Paul Greenberg

Posted October 23, 2014

Consider this an object lesson and fair warning for all those other states that are trying to what they can to improve education or even cut through the bureaucracy that seems to cover it everywhere -- like kudzu.

Posted October 20, 2014

Leaning on his cane, the old boy walked out his front door, took in the morning light, and was surprised.

Posted October 16, 2014

It takes strength, patience, endurance, maybe a whole day or even more than one, to clear out a house. To be more specific, a house where someone you know has died. Someone close to you. An aged friend or relative, say, or even a father or mother after a long illness.

Posted October 14, 2014

The other day one of those visiting hot-shots from out of town, aka expert consultants, was explaining what a wonderful addition our new Technology Park downtown was going to be. Oh, and by the way, to make way for it, an old building would have to be torn down. It had been neglected for years anyway, so who would miss that old eyesore anyway? Because the tech park would create a new "sense of place." The phrase stuck in the mind, like a sharp arrow.

Posted October 13, 2014

If you don't think Rodney Forte is doing a bang-up job as head of our local public-housing agency here in little ol' Little Rock, just ask him. Sure, he may have made the headlines of late, and not good ones, for having added still another couple of top-paying administrative positions, one at some $92,000 a year, to a bureaucracy that was already top-heavy.

Posted October 10, 2014

It happens every two years, regular as the autumnal equinox. It has to -- by law. Specifically, by the Constitution of the United States. It's also an essential exercise in responsible, representative government in a free country: fair elections. And this isn't just a free country, but a rambunctious one, where elections can resemble a combination rodeo, mud race, rasslin' match and general name-calling contest.

Posted October 08, 2014

What's this -- a high court that exercises self-restraint, patience and more than due deliberation? Instead of deciding an ever-contentious issue with one immediate, comprehensive, and draconian decision. A decision that is bound to prove indecisive soon enough, given the changeable course of human events.

Posted October 06, 2014

An ingenious political party, modern-day Republicans. No matter how favored by the odds, the political circumstances, the shape of congressional districts, how many seats may be up for grabs in the Senate, the glaring failures of the opposition, or just the times and tides, the Grand Old Party has a long record of contriving less than grand ways to shoot itself in the foot -- and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It's almost a tradition by now.

Posted October 04, 2014

It's an old saying: First we shape our buildings, then they shape us.

Posted October 01, 2014

November 19. That's the date a bust of Vaclav Havel is to be dedicated in National Statuary Hall at this country's Capitol, and it's perfect timing -- for November 19 will also be the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution he led and embodied in his native Czechoslovakia.

Posted September 29, 2014

If you don't know who Gao Zhisheng is, welcome to the vast club.

Posted September 26, 2014

Every year the annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center is something to see, if only to think on a) how much art has changed, and b) how much we have. For the one sure indication that we're looking at art, good or bad but never indifferent, is its power to send us into reverie.

Posted September 24, 2014

The first thing you may notice once past the double doors of the current exhibit of line art at the Arkansas Arts Center isn't anything on exhibit. It's an old outside wall that became an inside one when the museum was expanded in the 1960s, and its designers had the good judgment to preserve this fine example of WPA-style modernity circa the 1930s. Anything less would have been an insult to history -- and just good taste. They don't make walls like that anymore. Mod museums specialize in the blank. Ornamentation is out. It reveals too much character.

Posted September 22, 2014

News Bulletin: "Scotland has voted No to independence, after millions of voters took to the polls to decide the future of the United Kingdom."

Posted September 19, 2014

'Tis the season when just an ordinary year-round conspiracy theory can blossom into a full-blown mythology.

Posted September 17, 2014

It's an old superstition among actors, who tend to avoid calling one of Shakespeare's tragedies by its name, which is supposed to invite disaster. It's like the way they avoid wishing each other good luck opening night lest they jinx it, preferring to say something like Break a Leg -- but here's hoping that Thursday's referendum on independence for Scotland will prove a flop, and a resounding one. So this issue can be settled definitively, and stay settled. Instead of being decided by the razor-thin margin some of the polls have predicted. So it won't hang around indefinitely, like Banquo's Ghost, showing up at the most inopportune times. Like now and forever. And the United Kingdom can stay united, Scots and Englishmen and the rest, all Britons together.

Posted September 13, 2014

How say anything clear about a presidential address to the nation that wasn't?

Posted September 11, 2014

Man cannot bear too much uncertainty. We like our problems spelled out as clearly as possible, the choices before us arranged neatly, maybe with little boxes beside each to check "For and Against," for nothing seems to frustrate us like being handed an indeterminate sentence and told to persevere. As patience runs out, making a bad decision may come to seem better than making none at all. At least it would end the suspense.

Posted September 10, 2014

Once again our secretary of state is busy observing American foreign policy rather than shaping it.

Posted September 08, 2014

Just a few blocks away from Little Rock's snaggle-toothed skyline, its intersecting interstates and rush-hour traffic, an island of respite opens in the middle of downtown. It's an exhibit of photographs taken between 1995 and 2012 in and around sleepy little Wilmot (Pop. 550) down in Ashley County. That's in L.A., or Lower Arkansas, the southernmost part of the state, which is about as Southern as it gets.