Oklahoma

House Bill 3158 has now been signed into law by the Governor. Undoubtedly one of the most important proposals of this legislative session, it seeks to do away with any ambiguity regarding the Corporation Commission’s ability to enforce wastewater injec…

Target Stores became the first big, high-profile retailer to announce a national policy, making all their restrooms co-gender. The new policy allows any individual to enter the restroom “he feels is most appropriate”.
The policy is being framed in pop…

Did all this bathroom nonsense start with a student? Was there a crime? I don’t think so. What came first? The bill to prevent LGBTs from using the potty of their choice or was it the LGBT push to create laws that “allow” it? Or to block potty policing bills? This seems like a NON […]

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Deputy Robert Bates shot Eric Harris while other officers held him down on the pavement. A jury recommends 4 years prison for the deputy.
  Deputy Robert Bates was found guilty of manslaughter and subject to a recommended 4-year prison sentence. He was immediately taken into custody and led away. His attorney, the famed Clark Brewster, had tried to say that ongoing health problems killed Eric Harris, but the jury did not find that reasoning plausible. The massive blast of a .357 pistol fired by Deputy Bates had filled up Harris’ lungs with blood and he expired within a couple minutes of the gun blast.
  Harris’ position on the Tulsa Sheriff’s office staff had also led to the overthrow of the entire 28-year administration of Sheriff Stanley Glanz.
The Tulsa Frontier has been following this case and has the most in-depth coverage: ​​

Congressman Bridenstine voted to send HR 4909, the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from the House Armed Services Committee to the full House this morning.  The bipartisan bill authorizes funding for America’s armed forces and sets Department of Defense policy.  Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act 53 years in a row.  

Three major amendments sponsored by Congressman Bridenstine were adopted in the bill:

  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports — Codify in law a 30-day limit for Department of Energy (DOE) to issue final decisions on applications.  Congressman Bridenstine commented, “Energy security is national security. Exporting LNG to our allies strengthens our national security by reducing dependence on hostile regimes, plus it grows the American economy.  America is the world’s largest producer of natural gas. Oklahoma is the fourth-largest producing state.  DOE bureaucrats are currently holding up 30 LNG export applications which have already completed full environmental and permitting reviews. ”   
  • Prevent re-listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken and de-list American Burying Beetle from Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Bridenstine noted, “Training and operations on military bases is disrupted by compliance with ESA mandates.  This is unnecessary when the species are not actually threatened.  Additionally, ESA requirements make base expansion and modification cumbersome and expensive.  These two species populations are present at Altus Air Force Base, Fort Sill, and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.”   
  • Prohibit housing unaccompanied alien children on U.S. military installations.  The Congressman said, “Housing children on bases with ongoing operations – including live artillery ranges – is inappropriate. The Obama Administration has commandeered military bases to temporarily house unaccompanied children, including Fort Sill in Oklahoma in 2014.  Housing them on bases damages military readiness by shifting limited defense resources to non-defense missions.  Rather than imposing on an overstretched military, the Administration could use some of the 77,000 vacant or underutilized buildings owned by the Federal government.”  

NDAA includes other provisions that Congressman Bridenstine worked to support Oklahoma’s National Guard, including:

  • Redirected funding to procure F-16 simulators.  The 138th Fighter Wing at Tulsa Air National Guard Base flies F-16s.
  • Redirected funding to support critical requirements for National Guard State Partnership Program.

NDAA includes several provisions from Bridenstine’s American Space Renaissance Act (ASRA).  Earlier this month, Congressman Bridenstine introduced HR 4945, groundbreaking legislation to enact bold reforms across military, civil, and commercial space sectors.  NDAA is the first step in Congressman Bridenstine’s strategy to enact ASRA piece-by-piece in different legislative vehicles. NDAA includes ten provisions, including:

  • Establishing a pilot program for the Air Force to buy, test, and evaluate commercial weather data.  Utilizing data provided by innovative private sector weather companies can lower costs to taxpayers, produce better weather products for the warfighter, and complicate the targeting solutions of our enemies by distributing space architectures.
  • Redirecting funding to jump start a pilot program to test next-generation satellite communications (SATCOM) technologies.  Private sector SATCOM companies are offering leap-ahead capacity for commercial customers.  The Department of Defense should take advantage of this through a pilot program. 
  • Modifies SATCOM Analysis of Alternatives to ensure accurate cost estimates and full consideration of commercial SATCOM technologies.

