This is a map that shows the Precincts and other divisions of Cherokee County. For our current purposes let us focus on the Precincts. They are labeled with the smaller red numbers on the map from 1-25.
Find your Precinct on the map.
This past weekend I had the mixed pleasure of participating in our Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee Meeting. In the last 8 years since I’ve been more actively involved the OKGOP has been going through many changes, often painfully, and not without upset and turmoil. This weekend’s meeting well illustrated the changes the Oklahoma Republican Party has went through as well as the changes it still needs to embrace.
I do not know how it is in other States but in my experience here in Oklahoma these State Committee meetings have always been cheer leading sessions with dog and pony shows to keep the Committee Members amused as they are asked to rubber stamp the plans produced by the State Party’s administrative structure. Very rarely have I seen indication that the State Committee doing much in actively engaging its authority and giving direction and instructing action on the part of the OKGOP. Oh, there have certainly been Resolutions passed voicing approval or disapproval on various issues but never before have I seen the Committee direct the State organization to action.
Take Common Core, it has been denounced by both the State and National party structures in their respective Party Platforms and yet we in Oklahoma have both a Republican Governor and State Superintendent that have doubled down in their support of that educational program without much consequence or push back from the Party structure and leadership. In fact, most probably have observed that while many in the Republican party statewide are very vocal in their opposition to Common Core there is not so much as a peep coming from the State Party itself that would put Republicans like Gov. Fallin supporting Common Core on notice. In fact often we are told that we should not make waves by standing for our stated principles. It is about our party winning you see. But more and more people are waking up to see that if we win by supporting those who do not uphold our principles then it is not a win a all.
This weekend the State Committee began standing up for some of the principles claimed by the Oklahoma Republican Party. There was an anti-Common Core Resolution passed overwhelmingly by the body but this time it was different. This time the Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party is actually directed to act take action in support of our Party Platform though it may make some of our State Republican Politicians unhappy.
There was also more good when Federal Reserve was called out as needing to be audited followed by a great deal of audience cheer.
Moving on to the bad though we have…
The State Party Budget also caused some noise as many in attendance were not happy with the lack of detail given in the report before the Committee was asked for it’ approval. In the future I do not expect the State Party will be able to get away with presenting the proposed State Party Budget to the State Committee as a pie chart. Yes, it was presented as a pie chart.
There was a joke delivered during the one of the reports that exemplifies why Republicans have such trouble with minorities across the country and why we are perceived as hate mongers. It showed that many in the Republican Party still just do not “get it” despite all the studies that have been done by the party as to why it has trouble with minorities. Hearing that joke turned my stomach because I fear too many attending would not mind Muslim women and children blowing up in landmines. Such hate and misunderstanding needs to be called out and corrected.
Now, as horrible as that was and as much laughter as there was I hazard to say that not more than half the room laughed. Looking about I saw plenty of faces that were disturbed and disgusted as those next them them laughed. I say that to contrast where we were 4 years ago when I have no doubt that a great deal more of the audience would have been laughing.
There is a lot of work and educating yet to be done but we have people working together on issues that will enhance liberty in our state, we have the State GOP office holders speaking openly about problems with the Federal Reserve, and we have the State Committee actually standing up and starting to direct the Party. Indeed there is a lot of work to do but in looking back at where we were when I first got involved I have to say that progress is being made, though perhaps not always as fast as I would like.
BY RUSSELL TURNER
THE SHRINKING PIGGY BANK
None of us like the idea of getting older but I have found that having more birthday candles on a cake does have some benefits. I have often said that my grandparents experienced a lot of changes in their lives, they grew up in an environment where horses and mules were the main source of power to use on a farm, then later they saw men walking on the moon. They indeed saw a huge change in technology during their lives, but those of us in my age group have seen an equal change, not in technology but in the attitudes of the people of our nation.
I can remember picking strawberries and doing other work on my parent’s farm when I was a child, and I was taught to save my money and to always put a little of it back in an old fruit jar or a piggy bank. In those days it seemed that our entire system was much more stable. We were confident that the money we had today would probably have the same spending power next year as it did today. While our government tries to assure us that inflation is under control, I have a problem accepting their propaganda. I recently read an article that put our current system into perspective.
