News Briefs for Oct 12, 2013: Texas Injustice and an Explanation from…Me.
Let me first start off this Saturday that features the Oklahoma/Texas game and the Pioneer Colts vs. Stillwater Cowboys in EJRT action at the same damn time! Yes, at the same time. (WHO DOES THAT EJRT?! SERIOUSLY?)
But more importantly, let me start by saying how tragic and unbelievable that in today’s society we still have grown adults who want to beat babies and ultimately kill them. What could…I just don’t understand. I don’t get it. Prayers go out to Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, losing his son in the most senseless way.
Since we are talking about senselessness, let’s discuss the case of Plano, Texas High School Junior, Shea Shawhan. Shawhan suffers from the effects of her brain being deprived of blood during child birth and life threatening seizures. She’s 18 and has the mental capacity of an 8 year old. Recently, Shea began getting some very disturbing and threatening text messages.
One of the texts read:
Another one reads, and WARNING, THIS IS GRAPHIC:
So why not just turn in these kids? Well, they can’t. They have no way of finding out who these poor excuses for people are. The phone numbers that are sending these texts, are created by special apps that allow people to stay anonymous and send text messages with a fake number. For the sake of humanity, ban these apps. They serve no damned purpose.
Source: Texas Teen Terrorized by Texts
SEXUAL ORIENTATION ORDINANCE FOLLOW-UP:
A letter to the editor of the Enid News & Eagle caught my eye today. It reignited some of my personal bitterness towards those on our City Council who voted against the worker’s discrimination ordinance. You can read the letter here: Thanks for Making Enid a Laughingstock
While I do not consider our town a laughingstock, his letter hits home.
Immediately after the loss, I made mention on Facebook about how I felt I was lied to by a Commissioner about this issue. I want to explain that now.
A while before the ordinance came to the forefront, I conducted an interview with Commissioner Mike Stuber. In my interviews, I rely heavily on tape recording so that I can concentrate on the interview. We had chosen a casual place to conduct the interview, Callahan’s Pub, downtown. Unfortunately, the interview was ruined by a large amount of ambient noise from wind, traffic, and people around us. Those who know Mike, also know he has a rather soft voice. Not his fault, but it was really hard for me to transcribe the interview.
However, one of the questions I asked Stuber that day, was if he would support workplace laws that would protect employees based on sexual orientation. Stuber, slightly hesitated, but said that he would vote for something like that because in the end, “discrimination is discrimination.” Imagine my surprise that when this issue actually came to vote thanks to the efforts of Commissioners Ben Ezzell and Tammy Wilson, that Commissioner Stuber went another way.
I felt as if I knew Mike pretty well or at least had a decent handle on him. In those days after the vote, I felt betrayed and lied to. As I should have expected, nobody likes to be called a liar. I received an email from Stuber that he eventually apologized for, and we’ll leave it at that. He did offer a few reasons for his vote and change of heart. One, he felt that after reviewing the current ordinance, that no changes were needed. And most importantly, he had received more phone calls from citizens saying they were against the ordinance than he had received in favor of it. Ultimately, that’s what Mike claims made him change his mind. On the one hand, I applaud Mike for listening to constituents. I really do. But I’m pretty sure we could examine the record and find instances where Commissioners voted for something in spite of unfavorable public opinion.
Mike is an elected official and his opinion is probably pretty fluid and his mind has to be open to differing opinions. So, I understand that. But on the other hand, I’m disappointed that a Commissioner who had expressed his personal opinion to me on a matter didn’t stick to what he thought was right.
Do I still feel lied to? Kind of, but at the same time not. Mike and I were originally going to redo the interview. But, I really have now become paranoid that people I interview might not always tell me exactly how they feel. They may hold back or give me an answer they don’t expect they’ll ever have to answer for. I like doing interviews. But the resulting debacle from this one has given me great caution from doing them.
I do want to congratulate the Commissioner on his efforts to get the new booze law changed in the County. Seriously, take that County Commissioners! You want to stand in the way of progress, then progress will run right through you. In fact, this is one reason why I didn’t publicly say who the Commissioner was that I called out, because I did not want it to hurt this issue in anyway. This is a big leap forward progressively for our area. I just wish Mike would have been a bit more progressive a few weeks earlier. In the end, even getting the ordinance considered was probably a huge leap for Enid. It certainly got discussion going. And it was both maddening and hilarious to see the Religious Right in Enid go bonkers over this.
Saturday: We will see a high in the upper 70′s, with sunshine. Winds 10-15 with gusts possible up to 25 mph.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low in the high 50′s. East wind 8 to 10 mph.
Sunday: A 30 % chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high in the mid 70s. East wind 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1am. Cloudy, with a low around the mid 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 9 mph after midnight. Chance of precip is around 60%.