 

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“Restoring military readiness means lifting burdens on our military installations where possible and reasonable” Congressman Bridenstine said.  “The U.S. military takes great pains to comply with the many regulations imposed by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  ESA imposes costs on our military every day.  We need to balance those costs against the imperative of training and preparing the force.” 

The Congressman noted errors in the studies for the original listings of two species, the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the American Burying Beetle.  The LPC has already been de-listed.  Both species are subjects of repopulation efforts and are thriving.  Neither species is endangered or threatened, but both hinder military readiness.

Bridenstine further explained, “The McAlester Army ammunition plant in Eastern Oklahoma sits squarely in the Beetle’s known range.  The plant jumps through hoops every day to deal with the ESA requirements and future plans to expand and modify the plant are impacted, too.  We shouldn’t be burdening this Army ammunition plant or any other military installation for a species which is clearly thriving.

“There are seven military bases within the historic range of the Chicken, including in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.  All of these installations would face significant impacts if the LPC is relisted, particularly in terms of future expansion.  Before we jeopardize readiness, let’s give time for the state-based conservation program to work.” 

The amendment was approved as part of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bipartisan bill authorizes funding for America’s armed forces and sets Department of Defense policy.  Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act 53 years in a row.

“Restoring military readiness means lifting burdens on our military installations where possible and reasonable” Congressman Bridenstine said.  “The U.S. military takes great pains to comply with the many regulations imposed by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  ESA imposes costs on our military every day.  We need to balance those costs against the imperative of training and preparing the force.” 

The Congressman noted errors in the studies for the original listings of two species, the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the American Burying Beetle.  The LPC has already been de-listed.  Both species are subjects of repopulation efforts and are thriving.  Neither species is endangered or threatened, but both hinder military readiness.

Bridenstine further explained, “The McAlester Army ammunition plant in Eastern Oklahoma sits squarely in the Beetle’s known range.  The plant jumps through hoops every day to deal with the ESA requirements and future plans to expand and modify the plant are impacted, too.  We shouldn’t be burdening this Army ammunition plant or any other military installation for a species which is clearly thriving.

“There are seven military bases within the historic range of the Chicken, including in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.  All of these installations would face significant impacts if the LPC is relisted, particularly in terms of future expansion.  Before we jeopardize readiness, let’s give time for the state-based conservation program to work.” 

The amendment was approved as part of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bipartisan bill authorizes funding for America’s armed forces and sets Department of Defense policy.  Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act 53 years in a row.

Congressman Bridenstine voted to send HR 4909, the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from the House Armed Services Committee to the full House this morning.  The bipartisan bill authorizes funding for America’s armed forces and sets Department of Defense policy.  Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act 53 years in a row.  

Three major amendments sponsored by Congressman Bridenstine were adopted in the bill:

  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports — Codify in law a 30-day limit for Department of Energy (DOE) to issue final decisions on applications.  Congressman Bridenstine commented, “Energy security is national security. Exporting LNG to our allies strengthens our national security by reducing dependence on hostile regimes, plus it grows the American economy.  America is the world’s largest producer of natural gas. Oklahoma is the fourth-largest producing state.  DOE bureaucrats are currently holding up 30 LNG export applications which have already completed full environmental and permitting reviews. ”   
  • Prevent re-listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken and de-list American Burying Beetle from Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Bridenstine noted, “Training and operations on military bases is disrupted by compliance with ESA mandates.  This is unnecessary when the species are not actually threatened.  Additionally, ESA requirements make base expansion and modification cumbersome and expensive.  These two species populations are present at Altus Air Force Base, Fort Sill, and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.”   
  • Prohibit housing unaccompanied alien children on U.S. military installations.  The Congressman said, “Housing children on bases with ongoing operations – including live artillery ranges – is inappropriate. The Obama Administration has commandeered military bases to temporarily house unaccompanied children, including Fort Sill in Oklahoma in 2014.  Housing them on bases damages military readiness by shifting limited defense resources to non-defense missions.  Rather than imposing on an overstretched military, the Administration could use some of the 77,000 vacant or underutilized buildings owned by the Federal government.”  

NDAA includes other provisions that Congressman Bridenstine worked to support Oklahoma’s National Guard, including:

  • Redirected funding to procure F-16 simulators.  The 138th Fighter Wing at Tulsa Air National Guard Base flies F-16s.
  • Redirected funding to support critical requirements for National Guard State Partnership Program.

