2020 Election Reader

October 10, 2020

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Your Essential Christian Guide to the 2020 Presidential Election Who to vote for? Why should I even vote? What difference will it make? This short book–you can read it in less than an hour if you are not interrupted–will answer some of your questions, and, most important, suggest that the answers are in the Bible, […]

Old and New History

May 4, 2021

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Slavery was abolished by the Emancipation Declaration of 1863 and uprooted by the final military victory of North over the South in April 1865. There followed a century of conflict largely in the South to free truly the ex-slaves and give them all the rights of all citizens, like the right to vote, to have […]

Biden Administration to Deliver Peace and Prosperity to Central America, Part 2

May 4, 2021

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Returning to where we left off last week, the United Fruit Company emerged as one of the great titans in American commerce and industries, so controlling in Latin America that the Costa Ricans had a nickname for it, “Mamita Unai,” or “Mama Uni.” Much money was made, but most went to American banana importers and […]

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Biden Administration to Deliver Peace and Prosperity to Central America, Part 1

April 12, 2021

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This is part 1 of a two-part Port Rail on the history of the Americas, North, Central, and South, and the current immigration crisis or challenge or whatever you want to call the open border policy the Biden administration has put into place with respect to the border and immigration. If it hasn’t become perfectly […]

The Etymology Wars

April 9, 2021

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Today the old is being replaced by the new, a necessary stage we are told by scholars of revolutions that has to take place before the revolution can succeed. It is an attempt to replace ancient and accepted truths with the “new” truth. Simply put, old words are given new meanings, or new words are […]

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Posted in: History

Academic Freedom

March 29, 2021

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Since we live in a university and college town, from the University of Alabama to Stillman College with Shelton State Community College tucked in for good measure, I thought readers would be interested in the state of academic freedom in the U. S. It comes from a piece by Eric Kaufman, “Academic Freedom is Withering” […]

Equity, What Is It?

March 15, 2021

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I have written about “equity” in this column, especially last summer focusing on the University of Alabama’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I figured I’ve had my say and am done with it. Then I read a piece, “Equity Is a Mandate to Discriminate” in the March 4, WSJ, and recall, of course, that […]

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Red Neck Month

March 15, 2021

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A few weeks ago, Black History Month (February) ended, and March 1 ushered in Women’s Month. Less you be uninformed, February also celebrated: National Fasting Month, National Enrolled Agents Month, American Heart Month, An Affair to Remember Month, Canned Food Month, and Creative Romance Month. In March we celebrate: National Breast Implant Awareness Month, Asset […]

Posted in: Humor, Life in America

Teaching with James

March 12, 2021

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In earlier columns we dealt with different aspects of research and teaching. We examined teaching in general as one of the three principal missions of a modern university—teaching, research, and service. We also explored the “Socratic method” of teaching. Today let’s consider another approach, in this instance by one of my favorite Biblical teachers, James, […]

Race and José Martí

March 4, 2021

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Studying, or rather suffering, angst, over race in this country is like someone focusing on their belly button. Thomas Chatterton Williams’s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal on “Beyond Black History Month” is one (very thoughtful) American’s take on race, bringing the advantage of his having lived elsewhere, I think Paris, for a number […]

Posted in: racism

Excellence and Equality

March 4, 2021

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I promised myself not to write any more about politics this year. Everyone with a computer, tablet or cell phone is writing, all the way from Twitter to the New York Times, and most of it is just political importuning from the Left or Right in American politics. The heretofore “objective” role of journalists is […]