Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Petroleum Companies Assume Injection Wells Factor In Crescent Area Earthquakes

Here's the News 9 report on the petroleum industry response to Increasing quake activity:

CRESCENT, Oklahoma -
In response to recent earthquakes in the Crescent, Oklahoma, area, operators of oil and gas wastewater disposal wells closest to the earthquake activity are taking new actions, including closing two disposal wells. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

OKGOP Calls For Special Session, Ban On Selective Abortion


Guest editorial, by Chairman Randy Brogdon of the OKGOP: 
July 23 2015

  Over the last few weeks we have been exposed to the evil of Planned Parenthood. Through hidden cameras and special investigations, those willing to stand on the side of life have uncovered unspeakable acts.
  The Republican Party lists in their platform that all life should be protected, because life is created by a Sovereign God. The Democrats, on the other side, stooped so low as to take out even the mention of God at their National convention several years ago.
The slow fuse of destruction was lit against the family over forty years ago with the so called Roe v. Wade Supreme Court opinion. That opinion started a systematic elimination of newborn babies because they couldn't "determine when life begins."

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oklahoma Democrats Calling Out To Independents

Democrats Meet To Ratify Change To Open Primaries In Oklahoma

  The long history of Oklahoma's Democrat Party has plunged to yet new lows in the wake of recent Republican landslides and the Democrats' own socialist national leadership.
 To combat the bleak outlook for old Democrats, there is a new idea being floated this weekend at the Oklahoma Democrat Convention. Delegates are asked to approve a landmark policy change which will let non-aligned voters have equal voting power with Democrat party regulars. Independent voters will get to vote in Democrat primary races without having to associate themselves to the Democrat platform or aims.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bridenstine Announces Ted Cruz Campaign Events in Oklahoma

Bridenstine and Cruz will team up At Oklahoma town hall events.

Bridenstine Named Oklahoma Chairman Of Cruz Campaign

  Senator Ted Cruz is planning an August 13th duet of Oklahoma Town Hall meetings with Congressman Jim Bridenstine, according to sources close to the congressman.
  The Texas senator recently appointed Congressman Bridenstine as the Oklahoma Campaign Chairman of his 2016 presidential bid. The two are deeply involved in promoting legislation to modernize the energy policy and are co-authoring initiatives.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Current Highway Project & A Bridge War With Texas

Gov. Alfalfa Murray leads a militia to war, over a bridge on the Texas border
The Red River Bridge War and Our Current Transportation Battles

  Senator Jim Inhofe is, as I write, on the floor of the U.S. Senate to pitch his overhaul plan for the federal highway system. He just cited the U.S. Constitution and implied the fundamental role of congress in this area.
  Let's talk about the federal role...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Armies With Real Arms?

  In the wake of the military recruiting office attacks and deaths from an Islamic terrorist in Chattanooga, several governors are giving President Obama private fits by actually using real guns as a solution to fight terrorism. 
  The growing list of states overhauling their state policies so as to actually arm the Army, includes Oklahoma and many other southern conservative states. The more liberal states are, instead, considering closing all the recruiting centers in the malls and retail districts, and burying the recruiting job deep into the old armories and national guard bases.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Digression To Mud Wrestling In A Tar Pit

The Tar Pit Of Our Demise

  The great political inspirations of our time are not admired for their mud wrestling skills. To the contrary, they are admired for their disciplined avoidance of baser traits of the political underclass.
  Not content with the expressed will of the tabulated ballots, those who can't lead have taken to sniping at those who have inspired and led.
  The Oklahoma GOP has become the home of the sanctimonious haters. We didn't invite them, they just came.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Obama Gets the 'Sam Donaldson' Treatment

  While celebrating the breakthrough agreement Obama's team made with Iran, the president held a press conference to discuss the terms of the treaty.

Would Parents Be Cautious About Young Men As Girl Scout Leaders?

