The Edmond Sun

Opinion

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.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • 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

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens might trade naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014

  • Tax deadline and no reform in sight

    The annual tax filing deadline, which comes next Tuesday, provides a good opportunity for tax reform advocates to decry the current law’s increasing complexity and inequities, and to urge enactment of a simpler, fairer system.

    April 10, 2014

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 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