Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Chicago is installing a system that will use a computer program to detect criminal- or what the computer thinks is criminal behavior- acts and then contact police. Read the whole story at the link below:
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The three to two decision by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on August 31 overturning the death sentence of Ricky Malone for the brutal slaying of trooper Nik Green in Cotton County on December 26, 2003 is a senseless denial of justice and an affront to the sanctity of the right of trial by jury. The reasoning by the three person majority is outrageous. The presiding judge of the Court of Appeals in his dissenting opinion says it very well: "The majority's opinion was improper…and is merely another attempt to sanitize the defendant but to dehumanize the victim". The rights of victim Nik Green were indeed denied and the future safety of citizens of south-west Oklahoma diminished. Retired Marlow teacher Lynn Baker's letter to the editor that appeared in this paper on September 1 is but one of many expressions of disapproval of the three person majority of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. In the opinion of the appeals court, things improperly done in the sentencing phase of the trial included: 1) the trooper's widow, Mrs. Green, in her comments mentions the Bible. "Furthermore, and particularly troubling to this court, Mrs. Green invokes the Bible…This invocation of religious belief and obligation in the context of a capital sentencing recommendation is totally inappropriate". Any normal American should expect a victim's widow to be emotional and speak her mind - including personal thoughts on religion and matters of right and wrong. But the appeals court writes that the victim impact evidence "was too much - both too long and too emotional". Also considered improper was the prosecuting attorney's efforts to build sympathy for the murdered trooper's family. The majority of the appeals court states "It was improper for the prosecutor to so blatantly suggest that Malone's jurors should sentence him to death because the family members were counting on them to do so…it was highly improper to seek sympathy". Does any reader believe that it is not the job of both prosecuting and defense attorneys to try to build sympathy for their client in the minds of jurors? I wrote a brief summary of these events to take to the monthly meeting of the county Republican Party on September 13, and asked that members consider including this issue as a matter for discussion and possible resolutions at the following meeting to be held Thursday, October 11. Many of the about 30 attendees offered comments and additional information before it was unanimously agreed to further discuss the issue in October. Senator Anthony Sykes told the group that Oklahoma is one of only three states in the country that appoints judges as does Oklahoma. The governor appoints, but without the confirmation by the state Senate as is done at the federal level and by the majority of states. Sykes proposed legislation this year to change the law to require Senate confirmation in Oklahoma, but his measure died with a four-four tie vote in committee along party lines. Sykes plans to try again in 2008. Question: Should the county party adopt a resolution supporting a requirement of Senate confirmation of judges nominated by the governor? Voters periodically decide if judges appointed by the governor are to be retained.. It was suggested that the party post on the internet facts about judges the electorate is asked to vote on. Steve Fair, chairman, said he had tried very hard to find information about voting records and other pertinent information about judges due a retention vote, but found that he could find little information. Questions: Should the party attempt to collect and publish voting records and written opinions of judges up for retention? Also, should law mandate this information be made available? The three judges voting to overturn the trial jury sentence were C. Chapel, C. Johnson and A Johnson. Question: Should the county party resolve that these three judges be removed from office by voters when they come up for retention? If any one were successfully removed, future jury decisions might not be improperly reversed. For a jury to impose a death sentence will always be controversial. In Tennessee this month a jury imposed a life sentence without possibility of parole on a former prison nurse for killing a corrections officer while helping her inmate husband escape from prison. That is the prerogative of the jury. The decision of the Comanche County jury to impose the death sentence in the trial of Ricky Malone was within the scope of their discretion, and without legal error by the trial judge, it too should stand. In you find this topic of interest, please plan to attend the meeting of the county Republican Party at the Red River Vo-Tec on October 11. Our meetings are open to the public. A short business meeting comes first, and plans for the Chili Cook-off set for October 20 at the Fair Grounds will be discussed. Our local state Senators and Congressmen will be there. Plan to join us.
