Guest Commentaries

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Healthy dose of optimism for Joplin

The opening of a temporary hospital is another tremendous step forward for Joplin. Call it a real shot in the arm for a town that needs to hang on tight to every piece of good news it can get.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Lobbying lobby squawks about limits on largesse

The lobbying lobby is upset over pending new rules that restrict the benefits that career federal employees in the executive branch can accept from lobbyists, but their argument is weak.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: New tornado warning system shows promise for safety

It's premature to credit the experimental "Impact Based Warning" system for the absence of fatalities, but anecdotal reports suggest that residents listened to the warnings and took precautions.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Pave the way for new transportation bill

A divided Congress cannot agree on how to improve the nation's transportation program.

GUEST COMMENTARY: MU can't punish free speech

Missouri School of Journalism professor Sandy Davidson says the Office of Student Conduct would have had no right to punish editors of The Maneater's April Fools' edition. A former Supreme Court case against the university set the precedence that the state cannot interfere in this kind of First Amendment dispute.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Lack of Missouri legislation allows for campaign money laundering

Missouri lawmakers should use their power to impose checks on campaign donations and the sources of that money.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Republicans target military voters

A bill that gets rid of the absentee ballot would inconvenience the disabled and those serving in the military.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Veterans court bill deserves to pass

The proposed bill, passed in the Missouri House of Representatives by a 149-1 vote, would create a court to take on criminal cases related to substance abuse or mental illness of military veterans or current personnel.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Rush to cut tenure wrong way to try to improve schools

State Republicans are too quick to insult teachers rather than working with them to improve public education.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Payday loan initiative unlikely to appear on ballot

Cole County Judge Daniel Green has announced the summary on the petitions, written by the secretary of state, isn't specific enough; and the cost estimate, prepared by the state auditor, is too narrow.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Tax Freedom Day — Liberating or aggravating?

Tax Freedom Day marks the day of the year when the public has collectively earned enough money to pay all taxes due.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Supreme Court votes to allow strip searches

The court ruled that individuals of any criminal background arrested for any reason could be subject to strip searches by jail personnel.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Sex offender registry can be more useful

The purpose of the registry is for notification and not additional punishment of the offenders by the public.

GUEST COMMENTARY: It's time to raise Missouri's cigarette tax

Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack — a rate established almost 20 years ago. Raising the tax 73 cents per pack would place Missouri 33rd out of 50 states and create $400 million in new revenue.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Fend off diseases borne by ticks, mosquitoes

Prevention is being emphasized with ticks and mosquitoes because these disease-bearing pests may be more abundant and more annoying this year.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Scary approach is needed

Weather and smoking scare tactics could be a good thing.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Loophole in law could cost $1 billion

Missouri risks having to pay back $100 million that tobacco companies paid to the state just in 2004. The damage from the years until 2012 could amount to more than $1 billion.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Low state taxes don't benefit Missourians

Missouri is now the lowest tax-collecting state per capita in the nation, which leads to local taxes paying for what the state won't.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Gubernatorial candidate's credibility at stake

Republican David Spence is losing credibility after instances of dishonesty.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Base closure talks needed to get serious about deficit control

Political maneuvering needs to take a backseat to making tough decisions about deficit control and military base closures.