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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Observations

The City:  As Mike McCarville and others have suggested, the nickname for Oklahoma City should be "The Big Friendly."  I tend to agree.  Oklahoma City is, by far, one of the friendliest, most welcoming communities I have ever experienced.  I do love my home state of Washington, but being adopted by brothers and sisters in Oklahoma has been an immeasurable blessing to me and my family.

The State Government:  Wish I could say that we all got what we wanted, but that just isn't the case.  This legislative session has seen more jockeying for position than the last leg of the Kentucky Derby.  A cursory glance at Republican leadership in both the House and the Senate sees a multitude of men and women desirous of higher office and the type of legislation they have presented only serves to prove my point.  I would propose that men and women running for office right now sign a pledge that they desire no higher office than that which they seek right now - it may cull the herd a bit as it were.

The Federal Government:  The Feds have their fingers in just about every pie now, and the sticky residue is beginning to be felt on the flesh of every American.  Never mind the fact that we have boots on the ground in foreign lands, trying to defend our freedoms...what seems to matter is nothing short of expansion of scope and reach of the federal government.  This is an election year and the cocky majority in Washington is about to get their hands slapped by the American voter.  The sad thing is that like Republican majorities before, they still don't "get it."  But they are about to.

Twitterama:  It's amazing to see how many people are using social networking to air their frustrations, to share concerns and to just let loose.  If you're interested, follow me HERE on Twitter and HERE on Facebook.

Illegal Immigration Laughs:  Arizona passes sweeping illegal immigration regulations and of course, the Obama Administration has criticized it, implying that it may not meet Constitutional muster.  Well, that is yet to be seen but there is an interesting quote in the Washington Post that pretty much says it all, and underscores, in my opinion, why we need it. 
"It's going to change our lives," said Emilio Almodovar, a 13-year-old American citizen from Phoenix. "We can't walk to school any more. We can't be in the streets anymore without the pigs thinking we're illegal immigrants."
"Pigs."  Law enforcement are "pigs."  A throw-back to the 1960's anti-war movement, a 13 year-old kid calls the police "pigs."  Personally, I believe that now is the time for the 14th Amendment to be clarified and the whole concept of birthright citizenship to be challenged.  Parents to children who are born in the United States but who are illegal immigrants are hardly "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."  A good example of this is when Governor Henry sent a Mexican citizen back to Mexico who was supposed to fact the death penalty for crimes here in the United States.

Waiting For the Other Shoe To Drop:  There have been rumors upon rumors that public safety is about to take a major hit in Central Oklahoma, but it appears as though those rumors were far less than substantive.  Which is why it's important to check sources, to ensure the information is reliable and that perhaps someone doesn't have an agenda in spreading said rumors.

I am sure there will be more later on today...keep checking back!


Layers of the Onion

I like onions.  I like them grilled, fried and baked in meatloaf.  One thing about onions; the closer you get to the center, the stronger it gets.

Some who have followed ronblackradio.com and my Facebook page know full well some of the interesting drama that has ensued over the last couple weeks and with each passing day, the revelations and depth of understanding has been increasingly powerful and like the onion, stronger and more pungent an odor as we get to the bottom of some of the issues swirling around the two girls who now call our home their home.

On one hand, we have a 13 year-old girl who has never really had the opportunity apparently to just be a kid.  Spend merely 10 minutes with her and you realize that this young lady has a very "old soul" and has had to witness and endure difficulty more troubling than someone twice her age.  You can see in her eyes pain of not only losing her mother a few short weeks ago, but something else darker, more sinister and with each passing day, she is becoming more and more comfortable in sharing with us what she has faced.  And it really, really pisses me off. 

On the other hand, there is a bright, smiling little 7 year-old who seems to be completely oblivious to the magnitude of her loss.  She is opening up more, sharing what she has seen and experienced but there is a kind of "above it all" look in her eyes that hints at what she really knows, but is not yet at a place to put all the pieces together.

And then there's the whole "blended family thing" where my kids and Shawnnessy's kids are getting to know one another and developing boundaries and working amongst themselves to develop a sort of pecking order.  Interestingly enough, they are all alpha-personalities so it makes it rather entertaining to watch.

Earplugs are often a necessity.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll share more with you about the wackiness, the triumphs and some of the tears shed regarding this new familial dynamic in which we find ourselves.  Brace yourselves...it's going to be a challenge.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Oklahoma Wildlife Department Announces Season Dates

The following is from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website:

Spring 2010 Season: April 6- May 6, 2010
SQUIRREL: May 15, 2010 - Jan. 31, 2011; statewide

FALL 2010 September 4 & 5: Free hunting days for Oklahoma residents, a hunting license, legacy permit and HIP permit are not required.

