Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A proud moment in Okie twister history

... occurred yesterday afternoon when a CLOCKWISE tornado destroyed an aircraft hangar near El Reno, Okla.

You see, tornados almost always rotate counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. This wrong-way whirlwind wrapped itself around its work against coriolis forces, mesocell dynamics and tradition.

Many people wonder how Okies can remain mentally stable living in such an environment that produces tornados, if things are normal, several times a month from March through August. First, who says we're mentally stable? Second, we pay attention to the weather. A lot of us can read Mr. Doppler about as well as the guy on the TV set. Some of us can feel the approach of tornadic storms in our bones (or sinuses). A great number of us anxiously await the first wailing of the sirens so we can hurry outside and get a good look at the funnel. It's part of our shared cultural heritage.

Naturally there will be those who will "tut-tut" about safety rules, but the fact of the matter is that most Oklahomans also know when to quit the rubber-neckin' and get to shelter. And each person has their own tolerance for just how much distance they need between the vortex and the hidey hole.

Personally the Oklahomilist has witnessed a couple of funnels already this spring, one a jim-dandy connected to a lowering wall cloud that for a few minutes actually appeared to represent a real threat. The other was much less magnificent. But that's the way it goes. A few years back, while running the news operations at a medium-sized Oklahoma daily newspaper, we tried for five years to get a decent photograph of a local tornado for our front page. Sadly most of our storms came at night during that time, and we never did score.

El Reno is a considerable distance from the OBOO (Oklahomilist's Base of Operations) but we are grateful to those who managed to capture the images of the Anti-Cyclonic Twister, one of which graces this post.

True Okies, one and all.

A baseball story you may not remember

It was 30 years ago when two young "men" tried to set fire to an American flag in the outfield at Dodger Stadium, and Chicago Cub center fielder Rick Monday saved the flag, and the day, by hustling the flag out of harm's way.

Many a weary flag has been burned in the years since, but it's safe to say that most Major League outfielders would still rush to save Old Glory. God bless baseball.

Monday will be honored by the Dodgers today by throwing out the first pitch.

The Washington Post actually has a good story about this.

HT: Michelle Malkin.

'All the good you can do ...'

This is something we see too little of these days.

But it sure is nice to hear about it when it does happen.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sign of the Apocalypse confirmation

Yes, it is true.

"Dallas" is going to become a movie.

With a British female director originally from India. That's the good news.

The bad news: John Travolta the Scientologist will play J.R. Ewing (an apostosy). Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie (a travesty).

Close to signing on are Jennifer Lopez (sadly not the Weather Channel babe, but the other J-Lo) as Sue Ellen and Luke Wilson as Bobby Ewing. Wilson is the only casting decision thus far that even remotely makes sense.
Gurinder Chadha, director of "Bend it like Beckham," gives us valuable insight into her vision of "Dallas" when she tells the BBC:

The British director said the film, set for release in 2007, would be "very true to the original series."

"But it's set today and all the characters are much more extreme versions of how we remember them."
If you feel a good vomit coming up, you are not alone. If you need to help in hurling, here are a couple of Chadha's directorial credits: "Bhaji on the Beach" and "Bride and Prejudice." Ah, that's better. Glad to be of help.

If you, like the Oklahomilist, could care no less for things like British "football" then you probably need to be told that "Beckham" as in "Bend it like ..." is a big English soccer star who married one of the assorted Spice Girls. For the Record we have never seen "Bend ..." and have sworn a perpetually binding oath to shield our eyes from the perversion of cinematic soccer.

J.R. Ewing, as played by Larry Hagman, was the twisted evil genius Texan who probably inspired the career of a young Karl Rove. One thing J.R. would not do, however, was ride a horse if he could drive a luxury car with air, and he would never, not even to save his daddy's precious oil company, get on the mechanical bull at Billy Bob's.

Yet we are supposed to believe that John "I Love U Sissy" Travolta, the bull ridin' champion of "Urban Cowboy," is J.R.?

We can only pray that there is a Rapture and we are taken away before this thing opens.

Too good to be true

Yesterday we predicted that the "get tough" approach to illegal workers and the companies that hire them would not last long. Today Michelle Malkin is reporting that there are several indications that the ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) action was nothing more than a headline grabbing "Catch and Release" exercise. Which contrasts with the a Fox radio report we heard this morning that broadly claimed that over a thousand of the arrested aliens were already on their way back to Mexico.

Fair and balanced is good. Accurate would also be good. Don't just accept the federal press release and assume that, because the GOP is in charge, they wouldn't bend the truth out of shape to suit whatever principle it is they think they are upholding. When it comes to
immigration, neither of Dems nor Republicans can be trusted. Sigh!

But it does bring up this wonderfully wicked cartoon we saw earlier today, wilfully lifted from Steve Qayle's World.

