• Protests over protests

    Few topics in modern life have produced as much rancorous and visible public debate as abortion — and one hot point of contention today is simply how close that debate may take place to the clinics that perform them. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments …

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  • Conways were part of ‘Dynasty’

    James Sevier Conway was elected the first governor of the brand new state of Arkansas in 1836. Sixteen years later, his brother, Elias N. Conway, was elected governor. After 178 years and 45 governors, the Conway brothers remain as the only siblings ever elected governor …

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  • Winter Olympics: The Untold Story

    Hundreds of millions of people will be following the 2014 Winter Olympics, even though the underwhelming motto (“Hot. Cool. Yours.”) sounds less like a paean to athletic excellence than the sort of progression that accompanies a court-ordered paternity suit. Of course some people will be …

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  • ‘Facebook Envy’ — and how to get over it

    This is a story about how I ended up in a McDonald’s, in a bad part of Los Angeles eating a Happy Meal for Christmas lunch. It’s also a story about Facebook envy. “Facebook Envy” is a condition that causes you to see one single …

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  • Turkey bacon and duck bread

    Does anyone remember a few months ago when news sources all over the world were reporting that we were in for a shortage of bacon? At first I thought it was just a joke. After all, some reporters were calling it ridiculous things, like a …

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  • Bullets passing through air made ‘peculiar music’

    One hundred fifty years ago, interesting information was being printed by the Yankee presses in the state that were confiscated from former pro-Confederate printers. Among the numerous new presses throughout the state included The Fort Smith New Era. This week in 1864, an article was …

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  • James H. Berry: From Confederate soldier to gov.

    James H. Berry, a judge, lawyer, teacher, governor and U.S. senator, was one of the leading voices in Arkansas as it moved out of Reconstruction and toward the 20th century. Berry was born in Alabama in 1841. When he was 7, his father moved the …

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  • Marijuana legalization as privatization, disempowerment

    The beginning of this year saw the first fully-fledged legal weed markets open in America in nearly a century. Lines formed, similar those for a midnight movie premiere. Giddy stoners stood in shops in amazement at the ease, variety and quality of the shopping experience. …

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  • God’s favorite postman

    Throughout history, God has used many ways to send messages to us, angels, Moses, Jesus and others. I find one of his most interesting messengers is the weather. When I was a child, I once appeared at a little Church of God tucked into the …

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  • Piracy as market correction

    For years, advocates of strict enforcement of intellectual property law on the Internet and elsewhere have said that the single largest detriment to the music and film industry is piracy: Namely, the unauthorized downloading of music, movies and other pieces of entertainment, mostly for free. …

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  • Ernest Hemingway’s visits to Arkansas

    Pauline Pfeiffer introduced Ernest Hemingway to the Piggott area following their wedding in May 1927. It was his second marriage and her first. Since they met and married in Paris, France, Hemingway didn’t actually visit Arkansas until June 1928. At that time, Hemingway was a …

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  • Computer privacy becoming less of a reality, techies say

    Tech aficionados and privacy advocates took notice in late 2013 when Microsoft rolled out an attack on Google’s Chrome OS computers. For one thing, it’s unusual for any company to spend its advertising dollars attacking its competitors rather than promoting its own products. For another, …

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