Bubba Burks remembered

November 5, 2010 In glancing through the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s obituary page on Monday, I noticed with sorrow that Arvie “Bubba” Burks of Batesville had died at the age of 80. He was the twin brother of Arvil “Biggie” Burks of Conway, both of whom were my classmates at Batesville High School, Class of 1949.

Students grasp freedoms

November 4, 2010 OK, so at some disputed level, neither candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware recently stood out in terms of basic knowledge of what the First Amendment actually says.Then there are the results a few weeks ago from another State of the First Amendment survey by the First Amendment Center, which again show very few Americans — this year, just six in 100 — can name the five freedoms contained in the amendment’s 45 words.Given all that, it’s good to be reminded that some in this nation do know what is in the 219-year old amendment — because they study it.

Repeal it now

November 4, 2010 Our country was founded on a revolutionary concept — a new kind of government both empowered and controlled by its citizens.This idea, the very foundation of our great experiment in democracy, was betrayed with enactment of the new healthcare act. Every poll showed that a majority of Americans rejected this legislation and yet Congress ran right over the majority will of the American people and enacted it into law.This act must be repealed for this reason alone but there are many more good reasons.

Elections almost over

November 2, 2010 Here it is Election Day — did you do your patriotic duty and cast a ballot? It’s down to the minutes now (instead of days and weeks and months). I for one will be glad when the elections are behind us and Jan. 1 is here, so those in office can get to work. I am as bad as any other newspaper reader with ADD, attention deficit disorder. One thing my professors drilled in my head was writing concise, succinct stories because readers skip around. By the time the actual Election Day arrives I have gotten to the point that I read the headline and move on.

Don’t Vote

November 2, 2010 Don’t Vote. You don’t have to. No one’s going to make you. This isn’t the Soviet Union. You won’t be forced from your beds and dragged to the polls against your wills. Relax. Take a chill pill. Let it go. It’ll all be fine without you.Things are pretty good the way they are, aren’t they? Well, okay, some stuff could be better. Then again, could be worse. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if it is broke, leave it alone; who knows, maybe it’ll fix itself. Or let someone who knows what they’re doing fix it. What if you make things worse? How would you feel then? Not good, I bet.

Know-it-alls are usually wrong

November 2, 2010 Are you like Galileo?Or do you approach life more like a scared Roman?In 1663 Galileo Galilei was jailed as a heretic for having the audacity to suggest that the earth moved around the sun. The man whose groundbreaking work marked the dawn of modern astronomy was convicted of heresy because he had the gall to tell the people of Rome that the sun did not actually rise and set upon them.Am I the only one who sees the dark humor in a genius being jailed for telling people (literally) that they are not the center of the universe?

Expressing belief

November 1, 2010 Dear Editor:Recent events seem to indicate that expressing one’s opinion has become one of the quickest ways to lose one’s job.  If you believe (and publicly express the belief) that homosexual behavior is wrong, you are labeled as a bigot or as a hate monger by the supporters of that lifestyle.

Awareness raised

November 1, 2010 As a lesbian I live in a constant state of awareness. At any moment I may encounter an ugly remark, my property vandalized, my person assaulted. I live in this awareness because these things have happened to me, simply because I am a lesbian. I and most lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) live in this awareness because people like Clint McCance say horrible things that help perpetuate the homophobia and the perception that it is okay to hurt those who are LGBT. Those who are or would be bullies see this as a free pass to torment others.

Blaze fuels kindness

November 1, 2010 I spent many a day in the Edwards Commons building those six weeks during the summer of 2000 as a high school student in the Lyon College Upward Bound program.So, when a fire destroyed the building which served as the college’s dining hall and student union last week, it immediately took me back to that summer and all the times I went there for breakfast, lunch and dinner and spent time with friends I wouldn’t have met if not for the college experience program.

Intolerance goes both ways

October 29, 2010 “Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life and the neglected opportunity.”Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.That was apparent this week after a Midland School Board member hit the national spotlight after he posted comments about homosexuals on his Facebook page that caused a national uproar.