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December 15, 2005

Vol 3 • No 48

Words Dec. 15

“OAKLAND, Calif. – A liquor store was heavily damaged by an apparent arson fire Monday, just days after it was trashed by well-dressed vandals who told the owners to stop selling to black people, authorities said.” This arson fire phrasing appears in

The book of Mark

With Christmas and the new year fast approaching, it’s safe to say we’ve seen everything Mike Beebe’s gubernatorial campaign is going to do in 2005. It wasn’t much.

Arkansas school report 'objective'?

The 166-page report on education in Arkansas released Monday by the Koret Task Force was billed by Gov. Mike Huckabee as an objective outsiders’ perspective on what state leaders need to do to improve the state’s schools. An outsiders’ perspective,

Bob and his books

Poor Bob Lancaster (Book section: Dec. 1). He has never received a book he liked as a Christmas present.

Orval Dec. 15

Covering Wal-Mart

A new television ad critical of Wal-Mart says that the huge retailer’s business practices are far from Christ-like, a reporter on Channel 4’s newscast informed us the other night, but she quickly added – lest anybody get the wrong idea about Wal-Mart or C

Torturers at the top

King Henry VIII of England, founder of the Church of England and a particularly virile ruler, did not think it at all inhumane to have a counterfeiter boiled alive or to cut off the extremities, including the heads, of sundry enemies in prison without a f

'Brokeback' coming

Despite some rumors to the contrary, the new movie, "Brokeback Mountain," will be screened in Little Rock.

Editorial cartoon Dec. 15

The week that was Dec. 7-13

It was a good week for … ALLTEL. The Little Rock communications company announced a $9 billion deal that will create a new, separate phone company based in Arkansas to go with an Alltel focusing strictly on wireless.

This Modern World Dec. 15

Smart Talk Dec. 15

This week: "Milk-shaking" horses; fixing up War Memorial Fitness Center; a gubernatorial poll.

Sexus

Another year has passed in which People Magazine didn’t name me the Sexiest Man Alive. They gave the title to a whippersnapper matinee idol again, one of those who, you can tell, had hell coaxing up that much stubble.

Caught in traffic

The news that Alltel is merging its conventional telephone business with another company and spinning off a new corporation means it’s time to talk about rush-hour traffic congestion in Riverdale, where Alltel is headquartered.

Covering Wal-Mart

A new television ad critical of Wal-Mart says that the huge retailer’s business practices are far from Christ-like, a reporter on Channel 4’s newscast informed us the other night, but she quickly added – lest anybody get the wrong idea about Wal-Mart or C

The Observer Dec. 15

The Observer finds the current wasted-breath brouhaha, which is to say the ridiculous jawing over the use of “holiday” vs. “Christmas,” endlessly amusing.

Needed: a smoking ban

Forty years ago, 40 percent of adult Americans were smoking cigarettes. The estimate today is only 22 percent. I’m one of those who quit. I started smoking as a kid and liked every cigarette I ever smoked, but I stopped when my doctor told me not to c

Lawmen vs. the drug warriors

For months, full-page advertisements challenging government policy toward pain management doctors have been appearing in national magazines. Attorney General Mike Beebe signed a letter used in the campaign.

Double serving of Trout

Besides a bar-room contribution to Nightflying’s 25th anniversary party on Thursday, Dec. 15, the Grammy Award-nominated duo Trout Fishing in America will have the stage to itself in a pair of family Christmas shows in Central Arkansas this weekend.

Nothing lacking about ‘Narnia’

One of the hardest things about growing up with a story you truly adore is revisiting that story as an adult and finding it lacking. Like the first time you realize that George Lucas can’t write dialogue that resembles actual human speech, or that Disney'

Dirty as he wants to be

Fans of the oh-so-wonderfully-bad 1970s Blaxploitation movies will remember Rudy Ray Moore as the kung-fu fightin’ pimp hero named Dolemite and the master of the genre (along with “Superfly” star Ron O’Neal). Comedian Moore will be appearing in concert at

Trans-Siberian Orchestra heats up holiday season

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is what you’d get if Pink Floyd met Christmas -– a symphonic rock concert with a holiday feel and a laser and light show that, as one music fan who attended last year’s show at Alltel Arena said afterward, is “amazing.”

‘Crazy’ for New Orleans cuisine

Ever since the city took a sucker punch from Hurricane Katrina and crumbling levees a few months back, we’ve found ourselves starving for New Orleans food — po’ boys, muffalettas, mudbugs, oysters on the half-shell and etouffee.

A step back in time

Dolly Parton Dec. 6 Alltel Arena Maybe it was appropriate that Dolly Parton and her “Vintage” tour hit Alltel Arena in North Little Rock less than a week after 10 U.S. Marines were killed in a single day in a bombing in Iraq. Hearing her perfo

TV highlights Dec. 15-22

NEW! NEW! NEW! THE TRAVEL CHANNEL ON COMCAST Comcast Ch. 71 Though “The Travel Channel” sounds like one of those fuzzy stations they show in hotels to let you know how to use the ice machine, it’s actually a lot of fun — exotic travel without the

Clumsy ballet

‘The Nutcracker’ Robinson Center Music Hall Dec. 10 There is only one reason why “The Nutcracker” is still important to central Arkansas. The ballet incorporates many children of the community who aspire to perform. More young people are taken to

Elephant and more jumbo stuff

No matter what else you might think about the place, you can’t accuse I.O. Metro of burying its lead. Walk five feet inside the door and you’re face to face with a gigantic, intricately painted elephant statue, complete with wheeled platform.

What's cooking-capsule reviews

What's cooking: Bubba and Garcia’s, Peachtree Catering. Updates: Izzy's, Don Vicci's.

What's cooking-capsule reviews

What's cooking: Bubba and Garcia’s, Peachtree Catering. Updates: Izzy's, Don Vicci's.

Peter Read: Musicians’ friend

What: Nightflying 25th Anniversary Party Where: Juanita’s and Midtown Billiards Time: 7 p.m. Performing: Juanita’s show headlined by Trout Fishing in America and the Schwag. Also appearing will be Bob Hayes, Barbara Raney, Dean Agus and Seth Freeman

Dr. Kale vs. the drug warriors

FORT SMITH – This is Dr. Robert Kale discussing the drug problem in America: “The drug problem has gotten worse since the inception of the DEA [federal Drug Enforcement Administration]. The pressure they put on caused an increase in price. When that h

Angelic chorus

‘Holiday 2005’ River City Men’s Chorus Trinity UMC Dec. 5 If David Glaze and the River City Men’s Chorus keep this up, they’re going to need a bigger venue.

Picks Dec. 15-22

David Itkin’s seasonal family showcase with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra has become a holiday favorite in Little Rock the past several years, and Itkin and crew are back again on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16-17, for three performances of “Yuletide Spec

Truckers and a new highway paradigm

By itself, the trucking industry’s opposition to Gov. Mike Huckabee’s highway bond proposal never made sense. Clearly, the big truck lobby was up to something else.

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Maximum thought to minimum wage

Join me as we begin to think through this proposal unveiled last week for a ballot issue in November 2006 to raise the state minimum wage by a buck an hour, to $6.15, still not enough to live on.
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