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Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:54 PM PST

Dan Snyder, this is how it's done

by peacearena

Tonight, the Oklahoma County City School Board (Oklahoma City is located in Oklahoma County) voted 8-0 to drop the "Redskins" mascot for the Capitol Hill High School, which had been used since 1927.

Board chair Lynne Hardin said she was among many who grew up in OKC without viewing the name as offensive.

“But once you know, you can’t go back,” Hardin said.

Four Native American students told the board during Monday’s meeting they were in favor of changing the name and over half of the standing-room-only crowd stood in support of the students after they spoke. The OKC school district’s student population is four percent Native American.

Hardin said that a committee will be formed to find a new name that will honor Native Americans.

From reports, there was little drama, and those who opposed the change took their loss calmly and rationally.

Tonight I am proud of my county city  school board officials, and those who raised this issue, especially the Native American students and those who attended the meeting to support them.


Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 08:57 AM PST

The Oklahoman Obama Obsession

by peacearena

This is republished, with permission, from the great Okie Funk blog by Kurt Hochenauer. It is hard to convey how awful our corporate media here is, but Kurt does the effort justice on a regular basis. I highly recommend his blog.

In less than a week, the editorial board of the state’s largest newspaper has published three asinine commentaries criticizing President Barack Obama while offering not a shred of rebuttal or an extensive differing viewpoint.

The three editorials by The Oklahoman, simply signed with the innocuous byline “The Oklahoman Editorial Board,” show not only how the monopoly newspaper is one of the most biased corporate publications in the world but also how sophomoric, reductionist and anachronistic its editorial page remains in the twenty-first century.

The newspaper is legitimately and obviously obsessed with its hatred of the first African American president in American history. Why? He’s a lame-duck president with two years remaining in office. Republicans now have majorities in the House and Senate. Surely, the newspaper should begin its Hillary-hate at this point, right? What’s the point of rousing the low-information villagers who actually subscribe to this awful newspaper and believe in its one-sided hateful views against Obama right now? With its documented past of hate and bias against minorities under the late publisher Edward L. Gaylord, it’s not difficult to see it as the lingering vestiges of racism. What else could it be?

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Due to PTSD and other factors, many veterans are separated from service with discharges that prevent them from accessing the full range of benefits other vets enjoy, regardless of the number of years of otherwise honorable service they may have provided their country.

This continuing legal education program, designed to help attorneys and GI Rights advocates in assisting veterans in upgrading their discharge to honorable, is put on by the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild, of which I am a member. (The NLG annual convention is taking place in Chicago from Sept. 4 - 7.)

There are no guarantees that a dishonorable or less-than-honorable discharge can be upgraded to honorable, but in many cases they can be. Many vets are not aware that they have the right to seek an upgrade.

I am sharing this press release here in hopes that the Daily Kos community (veterans and their allies) can help spread the word. If you can't come or find this info after the event, there is a great deal of info on this topic on the MLTF site at and at

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Judge Lisa Davis granted a temporary injunction, blocking a law preventing over-the-counter sales of emergency contraceptive

A report from the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice:

On Monday, District Judge Lisa Davis blocked a law that made emergency contraception less accessible to women in Oklahoma.

Passed by the legislature with bipartisan support and signed by Governor Fallin this spring, HB 2226 made Oklahoma the only state with a law keeping the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step behind the counter.  The law requires that all women show identification to a pharmacist and teens have a prescription in order to purchase the contraceptive.  

Because of the judge’s temporary restraining order, this law does not go into effect on Thursday as planned and the drug will be available for sale like all other over the counter drugs.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights  were the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, an advocacy group, and Jo Ann Mangili, an Oklahoma mother of a teen daughter.

HB 2226 began as a bill concerned with regulating health insurance benefit forms, but came to include the unrelated and discriminatory provision concerning Plan B One-Step. David Brown, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that the law contravened the Oklahoma Constitution’s requirement that a law contain only one subject.

