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Time for another round of letting our fingers do the talking, that is, if one considers thumbs to be fingers. Discuss that hot topic among yourselves. We'll just call them our directional digits for the moment.

[THUMBS UP] New Razorback head football Coach Chad Morris has now announced a big part of his staff, including defensive coordinator John Chavis of Texas A&M and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock of SMU. Hog football fans have every reason to find hope for the future, but substituting one's judgment for coaches and athletic directors has become a sport of its own in the 21st century. Truth be told, it has probably been that way since Grog hurled the first rock farther than his fellow grunting tribe member, and a third chimed in with "I'm just a caveman, unfamiliar with your ways, but Grog should have called a run play." With social media and a nearly 24-hour-a-day news cycle in the sports world, nothing goes without endless scrutiny and commentary. Gosh, it's kind of like an editorial page. But, hey, the Hogs are all potential at the moment. Let's enjoy it while we can.

Give’em a thumb

Want to give some brief feedback on news? Someone who deserves a pat on the back? An idea that needs a dose of common sense? Recommend a “Thursday thumb” by calling Greg Harton at (479) 872-5026 or by email at

[THUMBS UP] Without the financial support of area cities, Ozark Regional Transit couldn't function in any meaningful way. It was good to see the Springdale City Council pitching in to help the regional bus system by voting to pay its $265,000 annual allotment in two installments instead of four. Federal funding for ORT, according to Springdale's finance director, is slow to arrive these days, creating a bit of a cash flow issue for the bus system. The City Council saw fit to shift its payment plan to provide Ozark Regional with a little more operational cushion. We know area cities can't just throw money at Ozark Regional Transit, but it's great to see Springdale taking steps to ease a financial crunch and to make sure the bus system can avoid any unnecessary obstacles in its operations. We remain convinced the region will need the services of a regional bus system more, not less, in the future.

[THUMBS DOWN] The presence of C&H Hog Farms in Newton County near a tributary of Arkansas' magnificent Buffalo National River is undoubtedly an ongoing concern, but surely few people believe it's good government practice to keep a business in limbo awaiting a permitting decision for more than 640 days. The farm owners, who apparently got a decision Wednesday, have nonetheless had to wait too long. Lawmakers have adopted legislation that requires an preliminary agency decision in such permit applications within 120 days and a final determination within 60 days of a subsequent public comment period. Government regulations should protect the public and our environment, but they should not become black holes that keep businesses in long periods of uncertainty. C&H's permit doesn't fall under the new law, but we hope future permits can be evaluated and decided in a timely manner.

[THUMBS UP] As infuriating as the president's sometimes childish use of Twitter can be to people who believe a president should strive to set a standard of decorum for the nation, we're glad Twitter is resisting calls from the president's opponents to shut down his account. Critics say some of his tweets have violated the company's terms of service. Twitter recognizes the comments of the president of the United States are "newsworthy" and people deserve to see them. While we'd like Donald Trump to exercise some self-restraint, it's a misplaced effort to try to shut down the president's Twitter account.

[THUMBS DOWN] Speaking of the office of president, is a speech to a like-minded audience at the Golden Globe Awards really all it takes to launch a presidential campaign for a successful talk-show host and entertainment mogul? More importantly, was there collusion with the Hollywood FOREIGN Press Association? Kidding, of course, but it seems we're headed for a day -- well, as of Nov. 8, 2016, we probably already arrived -- when fame rather than experience gets someone elected president of the United States. (Sigh) Heaven help us if the result of shifting political and cultural expectations is that we ever hear "Thank you, President Kardashian."

Commentary on 01/11/2018

Print Headline: Thursday's thumbs

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