On Wednesday afternoon, the Walker County Humane Society rescued a stray dog who had been shot with an arrow between its eyes. The arrow has since been removed, and the dog is recovering at the humane society.
Carbon Hill residents who noticed the injured dog alerted authorities after unsuccessful attempts at catching her last week. The humane society says the dog was so scared that rescue workers had to use sedative-laced cat food to catch her.
The Trump administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on the imports of automobiles into the United States, moving swiftly as talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled. President Donald Trump predicted earlier that U.S. automakers and auto workers would be “very happy” with the outcome of the NAFTA talks.
The White House said in a statement Wednesday that the president had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether the imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts threaten U.S. national security. The president said in the statement that “core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation.”
The U.S. remains far apart on the talks over rewriting the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, with the discussions at an impasse over rules for car production. The initiation of the trade investigation could be seen as an attempt to gain leverage in the talks with the two U.S. neighbors. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that efforts to renegotiate the trade agreement could spill into next year.
Before Alice Martin was an attorney, she was a nurse.
“The nurses have the minute-by-minute contact with the patients, versus the doctors making rounds in the morning and afternoon,” Martin said in a recent interview. “It was so important to be the eyes for the physicians when they weren’t there, so you could tell them more than what you could chart.”
While she ended up going into the law, Martin said her time as a psychiatric nurse proved valuable in a career where she’s worked as a private attorney, a prosecutor and a judge.
“I used it in criminal cases when I was looking at autopsy reports, in forensic reports,” she said. “You can use it because it’s so much easier to communicate with doctors and nurses when you’re defending them in liability cases.”
It goes with Martin’s chief argument in her campaign for attorney general: She has a resume no other candidate can match.
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
Alabama city again refuses to release body camera recordings
Officials in one of Alabama’s largest cities stand by their refusals to release recordings from police body cameras.
WHNT-TV reports the city has once again refused a request to release a recording.
The latest request came after a bystander’s video appeared to show a Huntsville police officer punching a suspect while trying to make an arrest. The department cleared the officer Monday, saying the video was part of a longer struggle.
Huntsville City Attorney Trey Riley says recordings are a “public record to a certain extent” but that doesn’t mean they’re “automatically available.”
This week, for the first time in months, a generic ballot poll showed Republicans beating Democrats in the midterm elections.
According to Reuters, Republicans are now leading by six points. And while that poll is obviously an outlier, the movement of the generic ballot in the direction of Republicans isn’t: The average lead for Democrats has been dropping steadily since late February, from a nine-point lead to a four-point lead.
Certainly, the economy has something to do with it: The job market continues to boom; the stock market continues to hover around 25,000; and GDP continues to grow steadily. And, certainly, foreign policy has something to do with it: There are no catastrophic foreign wars on the horizon, and President Trump’s gutsy calls to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem resulted in zero serious backlash.
Democrats opposed the Trump tax cuts and have whined incessantly about Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, even going so far as to demonstrate a certain level of warmth toward terrorist group Hamas. This isn’t exactly brilliant politicking.
But there’s another reason Democrats seem to be dropping like a stone, too: their Russia obsession. The reality is most Americans think the Russia investigation is going nowhere. As of early May, just 44 percent of Americans though the FBI special counsel investigation of President Trump and his associates is justified; fifty-three percent thought that the investigation is politically motivated. Three-quarters of Americans think Trump should cooperate with the probe, but Americans are skeptical that there is a there there.
And so far, Americans have been right. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resulted in indictments of Trump associates on a charge of lying to the FBI, but there have been no indictments related to the original brief of his investigation: election collusion with the Russians. Meanwhile, each day seems to bring new headlines regarding the extent of the FBI investigation, dating all the way back to mid-2016. Americans aren’t going to read all the details of the various stories — they’re just going to take away that law enforcement was all over the Trump campaign, has come up with nothing thus far and continues to hound the Trump White House.
Furthermore, Democrats are getting discouraged. They were promised a deus ex machina — an alien force that would swoop in to end the Trump presidency. They hoped it would be Mueller; they were convinced the election was stolen. It wasn’t, and it’s unlikely Mueller will end Trump’s presidency.
So when Trump fulminates about the supposed sins of the “deep state,” few Americans are exercised. Most shrug; some even nod along. Democrats seethe but have no new fodder for their ire — and every day that passes with the media chumming the waters and coming up empty drives down enthusiasm even more. And Trump’s focus on Russia means that he spends less time tweeting about other topics — which helps him, since he’s less likely to make a grave error on those fronts.
If Mueller truly has nothing, there’s a serious case to be made that the Russia collusion investigation actually helped Trump more than it hurt him. And Democrats might just have to come up with a plan for dealing with Trump’s policies other than praying for an avenging angel to frog-march him from the White House.
Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.
Baldwin County long has been Alabama’s fastest-growing county, so perhaps it should be no surprise that one of its towns is the state’s fast-growing municipality.
