What comes before freedom of speech?

By David Callaway
    The next time you are with a group of friends or colleagues, ask them this piece of trivia: “What freedoms are all Americans guaranteed by the First Amendment?”
    Do you know?

The right to peacefully protest needs better supporters

By Lata Nott
Freedom Forum Institute
    On Friday, Aug. 28, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana introduced a bill called the “Support Peaceful Protest Act.” Despite the cheery title, its very purpose appears to be to make individuals think twice before attending any sort of protest. If the bill were to pass, it would make it so that an individual “convicted of a federal offense related to their conduct at and during the course of a protest” policed by federal law enforcement officers would be required to pay the cost of that policing, and would be deemed ineligible for COVID-19 unemployment benefits. This would be on top of the penalty imposed on the protester for committing that federal offense in the first place.

Thank a first responder

    We hope you will take time this week to check out our annual salute to area first responders, which can be found inside this week’s newspapers. And if you get a chance this week, thank one of your local first responders for all the work they do to keep our community safe.

Area is headed in wrong direction on coronavirus

    If you follow the weekly updates provided by the Crawford and Phelps counties health departments that regularly appear in our three newspapers, or keep track of cases on the Missouri COVID Dashboard, then one thing is for certain—we are headed in the wrong direction in our local efforts to combat the virus.