Guest Columns

Eyes on the Prize: 100 Percent Clean Energy

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Coming Clean – By Michael Brune – I’ve written a lot about the consequences of relying on fossil fuels for energy, but the chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River still comes as a shock. Almost a week later, thousands are still without drinking water, and many of those who’ve been given the “all clear”…

Sierra Club Demands that Governor Bentley Release Water Policy Report

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Letter to the Editor – By Margo Rebar – Chair, Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club The people of Alabama need to know what the recommendations are for securing our water resources from the threats of outside neighboring states and inside competing uses. But it seems water in Alabama is something of a political football.…

A Letter to the People of Brazil and the World

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By Edward Snowden – Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and…

The 2014 Legislative Session in Alabama Should Not Be Wasted

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By Craig Ford – In two months the state legislature will reconvene for the final time before the next election cycle, and state leaders have announced that this session will move faster than normal. That is to be expected in an election year. Legislators want to finish business before the primary elections get underway. A…

A Government Shutdown Game Without Winners

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Coming Clean – By Michael Brune – As the shutdown of the federal government drags on, Americans are angry. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is watching with nervous disbelief as we edge toward defaulting on our debts. And with each additional day the shutdown continues, the damage gets worse. The national parks, of course,…

Yes, Virginia, There Are Climate Solutions

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Coming Clean – By Michael Brune – This year, Virginians will elect a new governor, one of only two gubernatorial elections this year, the other being in New Jersey. At the moment, Terry McAuliffe is leading climate denier and attorney general Ken Cuccinelli in the polls, but a lot can happen between now and November…

Wag the Dog Politics in Alabama

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By Ron Crumpton – In government things are seldom what they seem, but why would your elected leaders use spurious propaganda in order to illicit an emotional response from the electorate? Every year, since the Republican takeover of the Alabama Legislature, the public has been roused into a state of frenzy over legislation that our…

Alabama Needs a Comprehensive Water Management Plan

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Guest Column – By Mitch Reid – The Roman orator Quintilian once said, “Whilst we deliberate how to begin a thing, it grows too late to begin it.” Last week’s decision by the state of Florida to escalate the water war over Georgia’s use of water for Atlanta should ring as an alarm to the…

Where the Political Action Is: The States, Not Washington

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By Scott Arceneaux – The congressional map is shrinking. Charlie Cook, of the Cook Political Report, recently declared that there are fewer competitive seats in the 2014 race to control Congress than he has ever recorded. The U.S. Senate, meanwhile, has become a World War I battleground where combatants fight over a few yards of…

It’s Not Too Late for Alabama

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Editorial – By Darrell Turner – Citizens of Alabama, it is time to stand up and be counted. For too long we have been seen as stupid, redneck, backward and just plain simple. Serious thought and consideration must be given to the path of destruction that beckons our state, and we as a people must…

The Truth About the So-Called IRS ‘Scandal’

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Congress Has Only Itself to Blame for IRS TroublesBy Pablo Eisenberg – When the House Ways and Means Committee holds yet another hearing Thursday to examine the IRS’s revelations that it gave some applications for tax-exempt status extra scrutiny, it will probably point fingers at the tax agency when it looks for wrongdoing. But really…

Cognitive Assonance: Congratulations! You’re Being Watched

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By Randall Amster – With revelations (yet again) that we are all essentially being watched virtually all the time, we might expect a popular backlash against such a massive and unprecedented intrusion on privacy. Americans may differ on a plethora of political issues, but there’s a common wisdom suggesting broad agreement on core principles such…

Engulfed State Park: Enviro Presto Chango

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By David Underhill – The dermatologist moonlighting as Alabama’s governor, Robert Bentley, has shown that neither of these pursuits is his true talent. He is actually a master prestidigitator. Only an amateur magician distracts by elaborate maneuvers with one hand, while the other is slyly inserting the rabbit into the top hat, displayed as empty…

J.D. Salinger’s Secret Life to be Exposed in New Documentary

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By Paul Harris – The Guardian – Documentary promising revelations about reclusive Catcher in the Rye author has been snapped up by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein – J.D. Salinger, the elusive author of The Catcher in the Rye, was one of America’s most famous recluses and guarded his private life with fanatical dedication. Yet even…

Let’s Count the Ways President Obama is Not as Bad as Bush

By Stephen D. Foster Jr. – President Obama and President Bush should never be compared to one another. Ever. These men couldn’t be more different when it comes to policy, personality, and decision-making. In fact, let us count 100 different ways in which the two men governed; differences that will remind us all why we…

Big Oil Uses the Republican Party to Subvert American Democracy

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By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – In a surprise move, the eight Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday blocked a floor vote on President Obama’s nominee, Gina McCarthy, as U.S. EPA Administrator. In doing so the Republican senators broke their earlier promise to move McCarthy’s nomination if she answered an…

The Sun Is Rising in the West on Alternative Energy

Coming Clean – By Michael Brune – When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a few weeks ago that his city would be off coal power entirely by 2025, it was both exciting and, as Al Gore put it, “a really big deal.” It was also only part of the story. The other part —…

Remembering Workers on Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day – By Al Henley – Alabama workers are encouraged to join the AFL-CIO in recognizing Workers’ Memorial Day on Sunday, On April 28. Each year on Workers Memorial Day, working people throughout the world remember those who were hurt or killed on the job and reflect on our struggle for safe workplaces.…