Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
The line is open. Finishing up:
* IDIOT OF THE DAY: The rush to pin the Connecticut shooting on a favorite demon has produced plenty of excesses. Mike Huckabee's scapegoating of homosexuals stands out. But this one may take the cake, a woman writer for National Review who thinks the problem was a lack of manly men or at least some burly youths at that elementary school with the 'nads to rush that deranged man with three semi-automatic weapons and take him down.
Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
Wow. Just wow. Comments have been uniformly negative.
* BTW: I just thought I'd mention that I reported last June that Marriott was expected to be the new brand when new owners, which I identified then, took over the Peabody Hotel.
* GOVERNOR'S RACE: Nothing. I repeat nothing. Makes Mike Ross look better as a Democratic candidate. Let the lobbyist run in the Republican primary. He can join the other candidates who oppose abortion, equal rights for gay people and health care reform and he might even be worse on gun control than the pack of Republican contenders.
UPDATE: Shut my mouth. Maybe Ross really is reconsidering getting into the Democratic gubernatorial primary. The gun nut lame duck congressman proclaims he favors a bit of sensible gun regulation — a ban on high capacity assault weapons. Not enough to make him an acceptable Democratic gubernatorial candidate, mind you, but a rare bit of common sense from Ross. Ross always has been adept at detecting prevailing winds, however, and is quick to get out in front of a parade. With opinion polls trending heavily in favor of some gun regulation, it's not exactly shocking that even Ross is showing a little letup of his years of whoring for the gun lobby.
* ROBERT BORK: Mike Ross somehow reminds me of the death of Robert Bork, the law professor famously and thankfully denied a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court. Ross probably could have found reason to take a middle ground on him. Jeffrey Toobin wrote a bangup summary of his professional record for The New Yorker: The opening:
Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along.
* BAD IDEA OF THE DAY: Rep. Nate Bell, the retrograde Republican from Mena, won't let go of his idea of trying to make lottery scholarship recipients repay the money if they fail to get a degree. Even some Republicans think the idea makes a scholarship a loan (illegally). While a diploma is the goal, and a worthy one, sometimes a partial college tenure provides a lift to success for students. Sometimes economic necessities force students into the workplace. Would we discourage students from going in the first place with punitive measures like this? Probably. Bad idea from another one of those lawmakers who thrives on negative reinforcement — drug testing, corporal punishment, penalty plans, whatever.
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