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Let there be dark!

There are several reasons why Arkansas lawmakers deserve a 148 percent pay hike — from the current $15,869 to $39,400. Their heady jobs are complex and require deep thought. They carry the weight of an entire state, where humans, animals and the environment need. . .

Power of truth should not be forgotten

In our modern society lying has become an art form that is admired rather than rejected. Most people elected or quickly advancing, such as politicians, corporate businessmen and government officials, are people who self-promote to further their careers. This often. . .

Bill would harm access to public information

State Rep. Nate Bell may mean well with his proposed legislation to mandate recordings of private executive sessions held by governing bodies, but it now poses a serious threat to the state Freedom of Information Act and the public's right to know how public. . .

Hutchinson straddles issue with unsigned law

LITTLE ROCK — By letting a measure become law without his signature to prohibit local governments from expanding anti-discrimination protections, Gov. Asa Hutchinson is straddling the debate over a proposal being cast as endorsing bias against gays and. . .

Convention center could benefit university, NEA

Coincidentally, I was attending a convention in Branson, Mo., when the news broke that Arkansas State University at Jonesboro is close to finalizing an agreement that could bring a hotel and convention center to campus. At Branson the 200 or so members and guests. . .

Israel's moral argument is on the line

Back in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party have run a campaign ad reminding voters of another time when the U.S. and Israel differed. That was 1948 at the very creation of the state. Harry Truman was the U.S. president and George C.. . .

The economic outlook for 2015

As we enter the month of March, the U.S. economic performance for the remainder of 2015 will have a significant impact on policy decisions, the welfare of U.S. families and, as odd as it may seem, the economies of many lesser developed countries. As far as the. . .

Babies, boats and newsrooms

My last two non-journalism jobs were in 1981-82, when I dropped out of college for a year. In the fall of 1980, I had switched majors at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville from history to journalism. After the spring 1981 semester, I wasn't sure if I had...

Our ungovernable country

The American republic has limped past being dysfunctional and stumbled into being ungovernable. Even if you hate the government, this situation should concern you because it means big problems aren't being addressed, while new ones are being created. Two current. . .

Hutchinson, Obama share tax philosophy

Last month we discovered that Gov. Asa Hutchinson and President Barack Obama shared a determination, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, to see that some 250,000 low-income Arkansans enjoy medical coverage and that Arkansas small businesses have a chance. . .

The love litmus test

Republicans seem ceaselessly enamored of litmus tests, but the newest one — Do you believe President Barack Obama loves America? — makes birthers seem witty. The question arose after former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani told a private audience that he doesn't. . .

The fatal flaw in the Iran deal

The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the "right to enrich." It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was I. . .

Egypt is key for Middle East stability

The Obama administration's decision to engage Egypt is "a case of realpolitik over idealism," concedes one official. But it's also the right policy choice. President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi certainly doesn't make it easy. His repression of dissent now rivals that of. . .

Eliminate school coordinator post

We're perplexed why Craighead County school superintendents would continue to fund a full-time school coordinator position that coordinates so little and wastes tax dollars. An annual spelling bee, monthly superintendent meetings and "duties as assigned" with no. . .

'My Girl' — 50 years and counting

There are sounds it feels like you've known forever; sounds that have been in your ear so long, it's hard to believe they were ever new. One of those sounds is this: James Jamerson thumps a heartbeat on the bass. Robert White's guitar corkscrews out in reply. And. . .

Stop the immigration flood

Washington is such a phony city. Maybe that's why it has such a good relationship with Hollywood. In the sequel to a "film" we have seen many times before, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may "shut down" Saturday because of a dispute between the Obama. . .