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Insanity: NYC mayor wants to enable drug use


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DEBLASIO WANTS TO SET UP DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTERS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you to a story out of The Daily Wire. New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio, recently announced plans to open four supervised injection sites where illegal drug users can get their fix with no fear of arrest while medical professionals stand by to prevent fatal overdoses.

The proposed “Overdose Prevention Centers” would be safe consumption spaces where addicts can self-administer pre-obtained narcotics such as heroin, oxycontin and other opioids.

HARRY REEDER: One elected official says, “Here is another example of liberal insanity,” but I’d like to take it a step back further than that. Whenever we engage in sinful behavior, we engage in that which is destructive and it’s interesting how we will rationalize that which is destructive.

And I try to tell people constantly in counseling situations that sin never makes sense. Sin is insanity — and insane act is what sin is — but we find a way to rationalize it and to make it thinkable because, if you can make it thinkable, you can make it acceptable and, if you make it thinkable and acceptable, you can make it doable.

THIS IS HOW SIN CREEPS INTO SOCIETY

Here, we have an illegal act — that means it’s a sin. Here, we have a destructive act of the body which God has given us to serve Him — the Bible says, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice,” that we are to buffet our bodies and make them our servants; instead of destroying our bodies, we are to actually build them up — “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.” Therefore, we try to understand how to be good stewards of our body.

And here are the narcotics that actually destroy and the government has every interest in the general welfare to set an environment whereby people cannot destroy a society by destroying themselves and their marriages. That’s what’s in place. Now the view is, “Well, look, people are doing these drugs, anyway, so let’s make it safe.

IS THE “SAFE SEX” CROWD NOW PROMOTING “SAFE DRUGS”?

Let me give you a comparison. I sat in a school educational committee and I was arguing for a sex education curriculum that focused upon abstinence. I was mocked and ridiculed: “Don’t you understand that our children are going to have sex? We’re not going to teach your sacred sex concept that sex is to be sacred and for procreation within marriage. What we’re going to do is understand that our kids are going to have sex so we want to make it safe for them.”

And I said, “Well, let me ask you something else. Are your kids going to lie?” “Well, yeah, they’re going to lie.” “Well, are we going to have a curriculum on safe lying? Are your kids going to cheat? Are we going to have a curriculum on safe cheating?” Do you think that there are some kids that might steal? Are we going to have a curriculum on safe stealing?”

“Well, no, that would be ridiculous.” I said, “Well, hold it. There’s ‘Do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal,’ and those are commandments of God that were preceded by ‘Do not commit adultery.’ Why is it that you will take those commandments that we know our kids are going to transgress and not teach safe stealing, cheating and lying, but you’re willing to teach safe adultery and safe promiscuity when, in reality, it’s not safe? And I can give you all the statistics of what happens physically and emotionally to people who have sex outside of marriage and that’s the sexually transmitted diseases and the epidemic that cannot be stopped.”

DRUGS ARE NOT SAFE 

People are going to do drugs, so let’s make it safe for them to kill themselves with drugs. How are you going to make it safe to kill yourself with drugs? You’re going to kill yourself with drugs — okay, you stop them from using a dirty needle but the drugs are still killing them.

We’ve got a law that says you can’t buy these drugs, but if they buy the drugs and they can bring their own — remember the old, when you went to the restaurant, bring your own bottle, BYOB, well, here is bring your own drugs — and, if you bring your own drugs, we’re going to give you needles, we’re going to administer it and, if something happens, we’re going to medicate you, etc., etc.

Listen, we already have places to medicate people if they have overdoses and people understand what an overdose is, but now what we’re going to do is help you kill yourself with drugs and, somehow, we’re going to call that compassion and that we are a compassionate society.

MERCY OR MADNESS?

And that’s where the Mayor De Blasio of New York now says to his people, people are doing drugs. We don’t want them to kill themselves with the drugs so we’re going to give them safe drug-taking by giving them four injection sites, provide the injection devices and provide the injection personnel. If they already have illegally obtained the drugs, they can bring them there in order to have them administered.

Now, what are you going to do with them afterward? I don’t know what’s going to take place — I don’t understand any of that — but now you’ve got this insanity of providing a safe environment for somebody to kill themselves with the administration of drugs. While we’re sitting here struggling with this opioid epidemic and everybody knows that it is killing people, what we’re going to do is we’re going to help you administer the thing that’s going to kill you.

NOW THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IS IN THE WRONG?

Now, by the way, we’re going to help you so you kill yourself safely is what we’re doing. That’s the insanity of our sin. And now you’ve got a national government that’s put in a predicament just the same way it is in a sanctuary city because we’ve got a law that’s being violated in that city.

