Ultimately, it is a matter of accountability. On two separate occasions over the past week, officials have bitterly complained about news stories we published. While The Dispatch stands firmly behind each of the stories in question, we readily admit that each story would have benefited from the insights of those same officials.
The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau held its regular meeting Monday and, as almost always seems to be the case, it created more questions than it answered. The big issue before the board was the propriety of allowing the elected officials who appoint the board members to solicit funds for festivals they operate.
Slim Smith got a couple of things right in his column 01-25-13, "What were they thinking?" For one thing, no state needs a commission or committee to determine if an act of Congress or the president or anybody else is unconstitutional. Anybody with half a brain and no political bias can determine that for themselves. Our governor and state attorney general should be able to handle that little chore, if they just would.
Happy days are not here again, but they are coming for conservatives. Barack Obama -- with the lowest approval rating (according to Gallup, 50 percent, four points lower than that of the National Rifle Association) of any reelected president when inaugurated since World War II -- has a contradictory agenda certain to stimulate a conservative revival.
Well, he put it out there. Since the time of Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's Great Society, a debate has rumbled over whether government aid programs kill private initiative. Conservatives say it does. Liberals either don't care or insist it doesn't.
I often wonder how different life would be in the city. I wonder if city dwellers contend with coyotes, fox, armadillos, owls, raccoons and beaver; possibly a snake or two.
The story of a skirmish between a hawk and a duck shouldn't be all that difficult to tell. Now consider the duck belongs to a Thai man who speaks broken English and lives in east Columbus, that almost everyone in the story has two names, and the tale begins with a bet on a golf game where the loser will cook duck for the victor.
Deeply ingrained in both the history and culture of Northeast Mississippi is the Black Prairie. The prairie takes its name from the dark, almost black soil that typifies its range. From the time of the earliest European-American traders and settlers, the region has attracted attention.
The English language is alive and evolving. The word "friend" has been considered a noun for a very long time. These days it is also a verb, as in "to friend" someone, such as on Facebook.
It must be true what they say about women -- that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe. How else could one explain the magical thinking that apparently has prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to abandon all reason and lift the ban on women in direct combat?
You are missing the point. Or at least, you are if you're one of the bazillion people following the Manti Te'o story, dutifully trying to determine whether the Notre Dame football star was the victim or the perpetrator of a bizarre hoax. Granted, the story is irresistible as one of those 15-minutes-of-fame-kitten-stuck-in-the-well fables without which people who gather around the water cooler wouldn't have anything to talk about.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?"' Many citizens in our community responded to that question on Saturday by volunteering their time to serve our community during the third annual MLK Day of Service, coordinated by the United Way Community Volunteer Center and hosted in part by Dream 365.
It was in 1981 that the United States Supreme Court, in a decision I still have trouble explaining to my students when I teach it, held that it was constitutional for the Selective Service, acting under the authority of Congress and the president, to require all men -- but not women -- between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for a potential draft.
Education has been one of the dominant themes in this year's Mississippi legislative session. Although the methods vary, the one thing all parties agree on is that Mississippi's educational system is broken. Most often, a deficiency in math and English skills are cited as being areas of particular concern.
The Obama administration initially billed France about $18 million to cover U.S. military support for its mission in Mali, while Canada offered similar services at no cost. Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens expressed shock at this alleged nickel-and-diming, noting that $18 million is pocket change to a Washington spending over $10 billion a day.
My inner Pollyanna was basking in blissfulness, rolling in the hay of righteous rhetoric, backstroking through the sunny sibilance of aspiration. Drunk, apparently, on alliteration.
When Mississippi State and Ole Miss come together, it is not generally marked by a spirit of congeniality. Long and bitter rivals on the athletic fields, the two schools also compete for students and funding. But MSU and Ole Miss play well together in other, less-publicized arenas.
If ever there is a time that a Governor can speak beyond his base to all residents, it is the state of the state Address. In Mississippi it is generally the only time this happens.
The Mississippi Insurance Department, in the news due to a disagreement between its elected director, Mike Chaney, and Gov. Phil Bryant, is 101 years old. It is a clearinghouse. If a company wants to sell any type of insurance in Mississippi, the company needs the state's permission and stamp of approval.
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