Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Conservative View: Freedom and Brick Walls

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Freedom and Brick Walls

Like many people in this country I enjoy watching good movies. Whether they are westerns or modern day police shows the premise is essentially the same. Usually it involves a person or a group of persons that will do anything to gain power or wealth, usually those people are willing to use any means at their disposal to achieve those results. Then the heroes of the movie will have to use all of the courage that they can muster to put things back the way that they should be. Often the heroes will face all kinds of obstacles to do the right thing, far too often the biggest obstacle is apathy. Most of the characters would rather just go about their daily routine and not be bothered with the problems around them.

Many things can change in the world but human nature seems to evolve very little. The same desire that caused the ancient peoples to dominate other cultures such as the Roman Empire is still alive and well today. The 20th century experienced many examples of such behavior. Individuals such as Adolph Hitler, Mao Se Tung, Joseph Stalin, etc. were responsible for much of the suffering of that century. Whenever we read the history books it seems like these dictators came into power overnight, but very rarely does that happen. Usually the transformation comes about over an extended time. Most humans will rebel if their life is disrupted all of a sudden, but we have a bad habit of accepting the disruption if it happens gradually over a long period of time. When the Nazis came into power they would target one element of society at a time, while they were destroying that one element the other groups would say nothing and hope that they would be left alone. As the Nazis executed their plan, less and less groups were left to oppose them. The process is very simple; they simply divided and conquered.

In America today we are seeing more and more division and stratification of our people. Whenever you see people with political agendas using things such as race or class envy to divide our country, they are not doing us any good. We need to remember that freedom is like a brick wall. If we allow someone to nibble away at the foundation of those bricks the entire wall will fall. May we all learn the importance of protecting the foundation of our freedoms.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at

Friday, October 30, 2009

Muskogee Tea Party - Veterans Day Parade

The Muskogee Tea Party group will be participating in the upcoming Muskogee Veterans Parade on November 7th.

If you would be interested in marching with the Muskogee Tea Party patriots, please contact organizer Jamison Faught (email: for more details.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tom Cole Endorses Doug Hoffman in NY-23 Race

The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol is reporting that Oklahoma Congressman and former NRCC Chairman Tom Cole will be endorsing Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 special election.
Kristol: Former NRCC Chair Tom Cole Endorses Hoffman in NY-23

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that veteran and widely-respected Rep. Tom Cole (R, Okla.), former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and a member of the GOP Steering Committee and a Deputy GOP House Whip, will be endorsing Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 race.

This is significant. Cole is a conservative, but not a fire-breathing and bomb-throwing one. He's a shrewd political operative, and indeed made a living as one before becoming a congressman. He'll say in his statement that one reason he's endorsing Hoffman is that he's the one Republican who can win next Tuesday.

The GOP establishment's united front behind Dede Scozzafava is crumbling--along, apparently, with her campaign.

This certainly is an unexpected surprise. Tom Cole, as Kristol observed, is not the most conservative congressman around, much less in Oklahoma. The tide is rising for Doug Hoffman, in a race that has become quite an anomaly.

The NY-23 incumbent, a Republican, was appointed to a post in the Obama administration, causing a special election. Dede Scozzafava is the Republican nominee (picked by party officials), Bill Owens is the Democrat pick, and Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party ticket (New York has an interesting background with third parties).

Scozzafava (a state assembly member) is an extremely liberal Republican, who has won awards from Planned Parenthood and was endorsed by various Republican Party leaders (such as Minority Leader John Boehner and Newt Gingrich), and ironically, the founder of the ultra-left Daily Kos website.

Hoffman, on the other hand, has been endorsed by the Club for Growth, Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, talk show hosts Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck, Dick Armey, and many others.

NY-23 is a traditionally Republican district, and rarely does the GOP nominee receive less than 60% of the vote. However, due to the three strong candidates in the race, the election is a toss-up. In the latest poll, Hoffman held a narrow lead with 31%, Owens at 27% and Scozzafava at 20%. Previously, Owens and Scozzafava had been trading the lead around 30%, with Hoffman at 20-25%, but that was before Sarah Palin and several other conservative heavyweights endorsed the Conservative Party candidate.

