The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

6 months ago

America needs more Auburns, so Auburn must stand firm on its values

(Auburn Football, Jesse Goldberg/Facebook, YHN)

The words could easily have emanated from the chaos in Portland or Seattle.

“F**k every single cop…The only ethical choice for any cop to make at this point is to refuse to do their job and quit. The police do not protect people…They are instruments of violence on behalf of capital.”

This statement was expressed, however, not by an Antifa militant rioting and burning down one of America’s cities; it was made by an Auburn University lecturer named Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D.

And it was not an isolated incident. Dr. Goldberg has developed a rich portfolio of radical commentary.

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He posted a poem on his Facebook page titled “Against The Police,” by Miguel James, which he called “an inspiration.”

He later supported his initial statement by posting, “ACAB. (All Cops Are Bastards). Police do not protect people… The only good cop is a cop who quits.”

He has also stated plainly that he is not in favor of “reforming” or “defunding” police, but rather he advocates for total “prison & police abolition.”

Dr. Goldberg, himself, a white male, tweeted that “Whiteness is violence. Abolish whiteness.”

When these comments gained public notice, they predictably sparked a backlash.

But Auburn’s leadership ultimately decided not to take any “adverse action” against Dr. Goldberg, choosing to keep him on the payroll while shifting him into a research role, rather than as a lecturer.

Now, some of Dr. Goldberg’s colleagues are expressing outrage that he was not allowed to continue with his teaching duties at the university this semester.

In a letter to the editor of the Auburn Plainsman, two-dozen faculty members from the university’s English department decried the “right-wing media” for targeting Dr. Goldberg and the university’s leadership for “comparing Dr. Goldberg’s tweet to hate speech.” They also alleged a “disregard of LGBTQ+ and Black communities” among the school’s top brass.

Dr. Goldberg’s fellow professors engaged in a practice ravaging college campuses across the country. It is the systematic elevation of far-left radical ideas at the expense of speech residing anywhere else on the spectrum of political thought.

In commenting on Dr. Goldberg’s situation, Donald Trump, Jr. so plainly described the problem, “The liberal, anti-American-values eggheads already took over the Ivy League. Now they’re gunning for middle America.”

Unfortunately, proponents of this far-left strategy employ a weapon against which most organizations crumble: fear.

They fear escalating stakes and fear negative publicity — whether warranted or not. Fear makes large institutions act small. Fear turns strong institutions into weak ones.

The fact of the matter is, on college campuses, the debate almost always ends the same: The administration cowers in a corner, desperately hoping not to be “canceled” by the far-left mob.

Auburn must not back down.

Every institution must decide what will be its values, and resolve to adhere to them, even — and perhaps especially — when they are challenged.

So, what are Auburn’s values?

The Auburn Creed states, among other things, “I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.”

Dr. Goldberg’s anti-law enforcement statements quite clearly run counter to this, as does his advocacy for completely abolishing the police and prisons altogether.

The Creed also states, “I believe in my Country.”

Dr. Goldberg’s statements are a reflection of the revolutionary fervor being expressed around the United States by violent activists who are not seeking to improve our Union, but rather burn it all to the ground.

With these things in mind, an Auburn spokesperson was clearly correct when he stated that Dr. Goldberg’s remarks were “completely counter to Auburn values.”

And that should come as no surprise to any student or faculty member at Auburn, since The Auburn Creed is well known by all.

Auburn should stand its ground and have no qualms with rejecting the radical views of Dr. Goldberg.

There is no lack of leftist political and ideological thought on university campuses around our country. But there are very few institutions of higher learning where a diversity of opinions — much less conservative opinions — are welcomed.

Auburn’s student body has consistently been recognized among the most conservative in the nation. Universities, like all institutions in a free society, must be responsive to their consumers.

But on a deeper level, Auburn must stand its ground because the fact of the matter is, America needs more Auburns. The universities that bow to the leftists are a dime a dozen. The institutions that are willing to stand tall at a time like this are, sadly, few and far between.

And the reality is, Auburn’s values are not conservative values. They’re American values. Those values are worth defending.

