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As Pastor Jarrid Wilson pointed out, being a person of strong faith doesn’t mean you won’t suffer depression or mental illness. And, seeking professional mental health care doesn’t mean you have any less faith.

The Justice Department has said, in a recent report, that former FBI director James Comey set a "dangerous example" for FBI employees in an attempt to "achieve a personally desired outcome." In that same report, the Justice Department concluded there was no evidence to indicate Comey or his attorneys had released classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.

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Those who have been around the Tahlequah community for any length of time know that when elected officials give themselves pay raises, many in the public don't appreciate it - unless they're related to the ones getting the raises.

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It was heartening to read about a community coming together to comfort those continuing to deal with the fear and uncertainty that has lingered nearly a week since Homeland Security Investigations agents raided two popular restaurants in Stillwater.

It started when President Trump added Alabama to the list of potential states affected by Hurricane Dorian, which is not what up-to-date weather specialists predicted. But Trump doubled down, placing more effort on appearing to have been correct than was placed on being accurate.

Many potential policies are thrown about by politicians, especially the endless numbers who are running for president. Like a malfunctioning automatic tennis ball machine, their proposed policies seem to be coming from everywhere all at once, making it difficult to keep up with who is proposing what policy change.

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Today, more than 63 percent of our nearly 380,000 tribal citizens reside outside Cherokee Nation’s legal jurisdiction. One thing we’ve heard loud and clear: Our at-large Cherokees want to be involved with their tribe. To better engage the perspectives of our at-large citizens, Cherokee Nation has established the At-Large Cherokee Advisory Committee.

The First Amendment is a bedrock principle for our country, outlining freedom of religion, speech, the press, the right to assembly and to petition the government. It makes sense to prominently display that principle in a prominent location visible for our state’s leaders.

And, having seen so many of his people murdered by someone who was both a commissioned Army officer and an ordained minister, it would have been completely reasonable for Oakerhater to live out his life under a cloud of hatred toward the United States, white people and Christianity.

There’s no coincidence in the psalm listing Mount Zion as the place where this gift is bestowed. It was there, on the hills outside Jerusalem, that Jesus was crucified and resurrected, forever showing us the path to eternal life.

If you're an advocate of the "free market" and of very limited interference in private business from the government, you can't pick and choose what types of meddling you'll tolerate, while lambasting others. Merriam Webster identifies that as "hypocrisy."

Ronald Reagan's election signaled a huge turn in America toward conservatism, with massive American support for this type of political conviction. Many groups had severed their ties to the Democratic Party, and these included former liberals, blue-collar workers, ethnic voters, and southerners, who became known as the "Reagan Democrats."

Attempts to discredit the restaurant have failed. It is clear the American people have spoken, and it's not a reach to state Chick-fil-A's beliefs are not in disagreement with mainstream America. ... It's food is pretty good, too.

Nothing will get done unless the Democrat-ruled House and Republican-led Senate can agree, and craft legislation that will be signed by President Donald Trump.

The $900 million Bradley Foundation, funding Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, weaponizes philanthropy against teachers, labor unions and the climate. It operates arguably outside the tax code’s sanction of charitable expenditures and has a hit list of nonprofits interfering with its self-serving agenda, which has been described as a "shadow government."

We have heard many on the left saying we need to abolish the Electoral College. The endless Democrats running for the presidency have picked up this cause, and they are shouting it from the rooftops. The leftist darling, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, blasted the system again this past week, calling it a "scam."

In today's fractious sociopolitical environment, it's virtually impossible to get everyone on the same page. Voters can't agree on the best way to move forward, and that contentious attitude filters down to municipalities, where citizens find themselves quarreling over the best way to move their communities forward.

If a teenager can inspire millions, how can we, each of us, inspire others? What small acts can we take to pressure our government to acknowledge science, to take note of the threat to our existence and to act responsibly?

President Donald Trump has a way of presenting the appearance of a commander-in-chief who is on top of some of the world's hot spots, yet it seems his version of "accomplishments" in volatile regions around the world do not align with his own intelligence apparatus, nor with the Defense Department.

Every few days, newspapers in Oklahoma receive emails from agencies, institutions and think tanks informing us that Oklahoma is near the bottom of one list or another. Obesity, teen pregnancy, lack of health insurance, poor eating habits, apathy about education - these are all among the negatives to which Oklahoma can lay claim.

Will it be enough? The State of Oklahoma and Attorney General Mike Hunter successfully prosecuted drug manufacturers. It’s a win for Oklahoma, but it’s hard to say if the monetary damages are in line with the kind of pain and suffering the opioid epidemic has solved.

For as long as they’ll allow me, I will be writing weekly columns for the Tahlequah Daily Press on matters related to government and politics. I intend to remain focused on issues I believe can largely be addressed – or at least productively discussed – through a data-driven, empirical, or otherwise rational approach.

With McAlester in the middle of its 150th Sesquicentennial and following Thursday evening’s McAlester Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet, it seems the exact right time to remember why James Jackson McAlester arrived at this place first named “The Cross-Roads,” and why New York Wall Street robber baron Jay Gould later said, “There are twelve reasons why this city (McAlester) will be the Pittsburgh of the Southwest.”

A major corporate lobbying group touted the release this week of a mission statement of sorts that seeks to define the “purpose of a corporation,” but it probably needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

When it comes to preventing potentially life-threatening communicable diseases, there is no better way than immunization. The Oklahoma State Department of Health estimates that vaccinations help prevent children from getting 16 once-common serious diseases, as well as diseases that aren’t common in the United States.

There's a good reason why I don't watch much TV, besides the fact that it's a brain drain and a waste of time. It's the commercials. They run the gamut from mundane to obnoxious, to stupid to outright offensive.

Conspiracy theories have always been a part of the American fabric. Among the most well-known involve the death of President John F. Kennedy; the purported coverup of an alien spacecraft in New Mexico; a faked moon landing; and the existence of the Illuminati or the "deep state," a worldwide cabal of powerful people pulling the switches.

We want to join Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Kelly Beach in reminding residents that if they want absentee ballots mailed to them in time to vote on the Muskogee Public Schools Special Bond Proposition on Oct. 8, they should apply now.

Nobody should resent anybody who has legitimately made a nice living. That is the American dream, after all. But there is something untoward about a gaggle of millionaires proclaiming they speak for working-class Americans while they decry and vilify accumulation of wealth.

This week, eight Democratic hopefuls for the presidential candidate nomination went to National Congress of American Indians. Many Tahlequah residents have at some point attended the NCAI because it is the largest prestigious gathering of tribal leaders nationwide.

Few things are more annoying these days than robocalls. And sometimes, they're more than annoying; they're threatening. That's the impetus behind State Sen. Paul Scott's interim study to see what can be done to curb them.

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