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.

13 hours ago

A victory in court for school choice

The U.S. Supreme Court recently delivered a “big win” for school choice and religious freedom. School choice enables competition, which economists find generally improves the quality of goods and services. I believe that this result will apply to education, and specifically public schools.

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue involved 2015 legislation allowing tax-deductible contributions for scholarships to private, non-profit schools. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the act in 2018 as an unconstitutional use of public funds for religious purposes, including any school or college controlled by a church. Montana’s constitutional provision is a “Blaine Amendment” dating to the 19th century to prohibit state aid to parochial schools; 37 states, including Alabama, have Blaine Amendments.

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The constitutional issues involved were the First Amendment’s separation of church and state and religious discrimination in government policy. Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion found the Blaine Amendment discriminatory: “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

The Montana Supreme Court struck down the entire school choice program based on the Blaine Amendment. Although Montana’s legislature could have enacted a scholarship program applying to only non-church private schools, this would have significantly restricted parents’ choice. According to the Institute for Justice, which litigated Espinoza, Blaine Amendments are often used to block school choice. Only a narrow interpretation of Alabama’s provision allowed the Alabama Accountability Act to withstand challenge.

Separation of church and state is wise constitutional doctrine. Still, I do not see the scholarships as violating separation of church and state. The public “dollars” involved are taxes foregone. Church-affiliated schools often operate at a loss, so tuition scholarships will not yield profits to support other activities and presumably provide enough education to qualify as schools.

George Mason law professor Ilya Somin offers an illustrative comparison. No one worries that tax exemptions for religious charities or police and fire protection for churches constitute state support for religion. Tax deductions for scholarships do not establish a state religion.

Church-affiliated schools provide a variety of education consistent with their doctrine and moral teachings. The goal of school reform should be, as economist John Merrifield emphasizes, a diverse menu of options to suit students’ varied learning styles and parents’ values. Church-affiliated schools accomplish this.

School choice policies will make Americans more equal. Affluent Americans, who can afford private school tuition, have long enjoyed school choice.

American higher education features school choice. Alabamians can attend any of the state’s 14 four-year universities or more than 30 two-year colleges at in-state tuition rates. These institutions offer diverse educational options. Two-year colleges offer vocational programs and inexpensive core classes. Four-year universities include one modeled after a liberal arts school, large and small campuses, and numerous online degrees. Federal student aid and loans help make private colleges affordable.

By contrast, K-12 public schools require students to attend their assigned school. After paying taxes to support government schools, many families cannot afford private school tuition. The economic case for public education stresses ensuring all students can afford schooling, which school choice accomplishes.

Choices unleash quality-enhancing competition. Some of America’s best public schools are in affluent suburbs where districts must compete for students because parents can afford private schools. It is tempting to attribute suburban districts’ quality spending, but statistics show otherwise. In 2018, Baltimore city schools spent $250 less per pupil than Montgomery County (Maryland) and $1,000 more than Fairfax County (Virginia) in suburban Washington, two of America’s most affluent counties.

In time school choice will force beneficial changes in public school curriculum. Currently, the curriculum is a political football which both parties seek to control. Teachers educate children in classrooms; politicians in Montgomery or Washington shape learning only through bureaucratic controls forcing a curriculum on local schools. School choice will empower parents to find schools that help their children learn. To successfully compete for students, control will need to be devolved to schools and teachers, which I see as a very good thing.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

15 hours ago

VIDEO: More municipalities opt for mandatory masks, schools head towards in-class instruction, Sessions/Tuberville race nears the end and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Governor Kay Ivey consider a statewide mask ordinance as more municipalities adopt ordinances and pressure continues to mount?

— Are parents going to feel safe sending their kids to school in the Fall?

— Who will win the Republican runoff between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville?

Jackson and Handback are joined by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss the runoff election for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

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Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at people who think the government can’t put in more restrictions when they have shown they can, and probably will, do more if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t get under control.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

16 hours ago

Alabama sisters continue their family’s farming legacy

Sisters Allie Corcoran and Cassie Young loved growing up on a farm in Eufaula, but once they left home and earned their degrees at Auburn University, they realized their hearts were still at the family farm.

“I always knew I wanted to come home and be part of the farm, but I didn’t know where I would fit in,” Young said. “The only things I have ever felt close to, or had a desire to be a part of, were farming and working with people. At Auburn, I considered a career in family and adolescent counseling, but I knew it would be difficult to find work in this field near home and I was unwilling to move.”

When the sisters were growing up, their family raised crops such as cotton, peanuts, soybeans, corn, grain sorghum and wheat, along with cattle. The family managed a peach orchard.

Their childhood experiences and love of farming pushed them to find their eventual calling, and they opened Backyard Orchards near Eufaula in 2010.

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“Our father had the idea to start a u-pick operation,” Young said. “We had an exciting concept for a new family venture and found the perfect location, so we decided to become entrepreneurs.”

Backyard Orchards gave the sisters the path they longed for in fitting into the family business. They offer u-pick and freshly packed produce.

Fruits currently ripe for picking are peaches and blueberries. There is a variety of fresh vegetables available, including potatoes, onions, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, field corn, sweet corn, peppers, peas and okra.

There is an onsite cafe that serves homemade pies, fudge and ice cream – the perfect end to a day on the farm. The barn, pavilion and grounds can be rented for weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and more.

Under COVID-19 safety measures, visitors are not required to have a reservation, but should follow these guidelines:

  • Stay with your group and remember to social distance while in the fields and store.
  • When the store is busy and social distance is challenged, send one group representative into the store to pay for and/or order food and ice cream.
  • There are sinks for handwashing located in the restrooms. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the store.
  • Pick up café orders from the window located outside on the front porch.

