Rethinking Henry

October 31st, 2006

My decision to vote to give Brad Henry another term as Governor has just blown up in my face. Wild Bill is endorsing him.

I will not be voting for Ernest Istook for governor of Oklahoma, I will be voting for Governor Brad Henry. Governor Henry is better for Oklahoma.

Knowing Wild Bill, I suspect this may be a trick to make potential Henry voters second-guess themselves. It sure worked on me.

Stretching our soldiers

October 31st, 2006

I’m not convinced it’s a good idea to run a government like a business. And I’m even less convinced of letting business run a war.

Soldiers outsourced to KBR

Sooner fright night

October 31st, 2006

As always, I look forward to this special night. But unlike past Halloweens, this one’s got me scared the most. You see, I’m a Sooner basketball fan and tonight is the first game of the season.

Oklahoma has a new head coach who must pull a Dr. Frankenstein and stitch together a ghoulish team with the bloody remains from past coach Kelvin “The Slasher” Sampson. Basketball blogger Yoni Cohen calls it an accident waiting to happen.

Jeff Capel … inherits a train wreck at Oklahoma…

…as oft-celebrated Oklahoma sinks to the bottom.

Cohen sees Oklahoma ending 9th -GASP!- in the Big 12. I told you things were scary.

That thinking is understandable by casual observers. However, an internal poll by the players themselves helps still my fears.

Most grotesque – Beau Gerber
Who might eat them – Keith Clark or Longar Longar
Most devious – Kellen Sampson
Maintains scariest dungeon – Bobby Maze
Most shocking – Tony Crocker
Most likely to cut throats – Nate Carter
Biggest brute likely to snatch a woman – Taylor Griffin

With this attitude, the team should be on edge all season; enough to put ’em in 6th place by March. Still a frightening thought.

Now, if I can just build up enough courage to enter the Lloyd Noble Chamber of Horrors more than a few times this season. I’ll probably be wearing a mask.

It’s going to be a long Halloween.

An OEPC update

October 30th, 2006

With help from some readers, a few more additions to the Oklahoma Election Propaganda Collection are in order.

Howard Barnett figures State Treasurer Scott Meacham’s promises don’t add up. What doesn’t add up is Barnett’s ad.

Gary Jones watches State Auditor Jeff McMahan count his fingers.

John Sullivan solves poultry pollution.

Bill Wortman in the Twilight Zone.

Jim Evanoff claims GOP gubernatorial candidates’ ideas crap.

And politically last (aired Spring ’06), but not least, native Americans likening Governor Henry racism to Hitler.

Those who hate Adolf Henry, but still are voting for him over Istook, you can always sign a petition.

Temporary blog out

October 29th, 2006

Had a topsy-turvy week. Nothing terrible happened, just a wave of activity; some of it planned, much of it not.

Blogging to resume soon.

Collegiate fishing too elite

October 23rd, 2006

The opportunities higher education offers are many. One day you could be partying on Sneaky Pete’s dock and the next, be a collegiate champion.

BoatU.S., the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters has teamed with FOX College Sports to present the National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship.

… the Oklahoma State University team of Jason Elam and Brandon Pedigo continue to sit in first place with a 5 fish limit weighing 10.16 pounds on day two to go with the 16.20 limit they had on day one giving them a two day 10 fish weight of 26.36 pounds. They are targeting a mix of cover ranging from rocks to hardwoods to catch fish all over the lake and are feeling confident going into the final days action.

A National Collegiate Fishing Championship is all fine and dandy, but if it’s going to be a collegiate sporting event, it ought to have more “sport” in it. We just need to change two things:

One, take away all the hardware. Collegiate sport should not be about fully rigged fishing rigs with all the latest electronic gizmos. Ichthyology college athletes (ichthyoletes) should depend more on fish ecology than fishing technology.

Two, catch or make your own bait. Real ichthyoletes don’t buy their bait. Even young kids learn the value of scraping up some tasty morsel or shinny tidbit to tempt their prey. And there’s always noodling. And no, that doesn’t mean using your noodle as bait.

The winner of a contest like that would be a real fishing champion.

Sorry to say, the OSU boys choked on the final day.

The Oklahoma State team of James Elam and Brandon Pedigo were confident going into the final round but high winds blew into their key area and with cameras rolling to capture the action they just couldn’t get the bites they had hoped to with the waves literally breaking over the bow of their boat on some casts.

Check back soon for my opinion of collegiate dove hunting.

Dunn and Edmondson in cockfight

October 23rd, 2006

James Dunn is campaigning to replace Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

Some of the duties of the attorney general include providing legal advice for the state and its residents, protecting the environment and natural resources, representing the state in criminal appeals and protecting consumers.

The linchpin of Dunn’s platform seems to be how to handle the water pollution resulting from waste policies practiced by contractors for big poultry processors.

Edmondson filed the lawsuit in 2005 against a dozen Arkansas poultry companies, including subsidiaries of Tyson Foods, which had more than $25 billion in sales in 2005. A tentative trial date has been set for January 2008.

The lawsuit claims that chicken and turkey waste used as fertilizer on fields leaches into Oklahoma waterways through runoff and that the waste increases algae growth, kills fish and pollutes drinking water.

Apparently, Dunn doesn’t dispute the pollution. But he wants to take a different approach.

