Istook Hearts TABOR
Oklahoma still faces the dual threat of Ernest Istook as governor and TABOR, the so-called Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights amendment that would devastate the state’s educational systems.
As part of his gubernatorial campaign, Istook has announced he supports a state TABOR-like amendment even if the current proposal does not make it on the ballot.
An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee ruled recently that an initiative petition that would put a TABOR proposal on the ballot in November is invalid because thousands of the signatures were collected by out-of-state people. The law requires Oklahoma residents to collect signatures for initiative petitions. The full Supreme Court is now considering the referee’s decision.
If enacted, TABOR would limit the growth of state government to population growth and inflation. Colorado voters recently rescinded their state’s TABOR law because it devastated the state’s overall quality of life. Funding for higher education, in particular, was slashed and college tuition skyrocketed.
Even if the court rules that the initiative petition is not valid, TABOR supporters, such as Istook, will continue to fight to reduce taxes for rich people. Meanwhile, Istook and politicians like him, if they continue to get elected, will cut needed education programs and keep our state from prospering.
The point is the court’s decision, no matter what it is, will not mean the TABOR fight is over. The same goes for the fight against intelligent design or neocreationism. If Istook is elected, you can count on more religion-in-government initiatives. Now is the time to get busy to ensure Istook is defeated in November.
The Iraqi Civil War
Lost in all the recent news about Israel and Lebanon is the deteriorating situation in Iraq.
The country is now in a full-fledged civil war, though since the Bush administration will not officially use the words “civil war,” we will have to wait once again for the scared, baffled mainstream media to catch up to reality.
A steady stream of news reports shows hundreds of innocent Iraqis are dying virtually very week, and many are fleeing into sectarian camps or neighborhoods to escape the violence. Some experts are, again, talking about splitting the country into three sections.
If thousands of Americans were dying each month in sectarian violence would we call it a civil war? Of course, we would. But since the Bush administration and its supporters want to cover-up their extreme incompetence and lies, all we get is the same “freedom-is-on-the-march” rhetoric.
We need an exit strategy to get out of Iraq now. The war has resulted in the loss of thousands of American lives and cost billions of dollars. It has divided this country, though polls now show an overwhelming number of people now think going to war in Iraq was a mistake. An estimated 50,000 Iraqis have died. (Some groups argue more than 100,000 have died.)
President George Bush lied to this country about the need to go to war with Iraq (this is perjury and fraud), he has sanctioned the illegal torture of prisoners in American custody, and he has illegally wiretapped American citizens without a court order.
He should be impeached for any or all these reasons. If Democrats can take back the House and Senate in November, then democracy will prevail in this country. The president and his administration should be held accountable legally for damaging the country’s democratic structures.
Global Warming In Oklahoma?
Get used to the scorching heat here in Oklahoma, folks. Scientists are claiming the record heat is part of a global warming pattern that shows no signs of relenting.
What will happen when overall temperature averages skyrocket here? What will it mean for our environment and economy? What can we do to be prepared?
Sadly, the damage from carbon dioxide emissions probably cannot be reversed.