If your daughter was seeking a new Girl Scout troop in a new 
community, would you  trust her to cross-dressing young man?
  The Boy Scouts of America just announced an end to their national ban on openly homosexual men as troop leaders. Some local troops will retain their more traditional policy. Just a few years ago the BSA said they would certainly retain their prohibition of outed gay men, but decided to let troops have the option regarding boys and homosexuality.
  The pop culture is once again celebrating this "enlightened" development. They see no innate cause for concern regarding the co-ed atmosphere and steeped desires of teens; not to mention that of unrelated adults.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Oklahoma Politics Becoming Musical Chairs

Term Limits throws a wrench in career plans for politicians

  We are entering the phase of the electoral cycle where the political king-makers and proverbial 'smoke-filled rooms' get very active. No ad buys yet, not even a single candidacy announcement. But make no mistake, most of the successful campaigns start during these quiet 'out-years'. The 2016 campaigns will be about the presidency and representatives. Then we move on to a big shuffle.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Legislators Launch Summer Speaking Tours, Push Initiatives

With a few weeks off for family time, several legislators are diving back into citizen-engagement on several important state issues.

  The task of gaining broad legislative support in next Winter's session of the state legislature often begins with key grassroots dialogue. Many of Oklahoma's lawmakers are focusing on getting their message out, and hearing from citizens about how they have been impacted by the related state policies.
  Sometimes the legislator is seeking solutions, but sometimes he is simply seeking to apply public pressure where a solution has already been presented. Here are a few issues we are watching:
  • Holocaust stolen artworks which the University of Oklahoma has and is refusing to return.
  • Local law enforcement are confiscating millions from citizens without due process.
  • Lack of accountability in statewide high school sports league polices,
  • Supreme Court reforms.
  • Earthquake prevention policies.
  • Violations of the state constitution, by our legislature.
  • Marriage policy, in light of landmark federal rulings.
  • Multistate calls for a Convention of States.
  • Reform ideas in our legislative structure.
  Rep. Paul Wesselhoft is intensifying his efforts to get OU President, David Boren, to give back valuable artwork which was stolen by the Nazis and later given to OU. The Jewish family who claim ownership is suing the university. The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling on OU to demonstrate civic leadership by honoring the Jewish family's claim.
  Sen. Kyle Loveless is traveling the state, educating citizens on their constitutional rights regarding assets being seized by local and state law enforcement under controversial federal law. His efforts to bar municipal and county agencies from profiting from the forfeitures is the subject of recent legislation. While our state cannot bar federal agencies from offering to 'split the profits' with the Oklahoma cops, the bill prevents those local agencies from keeping the profits unless a direct conviction of crimes relating to those assets is upheld.
  Rep. Jon Echols has begun the work of forming a response to the Capitol monument ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Numerous ideas have been floated, Those remedy suggestions include:
  • Amending the Oklahoma Constitution
  • Appealing the ruling in federal courts 'equal access' rights.
  • Amending the terms of justices.
  • Impeaching justices.
  • Seeking a review from the court.
