Big Problems, Common Sense Solutions

A few of you have contacted me since my last post, and I wanted to thank you all.  I also recently gave a short interview to the Edmond Sun regarding Pell grants, and I’ll be linking that as soon as it’s available.

I want to state my position on Education very clearly.  Education is the cornerstone of a great nation.  A well educated population benefits not only themselves but their country.  In a time when the economy is in trouble and jobs are scarce, education is growing farther and farther out of reach for many people.  And we need to examine our economy very carefully, make some much needed cuts to spending.  But limiting educational opportunities is not a viable road to success.

My issue with the government, here, is a cornerstone of my campaign.  The federal government has a long history of lofty salaries, redundant programs, and general mismanagement.  The dysfunction has been the butt of jokes for decades.  And today we see a congress with a 10% approval rating, and the fewest number of accomplishments in their modern history.  Their answer to the problems that they’ve perpetuated?  They’ve tried to slash at programs that benefit the tax-payer… but otherwise they’ve left business-as-usual intact.  They’re staring at dollar figures, and have missed common sense.

We Americans have to budget our finances.  If we find we’ve got more money going out than we have coming in… we examine our finances closely and prioritize.  We stop eating at restaurants four times a week before we stop buying food.  We turn off the cable before we turn off the power.  Things like excess and redundancy are the first things to go.  But this is not the way our government has conducted itself.  I’m running for U.S. Congress because it’s time to fix the government before any further burden is placed on the tax-payer.  That means a smaller, more efficient federal government.

Unfortunately, the only thing both parties can seem to agree on is more government overreach.  The President has pushed for the ability to hold American citizens, suspected of being a security threat, without due process of law.  It’s a blatant violation of the rights guaranteed to us as citizens.  Our own Rep. James Lankford (R) supported the closing of local poison control centers with a plan to replace them with a larger, federally run center.  Members of both parties, our own Rep. Lankford included, have supported more federal control over the internet.

These are steps further away from success and freedom, not toward them.  They’re what I’m standing up to oppose.  It’s time for common sense and the reality of regular Americans to hold sway in Washington.  I don’t have a party agenda, I just want to see meaningful solutions to real problems.  And I promise I’ll work every day to bridge the aisle, to bring the concerns of regular Americans to the people who have to do something about it.  I’ll fight to fix what’s become so broken.  In a conflict this deep and divisive, third party mediators are just what we need.

I hope you’ll keep sharing my info with friends and family.  I hope you’ll keep up your questions and voicing your concerns!  Your support is so important.  It’s how our government is supposed to work.

Thanks, again!  Don’t forget to check me out on Facebook!

All the best,
Pat Martin

It Begins!

I’m proud to say that today I’ve made my candidacy official.  Filing is done, my name will be on the ballot.  And that means today marks my effort, to the best of my ability, to get out there and meet you.

As many of you already know, I am not a career politician.  I have a job, currently, and so I can’t be out there every single day.  But I’m planning on traveling across the district, one or two days every week.  I want to meet you, hear about your concerns.  

Our government has gotten too big.  We’re spending too much.  Career politicians have lost touch with the reality of every day Americans.  Our two-party system makes government more about shoring up your own defenses, while seeking to torpedo the opposition.  Bills are intentionally convoluted and lumped together with multiple issues that sometimes have nothing to do with one another.  And everyone knows it.  It’s been the butt of jokes told in smokey nightclubs for years.  

These are the reasons this congress has accomplished less, so far, than any other congress in modern history.  These are the reasons are congress has a whopping 10% approval rating.  These are the reasons we’re in the situation we’re in, now.  These are the things that have to change if we can expect any real difference in Washington.  And these are the reasons I’m running for the U.S. House of Representatives, against Rep. James Lankford (R).  I’ve been fortunate.  I’ve got a job, in a time when plenty of people don’t.  I have a place to live, when so many people have lost theirs.  I certainly don’t have any desire to change my long-term career plans.  But now, more than ever, I believe these things have to change.  It’s just too important.

