Opinion

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The census makes sense for you, cents for your community

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Between a global pandemic, economic crisis and multiple natural disasters, there are few aspects of 2020 that any of us could have predicted, and many Oklahomans feel uncertain about the future.

One thing we can do to build a stable and prosperous Oklahoma is for all Oklahomans to complete the 2020 U.S. Census.

It is critical that all Oklahomans are counted in the 2020 U.S. Census because important funding decisions are made based on census participation.

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About those state roads leading to Texas

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Perhaps you have encountered a phenomenon most Oklahomans are familiar with: Cruising south on I-35, as soon as you cross the Red River the road gets noticeably smoother.

The painted lane stripes get a little brighter and the roadside “Welcome to Texas” Visitors Center gleams in the sunlight, a modern and well-maintained reminder of how much more money the Lone Star State spends on public infrastructure than little old Oklahoma.

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The Electoral College matters to minorities

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Rather than have a nationwide popular vote, the United States chooses its president through the Electoral College with the outcome tied to multiple state-level elections.

This system ensures voters in smaller states like Oklahoma are still prized by presidential candidates. But it has also ensured minority groups of all types can wield greater influence even as consensus-building is incentivized.

The Electoral College’s benefit has accrued not only to those interested in specific issues — such as pro-life voters or environmentalists — but to racial minorities as well.

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Call to sacrifice and commitment: The letters of a WWII sailor

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Since my dad’s passing, I have carried his dog tag on my key chain. I wanted a daily reminder of my dad and his sacrificial service to our nation in World War II.

My dad was the classic WWII vet who did not often speak of his time in the war. I regret not asking him more questions.

Personally, I missed the mandatory draft by a few years, turning 18 in 1976. But I had two older friends, the Harris brothers in my neighborhood, who went to Vietnam and never came back.

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Who rules at the State Capitol?

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There are three bodies of law that Oklahomans live with on a daily basis: Constitutional Law, laws that are voted on by the people; Statutory Law, laws approved by legislators and the governor; and the subject of this article, Administrative Law, rules created not by the people or legislators but unelected bureaucrats who run state agencies.

Letter to the Editor: Mosquito spraying harmful

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To the Editor:

The City of El Reno has sprayed the city with the chemical permethrin to kill mosquitoes out of a “concern for our health.” 

This chemical has been deemed safe for humans and pets. However, it is still an insecticide that will kill any invertebrates that come in contact with the spray. In addition, the U.S. EPA decided it was “likely to be carcinogenic to humans if eaten.”

The chemical may stay on the leaves for between one to three weeks.

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Sell excessive state assets to shore up state pensions

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Oklahoma’s government owns a lot of property. This includes land and buildings, but it also includes valuable assets like the state-owned electric power company, the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA). GRDA reports nearly $1.8 billion in assets on its most recent balance sheet, with a “net position” of more than $622 million. Or the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), which has a $1.2 billion endowment producing roughly $50 million annual investment income.

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Should social media censorship be a concern?

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Did you see the video of the frontline medical doctors explaining why they believe hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19?

About a dozen doctors stood on the steps of the nation’s Capitol last week and praised the drug as being a safe and inexpensive treatment for the disease that has paralyzed the U.S.A. and much of the world for the past five months.

The event did not draw much of a media response.