OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

February 5, 2014

Oklahoma Growth Summit – Saturday, February 15, 2014 – Tulsa

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Save the date for the first ever Oklahoma Growth Summit, to be held Saturday, February 15, 2014 in Tulsa.  This event is being sponsored by OCPA-Impact, the Tulsa912 Project, and AFP.

From our friends at Tulsa912 Project:

“Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Oklahoma’s Rock Star Attorney General Scott Pruitt speak on “Pushing Back Against Federal Overreach” a subject near and dear to all our hearts.

Scott Pruitt

Tickets are only $12, and include lunch. You will get way more than your money’s worth! So, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets NOW! 

www.OKGrowthSummit.com

Also Speaking:

U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine, discussing the role your U.S. Senators and Representatives can play in reining in the Federal Government

Travis Brown, author of How Money Walks, discussing how, across America, capital is moving from high-tax locations to low-tax locations; 

Steve Anderson, former budget director for Gov. Sam Brownback, explaining how Kansas has been placed on a path to zero state income tax; 

Jonathan Small, vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, outlining the steps that can be taken to turbocharge economic freedom in Oklahoma; 

Several of Oklahoma’s state elected officials, emphasizing the importance of economic freedom in our state and nation. 

Get your tickets TODAY!  RSVP here.”

 

 

 

July 25, 2013

Amendment Curtailing the NSA Fails in the House

OK-SAFE, Inc. – On Wednesday, July 24, 2013 the U.S. House failed to pass an amendment to the 2014 Defense funding bill that would have ensured none of the funds could be used by the National Security Agency (NSA) to “collect records, including telephone call records that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215” of the Patriot Act.

The Amash amendment (Amendment #100) to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 was defeated on Wednesday July 24th by a vote of 205-217.

The White House and NSA Director General Keith Alexander lobbied Congress heavily to defeat this amendment.

Global Economy – Data Driven

Living in a borderless “global economy” means the end of everything, as we once knew it – nation, law, and boundaries.  Those boundaries are not just those within and around a country, state, institution or agency, but personal boundaries as well, including what we have thought of as our inherent right to privacy. 

Our so-called global economy is knowledge-based and data-dependent; information is the “fuel” that feeds it. “Privacy” and “rights” are considered antiquated and inconvenient ideals; barriers that, in the minds of some, must be eliminated.

NSA – Data Vampire

One of those entities that believe that individual privacy and rights are a hindrance to their objectives is the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA wants to know everything about everybody, everywhere, at anytime, without restriction.

For a visual reminder of the NSA’s objectives, see the their 2008 publication entitled Vision 2015 – A Globally integrated and Networked Intelligence Enterprise.

Vision 2015 Decision AdvantageVision 2015 Excerpt:

Strategy:

Integrate foreign, military, and domestic intelligence capabilities through policy, personnel and technology actions to provide decision advantage to policy makers, warfighters and homeland security officials and law enforcement personnel.- J.M. McConnell – Director of National Intelligence

We live in a dynamic world in which the pace, scope, and complexity of change are increasing. The continued march of globalization, the growing number of independent actors, and advancing technology have increased global connectivity, interdependence and complexity, creating greater uncertainties, systemic risk and a less predictable future. These changes have led to reduced warning times and compressed decision cycles. Although this interconnected world offers many opportunities for technological innovation and economic growth, it also presents unique challenges and threats. In this environment, the key to achieving lasting strategic advantage is the ability to rapidly and accurately anticipate and adapt to complex challenges.

Not only will thetype of customer change within our existing federal policy-making sets, but the range of customers will broaden to emphasize other federal departments (e.g., Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Commerce), state and local agencies, international organizations,and private sector and non-governmental organizations. 

The Amash amendment:

An amendment, offered by Mr. Amash, numbered 100 printed in House Report 113-170 to end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. It would also bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215.

Congressman Justin Amash is from Michigan.

OK Delegation Votes on Amash Amendment:

Yea:  Bridenstine, Mullin

Nay: Cole, Lankford, and Lucas

The House did pass the Pompeo amendment (Amendment #99) by a vote of 409-12.

The Pompeo amendment:

An amendment, offered by Mr. Pompeo, numbered 99 printed in House Report 113-170 to ensure none of the funds may be used by the NSA to target a U.S. person or acquire and store the content of a U.S. person’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails.

Congressman Mike Pompeo is from Kansas.

OK Delegation Votes on Pompeo Amendment:

Yea: Bridenstine, Cole, Lankford, Lucas, Mullin

H.R. 2397 Text

For the full text of H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2014, click here.

