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Editorials

A far flung investment

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, NASA launched the Hubble Space telescope. The Hubble represented a significant breakthrough for astronomers. First envisioned in the 1940s, design work didn’t begin until the 1970s. Construction took another decade; and launch happened on April 25, 1990.

What he knew and when

The letter began, “Dear Mr. President, I think that I should have a talk with you as soon as possible on a highly secret matter. I mentioned it to you shortly after you took office but have not urged it since on account of the pressure you have been under.”

Out of the mouths …

If you’ve ever stood in front of a funhouse mirror that appeared to turn you upside down, then you know what the most recent Pine Bluff City Council meeting was like. It was a scene where nominal adults acted like children and a boy acted like a man.

Military medals warranted for stateside attack

We read often about about service medals being given to men and women years after their retirement from the armed forces. Sometimes paperwork was misplaced, or some other connection was missed. We are proud of the work by military branches and often the staffs of members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation to get these medals awarded.

A brighter day for energy production

In a recent filing with the Public Service Commission, Entergy Arkansas announced a deal to build an 81-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy generating facility near Stuttgart. This installation will be Arkansas’ first utility-scale solar energy plant. The project will employ 200-300 workers during construction. Entergy is to be congratulated for this progressive and forward-looking move.

Economics out of Africa

Karen Dinesen, Baroness Blixen-Finecke, whose birthday we commemorate today, is hardly a household name. Born on this day in 1885, the Baroness Blixen-Finecke is better known by her pen name, Isak Dinesan. Her poignant memoir, Out of Africa, helped illuminate the Dark Continent for millions of Western readers.

Contests and Promotions

House bill 1681 is ‘poor option’

The House City, County and Local Affairs Committee of the Arkansas General Assembly is scheduled today to consider House Bill 1681 by Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs, that will give governing bodies the “option” of placing their public notices in a newspaper or on their website.

Bill fences in American dream

Yet again the blind march to theocracy wins the day in the Arkansas House of Representatives. This week the House voted 61-8 to approve HB 1474 by Rep. Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro, which asserts that American law trumps foreign law in Arkansas courts. News flash: It already does. As long as the nation stands, it always will.

Corporate greed caught in net

Last week the Federal Communications Commission did the right thing in its vote to preserve net neutrality. In its Open Internet Order, the FCC helped to determine an important aspect of Internet functionality by requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways and charging different rates based on traffic content.

Leave it to the professionals

Even though the administrators of every single college campus in Arkansas have opted out, some members of the legislature are determined to cram loaded guns down their throats. Pushing a reformualtion of an already defeated bill, Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, seeks to rob colleges of their “local control” where concealed weapon carry is concerned. So much for being anti-big government.

Illogical governing

Whatever its merits or shortcomings, a federal judge’s decision last week blocking the Obama administration’s immigration policy offered congressional Republicans an escape path from the corner into which they had painted themselves by imperiling funding for the Department of Homeland Security and its 240,000 employees. Thus far they have not shown the wisdom to accept this gift.

More than crumbling buildings

If you ever wondered why people have left Pine Bluff, all you needed to do was attend the recent emergency city council meeting on Monday. At that meeting council members were confronted with the specter of an imminent catastrophe and chose to do nothing. It was a shameful display of myopic lunacy. If they are racing toward oblivion, they are making good headway.

Reason prevails in Senate committee, not Gov.’s office

While the current manifestation of the Arkansas legislature has been more miss than hit, reason prevailed this past Wednesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee declined to refer House Bill 1228, the so-called Conscience Protection Act, to the full Senate. The bill, authored by Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, would have prohibited the state from interceding in matters of conscience due to a person’s religious beliefs unless the state has a substantial interest in doing so, and does so by the least restrictive means possible.