When most people think of stoicism, they think of someone maintaining composure in the face of adversity. But that's only half the equation. To reach such equanimity, the Stoics expected, at every turn, that what they cared about most would be taken from them.
Watching Senior Night 2011 at Razorback Stadium made me reflect upon September 2008.
Thirty-eight months ago, I assumed my standard, slovenly posture on my in-laws' sofa, watching in horror as Arkansas scuffled against a hapless directional school from Louisiana.
The former Easter Seals training center at the east end of Lee Avenue has long been a festering sore for the surrounding residential neighborhood in Hillcrest and for Easter Seals, which has tried repeatedly to unlock some value from the abandoned building and land lease since moving to new quarters in western Little Rock years ago. Neighbors have always thrown up a roadblock of objections.
Also Black Tusk/Thou/Monstro, Epiphany and Gina Gee, Flameing Daeth Fearies and Glittercore, Owen Temple and Adam Carroll, Jim Mize and The Frontier Circus, a jazz tribute to Miles Davis and John Coltrane and 'Pregnant by the Pastor'
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have protected millions of Americans and have contributed to the stability of our families and our communities. I cannot sit idly by while Washington proposes cuts to these important programs while ignoring the call of middle class Americans to find other ways to cut the deficit.
Arguably no other Arkansas governor pushed through more progressive legislation in a four-year period than Dale Bumpers. During his two-term leadership from 1971 until 1975, he managed to reorganize state government, enact a more progressive state tax rate, expand the state park system and undertake a major construction initiative among the state's universities.
The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has upheld the director's rejection of an application by Juanita's restaurant to hold a private club permit that would have allowed it to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. at its River Market location.
"Everything just fell in place," said state Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford, the former state legislator, about his marriage 11/11/11 to his long-time partner Robbie Thomas-Knight, a clinical psychologist.
The state Education Department last week released the final 2011 count on how schools in Arkansas are doing in meeting the No Child Left Behind Standards, which require that all students be testing at grade level in math and reading by 2014.
Despite melodramatic pronouncements to the contrary by sundry politicians, tycoons, tycoon/politicians and media-enhanced "reformers" like former Washington, D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, the available evidence shows American students performing steadily better on standardized assessments of educational progress over the past 30 years.
Saline 24/7, the new Saline County news site, reports that David Pierce, the former music minister at Benton's First Baptist Church sent to prison for sexual indecency with minors, is up for a parole hearing this week.
Various people quoted in this New York Times article make the case that the at-least loosely coordinated efforts of city nationwide to bust up Occupy Wall Street-style camps is actually good for the movement.
Ron Mathieu, director of the Little Rock National Airport, has narrowed a second round of applications for the job of director of government relations at the airport to four finalists — all new names — and they'll be interviewed by airport officials Nov. 28 and 29.
The Democrat-Gazette this morning reported in detail on a movement, apparently arising from a Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce initiative, to repeal a pro-segregation resolution adopted by the Little Rock city board in 1957.
I'm thinking this is a post-Penn State product. Arkansas Tech distributed far and wide a news release reporting a sexual assault yesterday in a campus locker room — a man groping inside the pants of another man.
Interesting convergence today:
* TAXES: Republican Twitterers are eagerly broadcasting news of an Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce-backed study presented to a legislative committee today that says Arkansas's tax rate, particularly on new investments, is too high.
I see Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Chris Heller, attorney for the Little Rock School District, have worked out a controversy fabricated by McDaniel over his office's request for documents from the district in the ongoing litigation over the state's failure to review desegregation implications in charter school approval.
The Board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf last night rejected a proposal from Easter Seals to transfer its $1-a-year lease of almost 10 acres of Blind School land to Little Rock businessman John Chandler, who proposed to buy the former Easter Seals center on the property at the eastern end of Lee Avenue for business offices, including for his clothing business.
Clothing, and lack, of on parallel tracks in Little Rock and Egypt. * NAKED BLOGGING: Fascinating story in New York Times on a young Egyptian woman whose posted nude photos of herself on her blog as a political and artistic statement.
Sometimes the best things are found at the most simple of places. This chocolate torte was discovered by chance at a little convenience store-grocery-hardware store between Prescott and Magnolia, just because I needed a road break.
Drew County District Judge Ken Harper of Monticello was reprimanded and censured today by the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for misconduct related to alcohol
He was reprimanded for a drunk driving arrest and conviction in Lincoln County.
Three pending disciplinary cases against former Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn, now presiding as a fictional judge over a fictional drug court in "Last Shot With Judge Gunn," were dismissed today in return for Gunn's agreement never to serve as a judge again in Arkansas in any capacity.
I got another reason today to like UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson besides his quiet leadership, his modest ways (no housing upgrade or flashy car in his tenure) and, most of all, his dedication to a calling beyond building sidewalks or a football team or artificially inflating enrollment.
Some odds and ends this morning:
* DUSTIN MCDANIEL'S MOVIE — THE SEQUEL: Remember back in July when Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spent $6,000 on a little movie to announce at a State Police gathering that he was directing $700,000 from settlement of a lawsuit against a drug company to build a training facility at the agency's shooting range.
Tom Friedman's column in the New York Times caught my eye this morning. It's discussion of the PISA test, used internationally to measure achievement of 15-year-olds, a test on which American students lag behind places such as Singapore, Finland and Shanghai.
It's open. Not much else to report at this moment, except:
* TAKE OR LEAVE WATER DEAL: Kathy Wells, in an e-mail to neighborhood groups, distills the ongoing debate on land use rules for the Lake Maumelle watershed to their essence.
The Atlantic talked to her mother:
.... Elizabeth Nichols, a 20-year-old originally from Arkansas who moved to the West Coast about six months ago and made her way from Seattle to Portland a month later.
I've come into possession of a memo sent to crew members on "Mud," the Jeff Nichols movie that has just about wrapped up production in Arkansas, including in rural Arkansas, with work in Stuttgart, Dumas and other places.
The Central Arkansas Water Commission today endorsed a proposed zoning code for the Lake Maumelle watershed. It's not as tough as environmentalists wanted and more zoning than some rural landowners and the Farm Bureau wanted.
The New York Times lays out President Obama's thinking on the collapse of congressional budget negotiations:
In remaining aloof from the special deficit committee in Congress even as it collapsed on Monday, President Obama showed his calculation more clearly than ever before: Republicans will never agree to raise taxes on the wealthy to balance any spending cuts, so let the voters decide.
Can't say with a certainty that the following was a factor in the slow pace of Arkansas federal judicial nominations (in one case, three names initially recommended by U.S. senators were rejected for a new slate), but this New York Times report is interesting for some insight on slow progress of Obama administration nominations generally.