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Fran Alexander

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Tricks of the trade

Subscriber onlyYou can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Continue reading...

Commentary: Planning for recycling's future

Subscriber only"Clean up your mess!" said our parents as we were growing up and developing skills (or not) of personal responsibility. When we became adults with our own homes to run, it befell on someone to "take out the garbage." Graduating from potty training to grown-up toilet use required a habit of flushing, if family decorum was to be maintained. But nowhere in these basic life practices was there a mandate that every person in a household "reduce, reuse, and recycle," unless, of course, you lived in a home like mine run by a waste czar. Continue reading...

Why do humans defy their natural survival instincts regarding the environment?

Humans ignore environment at their peril

Subscriber onlyThere's something very curious about the human species that certainly defies what living creatures are supposedly born with, the instinct to survive. Whether the technique is through flight, fear or fighting, generally the biological goal of life is to stay alive and to keep future generations alive. For example, probably no creature is fiercer than a mother protecting her young. So if humans, with our large brains, show signs of not following a survival instinct, nor parenting toward that goal, it seems logical to assume something's seriously messed up somewhere. Allowing our natural environmental systems to deteriorate runs counter to what instinct should demand of us for ourselves and our children and their children. Continue reading...

Commentary: Bills by Hester, Hendren attack environmental protections

Bills by Hester, Hendren attack protections for environment

Subscriber onlyWhenever politicians migrate back to the capital city, the citizenry of our fair state needs to be reminded of the old saw, "Nothing is safe while the legislature is in session." Alas, long dreamed-of power to satisfy long-suppressed desires is bursting forth in our state Legislature, where one party rules the roost and both houses. These folks are salivating as if they are in a free candy store, introducing bills with wild abandonment to consequences. Continue reading...

Commentary: One Little Lady Leads Against The Giants

Subscriber onlyImagine this scene: fierce, gigantic monsters, aliens, robots, transformers and invaders of recent horror movie fame standing in a line of self-defense opposite one small, frail gray-haired woman in her 80s, holding nothing in her hand but her oxygen tank. She is standing firmly, just staring at them much like that Chinese student who stood alone in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square and became a global symbol of defiance. That kind of standoff is how I will always think of her. Continue reading...

Commentary: Sustaining Hope For A Less-Grinchy Christmas

Subscriber only"Maybe Christmas, he thought, means a little bit more." Continue reading...

Commentary: Chamber Actions Show Need For Separation Of Powers

Subscriber onlyIt is often said, "The business of business is business." Our job in the general population is to decide when business should mind its own business and not ours. Continue reading...

Commentary: Watch What You Vote For

Subscriber onlyOnce again that dangerous season has arrived. Continue reading...

Commentary: Numbers Add Up To A Strained Future

Subscriber onlyFor 48 years I've lived in a mixed marriage. My husband is a math/physics person, and I am an English/humanities person, but we cross over on an as-needed basis. He enjoys the concrete nature of numbers and is frustrated by the changing dynamics of language, while math just plain confounds me. Generally, we respect the other's territories and the twains manage to co-exist. Continue reading...

Commentary: Arkansans Gear Up For March To 'Change Everything'

Subscriber only"I am probably the wrong person to be organizing this, but no one else seemed to be doing it, so here I am," said Edward Hejtmanek of Fayetteville after discovering no buses had yet been scheduled from Arkansas destined for the largest climate march in history. Continue reading...

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