Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red Blooded.. Green Thumbed.

Here is something that many do not know about me: I love flowers.  I love flower beds and gardens.  My mother and aunt are great flower gardeners, and I learned a lot from them.  The first flower bed I ever made was after my head injury.  Part of my rehabilitation was that I needed to stimulate my mind in physical ways.  Being active was a very important part of my recovery, so me and my mother created a flower bed.  Originally I wanted a water garden, but that turned out to be too much trouble at the time, hence the flower bed.  I really enjoyed tending to the flowers and I kept at it over the next few summers. 

Last summer when we moved into our new house, we really didn't have the time (or money) to make decorative changes to the house.  We were busy trying to get furniture and basic appliances.  This summer we have a little more money, and have all the furniture and appliances we need. My wife decided that our house needed some color, so she added beautiful curtains to all the upstairs windows. And I decided that our yard needs more love this summer, so I had it sprayed for weeds and will fertilize it soon, and made my first flower bed as a home owner.
Here are a few pictures of what I've done so far.  The front row has Marigolds and Primroses, the second row is Lobelia and Dusty Millers.  What you can't see are three lily bulbs that are buried behind the second row.  I also plan on lining the back with tulips. 

I have even have bigger plans for making a bigger flower bed on the other side of the porch. That bed I have rose bushes and shrubs in mind.  I'm up for suggestions.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Finishing up the Interview

Question 7: What kind of policy do you believe is best for stabilizing and lowering energy costs in Oklahoma and America?
Answer: The energy industry is very important to Oklahoma, in the sense that it provides so many jobs (mine included).  The policy that the government should adopt, is a policy that keeps government as far away as possible from the energy industry.  I have grown to accept that certain government regulations are here to stay.  Certain common sense environmental regulations that many companies failed to comply with until it was law, I completely understand.  However, the government should not continue to tie the oil and natural gas industry's hands.  Red tape and federal bureaucracy should not be responsible for rising energy costs. I also find it asinine that one of our nation's largest oil fields, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), with the size of almost 10 Oklahoma's, is practically off limits.  Politicians want to  free us of our dependency of foreign oil, yet they ignore the elephant in the room. In short, I feel our energy policy should be clearing the way for production, not creating obstacles.

Question 8: Do you feel the U.S. should become more involved in the new civil uprising in the Middle East?
Answer: What is happening in the Middle East right now is different than what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq.  These were countries being ruled by terrorist sponsoring dictators, but were facing no opposition within the country. What is happening in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia are matters that are taking place between the people and their government.  It is an internal matter that really is none of our business, aside from the business dealings we have with the countries.  Our main goal in Libya for instance, is to ensure all Americans who were working there are safe and out of harm's way.  And since the government has already taken measures into providing their safety, our goal for now is finished.  We now must wait and see how this uprising turns out.  Should the Libyans begin to face the horrors that the citizens of Somalia faced in the early '90s, where over 100,000 were systematically starved to death, we as the leaders of the free world must do what we can to help the people.  Yet we also must learn from history that taking sides in matters that do not directly involve us, can lead to trouble in the future.  Take Iraq and Afghanistan for example.  We supplied logistical aid to both of these countries.  We sided with Afghanistan when the Soviets invaded, in order to help win the Cold War.  And regarding Iraq, we again chose what we thought was the lesser of two evils by helping Saddam against Iran.  Therefor, we must use caution when it comes to helping either side of the conflicts.  We cannot let these same problems of the past fester again at our expense.

