- Video Games
By Dr. Glenn Mollette
I'm missing people.
In recent years I have eulogized my wife's father's funeral as well as her mother's funeral this past January. This weekend I will do the funeral service for my mother-in law-from my first marriage. My first wife died in 2002.
My mother and father have passed on, along with all of my aunts and uncles, with the exception of one living aunt -Lucille. This reminds me that I hope to see her at the family reunion in May.
Recently my sister's daughter who lived beside my Kentucky home passed, after a lifelong battle with diabetes, at the age of 53.
One of my dear friends died a couple of years ago from cancer and another dear friend is apparently suffering from dementia and unable to communicate much anymore. I miss laughing with these guys. I keep trying to make new friends. However it seems like my old friends are dying off quicker than I can make new friends.
I miss my childhood pastor who used to brag on me and always had a good word. I missed an old paper editor who brought me into the fold and mentored my writing. Of course they are both dead now.
I miss my high school basketball coach who was a star player himself. He was so gifted at cussing us out at halftime and telling us everything we had done with the basketball except actually playing with it. He also knew how to extend a compliment, encourage and point out the good that he saw in others and me. I miss that guy.
When I go to my old home church the people I see now are a handful of people who are about my age. There is the exception of Mug and Ilene. They seemed like old people when I was a kid and the last time I was in church on a Wednesday night they were there in attendance. Ilene used to pick me up for church and Mug did some nice things for me as well. I hope I see them for a long, long time.
And then there is Miss Southard. I was her pastor fifteen years ago. My wife and I go to see her every couple of months. She is filled with vigor and personality. At the age of 95 she still drives, gardens and greets at church. She is independent and has lived in her home for the last fifty or so years. She is filled with gladness and kindness. She never misses a beat to embrace us. Love us and say good things to us both.
We were driving from Baltimore, Maryland to Charleston, West Virginia today and we were somewhat amazed by our drive. One guy made a point of pulling in front of us and slamming on his brakes. I guess we hadn't been driving fast enough in the fast lane for him but 76 mph was more than we should have been going. Another guy was coming up the exit ramp and I couldn't pull over to give him all the room he wanted so he just started honking and giving me the finger. This reminded me of my five mile stretch of highway that I drive a lot in Indiana where I get the finger a couple of times a week from our kind motorists in our beloved Hoosier state.
Sadly, kindness is just not in vogue today it seems and I don't like it. I still can't believe that elected political people did not have the decency and human kindness to stand up for the widow of slain Navy Seal Carryn Owens at President Trump's address to Congress on February 28. Regardless of your politics and however you view Trump's reasoning there should be respect for the slain Navy Seal, Ryan Owens, his widow Carryn Owens and all those who serve and have served.
A lot of leadership people today are teaching us how to act and live. More and more it's all about trash talk, rude comments and crude behavior toward others. If we want kids across America to show some respect to each other and demonstrate kindness to others then it must be jumpstarted anew and afresh by the big people who are seen and heard throughout our country.
I miss a lot of people from days of old who have passed on. I am especially missing those who knew and understood kindness and how to treat others. So is most of America. I know there are millions of kind people still in America. They just need to stand up.
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit www.glennmollette.com
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 01, 2017
President Trump's address to Congress Tuesday night contained plenty of factual errors. We only have room here for a few fact checks. If you want to re-publish them, we encourage you to look at reports from The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News, PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.
NBC's Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann write on First Read that Trump's biggest whopper of the night concerned the economy when he said: "Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force. Over 43 million people are now living in poverty, and over 43 million Americans are on food stamps. More than 1 in 5 people in their prime working years are not working. We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years." NBC says while some figures are true "others are highly misleading."
For example, 93 percent of people not in the labor force say they don't want a job. David Freedlander of The Daily Beast noted on Twitter that of the 94 million not working, 44 million are retired, 15.3 million are disabled. 13.3 million are taking care of a family member and 13.2 million are in school.
The Times and Post both say Trump "cherry-picked" data on the economy "to reinforce his argument that he’s walking into the White House with the economy in a near-shambles, as Philip Bump of the Post writes. Trump's description of “the worst financial recovery in 65 years” is true, Bump writes,m but "we also had the worst economic situation since the Great Depression." NBC noted that Trump failed to mention that he inherited a country with a low unemployment rate of 4.8 percent and rising household income.
