• Phone tracking

    The Obama Administration has decided the government should get out of the business of collecting data on Americans’ telephone calls. That’s the good news. For several years now, the National Security Agency has been collecting what is called “metadata” on every call made or received …

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  • Population in LA County hits unsustainable record high

    Los Angeles County, where I was born in the mid-1940s, reached an ominous milestone last July. Recently released Census Bureau data show that in 2013 LA County’s population inched over 10 million, nearly twice the total of second place Cook County, Ill. with its 5.3 …

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  • Granddad’s birthday is something to celebrate

    My grandfather recently turned 85, and all the kids, grands and great-grandkids turned out for a big birthday party in Marked Tree a couple Sundays ago (minus one grandson who is currently living in Washington state). All Granddad had said he wanted for his birthday …

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  • Sawbucked to death

    These days, the only thing harder than making money is hanging onto it. It’s easier to protect dandelion fuzz in a tornado. Everywhere you go, everyone wants a taste. Their only job is to get a grip on your money. And some of these folks …

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  • Mitt Romney and his Sour Grapes Tour

    Bad habits are hard to break. Sixteen months after the electorate told him to take a hike, Mitt Romney is still lying. He has lately embarked on a sour grapes tour, seeking to sell himself as a retroactive foreign policy expert who, by dint of …

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  • Table gadget just another distraction?

    As if smartphones weren’t enough to distract us when sitting down for a meal with family and friends, some restaurants are now making sure of it. A visit to Chili’s in Jonesboro last week found us seated at our booth where next to the salt …

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  • Highway system evolved from dirt trails

    When the automobile appeared on the Arkansas scene about 1910 … the state was totally unprepared. A patchwork of thousands of dirt trails, without markings, crisscrossed all 75 counties, all taking courses of least resistance. The early roads were rough and dusty in dry weather …

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  • About Town

    Growing up in and around Batesville, there were two restaurants that my grandmother (mammaw) chose when it was time to eat out. Consequently when I get asked about my favorite steakhouse, I still say Bonanza. I’ll admit that some of that may be nostalgia. Just …

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  • A sinking feeling about Noah

    *Sigh* The whole Noah’s ark experience used to be so simple. Not just in childhood Sunday school, but even in college, when my classmate Mary Beth Heeney produced a short animated Noah film complete with the bouncy 1964 Gale Garnett hit “We’ll Sing In The …

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  • Keep bossy — ban pink ribboning

    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to cheer young girls to participate launched earlier this month. Sandberg claims little boys get called leaders and for the same behavior little girls are branded as bossy. “Together we can encourage girls to lead. Pledge to Ban Bossy,” reads …

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  • ‘Powder and Hides’ writer impresses

    This writer is not obsessed with buffalo, really. Or bison, if you prefer the proper term for the American bison, just because I recently wrote a couple of columns about Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and this column about one of my favorite novels centers around a …

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  • On the road again … what were we thinking?

    Time to break out the suitcases again; the Nesler family is going on a four-hour road trip to Branson and trust me, Clark Griswold has nothing on us. You know how women always tell their pregnant friends, “You’ll forget all about the labor pains once …

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