Online Opinion Outpost: September 1


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.

Katrina 10th Anniversary

We are entering peak hurricane season right now. It has been a slow year so far, and the predictions remain that we’re in for a quieter year than usual. My worry is that the millions of new residents along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts who have never experienced a hurricane might not be preparing for one. As a forecaster, the only thing I can do is remind people to be alert, stay focused and know what you’re going to do if there’s a storm on the way.

Janice Dean, Fox News

But when you still can’t get from one end of your neighborhood to the other — as in Lakeview, for example, where I live — because streets continue to collapse from the saltwater that flooded the area for weeks, eroding the earth beneath them and the infrastructure buried there, it didn’t just happen 10 years ago. It happened this morning. And like so much else here in what’s left of New Orleans, it keeps happening, day after day.

John Biguenet, The New York Times

We like to think of New Orleans as a hearth, a seat of celebration, music, food, excess — the country’s id, its soul. But now I think this city and its plight should serve as our collective conscience.

The flood and the ongoing struggle of New Orleans to reclaim itself continues to reveal our country’s unfinished business — around race and class and hierarchies — as well our moral obligation to try to make it right.

Lynell George, LA Times

Ramos and Trump

It is difficult to understate the importance of Ramos in the Hispanic community. He has been profiled by The New York Times and called “the Walter Cronkite of Latino America” by NPR. He is the face of Univision, the fifth largest TV network in the country. He hosts a nightly newscast that has been known to beat the ratings of the major three English-language news shows. He also helms a Sunday morning political show (Al Punto) and a show on the cable network Fusion. During the 2012 election, he hosted separate sit-down interviews with both President Obama and Mitt Romney. None of this, apparently, matters to Trump. Seeing him dismiss a man trusted and admired by millions of Hispanic Americans was a distasteful display of the GOP front-runner’s callous, boorish nature. If anyone needed reminding that Trump is far from presidential, that moment has arrived. Again.

Raul Reyes, USA Today

People say they disapprove of rudeness if asked, but will still yell at another driver out of their car window. In a 2005 Associated Press-Ipsos poll, 70 percent of Americans thought people were ruder than they were 20-30 years ago and over 90 percent blamed parents for not teaching their children manners.

At some point, though, the children become grown-ups themselves and the blame has to shift. The answer, of course, is we should all be taking personal responsibility for our own behavior as well as refraining from celebrating the behavior we pretend to abhor.

Karol Markowicz, New York Post

A president must be a leader for all us, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. How in the world could a President Trump be inclusive of Hispanics when he wants to get rid of a big chunk of our population and doesn’t even recognize or — more importantly — respect the face of one of our most trusted and respected journalists?

For me, Trump’s been “out” since the moment he jumped into the race. Pundits keep waiting for him to convince everyone finally just how unfit he is to lead. Trump’s latest antics expose who he really is: a bullying bigot. Ramos should not have been ejected from that event. But Trump should be thrown out of the presidential race. Hopefully the Republican Party will find a way to do just that.

Rudy Ruiz, CNN

Virginia shootings

They were outside a shopping center at 6:45 a.m. Doing their jobs. They shouldn’t have to think: Is there a lunatic with a gun looking for us? Should I keep one hand on my pistol and another on the microphone, one eye out for attackers and another on the camera? Their young lives are over now because a bad guy with a gun came along. Adding another gun to that scenario wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Take the phrase “with a gun” out of the NRA’s favorite sentence: The only thing that stops a bad guy is a good guy. That’s a more reasonable, less lethal and less selfish statement. Remove one gun — the one in the bad guy’s hand, the one his first-person video shows recoiling as it shatters lives — and this story from Virginia would have been different. Keep the gun there and it’s the same tragic story we hear over and over and over again.

Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune

I plan to devote all of my strength and resources to seeing that some good comes from this evil. I am entering this arena with open eyes. I realize the magnitude of the force that opposes sensible and reasonable safeguards on the purchase of devices that have a single purpose: to kill.

That means we must focus our attention on the legislators who are responsible for America’s criminally weak gun laws; laws that facilitate the access dangerous individuals have to firearms on a daily basis.

Andy Parker, father of Alison Parker, The Washington Post

With Vester Flanagan dead, we’ll never know the full story of why he allegedly opened fire on TV reporter Alison Parker and video journalist Adam Ward. But beyond being both angry and mentally off kilter, Flanagan has a deeper connection to both Dylann Roof, who allegedly killed nine in a Charleston church this summer, and Ayoub El-Khazzani, who was apprehended by three Americans before he could slaughter civilians on a French train last weekend.

David Mastio, USA Today

By definition, a statement of opinion is not legally considered to be defamation, but a statement of fact if untrue can be. In order to help employers feel free to give candid assessments of former employees, state legislatures can — and should — enact laws granting immunity from defamation lawsuits so long as the employer has a good-faith basis for whatever it has to say about someone. As we saw in real time on live television, lives are at stake.

Philip Holloway, CNN

American heroes in France

Every country has its heroes, but something in America’s cultural sauce makes for a unique and unusually effective variety. The ingredient would be improvisation — the ability to perform without preparation, using whatever is at hand to complete the task.

As most of the world knows, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler — three pals on a European jaunt — were on a fancy train hurtling toward Paris, when a terrorist bristling with weaponry started attacking passengers. The Americans were unarmed, but when Skarlatos said “Let’s go” to Stone, the off-duty U.S. airman ran down the aisle, grabbed the man by the neck and wouldn’t let go, even as the attacker slashed him. Skarlatos grabbed his gun. Sadler and a British passenger, Chris Norman, held down various limbs.

Fromma Harrop, Denver Post

We must intensify cooperation between national-security services. Countries like Spain and Morocco can share more of what they glean from human intelligence in Europe and the Arab world; we can contribute by giving them more of our signal intel. The wolf is no longer lonely, if he ever was. It’s the next stage in the war on terror, still very much global in scope, fueled by an extreme ideology and distant warlords.

Regrettably, we can’t post can-do, on-leave American military personnel on every French train. Even if we could, it wouldn’t suffice: This is war, and we’d better stop looking for excuses not to fight it.

Benny Avni, New York Post


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