Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - We Remember

I have posted this previously on Memorial Day, but the message is so profound that I feel compelled to post it again.


America's European Arrogance

1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France. A total of 2,289 of our military dead. We apologize.

Memorial day france

2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium. A total of 5,329 of our dead. We are so ashamed of our arrogance.

Memorial daybelgium

3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France. A total of 4,410 of our military dead. Excuse us.

Memorial day brit4

4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery. A total of 4,680 of our dead. We are such an evil country.

Memorial day eng 4

5. Cambridge, England. 3,812 of our military dead. What on earth were we thinking?

Memorial day eng 5

6. Epinal, France American Cemetery. A total of 5,525 of our military dead. Please forgive us.

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7. Flanders Field, Belgium. A total of 3,680 of our military. We are so sorry.

Memorial day belgium 7

8. Florence, Italy. A total of 4,402 of our military dead. We are a bully nation.

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9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. A total of 7,992 of our military dead. They deserved what they got.

Memorial belgium9

10. Lorraine, France. A total of 10,489 of our military dead. FDR and Truman were lying war criminals.

Memorial france10

11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg. A total of 5,076 of our military dead. Arrogant oppression, pure and simple.

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12. Meuse-Argonne. A total of 14,246 of our military dead. Just think of how many civilians they killed.

Memorial dayMeuse-Argonne.12

13. Netherlands, Netherlands. A total of 8,301 of our military dead. They were murderers.

MEMORIAL DAY NETHERLANDS13

14. Normandy, France. A total of 9,387 of our military dead. Baby killers, one and all.

Memorial belgium normandy14

15. Oise-Aisne, France. A total of 6,012 of our military dead. They were torturers, too.

Memorial belgium oise 15

16. Rhone, France. A total of 8,61 of our military dead. Remorseless killers doing the bidding of an evil nation.

Memorial rhone

17. Sicily, Italy. A total of 7,861 of our military dead. What can America ever do to redeem itself?

Memorial day sicily 17

18. Somme, France. A total of 1,844 of our military dead. Arrogant war-mongers of an arrogant nation.

Memoiral somme 18

19. St. Mihiel, France. A total of 4,153 of our military dead. War criminals.

Memorial stmihielr=france 19

20. Suresnes, France. A total of 1,541 of our military dead. Oh, God in heaven, please forgive us for being such an arrogant country.

Memorial day france20


This quote of Colin Powell's from 1998 is powerful.
"The world remembers well that several times in the course of this century, the United States was at the height of the world, the height of power. After World War I, or World War II, or even at the end of the Cold War, we could have imposed our will on the world but we didn’t. All we ever asked for was the opportunity to raise up our former enemies, and to get back to the business of peace and democracy. The only other thing we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. We never wanted anyone else’s land or sovereignty over anyone. No other nation on the face of the earth possesses that kind power, possess that kind of power today in such abundance." - General Colin Powell speaking at West Point on Sept. 15, 1998

Today, we honor the memory of those who gave all in order that we might live free. I encourage you to attend a Memorial Day ceremony today (there will be one at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery at 2:00pm, for those in the Muskogee area - more events listed here).

God bless our soldiers, veterans, and their families on this day of remembrance.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Conservative View: Deep Wounds and Scars

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Deep Wounds and Scars

I was taught that there is a time and place for everything. For example I was taught to be respectful in church and not to interrupt the preacher when he is giving the sermon. When attending a meeting, it would be impolite to talk while the speaker is giving a speech. When attending a funeral, you wouldn’t even contemplate trying to do business or selling the mourners a product or some service. With those values that my parents gave to me, I have some concerns about some news coming from New York City and the proposed construction of a Muslim Mosque within two blocks of the World Trade Center.

I am not the kind of person that wants to start a holy war with any other religions. The fact remains that the terrorists that destroyed the World Trade Center were Muslims, if the roles had been reversed and a group of Christian fanatics had destroyed buildings in Saudi Arabia and killed over 3000 people in the process, out of respect for the dead I would not attempt to build a church within two blocks of the crime scene. It is strange to me that we keep hearing that Islam is a peaceful religion, but the ones that are making that claim are, for the most part, not a member of the Islam religion.

