The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 19, 2012

Example of ‘reaching out’ to community

NORMAN — I want to begin by thanking Joe Ted Miller for his excellent essay on the need for all of us to reach out to one another (Transcript, Nov. 11). This has value in all aspects of life but especially in the political dimension of our society right now. We seem to have lost the ability our predecessors had: to listen to and work with people who have different values, make different assumptions and, hence, advocate different policies.

In my view, this inability to listen to one another is the underlying problem behind the gridlock we currently see in Congress. This problem begins, however, with the public, not just with our elected representatives.

We citizens need to learn how to dialogue across differences and then vote for representatives who can do the same. Because of this view, I have been making my own effort to create such dialogue and want to share one recent example.

While having breakfast with a neighbor a few weeks ago, I happened to mention that my political views can be characterized as being on the “far left.” My friend smiled and replied that his were on the “far right.” This surprised me but led me to wonder, later, what he meant by describing himself as “far right.”

But then I asked what I meant by “far left” — and surprised myself when I did not have a ready answer.

So I invited my friend to breakfast again to explore what we each meant by these self-characterizations.

The resulting discussion was wonderful. We each only tried to understand each other, not change the other’s views.

I learned about the experiences he had had that led him to be concerned about the high level of welfare expenditures and the sense of entitlement that some recipients display.

He heard my concern about various forms of social injustice, some of which are prompted by the deep desire for greater profits by large corporations, e.g. Enron, mortgage banks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Times two during April tax season

    Each April, it matters about which column the numbers fall into. Jerry’s first surgery for cataracts occurred in November and the other, December. “How’re you seeing now?” friends say....

    April 8, 2014

  • Soldiers home but not yet safe

    March ended with this uplifting news: For the first time in seven years, no U.S. soldiers died that month in combat. Not one....

    April 7, 2014

  • Fred Harris still sounds like a presidential candidate

    A tourist who happened to wander inside the Kerr Auditorium at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Friday afternoon missed the introduction but caught the tail end of Fred Harris’ lecture....

    April 6, 2014

  • Latin inventors thrive — in U.S.

    If you think that Latin America is doomed to remain behind in science, technology and innovation — as one could conclude from the latest international rankings of patents of new inventions — you should meet Luis Von Ahn....

    April 1, 2014