The Wire

  • The surprising link between Alabama seafood, timber and U.S. national security, and how Shelby is leading the way

    Excerpt:

    There are plenty of areas of debate over exactly how and where the U.S. should spend its foreign aid dollars. But for Alabamians in particular — and the entire Gulf Coast region more broadly — the international assistance that flows into cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking is paying massive dividends, both economically and, perhaps more surprisingly, in terms of national security.

    A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates Americans grossly overestimate the amount the federal government spends on foreign aid.  The average answer was foreign aid accounts for a whopping 31 percent of spending. Fifteen percent of respondents actually thought it represented over half of the U.S. budget.

    In reality, according to the Congressional Research Service, it accounts for about 1 percent total when military, economic development and humanitarian efforts are combined.  And it is paying massive dividends for Alabama.

    Here’s how:

  • Rep. Byrne to Hold 12 Town Hall Meetings

    From a Congressman Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced today that he will hold twelve town hall meetings during the August District Work Period.

    Known as the “Better Off Now” Town Hall Tour, Congressman Byrne will hold public town halls in each of the counties that make up Alabama’s First Congressional District. Byrne will discuss how the American people are better off now thanks to a booming economy, stronger military, and safer communities.

    Byrne ranks among the top of all Members of Congress for the number of town hall meetings held. Since assuming office in late 2013, Byrne has held over 100 town hall meetings, including meetings over the phone and through Facebook.

    All the town hall meetings are open to the public and free to attend. All the information can be found online below.

  • HudsonAlpha technology director to present at Google Cloud conference

    Excerpt from a HudsonAlpha news release:

    HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Technology Director Katreena Mullican has been invited to present at the Google Next ‘18 conference in San Francisco, Calif, July 24-26.

    Google Next is an international conference where more than 10,000 developers, technology leaders, and entrepreneurs come together to have a collaborative discussion about the Google Cloud Platform.

    Mullican has more than 20 years of experience in architecting Linux, virtualization and hybrid cloud solutions. As HudsonAlpha’s Cloud Whisperer, Mullican brings her expertise in automation of on-prem composable and public cloud infrastructure for scientific applications and workflows to the Institute.

    “HudsonAlpha is one of the top sequencing centers in the world, so it’s my job to think outside the box to design hybrid platforms appropriate for our sequencing and research workloads,” said Mullican.

    Mullican will participate in a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cloud Talk Tuesday at 1:00 pm in the South Hall to discuss how HudsonAlpha uses the composable HPE Synergy platform for an on-premises Kubernetes cluster that can scale to Google Cloud Platform.

Dr. Harry Reeder: The sexual revolution an ‘all-out assault’ on our culture

(Pixabay)

During the Friday broadcast of “In Perspective,” Tom Lamprecht and Harry Reeder discussed the recent Arizona court case involving Brush & Nib Studio owned by two openly Christian calligraphers, Breanna Koske and Joanna Duka.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins ruled these two women could be compelled by the government to use their artistic ability to service same-sex weddings. Although the judge acknowledged that they undoubtedly engaged in a form of speech, she ruled against them since they did not engage in expressive speech. The government defined the types of speech that could be compelled and not compelled.

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According to Dr. Reeder, we should look at what is happening in terms of the First Amendment with a Christian world and life view.

First, the judge decided that the founding fathers did not mean the free practice of speech, they meant the free practice of expressive speech, and what these calligraphers were doing was not expressive.

Reeder responds to that, saying, “That’s a nonsensical statement. All speech is expressive.”

Second, Reeder states that we are seeing the First Amendment “attacked by the sexual revolution.”

He adds, “You are not going to be able to hide, whether you are calligraphers or cake bakers, or whether you work as a salesperson, this sexual revolution takes no prisoners. You are not going to be able to hide. The churches are going to have to identify their sexual ethics and how they hold to it, compassionately but with conviction. You are going to have to do it in the workplace, you are going to have to do it in your home, you are going to be faced in the school system.”

As further evidence, Reeder mentions a recent Planned Parenthood of New York advertising campaign that was so vile that the details of it could not be discussed on his program.

“Planned Parenthood, has made it very clear. We exist to promote this sexual revolution of sexual anarchy, sexual deviancy; both verbally and visually,” Reeder states. “This is an all-out assault on the culture in the promotion of pagan sexual promiscuity and perversion. Anarchy in the name of liberty, and the removal of any ethical considerations and any ethical boundaries is incessant and insistent.”

2 days ago

What’s wrong with Calhoun County’s economy?

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Earlier this week, Zippia, one of the many job search websites out there, released its list of 2018’s 50 worst job markets in America. Only one in Alabama made the list: Anniston-Jacksonville, AL, which came in at number 43.

That’s not bad given what we’re told about Alabama and poverty. But it does raise one question: Why are Anniston and its surrounding areas struggling compared to other similar places in the state?

Although unemployment in Calhoun County is not nearly as high as counties in the Black Belt, compared to other quasi-urban areas of Alabama, Calhoun has the highest unemployment rate, coming in at 5.9 percent according to data posted recently on the Alabama Department of Labor’s website.

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That far exceeds the seasonally adjusted numbers for the state of Alabama, at 4.1 percent, and nationally, at 4 percent.

So, what gives? Why does Calhoun County struggle economically?

“It’s a good question,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said in response to that in an interview with Yellowhammer News back in April. “I saw those numbers come out for my congressional district and Calhoun County had the highest unemployment rate, still. It is better than it has been, but I don’t know the answer to that question.”

Rogers said part of the answer to that question may be tied to military spending during the Obama administration and its impact on the nearby Anniston Army Depot.

“[T]here was a real downsizing at the Depot,” he added. “They had had a couple more thousand employees than they have now at the height of the war and there had been a downsizing since the drawback from Iraq and Afghanistan. You don’t need to refurbish as much equipment. But now they’re trying to ramp back up as we try to rebuild our military.”

He credited the potential for a turnaround in that trend to President Donald Trump’s commitment to the military.

Beyond that, why isn’t Calhoun County booming? It seems like every other day, Gov. Kay Ivey is announcing a new addition or manufacturing facility in the Huntsville area that includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Let’s compare the Anniston-Oxford area to another economic hot spot in Rogers district, the Auburn-Opelika area.  Although Lee County isn’t quite enjoying the successes of Madison and Limestone Counties, it seems to be growing. Its unemployment rate is 4.7 percent – a little higher. But when you look around Auburn and Opelika, there are all kinds of new commercial and residential construction projects.

That doesn’t seem to be a trend in Anniston and Oxford.

Both Lee and Calhoun Counties have some similarities. Having Auburn University in Lee County is a big difference. Besides that, the two approximately the same distance from Atlanta and its international airport. The two are served by the Interstate Highway System – I-20 in Calhoun County and I-85 in Lee County.

If Lee County can make it work, then why not Calhoun County?

Getting to the bottom of determining what is ailing Calhoun County is not an easy chore. Although reading the pages of The Anniston Star is not quite the adventures of “Alice in Wonderland” it was when H. Brandt Ayers was in charge, under Josephine Ayers and Anthony Cook, it still tends to dwell in the politics outside of Calhoun County.

Addressing Calhoun County’s struggles is a politically worthwhile endeavor. While Kay Ivey is patting herself on the back for economic prosperity in north Alabama at plant-opening ceremony number 105, and Walt Maddox is championing his heroics in Tuscaloosa post-2011 tornado devastation, what about Anniston? What about Oxford? What about Jacksonville?

From an outsider’s perspective, there seems to be a presentable case for manufacturing to make Calhoun County a home given its infrastructure and proximities it Atlanta and Birmingham. But first, we need to determine what’s behind its current struggles.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

4 days ago

Fire safety or compliance waste?

(Troy Fire Department)

Troy’s fire department rating will improve this October, which should lower our insurance rates. Fire protection ratings show how markets can ensure the quality of our services. They also provide an example of value creation as opposed to compliance-driven documentation.

The Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) Fire Suppression Rating Schedule dates back to 1909. Insurance companies wanted reliable information on the quality of cities’ firefighting services. Entire city blocks of tightly bunched wooden buildings could burn without effective firefighting response. Insurers wanted to know where poor fire protection created a risk of devastating losses.

The ratings range from 10 (worst) to 1 (best). Troy’s rating will improve from 3 to 2. Only three percent of over 43,000 departments have a rating of 2; just 305 departments nationally (0.7 percent) have a score of 1. Twenty percent of departments have scores of 9 or 10, so ISO is not like a teacher who gives only A’s and B’s. The rating formula assigns points for a fire department’s equipment and training, water resources, and communications.

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The ratings cannot tell a community how good of a fire department they should have because quality is costly. For instance, opening a third fire station helped drive Troy’s improved rating. The third fire station improves response times, which could save lives or contain damage in a fire. The money for the station, however, could have been spent on the police force, street repairs or lowering taxes.

Are the benefits worth the cost? That’s for cities across the country to decide. Fire suppression ratings assist us as citizens in making such decisions. The city of Troy has been spending money upgrading our fire department for several years. The ISO score signals that our investment is paying off.

And yet can we really be sure that a better ISO rating means better protection? This is a significant question. The ratings are based on many factors. If the factors do not improve protection, a better rating does not make us safer. Public schools can provide lots of documentation of the attainment of performance criteria without noticeable improvement. Could a similar dynamic be at work in firefighting?

