Fund Education End Ignorance

Climate-Change-Denier-in-Chief Donald Trump – who Friday extended federal flood insurance plans to cover his low-lying, forced-to-evacuate Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and who wanted a sea wall to protect Irish properties threatened by rising global oceans – has chosen another apostle of ignorance to lead NASA.

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine falsely claimed in 2013 that “Global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago,” according to a Newsweek article, which notes that Bridenstine’s nomination falls into line with “Chair of the House Science Committee Bob Walker (who) has advocated for Trump to stop NASA’s climate change studies.”
NASA’s satellites have served as constant monitors and recorders of the changing conditions on the planet. NASA even (gasp) publishes  the results that make liars of all the climate-change deniers.

As we might expect, Bridenstine was immediately endorsed by fellow Oklahoman Sen. Jim Inhofe, who once brought a snowball into the U.S. Senate chamber in February as proof that the planet is not warming.

If approved, Bridenstine would join EPA Director Scott Pruitt, another Oklahoman, as a key player in establishing 19th century science as the working model to push 21st century America toward Third World status and maximize profits for the big polluters.
That’s a lot of ignorance representing one state. One might ponder the connection between this sorry state of affairs and the equally sorry state of education funding in Oklahoma.

“For four years running, the state has led the nation in tax cuts to education, outpacing second-place Alabama by double digits. Years of tax cuts and budget shortfalls mean that Oklahoma has fallen to 49th in teacher pay. Spending per pupil has dropped by 26.9% since 2008,” according to Russell Cobb, writing for The Guardian last week.

He is impolite enough to mention the Tulsa teacher captured for national TV panhandling for class supply funds on the side the road and the teacher exodus toward better salaries in other jobs or out of state.

Then, Cobb cites the report by Emory Bryan report on Tulsa’s Channel 6 from January of this year:

”In Oklahoma, a teacher with a Bachelors degree and 13 years experience, or a Masters and 11 years experience, can expect to make the same as someone with a high school diploma and no experience starting work at QuikTrip Corporation. At least for six months, until the QT employee gets a pay raise.”

Oklahoma’s Republican-dominated Legislature will reconvene Sept. 25 to tackle budget problems it ignored last spring. I’d say they’d be getting back to work – at a cost of about $30,000 a day – but debauchery seemed to be the main order of business for a lot of them last time.

Legislators need to fix the budget shortfall and then put the needs of students and their dedicated, under-funded teachers ahead of feathering the biggest nests in the state. Without a decent educational system, we will continue to turn out the likes of Bridenstine, Pruitt and Inhofe – uninformed and uneducable pawns of rapacious industries.

Or is that the electorate the Republicans want?

(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)

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Rev. T Sheri Dickerson, Oct 13, 2017. Comanche County Democratic Party’s Fall Banquet

Sheri.Dickerson_OK-Gazette-Dec.-photo (1)We are honored to bring Rev. T. Sheri Amore Dickerson to the Annual Banquet for the Comanche County Democratic Party. October 13th, 2017. Building 700. Room 701. Lawton, OK.

Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson is a Native of Oklahoma. A proud graduate of Millwood HS, home of The Mighty Mighty Falcons! She is the tree trunk advocate to her two amazing branches, Epiphany & Isaiah Dickerson, but they just refer to her as “Mama”.

Rev. Dickerson is the founder and Ex. Dir. of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, and President of the OKC BLM chapter. Rev. Dickerson currently serves as one of the ODP Affirmative Action Representatives. She also serves on several civic and community advocacy board of directors. Some of those include OKC MLK Coalition, OKC PRIDE, The Diversity Center of OK,  and she serves as Board Secretary of the Nat’l Association of Black Social Workers. She also was recently appointed to the OCRJ (Oklahoma coalition for reproductive justice) board and is a founding member and Advisory Executive Board member of the OKC chapter of NOW (National Organization

