Sunday, December 26, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     2021 ends this week.  It has been quite a year.  425,000 American deaths were attributed to COVID-19, up 40,000 over 2020.   The retail gasoline price in America is over $1.00 more per gallon than it was on January 1, 2021.  Gas is higher than it has been since 2014.  Food prices have risen more this year than they did in the past decade.  Beef, pork, and chicken prices are respectively 26.2%, 19.2%, and 14.8% higher this year than last.  The Food Price Index, which tracks global prices of agriculture commodities used in making food, rose 30% in the past year.  The annual inflation rate in the U.S. rose +6.3% in 2021, the highest in 30 years. 

     For 35 years, retail chain Dollar Tree sold toys, home furnishings, kitchenware, holiday decorations, party supplies, books, food, and lots of other items for $1.  But starting later this week, Dollar Tree will move to the $1.25 price point.  Because of inflation, increases in cost of goods, labor, and freight, they can’t remain profitable selling stuff for a buck.  So it’s now TEN bits!  Many Americans don’t understand inflation, but Dollar Tree’s move will very graphically illustrate to them how economics work. 

     In three weeks, President Biden will mark his first year in office.  Did the POTUS’s policies create the economic turmoil? Was is the pandemic or something else?  Two observations:

     First, Biden’s attack on the oil/gas industry did not immediately impact the price of gas.  Clearly his administration’s energy policy is anti-fossil fuel, but his shut down of the Keystone pipeline didn’t result in instant price increases.  His suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits for federal land did impact domestic production, which certainly didn’t help, but Biden deserves neither credit or blame for the current price at the pump.  That is a supply/demand issue.  Biden’s energy policies, if kept in place, will seriously damage the energy sector long after he has left office.

     Second, Biden’s push for renewable energy and biofuel has impacted the price of food.   Instead of putting corn related products into their belly, Americans are putting it in their gas tanks.  Beef, chicken, and pork producers are paying more for feed, which impacts their prices.  Food processors are paying more for corn related ingredients.  And it’s not just corn flakes that are impacted.  Products like shampoo, perfume, soda pop, yogurt, chewing gum, and even make-up all use ingredients related to corn.  The price of corn is at an historical high because of demand due to the biofuel mandate.  Biden needs to dial the mandate back. 

      When calculating rates of inflation, economists often remove food because food prices tend to be more volatile than prices of many other goods in the economy. Food is a necessity, and changes in the price of food immediately and directly affect households.  Americans in the lowest 20% of household income spend 11% of their budget on food.  The highest 20% household income earners spend 7% on food.  When food prices go up as they have in 2021, it has a disproportionately negative impact on the poorest among us.   The Biden administration claim the current price increases are transitory, but the pressure on food producers and processors is real and could result in many going out of business if they aren’t able to pass through the increases.  That would be quite a transition!

     2021 is in the books.  Good riddance.  The year has been a challenge.  Hopefully 2022 will be a better year economically and physically for Americans. Happy New Year!    


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Fauci- and others- have put the politics in COVID! Time for him to GO!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  He also serves as the Chief Medical Advisor to the President.  Facui, 80, has served in the public health sector for more than fifty years and been an advisor to every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan.  When former President Trump created the White House COVID Task Force, Fauci served on the committee and became a spokesperson for the POTUS.   Last week, Fauci said on Face the Nation those who criticize him are criticizing science, because he ‘represents science.’   Critics attacked the statement.  “The man thinks he is some kind of deity.  His argument is essentially…I am the science!  I am the truth,” Fox News Laura Ingraham said.  U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN), accused Fauci of ‘cherry picking’ facts on the science.  On the same program, Fauci said that Republicans had used him as scapegoat on COVID.  Three observations:

     First, Dr. Fauci has been consistently inconsistent on COVID.  In January 2020, he said COVID-19 did not present a ‘major threat’ to the American public.  By March 2020, he had changed his mind and predicted the fatality rate from COVID-19 would be close to 1%- ten time higher than conventional flu.  He initially told the public masks were ineffective and urged the public to not use them.  He later changed his mind and said they should be mandated.   Fauci suggested for months COVID-19 could not have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, but has since said that theory can’t be dismissed. 