The Most Accurate Quiz Result We've Posted

Your Summer Ride is a Mustang Convertible

You're out to experience the very best of summer.
From the best beaches to the best tan, you want it all!

Frankly, you can have the beaches, and even the summer tan. What we really desire, long-for, pine for, dream of, lust after, dream about, scheme over, fondly fantasize, and crave with an intensity never before known to any human creature, is the car.

The Oklahomilist garage is full of boxes, pool chemicals, yard tools, and little else of lasting value, but it's our "stuff" and we're proud of it. What would complete the collection would be a Mustang convertible. Ah yes, the luster of the lust has never diminished. A older cousin once owned a Mustang convertible, and we remember a 13-year-old's idyllic summer as he introduced us to the joys of wind-whipped cruising with the radio up, the Troggs bleating "Wild Thing." (Purists insist on the original recording, not the well-intentioned but inferior Joan Jett version.)

So of course from that point on nothing seemed more desirable than a Mustang convertible. My Mustang mania was so captivating that three or four of the Oklahomilist's friends were converted from mere worship of GTOs and Chargers to the true Church of Mustang. We decided that upon our high school graduation we would each take Mustangs and caravan on a magnificent pilgrimage across this great continent. Alas, reality eventually won out and we all bought what we could afford.

One friend had a lime green Dodge Roadrunner, it's most distinguishing feature good gas mileage and one of the first 8-track tape decks. Another bought a magnificent white Dodge Challenger (the Steve McQueen car), and installed a better sound system (still 8-track), thus pre-empting the Roadrunner, despite its gas guzzling tendencies.

Of course, the prophet of Mustang was expected to top them both but could not, settling for a used Corvair Monza Spyder convertible. On a sunny day you could almost forget what a cheap piece of machine it was. On a dark and stormy night, when one bolt fell out of position, the rear engine fell to the pavement. It was, however, very good in snow, and the seats reclined which were perfect for the make-out sessions that were always anticipated yet, uh, never quite materialized. (Reality was winning way too much.)

Later we owned a Mustang hard-top. Loved every minute of it but dreamed of toplessness. The 'Stang came to a sad end when a young lad in the "neighborhood," using a narrow back road to avoid contact with law enforcement as he was driving on a suspended license, lost control at a high rate of speed on a small hilly curve and slammed into the precious car, killing it the instant the insurance adjuster got a good look at the bent frame. (Our only consolation: the highway patrol, called to the scene, found more than enough to book our neighbor into the county jail.)

That, alas, was pretty much the end of the dream. Life has continued to intervene in ways sufficient to deny the Oklahomilist the joy of a Mustang convertible. Some might think it cruel that the questionaire chose to remind us of our unrequited love, but as memories and passions are rekindled, we choose to be forgiving.

Maybe, if we can pay off a few bills, next year in a Mustang cloth-top!

(A Yip! and a "Damn you!" to Robbo el Llama)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What a difference a century makes

Michael Theleman is looking for a wife the old-fashioned way.

Yard Sign Says Man Will Pay For Virgin Child Bride
Theleman has caused an uproar in the southwestern Oklahoma town of Bray with his search for a bride.

He put a sign in his yard Sunday saying he'll pay $1,000 for a virgin bride between the ages of 12 and 24.

One of his neighbors said she feels like she's living near a pedophile.

As of Wednesday, there were no offers.

Theleman said he doesn't understand. He said his grandmother married "a much older man" at age 14.

After complaints, he put up a new sign Wednesday without the ages. The new sign said he's not interested in a "pig-worshipping, heathen, white-supremacist wife."
Fortunately for Theleman the district attorney agrees that the first sign was legal. Unfortunately for Theleman, he isn't likely to get a lot of replies to either one.

A hundred years ago Theleman probably still would've riled his neighbors with the first sign, but only because it indicates a man too lazy to go out and find a bride. Early marriages were not uncommon - the frontier being dangerous and life spans shorter, you had to grow up quick and get started on a family.

A century later and Theleman is lucky he is free to post the second sign which, we must admit, certainly narrows the field slightly. Nothing an Okie hates worse than a pig-worshipping, heathen, white supremacist.

But he's already tipped off the neighbors, and no doubt the new sign won't make 'em any happier.

For the Record - Never been to Bray but we googled it just to make sure. Just slightly out of the way, in more ways than one.

A remarkable post on Judas, a 'saint' for today

A writer named Vanderleum has an interesting observation over at AmericanDigest (dot org) that, in essence, states that Judas Iscariot's rehabilitation is probably a foregone conclusion since treason and betrayal are in vogue among society's elites. A few excerpts:

WHEN IT COMES TO DISCOVERING new ways to cheapen the human soul, the "professional intellectuals" of our society have cornered the market. So it was last week when, timed carefully to cash in on the Easter holiday, the "serious" editors of National Geographic chose to release their gleanings from a sheaf of rags and call them "The Gospel of Judas."

