One of the key aspects regarding the electability of a presidential candidate – in addition to policy proposals, ideology, and charisma– is the selection of a vice presidential running mate. Until the ratification of the 12th Amendment – as a result of the 1800 tie in the Electoral College, which resulted in the selection of Thomas Jefferson as president by the House of Representatives – the presidential candidate with the second-highest number of electoral votes became the vice president.

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As others have noted, at a time when some Americans are dying, this was not a time to engage in surreptitious leveraging to secure pet legislation. It’s akin to pulling up a truck to the backdoor of the Capitol in the middle of the night and loading it up with goods. At least toilet paper hoarders didn’t hide their intentions.

It has never been more important to listen to your elders and authority figures. We’re talking to you, young people of Stillwater.

On Tuesday evening, March 24, local officials decided to impose a partial lockdown and "shelter-at-home" order for Cherokee County, allowing only "essential" businesses to continue operating. That dovetails Gov. Kevin Stitt's earlier announcement that the 19 counties with confirmed coronavirus cases needed to enforce stricter measures.

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Hybrids and monocultures are risky. They have a narrowed range of evolutionary survival strategies. Whatever afflicts one plant can afflict plants nearby.

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The nonprofit industry is the third largest in America. In Garfield County, nonprofit organizations employ hundreds of people and serve thousands. They provide food for the hungry, safety for the abused, care for our seniors, shelter for the homeless, hope for the discourage and empowerment for the powerless.

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With the onslaught of COVID-19, the world has seen what may become a new normal of life in many aspects. Restaurants are offering delivery and curbside service. Stores are offering special hours for senior citizens and those who are more vulnerable to catching this particular disease. Neighbors are checking on neighbors, and many younger family members are checking and caring for older family and friends.

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Suddenly and unexpectedly, the world finds itself in need of a spirit of unity. People everywhere are confronted with a common enemy in COVID-19 and an effective response requires agreement as to purpose and accord regarding tactics.

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When I started researching "unions," this week's topic, I asked myself why a Christian nation should have such a great need for unions. Then, I was reminded that no nation has ever been in greater need of a mediating spirit than the United States of America.

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Although I am and have been a member of two unions – Cherokee County Retired Educators Association and Oklahoma Retired Educators Association – for years, and although these are not the first unions that I have been a member of, I am neither a fan of nor particularly a supporter of unions of most kinds.

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Is the limited information we get about positive cases of COVID-19 for our own good? We’ve seen cases, like the first one in Oklahoma, where information was freely given about the patient’s gender, age, that he had traveled from Europe. In following cases, not so much.

In addition to the upheaval of children’s schedules, schooling and activities due to social distancing, parents are coping with their own fears about managing the progression of COVID-19 and keeping their families safe. With their usual routines out of place and the adults around them dealing with ever-changing information, many children will experience elevated levels of anxiety.

I’ve been asked by many to contrast our current pandemic outbreak of a deadly disease in the United States with another in our past.

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Well, not only has sports stopped, but so have all other forms of entertainments, including the closure of movie theatres.

Journalists are used to mischaracterization about our political bent and bias. It's always been part and parcel of our jobs, and for the most part, we let the unfair allegations roll off like water off a duck's back. It's gotten worse in recent years, with rallying cries of "fake news!" aimed in our direction at every opportunity.

We will be defined by how we use this time. Let us use it wisely, and use it with wild abandon in the cause of beauty and love.

How do we find the immense blessings of Christ in the sometimes mundane, grey, grim and painful aspects of this life? We find those blessings by allowing Christ to infuse our every act, as Herbert allowed Christ to infuse his words.

Despite the two-party system in the U.S., there have been times in our nation's history when some third parties have become quite popular in the midst of the dominance by the two major parties. While it has been vilified by many, socialism was very appealing as an ideology in Oklahoma prior to the outbreak of World War I. Oklahoma's political history is one in which the Democratic Party, especially in rural Oklahoma, held dominance in the state legislature, as well as that of the state executive branch.

Just a short time ago, I and most Cherokees were focused on the plans and activities of everyday life. We could take so much for granted as we enjoyed community gatherings, spent time with colleagues, friends and family, and moved around our social spaces.

As news of the coronavirus continues to unfold, area residents may be concentrating on gathering needed stores of food, medication and other necessities in preparation for a period of quarantine. For some, the outlook is bleak, and that's understandable, since jobs and the economy hang in the balance.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of staying calm in a crisis and the fact it was crucial to disseminate accurate and factual information. As a global society, it appears to me we have woefully failed in those two areas this past week.

Despite complications that arise from my inclination to verbosity when trying to work within a word limit, I'm going to mention how proud I am of my 9-year-old daughter for all her hard work and for helping her Robotix team qualify for the world competition in Louisville, Kentucky, this April.

Last week, with little warning, the bulls lost their grip on the U.S. stock market, and after their longest run in history, they surrendered to the bears. Trillions upon trillions of dollars of wealth evaporated in the twinkling of an eye. It had an impact on our lives from which it may take us decades to recover. Some of us will never recover the wealth we lost, and we hardly batted an eye.

For the first time in my lifetime, the U.S. has achieved an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, which means 96.5 percent of those who are able and are between the ages of 16 and 65 are gainfully employed. This is what is known as “full employment” for two reasons.

We all live together, and all are connected. And what is bad for some Americans is bad for all Americans. This always has been the case. The welfare of our brothers and sisters is the welfare of us all. Unfortunately, it may take a pandemic to make us realize this truth.

Every so often, news stories with widespread impact unfold more quickly than the media can get the information out to the public. That's the case with hurricanes and national tragedies like 9/11. But with COVID-19, information is evolving and changing literally by the second, and keeping up with the most current details is a challenging feat.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, for whom I voted in the Oklahoma Presidential Primary, has been identified by many as a “socialist,” and Sanders has declared himself a democratic socialist. Some Americans have even attached the label “communist” or “near communist” to Sanders, yet socialism and communism are neither identical, nor are those terms even interchangeable.

Last census, Enid fell about 200 people short of reaching 50,000 in population, Lisa Powell, executive director of Enid Regional Development Alliance, during a meeting in January. A population of 50,000 would give Enid access to $83.75 million in federal funds.

While Trump and Vice President Pence have been working closely with experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their efforts are belittled by political opportunists, more interested in delivering damaging sound bites.

In 1939, the British government distributed a "motivational" poster to boost public morale in the face of expected air strikes from Germany. The words read, "Keep Calm and Carry On," and now might be a good time to revisit that message.

Spring is early in popping open the Bradford pear tree flowers. We can revel in the earliest of local garden delights: garlic. I’m so all about garlic that some of the local Mexican restaurants don’t meet my lofty standards for camarones de ajo (garlic shrimp).

This past week yielded an insightful conversation with two NSU students. While picking up something from the University Center, I saw a group of students with signs that read “free conversations here.”

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Homemaker, Died Friday, March 27, 2020. Services will be announced at a later date.

died Friday March 27, 2020 at her home. She was 88. Viewing Monday and Tuesday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home. Private family service

Died Tuesday March 24, 2020. She was 94. A private family graveside service will be held on Friday. Arrangement are under the direction of Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home.

age 39. Golf Course Attendent. Died Monday, March 23, Tahlequah, OK. Services Friday, March 27th, 2:00 PM Reed-Culver Chapel. Interment Agent Cemetery Moody, OK. Visitation Thursday, March 26th, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM Reed-Culver Funeral Home.