A Sudden Fall From Grace

By now, most folks in Alabama know that Secretary of State John Merrill's future in politics crashed and burned this week when he admitted that he had had a three-year extramarital affair. None of us are such prudes as to think such things never happen.  But most are...

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Terri Collins’ Charter Bill Hits Snag

Representative Terri Collins of Decatur chairs the House Education Policy Committee and has been an outspoken advocate of legislation opposed by many educators. Her latest was a bill to divert more money to charter schools.  HB487 made it out of committee but when it...

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The Class Of 1961

NO.  That calendar is wrong.  Dead wrong.  Ain't no way it's now been six decades since the Theodore high school graduating class of 1961 picked up their diplomas and scattered to the wind. I mean six decades is a long, long time.  Something like 60 years.  But then,...

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Will Space Command End Up In Huntsville?

There was great rejoicing around the state when it was announced in January that the U.S. Space Command would be relocating from Colorado to Huntsville. “I couldn’t be more pleased to learn that Alabama will be the new home to the United States Space Command,” Alabama...

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Some Good On Good Friday

About 8:30 Thursday night I went to the Family Dollar store around the corner to get some toilet paper.  (Something none of wish to run out of.) Found what I needed and paid my bill.  Then stuck my hand in my overalls pocket for my car keys. Oh no.  They weren't in...

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Thank God For Children

I, like many of you I'm sure, have always been a sucker for chidden.  Their innocence is' breath-taking,  They can warm the coldest heart.  I well remember when my son, Kevin, and daughter, Kim, were little more than toddlers and learning to talk. Some of what they...

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Treat Yourself To A Happy Place

The pandemic has created chaos with students--and those responsible for them, be they parents or teachers.  But as we know, some young people are resilient as heck and look for opportunity during even the most dire circumstances. Add Charlotte Bowder, a student at...

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A Proud Pappy

From time to time I have mentioned my son Kevin who lives in Mobile and writes for Lagniappe.  (The most recent being his frustration at trying to get Covid shots.  Fortunately he got his second last Saturday.) He is an excellent writer and a relentless researcher. ...

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Busted Flat In Georgiana

Like so many of my posts, this one begins with "a long time ago." It was about 3 p.m. on a Friday.  I was in my old Ford on U.S. 31 between McKenzie and Georgiana.  I crossed a railroad track on the southside of Georgiana and the Ford immediately quit running.  I...

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Young Liza Scott Doing Well

We recently shared the story of seven year old Liza Scott of Homewood and and her efforts to raise money to help with expenses of brain surgery in Boston.  Her fund-raining effort went extremely well, netting nearly $400,000 and now we get word that she is doing well...

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Covid & Politics

The New York Times has a very interesting article looking at the attitude of Democrats and Republicans to Covid-19.  After thorough review of polling data, they conclude that while Democrats tend to overplay the severity of the virus, Republicans' tend to underplay...

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A Mind Is A Terrible Thing

Anyone who doesn't believe this has never listened to Fox News' pundit Tucker Carlson. I watched the President's speech about Covid relief on Fox.  Carlson came on immediately afterwards to give his thoughts.  He first called the speech "bizarre."  It was not the...

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Is Donald Trump A Fake Republican?

One would think that a former Republican president would be all to happy to help his party raise money. Unless you are Donald Trump who recently sent a letter to the national Republican party asking that they stop using his name and picture for fund-raising purposes. ...

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Covid News

Had my second shot (Pfizer) last Friday.  While some have had a little reaction to the second dose (like my sister), I had zero.  Jusr another shot. Thankful for that. *********************************************** Governor Kay Ivey is keeping Alabama's mask mandate...

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When Hearts Open

It takes a cold hard heart to not melt at the sight of a beautiful, vivacious seven year old girl.  Especially when it is accompanied by a smile that fills the room with sunshine. This is how I describe Liza Scott of the Birmingham area.  We often hear athletes...

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More Covid Vaccination Info

For those who have been turning over lots of rocks in hopes of getting access to a Covid vaccine shot, here is some good news.  According to this article from AL.com,  CVS has announced that it will be giving shots in  Bayou La Batre, Camden, Evergreen, Greensboro,...

