Category: Uncategorized

Alabama’s Democratic candidates for governor want to tax … the poor! — J. Pepper Bryars

  (Opinion) Imagine if Alabama’s Democratic candidates for governor campaigned on a tax increase to be paid mostly by the poor. Would they win? Probably not, but that’s essentially what’s being proposed by former state Supreme Court chief justice Sue Bell Cobb and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. They’re just labeling it an education lottery to make it sound more palatable. Call it the Mary Poppins Ploy -- “A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.” The basic idea behind the plans offered by Cobb and Maddox is that lottery ticket sales would magically fund all sorts of things for education -- college scholarships, workforce development opportunities, statewide universal pre-K, assistance for underperforming schools, career tech at high schools, and filling the gap between federal Pell Grants and the actual cost of college tuition. But as with all things magical, it’s an illusion. Their smoke and mirrors are concealing this fact -- poor families make up a disproportionate number of lottery players, and thus poor families would be a disproportionate part of Cobb and Maddox’s magical revenue-generating machine. “Those in poverty or near poverty not only are more likely to play the lottery than those with greater means, they also spend a larger percent of their money on average on these games of chance,” wrote David R. Just, a behavioral economics professor at Cornell University, in a CNN opinion article. “We find there are jumps in lottery purchases when the poverty rate increases, when unemployment increases, or when people…

I just took the famed Political Compass test and it said that I was a … — J. Pepper Bryars

(Opinion) I’ve been an across-the-board political conservative since I was a teenager. My older brother used to joke, “It takes Pepper longer to drive somewhere because he’s only capable of making right turns.” Social issues? Saint John Paul II is my conscience. Economic issues? Friedrich Hayek is smarter – and perhaps better– than John Maynard Keynes. And national security? Speak softly ... and carry about 20 aircraft carriers. I’ve never been one to hyphenate or qualify my conservatism to distance myself from a particular individual or wing of our movement (except for Richard Spencer and his Alt Right racist retreads or Alex Jones and his mob of conspiracy theorists – they aren’t conservatives). But I am conservative and proud of it. However, a friend recently told me about an interesting test that attempts to nail down one’s political philosophy not in terms of the traditional left-right paradigm, but on a more nuanced compass of beliefs. A Political Compass. For the creators of the compass – a group of political scientists and writers in the United Kingdom – the traditional left vs. right works fine for economic issues. “We can show, for example, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot, with their commitment to a totally controlled economy, on the hard left,” reads an explanation on the group’s website. “Margaret Thatcher would be well over to the right, but further right still would be someone like that ultimate free marketeer, General Pinochet.” That’s fairly traditional. But the difference in this test is…

VIDEO: Oh my … watch what happens when a CNN reporter tries to shoot a gun

[caption id="attachment_64874" align="aligncenter" width="800"] CNN reporter acts like a fool on the range, Feb. 2018 (CNN/Twitter)[/caption] (Warning: This is NOT how to hold, aim, shoot or even be anywhere near a firearm.) Earlier this week CNN aired a segment from Gary Tuchman where the intrepid reporter tried to demonstrate the awesome power of an AR-15 “assault rifle,” which is sort of like a civilian version of the Army’s old M-16. Problem is, as I learned when Uncle Sam placed an M-16 into my hands when I was 18-years told, they ain’t very powerful. In fact, my 10-year old son’s .410 rabbit-hunting shotgun probably has more of a kick. But don’t tell that to this reporter, who is just about doing everything, and I mean everything, wrong on the range. Click the image to watch the ridiculousness: https://twitter.com/BreitbartNews/status/968826717245669376 This is what happens when all you know about firearms is from ... the movies.  Rock on, Reporter McRambo.  (J. Pepper Bryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of “American Warfighter.”)

