Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, e-mailed to rcollins@okgazette.com or sent online at www.okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

QUANTIFY THIS Regarding Clifton Adcock’s story “Raising Arizona” (News, Dec. 15, Oklahoma Gazette) in which state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, suggests the state Department of Education quantify the cost of educating the children of illegal immigrants:

I hope that the illegal immigrants in Oklahoma will take this as it is meant:

I propose that every illegal immigrant residing in Oklahoma leave. For this to be truly effective, they need to all leave on a specific date. Let’s pick April 1, 2011.

Then I want the state of Oklahoma to quantify the drop in sales tax revenues, rental vacancies, one-day-only jobs that cannot be filled and all the other menial jobs that are filled by these horrible illegal aliens.

Once it has been demonstrated that the result is a further drop in tax revenue and business income with no discernible drop in crime, who will become the scapegoat?

—Stephanie Manczuk

Oklahoma City

THE REST OF THE STORY Sometimes adults have to put on their big boy pants, and this is especially true when times get tough. Life isn’t always fair, and some of us have to work harder than others.

Kurt Hochenauer (Commentary, “Poverty picture,” Dec. 1, Gazette) is correct when he says the poverty rate in Oklahoma is a problem. However, he only provided half the information.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute, one of Hochenauer’s sources, stated that poverty in Oklahoma increased from 15.9 percent in 2008 to 16.2 percent in 2009, levels that are still above the national average. The OPI, for pre-recession 2007, indicates that 14.5 percent of those between 18 and 64 live in poverty, and 10.1 percent of those over the age of 65 live in poverty. In 2008, 14.3 percent of those between 18 and 64 lived in poverty, while 10.9 percent of those over the age of 65 lived in poverty. And, in 2009, 15.2 percent of those 18 to 64 lived in poverty, while 9.5 percent of those over 65 lived in poverty.

Why is this important? Because the OPI also breaks down the work status of those 16 years and older during the same time period. In the pre-recession year of 2007, 50.5 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 did not work and 38.6 percent worked part-time. Only 10.9 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 worked full-time. In 2008, 51 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 did not work and 36.6 percent worked part-time. Only 12.4 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 worked full-time. In 2009, 51.8 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 did not work and 36.5 percent worked parttime. Only 11.7 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 worked full-time.

Therefore, it appears there is a correlation between one’s poverty rate and one’s employment status. While those figures probably include individuals who cannot work, it includes lots of individuals who have made an active decision to abstain from gainful employment. While an argument can be made for underemployment, nothing stops an individual from seeking an additional job that enables him or her to work 40 or more hours in a week.

Big boy pants, anyone?

—Kevin Connolly


CURSES! FOILED AGAIN! Good God, man. Salamanders in Santa Cruz, Calif., are causing Edmond to join the United Nations (Commentary, Robert Semands, “Counterpoint: An internationalist agenda,” Dec. 15, Gazette)? You need to take your tinfoil hats off and stop getting your content from The Onion.

I swear the Gazette is no longer worth the price of “free.”

—John Langston



This is in response to many letters and articles published by my beloved but misguided Gazette.

this over obsession with a distorted attempt at “equality”? Everyone
should have equal opportunity for success and equal chance to attain
every positive aspect of life this great country can afford! Sure, we
should all have equal rights, but, inherently success, wealth, etc. will
never be equal. Following Obama’s lead, it seems popular to demonize
those who have earned/created/“more” and glorify the idea of
having/using/and even being “less.”

don’t end up equally spread around in any society — not even socialism
or communism — but definitely not with capitalism! Get over it! Some
will have more, and some will have less! Some will use more, some less.
Some will earn more, some less. Some will eat healthy, some won’t. I
don’t hear anyone calling people with “less” lazy bastards.

why do so many people demonize richer people even to the point of
singling them out for tax hikes? Everybody needs to get off of everyone
else’s front yards and mind their own business, especially if we really
want the economy to improve. Don’t we need more jobs in America? Quick
question: How many good-paying middle-class jobs are currently being
offered by poor people?

liberty and freedom are dying a rapid death in America right in front
of our eyes in the name of “equality.” Some in this country are working
to make fast food illegal or at least ban toys from kid meals, force
people to purchase financial service products (health insurance), raise
taxes on hardworking Americans to spend more on social programs,
legislate what kind of vehicle(s) you can drive and how much carbon you
may or may not emit!

next? Are you OK with the government telling you what temperature you
have to keep your home or how many kids you can have or that you have to
pur chase a breast cancer screening rider even if you are a single
male? The point is we don’t need to use the government apparatus to
regulate everything! Those who believe that any “government” can and
should solve all woes need only a North Korean or Iranian vacation to
wake them up!

won’t judge you for riding your bicycle to Akin’s Natural Foods or
Forward Foods (which is awesome, by the way) or the soon-to-be mecca,
Whole Foods Market, and getting your “sustainable” groceries or “happy”
chickens, while I zip by in one of my three Range Rovers (which all
three prefer super-premium fossil fuels) while I am eating on my
“unhappy” McRib meal as I speed toward wherever it is I may be going.

I ask in return — for not judging you and telling you how to live your
life and calling you names — is for you and our government to back off
and quit telling me how to live McMine. Aren’t individual liberty,
personal choice, personal responsibility and self-sufficiency still part
of the American fabric?

—Jay Wright

Oklahoma City

Wright is an Oklahoma City business owner.

desire equality of the citizenry by government means. Why should
government attempt to create equality? No government has ever achieved
such a goal.

equality is desired, shouldn’t the individual address it himself? A
person is most likely to be a member of America’s middle class simply by
graduating from high school, working full-time and marrying before
having children. Giving cash (my cash) to the poor has never raised
one’s standard of living.

The government has always done one thing well: waste taxpayers’ money.

—Thomas L. Furlong

Oklahoma City

cities of Oklahoma City, Edmond, as well as others, could help
eliminate tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to
vehicles and street median divider signs if they would paint curbs
facing oncoming traffic with highly visible and reflective white paint.
This simple task would greatly aid impaired drivers, older drivers with
poor night vision and drivers caught in heavy thunderstorms.

an effort would likely pay for itself over a short period of time by
helping eliminate the need and expense of replacing signs that are
constantly being knocked down, while resulting in reduced car repair
expense for the citizens. If the cities are unwilling to undertake a
project of this nature, perhaps civic-minded organizations would be
willing to do so.

it would help if cities would enforce ordinances that require street
addresses to be displayed on every home and business. This would help
ensure a more constant flow of traffic and allow drivers to pay more
attention to their driving, as opposed to trying to determine where a
certain address is located.

businesses don’t pay more attention to this situation is beyond me, as
on a number of occasions, I have given up on locating them, and gone
shopping elsewhere.

on my part in the past to discuss the above with Oklahoma City
officials have been met with a disdainful attitude reserved for those
who would have the audacity to suggest an improvement with City Hall!

—Mickey McVay


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