Political Wonk, Charity Ronin & Oracle Hack

With all of the Buffoonery He allows, God must have a great sense of humor.

David Dewhurst’s Next Dan Patrick Smear Ad.

Posted by Mike O on May 9, 2014

(I’ll send the bill to the Dewhurst campaign)

Patrick_openshaw_a

Dan Patrick has been known to associate with people with nefarious backgrounds. It shows gross negligence on the part of someone who wants to be Lieutenant Governor not to realize the people he has occasionally associated with on the campaign trail has some questionable associations in his past.

Here is Dan with this questionable character associates with: Michael Openshaw -

 

 

young_mike_ghost2How could Dan not know this same individual, 40 years ago, as seen here, had some questionable associations?
40 years years ago, this suspicious character was often seen in a bar called ‘Red Dog Saloon’ frequented by known car thieves and burglars. Indeed, he shared an apartment briefly with an individual that was later arrested and jailed for fencing stolen goods, shortly after this questionable character left the area, moving to Phoenix in the summer of 1973.  While there were no charges filed against Mr. Openshaw and no actual criminal activity was tied to him, Dan Patrick should, of course, known all this about this about an individual he has met 4-5 times and not associated with him.  This shows the kind of poor judgement that is unacceptable in Austin.

 

 

 

 

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My Personal Endorsement for John Ratcliffe, CD 4

Posted by Mike O on May 4, 2014

It is time. Ralph Hall has served as a solid conservative for a VERY long time. How long? I was in graduate school- and elected Denton County GOP chairman- and Ralph Hall had already served several terms- as a 100% conservative DEMOCRAT- in a district that represented part of that county. He has served the citizens of North Texas for the better part of two generations.
However, the need for aggressive, dynamic conservative action in Washington could not be greater. We need more than a solid vote; we need vitality and drive, and new ideas and approaches. It takes the right kind of candidate- one with political experience both dealing with Washington and the local issues, as well as a principled conservative foundation- to replace a legend. You can NOT replace such with a political novice, who will be devoured by the national Political Professional Class. I am convinced the John Ratcliffe HAS those essential characteristics of experience and principle and for that, John has my personal endorsement for what it’s worth.
A vote to give U.S. Congressional District 4 that new voice is NOT a vote AGAINST Ralph Hall and his legacy. It is a vote to give him the honored retirement he deserves, but is reluctant to take. I ask my friends within the district to consider it in that manner.

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Callling in All Friends (and Favors)

Posted by Mike O on February 5, 2014

Many of you also may know about my decade-long work in Africa on what many would consider charity (I consider it ‘people investment’). Well, that work is arriving LOCALLY and the Children of Uganda  (Here is a quick intro to COU) music and dance troupe- 22 of the finest and most talented kids you are likely to ever see- have agreed to put on a performance.  I have been working with the Alliance of Elite Youth Leadership to help pull this together, another GREAT group worthy of support.  The basic information:

Children of Uganda Tour of Light
Saturday February 15th, 6:30- 8:30pm (NEW TIME!)
Faubion Middle School
2000 Doe Rollins, McKinney, TX 75069 (MAP)
Tickets will be $20 at the door, $15 for kids 4-11, kids 3 and under free (I pay far more than that for a minor league hockey game that is less entertaining- and far less uplifting and inspiring- than this show will be!)  Any additional donations will be up to the individual but I would encourage them (I’m covering half of the costs for the facility- and feeding the entire troupe myself afterward) .How uplifting are these kids?  Well, the lessons in life I learned from some of these kids are what got my family through the nightmares of my son’s medical drama 18 months ago.  The lessons on how to live life through adversity from my first trip to Uganda to meet these kids have gotten my family through some really tough times.  So, please come and don’t chalk it up as a charitable donation as much of an educational expense over the topic of “How to Live Life, Through it All.”  You want a ‘pro-life’ rally?  There is none more fun than this one!Please come; please bring the family.  Come see the inspiration of kids who have lived through things few of us can fathom- and have come through with joy in their hearts and incredible physical and musical talent. A show NOT to be missed.Sincerely,

Michael B. Openshaw
(AKA Mzungu Mike)

COU_Tour_of_light_med_combo

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Convention of States concept more terrifying than Obamacare

Posted by Mike O on January 7, 2014

Ever since Mark Levin published his politically naive book, ‘The Liberty Amendments’ there have been those pushing for a Convention of States.  I have personally sat in on several of the presentations of the advocates of this and their political naivety is absolutely stunning.  Their motto is: “Using the Power of the States to Curtail the Abuse of Power by Washington DC”.  I downloaded their handbook and you can read it here.