     Perhaps Fauci is an advocate of Paul Feyerabend’s ‘theory of error,’ which states science should not look for infallible rules that lead to the approximation of the truth.  Feyerabend’s theory criticized the idea science could be governed or regulated by a set of fixed rules and encouraged scientists to recognize error and learn to live with it.   Feyerabend’s theory requires honesty and humility from a scientist.  Not likely Fauci is a proponent.        

     Second, Fauci’s criticism of his critics undermines his creditability.  When he states his critics are being political, but he attacks them on issues unrelated to COVID, he is being political.   The fact is Fauci is a government bureaucrat, who is very political, because he is in the political arena.  The general public doesn’t know what to believe.  Wear masks- don’t wear masks?  Get vaccinated or don’t get vaccinated?  Listen to your medical professional and the CDC or ignore them?  Fauci likes to paint himself as taking the high road, but he rarely does.  Often his critics are no better- grandstanding by using COVID to self-promote.  In the confusing time of COVID-19, Americans need the truth.  They don’t need a spin doctor whose creditability is questionable at best and politicians whose goal is to amour propre.

     Third, disagreeing with Fauci doesn’t mean disagreeing with science.  Fauci’s statement that ‘he represents science’ is arrogant, haughty and pompous.  Science is defined as the intellectual and practical activity around the systematic study of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.  Observation and experiment!  Scientists are human and their opinion is to be based on the facts as they know them.  But at best, it is still an educated guess.  Many highly educated, trained scientists disagree with Anthony Fauci’s conclusions on COVID.  Their observation and experience have them reaching a different interpretation.       

     Americans need honesty and straight talk on COVID-19.  Dr. Anthony Fauci is not the right person to do that.  He has proven he is too political.  Get someone who believes in the theory of error

Sunday, December 12, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Change is inevitable.  Change is constant.  Only those who embrace change will survive.  Albert Einstein said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”  President John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.”  The gospel of ‘change’ is drilled into young impressable minds from an early age.  Hundreds of books are written each year enumerating recipes for making oneself a ‘change agent.’  Three thoughts on change:

     First, change is not always positive.  America has changed- a bunch.  A nation built on the fundamental tenet of liberty and justice for all now limits liberty and rejects justice.  Civility in the U.S. is dead.  Showing respect for differing opinions is a sign of weakness in modern day America.  Humility is for the feeble and puny.  Compassion is for the frail and decrepit.  Character traits that were once admired in the U.S. are now despised.  Attributes that in the past were thought of as unsavory are palatable. 

     Second, change for the sake of change is not positive.  Change for the wrong reason results in confusion, disorganization and skepticism.  An excellent example is the Affordable Care Act.  America’s health care system changed radically under President Obama.  Despite the U.S. now spending far more per capita on healthcare than other high-income nations, it still scores poorly on life expectancy, suicide and maternal mortality.  The change in health care has resulted in poorer care at a higher cost.  There are hundreds of examples of legislation(laws) at the federal and state level either unnecessary or that resulted in ‘unintended consequences.’ That is not positive change.   

     Third, there are some things that don’t change.  God doesn’t change.  He is immutable, unchangeable, and unshakable.  God doesn’t change in His essence, attributes, plans, and promises, because He is perfect. God’s Word doesn’t change.  It is eternal, infinite, and everlasting.  It is solid, concrete and grounded.  Mankind should take great comfort that in a world of change, the Creator of that world is unchangeable.

     People can’t be immutable or unchangeable.  Mankind should constantly strive to improve, but what should not change?  What is the difference between timeless principles and ephemeral practices?  First, a core value is one that we hold even if it becomes a disadvantage to hold it.  Second, core values are based on more than just our opinion.  In the case of a Christian believer, those core values are based on the Bible- for American citizens, they are based on the U.S. Constitution.

     Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”  Sausage king Jimmy Dean said it a little different: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

America needs to reverse the changes that have moved the country from it’s founding documents and principles.  In a self-governed system, that responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of individual citizens.  It’s time to adjust the sails.    


