What kind of person steals flowers from a gravesite on Memorial Day?
I was shocked to discover the large summer flower planter on my family’s headstone and the pink geraniums on my infant daughter’s grave were missing Tuesday morning at Calvary Cemetery.
At least the thief was patriotic. He left the small flag on my father’s veteran’s marker.
End of an era
With the announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord, it’s official that the “American Century” is now over. (June 2, 1A, “Trump pulls U.S. out of global climate accord”)
Thank you, President Steve Bannon.
Just when you think President Donald Trump can’t cause any more damage than colluding with Russia to undermine our democracy and stoking prejudice whereever he goes, now he just threw the entire planet under the bus.
His reckless decision to exit the Paris climate accord abandons U.S. efforts to work with the rest of the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions precisely when the planet is approaching a tipping point — a point of no return.
Trump’s epic decision on the fate of the planet evidently came down to a tug of war between two highly “credible” camps of climate wisdom: his daughter Ivanka versus the tandem of alt-right White House adviser Steve Bannon and anti-environment EPA director Scott Pruitt.
So much for the father-daughter relationship.
It is deeply disappointing that Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri were among 22 GOP senators who signed a letter to Trump urging withdrawal. They are evidently more beholden to their corporate donors than to the good of the planet.
Christine M. Flowers may say she has “no time for those who tell (her) not to say ‘Islamic’ (terrorist),” and that’s her right. (May 30, 9A, “Short Take: Islamic terror hits the innocent”) But she missed the most important point, in my opinion.
It’s even right there in the column, when she compared the Manchester bombing with the case of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, calling him “mentally deranged.” No one who blows himself up in the middle of a concert is thinking straight.
Radical Islam is a widely publicized, trendy excuse — and there are criminals who will eagerly egg on the vulnerable or sociopathic into committing unspeakable acts in the name of Allah, or in the name of white supremacy, or in the name of … you name it.
For Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, it apparently was Jihadist delusions, fueled by radical websites. For Adam Lanza, it was a message board on a site called “Shocked Beyond Belief.
It’s always something. The most important takeaway is not the particular excuse, but the violent delusions that led to acting on the excuse — and how we can intercept would-be violent actors before they strike.
Sorry, Christine. Refusing to say “Islamic terror” is refusing to be diverted from the deeper root causes we must urgently address.
Jan S. Gephardt
I attended the University of Missouri during the 1960s. Demonstrations advocating peace, civil rights, women’s rights and environmental issues were common. Consequently, I saw the peaceful 2015 protests against racial discrimination and administrative indifference as positive.
Why should the university struggle “to rebuild its image”? Students (including football players) used their right of free speech to speak out against injustice. How is that not an educational experience at a flagship institution of higher education?
Any damage to Mizzou’s image is attributable to the administrators who ignored concerns, antediluvian legislators who define free speech by whether a statement agrees with their beliefs and a governor who holds others to standards he fails to apply to himself.
The decline in enrollment is real, but is it attributable to protests or rising costs? How do “business-friendly” legislators who must understand the need for an educated workforce justify draconian cuts to higher education so they can cut taxes for the already wealthy?
I think Mizzou is fine. It should trumpet its support for free speech and peaceful demonstrations. Small-minded individuals who think education is limited to memorizing facts while failing to think critically about the complex world in which they live should crawl back in their holes.