Dunn said he would immediately drop the lawsuit if elected. He compared the situation to the oil bust and the thousands of oil wells left abandoned across the state. The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board has cleaned up many of the wells — at no cost to the landowners.

You’ve probably heard about OERB’s restoration efforts. At least you should have, because they’ve spent a lot of money touting it.

Dunn’s proposal might be a good idea if the facts were the same. From the OERB site:

By statute, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission determines which sites qualify for restoration (in Osage County only, the Bureau of Indian Affairs determines restoration sites). If the OCC determines there is no responsible party, the sites are then forwarded to the OERB for further consideration. [Emphasis added]

The key point is “if… there is no responsible party”. While we can argue the degree of responsibility, everyone knows that there is a problem from continuing disposal of excess chicken shit.

Dunn is jumping the gun with his proposal; sorta like wiping your butt before you finish a bowel movement. If Edmondson loses the lawsuit against Arkansas poultry producers because they are not legally responsible, then I would be much more interested in Dunn’s idea. Until then, taking measures to prevent the environmental damage should take precedence over a plan to clean it up.

One of those shopping days

October 20th, 2006

I normally don’t much enjoy shopping trips to town. However, yesterday was different. The leaves along the highway are clean and colorful, making the normally monotonous drive unusually scenic. Very pleasurable. Then we got to town.

Memo to Sears: Please know that a Craftsman circular saw you sold me has crapped out after only 30 years of use! A weak spot on the base mounting bracket gave way with only medium abuse throughout its life. I noticed the damage after sawing through a nail. I also see that the saw was made in the USA. Perhaps you should consider having your saws made somewhere else. Then I could expect at least 35 years of good service from a portable power tool.
– Side note –
Bought another Craftsman saw. And was happy to see that you don’t need to worry about getting stuck with a USA made saw anymore. Anywhere.

Memo to Home Depot: Just wanted to make a comment about the purchase of a washer/dryer set at your Norman store Oct. 19 of this year. While the person handling the paperwork was polite and efficient, and we appreciate your low overall price, I do have a couple suggestions that may improve the shopping experience of other Home Depot customers.

1) When a high-value item is on sale for 15-20% off, you should note it on the price sheet displayed with the product. Yes, it was a nice surprise, but I think we would’ve liked to know we were saving an extra $160 in addition to a $155 in rebates before we went to pay for it.

2) Don’t try to sucker us country folk with an offer to haul off our wore out washer and dryer for one cent($0.01). I can’t believe you want an extra penny for that. Shucks, I can get a neighbor to help me load ’em on my truck and dump ’em at the creek for nothing.

The stuff I go through when shopping! And single parents think they have it bad.

Spake’s cut & run strategy

October 19th, 2006

I attended the Hal Spake fundraiser last night with featured speaker Jim Hightower. I’d heard Jim speak many years ago, and while he didn’t seem to have much fire in his belly, he showed he can still please a crowd with his down-home logic. Hightower did get a little excited about the National Animal Identification System.

Under the program, livestock owners register their animals with the government database, permanently tag the animal and keep track of it, reporting, within 24 hours, every time an animal is tagged, a tag is lost, an animal dies, is missing or is slaughtered, and every time an animal leaves or enters the property. The USDA says the long-term goal is to provide health officials with the ability to ID all livestock that have had contact with a disease within 48 hours after discovery.

OK, what could be wrong with that?

Across the country, every person with even one horse, cow, chicken, pig, goat, sheep, exotic animal or virtually any other livestock animal on their premises will be required to register their homes and property into a database and subject their property and animals to government surveillance.

Each animal will have to be individually identified and physically tagged, in many cases with radio frequency tags or microchips. Every “event” in the animal’s life (including having the tag applied, any movements to and from the premises, and death) will have to be reported within 24 hours.

Well, maybe it could use a little fine tuning.

Fred Harris also made a few comments that I enjoyed. You remember Fred, he was a state senator from 1956 to 1964 and U.S Senator from 1964 to 1973.

Harris did not seek another term in 1972, choosing instead to make a run for President. It was a short-lived campaign that ended with Harris planning a different kind of race in 1976. In 1975 he announced that he would seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976. Harris’ race had at least two unusual features. For one, in order to keep expenses down, he travelled the country in a RV and stayed in private homes, giving his hosts a card which was to be redeemable for one night’s stay in the White House upon his election.

Hal seemed to be an easy going guy, calmly explaining his positions on various issues, like his “cut & run” strategy for the Iraq occupation:

  • Withdraw U.S. troops in 6 months.
  • Allow Iraq government to choose peacekeeping forces from Muslim nations for replacement.
  • U.S. to pay for cost of peacekeeping force.
  • U.S. to pay for reconstruction.
  • No U.S. contractors.

It’s quite a lot to swallow, but at least Spake has an Iraqi strategy other than “stay the course”. And his message resonated strongly with the crowd of enthusiastic Democrats. Jari Askins seemed to like it. And I admit, it got me thinking too. Not sure about how Republican precinct chair, and Spake supporter, Tom Elmore felt about it. But you can bet he likes Spake’s transportation policies.

There’s a couple more Spake campaign signs in Little Axe today.

No Halloween for us

October 19th, 2006

Grandpa Doke showed up yesterday. He’s just gettin’ over knee surgery; they had to remove both of them. As you can guess, it’s made him a little despondent. He just sits in that chair day and night, lookin’ down the driveway.

He told us not to expect no trick or treaters this year.