UPDATE: Here's the text from Tom Cole's email announcement sent out earlier today.
Due to the vagaries of local politics two Republicans are on the ballot in the special election in NY-23. Doug Hoffman, the conservative, clearly represents the main stream values and positions of the Republican Party. He opposes the stimulus, cap and trade, card check, the Democratic health care bill and the Obama Administration's reckless spending binge. He is a pro-life fiscal conservative who is committed to restraining the growth of government. And Hoffman is committed to fighting and winning the war in Afghanistan.

Doug Hoffman is right on the critical issues facing America -- and he is the only Republican who can win this special election. For those reasons I have chosen to endorse Mr. Hoffman and my leadership PAC has contributed to his campaign. I look forward to working with Doug in Congress and welcoming him into the Republican Conference.


Tom Cole
And there you have it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bradford To Have Surgery, Enter NFL Draft

OU Sooners Quarterback Sam Bradford has elected to receive season-ending surgery on his injured shoulder, and plans to enter the 2010 NFL Draft, according to a press release from OU this afternoon.

According to, Bradford will be holding a press conference on Monday at 6pm to talk about his decision.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Conservative View: What a Tangled Web

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

What a Tangled Web

I have always believed that the price of anything is based upon demand and what the American public is willing to pay for it. Whether it is goods, services or labor, the law of supply and demand will find a balance of the proper value and price. What I am describing is the economic system of capitalism. Capitalism is the best system of economics that has ever been devised by man. Over the past few days there has been a huge debate on the proper pay for CEOs in some of the largest companies in America.

Our government has taken upon itself to be the entity that decides the proper salary for the people running our largest companies. I do feel that at times some of the CEOs are paid an exorbitant salary. If I am not a stock holder in that company it is really not my business. Businesses must entice people to invest in their stock for their company to grow. If they use bad judgment with the company’s money, they run the risk of people selling the stock they might have in the company and new investors taking their investment dollars elsewhere.

Our government is using the justification in setting salaries because of the bailout monies that were funneled to those companies in order to keep them open. Like a spider web that we might walk into, the more we try to get it off of us the more tangled it will get. When the government started deciding to give money to certain companies that were not run properly, they kept other companies from moving up to take the place of those that were run poorly. Now unelected bureaucrats who have never run a business or made a payroll are in charge of deciding what the proper pay scale will be for the people running those businesses.

Over the past year there have been several positions created for more bureaucrats, now they are called CZARS. Sadly some of these czars have expressed an admiration of the former leader of China “Mao Se Tung”. Even the manufacturing Czar was quoted in a speech as saying that the free market system is nonsense. He kind of agreed with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun. We Americans should be alarmed when the people that are supposed to promote our economic system express admiration for a mass murdering dictator and his economic beliefs.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

American Majority Candidate/Activist Training Seminar

(click to enlarge)

American Majority will be conducting a candidate/activist training seminar here in Muskogee on Saturday, November 14th. I highly encourage anyone interested in politics, whether as an activist or a candidate, to attend. You can email Trait Thompson ( for more information.

Monday, October 19, 2009

NewsFifty Unveils New Design

The team at has unveiled a new design for the news page, that really spruces it up. It still retains all of the feature that make it a great site, while adding some new ones. I blogged about this site recently, but had to let everyone know about the update.

NewsFifty now has a scrolling ticker with the top headline from each state. At the bottom of the page, they list "Helpful Sources", which is comprised of conservative think tanks and groups, as well as weather, hurricane, and earthquake links. They also list their blogroll and various news links.

On the state pages, the same changes were applied. On the state "Helpful Sources" are listed websites for the various state departments (legislative links, ODOT, DHS, etc.), as well as political parties sites.

