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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.

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Bad advice exacts heavy price

Ninety-eight years ago today the Russian mystic and courtier, Grigory Rasputin, was murdered by members of the Russian nobility. Rasputin claimed to have miraculous powers through which he healed the hemophiliac son of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra. This mystical power drew him to the inner circle of Russian politics, a position from which he would make many enemies.

Justifiable homicide facts and fiction

As we look back on all the news that captured the American viewer in 2014, no national news item stands out more than stories related to use of deadly force by police. It seems as though a day hardly passes that we don’t have to hear about yet another police-involved shooting.

Singing in the season

It’s often the case that we can tell how important something is by the number of times it’s been reproduced. In the Internet age such a reckoning might be the number of times something has been shared online. Of course the fly in that ointment resides in the fact that videos of cats playing the piano might become unduly elevated as an artifact of our culture.

Better on the road to great

In their quest to promote the safe keeping and humane treatment of animals, many advocates employ an elegant trope often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way that its animals are treated.”

Tables turned but message unclear

This week marks the 30th anniversary of a shooting on the New York City subway that created a media frenzy and ignited a vociferous debate on matters of race, crime and gun control. At the center of this furor was Bernhard Goetz, a lean 24-year-old with a troubled home life.

Christmas a time of opportunity

This is the time of year when so many of us worry about the “perfect” gift, the “perfect” meal and the “perfect” outfit. Often subconsciously we hold ourselves to an unobtainable Norman Rockwell standard of holiday pageant. In so doing, we create needless stress and imperil an otherwise joyous season.

Facilitating dollar sign diplomacy

President Barack Obama recently moved to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. With a great predictability, several members of Congress have decried the action as pandering to Communism. Fortunately, a few cooler heads have also weighed in to the debate.

Let the music play

In a recent report, the White Hall School District’s School Board President Raymond Jones laid out a bold plan for much-needed improvements to the high school. The board voted Tuesday to proceed with the second phase of this plan.

Barriers tested and broken

It sounds like the setup for a redneck cautionary tale: Take a very aerodynamic car chassis with “Budweiser” painted in great big letters down the side, drop in a 48,000 horsepower rocket engine and, just for good measure, strap on a 12,000 horsepower sidewinder missile. What could possibly go wrong?

Distinguishing want from need

A little more than a month ago, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by a man on Alabama’s death row for the 1989 pipe bomb death of Federal Appeals Court Judge Robert S. Vance. Without comment, the Supreme Court denied the request of Walter Leroy Moody to review his petition.