Dilemma in reporting on extremism: Ignore it, or expose it?

One of the central challenges in political reporting is figuring out how much exposure to give to people like Frazier Glenn Cross, aka F. Glenn Miller. The journalist’s usual answer is balance — expose what you can without overexposing the rantings of an anti-Semite. But sometimes balance is imperfect, too.

Do as I say, not as I do

There’s a little bit of hypocrite in everyone. What we call hypocrisy, though, is often complexity — surrounded by a sound bite culture.

Climate change controversy might outlast the trees

No one knows for sure if the growing threat from ash and walnut tree pests is related to our changing climate. Some people believe the climate isn’t really changing at all. But most scientists will tell you something is going on, something that’s leading to droughts, floods, stronger storms, rising sea levels and perhaps invasive pests.

Really, is it good for the children?

Grown-ups can still exploit kids, especially teenagers and young adults. The latest issue is whether Northwestern football players are employees and can unionize. And what about internships?

As other women’s colleges close, Missouri school looks to grow

Fewer young women are looking to all-female schools for their higher education these days, forcing many women’s colleges to go coed to survive, or simply to close their doors. But Cottey College, a small, all-female liberal arts college in Nevada, Mo., has announced its first-ever comprehensive capital campaign — $40.4 million — to expand the school.

Maybe we miss the real conflict

Councilwoman Cindy Circo’s announcement last week that she had taken a part-time job with Kansas City Power & Light is a reminder of an important feature of American democracy: It’s a part-time job. There’s a lot of truth and value to the myth of the citizen-legislator. Lawmakers who are close to voters usually reflect their interests and concerns, but it also means our laws and public policy are made by amateurs.

Let freedom ring

Schoolchildren are taught at an early age that the United States is a free country, but of course that’s only partially true. All of us surrender part of our freedom to government in order to enjoy the benefits of safety and order that government provides.

Change is coming slowly, surely to Kansas City

Downtown has changed dramatically, yet standing there now is also a reminder that change comes at an enormous public cost, one Kansas Citians have been willing to pay. Kansas City’s political class grinds the change wheel slowly, but grinds it nonetheless. Now it’s grinding again, this time for improvements at the airport and a streetcar system.