Best Holiday: Independence Day (aka July 4th) has long been my favorite holiday. From the parades featuring World War II veterans that I witnessed as a child growing up in Conway, Arkansas to helping my Dad post the flag at our homes in Conway, Cadillac (Michigan) and Del City, it's been a day for patriotism, family, cookouts and (when they were legal) fireworks in the front yard. Back when I was on the air at KTOK, nothing gave me more pleasure than participating in the July 4th parades in Edmond, Bethany and Oklahoma City.
Scary: For those gentle, naive souls who believe crime happens somewhere else, and criminals don't lurk nearby, the arrest of numerous drug dealers involved in a Mexican drug cartel in the metro area should give pause. The arrests make public the long reach of the illegal drug lords and their efforts to infiltrate every part of America. It's likely just a matter of time before the violence for which these Mexican gangs are known is evident here, if it's not already.
Obama's Downfall: While President Obama deals with numerous controversies and his tepid response to most, it is the Arizona immigration law confrontation that, my opinion, will prove to be his popularity downfall. Obama is against the state's tough new law and his minions are talking tough about legal challenges. In this, Obama is far out of step with mainstream America. Most of us are sick of the stories of illegal aliens flowing across our southern border, of the inability of Mexico to control its side of the border, of the claims that, somehow, we are to blame for Mexicans who want to flee their crime-ridden, often-violent country, flooding illegally into the U. S. We're sick of government programs being offered to illegals; we're sick of liberals who paint us as racists because we oppose illegal immigration while they can't understand the difference between legal and illegal immigrants. The liberals say it's all a gray area; to us, it's black and white, right vs. wrong, legal vs. illegal.
Political Interest: Interest in this year's political campaigns appears to be on the increase if blog traffic is an indication. Here's a rundown of hits for some blogs and websites for the month of June compared to June a year ago: Okie Campaigns, 2,391 (up); Muskogee Politico, 3,596 (up); BatesLine, 13,804 (down); Dustbury (sometimes touches on politics), 14,322 (up); The McCarville Report Online, 30,354 (up). There are others that cover the state's politics but don't make their stats available.
Beware: If it had a movie title, it might be Attack Of The Anonymous Bloggers. The closer we get to primary election day, the more active become blogs written by anonymous "experts" with all sorts of claims. It seems their goal most often is to use the Internet to spread rumors, half-truths and even lies about candidates and causes they disfavor. In my experience, those who hide behind anonymity feel no responsibility for their words; after all, to whom do the words attach? The answer is no one. While Christopher Arps at the long-silent Oklahoma Political News Service used his site as a poisoned pen on most, he at least put his own name on what he wrote and while his bonafides were thin, he at least had some. (One anonymous blogger explains why he's anonymous: "Well, I'll try never to connect my name to this blog. It's not that I am trying to completely erase all trace of it from the blogosphere; I rather doubt that's even possible. But I'm seeking a second source of income even now--and my current employers have been known to fire people merely for having a second job. My desire not to have potential employers be able to make definitive links to what some might see as incendiary statements accounts for my desire for relative anonymity.") Several other anonymous blogs have gone dark because, I suspect, the bloggers got tired of writing for themselves only since they attracted few readers.
Maybe It's Just Me: The thought of carrying my concealed firearm openly leaves me cold. While I understand the thought process behind the push for open carry, it's just not for me. On the other hand, perhaps the sight of the shotgun hanging off my hip might deter a bad guy....
Labels: Gadfly's Columns