The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, will be at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville May 11 and lead a discussion and lecture on non-violence. He'll be joined by anti-death- penalty writer Sister Helen Prejean and Vincent Harding, a civil rights pioneer.
It's not too soon to think about tickets. The UA expects a crowd at Walton Arena. Student tickets are free and will be available on-line March 1. Tickets for faculty and staff will go on sale March 7, then March 15 for the general public. The cost will range from $15 to $18 for the morning panel discussion and $15 to $22 for the evening lecture. Tickets for both events will cost from $25 to $30. More information is available at dalailama.uark.edu
The laugh's on Arkansas
n You might recall that a Harp's grocery in Mountain Home put a shield over the cover of an Us weekly magazine that carried a photo of the newborn son of Elton John and his partner David Furnish. The shocking photo of a child of a gay couple apparently was obscured to protect shoppers. John, given an opportunity in an interview on Sky News, chose to emphasize the positive.
"One store in America hid our faces on the magazine with the baby but you know what — we've had so much love and so much positive things that you can't dwell on the negativity.
"Some of the facts they print are just ridiculous — I'm more interested in bringing up my child. I want him to grow up not feeling bigoted, not feeling hatred towards anybody who is different. I want him to feel that somebody different is still a good person. Good values and discipline and love, that's all I want him to have."
Huckabee on the world stage
n As former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee continues to position himself to run for president again in 2012, his exposure on international issues becomes more important. A recent trip to Israel found him lining up with Dick Cheney — and against most everyone else credible — in defending teetering Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. And then there was his suggestion that Palestinians were unwelcome settlers on the West Bank and that countries run by Arab Muslims should make a home for them, leaving the disputed land to Israelis. The well-regarded Fact Checker column in the Washington Post said Huckabee's idea was unrealistic and added: "If an American president were to formally propose such an idea, it would spark outrage throughout the Muslim world. It might even start a war."
The Post said that Huckabee, if factually correct on some of his opinions on the Middle East, was "completely divorced from reality." As a result, the Fact Checker said it would start a new feature — suggested name, Pander Bear — which would grade politicians on how unrealistic they are. "Huckabee's proposal sets a pretty high bar. ..."
Presidential performance? Not exactly.