[Masthead] Fair ~ 76°F  
High: 76°F ~ Low: 51°F
Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014
The Treasures of the Delta (08/08/13)
My wife Nancy and I continue to enjoy traveling throughout and learning about Eastern Arkansas, much of it now associated with articles, photos and themes for the Delta Crossroads magazine that our newspaper company publishes. Nancy is now devoting much of her part-time work to the magazine and she constantly is on the lookout for interesting places and people that constitute present-day Delta life...
Basilica Stunning Work of Art (07/25/13)
One of the most common items seen while browsing the internet are the "best of" lists that include anything from top restaurants to outstanding athletes to dramatic tourist attractions. If one were to look up "most beautiful churches in America," contained in most lists will be the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis...
The Crossroads of Memories (07/11/13)
Through the 14 quarterly issues of Delta Crossroads magazine, stories and images that help create the magic of this part of our wonderful state have been shared with our readers. It has been fun, but also educational. My wife Nancy has worked tirelessly to present each issue in a comprehensive, unique and creative manner. Her own writing and photographic talent has shown forth in the magazine's pages, along with the great contributions of members of our staff and other contributors...
Complaining Has Become a Way of Life (06/27/13)
"Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care and the other 80% are glad you have them." Lou Holtz. "If you can quit, quit. If you can't quit, stop complaining. This is what you chose." J.H. Konrath. "Stop complaining and start living." Habeeb Akande...
An American Treasure Passes On (05/16/13)
There's a wonder of sunset at evening, The wonder as sunrise I see; But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul Is the wonder that God loves me. O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all! Just to think that God loves me. O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!...
A History That May Open Some Eyes (04/18/13)
We are hoping that a lot of young people decide to attend "42", the recently-released motion picture on the life of Jackie Robinson. We are certain that many in the younger generation are not aware of the prevalence of "White" and "Colored" signs in public places such as drinking fountains and theatre entrances in the America of not that long ago...
Time, Understanding Lead to Compassion (04/11/13)
Not long ago a pastor made a comment in a sermon concerning one of the true tests of Christianity. He said (and we are paraphrasing a bit here), that it is in the nature of a Christian not to hold bitterness or animosity in his or her heart for anyone...
Geniuses Are Different From You and Me (04/03/13)
Here is a mythical quote-counterquote that made literary history: F. Scott Fitzgerald -- "The rich are different from you and me." Ernest Hemingway -- "Yes, they have more money." It didn't exactly happen that way. In actuality, the comments were made in separate passages of short stories written by the two famous authors, but the legend of its being an actual conversation between the two remains...
Rural Counties Showing Decline (03/21/13)
Latest census information shows a trend that should be surprising to no one -- rural counties in Arkansas are losing people. In fact, in the period between 2010 and 2012 more than two-thirds of the counties in Arkansas showed population declines. Virtually all the counties of Eastern Arkansas lost population in the past two years. The only notable exceptions are Greene and Craighead counties, which showed growth rates of two and three percent respectively...
Small Towns Step Up at State Tourney (03/14/13)
The sound was deafening when the Concord Pirates ran onto the floor prior to the championship game of the state basketball tournament this past week at Little Rock's Barton Coliseum. The first reaction from press row -- "I didn't know there were that many people in Concord."...
There But For Fortune, Go You or I (02/07/13)
Despite the topsy-turvy nature of labels in our current political atmosphere, we believe there is a fundamental difference between those who tend toward what is considered a more liberal philosophy of government and those who lean to the conservative side...
The "Man" a Hero to Many (01/24/13)
The date was July 28, 1957. The setting was historic Sportsman's Park on the north side of St. Louis. The focus, as always for lifelong Cardinal fans, was Stan "The Man" Musial. This is a case where the internet does indeed prove to be a fascinating knowledge tool. That's because it allowed me to pinpoint the date when my Dad took me to St. Louis (from our home in Parkin, Ark., where he served as football-basketball coach) to see our beloved Cardinals...
