Anyone who is concerned about the recent news that hydrofracking is happening in Lowndes County may very well feel overwhelmed or helpless as though facing an incoming tidal wave. Maybe we ask, "What can I do?" Or maybe we're confused and don't know who to trust. "The people with the oil and gas industry say it's safe. The Caledonia board of aldermen seem to think it's safe. Other people say it's terrible. Who should I trust?"
People with little knowledge of the petroleum industry or the technology used are expressing their views and opinions as if they were proven facts. If you watch a biased movie or prejudiced documentary, you are now a bona-fide expert in the field of oil and gas drilling and completion techniques. Besides being of profound knowledge, you pass judgment and condemn the business and the industry for generating profits for their shareholders, creating jobs thus reducing unemployment.
Does torture work? It is a Bush-era debate that has found Obama-era relevance because of a new movie, "Zero Dark Thirty," in which torture seems to work quite well.
Tommy Prude's term on the Columbus Municipal School District's Board of Trustees will end March 2. While there is some reason to believe Prude will ask to be re-appointed for another five-year term, we do not believe it is in the best interests of the district for Prude to return.
Senate hearings on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary will be a distinctive Washington entertainment, a donnybrook without drama. He should be confirmed: Presidents are due substantial deference in selecting Cabinet members because they administer presidential policies and, unlike judicial appointments, they leave when their nominators do.
For the second time in two years, the Mississippi Senate has passed Charter School legislation. The bill, which has a faint aroma of Good -Ole-Boy corruption, would permit for-profit charter schools to open in chronically low performing districts.
Exposed. That, in a word, is how you feel when someone broadcasts your home address without your knowledge, against your wishes. Your correspondent speaks from experience.
On a visit to the Dispatch about a month ago, Terry Brown, the Mississippi Senate pro tempore from Columbus, was asked why he so vigorously supports charter school legislation.
On Monday, Mississippi University for Women revealed the results of a four-month effort to define, sharpen and unify its goals under the leadership of Dr. Jim Borsig, who has been on the job as president for about a year now.
That gruesome skip-rope ditty dates to 1892, when young Lizzie was on trial in Massachusetts for the bludgeoning deaths of her parents. The question for us in 2013 is, "If a 9mm Glock had been handy, would she still have used a hatchet?"
I noticed them right off. There on the roadside near the ditch were big, leafy greens. Once or twice I saw people picking them. I was reminded of the time I saw folks picking greens and carefully putting them in a cloth sack. I asked what they were. "Fiddleheads," they said.
When I was a child we were all terrified of the Russians, specifically, of the bombs from that country, which we believed were aimed directly at my classroom in St. James Major grammar school. We were taught to crouch under our small, wooden desks and bury our heads ostrich-like under our arms.
TUPELO. -- I carry on a friendly argument with friends who live in big cities like New Orleans and Memphis, and rave about their so-called convenience. In little Iuka, I can drive the seven miles in from my house, go to the grocery, the post office and the bank, have at least one spontaneous conversation with a friend or an enemy and be home in less than 30 minutes. It doesn't get more convenient than that.
I suddenly find myself concerned about my blackness. It had never occurred to me to worry about it before. Then came the incident last month on ESPN's "First Take" program that initially got commentator Rob Parker suspended and then, last week, fired outright. It seems Parker, who is African-American, analyzed what he saw as the insufficient blackness of Robert Griffin III, rookie quarterback for the Washington, D.C., football team that is named for a racial slur.
Unlike many who recently have joined the debate about gun rights, I have a long history with guns, which I proffer only in the interest of preempting the "elitist, liberal, swine, prostitute, blahblahblah" charge.
Reading the Dispatch last week one could not help but notice the problems that a potential new industry seemed to have in living up to its commitments. Such problems are not something new. When the Mobile and Ohio Railroad was constructed through this area in the late 1850s, all was not smooth sailing.
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