ANTELOPE ARCHERY: Sept. 13-26 (Only in open areas)
BEAR ARCHERY: Oct. 1-22, 2010 (Only in open counties)
BEAR MUZZLELOADER: Oct. 23-31, 2010 (only in open counties)
CROW: Oct. 10 - Nov. 16, 2010 and Dec. 9, 2010 - Mar. 4, 2011; statewide DOVE: Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 (70-day season) Statewide (excluding southwest zone) Southwest zone: Will not be announced until August/September.

DEER SEASONS: The archery deer season runs from Oct 1 through Jan 15.

The muzzleloading season opens on the fourth Saturday in October and runs for nine days.

The deer gun season opens the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs for 16 days.

ARCHERY: Oct. 1 - 2010-Jan. 15, 2011
MUZZLELOADING: Oct. 23 - 31, 2010 (Antlerless days vary by zone) GUN: Nov. 20 - Dec. 5, 2010 (Antlerless days vary by zone)
YOUTH DEER GUN: Oct. 15-17, 2010; statewide

HOLIDAY ANTLERLESS DEER GUN SEASON: Dec. 17 - 26 (Open only in certain zones). Antlerless deer hunting dates for 2010-2011 muzzleloader and modern gun season:

Zone 1 will be open Nov. 20 and Dec. 5, 2010, of the deer gun season and the limit will be one antlerless deer.

Zones 2, 7 and 8 will be open Oct. 23 to Oct. 31 (all of muzzleloader) and Nov. 20 to Dec. 5, 2010 (all of gun). The limit will be two antlerless deer during muzzleloader and two antlerless deer during gun season.

Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 will be open to antlerless hunting Oct. 23 – Oct. 31 (all of muzzleloader) and Nov. 20 – Dec. 5, 2010 (all of gun). The limit will be one antlerless deer during muzzleloader season and one antlerless deer during gun season.

Zone 10 will be open Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 29-31, 2010 (muzzleloader) and Nov. 20, 27 and Dec. 5, 2009 (gun). The limit will be one antlerless deer during muzzleloader season and one antlerless deer during gun season. 2010 Antlerless Deer Zone Map

PHEASANT: Dec. 1, 2010 - Jan. 31, 2011 Open only in designated areas (Hunting Guide)
QUAIL: Nov. 13, 2010 - Feb. 15, 2011; statewide (second Sat in November thru Feb 15.)
Cottontail & Swamp Oct. 1, 2010 - Mar. 15, 2011; statewide
Jackrabbit Oct. 1, 2009 - Mar. 15, 2010 (west of I-35 only); no open season on jackrabbits east of I-35. SQUIRREL: May 15, 2010 - Jan. 31, 2011; statewide
TURKEY: Check regulations pertaining to individual counties. Fall 2010 Season: Gun: Nov. 1 - Nov. 19; open only in select counties. Archery: Oct 1, 2010 - Jan. 15, 2011; statewide
SPRING 2011 TURKEY Special 2011 Youth Turkey Season: April 2-3, 2011 Spring 2011 Season: April 6- May 6, 2011; Statewide
SQUIRREL: May 15, 2011 - Jan. 31, 2012; statewide

Sorting It All Out

So, I had this Blogger site for a couple years now, but just haven't had the opportunity to get it up and running. Having www.ronblackradio.com up and running for as long as I have, it seemed more than enough for me to handle - and then there's Facebook and the like.

Oh, and that thing called "life" with which to deal as well.

I have found some advantages here, however, that I think will be fun to use. Such as the "Networked Blogs" concept wherein it posts automatically to my social networking pages and I can link and direct folks to other pages as well.

Now, the trick is getting this page to update my website as well...


Revisited: Stop Talking

I still get stopped at the grocery store, the mall or even the video store by people who ask, "Hey, you're the Gorilla, aren't you?" I don't mind it too much because it is always entertaining to reconnect with people who either saw me on WILD Oklahoma TV or on Fox News as a political analyst or who have been fans of my former radio show. Inevitably, we end up talking about politics, the current state of the media and the conversation typically ends with, "Damn, I wish you were back doing the afternoon drive slot somewhere...we need some intelligence instead of talking points."

Typically, I take it as a compliment, but more often that not I remind people that there is this massive expanse of dialog called the "Internet" where ideas are exchanged and discussed and are often quite intelligent. Of course, sometimes not so much.

There is a lot of chatter, a lot of talk that really amounts to just jibber-jabber. One personality was justifying threats of physical violence to members of Congress, another was talking about how important it was that we consider storming Washington because of the health care bill. It got so overwhelming at one point, I finally wrote a column on my blog and basically demanded that people "put up or shut up." In my advancing age, my tolerance for intellectual bovine fecal matter has become increasingly short.

Quit talking. Do something. I end the conversation by encouraging people to "get involved." I don't care if we agree or disagree politically, just get active. Do not lack the courage of your convictions.

This week has been a very trying but very blessed one for the Black household. Just yesterday, we were granted temporary guardianship of two very special, very sad little girls whose mother passed away on Tuesday under less than favorable conditions. A 13 year-old and a 7 year-old found themselves without a Mom, without any familial leadership or "covering" as the Scripture discusses and my wife and I became pretty much the only resource these two amazing girls had at their disposal.

