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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 26, 2014

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‘Technical difficulties,’ indeed

I vehemently disagree with the view of Ward 5 Councilman David Greenwell, who said, “I think some people understand technology and what it can do for us and maybe some people haven’t studied it well enough to gain that level of confidence,” when he argued for less oversight of Uber and Lyft. (News, “Technical difficulties,” Ben Felder, Oct. 22, Oklahoma Gazette).

Public transportation is a public trust that requires regulation by the state. Utmost diligence is required in the transport of passengers, and technology is only a secondary issue.

What use does a technology offer if affordability, homelessness and unemployment are the real issues?

Let me cite my case, as an example, in which I need an urgent ride to my ophthalmologist because of blurred vision. I do not have even a government phone — because I have no income — to contact Embark.

Thanks to the courtesy phone at the Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library,

I can connect with Mary Kay Fox, manager of special services at Embark, who provided a free ride from my residence. By e-mail, I can communicate with Fox because I am limited to 15 minutes on the library phone. One does not have to enroll at OU to learn that new technology — in this instance, transportation — would require huge capital expenditures. Perhaps Mayor Mick Cornett and Greenwell ought to get out of their air-conditioned offices and stroll by the City Rescue Mission or the Jesus House to see the “advances” in technology as far as the problems of homelessness and unemployment are concerned.

I submit that before discussing any issue like technology, Uber and Lyft, the mayor must prioritize further assistance and support in terms of additional funding to agencies like Embark.

— Edwin C. Figuerres

Oklahoma City

Obama is a reasonable man

Progressives, do not despair. Obama is the smartest man in the room, at least any room that he shares with other politicians. Although he did not plan this rout, he certainly expected it. He has repeatedly turned his enemies on themselves.

As you might have noticed, our president is not very partisan. He is sort of a party of one that neither party can warm up to. He consistently puts the country ahead of his party, which Republicans can’t even comprehend and his Democratic colleagues resent.

What has his party done for him lately? Even the Democratic Senate proposed very little with their reelection threatened by Obama-haters. Why weren’t they as daring as our president?

For the first time, the Republicans need something from him. They need to show some governance, but he can veto everything they propose. He has more power over the Republicans now than he has ever had. Because of his unusual bent of standing for America first, he might actually give the Republicans some successes based on compromise and reduce the chance for a Democratic successor.

We have now sitting, arguably, the smartest president since Lincoln and one of the best politicians, at least for himself. Let’s see what he does with the nasty cadre of self-promoters and industry shills that now have to deal with this brave and reasonable man.

— James Clare Woodside

Edmond

Lankford should follow advice

James Lankford recently stated that we should allow “dads to be dads.” In other words, no government help! What about oil companies? What about big agriculture and all the other corporate entities thathe votes big subsidies or tax breaks for? Shouldn’t they follow the same edict?

— Elda Davis

Bethany

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