Sunday, December 5, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     Tuesday December 7th will mark the 80th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.  The United States was a neutral country at the time.  The attack led to America’s formal entry into World War II the next day.  The attack started on a Sunday morning at 7:48am and involved 353 Japanese aircraft, launched from 6 aircraft carriers.  There were 8 U.S. Navy battleships in the harbor.  All were damaged- 4 were sunk, including the USS Oklahoma. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.  2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded.  There were 15 Congressional Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, and 53 Silver Stars awarded to the American servicemen who distinguished themselves in combat at Pearl Harbor.  The attack united America.  The call to ‘Remember Pearl Harbor,’ had men rushing to sign up to fight in the war.

     The day after the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his famous ‘Day of Infamy’ speech to a Joint Session of Congress.  He called for a formal declaration of war on Japan.  The vote in the Senate was 82-0, the House 388-1.  The lone dissenter was Rep. Jeannette Rankin, a women’s rights suffragist advocate and lifelong pacifist from Montana.  Rankin was the first woman to hold federal office in the United States, elected to the U.S. House in 1916.  Three observations:

     First, the attack backfired on the Japanese.  America and their leadership had remained neutral before the Pearl Harbor attack.  Britain was losing the war in Europe and while it was a great ally, America was staying out of it.  Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, said his first thought when America declared they were entering the fray was, “We have won the war.”   Japan attacked because they feared the US was going to intervene in their attacks in Asia, but history has shown that was not being considered.  Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." The average Japanese citizen was shocked to find out about the attack and were dismayed they were at war with the United States.  Japan won the battle, but lost the war because they awoke that sleeping giant.

     Second, those who fought WWII were a special bred.  Tom Brokaw wrote they were the ‘greatest generation.’ They were born between 1901-1927.  They had survived the economic depression of the 1930s where unemployment reached 30%.  They believed in personal responsibility, had a strong work ethic, were frugal, committed, displayed integrity and were self-sacrificing and self-reliant. They fought in WWII, not for fame or recognition, but because it was ‘the right thing to do.’  They put their country before themselves.

     Third, if Pearl Harbor were attacked today, would Americans respond the way of their great grandparents?  It’s highly doubtful.  Many Americans, across all political spectrums, believe the country is so flawed, it isn’t worth fighting for.  Many of our best and brightest apologize for America’s past, don’t appreciate the sacrifice of their forefathers, and don’t understand our system of government. 

     The government of Afghanistan fell overnight because their citizens didn’t believe their country was worth fighting for.  Could that happen in America?  Americans in the 21st century are narcissistic, self-centered, spoiled individualists.  They want government to provide personal and financial security and exercise no personal responsibility.  They want free education, free rent and food, and free cell phones.  No way would they dare risk their life to fight a war they didn’t believe in. 

     In two generations (80 years), America has went from the greatest generation to the reliant generation.  Thank God, the ‘greatest generation’ believed in a cause greater than themselves or the official language of America would be German or Japanese.


Sunday, November 28, 2021

Roe v. Wade could go down this week!

Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair

       On Wednesday, the United State Supreme Court(SCOTUS) will take up a Mississippi abortion case.  This could be the most critical decision on abortion in decades.  Lawyers for both sides are telling the SCOTUS there is no middle ground.  They can either affirm the constitutional right to an abortion or wipe Roe v. Wade out altogether.  With the addition of three SCOTUS justices to the court by former President Donald Trump during his four-year term, conservative thinkers have a 6-3 majority on the court.  Abortion advocates are worried.

     The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization(JWHO).  It challenges a 2018 Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks.  The law is in conflict with Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that declared a woman has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first six months of a pregnancy.  Oklahoma, Mississippi and ten other states have abortion trigger laws that would take effect immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned.  “A decision upholding this ban is tantamount to overruling Roe,” said Julie Rikelman, the lawyer for JWHO.  “There are no half measures here.” Sherif Girgis, a Notre Dame law professor and former clerk for Justice Alito says.   According to the liberal Guttmacher Institute a ruling affirming the Mississippi law would ban or severely restrict abortion in 26 U.S. states.   Three observations:

     First, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion.  Justice Clarence Thomas has written the founding document is silent on the subject of abortion and said the SCOTUS bends its own rules and procedures to protect Roe v. Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey rulings.  Few rulings by the SCOTUS have cried out as loudly for reversal, or both moral and legal grounds, as Roe v. Wade.  The majority opinion in Roe is fraught with conspicuous errors of law, fact and reasoning.  Justice Thomas said in 2019: “In my view, if the SCOTUS encounters a decision that is demonstrably erroneous- i.e., one that is not a permissible interpretation of the text-the SCOTUS should correct the error, regardless of whether other factors support overruling the precedent.”  

