Hourly news and comment
The guide to Arkansas entertainment
For food lovers
On art in Arkansas
A view from Northwest Arkansas
Mylo Coffee Co. does savory just as well as sweet.
Late night edition, tell us where you're eatin' this week.
Eat Arkansas blogger makes radio debut with a local sweet treat favorite.
"Beautiful Uprising" reception tonight, talk by artist Saturday.
Reception for artist is tonight.
I had a nice visit with Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Rhonda Wood last week. /more/
If you are a beltway Republican, no antidote for the blues matches extended congressional hearings on a real or imagined national horror — that is, if it might heap dishonor on a Democratic administration. If Hillary Clinton will be the dishonoree, so much the better. /more/
Nothing to say but to add to Lindsey's endorsement on our podcast this week of the Little Rock Film Festival. At age 7, this event has grown up into a wholly big-time entertainment (and education) plus for the city.
We watched "Bayou Maharaja" in the space on Main across from the Rep. Great film about the legendary New Orleans pianist James Booker. It's not in release yet, so this was a rare opportunity to see it. Then we checked out "Spies of Mississippi" in the comfortable auditorium at HAM. It's headed to TV and it's a must see on the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission and its complicity in spying on, and even murder of, civil rights workers in the bad old days of the 1960s.
A bonus at the second film was the filmmaker's account of her visit to the home of a courtly seg, not regretful of his involvement in the commission, but willing today to break bread in his farm home (complete with Confederate flag on the wall) with the vivacious black woman lawyer, Dawn Porter, from up East who made the movie. Wonderful story. The other movie to be made of this is, of course, how the segs really did win, if you look at the political state of Mississippi and the South today.
Lots of screen time in the movie for Jerry Mitchell, the Harding U. grad who busted open the sovereignty commission story as a Jackson, Miss., newspaper reporter.
We have at least three flicks on the agenda tomorrow. If you haven't checked in, here's lots of info in this week's Times.
Parking is easy. Great food truck court today at Sixth and Main, with everything from BBQ Frito pie to pad Thai.
n last week's column about the lingering taste of partisanship in supposedly non-partisan Arkansas judicial races, as exhibited recently by Court of Appeals Judge Rhonda Wood, who's expected to run for the Arkansas Supreme Court next year.
In that vein, check a YouTube of extremist Republican gubernatorial candidate Curtis Coleman talking of the need to build a "farm team" to elect the right sorts of people in three coming races for Supreme Court. He named one candidate he believed in — Rhonda Wood. "Solid and sound," Coleman said. A Coleman seal of approval is just about as big a disincentive to vote for Wood as I could imagine.
Speaking of Curtis Coleman: I learned this morning that some jokester had submitted a $1,000 pledge to Coleman's Institute for Constitutional Policy in my name. But then I was informed by a followup e-mail that the Institute was not currently accepting contributions. He's claimed it is a registered nonprofit, though it hasn't attained that official tax deductible status yet (giving him the chance to blame it all on the IRS, naturally). Good thing he's not registered yet. 501c3s are not supposed to engage in political advocacy, such as touting a candidate for Supreme Court. Or the Institute leader's own candidacy for governor.
Bettina Brownstein, representing the ACLU, said she didn't think that portion of the law could be severed and kept intact because it was so intertwined with the purpose of the law, to ban abortions. It was noted that the law doesn't have a severability clause.
Bro. Rapert opined that a severability clause was automatic under Arkansas law. Given his generally poor practice as an attorney to date, I thought I'd check the fiddlin' preacher and found, shazam, he's found an acorn. From a manual of the National Conference of State Legislatures on statutory drafting rules of the various states:
(e) SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.
A severability clause provides that if a part of a law is declared invalid the remaining part stays in force. A general severability clause is not necessary, and should not be used. Arkansas Code § 1‐2‐117 states that the provisions of the Arkansas Code are severable, and Arkansas Code § 1‐2‐ 205 states:
“...The provisions of each and every act enacted by the General Assembly after July 24, 1973, are declared to be severable and, unless it is otherwise specifically provided in the particular act, the invalidity of any provision of that act shall not affect other provisions of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision”.
(f) NON‐SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.
If the author does not want the provisions to be severable or does not want specific provisions to be severable, add a section declaring the provision to not be severable. Bills having a statement of non‐severability are rare.
