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EDITORIAL ROUNDUP: Collected thoughts from around the nation
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EDITORIAL ROUNDUP: Collected thoughts from around the nation

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Unruly passengers objecting to mask rules and other restrictions aren’t the only ones disrupting flights. Misbehaving airlines are also causing travel chaos. And they, too, ought to face consequences.

Tens of thousands of passengers had their plans upended when American Airlines suddenly canceled more than 2,000 flights recently. The real problem is a staffing shortage, and that’s the airline’s fault. Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines also canceled thousands of flights in recent months.

A canceled flight is often more than an inconvenience. Some stranded passengers miss one-time only events such as graduations, weddings, funerals, birthdays and homecomings.

Today’s commercial flying conditions are not what Congress and former President Jimmy Carter had in mind with the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. The idea was worthwhile and successful, but advocates also thought it would spur competition among airlines that, in turn, would prices and improve service. Instead there was a wave of mergers.

Now these near monopolies seem impervious to consumer complaints and the nation’s need for affordable and predictable air service. It’s time for Congress to look again at how to make the airline industry more responsive to the public its airlines are certified to serve.

— The Charlotte Observer

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We’d like to thank Republican state Rep. Matt Krause of Fort Worth for launching an inquiry into the books lining the shelves of public schools across Texas. No, really. Thank you.

Sometimes we forget what it’s like to be a kid, driven by a bubbling curiosity and that indomitable impulse to do the opposite of what adults say. What more ingenious way to persuade students to read than to type up a 16-page list of books and tell schools that those titles are being investigated?

Most of the 850 titles relate to race or sexuality. We wonder how Krause so diligently arrived at his list of 850 suspicious books. We do know he is running to unseat Attorney General Ken Paxton in 2022.

If Krause wants to distract overworked educators from the crucial job of making up COVID-19 learning losses so they can review hundreds of books, then he must sincerely believe this fishing expedition is the best use of their time. If he wants to shield children from difficult topics and ideas that might challenge them, he’s gone about it in a way that will only stoke their interest in what he deems forbidden.

Krause might think he is doing the right thing for our kids. Otherwise, he’s sabotaging children’s education to score political points.

— The Dallas Morning News

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Even as the Biden administration tries to close the book on U.S. misadventures in Afghanistan, it still has yet to open the books on embarrassing information that could expose how badly the 20-year stabilization effort was mismanaged.

Classified information was made available to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction as he prepared his most recent report on waste, fraud and abuse in the war and rebuilding effort. But the American public and some members of Congress still aren’t allowed to see it. President Joe Biden must honor pledges for full transparency and declassify this information immediately.

Although Biden presided over a disastrous, rushed withdrawal in August, the vast bulk of the war occurred under his three predecessors. Each committed blunders that deserve a full public airing to avoid repeating their mistakes in the future.

The Taliban takeover wiped out virtually everything the United States spent two decades trying to build. For the federal government, Congress and taxpayers to learn from this experience, they need to have access to information arbitrarily kept from public view by an overly protective State Department.

— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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The Republican Party has not been shy about using the levers of Florida’s government to target and muzzle the things they don’t like. Not even our university system has escaped Republicans’ quest, under Gov. Ron DeSantis, to use taxpayer-funded institutions as political tools. Efforts to undermine academic freedom, often the canary in the coal mine when democracies crumble, should scare Floridians of all party affiliations.

The University of Florida has barred three professors from continuing to serve as expert witnesses in a lawsuit against the state over a new law that restricts voting access. We don’t believe it’s a coincidence that two of those professors wrote an op-ed last month accusing Republican lawmakers of shielding data about the state’s redistricting process from the public.

The professors were allowed to testify in previous lawsuits, Politico reported. What’s changed? This is another blow to the credibility of Florida’s flagship university. Its fast-tracking of state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo to a professorship position raised questions of how much the university values pleasing a petulant governor over academics.

You know what else Republican voters and politicians hate? Government using its power to retaliate and control speech. But today, many are willing to rationalize such un-American acts as long as they get their way.

— The Miami Herald

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The only constant is change, goes the old saying, credited to the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, though his version has been translated rather more poetically as, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

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