Historical Inaccuracy in Movies (01/17/13)
In "The Patriot," a 2000 film starring Mel Gibson, a scene which no doubt created a disturbing impression with audiences has been cited for extreme historical inaccuracy. Those who saw the film will remember the scene in which British soldiers rounded up a community of American colonists and locked them in the local church. They then set the building afire, gruesomely killing all the men, women and children in the community...
Balanced Perspective is Needed (01/10/13)
Another major election is now in the rear-view mirror and the process of governing supposedly begins. That is said guardedly because it does seem our system breaks down a bit more every year, making true governance difficult. There clearly have been extremes of political thought evident throughout our political history, but without doubt there have been periods in which compromise, civility and non-partisanship were more prevalent than today...
Young Musicians Inspiring (01/03/13)
It seems that every generation comes forth on occasion with a "young people today" sigh of concern when observing the work ethic and behavioral patterns of those traveling road behind them. As an official card-carrying member of the Baby Boomers, I confess I've been known to make a comment or two about the "younger generation" from time to time. But, let's be honest, there is no question The Greatest Generation sometimes followed that same script where we were concerned...
The Tale of Two Coaches (12/13/12)
The highest paid public employee in the state, by far, is the head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. If one is a die-hard football fan that would seem understandable, if not defensible. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the biggest story in Arkansas last week was the employment of Bret Bielema (Bee-luh-muh) as the new Head Hog. The announcement came with a banner front page headline in the statewide newspaper...
Time to Get to Work (12/05/12)
Hopefully, the word "compromise" will be used a lot over the next few months in Washington, D.C. We know there are fringe elements on each side of the political equation who have a "no holds barred" approach to politics, but there is no question the majority of Americans are practical people and want to see positive accomplishments rather than strident partisan bickering...
Way down yonder in Baton Rouge (11/27/11)
Well, it's not exactly New Orleans, but it's close. That's where the eyes of the nation's football fans will turn this Friday as the Arkansas Razorbacks play their biggest game since, well, The Big Shootout. Every Hog fan (at least those old enough to remember) can think back to where he or she was on that cold December day in 1969 when President Richard Nixon visited Fayetteville for the classic battle between the top two teams in college football...
Governing now very artificial (10/27/11)
We can't remember where we read it specifically -- perhaps it was a perceptive letter to the editor -- but one observer of the current scene said politics/government now is consumed with artificiality. That clearly is an accurate assessment of what we are facing as we "prep" for the 2012 election...
Just what is compassion? (09/22/11)
Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism. --Hubert Horatio Humphrey We've heard a lot of recent references to "compassion" as a factor in the political process. Certainly, this is one word that will evoke varying responses depending upon one's political or moral compass...
We're still the land of the free (09/16/11)
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life. Over the Labor Day weekend I had the privilege of being involved in a celebration of the progress on the new Veterans Memorial Park in Rector...
Unity still needed (09/08/11)
As we near the 10th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in American history, let's hope the spirit of national unity that arose after 9/11 still exists and we can indeed join together as a people if we sadly must deal with any such event in the future...
Please don't confuse with facts (09/01/11)
It really does seem we increasingly live in a world where facts are meaningless and ideas are subordinate to "talking points". It's not unusual to run into a person who has his or her mind in a concrete state and nothing, absolutely nothing, will penetrate...
Moderation finally appears in campaign (08/25/11)
A moderate Republican? Surely not. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman made waves this week when he actually injected a bit of moderation and intelligence into the Republican Presidential nomination campaign. Huntsman directed his initial remarks at leading candidates Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry, indicating their positions on key issues may endear them to the right-wing fringe among GOP primary voters while hurting the party in the general election and in the long haul...
Concert a huge success (08/18/11)
In the recent past in Arkansas one of the great success stories has been the development of the northwest corner of the state. Population growth, employment opportunities and a general increase in the quality of life have been the hallmarks of what has come to be known as the Northwest Arkansas Corridor...
Almanac contains lots of great tidbits (07/28/11)
During a lifetime of reading, one of our favorite books always has been The World Almanac. It is a great volume for settling hundreds of factual debates, as well as serving as "light" reading on a variety of interesting and esoteric topics. Wondering about all the issues relating to the current debt, spending or revenue debate going on now in Washington? You can cut to the chase by going to the almanac and finding facts rather than self-serving political rhetoric...
