Spin Machine

Spin Machine

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BY SHARON MARTIN Listening to the chairman of the Republican Party a couple of Sundays ago, two things were clear: 1. Power is more important to the Republicans than policy or people. 2. The GOP holds the Clintons to standards that they reject for themselves. In one sentence Reince Priebus said that we shouldn’t be

When Is A Tax Not A Tax?

When Is A Tax Not A Tax?

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN The Treaty of Paris in 1763 ended what could actually be referred to as the first world war. Known in North America as the French and Indian War, the Seven Years’ War involved nearly every region of the world and virtually every nation, kingdom and colony were engaged. While the outcome of

Really? Leader Of Lincoln’s Grand Old Party?

Really? Leader Of Lincoln’s Grand Old Party?

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BY BOB BEARDEN As far as the Grand Old Party of Lincoln concerned the race for the nomination is over. The Donald is the presumptive nominee and has essentially wrapped up the nomination. And now comes the time for nose-holding. We are hearing calls for party unity and calls for getting behind the Donald as

Scoop And Toss

Scoop And Toss

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN Raising cattle provided a nearly endless supply of “organic fertilizer” for our garden and flower beds. Gathering the fertilizer from our corrals, pastures and pens was relatively labor intensive but it paid huge dividends. The spring I got my license to drive our old 1951 Chevy pickup to town, I scooped and

No Justice For Larry Yarbrough

No Justice For Larry Yarbrough

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UPDATE: The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board unanimously denied Larry Yarbrough’s parole, despite Gov. Mary Fallin’s commutation recommendation. The baffling decision, particularly given Yarbrough’s health and time served, drew a strong rebuke from Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma: “After nearly two decades in prison for a non-violent offense,

Robbing The Poor

Robbing The Poor

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BY SHARON MARTIN Ever hear something that just stops you dead? On NPR, Mara Liasson was discussing political polls. She said that Republicans don’t poll well on women’s issues. That’s easy to explain – unequal pay, attempts to control women’s bodies, and family issues. Then she said, “Republicans consistently outpoll Democrats on the economy.” Doesn’t

Let’s Make A Deal

Let’s Make A Deal

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN “Tell them what they’ve won, Jay,” was the way Monte Hall awarded game show prizes on the long-running game show, Let’s Make a Deal, as contestants chose from Door No. 1, Door No. 2 or Door No. 3. In less than three weeks, the 2016 legislative session must come to an end

It’s Time To Be Happy

It’s Time To Be Happy

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BY VERN TURNER Finally! The Republicans have picked themselves a candidate to run against Hillary Clinton. Man, I’m glad that’s over. It was a brutal slog through 17 candidates, most of whom had no clue as to why they were running for president or acted like they were only kidding if they did. Our senses

The Need For Progressive Voices

The Need For Progressive Voices

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BY RALPH NADER In 1961, President Kennedy’s chairman of the Federal Communications Commission [FCC], Newton Minow, described television as “a vast wasteland.” Perhaps nothing demonstrates that better these days than the rise of Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate; now the presumptive Republican nominee. Trump’s boisterous carnival barker persona has dominated the airwaves for

Elwood P. Dowd

Elwood P. Dowd

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BY DAVID PERRYMAN Jimmy Stewart’s 1950 portrayal as Elwood P. Dowd featured a carefree and kind man whose best friend was Harvey, a 6-foot, 3½-inch rabbit. The movie was a humorous approach to mental illness, sanatoriums and the somewhat frightening methods of treatment available 65 years ago. Unfortunately, Oklahoma has some of the highest rates

Stealing Razor Blades

Stealing Razor Blades

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This world of ours must avoid becoming a community of dread, fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. – Dwight D. Eisenhower BY VERN TURNER Have you noticed that the razor blade shelf in most large stores has a cover or lid over the blades section? Some of

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

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