We can trust the ratings because insurance companies continue to offer premium discounts for them. An insurer offering discounts will write more policies in communities like Troy. Lower premiums bring in less money per insured home or business; if fire losses are not lower, the insurance company will lose money. Insurers can verify reduced fire losses using their loss data.

Trial, error and adjustment are all crucial here. Sending three fire engines on structure fire calls instead of two to earns the Troy fire department ISO rating points. This seems prudent, but may not necessarily reduce losses. If dispatching an extra engine does not reduce losses, insurers will not want to offer an additional discount and communities will not want to bear this extra cost. ISO drops factors from its formula which fail to reduce fire losses.

Research by economists finds that quality verification works better when voluntary. Making all insurance companies give discounts for ISO ratings might seem to make sense. Instead, insurers do not have to use and must pay for access to the ratings. Insurers will only pay if the ratings provide value. ISO must ensure that the criteria correlate with lower fire losses and not impose costly and ineffective requirements. If insurers had to use the ratings, ISO could sell access regardless of usefulness and would have little reason to refine the criteria over time.

Economic activity increasingly involves documenting compliance with company policies or government regulations. We now have a saying that if you haven’t documented it, you haven’t done it. Yet, fire-fighting demonstrates the weak connection between documentation and value creation: people can be rescued from a burning building without the rescue being documented. Fire suppression demonstrates the potential relevance of performance measures and allows Troy residents to sleep better knowing we are safer.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.

5 days ago

We should encourage informed voters — not more voters

(W.Miller/YHN)

The Secretary of State John Merrill estimated that turnout in yesterday’s primary run-off would be 15-18 percent. Many have pretended that this is a failure of the process, that we should beg people to register and vote.

This is a complete misunderstanding of the situation. We do not need to prod people to participate in the final act of the political process without educating them on what is happening beforehand. The founders never wanted the mob to rule. This is why the Senate was originally appointed and not elected.

Alexander Hamilton talked about this when he was explaining the reasoning for the Electoral College:

“It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”

Why this matters:

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To put it in layman’s terms, Hamilton did not want dummies deciding who runs our country. An informed electorate is better than a large electorate. Mobs can be enticed, cajoled and corrupted, to vote for stuff.

To put it another way, a big turnout is bad for Alabama. When the electorate is small, the informed voter is more powerful. When the electorate is large, the informed voter is weakened.

These tweets by Brian Lyman of the Montgomery Advertiser reads like he is sad about low-turnout:

We should stop telling people how voting is their “duty” and how “people died for the right to vote.” Voting should be easy to do, but if you want to do your duty and honor those who died, get informed and then vote.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

5 days ago

On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

(Congresswoman Roby/Facebook)

Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Aside from it being hard to see how Bright, also a former Democratic congressman that once cast a vote for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House, could rally a large enough number within the pro-Trump base to unseat Roby, thinking such an outcome were a possibility ignored the local politics.

One of Roby’s strengths throughout her tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives has been her ability to build relationships from Houston County in the very southeastern corner of Alabama’s second congressional district to the Autauga County in the very northwestern corner.

Beyond Montgomery where Roby served as a city councilwoman, she’s become known throughout her district. Be it Greenville in Butler County, Ozark in Dale County or Slocomb in Geneva County, she’s built a stout a network of support.

To beat her, as the past has shown, it would take more than gimmicky tactics. As an opponent, Bright was never able to demonstrate to one of the most Republican-voting parts of Alabama why he was a viable alternative other than he as a former Democrat would be a better ally to Trump.

(Trump ultimately endorsed Roby, which severely crippled the line of attack.)

Many in the media looked to Alabama anyway. Could this be another show of how dangerous it is for Republicans to attack President Donald Trump, much like what happened in South Carolina’s first congressional district to Rep. Mark Sanford?

It was not. And, deservedly, the narrative that Republican voters in Alabama are too mind-numb to make decisions based on something beyond a blind allegiance to the president died.

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s outcome may have given rise to a new equally intellectually challenged notion: “Rise up, Republicans! You can criticize Donald Trump, and it won’t cost you an election.”

These simplistic contrived notions tell us one or both of two things about those reporting on Republican politics from afar: a) They’re too lazy to look beyond the daily blow-by-blow inside the D.C. Beltway bubble and therefore have a very shallow understanding of national politics, or b) They think so lowly of voters in certain parts of the country that they’re too shallow to look beyond the national headlines and consider more than the broad narratives on laid out on Fox News or talk radio.

The how and why behind Roby’s remarkable victory had nothing to do with Donald Trump. If Hillary Clinton had been president, she probably would have won. If Mitt Romney had been president, she also probably would have won. Who was in the White House had little to do with politics on the ground in Alabama’s second congressional district.

The only reason Roby was in a runoff was that she was one of five candidates competing in a crowded Republican primary field. The reason she won Tuesday’s runoff and will likely defeat Democratic congressional nominee Tabitha Isner in November’s general election is that the people in her congressional district like the job she has done as a member of Congress.

But why let the facts interfere with an opportunity to strike some symbolic blow against Trump’s supporters, or Trump himself?

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

6 days ago

Republicans don’t have to oppose Trump because he refuses to admit Russia meddled and wanted him to win

(CBS News)

Russia meddled in the 2016 election and President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence acknowledges it. Russia wanted Trump to win, Russian President Vladimir Putin even admitted it. This does not mean there was collusion, it does not mean the election was stolen, and it doesn’t mean you have to support Hillary Clinton in 2020 or Democrats in 2018. It also doesn’t mean I, nor anyone else, has to second guess our reasoning for voting for Trump in 2016.

My reasoning was the open Supreme Court seat that would become Neal Gorsuch’s and the one that will become Brett Kavanaugh’s. A good friend of mine messaged me last night taunting me about Trump’s performance at the Trump/Putin press conference:

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You know what, it was.

But the game here is quite simple: Putin wanted Trump over Hillary, therefore you shouldn’t have.

The problem with that is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are actually to blame for all the problems that are being brought to bear today, and Trump fails to acknowledge that.

Take this by former Congressman Mike Rogers (not Alabama’s) Tweet as a guide:

Let’s check the timeline…

— Waged continuous & increasingly aggressive cyber attacks against us – 2015(?)-present
— Interfered in our 2016 elections – 2015-2016
— Annexed Crimea – 2014
— Shot down a civilian airliner – 2014
— Supports Assad in Syria – 2013
— Invaded our ally Georgia – 2008
— Murdered opponents in London – 2018

A grand total of one of those events started during Trump’s term.

More interestingly, the media, Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continued to act as if Russia was an ally — or at best a nuisance.

Clinton offered a reset button:

Obama asked for space so he could win an election:

How is it that Trump’s failure to call out Russia’s acts before he was president is ushering in a more powerful Russian Federation, but years of straight-up weakness should have been rewarded with a third-term for team Obama? It makes no sense.

Now, I have been clear, President Trump should acknowledge Russian-meddling, but that meddling does not de-legitimize his win. He needs to acknowledge this, but so do his opponents.

There is more to the world than our relationship with Russia. The economy matters, the Supreme Court matters, controlling our borders matters, and no one can tell you that your choice in 2016 was wrong because Obama failed to do his job.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

1 week ago

YH’s Holland: Lt. Governor race comes down to proven leadership

(Twinkle Campaign)

As a long-time political participant and observer, some 40 years, and all in Alabama, I cannot begin to stress the importance of having a high caliber person to run our Alabama State Senate. Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is that person. I have known and worked with Twinkle since her days fighting for conservative causes and as chairman of our beloved state Republican Party. During all those years, Twinkle stayed true to God, her family, her values, which are very high, and to the Alabama Republican Party.

As a public servant, I have had the opportunity to watch Twinkle up close and at work. No one works harder for the people of this great state. With each job, she has gained valuable experience and knowhow, which is invaluable, especially in public service. Twinkle knows how to get the job done and done right. Her work ethic is impeccable; you will not out work Twinkle. And, she does it all with a smile.

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Twinkle takes her job very seriously. Like Donald Trump, she has cut regulations, and also like our president, Twinkle has stood up against the “Big Mules” as “Big” Jim Folsom used to say. Twinkle has reduced spending, liabilities, vehicles even her office was reduced in size and, most importantly, has returned millions through efficiently running the Public Service Commission into the Alabama Treasury.

Twinkle’s outstanding record speaks for itself. Her opponent is documented to be anti-Trump. While serving as chairman of Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, he submitted a statement declaring “Donald Trump is a con artist, not a conservative.”

I trust you will join me in voting for Twinkle on Tuesday, July 17 because of her service, because of her outstanding record and because of her vision for the state that we all love — she deserves it. After all, we need someone who has real experience and the knowledge to run our Alabama State Senate.

J. Holland is a Yellowhammer Radio News Network anchor and campaign volunteer for Twinkle Cavanaugh

1 week ago

Trump’s SCOTUS pick makes AG Steve Marshall feel pretty good about his lawsuit against the federal government

(CNN/YouTube)

Attorney General Steve Marshall and Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) have filed a suit against the federal government over how it plans to count illegal immigrants in the 2020 Census. If Marshall loses this case, it could be disastrous for the state of Alabama. Alabama has a lot at stake. If illegal immigrants are counted the state will lose a Congressional seat, an electoral vote and the way federal funding will be impacted.

This morning, Marshall told WVNN and Yellowhammer News that the potential appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court makes his chances of succeeding with his lawsuit increase.

