The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


(Updated May 12, 2021)

Guest Editorial - Welcome to Babel

(Published May 12, 2021)  

This singular human entity is assumptive in a positive manner that the consumer of this missive is experiencing an anti-negative seven-day cycle. Or, in the common language, I hope you are having a good week.

One of the oddest things about the accedence of the Left in our popular culture is the desire to break down language and replace it with something much harder to understand. As if we didn’t already have enough trouble communicating. Terms are changed because they aren’t inclusive enough, or because someone, somewhere is offended. Often, the result is nearly incomprehensible. We used to chuckle when most everyone assumed it would stay locked in the bubble of higher education.

Admit it, when you first heard of micro-aggressions and safe spaces, you thought it was stupid but would disappear with immersion in the real world.

The “snowflakes”, refused to melt, and the phenomena attached itself to culture and took off like mildew spores in a damp room. Now the media, business community, and politicians are all eager to get aboard the four-wheeled vehicle designed to be pulled.

It seems entirely possible that a group of pranksters is meeting in secret to brainstorm the newest renaming just so they can laugh when one sticks. “Latina or Latino is widely accepted. What can we do with that?”

“I know! Start using Latinx.”

The result is a new word being pushed toward acceptance, even though only a tiny minority of the folks it is used to describe like the term. They should have at least been given a shot at the rebranding. As a person with red hair, I wasn’t thrilled about the sudden popularity of the term “Ginger.” I would have voted for something more entertaining. Crimsoner. Russetite. Flame Follicles. Merciless Red. The Maroon Menace.

Possible proof that there is a group pitching this stuff happened last week, right before Mother’s Day.

A couple of Congresswomen introduced most of us to the praise “birthing person.”

Missouri’s own, Rep. Cori Bush, said that “Every day, black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley reintroduced her MOMMIES Act to “expand Medicaid coverage for birthing persons...”

Don’t chuckle when you hear these obfuscations, or you could end up in big trouble. J.K. Rowling, beloved author of the Harry Potter books, found herself targeted after reacting to a headline that read: “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” She dared to respond ‘People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” For pointing out that a perfectly clear word already existed she was labeled transphobic and was savaged.

The goal often seems to be advancing political objectives by obscuring what we’re talking about. Perfect example, the term illegal alien. The meaning is entirely clear and not a pejorative.
It was declared that alien was dehumanizing and a good substitute would be immigrant. Then the talking point was that there is no such thing as an illegal person (even though it was descriptive of the action, not the human). Therefore, the term must be undocumented immigrant.

The push is now for dropping the undocumented part so immigrant is used for both people in the country legally and those who are not. And that is how you end up with panel discussions on immigration where no one is entirely clear about the actual topic.

You have to stay current or you’ll miss the next trend and find yourself struggling to understand. Like substituting equity for equality or misinformation for disinformation. Or “they” becoming singular. You don’t just have to understand the talk; you’re supposed to use it so the left knows you’re with them.

Even the CIA has gotten on board. Their new recruitment video got a little more attention than planned.

“I'm a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional. But my existence is not a box checking exercise,” says the woman checking a lot of boxes.

Valdimir Putin is surely quaking.

This trend is likely to continue until it outlives it’s usefulness. Some people comply because they want to send out signals. The majority of the rest are just too darn polite to push back.
So don’t be shocked when you tell someone, “Hello,” and they respond, “What does that mean?” And then you end up not sure what they’re trying to communicate back to you.
Ad nauseum. - Frank Mercer

Guest Editorial - Spending for long-term power

(Published April 7, 2021)  

President Joe Biden has announced an infrastructure plan, the American Jobs Bill, which he says is a “once-in-a-generation investment.” It’s got a once-in-a-generation price tag as well, about $2 trillion to start. Progressives say it’s not enough.

Comparisons are being made to FDR and the New Deal. That really only holds true when you’re talking about building power for Democrats.

During 1930s, not starving to death could be a pretty high goal. Then, not having a job could mean having literally nothing. Now we have an extensive system of safety nets. During the Great Depression government agencies planted trees to defeat the Dust Bowl, brought electricity to rural areas, and constructed highways, schools and hospitals. The Hoover Dam and New York’s Lincoln Tunnel enduring examples of the work.

Those jobs, when people were without hope, coupled with the Social Security Act, were a prime factor in Democrats holding power for decades. It’s a lesson they haven’t forgotten. This new “infrastructure” spending bill with its enormous price tag is more about power and payback than construction.

