• Driverless cars: Lawmakers shouldn't stymie innovation

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    THANKS to technological advancements, the idea of a fully automated “driverless” car is moving closer to reality. The greatest threat to such progress may no longer be logistical challenges, but the potential for burdensome regulation. In “Removing Roadblocks to Intelligent Vehicles and Driverless Cars,” a working paper issued by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, authors Adam Thierer and Ryan Hagemann argue that state policies should facilitate “permissionless innovation” as much as possible. They say that “generally speaking, patience and humility are the wise policy virtues when considering what to do about highly disruptive technologies.

  • Oklahoma voter turnout trends are cause for concern

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    More active citizenship needed

  • ScissorTales: Environmental double standard

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    THE recent “People’s Climate March” in New York City was supposed to galvanize citizens to support draconian measures to combat alleged man-made climate change. But its greater impact may have been to remind people that green activists don’t always practice what they preach. A follow-up story in The New York Post noted the marchers left trash strewn along the parade route. Much of that trash, we must note, was produced using energy that those same activists claim is warming the earth and threatening our future. At the same time, some of the highest-profile participants in the march — movie stars and politicians — claim we’re destroying the planet but notably refuse to give up their private jets, multiple cars and

  • As promised, Obama administration sets its sights on 'inversions'

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    AS promised, the Obama administration has begun the work of making it more difficult for U.S. companies to move their headquarters to countries with lower — that is, more competitive — tax rates. Curing the symptom, it appears, is easier than fixing the illness. What’s ailing is the U.S. tax code. This country’s 35 percent corporate tax rate is highly uncompetitive. So companies based here have taken to moving their legal headquarters to locales with less punitive tax rates. For this they’ve been scolded by The Great Divider, Barack Obama, who accuses them of taking advantage of an “unpatriotic tax loophole.

  • “The Grapes of Wrath”: A classic story of Okie grit and termination

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    A story that’s endured a love-hate relationship with Oklahoma for three quarters of a century is being staged in this state, with songs by a man with whom Oklahomans also have had a love-hate relationship. Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre is presenting “The Grapes of Wrath” at Oklahoma City University’s Burg Theatre. Rather than the musical score used in previous productions, CityRep is incorporating songs by Woody Guthrie. Seventy-five years ago, John Steinbeck’s novel put Okies on a map displaying the route to California and a better life. The Joad family soon lept from the pages of a book onto the silver screen. Cast as a poor state that barely kept its families fed, Oklahoma wasn’t just a setting but a

  • In war on terror, no swift end is possible

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 25, 2014

    DURING the Bush administration, liberals bristled at the idea that the United States was engaged in a long-term global war on terror. Recent events are proving that former President George W. Bush was right and his critics were wrong. From the attacks of 9/11 until the end of his presidency, Bush warned Americans this was a fight comparable to the Cold War that would ebb and flow for decades. In his 2007 State of the Union speech, Bush noted, “The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others.” That was a view strongly rejected by President Barack Obama.

  • Some day, better living through battery chemistry

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 25, 2014

    AMONG other products introduced by Apple in 2012 were the first-generation iPad Mini, the third-generation iPad and the seventh-generation iPod Nano. Were it not for an item that had its roots in many generations before, none of these products would have worked. We refer to the lithium ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery, without which an iPad would need to be plugged into a wall outlet. Battery technology has made giant leaps just in the past few years, but the Li-ion battery got a jump start in 1912, when G.N. Lewis began working on the concept of harnessing lithium for portable power. Not until the 1970s did a non-rechargeable Li-ion hit the market. Not until the 1980s did a rechargeable version appear.

  • Oklahomans must move into 21st century in dealing with mental illness

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    HOW powerful is the stigma associated with mental illness? Consider a story told last week by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has suffered with addiction issues and bipolar disorder, was a Democratic congressman from Rhode Island when he authored a bill to make group insurance firms offer the same benefits for mental health and addiction treatment as they do for physical health treatment. After he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2006, Kennedy said, several colleagues came to talk to him about their own experiences with mental illness or addiction. Yet those same congressmen voted against his bill. They told him, “I can’t vote that way because I’m from the Midwest … My constituents say

  • Media play important role in witnessing executions

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    Attorney general’s opinion disappointing

  • What might Scottish vote mean for other separatist movements?

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 23, 2014

    SCOTLAND: The bravo! The United Kingdom as we know it will stay intact. Scottish voters nixed a proposal to separate the country from England and other parts of the realm. What this will do to other ongoing separatist movements is unclear. Also unclear is how long it could be until the next attempt to erect a second Hadrian’s Wall between England and Scotland. The Scots and the English have a long history of animosity, but that’s mostly in the past. Perhaps some lingering ill will among Scots swelled the yes vote in the Thursday election. Yet it wasn’t nearly enough to ink a divorce decree. In the hours leading up to the vote, which brought an astounding 84 percent turnout, it seemed the separatist vote would win

  • School struggles obvious in A-F, and many other evaluations

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 22, 2014

    THE state has released the latest A-F report cards for 1,795 school sites in Oklahoma. Just over 70 percent received a C or better; more than a third of the schools improved their scores since last year. Yet many school administrators still echoed the partisan diatribe issued by Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Dorman, who called the grades “meaningless and a completely inaccurate measure of Oklahoma's schools and educators.” Here’s the problem for critics of A-F school grading: Numerous independent measurements also suggest Oklahoma is failing many students.