Recently Ben Bernanke announced that interest rates would remain at zero for the next 2 years; saving money in old fruit jars and piggy banks is not nearly as good as it once was. Based on the way that the government used to calculate inflation (a much more realistic approach than today), you’d be losing 7% annually in buying power. On small items that we buy it is easy to not notice it, but when you purchase a major appliance or a big-ticket item the effect can be noticed.
I have witnessed older people sell a business and their hope was to use the money to live off of in their retirement years. On one occasion Ben Bernanke make the comment that keeping the interest low would entice people to buy cars, but that car buying is coming at a high price. Either the retirees can invest into more risky things such as the stock market or watch their savings shrink day by day.
In my youth I was taught that savings was a good thing, but today the younger generations are taught that working hard and saving money is bad and debt is wealth. We have developed the idea that everything is going to be OK simply because the government says so and if you have a problem, the government will bail you out. We all need to realize that the policies that our government inflicts upon us do have consequences. If we want to keep our piggy banks from shrinking any farther we must get involved and demand better accountability from our elected officials.
Recently I posted a series of questions on Facebook for our Community, the Tahlequah City Council, and the Cherokee County Health Coalition to consider in regards to the proposed Vaping/E-cigarette ban ordinances that are being promoted around the State. Below is my original commentary and questions in black with research and answers provided by Kaye Beach, an independent researcher and activist that has over the years shown herself to be a wonderful asset to the people of Oklahoma in helping keep everyone informed on many issues our State faces.
If you are interested you can find more on Kayes work Here.
Dr. Shannon Grimes, Chairman
Cherokee County Republican Party
The discussion about prohibiting Vaping products continues in our community. I think we would all agree that there are a great many serious questions that need to be asked and addressed when we are looking to limit and control the behavior of others.
Carol Choate recently had these comments in a news interview with Channel 2 out of Tulsa:
“We’re kind of with e-cigarettes like we were 50 years ago with cigarettes. We had no idea what cigarettes could do to us, but we know now that they cause cancer.”
“What this ordinance is all about is Public Health. Its about changing environments. Its about keeping our social norms.”
Regarding Vaping what do these statements mean? What environmental change is sought? What social norm is going to be maintained?
Those are just a few question based just on that interview. I have a lot more questions and not just for Carol Chaote, the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition, our community officials, and other interested parties. I would love for all interested parties to stop and consider these questions and more as we move forward.
Where did the proposed ordinance prohibiting Vaping originate?
From the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition and they were prompted to push the ordinance by the promise of funding from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET)
TSET uses funds from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement to incentivize policies that the TSET and their partners determine is desirable for the community.
Did the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition propose the Vaping ban ordinance at the request of entities outside our community?
The ordinance is financially incentivized by entities outside the community.
The direct impetuous for the ordinance is provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust that is providing millions of dollars from the Master Settlement Agreement to communities for a variety of (sometimes) remotely related health initiatives under the Healthy Communities Incentive Grants program.
In 2013, TSET is incentivizing cash strapped communities ‘tobacco control’ measures with $4.1 million dollars in grant money. Banning e-cigarettes earns the highest level of grant rewards.
(In 2012, TSET’s ‘tobacco control’ incentive budget was $6.06 million)
Does the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition have a financial incentive to see this prohibitive ordinance in place?
Yes. TSET Grant funding is conditional upon the grant applicant working to ban e-cigarettes on city property and elsewhere.
Millions have been set aside by TSET specifically for funding tobacco coalition grantees’ activities to reduce tobacco use in communities for 2013 (TSET has redefined ‘tobacco’ to include vapor devices and products) http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/TSET%20ProgramFact%20SheetFY12Final2%201.pdf
Grant applicants, like the Cherokee County Tobacco Coalition, led by Carol Choate, get 10% of the grant award. Carol Choate is the Cherokee County “Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control” grant Coordinator
This grant money is contingent upon the community achieving certain ‘community indicators’ established by TSET including the establishment of a city ordinance to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and vapor devices/products on all city property both inside and out.