According to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, Loxley added 335 new residents from July 2016 to July 2017. The 16.7 percent growth rate over that 12-month period topped the state.
It came in just ahead of fellow Baldwin County towns Summerdale (12.3 percent) and Silverhill (12 percent).
Three other Baldwin cities also made the top 20 — No. 9 Spanish Fort (5.1 percent), No. 16 Fairhope (3.7 percent) and No. 17 Foley (3.3 percent).
They were among 179 Alabama municipalities that saw growth from mid-2016 to mid-2017. Meanwhile, 244 cities and towns lost population, while another 36 remained exactly the same.
Census figures show much of the rest of the South remains booming. Of the 15 American cities with the greatest numerical gains over the past year, eight are in the region. The South also has 10 of the 15 fastest-growing cities on a percentage basis.
While the biggest cities get most of the attention, that is not where most people live — either in Alabama or across the country. Nationally, only 3.9 percent of cities have 50,000 residents or more. Only nine Alabama cities meet that threshold. The nearly 1.7 million people who live in those cites make up about 34 percent of the state’s residents.
“The U.S. is a nation of small cities and towns,” Census Bureau demographer Joseph Bowman said in a statement. “Of the 19,500 incorporated places, about 76 percent had fewer than 5,000 people and almost half of these places had fewer than 1,000 people.”
Most of Alabama’s populous cities followed well-established trends over the past year. Birmingham retained its position as Alabama’s biggest city but shrank by about a quarter of a percentage point, to 210,710.
Montgomery and Mobile also lost residents. They and Birmingham have lost population since the 2010 census.
Huntsville, which passed Mobile in 2017 to become the third-biggest city, added another 2,629 residents. That was the most of any municipality in the state. Since 2010, the Rocket City’s population has jumped 8 percent. It now trails second-place Montgomery by just 4,933 people.
Among the top 10 cities, two others have outpaced Huntsville on percentage basis. Auburn grew by 2 percent since mid-2016 and is up to 63,973 residents. That is up 20 percent since 2010. And Madison jumped 2.2 percent on year and 13.8 percent since 2010, to 48,861.
Alabama’s 20 biggest cities got a new member over the past year — Daphne, in Baldwin County, replaced Homewood at No. 20. And Prattville swapped places with Gadsden at 13 and 14, respectively.
Here is a look at Alabama’s fastest-growing municipalities since the 2010 census:
— The Decatur Daily editorial team accuses Alabama of being responsible because they did not create a friendly environment for illegal aliens, they even took them to task for daring to pass anti-immigration laws (Arizona will pick a seat and they had a similar law).
— Congressman Mo Brooks and Attorney General Steve Marshall have filed a lawsuit seeking to make sure only legal citizens are counted for Representation.
— Ramping up his previous rhetoric, Trump added a nugget: He wants to cut foreign aid for the countries that send illegal immigrants and he will base aid on the number of their citizens who crossed the border.
— The ACLU and top Democrats continue to moan about Trump’s willingness to demonize gangs, so he called them “animals” again.
— The owners are attempting to end a multi-year controversy over kneeling by telling the players to “respect” the anthem or stay in the locker room.
— In spite of an almost $100 million dollar “social justice” play by the owners, the players have decided to keep fighting, claiming “management has chosen to squash the same freedom of speech that protects someone who wants to salute the flag in an effort to prevent someone who does not wish to do so.”
2 struck by car in Birmingham parking lot after argument
Police are searching for a driver they say tried to run over a woman and her daughter in a fast food parking lot.
Birmingham police tell news outlets an unnamed 40-year-old woman was hospitalized Wednesday with serious injuries after she and her 21-year-old daughter were struck at a McDonald’s.
Witnesses say one of the victims had been arguing with a second woman and spit on the second woman’s car. That’s when police say the second woman hit the mother and daughter with the red car she was driving.
UA Study — State crash data shows seat belt use critical in saving lives
Those involved in auto crashes while not wearing seat belts are 40 times more likely to die than those who buckle up, according to an analysis of state crash records from the past five years.
For the study, University of Alabama researchers at the Center for Advanced Public Safety examined crash records from 2013 through 2017 provided by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, or ALEA.
Crash records showed about one out of every 25 unrestrained motorists involved in a crash will suffer a fatal injury, but only about one out of every 1,000 restrained motorists involved in a crash will have a fatal injury. This means that people are 40 times more likely to be killed without restraints.
One reason for this is those ejected from vehicles during crashes have 50 times the death rate as those who remain in the vehicles, and the probability of being thrown from vehicles increases about 337 times for those not restrained.
“There is no doubt that seat belts are the most effective way of reducing the chances of getting killed in a crash,” said Dr. David Brown, a research associate at CAPS who led the study. “The chances of avoiding a crash altogether that involves injury over your driving lifetime is very low, so these are not just hypothetical or extreme examples. They are real life-and-death probabilities.”
