Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another new year, another year older, and a surprise on Facebook

It's that time of year again, folks--and the clock keeps right on ticking. Besides just a gauge of aging, that means deadlines too, of course.  Time tables. Schedules. And for me, looking back on somebody else's birthday that happened closer to Christmas, and that leads us to the surprise on Facebook, just a few minutes earlier than this posting.

The man who first published the very first Clara Listensprechen Report hasn't been in touch in the last year or so, and I just learned from his wife that as his own years advance, he is declining, as he's in his eighties. But he was very happy for his birthday this year, and she posted a picture.  I couldn't be more delighted that he's doing this well, that his wife has kept me posted, although he himself must remain out of touch.

It's a new year, and New Years Day is my birthday, but I'm not celebrating that.  I'm celebrating the life of an awesome man, Stewart MacKenzie of the American Shortwave Listeners Association (ASWLC).  Cheers, old man.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Heard bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play...

...all that junk about peace on earth good will to men who are the least equipped to appreciate good will, let alone peace. Thousands are separated from their families if they haven't lost them altogether by war or some form of atrocity of man against man and for all the centuries that man has stomped his way around the earth, man was always atrocious to his fellow man.  And now the Pope is on board with calling the ritual peace farce for what it is.

On a less global scale, in this season where families rediscover petty grievances even without a Festivus Pole, the ritual extends from Thanksgiving until New Years when we all resolve to do better, knowing full well that by this time next year, we haven't.  Families get fragmented and it doesn't take a war to do that, does it. It takes a war to show families that there's nobody else more important, though.  Those that are fragmented without war as the cause still manage to find people they can consider to be family even if it takes several years to find people who can be elevated to that position--and hey: you can pick your nose but you can't pick your relatives.

There is actually a bright side to all this, though, and it's where the worst things make permanent changes for the better for the purpose of making sure this awful crap never happens again if we can help it. The worst among us are inventing tall tales to demonize other people while the reasonable rational people among us just aren't buying it and we're actually talking to other reasonable rational people to deal with the differences for the purpose of pulling the teeth of the insanely radical.

The insane are a minority and they've grabbed power; the sane, who have thusfar kicked back without talking to each other, are getting together for a change and coming to realize that they're the majority, and this is especially true in the Islamic world at the moment.  The Paris bombings didn't create the us-them divide that the hawks on both sides of that anticipated divide were hoping for--what it did was unite sane people against the hawks.

So this Christmastide, whether you're talking about the lunacy of those who seek power to wage war or the big spending lunatics running city government proclaiming that a pork barrel bond issue is worth going deeper into debt for so that their pockets may get lined, we have the emergence of the following public policy that is applicable in all these cases:


The presentation by Kyle Dillingham at the Enid First Assembly of God church this year incorporated a statement along these lines, about showing how what's broken can still produce something worthwhile.  His latest album incorporates that theme.  Here's his musical statement as presented at his annual concert at the church:

video


It's very important to note that when people who never talked to each other before begin discussions about the best way forward, people who are good listeners are required for the process.  Listening is just as important as talking, for the people who take despicable action also want to be heard out.  A hostage negotiator's most effective weapons are word usage, and listening.  You'll never catch a negotiator of any sort declaring "I don't want to hear it" because that will invariably result in "sending a message" via actions taken rather than in words.  You hear war hawks in Washington talk about bombing as a way of "sending a message".  As far as a means of communications, violence is the worst form and it can send wrong messages. Just hearing the other party out often produces the best outcomes.
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A lot of traffic to my political pages over the holidays. Yes, I know that Judy's been pulled from the schedule, and yes, I know certain people are wondering why I'm not bitching about it.  Well hey, folks--2016 is just around the corner and y'all just better stay tuned!  There's more where THAT came from!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Enid Public School System's appetite for lots of money and the DNC's new media apocalypse

Enid Public Schools hired a Media Specialist, media degree and all, plus an assistant, with the stated goal of getting kids up to speed for professional media even before they get to high school, let alone college.  Enid Public Schools was the recipient of one of PEGASYS' old channels claiming that it's an education channel when the local colleges remain confined to Chautauqua access to the Public Access channel instead.  What the Enid Public Schools board discussed at one point was just putting sports on the EPS TV channel (forget education--they talked about raking in local business/corporate sponsorship money for the sports deals while excluding KXOK-LPTV from these commercial revenues).  No talk about tutoring shows like PEGASYS used to have--just a grand circus of kids rattling their brains about on the football field--makes you understand why they don't have high expectations for math and science in the first place.  But what's the tie-in with the DNC media situation that just cropped up about televising their next debate?

