Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Political Whispers

There has been a small but intriguing rumor floating around, and the source is somewhat well informed. This involves presidential politics and the potential involvement of a well-known and highly placed Arkansan.

Mike Huckabee is just back from New Hampshire and probably feeling pretty darned important, considering the warm GOP welcome. David Sanders’ column in the Stephens Media Group papers and his recent archived interview with me on WAI will give you the bearings on Republican politics as things are shaping up nationally.

Obviously, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination. She faces the same obstacle as any other contender from her party. Democrats must turn at least one red state blue. Clinton cannot even carry Arkansas, so her situation is worrisome. You should also consider how quickly things change. There are southern states which, under the right circumstances, might go with Arkansas’ former first lady. Nobody knows how high gas prices will head or the political fallout from Hurricane Katrina. Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy is still very much alive.

But the nationally prominent and hugely popular former partner at the Rose Law Firm is not the subject of the recent whisper in the wind. This scenario involves Indiana’s United States Senator Evan Bayh. He is a Democrat and has transformed midwestern moderation into a lifestyle. Here is a bit from his own web site:

“Bayh is a leader of the New Democrat movement. At a time when partisanship is threatening progress on the nation’s most pressing issues, Bayh is spearheading the creation of the Third Way, an organization designed to build consensus around legislation that would otherwise remain bogged down in political turf wars. Bayh also served for more than four years as Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a national group that offers support for Democratic elected officials and community leaders with a progressive approach on issues. He helped establish the New Democrat Coalition, a new and growing group of senators who are committed to sensible bipartisan progress. Bayh also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-partisan group that works to promote and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide.”

Now, I ask you, does that sound Presidential?

While we all understand that national politics has evolved greatly and the arcane craft of “ticket balancing” is not what it once was, like when Arkansas Senator Joe T. Robinson was used to “balance” New York Governor (and Roman Catholic) Al Smith, sometimes it helps to have a man on board with a bit of regional appeal.

That brings us around to the Hon. Mark Pryor, Junior Senator from the Natural State of Arkansas. Pryor has gained a certain national attention with his role in the Gang of 14. Of course, I thought he made a huge mistake and it looks like I might have been wrong – again. So, what else is new?

This scheme does not work if either Mike Huckabee or Hillary Clinton heads the tickets of their respective parties. Does anybody think that a couple of guys with ordinary Middle American values might stand a chance? And, guess what? Mark Pryor is popular around here and could probably flip six electoral votes in a close election.

Pryor is not necessarily promoting this line of thought and being Vice President is not the greatest job, unless you happen to be the former chairman of a company making a trainload of money in a country where we just happen to have a major military presence.

Nonetheless, Mark Pryor’s balloon is in the air.

Bigdaddyo Takes the Gloves OFF!

Here is his latest epistle. Don't blame me, I just post this stuff.

...i used to find myself in line for takeout at u.s. pizza in maumelle behind wnba star erica taylor. when erica would turn to leave with her food, i would often say, "whassup girl?". erica would reply, "excuse me, can i get by?" i don't see wnba star erica taylor picking up takeout any more. you see, her husband's job has changed things for the taylors.

...i'm left to wonder if mr. taylor's recent success has changed things for the better or for something else not as easily defined. you see, not long ago, mr. taylor won a controversial split decision to become the undisputed middle weight boxing champion of the world. since that event, he's received more accolades in the state of arkansas than mitch mustain. there are those who would whisper that both the man, jermain taylor, and the boy, mitch mustain, are media creations. as much hype as yet unproven commodity.

...while mustain will have possibly five years to learn, mature and prove himself at the u of a, jermain taylor faces a date with destiny in a few short weeks. the original contract between taylor and the former champion called for a rematch, should jermain win the first fight. more simply put, the original contract says that jermain can keep the title belts IF he can beat bernard hopkins twice. the task is only half complete.

...make no mistake. although the first fight ended in a split decision with jermain taylor declared the new champion, if this was a bar fight, bernard hopkins won. jermain taylor walked away from the ring with a bloody head wound and a sore jaw. bernard hopkins walked away from the ring none the worse for wear. jermain taylor must climb back into the ring with the same dangerous opponent and survive another war for the first fight to really mean anything.

...i have to wonder if there aren't as many hands extended jermain's way palms up as there are hands extended in congratulations. with success comes money, and with money comes the expectation of payback for support during the process of becoming successful. jermain taylor isn't a solitary entity. jermain taylor is a team, and it's payoff time for many on team taylor.

...there is also the expectation of lifestyle that comes with success. big houses, fancy cars, fine clothes and a new peer group to keep up appearances around. and, not just for jermain and his wife, but for jermain's extended family and entourage. none of this will be a problem if erica taylor's husband wins the rematch with bernard hopkins. but isn't "if" a great big two letter word at this time?

...i miss seeing wnba star erica taylor in line for takeout at u.s. pizza in maumelle. i wonder if she misses being there, too.

There are already three major interviews in the WAI archives (linked at your left) for this week. David Sanders’ Monday morning hour was a fresh perspective on the Huckabee road trip to New Hampshire. Sanders also went along. This one is a keeper! Tuesday’s Marcia Gordon 9 AM hour is the exact opposite of Laurie Taylor’s view on the Fayetteville school library controversy. Check out the Allison Johnson story about leaving New Orleans. All of these, and much more, are in the WAI Radio “on demand” archives. You can download as mp3 files to your iPod of CD burner. Of course, it’s free!

UPDATE: State Rep. Stephen Bright from Maumelle gave an outstanding interview at about 8:40 today (Wednesday) on the Beverly Nursing Home take-over. He has an excellent overview.

I am particularly looking for human-interest stories about survivors of hurricane Katrina. If you have relatives or friends in the effected areas, or if you have a personal story, do get in touch with the show! Pat Classic streams 8 to noon CDT on WAI

Local number: 433 0924

Everywhere else 1 877 433 0924 (toll free)


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Fayetteville Librarians Fight Back

Janet Titus, of Fayetteville, forwarded the following item.

The letter was written to Dr. New and the FPS Board by Sarah Roberson, Cassandra Barnett (FHS Librarians) and Sarah Thompson (McNair Librarian). All three women give their permission to have their names used in connection with the information presented in that letter.

Misinformation in the Media and Circulating E-mails
July 27, 2005

Since Laurie Taylor’s opposition to seventy titles in the Fayetteville Public School Libraries was reported in the Northwest Arkansas Times approximately one month ago, a flurry of letters to the editor, articles, and editorials have appeared in that newspaper, as well as in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Fayetteville Morning News. In addition, many e-mails from various sources have appeared in district librarians’ inboxes. We assume that the district administrators and school board members, as the decision-makers within the district, have received even more such e-mails than we have. Not all information in these sources is accurate. We’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

Charge that district librarians perform censorship every time that we select books for the districts’ libraries:
NWA Times Editorial:
“If what Laurie Taylor is doing is censorship, then what the librarians do year in and year out also qualifies as such.”
Librarians make choices based on reviews and previews to build a collection that meets the needs of the curriculum and personal reading choices of students. We respond to the requests of students, teachers, and parents. It is our responsibility to provide materials that represent a variety of viewpoints, a wide range of topics, and a broad spectrum of student maturity. We make professional judgments, not personal choices.
The American Library Association explains selection versus censorship in these terms:
No library can make everything available, and selection decisions must be made. Selection is an inclusive process, where the library affirmatively seeks out materials which will serve its mission of providing a broad diversity of points of view and subject matter. By contrast, censorship is an exclusive process, by which individuals or institutions seek to deny access to or otherwise suppress ideas and information because they find those ideas offensive and do not want others to have access to them. There are many objective reasons unrelated to the ideas expressed in materials that a library might decide not to add those materials to its collection: redundancy, lack of community interest, expense, space, etc. Unless the decision is based on a disapproval of the ideas expressed and desire to keep those ideas away from public access, a decision not to select materials for a library collection is not censorship.
e-mail from Debbie Pelley of Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Undisclosed Recipient:
“502 Books on SEX in Fayetteville School Library”
“George Arnold should be asked what do the parents want, not what does the librarian want?”
The librarians’ charge is not and has never been to build a collection to meet our own wants and needs. However, we are charged with providing a wide variety of materials to meet the needs of our students -- for curricular support, the building of knowledge, and personal interest. We interpret these needs to include building literacy and reading skills through a wide choice of fiction and nonfiction that students want to read – something for everyone.
As the American Library Association spells out, inclusion of materials in our libraries does not mean that we personally endorse those ideas:
The presence of any particular materials in a library collection does not imply endorsement of the ideas expressed in those materials. The library is simply doing its job as a neutral provider of information from all points of view.

