The Edmond Sun


June 7, 2013

HEY HINK: Trading good name for promotion is pitiful

EDMOND — Before we get started, let me say a word about anger management. For years, I was a frequent participant in unprotected road rage between consenting adults. Until my wife Mary pointed out an important common denominator. I assumed the hungrier I got, the ruder the motoring public became. Now, I realize when I get hungry, my “rudeness tolerance index” plummets and I get surly. Now I eat a snack to guard against some (not all) of these “road rage triggers.”

As a corollary, I try to eat something before I watch or read the news. This doesn’t stop me from going “ballistic” sometimes, but I’m convinced a protein bar exerts some level of moderating influence.

This week, researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, San Francisco released a study indicating that research subjects provoked to anger exhibited a smaller rise in heart rate if they simply talked about their feelings. Subjects who became angry and didn’t talk about it demonstrated elevated heart rates and presumably, shorter emotional fuses. According to Karim Kassam, Ph.D, one of the principal researchers from Mellon University, “Essentially, we’re asking people how they’re feeling and finding that doing so has a sizable impact on their cardiovascular response.”

I mention all this anger stuff because I want you to know I’ve had a snack — two in fact — just to be on the safe side. I spent a few minutes meditating and I completely ventilated my feelings before I sat down to write this column.

Now let’s talk about Susan Rice’s promotion to National Security Advisor. The background is well-known. On Sept. 11, 2012, our diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was overrun in a preplanned attack by Islamic militants affiliated with Al Qaeda. Our ambassador and three other brave Americans died in the attack.

Rice was chosen to be the voice of the U.S. government charged with explaining the situation to the American people. She appeared on five Sunday news programs telling her fellow Americans that the Benghazi tragedy was the result of a demonstration at the compound that got out of hand. She suggested the triggering event was the release of a video regarded by some Islamists as unbearably offensive. The storyline Rice articulated, again and again, was a gross distortion known at the highest levels of the American government to be absolutely bogus.

Giving Rice the benefit of the doubt, here’s what we conclude: She took an oath — like all government employees — to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States. She did not take a secret oath to pledge her unyielding loyalty to a political party nor to a specific individual. The oath she took committed her fidelity to the United States. Let’s assume she took that oath to heart. Let’s assume she applied her strength, her intellect and her abilities to fulfilling her duties to the American people.

Let’s assume when she went before the cameras that Sunday morning she wasn’t harboring a secret intent to deceive. Let’s assume she told the truth to the best of her abilities. Let’s assume she believed the American people, relying on her for the facts, were receiving the best information their government had to offer at the time. Let’s assume she was duped. She didn’t know she was being used as a tool of deception. She didn’t realize that someone in the administration was perfectly content to allow her to sacrifice her precious reputation in the service of some deceitful agenda. Let’s assume Rice, right along with the rest of us, was “had.”

If she was a guiltless pawn what would a principled person do when she learns the truth? Would she simply shrug her shoulders and stand by with outstretched hand waiting for the “quid pro quo?” Once she realizes she’s been the agent of deception and distortion shouldn’t she do something to clear the record? If Rice believes along with millions of her fellow Americans, that, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,” what steps should she take now that her reputation has been trashed through no fault of her own?

Even if Rice was totally innocent in the first instance, her behavior now is just sad. She appears to be willing to trade her precious reputation for a high profile promotion. This career boost has the unsavory appearance of base compensation for the good name she lost that Sunday. I feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for us all. I guess, all things considered, that’s better than being furious. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.


MIKE HINKLE is an Edmond resident and retired attorney.

Text Only
  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results