George Porter is a retired insurance company executive and a Duncan Banner columnist. He may be contacted at email@example.com
Monday, September 24, 2007
In April 2003, the Oklahoma legislature passed House Bill 1278 and Senate Joint Resolution 22, which created the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act and the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund. It also placed on the ballot State Questions 705 and 706 in the November 2004 election. Governor Henry had made the establishment of the lottery a cornerstone in his campaign for Governor in 2002, so it came as no surprise when state voters were told the lottery would pump $300 million annually into education. Governor Henry and then State Budget Director- now State Treasurer Scott Meacham pounded the table and convinced Oklahomans to approve the “tax on the stupid.” Voters did- but voting for it and playing it are two different things.
Lotteries have the worst odds against winning than any other type of gambling. Sure, lotteries have big payout for small bets, but for example the Oklahoma Lottery only pays out forty-five cents for every dollar they collect. Casinos, slot machines, office pools, racetracks and dishonest bookies have higher payouts than the Oklahoma Lottery. Historically, lotteries are run by government to raise money for public service- most of the time for schools or roads. Lotteries are marketed to poor people who buy into the dream that they might just “hit the big one” and pull out of poverty. Those who play the lottery are those who can least afford to play the lottery. Professional gamblers say the lottery is gambling for those who aren’t good in math.
State Representative Chris Benge, (R-Tulsa) said “The voters of Oklahoma were told lottery profits would go to our schools and any effort to divert that money is a violation of the voter’s trust.” House Majority Whip Rob Johnson, (R-Kingfisher) said, “Director Scroggins is one of the highest-paid lottery officials in the region, yet the Oklahoma Lottery has been an abject failure on his watch.” Scroggin’s salary is $175,000 a year- a far cry from the average Oklahoman’s salary. He has also been paid $50,000 in bonuses since the lottery started less than two years ago.
State Representative Randy Terrill (R-Moore) who chairs the Revenue and Taxation Subcommittee said, “From the first day on the job, Scroggins has known that our schools would receive 35% of all lottery profits.” “If he has a problem with that, he should resign.” “We are not going to cut school funding to prop up the governor’s failed lottery.”
On the Oklahoma Lottery website, Scroggins writes that he is impressed by the commitment he sees from the Governor, the Board of Trustees, and the people of Oklahoma to the lottery. Also on the site, Governor Brad Henry states that Mr. Scroggins brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and vision to this important position, and he looks forward to working with Mr. Scroggins to implement an education lottery that will make all Oklahomans proud.
The Oklahoma lottery has made us proud- it’s proven that Oklahomans are better at math than Henry and Meacham thought we were and that accounts for the lack of participation the lottery scam has gotten.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Real Clear Politics takes ten national polls and averages them out for the Republican Presidential nominees. They have Rudy leading and Huckabee fifth with Thompson, McCain, Romney in between. Keep in mind that's with NO VOTES THAT COUNT YET TO BE CAST. The ONLY poll that matters is the one conducted on election day in the primary states. Because no one is paying attention, too often you have people voting for who they perceive is the frontrunner. They don't base their decision on issues, what the person stands for, or their experience, but on their standing in the poll. Tragic but true. The intelligent, informed voters knows what the candidate stands for and get up to speed on issues.
You can view Real Clear Politics table on their average of the polls at the link below:
The Tulsa World is reporting that some contributions (checks) that were made out to the Oklahoma Republican Party(the state party) somehow made their way to the Oklahoma County Republican Party- not the same organization. The Ethics commission is investigating. You have to play by the rules- whether you agree with them or not- or change them. It remains to be seen who gets "thrown under the bus" in this deal. Read the entire story at link below and to those involved in this stupid scheme, read If by Kipling. You need the admonition!
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you but make allowance for their doubting too If you can wait and not be tired by waiting or being lied about, don't deal in lies Or being hated, don't give way to hating and yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise
If you can dream and not make dreams your master If you can think and not make thoughts your aim If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools or watch the things you gave your life to, broken and stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools
If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss and lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue or walk with Kings, nor lose the common touch If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you If all men count with you, but none too much If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run yours is the Earth and everything that's in it and which is more, you'll be a Man, my son!
