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June 29, 2018

JULY 4TH  - YOU MUST DECIDE

My wife and I were walking around the streets of Annapolis, Maryland most of Wednesday. We had been visiting my Navy son who lives up the road, speaking to a church group and taking an afternoon to enjoy Annapolis.

I never dreamed we were just one day and a few streets away from what would become the next horrific shooting in America. A newspaper office staff was gunned down by a crazed gunman. Our hearts go out to all the loved ones of those gunned down at the Capital Gazette building in Annapolis, Maryland.

Five Americans will not have the opportunity to celebrate Independence day this week. Because someone was free to walk into a building with a gun and kill people, five working Americans lost their lives.

I realize no one is free to murder but murder occurs in different ways every day in the United States from guns, to cars to knives all sorts of weapons are used to take the lives of others. As we know its difficult to prevent many heinous acts from occurring. Crazy people are often successful at carrying out missions of hate and pure insanity.

Every American must step up to the plate and become a leader in a new pattern of civility in this nation. What we are doing is not working.

Refusing to serve people in restaurants because of politics or race or sexual preference is further dividing this nation. Slamming people every day in the media is not helping us. Every cable news show does not have to be a program that instills rage in the minds of its viewers. I realize most media outlets feel they have a point to get across. We will never live in Mayberry again in this nation.Further, none of us want to return to a time when our heads are buried in the sand and people are hurt or violated in any way. However, the time has come when media from television personalities, news anchors, editors, rock stars, sports figures and all others with a michophone must start leading this nation back to civility, congeniality, grace, helping others, prefering others and treating others the way we would all like to be treated.

America will get worse or we will become better and it's up to each one of us to decide.

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Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.


Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Learn more at www.glennmollette.com Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette

 

 

June 26, 2018

Kentucky soldier one of most decorated in U.S. History...

President Donald Trump will posthumously honor a Kentucky soldier with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday for his actions in World War II.

First Lt. Garlin M. Conner, a native of Albany, Kentucky, and a longtime farmer of the commonwealth soil, has been celebrated as one of the most decorated in soldiers in U.S. history. His honors include the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Star medals, a bronze star and three Purple Hearts for injuries suffered in combat.

First Lt. Garlin M. Conner, a native of Albany, Kentucky, and a longtime farmer of the commonwealth soil, has been celebrated as one of the most decorated in soldiers in U.S. historyFirst Lt. Garlin M. Conner, a native of Albany, Kentucky, and a longtime farmer of the commonwealth soil, has been celebrated as one of the most decorated in soldiers in U.S. historyBut to his widow, Pauline Lyda Wells Conner, the only thing missing was the nation's highest military award for valor.

"He was my hero," Pauline Conner said at a Department of Defense roundtable Monday. "And he still is since he has been gone for the last 20 years ... I didn't think this would happen, I never thought it would happen."

Tuesday marks the end of more than a two-decade campaign to award him the Medal of Honor since Galin Conner's death in November 1998.

Armed with nothing but a telephone

It was a snowy and frigid day in Houston, France, on Jan. 24, 1945. Temperatures had dipped to 10 below zero at night, according to an Army account of Conner’s actions.

Conner was serving as an intelligence officer with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Department of Defense historians said he was in the hospital but snuck back to his unit to assist them.

Not long after rejoining his unit, the American troops found themselves under attack by a wave of nearly 600 German soldiers.

Conner, previously wounded from the other theaters of war he had fought in, volunteered to direct artillery fire against the incoming tanks and troops.

He willingly ran out of the forest, out into the open, armed only with a telephone to call in artillery strikes within 15 feet of his boots to fight off the waves.

"Think about that," Erik Villard, a digital military historian, said at the Pentagon on Monday. "Running forward with nothing more than a telephone in your hand and facing that wave of Germans and calling in that artillery, the heroism is remarkable."

'Reliving his memories'

He went home, back to Kentucky, shortly after the battle. He was given the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest military honor, for his actions.

The Army account of Conner’s heroism was quoted a letter written by Lt. Col. Lloyd Ramsey less than a month after the battle, USA TODAY reported.

“He has the Distinguished Service Cross which could have been, I believe, a Congressional Medal of Honor, but he was heading home and we wanted to get him what he deserved before he left,” Ramsey wrote.

Conner, a native of Kentucky, was discharged from the Army on June 22, 1945, shortly after Victory in Europe Day on May 8, according to an Army press release.

While Pauline Conner told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday that her husband kept many of the horrors of war to himself, she recognized that he carried the weight of that snowy day in France for the rest of his life.

