Stanstamper’s Blog

November 6, 2009

Media Improving?

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 1:58 pm
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We have passed the one-year mark with a new president.
This has been an interesting year, to say the least, with respect to how the media industry has conducted itself.
A year ago, you didn’t have to be very savvy to notice that certain media outlets from across the spectrum of print, television, radio were clearly in the tank for certain candidates.
American voters had no problems excusing their media darlings, who obviously shared their political views. They also had no problem speaking out against media outlets with an opposing bias.
Bias is the operative word here.
Just as the media have put Barack Obama and the new government under the microscope, the media itself has also undergone internal and external scrutiny.
Some reporters and those who supervise or spin their work, have come under fire for obvious bias. Same is true for networks and virtually every media outlet.
The bottom line for all of this is that we believe media reports have improved. There are still shows, programs and columnists that remain slanted to one political ideology or another.
Despite the fact that media bias still exists, some media outlets are mixing in some occasional “fair” reporting, which offers opposing viewpoints.
The system will never be perfect, but it is better. Today, some of the ultra-liberal agencies of only a year ago have surprised readers and viewers with stories pointing out questionable performance by present government leaders.
We have constantly expressed our views that many of the challenges which our country faces were created on the previous administration’s watch.
Stories elsewhere on today’s page by the Associated Press, surprise us in that they point out errors in Obama administration and government reporting.
It shows at least some movement in the agency’s coverage from the far left, back to the center or the realm of fairness, from which responsible media outlets must reside.
There will always be bias in the media and some will suffer as viewers and readers will elect to spend their time elsewhere.
We find it encouraging that the media seems to have grown up a bit in the last year, digging a little deeper on important stories and grilling elected officials a bit harder on critical points of legislation that affect citizens’ lives.
That is more like the media the framers of our Constitution had in mind in the formative years of our nation.
We hope that a year from now we can say this positive trend has continued. Just like government, the media has some work to do to restore its esteem in the minds of the American citizen.

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September 18, 2009

One Nation..Divided

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 12:47 pm
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Are we seeing the emergence of two Americas?
From my vantage point, I see precisely that.
The leadership of the Democratic Party appears to embrace a national direction aimed substantially at socialism.
The Republican Party, which is clearly responsible for many of the problems which have led to financial market upheaval (lack of major banking regulation) is trying to rally conservatives against nationalized health care and the current administration’s socialistic trends.
I seldom read syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan’s column, but last week’s was a doozy.
Buchanan asks, “Is America coming apart?”
He reminds that conservatives were branded “fascists,” “racists” and “evil mongers” because they gathered peacefully to express their disdain at current government trends.
He says that Americans have never seemed to disagree with one another any more than today, but points out that Americans involved in these disagreements have grown to “hate” and “detest” one another.
He also points out that our nation is not only divided on politics, but on faith, morality, school prayer, the Ten Commandments, homosexuality and the teaching of evolution.
His closing said it all.
“E pluribus unum” — out of many, one — was the national motto the men of ‘76 settled upon. One sees the pluribus. But where is the unum? One sees the diversity. But where is the unity?
In the days and months to come, the common citizen in our nation will be looking for the rarest of political leaders—the statesman. Few, if any, remain.
Such may be an extinct breed, for they have the ability to listen honorably to public debate, and sensibly and responsibly voice their support or opposition to that debate on its merits, without vitriolic outbursts aimed at the other individual’s character.
I don’t think America is actually breaking up.
I do think we are divided and will remain so until we are able to identify leaders who can convince voters of both parties that their proposals are fair and well thought out.
With virtually all of the recent major directives coming out of Washington being “rushed through” the process to prevent public debate and scrutiny, many Americans are understandably upset at our current political process.
The emergence of true leadership isn’t likely to happen any time soon, so as citizens we should expect more of the same from Washington.
This time, Buchanan hit the nail on the head. Lots of E pluribus — no unum.

August 27, 2009

Politics gone mad!

