EBOLA, ISLAM, IMMIGRATION, AND OKLAHOMA’S POLITICS OF FEAR

Ebola, Islam, Immigration and Oklahoma’s Politics of Fear
by Priscilla Galstaun-Khader

Herodotus: “In peace, sons bury their fathers; in war, fathers bury their sons.”

 

jim

 

Congressman Jim Bridenstine, representing Oklahoma’s First District and a Navy pilot and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan held a town hall yesterday titled “Securing America” where he addressed the “crisis” in the Middle East, i.e., ISIS and Hamas, illegal children immigrants from “our Southern Border”, the imperative need for the drug war, Ebola and “Russian aggression”.

Seeing how these topics directly impacted me and my communities, both in faith and in humanity, I decided to attend. It was a pleasant surprise to see how Rep. Bridenstine’s staffers were courteous and cordial to me and my friend. We were welcomed most warmly and informed we could sit anywhere we liked.

Once seated, however, things started to go downhill. The row we chose to sit in had three occupants already seated in front of it. All seemed well, until the lady in that row turned around, took a look at us and what seemed like a spontaneous decision, decided to move along with her two companions to another area in the auditorium. I was left wondering if they just wanted a better view of the proceedings, or perhaps if my hijab and my friend’s niqab played a part in their decision to relocate or was it that we were suspected of waging biological warfare by walking in with the Ebola virus.

Anyhow, my attention was soon drawn to the stage where there was a band and a choir present playing a mix of some golden oldies, patriotic serenades and what sounded to me like a hymn. This seemed odd seeing this was a town hall open to the public which I’m sure comprises of more than one culture, religion or ethnicity but later considering that it was being held in Oklahoma, it made logical sense. Inevitably, at some point an elaborate gesture of obeisance was made to the three armed forces of the American military.

The event was kicked off with a prayer beseeching Jesus (pbuh) to act in the White House, the Congress and in Washington D.C., followed by the national anthem, neither of which I stood up for, which earned me the wrathful glare of pretty much everyone around me. C’est’ la vie.

Then Rep. Bridenstine came on and talked about everything and nothing for about 15 -20 minutes. He spoke about his history as in where he went to school, college, prior job positions etc and then proceeded to praise his staffer, and talk about the band and choir in attendance. I tried hard to not zone out incase I missed something critical and was quickly redeemed by his declaration, “Our country is in peril!”

Now that totally got my attention but not for the reasons that Mr.Bridenstine would have hoped for, as you will see below.

Briefly alerting all in the room to our impending doom, he proceeded to educate us about the economy, the Federal Reserve, taxes, Medicaid, Medicare and so on and so forth which was getting to be really tedious. Not because I wasn’t interested in those topics but because he was frankly, insulting my intelligence.

However, I soon observed that his fan base (which pretty much included everyone in that auditorium, save a few) were agreeing with every word he elicited and the applause and ovations that followed were increasing in intensity and length which proved to be more frightening and more nauseating as compared to Mr. Bridenstine’s rhetoric.

Much to my exasperation, his lauding of American exceptionalism, jingoism, military power and might and appeals to the Christians in the room (nearly all of them?), by invoking Jesus every now and then and quoting Romans:33 and 39, to continue to heavily invest in the American military industrial complex and continue to think inside of that box, (thereby perpetuating the exact same errors of the last 13 years of American foreign policy) made me think he was no different from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the so-called ISIS/IS. Only in this case, the religion and region were in reverse.

Pardon me if I felt like it wouldn’t be long before my head would be on the chopping block. My friend who wears the niqab (face veil) was sneered at, scoffed and mocked and rudely commented on during her entire time there and when we were leaving that theater of warmongering, ignorance and discrimination, the people around us were verbally relieved.