Having risen through the echo chamber of "higher" education and survived the ruthless but quiet vetting process of their "profession," these editors knew full well that what they were putting out into the world was not a "gospel." They also knew that calling it a "gospel" would ensure greater attention and greater sales. Beyond that, the editors, secular cultists all, also got a quiet little tingle by having, in their minds, "stuck it" to the Christian church once again. As usual, such secularists love to stick it to Christianity. Addicts of auto-erotic spiritual asphyxiation, their onanistic pleasure in these deeds is only enhanced if they can be performed during the most holy days of the Christian calendar. Only then can maximum profit and pleasure be assured.

This dark thrill of denigration has the immediate benefit of pleasingly confirming them in their own Church of Zero, and the secondary benefit of being much, much safer than, say, sticking it to Islam, a faith that enforces its demands for respect with bombs and beheadings, and whose central message to all cowards is "Don't mess with Muhammad." The sad fact of our modern era is that if you denigrate Islam, you often have to bag up body parts and hose down the sidewalk, but when you denigrate Christianity the most you need to clean up after yourself is a warm washcloth.

This is not only on target, friends, it is also terrific writing.

... the publication of the "Gospel" of Judas has another, deeper and more lasting benefit to our neophytes of nihilism. It puts one of the final elements of their anti-morality play at center stage. It seeks to sanctify treason.

It was never a question of "if," but only a question of "when" our contemporary society would discover an avatar who would make treason acceptable. It only codifies the realities of their secular belief system. Treason against others or one's country has long been as common as adultery in this country. Like adultery the rate of treason is on the rise because, like adultery and similar forms of personal betrayal, it no longer has any consequences at all.

If you don't immediately read the entire post in its fullness of truth, then you must make a solemn vow to do so later today.

(Hat Tip to the ailing Anchoress)

Big illegal immigration news day

A big news day on the immigration front:

A thousand suspected illegal workers are netted in a roundup of one company building wooden pallets in the United States. You can't really call them undocumented because many had documents - it's just that the documents were forged or used "borrowed" Social Security numbers.

Law enforcement officials will "use all the tools we have, whether it be criminal enforcement or immigration laws to break the back" of businesses that exploit undocumented immigrants, said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a news conference.

"We're looking at them in the same way we look at criminal organizations," he said.

Federal immigration authorities arrested nine people linked to IFCO Systems and rounded up more than 1,000 illegal immigrants in multistate raids, federal law enforcement officials said.

Would like to believe that the feds are getting serious, but extremely doubt it. It's window dressing for the masses, we suspect. As soon as other issues are making headlines the feds will go back to their benign neglect of immigration enforcement. Just watch.

The Minutemen proclaim that if Uncle Sam doesn't build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, they will.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- If the government doesn't build security fencing along the Mexico border, Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox says he and his supporters will.

Simcox, whose civilian watch group opposes illegal immigration, said Wednesday he was sending an ultimatum to President Bush to deploy military reserves to the Arizona border by May 25 or his supporters will break ground for their own building project.

"We're going to show the federal government how easy it is to build these security fences, how inexpensively they can be built when built by private people and free enterprise," Simcox said.

Considering the state of the budget, maybe the private enterprise route is the way to go.

Ummm, it must be asked. Is building a fence along the border a legal activity? You would think so.

The "coyotes," the smugglers of humans over the border in what is estimated to be a $10 billion a year business, are plying their trade in plain view of Mexican officials, the same people who only recently assured President Bush that they would crack down on their side of the border.

Sidling up to migrants who arrive at the Tijuana airport and cruising the streets in border towns, "coyotes" in gold chains and dark sunglasses openly find customers for nightly scrambles across the U.S. border.

Mexico's president offered to crack down on smuggling at a recent summit with President Bush. But close to 100 smuggling gangs are still operating, government officials say, in plain sight of Mexican law enforcement.

"While drug smugglers are invisible for the most part, people smugglers are visible, working right in front of authorities," said Tijuana border expert Victor Clark, who has studied the illegal trade for decades.


Border experts say the price for Mexican migrants has quadrupled from $300 to more than $1,200 since 1994, when the U.S. last tightened the rules. One migrant told The Associated Press he recently paid $1,300 to get across.

To reflect back on last week's thoughts, do the Catholic bishops really want to align themselves with drug and people smugglers?

Should we be surprised?

Madeleine Albright claims she can leg press 400-pounds and believes she is too intimidating to ever marry again.