In a complex set of transactions, Dubai is moving to acquire 19.9 percent of the Nasdaq in New York, placing the Arab government in an ownership position of the key U.S. stock exchange and raising concerns in Congress. As a result of the transaction, Dubai also will acquire 28 percent of the London Stock Exchange, one of the oldest and largest in the world. The transaction is being made through a holding company 100-percent owned by the government of the Emirate of Dubai and controlled by Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the head of the Dubai ruling family. You will recall the uproar it created when Dubai tried to buy the major US ports. Because of the uproar the deal went south. This small westernized Arab country is also the corporate home to Halliburton- started in Duncan, OK- which moved there earlier this year. Read the whole story at the link below:
Thursday, September 20, 2007
House Leaders Vow to Oppose Diversion
This is a press release from the State House of Representatives on the lottery. Oklahoma's lottery is providing less than 25% of the revenue that Governor Blackjack Henry projected it would provide when Oklahomans were voting on it. Now the lottery officials want to up their cut in order to prevent them from laying off people.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
TED NUGENT ON GUN CONTROL!
Texas Monthly interviewed Rocker Ted Nugent and asked his views on the 2nd amendment. Not afraid to express his opinion, Nugent does a great job of offering the fundamental reason Americans have a right to keep and bear arms. This 3 minute video is well worth watching.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
On Wednesday September 12th, Stephens County Democratic Chair Alice Smith wrote an editorial in The Duncan Banner that created a firestorm in the small SW Oklahoma town. See below for responses from Republican readers that were published on Friday the 14th and Sunday the 16th. Double click on the articles to read them. If you still have problems reading them, you can request copies of these be emailed to you (bitmap format) by emailing Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org. Who says the Democrats don't help us! Smith's editorial stirred up at least three Republicans- two new ones!
Monday, September 17, 2007
According to KTOK radio, the Oklahoma County GOP is being investigated by the state Ethics commission for possible ethics violations. Read the entire story at Mike McCarville's blog or the Oklahoma Political News Service (links below). In addition to the OK County GOP, two top legislators are also being investigated according to KTOK, the OKPNS and McCarville.
Political activism goes beyond personal participation in democracy; it involves a concerted effort to promote an agenda. The Democrats have an agenda, as do the Republicans. Each side seeks to achieve its aims by exerting greater pressure on the government than the opposition can muster, using lobbying, campaign contributions, and other power-brokering tools. In recent years, what has spurred many to move from participant to activist has been “faith based” issues. Issues such as the removal of prayer from the classroom, same sex marriage, and abortion. Conservative groups such as the Christian Coalition and others have been established to counter the formidable liberal lobby. It’s reasonable to promote legislation that is in accordance with our faith and seek to return our nation back to the standards established by God. Our country needs to return to the Christian principles it was founded upon. However, conservatives need to be careful that we don’t twist the golden rule to justify our own militancy: “They do it to us, so we can do it to them.” Two wrongs don’t make a right and while others may be able to live with their actions, we should not. To be consistent, Republicans should always take the “high road.”
There are two reasons Oklahoma Republicans have gained political activists in recent years. The first is that Oklahoma Democrats have become more liberal in their agenda. Oklahoma Democrat Party leaders openly attack faith-based issues and proudly unfurl their liberal banner. Liberal Oklahoma Democrats are the best recruiting tool conservative Oklahoma Republicans have. Each time, the Democrats reveal their liberal leanings, conservative Christians change party affiliation to Republican and many are spurred to activism.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Bush weighs Olson to replace Gonzales
President Bush has not yet chosen a new attorney general, but conservatives say they are ecstatic to learn that former Solicitor General Theodore B. (Ted) Olson is one of five finalists. Ted Olson's wife, Barbara was killed on 9/11. She was a passenger on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. He is a good choice. He has been the Solictor General and has pled dozens of cases before the Supreme Court. Read the entire story at the link below:
Monday, September 10, 2007
On Monday, General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker testified before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. Chairman Ike Skelton, (D-Mo), began the hearing by calling Petraeus a good friend and labeled him and Crocker “two of America’s finest.” Skelton is a rare commodity- a Democrat that supports a strong national defense. Of course, Ike represents a district with two large military bases, so it stands to reason he would be for the men and women in uniform, but that’s NOT indicative of his Democrat colleagues.
