I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Conservative Congress

At midnight last night, dedicated Harry Potter fans lined up to catch the first of two finale's for the Potter series.  Reviews for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 are mixed but based on some of the commentary from bloggers out there, it's going to be a hit.  Even members of Congressional staff enjoy the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

Jill Daugherty, staffer for Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole posted pictures on Facebook of herself and friends at the premier of Potter.  Jill is, by far, one of the more approachable, friendly and (dare I say it) sweet people working for members of Congress.  And because she is a Potter fan, has instant street credibility with yours truly.

And Potter fans across Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District.

The reviews from the "professional" industry insiders have been less than friendly to the latest of the Potter series, including a very mixed review from CNN - but if a conservative like Jill enjoys Potter, one can only expect CNN to have at least SOME disdain for the movie.

I'll be taking in the movie myself at some point and will give you both my commentary and the commentary of my step-daughter, Annamarie.  Annamarie is almost as big a fan of Potter as I and the hope is that we won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

For Friday...

Yes, Free Your Mind Friday is almost upon us and in keeping with our accountability pledge for the election of 2010, here is a sneak peek at some of the stories your 400lb Gorilla will be slinging your way!

Appointments/Assignments:  The Speaker of the House has made some assignments to key committees and you may be wondering just who they are.  Well, tomorrow, you'll learn who they are and to whom they are connected.  In addition, some statewide elected officials have announced some of their appointments to key leadership positions and yes, you'll learn about them too.  (You've heard what the mainstream media wants you to know and what their press releases have said, but now, it's time for the rest of the story.)

Gun Rights Advocates?  You're going to absolutely flip when you learn who some of the people are in the great state of Oklahoma who have said that they are pro-2nd Amendment, but in practice, not so much.  You'll find that "NRA Ratings" may not be what they are cracked up to be and why you should definitely consider the Gun Owners of America.

Humor:  What would Free Your Mind Friday be without a little humor to get you ready for the weekend?  I'll be doing a little pop-culture talk and give you some insight about the new Harry Potter release.

Until tomorrow, keep your powder dry...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jeremiah Wright in Oklahoma?

 Heard It Here First
Ron Black, the 400lb Gorilla
An apology for our forefathers, a plea to God to ensure elected officials are merciful to illegal immigrants...all things we would easily expect from President Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright - and the conservative community had a field day dissecting his sermons and his appearances on Fox News only fueled the fire against him and the most popular member of his congregation.

Dr. James Hewitt, Wesley UMC, Shawnee
We talk radio junkies remember Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity ripping to shreds the liberal commentary of Jeremiah Wright and taking to task President Obama for holding himself spiritually accountable for 20 years to Reverend Wright.  But it appears as though Oklahoma is in the midst of its own Jeremiah Wright moment.

And no, we're not talking about Robin Meyers from Mayflower Church either.

In this case, we're talking about the pastor of the church Republican Speaker of the House, Kris Steele is a part of, as the pastor addressed and prayed for the legislature on the birthday of the great state of Oklahoma.

Dr. James Hewitt is the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church of Shawnee and when he was asked to conduct the opening prayer at the Oklahoma House of Representatives swearing-in ceremony, many of the Republican members of the House were shocked to hear language that we have become quite accustomed to hearing from the likes of Jeremiah Wright.  An apology to what our forefathers did, a prayer to God that the legislature would be merciful and go easy on the illegal immigrant population in Oklahoma was enough to cause quite the stir with many Representatives, including my good friend Representative Randy Terrill - who has been an author of Oklahoma's legendary HB1804 - tackling the tough issue of illegal immigration.

Sadly, the difference between President Obama and his culpability and Speaker Kris Steele's culpability is that Steele is an Associate Minister at Dr. Hewitt's church.  Much different from simply being a congregant.

You need to pay very close attention to what this prayer asks...
"Some came by forced relocations...to them we say we're sorry for what our poor foreparents did to your forebearers."  
"They're aliens in our midst..." 

Wright expressed his support for liberation theology - and in the course of two years, we got an idea what that meant.  In this prayer, Dr. Hewitt made a call for social justice.  What does this portend for the future policy agenda in the Republican-controlled Oklahoma House of Representatives?  Does it explain Speaker-elect Steele's past fixation on social health care and welfare issues?



The Face of Oklahoma Campus Concealed Carry

The parking lot seems miles away from the front door of the office and it's late.  The sun has set already and in the distance, a quiet hum of traffic fills the air.  A slight chill is in the wind.  Walking across the parking lot, she sees her car, her keys in hand, she hits the remote and sees the lights come on indicating the vehicle is unlocked.  


She reaches down to open the door, thoughts of a warm couch fills her mind, the long day behind her when suddenly everything turns gray.  She can feel blood trickling down her neck and hands forcing her to the ground, her face scraping on the concrete.  Instinctively, she reaches inside her jacket as she has during countless hours of training but this time, her jacket is empty.  

