To the Editor:
Predictions of the end of the world or the end of civilization as we know it. I’m not talking about the ones made by an obscure Mayan calendar, but the types of catastrophes expected as a result of the re-election of President Obama. These predictions, many by people and news media in Oklahoma, were perceived as truth by the majority of Oklahomans. These beliefs seem to be supported by the recent election results. Oklahomans voted against President Obama by a 2-to-1 margin; and I suspect that in Edmond an even larger margin against his re-election.
Now I read in headline stories in the recent MidWeek issue of The Edmond Sun about the rosy future of central Oklahoma’s economy. Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy in this? Is it just me that sees this as another opportunity for this state to continue its perception, by the majority of the country, as a backward and regressive state?
Though we continue to advance this perception in ways too numerous to mention, I remain optimistic. Not everyone in this town is ignorant or gullible enough to fall for the self-serving and profit-driven opinions and policies that often result in the election of politicians that try to and most often successfully enact ridiculous and repressive legislation. Two things have recently supported my optimism. First, the relatively strong campaign and election results of Edmond’s Tom Guild in his campaign to replace James Lankford as my representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Secondly is the letter to the editor, published in the same MidWeek edition of The Sun, written by Randel Shadid. This letter speaks of the common Oklahoma phenomenon of the anti-vote, where instead of participating in this democracy to progress us forward, we vote, or don’t, based on fear and ignorance.
Young people, citizens like Mr. Guild, Mr. Shadid and many of my friends who vote based on facts and form opinions using critical thinking will be the real reasons for any rosy predictions of this town’s and state’s future.
To the Editor:
Oklahomans unite in tragedy; set example for country
Whenever we witness the type of devastation wrought by this week’s killer tornado, we naturally struggle with a host of emotions. Those of us in the neighborhood battle to control our anxieties as we gather the information we can about the storm’s strength, location and direction. We experience dismay when we hear the threat above us has touched down and become a real physical menace to our friends, neighbors and loved ones. When the “all clear” sounds, we are thankful that the nightmare is over. When we realize our loved ones are all safe and sound, we rejoice.
Spirit of Oklahoma strong in tornadoes
Because we’ve been through so much, we are a people who get perturbed when those on our nation’s coasts look down their noses at us. We are a people who get irritated when others tell us how we should live, or what we should believe. We are a people who cringe when others see our waving wheat fields as only flyover country.
We know that we are not perfect, but we are good, we are compassionate and we are giving. It is this spirit which led the teachers at Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary this week to use their bodies to shield students from tornado debris. It was this spirit that enabled law enforcement officers to stand in the way of the oncoming tornado to divert traffic from the storm’s path. It was this spirit that compelled Oklahomans around the globe to rush to the aid of their friends and neighbors.
Let kids start school on a normal schedule
Q: Our son’s fifth birthday is in August. He did just fine, socially and academically, in preschool, but the counselor at the school he’s slated to attend has recommended that we hold him back a year because of his late birthday. She says that kids with late birthdays, especially boys, do better if they’re given an extra year of maturation before starting school. What do you think?
A: The practice of postponing Kindergarten for so-called “late birthday” children — generally defined as children having birthdays after May — got its start about 20 years ago and has generated the usual unintended consequences. Prime among those is the fact that by delaying the start of school for children having birthdays after May, schools only create a new crop of children with late birthdays — those occurring after January.
It’s true that during early elementary school, boys are less mature in several respects than girls. In general, their attention spans tend to be shorter. Therefore, they’re more impulsive and more easily distracted. It’s also true, however, that some children, boys as well as girls, experience developmental “spurts” during Kindergarten. The slightly immature, impulsive 5-year-old may be at the norm one year later.
No one realizes how tough Okies really are — until this happens
Like many of you, I’m ending this tragic week emotionally drained. I was either glued to the weather report throughout the first part of the week or — when Su-the-dog and I weren’t settled down inside the storm shelter waiting for the all-clear to sound — I hovered with her about the shelter door leading down to it. Now as the week ends, I just might have changed my mind about a couple of things.
Many of us have been on our knees throughout this week praying that God will strengthen and comfort the state’s numerous tornado victims and their loved ones. Some have already contributed to organizations such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army to aid this week’s victims of various tornadoes, and those who are able have either donated blood or else they will when the Bloodmobile makes its rounds.
Seeing yourself as the world sees you
Ever try seeing yourself as others see you, or your piece of the world as others see your piece of the world?
You know, if you could get others to see you, or if you could get other parts of the world to see your part of it?
Narcissism and inferiority, both, can trap us in front of a mirror, admiring or lamenting, pleased or not pleased by the vision we presumably offer others.
Yet, what’s happened over the last three days, since yet another deadly tornado rolled through Moore, offers an entirely different perspective.
Through strength or weakness, we may take an interest in how we project. But when the “Today Show” is broadcast from the rubble and the network evening news has placed its anchor amidst the carnage; and when the news channels descend upon the destruction and every newspaper in the country is playing your and your neighbors’ plight bigger than its own hometown news, it turns surreal.
ROCK DOC: Japanese find a new source of natural gas
The name “natural gas” might be a puzzle. After all, how could there be such a thing as unnatural gas? The reason we call natural gas what we do has to do with history. There was a day that people made burnable gas by heating coal. The gases that came off the coal were piped around cities where they did things like light street lamps and even power cook stoves in homes.
Coal gas had its down side. For one thing, it often contained carbon monoxide. And it took energy to make the gas, so it never could be truly cheap.
Witnesses missing; Behenna case could be heard at Supreme Court
The film “Breaker Morant” was nominated for an Oscar for the best screenplay in 1980. It told the story of Harry “Breaker” Morant, an Australian who served in the British Army and was court-martialed for alleged war crimes during the Boer War in Southern Africa in the early years of the last century.
That conflict pitted the British Army against the descendants of the Dutch settlers who had migrated to what is now South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries. The majority of them were farmers and in their language of Afrikaans were known as “Boers.”
Don’t leave Oklahoma!
May is graduation season. As I have done every year as lieutenant governor, I have given multiple commencement speeches. Advice flows freely during this time and it usually runs the gamut. What to do, what not to do, how to do ‘x’, be sure not to do ‘y.’ Too often commencement speakers speak in big generalities. So general, the message is frequently lost or forgotten.
Last-minute funding proposals not in state’s best interest
All indications point to this being the last week of this year’s legislative session. The Legislature will go home a week early. This is good news for Oklahomans as not only will there be cost savings but all Oklahomans should breathe a sigh of relief when the Legislature stops making new laws a week ahead of schedule.
As usual, the Legislature will take a number of important votes during the last week. Some will be forced due to attempts to introduce and pass far-reaching, new policies that should have been introduced much earlier in the year.
BY THE NUMBERS: Oklahoma still needs to invest in its economy
After six months of stagnation, the Oklahoma economy finally appears to be expanding again albeit still weakly. Unfortunately, our leaders aren’t making the investments we need to give our economic prospects a boost.
Last week the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported that in April state General Revenue fund collections were 5.2 percent above the estimate and 14.7 percent higher than last year’s collections. Under normal circumstances, such a report would indicate that the Oklahoma economy was very strong. But this isn’t a normal circumstance, and April isn’t a normal month.
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- Oklahomans unite in tragedy; set example for country