Please, an 18-year-old pulls a stupid but harmless prank — like that has never happened before. Not to be outdone, the school authorities come back with an even stupider response. (May 25, 1A, “Joke backfires as Truman student is banned from graduation ceremony”)
As a result, the kid gets notoriety and the school administration gets some well-deserved ridicule. Sounds like a win-win to me.
The House of Representatives tried last week — and failed — to pass a Farm Bill laden with unpopular “poison pill” provisions that would have had disastrous consequences for wildlife, forests and water.
The failed House bill would have put the drinking water for a third of all Americans at risk and would have had negative effects on the nearly $900 billion outdoor recreation economy — driven by hunting, fishing and wildlife watching — and on our nation’s way of life.
Congressional leaders should build on the Farm Bill’s legacy of collaborative, cost-effective conservation success. The Sodsaver Provision, which prevents federal funds from unwittingly subsidizing the conversion of native prairies to cropland, should be expanded nationwide. The Swampbuster Provision, which prevents subsidies from going to producers who drain or fill wetlands, has been remarkably effective and should be kept strong. The final bill should not allow mining or drilling on properties that receive wildlife easement funding.
The Farm Bill is the largest federal source of conservation funding on private land, and it has done much good in Missouri and Kansas. I hope our representatives in Congress will work toward a clean bill with strong conservation provisions.
Stay the course
Fight or flight is human nature. It is almost unheard of to fight violence with peace. But during the civil rights movement, this idea became reality — using peace to fight segregation and discrimination.
Martin Luther King Jr. stressed the importance of a world free of the darkness that racism brings. Several organizations were created during this time, using peaceful tactics such as protests, boycotts and sit-ins. From these, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968 were passed, ending segregation.
The people behind this movement possessed a high level of selflessness, willing to be patient for an important cause.
In 2018 alone, there have been 22 school shootings in the United States, resulting in 38 deaths. This recent gun violence has led to hundreds of student-led March for Our Lives protests. Florida changed the legal age for buying a firearm from 18 to 21. Although protesters wanted greater action, a small change is still a change.
Peaceful protests need to continue. They’re the most effective and make the biggest impact. Fire can’t be fought with fire.
Just codify it
NFL owners are ignoring the obvious solution to the problem of what to do about players who choose not to stand for the national anthem: Just don’t play it. (May 24, 3B, “NFL will require players who are on field to ‘stand and show respect’ for flag”)
The anthem should be played only at affairs of state and solemn occasions, as originally intended, but never at sporting events or other forms of entertainment. There are many other patriotic songs that should be used instead.
Congress should prepare and issue a “Code of Etiquette for Performing the National Anthem,” just as the Department of Defense set for the display and use of the American flag.
This protocol would solve many of the problems that are a distraction — and annoyance — to professional sports today.
Dear NFL players:
The recent ruling by the NFL commissioner is long overdue. Yes, you all have individual rights to freedom of speech. That is not the issue. What is the issue is your timing and the arena in which you choose to use that right.
Kneeling during our national anthem on a game day is not part of the job you are paid for. When you enter the stadium parking lot, locker room and field of play, you are working.
Granted, you have center stage, major paydays, people (including children) who idolize you and a national audience. But your coaches and the commissioner are your bosses.
If you choose to make any type of personal or political statement, do it outside your job like the rest of us Americans who don’t have the luxury of the spotlight.
Honor the flag. That should be your job, and now thankfully it is. Thanks, Roger Goodell.