Music to my life

October 18, 2010 As a youngster I was never a fan of Willie Nelson’s nasally voice, but his was a familiar sound in my house. My father was a big fan of country music and I cut my teeth on the likes of him, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, even acquiring the namesake of one of my dad’s favorite female singers of the 1980s, Lacy J. Dalton.

Out of the mine

October 15, 2010 Wasn’t it a wonderful sight? And didn’t it spark emotions in all of us that haven’t been felt in a long time?The rescue of the 33 miners from the gold and copper mine near Copiapo, Chile, became a television spectacle of the best sort. Folks who never even turn their heads to watch cable news crowded around TV sets in restaurants and stores, offices and schools, to catch a glimpse of the guys who had spent 69 days almost a half-mile underground.

Court bound over politcal ads

October 15, 2010 While the emergence of tea party candidates is getting headlines in this fall’s midterm elections, another trend with free-speech implications has popped up, as well — candidates and supporters going to court, not just the ballot box, to challenge opponents’ ads and claims.The nation’s founders and courts have provided wide protection for political speech. Generally, the idea has been that vigorous, perhaps caustic, and even erroneous speech (if not malicious or negligent) about candidates and issues is essential to the future of the Republic.

Looking for photos: Remembering old times, places

October 14, 2010 A volunteer from the local museum called this week, seeking photos of home beauty shops — commercial salons that existed in homes in and around Batesville a few decades ago.Apparently, at one time, several such beauty shops operated in the area.The photos are needed for an upcoming exhibit. If anyone has pictures of such beauty shops, please call the Batesville Daily Guard at (870) 793-2383 or Old Independence Regional Museum at 793-2100.While on the subject of pictures of places and things from days gone by, here are a few subjects the Guard would like photos of:

Mirror images

October 13, 2010 I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have roots. To not be able to openly practice my religion, have the freedom of the press or to assemble peaceably and address concerns I have with the government.I am one of those lucky ones born in a world that guarantees me those rights, but I wonder with all the chaos around us just where we are headed. Are we doomed to repeat the past by persecuting those who have beliefs other than ours or take matters into our own hands because we believe the system is no longer working?

Voters could send message

October 13, 2010 They’ve done it again.Tuesday night, the residents of Batesville got a slap in the face when the eight aldermen voted to increase property millages at the city council meeting without any explanation as to why. It reeked of Big Brother saying, “We know what’s best for you.”This is the same city council that can drag decisions out for months unless it’s self-serving.Let’s keep in mind, these are the same eight people who want to give themselves four-year terms instead of two.

Finding common ground

October 12, 2010 A reader and email friend in Heber Springs wrote, “In conclusion it’s a no brainier identifying problems. It’s the resolution that counts and I think of all the mistakes we as a nation have made in the past and will continue to make in the present and future. When the two parties are united for the common good there is nothing that we cannot do. Amen and amen. HY”

Beltway lessons

October 12, 2010 The evidence is right under their noses, yet they ignore it.I am living in the Washington, D.C., area for a spell. I moved here temporarily from Pittsburgh — flyover country — which is the land of friendly, considerate people.People are not so considerate in D.C. — particularly on the roadways.Drivers here come from every part of the globe and drive every kind of vehicle. Yet most have one thing in common.You better get out of their way.

Weird about money

October 12, 2010 We’re weird about money.  We want it.  But nobody wants to talk about it.Sometimes — like on a date or at a class reunion — we pretend like we have it, when we don’t.Other times —like when we see a homeless person or our kids whine for designer jeans — we pretend we don’t have any, when in fact we do.I come from a long line of money weirdness. My parents fought about money.  But they told us that it was rude to talk about money.