  Jon has several cosponsors who are developing legislative language and seeking citizen input regarding the scope of impact that this ruling could have. There are concerns that the isolated clause which the majority opinion focuses upon could be a landmark precedent for removing entire sections of books from all public libraries, many artifacts from public museums, and the entire chaplaincy of our Oklahoma National Guard. 
  Rep Bobby Cleveland wants better accountability regarding the powerful private prep sports league known as the OSSAA. Millions of Oklahoma tax dollars eventually reach the bank account of the OSSAA through schools paying a significant annual membership fee. But the OSSAA is forcing policies which are contrary to federal and state policies on students' rights of collective & personal expression.  Cleveland is concerned that the state could face lawsuits for not taking measures to assure individuals' rights are respected.
  Rep. Jason Murphey is drawing attention to the alarming issue of earthquakes near active oil wells. He expresses dismay at the OU-based Oklahoma Geological Society's hedging regarding the connection to injection wells near some dangerous fault lines. Murphey is staying in contact with the USGS, who seems to be filling a void on this issue. Some Oklahoma geologists are suggesting that massive financial gifts to the OU endowments are coming from powerful oil industry players.  Murphey's constituents are sustaining property damages and the governor recently signed legislation which bans Murphey's home county from taking local action to regulate how injection wells are used. The governor's action is intended to protect Oklahoma's key energy industry.
  Rep Todd Huss is renewing his marriage reform initiative now that the federal courts have refused to regard states rights in a way that our citizens have approved by a recent constitutional amendment.  His 'Marriage Freedom' bill (HB1125) would change the way Oklahoma oversees marriage. Couples would no longer seek a license to marry. Instead, the state would simply certify the recording of legal marriages. An officiant would no longer be mandated if the couple opts to simply declare by affidavit that they are legally entering into this partnership. Marriage Certificates will still be recorded at the same courthouse office and family court matters would be unaffected. This simplification will likely keep the state from any lawsuits regarding conscientious objectors refusing to officiate ceremonies.
  Rep. Gary Banz and Sen. Kyle Loveless are seeking to bring our state legislature back into constitutional compliance with language which requires that the legislature ask our electorate if they'd like to authorize a statewide constitutional convention. The collective legislature has violated this mandate for the past 26 years. Many citizens believe our legislators are hypocrites to be upbraiding the supreme court for ignoring our constitution while the lawmakers have done so for nearly three decades
  State Auditor, Gary Jones is launching an ambitious speaking tour devoted to his 'Government Efficiency' initiative. His idea is to change Oklahoma's legislature to a unicameral structive (one legislative house, instead of two). His number-crunching claims are essentially a savings of tens of millions of dollars..
  Sen. Rob Standridge is renewing his efforts toward citizen involvement in the issue of a Convention of States. The recent SCOTUS rulings have greatly impacted this issue and support for a COS is growing, nationally. Standridge has been working with a national team of advocates, including former senator, Tom Coburn, attorney Michael Farris, radio host Mark Levin, and many others.  There are also organized groups actively opposing the idea as being 'too dangerous' to our society. the John Birch Society is also debating the initiative statewide.
Sooner Politics will continue to report on the developments and each of these lawmakers has their own column in the Sooner Politics online newspaper. They will be posting up info on upcoming speaking engagements, citizen response, and new language being drafted for consideration.