Do we step in on top of the city, which is now promoting the administration of illegal drugs? Is that what we’re going to do — are we going to step in on top of that? What are we going to do with that city? It’s the same issue that they have with cities that say, “We’re not going to administer the immigration policy of the nation.”

And now you’ve got the Drug Enforcement Agency that’s got to step in on top of a city that is actually a drug administration center where people have purchased illegal drugs to have them administered there within the city. That’s where we are in that context.

Now, listen, when we see the insanity of sin, from a Christian world and life view, that should never amaze me. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to step in and speak to public policy that has sanity in order to love my neighbor, but it does mean this: I realize again, and again, and again that the only answer to such situations is the glorious truth of the Gospel.

And so, as one of my friends, who is a federal judge, said, “Harry, the church has to learn to be indignant and outraged over sin and compassionate and caring for the sinner.” And that’s what we have to do.

And what marries the outrage of sin and the love of the sinner is the Gospel message that Jesus Christ, the Judge of all sin, came to bear your judgement for your sin at the cross and has come to give you life so that you can be set free from your sin and that you can actually find a Savior in which you do not need to escape into the death throes of drug addiction.

Therefore, to Mayor De Blasio, what I would encourage you to do, my friend, is I would encourage you to go to those evangelical churches — I can name some of them — who have wonderful ministry efforts to those who are engaged in drug abuse and drug addiction. And the answer is not to enable their drug addiction; the answer is to reach them with the glorious truth of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ so that life can be lived abundantly in Christ, Who gives life everlastingly.

COMING UP WEDNESDAY: MARRIAGE IS GOOD FOR YOU?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a story which is rather encouraging. Couples who stay married for the long run end up happier, according to a new study by a Pennsylvania State University sociologist.

HARRY REEDER: Oh, my goodness, you mean the covenant of marriage — a conjugal, heterosexual, lifelong relationship — is actually good for people? Wow. A survey that affirms that? Wow. What would that mean for public policy? What would that mean for our nation? And, by the way, what does that mean for the church in light of where we are as a nation in terms of marriage? Let’s talk about it tomorrow.

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.

8 hours ago

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

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:

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First, foreign aid dollars fund multi-nation efforts to combat illegal trade in timber and fish. These illicit practices cost U.S. foresters and fishers billions of dollars in lost revenue every single year by flooding the market and driving down prices.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, “Alabama has the second largest commercial timberland base in the U.S., with 23 million acres. Forestry is the state’s second largest manufacturing industry, producing an estimated $14.8 billion worth of products in 2013, the latest data available.” Alabama also ranked second in the country in fish production. By cracking down on the black-market trading of timber and fish, our foreign aid dollars are protecting Alabama jobs.

Second, foreign aid that flows into international conservation efforts, which has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, helps countries manage their natural resources sustainably. This prevents the scarcity of water, food or forests that often contributes to instability and sparks regional conflicts.

Third, cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking cuts off a major source of income for armed groups and organizations with terrorist ties throughout the world, many of which pose a direct threat to American interests.

A report by the United Nations and Interpol found that the “illegal wildlife trade worth up to $213 billion a year is funding organized crime, including global terror groups and militias.” Additionally, “the annual trade of up to $100 billion in illegal logging is helping line the pockets of mafia, Islamist extremists and rebel movements, including Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked terror group al-Shabaab.”

Fortunately, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who recently rose to the powerful post of Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has remained a staunch supporter of ensuring that resources continue to flow into efforts to combat the illegal trade in timber and fish.

“The Committee has worked together to strike the appropriate balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, national security, scientific advancement, and economic development,” Shelby said after announcing critical funding for Fiscal Year 2018. “Additionally, the measure includes necessary oversight provisions to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. This is a step forward in maintaining critical funding for core programs and addressing the needs of our nation while staying within our spending boundaries.”

The move did not go unnoticed by leaders in the seafood industry, a major source of economic activity in all Gulf States, including Alabama.

“We cannot thank Senator Shelby enough,” said Southern Shrimp Alliance Executive Director John Williams after fiscal year 2018 appropriation. “Their extraordinary efforts ensure the survival of the domestic shrimp fishery in the face of what has been an endless stream of illegal shrimp imports.”

Support for foreign assistance and international conservation is smart domestic policy. It protects our economy and cuts off the flow of cash to criminals and terrorists. Sen. Shelby and the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from whom he has helped rally support deserve recognition and praise for their leadership.

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

 

 

8 hours ago

What’s wrong with Calhoun County’s economy?

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.

9 hours ago

Six vote difference: Republicans Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood in tight race for House District 38

Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood are in a tight race to become the Republican nominee for House District 38, where only six votes separate the two candidates. Wood has 2,165 votes to Rauch’s 2,159 votes.

