- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:

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August 12

Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, on Robin Williams:

If early reports are correct, on Monday comedian/actor/motormouth genius Robin Williams became one of the roughly 39,000 Americans who die by suicide each year - roughly someone every 13 minutes. Mr. Williams’ media representative said he had been battling depression, a serious mental illness that affects about 25 million people every year (only half receive treatment for it), and stories also noted that he recently had checked himself back into rehab over concerns about his sobriety.

The news of his passing at age 63, and under such tragic circumstances, stunned a nation that loved to laugh with him in his TV appearances, his movies and his stand-up comedy routines. The bottom line to one ledger says his movies earned more than $3 billion in the U.S. But there was more to him, and his career, than that: He won an Academy Award for “Good Will Hunting,” and he won our hearts with “Dead Poets Society,” ”Mrs. Doubtfire,” ”Aladdin” and other performances.

Clearly, there are lessons in his bountiful life, and in his sad death.

His comedy was not lazy, and it more than hinted at a life of the mind. Accounts of his caring and steadfastness to friends, strangers and causes testify to a kindness that rained blessings on recipients. His willingness to share major struggles in his life, especially those involving substance abuse, indicates an even deeper generosity of spirit.

But being smart, being kind and being honest ultimately didn’t help with whatever led him to take his own life - and maybe the realization that it was too big for this seemingly successful person will drive home the realization that it’s too big for too many of the rest of us, too.

Online:

http://www.courier-journal.com

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August 11

Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, on economic growth:

Republicans in Congress and Kentucky’s legislature who think increasing the minimum wage would do more harm than good should reconsider in light of new evidence.

The huge and growing gap between haves and have-nots is stifling economic growth, says none other than Standard & Poor’s.

Boosting middle class purchasing power and lifting people from poverty is critical to strengthening the weak recovery, reports S&P;, which has lowered its 10-year U.S. growth forecast from 2.8 percent to 2.5 percent in large part because of income inequality’s stifling effects.

S&P; is no left-leaning think tank but a credit ratings agency that runs one of the most famous stock market indices and is wholly committed to capitalism. Says S&P;: “A rising tide lifts all boats … but a lifeboat carrying a few, surrounded by many treading water, risks capsizing.”

Kentucky state revenue grew 2.2 percent last month, up from last fiscal’s year’s anemic 1.1 percent, but still below economists’ projections.

And no wonder. As Louisville economist Paul Coomes explained in a study for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, “Average pay per job continues to be an economic development challenge across Kentucky, with all nine regions posting slower growth than the United States.”

Spending is critical to economic growth, but people can’t spend what they don’t have. Too many Kentuckians are working full-time (or even multiple jobs) and still have to go to payday lenders to make ends meet. This starves local and state economies of the spending they need to support new jobs and businesses and to make the investments in education and infrastructure that build a prosperous state.

Online:

http://www.kentucky.com

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August 10

The Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky, on borders:

It’s no secret our southern border is in chaos with all of the illegal immigrants coming into this country and not nearly enough is being done about it.

President Barack Obama has done nothing but turn a blind eye to the situation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said with a straight face that our southern border is secure. The only person who has shown any type of leadership on the issue is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has sent 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.

Individuals are subject to arrest, prosecution and jail time when they commit crimes while being in our country illegally.

Some serve their time before they’re deported and pay a minimal fine. Others just vanish into the population only to defy our laws once again.

Once these lawbreakers serve time, they cause a major problem by coming back - illegally - again. Some commit violent crimes when they return.

The latest such example involves the murder of a U.S. border agent in Texas. Two illegal immigrants, Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, are charged with the first-degree murder of border patrol agent Javier Vega Jr.

They have confessed to killing Vega, who was off duty when he was murdered by these two thugs.

The fact Vega was murdered by these men is a tragedy, but the fact they showed no mercy in killing him in front of his family shows what ruthless, uncaring people they are.

They wouldn’t have been here to kill Vega if this country had secure borders as Reid attests.

What is so outrageous about this case, besides the murder of a U.S. citizen, is the fact that they both men have extensive records of being deported and again illegally entering our country.

Tijerina has been jailed and deported on four separate occasions dating back to 2007 prior to this murder. The first three times he was in jail, he paid a $10 fine for breaking our laws. On Dec. 15, 2009, Tijernia was indicted by a grand jury on charges of entering the U.S. illegally yet agin by crossing the Rio Grande River.

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Hernandez had been deported twice.

It is quite clear these two men have no respect for our laws or human life. Those who respect our laws and want to come to this country to reside don’t tunnel their way in, jump fences or use whatever means they can. They go through the proper legal channels to enter our country.

The U.S. public still hasn’t received adequate answers on that tragedy from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Obama, Holder and Reid obviously don’t care what is occurring on our southern border. Their inaction is proof of that.

Online:

http://www.bgdailynews.com

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