Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin VP Choice - Dobson Endorses McCain

I woke up this morning to learn that Dr. James Dobson has endorsed John McCain for President.

John McCain has not changed. This is the same candidate that sponsored McCain/Feingold which would have pretty well destroyed whatever political power organizations like Dobson's have left as well as trashing the First Amendment in the process. This is the same candidate that has thumbed his nose at his own party to side with Democrats again and again. This is the same McCain who has studiously stiff armed Dobson throughout the entire campaign. As a matter of fact, this is the same candidate that was expected to name a pro-abortion VP candidate if not Democrat Joe Lieberman. And, this is the same candidate that repeatedly ignored the has whole evangelical wing of the GOP until now.

And, I suppose that Dr. Dobson has not changed either. I briefly read his statement this morning with its carefully nuanced explanation of his change of heart. He did leave himself wiggle room in earlier statements and he has now wiggled. But, it is the price of that wiggle that concerns me.

Sarah Palin appears to be a very decent person. Her courage in bringing to term and raising a Down's syndrome baby is inspiring. But, her political record as governor of a small, sparsely populated state does not inspire great confidence in her as a world leader. The decision to place her on the ticket was purely political and had nothing to do with her qualifications past the election. She is pro-life, evangelical and very attractive. And above all else, she is a woman. Consequently, the forces that see the GOP as a brand to be marketed instead of a moral and political cause to be upheld, hope to use her sex to attract disenchanted Hillary constituents. But there is a problem there. She is almost a cliche' ... an extremely attractive young woman that will look awfully good on aging John McCain's arm at official functions. (Student's of John McCain's personal life might see a trend here.)

If the election were a beauty contest she would win hands down. But, despite the fact she is probably a remarkably decent person, an evangelical, a hunter, a former model and beauty queen and just cute as the dickens, she lacks the gravitas a lot of us would like to see in a person who will be one heart beat away from being commander in chief. Evangelical's great relief at who McCain DID NOT pick cannot make up for the enormous gaps in Palin's resume' and by selecting her, McCain gave up the great benefit of offering a proven, seasoned ticket that would provide sharp contrast to O'Bama's lack of experience.

Should McCain be elected, I suspect that Vice President Palin will be assigned mostly ceremonial duties as Dan Quail was and will be carefully managed by controllers. What effect she will have on the direction of a McCain administration is certainly an open question but, using Quail as the template, I suspect it will be minimal. So, it is entirely possible that the last major evangelical endorsement was swapped for an entirely ceremonial and minimally influential seat at the table in a possible McCain administration.

McCain's people called Dr. Dobson and the evangelical's bluff. They knew that if they campaigned far enough to the left to allow whomever was running for the Democrats to run to their far left wing base that the Evangelicals would blink and vote for any GOP candidate out of fear, even a GOP candidate that has insulted them, stiff armed them and refused to make even the empty, nearly meaningless campaign promises that most candidates make to evangelicals in an election year. In this way, McCain can keep strong support from the Country Club wing of the GOP which has always despised and mistrusted evangelicals anyway, campaign hard toward the so called undecided center swing votes, and in the process keep the majority of a evangelical voting bloc for almost no expenditure of political capital. It is a masterful triangulation against his own base that even Bill Clinton would admire.

In 1996 Dr. Dobson wrote: "Only the most partisan supporters of the present regime could insist that we still live in a functioning democracy. (snip) I doubt most Americans are aware of the current impotence of their vote." I think the same can be said about evangelical's influence in the GOP political process right now. Until evangelicals learn to street fight and not sell out cheap, they will continue to be an ever more impotent and now even ignored faction of the party.


Postcript: According to Andrew Sullivan writing in the Daily Dish at the ( link HERE), it would appear that we evangelicals sold out cheaper than we realized:

She opposes same-sex marriage, but she has stated that she has gay friends and is receptive to gay and lesbian concerns about discrimination.[9] While the previous administration did not implement same-sex benefits, Palin complied with a state Supreme Court order and signed them into law.[28] She disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling[29] and supported a democratic advisory vote from the public on whether there should be a constitutional amendment on the matter.[30] Alaska was one of the first U.S. states to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage, in 1998, along with Hawaii.[31] Palin has stated that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment.[9]

Palin's first veto was used to block legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to the partners of gay state employees. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples. The veto occurred after Palin consulted with Alaska's attorney general on the constitutionality of the legislation.[29]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Billionaire Gay Dem Declares "Battle for The Soul of the GOP"

Catholic News Agency ^ | 8/26/08

Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:19:07 AM by marshmallow

Denver, Aug 25, 2008 / 11:51 pm (CNA).- Tim Gill, a billionaire from Colorado who has funded homosexual activism throughout the United States, spoke at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) Delegates Caucus at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, outlining how he has worked to advance homosexual causes in U.S. politics. Gill endorsed undermining rising politicians critical of homosexual advocacy by targeting donations to benefit their opponents on the state level.

Gill, who was introduced at the caucus as one of the nation’s largest funders of LGBT “civil rights initiatives,” reportedly has spent $150 million on LGBT issues. He is the former CEO of the software publishing company Quark, Inc. and is also the founder of the Gill Action Fund, a major backer of homosexual political candidates and causes.

“Every single advance for gay rights has come at the state level,” Gill said, saying the most important thing the Democratic LGBT delegates could do is “go back and support those pro-gay state legislators, and eliminate the anti-gay state legislators.”

He encouraged the delegates to donate to state candidates out of state, especially in rural areas.

The billionaire homosexual activist also counseled the audience not to donate to unwinnable races, but rather to focus their donations where they will most likely change the outcome of elections.

“Just a little bit of money goes a long way,” he said.

If all the LGBT delegates donated fifty dollars to specially targeted races, which he numbered at no more than ten or twenty per election year, Gill said “we can get rid of them.”

By successfully changing Republican legislatures to Democratic ones, Gill claimed, “the net result is always good for gays.”

Though he was a Democrat speaking at the Democratic National Convention, Gill claimed he and the LGBT delegates were in a “battle for the soul of the Republican Party,” a party which he claimed was controlled by “a bunch of bigots.”

“The only way bigots are going to learn is if we take their power away from them,” he asserted.

He counseled the delegates to find the next Rick Santorum, the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, and “end his career.”

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican, who opposed homosexual causes, lost to the Democratic Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. in 2006. Gill took credit for helping bring about Santorum’s loss.

Organizers at the LGBT Caucus claimed as members at least 274 of the more than 4,000 DNC delegates attending the convention.


See also: There Is A Gay Agenda Winning Elections ......