VIDEO: Alabama Rep. Palmer eulogizes Billy Graham from the House floor

[caption id="attachment_64853" align="aligncenter" width="800"] U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer delivers a speech on the House floor, February 2018 (C-SPAN/YouTube)[/caption]   Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) delivered a speech on the House floor Tuesday to remember the legacy of the late Reverend Billy Graham. At the time, Graham’s body was lying in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, just a short walk from where Palmer delivered his remarks. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/QFLNaNjMhpg Below you’ll find the full text of Palmer’s speech: “I want to thank my good friend Mr. Hultgren for arranging this opportunity to honor Billy Graham. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will witness something that we have never seen before –  the laying in honor of the body of an American who was not a government official, didn’t lead a political movement, and wasn't a war or social movement hero. A nation will mourn a man who was single-minded in his devotion to one thing. “His life and vocation centered on one thing and one thing only: proclaiming the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. I hope we pay close attention to this. We will most likely never see it again.  In Mark, Jesus tells his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Few people followed this instruction more faithfully than Reverend Billy Graham, and with as much success and impact. “Billy Graham has been called “America's Preacher.” But the fact of the matter is that he was for many decades…

President Trump’s attack on Jeff Sessions is the only thing that’s ‘disgraceful’ — J. Pepper Bryars

[caption id="attachment_28287" align="aligncenter" width="844"]The good ol’ days – Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump campaigning in Madison, 2016[/caption] (Opinion) President Donald Trump has unfairly and rudely attacked ... yet again ... the most consistent, most honorable, and most trustworthy conservative in the country – Alabama’s Jeff Sessions. Here’s what just happened: The president didn’t like that our attorney general directed the Justice Department’s inspector general to review how the agency seeks surveillance orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (an entirely appropriate action, by the way). The White House wanted something else done, it seems. So what does the president do? He launches another Twitter broadside Wednesday against one of his only cabinet members who’s actually implementing the conservative policies Trump was elected to pursue. We have “Good Trump,” as writer Ben Shapiro says to explain the shifting positive and negative whims of the president, and then we have “Bad Trump.” This, my friends, is definitely Bad Trump. Listen, before any trolls go calling me some unhinged #NeverTrumper, know that I just delivered a speech in Birmingham praising the president’s largely conservative record of achievement. But this right here is contemptible: Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018 Sessions, ever the gentlemen and refusing to be hauled down…

VIDEO: Human trafficking victim shares heartbreaking AND inspiring story at Alabama Human Trafficking Summit

[caption id="attachment_64665" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Lynne Caffery, Executive Director of Safe Harbor Youth (Yellowhammer News/Youtube)[/caption]   Human trafficking survivor Lynne Caffery said she was “sold and given and resold and given to males and females for merchandise and guns and drugs and raped repeatedly” as a trafficked victim of a biker group and the Mexican cartel before landing in prison and, eventually, finding hope, education and a new life. Caffery told Yellowhammer News her difficult journey led her to her life’s passion -- helping young people as executive director of Safe Harbor Youth, which provides a transitional living program for youth ages 16-22 years old “who have run away from home, are neglected, homeless, living on the streets, or victims of human trafficking,” according to the organization’s website. Alabama Human Trafficking Summit Caffery was one of more than 20 state and national experts spanning church ministry, law enforcement, government, education, non-profit, technology and legal sectors who presented this month at the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force’s fourth annual summit held in Montgomery. WATCH Caffery share her story of hope in this 3-minute video by Chason Smitherman, Sr.: https://youtu.be/k70IlyyTLAI   Link between pornography and human trafficking This year’s summit was the largest-to-date and explored the link between pornography and human trafficking among other focus areas, according to organizers. “Due to [pornography’s] growing role in fueling sex traffickers, we brought Lisa Thompson of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) down from D.C. to present this emerging subject matter,” said David Pinkleton, fundraising…

See where Alabama ranks among most sinful states (you’ll be surprised)

[caption id="attachment_64629" align="aligncenter" width="800"] (Wikicommons)[/caption]     Forget red states vs. blue states. The real battle is between sin states vs. saint states. And Alabama’s halo is looking a bit tarnished, at least according to a compilation by the website WalletHub of the most sinful states in the union. Alabama is ... No. 11. WalletHub compiled its list by collecting and measuring publically available data from 38 different metrics across seven categories: anger and hatred, jealousy, excess and vices, greed, lust, vanity, and laziness. Our neighbor to the south, Florida, was the biggest sinner topping the list with bad marks for jealousy, vanity, lust, and laziness. Georgia was fifth overall, Tennessee sixth and Mississippi was 16th. The biggest saint? No, it wasn’t Utah. It was Vermont, even though it tops the list as having the worst drug problem (that would explain why they keep electing Bernie Sanders ... they’re all high!). Alabama’s ranking within individual "sin" categories: -- Anger and hatred: No. 9 (violent crime statistics, sex offenders, bullying, etc.). -- Jealousy: No. 14 (theft and fraud). -- Excess and vices: No. 9 (obesity levels, excessive drinking, smoking, drug abuse, etc.). -- Greed: No. 33 (charitable donations, casinos per capita, gambling addiction) -- Lust: No. 7 (teenage mothers, pornography use). -- Vanity: No. 33 (beauty salons per capita, Google searches for plastic surgery, money spent on cosmetics) -- Laziness: No. 5 (exercise rate, hours worked, high school graduation rate, etc.) Time to put that smartphone down, y’all, and get back…

