Top Stories


  • Whale of a deal

    Published: Mon, Sep 8, 2014

    “On wildlife protection, green energy gets a pass” (Our Views, Aug. 26) analyzed the double standard reaction by environmentalists to the thousands of birds killed every year in the U.S. by wind turbines and solar power towers. The editorial said, “By contrast, the oil industry has been taken to court over allegations that birds have been killed by exploration and production activity. … Energy production is a messy business, regardless of the energy source.” Birds aside, the oil industry, however, doesn’t get enough credit from environmentalists for having saved many whale species from extinction by producing a substitute for whale oil used in lamps.

  • Widen the debate on Oklahoma education

    Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    The U.S. Department of Education’s decision to revoke Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver will undoubtedly rekindle debates about Oklahoma’s public education system. If this debate continues to be primarily couched in the manner of education’s administration — whether standards of education should be federally or locally prescribed — as opposed to the content of that education itself, the debate will likely be barren. A debate that narrowly considers the manner of education’s administration presents richer and exigent moral questions that we should consider.

  • Marijuana prohibition costly to Oklahoma

    Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    Many Oklahomans must not know the cost of enforcing marijuana prohibition. If they did know, pot would be legal. According to the ACLU, the state of Oklahoma spends $3.6 billion per year in an attempt to stop something that grows naturally. If that same amount were applied to public education, we could afford to double the salary of every teacher in the state as well as raise per- pupil student spending closer to the national average of more than $11,000. These figures, combined with a recent government survey showing that 83 million Americans (nearly one-third of the population) over the age of 12 have tried marijuana (meaning it’s everywhere and doesn’t seem to be hurting anyone), make the argument for continued prohibition

  • Nothing fair about tax

    Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    In response to James M. Bennett (Your Views, Aug. 29): I agree that corporations shouldn’t be taxed. Their customers pay the tax embedded in the cost of products. So the consumers pay the tax and corporations are a pass-through. Fair Tax creator Neal Boortz says no one should ever have to pay a sales tax on the necessities of life. So the government would issue a prebate check to every family in America. Then families would have money to pay the 23 percent tax that’s embedded in the price of the necessities they purchase. Every head of household would get this prebate every single month. The prebate isn’t based on income. It’s based on family size. The prebate isn’t just for the poor. It’s paid to everyone, rich and

  • Murder of journalists should serve as wakeup call

    Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto reportedly said he hoped the raid on Pearl Harbor in 1941 had not awakened a “sleeping giant.” My prayer is that the horrific murder by ISIS of two American journalists will again awaken the sleeping giant, and these barbaric creatures will be cut down. Every American should ask Washington to awaken the sleeping giant and demand retribution and the destruction of this latest world threat. Ray Tompkins, Oklahoma City The quote attributed to Yamamoto was included in two movies about Pearl Harbor, but no evidence has been to found to verify that he actually used those words.

  • Parents to blame for Noble brouhaha

    Published: Sat, Sep 6, 2014

    I’ve read with interest news coverage of the brouhaha over the Noble school superintendent’s attempt to enforce a pre-existing dress code. Some of the specific accusations thrown against her are ludicrous. Perhaps there had been prior addresses of this issue or perhaps the degree of violation of this dress requirement came into play. Or maybe the issue was important enough that the person responsible for all the students had to take drastic measures. But overshadowing all of these rationales is the hard fact that the parents of students who were “offended” by the questionable methods should have been in the lead. They should have been the ones examining whether the attire of their child met with established rules prior to

  • Noble superintendent did what many parents are failing to do

    Published: Sat, Sep 6, 2014

    Regarding “Noble board votes to keep embattled schools chief” (News, Sept. 3): It’s rather sad but nonetheless commendable that Noble schools Superintendent Ronda “Mama Bear” Bass did what many parents are apparently failing to do — making sure their children are properly dressed before heading off to school. Such action, contrary to Jennifer Fourcade’s assessment, isn’t “discriminating upon our children on the basis of their gender” or “sexually harassing them.” To the contrary, it represents an attempt to teach young people the importance of respect for authority (obeying rules), modesty and decency. I wasn’t present to hear what Bass said to the students, nor was Fourcade.