The assault takes only a few minutes, but to her, it seems like an eternity.  Her assailant runs off, leaving her bloody, bruised and battered.  In tears, the police dispatcher on the other end of the phone tells her to remain calm and that help is on the way.

Another woman assaulted, left haunted by the memory of that cold, dark night where her innocence was lost.  If only the law allowed her to reach into her jacket and pull out the pistol with which she has become so familiar, not only would her assault not taken place, but perhaps another woman would be saved from the horror.


Now, imagine that woman is your wife.  Or, your daughter.


In Oklahoma, our college campuses have become havens for criminals, "gun free zones" where the most evil of men can run rampant without fear of their victims fighting back.  But there is one young lady who wants to change that trend and like others before her, support the right to keep and bear arms on our college campuses.


Adrienne O'Reilly is an amazing young woman who attends Oklahoma State University.  Her understanding of the law and the need for men and women to have the right to protect themselves from thugs, burglars, rapists and murderers is phenomenal.   She is on a crusade to ensure those who meet the legal requirements are not kept from exercising their Constitutional right to protect themselves on our college campuses.


Adrienne is the new face of the Campus Concealed Carry movement in Oklahoma and you're going to be hearing more and more about this dynamic, energetic and determined young woman.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GOA Alert: Self-Defense Verses the Endangered Species Act

Self-Defense Verses the Endangered Species Act
ESA Endangers Humans, Hunting
by John Velleco

The day before Halloween this year, two Montana hunters had the kind of scare that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

When Mark Appleby and Raymond Pitman went to retrieve an elk that was shot near the Hungry Horse Reservoir, they found themselves and their horses surrounded by six to eight wolves.

"They were in a frenzy," Appleby said of the wolves. "They were howling. It was eerie."  Thankfully, the men were armed and escaped with their lives and their horses.

According to Appleby, "Raymond’s pistol saved our lives. It was very ugly.”

End result: one dead wolf and two shaken but unharmed hunters. Except, that was not the end of the story.

Turns out that Appleby and Pitman tussled not just with angry wolves, but also with the Endangered Species Act (ESA)--a law that gives the wolves extraordinary protections courtesy of the federal government.

President George W. Bush battled environmentalists for years over the ESA, and especially regarding delisting the gray wolf in Montana and other Rocky Mountain states.

After several attempts were blocked by federal judges, just before he left the White House President Bush finally removed the gray wolf from the ESA in every state expect Wyoming. Republican Governor Butch Otter of Idaho and Montana’s Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer praised the move to state control over wildlife management.

"We support local control. Montanans know best how to manage our wildlife," said Gov. Schweitzer.

Animal rights activists lobbied incoming President Obama unsuccessfully to reverse the Bush administration decision. "We've exceeded our recovery goals for nine consecutive years, and we fully expect those trends will continue," said regional recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seth Willey in May of 2009.

But one federal judge took it upon himself to play wildlife manager. U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy of Montana this August reversed the Bush decision. The ruling to relist the wolves was enforced with the publication of a Fish and Wildlife Service rule less than a week before the incident with Appleby and Pitman.

The ruling evoked outrage from elected officials who represent actual voters. Gov. Otter recently withdrew the state from gray wolf management in frustration over an inability of the federal government to come to an agreement on the issue, although the state had been paying a large portion of the costs.

And in Congress, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, is working with other members on legislative remedies to again remove the gray wolf from the ESA.

"In most instances, state and local officials are better situated and more capable of managing and preserving wildlife than the federal government," Bishop said.

For decades, environmental and animal rights extremists have pushed for forced reintroduction of the gray wolf. This has caused loss of livestock for ranchers, jeopardizes the viability of the elk and other wildlife in some areas, and, although still rare, is an increasing threat to humans.

All gun owners, sportsmen, parents, grandparents—anyone concerned about the damage done by forced protection and introduction of the gray wolf—should make sure their elected officials at the federal, state and local level understand the importance of this issue.

The most radical animal rights activists view the loss of human life as not all that different than the loss of an animal. One such radical, Cass Sunstein, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Obama’s “regulatory czar” and thinks hunting should be banned and that animals should have some of the same rights as humans in court.  

Unfortunately, many Senators who claim to support the cause of sportsmen, such as Montana’s Senators John Tester and Max Baucus, voted to for Sunstein. In fact, nearly twenty U.S. Senators who are members of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus voted for Sunstein.

With gray wolves now officially back on the ESA list, people who shoot a wolf in self-defense may have to justify their actions in court. Depending on the outcome of an investigation by federal wildlife officials, this could be the fate of Appleby and Philips.

“Obviously, a claim of self-defense is more believable if an animal is shot in the chest rather than in its rump,” said Jim Satterfield, regional supervisor for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. “But it's going to be up to the (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to determine if the shooting was justified."

###
John Velleco is Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America, a grassroots lobbying organization with over 300,000 members nationwide.  John can be reached at jvelleco@gunowners.org.