Charge that librarians are endangering our students:
e-mail from Laurie Taylor to Dr. New & Board Members: “Children in Danger”
“I would also like to request that a parental review board be appointed to oversee any and all further additions to our system. It is quite obvious that those in charge of this vital post have been remise [sic] in their duties to protect OUR children from sexual pandering.”
Different people see librarians’ responsibilities to our students differently: Ms. Taylor’s are not the first materials challenges the district has dealt with. And with increasing numbers of students, ever-growing professional responsibilities, and cut-backs in staffing, mistakes in judgment are certainly possible. For these reasons, the district has a selection policy which includes a process for challenging specific titles. Accusing librarians of sexual pandering borders on libel.

Implication that every student is personally impacted by every book on the school library shelves:
NWA Times Letter to the Editor (Leigh Parette - Fayetteville)
“What makes you think that the children of these Christian or conservative parents, whose rights you so easily dismiss, should be subjected to such smut?”
These parents have every right to restrict what their children read, but they do not have the right to restrict what other students read. The picture painted here is one of an adult pornographic bookstore. That is not what our libraries are.
Furthermore, books are checked out of the library at each student’s own discretion. While library books may be part of a reading assignment in which the student chooses a selection from a list, no one hands a student a library book and says, “You must read this one.” Librarians work with teachers and students to match books to each student’s individual interests, needs, and abilities.

NWA Times Letter to the Editor (Leigh Parette - Fayetteville)
“[The Homo Handbook] is an inappropriate contribution to a high school library and has absolutely no place in my child’s education curriculum.”
This book was not placed in the collection to meet a curricular need and is not used in any classroom. It has never been on a reading list for any class. It is not a part of any student’s educational curriculum, but was donated by the FHS Gay Straight Alliance to meet the needs of students who identify themselves as gay or questioning. To date, it has only been checked out once by a staff member. That Dewey section of the collection is scheduled for weeding this school year, and this specific title would most likely have been removed because of lack of student interest. (We do, however, foresee curiosity about the book fueled by Ms. Taylor’s inclusion of it on her list, which may lead to increased circulation of the book.)

Inaccuracies concerning the actual diversity of the collection:
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Letter to the Editor (Bobby L. Hester – Jonesboro – President of the American Family Association of Arkansas)

Mr. Hester’s figures: Actual figures:
Abstinence fiction 0 Abstinence is included in Sex Instruction

Sex 502 489, including every record in the district catalog that has “sex” at the beginning of any word. Many of the books deal with sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sex discrimination, and “sex role” (most often girls or young women who defy sexual stereotypes in fiction about sports, world cultures, or history).

Homosexuality 53 84 records, 62 of which are at FHS – this number includes
Homosexual fiction 25 homosexuality, gays, and lesbians, gay rights, gays in the Gay fiction 10 military, dealing with a gay family member, and AIDS Lesbians 29 - 29 fiction, 55 nonfiction
Lesbian fiction 12

Hispanic fiction 9 keyword searches that include “Hispanics – Fiction” & “Latin America – Fiction”: 49
Indian fiction 1 keyword searches that include “Native Americans – Fiction” & “Indians of North America – Fiction”: approximately 400 titles, 88 at FHS
Afro American fiction 2 keyword searches that include “Blacks – Fiction,” African Americans – Fiction” and “Afro Americans – Fiction”: 609 titles, 150 at FHS
Jewish fiction 2 keyword searches that include “Jews – Fiction”: 246 titles, 55 at FHS
Perceived access vs. actual access:
e-mail from Debbie Pelley of Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Dr. New & Board Members:
“Take Actions to Protect Our Children or Just Become Desensitized”
“We learned that any student in the 6 or 7 school districts in Washington County can go online and have these books delivered to their school for them, and the parents would never know.”
e-mail from Laurie Taylor to Dr. New & Board Members: “Children in Danger”
“Remember that any and all books are available to ALL students via the e-library!!”
Fayetteville Public School Libraries do offer our students and teachers interlibrary loan services. Most lending and borrowing is done among the schools in the district, but we also borrow from public and university libraries, both within and outside Arkansas. This service has become an integral part of our program and is helping to stretch our funding. To date, we have never borrowed from or loaned to a public school library outside Fayetteville in Washington County. We certainly do not have a system in place that makes it as easy as Ms. Pelley and Ms. Taylor make it sound.
While borrowing from other libraries has “widened the walls” of our libraries, that doesn’t mean we have torn them down. Students don’t just send a request via the Internet and have the book turn up on their homeroom desk like they were ordering it from Whether the student makes the request in person or on-line, the request goes through the librarian at the student’s school before it is sent to the lending library. And then it must be filled by the librarian at the lending library.
The borrowing librarian knows the students; the lending librarian knows the materials. It is part of our practice for the lending librarian to send an e-mail to the borrowing librarian alerting that librarian to the possibility that the material may be too mature for a student at the borrowing level. Since the borrowing librarian knows the child, that librarian is responsible for deciding if the material can be checked out. Quite frankly, the heaviest use we see for lending between schools is for meeting curricular needs (that report on the Hummer), filling gaps in a series a student is reading (must have the next installment in the Redwall series!), and getting another copy of a popular book that another library has extras of. We don’t have fourth graders requesting The Homo Handbook.
Also, Ms. Taylor’s use of the term “e-library” in this e-mail and in other venues implies that students can actually read these materials on-line. At this time, FPS Libraries have no subscriptions to e-library books.
Inaccurate description of content:
e-mail from Debbie Pelley of Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Undisclosed Recipient:
“502 Books on SEX in Fayetteville School Library”
“Doing It by Melvin Burgess - Has a picture of couple having sex on front cover.”

He is holding her, but they’re not having sex. Both the young man and the young woman in the drawing are fully clothed.

Inaccuracy of terminology:
The terms “complaint,” “challenge,” “ban,” “restrict,” and “audit” are being used somewhat interchangeably in e-mails and the
local newspaper articles, editorials, and letters. At this point, there have been no formal challenges to any specific titles. Until actual challenge paperwork has been filed on specific titles, we have nothing more than an “oral complaint.”

From the American Library Association:
In 1986, in response to inquiries from librarians facing book or material challenges for the first time, the Intellectual Freedom Committee developed the following list of definitions to clarify terminology associated with challenges:
• Expression of Concern. An inquiry that has judgmental overtones.
• Oral Complaint. An oral challenge to the presence and/or appropriateness of the material in question.
• Written Complaint. A formal, written complaint filed with the institution (library, school, etc.), challenging the presence and/or appropriateness of specific material.
• Public Attack. A publicly disseminated statement challenging the value of the material, presented to the media and/or others outside the institutional organization in order to gain public support for further action.
• Censorship. A change in the access status of material, based on the content of the work and made by a governing authority or its representatives. Such changes include exclusion, restriction, removal, or age/grade level changes.
Audit – an official examination of accounts to see that they are in order.

Thank you. If you have any questions or need clarification on any items, please e-mail or call any of us.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Razorback icon, and frequent romantic heart-throb and imaginar boy-toy of female senior citizens, David Bazzel, in a sudden spontaneous outburst of bizarre sexual fantasy, today stunned the Touchdown Club audience revealing his bizarre intimate desires to “make little Razorback babies” with Hogs mascot Tusk. The unflustered Bazell concluded his shocking disclosures by observing that, so far, he’s “done everything else.”