Rev. Dickerson is the founder and Ex. Dir. of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma, and President of the OKC BLM chapter. Rev. Dickerson currently serves as one of the ODP Affirmative Action Representatives. She also serves on several civic and community advocacy board of directors. Some of those include OKC MLK Coalition, OKC PRIDE, The Diversity Center of OK,  and she serves as Board Secretary of the Nat’l Association of Black Social Workers. She also was recently appointed to the OCRJ (Oklahoma coalition for reproductive justice) board and is a founding member and Advisory Executive Board member of the OKC chapter of NOW (National Organization of Women). She’s a certified holistic Doula and midwife, and part of the collaborative Birth Workers for Women of Color. She celebrates her love of the Arts as a member of the IAO poetry committee, and the Dramatic Flair’s actors troupe. She’s a published

T.-Sheri-1She’s a certified holistic Doula and midwife, and part of the collaborative Birth Workers for Women of Color. She celebrates her love of the Arts as a member of the IAO poetry committee, and the Dramatic Flair’s actors troupe. She’s a published poet and has traveled abroad performing her original works, and afro-latina narratives. Sheri is an extension of her village of powerful  Women mentors and activist Icons. She sat under the direct tutelage of the late Dr. Maya Angelou and the Legendary Clara Luper whom she just knew as Aunt Clara who makes us do a lot of stuff!  \ She works with several youth-mentoring programs Girl Scouts of America, Bridging the Gaps, and Big Sister Inc. Rev Dickerson is a volunteer with the YWCA in their stomping out Racism campaign, CASA, and One Child at a Time Fostering & Adoption program.


She is a graduate of Lemoyne Owen College and NOVA theological Seminary. Her passions include activism against all forms of injustice,  community organizing,  spending time learning and listening to her favorite Queens: Granny & Meemaw,  and all things Purple. She always stresses to her friends,

Her passions include activism against all forms of injustice,  community organizing,  spending time learning and listening to her favorite Queens: Granny & Meemaw,  and all things Purple. She always stresses to her friends, colleagues, and allies, she is simply Sheri or Taz (and Shea-Shea if you’re circa 1982 or before) And just wants to positively help elevate society to its most optimum level of humanity. LOVE is Sheri’s foundational core and daily mission.

This is a Fundraiser for the Comanche County Democratic Party

With a donation of 30 dollars to the Comanche County Democrats, you will receive a ticket to the banquet which will include a wonderful catered meal. Also, this year we will be raffling a 32in flat screen TV. Yes, you get a chance to win a TV. Along with this, a musical artist soon to be announced will be there and a silent auction will be set up.

If you have an item that you would like to donate to the silent auction, please, bring the item to the office at 610 SW Lee Blvd. Lawton, Ok.

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Striking a Deal with Democrats

Striking a deal with Democrats? How’s that work? They are of course the minority party in congress these days. And what does making a deal with the devil and Daniel Webster get the guy with the projectile eyebrows? Not much favor from the ruling party I would glean. But the Democrats would seem to be the winners in this deal, with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell sucking hind you know what.

And of course, such a deal doesn’t help Paul Ryan keep his leadership position as there are already stirrings amidst his henchpeople at discord among the daisies. Could there be a rebellion brewing on capitol hill? The freedom caucus is eyeing taking away Paul’s seat as Speaker. Easier said than done of course but as long as there is dissension among the ranks of rank conservatives anything is possible.

Meanwhile back in the jungle that these days pass for the West Wing of the Whitehouse the discord among the once faithful followers of the guy with the projectile eyebrows is also in total disarray. But anyone can figure that one out. Kelly the General now in charge is having a definite effect upon the minions and there is likely to be more heads rolling about before he is through.

But a cleansing of the alt-right wing in the West Wing may not be enough to save this presidency or the guy with the projectile eyebrows and making deals with the oft tweeted hated Democrats can’t work well for anyone saves the off tweeted hated Democrats.

Cozying up to Schumer and Pelosi won’t necessarily get him love from his base either. Although it would appear that his base is so debased as to not care one way or the other. He hasn’t kept a single promise to them yet and still, they offer undying love to the guy with the projectile eyebrows. Come go down the rabbit hole with Alice and the Mad Hatter. After all, it’s not about doing anything for his base it’s all about Eve, or the guy with the projectile eyebrows!

Bob Bearden

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DACA and What does “Illegal” Mean?

