Saturday, April 27, 2013

American Immigration History

Docking at Ellis Island
  The 'Golden Years' of American Immigration was a time of special sentimental significance to so many of us Americans. Some years ago I took my young family to the great 'shrines' of New York Harbor.
Mary & Hector Van Risseghem
The Statue of Liberty is special, but our first stop was to Ellis Island. It was here that my ancestors passed through, hoping that they wouldn't be turned away.
  In 1924, the US enacted a very racist immigration policy which contributed to untold world suffering and genocide, during WWII. The Johnson-Reed Act (also called 'the Asian Exclusion Act') remained US immigration policy until 1965. It's aim was "to preserve the ideal of American homogeneity". The terms of the act were:

  • prohibiting the immigration of Middle Easterners, East Asians, &Indians.
  • prohibiting Jews, Italians, & Sicilians as "as the prototype of immigrants who could never be assimilated".
  •  use of the population of the United States in 1890 as the basis for calculating quotas
Lindbergh enters political activism

  America went through a very racist period, during the years between the World Wars. The Ku Klux Klan was at the pinnacle of political influence. Even a US president was a member. 

  Charles Lindbergh openly declared the supremacy of the Scandinavian race. He openly defamed the American Jews and sought to weaken their influence in the national media. Lindbergh was the son of a U.S. congressman and learned early, how to parlay popularity into social activism. By the time the U.S. entered WWII, Lindbergh was greatly discredited and broadly despised.
Darwin, on 'preserving favoured races'

  Charles Darwin published a massive 'scientific' publication to justify racism. While we often refer to the book, "On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life".  Few of us pay attention to the latter part of the title. But it added a sense of justification to open practices of racism in society and public policy.

  An influential member of New York society, Margaret Sanger sought to suppress the populations of Italians & Jews through an organization we now call ' Planned Parenthood'. She argued; "[Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are] human weeds ... a dead-weight of human waste ... [Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a] menace to the race.". "Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need ... We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock."

Post WWII, British imprisoned
several thousand Jews in

 Cyprus, trying to stop them 
from forming an Israeli nation
  There was a world wide persecution of Jews during the 20's, 30's, & 40's. They were explicitly forbidden from immigration to the U.S. & most other nations. Being trapped in Europe led to their mass extermination by Nazi & Soviet governments. Even after WWII, the British held many Jews in concentration camps indefinitely, to inhibit the Zionist repatriation of a Jewish State. It was only through guerrilla war tactics and sheer tenacity that Palestinian Jews eventually declared their independence from a hostile British occupation. Many of modern Israel's heroic leaders were once labeled 'terrorists' by their British occupiers.

Solzhenitsyn Exposes
Soviet Evils
  America changed immigration policy in the 60's. Cold war pragmatism led to open door status for anyone fleeing communist suppression. Cubans flooded Florida to escape Castro's communist oppression  Worldwide public relations battles were played out over the emigration of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Natan Sharansky. When the cold war fizzled from our fears, America's pragmatic openness became less generous.

Haitian Boat People
  What should our immigration policy be? Will pure ideals of equality and generosity be workable?  Will pragmatic concerns for an applicant's wealth, heritage, or education be defensible to the political factions and racial special interests? 

  A former boss of mine in the 90's; objected to my involvement in Senator Phil Gramm's presidential campaign. His most direct criticism was that the senator's wife "doesn't look American" (Wendy Gramm is of Asian ancestry). My direct reply was; "What does an American look like?". He walked away with a fierce disgust, but said nothing because another one of his employees was standing too near, and she was also of Asian ancestry.

  Fortunately, it's getting harder and harder for racists to openly practice their bigotry. But too often they still mask it in justifications of pragmatism. Yes, there are real concerns for having 'open borders'. But bigotry and separatism are not one of my 'excusable' reasons for keeping people out.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Congressmen We Couldn't Keep As Neighbors

  Why can't Tulsa keep her former congressmen? Every 1st District representative since Page Belcher has somehow gotten addicted to the Washington culture and circles of cash & influence.  Since then, Tulsa has never had a retired or defeated congressman settle back here and pretend to be "one of us".
Page Belcher
  Page had formerly served the dissolved 8th Oklahoma Congressional District, then he moved to Tulsa after the heavily Democrat Oklahoma Legislature tried to alienate his Enid home from the redrawn district. He remained Tulsa's representative until the 1971 redistricting sliced heavily Republican South Tulsa out of district 1, to aid James Jones' political aspirations. The 72 year old Belcher retired back in Oklahoma and died in 1980.