Along with an increased chance of dying in a crash if unrestrained, there is an increased chance of serious injury. About one in seven unrestrained motorists involved in a crash will sustain a serious injury, while only about one in 50 properly restrained motorists will have a serious injury.
The chances of serious injury for those unrestrained increase by more than a factor of seven. For those who buckle up, nine out of 10 are not injured during a crash.
Some of the other interesting factors include driver and passenger demographics and other correlations:
–Those between the ages 17 and 36 are unrestrained significantly more than average.
–Males are about twice as likely to be unrestrained as females.
–If all back-seat occupants were properly restrained, it would result in an estimated saving of 62 lives per year in Alabama.
–Unrestrained drivers are about 2.5 times more likely to have their crashes in the rural areas than in the cities.
Brown said there are many things drivers should do to prevent severe traffic crashes in addition to the use of seatbelts. They include, in the order of ability to prevent fatal crashes:
–Slowing down, as the probability of fatality doubles for every 10 mph increase.
–Pulling over to a safe stopping point until distractions, such as cell phones, are resolved.
–Never driving or riding with anyone who has had any alcohol or who has taken any mind-altering drugs, even if prescribed.
–Anticipating and avoiding bad weather, especially when coupled with darkness.
–Watching for deer if traveling just after dark and slowing down.
–Driving defensively to reduce risk by putting distance between others vehicles, staying out of the blind spots of large trucks and letting aggressive drivers pass.
Alabamian Davey Allison named to NASCAR Hall of Fame along with Jeff Gordon, Alan Kulwicki, Jack Roush, Roger Penske
(Talladega Superspeedway PR)
On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the five inductees who will make up its 2019 Hall of Fame class. Among those is Hueytown native Davey Allison, the son of Bobby Allison, who is also a NASCAR Hall of Famer.
Allison compiled 19 race wins and 14 pole positions in stock car racing premiere series before his death in a tragic helicopter accident in 1993. He won his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in the 1987 Winston 500. He would win at his home track two more times, in 1989 and 1992. Allison’s biggest win came at the 1992 Daytona 500.
The late Allison is joined by Jeff Gordon, Jack Roush, Roger Penske and the late Alan Kulwicki to complete the 2019 class.
Edouard Julien hit a grand slam Wednesday as No. 7 seed Auburn defeated No. 2 seed Mississippi 9-3 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Auburn (39-19) remains in the winners’ bracket in the double-elimination portion of the tournament and faces No. 11 seed Texas A&M (38-19) on Thursday. Ole Miss (42-15) meets No. 3 seed Georgia (37-18) in an elimination game Thursday.
Auburn scored nine runs in the final three innings to rally from a 2-0 deficit.
20 percent of Americans have known someone suffering from opioid addiction
A federal survey reveals roughly 20 percent of Americans know or have known someone struggling with addiction to opioid painkillers.
The annual report on the economic well being of U.S. households by the Federal Reserve System included questions regarding exposure to opioids, a first in the history of the survey. It found at least one in five Americans personally know someone suffering with an addiction to opioids, reported The Hill.
While the study revealed that white people are roughly twice as likely to be impacted by opioid abuse, the results also showed opioid addiction does not discriminate along socioeconomic lines.
“Adults who have been personally exposed to the opioid epidemic have somewhat less favorable assessments of economic conditions than those who have not been exposed,” said researchers, according to The Hill. “However, local unemployment rates are similar in the neighborhoods where those exposed to opioids live and where those not exposed live. Altogether, this analysis suggests the need to look beyond economic conditions to understand the roots of the current opioid epidemic.”
The researchers noted that a majority of adults impacted by the opioid epidemic have a positive view of their local economy.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase is driven primarily by opioids, which claimed 42,249 lives in 2016, a 28-percent increase over the roughly 33,000 lives lost to opioids in 2015.
Opioid overdoses made up a staggering 66 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2016, surpassing the annual number of lives lost to breast cancer. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl, a painkiller about 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, experienced a particularly dramatic increase, more than doubling from 9,580 lives in 2015 to 19,413 lives in 2016.
The epidemic is contributing to declining life expectancy in the U.S., officials said. Life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2016 for the first time since an outbreak of influenza in 1962 and 1963.
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As we get down to the lick log in the 2018 June Primary, there are few if any surprises in any of the major state races. Polling indicates that all of the contests are about where they were three or four months ago when the races began.
There is a tremendous amount of apathy and indifference as we head into the final days. This lack of enthusiasm has also affected fundraising. Most of the high-profile races have not attracted the amount of dollars as in the past.
Kay Ivey is sitting on a sizeable lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary. She took a slight dip in the polls when she ducked out of debates. However, it is not as pronounced as it would have been if she had appeared. Her campaign has been managed brilliantly.
