The Edmond Sun

Opinion

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.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

    A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, whose job at the U.S. Agency for International Development is to lead a federal bureau spreading democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world.
    That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level crises combining military conflict with humanitarian catastrophes affecting millions of innocents in Syria, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    But back to that child.

    April 18, 2014

  • Government leadership complicit in overfilling prisons

    One of the thorniest problems facing any society is the question of what to do with transgressors. Obviously, the more complicated a culture becomes, the more factors come into play in trying to figure out what to do with those who choose not to “play by the rules.”

    April 18, 2014

  • My best days are ones normal people take for granted

    It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen.
    “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months after I was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, I often slept 15 hours a day. The doctors said my body needed to heal. It must still be healing because I hardly ever see 8 a.m. anymore.

    April 18, 2014

  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results