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Saturday, January 21, 2017
Mary Sanchez

Mary Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools, and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star. She is now an editorial columnist for the Star, where she continues to offer insightful commentary on immigration, culture, and politics.

John Ashcroft, Constitutional Rights

When Fear Rules, Constitutional Rights Get Trampled

Erring on the side of recklessness comes at a high price. It undermines the constitutional rights America values most. It harms our international image. It hands a recruitment tool to terrorists. We know this now. Time to apply the lesson.

January 21, 2017
Obama, Race

Did We Expect Too Much From Obama On Race?

Obama’s real and lasting impact on race relations in America will be seen in less sensational policy decisions: who he brought to the federal benches, his efforts to protect the Voting Rights Act, measures to expand access to health care and quality schools.

January 9, 2017
Rockettes, Trump, Inauguration

Rockettes Balk At Dancing For Our POTUS-To-Be

The ongoing saga of whether or not members of the Rockettes will dance at Donald Trump’s inauguration is a taste of the next four years. When and how will it be appropriate or pragmatic to react to the latest Trump offense or to recall the heinous rhetoric of his campaign?

December 30, 2016
F. Glenn Miller Jr, Hate Crimes

Why Do Some Hate Crimes Fail To Resonate?

In America, deranged people can kill with racial, ethnic, religious or any of a wide range of hatreds and receive far differing reactions from the national media, the general public and seemingly even from the forces of justice.

December 24, 2016
Immigrant, Donald Trump

Anti-Immigrant Bias Has Already Cost America Plenty

While low-skilled, undocumented immigrants are often the targets of abuse generated in our increasingly nativist political climate, educated immigrants who are legally present catch a lot of flak, too. Many Americans can’t or won’t make the distinction.

December 18, 2016
Puzder to head Labor Dept

Trump’s Labor Choice Is Not A Friend Of Workers

Raising the minimum wage, granting overtime pay, inconvenient questions about why so many burger flippers are also on public assistance — it all receives a dismissive wave from Puzder. Too much federal regulation, he says. Not good for business.

December 10, 2016
Fidel Castro dead at age 90

For Some Cuban Expats, Castro’s Death Means Little

Hatred of Castro can make people lose perspective. The economic blockade did not budge Castro from power — and did much to harm the Cuban people.

December 3, 2016
Millennial voters

#WhatNow? Millennial Voters Want To Bring Empathy Back

Five college students, all 20-somethings from around the Kansas City area, started #WhatNow to connect communities through empathy, education and advocacy following Donald Trump’s shocking win.

December 2, 2016
Trump: CEO of America

CEO Of America: A Seductive But Dangerous Idea

The government does not and should not function like a business. The public good cannot be reduced to profit and loss. Many of government’s functions are costly yet essential despite their great expense; think of national security, justice and education.

November 25, 2016
Kabul Grand Hotel

Making Foreign Reconstruction Efforts Count

The Kabul Grand Hotel was supposed to be a symbol of America’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Instead, it’s an empty mothballed structure that’s heavily guarded courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

November 23, 2016
Americans face a wrenching U-turn from Obama to Trump

Will Trump Feed ‘Dreamers’ To The Wolves?

Trump will need to throw a tasty morsel to supporters, something to prove that he’s still their man. The easiest group to cast into that den will be the young people flourishing under Obama’s executive action on immigration.

November 13, 2016
presidential campaign

After The Presidential Campaign, Our Toxic Politics Will Endure

Like all traumatic events eventually do, the U.S. presidential campaign will end. Polling places will close, votes will be tabulated and a new electoral map will be drawn up that shows how our 45th president-elect got elected. Unfortunately, the stink of this campaign season will stick around much, much longer

November 6, 2016
Election offices prepare polling stations for Election Day

Behind The Scenes Of The Bipartisan, Politically Neutral Election Offices

An inside look at a bipartisan election office in Kansas City. Here the talk is politically neutral with the goal of safeguarding the vote. It might seem counterintuitive, but the staff’s biggest concern isn’t necessarily who wins and who loses.