Dysfunctional situation exists in D.C. (07/14/11)
Words from former Wyoming Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, a well-known conservative and member of a special commission charged with bringing the federal government's financial house in order -- "Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration -- I was there."...
Compromise shouldn't be a dirty word (07/07/11)
The current stalemate in Congress concerning how to deal with our nation's financial and budgetary challenges is not pleasant to observe. In fact, it's downright frustrating. Somewhere along the line, in our political system, the art of compromise was lost. The American people will continue to suffer as a result...
Downtown remains important (06/23/11)
We all realize that the downtown areas of communities, both large and small, have experienced stress (to say the least) as a result of economic changes over the years. Most of us remember the vibrant atmosphere that existed in downtown areas in years past as the businesses located there were the focus of commercial life...
Declining community involvement (06/01/11)
We still have numerous civic clubs and organizations in our communities, but membership seems to reflect a disturbing trend. Next time you attend a civic club luncheon, a women's club meeting or other various volunteer groups, take a good look around the room. Chances are you will see a lot of gray hair...
Survival, resilience, redemption (05/19/11)
Those are the words used on the cover of a best-selling biography to summarize the trials and triumphs of an amazing American. Louis Zamperini, one of the World War II veterans who are quickly leaving us, has lived an extraordinary life since his birth in Olean, N.Y., in 1917...
We need the moral high ground (05/12/11)
Despite not agreeing with Congressman Ron Paul on a number of crucial policy matters, we have respect for the man who clearly is considered America's leading libertarian. One of the primary reasons for our respect is the clear sense of independence that he exhibits...
Mission brings unity (05/05/11)
There are defining moments in our nation's history when events occur which bring all Americans together in a common cause. Perhaps at the top of the list would be the long struggle and sacrifice our nation made as a result of what happened Dec. 7, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor...
He's coming to take them away (04/27/11)
What do David Warrington and Alan M. Gottlieb have in common? They both want you to send them money. Why? To keep Barack Obama from coming to your house and taking away ALL your guns. Okay, maybe he won't PERSONALLY come take away your gun, but you get the idea...
Natural State it's not (04/21/11)
As the prospect of a beautiful spring (hopefully) continues to take shape, one's thoughts turn to enjoying life here in "The Natural State." But an underlying problem creeps in to spoil our sense of reverie. And it is simply this -- can Arkansas really be called The Natural State?...
Arkansas now in the GOP fold (04/07/11)
The Arkansas Legislature has been toying this session with a redistricting scheme called the "Pigtrail Plan" or the "Fayetteville Finger," an obtuse measure that finds a way to include Fayetteville into the Fourth Congressional District. The proposed action relates to the continuing shift of population from rural areas of east and south Arkansas into the booming northwest region. ...
In an alternate universe (03/31/11)
One of the most popular television shows back in our earlier days was "The Twilight Zone," a series which effectively presented stranger than life stories -- outside the mainstream. There was "spooky" music in the background which added to the distinct other-worldly atmosphere...
Middle ground needed to battle budget deficits (03/24/11)
At a recent meeting we attended in Little Rock, Gov. Mike Beebe was able to brag on Arkansas -- our state is one of only a handful that has a balanced budget in the midst of the current economic difficulties. It is indeed something for which we should feel proud...
The challenge to rural America (03/17/11)
It hasn't been so long ago that the landscape of Northeast Arkansas was dotted with hundreds, even thousands, of homes out on the farm. Those days are rapidly passing away, creating new challenges for this little section of vast rural America. Farm employment now is less than 2.4 percent of the United States workforce...
Despite declines, delta still vibrant (02/24/11)
Recently-released U.S. Census Bureau data for Arkansas revealed what already was anticipated -- most communities in the delta region of the state experienced population decline in the past 10 years. As a whole, the state's population grew at approximately a nine percent rate. That trend was not reflected throughout most of Eastern Arkansas...
