To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to an opinion piece written by Rep. Jason Murphey titled “Why did your property tax go up?” (Dec. 4, 2012, The Edmond Sun)
Murphey is ranting about ad valorem taxes going up in his district primarily due to school bond issues that were approved by the voters. Schools are largely supported by ad valorem tax, particularly the capital outlays. Voters must approve the ad valorem tax supported bonds, and I believe it must be a 60 percent approval, not just a mere 51 percent.
Murphey rants that many people did not know about the school election dates so did not vote and thus, due to their ignorance were somehow disenfranchised. It sort of begs the question: “Do you really want a bunch of uninformed yahoos casting uninformed votes.” I personally would prefer that all citizens get informed on issues and cast an informed vote.
Years ago, when I ran for public office I would say “no matter who or how you vote, please go to the poll and vote.” I have come to realize the error of that statement. If you are too dumb or disengaged to know that there is an election and too narrow to get informed about the issue on the ballot then please, by all means, do not vote. Placing school elections on general election days is not the answer. Many more voters, if informed, would be a good thing. However, many voters showing up to vote against President Obama or for Sen. Jim Inhofe and then as an aside voting on multiple non-national or non-statewide issues may not rectify the egregious wrong Murphey perceives.
Murphey’s real motive is to stop all tax increases at the local level. That would mean no new school improvements, no jail improvements, no new money for county roads and courthouse operations in Logan County. In Oklahoma City it would mean no MAPS I, II or III, all which were approved by voters. But the worse attack would be on public schools. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said “you cannot have a democracy without an informed citizenry; and you cannot have an informed citizenry without public education.”
Alas, perhaps this is the real reason for Murphey’s rant. If we can gut public education and dumb down citizens then we can keep electing the same rednecks.
At least the micro segment of the population, which Murphey deplores, that may have voted for a tax increase stayed engaged, got up off their behinds and went to the polls. The others just whine. The right to complain carries with it a duty to participate. If you cannot stay informed enough to participate, then please don’t go whining to your representative or to me. You have no one to blame for your unhappiness buy your lazy self. And if driving to the polls on a winter day is too inconvenient so as to disenfranchise voters as Murphey believes, then probably we have lost the zeal for democracy’s citizen participation that the founding fathers envisioned.
To the Editor:
Readmission to hospitals accounts for majority of health care costs
The holidays are a time of family, friends, traditions and gratitude. When a loved one has a terminal illness, the season can also mean added stress, fatigue, and financial burdens. Most families would not want to spend the holiday season in and out of an emergency room, yet nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of release. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, this translates to $17.4 billion in Medicare spending on patients whose return trips could have been avoided.
HealthCare.gov: A Bad First Impression
It’s often been said that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. During the launch of HealthCare.gov more than two months ago, the majority of Americans experienced a terrible first impression of the Affordable Care Act and its ability to deliver what the president had promised since its passage.
Good or bad, it is incredibly difficult to change a person’s opinion or feeling on something. As noted pundit Peggy Noonan said during ABC’s “This Week,” “Even programs can get reputations. You can get a sense that something isn’t working.” The initial problems with the website, including its inability to handle high traffic, error messages, long wait times and reported security issues, is a perfect example of a poor first impression. Now it continues to cause many to distrust the website.
One of my constituents recently shared, “I am afraid to even use the website because my personal information might get hacked.” Another said, “Even if the site would work properly, I do not agree with Obamacare.” I’ve received many other emails and stories from people who distrust the federal government’s ability to run and manage healthcare. In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, 52 percent of Americans still think the law should be modified or repealed.
Editor stranded in ice storm experiences truest form of humanity
A foolish drive left me alone with my car stuck on a steep hill of a back road, covered in ice with temperatures falling into the low 20s. But as is the case with any horror story, heroes emerged to aid the helpless.
Downtown development could bring north, south sides together
Peter Ackroyd is a British historian who has written extensively about the city of London. One of his most recent works, “Thames: The Biography” details the extensive role that that waterway has played in the history of the United Kingdom.
The word Thames is one of the oldest names recorded in England, Ackroyd reports, and may owe its origins to the ancient Celtic word for running water. Julius Caesar constructed a bridge over the Thames in 54 BC to facilitate his invasion of the British Isles, and it was on the banks of the Thames at Runnymede where King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.
When Queen Elizabeth II commemorated her 50 years on the British throne several years ago by leading a regatta down the Thames, she was part of a thousand-year-old tradition of British monarchs sailing on that waterway.
HEY HINK: Government advice goes against centuries of examples
Of all the harebrained advice I’ve heard doled out over the years this has to be the dumbest: Sign on the dotted line and “don’t worry about the price tag.” This is precisely the message our federal government is belching out to America’s young people to persuade them to sign up for Obamacare. It reminds me of the Three Stooges episode where Moe tells Curly not to worry about the explosion because “dynamite always blows down.” The image of a grasping federal bureaucracy enticing young Americans to sign onto the most aggressive power grab in this country’s history while murmuring “don’t worry about the price tag,” is almost too far-fetched to believe. Unfortunately, it’s all too true.
Good Samaritans aid motorists during storm
Thursday afternoon, a mixture of sleet and snow fell on Edmond, creating slick and hazardous streets in parts of the city.
An example of legalized corruption
Almost one year ago, Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, asked me to assist him in bringing an end to what appeared to be a practice of legalized corruption. Having worked with Jolley on numerous modernization and efficiency measures, I have learned to pay close attention to his concerns. He frequently proposes cost-saving and efficiency reforms, and his proposals are taken seriously by the Legislature. Jolley had received reports from whistleblowers who exposed extremely disturbing abuses and he wanted to work on legislation to stop the practice.
LETTER: Student urges leaders to not wait on entitlement reform
To the Editor:
I am 28 years old and will only be just older than 40 by the time Medicare and Social Security programs are projected to fail. This is very concerning for young people like myself who are paying into this system and likely will not see any benefits from it. I 100 percent agree that some serious reform is needed to strengthen these programs. I think it is also important for lawmakers to help create laws that protect the privately insured from insurance companies dropping or disqualifying people from coverage. I believe this would help to keep many who can afford private health care from having to rely on Medicare and Social Security funds.
Grandparents of disabled child ‘now have hope’
An Oklahoma scholarship program for special-needs children is once again under attack.
“A motley crew of plaintiffs has filed a lawsuit asking the Oklahoma courts to toss out the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for students with disabilities,” writes Oklahoma City University law professor Andrew Spiropoulos. “This renewed attempt to sever a lifeline for a small group of disabled students is vindictive because these plaintiffs know that these children suffered horribly in public schools. The program enables these children to escape an environment of bullying, ineffective instruction, and profound neglect and find specialized schools where they can blossom and reveal the beauty of their true nature.”
LETTER: Volunteers make Thanksgiving dinner successful
To the Editor:
How do you thank 711 people for helping you? On Thanksgiving Day my belief in the goodness of man and that Edmond has the most giving citizens was reinforced.
Starting on the Saturday before that day, I met the first ones as they worked diligently to clean equipment in preparation for cooking the Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner. More people came to three sites on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to cook and carve.
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- Readmission to hospitals accounts for majority of health care costs