Wednesday, October 31, 2007

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Navy said a small, inert training bomb fell Tuesday from an fighter jet that was heading to Oceana Naval Air Station. No one was hurt.
The Navy said the bomb landed near a warehouse in the resort city of Virginia Beach. Minimal damage was reported. The F/A-18C Hornet was returning to Oceana following a training mission at the Navy's bombing range in Dare County, N.C., when it dropped the bomb. The jet landed safely. Naval authorities were investigating. This sort of thing has happened a number of times at Fort Sill. They lob a mortar into someones backyard who lives next to the range. Since the advent of smart munitions, the incidents are fewer, but it happens.

......and BELLA!
There will be a new children's movie out in December called The Golden Compass. It is written by Phillip Pullman, a proud atheist who belongs to secular humanist societies. Pullman hates C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and has written a trilogy to show the other side. The movie has been dumbed down to fool kids and their parents in the hope they will buy his trilogy where in the end the children KILL GOD and everyone can do as they please. Nicole Kidman stars in the movie, so it will be a big media event when it is released. The link below will give you more information on the movie.
Conversely, there is a positive feel good movie out that is about an International soccer player- Jose-whose career comes to an abupt end. Cooking in his brothers Mexican restaurant, he meets Nina, a waitress. It's called BELLA and yeah, it's a love story, but it has a good message. You can get more information and watch a trailer at the link below:
by Robert Novak
Sen. Charles Schumer denied it, but word seeped out of the Democratic cloakroom that he was steaming over being rejected by the Senate on his earmark for a Woodstock museum -- in particular, the lack of help from his New York colleague, Sen. Hillary Clinton. Schumer and Clinton co-sponsored a $1 million earmark for the museum in Bethel, N.Y., at the site of the drug-laden 1969 Woodstock music festival. But Clinton did not go to the Senate floor to help out her fellow senator, and one of her aides said this was mainly Schumer's project. Schumer told me that he was not upset with Clinton and that he telephoned Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to say there were no hard feelings. Earmarks are routinely approved for powerful legislators such as Schumer, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership. The Woodstock million lost, 52 to 42, after it was revealed that the museum's principal donor was a big contributor to Schumer and Clinton. Can one person change things? As evidenced by the above Oklahoma's US Senator Tom Coburn has made "business as usual" a thing of the past in the US Senate. Trying to sneak an earmark past Coburn is like getting a chicken leg past a preacher- it's not likely to happen!

The Hill is reporting that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is raising money and getting support. Polls show he is #2 behind Romney in Iowa- ahead of Rudy. Read the entire story at the link below:
Something the mainstream media is not telling us is that Hillary is in trouble with the FEC for a Hollywood fundraiser. There is a smoking gun- a video tape- that shows Hillary committing perjury, obstruction of justice, and soliciting an illegal campaign contribution. The link below has a 13 minute video detailing the allegations. EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD SEE THIS VIDEO.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

State Representative Dennis Johnson had a super fundraiser Monday night in Duncan. It was well attended and the food was great. Speaker of the House Lance Cargill was the keynote speaker, but several other of Dennis' peers in the House were there including State Representatives Don Armes, Randy Terrill and Ann Coody. State Senator Anthony Sykes was also in attendance. Representative Johnson has done an outstanding job and District #50 is fortunate to have him representing us. If you missed the event and want to help him out, email him at

Mike McCarville (McCarville Report) is reporting that Joe Allbaugh has joined the Rudy Giuliani Campaign As Senior Advisor for Homeland Security matters. Allbaugh is a Blackwell native and an OSU grad. He was "W"s campaign manager for Governor and President. He was also head of FEMA during 9/11. Joe has spoken at State GOP events and is a straight shooter- no pun intended (he's on the board of the NRA). Good move by the Giuliani team, but Rudy is still too liberal on the social issues for more Okies. You can read the entire story at the link below:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Last week the Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council attempted to give every Oklahoma state legislator a copy of the Muslim holy book- the Qur’an. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the book of divine guidance and direction for mankind and consider the text in its original Arabic to be the literal word of God, revealed to Muhammad over a period of 23 years. They view the Qur’an as God’s final revelation to humanity. At last count about twenty five of the Oklahoma legislators had refused the gift. Most- if not all- of those who refused it were Republicans. The story has received national attention. Here are my observations:

First, I have a copy of the Qur’an. I have read it and have used it for research. I am not threatened by it. I don’t fear it, nor do I believe it will “convert” me to Islam. I do not believe that Jehovah and Allah are one and the same. Any honest student of history knows that Muhammad was a militant warrior. He killed thousands upon thousands upon his return to Mecca. His followers were commanded to kill those who would not convert to Islam. For more information on the true Islam, click on the link below:
Islam is a religion of works and any religion or denomination that emphasizes the works of man are false religions. That includes some that misuse the Holy Bible as their text and call themselves Christian.