In an unrelated development, University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles, confirmed that, despite (perhaps because of?) his record of non-performance, head football coach Houston Nutt, continues to be guaranteed a job for life.

Hog News from the Darkside

My friends at Arkansas Times caught this excellent column over the weekend. Bob Caudle has this one in the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas. Wonder what Coach Broyles will have to say about this? We shall see at the Touchdown Club today. Marie and I will be there at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock at noon. It's a big room and there are seats available. I THINK it's $20 for lunch and the program. Come on out!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Governor Mike Huckabee is having one of the most significant weekends of his political career. He is on HBO Friday night and then he moves on to the presidential trail in New Hampshire. Stephens Media Group columnist David Sanders is also in New Hapmshire this weekend and he is my guest in our Little Rock studios Monday morning at 9. Grab a cup of coffee and log on to WAI

Setting Priorities

Early this morning, before dawn while I was doing the work of ten men, my rigorous show prep regimen led me to the Forrest City Times-Herald. This is one of my favorite papers, and I must say that they fearlessly report local government stories. This morning featured a piece about the local school district.

The local school district person is busy stirring up community spirit about the Forrest City Mustangs. She said that itÂ’s time to paint the town blue and white. There is a big “hide the horseshoe” contest with cool prizes like VIP parking at the Mustang games. Everybody in town was invited to decorate to honor the hometown team.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Back in the day at McGill High in Mobile, Alabama, when dinosaurs walked the earth, I was a fairly substantial fan of the orange and black Yellow Jackets. We had poster contests and amazing pep rallies. I seldom missed a game. I hardly ever missed a day of school either. We played hard because we were studying our young Catholic boys school butts off. The honor roll guys wore the same letter sweaters as the football players. One more thing, back in 1968, if memory serves me right, McGill finished at #8 in the largest division statewide.

I think Forrest City is right on target building up the hoopla for football, but if they leave out the real mission of the school there is a problem Parents and students can figure out what kind of achievement is really valued and the classroom stuff is important too. It is the right time of year for everybody to get fired up about the Friday night lights and good grades.

Top 10 Things Women Should Know About Football

One of my favorite contributors, Bigdaddyo, has put together one of his famous lists. He's not much for punctuation and capitalization. Here goes anyway!

10) bet with your head, not with your heart!
9) there is absolutely no point in telling your husband or boyfriend that you think matt jones is cute. your husband or boyfriend doesn't care, and matt doesn't know you exist!
8) no matter how bad the hogs play, it is the referees' fault!
7) we might need an offensive coordinator, and we might not!
6) wally hall's collumn is just one man's opinion!
5) when your husband or boyfriend starts telling lies about when he played, act interested!
4) when you get drunk and start calling the hogs, make sure at least two other people are doing it with you!
3) when your husband or boyfriend says, "we should go for it on fourth down", he is still talking about the game!
2) mitch mustain is still in high school!

and the #1 thing women should know about football: "it's great for a wife or girlfriend to know her football, but if you have cheese dip on your shirt and fart with no conscience, you're taking it too far!"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Love Those Trains

Not often will the photograph of a freight train grace these pages, but Ken Zigenbein of the Arkansas Railroad Club, caught this scene today at Little Rock's historic train station.

For reasons that totally escape me, Union Pacific Railroad has started a program of memorializing the other lines they have gobbled up by painting locomotives in color schemes with logos reminiscent of the fallen flags. This unit pays respects to the late, and much lamented, Missouri Pacific lines.

I am anxiously waiting to see some GM&O red pass by!

Mari Serebrov is both a reporter and a historian. She visited this morning and the entire epic interview is in the WAI archives, which are linked in the left column. Mari’s subject is the grandfather of Arkansas’ brothers of judicial fame, Richard S. Arnold and Morris S. “Buzz” Arnold. W. H. Arnold, a Texarkana lawyer of the late 1800’s.

If you are a fan of real historic drama, akin to HBO’s Deadwood (without Mr. Wu’s favorite colloquial expression), pay close attention. This story takes you from the Civil War right into the horrors or reconstruction and mob justice. This interview will give you an insight into a part of Arkansas history that is little known. Sevebrov digs into contemporary newspapers and comes out with a fascinating story of suffering, mob justice, and a noble Southern ideal. The book signings are Saturday August 27 at Delta trust on Kavanaugh from 10 to noon, and Saturday September 8 at the UCA Archives, Torreyson Library in Conway, from 2 to 4 PM.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wither Ray Winder?

Travs Manager, Bill Valentine, dropped in for a visit Friday morning and you can hear the whole thing in the WAI archive, which is linked in the left column.

The expectation is that North Little Rock will have the new ballpark read for the start of the 2007 season. Valentine has his "move in" date set for February 10, 2007. At that time, he said that the Travelers organization expected to donate the field to the State, which owns most of the land. In turn, the stadium would likely be donated to the city of Little Rock. So, the question is, are bulldozers about to move in?

Saturday's Democrat-Gazette had a report on some noteworthy plans:

"Little Rock leaders should consider preserving a portion of Ray Winder Field and replacing part of the 73-year-old minor league ballpark with a glassencased development, a Little Rock architect told an advisory group Friday.

"Reese Rowland, who designed Heifer International's headquarters now under construction in Little Rock, told a task force looking at the future of Ray Winder Field and the War Memorial Park area that the field could be preserved for high school and college games while a portion of the grandstand could be converted into an enclosed space."

The preliminary drawing is shown above. Pricey? Probably. Long shot? For sure. Just thought you might want to know.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Jim Harris has a great show on WAI every Wednesday evening 6 to 8. Then, as is the case with each of our programs, it is filed directly in the "on demand" archives. Let me specifically direct your attention to this week's program, which features two of the most successful bands in Arkansas. Meet American Princes and Starkz.

Starkz is performing at Juanita's Saturday night. Look for me and Marie, along with Stephen Freeman, his lovely bride Stacy, and Butch Stone.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Laurie Taylor Drops Atomic Bomb on Fayetteville School Board

This is not light reading. Taylor is mounting a direct assault on the education establishment's "go to hell" attitude. She has three detailed and precise requests for consideration at the scheduled August 25 board meeting. I have copied her entire letter, which is most worthy of consideration.

Bobby, Steve, and Board
  As per policy 1.14, I formally request that these be agenda items at the upcoming school Board meeting August 25, 2005.  Below is my “sufficiently descriptive” narrative. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Also I would like to be placed on the Citizen Participation portion of the meeting.

Item #1 I am formally requesting this item be placed on the agenda for Aug 25th, 2005
I believe that the enclosed Arkansas State codes are being violated by having unidentified amounts of material that by any reasonable parent, applying contemporary community standards, would be construed as pornography. I enclose the following excerpt from "Deal With It! A whole new approach to your body, brain and life as a gURL" available at Woodland Jr. High (students as young as 12 attend there) as proof of such depictions:
“going down on him giving a blow job fellatio oral sex on a guy: Bringing a guy to climax using your mouth and tongue.. I try to look into my boyfriend’s eyes when I’m sucking.. get him off faster.. lick and suck his balls.. If my mouth gets tired I use my hands to jerk him off.. until I can suck again.. make my mouth soft but tight.. Concentrate on the head.. Underneath the shaft is also a good place.. roll your tongue down the bottom of it. If it’s.. big one.. don’t try to get the whole thing in your mouth.. might.. gag.. have fun and just go with what seems right. ..literally sucked on his penis.. when you ‘suck’.. kinda put him in your mouth.. bob your head up and down sliding your hand up and down his penis at the same time. ..think guys like it better if you swallow, but if it grosses you.. move your mouth away.. cover the head with your hand so he’s not squirting all over the place. ..ain’t so bad. ..Wouldn’t put it on my cornflakes, but it doesn’t taste too heinous!”
And this from "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" available at McNair Middle School (students as young as 10)
“He was nude... He was wore down with frustration, he said. I was cruel. ... didn’t understand that unlike a girl it was physically painful for guys not to have sex .... I thought you’d be hot-blooded being Spanish ... under all that Catholic bullshit, you’d be really free.... But Jesus, you’re worse than a fucking Puritan.”

