Understanding Oklahoma’s Taxes

Understanding Oklahoma’s Taxes

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BY JOE DORMAN No one likes paying taxes, but as the saying goes, it is one of the certainties in life [the other being death]. This breakdown of the tax structure in Oklahoma should help you understand more about the state budget process. This does not count matching federal dollars and fees collected, and any

Digging To China

Digging To China

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN As have most children, I once undertook to dig to China. I am unsure why China is the anticipated destination of most amateur excavators, but I don’t remember anyone ever setting out to dig their way to Australia. I am certain that most of us who began digging had never heard of

We Serve

We Serve

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BY SHARON MARTIN Waiting outside the door of a classroom to pick up students for Reading Lab, I saw a second grader pointing at me. “I know you,” he said. “You’re the table-washing lady.” I’m a reading specialist, but every teacher knows that teaching subject matter is only part of the job. At our school

SQ 777 Bad For Oklahoma Communities, Farmers

SQ 777 Bad For Oklahoma Communities, Farmers

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BY BILL JOHN BAKER Protecting the environment and our precious natural resources are priorities for me as chief of America’s largest tribal nation. Through our traditional values we embrace our natural world. It’s so important to me and the Cherokee people that we recently named the tribe’s first ever Secretary of Natural Resources. This will

What About The Ladybugs?

What About The Ladybugs?

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN Summer nights in rural Oklahoma were the best. Neighbors would come to our house or we would go to theirs for our parents to play “cards.” Cards meant a game called Pitch. The deck contained a Big Joker and a Little Joker. Players bid to “Shoot the Moon” and hoped to catch

It’s Not An Oil And Gas Crisis

It’s Not An Oil And Gas Crisis

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BY DAVID WALTERS Our elected officials have made it official! Oklahoma is looking at a $1.3 billion shortfall in public funding. Republican officials blame the shortfall on the cyclical nature of the oil industry, but a review of the numbers says that simply is not true. Responsibility for this disaster rests solidly at the feet

It Happened Here

It Happened Here

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BY TED RALL It began with the global economic crisis. All around the world, millions of people who had nothing to do with the stock market crash – who didn’t earn enough money to save, much less invest, that much less speculate – lost everything nevertheless. They lost their jobs, then, in short order, their

Living In The Past

Living In The Past

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BY BOB BEARDEN Tennessee just passed an anti-LGBT law similar to the one North Carolina passed a couple of weeks ago. Pointy-headed logic I guess says if you go back to the future things will be great again just like you remember them when that old LaSalle you owned ran great, right? Taint necessarily so,

We Don’t Need Another Hero

We Don’t Need Another Hero

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN From Mad Max in 1979 to the Road Warrior in 1981 and Beyond the Thunderdome four years later, Max Rockatansky, played by Mel Gibson, pursued revenge in a not-too distant future where societal institutions provided no protection from raw selfish ambition. Some film critics consider the original Mad Max as one of

The Time For Action On Climate Change Is Now

The Time For Action On Climate Change Is Now

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BY JAMES L. STOVALL Given all of the conflict and competing interests in the world, how is it possible that 195 nations could come together and agree upon dramatic reductions in carbon emissions? Do they not understand the costs involved in making such a huge transition in energy usage? Do they not understand the fragility

Dirt, Vegetation And Values – Oklahoma Style

Dirt, Vegetation And Values – Oklahoma Style

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN The draw of low cost land brought many settlers west to the territories, but the settlement of Oklahoma holds a unique place in American culture. Non-Indian settlers in Oklahoma obtained lands through land runs, lotteries, allotment or redemption. By whatever means, however, the pioneers’ clear motivation was 160 acres of dirt so

Be Afraid

Be Afraid

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BY SHARON MARTIN Whether George W. Bush won the 2000 election or not is still debatable, but he took the oath of office. I knew what he stood for, and I was afraid. When the unthinkable happened on Sept. 11, 2001, Young Bush began a campaign to finish his father’s war. The Bush gang didn’t

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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BY BOB BEARDEN Politicians are politicians and as such they are far from perfect. This applies to both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Rodham Clinton. But as politicians there are nuances of difference and there are the good, the bad and the ugly. As Marc Antony said of Julius Caesar, “The evil men do live after

Deliberately Ignorant

Deliberately Ignorant

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BY SHARON MARTIN Agnotology means the deliberate spread of ignorance. Robert Proctor coined the word when he discovered that tobacco company executives were deliberately casting doubt on good science that proved the link between tobacco and cancer. “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that

