About Me

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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You're So Vain!


The man who runs our Oklahoma County Democratic Party website wanted a picture of me for the web page. I scanned this school pic taken this year for the annual. He said that it was good, but that he needed more "pixels". I'm not sure what he meant, so I'm going to post it to see what the pictures does on this blog.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Things are looking up

Baseball Display at the Oklahoma History Museum

Two good things happen tomorrow.
1) The last day of February. (Why is it that the shortest month of the year always seems like the longest one?)
2) Spring training games begin which means Opening Day is not that far off. (April 1st!)

Monday, February 26, 2007


Boot's Puppy Pic

I don't think I've done a blog entry on our new puppy, Boots. She is a "Peekapoo", a mix of a pekingese and a poodle. She got the name because she has little white feet and a black coat which is now developing a "touch of gray" around her neck. (We don't intend to change her name to Jeri Garcia or anything like that, though.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Intra-Party Politics

Two Democratic Friends

I sent this out to a list of Oklahoma Democratic Party leaders recently. I plan to run for the chairman's spot in my county, Oklahoma County. Our county convention is March 31st and I will be elected by delegates chosen at our state-wide precinct caucuses on March 8t. These are some of my reflections as a candidate for a party office. I will have a friend or two running against me, and we will be asking mutual friends for their support. I hope we can do this a remain friends with each other and united as a party.

We, the members of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, are about to enter a time of "Intra-party" politics. In other words, we are deciding who will lead us during the crucial election we face in 2008. We will be asked to make many decisions and have in front of us many choices, few of them easy. No where in our society, except perhaps in sports, is it more impossible to create "win-win" situations than in politics. Elections mean someone wins and someone loses, if there are at least two people who want the same position. The fact that these elections pit Democrat against Democrat means that we will have friends, colleagues, even allies asking, often demanding our vote.
Yet we recognize that we need a united party in order to succeed, so what do we do? We remember first and foremost why we are Democrats. We have all seen the slogan posted on various signs and bumper stickers: "Democrats Care." I wish I could amend that to read "Democrats Care: About More than Number 1". Probably wouldn't make for good advertising, but to my mind that's why I'm a Democrat. I want a world where we truly realize "justice for ALL." And if my political ideals go beyond individual comforts, then my political commitment must go further than my personal ambition.
Personal ambition is good and necessary if we are to have a vital party. I am running for an office in my county because I truly believe I can do it better than those who are also running for the office can. (We will see what the delegates have to say.) But I do not believe that winning the election is a personal endorsement or losing it a personal rejection. It is an opportunity for service, a means to advance the cause of justice.
So if my Democratic friend decides to support me, great; I hope a majority of them do so. But if not, she is still my Democratic friend, and we will work together for this party we love. For me to feel rejected or, worse, to drop out of active participation in my party would make a lie of everything I feel makes me a Democrat.
I wish you the best of fortune as you help to guide your portion of the party through this often difficult time. May we recognize that we Democrats care about more than 1 in regards to our party as well as our country.
Lynn Green
OK County Secretary

Monday, February 19, 2007

I wonder if he wore hip waders also?

Bush Bullshit

This veteran wears a protective flap

over his ears while President G.W. Bush

addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars

about veteran's benefits.

I checked this out on Snopes.com to see if this is an authentic photograph and text. They report that this actually happened during a speech made by Bush at a VFW Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 22, 2005. The man's name is Bill Moyer, a 73 year old WWII veteran who was protesting Bush's policies.

Poor George

Shift the Blame

Friday, February 16, 2007

"Mr. President, I have bad news and I have worse news."

GI Joke

One day last January there was a heavy snow in Washington D.C. Bush woke up to find that there was at least 4 inches of snow on the ground. When he got down to the Oval Office, he saw something very strange outside one of his office windows. There in the snow were some words written in yellow that said "Bush Lied and Soldiers Died". Bush was enraged. He called down White House security. "Look at that!" he screamed. "If I'm not mistaken. Those letters are written in piss." (Bush recognized this from similar stunts he pulled during his drunken, drugged out college days.)"I want this investigated. And I want it done now!"

The security team got right to it. They photographed the words before they had a chance to disappear, took a sample of the yellow snow, and rushed photo and sample off to the FBI labs.

