Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Facts Once Again Get In Way Of A Swell Story

In it's who-knows-how-manyth anti-union article, Charter school teachers not bound by union the Editorial Staff writes that "...Educators hired to teach in Oklahoma's charter schools can choose to join a union or remain independent." Implying that this is not the case in the Oklahoma public school systems.

Oklahoma is a "Right to Work" State, and
therefore teachers are free both to join unions and to refrain from joining unions (see Okla. Const. art. 23, § 1A). Once again, they state something that can easily be refuted because it simply is not true.

If you want to read a really good article on Charter Schools, I HIGHLY recommend Sarah Knopp's fine article Charter schools and the attack on public education.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Oklahoman Piece Wrong On So Many Levels

I left town last week for a little vacation, but really wanted to comment on Friday's "opinion" piece. I use the old quote unquote, because the so called opinion in this case was really nothing more than a Heritage Foundation talking point. I can't verify this and don't really feel the need to, but the fact that there were so many propaganda outlets talking about how there has been "no looting in Japan" (see the article reference in the Fox News blog here, note that they actually might be referring us to a source that isn't owned by news corp! -I could be wrong though-) makes it pretty obvious.
Friday's piece, entitled "Japanese response a model for the world" was wrong on so many levels, that it is difficult to know even where to begin. I've taken a few seconds to think it over, and I believe the best place to start is here - by pointing out that the article was just plain wrong, literally. As a few days have passed, there are a number of articles, but this one entitled "Japan earthquake: Looting reported by desperate survivors" discusses how there has been looting in Japan, quite a difference from the statement in The Oklahoman and other sick outlets that there has not.
So to what the article said specifically, and why they jumped the gun as they did on this situation. To begin, they state that "...What didn't happen, among other things of note, is an outbreak of widespread lawlessness such as looting or an epidemic of entitlement mentality as manifested by complaints among the populace about fuel, food or water shortages." Using phrases like "entitlement mentality" and "widespread lawlessness" are used for pretty obvious reasons, and that is to get the faithful reader of this disgusting rag to form an image of fat black Cadillac driving mammas who love to vote for Democrats and eat Cheetoes at taxpayer expense, and then loot like hell whenever there is a tragedy in their neighborhood. I think that is pretty safe to say.

The next statement is a lot more interesting, and takes some knowledge of Oklahoma City to know just how gross The Oklahoman really is. The statement "...After the Oklahoma City bombing, outside observers applauded the people here for pitching in and not taking advantage of a situation through lawlessness. Such an event tends to focus the attention of police and emergency personnel on the disaster, thereby leaving the rest of the city vulnerable. But the bombing isn't remembered for peripheral lawlessness."
Now, lets step back and think about this statement. The Oklahoman's David Thompson (President of the OPUBCO Publishing Group) has been a part of a viscous campaign against Oklahoma City's Police and Fire via his position at The OKC Chamber of Commerce and in the Editorial pages of The Oklahoman (I'll provide links soon). Something worth noting here might be that as a result of this, OKC had more Police and Fire in the days of The Murrah Bombing than they do now, despite the fact that the City is quite wealthier and has significantly more inhabitants. It would have been a good idea to point this out, but it would be too harmful to the stupid op ed pieces validity, on many levels. Since the Murrah Bombing can no longer be used as an ideological weapon for OKC's elites to get whatever they want (darn you 9-11!), it is best to sweep a lot of the realities of what happened back then under the rug, along with the heroes of that day.
The BBC quoted Christopher Beam as saying "...His other theories why there isn't any looting in Japan include the police presence and organised crime. "Police aren't the only ones on patrol since the earthquake hit," he says. "Members of Yakuza, Japan's organised crime syndicate, have been enforcing order." This suggests that not only does Japan have ample police (unlike most of us in the States who no longer do, as money to pay them has been given to hedge fund hoodlums and other nice guys) but that their groups similar to The OKC Chamber of Commerce can co-exist with them in keeping the society running smoothly.
The piece concludes with "...So why isn't this happening in Japan? Analysts say the main reason is a culture that discourages individual entitlement and instead pushes group and family responsibility. " As always, it would be interesting to know just who these "analysts" are. The Oklahoman always does this. Comes up with some wacky idea, or borrows one from some Grover Norquist group, and then uses the old "people are saying" or "experts agree" or one of those old tricks. But if one were to really do a serious analysis of why perhaps looting is less in Japan, pushing away things like in many parts of the Country there is nothing to loot as entire areas have been obliterated, and if you are outside you get exposed to high amounts of radiation - there are a lot of things you can find out about The Oklahoman and a functioning society in general. What you might find with regards to this in Japan involve things like years of protectionism of their economy, taxes, things like that...too controversial to mention...I could go on and on about this hellish op ed piece but wont.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oklahoman Editorial Staff Tries To Make Some Points - Fail Miserably

In Today's opinion column piece "Lawmaker labeling a badge of honor?" the editorial staff poses this statement: "The quickest way to empower the most conservative politicians is to have a liberal group play the extremist card against them."
This statement comes from the Editorial folks once again reaching deep into their bag of rascally liberal non-profit groups to pull out something useful from the Southern Poverty Law Center (a group who no doubt has a greater influence over our town than The Chamber of Commerce I am sure...).
The SPLC in a recent opinion column on their site under the sub-heading State Legislators for Legal Immigration & the Anti-Immigrant Movement entitled "The Legislators: The Dirty Dozen" (The Oklahoman didn't mention the name or location of the article, just asked us to have faith that it was out there somewhere) list Oklahoma reps Sally Kern, Charles Key and Randy Terrill. The Oklahoman states that they suspect these three will wear this labeling as a badge of honor.
Ok fine. Whatever. What is the point? I spoke with Rep Kern on this and she was pretty much dismissive, as she probably should be, and said to me:

"...well thats what the Oklahoman does (paint me in a negative light) they are liberal paper, and they take a shot at me any time the get a chance to...they'll go after you any chance they get"

So basically, this is just a really terrible article. We do find SOME insight into what they are trying to get at here, when they write the following to show how biased the SPLC is, unlike the fine publication The Oklahoma which always gives us all sides!:

"...The SPLC tracks hate groups and speaks out against 'extremist' positions. It mentions the bombing of abortion clinics but not the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Recent utterings from SPLC spokesmen hint that conservatives such as Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachman contribute to an atmosphere of hate but somehow leave out the Rev. Louis Farrakhan's contribution."

The writers at The Oklahoman would have a fine point here, however, there is quite a problem. The SPLC actually DOES speak out against Farrakhan, as you can see here

And in articles such as this recent one "Anti-Semitism Goes to School" they do mention the Pentagon attacks and how, yes, they were a bad thing!
When you read on, you can tell that perhaps the editorial writers were concerned that they might be just typing stuff without doing any research or trying to make any real points, they bring teachers into the mix. In the spirit of my favorite Oklahoman/American Brandon Dutcher who makes $100k/yr to tweet about how Teachers make too much money, they tell us just how rotten these rascally folks can be when they c0nclude the article with "...And if opposition to a policy defines the policy's supporters as 'extremists,' does this apply to the thousands of public school teachers who supported a school funding measure last year that was opposed by 81 percent of the people?"
I can only assume that the unbiased, non-extremist Editorial Staff at the alleged newspaper "The Oklahoman" will answer that question with a resounding YES!

Wow what a terrible article! What a terrible paper!!!! A big league City deserves a big league paper, lets do something about this trashy rag!!!! -Steve H