Editorial Roundup: Missouri

Kansas City Star. November 10, 2021.

Editorial: Questioning Josh Hawley’s sexuality is not OK, even if it is Josh Hawley

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, as we’ve maybe said a time or two, is an elitist who never stops complaining about the elites and an insurrectionist who even now pretends ignorance about what he was part of on Jan. 6. No, he told Axios, he doesn’t regret that fist-pump to rioters who would have killed Vice President Mike Pence had they found him. “I don’t know who came into the Capitol or not,” he said, all innocence. “If they did come into the Capitol and they violated the laws, they’re criminals, and they should be prosecuted — and they’ll get no support from me.” If?

None of the above, however, makes it OK to answer his ridiculous recent steak tartare speech about the left’s supposed War on Men by questioning his sexuality.

The Missouri senator’s lecture to the National Conservatism Conference was his usual all-you-can-eat buffet of victimhood. Men are so fragile, he argued, that a harsh word can turn them into layabouts and porn addicts.

“The left want to define traditional masculinity as toxic,” he said. “They want to define the traditional masculine virtues — things like courage and independence and assertiveness — as a danger to society. Can we be surprised, that after years of being told … that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games?”

Nobody sees courage as dangerous, or Hawley as courageous. But too many mocked him with innuendo that he’s gay. And that this is coming from people who would not tolerate that kind of talk from a conservative makes it even worse.

“Josh Hawley kisses his wife like his parents are making him eat broccoli for the first time,” tweeted writer and producer Chase Mitchell.

“I hope no one photoshops Josh Hawley in drag makeup,” tweeted former GOP consultant Rick Wilson. “That would be totally wrong for the champion of American masculinity. Totally. Wrong.” “Lol,” tweeted former Rep. Katie Hill, Democrat of California, “like anyone thinks Josh Hawley is masculine.”

Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush–Cheney 2004 presidential campaign now running for lieutenant governor of Texas as a Democrat, tweeted, “To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, being masculine is a lot like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, you probably aren’t.”

And on and on and on.

Questioning Hawley’s masculinity is an ugly, odd and ineffective way to respond to someone who’s arguing for a return to old-fashioned, world-dominating, women-subjecting, good-old-days manhood.

These throwback attacks feed into the homophobia that progressives are fighting every day.

To do this is to inadvertently join our junior senator in seeming to pine for 1950s-style notions of what a man should be. Do we really want the retro-sexual comeback?

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Jefferson City News Tribune. November 12, 2021.

Editorial: Keep deer hunting a safe sport

The main portion of the deer season starts today, and the Missouri Department of Conservation expects a higher than average harvest from this year’s firearms deer season.

The main portion of the deer season starts today, and the Missouri Department of Conservation expects a higher than average harvest from this year’s firearms deer season.

With that in mind, we’d like to remind hunters to practice safety.

Opening weekend, today and Sunday, is the most popular time for deer hunting in the state as hunters usually harvest between a quarter to a third of the annual total in those two days.

Last year, 80,744 deer — of the total 297,214 hunted — were harvested during the opening weekend.

Deer hunting is a safe sport, with fewer injuries per participant than many sports, according to the National Safety Council. Let’s keep it that way.

Hunters, keep in mind these safety tips from MU Health Care:

• Wear hunter orange when in the woods.

• Know the effective range of your gun.

• Always identify your target before putting your finger on the trigger.

• Stay aware of other hunters. Assume sound or movement is another hunter until you can clearly see what it is.

• Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.

• Make sure your equipment is in good working condition and your firearm is properly sighted in.

• If you hunt on private land, know where the boundaries, houses, roads, fences and livestock are located on the property.

• Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or local sheriff.

• Know and obey all wildlife laws and gun safety.

• When using a camouflage blind, other hunters cannot see you even if you are wearing hunter orange. Tie hunter orange on each side of the blind so it can be seen from all sides.

• If you are an inexperienced hunter, try to learn from experienced hunters.

• If you are involved in a firearms-related hunting incident, follow the law: Identify yourself and render assistance.

Deer hunting is a time-honored tradition here in Missouri. Keep these tips in mind when you head into the woods, and let’s all look forward to a productive and safe hunting season.

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St. Joseph News-Press. November 12, 2021.

Editorial: The rise of the robots?

Senate Bill 176 didn’t gain a lot of attention when it passed in the Missouri General Assembly and was signed into law this summer.

The legislation deals with dull-but-important matters that elected officials handle with little fanfare, like the regulation of food delivery platforms and administrative fees that vehicle dealers can charge.

One item buried in this bill might raise a few eyebrows because it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. This legislation legalizes robotic delivery vehicles called Personal Delivery Devices, known as PDDs.

These are small, unmanned vehicles that could deliver anything from pizza to packages to your front door. Maybe it sounds crazy, but ask your parents if they ever thought they’d be carrying a powerful computer inside their pockets.

Three things have to happen for robotic deliveries to become reality. One is for the technology to work, but another necessity is for lawmakers to create a basic regulatory framework. This is achieved with SB 176, legislation that covers how fast PDDs can go, whether they can operate on sidewalks or streets and how much liability insurance operators need to carry.

The third requirement is for the market to be ready to embrace increased automation. With employers facing a tight labor market and record numbers of Americans quitting their jobs, it seems we’re already there and are just waiting for the technology to catch up.

Bloomberg News reports that the number of robots installed in the world’s factories has more than doubled in the last 10 years. It would stand to reason that the trend will only accelerate following the pandemic’s impact on labor availability.

At the retail level, it was assumed that increases in the minimum wage would drive up the cost of hamburgers and retail goods, but business owners would be interested in maintaining profitability without turning off customers with higher prices. One solution is to deploy self-checkout stations in grocery stores and self-ordering kiosks at burger stands.

This has been tried and will become a more common feature as labor becomes harder to find. We’ve all seen the automated floor-cleaning machines at big-box stores.

Rather than resist, it’s best to create rules for the new technology — something that lawmakers addressed in a small way with the PDD legislation — and to put a focus on developing an educated workforce because it’s the low-skill worker who will be left in the cold with automation.

The future will look different, maybe not with flying cars but possibly with the last mile of delivery coming from a robot instead of a person.

Who knows, maybe the day will come when Karen demands to talk to the robot in charge?

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