Kansas City Star. October 14, 2022.
Editorial: What message is Amanda Adkins sending Kansas by campaigning alongside Ted Cruz?
A HINT AT KANSAS REPUBLICAN’S INTENT IN DC?
It might be Maya Angelou‘s most famous quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” So is the company Amanda Adkins keeps her own Show and Tell? On Friday, the Kansas Republican looking to unseat Rep. Sharice Davids joined Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for a noontime campaign stop in Ottawa on his “Take Back Our Country” bus tour. (The show was scheduled to roll on to Kansas City in the afternoon in support of Eric Schmitt’s and Mark Alford’s respective Senate and House races.)
“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” his colleague Lindsey Graham famously once said. One of the furthest-right U.S. senators, Cruz furiously opposes women’s personal reproductive rights, wants to repeal marriage equality, has repeatedly blocked raising the ludicrous $7.25 federal minimum wage, opposes birthright citizenship (even though he was born in Canada and his father is a Cuban immigrant) and has fought to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — the program he signed up for himself after he was no longer eligible under his wife’s insurance plan. And of course, he objected to the Senate certifying the perfectly legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election — even after Donald Trump had attacked Cruz’s wife for her appearance.
The Texas senator typifies the worst excesses of today’s anger-driven, Trumpified GOP. He also once told a reporter that Texans didn’t mind that he cares more about building a movement than passing legislation that could help his constituents. The more I muck things up in Washington, he said, the more they love me back home.
And this is the national leader Adkins is hitching her wagon to? If the Kansas GOP hopeful wants to convince 3rd District voters that she won’t be a Tucker Carlson-courting bomb thrower, appearing on a stage next to Ted Cruz is a weird way to do it.
TROUBLING CLOSURES OF KANSAS CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
This week, we learned Kansas City Public Schools is considering closing 10 schools, including two high schools and eight elementary schools in the urban core. While not unexpected, the development is worth paying attention to.
Just this year, based on a recommendation from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, KCPS regained full accreditation for the first time since 2000.
Now, as part of its Blueprint 2030 plan, the district is considering shutting Central and Northeast high schools and several elementary schools, district officials announced this week.
The closures are only recommendations. But the moves are necessary, district officials said. KCPS students need more elective courses and specialized learning opportunities.
We will withhold judgment until we know more details about the district’s plans for kids that will be displaced from their neighborhood schools.
FALLING FOR GARBAGE TIKTOK ‘HACKS’
Most of us have finally gotten the message that, no, that exiled Nigerian prince isn’t going to turn us into millionaires if we’ll only help him with a little seed money to open a bank account. But when are we going to internalize the fact that the more viral an internet post is, the more we need to scrutinize everything about it?
Case in point is a TikTok post that has racked up more than 4.4 million views as of this writing. It shows a so-called “hack” for frying chicken in a pan lined with “paper” — a technique that supposedly minimizes cleanup.
Where to start? First of all, the video itself shows that the trick doesn’t even work. A decent amount of oil has worked its way under the paper and onto the handle of the pan. Unless you’re the kind of cook who puts greasy nonstick skillets back in the cabinet, you’re still going to have to clean up afterward, not to mention the mess of disposing of used oil from a piece of paper instead of from a solid cooking vessel.
There’s also the question of that “paper,” which is all the woman in the video refers to it as. It appears to be culinary parchment, which is made of cellulose treated with sulfuric acid or zinc chloride to make it heat-resistant — but certainly not fireproof. The pan in the TikTok is on a flat-top electric range, but hold a piece of parchment to an open flame on a gas stove and see how quickly it goes up in flames. And some followers are sure to use waxed or other papers that don’t have parchment’s heat protection.
The internet is full of misleading “tips,” which can be deadly — like the “fractal wood burning” technique that has killed at least 33, according to the American Association of Woodturners. YouTube channels such as Troom Troom and 5-Minute Crafts are wildly popular — and also full of nonsense. Their videos with titles like “18 Ways to Sneak Pets into the Movies” are designed to get clicks, not to share solid advice.
Pros like the chefs on Food Network have livelihoods to protect, so they aren’t going to share tip that could lead to a burned-down kitchen or worse. Some day, maybe our knee-jerk reaction to seeing something unbelievable on the internet is to realize that yes, it probably is.