House Armed Services Committee ranking Republican Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) opened his remarks by letting Petraeus know that “the last week or so has been spent attacking your credibility, with major attacks here in the United States, some of them emanating from right here...” meaning some of the members on the Armed Services committee.
What Hunter was referring to was an ad that was in the New York Times on Monday that claims Petraeus was not going to give an objective, independent view of the situation on the ground. The ad ended with the tagline- “General Petraeus or General Betray us?” The ad was paid for by moveon.org, the liberal organization that has attacked the U.S. position on the war since its inception. They were big backers of John Kerry’s failed Presidential bid.
Sunday on ABC's “This Week,” moderator George Stephanopoulos, asked GOP presidential hopeful John McCain what he thought about the attacks on Petraeus' credibility. "I know this man, and many people know this general. He's not going to allow politicization of the dedication and service that not only he is providing, but the brave young men and women under his command." "He served his country with honor and distinction," the Senator from Arizona said, "and if we have to sink to that level to besmirch the reputation of a very fine and wonderful American, then I lament the level of dialogue. I hope that my Democrat friends will not be guided by moveon.org." But the members of the Democratic leadership are guided by moveon.org and their attacks by varying degrees.
For example, Senator Dianne Feinstein was asked Sunday on Fox about recent attacks on Petraeus' credibility. "Well, I don't think General Petraeus has an independent view in that sense," the Democrat from California said. "General Petraeus is there to succeed. He may say the progress is uneven. He may say it's substantial." "I don't know what he will say," Feinstein said. "You can be sure we'll listen to it. But I don't think he's an independent evaluator." The truth is none of us are “independent evaluators,” Senator. That's the reason this blog is called FAIR & BIASED!
Our life experiences, our station in life, and other various points of reference influence us. When someone states they can be totally objective, they are wrong because no one can be totally objective. Quite frankly the closest thing to complete objectivity is the leadership in the U.S. military. Historically, the top brass in the military has stayed non-partisan. Top-level officers are almost always registered as Independents to avoid any appearance of partisanship. They go out of their way to keep politics out of their job- even though they have to deal with politicians.
But Democrats know the Armed Forces vote Republican, and by a landslide. Due to our party's love of NATIONALISM and our historical support for a strong national defense, most soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines vote in droves for the GOP. That’s one of the reasons that Al Gore didn’t want the military vote counted in the 2000 election. He knew the military votes overwhelmingly for Republicans and by including it in the totals, “W” would benefit.
Petraeus gave a largely positive assessment of the much-debated troop surge but also said difficult tasks lie ahead. He said that he thought we could see withdrawal of up to 30,000 troops by July of 2008. Democrats didn’t like the report because he didn’t “tell them what they wanted to hear.” But Petraeus’ –like Joe Friday on Dragnet- just gave them the facts. Just because they don’t like the message, they should not attack the messenger. One good thing about the Dems response- it will move more of the military vote to the “R” column in 2008.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Advice from down-under
General Petraeus' long-held emphasis on combining military and academic disciplines has led to a large number of Ph.D.'s in the Defense Department and in war zones. These academic types have become collectively known as the "Petraeus' guys", and are leading current war efforts. Dr. David Kilcullen, senior counter-insurgency advisor to Petraeus, is a key member of this group, and posts frequent on-line reports and comments for rapid communication. Comments are his own, and not U.S. policy statements. David Kilcullen, born in Australia in 1967, son of two left-leaning academics, graduated from Duntroon, the Australian West Point, where he had studied counter-insurgency warfare. In 2001 he received a Ph.D., majoring in political anthropology, from the University of New South Wales. As an Australian infantry officer he served in East Timor, Bougainville and the Middle East. He left active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2005 to be loaned to the U. S. State Dept. as Chief Strategist in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and worked in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and South-East Asia. He served as advisor to Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State. He is regarded as highly independent, non-political and outspoken, a trait that has given him significant credibility with leaders on both sides of American politics. His earlier comments include: "After 9/11, when a lot of people were saying 'The problem is Islam.' I was thinking, It's something deeper than that. It's about human social networks and the way that they operate…There are elements of human psychology and social makeup that drive what's happening. The Islamic bit is secondary. This is human behavior in an Islamic setting. This is not 'Islamic behavior.'…People don't get pushed into rebellion by their ideology. They get pulled in by their social networks."
