• CBD needs to be legalized in Oklahoma

    Published: Sat, Aug 30, 2014

    Cannabidiol (CBD) may help control seizures in some children. CBD is a nonintoxicating, refined whole plant product of a special marijuana species. It’s low in THC, the intoxicating component of marijuana, but CBD is illegal in Oklahoma. State law needs to be changed, as 16 states already have. The incidence of children with a current diagnosis of a seizure disorder is conservatively about 6.3 per 1,000 in the U.S., or about 5,900 in Oklahoma. With available medications, about half derive real benefit — with many suffering side effects, which can be severe.

  • Two state questions to save money

    Published: Sat, Aug 30, 2014

    Two state questions The state’s tax credit programs not only need scrutiny but mandatory oversight and justification. Not pie-in-the-sky stats but cold hard facts and figures to justify their existence. My solution to this and another monumental waste of money (517 state school superintendents) are two state questions. The governor and the legislators will never deal with these problems unless they’re forced by a vote of the people to do so. We need brighter minds than mine to write the state questions, but a general outline would be that the tax credits must have a financial benefit to the state, a maximum time limit (with an option for renewal if it's working) and an oversight group.

  • Don't tax Burger King at all!

    Published: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    The best government response to the tax “inversion” of Burger King with Canada’s Tim Hortons Inc., to reduce U.S. taxes, is the opposite of what you might think. Rather than club BK over the head with yet more tax avoidance rules, don’t tax BK at all! Wouldn’t this deplete Washington’s coffers? Actually not. Understand that no profitable business eats taxes. BK collects money and writes checks to Uncle Sam. But the tax on the burger is passed to the customer. Why change? Taxing BK taxes productivity. Taxing the customer taxes consumption — but the customer would have the same purchasing power. Tim Hortons would re-domicile to the U.S. Will it work? Research says yes.

  • Being a woman isn't enough

    Published: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    An accident of birth should neither qualify nor disqualify anyone from anything. When public office requires valuable experience, a record of achievement and high moral character, no amount of superficial symbolism can make up for the lack of leadership talent. We’ve learned, to our peril, that being black isn’t enough. Hillary Clinton will soon learn that being a woman isn’t enough. Mother Teresa was a woman, but so was Lizzy Borden.

  • Real voyage of discovery

    Published: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    Leonard Pitts’ point (Commentary, Aug. 23) about education in the classroom regarding race issues is a valid one. I took a graduate class at OU in my early 40s. We talked extensively about racial issues. In the class were blacks and whites, Asians from several countries and Hispanics. The professor talked about something she called “The Us vs. Them Mentality.” That means “Us” are good and “Them” are not. It was used by the English in regard to the Irish. It was used by whites in regard to blacks. It was used by Hitler in regard to the Jews. Once we see a group of “Them” as less valid, it’s easy to disregard them.

  • Non-hyphenated person ruled automatically guilty

    Published: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

    A non-hyphenated ethnic person shoots a hyphenated ethnic person, so the non-hyphenated person is automatically guilty. No need for a trial, facts or evidence. Am I the only who sees this taking place in Ferguson, Mo.

  • 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

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.