POSTED ON DECEMBER 31, 2008:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
Advice for the State GOP
In response to the historic election of the Oklahoma Republican Party's majorities in the State House and Senate, I am offering a few words of advice. First, lead with the principals of limited government. You must stay true to the vision of lasting reform that got you elected and you must advance a bold agenda that empowers the common man. Oklahoma is a state founded on the Populist ideals of rugged individualism; ideals that championed the "little guy" not connected "fat cats." That spirit is still alive today and the people of Oklahoma expect the new Legislature to return power to the individual. The new majorities can do just that by passing Universal School Choice and eliminating the state's income tax. School Choice would return power to the parents and remove party politics from our classrooms; it would also spur innovation, competition, and true accountability.
Next, eliminating the antiquated income tax would be the largest power redistribution back to the people in our state's history. The very concept of taxing production, as in the case of income tax, is antithetical to the American Principal of ownership of ones personal property and talents.
If the GOP will lead with these two bold agenda items, of School Choice and income tax elimination, then Oklahoma may have both one hundred years of Republican Legislative rule and lasting freedom.
- Phillip W. Smith
Love Thy Enemies
The unholy marriage of religion and business was consummated in Oklahoma. The only state where every county went for McCain. Other voting errors Oklahoma elected two Republican foxes to the corporation commission, and for the first time in Oklahoma history Republicans control the House and Senate-hard times are coming.
Oklahoma has seven dwarfs in Congress occupying seats with high pay and benefits. Oklahoman's taxes will be going to D.C. and nothing will comeback. Hopefully Obama (an action Christian) will love his enemies and provide for the downtrodden everywhere. Otherwise Oklahoma will stay at the bottom protecting workers, the poor and the unfortunate.
Let me relay a conversation I had at a large Tulsa medical clinic before the election with a Christian business man, a member of a popular church in Tulsa. He was a Republican voter and asks me, "Do you have any employees" and I said not anymore. He was against increasing taxes for earnings profits over $250,000 and said "how many of these people in here do you think are employers"? I said probably very few and he replied 'they are just parasites". Since the rise of prosperity religion and the promotion of hate issues in the mega-churches many scriptures have been abandoned-like Luke 18: 22-25, Matthew 7:1, James 1:27 and Isaiah 32. The union of business and religion is also an unnatural union; things are askew in the Bible belt and Great Plains states of America.
- J. Ray Hunt/Independent
Black verse White
Ted Rall writes: "But no one should delude themselves into believing that racism...is dead."
Of course not, it's alive and kicking in the same paragraph: "Barack Obama, after all, is only half-black, and not even half-African-American at that. Jeremiah Wright aside, Obama had a white upbringing. A product of the elite, he went to an Ivy League college...If we were looking at President-Elect Sharpton, I'd believe in this change. (Too scary? Exactly.) As things stand, the rich white people who own and run the country have little to fear."
What exactly, kind sir, is a "white upbringing"? For a man to be black, must he speak like Al Sharpton? Must he evoke some level of fear in a wealthy white audience? Is Obama "more black" due to negative attributes such as his association with Rev. Wright and admission of using drugs as a youth; or "less black" because of positive attributes such as an ivy league education, inspiring a record number of voters to cast their ballots, and, of course, being our President-elect?
Man for the People
Kent Morlan practices what he preaches. Most of us know Mr. Morlan as a proponent of common sense downtown revitalization, an outspoken watchdog of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited, and a frequent contributor to UTW.
I saw a different side of Kent. While on my way to the Blue Dome Diner for breakfast with friends, we spotted Kent at the corner of 3rd and Detroit. There he was all by himself, wearing white latex gloves, carrying a big garbage bag, picking up trash from the sidewalk! The buck stops with Kent Morlan! It is so refreshing to see a man who follows up his talk with action.
Flipping the Bird at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be a time for celebration, not suffering, yet about 45 million turkeys-- smart, social birds that enjoy having their feathers stroked and gobbling along to their favorite tunes --are killed every year for Thanksgiving dinner.
Before they're killed, turkeys spend several months packed so tightly in dark sheds that flapping a wing or stretching a leg is nearly impossible. To keep the birds from pecking each other in frustration, factory workers cut off a portion of their sensitive upper beaks with a hot blade--using no pain relievers. At the slaughterhouse, turkeys are hung upside-down and their heads are dragged through an electrified "stunning tank," which immobilizes them but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and are still conscious when their throats are slit. If the knife fails to properly slit the birds' throats, the birds are scalded to death in the defeathering tanks.
If this doesn't sound like something to be thankful for, consider having a vegetarian feast. Visit www.VegCooking.com for humane holiday recipes.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Alive and Well
(In response to "Dance with the Dead" in the Oct. 30 -- Nov. 5 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Thank you for the vivid description of the Dia de los Muertos Festival. It is the first time my family attends and we truly enjoyed it. I appreciate your respect and appreciation for our tradition.
Maria I. Felix
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