• Congress should not vote at all on Iran deal

    Published: Sat, Sep 5, 2015

    President Obama has asked Congress to approve his Iranian nuclear weapons deal. He has also announced he will enforce this “presidential agreement” no matter what Congress does. Therefore, Congress should not vote at all since the deal's not a constitutional treaty. Since Iran will get $150 billion of “sanctioned” money, Congress should refuse any funding for enforcement of Obama's agreement. Since the U.N. Security Council voted unanimous support of the agreement and has the nuclear detection agency for investigations, they should get all of their “24/7/365” surveillance costs from Iran, not the USA.

  • We need to thank men and women in the police

    Published: Sat, Sep 5, 2015

    I am a 12-year U.S. Air Force veteran and proudly served as a law enforcement specialist. It's with great pain that I constantly read and hear about the murdering of law enforcement officers. City, county, state and federal law enforcement are sworn to uphold the safety and well-being of all citizens. In essence, they're the street-level version of Homeland Security. In 1996, our government introduced the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which “established a federal death penalty for terrorist murders and strengthened penalties for crimes committed against federal employees while performing their official duties.” Here is a thought: Move all city, county, state and federal law enforcement officers under the working

  • Feds are in the way of clean energy

    Published: Fri, Sep 4, 2015

    Several years ago, investors wanted to put hundreds of wind generators on the open plains in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The process would have taken about two years. But the lines to transfer this valuable renewable energy will take Clean Line Energy six years of red tape from the federal government to build. Seems the government wants a clean environment, but does little to make it happen. Meanwhile, jobs, taxes and electrical production are put on hold. Why can't the feds ever give us assistance and answers instead of roadblocks? Guess they're busy trying to run coal-fired plants out of business.

  • Blame people, not objects

    Published: Fri, Sep 4, 2015

    Two people are murdered on camera in Virginia, and the gun control lobby is out in force. The labor commissioner is killed in Oklahoma, and there is no mention of restricting knives to the mentally ill. Drunk drivers kill people, but I don't hear anyone wanting to ban cars. Texting on cellphones kills people. We pass laws trying to stop people from acting irresponsibly, but we don't try to ban phones.  The police don't arrest the weapon; they arrest the person. Law-abiding people obey the law. The rest of the population seems to require a policeman in sight with the ability to use deadly force to deter them from crime.  Sadly, in the case of Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, I didn't see any mention of anyone else being armed

  • Civics education lacking in Oklahoma

    Published: Fri, Sep 4, 2015

    It's sad that in Oklahoma, so often those who vote are the least educated on how our system of government works. In a recent town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole had to educate constituents on presidential powers, constitutional authority and our country's system of representational democracy. Questions regarding impeachment and the Federal Reserve showed the level of ignorance of some state voters. It's no wonder we elect so many inept state legislators.

  • Human reason enables us to rise above victimization

    Published: Wed, Sep 2, 2015

    Virginia shooter Vester Flanagan seemed to be sending a message that the only possible response to irrationality was more irrationality. I reject this. As a gay man, I know that the power of human reason enables us to rise above the victimization imposed by those who teach that human beings are monsters by nature. Such people have been striving to keep the human race down for millennia. But their game is up. Western civilization was built by those who chose to rise above irrationality. The human race's potential to be something better is clearer than ever, and the tools available to make that happen are within our grasp. Each individual possesses the power of reason and the choice to use it. Yes, making that choice means learning

  • Americans know we struck a bad deal with Iran

    Published: Wed, Sep 2, 2015

    During the Iranian nuclear negotiations, President Obama and other officials repeatedly said that no deal is better than a bad deal. They were right. If no deal had been reached, tough U.S. sanctions would have remained in place — the very sanctions that forced Iran to the negotiating table in the first place — and Congress was ready to pass even tougher sanctions. Unfortunately, Obama accepted a bad deal that made too many concessions to Iranian demands. How do we know this is a bad deal? The Iranian regime is getting at least $100 billion in sanctions relief — money that will be used to support terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran is still refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist.

  • Trump is attempting to undermine the GOP

    Published: Wed, Sep 2, 2015

    It's my belief that Donald Trump, who is known to be a longtime friend and supporter of the Clintons, is deliberately attempting to undermine the GOP. The more people he can draw away from erstwhile presidential hopefuls, the better chance his friend Hillary has to gain her goals. So I say beware of those whose attempt is to deceive. Study your candidates and make a wise and educated decision in the coming election.

  • The real war in abortion debate

    Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    There is a war going on, though it's not the political smokescreen Patricia Kunkel (Your Views, Aug. 23) would like to believe. The real war is between the truth we don't want to see and our own conscience. All those ugly things Kunkel mentioned need solutions to help people heal, so why add the killing of a child to their burden? Abortion heaps more misery on people, as thousands who will forever regret their own abortions have admitted. We should always fight against injustice, but never let anger be misdirected to the innocent life that had no say in its conception. It's not about “me vs. them,” it's about a tiny human being who's at the beginning of its life journey.

  • Calling me a terrorist is OK

    Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    If Hillary Clinton wants to call me a terrorist because I want to protect the life of the preborn, I say hallelujah.

