The official ballot title is as follows:
“Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right-to-Work”) as passed by the general assembly in 2017, which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rata (fair-share); make any activity which violates employees’ rights illegal and ineffective; allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate employees’ rights; and which shall not apply to union agreements entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19?
State and local government entities expect no costs or savings.”
Primary Election 2018
The Missouri primary season is already underway with the election on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, fast approaching. The filing period for candidates seeking election ended on March 27, 2018. Many candidates filed for statewide and district wide seats including state auditor, United States senatorial and congressional terms. With five political parties in Missouri (Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Green, and Constitution), there are many options from which to choose.
This year, there are significant decisions to be made that will impact our state and the nation for many years to come. From the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, to the right-to-work issue, i.e., Prop A, many people are watching Missouri to see what kind of future we can hope for as the people choose from a crowded field and complicated issues.
When the children of this editor of FRONT LINE were young, and she was active in a community study group, they decided they would practice what they had been preached, e.g., practice makes perfect. Accordingly, one summer day at home with company in the front room, her oldest son decided he would train for his Boy Scout merit badge. She realized her guests were not paying attention to the discussion and knew something was distracting them. It seems that her guests were drawn away by a strange procession of small children repeatedly going up the stairs, but never coming down.
Suddenly, she saw her six-year old daughter fly past her from the upstairs bedroom window into the front bushes. It seems that fire drills were the activity of the morning (for the merit badge), and who better to practice with than the smallest child to test the evacuation plan of throwing down a blanket onto the bushes, and then dropping out the second story window to see who survives. They were going to be prepared!
Restoring Patient Power, Individual Choice, Privacy Rights & Health Freedom
A lot of people think healthcare is very, very complex. But it’s only been made complex by all the third-party payers that are in between the patient and the doctor. So, let me share five facts to help you better understand the healthcare issue.
Fact Number One: There’s no such thing as healthcare. Healthcare is a socialist term. There is medical care or medical services, and there is health insurance. But there’s no such thing as healthcare. But everyone has grabbed onto that term, saying for instance, “I get healthcare at my employer.” You don’t get healthcare at your employer. You get coverage at your employer. Not healthcare. But because everybody is still holding onto that term, you don’t blink twice when the hospitals are buying the health plans and the health plans are buying the hospitals creating an enormous conflict of interest against the patient: the payer and the deliverer of care are the same.
Spring Session 2018
In his inaugural address of April 30, 1789, President George Washington said, “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.” George Washington was not alone among the early presidents and other patriots who recognized a higher source of authority for our country. Too often we look to our government as the initiator and provider of blessings to the People. We breathlessly await an opinion from the Supreme Court, as if Moses himself were delivering news from on high. This should not be. Eternal rules of order and justice are not ordained out of a depraved heart. We must pay attention when “government is in session” to stay alert to what laws and actions are being considered for our good. Our fellow citizens, in both Jefferson City and Washington D.C., require our heartfelt support and prayers as they perform their legislative duties.
Pet Project of the Surveillance State
We all love SMART! Especially being told by others that we are SMART! Smart phones, smart cities, smart meters all make sense to us as they benefit us in many ways. But, is there another level of SMART we need to pay attention to?
“Good thinking, 99!”
In the late 1960s, families laughed at “Get Smart … an American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre. It was … [a combination of] James Bond and Inspector Clouseau. Some of the popular catchphrases generated during its run, included:
“Would you believe …,” “Good thinking, 99,” “Missed it by that much!,” “Sorry about that, Chief,” “The old (such-and-such) trick,” “And loving it,” “I asked you not to tell me that …”
No one read the following article after the Parkland School Shooting:
DATELINE: In wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, it was revealed that the Nikolas Cruz was allowed, and even encouraged (with one exception that we know about) to act out the philosophy of moral relativism. As part of his class assignments in government and economic classes, the shooter made a video, which showed himself as a hit man, a protection ring of sorts, who could be hired out to wreak justice on jocks who picked on other students. The video was violent and ended with him bludgeoning the head of a dummy amid much fake blood. When another of the students was asked if this was not odd, she “noted that many of the videos were violent and that her own contained sexual scenes. “Everybody’s video involved fighting,’’ she said.1
Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, August 26, 2016, (http://www.okwu.edu)
The school year has started and the “snowflake” rebellion of 2015 is anything but dead. Micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and demands for “safe spaces” continue to dominate the campus news from coast to coast. As the university president who wrote the viral “This is Not a Day Care” op-ed, I have been called by the media in recent days with essentially this question: “Dr. Piper, okay – your ‘Not a Day Care’ piece identified the problem, but what’s the solution?”
Here’s my answer:
In 1948, Richard Weaver told us “ideas have consequences.” A few short years earlier, Hitler said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.” Huxley and Orwell warned of dystopias where education would be used as a means to total power and total control. Yes, ideas clearly do have consequences. Good ideas lead to good culture and good government, and bad ideas lead to bad culture and bad government. As your grandmother said: Garbage in, garbage out. She was right – ideas matter.
In Missouri on the first Tuesday in April (April 4, 2017), elections are held for local school boards and municipal government. Because this involves thousands of candidates, it is beyond FRONT LINE’s scope to survey all of them and then report their policy preferences. Therefore, it falls upon you, the citizen, to find out who they are, and then contact them about why they are running and what they believe are the important issues to address. To help your conversations with them, here are just a few suggestions. Obviously, there will be more local issues to discuss. Check your local community newspaper to get up to speed.
Castles and Culture
For six years, Americans were glued to their televisions watching Downton Abbey, the award winning series created by Julian Fellows. The story spans 12 years, (1912-1925) of “gripping drama centered on a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. … Americans fell in love with Downton Abbey’s Granthams and their family of servants and have followed them through sweeping change, scandals, love, ambition, heartbreak, and hope ever since. … Downton Abbey delivers wit, wisdom, passion, and a phenomenon that is, at its heart, utterly human.”1 A global audience of over 120 million people has viewed it, and it is one of the top-ever programs aired on PBS .2
“Stories sympathetic to virtue, preservation of property, and admiration of nobility and of wealth can be told beautifully and to wide audiences,” said Jerry Bowyer in the February 14, 2013, issue of Forbes Magazine. Likewise, in Vanity Fair David Kamp wrote, “In its clear delineation between the goodies and baddies, in its regulated dosages of highs and lows, the show is welcome counter-programing to the slow burning despair and moral ambiguity of most quality drama on television right now.” 3