Second, why do we have a Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council that is composed of only Muslims? State Representative Mike Reynolds- R-Moore, asked that question in a recent press release. It's a good question. Are any taxpayer dollars being used to promote Islam or any other religion? Were taxpayer dollars used to print and distribute the Qur’an to the lawmakers? Even if no tax dollars are being used at this organization, what is its function- why do we have it? Those are questions that must be answered by Governor Blackjack Henry.
Third, according to Marjaneh Seirafi-Pour, chairwoman of the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council, some lawmakers were rude when they declined the Quran. Being rude is never excusable if you are an elected official. If you don’t have the temperament to serve in public office- quit- or learn Kipling’s “If .” If you were rude, apologize. If she's lying, document it, and make her apologize.

Fourth, some legislators are using this issue to “get some press.” They are proclaiming outrage the GEAA Council would even think about giving them the Qur’an. It would be interesting to know how many of the outraged lawmakers gave 10% of their income to their local church the past year. It would also be interesting to know how many of the lawmakers attend church on a regular basis. How many of these “principled” legislators regularly read their Bible, pray with their families, visit the sick, or generally manifest the words of Matthew 5:14-16? If they are not “walking the walk,” then please don’t try to “talk the talk.” This is a reason the GOP is suffering from a lack of creditability. We have people who tell us how devout they are and how strong their Christian convictions are, yet in their private life that is not the case. Consistency is critical and it's easy to expose.

I know at least one very principled, godly Christian legislator who is keeping his Qur’an because he rightly believes he represents all the people. He is not threatened by nor intimidated by a book with false teaching. He will graciously accept the gift. His spiritual maturity allows him to not be threatened nor influenced by a book whose origins are suspect at best.

I realize my opinion on this issue will likely differ from those that I normally consider allies. If you disagree with me- that’s your right, but please at least consider the above points before you call for my head on a platter. Understand that theologically I am very conservative. I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God. I am so narrow minded theologically that a knat can sit on the bridge of my nose and spit in both eyes. I could find NO common ground with a Muslim theologically or philosophically- however legislators are charged with representing everyone in their districts- not just those they agree with theologically.
I recognize and respect that rational people can disagree.- even if you are wrong.
Back in March, freshman U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg R-Michigan said the troops returning from Iraq he had talked with "indicate to me that 80 to 85 percent, in a conservative fashion, of the country is reasonably under control, at least as well as Detroit or Chicago or any of our other big cities. That's an encouraging sign." Walberg’s statement created a firestorm of criticism, particularly from those in the Michigan delegation. Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, D-Michigan said, “I am outraged that a Congressman representing the state of Michigan, whose economic strength is directly related to the success of its largest city, would make such ignorant, absurd comments about Detroit.”

But while Walberg’s remarks may have been insensitive, they weren’t inaccurate. According to Manny Goldstein of Blue Works Better, the violent death rate in Iraq is around 40 per 100,000 population. The violent death rate in Detroit is 42.6 per 1000,000 population, so while Walberg may have stuck his foot in his mouth, the reality is we live in a violent world.

4th District Congressman Tom Cole, R- OK just returned from his seventh trip to Iraq. It’s been a year since Congressman Cole was in Iraq. This CODEL included four Congressmen and their objectives were to tour and view three areas. The areas the lawmakers were interested in were logistics, medical facilities and the effect of the troop surge.

The CODEL’s first stop was Kuwait where 40-60 flights per day of large freight bearing aircraft provide the supplies troops need to do their job. The amount of air traffic has transferred this desert base into the largest American airfield in the world. Tom Cole’s father was a retired Air Force master sergeant who was involved in logistics during his tenure in the military. “My dad would have loved this trip,” Cole said, “He loved moving equipment and men from one area to another and on this trip we saw just how efficient the U.S. military is at doing that.” The base is not just for supply; it also serves as a training facility for those entering Iraq.

“Kuwait is the last training stop for troops before they go into Iraq,” Cole said. “The focus of the troops on training is more intense, because they realize that in just a matter of days, it will be the real thing.”

Soldiers are about 50 miles from the war, and they are taking their last formal training course before they cross the berm into Iraq. What they are learning there is not theoretical. It probably will save some of their lives someday, and "someday" could be 48 hours away. This is the convoy live-fire exercise; the capstone event of a two-and-a-half day crash course that incorporates a lot of lessons learned from the past years combat experiences.

The next stop for the CODEL was a military hospital facility. “When the wounded are taken off the helicopter, they are moved through this tunnel- a breeze way that is 35-40’ long with a huge American flag covering the frame just before they enter the hospital,” Cole said. “The wounded soldiers see the large American flag and know they are safe and are going to be O.K.” “They call it Hero’s Way,” Cole said. The morale of the troops in the hospitals was inspiring to Cole and the delegation. “They have such a commitment to stopping the violence and to helping the Iraqi people,” Cole said. “If the average American could see the dedication of our military, they would be impressed.”

The CODEL visited Ramadi, a city that was once the site of more violence than any city in the country. “The area where we traveled in Ramadi was not secure just two months ago,” Cole said. Ramadi’s average of 250-300 executions per month has dropped to 20 per month. According to American ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker the violence in Iraq is down dramatically, which indicates the troop surge is working. The casualty rate in Iraq was down in September to the lowest level in thirteen months. Transfer of power from coalition forces to Iraqi security teams is now complete in seven of the eighteen providences.