Well, their recent brawl over media coverage of their next debate involves dropping a media sponsor over the fact that in the professional world, all those media positions that the EPS wants to train Enid kids for are union jobs, and this particular dust-up is between the DNC and an ABC network affiliate's Hearst owner over that affiliate's anti-union position, specifically IBEW (my old union).  That affiliate's on-camera people will be disallowed from any role in presenting the next DNC debate because of Hearst's position on union production crew.

I've said it before and I'll repeat this as often as needed: in training youngsters for media professions, the EPS is grooming future union members, right in the middle of a supposedly conservative city inside of a supposedly conservative state.  Hey--if it sounds like a liberal and it parties on public money like a liberal, you can bet it's a liberal regardless of how they've actually registered at the Election Board.  Enid, you're rabidly liberal from the inside out.  If you vote in favor of that chunk of money the EPS is begging for, you can bet they won't spend it on academic education--they're traditionally allergic to math and science.

Wednesday UPDATE, Enid High Christmas Concert Edition: Attended this last night and everywhere you look you can spot spending excesses all the way down to that slick 6-page full color flier handed out with the single-page programme, urging parents and all other attendees to vote in favor of handing over a truckful of tax money for more excess spending:

 This is the cover, on a sheet of paper folded over, printed both sides, constituting page 1, page 2, page 5, page 6.  There was only a printed page 3, constituted of a piece of paper printed only on one side, where page 4 was just blank.

Nowhere in this flier, nor in Dr. Floyd's speech, were improvements in tutoring, math, or science mentioned. His big applause line was that he intends to construct a world class fine arts center, and I guess it's because the parents think every kid's best career choice is to become another Garth Brooks because becoming an NFL football star wasn't good enough. All Enid parents with kids who have an interest and a high aptitude for math and science will continue to be screwed over by EPS.  I will be posting the vid of Dr. Floyd's speech on YouTube then link it here, ere long.

Seriously, Enidites--remember when the nitrogen plant's water was an issue, with the nitrogen plant seeking the quality of water that the then-city manager, Eric Benson, had to tell the plant representative that Enid just didn't have people with the required skill set?  As  long as EPS pursues fru-fru projects like arts to the exclusion of math and science, Enid will NEVER be able to provide workers with even the basics of the skill set required by manufacturing--the only thing Enid kids will have the skill set for is Skid Row after they all attempt to become stars in what we know as liberal media, where only 2 or 3 out of triple-digit thousands actually succeed.  What EPS is good at is training kids for a high failure rate.

From that same slick 6-paged spam flier, items that set red flags IMHO:

I grade this paper as a D+.

There are ONLY TWO science items on this whole page.



What percentage of these expenditures comes from local property taxes? How about a comparison of communities with peer ad velorem tax bases per student capita? A school system run by a superintendent who thinks math isn't a priority gets a license to perform snowjobs with numbers.

...and here we go, on YouTube at last...but...it's a preliminary version, to the point, sort of.


The flier states that Oklahoma law prohibits bond money to be used to pay personnel or teachers with, but Oklahoma--Enid--still has a teacher crisis.  Paying for just an upgrade in security is one thing, but there's a bigger chunk of pork getting slid under the wire with a genuine need, but only one genuine need. The other is teachers, and if we can't pay just for security upgrade and teachers, none of the rest of that top-heavy over-larded pork is going to give kids an education.


See also my previous post about the complete contempt that both Enid and the state of Oklahoma have for science and mathematics, despite what students there are that spoke up in favor of such.