I feel that if the religion is truly peaceful, the factions that believe in peaceful co-existence should be speaking out against the barbarianism of the fanatical sects of the Islamic faith and join the rest of the civilized world and treat them like the murdering criminals that they are. It is also my understanding that the fanatical factions group the world into two camps. The first being the countries that believe in Islam and number 2 being the rest of the world that they are at war with until judgment day. In their eyes, if you don’t prescribe to their brand of religion it is their duty to kill you. If there are factions that truly respect other people’s beliefs they should make a strong statement to that effect and totally distance themselves from the murderers that killed over 3000 people on 9/11. September 11th is a deep wound upon our nation and the scars are still very visible. During WW 2, the Japanese made a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor which killed many Americans, but at least after the war they had the respect not to build a Shinto shrine on Pearl Harbor.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Don't Try This At Home!

My family has been keeping bees for several years now, and my dad and I worked them this afternoon. I filmed part of it... without gloves. The result is something you simply MUST see! Watch below.

This is what NOT to do when checking one's beehives!



Do not try this at home! I learned the hard way! Wait 'til you see pictures of my thumb...

"Bee careful!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Salute to Dedication: State Rep. John Wright


State Rep. John Wright (R-Broken Arrow) embodies the definition of a dedicated statesman. Barely twenty-four hours after undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina, Wright was back on the House floor, performing his legislative duties.

Wright still bore the evidence of his very recent surgery - namely, a wristband and pair of dark glasses.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Wright has never missed a day of session in his twelve years as a legislator. Even under difficult circumstances, such as surgery for a detached retina, he strives to fulfill his duties as a representative of the people of Broken Arrow.


I think you'll agree with me - that is dedication.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lewis Spring - Tom Coburn's GOP Opponent?


U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Muskogee) may have finally drawn an opponent. One would assume that this opponent is a Democrat, but not so - he's a Republican.

Lewis Spring of Hugo has launched a website advertising his candidacy for U.S. Senate. This is not Spring's first time this election cycle to put his toe into the political waters; on April 9th of last year, he sent an open letter (of which I have a copy) to President Obama announcing his intent to run for the 2nd Congressional District, against Dan Boren.

Spring is a retired school teacher, and has been married to his wife Susan for 33 years. He states on his website that his platform "calls for a return to the principles that the Founding Fathers created in our Constitution, as well as the abolishment of the Federal Reserve System. Spring also proposes a federal law making it a criminal act for a government official to lie while serving in their official capacity."

Spring has not filed official papers with the Federal Election Commission, so it remains to be seen if he will actually go through with running, given his very recent history in the 2nd District race.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

John Wright to have Emergency Eye Surgery


Term-limited State Rep. John Wright (R-Broken Arrow) gave an emotional farewell speech a day early today. Wright had planned on giving the traditional "swan song" on Wednesday, but had to move it up due to health reasons.

Wright is easily the most respected member of the state house, regardless of party. He is also very eloquent - members cringe when he gets up to debate against their bill, because he is so influential on the floor. He has a condition with his eye - the retina is starting to detach. Wright first noticed the issue over the weekend. Today, it worsened and his physician told him to get total rest. He will have surgery Wednesday morning in Oklahoma City.

He was disappointed to be forced to mar his near-perfect attendance; in his twelve years in the legislature, Wright never missed a day of session, and missed only 39 votes - an absolutely astounding feat. Due to his surgery, he will miss the final three days of his last legislative session.

Wright is currently a candidate for Lieutenant Governor - it is unclear how, or if, this will affect his candidacy. We give our best wishes for John and his family in this time.

Brogdon: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Passed TABOR?


Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Passed TABOR?
Brogdon says spending limit needed to control growth of government

(Oklahoma City)- “Don’t fear the budget cuts if TABOR passes, fear the budget cuts if TABOR doesn’t pass.” That’s what Senator Randy Brogdon used to say to opponents of the taxpayer bill of rights. Time has proven him correct.

A spending limitation law is the answer according to the Senator. He says Oklahoma’s current spending limit is too easily ignored. Prior to the current revenue drops, “we increased spending between 6% and 13% every year,” while the Oklahoma economy grew little more than 3% in those same years.

Brogdon says, “Allowing Government to grow three or four times faster than the economy is unsustainable as we have found out over and over again.”

