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Smart Talk, Dec. 24



Diners, drive-ins and dives


Help. We're looking for ideas for a feature in our Best Restaurants issue in February.

We want to hear about unheralded food finds in Arkansas, the more out-of-the-way the better. The Georgetown One Stop's famous catfish (pictured) isn't such a secret anymore, for example, since we reported about it.

One requirement is absolute: The food has to be good. (It doesn't have to be good for you.)

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How scary is this?


A recent national poll shows Mike Huckabee leading all other Republicans and in a virtual dead heat with President Obama as a presidential choice in 2012. Obama led Huckabee 46-45 among more than 1,200 voters polled by Public Policy Polling in early December.

On the other hand, maybe you like Huckabee and welcome thoughts that he might be president. If so, you'll want to order “On the Road With Mike Huckabee,” a highlights DVD of his recent 60-city book tour. It costs a mere $15. Or you can get it with an autographed copy of his latest book in a “collectible” leather gift box for $35. Watch Huck sign books. Watch Huck ride the bus. Etc. Order at


Seg academy legacy


Ernest Dumas' column last week noted former Farm Bureau president Stanley Reed's record as a board member of the private Lee Academy in Marianna, founded in 1969 as a segregation academy after the federal government began pressing integration of Marianna public schools. (Reed was a candidate for U.S. Senate as a Republican before announcing last Friday that health issues had prompted him to quit the race.) It remains accredited by the Mississippi Private School  Association, itself an outgrowth of the segregation academies encouraged by the White Citizens Council in Mississippi during the civil rights struggles. The reference prompted a response from a reader, who noted that the academy website,, now carries a non-discrimination notice. Such notices are required if tax deductions may be claimed for contributions to institutions. Most private schools claim not to discriminate nowadays, though integration in Deep South academies has been spotty. The Lee Academy website, for example, includes numerous photos of its students in kindergarten through high school. No black face is apparent in the photos posted, save a youngster wearing an Obama mask to a costume party.


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