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.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

America is a Republic with a clearly defined Chain of Command!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     General Mark Milley, 63, is the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He has served in that capacity since 2019.  Milley was appointed by former President Donald Trump.  In their recent book, Peril, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, claim Milley,  in a telephone conversation with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelsoi, agreed Trump was crazy.  Last week, he denied saying that.  While being questioned by the House Armed Services Committee, Milley was asked about two calls he made to his Chinese counterpart- one four days before the 2020 general election and the other two days after the January 6th Capitol breech.  During his testimony, Milley admitted he would give China a heads up if the US planned to launch an attack against them.   Three observations:

     First, the role of the military in the United States is clearly defined.  According to Section 7062 of Title 10 of federal law the purpose of the military is to ‘preserve the peace and security providing for the defense of the United States, the commonwealths(states) and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States.  The military is overseen by the Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS).  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council (NSC), however, all JCS members are by law military advisers, and they may respond to a request or voluntarily submit, through the Chairman, advice or opinions to the President, the Secretary of Defense, or NSC.

     According to the JCS website, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have no executive authority to command combatant forces. The issue of executive authority was clearly resolved by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986: "The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall assign all forces under their jurisdiction to unified and specified combatant commands to perform missions assigned to those commands..."; the chain of command "runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense; and from the Secretary of Defense to the commander of the combatant command." The military commanders are to take orders from the President and the Secretary of Defense, not undermine or ignore orders.

     Second, giving aid and comfort to the enemy is treason.  It is punishable by death or at the very least imprisonment of no less than five year and a fine of $10,000. Miley has admitted to giving America’s #1 enemy aid and comfort by calling his counterpart in China behind President Trump’s back.  At the very least, Milley should be removed as Chairman of the JCS and trialed for treason.    

     Third, the U.S. Constitution addresses presidential disability.  There is no provision for the Chairman of the JCS to unilaterally make that decision.  In 1965, the 25th amendment was added to the Constitution.  It mandates that a majority of the president’s cabinet (12 members) have to agree the president cannot perform the duties of the office before they are removed. Since the president selects their cabinet, getting that done is a high bar.  Milley allegedly told the other members of the Joint Chiefs to ignore Trump if he ordered an attack.  Milley does not have that option. In America, the military is to follow orders.  America is a Republic, not a military junta(a government led by a committee of military leaders). 

     Powerful leaders often are conceited and have big egos, but in our system of government, there is a clearly defined chain of authority.  Milley violated that chain.  C.S. Lewis said, “If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.” Milley’s actions need to be dealt with by Congress.