November 4, 2016

‘Patient Zero’ And Other Myths About HIV/AIDS

What is the future of AIDS prevention in the U.S. and the world? And what will it take to move people to care about this still-thriving epidemic?

October 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton wants to keep guns out of the hands of children

Extremism On Second Amendment Violates Common Sense

Keeping a loaded gun unsecured and within easy reach of a toddler ought to be considered a criminal act of negligence. It’s time to admit that upholding a person’s right to own a gun doesn’t need to conflict with efforts to keep young children’s tiny hands away from pulling triggers.

October 21, 2016
Stand up for women, Washington March

It’s Time To Stand Up For Women

Sexual aggression — the behaviors, the attitudes, the excuses that support them — has to stop. America is deciding now if it has the courage to fight back.

October 20, 2016
Redistricting case goes to the supreme court

Safeguarding The Vote — From Every Threat — Is Critical To Democracy

The danger of cyber-attacks — or any tinkering with the American voting system — is a lot like terrorism. The mere threat of it, the fear of it, does the most damage.

October 16, 2016
taco trucks

‘That Mexican Thing’ Coming To A Voting Booth Near You

Gov. Mike Pence, warn your buddy Donald Trump. You know “That Mexican Thing” you mentioned in the vice presidential debate — it’s coming for you.

October 13, 2016
A Wells Fargo branch is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

Wells Fargo Schemes Prove The Value Of Vigorous Bank Regulation

Regulators slapped the fine on Wells Fargo through a settlement after discovering that employees created fake email addresses, fraudulently applied for credit cards and moved unwitting customer’s money to the new accounts. The misbehavior earned bonuses and let employees meet aggressive sales quotas.

September 17, 2016
(L to R) Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chano-cha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, U.S President Barack Obama, Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Philippines Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak pose for photo during ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Time To Honor — And Care For — Those Who Served Our Country In Laos

The secrets of war take decades for former soldiers to admit, if ever. Governments are equally adept at hiding such truths. President Obama’s historic stop in Laos was a brief exercise of stepping toward the light, accepting more responsibility for the devastation of the Vietnam War.

September 10, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Trump’s Immigration Harangue Sells Out America’s Finest Ideals

If ever a candidate deserved “extreme vetting,” it’s Donald Trump. There are few policy proposals I can think of that are more un-American — a term that any defender of civil liberties must use advisedly — than the ones he made this week in a speech in Phoenix on immigration.

September 2, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Minorities Not Buying Trump’s Bogus Kumbaya Chorus

Trump’s messaging style is blunt and simplistic. And he is clearly ignorant of what life is like outside the bubble of wealth he has floated in all of his 70 years. So it’s no surprise that his appeal to black voters would be both naive and offensive.

August 26, 2016
Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway (L) and Paul Manafort, staff of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, speak during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Trump Hires A Woman To Clean Up His Mess

Kellyanne Conway has the hardest job in American politics today, perhaps an impossible one. She will attempt to temper Donald Trump. Which means reining in his penchant to retaliate for each perceived slight and to escalate any dispute.

August 19, 2016
Tracy Duve serves nachos at Tony's I-75 Restaurant in Birch Run

Low-Wage Workers Want Respect, Regular Shifts And Better Wages

At work, they keep their heads down, grappling with retaliatory managers who cut their hours for slight infractions like needing to pick up a sick child from school. They deal with customers who proposition them sexually, with coworkers who demean and belittle them.

August 12, 2016
A Dallas police sergeant wears a mourning band on his badge during a prayer vigil in a park following the multiple police shooting in Dallas. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Study Illuminates The Way Cops Die In The Line Of Duty

Slow down, buckle up and take special care around fighting family members. Sounds like wisdom a parent might bestow. But, in layman’s terms, those are the recommendations of a new study of law enforcement deaths while on duty. In short, police will be more likely to return home safely after their shifts if more of them wear seat belts, take more care when racing to high-priority calls, wear their issued body armor and remember that calls involving domestic disturbances are often the most dangerous.

August 5, 2016