Pipelines: Trump said the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines will create "tens of thousands of jobs." Times reporter Coral Davenport noted that most of the jobs will be temporary: "A 2014 State Department environmental review estimated that Keystone would support 42,000 temporary jobs over its two-year construction period — about 3,900 of them in construction, the rest in indirect support jobs, such as food service. It estimated that Keystone would create about 35 permanent jobs."
Trump also said, "I’ve issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.” Post fact-checkers Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Le write, "Workers in Arkansas have already built about half of the high-strength line pipe needed for the project, some 333,000 tons. TransCanada said in 2013 that it had already purchased all of the steel pipe it needed for the Keystone XL, with the rest coming from a Russian-owned plant in Canada, Italy and India. Experts say the plant in Arkansas (owned by an Indian company) is the only one in the U.S. that could build the pipe—and it gets its steel from India."
Immigration: Trump said, “By finally enforcing our immigration laws we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions and billions of dollars and make our communities safer for everyone.” Kessler and Lee write, "Trump exaggerates the impact of illegal immigration on crime, taxpayer money and jobs. Extensive research shows noncitizens are not more prone to criminality than U.S.-born citizens. The vast majority of unauthorized immigrants are not criminal aliens or aggravated felons." Several studies have shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S., Richard Perez-Pena reported in January for the Times.
Health care: Trump said, "Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits." Times reporter Robert Pear notes that double-digit increases in premiums have been common for many years. "President Trump cited Arizona's 116 percent increase; it is the only state that experienced a triple-digit hike. Premiums for a popular group of health plans sold on HealthCare.gov rose this year by an average of 25 percent, according to the Obama administration. While subsidies are available to people with low and moderate incomes, people who do not qualify for financial assistance must bear the full cost."
Jobs and trade: Trump said, "We've lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since Nafta was approved." Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum writes, "The U.S. has lost a lot of factory jobs since 2000, but the biggest reason is technological progress, not foreign competition. America's manufacturing output is at the highest level in history—it just doesn't take as many workers to make stuff anymore. Some jobs have been lost to foreign competition, but studies assign a modest role to NAFTA."
Coal: Trump said he ended a regulation that threatened "the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners." Davenport writes, "There is no evidence that the rule threatened a significant number of coal mining jobs, or that rolling it back will create new ones. No credible studies have shown that rolling back major regulations on coal pollution will contribute to a major increase in coal-mining jobs."
Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 3/01/2017 12:35:00 PM
By Dr. Glenn Mollette
A growing career industry across the country is life coaching. People are actually going into private practice opening offices and spending hours every week giving direction to people and a listening ear. We have had psychiatrists and other mental health workers for years but now people are training to help others with just the most basic types of problems and questions.
We live in an age where people are more desperate than ever for somebody to talk to. People have problems from spiritual, financial, to making daily decisions. People wonder about what to do with their lives. They don't know how to get a job or what opportunities might exist for them. Millions of American kids pass through twelve grades of school and graduate clueless about what to do next.
More than ever people need to know that their lives are not in vain. They do not exist to just create social media postings in hopes that a few people will "like" them. They need to know that if they do not make a television reality show that they are still okay because every day they exist in their own reality show. The reality is that each American has an opportunity to have a real life. Life is never free from hurdles, work, challenges and usually grit and grind. However, there are ways to navigate the maze of living life.
Bad things happen to people. People are brought up in broken homes, by single parents, in poverty, and surrounded by domestic violence. The scenarios are endless. This is why more than ever we need everyday life coaches who can help people with the simplest of life's quests.
Young adults up to old age seniors need guidance. You can find a lot of answers on Google but often people don't know the right questions to ask.
How do I write a resume'? What do I put on a resume'? How do I dress for a certain job interview? Where do I start to find a job? What are my career choices? How do I choose a career? How do I know what I am good at doing? How do I save money? How can I make my life better? How can I avoid trouble? How do I start a business? How do I obtain financial aid for college? What do I have to do to be a schoolteacher, a lawyer, a doctor an engineer or other professional? My life is bad how can I change my life? I am unhappy with my physical condition what can I do to be a healthier person?