The challenge is getting the various ethic groups in Iraq to work together to maintain a stable Iraq. Cole says, “An Iraqi city councilman pointed at an American soldier and told me that was what was needed in Iraq.” “I misunderstood him and thought he was talking about a strong military, but he was talking about the diversity in the U.S. Military.” “ We have all races and both genders working together for a common cause.” “I think he has the right answer,” Cole concluded.

The world will never be non-violent, no matter how much Democrats want to believe it can be if everyone just wishes upon a star. But the troop surge has reduced the violent death rate in Iraq to less than several major American cities, including Detroit. It’s now up to the Iraq people to govern themselves with civility and inclusiveness in a country where the political norm has been winner take all.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Republican Version
Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana. He was hung in 1889. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: "Remus Rodham; horsethief, sent to Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, Robbed the Montana Flyer six times, Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in1889."

Democrats Version
Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Monday, October 22, 2007

Who is the most conservative? That was the theme of Sunday night’s GOP Presidential debates. Chris Wallace from Fox News opened the debate by asking former NYC Major Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney about comments that fellow candidate Fred Thompson had made about their not being true conservatives. Both responded that Thompson was not really a true conservative. What is a “true conservative” and why are all the candidates trying to be one?

Defining a conservative can be difficult, but American political historian and social critic, Russell Kirk in his 1953 book; The Conservative Mind lists six tenets of conservatism. They are (1) A belief in a transcendent order, which Kirk described variously in tradition, divine revelation, or natural law. (2) An affection for the “variety and mystery” of human existence; (3) A conviction that society requires orders and classes that emphasize “natural distinctions; (4) A belief that property and freedom are closely linked; (5) A faith in custom, convention, and prescription, and (6) A recognition that innovation must be tied to existing traditions and customs, which entails a respect for the political value of prudence.

Kirk believed in economic freedom. He believed in the free market system. Moreover, because he drew on religion, morality, and a comprehensive view of human nature, Dr. Kirk achieved important insights in political economy that a purely economic approach would have missed. Kirk's starting point was belief in God and a "belief in an order that is more than human," which rules both society and individuals. A transcendent God implies that eternal truths exist, that "human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent." Those that oppose a free market system often argue there is more to life than money. That is certainly true and Russell Kirk realized that a free market economy operated by humane, principled people serves all of us well.

If Republicans truly want to elect a conservative- as defined by Kirk- the candidate may not be in the race. Senator John McCain of Arizona said he is the conservative with the best chance of defeating Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a claim often made by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. GOP rival Mitt Romney, meanwhile, deflected charges that he has flip-flopped on abortion and other social issues important to religious conservatives. Romney, a Mormon, said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" evangelicals may not accept my religion, but they will certainly see me as someone who can carry the standard of conservatives for major social issues."

Romney picked up a surprise endorsement from Bob Jones University President Bob Jones III last week. In endorsing Romney, Jones said, "As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism, but I'm not voting for a preacher. I'm voting for a president. It boils down to who can best represent conservative American beliefs, not religious beliefs."

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has the credentials of a social conservative. He is an ordained Baptist minister. He is definitely pro-life. But according to Club for Growth President Pat Toomey, Huckabee was not a fiscal conservative during his two terms as Governor of Arkansas. Toomey says, "Governor Huckabee says he is a fiscal conservative, but his ten-year economic-policy record as the governor of Arkansas is mixed, at best. His history includes numerous tax hikes, ballooning government spending, and increased regulation. To be sure, Governor Huckabee's record displays an occasional deference to a pro-growth philosophy, but that is only a small slice of a much bigger picture. The Club for Growth feels citizens deserve a full picture of where Governor Huckabee stands on the critical economic issues of the day." Club for Growth has a great deal of influence over fiscal and social conservatives nationally.

What is a conservative. Fundamentally, a conservative is one who tries to conserve things. This presupposes that there is something worth conserving and that this thing needs conserving.
Social conservatives in the GOP want to conserve America’s values and heritage. They are pro-life and pro-family. They believe marriage is between one man and one woman. They believe America was founded upon Christian principles and values.

Fiscal conservatives work to conserve our free market system that fuels our freedom and liberty. They fight for less government regulations. They want lower taxes and smaller government. They hate governmental waste and overspending.

Sometimes, social and fiscal conservatives get on the same end of the rope at the same time with candidates like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Other times they do not. In 2008, they better start tugging together or Republicans risk losing the White House.
"God placed man and woman over creation, not under it; man and woman interacted with nature and the environment, they were not isolated from it. "
Excerpt from David Barton's testimony before the U.S. Senate EPW Committee

On June 7th, David Barton, founder of Wallbuilders, testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works committee on the subject of Global Warming. David's testimony focused on the Cornwall Declaration You can read the transcript of David's testimony before the Senate by clicking on the link below:
This is a great cause and fellow blogger Mike McCarville adopted the program when he was on KTOK. The OKC school district works to provide every kid in the OKC schools a coat. Send a check you cheap skates to the address below. Unlike what the Dems said about casino gambling, this really is for the kids. If you want more information on the Coats for Kids program, the link is below.
From the McCarville Report:
Today's turn of the weather is a reminder that many Oklahoma City elementary school students do not have warm winter coats. It is the goal of the "Coats For Kids" campaign to provide them. Mike McCarville adopted the program almost 10 years ago while an on-air host at KTOK-1000AM and continues to work with the Oklahoma City School District on the program. Donations may be made at any MidFirst Bank or by sending checks to: Coats For Kids, 900 North Klein, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.
Journalism gone WILD!
A reporter in Dallas harasses an old man on camera to the point of tears. The man shot a burglar at his business. See the video at the link below.

