An old friend sent an advertisement the other day for a new store in his community. The ad came with a question: What is your décor?

An old friend sent an advertisement the other day for a new store in his community. The ad came with a question: What is your décor?

Most men don’t think about labels like décor. I suspect most lean toward the description “functional” or “comfortable.” Those words were absent from the furnished list: African, Asian, British Colonial, European, French Vineyard, Futuristic, Island, Medieval, Nautical, Patriotic, Pirate, Shabby Elegance, Wild West, Wilderness Lodge and Wildlife.

Shabby Elegance was my first and only choice since “functional” and “comfortable” were ineligible. Please don’t tell my spouse since she thinks I would be happy in a 600 square foot log cabin.

Why must everything carry a label? Does it matter if my neighbors are Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, Baptist or Methodist? One couple on our street owns a classic convertible, a small car that gets better than 40 miles to the gallon and a pickup truck. What label do you attach when two people can’t drive all of their vehicles at the same time?

The label machine really comes out during an election year. We are hearing a lot of both presidential candidates this summer, with political pundits predicting the race will remain close both nationally, due to an electorate equally divided between the parties and split on many major issues.

When the telephone rings at our home, the caller ID tips you that it may be a political call or a question worded to reveal which way you are leaning. Try telling the caller that you would not vote for his or candidate because they beat their mother, snore in church and cheat at cards.

That response works almost as well as “unsubscribe” when spam hits your computer.

Creating jobs is not the message that really sinks in with many politicians. They would rather discuss reducing the deficit or cutting spending.

When you are discussing billions and trillions of dollars, it’s easy to muddy up the water.

They have already forgotten Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign and Clinton strategist James Carville’s slogan, “The economy, stupid.”

Carville coined three for that campaign that should be remembered. One was “Don’t forget health care.”

Legalizing marijuana for medical purposes may make the November ballot in Arkansas. At least 300,000 people were expected to crowd a Seattle park Friday through Sunday as Seattle Hempfest celebrated its 21st birthday.

Washington, which in 1997 became one of the first states to approve medical marijuana, will vote this November on Initiative 502. That proposal would legalize, tax and regulate the growing and sale of cannabis.

Like many journalists, I have been known over the years to make friendly wagers on political contests. With 2012 already a wacky political year, I am willing to make only one bet: I believe I can accurately forecast the winners of all open seats on White Hall School Board in September and the election of six aldermen for the White Hall City Council in November.

It’s a safe bet if you remember there are no contested races for the council and school board.

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Larry Fugate is a veteran journalist and former editor of The Pine Bluff Commercial. He can be reached by e-mail at or at (870) 329-7010.