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Lock America's Doors and Please Knock Politely

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

I was about four or five years old when I remember my mother locking the front door. She said something to my dad about people "out and about" on the road we lived on in the country. Our community was very safe but occasionally we heard about somebody wandering around that sounded creepy. She and dad determined it was time to lock the doors of our house.

Today, many Americans lock their doors even in the daytime. No one wants to be surprised by someone suddenly appearing in the house. If someone comes by our residence they can call ahead and make an appointment or politely knock as respecting, humane people do.

People who desire to enter America must come respectfully and legally. We don't owe people from other countries entrance into America. People do not have a God granted right to enter our country to be housed, educated and fed. I realize that the work of churches and non-profits is helping and healing the hurts of humanity but America is not a church. We used to be a Christian nation but about half of America no longer wants that label.

People from any country must come with passports, visas and fill out all the required documentation when entering our country. Be prepared to answer questions. It's a different world and we need to know as much about them as possible.

Almost every day or week brings more and more people to our country who want to immediately have everything that Americans have. That's not possible. People from Syria and other war torn, ravaged lands can not come here and expect to immediately have everything that Americans have worked thirty years or more to achieve. America is not responsible for granting to the rest of the world the American dream status as soon as they parade into our nation. Our forefathers came legally and worked hard to achieve the American dream. It took time.

Most of us are happy to welcome people from the world if they knock on our doors, identify who they are and fill out the required documentation. We don't want people who hate, resent and want to hurt us. We have to be honest and know that a lot of the world hated America long before President Donald Trump. Securing our borders, asking questions of those who want to enter in order to be safer is the right thing to do.

Thousands have been flooding our country. It's only smart to lock the doors. It's tough on some people. It will be much tougher if we make a mistake that leads to someone entering our country and inflicting carnage on our people. Obviously, we have people already living here who are capable of carrying out something horrendous. Someone can be born and raised here and still hurt people. However, taking some precautions to try to head off any more potential problems is prudent.

May God give our President wisdom and may we as Americans please try to calm down and work together during these difficult times. Furthermore, never enter my house without me opening the door and inviting you.

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Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states. Visit www.glennmollette.com
Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette

This is a sketching of the first constable wagon in America at the turn of the 19th/20th century.This is a sketching of the first constable wagon in America at the turn of the 19th/20th century.

(Date: 01-27-2017) -- A bill filed by a northern Kentucky Republican would allow county governments to decide whether they want constables in their counties and would permit cities to bar constables from trying to enforce the law within city limits.

House Bill 160 was filed by Rep. Adam Koenig, of Erlanger. Koenig a former Kenton County commissioner, said the idea for the bill originated years ago while he was a commissioner because of problems the county had with a constable.

Constables are law enforcement officers granted full police powers by the state constitution.

"We had one problem-child constable," Koenig said Thursday. "... He was unelected in 2006, but that didn't stop him," and he was later charged with impersonating a police officer, he said.

According to court records, Ronald Ferrier, a former Kenton County constable, was indicted in 2007 for impersonating a police officer and pleaded guilty in exchange for a three-year prison sentence.

"Constables are a relic of a bygone era, and do not serve a necessary function," Koenig said. "... Fiscal Courts up here would eliminate constables."

If approved, the bill would require a change to the state constitution since constables are constitutional officers. If approved, counties could adopt an ordinance eliminating the office of constable although the office could be reinstated by a future Fiscal Court.

The bill would also allow cities to pass ordinances to "eliminate the powers of the office of constable within the city limits of that city."

J.D. Chaney, deputy executive director of the Kentucky League of Cities, said the organization asked for the provision giving cities the power to bar constables.

"We have supported the abolition (of constables), and do this year as well," Chaney said. KLC supports "either the complete abolition of the office, or the exercise of their police power."

The issue, Chaney said, is that constables have law enforcement powers without being required to receive law enforcement training. Police officers and sheriff's deputies receive basic training at the state law enforcement academy in Richmond and have annual training requirements. The Kentucky State Police runs its own academy for new troopers.

"In situations where non-trained constables are responding and exercising police power, our law enforcement officials see that as a real public safety issue," Chaney said.

That position was shared by Jerry Wagner, executive director of the Kentucky Sheriff's Association.

"Our association supports home rule for everybody, and this is a home rule bill," Wagner said.

"It's a safety issue. You utilize them and they are not properly trained ... In our state, there are obviously some news stories that back up the need to be trained," he said.

"I'm not putting those guys down," Wagner said. "It's for the safety of themselves, the officers and the citizens of the community they are serving."