They are adamant their idea is not a ‘Con Con’ (a Constitutional Convention) but something different in that state legislators will appoint delegates. But their concepts of how that would work- and what kind of delegates you’d end up with- are detached from the reality of the modern political world.

First let’s address what a key fallacy on what such a convention would be like:  they state this (emphasis is mine):  “Two-thirds of the state legislatures pass applications for a convention for the purpose of proposing
amendments on the same subject.”  But this is based on Article 5 of the constitution which reads as follows:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. “

Note a very important point: there is NOTHING in Article 5 to restrict such a convention to topics deemed appropriate by the States!  By the constitution itself, such a convention is unconstrained once called.  And not only that, there is no designation of the rules under which such a convention would operate. That would be up to the delegates.

And what kind of delegates would states send to such an event? The advocates of this approach talk about the number of state legislatures either partially or entirely controlled by Republicans. Currently, the GOP fully controls 26 state legislators, and share control in 6. However, some of these include states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan New York and Wisconsin; hardly stalwarts of conservative philosophy and limited government.  I have been dealing with the Texas Legislatures for several cycles now and desipite 11 of the 181 have R’s by their name, there aren’t 30 of them I’d trust with Constitutional rewrites (and rest assured, THAT is what a convention of States would do).  And Texas is far better than all but about 5-6 states.

And do these Convention advocates think for one minute the socialists on the other side are simply going to sit idly by and let this stuff go on without a serious attempt to take over the process?  Bluntly, liberals play this political game far better than most conservatives and I assure you, their impact will be far greater than even their numbers.  There is word of a liberal group in California all ready to take over any such attempt to change the Constitution.

No, this idea is beyond naive; it is incredibly dangerous. And I will fight it with my dying breath and should such a convention EVER get called, our family will be emigrating permanently from the disaster that will result.

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Time to ask for help

Posted by Mike O on November 21, 2013

I HATE asking for help; I always have.  All of you know I ALWAYS put my own money where my mouth is and RARELY ask for any help in the things I do, whether charity of politics.  But my resources simply aren’t there for this one.  Not since the wife lost her job and became a full-time ‘family manager’ between her elderly parents and my sones medical nightmare last year.

My girl Winnie Nazziwa needs a new wheelchair.  Her current one is 6 years old and has held up well but there are limits in a country where they serve more as off-road vehicles than rolling on smooth cement like here.  Cost of a new one is $500-$600, since they have to be custom-built (custom ones in the U.S. are $2000 up and generally NOT off-road capable; Alan’s was $4k- covered by insurance, fortunately). It would take me 4-5 months to scrape it together, with the other support work I do over there in Uganda.  And I’d like to get it done for Christmas (spirit of the season and all that).

I will NOT be setting up something up a GoFundMe type online link for this.  Such sites take about 8% and I want to make sure EVERY PENNY donated goes to the chair.  And, frankly, I want to thank every donor PERSONALLY not via internet.

UPDATE:  I forgot to make this clear.  As much as I appreciates generous offers I have already received from some, I cannot, in good conscious, take donations from ANY officeholders or candidates for office.  My role in the Tea Party precludes this at this time.

If I raise more than needed, I will give any excess to Winnie, who is just starting a job teaching handicapped kids and it WILL go to support critical needs- and I’ll get reports on every bit of it.

So, if you feel willing, contact me and I’ll be happy to pick up any donations my friends could manage or when you meet me at various meetings.  Or contact me if you need to mail them and I’ll give you my address.  I’ll have a fund jar at my office at all times.

