• Tax day: What kind of ‘civilization’ are we paying for?

    April 15 seems to be a holiday of sorts for progressives, who inevitably trot out Oliver Wendell Holmes’ quote about taxes being “the price we pay for civilization,” and reminding us of all the great stuff — roads, schools, etc. — that they pay for. …

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  • Constitution nears 140th birthday

    The state’s current constitution was drawn up in 1874, mostly to rid Arkansas of the laws that centralized authority during the Civil War and Reconstruction years. While Democrats outnumbered Republicans working on the document, convention delegates remained civil and courteous throughout the process. One person, …

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  • Income tax procrastinators, unite!

    Suddenly, I don’t feel so alone. According to the Internal Revenue Service, roughly one in five Americans file their federal and state income tax returns in the final week before the April 15 deadline. Yes, every year, despite my best intentions, I wind up rushing to …

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  • My father’s 1959 income tax return

    Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!”   I stumbled upon my father’s 1959 income tax return a few years ago. How I long for the simplicity he enjoyed …

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  • Look up! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s idiots!

    Have you ever wondered just what it is that makes people in large crowds act so, well, stupid? I tried to think of a nicer way to put it but there just isn’t one. OK, so I didn’t try that hard, but still, almost every …

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  • The Great Bean Experiment

    John, one of my roommates, had never learned to cook. His family had always had a lot of money and servants. But, just before he came to college, his family had a major setback and lost almost everything. He not only had nonexistent culinary skills, …

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  • Tina Turner, Mad Max, Al Gore and you

    According to a new UN report, there’s good news and bad news about global warming. The good news — it’s worse than we thought. Yeah. That’s the good news. The bad news — you don’t want to know. Because then there’s worse news and ultimately, …

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  • When Arkansas entered the nuclear age

    It is the fundamental building block of the universe. It has the capacity to light homes and destroy cities. It is the atom. As the 20th century dawned, scientists began learning more about the atom and how to control its power. By mid-century, the dream …

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  • Limiting contributions

    Editorial cartoonists have sharpened and turned their disgust and creativity against the U.S. Supreme Court after justices ruled that free speech can be bought when it comes to limits on contributions for political campaigns. We’ve seen cartoonists draw the Monopoly brothers, Mr. Magoo, a megaphone …

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  • Standard testing and teaching writing wrong

    If you have a seventh-grader, then you know that he or she just got done taking a standardized test for writing. The good news is our country’s education policy recognizes writing is a necessary skill in the information era. The bad news is because of …

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  • Springtime in Washington

    Editor note: The following is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!”   Ah, springtime has finally arrived in Washington, D.C. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is beginning. The cherry trees, 3,700 of them …

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  • Someone say McThor’s?

    The analogy in the headline “Thor 2 is a Cinematic McDonald’s Cheeseburger” (Eileen Jones, Jacobin) is apt. There is indeed a strong parallel between the predominance in comics-to-film adaptations and diner-food restaurants: A few homogenous, formulaic products aimed at broad mass-market appeal. But far from …

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