An interesting example of this can be found at The McCarville Report HERE:

Roth Raises $100,141, Murphy $64,050

By Michael McNutt/Capitol Bureau, The Oklahoman ~ Jim Roth (pictured) continues to lead in raising money for his bid to win a full six-year term on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, campaign reports show. Contributors include Tim Gill, a top gay and lesbian equal rights movement fundraiser, who gave the maximum donation of $5,000. Gill, an entrepreneur and software developer from Denver, was among those identified by state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, as helping contribute $30 million in 2006 to local and state races to helpdefeat conservative candidates. Roth, the first openly gay person to hold a statewide office, is a Democrat appointed to the commission last year by Gov. Brad Henry. Roth, a former Oklahoma County commissioner, raised $100,141 during the first quarter of this year, according to his campaign committee's report filed with the state Ethics Commission. He had $112,482 at the start of the reporting period. He spent $44,298 during the reporting period from Jan. 1 through March 31, his reports show. He has $174,475 on hand. In addition to Gill, major contributors listed on Roth's report include Edmond attorney Reggie Whitten, Denver entrepreneur Jared Polis, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., retiree James Stepp, $5,000 each; El Reno attorney Mark Henricksen, $3,000; and Ronald Ansin, a business executive from Harvard, Mass., $2,500.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

California Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Federal Defense of Marriage Act

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Aug. 27 /Standard Newswire/ -- During a court hearing yesterday, federal district court Judge David O. Carter announced that he is dismissing a last-ditch effort by "same-sex marriage" proponents to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The case is Smelt v. Orange County, and it is one of the last remaining challenges to DOMA. Liberty Counsel intervened in this case on behalf of Campaign for California Families in 2004, in order to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to defend DOMA.

The federal DOMA allows states to reject same-sex marriages from other states. The case began in 2004, when the same-sex marriage advocates claimed a right to same-sex marriage under the state and federal constitutions and also claimed that the DOMA was unconstitutional. The challenge to DOMA in this case was bizarre, because the statute only applies when one state refuses to accept the validity of an out-of-state, same-sex union. In Smelt, the same-sex pair who challenged DOMA had no legal, same-sex union from any state. In 2005, federal district court Judge Gary Taylor ruled that there was no fundamental right to same-sex marriage, and, since the plaintiffs had no legal same-sex union from any state, they could not challenge DOMA. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this ruling in 2006, dismissing the challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

The case remained in suspension, pending resolution by the California Supreme Court regarding whether the state’s Proposition 22, which protected legitimate marriage, was constitutional. Following the ruling by the California Supreme Court on May 15, 2008, the plaintiffs in Smelt continued to press their case against the federal DOMA. However, Judge Carter has now dismissed both state law and DOMA claims.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, stated, "We are pleased that the federal Defense of Marriage Act still survives, but we cannot continue to hold our breath each time a judge considers the federal law. We are talking about marriage – the very foundation of society. We must have a permanent solution to protect traditional marriage. We must pass more state constitutional protections, and we must emblazon traditional marriage into the United States Constitution to stop activist judges from redefining marriage with a stroke of a pen."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

British Marriage Registrar Wins Right Not to Handle Gay Marriages

Lillian Ladele was threatened with the sack because of her beliefs on homosexuality.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

A Christian registrar from Islington who was bullied and threatened with the sack because of her religious beliefs on same sex unions has succeeded in her claims of unlawful discrimination by the council.

In its unanimous judgment, the employment tribunal found that Miss Lillian Ladele was directly discriminated against by Islington Council after she asked to be allowed not to perform civil partnership registrations.

Miss Ladele was supported by her Legal team, James Dingemans QC and Mark Jones of Ormerods solicitors. The case was financed by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund.

The highly significant ruling confirmed that the various acts of direct discrimination committed against Miss Ladele by Islington Council on the grounds of her religious belief included: failing to consider her for promotion; deciding to discipline her and threatening her with dismissal; concluding she had committed gross misconduct; failing to redress allegations that she was “homophobic” and labelling and treating her as homophobic; disregarding her concerns about her treatment; and failing to apply its anti-discrimination policies to gay colleagues who were mistreating her.

The tribunal also accepted that Islington Council had been able to deliver a “first-class” service to homosexual couples seeking civil partnerships, without Miss Ladele’s involvement. Therefore, the Council’s decision to require Miss Ladele to perform civil partnership registrations, contrary to her conscience, was an unlawful act of indirect religious discrimination.

The Council’s actions also amounted to unlawful harassment. The judgment found that the Council “disregarded and displayed no respect for Ms Ladele’s genuinely held religious belief,” and it created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for her on grounds of her religion on belief.” (para.104 of the judgment).

In coming to their conclusion, the tribunal said, “It is an important case which may have a wider impact than the dispute between the parties.” (para.53 of the judgment).

Reacting to the decision, Miss Ladele said: “I am delighted at this decision. It is a victory for religious liberty, not just for myself but for others in a similar position to mine. Gay rights should not be used as an excuse to bully and harass people over their religious beliefs.”

The case was financed by The Christian Institute. Its Head of Communications, Mike Judge, said: “This important ruling confirms that gay rights should not be treated as trumping religious rights. The law clearly recognises this.

“If we really believe in equality before the law, that means respecting people who have sincerely held religious beliefs on sexual ethics. The witch hunt against those who disagree with homosexual practice has to stop.”

Mark Jones, solicitor for Miss Ladele, said: “Hopefully this decision will encourage other employers to balance competing rights where they conflict. In standing up for her faith, Lillian Ladele found herself vilified by various people, including some holding themselves out as protectors of the rights and freedoms of others. She faced this with a quiet dignity.

“I hope that those who were quick to criticise Lillian - including those holding political and clerical office - will now swiftly express their support for her (and others like her) now she has been revealed as the victim, and not the perpetrator, of the discrimination they purport to oppose.”

From the UK Christian Institute. Link to article HERE.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Classic Example of "Gay Tolerance"

The following is a letter to the editor written by Crystal Dixon, a black, former employee of an Ohio University. I say "former" because she was fired for writing this article shortly after it was printed in the Toledo Free Press. Is this "tolerance?"


Link to Article Toledo Free Press Article HERE:


Gay rights and wrongs: another perspective
By Crystal Dixon

I read with great interest Michael Miller's April 6 column, "Gay Rights and Wrongs."

I respectfully submit a different perspective for Miller and Toledo Free Press readers to consider.

First, human beings, regardless of their choices in life, are of ultimate value to God and should be viewed the same by others. At the same time, one's personal choices lead to outcomes either positive or negative.

