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‘Politics’ Category

  1. Political Spectrum: Open Mic, Commentators Choice — A View From the Left


    April 23, 2012 by Richard Drake


    There is a wonderful scene in “The Manchurian Candidate” (the original and still the best version with Frank Sinatra) in which the character played by James Gregory can’t quite figure out how many Communists there are in the State Department. After all, he has to give a speech that day, “proving” that there are, after all. As his wife Angela Lansbury (in a magnificent role so far removed from her bland “Murder She Wrote” character) harries him, his eye falls upon the Heinz Ketchup, advertising its “57 Varieties” on the bottle. “There are 57 Communists in the State Department!” he cries aloud later that day, waving a piece of paper before TV cameras, thus becoming just one more player in Angela Lansbury’s communist plot. Yes, there were communists; he just didn’t know where to look. Today, of course, the number has jumped from 57 to 80, and they are not in the State Department but in Congress, and Ted Nugent defender Florida Congressman Allen West is the only man brave enough to speak truth-to-power. Clarifying his remarks, the good senator said he meant the folks in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Progressives, Communists, it’s all the same, isn’t it? Really? After …


  2. Political Spectrum: Open Mic, Commentators Choice — A View From the Right


    April 23, 2012 by Mike Landry


    I collect quotes. Every once in awhile I’ll lift something from online or copy something from a book or magazine and put it in my file of quotes. But the files are getting full and need exposure to daylight. I’m going to clean them out. Want to join me in taking a look at the following? “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” — Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels. “Literally millions of Americans have had enough. They’re organizing, they’re studying the Constitution and the Federalis Papers, they’re reading history and case law, they’re showing up at rallies and meetings, and a slew of conservative candidates are throwing their hats into the ring.” — Garry Hubbell, Aspen Weekly Times. “Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime.” — Soviet secret police chief Lavrenti Berea. “I love Arkansas. It’s the backbone of the nation, and it all starts with letting people be who they are.” — Ben Stein. “While it is the view of many scientists, including this one, that research behind the global warming scare has and continues to suffer from a lack of integrity, it is nonetheless true that think tanks, …


  3. Who are OUR judges?


    April 13, 2012 by Matthew Jones


    If most of you are like me, you know who is running for president. You most likely know who is running for the major positions in your community, but what about those people who don’t have party affiliations, officially? Who really knows who the judges that are running in your district really are? Well I hope that this little bit of information makes your job on May 22nd a little easier. Washington County is in Judicial District 4, along with Madison County. This is for the circuit court, the lowest of the of the three courts in the state court system. (The Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court are the higher two types of courts.) There are currently two seats open on this circuit, Division 4 and Division 6. For Division 4 you have three new candidates vying for your votes, while in Division 6 you an incumbent judge versus a newcomer. In Division 6, there is incumbent Judge Mark Lindsay. According to his re-election page on Facebook, he has served on the circuit court bench since March 2000. Also, he was in private law practice for 21 years and was Judge of the West Fork Municipal Court for 15 years.  He went …


  4. Townies, Zippies and Politics


    April 12, 2012 by Steve Winkler


    Centuries ago, a person’s identity was tied to the land on which they lived. The undifferentiated peasants of the medieval fiefdom system were known by their place, their location in the realm. Things haven’t changed much in 500 years. We still link our identity to geography. But now that link, rather than being determined by the lord of the manner is determined by the U.S. Postal Service in the form of a five-digit number known as the zip code. The zip code was the postal services’ answer to a “mail explosion” in the 1960s. They presented the code as “five trailblazing numbers that would launch every piece of mail with space age speed and precision.” It didn’t take long for marketers to capitalize on the “birds of a feather” adage and use zip codes as a tool for targeting their sales pitch to an identifiable demographic imbedded in zip codes. People with similar traits tend to cluster. There were reflections of characteristics of middle class, upper class, urban, rural, educated and what ever group the marketer was perusing. A person’s zip code could reveal which magazines they might read, their favorite toothpaste or TV shows and an array of clues …


  5. Editorial: Breathe Deep


    April 10, 2012 by Steve Winkler


    Many area residents are excited about the prospect of a large grocery chain complete with gas, fresh produce and what many welcome most, a pharmancy, coming to West Fork.


  6. West Fork City Officials Charged


    March 30, 2012 by Jeff Winkler


    WEST FORK — The Washington County prosecutor’s office has filed charges against two West Fork city officials for violating the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Kristie Drymon, City Treasurer, Water Department office manager and acting City Clerk, and Virgil Blackmon, the Water and Wasterwater Utilities Commission chair, face respective misdemeanor charges, said Deputy Prosecutor Denis Dean. The county investigation and charges stem from a complaint made by the Washington County Observer. The complaint claims that the media and the public were not informed of an official Water Commission meeting on Jan. 11, 2012. According to the Arkansas FOIA, “the time and place of each regular meeting shall be furnished to anyone who request the information.” Because the Water Commission meetings are not held on the same day of each month, the Observer has a standing request to be notified before each meeting, which it was not. In the course of its investigation, Washington County prosecutors determined Drymon to be the city official in violation of the FOIA law, said Dean. The county also filed charges against Blackmon, who had refused to disclose specific details of what happened at that Jan. 11 Water Commission meeting. At the meeting, there was …


  7. Editorial: Get Out of the Shade


    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler


    Political culture is a curious thing. It always begs the question, “why can’t everybody be like me.” What seems so clear, so obvious to one person can seem so incredibly wrong-headed to the other guy. Democracy breeds ideological diversity. But still, why do we need a law that insists government business take place out in the open, accessible to all. Why do we need Sunshine laws and Freedom of Information statues? Can’t everybody see the advantage of open government?