Thumbs up to the French for liberating Timbuktu and other areas of Mali from militants associated with the global al-Qaida terrorism organization. French special forces parachuted in and freed Timbuktu, restoring a sense of freedom. The militants had implemented their version of Islamic law, which included veils to cover women's bodies. On. Jan. 11, the French military launched its effort to rid northern Mali of the extremists.
Thumbs up to state Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, for having the courage to sponsor a bill to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Alabama. That doesn't mean we condone its use as a recreational drug or endorse its use for medical purposes. But it should be studied and considered alongside any other drug that can possibly help people who suffer extreme pain and other symptoms associated with cancer or other diseases. A stigma is placed on marijuana because of its popularity as a recreational drug, but any drug can be abused, including the many narcotics already approved for medical use.
Thumbs down to the U.S. Treasury Department for approving significant salaries and raises at firms that were bailed out by taxpayers during the financial crisis. Treasury approved all of the 18 requests it received last year to raise pay for executives at American International Group Inc., General Motors Corp. and Ally Financial Inc., according to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program. The largest raise was e_SFlb$1 million and 14 requests were for $100,000 or more. Most taxpayers expect some sacrifice on the part of these executives.
Thumbs up to students in the Lauderdale County School System for participating in the district's eighth annual special education art show. The show attracted 59 students. Their artwork will be on display at Regency Square Mall through Feb. 15. Winners will be announced Feb. 16. Art teacher Sonya Skipworth said the show allows the public to see what students can do rather than any limitations they may have. We thank the artists for sharing their work and wish them all good luck.