Grant Applicants must, at a minimum, develop work plans to achieve all five of TSET designated “Core Indicators” and one “Optional Indicator” Three of the five “Core Indicators” require e-cigarettes or vapor devices/products prohibitions so any organization that applies for TSET’s grant must work to achieve vaping bans.
This year, “The TSET Board of Directors doubled grant funds available to communities as part of the Healthy Communities Incentive Grant.” According to TSET.
In reference to Carol’s statement quoted above about the state of our cigarette knowledge 50 years ago, has our clinical sciences and testing improved in the last 50 years?
Indeed it has. And I would like to state, up front, that any person, entity or group claiming that there is no evidence that using e-cigarettes is much safer than smoking is either ignorant, misinformed or (as much as I hate to use this term) lying.
Do you think we can have a better idea about the risks quicker than in the case of cigarettes?
Science already provides enough evidence to conclude that vapor is much safer, by orders of magnitude, than smoking.
For example: ‘Using the multi-criteria decision analysis method previously used by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) to rank the harms of drugs used in the UK, a working group of international nicotine experts convened by the ISCD considered the potential harms of a wide range of nicotine containing products based on sixteen parameters of harm to individuals and harm to others. Not only conventional cigarettes were judged to be by far the most harmful form of nicotine containing product, but e-cigarettes were ranked as similar in harm to nicotine patches . By and large, nicotine per se does not cause much risk when separated from inhaling smoke.’
Multi-criteria Decision Analysis: A new approach to evaluating the harm caused by nicotine delivery products. http://www.drugscience.org.uk/external-resources/nicotine-mcda-briefing/
“E-cigarettes deliver the same nicotine found in the pharmaceutical products, with no more contamination by toxic substances than the pharmaceutical products already approved by FDA.”
Is there any evidence of big business hiding and lying about the effects of Vaping such as was done by the Tobacco Industry historically?
None that I am aware of although it is apparent that the anti-smoking industry advocates are unfairly conflating the e-cigarette business with Big Tobacco. The truth is that this product was not developed or marketed by the tobacco industry until very recently, after it became clear that vaping is the wave of the future.
Is there any evidence that Vaping is anywhere near as toxic as tobacco use?
If you mean the use of smoking tobacco, no. Not all tobacco use is equal. Smokeless tobacco products are well-established by science and historical statistical data to be 98% safer than smoking tobacco.
Smoking cigarettes accounts for every one of the app. 440,000 deaths that the CDC attributes to tobacco each year. The number of deaths from all other tobacco products combined is so small and difficult to track that the CDC doesn’t even bother. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Smoking & Tobacco Use: Tobacco-Related Mortality,” August 1, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/index.htm)
‘E-cigarette vapor, as inhaled by the users, is mainly water, propylene glycol and glycerin, with small amounts of nicotine and flavoring. There is no carbon monoxide, no tar and no products of combustion.
There is no side-stream smoke or vapor. None. Propylene glycol and glycerin are generally recognized as safe. Propylene glycol has been used as the propellant in asthma inhalers and is the main ingredient in theatrical fog’(Statement by Joel L. Nitzkin, MD, MPH, DPA Past Co-Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force American Association of Public Health Physicians Senior Fellow for Tobacco Policy, R Street Institute September 4, 2013 http://www.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Nitzkin-duluth-statement.pdf
Evidence to date indicates that e-cigarettes do not raise serious health concerns and is considered to be much safer than smoking tobacco by orders of magnitude.
Is there any compelling evidence or research showing harm to Vaping users beyond possible nicotine addiction realizing that not all even use the nicotine versions?
No. While e-cigarettes are relatively new and any long term effects cannot be established, we do know a great deal about the ingredients of e-liquid and their effects on the human body.
