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Sooner or later, every political columnist quotes George Santayana, and this is my week. If you have a problem with that, then go back to Podunk with the other nimrods.

Fans of the "Doctor Who" series will remember an episode, when David Tennant portrayed the perpetual time traveler, in which viewers were ominously advised, "Don't blink." Otherwise, what appeared to be statues of angels would use that millisecond to bare their fangs and move in for the kill.

For those who have been wondering if a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding tribal jurisdiction means they don't have to pay taxes, the answer is no; they still have to pony up. Furthermore, property owners who don't have CDIB cards needn't be afraid a Native will seize their land.

I've been on this earth for 60 years. And I can't remember a time when hypocrisy has been on more blatant display. And most of it has to do with the politicization of issues that, under normal circumstances, would find us all in full agreement.

For St. Thérèse and those of us in the catholic, apostolic tradition, liturgy is essential. But, she teaches us to go beyond all these, to go deeper, to go within ourselves, and to discover an intimacy with Christ that goes beyond the realm of any written word, even Scripture.

After local and national economies were effectively forced to close in response to coronavirus this spring, communities across the nation are continuing to slowly and cautiously reopen. While it is encouraging to see businesses opening back up and Americans returning to work, it’s important to keep in mind that life as we know it is not yet back to normal. Until there are effective treatments, therapeutics and ultimately a vaccine to control COVID-19, we must continue to take precautions, including adapting our workplace operations.

Have you heard of the house analogy many are using to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement? If not, it goes a little something like this: There is a neighborhood full of houses, but one of the houses is on fire. Does the fire department tend to the house on fire or all the houses in the neighborhood?

Since Oklahoma’s oil bust of the 1980s, our state and local governments have invested billions of our hard-earned tax dollars in diversifying Oklahoma’s economy. These investments have paid off. For example, right here in Northeastern Oklahoma, Google placed a data center in Pryor. On June 3…

Over the last couple of years, the Pauls Valley Democrat has participated in a CNHI national project called Pulse of the Voters, getting opinions on the state of the country and politics from area residents in all political parties and of all ages.

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Your last semester in high school has gotten demolished by a global pandemic and it is wickedly unfair. Your graduation is now a drive-thru, your prom is imaginary, and instead of spending your last semester of senior year hanging out with your friends and taking a victory lap, you spent it in your bedroom doing classwork over Zoom and making Tik Tok videos.

The Oklahoma legislature adjourned on Friday, passing about half the number of bills they usually do in a session due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed 16 bills last year, but this year vetoed 19 – 10 of which the legislature overrode. Five of the vetoed bills were authored by House Speaker Charles McCall, (R-Atoka). Those bills passed both chambers with strong bipartisan support.

Oklahoma Blood Institute needs you.

It always amazed me how in the first half of the 20th century, lone teachers in small, rural schoolhouses, were able to successfully teach all grades in a single classroom. And then, those students - who were educated and articulate - were able to win two World Wars, enrich the entire world, and send men into space.

The Framers of the Constitution ... were men of faith. But, they left provisions of faith — and government mechanisms to protect and advance faith — out of our Constitution ... They did so not because they wanted faith to flounder in our republic. They did so because they knew the only way to ensure religious liberty was to keep government out of the matter entirely.

You’ve heard the old saying, “Turn around, don’t drown.” That advice was especially pertinent here last week.

On the topic of gaming, the chasm between the governor’s office and many of Oklahoma’s Indian tribes could not be wider. It appears only the courts will be able to narrow it.

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I understand the feelings of people who are screaming about their freedoms being trampled, and angry about the effect shuttered businesses haven on our economy. I really do. Few industries are hurting more than mine, which depends on all the others to keep it afloat.

I hope everyone is doing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with those of you have been directly impacted by this awful virus whether medically, financially or personally. We grieve for the five families in Muskogee and Cherokee counties who lost their loved ones and hope that the more than 50 other patients are recovering or are well now.

President Trump has directed a 60-day halt to payments by the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO), pending review of how it handled warnings about COVID-19 and China.

If you'd like to see the Starlink satellites, there are several sites you can go to that will show when you can see them. One such site is satflare.com.

The discussion going on in our community and across the world is “reopening.” The numbers showing from the computer models tell us we should be concerned about opening too soon. Then again, maybe not.

We should have a pretty good idea of data, with cases and symptoms, hospitalizations that have been tracked during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still a few key details for re-engaging with the public that we need to have a good grasp of moving forward.

The financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a massive amount of relief from the federal government, and beginning last week, many Americans received relief checks.

Watching those rent-a-mob bands of bearded he-men swaggering around state capitols with their Confederate flags and symbolic AR-15s – what were they going to shoot at, after all? – reminded me of a scene in the old Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall movie "Key Largo."

We got off to a rocky start. Health care workers without masks have been attending patients who couldn't get ventilators, surrounded by sick people who couldn't get tested. But things seem to be getting better.

To the Editor and the people of Oklahoma

There’s no denying that area businesses are struggling - especially those that have been closed for business for several weeks now. But although the restaurants are open, they are doing only carry-out and curbside pickup – and they are hurting, too.

Twenty-five years ago, I was traveling from home to work when I heard the tragic news that there had been a large explosion in downtown Oklahoma City.

This time last week, I was thinking about "A Tale of Two Cities," by Charles Dickens. Now, I'm thinking of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" - or my version of it: "Season of the Weird." Because in my 60 years, I've never experienced the weirdness of the COVID-19 pandemic: "So many different people to be, that it's strange, so strange - it's very strange to me." An older friend - who admits to evolving from a peace-and-love hippie of the '60s to a "gimme-what's-mine" capitalist of the 21st century - tells me it's like a bad acid trip. He said you didn't want to get out in public in the midst of one of those, because you might do something weird. Now, you don't want to get out in public in the midst of the pandemic because you might catch something weird.

It's easy to view the COVID-19 pandemic through a negative lens, and far more difficult to look ahead in hope for better days. But many area residents have much to be thankful for, now would be a good time to practice gratitude.

When I wrote my first column, I devoted it to describing my intent to staying focused on data, metrics, rationality, and reason. I expressed my hope that reflexive emotional reactions in politics could be reduced, or at least subordinated, to more empirical and data-driven methods of scrutiny. The arrival of the coronavirus hasn’t provided much evidence that our public discourse and decision-making has moved in that direction.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Vinita Pearl Parten of DeRidder passed away July 30, 2020 in DeRidder, Louisiana at the age of 88 years.

Patricia Pearson, age 68, left this world peacefully at her home in Norman with her husband Phil Pearson at her side following a long illness.

SFC retired Major Lee Collins, son of the late Lawrence Collins and Lena Collins, was born January 12, 1948 in Oklahoma City.