Learning to blog

September 30th, 2005

The homework blog:

Hello,
My name is Kiara Sanders and I’m a student at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and this blog is part of a course that I’m taking which is EDUC 3313 Technology Intergration for the Classroom. This is my Sophmore year in college and I love it. My major is Elementary Education. I am new to blogger, but I feel working with blogger is a good experience. I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been working on it so far.

Boy, I sure wouldn’t want to be graded on my blogging (or spelling).

Boren called turkey

September 30th, 2005

The Green Man is especially mad at Rep. Dan Boren and the rest of the Oklahoma congressional delegation.

Yesterday, a slim majority of member of the United States House of Representatives voted for H.R. 3824, an attack upon the landmark law that brought the American bald eagle back from the brink of extinction. Without the Endangered Species Act, the American bald eagle would probably not exist any more, except on the backs of our quarters and as a graphic on Republican web sites promoting corporate pollution.

Don’t feel bad Dan. Ben Franklin would’ve probably voted with you.

What the heck ya ‘posed to do?

September 29th, 2005

Dropping off recyclables today, I came across the following note taped to one of the containers:

“Lost wedding ring in this dumpster two weeks ago.”

I duly paused for a moment of silence. Then dumped my stuff.

Political divide

September 29th, 2005

Question: How politically divided are we as a nation?

If you are…

  • a Democrat/liberal – What Republican could best lead the country now?
  • a Republican/conservative – What Democrat could best lead the country now?
  • a third party/Independent – What Republican or Democrat could best lead the country now?

My response in comments.

FEMA, Coburn, and Carnivals

September 29th, 2005

Me and the doke of Okiedoke (perhaps she would see it a different way), just finished re-booking our West Caribbean cruise for December. The originally scheduled ship was pirated away from us. I thought it awfully generous that the cruise line gave us a nice credit for the trouble. But, perhaps they weren’t as generous as it appears. As Earnest Pettie tells it:

It turns out among FEMA’s many missteps during Hurricane Katrina was the chartering of three Carnival Cruiseships for 236 million dollars. The ships have been unpopular as a destination for evacuees. FEMA didn’t count on people bursting into tears everytime they began singing “If my friends could see me now…” The ships are half empty, but executives at Carnival are insisting they’re half full. They have reason to be optimistic. According to Tom Coburn, the Carnival is making double what it would have made had the government paid to send the Katrina evacuees on an actual cruises on Carnival. That’s how screwed up this situation is: Tom Coburn is talking sense. The boats are just sitting there, which is how you know they got their orders from FEMA.

While I won’t defend FEMA for booking, and half-filling, cruise ships, I will put up a weak defense for the cruise line charging what they did.

To Carnival executives, the contract will ensure only that the company breaks even when it pulls three ships from holiday operations. About 100,000 passengers had their vacations canceled to accommodate the government’s needs, said J. Michael Crye, president of the International Council of Cruise Lines, who has been answering questions about the deal for Carnival.

“In the end, we will make no additional money on this deal versus what we would have made by keeping these ships in service,” said Jennifer de la Cruz, a Carnival spokeswoman.

What critics are ignoring is that cruise ships generate a lot more money from passengers than just the fare. I don’t know the amount received from drinking, gambling, port excursions, and other amenities, but I’ll bet it’s substantial. I’ll let you know.

Then again, a $2,000 stipend could go a long way in a third world country. That is if they could keep from using it in the ship casino on the way.

OK political season opens

September 29th, 2005

Next week is shaping up to be the official start of the political season in Oklahoma. Republicans have begun playing the music to set their game of musical chairs in motion. I look to be busy updating and rearranging the Oklahoma Candidates 2006 web page.

Much of the game revolves around 5th District Congressman Ernest Istook’s position. Political wonks are betting that Istook will formerly announce his candidacy next week to challenge Gov. Brad Henry for Oklahoma’s CEO job. Such a decision by Istook will all but squash the chances of already announced GOP gubernatorial hopefuls Bob Sullivan and James Williamson.

A void in the 5th District is expected to draw the attention of more than a few aspiring conservatives, not the least of which is Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin. It’s no secret Fallin wants something more than being Lt. Governor, but literally, and figuratively, doesn’t have the gonads to go after Henry. The buzz is Fallin will jump for a chance at Istook’s seat.

Democratic House leader Jari Askins, isn’t waiting for a Fallin decision and has set her sights on Fallin’s job. Askins has made her mark as a strong law and order politician with experience on the bench and in Corrections. Her current time as state representative draws to a close with term limits. Askins should prove to be a formidable candidate statewide.

GOP House Speaker Todd Hiett is also ending his service as representative and is looking for a new home. Rumors were that Hiett has long considered making a run for Governor, especially after J.C. Watts bowing out of contention, but I always thought Hiett figured Gov. Henry was more than he could handle due to the governor’s unshakable performance in the last legislative session. I see Hiett betting on Henry and grabbing an office that serves as a stepping stone to the gubernatorial race after Henry’s final term.

Oh, and Brenda Reneau has decided to run again, which means she will keep her position as Labor Commissioner. Even with her poor performance in representing Oklahoma workers, there are no credible Democrats that could beat her at the game.

While Republicans are getting the bulk of attention now, state Democrats are in a good position to make gains in the next election. The gold-plated GOP image has begun to tarnish nationally, and as has often been the case, the successful political dance of Democrats will depend on how many of their own feet they shoot.

And I’m sorry to say that Independent and third party candidates are again not in a position to threaten the established duopoly this election cycle. It’s going to take some unifying effort of the fragmented political fringe to catch the attention of voters, and I don’t see that unification happening this time. Perhaps in 2008, if they’re we’re lucky.

