Archive for May, 2005

Coming Soon to SoonerThought!

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

A review of Floyd Abrams’ hot new book, Speaking Freely and news about Oklahoma’s super progressive candidate Jennifer Seal! Check it out, this week at SoonerThought.

Why I’m Joining the GOP

Monday, May 30th, 2005

The following was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle on May 29. Hopefully, Gillenkirk had his tongue planted firmly in cheek as he wrote this, but who can blame him if not. He makes going over to the Dark Side kind of appealling. After all, it’s not like the Democratic Party congressional leadership has given the rank and file party members much to be proud of lately. Even their supposed victories like the filibuster issue on judicial appointments are really defeats. Bush got his radical nominees confirmed and the Democrats go nothing. When will they stop rolling over and playing dead. Or are they really dead? If not, they sure do a good job of acting.

Leaving the left for fun and profit
by Jeff Gillenkirk

After a lifetime voting for and working for Democratic candidates and independents, I’m finally going to make the switch and become a Republican.

The reasons are many, not the least of which is age. I turned 55 recently and, having lived more than half my life, I can’t afford to worry anymore about the other guy. It’s time for me.

The Matter with Kansas

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

By Jake Lowrey, Associate Editor

If you haven’t read Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, you are really missing out on one of the most insightful, witty books on current events published this millennium. Click on one of the Amazon Books icons on this page and buy a copy. You won’t be disappointed.

But this is not a review of the book.

I have found the answer to Frank’s question. Or at least have two theories that can explain what really is the matter with Kansas.

I’d like to say I completed extensive research on the issue, poring over tons of documents, interviewing hundreds of social scientists, psychologists and everyday Kansonians (I know it’s Kansans, but I like Kansonians better. It’s kind of like Oklahomers).

Yes, I’d like to say that, but the fact is I stumbled on the answer quite by accident. It was one of those “Ah, ha…” moments while looking over a listing of zip codes for the state of Kansas. No, I wasn’t that bored; it was work-related.

Take a look at the zip code for Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, and you’ll see it, too. The first three digits are 6-6-6 – the mark of the beast.

There exist two possible scenarios.

One, the people of Kansas are subconsciously reacting to the numbers and are over-compensating with their radically sharp turn to the Christian right. How else can you explain the Kansas School Board and their idiocy concerning evolution?

How else? With scenario number two: the Beast is alive and well and living in Kansas, exerting unholy influence on the citizens of that state in the name of religion.

Now, I don’t really believe the anti-Christ is in Kansas, but I did notice a faint scent of sulphur this past winter when the winds were blowing from the north …

If you can’t stand the heat…

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Seems like Tom Delay is a bit miffed over last week’s episode of NBC’s Law and Order.

The episode in question concerns the killing of two judges by right-wing extremists (Is it redundant to say “right-wing extremists”?). Exasperated by a lack of leads in the case, one of the police officers jokes, “Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.”

Of course, Delay wasn’t watching the program; he heard about it from someone else. Maybe the show’s title scares him and produces nightmares of prison whites.

The beleaguered congressman sent a heated letter to Jeff Zucker, presdient of the NBC Universal Television Group, whining about the “manipulation” of his name.

“This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse,” Delay wrote.

Now, if anyone knows anything about trivializing sensitive issues and reckless disregard, it’s got to be Tom Delay.

His letter continued: “I can only assume last night’s slur was in response to comments I have made in the past about the need for Congress to closely monitor the federal judiciary, as prescribed in our constitutional system of checks and balances.”

Reality check.

This is what Delay said after not getting his way with judges during the Terri Schiavo debacle: “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.”

Sounds like a threat to me, and it doesn’t sound like he was referring to monitoring the federal judiciary. In today’s atmosphere, if someone other than a rightwing nutjob of a congressman had said that, they would have the FBI, Secret Service, IRS, NSA, DEA, FTC, FCC (oh, you get the point) down on them so fast…

If Tom Delay spews garbage from his mouth, he should expect it to come back to haunt him. Otherwise, he should get out of the kitchen.

Jeff Hamilton Nearly Wins ODP Chairmanship–Without Campaigning

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

Former State Rep. Jeff Hamilton recently and without intention demonstrated that there is little support from metro Democrats for new ODP Chair Lisa Pryor. Hamilton was drafted from the floor of the recent state convention and proceeded to win the state’s two largest counties–Oklahoma and Tulsa–fully one third of the vote!

Hamilton, a true Elder Statesman, demonstrated that a progressive candidate not unlike Howard Dean does have relevance in Oklahoma.

Governor Henry and his gang of DINOs would do well to take counsel from progressives like Jeff Hamilton. Often.

Freedom Fry Idiot Repents

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

French Fries Protester Regrets War Jibe

French Fries Protester Regrets War Jibe
by Jamie Wilson in Washington

It was a culinary rebuke that echoed around the world, heightening the sense of tension between Washington and Paris in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. But now the US politician who led the campaign to change the name of french fries to “freedom fries” has turned against the war.

