Top Stories


  • It still happens

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Crystal Mapes (Your Views, July 16) questioned Don Walkup’s view (Your Views, July 11) that everyone should buy his or her own contraceptives. I agree. Mapes seems to believe that the government providing everyone with all type of contraception or possibly sterilization will somehow prevent high-risk pregnancies and premature infant births. These issues can occur no matter who does or does not provide prevention and whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned.

  • Still awaiting justice for other airliners shot down

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    The tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 brings to mind similar previous incidents of passenger airliners shot down. The Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, effectively marked the end of that iconic airline; it folded three years later. The death toll was 270 (including those on the ground when the plane went down), with agents of Muammar Kaddafi’s Libyan government implicated in the crime. Kaddafi later paid compensation to the families of the victims. Let’s not forget the Oct. 6, 1976, downing of Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455 shortly after it took off from Barbados. Seventy-eight passengers and crew lost their lives, including the Cuban fencing team. Both Venezuela and Cuba have requested

  • Discrimination for other immigrants?

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Asians, Africans and Indians must go through lots of hoops and bureaucratic paperwork, and years on a waiting list, to get permission to live in the U.S.

  • Our leaders need to show same bravery as Founders

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    An atheist was allowed to open a town council meeting in Greece, N.Y., on July 15. This would be humorous if not so serious. The atheist concluded his remarks by urging the town board “to honor the enlightened wisdom and the profound courage of those 56 brave men,” referring (I assume) to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If we were to actually do that, to honor the Founders’ “enlightened wisdom,” it would lead one to believe a Christian prayer would be in order. An honest reading of nonrevisionist history, and knowledge of the lives and writings of “those 56 brave men,” could lead you to no other conclusion. Local, state and national leaders do this country a great and dangerous disservice by backing so

  • A country of freedom and justice

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    The influx of minors from Central America challenges us to control our borders while upholding basic ideals. We should consider the following: A 2008 anti-trafficking law states that minors can’t be turned away at the border without a hearing to determine if they’re in need of aid. This law must remain intact. Minors should have legal representation during trials. The government isn’t currently required to provide lawyers to illegals but it is required to provide a fair trial. Many children go unrepresented. Such hearings can’t be fair when federal lawyers are pitted against children who may not speak English and who may be unaware of how to request representation. Raising the number of refugee visas is

  • A win-win suggestion on immigration reform

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    According to the Obama administration, an estimated 60,000 unaccompanied alien children will illegally cross the southern U.S. border this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011. To put this figure in perspective, OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater has a seating capacity of 60,218. Perhaps the best solution to this crisis would be for the U.S. to increase foreign aid, assistance and trade in the three main Central American countries from which these minors came, but only on the condition of them being returned. This would be a win-win all around. The children will be seen as heroes in their homeland for inducing concessions from the U.S., which will help alleviate the turmoil in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

  • Something's wrong with Oklahoma education

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Common education in this state has a price tag of $12,206 per child, per year, according to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. At this cost to taxpayers, parents should have school choice, private or public. Children with disabilities should be in schools that specialize in working with children in this category. Oklahoma ranks 42nd in fourth-grade math and 45th in eighth-grade math. We rank 40th in fourth-grade reading, 43rd in eighth-grade reading and 30th in high school graduation. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that about a fourth of high school graduates can’t pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which measures math and reading. These graduates don’t qualify to join the military in any capacity.

  • Currie Ballard was the epitome of dedication

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Oklahoma and the inmates in the prison system have lost a champion, someone who listened, with his mind, his judgment and his heart, to their cases, their words. He would listen and vote with a stern demeanor, but there were times when an inmate's testimony was so powerful and moving that he wept. I was very moved by this man's heart. I have a loved one incarcerated on a 40-year sentence for a nonviolent charge, so I sit in. Currie Ballard always took a moment to say hello; when he learned that I'm attending early, just to learn and be ready, he chuckled and commended me on my dedication. This man epitomized dedication. He grew up impoverished; his parents did time in prison.

  • Regarding immigration, it's time to take the gloves off

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    The Latin American countries responsible for and which are turning a blind eye to the child immigration problem need to be sent a strong message. It’s time to take the gloves off. Let’s send those countries our immigration bill. Let’s withdraw U.S. foreign aid and shut down U.S. tourist travel to their vacation destinations. These countries don’t care about their children's perilous journey to our border. They don’t care about American taxpayers footing the bill. I do care. Latin America is no longer on my “places to visit” list.

  • Parents most responsible for instilling religious beliefs in their children

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Lisa Sheppard (Your Views, July 6) wrote that “the same government that refuses to allow my child to pray in school sees no contradiction in telling me I should be more Christian about millions of illegal immigrants.” I want to clarify that all American public school students have the right to pray in school. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling of 1962 concerning school prayer (Engle vs. Vitale) only prohibited prayer led or sanctioned by the school, leaving the responsibility of religious guidance to parents. Americans follow many religions; even among Christians there are wide differences. Religion promoted in school may not be compatible with what a parent wants their child to learn.

  • Americans seem blind to growing dangers

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Only some people saw the foolhardiness, or worse, when Barack Obama ordered only a fraction of the military force deemed necessary to successfully conclude hostilities in Afghanistan. Members of the “Axis of Terror” (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) are now in recovery, growing stronger by the day. Americans seem blind to the growing dangers in the formation of a terrorist Muslim caliphate with a clearly stated objective of our very destruction. The U.S. border has been opened to a cynical exploitation of children, to be used as pawns in political extortion. Little is said about the terrorists and criminals among these innocents. The lessons of Neville Chamberlain and his infamous attempts at making peace with Adolf Hitler seem to

  • Can't we as a nation have compassion?