All in all, a great resource has been turned into something even better! Don't forget to add to your bookmarks!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Conservative View: Wheelbarrows and Money

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Wheelbarrows and Money

For any country to be a world power they first must have a strong economy. Most people would think a strong military is the only requirement, I feel that the economy and the value of any currency has a direct impact upon the stature of a country. For generations the American dollar has been the currency that was welcomed anywhere in the world. Even our enemies admired our strong currency. I believe the dollar was strong because of the conservative values our forefathers lived by.

It is amazing to me how the American people hardly raise an eyebrow when the American dollar loses value to other currencies around the globe. It is especially sad for the people who have retired and are relying upon their savings to take care of themselves in their later years. To put it into perspective, if you buy a radio today from Japan for 10 dollars then in a month the dollar loses half of its value the same radio would cost you 20 dollars. If you have a total collapse of the value of a currency, all of your life’s work would be for nothing. The more fortunate people would be the ones that are still able to work, in such a scenario their wages would be adjusting at a continual rate. There have been countries where the workers would get paid on a daily basis so that they could spend their money quickly while it still had some value. In Germany after WWI, the hyper inflation was so bad that it would have taken a wheelbarrow full of money just to buy a loaf of bread.

One of the main causes of hyper inflation is a country living beyond its means. Whenever a country goes into debt and keeps borrowing money or printing money just to operate is one of the major causes. In our personal lives, if a friend wants to borrow money from you then you find out that he has borrowed from all of his other friends, you are going to be reluctant to loan him anything. More than likely if you do loan him some money you are going to require a higher interest rate to offset the extra risk. Many Americans have fallen in love with all of the government spending; if we keep spending maybe it would be a good idea to save enough to buy everyone a wheelbarrow so that we can haul our cheap money around.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at

2nd District Candidate Ranking: Post 3Q FEC

The Muskogee Politico's 2nd District Candidate Ranking
Post-3rd Quarter FEC Reports

I have decided to periodically issue a ranking of the 2010 Republican candidates for the 2nd District Congressional seat, based on how I see the race shaping up. None of this is to be construed as an endorsement of a specific candidate by this blog, merely my view of the race as it currently stands.

And now, without further ado, I present the very first 2nd District Candidate Ranking from the Muskogee Politico.

1. Howard Houchen

Currently, I see Howard Houchen as the "frontrunner", and the candidate to beat on the Republican side.

FEC reports show that Houchen has raised more money than the other candidates, and currently has around $8000 cash on hand (the next closest candidate has about $2000). Houchen has been in the race the longest, first announcing in early May.

Houchen is a candidate with a very aggressive personality, which can (and will) turn off some voters, but will appeal to others. One specific group that is supporting Houchen is the Ron Paul/libertarian wing of the GOP. Whether he can get enough support from them, financially and/or volunteering, to win remains to be seen.

At this point in the game, I view Howard Houchen as the leader.

2. Daniel Edmonds

I place Daniel Edmonds in second place for a variety of reasons.

Edmonds is the newest of the "big three" candidates, and as such had a fairly low fundraising total in the 3rd Quarter, raising $1990 from individuals (and $4941 in in-kind donations from the candidate).

When it comes to campaign material, Edmonds is definitely in first place, however. His fliers are very professional-looking and high quality, while most of the other candidates' handouts look cheap and home-printed in comparison.

Both Edmonds and Houchen have been getting around to GOP meetings in the district. This next quarter will be very interesting to watch - I see Edmonds having a chance to knock Houchen out of first place if he can have a good fundraising drive and begin to show more support among the party faithful.

3. Dan Arnett

Dan Arnett is in third place, although in some aspects he has had more influence on this race than anyone else.

I see Arnett as being one of the biggest reasons that Congressman Dan Boren actually held town halls. When Arnett announced, and held town hall meetings of his own in front of each of Boren's congressional offices, he essentially called Boren out, and received media coverage in the process.

