151 Band

Friday, June 25, 2010

Some Things Stir Such Emotion...

Global warming.  Oil spill.  ANWR.  Environmentalists.  PETA.  Lady Gaga.  They all invoke such emotion on both sides of any argument so as to almost be spiritual.  The same thing goes for music. 

Not really sure, but Hanson is one of those bands that you either love or hate.  For your benefit, and perhaps your listening enjoyment or displeasure...here is your Friday moment of Hanson Zen.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Daily Moment of Zen

One of the funniest videos I have ever seen.

Ban Puppy Mill Lemon Drops

It is amazing how much information there is available in this great big world of ours.  Every day represents a new learning opportunity and for me, today was one of those moments.

I asked the question to my friends on Facebook as to which store had the best candy selection:  Walgreen's or CVS.  The following conversation took place:
Walgreens has fair trade chocolate, dunno about CVS. I don't recommend slave labor chocolate or toxic candy. :)

I've never heard of "fair trade chocolate" or "slave labor chocolate." Is that kind of like "puppy mill lemon drops?

Seriously? Most of our chocolate comes from the ivory coast and is grown using child and slave labor. Fair trade chocolate is like fair trade anything else, it means no child labor and fair wages and safe working conditions. Some (including myself) called it blood chocolate when it's not fair trade. It's a TERRIBLE thing.
At first, I thought she was joking, but apparently, she was and is very serious.  I had no idea.  Slave labor for chocolate...what in the heck is going on in this world?

Thanks for the heads-up, Lisa and your great sense of humor.

For the record, I oppose slave labor as well as puppy mill lemon drops.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty Endorses Mary Fallin

Here is the video from his endorsement...

Is HD31 Candidate Jones Missing Something?

Candidates have been known to embellish and even go a little over the top in their criticism of their opponents, but in House District 31, one particular candidate has truly taken the problem to a new level.

A.J. Jones, candidate attempting to unseat incumbent Representative Jason Murphey has reportedly been sharing some incredibly inaccurate information regarding the Campus Concealed Carry Bill, allegedly telling people that her "opponent wants to arm students."  Unfortunately, Jones is stretching the truth more than just a bit if this is truly what she is saying.

The Campus Concealed Carry Bill, authored by Murphey, allowed for members of the military to carry on campus as well as faculty if they so chose.  The fact of the matter is that "students" may be eligible to carry a firearm if they meet federal requirements...to be at least 21 years of age and completed an SDA course.

Jones has evidently drank the Kool-Aid of the far left and those who believe our institutions of higher learning to be sacred, the most holy of all ground.  If Jones is, in fact, spreading such hyperbole it shows her lack of qualifications for the State House - and perhaps even her ability to read.

More to follow...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clarification From Mayor Mick

Sometimes, you read stories, quote from stories only to find that the stories themselves don't tell the whole story.  After I posted my commentary this morning (MAPS3:  Paying The Price), I received a call from Mayor Mick who promised to send me some data regarding that which appeared left out of the story from the Oklahoman (quoted).  Here is what the Mayor sent:

Use tax is the companion to the sales tax.  It is applied to purchases made on out-of-state goods, and is generally paid by businesses. 

Prior to the December 8 vote, City leaders promised to apply the MAPS 3 use tax to fund 30 public safety positions.  With the passage of the FY2011 City budget on June 15, the MAPS 3 use tax is now in fact funding 100 public safety positions.  

If MAPS 3 had failed, the use tax would not exist, and the City would have no choice but to lay off those 100 uniformed public safety officers who will be paid in FY2011 by the MAPS 3 use tax.    Though some vacant positions will be cut, no officers currently in place will lose their jobs.