At times, it can seem impossible.  So many people look at the state of our government and become so frustrated they simply give up.  They don’t vote, they don’t follow current events, and become apathetic to our political process.  The phrase “lesser of two evils” comes to mind, I’ve heard it from a lot of people since I started this campaign.  But this is the surest way to make sure nothing ever gets done.

This is why I’m running for U.S. Congress.  Fiscal responsibility is something that everyday Americans can relate to.  We’ve had to budget our finances, and prioritize cuts.  Simply slashing at spending is irresponsible.  Some things are more important than others.  But this is something Rep. Lankford, and many of his colleagues in Washington, have forgotten.  One of the more outrageous suggestions from Rep. Lankford was to shut down all local poison control centers and replace them with a single federally run center.  That doesn’t exactly sound like a smaller, more efficient government to me.
And so I’m running neither as a Democrat nor a Republican.  I’m running under the heading ‘Independent’.  As far as I’m concerned, we need more perspectives in Washington to break up the fight.  Such deep-seeded conflicts often require a mediator, someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in either side.  Someone who doesn’t stand to profit from the destruction of one side or another.  This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats.  This is about Americans.  These issues effect us all.   It’s time for the American people to manage our own affairs.  It’s become painfully obvious that our politicians can’t.

I can’t do any of this without your support.  So stay tuned, as I’ll be announcing visits around the district and posting the things I hear from you.  If you’d like the opportunity to meet me, just let me know!  I can be reached on Facebook, and I respond to messages personally.

Thanks again, for all your support.  Can’t wait to see you out on the campaign trail!

 

All the best,

Pat Martin

Occupy Wall Street And The Tea Party – Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Many people have asked me about my take on the Occupy Wall Street movement that’s sweeping not only our nation, but many countries around the world.  When the movement first started, this was a much easier question to answer.  As time has gone on, though, it’s become a bit more of a mess.

The Occupiers all gathered together, initially, for one reason:  They were fed up with the relationship between big business and our government.  Lobbyists give money and gifts to their friends in Washington and, in return, receive beneficial legislation that furthers their own interests.  It’s not a secret, it’s been happening for decades.  Anyone who delves into politics knows it’s happening.

After a lengthy run, it’s no wonder people began to grow frustrated.  In addition, the relationship between big business and government granted vast amounts of tax-payer money in bailouts.  Many of the folks who got us into this mess received salary increases and bonuses… bonuses for a job well done.  This was right around the time that our government decided we needed to print $600 billion new dollars.  Those undeserved bonuses accounted for one out of every four of those dollars.  This relationship between big business and a big government only nurtured corruption in both the private and public sectors.  This is why the Occupy movement began.

It’s worth pointing out, here, that these are some of the most important points to Tea Partiers.  So why is it that the two seem so diametrically opposed?

In part, it’s the media’s fault.  When the Tea Party movement began, the left media immediately focused on whom I refer to as “the whackadoos.”  I’m talking about the ones who dressed in outrageous outfits and waved obviously racist and offensive signs.  Many set out to demonize the movement based solely on this handful of jerks.  It greatly offended conservatives around the country and, in my opinion, rightly so.

Today, we see much the same scenario playing out.  What began as a movement designed to better and reduce the relationship between government and the private sector was suddenly infiltrated by “problem children”.  Card-carrying communists actually began to show up to the rallies.  Even though the movement began because people just wanted a fair opportunity, the image was marred by those who just wanted a handout.  It’s not what the movement was about at all, but the lunatics always make for the best pictures.

Some conservatives siezed the opportunity to get a little Tea Party revenge.  Claiming the movement wants to destroy capitalism or redistribute wealth, the right side of the media began to wage the very same war that was waged against the Tea Partiers.  They even did it based on the same lousy information, a few malcontents who made their way into the crowd.