“We have examined some of his opinions and talked to Mo Brooks’ office yesterday, felt very encouraged about some of the writings he’s had, both in the majority as well as the descent. I think he is, again, an Originalist. He is somebody that has demonstrated the ability to construe a statute and the Constitution as it’s written, and feel like that is very much the fundamental philosophy we need to be able to prevail in this case.”

Why this matters:

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Alabama needs to win this case. The counting of illegal immigrants in the census process has a chance to seriously tip the balance in favor of states and legislators who openly flaunt “Sanctuary City” policies, advocate for open borders and the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The outcome of this case will have ramifications on public policy for the foreseeable future. Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court gives Alabama a chance at success.

Listen to the interview here:

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

Three Reasons Why You Should Care About Occupational Licensing Reform

(Pixabay)

During my years working in public policy, there have been a handful of issues that have gotten me fired up. Typically when I tell people about them, they have some level of understanding—a state lottery, education and school choice, taxes and budgets, things like that. These days, when I’m asked about the issue I most care about and I say “occupational licensing reform,” I’m often met with blank stares. Once I start explaining the issue, however, people start to understand why it is so important, not just to me, but to all Alabamians.

In an effort to prevent more blank stares, here are a few reasons why you should care about occupational licensing reform in Alabama.

1. The costs of licensing end up on the consumer.

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Think about it—if you have to pay thousands of dollars in educational costs, plus hundreds of dollars in licensing fees to the state, just to do your job, are you going to assume those costs? Of course not! Those fees will be passed on to the consumer of whatever product or service that you are selling.

Selfishly, as a consumer—and a frugal one at that—the thought of incurring the cost of someone’s state-issued license is pretty infuriating. Of course, I acknowledge that in certain cases—medical services, for example—there is consumer protection offered by a license that I find to be valuable. In many cases, however, a license does not dictate whether or not someone is qualified to do their job. The beauty of the free market is that if I go to a manicurist, for example, and they do not do a good job, all I have to worry about is a bad manicure. I never have to go back.

2. Individuals shouldn’t have to get permission from the government to do a job that they are trained to do.

Sometimes I wonder, “if I had to pay for a license to do my job, would I be doing my job?” Thankfully, that’s a question I’ve never had to ask. I went to college, received a degree in political science and, based on my credentials and experience, was determined to be a good candidate for my job. No license required.

In my time talking to folks about this issue, I’ve heard from countless workers who have expressed disdain with the licensing process. Their main complaint is that they’ve already jumped through hoops to become educated for the job, whether that’s through formal education or work experience. A state-issued license, quite frankly, means nothing to me compared to education and job experience.

3. Occupational licensing laws may impede Alabama’s workforce development.

A recent study by the Alabama Policy Institute shows that over twenty-one percent of Alabama’s workforce is licensed. The same report estimates that the total initial cost of licensing, excluding educational costs and yearly renewal costs, to be $122 million. If I am looking to get into a licensed field in Alabama, these costs are going to be a major deterrent for me as I look to get into the workforce.

Barriers to entry established by occupational licensing laws are shown to disproportionately impact disadvantaged groups in Alabama—the poor, minorities, military families, and people with a record. Alabama took one step toward a solution this year, with the passage and signing of the Military Family Jobs Opportunity Act, which will significantly ease the burden of licensing on military families who have received occupational licenses in other states. Nevertheless, in order to improve economic mobility for Alabama families, there are still changes that need to be made.

Here’s what I’m getting at: whether or not you are in a licensed occupation, you should care about occupational licensing reform. As consumers, we should question having to pay more for certain goods and services due to the costs of a license—especially those that have little or nothing to do with public health and safety. As empathetic Alabamians, the idea that the state often forces people to pay for a permission slip to work should inspire us to demand change. Lastly, as voters during a campaign season focused on job growth, we should call on and expect our leaders to carefully examine the burdens of occupational licensing on Alabama’s families.

Taylor Dawson is director of communications for the Alabama Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families.

British government resignations signal problems

(Pixabay)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

BRITISH GOVERNMENT RESIGNATIONS SIGNAL PROBLEMS

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, World Magazine is reporting that British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, who served as the key campaigner for Brexit, Britain’s departure from the European Union, resigned last Monday. His resignation is the latest move threatening Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and comes after Brexit secretary David Davis resigned on Sunday night. Steve Baker, a minister in Britain’s Brexit Department followed with his resignation almost immediately.

Harry, it was about two years ago that the citizens of Great Britain voted to leave the EU. It appears that Theresa May might be slow-walking that process and she’s running into some roadblocks.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, it’s really been interesting to watch this implementation of the popular vote in Britain to exit the European Union, the EU, and to watch its implementation under the administration of Prime Minister Theresa May.

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And, of course, the sideshow — and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way — has also been the relationship between Prime Minister Theresa May and our own President Trump, which all coincides, by the way, because while all of this is happening, President Trump is on his way to Britain and the reports were that Prime Minister May — it may have contributed to this — had given strict directives that he was not to meet with Brexit supporters, even those that reside within her administration.

PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY SEEMS TO BE SLOW-WALKING BREXIT

As you and I were considering this and I was doing some research, it seems to be pretty undeniable, for whatever reason, that the prime minister is not fully supportive of the vote of the British people to exit the European Union. On the one hand, she’s tapping the brakes — she’s pumping the brakes — to slow everything down as much as possible and perhaps, in a year to two years, maybe see if a movement to reverse the vote could take place. Now within her own administration are those who campaigned for and are supportive of Brexit and they’re calling attention to it by their resignation, which has put her entire government in a precarious position and a possible vote of no confidence may just be right around the corner.

Let’s look at the overall issue of Brexit — that is, Britain exiting the European Union — and why. Tom, as you know, in the last century, we had two world wars that originated in Europe and originated out of national conflict so there were a couple of efforts to try to put in place an organization that would forestall any future conflict — a way to settle issues without the entire world being embroiled in a way.

IS EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNIT A GOOD IDEA?

First was the League of Nations after World War I and it didn’t work. Then came the United Nations and, while it’s not been as effective as many would like and has become an instrument in which people are using it to advance their own national interest instead of being a place to settle national issues, the greater fear always is that it becomes a world government and, by so becoming a world government, then national sovereignty is lost.

That looming specter out of the United Nations has an even compelling emotional response in Europe because what has developed in the last 25 years is the European Union and, what was meant to be an alliance of cooperation, well, it has become almost a settled fact that the European Union and its directives supersede national directives. And that’s what happened in Britain — “We don’t want the European Union telling us what kind of light bulbs we can use, how we recycle our trash,” all of the things that the European Union was now giving directives to nations, and they said, “No, we want our national sovereignty back,” which is understandable.

NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY IS IMPORTANT AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T TURN INTO NATIONALISM

Now, here is where, from a Christian world and life view, we recognize that God has ordained the ethos — that is, the nations of the world — and, as these nations exist, should their sovereignty be superseded by imperial movements of one nation or by imperial structures that dominate the nations and I think that’s what the pushback was in Britain.

As I listened to the debate in England, it seemed as if everyone was saying, “We’re fine with defense alliances and trade alliances such as NATO. We are not fine with losing our national sovereignty to the European Union.”

What readily raises its head in a fallen world are two dynamics concerning nations. One is nationalism. As you know, the populist presidency that we are now under in President Trump has tapped into this notion of “America First.” Now, President Trump has said, “I am not saying America First and only. What I am saying is what I think every nation should do — whenever you make a decision, it’s not in disregard to other nations, but it is in regard to we’ve got to do what’s best for our own nation. I was elected to be president of this nation and then the well-being of this nation will position us to be of benefit to other nations.”

CARE AND PRECEDENCE OF ONE’S OWN NATION IS BIBLICAL

I compare it to that emotionally jarring moment where, every time I get on an airplane and come those words, “In the unlikely event of an emergency, your oxygen mask will come down. Please secure your own mask before you assist someone else.” Well, you know, in my heart, that jars me emotionally because what I want to do is assist the other person in the virtue of sacrifice and helping them but, when you stop and think about it, that kind of emergency where you’re losing oxygen, you can’t help the other person without having oxygen.

That’s why, in the law of God, it says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In light of God’s love for you and your love for the Lord, you need to secure that intimacy with the Lord and that’s what enables you to love your neighbor thoughtfully, Biblically and effectively.

You understand, in a true approach to this, we have to handle our nation’s well-being first but you can’t let it slip into nationalism because, if you have nationalism, then you’re going to have imperialism, which is the robbing and domination of other nations in order to take from them what is theirs and add to your own coffers. National sovereignty cannot become an occasion for nationalism. On the other hand, national sovereignty is crucial for nations to be in position to rightly help other nations.

THERE IS HOPE FOR ENGLAND TO REBOUND WITH GOOD LEADERSHIP AND A GOSPEL AWAKENING

From a Christian world and life view, my ancestry comes from there — I’m one-fourth Scot, one-fourth Irish, one-fourth Scots-Irish, and one-fourth English — so I look to that nation with some interest and I would hope and pray, for the well-being of England politically and economically, that she would carry out the vote of the people and do it in such a way that nationalism doesn’t come to the forefront which would lead to another imperialistic movement or to an isolationist position. Nations, like people, need to hear the commandment of the Lord — we want to be in the world but not of the world.