As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are "civil rights victims." Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few. Frequently, the individuals report that the impetus to their change of heart and lifestyle was a transformative experience with God; a realization that their choice of same-sex practices wreaked havoc in their psychological and physical lives. Charlene E. Cothran, publisher of Venus Magazine, was an aggressive, strategic supporter of gay rights and a practicing lesbian for 29 years, before she renounced her sexuality and gave Jesus Christ stewardship of her life. The gay community vilified her angrily and withdrew financial support from her magazine, upon her announcement that she was leaving the lesbian lifestyle. Rev. Carla Thomas Royster, a highly respected New Jersey educator and founder and pastor of Blessed Redeemer Church in Burlington, NJ, married to husband Mark with two sons, bravely exposed her previous life as a lesbian in a tell-all book. When asked why she wrote the book, she responded "to set people free... I finally obeyed God."

Economic data is irrefutable: The normative statistics for a homosexual in the USA include a Bachelor's degree: For gay men, the median household income is $83,000/yr. (Gay singles $62,000; gay couples living together $130,000), almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of $46,326, per census data. For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000/yr. (Lesbian singles $52,000; Lesbian couples living together $96,000); 36% of lesbians reported household incomes in excess of $100,000/yr. Compare that to the median income of the non-college educated Black male of $30,539. The data speaks for itself.

The reference to the alleged benefits disparity at the University of Toledo was rather misleading. When the University of Toledo and former Medical University of Ohio merged, both entities had multiple contracts for different benefit plans at substantially different employee cost sharing levels. To suggest that homosexual employees on one campus are being denied benefits avoids the fact that ALL employees across the two campuses regardless of their sexual orientation, have different benefit plans. The university is working diligently to address this issue in a reasonable and cost-efficient manner, for all employees, not just one segment.

My final and most important point. There is a divine order. God created human kind male and female (Genesis 1:27). God created humans with an inalienable right to choose. There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God's divine order. It is base human nature to revolt and become indignant when the world or even God Himself, disagrees with our choice that violates His divine order. Jesus Christ loves the sinner but hates the sin (John 8:1-11.) Daily, Jesus Christ is radically transforming the lives of both straight and gay folks and bringing them into a life of wholeness: spiritually, psychologically, physically and even economically. That is the ultimate right.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tolerance is not enough.

A few weeks ago, Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bill Graves was "reassigned" to duties not usually assigned to a full District Court Judge. The speculation both in Oklahoma and nationally has been that he is being punished for his public opposition to new proposed "gay friendly" Oklahoma Bar Association Rules for Judicial Conduct. These ABA sponsored proposed rules make even a perceived unpleasant facial expression when gays are mentioned misconduct.

The argument being made by gays is that gays just want to be treated like everyone else ... even though they define themselves as being entirely different from most of us. But, inside the gay movement the goals are much more ambitious and the argument is about much, much more that tolerance. It is about making the majority population accept, approve of and encourage their behavior. The following is taken from a recent article by Dr. Josh Corvino, a nationally recognized gay spokesman who is a professor at Wayne State University: (Link HERE)
.... Roughly, “tolerance” involves leaving people alone to live as they choose, even when you don’t approve, whereas acceptance involves somehow affirming their choices. But even “acceptance” seems too weak here. Acceptance sounds close to acquiescence, which is scarcely distinguishable from tolerance. Gay people don’t want merely to be tolerated or accepted, we want to be embraced and encouraged—like everyone else in society.

The shift from tolerance to acceptance is apparent in the movement’s goals. When I came out in the late 1980’s, we were still fighting to make gay sex legal. As late as 2003, homosexual sodomy was criminal in over a dozen states. That’s when the U.S. Supreme Court finally declared sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas, overturning Bowers v. Hardwick. Suddenly, tolerance was legally mandated.

Then things changed—rapidly.

Just a few months later, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Gays and lesbian Americans began legally marrying the following year, and marriage became the predominant gay-rights issue in this country. Now California’s doing it (despite the threat of an amendment overturning that decision), and a handful of other states have civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Legally speaking, when it comes to marriage, “tolerance” may be enough. A marriage is legal whether people approve of it or not. Socially speaking, however, marriage requires more.

.... Obviously, not everyone will approve of everyone else’s marriage. You politely applaud at a wedding even if you think the groom is a jerk. But the ideal is still one where others’ participation is crucial. I’ve even been to wedding ceremonies—straight and gay—where the minister turns during the vows and asks, “Do you pledge to support Whosie and Whatsit in their marriage?” and the audience responds “We do!”

That’s one reason why same-sex marriage is so contentious. We are not simply asking people to “tolerate” something we do “in the privacy of our bedrooms.” We are asking them to support and encourage something we do publicly. We are asking them, in effect, to participate.

The late Dr. D. James Kennedy explained this phenomenon shortly before his death in an article in the Christian Post: (Link HERE )

Tolerance is being willing to put up with, endure, and bear with those whose views or lifestyles are different from others’ views, without agreeing with them. Every Christian should be tolerant in the correct and historical meaning of that word. It is what the Bible means in the love chapter of I Corinthians 13: “Love endureth all things.” Every Christian should be tolerant.

However, if you think that is what is being taught in the curricula of this country, you are very mistaken, as Josh McDowell points out in his book, The New Tolerance, which is the principal source of research for this message.

The “new tolerance” means: Not only do you put up with and endure and bear with those who have different views, habits, and/or lifestyles than your own, but you agree with their views as well.

Furthermore, you hold that their lifestyle is equally true and equally valid as your own and, therefore, there is no possible way that you could be intolerant, because there is nothing to be intolerant of. You must even be willing to promote and endorse that other lifestyle, since it is every bit as good as yours.

We have even invented a new post-modern civil right—the civil right for my feelings not to be hurt. For example, a young lady in one of the high schools recently sued because they sang a patriotic song that had some religious words in it. She said that it hurt her “feelings.”

Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When you have an immoral society that has blatantly, proudly, violated all of the commandments of God, there is one last virtue they insist upon: tolerance for their immorality. They will not have you condemning what they have done as being wrong, and they have created a belief system in which it is not, and in which they are no longer the criminal or the villain or the evil person, but you are!

Which brings us back to Judge Bill Graves, a committed Christian and long time conservative Oklahoma legislator. He simply exercised his legal rights as an influential member of the Oklahoma Bar to voice his disapproval of a new set of rules which would make it difficult or impossible for traditional Christians like himself to become judges or even remain on the bench. The result, he was effectively demoted. And, like the California court system employees who told their employers that their faith would not allow them to conduct gay marriages or participate in them, he found that long held constitutional protections of religious faith in the United States no longer apply if your faith disapproves of homosexuality.