By fear mongering about Ebola and Africa, claiming that Russia is enhancing its military, asserting that the U.S. navy is winning the war on drugs, emoting over abused children immigrants from our “southern border” and calling them “illegal” all in one breath and stating in the next, that he is in favor of sending them back to the same life threatening hell-hole they are escaping and emigrating from, condemning Palestine and extolling Israel, invoking defense spending, asserting that ISIS and Al Qaeda are one and the same and most damning of all; that they exist in a vacuum, weeping (literally) over the increasing number of tombstones at Arlington cemetery with it’s crosses and the stars of David etched on them, thereby completely mitigating those of other faiths who are just as dead as those who lie beside them; prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the militancy of Congressman Bridenstine toward the very monsters he helps create and his deeply held Judeo-Christian ethic that he overtly invoked throughout his town hall proceedings.

What was most baffling to me was how the baby boomers in the room were in unanimous agreement with Rep. Bridenstine’s call for more war, more annihilation, more militancy and thereby more “crosses” and “stars of David” at their cemeteries. If their version of patriotism can blind fathers and mothers to such an extent where they proudly seek the deaths of their children and grandchildren, then I can’t help but recall what Rev. Clarence Waldron said in condemnation of Kaiser Wilhelm’s regime in Germany, “If this is patriotism, to hell with patriotism.”

How could the people in that room weep over their dead one minute, only to seek more deaths of their loved ones the next? How were the fathers (and mothers) able to applaud burying their sons (and daughters) in the future and yet not see how aligned they are in blind obedience with the very monsters they proudly vote to send their children to kill?

Herodotus was right and I’m sure the people in that town hall would agree. They just may not see how his insight applies to them.

NHL Roundup (10.21.14)

Hockey season has begun! Here’s the first NHL Roundup of the season!

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

Canadiens
Senators
Red Wings
Lightning
Bruins
Maple Leafs
Panthers
Sabres

Metropolitan Division

Islanders
Capitals
Penguins
Blue Jackets
Devils
Rangers
Flyers
Hurricanes

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

Predators
Blackhawks
Stars
Blues
Wild
Avalanche
Jets

Pacific Division

Ducks
Sharks
Kings
Flames
Canucks
Coyotes
Oilers

STATS

Points Leaders

Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 9
Tavares (New York Islanders) – 9
Multiples tied for 3rd with 8 points.

Goals Leaders

Nash (New York Rangers) – 7
Multiples tied for 2nd with 5 goals.

Assists Leaders

Tavares (New York Islanders) – 7
Multiples tied for 2nd with 6 assists.

Goalie Leaders – Goals Against Average

Montoya (Florida) – 0.59
Kuemper (Minnesota) – 0.67
Berra (Colorado) – 0.73

Goalie Leaders – Wins

Andersen (Anaheim) – 5
Price (Montreal) – 4
Multiples tied for 3rd with 3 wins.

Goalie Leaders – Save Percentage
Berra (Colorado) – .974
Montoya (Florida) – .974
Kuemper (Minnesota) – .972

NHL ESPN POWER RANKINGS (Top 12)

  1. Anaheim Ducks
  2. Montral Canadiens
  3. Los Angeles Kings
  4. New York Islanders
  5. Chicago Blackhawks
  6. San Jose Sharks
  7. Ottawa Senators
  8. Nashville Predators
  9. Washinton Capitals
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning
  11. Pittsburgh Penguins
  12. Detroit Red Wings

NFL Roundup 2014 (Week 5)

NFL Roundup

WEEK 4 SCORES

Packers 42, Vikings 10
Panthers 31, Bears 24
Broens 29, Titans 28
Eagles 34, Rams 28
Giants 30, Falcons 20
Saints 37, Buccaneers 31
Cowboys 20, Texans 17
Bills 17, Lions 14
Colts 20, Ravens 13
Steelers 17, Jaguars 9
Broncos 41, Cardinals 20
49ers 22, Chiefs 17
Chargers 31, Jets 0
Patriots 43, Bengals 17
Seahawks 27, Redskins 17

NFC STANDINGS

NFC East
Philadelphia
Dallas These guys are actually tied for 1st place?!? What the heck happened they’re supposed to suck!
NY Giants
Washington

NFC North
Detroit
Green Bay
Minnesota
Chicago

NFC South
Carolina
Atlanta
New Orleans
Tampa Bay

NFC West
Arizona
Seattle
San Francisco
St. Louis

AFC STANDINGS

AFC East
Buffalo
New England
Miami
NY Jets

AFC North
Cincinnati
Baltimore
Pittsburgh
Cleveland

AFC South
Houston
Indianapolis
Tennessee
Jacksonville These guys, along with the Raiders, have STILL not won a SINGLE game!

