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.

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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.

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.

I am sure people who are alone with their kids all day and all night 24/7 are finding it difficult to stay focused and sane. The kids have run out of projects and have read every book in the house and have eaten cookies until they could up-chuck. Not so fun! But we just must stay sheltered in our own homes until this crazy virus comes to an end and we can breathe freely and be among friends.

The most disturbing aspect is that nobody can specifically pinpoint the limitations, or even the nature and scope, of such powers. It doesn't matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat, this should concern you.

New York City and Boise City, Oklahoma, are very different places. That’s not a news flash to most, but it is to some who want COVID-19 responses implemented nationwide as though there’s no difference between one state and the next.

Back when we lived in the country, I sometimes wouldn't leave the property for days at a time except to walk the dogs. We were unique along our gravel road, where a dog on a leash was an unusual sight. Otherwise, our pets roamed free like everybody else's.

The polls show Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the presidential race. Looking at the last 10 surveys in the RealClearPolitics average of polls matching Trump vs. Biden, Biden is leading in every one of them – by anywhere from 3 to 10 points. Biden's average lead, in those 10 polls, is 5.5 points.

One thing we're learning, in our collective sorrow, is how many mayors and governors of both parties there are across America who are infinitely more capable of responding to a crisis than anybody in the White House. New York's Andrew Cuomo, Ohio's Mike DeWine and others have earned justifiable praise for effective leadership throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

As others have noted, at a time when some Americans are dying, this was not a time to engage in surreptitious leveraging to secure pet legislation. It’s akin to pulling up a truck to the backdoor of the Capitol in the middle of the night and loading it up with goods. At least toilet paper hoarders didn’t hide their intentions.

It's a saying in the journalism world that people love to hate their local newspapers, and it's the prime topic when a gripe session ensues at the coffee shop. I've been thinking about the lack of appreciation for our profession ever since I read a story about a once-thriving newspaper that went from 250 employees in the mid-1990s to just two or three today.

Life has certainly taken a turn for the interesting in the past several weeks, and it looks like it'll continue to be that way for the foreseeable future.

Despite the two-party system in the U.S., there have been times in our nation's history when some third parties have become quite popular in the midst of the dominance by the two major parties. While it has been vilified by many, socialism was very appealing as an ideology in Oklahoma prior to the outbreak of World War I. Oklahoma's political history is one in which the Democratic Party, especially in rural Oklahoma, held dominance in the state legislature, as well as that of the state executive branch.

What a difference a week makes! Life is very different today than it was just a few days ago, and things continue to change. It's easy to feel that the world is spinning out of control.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe, there are seemingly limitless “tips and tricks” that can be found online for helping prevent the spread of the virus.

It seems to me this inequality nonsense has gone on long enough. Lord knows we have done a pretty good job of fouling up this old world, and that was largely with the guys in charge. Let’s let the ladies have their shot, shall we?

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

George Kevin Agee was born August 16, 1960 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma to John W. Agee and Sharon (Peck) Agee. He passed away May 16, 2020 at home in The Woodlands, Texas, at 59 years old.

Dempsey Woodrow Cochran, 91, born August 27, 1928 in Pauls Valley Oklahoma, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 29, 2020.