Coincidentally, at the same time that her staff adroitly kept her out of the debates, her polling picked up that preserving the confederate monuments was an issue with conservative Republican primary voters. Kay’s media folks responded with an ad that could have come out of the George Wallace playbook. They had her telling folks that northern liberals and scalawags were not going to tell us what we are going to do with our monuments. Her resolve made folks wonder if she was actually there when the monuments were erected.
Last week, with only three weeks until the primary, lesbian lawmaker and LGBTQ activist Patricia Todd suggested in social media posts that Kay was gay. Ms. Ivey adamantly denied the tweet. She has adroitly deflected any and all inquiries into her private life.
The bottom line is that polls indicated she had a 30-point lead three months ago, and that lead is about the same now with less than two weeks to go to the Primary. The question is do her challengers push her into a runoff. Speculation is that she could win without a runoff the same way that her mentor, Lurleen Wallace, did in 1966.
The surprise in the GOP race could be Birmingham evangelist, Scott Dawson. He has run a very energetic campaign. Evangelical, rural, Roy Moore voters may be coalescing around the young minister. His strength might be underestimated by polling data.
This white evangelical vote is ironically similar to the African American vote in the state. It is quiet and beats to a different drummer. The message resonates through word-of-mouth between church pews rather than through the media and social media. Although, it eventually gravitates to being somewhat in lock-step with a predictably higher than average turnout.
Most observers expect Huntsville mayor, Tommy Battle, to make a late run at Ivey. He has money in the bank. He will also come out of the vote rich Tennessee Valley with good Friends and Neighbors support. He should get enough votes to run second and force Ivey into a runoff.
However, there will still be a 15-to-20 point spread in favor of Ivey when the votes are counted on June 5. Kay will have to put on her campaign bonnet for another six weeks. She will still not debate.
The Democratic Primary for governor has two thoroughbreds battling it out for the opportunity to face the GOP candidate, probably Ivey. Polling in this race between former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is inconclusive.
Most of the folks who vote in the Democratic Primary on June 5 will be African American.
Although this vote is not monolithic, the pendulum swings toward one candidate.
The African American leadership in the party is actively supporting Walt Maddox. He has also captured a good number of young white millennials and college students. My guess is that Maddox is the winner in the Democratic Primary.
Troy King will probably lead the balloting in the Attorney General contest. Alice Martin and Steve Marshall are battling for a place in the runoff with King.
Twinkle Cavanaugh is poised to get a good vote in the Lt. Governor’s race. If she has a runoff, it will probably be Will Ainsworth from Sand Mountain, who has had a significant TV buy.
State Senator Gerald Dial has surged in the Agriculture Commissioner race, primarily due to a brilliant and upbeat television ad. It is the best TV spot of the year. He is also benefiting immensely from grassroots support from rural volunteer firefighters throughout the state.
Voter ambivalence favors incumbents and those who have voter name identification. Therefore, my prognostication is that when all of the votes are counted in November, we will have a female Republican Governor, Kay Ivey, and a female Republican Lt. Governor, Twinkle Cavanaugh.
We will see.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in more than 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the legislature. Steve may be reached at this link.
Alabama’s gubernatorial candidates’ disagree and agree on how to create jobs
Alabama’s workforce won big earlier this year when Toyota-Mazda promised to create 4,000 jobs in the Huntsville area, though the number of tax dollars that state and local coffers will not see, due to abatements granted by authorities at both levels, is in the millions.
Some candidates for governor see such tax breaks as a poor way to invite job creators into the state, as indicated by their responses to recent questionnaires created by the Alabama Policy Institute and Yellowhammer News.
When asked how the candidates would foster job creation that rivals our neighboring states, Scott Dawson, a Republican candidate for governor, responded in part:
“… We all have to remember that when we bring in a company from out-of-state, the incentives that we utilize to draw them are based on giving away free taxes. The takeaway is that we can do all of the recruiting that we want, but if we’re not making Alabama a sweet home for the businesses or would-be entrepreneurs that are already here — which pay Alabama taxes — we aren’t being financially responsible! I’m a conservative who knows that free market capitalism works.”
Democratic candidate State Rep. James Fields’ ideas are somewhat similar to Dawson’s.
“I will work to end the failed, short-sighted strategy of squeezing government, giving away the farm, and cutting taxes for corporations with the expectation that an economy will suddenly prosper,” Fields responded to the same question.
State Sen. Bill Hightower, who is also vying for the Republican nomination, criticized special tax carve-outs but made his argument more a critique of Alabama’s tax code rather than case-by-case incentives.
“More than 25 states across the nation have embarked on significant tax reform in the last few years,” Hightower wrote in his response. “It is apparent that each of them realize they are in a competition for jobs and growth. By improving their tax policies, they create a business and family-friendly environment which lends itself to prosperity…. But here in Alabama, special interests and career politicians have spent years rigging the tax code with special interest tax carve-outs. I want to make Alabama’s tax code simple, low, and effective in order to compete with neighboring states. ”
Hightower, along with the Democratic Mayor of Tuscaloosa, Walt Maddox, also stressed the importance of developing Alabama’s workforce as a way to attract investment, though the two disagree on a funding mechanism for the skills training. Maddox supports a lottery, while Hightower does not.
