Monday, April 14, 2014

John Gibbons Interview

John Gibbons is running for Oklahoma House District 88. Here is an interview that I did with him for Red Dirt Report.



Gibbons Calls For Common Sense in the State Legislature 



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MLB Roundup (4.14.14)

AMERICAN LEAGUE STANDINGS

AL East
Yankees
Blue Jays
Rays
Orioles
Red Sox

AL Central
Tigers
White Sox
Twins
Indians
Royals

AL West
Athletics
Mariners
Angels
Rangers
Astros

NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

NL East
Braves
Nationals
Phillies
Mets
Marlins

NL Central
Brewers
Cardinals
Pirates
Reds
Cubs

NL West
Dodgers
Giants
Rockies
Padres
Diamondbacks

MLB STATS

Batting Average Leaders
Chase Utley (Philadelphia) - .500
Charlie Blackmon (Colorado) - .488
Freddie Freeman (Atlanta) - .442

Hits Leaders
Angel Pagan (San Francisco) - 21
Alexei Ramirez (Chicago White Sox) - 21
Multiples tied for 3rd with 20.

RBI Leaders
Mark Trumbo (Arizona) - 18
Giancarlo Stanton (Miami) - 16
Chris Colabello (Minnesota) - 14
Adrian Gonzalez (Los Angeles Dodgers) - 14
Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox) - 14

Home Run Leaders
Mark Trumbo (Arizona) - 6
Adrian Gonzalez (Los Angeles Dodgers) - 5
Jose Bautista (Toronto) - 5
Pedro Alvarez (Pittsburgh) - 5
Brandon Belt (San Francisco) - 5

ERA Leaders (Pitching)
Yu Darvish (Texas) - 0.00
Scott Feldman (Houston) - 0.44
Garrett Richards (Los Angeles Angels) - 0.75

Wins Leaders (Pitching)
Mark Buehrle (Toronto) - 3
Zack Greinke (Los Angeles Dodgers) - 3
Felix Hernandez (Seattle) - 3
Chris Sale (Chicago white Sox) - 3

Strikeout Leaders (Pitching)
Felix Hernandez (Seattle) - 30
Stephen Strasburg (Washington) - 28
Max Scherzer (Detroit) - 25

ESPN MLB Power Rankings (Top 11)
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. St. Louis Cardinals
  6. Washington Nationals
  7. Atlanta Braves
  8. Oakland Athletics
  9. San Francisco Giants
  10. Pittsburgh Pirates
  11. Seattle Mariners

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mark Faulk Running for HD 88

Here is the interview that I did with Mark Faulk for Red Dirt Report.  Mark is a candidate running for Oklahoma House District 88.

District 88 Candidate Mark Faulk Seeks to Represent “Voice of the People”

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Anna Flatt Challenges Tom Cole for CD4

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You can add Rep. Tom Cole to the list of incumbent politicians that are being challenged in 2014!

Liberty activist Anna Flatt has thrown her hat into the ring to run against the power money machine that is the Tom Cole campaign and thank goodness somebody has decided to do it.

Anna says on her website, AnnaFlatt.com that:
"...I have heard over and over again how dissatisfied conservatives have become with the way Rep. Cole is representing Oklahoma......he has lost touch with the kind of Republican that highly values limited government, individual liberty, and personal moral responsibility...."
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View her Facebook page at Elect Anna Flatt here

And view her website at AnnaFlatt.com.

Finally liberty has a contender in the race for the 4th Congressional District. Good luck Anna! Otter Limits is rooting for you!

anna

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Drug War Must Be Addressed in 2014

"Ending the Drug War has to be a major priority. There are NO rational facts to support Prohibition. None.

It was basically made illegal in a shady campaign built on racism and Hearst's "reefer madness" yellow journalism. Thousands of years and many thousands of studies have shown the preventative and palliative health benefits for cannabinoids for many conditions. A critical secret to our health has been suppressed, hidden in plain sight.

The human cost is staggering. 7200 non-violent drug offenders and living in cages in OK at a cost of $150 million a year. It destroys their lives and families. A bill in the legislature adds hundreds of more private prison beds.

Every argument against the drug war is a libertarian one....there is no more basic issue."

- - Porter Davis, current member of the Republican Liberty Movement, former Chair of Oklahoma Libertarian Party

Another noteworthy point is that based on the records of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, approximately 32% of Oklahoma's inmates are being incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. When it this going to stop?!?

