Channel-surfing the nightly cable news, one is reminded that certitude is the enemy of sanity.
What state Rep. Gene Alday put in words earlier this month struck a chord with many. They believe America in 2015 is a place where a decreasing number of people work to support themselves and their families and are forced to support an increasing number who are shiftless and lazy -- yet have cars, homes, plenty of food, health care, vastly more children than they can afford or care for, super cell phones and plenty of frou-frou including the latest in clothing and jewelry designs.
Race persists as a predominant part of Mississippi life.
I am not insane. For this, I have Jon Stewart to thank. Thirteen years ago, it felt like I was in a front row seat on the express train to Crazy Town. That, you will recall, is when the wheels began to come off the Bush administration's argument for invading Iraq, i.e., to find the weapons of mass destruction.
With each of their actions, the world has provided a predictable reaction. There's a very 2001 feel to President Obama's request for authorization to use military force and the nauseating sense that we'll be at war indefinitely.
Lupita Nyong'o picked up an Oscar last year for her searing portrayal of a scarred captive in "12 Years a Slave." But many in the Academy Awards audience -- just reminded of the misery depicted in a film clip -- must have felt a bit mixed up when the woman they associated with a tormented slave floated up the stage stairs in a sumptuous sky-blue Prada gown, holding up the pleated skirt lest she trip on the yards of luxury.
For the six years of the Obama presidency, or perhaps the last 35 years since Ronald Reagan's election, American politics has been dominated by a debate on the size and role of the federal government.
"Unbelievably sad." That was the subject line of an email a colleague sent me last week.
The headline that caught my attention on Presidents Day could not have been starker, colder: "Intense Republican Hate Is Skewing Obama Polls."
In June, it will be 52 years since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door. It happened at the University of Alabama, where two African-American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, were attempting to register. In facing down three federal officials demanding that he stand aside and honor a court order allowing the registration to proceed, the bantam governor of Alabama sought to make good on a noxious promise: "segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever."
OXFORD -- In the aftermath of prison kickback arrests, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is keeping his pledge to seek tighter controls. Two bills passed the Senate unanimously last week, wining immediate praise from Bryant. One would remove leasing prison farmland from Mississippi Department of Corrections control and the other would move the Inmate Welfare Fund (proceeds from canteen sales) away from MDOC and to the state treasurer.
John McCain toiled for 28 years in the Senate before he finally won the chairman's gavel of the Armed Services Committee last month.
There's this speech I give my students.
Days after the video appeared of a Jordanian pilot horribly burned to death by an Islamic State death squad, President Obama told the National Prayer Breakfast that all faiths can be "twisted and misused in the name of evil."
"Stories worth remembering and savoring ... again and again," said Robin Roberts, co-host of Good Morning America. Indeed.
Warning: The following column contains sexist comments that might be offensive to just about everyone. I heard about the cleverest gift ever, and -- imagine this -- it was given from a man to his wife. He presented her with T-shirts for every University of Alabama football opponent for the entire past season, before the season, so she could wear their colors and root for the Tide's opponents.
I call it the Secret Knowledge. Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you'll never see in your "newspapers" or "network news" or any other place overly concerned with verifiable "facts" and reliable "sources." It will not come to you through a university "study," peer-reviewed "article," renowned "expert," government "agency" or any other such traditional bastion of authority.
OXFORD -- It's not clear what members of the Mississippi Legislature thought would happen after they voted to foil a citizen initiative to improve public school funding. It is clear that the Better Schools Better Jobs organization has decided not to wrinkle its collective brow, tear up and run away.
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