Friday, January 29, 2016

What a remarkable GOP debate last night, yeah?

Media darling of NBC didn't show up at the Fox News debate and yet his presence was felt and discussed in his absence.  As Trump predicted, the ratings were low in his absence even though the debate incorporated discussion of his proposed policies.  But as *I* predicted, there was nothing new about what was discussed; we've all heard it all before, and wouldn't have missed a thing if we ourselves hadn't tuned in.  We know the talking points forward & backward, we're familiar with the crusade against Planned Parenthood, now quite thoroughly debunked by high court, and although it's a predictable applause line for the people who will still do anything, including fabricate stuff, to shut it down, in terms of size compared to the voting public, it's still a peanut gallery.

The results are in: Trump is NBC's ticket for trumping Fox.

And whereas Trump has been the consistent GOP leading candidate, imagine what that says about the GOP rank & file.

Now let's examine Fox owner, Rupert Murdoch, who has been on a media buying spree but targeting media with long standing authoritative reputations.  He's obviously not happy with the reputation Fox gives him and thinks he can buy credibility by buying the likes of Wall Street Journal and National Geographic.  Sorry, Rupe, but credibility of reputation is earned, not bought.  The second that you purchase an entity with a high reputation, the reputation takes a nosedive, and your credibility remains in the toilet.

At this point we arrive at the problem with Mehgan Kelly, and there is one, and we saw it last night: she makes the debate all about her, not the candidates.  That wasn't what Trump conveyed when he complained, though, and the opening remark with a string of ad hominems concluded by the statement that the Trump segment was now over, stuck.  It's true.  Nothing gets a point across better than one that's based on truth, although the truth must be stated with illustration to get across.  That one was.  If Trump was able to convey an actual problem with Mehgan Kelly, he would have conveyed his point, and he didn't.

The GOP's Ethanol Fissure: This is essentially a Friday UPDATE because Ted Cruz makes it his Iowa issue right now.  The GOP was massively against the idea of blending ethanol to gasoline to begin with, and an effective tactic in any red state, including Oklahoma, is for a gas station to put NO ETHANOL in huge letters, and/or 100% GASOLINE on its outdoor signage.  Ethanol is not only an admission of air quality issues which the GOP has traditionally denied, and tied into the climate change issue, which the GOP currently denies.  But to succeed in Iowa, the GOP is required to say good things about federal subsidies and enforcement of blending ethanol in gasoline AND take a stand against that federal "blend wall".  Welcome to liberalism, Iowa GOP.  And to any member of the GOP that panders to Iowa.
Monday mini-UPDATE, Iowa Caucus Edition:  By golly, I heard Trump bring up the ethanol vs conservatives issue today.  When the man's right, he's right!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Something major happened today re: Enid Public Schools solicitations for bond votes

...and it deserves a blog post all by itself.  And anybody in Enid tuning in to Suddenlink channels 19 or 119 already know what I'm talking about, and I'm sure they've seen this horror long before I did...and...I'm sure that what's been seen can't be unseen.  Oh, woe is Mr. Darrell Floyd.  Suddenlink got on the case immediately after I started using Twitter to urge other locals to tune in, but the best fix they got was just a slide show with no audio.

I did capture what happened, and I spent the late afternoon turning into a vote no promo. Well, that's the size of the horror, and it's all of Darryll Floyd's own making.  Ya just can't make this shit up.  Enjoy:

January 26 UPDATE, school funding edition: Obama pledges $4 billion for computer science in school   Can't stand Obama? You'll have to hate Google too, then. Google is a partner.

Yes, computer coding is a science, you silly world-class-find-arts-center cheerleader twirling queens.  You're going to need math for coding, and it appears you didn't know that.  I say again: city engineers (civil engineers) don't come from arts programs.  Fire fighters don't come from arts programs either, so if you don't grow your own civil engineers and firefighters, you have to go afar to find them.  Computer coders don't come from fine arts programs either.  Fine arts programs don't train kids to qualify for jobs in Enid--they get trained for export to California or New York.  That's reality--deal with it or reality will deal with you.

Saturday mini-UPDATE, Enid News & Eagle's article about the City Commission edition:
The article discusses a financial review, mentions in passing the sales tax revenue shortfalls over the past year, saying that automatic budget cuts kick in, and this comes in as Enid has to vote for higher taxes because of that pork-barrel school bond vote to give Floyd some more shiny new electronic toys to play with as if the new electronic toys the City of Enid gave him with his cable channels weren't good enough...

That jogged my memory about something I'd heard or read about how Enid and the state were hotbeds of non-profit organizations.  If you don't see where I'm going with this, I'll spell it out for you--under the guise of being anti-tax conservativism, is it the case that conservatives turn against the principles of making a profit?  The whole idea that conservative principles were based on was to not be ashamed of making a profit.  But profits get taxed, and so we have the posterboy for anti-profit occupation of commercial real estate property in downtown Enid in the form of CDSA, taking up the entire square footage of what used to be a for-profit furniture store, Burchardt's.  That's one helluva lot of multiple storey square footage of retail space not generating sales tax to replace the sales tax revenue of the company that used to be there.

