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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.

Public health or political pride

According to a recent report by Arkansas News Bureau, the state’s Medicaid expansion program commonly known as the private option is projected to have a positive impact on the state budget of $438 million between 2017 and 2021, a consulting firm hired by state legislators concluded recently.

The snap heard ‘round the world

On this day in 1920, 95 years ago, seven men assembled in the Jordan and Hupmobile showroom at Canton, Ohio, to organize an important forerunner of the National Football League. Among those gathered at the inception of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC) was legendary athlete, Jim Thorpe.

Privatized corrections public nightmares

At a recent meeting of the Jefferson County Quorum Court Finance Committee Justices of the Peace discussed privatization of the juvenile detention center as response to address budget shortfalls. Of all the ideas to shore up governmental finances, privatization of correctional facilities is among the very worst.

More than media object to comment

We do not mean to enter into the fray that is presidential election politics nearly a year and a half before the election, but we must take strong exception to former governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s claim that no one but the media cares about a crude comment and cheap joke he made earlier this year.

Correction past, present and future

As we recently reported, staff from the Arkansas Department of Community Correction spoke to members of the Pine Bluff Rotary Club at their meeting earlier this week. The DCC was represented by Lashronda Brown, whose duties include being a probation officer and instructor, and Oneika Freeman, who is involved in career planning and placement. The pair told Rotary members about their agency’s strategies and programs to help probationers and parolees better integrate into the workforce.

Love that’s only slightly soiled

For decades, anyone who went to the Arkansas State Fair could have seen a huge box with rows of blinking lights in the Hall of Industry. Signs about the “machine” advertised personality analysis for a dollar or two.

Lifting the Bambino’s curse

Eighty years ago today, the playing career of George Herman “Babe” Ruth drew to a close. Despite legendary appetites for gambling, alcohol and women, Ruth compiled one of the greatest records in Major League history. Boasting 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs, Ruth was one of the first five players inducted into the baseball hall of fame.