Senator Brogdon says Oklahoma has a spending problem. In five of the last ten years Oklahoma has failed meet proposed spending levels. “If you can’t pay your bills half of the time, you are spending too much money,” said Brogdon.

In fact, state government’s failure to meet budget demands has resulted in drastic, monthly, across the board budget cuts in state agencies and services with little regard for need. “The decisions we should have made for ourselves are being made for us by the balanced budget law,” said Brogdon.

Brogdon acknowledges that passing TABOR would not have prevented the national economic problems that led to the most recent collapse in state revenue. He notes, “it would have given us the opportunity to make our spending decisions based on need. We would also have spent less money and have a third more funds in reserve.”

Brogdon, a candidate for Governor, says spending increases should be limited to the percent increase in inflation and population. “This allows government to grow at a sustainable pace in conjunction with the growth of the economy. This will be a top priority as Governor of Oklahoma.”

One difference Brogdon notes from the last TABOR proposal, “state revenue collected in excess of the spending limit can be used for one time capital expenditures. This will allow Oklahoma to address pressing bridge and road repairs without adding to the budget baseline.”

Brogdon states that he is the only candidate for Governor likely to make a spending law a priority. “Congresswoman Fallin has never spoken in favor of spending limits, Lt. Governor Askins has opposed them, and Attorney General Edmondson tried to put the grassroots organizers of TABOR in prison.”


You can learn more about Brogdon's candidacy by visiting his website. His opponent in the Republican primary is Congresswoman Mary Fallin.

Monday, May 24, 2010

American Majority Candidate Training


From American Majority Oklahoma:
What: American Majority Candidate Training

When: Saturday, June 5th – 9am to 1pm

Where: 1141 N. Robinson Ave, Oklahoma City

Who: Candidates for office, campaign staff/volunteers, and those interested in learning more about running successful campaigns

Training Topics: Your Campaign Plan to Win, Fundraising for What You Need, Engaging Voters via Traditional and New Media, Grassroots Action, and more.

Cost: $20 in advance or $30 at the door. Lunch and educational materials included in the price of admission.

RSVP: Click the link below, email trait@americanmajority.org, or call 918-289-0159.

Sign up online: http://americanmajority.org/events/oklahoma-city-candidate-training/

If you are remotely interesting in running for office or helping on a campaign this year, I would highly recommend attending an event put on by American Majority. This event will be held the weekend before filing for office starts here in Oklahoma (filing runs from June 7th to June 9th).

In addition to this event, American Majority will be holding Patriots 2.0, a New Media Activism and Social Networking Training in Muskogee on June 15th.


License Plate Camera Controversy

There is a controversy brewing over plans in the recently announced state budget agreement to install cameras on Oklahoma highways to check for insurance verification.

Click here to get the whole story from Mike McCarville.

This issue involves current and former members of the legislature (including a certain state house member who is running for statewide office), Barry Switzer, Brad Henry, and a host of other participants.

Be sure and read all about it at the McCarville Report.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Conservative View: Rock In A Well

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Rock In A Well

We Americans used to be a people that saved money for a rainy day. My parent instilled in me the value of hard work and the skills of saving money. In the past, our leaders and our citizens in general seemed to have a better financial head on their shoulders. For most of my life I have had faith in the value of the dollar, but I question the wisdom that our current leaders are using with our economic system. I am still a few years away from retirement, but all of us need to be concerned with the direction our currency is headed. When you look at the way our currency value has plunged over the past decades, anyone with a piggy bank should be concerned.

We’ve all seen how the euro has collapsed, shedding as much as 8% of its value in barely a month. The same forces that caused the devaluation of the euro can affect the dollar as well. Warren Buffett recently commented about cash held in U.S. dollars ... "Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value." Consider the following...
  • It now takes $6,167.83 to buy what $5,000 bought just ten years ago
  • $27,319.59 to buy what $5,000 bought in 1970
  • $44,075.92 to buy what $5,000 bought in 1950
Even a McDonald's hamburger — which cost a mere 57 cents in 1959 — now costs $4.29, an increase of 653%, or just over 13% per year. At the current rate, a little over six years from now a Big Mac could cost twice that, or $8.58. These examples are just a sampling of what has happened over the past decades, but these devaluations can happen in a very short period of time. Whenever a country spends beyond its means and starts cranking up the printing presses, the value of your money will sink like a rock in a well. While we all get into a frenzy about the stimulus spending and wanting to get our fair share of it, we are laying the seeds of our own financial downfall. When someone retires and they sell a business, they count on those funds to provide for their needs. If our government doesn’t stop the spending binge we are in, our currency won’t be worth as much as the rock we tossed in a well. Well, maybe we will have enough to buy a pricey Big Mac.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pruitt Responds to Leonard's Attack


