Huntsville non-profit leader determined to ‘beat the odds’

Dominique Mallory said he may not have grown up in the best environment in Memphis, Tenn., and he may have made mistakes like doing drugs and going to jail for fighting, but he is intent on “beating the odds” of a bleak future -- and helping other young men do the same through his Huntsville non-profit, B3ating Th3 Oddz. The organization celebrates four years of growth this week with inaugural “Homecoming” events beginning Monday, June 11 at the Calvary Hills Teen Center in Huntsville. “A lot of people did not come from a good background,” said Mallory, 27. “A lot of people had to grow up by themselves, or take on full responsibility at a young age. But we knew there was something on the inside of us that was bigger than how we were raised, or bigger than what our culture was growing up. "When people said we aren’t going to be successful, or that we weren’t going to be fathers, or we weren’t going to be community leaders, it’s like – NO – there’s nothing that is impossible. So we’re beating the odds, and that’s where we got the name.” (more…)

Do conservatives face a double standard? Yes, and we should

Conservatives have spent a great deal of time recently decrying the double standard we face over the appropriateness of our behavior. The debate surrounding Roseanne Barr can be read elsewhere, but the basic complaint is this: Conservatives, and even those who half-heartedly support conservatives, are held accountable for things that progressives routinely get away with or are even encouraged to say or do. But is there really a double standard? Yes, and there should be. Here’s why: (more…)

What’s next for Tommy Battle? Hopefully more of the same

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle proved three things during his failed campaign for governor: First, that he’s the best mayor in the state of Alabama by nearly every measurable indicator. Second, the people of North Alabama believe he’s doing a great job — they gave him plenty of votes. Third, business and industry interests in North Alabama think he’s doing a great job, too — they gave him plenty of campaign contributions. So what’s next for this successful executive and still promising candidate? Some observers think he’ll run for Senate in 2020. But I hope my mayor stays right where he is, and here’s why: (more…)

WATCH: Huntsville voters share some surprising thoughts on primary elections

Alabama voters went to the polls June 5 to vote in primaries that will decide Republican and Democrat candidates who will battle it out for offices including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and more. Yellowhammer News spoke with Huntsville voters, some of whom gave some pretty surprising answers when asked, "Who did you vote for?" WATCH: (more…)

Weird reasons negative political ads work – even when the message is weak and the source isn’t credible

Why do negative political ads work, even though we can't stand them and we know they're paid for by people whose interests are not objective? Well, blame the psychology of persuasion in communication. A message never stands alone on its merit (or non-merit). An intricate system of factors such as perceived source credibility, the medium, the timing, heck -- even the way the communicator's voice sounds and how he or she looks, for example -- all go into a cauldron, swirling around to produce a concoction that affects each of us differently. Such effects can range from the straightforward: a strong message and a highly credible source are the most persuasive, to the counter-intuitively complex: a low credibility source is sometimes more persuasive than a high credibility source depending on when the source is mentioned. So what about that "Paid for by ...." bit that, by law, must be included at the end of political ads? (more…)

WATCH: 10 reasons Alabama millennials should vote June 5!

Let's be real -- some of this political stuff is boring. BUT -- there are primary elections happening in Alabama June 5th, and millennials should ask ourselves: Do we want to leave important political decisions solely to older generations? Here are 10 reasons millennials should care and VOTE June 5th, brought to you by Yellowhammer News and Radio millennials. WATCH: (more…)

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…)