- “..I was frightened of having sex with a man who called it getting laid. .....I played it out in my head. .....We would make love .... we would screw and fuck and ball and get laid...”

- “..five years later ... I’d had a couple of lovers. I was on birth control... lapsing from my heavy-duty Catholic background.. (Rudy called)... he came on over...said, Hey Jesus Christ, I’ve waited five years, and you look like you’ve gotten past all your hang-ups. Lets just fuck. I threw him out.”

- I enclose 6-17-402 as a determinate for "certified teaching license" showing that term to include a licensed classroom teacher, administrator, counselor, or librarian.
____ 6-17-402. Rules and regulations.
(a)(1) The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations for the issuance, licensure, relicensure, and continuance of licensure of teachers in the public schools of this state.
(2) In addition to other requirements, any person applying for initial licensure as a teacher in the public schools or a licensed teacher applying for a license in an additional area shall take and complete a test recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the board, and submit the scores to the Department of Education.

(b) No applicant for initial licensure or licensure in an additional area shall receive a license unless the applicant scores at or above the minimum level set by the board.

(c) All colleges and universities in this state shall report the results of the examinations to the department upon request.

(d) The board shall not delegate to any college or university any of the board's powers or duties pertaining to the issuance, licensure, relicensure, and continuance of licensure of teachers in public schools in this state.

(e) The board shall waive the examination requirements under subsection (a) of this section for individuals applying for licensure in Arkansas who have a valid out-of-state teaching license and three (3) years' documented teaching experience as required by the rules and regulations promulgated by the board.

(f) For purposes of this section, "certified teaching license" includes that license of a licensed classroom teacher, administrator, counselor, or librarian.

History. Acts 1979, No. 162, § 1; 1981, No. 814, § 1; 1983, No. 736, § 1; 1983 (Ex. Sess.), No. 5, § 1; 1985, No. 746, § 1; 1985, No. 1082, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 80-1201; Acts 1989, No. 414, § 1; 2003, No. 754, § 1.

6-17-410. Teacher licensure - First-time applicant, renewal application, revocation, suspension, and probation.
(11) Engaging children in sexually explicit conduct for use in visual or print media, transportation of minors for prohibited sexual conduct, or use of a child or consent to use of a child in a sexual performance by producing, directing, or promoting a sexual performance by a child, as prohibited in §§ 5-27-303, 5-27-305, 5-27-402, and 5-27-403;

(12) Distribution to minors, as prohibited in § 5-64-406;

(16) Pandering or possessing visual or print medium depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, as prohibited by § 5-27-304;

5-27-304. Pandering or possessing visual or print medium depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.
(a) No person, with knowledge of the character of the visual or print medium involved, shall do any of the following:
(1) Knowingly advertise for sale or distribution, sell, distribute, transport, ship, exhibit, display, or receive for the purpose of sale or distribution any visual or print medium depicting a child participating or engaging in sexually explicit conduct;

(2) Knowingly solicit, receive, purchase, exchange, possess, view, distribute, or control any visual or print medium depicting a child participating or engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

(b) Any person who violates subdivisions (a)(1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony for any subsequent offenses.

5-68-303. Promoting obscene materials.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 5-68-308, a person commits promoting obscene materials if he knowingly promotes, or has in his possession with intent to promote, any obscene material.
(b) As used in this section, "material" means any writing, picture, motion picture, films, slides, drawings, or other visual reproductions.

(c) Promoting obscene materials is a Class D felony.

History. Acts 1981 (Ex. Sess.), No. 28, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 41-3585.2.

5-68-501. Definitions.

(2) "Harmful to minors" means that quality of any description, exhibition, presentation, or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse, when the material or performance, taken as a whole, has the following characteristics:

(A) The average person eighteen (18) years of age or older applying contemporary community standards would find that the material or performance has a predominant tendency to appeal to a prurient interest in sex to minors;

(B) The average person eighteen (18) years of age or older applying contemporary community standards would find that the material or performance depicts or describes nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse in a manner that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors; and

(C) The material or performance lacks serious literary, scientific, medical, artistic, or political value for minors;

(3) "Knowingly" means having general knowledge of, or reason to know, or a belief or ground for belief which warrants further inspection or inquiry of

(A) The character and content of any material described in this section which is reasonably susceptible to examination by the defendant; and

(B) The age of the minor, provided that an honest mistake shall constitute an excuse from liability under this section if the defendant made a reasonable bona fide attempt to ascertain the age of the minor;

(4) "Magnetic disk memory" means a memory system that stores and retrieves binary data on record-like metal or plastic disks coated with a magnetic material, including, but not limited to, hard disk drives and floppy diskettes;

(5) "Magnetic tape memory" means a memory system that stores and retrieves binary data on magnetic recording tape;

(6) "Material" means any book, magazine, newspaper, pamphlet, poster, print, picture, figure, image, description, motion picture, film, record, recording tape, CD-ROM disk, magnetic disk memory, magnetic tape memory, video tape, or other media, but does not include matters displayed, transmitted, retrieved, or stored on the internet or other network for the electronic dissemination of information;

(7) "Minor" means any person under the age of eighteen (18) years;

(13) "Sexual conduct" means acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast; and

(14) "Sexual excitement" means the condition of the human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.

I would also submit that this material usurps several District policies, including but not limited to, Student Discipline Policy 5.17; Sexual Harassment Policies 4180& 4250; Student Publications and the Distribution of Literature 5.14, that are imposed upon the children of this district. Perpetrating an irresponsible and harmful double standard on our children and implying “seductive encouragement” as determined by the Supreme Court case Ginsberg v. New York, a U.S. Supreme Court decision, that explains how sexually explicit material is "seductive encouragement" to children. "The child is protected in his reading of pornography by the knowledge that it is pornographic, i.e. disapproved," the court decision reads. "It is outside of parental standards and not a part of his identification process. To openly permit implies parental approval and even suggests seductive encouragement."

I would also point out that a teacher of 12th grade students could not read this material aloud to a class without consequence, a student could not give a written and/or oral book report on this material, and 2 students could not discuss the content of this material on school property without violating school policy and being disciplined . I would also add that if read aloud at a PTA meeting parents would be incensed and answered would be forth coming.
I also believe that a teacher reading this to a single student could face charges of sexual harassment, child endangerment, sexual assault and many other crimes that are perpetrated on minor children by adults with heinous motives.

I would suggest that this material violates unwritten but widely accepted societal decency standards, and by a wide margin would be branded pornography by any reasonable adult.

The problem is that Parents do not have any way, at present, to restrict their child from obtaining this material. This material is not identified in any manner; no list, no rating system nothing, it is placed along side myriads of other books in the Student library. But shockingly some are recognized as “award winning” and would be prime suspects for children seeking great literature. Additionally parents are prohibited by law to obtain their own minor child’s school library check out history, once again preventing the parent from knowing what their child has accessed, infringing on the ability for any parent to instill moral and ethical beliefs of their choosing.

No one has the right to expose someone else’s child to sexual material without their consent. There is an Arkansas State law that requires a school to inform a parent when a child will be given instruction on things of a sexual manner.

