Category: Featured

WATCH: Is it okay to re-gift? Rachel gets goofy at Madison County YMCA to ask tough Christmas questions

  It's hard enough to navigate political discussions around the Christmas dinner table, but there are other tricky etiquette questions that come up at Christmas, such as: -- What if your gift offends the recipient? -- Is it okay to re-gift? -- How do you react when you receive the worst Christmas present ever? I stopped by the Hogan Family YMCA in Madison, Alabama, where I volunteer, to act silly with the staff and find some answers... WATCH the 5-min video: https://youtu.be/K1dhArvih0Y   To learn more about the Hogan Family YMCA and the Huntsville- area Heart of the Valley association, and to support their many outreach programs through their annual giving campaign, click here.

WATCH: Alabama little person’s rare condition lets him SEE music as numbers … listen to the stunning results

  Jon Michael Ogletree of Hoover, Alabama, couldn't reach the piano pedals when he began playing at 3 years old and he can't reach them now, three decades later. Ogletree calls himself a "little person" and says his dwarfism has come with its share of challenges ... and unique blessings. "The outsider looking into my life might just say, 'Oh it's so sad, that little person, he can't reach the bread on the top of that aisle,'" said Ogletree. "Well, little do they know, that God, yes, he's withheld a lot from me, but he's swept in and provided so much in the process."     Ogletree's talking, in part, about a rare condition he says God gave him as a gift called Synesthesia -- a "perceptual phenomenon" in which people experience stimulation in one of their senses, such as hearing, and that triggers an automatic experience in a different sense, such as sight.    "When I hear a song, I actually see numbers," Ogletree said, whose day job is serving as the CFO for a government subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. "What I'm able to do with those numbers is go to the piano and decipher them and arrange them any way that I want." WATCH Ogletree tell his incredible story in this 8-minute video: https://youtu.be/DEgSpDVQY1o   Ogletree has played piano professionally since he booked his first wedding at age 7. He plays every week at the Country Club of Birmingham, he's a pianist at Mountain…

Alabama schools move closer to banning paddling

[caption id="attachment_54260" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The Simpsons (YouTube)[/caption]     Alabama teachers are one step closer to sparing the rod after the state’s local school board members recently voted to encourage policies that prohibit corporal punishment, also known as paddling. But does that mean they’re one step closer to spoiling the child? Almost every leading education and child psychology association says no, and that paddling actually makes behavior problems worse. Maybe. Some experts, especially Christian educators, say it all depends on why and how it’s administered and what’s trying to be achieved. Alabama law gives each school district the authority to decide its paddling policy, and the recent move is just a strong suggestion by the Alabama Association of School Boards to ban the practice. Critics, including Hoover city school board member Craig Kelley, point to the fact that Alabama is only one of about 15 states that allow paddling. That fact prompted Kelley to introduce the resolution at the association’s annual meeting earlier this month. Federal government data indicate that more than 100 school districts in Alabama paddled students in the 2013-2014 school year. In fact, paddling seems quite popular in some parts of the state. Conecuh County’s school system led the list by paddling 23 percent of its students – 27 percent of boys and 20 percent of girls. That’d probably make this guy teacher of the year in Evergreen: https://youtu.be/sKiLfH3DVGc Most Alabamians support discipline, maintaining well-ordered classrooms and teaching respect to the younger generation. And some of our…

Who really embarrasses Alabama: Roy Moore’s surrogate or smooth talking Doug Jones?

