The Edmond Sun


December 13, 2013

Seeking a ‘more perfect Union’

EDMOND — A recent opinion column needs a response (“Govern Locally and Protect Liberty” by Rep. Lewis Moore, Edmond Sun Opinion, Dec. 7, 2013). Moore’s tea bags are dripping all over this screed of irresponsible rhetoric. There are some out here who do not agree with him. I will try to explain why.

First of all we are living in the 21st century, not some 18th century frontier land. The legendary mountain man of old had a great deal of freedom. He could build his cabin wherever he chose (no zoning rules), kill whatever was convenient for food (no wildlife protection laws), dump his refuse in the river (no EPA or drinking water standards), kill at will whoever he felt was invading his territory (no rule of law or enforcement agency).

Yes, the mountain man had a great deal of freedom, but is there anybody out there today who would like to live that way? There was a constant threat of starvation (food had to be hunted, gathered and prepared), there was constant fear of becoming a victim of that lawless condition (someone may invade without your knowing it), if you got sick you probably died (no system of health care was available), traveling anywhere was difficult (no public road system), communication was nearly impossible (no public system of transmitting messages).

When the mountain man came down and joined civilized society he gave up some of those so-called freedoms to do whatever he wanted, and gained new freedoms that require a more disciplined approach: Freedom from hunger (other people shared), freedom from fear (a community of people institute laws), freedom from loneliness (humans need companions).

Second, Moore’s vision already has been tried, tested and proved unworkable. After declaring independence from Great Britain the states formed a loose association governed by a set of rules called the Articles of Confederation. Each state had considerable freedom to do whatever they wanted within their own boundaries. About the only duty of the federal government was to make treaties with foreign nations. It was charged to provide a common defense, but it had to ask the states individually to provide funds and manpower.

By 1788 chaos reigned; each state jealously protected its commercial interests, shipment between states was hindered by interstate fees, arguments about who should pay for common defense and infrastructure threatened to become violent. A constitutional convention was called that resulted in our current working document The Constitution of the United States.

Third, Moore’s vision exists in parts of the world today: Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, the Congo. Each of those nations are composed of competing tribes or entities constantly battling each other to gain supremacy. In each case there is no overriding rule of law that applies to all of them. Perhaps Moore and his friends would like to move to one of those countries if they like that political system so much.

Fourth, if Moore likes James Madison he should remember that as the primary architect of the Constitution, Madison helped write the Preamble, which states that one of the purposes of the Constitution is to “form a more perfect union.” Moore seems to have no interest in forming a union, his whole purpose is to break up the United States into a conglomeration of weak, divided entities that have no common interests. This would inevitably result in the dissolution and destruction of our proud nation.

LEAMAN D. HARRIS is an Edmond resident.

Text Only
  • 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


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.

     View Results