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This Is What Real Leadership Looks Like

Judge Merrick Garland has been nominated by President Biden to be U.S. Attorney General  Everything I've seen and heard about him indicates he is a class act. And when I came across this article about him, it made quite an imprfession. "He's been nominated for Supreme...

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The Passing Of A Country Preacher

Some of you may have known Methodist minister Thomas Lane Butts Jr.  Others may have heard of him. For sure, those of us who crossed his path did not forget him. Butts passed away a few days ago at age 90 at his home in Monroeville..  My friend Francis Coleman wrote a...

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Critics Pile On Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz didn't just stir up a hornet's next by running off to Cancun while millions of his Texas constitutes were being battered by a historic winter blizzard, he poured gas on the nest and set it on fire. Late night comedians, editorial boards and both...

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Pore Little Ole Ted Cruz

The whole world knows that all of Texas looks more like the Artic Circle than where cowboys roam.  A historic winter storm has cut off electric power and shut down water availability.  People are dying. So what does U.S. Senator Ted Cruz do? He hops a plane to Cancun,...

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Brrrrr

When I heard it was to be 19 degrees in Montgomery, my first thought was of mountains of quilts stacked atop cast iron beds in grandpa Lee's little frame house near Red Level in Covington County.  Except for one fireplace in the small living room, there was no heat. ...

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Covid Follow-Up

My last post concerned my son in Mobile who has a severe respiratory issue and his frustration at trying to get a Covid-19 vaccine shot. I am happy to report that he now has an appointment at a west Mobile Wal-Mart this coming Wednesday.  Let's hope this happens.. And...

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Kevin & Covid

My son Kevin is 57 and lives in Mobile.  He has a severe respiratory condition known as alpha 1-antitrypsin related emphysema.  This means his liver does not produce a certain enzyme needed for the lungs to retain elasticity.  A very rare condition. He has been...

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Super Bowl Ad

We make a big deal each year of ads played during the Super Bowl.  I watched the game and saw the ads.  To be honest, I had no clue what some of them were trying to tell me. The one that seemed to get the most chatter was a two-minute ad by Jeep that featured singer...

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Video

The Democrats managing the impeachment trial of Donald Trump opened their presentation with a 13-minute video.  You should be able to see this in its entirety by going here. You be the...

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Violence Is Part Of Who We Are

Hundreds of vehicles past the spot every day.  Cars, pickup trucks, log trucks, 18 wheelers, fisherman going to Lake Eufaula.  I have passed it 100 times or more. "The spot" is on U.S. Highway 82 in Barbour County.  Right where a county road turns north toward the old...

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Remembering Elvis

It was Tuesday, August 16, 1977.  I was somewhere in Illinois moving to Des Moines, IA when news came on the radio that Elvis Presley had died.  I was shocked. Truth is that I am a bigger fan of his today than I was back then  Over the years I have come to realize...

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This Woman Is Scary

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a brand new congress person from Georgia's 14th district.  This covers most of northwest Georgia.  It is a very strong Republican part of the state.  Donald Trump got 75 percent of the vote here in 2016. To say she is nuts is an insult to any...

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Census Shows Major Changes

Editor's note:  We all remember the major push by elected officials at all levels in 2020 to get people to fill out their census forms.  The reason being that voting jurisdictions and Federal funding are greatly impacted by census data.  However, many feared that the...

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Inauguration Thoughts

We survived.  At long last, we endured the campaign of 2020, its millions and millions of dollars and endless charges and countercharges. At long last we endured the election of Nov. 3 and the aftermath of those who refused to accept its clear outcome. And at long...

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Game On

While we fuss and fume about so much of the foolishness we see coming from Washington, we should NEVER, NEVER, NEVER forget that at its core, politics is as much about gamesmanship as anything else.  Like a game of chess, it is about who can outmaneuver the guy on the...