Every child will process this information differently. Many children will become confused and anxious after being confronted with this offensive, sexual and deviant incestuous relationship. For some children, this book could be life altering. They will be stimulated by the passages but will feel guilt and disgust for doing so- Many will feel the same emotions this abused child felt which is stated in several passages.. "..feel the hot sauce hot cha cha feeling when he be fucking me.. get.. confuse. I HATE him. But my pussy be popping. He say.. Big Mama your pussy is popping! I HATE myself when I feel good." Harold Voth, who is on the faculty of the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry in Topeka, Kansas, states, “there are millions of people who appear manifestly healthy, but who also harbor substantial latent sicknesses which are residues of developmental arrests or abnormal development which may find expression in sexual perversions. Thus, viewing pornography, most of which depicts perverse behavior, activates the developmental sexual arrests which exist in millions of people”... Dr. Voth sees such exposure as especially damaging to the young who are on the threshold of entering into an active sexual life. For them, these vital processes should be guided toward greater maturity, not retrogressively toward perversion or transient, meaningless sex. As he states, "Society and individuals alike can only be harmed when we legitimize abnormal behavior."
Other children will find the book extremely depressing and sad - to learn that this type of behavior exists. Information on incestuous relationships and child molestation should be handled by adults, preferably parents, and explained in a clinical way rather than presented in raw gutter language like in this book. At the very least, parents should know their child was reading about such subjects and have the opportunity to discuss it with them. This adult, being 38 years old, has never had to confront such horrid thoughts as the detailed scene in the book with the threesome sex including a baby in Pampers. I had just soon gone to my grave without confronting it.
Again the law doesn't even allow sex education without parental consent. This book is notsex education - but education in all the unhealthy, deviant ways.

We also have a great deal of information gained from studies treating sex offenders, suggesting that pornography is often used by them as a facilitator or "training manual" in not only acquiring their own deviation but also as a device to break down the resistance and inhibitions of their victims or targets of molestation--especially when these are children or juveniles. (32)
Bob Peters and Bob Navarro of the Los Angeles Police Department's Administrative Vice Division cite an in-house study of every child molestation case referred to them during a 10-year-period which found, in 60% of the instances, adult or child pornography was used to lower the inhibitions of the children molested or to excite or sexually arouse the perpetrator of the abuse.
In another study of 43 pedophiles, they found adult or child pornography was (magazines, photos or videos) involved in 100% of the cases investigated. In every interview they conducted, the officers reported the abusers repeatedly saying the same thing: "I used this stuff to stimulate the child, to break down his inhibitions.”

I have attached a very detailed article linking the use of this type material by pedophiles to entice, desensitize and normalize sex with children.

I have communicated with the superintendent and the school board on several levels.
Sending emails and making phone calls repeatedly requesting direction and feedback, this has been inadequately handled. I have attended school board meetings, the most recent without any response. I have initiated a petition with several hundred signatures which the district not recognized.

The points in this complaint form are not exhaustive by any means. If you need further information please don’t hesitate to ask.

I am once again beseeching you to immediately restrict access to students without parental consent and initiate an audit of our library system to identify this type material, and establish guidelines for future selections.
Also attached and linked is information regarding the removal, not restriction, of one of these books in NY City from 371 schools. “Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said the sexual primer was mistakenly put on the list of suggested classroom library books and was delivered to schools. But she emphasized that the book was ordered removed before classes started last month because it was deemed inappropriate for adolescents to read.”

The State of Oklahoma is passing legislation on this very issue. “House Resolution 1039, by State Rep. Sally Kern , calls on Oklahoma libraries to “confine homosexually themed books and other age-inappropriate material to areas exclusively for adult access and distribution.”

At least 14 states allow disclosure of materials checked out to custodial parents or guardians so the Supreme Court could not have ruled against this.

New Mexico
South Dakota
West Virginia

This can be done. It is not only legal it is right!

Item #2  I am formally requesting this item be put on the agenda for Aug 25th, 2005

 I received the following letter dated Aug 9th from Dr. New:

Dear Ms. Taylor:

On August 2, 2005 I received your Patron’s Request for Reconsideration of a Work for the book entitled Push. I will designate a Materials Evaluation Committee per Board Policy No 61631.1 Section C.

The committee will be provided a copy of your patron request form Appendix A of Board Policy No. 6163.1 No later than two weeks after the committee has completed their evaluation, you will receive a copy of their recommendations.

Section III. D. if Board Policy No 6163.1 requires that “no material shall be removed from use until the Materials Evaluation Committee has made a final decision.” Therefore, the book Push will remain in general circulation at the high school library.

Thank you for your interest in the library collection of Fayetteville Public Schools.

Bobby C New

As implied in the letter, as of Aug 9th, no Materials Eval. Committie had been formed and the time period that is specifically stated in the policy, within two weeks, is not being adhered to.  The policy expressly details the procedure saying that all steps will be completed within two weeks upon receipt of form.  I am requesting that the board address this issue immediately and require a response in compliance to the time line of this policy

Item #3    I am formally requesting this item be placed on the agenda for Aug 25th, 2005

I received a letter from Dr. New concerning my Reconsideration form for the book Deal with it! A whole New approach to your body, brain and life as a gurl stating “at this time, the district does not have the resources available to consider additional request. There for it is my decision not to process the above mentioned reconsideration of a work.” 
The policy 6163.1 has no provision in it, that I can find, that would allow for this delay. The district was well aware of my intent to file numerous reconsideration forms. Dr. New himself stated that the current procedure would not be effective, the district should have been prepared for this task.  I waited nearly 2 months for an alternative procedure to no avail. I want to address this issue before the board to ask them to resolve this usurping of the policy that I have been required to follow.

Item #4   I am formally requesting this item to be placed on the agenda for the Aug 25th,2005
In Dr. News’s letter concerning my Patron Complaint form he stated “Due to the seriousness of your repeated inquiries, I no longer feel it appropriate to respond to you via email.  Furthermore, as we move forward, I will only accept written correspondence from you.”  Is the district now setting a policy to refuse emails correspondence from any patron/citizen? If not I would consider this to be discriminatory action. I am requesting that the board address this issue and set the policy straight on means of correspondence.

God's Speed

Laurie Taylor

"All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  - Edmund Burke

A Seismic Shift In Rating Radio

Peter Kafka,
08.17.05, 6:00 AM ET

This is not exactly breaking news, but it is noteworthy that Forbes magazine is finally catching up to something that was first announced in June.

Arbitron ratings are the absolute horse and buggy of the statistical world and it is not entirely astonishing that broadcasters, at the dawn of the 21st. Century, should demand 20th. Century technology.

Radio broadcasting is driven by green ignorance and feat, so trust me when I tell you that Clear Channel's demand for better rating service is motivated by a strong survival instinct. One thing that is happening in the free market is the internet. Podcasters, webcasters, and any company that sells advertising from an internet address can tell how many hits they have, how many are "unique" hits, and where they come from. It's not an estimate either. Unlike Arbitron, based on witchcraft, internet advertisers know exactly how many people are exposed to their advertising.

So many good people and promising careers have been harmed by the ARB ratings, it's about time broadcasters woke up. Yeah, I have an obvious prejudice, but facts are facts As our beloved second president, John Adams, once said, "facts are hard things."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Two Disc Jockeys Plead Guilty In Gay Porn Case

KTHV Channel 11 files the story about Chris Browne and Phillip Beard. The former 1037 The BUZZ radio personalities were accused of distributing pornographic materials to a minor. The offense occurred at the 2004 Gay Pride Parade in Conway.

UPDATE: Today's Democrat-Gazette has a more comprehensive story. That site requires a subscription.

The original charge was a felony and the Faulkner County prosecutor stated that he took the case as a "civil rights" matter, whatever that means. Today, the whole thing came crashing to an anti-climatic ending as both entered guilty please to misdemeanor charges. Each was sentenced to 24 hours of community service and will pay $250 fines.

it was a good outcome, unless you count the harm done to the public perception of justice caused by the district attorney. This thing was a colossal waste of taxpayer money.

H. G. Foster, prosecuting attorney up there in Conway, comes off looking like the supreme buffoon of all time. His office was not ready for trial, didn't have much of a case, and was counting on anti-gay prejudice to nail Chris and Flip.

There is plenty I could say, but it is probably better to let those sleeping dogs lie. I worked for Signal Media when all this came down. I saw how it came down too. Flip and Chris are good people and never deserved any of this. Being gullible and careless is not a crime.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wednesday morning at 9:30 on Pat Classic, United States Senator Mark Pryor will be checking in by telephone. He has had plenty to say lately about Social Security reform. The heat is UP on the estate tax and the John Roberts nomination will be voted on in just weeks. Have your questions ready. The phone number is (501) 433 0924 or toll free nationwide 1-877-433-0924 Jot us a note at

Meredith Oakley, the Voices page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, will be in the house at 10.

