I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feelin' It Friday

Jammin:  The weather has been a beast with which to contend but fortunately, it's going to cool down.  Preparations are just about complete for the Jam In June event to benefit Bikers Against Child Abuse (Oklahoma) on June 25th and I admit, I am excited about it.  Not only will my band be performing, but some of Oklahoma's most incredible talent will be there.

The outpouring of support for such an event has really been humbling.  What was initially just a thought of a couple musicians getting together, passing the plate for BACA and calling it "good," has really been transformed into something much larger.  People have volunteered to get the location prepped, bands have come out of the woodwork, desirous of participating...it's been phenomenal.  Heck, even State Senator Andrew Rice has sent a donation check in lieu of attending.    We have Tad Osborne, Collin Houchen, the Amazing Bobzilla, Caravact, Wild Heart, my band (Organized Chaos) and headlining will be Oklahoma's very own Shotgun Rebellion.

Fox 25's Jaclyn Schultz
Fox 25's Jaclyn Schultz has volunteered to come out and emcee the event and we are all extremely flattered that she would take time from her schedule to do this for us and for BACA.  Jaclyn's commitment to community is outstanding - she's even going to sacrifice her own skin for Children's Hospital Foundation, volunteering to get a tattoo on live television to benefit Children's.  She is a class act and we are grateful to her for her willingness to come out and be a part of the Jam in June.  We are fortunate to have her as a local anchor for Fox 25. 

The event is June 25th, Saturday, beginning at 5pm.  It's located one mile north of Waterloo on Western - far northwest Edmond, southwestern tip of Logan County.  You head north on Western, pass Edmond, and look for the signs when you hit Waterloo.

Politics:  I've been hammered with emails about Oklahoma's Senate District 43 race and frankly, just haven't been following it.  Since Paul Wesselhoft dropped out of the race, I figured there was/is some shenanigans we just don't give a hoot about and now, the fix is in anyway.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Conversation With An Old Friend

Moving to Oklahoma back in 1998 was a bit of a shocker.  The development downtown was largely a rumor, though the whole Moshe' Tal issues had not yet been fully discovered.  Bricktown was in the planning phases, and even then, the I40 crosstown was a gamble for vehicles with less than stellar suspension systems.  Things were remarkably different then, and things have changed, but there are always those little nuggets that remain in your mind, bouncing around and coming to light just when it seems it is needed most.

I remember sitting on the balcony with a friend and mentor of mine, talking about the ways of the world.  We had been discussing an obscure and often debated passage in Scripture, 2 Corinthians 8, and it was quite revelatory. 
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
In essence, the passage Paul writes about those who had virtually nothing but yet were immeasurably blessed and more than willing to give all that they had.  Not exactly something that any of us really relish because we are, by nature, selfish. 

Things have been tough all around and the lesson I learned from that conversation with my friend had somehow been tucked away in the deep recesses of my mind until recently.  You've heard the term, "pay it forward," but analyzing that conversation and the lesson I learned, I don't know that even that is the right attitude to have.  I would say that the lesson really lies in the reality that we should simply give without expecting a return.  Like the church in Macedonia, the blessings received are ancillary to the blessings of simply giving.

Just a thought...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tom Cole On Libya

It has been almost three months since President Obama sent U.S. forces to Libya -- without bothering to seek authorization from Congress. This action violates both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution -- both of which clearly identify Congress as the sole governmental body with the responsibility to declare war and raise and support the armed forces. With U.S. troops and resources still embroiled in the Libyan conflict, Congress recently moved to reclaim its constitutional authority by holding two important votes.

On June 3, Congress passed H.Res. 292. This legislation establishes that President Obama has not sought congressional authorization, reaffirms the constitutional role of Congress to fund military operations, asserts that there should be no troops on the ground in Libya, and requires the president to specify a process for withdrawal. Additionally, the bill gives the White House 14 days to hand over files relating to consultation with Congress, or lack thereof. This provision is similar to legislation I introduced in April to require the Obama administration to release any State and Defense department documents pertaining to the president's decision.

A president launching military operations without adequate congressional consultation sets a dangerous precedent, and it is vital to examine the administration's actions to ensure the Constitution is protected.
Congress also voted on a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Libya within 15 days.

While this legislation did not pass, I supported it for several reasons. Gadhafi is certainly an evil man with a long record of atrocities, but the fact remains that Libya has not attacked the U.S. or our interests, has not served as a safe haven for terrorists, and has actually cooperated with the U.S. in turning over its stockpiles of nuclear-related materials and WMD. Given these facts, the situation in Libya does not meet any of the conditions under the War Powers Resolution by which presidents have constitutional authority to introduce our armed forces into hostilities There is simply no legal authority or compelling U.S. interest to justify intervention in Libya -- especially when our armed forces are already fighting two wars. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted that Libya does not represent "a vital interest for the United States."

The military operations in Libya stand in stark contrast to those under way in Afghanistan and Iraq. Public opinion may vary regarding these missions, but there is no denying that they were only initiated after Congress granted authorization. Furthermore, Congress has held regular debates and votes to authorize funding and provide direction for the ongoing operations. More than 80 days into the Libyan operations, the Obama administration has still not defined clear objectives, established an exit strategy or provided sufficient cost estimates.

The Founding Fathers had very good reasons for ensuring that the power to declare war is subject to congressional deliberation and authorization rather than the decision of any one individual. All Americans hope for peace and freedom in Libya and throughout the Middle East, but the constitutional process has not been followed. It is good for the country that Congress has now voted to to enforce the Constitution and hold the president accountable.

From Congressman Cole's Page.