The mountaintop will have to do
A tower planned for the west end of the Lodge at Mount Magazine (its official name) for sightseeing and stargazing didn’t happen because the state Parks Division ran out of money. The lodge — which includes 60 rooms, a restaurant, an indoor swimming pool, cabins and a conference center — cost $33 million, $13 million more than original estimates. Parks Director Greg Butts said the original estimate was based on square footage, but didn’t take into account the narrow architecture the site required and the difficulty of getting building materials to the top of the mountain. Lodge construction was financed by State Park facilities bonds. Another $10 million, from the state’s general operating revenues, went to a water system, utility infrastructure, roads and the Visitors Center.

Gone to Memphis
When the Little Rock homicide count hit 25 last week, city spinners were desperate for good news. So what did they do? They looked to Tennessee.

The police department issued a release noting that it’s deadly in Memphis, too. So far in 2006, said the LRPD on the day our death count hit 25, there had been 52 homicides in Memphis, a 37 percent jump from the count on the same day a year earlier.

One small problem. Memphis, with a population of 650,000 in the 2000 Census, is more than three times as big as Little Rock, pop. 183,000. The relevant comparison: Memphis homicides, 8 per 100,000. Little Rock homicides, 13.7 per 100,000.

The Literary Right
A Texas preacher described as a “good friend” of Tom DeLay has written a book called “Liberalism Kills Kids: How the Lying Left and the Silent Pulpits of America Have Unwittingly Conspired Together to Consign and Condemn an Entire Generation of Kids to Untold Misery and Tragedy.”

The title moved the liberal magazine American Prospect to publish a quiz. The magazine compiled a list of real right-wing book titles, and added to it one fake title. Readers were invited to spot the phony. We couldn’t; not when the real titles included “The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts and the Disregard for Human Life,” “Women Who Make the World Worse: And How Their Radical Feminist Assault is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military and Sports” and “Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton.”

TAP’s list caused us to imagine the books that might be written by Arkansas right-wingers. None of these titles is genuine, so far as we know:

“Schoolteachers: Poot on Them,” by Dr. Jay P. Greene of the University of Arkansas School of Education Reform.

“The Lying Press: Why Arkansas Journalists Should Be Shipped to Guantanamo and Tortured Until They Lose as Much Weight as I Have,” by Gov. Mike Huckabee.

“They Don’t Smoke Much Marijuana When They’ve Been Beaten Senseless and Their Lips Are Taped Shut: Fighting the Drug War,” by Asa Hutchinson.

“Don’t Blame Satan: How Bill Clinton Got Us Thrown Out of the Garden of Eden and Causes Us to Get Old and Sick and Die in Misery,” by Paul Greenberg.

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