Further examples of the new "tolerance:"

California: Christian MD's have no constitutional right to abstain from providing elective fertility treatment to gays wishing to have children

Texas: Christian Pharmacists fired for refusing to dispense abortion pill

Iowa: Christian employee fired for objecting to participation in diversity training which celebrated homosexuality

California: Christian HP employee fired for "anti-gay" Bible verses on desk

New York: Kodak fires man over objections to pro-gay diversity training

Ohio: Black university employee fired over newspaper column objecting to comparisons of gay agenda and civil rights struggle for blacks

California: Red Cross employee fired for refusing to celebrate "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month."

Canada: Christian officials told to resign if they object to performing gay marriages, other ....

New Mexico: Christian owned photography studio fined for refusing to photograph "gay wedding."

Massachusetts: Cape Cod officials report rash of (mostly gay) public sex acts on beaches

Florida: Protesting Pastors jailed at homosexual festival

Kansas: City of Wichita sued for arresting pastor on sidewalk near gay event

Missouri: FBI refuses to protect Baptist church after gay threats

Sweden: Pentecostal Pastor jailed for "anti-gay" sermon

Canada: Christian printer fined for refusing to print gay gay propaganda

Canada: Christian teacher suspended for "anti-gay" letters to editor

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Neighborhood Too Far?

"I think we may be going a bridge to far."

Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery


For the past several decades, Tulsa City Government has been dominated by an oligarchy of old money families and wealthy special interests. They have given the Citizens of Tulsa an increasingly corrupt city-county government, the tenth worst streets in the nation, a staggering street crime rate, some of the highest sales tax rates in the nation and a series of grandiose civic "improvement projects" that the city simply cannot afford.

For reasons that are only now becoming apparent, it would appear that this oligarchy is taking aim at a particular neighborhood in a classic dump and pump, systematically dumping city "problems" in one neighborhood so that they can pump the value of their holdings in another. This is not a new strategy in Tulsa. Ask some of the folks who used to own homes and businesses around 61st and Peoria.

The first sign that something was wrong came when city code enforcement began very strict scrutiny along Admiral Boulevard between roughly Harvard and Yale. Businesses that had been located there for decades, particularly used car lots, found it advisable to move elsewhere or face the constant, costly attention of nit picking code inspectors. Within a year, Admiral Boulevard became a ghost town between Harvard and Yale as one small, marginal business after the other closed up leaving an empty lot and/or building. Soon, long time neighborhood businesses like area diners began closing as well.

The next sign of trouble afoot was the stunning ouster of Bell's Amusement Park from the County Fairgrounds. Bell's Amusement Park was a city landmark. In a procedural move that would have made Machiavelli proud, Bell's was ousted from the fairgrounds and replaced with a parking lot. The move made no sense at all, unless you were familiar with what now appears to be "the plan."

Next, Driller's Stadium came under the gun. Built in 1981 and renovated in the 1990's, Driller's Stadium is the largest park in the Texas League and consistently rated as one of the best. It is in excellent repair and should be useful for several more decades. Moving the Drillers out of Driller's Stadium, again simply makes no sense, unless there are reasons that the rest of us don't know about.

The reasons for all of the above may have become apparent when it was announced that a hundred plus capacity homeless shelter was being planned for Admiral and Yale. There was no discussion, no referendum, just an announcement that it as going to happen regardless of community outrage. Stunned area homeowners, already reeling from hit after hit to their neighborhood, were furious.

But, after the anger subsided a little, the obvious question became, "Why here and why us?" The answer is actually fairly simple. The oligarchy is heavily invested in downtown real estate and stands to make the next generation's fortune from the gentrification of currently depressed downtown and near downtown properties. The presence of social services and facilities for the poor and homeless are incompatible with these gentrification plans since the limousine liberals who typically frequent trendy downtown lofts and entertainment venues prefer that someone else live with these neighborhood challenges.

Given this, "the plan" becomes perfectly clear once you look at a map of the city. Where can you place these homeless people and their attendant services without depressing the property values of the oligarchy and still keep them within a close bus ride of health services in the 11th to 21st and Utica corridor and city and state services which are downtown and really cannot be moved such as DHS, etc.? And, how can you do this in such a way as to appear racially sensitive?

The answer lies in an area bounded by Admiral Boulevard on the north, Yale on the west, Twenty First Street on the South and Sheridan on the East. This area is within three miles or so of the hospital corridor and five or so from downtown. A fairly short bus ride in other words. It gives a five mile "buffer" from the downtown gentrified properties, a two mile buffer from the aging but still viable Forty First and Yale shopping area and even a one mile buffer from TU. And, the area is a moderate income mostly white neighborhood, so the oligarchy cannot be accused of being racially insensitive by dumping their problems on North Tulsa ..... again.

There were a couple of problems, however. What to do about the people who lived and worked in that area? A lot of the businesses were encouraged to leave by city code enforcement. That took care of many of the small businessmen who would have opposed "the plan."

The residents were a much more difficult problem. White City and the surrounding area was a great neighborhood ten years ago. There was an excellent mix of home sizes and prices. It's residents were an interesting mixture of TU students and faculty, downtown workers and older, long time residents, in short the kind of socio-economic mix that social planners can only dream about. It had some of the best family entertainment in the region. Driller's Stadium, Bell's Amusement Park and Big Splash were all within a mile. Admiral was a little rough at night but OK in the daytime and there were even a couple of old fashioned neighborhood diners where you could breakfast or lunch safely with your neighbors and friends. For more intellectual tastes, there was always a lecture, a recital or a performance going on at TU. And if you were a knowledge worker, the research assets of TU library system were readily available free if you are an alumni or for a small fee if you are not. Again, the kind of neighborhood that competent city planners try to duplicate rather than destroy.

Why would anyone leave a neighborhood like that, especially when it was affordable? They wouldn't unless you take away the amenities. As previously noted, a lot of the Admiral businessmen were persuaded to move elsewhere by code enforcement. The Drillers have been "persuaded" to leave. Bell's was simply not allowed to renew their lease. And, even Big Splash is apparently not making much capital investment in their operation from repairs to even the rent. TU has become extremely inaccessible, looking more and more like a huge gated apartment complex than the open and accessible community asset it once was. And now, by introduction of the homeless shelter, the last two benefits of the neighborhood, property values and relative safety, are being taken.

If you view "the plan" from the oligarchy's viewpoint everyone wins ... almost. Downtown interests get rid of a large portion of their homeless problem, or at least they think they will. A very good argument can be made that homeless people congregate downtown for entirely different reasons that will not be changed by this move. All of the surrounding community assets "that matter" like TU and Promenade have been taken into consideration. The only losers are about twenty thousand mostly white homeowners whose neighborhoods will be ruined and whose home equity will be wiped out. To the oligarchy that is a small price to pay for "social progress," ... especially since they don't have to pay it.