David Van Risseghem

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Modern Era Apostles of Conservatism

Goldwater, Reagan, Buckley
Doing ideological battle since the early 1960s.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Revisiting Justice Steven Taylor's 2014 'Kunzweiler-vs-Jordan' Opinion

  The recent Oklahoma Supreme Court Ruling belies a certain hypocrisy among conservatives decrying the end result, this week. For decades we've heard Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and even Justices Scalia and Thomas; who  urge the strict constructionist practice of deciding cases. Yet this week it was precisely that same strict constructionist jurisprudence that brought us a ruling which many of us detest.
Oklahoma Constitution- Section V-23: 
Ineligibility to appointment to office 
Interest in contracts.
 No member of the Legislature shall, during the term for which he was elected, be appointed or elected to any office or commission in the State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during his term of office, nor shall any member receive any appointment from the Governor, the Governor and Senate, or from the Legislature, during the term for which he shall have been elected, nor shall any member, during the term for which he shall have been elected, or within two years thereafter, be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, or any county or other subdivision thereof, authorized by law passed during the term for which he shall have been elected.

The 2014 Kunzweiler vs Jordan Ruling

  Let's go back to last summer's Tulsa District Attorney race. Two of the three candidates were legislators, and they were asked to vote on District Attorney pay. It is that legislative duty which disqualifies them from filling that office until their current elective term has been expired (Nov. 18th). Senator Crain bowed out on his own, citing the constitutional prohibition. Now, I still agree that the Oklahoma Constitution is poorly written, but none-the-less it must be followed!
  Justice Steven Taylor wrote in his dissenting opinion where he diplomatically rebukes the majority for ignoring the shabby constitutional language so as to give an outcome of what they think is more fair than the constitution allows.
  Here's a snippet of my July,2014 posting:
Justice Steven Taylor
Oklahoma Supreme Court
  Judge Steven Taylor should be applauded for his dissent opinion that the Court “refused to properly construe” the Constitution in this matter. He found that the Court misconstrues the term “elected” to mean “assuming or taking office.”  ”There appears to be a disconnect between the Court’s decision and the plain language of the Constitution", Taylor wrote. “For Tulsa County, the Republican primary runoff will be held on August 26, 2014. No Democrat has filed for the seat. The winner of this runoff will receive a certificate of election, which will be issued…on August 29, 2014…Therefore, under Oklahoma election law, the certified winner of the primary runoff will be deemed elected to the position of Tulsa County district attorney.”
  So Rep. Fred Jordan would be both the elected District Attorney while concurrently serving 3 more months as a State Legislator.  Had the legislature been in special session that Fall (as they were in 2009), Jordan could push through a pay raise for his own office!

Justice Taylor's Crusade For Strict Construction

  Justice Taylor was influential in drawing his colleagues back to a strict constructionist view of the monument ruling. Despite all the ridiculousness of the result, the judges, this time; read  the constitution's plain language and followed it. If the Oklahoma Constitution is not changed promptly, the landmark ruling will lead government bureaucrats to begin their own initiatives to:
  • empty all school & city libraries of all religious books
  • empty all public museums of all religious artifacts
  • empty all public radio stations of all spiritual programming
  • empty the Oklahoma National Guard of all Chaplains and chapels
The problem is the lousy language of the Oklahoma Constitution! It may have had some noble intentions for Oklahoma, but as the decades drift by, the institutional memory of those original intentions drift into obscurity.
  The problem is the lousy language of the Oklahoma Constitution! It may have had some noble intentions for Oklahoma, but as the decades drift by, the institutional memory of those original intentions drift into obscurity. I am confident that Oklahoma's founders did not intend to build a soviet-style society which is devoid of any overt and collective spiritual expression. But the Oklahoma forefathers words did not match their intent.
  And so, we are poised to call for an Oklahoma Constitutional Convention or at least a series of proposed amendments to the 150 that are already patched into the 1907 document.  If we decry the recent rulings, like the capitol monument; and if we want a strict-constructionist court; then we need to give them a better document. In fact, if we replace the document, we will replace the justices with it. And given some of the 'loose cannons' on this court, that might be a good idea...

David Van Risseghem

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Anti-Catholic Bigotry Killed Oklahoma's Ten Commandments Monument

Question: What are the "Blaine Amendments?"

Answer: They are stiff prohibitions upon public funding or accommodations for any expressions which may include any spiritual component. They were a bigoted anti-Catholic effort, based on fears that the USA would turn into a Papal domain through massive Catholic immigration.
 In the 1870s, President Grant & the US Speaker Of The House, James Blaine, tried to convince the U.S.A. to ratify anti-Catholic clauses into the US Constitution through massive hysteria at the notion that Catholics would force their collective will upon our protestant nation.
  Here are the Oklahoma 'Blaine' clauses:
Section II-5:
Public money or property - Use for sectarian purposes. No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.

