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Roundup of Oklahoma editorials

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 12, 2013 at 8:01 am •  Published: March 12, 2013

When Prater considered the case of pharmacist and robbery victim Jerome Ersland, he looked at the evidence and determined that Ersland crossed a line in executing a robber whom Ersland had already felled. A jury agreed with that evidence; Ersland was convicted of murder because Prater weighed the matter and made the hard but correct call.

Now Prater may be crossing a line of his own in pressing for charges against board members who've made meaningful, substantive attempts to correct deficiencies. What is gained from prosecuting the men and women who perform a difficult task, month after month, essentially as volunteers? Does prosecution send a message that hasn't already been sent?

More importantly, consider the chill this would create when openings on this board (and others) come about: Board members acting in good faith to fix what's broken are then charged with a crime?

When Prater discovered violations by board members, the board moved quickly to change its procedures. Prater demanded the resignation of the five members as a condition for not filing criminal charges. They refused.

The standoff has reached a critical juncture. Short of filing criminal charges, we implore Prater to take a hard, objective look at the ramifications of his decision. Have the board's remediation efforts not been sincere, productive and forward-looking?

What does it profit the state for members of this board to take a perp walk?


Muskogee Phoenix, March 10, 2013

TSA wrong to roll back safety steps

Dropping our guard again can't become the legacy of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Transportation Security Administration's decision to let passengers carry pocketknives on flights unnecessarily rolls back protections designed to keep 9/11 from happening again.

Terrorists used simple box cutters to take over planes and crash them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

Now the TSA will allow smaller pocketknives — blades less than 2.36 inches long and less than half an inch wide — on planes.

Small blades can be sharpened into deadly weapons.

At least that was the fear when pocketknives were banned in the first place.

Those blades are just as deadly now as they were in 2001.

The TSA policy aligns the United States with international standards and allows the TSA to concentrate on more serious safety threats, the agency said.

The TSA may believe those knives and small bottles of shampoo or lotion are harmless. But terrorists have hidden explosives in tennis shoes.

Criminals and terrorists count on people letting down their guard because they don't like the inconvenience of being diligent.

Many of the things that are banned for carry-on are acceptable to be in luggage kept in the plane's cargo hold.

Anyone who is surprised by having a pocketknife seized has not been paying attention for the last 12 years.

You don't stop brushing your teeth because your dentist says you don't have cavities.

Keeping potential weapons off planes is not a violation of passengers' rights.

Keeping terrorists off planes is an affirmation of passengers' rights.