The real question becomes however, who else will pay the price? There are always repercussions. Randi Miller has already paid for the Bell's debacle with her county commission seat and if Sally Bell (of the Bell's Amusement Park family) can beat aging anchorette Karen Keith in the general election the Tulsa County Commission may never be the same. And, Bell may well win. She has near fanatical support in the White City neighborhood.

District Four City Counselor Eric Gomez will pay with his seat as well. The Admiral and Yale announcement and his handling of it reduced him to the ranks of the political walking dead. I don't think there is enough money in Tulsa to buy him another term in office. He might survive the recall but even that is iffy. But, he will certainly not be reelected and the city counsel can rest assured that someone from the White City resistance movement will be the next counselor from that district.

District Three City Counselor David Patrick's seat is on the line as well, with David Bell of the Maxwell Park Neighborhood Association leading the charge to have Patrick ousted for his part in what is now becoming the Admiral and Yale debacle.

The oligarchy may have over-reached. The Tulsa City Council will change because of what has happened. There will be loud voices of opposition there after this. The Tulsa County Commission may change. If Sally Bell is elected, while she may not be able to do much with one vote, she can tell the public what is happening, and that in itself will be a major factor in future county government decisions.

Citizens from all over the city are watching the White City developments very closely because what is happening there could happen to them next. It could be that the Admiral and Yale project was a political blunder of Titanic proportions. The combination of procedural high handedness and patronizing arrogance in this situation may be the tipping point that triggers the political rage necessary for there to be a real change in Tulsa City and County Government. And, if that is the case, then it would appear that the Admiral and Yale project was a neighborhood too far.


Editors Note: The name "White City" was probably taken from the old White City Dairy which was once located in the neighborhood. Despite recent snide PC remarks to the contrary, racial considerations had no part in the naming of the neighborhood.

Friday, August 15, 2008

They might kill fewer Jews ....

This morning, I have listened in amazement as local talk radio station KFAQ listeners, who are self identified Republicans, lined up one after the other to testify that they would vote for John McCain even if he chose a pro-choice VP candidate.

Voting for John McCain is problem enough. John McCain is the slacker son of a powerful admiral who would probably have been RIF'd early in his military career were it not for his powerful father. He was a terrible student at Annapolis and has an un-denied reputation for partying and philandering both throughout his military career and later on the Hill. There are two or more unexplained airplane crashes in his record that would have destroyed another pilots career, including one where we has flying a naval aircraft to attend a football game! He divorced his crippled wife who stayed with him throughout his Viet Nam captivity and traded her in for new model, fifteen years his junior, who just happened to be the heir to a beer and liquor fortune. If he were anyone but one of America's political and social elite, he would be jokingly called the living example of a sailors dream, married to a sexy woman whose father owns a liquor store. But, he is instead, running for president of the United States.

To expect much in the way of moral discernment from a man like John McCain is to expect too much. But, a little grudging respect for the evangelical wing of the GOP would have been nice. But, he has refused to give even that. He has stiff armed evangelical leaders like James Dobson and done everything in his power to destroy the faith based coalition that has been the most loyal voter block for past two decades. And now, to add insult to injury, he is floating trial balloons about a VP choice who is openly and completely pro-abortion.

I listened to KFAQ listeners give excuse after excuse. The most common was that McCain and whoever he picks for VP are the lesser of evils. There is a problem with this reasoning however. The lesser of evils is still evil and that philosophy allows evil to set the agenda. Further, it requires the voter/supporter to personally participate in the evil rather than simply observe it on the other side of the political aisle.

The second most common excuse was the GOP has to do whatever it takes to retain the White House. This is another way of saying the end justifies the means. The GOP has some experience with this type of thinking. Richard Nixon was a master of it and it gave us Jimmy Carter. But, even more important than the political outcome is the moral outcome of such a philosophy. Where does that policy end? Just how much would GOP loyalists be willing to tolerate to retain power?

In the 1920's and early 1930's, the Germans and Italians were faced with a similar problem. Their economies were a disaster, a communist take over of both countries was entirely possible, the Versailles treaty had reduced Germany to military impotence. The very fabric of both nations was being destroyed.

These nations chose what they perceived to be the lesser of evils. Hitler and Mussolini made things happen. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Hitler stopped the communists in their tracks. The economy of both nations boomed. Within a few years, they were regaining territory and world power. But, the German and Italian people were paying a price. Their nations were becoming morally corrupt and their legal systems were being subordinated by pragmatic short term political concerns.

Hitler's and to a lesser extent Mussolini's treatment of Jews should have been a warning that something was terribly wrong. Officially tolerated injustice is a cancer on nation's soul that will kill it if it is not removed. But, like a miner who doesn't pay attention to the canary that quits singing, the Germans and Italians, happy with their jobs, their improved economy and their restored world position, decided that the deaths of a few socially unacceptable people was small price to pay for what they were receiving in return. And, it worked for a little less than a decade. But, by the middle of the second decade, Germany and Italy lay in smoking ruins.

Voting for John McCain ticket on the grounds that he might reduce the number of abortions with his judicial picks is political naivety of the first order. The majority justices who decided Roe v. Wade and every crazy abortion decision since were GOP nominees. If allowed to serve in the in White House, McCain will do exactly what he is doing right now ... ignoring the better moral lights of his nation and doing precisely what he has to to stay in power. It is a morally contradictory position that can do nothing but move the agenda of both parties farther and farther away from principled leadership. Voting for a moderately pro-choice or mixed pro-choice ticket today is the moral equivalent of a 1930's German voting for a moderate Nazi ticket because, if elected, they might kill fewer Jews.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The White City Blues

The following is making the rounds on the Internet. Every good revolution needs a theme song. Maybe White City has found theirs:

>Rich people spending lots of money
>To make everything nice downtown
>And the one thing they sure don’t want to see
>Is a bunch of bums hanging around
>So they sent ‘em to us
>And gave us The White City blues
>The bums get out of downtown
>Out of rich folks sight
>White City blues
>The old county sheriff’s
>Would run the bums out of town
>Now I can’t see much difference
>Between that and what these folks are puttin’ down
>The only difference is
>The White City blues
>Cause they’re not runnin’ ‘em to the county line
>But just out to our neighborhood
>Oh Yeah - White City blues
>I ain’t got nothing against them bums
>Lord knows they’re just folks like us
>But dumpin’ in our backyards
>Ain’t gonna do nothin’ but raise a fuss.
>And give us all the blues
>The White City blues
>The I’m poor now too cause nobody will buy my house
>Cause the neighborhood’s gone to hell
>White City Blues
>Now if this bill of goods these folks are sellin’
>Is gonna be so good for the neighborhood
>Why don’t they build it in their own back yard
>Oh Lord I wish they would.
>And leave us alone
>With the old White City Blues
>The hard enough as it was
>Without downtown’s rich folks problems too
>White City blues.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Have YOU Done For YOUR Community?

