Lessons from Berlin Wall

August 11, 2011 Fifty years ago (on Aug. 13), under the cover of darkness, East Germany broke ground on the Berlin Wall, which became one of the most iconic symbols of violence and exclusion the world has ever known. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the images broadcast around the world of Germans climbing the wall and dancing together before they began tearing it down piece by piece marked the rapid decline of Soviet-style Communism. It also raised hopes that a new borderless world of democracy and globalization was dawning.

30 years ago: The Middle Class died

August 10, 2011 From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all begin, America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer.

Dynamite in small packages

August 10, 2011  It was my first practice with my baseball team of 5- and 6-year-olds. As Brin stepped to the plate for her first time at bat, I heard her father yell, “Don’t forget, Brin, dynamite comes in small packages. Show ’em how it’s done!”

More on RFID

August 9, 2011 Dear editor:This note is not intended to be legal, political or theological. It is simply an attempt to clear some misconceptions that were mentioned in a recent letter to the editor concerning the Affordable Care Act of 2010. I am concerned that some will be frightened by the allegations mentioned in the letter which are simply not true. One should have the religious belief of their choice. However, when making decisions on the issues of their health care, it should be based on accurate information.

Info is ‘bogus’

August 9, 2011 Dear editor:The other day, you published a letter from someone declaring that in 36 months, according to “Obamacare” we would all be running around with RFID chips implanted in our bodies carrying all kinds of personal information. This tweaked my interest because I wouldn’t put anything like this past the present office holder. I suspected somebody was writing to see his name in print, so, I wrote to our Congressman, Senator Boozeman, and received this reply:Dear Mr. Jones:

Lady Justice, open your eyes

August 9, 2011 Should Justitia remove her blindfold?Named after the Roman goddess, we know her better as Lady Justice: guardian of our courts. The scales she holds remind us to weigh evidence with care; her sword indicates that punishment must fit the crime. And her blindfold connotes ... well, what?It’s generally accepted that the blindfold represents impartiality. Our system of justice, in theory at least, treats everyone equally and each situation fairly.

Carnival over, thank goodness

August 9, 2011 I am so glad this past week is behind us. The week of the White River Water Carnival is always hectic — so much so that the Guard staff is usually dragging into work on the Monday morning afterwards — but this year was especially so since my dad and stepmom had flown out to California, leaving two of my dad’s kids (me being one, of course, since I live just next door) splitting the duties of collecting mail, feeding animals, watering flowers, etc. You know the drill. As it happened, my and Gary’s day fell on trash day, so we got an extra duty in there ... oh, well.

A tangible reflection of God’s love

August 9, 2011 I went out on a hot date the other night, and boy was my wife Angie jealous. I hated leaving her out in the cold like that, but there’s just been a stirring in my soul lately. Sometimes a man has got to do what a man’s got to do!

Call for troops: Arkansas’ quota

August 8, 2011 One hundred and fifty years ago, the president of the Confederate States of America issued a call for troops for the purpose of organizing a reserve army corps. Arkansas’ quota for new recruits was 3,000 men whose term of enlistment would be for the duration of the war, “Authorizing him (Arkansas Gov. Henry Massie Rector) to receive the said number, by independent companies, and to establish camps of instruction at suitable and accessible points.”

Ledge update

August 8, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — The State Hospital has agreed to a far-reaching improvement plan that will keep federal funding of the facility intact for the next year.The hospital is a psychiatric facility in Little Rock with 236 beds for people with mental illnesses so severe that they need to be placed in an institution. It is operated by the state Department of Human Services, which also operates 13 community mental health centers across the state for thousands of Arkansans who require psychiatric care.