Betty Smith is our GOP District Committeewoman for Stephens County. She and her sister write home school science, history and english textbooks. She was raised in Mexico on the mission field. She sent this account of her taking a cave tour in Tennessee. I think you will enjoy reading about Betty's experience. Her email is if you want to comment directly to her.
Ron and I were privileged to get to go to a trade show for our business in northeastern Tennessee. We were looking forward to seeing the beautiful fall foliage, making business contacts, and visiting friends in the area. It sounded fun, but pretty tame. So, when we were given the option for our Saturday activities, we rejected the leisurely bike hike, the friendly game of golf, the window-shopping in Gatlinburg, and opted for the 'Wild' cave tour at Appalachian Caverns. It did say that it was a high level of exertion, but I figured we had at least one spelunking experience left in these middle-aged bodies.

We dressed in old jeans and warm t-shirts and nine of us (Ron and I were the oldest in the group) drove to the cave in a slightly apprehensive, but holiday mood. We walked into the entrance building and started to put on our equipment. "Put your knee pads inside your jeans, they'll stay in place better that way," said the owner's wife. "And you better leave everything valuable here—like your cell phone, your camera, your wedding rings, and your wallets. We have a used jewelry section in this store," her husband joked. Then he took us into the orientation room, where he had us pick out a hard hat and gloves. Little did I realize how important those items would be.

Going down the concrete ramp into the cave was familiar to me. I've walked through lots of caves around the country and really enjoy seeing the world underneath the surface. But that was where the familiar ended. The owner/guide, Roger, took us off the beaten path down into a smaller cavern with several chambers. "This is the practice area," he said. We obligingly dropped to our knees and crawled through the first of many tunnels. "Not too bad," I thought to myself, "I can handle this." I continued to think this way as we explored several other tunnels, including one called the 'birth canal.' I wasn't even very dirty, and although I could feel that I was being challenged physically, it was relatively easy and kind of fun. I did hold back at one point and just watched the others climb up a 25 ft. cliff to a little cave room at the top.

Then we went even deeper in the cave, and Roger pointed to a small opening with about 4 inches of water standing in it. I felt like Cadet Kelly at Boot Camp, dropping flat on the ground into the water and shimmying through the opening. It was tall enough to crawl through in parts, but quite muddy. This caving thing was getting harder and I was getting wet and muddy, but I was still making it pretty well.

We came around a curve and watched Roger and the ones ahead of us disappear up and over a narrow opening. Then it was my turn to make myself into a pretzel to get through that space. I took off my hard hat, because my head wouldn't fit through the top part of the opening without doing that. Then I climbed up to the first 'step' and quickly found out that it wasn't going to work with my left foot going first. So, I turned sideways with my body hugging the left side of the wall and tried pushing myself up with my right foot first. In a moment, I was stuck. I couldn't go forward and I couldn't go backward. I realized that I needed to go forward (because there were others behind me and I didn't want to have to slide back the way we’d come), but I was wedged in the crevice and couldn't move. I started to get panicky and even started thinking about Winnie the Pooh and how long I would have to stay there until I lost enough weight to be able to get out of there. My adrenaline started pumping and I began to feel claustrophobic.

The young man in front of me saw my situation. Steve grabbed my hand and said, "Here, let me help you. I know you can do it." Ron was behind me encouraging me as well. I still felt stuck and scared, so I asked them to pray for me. Then, I wiggled loose, was able to back up a few inches, regain a different footing and with Ron pushing and Steve pulling, I made it to the top of the rock. They helped me down the 10 foot drop on the other side and we were off again, crawling through another muddy tunnel.

When we all got to a place where we could sort of stand up, Roger had everyone turn off his or her headlamps. He talked with us about how dark the world is without light. Then he had one person turn on their headlamp. We could see everyone quite well. But when we all turned our lights on, we could see even better. He reminded us that Jesus is the Light of the world, and that when we all let our light shine, the darkness is exposed. It was a good and uplifting talk. Then Roger said, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you all made it through that passage. The bad news is that we have to go back the same way."

I felt the strength go out of my body and I slumped to the ground. "I can't go through there again," I exclaimed. "There isn't any better way out of here," was Roger's reply. "Then you'll have to pray for me again," I said, trying to slow my breathing down and calm my spirit. With their prayers upholding me, I crept back to that narrow opening again. My ‘labor coaches,’ Steve and Ron were right there with me. (By the way, Steve was an experienced labor coach as he had helped his wife with an unexpected home delivery of their 2-yr-old twins!) And thankfully, going down was much easier than climbing up, as gravity helped the process.

After that, hugging 45-degree slabs of rocks and wading through 3-foot-deep 55-degree water seemed like a breeze. We all felt like triumphant survivors as we entered the sunlight again and climbed up the hill to the shower house.