Gov. Kay Ivey, who is currently the race’s front-runner, responded broadly in favor of improving infrastructure, education, and workforce development, as did Maddox. She also wrote, “In only a year, more than $6 billion have been invested, 13,000 jobs have been created and we have achieved record low unemployment.”
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle also touted his record, calling himself the “most effective job creator in the state” and responding: “Over the last 10 years I have created more jobs than all other Alabama counties combined. That’s 63% of all jobs in the state of Alabama. I have created 53% of the jobs in this state announced while Governor Ivey has been in office.”
Battle has elsewhere advocated both infrastructure and workforce development as ways of attracting businesses.
Democratic candidate Sue Bell Cobb did not respond to the questionnaire.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers says he has seen no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, calls it a distraction
As the calls to investigate the investigators continue to grow, America has clearly started to tire of non-stop news coverage and the politicking off of the narrative of the narrative that the Russians and Trump campaign colluded to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. Congressman Mike Rogers was asked on WVNN this morning if he has seen ANYTHING that leads him to believe actual collusion took place:
“None, and this town leaks like a sieve. If there was anything it would have been leaked months ago. They have nothing. All they can do is keep this cloud out there in the fake news media that there’s some corruption going on between the Trump Administration and the Russian government and there is no evidence of that. This is all about trying to keep people distracted from all the good things the Trump administration has been doing.”
Why this matters: Rogers is hardly the first Alabama politician to make this statement. Congressman Mo Brooks called for the probe to end soon. As this drags on, Americans have soured on House Democrats, giving Republicans an edge for the first time. The investigation has gone from collusion, to Internet ads, to financial crimes committed by people years before the campaign, to a porn star’s payment, to a former attorney trying to sell access, and all along NOTHING proving collusion has been brought forward while plenty of information continues to come out.
REX TILLERSON ON HOW TO KEEP COUNTRY FROM GOING “WOBBLY”
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, there’s a little town in Virginia which you’ve visited many times, Lexington, Virginia, the home of Washington and Lee College but also the home of the Virginia Military Institute. It was at that place that former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was invited to come and give the commencement speech to the students.
He said, “If our leaders are to conceal the truth or we, as people, become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we, as America citizens, are on the pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”
He went on to say, “If we, as a people — a free people — go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem to be the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America.”
DR. REEDER: Well, yeah, wobbly until it all falls down. Now, I know everybody is reading this as a statement he is making concerning his previous boss, which is the president of the United States when he served as secretary of state, and I think that deserves analysis but that’s not where I want to go today.
I think the removal of Secretary of State Tillerson, while he was on a mission by the president and his claim he did not know that was going to happen, that certainly is an interesting story of leadership, and this particular president’s style and Mr. Tillerson, who has come out of the corporate world in order to be the Secretary of State at the request of President Trump.
And I think that’s a story, but what I think he’s done is put his finger on something very, very truthful. It’s interesting that it should be done in that particular area because you’ve got Virginia Military Institute and you’ve got, next to it, Washington and Lee College, both of which have very stringent honor codes and, noteworthy, continue to this day, to some degree, both of those colleges.
OUR COUNTRY’S LEGACY IS OF UPRIGHT LEADERS
One of the previous presidents, as many know, of Washington and Lee College was Robert E. Lee and, in his presidency, he was asked about the honor code. And he affirmed it, but then he said, “Really, you only need one and that is you ought to conduct yourself as a Christian gentleman.” And by the way, these are student-affirmed and student-enforced in both cases.
Here’s the way Jesus said it: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Don’t be nuanced, trying to technically say the right thing but communicate the wrong thing or don’t say the right thing in the wrong way.
The way I try to say it is this: Say what you mean, mean what you say and never be mean when you say it. And that’s what I think Tillerson is saying, at least on the say what you mean and mean what you say.
LACK OF TRUST IN POLITICIANS IS THE NORM NOW
When a leader says something, it’s got to be trustworthy. It has become almost accepted fact the proverbial, “How do you know when a politician is lying? If he’s moving his mouth.” And, while that’s a joke, it is also a very sad joke.
It ought to be the exact opposite. Our first president, now, whether he actually cut down that cherry tree or not and then turned himself in… but the fact that things like that develop around a man tells you something about the man. And the story of Abraham Lincoln, who walked all those miles to return the coin because it wasn’t his — the stories abound of the truthfulness and trustworthiness.
You can’t be trustworthy if you can’t tell the truth and one of the things that is so important for a country such as this one that is based upon law is that, if you lose trust in those who lead you, then everything goes wobbly.
