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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Citizens join effort to help grow town (10/19/14)
Having written a newspaper column for over 35 years now, I long ago ceased to be surprised by the comments we receive - both good a bad. But I was pleasantly surprised this week by the response from residents seeking answers to a simple question I posed last week...
Tragedy is hijacked for others' agendas (10/15/14)
The ongoing protests and civil disobedience in Ferguson, Mo., is no longer about the police shooting of the "gentle giant" Michael Brown. Instead, left wing organizations like LGBT groups, Planned Parenthood, abortion rights organizations and pro-Palestinian groups have co-opted the protests along with federal unions and climate-change promoters...
Can we stop town's population decline? (10/12/14)
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon and asked the audience one simple question. I'll ask the same of you. But first, some background. In our small corner of the world in Sikeston, we have at long last some substantial growth, progress and improvements...
Obamacare problems continue to crop up (10/08/14)
Somewhere between ISIS and Ebola or perhaps between the Secret Service fiasco and the continued flood of illegals crossing our southern border, stands the ongoing discussion on Obamacare. Problems continue to plague the massive federal health care system overhaul despite repeated assurances from the administration that all is going smoothly...
List of dangerous cities is a scam (10/04/14)
Most dangerous my foot! That's my reaction -- and it should be yours -- on a report out this week that Sikeston was the most dangerous city in Missouri. Okay, for starters, this announcement fails to pass the smell test. It just smells fishy that our small community is more dangerous than St. Louis, for example...
War on Poverty has gone down in defeat (09/24/14)
Any time the federal government declares a "War on....", you can bet your bottom dollar - or tax dollar in most cases - the outcome will be utter failure at a massive taxpayer expense. The long-ago declared War on Drugs has turned into full surrender with nary a dip in the drug usage or availability after massive resources for law enforcement, education and an array of other tools...
The time for action in America is now (09/21/14)
Despite efforts to the contrary, I am a worrier. I know we're told to leave our worries to a higher power. And though I believe with all my heart that this is the best approach, human nature kicks in and I find myself worrying. As my life's calendar keeps moving at break-neck speed, I worry about health care especially in the new environment of Obamacare...
Doomsday words are just partisan politics (09/17/14)
"The end of civilization as we know it." Those are powerful words. Frightening words. Doomsday words. Yet those were the words used by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week to describe the results of a Republican victory in the United States Senate this November...
Cultural terrorist are eroding our values (09/13/14)
Just this past week, a lieutenant colonel in the Army was turned away from his daughter's high school because he was wearing his uniform on the school campus. In Chicago, four firefighters were suspended for refusing to remove American flag stickers from their helmets and lockers...
Obama administration fails here and abroad (09/10/14)
Nothing to see here folks. Just another week in Washington. Increasingly, the lack of American leadership from the Obama White House is illustrating the fundamental flaw of inexperience in Washington combined with a detached arrogance that has outworn its welcome...
Chain not selling tobacco products is hypocritical (09/06/14)
CVS Pharmacy, a highly-respected national chain, announced this week that they have discontinued the sale of tobacco products. As a not-so-proud longtime smoker, I fully understand the dangers of tobacco usage and cannot defend or argue against this tobacco ban by CVS...
Truth, justice taking backseat in Ferguson (08/27/14)
I spent far too much of my weekend catching up on the events surrounding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. It literally took an earthquake to shake the national media away from Ferguson for just a brief moment. And just as quickly, the media swarmed again on the St. Louis suburb for Monday's funeral...
Some use Ferguson for their own agendas (08/23/14)
On so many levels, I pity the residents of Ferguson, Mo. By most accounts, the city is not unlike countless other communities across the country. Ferguson suffers from higher than average unemployment and a majority African-American population. It has its share of criminal activity but then again, the same can be said for countless other communities struggling with changing social issues and lower income levels...
Chaos in Ferguson is disservice to victim, family, community (08/20/14)
I was a college student in Memphis the night Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. And as you would imagine, the events of that fateful day remain vivid in my memory after all of these years. The entire community of Memphis was both shocked and saddened by the tragic event. But the sadness quickly turned to anger which turned to chaos and eventually self-destructive actions...
