I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering, Living

Nine years later, the visuals of the planes crashing into the Pentagon, the Twin Towers and the news of the plan downed in Pennsylvania are still heart-wrenching.  They still evoke pain and anguish.  They anger us - or at least, they should.

Americans should never forget the attacks on our soil, nor should we forget the images of our troops being burned and dragged through the streets...we should never forget.

But we must survive, we must move on and we bitch-slap the terrorists by living and doing so victoriously.  They bottom-feeding piles of human waste whose very existence is a pimple on the ass of humanity, are nothing more than terrorists with great jealousy and fear.  They are jealous of the freedom we experience, they are afraid of the power and strength of free men and women.

Today, we remember and today, we live.  We honor the memory of those who were lost some nine years ago by continuing our resolve to be free, to have and bathe in so great a liberty given to us by the Creator himself.

Amen?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jari Fights Back

Enjoy...

Weekend Movie Rentals

As the weekend approaches, one of the things the cash-strapped Black household does is head either to the Red Box or to Family Video to round up some movies for the weekend.  It's a long standing tradition and I thought I would share some of the good, the bad and the ugly with you.

The Good
Sherlock Holmes:  Doesn't matter how many times you watch this movie, there will always be something new that you may have missed.  And, it's kid-friendly.

After Life:  Completely NOT kid-friendly, but an excellent movie that is scary at moments, but also intellectually stimulating.  The contemplation of what takes place after death is fascinating.   Ricci is nude throughout most of the movie as the majority of the scenes take place in a mortuary after a horrible car accident wherein she is being prepared for burial.  Liam Neeson plays the odd mortician in this very strange and twisting movie.  Put the kids to bed and enjoy.

The Wicker Man:  Cage is phenomenal in this film, with plot twists that keep you going until the ending.  Not for everyone, but the movie has moments that just suck you in - you feel the anguish of a man on the hunt for a girl whom he learns is, in fact, his daughter.  

The Book of Eli:  Denzel is, well, Denzel and this movie has action and a plot that is absolutely phenomenal.  Most of you have probably already seen it, but I recommend watching it again.

I Am Sam:  Okay, Sean Penn is a liberal wack-job who even most liberals can't stand but he is a great actor and he portrays a developmentally disabled man who has a daughter and chronicles his fight to keep his daughter.  I didn't want to watch this one but the girls in the house convinced me.  I ended up really enjoying this film even though I did catch myself weeping a bit.

Clockwork Orange:  A cult classic and always good for a late evening with the spouse or significant other.  Twisted, yes.  Sick, yes.  But a film that will make you think and clearly, was way ahead of its time. NOT kid-friendly.

Avatar:  Forget the whole hyper-conservative hooplah about the movie being "anti-this" or "anti-that."  It's truly a good movie that is long, but at the end, you're glad you watched it.  I thought it was well produced and had story lines that were clearly unbelievable, but very entertaining nonetheless.

The Bad
Abandoned:  Brittany Murphy's last film and it is bad.  If you are in the $1 rental aisle, and have nothing better to do with your time, this would be a good one for you.  Murphy's boyfriend disappears in a hospital and the first half of the movie meanders through her search.  It has good moments, but generally speaking, this is a terrible movie.  Murphy looks like she is at the end of her life and it is truly sad. 

8 Must See Horror:  You've seen the videos with the labels, "8 Must-See" blah blah blah.  They are certainly NOT must-see.  These movies are produced with the quality of an 8th grade technology class and are absolutely deplorable.  Don't waste your money.  If the box says, "must see," the only place you must see it is in the trash heap.

Mama Mia:  If you're an ABBA fan, you'll love the movie's music.  If you're a man, you'll want to drive an ice pick into your ears by the time the opening credits roll.  There are plenty of GOOD chick-movies out there (The Notebook, Little Black Book, Fried Green Tomatoes) to watch, and this isn't one of them.

New Moon:  I agree with my step-daughter, Annamarie.  Vampires are not supposed to "sparkle."  They are supposed to kill, maim and do very bad things.  They are the undead, they are blood suckers.  As a matter of fact, the whole Twilight series is an embarrassment to all good (and bad) vampire flicks.

Bruno:  Don't.  Don't even look at the box it comes in.  As a matter of fact, strike it from your memory and forget I even posted it. 

The Ugly
Note -  Ugly doesn't mean necessarily "bad."  Ugly means not a movie for the kids by any stretch of the imagination.

