There is a man who often mails books, and when the postal clerk asks the obligatory, "Is there anything hazardous or flammable in the package?" He answers, "Yes, words."
Proposals to raise Social Security benefits are a refreshing antidote to portrayals of the program as a mere drain on the Treasury. Details of some such plans are troubling -- for reasons I'll go into -- but the change in tone is most welcome.
This New Year's Day arrives with a fair share of concerns: What will the Affordable Care Act do to health care? Will the economy improve? Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? As much as those issues worry people, they are nothing like the fears of people in the Tombigbee River Valley 200 years ago on January 1, 1814.
Now that Christmas is behind us, our thoughts naturally turn to the New Year and what it might hold.
It happened 70 miles to the north, yet the tragic event that played out in Tupelo Monday hit far closer to home than that. Around 3 p.m. Monday, a pair of Tupelo Police Department officers were gunned down in a shootout after responding to a robbery call in a busy area of town.
The disastrous rollout of Obamacare, worse than anyone anticipated or warned, could have doomed the president's second term. It would require something very big to take your eyes off of that disaster. What an idea. Shut down the government.
The honchos at A&E, professing shock that an old Southern redneck from their reality TV hit "Duck Dynasty" made the sort of homophobic remarks one would expect from an old Southern redneck, yanked Phil Robertson off the show. A culture war skirmish ensued.
I've heard a lot of goofy arguments against raising the federal minimum wage. The silliest goes like this: "You want to raise the minimum wage to $15? Why not $50? Why not $100?"
Among the cards and letters that have arrived on my desk this Christmas season, I came across a curious correspondence I thought warranted a personal response. The subject matter is time sensitive, so I thought the most expedient way to answer would be through this column.
Christmas is near at hand. We know this not by a simple glance at the calendar, of course. We know it is Christmas from the faint aroma of burned credit-card plastic, thinned wallets, frazzled nerves, small children whose behavior is suspiciously good, a lack of attention to detail to every-day duties and the inability to understand "why everybody just won't get out of our way, for crying out loud."
For days he asked, "Is it Christmas yet?" "No Daddy, still two more days." Our roles were reversed; now the daddy asked the child, "Is it Christmas yet?"
Commentary on Sunday's paper Whoo-Whee! Where do I start?
This may sound cynical. It isn't meant to be. Just trying to be honest. Once Santa gets the reindeer unhitched and back in the barn and the New Year parties are over, Mississippi lawmakers will head to that great big building in Jackson for a 90-day session of good old-fashioned lawmaking. But times have changed. There's really not much for them to do.
The week after Thanksgiving Perry Griggs, The Dispatch's pressroom supervisor, asked me if I knew somewhere he could go to shoot mistletoe. Say that again?
When niece Chelsey was little, I lavished her with Christmas gifts too numerous and fanciful to remember. There were faux-fur coats with Dalmatian spots, diminutive dolls bundled as quintuplets, plastic horses that cost more than the real thing.
Pope Francis is displaying an extraordinary style and passion that demands our attention. He addresses the needs of the poor, embraces outcasts, and loves those on the margins of society. In this recent "apostolic exhortation," The Joy of the Gospel, the pope raises a moral challenge to both his church and the world.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
On Friday Karen and I made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a couple of last minute items for next week's Christmas dinner. Several hours later while stuck in traffic I pondered on Christmas dinner in times past.
Early one morning this week, as I was preparing for the day, I heard a startling pronouncement from a television personality for a promotional piece on Christmas giving. The announcer stated flatly that Mississippi led the nation in giving.
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4. Voice of the people: Martha Kirkley LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
5. Voice of the people: Marion Whitley LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)