Stanstamper’s Blog

November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Thougths…

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 3:19 pm
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Giving thanks has been a tradition in our country that started long before European settlers landed on our coasts.
Almost daily, we use this column and this page of our newspaper hoping to inform and enlighten our readers on matters of importance—things that have an impact on their lives.
We think Oklahomans, and Choctaw Countians in particular, are among the most charitable people you will find anywhere. Virtually everywhere you look there are volunteers, giving the most precious thing they have, their time, trying to make life better for someone else.
Choctaw Countians serve their fellow man through many organizations: civic clubs, youth groups and church projects. Each seeks to give something back, as our forebears gave to make things better for us.
Our blessings are pretty remarkable and perhaps too often we allow petty issues to divert our attention from the vastness of the blessings and opportunities that surround us.
Here at the Hugo Daily News, we are all thankful that we have the freedom to publish a small community newspaper and say things that would land journalists in prison in many countries.
In our county and its cities within, we see many people who haven’t lost the old-fashioned work ethic that made America great.
We are thankful that our readership has never been higher and our opportunity to serve our customers has never been greater.
At this time of Thanksgiving, our thoughts and prayers are with individuals and families who are facing difficult times and illness.
Though challenges often materialize, and some are daunting, we will always have the freedom to draw upon the inner strength given to us by God in large measures — to overcome adversity.
So we extend our wishes that you and your family have a happy, safe and memorable Thanksgiving.

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November 17, 2009

Why Hurry Mega-Health Plan?

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 3:25 pm
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Proposed health care legislation in Washington continues to generate concerns among all but the youngest of American citizens.
Seniors are worried about what will, or will not be covered. Some fear the new legislation will throw them under the bus.
Business owners are also fearful of being forced by the government to provide coverage. Many businesses are struggling financially and simply cannot afford several thousand dollars a month in new expenses.
From our vantage point, given the financial challenges our nation faces, we don’t like what we hear coming from the President concerning his desire to “rush this bill through.”
The most expensive piece of legislation in our nation’s history deserves more than a rush job through the Congress—especially our current Congress, which seems oblivious to what anything costs and who will pay for it.
Senate Democrats are in a conundrum. Rush the bill through now and face the wrath of voters back home, perhaps giving voters time to “forget” before next fall’s elections.
Or will they run the risk of taking their time and opening the gates of negative public input.
With only a few more than 20 legislative days remaining this year, odds are against a 2009 bill passing.
America’s most successful companies, which provide elaborate health plans to their executives are screaming about some Democratic plans to place an excise tax on “high cost” plans.
Another Democratic plan suggests that employers be forced to withhold more from employees which earn over $200,000—all intended to subsidize the cost of insurance for low-income recipients and what many fear will suck from the system—illegal immigrants.
Democrats have their work cut out for them as 39 of their members in the House voted against the House version of the bill.
Many of our readers have called to get phone numbers of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation so they can voice their opinions.
All but a handful oppose the present health care proposal, as do we.
It would be out of character for the Congress to take the time necessary to find a sensible balanced plan that did a minimum amount of harm in the free-market.
But using the word “character” with many members of this Congress is a bit odd in itself.

November 6, 2009

Media Improving?

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 1:58 pm
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We have passed the one-year mark with a new president.
This has been an interesting year, to say the least, with respect to how the media industry has conducted itself.
A year ago, you didn’t have to be very savvy to notice that certain media outlets from across the spectrum of print, television, radio were clearly in the tank for certain candidates.
American voters had no problems excusing their media darlings, who obviously shared their political views. They also had no problem speaking out against media outlets with an opposing bias.
Bias is the operative word here.
Just as the media have put Barack Obama and the new government under the microscope, the media itself has also undergone internal and external scrutiny.
Some reporters and those who supervise or spin their work, have come under fire for obvious bias. Same is true for networks and virtually every media outlet.
The bottom line for all of this is that we believe media reports have improved. There are still shows, programs and columnists that remain slanted to one political ideology or another.
Despite the fact that media bias still exists, some media outlets are mixing in some occasional “fair” reporting, which offers opposing viewpoints.
The system will never be perfect, but it is better. Today, some of the ultra-liberal agencies of only a year ago have surprised readers and viewers with stories pointing out questionable performance by present government leaders.
We have constantly expressed our views that many of the challenges which our country faces were created on the previous administration’s watch.
Stories elsewhere on today’s page by the Associated Press, surprise us in that they point out errors in Obama administration and government reporting.
It shows at least some movement in the agency’s coverage from the far left, back to the center or the realm of fairness, from which responsible media outlets must reside.
There will always be bias in the media and some will suffer as viewers and readers will elect to spend their time elsewhere.
We find it encouraging that the media seems to have grown up a bit in the last year, digging a little deeper on important stories and grilling elected officials a bit harder on critical points of legislation that affect citizens’ lives.
That is more like the media the framers of our Constitution had in mind in the formative years of our nation.
We hope that a year from now we can say this positive trend has continued. Just like government, the media has some work to do to restore its esteem in the minds of the American citizen.

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