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Seeking Grace

Editor's note:  Some of us thought the Nov. 3 election would come and go and, regardless the outcome, life would move on.  We were wrong.  If anything, the chaos leading to the Nov. 3 election paled amidst what has since transpired.  This chaos turned to violence last...

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If We Have Ever Needed A Laugh

In today's world: We all need a good laugh. Did I read that sign right? TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW. ------------------------------ ------------------------------ ------------------------------ - In a Laundromat: AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE...

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RIP. Scooter Howell.

All of us gather a host of friends as we travel this life.  And then we make some very special friends who join a small group.  We may not be in contact with them for five or ten years, but when we do re-connect, we take up where we last left off.  As if time has...

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How Do You Take These People Seriously?

As most political campaigns near the end, we get into "silly season" when accusations become more far-fetched and ludicrous.  Which was certainly the case just prior to the Nov. 3 general election. However, this year "silly season" went into overtime with Donald Trump...

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How Countries Responded To Covid

Editor's note:  While some in this country seem intent on treating the Covid virus as some hoax and ignoring the best advice our scientists give, the truth is that more that nearly 350,000 U.S. citizens have now died from the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal has...

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A Cold Winter’s Drive

Five days before Christmas 2020 and Covington County is stone cold dead.  The green of Bahia and Bermuda grass pastures has long since dried up.  Cows tug at the tiny tufts which has got to be like chewing cardboard all day.  Fields that grew cotton and corn last...

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Biden Picks Secretary Of Education

Thousands of educators have been anxiously waiting to see who President-elect Joe Biden would nominate for U.S. Secretary of Education.  He has chosen Miquel Cordona, who heads public schools in Connecticut. He will replace Betsy DeVos who was generally looked at with...

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A Wonderful Thanksgiving Story

Editor's note:  A wonderful story from The Washington Post about one person's effort to help people at Thanksgiving.  And if we have ever needed reminding about such things, it is now. "Rob Adams is a successful real estate agent in Utah. But when he was 11, he and...

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Let’s Talk About Love

Well alright.  But what does love have to do with this blog? My knee-jerk reaction is that since this is my blog, any topic is fair game.  In addition, since we are so bombarded by news that dwells on hate, belittlement, lies and insults, why not talk about something...

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What Happened To Class?

It was Nov. 30, 2019  About 90,000 people were crammed into Jordan-Hare stadium on Auburn's campus for the annual Iron Bowl.  It's billed as the best college football rivalry in the land.  The state of Alabama goes into lockdown the day of this game each year The 2019...

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Looking At The Joy Of Aging

Editor's note: unfortunately I am at the age where dealing with the process of getting older occupies too much of my time.  I can't help it.  Which means I can definitely relate to what is below: I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds. People get out of the way much...

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WARNING: Your Blood May Boil

OK.  It is not unusual for me to lose my cool in this very weird and very crazy political turmoil swirling around us.  And why not when we are engulfed in adults acting like children? However, none of these get me stirred up like the saga I am about to relate. The...

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A Helping Of Common Sense

Editor's note:  Dana Hall McCain writes about faith, culture, and politics for AL.com.. She is a member of the 2020 Leadership Council for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.  I do not know her, but find her thoughts grounded...

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Pros And Cons Of The Electoral College

Editor's note: While we hear a lot about the "Electoral College," many of us don't really know much about what it is and how it works.  Here is a quick review. There are a total of 538 Electoral votes.  Each state gets one for each senator and one for each...

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There Is Goodness Around Us

The avalanche of bad news bombarding each of us takes its toll.  The steady drumbeat about 1,000 Americans a day dying of Covid-19 and the incessant tsunami of political lies and misinformation are ample reason for anyone to question their sanity. Then, like the...

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Some Body Got To Have Some Relief

We're now less than a week away from election day on Nov. 3 and insanity is the order of the day.  Accusations are flying from both the Trump and Biden campaigns.  Every day gets more outlandish.  Millions and millions of dollars are being spent in these final few...

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Too Good To Be True

The good folks of Utah go to the polls on Nov. 3 to elect a new governor.  The candidates are Democrat Chris Peterson and Republican Spencer Cox.  They are both 45-year old attorneys.  Cox is currently the Lt. Governor and the heavy favorite.  Peterson has never held...

