Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

Peace Arena presents Oklahoma Netroots Awards

Over at my own blog, I’ve written a fairly extraneous preface to these awards, and a more pertinent rationale for each choice, which you can read here.

Woody Guthrie Award – for best ambassador for Oklahoma to the wider Netroots

droogie6655321 blogging at Daily Kos

Mason Jar of Red Dirt Award – for best Netroots ally outside the state

Down With Tyranny!

Buffalo Stampede Award – for best blog with a cause

Oklahoma Women’s Network Blog

Wind Power Award – for most sustained rant

Okie Funk

Land Run Award – for most promising newcomer

Concrete Buffalo

Black Blizzard Award – for best images


Please share other award-worthy blogs in the comments at my blog.

OKC Impact! rally for LGBTQ rights, Saturday 11/15

(I made a minor editing change to this post because the location for the rally has changed. Check out the above post.–Kurt Hochenauer)

The Oklahoma Impact! rally, in conjunction with National Protest for LGBT Rights, will be taking place on  November 15.

There are also rallies planned for Tulsa and Stillwater — follow link above to find details.

Needs and guidelines below the fold.

This is the message from the organizers

Hello all!

I thought I’d update everyone on what has been accomplished so far. Today, I went to the Division of Traffic Management and got our permit, so we’re official now! The rally will be taking place on the steps of the Capitol Building on N.E. 21st ST. and Lincoln Blvd.


Someone that has and can set up a public address system.

Someone to lead group songs (National Anthem, We Shall Overcome, etc)

Speakers. Young and old. Be a voice that is recorded in the history books.

Signs…make an extra one for those who may need it. Spanish language signs would be an excellent addition.

Photographers and videographers. Help record this historical event.

Carpooling – Anyone willing to meet at a central location and share rides. Fill your cars people. Meet at Angles parking lot beginning at 11:30 am and head to the Capitol at noon. Sign your car up.

I would like to have a sign and banner making meeting before the rally, perhaps on Friday. If anyone can volunteer or recommend a time and place, it would be greatly appreciated!

Get the word out – Text message all your friends. Mass email. MySpace bulletins. Put signs up announcing the gathering. Be inventive.    

Bring your flags and your signs and your spirit. Oh and a jacket, because it’s going to be chilly.

Here are some tips that were offered by the Equal Rights March:

1.      Read these links regarding the right to protest.…

2.      After reading this information, you should understand that you may be required to have a permit for the protest you are planning.  Contact your local government to determine the local procedures and if necessary obtain a permit.

3.      If you have problems with your local government contact your local ACLU affiliate ( or the National Lawyers Guild (  If you are having trouble finding a local lawyer contact Gill Sperlein at 415-378-2625.

4.      Keep in mind:  You will have fewer problems if you are at a classic protest forum like the steps of City Hall.  Avoid blocking the streets.   Avoid going on private property.  You may want to have a couple of people serve as witnesses.  These folks should take video, photos or notes and should not be involved in any activity that would lead to their own arrest.

Protest Tips:

You are welcome to bring signs, but make sure the sticks for picket signs are no thicker than 1/4 inch.

This is a peaceful protest. We want a spread a message of love, not war! There are likely to be anti-gay demonstrators we have to remember to not sink to their level!!

Fight Phelps' hate: Counter-Demonstration at Oklahoma City University

Local activists are responding to the announcement that the Phelps/Westboro Baptist gang will be putting on one of their anti-gay protests at OCU, where the play The Laramie Project is being put on. The play deals with the murder of Matthew Shepherd 10 years ago, simply for being gay.

Spread the word about this important action!

Be prepared for displays of hate that will make you physically ill. But it is important to counter this kind of speech with a greater display of love and tolerance.

From: The Peace House

Date: October 22, 2008 10:24:07 PM CDT

Subject: Demonstration at Oklahoma City University

THIS FRIDAY, October 24


at Oklahoma City University

23rd & Blackwelder (just east of Penn.)

We are looking for people who will be part of a Peaceful Presence at a gathering where members of Fred Phelp’s community ( and are planning to demonstrate on the campus of Oklahoma City University in protest to a presentation of The Laramie Project.

Mr. Phelps’ group is planning to set up at 7:00 p.m. Persons who are interested in providing a Peaceful Presence, please plan to meet in the chapel at 6:00 p.m. The chapel is on the 23rd street side of the Oklahoma City University campus. There will be a short orientation in non-violent intervention and techniques to avert and redirect potentially violent confrontation.

