Top Stories


  • A new model for education?

    Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    A better way Regarding Michael Gerson’s “Rand Paul’s bogus outreach” (Commentary, Aug. 20): Perhaps one way for Republicans to reach out to the African-American community, while helping the white and Hispanic communities as well, would be to adopt an educational concept employed by many other countries. It involves six to nine years of general education for all, followed by a career path choice of either continuing education aimed at preparation for college or specific vocational/technical training mixed with real, paid work (even at a trainee pay scale).

  • Driving away teachers will cost Oklahoma

    Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    An Oklahoma State School Boards Association survey found an alarming shortage of 800 certified teachers in Oklahoma classrooms. More than half the districts responding to the survey are requesting emergency certification for teachers outside their certification areas; about half of the districts intend to use substitutes in place of full-time teachers. Since 2008, according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, state education funding has fallen by $213 million while enrollment has grown by 40,000 students. State funding per student has been cut by 22 percent, adjusted for inflation — the steepest cuts in the nation, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Teachers can cross the line in any direction and make more

  • Kudos for OU's swift and strong response

    Published: Sun, Aug 24, 2014

    Kudos to University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and President David Boren for a swift and strong response to one of their star recruit’s wholly inappropriate off-field behavior. Rather than taking the unjustified traditional approach of “Let’s wait and see if he’s convicted,” they agreed that the alleged barbaric and criminal behavior of national top recruit Joe Mixon warranted suspension from the football team and removal from the team's roster. Violence against women in this country by men, typically much larger and stronger, must stop.

  • A laughable excuse for hitting a woman

    Published: Sun, Aug 24, 2014

    My thanks to Steven E. Morris (Your Views, Aug. 20) for holding the door and giving up a parking space for women. We all know that these two things are the ultimate way to show respect. I was taught that these are polite actions to do for anyone, regardless of gender. It’s unfortunate that Joe Mixon didn’t use better judgment himself. His actions have disappointed a lot of people, but to use the “reflex” excuse is laughable. Most of us can only speculate on the video of Mixon and the woman he’s accused of hitting. But we do know that Amelia Molitor suffered serious injuries. We also know that Joe Mixon is more than 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He had a choice that night — strike Molitor or simply walk away.

  • The most racist, political federal agency in U.S. history

    Published: Sun, Aug 24, 2014

    The current U.S. Department of Justice is the most racist and political federal agency in the history of this country. It started its tenure by refusing to prosecute the New Black Panther thugs who intimidated voters in Pennsylvania in the previous national election, although the case had been readied for court by the previous Department of Justice. Since then, Justice has failed to fully and effectively investigate anything that would reflect poorly on this administration: the Fast and Furious gun running fiasco, the IRS targeting of conservatives, the NSA eavesdropping scandal, etc. Yet on two occasions the department has interfered in what should have been local issues: the Trayvon Martin shooting and now the Michael Brown

  • Being bilingual has profound effect

    Published: Sun, Aug 24, 2014

    Reading “Language debate one of many issues dividing Americans” (Our Views, Aug. 18) led me to recall an article I read in the March 17, 2012, issue of the New York Times Sunday Review titled “Why Bilinguals are Smarter.” The article begins, “Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

  • It's time to outlaw texting behind the wheel

    Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    Whenever the subject of a law against texting while driving comes up, people I talk with seem to have two reactions: “What? It’s not against the law now?” and “Why not?” Oklahoma is one of six states with no law banning texting while driving. You would think passing a law making such risky behavior illegal would be a piece of cake. Studies have shown that texting behind the wheel is 23 times more dangerous than not texting. And it’s easy to see why: Your mind isn’t on driving, your eyes are off the road and your hands are off the wheel. If you’ve driven much in Oklahoma, you know cell phone use by motorists is at epidemic proportions. A recent AAA study showed that 47 percent of teens admitted to being distracted

  • Play matters for all kids

    Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    Play’s the thing A major barrier to healthy development among children — especially those impacted by natural disasters — is toxic stress. Feeling protected and secure by having a safe place of shelter, clean water, food and a caring environment are essential to helping children grow into healthy, successful adults. In times of natural disaster when all of these fundamental needs are lost, play helps bring a sense of normalcy and provides an emotional outlet for children. The healing power of play becomes even more critical in creating a safe and caring environment, helping them cope with emotional trauma. Following the 2013 tornadoes in Moore and Oklahoma City, it was important that children could play.

  • Lessening the pain of execution

    Published: Sat, Aug 23, 2014

    Recently I took our 15-year-old dog to the vet to “put her down.” This is never a pleasurable thing to do but it’s sometimes necessary. As I held her, the vet gave her a shot to anesthetize her, just as he would have done had she been in for a surgery. I continued to hold her until her body relaxed and she knew no pain. At that time, she got the shot that euthanized her. I continued petting her until there was no heartbeat. I have a question that pertains to executions of individuals who’ve been found guilty of a heinous crime by their peers in a court of law.

  • Black mass is unspeakably shameful

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    I’m 18 years old and a former student of Ballet Oklahoma. As a past performer on the Civic Center Music Hall stage, I find the black mass scheduled in the same building to be offensive. Every December for eight years, I spent countless hours rehearsing and performing with my closest friends. Some of my fondest memories were made there. It hurts deeply that a place that has allowed fine arts to flourish for generations will allow a vile mockery to take place on its stage. I’m outraged that the city will permit a group from New York to invade our home for the arts to perform X-rated acts intended to mock and blaspheme in the name of liberty. For my hometown to permit this is unspeakably shameful.

