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MIKE MASTERSON: Failing the Preamble

Not their intent

Subscriber onlyThose who attended public schools during the 1950s will remember having to memorize the Preamble to our Constitution. Written in 1787, this opening paragraph expressed the framers' intentions in establishing the Constitution, while expressing expectations for how the United States should function as a democratic republic. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Road through Damascus

Still a speed trap

Subscriber onlyAnxious motorists passing through citation-happy Damascus will continue breathing a little easier since Faulkner County Circuit Judge Chris Carnahan ruled the town's constitutional challenge to Arkansas' speed-trap law as "moot." Continue reading...

MASTERSON ONLINE: The life of plants

Subscriber onlyAfter completing the 1973 book "The Secret Life of Plants" by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, it was obvious I’d just read something profound. I spent several minutes afterward contemplating the deeper significance of green life forms from begonias to Brussels sprouts. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Pandering to fear

Sky’s not falling

Subscriber onlyThe predictable campaign aimed at frightening the good folks in and around Newton County into believing their farms and ranches are somehow in danger of closing remains in full swing politically. Unjustified fear, rather than scientifically justifiable concerns over serious risk, is an easy tactic. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Life lessons

Shades of gray

Subscriber onlyThroughout my 20s, I viewed the world in black or white. In my simple-minded perspective there existed right or wrong, good or bad, worthy, unworthy, selfish, greedy. There was no gray. Continue reading...

MASTERSON ONLINE: Fatal notoriety

Subscriber onlyIt’s time to celebrate the 2017 Darwin Awards, named for the great Charles Darwin in recognition of those who’ve contributed most to humanity’s gene pool by removing themselves from it. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: ‘Elitist’ Buffalo backers

Morgan’s war

Subscriber onlyMeanwhile, back on the front lines in the battle to save our beautiful Buffalo National River from contamination, Jan Morgan, the GOP gubernatorial challenger to fellow Republican Asa Hutchinson, has produced a Facebook video that miscasts thousands of Arkansans interested in protecting our state's valuable river from contamination by millions of gallons of swine waste as "economic elitist environmentalists" from outside. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Under scrutiny

The Files files

Subscriber onlyOutbound state Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith pleaded guilty to wire and bank fraud last week, along with money laundering charges. Continue reading...

MASTERSON ONLINE: No ‘party’ of graft

Subscriber onlyLest one mistakenly believe any good-ol’-boy’s love of illicit money and scheming ways to pocket it is limited largely to one political party, I assure readers it is indeed an equal-opportunity enterprise. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Arkansas' top attraction

Good and bad

Subscriber onlyFirst, some good news. A USA Today readers' poll has just named our Buffalo National River, the country's first to be so designated, as the state's best in its list of "Top Ten Arkansas Attractions." Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Inadequate care

Scabies scandal

Subscriber onlyI suspect you’ve heard about that appalling scabies infestation that erupted in a Camden nursing home last month. The scourge of mites burrowed beneath the skin of every patient and some facility employees before spreading into the community because of inaction and a failure to quickly contain the outbreak. Continue reading...

MASTERSON ONLINE: Outraged America

Subscriber onlyPlease bear with me this morning as I blow a boiler full of steam about the disgraceful condition of our nation and its political system. The pressure’s been building a while now. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: Nothing racial intended

Caw confession

Subscriber onlyW.J. "Shorty" Ozier of Harrison made some front-page headlines the other day after publicly confessing he was the person making controversial crow calls during the recent basketball game between the North Arkansas College Pioneers and Labette Community College of Parsons, Kan. Continue reading...

MIKE MASTERSON: SJR8 on ballot

Not ‘reform’

Subscriber onlyExpect to hear plenty about SJR8 in coming months. Nursing home owners and the legislators to whom they contribute handsomely, along with other special interests, will employ advertising campaigns aimed at swaying voters into seriously restricting the amount courts can award victims of injuries, abuse and death. Continue reading...

MASTERSON ONLINE: It only takes one

Subscriber onlyOnce a person or place becomes stained publicly, it’s darn near impossible to shake the stigma, regardless of how overblown or unproven the smears. Continue reading...

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