And there's not one damn dollar spent on Main Street Enid that has made an impact on remedying that situation while it continues to burn good money best spent elsewhere.

Sunday mini-UPDATE: Got word that a southern Illinois favorite, Minnesota Fats, passed away in Nashville...and while I was enjoying all the stories told about his legendary pool hustling days on this occasion, I also ran across something more pertinent to Enid's revenue situation in that it's failed to capitalize on the fact that it's a commercial road and rail crossroads.  Over in southern Illinois, in the town of West Frankfort, a mayor decided to buy a mall for development just because it's just off Interstate 57.  Anybody who knows the route as a significant north-south commercial transport corridor can easily see why.  Enid's a little dense in that regard, because while it meddles in mucking around aimlessly with buying up private property  for downtown development and some other residential developments, it's letting former retail tax generator Oakwood Mall backslide.

Oklahoma is peculiar in stacking all its revenue chips on retail sales tax, but the concept behind this scheme was based on good solid thinking when actual conservatives were running the place: you're in business to make money and when you make  money, you can chip in on showing the world how prosperous the state is.  But that was also before the roster of Oklahoma non-profit organizations hit the 8,000 mark.  With the anti-tax anti-government sentiment out there among the neo-cons and now with the Tea Party, now everybody's against making a profit these days, which makes the state's pro-business position look rather silly, especially in the accounting department.

Here's the article in the Southern Illinoisan newspaper.

Now here's an interesting graphic that might very well be applied to Enid's concept of TIF development:

Yup--TIFs don't always end well, and he's right about giving out special treatment that your local small biz owners don't get to benefit from.  And all the TIFs in the world don't make up for the fact that the schools in your city don't produce graduates that qualify for the jobs offered by the big biz you're trying to attract.  City civil engineers just don't come from fine arts departments, world class or otherwise, and neither does a skilled workforce.  You can't hire local firemen from that lot either because that requires at least a basic grasp of physics--and now that they're first responders in hazmat spills, they'll need basics in chemistry as well.

Arts and music are necessary for a well-rounded education, but you don't get a well-rounded education on arts alone.  You train kids for failure when you do that.

This just in, via a Facebook meme exchange:

Now for something completely different UPDATE: I've had stuff "go viral" before, but this one's a first on Facebook:

A Valentine twist on an old bromide: would you rather be loved or be right?

The old saw runs "would you rather be happy or be right?" as if those choices are mutually exclusive, which infers that the greatest investigative reporters are necessarily unhappy.  Not buying that one.  Being right means having credibility currency that translates into reliability, so now ask yourself--of all the friends that make you happy, how many can you say are reliable?

I bother to do fact checking, which is more than I can say for the Enid News & Eagle regarding the BS they're spreading about the Enid Public Schools bond coming up for a vote--they just parrot what the superintendent says as if it's biblical fact and fact checking doesn't even extend to reading their own damn paper (the 2014 issue earlier cited in other posts, et al). But if the saying's presumed premise is true, then it's undoubtedly the case that the ENE reporters are the happiest people on the planet.

Among my friends and fans, I am loved because I make a point of being right--which makes me more reliable than any other friend they have...and that, friends & neighbors, is what makes me happy.

{drops mic}

Saturday mini-UPDATE: Something rather apropos to this topic about the accuracy of being right came down the pike on Facebook. So apt on so many levels that it made me smile...

Oh HA. Fielding a question that I hear repeated periodically: If I find so much out of whack with Enid, why am I here?  Why am I still here? There happens to be a Doctor Who episode that has the perfect answer to that, and it's the one with Idris and House in it.

I'm here at this time because I need to be.  And that's all you need to know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Recent development: proof that Enid News & Eagle is City of Enid lapdog, not watchdog.

January 21 UPDATE: Got back from the Enid City Commission meeting with a high score on irritation, but you military folk know how it is: when you're on a vital mission, bugger on and damn the torpedoes.  I did manage to get some great footage to add to a previous vid I made on the topic of what the Commission thinks is top performance of an employee, given that El Three Amigos were out to railroad the City Manager...yeah, the same basic bunch that railroaded Wendy Quarrels, no doubt in my mind involved with railroading the former City Attorney Carol Lehman. Yup, she got railroaded before Wendy did.  Enjoy:

Apparently, adequate fact checking is against the religion of Enid News-aint-got-nothin-to-do-with-it & Eagle and I've dug up irrefutable proof of that while researching the Enid Public Schools bond issue boondoggle.  As I find more proof, those proofs will be posted here later, as I encounter them, so by all means check back periodically.

In this case, what's clearly apparent is that the Enid Eagle's idea of "investigative reporting" excludes reading its own damn paper.  Further worthy of note is the City's practice of passing bond issues, realizing "savings", then diverting money from other bonds WITHOUT A PUBLIC VOTE, to pet projects that weren't approved of when the bonds they've raided were voted on.