For a full listing of the proposed amendments to H.R. 2397 click here.

Protecting Yourself?

There is growing interest in cryptography (electronic encryption).  But you can also try going old school before you forget how to do so.  For starters you can reduce your electronic footprint. (Oh, one can hear the sighing)

For instance, do not put your life’s details online (via email, Facebook, etc.).  Email and social media communications are a mine of information for the data-gatherers and reveals a lot about you, your activities and your associations. And the information you post is out there…forever.

Do your banking in person, not on your phone or computer.  Pay your bills by check and mail them. Better yet, pay cash wherever and whenever you can.

As best you can, avoid interacting with state/government run agencies, all of which are now collecting and reporting data about each encounter with a citizen.

Do not answer nosy questionnaires, even those that assure you that the data will remain anonymous and be de-identified.

Want to communicate with someone?  Write them a letter and mail it. Or wait to talk to them in person.  (Novel idea, right?)

Try it for a while and you might just find that you like it.  And if it slows down entities like the NSA, so much the better.

February 13, 2013

Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Hold Town Hall Meetings in Dist. 1

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , — oksafeinc @ 5:10 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – This is a media alert from 1st Dist. Congressman Jim Bridenstine’s office:

Congressman Jim Bridenstine To Hold A Series Of Town Halls February 18th, 19th, and 21st, 2013

What: Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) will hold a series of town hall meetings next week in Owasso, Bixby and Dewey.

Who: Congressman Jim Bridenstine represents Oklahoma’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a Navy pilot and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and lives with his wife Michelle and their three children Walker (6), Sarah (4), and Grant (1) in Tulsa, OK. Bridenstine graduated from Rice University with degrees in economics, business and psychology. After college, he joined the Navy and became a pilot, flying combat missions off the USS Abraham Lincoln in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq. Later, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet fighter at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN, where he flew “Red Air” and was also an instructor.

Why: The focus of the town hall meetings will be to discuss the recent events in Washington D.C. with constituents of the First District and to address the questions and concerns of the attendees.

Who Should Attend: First District Constituents

When and Where: Monday, 2/18/13, 6:30pm at the Bailey Ranch Clubhouse, 10105 Larkin Bailey Blvd, Owasso, Oklahoma 74055; Tuesday, 2/19/13, 6:30pm at the Bixby Public Library, 20 E Breckenridge Ave, Bixby, OK 74008; Thursday, 2/21/13, 6:30pm at the Tyler Memorial Library, 821 N. Shawnee Ave, Dewey, OK 74029

Contact: 

Gabe Sherman, District Director

Office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine, OK-1

Phone: 202-578-5952

Email Address: gabe.sherman@mail.house.gov

Website: bridenstine.house.gov

 

 

January 23, 2013

Bridenstine – No Budget, No Pay, No Good – UPDATE on 1/23/13 Vote

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 2:36 am

1/24/13 UPDATE:  Thank you to all those folks who called their Congressman on the No Budget, No Pay bill.  Unfortunately, H.R. 325 passed yesterday, 285 to 144.

These details were supplied by our friends at OKforTea:

“Here are the results of the votes on HR325. It did unfortunately pass with 285 votes for and 144 votes against.

We have to give a BIG THANK YOU to Rep. Jim Bridenstine and Rep. Markwayne Mullin for taking a stand against Kicking The Can Down The Road and voting NO on HR325.  It is great to see Congressmen who have kept their word and do the right things.

It is however unfortunate that Rep. Frank Lucas, Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. James Lankford who decided, for whatever reason, to vote YES on HR325 and turn their backs on conservative values that they say they are for.”

Original Post:

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Congress is facing budget decisions that will effect all of us.  All five members of the Oklahoma delegation  are Republicans who say they are “conservative”.

As time goes by, however, it is becoming more and more apparent that instead of five conservatives, we in Oklahoma have one real conservative representing us in Washington –  the 1st District’s Jim Bridenstine.

bridenstine200300

Congressman Bridenstine was the only member of the OK delegation to vote NO to re-elect the weak John Boehner as Speaker.  He voted against incurring more debt to pay for “Superstorm” Sandy damage.  Now it looks like Bridenstine will be the only member of the Oklahoma delegation to vote NO on the House’s so-called “No Budget, No Pay” debt ceiling deal.  (H.R. 310 [Correction!  It is H.Res. 39/ H.R. 325 that is being considered 1/23/13.  H.R. 310 will be considered at a later date.]

Congressman Bridenstine has provided the following statement, detailing his reasons for voting NO on “No Budget, No Pay” deal.