I understand that not every counselor has an immediate answer to every person's questions. However, answers are available and often a steady mind with a listening ear can help someone find an answer.
Some people need help from a medical professional. Some need help from licensed clinical counselors. Many today just need some basic common sense direction.
Churches today are utilizing Life Coaches. Sometimes it's a trained minister but other occasions exist where there is a trained Life Coach connected to the church whose job is to help those in the community to find direction and guidance.
Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Memphis and every city in America struggling with violence would be well served to plant guidance coaches, mentors or life coaches throughout these troubled communities.
In reality, it's the job every parent should do. Unfortunately parents have either dropped the ball, flown the coup or just cannot pull their own lives together. Sadly in America we have so many dysfunctional families that life coaches are needed to help mom and dad as much as the young teens struggling in these scenarios.
More law enforcement, more police dogs and more curfews are not going to solve the hurt being felt by so many lost young adults in America. More than ever these young men and women need community leaders, mentors and coaches with a listening ear and commonsense advice for living and achieving a better life.
Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit www.glennmollette.com
By Governor Matt Bevin
Last year, during my visit to the drug treatment program at Roeder Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky, I met a young man there named Joe. He was smart and articulate, the son of a police officer and a father himself. He was also a heroin abuser, whose addiction had driven him to rob banks to pay for his drugs. On the day that I met him, Joe had joined the drug treatment program at Roeder, and was clear-eyed, reflective, and focused on turning his life around. He was anxious to rejoin society, find a good job, and get back to taking care of his family.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield has introduced Senate Bill 120, a broad piece of legislation that will do much to help people like Joe. First, this bill gets government out of the way and helps put returning citizens back to work by removing state licensing restrictions that keep people with records from being able to work in certain jobs. The bill will also improve reentry substance abuse supervision for many of those returning to our communities. Currently those who struggle with addiction tend to cycle repeatedly through prison doors because they have difficulty getting the real help they need.
SB 120 also establishes a mechanism for private industry to operate inside prisons, giving inmates an opportunity to learn real-life job skills while also paying restitution and child support. Additionally, the bill allows certain lower-level inmates serving felony sentences in county jails the chance at work release, which enables them to become more employable post-sentence and able to pay restitution. Finally, the bill establishes opportunities for jails to operate reentry centers or day reporting centers that provide participants with beneficial supervision to ease transition back into society.
This legislation is the product of months of work done by a task force I created to take a hard look at our justice system and find ways to make it more effective and more efficient. The Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council (CJPAC) included members of law enforcement, county and state officials, victims, legislators and business voices. And while introduction of SB 120 is a great step forward, our work is far from over.
Every year, 37,000 Kentuckians charged with low-level, non-violent crimes sit behind bars for an average of 109 days simply because they cannot afford to pay their bail. These people have not been convicted of anything, and if they had the money to pay their bail, they would be able to continue working and supporting their families. Their pre-trial detention costs the taxpayers of Kentucky more than $125 million each year. Our judicial branch, led by Chief Justice John Minton, is working hard on a pre-trial release program to address this situation, and the success of this effort will inform future reform legislation.
And while the legislature and judiciary are working on solutions, we’ll do our part in the executive branch. I recently signed the Fair Chance Employment Initiative, which will help people with records get their foot in the door for state jobs and allow them an opportunity to explain their efforts at rehabilitation during the hiring process.
During my State of the Commonwealth address, I promised that we would be bold in tackling our state’s greatest challenges. Kentucky is 47th in workforce participation. One cause of that problem is that we are releasing thousands of people from jail or prison each year who cannot find a job. When returning citizens can’t find jobs, they often return to bad habits and poor choices, which explains why more than a third of the prisoners who are released end up back in prison within three years. This cycle of failure must change. People who have paid their debt and proven their commitment to rehabilitation deserve a second chance to be productive citizens. In my speech, I promised that criminal justice reform is coming to Kentucky. Now it is here.
