Monica Potts

Monica Potts is an Arkansas-based writer, currently writing a book about the women of her rural hometown.

Recent Articles

The Aggrieved Christian.

A Pennsylvania mom who sued after her son's school did not allow her to read a Bible passage to his class will not have her case heard by the Supreme Court. The reading was to be part of an in-class assignment in which the children were invited to present important aspects of their lives to their classmates. As part of this “All About Me” week-long assignment, (Donna Kay) Busch’s son, Wesley, made a poster displaying photographs of himself, his hamster, his brothers, his parents, his best friend, and a construction-paper likeness of his church. One part of the “All About Me” curriculum included inviting parents to “share a talent, short game, small craft, or story” with the class that would highlight something about their child. Busch said her son asked her to read the Bible to the class, an activity she and her son shared together at home. The mother selected verses 1-4 and 14 of Psalm 118 from the King James version of the Bible. She later...

Early Thoughts on Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts election of a Republican to Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat is going to be presented as a referendum on health care, which is odd for a state that currently has the only universal health care system in the country. And one that is very similar to the national proposal. But if you look at what voters actually said, it seems more a rebuke of the way Washington has handled it than the substance of reform itself. From the New York Times story: I’m hoping that it gives a message to the country,” said Marlene Connolly , 73, of North Andover, a lifelong Democrat who said she cast her first vote for a Republican on Tuesday. I think if Massachusetts puts Brown in, it’s a message of ‘that’s enough.’ Let’s stop the giveaways and let’s get jobs going. It's not so much the health care bill itself, as the perception of the way government is acting. Maybe that's why the White House is pretending the health care bill had nothing to do with...

Another New Light Bulb.

On Friday, the Department of Energy announced that $37 million from the stimulus would go toward research and development projects for LEDs, the lighting normally found in TVs and computer screens that could also be used as more efficient home lighting. From the New York Times's Green Inc. blog: This is the sixth round of Energy Department funding for solid-state lighting projects, but the first time money has been given to develop better manufacturing technologies. According to the department, the focus on manufacturing is part of a new initiative to accelerate adoption of LEDs by improving quality and cost – while also encouraging production in the United States. A considerable amount of LED manufacturing occurs in Asia, according to the department’s solid-state lighting research and development plan . The plan states that developing advanced automation methods could improve product consistency, reduce labor content and potentially make domestic production “a more...

Making Law in the Wake of Tragedy.

More than two years ago, two parolees allegedly broke into a Cheshire, Connecticut, home and brutally murdered the family inside; only the father survived. Among the many efforts afterward to address the crime, Connecticut's General Assembly passed a law making home invasion -- entering an occupied home with the intent to commit a crime -- a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. ="http:> Then, last month, when I was still a reporter in Connecticut, I ended up covering a stupid crime of an entirely different magnitude. Five teenagers who allegedly told police they thought they were breaking into an empty stash house with $50,000 tucked under a mattress instead broke into a home with a 47-year-old man and his 18-year-old daughter inside. They were charged with home invasion and face those mandatory 10 years if convicted. All of their names, even the names of those under 18, are on the public docket. ="http:> It's likely the charges will be reduced as the...

Taking Public Responsibility for Public Stands.

The Supreme Court decided to hear a case Friday to determine whether the names of those who signed a petition supporting a referendum to overturn a Washington state law extending marriage benefits to same-sex couples should be released to the public. The petitioners say they have had threats made against them. In taking the Washington case to the Court, the petition-signers’ lawyer said the confidentiality issue “is arising with great frequency across the country as changes in technology have made it possible for individuals and groups seeking to prevent public debate from occurring to obtain the names and contact information of petition signers and post that information online to encourage harassment and intimidation.” One group, the filing said, has posted on its web site information about gay marriage petition-signers in Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts and Oregon. The Supreme Court considered a similar issue when it blocked plans to broadcast the Prop. 8 trial in...

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