A better question is why anyone really cares.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just picking up some tools and $504,000

This is one strange story in so many ways.
Two workers looking for tools set off a security situation at a Beaver County nuclear power plant that drew a response from police and federal investigators, WTAE Channel 4's Paul Van Osdol reported.

State police said the men drove up to the Beaver Valley Power Station in a tractor-trailer on Tuesday night to pick up two large containers of tools for a contractor for whom they worked.

Security guards stopped the men for a routine inspection, but they drove away, police said.The guards became suspicious and called police, who pulled the truck over about a mile from the plant.

A state trooper got a warrant to search the vehicle and found a duffel bag, which he said contained $504,230 in mostly small bills. The driver denied knowing anything about the money or who gave it to him, so the trooper seized it, police said.
(Which is what we're going to make our new operating directive henceforth: see $500,000 in mostly small bills, and seize it if it appears there isn't a strong connection.)

Seriously, you combine a nuclear reactor with a half million Samolians and you have intrigue.

A spokesman for the FBI said they do not think terrorism is involved, which is what they'd probably say even if it were, so that's not very reassuring either.

Wonder if we'll ever hear the rest of the story on this one.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Disturbing use of logic, language

When an undocumented (read "illegal") worker takes off from their job without permission to march in a demonstration, then later declares when they are fired that they were only gone because they were "fighting" for their individual rights, then you know that events are cascading into territory we have not seen in many a year.

When some bishops of the Catholic Church declare that they will not obey proposed (or even existing) immigration laws in solidarity with the undocumented (illegal) aliens, you have to ask whether their position is based on Church teaching (in turn based upon the Gospels and the collective church wisdom of 2,000 years), or whether they have entered a political debate without considering all the issues at stake. There is a third possibility as well, and that is the media takes one portion of a bishop's statement and highlights it to the exclusion of others.

For most of us citizens, the legalities are simple: If you have entered this nation without permission, you have no expanded menu of rights upon which you can draw.

Our analogy: It's like cable TV. Some people have expanded cable, with digital services, high def, computer linkup, movie channels galore, etc. This would be your native-born or (legally) naturalized citizens. Some people, usually for economic reasons, have only basic cable. You got your news, weather, and the over-the-air broadcast stations that you get for free if you wanted to use rabbit ears but the cable signal is better. Undocumented aliens are like this group: they could stay home and work bad jobs for worse wages, but they choose to extend themselves into this country because the signal (wages) is stronger.

But that's not good enough. They see how other people have expanded cable and they want expanded cable, so now they are taking off work to march in the streets, wave flags and proclaim that they are fighting for their expanded cable rights.

If we knuckle under and give them expanded cable, we will a) wreck the cable company (in this analogy it would be U.S. society, and b) cheapen the meaning of those expanded cable rights of those who have paid the price. End of analogy.

Here's the reality: We agree with certain segments of our society - notably the Catholic Church - that even illegal immigrants have certain basic rights as human beings created in the image of God. These include humane treatment. Church leaders have jumped on the immigrant side of the debate because a pending House bill would make it a crime to help undocumented (illegals).

Here's a simple solution: modify the bill and eliminate the penalty against clergy. Christians are supposed to help the hungry, homeless, destitute, needy, naked, suffering and even imprisoned brothers and sisters of the human race. (If this isn't your brand of Christianity, we suggest you read chapter 25 of Matthew, stat!)

That's where our agreement ends. Even Jesus taught us that we had an obligation to obey the laws of the state. ("Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's ..." He said.) Well, dear people, the laws of the state insist that everyone entering the country either have a visa or a green card to work. You are supposed to check in when you arrive and check out when you leave, and you are supposed to leave on time. These are reasonable requirements employed by nearly every nation on earth. In fact, the United States has many fewer restrictions on visitors than do most nations, including Mexico. Thus it would be difficult to declare that our border laws are unjust, and as far as we can tell, they have not been declared unjust by any major religious group. This means that until proven otherwise in courts or congress, our immigration laws are just.

There are approximately 11 or 12 million "guests" who have decided that they want "expanded" rights on the cheap, and have ignored entry requirements and check out times. The proper Christian response is to make sure that the suffering among the undocumented have proper attention. However, it is not a proper Christian response to help them evade detection, or to encourage their countinued refusal to obey the law. It could be argued that to enable people to break a just law is a sin.

So the question really is whether this nation will enforce its existing laws or modify them (either relax the rules to reflect the reality of today's non-enforcement, or tighten the rules and demand enforcement). That's a legitimate political debate into which the church can and should enter.

Please do not waste your breath telling us that "Jesus was an illegal alien" when He and his parents, Joseph and Mary, fled to Egypt.

1. We do not know what the border laws of Egypt were at that time.
2. We do not know if Joseph and Mary formally sought asylum from state persecution.
3. Jesus, being God, is actually the owner of Egypt, and every other corner of the universe.

