Local Columnists

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.

Join the community gathering at

The easiest part of being a journalism professor may be teaching. The toughest part is trying to figure out what journalism will look like when our students are my age.

Airport will succeed by economics

Unlike most of you, my experience with Columbia Regional Airport is not limited to the Veteran’s Salute Air Show and trying to catch a ride on Mesa Air to St. Louis or Kansas City. As of May 16, I am the newest member of the Airport Advisory Board. It says so on the Certificate of Commission signed by Darwin.

‘Time’ offers some things to ponder

Had a little time on my hands the other day. So I thought I’d think a little about time. It’s a fascinating subject and one that will frustrate what little gray matter you might have. Funny. I had never thought about time before. So I tried to force myself to say what time is. Or what it was or what it will be.

A few spoil Columbia’s idyllic status

This is the time of year that most proves the wisdom of my choice to make Columbia our retirement home as the weather begins to mirror the hospitality of its citizens.

Secret holds on bills a sign of cowardice

Congress, apparently content to explore ever new depths in public disapproval, is on the verge of having a single member derail the most meaningful reform in years of the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Family routines make for admirable children

A friend recently visited relatives in a Southern city, and he was impressed with the way the folks he stayed with clung to their family traditions. He was particularly struck by how the entire family gathered at the breakfast and dinner table, morning and evening, every day for meals and conversation. This was not common practice among his friends.

Immigration issue hits EU, too

Today’s discussion is about immigration, migration and even remigration. These issues are a great part of the current debate about immigration reform in the U.S. Congress. We’d like to put some perspective on that debate.

Cheney birth shows flaws in GOP’s stance

Thank the Almighty, whatever that might mean, for planting the seed of life in the lesbian body of Mary Cheney and for granting her parents the opportunity to show support for a homosexual couple raising a child in an atmosphere of love. The message, carried prominently in news reports throughout the world, is that America has come of age in recognizing, as do most truly modern countries, that homosexuality is indeed normal.

Success of social programs reform leads the way to more

Imagine a line composed of every household with children in the United States, arranged from lowest to highest income. Now, divide the line into five equal parts. Which of the groups do you think enjoyed big increases in income since 1991? If you read the papers, you probably would assume that the bottom fifth did the worst. After all, income inequality in America is increasing, right?

Air show group should give up costly fight

The Memorial Day weekend air show has become a Boone County tradition. I’ve never attended, but I’ve always thought it was a nice way to get people out to trample the grass growing on the runways of Englewood International Airport. The patriotic, even militaristic, nature of the activities hasn’t bothered me much. What always did bother me, though, was the unconstitutional censoring of protesters’ First Amendment rights. It was not only illegal, but also unwise, for the city of Columbia to conspire with the air show organizers to forbid a hardy handful of antiwar activists from handing out leaflets and circulating petitions.

The Clintons need friends with classier backgrounds

Sometimes I forget why the Clintons disturb me. Then they offer a reminder. Case in point are reports that one of Hillary Clinton’s most pampered donors made big bucks off scams against the elderly.

Chef Paula Deen in the hot pot of political controversy over deal

You can’t get much syrupier or chirpier than Paula Deen. She’s the ebullient celebrity queen of Southern cooking, with a buttery drawl, a down-home manner and her own popular TV show on Food Network.