Fight Club:  This is one I love so much, I purchased the DVD.  A timeless movie that takes on "the system" as we understand it and has so many plot twists, you have to drink a pot of coffee to keep up.  Plus, Helena Bonham Carter plays the leading lady in the film.  Bonus.  Bloody throughout, raunchy in some scenes, the movie is not for the faint of heart nor is it for the kiddos.  Not only send them to bed, but make them put in their iPods.

Grindhouse Flicks:  There are two - Planet Terror and Grindhouse.  Tarantino makes two very wild exploitation movies here and they are bloody, filthy and sexually charged.  TOTALLY not for the kids but if you're a Tarantino fan, you'll enjoy these.   Rose McGowan, Bruce Willis, Cheech Marin, Josh Brolin, Kurt Russell and more have cameos that surprise and yes, are very, very sick and twisted.

Have fun at the rental store...

Batman Returns

Apparently, my blog has amazing power, sending out signals into the atmosphere much like the Bat-signal because sure enough, his name was mentioned and he called on the Bat-phone.  That would be Representative Randy Terrill.

After catching up on personal issues, Representative Terrill and I had a lengthy discussion about House Bill 1804, and some of the wrangling that went on therein.  It seems as though not all is as it appears out here in the blogosphere, some of the stories have been laced with inaccuracies and how the bill itself came to fruition and the negotiations were pretty heated at times.

Randy sent me a couple links to audio files that tell more of the story.  I'll let you decide whether or not what has been presented by the media and other blogs to be accurate or not.

This first is the introduction of the bill itself.
http://204.126.144.31/AudioArchives/2007/3/7/1021_HB1804%20Immigration%20Reform%20Questions.mp3

Here is the audio file of the debate...
http://204.126.144.31/AudioArchives/2007/3/7/1021_HB1084%20Immigration%20Reform%20Debate.mp3

Soon, I'll have a follow up story, predicated on the emails and calls on the Bat-phone received over the weekend.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

RGA Ad Backlash?

Mike McCarville posted an attack ad earlier this week, bought and paid for by the Republican Governor's Association (RGA) that attacks Lt. Governor Jari Askins on the issue of illegal immigration.  Some would say it is a smart move because illegal immigration is an 80 percentile issue.  80% of the Oklahoma population believes there to be a serious illegal immigration problem.  And they would be correct.

Unfortunately, the RGA fails to recognize that under the United States Constitution, immigration is largely a federal problem - one that Congresswoman Mary Fallin vowed to tackle back in 2006 when she was elected.  Much like Ernest Istook arguing that Brad Henry was soft on illegal immigration, Henry pointed out the fact that after 14 years in Congress, Istook failed to accomplish anything about the issue he himself trumpeted.

The bill under scrutiny by the RGA ignores the reality that even Representative Randy Terrill's HB1804 protected the policies regarding illegals and their education status.  Let's not forget that many of Mary Fallin's supporters in the business community have very loudly opposed HB1804, but Mary has said nothing about it.

Neither has she done anything about illegal immigration in her four years in Congress.  Constitutional Conservatives should ask Congresswoman Fallin about her position on both HB1804 and what the proper role of the federal government is regarding immigration and why she didn't author any legislation relative to challenging the interpretation of the 14th Amendment (birthright citizenship) - as she promised to do back when she was elected to Congress in 2006.

Here is what Mary DID say about illegal immigration:  "We must insist on assimilation." 

Will there be backlash?  Probably.  The Democratic Blue Dogs who may have leaned toward Fallin will more than likely be ruffled over the ad and will support Jari as a result.  Particularly in Southwest Oklahoma where Jari is very well known and very respected.  Let's not forget that Askins was the House Representative in a District where Halliburton was/is headquartered.

To me, it's just more negative "gotcha" politics but in this case, it is without substance or without justification.  It sickens me and more than likely, there will be others sickened by it as well.  But Mary has an "out" - she can simply say that she had nothing to do with the ad and is not responsible whatsoever for the content therein. 

Unless the Askins campaign kicks it into high gear very soon, Mary's victory will be a fait au compli.  Of all the statewide races where a Democrat has a chance against a Republican, this is it.  Jari has been liked and appreciated by people on both sides of the aisle, but if she isn't more vocal and aggressive, it's done.  She can plan her trip back to Stephens County.

UPDATE FROM THE FALLIN CAMP:   The following was received via email regarding what Mary has done on the issue of illegal immigration.  Still, doesn't answer the question about Mary's promise to deal with birthright citizenship, but does say that she supported HB1804.  Neither does the email address the RGA ad.