Although my body was covered with bruises and every muscle screamed for several days, there were several important lessons that I learned from this experience. First of all, I was thrilled that I actually was able to do the 4-hour caving trip. Secondly, I learned, that when we think we've got it made and can handle it, God sometimes gives us a challenge to humble us and force us to cry out to Him for help. Thirdly, there are some things that we have to do for ourselves—no one else can do it for us. BUT, others can encourage us, pray for us and give us a helping hand.

There was a special camaraderie amongst us cavers after that event. We got back to the hotel with only an hour to rest before dinner. So we rested a little, and I put on my fancy black dress. I was proud to show off my bruises, because they were badges of courage and reminders that God had brought me up out of a miry pit and set my feet upon a rock.

When you get in a tight place, take a deep breath and let it out. Call out to God for help. And don't be afraid to ask a friend, a spouse, or even a stranger to give you a hand when you need it.
This is interesting! When you click on the website link below, a world Map comes up showing what strange & dangerous things are happening right now in every country in the entire world & is updated every few minutes. You can move the map around, zero in on any one area & actually up-load the story of what is going on. It is amazing when you can see the things that are happening right here in the U.S., sometimes right in your own state or even your city. Global Incident Map: There is a lot happening in our world every minute. This "map" updates every 300 seconds...constantly 24/7. Click on any icon on the map for text update information. It's not just about Terrorism - it's about everything happening every minute some place in the world of terrorism threats, explosions, airline incidents, etc.

Monday, October 15, 2007

#2 in one-armed bandits!
Oklahoma has a slot machine for every seventy-nine residents. The Sooner state has over 45,000 slot machines in the ninety-seven casinos scattered across the state. That is according to the 2006 edition of The North American Gaming Almanac. The North American Gaming Almanac covers nearly 2,000 casinos, card rooms, racinos, horse tracks, dog tracks, and casino cruises in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. It gives statistical information, locations, and maps for the gambling enthusiast or addict. This years report has Oklahoma ranked as third in the country in total number of slot machines- behind Nevada and California. Gambling in Oklahoma took in an average of $617 per person last year which is three times what it was before gambling was expanded in 2004.

Brian Foster of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association says, “It used to be that 30-40 percent of Oklahoma gamblers would play here and the other 60 or 70 percent would save their money and go to Vegas, Kansas City or Shreveport.” “Now I think we’re keeping 60-70 percent here.” Foster says the growth is due to hard work in building the gambling industry. Webster defines an “industry” as the commercial production and sale of goods. Gambling does not qualify as an industry. It can be called an enterprise- but gambling produces nor manufactures anything, so it cannot rightly be called an industry.

Indian gaming is the fasting growing segment of gambling. According to Indian Gaming commission, the top 2 states- Oklahoma and Minnesota- generated approximately 40% of total gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities last year. But the growth of gambling in Oklahoma has not been without a price. According to Michael Smith, executive director of the Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling, there has a been a substantial increase in those with “gambling problems” in Oklahoma since 2004. Smith says, “ I don’t think anyone needs to believe that the numbers of problem gamblers are going to decrease in Oklahoma.” “I believe we will see the number of people statewide presenting for care increase.” Apparently the Oklahoma legislature agrees with Smith that gambling addictions are inevitable. They set aside $750,000 annually to treat compulsive gambling.

Some mistakenly believe those that don’t gamble shouldn’t criticize the expansion of gambling, but when a compulsive gambler is treated at taxpayer expense, it becomes everyone’s business. Currently between 3-5% of the United States population suffer from problem/pathological gambling, which is a three-fold increase from 20 years ago. Reasons for the rising number of persons suffering from pathological gambling range from changing personality characteristics, genetic predispositions, and a growth in legalized gambling. Behavior analysts from Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies say, “we tend to focus heavily on environmental conditions which result in changes to behavior, and thus must wonder if the increased access to gambling has in part resulted in increased prevalence of pathological gambling. Specifically, 25 years ago only 2 states in the US allowed legalized gambling; today 48 states allow some form of gambling. "

Live Science did a study on gambling behavior. They studied the male Rhesus Macaque monkey. In the study, the monkeys were shown either of two lights on a screen. Looking at a "safe" light yielded the same fruit juice reward each time. Looking at the "risky" light meant a larger or smaller juice reward. In the first test, the average reward was the same over time regardless of which light they chose. The monkeys overwhelmingly preferred to gamble, even when the game was changed so that gambling yielded less juice over time. And the monkeys kept taking risks as the stakes rose and the dry spells got longer. They are hoping by studying the monkeys, they will be able to identify what triggers gambling addictions in some people.

Oklahoma already has a high per capita ranking in child abuse and divorce. We have one of the highest percentages in the U.S. of those without health care coverage. We rank low in our treatment of the mentally ill. We lag behind the region in teachers’ pay, per capita income, and job creation. But Oklahoma is number two in the country in the number of slots available per capita.

Gambling proponents have to be proud of how well they have saturated the market in the state in three short years. But can we long term afford the social ills gambling expansion will bring to our state?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Several people have asked me to post a thumbnail profile of the present slate of Presidential candidates from both parties that includes their religious affiliation and their vocations. Eleven of the seventeen are lawyers- two are teachers- one a minister. There are six Catholics, four Baptist, and two Methodists in the group.

