Politics of race

September 21, 2009 The Democrats, led by certain members of Congress and former President Jimmy Carter, have developed a new tactic to dismiss growing displeasure with President Obama’s policies. As his approval ratings continue to drop, hesitancy over health care has snarled the plan’s progress, and tens of thousands marched on Washington this past weekend, the left has decided the entire opposition can be dismissed by the obfuscating charge of racism.

He had the time of his life

September 21, 2009 I will never forget the first time I saw it. It was a rainy day after school in 1993 or ’94 at Bridget’s, my next door neighbor and classmate’s house. My aunt had to be taken to White River Medical Center at Batesville by my parents and I was to wait there until they arrived home. To occupy our time Bridget asked if I wanted to watch “Dirty Dancing.” Needless to say I didn’t know if I should be watching anything “dirty,” but I said yes. After all, her mom was OK with it.

Debt will be trillions

September 18, 2009 How much is a trillion dollars? Mathematically it would be expressed with this simple equation: A trillion dollars = $1,000,000,000,000.It takes 12 zeroes to the left of the decimal point to make a trillion. Or in other words, a trillion is a million million dollars.

Retired teachers see pay increase

September 18, 2009 LITTLE ROCK —  Retired teachers recently got an average increase of $51 a month in benefits, thanks to a resolution passed by the Board of Retired of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.The increase results from the board’s voting to compound the annual cost of living adjustment for this year. The amount of the increase in the COLA will differ among individuals, depending on their final average salary and years of service. Compounding the COLA was a one-time only decision that will increase benefits to retired teachers by $19 million this fiscal year.

Terrible thing to bee-fall climber

September 17, 2009 “I was 50 feet up a tree. It was in the spring of my 50th year when 50,000 bees fell on my head,” author Doug Elliott writes in his latest book, “Swarm Tree: Of Honeybees, Honeymoons and the Tree of Life.”“Fifty thousand bees weigh more than you might think,” Elliott says. “...The mass landed heavily, with a buzzing thud and pushed my hat down to my ears. Within a few seconds I was virtually covered with bees. They oozed down over my shoulders, arms and trunk like a mass of living, breathing, buzzing pudding. The bees that missed me began flying back ...

An over ‘FED’ mind

September 16, 2009 I don’t recall exactly when it began but I wish it would stop: I think about the federal government all the time now.There is no way to avoid it.Every time I turn on the tube, President Obama is on — or there are people talking about what he is trying to do.Every time I go to a cookout or party, the conversation always turns to politics and worries about what our political class is trying to do.

The blizzard of 1979

September 15, 2009 “Every man has a rainy corner of his life whence comes foul weather which follows him.”                             —Jean Paul Richter

My night to purge

September 15, 2009 Ever since I started watching “Hoarders,” Monday nights have become my night to purge.After seeing the clutter and filth that some people live in, I am all about throwing away my own stuff that’s unwanted, unneeded and unusable. It’s the opposite of hoarding. The people on the show often say they get joy by buying things, but I’m getting joy by tossing them out.