One reason I think this happened was the choice of tag line, “The 99%,”.  While, at first glance, it does a great job of conveying just how many of us are negatively effected by our government and corporations scratching one another’s backs, it opened the door to anyone who was angry and not a millionaire.  Commies, and others with a screw loose, were bound to show up.  To top it all off, the Occupy movement is leaderless, and spans many cities across the globe.  There’s almost no way to address these lunatics, or issue a unified statement against them.
Here’s the bottom line… cash and gifts do not need to be accepted by our elected representatives.  It’s also why we need 100% transparency when dealing with campaign donations.  In business, this is considered unethical, a conflict of interest.  The standard should go doubly for our government.

But just because their is corruption within our current system is no reason to uproot it entirely.  I like capitalism.  I like the freedom I have to pursue any job I want, without the government deciding that for me.  I like the freedom I have to seek a better wage, rather than just taking what the government gives me.  I like the freedom I have to start up a business of my own.  Corruption is the problem and, if you think communism is the answer, I’d like to point at the failed examples of the Soviet Union and North Korea that prove corruption is possible in any economic system.  Capitalism allows us great freedoms, and it’s on these freedoms that our country was founded.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s here to stay.

I believe conservatives should support the Occupy movement.  Not because a few people who showed up tried to inject communism into the equation.  Many supported the Tea Party, after all, despite the few racists.  As far as I can tell, reducing government influence in corporate America, and vice versa, is something we can all unite behind.  And we can do it without being Pinkos.  Those are the principles that I’ll support, and it’s one of the reasons I decided to run for office in the first place.

I promise I’ll do everything possible to eliminate the Lobbyist threat from Washington, and I’ll work to eliminate government involvement in the private sector.  A smaller, more efficient federal government stands to benefit our nation not only in these matters, but across the board.  With your help, it can be done.

Thank you for following my campaign.  Hundreds of visitors are reading this blog every month, now, and I’m certain it’s thanks to you.  Sharing my information with family and friends, you’ve helped spread the word that common sense is ready to move to Washington.  Keep up the good work, I promise to do the same.  And if you haven’t, already, please friend me on facebook!  It’s the best way to communicate your questions and concerns with me, directly, and get regular campaign and blog updates.

Thanks again, and I hope to see you soon out there on the campaign trail.

All the best,
Pat Martin

Protecting The Homeland… Everywhere But Home

Today I want to tackle a lot of issues, so I’ll try to keep these thoughts very well organized.  The trick with Homeland Security is realizing that it also ties into illegal immigration and our own energy production.  It’s also a budget issue, with hundreds of billions of dollars being spent overseas for military action.  It’s a complex issue, but it’s no different than any of the others.  A little common sense, when correctly applied, can really make a difference.

First, let’s look at the foreign aspects of it.  We’ve been in Afghanistan for a decade, it’s our longest running war ever.  Then there’s Iraq.  Now we’re dealing with Libya, although it’s to a much lesser degree.

The war in Afghanistan, as we all know, came about after 9/11.  The Taliban was an oppressive regime that harbored and supported Al-Qaeda.  The Taliban is no longer in control of Afghanistan, and Al-Qaeda has been heavily disrupted and scattered.  We even managed to get bin Laden.  Check, check  and check.

Iraq was a bit messy, by comparison.  We went in looking for WMDs that we never found, and Iraq wasn’t involved with 9/11.  However, we know they had WMDs.  Saddam was famous for gassing his own people by the thousands, and he considered us a sworn enemy.  There were plans to build weapons that could attack us and our allies.  I support the action in Iraq.  A world court convicted him of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to death.  It’s pretty clear we did the right thing when the world can come together and decide we’re just better off without the guy.  The Iraqi people have been liberated, and Saddam is out of the picture.  Check and check.

I think sometimes we forget just how successful our military has been in addressing these objectives.  But that’s just my point.  The objectives have been completed.  It seems we’re still involved so heavily in the Mid-East, as if we haven’t completed our objectives, because there are still some bad guys out there… but I tend to think like a regular American.

We were like a home owner who awoke one morning to find our home invaded.  Damage was done, lives were lost ,and we all demanded justice.  We set out to find the perpetrators.  We found them.  We brought that justice.  Question:  What should the home owner do now?