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When Adults Do Childish Things

It was the spring of 1961.  Senior night for those of us in the Theodore High School class of 1961.  There were skits and music and various and sundry silly things dished out for admiring parents and others. It was the night I learned a lesson I have never forgotten....

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Common Sense For Uncommon Times

Editor's note:  Dana Hall McCain is a columnist for AL.com  She writes about faith, culture, and politics and is a member of the 2020 Leadership Council for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Here she does an excellent job...

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The Good That Gets Ignored

Editor's note:  Thanks to the keen eye for a great story by AL.com's Michelle Matthews, we bring you the wonderful story of DeKalb County's Hunter Norwood.  It is a story of real devotion to family and mankind and for what is actually important--not the contrived and...

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The Things That Are Truly Important

Editor's note:  I am a sucker for stories like this.  (But I could have much worse faults--and probably do.  So when I came across this on FB, I knew I wanted to pass it along.  Besides, I think this is the real world, not the BS that we're told is politics these...

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Did You Watch The Circus?

Even though it was endlessly hyped as the first of the 2020 presidential debates, what unfolded from Cleveland on Sept. 29 was anything but.  It was a sideshow, an aberration, an embarrassment. Debates are serious occasions where policy is discussed so that those...

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A Heart Warming Story

With bad news pounding us each day, a small glimpse at the goodness of humanity is more than welcomed. Which is why I share the following story from The Montgomery Advertiser. "It's pink, it rocks, it has tunes and the wheels light up. Just the thing for a 2-year-old...

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Words Of Wisdom From Sally Survivor

From time to time I mention my friend Hope Zeanah, who is assistant superintendent for the Baldwin County school system.  She lives with her daughter and two grandchildren (Graysen and Sully) on Fish River.  Like so many down there, they were hammered by Hurricane...

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The Seeds We Are Sowing

John Pavlovitz is a minister in Wake Forest, NC.  I share one of his recent blog posts in which he expresses amazement at the discord and bitterness now being sown throughout the country.  I could not agree more. "I’ll never understand it. As long as I live, it will...

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A September Breeze

There it was.  A slight September breeze with a whiff of freshly-mowed grass.  And as so often happens at this age, you are suddenly jerked back decades.  This time it was to the fall of 1960 when you were 17 and playing your last football season for the Theodore...

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Notorious RBG

Like most, I knew Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  But I had no clue of who she really was or what she did in a remarkable lifetime until her death.  But I have certainly learned a lot about her in the last few days and now realize why she...

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A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Editor's note:  In these very, very weird times, stories such as the one below from The Washington Post are worth their weight in gold: "Johara Benrahou grabbed a red-white-and-blue blanket, a mask with dinosaur designs and three books as she ran outside the front...

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What Happened To Civility?

The circumstances that lead to the phone call are incidental.  Suffice it to say that the female on the other end of the line lives in Montgomery, is in her 70's and like me, is Caucasian We were doing the usual "who's your mama and 'em" when she wanted to know if I...

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I Do Not Do Weddings, But….

There are exceptions to every rule. Before Sept. 12, the last wedding I recall attending was my son's in the fall of 2006.  But on Sept. 12, 2020 I came out of "retirement" to be there when Lauren Donaldson of Opp married Bill Paulk of Lowndes County.  I wouldn't have...

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Valuable Password Info

Editor's note:  Like it or not, one of the realities of today's world are passwords.  If you are like me, it is easy to get lost in the world of creating passwords.  So when I came across the chart below, wanted to share it in hope it might give you some...

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You Decide

The closer we get to election day on Nov. 3, the more the news will be engulfed in charges and counter-charges about both candidates for president. The latest blockbuster was an article in The Atlantic magazine by editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg on Sept. 3. ...

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More Covid Confusion

Editor's note: For reasons I do not understand there are people who apparently get their kicks by trying to gin up bogus info on Covid-19, twisting data out of context and putting forth conspiracy theories.  Which simply says to me that "all nuts don't grow on...

