Paul Greenberg

Posted April 18, 2014

Flashing endlessly by, the unceasing flow of BREAKING NEWS seduces and betrays, mainly by pretending to be new. Even though, as the Preacher said, what has been will be. The particulars of the story may change, but not the human condition. The names may be new, but the stories remain remarkably the same, just as weapons change but war remains the bloody same.

Posted April 17, 2014

It only seems like an eternity that the country has been waiting for this not so Affordable Care Act to click in and work. But remember this: The system never crashed. It couldn't be allowed to, not in the merry, merry land of Obamacare, aka Denial.

Posted April 15, 2014

Robert Strauss was one of those figures who belonged to the past long before he passed, a news-maker who hadn't made the news in years. But by the time his obituary appeared the other day -- he was 95 at his death -- he had been involved to one prominent degree or another in just about every presidential administration from Lyndon Johnson's to the first George Bush's.

Posted April 15, 2014

Who is this Jeb Bush, why does he make such sense?

Posted April 11, 2014

Our president is back with one of his grand conceptions, ideal compromises and works of staggering political genius. This one, like the others, is designed to please every special interest involved, though it may leave out a minor matter or two. Like national security. And the kind of obsessive attention to detail that national security calls for.

Posted April 09, 2014

There are bishops and there are bishops. Indeed, the Diocese of Little Rock had four of them before a priest named Andrew McDonald came out of Savannah, Ga., to become the fifth, and Lord willing there will be many others to come after. Yet when people in these parts referred to the bishop, there was no doubt whom they meant.

Posted April 08, 2014

It's enough to make a tear appear even on the usually stony face of Clio, muse of history, who you'd think would be used to having her works -- and their lessons -- ignored by now.

Posted April 08, 2014

By the splittest of split decisions, by the narrowest and, yes, the most partisan and ideological differences of opinion, the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that our rulers may not decide the total amount an American may contribute to a political candidate, party or committee.

Posted April 03, 2014

(With apologies to Poor Richard's Almanac -- and a colonial printer named Ben Franklin.)

Posted April 02, 2014

My mother's yahrzeit came twice this year. Yahr-zeit: Literally, time of year. It's shorthand for the anniversary of a death in the family.

Posted April 01, 2014

How might a captain's log of the good ship America read? The pages would surely include accounts of halcyon skies and smooth sailing, however turbulent the times seemed at the moment. As well as episodes of peril, even shipwreck, as the grand old lady was tossed and turned, even torn asunder. See 1861-65.

Posted March 25, 2014

"I care not who writes a nation's laws," a sage once remarked, "but who writes its songs."

Posted March 21, 2014

Asked to comment after a record number of women signed up to seek office on the Republican ticket this year in Arkansas, Joyce Elliott -- a Democratic state senator from Little Rock -- started off fine. She noted that young mothers tend to put off entering politics (not to mention other careers) till their children are older. That figures. Just ask anybody with little kids at home. They get priority, and need to. We all have our priorities, and children tend to change them. And how.

Posted March 21, 2014

This exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center, titled "The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South," is to run through Sunday, June 1, when the pictures come down. But they'll stay with you. Like the South.

Posted March 17, 2014

She noticed. Talking about Moscow's not very disguised invasion of Crimea, Hillary Clinton made the obvious comparison with Hitler's seizure of one piece of Europe after another in the 1930s:

Posted March 15, 2014

Ham and eggs, dictators and plebiscites, tyranny and sham elections, they all go together. So it was wholly to be expected, which means it was wholly a surprise to our ever-alert administration, when the latest tsar decided Crimea was ripe for the picking and sent in the Cossacks (sans identifying insignia for now).

Posted March 12, 2014

Mark Pryor (Very D-Ark.) is this state's senior senator, and he should be thanked for making the choice in this fall's election for the U.S. Senate here in Arkansas more than crystal clear.

Posted March 06, 2014

From the glamour and glitter of Sochi, you could almost see Kiev burning as the Ukrainians tried to escape the suffocating embrace of Mother Russia. To make the point, Tsar Vladimir chose this moment to hold maneuvers just across the border. When the Russians mobilize, war tends sure to follow, as during the First World Catastrophe. Now this latest tsar has chosen to invade Crimea, occupying its airport and other key points as the usual irregulars take over its parliament buildings. And the Russian flag is raised. Why pretend?

Posted March 05, 2014

Not since the 1936 Olympics in Berlin has aggression been so glamorously presaged, the mailed fist wrapped in such a velveteen glove. Even the excuse for this barely concealed act of aggression is borrowed from the Nazi Anschluss with Austria: An oppressed people has appealed to the fatherland for protection. And it had responded by sending help to assure their rights. The statements out of the Kremlin these days sound like poor translations from the German.

Posted March 03, 2014

I regret I never learned your name, but your language, heard from the back of a tour bus, remains a thing of curious beauty and a joy recurrently remembered.