A nation of complainers (02/17/11)
Evidence abounds that we are indeed becoming more and more a nation of complainers. As one observer said, we are even to the point that we complain about waiting in line too long to board an airplane that will take us cross-country in a matter of a few hours...
Gospel singer still an inspiration (02/11/11)
Receiving a lifetime Grammy Award is a quite an achievement for any artist -- that is especially true when the recipient is 102-years-old. George Beverly Shea will board a private plane this week in North Carolina and fly across the country to California to be honored for his decades of work as America's most-renowned gospel singer...
Standing in the arena (02/03/11)
It certainly is possible to make an entertaining presentation while also sharing important insights with an audience. Such was the case last week as long-time National Football League referee Walt Coleman enthusiastically served as the guest speaker at the Trumann Chamber of Commerce banquet...
American Dream: is it vanishing? (01/20/11)
Perhaps the most disturbing economic reality in modern America is the vanishing middle class. When one thinks to the "golden age" of our nation, the mind goes back to the post-World War II era when opportunities began expanding for the average American. These included, of course, the GI bill that opened educational avenues to an entire generation...
Self-improvement can happen in 2011 (01/06/11)
We live in a world of intense communication, in essence besieged by our cell phones, laptops, text messages and on and on. There is a tremendous amount of informational input involved and we are indeed influenced by societal and perhaps political pressure to conform to certain modes of thinking or acting...
Just what is compassion? (12/02/10)
Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism. --Hubert Horatio Humphrey We've heard a lot of references to "compassion" as a factor in the political and social process in our culture. Certainly, this is one word that will evoke varying responses depending upon one's political or moral compass...
It is time to give thanks (11/29/10)
We hear an increasing number of people expressing the view that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday of the year. Of course, it could have something to do with the turkey and dressing, rolls and gravy, pumpkin pie and on and on. And it does. But we are sure many refer to the day of peaceful reflection, the time with family and friends and the opportunity to pause and just be thankful for our many blessings...
Fragmented media emphasize conflict (11/04/10)
On a day-to-day basis, most of us get along together rather nicely, thank you. There generally is not a lot of conflict as we go about our school experiences, our work days and our leisure activities. We inherently like each other and show lots of common courtesies...
Major polarization in political system (10/27/10)
As we enter the final days before the important mid-term election, the American political system seems polarized almost to the point of paralysis. We hear some long-time observers and historians note that heated debate and over-the-top controversy always have been hallmarks of the American system -- and there is truth in that view...
Negativity infects our small towns (10/21/10)
We all know the many challenges faced in our smaller communities as economic and social trends work against them in so many ways. Job opportunities abound in larger cities and suburbs and, over time, there has been a migration to those locales. There simply are fewer economic, educational, recreational and cultural opportunities in rural communities when compared to our urban areas...
Negative ads now the norm (10/14/10)
Hello voters, my name is (candidate's name) and I am running for (name of office). During the campaign you are going to see all kinds of negative ads being run by my opponent, making unfair and distorted statements about me and my actual positions on the issues. If you watch or read ads by other candidates in other races, you will see much the same thing...
A perfect week in the outdoors (10/07/10)
"Arkansas State Parks -- aren't you glad we've got 'em?" Yes, we are. We couldn't agree more with the motto for Arkansas State Parks after spending a great week in a couple of them. Petit Jean State Park, near Morrilton in Western Arkansas, always has been one of our favorite places in the state and we have chosen it for a camping trip the past three Septembers...
Throw (most of) them out of office (09/29/10)
This past weekend we saw on the same vehicle a couple of bumper stickers that essentially sum up the current political scene. One of them said "Throw All Of Them Out". The second said "Elect John Boozman". We were severely tempted to ask the driver how one can throw John Boozman out while, at the same time, electing him. But we let it pass...
The BIG GAME comes to Arkansas (09/22/10)
Well, what else is there to talk about this week other than football!! The biggest game in -- oh, let's say about 30 years or so -- comes to Arkansas this Saturday when the top-ranked Crimson Tide arrives on The Hill. There have been, of course, lots of other important games in Arkansas Razorback history -- the most notable being The Big Shootout in Fayetteville on Dec. ...
