Allow me to add my decidedly inexpert voice to the chorus of conservationists that has spoken up for Arkansas' population of wild turtles. The impressive list of those petitioning the state's Game and Fish Commission to ban the trapping of these slow-moving, ever lovable creatures reads like a Who's Who of turtle lovers from all over.
At last ...Read more
It appeared to be the latest federal giveaway here in Arkansas -- but turned out to be more of a takeaway. File it under WFA for Waste, Fraud and Abuse, and there's no telling how long it might have gone on if a snap inspection hadn't revealed the extent of this scandal.
It all happened in Pine Bluff, where a local food-distribution program ...Read more
I'm on probation these days. For it's that time of year when Jews put themselves on trial before the High Judge, so I write today's column from the dock, being my own accuser and, at the end of these Ten Days of Repentance, my own defense attorney. Even my own forgiver, if I can show myself sufficient mercy.
It's a simple assignment, and there'...Read more
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. To such an extent I can't even remember when, where or if I last made confession. The truth is, Father, I don't want to be human any more. The only feeling I have left is pain. Of course you understand, for that's your profession, your calling, your obsession in and out of the confession box. You make it a ...Read more
Rush Limbaugh -- yes, he's still going around and around on your radio dial. True to his name, he's still rushing in where angels fear to go. And he still tends to leap to every conclusion in sight except the sensible one. Days before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, he decried the rush of anyone with the good sense and/or the good memory to get out ...Read more
If you're reading this message, there's no need to burn it. For it and I have already been burned beyond recognition. It was good knowing you and a great trip while it lasted. I danced through the sparkling rings of you earthlings' neighboring planet, the sixth one from the star you call the sun, as if there were only one in all the universe. ...Read more
Which do you prefer? The black or white Madonna of Chartres cathedral in France -- neither or both? Your call. Of this much there should be no doubt: Historical preservation is a cause well worth supporting. But which part of that history is best preserved? Just selected slices of it? And if so, which ones would you choose to save, new or old or...Read more
Step on the gas, then the brakes. Repeat till Gentle Reader grows dizzy or the whole jerry-built vehicle falls apart. Just as it did during during the Great Recession of 2007-09, when 9 million Americans lost their jobs and/or houses. Then came the not-so-great recovery, which left the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen, to ...Read more
Uncle OttoWinfred Cook
“The author’s capable plotting and writing make up for much of the confusion, though the realization that the book is fictional might still bring surprise.
Regardless, the novel is an important account of one family’s story. While the events my not all be true in fact, they ...
It's not easy to choose the most ignorant comment of the month during these dog days of August, but surely a remark by the Hon. Paul LePage, governor and ignoramus-in-chief of the Great State of Maine, must rank up or rather down there. He dismissed teachers as "a dime a dozen" employees as he opened a new vocational school in his state. If only...Read more
Let us praise Arkansas circuit judge John Fogleman for releasing the blood-chilling testimony over the years of two schoolboy killers who went on a rampage at a middle school in this state in 1998. Since then, the story of Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden -- and their victims -- in Jonesboro, Ark., has become a familiar one all over the ...Read more
Gentle Reader who has been following the continuing confrontation between the forces of science, reason and faith needn't require the services of a newspaper to decide whom to root for in what Samuel Huntington once called a clash of civilizations. It's really a choice between civilization and the latest barbarism to threaten it. And the key to ...Read more
George Orwell, best known for his dystopian glimpses of a future to be dreaded, was also a master of the light essay. In one of them, he described his favorite pub: The Moon Under Water, where an Englishman of the old school could take the family for a plowman's special that appealed to the curious English taste for snacks like liverwurst ...Read more
Shame is an emotion that may be most powerful in the younger years of our sinful species, requiring peers to look on our performance with either envy or a shared sense of satisfaction.
But as that audience thins out as more and more contemporaries shake off this mortal coil, the actor is left performing his life's little drama before fewer ...Read more
He was only a boatswain's mate second-class assigned to a repair ship in the U.S. Navy that fateful Sunday, December 7th, 1941 -- but he knew how to obey orders and, more important, when to ignore them and act on his own initiative. His bold action would save the lives of six of his fellow sailors caught in the sneak attack on ...Read more