Community ‘health leaders’ that refuse to provide truthful information about alternative nicotine sources and misguided prohibitions are a far greater threat to public health. How many current smokers will be dissuaded from switching to a safer alternative for nicotine and continue to smoke? This is nothing short of tragic because smoking is the single most harmful method of delivering nicotine and it is smoking cigarettes, in fact, that responsible for all of the some 440,000 deaths attributed to tobacco.
Is there any evidence, compelling or otherwise, about risks to those around persons using Vaping product?
Evidence isn’t evidence unless it is compelling and there is no such evidence.
There is much evidence, however, to show that, not only is vaping much safer that smoke, e-cigarettes have less toxins that FDA approved nicotine inhalers and no one is suggesting that this product be banned from public use.
Passive vaping, compared to cigarette environmental tobacco smoke: Total organic carbon in the test chamber after 5 hours of smoking or vaping, showed no detectable levels of acrolein, toluene, xylene and PAHs for the e-cigarettes, compared to high levels in the cigarette chamber. (Giorgio Romagna, Konstantinos Farsalinos, et al, 14th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 2012)
FDA approved nicotine inhalers have higher amounts of six carcinogens, including five to ten times the amount of three heavy metals compared to e-cigarettes. (Michael Siegel, “Anti-Smoking Researcher Misleads Public with Invalid Comparison of E-Cigs and Nicotine Inhaler: Correct Analysis Shows that Nicotine Inhalers Have Higher Amounts of Six Carcinogens,” Tobacco Analysis, July 25, 2013. http://www.tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/07/anti-smoking-researcher-misleads-public.htm)
As Dr. Joel L. Nitzkin, speaking against a similar prohibition ordinance in Duluth, MN. Recently pointed out “If the nicotine and trace carcinogens in e-cigarette vapor presented any significant hazard to bystanders, those advocating for this legislation could have and should have included pharmaceutical nicotine inhalers in this ban. The fact that they have not done so strongly suggests a perception on their part that no such hazard exists”
“For all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes. The study indicates no apparent risk tohuman health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”
T.R. McAuley, et al, “Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality,”Inhalation Toxicology October 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23033998
There is simply no threat to bystanders from exhaled e-cigarette vapor that justifies a ban.
Are the fears about tobacco risks and dangers being applied to Vaping? Is that fair or honest given that the two products pretty much only share one factor, nicotine?
Yes to the first question and No to the second. And it is the fears and risks of smoking, not tobacco, that is being fantastically misapplied to vapor.
If people actually stop using tobacco and thus stop paying the tobacco sin taxes do many of the non-profits and organizations that nominally seek cessation risk having lower funding?
46 states get a bundle of money from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The Master Settlement Agreement was an agreement reached in 1998 between the tobacco industry and a number of states that had filed lawsuits against tobacco manufacturers for reimbursement for smoking-related health costs. The amount that the states get from the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) each year varies depending on inflation and the quantity of traditional tobacco products that are being shipped within the U.S.
E-cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products don’t count towards MSA funds.
E-cigarette sales means less tobacco settlement money for the TSET
Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) Payment Distribution Through FY2013 “NOTE:As tobacco use declines nationally, MSA payments to all states will be reduced.”
Is the desire to have cessation of Tobacco use with all its problems or nicotine in general?
Good question because the goalpost keeps moving.
First the goal was ‘smokefree’ then ‘tobacco free” (although smokeless tobacco carries only about 2% of the risk that smoking tobacco does) and now it appears the war that began with smoking, is being extended to nicotine regardless of the deliver y system, unless of course, the delivery system happens to be a profitable pharmaceutical product. It is important to remember that these government approved smoking cessation products fail 93% of smokers who use them as directed Link
Here are some key terms and definitions issued by TSET to guide tobacco coalitions;
The definitions of tobacco,tobacco-free, smoke-free and vape-free is consistent throughout this document:
Does the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition really want to decrease Tobacco use and if so why try to prohibit a product that is very promising in actually helping attain that goal?
The Cherokee County Community Health Coalition will have to answer that question themselves because I am at a loss to explain the incongruence of their efforts. You might try asking them some pointed questions about their stance, for instance, “How much safer than smoking does an alternative source of nicotine have to be before it is considered an acceptable alternative?”