Question 9: How do you feel about the collective bargaining battle that has taken place in Wisconsin and other states?
Answer: I applaud the state congressmen of Wisconsin who stayed and voted.  They faced down an angry mob, held to their republican (lower case "r" on purpose) duties, and truly represented the people who voted for them and the state as a whole.  What we saw from the Democrats who fled to Illinois, was a political temper tantrum.  They could not get everything they wanted, so instead of being grown ups and accepting the fact that elections have consequences, they ran away.  I do not feel that the Democrats were cheated, because they had their chance of staying in Madison and debating.  Instead they tried to force the majority holding Republicans to give in to Big Union, and go against the people who made them into the majority.  As for the unions and teachers, I honor and respect their right to peaceful (though often hate-filled rhetoric) demonstration.  I have more of a problem with the union boss thugs who have so many public officials (our President included) in their pockets.  The main problem I had with the protesters, is that they really seem to miss the big picture.  The issue was not completely an anti-union issue.  The fact that the state of Wisconsin is on its way to bankruptcy is the big picture.  The protesters seem to be demanding more than the state can provide, which is not fair to the tax payers.  Overall I feel that the Republicans who voted for the bill made the right choice, by putting the future of the state ahead of possible political harm.

This is the end of my interview with myself.  More questions will be answered directly and indirectly in future blogs to come.  Though my schedule keeps me from making a blog every day, I will do my best to keep at it.

B.D. Rogers

Monday, March 7, 2011

Everything happens for a Reason

The night of March 7th, 2000 was a stormy one.  My father was driving to the Duncan Regional Hospital ER, and my brother was in the back seat talking to me trying to keep me talking.  I remember going past Refinery Road and then nothing.  Nothing until a few days later when I came to in the ICU at Children's.  After a week there at the hospital, I was transferred and spent three weeks at Jim Thorpe rehab center.  At Jim Thorpe I met Paul; a speech pathologist.  After Jim Thorpe came high school.  In high school I met Vici Beth Morgan; another speech pathologist.  She is married to a preacher named Billy, who would be important in the future.  After graduating high school, attending UCO for two years, and taking a year off from school to work, I decided to go to USAO and become a speech pathologist.  After two years I realized that though speech pathology was a great field to study, it wasn't quite right for me, so I decided to go into political science.  On the second to last day of class, I asked a classmate of mine if she had a blender.  She said yes.  I then asked her to go to an mc chris concert with me... She said yes.  I asked her out on a real date... She said yes..  In September I asked her to marry me... She said yes.  And on May 7th, 2010, Pastor Billy asked her if she would take me to be her husband.. She said yes. 

I now sit here writing this blog, thinking about how one event, eleven years ago would completely change my own course in history.  I really understand that every action has a reaction.  By choosing to play baseball, accepting my position in the batting order, not ducking quick enough, finishing high school, dropping out of UCO, working for Halliburton and quitting to attend USAO and going to the speech pathology program, I finally learned what was really the reason for me being injured on that day in March. My wife Kaycie, and the wonderful family she and I will make together is the greatest reason I could ever discover.   Everything really does happen for a reason... Sometimes it just takes eleven years for it to really make sense.

I dedicate this to all speech pathologists (especially the pretty red headt who said yes to me)

B.D. Rogers

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Continuing the interview.

We pickup right where we left off earlier this week

Question 4: What is your position on gay marriage?
Answer: This is a tougher one for me to answer.  Mostly because it goes against a lot of the people within my party.  I  still believe in the Christian morals that I was taught when I was young.  I believe in God, and in Christ, but I feel that a person's sexual orientation should be completely between his or herself, their partner and God, and is absolutely none of my business as long as it is not directly affecting me or my family.  Some may say I'm going against the social conservative majority on this position, but I really do not have a problem with a gay couple marrying each other.  Some may argue that allowing homosexuals to marry taints the sanctity of marriage.  I think America losses it's hold on the "sanctity" when 50% or more of heterosexual marriages end up in divorce.  I feel the same way when it comes to gay couples adopting.  As long as they pass the same rigorous background check, and prove that they can provide a safe and loving home that any heterosexual couple should pass, nobody should stop them from becoming parents.

