Spreading laughter

May 6, 2010 I handed my debit card to the owner of a barbecue restaurant. He saw my name on the card. “Is your mother’s name Elizabeth?” he asked. When I nodded, he burst out laughing. And then proceeded to confess to a prank, motivated by my mother, that he’d pulled on my family 30 years ago. My mother, you see, is a little bit “out there.” People would refer to her as “eccentric” if she were as wealthy financially as she is wealthy otherwise. Her greatest wealth is her art of laughter.

Leave it to professionals

May 5, 2010 Regular people who have time to stand outside of a television studio holding a sign do not have anything interesting to say. While that might be too general of a statement, I challenge anyone to find a single instance where a TV show host interviewed one of these sign-waving yahoos and something compelling resulted. Let’s take the “Today” show (by far the worst offender) as an example. Usually, Al Roker will venture outside to interview a group of people from some woebegone town who are inevitably wearing hand-printed matching T-shirts and/or poorly made matching hats.

You be the judge

May 5, 2010 Who is the best candidate? What do people look for in deciding who will hold office? How important is accessibility, trust and experience? Those are some of the questions voters mull over as they decide who will get their vote in the May 18 primary. Many times the only information voters have is the meet-and-greet events, advertising they read touting the candidate’s experience or the information from the challenger.

Law re-opens immigration debate in state

May 4, 2010 ROGERS (AP) — Another state’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants is renewing a familiar debate in Arkansas about what the state should do with those who are here illegally. The issue is an attractive one for election-year politics, but whether it will translate into a major policy shift in Arkansas is a cloudier question.

Out with the old and in with new

May 4, 2010 I am thrilled to say Gary and I finally have a new grill. It’s been more than 10 years since we got our last one, and the simple fact that our old one last that long is amazing to me. Of course, Gary usually takes good care of his stuff, so perhaps that is not that surprising. I feel fortunate to have a spouse who does keep the maintenance up around the house, even if he is known for leaving dirty dishes in the sink. I’m not complaining about that because he is very punctual taking out the trash and mowing the yard. I figure it all evens out, anyway.

HB2339 concerns

May 3, 2010 J. Randy Young, Executive Director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC), is correct in his April 30 letter to the Guard that if water rights were “transferred” to the ANRC “it would be unconstitutional. However, I question his Clintonian assertion there is no such language in HB 2339 Act 631 that transfers water rights to the ANRC. I also do not agree with his statement that the expanded ANRC powers will have no affect on the water rights of Arkansas land owners. I read all 21 pages of the act and have many concerns. For example, page 15 states:

Lewis still draws crowds

May 3, 2010 His steps aren’t as quick to the piano as they were 50 years ago and his wavy blonde hair is now a light shade of gray, but at 74, Jerry Lee Lewis proves he can still rock ’n’ roll with the best of them. The Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival is a lot like a homecoming for the piano virtuoso, who began his recording career in Memphis so many years ago, and to me, he’s the patriarch of the festival, even if he’s no longer considered the event’s “headliner.”

Cover story

April 30, 2010 On magazine covers published this week, Hillary Clinton never looked worse and Nancy Pelosi never looked better. Neither depiction seems fair or journalistically appropriate, bringing into focus the power of photo editing, even in a medium that supposedly never lies. During her lengthy tenure in the public eye, Clinton has been depicted in more than her share of unflattering photos —even without any consideration of the pantsuit thing. But Newsweek’s cover image on the May 3rd issue may be Clinton’s worst yet.

Blame goes to Congress

April 30, 2010 Dear editor: Kudos to the Guard for their “Special to the Guard” column. Getting our local kids involved in the political system may help their understanding of the country we are ruining. Miss Tina Dupuy’s letter “Trust in the GOP” while well written tells her readers she’s in the eighth grade and has not taken civics.

Following the law

April 30, 2010 Dear editor: Subject: Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal and Pollution Abatement Facilities Financing Act of 2007 Recent letters to the editor in the area have said that “[a]ll water rights are transferred to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission” by Act 631 of 2007. There is no such language in the act, and it would be unconstitutional if there were. Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal, and Pollution Abatement Facilities Financing Act of 2007 was approved by almost two-thirds of the state’s voters in 2008 and does not limit, change, or even affect the water rights of landowners.