The number is well within Rauch’s reach considering there are still votes to be counted.

A winner won’t be declared until at least next Tuesday, July 24, when provisional ballots are officially counted and even then, it could take longer for Secretary of State John Merrill to certify the results officially declaring a winner.

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“There’s never a winner until everything is certified,” Secretary of State John Merrill told Yellowhammer News.

Even in the case of such a wide margin as Attorney General Steve Marshall has over Troy King – 62 to 38 percent – there is still no official winner because it hasn’t been certified, Merrill said.

Provisional ballots are provided to those whose names do not appear on the voter roles when they show up to vote but who insist they belong, and still want to vote.

In order to have their votes counted, those who participate in the provisional process must prove to the board of registrar’s office that they ought to be on the roles.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

10 hours ago

Alabamians less likely to be understood by ‘Alexa’ and other ‘smart’ tech because of southern accents

The remarkable drawl that embodies Southern culture may be responsible for the frustration many Alabamians feel when trying to get their smart tech to answer a question. The repeated “Sorry, I didn’t get that” can lead people with accents to underutilize voice-activated devices such as Alexa and Google Home that are rapidly growing in popularity.

study conducted by the Washington Post and two research groups revealed people with Southern accents were three percent less likely to get accurate responses from a Google Home device than those with Western accents.  Foreign accents face the largest challenge with 30 percent more inaccuracies.

But, help is on the way.

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According to the study, the artificial intelligence used in programming the technology is taught to comprehend different accents by processing data from a variety of voices.  The more it learns, the more accurate the programming will become.  Even though these tools may be more useful for some people at the moment, Amazon, the maker of the smart home product Alexa, says to keep trying.

“The more we hear voices that follow certain speech patterns or have certain accents, the easier we find it to understand them.  For Alexa, this no different,” Amazon said in a statement.  “As more people speak to Alexa, and with various accents, Alexa’s understanding will improve.”

Over 20 percent of U.S. households with WiFi utilize smart speakers, and the number of users is growing.  Hopefully, for the benefit of Alabamians, that growth will happen in the South.

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

Learning from President Trump: Words matter

“I don’t see any reason why it would be”.

Those words, voiced by President Trump when asked whether he believed it was true that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, set off a media firestorm early this week.

Trump, of course, is used to media criticism, but this time was different. Joining the normal critics were a multitude of Fox News hosts including Neil Cavuto, Bret Baier, Brit Hume, Dana Perino, and even Brian Kilmeade of the oft-lauded by Trump Fox and Friends.

The morning after Trump’s press conference with President Putin, Kilmeade spoke in second person “you” language and pleaded for President Trump to clarify his statement and his belief in our intelligence agencies over Russians who, as Kilmeade said “hate democracy.”

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To his credit, Trump – who had previously agreed that Russian meddling existed – corrected his statement within twenty-four hours.

Regardless of whether his clarification was believable or timely, this episode reminds us that in politics and government – and in everyday life – words matter.

19thcentury German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche recognized the power of words. Nietzsche wrote, “All I need is a sheet of paper, and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down”.

Nietzsche’s statement wasn’t merely hypothetical. His declaration that “God is dead” shattered worldviews across western civilization into pieces that PureFlix (the movie company behind God’s Not Dead and its sequels) is still trying to pick up.

Even so, it seems that many have forgotten the power of words and have embraced the idea that simply being heard, regardless of content, is of utmost importance.

In NBC’s hit show The Office, Michael Scott tells viewers, “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” I think a lot of us are more like Michael Scott than we’d like to admit.

We might do well to envision more intentional dialogue from ourselves and from our elected officials, especially our state and local representatives.

In an environment where soundbites are everything, Trump’s statements in Helsinki and the backlash that ensued ought to prompt Alabama officials and candidates to rethink any “wing it” sympathies they may have towards public statements, press conferences, or tweets.

This is even more important in the post-primary period of our election cycle.

Now that the nominees are chosen, we must remind each of their responsibility as leaders to use words, strategies, and express differences in a way that is less divisive and more unifying, less bombastic and more genuine. Our officials and candidates should think twice before resorting to name-calling or vilifying their opponents, as doing so endorses that type of behavior and lowers the standard of Alabamians for those who represent them.

We should also expect, now that the in-fighting of our primary process is over, nominees to run thoughtful campaigns where issues, not personalities, are articulately debated.

Candidates and regular Alabamians alike must remember that words yield tremendous power. Therefore, as Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the BFG, and Matilda, suggests, “Don’t gobblefunk around with words”.

Parker Snider is Manager of Policy Relations 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.