Question 5: With the recent budget crisis that is effecting almost every state, including our own, what plan would you suggest for the state legislatures of Oklahoma?
Answer: Budget cuts, just to make it nice and simple.  Of course it is very hard to cut the funding of state projects and offices that affect many Oklahoma workers.  Its even harder not to sound cold and callous when basically you are handing the pink slips to hard working people.  But in hard times come hard decisions.  We need to assure the people of Oklahoma that we want to keep our state from critical mass that states like California, New York, and New Jersey are facing right now.  We must educate and persuade the public that though this will be difficult at first, it truly is for the best, and also that it is not permanent.  Our nation and state will recover, and additional funding will return with it.  But we must be reasonable, and accept that we cannot spend our way into a hole that generations to come will be paying off.

Question 6: How about the talks of tax cuts within the state?  Do you feel Oklahoma should cut taxes across the board?
Answer: At this point I don't feel comfortable making hasty tax cuts.  Though I do agree with much of the Tea Party's goals of bringing taxes and spending to a logical and stable course, I believe that Oklahoma's current tax rate is quite reasonable.  Sure we have a state income tax (which is not nearly as bad as most of the states with state income tax), but you must also look at our other tax rates that are quite low.  You can google state tax rankings and you'll find Oklahoma is far from the highest in almost every category.  So I do not feel a tax cut at this time would truly be in the best interest for Oklahoma.

That concludes today's questions.  We'll try to continue this interview tomorrow, when we'll ask Mr. Rogers on his take on foreign and energy policies.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My interview with Braylen D. Rogers

Today I was lucky enough to land a one-on-one interview with Braylen Rogers, an aspiring political scientist with hopes of becoming a public servant to the people of Oklahoma in the near future.  For now, Mr. Rogers is working the graveyard shift for Haliburton Energy Services- Baroid Division in Pocasset, OK, but he has not lost his focus on studying the political machine that makes up American politics.  With economics and foreign policy being his preferred field of study, Braylen is still interested in state and local affairs.  Since many have not heard Mr. Rogers' positions on key political issue, we agreed on a quick round of simple questions to help the public get to know him better, and who and what they'll possibly be voting for.

Question 1:  Capitol punishment-
Answer:  I do believe that the death penalty is not a completely cruel method of punishment.  However, the way the system works, the costs seem to outweigh the deterrence that many people in favor of the death penalty believe creates.  On average, it costs the government over two to three million dollars to execute a prisoner.  Meanwhile a prisoner serving out a life sentence costs around one million dollars.  I am not to the point of saying "abolish the death penalty" but with this state and this nation facing the fiscal problems today, it may be necessary in the near future.

Question 2: Abortion-
Answer: Obviously a very heated debate, but I still stand against abortion unless under certain circumstances.  I won't object to women who are victims of rape, or incest, or to save their life receiving an abortion.  I also do not want to circumvent the law handed down by the Supreme Court.  The 10th Amendment has been interpreted as a way of giving the states rights to make their own laws and penalties on certain matters, however,  abortion has been made into a federal matter, meaning it is the law of the land.  Now certain details were not made so clear, such as late-term abortions, but I feel if the pro-life, anti-abortion or whatever a person wishes to consider themselves, want to make a great change, they should go through the same proper channels that those in favor of abortion in the 70s went through.  We need to remain strong on our principles, and not get lulled to sleep by the slow process.

Question 3: Staying in the reproductive realm, what is your position on sexual education at the middle and high school level?
Answer: I believe kids today should receive education on safe sex and abstinence.  Most parents would prefer their children to remain abstinent through their days in school, they must realize that times really have changed.  I do not see pounding kids with the idea that "sex is evil" as an effective way of lowering the national teen pregnancy and STD rate. But I do feel that parents should have the right to pull their children out of sex-ed classes if they feel it goes against their own morals or beliefs.  But like so many of these issues today, it cannot be viewed so black and white.  Kids should learn as much as they need to about sex, but the burden of educating them on the subject should not fall completely on the schools.  Parents should be the first in line to teach the kids about it.  I'm sure it is a tough subject to talk about, I'm not a parent yet so I can't really say I know what its like for parents to talk to their kids about sex, but as a member of society I feel I have the right and duty to take part in the educational process.

That's all for today.  Tomorrow we'll continue our interview and hit more important topics and policies effecting Oklahoma and America.