And then, finally, what I would say for this is I am the beneficiary of a great Gospel awakening in our nation. It didn’t start in our nation; it started in England. I long for the day when, like the Oxford 12 — men like Charles Wesley, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Daniel Rowland, Ronald Sennick, and others — I am praying for God to raise up a Gospel awakening within England. It is in desperate need of the gospel to move forward. The answer is not found in nationalism, the answer is not found in isolationism and the answer is not found in imperialism. The answer is found in the movement of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the population and may the Lord raise up great gospel preachers in England.

I look with interest in this political conundrum that Prime Minister Theresa May faces. I look with interest in how it’s going to affect the NATO summit and the side discussions that she and her government were having with Donald Trump concerning a trade alliance between England and America and how that’s going to affect that discussion.

While I look for all of that, I look to the heavens and pray, God, open the heavens up and pour down a gospel-saturating movement upon England and upon my own nation and may it go to the whole world. I pray may the grace of God cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

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.

1 week ago

7 Things: FBI agent Strzok gets grilled — Trump continues trying to remake our relationships with Europe — Alabama’s worst lawyer, Troy King, loses again — and more …

View of the U.S. Capitol from Congressman Gary Palmer's dinner celebrating his first day in office (Photo: Yellowhammer)

1. Biased FBI agent Peter Strzok has his day of public testimony, little was learned, but Strzok gave the media what they wanted

— The FBI agent who worked on both the Hillary Clinton and Trump/Russia investigations wouldn’t answer questions about the Russia probe and may be held in contempt. In the past, he said there was “no big there there“.

— Republicans attacked Strzock for his clear conflicts of interests and his role in changing the findings of the Clinton investigation. Democrats applauded him and offered him a Purple Heart.

2. Trump continues tipping over tables in Europe, upsetting his hosts

— Before Trump even stepped on the scene, he did an interview where he stated that a deal with the UK on trade may not be possible if Prime Minister Theresa May stays with the EU.

— Trump’s issues with the EU have bubbled over from his NATO meeting. Trump said, “We have enough difficulty with the European Union. We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading”.

3. Troy King, Alabama’s worst lawyer, loses a case where he tried to stop his political opponent from spending campaign dollars

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— King’s campaign tried a gambit that many have never seen, filing a frivolous court case to keep an opponent from spending campaign dollars against him. He lost (just like he did to me in court)

— The Marshall campaign says they will seek sanctions against Troy King, but that probably won’t happen because the election is Tuesday.

4. Hyundai’s union says Alabama’s plant would close first, which could cost the state 20,000 jobs

— A South Korean labor union warns that their contract states that the company must close foreign plants first before closing plants in Korea.

— The tariffs may never happen, but the AP reports the “Department of Commerce is investigating whether auto imports pose a great enough security threat to impose these tariffs”.

5. Democrats have introduced a bill to abolish ICE that the sponsors will vote against

— The movement to #AbolishICE has the support of the Democrat base and some elected Democrats. Now, there has been a bill proposed to do away with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency because they have become “militarized” and have too much power — “which ICE has used to terrorize our communities.”

— House GOP leaders say they plan to bring a Democratic measure up for a vote. The Democrat sponsors of this bill are now saying they are going to vote “NO” on their own bill, reasoning, “We know Speaker Ryan is not serious about passing our ‘Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act,’ so members of Congress, advocacy groups, and impacted communities will not engage in this political stunt.”

6. Tennessee GOP Congresswoman Diane Black wants to make illegal entry a felony; Alabama GOP Congressman Mo Brooks has signed on and co-sponsored the bill

— Rep. Black is reacting to the overwhelming amount of Democrats, and media, arguing that those who enter the country are only charged with misdemeanors for illegal entry. She offered a bill that would change it to a felony and mandate an E-Verify system.

— Rep. Brooks became the first Alabama Congressman to sign on when he tweeted, “COSPONSORED: has the right idea. Illegal immigration to America is a serious crime and the penalty should match”.

7. The U.S./North Korea Nobel Peace Prize for Trump hits a few speed bumps

— The U.S. declares that North Korea is receiving oil from China and Russia. The Trump administration wants more sanctions, including a ban on oil-product sales to North Korea until 2019.

— Part of the early negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea involved returning American war dead, but North Korean officials did not attend a meeting on this matter.

2 weeks ago

Do DIY projects make economic sense?

(Pixabay)

Millions of Americans engage in do it yourself (DIY) home improvements. Each summer I choose a project, and about half of the time I actually do it. This year’s project is painting our house’s exterior windows and trim. And yet DIY produces professional angst for me as an economist, because core economic principles imply that I should hire someone for home projects.

About two thirds of American homeowners typically report planning a DIY improvement task. The more than 4,000 Lowe’s and Home Depot stores nationwide largely cater to DIYers. Cable TV channels, magazines, blogs, and YouTube videos assist aspiring DIYers.

DIY, however, ignores the principle of comparative advantage. What does this mean? Suppose that I could have hired a professional for my painting project for $1,000, plus the cost of paint. Paying someone would have taken me less time than doing it myself. This might seem trivial, since I could just watch if I paid someone, but holds even considering raising the money to pay for the job.

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Why? I can earn $1,000 working as an economist faster than I can paint. Alternatively, I could earn more than $1,000 in the time I’ll spend painting. I am skilled as an economist (although some of my students might disagree), while painters are better at painting. Comparative advantage shows that we will both be better off by focusing on what we’re good at. Teaching a summer class is a faster way for me to paint my house.

Comparative advantage applies for other projects – decks or landscaping the yard – and other professionals – doctors, plumbers, basically everyone. Much of our modern prosperity is due to specialization based on comparative advantage and buying what we need and want.

Closely related to specialization is another fundamental economic principle, the division of knowledge. A pro knows more about painting than I do; they will have and know how to use all the latest tools. A DIYer is more likely to waste wood building a deck due to mistakes a pro will avoid.

DIY could even make us poorer. If twenty families in Troy decided to build decks themselves this summer, they would likely waste a lot of wood and other materials making the similar mistakes. One specialized company could more quickly and efficiently build all twenty decks.

And yet I am probably painting as you read this. Am I crazy? Perhaps, but let’s not go there. My depiction of comparative advantage, however, does omit several things.

Many people cannot work extra hours (for pay at least) to earn the cash needed to pay for home improvement projects. Opportunities for overtime may not come when you want to do a project. DIY purchases a deck or fire pit we otherwise couldn’t afford using our spare time.

Having workers come into your house is also inconvenient. Hiring a painter or contractor is a hassle. Good contractors are often referred by friends, so you may end up with an unreliable one. (Many free-market economists have contractor horror stories, which should perhaps make us rethink how well markets work.)

Emotional considerations also factor in. DIY was part of life in the Sutter home growing up. We did things like put a new roof on the garage and build a deck, and we helped friends with such projects. I learned DIY before economics, and maybe some lessons are hard to unlearn. Many people enjoy working on their home, which factors into consideration.

Specialization leads to the creation of so much new knowledge that it limits our ability to DIY. YouTube videos level the playing field some, but only help someone who is already handy. The ability to DIY is valuable, even when we choose to pay others to do our tasks. The growing percentage of Americans not confident about changing a flat tire will be dependent on road service.

Good luck with your summer projects DIYers. You probably don’t have to worry while working about failing to apply basic principles you teach students. Perhaps painting my house makes me a bad economist; if so, I’m glad I have tenure!

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.

What Alan Dershowitz’ shunning says about snowflake culture and intolerance for debate

(YHN/Pixabay)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:        

ALAN DERSHOWITZ OSTRACIZED FOR NOT CONDEMNING TRUMP

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to take you to an article out of Fox News. We referenced this in a program we did a few days ago. Harvard law professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz, recently came out in an interview and said that he has been basically ostracized by what he thought were his own friends at high-end seasonal destination Martha’s Vineyard.

Dershowitz, a famed lawyer, lamented the efforts to eject him from social life at Martha’s Vineyard amid his outspoken criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the alleged collusion with Russia. He said, “So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from the social life on Martha’s Vineyard.”

DR. REEDER: And, by the way, it cuts both ways: he was quite the defender in what he thought were overreaches on Clinton’s impeachment on constitutional grounds. And so now he’s being ostracized in the arena of Martha’s Vineyard, which is the gathering of the cultural elite in society.

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IS THIS THE PROGRESSIVES’ NEW TACTIC OF EDGING OUT OPPOSITION?

These summer months, he finds himself not invited to the wine and cheese moments and he’s lamenting it but you can also see that he’s taking advantage of this moment to point out what is happening in this continued snowflake culture where, if someone disagrees with you, what you do is ostracize them from a conversation and you exclude them from the company that you keep.

Actually, I think he’s being excluded for another reason and that reason is one of the reasons why I wanted us to go ahead and take this on today. What we’re seeing in our society is this inability to allow the First Amendment to flourish because, whenever people have ideas, ideas are expressed in words and words and ideas have consequences, and if the words and the ideas are more persuasive or more influential than yours and you want yours to succeed, then what you do is you try to ostracize it, shout it down and you try to intimidate it.

COLLEGE CAMPUSES ARE ALSO SWITCHING FROM FREE DEBATE TO NO DEBATE

We’re watching it in our college campuses which, historically, have been a place where free speech is supposed to reign with supremacy so that people are educated in the context of debate on ideas and we see that inability to allow free speech — particularly, in the progressive agenda, the socialist agenda and in the agenda of the culturally elite — they cannot stand the debate of does gender begin at conception or does gender begin when the person declares what gender they want to be and does life begin at conception or is life only sacred if the people who are having it want it because it meets the test of what is acceptable and convenient for them.