The first concern is that there are more bad guys out there, who would love to break in again.  It’s a big world, after all.  I don’t think that home owner would continue to patrol the streets looking for potential invaders.  Rather, I think it would be time to latch the doors, install an alarm system.  Now it’s time to protect the home from further invasions.

Our borders and ports go largely ignored.  We only inspect a small fraction of the goods that come into this country through our ports.  Only 2% of our food imports are inspected.  As a matter of fact, an interview with a customs officer indicates “weapons of mass effect” have made it into this country, only specfying it was not a nuclear device.  While we continue to patrol foreign soil, our own gets overlooked.

This is where we start looking at immigration.  I’m a big supporter of legal immigration into this country.  But illegal immigration can sometimes lead to a criminal element, especially with warring cartels south of the border.  It can even make us more susceptible to terrorist attacks.  Not to mention, at a time when our economy needs some serious help, we’re talking about people using our services and resources without contributing taxes.

When it comes to illegal immigration, and existing illegal immigrants, there is one thing I’ve found inescapable/  They have to be addressed separately.  Simply doing more to secure our borders doesn’t solve the situation with existing illegal immigrants, nor does mass deportations do anything to stem the tide of new illegals or prevent the deportees from coming back.

So how best to proceed?  As far as border security, it has to be done.  We’ve got alot of border, though.  It’s an expensive endeavor to adequately protect it.  This is precisely why, in order to properly protect our borders and ports, we must pull back on our military involvement in foreign nations.  To date, we’ve spent nearly $1.3 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If that doesn’t hit close enough to home, it’s estimated that we, the residents of Oklahoma’s 5th District, have paid $2.4 billion.  The cost of better protecting our own Homeland will undoubtedly be met, and even save us money.  It’s cheaper to operate here than half-way across the globe.

But that only stems the tide of new illegal immigrants, or repeat offenders.  It doesn’t address the large numer of illegal immigrants currently living within our borders.  The biggest complaint is the drain on resources and benefits that, ultimately, we tax-payers have to cover.  Arguments have been made to root them all out and deport them, but this is a rather inhuman and expensive process to initiate.  Arguments have been made from the other side that we should be more compassionate, and also recognize that they are integrated into our economy in many areas.  They say we shouldn’t deport everyone because we’re a land of opportunity and we need them, at risk of further damaging the economy by eliminating a work force.  Realistically, I think a much more ‘middle ground’ approach is needed.

There have already been stories of communities suddenly finding themselves without a work force they had come to rely on.  Our own struggling economy has sent many illegal immigrants back home.  Sounds great, right?  Well, in some cases, it’s caused some real economic damage.  At a time when we’re all struggling, that should be minimized.

Currently, what I propose is a period of open registration for all illegal immigrants.  During this period, they’ll be asked to register with the United States government and submit to a background check.  Temporary IDs can be issued.  This allows us to begin taxing them, increasing our nation’s revenue while saving tax-payer dollars, and getting illegal immigrants on the path of citizenship.  It’s far less costly than a mass deportation, and doesn’t keep illegals underground, afraid they’ll turn themselves in only to be shipped back to the poverty they sought to escape.

Deportations will still be needed.  There is a criminal element to our illegal immigration problem.  They’ll turn up in background checks or, more likely, will not volunteer to register knowing they have a criminal record.  Hence the issuing of proper IDs to those who do register and wish to follow the law.  Immigrants without proper government ID are still arrested and sent home.

So by documenting and taxing our illegal immigrant population, we lessen burdens during a time of economic stress.  By focussing more on Homeland Security instead of Otherland Security, we can better prevent new illegal immigration.  Common sense.

That brings us to American energy.  People don’t often associate our energy production with a matter of Homeland Security, but it very much is.  Currently, we’re dependent on foreign sources for a large percentage of our oil and petroleum.  You can see the top 15 countries from which we get our oil listed here.

