For almost 70 years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been an essential component in international security for Europe, the United States and the rest of the world, for that matter.

This week is historic. This period at the end of July 2016 is one that little children in the future — especially young girls — will ask their parents and grandparents about.

Alabama is poised to begin feeling the pain of Montgomery’s incompetence in less than a week. That’s when the state’s Medicaid operation will begin scaling back payments because the Legislature refused to properly fund the program.

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, doesn’t mince his words. The world, in his view, was sculpted by white people, who today can rightly claim their throne atop the globe’s civilization hierarchy.

Among police’s long list of concerns, the sovereign citizen movement isn’t at the top. But it is real. And this week it has played out in a Calhoun County courtroom.

The intersection of U.S. 431 and Henry Road in Anniston is a mess. It’s an imperfect storm of cars, trucks and speed — a four-lane, federal highway with a steep incline and a city street with only a stop sign preventing mishaps.

Thus far, Alabama’s year of turmoil has birthed Gov. Robert Bentley’s affair and possible impeachment, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s suspension and the conviction of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard on abuse-of-power charges.

Anniston City Schools aren’t defined by buildings or finances or staffing. They’re defined by Anniston’s students, the flesh and blood we so dearly value. We mustn’t forget that.

Last week’s tragedy brought President Barack Obama on Tuesday to Dallas, where five police officers were killed in a startling example of gun violence and boiling racial tensions in America.

The Southeastern Conference has changed. Boy, has it changed. It now stretches from South Carolina to Texas, its football title game is 25 years old and its commissioner spoke this week of Nelson Mandela.

Alabama’s 115-year-old state Constitution epitomizes class superiority and political ineffectiveness. Unless, of course, you’re one of the chosen few, the minority of privileged power brokers accustomed to getting what they want.

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