This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
They are inherited in the sense that they are in the scope of the subclass -- i.e., a static method Parent.method() can also be called as Child.method(), or just as method() withing the Child class.
Variables can not be "overridden," so your second question applies only to methods. Static methods can't be overridden for the simple reason that they're not called polymorphically -- i.e., the compiler decides when compiling the code precisely which static method should be invoked, whereas for non-static methods, of course, that decision isn't made until the program is executed.
There is an interesting distinction between hiding and overriding.
When a child class has an instance method with the same name and signature as a method in its parent class, calling that method on a reference of the parent class's type that happens to point to an object of the child class's type will call the child class's method. This is called overriding and is an example of polymorphism.
When a child class has an instance variable with the same name as a variable in its parent class, accessing that variable using a reference of the parent class's type that happens to point to an object of the child class's type will access the parent class's variable. Accessing the same variable using a reference of the child class's type will access the child class's variable. This is called hiding.
If static variables and methods of a child class match variables and methods of the parent class, the member selected will be based on the class name used to access that variable or method. Java can't use the actual type of the object because static class members are not part of individual objects. (OK, they are part of the class object, but that's another story.) So all static class members use hiding instead of overriding. [ October 05, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]