If you can't listen "live" our "on demand" archives are just what you need. Listen whenever it is convenient. Download as an mp3, if you like. Enjoy!

UPDATE: The Meredith Oakley interview was one hour and it is a Classic.

Senator Pryor was tough on Bush about gas prices and Iraq, but he turned to jelly on the INS raid in Arkadelphia. You need to hear it for yourself.

John Wesley Hall, the local attorney, talked about Ray Winder Field and the geat loss which will come from its' distruction. He appeared at 11 for about 20 minutes.

E-mail to my show on WAI

After my extensive commentary on the story immediately below, bigdaddyo submitted the following:

top ten ways you know you are in a bad wal mart:
10) elderly front door greeter says, "what are you lookin' at, loser?!"
9) kid whupin' section larger than the trailer skirting section!
8) food court smells like cabbage, and they don't have cabbage on the menu!
7) portrait studio has teeth you can rent!
6) guy in the video department offers to show you the good stuff he has hidden out in the trunk of his car!
5) sporting goods department has a wide selection of brass knuckles!
4) sign on the restroom door says "maybe you should just hold it!"
3) a family of migrant farm workers is living in the snack food aisle!
2) two for one special on bail bonds!

and the #1 way you know you are in a bad wal mart: "it's not a flashing blue light special, it's the cops!"

Insurer wants woman's crash settlement

By Robert Patrick
Of the Post-Dispatch

Two of my favorite targets in the same story! Wal Mart and insurance companies are an unholy mix of toxic corporate greed. In this case, Wal Mart IS the insurer.

Even when considering the Bentonville lords of corporate darkness, one must be fair. The above described lawsuit can be a technicality. In the law, one must sometimes do things that seem peculiar to preserve rights. For example, Nolan Richardson had to ask for his job back at the University of Arkansas even though that was an impossibility. It was demanded in the law and one can argue that the northwest Arkansas retailer must go through the motions of trying to get its' money back.

The problem is that I think they may be serious about taking out this most unfortunate human being. Clearly, they are considering options. One of the world's most powerful and profitable corporations has not ruled out the economic murder of a former disabled employee.

Wonder what that elderly network newscaster would have to say about this one? Would he be glad to have Wal-Mart as a neighbor?

Monday, August 15, 2005

One thing the Democrats can't fake

Monday, Aug 15, 2005
By John Brummett
Stephens Media Group

John Brummett also has a column today. After you get done with mine, on the Voices page in the Democrat-Gazette, give John a try. He writes about the mix of religion and politics and why Democrats run into problems.

Nutt's contract being extended

Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2005

This is some of the worst news of the weekend. It guarantees mediocrity and non-performance for as long as many of you will ever be alive. Nutt's sweet deal runs to 2011.

Did I say "Mediocrity?" Perhaps I did over-state the head coach's capabilities. It would be more like abysmal excuse making.

Nutt is the right man for the job. He is pals with the Trustees and the fans be damned.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Would you discriminate against this guy?

Look the picture over very carefully. His name is Rilon Lee and we are going to hear his story Monday morning at 9. Here is the gist of it from Wendy:

"On Friday, August 12th, 2005, our friend Rilon was assigned the task of chaperoning two minor children to Skateland in Pine Bluff. At age 22, Rilon is a full fledged adult. He stays out of trouble, attends church every Sunday, and has a human soul. Coincidentally, Rilon, like so many others in his generation, also has several facial piercings. He wears three facial rings in his lower lip, and one in the eye brow area. Facial piercings of this nature are quite common in this day and time. However, because of his choice of jewelry, Rilon was denied entry into the city‚s skating rink."

Should Rilon be allowed inside the skating rink? Property rights or personal rights? I would welcome our input on WAI

Skilled workers essential

August 14, 2005
By Josee Valcourt
Jackson, Mississippi

Pay me now, or pay me later.

Today's Jackson paper has a significant story (the link is the headline) about the shortage of literate workers in the former Confederate states. Of course, official deny any problem. They do, however, set aside $100 million as a "training incentive" for big manufacturing projects, just in case the local public schools accidentally failed to provide anybody with a suitable basic education.

This is why money spent to improve Arkansas' public schools is money well spent.

(I guess it's obvious but I thought I'd say it anyway.)

State questions library's costs

Review of Lincoln site to see if up to $15 million can be contested
By Ray Long, Robert Becker and David Mendell
Tribune staff reporters
Published August 14, 2005

Since the Abraham Lincoln museum opened in Springfield, Illinois in April, 300,000 visitors have passed through the doors. That is about as many as have visited the Clinton Library on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock.

Today's Chicago Tribune (linked above) has an extensive report on the State of Illinois' efforts to regain about $15 million in cost overruns. Officials say the state has paid more than $101 million and the federal government contributed $32.3 million, while the city of Springfield has kicked in $8.64million. An $11.5 million visitors center remains to be completed.

The City of Little Rock paid about $16 million for the Clinton Library land.

The big difference between the two: the major donors to the Clinton Library were private; the major donor to the Lincoln Library was the State of Illinois. Springfield got one heck of a largely taxpayer ($100 million state; $32 million fed) financed project at a pretty cheap price.

it is an interesting comparison and a good read.

The archives at WAI are a unique feature of any talk station in Arkansas, and we believe nationally. Every program is recorded and goes to the internet page where listeners may download and listen to selected hours “on demand.” This past week, several amazingly informative and entertaining programs were broadcast on WAI and are mow available to you at no charge.

• UCA President Lu Hardin spent an hour with me Friday morning and we talked about the college and his vision for it at some length. He also had some revealing thoughts on how Arkansas’ high schools are doing at preparing students for the college experience. He also talks a bit about “No child Left Behind”

• Little Rock Mayor Jim Daily is leaving his options open for running again and confirmed that he is still supporting a change in the form of municipal government. He might use his final term as mayor to secure that transition. He was on Friday morning at about 9:30.

• Congressman Marion Berry was on about 11:30 Thursday and he had a lot to say. He unloaded on the Medicare prescription benefit law.

• Thursday (8/11) at about 8:30, Drew Pritt called in for another outstanding interview. He is the famous Democrat running for Lieutenant Governor. This was an informative piece but also very funny. Drew’s previous visit has logged well over 600 downloads, a WAI archive record!

• Laurie Taylor gave an update on her battle with the public school libraries in Fayetteville. It’s at 9:00 on August 10.

• Tuesday at 10, there was an AARP update on the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It is one hour and absolutely comprehensive discussion with the State Director, Maria Reynolds-Diaz and the Advocacy Consultant Mark Johnson.

• United States Senator Blanche Lincoln appeared Tuesday morning at 10.

• Democrat-Gazette columnist Mike Masterson was on Monday at 9 talking about the Janie Ward case. This is an outstanding interview and you will get a taste of why this is such a great story and why it is about to get national attention.

That's just the tip of the iceberg! Browse the WAI Archives for a free world of online information and entertainment.

Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down

My old friend Ray Lincoln has been known to say that the really juicy news comes in the Saturday Paper. People are distracted over the weekend and Saturday papers are said to have the lowest readership. Smart folks with bad news know to tell it late Friday afternoon with the hope that it might even fall out of the television news cycle. There are a couple of such developments this weekend and they are from the Democrat-Gazette, which is a site that requires a subscription. It is worth your time to track down Saturday’s paper.

There is a shrewd and evil plan to curb reporting on the Arkansas General-Assembly. Under a plan hatched by Speaker Bill Stovall, the rostrum area will be redesigned to conveniently push reporters off the House floor to a glassed in gallery a full floor level above. Journalists would not even get a clear view of the members from the proposed relocation. They would also be deprived of the opportunity to immediately seek comments from elected representatives and a personal perspective of any procedural maneuvers. The State House spends your money, looks out after schools, safeguards drinking water and civil liberties. Any suggestion that would reduce the scrutiny of politicians should be considered wicked and sinister on the face.