Along with euthanasia, abortion, transgender movement, the sexual anarchy of the sexual revolution and those who embrace this secular world and life view of the sovereign self as opposed to the consistent world and life view of a sovereign God and a Creator who has so established the dignity of life, and marriage, and sexuality, and work and all of those things and the right role of government, by the way, then what you do is you get rid of the people who disagree with this new agenda.

As my daddy used to say, “You can’t stand the heat in the kitchen,” when the conversation is beyond your ability to refute, what clearly makes sense?

WHEN DID A PERSON WITH A DIFFERENT OPINION BECOME YOUR ENEMY?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, let me go a little deeper on what you’ve just said and I’ll put it in the form of a question. What has happened in the last several decades that, when we disagree with someone on a political issue, it has gone from, “Okay, I will agree to disagree,” to today, if you disagree, “You are now my enemy and I will do everything I can to destroy you” — what’s the underlying cause?

DR. REEDER: Because social secularism — the sexual revolution, the socialist agenda — really is a religious movement. It’s an issue of where people’s hearts are. When you have a world and life view, Tom, in which the only thing that’s right is what I declare is right, and now you’re confronted with a world and life view that says, “No, there are things that are objectively right and objectively wrong. There’s something that’s good and there’s something that’s not good. There’s something that’s beautiful and there’s something that’s not beautiful. There’s something that’s true and there’s something that’s not true,” and you run into that world and life view which makes sense and which is rational and influential, then this becomes a heart issue — it is the exaltation in religion of the sovereign self otherwise masquerading as secular humanism — then you have to excommunicate those ideas.

The way that you excommunicate them is you try to intimidate people into silence, you try to marginalize them, you try to shame them or you just simply ostracize them. And Dershowitz who, by the way, clearly is no evangelical Christian but he’s in trouble because he has supported Trump’s Middle East policies, he has supported most of his immigration policies and he has exposed the overreach of the FBI situation in the special counsel probe that’s going on — which, by the way, he also did in the Clinton era — but, in today’s agenda, part of its mantra is the destruction of the current president and not the criticism of his policies, simply, and debating that, but his personal destruction so now Dershowitz is seen as an enemy and, therefore, he is ostracized.

THE FLAW IN DEBATE SHOWS FLAW IN THE ARGUMENT

Tom, I think that always exposes the weakness of an argument. Whenever someone raises their voice, not expressing emotion of their commitment to their idea, but raising their voice to express an ability to emotionally and verbally oppress the other person’s idea when they resort to profanity, when they resort to tactics of intimidation and when they resort to exclusion and being ostracized, then by and large, almost 90 percent of the time, that is the revealing of either a weak mind or a weak argument.

The people who have a good mind and have a good argument relish the discussion, relish the debate because first, they have confidence in their position and, second, because the debate will help sharpen them in their position or, if necessary, change them.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO DEBATE 

Tom, every time I preach, I always pray what we call in worship “The Prayer of Illumination” that God would bless his people and overcome the inadequacies of the preacher — that’s me — which are many and would work in the lives of the hearers so they have eyes to see and ears to hear. One of those prayers that I many times pray is this: “Lord, in these moments, from your Word by your Spirit, would you affirm what we know that is right, would you correct what we think is right but is wrong and would you teach us what we need to know and teach us what is right?” Tom, I think that’s absolutely crucial in life.

OUR FOUNDERS KNEW THAT FREE SPEECH WAS THE CORNERSTONE OF OTHER FREEDOMS

By the way, the free practice of religion and free practice of speech and the free practice of assembly, those are inseparably entwined. That’s why they’re not separate amendments but they’re part of those six affirmations of the First Amendment. I think the founding fathers were absolutely wise in putting them all together — “See, they won’t let him assemble. See, they try to control his speech. ‘Unless you say my acceptable speech, then you’re not allowed in this community.’”

Well, it’s one thing for you to have an organization and you have every right to determine who’s going to be in that organization. It’s another thing when you try to exclude people because you can’t handle their arguments within a city or within a state or within a community. And that’s what he’s experiencing and that’s what we’re seeing on our college campuses — the fragility of the secular humanist position and, therefore, the boisterous and intimidating tactics of exclusion.

HOPE IN CHRIST CAN BRIDGE DIVIDES

Tom, I have something that I would like to freely say and I would like to offer it into the public square and that’s this: God made you and the way things are going now is not the way God made them. The way things are going now is the way we’ve made them. We have brought the sin that has brought the consequences but this God Who made us for what is good and beautiful and true that we have marred with our sin, has also spoken another Word and that Word is His Son, Jesus Christ — “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only Begotten from the Father full of grace and truth.”

I’d like to announce that freely this day because this same Savior came and went to a cross, died for our sins and will not only forgive us of the guilt of our sins but will set us free from the power of sin and will set us on a journey to grow in His grace and assassinate sin instead of assassinating others and their rights. And then you can freely speak with one another with the Good News that Jesus Christ loves sinners, changes sinners — come just as you are and you’ll never leave just as you came.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

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.

 

2 weeks ago

A millennial’s plea: Get educated — socialism is a devastating sham

(MSNBC/YouTube)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old New York Democrat, seems to have taken the reigns of the Democrat party. This could get pretty ugly unless we do something about it now.

For those of you who do not already know, Ocasio-Cortez unseated Democratic Caucus Chair Joseph Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Why is this a big deal? Because Ocasio-Cortez believes in the failing practice of socialism and is receiving great praise for doing so. Don’t panic! Once you can cut through her many unsubstantiated promises, her stupidity can be somewhat combatted.

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Ocasio-Cortez’s platform has sent shockwaves through America and is a fantasy that millions on the left long for.

Ocasio-Cortez aims to abolish ICE, provide tuition-free college education, and ensure that all Americans have healthcare. What she has failed to understand and present to the American people is who will be footing the bill for her foolishness. I’ll tell you who it is. It’s the American people. Yes, the taxpayers. Those that work day in and day out to ensure that they have the resources they need will be paying the way for the millions that do not want to work or are abusing government welfare programs. There will be the exceptions of course, but my argument stands. For too long, there has been no vetting process for governmental assistance, leading to corrupt beings in the world.

Socialism is a practice that does not work. This is not rocket science. Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas are nothing less than those of a socialist state. Should she advance and move forward with continued support, more and more Democrats will adopt her ideas.

What Republicans must do is educate their fellow Americans about the dangers (and historical outcomes) of Ocasio-Cortez’s nonsensical ideology.

Work to ensure that EVERYONE knows the true dangers of socialism. You would be surprised how many people in America do not know the truth regarding socialism. Tell them to take a look at Venezuela. It is the greatest example of a failed socialist state.

In this report from CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research), many reports are compiled to reveal the horrid and tragic truths about socialist Venezuela. In 2016, the average Venezuelan lost around 19 pounds. In 2017, the average Venezuelan lost 30 pounds.

Venezuelans are suffering. Why is it that so many Americans are struggling to understand that?

I get it, we have A LOT of uneducated and unintelligent people living in America, but that does not mean we cannot work to ensure that they know exactly what they’re voting for.

The entire reason I am writing this piece is because millennials, in particular, need to be more aware of the dangers of socialism. Millennials, I urge you to get educated and educate your peers. Sadly, a great deal of our generation favors socialism.

In a 2016 YouGov survey, 39 percent of respondents in the 18–29 age group viewed socialism in a positive light.

That number is overwhelmingly high for a system designed to fail.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 weeks ago

Walt Maddox should have to do better than calling Kay Ivey old and accusing her of having ‘limited energy’

(W.Miller/YHN)

2018 has already been an amazingly embarrassing election cycle for desperate politicians in Alabama.

We have already seen Troy King, who was/is a wholly owned subsidiary of gambling interests, accuse AG Steve Marshall of being a recipient of gambling dollars for accepting money from the Republican Attorney General Association, when King was a member of the group himself.

We should have all been shocked to see Rep. Will Ainsworth accused of a crime-spree because he got a boating citation and participated in some pranks while a college student at Auburn.

Now we have the mayor of Tuscaloosa Walt Maddox and his campaign playing the “Kay Ivey is old” card:

Why this matters:

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We know she is old. But there is no evidence she has “limited energy.” She hasn’t fallen or shown any signs that she is incapable of doing her job.

She is older than the President of the United States by one year, so unless Maddox and his campaign is prepared to argue that President Trump is too old for his job, where does this go?

Answer: This Tweet is a signal to his supporters to start implying Ivey is some elderly and infirm old lady who is incapable of doing her job because of her “limited energy.”

Maddox should have to defend this accusation to the press like Donald Trump had to in 2016.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

2 weeks ago

Rest easy, Alabama: Apparently, all transportation problems have been solved — ALDOT has moved on to ‘vibrant’ paint jobs

(ALDOT/Twitter)

It’s bumper-to-bumper on I-565 headed into Huntsville. Somewhere in downtown Birmingham, a truck driver is cussing how no one will let him merge as I-65 narrows with construction underway at the I-20/59 malfunction junction. A driver of an SUV speeding east on I-10 headed to Gulf Shores with his family has to slam on the brakes as traffic is logjammed headed into the Wallace Tunnel.

