• If you Enron-ize public schools, expect cheating to happen

    The Ohio state auditor is investigating the practice of “scrubbing,” or dropping students from attendance rolls so they don’t count against test scores. The former El Paso superintendent is in prison for using truant officers to encourage at-risk students to drop out. Other testing scandals …

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  • That’s America to me

    I listened to a Frank Sinatra tune this week — “The House I Live In” — and enjoyed a renewed desire to fight on. Sinatra performed the patriotic song in an 11-minute movie short made in 1945, shortly after the conclusion of the war. In …

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  • Vicksburg National Military Park

    On a recent tour to the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Miss., two Independence County residents wondered what roles Arkansas Confederate soldiers played in the Vicksburg Campaign, and the 47-day siege of the “Hill City.” In late spring 1862, Vicksburg, Miss., was the only …

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  • Arkansas’ Centennial in 1936

    The highlight of the state’s 100th birthday celebration, in 1936, came near the start of festivities when President and Mrs. Roosevelt came for an official visit. A special train arrived in Hot Springs in the early hours of June 10, carrying the presidential party and …

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  • Immigration bill drops in the dead of night

    After working behind closed doors for weeks, the Senate Gang of Eight walked an extra mile to keep the comprehensive immigration reform bill a secret. Normally, legislation of this magnitude that has been surrounded by massive publicity would be introduced mid-day to allow the press …

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  • The death of liberty

    Benjamin Franklin warned that a people preferring security over liberty deserves neither. In the aftermath of each attack upon our nation, we have seen this maxim play out with growing restrictions on our God-given constitutional freedoms. There was the USA Patriot Act, passed in the …

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  • Boston bombs prompt Twitter toxicity

    Shortly after Boston’s annual idyll devolved into mayhem, I tweeted: “Worst thing: People died … Second worst thing: The upcoming blame game.” Sure enough, it was game on. I get that we’re all upset. The urge to lash out is strong, and we’re only human. …

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  • Fido in bed, groom in doghouse

    I think I may have fallen behind the times and all it took was a local radio station to bring me to this knowledge. On my drive to work the other morning I was listening to one of my favorite morning shows when the deejays …

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  • Where was God during the Boston Marathon?

    As the FBI and Department of Homeland Security sift through the collateral damage in Boston, one thing is abundantly clear: it was an act of terrorism. Questions, like who is responsible and their motivation, remain to be determined. Along with those questions, one cannot help …

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  • The higher our tech, the ruder we get

    Get this: Social media are making us ruder. According to Reuters, social media users face “an increase in rudeness online with people having no qualms about being less polite virtually than in person.” I think our rudeness began with the introduction of another technological innovation: …

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  • Happy Hollow drew tourists

    McLeod’s Amusement Park in Hot Springs was better known as Happy Hollow for about 50 years. It was started as a photographer’s stand by Norman McLeod in 1888, but soon grew into a fun park for tourists. Located just off busy Central Avenue, near the …

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  • The absurdity of ‘universal’ background checks

    Those who favor “universal” background checks on gun buyers make some ridiculous arguments. For example, opponents correctly point out that gun buyers with criminal intent will always find channels that require no background check. Gunrunning is among the oldest professions, and the black market will …

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