Arnett has been attending law school in Philadelphia (and working in Oklahoma City), which has greatly hampered his ability to campaign. He will be transferring to the University of Tulsa soon, which will enable him to devote more time to the race. The next few months will be crucial for Arnett, as he will need to show that he can compete with the other candidates.

4. Charles Thompson

In fourth place we have Charles Thompson. Thompson initially got in the race in June, but dropped out a week later. He decided to get back in sometime in early September.

Thompson has yet to officially file his candidacy with the FEC. He has attended a few meetings in the district, and launched a website.

He hasn't been in the race long enough to attract much support, and it remains to be seen how much he will impact (or how long he will stay in) the race. Some of his ideas are somewhat peculiar, such as this one on constituent contact.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Edmonds: I'm the GOP Front-Runner

Daniel Edmonds, GOP candidate for the 2nd District, issued the following press release this morning.
Edmonds Becomes GOP's front-runner in District 2

Morris, OK – Recent trends for Oklahoma’s U.S. Congressional District 2 seat show candidate Daniel Edmonds leading the way. Reports for the 2009 third quarter have been submitted to the Federal Elections Commission, with three GOP candidates filing. Of the three candidates, Edmonds campaign is the newest, yet is raising money faster than the others. When comparing the number of days since each candidate filed with the FEC to the end of the filing period on September 30, versus the amount of funds raised, Edmonds is raising more dollars per day.

“I’m excited that the Edmonds 2 Congress campaign is earning more on a per day basis than the other campaigns in this GOP primary…we’re raising funds at a faster rate”, Edmonds said. “Our message of liberty, limited government, respect for the Constitution, respect for life, and personal responsibility resonates with individuals who care about our country, our heritage, and our legacy. We continue to raise funds and ask individuals to make an investment in this campaign and in the future of our State and Nation.”

To view FEC reports, visit To learn more about Daniel Edmonds and his current campaign for Oklahoma’s U.S. Congressional District 2 Seat, visit
Edmonds officially filed his Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission on August 8th. His two other official opponents, Dan Arnett and Howard Houchen, filed on May 11th and May 26th, respectively. Charles Thompson has not yet officially filed.

I asked for, and received, the following responses from the other candidates.

Dan Arnett - "Although fund raising is important, there is still a year before the election and anything can and will happen. The Arnett campaign has been very busy. For those that were excited when I announced and hosted four town halls, forcing Boren to return to the District and do what he was elected to do in August, get ready because the best is yet to come. I am in this for the long haul, I am in this for you."

Howard Houchen disputed the claim. "I don't see how the math works out. It's hard to see how he [Edmonds] sees himself as the frontrunner. I find it 'thought-provoking', let's put it that way." He also pointed out that he has raised substantially more money than Edmonds. "I've raised over $13000 from individuals, compared to Edmonds' $1900."

I will be releasing my first ranking of the candidates soon, hopefully tomorrow.

Was 'Balloon Boy' a Publicity Stunt?

Most of the nation was glued to news reports yesterday after a six year-old Colorado boy allegedly was inside a compartment on a runaway hot-air balloon made by his parents.

Now, a different side to the story is coming out; the family has been featured on the ABC TV show Wife Swap two times, and is up for voting to return
During a live interview with CNN, Falcon said he had heard his family calling his name.

"You did?" the boy's mother, Mayumi Heene, said.

"Why didn't you come out?" Richard Heene said.

Falcon answered, "You had said that we did this for a show."

Later, Richard Heene bristled when the family was asked to clarify and said he didn't know what his son meant. He didn't ask his son what he meant by "a show."

Was this just a publicity stunt? Did the kid accidentally spill the beans, as children are apt to do with secrets? What do you think?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Todd Russ Wins Special Election

Representative-elect Todd Russ

Republican Todd Russ has won the special election for State House District 55 with just under 56% of the vote, according to the unofficial election results from the Oklahoma State Election Board. The seat was open due to the recent appointment of sitting Representative Ryan McMullen to a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Democrats now hold just 39 of the 101 seats in the State House, a record low. Until 2004, the Democrat Party had controlled the House ever since statehood, minus one term in the 1920s.