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Regarding the children crossing our borders to escape violence, rape and unbelievable persecutions endured in their homelands: America has always offered a haven for people enduring these horrors. In my lifetime we’ve had natives of Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc., as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia — and on and on — who found respite within our borders. These parents have sent their children to us for a chance at a better life. These children have faced hardships in their home country and on the dangerous journey to get here.

  • Is there a pharmaceuticals double standard?

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seized nearly 20,000 packages of pharmaceuticals from foreign sources. This was done, the FDA said, because some countries have less stringent drug manufacturing regulations than the U.S. On July 11, I stopped by two stores to buy a prescription med called Omeprazole. The stores carried two types. One type read, “Made in India.” The other said, “Made in Israel.” Could it be that U.S. retailers are allowed to buy drugs cheaply overseas and then sell them to us but we’re no longer allowed to buy them directly from overseas? Robert Reeder, Binger The FDA said the seized packages contained unapproved or suspected fake drugs from a number of countries.

  • Quarantine of immigrant children at Fort Sill is good idea

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Quarantine urged State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, believes the illegal immigrant children should be quarantined at Fort Sill. A physician himself, Ritze made the point that the countries the children come from have diseases not commonly seen in the U.S., such as leprosy, scabies and TB. This could cause a medical nightmare for U.S. citizens, especially the young and old. Think about people who have arthritis and other autoimmune diseases or are being treated for cancer. Federal officials have said the children were vaccinated before they arrived in Fort Sill. Also, the Oklahoma Department of Health says any medical treatment of these children is a federal issue, not a state issue.

  • Contraception arguments are about controlling sexual behavior

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Many people conflate health insurance coverage of contraceptives with “sex without consequences” and say that they “don’t want to pay for you having sex.” Some claim that contraception isn’t a health issue and shouldn’t even be considered for health insurance coverage. These arguments are really about controlling the sexual behavior of women. Let’s consider female contraceptives through a health care lens. Unintended pregnancy increases risk of preterm or low birth weight babies. Related health and developmental problems result in higher costs for health care, education and social services, sometimes for a lifetime. Contraceptive use allows couples to space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes.

  • Contributing to the stress of children

    Published: Fri, Jul 18, 2014

    Many childhood experts agree that for the past 20 years this nation has had a growing but silent epidemic of stress, anxiety, emotional disorders and self-destructive behavior among young children. Many are misdiagnosed as ADHD. Why? These experts agree that: Children are expected to learn more earlier. Schools are requiring academic skills that are not developmentally appropriate. Young students are required to sit still longer in class with fewer recess breaks. This is being done by people who have the goal of producing smarter children, higher test scores and a college- and career-ready citizenry. Instead they’re contributing to the creation of stress in children.

  • Finding kindred spirits in Oklahoma City

    Published: Fri, Jul 18, 2014

    As an employee of an Oklahoma City-based oil and gas company, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to your city often. There I have found many dear friends and kindred spirits. Patriotism is most certainly in vogue in your area. I have stood at the gate waiting to board a flight back to West Virginia and joined in the applause when the gate agent announced over the PA system that we had the honor of flying with members of our military. One such time, our service personnel were invited to board before the premium passengers. It was easy to pick out the veterans in the crowd because they stood a little taller as our soldiers passed by. Some of the older vets removed their caps in respect, a gesture I’ve seen my own father make

  • GiveSmartOKC.org an invaluable resource for those interested in charitable giving

    Published: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    Thank you for “With charitable giving, a little homework can come in handy” (Our Views, July 7). At the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, we couldn’t agree more with the message of responsible charitable giving. That’s why two years ago we partnered with GuideStar to create GiveSmartOKC.org. Through this free website, anyone can review details about more than 240 charitable organizations that provide direct services in central Oklahoma. At GiveSmartOKC.org, you’ll find organizations ranging from the largest nonprofits to all-volunteer organizations and just about everything in between. GiveSmartOKC.

  • All Oklahomans need access to quality, affordable health care

    Published: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    Regarding “Insure Oklahoma is granted extension” (News, July 1): We’re encouraged by Gov. Mary Fallin’s persistent and helpful work in securing another year for the valuable Insure Oklahoma program. Our hope continues to be that this renewal paves the way for implementation of a broader-based program that will help all Oklahomans have access to quality, affordable health care. The VOICE Health Care Action Team has heard stories from hundreds of families in member institutions. We’ve learned that many are hard-working but unable to access or afford health insurance. Others have fallen through the cracks when they lost jobs because of accident or illness, and then lost all insurance coverage as well.

  • Contraception is most definitely a health issue

    Published: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    In response to Don Walkup (Your Views, July 11): Contraception most certainly is a health issue! Why do you think insurance companies started providing benefits for contraception anyway? Simple. Insurance carriers finally did the math. It’s a lot less costly to provide payment for contraceptive/sterilization services than for a high-risk pregnancy and possibly premature infant. Premature babies can be born with multiple health problems and spend weeks or months in the hospital. The medical bills can literally be in the millions and it doesn’t necessarily stop there. Health care expenses can be high throughout the child’s entire life. Everyone has a share in these expenses, whether it’s through group health insurance