• Gangsta’ government and the GOP

    America’s founding fathers were beholden to the odd notion that the best prevention against a tyrannical leader or mob rule was the simple yet effective system of checks and balances. Presently, a nominal Republican majority in the House of Representatives is the only thing keeping …

    Read More

  • Who owns the news?

    Who owns the news? The glib answer is “no one.”  But of course, the full answer is more complicated than that. Famously, news is “who, what, when, where and why” — the “five Ws.”  That mantra was drilled into the minds of generations of journalists, …

    Read More

  • Internet piracy: Is the free ride over?

    Yes, I dutifully affix my copyright notice to my column each week, and I’ve been known to notify the syndicate of suspected unauthorized use; but I haven’t gotten anywhere near as persnickety (or creepy) as the entertainment industry. According to CBS News, the motion picture …

    Read More

  • Not The Onion

    Separating satire from real news requires an advanced degree these days. When Jon Stewart becomes the most trusted newsman for millennials, the line between the evening news and The Onion gets blurry, so perhaps we shouldn’t laugh so loudly at old Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky …

    Read More

  • First woman elected U.S. Senator

    Hattie Wyatt Caraway will go down in American history as the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. And, it was Arkansas voters who made it happen back in 1932. In November 1931, Caraway was appointed by Arkansas Gov. Harvey Parnell to fill the vacancy …

    Read More

  • 2013 State of the City address

    Tonight I come before you to deliver my State of the City address. 2012 saw its share of challenges for our city but the successes continued moving our community forward. First and foremost, your city operated within its budget constraints and its financial condition is …

    Read More

  • Are things piling up?

    Have you ever realized how things seem to simply pile up? I have just endured about 4 1/2 weeks of reducing these piles, sheet by sheet, stack by stack, and at times it felt like word by word — junk mail, business letters, tax paperwork, …

    Read More

  • Competing with confidence

    Our high school wrestling team was gathering to board the bus when Coach came out of his office. He walked over to me. “Howard, Hardy has the flu. You’re replacing him on varsity tonight.” I felt a rush of adrenaline. I was a freshman, and …

    Read More

  • Facebook fatigue

    Editor note: This is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” available at amazon.com.   I’m turning into my father. My father was born in 1933. He was a paperboy in the days when …

    Read More

  • Why you shouldn’t tell your boss everything

    A family friend who worked at the White House said that one of the biggest challenges is deciding what to tell and what not to tell the President. There aren’t enough hours in the day to brief the boss on everything. You have to figure …

    Read More

  • Publisher owned first ‘pay’ library

    William E. Woodruff (1795-1885) is best known as the founder of Arkansas’ first newspaper, the Arkansas Gazette, in 1821. However, he is also credited with opening the first “lease/purchase” library in Little Rock in 1826. His first attempt to “rent” books apparently failed. Woodruff sold …

    Read More

  • Does First Amendment allow student prayers?

    Students are free to pray in public schools — except when they aren’t. If this sounds confusing, pity school administrators charged with figuring out if and when to draw the line on student prayers. Current controversies illustrate how complicated this line-drawing has become: School officials …

    Read More