     Even supporters of Roe admit the problem with the ruling is it has little connection to the Constitutional right(privacy) it purportedly interpreted.  Most legal experts say it is a stretch to include abortion as a constitutionally protected right based on privacy and it has no foundation in constitutional text, history or precedent.

     Second, the Constitution does guarantee the right to life.  It’s in the preamble.  If the  SCOTUS should rule unborn children are persons under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, then Roe is toast.  The Constitution explicitly guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  A positive ruling would extend those rights to the unborn.

     Third, an estimated 62 million children in the U.S. have been aborted since 1973.  The economic impact of abortion during that period is in the billions- both in lost workers and productivity, and in taxes not paid to government.  Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards argues that there is no specific moment when life begins and says her children’s life began when they were born.  Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the father of modern genetics, disagrees.  He says, “To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place, a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion—it is plain experimental evidence.  Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

     The SCOTUS has the opportunity this week to right a 48-year-old wrong. Christians should be in prayer they will rule to uphold the Mississippi law.  It could save millions of unborn children’s lives. 


Sunday, November 21, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     The Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector (SAI) is a constitutionally created office within the executive branch of Oklahoma government.  The duties of the office include examining the books, accounts, and cash on hand, of the State Treasurer and all 77 county treasurers.  They are also charged with conducting annual audits of the operations of each Emergency Medical Services district and each county solid waste management operation(landfills).  The SAI audits all of Oklahoma’s 77 county governments and does performance audits and special investigative audits, as requested by the governor or by joint request of the leaders of the Oklahoma legislature.  Citizens can also petition the SAI to audit by gathering signatures of 10% of the registered voters.  The SAI is the taxpayer’s watchdog ensuring tax dollars are not being stolen or misused. 

     The SAI also serves on the state Land Office Commission and as a member of the State Board of Equalization.  Since statehood, there have been 13 State Auditors- 10 Democrats and 3 Republicans.  Cindy Byrd, a Republican, is the current State Auditor.  

     In the summer of 2019, Governor Kevin Stitt requested the SAI conduct an audit of Epic Charter Schools and all related entities.  Epic’s three divisions constitute the largest school district in Oklahoma with approximately 60,000 students.  Epic’s stated mission is to “Fulfill every student’s individual potential by personalizing an education plan that focuses on school and family partnership to achieve optimal student performance.”  They are a free PreK-12 public school for parents/students who are seeking a non-traditional education setting utilizing internet-based, individualized self-paced instruction.  They also operate two on-site facilities- in OKC and Tulsa.

     Epic received $458 million in state and federal tax dollars over a six year period.  Epic contracted with a for profit private company- also named Epic- to provide administrative services.  The private company Epic received $45.9 for management services (10%) and $79.3 for student learning fees for a total of $125.2 million dollars.  According to Cindy Byrd, the SAI, the audit revealed several areas of concern.  First, Oklahoma state law caps the amount a large school district can spend on administration at 5% and Epic exceeded that cap.  Second, Epic, the private company, used public school officials to do their administrative work, which if proven is embezzlement of taxpayer dollars.  There were other findings that should trouble taxpayers.  The audit findings report is available online at the SAI’s website.  Three observations:

     First, any misuse of tax dollars is wrong.  Epic audit critics claim Byrd opposes school choice.  She has categorically denied that, but it doesn’t matter if she did oppose school choice.  Misuse of tax dollars is wrong, no matter who is doing it!  Honest people should be careful providing cover for those who bend the law.  That is the basis for situational ethics.  The end doesn’t justify the means.

     Second, the SAI should have the authority to audit anything that isn’t tied down.  Most Oklahomans don’t realize the SAI can’t audit unless requested to do so.  The state auditor should be unleashed.  The legislature should appropriate money to the SAI so audits can be conducted on every entity that gets a penny of Oklahoma tax payer dollars.  The Epic audit findings are likely the tip of the iceberg on the misuse of tax dollars in the Sooner state.