Walter Jones, the Republican congressman for North Carolina who was also the brains behind french toast becoming freedom toast in Capitol Hill restaurants, told a local newspaper the US went to war “with no justification”.

Mr Jones, who in March 2003 circulated a letter demanding that the three cafeterias in the House of Representatives’ office buildings ban the word french from menus, said it was meant as a “light-hearted gesture”.

But the name change, still in force, made headlines around the world, both for what it said about US-French relations and its pettiness.

Now Mr Jones appears to agree. Asked by a reporter for the North Carolina News and Observer about the name-change campaign - an idea Mr Jones said at the time came to him by a combination of God’s hand and a constituent’s request - he replied: “I wish it had never happened.”

Although he voted for the war, he has since become one of its most vociferous opponents on Capitol Hill, where the hallway outside his office is lined with photographs of the “faces of the fallen”.

“If we were given misinformation intentionally by people in this administration, to commit the authority to send boys, and in some instances girls, to go into Iraq, that is wrong,” he told the newspaper. “Congress must be told the truth.”

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

Check Out Andrew Rice

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Andrew Rice for Oklahoma

Bad Religion Spawns Ignorance

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

From an interesting interview with scientist Richard Dawkins, his take on evolution. While I believe in a Supreme Being, I can appreciate his logic:

Still, so many people resist believing in evolution. Where does the resistance come from?

It comes, I’m sorry to say, from religion. And from bad religion. You won’t find any opposition to the idea of evolution among sophisticated, educated theologians. It comes from an exceedingly retarded, primitive version of religion, which unfortunately is at present undergoing an epidemic in the United States. Not in Europe, not in Britain, but in the United States.

My American friends tell me that you are slipping towards a theocratic Dark Age. Which is very disagreeable for the very large number of educated, intelligent and right-thinking people in America. Unfortunately, at present, it’s slightly outnumbered by the ignorant, uneducated people who voted Bush in.

But the broad direction of history is toward enlightenment, and so I think that what America is going through at the moment will prove to be a temporary reverse. I think there is great hope for the future. My advice would be, Don’t despair, these things pass.

Bill Would Give More Power to FBI

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Let me see if I’ve got this right. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence (oxymoron?) committee is reportedly writing a bill to give more power to the FBI to violate our rights with “administrative subpoenas.” Some seem to think this is OK because it’s already being used in other cases. Here’s a thought: get rid of it altogether. All of our laws should be enforced without violating the US Constitution. This is what is supposed to separate us from the rest of the world … Oops! I’m sorry. There for a minute I forgot who was in the White House and who has the majority in Congress. My bad.–Jake

GOP Aides Say New Patriot Act Obliges Bush

by Mark Sherman
Associated Press

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is working on a bill that would renew the Patriot Act and expand government powers in the name of fighting terrorism, letting the FBI subpoena records without permission from a judge or grand jury.

But the measure being written by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., would give the FBI new power to issue administrative subpoenas, which are not reviewed by a judge or grand jury, for quickly obtaining records, electronic data or other evidence in terrorism investigations, according to aides for the GOP majority on the committee who briefed reporters Wednesday.

Kansas Kangaroo Kourt

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Free thinkers and progressives better wake up to what is happening in the Kansas public school system. The small-minded, minority radical evangelicals are poised to impose their religious views on all of us. Their tactics have changed, but the end result will be the force indoctrination of school children to what they are now terming “Intelligent Design,” but it’s still the same old, “It-says-so-in-the-Bible-so-it’s-true” nonsense. No room for non-believers. Gotta give it to them; they have learned and they are crafty.–Jake

Monkey Trial or Kangaroo Court?

By Stan Cox, AlterNet

The hours passed, and the chilling phrases kept on coming: “security police,” “fear and tension,” “significant personal sanctions,” “enforcement of the Rule,” “suppression of evidence,” “conflict of conscience,” “trampling on those who believe man is purposed.”

The man on the stage might well have been talking about life in a totalitarian state, but John Calvert, a lawyer who directs the Intelligent Design Network of Shawnee Mission, Kan., was describing the state of science education in America.

For three days in May, in a cramped auditorium across the street from the Kansas Capitol building, Calvert and his 22 witnesses — scientists, philosophers, teachers, and other scholars — painted a picture of evolutionary biology as a tyrannical, “naturalistic” discipline that can be salvaged only by letting the bright light of the supernatural shine in.

Clinton says: Toughen Up

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

Quote of the Day:

“Get better tactics. Don’t wuss around. And quit saying, ‘They’re so mean and vicious.’ They only do it because it works.”
Bill Clinton, calling on Democrats to stop being wimps when fighting Republicans

Note: SoonerThought is going on a brief business/pleasure trip. Unless associate editors Jake or Greg post, there wil be no regular daily postings on SoonerThought until Tuesday, May 24, 2005. We have a wealth of back-postings you can read, though! And be sure to help us stay online by donating to our hosting fees if you can.


Monday, May 16th, 2005