Yesterday's Tulsa Housing Authority meeting concerning the location of a homeless shelter in the Admiral and Yale area generated a lot of interesting conversation . As I think about it, it would have been fascinating to see a one on one debate between one of the participants on each side of the argument.

IMAGINE for a moment that Wanda Watson and Ruth Kaiser Nelson agreed to a one on one presidential campaign style debate. Wanda Watson is a nationally known blues singer with a voice like Janis Joplin and a deep passion for protecting her neighborhood. Ruth Kaiser Nelson is from one of Tulsa's wealthiest families and is known for her philanthropy.

IMAGINE that the moderator asked the representatives the following question: "What have you done for your community?"

IMAGINE that Wanda Watson answered: "I bought a home in a neighborhood I could afford. I took a chance on a marginal neighborhood. I paid my taxes, mowed my lawn, painted my house, worked with my neighbors and tried to be a stable and positive influence in a neighborhood that needs it badly."

IMAGINE that Ruth Kaiser Nelson answered: "I donated a million dollars to keep a homeless shelter away from my neighborhood and put it in HERS."

Now who would be the real philanthropist in that exchange? Ruth Kaiser Nelson's lifestyle will not change no matter how much money she donates to make the Admiral and Yale shelter a reality. She is giving discretionary funds in a way that just happens to serve the business and property interests of a lot of people like her. And, if things get too unpleasant in Tulsa for her, she can always jet away to Colorado or Newport or Palm Springs.

Wanda Watson on the other hand has donated not just a huge percentage of her non-discretionary net worth but also her presence, her influence and her sweat, literally her life. There is no comparison between the two. Wanda Watson's lifestyle will change radically because of what is happening at Admiral and Yale. If things turn bad in her Tulsa, she will just have to live with whatever situation the Ruth Kaiser Nelson's have created for her.

It is not philanthropy when you donate money you will not miss to take everything a less advantaged person has.


1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,

2 to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.

3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?

Isaiah 10:1-3

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It'll be a cold day in hell before I set one foot in the BOK Center ...

I have just returned from a meeting of the Tulsa Housing Authority concerning the planned construction of a large low rent housing facility near Admiral and Yale. Downtown property owners are making a full court press right now to move the homeless and semi-homeless out of downtown to make the area around the new BOK Center more attractive. The proposed facility will house nearly a hundred low income individuals most of whom currently live at the downtown YMCA. Many of them are disabled, including substance abuse problems or mental health issues. The effect on property values and quality of life in the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed new facility will be devastating.

Literally hundreds of people from the nearby neighborhoods tried to attend the meeting. I say tried because when I arrived at a few minutes before the 10:00 a.m., the woefully inadequate meeting room was already completely full. By the time most people from the neighborhood arrived, they were being turned away by the eight or more armed security guards on the grounds that fire code would not allow more people in the building.

Not surprisingly, the people supporting the proposition, who also scheduled the meeting, showed up early and were able to schedule seventeen speakers in favor the proposition. They had also planted their supporters in different areas all over the room so that it would appear to a television camera that applause and support was coming from the audience when in fact most of the audience was completely silent after each speaker supporting the proposition.

On the other hand, many of the the neighborhood representatives who showed up on time were denied entrance to the building altogether. Consequently, they had no opportunity to even get access to the request forms to ask to be allowed to speak. Only thirteen people were allowed to speak for the neighborhood.

The time was supposed to be limited to thirty minutes for each side. I suppose someone's watch was running slow however because the speakers for the proposition began a little after 10:30 and were not finished until 11:15. I left before the speakers for the neighborhood were finished so I don't know if they were given equal time or not.

The mood of the crowd was polite but angry. Some of the people opposing the proposition were quite eloquent. Others were simply angry. One angry lady put it best, "You just don't dump poor people on poor people. All you get are a lot more poor people. It's a hard job now trying to keep our houses and neighborhoods clean and safe. This is going to make it impossible."

Anger aside, Roscoe Turner, ever the professional, pointed out that there were multiple questionable issues concerning the whole proposition. According to Turner, the zoning itself needs to be examined as well as the address listed for the project which he says does not exist.

The class distinction between the people supporting the project and the people opposing it was striking. Almost all of the people supporting the project are professionals or wealthy donors. There are no such facilities located in THEIR neighborhoods. When one was planned at 10th and Utica, the homeowners there killed it. On the other hand, most of the people opposing the project don't have a lot of options. Everything they have is tied up in their home and any reduction in its value will simply mean that they have to live with the consequences or let it be foreclosed since nobody in his right mind is going to buy a home near a homeless shelter.

In effect, the people with money to live in a neighborhood without this type of facility are telling the people who live in White City, Turner Park and the surrounding neighborhoods, that they will just have to live with this problem and take the resulting financial hit as well. Ruth Kaiser Nelson, one of the wealthy donors who sponsored this project, readily admitted in earlier media statements, "Nobody would want this in their neighborhood." Wanda Watson, a nationally known blues singer and resident of the neighborhood put it another way. Pointing her finger at the seated officials she asked bluntly, "Would you want this in your neighborhood?" There was total silence. She then said, "Yes or No. Would you?" The answer was apparently no.

The sheer arrogance of these people is stunning. They may actually succeed in getting the facility built. But, it will not be the wealthy donors running for election next time around. There was recall talk all over the room. Every city councilman who supported this project will hear about it again and the odds of District 4 Councilman Eric Gomez getting re-elected are astronomical.

As a matter of fact, it would probably be a good idea if Gomez stayed out of sight in his district for a while. There are about twenty thousand people in the affected neighborhoods and given the turnout at today's meeting, I would estimate that about ten thousand of them are hopping mad at Mayor Kathy Taylor, Ruth Kaiser Nelson, the City Council and anyone else remotely associated with this project. This is the type of political affront that does not go away and somebody, probably the elected officials and city employees who made it possible, will pay the price.

But, there will be a longer term price to pay as well. One woman observed, "This is not America." These people are shaken. As long they live, they will remember that their city government and a group of wealthy do-gooders ruined their neighborhood, stole the equity in their property and left them with a home that they could neither live in safely nor sell. Just how this anger, hurt, disappointment and disillusionment will manifest itself over the next several years is anybody's guess but one thing is for sure, downtown interests are taking a public relations and political hit that will take generations to repair. As one little lady from the neighborhood said loudly, "It'll be a cold day in hell before I set one foot in the BOK Center after this."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

To do what ought not to be done ...

