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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.

Remembering Dean Duncan

A few minutes after Dean Duncan slipped peacefully into the next life, one of his family had an idea, a very good one. A nephew who had been looking after Dean’s mutt, Poochie, rushed home and brought him to the hospice. Poochie was entitled to his own farewell.

Flying with Ford Falcons

On this day in 1959, Henry Ford II staged a 21-city news conference via closed-circuit television. During the broadcast, Ford unveiled “the easiest car in the world to own.” It was the automaker’s newest model, the Falcon.

Promoting promotions and grants

As reported by The Commercial, five members of the Pine Bluff City Council along with several individuals from Mayor Debe Hollingsworth’s staff, recently met to discuss the prospect of creating two new positions in city government. During the meeting, held last Thursday, the group that the city needs to hire a communications/marketing director and a grant writer. We concur.

Poorly watching the watchers

In December 2014, a report was released by the U. S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that contained a number of disquieting revelations. Among the more stark details were the findings that the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency had been using interrogation techniques that were far more brutal than had been previously acknowledged.

Squashing the wrong problems

You know when you’re on your porch, and you notice a spider crawling by, but then you look closer and realize it’s not a black widow or a brown recluse, so it’s not poisonous, but then you wonder if maybe you could be wrong, so therefore it could be a threat, and plus it’s a nuisance? Those things multiply, and maybe they’ll get into the house, so you squash it just to be sure.

The grift that keeps on taking

The cornerstone of American criminal justice is Due Process. As a foundational principle for the U.S. Constitution, we can trace its origins back to Chapter 39 of Magna Carta, in which England’s King John promised that “[n]o free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseized or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”

Not just cheese also unicorns

On this day in 1835, the New York Sun newspaper tested the limits of public gullibility with the first in a series of fantastical stories about life on the moon. Five more would follow. The satirical pieces sparked international interest; and proved that a well-told whopper can snooker the best of us.