Guest Commentaries

GUEST COMMENTARY: Get wild without abandoning common sense

Most of us don’t get enough nature in our lives. And maybe that’s why too many people either overestimate or underestimate nature’s power to kill you.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Congress should make 2015 the year of ‘net neutrality’

Both Democrats and Republicans believe in the importance of a free Internet, so Congress should pass legislation to keep it that way.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: FAA needs to get ahead of drone use with new regulations

U.S. companies will continue to lose ground, and the illicit use of drones will continue to rise, until the FAA sets rules that make sense.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Raising the gasoline tax needs bipartisan support

The new Congress has some Republicans talking about the need to increase the federal gasoline tax in order to secure enough money to ensure that our roads and bridges are maintained.

STEVE SPELLMAN: Better things for city to do than strong-arm Uber

Discovering that Uber's innovative concept appears too much like bloody anarchy for legacy systems, cities are learning to compromise. That's not happening yet in Columbia, though.

GUEST COMMENTARY: End the Cuban embargo for good

Cubans have a ready explanation for the economic hardships they experience. The failure of Communism? Nope. They blame the U.S. embargo.


WHAT OTHERS SAY: Programs for offenders are giving back

The Department of Corrections reported that its garden program set a record for 2014 by donating 180 tons of fresh produce to local food pantries, shelters, churches, nursing homes and school districts throughout Missouri.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: How Kansas blew a $279 million hole in its budget

Just a few years ago, Missouri legislators were heralding Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's aggressive tax-cutting agenda. Now he's scrambling to keep the state running.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Economy seems to be thriving. Thanks Mr. Obama

The gross domestic product, the key measure of the size of the economy, grew 5 percent in the third quarter, confirming that the nation’s economy is rapidly expanding.

DEAR READER: Missourian writer takes a turn at stand-up comedy

Joke possibilities sometimes pop into my head while I am lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. I have an iPhone notes document filled with roughly two-dozen premises and possible punch lines. But they’re farther from being game-ready than they appear.


GUEST COLUMN: Living with anxiety has taught me compassion

A Missourian staff member shares her personal journey with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Don't pay for more preschools when enough already exist

Research on the benefits of early childhood education has yielded mixed results. Even those studies showing significant benefits of preschool expansion touted by Gov. Jay Nixon as “proven” are subject to criticism.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Treat your Christmas tree as a fire hazard

The National Fire Protection Association reports, between 2003 and 2006, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 house fires each year that started with Christmas trees.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Dismal record for 113th Congress does have bright spots

A one-day delay on the budget vote allowed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid time to hold votes on dozens and dozens of Obama appointees. The U.S. government now has a surgeon general to deal with Ebola and public health issues.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Fighting over scraps for higher education in Missouri

At issue is how a Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, have failed to adequately fund higher education in Missouri. The promise of a good education for a deserving student at a state college has been undermined.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Holiday guide to responsible, fair-trade sources of gifts

Customers should avoid holiday gifts made by modern-day slaves.

STEVE SPELLMAN: Brouhaha over Jesus Fish seems trivial, given world concerns

This year, we have our own local controversy, over an ichthus, or “Jesus fish,” on the Boone County courthouse square — and just in time for the holidays!

GUEST COMMENTARY: Ways to stop mindless spending and giving

When people find gifts that uniquely symbolize their friendship or their gratitude for one another, that’s touching. It’s what gift-giving should be.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Ferguson Commission faces steep challenge but seems up to the task

Building trust with people on the ground so they will ultimately have respect for the Ferguson Commission’s recommendations involves letting the people vent.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Two ways to improve roads in Missouri

Here are two ways to make smart decisions to improve highways and streets: Increase the federal gasoline tax and study the use of tolls on selected Missouri highways.