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Associations Speak Volumes

Posted by Mike O on September 18, 2013

In politics, ASSOCIATIONS MATTER.  Often, far more than words

Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas house, just completed the 83rd legislative session that left the Democrats high-fiving on the floor, primarily because a group of about 30 of Straus’s minions with ‘principle flexibility’ repeatedly joined the Democrats against their GOP counterparts to spend more and kill more conservative legislation than ever before. A session one retiring legislator said was NOT run by the moderate Republicans as the previous two had been, but by the Democrats themselves. Even the special sessions had Straus’s own ‘brand’ on them; it was his delay of one week in considering the HB2 bill on abortion that led to the first special session debacle in the Senate, and all the high drama of the second. Indeed, it what his leadership’s refusal to consider a protective floor on the reserves to be met before revenue would be diverted to transportation that led to the third special session as well.

Since that time, several of Straus’s powerful chairs have announced they are moving on: Dan Branch, Higher Education Chair (and one of the original ‘Traitorous 11′ GOP member, who joined the Democrats to put Straus in power) is running for Attorney General. Appropriations Chair, another member of the Traitorous 11 is retiring. And Harvey Hidebran, Ways and Means Chair is running for Comptroller. While the loss of these loyal minions (think ‘flying monkey’ minions from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ more than the cute critters of ‘Despicable Me’) is a loss to Straus, it also provides an opportunity. The shuffling of Chairs represents some VERY LARGE carrots that Joe can wave at people who would be willing to have enough ‘flexibility in principle’ to serve as a Chair for him under a presumptive next term as Speaker (MANY of us will continue to fight the uphill battle against that presumption).

Note that the ‘Powers That Be’, after taking some significant beatings in the last two election cycles, have decided that the pro-life group is easiest enough to please and powerful enough to help counter those evil Tea Party types, who unreasonably expect them to act like full-spectrum conservatives and even reduce the crony capitalism that rewards the friends of the leadership with tax money! With the pro-life movement, all they need was a bill that was, in actual content, extremely mild restrictions on abortions: only knocking down the federal standard limit of 24 weeks to 20 weeks and requiring the clinics doing them meet day surgery standards. Despite the hopes of pro-life folks and the ludicrous hyperbole of the pro-abortion folks, HB2′s actual implementation will permanently close very few clinics (some may move) and will only fractionally reduce the number of abortions done. Indeed, the recent successful Medicaid fraud complaint against Planned Parenthood- where they had to pay back $4.3 million- is what is responsible for a couple of recent closings, NOT HB2. (And those clinics might return- in a different form, location and sponsorship). But all the high drama proves valuable to BOTH sides in terms of activism and money-raising, so both sides play along- and the leadership will take advantage of the inflation of the outcome to help retain power.

So in all that context, it is interesting to note which representatives would show up for a gala event hosted by Joe Straus, run in the same timeframe of a pro-life gathering in Austin. (Note, Joe Straus has repeatedly bottled up pro-life efforts at more strict approaches, just letting the milder stuff through; probably related to the fact his wife use to volunteer for Planned Parenthood long ago.)  Who might be drawn to the scent of the large carrots and have a willingness to forgive all sins of the ‘Powers That Be’ for their acquiescence to allow the functionally mild HB2 through? Here is a partial list of people who showed up this ‘gala event’ from a Facebook posting on it, with certain names in caps. Make of it what you will:

Great turnout for Speaker Joe Straus’ event last night in Austin! Great to see DAN FLYNN, Dwayne Bohac, CINDY BURKETT, Byron Cook, Tony Dale, Drew Darby, Gary Elkins, Marsha Farney, Charlie Geren, Larry D. Gonzales, Lance Gooden, Patricia Fincher Harless, Tracy King, Lyle Larson, JODIE LAUBENBERG, Geanie Morrison, Larry Phillips, Four Price, Bennett Ratliff, RON SIMMONS, Drew Springer, Phil Stephenson, Ed Thompson, Jason Villalba & Craig Goldman supporting our PRO-LIFE SPEAKER.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The GOP needs to change the tenor and tack of the Abortion Issue

Posted by Mike O on November 8, 2012

This one will likely tick off a lot of Social Conservatives, but the bottom line is this; they are NOT being successful at substantially reducing abortions.  And the way the issue is currently being handled by the GOP IS damaging the cause with people who are NOT ‘All-or-None’ types, most of which are young people.