After Ryan Leonard attacked his record on illegal immigration, Attorney General candidate Scott Pruitt issued the following statement:
"I'm sorry that Ryan has decided to take the course so many politicians do -- that is to distort the facts and go negative so early in the campaign. I'm excited about this race, and I look forward to sharing my positive message across this state. So here's my real fact sheet:

Anyone who reads the bill in question will see that it was not tuition for illegal immigrants, but rather for those on a path to citizenship. That is a big difference. We are a nation of immigrants, and those on a path to citizenship, paying taxes and learning the English language, should receive state benefits.

Ryan's second point shows where he and I differ on immigration. Whereas, he apparently would rather beef up enforcement in America, I want it to happen on the border. This is entirely consistent with the lawsuit I would file if elected Oklahoma's Attorney General. By making the federal government secure our borders, we will effectively reduce the expenditures we have to make here in Oklahoma."

For more information on Scott's real record, visit www.scottpruitt.com.

Leonard issued his 'fact sheet' yesterday (see this post) in response to Pruitt putting out his immigration suit plan.

This race will be very interesting and very close. Leonard has been campaigning for well over a year, and has raised over $600,000 (with over $400,000 cash on hand at the end of March). However, Pruitt still has high name recognition from
his run for Lieutenant Governor in 2006, when he lost in the GOP runoff to former State House Speaker Todd Hiett after raising and spending well over $1,000,000.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oops!


"'I' before 'E', except after 'C'!"

Leonard Attacks Pruitt's Immigration Record


Ryan Leonard (pictured) came out swinging today against his opponent's record on illegal immigration.

Scott Pruitt, the other Republican in the race for Attorney General, announced today his intent to sue the federal government for failing to uphold immigration laws, with the aim of recovering the cost illegal immigrants cost the state of Oklahoma.

Leonard responded with a 'Fact Sheet' on Pruitt's "Real Record on Immigration":

Fact Sheet: Scott Pruitt’s Real Record on Immigration

Scott Pruitt today announced that if elected Attorney General that he would file a lawsuit against the Federal Government to recoup money spent on illegal immigrants – however, Pruitt’s record indicates that he has a history of supporting legislation that rewards illegal immigrants.

Scott Pruitt has supported efforts to make it easier for Illegal Immigrants in Oklahoma to take advantage of taxpayer funded benefits and make it more difficult for Law Enforcement officials to crack down on illegal immigrants. When given the opportunity to crack down on illegal immigration, Scott Pruitt has failed.

In 2003, when Pruitt was in the State Senate he championed and voted for Senate Bill 596 which provided in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. The bill ultimately afforded illegal immigrants the same status and rights as legal Oklahoma residents and cost taxpayers dollars.

The bill Pruitt supported led a conservative Republican Senator to ask some of his fellow legislators a basic question:

“My question to conservatives in favor of this bill is, What part of illegal do you not understand?”
- Republican Senate Leader James Williamson “Immigrant tuition bill passes Senate,” Daily Oklahoman, 5/8/03)

In 2007, shortly after Pruitt left the State Senate for an unsuccessful run for Lt. Governor, the State Legislature repealed Senate Bill 596.

Senate Bill 596 wasn’t the only time Pruitt wanted to help Illegal immigrants. In 2001, the Tulsa World reported that as a candidate for Congress, Pruitt opposed increasing the powers of law enforcement officials to curb illegal immigration. According to the report, Pruitt “specifically opposed expanding the powers of any agencies responsible for enforcing immigration laws”. (1st District Candidates Differ On Immigration” Tulsa World, 11/29/01)

Ryan Leonard on Immigration

Ryan Leonard supports a strong federal policy cracking down on Illegal Immigration and has consistently been on record supporting State efforts to stop illegal immigrants from enjoying taxpayer funded benefits.