Why is this a matter of Homeland Security?  Because, in many instances, we depend on people who aren’t exactly our best friends.  Refusing to sell us their oil, or raising prices, could seriously effect this country.  Revolution is capable of stopping the flow of oil on which we’ve become dependent.

There’s been a lot of talk about how best to go about energy production, here in America.  I support what I call an “All of the Above” sollution.  I’m a big supporter of utilizing our nations resources to our benefit, while recognizing it can be done safely and responsibly.

Here in Oklahoma, we know we can do that.  We’ve drilled oil for ages, but we appreciate our beatiful natural enviornment.  We love Oklahoma, and so we take care of it.  More than eleven thousand well sites in this state have been cleaned up and restored to their former beauty, thousands here in our own 5th District.  It can be done.

But we’re also the state where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains.  Consequently, we’ve produced wind energy here, as well.  There are stretches of desert with massive solar arrays.  We have the tools to produce our own energy, and we’re going to need every one of them to reduce our dependence on foreign nations.  Whereas the right tends to avoid “green energy”, and the left tends to demonize oil companies, I feel that all our opions are vital and must be pursued.

A more secure and prosperous nation is possible.  But we need common sense from every day Americans, not career-minded decisions or agendas made by one side or another.  We need a breath of fresh air in Washington, and that is why I’m running for U.S. House of Representatives, next year.  I promise to promote real progress.

Thank you all for your continued support.  Please look me up on Facebook, friend me, send me a message, tell me what your concerns are!  I’m running for the improvement of our nation, and for the benefit of Oklahomans in the 5th District.  Your input in that process is absolutely vital.

Until next time, all the best,
Pat Martin

James Lankford – Almost, But Not Quite

Things are serious.  In some ways, they are more serious than they have ever been.

We’re in a terrible debt crisis.  Jobs are scarce.  Homes have been foreclosed.  We’re paying more at the gas pump and grocery store than we ever have.  The U.S. Dollar’s function as the world standard is under threat.  Health care costs are on the rise.  The people expected to solve these problems consistently make career-based decisions over common sense solutions.  They further their own personal agenda and obstruct their opponents at all costs.  To top it all off, we’re still fighting what’s become our longest war.  Ever.

Because of these things, we must have a certain kind of representative in Washington to make real improvement.  We need a representative who is open-minded to potential solutions, regardless of who brings those solutions to the table.  We need a representative who will implement simple common sense in our approaches to those solutions, and we need representatives who understand efficiency and know how to achieve it.

Currently, we’re represented by Republican James Lankford in Oklahoma’s Fifth District.  James Lankford is a good man, and he’has some good ideas.  Under other circumstances, that might be good enough.  But we’re in trouble.  We’re in more trouble than we were when he was elected.

In my last post, I talked about James Lankford’s inability to handle the ‘career’ politicians and the conflict between the Democratic and Republican parties.  In earlier posts, I’ve discussed his positions on government spending.  To summarize, James Lankford has a history of tackling government spending on tax-payer benefits.  Public broadcasting, Poison Control centers, and Medicare have all come up on the chopping block, thanks in part to Rep. Lankford’s support.  Unfortunately, this took a front seat to making vital changes to our government.  Washington continues with “business as usual” while the tax-payer makes sacrifices.  Don’t get me wrong, some sacrifices may need to be made.  But the burden to the tax-payer can be minimized through common sense prioritization.

So what would be a better alternative?  Nobody would call our government ‘efficient’.  Our government is, at least partly, responsible for the problems we face.  In order to see real improvement, we have to change the methods we use.  Those methods are part of the reason we’re in this boat.

The methods in question have been the butt of jokes for decades.  Just for starters, we’ve got redundant agencies wasting tax-payer money.  We’ve got gifts given by special interest groups to ‘persuade’ law makers to do special favors.  We’ve got representatives who cast votes simply to hamper the ‘opposition’ instead of trying to discuss concerns.  We’ve got representatives who make decisions with their own careers in mind before the nation they’ve chosen to serve.  I call it “business as usual” because it’s been around so long.  Everyone’s heard the jokes on their favorite sitcoms and talk shows.  After decades of this behavior, though, it has stopped being funny and has caused real damage.