Stashed in the bill are rewards for Democratic Party backers and programs to create long-term supporters.

You don’t have to be a detective to figure out the goal. Mr. Biden openly talks about it. He says the work will create good-paying union jobs. Expect all the contracts let to require union labor, a payback for decades of support. Take that Right to Work states.

There is $400 billion to expand long term care services under Medicaid and raise wages for home health workers. That’s not infrastructure but does benefit two huge potential blocks of voters.

Another $213 billion goes to building or retrofitting over a million “affordable and energy efficient housing units,” and half a million homes for “low and middle income home buyers.” Tacked on is a ban on “exclusionary zoning laws.”

They don’t mean racist exemptions which have been outlawed for decades. This is about restrictions which require minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking provisions, and ban multifamily developments in single-family neighborhoods. Suburbanites are gonna love that one.

There’s lots more money for schools on top of the billions spent in the “Covid Relief” bill just weeks ago. The additional $100 billion is for things like better ventilation systems and “greener” meals. There are some hidden gems that nobody is yet crowing about.

Like $25 billion for government-funded childcare and $20 billion for racial equity and environmental justice. Another $10 billion is for a Civilian Climate Corp plus billions more to eliminate racial and gender inequities in STEM. All this is purely infrastructure spending they say. Move along, nothing political to see here.

That leaves the parts of the bill that may actually have bi-partisan support. $621 billion for transportation and $111 billon for water projects.

The bill calls for removing all the lead water pipes left in the country, something that should have been done a long time ago.

Only $115 billion is for highways and bridges. That’s an underwhelming five percent of the total for the things we normally think of as infrastructure.

There is $85 billion for public transit and another $80 billion for Amtrak, the perpetual money-losing rail line.

The single biggest chunk of transportation money is $174 billion to bolster the use of electric vehicles. Much of that is for bribes in the form of tax incentives and rebates to convince people to purchase them.

Electric vehicles, public transport, rebuilding houses...anyone else smell the Green New Deal under a thin veneer of infrastructure? Maybe a better name for this bill would have been “Green New Deal Lite.”

How does Mr. Biden propose to pay for all this? The usual: higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, defined as anyone making more than $400,000.

Don’t worry, he says, it won’t cost anyone else extra. Because, of course, corporations don’t pass on expense. Plus, small businesses making less than $400k get socked by a seven percent increase in corporate taxes as they struggle to recover from lockdowns.

Democrats are acting like they were voted a giant mandate to go out and buy as much support as they can get while enacting far-left policies.

This plays well with the hard-core left, and they hope it will purchase them more support in the long run.

Using the power of the federal government to transform the biggest economy in the world to try to fit the vision of leftist utopia terrifies the rest of us. - Frank Mercer

Guest Editorial - Voted for Trump=Rioter

(Published January 20, 2021)  

Last week in this space I predicted that Democrats and the Media would paint all Republicans, Conservatives, the entire right as supporters of the rioters who took over the Capitol. Boy did that ever turn out to be correct. That’s not superior prognostication skills though. A precocious two-year-old could have seen this coming.

Starting essentially with the attack and gaining volume every day is the claim that the rioters aren’t really the only ones responsible.

No, it’s any protester who was in D.C. that day. Or any lawmaker who offered decent during the Electoral College vote. It’s anybody, who supported the Trump agenda, including all 75 million Americans who voted for him in November of 2016.

This ignores the fact that the majority of people who lean Right were just as shocked and angry about the riots as the most fervent critic from the left side. The condemnation from conservatives was swift and loud and sincere.

The shock expressed by both sides could have been the trigger for a move to cool down tempers left and right.
Instead we got impeachment.

And calls to remove Republican Senators and Congressman.

We got demands that Conservative media be banned as disinformation.

And outcry to ban right wing accounts from social media.

All told, we’ve seen a political effort to consolidate power and destroy dissent. In the words of Rahm Emmanuel, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

The outrage about the riot from Democrats was real, but much of what’s come since is calculated for political effect.

This disingenuousness is a big part of why so many Americans don’t trust politicians. They see them condemn the riot by fanatical right wingers as the worst thing ever. But all summer they explained away or even praised arson, looting and attacks on law enforcement. The double standard is inescapable and troubling.

Now, peaceful people marching in support of the president they think got a raw deal, due to election monkey business, are a threat to democracy. Back in 2016, people doing the same thing because of “Russian interference” were praised as a righteous members of a justified resistance.