     Third, Stitt has ordered an audit of Oklahoma secondary public education.  Byrd is charged with two objectives, (1) identifying the sources of revenue public education receives and (2) determining the percentage the larger districts are spending on administration.  The audit will likely not be completed until mid-2022.  It is long overdue.  Next up should be higher ed.

     Any organization or entity that gets a penny of tax dollars shouldn’t fear an audit.  They should welcome the scrutiny.  An audit is just an evaluation or examination to check for accuracy.  Oklahoma taxpayers should demand their watchdog is unleashed- after all it’s their money!   


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Biden's policies are hurting Americans!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     On Wednesday, President Joe Biden conceded the inflation Americans are experiencing is the result of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus spending legislation.   According to Biden, the reason consumer demand exceeds supply is stimulus funds have given people more money to spend. “It (stimulus money) changes people’s lives. But what happens if there’s nothing to buy and you got more money to compete for getting [goods]? It creates a real problem,” Biden said.  The problem is that Americans are facing the highest rate of inflation since 1990, the supply chain is broken, and prices are rising faster.  Three observations:

     First, Americans are frustrated about the economy.  Even the POTUS admits it.  “People are feeling it- they are feeling it.  Did you ever think you would be paying this much for a gallon of gas?  In some parts of California, they’re paying $4.50 a gallon.  That’s why it’s so important we do everything in our power to stabilize the supply chain,” Biden said.  Gasoline is at a seven year high due to higher demand and a constrained supply.  The supply issue can be laid at President Biden’s feet since he has hamstrung the U.S. oil and gas industry, while asking OPEC and Russia to provide more of America’s oil.  Two weeks ago, Biden admitted he didn’t have an answer on how to reduce gasoline prices and that he expected the prices to remain high into 2022. 

     Second, that frustration could impact mid-term elections in 2022.  It impacted how voters cast their ballots in recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey.  According to recent ABC/Washington Post poll, Republicans have a ten-point lead over Democrats- 51% to 41% in a generic poll.  Of those polled, 62% believed Democrats had done a poor job handling the economy.  Republicans didn’t fare much better.  Over 50% said Republicans haven’t done a good job on the economy.  President Biden’s approval rating has dropped to 39%- down 6% in two months.  It is still a year out from mid-term elections, but at this point, it doesn’t look like a good election cycle for the Democrats and it could be a challenging year for incumbents of all Party affiliations.

     Third, it’s rare when a politician admits their policies are hurting their constituents.  It is even more astonishing when they brag and gloat about the negative results those policies created.  Biden’s candor in acknowledging his role in American’s economic woes is surprising.  Food prices have risen to the highest levels in twelve years, gasoline is up 40% over last year and consumer confidence is at a ten-year low and he admits his spending bills have created those hardships.    

     Thomas Dewar, the famous Scotch whiskey distiller, once said: “An honest confession is good for the soul, but bad for the reputation.”  Warren Buffet says it takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  It took President Biden longer than five minutes but less than a year.   If inflation and hard times continue, the fruit of Biden’s policies will be a GOP controlled Congress after the 2022 mid-terms.


Sunday, November 7, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair


     In June 2016, Oklahoma voters approved State Question #788 by a 57%-43% margin.    It legalized the licensing, cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes.   Since the passage, the legislature has been dealing with the far-reaching effects of legal pot in the Sooner state.  They set up the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), a division of the Department of Health.  The OMMA oversees patient and business licensing for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program.  As of August 1st, there are over 10,000 business licenses in the state- 8,300 are grow licenses and 2,300 dispensaries.  Oklahoma has issued far more grow licenses than any state in the country.  According to Mark Woodward some of the growers are associated with organized crime from other countries and they are supplying pot to the east coast.  Woodward said those growers will struggle to get their license renewed because they will not be able to reach the 75% resident ownership threshold. 

    According to the OMMA, legal pot has generated over 125 million dollars in tax revenue the first ten months of 2021.  Governor Stitt just named Adria Berry the new director of the OMMA.  She is the fourth director in three years.  OMMA has been criticized for not yet implementing a tracking system for marijuana plants.  The agency is seriously unstaffed and plans to add 60 more personnel in the next few months. 

