A close look at poor

December 10, 2008 It's like a rock in the pit of your stomach; a cold clammy feeling that spreads up your gut and momentarily stops your breath. It's the awful moment when they tell you that your credit card is denied. Or you open the mail and you find out that your utilities are about to be cut off. Or the check to your kid's school bounces; or the IRS seizes your bank account; or your spouse comes home and tells you they lost their job.

Christmas is a birthday

December 10, 2008 Christmas is once again upon us, and we can expect to witness countless new displays of the rampant secularization of what is meant to be a joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Frankly I'm fed up with seeing federal, state and local governments, local and nationwide chain stores, and even the White House - which last year couldn't call their Christmas Party a Christmas party - all of them giving in to the intimidation of a handful of secular progressives who loathe Christianity and any celebration associated with it.

A toast to the feast

December 9, 2008 Friday night, I was transported across an ocean and time both to Merrie Olde England at the Arkansas State University Madrigal Feaste. Although I am an ASU alum and Gary was born and raised in Jonesboro, this was the first time he and I had ever attended the Madrigal Feaste. I loved it so much that I am ready to go back. We had a great time.

Trouble at Sunset Acres

December 9, 2008 "Let me get this straight. You moved into a gated retirement community and you're only 45?" "That's right. The wife and I paid 40 grand for a unit that was worth 120 grand two years ago! It's the best decision we ever made."

Gay marriage fight

December 8, 2008 Last time out, I addressed the fallout from the passage of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that bans same-sex marriage in California. Both sides, I argued, need to rethink their strategy of harsh attacks before the clash escalates out of control.

One year older

December 8, 2008 Is 25 the year? The year of feeling old but young? The year when older folks laugh because they think 25 is young; the year when younger folks believe 25 is ancient? Seeing that I don't feel too old, but I certainly don't feel too young, does that mean 25 is the year of feeling in limbo?

Remember Pearl Harbor

December 5, 2008 Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, began as a serene morning at the U.S. Navy base on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The warships of America's Pacific Fleet rested at anchor. Many sailors were preparing for church or relaxing, and all was quiet at Pearl Harbor.

On the silver screen

December 5, 2008 It's official. Batesville has hit the silver screen. Do you remember when I wrote after last Thanksgiving that my daughter Nell had done some shopping for Hollywood when home for Thanksgiving? She'd moved to Los Angeles the previous June after graduating from Lyon, hoping to start a career in television and film production.


December 4, 2008 Writer: Tax will unite county Dear editor: I am writing this letter to encourage all the citizens of Independence County to vote for the one-quarter cent tax for economic development. Early voting has already begun at the courthouse in Batesville. December 9 is the date of the election.

Seeds of forecasting

December 4, 2008 Judging by several conversations recently, folks have been cutting lots of persimmon seeds open to see whether the embryonic matter inside is shaped like a spoon, a fork or a knife. According to folklore, the winter's weather is forecast by the shape found inside the persimmon seeds.