Sunday, February 27, 2011

Requiring Children to be Immunized for Day Care Admittance

 This bill states in part that no person, firm, corporation, partnership or other legal entity operating a day care center or day care home in this state shall cause or permit a minor child two (2) months of age or older to be admitted to such facility unless and until the parent, guardian, or other related person of such child presents certification from a licensed physician or authorized representative of any state or local department of public health that such child has received or will receive immunization.
To put it simply, your child can not be admitted to a dare care with proof of immunization.
The CDC’s own website states that vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects.
The CDC states for Diphtheria Vaccine (DTaP) sometimes the 4th or 5th dose of DTaP vaccine is followed by swelling of the entire arm or leg in which the shot was given, for 1 to 7 days (up to about 1 child in 30). It states that “moderate” problems may include Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000), non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000) and high fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000).
The MMR has associated side effects such as Seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (about 1 out of 3,000 doses), temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women (up to 1 out of 4) and temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 out of 30,000 doses).
The Oklahoma Statutes §70-1210.191 read no minor child shall be admitted to any public, private, or parochial school operating in this state unless and until certification is presented to the appropriate school authorities from a licensed physician, or authorized representative of the State Department of Health, that such child has received or is in the process of receiving, immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB), measles (rubeola), rubella, poliomyelitis, varicella, and hepatitis A or is likely to be immune as a result of the disease. However, the next  section  §70-1210.192 of Oklahoma Law clearly says any minor child, through the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child, may submit to the health authority charged with the enforcement of the immunization laws of this state a written statement by the parent, guardian or legal custodian of the child objecting to immunization of the child; whereupon the child shall be exempt from the immunization laws of this state.
Be informed- if you provide a written statement of objection to your child being immunized, they will be exempt from the law.  Oklahoma law allows for exemptions of personal, religious or medical reasons.  According to the Oklahoma Department of Health parents can obtain an exemption form from the school.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oklahoma Taxpayer Relief Act of 2011

 SB133 and HB1543 are called the “Taxpayer Relief Act of 2011”. SB 133 proposes to eliminate individual income tax on a phased in basis. The reduction will begin in tax year 2012 with the tax being fully eliminated in tax year 2016. The bills read in part (sections E and H respectively), “For the taxable years beginning January 1, 2016, and for all taxable years thereafter, the tax otherwise imposed pursuant to the provisions of this section upon the taxable income of individuals shall cease to become effective as law and no individual income tax shall be imposed.”

The Oklahoma Tax Commission released an impact statement that estimates a savings to taxpayers of $142.95 million in fiscal year 2012 and $580.6 million in 2013.

According to Oklahoma's personal income tax system begins at an income level of $8,700. The top rate of 5.5% is 30th highest among states levying personal income taxes. Oklahoma's 2008 state-level individual income tax collections were $768 per person, which ranked 32nd highest nationally. Oklahoma's state and local tax burden is currently estimated at 8.7% of income (37th nationally), below the national average of 9.8%.

Oklahoma levies a 4.5% general sales or use tax on consumers, which is below the national median of 5.85%. Oklahoma's gasoline tax stands at 17 cents per gallon and ranks 45th highest nationally. Oklahoma's cigarette tax stands at $1.03 per pack of twenty and ranks 27th highest nationally.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

State of the Union

US Median Income
 According to the US Census Bureau the median income for 2009 was $49,777. This is the lowest since 1997 when the median income was $49,497, using inflation adjusted dollars.  The average per capita income, (Per capita income is the mean income computed for every man, woman, and child in a particular group. It is derived by dividing the total income of a particular group by the total population in that group excluding patients or inmates in institutional quarters) was $26,530 in 2009. The report also shows a drop of 4.57% in household income between 2007 and 2009. Most of that change came in the 2007 – 208 years with a 3.57% change or $1,860. According the data, the income was $52,163 in 2007 and $49,777 in 2009, a loss of $2,386 or about $198 each month.  

Chart 1 below shows the change in median household income since 2000. This indicates a $2,723 loss in income or 5.19%.