Mind you, we have only been married since March 17th. We are still adjusting our family, going through the phase where the blended family becomes a reality and we work together to smooth over the rough spots.

Fundamentally, Shawnnessy and I were not really prepared whatsoever for law enforcement and government agencies to tell us that we were very much the last stop on the road to state custody of these two girls.

We prayed together, talked with my pastor and we realized that we were compelled by God himself to act. Financially, it's tough. Hell, it's tough already in this economy and the "flesh" would seem to dictate that having two more children in our lives was an insane idea, something that is absolutely ludicrous. But spritually speaking, it was the only choice. The only thing that mattered - and matters now - was to provide these girls with an environment where they know without hesitation they are loved and cared for.

We filed yesterday, and received, temporary guardianship of the girls.

I say this not to boast of some hyper-spirituality on my part because if you truly know me, you know that I believe that when Paul called himself the "chief of all sinners," he simply left out the comments about Ron Black being first runner-up. I share this with you to perhaps encourage you to act when you have the chance. Don't sit back and talk about it.

Forgive my rambling...it's been a long week and sleep has been rather elusive.

You can make a difference - just don't talk about it. DO something. I am convinced that when people empty themselves and meet need, the mystery of the Cross is revealed.


Revisited: A coin in the coffer rings...

Johann Tetzel was a Dominican monk who was allegedly the motivation for the writing of Martin Luther's "95 Theses" nailed to the door at Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. Luther's intent was to reform the church from the selling of indulgences, to call into question some of the financial practices therein. The aggregate result was not the reformation of the Church, but rather the Protestant Reformation itself.

Thus, the rule of unintended consequences.

In my opinion, the consequences reclaimed the ideology of sovereign grace, the priesthood of all believers, the supremacy of the Scriptures, the belief that faith alone in Christ alone were all good things. But to say that there weren't bad things is to hold the protestant reformation in far too high regard. No doubt, the Peasant War that came about was terrible and even Luther mentioned that the pastorate had learned to "live as pigs" as the protestant churches sprung up all across Europe.

So, you take both the good with the bad.

Today, there is very little difference between the indulgence-peddlers of the 16th Century and the politics of today. It is a foregone conclusion that many in this great nation consider partisan politics to be a religious experience, the rallies and gatherings resembling a hyped-up religious worship service with music and guest "preachers" who push forth their message of salvation through political activism. The attendees walk away feeling charged up emotionally, a heightened desire to "do something," though that "something" has yet to be determined.

Rather like loading up a hyperactive child on candy, coffee and energy drinks and turning him loose in the back yard to go play.

The tune, "when a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs" has been replaced with a more familiar, less foreboding tune entitled, "Constitutional conservatives are we." The verses themselves and harmonies have yet to be worked out fully, but the message of political salvation is still the same. Which part of the Constitution we need to "restore" is really irrelevant in this religious movement because to discuss specifics would be very much like arguing how many angels could - or should - dance on the head of a pin.

But we all know that dancing is of the devil so it's a moot point. But I digress.

In all fairness, there are serious problems within the GOP and the problem begins with the mindset that the GOP is, in and of itself, able to save us. The GOP has no Christological merit any more than the Democratic Party has saved the poor from poverty. As a matter of fact, THE Christ warned us that "the poor you will have with you always." The GOP is becoming as fractured and splintered as the Church did in the 16th Century, but the split of the Church actually had and has for some, eternal consequence.

At a recent Bible study, we discussed whether or not at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the tables would be garnished with American flags and segregated by political affiliation. We all agreed, thankfully, that it would not.

We agreed that Matthew 22 is pretty clear about "rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" and it makes sense, and we also agreed that Paul's declaration of priorities regarding the Christian's view of government is also important as stated in Romans 13. Most importantly, we agreed that the Constitution is not to be considered canon nor should be added to the accepted books of the Bible - contrary to popular "Constitutional conservative" world views.

No militia necessary.

There are a multitude of meritorious aspects of various political movements in contemporary America to be certain. Less wasteful government benefits everyone and in this time of fiscal crisis, the concept of good financial stewardship is critical for our future success. The fact that some who have been disengaged from the political process over the years are now coming forward and taking part in the process is a good thing that benefits every American whether we accept that fact or not.

There are good candidates for political office running right now and each are doing so for their own reasons and only the Father can determine just what their desires are and will be in the future. I have candidates I support and my reasons are often very clear - but I also know that all of them are human, fallen creatures who are created in the Imago Dei.

At the heart of the issue is just that - our hearts. If we realize that in many ways, we're polishing the proverbial brass on the Titanic, it makes it all much easier to swallow from a theological perspective. We know that we can be active in politics but we also should know that politics themselves are not salvific.

It's just my opinion, my take on things, and I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.

Ron "Gorilla" Black

A Fresh Start

Trying out the new Blogger system...