Experience preferred

January 31st, 2005

Am I the only one who sees the humor in this? (WashPost reg.req.)

National Intelligence Director Proves to Be Difficult Post to Fill

As Bush said last week: “We’re dealing with a brand-new agency that is going to require a — somebody with extraordinary experience.

Fondness for Fort Sill

January 31st, 2005

Fort Sill is sort of an interesting place to visit, but better than magnificent?

…other than that my life has been pretty different for the past 3 years that ive lived in the magnificant city of Houston……Id have to say my life was much more enjoyable when i lived in Fort Sill OKLAHOMA!!!!

Escaping prejudice

January 31st, 2005

This guy was fed up with Oklahoma and its prejudice.

I hope I never have to go back there again. Tulsa, I mean. I hope I never have to live there again. It’s the worst place I’ve ever known.

And then, there’s prejudice everywhere. And! And there’s Mexican immigrants everywhere! They seem to cross the border and head to Oklahoma! So the prejudice is always right there. And that’s depressing. What a God-awful place.

So he moved to Texas.

Canning the spam

January 31st, 2005

It’s been seven weeks since I added a simple comment validation here at Okiedoke and it’s been seven weeks since I’ve received any comment spam. However, I’m not sure that single effort is responsible for the dearth of spam. I also changed the name of the comment PHP scripts to further foil spam-bots.

I’ve tried to keep abreast of the many anti-spam techniques for WordPress, and there are some good ones, but the above mentioned modification has worked perfectly so far and I recommend it to any WordPress user with spam problems.

Don’t flash your eyes in Texas

January 30th, 2005

When Canadian Mounties wanted advice on how to profile and harass suspicious citizens, who do you think they turned to? Vancover policeman David Laing found out the hard way.

Last spring, Laing was driving on a highway near Hope. He turned a corner and a man in an orange traffic vest in the middle of the road motioned him to pull over. In a heavy Texas accent, the man asked for Laing’s identification.

The man was a Texas state trooper. The RCMP brought the Texans up to help them learn how to identify drug traffickers.

Laing refused to let the officers search his car. He knew that under Canadian law, police officers don’t have the right to preform that kind of search.

Less than a minute after Laing drove away, another Texas trooper – paired with an RCMP officer – pulled him over.

This time Laing was told he was under the influence of marijuana. Laing’s lawyer, Marilyn Sandford, says it was all preposterous.

Laing agreed to the search, but was told he couldn’t take his son from the vehicle. He was horrified as he watched the Mountie search his two-year-old.

The police found no drugs, and despite saying he was impaired just moments earlier, let him go. The RCMP settled with Laing out of court when he threatened to sue for unlawful detention. But the Mounties defend the search, saying Laing was suspicious because his eyelashes were fluttering and his eyes were flashing.

“The Americans do a lot of this and have been doing it for quite some time.”

– Via Fark

What is it with Texans and eyes anyway?

And the big question from me is: How does a person make his eyes flash, or even better, keep them from flashing?

Fair, and legal too?

January 28th, 2005

Tulsa Senator Tom Adelson seems to think Oklahoma workers should have some type of Fair Employment rights when it comes to being displaced by companies hiring illegal aliens.

While the federal government refuses to take action against employers who undercut opportunities and wages for American workers, Sen. Adelson’s Oklahoma Fair Employment Act (Senate Bill 510), would impose state penalties against such employers and allow citizens and legal U.S. residents to take action against them.

Among the important protections established by Oklahoma Senate Bill 510:

  • The right of authorized U.S. workers to take action against employers who discharge them while continuing to employ illegal aliens.
  • Compensation paid to illegal alien workers will not be deductible business expenses from state taxes.
  • Suspension of corporate charters of companies that knowingly employ illegal aliens.
  • Companies employing illegal aliens will be barred from state contracts or grants.
  • Safe harbor status is granted to employers who verify the eligibility status of workers using the online “Basic Pilot Program” established by Congress in 1996.

Who does Sen. Adelson think he is? Think of the job losses if illegal workers were actually considered illegal.

Biggest snowflakes I’ve ever seen

January 28th, 2005

Okie ethereal beings

January 28th, 2005

Don’t believe in ghosts? If you’re somewhere in Oklahoma, go see for yourself.

Haunted Places in Oklahoma

Ada – Kalihoma Indian Reservation – Around 1:00 or 2:00 o’clock at night a car with it’s headlights will follow you after turning off of highway 48 to Kalihoma Indian Reservation road. Traveling west on this road heading towards highway 1, if you speed up, it will speed up, if you slow down, it will slow down. As you turn onto highway 1, the car will stop, and then turn back to Kalihoma Indian Reservation.

