Subscribe to Columns and Blogs RSS feed

Columns and Blogs

Cranberry sauce demands order

With Thanksgiving now in the rearview, guests gone and belts re-buckled, I have realized a few things about my family’s annual observance. Of course there are the memories, both saccharine and sad. There are the traditions and stories to be told.

Rookie’s bill would shine light on campaigns

Rep. Janna Della Rosa, R-Rogers, is a rookie, and she admits she made some rookie mistakes. During this past legislative session, her self-described rookie-ness got in her way as she tried to pass a bill that would have required legislative and statewide candidates to file campaign finance reports online in a searchable database. It failed in the House, 48-33, with 19 not voting, and never made it to the Senate.

A day of thanks

It would have been easy on Oct. 3, 1863, for President Lincoln — or anyone else — not to be thankful. The nation (or nations, depending on one’s perspective) was still mired in a terrible Civil War, and while the Union had enjoyed victories that summer in Gettysburg and Vicksburg, much bloody fighting remained. Earlier that year, Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, had been injured in a carriage “accident” caused by an assailant sabotaging the driver’s seat. Their beloved son, Willie, had died the previous year at age 11.

Realism in fighting the Islamic State

After a bloody series of terrorist attacks, the natural impulse is to respond with overwhelming force to make sure they never happen again. The 9/11 carnage prompted a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to smash al-Qaida, which carried out the attacks, and remove the Taliban, which furnished the plotters a safe refuge.

Woman’s pain pill addiction could be deadly, needs treatment

Q. We are going to visit my parents for a week over Thanksgiving. The only problem is that my wife is addicted to pain medication. Her behavior is so strange that I’m certain my parents will notice and be horrified. I’ve tried to talk to her about addiction, but she says I’m over-reacting. Could you please explain the dangers of pain medication? She won’t listen to me.

Your Best Life - Upper body training in women

In doing research for this week’s article, I came across some disturbing statistics. In a Framingham Disability Study, researchers found that 40 percent of women between 55-64 years old, 45 percent of women between 65-74 and 65 percent of women between 75-84 were unable to lift 10 pounds. I repeat — 10 pounds!

Your Best Life - Miracle drug

Imagine you went to your family doctor and were told, “I’m going to prescribe you a miracle drug.” You’d be skeptical, right? What if they went on to say, “It treats everything, it’s 100 percent effective, it works whether you are young or old, male or female, rich or poor and you can get it for free if you choose!”

Symptoms after car wreck could be PTSD

Q. I was in a serious car accident in November of last year. For a few months I seemed OK, but as the days began to get shorter this year, I have become increasingly frightened to drive. I’m staying home more, and I can’t drive on the expressway, which means I can’t drive to see my grandchildren. What can I do?

Do needy students merit more scholarships?

Let’s jump straight into the facts. According to a new report, “Closing the Gap,” by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, 94 percent of Arkansas’ state-funded college scholarships are based solely on merit — ACT scores, etc. — while 6 percent also are based on need. Only two states and the District of Columbia are weighted more toward merit. The national average, on the other hand, is 75 percent need-based.

Transgender students in the locker room

High school locker rooms are not places kids go to feel comfortable and relaxed. Baring your entire body to classmates and adults — friends, enemies, strangers, coaches — is a disagreeable obligation for most students. But for decades, the desire of adolescents for privacy has been deemed irrelevant.

Huckabee’s presidential real estate value

Former governor Mike Huckabee, proclaiming that he was the only contender to “own property” in Arkansas, returned on Monday to formally enter the presidential primary in the state where, until recently, he was trying to sell that property. The splendid home in North Little Rock, acquired at the close of his tenure, was, at least while on the market, evidently considered superfluous, and somewhat less splendid (by about $2.4 million) than his beachfront in Florida, where Huckabee lives when not campaigning. Presumably it is the domicile to which he will return within months. Whether Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio will repair to Florida, where they both also own property, remains to be seen. One of them will, certainly; perhaps both. But Huckabee will get there first.

I’ve Got a Secret

My favorite movie is the John Ford classic, The Quiet Man (1952). It stars John Wayne as Sean “Trooper” Thornton, a disenchanted American boxer who travels back to his birthplace, Inishfree, Ireland. His co-star is the red-haired beauty, Maureen O’Hara, who plays a strong-willed Irish woman, Mary Kate Danaher. O’Hara and Wayne starred opposite one another in five films. They were a perfect pairing.