James Lankford believes we should cut spending on tax-payer benefits in multiple areas, but has made almost no effort to work with colleagues across the aisle to make changes to our government’s gross mismanagement.  I promise I will be a different kind of representative.

I promise to do the leg work.  I promise to meet with other members of congress not to argue or fight, but to make real proposals.  If they offer a reason for opposition, I’ll do my best to address that concern and continue to seek their support.  I promise I won’t ever give up on anything I start, because it’s about fixing our problems and not ‘fighting the opposition’.

I promise to work on the problems, not just patch the symptoms.  I promise to use the skills I’ve developed in my career  to help our government eliminate redundancy and improve efficiency, because our government had a hand in our current situation.  Without changes made to how we do business, new proposals are just as likely to be run into the ground.

I promise I won’t cast a vote to raise taxes.  I promise I’ll seek to simplify our tax system and end hidden loopholes and legal tax evasion.  I promise to seek lower corporate taxes to bring more jobs to this country.  I make this promise to you all, regardless of the amount of money you made last year, because this country needs your help.

Thank you all for your continued support.  It gives me great hope that we can succeed.  I hope you’ll visit and friend me on Facebook for regular updates on the campaign.  Visit later this week for my next post on homeland security and illegal immigration, and how a little common sense can help solve our problems.

Until then, all the best,
Pat Martin

Old Problems, New Leadership

I had an interesting opportunity, this morning, to attend the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce Breakfast with guest speaker James Lankford, our own congressman from here in the Fifth District.

Considering the all-encompassing nature of the issues, and being on the House Budget Committee, Representative Lankford talked primarily about the economy.  There was a lot of talk about “what’s going on” in Washington.  With all due respect to Representative Lankford, I have to say I hoped for more.

Of course he said what we want to hear from our politicians.  That they respect their opposing colleagues, that they don’t disagree on everything.  He mentioned a few examples of the problems we’re facing, but no real examples were given of reaching across the aisle or working together.

One of the examples he cited was of a meeting in which Dennis Kucinich stated that he believed the government helped businesses by imposing many regulations, because businesses would grow by hiring compliance officers.  That certainly would have frustrated me.  It’s not the government’s responsibility to dictate how businesses may grow, nor is it the government’s responsibility to employ the nation.  Buiness owners don’t want the government to dictate their growth, they want to work, provide goods and services at a competitive price, and obtain real success.  So I get it.  Stories like this make some level of finger-pointing a reality.

But there was little discussed about the core problems, such as the rampant government mismanagement and redundancy, or the games played between two sides for the Party Agenda.  He acknowledged that it does happen, but then Representative Lankford moved on, as if there was nothing more to be done about it.

He did not mention that he had, himself, made an attempt to address one example of such problems.  Representative Lankford filed an amendment to eliminate the Council on Environmental Quality, chiefly in charge of environmental reporting.  The EPA currently handles this as well, making the CEQ redundant.  It would have saved between two and three million dollars a year.  It failed to pass, with many Republicans voting ‘no’.  When he later asked them why, James Lankford reports they didn’t want to risk being seen as anti-environmental in their districts.  And that was that.

While I would never dismiss something for saving ‘too little money’, less than three million a year is hardly a big deal.  Considering that examples run through almost every agency and office in Washington, it was certainly a nice gesture.  But did James Lankford do enough?

There is no reason Rep. Lankford could not speak with his colleagues beforehand.  There is no reason his colleagues could not speak to their constituents, to let them know they had found an agency that performed the same job as the EPA, and were preparing to close it down to save money and improve efficiency.  However, closing down the CEQ because the EPA already serves that purpose is a bit of a touchy subject for Republicans, as giving tacit approval to any government regulatory agency, could jeapordize standing with the rest of the Party.  You begin to see their predicament.

