Setting sail for the promise land

April 19, 2011 The moment I spotted that nine foot bull shark swimming down the shoreline I knew I’d never see my wedding band again. Not that it was forefront on the minds of the hordes of panicking people splashing about wildly trying to get out of the water, it’s just I personally couldn’t help thinking, “I’m not getting back in there to look for it!”     I should’ve saved myself two days of vacation frustration and come to that same conclusion the moment it slid off my finger out there in four feet of water. There was just one thing left to do, convince my brother Heath.

10-year-old is giving advice to Congress

April 19, 2011 “Why do Congressmen say such mean things about each other? We’re not allowed to act like that in my class. We have rules about respecting each other. Do you think something like that might help you?”He was only 10 years old, but his question made several Congressmen squirm.His name is Colyne. He’s from Gwinnett County, Ga. He, his mother and his older brother were part of a group of private citizens who went to Washington, D.C. with me to meet with several members of Congress. We had one goal: Get Congress to establish best practices for civil discourse.

Armageddon at the D.C. Corral

April 19, 2011 It’s way too early to sort out the winners and the losers in the big budget showdown on Capitol Hill the last couple weeks. They’re still extricating bodies from behind the hay bales of the Gunfight at the D.C. Corral, and will be for months. It’ll take even longer to identify the white-hatted good guys from the no-good rustlers of the public trust. All depends on your point of view. Everybody thinks he’s Wyatt Earp.

Loud, bold and wrong

April 18, 2011 We must love boisterous blowhards. As Americans, we are fixated on people who make loud, definitive declarations so we can stand behind them waving our oversized number-one foam-fingers chanting: “Go team! Win!” If you take away all the nebbishy number-crunching and bureaucracy — which is most of government — politics is all posturing and platitude landing.

Getting lost on the ego trip

April 18, 2011 I only had one Elvis sighting in the early 70’s. That’s surprising, since we lived just down the road from Graceland, and given how Momma would drag us down there two or three times a week to wait outside his gate. Mom was single you see, and a wee bit enamored with that side-burned hunk-a-hunk-a burning love. So she would always don her Go-go boots, mini-skirt, and powder blue eyeshade in hopes of standing out in the crowd. Sadly it was the one night she showed up in cut off jeans and two inch hair rollers that she finally did.

Ledge update

April 18, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — The 2011 regular session of the legislature finished its business on April 13. That was 94 calendar days after it began.Technically the legislature is in recess until April 27, when lawmakers will return to the Capitol to adjourn sine die. Then the 2011 session will be officially over and the legislature cannot reconvene unless the governor calls a special session.

Shale fracking moving into oil business

April 14, 2011 Folks who have serious environmental (and earthquake) concerns stemming from the fracking of shale formations for natural gas production nationwide may as well gird up for a long, ongoing battle.As of the end of March, fracking in at least eight states to free up oil — not natural gas, but oil — from “oil shale” formations were becoming active.Arkansas is not one of those states and as far as I can tell, will never be. But don’t count anything out.

Obama invents new word: Tax expenditures

April 14, 2011 Obama is a born again deficit cutter. He wants, according to his speech at George Washington University this week, to slim down nation’s deficit by a whopping four trillion dollars in the next twelve years. To achieve this miraculous goal he has a top secret weapon. It is called the “tax expenditure.”Now tax expenditures are not new, they have been around for many years, only we knew them by a different name. The old- fashioned name which is heretofore banned from the lexicon is: tax increase.

Book just for men

April 13, 2011 Honest.That’s the word I would use if I was limited in my assessment of “Rugged Faith” a book written by Jack Ward, who is founder of Rugged Faith Ministries. But since I’m not, I’ll add a little more.The book, “A weekly reader for guys who don’t read much” is 52 stories of faith, outdoors and life.Since Jack grew up in my little neck of the woods and we have many of the same connections through family and friends I was interested in reading his published work.This book is strictly geared for men, combining outdoor adventure with biblical teaching.

Should members of Congress lecture us on fiscal responsibility?

April 13, 2011 A poor woman of color arrives at the office of her member of Congress to ask for help, explaining that she is nearing a financial breaking point. Barely able to support herself, she is finding it nearly impossible to support her family of seven, comprised of six kids—including one newborn infant—and her partner who has only worked sporadically in recent years, due to a combination of the economic downturn and their family’s desire to have at least one parent available to provide hands on childcare for their growing brood.