Ever wonder what the word “illegal” actually means? Try substituting the word “Invisible” and you will begin to understand a few of today’s labor issues. There are bosses out there that want invisible labor. Invisible: concealed from public view.

Invisible means you can work them and pay close to nothing, pay no employment tax, provide no safe working standards, pay no work comp, and save on all other things you have to give US workers. On top of these benefits invisibles bring to the work site, illegal employers do not have to hire US workers. The instant you make “illegal” workers visible you make history by making employers of “illegal” workers accountable.

I’m not only one saying this. Here’s what James Hirby, Tulane University Law School, says:

“Illegal immigration doesn’t exist in a vacuum. A company that doesn’t want to pay taxes on its workers’ pay, doesn’t want to pay them the minimum wage, and thinks it can avoid U.S. labor laws will hire illegal immigrants to try to cut costs and get a leg up on its competitors. They do so because the illegal immigrants are willing to work for this low amount and, arguably, because official policies don’t do enough to curtail illegals or provide a means for illegal immigrants to become legal. It is a complicated situation that resists easy slogans for people actually trying to understand the problem.”  Law Dictionary: How Does Illegal Immigration Hurt The Economy?

At some point in the future we will have to address illegal employers but for the time being we are not.

The Executive Order?

5 Facts to Know About President Obama’s Immigration Announcement from Center for American Progress:
1. President Obama had the legal authority to act.
2. Executive action brought economic benefits to states and the nation and give immigrants the opportunity to take care of themselves.
3. Immigrants paid fines in order to apply to this program, which covered administrative costs.
4. Status was not automatic; there will be an application process.
5. This was a first step but not a permanent solution.

President Obama didn’t grant citizenship, add 5 million new voters, give out heath care, hand out food stamps, or any of the weird stuff we are hearing. In essence, invisible workers were to become visible– employers were to get legit. This would have kept exploitation down some and encouraged hiring of US workers.

If you read on about the plan, not only was the President not giving non-citizens citizenship; folks had to pass a background check,  had to have a child that’s a U.S. citizen, and this was only good for 3 years…at a time.

Costs of this?

Approved applicants would receive permission to stay for three years. The administration estimated as many as 4.1 million people could fit the criteria, . The application cost $465. Somebody check my math. I come out with 1,860,000,000 US Dollars. This coming in every 3 years would definitely help with the cost of aspects of the immigrant issue. Like border enforcement costs $18 billion a year, more than all other federal criminal-law-enforcement agencies combined. (Costs of border enforcement would be a bit less than $18 Billion per year–down to maybe half cost of enforcement that exists now)

So, 9 billion dollars minus the application cost equals good money management. This, $465 X 4 million people, would go a long way.

After the application and with qualifications met what will be the boost to the economy? I’m thinking more tax payers. Add those new tax payer dollars to what these 4 million folks already pay just going to buy groceries. WOW. We’re taking about some serious cash.
All this with no extra spending from Congress. This is how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

If we were not paying attention to the News during the last administration, we might be thinking that President Obama was getting soft on the issue, nothing would be further from reality–Obama was the deportation President. I saw this order strengthening his strict enforcement of border laws by focusing funds on needed measures. It was even set up to pay for itself.

So, what does the word “illegal” mean?

It might have something to do with dehumanization which points a finger at just one part of a problem while at the same time hiding what is really going on. It might have something to do with US Companies avoiding the laws of the land and getting away with exploitation which does no good for the country wherever it exists. Then again, the word “illegal” may be merely an easy to say nationalistic word meaning nothing except that somebody can say it while not having to think about the meaning or the issue at all. It might mean that we, like Congress, are still unwilling to confront the problem.

Terry Gresham

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Inanities Not Insanely Funny

Yeah, I’m an old coot. But, I like to think I still have a sense of humor.

That’s why what passes for sports talk radio proves unlistenable about half the time. And, though it’s out of my genre right now, the problem seems prevalent as well on morning zoo programs on rock stations.

Groups of young people (though old enough to know better) – mostly guys on the sports stations, a few gals joining the rockers – sit around the studio and laugh for no good reason.

