• A zero TV household

    Besides aliens with eyes in the back of their heads, a possible interracial baby mix-up at the maternity ward and “Bet he’ll laugh if I say ‘shoehorn,’” one of my most indelible memories of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” has proven strangely prophetic. Van Dyke’s …

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  • Worry about your own hog farm, please

    Editorial from Harrison Daily Times A colorful poster in the window of a business on Spring Street in Eureka Springs asks passers-by: “Do you want hog factory waste in our beautiful Buffalo National River?” The city of Fayetteville recently staged a protest in Eureka Springs against …

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  • Indecent exposure, or is it? Gender identity’s slippery slope

    Your 9-year-old daughter runs out of a public swimming pool shower, crying because a 45-year-old naked man is lounging in the sauna, “full monty.” You call the police. The police arrest you for violating the man’s rights and send both you and your daughter to …

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  • Reverse psychology vs. the Nanny State

    Get this: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of cigarettes (now legal to people at age 18) to people younger than 21. Yeah, that ought to work! Bloomberg, as you may know, has become the nation’s poster child for nanny-state …

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  • Tragedies, technology reshaping free press, speech

    Two national tragedies separated by six years and a day — the Boston Marathon bombing and the April 16, 2007, mass shooting at Virginia Tech University — also are notable in marking how technology is reshaping some uses of our freedoms of press and speech. …

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  • Good memories of Dogpatch!

    The idea for Dogpatch, USA, came from Harrison realtor Oscar J. Snow in 1966. A trout farm at Marble Falls was listed for sale and Snow envisioned it as the perfect setting for the home of Li’l Abner, Daisy Mae and all the other hillbilly …

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  • This is what intolerance smells like

    President Obama’s new “religious tolerance” consultant to the Pentagon, Mikey Weinstein, wants Christian military service members who openly talk about their faith in uniform to be charged with treason, which is a crime punishable by death according to military law. By employing his consulting services, …

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  • Adventures in journalism

    Last week I got a phone call from one of the editors I work with. He wanted to “warn” me that a letter to the editor was being published in the paper about one of my columns and the person was NOT too happy with …

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  • A little girl who needed an angel

    When I lived in New York, my main mode of transportation was a bike. I worked six days each week, and my bicycle thought that the one day I had free should be spent fixing it. That was what I was doing the day Emily …

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  • Boston bombers and the theory of relative laziness

    My working theory — you could call it a philosophy, or a freestanding reason of how the world works — is what I call the Theory of Relative Laziness. It goes like this: Never attribute anything to conspiracy, coordination or planning when laziness could explain …

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  • Beware the American prom

    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.   Proms sure have gotten expensive these days. According to the San Jose Mercury News, high school kids spend nearly …

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  • Paper hard to come by in war

    When the Civil War began, President Lincoln and his General-in-Chief Winfield Scott implemented a strategy in blockading the Southern ports. The plan also called for a Federal advance down the Mississippi River in the hopes of cutting the South in two.  The purpose of this …

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