Archive for March, 2012

AxXiom for Liberty_3-30-12 — OKD2 Republican Candidate Debate

March 30, 2012

Tonight on AxXiom for Liberty, from 6:00 to 8:00pm CST, Kaye and I welcome four of the six Republican Candidates for U.S. Congress in Oklahoma’s 2nd. Congressional District.  All six were invited but, only four chose to participate.  We welcome Dustin Rowe (www.roweforcongress.us), George Faught (www.georgefaught.com), Dwayne Thompson (www.dwaynethompson.org), Wayne Pettigrew (www.pettigrewuscongress.com), Dakota Wood (www.dakotawoodforcongress.com), and Markwayne Mullin (www.mullinforcongress.com).   Wayne Pettigrew and Markwayne Mullin will not be participating tonight…Kaye and I will explain, during opening, the reasons given to us for this and we will present and discuss the same type questions relative to Wayne and Markwayne as if they were appearing.  Kaye and I will ask the questions the grassroots want answered and have relayed to us over the past several months.  These are questions you will not be heard asked in candidate debates or forums…We ask the tough questions!

Tune in to AxXiom for Liberty on 102.3FM if you are in the OKC area.  If not, log-on to www.logosradionetwork.com to Listen Live.  You can also dial 512-485-9010 and listen via your phone.

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NCLB Waivers and The Truth in Oklahoma

March 30, 2012

I am very proud of my hometown newspaper, and have been my entire life.  In the 28 March 2012 Edition of The Hugo Daily News, there was published two competing opinions relative to the upcoming decision by the Oklahoma State Board of Education to implement new “rules” regarding a “New School Grading System”.  Not a change in how our children are graded, rather a change in how each Independent (yes, that’s a joke but that’s what we are told) School District school is graded by the state.  The following is what I have submitted to my local paper in response to reading both opinion pieces.

29 March, 2012

             In Wednesday’s Edition of The Hugo Daily News there were two competing opinions published relative to a new “School Grading System” that is being considered by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.  The opinion of Hugo ISD Superintendent Karen Lyles runs counter to the opinion of our State Superintendent of Education, Janet Barresi.  Super. Barresi begins by stating that “robust public discussion is one of the best tenets of a free society” and I could not agree with more.  Super. Lyles states that “in a state that has been working to limit the role of government, a state grading sy7stem as complex as the proposed is not limited government but is an expansion of bureaucratic regulation” and I fully concur with her assessment of the proposal.

There are two key points that I picked up on when reading both opinions: 1). I am willing to bet that Super. Lyles is NOT alone in her assessment that this new grading system represents an expansion of government regulation and regulatory control over local school districts, 2). Super. Barresi’s statement that “the granting of our waiver from No Child Left Behind is contingent upon the  approval of  rules”.

The Point #2 is the really important one here.  We should not, for one minute, think that the waiver from No Child Left Behind (an arguably atrocious policy that has only served to install more central control over public education) is a good thing.  If No Child Left Behind were repealed…that would be a good thing as long as it was replaced with more state and local control.  What Super. Barresi does not tell us is that the No Child Left Behind waiver was granted by the U.S. Department of Education so that Oklahoma could pursue a path of even MORE central control by allowing Oklahoma to apply for more Federal dollars (our money, anyway…with LOADS of strings attached) in Race To The Top grants (the current administrations debacle that is only slightly worse than No Child Left Behind).  This waiver (and this new grading system rule adoption) also paves the way for Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  CCSS is near the pinnacle of absolute and total Federal control of public education in Lolo Montana, San Francisco California, and Hugo Oklahoma.  Super. Barresi will tell you that this is a state-led initiative…and she is partially correct.  The problem is that it is state-led, at the behest of the Federal government, and is subject to all the rules, regulations, and mandates that Federal government can dish out.  Always remember:  State-Led = Fed-Controlled!  Every Federal dollar (our money that has become touched by overzealous bureaucrats looking to justify their position) has a string attached.  Federal education dollars have a tendency to have LOTS of strings (mandates) attached.

I stand firmly behind our Hugo ISD Superintendent, Karen Lyles, on this issue and many others relative to our children’s learning and the proper course of action our schools should take.  Perhaps Ms. Barresi could solicit, and actually listen to and adhere to, the opinions and advice of those closest to and responsible for our children learning in a public education environment.

Oklahoma Wildlife Commission Was Disingenuous with SE Oklahoma

March 8, 2012

The following was published in my hometown newspaper, The Hugo Daily News, on 07 March 2012.

These are my comments concerning a “recent” decision by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation commission that I felt was very deceptive, to say the least.

 

     Yesterdays Hugo Daily News front page announcement, and the accompanying editorial, did a very good job describing the “recent” ODWC commission’s decision and “vote” to issue further mandates restricting 4-wheeler activity in the Honobia WMA. 

     Yes, the issue included many variables to be considered…not least of which is that much of Honobia WMA is private property managed by ODWC and private property rights, in my opinion, are to be protected at all costs.  With that being said, that doesn’t mean that the state has license to lie and deceive…which is what occurred in this instance.

    At a meeting for “Public Comment” in Antlers, relative to the Honobia WMA matter, well over 100 concerned citizens were told: “The restrictions are not set in concrete” yet a few minutes later it was revealed that an agreement had ALREADY BEEN SIGNED.  Hmmmm…here we are at a meeting, supposedly designed to gain public input, offering input on a contract which was already a done deal.  We were then told, by ODWC officials (the state), to get with our elected officials at the state level…that this would be “beneficial”.  Both Rep. Pruett and Sen. Ellis happened to be in attendance and it was finally agreed, with their input and with a vast majority of other atteendee consensus, that a two-year moratorium would be offered so that alternatives could be pursued.  The overwhelming majority of concerned citizens left that meeting feeling pretty good about the outcome.

     I can guarantee many of those good folks are asking themselves today: “Did I miss something? Did I not hear something correctly?”. The answer is: Nope, your memory is fine!  You were just deceived.  The “recent” decision was not recent at all.  The ODWC made their decision long ago when they inked the official state signature to the contract on your behalf.  The “vote” was mere political showmanship. 

     Our input didn’t matter…especially after-the-fact!  Are instances like this rare, you may ask?  Not at all!   Freedoms and natural rights and the voice of the public are being stolen everday by that one thing that is by its very nature “force”.

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force…” — George Washington

Respectfully;

Howard Houchen