Later that day, Bush got a call from FBI headquarters. Robert Mueller, the FBI Director himself, was on the phone. "Mr. President," Mueller said, "we have made a positive trace on the DNA from the urine sample we got. I'm afraid I have bad news." Bush thought to himself, if the FBI Director called, this must be bad news. "Sir, I must inform you that the DNA matches that of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It's a 100% match." Bush exploded, "That bastard., after what I did for him. I'll have his resignation immediately. He and I are finished!"

"Sir,” Mueller continued, "I'm afraid that's not all. It gets worse." Dumbstruck, Bush said, "How could anything be worse?" "Well," Mueller said, "we also used the photo to check the handwriting. It's Laura's."

'Nother favorite comic strip of mine

9 Chickweed Lane

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oklahoma Needs More Alternative Education

The Oklahoma Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 519 by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City, which would eliminate one of the three exemptions from a compulsory attendance law.

Wilcoxson said the measure was requested by Gov. Brad Henry.

The bill would eliminate the exemption that allows a student to drop out when a parent, custodian or guardian of the child and the school administrator agree that the student's leaving school is in the best interest of the community and child.

All well and good, but what are the teachers and administrators of Oklahoma's public schools to do with these "at risk" students who will be denied their wish to drop out and must remain in our student population? After all, very few young people drop out of school because they are experiencing success in the classroom.

If Oklahoma lawmakers really want to do something about Oklahoma's dropout problem, they need to expand the opportunities students and administrators have to use alternative education, especially in the urban areas of the state. Any teacher can point out those students in the school who will not make it to graduation unless some type of radical intervention takes place. These students usually constitute about 5% of the student population, but they create about 80% of the schools problems through their poor socialization skills, low academic achievement, and disruptive classroom behavior. These are the students, often, the teacher prays will be absent of class that day because then the rest of the students can learn.
The reasons for these students' problems are numerous: single/zero parent families, drug usage, lack of motivation, and so on. The result is uniform. They create a poor school environment. They hinder other students. They lower school test scores. They drop out and become wards of the state either on the welfare roles or in prisons.

These students will not make it in the "traditional" school. No manner of teacher heroics will save them from their fate unless there is a method to meet their needs, needs the traditional school is not and never was set up to meet.

We need to provide them the opportunity to succeed through something other than the traditional school, but school districts, already pressed with budgets strained beyond capacity, have only limited alternative spots which quickly fill up during the first quarter of the school year. And don't think that school consolidation will provide the necessary resources. In fact, the problem would likely increase if schools become larger and administrative staffs shrink.

The legislature needs to quit its habit of looking for quick fixes and do what any teacher or administrator knows must be done. We need a true state-wide alternative education system and we need it before we lose more students forever.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Huge Increase of Diabetes in the UAE Result of Our Weapons?

Numerous scientific reports state that "GULF WAR SYNDROME" was caused by Depleted Uranium. Fifty-six per cent OF ALL GULF WAR I VETERANS are experiencing health problems compared with 5% of Korean War and 10% of Vietnam War vets!

I received this in an e-mail from Bob Nichols whom I believe works as a reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bob has been long concerned along with others about our use of "depleted" Uranium as a material for conventional weapons like armor piercing shells. The problem is that such shells disintegrate on contact and spread radiation into the ecosystem. Bob sent this information about possible affects that our use of uranium based weapons have had in the region.

World Wide Diabetes Epidemic: "If it is Epidemic, it is not Genetic." - Leuren Moret

UAE [United Arab Emirates] is on the Gulf Coast. . . . They are within close range of Iraq.

Diabetes is contracted within two months of radiation poisoning, according to Dr. Earnest Sternglass. He was the person President Kennedy asked to 'talk to" the US Senate to get them to pass the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

Dr Sternglasss told me in an interview that "40 years ago everybody knew it [the relationship between diabetes and fall out radiation]." He was speaking of the increase in diabetes over the historical occurrence rate of diabetes. That knowledge has been "disappeared."

It has been cynically replaced by more of a "personal responsibility" concept of disease that sees CDC actually funding research to see if underarm deodorant causes cancer, rather than funding research to see if radiation causes cancer.

Mueller, a scientist, found in 1927 that one shot of radiation was 10 to 100 Million times more likely to cause cancerous and or genetic changes to egg and sperm cells of a colony of flies. He tracked the same radiation caused diseases and mutations through 40,000 generations.

It has only been taken humans 80 generations to cover the past 2000 years.