T-shirts will be available to mark the occasion.

Where does Oklahoma want to be politically for the next few years?

Cross-posted from my blog, Peace Arena.

On Nov. 4, Oklahomans have a serious question to ask themselves before voting: Do they want to be stuck with two Senators and all but one of their Representatives in the minority party for the foreseeable future, or do they want to be seriously involved in governing this country, solving our collective problems and moving into the future?

Because, unless something unexpected happens before, or something illegal happens on Election Day, the Democratic Party is going to control both houses of Congress — probably by a considerable margin — as well as the White House, come January 20, 2009.

Members of the minority party, meanwhile, simply will be keeping their seats warm, having have no real power.

If Andrew Rice, the Democrat who is challenging Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, is elected, he will be part of that national majority, and able to represent Oklahoma’s interests in Washington during the next six years, which I happen to think he will do very well. But even if you disagree with him on many issues, at least you will be able to contact a member of the ruling party to influence legislation. The other option is to send Inhofe back, where he will continue to suffer the precipitous decline of his status and influence to shape anything other than the cushion of his chair. In the latter outcome, Oklahoma will have no serious voice in the world-changing debate and decisions that are looming before us — in security, the environment, energy, the economy, et. al.

It’s really that simple.

I hope Oklahomans will think about whether they want to have any participation or power in making the changes that are coming. This election could be their one chance for that to happen.

The Oklahoma deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 10. Check here for how to register, or to confirm your registration.

Oklahoman footnoting letters with liberal views

(This was first published on my blog, Peace Arena.)

The radical conservative editors at the Oklahoman obviously don’t think they have a big enough microphone, despite the fact that 100% of their editorial board, all syndicated columnists and all inhouse content is conservative/Republican. No, they have to even add footnotes to the rare liberal letters they do print in order to try to discredit their content or authors. They do this all the time, and I’m going to start keeping track.

Today’s example is a letter from Clinton Hays of Oklahoma City, which references Robert Greenwald’s documentary about Fox News, Outfoxed. Hays overtly (and correctly) says the film (along with others he names) is of the “liberal” persuasion, but that’s not good enough for the Oklahoman. They think their readers also need to know that the film was distributed (not produced, just distributed!) by, the group most reviled by Republicans because its large membership means it can actually have some clout in the civic arena.

Is the footnote true? Yes. Is it the least bit relevant or does it correct any misrepresentation in the letter? No. It’s only purpose is to further the paper’s own conservative agenda of liberal-bashing for fun and profit.

Letters to the Editor: Friday, Sept. 5, 2008 |

Research easy

Mike Jones (Your Views, Aug. 28) wrote that “Mr. and Mrs. Average American” are too busy to do political research. I disagree. With the Internet and Web sites like and candidate Web sites, it’s easy to do a little research. As for Fox News, Jones needs to look more into Rupert Murdoch and his practices. A scathing look at Fox can be found in the documentary “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.” Noam Chomsky and the makers of the film “Myth of the Liberal Media” do a great job of presenting a clear picture of how the media operate. Sure, these can be labeled as “liberal” movies, but they’re telling the truth, however liberal it may seem.Finally, maybe it’s time we ended partisan bickering and tried working together.

Clinton Hays, Oklahoma City

The “Outfoxed” movie is distributed by

Emphasis added.

I have no problem with the Oklahoman footnoting letters to provide needed clarity or correction. I’d like to see them used on some of the irrational, untrue radical-right tripe they print regularly. But to use them to add gratuitous bias to what is already a completely far right op-ed section is unfair and unprofessional, not to mention juvenile.

I hope my readers will join me in contacting the paper to protest.


  • Ed Kelley     Editor     (405) 475-3920
  • Kelly Fry     VP of News & Information     (405) 475-3247
  • Mike Shannon     Managing Editor     (405) 475-3467
  • Robby Trammell     News Director     (405) 475-3221

Opinions department:

  • Owen Canfield     Editorial Writer     (405) 475-3205
  • J.E. McReynolds     Chief Editorial Writer     (405) 475-3469
  • Christy Watson     Editorial Writer     (405) 475-3466

Phone: (405) 475-3311; or (877) 987-2737 tollfree

Mail: OPUBCO,9000 N Broadway, Oklahoma City 73114-3311