Many Arkansas districts randomly drug test middle and high school students who participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. The reasoning behind these tests, according to school handbooks, is twofold — mixing drugs and physical activity endangers the health of students, and students who wear school jerseys are ambassadors, representing the school rather than themselves. A positive test typically means suspension from athletics or other extracurricular activities.
Remember Regnat Populus, the committee formed to push an ethics reform law onto the 2012 election ballot? On account of a late start — and a huge failure by a private firm hired to canvass for signatures — the group gave up on making the ballot this year.
The Observer is, of course, a chronicler of all things strange and wonderful, but stuff does slip off our back burner and fall behind the stove from time to time — even the oddest of things. So it is that we forgot to tell you in recent weeks about seeing a large, white rabbit roaming the wilds of Stifft Station.
In response to an Arkansas Blog post, "Republicans ready to bring DC gridlock to Arkansas," about Republicans' willingness to consider Medicaid expansion in Arkansas only if their conditions, including applying co-pays and drug-testing, are met.
I rarely buy arguments that a smaller government is a better government, but the ongoing investigation into questionable investment practices in the office of Martha Shoffner, Arkansas's Democratic state treasurer, reminds us that there are a few places where some governmental shrinkage would create a smarter way to do government in the early 21st century.
ome rather horrifying proposals for Arkansas government have been made this election year — restore slavery, execute disobedient children — and one of the scariest is that to merge a public, tax-supported institution, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, with a church-owned institution, St. Vincent Infirmary.
We went to press this week before the polls closed. But I can safely predict that a change in the partisan balance in the Arkansas legislature, if Republicans triumph, won't have a dramatic effect on some of the most important issues of the day.
Two terrible events can befall a cherished economic theory. Someone can actually put it into action to see if it works, or impartial economists can employ regression analyses and other refined academic tools to see how the idea performs in the real world.
You'll recall him as the ex-Bro. ex-Gov. CheezWhizaholic, always with his hand out grasping for additional earthly treasures to lay up, now hired Murdoch throat and bass guitar in a Xian rock band that, if it isn't named the Fox Dicks, ought to be. His latest gig has been helping mainstream Republican rape apologists get elected to high public office.
"There are periodic rumors and reports that Mr. Romney's campaign is dabbling with the idea of buying advertising buys in Minnesota, but he and Republican-aligned groups have spent almost nothing there."
No sense wasting more valuable column inches this week on the grotesquerie that was Arkansas's homecoming game against Tulsa, which the Hogs somehow failed to lose. This plodding, 4-5 team isn't going to play a 13th game this season, and if it does, rejoicing will hardly be warranted anyway.
It is hard for a straight person, The Observer included, to imagine what it would be like to be born gay — to be shipwrecked here on this space-going clod, where nearly every textbook, novel, film and television show, nearly every blaring screen or billboard or magazine ad, reinforces the idea that "normal" means "heterosexual."
Scott Ellington, the prosecuting attorney for Arkansas's Second Judicial District, said in a recent interview that, "There are no ongoing investigations by governmental investigative authorities" concerning the West Memphis Three case. Ellington may be the only person on the planet who believes there is "closure" in my case.