Alabama State Senate candidate talks school shootings, #MeToo and the AEA

[caption id="attachment_64517" align="aligncenter" width="800"] (Mary Scott Hunter for State Senate)[/caption]   Yellowhammer News recently sat down with Alabama School Board member and State Senate candidate Mary Scott Hunter to talk about hot-button topics like school shootings, the #MeToo movement, what she thinks of the Alabama Education Association (AEA), and why she prefers to be thought of as a "candidate", not a "female candidate". Hunter is running in the Republican Primary against Sam Givhan to replace retiring State Sen. Paul Sanford, whose North Alabama district includes much of the City of Huntsville and rural parts of Madison County. The primary will be held on June 5. YELLOWHAMMER: What should schools do to protect students from school shootings? Mary Scott Hunter: I think all serious problems that require an “all hands” approach should be attacked internally and externally. Externally, there are lots of ways to make a school safer. You must think in terms of making a school and those within it harder to target for a would-be killer. So, think about things like construction techniques that use a locked atrium system for visitor entry and making classrooms “safe rooms” with locking systems. We should do student and teacher training in “Run, Hide, Fight,” and consider deputizing, training, and arming teachers because this acts as a deterrent to bad guys. Last year I visited a Limestone County school systrem that is currently utilizing a system for teachers who open a box attached to a wall in their classroom in an active shooter…

Hey you Lindsey Vonn haters: Y’all are acting awful

[caption id="attachment_63822" align="aligncenter" width="800"] (NBC Sports/YouTube)[/caption] (Opinion) Last night my wife and I sat in our living room with our children, cheering Lindsey Vonn as she skied down the mountain in what’s probably her last Olympic Games, capturing the Bronze. Talent. Tenacity. Dedication. Pride. It’s times like Vonn’s run that makes my family, and Americans everywhere, love the Olympics. But ... a bunch of trolls tried to ruin everything by acting, well, trollish. While my family was cheering and sharing a great moment in sports history, other Americans were lighting up Twitter with cruel comments about Vonn, wishing she’d lose and even ridiculing her third-place finish. I won’t do their comments any favors by repeating them here (search Twitter or Google if you dare), but they were vicious, childish, and I’ll even say ... un-American. So why all the hate? Vonn said some disparaging things about President Donald Trump earlier in the games. So what? Who cares what she says? I only care about how well she performs and how many additions she adds to our nation’s medal count. Sure, I’d rather our athletes avoid making political statements during the games, especially since they’re overseas. I’d actually rather them avoid making political statements altogether, here or there. But come on, rooting against someone competing under our flag? That crosses a line, brother. I get it. People are sick of hearing these athletes sound off about politics. I am, too. But I’m also sick of hearing everyone else sound off about…

VIDEO: That time Billy Graham held a massive Birmingham revival

[caption id="attachment_63788" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Billy Graham's 1964 revival in Birmingham (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)[/caption]   The beloved American evangelist Billy Graham passed away at his home in North Carolina Wednesday at the age of 99, leaving a life-long legacy of preaching, teaching and evangelism that earned him the nickname "America's Pastor." In 1964, Graham offered to bring his team to Birmingham after the 1963 bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four African-American girls. He made it clear he would not preach a Birmingham crusade if the meetings were segregated, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graham's revival drew the largest integrated audience in Birmingham's history at that time. WATCH this powerful clip: https://youtu.be/FbXA0It4n8s   Graham returned to preach a crusade at Legion Field in Birmingham in 1972. More than 373,000 attended the week-long event.   [caption id="attachment_63776" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Billy Graham in Birmimgham, 1972 (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)[/caption] (Have you ever been to a Billy Graham crusade? What are your thoughts on Graham's legacy?)