This is an issue that HAS to be addressed. If our current legislators won't do anything about it, we must seek out new, better representation. We must seek out candidates who support ending the Drug War and opposed to ruining the lives of thousands of families.  THIS is the issue to pay attention to in the 2014 election.

This issue must be addressed both at the federal level and the state level. The federal government must work toward repealing its antiquated drug laws. The states must take their cue from Washington and Colorado and pass laws that end this decades long war that has been more costly than any other war. The Drug War has cost lives and trillions of dollars. It is time to end it once and for all.

If libertarians and other liberty-loving activists can't get anything done through the Republican Party, perhaps it is time to jump ship and either join the Democrats or join the already growing numbers of people who are registering as Independents.

It's time to put aside party politics and focus on the issue at hand. The Drug War is destroying this country. It is destroying the country financially and it is destroying liberty.

It's time to put an end to this ongoing and frivolous war.  Now.

Album of the Moment: Till Midnight

I mentioned this artist recently in my Top 21 Albums list. Chuck Ragan is an artist who I only discovered somewhat recently, as in sometime last year. As I said in that article, I knew who he was, I knew he was part of Hot Water Music but I wasn't necessarily all that interested in his solo work. A friend of mine had me listen to some of his songs, however, and I got hooked instantly.

His 2009 album Gold Country is a great album and really is the bar by which any Chuck Ragan album is measured up. This newest album of his, Till Midnight definitely measures up! In fact, Chuck might have even raised the bar on this one.

Ever since I heard the first single, "Non Typical" I have been anticipating this release. This one is a bit of a departure in that he has added a full band rather than perform his bare-bones songs. His older work seems to focus more on his vocals and his lyrics than the music and while he departs a bit by adding a full band, the focus on songs is still there. And he still sounds like he has had a few shots of whiskey too many. But I mean that in a good way. Hahaha!

On this 5th album of his, Ragan even collaborates with names such as Dave Hause and Ben Nichols.

Till Midnight is a natural progress for Chuck Ragan's solo work and will appeal to fans and non-fans alike.

Highlights of this album include "Something May Catch Fire," "Vagabond," the aforementioned "Non Typical," "You And I Alone," and "Whistleblowers Song" but really the entire album is worth listening and these are just what I would consider to be the stand out tracks.

Here are some other reviews of the album that are worth checking out:

Sputnik Music
Louder Than War
Under The Gun
American Songwriter

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Help Veronica

Imagine being in your early 20s and being told you have cancer.

Imagine you are that same person and you are a single mother.

Imagine that you now have to tell your young son that you are sick. That you are very sick. That there is a chance you might not be around for him anymore.

Imagine it.

You can’t can you?

That is exactly what young Veronica has had to endure.

Veronica is a young single mother that was told she had ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a very rare form of cancer. There is not near enough research on this particular type of cancer.

And what has made it worse is that her insurance carrier has decided it will no longer pay for her treatments because she has a “pre-existing condition.”

So she can’t pay for her treatments and she can’t pay for her medicine either.

Cancer is a very hard fact to deal with. I have some experience with this. I myself have never had cancer but I have had to deal with it.

You see, my wife Jesica battled ovarian cancer for 4 years before it took her life in 2009. Besides myself, she left behind an 11-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. I know firsthand what it feels like to have to tell your children that mom isn’t going to be around anymore.

I would have rather just been able to say mom was sick but now she is better.
That is what we need to do for Veronica. We need to pull our efforts and money together and make sure that Veronica can one day tell her son that she is all better.

I urge you to donate to her cause. Money needs to be raised to help defray the costs of her medication and her treatments.

Let’s get Veronica healthy. Let’s give her son the greatest gift he will ever receive, his mother’s health.

Go to The Team Veronica Fundly site and donate what you can. No amount is too little or too large.

Also, you can follow Veronica on Twitter at @Rainy_Cooper and Like the Team Veronica Facebook page.

Veronica needs your help. Veronica’s son needs his mom so he too needs your help.

veronica

Warning for Game-Playing Political Candidates

Why would someone running for political office not want people to know where he or she stands on the issues?

It concerns me when a person who is running for office is asked a question and the person asking the question is told to give the candidate a call so they can go over their questions privately.

How would a person like this react if the same question is asked of them in a public form? Would they tell the person asking the question in that public forum to come and talk to them about it later in private? I hardly think so.