Special Election Dates Set

McCarville Report is reporting that the dates have been set for the special election for Senate District 47:

Primary - January 11, 2011
General - February 8, 2011

Read the details here.

Who Is Kris Steele, Speaker of the House?

When you look at the Republican Party, there are two issues that stand out as lines of demarcation between "conservative" and "establishment:"

1.  2nd Amendment Support
2.  Lawsuit Reform

Gun control advocates have consistently filed suit against firearms manufacturers with the express purpose of using the courts to decrease our access to firearms, to create an environment where the cost of firearms skyrocket as a result of defense of said lawsuits and finally, to disarm citizens.  Using the judiciary to accomplish what cannot be done legislatively, liberal gun-haters attack both of the issues that are important to conservatives; namely, frivolous lawsuits and the right to keep and bear arms.

And now, we have a Speaker of the House who may be inconsistent on both issues.

Kris Steele has seen his star rise in the Republican Party right along with his increased public support for 2nd Amendment issues.  For example:
*In 2000, he voted with the Gun Owners of America merely 36% of the time.  (Source)
*In 2002, he received an "A" rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund.  (Source)
*In 2008, he received an "A" rating from the NRA Political Victory Fund.  (Source)

In coming days, I'm going to take a look at these ratings, Speaker-elect Steele's views, his voting record, his quotes in the media to see whether or not his walk backs up his talk and since he's the Speaker-elect, he'll be driving the agenda.

And the two things on the Republican agenda are firearms and tort reform.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Add One To The List - Randy Terrill

The list of legislators/candidates who openly and unashamedly support the 2nd Amendment grows.  We know that there are a few brave souls left who have not been bought out by the Board of Regents and who are not congregants of St. Boren or St. Hargis.

The one I forgot to mention and whom I was reminded of by a friend this evening is none other than our very own Randy Terrill.  Terrill is, himself, a college professor at Hillsdale College in Moore, supports the right to keep and bear arms for himself and his students who meet the SDA requirements.  Simple enough, wouldn't you agree?

Terrill is the author of the famed HB1804, the toughest immigration laws Oklahoma has ever seen and plans to author "Arizona Plus" immigration laws in the next session. 

Still haven't heard from Greg Treat (former Coburn staffer, GOP Victory Director), Governor-elect Mary Fallin, Lt. Governor-elect Todd Lamb either. 

The fight continues and will continue as long as I have breath in my tired body.

Silence Is Golden (On 2nd Amendment Issues)

Last week, there was an amazing story on Fox 25 regarding campus concealed carry and it was a result of a shooting that took place up in Stillwater.  But, the champions of the 2nd Amendment during the campaign season were more than pleased to tell us how they were on our team and Governor-elect Mary Fallin actually had on her website:
Furthermore, I believe that gun ownership rights in Oklahoma can and should be expanded. Gov. Brad Henry vetoed an "open carry" law that would have permitted responsible gun owners to carry weapons without concealing them. When I am governor, I will sign that bill into law and send a message that in Oklahoma, we mean business when it comes to the second amendment.
But, now that the election is over, the question remains as to whether or not the Republican majority will follow through - or even answer a question about campus concealed carry.

Asking a few of the candidates and elected officials whether they would support 21 year-old students who meet the requirements for the SDA (Self-Defense Act) to carry on campus, some responded, some were amazingly silent and continue to be silent.  One simple question has been asked and will continue to be asked:  Will you support a campus concealed carry bill this session?  Here is the update...

The Silence is Golden Crowd:
Governor-elect Mary Fallin
Lt. Governor-elect Todd Lamb
Candidate for SD47 Greg Treat

Outspoken Supporters:
Candidate for SD47, Carol Hefner
Candidate for SD47, Kenny Goza
Representative Jason Murphey

The list continues to grow as elected officials are going to continue to be polled, asked if they will support the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms as underscored by the SCOTUS Heller decision.  More than likely, this transitional legislative session will result in some feel-good legislation that gives our new governor an opportunity to build her resume', to gear up for the next election cycle. 

The campus concealed carry issue is going to separate the "talkers" from the "doers" because it pits the status quo establishment against the constitutional conservatives who truly swung the election results this past cycle.  It was the 2nd Amendment community who got out and voted, who were angry and believe in what the founding fathers intended for this great nation and for this great state.  This legislative session and perhaps the next will give us irrefutable evidence as to whether we voted correctly, or if we have been bamboozled into believing that we actually elected constitutional conservatives.

Most of us have a pretty good idea what the outcome will be, who will support the 2nd Amendment and who the "posers" are in public office.

Again, it is horrifyingly ironic that at the age of 18-20, young men and women can raise their right hand and swear an oath to defend the constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic, but even if they are 21 and can stand a post and kill terrorists in defense of our nation, they are not allowed to carry a concealed firearm to protect themselves against domestic terrorists, rapists, murderers, burglars and scumbags on our college campuses.

The hypocrisy stacks of up so fast you have to have wings to rise above it.


This will be an ongoing story...with regular follow up reports.