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Please, think before posting anything hateful toward another person. You don't know what they are dealing with in their lives. If posting something vile makes you feel good, then re-examine your own motivations.

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After 9/11, the National Security Agency bought metadata from AT&T and Verizon. It began the intensive task of plotting relationships in billing records and call logs of cellphones and landlines all over America. By 2009, FISA warrants were issued so broadly that millions of records were incorporated into the database mashup.

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Emmett Louis Till grew up and attended school on the south side of Chicago during an era in which segregated schools had become a part of American life. In 1954, despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, there was resistance in the Deep South to integration.

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In the past few years, there's been a crusade among the public for media giants to tamp down "fake news," and rightly so. While newspapers are held to legal standards and can get successfully sued if they print lies, defame someone's character, or invade the privacy of a person who's not a public figure, social media platforms seem to be a free-for-all.

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I few weeks ago, I implied I'd be writing about farts in church in my next column, rather than something as serious as the topic at hand. The next day, a local pastor called to say he'd share a story about bowel problems he experienced once from the pulpit after eating his grandmother's boiled cabbage the previous evening, on the condition that I not use his name. He preceded that by saying, "I suppose you were implying that people think farts in church are funny - and it's true, but I never could explain that sentiment."

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As churches in Oklahoma and elsewhere gradually reopen, they might do well to discourage congregational singing and keep the choir section empty for a while longer — perhaps a good while. Singing may be good for the soul but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be dangerous.

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It's too late to do anything about it, but the state's new logo is yet another example of the lack of prudence when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars at the state level.

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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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By and large, our schools are already doing what they are being asked to do without realizing it. Criticism is coming from those who don't really know what schools are being asked to do.

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Speculation abounds about the type of economic recovery that will take place as societies adjust to COVID-19. Many descriptive images related to a graph representing the economy are used to try to convey the possibilities.

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While most of the country is performing virtual graduation ceremonies, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is looking ahead to fall. This week, the group released guidelines to schools when the time comes around again to open and resume some sort of normalcy.

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.

OBI provides more than 90% of the blood provided to patients in the state, requiring 1,200 donors each day to meet the demand.

We are called to a passionate, bone-aching kind of love, that centers our being, our efforts, our passions and our last breath, on the one and only true source of our life and worth — our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There was a time when Republicans championed a society with fewer government-imposed restrictions. With all due respect to Alexander Hamilton, they preferred a bottom-up structure, giving more weight to local leadership than blanket mandates from Washington, D.C.

Dr. Rick Bright came forward, and spoke about the lack of an effective White House pandemic response plan, and we are hearing less and less of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. And then, low and behold, the White House press secretary waves around an official-looking presidential binder that contains the actual “plan” for combating a disease that has now killed – at the time this column was penned – over 300,000 people in the world, with over 80,000 dead in the United States.

Like many others, I am tired of hearing about pandemics, masks, proper treatment and massive death tolls or lack thereof. Stuck at home, many have been under a constant news barrage of fear and no hope for humankind to survive.

 Something flipped, flopped or lurched, deep down in both my chest and my psyche. Was it love? I don’t know. All I know is that I couldn’t stop staring at her, thinking how lucky I was to have this dark-haired beauty actually talking to me.

In light of the worst public health crisis in generations, we have used medical science, facts and compassion as our guide. Throughout this crisis, our decision-making has been guided by Cherokee Nation health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on this guidance, limiting access to government headquarters and temporarily shutting our businesses was the right thing to do.

When reading about major disease pandemics over recorded history, it’s hard not to dwell on the deadly so-called Spanish flu of 1918-19, as well as our current bout with the novel coronavirus dubbed COVID-19.

The time has come around again for what has become the most popular annual feature for the Tahlequah Daily Press - at least, among regular readers. It's our annual "Best of Cherokee County Readers' Choice Awards."

It is troubling to see that retail workers are being shot as a matter of principle by mentally ill vigilantes who are anxious to dine in or who don’t want to order curbside while masked. In some cities, armed people demonstrate for their freedom to shop or something.

Anti-lockdown demonstrations have broken out around the U.S. recently – demonstrations directed at the state governments’ measures designed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan is a state that has captured national attention regarding the conflict between some angry citizens and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over the lockdown orders.

Unemployment rose by something like 20 million workers last month, and when you add that number to the previously unemployed, we have over 30 million workers looking for a job. Even that didn't tell the whole story, though, because millions more weren't counted because they had already given up finding a job and dropped out of the work force.

Many people today are "sheltering at home" by employer or doctor mandate. Others stay put more often than they want because the places they'd like to go are closed. Either way, those who aren't among the "essentials" or haven't been recalled to work appear to have a little more time on their hands than usual.

This loving, gentle man, who was not only ready, but eager, to come face-to-face with God, summed up in 10 simple words the faith I strive to live:

There is no way for white Americans to completely understand what it means to live black in America. But, if we truly desire our nation to ever become a land of equality, freedom and justice, we must take off the comfortable lenses of our white privilege.

We long to remember these little slices of our past, the fleeting moments we get when good memories flood over us, and we wish the feeling would last ... but it doesn’t. And we are disappointed.

Apologize for disrespecting elected officials? Excuse me, your honor, but disagreeing with public officials has long been an American right and has even frequently taken on the form of a "concept of liberty" called civil disobedience.

On Jan. 13, 2017, a week before the Trump Transition Team was taking office, a global flu outbreak scenario briefing was held jointly between the incoming and outgoing Trump and Obama administrations. The new president's team had its first opportunity to grasp the historical role of presidential administrations in managing a national pandemic response. The briefing told of the framework for how nations cooperate in borderless disasters, to save lives. Transition briefings are aimed at safely getting new presidents past the early months when they might be vulnerable to crisis situations.

One of the good fortunes of teaching at a small, regional public university like RSU is the opportunity to stretch my teaching muscles, and teach a wide variety of courses. One of the courses I teach is “intergovernmental relations,” its principal focus is on federalism, detailing the often complex dance of collaboration and conflict among the federal, state, and local governments.

“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute! And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds interesting to me.”

When you go into the grocery store, you expect to pay for bread, milk and other items, and if you've been charged for something you didn't get, you return for a refund or the missing product. When you have a leak in a pipe in your house, you may call a plumber, who will hand you a bill, but you expect the pipe to be fixed before he leaves.

The night sky really is more alive than you think. Those 10 seconds you spend walking from your car to your door might as well be like judging a movie based on five minutes of content.

We cannot always control our circumstances, but we can control our reaction to them.

This Week's Circulars


Tracy Noel Mealer, 54, Chickasha,born August 17, 1965. She died May 24, 2020 in Chickasha. Memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home.