Can you identify national values that unite us as Americans? | Opinion

BY: - September 20, 2021

Just two weeks ago, we paused to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, as the unthinkable happened: America was attacked by a foreign enemy on its own soil. In the aftermath, amid the horrid loss of life, the pierced veil of safety once thought impenetrable, the fear and uncertainty about what […]


What was it all for? Looking back on military service in Afghanistan | Opinion

BY: - September 16, 2021

I can still taste the sand, feel the heat on my skin. We were told to smell our water before we drank it, just in case something had been added to it. I remember the faces, including my own, when one of our brothers or sisters in arms lost their lives. I remember the look […]


If vigilante justice spreads, who will be the next target? | Opinion

BY: - September 13, 2021

Let’s set aside our views on abortion. Instead, let’s consider one aspect of the new Texas abortion law that took effect last week. All of us should be able to agree on this, whether we find abortions abominable or support a woman’s right to end her pregnancy: The enforcement mechanism created by Texas lawmakers is […]


My 9/11 prayer: The lessons we can learn from the great silence | Opinion

BY: - September 10, 2021

For my column this week, one that comes the day before the 20-year observance of the Sept. 11 attacks, I want to tell you a story. Two decades ago, my sister was teaching English at the Hosaka English Academy, in Numazu, Japan, about two hours southwest of Tokyo. Sometime in the dark hours after the attack, as […]


Instead of canceling Missouri history, Republican legislators should study it | Opinion

BY: - September 7, 2021

Last week a handful Missouri Republicans attempted to erase history. According to reports, staffers and elected officials in the legislature pressured the Missouri State Museum into removing and then relocating an exhibit called Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights, which documents the early days of LGBTQ activism in the state. The […]


We must never forget that elected officials work for the people | Opinion

BY: - September 6, 2021

Labor Day is set aside to celebrate and honor workers across many industries whose efforts keep America running each and every day. Have you ever thought of elected officials as being part of the workforce that keeps America prosperous and working in the best way possible? More importantly, do elected officials perceive themselves as part […]


Vaccines for kids are coming but they can’t be rushed | Opinion

BY: - September 3, 2021

For weeks, questions from concerned parents have poured in:  Why isn’t the COVID-19 vaccine approved for children under age 12 yet? When will a vaccine for children be available? Can the vaccine be given off-label? These are all good questions, and the answers aren’t easy.  After the SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified in late 2019, clinical […]


A letter of encouragement, and some words of warning, to my fellow teachers | Opinion

BY: - September 1, 2021

Nearly a month ago, I was asked to consider writing a letter of encouragement to teachers as they start another difficult school year. I did not procrastinate in drafting the letter, nor did I forget about the task. Quite the contrary — I’ve been thinking about what kind of encouragement I can give to fellow […]

Shannon County vaccination clinic sign

Don’t use shame to convince people to get vaccinated | Opinion

BY: - August 31, 2021

In the fall of 2020, I was infuriated to see then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rushing to seat Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court just 35 days before the 2020 election. After all, he was the one who refused to even hold hearings on Merrick Garland, a moderate choice by any measure, because the […]


Dreaming of Afghanistan past while fearing for Afghanistan present | Opinion

BY: - August 30, 2021

Five times I landed at the Kabul airport. Before touching down, I saw women doing what I was doing — pulling a headscarf out of a bag. I experienced natural trepidation: Would I get through the immigration and identity card processes, pay a baggage helper appropriately to get me where I needed to go, find […]


Everything we know about work is wrong. The pandemic proved it | Opinion

BY: - August 26, 2021

So what can the plight of a little cafe tell you about the state of the American economy and the changing face of work? A lot, as it turns out. The other week, the bistro where my family and I have been grabbing brunch every Sunday since the start of the pandemic announced that it […]


Is America experiencing a different kind of ‘civil war’? | Opinion

BY: - August 23, 2021

Wars are not always fought by armed military forces with guns, bombs, stealth fighters, and sophisticated weaponry. And the enemy is not always clearly defined. Even the reasons for war often lack clarity. But the divisiveness and fighting still rage, nonetheless. At first glance, you might think characterizing the divisiveness that America is experiencing today […]