Local Columnists

Heroes in journalism are rarely American

During my years in journalism, I’ve met a few heroes, people who have been willing to risk their lives for something they believe in. Not many of those heroes have been journalists.

Out of sight, out of ... what was I saying?

So I was scampering from job to job on Monday, trying to figure out which tasks that were hanging fire should be extinguished first, when a cheery e-mail came through: OK, Mary ... the Dave & Cheri road show is getting ready to commence forthwith ... Prepare to pay for all the evil you have perpetrated upon the world, as we threaten to make an appearance in your neck of the woods in the not too distant future.

Transparency in the newsroom makes for better journalism

Across the street from the Missourian building, professors and Ph.D. students like me pontificate and ponder about journalism. This week, we got to practice what we preach.

Immigration compromise required now

This column will do little to advance my popularity with many of my political persuasion; however, no debate can arrive at a reasonable solution when it is continually stoked by unreasonable and irresponsible hyperbole.

Theme gardens fun way for kids to start planting

Would you like to stimulate your child’s interest in gardening? Consider involving your child in planning and planting a theme garden. Children love having their own gardens that they can further personalize with a theme. Most children love animals, so why not consider planting an animal theme garden?

Church, state need to stay separated

I don’t know what planet people live on who believe that the only people of faith are conservative Republicans. Maybe it’s because these people talk about religion more in public than most people.

Murdoch: Fox on the hunt

Loory: Rupert Murdoch is an international media baron who owns newspapers, television and cable outlets, Internet platforms, magazines, movie studios and book publishers in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. One morning in April, the 76-year-old media baron sat down to breakfast with Richard Zannino, chief executive officer of Dow Jones, and told Zannino he would pay $5 billion to buy the information empire Zannino controls.

Lieberman’s way too independent — of good sense

What if Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election but died in office? Would President Joe Lieberman have been worse than George W. Bush? His recent actions suggest that he could have descended even lower in his illogical and immoral responses to the tragedy of Sept. 11. Although now an independent, Lieberman provides a cautionary tale for folks who talk of backing “any Democrat” who can win.

Government looks the other way while banks rob their customers

If you rob a bank, you’re looking at doing 20 years hard time. But what if a bank robs you?

Ah, that’s an entirely different deal. Unlike you, national banks that do wrong generally don’t fear the cop on the beat. Why not? Because the cop’s salary is paid by the banks.

Why is Giuliani singled out for questions on abortion?

About that bolt of lightning that missed Rudy Giuliani last week: Frankly, Rudy would not have been my first choice for divine retribution on that Republican stage. Was the crackle — which stopped the former New York mayor from fully responding to a Rhode Island bishop’s highly personal criticism of his pro-choice views — really meant for him? One doubts it. Messages from above tend to get delivered.

Don’t cry for me, Columbia; I’m in Argentina

A confession: These last few weeks, while I’ve been chiding the legislature and advising the curators, to no appreciable effect in either case, I’ve been doing it from a safe distance. Well, maybe not a safe distance, but a considerable distance. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I can keep up with Columbia from my temporary home in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Knowing the importance of little things

I have a tiny video clip of my father.

In the clip, my dad isn’t doing anything important. He’s throwing out an old pizza box.

Three seconds, that’s all. Nothing important. But I watch it frequently.

Because we never know when things are going to end.

Lessons learned from a cantankerous cow

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “party till the cows come home.” But what happens if the cows won’t come home?

Readers, editors are starting to define a new relationship

I’ve talked about it before in this space: that you, dear reader, are forcing my profession and your newspaper to re-examine just about everything.

Next president must be good on golf course

It is the biggest game in town. Not here in the middle of Middle America, but in Oakmont, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh. We host the Special Olympics, the Show Me Games and Senior Games, but they are nothing compared to the biggest citizen tournament in the United States — the United States Golf Association’s 2007 Open.

Review board not justified or necessary

Memorandum to Mayor Darwin Hindman: Please lose the notion of appointment of a citizen review board to exercise oversight of the Columbia Police Department. This is an extremely bad idea, the application of which will cure nothing but create a problem that does not exist.

Fix political system: Limit campaign money

Some people insist that it will take a major tragedy to unite Americans because we’re divided by so many issues in so many ways. I hope that’s not true. It would be good if we could unite around a good idea. I believe if we could get a law passed making it illegal for candidates running for national office to accept or spend more than $50,000 for a single political campaign we could begin to repair the damage caused by the political divisiveness. For one thing, this would make it totally unnecessary for candidates to have to sell their souls to lobbyists in order to get elected.

G-8 addresses climate change

Lift the veil on selection of UM president

Our university’s Board of Curators hasn’t managed, as far as I know, to hire a new president yet; but it has given us a perfect demonstration of the evils of excessive secrecy.

Join the club by suggesting a good read

What do you like to read? I always want to know. I ask my friends. I ask my students. Their choices help me get to know them better. But I’m also looking for that next great read. Personal recommendations are more honest than dust jacket quotes. So I peppered friends and family with e-mails for suggestions for a summer book list. They came up with wonderful choices.