Praise for Broadway
I was a college professor for about 20 years at three colleges, two in Arkansas. In eight years on the Arkansas House of Representatives Education Committee in the 1970s, I observed and interacted with directors of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. In the 1980s as chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission I followed their successors with interest and some interaction. While working with USAID in four foreign countries I kept up with ADHE. Eventually, in Gov. Mike Huckabee's administration, I went to work with ADHE as associate director for research and policy. Thus I have a little perspective to evaluate Shane Broadway in comparison with his predecessors.
He is the best in a long line of capable directors. The best.
Celebrating the brave
I'd like to take this time of year to celebrate all the Arkansans who have shown the courage and audacity to be themselves despite a lack of support from their local communities.
To all the drag queens and bull dykes, the non-gender conforming, the weirdos and the nerds: I celebrate you!
To all the un-good-ol'-boys, un-Razorback fans, un-hunters and un-Duck Dynasty fans: I celebrate you!
To all the un-religious and irreligious: the un-Mike Huckabees, un-Ronnie Floyds, un-Bob Ballingers and un-Jason Raperts: I celebrate you!
To all the un-white heteronormative privileged: the un-Susie Everetts and un-Mike Mastersons: I celebrate you!
To all the losers, whether in love, economics or life: I celebrate you!
To all those plagued by conscience, inner demons, doubt or indecision: I celebrate you!
To all those who have fallen between the cracks of Arkansas society and culture: I celebrate you, wish you goodwill and raise you up to the arms of the universe and good fortune!
May 2015 be your best year ever!
Back to the Stone Age
I've been thinking about this for some time now, and I think it's time that America get more aggressive in our effort to rid this world of the evil embodied in ISIS, the Taliban and that little troll who runs North Korea.
Even though I understand and believe in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as echoed by Mohandas K. Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am not a pacifist.
It seems clear to me that wherever there is no separation between church and state, there is inherent evil and violence.
ISIS and the Taliban's distorted concept of Islam, as well as the beliefs of the North Korean people that their leader, that little monkey, is a God, are examples of this.
When groups like ISIS, the Taliban and nations like North Korea continue to act in cruel and barbaric ways, they must be removed from this planet by any means necessary.
I hate violence, and I did not come to this conclusion overnight.
But I think the time has come to consider bombing these people back to the Stone Age.
As ignorant as they are, it will only set them back a few years, but it may give the rest of us decades of peace and security.
From the web
Re: the suggestion in the Big Ideas issue (Dec. 18) to keep graduates of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Arkansas:
Great stuff! As an ASMSA alum (class of '03, woot woot) and North Little Rock resident, I would love to see Arkansas foster the kind of tech environment that is pulling people to Austin. There are a lot of great things about living in Arkansas, and graduates should be able to stay here and have fulfilling and exciting careers.
In response to a reader's criticism that David Koon's story on the availability of the explosive Tannerite (Dec. 18) was "fear mongering at its best.":
Fear mongering?!? How many U.S. citizens in the last 10 years have been arrested for building/using/threatening to use explosives? Hello! You can go to Sports Authority and buy your premade high explosive in unregulated large quantities, pack a car with it, drive it to the Capitol building or target of choice, and set it off with a cell phone from wherever the F you want! It's not fear mongering, it's concern that crazy people do crazy shit with high explosives all the goddamn time and we shouldn't make it easier for them to kill indiscriminately. Any terrorist with a fake ID or less could buy this without any trouble and how would we find them after?
In response to an Arkansas Blog post on legislators and lobbyists ignoring the prohibitions on gifts voted in at the General Election:
I doubt it can be accomplished by the first of the year but clearly we need to issue every citizen of Arkansas an electric cattle prod to use on gift whore legislators and pimping lobbyists. See any two together in public or in private and shock the living shit out of both 20 or 30 times and they just might understand what the word ETHICS means.
By God, nearly every family has or had someone with a drinking or drug problem and knows of terrible times when he or she slipped out, slipped in and slipped up. Our legislators are addicted to free stuff, probably learned it from Mike Huckabee, and it is our job to make sure the car keys are hid, the doors are locked and there's no bottles hidden in boots or pills under the mattress. What a sad chore for hard-working people having a hard enough time just keeping the lights on.
Are there no honest people? Is there no one in elected office who feels like they have enough? It used to be an honor to be elected by your community. Now it's a free ticket to free stuff and under-the-table nest feathering. ...
Get the cattle prods! Let's make 2015 a year of real change!