(Click on image to see full siize)

This decline or recession has yet to end as stated in the Census Bureau report. During the 1980 – 1982 recession there was a 6% loss and in the early 70’s recessionary period a 5.7% decline.
Conversely in the 1990’s the trend was just the opposite. Between 1990 and 1999 income rose from $47,818 to $52,587, an increase of $3,477 or approximately 7%, as shown in Chart 2 below.
(Click on image to see full siize)

In the 1980 – 1989 timeline income increase by $4,404 or 10%, again using 2009 dollars. As the graphs show there have been increases and decreases in the household income within each decade.  Chart 3 illustrates the trend between the years of 1975 and 2009.
(Click on image to see full siize)

This illustrates the increase has not been a straight line since 1975, rather a series of ups and downs within the time period. This is also to illustrate that the preceding decades listed here have started with a slight drop and then a noticeable rise. Also this is to show I am not just picking a small timeline for this report.
The current recession has seen a loss of employment by 4.5% in the first 35 months following the beginning stated as December 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compare this to the prior recessions of the 1970’s, 19780’s and 1990’s, all of which had shown improvements in job loss by this time.
The BLS also reports that the number of persons jobless for a year or more rose from 645,000 in the second quarter of 2007 to 4.5 million in the second quarter of 2010. The group’s share of total unemployment jumped from 9.5 %to a record high of 30.9%. Some researchers have attributed this increase in long term unemployment to firms preferring to hire those who have been unemployed for shorter amounts of time. Others say that lower turnover rates have closed the openings for these individuals. Still some of the researchers state that increased unemployment insurance benefits has contributed to the increase in unemployment duration, although some researchers have argued that the extension of unemployment benefits has had a limited impact on unemployment duration in the recent recession. Joblessness for a year or longer has increased regardless of educational level.
The number of people unemployed for 6 months or less made up 82.8% of those receiving unemployment in 2007 and now only account for 54.2%. Those without work for 6 months to 1 year make up the remaining 14.8% in 2010 while they were only 7.7% in 2007.
Long term unemployment will cause per capita and household income levels to drop. As those numbers of unemployed are spending longer durations without employment and overall unemployment risies, the income will obviously be adversely affected.
The BLS U-6 numbers, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers, show the rate at 16.7% at the end of 2011. Using these numbers, the U-6 unemployment rate in December 2001 was 9.6%. that is a 74% increase over that past 9 years.
The BLS inflation calculator shows that $1000.00 in 2000 has the same purchasing power as $1278.88 in 2010. That is an increase of 28% due to inflation, or a loss of 28% in buying power. Remember from earlier there was a loss of 5.19% in household income during this same time period.  Taking the annual rates of around 2.4% over a 10 year period it is easy to see the cumulative effects of this seemingly low rate.
National gasoline prices have increased, as we all know. Given that almost everything we purchase has been delivered using a vehicle that is powered by gasoline, this will also affect overall prices. Energy Information Administration shows that a gallon cost $2.627 in the week of January 04 2010 and is, as of February 21 2011, $3.141 per gallon. That is an increase of $.514, or 20%.
The January all wheat price, at $7.40 per bushel, is up 95 cents from December and $2.50 above January 2010. The corn price, at $5.37 per bushel, is up 55 cents from last month and $1.71 above January 2010. The January cotton price, at 82.9 cents per pound, is up 2.0 cents from the previous month and 22.1 cents above last January. Compared with a year ago, prices are higher for cattle, hogs, calves, turkeys, and milk.

Putting it All Together
When you look at the increase of unemployment, loss of income and increase in real cost of living a bleak picture is coming into view. When you couple this with the ever growing national debt and consumer debt which reached $2.41 trillion in 2010, we have a lot of work to do to get this country back on track. A good note is that the consumer debt has dropped 6% since 2008. Granted, foreclosures, bankruptcies and charge off’s could have a role in this as the chart below shows bankruptcy filings increased during that same period. Another reason may well lie in the fact of increased unemployment and decreased income. Mix inflation with anxieties that accompany all of this happening at once and we are likely to use our credit cards less and, whenever possible pay them off.
(Click on image to see full siize)

More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows. That's up at least 17% since the recession began in December 2007. More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May 2010. There were also more than 4.4 million people are on welfare, an 18% increase during the recession.
Regardless of the name you give it- recession or depression, we are in a bit of trouble.  As previously sited there are many things in Washington causing job losses and stifling growth.  Congressman John J Duncan Jr. said “In 2005, a study by the Small Business Administration found that businesses spent approximately $1.1 trillion to comply with Federal Rules. Confirming that, another study in 2009 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute said Federal regulatory compliance had reached $1.2 trillion for businesses.”

