jen.boulden | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Recent Comments

Re: “Early warning: Religious Right again is targeting Arkansas Governor's School

For the record, the reason it's held at Hendrix has nothing to do with partisanship or liberalism and everything to do with safety and security. Because Hendrix has no summer classes, the 400 high school students have the campus to themselves, so they don't have the dangers of being exposed to all kinds of upperclassmen wandering through campus during the six weeks, making advances on them or inviting them to parties and such. Also, it's more secure because it's a closed campus with no through streets on the main body of the campus.

I attended AGS 18 years ago and subsequently worked as a Resident Assistant for two years. The students are a healthy mix of bright minds and talents from all corners of the state and very much from all parts of the political spectrum--before and afterwards. It's the single best experience I had in high school, and the support I got there literally saved my life several times over. 18 years later (more than twice the age we were when we attended), we have a Facebook group of 177 members (that's almost half of the 1990 student body at Governor's School) who still stay in touch, and several lively subgroups that spun out of that main group. We meet in the real world when we can, we share interesting articles that still stimulate articulate discuss and fervor among us, we support each other through the ups and downs of our lives even though some of us only have gotten to know each other via our Facebook bond. It's for many of us the "best of" Facebook, the place we stop first, the friends we trust to understand the things we are struggling to make sense of in the world. I wouldn't trade the experience, or all those magnificent friendships that came out of it, for anything.

What the uninformed find most alarming about AGS is that it teaches students critical thinking. The curriculum isn't designed to change anyone's preconceptions about politics, life, religion, philosophy, art, culture, etc., but to challenge the preconceptions and strengthen the students' abilities to discern and defend their own ideas. And at every AGS I was part of, the conservative kids and the (sometimes overlapping) Christian faithful were very much in possession of their own faculties to stand up for what they believed in and draw others to their cause.

Yes, thinking, young Arkansans are a danger to would-be-cult-leaders like Rapert, Hester, Lowery and Cox. But that's a very, very good thing.

71 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jen.boulden on 02/09/2018 at 1:15 PM

Re: “The Civil War, contd. Statues a diversionary move

That link to the "Confederate support" rally coming up in Hot Springs is rich. Talk of "standing united" and "Without freedom it's all for nothing" is a bit ironic coming from people who want to glorify the treasonous Confederacy that went to war to keep a whole race of humans from being free. Not that these (so far only seven, thank goodness) guys going to the rally are exactly self-aware.

Also when are we going to talk about the overt symbols of the Confederacy in our state flag? Besides the star-spangled bars surrounding the diamond, a nod to the Confederate flag, the legislature even added a fourth star in the middle ABOVE the state name to symbolize the Confederate States of America as one of the four nations that had once "owned" Arkansas.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by jen.boulden on 08/17/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Arkansas school board member photographed in blackface

Blevins was my first school district, where I started kindergarten. I moved to Little Rock before the schoolyear was out, but I had happy memories of it until now.

Just think, eighty black children there going to school under this hateful loser's guidance, as if they didn't have enough disadvantages already. I wish I could hug every one of them.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jen.boulden on 11/17/2016 at 7:22 PM

Re: “Boys State goes for Trump in a landslide

Any idea how this compares to Girls State? I'm particularly interested in how the race's gender politics resonate with the girls this year.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jen.boulden on 06/02/2016 at 10:12 PM

Re: “UPDATE: On rumors of a plan to make it a sex crime to use wrong restroom.

Besides every other offensive, hateful, and pigheaded thing wrong with it, it also is a grave insult to people who have been victims of true sex crimes. Rape is not equal to using what some people consider the "wrong" restroom. Just stop.

How do people get elected missing both a brain and a heart?

62 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by jen.boulden on 05/18/2016 at 7:00 PM

Re: “An unexpected treat at the Crown Shop

Check out Kopper Kettle's handmade specialty chocolates in Fort Smith and Van Buren next time you're up thataway. Yumtastic.

I used to work at The Crown Shop and made the fudge. It is addicting. UAMS' bookstore also makes excellent fudge of many varieties. :)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by jen.boulden on 06/19/2013 at 4:23 PM

Re: “Pizza Cafe West maintains winning formula

I had to look several times before I found the restaurant's address and contact information associated with this review, way at the far bottom of the article, after the share bar, tags, and navigational prompts. It would really be helpful to have the restaurant's address, website, phone, etc. highlighted at the top of the piece or in the sidebar somewhere prominent, and also described more specifically in the review. This one seems to assume we've all seen that they have a new location and know where it is. Just a formatting suggestion for your webfolk. Thanks.

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by jen.boulden on 05/09/2013 at 1:39 PM

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