Shariah hysteria: Unwanted, unconsitutional

March 25, 2011 In my last column, I sounded an alarm about rise of Islamophobia in the United States, calling attempts in various states to pass anti-Shariah legislation an attack on religious freedom.That inspired a good number of irate readers to sound their own alarm about what they view as my naïve and dangerous dismissal of the threat Shariah (Islamic law) poses to the United States.“This is not a First Amendment issue,” one reader explained. “This is a life and death issue. Muslims have already taken over Europe. They will not succeed here.”

Turkeys were ‘herded’ across country on foot to distant markets

March 24, 2011 OK, this is all for real and for true — despite how gullible you may think certain newspaper writers are.Back before refrigeration and fast trucks, people used to herd turkeys on foot to the nearest market. Sounds like a joke, and a bad one at that, right?But it’s no joke. Before I get ahead of myself, though, let me tell how this subject of walking turkeys to market got on my radar.

Bus usage should be probed

March 24, 2011 Dear editor:I really appreciate the Batesville Guard’s probe and report on the use of school vehicles on Wednesday, March 9th. I do, however, feel you need to go further, especially concerning the subject of school bus use. I know many of your readers would appreciate a probe into why it is okay for so many school districts to go inside each other’s district to pick up kids. A friend of mine reported to me that no less than four school districts come in front of his house to pick up kids. The following is what seems to be the reason.

Bible should be taught

March 24, 2011 Dear editor:I heard something on the radio (recently) that convicted me to the bone. Our new superintendent apparently, in his words, believes the bible isn’t a bad book to reference culturally or historically but no more so than many other books. Also by Mr. Willison’s own admission, there is no place for a bible centered class in schools! Quote: “It should be in homes and churches in my opinion; schools aren’t the place.”

Cowboy poetry

March 22, 2011 Well, Mr. Harry Reid, leader of the U.S. Senate majority,You’re plumb wrong about federal-funded cowboy poetry.A few weeks back, you took to the Senate floorDeploring cuts to a cowboy-poetry festival you said would be no more.It exists through the benevolence of the federal government, you decried,Whose funding makes it bona fide.Don’t you know, Mr. Harry Reid,That America is the land of the free?We built this land through our grit and our guts,Not the misuse of taxpayer funds.That’s the thing we’re desperate to be ending,

Why too much positive thinking leads to failure

March 22, 2011 If you can dream it, you can do it.  Rah, rah you!If positive thinking alone were enough to propel you to success, I’d be an Olympic gymnast. I spent an entire decade dreaming about becoming the next Nadia Comaneci.Nadia made those back flips look easy. However, I found them to be hard as heck.  In reality, I spent more time dreaming about gymnastics than actually practicing it. In the end, optimism could not conquer gravity.

Understanding teens

March 22, 2011 I haven’t decided yet if I need hearing aids or what yet, after spending the day with my 14-year-old nephew, Avery. Maybe it’s just that 14-year-olds have a language all their own, and it’s called MUMBLING.Avery is a Mumbling Master. I mean, he’s got it down to an art. It’s enough to drive me crazy.

Defunding or defanging?

March 21, 2011 There was plenty of passionate poppycock on the House floor Thursday, as members debated the Republicans’ “emergency” bill to eliminate funding for National Public Radio.Although the bill passed, as did a proposal last month to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, neither measure will advance beyond the House chamber. And while most of the arguments from both sides tap-danced around the issues, a level-headed reassessment of federal spending for public TV and radio is overdue.

Program beneficial to all

March 21, 2011 “Every 15 Minutes,” a national campaign targeted at high school students that brings about awareness to what can happen by drinking, texting or careless driving, is one I’m so proud to see one Arkansas school take on.I feel fortunate to have been made aware of the event a month in advance at Southside High School and even more proud to have been a part of it last week thanks to Terry Watson, coach and Jobs for Arkansas Graduates specialist at Southside.

Beebe, GOP benefit short term from deal

March 21, 2011 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Maybe this marriage can survive after all.The deal legislative leaders struck with Gov. Mike Beebe to pave the way for the passage of $35 million in tax cuts offered something rarely seen in state capitols: an agreement that managed to give just about all parties something to smile about.