Then there is the case of Every Donell “Boo” Richardson, who was previously charged with first-degree murder in the death of a west Little Rock woman who died after a chunk of concrete was thrown through her windshield from an I-630 overpass. Prosecutors withdrew the murder charge when the case moved to Pulaski County Circuit Court, and they substituted it with a Class Y felony charge of terroristic threatening, which carries the same penalty as first-degree murder: 10-40 years or life in prison. "We felt like the terroristic act more effectively reflects what he has done," Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Johnson said.

Defense attorneys complain that the new charges lower the state’s burden of proof. I don’t know about that I have a nagging worry that the new charges make a plea-bargain to some further reduced charge even more likely. A bad precedent was set earlier this week. Former State Representative Dwayne Dobbins entered a guilty plea to some very serious charges involving his conduct with a minor female and then, after working out a sweet deal to avoid jail time, pretty much denied the essence of the allegation. Maybe I am being a cranky old man, but having to resign a public trust after admitting guilt to a serious offense is not part of the punishment. It is a natural consequence, which should be of not concern to the judicial system. To date, the good offices of Judge Willard Proctor or Prosecutor Larry Jegley have been silent. You go figure it out for yourself, but I am becoming very skeptical.

Friday, August 12, 2005

George Chilson: Time to take the train

Rail transportation would improve economy, quality of life
10:05 PM CDT on Thursday, August 11, 2005

The op-ed piece (linked at the headline) from the Dallas Morning News says just about everything I would have said about Amtrak, if I had the time or energy. Although the national rail passenger system is an absolute mess, there is public interest, a powerful need and real hope for reform. There is no reason at all for the greatest nation on earth not to have the best trains.

Hutchison offers Love compromise

With one stop, fliers could go anywhere from airport on one ticket
12:54 AM CDT on Friday, August 12, 2005
By TONY HARTZEL / The Dallas Morning News

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is one of the smartest people in the Senate and her idea for Love Field is so logical it does not stand a snowball's chance in Hades of passing. The story is linked to the headline.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Greg Zonner, Exec. Director of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (included among my links on the left side), and Shorty Hagerman a WWII vet visited today. When you check this one on the archives you will hear a highly entertaining hour with everything you wanted to know about life aboard a submarine from Greg and Shorty's exploits about the aircraft carrier Lexington. Shorty was also a carnival fire eater and a rodeo rider. This hour rocks. Both of these guy are volunteers with the Razorback submarine in North Little Rock.

Drew Pritt, the famous candidate for Lieutenant Governor, talks about everything that has happened so far in his campaign. This is funny stuff and good politics. He was on in the first hour.

Congressman Marion Berry was kind enough to give an interview on short notice at around 11:30. It was a bit mundane and then I mentioned the new Medicare drug benefit. Well, you can hear for yourself. He is a really colorful guy and highly intelligent.

The archive contains loads of entertaining shows, so check it out. Of course, it is a free service of WAI.

Will it be: Keep Wright or lose Love?

Congresswoman wants Dallas airport closed if law is repealed
10:59 PM CDT on Wednesday, August 10, 2005
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

Here is the latest volley. You might be interested in knowing that Senator Lincoln commented on this in our recent interview. That is in the WAI archives, linked to the left.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Who is Drew Pritt?

Democratic candidate wrote checks on Republican senator's account
Wednesday, Aug 10, 2005
By Doug Thompson
Arkansas News Bureau

Doug Thompson's fine article is linked above. It will tell you a lot about the most colorful candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Despite his cavorting with Yanks and Republicans, and a spell of obvious bad judgment, I still like Drew Pritt.

Please understand that I also liked Steve Clark, Bill McCuen, and Tommy Robinson. I am a notorious bad judge of character, at least as far as politicians are concerned. There is a very cool Drew Pritt interview in the WAI archive, which is linked in the left column. Pritt gets quite a bit of coverage if you scroll down in this blog.

Here is the part where I put on my political consultant's hat and render free advice to the candidate. Be comfortable with yourself, Drew. A few hot checks is not as bad as joining the Klan. Lots of folks have done the same thing, but something that made you different is paying back the money. Talk about how you learned from your youthful misadventures and be sure to make the voice quiver. That is an essential qualification for any aspiring office holder.

Remember what P. T. Barnum said: "The only bad publicity is no publicity."

That applies to radio broadcasters too!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Play ball!

North Little Rock will have a beautiful new ballpark on the Arkansas River. Voters handed community leaders a solid victory and Travelers manager Bill Valentine cried like a baby. Ground will be broken in October and next season should be the last at Ray Winder Field.

While economic development is a benefit to the entire community, there are a few things to be noted. The most significant negative on the one cent sales tax which will be levied in North Little Rock for two years is that it gives that city one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation. Mayor Hays makes a good argument about how some city services do cost less, but the tax raises the price of things people need and use. The tax places an unfair burden on shoppers in one town to pay for something that is a regional facility.

Then, there is the troublesome matter of the county jail. Nobody proposes a picturesque setting or a fine restaurant for the local lockup. We never think of the place where dangerous people wait for trials or the bus ride to prison. This local tax just about guarantees that even a small countywide sales tax for an essential government function is now out of the question.

The new stadium is a positive addition to the downtown scene and the senior citizens center, which also benefits from the tax, is a popular destination. North Little Rock has taken a bold step and this vote is a testimony of Mayor Hays’ political skills.

All illegality not created equal

Tuesday, Aug 9, 2005
By John Brummett

The rancorous debate over illegal aliens has intensified since the INS raid on an Arkadelphia chicken processing plant. Brummett's column (linked by the above headline) is a marvelous response to the knuckleheads who mindlessly chant, "What part of illegal don't you understand?"

If you scan down a bit, there is an entry that will tell you where to send help for the unfortunate people who have ben swept up in the mass arrests.

Ruth's Chris puts steak in stocks

One of the country's best chain restaurants has gone public. Good for them. Now, maybe, we might be blessed with a Ruth's Chris in Little Rock.

Now, I have read the latest revenue report, which our friends on the Arkansas Times blog so kindly posted a few days ago. Sonny Williams is a fine establishment and I would not wish head-to-head competition in the River Market. However, this market is sufficiently mature to accommodate another great steak eatery.

Marie and I don't get out much, but there are some outstanding joints in this town when we do! Come on Ruth's Chris! Now that you're flush with cash, the time is right!

United States Senator Blanche Lincoln made a state visit to our Plaza West studios this morning and we covered a lot of territory in 30 minutes. She crowed over the transportation bill, took issue with the president on Iraq, and vigorously defended her position on the internet pornography bill I discussed so energetically here and in my newspaper column.

Later in the morning, the nice folks from AARP dropped in. State Director, Maria Reynolds-Diaz, and the Advocacy Consultant, Mark Johnson, gave the complete overview on the new Medicare drug benefit. This is, without doubt, the best discussion you will hear anywhere.

The entire program has been placed in the WAI ARCHIVES.

Wednesday morning, Fayetteville's crusading mom, Laurie Taylor, makes a triumphant return visit with an update on her struggles with the school libraries. Hint, it ain't a pretty picture.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Democrat-Gazette columnist Mike Masterson was on this morning and we spent most of the hour talking about the Janie Ward murder case. It is a nest of local corruption and grotesque coverup. Mike revealed that an ABC crew was coming in to film a special investigative report and the issue would gain national acclaim. I know that Mike seems to get tiresome about this one, and I have had my doubts, but this unexplained death cries out for justice. From the beginning, what little official investigation has taken place has been a farce. Mike gives a lot of background in the interview, which is in the WAI arhcive (linked in th eleft column).

We also spent a few minutes on Laurie Taylor, the lady who is having troubles with the Fayetteville school library. Mike and I agree on that one too!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Museum exhibits a creationist viewpoint

New front opens in debate over origins
By Lisa Anderson
Tribune national correspondent
Published August 7, 2005

This story (linked by the headline) appears in today's Chicago Tribune Travel Section. It's about one of Arkansas' newest tourist attractions, the Museum of earth History, in lovely Eureka Springs.