The state editor for Blog Net News Oklahoma recently opined:
First of all, there is no such thing as "Judeo-Christian values." That's a phrase made up by certain Christians who want to feel better about thrusting their supposed moral superiority on the world. They throw "Judeo" into their "values" so as not to seem exclusivist. The truth is that the phrase "Judeo-Christian Values" is code for homophobia and religious discrimination.
He then continues to spew truly hateful speech about citizens who hold traditional Christian values for several more paragraphs. The rhetoric is so inflammatory that were the situations reversed and a Christian public official uttered it, they might be demoted from their position or hounded from public office.

But, it is the sheer ignorance of this statement that astounds me most. To say that there is no such thing as Judaeo Christian values is to display such profound ignorance of history, western culture and the law that only a quasi-Marxist, post modern university could have produced it. This level of ignorance cannot be produced by simply a lack of learning but must instead be instilled by such rebellion against the very nature of fact and reason that it blinds the hearer to the reality surrounding them.

At the time of the American Revolution, the English Common Law was already the law of the land. It was the law of the courts of the Colonies and most of the states have adopted it in one form or another as has Oklahoma in 12 O.S. 2002 as explained by the Oklahoma Supreme Court here: "The common law supplements our statutes. It remains in full force unless it is clearly and expressly modified or abrogated by our constitution or by statute."2 Silver v. Slusher 1988 OK 53. This of course begs the question, what was/is the English Common Law? At the time of the revolution and for a hundred years thereafter, the most authoritative text on the English Common Law was Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England which states:
MAN, confidered as a creature, muft neceffarily be fubject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to purfue, but fuch as he prefcribes to himfelf; but a ftate of dependance will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all thofe points wherein his dependance confifts. This principle therefore has more or lefs extent and effect, in proportion as the fuperiority of the one and the dependance of the other is greater or lefs, abfolute or limited. And confequently as man depends abfolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is neceffary that he fhould in all points conform to his maker's will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature...
THIS law of nature, being co-eval with mankind and dictated by God himfelf, is of courfe fuperior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and fuch of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.
This natural law has been with us in codified form since at least the time of Moses. Justinian recognized it, " The laws of nature, which all nations observe alike, being established by a divine providence, remain ever fixed and immutable."

From Roman times through the Middle Ages and beyond, the natural law remained as civilizations rose and crumbled. "This true law is diffused among all men, is immutable and eternal. To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege" (Cicero). This "divine and natural" law and is expressed in the Ten Commandments. The law is "natural" because reason (which decrees it) belongs to human nature. "These rules are written in the book of that light which we call truth and are imprinted on the heart of man as a seal upon wax" (St. Augustine). "Natural law is the light of understanding placed in us by God through which we know what we must do and what we must avoid" (St. Augustine).

A thinking lawyer cannot read the books of the Mosaic law (the Torah) without smiling as he finds the elements of modern statutory law, everything from homicide to trespass and a lot in between. I used to preach a sermon where I compared passages from Leviticus and Deuteronomy to citations from the Oklahoma Statutes and let the congregation make up their own mind where the latter came from.

In the end, this profound, blinding ignorance and the hate that must surely follow it springs from the ultimate rebellion of man against not only his Maker but also against the very nature He created even to the nature of their own being. Unable to avoid the physical attributes of the natural law, they rail instead against its moral component, seeking to justify unnatural moral depravity by equally unnatural human law as is described by Scalia in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas:
The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are “immoral and unacceptable,” Bowers, supra, at 196–the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity. Bowers held that this was a legitimate state interest. The Court today reaches the opposite conclusion. The Texas statute, it says, “furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual,” ante, at 18 (emphasis addded). The Court embraces instead Justice Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that “the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice,” ante, at 17. This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review.
And that is the goal of people such as this. Not to live quietly. Not to privately practice their "lifestyle choices" behind closed doors, but rather to overthrow by force of law the moral sentiments of the majority and then punish and ruin anyone who dares disagree with them. This is not freedom for a minority but rather oppression of the majority and there is a word for that, tyranny.

* * * * *

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:18-31.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

In Memoriam: Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died today in Moscow. He was 89. In a recent interview with Der Spiegel he said:
I am not afraid of death any more. When I was young the early death of my father cast a shadow over me -- he died at the age of 27 -- and I was afraid to die before all my literary plans came true. But between 30 and 40 years of age my attitude to death became quite calm and balanced. I feel it is a natural, but no means the final, milestone of one’s existence.

Nothing I could write could properly memorialize a mind and soul of his stature, so I will not try. Rather, I will record a passage from his monumental Gulag Archipelago that has stayed with me over the many years since I first read it:

Following an operation, I am lying in the surgical ward of a camp hospital. I cannot move. I am hot and feverish, but nonetheless my thoughts do not dissolve into delerium, and I am grateful to Dr. Boris Nikolayevich Kornfeld, who is sitting beside my cot and talking to me all evening. The light has been turned out, so it will not hurt my eyes. There is no one else in the ward.

Fervently he tells me the long story of his conversion from Judaism to Christianity. I am astonished at the conviction of the new convert, at the ardor of his words.

We know each other very slightly, and he was not the one responsible for my treatment, but there was simply no one here with whom he could share his feelings. He was a gentle and well-mannered person. I could see nothing bad in him, nor did I know anything bad about him. However, I was on guard because Kornfeld had now been living for two months inside the hospital barracks, without going outside. He had shut himself up in here, at his place of work, and avoided moving around camp at all.

This meant that he was afraid of having his throat cut. In our camp it had recently become fashionable to cut the throats of stool pigeons. This has an effect. But who could guarantee that only stoolies were getting their throats cut? One prisoner had had his throat cut in a clear case of settling a sordid grudge. Therefore the self-imprisonment of Kornfeld in the hospital did not necessarily prove that he was a stool pigeon.

It is already late. The whole hospital is asleep. Kornfeld is finishing his story:

"And on the whole, do you know, I have become convinced that there is no punishment that comes to us in this life on earth which is undeserved. Superficially it can have nothing to do with what we are guilty of in actual fact, but if you go over your life with a fine-tooth comb and ponder it deeply, you will always be able to hunt down that transgression of yours for which you have now received this blow."

I cannot see his face. Through the window come only the scattered reflections of the lights of the perimeter outside. The door from the corridor gleams in a yellow electrical glow. But there is such mystical knowledge in his voice that I shudder.

