The Editorial Staff of the Oklahoman Just Got Religion?
Signs of a crack in the dam? The Oklahoman ran an editorial last week that the state just how dazed and confused they are on what to do with the Indian Cultural Center, the gold plated boondoggle that was sold to the legislature as a boon to tourism and an economic engine. Their editorial seemed to be moaning and bitching about the need to have both the American Indian Cultural Center and the planned Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture manage to pay for themselves rather than suck on the public teat.
The Cultural Center sits on 210 acres, 143 of which is open to development to make a buck off the “legions” of visitors the Cultural Center was supposed generate. Hotels, restaurants, bars, shops selling tourist trinkets… all of these plums were to go to the connected businessmen of the Chamber of Commerce, let the state pay tens of millions per year in subsidies while the Chamber of Commerce cronies feathered their nests.
But reality is kicking in, the POP center in Tulsa is planning a parking garage designed to subsidize the museum. You know, they can’t charge enough admission at the museum to cover the costs, only around ten to fifteen percent of the revenue comes from admission charges, so maybe they can soak the visitors for some six dollar parking spaces. Or even draw in a few downtown Tulsa workers, indeed the Bank of Oklahoma has dibs on some guaranteed parking spaces, a deal that will remove the tax exempt status of the bonds sold to build the boondoggle and that means the bonds cost more to finance. And now the Oklahoman Editorial Staff finds religion and begins complaining about public run parking parking garages competing with privately owned and operated parking garages.
The administrators of the new Popular Cultural Center are considering adding commercial and residential rental units, desperately attempting to find a solution that will make the Cultural Center self sustaining because they know that the public money tap has run dry. While the Oklahoman worries that private apartment and commercial building owners might not be able to compete the reality is that the Cultural Center space is going to be carrying a lot of overhead and expense to pay for the museum and will need to charge a premium rental to remain economically viable.
Protect private investment they wail…. It is the tradition that government funds the attraction and leaves the gravy for the State Chamber types…. Or so they say.
Bottom line is that both the Popular Cultural Center and the American Indian Cultural Center will never be able to operate without massive annual subsidies from the state or local government. Their use is to draw in potential customers for the good old boys to feast upon. Were the two museums economically feasible they would be privately built and owned.
This is the new normal for the special interests. Enough common folk have risen up and begun paying attention at the Capitol and the gravy spigot is beginning to dribble gravy in spits and spurts, no longer the free flowing river of gravy and pork. Next year the 600 million budget deficit is going to be far worse, perhaps a billion dollars in the hole, and all the easy pickings have been gobbled up trying to delay the inevitable.
Yes, next session is going to be very interesting.
Estela Hernandez’s Buddies
in the News Once Again
Oklahoma State GOP Vice Chair Esteal Hernandez spent much of her effort the last few years using her position at the Federation of Republican Women, Chairman of the Community Engagement Committee for the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women specifically.
So Estela goes around the state and around the country preaching that we need to bring in more Hispanics and minorities into the GOP and that means amnesty, anchor babies, welfare for illegals, sanctuary cities….all those unpleasant little things that the GOP Party Platform stands squarely against. She reminds us that being tough on illegal aliens means those illegal aliens won’t vote Republican so she does all she can to make the illegals welcome and screeches at those that support the Party Platform.
So it goes without saying, any illegal alien criminals are also safely tucked under Etella’s wings. Why just last month two of them were charged with home invasion, rape, and bludgeoning a 64 year old California woman to death. At least one of the two men was here illegally and on probation.
Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, 29 was on probation for the beating of a woman on May 22nd of 2014 and for possession of meth. Victor Hernandez…uh, Victor Ramierez was busted twice ths year for breaking probation, once for carrying a knife and once for drugs. There must have been a Republican Judge buddy of Estela Hernandez in Santa Barbra because that judge allowed this dirt bag to go to a substance abuse center instead of going to jail. Good Republicans like Hernandez in the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refused to issue an detainer to hold the dirt bag upon his release from the rehab center.