I am a cosponsor of the bipartisan SAVE Act, legislation that offers a practical solution to the problem of unchecked illegal immigration. I continue to support this bill and push for the measures outlined within it. These measures include:
  • The creation of physical barriers like walls and fences on our Southern border
  • The addition of thousands of new Border Patrol agents
  • The use of advanced technologies like aerial surveillance at our borders
  • The creation of an employer e-verification system used to confirm the legal status of employees
If we embrace the solutions outlined in the SAVE Act, we can successfully control the flow of immigrants into the U.S. and discourage employers from hiring workers who have come here illegally. Moving forward, we should ensure that the rule of law always prevails and those who have broken our laws intentionally do not receive amnesty. Additionally, special privileges, like in-state tuition, should not be offered to those living in this country illegally.

Herein lies the problem:  These "solutions" Mary has proposed clearly do not work - and sending the National Guard to the border isn't part of the solution.  Were the National Guard to be fired upon, they cannot respond in kind - that is the role of the regular Army, not the STATE militia (i.e., National Guard).  The National Guard could protect the Oklahoma border against invading Texans, but not foreign nationals.

Sorry.  Answer insufficient.  Please drive through.

Let's address these:
"Physical border."  Where is it?  Where is the all-important fence?  Did Congress fail yet again?  And what about our northern border?  Granted, it's not like we've had a sign

"New Border Patrol Agents."  Why not authorize the use of our active duty military?  Is that not what they are trained to do?  Because we have tied the hands of Border Patrol (thank you, Congress), the only solution (if we're serious) is to allow our active duty military to protect our border which, by the way, is Constitutional.

"Advanced technologies."  Again, where are they?  A couple drones here and there has really helped hasn't it?  (Sarcasm alert.)

"E-Verification."  Teeth.  Where are the teeth?  How about punishing businesses who knowingly hire illegals?  A slap on the wrist and removal from Chamber dinner party invitations aren't enough.

The bottom line is that America deserves better and deserves more from elected officials who tend to talk out of both sides of their necks every two years - or when higher offices become available.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Welcome

Something to think about...

Mary's Whistle Stop Tour

From Alex:

Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Mary Fallin (photo and bio attached) will be embarking on a historic “whistle stop” train tour of Western Oklahoma on Monday, September 20, taking her message of job creation and fiscal responsibility to six towns during a dawn-to-dusk day of campaigning. Mary will be visiting Thomas, Clinton, Cordell, Hobart, Snyder and Frederick by train, stopping in each town to meet residents and talk about her goals for the state (A detailed itinerary will be released early next week). The train she will be riding can seat over 100 passengers and seats are quickly filling up. A limited number of tickets to ride on the train and participate in this historic event are available and can be requested from the Fallin for Governor campaign by calling 405-778-8900. 

Fallin said that Western Oklahoma represents a key area in her campaign for governor, and the whistle stop tour gives her an opportunity to talk in person to as many voters as possible. 

“I’m looking forward to spending this exciting day in Western Oklahoma, listening to people there, and talking about my plan to move this state forward,” said Fallin. “When it comes to bringing jobs and prosperity to Oklahoma, we need a governor who will take us full steam ahead!”

Inhofe on Lankford: "Lankford exemplifies someone who is thinking right...."

The Edmond Sun once again provides journalistic leadership where the 5th District congressional race is concerned.  I say this because the other papers are simply overlooking the race, believing Lankford's bid to be a fait au compli.

What stood out to me in the article is how United States Senator Jim Inhofe was so forthcoming in his praise and support for James.  From the article:
Lankford exemplifies someone who is thinking right, has the right motives and has overcome incredible odds in the political process, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe said.
“He will be the 5th Congressional congressman and I’m very excited about it,” Inhofe told The Edmond Sun.
Of course, Senator Inhofe has been a staunch supporter of all GOP candidates and has been very vocal.  What Inhofe's praise brings is cash-flow.  Senator Inhofe knows how to raise money and every politico with money supports Jim Inhofe.  The question remains as to whether or not James will be as conservative as Inhofe.

The story also gave Democratic candidate Billy Coyle some much-needed earned media. 
Democrat Congressional 5th District hopeful Billy Coyle said he believes Republican James Lankford represents partisan politics.

“I’m convinced that Oklahomans are tired of partisan politics and James Lankford if elected is partisan politics streamlined,” Coyle told The Edmond Sun.

