Time of transformation

December 26, 2008 Welcome to 2009 - and to the era of First Amendment 3.0. First Amendment 1.0 was the time of origination, when the Founders debated, discussed and eventually created in 1791 a statement - the first 45 words in the Bill of Rights - that both declared and protected freedom of religion, speech and press, and the rights of assembly and petition.

Another ancient mystery

December 24, 2008 The Phaistos Disc was discovered in 1908 in the Minoan palace of Phaistos about 20 inches above the floor in a basement room that could be entered only from above. The room also contained black earth, ashes and some burnt cattle bones.

Letters to the Editor

December 23, 2008 A united effort I wanted to publicly express my appreciation for some people that have worked hard to make this Christmas like no other in our community and whose work goes greatly unappreciated. These people, who work out of the kindness of their hearts and at the expense of their families, have made the spirit of Christmas evident in our community this year.

Packing on the pounds

December 23, 2008 Oprah's fat again, and - ahem - not to mention any names - but a few of the rest of us have porked up right along with her. America's favorite yo-yo dieter has fallen off the wagon again. But instead of wrapping herself in a mu-mu and ignoring it (which she could certainly do because - let's be honest here - who's going to call Oprah out?) she's gone public herself and is inviting us to join her as she works to reclaim her health.

Missouri nips UofA women

December 22, 2008 FAYETTEVILLE (AP) - Jessra Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Missouri to a 56-55 win over Arkansas on Sunday. Missouri (6-4) also got 16 points from Alyssa Hollins. For Arkansas (9-3), Whitney Jones grabbed 14 rebounds and Ceira Ricketts added a career-high 22 points.

Words have impact

December 19, 2008 "Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life and the neglected opportunity." Words. Page 65. Two paragraphs - 310 words - summed it all up. I read them again - and again - and again.

Christmas gifts

December 19, 2008 With the Advent season well under way and Christmas just around the corner, I've been thinking about the obstacles the Christian faith is facing these days - and about the survival of the faith in spite of such obstacles.

Right for one, right for all

December 18, 2008 Just when I thought the Christmas wars couldn't get more ridiculous or hostile, along comes the uproar over dueling holiday displays in the rotunda of Washington's state Capitol. First a holiday tree, then a menorah, followed by a crèche - and now a "winter solstice" placard declaring all of the above to be hokum.

Clue to Vinland?

December 18, 2008 A few weeks ago, while participating in a two-hour Internet radio talk show about visitors to ancient America, a brief discussion on runestones - stones with messages carved on them in the runic alphabet - took place. As the segment was ending, one commentator said it is too bad that Leif Eriksson did not leave a carved runestone.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

December 17, 2008 Have a safe holiday Dear Editor: As parties are planned during the holiday season, the Independence County Hometown Wellness Coalition is asking you to be mindful of the problem of drinking and driving. Perhaps you have seen our "don't be an empty shoe" reminder parked in key locations around Batesville, i.e. a wrecked car with many pair of shoes representing the yearly deaths on Arkansas highways from driving under the influence.