Does the alternative need to be 20% safer than smoking? 50%? If they say 100%, you are not dealing with a rational mind. If I had a loved one who smoked and couldn’t or wouldn’t quit, an alternative that they found to be an acceptable substitute for smoking that was 20% safer would be enough for me to encourage them to switch. E-cigarettes, which contain no tobacco, no tar, no carbon monoxide are 99% safer that smoking cigarettes
The truth is that the efforts of overzealous anti-tobacco organizations like the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition means that more smokers will continue this deadly habit.
Is there any evidence that prohibiting Vaping would have any significant positive impact on public health?
Yes! .As the American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) points out, “Almost all tobacco-attributable mortality in the USA is due to cigarette smoking.” Link and there are no serious denies that that vapor is much safer than smoking.
(AAPHP) states that it “favors a permissive approach to e-cigarettes because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years.” Link
If there is no compelling evidence regarding public dangers of Vaping and there is no compelling evidence regarding significant positive public health benefits from a ban then is there any REASONABLE grounds for such a ban in our community?
There is not. I trust the people of Tahlequah will guide their elected officials towards a rational stance on vapor product use
Kaye Beach, Independent Researcher 11/29/2013
In the political environment of the war drums beating for new military action and the President himself admitting that “Mr. Assad doesn’t have a lot of capability”, and “He doesn’t have a credible means to threaten the United States.”, the Cherokee County Executive Committee voted unanimously in support of the SYRIAN ANTI-AGGRESSION RESOLUTION presented below on 9-9-13.
This resolution is not about President Obama. It is not in any way condoning horrors that are happening in the Syrian Civil War. It is simply stating, well, you can read that for yourselves.
SYRIAN ANTI-AGGRESSION RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, neither the government nor the people of Syria have acted in an aggressive manner towards the United States of America and;
WHEREAS, neither the government nor the people of Syria represent a clear and present danger to the United States of America and;
WHEREAS, neither the government nor the people of Syria represent a threat to the people of Oklahoma, specifically the citizens of Cherokee County, and;
WHEREAS, a preemptive military strike is an act of aggression against a sovereign state and people;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Committee of the Cherokee County Republican Party believes that no military strike should be carried out against the Syrian people or government. Military strikes include soldiers on the ground, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles or anything else that can be construed as an act of war;
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Representatives of Cherokee County, Markwayne Mullin, United States House of Representatives; Tom Coburn, United States Senate; and James Inhofe, United States Senate, should take all necessary means to insure that no military action be taken by the United States military, the President of the United States or his agents.
By Joanna Francisco August 1, 2013
Committee Women for Tulsa County Republican Party
The right to acquire, control, defend, and bequeath property is essential for a peaceful, prosperous, and free society.
Good fences make good neighbors. Where property rights can be legally defended, even the most incompatible people can live peacefully and securely side by side. When the law supports the right to defend one’s property, there exists a climate of mutual respect for the property rights of all. Morality aside, if I know that my attempt to commit theft against my neighbor will be met by sufficient defense, I will surely consider that when evaluating the risks associated with thievery.
When people have confidence that the law will protect their right to defend their own property from aggressors, the whims of the majority, and the edicts of rulers, their creativity, energy, and resources can be unleashed to pursue their individual interests and focus their efforts on developing goods and services in the market economy. In this environment, people are freed up to serve themselves and their fellow man, acquire wealth (property) for themselves, and control their wealth as they see fit rather than expending that same energy jumping through compulsory bureaucratic hoops.
When it comes to government’s role in property rights, either we live in a society free from the threat of government aggression against our property or we live under varying degrees of coercion by an organized group of people who seek to control the resources of others in order to enforce bureaucratic central planning, expropriation, monopolies, corporatism, and the like.
Under which condition would you prefer to live?
Health care costs are spiraling out of control, but why? That is the real question people and “experts” are not thinking about. The discussion seems to stop at “costs are too high; we need to intervene to lower costs or get care for everyone!”