And, if nothing else, at least students will learn that while you can say whatever you want in America, that does not absolve you of the consequences that may come with it.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

7 months ago

Auburn taking no action against faculty member who said ‘F*** every single cop,’ advocated for abolishing ‘whiteness’

(Jesse Goldberg/Facebook)

Auburn University will not fire or otherwise take action against an incoming faculty member who recently sparked controversy for incendiary comments about law enforcement.

Yellowhammer News last week broke the news about Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D., who was set to begin as a lecturer in Auburn’s English department this fall semester.

The Auburn faculty member tweeted the following (censoring added by Yellowhammer News):

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F*ck every single cop. Every single one. The only ethical choice for any cop to make at this point is to refuse to do their job and quit. The police do not protect people. They protect capital. They are instruments of violence on behalf of capital.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Goldberg in other social media posts. He also tweeted, “Whiteness is violence. Abolish whiteness.”

Goldberg, as he has noted before on social media, is himself white.

Yellowhammer News’ reporting last week reached national publications and others across the state, leading elected officials to weigh in.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) tweeted that Auburn “should FIRE Jesse Goldberg for venomous hate of America’s law enforcement community.”

“Auburn: please investigate, determine truth, fire this guy IF media reports accurate! Tax dollars should not fund police haters,” he added.

State Rep. Brett Easterbrook (R-Fruitdale), a member of the House Education Policy Committee, reacted to Goldberg’s statements about law enforcement in a Facebook post of his own.

“You wonder how our society raised a bunch of communist that hate our country? Here is one of the main sources of the problems in our society. Universities!” Easterbrook said. “Not all college professors are complete liberals that are educated beyond their understanding, but here is a prime example.”

“He also thinks we should abolish a society that could have prisons. Simply release all prisoners? Obviously he has no idea what type of people are in those prisons and yet he is educating our youth,” the freshman state legislator continued. “Professor Goldberg needs to resign today. If not, Auburn University, should fire him immediately. Our tax dollars are paying for this foolishness. As an Auburn graduate, I am ashamed that someone like this is ‘educating’ our children.”

A statement from an Auburn spokesperson to Yellowhammer News last week said, “Auburn officials are considering options available to the university.”

However, after that consideration, no “adverse action” will apparently be taken.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) had written to Auburn on August 3 defending Goldberg’s social media posts as protected speech under the First Amendment. FIRE argued that since Auburn is a public institution, they could not punish the employee for his views.

Writing back to FIRE in a letter this week, Auburn University President Dr. Jay Gogue noted that he was “pleased to respond in order to confirm Auburn’s commitment to the Constitution.”

“Your letter specifically requests that Auburn ‘publicly disclaim the possibility of disciplinary sanctions against Dr. Goldberg,” Gogue continued. “Dr. Goldberg, in expressing his thoughts, was not authorized to and did not purport to speak on behalf of Auburn University. Auburn affirms that it will not take adverse action against Dr. Goldberg or any member of the Auburn community based on that person’s engagement in individual speech or conduct protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States or the State of Alabama.”

He added, “That is true even when such speech is deemed by many to be offensive, indecent, of little value, and of great cost to the institution. Indeed, even when a message may be viewed as disrespectful and abhorrent, Auburn will not violate the law or Auburn policy.”

This letter was praised by FIRE, who noted Auburn currently holds their highest possible rating for free speech policies among college campuses.

However, not everyone is a fan of the university’s decision on Goldberg. Reacting to Auburn’s announcement, State Rep. Proncey Robertson (R-Mount Hope), also a member of the House Education Policy Committee, said he was “very disappointed.”

“As you consider where to send your student to college, or where to spend your money on sports memorabilia, etc. I would encourage you to remember this decision by Auburn University,” he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.

“This professor and Auburn Universtiy has a right to their views,” Robertson concluded. “But, they do not have a right to your personal tuition money or your tax dollars.”

Yellowhammer News has requested comment from Auburn.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.