Incarcerated people, like all people, deserve dignity and opportunity. Here in Kentucky, where nearly every family has been impacted to some degree by the drug epidemic, we will not throw in the towel on our friends and family members who have made mistakes. SB 120 offers incarcerated people, and those returning home, substance abuse programming, job-training, and a path to a different life. The bill does this while also keeping our communities safe. I hope you will join me in supporting it, because when these individuals find jobs, care for their children and turn away from crime, Kentucky has an opportunity to become the best version of ourselves. United we stand, divided we fall.
This past Friday, the clerk’s desk in the House chambers was flooded with activity as the final bills and resolutions for the short session were filed.
So far, this thirty-day session has been short on time but large on action as it appears that well over 700 different ideas have been hammered into bills, from which a few will be finding their way onto committee schedules and fewer still to the floors of their respective chambers for votes.
Several of those bills originated from ideas or issues raised by folks just like you who contacted me and I was able to research and get them ready for filing and up for consideration in the House.
Back in the summer, my legislative work began with the filing of House Bill 44, which would make the counties of the Fifth Congressional District, eligible for business tax provisions that would allow a portion of dollars normally sent to the state as sales and use tax to remain in the district for use growing the business or hiring more workers.
Since January, I’ve been working with the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in crafting a bill that would bring some subtle but important tweaks to the Tourism Finance Authority. My House Bill 425 reorganizes the TFA’s board to include the expertise and insight of a representative from the film industry and a representative with economic development or financial management skills. Why add film to the mix, you might ask? A quick perusal online of the Kentucky Film office will show you how often Kentucky locations are being used in films and television. Fans of the series “The Walking Dead” know that Cynthiana, Ky. is home to much of the action in that popular show.
House Bill 444 brings gets to the heart of seeing to it that structural steel welders are properly certified and in turn, it would ensure safety, quality and integrity of the jobs on which they work. Current certification procedures are too lax making jobsites and the stability of the structures being built questionable.
I was pleased to join neighboring legislator, Rep. Dan Bentley from Greenup County in a House Joint Resolution that would designate a bridge in our area as a “Korean War Veterans Memorial” to honor all those who served in that conflict.
There’s another House Joint Resolution in the mix as well which will celebrate a successful talent in Lawrence county, that was happily requested by the Lawrence County Tourism Commission.
My House Bill 496 takes on the problems of contraband in our detention facilities and would basically stop any hope of parole, probation or release for someone who is convicted of bringing anything they shouldn’t inside the jail until they have served 85% of imposed sentence.
Finally, filed just under the wire, comes a bill suggested by my friends from Carter County Youth Leadership. The teenagers from West and East Carter were visiting the capitol and they described how among their service projects, they were tutoring younger students at area elementary schools. According to the tutors, cursive handwriting was a big deal and requested by the students. The CCYL students felt that moves to abandon instruction of cursive handwriting was a bad idea and offered many reasons why.
That led to House Bill 495, which would insure that cursive handwriting remain a course of study in Kentucky elementary schools.
Elsewhere during the week we passed House Bill designed to educate Kentucky students on the dangers of opioid abuse. The bill would require elementary, middle, and high school students to be educated on the hazards of prescription opioid abuse and on the connection between prescription opioids and addiction to heroin and other drugs. Kentucky continues to face a serious epidemic in regard to drug abuse and overdose deaths. This bill would ensure that our youth are educated on the impacts of drugs, hopefully leading to its prevention. I was proud to strongly support this legislation.
Also on the move legislatively are other plans of attack against drug abuse -- specifically for the drug fentanyl, as launched by the House beginning with committee approval of a bill to strengthen penalties against trafficking fentanyl and related drugs. House Bill 333, passed by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, would make it a felony to illegally sell or distribute any amount of an extremely deadly drug called carfentanil and drugs derived from fentanyl. It would also increase penalties for trafficking of fentanyl, already a felony. Additionally, the bill would create the felony offense of trafficking in a misrepresented controlled substance for those who pass the drugs off as actual pharmaceuticals like Xanax or Percocet, among other provisions.
We are nearly to the halfway point of this year’s legislative work schedule and many other issues are sure to come before us for consideration.