     Because of the growth of the marijuana industry in Oklahoma, the legislature recently conducted interim studies on the effect of medical marijuana in the state.  One such study addressed concerns of Oklahoma farmers on how the two industries could co-exist.  Marijuana growers are concerned about pesticide drift liability from conventional farms.  Conventional farmers are concerned with the impact the pot growers are having on water supply and rural utilities.   Three observations:

     First, pot growers have seriously stretched rural infrastructure.  Water is a major concern.  During a study this week, Brandon Bowman, programs director with the Oklahoma Rural Water Association, described communities in the state where residents are left without water because of the strain caused by new grow facilities. He said some operators even fail to put in proper sanitation systems, so their fields are running with open sewage. Bowman said if this was not addressed, the state's supply of drinking water will be challenged.  Rural electric providers described the struggles they have faced from providing industrial service to growers.

     Second, the growers have impacted county government.  County assessors, who are charged to assess the property in the county, describe how their personnel are often threatened or denied legal access to grower’s property.  County sheriffs say they don’t have the money to provide adequate coverage for their county, which results in higher crime. 

     Third, county government should be getting a share of the sales tax.  The strain on county government budgets from the growth of medical marijuana needs to be addressed.  Cleveland county Commissioner Rod Cleveland advocates OMMA partnering with county government to help regulate the industry.  “It is going to take more than OMMA to regulate the cannabis industry.  Counties are a vital asset and government that is closest to the people.  There must be revenue share from cannabis taxes to sheriff’s offices and counties to help promote good and fair-trade practices in the industry,” Cleveland said.

     It has been three years since Oklahoma voters approved SQ#788.  The growth of pot growth and sales in the state has been meteoric.  The industry flourishes because it operates practically unregulated due to lack of oversight.  County government could help with that, but they have to share part of the pot.  Sales tax pot that is.       


Sunday, October 31, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


By Steve Fair

     Virginia, and four other states, hold big general elections in odd years.  Their elections for statewide offices are in years when there is no presidential or congressional election.  The rationale behind it is it lessens the authority and influence of the federal government in their local affairs.  The results of those off election year races often give an indication of what voters are thinking about the occupant of the White House-or they simply reflect a better funded or executed campaign by the winner.   Historically the odd year elections have a lower percentage turnout than the even year elections.

     The Virginia governor’s race is being viewed as a test balloon on President’s Biden’s job performance.  Incumbent Governor Terry McAuliffe is facing challenger Glenn Youngkin, a former Rice University basketball player, and private equity manager(banker).  According to RealClear Politics, the race was too close to call at press time.  Democrats should be worried if Youngkin wins because it could be a sign of things to come in the 2022 mid-terms.  What are the factors that are swaying voters?

     First, the U.S. economy is slowing.  Inflation is likely to linger well into next year.  Millions are still unemployed, even while virtually every business has a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in their window.  Food prices are up by 4.4% over last year.  One reason is we are putting corn into our gas tanks (Ethanol) instead of our belly.   The price of gasoline is up by 37% because the Biden administration has pushed to phase out fossil fuels as an energy source to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Biden and the Democrats can’t blame Trump for the economy any longer.  This is on them. 

     Second, most voters think the government is spending too much money.  The federal budget is $6 trillion for fiscal year 2022, but the fed expects to only take in $4,1 trillion.  How many households can survive spending 50% than they take in?  But the federal government borrows and adds to the national debt, which is now approaching $30 trillion.  In the past 50 years, the federal government has only spent less than they took in five time.  As a people, we allow it by electing people- on both sides of the aisle- that spend money we don’t have on programs we don’t need. 

     It appears Democrats are going to get the blame for overspending and causing the current inflation Americans are facing.  In a recent Axios poll, the number of Americans who have confidence in President Biden’s ability to get the economy back on track dropped from 52% in January to 44% in October.    

     Third, the supply chain is disrupted.  That simply means there is a breakdown in the manufacturing and shipping of goods to the consumer.  The White House formed a task force to study the supply chain  issues in June.  They concluded the disruptions are ‘transitory (not permanent)’, but many in the private sector disagree. They believe this is the new normal.  Bottlenecks, labor shortages, and government interference in the supply chain have made getting goods to the consumer challenging. 