Believe it or not, nearly half of the general public believes the literal Genesis story of creation. That means that Arkansans are not made out to be any dumber than visiting Yanks.

This is a serious issue and I guess I am going to have to write a column about it soon. It is enough, for today, to say that we got here because we evolved, and the powerful forces behind the movement to sneak other theories into public school science classes know that there is another agenda behind what they do.

What happened to the mighty KMOX?

By Bill Smith
Of the Post-Dispatch

KMOX Radio lost the Cards baseball broadcast last week after a 52 year affiliation. This has caused many to ask the same question posed in the above headline, which is also links to a story in today's local paper.

Here comes my personal theory. Differing opinions are always welcome, so blast away.

It was not exactly the addition of Rush Limbaugh which spelled the beginning of the end. It was the loss of a solid local identity as the once-great station whored itself out a rank partisanship for three hours every day. The rest began to fade after that.

Radio has become a series of indistinguishable local repeaters for sound-alike talk jocks and cookie-cutter musical formats. All originality has been destroyed. This fine old station is merely a victim of a nasty trend.

Perhaps I spend too much time and energy promoting WAI Radio in the blog, but we prize our local identity. We produce 7 hours of original Arkansas product every day and re-cycle throughout the day and night. We have comprehensive archives. We talk about everything on earth with feet firmly planted here.

Unfortunately, KMOX is becoming "just another radio station," a dinosaur on its' way to extinction.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Bird's the Word

The archives are brimming with fantastic material from this past week's Pat Classic, and a number of super hours from previous weeks including Gene Lyons. In my opinion, the highlight of the week was my hour on the ivory-billed woodpecker. Professor David Luneau from UALR took the very short film of the bird just over a year ago. Jay Harrad is with the Nature Conservancy. The archives are completely free. Download and enjoy!

NLR Celebrates Patfest

Mayor Patrick Henry Hays declared Friday "Pat Lynch Day" in north Little Rock. Since I can't vote in his election, I thought that was awfully darned nice and I don't even care that he waited till 4 in the afternoon to make the proclamation. It was just awesome for him to visit and the rest of the photos will soon be appearing on my site, which is linked to the left.

The Mayor suggested that Patfest should be a celebration for ALL Pats. I have turned that one over to the Patfest Committee.

My Argenta Underground is conducting a public opinion survey on the ball park tax and it is winning big a tremendous margin. 81% in favor, 16% against, 3% don't know what hell the hell day of the week it is.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Drew Pritt for Congress? In WISCONSIN?

You will never believer this one! Here is a press release from just a few months ago. The headline is the link.

Now there is probably a good explanation. In fact, I am sure there is. Still, a candidate should always be in control of his own information. Your reaction? Feel free to post.

Pritt is a native of Arkansas and attended the University. He is even a member of the gun lovers club, the NRA! I bet he has a lot harder time explaining his associations with Yankees than being gay.

UPDATE, PRITT ABSOLVED! The candidate sent the following statement:

I did consider a race for Congress for about a month. It would have been against Jim Sensenbrenner, the author of the Patriot Act. I was disturbed that at the time there were no more candidates considering running. But, I realized, I am an Arkansan. Arkansas is my home. I wouldn't have won the race, but deeply, I missed my home and family. The commute was killing me, as I maintained residence in Arkansas. But if every politician who ever sent up a trial balloon for another office then backed off, it would be an political field littered with their remains.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Footnotes and Follow-ups

DAVID SANDERS, the Stephens Media Group columnist, was terrific. We covered a lot of ground from reorganizing high school athletics, to religion, and the prominence of the Democratic Party in Arkansas. The standout comment of the morning concerned Jim Lendall. Sanders says Jim Lendall will be a big factor next year and will hurt Mike Beebe.

JIM LENDALL was on Tuesday morning and he assured me that his Green Party candidacy would not take away from the democratic contender. Lendall was a very entertaining and informative subject who favors “administrative consolidation” of smaller districts (something Sanders also discussed).

DREW PRITT is gay and I knew it, but why should that matter? He did not make a big deal out of it, so I never asked. This is another outstanding interview with one of the Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor.

ASA HUTCHINSON had to answer for his “for pay” activities since leaving Homeland Security. He talked about TIF districts too. One poster to an electronic gossip sheet said that I let Asa off easy. Check it out in the archives and see for yourself. No, I did not ask much about impeachment. No, I do not think his role in the Senate trial of Bill Clinton will be his “Achilles heel.”

All of the above are in the WAI Radio archive, which is linked in the left hand column.

Help the Stranded Children!

I have lifted the following from "Matilda'a Rants and Advice." The situation in Arkadelphia is so appalling, it must be addressed immediately. As usual, the people at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families is doing God's work.

AACF Encourages Your Support for Stranded Children

More than 30 children were stranded as a result of the recent immigration raid at the Petit Jean Poultry plant in Arkadelphia.

The children, who were left behind when their parents were picked up during the raid, are in need of your help.

According to persons working with these families, the children need items such as diapers, wipes, baby formula and food, apple juice, canned fruit, cookies, crackers and telephone cards.

They are also in need of money to pay rent, utility bills and other essentials.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) encourages you to help by contacting one of the places listed below.

Donations and/or supplies may be sent to:

LA CASA / Judith Veliz
Attn: 30 Children of Arkadelphia
6911 Geyer Springs Little Rock , AR 72202
Phone: 501-664-3500

St. Anne's Church
Attn: 30 Children of Arkadelphia
6150 Remount Rd.
North Little Rock , AR 72118-2208

Or if you are in Northwest Arkansas , please deliver your donations directly to:
Catholic Charities in Springdale
Attn: 30 Children of Arkadelphia
2022 W. Sunset Ave. Springdale , AR 72762
Phone: 479~927~1996

For money donations, please write a check or money order and write in the memo line "30 Children of Arkadelphia".

Tildy Adds: Way to go INS, good planning on your part. Homeland Security is not instilling a lot of confidence in this ole gal. We hope our readers pass along this urgent plea. 'Tildy (still hoping for peace someday, oh, and that we don't continue orphaning children and throwing them into our overburdened foster care. Maybe the Duggars will take them in, they have a bus already!)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Jim Lendall Comes Down From the Mountain!

He is the Green Party candidate for governor and a registered nurse at Children's Hospital by profession. Jim served four terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives and earned a reputation flor honesty and concern for ordinary people. He is pro choice and against the death penalty. Jim favors what he calls "administrative consolidation" of smaller school districts. That takes away the fat superintendents jobs and keeps the local schools open. Obviously, he has a real feel for health care issues.

No, Lendall does not think the campaign strengthens Asa Hutchinson by taking away support from Democrat Mike Beebe. You can hear the entire hour (48 minutes of actual interview - double the other commercial talk station) in the WAI Radio archives, which are linked at the left.

This is really big...

My buds at the Arkansas Times blog (linked at your left) are way out front on woodpecker news. Three scientists who questioned the finding by Arkansas and Cornell University biologists of an ivory-billed woodpecker in the East Arkansas woods have withdrawn their objections to the findings, The Times has the whole story.

Monday, August 01, 2005

On Tuesday's Pat Classic

An old friend will drop by. Former state representative Jim Lendall is now the Green Party gubernatorial candidate. He is always a total scream and very well informed. He will be by at 9:00..

Of course, we have calls out to many interesting folks and newsmakers

Too Good to be Lite Governor

Drew Pitt, a Democrat candidate for Lieutenant Governor from Warren, visited today on Pat Classic on WAI He might just be the most liberal candidate in the race. He is pro-choice and pro economic development in the Delta. He is an outspoken opponent of rural school consolidation. He's way too smart to be serving in public office in Arkansas. Don't believe me, the show is in the archives, like all the programs on WAI. Down load it as an mp3 or listen on your computer.

Today's show also had a lightning fast interview with Benton Mayor Rick Holland, who is searching for a way to convince the Highway Department to let them move the Alcoa Road exit to accommodate the proposed Target store. The President of the Pat Lynch Fan Club checked in from his Daytona Beach, FL. digs and the Six Feet Under viewing team also met.

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