In other words, what sounds like a great argument is in truth an attempt to get around Jesus' clear teaching on obedience to legitimate authority through an appeal to emotion.

We have yet to hear an opponent to real immigration reform offer a solution to the following existing problems:

1. The Mexican government is using the United States as a safety release valve for its own refusal to expand economic opportunity for its citizen. In doing so it "piggy backs" on the American economy since billions of dollars are "sent home" by undocumented to their families. This relieves the pressure on the Mexican government to do anything.

2. There is a great deal of evidence that some within the Mexican government see an opportunity to destabilize areas of the southwestern United States through uncontrolled migration of people, the eventual aim to be the "reconquista," the reconquest of the lands once held by Mexico. This is why we are seeing protest signs declaring "Gringo go home" in downtown LA and Phoenix. "This is our land - you are the tresspassers." Regardless of how one feels about the legitimacy of their claim, only idiots and idealists would believe that a reconquest is going to take place peaceably. (As often as we complain about some of the laws of the United States, we must admit they are vastly preferable to the laws of the "Republic" of Mexico.)

3. Our porous borders allow the importation of illegal drugs and the trafficking of humans, increasingly involving Latin American gangs such as the infamous M-13. Sometimes with the aid and comfort of elements of the Mexican military. This is not healthy for the U.S. and often not healthy to the poor unfortunate immigrants who are dumped in the desert without sufficient water and shelter.

4. Control of the border, or lack thereof, constitutes a clear and present danger of enemies of America crossing over to hide among us and wait for an opportunity (or a signal) to disrupt our society and economy. This is neither good for the U.S. or Mexico. Both nations, quite frankly, are disappointingly nonchalant about the threat.

There was a more peaceful time when Anglos and Hispanics moved back and forth across the border, more or less at will, because after two or three periods of bloody skirmish in the 19th and early 20th century it became more or less accepted as an official border, and the modern terrors of dirty nuke bombs and bio-weapons had yet to be invented.

That time has passed, and it's time to revise the Civics textbooks. Thousands of miles of open borders, once a point of pride, are now an unacceptable risk.

If we need to increase immigration from Mexico, then by all means, let's take a look at it, establish the new number, and put it into effect. Then enforce it.

Let's treat immigrants in a humane manner, but let's also remember that it is not unreasonable for a nation to establish limits to the numbers of people it can readily assimilate in a given period of time. It is not inhumane to expect newcomers to learn and obey the laws of the various and united states, and declare that if they wish to become citizens they will respect its Constitution and its freedoms by being responsible.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What You Need is a Little Perspective

A reader of George Ure's "Urban Survival" web site plans to go on an extended "vacation" in Mexico with his family, and he's writing to the president for a little help with his travels.

"Dear President Bush:

I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few arrangements. I know you can help with this.

I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here.

So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following: ..."

We'd print the whole thing - all 13 items on his list - but then you wouldn't go visit Mr. Ure, and then he'd be unhappy with the Oklahomilist, and he lives too close these days (Northeast Texas) for us to take the chance he might be wanting some target practice.

'It's summer & we're runnin' out of ice'

Pity the poor beleaguered Irish. No longer able to light up over their pints, courtesy of EU's Nanny Government, now the European Union is telling the lads that they'll have to eliminate or at least cut short the wakes for their loved ones.
The Irish custom that sees corpses kept in an open coffin so the deceased can be viewed during the wake has been endangered by an edict issued by Stavros Dimas, the EU environment commissioner.

He wants chemicals used by embalmers to preserve the cadaver withdrawn under a new biocides directive.

Such a move would see the end of the age-old ritual of "laying out" the body while games are played and food and drink are consumed to the accompaniment of dancing and fiddle music. ...

The directive, which would come into effect in September, aims to withdraw embalming ingredients such as formaldehyde, which are capable of destroying living organisms.

Captain Ed thinks the EU is missing the point. We think the EU is purposely missing the point to make another point. We're just not quite sure what it is. Perhaps someone is thinking ahead to the time when the new rulers of the continent will want a lot of decay among the dead quickly. Perhaps it's a slap at Catholic funeral rituals: after all, there are prayers and beads involved in these prolonged wakes.

The Anchoress laments the lack of moxie in the Irish response:

What has happened to my people?

If they take this new edict lying down, I just don’t know what I’ll do. An Irish wake without the body in full view?

It may be a reflection of the diminished faith of the Emerald Isles, sadly. Or perhaps the Irish, after years of bloody war against the British and the each other, are just tired of fighting the just, but lost, cause. Perhaps someone already tried to raise his clenched fist at the socialist masters of the EU and said, "You'll take away our wakes over my dead body!" and some scurvy little bureaucrat smiled and said, "That's the general idea."

There's an old-timey solution, of course.