     Empty shelves and higher prices at the shelf and the pump will influence voters and that doesn’t bode well for incumbents. The last thing America needs is for sustained inflation to trigger a disastrous stock market or a debt crisis.  Milton Friedman was a Nobel prize winning economist.  He consistently argued for the removal of government intervention in currency markets.  Friedman said, “Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.”  

Sunday, October 24, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

          On October 7th, the Oklahoma Department of Health issued a non-binary gender birth certificate to an Oregon resident, Kit Vivien Loreleid.   Lorelied, who was born in Oklahoma, sued the state to have the original birth certificate modified and the action was part of the settlement of the lawsuit.  Health department officials said former Attorney General Mike Hunter advised them to resolve the suit by accommodating the request.

     Non-binary is an umbrella term for gender identities that are neither male or female.  Those who call themselves non-binary believe it is a third gender.  Fourteen other states provide a non-binary designation on reissued birth certificates. 

     There was an immediate uproar from elected officials with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt calling the action by the state Department of Health the work of ‘rogue activists.’  “I wholeheartedly condemn the purported OSDH court settlement that was entered into by rogue activists who acted without receiving proper approval or oversight.  I believe people are created by God to be male or female- period,” Stitt said.  On Friday, the state Health Commissioner, Dr. Lance Frye resigned, even though he did not reference the birth certificate issue as the reason for stepping down.  There is speculation that Stitt had asked for Frye’s resignation because of the action.  Three observations:

     First, state health department bureaucrats did not have the authority to add a third gender designation.  If such a change was going to be made, it should have been done by the state legislature.  The legislature should conduct a thorough investigation of the health department to determine who authorized the settlement and hold them accountable.  Usurping authority by bureaucrats should not be tolerated.

     Second, there are only two genders.  God said that in Genesis and no matter what a man or woman believes, there are only male and female genders.  The governor is right- you are either XX or XY.  That is science- that is reality.  In the interest of tolerance, our culture has become illogical.   Those who identify non-binary believe gender identity is one’s own internal experience and perception of self.  It doesn’t take into account what their Creator (God) thinks.  

     Third, rejecting birth biology is an assault on God and His sovereignty.  John MacArthur calls rejecting one’s original gender a kind of personal suicide.  “It is cutting oneself off from the way God designed you,” MacArthur says. Those who identify as non-binary should understand God made them and made them exactly as he wanted them to be.    

     There is a wide chasm between the biblical view of sexuality and the secular view.  Social media and many celebrities celebrate gender fluidity.  Advocates want males who identity as females to compete in women sports and use girl’s restrooms.  Parents are increasingly allowing their underage children to chemically and surgically alter their bodies and some states permit minors to do it without parental consent. Those who disagree are said to be unenlightened and narrow minded. 

     Oklahoma is considered to be a very conservative state.  The citizens in the Sooner state vote overwhelmingly Republican.  Republicans hold all statewide elected offices and super majorities in the legislature.  The federal delegation is all Republican. But last November, the first openly non-binary state legislator in America was elected in the Sooner state and last week a non-binary birth certificate was issued.   Clearly no place is exempted from degeneracy.


Sunday, October 17, 2021


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     An interim study is a study of legislative and policy issues by members of the legislature.  An interim study is requested by members of the Oklahoma House or Senate to the leadership of their respective chamber. They often address issues that have been the subject of legislation during the session that failed to pass or subjects that a lawmaker deems worthy of more in-depth consideration.  The two chambers of the Oklahoma legislature handle interim studies differently.  In the Senate, the President Pro Tempore assigns the requests to the appropriate standing committee. The committee chair of the standing committee then decides which studies will be conducted. In the House, the Speaker of the House sovereignly decides which studies to approve or disapprove. In some cases, House study requests on similar subjects are combined into a single study to avoid duplication. On occasion, some interim studies may be considered jointly by the House and Senate.

     Interim studies are typically held when the legislature is out of session and usually meet at the State Capitol. Depending on the study, a committee may devote anywhere from one hour to several full meetings to each study. Experts are often invited to testify at interim study meetings. Interim studies rarely generate a formal report to the public.

