Letters to the Editor: Nov. 19, 2014 

Drink more (local) wine

Forty-one states allow off-site shipping of wine from wineries. Oklahoma, of course, does not. As a winery owner, I tell customers that I cannot ship, but they can. However, now my customers are being told by shipping companies (FedEx and UPS Inc.) that it is illegal to ship wine.

I know this is a crock because consumers in 41 states can receive wine. There are even rumors that some Oklahomans receive wine shipments from out-of-state. The Oklahoma attorney general has restrictions on who or how a ruling can be requested, but I personally do not think that the ABLE Commission has the authority or the right to govern what private Oklahoma citizens can do.

Okies everywhere have trouble believing that this state has wineries, and Okies want to send wine to their far-flung relatives just to prove that it does. Not helping our own wineries only boosts the sales of California and French wineries. — Tom Knotts Norman

Honor veterans every day

Beginning with the inception of our country, we had the United States Department of War. After WWII, its name was changed to United States Department of Defense. The old name should have been retained. We have had almost continuous war since. Since WWII, hundreds of thousands of our servicemen and servicewomen have died or been maimed in undeclared wars, most of them draftees fighting in Korea or Vietnam.

So on Veteran’s Day, I hope you thanked and honored veterans who served in WWII. It’s doubtless they defended our country. To the rest, we owe them thanks every day for standing ready to defend us. To those who fought, died or were maimed in these unnecessary, undeclared wars, our government owes you an apology.

My own generation was decimated by our war on Vietnam. Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for a feeling. Too many names of my colleagues are etched on that monument. They died in vain. — Frank Silovsky Oklahoma City

Coal-amity

Within minutes of President Barack Obama’s carbon emissions agreement with China, Sen. Mitch McConnell began making references to a “war on coal.”

If there was a war on coal, coal would win. Some experts claim it kills 13,000 Americans a year due to asthma in addition to about 100 coal mining deaths annually. Let’s not even mention the carbon dioxide impact.

If there was a war on coal, it could be settled with the demolition of a handful of strategic railroad bridges. However, this is not a war, and we are civilized human beings. Pointing out the dangers of coal and proposing reasonable legislation is not to be equated with acts of violence.

Furthermore, if coal were somehow defeated by a war and every coal-fired power plant in America were shut down, and if natural gas and renewables could not fill in the gap, we Americans would suffer to an unimaginable degree.

We would have to resort to reducing our power consumption back where it was in the dark ages of 1990. — Dan Wade Oklahoma City

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Tom Knotts

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