The Love Of One Teacher

Editor's note:  The following is an article from The Washington Post about the dedication of a teacher in Pennsylvania to one of her students.  It is a remarkable demonstration of a teacher's devotion to her profession, a profession that is too often not given the...

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An Indian For A Day

Editor's note:  J. L. Strickland is a retired textile mill employee in Valley, AL who refers to himself as a "Linthead Emeritus."  He is also quite a good story teller and from time to time shares one of his tales with us.  They always make me smile, just as this one...

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All The Nuts Don’t Grow On Trees

This was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt at a three-day Memorial Day event in Dallas, TX billed as "For God & Country Patriot Roundup."  The gathering was basically for those who are Qanon believers.  This is a cult spreading wild-eyed conspiracy theories such as...

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An Educator Speaks Out

Editor's note:  We recently blogged about Governor Ivey killing a bill that would have delayed implementation of the Alabama Literacy Act and its intent to have some third graders repeat the grade if the results of a reading test they take are not satisfactory ...

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Four Chaplains

On this Memorial Day when the nation pauses to pay respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as members of one of the branches of our military, a now largely forgotten story from World War II seems especially fitting. It is the story of four Army chaplains, all...

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We Have Lost B. J. Thomas

One of my all-time favorite singers, B. J. Thomas, passed away in Arlington, TX on May 29 from lung cancer.  A native of Oklahoma, but raised in Houston, Thomas won a number of Grammys, most of them for his gospel songs. However, his long career included country, as...

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To Mask Or Not To Mask

Just to be honest, I am floored by the increasing effort to turn the Covid pandemic into a political issue.  When the public health of every citizen in the country is at stake, how do you stoop so low as to place politics first and health second? One of the main...

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This Is Hilarious

Goodness knows we need an occasional laugh in today's world.  Especially if we pay much attention to the endless bickering in Washington which is somehow supposed to pass for doing the business of the nation's citizens--but in reality is the constant sniping of...

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The Reality Of The Holocaust

Editor's note: Recently Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia displayed once again how the mind of a radical right-winger works by comparing wearing a face mask on the floor of Congress to the Holocaust.  This is sick and the fact that it took nearly a week...

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Who Woke Up Mike Rogers?

Mike Rogers of Anniston narrowly won a seat to congress as a Republican in the 2002 general election.  He got 50.3 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Joe Turnham of Auburn. But after 19 years in Washington I have no idea what he has ever done.  He is certainly not...

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Good News About Covid

Editor's note: Slowly but surely, the news about Covid-19 is getting better in the U.S.  And this is the face of the mindless babble from folks like Tucker Carlson of Fox News who is more interested in TV ratings than American lives being saved.  Below is an excellent...

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Charlie Sykes Has His Say

Editor's note:  It was 1994.  I lived in Dothan.  After re-districting, I discovered that I lived in a new state senate district that included parts of Houston and Dale counties and all of Coffee and Covington.  And when longtime incumbent senator Crum Foshee of...

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Republicans In Turmoil

It is no secret that the Republican party is at a crossroads nationally.   On the one hand there are those GOP members who apparently believe the party should be nothing but a cult led by Donald Trump. One of the most visible and vocal advocates of this position is...

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Kudos To These Teachers

Each year the state department of education selects a Teacher of the Year.  Nearly 140 educators in 77 school systems were nominated for the 2021-20 year.  These have now been narrowed to one elementary and one middle or high school teacher for each of the eight...

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Dental Report

Since many readers have been kind enough to ask about my dental dilemma in the last few weeks, thought i would take a moment to update everyone. It has now been four weeks since I spent more than fours in the dentist's chair while my teeth met their Waterloo.  And...

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Osama Bin Laden

May 2 marked 10 years ago that a group of Navy Seals dropped into Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and rid the world of this terrorist.  The History Channel has just devoted several, several hours to some excellent documentaries looking back at 9/11, what was...

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Another Gem From J. L. Strickland

Editor's note:  From time to time I open my inbox and find some more of J. L. Strickland's musings.  He is a retired textile mill worker from Alabama's Valley region (Chambers County and surrounding areas) who certainly has a way with words.  Enjoy his most recent: "I...

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The Nightmare Of Dentures

Daddy passed away at age 86 with one filling in his teeth.  Mother was not so lucky and had teeth issues her entire life. Unfortunately, I apparently got my teeth genes from mama, not daddy. So over the years I've had my share of fillings, crowns, bridges, and teeth...

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A Surprise At My Door

We all get packages delivered to our door, particularly during this time of pandemic.  For me it is usually a book or some of the too many pills the doctors have prescribed. So when I saw the recent package, I figured here is another book.  Then I looked and it was...

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A Man On A Mission

Some of us are old enough to recall the 1976 movie, "Network", that left us with the famous line, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore." The movie won four Academy Awards and the famous line expressed sentiments that are felt by too many to count...

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To Vaccinate Or Not

Editor's note: As you can tell, I spend a lot of time on the internet (which no doubt greatly increases my stress level).  And I come across many articles that are worthy of calling attention to.  And in this moment when the issue of Covid vaccinations is increasingly...

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Collins’ Charter Bill Fails Again

We recently told you about Rep. Terri Collins and her attempt to get more money from local school systems for charter schools.  Several weeks ago Collins wanted to bring her bill up for a vote but a reading of the tea leaves indicated that it did not have enough...

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

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