Monday, February 21, 2011

Central Economic Planning at its Worst

Last week, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) presented its results
to the Financial Services Committee. As with most other politically-appointed
commissions, the results of the FCIC's investigation were easy to predict.
Established by the same congress that gave us national healthcare and with a
majority of its members appointed by those who seek to solve every problem with
more government intervention, it was no surprise that the commission's findings
would favor increased government intervention in the economy. Minority members
were not substantively involved in the commission's operations, and the
commission attempted to exclude their dissenting views by granting them very
limited space to do so.

Read the entire article by Ron Paul: Central Economic Planning at its Worst

Oklahoma Calls for a Constitutional Convention

House Concurrent Resolution 1001 calls for a constitutional convention to propose that federal expenditures during a fixed time period not exceed federal revenues or anticipated revenues during that time period; imposing prohibitions or limits on federal debt; or imposing limits on expenditures, revenue, and taxes.
Additionally, requiring that all bills, orders, votes, and resolutions introduced in and passed by Congress contain only a single subject and by providing a minimum time period before passage for bills, orders, votes and resolutions to be reviewed by members of Congress and members of the general public.
The resolution also calls to restrain the powers of the federal government by clarifying that the Constitution does not authorize Congress to employ its spending power to regulate activities otherwise outside its enumerated powers and prohibiting mandates or requirements on any state, subdivision of any state, or any official thereof, unless the federal government fully funds the cost of compliance.
Finally it moves to empower the state legislatures to repeal all or certain acts of Congress and administrative regulations.

Nation Debt Exceeds GDP

In 2010 annual real GDP was almost $13.249 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Our national debt is estimated to be at $14.125 trillion. In 2006 the total was $8.43 trillion, or an increase of 60% in that 4 year period. In 2007 the national debt was “only” 65% of GDP. Now it is over 100%..It is important to note that it is estimated that with unfunded liabilities such as social security and Medicare, the actual debt is in the range of $50+ trillion.

The past three years has seen an explosion in deficit spending that has tripled from $458.6 billion in 2006 to $1.41 trillion in 2009. This year is estimated to be $1.56 trillion deficit. Many government reports show deficit as a percentage of GDP, 7% in 1930 growing to over 40 % in 2009, with almost 8% in the years 2007 -2009 increase, the reported debt will be more than our GDP.

Most of us have some debt, a house, car or credit cards. We know that there are two main parts to this. The principal and the interest make up the amount that you have to pay on this debt. According to the interest payment in Jan 2011 alone was $21.123 billion. In FY 2010 the total spent on interest was $413.955 billion.  According to their figures, since 2000 we have spent $4.13 trillion in interest on the debt while the principal continues to grow.

 Now let us look at this way that will be a bit clearer. The government is said to have spent about $3.5 trillion last year and had a deficit of $1.5 trillion. It follows that the actual receipts of the federal government was $2 trillion. This means that the national debt is about 6 times its annual income based on 2010 numbers. If you add the unfunded debts the amount is in the 20-30 times of annual income. That would be equal to a family with an annual income of $150,000 owing from $900,000 (at 6 times income) to $4,500,000 (at 30 times income).  For annual spending it would be as if the family had $100,000 to spend but spent $175,000 each year. Clearly this cannot last without a collapse and bankruptcy.

With respect to the $4.12 trillion paid in interest in the past 10 years, who gets all of this money? The holders of the debt, just like your credit card banks, are the recipients of this money.  According to US Treasury figures as of October 2010, approximately 33% is held by foreign countries, or $4.31 trillion. The Federal Reserve has $1.1 trillion in US Treasuries. This surpasses even China who holds $896 billion and Japan holding $877 billion. This means that the fed is now the biggest single holder of US Treasuries. So who owns the Federal Reserve? That is tough to say because a Federal Reserve Bank is not a publicly traded corporation and is therefore not required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to publish a list of its major shareholders.