Ice. Good for almost all seasons 'cept summer.

Which of course reminds us of Pore Jud Fry from "Oklahoma!" the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. His fantasy wake was curtailed too, as Curley explains:

"He looks like he's asleep, it's a shame that he won't keep. It's summer and we're runnin' out of ice."

Poor Judd.

Achieved: Total gender equality

You've come a long way, baby.
Police in Toronto are searching for four women suspected of beating a man to death over a $1,000 jackpot he had just won in a bingo hall, according to Local 6 News.

Police said Yousif Youkhana, 58, was walking outside the Country Bingo Hall over the weekend with his $1,000 winnings when he was approached by the women.

When Youkhana refused to hand over the jackpot, the women kicked and punched him, the report said.

Witnesses said the man stumbled back into the bingo hall after the attack and later died from his injuries.
Trust no one.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sooner state taxation: growth industry

We see where Oklahoma is now 26th among the states in total tax revenues with $6.8+ billion for 2005. That's pretty hefty for a state that has only 3.5 million people, maybe, and we're sort of counting a slew of illegals in that total. It also does not account for the Tax on Stupidity, aka casino and lottery gambling, that by our unscientific but eagle eye analysis appears to be taking off after an initial bout of playing hard to get by the average citizen.

Of course where those gambling dollars go is anyone's guess. When the Indian tribes start offering free college tuition to all children of their tribes, then we'll know that it is filtering down. Until then we reserve judgment.

But back to taxes. Oklahoma surprisingly collects more taxes than Kansas, Iowa, Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware. Even more than West Virginia, Oregon and Mississippi.

Per capita things look a little rosier at No.34. We are nowhere near the bottom of the barrel in either category, which is the nonsense usually spouted by lawmakers whenever they start talking about the need for more taxation to meet some critical shortfall. The problem is not the money available - it's the priorities used to allocate spending. Oklahoma has one of the largest state payrolls: lots of administration going on.

Maybe it's time to take a new look at a leaner, meaner state government, freeing up funds to raise the pay for teachers, prison guards, and public safety workers. Maybe we could get a few more roads finished too.


The French are throwing in the towel on a reasonable "jobs law" that would have increased employment for younger members of its work force but given employers the right to fire workers - presumedly for cause - during the first two years of their employment.
French President Jacques Chirac has announced that the new youth employment law that sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests will be scrapped.

He said it would be replaced by other measures to tackle youth unemployment.

Millions of students and union members have taken to the streets over the last month in protest against the law, which made it easier to fire young workers.

Union and student leaders said it was a "great victory" but it is not clear if protests set for Tuesday are still on.

It is official. Torch a few cars. Riot in the streets. Carry lots of signs and make sure some tear gas cannisters are fired, and the French government will cave eventually.

Now the question is whether the states and the federal government of the United States of America will follow the same path as the "hispanic intifada" escelates. Certainly there are those Francophiliac members of Congress who try to model their behavior after the continentals.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Anti-Christrian news cycle a prelude to movie?

It would take diabolic orchestration on a global scale - and perhaps that's the final proof of the pudding - as The Anchoress suspects that we are seeing the Forces of Light and Dark playing "before our eyes" in advance of the release of a certain Hollywood movie.

She points out that in the last week we've seen international headlines proclaiming the release of the heretical "Gospel of Judas," ("Jesus asked Judas to betray Him"), a scientist proclaiming that Jesus probably "walked on ice" on a cooler than usual Sea of Galilee ("All miracles are explained by Holy Science"), and a smallish study determining that prayer has no effect on making people better ("Don't you know religion is all hokum?").

Can’t help but wonder if some of this is meant to be a prelude to the release of the Da Vinci Code movie - advance work, if you will. Here we have a plethora of stories trying to debunk common Christian understanding, and I am wondering if it is all part of the movement to mush-up soggy Christians - to foment doubt - and to soften up the non-believers to the idea that if everything Christians believe is worthless, well then, their influence is to be discounted or even disdained, lessened and disresepected.

There is a game afoot - already in play, I think. The gameboard is so huge that we can’t see all the pieces. Chesterton used to write about the paradox of a man riding on the back of a beast so big he didn’t know it was a beast and merely thought it was the world.

Well, it is also close to Easter, the season of recrucifying even the idea of a Christ. Or as Satan taunted (as scripted by Mel), "No one could bear the sins of all humanity. They are too many." Satan would like to forget that Jesus, in addition to being 100 percent human being, was also 100 percent God, and God certainly could make an infinitely acceptable sacrifice that would atone for a massive, but not infinite, number of human sins.

The Anchoress also points out that a certain Cardinal Martino in Italy is practically giving regular press conferences, delivering opinions that justifiably could be called "anti-Ratzingerian manifesto," as another pundit recently suggested. She believes there is more bad media coming our way and she suggests we "gird our loins."