I agree there is much wrong with our system. But it has developed as a hodgepodge series of government interventions and private sector compensations that has lead to our tangled, overpriced mess. In a normally functioning economy, technology will increase efficiency and quality of products and services. There is no utopian system where everything will be roses and ice cream for everyone, some will always have more or better than others.
The cost is high due to government interventions in the market. Taxation and regulations caused employers to find other ways to compensate employees (employer-paid health plans). These plans have become endemic and inefficient, but folks will continue using them because they are paying for them. Then there was Medicare, HMO/PPO creation and other regulatory pressures as more businesses started competing for government regulatory boons. It took time, but interventions in the marketplace have turned things upside-down.
The answer is real free market health care.. For some meat and short-term transition, I would propose something like the following. Those who want the added protection can purchase high-deductible catastrophic health plans, voluntarily sharing the risk. Then give tax deductions or credits for health care up to said deductible. This would put the onus of the everyday health care costs back onto the patient, where it belongs, which would make them more price- and quality-conscious. Doctors, too, would have to start competitively seeking patients through better pricing and service. This system probably would also decrease bureaucratic overhead, which would also contribute to lowered prices.
Market pricing discovery would occur and competition would drive down costs. Doctors would begin using technology, not as another thing to bill insurance, but to more efficiently treat the patients so they stay in business. Docs who don’t try to fix the problems would be more likely to fail, as clients would seek care that worked. Both patient and doc would be rewarded for good, moderately priced care. I think there would likely be an increase in the amount of charitable or discounted care for the poorest, but that is certainly debatable.
Tax deductions and credits for medical expenses would be incentive for some to seek more care than they otherwise would. But as it is now, patients are not rewarded for being price-conscious (in regard to insurance co-pays and such), and doctors are financially incentivised and distracted by having to bill for procedures and coding correctly so they can be paid for their work. More procedures generally mean more insurance money. It is part of the financial card game the doctors and insurance companies are forced to play, with cards in hand that have been stacked and restacked to favor various special interests.
We as a nation need to get beyond the emotional arguments going on about health care. There needs to be discussion about how we got here and the principles involved; we have a better chance to fix the problem instead of just adding more problems to the existing unjust system.
Dr. Shannon Grimes
DOMA, limited governent and marriage, marriage, republican view of same sex marriage, same sex marriage, State's Rights, supreme court strikes down DOMA, tahlequah and marriage, tahlequah daily press marraige
By TEDDYE SNELL Staff Writer
TAHLEQUAH — In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of decisions that have far-reaching effects on same-sex marriage.
The court ruled that married, same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits, and by declining to decide California’s Proposition 8 case, it effectively allows same-sex marriage in that state.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act was struck down 5-4, extending benefits for same-sex couples who were married in states that had been allowing gay marriage. The court also provides the Obama administration executive power to broaden other benefits through executive action. The majority of justices ruled DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment by seeking to deprive personal liberty.
In the Proposition 8 case, the ruling essentially sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, “with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction” – meaning the trial court decision, which struck down the law, will stand.
Oklahoma does not recognize same-sex marriage, and in fact has passed countermeasures indicating it will not do so. But one local lawmaker agreed the SCOTUS decisions may mean new state legislation could be in the works soon.
“I think we’ll probably have to tackle the issue very soon,” said Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee. “It won’t be anything I’ll introduce – we only have 12 Democrats left in the Senate – but I know it will come up.”
Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, said the Legislature has already addressed the marriage issue.
“The Supreme Court decision strengthens states’ rights,” said Brown. “We dealt with [same-sex marriage] in 2010. We passed a marriage act defining it as between a man and a woman. I guess we can visit the issue again, and recite the definition again, but the law is in place.”
Jim Bynum, chairman of the Cherokee County Democrat Party, said the ruling was more about individual rights than a ruling on marriage.