The Pew Forum has an excellent section that will provide a more detailed profile of the candidates, including an interesting section on their religious biography. You can reach it by clicking on the link below

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 64
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate- Delaware- 1972-present
Religious affiliation: Catholic

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 51 Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate/House- Kansas 1995-present
Religious affiliation: Catholic

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 59
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate- New York 2001-present
Religious affiliation: United Methodist

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 63
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- Mayor NYC- 1994-2001
Religious affiliation: Catholic

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 63
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate/House Connecuitt- 1975-present
Religious affiliation: Catholic

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 52
Vocation: Minister
Elected Service- Lt. Governor/Governor Arkansas- 1993-2007
Religious affiliation: Southern Baptist

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 54
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate- North Carolina- 1998-2005
Religious affiliation: United Methodist

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 59
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- Congress- Calfornia- 1981-present
Religious affiliation: Southern Baptist

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 77
Vocation: Real Estate Developer
Elected Service- US Senate- Alaska- 1969-1981
Religious affiliation: Unitarian Universalist

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 71
Vocation: Retired Navy
Elected Service- US Senate/House- Arizona- 1983-present
Religious affiliation: Baptist

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 61
Vocation: Professor
Elected Service- Congress- Ohio- 1997-present
Religious affiliation: Catholic

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 72
Vocation: Physican
Elected Service- Congress- Texas- 1976-present(18 yrs)
Religious affiliation: Baptist

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 46
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate- Illinois- 2005-present
Religious affiliation: United Church of Christ

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 60
Vocation: Lawyer/Venture Capitalist
Elected Service- Governor- Massacuetts- 2003-2007
Religious affiliation: Later Day Saints(Mormon)

Political affiliation: Democrat
Age: 59
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- Governor- New Mexico- 2003-present
Religious affiliation: Catholic

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 61
Vocation: Teacher
Elected Service- Congress- Colorado- 1999-present
Religious affiliation: Evangelical Presbyterian

Political affiliation: Republican
Age: 65
Vocation: Lawyer
Elected Service- US Senate- Tennessee- 1994-2003
Religious affiliation: Church of Christ

Monday, October 8, 2007

In the 1960 presidential election, John F. Kennedy effectively took the issue of his Catholicism off the table by convincing voters that his religion wouldn’t affect how he would govern as President. Any religion worth practicing will impact all of a person’s life, so while Kennedy’s argument worked with the voters, it was simply not true. A person of faith will evaluate circumstances through the prism of that faith- whether they are a Christian, Muslim, Jew or atheist. To not recognize that simple logical principle is to be na├»ve about the human mind and heart. People of differing faiths can be effective leaders, but ignoring the impact of their faith on their decision-making is foolish. is a website that tracks how often the current crop of 2008 presidential candidates invokes God or religion while on the stump. According to the group Republicans talk about religion more while campaigning than Democrats. That’s consistent with Pew Research’s study on religion and politics. According to Pew, Americans believe that Republicans are more “friendly” toward religion by a two to one margin. Only thirty percent of Americans believe that Democrats are “friendly” toward religion. Specific candidates who invoke religion the most were McCain and Huckabee on the “R” side and Obama on the “D” side.

On Sunday, Senator Obama, fresh from his ten-day Iowa “faith tour,” started his “40 days of Faith and Family in South Carolina. Obama told a packed crowd at the Redemption World Outreach Church, “I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.” It was unclear who Obama thought would be king, but it is likely he considered himself the crown prince. Obama has been trying to distinguish himself from Hillary within the South Carolina black community. Black voters account for half of Democratic primary voters in the Palmetto State. The statewide newspaper in South Carolina did a poll that showed sixty six percent of blacks in South Carolina say their religion means a great deal to them. Talking to reporters outside the church Sunday, Obama said, “I think it’s important particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party to not cede values and faith to any one party.” Just what are Obama’s values?

Barack Obama is a member of a church in Chicago that has been accused of reverse racism. His pastor is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. Obama’s church embraces what it calls a "Black Value System." Wright went in 1984 with Louis Farrakhan to visit Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi,. Does Obama have the same views on Israel as his radical pastor? Why hasn’t he faced the same scrutiny as Republican Mitt Romney on his religious views?

Romney is a dedicated Mormon, but has embraced the JFK strategy of not talking about his religion when he campaigns. Romney says, “My religion is for me and how I live my life,” he declared. “I don’t impose all my faiths and beliefs on you.” For example Romney notes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t approve of booze and he doesn’t drink, but he will not be pushing for a new constitutional amendment banning alcohol. Romney is an attractive candidate whose honesty, integrity, intelligence and character are beyond question. He has a great deal of appeal to conservatives, but there is a block of voters who refuse to consider him because he is a Mormon. The primary reason is they believe Romney would let his religion influence his decisions and they are right. It’s unavoidable. A candidates religion, education, and life experiences definitely influence their decision making process. But not just Romney will be influenced by his religion. So will Obama, Huckabee, McCain, Giuliani, and the rest. But only Romney and to a lesser degree, Huckabee, have been questioned about their faith.

