Mississippi’s legislative leadership last week began considering the work-up of a budget for the 2015-2016 budget year, the biggest issue on the agenda of an election-year session beginning in early January. The gist of the discussion made public last week was the necessity of efficiency _ adopting “performance-based” measures over a period of several years […]

Tomorrow it will have been three months. No doubt it seems longer for the people whose lives and surroundings were turned upside down by the April 28 tornado. It has been long enough to get past the initial numbing shock, but the difficult work of full recovery won’t be finished for a long time to […]

The world has been so chaotic lately that it was easy to overlook two U.S. diplomatic maneuvers – involving the turbulent nations of Afghanistan and Iran – that avoided what could have been dangerous ruptures. The architect of these two agreements was Secretary of State John Kerry, who these days seems to be in constant […]

I’m not a world traveler, someone who invests in sturdy luggage and has memorized the rules for liquid carry-ons. My idea of a great trip is a stroll to the mailbox and back. I’m what Southerners endearingly call a “home-body.” I like routine and find comfort in familiar surroundings. I like knowing my cereal bowls […]

The politically correct or “progressive” crowd found a new target this week.When asked about “out and proud” football player Michael Sam, former NFL coach Tony Dungy said he would not have drafted Sam had he still been coaching. Said Dungy: “I wouldn’t have [drafted] him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a […]

Common Core suffers from ideological attacks In 2007, Janet Napolitano, then the Democratic governor of Arizona and the chair of the National Governors’ Association, wrote an initiative for the year, as is custom for chairs of the NGA. Hers focused on improving the state of American education – specifically math and science – and in […]

Even humility has limits. Let’s imagine that a billionaire friend has hired the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to perform at his estate, and he has invited you to be the only guest. Some of the most talented musicians on earth will fly 5,000 miles to play in an acoustically perfect amphitheater your friend has had built […]

When historians look back on 2014, they will note not just how flagrantly Vladimir Putin disregarded international law or how stubbornly Gaza and Israel kept firing missiles at each other. They will also be puzzled at how poorly the United States handled its economy. They undoubtedly will conclude that 2014 was a year of missed […]

NPR interviewed a guy who’s out there hunting for true quiet. I picture him with a recorder slung over his shoulder, a microphone with a long handle in his hand, and headphones over his ears, as he steps over briars and ducks under limbs in search of the sounds our ancestors took for granted. In […]