POSTED ON DECEMBER 12, 2012:
Protesteth Too Much?
(re: Rant 'n' Rall, Dec. 6-12)
While I agree generally about the silly legal and social ramifications of what is entirely a private, personal matter, I continue to find Ted's commentary deeply offensive, which given the editor's note this week, must be common.
The problem isn't that Rall is a vile, name-calling bigot who freely expresses hate speech in regard to those who dare to disagree with him. That's funny enough considering Rall represents neither a constituency nor a credible career in actual journalism.
No, the problem is that Urban Tulsa, which I love, doesn't have the balls to:
1. Replace Rall with someone who is an actual Oklahoman or who at least knows where Oklahoma is. Even an Okie as hard-core Christian-hating and Marxist as Rall would be an improvement. Rall is a carpetbagger who goes into whatever little markets will print him because they can't afford a credible syndicated alternative.
2. Urban Tulsa does not demonstrate the need for balance of commentary, which is a hallmark of legitimate media. The paper has, in my experience, never sought out, employed, or regularly published columnists who aren't Marxist bigots.
Seriously, a paper in Oklahoma only prints opinions of those (mostly out of state) columnists who despise Christianity, consider military members murderers, and openly espouse violent community revolution? Great marketing vision in Oklahoma. Well, if your only goal is to appeal to 22 year old hipsters in midtown Tulsa. Absurdly amateur marketing for a publisher interested in being professional or successful.
As witnessed by a shrinking staff, smaller product, less content and less advertising.
These things make me sad as a fan for many years. But I have to say, you have brought it on yourself.
We know the headline on last week's paper said "Smoke This Issue," but we didn't expect anyone to take us so literally.
We don't always agree with Ted, but he's one of the hardest working people in the business. Criticize his ideas, sure, but don't besmirch the man.
As for our left-wing commentary, I think two of our regular columnists, Terry Simonson and Bill Leighty, would be surprised to find out they're "Marxist bigots." Simonson's columns, in particular, are pretty by-the-book conservative. By the way, they're both Okies. So you might want to, you know, read our paper before you run your mouth.
And aren't you the senior editor at Oklahoma Magazine? Is this really how you want to portray your organization? Talk about bringing it on yourself!
Another Chuck Grateful
(re: Cover Story, Dec. 6-12, 2012)
Thanks for your article on medical marijuana.
My name is Chuck Vaughn. So it really came as a surprise, indeed not an unpleasant one, that the article opened with Chuck Vaughan.
My situation is not unlike many others. More than three decades ago I began to sustain injuries due to the type of work that I did.
Work and improperly working out at the gym left me with injuries which have gotten much worse over the years.
Where there once was just medium discomfort, now the pain is constant. And where there once were just injured discs, pulled muscles, etc., there is arthritis.
I'm mercifully under the care of a great physician, who understands. I wish that medical marijuana was available in Oklahoma. However, I realize the chances of that are slim to none.
Frankly, I'm really surprised that it became legal anywhere in the U.S. The drug companies and their lobbyists are so powerful that only a decade or so ago legalization would have been a long shot at best.
I, as well as the others mentioned in the article, haven't smoked pot for almost 30 years. But I would welcome the legalization of marijuana.
Opponents of legalization always bring up the heroin/marijuana comparison. The question never should be: "How many people using heroin began by using pot?"
The question should be: "How many of the people who have smoked pot became users of heroin?"
Oklahoma: Not as Conservative as You Think!
(re: Letters, Nov. 22-28, 2012)
In response to J. Ray Hunt's comments:
On the federal level, we shouldn't have to depend on the government furnishing our health insurance, food (food stamps), free abortions, free contraceptives, and free cell phones. "Obamacare" is going to cost every American paying into it $2,000 - $2,500 more per year, much more than you pay with a private insurance company and it will have less coverage.
I agree that there is more than enough corruption in the Congress. All three branches have weakened our constitutional Republic and divided it more.
As for your saying all elected members of the Oklahoma government are republicans, that shows little research. There should be enough "liberal" Republicans and Democrats in the legislature in the next session to make you happy. Also, you should be happy that the nine Supreme Court justices who opposed the personhood bill and thereby promoted the killing of innocent, unborn babies were reelected.
If you don't like the governmental policies of Oklahoma, you should consider moving to another state, and find out Oklahoma is a great state overall.
--Gary Van Antwerp
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