James Blaine tried 3 times to win the Presidency
  Blaine failed at the national level, but his efforts succeeded in over 30 state constitutions, in the decades thereafter.  Oklahoma added the Blaine Amendment's clauses to our founding document, in 1907.
 In recent years, several states have ratified state constitutional amendments to end or severely limit the restrictions of 'Blaine' clauses.  Missouri's Amendment Two passed easily. Jeb Bush fought the courts in order to but replacement language on the Florida ballot. The Florida passage finally came in 2012.
  But Oklahoma falls way behind several states because our past legislators have failed to convene the constitutional convention whereby the delegates can present these needed reforms in a reasonable manner.
  The truth is, the federal constitution is far more lenient on public expressions of faith than many current state constitutions, including Oklahoma. When the federal constitution was ratified, it's passage came only after the ratifying states were assured that their state-funded denominations would not be harmed through a federal funding mechanism. So they imposed the 1st amendment language to restrict only the federal congress. The words are;
The truth is, the federal constitution is far more lenient on public expressions of faith than many current state constitutions, including Oklahoma.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" 
  So the states were still free to continue funding their clergy and seminaries.  It was only after the Blaine Amendments that east coast states phased out support for various denominations. Since then, our activist courts have twisted Jefferson's private writings in a way that supported a move to force states and all levels of government to cease any funding into religious entities. But Federal Courts have in recent decades past what's known as "Equal Access" which guarantees faith groups the same access to public accommodation which other groups are given. The Oklahoma Monument case could certainly be tested in federal courts under this reasoning. This could 'buy time' while state legislati
 But such as is the case with most fear-mongering, there was a successful knee-jerk reaction to the unwanted Italians, Irish, and East European immigrants. The poorly written Blaine Amendments were written to persecute a religious class of people. But astute scholars' warnings went unheeded and the sloppy language prevailed.
  Now we have open hostility toward all forms of religion which prevails in academia and in government bureaucracies. Even law enforcement has become hostile to the sincere beliefs of many. And the anti-spirituality class has championed the language of the past bigots in a successful campaign to remove especially the most threatening religious expressions, namely those of the evangelical Christians. They seem uninterested in Indian religious symbols. They even defend the Islamic tenets of open exploitation of women. They only take aim at the hated evangelical, regardless of the sect or denomination. Now, not only are Catholics the target, so are the protestants whose forefathers ratified the Blaine Amendments.
David Van Risseghem

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Oklahoma National Guard Chaplains Are Threatened With Extinction

Chaplain ministers to an injured man aboard the USS Franklin, 1945
  The recent landmark ruling of the Oklahoma Supreme Court has a dire impact on the troops who protect our state. While serving at home & abroad, the soldiers rely heavily upon the essential spiritual support of the clergy within the Oklahoma National Guard. And chaplains have always been a part of every state's militias.
  But a new and terrifying landmark ruling of the current Oklahoma Supreme Court could have devastating consequences for the entire National Guard of Oklahoma. This current court has ruled that one isolated clause of the constitution should be cited at the exclusion of all other articles, acts, and precedences.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Oklahoma Constitutional Convention Is Being Drawn Up

  The state of Oklahoma has been in violation of our own constitution for many years. I'm particularly speaking of the mandate in our current constitution which says that at least every 20 years the people of the state must be offered the opportunity to amend or replace our constitution through a convention:

Going Down Corruption's Road At The Capitol

Hickman's failure to discipline the House becomes a Democrat talkingpoint
Consider this editorial, from the Oklahoman...
  THE legislative process in Oklahoma has degenerated into a system of strong-arm, blackjack tactics or political payoffs.
  Administering the heavy-handed arm-twisting or doling out plums to get the required votes on the floor of the House or Senate for legislation geared, all too often, to benefit themselves or special interest groups are members of the leadership teams who run the Legislature.

Push Back Against The Federal Government

“I regret that I have but one life to give for my country!”

Senator Rob Standridge - Norman, OK
  We repeat these words and they sound great but what do they mean? We are certainly not standing in front of the executioner breathing our last words in defiance to a tyranny an ocean away, but we are patriots. We are just a little confused on how we fight a tyranny of our own making.
  I tell you that I pledge my life, fortune and sacred honor, but what does that mean. I promise this that I will not stop fighting to save what I see as a dying nation till my last breath is drawn, but how do I or we do that?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Leave Monument To Vote Of The People

House GOP Leaders Have Plan for People to Decide Fate of Ten Commandments Monument

File photo: Rep. Jon Echols is vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
source: Youtube
OKLAHOMA CITY – The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the grounds of the Capitol building.

