no time during its first 100 days. As part of its effort to take a whole-of-government approach to solving the overlapping health, economic, racial justice, and climate crises, the administration has also been rapidly fulfilling its conservation commitments to the American public.

Monday, May 3, 2021

How exercise keeps your brain healthy and protects it against depression and anxiety

  As with many other physicians, recommending physical activity to patients was just a doctor chore for me – until a few years ago. That was because I myself was not very active. Over the years, as I picked up boxing and became more active, I got firsthand experience of positive impacts on my mind. I also started researching the effects of dance and movement therapies on trauma and anxiety in refugee children, and I learned a lot more about the neurobiology of exercise.

  I am a psychiatrist and neuroscientist researching the neurobiology of anxiety and how our interventions change the brain. I have begun to think of prescribing exercise as telling patients to take their “exercise pills.” Now knowing the importance of exercising, almost all my patients commit to some level of exercise, and I have seen how it benefits several areas of their life and livelihood.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

5 ways parents can help kids avoid gender stereotypes

  In the last century, significant progress has been made in advancing gender equity in the United States. Women gained the right to vote, fathers have become more involved parents, and more people and institutions recognize gender identities beyond the binary categories of male and female.

  However, persistent gaps remain. Women hold only a quarter of U.S. congressional seats, only a handful of states mandate paid paternity leave, and state legislatures are introducing bills that discriminate against transgender people.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

How I survived nine minutes of Dick Cheney

  Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the August 2002 edition of the Capital City Free Press.

Monday, July 22, 2002

3:07 pm

  I tried to get out of it. Given that my employer, The Montgomery Independent, had published a lengthy prelude to this event last week, I don't see why I am baking in the mid-summer Alabama heat waiting for the man they call Dick Cheney. I've been told this man runs the great nation we live in but still only gets second billing for it. Poor guy.