AFC West
San Diego
Denver
Kansas City
Oakland The Chiefs should be thinking these guys since they don’t have to be stuck in last place this year.

STATS

Passing Leaders (Yards)
Andrew Luck – 1617
Matt Ryan – 1579
Drew Brees – 1574

Passing Leaders (Touchdowns)
Andrew Luck – 14
Peyton Manning – 12
Philip Rivers – 12
Aaron Rodgers – 12
Jay Cutler – 12

Passing Leaders (QB Rating)
Philip Rivers – 116.3
Aaron Rodgers – 114.8
Russell Wilson – 112.9

Rushing Leaders (Yards)
DeMarco Murray – 670
Le’Veon Bell – 460
Arian Foster – 404

Rushing Leaders (Touchdowns)
DeMarco Murray – 5
Multiples tied for 2nd with 3 TDs (including Marshawn Lynch)

Receiving Leaders (Yards)
Julio Jones – 552
Jordy Nelson – 525
Antonio Brown – 511

Receiving Leaders (Touchdowns)
Julius Thomas – 7
Randall Cobb – 6
Multiples tied for 3rd with 5 TDs.

Defensive Leaders (Tackles)
Luke Kuechly – 61
Paul Morrilow – 58
Paul Posluszny – 52

Defensive Leaders (Sacks)
Ryan Kerrigan – 6
Justin Houston – 6
Willie Young – 5
Marcell Dareus – 5

ESPN Power Rankings (Top 12)

  1. Seattle Seahawks
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. San Diego Chargers
  4. Philadelphia Eagles
  5. Cincinnati Bengals
  6. Dallas Cowboys
  7. San Francisco 49ers
  8. Indianapolis Colts
  9. Arizona Cardinals
  10. New England Patriots
  11. Baltimore Ravens

Robert Murphy Announces Candidacy for CD5

 

 


NEWS RELEASE

For Release:
October 4, 2014

Contact:
Steve Long   405-639-8168


CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE MURPHY
ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN


 

Robert T. Murphy, one of the Independent candidates for Oklahoma House District 5, has announced his candidacy with the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the US House of Representatives, though I have no hope of being elected to this post. Many years of campaigning for
political office under the Libertarian banner have convinced me that the majority of voters in District 5 have no idea of the meaning of Political Liberty, and would run like hell from it if it were offered to them. The Liberals (or Progressives, if you insist) among them desire nothing more than that we should idolize the poor and somehow sociologically engineer equality between people. The conservatives among them seem to think that we must strictly adhere to 3,000 year-old biblical practices and ignore the message of the Enlightenment. The message of freedom, toleration of belief, and individual responsibility has been lost.”

“The military-industrial complex has taken over our foreign policy, leading to
endless enemies and perpetual war. Our domestic policing is concentrated on the
War On Drugs, which combined with the asset forfeiture laws have turned our
police into nothing more than highway robbers. Our economy is at the mercy of
Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the central planning of executive agencies, causing unemployment, inflation, and economic stagnation.

“I have little hope for the future. Through decades of propaganda, too many of us
believe that countries on the other side of the world pose a significant threat,
that people are too stupid to use drugs safely, and that central planners can be
trusted to manage our economy without greed or bias. If history is any lesson,
we can soon expect an economic crisis which our leaders will blame on someone
else, followed by another large-scale war.”

“Our only hope is to stop trying to police the world (which is bankrupting us, as it did
the French King just before the French Revolution), allow for the social
freedoms of drug use, prostitution, and gambling (the prohibition of which
enriches organized crime), and to call an end to the centralized control of
economic activity (which only serves to enhance the egos of the planners, enrich
Elites, and devastate the Middle Class).”