So as Estela Hernandez recommends, the woman beating dude was released upon society where he promptly sexually assaults a woman after beating her with a hammer, bad enough that the woman died at the hospital. Ramierez fled the scene but was tracked down using a police dog and arrested at a nearby home. But Estela’s boy isn’t voting anytime soon as he is being held on one million dollars bail for attempted murder, burglary, assault with the intent to rape, and might face actual murder charges.
Estela’s other buddy that helped with all the fun was named Villagomez but he had already gotten himself taken out of the voter pool on July 28th after being arrested on a probation violation, fresh out of the jail from a May arrest for possession of meth and battery. You see on June 17th our illegal alien overachiever had been sentenced to three years of supervised probation and had entered a drug treatment center. How did he find the time to rape and murder with all that going on? Perhaps Estela Hernandez has a point; her boys are great at multi tasking.
.Estela of course is probably ready to put a guy like this to work in her family’s construction company. Hey, the illegals work cheap, don’t ask for overtime or medical treatment if injured, you can skip the payroll tax employing a guy like that and have a huge advantage over your competition. Boy, sounds like the kind of worker I’d want around the wife and kids. Probably carries a hammer at work anyway.
This Barney Fife Has More Than One Bullet
Public opinion has shifted radically in the past five years or so and has now tipped over on the side of the public rather than blindly supporting the abusive cops that taint any large police force. For years the average citizen felt that if someone was beaten or killed by a cop the must have done something to deserve it. After all, we want to feel safe, want to put our faith in the thin blue line that maintains civility and law and order, right?
But the explosion of cell phones with cameras has taken its toll. Here is another example of a potential contempt of cop arrest that went South on the cop.
From watching the video and listening to the guy it is obvious that there is more to the story, the citizen feels harassed, says there is some bad blood between his family and the local police force. But that isn’t germane; the cop was circling the block, the homeowner was suspicious so he started filming the cop and the cop got pissed off.
Granted the cop is one of the bad ones, a minority on most police forces, but ten years ago this would have ended with a homeowner in handcuffs or on a gurney headed for the morgue, with a brand spanking new felony record for not being nice to the policeman.
Legally the cop had no right to pull his gun out of his holster unless there was a reasonable threat of danger or violence. Numerous federal decisions have come down on the side of the citizens in cases where the police used weapons to intimidate citizens or used excessive force. Legally the cop had no right to get out of the car to confront a citizen that was pointing a camera.
Cops and retired cops say that respect for the badge is a matter of personal safety; when citizens feel they have constitutional rights and need only obey lawful orders it makes things much harder for cops. The common wisdom is to comply to avoid being arrested, injured, or even killed but isn’t that an admission that we no longer have constitutional rights and that a cop has the right to force citizens to obey unlawful orders?
Most of the police killings are justifiable and thank God we have men and women that will do this sort of work where bad things might happen. But the explosion of cell phones have enabled citizens to push back and cops are going to need to be trained where the line is and that growing a thicker skin is part of the business. People are at the breaking point over excessive regulation and the loss of small freedoms. Here is a good video taken by a couple of kids that were planning on washing their car in their driveway until a neighbor calls the cops on them.
The cop does a good job, isn’t intimidating, tries to be friendly and defuse the situation but he has also been put in a bad position by an idiotic law that isn’t clear on the difference between washing or working on a car in a public road and in a private driveway. These days you have to think before you call the cops on someone and decide if it is worth a human life or not? On the other hand if you have a feud with your neighbor why not call the cops and roll the dice on your neighbor’s life? Lots of folks out there willing to do that. One thing is for sure, that cop doesn't want to be there but he has to so it is a no win situation for everyone except the neighbor that called the cops.