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 3:18 pm
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I think American politics has gone mad.
Not only have the politicians gone mad, many of the bureaucrats have also.
Of course some bureaucrats follow political pressure like a small calf with a set of bull tongs in his nose.
Given all the issues our country presently faces, many of which are not this administration’s fault, the Obama administration continuously seeks to pacify factions of the political left by making efforts to discredit the Bush/Cheney handling of the interrogation of terrorists.
Take a moment and rewind.
Let’s rewind to that moment in September (the anniversary of which is fast approaching) when thousands of Americans (and many non-Americans) peacefully began a day of work. Their lives were ended in the most horrific acts of terrorism in history.
Pages could be written about how truly devilish these acts were, including New York City, The Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 in the skies over Pennsylvania.
Can you imagine how you would feel today if a member of your family had been on one of those four planes, or working at the World Trade Centers or the Pentagon?
Not surprisingly, the ACLU has been reported to support these investigations.
Recently, The Washington Post reported the Justice Department had launched a new inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, the pictures of covert American CIA officers — “in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes” — were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators.
The Post said the ACLU undertook the so-called “John Adams Project” with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The ACLU’s team targeted 45 CIA employees and tailed and photographed agency employees or obtained other photos from public records.
Then, according to the Times report, they showed the images to suspected al-Qaida operatives implicated in murdering 3,000 innocent men, women and children on American soil.
The Times said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero refused to comment on Project CIA Paparazzi and instead whined some more about the evil Bush/CIA interrogators.
While we stop well short of condoning torture, once you get past the enormity of the 9/11 attacks and the resulting human carnage and the trillions of dollars Americans lost in the collapse of the financial markets, there followed months of fear and concern about the safety of all Americans.
There are a lot of Americans who think President Obama and the Justice Department could be directing taxpayer resources in better ways, such as actually telling Americans where billions of our tax dollars have been loaned overseas—to whom, and for what? (Might these dollars be used to help buy down the cost of health care?)
Political polls are showing some long-time entrenched politicians are clearly vulnerable and may find it hard getting re-elected next fall.
Actions have consequences.

Nothing better for Politicians to do?

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 3:16 pm
Tags: , ,

I think American politics has gone mad.
Not only have the politicians gone mad, many of the bureaucrats have also.
Of course some bureaucrats follow political pressure like a small calf with a set of bull tongs in his nose.
Given all the issues our country presently faces, many of which are not this administration’s fault, the Obama administration continues to seeks to pacify factions of the political left by making efforts to discredit the Bush/Cheney handling of the interrogation of terrorists.
Take a moment and rewind.
Let’s rewind to that moment in September (the anniversary of which is fast approaching) when thousands of Americans (and many non-Americans) peacefully began a day of work. Their lives were ended in the most horrific acts of terrorism in history.
Pages could be written about how truly devilish these acts were, including New York City, The Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 in the skies over Pennsylvania.
Can you imagine how you would feel today if a member of your family had been on one of those four planes, or working in the Pentagon?
Not surprisingly, the ACLU has been reported to support these investigations.
Recently, The Washington Post reported the Justice Department had launched a new inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, the pictures of covert American CIA officers — “in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes” — were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators.
The Post said the ACLU undertook the so-called “John Adams Project” with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The ACLU’s team targeted 45 CIA employees and tailed and photographed agency employees or obtained other photos from public records.
Then, according to the Times report, they showed the images to suspected al-Qaida operatives implicated in murdering 3,000 innocent men, women and children on American soil.
The Times said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero refused to comment on Project CIA Paparazzi and instead whined some more about the evil Bush/CIA interrogators.
While we stop well short of condoning torture, once you get past the enormity of the 9/11 attacks and the resulting human carnage and the trillions of dollars Americans lost in the collapse of the financial markets, there followed months of fear and concern about the safety of all Americans.
There are a lot of Americans who think President Obama and the Justice Department could be directing taxpayer resources in better ways, such as actually telling Americans where billions of our tax dollars have been loaned overseas—to whom, and for what? (Might these dollars be used to help buy down the cost of health care?)
Political polls are showing some long-time entrenched politicians are clearly vulnerable and may find it hard getting re-elected next fall.
Actions have consequences.

July 21, 2009

Veterans, Political goofs

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 6:49 pm

America’s Veterans have never gotten a fair shake from the government they fought to preserve.
I have heard numerous horror stories from Veterans who were mistreated by the military. One was badly treated after 17 years of perfect service and then suffered an injury during a high-altitude jump on an actual mission. Others could not get blood pressure medication because it was too expensive.
Recently, reports have been made that limit veterans living in VA hospitals to only a few days a year away from the hospital to visit family or friends, are beyond comprehension.
Freshman Senator Al Franken, a dog lover, has written a bill that will provide dogs to wounded Iraq / Afghanistan vets saying it will “raise their sense of well-being.”
I don’t have any problem with that, but read on.
Franken says it will cost $20,000 to train a service dog and another $5,000 to place the dog with the veteran.
Excuse me!
With all the shenanigans going on in our nation’s capitol at present, who’s to say such a bill would not pass?
Next fall will be voters’ first chance to consider replacing public servants who are out of touch with their constituents.