It becomes even more disturbing when the political candidate is actively seeking support from a group of people but won’t answer certain questions posted by this group of people. Why in the world would I want to support you if you won’t tell me what you think about a particular issue in public? What are you hiding?

The obvious answer doesn't make the matter any better. The obvious answer is that because some of the questions are of a controversial nature, the candidate does not want to come across in a way that might lose him votes. He might think that some of his would-be supporters might not support him if he comes out for or against a particular issue in a certain way.

Problem with this is that he is not going to gain votes by behaving in this manner. He is going to lose the support and the votes of the people he is actively trying to court.

Let me put this into perspective. Let’s say, for instance, that the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana is a very important issue to you. It is equally important that a person is very clear about where they stand on that issue. A person running for any given political office comes to you asking for your support. You ask them, in a public forum, where they stand on the issue of legalization. That candidate tells you that he or she would rather talk to you privately about it and asks you to call them. Does this not seem suspicious at all to you? It does to me.

If a person is not willing to be public about where they stand on an issue, any given issue, what is to say that this person is to be trusted with how they will vote on that particular issue.

Going back to the legalization scenario. If a person running for office will not tell you in public whether or not he or she supports legalization, how can he or she be trusted to vote for or against the issue when it comes up for a vote. If this person will not come public about an issue in order to get themselves elected, why would they not also vote based on the popularity of that issue at the time a vote comes up if they are elected? What is to keep them from voting based on that issue’s popularity just to keep themselves in office? If you can’t trust a person to come clean and speak out for or against an issue, how can they be trusted to vote for or against that same issue?

Personally, I cannot and will not support a political candidate that is not willing to stand up for an issue the voters be damned. If you personally feel one way about an issue but won’t speak up for it and when it comes to vote you only vote the popular way on that issue, you are not standing up for your beliefs. You are doing one thing and one thing only. You are playing politics.

I do not want more people in office that are just playing politics. I want people in office that are willing to speak up and fight for an issue. Not some namby pamby wanna-be liberty candidate. These people are almost as bad as those candidates that claim to be pro-liberty but whose stance on many of the issues is absolutely not pro-liberty.

In Oklahoma, this sort of thing seems more prevalent in the GOP than it does with the Democrats. It's almost as any given Republican political candidates is afraid to "come out" on certain issues because they are afraid they will offend someone. Candidates of the Democrat Party, in general, don't seem to have this problem. It could be partly because they are not the party that is in power right now. Or it could be that the candidates in that party just simply have more courage than those in the GOP. And why is it that within the party of "liberty" there are more candidates willing to come out publicly about issues that matter to real liberty while many candidates in the Democrat Party are willing to. Isn't the GOP supposed to be the party of liberty? In Oklahoma, it sure doesn't seem that way. When did the roles get reversed?re in the GOP than it does with the Democrats. It's almost as any given Republican political candidates is afraid to "come out" on certain issues because they are afraid they will offend someone. Candidates of the Democrat Party, in general, don't seem to have this problem. It could be partly because they are not the party that is in power right now. Or it could be that the candidates in that party just simply have more courage than those in the GOP. And why is it that within the party of "liberty" there are more candidates willing to come out publicly about issues that matter to real liberty while many candidates in the Democrat Party are willing to. Isn't the GOP supposed to be the party of liberty? In Oklahoma, it sure doesn't seem that way. When did the roles get reversed?

This makes little sense to me. The "standard-bearer" for the liberty movement within the GOP was Ron Paul and he was never afraid to say what he thought in a public forum. In my opinion, any Republican that claims to be pro-liberty and is running for any political office, should use Dr. Paul's example as a guide on how to behave as a political candidate. Granted, he didn't get very far as far as getting elected to President goes, but look at the impact that he had! This guy was in Congress for over 20 years! That has to mean something. And look at the movement he started! The tide is turning in that direction. Don't hide behind political rhetoric. Say what you feel and say it like you mean it!

I want to see political candidates that are not afraid to tell the public how they feel about an issue. I do not want to see political candidates that hide behind talking points and rhetoric that will keep their base supporters happy. If your supporters don’t like how you feel about a certain issue, than they aren't really your supporters to begin with.

This is a warning for all political candidates that are out there trying to gain the support of the real liberty movement. If you aren't willing to come public about your beliefs on real liberty issues, you are not worth our support and you just need to move along.

