• Learning to cook

    When I was growing up one talent that both my parents stressed I should acquire was learning to cook. Perhaps it was their foresight that it would not be likely to find women in my generation willing to dedicate themselves totally to cooking, cleaning and …

    Read More

  • Legitimizing rape

    The charge of rape is a successful way to smear your enemy. When political agitator Andrew Breitbart was met with Occupy protestors one year at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he started screeching, “Behave yourselves and stop raping people!” Russian President Vladimir Putin used this …

    Read More

  • Helena was busy garrison for Union army

    One hundred fifty years ago, Helena was a busy garrison for the Union army. According to a dispatch sent from Gen. Buford, a large number of Confederate scouts was captured in the Delta. Buford related that 28 Confederate privates were sent to Alton and six …

    Read More

  • If you’re reading this, you’re probably a terrorist

    This has been one of those times that a series of random, seemingly unrelated events have all reinforced a common lesson for me. First, it was reported on Jan. 21 (“Opposed to Fracking? You Might Be a Terrorist,” PopularResistance.org) that Canadian and U.S. law enforcement …

    Read More

  • Vance Randolph: Folklorist of the Ozarks

    Like many scholars, Vance Randolph’s lifelong work was not recognized until near the end of his life. While in his early 20s, he had a strong desire to study Ozark mountain culture. Randolph was born in 1892 in Pittsburg, Kan., to John (an attorney) and …

    Read More

  • CrossFit: Working out an understanding

    Flipping through a recent issue of Time magazine, I discovered the wildly popular phenomenon CrossFit and similar extreme workout programs. The hyperintensive exercise sessions weed out a high percentage of the merely curious, but are almost a religion for those dedicated enough to stick with …

    Read More

  • Shirley Temple’s America

    Shirley Temple, the iconic child actress, died earlier this week at age 85. Reports on her death were easy to miss. I was dismayed by the sparse reaction to the loss of this woman who lived a great American life. Had Shirley Temple died 50 …

    Read More

  • Wondering if animal rights activists use shampoo, medicine

    Recently my eighth-grader had a school project in which she had to pick a speech that someone else had given, read it to her class and then discuss it. I was thinking of all kinds of famous speeches by individuals such as Martin Luther King …

    Read More

  • Voice for civil rights in Arkansas

    John Gray Lucas was born in the chaos of the Civil War and became a voice for civil rights in Arkansas. He was born in East Texas in 1864. His mother had been a slave who became a refugee as she sought to escape the …

    Read More

  • Stress, thy name is Valentine’s Day

    At the risk of being branded a Valentine Grinch, I must take issue with opinions expressed recently in the Winnipeg Sun. Writer Shelley Cook tried to contrast Valentine’s Day as experienced by adults and by children. She saw the holiday as complicated and anxiety-producing for …

    Read More

  • Frontier line: Defining the ‘West’

    The Census Bureau definition of the “frontier line” was a settlement density of two people per square mile. The “West” was the recently settled area near that boundary. The frontier line, moved steadily westward from the 1630s to the 1880s. In the 21st century, however, …

    Read More

  • Horror stories in Sochi

    We thought the big controversies in the Sochi Winter Olympics would be toothpaste terrorism or government-sanctioned homophobia. Then the press tried to check into their hotels and discovered a comical array of foibles that will do nothing to boost the Russian tourism industry. But what …

    Read More