Jason Rector, president of the Kentucky Constables Association, said there have been similar bills sponsored by Koenig over the years.

"It's not new to the Association," Rector said. "Adam Koenig has been after constables for eternity now."

Rector said he believed the bill had little chance of success because of the constitutional amendment requirement. Rector said constables want state-mandated training, but have been blocked.

"We have been trying since 2009 or 2010 to work with legislators to get some laws changed to get some training," Rector said. "... We're not the ones denying the training. We're asking for the training."

A 2012 report by the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet stated that constables performed 0.02 percent of all documented law enforcement work, and the majority of sheriff's surveyed said the office of constable should be eliminated.

Rector said the report was biased.

"It does seem constables are the ones put in the spotlight (for improper actions) when there are constables that do positive things and are active for their community," he said.

"There are just as many bad apples in other elected capacities, not just constables," Rector said. "But it seems the constables are the red-headed stepchild in the media."

Koenig said other organizations that support the bill include in the Kentucky Association of Counties.

"The support in the legislature is increasing every year," Koenig said. "I've had three freshman who have co-sponsored the bill."

 

By James Mayse
The Messenger-Inquirer

 

Economic Diversification Awards to help expand and diversify the economy in the coalfields of southern and eastern Kentucky

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) applauds the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) approval of approximately $8 million in Economic Diversification Awards to help expand and diversify the economy in the coalfields of southern and eastern Kentucky.

The projects are expected to create or retain approximately 300 jobs and spur private investments. It's part of additional investments through the POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative of nearly $26 million to create jobs and improve workforce development across five Appalachian states that have been hardest hit by the downturn of the coal industry.

"When times get tough, the ARC continues to stand in the gap for southern and eastern Kentucky and these investments show the agency's trusted partnership in reviving and rebuilding our region," said Congressman Rogers. "Our best days are ahead of us and these projects will specifically improve our addiction recovery efforts, workforce development, digital innovation tourism opportunities and job creation."

The 28 awards for Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are projected to create or retain more than 2,500 jobs and train more than 7,300 workers and students.

“These investments capitalize on the growing momentum for a diverse economy in Appalachia,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl. “They are strategic, collaborative and impactful plans to make Kentucky and the entire Appalachian Region more competitive in technology, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, broadband, health and a variety of other sectors.”

Kentucky's awards include:

*  $3.5 million ARC grant for Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg, Kentucky for the Eastern Kentucky Coal County Transformation Project, which will launch a workforce development program focused on building the digital economy across a 16-county region through the Big Sandy, Hazard, and Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges. The project is expected to serve 300 trainees and improve operations of 30 existing businesses in the first two years of the award.

*  $1.5 million ARC grant to Hazard Community and Technical College to build an Intergenerational Training Center on the Lees College Campus in Jackson, Kentucky, which will train nearly 300 dislocated workers and credential 228 students over the life of the award.

*  $1.25 million ARC grant to the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in London, Kentucky for the Kentucky Highlands Employment and Financial Training Program, which will support local entrepreneurs at both the start-up and expansion stages through a loan fund in 21 counties across the region The project is expected to create or retain 200 jobs.

*  $1 million ARC grant to Fahe - Federation of Appalachian housing enterprises - in Berea, Kentucky for the UPLIFT Appalachia Recovery Project, which will be used to finance three community addiction recovery facilities located in Louisa, Somerset and Jackson. The award will serve more than 5,000 patients and create or retain 63 jobs.

*  $500,000 ARC grant to the City of Whitesburg, Kentucky for the Whitesburg Daniel Boone Hotel Stabilization Project, which will restore and preserve the historic Daniel Boone Hotel, representing the City's rise after the arrival of railroads and the county's first coal mines. The project will create 23 jobs and is expected to attract approximately 10,000 new visitors every year. 

 

 

'Kentucky’s Attorney General Has a Duty To Perform', Governor says

 

By Governor Matt Bevin

The General Assembly has recently enacted two important bills to protect unborn children:  Senate Bill 5, which bans abortions after the 20th week of gestation because that is the point at which fetuses can feel pain, and House Bill 2, which seeks to ensure that women are fully informed before choosing an abortion.  Who can argue with the desire to make sure that women have all available medical information before making such a grave decision about whether to undergo an abortion?  Apparently the ACLU—and the Attorney General.

The ACLU has sued the Commonwealth on behalf of abortion doctors, claiming that the disclosures required by House Bill 2 violate the doctors’ First Amendment free speech rights.  I wish I were kidding.

The Attorney General initially indicated that he would defend House Bill 2.  In a January 10 statement, he said that he has a “duty to defend laws where the constitutionality is questionable.” He then went on to state that due to appellate court rulings, in his view, HB2 is worthy of a defense but SB5 is not. The only part of the AG’s statement that I agree with is that he has a duty to defend the laws of this commonwealth. It is not his prerogative to pick and choose which ones.

But, after backlash from his liberal supporters, the Attorney General quickly backed away even from his vow to defend House Bill 2.  In a court filing this past Tuesday, he said that he “does not take a position on the [ACLU’s] Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order.”  In non-lawyer speak, that means he was telling the Court that he does not care whether or not the Court prohibits the enforcement of House Bill 2.  Because the Attorney General is not making a substantive defense of House Bill 2, my office has done so in filings with the Court. 

With his latest about face and abdication of responsibility, the Kentucky Attorney General is now taking the position that he will not defend either HB2 or Senate Bill 5, a ban on abortions performed on babies older than 20-weeks gestation. Rather than evaluate Mr. Beshear’s potential motives for such a stunning pivot, the discussion should be whether he actually has this much latitude in determining what duties of his office he will or won't perform.
Failure to conduct a vigorous defense of statutes passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, even when controversial, is a threat to the rule of law and the separation of powers that our system of government is based upon.  House Bill 2 was approved by the General Assembly after extensive deliberation. What’s more, HB2 passed with significant bipartisan support, and 83% of the legislature voted for it.  
By refusing to defend laws duly created by our state’s constitutional process, the Attorney General is attempting to exercise an executive veto power that he does not possess. If Attorney General Beshear only intended to defend laws that he deemed worthy, he should not have sought his current office. The primary duty of the office he holds is to defend state laws against constitutional challenge.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s job is to defend Kentucky laws created by the legislative process. It is not his duty or his right to make an independent evaluation of the law’s merits. In so doing, he undermines the authority of the other two branches of our state government.

Setting the legal argument aside, however, what is the most basic duty of all government? Government exists to protect and defend pre-existing natural rights. The right to life is the most fundamental of all those rights. What’s more, the duty of government to defend rights is most critical for those who cannot defend themselves.  A 20-week-old unborn child has a basic right to not suffer horrific pain while being aborted. A prospective mother, despite AG Beshear’s pivot on the issue, has a right to have the best medical information available about her unborn child. The reason HB 2 and SB 5 both passed overwhelmingly and were signed into law, is precisely because the merit of these two facts is so obvious. 

On the Kentucky Attorney General’s website, you will find this statement: “As the state’s chief legal authority, the Office of the Attorney General plays an important role in protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens.” When the Attorney General makes that promise, it should apply to all Kentuckians, including women facing an important decision about their pregnancy as well as the unborn. 

The Attorney General and his team of more than 80 taxpayer funded attorneys, should do their jobs and defend Kentucky's laws. If, however, the Attorney General won’t carry out his duty, our administration will do it for him. The office of the Governor will defend the will of the voters and fight to protect the rights of all Kentuckians.

 

Health care coverage for more than 16,000 retired United Mine Workers at issue...

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017 -- A pair of Senate bills were introduced to fund health-care benefits for retired coal miners and their widows, Curtis Tate reports for McClatchy Newspapers.

Ten senators from Indiana, Missouri North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia "reintroduced the Miners Protection Act, which the Senate Finance Committee approved last year but which did not make it to the Senate floor." At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a similar bill, with language blaming President Obama for coal's decline.

"Health care coverage for more than 16,000 retired United Mine Workers of America beneficiaries was set to expire at the end of December, but Congress extended it for four months in a bigger bill to fund the entire government through April," Tate writes.

The Miners Protection Act would: "Amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to transfer funds in excess of the amounts needed to meet existing obligations under the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) fund to the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan to prevent its insolvency;" and "Make certain retirees who lose health care benefits following the bankruptcy or insolvency of his or her employer eligible for the 1993 Benefit Plan. The assets of Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) created following the Patriot Coal bankruptcy would be transferred to the 1993 Benefit Plan to reduce transfers from the AML fund."

McConnell's bill would make permanent the extension of health benefits for retired miners and their dependents that was included in last year's government funding bill. It also "calls on Congress to work with the Trump Administration to repeal onerous regulations that have contributed to the downfall of the coal industry and to support economic growth efforts in coal country," a McConnell press release says. "Sen. McConnell’s bill also calls on the Government Accountability Office to periodically audit the health-care benefits plan and report to Congress its findings to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely."

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 1/18/2017 11:58:00 AM