I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pruitt, Clinton, & Brogdon, Oh My!

Oklahoma AG
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is an odd cat.  He is one of the few people who have ever been elected and is doing exactly what he said he would and the whole preservation of Christianity thing is full steam ahead.  Because, you know, Christians in Oklahoma are having their faith ripped from them.  But I digress.  Pruitt has announced that he is going to "defend free speech and free exercise of religion."  Sounds cool, doesn't it?  Well, Mr. Pruitt you can't have it your way - the very free speech and exercise of religion you speak of must, by necessity, apply to ALL faith groups, not just the Evangelicals.  He decided he is going to back up the teachers who distribute the Bible to their students.  

Pruitt is quoted in the Tulsa World as saying, "Our religious freedoms are under constant attack from a variety of groups who seek to undermine our constitutional rights and threaten our founding principles.”  Wait.  What?  The only religious freedoms being "under constant attack" are those that are not Evangelical or Catholic.  If you're a Mormon, aren't you allowed to distribute the writings of Joseph Smith at schools?  If Evangelicals can do it, why not Mormons?  How about those who would like to distribute the Q'uran in public schools?  Wouldn't they be allowed too since Pruitt is going to "defend free speech and free exercise of religion?"  Wouldn't that include ALL expressions of faith?

The Madness Ensues
There is no doubt in my mind that before and after the Hillary Clinton announcement, she and her consultants sat back and watched the GOP tinkle all over itself finding which talking point against her polled the best.  Hillary and crew are probably still laughing their rears off watching the madness ensue.  The hope for the Democratic Party this election cycle is that the GOP is so hurried to elect someone they think can beat Hillary, that the nominee will only be marginally prepared to be POTUS - like Ted Cruz.

Personally, I don't want a Clinton or a Bush in the White House again.  We have to break this cycle of dynasty-building.  It's not good for the country at all.

Sucks Being Poor
According to the McCarville Report, it looks like the Oklahoma GOP is in some debt - $50k in debt.  Apparently, David Weston wasn't the good steward of the GOP's cash flow during his term.  I guess what I don't understand is how the various committees at the GOP didn't catch it - or how the VP didn't have  clue that the party was in debt.  They have more committees there than Congress.  

Looks like there needs to be more fiscal accountability or we'll have another financial mess on our hands like we did before.  Remember this (a few familiar names)?

As McCarville states and I mentioned a week ago, Brogdon isn't likely to make the Chamber very happy and because of that, the dollars may not come flooding in like it used to.  In addition, the GOP pretty much runs the whole bloody state now, so there is probably questions in the minds of the average Sean,  "Be not afraid," Hannity Republican as to why the state GOP needs any cash whatsoever.  After all, Mission Accomplished, right?

Brogdon has already let go some of his staff to try and shave expenditures and being the penny-pinching hyper-conservative cat that he is, and all. Trey Richardson has decided to jump in and help the GOP by doing a little fundraising - something he is very good at, regardless of the political views of Randy Brogdon.  I've said it before and I will again, for all of the hardcore right wingers out there, you may have just kissed the pooch by electing your patron saint.  Everyone knows that money wins campaigns unless you're a door-knocking fool.

Of course, these are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but a really doubt it.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Hillary Is Here

Were there any of you who doubted that Hillary Clinton's Presidential bid?  I mean, really?  She has been preparing for this for a very long time and many Democratic pundits believe it's "her time."  Neither should we be surprised that the hit pieces are coming out like nuts.  Rand Paul, Republican candidate, has already taken a shot across the bow with an anti-Hillary ad.  The consultants have probably told him that he should try to make himself the frontrunner by posturing against Hillary.  I'm not so sure that technique really works.  The problem with all of the attacks on Hillary now is that by the time the election comes along, people will be sick unto the point of death with the negative ads.

Personally, I think it's going to come down to another Bush/Clinton showdown - and that is the very last thing this country needs.  In essence, the American people are going to be forced to choose between the lesser of two evils and I have no clue who will win that battle.  Jeb Bush is an opportunist, entitled, rich boy with more money than sense.  Hillary is an assertive woman who can be a real bitch.  So, there are our choices.  Pretty abysmal, isn't it?

The reason I think it will come down to the Bush/Clinton race is that the nomination has been, and always will be, about cash flow.  Whomever can raise the most money in the Republican Primary will win, whomever raises the most in the Democratic Primary will win.  It's a simple formula - money buys votes.

Hillary is not the Antichrist, neither is Jeb Bush.  They are just not what this country needs right now.  The growing threat of terrorism and the repercussions of a prolonged war in the sandbox are the things that need to be addressed and addressed quickly and effectively.  Neither Hillary nor Jeb will have that as their hot button talking points.  They will have their agendas, and here are some samples of what I believe Bush and Clinton will be putting out there for public consumption:

Bush:  Reversing Obamacare, lower taxes on the rich, oil subsidies, corporate welfare, downsizing government assistance to the poor, reversing environmental protection laws, partial amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Clinton:  Assault weapons ban, national gun registry, reduction of the DOD budget, increased entitlement spending, increased tax audits on large corporations, full amnesty for illegal immigrants

This election could serve to turn off even more voters.

Of course, it's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I doubt it.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Just $@%## Stop It!

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like people are getting increasingly pissed off about trivial issues that just a few years ago would have been overlooked completely.  For example, the President's people took a picture of him with a rainbow in the background and the Ridiculous Right have lost their bloody minds about it.  Why?  So what?  The POTUS can have his photograph taken wherever the hell he wants to - just like the average citizen.  It's asinine to go nuts over that silly garbage and a massive waste of energy.

And the right isn't the only segment of our population that has lost it, the leftist liberals are enjoying their time in the rubber room as well.  They have been going after Rand Paul as though he were the devil incarnate - probably at the behest of the Cruz campaign, of course.  And then there's the whole California drought situation.  The right says that it could be a man-made problem, the left is blaming it on climate change.  Look, if you move to a place where there isn't much water, STFU about not having water.  Move to where the water can be found.  (I still think we should give California to Mexico for a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a couple bags of Doritos.)  OR, work together to find a solution and shut the hell up.  You want to live there?  Fine, let's find a solution TOGETHER. 

Just stop it.  STOP IT.  %@%$# stop it.  

Yes, I have been a conservative cat for a while now, and I used to be a complete ass where politics is concerned.  Those days are over and that is it for me.  I may have strong opinions, but I just can't understand all of the useless debate, arguments, rending of clothes, and the gnashing of teeth.

Just stop it.  STOP IT.  %@%$# stop it. 

I saw a video on YouTube of a child no older than 5 years old who was crying because Obama got elected.  5 years old.  5!  What in the hell are we teaching our children?  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I remember my days in the United States Navy like they were yesterday and you don't go running your mouth about the POTUS just to be a dick.  Today, we're teaching our kids to have such amazingly strong opinions about things that they shouldn't even have to worry about.  What should be consuming that 5 year old?  Not politics, that is for certain.  Our daughters should be consumed with playing with her dolls, beating up her big brother, and playing with insects.

Just stop it.  STOP IT.  %@%$# stop it.

Maybe it's because I wake up every day, look at myself in the mirror and consider my mortality.  I know that my days are numbered and the last thing I want to do is to check out with bile in my mouth.  We are all human, we are not the sum total of our political leanings.  It's abject silliness to think otherwise.  So, what really does matter in life?
  • Family:  That doesn't necessarily mean blood-relations, but rather those whom you call "brother" or "sister" because there is love, concern, and a connection that transcends just a beer at a cookout.
  • Friends:  We can't live without friends, that's just the way it is.  Isolationism is a bitch and will take the human mind to horrible, scary places.  Our friends keep us balanced, provide us with unique insight on circumstances that perhaps we never saw before.
  •  Flowers:  Have you ever walked through a meadow and just smelled the inviting aroma of fresh flowers?  Don't give me any of that crap about allergies, either.  The life that flowers represent is cyclical, that no matter what, they'll be there for us next year.
  •  Religious Affections:  For many of us, spirituality is a driving force in our lives.  I'm not talking about going to some megachurch where you watch the entertainer/pastor bloviate about nonsensical, borderline theology.  I mean that spirituality, that connection with the Creator that is intimate, personal, and just between you and Him.  
  •  Children:  I don't care if you have children of your own or not,  we have to remember that we are leaving a pile of steaming cow poop for them to clean up, and that's just wrong.  If we can only pass down one thing to our kids, it should be the ability to love and forgive.  Everything else is just jibber jabber.  It's true - we need to teach our kids to act and live responsibly.  We have to teach them that the environment is, in fact, important no matter what Rush Limbaugh says.
  •  Forgiveness:  The world, humanity, needs more forgiveness.  I say this because if anyone needs forgiveness, it's me.  I have learned to forgive because it's just the right thing to do and it takes one hell of a load off of our shoulders. It takes enormous amounts of energy to get mad and stay mad.  It's goofiness.  Sure, I am far from perfect and I still have a truck load of stuff to work on, but darn it, I'm trying. 
  • Love:  I've learned that the epitome of love is the overwhelming desire to see the person who is the focal point of that love be truly happy.  It may cost us, but in the long run to see others happy is a reward in and of itself.  We are capable of amazing love, the kind of love that can change lives.  If we would choose to look at others through that lens, I think we could truly transform our communities. 
There comes a time in our lives, people, that we just have to put aside all of the fear-mongering, the hatred, the nastiness for nastiness' sake.  Seriously.  Look in the mirror.  No, really.  Look in the mirror.  Are you perfect?  Can you create something Ex nihilo (look it up)?   No.  You aren't perfect, your family isn't perfect, your spouse isn't perfect, your children aren't perfect, your job isn't perfect, your car is not perfect, your boobs aren't perfect, your hair isn't perfect, your neighborhood isn't perfect, your political party isn't perfect, and so on so forth.  Are you getting the picture here?

I am a 225lb pile of mess who makes mistakes almost hourly.  Nothing about my existence is of any more value than yours, friends.  The truth is that most days, I feel like the gum we get stuck on our shoes at the movie theater.  We all suck and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we will begin to see the true value of folks around us.

Where there is life, there is hope.  While we still have breath, we can reconcile, we can forget and forgive and just appreciate the NOW and let the future come as it may.  I know I am sounding like a hippie, but let me tell you, I would much rather spend my waning hours laughing and enjoying my friends and family rather than bitching about how bad others are.  Got it?

Of course, y'all know that I could be wrong, and often am.  I don't think so this time.

Butch "Gorilla" Black

Friday, April 10, 2015

Paul Wesselhoft Protests (Again)

It's rare when I post someone's press release, so when I do, it mean's y'all need to pay attention.  Paul Wesselhoft has taken on the ultimate King-maker in Oklahoma, David Boren.  As you will read in the press release (below), Wesselhoft has a long road ahead of him, however, he is spot on.

Contact: State Rep. Paul Wesselhöft
Capitol: (405) 557-7343

Wesselhöft to Protest Again

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Paul Wesselhöft announced today that he will be protesting at the Warren Theater in Moore during the Friday, April 10th afternoon showing of the movie Woman in Gold to raise more awareness of a Nazi stolen Jewish painting being displayed at the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art in Norman.

Woman in Gold is a 2015 movie portraying the true story of Maria Altmann, played by Helen Mirren, “an octogenarian Jewish refugee who takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family,” which was stolen by Nazis in Vienna before the start of World War II.

Wesselhöft has been protesting and encouraging the University of Oklahoma to turn over the painting they hold, an 1886 Camille Pissarro oil painting titled Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep, to Leone Meyer, a Jewish woman from Paris, whose family is the rightful owner, according to Wesselhöft.
Wesselhöft also protested the same cause during the film, Monuments Men before Moore police threatened him with an arrest.

Wesselhöft says, “President Boren is a good and decent man; I consider him my friend. Unfortunately, he is adhering to the advice of his attorneys.”

Randy Schoenberg, the American attorney who represented Altmann in the U.S. Supreme Court, said more effort needs to be made to return Nazi-looted art to its rightful owners.

“I have been repeatedly asked whether there are still other paintings yet to be returned to their rightful owners,” said Schoenberg. “The answer is, unfortunately, yes.”

“Unfortunately for Oklahomans, one of those Nazi stolen paintings is hanging in the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum at the University of Oklahoma,” said Wesselhöft, R-Moore.

“Ms. Meyer is 75 years old, and is legally and emotionally fighting to recover her father’s painting. She wants the painting returned to her family while she is able to enjoy it.

“Please contact University of Oklahoma President David Boren, and plead with him to make the right and moral decision not to litigate this for many years. He needs to make our state proud by giving this painting back to the Meyer family before Ms. Meyer dies.“

President David Boren
University of Oklahoma
660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-3916
Email: dboren@ou.edu
(Share this with your friends!)

National Sibling Day(s)

Me and my little brother.
It's another one of those "days" where some aspect of the human existence is highlighted, cherished, remembered, and proclaimed.  The mention of the day does take me back to the old days when Mom was still alive and Mark (my brother) and I fought, argued, but cared deeply about one another.  He's a good man today, a little quirky but he's got the same big heart that he was known for during our childhood.

After I left home and later joined the Navy, we sort of lost contact for quite some time and for that, I feel pretty guilty.  A lot happened to him during my absence and as I look back, were I to have been there, his life path would have been different, and I probably would have ended up in prison.  He had been wronged by a number of people, including family members whom I believe will pay a price for how they treated the lad.

Today, he lives in Vancouver, WA and I hope to see him again and hug his neck.  I abhor where he is in his life today, even though he says he's comfortable.  I love that kid.

Me and my "brother," Wayne.
The "National Sibling Day" brings to recollection by cousin, Wayne.  He and I were always hanging out together, causing trouble.  He was really more like a brother to me than he was a cousin.  Wayne had a great sense of humor, was always up for fun and something different.  I can remember vividly how he would call me about some of the punks in his neighborhood giving him grief, and I would end up over at his place, silencing the bullies on his behalf. 

He was really my best friend whose smile and laugh could light up a room.  After I joined the Navy, I changed home ports and moved to San Diego, he and his wife Jodi continued their relationship and had two awesome boys.  Somewhere along the line, Wayne dove into alcohol, some drugs, and it eventually killed him.  You see, consuming lots of alcohol while being diabetic will only serve to kill you.   I miss him and I feel guilty for not being there for him during the tough times.  Even so, the memories of our relationship will last forever and I am hopeful to see him again someday. 

Even if we don't have biological siblings, there are those who so greatly impact our lives that the mere thought of them makes us smile.  We have them in our lives from our youth, and we do today.  Look around you and consider the great number of friends you have whom you adore and smile.  Let someone know that you appreciate them, that they mean something to you that transcends mere friendship. 

Trust me, if you don't do it right now, today, you may live to regret it and only wish that you would have.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.