NDAA includes several provisions from Bridenstine’s American Space Renaissance Act (ASRA).  Earlier this month, Congressman Bridenstine introduced HR 4945, groundbreaking legislation to enact bold reforms across military, civil, and commercial space sectors.  NDAA is the first step in Congressman Bridenstine’s strategy to enact ASRA piece-by-piece in different legislative vehicles. NDAA includes ten provisions, including:

  • Establishing a pilot program for the Air Force to buy, test, and evaluate commercial weather data.  Utilizing data provided by innovative private sector weather companies can lower costs to taxpayers, produce better weather products for the warfighter, and complicate the targeting solutions of our enemies by distributing space architectures.
  • Redirecting funding to jump start a pilot program to test next-generation satellite communications (SATCOM) technologies.  Private sector SATCOM companies are offering leap-ahead capacity for commercial customers.  The Department of Defense should take advantage of this through a pilot program. 
  • Modifies SATCOM Analysis of Alternatives to ensure accurate cost estimates and full consideration of commercial SATCOM technologies.

 

—  30  —

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Editorial Opinion:  ​We can generally say that addictive behaviors are detrimental to human development and achievement. We can even see that many addictions are deadly.

  But does it therefore follow that the wisest course of action is to empower our government to outlaw addictions and exact punishments, fines, and other retributions; as a strategy to successfully end the scourge of addictive behavior in our society? And do we really want a society when police actions are so draconian?

  Or is it possible that our ‘war on drugs’ has added to the problem of addiction by sending it into desperate hiding? And has the government created a bigger economic problem by incubating a business environment where black market cartels can come in and set up shop? And the inevitable organized crime from black market cartels has therefore led to skyrocketing crime, harming people who had nothing to do with the cartel or the addictive behavior.


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  There are plenty of addictive habits and substances which can be harmful, yet our public policy does not include a prohibition on them.
  The petroleum industry has long known that gasoline huffing is a terrible addiction, but no legislator has taken on the petroleum lobby and sought to restrict the sale and use of gasoline.
  And perhaps that is why the huffing problem is not as widespread as the heroine problem? By keeping gasoline legal and unrestricted, we have kept the drug cartels from having exclusive marketing rights. Their hideous sales forces don’t peddle gasoline near the park and schools.

Some terrible Addictions Are Legal (and should remain so)

A New Path… (Okay, not really new. We did this with liquor, in 1959)

  We’ll avoid the debate over statutory inconsistencies regarding different ‘controlled substances’ and the relative dangers of alcohol vs hemp. But we can look at what an economy would look like if the ‘War On Drugs’ was adjusted so as to carefully begin implementing some of the Colorado reforms, just as we did in 1959 when Oklahoma slowly began to allow liquor marketing in the state.

  The end of Oklahoma’s prohibition brought about 4 big positive changes to our state.
  • Cost savings to our law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities.
  • Revenue enhancements as black market sales transformed into legitimate business and subject to equitable taxation.
  • Human lives rescued, as they came forward to seek treatment for addictions, since the fear of prosecution is gone.
  • The departure of black market organized crime syndicates who lost their monopoly on a product.

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  When we make the shortsighted choice to let government remain our parental authority, we will never really be a free society. We need to have the liberty to perhaps suffer the consequences of our behavior. When government externally controls people, they never really grow up and become who they were created to be. We have let legislators enact shortsighted fixes which have resulted in long term problems. It eventually leads to a socialist society much like the former Soviet Union became. And when that economy collapsed of it’s own weight, the people who were then left to provide for themselves, were terribly unprepared and ill-equipped to compete in a free market. Hence, the black market mafia cartels that now rule the new Russia.

  Conclusion: I’m a teetotaler. That’s an old term for folks who don’t drink liquor. I have been for more than 3 decades. I don’t plan to change any of that. But I do believe the government is punishing me every time they arrest another person for possessing a controlled substance. I and my fellow taxpayers get assessed a $20k annual fee to incarcerate each one of them. And that’s aside from the cost of displaced families, courts, cops, and other damages to society. I want children protected from exploitation and public safety to be emphasized. But if my neighbor gets relief from his PTSD symptoms via an evening dose of cannabis, I don’t have a problem with that.
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