These are just the publicized transportation problem areas of Alabama. There are a few others: I-65 in Shelby County, Lurleen Wallace Blvd. in Tuscaloosa, and the numerous places cut off from the rest of the state like Wedowee, Fayette, Monroeville, and Lafayette with no four-lane access to an interstate highway.

Meanwhile, on the east side of the Mobile River on Blakeley Island, there is a makeover underway. The entrance to the Bankhead Tunnel, which carries U.S. Highway 90 and 98 under the river is being outfitted with a new “vibrant” paint scheme.

This effort has excited the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Mobile Area Office to such an extent that it is celebrating the paint job on social media.

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Doesn’t it seem misguided for the bloated administrative state bureaucracy behind Alabama’s appalling road and highway system to be touting a paint job?

There is so much wrong with state government, but most Alabamians seem to be willing to overlook a lot of it. The one thing that impacts them directly that they probably would prefer the state to make a priority is roads and highways.

The shortcomings of the Alabama Department of Transportation are for the most part ignored. They were raised in the waning days by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle in his losing bid to be the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Politicians running for state office often tip-toe around the issues as to avoid pitting regions of the state against one another.

Instead, the focus is put on arming teachers with guns in schools, the never-ending see-saw battle of the competing big special interests in Montgomery or who can be the Trumpiest of all. These are all superfluous issues that distract from the question: What exactly do people want state government to do?

There’s a lot on that list, but one would have to expect pretty high on the list is transportation. That doesn’t mean funding for Amtrak, which is an antiquated and inefficient means for you and your bros in Mobile to catch a Saints game in New Orleans.

It’s not even dealing with the situation of outrageous airfares flying in and out of Montgomery and Dothan.

It’s making it easier for people to get to and from home and work. It’s opening up some of these isolated places in Alabama that aren’t shut off from the rest of the world and economic development because it is cost-prohibitive to transport any goods that might be manufactured in these economically beleaguered communities.

The takeaway from ALDOT: Don’t sweat that silly stuff. You can enjoy the luscious pastels of the Bankhead Tunnel as you attempt to dodge the traffic of the Bayway headed into Mobile.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

Parents denied access to public school sex education materials is shocking government overreach

(Pixabay/YHN)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

PUBLIC SCHOOLS DENY PARENTS RIGHTS TO APPROVE — OR EVEN VIEW –SEX EDUCATION MATERIALS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I’d like to take you to two separate stories, one out of World Magazine and the other out of The Daily Wire but both, however, have the same theme. One of the stories out of Pennsylvania is a school district, after roughly 2,800 were forced to watch an LGBT video during LGBT unity week back in April, parents and conservative activists asked the district to provide links to the video so that they could see what the children were forced to watch. The answer they got? No.

In Virginia, a Virginia school board, this month, approved drastic changes to its district’s sex education curriculum despite strong parental oppositions. Once again, the parents were told, “It’s not your concern.”

DR. REEDER: Included in that was the removal of clergy as those “trusted individuals” to call upon in case of counseling. Now, the reason why for that clearly is because, within that number of clergy are going to be those who have convictions concerning the Biblical and historical definition of marriage as a man and a woman for life and that sexuality is within marriage and that marriage is a man and a woman for life and, therefore, clergy become the casualties.

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Tom, let’s see what they reveal concerning this intentional, and pervasive and highly effective movement of a neopagan world and life view that ultimately destroys the foundational institutions of a culture as it attempts to eradicate the historic influences of a Christian world and life view in the culture, particularly around the matters of marriage, and family, and sexuality and individual dignity and inalienable rights — that is, God-given rights that are to be protected by a government — as opposed to the increasing socialist notion that the government has the power to determine the rights and give the rights and they’re government-based, not God-based.

The historic position is that they’re God-given and that our government is called to protect those God-given rights and now we have a new movement that the government can invent rights and then give them and then, of course, protect them by coercion as you see here, in both of these cases.

PENNSYLVANIA CASE WAS EGREGIOUS ABUSE OF POWER

In the Pennsylvania case, you see that the students in this school district were required to go and watch these LGBTQ films. Parents naturally say, “What is it that you are exposing my children to? I want to know.” And then the school district, after a lengthy process, determines with the ruling that, “No, we’re not going to let you have those,” and their excuse is that this was a student project so their privacy is to be protected. Well, the reality is it was not a student project; it was an external organization declared to be an LGBT-straight alliance, but it was not an internal movement and was an external movement. That, with the cultural elite that control the school board, they then begin to impose that upon that particular school district and upon those children, the world and life view that normalizes sexuality outside of marriage, and sexuality outside of the natural sex of heterosexuality between a man and a woman and then the ethical dimension that it is to be within marriage.

In Fairfax now, they even went to the point of removing, even as an element of sex education, abstinence, which, of course, we know is not only consistent with a Biblical world and life view — you abstain from sex and you teach people how to and why to both ethically and practically — and, by the way, that’s 100 percent effective on sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, etc., but now you can’t even teach that in Virginia.

Not only did they make the children go and make the children watch but now they will not let the parents see what the children watched so what does that tell you? Well, first, the sexual revolution is a reality, it is incessant, it is intentional and it is going to use the powers of the government as it extends into the arena of public education because, if you can get the children and frame their mind and their world and life view in terms of this sexual revolution, then you’ve got the next generation. And, to do that, you’re going to have to sidestep what we have always affirmed and that is the supremacy of parental rights over the education of their children.

PUBLIC EDUCATION EQUALS PUBLIC CONTROL WHICH MUST BE MONITORED

When the public education movement began in the 19th century, these things were warned that, if you put public education in the hands of government and then you impose compulsory public education, it’s just a matter of time until the state and the cultural elite will seize that as their number one most effective method to make children of the state — not children who know how to live within a state, that is, we used to call it civics, but children of the state instead of children of the family.

Secondly, its primary — and not exclusive, but its primary — weapon is the public-school system and, with the capturing of the minds of those who control that system — administrators, teachers’ organizations, outside organizations that are invited in. With that influence on the children, it is now being used and it is being used with power in that the children had no choice and they had to go to it.

The fact that they would not show or give them the links to these films which should be available tells you there is something in those films they don’t want seen. It’s a shot across the bow: your children are our children, not your children. It is the cultural elite again telling the rank and file of humanity, “We are smarter than you and, by the way, you can’t stop us. They’re our children more than they are your children.”

PARENTS, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO VOTE FOR GOOD LEADERS

I have one simple response. Those people are in those positions and you still reside within a democratic process. How do you let such people rule your school district? There is a school board that is elected — you put them there and you need to put people up there who will, if you’re going to have a public-school system, will make it subservient to the parents, not a power that imposes upon the parents and the families and then the families serve the public-school system and its objectives but the public-school system serves the public. You have a means to address that and someone needs to seize this particular moment and create the movement that, if you’re going to have a public-school system, it is going to serve the public, not the public serve the system.

You cannot go to bed at night and not know that your children are the targets of this sexual revolution. As parents, you may have to make a decision that, if we cannot get control of this system so that it goes back to doing what we actually established it to do over 100 years ago — reading, writing and arithmetic — then you need to leave that system.

 

CHURCHES, TAKE ON THIS CULTURE WAR WITH PROPER CREATION (AND SEX) EDUCATION

Tom, let me just finish up today’s program with just a word to churches. We need to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, when the Bible says that we make disciples, we are to teach them all that the Lord has commanded and that includes a right view of humanity made in the image of God, male and female, and the dignity that’s fastened to that. It also calls us to uphold revealed creation mandates such as marriage and sexuality within marriage.

The fact that our parents are not able to respond to this, I believe, is in some degree because of either the inability or the refusal of churches to take on these issues in the curriculum of a Christian world and life view so that people love the Lord with all their mind, heart and soul. The Gospel is at the core and the Gospel takes you high, deep and wide. It takes you into all of life to capture every thought unto the obedience of Christ and that’s also how are we made, why are we made, why are we here and why our institutions such as family, marriage and sexuality within marriage are important in the education of our children. That needs to be in the hands of parents and any instrument that supersedes it, including the public schools, must be changed or cast to the side in the trash heap of culture.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

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.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump v. NATO — Outside groups want Alabama Senator Doug Jones’ vote on SCOTUS nominee — ‘disappointing and deceptive’ attacks in the Lt. Gov. and AG race ramp up — and more …

(YHN/Pixabay)

1. President Trump continues to bang on NATO as he arrives for a summit

— As Trump arrives in Brussels for his latest meeting with our allies, he launched an old-school attack about how they don’t pay their agreed upon GDP percentage for national security. He also hit Germany for making deals with Russia while portraying them as a threat — a point he is right about.

— Inexplicably, this desire for more NATO spending is reported by the media as the work of Vladimir Putin. Trump earlier had referred to the meeting with Putin, saying it “may be easier” than NATO, which is also considered a love note to Putin.

2. Supreme Court Justice-to-be Brett Kavanaugh arrives on Capitol Hill as Democrats shift the battle from abortion to ObamaCare; outside groups target Alabama’s Senator Doug Jones

— Both Senators Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly have decided whether the judge will allow pre-existing conditions to be covered under ObamaCare is the central issue in this nomination, which shows Democrats think these judges are legislators.

— After Jones’ wishy-washy comments over the last few days, Judicial Crisis Network is pouring money into Alabama to get citizens to pressure Jones to vote “Yes.”