Conservative elected officials who profess their faith publicly threatens the liberal media. They understand leaders are influenced by their faith- just like the liberals will be influenced by their religion. Ann Coulter wrote a book entitled, “Liberalism is a godless religion.” In the book, Coulter says that liberals are as even more dedicated to their religion of liberalism than Christians. They filter every decision they make through the prism of liberalism, just as conservatives base their decisions on their values and principles.

When you make your decision on who you will support, every candidate’s religion -or lack of it- should be a consideration in your decision. It will be in theirs.

On Friday October 5th, in Chester, IL,- the home of Popeye the Sailor Man- the Randolph County, IL GOP Century Club held their annual banquet. They had a wonderful meal and a outstanding speaker- ME!

Seriously, the hospitality provided by the club members and especially Club President Tom Welge was great. Meeting with fellow GOP activists 600 miles from home was fun. The Century Club is an active group of GOP activists that raise money for candidates.

Debbie and I enjoyed ourselves. They put us up in a B&B overlooking the Mississippi River- the Stone House. It's a great place and you could not be treated better anywhere.

I was truly humbled by the invitation to speak to a group of activists in another state. Demographically, Randolph County and Stephens County, OK are very similar. They face a lot of the same challenges we face in Oklahoma in party affiliation. Under the leadership of their County GOP Chair, Bob Chunn, they are working to break the "D" stronghold in their courthouse. The Illinois legislature is still firmly in Democrat control, but they have a great Republican State Senator, Senator David Luechtefeld representing their area. The Senator gave a brief legislative update before I spoke and some of the antics he described happening in Springfield (their state capital) reminded me of 23rd and Lincoln.

Randolph County's creed is "Where Illinois began." In 2008, hopefully it will be "Where the Illinois GOP Revolution began!"
They have an announced candidate for County Commisisoner that garnered 48% of the vote in the last election. David is a member of the school board, a CPA and a great candidate. If you want to help David out (money), contact the county Chairman Bob Chunn- Bob can give you details on how to get funds to him. I gave him $50 BECAUSE HE ASKED- a simple principle that most candidates fail to grasp.
The County GOP group has a fundrasier going that will appeal to Oklahomans! It's their GUN-A-MONTH GIVEAWAY. It's a raffle (they are legal in Illinois). They sell 1,000 tickets and have a drawing each month to give away a nice gun. When you buy the $20 ticket, you're in the raffle for the rest of the year(11 drawings left). You can get details on this creative way to fund the Randolph County GOP and buy tickets by going to their website-

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Due diligence in civil litigation (also known as due care) is the effort made by an ordinarily prudent or reasonable party to avoid harm to another party. Failure to make this effort may be considered negligence
Once again, Oklahoma AG Drew Edmondson has shown his partisan side by indicting three officials that were involved in the Tabor initiative petition drive. The charge? Using out of state residents to get the petitions signed. Oklahoma requires that all initiative petitions be done by residents of the state. Paul Jacob, president of the pro-initiative group Citizens in Charge, was one of those indicted. You can read his take on the situation at the link below.
The amazing thing is how much out and out politicial corruption Edmondson has ignored or let the Feds investigate- Stipe, Mass, McMahan. But let a Republican get too politically active- and Drew gets out the cuffs.
PERSONALLY, I thought the Tabor initiative petition effort last year was not handled well at all. I attempted repeatedly to get petitions for volunteers in our county to work. and it was like pulling teeth. It was a classic example of CONSULTANTS pushing talented, motivated volunteers aside because the consultants were making money on the campaign by how many signatures they garnered.
The hirelings were not getting paid on signatures gathered by volunteers, so they discouraged solicitation for signatures by volunteers. In Stephens County, a man who was one of the driving forces behind the Colorado Tabor law was willing to do whatever it took to get TABOR on the ballot in Oklahoma. His efforts were given no consideration and his suggestions were not heeded. So if Drew was prosecuting them for incompentence, he might have a case.
But this whole situation is selective enforcement and reeks of partisan politics. Edmondson should be spending his time worrying about the straw donor scandal that funneled money into Democrats campaigns-including his own- in 2004. On the TABOR issue, Drew has not done the "due."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Are Political Consultants Hurting
or Helping Democracy?
Who They Are, How They Evaluate the
Process of Electing Candidates &
What They Reveal about Their Ethical Practices
In June of 1999, American University commissioned a study on the effect of paid political consultants on the Democratic process. The 28 page report is available at the link below. Some of their findings include-
  • Consultants see themselves as replacing political parties in providing strategic advice, advertising, polling, direct mail, opposition research, fundraising, and get out the vote operations.
  • Seventy-three percent of the consultants think unethical practices sometimes occur in their business.
  • While ideology is still what motivates consultants most often today, the number who say the money involved is their main motivation has more than doubled (11% to 24%).
I believe in the free market. I have sold everything from cat litter to apple butter, so I understand the free market. I would never attempt to prevent anyone from selling anything that is legal to a potential buyer, however political consultants tend to push talented volunteers out of the decision making process in campaigns. That happens for one reason- MONEY. If a campaign volunteer can provide FREE or VALUE PRICED material, labor or expertise, the consultant doesn't get their cut. The reason parties have become irrelevant in recent years is not because the level of talent at the volunteer level has deteriorated, but because consultants can't compete with free or cheap labor, so they attack it. They convince the naive candidate that without their "expert" help, they don't have a chance to win. Truth is- candidates win races, not consultants. A good solid candidate is the primary component to winning- one that will work, raise money, and engage voters. The consultant may help with material and "strategy", but the bulk of what they sell the candidate is MATERIAL, not strategy. The more material they can get a candidate to buy, the more they make. I understand that concept. I eat what I kill- I'm on commission.