The City has made an offer to the public safety unions to restore some or all of the vacant positions if the unions will accept some reasonable adjustments in pay and benefits.   Those negotiations will continue, but with the start of FY2011 approaching on July 1, the City had no choice under state law but to go ahead and adopt a budget in the meantime that cut those vacant positions.  If the unions accept the offer, even if all adjustments come in salary, both police and fire will still receive average gross pay in excess of $70,000 annually (not including benefits).
I appreciate Mayor Mick sending me some additional information.  Let me know your thoughts.

Oklahoman's Ed Kelley: "Tuition increases are a bargain."

The OU Board of Regents will be meeting to decide just how things are going to go and more than likely, costs are going to go up.  In a video found HERE, the Oklahoman's Ed Kelley discusses how Oklahoma, compared to the rest of the nation, has a better value for higher education.

It's an old tactic - comparative analysis.  Compared to Colorado, our average median income is at the bottom of the barrel.  Compared to California colleges, our tuition rates are relatively low and the increases families will experience this fall at OU will be minimal.  Compared to the rest of the Big 12, OU rates are at the bottom of the barrel.  Compared to the Prius, the Chevy Avalanche gets crap mileage. 

And so on, so forth.

But Oklahomans have gotten used to such a comparative analysis and we're smarter than that.  Back in the day, we had the opportunity to increase our gasoline taxes because we needed roads and bridge work and "compared to the rest of the region," we needed to spend more.  Poppycock.  And the voters shot it down like a Bob White Quail on opening day.

Guys like Ed Kelley don't really have to worry about just how much higher education will cost their children because frankly, they can more than afford it.  The average Oklahoman, however, becomes infuriated at the cost of the increases and largely blames the legislature for turning control back over to the Regents to increase tuition rates whenever and however they feel necessary. 

MAPS 3: Paying the Price

Like it or not, MAPS 3 has not accomplished what was promised.  There were promises that public safety would not be impacted, but there is this statement in a Bryan Dean story in the Oklahoman:

City officials said they will add uniformed police and fire positions if the unions accept pay cuts.
As it stands, 22 vacant police and 29 fire positions will be cut, though no police or firefighters will be laid off.
Sounds like extortion to me. 

The City of Oklahoma City has pushed aggressively to promote downtown, to promote Bricktown and there is no question that our "star is on the rise" in Central Oklahoma, but at the end of the day, consumers are paying the price and without strong public safety, it makes it exceptionally difficult to draw new businesses to the area.

People who have previously supported the MAPS projects are beginning to have that bitter taste in their mouths, realizing that while they have gained an NBA team and now a hockey team, the cost has been high and are backing away quietly from their support.  And it comes at a very bad time for Central Oklahoma as we're looking to find a way to fund a new county jail. 

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett more than likely has sealed the deal on ever running for higher public office again.  But working for one of the nation's most aggressive and fast growing advertising agencies has proven to be much more lucrative.  Why would he want to? 

The guy to watch amid this whole mess is David Holt, candidate for Senate District 30 who is Mick Cornett's Chief of Staff.  If there is to be blowback, his campaign will be the first to experience it.  If there is no real anymosity, he'll sail through to victory and find himself without an opponent in November, thereby being the man to replace term-limited State Senator Coffee.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Polls on Father's Day? Seriously?

Watching a little television as the house fills with the aroma of Swedish Meatballs, and the phone rings.  The caller ID says it's from Seattle, so I immediately think that perhaps a family member from the great Northwest is calling to see how things are going.  But no.

It was a polling company asking about the GOP primary.

The polling was related to two races; Attorney General and State Treasurer.  The polling was fair in their description of the four candidates, identifying their former status as elected officials as well as their current jobs.

For Attorney General:
Scott Pruitt
Ryan Leonard

For State Treasurer:
Owen Laughlin
Ken Miller

I just found it interesting that they chose to make the call on Father's Day.

Fabulous Father's Day

Grill tools, candy, and a promise of Swedish Meatballs for dinner is what greeted me on this Father's Day.  And then, this commercial came on the television and it is a celebration of all things "Dad" as far as I am concerned.  Join me...