Update: I was very pleased to see the State Election Board tweeting the results. If you are on Twitter, follow them at @OKelections.

Monday, October 12, 2009

For those of you who haven't heard, there's a great new website to check for news: It's very similar to the Drudge Report, but with a distinct twist - each state has its own news page, with relevant material for each state.

However, NewsFifty isn't run by RSS feeds; a nationwide staff runs the site, directed by fellow Oklahoman Sid Burgess. has one national homepage that features important headlines and breaking news from across the country. Through an interactive map, visitors can quickly and easily access 50 separate state pages dedicated to all the headlines from each state. In addition, the most popular newspapers, magazines, blogs, television and radio stations and other helpful sources are listed on each state's page.
I highly recommend utilizing this great new resource - I find myself visiting NewsFifty, and the Oklahoma page in particularly, many times a day now. Not only does NewsFifty cover national and state news, but local news is always on the state page. Several Muskogee/Ft. Gibson-area stories have been featured.

This is a great tool - be sure and add to your bookmarks!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Conservative View: Shaking Sacks

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Shaking Sacks

There have always been hoodlums and thugs in any society that are a burden to law abiding people. Whether those thugs live on the west coast or the east or even in another country they are pretty much the same. My grandfather used to have a saying that makes more sense to me as I grow older. He would say, “If you could put all of those kind of people in a sack and shake it up and turn it upside down they would all hit the ground at the same time”. Civilized people can sit down at a table and through negotiation come to an acceptable compromise that can rarely happen when a civilized person tries to negotiate with a hoodlum.

Over the past few weeks there has been much news about the war in Afghanistan, while our military had a huge success there eight years ago the war is far from over. While I don’t claim to be a military strategist, I have some concerns about some of the ideas coming out of Washington DC. A little background, before America liberated Afghanistan the main power there was al-Qaida and the Taliban. These two groups worked hand in hand to terrorize the people of that country. They are a group that does not recognize or respect the God given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While some would say that only affects the people of Afghanistan, I strongly disagree. Those two groups were responsible for the killing of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11/2001. Now there are advocates who would be willing to talk to the Taliban and only fight al-Qaida.

In the old war movies about WW2 the good guys wore American and British uniforms and the bad guys wore Nazi uniforms. In a failed state such as Afghanistan, loyalties can overlap. A warlord can be a Taliban, an al-Qaida member, an opium trafficker or all of the above. How can anyone hope to negotiate with one group of thugs and not with the other, when in reality they are one in the same? There are currently over 68,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan and our military leaders are requesting an additional 40,000 troops. Deploying more troops will be expensive, but allowing a bunch of murdering thugs back in power would be much more expensive. We need to remember that the terrorists that executed the 9/11 attacks were able to do so because they had a safe place to operate from.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, click here.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

In case you haven't heard, it was announced this morning that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Don't ask me why... maybe as a consolation prize for not getting the Olympics, who knows. Interesting note: the nominations for the Peace Prize closed a mere 11 days after his inauguration.

Lech Walesa, former President of Poland (you know, the country that Obama threw under the bus) and Solidarity leader, said, "So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

American Majority School Board Press Release

The following is a press release from a superb organization, American Majority Oklahoma.

Oklahoma School Board Filing Notice
American Majority Oklahoma is leading the effort in identifying and training school board candidates across Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City, OK, (October 7th, 2009): The filing deadline for school board candidates in Oklahoma is the first Monday through Wednesday in December (7th-9th). Interested parties should contact American Majority Oklahoma to gain more information about running for school board in their local community.

There are over 15,000 school districts in America, with roughly 85,000 school board members. Those members in turn oversee the K-12 education of about 50 million students, with educational expenditures exceeding $550 billion a year.

