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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.

The day music got much smaller

Ever heard of a thing called the Moving Picture Experts Group -1 Audio Layer III? On this day in 1995, this mouthful of techno jargon was officially released to the public. Known more commonly as an MPEG-1 or by its file extension, mp3, the algorithm underlying this invention made possible the explosion of digital music; and spelled the long quiet death of the compact disc as king of musical storage.

Of monkeys and misguided men

We recently published an editorial response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s ill-advised rejoinder, “We want to be careful as to what monuments and designations go there (at the Arkansas Capitol). … We don’t want just every group putting a statue on the Capitol grounds.” Without rehashing that topic, a timely anniversary reminds of us of similar themes. On this day in 1925, 90 years ago, the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” began in Dayton, Tennessee.

Either a pantheon or none

Yet again the champions of theocracy have reared their misguided heads. This round of pharisaical bigotry comes on the heels of a request by the Universal Society of Hinduism to place a statue of the Hindu god Lord Hanuman on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.

Mom liked you best

We’ve all heard of Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp. Only the devotees of history and Western lore will know that there were also two more Earp brothers, James, the eldest, and Warren the youngest. On this day in 1900, 115 years ago, Warren Earp was killed in a barroom brawl at Wilcox, Arizona.

We’ve been here before

The recent United States Supreme Court decision overturning several states’ bans on gay marriage is likely to be one of the most contentious and difficult findings in our nation’s history. This ruling’s potential to fracture the American people owes to the fact that both sides in the debate believe they are morally correct. When framed in such terms, there is little room for reasoned discussion. If “you” don’t believe like “we” do then you’re probably going straight to hell. That’s not how great nations think or act.

40 year apology

Even his sternest critics agreed it was one of Mike Huckabee’s finest moments. To the surprise of many in the crowd of thousands, Huckabee’s oratory, in style and substance, quite surpassed that of another speaker, a president of the United States, for whom the issue was known to run deep — down where the spirit meets the bone, to borrow a phrase.

One State’s creative, chaotic conservatism

If I were to tell you that a state legislature this year passed a six-cent gas tax increase. abolished the death penalty, and voted to let young illegal immigrants brought by their parents to America obtain a driver’s license, what state would you guess that would be? California? Massachusetts? Maybe Colorado?

When only seconds matter

You probably haven’t noticed, but the Earth rotates at a slightly irregular pace. This owes to things like earthquakes and the gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans. It’s OK that you may not have noticed, because scientists have; and last night they did something about it. They added one second to the end of June 30.

Getting charged up about the Volta

Last week The Commercial reported a meeting between faculty of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences and a delegation of representatives from the Republic of Ghana. The groups came together to discuss ways in which the west African nation and UAPB might join forces for mutual benefit. We think these kinds of partnerships are an excellent idea and important to the long-term success of the university and our city.