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
In an amazing story, a GOP Congressman evidently "threatened" some Colorado GOP activists when they questioned his taking of campaign money from the gambling lobby. He's a freshman- may not make a second term. This story is worth reading.
On Saturday U.S. Senator Larry Craig, R-ID, resigned from his seat in the Senate. Craig will leave office on September 30, after serving in Congress (House & Senate) for over 25 years. Craig had been under pressure to quit since news surfaced last week that he was arrested in June at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and later pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge. The arrest was made by an officer investigating reports of sexual behavior in an airport restroom. In a post-arrest police recording, Craig denied that he was trying to engage in lewd behavior in the airport bathroom and suggested he was entrapped by the arresting officer. Then why plead guilty Senator? Nevertheless, this comes on the heels of U.S. Senator David Vitter. R-LA. being linked to a DC escort service and just a year after Congressman Mark Foley resigned because of improper contact with Congressional pages and Don Sherwood, R-PA getting beat after he admitted a long term affair. What is up with Republicans? We are supposed to be the party of morality and family values. Our platform clearly takes a conservative, traditional stand on moral issues. So why are we seeing Republican elected officials not walking the walk?
First, we all have inherited a sin nature. We got it from our father, who got it from his father and so on back to Adam. By our inherent nature, we are depraved creatures. That goes against the secular theory that everyone is good deep down. Any serious Bible student and person with an honest conscience recognizes we are all crooked deep down(words/music at supplied link)http://derekwebb.musiccitynetworks.com/index.htm?id=7013&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;inc=7&album_id=735#6110
Craig, Vitter, Foley, Sherwood, Delay, and others are doing what people do- they sin. Falling is understandable, because everyone does it, but when they try to hide their sin, that’s another issue. That doesn’t excuse misbehaviour, but it does explain it.
Secondly, conservative Christian GOP activists need to recognize that some of the elected officials within our party are only “talking the talk” to get elected. They are not “walking the walk” and never have nor have any intention to start. Some Republican elected officials are charlatans- they do not practice what they preach. They use our resources and influence to gain support and votes. They don’t believe in the principles we hold important. They use the Christian right to accomplish their goal- which is to stay in power- and then ignore the principles we hold sacred once they are in office. We should root out those elected officials and expose them. If we become satisfied with just having more Rs than Ds, that is not truly standing for the principles we believe in. Politics make for strange bedfellows as evidenced by some of the partnerships formed in recent years by groups that had historically not worked together. These strange alliances have been justified because it furthers “the cause.” The key question is- what is “the cause?” Why I am active in the Republican party may not be the same reason others are active. I can accept and appreciate that fact. That means I can still work with them on issues that we agree on as citizens. The cause for me is simple. The election of honest, ethical indidivuals that will be candid and principled. For the most part, Republicans have more of those than Democrats, and that’s why I’m a Republican. But no party or man can escape the inherited sin nature I spoke of earlier. There will always be moral failures. How the leadership of the party reacts is a critical sign of who we are. Republicans, for the most part, react with moral indigation toward members of our own party when they fall. That’s not the case with Democrats.
Take for example, the moral failure of President Bill Clinton. The Democrats held a pep rally at the White House after the impeachment vote to show their support. In July of 1990, Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA, was reprimanded by the US House for his role in a male prostitution ring, but he still serves in Congress. Congressman William Jefferson, D-LA, has been indicted for racketeering, solicitation of bribes, honest services wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, violating the foreign corrupt practices act, and conspiracy, yet still serves in Congress. Yet the Democratic leadership shows no outrage when one of their own fails- only when it’s a Republican. When former House Majority Leader Tom Delay was indicted, Nancy Pelosi said, “The criminal indictment of Majority Leader Tom DeLay is the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people.”
Culture of corruption? Pelosi is right about that- we are born corrupt, but moral failure is not partisan. In John 8, Jesus stated, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone .” There are consequences for actions and elected officials should pay the price, but party officials should be consistent with their righteous indignation.