I have been extremely busy during the past two months due to holiday special sections and short press times. For that reason, I have had little to no time to write my column but now that the new year is here, my resolution is to make up for lost ground.
Starting in 1824, Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee syllabary, and his family moved from Alabama to northwest Arkansas and finally to Skin Bayou near Fort Gibson in what is now Oklahoma in 1829. The final move followed an 1828 treaty that led to the removal of 600 Cherokee families from Arkansas.
When the state of Oklahoma borrows money one thing the lending companies consider is whatâ€™s called unfunded pension liability. Studies show that Oklahoma has an unfunded pension liability of approximately $11 billion. What that means is, if ALL state employees, municipal police, teachers, and firefighters retired today, then the state would be $11 billion dollars short.
â€śJournalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.â€ť
â€” George Orwell.
So with the new year kicking off today and Orwellâ€™s saying in mind, I have to say I hope that some people can put the past behind them and get over themselves. For the past month I have heard from numerous people the negative comments made about me and the Poteau Daily News. Comments made by people who are in influential positions of city government and business, as well as their spouses.
Most people make at least three New Yearâ€™s resolutions. Statistics show that 93 percent of people break at least one of them. To lose weight, to exercise more, to eat better, to save more money and to spend more time with loved ones are among the top five resolutions reported last year.
Iâ€™m going to do things a little different this week. Mrs. Vicki Dorey has worked with Dr. Harrison for 41 years and with me for two. It is with much regret that at the end of the year, she will be retiring. I have asked Harrison to share about his time with Vicki.
With my second cup of coffee in hand, I took my dog Dixieâ€™s morning food out to the porch and checked on her water in her bowl. Some years ago I spent a little extra money and got Ms. Dixie a heated water bowl. The past several days of freezing temperatures sure makes the heated water bowl worth its value.
There I was, standing in front of the picture window, drinking my second cup of coffee and looking out on the snow and ice that visited us Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I got to thinking about another time with the same scenario.
It was Dec. 25, 2000, and the snow and ice storm hit our area with a vengeance.
I can well remember the sounds of the tree limbs breaking off the trees. Now, these were not little limbs, these were limbs that were 6-8 inches across at the base of the limb and 15-18 foot long! When those limbs broke off the tree, it sounded like gun shots!
I was sitting on my rocker on my porch having my third cup of coffee and thinking about this season of Thanksgiving. Yes, itâ€™s that time of year again. You know, more food to eat than one should ever hope for or deserve. Itâ€™s that time to see friends and family and spend time having wonderful conversations with folks you might not see more than once or twice a year.
Letâ€™s start with the obvious: A democracy needs intelligence agencies. It needs to know whatâ€™s happening in the world â€” and understand the plans of allies and enemies â€” to keep the nation prepared and secure.
If intelligence work is going to be effective, much of it has to be done in secret. â€śNational securityâ€ť is not merely an excuse for keeping intelligence activity under wraps: often, the only way to protect our collective well-being is to pursue many national security activities, including intelligence-gathering, in the dark.