• Is it time to reconsider investments in Oklahoma?

    Published: Wed, May 27, 2015

    Time to reconsider? Minnesota and Oklahoma are as different as can be. One state is Northern, the other Southern. One is liberal, the other conservative. And their approaches to state funding and services represent opposite philosophies. Minnesota’s tax system is progressive. Those above $35,000 pay at graduated higher rates; no one pays sales tax on food or clothing. Oklahoma’s tax system is regressive. Almost everyone above poverty level pays the same rate; almost everyone pays tax on food and clothing. Conservatives have used Minnesota to frighten others about the doom and gloom of burdensome taxation. But how does Minnesota invest its tax revenues? Historically, it has invested heavily in its human resources — schools,

  • Amtrak trains are not going fast enough

    Published: Wed, May 27, 2015

    After the Amtrak crash near Philadelphia, I was shocked that newscasters acted as though 106 miles per hour was fast for a train. The accident occurred on the Northeast Corridor, where the Acela travels those same rails at 140 mph. The accident occurred because the train was going that speed on a sharp turn, not because the speed was too fast in general. The government has operated most U.S. passenger trains since Congress created Amtrak in 1971, because private railroads no longer wanted that unprofitable burden. Congress has kept Amtrak on a starvation budget since its inception, providing a pittance in subsidies compared with the highway and airline systems.

  • Try these wholesome foods instead

    Published: Mon, May 25, 2015

    What ever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on Memorial Day were traffic jams and indigestion? This year, it’s all about food poisoning by the nasty E. coli, Sal-monella and Listeria bugs lurking in hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets at millions of backyard barbecues. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline’s advice is to grill meat and chicken products longer and hotter. They fail to caution that high-temperature grilling forms lots of cancer-causing compounds. Do we really need to choose between food poisoning and cancer? Luckily, enterprising food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge by developing a variety of healthful, delicious, convenient plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs

  • No right to deny life

    Published: Mon, May 25, 2015

    At the moment of conception, God infuses a soul into the person created. Neither Vicki Saporta (Your Views, May 15) nor President Obama nor Satan has the right to deny life to this newly created person.

  • Limit the draining of Lake Altus-Lugert

    Published: Mon, May 25, 2015

    The 4-year drought along with the practice of draining Lake Altus-Lugert each summer for irrigation use has ruined the lake and Quartz Mountain Resort for all other practical purposes. There has not been enough water (until recently) for boating, recreation or city of Altus drinking water; fish have died; the lodge is losing money for lack of clientele; the park is all but vacant of tourists and campers. We can’t control the amount of water coming in, but we can control the amount of water going out through irrigation. The present dam/lake (completed in 1947) was primarily intended as a source of irrigation water. The earlier dam/lake was for recreation and city of Altus water.

  • Major elections are being bought by major interests

    Published: Mon, May 25, 2015

    We have the fairest and most effective government system in the world, when working. Currently it’s disrespected, ineffective and in turmoil. On one side good people pursue critically needed reforms. Unfortunately, they can’t come together on anything. The other side easily comes together on proposed solutions that amount to throwing more money at every problem while increasing government control of every activity. Every two and four years, major elections give the people hope for constructive changes. However, we're at the place where major elections are bought by some major interests with their own agendas.

  • Hooray, but ...

    Published: Mon, May 25, 2015

    Regarding “Turning a page?” (News, May 19) about third-grade reading scores: My grandson received a letter from the school board saying he passed third grade. Hooray, the teachers have done a good job. But the administration’s letter said his reading test score was “above unsatisfactory.” Really? I wonder if Miss Prunella Pincenez would tell Gene Owens that is “bureaucratic claptrap?” Bob Kellogg, Edmond Owens writes the “Buck’s English” column in The Oklahoman.

  • Secular philosophy is best

    Published: Sun, May 24, 2015

    “Declining Christian rolls no cause for celebration” (Our Views, May 17) gets some fundamental ideas wrong. The denial of self, combined with unjustified belief in an unseen spiritual realm, is the actual cause of many societal woes. It’s also wrong to blame the so-called seven deadly sins as the source of “major challenges” throughout history. Pretending there is a “higher authority” other than our own mind stops many individuals from critical thinking. Instead of each person deciding for his or her self what is good or bad, they allow a clergy class to think for them. A secular philosophy that champions the individual, respects property rights and looks to human reason as the highest authority is the best way to

  • Republicans are not walking the walk

    Published: Sun, May 24, 2015

    Republicans say they want lower taxes and less government spending on social programs. They talk about less government intervention in business and the economy. But do they walk the talk? Will they take on the special interests? No, they say we need to win so that Republicans can make changes. But they do little because they are in fear of retribution of socialists within the party. No wonder people say both parties are the same. Wake up.

  • May 16 weather coverage was over the top

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    I recognize that our local meteorologists are skilled, dedicated and have saved countless lives in their coverage of severe weather in Oklahoma. I also feel that an exercise such as we were presented on the night of May 16 was over the top, and frankly disappointing. For hours they were competing — let’s not kid ourselves folks, it’s about ratings — for the most dramatic presentations of mostly average Oklahoma thunderstorms. It wasn't so long ago that the same weather would have had us being “weather aware,” a necessity here, then taking appropriate action when called for. If it’s not about ratings, then I suppose I won’t be subjected to commercials that tell me how “Station A” cares more or had the most relevant

  • Understanding Keystone XL pipeline decision is as as one-two-three

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    I agree with Tom McNeill (Your Views, May 18) that the Keystone XL pipeline hasn’t been built because of a political decision. Perhaps understanding the reason for this decision is as easy as one-two-three. 1. The BNSF railroad receives money for transporting oil because there is no pipeline to transport it. 2. Money from the BNSF helps to enrich Warren Buffett. 3. Warren Buffett is an enthusiastic booster of Barack Obama. So long as this situation continues, there will be no Keystone XL pipeline.

