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Ernest Dumas reflects on John Walker

A veteran journalist reflects on the life of civil rights champion John Walker.

1957 redux

The rivers of history tend to flow parallel and from time to time they intersect with calamitous effect, as the government this fall taught us in Arkansas once again.

The shame of Bentonville

A new Facebook page caught my attention earlier this year. The page, titled "Shame of Bentonville," lists its purpose as a place to share facts, documents and solutions related to removing the Confederate statue from the Bentonville Square. The recent vandalism of the monument has it back in the news.

It Could Be Worse: John Bolton's ouster as national security advisor makes us safer

People have to look for solace and hope wherever they can find them in these scary Trumpist times, and I view my job to be helping their search for peace of mind. 
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Bikes, Blues and Nazi merchandise

In addition to Bikes, Blues and BBQ's ever-present Confederate flag souvenirs and, this year, a gun tent in the Walton Arts Center parking lot, there are vendors on Dickson Street selling swastika and SS patches, along with items that say "This is the USA, We Speak English," "Virginity Can Be Cured" and other phrases referencing sexual harassment and body parts too demeaning to women to include here.

Hawley Woods' campaign makes a good couple of weeks for Arkansas Democrats even better

It has been a good couple of weeks for Democrats and progressives in Arkansas.

'Lean Back' podcast live in Fayetteville and an interview with the hosts

Dr. Lisa Corrigan and Laura Weiderhaft bring their "Lean Back: Critical Feminist Conversations" podcast home to Fayetteville 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, for a live recording. If you are unfamiliar with the series Paste Magazine called, along with "Chapo Trap House" and NPR’s "On the Money," a top podcast of 2017, you are missing out.

The long political history of universal health care

That old bogeyman Ulysses S. Socialism has arrived again on the usual signal — an approaching election where medical care and social welfare are big issues with voters and politicians. It has been so for more than a century, although memories, as always, are in short supply.
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Little Rock event set for Amy Klobuchar

Word reaches me of a fund-raiser Thursday at the Capital Hotel for Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator.

Showing crooks God’s love

If you are among the many Arkansans who weep over the occasionally stern treatment of white-collar crooks, July 29 had to be a heartwarming day.

2022, here we come!

2022 might well be the most energized election year in the state since 1978.

Governor, your privilege is showing

Wednesday morning, days after a Baxter County School Resource Officer was arrested after admitting to sexually assaulting a minor student and a Benton County Jail Lieutenant was fired after an internal investigation uncovered years of sexual harassment committed upon fellow officers, Governor Hutchinson tweeted, "I never feel more safe than when I am in a room full of police officers as I was today when I spoke to the Arkansas Municipal Police Association Convention in Hot Springs." I get that politicians love to glad-hand, but Hutchinson's words seem especially poorly chosen.
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The tragic irony of our political assumptions

Three years ago, on July 27, 2016, my daughter, who was 6-years-old at the time, and I stayed up to watch Hillary Clinton accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Friends and acquaintances alike texted me or posted pictures of their own daughters watching Clinton’s acceptance speech. Some of those folks were die-hard Clinton supporters. Others had long kept their politics to themselves. Some I knew leaned conservative, but they were not so partisan that they couldn’t appreciate the historic moment of it all.

It's time for real hope and change

In all the talk about who can win in 2020, what is missing from too many of the discussions is who will do the work on the ground and at the phones.

It's all about sex with Trump

The case of Acosta and the depraved sex predator he protected goes to the heart of both Trump’s election and his survival. It’s not complicated; it’s about sex. Absent the modern obsession with sex, Trump would still be a cipher unknown to most Americans, and it may yet be his undoing.

Yes, the president is racist

Last night, only four Republicans voted for a resolution to condemn the president’s remarks. Four. The rest of the GOP members of Congress are either racists themselves or they are too cowardly to have any business representing anyone. It is no surprise that the Arkansas delegation all voted against the resolution. They have made it clear they are the president’s men through and through. Trump first. Arkansas second. 

Fayetteville residents have a choice to make

Last month, the Arkansas Justice Collective, led by immigration attorney Stephen Coger, released a report outlining the increased prosecutions of marijuana in Fayetteville and the racial disparities in the policing, especially by the local drug task force.

It's time for civics education reform

There is little doubt that efforts to better educate students about the workings of the government and how to be an effective, engaged citizen have been sharply deprioritized across the country.

Beach books

The Observer was a weird little shit who has since grown into a weird old fart, and for several years there in our teens and 20s, serial killers happened to be one of the things in which we were interested — the real-life equivalent of the monsters that haunt the darkest fairy tales, and maybe even the original, unspeakable inspiration for the Big Bad Wolf and Rumpelstiltskin, the Wicked Queen and the Boogeyman, and all the other baddies that lurk in the darkness of closets and under kids’ beds when mom and dad say goodnight and the lights go out.

A compromised Arkansas Supreme Court

Like its federal counterpart, the Arkansas Supreme Court has had a run of ill fortune lately, at least by the lights of founding fathers like Alexander Hamilton, who said public confidence that judges were impartial and free of partisan influence would be vital to preserving the democratic experiment.
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