“I don’t think it’s a ruling on gay marriage or non-gay marriage,” said Bynum. “It’s about the individual rights of the people of this country. It has nothing to do with sexual preference or how you choose to have an orgasm. Why would you discriminate against a person about a religious moray based on the Old Testament as interpreted by a primitive people more than 2,000 years ago? People change, the U.S. Constitution changes. Our framers knew that and expected to change. It’s a dynamic document. Liberty and individual freedoms are what’s important.”
Shannon Grimes, chairman of the Cherokee County Republican Party, said that in kicking the issue back to the states, the Supreme Court made the right decision.
“There is no constitutional authority for Congress over marriage without using the broadest sorts of interpretation that are explicitly counter to intentions when our Constitution was drafted,” said Grimes. “There is no constitutional prohibition of states legislating about marriage, though I myself wonder why anyone would want the government involved in marriage to begin with. From a Christian perspective, marriage is a covenant between husband, wife and God. When and how did we start letting government add itself to that sacred covenant? As best I can tell, it’s largely due to financial and tax advantages that people have welcomed government involvement in marriage.”
Grimes prefers government to stay out of the marriage issue.
“But if we are going to have government involved in marriage contracts, then those contracts must be equally protected by the law, no matter my own opinion on someone else’s ‘marriage’ – just like other contracts, particularly at the federal level,” said Grimes.
Local residents Bri and Cherokee Lowe were married legally in Iowa in 2010, but choose to live in a state where their marriage is legally invalid.
“We are still living in Oklahoma because we want to fight these fights, as exhausting as they can sometimes be,” said Cherokee. “I am very excited that DOMA got struck down, but I am unclear on how this will affect us.”
Cherokee believes the rulings are the first step in what is bound to be a long, but crucial, process.
“It’s not as simple as women being able to vote,” said Cherokee. “This has ramifications in every area of our lives, from adoption of our children to insurance and beyond. I told Bri I think it is going to take at least six months to see how much this affects us. As it is, I think everyone is unclear on how it will. Even taxes will be affected. What I would like to see happen is just that Oklahoma will finally recognize our union as a ‘real’ marriage.”
The Press asked its Facebook friends to weigh in on the decisions. For the most part, area residents who weighed in seemed to favor the move.
Carpe Diem Learning Systems, CCSS, Charter Schools, Common Core, Education, Government, Governor, Janet Baressi, Limited Government, News, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Academic Standards, Robert Sommers, State Superintendent, Tsunami of change
I got this from Linda Murphy
Original Link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/linda-murphy/governors-cabinet-dr-sommers-ceo-of-public-charter-schools-vows-tsunami-of-chang/10152987594710456
Dr. Robert Sommers was appointed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to serve as her Cabinet Secretary of Education and Workforce Development today- July 16, 2013..Sommers is the CEO of Carpe Diem Learning Systems, a public funded for-profit charter school system set for national expansion. In April he was picked to head Oklahoma’s statewide Vocational/ Career Technology System where he will remain.
Fallin says his new position as Cabinet Secretary “has been expanded to include workforce development with the education secretary’s duties to help ensure all students, including adult students, are given skills to find and keep high-skill, high-paying jobs”. As Secretary of Education, he will also assume the new office of Educational Quality and Accountability -EQA which monitors the Education Department’s programs to ensure local school districts are performing in accordance with State standards.
So in essence Sommers will be in charge of student, teacher and school accountability aligning with Common Core State Standards. He will also be in charge of implementation of the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act and monitor the accountability of these changes which will be aligning with Common Core as well.
State Superintendent Barresi has recently renamed Common Core standards -Oklahoma Academic Standards in a marketing campaign which is a response to the growing protest from teachers and parents finding out more about Common Core. Read on to see why Dr Sommers says educators “haven’t even begun to realize the tsunami of change coming their way in the next few years.”
Dr. Sommer’s Carpe Diem Learning Systems is modeled after Arizona’s Carpe Diem Public Charter School, which he says “serves as the inspiration for our academic model”.
In 2011 Janet Barresi, State Superintendent, praised the Carpe Diem model. Barresi said “Oklahoma schools can learn a lot from an Arizona school with 350 students and only six teachers. Barresi, a Norman resident, talked about the Carpe Diem secondary school in Yuma, Ariz……” –August 12, 2011 Norman Transcript reports..
