The Edmond Sun


February 11, 2013

You can learn a lot from a fifth-grader

EDMOND — My son, Tyler, attends Chisholm Elementary School in Edmond. This week, the Chisholm fifth-graders present their “living history museum,” where each student has been assigned a historical figure to study. Tyler is studying Nathanael Greene, and our family has been spending evenings together learning more about this incredibly interesting man.

Aside from being called a trusted friend of Gen. George Washington (a feat unto itself), Greene led a fascinating life as an early American hero. A true life-long learner, Greene was known for saving money to add to his library, and he was particularly interested in military strategy. Knowing that war with Great Britain would come soon enough, he organized a militia while in his early 30s. His love of books served him well as his pronounced limp caused some in the militia to challenge his participation. However, no one could deny his keen military mind, and he remained very involved.

I was struck by Greene’s unconquerable spirit. Unwilling to be held back by physical limitations but willing to fight for good regardless of the consequences, he was a dedicated patriot. As I beamed with pride, Tyler then pointed out a statement Greene made after experiencing setbacks during the Revolutionary War: “We fight, get beat, rise and fight again.” Tyler said it summed up Greene’s life and that it was a motto by which he wanted to live also.

The Marquis de LaFayette would later say that in Greene’s very name “are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader....” Undoubtedly, that sort of spirit was a necessity in those times, and thankfully that strength of character that was common in our nation’s early leaders. That same spirit continues to show up in America when it is needed the most, and now is one of those times when we desperately need it.

For many of us, life is pretty good, but some of our friends and neighbors are struggling. Some need better-paying jobs, and some would just be happy with any job. Others are discouraged by schools that are not meeting their needs, and still others are trying to run a business in a climate that sometimes seems to produce more failure than flourishing. So, how can we actually help them without simply perpetuating the problems or irresponsibly spending money we don’t have?

In Oklahoma, the answer is simple:

• Replace our costly, broken, adversarial workers compensation system with an administrative system that will justly compensate workers for their injuries while allowing employers to save money, expand their businesses and better provide for employees.

• Reform our tax code by lowering the rates, and let citizens keep more of their hard-earned money, even though it means we must cut spending.

• Reform our education system so we can stop limiting children and forcing them to attend certain schools, regardless of that school’s performance or quality.

These reforms are not easy. The fight to achieve them may even knock us down. But we are Oklahomans, and we know — just as Nathanael Greene knew — how to rise and fight again. Besides, our friends and neighbors, our children and our state are worth fighting for.

BRIAN BUSH, an Edmond resident, is executive vice president of Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and a member of The Edmond Sun’s Community Editorial Board.

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  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • 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


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

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
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