Texting drivers pose real threat on roads (08/16/14)
Though I don't spend a great amount of time traveling Missouri's interstate highways, I had occasion this week to make a quick trip to Columbia and back. And what I observed on that trip amazed, frustrated and confounded me. Texting and driving is not just a problem, it's an epidemic...
GOP needs to create a political strategy (08/13/14)
With the countdown ticking toward the all-important November midterm elections, the Republicans can't seem to adopt a strategy that will guarantee election success. Judging from the level of discontent and frustration in this country, you would think their strategy would be simple...
Remember victims, not the murderers (08/09/14)
The state of Missouri is on pace to conduct one execution per month this calendar year despite impassioned pleas from capital punishment foes. Quite frankly, I have never understood nor accepted the argument that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. Yet opponents of the death penalty spend massive amounts of taxpayer funds to fight the issue in every state including Missouri...
Something is wrong in Washington, D.C. (08/06/14)
The Republican weekly radio address this week summed up the prevailing national attitude in one short phrase - Something is wrong in Washington. Now the liberals are anxious to label the problem as a resistant GOP House, unwilling to embrace the Obama agenda...
President's policies changing our nation (07/30/14)
If Bill Clinton was the first black president then Barack Obama is the first Hispanic president. From all indications, President Obama is on the verge of issuing some extended form of amnesty for unknown numbers of illegal immigrants who have flooded across our southern border...
Changes in our world not all for the best (07/26/14)
Change is good. Change is bad. Well, that pretty well sums up where we find ourselves in so many ways. Let's look around our own small little community and we can find ample examples of change for the good and change for the bad. Sikeston is, by virtually any measure, in the middle of change. You can't help but notice the substantial construction under way with more on the horizon. These new ventures will translate into jobs and a brighter future for many of the newer generation...
Administration's policies fail to revive sagging US economy (07/23/14)
Despite the White House assessment last week that the Obama foreign policy has brought a new "global tranquility," the headlines would say otherwise. You would have to search long and hard to find "tranquility" across the world that is being touted by this administration...
Sportsmanship more important than score (07/19/14)
I rarely write a column about sports. Not that I have no interest in sports. In fact, I love sports and follow my favorites like any other fan. But something odd happened at this week's All-Star game and it speaks more to sportsmanship than sports. This year's All-Star fest was actually a tribute to Derek Jeter of the Yankees. Jeter has been a star in the Big Apple for years and is a certain Hall of Fame inductee when he becomes eligible...
Success in classroom begins in the home (07/16/14)
While out for a brief Sunday afternoon shopping binge, I couldn't help but notice the "Back to School" sections were in full display. My kids are long out of the educational environment so I pay much less attention to the school calendar. But the reality for thousands of kids and parents is that the summer break is drawing closer to an end and in just a few short weeks, the school routine begins anew...
'Police state' views are matter of perspective (07/12/14)
I got a fascinating phone call this week from a seemingly bright young man who wanted to complain about the "police state" mentality of our local Public Safety Department. He clearly wanted to voice his strong opposition to the use of helicopters and the paramilitary force he viewed as our local law enforcement...
Liberal conspiracies transforming nation (07/09/14)
To keep a conspiracy, a lie or an illegal act in check, you must first have a code of silence. Participants in a conspiracy must abide by a spoken or unspoken understanding that the wayward deed will unravel if anyone breaks that bond of silence. And, it goes without saying, that the fewer involved, the less chance that someone will say the wrong words and the truth will begin to surface...
We must protect as well as celebrate our freedoms in U.S. (07/05/14)
By now, the holiday fireworks should have been exhausted, the food long gone and, once again, we return to the summer routine. The Fourth of July celebration, as you'll recall, is an opportunity to celebrate not only our independence but the freedoms that the independence brings...
Obama out of touch with average citizens (07/02/14)
When Richard Nixon was running for president, his handlers sensed voters thought he was out of touch with the common man. And history would prove them right. So to give the always-stiff Nixon a more common touch, he was scheduled to appear on the highly-popular "Laugh-In" comedy program using the now-famous line, "Sock it to me!"...
Support continued efforts of the LCRA (06/28/14)
A couple of weeks ago, two Sikeston City Council members - John Graham and Maude Harris - tried unsuccessfully to remove funding from the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. By way of a disclaimer, I am a commissioner on the LCRA board and have supported and promoted the removal of decaying properties since the voter-approved LCRA was first formed over 10 years ago...