Where are the candidates that are willing to stand up for what they believe in? Where are the candidates that are willing to stand up for issues that might not be popular but are the right thing to do? And where are the candidates that are willing to do so in a public forum rather than behind closed doors or privately on the phone? Where are the candidates that are willing to go on record for these issues?

If you stand for something, I want to know that you stand for it and I want everybody to know you stand for it. I'm not stingy. I want everyone to share in that knowledge. If you stand for something why wouldn't you want the world to know it? If you don't want everybody to know that you stand for something, than you probably don't really stand for it in the first place. Again, you are playing politics.

Candidates that play politics make me sick and I have neither the patience nor the tolerance for candidates that are only in politics to play games.

Once again, you have been warned.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Freedom For All or Freedom For None

Everybody seems to be jumping on the standing with religious freedom bandwagon lately. This stems from the Supreme Court case going on with Hobby Lobby fighting against the contraceptive mandates in the Affordable Care Act.

I think standing up for religious freedom is great. I think religious freedom is great. There is a reason that the right to worship as you please is listed first in the Bill of Rights along with freedom of speech. It is that important. It was that important to the Founding Fathers.

So I understand the excitement over standing up for the rights of Hobby Lobby and their religious freedom. And I totally agree with Hobby Lobby's right to stand up to the government and tell them they should not have to offer contraceptives to their employees because it is against their religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby is a private company. They are entitled to their beliefs. If a law goes against their religious beliefs, they should not be subject to it. In fact, they shouldn't even be forced to provide health care in the first place but that is a story for another article. If an employee feels that they should be provided contraceptives in their health care package, they are free to seek employment with a company that provides such.

However, where were these people who are jumping on the religious freedom bandwagon last year when a certain local civic leader was protesting against the building a mosque? Why weren't they standing up for religious freedom then? Do they only like religious freedom when it applies to their own religion. Does religious freedom not apply to people who worship differently then they do? It seems hypocritical to me to say that you stand for something when you really don't.

It's like when people go up in arms over equal rights for everyone, unless it applies to homosexuals and their right to marry whom they choose.

In this case, it is religious liberty for all, except for Muslims and Buddhists and basically anybody that doesn't worship the same god that they do.

The debate for religious freedom is an important one. But that discussion cannot be exclusive. It has to be a discussion about religious freedom regardless of what you believe.

It's either religious freedom for all or religious freedom for none.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Libertarians in the GOP

Ron Paul elevated the idea of libertarians working within the GOP to bring libertarian ideology to the mainstream.

Is that idea working? I have my doubts.

For one, it has become apparent to me that the establishment GOP does not want the libertarians in their "house." Their candidates are blocked at every turn within the GOP. Their ideology is shrugged off and discarded in their private meetings. Those that present these ideas, in some cases, are even removed from whatever positions they held within the GOP. Bottom line, the GOP does not want us. That should have been clear when those that supported Ron Paul in the presidential primaries were silenced everywhere.

Also, by working within the GOP, I believe it could be even detrimental to libertarian ideology in general. Because liberty has become a keyword due to the rising tide of libertarianism in American, the GOP has become to co-opt this word. To them, liberty means something that is not what it is. Liberty to the GOP and liberty to libertarians is something completely different. The "liberty for me but not for thee" crowd is the dominant faction in the GOP and if these people are allowed to hold the precious word of liberty hostage and if the libertarians within the GOP continue to assimilate, then I fear for the future of liberty.

If you, as a libertarian, choose to remain with the GOP and try to fight for your ideology, you have to understand that there is a war on the word liberty within that Party and you must be willing to fight that war and free the word liberty from those that would pervert the word to suit it to their own ideology. Remember, you belong to an organization in which one of its state leaders defined liberty as: "Liberty is not doing what you want. It is doing what you should." Liberty does not mean the same to these people as it does to you.

Personally, I believe that the only political party that truly espouses the idea of liberty is the Libertarian Party. I would prefer that all of those red-headed libertarian stepchildren of the GOP leave the GOP and come help the Libertarian Party fight for liberty. But that's just my opinion. The reason that the Libertarian Party is not as strong as it could in part could be because of those that choose to remain in the GOP and try to be a part of a club that doesn't want them or their ideology.

The word liberty has become tainted and I believe that libertarians should fight back to keep the word from being further tainted and ultimately to keep the word pure to its meaning.