“We believe that national change truly begins at the local level,” says Matt Pinnell, Executive Director of American Majority Oklahoma. “That's why we are out there identifying and training good conservatives to run for school board. School board members play a critical role in local governments, and it’s time we start treating them that way.”

American Majority, Inc. is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization that is leading the battle in training and equipping the next generation of liberty-minded candidates, activists, and community leaders. American Majority is the only state based organization systematically identifying and training school board candidates in Oklahoma.

“Our education spending has increased by nearly 130 percent over the last 30 years, but text scores continue to drop,” says Pinnell. “What we need from our school boards are more people dedicated to seeing the system work, and American Majority is ready to help get those dedicated people elected.”

For media interviews please contact Matt Pinnell: 918-289-0159 or

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 Seeks to Hold Coburn Protests

In an email sent this afternoon, announced plans to stage "Whose Side Are You On?" rallies in front of Sen. Tom Coburn's Oklahoma offices. The email asked MoveOn members to host the rallies, to be held on October 14th. Coburn has been specifically targeted due to his outspokeness against nationalized/socialized health care.

The email stated that "The public option has strong momentum
[ed. note: only in their minds...]. Four of five congressional committees have included a public option in their legislation, and a strong bloc of progressives in Congress says they will only support a bill with a public option."

It also said that "we've still got an uphill fight to win this one in the Senate—Big Insurance is spending millions to defeat real [ha!] reform, and conservative Democrats and Republicans are scuttling reform at every turn [you betcha!]."

Conservative activists are looking at ways to counter-act's protests. MoveOn was not successful in disrupting Coburn's recent town hall meetings, and when they held a sign-waving event in Tulsa were greatly outnumbered by conservative activist and tea partiers.

Monday, October 05, 2009

2nd District Congressional Race Update: Charles Thompson, FEC Reports

Here's the latest 2nd District Update from the Muskogee Politico...

Republican congressional candidate Charles Thompson (introductory post) has launched a campaign website: It's very rudimentary right now, but he does list some of his views on certain issues. One I'd like to hear from my readers is his Accountability issue/idea.

Thompson did not file with the FEC in time for the 3rd Quarter filing period, so we will not know his fundraising numbers until the end of the year. Bert Fisher dropped out on September 25th; no new candidates have gotten in since.

Speaking of FEC reports, the 3rd Quarter closed on September 30th, and the filing deadline is October 15th. So far, only Daniel Edmonds has filed his report.

Edmonds reported just under $2000 in individual contributions (note: he did not file with the FEC until late in the Quarter). Neither Dan Arnett nor Howard Houchen have filed their 3Q reports yet.

Houchen has touted his fundraising at events in the district; it remains to be seen how much he raised this last quarter. If he doesn't come in with a good figure, I don't see that as a good sign for him.

Dan Arnett has been back in the district for events the past couple of weeks. He has been in Pennsylvania at law school for most of the last few months.

After all the reports come in, I will compile a "Power Ranking" of the candidates (idea shamelessly stolen from Race42012).

Keep watching the Muskogee Politico blog for the latest updates on the 2010 2nd District Congressional race.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Conservative View: Haphazard Business

The Conservative View of the week, from Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Haphazard Business

Anyone who has ever been in a partnership business knows the importance of choosing your partner. I have seen instances where one partner is a good manager while the other partner runs his interests in a haphazard manner. The good business partner, if he is smart, will soon have a new partner. If you look at it objectively, we Americans are in a partnership with all of the other countries of the world. If we want to stay competitive with the rest of the world we had better start making an assessment of what kind of partners we are on a global scale.

We conservatives understand that debt is a necessary evil, but it is a consuming evil that must be managed. We are a nation that has lived beyond its means, we have gotten to a point where it is next to impossible to ever save or pay ourselves out of debt. To put it into perspective, if every American family could save five percent of their income year after year... and even assuming every single penny of that savings was thrown into the pot to pay off Washington’s debt... each American family — and descendents — would have to work for the next 429 years! That is assuming that no more debt would be incurred during that time. The U.S. government’s official debt is at an all-time high of $11.8 trillion. Every year, Washington has to make a staggering $335.3 billion in interest payments just to avoid default on that debt. In fact, just the interest on the national debt now equals 12% of all federal spending. Almost 4 million baby boomers reaching retirement age this year — unfunded government IOUs are coming due on Social Security, Medicare, and Federal pension payments. Those obligations are enormous: An estimated $104 TRILLION.

