The Edmond Sun


May 31, 2013

HEY HINK: America needs an engine replacement

EDMOND — Recent headlines have me remembering an incident from my adolescence. When I turned 16, I knew if I wanted a car, I’d have to pay for it. I started looking for the cheapest heap I could find. To my delight, I found the car of my dreams on a lot near my home. It was a red and white ’54 Ford with a beautiful paint job and white sidewalls. It was, as we said back then, “real cherry.” The price was too high, but dad knew his way around a car lot and I knew he could get the dealer to come down.

I don’t remember how long it was before I could get pop to take me over to make the deal, but I died a thousand deaths during the wait. Someone else was sure to buy that car before we could get over there. When we finally showed up at the lot, there she was, appearing to my adolescent eyes as the most glamorous magnetic mechanical creation in the history of manufacturing. And she had to be mine — all mine.

The lot owner was all smiles and cigars and assured us that in the automotive universe we’d never find a better car for the money. He didn’t need to convince me. I could tell by looking. Pop walked around the car — studying. The owner ignored me and followed pop keeping up a steady stream of chatter. Pop knelt by one of the beautifully sleek rear fenders to look at something. He glanced up to make eye contact with the salesman and something passed between them that was over my head. That’s when the dealer turned his attention to me. He started drawing word pictures of me pulling up to my girlfriend’s house in this beauty, or me driving her to the stadium with my friends aboard.

Pop asked him to start it up. It was loud, but that was fine with me. In fact, I loved it. Pop opened the hood, took a look, thanked the man and said “Let’s go.” I was heartbroken and eager to argue, but pop said we’d talk about it later. The salesman followed us to our Plymouth suggesting he might come off the price to allow for a new muffler. Pop thanked him again and we drove away. I was furious and frustrated. Pop was amused. I went through my whining routine about how, if I was going to spend my own money, I should be able to buy what I want. After he heard me out, pop said, “Let me tell you about that car. If you still want it after you know the facts, it’s your headache.”

The body was rusted and painted over. The engine had not been properly lubricated and the rods were knocking. The loud motor noise was intended to camouflage the fact that the engine was on its last legs. Couldn’t we fix the motor? “Son, by the time you hear the rods knocking, she’s too far gone.”

What does this have to do with recent headlines? Let’s start with the rusted body. A sharp trader made cosmetic adjustments calculated to fool a gullible buyer into purchasing a poor quality product.

Recently, the voters of South Carolina re-elected Mark Sanford. Today, Anthony Weiner is a legitimate contender for mayor of New York. Both these man committed shameful betrayals of the public trust. They lied to their constituents, their friends and their families. They held their nation up to ridicule. They compounded their deceitful acts with conduct that can only be described as low and cowardly. Today, they’ve painted over their underlying corruptions. Sadly, voters are too willing to fall for the fancy paint job. Even when they’ve seen the disgusting defect with their own eyes, they can’t focus on anything but the glamour.

About those knocking rods; we’ve now learned that the Internal Revenue Service has exploited its vast enforcement powers to discriminate against American citizens who express views unacceptable to “the Bureau.” Just as an engine that is poorly lubricated will ultimately fail, powerful government agencies that are poorly supervised will ultimately betray. Is it me, or are there bureaucratic rods knocking all over this country? Engine repair won’t do. We need to replace the motor.

So, whatever became of that car? Well, I didn’t buy it. I knew the guy that did. He drove it a couple of weeks and blew the engine. Instead, I spent a couple of hundred bucks and got a ’61 Falcon. Not so “cool,” but ultimately worth the money. Thanks for the lesson, pop. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is an Edmond resident and retired attorney.

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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


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
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