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, emailed to pbacharach@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Still the ‘Oklahoma Standard’

There has never been a better set of Oklahoma Gazette commentaries than your May 29 issue. This, of course, was due to the fact that we needed the commentary to be that good.

I’ve lived in Oklahoma City for just three years, so this is my first “let’s all pull together” Okie moment. Nicole Hill (“To be an Oklahoman”) summed it up wonderfully. This place gets in your blood really quickly. And now that the degree of separation is no more than two for everyone in OKC regarding the May storms, I, too, can say these people are my people. Or, I’m one of the people. The Oklahoma Standard is no longer just a proud phrase. To me, it’s now very real.

As both Hill and Andrew Rice (“MAPS for trauma”) pointed out, action is needed going forward for more storm shelters and mental health resources. The Oklahoma Standard gives what we can when it is needed most. These resources are needed badly. Let’s not give up or give in.

—Brad Walker Oklahoma City

too red for government aid?

Oklahoma by record is the “reddest” state in the Union. It is the only state in which every county voted Republican in the last two presidential elections. The Republicans have made it clear that they feel the government is an enemy — a “tyrannical” government that further compounds the right to bear arms as a necessity for protection against such government. It has been made clear that their feeling is that they do not need the government in their lives.

Sens. James Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma both voted against the Hurricane Sandy Aid bill, Inhofe saying that the money requested amounted to a “slush fund.” Hurricane Sandy affected a total of 24 states, and the costs have amounted to $50 billion.

Now comes the question: What will their vote be concerning these recent Oklahoma tornados? Coburn has already stated that he will not vote for an aid bill unless the same amount of money allocated is deducted from some other

federal program. Inhofe has said that the Oklahoma situation is nothing like the Hurricane Sandy situation; in other words, the Oklahoma use of the money would be more legitimate.

I would suppose that, since nearly everyone in Oklahoma is a Republican, they all concur that the government is not needed in their lives. So would it be true to assume that all of the Moore residences were covered by appropriate amounts of homeowners’ insurance and total coverage on automobiles and complete health insurance and six months of saved salaries for immediate needs and the means to take care of all their issues, including funerals?

There are estimated damages of $2 billion at this time. It is reported there are 100 Federal Emergency Management Agency employees there now. Will they be sent away? Will Oklahoma’s two U.S. senators vote against the aid? Will the state refuse the federal aid, and therefore, will all of the wealthy Oklahomans make donations to cover these needs?

As we know, there are plenty of quite wealthy Oklahomans, including celebrities such as Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Chuck Norris, Gary Busey, Dr. Phil McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Tom and Judy Love, Aubrey McClendon, the owners of the Thunder, David Green of Hobby Lobby and on and on. These are extremely fortunate folks blessed with talent and/or business acumen.

Several of these folks have made their anti-government feelings known, so I would think they would eagerly step forward to finance what is needed for those who have not done their job to take care of their needs themselves.

—Barbara Johnson Hurst, Texas

thanks from moore

This citizen of Moore wants to thank all of you who have come to our aid. The outpouring of support both physically, emotionally and monetarily has been so heartwarming and gratifying. We are unpretentious folk down here and take pleasure in the simpler things. And one of those will be in a few weeks, where happiness will be watching TV news reporters headed home with an out-of-state roofing contractor under each arm.

—Carl O. Owen III Moore

In praise of petroleum

“Future generations call us to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline” according to Nathaniel Batchelder’s “No time for pipeline” commentary (May 22, Gazette). If that’s the case, then future generations need to say goodbye to telephones, soft contact lenses, motor oil, antifreeze, deodorant, lipstick, hair color, eyeglasses, soap, perfumes, tires and many other common items that Americans use on a daily basis.

Why? you ask. Petroleum oil produces thousands more products than listed. One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline, and then the rest is used to make everyday items. I wasn’t raised with a computer or cell phone, but the future generation cannot seem to live without their electronic leash. I was raised with central heat and air, VCRs, DVD players and cable and very much appreciate these luxuries.

Opposing the pipeline means you’re also opposed to job creation. Remember Solyndra — the green energy company supported by President Obama that went bankrupt? Oh, yeah, and the taxpayers paid for that company that failed.

But what about global warming? I don’t know, but I don’t remember the dino saurs using too much hair spray or the smog from their commute to work causing the ozone to create the ice age. I enjoy having candles, toothbrushes, paintbrushes for my art, shampoo and makeup because — let’s face it — solar and wind energy aren’t going to help me look sexy for a date with my boyfriend.

—Amber Nemecek Oklahoma City

abuse of power

What if we uncovered evidence that President George W. Bush had:

—tracked our every movement with location information from our personal cell phones; —spied on millions of law-abiding U.S. citizens’ cell phone information, in addition to Internet searches, emails, pictures, videos, etc.; —recorded the personal phone calls and e-mails of reporters who disagreed with him (in addition to their families); —used the IRS to target, bully and silence law-abiding citizens who disagreed with him; or —decided to abandon a U.S. diplomat and security personnel during an eight-hour battle for survival with al- Qaeda terrorists.

If the above accusations about our president and commander-in-chief make your stomach turn, it should. If the accused president’s skin color is relevant to you, it shouldn’t be.

Unfortunately, it appears that we now have a full-fledged constitutional crisis sparked by an abuse of power that no one should attempt, regardless of party affiliation. You may still be taking comfort in the thought that President Obama is today only targeting your neighbors. How long before our next president disagrees with ... you? Call your congressman.

—Mark R. Heaton Oklahoma City

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