The Edmond Sun


December 2, 2013

HEY HINK: Nuclear threats still rear their ugly heads

EDMOND — This Thanksgiving, I experienced something I never dealt with before. I wanted desperately to be thankful for something and just couldn’t find a way to do it and, at the same time, be intellectually honest. Let me explain.

This column doesn’t have space enough to catalog the reasons I have to be grateful. I can’t even list all the categories. Countless events occurring before I was born paved the way for blessings I enjoy today. The wisdom of great political thinkers and the decisions they made produced the greatest economic, educational, medical and political opportunities in the history of mankind. The unbelievable resource of this country were drawn together by ingenuity and industry to produce a model for prosperity that may prove to be the end of poverty worldwide. The courage of our veterans whose sacrifice and commitment served as an unbreakable bulwark held back the tide of advancing tyranny. The life-saving advances in medicine produced by this country’s researchers vanquished diseases like smallpox and polio that killed and crippled millions of people before American scientists unlocked the keys to prevention.

I could go on for days about the spadework done by brave resourceful men and women that made our comfortable secure standard of living possible.

Then there’s a whole universe of reasons why I’m thankful for my parents. Each day of my life I enjoy the fruits of lessons they taught me; the fundamentals of self-respect, work, cleanliness and integrity. I remember my father saying, “If a man pays you to load 25 bricks, load 30 for him. That way, you’ll distinguish yourself from other laborers.” And I recall my mother saying, “You don’t need to be ashamed of your appearance if your clothes are clean and your hair is combed.” The lessons they taught, which enabled me to get ahead in life are too numerous to list here.

Then of course there are countless friends, teachers, coaches, teammates, fellow soldiers, professors, fellow students, authors, poets, actors, singers, scientist, political leaders and others whose behavior, words, lives and teachings contributed to the blessings I enjoy today.

In recent years, as I rejoice for my family and delight in each milestone we experience as the grandchildren grow up, I am grateful that their young lives are not overshadowed by the fear of nuclear war. Many of us who grew up in the ’50s faced almost daily reminders that the Soviet Union was a nuclear power capable of initiating a war that might result in the death of every living creature on the planet. When the Soviet Union disbanded on Dec. 26, 1991, millions of us breathed a sigh of relief believing that our children and grandchildren would be forever shielded from the terrible threat of nuclear destruction.

This Thanksgiving, the nation is reflecting on the announcement that the United States and other Western powers have reached a nuclear agreement with Iran. For the past few years, we have, sadly, witnessed the rebirth of nuclear anxieties. North Korea, a nation that apparently has little regard for the sanctity of human life, world peace or regional stability, now has its finger on the nuclear trigger. This was made possible, in part, by nonproliferation deals that we celebrated and now regret. Though we are constantly assured that North Korea does not have the means to deliver a nuclear strike on the United States, this is, nevertheless, a source of nagging anxiety to those of us reflecting on the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren.

Disclaimers notwithstanding, Iran seems desperate to position itself not only as the great power in the Middle East, but also as the tireless defender of Islam in a jihad against Western infidels. Acquisition of a nuclear weapon would set off a frenzy of nuclear developments in the region as Iran’s suspicious neighbors scramble to maintain a semblance of a balance of power.

If, through skillful negotiation, Iran could be brought in as a peaceful member of the world community, there would be cause for great celebration. However, if this proves to be a bad deal, it makes the world a more dangerous place.

So here’s my problem this Thanksgiving. I want to be thankful for this agreement but, no matter how hard I try, I do not trust the wisdom of our leaders. I don’t trust their resolve. I don’t trust their honesty. I don’t trust their motives. In the absence of trust, we find ourselves regarding this agreement with a high level of anxiety. We are closer to leaving the world a much more dangerous place for our children and grandchildren. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is a retired attorney and Edmond resident.

Text Only
  • 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

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

  • For better politics, it’s time for some raging moderates

    Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state’s political parties.
    I am for lower taxes and for marriage equality. I am tough on crime and I am anti-abortion. I believe that a pathway to citizenship is a necessary part of immigration reform and that student test scores should be a critical component of teacher evaluations.

    July 15, 2014

  • Father on mission to stop gun violence

    Since his son died six weeks ago as collateral damage to a troubled young man’s wish for vengeance, Richard Martinez has been asked whom he holds responsible.
    “I’m responsible,” the California lawyer answers, referring to most Americans’ failure to push harder to change gun laws after earlier mass shootings. “All those kids died and none of us did anything.”

    July 14, 2014

  • The Kansas City Star: Obama must end the public information barriers

    Mr. President, you have a public information problem. Again. Several months ago, journalism organizations complained about a lack of access for news photographers to pertinent presidential events.

    July 14, 2014


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

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results