As Attorney General, Ryan Leonard will vigorously enforce the immigration laws of the State of Oklahoma.

You can learn more about Ryan Leonard's campaign at www.RyanLeonard2010.com. Ron Black has posted the Pruitt press release on suing the Feds over immigration. You can learn more about Scott Pruitt's candidacy by visiting www.ScottPruitt.com.

Huckabee Statement on Lankford Endorsement


Huck PAC Endorses James Lankford For Congress In Oklahoma
by Mike Huckabee

James Lankford knows how to lead people, manage a budget and has the experience of running a large organization. James is a gifted communicator who will go to Congress as a statesman, not a politician and work for the right kind of change in our government.

James shares my commitment to common sense solutions that are needed for strong national defense, real border security, less government control, domestic energy solutions, lower tax rates, defending human life and more individual liberty.

I encourage Republicans in Oklahoma’s 5th District to vote for James Lankford in the July 27 primary. Congress will benefit from a strong dose of the solidly conservative Oklahoma spirit and deeply patriotic American passion that James brings to the political arena.

To learn more James visit his website at: http://jameslankford.com/

Huckabee Endorses James Lankford


The Muskogee Politico has learned that former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will endorse James Lankford in the Oklahoma 5th District GOP primary this morning. Stay tuned for the actual press release from Huckabee and Lankford.

Lankford continues to build up momentum on the way to the crowded July 27th primary - there are five other Republican candidates who have filed with the FEC. He adds this very high-profile endorsement to a previous endorsement by J.C. Watts.

Lankford is a newcomer to the political scene, but created a stir back in November, when he stunned Oklahoma political pundits by announced that he had over 10,000 fans on Facebook, which at the time was more than the next three Oklahoma politicians or candidates combined.

If you would like to learn more about James Lankford's candidacy, visit www.JamesLankford.com.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Want to hear the Arizona Immigration Law for yourself?


I'm sure you've heard all of the hubbub over the recently passed Arizona immigration law by now, but have you read the bill? How about listening to it, instead.

Tomorrow, Glenn Beck plans on reading the bill in its entirety (17 pages) in the third hour of his radio show.

For Oklahomans, you can catch the Glenn Beck Program on the AM dial on 1320 KCLI (Clinton, 8-11am), 1000 KTOK (OKC, 8-11am), and 1170 KFAQ (Tulsa, 9-noon).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stephens County GOP Fish Fry Straw Poll

A straw poll was held at the recent 6th Annual Stephens County GOP Fish Fry, attended by over 850 people in Duncan. The results are very interesting. (h/t Steve Fair)
Straw Poll Results
from the 6th annual Stephens County Fish Fry
Polling sample included 364 total ballots; attendees could only vote once.



Governor

Mary Fallin - 48.3%
Randy Brogdon - 47.2%
Robert Hubbard -1.1%
Roger Jackson - 0
Undecided - 3.4%


Lieutenant Governor

Todd Lamb-46.2%
John Wright- 25.2%
Undecided- 28.6%


State Treasurer

Owen Laughlin - 44.7%
Ken Miller - 21.8%
Undecided - 33.5%


Labor Commissioner

Mark Costello - 49.4%
Jason Reese - 20%
Undecided - 30.6%


Attorney General

Ryan Leonard - 39.1%
Scott Pruitt - 35.3%
Undecided - 25.6%


4th District Congress

Tom Cole - 70.1%
RJ Harris - 17.3%
Jeff Pritchard - 1.6%
Hector Diaz - 0
Undecided - 11%


2010 Presidential Preference Poll
Participants in the poll selected their top three preferences.

(1) Mike Huckabee - 17.5%
(2) Sarah Palin - 15.9%
(3) J.C. Watts - 15.6%
(4) Mitt Romney - 13.7%
(5) Newt Gingrich - 9.9%
(6) Bobby Jindal - 8.6%
(7) Ron Paul - 5.5%
(8) Paul Ryan - 5.5%
(9) Jeb Bush - 4.1%
(10) Tim Pawlenty - 3.6%