TRUST IN LEADERSHIP VS LEADERSHIP CRISIS
Well, how do you attempt to undo the wobbliness? Well, what happens in a country like ours is the same thing that happens in a family and the same thing that happens in a business and, by the way — since I’m a pastor — the same thing that happens in a church. If you lose trust in the soul and the gravitas and the truthfulness of your leaders and your leadership, once you lose that trust, the next step is to multiply legislation and regulations in order to attempt to maintain order.
And so, what do you see in our country now? You see reems and reems and reems of regulations, and legislations and lawsuits and that’s how the country now tries to maintain order. It used to be you didn’t need a 20-page contract — it was a handshake.
It used to be you could just write it out on a page and, “Is that what you said?” “Yeah, that’s what I said,” “Is that what you said?” “Yeah.” “Alright, let’s sign it.” You didn’t have to have 15 different statements for 13 different agencies to sign and seal and get a notary in order to cover any possible loopholes when the reality is, once you get into legislation and regulation to cover loopholes because people aren’t trustworthy, well, those same people just create more loopholes and now you’ve multiplied more legislation and regulation.
If a company, if a church, if a family has leaders that are trustworthy and that speak the truth, are reliable and you know that, what they’re saying, they actually say what they mean, mean what they say and would never be mean when they say it, then you don’t need all of those regulations and you don’t need all of that legislation and you certainly don’t need all of the lawsuits in order to try to restrain people.
Therefore, Mr. Tillerson’s statement is that a nation goes wobbly if its leaders do not speak the truth and speak the truth in terms of what actually is really happening — this is reality, we don’t have an alternate reality that we’re trying to create verbally. Here is what’s happening, here are the facts and then people are trustworthy to affirm them and to report them.
INTEGRITY-FILLED JOURNALISTS ARE CRITICAL, TOO
By the way, not only in the three branches of our government do we need that kind of leadership — in the judicial, in the legislative and in the executive branch on the local, state and national level — but, Tom, we need it in what many have called the fourth estate of our government and that is journalism.
To have journalists who do their work well and report facts factually, that is also a blessing. And our founding fathers knew that was important, which is why they created the freedom of the press to hold people accountable and the free practice of religion to mature and maintain our freedoms and call people to truthfulness and trustworthiness.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.
Commerce wins President’s ‘E’ Award for supporting Alabama exports
(Made in Alabama)
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross this week presented the Alabama Department of Commerce with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, the highest recognition an organization can receive for contributing to the expansion of U.S. exports.
At a ceremony in the nation’s capital, Secretary Ross said the Alabama Department of Commerce has demonstrated a sustained commitment to increasing exports.
“The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with the department’s formation of the Export Alabama Alliance,” he noted. “The department’s contributions to the export growth of Alabama companies through international trade missions were also particularly notable.
“The Alabama Department of Commerce’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” he added.
“Alabama companies are creating good-paying jobs as a result of exporting their products throughout the world.”
Alabama companies exported a record $21.7 billion in goods and services during 2017, led by shipments of motor vehicles, chemicals, primary metals, minerals, aircraft components and paper products to 189 foreign countries.Alabama’s exports have surged 21 percent since 2011 and 50 percent over a decade, reflecting a long-term growth trend.
“We are extremely honored to receive the President’s ‘E’ Award,” Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “Alabama companies are creating good-paying jobs as a result of exporting their products throughout the world, and exports of goods and services continue to be an economic engine that spurs job creation and economic investment.”
The Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of International Trade helps businesses across the state identify and penetrate foreign markets for their homegrown products. Over many years, the office has staged a series of trade and business development missions to countries around the globe, most recently to Argentina and Ecuador in April 2018.
“The Alabama International Trade program has proven to be a tremendous resource for the state’s small and medium-sized companies,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of Commerce’s Office of International Trade. “Assisting them in finding international markets for Alabama-made products is the key to growing exports and jobs at home.
“Receiving this prestigious award validates the hard work that all members of the Export Alabama Alliance have accomplished since it was formed in 2004,” she added.
The Export Alabama Alliance is a seamless network of international trade agencies with the fundamental objective of helping Alabama companies expand their business internationally.
Lockhart and Beau Lore, an international trade specialist in the Office of International Trade, were on hand at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Herbert C. Hoover building on Constitution Avenue today to receive the award.
In total, Secretary Ross honored 43 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with the President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity in foreign markets.
U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, the ITA lends its expertise at every stage of the exporting process.
U.S. exports totaled $2.33 trillion in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs nationwide in 2016, according to the most recent ITA statistics.
The editorial board of the Daily and the TimesDaily reacted to a lawsuit filed by the state of Alabama and Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) against the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau announced a day earlier. The goal of the suit is to stop illegal immigrants from being counted in the 2020 census. If they are included, it could mean the loss of a congressional seat for Alabama after the data is compiled and the U.S. House seats are apportioned.