  • Flagged for nonsense at OU football game

    Published: Sat, Sep 6, 2014

    Flagged for nonsense We were excited to make the trip from the Kansas City metro area to watch our beloved Sooners start another exciting football season on Aug. 30. My wife had a sealed bottle of water confiscated by the stadium gate workers. I thought this was odd, given the fact that the TSA thinks it safe to allow passengers to carry sealed water containers through security, as do many professional sports venues, such as the Kansas City Royals. With just a few minutes left in the first quarter, my wife and I left our seats for the concession area in order to get bottled water for our group. There was already a long line formed at a stand that sold only water and frozen lemonade.

  • Writer twists the facts about unions

    Published: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    Mark Mix, writing in “It’s ‘Labor’ Day, not ‘Union’ Day" (Point of View, Aug. 31) has his facts twisted. Labor Day was celebrated by unions long before it became an official holiday. Mix speaks of workers fighting for right-to-work laws, though the people supporting them, both financially and with their utterances, are not the working people. Workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., rejected the UAW, but Mix didn’t mention that they’re planning to form their own, independent union there. He speaks of workers rejecting “union bosses.” The workers elect their leadership and they re-elect or un-elect them periodically. They expect this leadership to serve them, and to lead in order to do so. Mix speaks of millions of

  • Unions are still relevant

    Published: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    In “It’s ‘Labor’ Day, not ‘Union’ Day” (Point of View, Aug 31), Mark Mix basically stated that unions are bad for workers. He claims that 93 percent of private-sector workers have chosen not to belong to a union. But that figure simply reflects the percentage of nonunion workers, not those who have been offered one and turned it down. Recent uprisings by fast-food workers and others struggling to get by clearly show a need for something better. Unions exist because a majority of workers want one in their workplace. They can be decertified at any time, making right-to-work laws meaningless when a majority doesn’t want a union. In fact, the best proof of union benefits is shown by workers who stay in an organized

  • Gov. Fallin and Legislature leave Oklahoma schools shorthanded

    Published: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    Regarding “Oklahoma loses education waiver” (News, Aug. 29): Gov. Mary Fallin says that because Oklahomans overwhelmingly oppose Common Core, the president and “Washington bureaucrats” are punishing Oklahoma and are dictating “how Oklahoma should spend education dollars.” No! First, while supported by many Oklahomans (perhaps a majority), Common Core was repealed by foolish legislators, once again caught up in the ultra-conservative madness that is their compass. Second, the loss of the waiver is not “punishment.” It’s Washington’s obligation to ensure that $30 million in federal money isn’t wasted by Oklahoma schools that now fail to meet the requirements for teaching our kids. Fallin is trying to save

  • Shades of Vonnegut short story

    Published: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    In “U.S. workers need to take a little time off” (Point of View, Aug. 31), Daniel S. Hamermesh made his case that Americans work too hard compared with European countries. Hamermesh sounded familiar because a few years ago he wrote a book (“Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful”) making the case that it’s unfair that some people are more attractive than others and perhaps the government should subsidize ugly people. Oh my gosh! This has shades of Kurt Vonnegut's 1961 short story “Harrison Bergeron” in which no one is allowed to be smarter, prettier, tougher or in any way superior to anyone else, by law! Hamermesh observes that high-income folks tend to work longer hours.

  • Our embarrassing state of education

    Published: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    Oklahoma’s state government has done a great disservice to the education system by repealing Common Core. Politicians are now complaining because the federal government is putting restrictions on how federal education funds are spent. Why is this a big surprise? Is it a bad thing that we have to spend a larger percentage of these funds for tutors and transportation to better schools? Oklahoma spends unknown millions on corporate incentives to create new jobs. Why would anyone want to move to Oklahoma when we’re in the lowest five in the nation in per-pupil spending? We’re more willing to give away money to the corporate world than we are to improve the embarrassing state of education.

