[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 44°F  
River stage: 23.9 ft. Falling
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Columns

The political landscape
If I didn't know better, I'd think the president was intentionally trying to torpedo Democrats' hope of holding Senate control in next month's midterm elections. For an administration prone to missteps, the past few weeks have raised the bar on the apparent rudderless ship of state...
Cape fire tax: For your safety
We, the citizens of Cape Girardeau, will be making a decision at the polls on Nov. 4 on the issue of continuing a 1/8-cent sales tax for public safety. I would prefer to say that the continuation of this 1/8-cent would be used for your safety and my safety...
The limits of blame in the Middle East
Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East, are in the midst of conflicts over belief and borders. The march of the Islamic State continues, threatening Baghdad and beyond. In this context, identity and loyalty become existential questions, as young men decide whether to enlist under the black flags of the Islamic State, or serve in the armies and militias of their nations...
Table traditions and potpourri of pumpkin sweets
Family traditions are just the absolute best. I know there were many Sunday afternoons when our mother was so tired and wanted to rest, but getting together as family was always a priority. I know our family is not unique, and many families have this tradition, as do my cousins, Jan and Richard Kinsey. Sunday meals together with their children are very special...
The marvel of finding magic when you're not even looking
There's something special about finding art and beauty when you least expect it. You might call that serendipity. I call it the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum at Altenburg, just up the road a bit from Cape Girardeau. Some of you most faithful readers remember that I have mentioned the Altenburg museum a few times in the past. That's because this jewel of a museum always has a surprise or two...
Left uses Ferguson for agenda
The ongoing protests and civil disobedience in Ferguson, Missouri, 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...
'Tis the season: Popcorn balls and traditional apple dishes
I remember when we were small children, my grandma made popcorn balls every year for Halloween. She made more than 100 each year and as children would trick-or-treat, she kept tally marks of how many she had. That was in "the good ole days" when we could give out homemade items to the children, and we could take homemade baked goods to school parties. But, unfortunately those days are long gone...
This is why we stay home most of the time
There's not much I can say for air travel these days that's good. Yes, airplanes get you there fast. And that's about it. My wife and I recently returned from a week in Seattle that included a drive to Portland for a wedding and a drive back to Seattle. Thank goodness Alaska Air has a nonstop flight from St. Louis to Seattle and home again...
Illegal immigration and health care law collide
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...
Several festivities being held this month in Jackson
Wow! October is going to be really busy in Jackson. The second annual Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday. The all-day event will feature many vendors with authentic German food, craft and Bavarian beer dispensed from two bier stations, costumed pet parade, children's fun activities, a variety of craft vendors, and three live music bands. It will be a fun day -- and evening!...
Crockpot or casserole? Dishes for our busy lives
Our son and daughter lead very busy lives, as do other teenagers. I find myself having to think about who will be home and when they will need to eat, and realize all of my purchased meat options are frozen. I try to plan ahead, but sometimes it just slips up on me...
An aster for autumn
Wild asters are common in Southeast Missouri. There are hundreds of kinds of asters and related daisy flowers. Most are found in Europe, but some are native to North America. The flower i have photographed here is called a Short's Aster. This native wildflower can be found in or around woodland areas. It can survive in the shade, growing mere inches from the trunk of a large tree...
I'm sorry. What did you say? Can you come a bit closer?
Any lawsuit against the city ought to be taken seriously. And the one filed by the fellow who was arrested for violating one of Cape Girardeau's noise rules is getting sober attention -- and costly, too, seeing as how lawyers are involved. When I first read the story in the Southeast Missourian, though, I laughed out loud. I thought a lot of readers would find a portion of humor. I thought the comments section of the online version of the story would be jammed with hoots and hollers...
The Islamic State, terror and the Muslim world
The Obama administration is leading a multi-front offensive against the Islamic State (IS), a terrorist movement in the Middle East that has seized large areas of both Iraq and Syria, in the name of re-establishing a single caliphate -- a government combining religious and political authority -- over all Muslims...
The time for action in America is now
Editor's note: The following column originally appeared in the Sept. 21 edition of the Sikeston Standard Democrat. 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...
Some go-to classics from a newly married couple
I am so excited to share recipes today from the newlyweds in our family. My niece, Laura Bollinger, is the new bride of Craig Hutson. Laura and Craig have just married in a beautiful wedding on a perfect day and will start their life together in Maryland Heights, Missouri...
Molten cakes flow in several flavors
The U.S. Geological Survey lists some 1,500 active volcanoes in the world, and I've been fortunate enough to have had close encounters with three of them: Mount Rainier by plane, Mount Stromboli by ship and Kilauea on foot. All were unforgettable experiences, but, honestly, my most memorable meet up with a volcano was years ago when I was served my first chocolate molten cake...
Not found in the ocean
The object of interest in this photo looks remarkably similar to white stag-horn coral that grows in the ocean, but it is not found in the ocean. Shown here is a common fungus known as coral fungus that I found growing in the woods on a rotting piece of log. It looked like it was about 4 or 5 inches tall, and was very conspicuous with the sun shining on it. Up close, it had an unpleasant smell...
The week that was – but really should never have been
Last week started well enough. Autumn temperatures. Rustling leaves. Schoolchildren waiting for buses. University students competing for parking spaces. Hot coffee. Whole-wheat toast. Fresh coffee. Hummingbirds on the feeder outside the kitchen window...
Failure in War on Poverty
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...