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Like Mike

In the 1990’s, Michael Jordan was a hero of the NBA and a pop culture icon. A recurring theme in Gatorade ads at the time featured people singing about how they wanted to “be like Mike.”

What should be done about Lidia?

When leaders of eight Arkansas higher learning institutions sent a letter to Congress recently calling for immigration reform, among their arguments was that undocumented students brought to America as children struggle to access college — a waste of their talents, both for them and for society.

Voter fraud is a fraud

Hardly anyone noticed last spring when Jon Husted, the Republican Secretary of State in Ohio, issued a report on the 2012 election. Out of 5.63 million ballots cast in that state, he identified 135 possible cases of voter fraud.

When will the madness end?

Who knows when this madness will end. Perhaps by the time these words reach print we will have been delivered of the latest psychotic episode — the absurd shuttering of some federal government bureaus and offices. Dangerous shenanigans, and a national embarrassment. And still to come is the debt ceiling debate.

Uncle Sam can't refuse to pay bills

As this column is being written, the government is shut down, which is bad, but temporary. The bigger debate is over raising the debt limit, which will be reached on about Oct. 17. The consequences of failing to increase it would be permanent, would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, and would benefit mostly the foreign creditors who loan our government money.

The real meaning of the 'Redskins' debate

As a general rule, the names of professional sports teams, and their connotations, are of little concern. No one cares that the Chicago White Sox don’t wear white socks, or that Utah, where the NBA’s Jazz are based, is the last place you’d think of when you think of jazz.

Obamacare is here for now

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — has dominated the political conversation for the last five years since the legislation was introduced in 2009. Now, at long last, key parts of it are here, but for how long may depend on factors outside either political party’s control.

More than just dance lessons

It would be difficult to state with any certainty how many people read this column each week. Even so, I’m pretty sure about the identity of my biggest fan. I know with some certainty because she passed away last week. After a painful battle with heart disease, my cousin, Anne Hardin left us.

PB community must support UAPB

UAPB and its predecessors — AM&N College and Branch Normal — have had a profound impact on Pine Bluff, the state of Arkansas and the United States of America. I won’t take the time to expound on contributions the institution’s faculty and alumni have made except to say they are numerous and varied. I challenge all of you to visit the UAPB Cultural Museum and read historical documents that attest to the impact of the university since its inception in 1873.

The return of illegal immigration

For opponents of illegal immigration, there is good news: We have found an effective method to reduce the number of new arrivals, while encouraging foreigners already here without permission to go home. There is also bad news: The method is a long, severe recession.

How the B-52 became immortal

If and when the U.S. attack on Syria takes place, it will be different in some ways from any previous intervention. But it will have one thing in common with every war the United States has fought in the past 50 years: B-52s will be available for the fight.

UA’s answer to financial woes

The first positive step taken by the University of Arkansas in response to financial woes created by its Advancement Division was to create and fill a new administrative position to exercise "full budget control." In the world of higher education administration the answer to every problem seems to be to hire another administrator.

Feudalism all over again

In Christopher Hill's seminal 1940 treatise, The English Revolution, he describes the economic and political arrangements of the European feudal era: "By feudalism I mean a form of society in which agriculture is the basis of economy and in which political power is monopolized by a class of landowners. The mass of the population consists of dependent peasants subsisting on the produce of their family holdings. The landowners are maintained by the rent paid by the peasants, which might be in the form of food or labor, as in early days, (or later) in money."

Coach Kelley for Congress

Some occupations should be represented more in Congress: Accountants because they make the numbers add up; engineers because they make things work with quiet competence and efficiency; NFL referees because they follow the rules and do the right thing regardless of the noise around them.