At the rate the government is spending money in deficit a prudent person would believe that we are on a track to collapse. With the knowledge of the debt and annual deficits one would think the government will be working hard to increase income through promotional policies of job growth.  However, according to a government report, the Federal Government produces an average of 4,000 final regulations each year with about 500–700 reviewed by the White House. Of those reviewed, between 45 and 75 have significant economic impacts. The Small Business Administration estimates that government regulations cost the economy $1.75 trillion per year, nearly double the amount of individual income taxes collected last year. The Heritage Foundation approximates that 43 rules released in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 will cost $28 billion annually—a record increase. In FY 2010 only five significant regulations reduced burdens and of those, only two reduced costs for a total savings of $1.5 billion. That is a $26.5 billion net increase in the cost of regulatory burdens in FY 2010. Without action, the cost and burden of regulations will continue to grow in 2011 as agencies further promulgate new rules related to energy, health care and financial services.

These increase costs through regulations, the highest corporate tax in the world and unending fees stifle economic growth in our country. As Tim Murphy put it. “If we want to bring back American jobs, we need to get serious and take action. Our chemical companies, factories, and manufacturing base have left for foreign countries. US steelmaking has declined in the last ten years while China’s has grown by over 350 percent in the same decade.”

The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.

It seems the policies are being made to cause a declination in US prosperity rather than growth. As jobs decline and commodities (oil, cotton, metals, corn, etc) increase in price are we on the way to a new depression? Imagine the riots that would break out in this country if that were to happen. It is time to be aware, informed and involved. It is time for we the people to take control once again by being active in watching the government’s actions and talking to your representatives. Encourage your local representatives (in your state) to restrain the out of control demolition of the federal government.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back to Basics – Know your Rights

 It is not surprising that a November 2010 Rasmussen Poll showed that many Americans believe government is operating outside the Constitution.
According to the poll, 44 percent of likely voters say that government has overstepped the Constitution, while 39 percent take the opposite view and 17 percent are uncertain.
Almost half - 48 percent - view the government as a threat to individual liberty and while most believe the Constitution is fine as it is, 39 percent would like to see more restrictions placed on the government by the Constitution.
Almost two-thirds of elected officials failed at basic civics test including first amendment rights and free market.  When a person is elected to a federal office they take an oath to defend and uphold the constitution yet few seem to know what it says.
In spring 2008, a random sample of Americans took a straightforward test designed to assess each respondent’s “knowledge of America’s founding principles and texts, core history, and enduring institutions”—ISI’s definition of civic literacy. Over 70% of Americans failed this basic test of the kind of knowledge required for informed and responsible citizenship.
If you are not aware of your rights and the limitations on government, how will you know when your rights are violated? As James Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy said “To blindly trust government is to automatically vest it with excessive power. To distrust government is simply to trust humanity - to trust in the ability of average people to peacefully, productively coexist without some official policing their every move. The State is merely another human institution - less creative than Microsoft, less reliable than Federal Express, less responsible than the average farmer husbanding his land, and less prudent than the average citizen spending his own paycheck.”
We are very blessed to be born in this country. This is not an attack on the nation but rather a call to everyone to be aware of the actions of the federal, state and local government. If you believe it does not affect you, you are mistaken.  Laws that govern you, taxes and fees you pay and the impositions on liberty come from governments all too often.  That is what this is about- Liberty. "But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.  It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government." -- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
The federal government and state governments, like here in Oklahoma, have web sites that publish the text of bills from the time they are introduced until they are passed or fail. You can also read the summaries of bills, journals of the proceedings and more. There are also websites by your representatives and local town councils. It is easy to contact the elected officials and via the web and email and even in meetings and by phone, to stay abreast of changes in the laws and the direction of the country. As little as an hour or two each week will enlighten a person a great deal about what the governing bodies that serve you are up to. If you own or even mange a business, you are likely to spend a great deal of time following the actions of the employees. The same should be true of the average citizen of our great nation in following our public servants.
One of the most basic steps is to read and learn the US Constitution. A transcription of the Bill of Rights can also be found at along with many other founding documents. The Bill of Rights enumerates your freedoms, that is, lists them and tells the government they cannot infringe upon them. The Constitution describes the functions and limits of government of the United States. The first step is to fully understand your rights. I would also suggest becoming aware of the US Code. The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 50 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 1926, the United States Code has been published every six years. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information.
The Oklahoma Constitution and State Statutes are also available online. These help Oklahomans in becoming aware of the local laws, rights and limitations on government.  Most counties and towns have similar sites with related materials. For these most local governments it is east to join in the city council meetings as well as boards of education. This will also keep you informed and allow you to directly participate in this nation’s government.
Voting alone has not stopped people of selfish intent from getting into positions of power. We must know who the person is. Watching a 30 – 60 second ad on television will not give you the truth, as we know. “Voting is no substitute for the eternal vigilance that every friend of freedom must demonstrate towards government.   If our freedom is to survive, Americans must become far better informed of the dangers from Washington -- regardless of who wins the Presidency." -- James Bovard in Voting is Overrated 
This blog attempts to keep you informed with links to the bills and news sources for articles and other blogs. There is only so much one can do. But as thousands of us do this, more people will be able to become and remain informed. Sites like the Drudge Report and Infowars also post a host of news items and editorials with source links so you can judge for yourself rather than being driven to a conclusion.  There are many more sources as well.
According to Rasmussen Reports, only 28% of voters believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed.  Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters think America would be a safer place with less spending on the military and more money put into securing the borders. The debate rages as it has for decades whether there really is a constitutionally mandated separation of church and state, but 65% of American Adults favor prayer in public schools.  And 64 % of likely U.S. Voters say the country is heading in the wrong direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, February 13.
If we are heading the wrong direction it is time to take control and move this country in the right direction- towards liberty which brings prosperity.  Back to the limited government and founding principles that allowed this great nation to become the bastion of liberty it once was. Getting informed and getting involved will put you back in the driver’s seat and make the public servants serve the public instead of the other way around.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mexican Troops Conduct Vehicle Search On U.S. Soil