There was no reason Rep. Lankford could not approach democratic colleagues, to try to gain bipartisan support beforehand.  From what I’ve seen and heard from our elected representatives, though, they probably would not have supported him.  He, after all, is the enemy.

And so the important things, the redundancy and mismanagement that all adds up to wasted tax dollars, fall by the wayside.  The two sides are so filled with distrust and anger at one another that their ability to work together towards any common goal is all the more limited.  It’s worth noting that back in August, President Obama’s approval rating was 38%.  That’s pretty bad, and considering how frustrated I’ve become with the Obama Adminstration, I can understand why it got that low… But in the same month, CNN conducted a poll.  It didn’t mention names or specifics, it simply called into question our Congress as a whole:  Is congress behaving responsibly, or like spoiled little children?  77% of those polled had a poor review of our elected representatives… Republican and Democrat, alike.  Only 14% of those polled approved of what our Congress was doing.  If they doubled that percentage, it still would be lower than the President’s approval rating.

I actually like Representative Lankford.  He’s a good man, and I believe he wants what he feels is best for this country.  I even agree with some of his proposals… such as to suggest we pursue more American energy production.  But James Lankford didn’t work for his single venture into government mismanagement.  He failed to come together with his Republican colleagues, he failed to come together with any of his Democratic colleagues.  When the Party Politics got in his way, he simply moved on.

It’s the mentality of two ‘warring’ factions that has bred such hostility.  As mentioned, rocking the Party boat could be detrimental to one’s career, and that’s the most important thing, right?  I don’t think it’s Rep. Lankford’s fault, but I believe we need someone willing to put in that extra effort.  We need representatives that will go between two opposing viewpoints to help bridge gaps.  We need representatives who can speak with Republicans and Democrats alike, without being bound by one side or another’s individual agenda.  We need mediators.  We need regular Americans in touch with the reality outside Washington.  We need representatives who continue to work on the important issues, despite meeting some resistance.  So far, James Lankford has not been those things.

As a candidate for the Modern Whigs, I don’t have to overcome that deep-seeded anger from Democrats because I’m a Republican, or vice versa.  I work hard, and I’m not dissuaded by a few hurdles.   My career experience is in teaching companies how to implement new tools, to teach people how to branch outside ‘business as usual’ to become more efficient.  Those are the skills we need in Washington, now more than ever.  That is why I’m running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

I hope you’ll follow me on facebook!  You can also register with WordPress and subscribe to this blog, for notifications on new posts and up-to-date information on meetings and events.  Send me your questions, comments, feedback.  I can’t wait to meet you out on the campaign trail!

All the best,
Pat Martin

Just Imagine A Moment… Real Stalinism Today

You’re pulled from your home at 6AM by the government’s secret police.  You’re thrown in the back of a truck and held at gunpoint.  You’re being taken somewhere.  After a long drive, your truck stops at a gate where several more armed guards stop you before allowing the truck to proceed into the guarded zone.  Welcome to prison.  What trial?

As a prisoner in these “kwan-li-seo”  (political prison), your crime could have been almost anything.  A semi-critical remark against your Dear Leader, a smudge on the glass of his photo which you’re forced to display prominently in your home.  Maybe you disconnected the mandatory, wall-mounted government radio box… after all, it doesn’t have an ‘off’ switch.  If your crime was serious enough, you may be sentenced for life, along with your children and your children’s children… even if they’re not born yet.  Regardless, you’re guilty of a terrible crime, and that’s why these kwan-li-seo exist.

Often, survival is only possible by eating frogs and worms, raw, for a needed source of protein.  The guards certainly aren’t going to feed you enough.  Thanks to the country’s “Songun” policy of Military First, the food you grow will feed loyal followers of the regime.  The guards (more ‘secret police’) are trained to be especially cruel, beating and torturing you if you step out of line in any way.  So don’t forget to keep singing those patriotic songs while you slave away at work for twelve hours or more every day of the week.  It’s hard to forget, though, since your fellow prisoners are sometimes publicly executed for violating regulations.

