Fifty years ago this Friday I was a freshman journalism major at Arkansas State College, working as a part-time sports writer for the Jonesboro Evening Sun . Since it was an afternoon newspaper then, my duties included reporting to work at 6:30 a.m. — quite a challenge for an 18-year-old — and working two or three hours until time for class.
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When the government shutdown began on Oct. 1, it forced the closing of Head Start facilities in several states, stopping educational services for thousands of low-income kids. So heart-rending was this spectacle that a pair of Texas philanthropists gave $10 million to keep the programs going.
As the holiday season creeps closer, I fall prey to the same rush and urges that many people experience in their drive to find just the right Christmas present. It’s all-too easy. I suppose I come by it honestly. I grew up in a household with very generous parents. They weren’t just generous to me, but also to nearly everybody they knew.
It’s a crisp November afternoon, and construction workers are finishing the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial behind the Capitol. Johnny Reep is there, too, talking to crane operators, describing the memorial, and remembering what it took to get to this point.
Just you and Robert Redford. On a boat. With no one around for miles.
The comic figure of the braggart soldier first appears in Plautus’s play “Miles Gloriosus” in roughly 200 B.C., although the Roman dramatist acknowledged a now-lost Greek model. So it’s surprising that somebody who’s spent as much time in war zones as “60 Minutes’” Lara Logan failed to recognize the type: a swaggering, self-anointed hero describing military feats nobody witnessed but him.
No issue in recent years has polarized Americans as much as Obamacare. It produced a party-line vote in Congress, a near-fatal court battle, a revolt by states that refused to run exchanges or expand Medicaid, dozens of House votes to repeal it and, now, a bungled launch that could be its undoing. It’s a barroom brawl that never ends.
When police officers are accused of police brutality, they naturally close ranks, willing to protect one another even when they know something is wrong. It is called The Blue Line, and for years it has stymied efforts to change the culture of police departments.
Maybe state employees should be paid based on how much they’ll be missed when they miss a single day of work.
The call almost scared you half to death.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps programs at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and 12 other institutions have been given a reprieve, not a free pass from closure. In notifying officials at the colleges and university, U.S. Army officials were merely acknowledging that they had bungled the process and will now try to do it right.
On a recent visit to Moab, Utah, I saw a T-shirt with a picture of a Jeep stuck in a gap between two rock formations and a caption: “Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.”
“Thor” was half of a very good superhero movie.
Do black pastors of today have the collective power and influence in Pine Bluff as pastors did years past? If not, why? And if so, are they using it to uphold justice? With the recent passing of Pastor James Wilkerson (New Direction) and Pastor Gable Lee (G.L.) Ford, Sr. (Rose Hill) their deaths are cause for deep reflections. As I put pen to paper, let me be perfectly clear: This is not meant to be disrespectful to pastors but to shine a light on the work and mission of Christ. This discussion has taken place among black preachers in the past.
We have a young friend who ran the Young Republicans during her college years and now works for a GOP consulting firm. She’s a loyal party member, but she has a problem. She’s from New York — her father and grandfather were both New York City cops — and she feels increasingly alienated from a party whose center of gravity has moved steadily to the South, the West and the Right.
For travelers, the modern airport has become an obstacle course of security precautions, where everything not prohibited is mandatory. Boarding a plane is an exercise in indignity that strips passengers of jackets, shoes and belts before subjecting them to machines that see through their clothes and security agents who touch their junk.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Sharhonda “Faye Faye” Miller Lang 36, of North Little Rock passed away October 31, 2013.
For months, Beth Anne Rankin wrestled with whether or not to run, again, for Congress, even though she had lost twice before. In the end, she said no.
We’re going to need another prison, Gov. Mike Beebe said on Monday, beginning a new week by not making news. Either a new joint, or an expansion of one of the existing 17 facilities, which are filled to overflowing. I would suppose it would be an additional barracks, or four or five or six, at one or more of the units, since the figure Mr. Beebe mentioned — $6 million — probably would cover no more than site acquisition, environmental impact study and asphalt for a staff parking lot. And a new prison is like a new yacht: buying it is the cheap part; keeping it running is the real expense.
“Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.”
Could there be a state government shutdown, considering the federal government shutdown was so much fun? It wouldn’t go that far, but the way state law is written could help create extended legislative stalemates in the coming years.
When it was enacted in 2010, Obamacare was supposed to be the final culmination of 60 years of effort by Democrats to realize the dream of universal health insurance. It was a complicated scheme, designed in such a way as to bridge the gap among Americans of different ideologies on how to address an alleged evil.
More than four decades after its closing, the once stately Hotel Pines clings to life even as it seems to continue a slow descent into the bowels of Pine Bluff’s widely decaying, boarded-up and partially demolished Main Street business district.
Today, many Americans are suspicious of any claims regarding the benefits of ethnic, racial, socio-economic, gender and cultural diversity. They see such claims as so much liberal hogwash aimed at justifying such policies as affirmative action in higher education and employment. The enormous diversity found in the U.S. has sometimes led to conflict. Yet it is also the source of our nation’s above average economic, political, military and socio-cultural successes, i.e., our professed exceptionalism.
It’s being positioned as “The Hangover” for the stooped over.