“Freedom is the genius of American civilization. Other great nations were founded in
conquest. Ours was founded with the enshrinement of the idea of individual
rights. Individual rights have had a checkered history, even in America, and
have often been denied to too many for far too long, but the ideal has always
survived. It is my answer, and my hope.”

Robert T. Murphy, 66, has been a volunteer in the Libertarian Movement for 40 years. A native of Detroit, Michigan and a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, he came to Oklahoma in 1975 and has been a resident ever since. He retired from the
University of Oklahoma in 2010.

 

#####

OKLP Press Release – SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality

 

oklp

 

Oklahoma
Libertarian Party

 

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 6,
2014

Contact:
Steve Long

405.639.8168


Historic Supreme Court Decision for Marriage Equality!

 


SUPREME
COURT REFUSES



OKLAHOMA APPEAL  

 


Today’s Supreme Court ruling clears the way for marriage equality in Oklahoma.


It denies the religious right to continue to impose their religious views on the LGBT community in Oklahoma. Today is a great day for the expansion of freedom. 


Oklahomans who have been denied the right to marry under Oklahoma’s draconian laws will now immediately be able to be legally married.

Let freedom ring!

Goodbye Oklahoma GOP

Goodbye Oklahoma GOP
By Craig Dawkins

I can remember my first vote for president like it was yesterday. It was my senior year in high school and I became eligible to vote, less than a month before Election Day. I was told that I could go to our counselor’s office and register to vote.

So I walk into the office and inform the secretary working there that I’d like to register to vote. She opened up her drawer and pulled out a voter registration form. She asked me what political party I wanted to register with. Of course, there were only two in which choose. I answered, “The Republican Party.”  With a bit of concerned look she said, “Well you know, if you want to vote in meaningful primaries, you should consider registering in the Democratic Party.” I looked her right in the eye and said, “No mam, I want to register Republican and I plan on voting for Ronald Reagan.” With a shrug she took my registration.

In 1980, Oklahoma was predominately Democrat and it was not even close. Roughly 76% of registered voters were Democrats in 1980. Only 23% were Republican. The Republican Party was a much different political party in 1980. It was just trying to get candidates to run for office and was trying to demonstrate the “big tent” narrative that it was trying to be.

But I was proud to be a Republican and viewed Ronald Reagan and the GOP as a real advocate for freedom. Yeah, I had it wrong, but I meant well anyway. Today the GOP is the dominant political party in Oklahoma, controlling all three branches of state government. Unfortunately, the “big tent” ideals of inclusiveness have been replaced by narrow-mindedness and anti-intellectualism. As the religious right came into the party in large numbers, the OK GOP became more hateful, more intolerant of personal liberties and more favorable towards “big government conservatism.” The OK GOP is an anathema for anyone wanting equal rights for all people.

Today’s OK GOP is lost. Somewhere along the way, the OK GOP took down the “big tent” and started building a wall. And those who are gay, immigrant, atheist, Muslim, anti-war, libertarian, anti-drug war, anti-police state, and pro-marriage equality are increasingly forced to stroll back and forth outside the wall. Sure they can peak over the wall to see what is happening, but if they want to be inside the wall, they better tow the party line or they will find themselves outside the wall living in the ‘tent’ of their own making. That’s where the OK GOP liberty movement is at this point.

In January of 2014, as a member of the Oklahoma County GOP Executive Committee, I crafted a resolution condemning Governor Mary Fallin for issuing executive orders banning eCigarettes from state properties and for ordering the denial of federally funded benefits to LGBT U.S. military men and women. I felt a measure of responsibility to speak out. I thought of my granddaughter asking me, twenty years from now, what I did when the OK GOP leadership was so hateful and bigoted towards the LGBT community. Speaking out was the right thing to do. I wanted to simply have the resolution voted up or down by the committee.  That did not happen. Rather than allow my resolution to be heard, I was informed that my appointment to the committee had been revoked. I was kicked off the committee. So be it. At least I no longer had to lend my credibility to it.

