The Friday following Thanksgiving — a slow news day, no deadlines looming; my wife out of town and the kids and the grands all occupied with whatever. So, with some time on my hands, I thought to begin the Christmas season with a long overdue call to an old friend in the nation’s capitol.
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The Arkansas Razorbacks lost to both Mississippi schools this year in football, but at least the state leads in another, more important area: the number of adults age 25-64 with college degrees.
Even under the most ideal circumstances, policing and other aspects of the administration of justice in the United States can be characterized as hard work and a high-wire balancing act conducted on land. It involves the attempt by justice system officials to protect the lives and property of the broader public while simultaneously assuring that those individuals who threaten those lives and possessions are also afforded the protections of our laws and Constitution. Achieving that delicate balance is made all the more difficult when attempted on a slippery slope.
Growing up in Arkansas, it was a given that I would be a Razorback fan. Although my parents are from Georgia, they moved to Fayetteville to work at the University of Arkansas for Campus Crusade for Christ after they graduated from college. By the time I was born they had transferred to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, but calling the Hogs was already a family tradition.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” [Matt. 7:1-3, KJV]
James Franco is both the best and the worst thing about “Homefront,” the new backwoods thriller in which Jason Statham turns rednecks into broken-necks.
J. Harvie Wilkinson III is a federal circuit court judge, appointed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, but he’s never seen himself as a doctrinaire conservative trying to “storm the barricades.” After Senate Democrats recently invoked the “nuclear option” and voted to ban filibusters for most presidential nominations, he outlined the consequences of that rash and regrettable action in The Washington Post:
St. Jude’s. Food drives. Toys 4 Tots. Coat collections.
Now that U.S. and Afghan negotiators have agreed on terms of a seemingly open-ended — if reduced — U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Afghan president Hamid Karzai and the Obama administration alike breathlessly await the verdict of the world’s greatest deliberative body.
DARDANELLE – In a superintendent’s office built sometime in the 1930s, school administrators are explaining how Dardanelle High beats — in biology, almost doubles — the state average on high school end-of-course exams.
One of the first recorded Thanksgiving Day observances in North America was held in Newfoundland in 1578 by Sir Martin Frobisher of the Frobisher Expedition to find the Northwest Passage. Another early thanksgiving observance was led by Captain John Woodlief on Dec. 4, 1619, who instructed that the day of his ship’s arrival “be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to almighty God.”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” should more than satisfy the cravings of fans who’ve spent the 20-month gap between movies quivering with anticipation.
Patricia Ann Millett spent 15 years as a Justice Department lawyer, seven of them under the second President Bush. She argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court, another 36 before appellate courts, and in 2004 she was given the department’s Distinguished Service Award by a Republican attorney general.
Sen. Mark Pryor released an ad last week criticizing his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, for a number of votes related to Social Security and Medicare, including raising the eligibility age to 70 starting in 2024. The ad says Pryor instead voted to cut waste.
The rumors — they were only rumors at that hour — began rippling across the campus of Pine Bluff’s Woodrow Wilson Junior High before the lunch period ended. By the time Wayne Waller’s music class began they’d gained momentum, rushing from every tongue. Mr. Waller was dismissive.
The Republican Primary in Arkansas has seen quite a reversal since the last time there were statewide races for constitutional officers. In 2010, Republicans did not even field a full slate for all seven positions. Now we almost will have a Republican primary.
Abortion is an experience both known and unknown — a matter for silence even in its ubiquity. It’s everywhere in our politics and society, yet it is a subject often elided, reduced to euphemism or outright avoided.
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.
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.