Political consultants have become so prevalent in campaigns that now school board, county and municipal candidates use them. A principled consultant can provide expert knowledge of the campaign game, but an unprincipled one can spoil the whole barrel. It's critical principled consultants root out, expose and police their ranks, otherwise the vocation of political consultant will have the same respect level as a used car salesman or trial lawyer. I apologize for the rant, but when a candidate has 8 mail pieces in the last week of a race JUST TO SPEND THE MONEY SO THE CONSULTANT CAN GET HIS CUT, it hacks me off! Check out the link- the article is well worth reading.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Last week, on ABC World News Tonight Charlie Gibson and Brian Ross, their investigative reporter, did a story on phony soldiers. The segment was about Jesse MacBeth, a guy who went on video testifying that he had served as a Ranger and Special Forces soldier in Iraq. MacBeth claimed he had been wounded several times and received a variety of medals. After he supposedly returned from Iraq, MacBeth started working with a group in Tacoma, Washington known as “Iraq Veterans against the War.” MacBeth was very vocal in his criticism of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. He said he had killed hundreds of innocent civilians during his tour. But when the Army checked out the service history of "Jessie MacBeth", aka Jesse Adam Macbeth, they couldn't find any record that he'd served in the Army a day in his life. MacBeth made the whole thing up. MacBeth was a “phony soldier.”

Last Wednesday, conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh talked about MacBeth and his con game on his popular show. During his ten-minute monologue on the “phony soldier” Rush stated that soldiers who were opposed to the Iraq war were “phony soldiers.” Sometimes Rush lets his mouth overload another part of his anatomy, but taken in context, the remark was not as bad as the Democrats have spun it, but the remark has created a firestorm in Washington. In the House, a Republican Congressman presented a resolution supporting Limbaugh. Meanwhile, over in the Senate, the Dems are reading condemnation into the Congressional Record.

U.S. Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV), the Senate Majority leader, wrote a letter to the CEO of Clear Channel Radio condemning Limbaugh and demanding an apology from El Rushbo. Reid read the letter on the Senate floor the same day. Limbaugh responded on his show Monday. He blasted Democrats for their criticism, saying it is part of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting him. “If anybody in this country has been trying to demoralize the troops, it is you, sir, (speaking of Reid) and your members of the Democrat Party,” Limbaugh said. “You have waved the white flag of defeat.” Reid stated that he is confident that “Republicans will join with us in overwhelming numbers,” arguing that “anything less would be a double standard that has no place in the United States Senate.” The “double standard” is something Reid and the Democrats invented.

Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) said on the floor of the Senate, “Well, I don’t know.” “Maybe he (speaking of Limbaugh) was just high on his drugs again.” “I don’t know whether he was or not.” “If so, he ought to let us know.” “But that shouldn’t be an excuse.” If a Republican Senator would have made that statement concerning a private citizen on the floor of the Senate, the member would have faced censure. Talk about a “double standard.”

Just two weeks ago, General David Petraeus was smeared by a 527 political organization- with an ad in the New York Times. The ad called the decorated military leader General Betray Us. Moveon. Org’s ad was a shameful-over the top- stunt that should have been condemned by both parties, but Congressional Dems were strangely silent. Talk about a “double standard.”

One of the biggest critics of the war is Congressman John Murtha, (D-PA) who is a decorated war hero. Murtha has served in Congress since 1974. He has two purple hearts and is an Eagle Scout. But John Murtha is no saint. Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal, an FBI sting operation that targeted members of Congress from 1978 to 1980. In the scandal one Senator and five House members were convicted of bribery and conspiracy. More recently Murtha has been the subject of conflict of interest inquiries because his brother Kit Murtha is a big time defense contractor lobbyist. And guess who gets more campaign contributions from the defense industry than any member? That’s right- John Murtha. Tom Delay was forced out of office because of his close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, but little has been said about Murtha and his brother. Once again, it’s an example of a “double standard.”
Senator Reid and the Democrats know Rush Limbaugh is no “troop basher.” Rush has made numerous trips to Iraq to visit the troops. His radio show is broadcast on Armed Forces radio and is one of the most popular programs on AAR.
The military is historically Republican. According to The Military Times, seventy percent of active duty military in 1996 considered themselves Republican. Democrats have a challenge if they expect to convince the active duty troops that Limbaugh is unsupportive of their efforts. They could care less about the military. This was an opportunity to score political points. It’s despicable and has no place when our troops are in harms way. Where is their outrage at ABC for their piece? Just another example of the “double standard.”