Prior to the EPS Board's consideration of the bond issue, initially, somebody was running news paper ads like this one:


Enid voters know that the terms of the bond was reworked, and it's that reworked bond that I just critiqued to shreds above.  But this entity hasn't run any anti-bond ads in the paper lately.  I'm guessing that this entity was less interested in actual education with actual "basic school essentials" but more interested in getting in on the pork action...because by November of last year, the entity was running the following ad:

As you can clearly see from the above analysis of the reworked bond, as advertised by none other than the EPS superintendent himself, both the ad and the superintendent ensured no mention of "basic school essentials".  "Expands Enid's economy" via all the pork provisions but doesn't prepare any student for the world of working for any serious industry that might move to Enid to do business.  Those industries have high quality jobs to offer but nobody in any fine arts program is going to qualify for any of them and not even Autry Tech can work with students without basic grade school grasp of math and science.

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Sunday mini-UPDATE: Since I posted the above, much continues to be made of the statewide major budget shortfall, estimated somewhere around $1 billion--billion, with a B--and how current state tax exemptions were issued to businesses in the name of handing out  pro-business "incentives".  Oklahoma Watch talked about how an Oklahoma railroad spike manufacturer has gotten this "incentive" for decades, for instance, and I've gotta chime in and say that this is another area where the conservative majority, thinking that it was turning harder right, actually took a left turn in establishing government subsidy of what's supposed to be a free market while proclaiming that government should be so small that it should be near-death anemic, as in near the point of anarchy.

Conservatives have forgotten that the goal of being in business is to be self sustaining, to MAKE money, not suck up money.  Conservatives have forgotten that a free market is supposed to pick winners and losers, yet here they are electing a majority government where the government supports determine that everybody is a winner, with no losers.  Sorry, that's not conservative.  A free market is conservative.  If a business whines that it's gonna die without that incentive 15 years after start-up, it's not a viable business, and that even goes for railroad spike manufacturers.  Here's a reminder of what principles conservatives used to say that they subscribed to:

  • A business that fails to make money without being propped up deserves to die--the market has spoken.
  •  Government is necessary for those things that make the markets operate: roads and bridges, utilities, and no meddling in markets.  So yeah--it needs to raise revenue, and the way it raises revenue is thru taxes.  Taxes are a patriotic thing to pay when the money is spent on stuff government should properly spend money on.
  • People vote down tax hikes for governments that blow money on stuff governments have no business spending money on, like, say, throwing lavish public parties that have no impact on attracting new business and fostering old business retention, keeping in mind that residents are the work force that businesses require to operate.
Remember Dubya's BRAC program, the Base Realignment and Closing program?  Military bases are things that the federal government is supposed to spend money on, but here were states and cities scrambling to kick in their own cash to save their bases from closure.  What happened then, too, is that even conservatives voted for a tax hike, and in Enid, the EPS already benefitted from THAT huge bucket of money.  We kept Vance, alright, but where did EPS put it all?  Did they build a hollow leg in their featherbed (read "back pocket") for further lining? That ain't right, people, but the ideologues who wanted the feds to spend less didn't reduce the costs--all they did was just shift the cost from the federal government in the name of tax reduction and sent the bill for the bases to the states and cities, all of whom gladly raised their own taxes to cover the difference.  So don't even try to tell me that conservatives don't like tax hikes--to a man they all voted for THOSE taxes on the state and local level when it wasn't state and local business to do that in the first place; that's the fed's responsibility.

Please.

There's an old BBS-era tagline that reads, "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do"--and here we're seeing the right wing demonstrating the truth of that.  They've turned so far right that they've turned left.



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Monday UPDATE: Headlining top, front, all the way across, was revenue woes for Enid, which continues to party like it's 1999:



Previously, the paper reported declining revenues EXCEPT for Kingfisher County.  All the promotional crap that the City Commission dumped big bucks into, all the way from their media propaganda arm they call Enid Television Network to Main Street Enid simply had less than zero effect on Enid's economic prospects.  The addition of the Walmart Neighborhood Market made less than zero effect on Enid's economic prospects.  Sure, there's a new major housing development going up next to it, as yet still under construction, but that construction began under a housing squeeze environment, and not having completed construction yet, petroleum/gas producers are cutting back on their demand for people--a situation not helped by the state shutting down disposal wells because of the earthquake problem.  Build a new building, shake it at the foundation, and your brand new building gets junked...or, at best, in need of major structural repair usually including foundation rework.  All very expensive.

