Editorials

Recent Articles

USS FITZGERALD – The Co-Victims

This past week was a particularly sad one for our entire nation.  As the world held its breath, my husband and I awaited news of the seven missing sailors on the USS Fitzgerald broadsided by the 29,000-ton container ship ACX Crystal off Japan’s Izu Peninsula.  During the days that followed, we monitored social media awaiting any news from families who had loved one stationed aboard the USS Fitzgerald.  As communication slowly trickled out to families anxiously awaiting word, our relief for them was great.  One by one, the list of possible victims narrowed.  One by one, families without word grew more and more anxious.  My husband is a retired US Navy Sailor.  I recall a time when I was one of those family members waiting anxiously for news of my beloved sailor. The seven bereft families from the USS Fitzgerald live in an age where the news is everywhere.  They were able to see the details of this event unfold before their very eyes half a world away.  Does that make it any easier for them?  I think not.  Unfortunately, for these families, the deaths of their loved ones fall into two different categories.  These family members will suffer the effects of sudden death as well as those of high profile deaths with heavy media coverage and speculation. Greif Brief 123
REGRET (SUDDEN DEATH)
Sudden death can bring feelings of regret to the survivor. Regret for things said or unsaid, actions, inactions, and lost dreams.
Counseling can serve to redirect these regrets allowing a better grief recovery experience and closure. (Mourning Light II, Tracy Renee Lee 2016)
 

When the crewmembers of the USS Fitzgerald left base Friday for “routine operations” they probably experienced a “routine farewell” from family members.  After all, when things are routine, they are usually mundane and do not call for any sort of special recognition.  It was not as though they were leaving for a six-month deployment; right?  If you have not ever realized it before, being in the military is not routine.  The men and women of the US Military risk their lives each and every day at work.  Their routine jobs put them in harm’s way almost every moment, even when they are on US soil.  Their jobs are not like civilian jobs.  Their jobs are to die so that civilians might live.  Yes in truth, a service member’s job is to do whatever it takes to protect your life, up to and including sacrificing his or her own.  Moreover, they are honored to do it. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

For the Children: Free Comic Book Day Helps to Boost Reading and Literacy

 

Oklahoma – I am taking a week off from discussing the Oklahoma Legislature and politics to share some important news: May 6 is Free Comic Book Day in the United States! As a collector of comics, I am excited about this day for obvious reasons. But as the CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, I am excited about the way in which it can be used to jump-start our children’s interest in reading, their imaginations, and ultimately their literacy levels. If you were not aware before, you are now: I collect comic books. When I was running for governor in 2014, my staff was actually afraid it might cost me votes. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

CableOne – Is it time to do away with bandwidth limits?

 

Bandwidth is a term associated with the amount of data you use.  People have had bandwidth to deal with for as long as the Internet has been cellular, cable, and DSL in format and with some companies even by telephone usage, but that was long ago.  We have all likely seen the commercials or heard about someone going over their bandwidth.  It’s gotten to be such a hot topic and such a major issue for some people that they have opted to pay more for plans that offer no bandwidth limits.  Unfortunately, not all companies offer a no bandwidth limit, and the ones that do not act as if you have sinned the greatest known sin there is when you exceed your allotted bandwidth.  But can we really afford to live in a bandwidth limited society any longer? To determine if we need a “No limits” Bandwidth society, we need to first know exactly what uses bandwidth.   It’s hard to say for everyone and to cover everything that may use bandwidth, but consider the following areas that use bandwidth: email, Internet surfing, Netflix, music streaming, music downloading, game downloads, gaming, movie downloads, computer backups, online security systems and cameras, Internet based thermostats, Internet based of VOIP telephones, weather station reporters, postage machines, scanners, printers, and on and on.  You get the idea, and if you use the newest movie streaming services or watch movies in high definition on a service such as Apple TV or Netflix, then you will eat up tons of bandwidth in no time at all. So, if you have limited bandwidth, what can you do?  The first thing you can do is cut down all those high definition movies and games to regular definition.  It will save you a lot.  You can limit your use of YouTube – by default most of the YouTube apps automatically adjust to your Internet speed to give you the best video possible.  Unfortunately, that best video also eats up your bandwidth.  Some allows you to control the video quality and some do not, so YouTube can be a real burner when it comes to bandwidth. It seems that no matter how much you cut your bandwidth, some people still go over.  Take me for example.  I’m with the fastest and in my opinion best Internet service in the Texarkana area, CableOne.  Unfortunately, I do not always agree with CableOne’s ability to count their bandwidth when it comes to my usage.  In 2015, I found that several days on the CableOne list indicated that I had zero usages.  That means my thermostat did not even check the weather that day!  It also means that me sitting here in my home using the Internet used none of my bandwidth.  When I originally brought this up to a VP at CableOne, and he in turn to it to others for review, I was told that “we had stirred up a hornet’s nest.”  Apparently, at that time there was some major issues in bandwidth counting. Now, a little over a year later and after being assured that those “issues” had been resolved I found myself again exceeding bandwidth usage.  It seemed odd to me that I was exceeding at just about the same time that CableOne came out with new plans, but maybe that is just a coincidence.  I decided by the middle of the last billing cycle to make some changes.  I changed the router’s password, cut off two extenders, and made sure that everything on my network was named – meaning I knew who was connected to my router.  I also started again monitoring my data usage on my router. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,