The teachers' rebellion is a global phenomenon, and though it's been brewing for a long time, the public was a lot more skeptical of teachers' demands when they were striking in Democratic strongholds under a Democratic president. Read the rest
It's been brewing for weeks and now it's boiling over: Kentucky teachers are walking off the job en masse in statewide demonstrations triggered by dirty-tricking GOP state legislators who snuck a provision that gutted their pensions into a sewage bill; they're joined by Oklahoma teachers who have endured endless abuse and humiliation from state lawmakers (first Clintonite Democrats; then vicious TGOP types who waltzed to power after right-wing "Democrats" committed political suicide by courting the wealthy over workers), and who have refused the meager bone they were thrown, walking out again and demanding justice for all public-sector workers. Read the rest
Oklahoma teachers will walk out en masse this coming Monday, despite a historic agreement from the ailing state legislature to give them a long-overdue pay raise which will be paid for by increasing taxes on the state's previously untouchable oil and gas industry. Read the rest
Oklahoma spent eight years under full GOP rule, with Republicans controlling the governorship and the legislature, passing a fully ALEC-compliant slate of laws that benefited the wealthy at the expense of the poor; the result has been a catastrophe for the party's fortunes in Oklahoma, to say nothing of a catastrophe for Oklahomans, whose schools are running four day weeks so teachers can made ends meet by getting a day's work at Walmart (no wonder they're on the verge of striking); while Republican lawmakers have run amok, introducing bills demanding that creationism be taught in schools; or that protesters be bankrupted for peaceful assembly; and making the state a haven for forced-labor camps masquerading as drug rehab centers. Read the rest
Officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma constructed this incinerator building in 1939 to burn the city's trash. A short year later, according to Tulsa World, an ordinance was passed that prohibited trash from being burnt within city limits. The property sat dormant for years until artist and Oklahoma native Ron Fleming was able to get the city to accept his bid to purchase it in 1981. The winning bid? $5400.
"I took a shot in the dark on the price," he said. "I had no idea what it was worth."
The first step in converting the industrial site to living space was abundantly clear, as the lower level was nearly full of ash, mostly from burned medical supplies. It took nearly a year to carry it all out by wheelbarrow, Fleming said.
He and his late wife, Patti, camped out in a nearby tent on weekends to oversee construction. By Halloween night 1982, the two of them were able to sleep inside as residents.
Over the years, they turned this former municipal structure into a swoonworthy 4,600-square-foot, three-bedroom luxury estate, which is now for sale for just $275K.
In 1992, Oklahoma passed a ballot initiative saying that the state could only raise taxes with a three quarters majority in the state assembly, creating a one-way ratchet where every tax cut becomes effectively permanent, including the sweetheart deals cut for frackers and the deep cuts to taxes on the wealthiest residents of the state. Read the rest
A toxic mix of voter suppression and dark money infusions has allowed Republicans to seize power at the state level across America, producing a series of living labs where their ideology has been allowed to play out with disastrous consequences. Read the rest
Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey has resigned after pleading guilty to trafficking a teenaged boy for sex; when Shortey was serving as Trump's Oklahoma campaign manager, he introduced an anti-sanctuary cities bill, claiming that immigrants trafficked their children for sex. Read the rest
Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery is a scandal-haunted forced-labor program that addicted convicts in Oklahoma were diverted to; they were put into back-breaking, unsafe labor for long hours with little or no pay and no care or compensation when they were maimed on the job. Rather than meaningful addiction counseling, prisoners were directed to pray and work. Read the rest
On Wednesday, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed HB1123, a new "trespass" law that declared an immediate "state of emergency" allowing prosecutors to charge protesters with felonies for "trespassing" on any property containing a "critical infrastructure facility," impose fines of up to $10,000 for acts that "damage, vandalize, deface, impede or inhibit operations of the facility", and fines of up to $100,000 or up to ten years in prison for "tampering" with the facility. Read the rest
Every year, like clockwork, longstanding Oklahoma legislators in the state's house and senate introduce bills that try to find a way around the prohibition on teaching Biblical Creationism in American public schools. Read the rest
Oklahoma native John Sutter visited Woodward County, Oklahoma. At first, he could find no one who'd admit to believing in anthropogenic climate change, not even the headmaster of the local academy, who paid out of his own money to erect a statue of a little girl on a stegosaurus' back with a plaque that read, “A dinosaur like this roamed the Earth 5,000 years ago.” Read the rest
In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, things escalated quickly at a local Taco Bell when Amber Henson discovered the fast food restaurant's WiFi wasn't working. Read the rest