[caption id="attachment_54107" align="aligncenter" width="800"] (Screenshot/YouTube)[/caption]   By now many Alabamians have watched the campaign clip that had the rest of the country laughing at us for days: former Shelby County commissioner Ted Crockett’s interview last week with CNN’s Jake Tapper. Speaking on Moore’s behalf, Crockett said the judge “probably” believes homosexuality should be illegal and that Americans who aren’t Christian cannot serve in Congress because “you have to swear on a Bible to be an elected official in the United States of America.” In case you missed it, watch it here: https://youtu.be/WFYRkzznsc0 You probably cringed. You may have laughed. And you certainly said, “THIS is why people think Alabama is backward.” I did, too. But while watching Crockett’s clip again over the weekend I had another thought: Sure, this guy has a couple of things wrong but he isn’t what’s wrong with our country. He’s not the problem. He’s not what we’re fighting against. He’s not working to uproot our Founding and fundamentally change our culture. You know who is? Senator-elect Doug Jones. Think about it, who’s really more of an embarrassment to Alabama? -- A) The guy who doesn’t know that someone doesn't actually have to swear on a Bible to hold public office, or -- B) The guy who doesn’t understand it’s wrong to shoot poison into the heart of a seven-month-old unborn child, rip its little arms and legs from its body, and then toss its bloody and broken corpse into the garbage? In case you missed…

Media call-out! Article about Alabama evangelical voters too stereotype-ridden to even read, says religion columnist

[caption id="attachment_53651" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Briarwood Presbyterian Church (Wikicommons)[/caption]   Media call-out! A pre-election Daily Beast article featuring interviews with Briarwood Presbyterian Church members in Birmingham is so simplistic and stereotype-ridden it isn’t worth reading, wrote media expert and veteran journalist Terry Mattingly on his GetReligion site this week.     The story, written by D.C.-based reporter Andrew Desiderio ran with this near-comical double-decker headline: Alabama Evangelicals Find It Easy to Forgive Roy Moore The string of child-molestation allegations against the Republican Senate candidate has only affirmed for evangelical conservatives that Moore is the right man for the seat. Riiiiiight. Because that’s a fair description of what Alabama evangelicals think and suuuure, the quotes Desiderio gathered are a good representation of the views of Briarwood members (perhaps someone flew in for on-deadline election coverage and found convenient quotes needed to reinforce an already decided upon story angle?). Mattingly said he did find surprising-in-its-understanding-from-afar coverage of evangelical Protestants in this New Yorker article, which he urged reporters to read, unless – “you are the kind of person whose worldview includes simplistic stereotypes of evangelical Protestants, especially white evangelicals.” Mattingly also linked to Yellowhammer News’ election day voter interviews, saying in his caption: “Note the wide range of views found among these Alabama voters and the numbers who were displeased with the options on both sides of the ballot.”  More Yellowhammer News voter interviews can be found here (though I chose the windiest day to forget a mic shield and audio isn't optimal). Here’s Mattingly’s take…

Alabama Senate Race Live Blog – It’s Senator Doug Jones, says the AP

  9:35 -- Oh well.  Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda.  It's time to re-group, to heal, to learn ... and to fight back. 9:25 -- AP calls it for Jones.  Too soon? 9:24 -- Tie ball game! 49.2 to 49.2 9:20 -- Those odds makers are all over the place. About an hour ago they had Moore favored to win at 80%. Now they have Jones favored to win at 90%. What does it take to get a job doing that ... the ability to throw darts at a wall full of random numbers? 9:15 -- Moore trails by about 7,000 votes, and there are still about 177,000 left to be counted.  9:10 -- So ... Jones is up for the first time. Doug Jones 497,940   49.5% Roy Moore 493,976   49.1% Write-ins 14,905   1.5% 79% of precincts reporting 9:05 -- Wait a second ... we haven't had a single precinct report from Dallas County?  What are they waiting on ... to see exactly how many votes Jones will need? Come on! (I kid, I kid ... kind of).  -- UPDATE: I guess they decided to drop them all at once. They're in, and they have Jones about 7,000 votes. 9:05 -- Between this race and the past college football season, I'm done. Just went you thought you could step away for a moment ... Doug Jones 478,148   49.4% Roy Moore 476,358   49.2% 77% of precincts reporting 9:01 -- My people down in Baldwin County sure are taking their sweet time. It's…

WATCH: Huntsville voters share strong feelings about election and Roy Moore

[caption id="attachment_53315" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Voters speak with Yellowhammer News outside a polling precinct in Madison, Alabama (Yellowhammer)[/caption]   It was a cold, blustery day in northern Alabama, but that didn’t stop voters from pouring into polling precincts to vote in Tuesday’s special election. Voters in the Huntsville-area spoke with Yellowhammer News about how they voted, how they feel about the election and what they think about Roy Moore.  WATCH: https://youtu.be/nsMJONkeTY0     Video Credit: Jacob Woods

