January 15, 2009 Dear editor: On the economic development program, all information disseminated encouraged an overwhelming vote for. I voted against the proposal. I won't criticize the panel; neither will I take part in anything other than civil diatribe. Apparently, they worked hard, with the best interests of the people in mind, but sometimes a camel built by a committee comes out looking like an elephant. Invited to join the group, I don't now want to snipe, but I believed that a new tax was the target, even during a severe recession.

Silent heroes laid foundation

January 14, 2009 It will be a moment, a moment when the entire world watches, as the United States of America inaugurates our first African-American president. There will be parties. There will be cheering. There will be speeches. I suspect a lot of people will probably start to cry.

Soldier’s life revisited

January 14, 2009 After spending a year in Iraq from 2003-2004, I had it in my head that I knew exactly what training for this mission would be like. After all, I'm a veteran with a combat patch and a Combat Action Badge! After 14 years in the U.S. Army, I'm ready for anything, right? Uh…right.

Abe awakens … part 1

January 13, 2009 "Mr. President. Abraham. Abe? Wake up." The tall, bearded, gaunt man slowly opened his eyes. He blinked twice, then slammed his eyes shut again. The light! It was blinding. "Get that light out of my eyes, for God's sake," he cried.

Last presidential ticket

January 13, 2009 There are still a few days left before President Obama takes office and it looks as if the 2012 GOP ticket is already taking form. Let me be the first to predict the ticket -Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber. Literally. I mean, I think Joe Whathisface will actually change his last name to "ThePlumber," for, you know, name recognition.

Books, DVDs, CDs, oh my!

January 13, 2009 After writing my column last week about a Web site that allows members to swap books of all sorts, I received plenty of feedback. Some was from people interested in the site, www.paperbackswap.com, some from people letting me know about other sites (www.bookmooch.com is one) and some about a movie swapping Web site, www.swapadvd.com.

Legislative Odd Couple

January 12, 2009 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Bob Johnson doesn't mind referring to himself as a lightning rod. Robbie Wills says he's proud to be boring. Meet the Arkansas Legislature's version of the Odd Couple. The personality gap between the firebrand of a Senate president and the politically cautious House speaker were on full display days before the 87th General Assembly convened. Meeting with a roomful of reporters and editors last week, both seemed to relish in the way they're perceived.

It’s good for the ‘soil’

January 12, 2009 "Adversity precedes growth." - motivational speaker Rosemarie Rossetti The winter should have killed it. It's not even supposed to be alive, (or so Mom thought). Its adversity was the changing seasons; yet, there it sits, in the month of January, with its tiny red and white blossoms.

Man’s word is his bond

January 9, 2009 I have been told there was a time when a person was judged upon the words that emanated from his mouth. A person's character could be seen in his deeds and by what he would say and sometimes what he would not say.

Peace in Middle East?

January 9, 2009 No one can write an uncontested history of the Middle East. However, acknowledging diverse and varied histories is foundational to ceasing hostilities between factions over there. All the histories agree any peace in the region is short lived.