James Jones
  'Jim' served in the 1st District from 1973-1986.  He then served in the Clinton & Obama administrations, as well as consulting foreign corporations & lobbying.  He was a very controversial ambassador to Mexico and helped Obama attempt to close down the enemy combatant detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

James Inhofe

  When Jones tried to unseat Sen. Don Nickles in the U.S. Senate, Former Tulsa mayor, James Inhofe won the open 1st district seat and served until his successful 1994 run for Oklahoma's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Jim still serves in that capacity, now approaching his 80's. He commutes from his Oklahoma home, weekly.

Steve Largent
  Steve had finished a hugely successful NFL Hall of Fame career prior to settling in Tulsa. When Inhofe left the 1st district seat open, Largent won a 6-Republican primary and coasted to 4 terms. While in congress, Largent decided to step aside and run for Oklahoma Governor. After his 2002 loss, he moved back to D.C. & accepted the position as head of Amreica's wireless communications trade group. The advocacy, education and lobbying work has been the primary focus of Largent's career for 10 years. His popularity in Washington greatly aided his appointment to the lead position in the trade group. He lives in the D.C. area.

John Sullivan 
John left the Oklahoma legislature to run for the open 1st district seat in 2002. The underdog, Sullivan, defeated former 1st lady, Kathy Keating and coasted to 5 terms in office. In 2012, Sullivan lost in a primary to Tea Party favorite & newcomer, Jim Bridenstine. The shocking and bitter defeat was a difficult end to Sullivan's political aspirations. Sullivan now resides in the D.C. area and does consulting and lobbying for his clients, taking advantage of his ties to fellow legislators.

  Every one of these men convinced us that they were, at heart, one of us. We don't hear much from any of them (except Inhofe). Perhaps Tulsa doesn't offer them the thrill of political & legislative competition? Perhaps they've assimilated to the culture of Washington and find Tulsa a bit boring?

Jim Bridenstine
  Jim was an active reserve naval pilot, right up to the month he was made our congressman.Tulsa now has a freshman who made campaigning look easy. Some already have ambitions to take him on in the 2014 primary? Whatever comes, my advice is; stay close to the voters and don't let us feel you've become alienated to our way of life. I hardly think Bridenstine needs this advice this early in his political life. But one day it might help him.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Arena Of Politics - The Man In The Arena

'The Man In The Arena' , by Teddy Roosevelt
There were many great conservatives gathered, yesterday, at the Oklahoma GOP State Convention. It may be one of the biggest and most powerful political forces in the "reddest state in the union".
We saw a great deal of good will, passionate debate, competent leadership, and new visions for a better future.

As many readers know, This blogger is very confident in the capabilities of all our candidates for the statewide party offices. Unfortunately only 2 of the 5 candidates can assume office, tomorrow.

To Amanda, Denise, & Richard; my salutes for your willingness. I admire your dedication and respect your qualifications.
Teddy Roosevelt also salutes you. It is a special honor to be 'The Man In The Arena'.

To Matt, Pam, their appointees, and all the outgoing committee members: Thanks for serving with great distinction! These have been magical years.

To the new leadership: David & Sara Jo, I stand by you, as do your former opponents who honestly believe they could also lead, if called upon. Please call on all of us and be the leaders whom we will all be proud to stand by. We know you are competent, but we will also forgive your humanity and be patient with your limitations. We will appreciate your transparency and even expect it, as a sign that you too, have confidence in us.
Lead On!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Oklahoma's New Republican Leadership.