However, Lankford said Oklahomans don’t think typically Democrat, Republican or Independent. Lankford said he joins with Oklahomans in thinking what’s best for families and the state.

Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 2 to choose who will best represent them in the 5th District. Two Independents, Dave White of Deer Creek and Clark Duffe of Edmond, are also on the ballot.

“My preference would be for us to be able to work together as a nation. That may sound cliché but for Oklahomans, we share a lot of common values,” Lankford said. “I do think most of the issues that we dealt with in the campaign are not Republican, Democrat issues. They’re Oklahoma issues.”

Coyle said he challenges Republicans and Democrats to create more energy-related jobs in Oklahoma while focusing on a national energy plan with emphasis on oil.

“I’m going to focus on those issues and take it to the streets of the people,” said Coyle, a defense attorney and former Marine. “And I think people will be pleased to know that this race has someone who is fighting for Oklahoma.”
That's probably the most earned media Billy has received since he announced his candidacy.

Kudos to the Edmond Sun for getting after it.

Beware 2nd Amendment Wolves In Sheep's Clothing

Yes, the elections are almost upon us and like members of the media who proclaim their commitment to the 2nd Amendment, so there will also be those who desire our votes this November who argue their desire to see "shall not be infringed" remain intact.  However, there are a few facts you need to realize...

1.  Candidates are often very well prepared by their handlers on broad spectrum Constitutional issues.

2.  Just because someone is a veteran doesn't necessarily mean they are 2nd Amendment warriors by default.

3.  Spending a couple hours at the gun range/gun club for photo opportunities can be misleading.

So, here are a few questions to ask candidates who say they support our right to keep and bear arms:

1.  What impact has the Heller decision had on 2nd Amendment rights?


2.  What is the difference between single-action and double-action firearms?


3.  What is required to possess a fully automatic firearm in the United States?


4.  What is your position on background checks?

5.  Do you support the NRA or the GOA or both and why?

There is really only one correct answer for each of the questions posed and their ability to answer them quickly and without hesitation will tell you whether or not they are part of the flock or a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Shocking Development: NFIB Endorses Fallin

From the Press Release (Emphasis, commentary, completely mine...):

OKLAHOMA CITY– The state office of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association, has endorsed Mary Fallin in her campaign for governor of Oklahoma.

“Mary Fallin clearly understands the problems facing small business owners, and her commitment to solving them resonates with Oklahoma’s entrepreneurs and family-run companies,” said Benny Vanatta, state director of NFIB/Oklahoma.

[Q:  How does she "understand the problems facing small business owners" not being one herself?]

“Mary Fallin has demonstrated her leadership as lieutenant governor and, since 2007, as a member of Congress,” Vanatta said. “She has shown our members that she understands the challenges and concerns facing Oklahoma and the state's small businesses.”

[Understanding in the abstract is one thing...]

“It’s important that we elect a candidate who understands the critical roll small businesses play in Oklahoma’s economy—someone who will make it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to lead our state out of this recession and create jobs,” Vanatta said.

“As governor, I will focus like a laser beam on job creation and economic recovery,” Fallin said. “That means helping small businesses, which provide the vast majority of employment opportunities in Oklahoma. It also means standing up to Washington and its job-killing ‘tax and spend’ policies.

[Q:  How?  Focusing like a "laser beam" on job creation doesn't create jobs.  How will Mary help small business and in what way?  How?]

“I know Oklahoma has the potential to be one of the best places to do business in the country and in the world,” she said. “But first we need a leader who is going to fight for the kind of pro-business, common-sense reforms that create jobs and spur investment. I’m ready to be that leader, and I’m proud to have the support of the NFIB in my campaign for governor.”

[Q:  Such as?  What "pro-business, common-sense reforms?"  Without answers, these are mere platitudes.  we deserve more.]

NFIB’s political support is based on the candidate's position and record on small business issues. The endorsement comes from the NFIB/Oklahoma Save America's Free Enterprise Trust, the political action committee for NFIB/Oklahoma’s membership.

Today's endorsement puts the considerable grassroots support of the state's small businesses behind Fallin’s campaign. Small business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to vote. According to NFIB polling data, small business owners and their employees make up 43% of registered voters in America.

NFIB will encourage its 3,111 members in Oklahoma to help turn out the influential small business voting bloc on Election Day.

[Q:  Will that include the Democratic business owners as well?  What if those small business owners decide to vote for Askins? Will they lose their membership credentials?]

