Teacher accountability

November 9, 2010 Put yourself in the shoes of a real life public school teacher in a state adjacent Arkansas.   Of 150 students in a 12-year-old age group, approximately 20 are classified as high performers in a core subject.  These 20 are separated from the other 130 students who then make up six classes of the same core subject.  Our teacher has these six classes of about 22 students per class.  Some of these students have hunger induced attention span problems when they make it from their dysfunctional homes to our teacher’s classroom. 

Justifying ‘gay’

November 8, 2010 I would like to comment on the recent public controversy about gay and lesbians and their so called “alternate life style.” I, as a Christian, am very disturbed and sickened over all the openly gay and lesbian activity in our country today. What scares me is that our children are going to grow up thinking that it’s OK to be gay. People, and politicians, are pushing for “gay rights” and “same sex marriages.”

Addressing ‘prejudice’

November 8, 2010 Editor,Gus Williamson’s most recent letter, bemoaning the challenges faced by those who choose to be openly homophobic in these modern times (Monday, November 1st), fails to arouse my sympathy, but does stir me to offer some clarification.  I yet cling to the hope that further education about homosexuality will unlock the kinder, gentler side of Mr. Williamson, which is presently imprisoned by his prejudice.

United with Facebook

November 8, 2010 A best friend from preschool and a niece and a nephew I haven‘t seen in almost 10 years.And I found them all with a click of a computer mouse and a few strokes on a keyboard.While some do all they can to keep away from social-networking websites, for me — someone who has family living in various parts of the country, isn’t very good at keeping up with phone numbers or even likes talking on the phone — ­­­ Facebook has become my favorite way of reconnecting with those I might not see or speak to often but are always thinking of and love.

Mainstream media is a myth

November 5, 2010 The mainstream media gets denounced on cable news programs, corporate talk radio, best-selling books and behemoth blogs every day. This strangely doesn’t seem to bother the mainstream media as it heroically absorbs all the jabs thrown at it from, well, itself. It’s stoically unfazed. Admirable in its immunity.Yes, this code word for “liberal media,” or “not liberal enough media” or “not-the-person-on-the-television-at-that-moment media,” is like rice deploring white. The ocean against wet. Trees condemning shade. It’s an epic struggle of hyperbolic proportions.

Bubba Burks remembered

November 5, 2010 In glancing through the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s obituary page on Monday, I noticed with sorrow that Arvie “Bubba” Burks of Batesville had died at the age of 80. He was the twin brother of Arvil “Biggie” Burks of Conway, both of whom were my classmates at Batesville High School, Class of 1949.

Students grasp freedoms

November 4, 2010 OK, so at some disputed level, neither candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware recently stood out in terms of basic knowledge of what the First Amendment actually says.Then there are the results a few weeks ago from another State of the First Amendment survey by the First Amendment Center, which again show very few Americans — this year, just six in 100 — can name the five freedoms contained in the amendment’s 45 words.Given all that, it’s good to be reminded that some in this nation do know what is in the 219-year old amendment — because they study it.

Repeal it now

November 4, 2010 Our country was founded on a revolutionary concept — a new kind of government both empowered and controlled by its citizens.This idea, the very foundation of our great experiment in democracy, was betrayed with enactment of the new healthcare act. Every poll showed that a majority of Americans rejected this legislation and yet Congress ran right over the majority will of the American people and enacted it into law.This act must be repealed for this reason alone but there are many more good reasons.

Elections almost over

November 2, 2010 Here it is Election Day — did you do your patriotic duty and cast a ballot? It’s down to the minutes now (instead of days and weeks and months). I for one will be glad when the elections are behind us and Jan. 1 is here, so those in office can get to work. I am as bad as any other newspaper reader with ADD, attention deficit disorder. One thing my professors drilled in my head was writing concise, succinct stories because readers skip around. By the time the actual Election Day arrives I have gotten to the point that I read the headline and move on.

Don’t Vote

November 2, 2010 Don’t Vote. You don’t have to. No one’s going to make you. This isn’t the Soviet Union. You won’t be forced from your beds and dragged to the polls against your wills. Relax. Take a chill pill. Let it go. It’ll all be fine without you.Things are pretty good the way they are, aren’t they? Well, okay, some stuff could be better. Then again, could be worse. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if it is broke, leave it alone; who knows, maybe it’ll fix itself. Or let someone who knows what they’re doing fix it. What if you make things worse? How would you feel then? Not good, I bet.