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It Had To Happen

Laughter seems to be virtually forgotten these days given 1,000 deaths a day from Covid-19, economic issues, political unrest and natural disasters. However, a friend shared some PANDEMIC PUNS with me and i wanted to pass them along.  You may groan at some, but...

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Thank God And Greyhound

The so-called 2020 "conventions" by both Republicans and Democrats are history. Due to the pandemic, both meetings were more political theatre than usual.  Both sides carefully screened who spoke for them in trying to promote either President Trump or Joe Biden. ...

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A Coach Speaks Out

Editor's note: Mark Rose is the head football coach at Russell County High school.  He has been a head coach for 23 years and has won 175 games.  He is greatly concerned about the decision to allow high school football teams to play during the pandemic.  One of his...

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The World We Are Now In

Editor's note:  Sunday, President Trump, along with Stephen Hahn of FDA announced a "breakthrough" in the battle against Covid-19,. The only problem, scientists working on the virus immediately cried "foul" and pointed out that data was being misinterpreted.  Which...

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Remembering James Parrish

It's now been 11 years ago this week that I lost one of my dearest friends, James Parrish of Ashford, right outside of Dothan.  A longtime high school football official, he was refereeing the first ball game of the season when he suddenly fell dead. It was Friday...

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And A Child Shall Lead Them

We've all seen countless examples of children making an effort to make this world a better place.  Each one touches our heart.  And so will this story about seven-year Alden Young of the Birmingham suburb of McCalla who raised $1,000 to buy pack packs and supplies for...

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Tackling Technology

My teenage years and those a ninth-grader faces today are daylight and dark.  Really mind-boggling really. I remember our first black and white TV, a party-line telephone, a stick shift and a clutch, a window fan.  The closest I probably ever came to technology was...

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A Prayer For These Troubled Times

To say these are troubled times is a vast understatement.  The entire country is gripped by the pandemic.  No one seems to know exactly what to do.  And with the opening of schools across the country, the uncertainly grows much more. Indeed, if we have ever needed the...

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God Ain’t Into Politics

My friend Frances Coleman of Baldwin County has been a journalist for many years.  I got to know her when the Mobile Press-Register was a "real" newspaper.  You know, like words on paper  Back in the times when a paper boy would leave one at your home and you could...

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Why Couldn’t We Be Like New Zealand?

While I try to be careful about making comparisons when there are two many dissimilarities between what is being compared, it can be quite helpful to at least be aware of how some entities tackle a problem you too are confronting. And so, we are compelled to look at...

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Open Mouth, Insert Foot

As most of us know by now, one-time Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville has his sights set on being elected one of Alabama's two U.S. senators this November.  He recently defeated former senator Jeff Sessions and runs against incumbent Democrat Doug...

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A Teacher Speaks

Justin Minkel teaches 1st and 2nd grades at Jones Elementary in Springdale, Ark., a high-performing, high-poverty school where 85 percent of the students are English-language learners. Minkel was the 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.  He shares his thoughts on where...

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An Interesting Look At The 1918 Pandemic

Most of us had never heard of the pandemic of 1918 until we ran headlong into the pandemic of 2020.  So from time to time we've come across references to 1918.  But what was it really all about?  Here is an excellent article by Christine Hauser of The New York...

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The UNITED States Of America. Really?

We've all had it pounded in our heads virtually from birth that we live in a united country of 50 different states. Truth is, few things could be farther from the truth.  If it were, we would all be pulling in the same direction at the same time, striving for common...

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NEVER, EVER Mention A Woman’s Weight

While it may not be written in stone anywhere, I am 100 percent convinced that one of the rules of male peaceful coexistence with the opposite sex is NEVER, EVER utter a breath about a woman's weight. Wayne Reynolds is on the State School Board representing Huntsville...

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Is Anyone Minding The Store?

Obviously these are not normal times at the state department of education as all hands are on deck grappling all the unknows of re-opening schools in the middle on a pandemic.  Virtual learning is front and center in this effort as a number of systems have said their...

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Larry Lee researches and writes on educational topics and Alabama public schools.

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