But Enid's City Commission is hell bent on making Enid's downtown the party capital of the world without also having suitable businesses occupying retail space downtown for the party-goers to shop at.  They congratulated themselves at a Study Session for having spacious parking lots (they razed retail buildings to do it) nowhere near where parking is still a tight squeeze, and that's around the high rise buildings. 

I've been meaning to put together a video showing this particular circus tent of Commission Follies but I've not had two minutes I could rub together this holiday season, so quality time devoted to video production is just going to have to wait til next month.  Yep, the New Year.  But by all means do stay tuned.

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Saturday Update: I broke down the EPS flier into blow-by-blow bits and posted those on Twitter, and got Favorited a few times, and a couple of reTweets, so word is definitely getting out. I've said it before and I'll say it often: somebody needs to Tom Coburn this place because it's become out of hand Porklandia.

In yellow,items covered by a previously passed tax hike. In orange, PORK--except in the names of the schools. In that case, it's the level of the school that is important compared to the equipment intended for installation therein.

And then there's the matter of the expense a previous administration spent on installing carpets on the walls in the first place, being undone by more expense incurred by the current administration. Nuts.






This must have been a case of Floyd overlooking an opportunity to lard up pork on Garfield.



Again with the carpet on the walls.

One science item for one school. Only one other school got a science item and that was a middle school, too. But by the time the kids graduate and head for high school, the scientifically talented kids get shafted.











Monday, December 07, 2015

SCOTUS declines an assault gun case as the NRA gives liberals more ammunition

Yeah. The Roberts SCOTUS is overwhelmingly conservative and this is what we get--gay marriages legalized and now no upholding of a claimed constitutional right to a specific type of fire arm because SCOTUS permitted a ban to remain in place.  What is this world coming to?

Well, for starters, to win an argument before this or any other SCOTUS, you need a reasoned argument and with the mass shootings, including the shootings of children in schools, it's reason that has been vacated.  The same people who will kill abortion doctors and terrorize clinics over fetuses will fight for an assault rifle's right to kill schoolsful of after-birth fetuses, so go figure. Nobody in the NRA could furnish a reason for why that is legit, except to say that it takes good guys with guns to come to the rescue against bad guys with guns, and yet it has come to pass that a mass shooting at a fort installation happened even in the presence of trained good guys with guns, and this pattern repeated itself even in the presence of good guys with guns elsewhere.

If good guys with guns were effective against bad guys with guns and bombs, we wouldn't be talking about banning all Muslims coming into the U.S. and tracking all Muslims already inside the U.S. as an actually serious workable idea, now, would we.  Trump in particular hadn't even considered that that would be an anti-business move, considering all the Muslims abroad that are in the energy industry, like the ones we import petroleum from.  Not to mention all those Muslim reporters who successfully get around in Muslim areas to get the stories, because they're Muslims. He's gone so far as to say that none of the Muslims currently fighting on our side in the military should count on just staying out, but in doing so, he's also said that our petroleum business partners can't come in here either.  Oklahoma, the HQ of the NRA, should have a huge  hissy-fit problem with anti-business moves in their nearly monoculture industry other than wheat.

Here's a reminder that the GOP was the party IN FAVOR of turning over the operations of ALL United States international ports to a company in Dubai.  Betcha don't remember that one, but it happened.

Sure, that was the GOP establishment and the front runner status of Trump shows that the establishment has completely lost its grip on its own party.  When the Tea Party first arrived in Oklahoma (specifically Enid) I talked to organizers who told me that the GOP was too liberal and they hated Dubya just as much as any liberal ever did and more. I saw Enns and Anderson pander and bow to Brogden with my own eyes. This was the establishment committing cannibalism on itself and it was an amazing thing to see, let me tell you.  Just about every rank/file Oklahoma conservative and their representatives fell in line behind that Gadsden flag cheering the vilification of the party within which the politicians rose to success.  And that's when the Oklahoma Right took a hard turn to the left.

You want small government so small you could drown it in that proverbial bathtub? That's the anarchist's position and that's leftist, not conservative.  The Tea Party whines louder about  "corporate welfare" louder than liberals have ever done to the point where they sound exactly like Bernie Sanders.