Pressure now on the Hornets

September 28th, 2005

With the promising news of financial success for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, Oklahoma stands to gain from the bad luck of New Orleans brought on by hurricane Katrina.

George Shinn, owner of the New Orleans Hornets, predicts they will sell out all 35 of their home games in their temporary home this season in Oklahoma City.

Shinn said he realized that Oklahoma City is in many ways where Charlotte, N.C., was in 1988 when he won the right to establish the Hornets franchise there.

“To me it just mirrored what went on in Charlotte where we had such success,” Shinn said. “I started feeling good about it, and I realized, hey, they don’t have a [major-league] team there. We would be the only show in town. So my enthusiasm kept going up.”

However, there’s a reason the Hornets moved to New Orleans.

Starting in 1988, the Charlotte Hornets sold out 364 straight games in an arena that seated more than 23,000 people. Attendance waned and the team lost money in the years before the franchise moved to New Orleans in 2003.

Looking into the Hornets’ mirror:

Read the rest of this entry »

Okies dogging it?

September 28th, 2005

I had a spike in visitors last week from a link in a couple CNN online news stories about gas prices and gouging. For most bloggers, this would be good news. It’s reasonable to expect such exposure could generate a few more regular readers. But that doesn’t much apply to Okiedoke. Looking through the logs, I see that not one visitor referred by the CNN links originated from Oklahoma. Oh, I got some from most other states and quite few places outside the country, but not one from any homies. And it doesn’t take long to realize that Okiedoke is for Okies.

I understand that Oklahomans have a lower percentage of Internet connected households than many other states. And I hold nothing against the relatively few that do have access for not patronizing CNN’s online news. But what disturbs me is that I got visitors from England! While that, in itself, is not disturbing, it is when considering this:

Indeed, a survey of taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers (“often seen as barometers of popular trends” according to Reuters, though God alone knows when hairdressers became barometers of anything), by ad outfit DDB London showed that 90 per cent of barometers have not the foggiest idea what a podcast is, and an impressive 70 per cent live in blissful ignorance of blogging.

Better still, many think blogging is the same as dogging

After finding the definition of English “dogging”, and seeing how folks are not only receptive of it, but also train for it, I’m afraid most Brits will be highly disappointed in blogging, and Okiedoke especially. Judging by how happy this guy is about his job, how can blogging ever compete with this dogging thing.

Of course, as an Okie blogger, I don’t care much about what some limeys think. Though I am interested in what Oklahoma’s “barometers of popular trends” think. Problem is, I don’t know any Okie barometers myself. Therefore I’m asking any Oklahomans who have their hair done, get drunk and take a taxi home; please find out what these societal indicators think of blogging and let me know.

And go ahead and ask ’em about dogging too. I’ll venture that at least 70% think it’s bull.

Oklahoma gambling not paying off

September 27th, 2005

Oklahoma leaders who talked up the large return from state supported gambling are recalculating the odds of a big payoff.

Revenue from tribal casinos is lower than state officials predicted but they say it’s too soon to say whether initial projections were too high.

The state of Oklahoma has received $4,951,206 for the calendar year. At that rate, the state will receive about $12 million this fiscal year, but state Treasurer Scott Meacham had projected $40.5 million.

The problem seems to stem from casinos not rushing to replace current gambling machines with new machines that are covered under the gambling compact with the state.

Oklahoma’s compacts allow for certain faster machines and card games in which the casino can’t profit from the outcome.

Imagine that! Who in their right mind would ever dream that casino operators wouldn’t rush to ditch their existing slot machines that don’t require a cut to the state, and replace them with new machines that require a state kick-back? Those crazy Indians must be drinking firewater or something.

But how can you blame state politicians for being “overly optimistic” and under-estimating the intelligence of Oklahomans? It works for them to get elected.

And these are the folks who made this sports bet on the NBA Hornets.

If the team does not earn 5 percent more in local revenue than it made in New Orleans last season, Oklahoma City would be required to pay up to $10 million to the Hornets.

The state and a group of businessmen who have not yet been named have agreed to split those expenses if the Hornets do not meet the revenue benchmark of approximately $40 million

I have a feeling this might be the same group of unknown buisnessmen who Gov. Keating optimistically promised would help completely privately finance the Capitol dome.

But how can you blame politicians for being “overly optimistic” and under-estimating the intelligence of Oklahomans? It works. And face it; have you ever felt the satisfaction of gambling with other people’s money?

Boobs get coverage

September 27th, 2005

This whole Iraq War protesting thing is not fair. It seems anti-war protestors are getting the bulk of the press coverage.

… a massive demonstration on Saturday on the National Mall that drew a crowd of 100,000 or more, the largest such gathering in the capital since the war began in March 2003.

Yet we hardly heard a peep about the subsequent pro-war rally.

Meanwhile, a rally supporting the war on Sunday drew just 500 participants.

And peaceniks aren’t playing fair either. They’re willing to get arrested for civil disobedience.

Cindy Sheehan, the poster girl of America’s newly confident anti-war movement, sought arrest at the gates of the White House yesterday and was duly granted her wish by Washington police.

Members of a 2,000-strong crowd cheered and howled as officers picked up the 48-year-old. But Mrs Sheehan beamed as she was carried off by two uniformed officers.

That’s bad enough, but protestors didn’t stop there.

One group of women removed their tops under a banner scrawled with the slogan, “Breasts not bombs”

I gotta admit, they make a good point (or two). And what a way to show nonsupport for the war. OK hawks, the ball’s in your court.