And We Thought Book Burning Was A Thing Of The Past

What happened on 9-11 was tragic, horrific and nothing we Americans could ever have imagined taking place on our soil.  We stood in wonderment as airplanes crashed into buildings and later, the buildings falling resulting in the death of 3,000 American citizens.  And it was at the hands of Islamic extremists.

We went to war as a result.  We toppled the demonic Hussein regime in Iraq, we killed terrorists in Afghanistan and we continue to be a beacon of light, a paragon of freedom to the rest of the world.

So, what has possessed a group of Americans at a little-known church to decide that burning copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9-11?

The truth of the matter is that we do, in fact, live in a free country wherein our freedom of religious expression allows such book-burning.  It is well within the Constitutional rights of this little 50-member church in Gainesville, Florida to do just what it plans to do.

But there are unintended consequences to those actions.  Even the top United States Commander of our troops in Afghanistan has said that it would be intensely problematic for our troops and already, Islamic nations have responded with threats and members of radical Islam have promised retaliation.

It doesn't make sense to me that members of a Christian community would do something so outrageous, knowing full well that it increases the probability of our troops being in exceptional danger - embolden the terrorists who desire their deaths - and to do so with such disregard.  With their American flag held high, the members of this little Christian church will get what they have desired.  They will get lots and lots of attention.

Isn't it ironic that the name of the church is World Outreach Center?
UPDATE:  And the church just doesn't care.

Fallin & Askins Ready To Debate At OIPA Forum

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association is hosting a candidate forum in Tulsa for the two candidates for Governor.  The forum will take place during their OIPA Fall Conference.

For more information, go here.

Missed Labor Day Opportunities

Not everyone heads to the lake, spends time at the cabin or cruises around Grand Lake in their $2 million yacht.  Most Oklahomans either go camping or just stay home over the Labor Day weekend.  Many candidates missed golden opportunities to reach out to voters who are at the middle of the road in the socioeconomic highway of life. 

Knocking doors, making phone calls.   These are the staples of effective campaigns.  Today, the thought is that if a candidate can spend a bazillion dollars on television, he/she doesn't have to really work that hard.  He/she can go to the parades, wave at adoring fans and not have to do the grunt work of campaigning.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

It was hard not to notice the lack of campaign activity with a few exceptions, of course.  Gary Jones was out and about with his Jones for Auditor trailer and Mary Fallin was hard to miss as well.

But the lesser known, down-ticket candidates are flying under the radar.  More missed opportunities.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday (Labor Day) Musings

Dog Days:  Cletus, our Rottweiler, is an interesting specimen.  Regardless of the number of toys purchased for the critter or the amount of time spend playing with the fella, his appetite for lawn mowers, patio furniture and tree limbs seem insatiable.  Big dogs have big appetites.  Just a warning.

Losing Technology Race:  Yes, it's true.  America is losing the technology race and part of the reason is horrific American engineering - yes, I said that out loud.  Recently, there were a few conversations from the CEO of Intel where he stated quite clearly that taxes on American corporations are forcing research and development out of the country.  I am convinced that part of that R&D loss is evident in my Chevy Avalanche.  It has gone through four diagnostic tests about the "reduced engine power" problem and no one has found any decisive problems, except to prove that yes, a problem exists.  We've replaced the battery at the dealer suggestion and it worked for about three days and then again, the problem rears its ugly head.  No one seems to know what the causal factors are, so the next step is to call an exorcist - both for my truck as well as for the federal tax code.

Back To The Game Tomorrow:  My "fast" from politics ends tomorrow and as we approach the November election, there is much to discuss and much to determine about the efficacy of messages from candidates.  It's going to be fun.

Cost Of Homelessness:  According to a story in the Oklahoman (here), the cost of homelessness in Oklahoma City is a little over $27 million per year.  The story includes commentary from City Rescue Mission and others who have their own motivations...but the truth of the matter is that the issue of homelessness could be largely solved if the faith community got involved more aggressively.  For example, a study conducted and provided to Congress a few years ago by the Trinity Foundation determined that for each mosque, church and synagogue in this country, there exists a homeless person or family.  If each faith community took on a homeless person and provided needed transportation, job training/assistance, medical care and housing, the homeless problem as we know it would cease to exist.  Sure, we'd still have the chronically transient, but the problem would no longer be a problem but rather a way to serve. 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Weekend Music

Great day to get the guys together for some jamming, but alas, it's the weekend...Labor Day weekend and everyone is super busy.  So, here's a taste of what I got to experience this weekend. 

Skillet's sound is phenomenal and incredible live.  Enjoy