Strike 3 and They’re OUT!

I admire the teaching profession, it takes a special person to desire to help another person learn and truly be concerned when they see the difficulty a child has in grasping the concept. Some of the best teachers have discovered a way to make learning fun. In the state of Oklahoma, teachers have been underpaid for many years. They have utilized their First Amendment right to march on the capital for education reform improvement in the education system and now for an increase in teachers’ pay. While I agree totally that they need an increase in salary both in starting salary for a new teacher as well as an increase in salary and benefits for our veteran teachers, I do not believe that continuing with plans for a walk out after the legislature has finally worked and done their job to fund a raise is appropriate. To have the president of the OEA publicly state that the demands given the legislature were not all met, gives the impression that they are more interested in getting their way than performing their duty. I will reiterate that I am not against raising the pay of those that are educators. The politicians in the legislature of the state of Oklahoma have for the past 40 years failed to do what they were elected to do. It’s been the last three sessions, with a decrease in revenue leaving a large hole in the budget and requiring cutbacks from all services they continue to spin their wheels and pass laws dealing with driving in the left lane, texting while driving, while procrastinating on fixing the fiscal problems. This is totally unacceptable. The legislature for the state of Oklahoma needs to use “A Daily Dose of Common Sense” when prioritizing their approach to legislation. Band-Aids and duct tape to fix recurring problems are also unacceptable. I asked that the teachers use that same “Dose of Common Sense” and accept the increase that is being worked on and not walk out if it passes. Politics today has become a haven for special interest groups. While our representatives tend to listen to these groups, they should be listening to the masses that elected them. This is not an uncommon problem in both state and federal legislators. It is time to get political parties and political agendas out of our government. Elected officials need to serve the people that elected them, not the PAC’s that funded their campaign. To be fiscally responsible and the funding of our education system reforms in all areas of the system must be addressed. Duplication and wasteful spending must be eliminated. Raises two elected officials should cease until those officials efficiently fix the problems with the state budget. We now enter the wait and see phase of the threatened walkout. Should the salary increase that is currently being worked on pass, it wouldn’t be ethical to continue with the Strike. Should they decide to continue with the walkout/strike, it would give the impression that they are just like all the other special interest groups. They would be more interested in getting what they want over the needs of all the people. Of course, this is just my humble opinion.

Open Letter to the Oklahoma State Legislature

Today is March 24th and the State Legislature has failed to appropriately address the Financial situation of our State. The educators are demanding a pay Raise, the state employees are demanding a pay raise. The state infrastructure is in dire need of repair. Roads Bridges and Highways are deteriorating to a questionable state of safety.  I will stop with the Doom and Gloom.

First, I want it to be know that I do not expect the government to “FIX” everything and supply us with all our needs. What I do expect from our elected officials, also known as “Public Servants”, is to serve the Public and be consistently efficient. What were the Priorities of this session?  As I see it the following should have been done in order.

  1. Balance the Budget for FY 2018 and FY 2019. The “How” is the hard part. With a decrease in revenue that has caused a huge shortfall for the past 2 years, it is irresponsible to continue to think that cutting the budget is the only way to fix the issue. It would more prudent to eliminate waste in the government. That would solve part of the problem but not all.  To put everything back (referring to crucial services) and fully fund the necessary programs, there must be a dramatic increase in revenue. This must be done judiciously with prudence and care. Raising Personal State Income Tax is not an option. Raising State sales Tax is not a great option but may be needed. What other revenue sources are there? Gross Production Tax Would hit our largest source of revenue. That is the problem with a single source economy. We need to seek more industry and make it more diverse. While the increasing of taxes would be contradictory if we were able to increase the tax base we could Lower Personal Income Tax or even become a “No Personal Income Tax” state. That would put more money in the consumers pocket and make the state more enticing to new industries. Alternative energy is a hot market and incentives to bring more into the state would also increase the base corporately.
  2. Clean up the Department of Human Services: reduce the amount of fraud of state services. Complete the reduction of welfare dependency that was started. Stop paying benefits to undocumented aliens. Enforce the laws as written!
  3. Reform the corrections system to cut down overcrowding and work diligently to enforce the current laws.
  4. Current Laws need to be reviewed and excessive regulation can impede progress. Have Law’s that are duplicate are impractical and redundant. Example; trying to regulate common sense are impractical. Making it illegal to texted and drive is already covered by the Law of “Failure to devote full time and attention”. The latter could be used for the wide abuse by anyone that is doing something other than paying attention to driving. i.e.: eating while driving, texting while driving talking on cell phone while driving, putting on makeup, shaving, reading a book, newspaper or anything else while driving. As I said common sense. I think the most important fact is that we need to enforce what is already on the books. Reduce the confusion by not attempting to legislate common sense. “Slower traffic keep right is an excellent example of correctly making the driver aware that driving below the speed limit in the left lane is not legal. Why make it necessary to make signs saying, “Do Not Impede Traffic in The Left Lane”.

These are just some examples of Prioritizing and using common sense to legislate and run the government. That would be in an ideal world. The biggest stumbling block is Politics. Democrats, republican, independent, Tea Party. Are labels just as Liberal and Conservative. Who cares about what party gets credit when the Body does what is best for the people not just some people but all people.  Enforcing the Laws that are on the books efficiently and fairly.

Just a thought Oklahoma

Toil In The Soil

I have found that the older I get the more I like to toil in the soil. After the winter at the beginning of spring I love to plant and watch my garden grow. This year I tried something different, I tried using an indoor greenhouse and started seedlings in my garage. I enjoyed so much going out each day and checking to see if the seeds had germinated and after two weeks of patiently waiting the first new sprouts pop their little heads up and said hello. Not every seed I planted germinated, that’s just like life. We continually plant seeds in order to reap a rich harvest, but some fall on Fallon soil and will not germinate. The key is to continue to plant, to water, to feed and nurture in order to reap a rich harvest.
Take care of your life as you care for your garden and ye shall reap a rich harvest.

A Lazy Day In June

 

June 20, 2017

we awake to another glorious morning in June. As I began my daily tasks I realize that there is no such thing as a lazy day. While I may not be busy, the world around me certainly is. Many people are involved in the hustle and bustle of earning a living, others are involved is pure survival.

The children are out of school enjoying what hopes to be a wonderful summer full of memories. Father’s Day has just passed, July 4 is coming soon and the weather pleasant as it may be now will turn hot as it should in summer. We in America have come to realize that although we are the home of the brave and the land of the free, we are not so free. We have given up many freedoms in the name of protection. The news is filled with stories of attacks on the sanity and liberty of the human race by those who wish to pervert their beliefs and force others to either live by them or die.

Extremists following any agenda are the cause not one religion versus another. One has to be careful when reading from their holy book to listen with their heart as well as their mind and not interpret the message to suit their needs.

There always be conflict between religions, nations, citizens of the world. How we deal with them and how we work to eliminate them is the message.

So on this day, work hard in your garden of life to sow the seeds of peace and harmony so that we all may enjoy another lazy day in June.