Online Opinion Outpost: Aug. 4

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The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Rape

Most states and agencies also lack written policies on how to handle rape crime evidence or requirements that decisions be documented. Individual detectives make testing decisions, leading to inconsistencies. Police are loath to give up that authority, even when it is being misused.  One of the most cited reasons not to test a kit, for example, is “uncooperative victim.” But failing to test can trigger lack of cooperation. Traumatized victims might be persuaded to cooperate if their kits were tested and a suspect identified.

USA Today 

But what law enforcement, prosecutors and lawmakers are failing to address properly are the very people responsible for this heartache — the buyers. What about those who buy our children for sex? In any other context, what a “John” does when he purchases a girl would be construed as statutory rape or sexual assault of a minor. There should be no difference between raping a child and paying to rape a child.

Malika Saada Saar, CNN

Economy

Over the next few years, the fast-food industry in New York will move to complete its transition to a $15 minimum wage. University of Massachusetts researchers and the Fiscal Policy Institute’s modeling shows that this reorientation is feasible without any reduction in employment levels, and with only very moderate adjustments — a less than 12% increase in the prices of fast-food items.

Paul Son, CNN

When politicians and bureaucrats try to direct the economy from their desks, they give well-connected companies endless opportunities to tilt the playing field in their own favor. For many businesses, the focus is no longer on innovating or serving customers — it’s on getting the most favors from government.

That doesn’t lead to the progress that improves people’s lives, as recent history proves. The regulatory and crony bonanza of the last two presidents has led to one of the slowest post-recession recoveries in American history. The wealthy are still thriving. The rest of the country is falling farther behind.

Chris Rufer, USA Today

Mrs. Clinton says she will raise taxes on investment capital, impose sweeping new regulations on the economy, and vastly expand the size of government.

That means fewer businesses, fewer job opportunities, fewer work benefits, lower incomes and weaker economic growth which, of course, she says is not important anyway.

Donald Lambro, Washington Times

Shootings

But it makes little sense to focus on mental health. The United States has a gun homicide rate that is at least a dozen times higher than those of most other industrialized countries. It is 50 times higher than Germany’s, for instance. We don’t have 50 times as many mentally disturbed people as Germany does — but we do have many, many more guns.

Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post

Many Republicans have been eager to speak about legislation dealing with mental illness, or the “lone wolf” nature of the shooting, but not the ways in which gun control could help prevent weapons from getting into the hands of wrongdoers like Dylann Roof. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a presidential candidate, called the shooting an “accident,” although his campaign said he misspoke and meant to say “incident.” He only condemned it as a “hate crime” after coming under intense criticism for his remarks. They continually find support from moderate Democrats who oppose any kind of substantive restrictions.

Julian Zelizer, CNN

Cecil the Lion

Responsible outfitters do much to protect wildlife globally. In order for an outfitter to continue operating, there needs to be wildlife. Funds from foreign hunters provide an economic stimulus for local residents to protect and manage wildlife. Those dollars fund habitat protection and enhancement and anti-poaching teams that protect wildlife often targeted by suppliers of the black market. When there’s an intrinsic value placed on wildlife, residents have a vested interest it.

Olivia Nalos Opre, USA Today

Those of us who are not hunters will never be able to understand the attraction of killing something as beautiful as this animal — and paying $50,000 to do so. One can hope, though, that this travesty will cause trophy hunters to do some soul-searching about their sport. And the rest of us need to ask ourselves the hard question of whether we would have cared about this lion if he didn’t have a name.

Jo-Ann Armao, The Washington Post

No, there is nothing morally flawed in being outraged about the death of a gorgeous lion. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back over that. Sign a petition, even.

But there is something deeply wrong in not caring, not doing more to stop the attacks that continue to kill thousands in Syria; or about the millions of suffering refugees created by war and terror — the highest numbers since World War II — or about the 9 million people (3 million of them children!) who die of hunger-related causes every year.

Frida Ghitis, CNN

Boy Scouts of America

Severing that relationship would have important symbolic and practical consequences for the church. The Boy Scouts have tried to broker a federalist compromise, allowing church-connected troops to use their own religious criteria in choosing scoutmasters, which would allow LDS churches to exclude openly gay scoutmasters in their troops. Rejecting that proposed settlement amounts to a statement that the church cannot tolerate association with an organization that doesn’t share all of its values. After a century, this would be an act of secession for the church — secession from the evolving American way.

Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View

It’s logical that the LDS Church would want to continue to use the camps, and the councils look to accommodate that. “The properties would continue to serve Scouting and the needs of religious and other youth groups in our communities.”

That is encouraging. Scouting will continue in Utah, including Scouting with gay leaders. Those troops should have every right to the Scout camps that generations of Scouts have enjoyed. Even if the LDS Church leaves BSA, the sharing that has worked well for generations will need to continue.

Salt Lake Tribune

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