The Edmond Sun


March 15, 2013

AS I SEE IT: Finding compromise between man and machine

EDMOND — Last week Hew Packard went down with a screech and the howl of a thousand flapping wings, and I railed for an hour at that dying printer/copy machine. How dare he leave me after all these years! Toward the end, after my threats and cajoling had failed, I tried appealing to his ego. “If you’ll just hang on long enough to get me through the tax season,” I purred in silvery tones, “I’ll write you a glowing obituary and publish it in the newspaper ... with a photo ... maybe even a poem.” But I was too late. Hew heaved a mighty sigh and succumbed. No consensus had been reached and no compromise. Nothing but the despair of my forced capitulation.

“Have it your way,” I growled as I grabbed up my purse and — with no remorse and certainly no obituary — left the house in search of Hew’s successor. Later, though, after Hew Jr. was up and running and I’d cooled down, I got to thinking about the elder abuse I’d been guilty of, and I regretted that Hew Sr. and I hadn’t agreed to compromise while there was still time.

Really. Why can’t we all just get along? Branches of government close their ears to any reason but their own while the nation hangs in limbo; talking heads snap at their guests and at each other; parents take sides and the children cower in confusion; churches turn jots and tittles into irreconcilable differences that divide congregations into schisms that test everyone’s faith

Surely we could co-exist without bordering on bloodshed, and compromise seems the best way. Not the kind that ends in capitulation for one side and all-out victory for the other, but the kind where each side gives up a little; where no consensus is ever actually reached, and where neither side is 100 percent satisfied with the outcome. Sorry. That’s the nature of compromise, but it still beats the alternative.

Consider Crayola’s 16-pack of crayons. Some are sharp and some are dull, and they come in all different personalities. Exotic Magenta wants to lord it over her less flamboyant sister Purple; brothers Black and Brown are puffed up with their own sense of entitlement; Primrose Pink doesn’t have the gumption to stand up for herself, and we all know what a problem brassy Red can be.

How could all those unique siblings live happily ever after crammed shoulder to shoulder in the same box? They couldn’t unless they agreed that compromise is essential if they hope to see another generation of little children color their world happy.

So that’s what they did, and so did Hew Jr. and I ... except that after we’d negotiated our compromise, I stapled it to his Living Will. If Hew Sr. taught me anything, it was to be prepared. Especially at tax time.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

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  • 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

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    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.
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    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.

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