Goldberg’s Twitter biography has been changed to say that he is now a “Visiting Research Fellow” at Auburn rather than a “lecturer,” meaning he might not be teaching students anymore. This article has been edited to reflect that he may no longer be a “lecturer.” However, his Humanities Commons profile still says he is a lecturer who will be teaching classes at Auburn. Yellowhammer News is still awaiting comment from the university.

UPDATE 10:50 a.m.

Auburn University said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, “Auburn agreed to Dr. Goldberg’s request that his role transition to a research-focused assignment.”

According to a social media post by Goldberg before last week’s news, he was scheduled to teach four classes during the fall semester. He was planning on teaching all of these classes in an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 months ago

Auburn professor: ‘F*** every single cop’

(Jesse Goldberg/Facebook)

Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D., still has not started his first semester as a lecturer at Auburn University. However, the incoming professor continues to ignite controversy on social media.

A few months ago, Goldberg admittedly posted his “first controversial tweet” as an Auburn faculty member.

Ahead of starting his new job as a “Lecturer of African American & American Literature and Composition in the English department at Auburn University” this coming academic year, Goldberg said, “I know it’s just a mascot but I’m never gonna be able to call myself a ‘war eagle’ or say ‘go war eagles.’ Sorry.”

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“I can’t bring myself to enthusiastically and sincerely use a slogan/greeting/cultural signal with ‘war’ as a primary descriptor. Yeah I know I’m being a party pooper but it’s the kind of language thing that sticks with me,” he advised.

In reporting on that incident, Yellowhammer News noted that Goldberg’s Twitter bio read, “Lecturer @ Auburn U | Black Studies, Critical Prison Studies, Queer Theory, American Literature | Abolitionist | martial artist | views are mine | he/him/his.”

The following image utilized as his Twitter header seems to explain what he means by “Abolitionist:”

He further described himself as a “radical anti-racist white (Jewish) teacher.”

Goldberg on Wednesday apparently took his “radical” branding to heart.

The incoming Auburn lecturer tweeted the following (censoring added by Yellowhammer News):

F*ck every single cop. Every single one. The only ethical choice for any cop to make at this point is to refuse to do their job and quit. The police do not protect people. They protect capital. They are instruments of violence on behalf of capital.

The tweet came as a response to a post by the ACLU claiming that a protester in New York City was “abducted” by law enforcement officers. The NYPD has publicly explained that the protester was actually arrested on open warrants by plainclothes officers. Goldberg in his tweet asserted that the arrest was actually “kidnapping.”

Goldberg’s tweet has since been deleted and his account has been set to private. A screenshot of the tweet can be viewed here.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for Auburn University reacted to Goldberg’s tweet.

“We find Mr. Goldberg’s comments inexcusable and completely counter to Auburn values. Hate speech of any kind is simply wrong,” said Brian Keeter, the university’s executive director of Public Affairs. “Auburn is fully committed to the fundamental right of free speech, but we do not support hateful words or actions that degrade, disrespect or exclude. Especially during these difficult times in our nation, it’s vital that we reject crude stereotypes and work together to foster mutual understanding and respect within our communities.”

“Auburn officials are considering options available to the university,” he concluded.

While Goldberg’s Twitter account is not currently publicly viewable, his Facebook account is.

As of Thursday at 1:00 p.m. CT, his Facebook cover photo displayed a poem entitled, “Against the Police.”

(Jesse Goldberg/Facebook)

In a Wednesday Facebook post that was still on his page as of Thursday at 1:00 p.m. CT, Goldberg echoed the thoughts contained in his since-deleted tweet about police.

“ACAB. Yes, all. Police do not protect people. They protect capital. Cops are instruments of violence on behalf of capital. Literally the only ethical decision for a cop in this moment is to refuse to do their job, to quit. The only good cop is a cop who quits,” he wrote.

ACAB stands for “all cops are bastards.”

A separate Goldberg Facebook post from last week stated that he is a supporter of “prison & police abolition.” Numerous Facebook posts by Goldberg outline that he literally wants to abolish the police, as opposed to more prevalent “reforming” or “defunding” movements.

Goldberg recently wrote that he plans on teaching four classes exclusively online at Auburn this upcoming fall semester.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn