I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blair, Caudill, Reynolds Go Down

The Tuesday runoff election was one of the most entertaining to watch in a very long time.  While the voter turnout stank to high heaven, the results were surprising to say the least.  It's sad to see so few people heading to the polls but given the political climate, we should expect as much.  Campaigns have become mud slinging propaganda-fests that are void of truth and reality and most often filled to overflowing in lies and deceit.  

The 20-year incumbent in the County Clerk's office was unseated by a business owner who is best known for his trumpet and not for his prowess in political affairs.  Not only was Caudill defeated, but David Hooten beat her with an almost 2-to-1 ratio.  Caudill's office has been plagued with problems for many years; hell, I remember pointing out problems with her office back when I was the afternoon drive host on WKY.  There were those who thought I was being too mean, but it turns out that I was spot on in my analysis.  Caudill will, of course, get to take her retirement and ride off into the sunset but she will be riding out of town on a hog rather than a steed.  Hooten will take over in January and he will have his hands full.  Not saying that the County Clerk post is the most difficult and complex in all of County government, but it is certainly one of serious responsibility and sitting on the Budget Board to allocate dollars to and fro can be a daunting task.  Will he rubber-stamp the desires of the senior members of the Board or will he trumpet reform and accountability (see what I did there)?

Former State Representative Mike Reynolds ran for Cleveland County Court Clerk and was defeated by almost 1,000 votes by Marilyn Williams.  Reynolds was known for his "smaller government" stances while in the House of Representatives.  There were plenty Republicans in Cleveland County who were shocked that Reynolds lost to Williams and they will probably analyze that race for many weeks to come.  Williams went after Reynolds on her Facebook page calling him a "career politician," which is terribly ironic because Reynolds advocated for smaller government; except where he decides to run apparently.  No doubt we'll see Reynolds again somewhere because he is very active in the GOP and rather enjoys politics.  

The biggest and most fascinating race was Senate District 41 in Edmond where Air Force pilot Adam Pugh faced the Goliath that is the former football player-turned-pastor, Paul Blair.  Blair racked up a ton of endorsements including those from members of the State House and the former "Dr. No" of Congress, Tom Coburn.  In the past, an endorsement from Coburn almost guaranteed a victory. Blair even received the endorsement of Congressman Steve Russell who was involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein!  Blair also picked up the endorsement of former Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane and current Oklahoma County Democrat District Attorney David Prater.  Neither endorsement carried enough weight to push Blair beyond the relative newcomer, Adam Pugh.  Somehow, Pugh became the David of this David and Goliath match up and came out on top. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Good News Wednesday

Bad news, negative news, and depressing news have dominated this week and it has worn me slick.  Every now and again, we just need positive things to say to each other and to read about.  Today, I am doing my level best to provide something a little different to read and maybe put a smile on your face.  Let's start with police shootings...

Shootings:  The police officers killed in cold blood this last week were and are being memorialized in their communities and it is right that they be honored.  As a result of the shooting, those communities have largely rallied their support for the families of the officers and while their deaths are tragic and deplorable, people are starting to see just how dangerous the work of law enforcement can be and hopefully, are seeing how important a part of our society they are.  I know that I make sure that I stop and thank them whenever I see them for putting their lives on the line every day for people like you and me.

RNC:  Yes, it has been a circus and a series of mistakes and silly behavior, but we had the opportunity to meet the Trump family and get to know them just a little better.  So far, Donald's son has stolen the show and won the hearts of the GOP faithful.  See?  That's good news!  Oklahoma's Governor Mary Fallin will also get a chance to shine for a few minutes before The Donald's speech tomorrow evening as well, and let's face it; our Governor is a media darling.  

New 9 Street View (or something):  News 9 was showing off their new digital gadgetry for their helicopter today and to be honest, it's pretty cool.  As the camera man pans across the land, the streets and businesses show up superimposed on the area itself.  Imagine a see-through Google map overlay of the terrain and then, you will understand.  It is a big deal for law enforcement and for first responders who are chasing a bag guy, that's for sure  It is also going to come in handy on their storm chasing weather moments.  Plus, Oklahoma City is the first city to have such wizardry.  

Maybe I'm getting old or sentimental, but like the song goes, "we're all in this together," and political party doesn't matter where lives are at stake.  We all know better.   Let me leave you with this:

It could always be worse.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened at the GOP Convention

The entertainment level at the GOP Convention in Cleveland may take the title of "greatest show on earth" soon because the hits and misses just keep coming.  Whether it be the Colorado delegates stomping their feet and marching out of the Conventional Hall like a bunch of dope-smoking weenies, you have the doggone POTUS candidate's wife using Michelle Obama's speech!  What a bloody train wreck it has been and we've only just begun!  It is hilarious and tragically sad at the same time.  

It's insanity.  It's as thought the whole of the convention has been turned over to the children who are busy playing with their crayons and wetting their pants.

There is even a contingent who are staying away from the convention, headed up by the ever-pathetic John Kasich from Ohio who is by far the most liberal Republican to come of out the Republican Party in the last two decades.  Key Senators are avoiding the convention and it simply makes them look like petulant children who can't stand the heat and only proves that the people did the right thing by not voting for them at the polls (particularly Kasich).

And speaking of foot-stomping points of interest...

State Senator wanna-be Paul Blair, who happens to also be the pastor of one of Edmond's more active Baptist churches had a meeting/press conference where announced that his opponent had slandered him because of a photoshopped picture of the Pastor Blair.  Well, first, he's a public figure and as a result is open to be lampooned predicated on the 1st Amendment of the Constitution that he claims to have read and so vehemently supports.  Second, It is highly doubtful that his opponent has the ability to use Photoshop itself but rather an opponent of the former football player turned pastor turned candidate for State Senator.  

From the Oklahoman: 
Blair said Pugh’s supporters have also posted on social media that he has ties to Kansas’ Westboro Baptist Church.  
“These kind of baseless vile accusations can destroy a man’s reputation forever. And can destroy the reputation of a church forever,” Blair said Monday afternoon from the fourth floor press room inside the Oklahoma state Capitol. 
Pastor Blair had for himself quite the all-star lineup backing him; he had Congressman Steve Russell, term-limited House Rep Kevin Calvey, and other supporters by his side when he proclaimed that his opponent had slandered him.  The Scripture is clear about issues between brothers that they are supposed to take issues to one another in private and then if it isn't resolved, kick it up a notch.  Seems to me that Blair ignored the very Scriptures he preaches from.  

But I could be wrong.  One of the "tricks" in talk radio is to have someone known to the host call in to the show to disagree and to so with tenacity.  The aggregate result is that the loyal listeners circle the wagons and call in to support the talk show host.   Blair would never do that with his campaign, would he?  I don't think so.  

Blair doth protest too much, methinks.  You have to ask yourself why a former football player who heard the "call from God" to be in ministry now thinks the time has come to move to the realm of elected office.  From what I recall about the New Testament, Matthew 23 was pretty clear about what Jesus thought of the religious/political leaders of his day.  Thought the role of the Church was to make disciples, care for the sick, the elderly, the poor, the widows...not push for voters.  And he's talking about "slander?"  What?  He wants to be a State Senator but the pastor seems to have thinner skin than when he played football.

But what do I know?

On another local runoff front, things have been pretty quiet in the Oklahoma County Clerk race.  The embattled incumbent of about a hundred years, Carolynn Caudill, will  be facing trumpet-player and musician to the elected elite, David B. Hooten.  Hooten ran for the State Senate a couple years back and lost and now he found himself in a runoff with seasoned campaigner, Carolynn Caudill.  If Hooten thinks that she's just going to lay down and do nothing, he has a few things to learn about the incumbent County Clerk and her supporters who are already elected down at the County.  This is not going to be a walk in the park for the newcomer, but the talk is that he has former Speaker of the House Lance Cargill running his campaign.  This one has the potential to be an awesome race or fizzle and be a dud.  Wooten tends to be a bit soft-spoken, but giving credit where credit is due, the musician has gained the endorsements of former Governor Frank Keating and Governor Mary Fallin which means he must be pretty tough.  Hooten has the chance to blow Caudill out of the water, but he is going to have to start sounding his horn (see what I did there?).care 

Of course, my opinions don't really amount to much these days and I've been horribly wrong in the past.

The whole political climate right now is very sad and frightening for the GOP; or at least it should be.  The future of the party depends on its ability to be more inclusive, to recruit more women to run for office, and to have more people of color run and actually receive the support of their respective party offices.  So far, we're coming off like a bunch of xenophobic, redneck, racist dingleberries who are completely out of touch with culture.  Something has to be done and it isn't going to come from plagiarism nor will it come from pastors who are jumping the pulpit to run for public office.  

These are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but, in this case it is highly unlikely.

Ron "Gorilla" Black

Friday, July 08, 2016

We Never Learn

I woke up to the news this morning that 12 police officers had been shot and five were killed in the line of duty.  Apparently, a couple snipers took them out during a rally in the city of Dallas.  I watched the television with my mind racing but my heart saddened for this country and sad for all of the victims of gun violence over the last week.  It was one of those moments where I was almost speechless.  

The reactions have been predictable; some are blaming guns themselves as though they were/are self aware and that the only way to repair the damage is to increase gun control laws.  On the other hand, there are a few who are taking it in stride as though the events were merely casualties of freedom.  What is truly disturbing to me are the number of people who are trying to blame everyone; as though the guy down the street is responsible for shoplifting in Ardmore.  

No, we are not all to blame.  As a matter of fact the only people who are at fault are those who pulled the trigger and committed acts of murder.  Those people are responsible for the lives they took and should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.  And don't blame the gun culture.  The guns used by law enforcement to kill innocents were assigned to them appropriately and history indicates that these officers had been investigated for excessive force previously.  It isn't the "gun culture," but rather the "idiot culture" that has seemed to permeate the fabric of society.  

It's a lesson that we never seem to learn; we try to blame everyone but the individuals directly responsible.  It's as though we feel that every tragedy is a mandate for some massive legislative shift when in fact, it's simply an example of how idiots behave when left to their own devices.  There are no laws against being an idiot, but when that idiot breaks existing laws, they should be prosecuted appropriately.  It doesn't make sense to take away the freedoms of all just because of an idiot.  

After the events of this last week, the hope is that we pull our collective heads out of our butts and begin to work together to address the disease of our culture rather than treating symptoms.  Here are some suggestions from your friendly Gorilla:

1.  Contact:  We need more time in person with one another.  Socialization that transcends social media will begin the process of experiencing the world outside of our little Facebook bubble.

2.  Compassion:  We are all created in the "imago Dei," (image of God) and need to express a little compassion towards one other once in a while.  If we have more human contact, compassion will be a natural result.  

3.  Common Ground:  When interacting with those around us, it's important to find common ground.  Rather than looking for things that separate us or divide us, diligently search for aspects of our human existence that tie us together.

There are exceptions, of course, and sometimes we will be able to identify the idiots who will never learn and in the process, we'll teach ourselves how to deal with them.

Of course, these are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but it's doubtful.  

Ron "Gorilla" Black