For her new book “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women,” Hanna Rosin spent time in Alexander City, which has fallen on hard times with the decline of the Russell Corp. Rosin examined the lives of married couples dealing with their town’s tough economic climate. In each the wife was finding workplace success while their spouses struggled.
A cover story in the Aug. 30 New York Times Magazine was an excerpt from the book:
“While millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost over the last decade, jobs in health, education and services have been added in about the same numbers. The job categories projected to grow over the next decade include nursing, home health care and child care. Of the 15 categories projected to grow the fastest by 2016 — among them sales, teaching, accounting, custodial services and customer service — 12 are dominated by women. These are not necessarily the most desirable or highest-paying jobs. But they do provide a reliable source of employment and a ladder up to the middle class. It used to be that in working-class America, men earned significantly more than women. Now in that segment of the population, the gap between men and women is shrinking faster than in any other, according to June Carbone, an author of “Red Families v. Blue Families.”
“In Alexander City, while the men were struggling, women either continued on with their work or found new jobs as teachers, secretaries or nurses or in the service industry.”
BAD EXAMPLE, PART 1
The Guardian's Gary Younge examined the state of the presidential race last week in an article headlined, “Mitt Romney is too rational for a deluded Republican base.” In it, Younge writes:
“The percentage of Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim has doubled in the last four years and now stands at about one in three, the same proportion of Republicans in the swing state of Ohio who still do not believe Obama was born in the US. They are not particularly interested in consensus, either. Two thirds of Republicans said they'd rather have a congressperson who stuck to their principles no matter what than one who compromises to get things done. They give little impression of being inclusive. … More than one in four Republicans in Mississippi and one in five in Alabama believe interracial marriage should be illegal while closer to two thirds in both states do not believe in evolution.” (Emphasis ours.)
BAD EXAMPLE, PART 2
Tuesday’s episode of The Daily Show took a swipe at Alabama during a segment on Republican-led efforts to toughen voter ID laws across the United States. During the segment anchor Jon Stewart discussed voter ID laws with Larry Wilmore, who was described as the program’s “senior black correspondent.” During the conversation Wilmore queried Stewart on the history of suppression of black voters. It went something like this:
Wilmore: “How old's this county, Jon?”
Stewart: “About 240.”
Wilmore: “How long have black people allowed to vote?”
Stewart: “About 150.”
Wilmore: “In Alabama?”
Stewart: “About 48.”
Watch the program here.
DOES THIS MAKE ME LOOK FAT?
An article by The Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark examined how new Nike-branded NFL uniforms are playing with the heavy set. In short, the “body-contoured fit” is flopping with many linemen.
“I don't really care for the new jerseys," said Terrence Cody, the 349-pound linemen for the Baltimore Ravens who played a starring role on Alabama’s 2009 national championship squad. “I feel like they should put different material in for the big guys.”
Y'ALL COME BACK NOW
Thursday’s Birmingham Business Journal reported good economic news:
“The state's hospitality sector has added 6,100 jobs over the past 12 months, according to a new report from On Numbers. The 3.6 percent increase is the 12th best rate in the nation, and mirrors a national trend – hospitality jobs set a record high in August.”
Last weekend’s “Moyers and Company” program on PBS included a lengthy examination of a powerful lobbying group with broad influence among state legislatures. According to Moyers, the American Legislative Exchange Council – or ALEC for short -- is “a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.”
The program is must-see television.
Moyers’ website even includes a link to see if your local lawmaker is a member of ALEC.
READY, AIM …
Good news for deer hunters. An experiment in west Alabama aims to engineer large trophy deer. Call it a drive for big bucks and bigger bucks.
Marengo County’s Big Buck Project is being led by the Tutt Land Company, which is based in Linden. The effort, according to the Demopolis Times, “hopes to restore ‘record book genetics’ to the whitetail population by releasing trophy-class breeder bucks across the county this fall.”
“It’s going to bring a huge amount of attention to Marengo County,” said Hale Smith, a sales associate and land manager at Tutt Land Company, told the Demopolis newspaper. “We are seeing a huge positive response. A lot of eyes will be on Marengo County.”
A blog post at Field and Stream had a less generous assessment of the plan.