Freedom cures a lot of ills in a society. The fewer Barney Fife laws we have the fewer chances for confrontation getting escalated if one or the other party has had a bad day. Let the neighbor’s boy wash his old car, it’s a beater for sure but he is proud of it anyway. Get used to the idea that your being filmed at work if you are a cop, just like the retail employees and just about all other workers these days. Don’t be a jerk and the video will be your friend. And lets hope our legislature gets the message and starts peeling back some of these laws that serve little purpose other than controlling everyone.
Not Sure Whether to Cheer or Cry on this One
Both Shooter and Victim have Crazy Eyes
People are at the breaking point when you see a woman killing a social worker with a rifle. Laws passed to “protect” children sometimes wind up inciting violence and harming the child more than if they just grew up in a disfunctioning family. Yes there are some kids that really need protection and even being taken from the family but they are rare if you consider that few families are model families.
It appears that Jody Herring and a few members of her family were feuding and that some members of the family were calling social workers and making allegations against the mother. One report stated that the Herring had called her own aunt and two cousins, warning them to stop calling DHS. The end result was that three dead family members were found about sixteen hours after the Herring was arrested after shooting the social worker dead with a hunting rifle.
Interesting reading the comments on this story. More than half tell horror stories of the DHS services and ask why the 9 year old child was taken in the first place. Many of the comments tell a story of being snatched by DHS workers when they were children and of the abuse they suffered in foster homes.
Laws have unintended consequences. We are told that children must be protected at all costs and in the process lots of money is made by social workers, bureaucrats, lawyers, and the court system while the kids are shuttled off into a revolving door of group homes or foster homes. Parents use the system against each other during divorces and for years afterward, feuding neighbors call DHS on each other, the system winds up overwhelmed and dragging so many B.S. cases into the system that the few kids that truly need help slip through the cracks or are abused by the system created to “help” them.
This case is a lot like the guy in 2010 that rammed his small plane into the IRS building. People have a breaking point and messing with their livelihood or their kids is no small matter. Part of me thinks that a few folks cooking off is necessary to remind the bureaucrats that they have to go home at night alone. Might make them think twice before doing something stupid.
Greece is the U.S. Some Day
Watching Greece floundering the last six years is a good preview of what the U.S. is eventually going to face if we don’t put some adults in charge of the country. They are now working on their third bailout in five years, a 61 billion Euro loan to allow the country to import needed food and medicine but only if they skyrocket taxes, eliminate much of their defense spending, and agree to all the conditions being forced upon them.
Greece is a land of small farmers with a deep rooted identity to their agrarian past. Plots of land are usually quite small, hardly the mechanized wonders that feed the U.S.. These small farms have actually thrived since the economic recession and those that couldn’t find work in the city could go back and eek out a living on the farm. With 25% of the work force unemployed small subsidence farms were a haven for many.
However the austerity program is being written by Greece’s creditors and by politicians desperate to cut a deal and get the 61 billion Euros in bailout money. So the farmers are now looking at their tax rate doubling, contributions to their Social Security system tripling, and many of their deductions and subsidies for things like fuel used on the farm are being stripped away. Even worse, the new measures intend to force the farmers to pay their income taxes UP FRONT! Not after the end of the year, but in advance! And that is on top of a 23% VAT tax.
Experts state that nearly one third of the small farms will fail as a result of the new taxes as their economy of scale simply can not support the tax burden. As the farmers go down so do the small cooperatives that process the milk, meat, potatoes, and cheese produced by the farmers, ending even more jobs as the crop volume dwindles, making the country even more dependent on tourism dollars and imported food.
Greece has a bustling black market with about a third of farm produce being sold off the books, as a result of already high taxation. Even more interesting is that the debt per citizen in Greece is about half what it is in the U.S.. When the day comes that another currency becomes the IMF reserve currency is the day that the U.S. will find itself in the same boat as current Greece. Unable to pay for imports with worthless U.S. currency, pressured by creditors wanting to be repaid in something other than vastly inflated U.S. currency, and forced to crank the screws on the population to pay the central bankers.