Secretary of State's priorities misplaced (06/25/14)
The Russian army is on full battle alert on the Ukrainian border, ISIS is beheading their way to Baghdad, the Israelis have launched a rocket strike inside Syria and just for good measure, a few thousand immigrant children are streaming across our southern borders each day...
Regional task force is a good first step (06/21/14)
By now we should all know that crime knows no boundaries. Police jurisdictions mean nothing for the criminal culture. No one knows that better than Sikeston Public Safety Director Drew Juden. That's why Sikeston and other communities formed a regional task force to address crime issues that cross county lines and multiple jurisdictions...
'Lost' emails will not stop IRS investigation (06/18/14)
On Friday afternoon, as is the practice of this White House, the Obama administration quietly announced that over two years of email from embattled IRS official Lois Lerner has been "lost." So on the eve of a special Congressional investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, we're to believe that sensitive and potentially illegal activities outlined in thousands of emails have somehow just simply vanished into thin air...
Immigration policy will have long-range implications for U.S. (06/11/14)
Those who relentlessly continue to support the missteps of this administration have crossed the line from being partisan to being delusional. And I don't use that term in an off-handed, casual manner. To ignore the impending financial and social collapse from a tidal wave of undocumented immigrants must be delusional...
Food stamp program failing the children (06/08/14)
This summer at 980 locations across Missouri, nearly 30,000 low income children will receive free lunches provided by taxpayers. This year's free summer lunches mark an expansion of the program across Missouri with most of the meals provided in the urban areas...
Amnesty isn't answer to immigration woes (06/04/14)
Amnesty will be the final straw that fundamentally transforms the future of this once-great country. Through years of ever-growing federal assistance, we have created a permanent non-working class of citizens unwilling to perform the entry level, lower paying jobs...
KRCC's expansion is result of continued generosity of Rogers (05/31/14)
Kenny Rogers and Sikeston have a long and wonderfully successful relationship. The country music mega-star "adopted" the children's center that today bears his name way back over 35 years ago. And through those years of association, the local center has expanded beyond anyone's imagination...
Political correctness bumps real issues (05/28/14)
We may not find ourselves in the worst of times but it's far from the best of times as well. The IRS scandal, much to the administration's dismay, is not going away. The Democrats have decided to reluctantly participate in the long-overdue Benghazi probe. And the increasingly unraveling Obamacare disaster just won't go away...
It's time to thank all those who protect us (05/17/14)
Though it's not as well-known as many other observances, this past week was National Peace Officers Memorial Day, a time set aside each year to recognize and honor those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Established in 1962 by President John Kennedy, this week provides special recognition for the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line each day...
Affordable Care Act isn't very affordable (05/14/14)
When the Affordable Care Act was first unleashed on the American people last October, the headlines provided a keen insight into the flaws of a huge federal government overreach. Liberals held their collective breath in anticipation of this grand design while conservatives laughed at the Keystone Kops rollout...
Mothers deserve our thanks every day (05/11/14)
Happy Mother's Day. We set aside one day a year - which is clearly not enough - to honor and celebrate the moms in this country. And given the current state of society, I can think of no more appropriate person to honor and revere than the mothers who often form the foundation of our society...
Searching for truth about Benghazi (05/07/14)
Whether the Democrats like it or not, someone in this administration is going to take the fall for the disaster that claimed four American lives in Benghazi. With last week's announcement that a special select committee was being formed to probe deep into the Benghazi fiasco, the Democrats are clearly scrambling...
Americans should keep speaking out (05/03/14)
What do you do when you live in a world that seems upside down? Everyone reading this column knows exactly what I mean. Scan the daily headlines - as most of us do - and you'll see and hear things that you never imagined possible. Students in Colorado, in some warped multi-culture lesson, recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the words, "One Nation, Under Allah"...
Amnesty would spell end of the GOP party (04/30/14)
Politics is little more than a game of numbers. Winning elections is less about issues and policies than it is about simple math. So I'm puzzled why the Republican leadership is softening to some form of amnesty for an estimated 12 million undocumented illegal immigrants in this nation...
Parental guidance is key to child's success (04/26/14)
There's a story making the rounds this week about a group of young thugs -- ages 12, 13, 14 and 16 -- who terrorized and stole from early morning joggers in New York's Central Park. The youngsters approached two female joggers and stole their electronic devices and tried to rob another victim who was punched in the face when he resisted...