  • Death penalty treated seriously in Oklahoma interim study

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 22, 2014

    OKLAHOMA was a trailblazer in the use of one form of execution — lethal injection. Could it play that role again with the use of nitrogen? A legislative study requested by Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, reviewed the potential merits of using nitrogen to execute death row inmates in Oklahoma. To state lawmakers’ credit, this study was conducted with appropriate seriousness. There was reason to worry it might instead turn into a forum for grandstanding, partly because of Christian’s own past comments and actions. In April, Christian called for the impeachment of Oklahoma Supreme Court justices who supported a temporary stay of execution for Clayton Derrell Lockett.

  • Both sides deserve criticism in Oklahoma-Islam squabble

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 21, 2014

    STATE Rep. John Bennett has painted Islam with a broad brush laced with a pigment of xenophobia. In response, an Islamic advocacy group has painted Republicans with a broad brush dipped in acidic overreaction. Bennett, R-Sallisaw, started this fight. He deserves the most scorn. But the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is also due criticism. The legislator opened this wormy can of paint by likening Islam to a cancer, tainting the debate about America’s response to an Islamic terrorist group’s march through the Mideast. Bennett’s remarks matched the swatch that CAIR keeps at the ready in defense of Islam. While it’s true that many Americans are wary of Muslims just now, Bennett’s sentiments aren’t a

  • 'Love your enemies' put to test with satanic 'black mass'

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 21, 2014

    ‘Black mass’ scheduled Sunday night in OKC

  • ScissorTales: Oil-gas ties not see on states' wealthiest resident list

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Sep 20, 2014

    WITH all the grumbling through the years about the energy industry and its wealth, one would think that the richest person in each of the 50 states is directly involved with oil and gas. Think again. The wealthiest person in only one state derives his wealth directly from oil and gas. That state is Oklahoma and that person is Harold Hamm. Wealth is accruing in other states to men and women involved with technology and retail, not oil and gas. In three states (Arkansas, Texas and Wyoming) the wealthiest person has the last name of Walton. In Washington state, the richest person is also the richest person in the country. His name is Bill Gates and his wealth comes from computing and software, not petroleum. To the south

  • Misdeeds by some troopers leave Oklahoma Highway Patrol with a public relations challenge

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    WHEN a public servant is charged with a crime or even accused of wrongdoing, it erodes the public’s trust, bit by bit. That’s especially true when the men and women who are tasked with enforcing laws break them instead. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a serious public relations mess on its hands as a result of some of its own getting out of line. The announcement Monday that trooper Eric Roberts had been arrested on sexual assault complaints was only the latest example of the OHP making news for the wrong reasons. “This particular matter sickens us as an agency,” said Col. Ricky Adams, the OHP’s chief. It’s easy to see why. Roberts is alleged to have raped a woman during a traffic stop in July. A second woman

  • Congress doesn't need to become involved in NFL troubles

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    New York senator showing an interest

  • Oklahoma soaring as a result of energy boom that has legs

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    THOUSANDS of Oklahomans weren’t yet born the last time this state was in an energy bust. What’s been booming since then isn’t the baby population. It’s oil and gas production and its related economic effects. Throughout the history of petroleum exploration and production, the industry has exemplified the boom-or-bust cycle. Busts inevitably followed booms, as happened in the early 1980s. That was the era of high-flying independent energy companies. It all came tumbling down, most notably on July 5, 1982, when a 22-year-old shopping center bank was declared insolvent. The Penn Square Bank failure took other, larger institutions with it. Months of economic doldrums followed.

  • Tulsa case underscores importance of Innocence Project efforts

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    IN an op-ed published Saturday in The Oklahoman, the executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project noted that since 1989 there have been 27 cases in Oklahoma where a person sent to prison was later exonerated. “So we know that Oklahoma’s criminal justice system has made some mistakes,” Lawrence Hellman wrote. “Not a lot of mistakes, but some serious ones.” Michelle Murphy is a case in point. Murphy, 17, was convicted in 1995 of killing her infant son. The 15-month-old boy was stabbed several times on Sept. 12, 1994. Murphy discovered the body in her kitchen. According to the national Innocence Project in New York, which assisted in her case, she immediately went to a neighbor and called police.

  • Tanning tax is an illustration of government folly

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    It’s included under Obamacare