  • We should learn from Asian-Americans

    Published: Tue, Sep 2, 2014

    At the end of the Vietnam War, a huge number of Asian immigrants came to this country. They came here needing to learn to speak, read and write a new language. They overcame this obstacle and are now outperforming every other race. They have the highest high school graduation rate (88 percent) and the highest average family income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average family income of Asians is $68,636, followed by non-Hispanic whites ($57,009), Hispanics ($39,005) and blacks ($33,321). How did they achieve these results? The answer must be that they have a strong work ethic and place great importance on education. Congratulations to Asian-Americans for their achievements.

  • Girl Scouting makes a lasting impression

    Published: Tue, Sep 2, 2014

    Oklahoma needs all girls to reach their full potential. Lessons learned in Girl Scouting help girls contribute more to their communities and the state’s workforce. Scouting leaders want to reach more girls than ever before. To do that, we need more volunteers. According to the Oklahoma Women’s Foundation, Oklahoma is the second overall worst state for women. Consider the following: Approximately one in six Oklahoma women is a victim of domestic violence. Women in Oklahoma earn only 75 cents for every dollar men earn. Nearly 20 percent of Oklahoma girls never graduate from high school.

  • Drop the charges against Joe Mixon

    Published: Tue, Sep 2, 2014

    Regarding the charges filed against Joe Mixon, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said, “…now we don’t have to talk about who the initial aggressor was. Was there gross injury? And there was. And was that against public morals? And I believe that any time you punch a girl with that much force, even when she had hit you first, that it would be against public morals.” Amelia Molitor threw the first blow in an altercation with Mixon, but Mashburn gives her a free pass because she’s “a girl.” Equal rights come with equal responsibilities. If a woman (not “a girl”) starts a fight, she should face the consequences. Grossly injured? Molitor had broken facial bones, but she should have expected that, when

  • Our priorities are messed up

    Published: Tue, Sep 2, 2014

    Why do people get so upset about a person who is executed for a crime and suffers during the execution? Why don't they get more upset when an innocent baby is aborted and what it feels? Our priorities are messed up. Heaven help this nation.

  • Invoking the 13th Amendment

    Published: Sun, Aug 31, 2014

    Barack Obama speaks reverently of Islam’s Quran, calling it “holy,” but he ignores the rights of Christian business owners in his ongoing contempt for religious liberties. As state bans on gay marriage fall like autumn leaves, activists use that as propaganda, claiming that America's attitude on gay marriage is changing. It isn’t. In states where same-gender unions have been legalized, Christian business owners have been bullied for refusing to provide goods and services for gay weddings. Some business owners have had death threats and have been coerced with threats of lawsuits, which for a small business could be devastating. Christian florists, cake bakers and photographers have refused to participate in gay weddings.

  • 'Unspeakable horrors' no longer shielded

    Published: Sun, Aug 31, 2014

    U.S. journalist James Foley’s public execution shows there are no longer “unspeakable horrors” from which we can attempt to shield our eyes or in some other way hide. The horrors today are presented to us on all our favorite forms of media: TV news, newspaper front pages, smartphones, iPads, etc. We no longer have to actually walk down to the castle green to join the revelers gathered around the scaffold or executioner’s block as in “Merry Olde” (medieval) England, where executions were actually designed to be a public spectacle. “We” are much more civilized now, or we maybe thought we were. It seems several centuries of time and truly amazing technology have not in fact made us better.

  • OU's suspension rather radical

    Published: Sun, Aug 31, 2014

    The University of Oklahoma football program has suspended Joe Mixon for a year. Is it not rather radical to suspend someone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime or pleaded guilty to a wrongdoing? As I understand it, Mixon is accused of hitting someone who hit him first. It makes no difference whether he hit a woman or a man. He was assaulted then he reacted from the blow he got. He was assaulted by a person who was drinking and maybe not in control of her senses. But to react to being struck by another is certainly permissible, one would think. The only issue I see here is that he should have stayed around and waited until the police arrived and talked with them about the confrontation.