HEADLINE: Wallace 'stand' was 50 years ago
THE RECAP: It was 50 years ago this week that then-Gov. George Wallace staged his "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" to prevent blacks from attending the University of Alabama.
On Tuesday, a racially integrated crowd gathered in Tuscaloosa to remember that landmark event of June 11, 1963. The university staged a commemoration Tuesday evening at Foster Auditorium, where Wallace faced down federal officials to oppose integration.
DREW'S VIEW: It seems unthinkable that Gov. George Wallace's despicable stand against integrating the University of Alabama was viewed as reasonable and even heroic at the time. Denying people fair and equal treatment and preventing them from entering into a public institution simply because of traits they were born with seems ignorant, bigoted and barbaric.
Thank goodness we've become more mature, intelligent and open-minded as a society.
Oh, that's right ... we haven't.
Gay and lesbian couples wishing to enter into the public institution of marriage are being met with the same hatred and prejudice faced by the first black students trying to enter the public institution of the University of Alabama.
There's little doubt that those preventing the equal rights of gay Americans today will one day be remembered with all of the contempt and disgust that we now apply to George Wallace.
HEADLINE: Sequatchie County wheel tax vote likely in August
THE RECAP: Sequatchie County, Tenn., voters will decide as soon as August whether they want a $20 wheel tax to help the county offset its anticipated Affordable Care Act health costs, estimated at $300,000 a year. A $20 wheel tax would generate the amount needed, based on an estimated 15,000-17,000 eligible vehicles, officials said. Voters nixed referendums twice last year to increase the sales tax rate and an informal analysis shows a strong opposition to the wheel tax proposal, as well.
DREW'S VIEW: Who knew the U.S. Supreme Court was so right when it made the goofy ruling last summer that Obamacare is a tax, not an individual mandate? Of course the court, in an attempt to constitutionally justify the fascist program, alleged that the tax would only apply as a penalty to those required to buy health insurance who choose not to. The Court didn't understand that Obamacare would be a tax on everyone. But, it turns out, it is.
We will all pay more in taxes due to Obamacare -- and not just on the federal level. The proposed Sequatchie County tax increase in response to expected Obamacare expenses is among the first of many tax hikes across our region and throughout the nation that will inundate taxpayers in response to the higher costs of insuring low-level employees of city and county governments. In addition to higher local taxes, Obamacare will cause many cities and counties to slash their lowest paid and most poorly educated employees to avoid the significant expense -- harming the very people the president claims to care about the most.
Of course, if Sequatchie County's executive and commissioners would simply exercise a modicum of fiscal responsibility and prioritize the county's bloated $32.2 million budget, a tax increase wouldn't be necessary. Unfortunately, many of the county's leaders would rather pass the buck and force their constituents to pay more in taxes than act like adults and make a few tough decisions.
HEADLINE: Pennsylvania girl who took on donor rules gets adult lungs
THE RECAP: A 10-year-old girl whose efforts to qualify for an organ donation drew public debate over how organs are allocated received a double-lung transplant on Wednesday after a match with an adult donor was made. The family of Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from severe cystic fibrosis, challenged existing transplant policy that made children under 12 wait for pediatric lungs to become available or be offered lungs donated by adults only after adolescents and adults on the waiting list had been considered. They said pediatric lungs are rarely donated.
Murnaghan's health was deteriorating when a judge intervened last week, giving her a chance at the much larger list of organs from adult donors.
DREW'S VIEW: Murnaghan's plight should generate a larger conversation about America's broken organ donation system. The current system contains no incentives to encourage organ donations and it fails to reward people who pledge to donate their organs. These issues must be solved.
One easy solution to addressing many of these problems has been proposed by Tennessean Dave Undis through his organization LifeSharers.
LifeSharers creates an incentive to donate your organs by giving people who agree to donate their organs once they die priority over people who don't if they ever need a transplant. Since, under the LifeSharers model, more people will agree to donate organs, more organs will be available for everyone.
Isn't it only fair that people who have agreed to donate organs get dibs over those who haven't if they ever need a transplant?
"Drew's views" is a weekly roundup of Free Press opinions about topics that appeared recently in the Times Free Press. Follow Drew Johnson on Twitter: @Drews_Views.