Reading the results of Tuesday's votes (04/12/14)
I assume it is appropriate to dissect the election results from the school bond issue defeated soundly by Sikeston voters this week. I supported the bond issue despite my belief that the $33 million price tag was going to provide a substantial challenge for passage...
More to voting than simply convenience (04/09/14)
I notice where a small Canadian town - about the size of Sikeston - is accepting only online voting in their upcoming municipal election. Given the recent massive snafus with the Affordable Care Act website, you would think there would be some major concerns with solely online voting...
Yes on bond issue is a vote for future (04/06/14)
After lengthy public discussion, the fate of a $32 million school bond issue for Sikeston schools rests with the voters come Tuesday. By now, I would hope most residents understand the bond proposal. If approved by voters, the school system will build two new elementary complexes to replace the aging Lee Hunter and Southeast Elementary, level Matthews Elementary, add to the Kindergarten Center and the high school...
Searching for truth about Obamacare (04/02/14)
A few months back, I penned a column that talked about trust in our government and specifically trust in this administration. The theme then - as it remains today - is that absent trust virtually any act or proposal coming from government officials will be viewed with some level of skepticism...
Make KRCC telethon part of weekend plans (03/29/14)
Once a year -- without fail -- I use this column space to promote and encourage participation in the annual Kenny Rogers Children's Center Telethon. This is that Sunday. While quickly glancing back on prior telethon-related columns, I could not help but notice a recurring theme that I will repeat once again this year...
Celebration of voter fraud is wrong (03/26/14)
Melowese Richardson illegally voted for the re-election of President Obama six times in 2012 and stated so proudly during a national television interview. She was sentenced to five years in prison for voter fraud. She served eight months. And now, the illegal voter is being hailed as a hero in the "voters rights" community. She was lauded for her federal voting rights violation by none other than the ever-popular Rev. Al Sharpton - surprise! - at an Ohio voting right rally last week...
Senator's votes speak louder than words (03/22/14)
Claire, say it ain't so! Missouri's Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill told an audience this week that the nation's $17 trillion debt is "irresponsible". If I am not mistaken, this is the same United States Senator who voted in lockstep with this administration on the stimulus and the multi-trillion disaster that is called Obamacare...
Administration still touts failed program (03/19/14)
If the Obamacare program is as successful as the administration tries to portray, is it not valid to ask why such secrecy over the sign-up numbers? The administration - even before a Congressional committee last week - refused to acknowledge how many people had actually paid their insurance premiums and just how many young adults had joined the federal program...
November - a chance to hope for change (03/15/14)
As someone who reads a lot - and I mean a lot - of news on a daily basis, I find myself alternating between frustration and anger, between bewilderment and depression and finally returning to anger. If I didn't know better I would think much of this daily bewilderment is by design...
Junk food isn't good start to school day (03/12/14)
I started my week with a hot cup of coffee and some lukewarm conversation at a local convenience store. That is not my normal routine but when the conversation turns to politics, weather and sports, I have some self-imposed obligation to throw my 2 cents in...
It's time to shake off your cabin fever (03/08/14)
Cabin fever is a frightening feeling. And let's admit - all of us to some extent have been suffering with cabin fever for weeks - nay months now. The weatherman is at long last giving us a break this week and hopefully for many, many weeks to come. And we deserve it!...
'Obama defenders' just keep following (03/05/14)
You have to give credit to the liberals - which I hesitate to do. The liberals know that if you put a derogatory name or slur on your opposition, you demean their value to some. And that's why we have "birthers" or "teabaggers" or "climate deniers."...
It's time to speak up on our core values (03/01/14)
Because of the massive downward slide in society, I find myself wondering just when and how we reached the point where we find ourselves today. As a product of the college environment in the 1960s, I know that many place the blame on that era when "free love," drugs and a counter-culture seeped into society...
Toothless threats will have consequences (02/26/14)
The problem with drawing a line in the sand is that sometimes, the other guy ignores your line. So then what do you do? This administration is increasingly tumbling in international standing and has become a toothless tiger with ample roar and limited punch...