The most common three words in the USA (09/08/10)
If one looks around a lot these days, it won't take long to see the most common three words in the United States. Made in China. Manufacturing jobs are moving to China at an unprecedented rate -- leaving us to wonder what will become of our economy in the long run...
Moderation the key to successful society (09/01/10)
What has set America apart from the rest of the community of nations? Of course, one could say right up front that, despite the fact we are a relatively young nation, we are the world's oldest continuous democracy. That in itself is quite an accomplishment...
A newspaperman and true friend (08/24/10)
The newspaper fraternity lost a talented and dynamic member last week with the tragic death of Wally Lage. And we personally lost a great friend. Lage was killed in a drowning accident off the coast of Maine while on an outing with several of his longtime friends in the industry...
Tea Party fells a conservative (08/10/10)
One of the more interesting -- and disturbing -- developments on the political scene in recent months has been the manner in which numerous traditional conservatives have been run out of office by the Tea Party movement. Perhaps the highest-level example was the defeat of Utah Sen. Robert Bennett by a Tea Party crusade against him. Sen. Bennett described the current political atmosphere as "toxic" shortly after his stunning defeat...
Downtown remains important element (08/03/10)
We all realize that the downtown areas of communities, both large and small, have experienced stress (to say the least) as a result of economic changes over the years. Most of us remember the vibrant atmosphere that existed in downtown areas in years past as the businesses located there were the focus of commercial life...
Letters are welcome (07/27/10)
There is no question that the letters-to-the-editor section of the newspaper is one of the most widely-read each week. One of the most basic functions of a community newspaper is to provide a forum for its readers to express views on a wide range of topics -- both local and more far-reaching. In that regard, we like to think the newspaper actually belongs to its readers -- the community involvement aspect is just that important...
Wonder what is around the corner? (07/20/10)
The world can be divided into two groups where travel is concerned -- those who wonder what is just around the next corner and those who don't. My wife Nancy and I are definitely among the former. That's why we travel so well together (admittedly, I am probably a bit higher on the "curiosity" scale than she is, but she is close)...
"Bowling alone" cause for concern (07/13/10)
Those involved in civic organizations in our present-day society clearly understand there is an underlying problem with trying to attract younger participants. As "The Greatest Generation" (Americans of the World War II era) passes away, where are those who will take their place? Of course, to some extent the Baby Boomers have stepped up to the plate, but the trend obviously is away from civic involvement among younger residents of our communities...
Arkansas governor competent, likeable (07/01/10)
Now is not a good time to be a veteran politician. The cries of "throw them all out" are probably greater now than in most recent memory. A lot of it is understandable. The economy continues to falter. A lot of people are out of work. When one looks at the various levels of government for relief, often there is none to be found...
Moderation seems to be an ugly word (06/22/10)
"The best lack all conviction," the poet Yeats wrote in 1919, "while the worst are full of passionate intensity." That thought was shared almost 100 years ago, but the essential truth, of course, has not changed. We live in a world today in which the "true believers" are on the march, especially in the area of politics and social discourse...
Looking at the so-called "socialist" drift in USA (06/15/10)
It seems to be a truism in the modern world that, if a statement is made often enough, it essentially becomes true. Such is the case with all the hoopla over the rise of "socialism" in America -- a supposed drastic shift in the direction of our nation that just happened to coincide with the election of Barack Obama, the latest in the line of illegitimate Democratic presidents (this one is accused of not having been born in America)...
There's too much money in politics (06/08/10)
From what we can ascertain concerning the present political environment, there are three steps a candidate must take to have a chance of being elected to any major office: When one examines this major requirement for mounting a serious campaign, we wonder why anyone would even be interested in going down such an unseemly path. The fact is that lots of qualified candidates refuse to get involved in such a system -- and many good public officials get out because they are sick of the process...
This too shall eventually pass (06/01/10)
It is interesting to see how the basic tenets of civilized life, in the United States, often lag behind the rest of the industrialized world. In some areas, such as the death penalty, our nation actually is behind the curve in relation to many so-called Third World countries...