According to the editorial, Alabama only has itself to blame if it loses a House seat given the tack the state has taken on illegal immigration, which it argued sent the wrong message to legal immigrants.
“The rest of the South is booming, and Alabama is the only state in the Deep South that looks likely to lose a congressional seat following the 2020 census. There is a reason for this: In 2011, the state Legislature passed HB 56, a draconian measure aimed at “illegal immigration.” The law had the net effect of making Alabama look inhospitable to immigrants legal and illegal.”
There’s no question HB had its problems. It was hastily conceived legislation, and it was destined to fail in the long run because it couldn’t pass muster with the courts.
However, if the message sent from Alabama’s tough stance on immigration is to blame, why isn’t Arizona in danger of losing one of its nine congressional seats for the similar immigration legislation it passed in 2010?
Arizona’s SB 1070 had much more of the national spotlight than Alabama’s HB 56. We all remember then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) tangling with President Barack Obama on the tarmac at the airport in Phoenix.
Beyond that incorrect assumption, this editorial is just wrong in its key criticism that Alabama was in need of improvement on how “inviting” it has made itself to immigrants.
“Instead of suing the federal government, Alabama should instead work on making itself inviting to immigrants from abroad,” the editorial added. “Otherwise, in another 10 years, it may fall even further behind the rest of the country.”
Alabamians have welcomed Hispanic immigrants to its state. A trip through Franklin County’s Russellville or Marshall County’s Albertville doesn’t seem to suggest Alabama has closed its doors to them.
The Decatur Daily and TimesDaily make the dubious claim that all people in a congressional district, legal or illegal, are constitutionally guaranteed representation and therefore Alabama and Mo Brooks don’t have a legitimate gripe. But what it ignores is why Alabamians take issue with the federal government’s handling of immigration.
A mass influx of immigrants may make newspaper editors feel good about themselves, as they drive to and from the newspaper office while listening to the intellectual ramblings over the airwaves of Alabama Public Radio.
“Ah, if our state could only be as enlightened about humanity as we are!”
Immigration policy has a significant impact on the existing communities. Schools and infrastructure are often overwhelmed, public safety concerns are increased given any new population requires police and fire protection, and on and on.
How is any of this addressed by blaming voters for electing politicians that run on frustrations with immigration? Is it wrong to challenge an advantage given to other states that encourage illegal immigration through sanctuary city and lax drivers license policies?
Rather than publish some left-wing screed that reads more like a column written by a sophomore for a college newspaper, consider things from the point of view of your readers. Consider the impact of immigration on the communities they have built and have lived in all their lives.
That doesn’t seem like too much of an ask for newspapers of record in two of Alabama’s biggest cities.
Audio: Jefferson County DA discusses Acton Bowen case, claims of police systemic bias, and more
Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton appeared on “The Wake-Up Call with Baylor and Hannah” Tuesday to discuss claims of systemic bias made against U.S. police officers, the upcoming Jefferson County District Attorney election, the Acton Bowen case, the Hoover bus driver DUI incident, and much more.
Lt. Gov. candidate Will Ainsworth portrays career politicians as masked burglars in new anti corruption campaign ad
Republican lieutenant governor candidate Will Ainsworth is airing a new campaign commercial that focuses on fighting government corruption and portrays career politicians as masked burglars.
“This ad acknowledges that those who steal from others to enrich themselves are criminals whether they wear a ski mask in a bank or a suit and tie in the Alabama State House,” Ainsworth said. “Far too often, career politicians lose their perspective, become numb to corruption, and fall prey to the temptations that the political systems offers. As a newcomer to public service, that is why I sponsored term limit legislation in the Alabama House, and it is why I’ll help ensure that politicians who engage in corruption will experience the inside of a jail cell.”
The new campaign spot for Ainsworth, who sponsored term limit legislation as a first-term member of the Alabama House representing portions of Marshall, Blount, and DeKalb counties, is part of a massive $1.2 million media buy placed by his campaign and currently airs on network and cable stations across the state as well as in on-line digital and social media formats.
(Paid For By Friends of Will Ainsworth, 7520 Browns Valley Rd, Guntersville, AL 35976)
Former Alabama shelter director sentenced for animal cruelty
The former director of an Alabama animal shelter will avoid jail time after being convicted of animal cruelty.
Lawrence County Circuit Judge Mark Craig sentenced 84-year-old Bobbie Taylor to two years of probation and fined her $11,100 during a hearing Tuesday.
The Decatur Daily reports he also ordered her to undergo mental health treatment and barred her from possessing more than 10 animals.
Taylor was charged after police raided the animal shelter she was operating for the Lawrence County Commission in June 2015. Authorities say they found malnourished, neglected and sick animals living in overcrowded conditions.
On TV, experts identify killers by their bite marks. In real life, experts claim they can do that.
