State of the Union drinking game

January 27, 2011 NEEDED TO PLAY:•  Four taxpayers of any sex: One rich, white banker- type wearing dark suit with loosened tie. Two ordinary folks wearing jeans; one in a blue or flannel work shirt, the other in a white shirt, sleeves rolled up. One poor, bedraggled person wearing clothes that look like they were retrieved from the bottom of a rodeo Dumpster behind the animal-performer stalls.• One living room with a TV tuned to the State of the Union Address.

Volunteers essential to community

January 27, 2011 When we think about the County Cooperative Extension Service we may conjure up several mental images. For those of us who remember the television program “Green Acres,” we may visualize county agent Hank Kimball. In reality nothing could be further from the truth.

‘Rethink action’

January 27, 2011 Dear editor:I would like to make some comments on the recent action taken by the Batesville School Board. The board voted to support the decision made by the recently hired superintendent, Mr. Willison, to fire Mr. Richard O’Neal.Mr. O’Neal was hired by the Batesville School District upon graduation from high school in 1980 as a custodian. There is an old proverb that says, “A man’s gift makes room for him.” Mr. O’Neal rose from the custodian position to being made coordinator of the physical plant, custodial and transportation departments in 1994.

The unusual horticulture project

January 26, 2011  Bart had a very special bird that stood in his room. It was carved from one piece of wood in a long arch that narrowed toward the top. It was made to look like a long necked heron. The bird was strange looking, but wasn’t as strange as Bart was talking to it. He would discuss with it his dating prospects, or more accurately, his lack of them. This wooden bird even had a name. He called it Prudence.

State agencies under scrutiny

January 26, 2011 LITTLE ROCK —  A few state agencies and commissions, as well as state-supported universities, operate with independence from legislative oversight because their powers are granted to them in the state Constitution.That may change after the 2011 session.If Senate Joint Resolution 2 is adopted, and if it is approved by Arkansas voters, it would make those commissions and institutions more accountable to the legislature.

Americans poorer than last year

January 26, 2011 Americans are getting poorer, and the media, in a desperate bid to prop up Barack Obama, are refusing to report the story. The destruction of wealth is the direct result of government policy, and with an almost complete media blackout, many are oblivious to the suffering.First, despite what you read in the newspapers and hear on TV, taxes are going up. The truth is: inflation is a tax. Inflation is a tax on anyone that transacts in US dollars. Do you use dollars? If you answer yes, then inflation is robbing you.

The state of things

January 25, 2011 President Obama will deliver his State of the Union message tonight. What might he say to inspire and move the nation forward?Tonight I want to offer my vision for America and a new American dream.(a) The new American dream should include a strong family, enduring values, excellence in education, dependable and affordable healthcare, secure employment and secure retirement, and a safe and prosperous homeland.

Cheering section filled

January 25, 2011 Last weekend, my 8-year-old niece Abby competed in her first gymnastics meet, and as usual she did us proud. You could tell she was nervous, just by the way she acted. On her floor exercises, she rushed through in parts although she’s done them all for us many times. But she put herself out there, and we couldn’t have been prouder. She came home with a sixth-place all around trophy and four ribbons — and a grin that stretched from ear to ear.

Metaphor madness

January 25, 2011 “Now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, I probably could have used a different metaphor.”“This is going to be good. Please explain.”“I’ve been coaching our high school’s basketball team for a long time. We don’t have the most talented kids, but we have the most heart. I’ve developed quite a knack for firing them up before big games.”“Firing up?”“We were about to play our archenemy in our biggest game of the year — but our kids wouldn’t get the lead out. They should have been warming up, but instead sat around, shooting the breeze.”“That’s no good.”

Telethon helps those with CP

January 24, 2011 Sunday marked the annual United Cerebral Palsy telethon on KAIT TV in Jonesboro and it’s an event I enjoy watching every year.I’ve pledged a donation to the foundation that raises money for people with disabilities since I was about 10, but for me it’s a cause close to my heart and one I’m proud this part of the state takes on.Each year the telethon honors a guest of honor, a “superstar,” who has cerebral palsy. This year’s superstar is 7-year-old Casey Adam, a second-grader at Cave City Elementary.