For more information on the poll, contact Steve Fair.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Conservative View: Driving on the Wrong Side

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Driving on the Wrong Side

One of the traits that have made America great is the willingness to do the hard job and accomplish something that other people refuse to do. When our nation was founded, the framers of our country faced insurmountable odds. At that time our county was composed of a group of colonist farmers but they had a desire that should burn in the heart of all men, the desire to be able to forge their own destiny and to be free. They took on and won against Great Britain. Later in our history our country built the Panama Canal “THE MOON SHOT OF IT’S DAY” after other nations had already failed. Speaking of the moon shot, our country is the first and only nation to put a man on the moon and bring him back home. The moon shot happened in 1969, that was 41 years ago. Have we forgotten or allowed the gene that makes us free Americans to go dormant? The actions of the Governor and Attorney General of the state of Oklahoma would seem to point to that conclusion.

The state Legislature passed a bill that would allow Oklahomans to opt-out of the federally-mandated health care and allow us to move forward with a lawsuit to stop implementation of the bill. The governor and Attorney General Drew Edmondson have both called this legislation—‘an exercise in legal futility.’ The polling data of the people of Oklahoma and the rest of the country have clearly stated they were not in favor of the take-over of our heath care system. House Speaker Chris Benge stated, “It is unfortunate that they think it is futile to oppose a federal health care bill that will raise taxes, erode quality and doesn’t recognize at all that states have any ability to craft their own health care solutions, like we have done in our state with the Insure Oklahoma program”. Speaker Benge went on to say, ““Luckily, we have been listening to the people of Oklahoma who don’t want this bill and certainly can’t afford it. We will do everything in our power to make sure this heavy-handed health care mandate is not imposed from Washington on the people of this state.”

I am glad that our founders did not have that sense of futility that our Governor and Attorney General have, for if they had we Americans would probably be eating fish and chips and driving on the wrong side of the road.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chris Christie vs. Liberal Columnist

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) had an incredible exchange with a liberal columnist this past week over his "confrontational tone".






I'd say he put him in his place...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Musical Interlude

Interrupting our political broadcast for a brief musical interlude...

Those of you who know me probably realize that I'm a big fan of classical music. I play the violin, mostly classical stuff, and I listen to it. Besides various talk radio stations, my next most listened to station is KWTU Classical 88.7FM.

I heard these two songs last night on 88.7, and they are swiftly becoming favorites.

Here is Edward Elgar's In the South (Alassio).




This one is by Max Bruch; the 4th movement of his Scottish Fantasy. This is an upbeat rendition of the Scottish patriotic song Scots Wha Hae - Robert Burne's lyrics to an old Scottish tune associated with the Battle of Bannockburn and the Scottish War for Independence in the early 1300's. This song has an incredible violin solo part...



Enjoy!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Gov. 2.0a Conference Recap


I attended the Gov 2.0a conference in Oklahoma City this past week, and came away with a lot of valuable information.

What exactly is meant by "Government 2.0"? Applying new technology to how government is run, in order to make it more efficient, transparent, accountable, and participatory.

Speakers at the conference spoke on a variety of topics, from utilizing social networking to interact citizens/constituents, to how using technology can save money and improve services, to how a transparent government can spark (as speaker Laurel Ruma said) an "innovation economy".

Here are just a few quotes and tidbits from the conference.

  • Laurel Ruma: "People are moving from using Social Web to participating in Civic Web."
  • Carolyn Purcell: "Web 1.0 was the government giving citizens information. Web 2.0 is two-way interaction and communication between the government and its citizens."
  • Mark Mitchell: "eGovernment encourages citizens to get "online" instead on "in-line" to interact with government."
  • Mike Koehler: "People are hungry for information, and for participation."
  • There are 192 members of Congress on Twitter - 65% are Republicans.
  • Crowd-sourcing is a way to get citizens and employees involved. Sam's Club has saved $1M by unscrewing lightbulbs in their store vending machines - just one idea that came from crowd-sourcing with their employees.
  • 75% of people get some of their news from blogs or social media. Kind of like you're doing right now!
  • Facebook has 400,000,000 users, and Twitter has 105,000,000 users.
  • SeeClickFix is an amazing tool that local governments should take advantage of. Citizens can post issues (i.e. potholes, graffiti, etc.) on a map of their city. The city is then made aware of the problem, and takes care of it. Not only does the citizen know that the issue was resolved, but it builds goodwill between the government and the citizens (as opposed to the all-too-often situation of a local government that seems unresponsive to citizen input).
  • Manor, Texas, is on the forefront of the Gov 2.0 scene. They utilize social networking, crowd-sourcing, SeeClickFix, and a very interesting way to communicate with the public called QR-Codes, just to name a few.
I can't give the conference justice in a post here, but video from the event will be up on Gov20a.com soon. Once it is posted, I will link to the videos.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Obama to Nominate Elena Kagan to Supreme Court?


