Istook campaign in check

September 30th, 2006

Rep. Ernest Istook is bolstering his campaign coffers with an Oklahoma appearance by presidential adviser Karl Rove. For a cool grand you can get your picture taken with the GOP bad boy the Istook campaign refers to as the “Bobby Fischer of politics”.

The invitation misspells Fischer’s name, but Istook spokesman Derek Kern says it refers to the famous chess player, a US fugitive known for his anti-US and anti-Semitic views.

I’m not a big Karl Rove fan myself, but calling him the Bobby Fischer of politics seems a bit flamboyant.

In a radio interview May 24, 1999, in Baguio, the Philippines, Fischer remarked: “America is totally under control of the Jews, you know. I mean, look what they’re doing now in Yugoslavia. . . . The secretary of state and the secretary of defense are, are dirty Jews.”

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Fischer remarked on Philippine radio: “This is all wonderful news. It’s time . . . to finish off the U.S. once and for all. . . . This just shows what comes around, goes around.”

Guess that makes Istook campaign advisors the “PAC 10 officiating crew of politics”.

I got spammed in a casino…

September 29th, 2006

yet was a lucky duck nonetheless.

Took our out-of-town visitors to see some local sights yesterday. We had a great start with a gorgeous morning.

About the biggest sight we have in Little Axe is the casino (that is, until the Sonic is finished) and a short stop there produced a quick $45 dollar profit on the Lucky Ducky slot machine for me. Although I did lose $10 of it on a Spam machine. Go figure.

… IGT executive Joe Kaminkow became so animated when he spotted a Spam booth at a New York trade fair for brand licensing in 2000. The Spam folks thought he was kidding when he insisted that a gambling game based on the venerable canned luncheon meat would be a kick.

Instead, Kaminkow made a licensing deal, then brought the concept back to IGT’s lab, where an atmosphere of creativity is fostered by free Slurpees in the break room and pinball machines parked in the hallways. The game makes its debut this fall, complete with a bonus round that asks players to choose between a turkey, regular and smoke-flavored Spam dish to prepare for a cook-off. They’ll place first, second or third and receive varying bonus winnings.

“Hopefully, these machines will intrigue our current consumers enough to pick up an additional can of Spam on their next shopping trip and potentially even some new brand users,” says Julie Craven, spokeswoman for Hormel, Spam’s parent company.

Spam probably will work, casino executives say…

Then we hit the Myriad Botanical Gardens. It’s been a few years since we last were there, but it still looks to be in good shape. We saw some nice orchids, especially snuggled around the elevator on the south end of the Crystal Bridge. And the Orchid Extravaganza doesn’t even begin for another week.

Lunch in Bricktown and a quick view of the Oklahoma City National Memorial made for an inexpensive, memorable afternoon to enjoy with guests.

I heard Tom Cole cares more about himself than America

September 28th, 2006

But what reasonable person would condemn another for such hearsay?

Now that Senate Republican lawmakers have worked out much of their differences with Pres. Bush on an anti-terrorism bill, we are getting closer to bringing suspected terrorists to trial. Although, perhaps the word “trial” is misleading.

Hearsay evidence, for example, would be permitted, as long as a judge finds it to be reliable.

So what your friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law heard about you may be more important than you thought. And…

Coerced testimony would be allowed in narrow circumstances – generally if a judge finds it reliable and the statement was taken before a 2005 ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

I find it interesting that testimony extracted from people before a ban on cruel and inhuman treatment is OK, but not after.

“Now tell us, before we attach these battery cables to your genitals again… do you believe Okiedoke is a terrorist blog?”

Some lawmakers want to think things through on this complex, liberty restricting legislation. House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, feels it important we get it right.

Our nation cannot afford to have any terrorist convictions overturned on judicial appeal.

On the other hand, there is something more crucial to some folks than getting American justice right; getting re-elected. Lawmakers are anxious to wrap things up this week and head home for some serious campaigning.

“Time is of the essence,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. “We must move this legislation to the president’s desk.”

Even if it is full of flaws and later ruled illegal, it’s no big deal. It sure wouldn’t be the first time Congress haphazardly produced legislation violating the Constitution they swore to uphold.

Oklahoma not Paris

September 27th, 2006

Megan recently moved to Oklahoma.

I am so glad that I decided to move here…I couldn’t have made a better decision for myself.

I have met some incredible people, and have made some awesome friends already!

Megan evidently hasn’t met Tonya, Kim, Dwayne, Bryan and Kasie Juh Nay.

This past weekend we all took a road trip up to Beavers Bend in Oklahoma to celebrate Bryans 30th Birthday! As we got there we started finding reasons why we hated Beavers Bend and Oklahoma in general…

3. Oklahomans don’t like Texas debit cards!

6. The movie theaters don’t have Jackass 2!
7. The police station really don’t know what time Wal-Mart closes.

10. Bryan can’t use E-Bay.
11. Tonya won’t stop yellin’ for her MYSPACE!

25. The older couple next to our cabin never came out.

29. You carry 6 dogs huntin’,but when you go to Wal-Mart you only buy one bag of dog food you must be an Oklahoman.

Apparently in Paris, Texas, every dog requires its own bag of food.

Istook moving in latest poll

September 27th, 2006

Survey USA released results on the lt. gov and governor race in Oklahoma.

Lt Gov

50% Askins
43% Hiett
03% Million
03% Undecided

Gov

64% Henry
33% Istook
03% Undecided

Data Collected: 09/21/2006 – 09/25/2006

Since an identical SurveyUSA KFOR-TV poll released 8/28/06, Henry has gained 4 points and Istook has lost 1 point.

That should keep SoonerFan busy working those numbers for a while.

One small step for Congress

September 26th, 2006

One big step for America.

New law to create online budget database

President Bush said Tuesday that Americans will now be able to “Google their tax dollars,” as he signed a law to create an online database for tracking about $1 trillion in government spending

Tom Coburn has done more good for the whole country than many congressmen do in an entire career. I hoped he would be good for something. And I’d bet he’s not done yet.

All hail quail

September 26th, 2006

I am happy to say that a second covey of quail (albeit a small one) has been spotted at the Okiedoke homestead. This is especially good news considering

The statewide quail index is down 33 percent from the previous 16-year average.

My many hours of observing quail in the field – often with a shotgun – has produced a great admiration for these wily birds. It’s good to see the large brush piles on the property are useful in countering the occasional roaming pack of coyotes and domestic dogs.

Oklahoma’s growth industry

September 26th, 2006

With many industries leaving Oklahoma, a significant drop in oil prices, and education income from the gambling industry not meeting expectations, I guess we should be thankful for any Oklahoma industry that exceeds expectations.

Geo Group said it has expanded a correctional facility in Oklahoma to become the largest such facility in the state.

The Boca Raton-based correctional and detention management firm said its 600-bed expansion to the Lawton Correctional Facility brings capacity to 2,518 beds.

That puts the Diamondback facility in Watonga in second place with 2,160 beds and dwarfing Oklahoma’s Big Mac at 1433 and Big Mabel at 1148 (pdf). The expansion increases private prison capacity alone in Oklahoma to almost 8,000 inmates, 3,600 of which is reserved for criminals from other states.

With an average income of $42.24 per day, per inmate (not counting any other income from things such as collect calls home), you’re talking about some big bucks. And unlike manufacturing and gambling industries, the prospects look to be bright. Oklahoma state owned prisons can only hold 17,653 inmates and:

Incarceration rates for Oklahoma men and women are consistently among the highest in the world

When you add that with the confining history of Oklahoma territory, it only makes sense that the incarceration business should be our state’s strong point. Oklahoma’s vibrant Christian community is another potential asset.

One of the few directives Jesus gives his followers in the Gospels is to visit the imprisoned. With over two million Americans behind bars, you would think every parish would have a “Visit the Imprisoned” ministry. Sadly, this is not the case. It is the Catholics’ most under-practiced Work of Mercy.
Frank Cordaro

Fool for the country

September 25th, 2006

After spending time in the city last week, it’s good to be back home here in the “country”. City life is kind of stressful for me anymore. I spent time outside today doing yard work, preparing the garden for planting some spinach and lettuce, and just taking a relaxing stroll through the woods. Noticing the changing signs of nature that surrounds us just calms me. For instance, this:

image

The other half broke off.

Okie bloggers more than nerds

September 25th, 2006

Instead of trying to describe Saturday’s Okie Blogger Round-up in Oklahoma City, I think it better to let other bloggers tell it from their perspective. (See a list of many bloggers who were there via Don Danz.) My view is somewhat biased as everyone I encountered was cordial, helpful, capable and inspiring.

As with any convention type meeting, the success is relative to the people who contribute. The willingness of everyone to share and help each other be better bloggers during the workshops was indeed inspiring. It’s often said that bloggers are narcissistic, like that is something bad. Yet, I believe having self-love and self-confidence isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when it is shared with others in a caring way.

And when it comes to giving, there was plenty of that. If you didn’t get a good vibe from Kristin and Heather during the sign-in, that was your fault you curmudgeon.

Dan Lovejoy coordinated an excellent educational session with but one flaw; there was not enough time allotted to cover all the topics of interest to those in attendance. You can blame me for that. Kudos to both Dan and his employer, Oklahoma Christian University for sponsoring the workshops by providing equipment and door prizes.

Sean Gleeson opened the Basic Blogging workshop with an entertaining slide show that warmed up the audience and encouraged their participation. Sean also designed the Okie Blogger Round-up logo and contributed in other ways behind the scenes.

image

Sean speaking, Dan running slides,
and Wild Bill of Passionate America Radio.

Dan led the Advanced Workshop along with a panel of experienced bloggers: Sean, Kevin Latham and Kurt Hochenauer. Kevin (via ITLnet) and Kurt also helped sponsor the event with door prizes and a cash donation, respectively. ITLnet donated the wireless router that provided attendees ready access to the internet throughout the Round-up. The router was raffled off in the evening and won by Tulsa blogger Michael Bates.

After the dinner break, the 2006 Okie Blog Award winners were announced and though not everyone could get an award, all present seemed truly happy for each winner named. (Any winning bloggers who weren’t in attendance, please email me with a mailing address to receive your award.) Thank you to Babs for her help in lending a little class in handing out the “Okies”.

The United States public premiere screening of Mozartballs ended the evening festivities. Having the featured characters in the movie present, and providing background, only made the off-beat one hour Mozart documentary that much more interesting. Thank you to Steph and Lynette for sharing.

I did have one big regret about the whole thing though; I didn’t get to spend enough time meeting and socializing with everyone. However, I feel lucky to have enjoyed the little time I did have chatting with such interesting people.

And while I do hope you caught part of Passionate America‘s live web radio broadcast from the event, I also hope you missed my alcohol induced on-air rambling. It was a bit too much fun.

2006 Okie Blogger Round-up photo album.

Others not mentioned, but helping to make the event a success were:
LocalOKads.com
111 Brad Street
Oklahoma Political News Service