We suspect she's right.

Stupidity reigns supreme in Detroit

How many dead citizens would it take to get a 911 operator reprimanded?

(Detroit, April 6, 2006, 11:00 P.M.) An investigation is underway in Detroit after a six-year-old boy called 911 to get help for his mom, and the operator acted as if it were a joke.

Detroit NBC Affiliate WDIV reports that six-year-old Robert Turner called 911 on February 20. He thought his mother 46-year-old Sherrill Turner had passed out. She was later found dead.

911 tapes detail the call, where the boy tells a female operator that his mom had passed out. The operator demands to speak to an adult before sending police.

The boy eventually hung up and called back a short time later. This time the same operator warns the boy that he could get in trouble for making a prank call to 911. Taylor says police didn't arrive until three hours later and found his mother dead.

A reasonable conclusion a reader might make of this is that someone has a big lawsuit heading their way. You would also expect that Detroit police would fire the 911 operator, or at least suspend her for a time. You would only be guessing 50-50.

The family is now pursuing a lawsuit. Detroit police are investigating and say they are not sure about what, if any, disciplinary will be taken against the 911 operator.

Shouldn't a presumption exist that a 911 call is legitimate? There is plenty of opportunity later to charge someone with making a prank call. Either the operator was not trained sufficiently or is incapable of making logical value judgments under pressure.

But if she is not at least disciplined for this incident, it will only prove that the police of Detroit are likewise incapable of making logical value judgments.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cynthia McKinney must resign from Congress

Maybe if enough people post a similar thought, it will happen.

What? You've been in a cave and are not up to speed on this? Here's today's latest.

Cynthia. McKinney. Must. Resign.

For the good of the Republic, or what's left of it.

For the sanity of the Civil Rights movement.

So House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn't go to sleep every night with tears on her pillow, the overwhelming cognitive dissonance of the situation finally removed from her life.

For the long-suffering people of Georgia, who shoulda known better than to put her back in office.

So that Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy once again rule as the most egregious jackasses on Capitol Hill.

Consider this: Tom DeLay is forced to resign from Congress because he used the voluntary contributions of private individuals for political purposes (LEGALITY of said usage yet to be determined). Cynthia McKinney (who Must. Resign.) uses taxpayer funds for political purposes (her own fund-raising efforts, the ILLEGALITY of which is most definitely understood), fusses with and hits Capitol Hill police officers, and there is an embarrassed "hmmmm" from politicians, pundits and prosecutors as to whether anything will be done about it.

McKinney hollers racism right out of the box. The Capitol Hill police are racist, she says. The laws forbidding raiding your office supply budget as a congressman to pay Isaac Hayes ("Shaft") to come to Atlanta for a fund-raiser is clearly racist, she says.

Truth is that if McKinney were white, Hispanic or Asian, she'd be rooming in a federal facility somewhere with her new best friend Wilma, spending her nights in terror and her days doing whatever it is that women prisoners are required to do in federal prisons.

Just when you thought you'd heard 'em all

The Anchoress today reprints a post she ran last year about the peccadillos of a famous baseball player named "Babe."

We love baseball, and consider ourselves fairly knowledgeable about its history, but we must confess that she brings us a couple of stories completely unknown to us previously.

So if you are curious as to how someone can negate their own home run, better go there now.
We'll just take a few warmup throws while you're busy.

Why discourage exploration?

Within today's reporting that astronomers have discovered a massive cloud of alcohol in deep space is an odd statement.

The vast bridge-shaped cloud of methyl alcohol has been spotted in a region of our galaxy, the Milky Way, that is called W3(OH), where stars are being formed by the gravitational collapse of concentrations of gas and dust, the discoverers said in a press release.

Methanol, an organic (carbon-based) molecule, is a cousin of ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages. Methanol is not suitable for human consumption.

Not suitable for human consumption? Why tell us that? Why throw a wet blanket on all those garage rocket scientists who surely would have pushed our civilization into the real 21st Century with 288 Billlliioone miles of hootch to harvest? (You must remember how Carl Sagan said "billion" in order to properly read the last sentence.)

So riddle us this: if methanol is not suitable for human consumption (as in, it'll kill ya dead), does that mean that the ethanol in our gasoline IS suitable for consumption? We think not. But methanol also burns.

So all we need to do to solve our energy dependency is to develop warp drive technology and perhaps negotiate a treaty with some version of Klingons or Romulans. Maybe Ewoks. It's bound to be a darn sight easier than purchasing oil from Iran or Hugo Chavez.

Better just go back to profiling

If this happened in the United States, you could predict a big fat punitive damage settlement.
A mobile phone salesman was hauled off a plane and questioned for three hours as a terror suspect - because he listened to songs by The Clash and Led Zeppelin.