Today’s Oklahoma GOP is steadfastly against the issues of our time. Whether its immigration reform, marriage equality, ending the drug war, pushing against the police state, or freedom of religion, the OK GOP is on the wrong side of history. And in the last two weeks, the OK GOP has been a parade of intolerance, not only from elected politicians, but from the very top of the Oklahoma Republican Party. It’s not just the politicians, but the leadership and a majority of the activist base who agree with the horrible bigotry expressed against a tiny Muslim minority in Oklahoma. Perhaps it’s just the culture of Oklahoma that is the problem here? I don’t know.

So what are the options? Oklahoma will not legalize the party in which I wish to register, the Libertarian Party. Both major parties have determined to keep third parties at bay. So that leaves Independent or Democratic Party. Independents cannot participate in the primary system we have in Oklahoma because our laws prohibit it. So that leaves the Oklahoma Democratic Party if I wish to be involved in the selection process of candidates.

The case for joining the Democratic Party was hard to make a few years ago. The Democrats supported and promoted very few liberty positions. But that’s now changed. It was Democrats who changed the marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington State. It was Democrats who pushed for and will get credit for helping marriage equality become the law of the land. It is Democrats who support immigration reform and a path to citizenship, allowing people to come to America and make a life. It is Democrats who are pushing back against the police state. The leadership of the Democratic Party is not reaffirming hateful rhetoric calling Oklahoma Muslims a “cancer” worthy of being “cut out of America.” Where is the OK GOP on all these issues? Clearly they are on the wrong side.

The Oklahoma Democratic Party is by no means a party that promotes economic freedom but neither is the Republican Party. In a rigged system of two parties, I will no longer be on the side that has to be convinced to accept the idea that all people are deserving of human rights. Oklahoma Democrats aren’t all roses and candy to be sure, but at least I won’t have to convince them that gays are human beings worthy of equality. Or that a tiny minority of Oklahoma Muslims should not be demonized. Or that immigration is a good thing for America. Or that the police state and drug war are out of control. With some notable exceptions, they are already there for the most part.

So 34 years after I registered as a Republican, I’m going to see how it works in the Democratic Party. I will work with the “Blue Dogs” on economic freedom issues and the liberals on social freedom issues. Having a liberty movement in both political parties is important I think. So expanding Liberty on Tap OKC to include Democrats and Independents will be a goal of mine as well.

Unfortunately, I realize that some in the GOP will use this opportunity to broad brush those in the liberty movement who decide to stay in the GOP to press social and economic freedom. I spent almost 20 years in the Oklahoma GOP after coming back home from living in the Deep South. I’ve fought battles on platform committees, rules committees, executive committees, and in political campaigns. All I can say is to be true to your conscience. Mine will no longer allow me to be a part of the OK GOP. I don’t think the liberty movement is gaining ground at all in the OK GOP.

I used to introduce myself to Republicans saying, “I’m a libertarian forced to pick the lesser of two evils and the GOP is slightly less bad than the Democrats.” I can’t say that any more. So goodbye OK GOP.

As B.B. King said in his hit song, “The Thrill is Gone” – “You know I’m free, free now baby. I’m free from your spell. Oh I’m free, free, free now. I’m free from your spell. And now that it’s all over. All I can do is wish you well.”

goodbye2

NFL Roundup 2014 (Week 4)

nfl-2014

WEEK 4 SCORES

Giants 45, Redskins 14
Packers 38, Bears 17
Texans 23, Bills 17
Colts 41, Titans 17
Ravens 10, Panthers 10
Lions 24, Jets 17
Buccaneers 27, Steelers 24
Dolphins 38, Raiders 14
Chargers 33, Jaguars 14
Vikings 41, Falcons 28
49ers 26, Eagles 21
Cowboys 38, Saints 17 For shame New Orleans. tsk tsk
Chiefs 41, Patriots 14 The dynasty is crumbling I think.

NFC STANDINGS

NFC East
Philadelphia
Dallas
NY Giants
Washington

NFC North
Detroit
Minnesota
Green Bay
Chicago

NFC South
Carolina
Atlanta
New Orleans
Tampa Bay

NFC West
Arizona The only undefeated team in the NFC and one of only two undefeated teams in the league.
Seattle
San Francisco
St. Louis

AFC STANDINGS

AFC East
Buffalo
Miami
New England
NY Jets

AFC North
Cincinnati The other undefeated team in the league.
Baltimore
Pittsburgh
Cleveland

AFC South
Houston
Indianapolis
Tennessee
Jacksonville Tied for last place with no wins so far this season!