  In a 7-2 decision, the state’s highest court ruled that the monument violated a provision banning the use of public property to benefit any religion.
  State House leaders, including the chairman and vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and chairman of the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, are proposing a plan to let the citizens of Oklahoma decide whether to keep the Ten Commandments monument.

Meet The Democrat-Appointed Oklahoma Supreme Court

Only One of the Justices is a Republican Appointee

  Oklahoma has 9 justices serving on the supreme court. One has been there since Governor George Nigh appointed her.  There were 3 Republican Governors since then, but only one justice on the court is an appointee from the 17 years of Republican chief executives.
  A whopping 6 justices were appointed by former Governor Brad Henry. Two of them are the dissenters who sided with the monument. Since George Nigh left the governor's mansion, Democrats have only occupied it for 12 years. And yet there are 8 justices to their legacy.

Justice Yvonne Kauger 
(1984 by Gov. George Nigh)

Justice Joseph Watt 
(1992 by Gov. David Walters)

Justice James Winchester
(2000 by Gov. Frank Keating)

Justice James Edmondson
(2003 by Henry)

Justice Tom Colbert 
(2004 by Henry)

Justice Steven Taylor 
(2004 by Henry)

Chief Justice John Reif
(2007 by Gov. Brad Henry)

Vice Chief Justice Douglas Combs ( 2010 by Henry)
Justice Noma Gurich 
(2011 by Henry)

The ruling: 

Concurring to Order removal and ban of the Ten Commandments monument.

  • Chief Justice John Reif 
  • Justice Yvonne Kauger
  • Justice Joseph Watt
  • Justice James Winchester
  • Justice James Edmondson
  • Justice Steven Taylor
  • Justice Noma Gurich

These seven are now the subjects of a legislator-led effort to impeach from the Supreme Court. 


  • Vice Chief Justice Douglas Combs
  • Justice Tom Colbert

KOCO reports

 Multiple Oklahoma Republican representatives Tuesday called for judicial reform and the impeachment of seven Oklahoma Supreme Court justices who ruled that the 10 Commandments statue be removed from the Oklahoma Capitol, according to a news release.

  The representatives who support impeachment are Kevin Calvey, Oklahoma City; John Bennett, Sallisaw; Casey Murdock, Felt; Lewis Moore, Edmond; Dan Fisher, Yukon; and George Faught, Muskogee. Mike Sanders, Kingfisher, supports judicial reform but not impeachment.

  “Our state Supreme Court is playing politics by issuing rulings contrary to the Constitution, and contrary to the will of the clear majority of Oklahoma voters,” Calvey said in the release. “These Supreme Court justices are nothing more than politicians in black robes, masquerading as objective jurists. This ruling is the Court engaging in judicial bullying of the people of Oklahoma, pure and simple. It is time that the people chose jurists, rather than letting a tiny special interest group of lawyers at the Oklahoma Bar Association dictate who can and can’t be a judge. Read more at the KOCO story.

David Van Risseghem

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Seek A Federal Injunction? Federal Equal Access Rights include the Capitol Monument

An open letter

To: Governor Mary Fallin, Attorney General Pruitt, and the Legislative leaders:
  PLEASE, I  implore you and your fellow lawmakers, especially Rep Mike Ritze; to appeal to the federal courts and seek an injunction barring the Oklahoma Supreme Court;s order.
The 1990s SCOTUS made a landmark ruling called "Equal Access". It guaranteed federal constitutional rights to bible clubs, for  full access to school facilities and supervisors for their bible clubs.

The Libertarian Party and Their Faith Policy In Oklahoma

Will Chaplains Be Banned from The Oklahoma National Guard?

  Well it looks like the folks at the  Libertarian Party of Oklahoma have a starkly different view of the commandments monument than the Republican party; and this may curtail their effort to get signatures, to gain ballot access?
  In the original ruling on the commandments, the district court judge accepted the premise of the legislature. Here's that legislative statement:

The Oklahoma legislation establishing the monument recognizes:
  • "That the Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma;   
  • That the courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions; and 
  • Acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”