Harraj Mann, 24, played the punk anthem "London Calling" and classic rock track, "Immigrant Song" in a taxi before a flight to London.

The lyrics to both tracks made the driver fear his passenger was a terrorist.

Mann had started his four-song set in the cab ride with Procul Harum's "White Shade of Pale," which the cabbie liked, and ended it with "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles, all choices based on an assumption (false, as it turns out) that the driver liked oldies. Once again proven true, no good deed goes unpunished. There is no mention of whether the cabbie appreciated or was frightened by "Nowhere Man".

The words of the Clash track begin: "London calling to the faraway towns, now war is declared and battle come down." And Led Zep's Immigrant Song goes: "The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands, to fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!"

Mr Mann, of Hartlepool, Teesside, had boarded the plane at Durham Tees Valley Airport when the flight to Heathrow was stopped and he was arrested by police.

He said he was told he was being questioned under the Terrorism Act and his choice of music had aroused suspicions.

Unless Mr. Mann is prepared to plug in Petula Clark or Barry Manilow, maybe he'd better just use his headphones and make the cabbie work a little harder at reading his mind.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Protests or the beginning of insurrection?

One of the more down-to-earth, thoughtful expositions on the widespread protests of proposed new, get-tough immigration reform bills is located at the web site of People's Economist George Ure, UrbanSurvival.com. Some parts are so good that we are going to lift them - while concurrently directing you to check out the article in its entirety.

We read George nearly every day, not because we always agree with what he's saying, but he makes us think and he makes us laugh. After months of studying his material we cannot decide whether he's a libertarian, a liberal or, like so many of us today, a shell-shocked, fairly conservative patriot who is unhappy with much of what he witnesses passing for wisdom on both the left and right.

As to the protests of Spanish-speaking people waving Mexican flags and issuing threats, he says today:
Americans are willing to welcome anyone - provided they follow the rule of law we're proud of and assimilate into an operating country.

When it becomes an invasion, to my way of thinking, is when they march under the flag of a foreign country (Mexico) and run around getting whipped up talking about mythical Aztlan.

American's in the main are damn proud of their country. Thanks to our easy exit policies at the border, anyone who wants to march in America under some foreign flag, is welcome to move back to that country. The notion of "reconquista" of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Texas is an intellectual fraud perpetrated by professional agitators, who ought to know that the real "reconquista" was the retaking of the Iberian Peninsula.

We interrupt to add that while it may be intellectually fraudulent, that doesn't stop it from having real damage potential. George continues:

Americans are fine and generous people, but sometimes not very bright. People marching under a flag of a foreign nation inside our hard fought borders are, the way I see it, trying to impose a different government - and that's insurrection. March with Old Glory and work to assimilate and everyone is welcome. I have Vietnamese and Indian friends who have done precisely this: Assimilate. Learn the language, become citizens, and "live long and prosper."

Start talking about turning back the clock, and we'll see Native Americans pushing to send Spanish-speakers back to their country of origin, which by the way, wasn't Mexico.

That's one potential future benefit of our Cherokee citizenship card, and we're not talking about revenue sharing from the casinos (although come to think of it, that's an idea whose time may have come).

Birthdays, bugs, baseball & business ...

... have kept us from our duly-appointed blog rounds for the last three or four days. This is an explanation, not an apology. The day blogging becomes Job No.1 will be the day it provides 50% of the net Oklahomilist income. Seeing that it now represents a more-or-less neutral cash flow position, that day is not yet circled on the calendar.

Our excited congratulations today go to the St. Louis Cardinals for their 13-5 opening day win against the Phillies yesterday. Albert Pujols hit two homers (which mathematically projects to 324 on the season ... heh) but perhaps more significant is the grand slam delivered by Scott Rolen, seemingly indicating that his rehab from injuries sustained in a crash last May (with a big Dodger first baseman) is complete.

Less pleased this morning am I over a younger Cardinal team, a group of young men 15 to 18, that we began to manage three years ago. We played our first league game Monday, fell behind early after our starting pitcher struggled, giving up seven walks, and then rallied to close to within 4, ultimately losing 11-7 to ... the Ducks.

Yeah, the Ducks. Sigh. So contrite am I over this embarrassing loss that for once I will drop the Grand First Person Plural and simply say that the loss was my fault as the manager. Shoulda pulled the starter in the early going instead of testing to see how he would handle himself. Every pitcher has his bad days, and a manager's responsibility includes limiting the damage when those bad days occur. The Ducks! Gee whiz!

There were many good things, chiefly the big six-run rally that pulled us to within one with an inning to play. Also, the play of the youngest Son of Oklahomilist (on his birthday) was exemplary. Baseball's an unforgiving game: you take your comfort where you can.