Other nations have experienced similar problems, most all of them go down a similar path. First, they borrow and print money wildly over many decades to fund programs aimed at keeping the voters happy. Second, when the debt starts to crush their economies they will borrow and try to spend their way out of the debt crisis they created. Thirdly, they will devalue their own currency with the hope of paying off their debt with cheap money.

If we Americans want to stay competitive on the world scene we had better do it ourselves and not rely upon Washington to do it for us.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, click here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Israel Trades 20 Terrorists for Gilad Shalit Video

Gilad Shalit, Israeli soldier and Hamas hostage

The Israeli government today exchanged 20 female Palestinian terrorist prisoners for a video proving that IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas in 2006, is still alive.

Shalit was captured in an ambush on June 25th, 2006, on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. The last sign of life received was a letter from Shalit in 2008.

A controversy has formed in Israel over how to obtain Gilad's release - whether or not to release terrorists from prison, and how many (Hamas often demands several hundred). Military efforts to free him have all been unsuccessful.

In the two-minute video, Shalit reads from a script while holding a September 14th Gaza newspaper. He takes a few steps, presumably to demonstrate his good health.

Shalit has been in captivity for 1196 days, according to the Free Gilad Shalit blog. He turned 23 on August 28th

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mayor Hammons Announces Goals at State of the City

Muskogee Mayor John Tyler Hammons announced his goals for Muskogee at his second State of the City address this morning, at a luncheon put on by the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce attended by over 300 business and community leaders.

Hammons' main goal was an education plan based off of 'Tulsa Achieves' - providing free college education to students who graduate in Muskogee County, and meet several guidelines (good grades, reside within the county, community service, etc.). "This is the next step [for Muskogee] to be competitive," he said. "Education is the only way to improve your way of life."

"Jobs and titles come and go, but your education is forever," he emphasized. He admitted that no funding mechanism had come to the surface yet, but encouraged public input to find the best plan.

He mentioned several other goals as well. He wants the City to implement environmentally friendly policies, such as switching some city vehicles to compressed natural gas, and setting an objective that by 2014 at least half of the paper used by the city be environmentally friendly. He also wants to see recycling programs expanded.

He called on the city council to form a Street Oversight Committee to, utilizing public input, work alongside the Public Works Department in prioritizing streets to be repaired. In addition, while praising recent steps taken towards making city government more open and accountable, he announced hope to "take [openness and accountability] a step further," by posting all proposed ordinances and resolutions on the city website before the council votes. He plans to bring this up to the council soon.

Hammons also wants to see the City assist renters buy homes, through grants to help with down-payments.

He spent the rest of his address discussing various highlights from the past year.
  • No murders in Muskogee since August 2007 (ironically, a Tulsa World article in 2006 called Muskogee "Oklahoma's killing field", after statistics showed that Muskogee had a high rate of murders per 100,000 people; the article came at a time when Tulsa's murder rate was skyrocketing)
  • Crime rate cut by 50% since 1995
  • Muskogee EMS first in state to provide flu shots to the elderly and homebound
  • Growth in building permits issued
  • Least (1st) expensive transportation costs in nation, when compared with cities of relative size
  • 4th lowest housing costs in nation, when compared with cities of relative size
  • 12th lowest cost of living in nation, when compared with cities of relative size
  • 35% increase of events at Civic Center (2010 events to include the Harlem Globetrotters, and the ESPN Bass Elite Tournament)
Hammons intends to announce his intentions regarding intentions for a second term at a press conference in a month or so; signs indicate that he will seek reelection.