How this conservative Alabamian voted this morning

    I didn’t vote for Roy Moore because I believe at least some of those allegations are credible. I didn’t vote for Doug Jones, either, because he supports what any just man would call infanticide. And no, I didn’t waste it on a write-in candidate. I did what I’ve done in every general election since I was 20-years old – I voted to advance the conservative movement by darkening the circle beside the Alabama Republican Party and voting a straight ticket. My vote indeed went into Moore’s column, although indirectly, but he’s not what caused me to stand in line this cold morning and vote. I voted to maintain the GOP’s majority in the U.S. Senate. I voted to confirm judges and justices who’ll uphold the constitution. But more than anything else, I voted for life ... for the millions of unborn children who the Democratic Party has sacrificed on the altar of electoral expediency, and the millions more who’ll die because of that party’s callous indifference to the most innocent and vulnerable among us. When I took my ballot and sat down to vote, I wasn’t thinking about the liberal media or Obamacare or tax cuts or foreign policy or immigration ... or even Roy Moore. I was thinking about how this nation treats unborn children, and how Doug Jones supports a law that every month allows thousands of them to be poisoned in their mother’s womb, have their little arms and legs ripped apart, before they are…

J. Pepper Bryars: Washington Post asks ‘What’s the matter with Alabama,’ and Roy Moore’s new ad answers

A conservative writer for the Washington Post asked this week what many in our movement nationally have been pondering while watching Alabama creep ever closer to sending Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate: “What’s the matter with Alabama?” Examining a recent poll, columnist Jennifer Rubin bemoaned that Moore received nearly 60-percent of the female vote, asking did these women “consider that if Moore gets away with his alleged crimes and gets to the Senate, a horrific message will be sent to men who prey on young women?” Seeing how we’re probably going to send someone to the U.S. Senate whose fellow senator from Alabama – whose own governor, even – sees no reason to disbelieve those who have accused him of sexual molestation and sexual assault, indeed, what is the matter with Alabama? As many ex-girlfriends have told me, “It’s not you. It’s me.” It’s not so much what’s the matter with us, it’s what’s the matter with the rest of the country. Alabamians aren’t so much supporting Moore than they are reacting to years, decades even, of our way of life being constantly under assault from popular culture – the news media, film, music, books, you name it. Then we’ve had our political leaders rise to power through our support only to see them abandon and then betray us to the establishment and elites once in office. We’ve seen the government use the force of law, and the courts use force of decree, to change our sacred institutions and…

Chris Matthews: Alabama’s ‘crazy … mythical’ beliefs about Israel caused Trump to move embassy to Jerusalem

[caption id="attachment_52699" align="aligncenter" width="800"] George Will and Chris Matthews (MSNBC/Twitter)[/caption]   Chris Matthews appeared on MSNBC this week and made the absurd statement that Alabama’s “crazy” and “mythical” beliefs about Israel are what caused President Donald Trump to announce he’s moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to that nation’s eternal capital – Jerusalem. “Don’t think this isn’t related to Alabama next week. It is related,” Matthews said on the Morning Joe program. “Because it’s the Christian Evangelicals down there with their crazy ideas about Israel which is, I don’t know, mythical. “They don't understand the situation over there, how tricky it is ethnically and tribally,” he continued. “They don’t care because it's a religious belief. Trump is playing into that this week; you watch him." https://youtu.be/9-SBz_osrh4?t=1m26s That’s ridiculous. Trump made the decision because it’s been U.S. law since the late 1990s, was overwhelmingly approved by both parties in Congress, and has been the campaign promise of every president in the past few decades. Trump just kept his promise. That’s all. But ... is Matthews onto something? Partially. He goes on to say in the clip that a nation’s foreign policy should be based on its own self-interest, and that it’s not in the interest of the U.S. to cause more friction in the Middle East by making this move. Others have made that claim for decades, citing that our close relationship with Israel costs us, in both blood and treasure, and has delivered very little tangible benefits in return. The…