Just listening to their laugh track, you’d think them hilarious. But, pay attention to what they’re saying: nothing even smile-worthy.

With the sports stations, it’s particularly frustrating since I’d like to hear some actual sports discussions. Of course, once you do, you realize how ill-prepared the happiness crew is.

Some consider it a sign of virtue to be unaware, if not disdainful, of anything that happened prior to their blessed births brought enlightenment to the world. That’s certainly the easier approach than actually studying their subject.

So, they exchange inanities and 8th grade potty jokes and laugh and laugh and laugh.

They should take their shtick to a comedy club and find out how unfunny they are.

            Programming puzzlement

I hope someone someday will explain the financing of OETA, which provides Public Broadcasting System programming for the state.

Its fund-raising consists of blatant infomercials for health. wealth and mind healers of all stripes plus regular doses of decade-based music specials that look pretty much like the overnight offerings of desperate independent broadcasters.

Barely above these shows are such timely concerts as The Highway Men from 1990 and Roy Orbison in black-and-white from 1987. This summer they featured a 1981 Journey concert.

It makes me uncomfortable to be checking to see whom I can recognize while making a tally of the musicians who are still alive

While most of the festival infomercials have no relation to regular OETA programing, one staple still persists.

I grew up watching Lawrence Welk. But, I grew up in the days of one TV in the living room, with the parents in full control. We Boomers watched under duress as the least cool collection of performers in America routinely drained every bit of pizzazz from the hits of the day.

How many folks are left from The Greatest Generation to keep reruns of The Champagne Music Makers on the air?

I’d ask, “What’s Going On?” But Marvin Gaye posed that question 46 years ago.




(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)


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A Solar Eclipse Gives  Birth to Modern Science

Two minutes of the crowd’s “Wows” and lingering, echoed awe. Who would believe a black sun if not witnessed in person? You can make it what you will – from fantasy to science – but you can’t dim our wonder.

Four friends and I witnessed the Great American Solar Eclipse with several thousand other pilgrims in Stapleton, Nebraska, last week. Funny how such an event can build instant unity in a community.

I like solar eclipses. A partial eclipse in Huntsville, Texas, 30-plus years ago is memorable for the sun arcs on the sidewalk and along the wooden fence outside my apartment – just like those that occurred here.

Eclipses are important for another reason, too. An eclipse predicted by Thales of Miletus,  that has been back-dated to May 28, 585 B.C., marks the starting date for Greek philosophy – the onset of scientific thinking in the West.

According to James H. Breasted in The Conquest of Civilization, as recounted by Milton C. Nahm in Selections from  Early Greek Philosophy, Thales’  predictions was: “’probably the most fundamentally important step ever taken’ in human thinking because he interprets the prediction as Thales’ proclamation that the movement of the ‘heavenly bodies were in accordance with fixed law….The gods were thus banished from control of the sky-world where the eagle of Zeus had once ruled.’”

Picking up on the significance of Thales’ prediction from W. T. Jones in the first volume of his History or Western Philosophy, we read: “It is almost impossible to exaggerate the long-range importance of this shift in point of view….As long as the causes of events were attributed to the will of the gods, a science of meteorology, for instance, was impossible….

“With Thales we reach an altogether different level of explanation, one from which an advance in natural knowledge is possible. From now on, there are indeed theories – public assertions, not private fantasies. That is, there are statements about the world that are open to criticism, revision or rejection on the basis of their internal consistency and the empirical evidence.”

Unfortunately, today, we are faced with Oklahoma’s own Scott Pruitt and too many others who embrace scientific knowledge for profit while denying scientific results that threaten their nickels.

The Seven Sages of ancient Greece includes about a dozen people from various lists. But, all of the lists begin with Thales.

Among the various stories attached to Thales over the centuries include his ability to determine the height of the Great Pyramid by establishing the time of day when his shadow was the same height as he was.

My favorite Thales story is also applicable to my recent outing, which included some time in the Black Hills. He was said to be walking along one night admiring the stars when he stumbled on uneven ground and took a tumble or maybe fell into a well – much to the delight of a passing milkmaid.