The following quotes tell more about Dr. Sommers design model for Schools:
“Sommers is chief executive officer/managing partner of Carpe Diem Learning Systems, the organization created to grow the high-performing, cost-effective Carpe Diem model nationally. The model uses digital content (via computer) and teaching faculty to create a personalized blended learning education experience. Sommers was responsible for opening a Carpe Diem school in Indianapolis.”
Quotes from Dr. Sommers -Ohio State Education Monopoly will Crumble Soon Expert Says -Sept. 18, 2012
“My goal at Carpe Diem Learning Systems is to design a “central office” that can effectively support 1,000 schools with a staff of less than 100. Outsourcing will be critical to our efforts.”
Q: How feasible will it be, politically or legally? (Sommers) A: “Politically, it is a tough sell for now, but in five more years, it will be a hard sell why a school district hasn’t done more”.
“Very few educators are even beginning to consider this. All the major educational organizations, institutions, and development environments haven’t even begun to realize the tsunami of change coming their way in the next few years.”
I’ve saved my copies of these reference materials. You may want to do the same before they are erased.
Links to reference material:
OK GOP Chairman, Dave Weston, hosted a Townhall in Cherokee County yesterday. We thank him for coming out to Cherokee County as part of his 77 county tour.
Dave Weston spoke at the beginning of June at the District 2 GOP Meeting. At this meeting he said the following,
There are a lot of people pushing the wrong kind of Liberty in our State. Liberty is not doing what you want. It is doing what you should.
That quote above left me kind of flabbergasted. It’s as if someone hasn’t read the dictionary. So, because I had not met Mr. Weston yet, I wanted to go to the Townhall and meet him for myself and see what he had to say.
I was not surprised, but I was incredibly disgusted as I sat and listened to Chairman Weston when he started his speech on Thursday and laid out his basis for everything:
True freedom is doing what you ought to do. False freedom is doing what you want to do.
After going over this concept thoroughly and speaking of this in great detail, someone had to chime in and say something. There was much discussion, civil, yet good discussion, at the Cherokee County Townhall. I was very appreciative of that. Our state committeewoman, Ezriyah, asked Mr. Weston the question, “If liberty means doing what someone else thinks you should do, then what is fascism?” Mr. Weston was speechless and after a few seconds said, “Fascism?” He then proceeded to “answer” her question, but never answered the question.
There was a lot more discussion in the Townhall and I was very glad we had good discussion, since so many times there is no discussion at Townhall-type of meetings.
But, we have a big problem when the Republican Party state chairman does not even understand what liberty and freedom means. Let’s just look at the Webster dictionary definition of these two words:
Liberty: The quality or state of being free : the power to do as one pleases
Freedom: the quality or state of being free : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
Just for reference, let’s also add the definitions of a few other words: Fascism, Obligation and Duty.
Fascism: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.
Obligation: something one is bound to do.
Duty: : obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one’s position (as in life or in a group) b (1) : assigned service or business (2) : active military service (3) : a period of being on duty : a moral or legal obligation : the force of moral obligation.
Liberty and Freedom are extremely basic, fundamental concepts. The Republican Party is supposed to stand for freedom and individual rights. I don’t see any freedom, liberty and individual rights when someone states that this is liberty: “Liberty is not doing what you want. It is doing what you should.” That is duty and obligation. When this redefined “Liberty” comes from the government, we are looking at a push for fascism.
As the Vice Chair of the Republican Party for Cherokee County, I stand for true freedom and true liberty and the Truth. As a state party, I do not believe our Party will grow and continue to win if we promote statist notions and authoritarianism that tells people what kind of liberty and what kind of freedom they can have. That is disgusting. It is one of our nation’s problems – which is promoted by both Parties. It is not liberty. It is not freedom. And this Vice Chair will not support a state chairman who redefines the definition of liberty and freedom.
You can listen to the audio of the townhall for yourself on our YouTube channel here.