Opinions

Thu
28
Jun

Letter to the Editor - Punishing laws

Dear Editor,

Prior to Roe vs. Wade, decided in 1973, if you were a “poor” woman and you needed an abortion, you had to go stand in front of a group of doctors and plead your case as to why you should be allowed a safe and clean abortion.

Each hospital had its own groups.  They decided whether you got the abortion or not. For the rich woman it made no difference to her.  Her condition was disguised on her medical chart and she went right on through without any hassle.  What Roe did was give the same right afforded to rich women to “poor” women also.

Legalizing abortion saved women from death, from injury, and from fear of arrest.  It gave women enough control to get an education, a job, and freed them from shotgun weddings.  It allowed women to see themselves as mothers by choice, not fate.

Thu
28
Jun

Letter to the Editor - All the same

 

Dear Editor,

I read the letters, week to week, from these bright eyed, bushy tailed “reformers” telling us what we need to do to make our government better, and I have to laugh. Republicans versus democrats, this superbowl-type mentality that “my side has to win,” when in the end they are all the same, they all answer to money, both sides of the aisle, all three branches.

They say if you remember the 60’s you weren’t there, but I was there. When I left West Point for Notre Dame, I immediately joined the protests against materialism, civil rights, and against the Viet Nam war. I don’t know what I was - Anarchist? Socialist? Anti-whoever’s in office? We had just seen a truly great president, Eisenhower, and he had duly warned us “beware of the Military Industrial Complex.” No one listened, but we knew.

Thu
28
Jun

Letter to the Editor - The final blow

The final blow

 

Dear Editor,

Not content with having assaulted the Affordable Care Act by ending the provision requiring all to have insurance coverage, the Trump administration is now aiming the final blow by seeking to end the most popular provision of the ACA, the requirement that insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge more for pre-existing conditions.

If allowed, this will only rush the country into the abysmal health care conditions that existed prior to Obama’s presidency: an estimated 130 million people with cancer, heart problems and other serious health issues will be unable to afford care.

Meanwhile, House Republicans have voted to end the Children’s Health Insurance Program: if passed by the Senate, this will end benefits for millions of Missourians.

Fri
04
May

About those political columns...

We have a love/hate relationship with political columns - those mostly-self-promoting columns released every week by the folks holding the temporary jobs representing us at the state and federal level.

On one hand, the columns can be very informative (particularly about legislation working its way through the myriad paths it takes to become law), and the elected official’s view on it. Of much lesser importance to the constituency are the accounts of visitors to the Capitol and the attendance of the politician to local events in the communities they represent.

On the other hand, much of the legislative news is available elsewhere, minus the personal viewpoints. There are still a few large newspapers that maintain reporters in the State Capitol, but precious few. And, the elected officials usually maintain their own websites and feature their weekly columns there.

So, why do we still carry them?

Tue
17
Apr

Now Showing: Ready Player One

Ready Player One is acclaimed director Steven Spielberg’s (Jaws) most recent film that adapts a novel of the same name by Earnest Cline. 

The novel was a mixture of 1980’s pop-culture references, VR gaming ideas, and a world where the common people fight back using technology. The book was released to a wide array of reactions, but it is one of my favorite novels.

Spielberg hasn’t directed anything recently that really blew the doors down. His most recent film The Post was a cool film with a great story, but it felt a lot like the director was just punching the time card on that one. Not to mention both Bridge of Spies and Warhorse feeling even more phoned in. 

Thu
05
Apr

Now Showing: The Shape of Water

 

 

by David Gifford

I have covered many of the recent films that have attracted a lot of Oscar buzz, but this is the biggest deal of them all. This film had 13 nominations and won four of them, including Best Picture and Best Director, the most prestigious categories in many ways. 

I saved the best for last. The Shape of Water is an unconventional romance film that is not for the easily offended. It will rub many people the wrong way. Its content is strong and it earns its R rating, so fair warning. 

The movie is about a janitor named Elisa and played by Sally Hawkins (Paddington). Elisa is mute. She communicates with sign language.

Thu
05
Apr

Newspapers caught in tariff war

by Susan Rowell, president, National Newspaper Association

 

There are two things you need to know about newspapers.

Newspapers are important to community life and democracy. Always have been. We at the National Newspaper Association think it is important for all sorts of newspapers to survive for the sake of a free society—the very large and the very small ones, the liberal ones, the conservative ones, the middle-of-the-road ones, the ones with no viewpoint but just important news, all of them. Some are our members. Many are not. We defend them anyway. America needs them like we need oxygen.

The second is that even if your newspaper seems to be “online,” the digital copy that you may count on probably couldn’t exist if there weren’t a printed newspaper behind it. The newspaper in print supports all of the other versions economically. So, if the printed version disappeared, you can’t assume all would be well because it is online anyway. It won’t be.

Fri
16
Mar

Now Showing: Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, MO

Three Billboards is a movie that garnered a lot of attention throughout the year and won a couple Oscar awards. Namely Francis McDormand (Fargo) for best Actress in a leading role. The movie also stars Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games), and Sam Rockwell (Moon) who won the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role. 

The movie follows Mildred played by Frances McDormand whose daughter was assaulted and killed by someone who wasn’t caught. The horrific crime lights a fire inside of Mildred and she decides to spend all the money she has left to put up three billboards in Missouri asking Chief Willoughby, played by Woody Harrelson, why the killer of her daughter hadn’t been caught. From there it is a drama about the consequences of the action, and eventually about dealing with uncontrollable grief and anger.

Fri
16
Mar

Letter to Editor - Politics made sacred

Dear Editor,

Billy Graham’s funeral attracted a huge number of Trump supporters who donned their MAGA hats and turned the occasion into yet another 2020 Trump for President rally, aided and abetted by Franklin Graham who gave special attention to Donald Trump’s attendance. 

No doubt some of those red-hatted Trump worshippers are also members of the huge (upwards of 400 thousand) online forum where Trump is called “God Emperor” and even “Big Daddy God Emperor.”  

Congressman Jason Smith in his weekly letter to constituents, which is usually a weekly tribute to Trump and an Obama diatribe,  talked about how moved he was by viewing Graham’s remains at the Capitol Rotunda. But since neither Trump nor Smith made mention of having ever attended one of Graham’s services - surely they would have done so if they had - I would like to share my recollections.

Thu
08
Mar

Pay attention to what is happening now

by Chuck Banks

Filing is open, Congress and the State Legislature are in session and the sausage is being made. Now is the time for every citizen to pay attention to what is happening. Bills that are introduced now, if passed into law, will go into effect in August. Who and what will be on the ballot in August are going to be determined now. 

Try to overlook the scandals, and investigations because they will go away, but the laws and who will be passing laws next year are being determined now. It is important that every citizen get involved and help make our state a better place to live and work. It is easy to be distracted by the sex and international espionage while your congressman cuts your Social Security, or gives a huge contract to one of his donors. 

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