Letters to the Editor: Aug. 20, 2014

Pigs don’t listen

Scott Esk, Muslim extremists, Nazis and professional sports owners still have a lot to learn. Scott Esk (News, Chicken-Fried News, “Stoning gays … to death?” June 18, Oklahoma Gazette) made the mistake that all persons with concrete belief systems make sooner or later. They speak to them, or as Jesus said, they “cast their pearls before swine.” The swine are the listeners and reporters who have contrary belief systems. It is a fool who thinks that the swine will attentively listen and critically analyze what you are trying to say.

— Michael Moberly
Mustang

Is national comparison fair?

I really appreciate Michael Barlow’s letter regarding teachers’ pay, “Starting salary isn’t the problem” (News, Commentary, Aug. 8, Gazette). The guy has been around the block a few times and has been heavily involved in all facets of the Sooner educational system.

The fly in the ointment is the repeated comparison of how many dollars an Oklahoma teacher earns compared to the national average. Can one really compare an earned Oklahoma dollar and its associated buying power to one in San Francisco, Hartford, Albany, etc.?

Oklahoma is tied for 17th place nationally with Idaho and South Carolina with respect to educational spending as a ratio to personal income. That’s a much fairer comparison. In that regard, I would contend Oklahoma education is not underfunded.

 — Thomas L. Furlong
Oklahoma City

Ignorance isn’t bliss

Mickey McVay, the man who told Gazette readers that our atmosphere is 95 percent water (News, Letters, “Mistaken environmentalists,” Sept. 14, 2011, Gazette) continues his tradition of willfully ignorant letters with “Who’s to Blame?” (News, Letters, July 30, Gazette).

I damn well remember 9/11. But I also remember who was actually culpable for that dastardly act. It was not Iraq. No one even remotely informed ever thought otherwise.

He accuses Obama of prematurely withdrawing troops. Those troops left when they did because of the “U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, 2008” signed by the Bush Administration. The full text is online — look at Article 24. Iraq refused to extend the deadline for the withdrawal.

As for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, at the time, I fell for it. I could have and should have known better. I did not comprehend just how spineless Clinton administration people and other Democrats could be at standing up to the Bush administration. The “evidence” provided prior to the war was garbage.

The Bush administration played the same game used by creationists and climate-change deniers: Start with the conclusion, cherry-pick the “facts.” Most of the media lacked the will to do the work to find the truth or the courage to say it. That’s not unusual.

Those with Netflix might consider watching Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five for example of a press that failed to dispute indisputably false evidence provided by those in power. One might also read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, which documents the difficulty the press had in saying the “controversy” whether or not cigarettes caused cancer was created the tobacco industry. Thus, the media debate continued decades longer than it should have.

Finally, three words: Gulf of Tonkin.

— Michael Hopkins
Norman

OKG Contributor

This article was written by an Oklahoma Gazette contributor. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story's headline in your subject line.

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