  • Simple state alcohol plan is anything but simple now

    Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    Initially, Senate Bill 383 addressed refrigeration of strong beer in retail liquor stores. Keeping perishable beer cold makes sense to me and is pro-consumer. But that simple plan is anything but simple now. Proposed by Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, and co-authored by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, SB 383 would now allow the following: 3.2 beer will be discontinued in favor of single-strength beer (strong beer), which will be available in retail package stores, convenience stores and grocery stores across Oklahoma. Any holder of a current 3.2 beer license will be able to sell strong beer and wine. Corporations, largely based out of state, would thereby gain a windfall of additional revenue from wine sales at the

  • Editorial sows discord in both religious and nonreligious people

    Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    “Declining Christian rolls no cause for celebration” (Our Views, May 17) insults those who choose not to adhere to religious views and contains rehashing of false dichotomies between those of opposing religious views. Such divisive comments do nothing to further societal progress and instead sow discord where there was an opportunity to broaden understanding in both religious and nonreligious people alike. As an atheist, I do not pursue “a self-directed ‘do whatever makes you feel good’ ethos.” I volunteer with other nonreligious people to feed the homeless and clean up tornado damage and I enjoy assisting with after-school education programs. A cross-section of nonreligious people would show many similar efforts.

  • Comments about atheists misrepresentitive, disparaging

    Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    I take exception to the gratuitously negative comparison of atheism and Christianity in “Declining Christian rolls no cause for celebration” (Our Views, May 17). Suggesting that atheists project a “self-directed ‘do whatever makes you feel good’ ethos” is misrepresentitive and disparaging. The atheists I know are ethical, moral and compassionate. There are atheist groups across the country that volunteer to help the less fortunate and disaster victims. The reality is that the rise of atheism is a comparatively new phenomenon that has no central organizing structure. It’s in its infancy but it’s going to get bigger. The editorial quote-mined Kate Fulghum from an earlier interview in order to make a straw-man

  • People capable of intrinsic good and empathy with or without religion

    Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    In “Declining Christian rolls no cause for celebration” (Our Views, May 17), The Oklahoman made unsubstantiated claims implying that the increase of non-Christian beliefs is to the detriment of our state. The editorial board ignored one of its own rules for submissions: “Make your points on the merits rather than emotion. Avoid disparaging a group of people based solely on the actions of one member of that group.” Atheists are at least as varied as Christians or any other group, and atheists can be intrinsically good people. Duke University conducted a study that found significantly fewer instances of racism among atheists than religious people.

  • Oklahoma City needs to improve traffic flow

    Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    At last Edmond is trying to help traffic flow by installing right-turn lanes at intersections. I wish the people who design Oklahoma City’s intersections would wise up. All that money spent in recent “upgrades” at NW 23 and Meridian, NW 23 and MacArthur and NW 10 and MacArthur, and still no right-turn lanes and still the antique left-turn traffic signals. Fancy brick designs in the street don’t move traffic. Thousands of dollars have been wasted installing pedestrian signals; I haven’t seen 10 people a day cross those streets on foot. Are we ever going to get a modern 1-mile section of roadway and intersection in Oklahoma City? Put in right-turn lanes, a bicycle lane, sidewalks and remove those archaic left-turn arrows.

  • Drivers are often oblivious to two-wheeled vehicles

    Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    Regarding Donna Baker’s letter (Your Views, May 10): I fail to understand what possible correlation there is to the tragic SUV accident that involved multiple motorcycles and killed and injured riders. While it’s true helmets make good sense while riding motorcycles, the point of “Rally drives home need for motorcycle awareness” (News, May 6) was drivers’ focus. Drivers need to focus on the road and its conditions, on all other vehicles and on their surroundings, not on what a motorcyclist is wearing or not wearing. The number of times I have been on a motorcycle and had someone look me right in the eye before taking my lane only leads me to conclude that drivers are often oblivious to two-wheeled vehicles. Please, drivers, pay

  • Fix Oklahoma ballot-access laws

    Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    Forty years ago, Oklahoma’s Democratic Party-controlled government broke both legs of political competition in this state. When their candidate for president failed to win the Oklahoma election, they blamed the third candidate on the ballot and the party he represented. In response, they changed the law making it far more difficult to form a new party and place a presidential candidate on the ballot. For 40 years, alternative parties fought, pleaded and lobbied to have this law changed back. During those years, leadership from the Democratic and Republican parties fought any reform effort. Even the humiliation of being the only state with only two candidates for president on the ballot seemed to be unable to faze them.

  • Amtrak trains should have maximum speed of 60 mph

    Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    There is much talk about what can be done to reduce Amtrak accidents. I don't know the answer, but I know a question to ask: Why are there railroad engines capable of 106 mph? When is that speed needed? I know that the power might be needed at times, but a speed governor installed with a maximum top speed of 60 mph would be cheaper than the billions of dollars they’re discussing spending to reduce the problem. Patrick W.

  • A small thing to help save the life of a child

    Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    If you stop at a local casino, you will see people with their player’s card inserted into the machine, and a cord attached to that card and to their shirt or around their wrist. If they walk away without the card, the cord tugs at them and reminds them to remove it. If I had a child in the back seat, I’d have one of these cords or a piece of string attached to that car seat and to my person. I wouldn’t leave a child in the car. It’s such a small thing to do to save the life of a child and a lifetime of misery for a parent.




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