HEY HINK: Will we keep Orwell’s dystopian vision at bay?
June 25 marked the 111th birthday of Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell. Orwell’s 1949 masterpiece “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was a chilling portrayal of what society might become if economic, social, military and cultural power becomes centralized in a government intent on preserving that power at any cost.
Mixed success for educational choice in 2014 Legislature
In a visit to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in late May, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker offered a passionate defense of Wisconsin’s statewide school voucher program.
It’s not a matter of public schools versus private schools, Walker said. (His own children went to public schools.) Rather, it’s a matter of ensuring that every family has the opportunity to choose the best school for their son or daughter.
The Miami Herald: A win for digital privacy
Every American’s privacy rights just got more secure, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, the court said our smartphones are as private as the very homes in which we live — and police officers will now need a warrant to snoop into them.
Shouldn’t Europe pay more for its own defense?
This month in Poland, President Obama offered $1 billion in military assistance to address our NATO allies’ anxiety about a resurgent Kremlin. Labeled the European Reassurance Initiative, this boosts NATO’s budget by a mere 0.1 percent.
Bulls, women, run over men
The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, is part of an annual event, the San Fermin Festival, that has taken place there since the 16th Century in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by sharp horns.
What made Rosie the Riveter strong: A voice at work
Federal contract workers in low-wage service jobs have been calling attention to the need for better wages and working conditions. These workers, who serve meals to tourists at the Smithsonian Museums and clean offices in the Pentagon, have added their voices to those of the fast-food workers and Walmart employees who walked off the job in recent weeks and months over low wages, abusive scheduling practices, discrimination and retaliation against workers who band together to improve their working conditions.
OUR VIEW: Bring ‘dark money’ into the light
Several statewide races this primary season have tacked toward the negative as no candidate has appeared to have a clear majority ahead of today’s primary voting — particularly in the U.S. Senate unexpired term seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee.
U.S. health-care system the worst in the developed world
The U.S. health-care system notched another dubious honor in a new comparison of its quality to the systems of 10 other developed countries: its rank was dead last.
The new study by the Commonwealth Fund ranks the United States against seven wealthy European countries and Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It’s a follow-up of previous surveys published in 2010, 2007, 2006 and 2004, in all of which the U.S. also ranked last.
Los Angeles Times: A welcome crackdown on patents
The Supreme Court moved again Thursday to rein in patent lawsuits, something it’s been doing with remarkable regularity in recent years. This time, the court invalidated a common type of software-based business method patent because it doesn’t involve any actual invention. The court stopped short of barring patents on any type of business method — which three justices wanted to do — or software program.
How gullible are we this week? (Hey Hink 6-21)
Let’s do something for the IRS they practically never do for us. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume when they announced last Friday that Lois Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011, that’s what happened. We all remember Ms. Lerner. She was head of the IRS “Exempt Organizations Division” during the time the IRS was illegally impeding efforts by certain organizations to receive tax exempt status. We recall when she was called to testify concerning her conduct during that time she refused to answer questions because her testimony might tend to incriminate her.
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