Mississippi editorial roundup
Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:
The Daily Leader of Brookhaven on Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi making a reference to a “public hanging”:
The words should not have been spoken.
When U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said that if cattle farmer Colin Hutchinson “invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” it was tone deaf and irresponsible. But the single comment alone does not make her a racist, as some have suggested.
In a statement after the words from the Nov. 2 event became public, Hyde-Smith said she used an “exaggerated expression of regard.” She was essentially saying that she liked Hutchinson so much, she would accept an invitation from him to go anywhere, even to something as horrible as a public hanging.
We get it. But the words she chose to make that point are not acceptable, particularly coming from a U.S. senator hailing from a state with a racist past.
Hyde-Smith’s statement went on to say that “any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.” Those are also not the right words. Her lack of apology is not wise.
The decision to not apologize was a coordinated move from her campaign and not necessarily her own. Making light of the matter is a mistake. As is suggesting those who were upset or offended are “ridiculous.”
Current political motivations aside, Hyde-Smith must recognize she represents all Mississippians. That includes those who didn’t think twice about the comment and did not view it as racist and those who were deeply disturbed by her words.
She should apologize and admit the words should not have been spoken. To do anything less only gives her political opponent ammunition heading into the Nov. 27 runoff. It also reinforces an unfortunate, yet sometimes accurate, depiction of her state. Admitting a mistake may not be politically wise, but it’s the right thing to do and voters will respond to her if she does so.
Gov. Phil Bryant did his best at a press conference Monday to calm the waters, but Hyde-Smith would only say that she stands by the statement she released Sunday, refusing to comment further. “I can tell you there was no ill-will in her heart,” Bryant said.
We believe that, but Mississippians need to hear those words spoken from Hyde-Smith.
The Greenwood Commonwealth on the meaning of expiration dates:
A recent story from the medicine information website Drugs.com addressed a pertinent question: Can you safely use medicine that has reached its expiration date?
There are many ways to answer the question, and the best way to start is by knowing what the expiration date means. The story says it’s the final date that a drug manufacturer guarantees the “full potency and safety” of a medication.
However, for most medications, the expiration date is an arbitrary selection, often two or three years past the date of manufacture. The actual stability of a drug may be much longer than the expiration date, but that is rarely tested.
As for the safety of old medication, the story said solid products, such as tablets and capsules, appear to be the most stable after their expiration date. Liquids and medicine that requires refrigeration are less likely to be as strong as intended.
Specific medicines more likely to be unsafe after their expiration date include insulin, nitroglycerin pills and vaccines. An antibiotic past its date also is a concern, as the body may develop a resistance to the drug if its age makes it less potent than intended.
As for whether to use expired medicine, common sense is the best guide. The story says it’s always best to use medication that has not expired, especially those that treat chronic or life-threatening diseases.
In most cases, there is no evidence that expired medicine is unsafe. But using that medicine may not provide the expected relief.
Here’s one more interesting item in the story: Pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and individuals throw away billions of dollars worth of medication each year based on expiration dates. One report estimates hospitals alone discard $800 million worth of medicines annually whose expiration date has passed.
America’s reliance on pharmaceuticals is well- documented. But this reliance is so powerful that we’re manufacturing billions more worth of drugs than we need. What a waste.
The Oxford Eagle on avoiding apathy between elections:
In a Nov. 5 report from Politico, an estimated 36 million people cast their ballots ahead of Election Day.
That number is certainly stunning when considering that fewer than 82 million total voted in 2014 during the last midterm election.
The high turnout speaks to the climate of politics in the United States, and the way in which both sides of the political aisle have responded to various issues since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.
Whether voters classify themselves as Republican, Democrat or Independent, everyone has an opinion on what President Trump’s policies are or aren’t doing for the United States and, likewise, most are actively engaged and invested in what the future holds.
Regardless of the midterm results being to each individual’s personal taste, a hearty round of applause has to be given to Americans simply taking charge and letting their voices be heard in massive numbers.
It’s easy - terrifyingly so - to be apathetic about local, state and federal elections. In a country of 326 million people, the voice and the vote of one person might seem irrelevant, but when several million shrug their shoulders and don’t head to the polls, the impact of indifference can have vast repercussions.
The foundation of America was built on everyone using their voice in bring change, and far too often in this country we take democracy - and the right to vote that comes with it - for granted.
It is imperative that we, as a country, always remember the importance and the sacrifices made for all of us to have these rights.
But it goes so far beyond the voting booth, it will be two more years before the United States has another major election. We would encourage everyone to stay involved and interested in what is happening on the federal level, and to keep an ear to the ground in the months between elections.
Remember what candidates do and don’t do, hold them accountable for their action or inaction and always remember that we all have the power to change the country.