Beau don't know Bo
As an Ole Miss graduate and a diehard Rebel fan, I would like to comment on Beau Wilcox's column "Resurgence" (Nov. 27). All credit to Arkansas for their 30-0 whitewashing of Ole Miss. The Hogs played a great game, with their defense causing six turnovers and stifling a potent Rebel offense. However, Wilcox is way off base when he declares "you can bet that Ole Miss will have more offensive stability when their signal caller changes next fall. He's not a natural scrambler, misses reads and is just not capable of making decisions under duress." First of all, may I remind Wilcox that Bo Wallace led the Rebels to victories over Arkansas in 2012 and 2013. Moreover, he was a three-year starter for Ole Miss who set all sorts of school records during his career. He played a key role in making the Rebels a force to be reckoned with in the SEC West. Yes, he isn't a "natural scrambler" and "misses reads" like all quarterbacks do. But I think during his time at Ole Miss he definitely proved he could make "decisions under duress." Starting every game from 2012-2014, Wallace led the Rebels to come-from-behind victories and what will turn out to be three bowl appearances. Against Mississippi State, Wallace played with a bum ankle and guided the Rebels to a convincing 31-17 victory. In the process, he threw for nearly 300 yards. For the past three years Bo Wallace has been the face of Ole Miss football. He hung in there and provided Rebel fans with many memorable moments. To say he wasn't capable of "making decisions under duress" is just plain wrong. Finding a replacement for Wallace for the 2015 season will be no easy task for head coach Hugh Freeze. Go Rebels!
Lessons from Doug
When I arrived at the Arkansas Gazette newsroom in 1966, I had several lively conversations with reporters over a two- or three-month period. We discussed how to gather news, interview technique, etc. It was very informative to me as a 27-year-old rookie. Doug Smith and I had those kinds of chats, and we also discussed how important it was to report the truth as we could tell at the time we gathered the data. That was sacred, because we valued our relationship with our readers. But we did have one disagreement: What was America's best beer. We quickly resolved that issue by agreeing that the beer that was available was the best beer.
Doug was one of my favorite writers. I loved his honesty.
Giving up privacy
With all of the new technologies promising to make our lives faster, easier and more organized, most of us are becoming more public with our lives than ever before. We go about our day with "smart" devices sending location data out for navigation routes, search terms for returning webpages, or using apps to find a nearby hangout. Often, we don't realize just how critical this data can be.
Privacy rights have been vanishing since 9/11 with the creation of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act gives the government unprecedented authority to spy on United States citizens. The general consensus seems to be "I'm not doing anything wrong. Why should I care?"
Imagine for a moment that you are an average law-abiding citizen writing a short suspense thriller during the time you have off from your day job. Some common search terms you might use writing this story could include topics such as poison, types of firearms or creating a fake ID. Couple this with your normal jogging route through the rural part of the county, constantly sending location data to what is essentially the same data set as your search results from earlier.
This kind of information could be used to force you to confess to a crime you didn't commit. In 2010, "Bill," a New York resident, was wrongfully accused of downloading child pornography. This accusation surprised Bill so much that he fainted during questioning. Bill lost his job, his home, and was shunned by some of his best friends for something that he never even did.
Even you could find yourself being questioned for conspiracy to commit a crime. If you had to go to legal battle with the FBI, CIA, NSA or any other "alphabet soup" organization, would you be prepared?
I remember when Ronald Reagan was elected a friend of mine wore a black armband and said bad things were going to happen. He was right. Reagan let the federal budget get so out of control, he became the first U.S. president to budget for over a trillion dollars. Reagan also attacked working Americans by labeling hundreds of thousands of Americans as "double dippers" and stealing their Social Security benefits. Reagan demonstrated that Republicans could take away Social Security and be lauded as heroes. Arkansas has not learned from history.
The 2014 Republican sweep of Arkansas and the Congress was not the result of a TV show contest or a political game. The political cycle was a life-and-death struggle between the Great Society and robber barons. No sports metaphor suffices. LBJ's Great Society has been strapped to a chair with wheels and left to rot by the fireplace. FDR's New Deal is being replaced by (insert next Republican president's name)'s raw deal.
Here is how it will happen. The next Republican president will borrow heavily from the Social Security fund, declare the social program bankrupt, and win support from states like Arkansas to privatize Social Security, whereby creating a system that steals life from the poor and gives to the rich. George W. Bush almost succeeded in doing this.
Billionaires now rule Arkansas. Social Security cannot survive.