Month: May 2018

America’s war heroes are born, not made

Near the end of the Korean War novel “The Bridges of Toko-Ri,” an American military commander is mourning the death of some of his best men, but also remembering their strength, their courage, and the devotion they shared for one another. Staring alone out at the morning sea, he reflects on how fortunate our nation is to have had such heroes, and then asks, “… where did we get such men?” On this Memorial Day, I find myself reflecting back to when I asked that same question while researching and writing the book, “American Warfighter: Brotherhood, Survival, and Uncommon Valor in Iraq, 2003-2011.” I wrote about the experiences of 10 men who, for their actions in combat, were awarded two Distinguished Service Crosses, two Navy Crosses, five Silver Stars, and three other prestigious awards for valor. After each interview I found myself asking ... where did we get such men? (more…)

What’s justice-mercy balance? Alabama AG Marshall discusses Judith Ann Neelley, others

What's the balance between justice and mercy? Yellowhammer News last week asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall for his thoughts on justice and mercy in light of two current events: -- Convicted murderer Judith Ann Neelley is scheduled for a parole hearing Wednesday. Neelley has served more than 30 years of a life sentence for the violent 1982 murder of a 13-year-old Georgia girl. -- Democrat candidate for governor Sue Bell Cobb's former campaign aid Paul Littlejohn III, a convicted rapist, was recently charged with violating state sex offender laws and resigned from Cobb’s campaign. WATCH the 2-min video: (more…)

Why some political smears work, even when they’re lies

A little known, counter-intuitive communication phenomenon called "the sleeper effect" means that outright lies can become more persuasive over time even when they come from a source who isn't credible, according to decades of academic research. Under the right conditions, researchers say the effect can make shaky stories even more believable than trustworthy ones, particularly if the message is shocking enough to have a strong initial impact on a person’s attitude and the source isn't revealed until after the message is delivered. So imagine hearing something that makes a strong impact on you ... only to learn the source is someone you don't find credible or whose intentions may be tainted. The sleeper effect means that as time passes, you may be likely to become more, not less, persuaded by what you heard, regardless of your feelings about the source. (more…)

Let the Alabama pastor speak … and everybody speak up too

Everyone likes free speech until someone says something we find vile. Birmingham pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church was in the news this week, decrying Church of the Highlands’ plans to open a campus in a high crime area of the inner city, calling “the white church” racist and hypocritical. Jordan’s interview with Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM is shocking and divisive, and many Alabamians, black and white, are slamming him as a “racist.” (more…)

SHAME! State Rep. Patricia Todd, Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker, tries to ‘out’ Gov. Kay Ivey in hateful nighttime Tweet

With just 34 words twisted together in cruel and bitter intent, Alabama State Rep. Patricia Todd – our first openly gay lawmaker and a professional human rights activist – has shown us everything that’s wrong with politics, journalism and the awful thing called Twitter. Here’s what Todd tweeted Tuesday night: https://twitter.com/reptodd/status/996549238665379841 Folks, decent people just don’t do this.  (more…)

Alabama AG: Violent crime, opioid epidemic means churches must get out of ‘silos’ to help; comments on Church of Highlands controversy (Video)

Attorney General Steve Marshall concluded a four-city series of “Faith Forums” at The Rock Family Worship Center in Huntsville Tuesday, telling attendees that when it comes to violent crime, opioid addiction, and addressing security risks in schools and churches, “reactive” arrests and prosecution can’t be the only solution. “The church has the opportunity to be proactive” during the growing crisis, Marshall said, pointing to alarming statistics showing violent crime is at a 20-year high in Alabama, with numbers of sexual assaults, murders and aggravated assaults nearing totals not seen in the state since 1995. “That’s a violent crime every 21 minutes,” he said. (more…)

Birmingham pastor angry at Church of the Highlands, urges blacks to ‘leave’ white churches ‘now’ (VIDEO)

Controversy has erupted in Birmingham because Church of the Highlands plans to move a campus into an area that has been described as "high-crime" and they are not receiving a warm welcome from a local pastor. Pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church off Cotton Avenue SW posted this message on one side of his church sign: "Black folks need to stay out of white churches" and this on the other side: "White folks refused to be our neighbors." "White folk have proved they don't want to live next door to us, or be our neighbors, or worship with us," Jordan told Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM. "Now they want to plant a white church in a black neighborhood under the umbrella of supposedly to fight crime. The real reason Church of the Highlands wants to put a white church in a black neighborhood is they have too many black folks at their main campus and they want them to leave and come to a church in their inner city." Church of the Highlands is a multi-site megachurch founded by Chris Hodges in the suburbs of Birmingham in 2001. It is the largest congregation in Alabama and the second largest in the United States. When asked about the church's plans to help fight crime, Jordan said he's against it because the motive is "not pure." "It's hypocritical," he said. "If you don't want to be our neighbors, if you don't want to live next door to black African-Americans, how can you…

Bear Bryant ‘Have you called your mama today?’ (VIDEO)

On a day like today, many sons and daughters across Alabama can appreciate Coach Bear Bryant's famous television commercial for South Central Bell. "Have you called your mama today?" the Bear asked, after explaining how he encouraged his players to keep in touch with their families. "I sure wish I could call mine." Me too, coach. https://youtu.be/0Hq9wfYb13U Did you like this post? Sign-up now for our daily newsletter and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.

WATCH: Alabama Republican candidates, officials rock the runway for Huntsville event

Who says Republicans can’t let loose? Alabama officials, candidates, media personalities and party people (Republican Party, that is) rocked the runway Wednesday, modeling ties by Dillard’s and outfits by local boutiques at the Republican Women of Huntsville’s “Make Fashion Great Again” event at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. WATCH the Facebook Live video ... it gets hilarious about the 12:20 minute mark when the men take the stage. (more…)