The guy pictured above is Dr. John Patrick Keefe II. He made the “Holy Crap! Why Do We Still Live In This State?!” news yesterday when word spread that he was denied a personalized Oklahoma license plate. The reason? It supported the LGBT community, which made the plate “sexual in nature” and thus reprehensible to the taxpayers of Oklahoma.
Last week, former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys took some heat for controversial comments he made about gene pools on KFOR’s “Flashpoint.” Oddly enough, for a Flashpoint discussion about genes, the remarks had nothing to do with Kevin Ogle’s viking heritage or Mike Turpen’s striking resemblance to Jari Askins.
Former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys is under fire from a self-described progressive news website after comments he made on a local television broadcast saying the Putnam City schools once had a better gene pool.
The comments came on a March 8 episode of ‘Flashpoint,’ a weekly political show on KFOR-4 in which Humphreys, a Republican, and Mike Turpen, a Democrat, discuss local news and politics with host Kent Ogle.
On the episode, the trio spoke with Oklahoma City School Superintendent Rob Neu about falling standards in the district. At one point in the conversation, Humphreys, a former Putnam City school board member, said:
“When I went on the school board 30… 25 years ago… a little over… we were, probably the best school district in the state. We just happened to have the best gene pool. But that gene pool keeps moving out. It’s moved to Edmond, it’s now moved to Deer Creek, and you know, they’ll keep running as long as they can buy green fields and gasoline for their car.
Well… that’s a stupid thing to say.
First of all, it was insensitive. It sounds like Kirk’s trying to say that families who can afford to live in a “nice” school district have good genes, while lower-income families have bad ones. I’m not Gregor Mendel or anything, but that’s B.S.
Second, most of what he said was wrong. I graduated from Putnam City West High School in 1996. Trust me. We didn’t have “the best gene pool.” Just look at the district’s 1989 time capsule. People with good genes wouldn’t do something that boring. Also, he thinks the good gene pool has moved to Edmond. Uhm, has he been to Edmond recently? I think dealing with traffic on Broadway and 33rd has killed whatever good genes that town has left. Saying Edmond has good genes would be like saying Old Navy has good jeans.
Anyway, there has to be an explanation all this. Maybe Kirk was taken out of context and simply reading a passage from “The Big Bad Book of Offensive False Analogies.”
Let’s watch the actual video:
Oklahoma being an anti-teacher state is well documented.
Oklahoma cut education funding by nearly 23 percent from 2008 to 2014, the most of any state. Teacher salaries here are some of the lowest in the nation. Now Oklahoma faces a major teaching shortage.
The state also just weathered the turbulent four-year term of Janet Barresi, the former state Schools Superintendent who divided and conquered, and then, fortunately, lost by a landslide in a Republican primary in November. The new superintendent, seemingly the less contentious Joy Hofmeister, has actually announced a plan to raise teacher salaries, but the state faces a whopping $611 million budget shortfall, and it might even get larger. Where’s the money for the raise going to come from?
It’s an understatement to argue there’s a public school education funding crisis here, yet some lawmakers seem focused on keeping quiet whatever small voice educators have here in trying to rectify the situation, and it’s petty, mean, ideological and typical of our current Republican-dominated legislature. Teachers are not our enemies. They’re our hope in this place.
House Bill 1749, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Newell, a Seminole Republican, would prohibit the state from taking out payroll deductions for union dues in teachers’ checks. The bill has passed the House 59-39 and will be considered by the Senate, where it seems likely to pass out of the General Government Committee.
Newell recently argued that Oklahoma shouldn’t “subsidize a union that collectively bargains against the people of Oklahoma,” a piece of hyperbole that it doesn’t take an English professor to deconstruct. Here’s my super intellectual, Derridean take on it: How does a simple, standing entry in a computerized payroll system translate into “subsidize” and how does a teachers’ union work “against the people of Oklahoma,” especially when average teacher salaries here are usually, on a year-to-year basis, only above those in Mississippi, our base comparison state in most things mediocre?
So, this current legislative session is nothing new, as far as Oklahoma lawmaking is concerned. You kind of have to wonder what the legislature gets up to when they aren’t proposing bills to allow conversion therapy, prevent tax dollars from being used for same-sex wedding licenses, or banning state-issued marriage licenses. I know a lot more goes on in the legislature, and that bills like these get a lot of attention even though a lot of them don’t get passed into law, but damn. Maybe next time we lament that a good national business doesn’t want to set up shop in Oklahoma, we should take a minute and think about why.
Anyway, while I was getting all down and angry about the legislature, a little bit of hope popped into my news feed. That’s right, you guys! Representative Emily Virgin, the Hermione Granger of of the Hogwarts that is the Oklahoma Legislature, has proposed a pretty awesome amendment to HB 1371, the one that let’s businesses in the marriage industry to also discriminate based on their religion.
According to The Gayly:
Welcome back to another edition of the way-to-easy-to-write series “Jim Inhofe Is Still an Idiot.”
Earlier this week, the Huffington Post took a look back at Inhofe’s 2012 book “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.” They pointed out that Inhofe, fresh off his snowball stunt, thinks global warming cannot exist because of a passage in Genesis where God promises to maintain the seasons.
Via Huff Po:
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