Reliable Sources Of Recurring Revenue

Reliable Sources Of Recurring Revenue

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN According to a Mar. 24 article in the Oklahoman, Preston Doerflinger, Gov. Fallin’s Secretary of Finance and chief budget planner, said the state of Oklahoma needs a new, permanent source of money to be a reliable source of “recurring revenue.” He was talking about taxes. For you and me, a reliable source

Careful What You Ask For

Careful What You Ask For

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BY BOB BEARDEN Dr. Frankenstein created his monster and then had to help the villagers destroy it even though it pained him mightily to do so. He never intended for his monster to be a monster – he only thought he was advancing the cause of science. Oh what a terrible tangled web we weave

The Biggest And Most Dangerous Con Job In Our History

The Biggest And Most Dangerous Con Job In Our History

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BY VERN TURNER Sometimes the motivation to write another essay comes from multiple sources. I am blessed to have many activist friends who send me stuff concerning our national health, politics and societal issues. This is one of those times when several contributions come together to make an essay like this necessary. Let’s hope I

Tilting At Oklahoma’s Wind Turbines

Tilting At Oklahoma’s Wind Turbines

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN Just then they came in sight of 30 or 40 windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, 30 or 40

Voting For Con Artists

Voting For Con Artists

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BY SHARON MARTIN Someone I love says that people don’t have time to find out how their legislators voted. “Who cares about a candidate’s voting record?” he says. “Citizens vote for the D or the R by the candidates’ names. They vote how their preacher tells them to. They are swayed by what they see

Uncontrollable: Pentagon, Corporate Contractors Too Big To Audit

Uncontrollable: Pentagon, Corporate Contractors Too Big To Audit

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BY RALPH NADER The Reuters report put this colossal dereliction simply: “A law in effect since 1992 requires annual audits of all federal agencies – and the Pentagon alone has never complied.” All $585 billion and more, e.g., for the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, of your money – not just unaudited, but, in the sober

Oh, Ted, WWJD?

Oh, Ted, WWJD?

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BY KAREN WEBB Now we know there is only one thing Sen. Ted Cruz puts above his commitment to God’s word – and it’s Ted’s word. “I know it is a shocking concept to member of the media. A shocking concept that an elected official actually does what he said. At the outset of this

Your State Needs You!

Your State Needs You!

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  BY JOE DORMAN Many ask me if, looking back, I have regrets about running for governor of Oklahoma in 2014.  The truth is I have none because I served as a voice for issues which needed to be discussed during that time. When the majority of those who showed up to the polls voted,

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN My parents taught me at an early age that two wrongs don’t make a right. Neither do three or four or five. I’m not one to believe in black helicopters and conspiracy theories, but the evidence that there is a plan to torch public education has been piling up for several years.

Right Wing’s Latest GOTV Gambit

Right Wing’s Latest GOTV Gambit

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BY KAREN WEBB Putting a Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol will be on the ballot in Oklahoma. If there is a single verse in the Bible that says it is OK to force God’s word on non-believers as a way of saving a nation, I would like to see it. It is a

Thresholds And Beyond

Thresholds And Beyond

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BY VERN TURNER The cumulative effect of recent world events on my psyche produced enough incentive to write yet another summary of the human condition as I see it, and imagine what the pathway to the future looks like. Perhaps the most influential book on the subject of how we humans have gotten to this

Failing To Plan = Planning To Fail

Failing To Plan = Planning To Fail

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN “Ten years ago, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem …

Bernie Sanders Champions Sacred Tribal Lands

Bernie Sanders Champions Sacred Tribal Lands

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BY STEPHEN FOX Tribes across the country appreciate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ efforts to protect sacred land in Arizona known as Oak Flat, located on National Forest land, from destruction by foreign-owned mining conglomerates Rio Tinto PLC [United Kingdom] and BHP Billiton [Australia] through their U.S. company, Resolution Copper Mining. Taking on these mining companies

Trump And The Future Of The First Amendment

Trump And The Future Of The First Amendment

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BY CHARLES C. HAYNES After Super Tuesday, what was once unthinkable may now be inevitable: Donald Trump, Republican nominee for president of the United States. That’s my cue to join the hundreds of other columnists and pundits scrambling to inform Republican primary voters so that when they vote, they understand the implications of their vote.

What Will Many Bernie Sanders Voters Do After July?

What Will Many Bernie Sanders Voters Do After July?

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BY RALPH NADER The hard-bitten, corporatist Democrats are moving Hillary Clinton through the presidential primaries. They are using “Republican-speak” to beat down Bernie Sanders as favoring Big Government and more taxes and they may unwittingly be setting the stage for a serious split in the Democratic Party. What is emerging is the reaction of millions

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