The TV show “Cold Case Files” covered the trial of Alfred Swinton. He was convicted of murder because a bite-mark expert said his teeth matched a bite on the victim.
“A perfect match!” said Dr. Gus Karazulas, the “forensic odontologist” whose testimony clinched the conviction.
Karazulas sounded impartial and objective. “A forensic scientist is not on the side of the prosecutor or defense,” he said on “Cold Case Files.” “We look at the evidence.”
But Swinton was innocent. Lawyer Chris Fabricant helped get him released from jail by doing a DNA test, a much more reliable, less subjective form of science.
Fabricant scoffs at bite-mark testimony: “The doctor was just wrong. It’s an unreliable technique.”
The more room there is for an expert witness’s unique interpretation of the data, the more that can go wrong, says Fabricant. “Bite mark is similar to you and I looking at a cloud. I say to you, ‘John, doesn’t that cloud look like a rabbit?’ And you say, ‘Yeah, Chris, I think that does look like a rabbit.'”
That kind of junk science puts innocent people in jail.
I told Fabricant that I assumed most people in jail are guilty. Also, many people say crime is down because aggressive law enforcement has locked so many people up.
“If you think that maybe even 1 percent of convicted defendants may be innocent,” replied Fabricant, “we have 2.6 million people in prison today, (so) we are talking about tens of thousands of (innocent) people!”
Fabricant works with the Innocence Project, a group that works to get innocent people freed from prison. Through DNA evidence, the project’s lawyers have helped free 191 people.
That confident bite-mark expert who got Swinton convicted now admits he was wrong. “Bite mark evidence is junk science,” he told us via email. He resigned from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
But police still trust bite marks.
“Let’s say one tooth is missing in the front” of a bite mark, explains Houck. “You’ve got to go, well, our suspect’s got one tooth missing in the front. That’s pretty good!”
Houck says he’d demand other evidence. But not all cops do — especially when scientific “experts” say someone’s guilty.
Bite marks are just one dubious method police and prosecutors use.
FBI researchers claim fingerprints are right more than 99 percent of the time. But that still leaves plenty of wrongful convictions.
After terrorists killed 193 people in Madrid, the FBI matched a fingerprint on a terrorist’s bag to a man in Oregon named Brandon Mayfield. They arrested him. But Mayfield was innocent. Weeks later, Spanish investigators compared the prints more carefully and found the real terrorist.
Other techniques are even less accurate: carpet-fiber evidence, gun tracing, use of psychics, hair matching.
“A dog hair was associated wrongfully with a human hair,” says Fabricant. “Since the turn of this century, there have been 75 wrongful convictions (based on hair matches).”
Why do judges and lawyers accept such dubious evidence?
“We all went to law school because we don’t know science, we don’t know math,” he replied. “If somebody comes in in a white lab coat, and says, ‘I’ve been accredited by the American Board of Forensic Odontology,’ that’s good enough for government work.”
That shouldn’t be. Too much is at stake.
Jurors tend to believe people who call themselves “scientists.”
Judges should be more skeptical. They should ban junk science from courtrooms.
John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”
Birmingham Legion FC announces Post Consumer Brands as first corporate sponsor
Birmingham Legion FC today announced Minnesota-based Post Consumer Brands – producers of such cereals such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles and Malt O Meal Bag Cereal – as the club’s first corporate sponsor for its inaugural 2019 season.
“Legion FC is proud to partner with such a community-oriented company as Post Consumer Brands,” said President and GM, Jay Heaps. “We believe this partnership will allow us to continue to build a strong bond in our community.”
“Post Consumer Brands is excited to partner with Legion FC via a co-op opportunity with local Piggly Wiggly franchise owners,” said David Kearney, senior account manager for Post Consumer Brands. “Partnering with Legion FC is a meaningful way for us to connect with soccer fans of all ages and backgrounds. We are looking forward to working with Legion FC going forward and supporting a top-level soccer team in Birmingham that we really feel the community is going to embrace and get behind.”
As part of the partnership, Legion FC and Post Consumer Brands will host a free soccer clinic for children, with information forthcoming. Specifics surrounding additional corporate sponsorships – including the club’s title sponsor – will be released as details are finalized.
Legion FC will play their first season in 2019 at the soon to be renovated stadium at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Season ticket deposits for the inaugural season can be made by visiting bhmlegion.com. Fans are encouraged to follow Legion FC via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the handle @bhmlegion.
About Post Consumer Brands
Post Consumer Brands is a subsidiary of Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POST), formed from the consolidation of Post Foods and MOM Brands in May 2015. Headquartered in Lakeville, Minn., Post Consumer Brands today is the third largest cereal company in the United States, with the broadest portfolio in the industry — from iconic household name brands and value ready-to-eat cereals to natural/organic and hot cereal varieties. As a company committed to high standards of quality and to our values, we are driven by one idea: To make better happen every day. For more information about our brands, visit this link.