Greece of course is a socialist country, short working hours, long vacations, expensive government bureaucracies, and rich pensions. At some point they do run out of other people’s money. But the point is that so is the United States and at some point we will find ourselves in the same situation unless we have drastic change.
Bice Has Been Bought
AKA” Jihad Jane” of the Republican Party
By the Watchman
Oklahoma is considered the reddest state in the Union. With the vast control the Republican Party holds in both houses and all the statewide positions you would think that is true. The problem is that this is built on a lie. Most of the Republicans in office today are actually nothing more than undocumented Democrats. They ran as Republicans because they knew they would never win as a Democrat. That is what we have found to be the case with Senator Stephanie Bice also known as” Jihad Jane” for her family ties to Iran.
We began our research by visiting her web site at www.ok.gov which you can see here Senate - Oklahoma Legislature. This indicated just the basics and did not give us much about her personal life.
The next article of interest we found was this State Senator Stephanie Bice (Republican Party) | AAHOA Votes. This shows her inter-action with the Asian community in her district. This is one thing she has done right, but we can’t help but ask if it was just to get their votes.
The next item of interest we found was this Stephanie Bice - Ballotpedia. This site told us a lot more about the Senator than we were able to find elsewhere. However she has fallen into the trap of growing business by giving them tax credits. Tax credits do little to bring new jobs to the state and are often abused by the large firms who receive them. The expense of those tax credits are made up by bonds to cover the debt or outright theft from the unclaimed property fund.
The next item of interest we found was this Stephanie Bice - Oklahoma Legislature - Open States. This article has partial information on her voting record during her first session in office. It also includes some of her sponsored bills.
We next went to www.votesmart.org to see what they had on the Senator. We began with the Biography page which you can see here Stephanie Bice's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. It’s here that we found that she’s married with two children. When not doing her job as a State Senator she works for Smirk New Media as the Director of Business Development. This firm develops strategies for firms to use on social media.
We next went to the Issue Positions page which you can see here Stephanie Bice's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. The Senator failed to respond to any questions on this page. This is getting to be a habit with politicians. How are people to know where they stand on an issue if they won’t answer a few simple questions? This boils down to plain cowardice and deceit on the part of the politicians.
The next item of interest we found was this Stephanie Bice's Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart . As she has just completed her first session as an Oklahoma State Senator, there are only a few ratings and endorsements that have been made. One thing to remember is that the higher the number, the more she is hurting the Citizens of Oklahoma. Here is what we found.
2015 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation 100%
2015 Oklahoma Second Amendment Association 86%
2014 NRA Political Victory Fund 86%
That is all there is so far. We’re sure the farmers are happy, but she could support gun rights a lot more. It is the second Amendment that has kept this country free for over two hundred years.
We next went to www.ok.gov/ethicscommission to see what they had on her campaign finances. We first looked at her Statement of Organization. We found that the committee was formed on December 23, 2013, however was not filed until December 31, 2013. She accepted donations for her campaign before the committee was form as indicated below:
Dec. 20, 2013 Hosein Asady $2,000.00
Dec. 20, 2013 Geoffrey Bice $ 500.00
Dec. 22, 2013 Troy Coffey $1,500.00
As those donations were made prior to the formation of a campaign committee, are they illegal and should they be returned? We should point out that the Senator did receive numerous donations from individuals throughout her campaign.
We next looked at the corporate, union and political action committee donations to her campaign. Here is some of what we found.
Jan. 28, 2014 Devon Energy $5,000.00
Apr. 18, 2014 Okla. Credit Union PAC $ 500.00
Jun. 05, 2014 Okla. Pharm Pac $ 500.00
Sep.03, 2014 OKC Firefighters Assoc. $5,000.00
We could go on and on, but it just gets repetitious. Senator Bice has sold her allegiance to the corporations that run the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce. She isn’t working for the people, she’s working for them. She’s new yet, and has time to turn around. Senator it’s time to start voting for the people of Oklahoma not the corporations.