The Edmond Sun


April 19, 2013

Rejoicing a death shows no class

EDMOND — Admirers from across the world paid respects to one of the greatest women in history this week. Margaret Thatcher, ‘The Iron Lady,’ died April 8. She was honored at St. Paulís Cathedral in London on April 17.

The highlights of Mrs. Thatcher’s political career and accomplishments are well known. She was the first woman to be elected to leadership of a major political party in Great Britain. She was the only woman ever to become Prime Minister of that nation. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th century.

According to President Obama’s official statement, Margaret Thatcher was, “… one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.” She stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As Prime Minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promises.

“Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history — we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.”

These, of course, are very kind words to say.

It is an inescapable fact of life that the passing of any great historical figure generates a continuum of conflicting emotions. There is typically an element of grief when we say goodbye to those who cast such a long shadow over the affairs of our lifetime. At the same time, we take pride in the example set by one who shows us how to overcome obstacles, achieve success and bear up bravely in the face of setbacks and sorrows. We may find ourselves discouraged by the thought that the vacancy left by the passing of such remarkable leaders is not being filled by capable champions determined to follow in the footsteps of these giants.

Ideally, each time we come face-to-face with the realization that there are limits to the strength, opportunities and time allotted to everyone, we look for and embrace the good things left behind when any life comes to an end.

All of these emotions took their turn in my reflections on the passing of Lady Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately, there was an element of shame as well. I was ashamed to see so much mean-spirited rejoicing following the news of her death. On April 14, the Atlantic Wire Service reported that a coordinated effort in England drove a song celebrating Mrs. Thatcher’s death to the No. 1 slot in British musical charts.

News outlets reported tasteless protests organized along the funeral route. Protesters turned their backs on her coffin and shouted anti-Thatcher remarks as her remains passed by. In northern England, protesters paraded an effigy of Mrs. Thatcher in an open wooden coffin and then burned it. Another effigy of Mrs. Thatcher hung from the roof of a social club to the delight of drinking onlookers.

No doubt there are many in Britain who believe Mrs. Thatcher’s policies were harsh and unfair. In her efforts to revitalize the downward spiraling British economy, she spearheaded measures that, according to some, disabled the power of British trade unions for a generation. Some accused her of ushering in a period of unbridled greed into the British economy.

No doubt, persuasive arguments can be advanced by critics — of anyone. This, of course, includes Mrs. Thatcher. But we ask ourselves, what good is gained by inspiring a public celebration of her death? What accomplishment is achieved by being openly disrespectful of her remains? What respectable point are you making by participating in a shameful, insulting parody of her funeral?

We remember how Mrs. Thatcher was always dignified and respectful in her response to her critics and political opponents. Unfortunately, the reprehensible conduct of those so shameless in their behavior toward this dead lady seems to pass for acceptable political comment in the current theater of public discourse.

But it was not the crass conduct of some British citizens that cause me the most shame. At the funeral of this ‘great champion of freedom and liberty,’ this ‘true friend’ of America, as President Obama called her, there were notable absences. The government of Argentina, who under Margaret Thatcherís leadership was defeated in the Falklands war, sent no representative. But neither did the government of the United States of America. Well, words are cheap. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is an Edmond resident and retired attorney.

Text Only
  • 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


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results