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The nature of poverty in America

May 4, 2015

Lately it seems as though every few months there’s another urban riot and the nation turns its attention to urban poverty. And in the midst of every storm, there are people crying out that we should finally get serious about this issue.

Income Inequality Part II: Defining poverty is key to understanding

May 1, 2015

I wrote recently about that fact that both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Marco Rubio launched their presidential bids talking about income inequality.
Time Magazine listened to the opening salvos by Clinton and Rubio and declared: “Income inequality is clearly going to be the key economic rallying issue of the 2016 presidential campaign.”

After historic arguments, court to rule on marriage

April 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — Pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote could decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation, did not tip his hand Tuesday in historic arguments at the Supreme Court. But Kennedy’s record on the issue could give encouragement to gay and lesbian couples.

I hear a train

April 29, 2015

“I just have so much going on right now.” “I’ve been really busy.” “I just haven’t gotten around to it.” Shall I continue on the Excuse Train? Don’t get me wrong – I’ve ridden that train, too, but with some things, there simply is no sufficient excuse, and often no second chances.

The week the music died

April 24, 2015

“Almost cut my hair. It happened just the other day.”—Quoted material by David Crosby

Once a week for 38 years, right at 60 percent of my life, I have sat, as now, in front of some sort of device upon which one might type, in order to craft an opinion column.

Constitution is the best defense

April 23, 2015

Did you read about the boatload of Americans fleeing the U.S. to go to ... well, name a country, any country. America is one of the few nations in the world no one is fleeing. America is one of the few nations in the world people would literally risk their lives and lives of loved ones to enter. Why? Because our Constitution establishes a republic guaranteeing “liberty and freedom for all.” 

Deck is stacked to favor incumbents

April 22, 2015

It’s April. Mississippi’s general election is in November. Want to be on a ballot? To be part of the “change” people are always talking about? Sorry. Two months too late. Qualifying for any county or state office (except school boards) ended Feb. 27.
Back in the 1990s, a major shift to earlier candidate deadlines was enacted. Lawmakers themselves called it the “Incumbency Protection Act.”

Ring in the olde? How do you sell tomorrow on yesterday?

April 21, 2015

Americans, perhaps more than anyone, worship the future and resent the past.
This is never truer than during a political season. It doesn’t matter whether the past (meaning all of four years ago) trumps the present -- or whether the future carries a whiff of embers and smoke -- we gallop into tomorrow like a dog who mastered the screen door latch, and find little worthy of regard in yesterday.

Let the games begin

April 20, 2015

“Politicians sit yourselves down; there’s nothing for you here...”
—Graham Nash

Well, the American democratic republic’s every four-year exercise in what is all too often futility is now officiallyunderway, and like it or not, we might as well resign ourselves to the chirping from the political class that will make up in volume what it might lack in tone from now until Nov. 2016.

Community support pours in for doctor making house calls

April 16, 2015

I was raised by a small town doctor who made his hospital rounds at 7 a.m. then saw patients from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. After seeing his last patient in the office, he drove all over the county seeing folks too sick or infirm to get to his office or the hospital. I never heard him complain, and invariably he came home with a bag of squash, a pound cake and some homegrown tomatoes.

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