I call this situation Thales’ Dilemma, and it is a constant concern for a hiker such as I to secure secure footing while appreciating the beauty around me.



(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair)


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Comanche County Democratic Party September 2017

Schedule for Comanche County Democrats September 2017.

September 1, 2017.  Cornbread and Beans Lunch, Friday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. This monthly gathering is held at our party headquarters at 610A SW Lee Blvd., Lawton.  Hungry Democrats, are welcomed to attend and eat in good company! If you are willing and able to share, bring a little something. If you have nothing to share, show up anyway because there will always be plenty! This meeting occurs the first Friday of each month and is free and open to the public.

Sept 12. 2017. City Council Election. Folks in Lawton go to the polls to elect City Council members in Ward 8, 7, and 6. We have three Democrats in the race: Jo Peters, V, Gay Mcgahee, and Onreka Givens-Johnson.  (Jo Peters has left a few Campaign posters in the office. Come get them while they last. Call to make sure we still have some)

Sept 18, 2017. Meet of the Comanche County Democrats
We are proud to present the first in our series of presenting to Comanche County the Gubernatorial Candidates for 2018.

Drew Edmondson, candidate for Governor of Oklahoma, will be speaking at the September Meeting of the Comanche County Democrats. ROOM CHANGE: Auditorium not available. Meeting will be held in BUILDING 700. Room 701.
.Drew’s values are rooted in his Oklahoma upbringing. The second son of June and Congressman Ed Edmondson and the nephew of former Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson, Drew learned the value of true public service early. Upon graduation from Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Drew enlisted in the United States Navy, served a tour of duty in Vietnam, and earned several prestigious service medals.
After the war, Drew’s first job was as a speech and debate teacher at Muskogee Central High School. He was elected to the state legislature in 1974, and he graduated from the University of Tulsa School of Law in 1978. He was named Chief Prosecutor for the Muskogee County District Attorney’s office in 1982. He was elected District Attorney that same year and served in that position for 10 years.
In 1994, Drew was elected Oklahoma Attorney General and served 16 years. Looking back on his four terms in office as Attorney General, a few of Drew’s accomplishments include the following:
Taking on Big Tobacco as one of eight Attorneys General to negotiate a record-breaking settlement agreement with the country’s largest tobacco companies. He led the charge to establish the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which constitutionally protected the settlement money received by Oklahoma and ensured that it can only be spent on public health. To date, the Tobacco Trust balance stands at more than $1 billion.
Protecting and preserving Oklahoma’s natural resources by standing up to corporate polluters in the Illinois River Watershed.
Putting more than $12 million in technology and training into Oklahoma public schools through the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust.
On this same night, we will hear from David Decree, Chair of the Comanche County Young Democrats, on the future of the Young Democrats of Comanche County.
Sept 19. This will be the second meeting of the Social Justice Action Committee. Our last meeting was not very meeting-like because we were lucky enough to have Connie Johnson come visit and tell us about caucuses, and then we all had questions for her.
This time will be all about us making plans for future actions. For instance, I like the idea that Connie and Jacobi talked about–having voting parties or get-togethers where we can all go over the ballot and vote that evening if we want. I love the idea of being able to have a conversation about what’s on the ballot before filling it out.
But that is only one idea. The meeting is for discussion and planning. An open mic begins immediately afterwards, so if you just have something to say, you can say it.

Sept. 25, 2017, 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Democrats Care. This is a discussion group about issues that are hot topics among local Democrats. Phil Jones is the moderator. The group meets on the fourth Monday of each month at our party headquarters, 610 A SW Lee Blvd., Lawton, OK. This meeting is free and open to the public.
October 13th, Fall Banquet.
This year our Fall banquet will be in Building 700, room 701 of the Great Plains Technology Center. Our guest speaker will be Rev. T. Sheri Amore Dickerson, Oklahoma Affirmative Action Member, OKC Indivisible leader, and OK Black Lives Matter-Oklahoma Executive director and co-founder.

I might add that it is a great honor serving as Chair of such a fine organization. Remember, where we all do a little, we end up doing a lot.

Terry Gresham


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