The orchards allowed the sisters to carry on the traditions from childhood that they always dreamed of passing on to their own children.

“Some of my fondest memories are the simplest ones involving our whole family: playing in the cottonseed and corn, jumping on hay bales and cotton modules, riding around with my dad to check on pivots or crops and playing in the irrigation with my sisters and cousins,” Young said. “Farming is a difficult life, but the family experiences have made it a wonderful life.”

Young and her husband have three children: Gardner, 10, Sterling, 7, and Cade, 4.

“Gardner has been picking squash with me since he was a baby,” Young said. “He now helps his dad pick and sell watermelons. Sterling wants to start helping me at the local farmers market. Cade is still too young to help on the farm, but he loves to eat the ice cream.”

Young sees them creating memories and experiences like she had with her sister as a child.

“I hope they all want to play a role in either the orchard or the family farm one day, but only if that is where their hearts lead them,” she said. “Right now, they are growing up the same way I did and enjoying the simple joys of childhood on the farm.”

The sisters continue looking for ways to enhance the orchards and develop the business. Plans are in place for planting blackberries, expanding the peach orchard and increasing the strawberries plants.

To learn more about Backyard Orchards and plan a family outing, visit the website or follow them on Facebook.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

21 hours ago

Alabama native Rachel Baribeau is Changing the Narrative and expanding her own

Sportscasting is a tough business for anyone, but has been traditionally even more difficult for women. That’s why the change in direction for Rachel Baribeau won’t make sense … until you hear her explain it.

“I am always evolving – as a woman, as a queen, as a daughter and a friend and as a fiancee and a future wife – I am always trying to be better. I’m a lifelong learner.”

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Rachel Baribeau is Changing the Narrative in college sports and beyond from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The Auburn graduate and former Pell City resident had a career many would consider perfect: covering SEC football and other sports, from the sidelines and from her college football talk show on Sirius/XM (where she was the network’s first female college sports host).

Baribeau was well-respected enough among her peers to be granted a Heisman Trophy ballot. But it was her work away from the microphone that made the most noise.

“The idea that there is royalty inside of all of us; that there is legacy and purpose and greatness.” Baribeau beams as she describes the impact of the conversations she had been having with college athletes.

Changing the Narrative” was Baribeau’s passion project – a movement that promotes positive mental health and inspiring people to build a positive legacy for others. She took her “Purpose – Passion – Platform” message on a nationwide tour of college football programs, filled with candid heart-to-heart conversations.

After spending four years on this consulting journey, Baribeau announced last October that she would be walking away from sports to concentrate on Changing the Narrative full time.

“I started with this desire and belief that athletes could trend for something other than bad news,” Baribeau said.

Now a nonprofit, Changing the Narrative has expanded further. Baribeau is now in demand in locker rooms, board rooms, law enforcement agencies and entire athletic conferences. “We already have the Big Ten on board; how great would it be to be in all of the Power Five conferences?”

Baribeau is scaling the program in several ways. First, the pandemic has forced a shift to more online training and modules. Second, the material is being tweaked to skew younger for high school audiences. Finally, Baribeau is training a network of other speakers including former athletes who can bring their own experiences of Changing the Narrative to even more audiences.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

21 hours ago

Alabama entrepreneurs can apply now for Walmart’s Open Call for products

Walmart’s seventh annual Open Call is underway for entrepreneurs dreaming of landing U.S.-manufactured products on Walmart shelves by successfully pitching their wares to company officials during online meetings.

“Walmart’s Annual Open Call event gives us a unique occasion to identify new suppliers who can meet our customers’ needs with unique and innovative products manufactured or produced in the U.S.,” said Laura Phillips, Walmart senior vice president for Global Sourcing and U.S. Manufacturing.

“During this year of unprecedented challenges for U.S. businesses, Walmart remains committed to sourcing products made, grown or assembled in the U.S.,” Phillips said.

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In 2013, Walmart announced a 10-year commitment to help boost job creation and U.S. manufacturing through buying an additional $250 billion in products supporting American jobs. Walmart’s Open Call is one way the company continues to invest in the commitment.

“By Investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new exciting products to our customers, support new jobs in our local communities and invest in small business across the country,” Phillips said.

The Open Call, scheduled for Oct. 1, kicks off Walmart’s celebration of U.S. Manufacturing Month and will include programming similar to previous years. In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during small breakout sessions designed to inform, empower and encourage suppliers.

“For the first time, this year’s Open Call event will be virtual, enabling even broader participation from potential new suppliers,” Phillips said. “We know how important this opportunity is for many small businesses, especially this year, and we are looking forward to seeing the new product submissions and meeting potential new suppliers.”

This year’s Open Call attendees could secure deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying hundreds, or even thousands, of stores, Sam’s Clubs and on Walmart.com.

Gwen Hurt, owner of Shoe Crazy wine, participated in Walmart’s 2018 Open Call, where a Walmart buyer decided to test her product in 66 stores.

“We were walking into an entirely new and welcoming world,” said Hurt. “Everyone was so professional and kind throughout the process.”

“We’ve been thrilled to work with Walmart and are excited about the continual growth of our product,” Hurt continued. “Thanks to this relationship, we’ve been able to expand our operations to 15 employees while reinvesting in our community through the purchase of a once-abandoned warehouse and additional resources.”

“It’s a dream come true for our family,” Hurt said. Walmart is expanding Shoe Crazy Wine to 118 stores across Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

The deadline to apply to participate in this year’s Open Call for U.S.-manufactured products is Aug. 10. The application and information about the event are at Walmart-jump.com.

Information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.