January 22, 2013

From U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma 1st District

House Republicans have created a plan bold in name, but weak in substance.  It’s called “No Budget, No Pay”.  Here is the plan:

  1. Suspend the debt limit until May 19th.
  2. Make zero cuts to spending in the deal.
  3. Violate the 27th Amendment of the Constitution by “varying” congressional compensation.
  4. Let military sequestration take effect, cutting $500 billion from the Department of Defense.
  5. Pass a Continuing Resolution codifying federal spending at post-sequester levels.
  6. Wait to fight for spending cuts until we hit the debt ceiling again in May 2013.

Here are the reasons I am voting “no” on “No Budget, No Pay.”

The first part of the “No Budget, No Pay” strategy is to suspend the debt limit through May 19, 2013 with no spending cuts.  It seems Republicans have decided not to leverage the debt limit to achieve real reforms.  In lieu of cuts, the bill will contain language stating that the Senate must pass a budget or not be paid.  This sounds strong, but there will be no clause stating that the Senate budget must place us on a path to fiscal responsibility.  Nor will there be a clause stating that the Senate budget must be reconciled with the House budget.  This is seemingly just a ploy.

American voters do not want the debt ceiling to be raised without spending cuts.  A CBS News / New York Times poll, conducted January 11-15, found 60% of all Americans want to see the debt ceiling raised with spending cuts.  Only 17% want the ceiling raised without cuts.  A Fox News poll reported 69% who say Congress should only raise the debt limit after agreeing on major cuts in spending.

A suspension of the debt ceiling is more alarming than an increase.  The bill as presented leaves no statutory limit on federal debt.  It assumes that the Treasury will not reverse its extraordinary measures, replacing the funds “borrowed” from other accounts by issuing billions of additional debt in the three month interval.  That is an assumption that has not been acceptable in the past and is not acceptable today.

I campaigned saying I would raise the debt ceiling only if substantial spending cuts or a balanced budget amendment was included.  Raising the ceiling without negotiating spending cuts will disappoint voters, putting a lot of pressure on everyone who campaigned on fiscal conservatism or responsibility.

Since the Democratic Senate will not go for a 3-month debt limit suspension that ties their pay to a budget, this plan will be spun as gimmicky and not serious.  Republicans will not win the public relations effort, but they will be on record voting to allow the debt to increase with no spending cuts.  This will alienate the Republican base.

The second part of the “No Budget, No Pay” strategy is to let sequestration take effect in March, cutting $500 billion from the Department of Defense.  This is intended to put pressure on the Democrats to reform entitlements.  Using threats to curtail military funding to create a crisis for the purpose of political advantage is an inappropriate policy.  This bad policy also enables the President to continue compromising our national security for a social welfare agenda that restricts economic freedom, punishes achievement, cripples our economy, and makes us less competitive in the world.

It should be noted that there are no new savings when we allow the Sequester to take place.  These savings were a result of the August 2011 debt ceiling increase negotiation.  It should also be noted that using a debt limit increase to control spending has been successful in the past and it will be successful in February 2013 if Republicans are willing to forgo the “No Budget, No Pay” debt limit suspension for a real negotiation.

The third part of the “No Budget, No Pay” strategy is to codify the Sequester with a continuing resolution at post-sequester spending levels.  Again, there are no new savings here.  These savings were a result of the 2011 debt limit increase negotiations.  We need new savings (cuts, reforms, etc.)

The fourth part of the “No Budget, No Pay” strategy is to have a “real” fight over the debt limit in May.  The reality is that if a vote to raise the debt limit ‘clean’ (without spending cuts) comes to the floor, 30 Republicans will join 200 Democrats and there will be no savings realized.

My final concern is the most difficult to ignore.  “Varying” congressional compensation appears unconstitutional by both letter and original intent.  The text of the 27th Amendment was submitted by the Framers as part of the original Bill of Rights in 1789.  It was ratified in 1992, 202 years later.  If the Framers of the 27th Amendment had simply meant that compensation of Senators and Representatives not be “increased nor diminished” then they would have used that exact phrase as it stands in the Constitution referring to the compensation of the President in Article II, Section 1.  Instead, the Amendment is written , “No law, varying the compensation.”  Varying the timing of payment is varying the payment.  Your banker will testify.

___________

We are asking that folks call the other members of the OK Congressman and ask them to vote NO as well.

District

Name

Phone

1 Bridenstine, Jim 202-225-2211
2 Mullin, Markwayne 202-225-2701
3 Lucas, Frank 202-225-5565
4 Cole, Tom 202-225-6165
5 Lankford, James 202-225-2132

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