Reports are flying that President Obama will be announcing Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens tomorrow morning.

Kagan is a liberal lawyer, who has worked in the Clinton administration, served as the first female Dean of the Harvard Law School. She was nominated and confirmed as Solicitor General in March of 2009.

She would be the first justice in some 40 years without any prior judicial experience.

The Conservative View: Déjà Vu

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Déjà Vu

Déjà vu is the feeling that we have been somewhere before. One of our greatest abilities is to learn from our mistakes. If we are smart, we will learn from the mistakes of other people that have had the same problem. Sadly we know this, but far too often we choose to ignore common sense and go down the path that will ultimately lead to problems that could have been avoided. Over the past few days there have been financial troubles that are causing ripples across the world.

Those problems have originated in the nation of Greece. No longer are investors just losing boatloads of money, people are starting to lose their lives! I have found that we humans love our material possessions, and whenever anything or anyone threatens those possessions chaos isn’t very far behind. Everyone from air traffic controllers to teachers left their posts. Tens of thousands of protestors hit the streets, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails. There were several deaths reported due to the unrest in Athens alone. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have pledged 143 billion dollars to bailout Greece but they are demanding concessions such as slashing public sector wages, freezing pensions and boosting taxes.

The Greeks don't want to see their wages, salaries, and standard of living collapse. And they're stark raving mad; especially because the measures are being crammed down their throats at a time when unemployment is already running at a six-year high of 11.3 percent. The problems in Greece stem from a simple fact: The country lived way beyond its means for far too long! Politicians borrowed and spent like mad, assuming the day of reckoning would never come. The major cause of the problem in Greece was caused by interest rates taking huge jumps.

Our government has manipulated interests for a long time in this country to keep them low; with all of the deficits in our national budget we could be facing similar problems in this country. If Greece had tried to get its house in order before interest rates surged, it probably would have avoided the disaster unfolding before our eyes.

The path that the Greeks took sounds a whole lot like the path that our leaders have taken. I hope that we can avoid the feeling of Déjà vu and the problems the Greeks are experiencing. We Americans are not that much different than the people of Greece. I do not want to see riots in our cities because of a government failing to put common sense ahead of deficit spending.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brogdon: Obama, Pelosi and Fallin Smooth Path to Puerto Rican Statehood

Following revelations that Congresswoman Mary Fallin cosponsored legislation to give Puerto Rico a vote for statehood, her gubernatorial opponent, Randy Brogdon, slammed the move.

Obama, Pelosi and Fallin Smooth Path to Puerto Rican Statehood
Simple majority required in Puerto Rican vote, 2/3rds required for Alaska, Hawaii

Congresswoman Mary Fallin continues to assert her opposition to statehood for Puerto Rico, despite the fact that she co-sponsored legislation calling for the island to conduct a series of elections on their desire for statehood.

“This is not in any way putting Puerto Rico on a ‘fast track’ to statehood and it is -misleading to suggest otherwise.”

This is a fast track to statehood, because only a simple majority is required in this federally sanctioned plebiscite. Hawaii and Alaska required approval from 2/3 of voters in their pre-statehood, federally sanctioned plebiscites. An amendment by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, requiring a 2/3rds vote was rejected. Why does Mary Fallin favor a lesser standard for Puerto Rico than our last two states?

Also, this is a fast track because this bill won’t take no for an answer. If Puerto Rican voters reject the plebiscite, HR 2499 directs the Puerto Rican government to conduct elections every 8 years until it passes.