Weather Science Improving

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 1:04 pm
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Gathering weather information continues to get more and more sophisticated giving meteorologists more tools for predicting weather.
Most citizens aren’t aware that many modern jet airliners are equipped with sophisticated equipment that sends upper level air pressure and temperature to ground-based computers that have been programmed to plot the values.
This gives meteorologists an enormous amount of information and despite the fact that the weather man is frequently chided for bad predictions, today’s weather forecasts are in this writer’s opinion—phenomenal.
I remember as a kid you would know a “blue northern” was coming when you would see the dark blue clouds forming on the horizon.
Now, we often know a week in advance what the weather is going to be.
For the aviation community an extensive amount of current weather information is available via telephone or internet.
Virtually every airport in the U.S. of any size, has a weather station either on site or a few miles away that provides current temperature, wind speed, cloud heights and barometric pressure.
The Oklahoma Climatological Survey presently maintains vigil on all of the state’s weather reporting systems.
They offered some interesting information about recent weather trends.
The Top 10 hottest temperatures for Oklahoma City on record are:

KCB109 – July 10, 2009 – 107.8°F (42.1°C)
KCB107 – July 13, 2009 – 107.1°F (41.7°C)
KCB107 – July 10, 2009 – 106.7°F (41.5°C)
KCB105 – July 10, 2009 – 106.5°F (41.4°C)
KCB108 – July 10, 2009 – 106.5°F (41.4°C)
KCB107 – July 15, 2009 – 106.5°F (41.4°C)
KCB107-August 1, 2008 – 106.3°F (41.3°C)
KNW202 -July 10, 2009 – 106.3°F (41.3°C)
KCB107 – July 11, 2009 – 106.3°F (41.3°C)
KCB101 – July 10, 2009 – 106.2°F (41.2°C).

Meteorologists point out that the higher heat index values exist at the beginning of a heat wave because the humidity is highest at this time. As the heat wave continues, the humidity deminishes and the heat index drops.
RECORDS
July 19 in Oklahoma History:
Record Maximum 120° F at ALTUS (1936)
Record Minimum 49° F at GOODWELL RESEARCH (1912)
Record Precip 6.15” at ARDMORE (1919)
July 19 in Mesonet History*:
Record Maximum 109° F at CHER in 2006
Record Minimum 57° F at ANTL in 2004
Record Rainfall 3.82” at BREC in 1997
* – Mesonet History = since 1994

So if you are inclined to think global warming has our temperatures increased at present, imagine how they felt at Altus in 1936 when it was 120 degrees, or how they enjoyed the cool 57 degree low in Antlers in 2004!

June 9, 2009

Hugo Homecoming

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 2:45 pm
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Kudos to Joyce Fluellen and members of her Homecoming Committee. Same for Hugo PRCA Rodeo Committee. Reports indicate this year’s Hugo Rodeo may be one of best in 48 years; packed house (in Hugo’s Indoor Arena).
The bar has been raised!
Also kudos to Walter White, Hugo’s historical tour guide. Walter continues to guide tour groups through Historic Choctaw County.
Tourism continues to grow in SE Oklahoma, as families discover the area’s rich history.
Check out http://www.kiamichitrace.com
Three new hotels in the Hugo area will also make the county more desirable as a tourism destination.
Congrats to Hugo and Choctaw County for determining they did not want to be a part of a declining economy!

