Trump Is Going To Do What He Wants To Do

Some thoughts on the election of Donald Trump as president and the corporate mainstream media.


Stay Focused: Positives Emerge From A Disastrous Election Day

Anyone following Okie Funk or its Facebook page knows I’ve gone from denial to anger to acceptance, or something along those lines, after Tuesday’s election massacre, but please fully realize I’m not defeated, and I’m going to keep fighting on a political level with my words and by showing up when I need to show up.

I urge you to stay engaged, too. By all means, cry your heart out in hefty sobs, curl up in a fetal position and sleep for six more straight days, maybe stay drunk but don’t drive for another week, but stand with me and fellow progressives and liberals to work for change. We will be triumphant eventually.

Having said that, I do need to note that there were some positives both locally and nationally in Tuesday’s election.

Locally, the most obvious positives were the defeat of State Question 777, the so-called “right to contaminate our drinking water” initiative and the passage of State Questions 780 and 781, which, in more seriousness than what I just said about SQ 777, will hopefully kickstart a trend to completely decriminalize simple drug possession here and treat rather than punish addiction. Both 780 and 781 could also reduce our chronic prison overcrowding in this place of prison horror stories and massive incarceration.

You can find my pre-election takes on all the state questions here. Why waste time on the rehashing each particular question? What’s done is done. I do think the defeat of SQ 777, known really as “the right to farm” initiative, along with the passage of SQs 780 and 781, show a majority of Oklahoma voters can come together sometimes and vote sensibly and reasonably. There’s some hope there, right?

On the national level, voters in Nevada, Massachusetts and California legalized recreational marijuana, joining other states, such as Colorado, which have done the same. I’m not so much interested in the “highs” points of these initiatives as I am in advancing the argument that voters throughout the country are perhaps waking up to the nightmare of the so-called “war on drugs” that started in the 1970s under former President Richard Nixon and has been a colossal and complete, utter failure. The Washington Post ran a post-election story on its web site under the headline, “Marijuana wins big on election night.” It did indeed.

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.


SQ 779 Rejection Just Another Earthquake

p>When voters here rejected raises for teachers in Tuesday’s election it sent a powerful message to the state’s Republican-dominated government that schools, colleges, students and basically all facets of education do not matter to a vast majority of Oklahomans.

Consequently, Oklahoma will remain in just about last place in the nation for teachers to work. As I wrote earlier, if you’re a teacher or any type of educator here you need to consider your options to get out of this place. This isn’t hyperbole. Sure, some but not many teachers and especially education administrators have decent gigs. Stay put and enjoy the earthquakes and dealing with the right-wing extremists, but the vast majority of teachers should get out NOW.

When the president of the state’s flagship research university—the University of Oklahoma’s David Boren—proposes an idea to improve education because of a truly emergency situation and the voters shoot it down, well, it’s time to leave. The priorities are more than askew. They’re unsustainable.

What was especially discouraging was the lukewarm support from the liberal community here for education, but then are some self-described liberals here really liberal or are they just masqueraders? I know they can be dangerously sanctimonious. They got big ideas about change and how to do things. They’re oh so smart. Well, change is coming. They got a heavy dose of it this time around.

State Question 779, which would have given our poorly paid teachers $5,000 a year raises, really a paltry sum given what many other states pay teachers, was rejected by about 60 percent of those people voting Tuesday. The basic count was 852,641 opposed and 582,505 in favor, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. The measure would have generated more than $600 million a year for the teacher raises and given some of the money to higher education, early childhood education and vocational education.

I could parse through this disastrous loss in horse-race journalistic language, referring to the misleading, last-minute television ads opposing SQ 779 and the role of the conservative Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in the deceit, but what’s the point? I also don’t think the SQ 779 campaign leaders really understood the depth of the overwrought sanctimonious “liberal” argument against the measure and didn’t respond to it. I tried to tell them. They wouldn’t listen.

A majority of Oklahomans, including many people who identify themselves as liberals, just don’t care enough about education to do anything about our underfunded schools or our poorly paid teachers. Some self-described liberals or progressives will continue to lament how so many of our teachers are fleeing the state, but they won’t do one thing to change the situation. They whine, they complain, they shake their heads, but they will NOT do anything but wag a finger in your face.

I heard their I’m-a-better-person-than-you argument:

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)