"The Natural State" still not apparent (05/12/10)
As the prospect of a beautiful summer (hopefully) begins to take shape, one's thoughts turn to enjoying life here in "The Natural State." But an underlying problem creeps in to spoil our sense of reverie. And it is simply this -- can Arkansas really be called The Natural State?...
Letters are welcome (04/22/10)
There is no question that the letters-to-the-editor section of the newspaper is one of the most widely-read each week. One of the most basic functions of a community newspaper is to provide a forum for its readers to express views on a wide range of topics -- both local and more far-reaching. ...
The here and now compared to the "good old days" (04/15/10)
"Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory." Franklin Pierce Adams. "Things ain't what they used to be and probably never was." Will Rogers. "If you're yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning." Griff Niblack...
Small towns need more positive thinking (04/08/10)
We all know the many challenges faced in our smaller communities as economic and social trends work against them in so many ways. Job opportunities abound in larger cities and suburbs and, over time, there has been a migration to those locales...
History will judge health care bill (04/01/10)
Needless to say, debate and the controversy have swirled around health care reform legislation for months now, both in Washington and around the nation. For better or worse, the debate is over for now and the implementation will begin...
Sharing thoughts from a Kentuckian (03/24/10)
It really is remarkable some of the coincidences one encounters in our world today -- a world in which our modes of travel and communication are so much more advanced. We were camping last weekend at a beautiful state park in Kentucky on a high bluff above the Mississippi River. It was a remarkably peaceful scene on a literally perfect weekend weather-wise...
Let's not get confused by facts (03/10/10)
"Well, look how much it snowed here yesterday." "Yep. I bet ole Al Gore is feeling pretty stupid about right now." That is just one example of the kinds of conversations that have been going on among "climate-change deniers" over this past winter, a season which saw record snowfall in some parts of the country, especially along the Eastern Seaboard...
Civic participation on the decline (03/04/10)
One of the more disturbing trends in modern society is the startling decline in civic participation in our communities. There is no question the problem exists in communities of all sizes, but it seems more measureable in rural areas where "everyone knows everyone"...
Money will rule in our system (02/24/10)
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all corporations are created equal." That should be the revised beginning to the Declaration of Independence as a result of last month's shocking 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that opens up new and wide-ranging avenues for corporations (and unions) to donate funds for independent political campaigns...
Gridlock threatens nation's well-being (02/10/10)
It seems more and more observers of the national political scene are starting to realize the devastating effect on the future of our citizens due to irrational partisan gridlock. There seemed to be a glimmer of optimism developing recently when the Republican leadership hosted President Barack Obama for a question-and-answer session on his policies and goals. ...
Politics-as-sportnnow is the norm (01/27/10)
Here's something anyone who enjoys games and competition can do: --Check all the sports scores each day, determining which teams are on the way to a championship. --Check the latest polls and elections, determining which party is up or down in the current political arena...
Letters are welcome (01/21/10)
There is no question that the letters-to-the-editor section of the newspaper is one of the most widely-read each week. One of the most basic functions of a community newspaper is to provide a forum for its readers to express views on a wide range of topics -- both local and more far-reaching. ...
Moderation the key to successful society (01/07/10)
What has set America apart from the rest of the community of nations? Of course, one could say right up front that, despite the fact we are a relatively young nation, we are the world's oldest continuous democracy...
Politics, power rule our system (12/30/09)
Generally, we believe the majority of Americans want issues addressed and problems solved by our elected representatives. But there is more than enough evidence that is not happening now because of a broken legislative system -- politics and the quest for power rule...
More beautiful than it is useful (12/02/09)
"This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used." Those words easily could be stated by an environmental leader of the 21st Century. But such is not the case...
It is time to give thanks (11/26/09)
We hear an increasing number of people expressing the view that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday of the year. Of course, it could have something to do with the turkey and dressing, rolls and gravy, pumpkin pie and on and on...
Loving without full understanding (11/18/09)
"But you can love completely without complete understanding." Those are the words of author Norman Maclean in his autobiographical novel, "A River Runs Through It," which also was made into a brilliant film by Robert Redford in 1992...