3. Attacks continue to fly in the Lieutenant Governor’s and Attorney General’s races

— Another day, another lame attack by a desperate and failing Troy King. This week he is hilariously alleging that Steve Marshall is beholden to gambling interests. King cites a fundraiser from an attorney general association he himself was a part of and then he admits he “[does] not know who attended.”

— In what surprised many, and will probably move none, former candidate for Attorney General Alice Martin came out in support of Will Ainsworth in the lieutenant governor race. Martin specifically cited the “disappointing and deceptive” Twinkle Cavanaugh attack ads as a reason.

4. Attempts to reunite children with their criminal illegal parents are going as well as you would expect

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— In spite of a court order, only four of 102 children separated from their parents had been returned as of mid-day Tuesday. It is also likely the government will miss the arbitrary deadline of July 26 to reunite all roughly 3,000 kids.

— Some will never be returned because “some parents have been found unsuitable for reunification because of issues discovered during a criminal background check, including child cruelty, child smuggling, narcotics crimes, robbery convictions, and a warrant for murder.”

5. Mexico’s new president wants to shut down their southern border; no word on their northern one

— During Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s presidential campaign, he claimed he would not help the United States with border enforcement, but his attitude has changed on his southern border. He also will be lowering crime by “legalizing drugs, instituting gun control, and reducing punishment for criminals.”

— Alfonso Durazo, Lopez Obrador’s future security chief, told Bloomberg that, “We’re going to create a border police force that will be highly specialized,” and “They need to apply the law.”

6. American liberals have absolutely no clue how the Supreme Court works

— Many in the political media seem to believe that judges are there to make law or to change the law to where it can pass Constitutional scrutiny. This is obviously not the case, but this is really why they are scared.

— This obvious ignorance of how anything works is why Nebraska Senator Sasse slammed the protests at the Supreme Court on Monday night. His argument, as summarized by the Weekly Standard: “Protest at the White House, he says, or protest at Congress—those are the places that are supposed to be responsive to politics. The Supreme Court is supposed to be responsive to the law.”

7. Sen. Doug Jones is now seen as “adamantly pro-choice“, after selling himself as a moderate 

— Now-Senator Doug Jones, the statewide media, and the national media ran his campaign in 2017 on two absurd narratives: that Roy Moore was a pedophile and that Doug Jones was a moderate. It worked, but now the mask is off.

— Jones was always for abortion up until birth, but that wasn’t enough for the press. Now that the race is over and they want Jones to be exactly what they knew he was, they are saying he has always been “adamantly pro-choice“, which is a moronic lie.

About that Alice Martin tweet

(Pixabay)

For most writers, the “you’re getting paid to write that!” accusation comes with the job.

Also: “You’re a racist!”, “You’re a communist!”, “You’re a spy for the Russian mob!”, “You’re a fill-in-the-blank.”

I’ve enjoyed learning from writers who hold their heads high, write from the heart and ignore trolls. There are many inspiring examples of this in Alabama media and my husband, J. Pepper Bryars, is my gold standard hero when it comes to that. You should have seen his inbox during the Roy Moore fiasco.

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Criticism … accusations … suspicion about your motives … it’s all part of it. Personally, I enjoy writing more when I don’t read social media comments. I can count on one hand the times I’ve given in to the curiosity to look.

But last night, someone sent me a screenshot of a troll-ish tweet that bothers me because of who it is about.

A public figure I wouldn’t expect accused a sincere, honest, courageous young Yellowhammer News contributing writer named Jeremy Beaman of writing an article that was influenced by money, which to anyone in journalism is about the worst thing you could be accused of.

Alice Martin, a former candidate for the Republication nomination for Attorney General, posted the following to Twitter regarding Jeremy’s article:

“YH weak ‘sponsored’ reporting swayed by ad $$. Marshall was a Democrat + weak plea bargaining record as DA. HE hasn’t lowered crime in Montgomery. Report facts!”

I think of myself as “Mama Millennial” to the young people on our team, but “Mama Millennial” will now be “Mama Bear” for a moment to defend this recent college grad and rising star (who by the way, is not at all bothered by Martin’s tweet).

When I texted Jeremy: “You should know Alice Martin is being nasty about your article. Don’t flinch or let it bother you…,” he texted back (shared with permission): “No skin off my nose! I wasn’t deeply examining their every flaw. Only the ones most obvious and already talked about.”

Jeremy is not concerned with what Martin thinks of him because he knows there’s no truth to her accusation that his article was swayed by advertising dollars. He wrote what he personally found interesting, and certainly without any input from the sales team.

Oddly enough, the article Martin calls into question was actually critical of Marshall, noting that he is a former Democrat and that some conservative voters may find such a “political sin” impossible to forgive. (Correction: Jeremy appropriately pointed out to me HE wasn’t trying to be critical of anyone, merely reporting what voters may think of political “transgressions.” See? Sharp guy.)

American author Joyce Carol Oates tweeted something years ago that made an impact on me, and while I have no hope of digging through her prolific tweets to find the original, I feel I can quote her general idea with rough accuracy.

She tweeted something like: Someone, somewhere, with whatever degree of pretense or sincerity, will find a reason to be offended by anything you say or do. Therefore…?

I guess it’s time for “Mama Millennial/Mama Bear” to back off – smiling, knowing — kids like Jeremy aren’t really kids. His confident reaction to Martin’s tweet shows me he’s already working from a “Therefore…?” stance. He’ll be just fine.

And me? Yeah, me too, though if someone trolls this article on social media, I’m still not going to see it.

I do like to connect with awesome Alabamians. Please reach out and say hello at Rachel@yellowhammernews.com — unless, that is, you’re writing to tell me I’m a Russian spy.

2 weeks ago

Primary runoff will test Alabama Republicans’ ability to forgive political sins

(Campaigns)

Every person – and more so, if we’re absorbing campaign advertising, every politician – has transgressed.

As we all know, some transgressions are easy to atone for and others are not so easy. Political transgressions are, by all accounts, among the most difficult to atone for, but we will see about that in next Tuesday’s primary election runoff.

At least four of the Republican candidates facing a primary challenger have done something “bad”, at least in the eyes of certain conservative Alabama voters.

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Their sins are these: Bobby Bright and Steve Marshall were formerly Democrats, Troy King has fairly obvious relations to gambling interests, and Martha Roby withdrew her official endorsement for President Trump during his campaign.

Bobby Bright was not only a Democrat, but he supported the house speakership of progressive matriarch Nancy Pelosi.

Attorney General Steve Marshall converted in 2011 but still at one time belonged to the party of Barack Obama, a reality which Marshall’s challenger, former Attorney General Troy King, and certainly an unknown number of conservative voters, find entirely disqualifying.

Troy King has denied taking campaign contributions tied to gambling interests, but there sure is a lot of smoke. According to Al.com, he is affiliated with a company for which he registered “…five patents for a class II gambling machine that simulates a craps table.”

Rep. Martha Roby committed a mortal sin in failing to support the president’s election, which her primary challengers were sure would lead to her political death.

Even still, she has been able to weather the storm so far, perhaps with the forgiveness President Trump has granted to her in the form of his endorsement.

Results from this primary runoff will deliver several key indications on where Alabama conservatives are, and among them will be an indication of their capacity to forgive political shortcomings but more importantly, how effectively the candidates have expiated their sins through demonstrations of fidelity to President Trump.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

2 weeks ago

Wait, now Alabama Senator Doug Jones was always ‘adamantly pro-choice’?

(D. Jones/Twitter)

During the 2017 special election, the Alabama media was hell-bent on telling Alabama voters that Sen. Doug Jones was a moderate. You could justify not voting for Roy Moore because Jones wasn’t for “full term abortion” (because the phrase doesn’t exist or something).

It was a sham and we all knew it, including his enablers in the press.

Now, his supporters are outright saying Jones is adamantly pro-choice.

This is from former Huntsville Times’ reporter Bob Lowry:

Why this matters:

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This is what liberals knew, or thought, about Doug Jones all along. They were OK with the subterfuge.

They also knew that he could never get elected if he were honest about where he and his base stand on this issue, so they allowed the wiggle room.

His base is full of abortion fetishists, so Jones is in a conundrum. If he votes “YES” on Trump’s nominee, he is betraying them. If he votes “NO” he is truly toast and his 2020 opponents know it.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

Why the Supreme Court’s labor union decision is a win for freedom and education

(W.Miller/YHN)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:                        

UNION MANDATE STRUCK DOWN BY SUPREME COURT

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, one of the final decisions of the latest term of the Supreme Court came out about a week ago. It ruled that government workers cannot be compelled to contribute to labor unions. The 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME scrapped a 41-year-old ruling that allowed states to require public employees to pay fees to unions, the so-called “fair share fees.”

World Magazine came out with an op-ed piece talking about the fact that this is a great boost for school choice advocates. Why? Well, former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, founder and president of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, puts it this way: the court’s decision provides parents, educators and reformers the opportunity to overcome two of the biggest obstacles to transforming education in America — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. Experts say this will have positive implications for those who are advocating school choice.

DR. REEDER: Tom, one of the most powerful instruments in politics are the contributions that come from unions in general. What this ruling dealt with are the unions that exist in the public sphere — that is, the sector of government and government employees. 

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And the ruling then extends itself that they cannot coerce their members into joining and paying the fees. Well, if they have the fees, then they have the unbelievable cache of money that they can use to advance their agenda, which they sell as being an asset to the teachers and to those who are in the public-school system.