Funds for Olympics could be better spent (02/23/14)
With a resounding yawn, the 2014 Winter Olympics will soon close the curtain on what must be the most boring sporting event in international history. I can only imagine the good that could have come from the estimated $50 billion dollars the Russian government spent on transforming a quiet southern region into a showcase for the world...
Continuing myths of global warming (02/19/14)
Secretary of State John Kerry was in Indonesia last week to promote the ongoing charade of global warming. He picked the perfect time to discuss global warming as he fled the Northeast and the record ice and snowfall and bitter temperatures. Kerry must not have gotten the memo that it's no longer global warming - since that has become a highly popular punch line - and it has now become climate change...
Some lessons still need to be learned (02/16/14)
This column concerns why we should never judge a book by its cover. Now we have all heard that expression and most of us can give some example that applies to the old adage. So let me tell you mine. On the drive to this office each morning, I have noticed - especially in this miserable weather - a father and his two young children waiting beside the road for the school bus. Their house is a good 100 yards or so from the rural roadway...
Winter's trials take toll on the region (02/08/14)
The calendar says there's something like 38 days until spring and for all of us, it can't come soon enough. Old-timers - I have to be careful with that term - always speak of past winters that were much more severe than what we experience. But I strongly suspect that some day far into the future, old-timers will point to this winter as a benchmark for cold and ice and snow...
Our President needs to find common issues (02/05/14)
The President's theme of "income inequality" is not gaining the traction the administration had hoped. Anxious to move the narrative away from the widely unpopular Obamacare fiasco, the drumbeat of "income inequality" seemed a popular notion. The President had even called this new theme the "defining challenge of our times" with the appropriate bravado and accompanying applause...
Prayer should be added to Super Bowl festivities (02/02/14)
I recognize it's not a very manly thing to say, but I don't follow professional football. I could spend far too much time explaining just why but that doesn't really matter. Of sure, I can recite in great detail Tiger Woods' "greens in regulation" statistics and, like many of you, I bleed Cardinal red...
Clinton works to head up Democratic ticket (01/29/14)
It's a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. The sole obstacle in her path would be a health issue because, rest assured, any potential missteps on her part would never make their way into the mainstream media...
Expanding Medicaid is the wrong choice (01/26/14)
I have always held respect and admiration for Gov. Jay Nixon. I believe him to be a principled man, an honest man and a governor capable and willing to work across party lines. Nixon delivered his annual State of the State address this week. But his rosy forecast and continued spending is cause for concern...
Some voters refuse to become informed (01/22/14)
Rush Limbaugh calls them "low information voters." I have used much less flattering terms in the past. But regardless of the label, there is a large and unfortunately growing number of voters who are absolutely clueless on issues or a candidate's position, background, experience, etc...
Improvements being made in community (01/19/14)
Having roamed the streets and sometimes back alleys of this town for more years than I care to mention, it takes some effort to impress me. Maybe it's age or just a newer appreciation, but I am paying greater attention and having renewed pride in some of the progress that is under way in our small town...
Money isn't solution to nation's problems (01/15/14)
If you pay attention to the administration's talking points for 2014, you now know our national obsession is ending economic inequality. That lofty yet ill-defined goal will be a major talking point when the President makes his annual State of the Union address. In fact, many of the political talking heads were rehearsing the issue this past Sunday...
We must speak up on EPA regulations (01/11/14)
This past Wednesday, I wrote about the Environment Protection Agency's new regulations for this year and specifically about the new regulations that govern coal-fired utility plants such as the one here in Sikeston. If fully implemented, these new regulations will hit you - all Sikeston residents, businesses and industry - squarely in your pocketbook...
Increased regulations impact consumers (01/08/14)
Well, the President has returned from his family golfing vacation in Hawaii and aides say his focus is on extending unemployment benefits, immigration reform and an increase in the minimum wage. That seems like an ambitious agenda for a national leader who has had more than his share of problems as of late. Remember Obamacare, Benghazi, NSA spying and IRS snooping?...
Sam Harbin had big impact on this town (01/04/14)
Sam Harbin was a giant of a man in all ways possible. The term "larger than life" fit him like a glove. Harbin passed away this week at his home in Springfield. It's hard, if not impossible, to explain how important Sam Harbin was in the history of our small community...
We each can make 2014 a good year (12/29/13)
As we end one year and start a new, we each - in our own way - get the chance to look back in reflection and forward in anticipation. Personal experiences shape how we will each view 2013. The loss of a loved one will be the focus for some. The addition of a new one will perhaps be the rememberance of others...
