Search This Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Oklahoma Gubernatorial Primaries


My muses are conflicted. I am bemused, amused, and confused (a kissing cousin to muses). We lived in Oklahoma for five years, then took a five year break down in Texas. Now we’ve been back in Tulsa five more years. So we’re not “newbies”, but we don’t have the grasp of  state politics that natives do. What flummoxes me currently is gubernatorial politics. The three or four best known and highest spending Republicans seeking their party’s nomination this time around are all claiming that they are solid Conservatives who represent the answer to the current dilemmas the state faces. But it seems to me these dilemmas are the product of a decade of policies enacted by Republican super-majority legislatures and governor. Exactly how will these candidates regimes differ? And where will the one who promises to audit every state agency think he’s going to find the funds for such audits?  They haven’t even ponied up the resources to “fix” public education in the state.  I understand that some believe each state agency has on its organization charts a “Bureau of Waste, Fraud and Mismanagement” and that X-ing out that bureau will unleash hidden millions of dollars to fund all the other annoying purposes of government. Purposes such as teacher raises, road and bridge repair, maintaining healthcare in remote rural areas, and the like. But do these genius candidates really think the required intrepid auditors are going to work for free?
So, I guess I’ll watch the primary season lumber on. Maybe the teachers and civil servants will rise up again as they did earlier this Spring and bring educated debate to the game. Couldn’t hurt.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Restitution


Dateline April 12, Howell, Michigan
A farmer was charged with animal cruelty after approximately 70 cows were found dead on his farm.  He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in “restitution”.   So, I’m wondering exactly who he pays this money to as restitution. Does it go to the bulls and mama cows of this tragedy? Or who?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Political lenses

I find it helpful to remind myself occasionally that my conservative friends and our president live in a separate, parallel universe seen through the FOX/R Limbaugh/Drudge lenses. They sincerely believe that the “objective facts” they hear and see on FOX, or don’t see on FOX are true and clear. They also assume that what I see and hear on every other network is correspondingly false and distorted. It is obvious that when the two viewpoints diverge the most that one or both do not reflect actual TRUTH. 
The search for that truth endures. It is not easy, but it is important.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Internet advertisements


I may have previously complained about this. Don't remember for sure. There is a group of advertisements that find their way onto the margins of my Facebook site as well as my Twitter page and even my Yahoo search engine which I noe pretty much refuse to read. Sometimes the purported topic is of potential interest to me. Upon reading the headline I feel like I would like to learn the secret for this or that health cure. But I am prohibited from having access to the silver bullet answer because I refuse to jump through the hoops they require to be allowed to see it. The hoops invariably come in the form of having to watch a ten to twenty minute video in which the narrator agonizingly walks me through all his examples of why a problem exists, his myriad testimonials of how his solution solves the problem, and excruciatingly minute details of why his solution overcomes all the known prior problems and issues people have ever faced. It also typically includes somewhere in the spiel the insight that his solution is opposed by unnamed status quo power brokers. It is “what the drug makers don't want you to know”. In fact that “they don't want you to know” line has caused me to cease reading or listening to more commercials than probably any other meme.
My main reaction to these commercials is anger that they don't trust me. They can't tell me what the magic solution is and what the solution costs prior to pounding me into submission. Afraid I'll not hang around and ask all the questions they are dying to answer. Afraid I won't trust that they have already dealt with my objections. I can't possibly come up with a valid reason not to buy their product other than stupidity or stinginess.
I hold out little hope that this trend will wane or cease altogether. Which is why I treat almost all advertisements and unsolicited commercials on the internet like they are merely part of the wallpaper. When I want to research a healthcare breakthrough I will take the initiative. Don't call me; I'll call you.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Parkland Shooting

Three brief, narrow points on this week’s mass shooting in Florida:
1.    Since the assault weapons Congressional ban was allowed to expire in 2004, the number of mass murders using these war weapons has mushroomed. Yes, there were school shootings prior to 2004, but not as many, not as deadly, and not increasing every month infrequency and intensity. And the only one of the “top five” school shootings that occurred during the decade of the ban on assault weapons was Columbine HS in 1999. Since 2004 there have been at least four “major” school shootings, including Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Rancho Tehama prior to last week’s Florida carnage.  And even greater loss of life occurred in non-school venues such as the nightclub in Orlando and the festival in Las Vegas.  
2.    A number of defenders of “freedoms to have and use AR-15s” seem to protest too much when arguing that gun opponents are exaggerating statistics by citing the “18 already in ‘18” mantra. They seem to love to use “slippery slope” arguments in opposing all discussions of sound gun control but will brook no taking of liberties with stat citations on how badly the trend looks to some people.

3.    Since 1996 there have been no school shootings in Great Britain. Main difference? GB banned handguns in 1996. Coincidence?  Then what about France? Germany? Japan? et al other countries with restrictions on owning and using “weapons of mass and minor destruction”? Can we be the only nation whose potential killers are so equipped and able that they would inevitably outwit any and all restrictions and regulations on guns in order to carry out their nefarious intentions?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Living Biblically?

Maybe I'm misjudging the teaser trailers I've seen for the new "comedy" series coming later this month on that ole stalwart standard broadcast TV network, CBS.  Maybe they don't intend to ridicule and rip on the slim majority of Americans who claim Christianity as their religion. Maybe they won't be going to the lunatic fringes of various Christian denominations for their stereotypical cliches to seek a laugh.  Maybe.

But I, for one, have no intention of seeing for myself this latest effort by an anachronistic media form to grab the elusive brass ring and stop their decades long ratings slide.  If they are still around Season Two I'll tune in and see what clever, original humor they have to offer.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Oklahoma high school football

I jotted down these notes three years ago and may have put them on a Facebook status. Can't remember for sure. Nevertheless, I know I never transferred it to my Blog. The Metro band director mentioned, Joe, is now a bigshot in Fine Arts for Tulsa Public Schools. Otherwise, the memories are fairly accurate. Amazing that three years ago was a simpler, peaceful time.



For a change of pace, I took in a high school football game last night here in Tulsa. With no “dog in the fight” anywhere locally, I went to the home game for the school right across our back fence, Metro Christian Academy.  This was Metro's first home game of the season since last week had been cancelled due to lightning and thunderstorms.  They were playing Stillwell HS, a little town east of Tulsa almost on the Arkansas border.
Metro (MCA for short) has its own stadium and the game was played there. MCA had a decent crowd of parents, students and supporters.  It looked like several dozen Stillwellians? had   come over along with their marching band.
MCA was never seriously challenged during the game. They scored the first 17 pts, and led by that at halftime after a couple of nice long passes from the senior quarterback, Abe Anderson to senior wide receiver, Jake Koenig.  Each time the MCA band lustily played their fight song, courtesy of U. of Notre Dame. (The band director, Joe Metzer, plays in Tulsa First Baptist orchestra with me).
Halftime provided the opportunity for the parents and fans to meet and see the elementary age cheer and yell squads and the 2nd grade football team - “the future of MCA football”.
Also at halftime the Stillwell uniformed marching band performed. This was noteworthy in that they had the smallest marching band I have ever seen perform, and I've seen many. They fielded eleven band members, including one sousaphone and two drummers. They offered a rousing rendition of the theme song from Mission Impossible.  I found this hopeful, though not predictive, as the team went on to allow another 20 points in the second half without scoring themselves.
But, alas, the weather was perfect, if not still a touch warm for the end of September. The crowds were polite and appreciative. And all in all, I had a terrific time.  May go back in a few weeks and catch a game on a cooler Fall evening.
ut