Larry Clayton, tuscaloosanews

Larry Clayton


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Past articles by Larry:

THE PORT RAIL: Simple gesture offers model for us all

In the book of Acts, which is really one of the best historical sources for the story of Jesus’ followers and disciples after his resurrection, → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: The virtues of real life vs. virtual life

I am going to sound like a troglodyte speaking of the past way of doing things as opposed to today’s way of doing things. But I see education slipping down the road of dispirited encounters with screens and videos rather than fresh and life-giving moments in the real with teachers, and it is both sad and a poor substitute for the real thing.The language of teaching is described in the modern… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: How to explain who we are

Not too long ago, I read two pieces that got me to thinking. The first was a piece in an online journal, The Daily Signal, titled “The Virus Before → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Which is better, a big church or a small one?

I sometimes drive on Crescent Ridge Road, perhaps going to buy a shrub or some vegetable seedlings for my vegetable garden at Brown’s Nursery. One → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Weathering a shock to the system, once again

I graduated from college in the summer of 1964, a presidential election year. President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated the year before — on → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Are children being taught the facts, or ideology?

Did you know that “slavery and racism are the foundations of American history?”How can that be? What happened to “all men are created equal,” with liberty and justice for all? Democracy? The vote? Liberty? Free enterprise?Naw, forget all that claptrap. Here’s what our children need to be taught.In 2019, The New York Times published its 1619 Project “whose aim,” noted a January 2020 article in… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: ‘I’ is not a beautiful word

If you think you’ve heard the expression, “the I’s have it,” you are right, but not using “I.” Rather the traditional expression is “the ayes have it,” referring to a vote where those voting “yes,” say “aye” in old English. It may have been imported from the Navy. We hardly ever said “yes sir,” to a command or a superior officer, but “aye, aye, sir.”Not too long ago, at our weekly meeting of the → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Who is to blame for the drug scourge?

The “blame game” is one we all play when something goes wrong. Let’s take on a biggie today, and one that many Americans will not like, but facing the truth is more important: The use of drugs in our country. Let’s look at a recent online article by Newt Gingrich: “Make No Mistake: Mexican Cartel Murders are Funded by Americans.”I thought, well Newt and I are on the same page on this one. We… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Abandoning morality has undermined America

Two weeks ago, we left off with some of Attorney General William Barr’s views in a speech he delivered Oct. 11 before the law school at the → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: People can learn a lot at the dog park

There is a marvelous experiment in social science that takes place every day in Tuscaloosa, except for Thursday mornings when the Will May Dog Park in → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: The war for the soul of America

Last week we challenged higher education’s goal of diversity rather than excellence in mission and teaching. Today, let’s ratchet up the → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Here’s to capitalism — and also to teaching

I have been an academic — a professor — all my working life, except for a couple of years in the Navy that had nothing to do with capitalism, socialism, progressivism, dictators or Democrats. I “professed” history since that was my field, not chemistry, math, philosophy or the dozens of other fields in university life.Like millions of other teachers, from kindergarten to high school to colleges… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Lamenting the decline of higher education

Not too long ago, I read two pieces in The Wall Street Journal that struck some familiar chords with me. But it wasn’t so much what was in the columns, it was what was not. Both columns had to do with education, especially higher education.One of the articles was headlined “A Feminist Capitalist Professor Under Fire.” It’s kind of a cutesy title that drew my attention. The professor is Camille… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Legends, myths tell us about ourselves

Prince Valiant, as many of you know, is a character in the comic strip of the same name, which appears every Sunday in The Tuscaloosa News, and I’m sure hundreds more newspapers across the nation. Prince Valiant’s life is a study in surviving a never-ending series of catastrophes that occur with astounding regularity, each a death-dealing moment brought on by evil people, natural disasters and… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Our flag is a symbol of freedom, not racism

The announcement on Sept. 5 was terse and all but declared that the matter was settled: “Dr. Jamie Riley has resigned his position at the University of Alabama by mutual agreement,” Chris Bryant, a spokesman for the university, wrote in an email, adding “Neither party will have any further comments.”Case closed. I thought about it a bit, especially as an old university faculty member and an… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: You are responsible for your choices

My wife, Louise, and I were chatting the other day while reading about the enormous fines that drug companies were paying for recklessly — and some would say murderously — profiting from the sale of opioid drugs, like oxycodone and others. While we don’t always agree on everything (a truism if there ever was one), we found ourselves on the same page on this issue.The question we asked ourselves… → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: The true genesis of American slavery

By now we all know from the avalanche of media that slavery began in America four hundred years ago, in 1619, with the arrival of a Dutch ship off the → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Why do some of us want to fly?

A few weeks ago, as I was walking my dogs, I saw a squadron of about 15 geese on their final approach to a beautiful and graceful landing. They were in → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: Hong Kong protests are a legacy of British rule

As usual, something reminded me of a historical phenomenon we need to reexamine: the old British Empire and its legacy to the world. The recent outbreak → Read More

THE PORT RAIL: A fantastic future with lots of free stuff awaits

I started to make a note of what some politicians are arguing for today and eventually had to run to the internet to keep track of all the fantastic changes we can look forward to in the next 10 years.I thought I had voted in some big elections in the past, but the Kennedys and Nixons and Carters and Clintons and Reagans and their big issues were peanuts to what we can anticipate in the future.… → Read More