Bob Nichols
Project Censored Award Winner
Doctors Welcome UAE Approval of "Revolutionary" Insulin Inhalation Treatment

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Molly Ivins 1944-2007

Rest in Peace, Molly
Oklahoma Flag
Oklahomans need to get over an inherent inferiority complex. I wish we would stop our "Texas" fixation. All our politicians want us to be "like Texas" in our tax structure and our economic system. Yet Texas has some of the poorest people, worst crime, and worst pollution in the nation! If we want a model, let us look to states like Iowa or Minnesota where they are dedicated to improving education and health care, not to states where robber barons are given free reign.

Monday, February 05, 2007

It Ain't Easy Being Prophetic

Hot Time on the Old Earth

Someone once said that conservatives have an easier task persuading people that conservatism is right compared with liberals. After all, a conservative's pitch is either that things are okay, just the way they are, or that we have gone too far in our society and we need go back to the way things used to be. A liberal, on the other hand, has to say that we need to make changes in the way we are living in order to make them better for everyone.

I cannot say that this is true for all issues of contention between liberals and conservatives. As with all blanket statements, it cannot cover all circumstances. However, when we consider the issue of Global Warming, I believe we see this maxim in action.

Consider these responses to a question from the Newsok.com website:

Humans "very likely" are the cause of climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released this morning (Friday). For this group, "very likely" means the scientists have more than 90 percent confidence that human emissions of greenhouse gases have caused observed warming over the past 50 years. Will you change your behavior as a result? Does the responsibility for change fall to individuals or the government?

Here are some of the responses:

I believe volcanos and the heating of the crust of the earth has more to do with the warming of the atmosphere than with manmade activity. Although, regional brown clouds, paving of farm land, artificial irrigation, and other things like eastern red cedar trees cause temprature rise in localized areas. I think it is vain of mankind to think we have a worldwide impact on the weather. The water is warming in the artic causing the ice shelf to break apart. The ambient temp. of the air is way below freezing but has risen from 32 below to 30 below zero, a two degree rise in air temp, won't cause the ice shelf to break apart..
Doug , Madill

Can you say 1500 year cycle?? Man has been using fossil fuels for less than 200 years, and the EU bunch (including Al Gore)want us to believe that we are responsible for the weather? What a sad bunch of egotists. Folks, man doesn't have that much stroke!!!
Don, Oklahoma City

I could limit my trips to Walmart to once per week.
Stan, Guthrie

No one wishes more than I that Global Warming would just GO AWAY! I am a child of the 50's and 60's, and I have a nostalgic wish that we could just go back to the "good old days" of unlimited, cheap gasoline. I miss the muscles cars (giddyup, giddyup, 409, 409). I long for bright, blue, smog free skies. I wish I could make the inside of my house feel like Hawaii during the warmest summers and the coldest winters. And I miss the sight of oil derricks pumping their black gold out of the Oklahoma hills as I cruise along Route 66.

But those days are over. In reality, they never should have been. We cannot continue to live beyond our planetary budget simply because this is what we are used to. Like it or not we must change, or future generations will curse the memory of this generation.

There is no "profit" in being a "prophet". Just ask Amos from the Hebrew scriptures. He was a shepherd to came to the town of Bethel, and did not like what he saw. So he began to tell the people there that if they did not shape up, the Lord was going to ship them out. Finally, a leader of the established church, Amaziah by name, came to tell Amos to shut up and quit stirring up trouble.

We read in the book of Amos:
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam, king of Israel: "Amos has conspired against you here within Israel; the country cannot endure all his words.
For this is what Amos says: Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be exiled from its land." To Amos, Amaziah said: "Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple." Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel. Now hear the word of the LORD!" You say: prophesy not against Israel, preach not against the house of Isaac. Now thus says the LORD: Your wife shall be made a harlot in the city, and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; Your land shall be divided by measuring line, and you yourself shall die in an unclean land; Israel shall be exiled far from its land.

So as Amos was unafraid to speak truth to power, we Liberals should not be afraid to tell the truth to those who counsel ease and comfort while signs and portents of global disaster appear all around us.

People who fortell disaster are often dismissed as "Cassandras", people who make predictions of disasters which no one will believe. The trouble is, we forget that in the Greek stories about her, Cassandra was always right!

Cassandra by Evelyn De Morgan

Friday, February 02, 2007

This is a remarkable web site featuring the names and faces of all those who have been killed in Iraq.

They Are Home Now