AFC West
San Diego
Denver
Kansas City
Oakland Here is the team that is tied with Jacksonville for last place. Also no wins so far this season.

ESPN Power Rankings (Top 12)

  1. Seattle Seahawks
  2. Cincinnati Bengals
  3. Denver Broncos
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. San Diego Chargers
  6. Philadelphia Eagles
  7. Baltimore Ravens
  8. Detroit Lions
  9. San Francisco 49ers
  10. Dallas Cowboys
  11. Indianapolis Colts
  12. Green Bay Packers

The Targeted Assassination of The Bill of Rights

by Priscilla Galstaun-Khader

It’s my birthday and I’m not celebrating. Not only because I’m not much into birthdays to begin with but also because any motivation to celebrate something as trivial as my existence on this planet was reduced to cinders when exactly 3 years ago our rights to due process (the only requirement of government mentioned twice in the Constitution) as a citizen of this country, was targeted for assassination and snuffed out in a drone attack.

The Bill of Rights was murdered in the form of one Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who, without being issued an arrest warrant and based purely on a mere assertion of threat and connections to Al Qaeda, and exclusively on the executive orders of the president of the United States, was murdered via a drone strike, in Yemen, a country outside of a war zone and making it an extrajudicial killing.

If you’re reading this and thinking how this gross violation of the Constitution escaped your attention, then it’s probably because like many, you were caught up in the celebratory missives of our Commander-in-chief who, beaming with hubristic pride claimed, “…..another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates” and attributing his success, “to our intelligence community”, thereby mitigating his subterfuge all while reading out the burial rites to our right to a free and fair trial by a jury of our peers and protections from a governmental power grab.

When a sitting president of the United States assumes the mantle of judge, jury and executioner and declares an American citizen to be outside the auspices of the law and in secrecy orders the targeted assassination of the individual without so much as indicting him for a crime, it is time to reconsider celebrating anything at that point.

When the Executive branch goes to great lengths to redefine the true meaning of the term “due process” as codified in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution in the clause, “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” by claiming that, “a White House review was due process enough when it came to an American citizen with al-Qaeda sympathies”, thereby emanating the stench of a gross overreach, it is beyond time to pause celebrations and start paying close attention to the slow and steady demise of our liberties and how our servile silence serves only to accelerate this duplicitous process.

On September 30, 2011, following the burial service of our rights to due process, then GOP presidential contender, Dr.Ron Paul elicited a bone-chilling, and prophetic but altruistic eulogy when he said, “if the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad.”

It is due to this sadness that I no longer care to celebrate my birthday because this day not only marks the establishment of a terrifying precedent in American history but also highlights how the American people have accepted this precedent in puerile accordance with that intuitive premonition portended only three years to the day.

NCAA Football Roundup 2014 (Week 5)

PAC 12 SCORES

UCLA 62, Arizona State 27
California 59, Colorado 56
Stanford 20, Washington 13 Boo!
Washington State 28, Utah 27
USC 35, Oregon State 10

PAC 12 STANDINGS

North
Oregon
Stanford
California
Washington State
Washington
Oregon State

South
USC
Arizona
UCLA
Arizona State
Utah
Colorado

BIG 12 SCORES

Oklahoma State 45, Texas Tech 35
Kansas State 58, UTEP 28
TCU 56, SMU 0
Texas 23, Kansas 0
Baylor 49, Iowa State 28

BIG 12 STANDINGS
Oklahoma
Baylor
Oklahoma State
Kansas State
Texas
TCU
Kansas
Texas Tech
West Virginia
Iowa State

OTHER SCORES

Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 15

AP RANKINGS (Top 12)

Florida State
Oregon
Alabama
Oklahoma
Auburn
Texas A&M
Baylor
UCLA
Notre Dame
Michigan State
Ole Miss
Mississippi State