To be fair, the track record that Oklahoma has, as a state, regarding science, has been traditionally squirrelly.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Enid Public Schools pork barrel bond redux with Enid News & Eagle

Just a short post to say that the local newspaper announced today that it'll do a series of articles analyzing the terms of the bond for the next few days, and as folks here and on Twitter know already, I've taken the superintendent's own spam flier, printed with school money, apart line by line.  To that I'll add the insufferable pomposity culture of EPS embodied in the person of Tillie Sewell at the Ag Fest this past weekend. That whole entire rotten lot thinks that school money is their personal entitlement program which puts them high and mighty above anyone else.

Plus there's this, which just came down the pike via KFOR, shared on Facebook, which elicited the following comments:

When I retrieve the link to the blog page I've already posted my analysis on, I'll put it HERE---but NO links to any of the Enid Eagle articles because they enforce a pay wall which makes them useless for either education or civics information.  There has been a state-level development on the raising of taxes for the purpose of funding education, too, so if State Question 779 passes (it's still in petition phase, as Petition 403, and it just cleared a hurdle in court)( KFOR report), we're going to be dealing with a taxation double whammy if Enid's bond initiative passes. Anti-tax groups have challenged it, so it would surprise me if Enid's anti-tax society doesn't go up against the EPS bond issue, too.

Related blog entry re: BRAC/Vance Tax
Related blog entry

Between now and February, I'll revisit the line-by-line rebuttal, and re-Tweet.

For you, here's a reminder that the superintendent himself has no intention of improving on basics of grade school education for future local employment but schemes to train Enid youth for export to New York or California, for those juicy union media jobs out there.

So--this "explosive growth" ballyhooed by both the Enid Eagle and the EPS superintendent isn't even on the State's radar. They figure Enid voters for suckers.

And never forget that the City of Enid already bought EPS plenty of shiny new media equipment when they handed over a cable access channel to them and what they hired a communications specialist, with assistant, for.  In many respects, EPS has more gee-whiz gadgetry than the entirety of the Oklahoma City school system.

So-now that the State has the go-ahead for a vote on a state-wide sales tax, how do you feel about being taxed twice for schools, considering that there is also a bill put forward to consolidate school districts further?  You like taxes for pork that much, do you?

Meanwhile, the superintendent goes singing...

This building was completely replaced, and has a marquee that still doesn't teach the students one damn thing, but it was replaced using private donor money according to the Enid Eagle.

Here's a $99 million bond issue blast from the past, which also expanded classroom space--hey, have we paid THAT bond issue off yet??

Tuesday UPDATE: Slow on the uptake, the Enid Eagle *finally* publishes an article confirming what I've been saying all along:

Friday, January 08, 2016

City of Enid Commission session delights us with brief moment of bad lip reading

In the last episode of the Enid Follies soap opera where a gang of 3 Commissioners conspired to do in local talent Jerald Gilbert as City Manager knowing that one Commissioner and the Mayor were going to be out of state.  This month is when the proper performance review of the City Manger's performance is supposed to happen, so let's take a look at the quality of judgment of the judges.  Yes, the result is an instance of bad lip reading.  Take a look:


Writing this as I just get back from KNID's Agrifest, which I'm sure would amaze the City's Assistant Manager who thinks spacious parking lots nowhere near enough businesses to warrant so much unproductive space is a good thing.  That's because the spacious parking lot at the Chisholm Expo Center was freakin' PACKED all the way from the facilities' front door to the roadways.  The only time there are packed spacious parking lots downtown is when there are special events, not for retail business, and Agrifest is both a special event AND retail business.  The Agrifest booklet mapped out vendor booths and which vendor was in what booth, but it didn't show where the vendors came in from...and so I started collecting business cards (and in the absence of business cards, collected promotional items that showed that information).

I got a free tote back from Mystik Lubricants to put all the stuff into, too...and Mystik was represented by Jim Johnson Oil Co. of El Reno, Oklahoma.  So naturally I said to the vendor, "Welcome to Enid!"

What I will do at a later date is update this blog entry with an analysis of all the business cards & info I picked up and post who was from out of town, from out of state, and where applicable, the size of the large machinery on sale for this event.  Somebody is just going to have to take this  info to the City Commission to show that whatever the hell they think they're doing with the downtown area for city folk, the entire county that it's the seat of has that retail business beat to a whisper several times over.

Stay tuned.
I've got quite a stack of business cards to scan, and here's where I kick off the scan-fest over here. What's interesting is that the stack of out-of-town cards is immensely taller than the stack of in-town cards, which should tell the Economic Development crew all it needs to know about what businesses there should be in Enid but aren't.  Here's the first batch, all in Oklahoma, but there are quite a few out of state businesses showing up here, from Minnesota to Texas, and yeah--Benson MO was represented by 2 different vendors--but--actual ag businesses from Illinois were present.

What the Enid City Commission repeatedly fails to realize is that other cities solicit Enid hunters and fishermen to spend their sports money in their communities instead of Enid's. Enid just hasn't got anything that will attract such people outside of the annual quail hunt. Enid Economic Development my ass. If you're offended by "salty language" like this, then you haven't talked to a farmer, rancher, or military person.