Fallin explains what she thinks the bill does:

“the only difference is the people of Puerto Rico are now given a chance to express an opinion about their political future before Speaker Nancy Pelosi determines it for them.”

However, if Congresswoman Fallin’s goal is to deny Puerto Rico statehood, wouldn’t that be easier without a vote where Puerto Ricans might overwhelmingly agree with Speaker Pelosi. As shown previously, the outcome of this election is far from certain.

“Mary Fallin does not support nor will she vote for Puerto Rican statehood. Mary Fallin does support, however, the ability of the people of Puerto Rico to hold a non-binding vote expressing their wishes – which in this case, I believe will be in opposition to becoming a state. “

Apparently, Rep. Fallin intends for us to believe that she sponsored a federally sanctioned election, so Puerto Ricans can feel better about themselves when they are denied statehood. No, that can’t be it. I doubt the Puerto Ricans will feel so included when we promptly ignore them.

Oh, but if we are to ignore them, Republicans have to be back in power. Democrats won’t ignore them, they will give them 2 Senators and 5 or 6 seats in the House, perhaps one of Oklahoma’s 5 seats. This plan is really a gamble, and the Democrats have been handed the cards. It might not happen this time, but in eight years, or eight more years? It might take 30 years, but eventually the Democrats will use one of those recurring plebiscites to justify statehood, and more Democrat seats.

Perhaps this kind of thinking is clever in Washington, but Oklahomans find it wasteful. Co-sponsoring HR 2499 is a lousy way to oppose statehood for Puerto Rico. However, it is a great way to become an unwitting dupe in the Pelosi / Obama plan for a long-term Democrat majority.

You can view the Fallin statement on the Puerto Rico resolution here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lamb Ahead of Opponents in Fundraising


Kenneth Corn (D) ~ ~ Todd Lamb (R) ~ ~ John Wright (R)


State Sen. Todd Lamb (R-Edmond) leads the race for Lieutenant Governor when it comes to fundraising. His campaign ended the first quarter with the most cash on hand.

“We are very pleased that the campaign continues to collect contributions from around the state, while also keeping expenses down,” stated Jeff Peters, spokesperson for the campaign.

The Lamb campaign brought in $140,000 in the past quarter, spent $33,000, and has $479,000 of cash on hand. His primary election opponent, State Rep. John Wright (R-Broken Arrow), raised $2,500 and spent $1,600 in the past quarter, for a cash on hand total of $28,000.

The only Democrat candidate at this point, State Sen. Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau), raised $162,000 in the first quarter, but spent $87,000. He had $448,000 on hand at the end of the quarter.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Conservative View: My Home My Castle

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

My Home My Castle

One of the American dreams is to own your home. It is a good feeling to have a place in the world that you can go to and be safe and secure. Having your own home enables you to make decisions of who you allow into your house and who you can ask to leave. For example, if a person knocks on your door you do not have to let them in, any prudent person would like to have some information on their house guests. Very few people will invite a rank stranger into their home, most people would want to know at least what their name is and what business they have being at their home. It would be nice if we lived in a world where we could have blind trust in our fellow humans but sadly we don’t live in such a world. The news media is full of instances where humans do unspeakable acts to each other. With all of that being said we can relate to someone coming into our homes, but many people have a hard time understanding the problem of illegal immigration.

Over the past week there have been outcries from self-serving politicians and various groups condemning the governor of Arizona for signing a bill that will attempt to get a handle on the problem of illegal immigration. Our country is our home, why shouldn’t we care as much for our country as our little piece of real estate that our house happens to set on? The people of Arizona are experiencing all kinds of problems such as illegal drug traffic and the violence that accompanies it. Are we content to allow the drug wars that are destroying Mexico being brought to the streets of American cities? I have a question and a suggestion for all of those groups protesting the actions of the people of Arizona.

#1. What part of illegal do these groups not understand? I have heard the statement that these are people that are just trying to make a living. While I appreciate anyone who has the energy to make it on his own, would we be willing to overlook a crime such as bank robbery just because they are here to make a living?

#2. If all the people doing the protesting would devote half as much time and sponsor these people they could help them enter our country legally. Then these people would have all of the protections we citizens enjoy and not be subject to exploitation from unscrupulous people in our country. America is my home, when people immigrate legally they are protected and our country as well.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.