Gobekli Tepe: Stonehenge of Stonehenges

October 21, 2010 Stonehenge in England is considered important, and rightly so. The huge circle of standing stones, each weighing tons, with lintels (each also weighing tons) atop some of them is magnificent.But Stonehenge has been surpassed — and how!A shepherd following his sheep in 1994 at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, about six miles northeast of Urfa (populated today more than half a million people) saw something unusual at his feet. Kneeling, he wiped some dirt from an oblong stone. He looked around him and saw other, similar smooth stones.

Griffin responds to editorial

October 20, 2010 After an editorial ran in Monday’s edition of the Batesville Daily Guard over the conflict of the budget for the upcoming year, judge-elect Robert Griffin offered the following statement.“In an effort to set the record straight about Independence County budget procedures, I, Robert Griffin, would like to present the following facts.

Misconceptions fostered about ‘Fair tax’ and Social Security

October 20, 2010 Apparently some of the lessons learned in the primary elections have carried over to the midterm national elections to be held on Nov. 2. Some of the techniques of using scare politics concerning the “fair” tax, and the candidates’ views on Social Security have run rampant through print and TV commercials.Now not being an expert on the Fair Tax, I will attempt to give readers my take on that tax. It is a tax similar to the “VAT” (value added tax) used in many European countries. It is indeed a federal sales tax based on a 23 percent tax on all goods sold.

Delayed reaction

October 20, 2010 Well we’re not in Kansas anymore. Now that a little time has passed from our five-day Griswold 2010 trip, three of the four seem to think we had a really good time. And while I’ll admit to having fun, it wasn’t without its moments.That was obvious the minute I arrived in Horseshoe Bend and my cousin announced we would be stopping at the Toyota dealership to get an oil change.That’s right, an oil change.“Oh by the way Gelia, we are going to have to stop for maybe 20 minutes, but they are going to work me right in,” were the first words out of  her mouth.

Conversations to avoid

October 19, 2010 It’s common wisdom to avoid discussing politics, religion, family drama, sex and abortion at a family gathering, but I’m afraid my family is going to have to add another Taboo Topic to the Sunday afternoon conversations with the fam: Football.Specifically, highly contested losses posted by the Razorbacks.My family doesn’t “agree to disagree.” That would be too civil. We’re more likely to pound you in the head with the same argument, and then if you still don’t agree just make fun of you, call you an idiot and declare your opinions don’t matter.

Irritated by little things

October 19, 2010 No, you couldn’t tell by reading my column, or my books, or my blog, or anything else I write, but, I guess, I’m a grammar nazi. Reading some Facebook comments following a post by Alyson Low, this revelation hit me like a sack full of mud. I realize I have no right, but I get really irritated by the little things.

Judging the issue

October 18, 2010 Just who is in charge?That’s the question we are asking ourselves after last week’s quorum court budget committee meeting when it was apparent some shenanigans took place saying County Judge Bill Hicks was no longer running the show.Right after Justice of the Peace Margaret Boothby called the meeting to order, it was announced that Hicks’ budget for the county general/solid waste had been switched to one submitted by Robert Griffin, who will be holding the title come 2011.Whoa boys and girls, it appears we are getting the cart a couple of months ahead of the horse.

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.