Examination without Consent

Examination without Consent
SENATE BILL 69 has been referred to committee. The bill states that if a health professional suspects physical or mental abuse or neglect they can examine the child without consent of parent or guardian.  Now they will not only be able to call authorities if suspected abuse or neglect is found in the eyes of health care professional, but an examination may take place without your knowledge prior to the examination.

Mandatory Sentence Reductions

Mandatory Sentence Reductions
SB326 reduces the mandatory sentence percentage from 85% to 65% of the sentence. The offences include:
1.  First degree murder as defined in Section 701.7 of this title;
2.  Second degree murder as defined by Section 701.8 of this title;
3.  Manslaughter in the first degree as defined by Section 711 of this title;
4.  Poisoning with intent to kill as defined by Section 651 of this title;
5.  Shooting with intent to kill, use of a vehicle to facilitate use of a firearm, crossbow or other weapon, assault, battery, or assault and battery with a deadly weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm, as provided for in Section 652 of this title;
6.  Assault with intent to kill as provided for in Section 653 of this title;
7.  Conjoint robbery as defined by Section 800 of this title;
8.  Robbery with a dangerous weapon as defined in Section 801 of this title;
9.  First degree robbery as defined in Section 797 of this title;
10.  First degree rape as provided for in Section 1115 of this title;
11.  First degree arson as defined in Section 1401 of this title;
12.  First degree burglary as provided for in Section 1436 of this title;
13.  Bombing as defined in Section 1767.1 of this title;
14.  Any crime against a child provided for in Section 843.5 of this title;
15.  Forcible sodomy as defined in Section 888 of this title;
16.  Child pornography as defined in Section 1021.2, 1021.3 or 1024.1 of this title;
17.  Child prostitution as defined in Section 1030 of this title;
18.  Lewd molestation of a child as defined in Section 1123 of this title;
            19.  Abuse of a vulnerable adult as defined in Section 10-103 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes who is a resident of a nursing facility;
 Therefore, if a person is sentenced to 5 years, they would have to serve 3 ¼ years rather than the 4 ¼ years they would have to serve in prison at this point. This would only affect those sentenced after the law is passed, if that happens. This bill has been referred to Public Safety Committee then to Appropriations Committee.