"He'd wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares, he'd go outside on the porch and smoke cigarettes," Pauline Conner remembered. "He was reliving his memories of what had passed."

Conner died in Albany, Kentucky on Nov. 5, 1998 at age 79, according to the Courier Journal archives.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took a moment on Monday afternoon to talk about Galin Conner's service and sacrifice.

"I'm proud to congratulate Pauline and her family today," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "And I want to thank her for giving our nation the opportunity to salute First Lieutenant Garlin Conner."

By Thomas Novelly
Louisville Courier Journal

June 22, 2018

The so-called weaker sex

 

John Butch PrestonJohn Butch Prestonby John Butch Preston

It seems almost a requirement that any discussion about the differences between the sexes must first touch base with the story of Adam and Eve. In a close reading of this story what immediately becomes apparent is that Adam needed corrective surgery, that he required an operation; the result of which, of course, was Eve. So as the old-time farmer’s admonition goes, God had to go back and lick his calf. In other words, He had to go back and complete His task or do it over; and in this case, create a companion for Adam, one who would become as one flesh with him, his equal. Here it is important to note that it wasn’t until after the apple incident that God arbitrarily had Adam rule over Eve and become subservient to him.

The great American poet Collister Huchison seems to come to Eve’s defense in her poem, “ Red Earth and Apples”: Oh, never was a serpent or a serpent spell could make a woman leave an eden for hell. But a hushed and dragging fruited tree is a wonderful, terrible thing to see, for a woman to see. Finally, a kind of vindication for Eve. We are taught that God works in mysterious ways, but one must wonder why God made motherhood Eve’s punishment when we now consider motherhood something vital and sacred? Of course we care little about what happened to the serpent. But poor innocent Adam, who blamed everything on Eve, got the lightest punishment of all. All God required him to do is work hard all his life, which is the essential reason for living anyway, according to Ernest Hemingway.

Then there is this philosophical joke: God was bored, so he created Adam. Then Adam became bored, so God created the animals. But this did not alleviated Adam’s boredom because he could not identify with the animals. So God created Eve. And as a result no one has been bored since. “Many a true word has been said in jest,” states the poet, Geoffrey Chaucer. So perhaps Eve’s contribution to life is not such a bad thing, for after all boredom is the primary cause of drug and alcohol problems, and perhaps excess pregnancies as well.

There is also the saying that behind every great man there is a woman. There is no other way to interpret this than to think that it is the woman who made him great—even to the extent of making a great bad-man like Napoleon. But none of us is without sin as the preacher tells us, so in showing her power to create a great man she can sometimes create someone undesirable. Logic tells us, sinful or not, that it is safe to assume that the woman behind the man is basically superior to him. On the other hand, think about the women who solely make themselves great! What man can really stand shoulder with a Helen Keller, a Lou Andres Solome, or a Saint Teresa?

But back to the main story: After the apple incident and knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve had to cover their naked bodies. And naked means only one thing in that context—sex! With their new knowledge of good and evil they obviously decided that sex was evil, otherwise why cover only the human parts that have to do with sex. Of course this brings up the subject of desire. Now whether desire was initially instilled in human nature by God or the serpent is debatable; but nevertheless, desire is our most overwhelming human drive, equal only to our need for some kind of spirituality. An entertaining analysis of these two human forces is brilliantly depicted by Tennessee Williams in his play, A Streetcar Named Desire.

But remember what Al Pacino says in the movie Scarface: First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the woman. Truer words were never spoken according to the “Me Too” movement that is now sweeping the country. God must have calculated that in making woman inferior and weaker that she would have to compensate for the loss of her former status in some way; it is apparent that she did this by obviously using her brain more than men do. The powerful are falling like tenpins, and if woman uses her strong will to score a major triumph in the realm of politics, she may save us yet.
What seems to be now happening is biblical indeed—perhaps a recreation of God’s original creation—that women are now beginning to take back their rightful place in God’s first arrangement—equal along side of man, if not slightly superior to him.

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John Butch Preston is a retired college English teacher living on a farm in Lawrence County. He has been published in national journals and has three books on Amazon and local book stores: a novel titled Where Everything Important Happens on a Hillside, a short story collection, Ten Miles from Clay City and Other Stories, and The History and Tales of the Paintsville Stockyard. His play, Kentucky's Richest Man, the story of John C. C. Mayo recently premiered at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. John is currently working on a new play and a new novel. His main source of pleasure is gardening.

 

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