Our moral compass should guide nation (12/21/13)
Let me take this brief opportunity to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. And let it be noted that I said Merry Christmas instead of the progressive "Happy Holidays." You know, the left gets offended with the term Merry Christmas. Well let me express my belief that I get offended when the left attempts to remove Christ from this most special of days...
World developments overlooked by Obama (12/18/13)
While the Obama administration continues its focus on growing the federal government, someone needs to keep an eye on the rest of the world. Take a brief look at China and North Korea for example. These two longtime enemies have been anything but quiet of late...
Real turkey of a talk for Thanksgiving (11/27/13)
In a somewhat bizarre effort to promote the troubled Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has a handy and helpful video with suggestions on how to start a health care conversation during the Thanksgiving dinner. I could not make this up, believe me...
Obama and Baldwin have similar weeks (11/20/13)
Let's face it - the past week was less than kind to our President. And the same can be said about the embattled but still arrogant Alec Baldwin. But these two kindred spirits of the far political left have similar problems because they made similar mistakes...
Official's visit will highlight local Legion (11/03/13)
The Sikeston American Legion Post 114 today will host a breakfast for National Commander Dan Dellinger, who heads the 2.4 million strong veterans' organization. The Legion is the largest veterans/patriotic organization in the United States and, on behalf of the community, we welcome Commander Dellinger to our small corner of the world...
So just what does the President know? (10/30/13)
As much as I tried to stay focused on the World Series, some other news tidbits managed to slip through the cracks this past week. In the excitement of the annual Fall Classic, I may have missed something. But here's what I thought I heard. The United States has been spying on as many as 35 of our allies over the past few years without their knowledge. And, so we're told, without the knowledge of the President himself...
Cardinals are point of pride for Missouri (10/27/13)
Today we are all members of Cardinal Nation! Missouri's beloved St. Louis Cardinals are shining the national spotlight on the Show-Me State and even fair-weather fans are alive with Cardinal red. Ignore the Rams (please), and rejoice in the Kansas City Chiefs and the Missouri Tigers along with the Cardinals who are showing the country that the sports world is alive and well in Missouri...
It is time to admit Obamacare's failure (10/23/13)
The massively flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, should come as no surprise given the unanswered questions that have plagued the federal monstrosity from the very beginning. But equally as predictable is the reaction of the Obama lemmings, who continue to insist all is well in Obamaland and the "glitches" are little more than technical issues caused by massive interest in the new law...
Playing the politically correct name game (10/19/13)
Have you followed the brouhaha concerning the "controversial" name of the Washington Redskins NFL football team? Well, it seems that the Native American community is incensed because the derogatory name is an affront to their heritage and are demanding a name change...
Social media impacts our social rituals (10/16/13)
As I made my way to the office this morning in the all-too-dark early hours, I passed a familiar coffee shop packed with the usual suspects. And then I passed another early morning watering hole and then another and another. The morning coffee shop is an important ingredient in the lives of many - mostly men - farmers, bankers, lawyers, small businessmen and such...
Changing Congress is easier said than done (10/13/13)
If you feel a sense of frustration over the current state of politics in this country, you obviously are not alone. A new poll out Friday shows that the American public is simply fed up with the elected officials in Washington, D.C., at levels never before seen...
Disability program is filled with fraud (10/09/13)
Since there appears to be little agreement in our federal government these days, let's find one - just one - issue that is non-partisan, out of control and in need of a major overhaul. Let's start with what has been called the "secret welfare system" - the Federal Disability Insurance Program...
If only we could deal with the real issues (10/02/13)
Government shutdown. Obamacare. Debt ceiling. Iran. Syria. Amnesty. Let's count the ways our elected officials can find disagreement and continue to flip the middle finger at the American people. But as we all know, the list is growing daily. As the great modern-day philosopher Rodney King once said, "Can't we all get along?"...
Faith is not about just a single prayer (09/28/13)
Today's column is by no means intended to be your Sunday morning sermon. Those who know me recognize that being "preachy" is not my long suit. I'm reading a biography on Charles Manson, the notorious crazy, sadistic mastermind of a string of famous murders in the 1960s...