    Today's Oklahoma Republican Party has some of the finest new party candidates for the upcoming State Convention.  All of the candidates have volumes to further the conservative political values of Oklahoma's Republicans. While many in the party may have limited interaction with some or all of the 4 major candidates; a bit of research will quickly result in a wealth of insight.
    This is our first state convention which does not have a gender mandate for the elections. In past year, going back to the Gerald Ford era, we had to select a man for one office and a woman for the other.
Vice Chairman

    Below, you'll find a brief introduction by each of them and a link to further contact information. All of them are professing Christians.
Chairman Candidates
  • David Weston is a  longtime activist and leader, Dave has served multiple capacities in local and state positions for the Oklahoma Republican Party. For over a decade Dave has played a critical leadership role throughout OKGOP operations and committees.  David resides just south of the OKC area. 
  • Amanda Teegarden is motivated by devotion to principle, implementation of conservative policy, and effective grassroots mobilization.  Amanda resides in the Tulsa area.
Vice Chairman Candidates
  • Denise Crosswhite-Hader  has worked on numerous campaigns on the local, state, and federal levels since she was 14; including as the Field Rep. for the 5th Congressional District in Central Oklahoma. In 2004, she ran for State Senate & later was a  coordinator on the campaign staff of Dr. Tom Coburn . She currently works as the Legislative Liaison for Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. Denise resides in the OKC area. Denise-Crosswhite-Hader, on Facebook
  • Richard Engle is a husband, father, Author, philanthropist, and statesman. He has volunteered in many capacities of party leadership. He was runner-up in last year's narrow race for RNC committeeman. Richard Engle of Facebook
    Each of these candidates have brought civic-minded people together for noble causes. Each of them is intelligent and ambitious about the opportunities that lay ahead.
It is the conclusion of this writer, that all of the candidates present a good choice with unique strengths belonging to each of them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Teegarden Announces For Statewide Office

Amanda Teegarden
   The Oklahoma Republicans are "ramping up" for a big convention in a couple weeks. All of the preliminary county conventions have completed their biennial leadership selections. What transpired in many counties is worth some observation. County elections statewide are signaling a significant shift in party coalitions and elected party officials.
   The emergence of the Tea Party grassroots movement is bringing about a major realignment of priorities for many long-standing party members. The days of banking lobbyists and ruling class blue-bloods running the party.... may be diminishing even more.
   The national politics of gun control, socialized medicine, federal debt, and bloated bureaucracy is becoming the driving force of Oklahoma's Republican Party Growth. Like any growth, certain sectors within a large group become more influential. 
   The pro-family activists who established a plurality victory for Rick Santorum in last year's Oklahoma presidential primary are finding themselves largely aligned with the 'constitutional conservatives' who preferred Ron Paul.
A contentious 2012 OKGOP convention
   What may be driving many of them to each other's aid is the propensity of the 'business-class' Republican leadership who skirted many party rules at a number of Republican conventions, last year. When Mitt Romney outlasted many of his opponents in the Spring months of 2012, his people wasted no time setting up shop at the RNC and started sending directives to many state party leaders. Long-standing traditions and rules of process were suddenly scrapped for convenient outcomes-based processes which the rank & file found either embarrassingly tolerable or an outright theft of due process. Even the 2012 state convention chairman was a hand-selected business attorney.
A protest convention after the 2012 Oklahoma Convention
   Since no one is currently an active surrogate for a declared presidential candidate, we can focus on our own state party's integrity and message. Part of that celebration includes open and spirited debate and elections of our own party leadership. This week a couple more names are emerging as candidates for state chair & vice chair.
    One solid leader for State Chairman is Amanda Teegarden. Is the executive director of OK-SAFE, She will be touted by many of the pro-family, pro-life, & pro-sovereignty advocates. Many leaders of Ron Paul's 2012 Oklahoma campaign have expressed admiration for Teegarden's successful defeat of the North American Corridor which would have divided Oklahoma into 2 separate land masses with Mexico and Canada having free-flow in an 'international zone', right through our state.
   This writer is confident in Amanda's qualifications, competence, people-skills, and most importantly; CONVICTIONS. The challenges of the office to heal some substantive distrust, will be accelerated by the choice of this consensus candidate.  The Tulsa 912 Project director, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, is also giving strong support to Teegarden.
   The Oklahoma Republicans will choose on April 20th, at their state convention.