OCRJ President Martha Skeeters said, “The judge’s ruling today is good news for women and teens in Oklahoma, who deserve the same access to emergency contraceptives that women in the rest of the country have.”  The FDA has ruled this contraceptive safe and effective for all ages.  It is most effective the sooner it is taken and effective only up to 72 hours.  So its timely availability is extremely important.  

Skeeters added, “The legislature needs to be more concerned about the far-reaching effects of unintended pregnancy on the health and safety of Oklahomans and refrain from passing unconstitutional bills aimed at restricting accessibility to contraceptives.”
Oklahoma’s rate of births from unintended pregnancy at 48% is much higher than the national rate of 38%.  And Oklahoma ranks seventh among states in teen birth rates.  In 2012 the state settled a lawsuit which alleged among other things that children in the DHS foster care system were being mistreated.  Unfortunately the state has been unable to reach goals set by that settlement to improve the treatment of children in DHS care or to increase the number of social workers.

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The anti-choice Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature are playing games with women's lives again (still). Now they have suddenly stripped a bill and recrafted it to make an attempt to prevent any further Plan B access, regardless of what the FDA says.

Below is a call to action from the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, just sent out this afternoon. We need as many bodies at the Capitol tomorrow afternoon as possible to try to prevent this.

Please follow OCRJ on Facebook or Twitter for any late-breaking changes in schedule (they have a habit of giving out one time for the vote and then changing it to an earlier tiime with little to no notice).

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At least 500 workers, progressives, social justice activists and friends came out today for a march and rally in protest of the national meeting of ALEC in Oklahoma City. I took photos of the pre-march rally and march, but was unable to stay for the featured rally after the march, which featured national anti-ALEC organizers, Oklahoma state representatives, labor leaders, progressive organizers and others.

I hope others can fill some info/photos of the parts of the event I missed.

View the entire album of my photos.

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Update: Wow, never been in the Spotlight before. Thanks to whoever is responsible.

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, and thought I'd share it here in case it might be informative to some -- though many of you are probably more proficient on social media than I am.

Happy New Year, progressives. Let's not think about how much time you've wiled away on Facebook in 2012, let's concentrate how you can use that time just a little bit better in 2013. This has the great benefit of giving your FB time a real value for those groups or causes, and can thus lessen your guilt about "wasted" time spent here. Put the following suggestions into practice and you can legitimately call yourself a Facebook Activist.

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The NRA may wisely be keeping silent (for the time being), but their members and advocates aren't so wise. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Oklahoma State Rep. Mark McCullough.

This morning, McCullough lost no time sending out a press release (see below the fold) from the state capitol, with his NRA-style solution to the problems of school shootings: armed teachers and principals.

Oh, CLEET trained and certified, to be sure. After all, we don't want any unintended accidents do we? Nothing unfortunate like a state trooper leaving his loaded and unsecured gun lying around so his visiting three-year-old nephew can find it and kill himself.

So lets fill the schools with overfilled classrooms, stressed-out teachers and guns. What could possibly go wrong?

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The Oklahoma Roundup group has repurposed itself and is now a regional organizing group on Daily Kos, like the ones the NEW DAY team promotes.

If you are from, living in, or have any ties to or just a keen interest in Oklahoma's goings on, and want to be part of using Daily Kos for community building and event planning, we want you!

See below the orange croissant for ideas for physical meetups and e-connections.

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The no votes by Oklahoma Senators Inhofe and Coburn against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities brings great shame on our state. Along with the 36 other Republican no votes that bring shame on that entire body, and on our country.

If there were any justice, it should bring the most shame to the Republican party, which has lost its soul and its moorings in thrall to an element that is irrational and intrinsically cruel. But if that were possible, it would have gone up in a puff of black smoke sometime in 2010.

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[X-posted from Oklahoma Citizen]

You can't possibly be surprised that our state's premier drama queen felt the need to weigh in on this pressing national issue with a press release calling for public demonstrations of moral outrage.

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