Anyone who's been in the news business for any length of time understands the challenges of gathering information. It's not just a matter of knowing where to get it, what will be important, and how to collect the material efficiently. The biggest problem is officials who stand in the way of getting the truth to the public.

A tariff is a tax on goods traded between two countries. A trade war is when two countries who trade goods with each other compete by alternately lowering prices on the products they sell until the other country can no longer afford to lower its prices.

Oklahoma is a state heavily reliant on resource extraction industries. To anyone who has lived in Oklahoma for more than 10 minutes, that’s an obvious statement and just a technical-sounding way of saying that our state depends on prosperity in the oil and gas sector.

Think about how much energy, and how much light, that those stars produce for us to be able to see them from so far away. Stars are indeed incredible powerhouses.

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Not everyone would have been able to make it to the League of Women Voters’ and Friends of the Stillwater Public Library’s 2020 Legislators’ Reception. Nor would they have been able to make it to the Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative breakfast. Not everyone is expected to, we’re not giving anyone a hard time.

“As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?”

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President Donald Trump's order to launch a drone strike that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, which resulted in the Iraq Parliament's vote to pass a nonbinding resolution to expel all American forces, was executed without an official declaration of war, but Trump did meet the 48-hour notification deadline required by the War Powers Act of 1973.

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When people used to think of "trolls," images of stout but ugly creatures, loitering under bridges waiting for goats or humans to cross, came to mind. But those are presumably fictitious characters, whereas modern "trolls" are all too real.

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Once in a while, I drop into the Petco at Second and Bryant. This is in part because our dogs like to eat, and in part because I enjoy all the personal time I get for introspection at that intersection. There was a time when the youngest child had a fish and I had to go more often; fish food, filters, heaters, gravel, plants, and, most often, replacement fish. Several died of unknown causes. One committed suicide by leaping out of the tank. At least we think that’s what happened; there was no fish in the tank but no sashimi on the floor, either. We surmised one of the dogs handled the corpse removal before we got home but we can’t be sure.

With the obsession of Democrats over Russian collusion and other such matters, have you ever wondered if the real double agent may just be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

It should be the aim of all of us when we attempt a job that we finish it and do it better than is required and better than it has ever been done before. Then there is progress, growth, and personal satisfaction in a job well done.

The definition of "government overreach" is in the eye of the beholder. It's sanctioned by members of the party using the heavy-handed approach, and decried as "socialism" or "fascism" by those on the other side of the aisle.

While our family was in England recently, we hopped in a cab to take us across town. My wife, who loves to make conversation with others, asked our driver where he was from and what brought him to England. Our driver, who knew we were Americans, quietly said, “Iran.”

There is no single accusation that will stop all conversation more quickly than to call someone a racist. The very founding and fabric of this country demands that we all not be racist, and more than any country in the history of the earth, we have been successful in stamping-out racism in this country.

Know how recent columns have touched on the topic of supernovae — explosions of stars? Well, it just so happens Betelgeuse is probably the next star in our galaxy to go supernova.

Sometimes it seems like Tahlequah is a jewel sparkling in the middle of a pasture filled with cow patties, muck and flies. Oklahoma continues to struggle with poor rankings in just about every marker available.

The idea of a two-state solution in Israel seems like a pipe dream. Ever since the British surrendered the League of Nations mandate of Palestine to the United Nations in 1947, a stable scenario seems out of reach due to a past checkered with war and displacement of Palestinians.

Every presidential candidate weighs the sacrifices of running for office. What does the job, or even contending for the job, mean to their family life and personal wealth? Surely, Donald J. Trump weighed the potential impact of running for president, to his personal dynasty, as a person who sells his name as a brand on real estate worldwide.

Next month, a ban imposed by the Food and Drug Administration on fruit- and mint-flavored nicotine delivered through vaping devices will take effect. And within another few months, the federal age requirement for the purchase of any tobacco product will raise to 21.

Today, Iran is a country with a population of over 82 million people with an area of about 636,000 square mines, divided into four major regions. In the north, between the Caspian Sea and the Elburz Mountain Range, lies the most heavily populated agricultural region in Iran.

It is really very difficult to assess the threat that Iran poses, to us or to anyone else, because we understand so little about those who run the country currently, other than that we don't like them.

This column is being written as information is still coming out about the strike that killed Iranian Gven. Qasem Soleimani. That may make some of this commentary age poorly or, as is more likely, prevent it from being particularly insightful, as there are still many questions that remain unanswered at this early stage.

I believe that the sooner a child grows up with the understanding that there's a universe out there that's so much bigger than anything they could possibly imagine, that could put things in perspective.

Since The Edmond Sun receives press releases from not only our coverage area, but also from across the state of Oklahoma, we see many reports of fatalities.

A republic of free citizens demands for its survival that we form and propound opinions about how our nation should be guided, and that we engage in constructive, mutually respectful discourse on our differences of opinion.

Social media has been a boon, in many ways. It has allowed families to keep in touch, and has given a forum to both introverts who don't get out that often, and extroverts who like to share wit and wisdom to brighten the day.

The American political system is based on the two-party concept, and the third-party presidential candidates are at a disadvantage, yet the “spoiler effect” of drawing votes away from a major party candidate can be the result of a third-party hat in the ring.

We all know the dangers that smoking and using other forms of tobacco pose to your health. It just makes good health sense to quit.

The big issue is on the national front. The impending impeachment trial of President Donald Trump looms over everything in Washington, D.C.

As has become an annual tradition, a plethora of holiday memes and gifs are being posted on the internet. Thankfully, this is one of the more innocuous uses of social media and is also probably closer to what Mark Zuckerberg and Tom originally envisioned when they created their social media sites in mid-2000s.

The latest attempt at getting recreational marijuana on the ballot was withdrawn. We’ve seen a couple of those attempts fail in infancy, but this one never really had a chance. It was doomed from the start for one very important reason – it didn’t even have the support from the burgeoning medical marijuana industry.

I've found throughout life that the most intriguing things happen when you least expect them.

By the time you read this, I'll be safely back in Tahlequah. At least, I hope I will. I don't like flying. I've gotten better at it; I can sometimes endure a short flight without taking a Valium, and these days, I rarely scream, "WHAT WAS THAT?" when I hear the slightest noise that seems out of the ordinary.

First lady Melania Trump is correct to respond defensively to the mention of her 13-year-old son, Barron, during impeachment proceedings. That was a low blow; no matter what Americans may think of the boy's parents, he shouldn't be fodder for the gristmill.

The problem with this is if we’re not careful we can put off and limit ourselves and our service to Christ to some future date, in some far-off land.

In the wake of the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump which were passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 18, I reflected on congressional Republicans, and how they had pushed back on everything from the basis for the impeachment inquiry to the process of impeachment itself. There was what some might cite as unprofessional behavior on the part of two dozen House Republicans when they "crashed" the secure room on Capitol Hill during a closed hearing.

We say goodbye this week to the first fifth of the century, and people who were wearing diapers while I was worrying about Y2K fallout will vote in the coming presidential election.

Sometimes, what the Supreme Court of the United States doesn't do is just as important as what it does do. That's the case with with its Dec. 16 action – or rather, lack of action – because it will force cities to come up with creative ideas for dealing with the homeless.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

78, Retired superintendent Empire Roofing, passed away Tuesday 01/21/2020. Services 10AM Today, First Free Will Baptist Church, Fort Gibson. Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home, Fort Gibson. Online condolences clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com

78, Retired superintendent Empire Roofing, died Tuesday. Visitation 5PM-7PM Monday, 01/27/2020 at funeral home. Services 10AM Tuesday, 01/28/2020, First Free Will Baptist Church, Fort Gibson. Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home. Online condolences clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com

87, sheet metal contractor, passed Monday, January 20, 2020 Family will receive friends 2-4PM, Sunday, January 26, 2020 @ Cornerstone Funeral Home Service: 10AM, Monday, January 27, 2020 @ Crescent Valley Baptist Church, Tahlequah Cornerstone FH, Muskogee

, 90, Muskogee Public School Secretary. Died Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Funeral Service 10:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Chandler Road Church of Christ. Mallett Funeral Home and Crematory