     This year 136 requests for interim studies were made by member of the Oklahoma House.  121 of those were approved.  In the Senate 71 interim studies were conducted. Two observations:   

     First, interim studies have a purpose.  They can result in a lawmaker crafting a more well thought bill that addresses a real issue.  Taking time and tax payer money to have round table discussions to consider all the ramifications of a bill before it is filed makes sense.  Too often during session, legislation is edited on the fly, which can result in laws with unintended consequences.

     Second, there are far too many interim studies.  The number of requests for studies are up in both chambers and frankly some interim studies are simply frivolous.  An excellent example is Rep. Jacob Rosecrants’, (D-Norman) study on the benefits of recess to Oklahoma secondary students. In a press release, Rosecrants said his study found, not surprisingly, that recess is beneficial because it allows students to decompress and relate to other students.

     Rosecrants, you may recall, is the same lawmaker who ran the ‘Play to Learn’ bill this past session, which makes it illegal for Oklahoma school administers to prevent early childhood teachers from using play to learn in their classroom. 

     Conducting an interim study on the importance of recess sounds like a joke, but no Oklahoma taxpayer should be laughing.  When legislature leadership accommodates such frivolous, flippant, meaningless and ill-considered studies like this, they waste taxpayer dollars.  Rosecrants was accommodated by the legislature and the governor on ‘Play to Learn,’ which resulted in a totally unnecessary law on the books.   It appears he plans to run a bill in the upcoming session ‘mandating recess.’ 

     Legislative leadership needs to stop indulging and obliging waggish interim studies and unnecessary laws.  Oklahoman’s tax dollars shouldn’t be used for such nonsense.  Our state has far more pressing issues to address.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Hofmeister's move like a cup of insipid coffee- Tasteless!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

          On Thursday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Joy Hofmeister announced she is changing her political party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.  She also announced she is running for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2022.  “Governor Stitt is running the state into the ground.  Though extremism, partisanship, ineffective leadership, he is hurting our education system, our health care and our infrastructure.  Governor Stitt has hijacked the Republican Party in Oklahoma,” Hofmeister said.  Hofmeister, 57, was elected in 2014 after defeating incumbent Janet Barresi and is termed out next year.  She was a former public school teacher and was a member of the state board of education(appointed by Gov. Fallin) when she decided to seek the SSPI office.   

     Hofmeister claims Gov. Stitt mishandled the COVID-19 response and has disrespected health care workers.  She said he ignored expert advice and failed to set a good example to protect Oklahomans.  She accused him of being too partisan and hasn’t worked with the tribes in the state.  Three observations:

     First, political party affiliation is a citizen’s first vote.  Registering and aligning with a party means they fundamentally agree with that party’s platform.  The Republican and Democratic Party platforms differ on many issues.  For example, Democrats favor gun control and abortion on demand.  Republicans support the 2nd amendment and are pro-life.  Hofmeister claims she hasn’t changed so when she used the Republican brand to run in 2014, was she lying when she indicated she agreed with the GOP on those issues.  Did she just say what people wanted to hear to get elected?   Party affiliation and registration matter.  It’s a citizen’s first vote.  Clearly, Hofmeister’s decision to change parties is one of convenience and not conviction.  She would have little luck running against Stitt in a Republican primary, so she chose to flip to the Democratic Party.  It remains to be seen how Hofmeister will be received by Democrats after being a Republican statewide elected official for eight years. 

     Second, politics is always partisan.  Partisan simply means someone is a strong supporter of a party, cause or person.  Every elected official, and for that matter, every citizen should be partisan.  They should be resolute and committed to their convictions.  The term is often misused and has come to mean that the minority view is not being held. 

     Third, voters shouldn’t be fooled by political opportunists.  When an elected official (at whatever level of government) change their political party affiliation, they should be questioned as to why.  In most cases, they changed because the Party they flipped to is in the majority and they fear getting defeated in the next election.   They change party affiliation because they are more interested in staying in office than what a political party stands for.

     Hofmeister’s flipping parties to run was not done out of conviction, but out of convenience.  It is like a mug of insipid coffee.    It has no taste.