Thumbs: Syria, Common Core, courtroom shenanigans

Another dark cloud. As despicable and atrocious as this Syria chemical killing thing is, the prospect of the United States going into another war with an Arab nation is discouraging, to put it mildly. What is the answer? We don’t know except it should not be sending our troops over there and many of them coming home in boxes.


Shifted focus. A sidebar to the Mayflower oil spill has become the centerpiece, at least for public and media attention. We’re referring to the demand that ExxonMobil move its pipeline from the Lake Maumelle watershed. It’s the same pipeline all right, but these are two separate issues. Mayflower problems still need to be fixed.

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How ‘bout them Bears? The Arkansas Razorback football schedule for 2014 has been announced, and immediately attention went to a game against Nicholls State. That’s a team in the same conference as the University of Central Arkansas. Should it be UA versus UCA sometime down the road? Seems logical, but don’t hold your breath.

Wild views. Everyone seemingly has an opinion on the near-at-hand debut of the 2013 football Arkansas Razorbacks. Our outlook is cloudy. New coaching staff, new quarterback, linger questions about several other positions and a possibly dangerous opponent in the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette. It might be highly interesting.

Take a good look. Conway Christian School isn’t having part in this education innovation called Common Core, now mandated for Arkansas public schools. Common Core may turn out to be a good thing, but think how many gee-whiz school issues have come and gone through the years — Phonics, New Math and many more.

Courtroom shenanigans. Our reporters and others have remarked on a defendant in a Conway murder case laughing, joking, standing up and making gestures during court proceedings. No, a jury is not there, but such conduct is way out of line. Surely, this will end if and when the actual trial gets underway.

“We (Conway Christian School) will not be converting to the Common Core State Standards. The level of our program is already set to a high level of standards, and we will only implement standards that will increase this rigor.”

— Gloria Massey, CCS chief administrator


McCollum’s Column: New CBC coach a proponent of love, sometimes the tough variety

Chris Wright, Central Baptist College’s new men’s basketball coach, says he has desired to become a college basketball coach since age 14.

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Guest Column: Can a US exit from the TPP make America worse?

President Trump has recently signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S from negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, calling his order “a great thing for the American worker.” Although this move by the President was not at all surprising, one of the main themes of his election campaign was to immediately end TPP talks, the remaining participants of TPP are left wondering whether they can save the deal without U.S involvement. Steve Ciobo, Australian Trade Minister, said that perhaps China could fill the vacuum left by U.S withdrawal. Sentiments expressed by Chinese diplomats suggest that the country is quite intrigued by the idea of increased global leadership. To quote the Director General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s international economics department, Zhang Jun, “if China is required to play that leadership role, then China will assume its responsibilities.” Consequently, I assert that the U.S TPP exit may weaken its position as a global leader, opening the door for China to step up and occupy the void.

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