Picking your battles is half of the battle (09/25/13)
Success in politics is often about picking the right battles. But success also depends on timing. The GOP may well be picking the right battle at the wrong time. And although I fully support and understand the wide range of disagreement on the miserable Obamacare mandates, from a political standpoint I see nothing but setbacks...
Seasons are changing and so is Sikeston (09/21/13)
I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. If you've lived through enough Missouri winters, you can understand the hate part of this relationship. But I begrudgingly admit, the change in weather, the all-too-soon exodus of the leaves and the crisp nip in the air does provide some welcome relief...
Could that second cup of coffee be the blame for your ills? (09/18/13)
In a somewhat futile attempt to clear a long-neglected desk drawer this weekend, I came across an article I shelved in June that piqued my interest. It's no coincidence that I have a cup of coffee nearby since the article says that caffeine withdrawal is now officially a mental disorder...
Local schools facing many challenges (09/15/13)
I had a great conversation this week with Tom Williams, superintendent of Sikeston Public Schools. You can watch most of that conversation on the Just Sayin' episode on our website. With school now fully under way, teachers and administrators are engaged in the process of teaching our students and molding future citizens...
Support for military action in Syria must be based on facts (09/11/13)
According to discussions over the weekend, a number of Congressmen are poised today to vote in favor of military action in Syria not because of the use of chemical weapons but rather to support the President. Members of the Black Congressional Caucus were warned in a letter last week from their chairman not to discuss any opposition to the military action because of the damage it could do to the President...
Is Syria a lose-lose situation for the U.S.? (09/04/13)
If you Google the phrase "Indecision is the hallmark of mediocrity," you'll likely come up empty. That's because it was a conclusion on the business world I concocted many years ago. As I watched businessmen run their operations, it was those who were willing to make tough decisions - some unpopular - who succeeded...
Keep watch for new projects in Sikeston (09/01/13)
School is back in session, the days are getting shorter and Labor Day weekend has once again rolled around. Though the calendar says otherwise, this weekend marks the unofficial start of fall. All too soon the weather will begin to change, vegetable gardens will be abandoned, football will replace baseball and we'll say goodbye to another summer...
Obama needs to lead discussion on race (08/28/13)
No one could address the issue of race in this country as well as our President. And yet, he remains largely silent. The President was quick to respond to the Cambridge police officer controversy and even quicker to respond to the Trayvon Martin episode in Florida...
Successful school year begins in the home (08/24/13)
The start of the school year in Sikeston and elsewhere always reminds me of the massive task and challenge teachers face each and every year. What prompted this thought process was a letter from a teacher in the South who outlined the struggles of teaching in today's society...
Post-vacation, everything seems the same as before (08/21/13)
I've been AWOL for the past two weeks. Put my quill pen aside and coordinated my absence with the Obama vacation. Hey, if he's not working, neither am I! I did return to the office with a new granddaughter which was my original reason for fleeing the office...
Things are looking up in Sikeston, Mo. (08/17/13)
By just about any measure, things are looking up in our small little corner of the world. Hot on the heels of overwhelming voter approval of a sales tax continuation, ground was officially broken this week on a new Three Rivers College East Campus. Combine that with the near-completion of a new steak house restaurant, the construction of a new motel, a new national chain pharmacy and a major distribution warehouse operation in our Industry and Technology Park, and you have the formula for a growing community.. ...
Sales tax's passage lets work continue (08/10/13)
A sincere and appreciative thank you goes to Sikeston voters who this week approved the continuation of a 1-cent sales tax that will provide essential funding for our community. And I don't mean to throw cold water on the success of the sales tax initiative, but I remain perplexed how anyone could have opposed the sales tax...
Vote yes to continue the 1-cent sales tax (08/03/13)
Sikeston voters have the opportunity Tuesday to approve the continuation of a 1-cent sales tax that will shape the future of our community for the next decade. First approved by Sikeston voters in 2004, the 1-cent sales tax has been used to fund improvements in the Public Safety Department, to provide revenue for the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority and to finance the city's obligation to the SEMO-Sikeston college campus...
Let me choose how to spend tax dollars (07/31/13)
With all due respect, I don't think Congress or especially this administration fully understands the tax debate. Though it's far from my favorite expenditure, I don't mind paying my fair share of the tax burden. What I often resent is the way my tax dollar is spent...
Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen