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Date: 07-02-2015

Paul goes where few in old GOP have been, accepts campaign donations from pot industry 

Kentucky New Era

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is not ready to say if he would vote to legalize recreational marijuana at the state level. “I think I see it just more from a federal perspective,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday at a marijuana industry meeting in Denver. “And I think the federal government ought to stay out.”

Medical marijuana issue still alive in KentuckyPaul has become the first major-party presidential candidate to publicly court the legalized marijuana industry, The Associated Press reported. He planned a fundraiser this week at the Cannabis Business Summit. Tickets were $2,700.

It’s not surprising that Paul — whose libertarian principles appeal to many voters who place a premium on personal freedom — would draw a distinction between the roles of state and federal government when deciding if marijuana should be legalized. What is surprising is his willingness to accept campaign money from the industry. Although Colorado, Washington state, Alaska, the District of Columbia, and now Oregon, have legalized marijuana, it is still a controversial topic. It is highly unlikely Kentucky will legalize marijuana anytime in the near the future.

As a presidential candidate in the primaries, Paul must appeal to a broad electorate of conservative voters — and for that reason — his decision to dive into the cannabis industry for campaign money might not be a political liability.

We’re more interested in what his decision reveals about politics and the Republican Party in 2015.

This ain’t your granddaddy’s GOP.

Ten years ago — and maybe even more recently — it would have been difficult to imagine a Republican candidate for president landing in a marijuana convention. Things have changed quickly. In terms of philosophy and policy, the Republican Party is much more diverse than it was just a few years ago. A hard push to the right, initiated in part by the Tea Party’s rise after the 2008 presidential election, eventually resulted in more flavors of Republican opinion.

The middle ground of the GOP, sometimes referred to as chamber of commerce or country club Republicans, is now flanked on one side by party members who are socially moderate or liberal but fiscally conservative and those on the other side who are more strictly conservative on social and fiscal policies.

The fact that Paul is seeking campaign money from the marijuana industry is one indication the party is more diverse and less predictable. He’s taken other positions that were not traditionally associated with the GOP. He was one of the first in his party to call on police to curtail military-style tactics in dealing with civilians. He was also the only Republican among likely presidential candidates who agreed with President Obama’s plan to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.

There was a time when Democrats claimed to be the party big enough for a wide range of opinions. Increasingly, it seems the Republican Party can say this as well.

Paul won’t gain much in Kentucky by aligning with the marijuana industry — and we don’t support legalization — but he continues to make the large field of GOP hopefuls more interesting for anyone who appreciates a Republican Party that’s growing and changing.

June 29, 2015


It's a Different Day in America

 
Americans celebrate our Independence each 4th of July. We have all kinds of independence in our country. We are free to kill unborn babies and free to legally marry people of the same sex. We are also free from the ritual of prayer in public schools. We are free to take all kinds of drugs in America as long as we have a doctor's prescription. We are free now to sit home while the government feeds us and provides us with whatever necessary healthcare we need. We are also free to remain uneducated, unskilled and in poverty. Young adults stay home longer, watch television more and live in front of their computer world absorbed in Netflix movies or social media. Parents have to work longer at jobs that pay very little, that they no longer enjoy providing for people vegetating under their own roofs.

Voting doesn't seem to be all that necessary these days. If there are any decisions to be made The Supreme Court will make them for us. Who cares about what each state has voted to do or what the majority of voting Americans might want. The Supreme Court is quite willing to dictate the law of the land and be our Supreme Being.

We are also willing to sit back and watch the world freely come into our country illegally. They are happy to escape from Iraq, Mexico, Burma, Central America, other parts of Asia and more. Our local community is flooded with people from Vietnam, China, South Korea and Mexico and more are coming every day.

One thing to remember is that people of the Muslim faith typically do not embrace Gay/Lesbian marriages or lifestyles. Generally immigrants from Central America and Mexico are often Catholic and oppose abortion and Gay/Lesbian lifestyles. Thousands of the Burmese population here in our country are strong Christians. As illegal immigrants eventually gain voting status they may vote a liberal agenda but then again don't be surprised if they don't. Many of them have very conservative backgrounds.

Benjamin Franklin said, "We have given you a republic if you can keep it." Honestly, I'm a little concerned about that. We continue to allow jobs to leave our country. There is an overall apathy about illegals entering our country. We spend trillions of dollars that we do not have on Middle East wars that have gone nowhere. We are led by a Congress kept in office by lucrative lobbyists and big money corporations. All the while we have black and white people fighting each other. My hat is off to the Mayor and people of Charleston, SC who have become a shining example to this nation.

Many Americans are disappointed in The Supreme Court. Please keep in mind that the Supreme Court's ruling does not mean that you personally have to date and marry people of the same sex. You do not have to have an abortion. Nor, do you have to agree or accept these behaviors. You can still pray anytime and anywhere. No one can take that away from you.

We are still free to worship God, hold up our Bibles, Book of Mormon or Koran and yell and scream as long as we don't keep our neighbors up all night. We are still free to be good citizens and try to influence our families, friends and people we know to be good Americans.

Please don't give up. However, it's a different day in America. 

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states.
   This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.  

Like his facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette

June 23, 2015

BLAINE PARK IN SERIOUS NEED OF RENOVATION 

BLAINE -- Children were met with a surprise, or lack thereof, when they visited Blaine Park recently only to find out that the one and only slide was missing from the playground. Becoming concerned as to whether it had been taken for repairs or simply stolen, a quick call to the Lawrence County Judge Executive’s office confirmed that the slide hadn’t been removed for any reason, and had been stolen. 

Recent flooding left landscape cloth and timbers in rough condition. According to Judge Executive John Osbrone, at this time there is no funding available to replace the slide and he’s uncertain as to when monies may be available for such a project. He also stated that an insurance claim isn’t an option because the deductible would probably be higher than the actual cost of the slide. 

As a concerned parent and involvement community member the idea to hold fundraisers to help raise funds for replacement playground equipment instantly came to mind, however also as a tax payer I feel that we as a community should fully utilize any and all available tax dollars to help maintain the county owned facility, which prompted me to make a call to our State Representative Jill York. 

York was very helpful and agreed that we should first seek tax dollars to use, if there are any available. Landscape timbers surrounding the playground area are broken, bolts coming out of, etc. While she wasn’t aware of any immediate available options, she assured me it was something she planned to instantly look into. While I’m sure our elected state officials are very busy and have important issues to look into, this park is all we have in this area for our children and I appreciated the fact that she felt the same way and is committed to help find a solution. 

Besides the theft, the recent harsh winter and flooding also took a toll on the park as the mulch has been washed away, landscape timbers broken and landscape cloth no longer in place. Judge Osborne did say that the county had the resources to pull the old cloth up and put down pea gravel in place of the mulch. As of Monday evening, someone was at the park with a tractor working on the landscape cloth which is great because if not fixed, it was a safety hazard to anyone there. I personally appreciate the Judge’s timely effort to help ensure our kids have a safe place to play. 

The structure that used to hold the slide.As of now, it’s just a waiting game to see if either York or Osborne are able to come up with any solutions to offer, which I’m confident they will put forth an effort to do so. Either way, I’m certain that whether it be tax dollars or community member’s efforts, before long the Blaine Park will be back better and more beautiful than ever! It's just a shame that something fun and beneficial to our kids in this area is ruined because a thieving idiot for lack of better words. The little park isn't much I understand, but it's more than we've ever had in this area and the kids enjoy it. Whoever stole the slide didn't just steal from the park- they stole from our kids, they stole from the county and they stole from every single person that pay tax dollars to provide those things. 

*** Please note that I do fully understand that there are more pressing issues throughout the area than a playground, such as roads that need repaired. But what most don’t understand is that counties aren’t just given x amount of dollars to spend however they chose. Monies are appropriated for different, specific projects. Certain monies are set aside for road repairs, and those monies often can’t be spent on any other project. Therefore I feel that asking for funding from a resource such as something appointed just for a beautification project, recreation, etc.  is not unreasonable IF there is such a thing available. 

June 26, 2015

Parents need boundaries too…and sometimes children need to be the ones to set them

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and my six year old son sat in the living floor playing with our puppy, trying to teach her the game of fetch. Thinking it was cute; I did what any other parent would do, grabbed my phone and snapped a picture. My son quickly glanced up and said, “Please don’t put that on Facebook, mom.” That’s when it dawned on me, in many aspects of life children have no privacy, no respect and no freedom to be who they are because anytime they do, we view it as something to be shared with the world. 

We’ve all seen it, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty, scroll through your favorite social media site (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc...) and you’re bound to see kids that are happy, sad, sick, healthy, being disciplined, having fun, trying a new food, playing a new game, enjoying a new pet, taking a bath, having quiet time with a parent, experiencing their first day of school, last day of camp, first kiss, visiting the eye doctor, panicking at the dentist, throwing a tantrum, etc... The list is never ending. Then, scroll through any blog or parenting website and you’re bound to find articles written against the parents that over share every detail of their kids’ lives and how annoying it is to writers that argue it’s their account and they can share what they want when they want of who they want. But, where’s the article from the kids? When or where do they get a say so? 