NEW RULES MAY MEAN NEW FREEDOM FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS

And so now they’re told you can’t make teachers join and that means you can’t take their fees. Historically, every teacher had to pay whether you joined or not and, of course, the coffers then allowed them to have an outsized influence on the political process — particularly, by the way, the Democratic Party has captured the money from these unions. I am aware of literally dozens that do not want to be a part of such a union and for them to be in a position where they’re not punished and they do not have to participate, this ruling now opens the door for them to “declare their independence” from these controlling unions.

Tom, let me put it in a very positive way: I actually live in an area where there are a number of excellent public schools. And one of the reasons that there are a number of excellent public schools is that parents have gotten involved and the reason they’ve gotten involved is the public schools are serving — unlike yesterday’s program where we saw the public schools disenfranchising parents and their families and furthering the LGBTQ agenda in Virginia and in Pennsylvania — I’ve seen here a number of our districts actually attempt to work with the parents and respond to the parents.

We’ve had administrators and we’ve had teachers that are not only gifted but highly committed to their calling and properly supported by parents and, therefore, there are certain school systems that people really want to be a part of as well as charter schools that are advancing the cause of education in at least somewhat of a beneficial curriculum and outcome.

WHAT WILL THE RESULTS BE IN THE POLITICAL ARENA?

I think this ruling is going to have potentially significant outcome, not only because the cache of money that’s been available to buy influence and then the political parties that have made use of that to accomplish their ends and declare that, “Oh, well, all the people in the public-school system support us and the unions support us.” No, there is a small group of people who control the unions that support you. Actually, many of the teachers are not voting for those candidates.

And so that money is now going to be removed because these teachers are not going to have to join and they’re not going to have to give their dues. I think you’re going to see some significant movement in terms of teachers, administrators, the increase of school choice in some form or fashion, whether it’s vouchers or charter schools.

I think you’re going to see all of that, which only portends for a brighter future for the possibility of electing the kind of leadership you need for the public-school systems in the school commissions and the school councils. And then, also, that teachers are going to be able to vote with their feet, and vote with their heart and vote with their lives in terms of what they think needs to be done for the lives of the children. Now the sociologists that are in control of these unions with their cultural agenda are going to be disenfranchised. This is really interesting how this headline ties into what we looked at yesterday.

TRUMP ENDS OBAMA-ERA AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GUIDANCES

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, let me also bring up another story out of World Magazine. “The Trump administration will encourage schools not to consider race in admissions, a move that reverses Obama-era guidelines on affirmative action. The Justice Department just recently rescinded seven policy guidances from the Education Department’s Civil Rights Division and restored Bush-era policies of race-neutral admissions. This out of The New York Times.”

DR. REEDER: What’s really interesting, personally, I just want you to know, Tom, I have vacillated on this issue because there is little doubt in my mind that, in the Jim Crow era of the “separate but equal,” the notion that equal resources were available to everyone is just demonstrably and objectively proven wrong. Does there need to be some kind of catch-up on that? Yes.

DOES THIS LEAVE ROOM FOR BETTER CHANGE IN EQUALITY?

However, I have been persuaded — and, by the way, by some African-American brothers — that many of them sense that this actually contributes to a paternalistic racism that, unless we change these metrics, you can’t succeed. I know that that’s not true because we’re all made in the image of God and so I fully reject that.

I actually think that what you may see in this decision is perhaps an exceptional explosion of advancement of education across the board into every segment of our society because we all are being challenged that we all can respond to the curriculum and you can succeed. And, when you put the effort in and succeed, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you are going to be affirmed and rewarded according to your commitment to compete, according to your commitment to improve and according to your commitment to mature. And the places where it has already been applied, we’ve already seen that in those educational institutions.

And then, when people are looking at each other in the community, they aren’t looking at segments that have come through a different portal, but they are looking at one another who, as a group, have made this progress together under the same challenges. I think that will actually produce more unity in our country, which of course is something I love for and desire. And not just, of course, is something I long for and desire — it’s something I would call all of our listeners to promote as well — is that what we would develop in this country is an ideal of what it means to function with virtue and value, embrace what is good and beautiful and true and encourage one another through that process together as Americans who aren’t defined by any ethnicity or any race, but are defined by a certain set of virtues and values.

BRINGING GOD INTO THE CAUSE HELPS US BENEFIT SOCIETY AS A WHOLE

And I believe those are best supported and only rightly supported by God’s common grace and the influence of Christianity which promotes public policies and virtues and values whereby humanity flourishes, establishing the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sexuality, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of work and the sanctity of equality — not that we’re all interchangeable, but that we all stand on the same ground before God, and we all stand having been made in the image of God and we all stand with certain inalienable rights from God which are liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s not the guarantee of a government check for the government’s definition of happiness in the arenas of life, but the government protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and then, everyone on the same level playing field, moves toward that pursuit of happiness with the values and virtues that permeate the culture and God-ordained institutions that are foundational for life.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

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.

2 weeks ago

A millennial’s view of negative political advertising

(W.Miller/YHN)

Negative advertising. You know it, you hate it, but it works.

For many years in this country, negative advertisements have been splashed across the pages of newspapers, the screens of televisions and radio airwaves. These types of advertisements have become indispensable in the political realm and often lead a candidate to success.

As a millennial, I see many of my peers that are uninformed voters. Half of them are not even taking part in elections anymore because politics has become such a confusing game. Too many millennials that I know go strictly off of what they hear as being popular opinion. That’s dangerous. Negative ads play into that and are almost always able to grasp the attention of many that are not even aware of what they are listening to.

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Negative advertising works, in my opinion, because it loops in uninformed voters. Millions want to discuss politics, yet they have no clue what to discuss, so they talk about what they hear. More people are likely to remember negativity than they are positivity and I believe that is why these types of advertisements are long-lasting and effective.

No matter what side of the aisle you position yourself on, I think we all can agree that negative political advertising is dangerous and annoying, but that doesn’t mean they will go away.

Many political campaigns have become reliant on the effect that negative political advertising provides. While there were many positive advertisements, the last presidential election in America in 2016 was riddled with negative advertising. There were millions that opposed Donald Trump and millions that opposed Hillary Clinton.

Many of the negative advertisements targeted at Trump consisted largely of the Access Hollywood tape that was released where Trump bragged about grabbing women, his plans to build a wall, and his language in public. Here’s an example:

Negative advertisements geared towards defeating Hillary Clinton were compiled of compelling stories of the corrupt roots of the Clinton Foundation. One of which even went after Clinton’s ailing health. Here’s an example:

While both videos contain different content, they are very much the same. They share one goal: the destruction of their opponent when Americans visit the ballot box. Each candidate wants you, the viewer, to take their side and they will do everything possible to ensure that happens.

Negative advertising not only impacts voters on a national level, it also trickles down to state elections where it can sometimes get even uglier.

Last December, Alabama voters had a very difficult decision to make. Four weeks before the election last year, allegations of sexual assault towards then-Senate candidate Roy Moore surfaced and made major headlines. As one would naturally do, Doug Jones took the opportunity and ran with it to “finish” his political opponent.

In a Doug Jones campaign approved and funded video, quotes denouncing the alleged behavior of Moore from Ivanka Trump, Richard Shelby, and Jeff Sessions were gathered in an attempt to lure in conservative voters. Many conservatives voted for Doug Jones due to the allegations Roy Moore faced. Did it work? I believe so. Take a look:

In many of Roy Moore’s negative advertisements, Moore targeted Washington elites. In one of them, however, he stated that the allegations were false, calling the entire situation a “scheme by liberal elites” and the “Republican establishment.” Did it work? Nope. Take a look:

The examples provided only scratch the surface of the problems I have with negative advertising. Instead of digging up dirt on one another, let’s get to work and show others what we can currently do. It’s a sad truth, but negative advertising is very popular. Several people thrive off of the negativity produced. It creates a stir, which often leads to more corruption being exposed.

What do you think? Are negative advertisements good or bad for our society?

Email me: kmorris@yellowhammernews.com

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 weeks ago

Yellow stripes, dead armadillos and Alabama’s Doug Jones

(W.Miller/YHN)

Political commentator Jim Hightower wrote a book about politically wishy-washy folks entitled “There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos“.

If you were writing that book in 2018, you might add Alabama Senator Doug Jones to that title, although it would be a bit wordy.

Jones still can’t put together a cognizant argument about what he is looking for in a Supreme Court Justice, not that Trump cares to consult him because Jones was not at his meeting with moderate Democrats Donnelly, Heitkamp and Manchin.

Jones’s silence was deafening on the biggest political issue outside of the Mueller investigation.

Jones appeared on CNN this weekend and said absolutely nothing when asked about the Trump’s Supreme Court choice.

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“I’m open to voting yes. I’m open to voting no.”

Delightful.

Why this matters:

Senator Jones is caught in the middle of the road staring down an orange 18 wheeler with a comb-over.

He knows he is a caretaker senator in the reddest state in the United States of America.

He’s a part of the Democrat Party, but he is not even close to being a part of the #Resistance. There is absolutely no way Jones can win this battle, and he can’t straddle the fence on this one like he did on tax cuts.

Sen. Doug Jones will have to cast a vote on this nominee. He either burns his base by voting “YES” or enrages the majority of the state by voting “NO” on a pro-life judge and against President Trump.

Either way, Jones is probably roadkill.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN