Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:1-4

During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump spoke of "draining the swamp" in an attempt to reform the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. Special interests and lobbyists really do represent what the "swamp" consists of, and the role of the influence industry has seen quite a proliferation during the Trump administration.

As time goes by and societies learn more about science in general and what makes the human mind tick, philosophies change - and so do methods of punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court not long ago deemed it was "cruel and unusual" to execute juveniles and adults with limited mental capacities. A growing number of Americans view the death penalty itself as outmoded.

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One of the biggest factors leading voters to cast their choice for Donald Trump as president — aside from Hillary Clinton — was a desire to clean up the D.C. swamp. Americans were tired of being legislated and preached at by what had increasingly become a ruling elite.

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The 2019 Major League Baseball World Series is edging closer, standing as a high-profile example of how today's game is comprised of players from various backgrounds and ethnicities, and it's a sport played all over the world.

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Got news for the Oklahoma Board on Legislative Compensation: Its decision to give state legislators a 35.6% pay raise stinks like a dead possum on State Highway 10 in mid-August.

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The question of the day is whether you’d go out of your way on or before Oct. 28 to give Oklahoma a billion dollars a year.

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Back in 2016, the Tahlequah City Council took what then was considered a bold step in this region of the country, and voted to change the celebration of Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. Then-Mayor Jason Nichols, himself a Cherokee Nation citizen, said he was proud Tahlequah was on the cutting edge of this movement - one of the first two cities in Oklahoma to do this.

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Organizers of the Yes on 802 initiative must be congratulated for getting the 178,000 signatures required to get a measure on the ballot that will let voters decide whether the state should accept federal funds that will allow it to expand its Medicaid program.

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It is an unfortunate reality that Oklahoma has very few public policy achievements to be proud of. Even among the few victories, many of them came through ballot initiatives. The people had to do what their legislators wouldn’t.

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The American Civil War has no peer when it came to the threat to the physical well-being of the United States of America, set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the subsequent U.S. Constitution.

Earlier this week, I got a chuckle from a story in the Enid News & Eagle, a sister newspaper whose news team is expertly managed by Rob Collins. It seems a woman in their coverage area was "accidentally" shot by a dog as she and a man were sitting in a car at a railroad crossing, waiting for a train to pass.

For a few years now, the Tahlequah Daily Press has followed the heartbreaking stories of the area's many cancer victims, and the heartwarming ones of survivors. And while no definitive proof exists that this area is part of a "cancer cluster," there seem to be more people stricken with that deadly disease here than in other parts of the region.

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The late Mark Felt once served as associate director of the FBI, but Felt was best known as "Deep Throat," who was a secret source of information that pertained to the Watergate scandal.

Many of us are lucky enough that we do not have to worry about where our next meal will come from. Unfortunately, not everyone is so blessed. That is why Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma food banks and other organizations across the state are building partnerships to address this problem.

How many wish we could attach a device like a truth meter to politicians? It may keep them honest or, more likely, expose them. In the case of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D.-Mass., it would likely melt down and completely short circuit.

It's National Newspaper Week, and those who appreciate the free flow of information should take a few moments to ponder just how important the First Amendment is to our way of life.

In my younger years, I enjoyed learning about history. As a child, I enjoyed hearing the stories of my grandparents and parents and what their lives were like growing up – some when this area was called Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, prior to Oklahoma statehood.

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Can you imagine an off-duty Tahlequah police officer barging into a neighbor's apartment, blowing him away, claiming he thought he had entered his own domicile to find an intruder - and then expecting the public to believe his lame excuse?

Since I write from the Right, I think it appropriate that I talk about the radicals on the Left. Besides, the radicals on the Left are far more amusing and entertaining than those on the Right.

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We hope in the upcoming legislative session, which will begin in February 2020, lawmakers will actually legislate, and not pander to voters, and do what is right. The state needs a seat belt law for children.

Brandt’s radical outpouring of grace in that courtroom makes no sense, because it looks like Christ. And, in this world, Christ makes no sense. The cross makes no sense. Grace makes no sense. But, we are not called to the ways of this world. 

The #MeToo movement of 2017 might be scoffed at in some quarters, but in others, it served a purpose. The good news is that while sexual coercion has fallen off since that time, in 2018, women had to tolerate more sexist remarks and gender harassment than before. Ironically, such comments may have been prompted by the movement and advanced by the scoffers.

Undoubtedly, things have ratcheted up in terms of political discord and if you spend your time ruminating over it, you can make yourself pretty miserable. No doubt there are plenty of miserable people hanging out in D.C.

We're in the wake of an impending impeachment inquiry, wherein the U.S. House of Representatives is deciding whether the president's conduct involved treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors.

Oklahomans have made it clear that they want criminal justice reform, at the voting booth and elsewhere. And increasingly, so are Americans in general, with a growing number declaring their opposition to for-profit prisons. And the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board's recent announcement that it will begin explaining why it is denying parole to inmates is seen as part of that evolving process.

My last three columns have been dedicated to election-related topics. There were no comparisons of candidates, contrasting of platforms, or even dissections of electoral mechanics and campaigns. The focus remained on issues that constitute the underpinning of our elections; things that define them before anyone announces their candidacy, such as term limits and gerrymandering. This week, the focus remains on elections and how best to conduct them fairly and securely. The difference is that the subject isn't directly related to passages in the constitution and or any potential alterations to them.

The promise of faraway places ... alien planets, starry nights and distant galaxies ... are what creep into my subconscious most often.

As the year-long nightmare of my oral surgeries and new bridgework is coming to a close, my attitude is improving. But it usually does, right after Labor Day has passed and most of the drunks have stopped loitering around the river and tossing their empties onto our driveway.

Why are memories of taste or smells so overpowering in us that we can forget someone’s name, forget what we were doing last Wednesday or walk into a room and forget why or what we were looking for, but tastes/smells never, ever leave us.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Ruth E. Ray, 85, retired Elementary Teacher for Haskell Schools, left us Sunday,. Funeral Mass Monday, 10 AM, St. Joseph Catholic Church. Visitation Sunday, 1 to 5 PM, Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors, Inc.-Muskogee. biglowfunerals.com

Wiseman, Marilyn, 65, Secretary died October 17 Visitation, 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m., Monday October 21, at Bradley Funeral Home Services, 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 22, Greenhill Cemetery, Bradley Funeral and Cremation Service