Democrats tisk-tisking over anybody refusing to accept the outcome of an election would be funny if they weren’t so serious.
And they are very serious about seizing an opportunity.

The social media giants know it. It’s not a coincidence that the big tech boys finally caved to demands to remove Donald Trump from social media. The Democrats taking control of the entire Federal government forced them to act or face government crackdown.

It won’t stop with Trump accounts. Twitter top dog Jack Dorsey got caught on tape promising they were going to do much more than just ban Mr. Trump. The purge has begun. Some have said that conservatives are overly alarmist about cancel culture’s goals. Anybody still think that?

Media darling Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is openly discussing a push to “rein in” those responsible for disinformation or misinformation. No, no, that doesn’t sound like overt censorship.
Who gets to decide? Of course it will be “fact checkers” from the left. You know, the same ones who see no problem with claims that Mr. Trump told people to drink bleach, or wouldn’t condemn white supremacy, or is responsible for every single U.S. Covid-19 death.

Which brings us to impeachment. What was once the most consequential and grave action against a president that could be taken by the House of Representatives has been reduced to an opportunity for sound bites.

This one was sped along as a way to tie Congressmen who voted “no” to the Capital rioters. That and of course a continuation of the four-year sing-along, “Trump is the most corrupt and evil man who ever lived and all his supporters are Alt Right racists.”

An impeachment taken up in only one week, throwing out all conventions of the process, while the president has only one week left in his term is obviously just political theater.

The people who think Mr. Trump can still be impeached after he leaves office are just as deluded as the ones who thought storming the capitol would overturn the election process. But, hey, that ’s just the opinion of someone who may not be allowed to have one if things continue unchecked. - Frank Mercer

Editorial - Wy the hatred?

(Published December 23, 2020)  

Why do Democrats hate Republicans? We think a trip into history may answer the question.

The Republican Party was first formed in the 1850’s by forces opposed to the expansion of slavery, people who used to be in the Whig Party (the main opposition to the Democrat Party) and Free-Soilers (a group of people who were openly against slavery in any part of the country).

Those three all merged into the Republican Party.

One of the first things that motivated the newly formed Republicans was opposition to The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854. That act would create the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

The land was part of the Louisiana Purchase but the land in that purchase had not been organized because southern Democrats opposed the expansion due to the Missouri Compromise.

The Missouri Compromise was federal legislation admitting Missouri to the United States as a slave state but part of the deal was slavery would be outlawed north of the 36°30′ parallel (exempting Missouri).

So for the country to expand westward, lawmakers would have to accept the banning of slavery in the new territories and that didn’t sit well with Democrats.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was drafted by Democrat Senator Stephen A Douglas, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Franklin Pierce.

Missouri Democrat Senator David Rice Atchison and other southern leaders refused to allow the creation of territories that banned slavery so to win them over, Pierce and Douglas backed the repeal of the Missouri Compromise.

So the Missouri Compromise was effectively repealed in 1854 with the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in an 1857 case.

So now that slavery was allowed in the new territories, Democrats were onboard with the expansion and the newly-formed Republican Party, who pushed for the elimination of slavery, was now opposed to the Kansas Nebraska Act but not having any power to vote it down, the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed.

At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U.S. territories but their presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, lost the 1856 presidential election to James Buchanan but he did win 11 of the 16 northern states.

The anti-slavery platform (and other ideas) quickly grew the power of the Republican Party.

Four years later (1860) enough Republicans were elected to give them control of both houses of Congress and the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, was elected.

Two years later, Republican President Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation, a presidential proclamation and executive order, which said:

“That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”

On January 31, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution became law and that amendment banned slavery.

On that day with 183 House members present, 122 would have to vote yes to secure passage of the resolution. Eight Democrats abstained from voting which reduced the number to 117.

Every Republican (84), Independent Republican (2), and Unconditional Unionist (16) supported the measure, as well as fourteen Democrats, almost all of them lame ducks, and three Unionists.

The amendment finally passed by a vote of 119 to 56, which reached the two-thirds majority. Of the 56 against banning slavery, 50 were Democrats and 6 were Unionists.

Four months after the amendment was passed, Republican President Abraham Lincoln would be murdered.

So that brings us back to the original question. After all these years and knowing the early history and reasons the Republican Party was formed, why do Democrats hate Republicans?

Apparently, after 155 years, they’re still upset that Republicans took away their slaves.

History lesson is over, have a nice day. – Dale Johnson  

All content is Copyright 2021 by Reporter Publishing, L.L.C. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited without written permission.