POSTED ON MARCH 21, 2012:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
I was born and raised in Texas and, for a long while, practically lived on Austin's E. 6th Street ("Gearing Up for Going South (by Southwest)," March 8-14). After living in Tulsa for the last five years I can honestly say that the music scene here rivals that of my old stomping grounds. The variety of music and the sheer talent one can find on any given night is amazing. As a music lover, it thrills me that so many great artists call Tulsa home and that so many venues are opening their doors to these folks. I am really proud of these folks and equally proud to call Tulsa my adopted hometown. Best of luck to all of those involved in SXSW and I hope EVERYONE gets signed!
I could argue most everything, but I can't argue with finishing your story with Bill's Jumbo Burgers ("Don't Fear the Burger Meister," March 15-21). The Big Mama burger inspires poetry and song.
You Pay For What You Don't Get?
If you have followed the Obama administration's mandate to health insurers to cover female contraception, you might also have payed attention to the Sandra Fluke/Rush Limbaugh debacle. What does this have to do with "women's rights" or "reproductive rights"? Not a damn thing. This is about forcing insurers to pay for something entirely optional and -- let's face it -- recreational, not medical. The Fluke affair is nothing more than political grandstanding to drum up support for the administration's preferences.
Sex is optional. And while it may come as a surprise to some, it's not even medically necessary. Don't believe me, ask any of the millions of married couples who only manage to get together five or six times a year instead of 365. Fluke's "testimony" in front of Congress is about forcing insurers to expand their burgeoning list of have-to-pay-fors to include yet another perk.
Insurers will react the way insurers always react when they're forced to expand coverage. They will simply raise their rates. And the cost of coverage for all of us -- including the 90-year-old woman who hasn't had sex since 1959 -- will go up as a result. I'm sure granny will be delighted to hear she'll be helping to underwrite the sex life of 25-year-old coeds.
As for me, I'm not. How about you?
Back to Basics
The evidence is building up -- time and time again I see a recurring theme, one which shows a menacing potential to putrefy the very basis of the American dream (no, not capitalism -- freedom). There is a rank odor of short attention span in the air and could very well prove disastrous for our culture if we do not soon shape up as a society. It is imperative that as a people, we can focus long-term on key issues that need citizens' attention, until they are resolved, without being diverted to less pertinent and trivial topics. Accordingly, media, esp. privately owned television stations and online media directed toward children, is becoming a major threat. Why? Because instead of teaching self discipline, much of today's youth are being taught to flip on the "Disney Channel or a cartoon for some easy appeasement: appeasement that sends young inquisitive minds in loops rather than helping them grow. Food for thought.
--Shane L. Byler
Water Is Rising
The Arkansas River at Tulsa is a dirty river and if you slow the flow it will flood the low around it. Brookside has no levees and Westside is low and in poor shape. Let the damn river run its course. I know this river -- was raised on this river on the Westside at 21st St. and the railroad tracks, walked across it when dry (yes, stupid kid stuff). We moved out when rising and sandbag Brookside many times.
The keystone dam will not stop the big rains or if they do not manage the levels accurately. The river is not safe to swim in -- a danger from drowning and toxin poisons and pure-d-crap. The feds, the state and whoever cannot afford this waste when the money could be used elsewhere -- I know this is a drop in the puddle of our debts. Where is Tom Coburn when you really need him to speak up against waste in government? There is a money trail here from top to bottom. Find and name these good citizens and then we all will know.
--J. Ray Hunt
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