  • Puzzling letter about Planned Parenthood

    Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Patricia Kunkel (Your Views, Aug. 23) has me confused. She fears rights will be taken away; specifically abortion rights. Perhaps she objects to the scrutiny Planned Parenthood is facing strictly for its ghoulish, inhumane abortion practices. She has the wrong information if she believes Planned Parenthood is the only abortionist on this earth. To my knowledge abortion isn't denied to anyone, and there are many methods and medical facilities to assist in that endeavor. More than 3,300 abortions are performed per day. Fewer than 1 percent terminate pregnancy due to rape or incest and 6 percent are administered because of a health risk to either the mother or the child. This leaves over 90 percent of abortions that are done for

  • Welcome news about prison reform

    Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Regarding “New chance at commutation?” (News, Aug. 18): A big thank-you to the governor, parole board members and all others who finally are doing something about Oklahoma's overcrowded prisons, and prison reform. I'm all for locking up criminals who commit heinous crimes. I am not for locking up people who make boneheaded mistakes and get put away and forgotten about. These people need help in the form of education, rehabilitation and life skills taught them in an environment to keep them from having to leave young children and families behind to fend for themselves. The powers that be at the Capitol could do the people of Oklahoma a great justice by not turning their heads at our prison problems. There are other solutions.

  • Mental health funding should be priority

    Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    In light of the recent stabbing death of our labor commissioner and the shooting deaths of journalists in Virginia, perhaps it's time to shift the focus from gun control to mental health services. What harm could it cause by talking about how mental health services are usually the first to be cut from both state and federal budgets? One cannot help but be moved by the father of the reporter gunned down in Virginia as he vows to fight for gun control. However, this focus would have done nothing to help our labor commissioner and in fact, very little to protect his daughter, since the shooter apparently obtained his gun legally. For all the talk about guns since the first school shootings, these incidents continue to happen.

  • Give tobacco settlement money to the schools

    Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    State Sen. Bryce Marlatt has proposed providing across-the-board pay raises to teachers using the almost $1 billion in the 1998 tobacco settlement fund. The Oklahoman (Our Views, Aug. 23) objects to that proposal, saying the money is better spent on continuation of programs for preventing the use of tobacco. It points to the fact that Oklahoma ranks near the bottom of most major health rankings and ranks in the top 10 states for spending directed to tobacco use prevention. Those two statements show the money spent in the last 17 years has been ineffective, producing little result and contradicts the argument that the money should continue to be used for that purpose.

  • Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics turns out well-rounded students

    Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    I agree with Roger Rensvold (Your Views, Aug. 17) that STEM education is not enough. Students need wisdom to guide technical ability. Thanks to the sensibility of Oklahoma's citizens and our corporate and industrial partners, we at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics are working hard to educate technically savvy, valuably engaged citizens. We support our world-class math and natural science curriculum with top-notch programs in humanities, physical education, the arts and more. For example, our world literature professor boasts an Ivy League Ph.D., and two other humanities faculty are doctoral candidates. Our physical education and fine arts classes often run until 6:30 p.m. or later.

  • Oklahoma teachers' benefits lacking

    Published: Sat, Aug 29, 2015

    In 1986 after working 21 years as a public teacher and high school counselor, I left Oklahoma and took a job in Colorado. I immediately increased my salary by $10,000. Thirteen years ago I began receiving my retirement from Oklahoma. During those 13 years I have received only two increases in my retirement income, both very small ones. My retirement from Colorado is four to five times what my Oklahoma retirement is. Shame on the Oklahoma Legislature for treating teachers as second-class citizens, and shame on Oklahoma education for allowing it to happen. I love Oklahoma and its people, who are the best in the world, but I wouldn't encourage anyone to enter the teaching profession in Oklahoma.

  • Missing a good man in Mark Costello

    Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    Mark Costello was a good and honorable man. We became fast friends campaigning for statewide office in 2010, and I've cherished his friendship since. Mark was humble, witty, clever and a truly wonderful person. He ran the most creative campaign of all candidates, from singing with his guitar to passing out $50 trillion bills from the Bank of Zimbabwe (which were worthless, and Mark's way of pointing out the dangers of a failed economic policy).  Always fun-loving, every time I saw Mark I smiled. He and his wife, Cathy, are truly delightful people. Mark also was devout in his faith. As the reality of what has happened sinks in, I am devastated for the loss of a truly good friend, and devastated for his family. My prayers will continue,

  • Technology is not always the best choice

    Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    Regarding “Drill bits & bytes” about the 2015 University of Oklahoma marching band using iPads to follow the scripts of their halftime performances: In 1957, I was first chair, second cornet in the OU marching band. We were good. We marched at halftime of home games, and in the Orange Bowl Parade. We then marched and played the next night in the Orange Bowl when OU beat Duke. For our very lengthy practices each week, we worked from pages of mimeographed scripts showing what each should do for the halftime show. It worked. Years later, I taught as an adjunct professor at OU and also at Oklahoma City University, teaching IT and management, etc. Some of the things we tried to figure out were when to use and when not to use IT for

  • It's time to get smart in Oklahoma with clean energy

    Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about West Texas being on the verge of a new energy boom — solar power. It's time to get smart here in Oklahoma. Fossil fuels have had a hundred-year run and clearly we must guard the future.

  • Republican shell games in Oklahoma are tragic

    Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Watching our Republican leaders fishing about for a way to boost teacher pay would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. As in the past, they have proposed various pea and shell games to solve our problems. Robbing from the Teacher Retirement System would only destroy the important recent progress made to improve its viability. Diverting Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust money as a temporary Band-Aid would provide raises for only a couple of years. We would destroy a critical public health program in the process and still have to come up with permanent funding for increased teacher pay. The Oklahoman (Our Views, Aug. 23) pulled out the tired merit pay trick.




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