Nuclear power vital

December 7, 2011 This past week, I had the opportunity to tour the Arkansas Nuclear One facility near Russellville. According to Entergy, the company that operates the two units there, this plant provides nearly 30 percent of our state’s electric power.There has been a lot in the news lately about coal power, natural gas, and green energy, but nuclear power is still hugely vital to our energy needs.

Young people abandon newspapers to their peril

December 7, 2011 I teach tax and immigration law to students in Philadelphia. Sometimes I’ll see a relevant story in the local paper, and I’ll ask in class, “Anyone see that front page story in the Inquirer that was on the very topic we are discussing?” And then I’ll look at blank faces.

Just gonna sing along

December 7, 2011 It’s official, Mindy McCready found our justice system to her liking.I can’t image what she would have said if things had apparently not gone her way after appearing in Judge Lee Harrod’s courtroom, but she didn’t spout off anything we didn’t already know. Judge Harrod is known for being fair, and he isn’t the only one.For the past 20 plus years I have spent countless hours watching our judges decide cases and I can testify to what a good job they do, not only in the 16th Judicial District, but in Third Judicial District as well.

He was cute, at least once

December 7, 2011 The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had commandeered the Christmas decorating operation for yet another year. I am not quite sure how she remembers when to start all of this, because the thought had not yet entered my mind.Here it is Christmas and I am about as prepared for Christmas this year as I was last year. One of the great things about my wife is that she keeps all of these holidays in order and on time. I am still reeling from my Thanksgiving turkey indulgence.

State Capitol Week in Review

December 6, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Local law enforcement agencies in Arkansas and all across the United States got some good news recently when the federal Department of Justice announced that funding for cleanup of meth labs had been partially restored.The grant program was cut earlier this year, leaving state and local governments with the bill for cleanup.

You have no privacy

December 6, 2011 If you are like us, every day you pick up a smartphone and you send email, visit with friends on Facebook, send a text message or even log into your bank’s website and pay a bill. These modern day conveniences have become routine.We all believe that our passwords are secure, our data is protected, and life is easier if we don’t have to write a check to pay a bill or dig around and find a stamp to send a friend a quick note.

Workers facing a cruel choice: your God or your job

December 6, 2011 In hard economic times, American workers may be willing to forego pay raises and pensions to keep their jobs. Just don’t ask them to abandon their faith.Consider the case of Abdulkadir Omar, a former security guard in Kent, Wash., who was told to shave his religiously required beard after six months on the job. Omar refused, was fired and now is in federal court seeking damages.Like many other religious Americans, Omar was forced to make what the Supreme Court has called a “cruel choice” between keeping his job and following his God.

Hidden talents that should stay hidden

December 6, 2011 My wife says our kids are going to grow up psychotic. I am not sure why she says that, but she said it when I was expounding on a song my 5-year-old came home singing from kindergarten. “Up on the housetop reindeer pause...”“You know,” I said to her, “reindeer don’t have paws. They have hooves. Shouldn’t it be, ‘Up on the housetop reindeer hooves?’”She looked at me dubiously.  “Daddy, the song says paws so they have paws.”

Insider trading

December 5, 2011 With the economy in the shape it is in and people struggling to make a living you would think that our congress people wouldn’t be taking advantage of us but that is exactly what they are doing with a scheme called inside trading. If you and I did this they would send us to jail, but congress passed a law that mede it legel for them to do it. What ever happened to the part of the costitution that says that congress can make no laws pretaining to themselves that doesn’t pretain to the people?

A reflective moment

December 5, 2011 Funny how time passages can make you go full circle.In the 1950s, I was a young girl growing up, just outside the city limits of Batesville on Highway 25 East. My parents had built a small red brick house for our little family, Mom and Dad, older brother, me the middle child, and a younger brother.Our house was surrounded by fields that fed Mr. Don Heuer’s black Angus cows.Occasionally Mom would send me to get a bone for our dog from Meacham’s Meat Market. It was in sight from our house, across the field and a highway from us.