SECTION 6. The provisions of this act are not severable, and if any provision of this act is declared invalid for any reason, then all provisions of this act shall also be invalid.
This does not fully resolve the question, but it is a strong leg for Rapert to stand on. Courts can rule against severability, however, and have done so. In the famous Malvern school choice case, a federal judge said it was impossible to sever the race-related bar to school transfers, held to be impermissible, from the rest of the act and struck the whole thing down. In that case, you can find the Arkansas Supreme Court guidance on severability.
The Arkansas Supreme Court looks to two considerations to determine severability: “(1) whether a single purpose is meant to be accomplished by the act, and (2) whether the sections of the act are interrelated and dependent upon each other.” In U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Hill, the Arkansas Supreme Court provided further guidance, stating “it is important whether the portion of the act remaining is complete in itself and capable of being executed wholly independent of that which was rejected.”
It is laughable, of course, that Jason Rapert would say he'd be happy to testify as to his intent that a part of the law be severable. It'd have no more weight than my aging French bulldog's testimony. Legislative intent in Arkansas is demonstrated solely by the words of the statute itself.
I'm afraid, however, there's a case for arguing that the mandatory ultrasound clause is capable of being executed independently, even if it was included only to create the standard for criminalizing an abortion, which it no longer can do.
A woman seeking an abortion has no need for an ultrasound test in that she plans to terminate the pregnancy. But anti-abortion forces like to require these tests for the emotional influence the test might bring to the decision. The Guttmacher Institute, while noting that an ultrasound is not medically necessary in the first trimester, says that eight states mandate an ultrasound for women seeking abortions.
Arkansas is full of talented people, and we ran across yet another one of them last night: the thoroughly-hilarious writer and video blogger Joseph Birdsong. In the video seen above, Birdsong, who was born in Arkansas, schools out-of-staters on some skewed facts about the Natural State, including: "People in Arkansas are born with the ability to recognize 30 different kinds of roadkill based on scent alone," and "The first gay person to ever come to Arkansas was George Takei, and that was because he was forced here to live in an Arkansas Japanese internment camp during World War II." Just remember, he's laughing WITH us, not AT us. Okay, he's laughing AT us as well, but a great sense of humor covers a multitude of sins.
If you're looking for a good laugh, you can check out almost 200 of Birdsong's quirky videos on his Youtube site, cupofjoeshow.com. He's also got a site where he blogs, a very funny Twitter account. and a video blog for My Damn Channel's Answerly page where he talks about sex and relationships.
If your first reaction to Vine, the new-ish Twitter app that allows users to post 6 second video clips, was, "This is worthless," you need to check out the Vines "Short Term 12" director Destin Cretton and actor Keith Stanfield did while they were in town for the Little Rock Film Festival. So good. They're on the jump. (Click the box on the top left of each one to un-mute the sound.)
If you missed 'Short Term 12,' the opening night film at the Little Rock Film Festival that's the heavy favorite to win the festival's Golden Rock Narrative Award, you blew it. Maybe it'll play here when it opens in August.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fans should be excited to catch a screening of the "Rodrick Rules" installment of the film at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, followed by a Q&A with actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron and producer Brad Simpson, 10 a.m., $10. The Little Rock Zoo hosts an autograph signing with Gordon, Capron and Simpson from 2-4 p.m.
Discovery hosts rapper Coolio, with DJ Feelgood and MC Cat Daddy, plus DJs Crawley, Sleepy, Platinumb and Brandon Peck, 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $10 before midnight, $15 afterward.
Thick Syrup Records celebrates its anniversary in Hot Springs, with Ginsu Wives, Ezra Lbs. and Burnt, Maxine's, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.
Texas bluesman Chris Duarte plays an all-ages show at Juanita's, with Steve Hester & Deja VooDoo, Davis Coen and Chris Milam, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
Weakness For Blondes brings the goodtime jams to White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5.
HHW, if you and Mrs. Sis were at the watering hole together, it would HAVE…
""Every time Cato the Elder spoke in the Roman senate he said: ‘Whatever the topic…
Kevin, don't they give you a discount if you flash your "WLR 'til I die"…
A&E Feature / To-Do List / In Brief / Movie Reviews / Music Reviews / Theater Reviews / A&E News / Art Notes / Graham Gordy / Books / Media / Dining Reviews / Dining Guide / What's Cookin' / Calendar / The Televisionist / Movie Listings / Gallery Listings