  • Please avoid planting the seeds of hatred

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    What happened on Sunday in St. Louis following a day in church was beyond belief. Something has gone haywire when we gather by the thousands in God’s house and within hours outside the church and down street the response is riotous behavior. This is an indictment against our quantity and quality of Christianity. Something is amiss when Christianity fails to produce peaceful behavior. God has incorporated great talents in our African-American brothers and sisters. Only the Lord knows what horrible fears were created by the biased and bigoted, white-robed, hooded men, bearing crosses and carrying torches in the darkness of night that invaded black communities with lynch mob mentality. Please understand the fear generated within the

  • Content is not worth seeing

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    Not worth seeing The flap over the black mass in the Civic Center reminded me of an incident where I was telling some friends that I didn’t want to see a certain movie because of its content. One man said, “Well, it’s just about real life.” To which I responded, “So is diarrhea. I just don’t want to see a movie about it.” John D.

  • Congressional candidates are overly vague

    Published: Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    As a registered Republican in the 5th Congressional District, I have concerns about the two candidates who are meeting in the Tuesday GOP runoff. One is against Obamacare but doesn’t specify an alternative; the other says we have a spending problem but fails to specify what would be cut and who it would affect. Perhaps they both could learn from our outgoing U.S. senator, Republican Tom Coburn, who almost always elicits a specific plan to correct a given problem.

  • Joe Mixon's reaction was a matter of reflex

    Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    I pride myself in acting like a gentleman, opening the door for all ladies, giving a lady my parking place, always letting them enter or exit before I do, etc. I haven’t seen the video of what actually happened, but I fear Joe Mixon’s reaction was more reflex than simply hitting some defenseless woman. Men grow up in a different world than women; we’re taught to react quickly if attacked. If the circumstances were only racial slurs, rudeness and dealing with a drunken person, Mixon would probably have walked away. He came to Norman to play football, not fight with girls. But physical contact calls for one to defend himself immediately — and physically.

  • Renewable energy is the future

    Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations to reduce coal-fired electrical generation. Burning coal hurts air quality and public health. Curt Roggow (Your Views, Aug. 10) advocates for clean energy windmills, which are much healthier and not that expensive anymore. Germany generates 25 percent of its electricity with renewable sources and should be at 40 percent by 2020. The U.S. is much lower than that. Renewable energy is the future. Let’s get into the game and compete. Randall Smith, Oklahoma City Germany generated 31 percent of its energy from renewable sources in the first half of 2014, a record for the country. However, coal power output in 2013 was the highest in more than 20 years in Germany.

  • David Boren: Academics comes first at OU

    Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    As another school year opens, it’s helpful to reflect upon a university’s goals and purposes. Universities were established to train and educate the next generation. At the University of Oklahoma, the academic mission comes first. OU aims to graduate young women and men who will be good citizens. This means not only educating students in academic disciplines, but also by passing on to them solid values for living. As classes begin, OU is proud to welcome the academically highest- ranked freshman class in state history at a public university. OU also is a leader in intercollegiate athletics. What’s the university’s goal in that area? It’s to win games and championships the right way — by playing by the rules. The goal is

  • Antagonistic voices don't represent country's values

    Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills on Aug. 1, one that amended the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and the other to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This is upsetting to me and to many other evangelical Christians in Oklahoma. Rollbacks to the TVPRA could put children at risk by making it easier to deport them to dangerous places from which they fled, without a thorough, fair hearing to see if they may qualify under the law to stay. Many of these children — they need careful individual hearings with legal representation to determine how many — have credible fears of violence. Ending DACA would render hundreds of thousands of hardworking young people ineligible to

  • Quit blaming people for having brain illness

    Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    The death of Robin Williams has focused the nation’s attention on depression. For an illness that affects nearly one in six Americans, depression continues to be one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized of all conditions. Perhaps it’s because most of us have had a “bad day” that such confusion continues to exist in a modern age. Clinical depression is distinctly different from the normal lows of life. It’s an illness that inhabits the brain and affects mood, judgment and reasoning. It causes otherwise successful people to have such hopeless despair that it makes logical sense (to them) to kill themselves. If a person died because a brain tumor so severely affected his judgment that he took his own life, we’d

  • Follow tribal model on corrections reform

    Published: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    Shame on Oklahoma for leading the nation in the rate of incarcerating women and being third for men’s incarceration. Shame on the governor and other politicians for not promoting the 2012 Justice Reinvestment Initiative to reduce Oklahoma’s prison population while keeping communities safe. Are any government officials in Oklahoma taking action to replace costly “tough on crime” policies that destroy lives with less costly “smart on crime” policies that restore lives? The answer is yes. The Muscogee, Chickasaw and Cherokee nations, and other members of the Oklahoma Tribal Re-entry Alliance, are providing a “smart on crime” voice and model for politicians to follow.

  • Obama administration continues to blunder

    Published: Sun, Aug 17, 2014

    The law, along with public opinion, differentiates between accidental and intentional deeds. Is the Obama administration just inept, or is there malice aforethought in making so many blunders? There is some of both. First, we elected as president a man with no experience in running an organization of any kind. He had no military experience, no foreign policy knowledge and no managerial skills. That accounts for the inept part such as the VA scandal. The intentional efforts are in the decisions that Barack Obama makes in fulfilling his promise to basically change America. The IRS scandal was an effort to thwart the vote of conservative groups. The most far reaching, and the most damaging to America, however, are the foreign policy