For the birds, part 2

January 11, 2011 You know, some of this stuff, I actually don’t make up.  When I saw this one on Mr. Gore’s Internet, like most others I’m sure, I thought it was a gag; a ruse; a Saturday Night Live skit ... but it wasn’t.

Are we one step from Dystopia?

January 11, 2011 How close are we to a dystopian society?I found the USA Today article about the so-called new edition of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” being reprinted without a racial slur that I agree, is a terrible, terrible word. The word appears 219 times in Mark Twain’s classic novel, but in a new edition it will be replaced with the word “slave.” Furthermore, the new edition will also change “Injun Joe” to “Indian Joe” and “half-breed” to “half-blood.”

88th to convene

January 10, 2011 Members of the 88th General Assembly gathered at the State Capitol today to begin the 2011 Regular Session.  When the session convenes we’ll be starting a roughly three-month period of studying, debating and voting on some of the challenging issues facing our state.  The landscape of the House of Representatives has changed, with 46 new members now sitting in the Chamber.  However, as always, our main priority is to ensure an efficient and productive session, and one in which we act in the best interest of the people we serve.

Cash home in need of TLC

January 10, 2011 Without GPS we might have missed it, driving down the gravel road lined with field after field, after field.“There it is,” I told Luke, pointing to a white house setting back from the road we were on. “We turn here,” I continued, ignoring the GPS’s intelligence.It wasn’t its size that shocked me or it being in the middle of nowhere, but the satellite dish attached to the roof’s edge and an air conditioning unit in the window are things one wouldn’t expect driving up to a country music legend’s boyhood home. 

Session to test bipartisanship pledge

January 10, 2011 If nothing else, Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and the growing ranks of Republican lawmakers have a common declared enemy in the 88th General Assembly: partisanship.More than two months after an election that handed Republicans their greatest numbers in the Legislature since Reconstruction, Beebe and the GOP say they want to avoid the type of party-line fights that have characterized Washington. That’ll be easier said than done.

Fascinating not famous people

January 7, 2011 Every year about now, the media introduce us to the most fascinating people of the prior year.They always overlook people like Joe Horne.A tailgunner in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Horne and his crew enjoyed 11 successful missions.They didn’t expect to survive their 12th: orders to bomb a heavily guarded munitions plant in Munich.As they approached their target, Horne fought off German fighter planes. German flak was another matter.

Texas A&M wise to rethink open-records

January 7, 2011 Let’s begin 2011 on a hopeful note: Texas A&M University officials say they will revisit a recent decision that would have banned journalism instructors from directing students in filing open-records requests about — of all things — Texas A&M policies and practices.At Tarleton State University, one of 19 Texas schools and agencies in the A&M state system, journalism instructors have for years taught their students how to file such requests. Not surprisingly, Tarleton State students have done that very thing.

When it comes to politics, turn about is fair play

January 7, 2011 It takes what a lot of my Jewish friends call chutzpah for House Democrats who ran the House of Representatives since 2003 as if it was their solely owned domain for so long, now to demand a policy of the very bipartisanship they scorned.With Republicans now at last in control of the House, Democrats who ruled the lower body with an iron hand, and stone deaf to the voice of the GOP minority, now cry out for a policy that will give them the important role in the business of the so-called lower body on Capitol Hill — the rights they denied to the GOP.

New Year begins

January 6, 2011 I don’t know how well 2011 is starting out for me, but at least I guess I’m doing better than a bunch of birds in Beebe.