History books get makeover

July 7, 2011 According to a shocking news report, California legislators have enacted legislation that gives the state the dubious distinction of being the first state in the nation to require public schools to include the contributions of gays and lesbians in their social studies curriculum.We can be certain that one result of this ill-advised move will subject kids to a form of what CIA spooks call “blow back” — an inevitable result of a specific action.

Broadband holds promise

July 7, 2011 As Chairmen of the Senate and House Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committees we have seen firsthand the challenges that rural communities face when it comes to economic development, education, and healthcare.  In many ways, rural communities are simply left behind as more populated areas move forward and grow. 

Governor, community appreciated

July 6, 2011 Thank you.For those of you who have called, written or stopped by to give your support to the Batesville Daily Guard during the past several days we want to take this opportunity to say thank you.And, that appreciation extends to Gov. Mike Beebe who stood behind us while he was fielding questions over our obituary policy when he recently spoke to a group of individuals who decided to toss the Guard into the controversial mix.During his meeting with the Stonewall Democrats, the governor was asked about our free/paid obituary policies and he sided with the paper.

A lot of nothing

July 6, 2011 In 1950 a largely unaccomplished lawmaker from Wisconsin, Senator Joe McCarthy, alleged that Commie sympathizers were infiltrating the U.S. Government and Hollywood. “Communist subversion!” was the claim; Red Scare, the aim. Televised hearings were held. Lives were ruined. No evidence of his accusations was found. McCarthyism, as it’s now known, is a blight in American history. On a good day it’s a parable. Otherwise, it’s an embarrassment that a hysteria this dark happened in the glare of national limelight.

Father’s flag

July 6, 2011 We got my father a tall flagpole for his birthday a decade or more ago, shortly after he and my mother moved into a new house.He mounted the pole in concrete in the center of his front yard. It proudly displays the American flag every year as I pull into his driveway on July 4.My father has always taken the flag seriously.He is going to be 78 this month. He was born during the Great Depression. As a boy, he was immersed in patriotism as our country rallied to defeat mighty foes during World War II.

Getting to work

July 6, 2011 While Congress is stalemated over fixing our debt problem, millions of unemployed Americans are asking why we aren’t focused on jobs. There are diverse opinions on how to solve our fiscal crisis, but we can all agree economic growth is key to both reducing the debt and creating jobs. Economic progress should start with three basic principles:  overhauling our complex tax system, scrapping unneeded regulations, and encouraging domestic energy production. 

Sequels that win, fail

July 5, 2011 I spent part of my Fourth of July weekend going to Jonesboro so I could watch “Transformers 3” in 3D, in a comfy theater where I didn’t have to hear what was playing in the theater next to me. That’s just one of my many pet peeves about going to the movies. That and people who TALK. ALL. THROUGH. THE. MOVIE.But anyway, I digress. I’ve embraced my inner geek enough to go at midnight to get the final Harry Potter book when it came out, I like museums, and I wear my Star Wars shirts with pride. I just haven’t been to a Comic Con or anything like that.

Ledge update

July 5, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Most of the 35 members of the Arkansas Senate have experience running their own business.Arkansas has a citizen legislature. That means lawmakers have full time jobs in their hometowns, if they are not retired, and they come to the state Capitol on a part time basis.       

Price of freedom

July 5, 2011 Before my class started, most everyone was boisterous, contemplating a break for the Fourth of July weekend.As the rest of the class buzzed, I noticed that Adelina, who was slightly reserved anyway, was even quieter than usual.“Is everything okay, Adelina?” I asked.She tried to smile and shrugged, looking up at me with her big brown eyes. Then she spoke in her strong accent. “I guess celebration of freedom bring different feelings to me, as my family does something different.”

Shred it?

July 1, 2011 Dear Editor:On Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Time magazine editor Richard Stengel presented the cover of his July 4 issue, which features the Constitution going through a paper shredder and asks does the document still matter. According to Stengel, it does, but not as much anymore. (Apparently it does since Time is allowed by the Constitution to publish idiotic articles. Better yet, shred Time magazine.)