The tiny little car pulled up to the steps of the state capitol building in Jackson Tuesday. The car door swung open and 174 legislators piled out to the strains of calliope music. Yes, the 2014 Mississippi Legislature is officially in session and lawmakers are eager to get down to the serious business of seeing how much nonsense they can inflict on us during the next three months.
The Mississippi Department of Education already assigns letter grades -- "A" to "F" -- to public schools and school districts. Why not close the loop and give each parent a grade, too? Maybe require a bumper sticker, too? That would be radical, too radical, really.
The Prairie house became a B&B throughout the holidays. Family members returned again and again, sheets and towels ran continually through the Maytag, decaf or high octane coffee was served with or without cream and sugar, and a continual flow of baked goods streamed in through the front door, compliments of the neighbors.
Each year, Oxford Dictionaries announces its "word of the year." This year, the word is "selfie," which is a photo someone takes of himself or herself, most often to post on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram.
It is a simple question, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, got it wrong. Does the U.S. Constitution protect the rights of all citizens? Or do people who receive federal or state assistance forfeit those rights? Are they lesser citizens because of their need for help?
Monday, the Minnesota Vikings fired its football coach, which normally wouldn't be of much interest in Columbus except among the most fanatic of NFL fans.
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."
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
It was the strangest thing. I was walking down the sidewalk, minding my own business, when a passing mail truck hit a pothole and out flew a bunch of letters. I gathered them up -- all were letters to Santa, with his responses penned across the bottom -- but the truck had trundled out of sight. Anyway, just sharing ...
I heard two interesting political figures speak last week: one state and one national.
The Bardwells were cooped up on the weekend with colds. Since Sam and I were both sick we scratched around the house looking for something we could do. We wrote Christmas cards, wrapped presents, watched football games and a Christmas movie while passing the Kleenex box back and forth.
On Friday night while I was downtown enjoying wassail, several people asked me the same question; "What are you writing about for Sunday?" I got some strange looks when I replied that my topic was that this was the month to celebrate pork barbecue in Mississippi.
"William went that way, he's looking at pictures." Trey Porter of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is talking. It's Wednesday afternoon and he and William Winter have driven up from Jackson to talk about two museums under construction in the capital, a state history museum and a civil rights museum.
Because I take my responsibility as an American citizen seriously, I recognize that it is essential that I keep abreast of the important news of the day. There is no substitute for an informed citizenry, after all. That is why, in addition to reading newspapers, I am also careful to watch TV news, not only the network newscasts but the cable news networks, too.
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4. Editorial cartoon for 1-17-17 NATIONAL COLUMNS
5. Patrick Buchanan: Reagan and Trump: American nationalists NATIONAL COLUMNS