Oklahoma Bottle Recycling Act

Oklahoma Bottle Recycling Act
SENATE BILL 140 called “Oklahoma Bottle Recycling Act” establishes a refund of not less than $.05 on each beverage container. These containers must be clean, unbroken and empty.  No minor may return a bottle which was used for alcoholic beverage.  As noted in the bill “The Legislature hereby finds that beverage containers are a major source of nondegradable litter in this state and that the collection and disposal of this litter and solid waste constitutes a great financial burden for the citizens of this state; that, in addition to this unnecessary expenditure of tax dollars, such litter unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life and property by our citizens; and that the practice of littering is not compatible with previously adopted policies of the state in regard to proper use and protection of our natural resources.”  This law would create incentives for the manufacturers, distributors, dealers and consumers of beverage containers to reuse or recycle beverage containers, thereby removing the blight on the landscape caused by the illegal disposal of these containers and reducing the costs of litter collection and disposal.
Additionally any beverage in a beverage container sold or offered for sale in this state shall be in a returnable beverage container. Participating dealers would also have to place signs advising consumers of the amount of deposit (and therefore your refund) and locations of redemption centers.  The deposit would vary based on the size of the container.
With the amount of litter found in the state and the fact you may return them for money this is a great idea, in my opinion. When I was a child my brother and I collected bottles from lakes, roadsides etc and returned them for cash.  I hope you will support this bill and let your representatives know that you do!

Abolition of common-law marriage

Abolition of common-law marriage
SENATE BILL 148 will abolish the practice of common-law marriage in the state of Oklahoma, regardless of the state in which the common-law marriage was deemed. This will only affect future unions and not those that were recognized by law prior to the enactment of this law.
 Basically this means that living together over time will no longer be seen as a legal marriage in Oklahoma.  This bill has been referred to committee.

Civics Curriculum

Civics Curriculum
SENATE BILL 358 states that beginning 2012 – 2013 school year all 6th – 8th grade students must show proficiency in at least one semester of civics instruction. This means a 70% or higher score.
This course shall include instruction
1.  The roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments;
2.  The structures and functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; and
3.  The meaning and significance of historic documents, including but not limited to the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution.
I must be old because when I was in school we were taught this stuff. It is important as a citizen to know the functions and limitations of government in order to avoid a loss of liberty. Frankly, I believe logic should also be a mandatory course.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Workers Comp Drug Testing

HB 1054 as introduced reads in part ”The treating physician shall test the injured employee for the use or consumption of any substance provided for in Section 465.20 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and the results of the test shall be included in the report supplied to the employer.” According to Section 465.20 of Title 63;
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person deliberately to smell, inhale, breathe, drink or otherwise consume any compound, liquid, chemical, controlled dangerous substance, prescription drugs or any other substance or chemical containing any ketones, aldehydes, organic acetones, ether, chlorinated hydrocarbons or metallic powders, such as gasoline, glue, fingernail polish, adhesive cement, mucilage, dope, paint dispensed from pressurized containers or any other substance or combination thereof containing solvents releasing toxic vapors, with the intent to cause conditions of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, elation, stupefaction, paralysis, irrationality, dulling of the brain or nervous system, or any other changing, distorting or disturbing of the eyesight, thinking processes, judgment, balance or coordination of such person.
(b) The provisions of this statute shall not pertain to any person who inhales, breathes, drinks or otherwise consumes such material or substance pursuant to the direction or prescription of any licensed doctor, physician, surgeon, dentist or podiatrist; nor to the consumption of intoxicating liquor.
Bill link

Unemployemnt Requirement Change

As introduced, HOUSE BILL 1043 requires the unemployed individual to perform at least twenty (20) hours of community service each month without compensation to be eligible for unemployment benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 119,926 unemployed persons in Oklahoma as of December 2010 (6.9%). This would equal 599,630 hours of community service per week.

Bill Link


 This is a short one so I will post it all. I wonder what happened to cause this law to be written.

Any person who willfully delays or obstructs a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel in the performance of official duties by using any animal, fowl, reptile or insect, wild or tame, to interfere, restrict or prevent access by a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel to any dwelling, structure, building or vehicle where a criminal offense is being committed or attempted shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than five (5) years, or by a fine in an amount not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.     

Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act

 HB1291 “Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act”, restates articles 2, 9, and 10 of the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 26, of the Oklahoma Constitution as a basis for the law. It reads in part “A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Oklahoma and that remains within the borders of Oklahoma is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.  It is declared by the Legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.  This section applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured in Oklahoma from basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state.  Generic and insignificant parts that have other manufacturing or consumer product applications are not firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition, and their importation into Oklahoma and incorporation into a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Oklahoma does not subject the firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition to federal regulation.  It is declared by the Legislature that basic materials, such as unmachined steel and unshaped wood, are not firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition and are not subject to congressional authority to regulate firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition under interstate commerce as if they were actually firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition.  The authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials does not include authority to regulate firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition made in Oklahoma from those materials.  Firearm accessories that are imported into Oklahoma from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in Oklahoma.”
Certain restrictions apply such as those firearms that require more than one person to operate, those with a bore in excess of 1 ½ inches, those using smokeless powder and ammunition that explodes using chemicals after the projectile has left the firearm. Additionally, this will only apply to those items manufactured and retained in Oklahoma after November 1, 2011. Firearms and accessories being regulated prior to this date will still be subject to federal regulation. Items to be covered must also have a “Made in Oklahoma” stamp on a central metallic part. This is also not the first attempt at such a law.
It is also important to note that the majority of related items bought and sold in this state are not manufactured here. But according to Representative Jay Paul Gumm the state has been working diligently to attract firearms manufacturers to Oklahoma. There are a few at this time. Until more are manufactured in Oklahoma, this may be largely ceremonial if passed.
Bill Link

Mixed Signals

 According to ABC News Radio, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will call for a free and open internet. A top aide to Clinton says she will “reaffirm U.S. support for a free and open Internet and underscore the importance of safeguarding liberty and security, transparency and confidentiality, and freedom of expression and tolerance.”  Clinton's address will follow a similar speech last year, and comes just days after Egypt and other countries have tried to manipulate Internet access.
 At the same time bill S 3480 is proposing an internet kill switch that would allow the government to cut access to the web. The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  The bill — called “The Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset Act of 2010” S.3480 — was approved by a Senate panel. The bill would create a new government agency called the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications.  The NCCC would have the power to control the Internet, with  the ability to shut down the web for a 30-day period.  According to CNN, at least 60% of Americans get their daily news fix from the Internet. That means this affects most of us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State
The 1st amendment of the US Constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What does “congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion” mean? Quite literally this means there will be no Church of the United States in the vein of The Church of England.  During the colonial era the Church of England was established as the church or religious institution of England. In other words the federal government cannot set up a federal church or tell you what to believe or how to worship, if at all.

As mentioned the fact that congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of a religion simply means the federal government cannot dictate your religious beliefs or that way you say or show them.  Interestingly the next item in this amendment tells congress they cannot abridge our freedom of speech. 

We have all heard presidents call the nation to pray or remember in our prayers someone or something that is going on. President Obama asked us to keep congresswoman Giffords in our prayers. President Lincoln decided to “designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion. “
The founding fathers did not intend to preclude a person’s religious ideals from their service to the country. As a matter of fact John Adams and John Hancock stated: “We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!” [April 18, 1775]  John Adams also stated “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

Benjamin Franklin said God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 |

Patrick Henry stated that “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]

Thomas Jefferson himself stated "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

Does this sound like  people who wanted to have us hide our beliefs while in a government run building or institution? As Patrick Henry stated in his speech noted above “For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” They were not afraid to declare their beliefs or to deny others, even those with differing views, the right to adhere to the principles of their personal beliefs. Indeed you have the right to not believe in a god, to worship yourself, others, animals or the earth itself. And I have the right to worship Jesus Christ and show this by reading a bible in a public or government building including schools!

Deception at the Fed

Deception at the Fed
An intersting article by Ron Paul

Debt now equals total U.S. economy

Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
February 14, 2011
President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equaling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly $21 trillion in five years’ time.
Amid the other staggering numbers in the budget Mr. Obama sent to Congress on Monday, the debt stands out — both because Congress will need to vote to raise the debt limit later this year, and because the numbers are so large.
Mr. Obama‘s budget said 2011 will see the biggest one-year jump in debt in history, or nearly $2 trillion in a single year. And the administration says it will reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, to reach 102.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — the first time since World War II that dubious figure has been reached.
link to story

Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act

House Bill 1001 introduced on 02/07/2011 is called “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act”.  This bill states in part;
A school district shall treat the voluntary expression by a student of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the district treats the voluntary expression by a student of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint, if any, expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject
The policy regarding the limited public forum shall also require the school district to:
1.  Provide the forum in a manner that does not discriminate against the voluntary expression by a student of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject;
2.  Provide a method, based on neutral criteria, for the selection of student speakers at school events and graduation ceremonies;
          3.  Ensure that a student speaker does not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech or speech promoting illegal drug use;

  Before you say this is in violation of the separation of church and state keep in mind the U.S. Constitution states in the 1st Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” This is keeping in line with a free exercise of one’s religious beliefs.  Section I – 2 of the Oklahoma constitution states  Perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and no inhabitant of the State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; and no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.“

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

 HB 1067 is like 1063 in some respects, with reagrds to mandatory drug testing required to receive assistance.
 House Bill 1067 introduced 02/07/2011 relates to minimum mandatory requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
It reads in part:
A person applying for or receiving assistance pursuant to the TANF program shall be tested for illegal drugs through a program established by the Department of Human Services.  A person refusing to submit to the drug test, or having a confirmed positive drug test, shall not be eligible to receive assistance. 
 There are also instructions related to the lifetime length of benefits, work and vocational technical programs, number of children covered, assets and states a recipient must comply with immunization requirements established pursuant to the TANF program.
Read the full bill

Drug screening for applicants for state-provided assistance

Introduced HB 1083 is requiring drug screening for applicants for state-provided assistance.

Upon application for any state-provided assistance, applicants, including spouses and any dependants, shall submit to a urine screening for the use of illicit drugs, to be performed by the state agency administering the state-provided assistance.  The agency performing the drug screening shall pay for each test but shall deduct the cost of the drug screening from the first payment to applicants whose screening does not indicate substance abuse. 
If the applicant fails to provide a sample while receiving benefits, the benefits shall cease and applicant shall be ineligible to receive benefits for one (1) year from the date of the failure. Each recipient of state-provided benefits shall be required to submit to a urine drug screening every one hundred eighty (180) days.  Each recipient shall have a grace period of fourteen (14) days beyond the one hundred eighty (180) days within which to comply with the requirements of this section.  Any recipient failing to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be ineligible for further benefits until the recipient complies. Any urine specimen testing positive for an illicit substance shall result in the ineligibility of the applicant or recipient for all state services and shall include all family members, including parents, siblings, or dependents residing within the household. 
This states that everyone in the household will be tested. It also states that is anyone under the age of 12 fails the parents or guardians will be reported to DHS. However, no individual shall be subject to criminal prosecution for failing to provide a urine specimen free from illicit substances.  In other words, if a person 12 or older fails the test you will not be prosecuted.

Oklahoma's 53rd Legislature

 The 53rd Legislature has introduced 1219 bills. The senate introduced 1019 bills. These can be reviewed here:
Read the Oklahoma Constitution here:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fair Tax Act of 2011

Latest Title: Fair Tax Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Woodall, Rob [GA-7] (introduced 1/5/2011) Cosponsors (54)
Latest Major Action: 1/5/2011 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Fair Tax Act of 2011 - Repeals the income tax, employment tax, and estate and gift tax. Redesignates the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as the Internal Revenue Code of 2011.
Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23% in 2013, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions.
Sets forth rules relating to: (1) the collection and remittance of the sales tax, and (2) credits and refunds. Allows a monthly sales tax rebate for families meeting certain size and income requirements.
Grants states the primary authority for the collection of sales tax revenues and the remittance of such revenues to the Treasury. Sets forth administrative provisions relating to: (1) the filing of monthly reports and payments of tax, (2) accounting methods, (3) registration of sellers of goods and services responsible for reporting sales, (4) penalties for noncompliance, and (5) collections, appeals, and taxpayer rights.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to allocate sales tax revenues among: (1) the general revenue, (2) the old-age and survivors insurance trust fund, (3) the disability insurance trust fund, (4) the hospital insurance trust fund, and (5) the federal supplementary medical insurance trust fund.
Prohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2015. Establishes in the Department of the Treasury: (1) an Excise Tax Bureau to administer excise taxes not administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and (2) a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax.
Terminates the sales tax imposed by this Act if the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this Act.

Let your represntatives know what you think now!