Paranoia strikes deep in today's society (11/05/09)
Mixing politics and science is a big mistake. Allowing reason and logic to fly out the window in the face of a political agenda is a sad thing to witness. In many cases it is relatively harmless, but in others it can have devastating consequences...
Things we don't understand about health care reform (10/28/09)
We will be among the first to acknowledge that very few issues in our society are more complicated and difficult to grasp than our health care system...
"The Natural State" still not apparent (09/30/09)
As the prospect of a beautiful fall (hopefully) begins to take shape, one's thoughts turn to enjoying life here in "The Natural State." But an underlying problem creeps in to spoil our sense of reverie...
Where has all the civility gone? (09/17/09)
We've got to believe even the most vehement opponents of President Obama, if attempting to be objective, would have to agree his recent health care reform address to Congress was presented in a moderate and reasonable manner...
Time, understanding lead to compassion (09/02/09)
Not long ago a pastor made a comment in a sermon concerning one of the true tests of Christianity. He said (and we are paraphrasing a bit here), that it is in the nature of a Christian not to hold bitterness or animosity in his or her heart for anyone...
The contradiction in health-care debate (08/27/09)
We have watched more than our share of the "town meetings" regarding the ongoing health-care debate. While one can draw several conclusions from the give-and-take, a glaring contradiction has emerged in the position of the group which generally can be described as the moaners and hecklers...
Here's an idea: look at the issues (08/12/09)
A key to the success of a democracy is educated and reasoned positions by the electorate on important issues. Judging by the reaction and, especially the tone, of recent "town hall meetings" on health care reform, one cannot be optimistic about the direction in which we are heading...
Looking back at the Gazette (07/29/09)
Remembering to the "good ole days" is both rewarding and deceptive, depending upon how one wishes to "spin" it. That is certainly the case with the newspaper business. Anyone who has been involved with newspapers as long as we have can look back wistfully at some of the strengths and favorable elements associated with the industry in earlier days...
Letters are welcome (07/22/09)
There is no question that the letters-to-the-editor section of the newspaper is one of the most widely-read each week. One of the most basic functions of a community newspaper is to provide a forum for its readers to express views on a wide range of topics -- both local and more far-reaching. ...
Bigger is better, but so is just better (07/15/09)
It goes without saying that the last several decades have been difficult for small towns in rural America. The agricultural revolution has led to bigger farms, bigger equipment and a significantly reduced need for farm labor...
It's only a crisis if you are affected (07/08/09)
It continues to amaze us that so many observers of the health care coverage debate in our nation don't seem to see a problem with the current system. In fact, one columnist said something to the effect that President Obama and certain members of Congress are trying to force changes on an American public that supposedly is more than content with the way things are...
But for fortune go you or I (07/01/09)
Despite the topsy-turvy nature of labels in our current political atmosphere, we believe there is a fundamental difference between those who tend toward what is considered a more liberal philosophy of government and those who lean to the conservative side...
Quite a challenge for small towns (06/24/09)
Smaller communities across the country have been facing survivability issues in recent years and those in Northeast Arkansas are no exception. Speakers at an economic forum in Jonesboro noted that growth numbers for the booming northwest corridor somewhat skewer the statistics for the state -- making it appear Arkansas (one of the most rural of states) is doing a bit better than is the reality.. ...
Is regulation a dirty word? (06/17/09)
Most of us immediately think negative when the word "regulation" is mentioned, particularly as it applies to the government. We envision "red tape" or "paper work" or similar unpleasant images...
Understanding the pesky apostrophe (06/11/09)
One of the more interesting internet sites for those of us involved in writing -- and those who wish to be accurate in their use of terms -- is "Common Errors in English" developed by Washington State University professor Paul Brians...
Whatever happened to moderate Republicans? (06/03/09)
We were reading a column the other day in which this statement was made -- "It's no longer your father's Republican Party?" How true that is. As the Rush Limbaughs of the world continue to gain traction in the Grand Old Party, one wonders if the institution will survive at all in the face of obvious changing demographics in America...
Ron Kemp
Editorial