I get it…I get it, I promise I do. Kids are kids; parents are parents. We are in control, we make the decisions, what we say goes…all because we said so. I understand all that. I also understand that in order for children to give respect, they also need to receive it. As a twenty-nine year old wife and mother of two, I can honestly say that I would be beyond mortified if someone were to snap pictures anytime they wanted of anything that I did and post it online for the world to see. Not that I do anything that I’m ashamed of, but first of the morning pictures with gooky eyes and messy hair? Not a site for the world to see.  Being sick, running a fever, hacking-up a lung and curled up in bed? The world doesn't want to see that either. In the bathroom, using the toilet, too…okay, you get it! If we were to post half the pictures of adults that we do of kids, I couldn’t even imagine the uproar it would cause. 

Our world has become so advanced, so modern, so instant…that literally everything we do becomes viewed and judged by the public. We teach our kids to be independent, to love themselves, to be comfortable in who they are, yet we post everything they do for someone else to see how many “likes” it can get. I know there are times that we, as parents, post pictures for a long distance relative to see or when our child does something we are particularly proud of. But, often I think it’s more just to show ourselves off rather than our kids. To prove to people that don’t even matter that we can buy our kids new toys or take them on fancy trips; that we are good parents who take time to read a book, work a puzzle or do a Pinterest project. It almost makes me wonder, if some of the things we do “for our kids” really even mean as much if we have to get the worlds approval after. 

Things like this makes me miss the old days. Those times of snapping pictures on an actual camera that held film that caused you to wait several days for the actual pictures to be developed, only to glance through them and store them in a shoe box to be looked at years later when reminiscing. Days when our lives were private, when kids could be kids without being publicly exposed, ridiculed, praised, judged or viewed. 

This isn’t about what parents post or how often they do it of their kids. The majority of those on my “friends” list are those with children, and honestly I never thought much over what they post of their kids. I glance, think “oh how cute” or “oh how awful” and go on about my day. But that one statement from my son, struck me differently for some reason. It put him on instant edge, he put his guard up. That special moment of being comfortable in his home, in his living room, playing with his puppy turned in to him no longer being able to be himself, because mom may post it online for everyone to see. To me, that’s just not fair. 

Children need boundaries and limits. But, that afternoon, I realized that sometimes parents do too, and maybe when it comes to some things, our kids should have a little input on them.

*You’ll notice throughout this post I used words such as “we, us, our”, because I didn’t write this to judge, point fingers or ridicule. I’m guilty too. Scroll through my Facebook photos and you’ll find many pictures just like the ones I wrote this about. However, that one moment…made me think differently about my future posts. 

Guns in Church


A faith group in our town recently held a worship event with about 350 plus people in attendance. They expected people from several states and foreign countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, United Kingdom and Canada. The International group came together in celebration of their Christian faith to worship and recognize academic achievement.

Throughout most of the Friday evening worship event and Saturday morning recognition service two armed police officers were located in the main event auditorium. They were wearing uniforms and badges and wearing their pistols. There were also three people carrying concealed pistols. They have permits to carry concealed guns.

There has never been any trouble at the yearly event nor was any expected this year.
A spirit of worship and recognition of those attending was carried out with a harmonious spirit of unity and love. At any moment a crazed gunman could have entered the place and shot somebody. However, he would unlikely have escaped the auditorium without being wounded or taken out. Sounds kind of weird doesn't it? In light of last week's Charleston, South Carolina massacre of nine people it no longer sounds crazy.

Churches must now have a strategy plan to protect each other and those who visit. A public prayer meeting or Sunday morning worship event is an easy target to a crazed gunman. Two or three people with automatic weapons could kill dozens of people within a minute or two. One 21 year old lunatic in Charleston, SC killed nine beautiful people as he stood and reloaded his weapon in front of shocked worshipers. We would all be shocked.

Don't be shocked. This is the world in which we live.

Sadly, your church will have to employ or ask for volunteer security guards. They need to be properly trained on how to watch for crazy people. It's not that easy. Who would have suspected a 21 year old sitting under the guise of interest and spiritual concern? You will need to have two or three people in your congregation observing the behavior of other people and willing to tackle someone if the need arises. A trained security guard wearing a gun and stationed in a visible place in your church is essential. One or two licensed people in your church with concealed weapons, willing and able to use them will not hurt either.

I can't believe I am writing this article. I have led worship and spoken publicly in churches for over forty years. Never have I ever feared that our lives might be at risk.

Evil has been around since the beginning of the world. Ask people of faith in Iraq, Egypt, or Afghanistan. Thousands have been killed and their churches burned to the ground. The goal of ISIS is to eliminate any person who is not Muslim or who does not celebrate Allah. Even the disciples of Jesus hid behind closed doors for fear of the extreme religious fanatics in their day.

While this all sounds grim and dim. People of faith must move on and go forward. We all have to be observant and don't ever think the following for a moment, "Something like that could never happen in our town."

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states.
This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.

Like his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette