Women officials

April 2, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — More women now serve in the Arkansas legislature than ever before. There are 31 women legislators — six in the Senate and 25 in the House.Since the first two women were elected to the legislature in 1922, a total of 98 women have served in the state legislature.

Speech battlegrounds

April 2, 2010 High school prom season is upon us — generally a pleasant mix of music and memories for teens, with maybe a bit of angst over getting the right date or dress.But through the years this annual rite at times has also been an unlikely battleground over social issues, as in Mississippi recently, and over some of what the nation’s Founders called our inalienable rights — freedom of assembly and free speech.

Other perspectives needed

April 1, 2010 “At a certain point it gets to be about me, right?”He was a seasoned professional who’d been in business for years, and when he asked me this question near the end of a workshop I was giving, I knew that he was struggling.

Happy Easter

April 1, 2010 There are two major holidays in the Christian faith. In no particular order, the first is Christmas and the second is Easter. If they were to be ranked according to the amount of media attention or holiday decorating Christmas would be the winner in a runaway.The amount of glitz attached to Christmas often confuses both the celebrants of Christmas and those just observing a holiday so big the stores start pushing it somewhere in early November. It’s the only religious day that can have an effective economic impact in several major countries, including the US.

Two kinds of freedom

March 31, 2010 The holiest week for all of Christendom is here. We celebrate the Passion of Christ, the suffering servant, but also King of kings and Lord of lords.Were he still among us, one warrior-servant whose deeply abiding faith and military prowess helped shape him into a legend — a latter-day knight — would be solemnly worshiping. He also likely would be recalling another Easter Sunday 38 years ago at almost precisely this time of year, in a quaint but war-ravaged South Vietnamese village called Dong Ha.

Something better than nothing

March 31, 2010 If you get diagnosed with a disease, break your leg or find yourself facing some other medical calamity while not having health insurance, you’re not likely to be too concerned with the intricate political debates that have paralyzed health care legislation for years. That’s why the millions of working Americans who can’t afford health insurance should be overjoyed at the massive health care reform bill that President Barack Obama pushed through Congress.

Tan tax

March 30, 2010 My family and I are taking the new tax personally.One of the many items tucked into the government overhaul of America’s health care system is a 10 percent sales tax on tanning salons.According to The Wall Street Journal, the tan tax was added so that the Botox tax could be removed.As it went, our politicians, looking for ways to make it appear their massive bill would be “paid for,” had to come up with all kinds of gimmicks — such as a 5 percent sales tax on Botox.

Marriage predictions

March 30, 2010 Can a person predict the success of a marriage in just 15 minutes?John Gottman thinks so. Gottman has researched marriage for years now in a so-called “love lab,” which, if you have a dirty mind might sound dirty. Fortunately, I don’t have a dirty mind and am not bothered by the term “love lab.” But it still doesn’t sound like a place I want to visit, or worse, have my marriage dissected in.

McDaniel GOP target

March 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Conservatives have plenty of passion and anger to direct at Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel as they push for him to fight the new federal health care law. They just don’t have any leverage to see that he does it.McDaniel has emerged as the new target of Republicans opposed to the health care overhaul that was signed into law last week and quickly challenged in court by 13 state attorneys general.

Efforts increase to encourage students to take advanced classes

March 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas high schools are making progress in getting more students to take advanced placement courses. In fact, Arkansas was above the national average last year, in terms of the percentage of high school graduates who took advanced placement classes.