This prison you’re in is actually a prison within a prison.  The country has built vast highway systems, but nearly no one owns a car.  The government likes this, because it’s much easier to know where everyone is at all times.  If you need to leave your city, you take a government bus and they know where you’re going.  And, if they didn’t want you to go for some reason, they simply refuse to transport you.  Does that upset you?  You can tell me, I won’t turn you in to the authorities.

This prison outside your prison gives complete control of all industry and production to the government.  No matter what you do in life, you do it for the state.  The state signs your paycheck.  They know where you live, too, which makes it easy for them to find you and bring you to work if you don’t show up.

But that’s the outside prison.  You’re in one of these kwan-li-seo.  You dream of escape, but what are the odds?  In a country like this, where government control is absolute, escape from this political prison is not enough… where could you go, even if you did manage to escape it?

The things I’ve stated above are taken from the few who have not only escaped their prisons, but the prison outside the prison.  I’m talking about North Korea.  I didn’t make up horrific scenes to drive home a point.  I briefly listed some of the hardships they’ve told at the end of their terrible journeys.

At this time, I’d like to thank those who made that journey, and to think a moment on those who didn’t and won’t make it.  I’m thankful for the bravery and sacrifices they have made to bring us these stories.  Whether or not their escape was fueled by desperation, bravery is required to escape such a place.  And the stories they bring out tell us not only what a true Stalinist state is capable of, but what such a state does now.  Today.  As you read this.

I point this out because I feel we need a steady hand at the wheel.  Lately I’ve heard from a number of people, in a number of articles, on radio and television, about how our government is barreling out of control toward all-out socialism, and even communism.  Some have even compared the President to famous tyrannical leaders like Mao and Stalin.  As you’ve seen, though, this is not exactly accurate.

Despite our differing views on politics, despite our fears and uncertainty, we must never forget how fortunate we are.  I’ll be the first to criticize our government leaders, the President included, and that’s the whole point.

We live in a country where we have the right to say something so scathing of our leadership.  We live in a country where we can voice our opinion and select our own leaders.  If we don’t like something, we can complain about it.  If we don’t like it, we can run for office ourselves, or vote for leaders we think will do the best job for our nation.  We live in a country where we, truly, have the power over the government.  If we’re presented with good options, and we cast our vote for those options, we can truly shape this country for the better.

So the next time you hear someone say we’re squarely headed for a totalitarian regime right out of “1984”, or that our President is a communist dictator, consider what I’ve said.  Consider the lack of government sponsored radios that cannot be turned off.  Consider the freedom to work any job you wish for competitive wages.  Consider the right to actually make such a statement without being thrown in a slave labor camp.  To say that we’re conducting ourselves as a nation like North Korea is more than an exaggeration.  It does a disservice to this great nation, and it does a disservice to the people who live through the real atrocities while we go out to eat at our favorite restaurants.

God bless America.  And God bless all who cannot live in freedom, may they one day have it as “bad” as us.

I’ve collected satellite images from Google Earth showing actual North Korean prison camps, and even a small paradise within the oppressive nation that took a little bit of study before I finally figured out what it was.  I think you’ll be surprised.  You can see those images here.

Thank for reading.  I love this country, and the rights and freedoms we all enjoy.  As a young man of 18 I was set and ready to go into the navy, most likely aviation, when a back injury prevented me from serving her.  Today, I’m in a position once again to serve, albeit in a different capacity.  I’m ready to go to Washington as your congressman, to serve you.  I’m ready to serve our country by bringing to Washington that ‘steady hand’ I mentioned, with a common sense approach to real problem solving.  But I can’t do that without your support.  Please, friend me on facebook, to stay up to date on new blog posts and speak with me directly about your concerns, one Oklahoman to another.

Also, the new Modern Whig website is up and running!  Register today, and I’ll see you on the forums!  (Note, Registering for the website does not register you as a Modern Whig.)

Thank you all, again.

Pat Martin

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