Subscribe to Opinion RSS feed


Disgraceful swap on commission

At its most recent meeting, the Pine Bluff City Council voted 6-1 to remove Bill Brumett from the Advertising and Promotion Commission amid accusations of impropriety. Brumett cast the lone dissenting vote. Alderman Charles Boyd had left the meeting prior to the discussion.

No parking space for reason

It’s such a sorry state of affairs when a person can read through Pine Bluff City Council and Jefferson County Quorum Court proposals and instantly sense the negative influences of well-established malcontents. As election season creeps toward us, both bodies are considering the proper boundaries of campaign activities relative to public facilities.

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.

Papal visits a half century apart

Fifty years ago today New York City was host to another Papal visit. In 1965 it was Pope Paul VI; and while his visit was seen by a million live spectators and another 100 million on television, it provides an interesting contrast to the visit concluded by Pope Francis last week. Both men faced a time of change in the Catholic Church; and both understood the importance of connecting with the faithful in the United States.

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.

Combatting the Spice of death

If you didn’t know better, you might assume the silver foil package contained some kind of candy. The colorful graphics and branding certainly suggest as much. The names also have playful or dramatic overtones: Scooby Snax, Puff, Dreamz, King Kong, Joker, Geeked Up, Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks… among many others.

Right-wing rhetoric helping both parties’ major candidates

I swear, if I was a Democrat running for president I would divert as much of my campaign treasury as I could to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Arkansas’s own Mike Huckabee. If I was any Democrat angling to see my party’s nominee win next year I would do the same. Moreover, if I was a Republican trying to set my party aright (but cantered still to the right) I would send all three money, knowing, as do the Democrats (and independents), that not Trump nor Cruz nor Huckabee has a hope of the White House and that their campaigns will serve only to soil the eventual GOP candidate and thus hasten a much-overdue reconsideration of what the party should represent.

Same debate a half century later

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill creating the national Medicare and Medicaid programs. The ceremony was held at Independence, Missouri, the birthplace of President Harry Truman. Truman, who was issued the very first Medicare card, had lobbied unsuccessfully for similar programs during his time in office.

Enabling change 25 years later

Imagine that you have just graduated near the top of your class at an elite collegiate engineering program. Now imagine you go out into the world only to be repeatedly rebuffed by prospective employers. Their reasons for your rejection? You credentials are first order: good school; good grades; good recommendations. It’s none of those things. It’s because you use a wheelchair.