And the rot rolls on ….

February 23, 2011 “Creation comes before distribution — or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.” — Ayn RandFor anyone truly interested in observing a concrete instance of ideas in action —of politics as an extension of ethics —Wisconsin’s current crisis of debt, budget cuts and union manipulation is a classic example of it.

George who? What happened to Washington’s day

February 22, 2011 “If we do this [change the date of the Washington holiday celebration], ten years from now our school children will not know what February 22 means. They will not know or care when George Washington was born. They will know that in the middle of February they will have a three-day weekend for some reason. This will come.” Theses prophetic words, passionately argued by Tennessee Congressman Dan Kuykendall over 40 years ago have come true. Ask most school kids today why February 22nd is special, and they will probably give you a blank stare.

Today’s toys vs. yesterday’s memories

February 22, 2011 I feel like I’m getting a second round of Christmas. I’m getting TOYS! Specifically, two new electronic gadgets that are all-but-guaranteed to make one’s life better.

Lessons learned

February 22, 2011 How do you live or work with someone who sees the world through a different lens than you do?This was the challenge facing Thomas Jefferson and John Adams back in 1776.Adams, considered by most historians to be a conservative, and Jefferson, whom most view as a liberal, were the two men primarily responsible for writing and presenting the Declaration of Independence.

Historical artifacts tell our story

February 21, 2011 The Fonz’s leather jacket (boy, was he small). Edith and Archie Bunker’s chairs. The Lone Ranger’s mask. Dorothy’s ruby red shoes.I’m a sucker for looking at knickknacks behind glass displays or velvet ropes. Call it a hobby. It’s like Clark Griswold wanting to travel miles out of the way just to see the largest ball of twine. The unusual, the famous, the infamous and the historic intrigue me whether it be an object or a place where something of the such happened.

A better future

February 21, 2011 In order for Arkansas’ rural cities and small towns to contribute fully to the nation’s economic recovery, we must enable small, mainstreet businesses to build a better future for themselves, their community, state and nation.

Selling to China?

February 21, 2011 When I read the recent article about Chesapeake Energy selling $5 Billion in Arkansas natural gas to lower its debt, I remember thinking, “That’s interesting. I wonder who is buying it?”Well I read (recently) that a Chinese company is buying it. So the US is exporting its cheap, clean natural gas and importing expensive, dirty oil from countries that pay to blow up our trade centers.  And China jumps into an early lead in inexpensive auto conversion to clean natural gas. While our leadership is pushing overpriced, coal powered electric cars. 

Ledge report

February 21, 2011 LITTLE ROCK —  The stage has been set in the Arkansas Senate for the big showdown of the 2011 legislative session.At one end of the street are legislators who want to cut taxes by as much as $50 million a year and perhaps even more. On the other side are the governor, administration officials and legislators who fear that the loss of revenue from so many tax cuts will force state government to trim vital services.The House passed three separate tax cut bills and sent them to the Senate, where they will be considered with Senate tax cut bills.

Gift brings flood of memories

February 18, 2011 Three books my wife and son gave me earlier this week have really flooded me with memories of growing up down on the farm — if you can call a few acres between Sandtown and Cushman that grew mostly scrub timber, along with a few chickens and even fewer cattle, a farm.Joe W. Smith’s three volumes of “Ring-Tail Tooters & Yeller Bad’Uns,”  brings back so many memories I don’t know where to start in the telling — and so far, I’ve read only about a third of the stories in each volume.

Teaching evolution

February 18, 2011 Has your child’s science teacher ever been caught slumming at the zoo and proclaiming, “There but by the grace of natural selection go I”?If so, he’s in the minority. According to a national survey of 926 public high school biology teachers (published in Science magazine), only 28 percent of respondents unabashedly follow the recommendations of the National Research Council to describe straightforwardly the evidence for evolution and explain the ways in which it is “the unifying theme linking disparate topics in biology.”