May 4, 2009

Thanks to our Readers…

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 10:18 pm
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While newspapers are constantly reporting on many topics, one of the topics they don’t cover very well is themselves.
First, we want to put out a sincere “Thanks” to many complimentary notes, comments and letters we have received about both the look of our paper and the coverage we have provided.
While the newspaper industry is being challenged, small market newspapers have largely escaped the factors which have brought upon large metro market declines.
Here in Choctaw County, we are delighted to be able to report that the Hugo Daily News set an all-time record for pages published in each of the first four months of 2009.
The increase has hovered around 20 percent, which, in the newspaper business is outstanding.
We have not adequately explained to our readers and advertisers that it is “your support” that substantially drives our product, in more ways than you might realize.
As an example, the size of each day’s paper is determined primarily by how much advertising has been ordered for that specific edition.
When local, regional, or national advertisers purchase advertising, it gives us additional space to provide more news or photos.
Recently, our newspaper has been selected by national advertisers, who recognize the benefits of running more color in their advertisements, and that has made it possible for us to splash more color onto our front page.
While there are other forms of advertising, none of them make it possible for us to provide our readers with more news about local youth, community groups and organizations.
The expanded newspaper product also gives our readers more bang for their buck, which has generated more readers than ever.
We appreciate the support and kind words more than you know.

Stress for Christian Groups

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 10:13 pm
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While mainstream Democrats have taken up the mantra of “Give this President a chance,” Christian groups are wailing.
The first round of bailout or TARP money specifically excluded giving government money to universities that permitted faith-based teachings, activities or discussions.
Now, according to The Traditional Values Coalition, the largest non-denominational grassroots Church lobby in America, the U.S. House of Representatives just passed H.R. 1913, which is aimed at giving substantial freedoms to the Gay-Lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community.
The bill focused on ‘gender identity’ and went so far as to not exclude “pedophilia.”
The GLBT lobby fought and won an attempt from Christian groups to change the language so as to exclude pedophilia, but without success. This left the GLBT lobby a bit red faced, but not enough to change the legislation.
Eighteen Republicans voted for the bill, and 17 Democrats voted against it, including our own Congressman, Dan Boren.
If you want to better understand this bill, you may do so at: http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?sid=3633
Congressman Boren got beat up pretty good by many of his Oklahoma constituents for voting for the Obama bailout plan, and as far I am concerned, justifiably so.
This, however is a time to congratulate him for supporting the Christian position.
———

March 24, 2009

Common sense Aviation…

Filed under: 1 — stanstamper @ 7:14 pm
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Every two years I am required to attend a two-day Flight Instructor refresher seminar in order to maintain my Flight Instructor Rating.
At the Dallas meeting, I sat next to a pilot for American Eagle, who flew Embraer jets.
He had been flying for about eight years, and no matter how hard he tried, he said he simply couldn’t make it farther up the ladder to fly for American Airlines in one of their bigger jets.
He also said that his company was hiring pilots fresh out of flight school as co-pilots, with very little flight time. Also, he said, the starting pay was less than $19,000 per year.
I was shocked.
He said that finding someone who had basic flying skills was not a problem, it was finding someone who could quickly program or re-program the aircraft’s computer as it approached an airport, that was the most difficult.
Recently, many passengers died in New York State when a turbo-prop aircraft fell out of the sky. It was piloted by two relatively inexperienced pilots in very bad weather conditions.
Yesterday, I was disappointed to learn that the Obama Administration has begun taking steps to shut down a program which allowed commercial pilots to take extra training so as to be allowed to carry a pistol on board their aircraft.
The Washington Times condemned the Obama administration for diverting $2 million from a program to train and certify commercial pilots in the proper use of a firearm, which has effectively closed that program.
Instead, the administration wants to hire additional field inspectors to help discipline pilots who step out of line. The Times called this “completely unnecessary harassment of pilots.”
About 12,000 pilots have been authorized to carry handguns while flying aircraft as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officers Program. Congress authorized the program in a 310-to-113 vote following the 9/11 attacks to help prevent terrorists from turning jetliners into flying bombs that could be used to attack key sites like the White House, the Pentagon, or Capitol Hill.
Most general aviation pilots and flight instructors scratch their heads at why someone who is responsible enough to be in charge of a $100 million aircraft with hundreds of lives on board, can’t be trusted to carry a concealed firearm, to provide additional protection to passengers.
Another trend that needs to be stopped is not paying pilots as much as we would pay a truck driver. Does that make any sense?
I will personally be a bit more selective in what type of flights I book in the future. Passengers should not let the Airlines put a buck in front of their safety and should speak out more on the issue.
When I get on an aircraft, nothing pleases me more than to see some grey hair on the guy or gal in the left seat like the recent Hudson River hero, Capt. Sully Sullenger. And though I’ll never know, I hope he or she is one of the 12,000 who have completed the Flight Deck Officers Program that allows them to carry a firearm to defend all passengers if the need arises.

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