Durant – Fort Washita – haunted by many ghosts of Civil War, most famous is a lady named “Aunt Jane”, A lady that was killed by decapitation in the Civil War. She wanders the grounds with her head under her arm.

Oklahoma City – Scurvin Hotel – famous for its supposed entities of a former maid and her illegitimate daughter she killed herself and child by jumping out the window. Female guests have reported being unable to sleep due to the consistent cries of an infant. Many men have seen the apparition of a naked woman while showering. Several men have reported being “propositioned” by a female voice. One man even claimed he was sexually assaulted in the middle of night.

Skirvin Hotel management should consider making that a special package deal.

Ponca City in the black

January 28th, 2005

Boy did Continental Carbon’s Ponca City facility screw up! Ponca City officials said this week they plan to file a lawsuit against the Houston-based company.

Some folks think Continental Carbon may have screwed up when they locked out workers for 3 1/2 years for not agreeing to some changes in compensation.

Before the May 8, 2001 lockout, Continental demanded wage cuts, 300 percent-500 percent increases in health insurance premiums, cuts in vacation and overtime pay and cuts in pay for time that workers—covered head to toe with carbon at shift’s end—need to clean off. The firm demanded cuts totaling $15,000-$20,000 per worker per year, PACE said then.

But those were just union workers.

Others think it was when the company ignored complaints from residents living near the plant.

Continental Carbon’s operations forces carbon black dust down the throats of its workers while spewing it into the air and onto the little Ponca housing addition and other nearby neighbors. The trees and grass are black. The houses are covered with black soot. The black dust settles inside the houses on furniture and food. Clothes hung on the clothesline become gray with this soot. Farmers say the tongues and mouths of their livestock are black from chewing the grass coated with carbon black soot. Little toddlers come in from playing outside, their sweaty little faces, hands and smiles black and sooty.

Documentation shows that since the 1960s the Ponca Tribe and nearby non-Indian farmers have complained to the state of Oklahoma about the pollution.

But those were just farmers and Indians.

Still others believe it may have been when they embarrassed Oklahoma DEQ officials who had been trying to avoid the controversy.

Attorney Michael C. Bigheart, announced the filing of the Civil Rights Complaint on August 25 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). It charges the state agency, which receives federal funds, with discriminatory permitting and enforcement practices in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “These discriminatory practices allow for pollution and health risks that DEQ officials would never tolerate in their own communities,” he said. The DEQ has even stopped sending investigators to respond to citizens’ pollution complaints, he added.

But that was only a state agency influenced by company sympathizers elected officials.

No. Where Continental Carbon screwed up was when they started fouling up parts of Ponca City where respectable folks live and breathe.

Residents near the plant have complained for years about the soot, but a recent rise in complaints from people living inside the city prompted the action, city officials told local reporters.

“It’s time to stop this mess on Ponca City,” Mayor Dick Stone said Tuesday, according to a report by the Daily Oklahoman newspaper.

Yep, it’s finally time to do something. I take that back. It’s past time.

Safety Pays some, costs others

January 27th, 2005

There’s no doubt that worker’s compensation costs burden many Oklahoma businesses. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could come up with a free program for employers that would guarantee to lower their worker’s compensation costs by as much as 95%? Guess what? We already have one! And Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau is mighty proud of it.

Lower Workers’ Comp Costs Through Workplace Safety!

Our Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Consultation Division provides free, confidential, voluntary and non-punitive safety and health consultation services to private sector employers in Oklahoma.

Employers must request this service and invite the Consultation program into their workplace. If you follow the key components of the program, we GUARANTEE you’ll lower your workers’ compensation costs – possibly as high as 95 percent.

Wow! Employers must be jumping on this sure-fire way to save money and stop worker’s compensation problems at the source; by preventing worker injuries to begin with.

But evidently, this guaranteed savings for businesses is not enough. According to State Rep. Ryan McMullen, companies need more. You guessed it, tax breaks.

The Burns Flat Democrat’s reform package includes House Bill 1439, which would provide a $1,000 income tax deduction to companies that utilize the Labor Department’s Safety Pays program. The tax incentive is designed to encourage businesses to participate in voluntary inspections in which Labor Department consultants help improve workplace safety and avoid potential fines from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Proponents of Safety Pays, such as McMullen and Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau, cite the program’s track record of lowering participants’ workers’ compensation costs by 80 percent or more.

And if that tax break isn’t enough incentive for them to dramatically reduce expenses, we can always increase it next year. And the year after that…

After all, if Oklahoma taxpayers won’t pick up the tab for unsafe businesses to reduce injuries and save money, who will?