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The coast is clear — for now

Within moments of its on-line publication it was subsumed, overwhelmed by coverage of the nation's latest sad, if predictable, spectacle — the slaughter of a dozen innocents by a disturbed man at the Washington Navy Yard. Once assured that the violence was contained, however, the political class in Washington turned its eye to a poll freshly released by CNN. And then began linking to it in e-mails to operatives in the 50 states.

Hill runs for the House

House District 35 stretches from the northern part of Little Rock out past Pinnacle Mountain. Like at least a third of the state's House seats, it will have no incumbent in next year's elections. It would not be worth singling out except for this: Its announced Republican candidate is French Hill, one of the state's top-tier business figures.

Who’s Mark Pryor?

They were on their way from Little Rock to some political mission in the state's upper left corner so, naturally, they left Interstate 40 near Fort Smith and motored north on its newer cousin. A moment later they passed a sign proclaiming the asphalt to be not just I-540 but the John Paul Hammerschmidt Highway.

Reader mailbag

Occasionally I receive feedback from you — my dear readers — regarding a column I have written. Whether the emails are positive or negative, I consider them the highest compliment that something I wrote evoked a reaction strong enough for you to take time to express your feelings.

Lunch with Sen. Boozman

It's the noon hour on a Thursday, and Sen. John Boozman, R.-Ark., arrives for an interview at a downtown Little Rock restaurant. He takes a look at the offerings on a chalkboard menu and orders a grilled cheese.

Convergence of Southern Baptists

All religions suffer from a certain insecurity. That's one reason I seldom write columns about religion. Most dominations seem to have "escape clauses" so as to repent for their malicious actions against others.

Internet liberates the worst in us

Good spelling this past week received some much-needed publicity. Unfortunately, these days, it seems spelling almost a lost art. Email, Twitter, Facebook and text-messaging have converted us to digital shorthand. U agree, rite? LOL, OMG.

Call centers are a bane for consumers

So far this year I have batted less than .150 with call centers, deciding the centers were designed to irritate consumers. It gets worse during the political season with robo-calls suggesting you vote for this or that candidate.

Translators required for some texters

Saturday morning I was at Sulphur Springs Park interviewing Jefferson County Judge Mike Holcomb about a project to improve the park. He was answering a question when I received a text message on my cell phone.