Those were the last words of Boris Kornfeld. Noiselessly he went into one of the nearby wards and there lay down to sleep. Everyone slept. There was no one with whom he could speak. I went off to sleep myself.

I was wakened in the morning by running about and tramping in the corridor; the orderlies were carrying Kornfeld's body to the operating room. He had been dealt eight blows on the skull with a plasterer's mallet while he slept. He died on the operating table, without regaining consciousness.

And so it happened that Kornfeld's prophetic words were his last words on earth, and those words lay upon me as an inheritance. You cannot brush off that kind of inheritance by shrugging your shoulders.

But by that time I myself had matured to similar thoughts. I would have been inclined to endow his words with the significance of a universal law of life. However, one can get all tangled up that way. One would have to admit that, on that basis, those who had received even crueler punishments than imprisonment,those who were shot or burned at the stake, were some sort of super-evildoers. And yet it is the the innocent who are punished most zealously. And what would one then have to say about our torturers? Why does fate not punish them? Why do they prosper?

The only solution to this would be that the meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul. From that point of view our torturers have been punished most horribly of all: they are turning into swine; they are departing downward from humanity. From that point of view punishment is inflicted on those whose development . . . holds out hope.

But there was something in Kornfeld's last words that touched a sensitive chord, and that I completely accept for myself. And many will accept the same for themselves.

In the seventh year of my imprisonment I had gone over and re-examined my life and had come to understand why everything had happened to me: both prison and my malignant tumor. And I would not have murmured even if all that punishment had been considered inadequate.

I lay there a long time in that recovery room from which Kornfeld had gone forth to his death, and all alone during sleepless nights I pondered with astonishment my own life and the turns it had taken. Looking back, I saw that for my whole conscious life I had not understood either myself or my strivings. What had seemed for so long to be beneficial now turned out in actuality to be fatal, and I had been striving to go in the opposite direction to that which was truly necessary for me. But just as the waves of the sea knock the inexperienced swimmer off his feet and keep tossing him back onto the shore, so also was I painfully tossed back on dry land by the blows of misfortune. And it was only because of this that I was able to travel the path which I had always really wanted to travel.

It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhlemed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: they struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

ME -- A LIBERAL ???????

It never ceases to amaze me when I see my blog listed among the most influential LIBERAL blogs in Oklahoma. This situation is a perfect illustration of just how convoluted American politics have become. They say confession is good for the soul, so I am going to confess a few things to the blogosphere that may change their impression of my political leanings.

First, I am a constitutional originalist. That means that I do not believe in the “living document” theory of constitutional interpretation. I most closely identify myself with the jurisprudence of Justices Antonine Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Second, I am a hard core Evangelical activist and I am not ashamed of it. I am 100% pro-life, anti-porn and pro-traditional marriage only. And, I strongly support the First Amendment right of Christians to advance their world-view in the marketplace of ideas wherever they choose including the political system. But, I am ashamed to admit that my Christian brothers and sisters moved into the political system to change it but were instead changed by it, becoming what they beheld and selling their moral and spiritual birthright for crumbs from the table of the secular political elite.

Third, I am a highly dissatisfied Republican. The GOP has moved so far to the far left in my lifetime that I no longer recognize it. The current GOP position on any issue is always just perceptibly to the right of the Democrats regardless of the morality or practical effect of that position. That’s not leadership or conservatism. John Kennedy was far to the right of the current GOP on many issues. If there were an opportunity to do so in Oklahoma, I would probably vote the Constitution Party presidential candidate.

Fourth, I believe in a conspiratorial view of history. No other theory makes any sense. For example, in my view of history, Franklin D. Roosevelt was a socialist who surrounded himself by known Communists and Communist sympathizers.

Fifth, I am a realist. I oppose many key GOP initiatives like so-called “tort reform” because I know, because of my profession and personal experience, that they are trying to rig the game at the court house against the people who need help there the most, individuals and small businessmen who have been wronged by the rich and powerful.

The people who call themselves conservatives these days are pale imitations of the real thing. For the most part, they spout knee jerk political theory based on talk radio “education” and can't think past the next election cycle. I am proud to admit that I am out of step with them and the current GOP which calls itself “conservative” but is far, far to the left of the Democratic party of only a few decades ago. But, to call me a liberal is ridiculous. The problem is that I am so conservative that modern so-called "conservatives" don’t recognize true, old fashioned conservatism when they see it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

OBA General Counsel to Take Leave of Absence

The Oklahoma Bar Association announced this afternoon that OBA General Counsel Dan Murdock has requested and been granted a leave of absence after DNA tests on the bite mark of an alleged sexual battery victim were found to be consistent with his DNA. Murdock has been formally charged with sexual battery. (Link to Daily Oklahoman news report HERE.) The Oklahoma Bar Association's press release on the matter follows. (Link to OBA press release HERE.)


OBA General Counsel to Take Leave of Absence

Association Explains Disciplinary Procedures

(OKLAHOMA CITY – Aug. 1) Oklahoma Bar Association General Counsel Dan Murdock has requested a leave of absence from his job until his personal legal issues have been resolved.

“In the case of a criminal investigation involving a lawyer,” said OBA President J. William Conger, “the Professional Responsibility Commission, which investigates allegations of lawyer misconduct, would typically wait for the outcome of a plea or conviction and then take appropriate action.”

OBA Executive Director John Morris Williams said, “At this point there is a criminal action pending with the district attorney’s office. Discipline against a lawyer brought about by a complaint at the bar association is a civil process to determine if an attorney has engaged in unethical or improper conduct that would affect his or her license to practice. These are two separate and distinct proceedings with different burdens of proof.”

Regarding Murdock’s license to practice law, Conger said, “There is a very fair and deliberate process to discipline attorneys who violate the rules of our profession. That process is also applicable to our general counsel if he has violated the rules. The general counsel has to follow the rules just like everyone else and will suffer the same consequences as anyone else if he has not.

“Mr. Murdock, like any other criminal defendant, should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

In the event that a grievance is filed against Murdock, the Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings provide for a commission made up of five lawyers and two non-lawyers to appoint a special counsel who would investigate and present the case if the grievance is determined to have merit.

If found to have merit, the case would be presented in front of a three-member panel that includes one non-lawyer. The recommendation of the panel is then sent to the Oklahoma Supreme Court for a final determination of discipline that could include disbarment.

“Normally grievances against a lawyer are handled by the general counsel’s office,” Conger said. “In this case because of the inherent conflict of interest, the attorneys and investigators in the Office of the General Counsel would not participate. That is why the Professional Responsibility Commission would handle this.”


The Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings are available at

More information about the Professional Responsibility Commission is available at