You hate that evil Washington government, so that puts you in league with ISIL.  They do too, and what we've found with the NRA is that they'll fight for ISIL's right to buy guns without that evil government tracking 'em.  What do you wanna bet that the sales of arms to ISIL is personally conducted by Oliver North--that's his bailiwick since his gun-running days to the Contra.

Oh, for the good ole days when the enemy of the U.S. were the Commies and everybody in the U.S. was united against Commies. Now we're divided between the government solves all problems bunch and the U.S.-government-is-evil bunch which has that in common with ISIL.  A house divided cannot stand.

The NRA has a tradition of being critical of government regulation even though the First Amendment experiences regulation (fraud, libel, slander, and plagiarism are all outlawed, for example, and nobody whines about constitutional infringement with those).  The NRA doesn't offer solutions to gun related problems except when pressed to, and when it does, they're as ineffective as the good-guys-with-guns argument they've concocted now.  Why?  Well, how can we tell who is a good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun if we're disallowed background checks, hm?  Conservatives used to be strong on law enforcement, law and order--but now we have this anti-law-enforcement position that confuses the hell out of the best of the force's finest and promotes, instead, old time shoot-outs at the OK Corral and public streets a la the wild wild west.  Sheriff Joe calls for citizens to shoot it out before the police arrive, which raises the question as to why we pay for police in the first place when we could just have good guys with guns doing police work for free.  The police union would love that, I'm sure.

Nope--all that is leftist anarchy, folks. That's NOT conservative.

Oklahoma sheriff wants police to be paid to sit on their asses  while people should volunteer to shoot other people for free.

Simple statements of undeniable fact:


And speaking of anarchists, check out this Pew study's entry for 1903:


LINK

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Thursday mini-UPDATE: Currently working on some images for tomorrow's Anonymous event, #TrollDay against Daesh.  My blog regulars already know about my statements to the effect that, where Islam is concerned, Daesh are blasphemers.  Here's a preview for you, a troll image that gets the point across.  See y'all tomorrow!


I updated that image by adding Trump hair to the guy with the upright gun and posted that on Twitter.  Done up a few more, too.






Saturday, December 05, 2015

The crack in the Broadway Tower's brick facade and questions.

I should know about questions--I'm the Grand Inquisitor.

Dear Enid, about the Enid Eagle's article as to the reason why Broadway Tower was evacuated:

Moisture was the first cause that came to speculative officials as to why the facade cracked, and it's only a facade.  But we also know that moisture, freezing and thawing, is what causes potholes every year.  Question: Why hasn't the Broadway Tower's brick facade cracked EVERY year, hm?  I mean seriously--Enid's been hit by ice storms before, repeatedly.  There was even a monster storm bigger than the last one that hit in January some years back, and did the Tower's brick facade crack then?

It hasn't, you know.  And because I know many of you are superstitious, I'll propose this possible (?) answer: the ghost of Rex Faulkner has returned as a vengeful poltergiest.  XD

video


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Watching Enid City Commish getting increasingly lost in the purpose for ordinances

Over the past few months, the Enid City Commission just spins its wheels revisiting old issues they resolved by previous votes, turning the Commission sessions into extended study sessions, forgetting what previous studies established. 'Round and round in the same ole circles they go without a clear view of any path forward.  Circular sidewalk issue, perhaps.

Whining about what's fair gives you a Commission attempting to arrive at a one-size-fits-all when it can't, especially on the issue of sidewalks, and when the City gets stacks of applications for ordinance variances, they feel like they have to issue stacks of variances or overhaul the ordinance to make one ordinance fit all, losing sight of why there are differences in zoning requirements...and then get stuck over "mixed use" (mixed commercial/residential).

They created that patch of tar and keep getting stuck in the crap they themselves create.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Enid Ice Storm 2015--pics already all over various social media.

I also shared a few with KOCO as well--and so I'll post pics here too, why not.  Just remember when  you go outside where the limbs and the ice keep falling, it's safety first.  You'll need to put on a hard hat first.  And this blog's regulars already know I have one from a previous employer, Illinois Power Company:

The need for a hardhat is no exaggeration.  This just in via Twitter...