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Holiday tip: Shop local, give smart

Well, if you’re reading the paper, it’s a good guess that you survived Thanksgiving with its temptations to things that are bad for the heart like rich, heavy desserts and sitting next to dyspeptic Uncle Phil. Coffee and a piece of pie for breakfast? Check. Nap for lunch? Check. Leftovers and football this afternoon? Check, check.

Middle East medicine too late

Not since the early days of the Cold War has American society faced as large an existential crisis as it does now. We know from high school civics class the nation we ought to be. Sadly, international terrorism and xenophobic hate speech from the political margins is turning us away from those simple, but noble ideals.

Council makes right decision

At its most recent meeting, members of the Pine Bluff City Council voted to reject council member Thelma Walker’s proposed ordinance to increase the tax on hotel stays. While opposition was motivated by different reasons, the council arrived at the correct decision. Whether a general rejection of new taxes or a vote against an ill-conceived measure, this was a step in the right direction.

Republican tax fantasies

The Republican presidential candidates have not rallied behind Ben Carson in his clash with the news media, but they should be grateful to him. His misrepresentation of reality on matters concerning his past has distracted attention from his rivals’ misrepresentations of reality on a matter concerning the nation’s future: tax policy.

Opening the Great Wall

Often likened to an immense dragon flowing across the mountains, deserts and grasslands of northern China, the Great Wall is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. On this day in 1970, the Chinese government finally opened the Wall to tourists. Previously only the Badaling section near Beijing had been accessible.

Warren’s Lifeline to the vulnerable

As has been widely reported, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass.) has proposed legislation that would give every senior citizen and disabled veteran in America a check for $580. Warren bases her proposal, the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act, on a couple of twined ideas — ideas that have merit and are worthy of support.

Herbie: No love just bugs

As many readers are doubtless aware, the automaker, Volkswagen, has come under fire for allegedly including a software switch that allowed heavily polluting vehicles to circumvent emissions inspections. Not only was this an outright fraud, it also meant that buyers were getting neither the promised fuel economy, environmental protection nor performance they were promised. I wished this surprised me. It doesn’t.

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Victims are deprived of their autonomy, liberty, and security, and face tremendous threats to their health and safety. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we reaffirm our dedication to forging an America where no one suffers the hurt and hardship that domestic violence causes — and we recommit to doing everything in our power to uphold the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse.

Dollarway on the perennial precipice

While we were heartened to hear that the Dollarway School District has approved a budget for the 2015-2016 school year, we remain very concerned about a number of other critical issues. Even as the school board passed the budget submitted by Superintendent Patsy Hughey, a reminder of old demons immediately descended into the proceedings.

Why the gop loses in a shutdown

There’s been talk of two potential government shutdowns: one this week over funding Planned Parenthood that’s probably not going to happen, and one in December if the government reaches the debt ceiling. Whenever a shutdown occurs, Republicans will be blamed more than Democrats. That’s because of the brand Republicans themselves have created.

A contemptible tenth anniversary

Today marks the tenth anniversary of New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s release from federal detention for failure to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame. Miller had been jailed since July 2005 because she refused to reveal a confidential source and for refusing to testify before a grand jury empaneled to investigate the so-called Plame Affair. Miller agreed to testify only after her source, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, signed a waiver giving her permission to speak.

Shining new light on economic development

We were heartened to learn that the Arkansas state Public Service Commission gave its approval on Thursday for Entergy Arkansas to enter into a 20-year power purchase agreement with the state’s largest solar energy facility to be built by NextEra Energy Resources. As reported by Arkansas News Bureau, the deal paves the way for construction to begin on an 81-megawatt solar energy generating facility on 500 acres southeast of Stuttgart. Entergy projects the facility will produce enough clean energy to power about 13,000 homes and will reduce the demand for fossil-fueled energy.

Berra, Paige two wise performers

This week we note two milestones in baseball. The New York Yankees’ most memorably ineloquent All-Star, Yogi Berra, passed away at age 90. Then there’s an anniversary. Fifty years ago today, legendary pitcher, Satchel Paige, became the oldest person to pitch in a major league game at age 59.