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Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to pbacharach@okgazette. com or sent online at, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

proud to be a patriot

It really bothers me that the word “patriot” has come to have a negative connotation (News, “Patriot acts,” Clifton Adcock, Aug. 31, Oklahoma Gazette). Since when did it become wrong to support the country we live in and to attempt to uphold the ideals that our Founding Fathers believed in and our God-given rights?

The fact that there are organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, some stranger named Mark Potok who doesn’t know us from Adam, keeping lists of people like us, is the very reason that we have to stand up for our rights.

The dictionary defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion, and defines terror as violent or destructive acts committed by groups to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands. We are not using violence or coercion.

We are on a list because we believe the first step to martial law is to take away our guns and our Second Amendment rights by flooding the media with stories of mass shootings and imploring people to see how “bad” guns are.

We are on a list because we are on the right track, and putting our names on a list and calling us terrorists is a means to draw negative attention to people like us.

We are on a list because we believe that it takes more people like Potok for the government to take away our rights, and that is exactly what they are counting on. We are on a list because it is our hope that we can band together to get the truth out, so that one day, maybe we can have the combined strength and fortitude to do something about it. We are on a list to scare us into not speaking out, lest we be arrested for being a “terrorist.”

Who is using coercion here? Do you know that the Federal Reserve is a privately held (nongovernment) organization? Would you be curious about branches of the federal government purchasing large amounts of (mostly) hollowpoint ammo, which cannot be used in warfare under the Geneva Convention?

Find a doctor who will actually show you a package insert from a vaccine, and you will read that they can, indeed, cause side effects such as SIDS, autism and many others. Do you know how many of our rights have already been taken away by laws like the Patriot Act?

Those of us who believe that the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11 were inside jobs have actually taken the time to research the facts before coming to our conclusions, instead of listening to the propaganda that the government would have us believe. If everyone would take the time to research the true facts, the government would not have the ability to take away our rights, because everyone would be asking questions, instead.

Protecting our right to bear arms has nothing to do with being militia-minded terrorists. It means that if it comes down to it, we may have no choice but to pick up our arms and protect our God-given rights. We hope and pray that it doesn’t come down to that. In fact, nothing could make us happier than to be wrong about everything!

—Megan Hodge Oklahoma City

In praise of Thunderstruck

I wonder if the 15-year-old kid who wrote “Fouled Out” (Film, Harrison Lott, Aug. 29, Gazette) represents most teenagers. It is sad that he couldn’t enjoy a lighthearted movie. Thunderstruck is tops, in my opinion. I sure do hope Kevin Durant doesn’t take to heart what was written.

Thunderstruck was a nice and refreshing film. We don’t have enough movies that are clean. I have three grown boys and have seen lots of fast-paced, actionpacked movies and have enjoyed them.

Most movies include foul language, drugs, violent crime and sex. This one is funny and wholesome.

The kid’s comment in the review about the coach didn’t make sense. Of course the coaching in a comedy isn’t going to be like a real-life coach. The coaches were silly and that’s why the movie was funny.

I enjoyed seeing Kevin Durant’s moth er in the movie. I hope to see both of them in other movies. Durant was great. When I watched the movie, the theater was packed. Throughout the movie, lots of people cheered and clapped for him. I recommend Thunderstruck for all ages who can enjoy all types of movies, and not only PG-13 and R-rated ones.

—Rosemary Stafford Oklahoma City

Getting real about Obamacare

Mike Brake (Commentary, “Point: Disaster is ahead for Obamacare, Aug. 8, Gazette) claims that the Congressional Budget Office “has now projected total Obamacare costs through 2022 at $1.76 trillion, about twice the initial 10-year estimate.”

The CBO actually reduced its estimated net cost to $1.1 trillion, “about $50 billion less than the agencies’ March 2011 estimate.” The initial estimate ($940 billion) covers 2010-2019, while the $1.76 trillion gross cost is for the 11-year period from 2012-2022, which includes three more years of full program costs (that start in 2014). For the overlapping period of 2012-2019, the CBO estimate is actually $5 billion lower; the CBO still asserts that Obamacare will reduce the deficit by $210 billion.

Brake claims that “all nations with federalized health care have extensive delays and waiting lists.” Like Medicare? A Commonwealth Fund survey ranked U.S. patients second (20.5 days) to federalized Germany in wait times to see a specialist (it’s four weeks in Canada, not the bogus 18.3 weeks that Mike claims) Only 47 percent of U.S. patients could get a same- or next-day appointment for a medical problem, second worst among the world’s eight wealthiest nations.

Brake’s statistics for five-year breast cancer survival rates are outdated; a 2012 Commonwealth Fund study puts the current rates at 89 percent in the U.S., 87 percent in Canada and Norway, and 81 percent in Britain (41 percent of U.S. patients are first diagnosed after age 64, so the survival rate is partly due to federalized Medicare).

For cervical cancer, the U.S. survival rate is 64 percent versus the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) median of 66 percent (Canada is at 69 percent).

Where we fail miserably compared to federalized systems is in preventive care, especially diseases related to modifiable risk factors such as diet, lifestyle, weight and blood pressure.

U.S. mortality rates for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and bacterial infection are the highest of 15 wealthy nations at 96 per 100,000 population (Britain is at 83; France is lowest at 55). We have the ninth highest mortality rate (of 192 nations) for lung cancer and Parkinson’s, third for Alzheimer’s, 12th for multiple sclerosis, 14th for hepatitis. 27th for leukemia and 58th for overall cancer.

One primary reason U.S. health costs per capita are $7,960 compared to the OECD median of $3,182 ($4,363 in Canada) is that private insurance costs substantially more than federalized Medicare.

The CBO’s analysis of Paul Ryan’s deranged Medicare scam concluded it would cost seniors $6,358.97 a year more than Medicare for the same benefits because Medicare (by 2022) will be 36 percent cheaper than private insurance.

Conservative dogma trumps common sense.

—D.W. Tiffee Norman

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