The presentation of the political goal for the Republican Party is that the GOP stands for reducing abortions to the absolutely bare minimum and the elimination of abortions for contraceptive purposes.  This grants leeway within the Party effort to define what bare minimum is; the Social Conservatives view of none but the life of the mother and the view that includes rape and incest are both accepted- and argued WITHIN the framework of the Party.

But there ALSO has to be a open and frank discussion of the practical problems of a rape-incest except; the fact that- with that exception, there would be MANY innocent men accused of rape, just to get the abortion.  Think false accusations of rape don’t happen?  They happen all the time- to avoid disclosure of infidelity, to get back at boyfriends and family members, etc.  Anyone who has worked around an emergency room can tell you this.  Admitting this reality and addressing the seriousness of such spurious charges takes NOTHING away from the condemnation and punishment rape SHOULD result in.

The discussion can then be turned to the sheer VOLUME of abortions done; over 80,000 per year in Texas alone.  The vast majority of people will find this a moral outrage, even those who support some level of abortions.  The light needs to be shined on the fact this is an amoral grist mill industry, holding itself separate from common medical practices- and regulation.  That there are many,many cases of multiple abortions that should NEVER happen.  It needs to be done away with as a contraceptive tool, with other forms of contraception insisted upon (and if those fail; well, you paid your nickel and took your chance; welcome to parenthood and responsibility).

My socially conservative friends will consider this a sellout position and a slight on absolute moral clarity.  My view is the situation is we are currently in an ‘All-or-None’ environment, we have been getting ALL for decades.  And the majority of people would rather reduce the slaughter in Texas from 80,000 to 800 than not reduce it at all out of moral righteousness.

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Personal Political Reflections on the Runoff

Posted by Mike O on August 5, 2012

I am writing this in my long-dormant personal blog because the raging success of the  North Texas Tea Party in the Prmary runoff had VERY little to do with me. Yes, I came up with the original TeaApproved concept (named by Q Coleman ) and I also came up with the concept and initial design of the multi-group voter guide that proved SO effective.  But others were FAR more responsible for distribution of anthing but the online version of it.  Q Colemean organized the distribution in the primary itself, and Geral Meazell, who we REALLY came to know in the primary early voting, took over for the runoff distribution and did a GREAT job.

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My Primary Recommendations

Posted by Mike O on April 15, 2012

During the North Texas Tea Party’s TeaApproval process, I had the privilege of meeting with over a score of candidates, most vying for Texas State Representative slots across the metroplex area. The explanation and the results of our Tea Approval process are here;  Jim Bright did an EXCEPTIONAL job running the show and all kudos for it belong to him. His insight honed as a professional headhunter proved priceless.  I don’t significantly disagree with any of the decisions made.

I have some personal commentary to add to specific races and candidates, however.

Of all the candidates we vetted and interviewed, many seem sound in terms of keeping to the Tea Party once in office.   However, two ‘newbies’ stood out as exceptional for conservative leadership potential.

Matt Rinaldi, running in House District 115 (Jim Jackson’s old district in Carrollton) is one.  I consider Matt a leader from the mind: his concepts and explanations of the way governance SHOULD be are iron-clad and convincing.  He is pitted against a powers-that-be type in Ratliff and a special interest candidate

The race that took the most to discuss was the House District 67; 5 candidates, all but one have some sort of conservative background.  But it was Jeff Leach that impressed all of us as the one most certain to remain conservative after reaching Austin.  What first actually impressed me was in a first one-on-one meeting with him, nearly the first words out of his mouth were something that he knew would likely see as a negative, even possibly a showstopper.

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Globalization of the original Tea Party Concepts

Posted by Mike O on November 2, 2011

I have long separated my political activities from my charitable ones; I try not to ‘preach’ my personal political philosophies to my kids in Uganda.  And I even gritted my teeth and brought the pro-Obama books one of them wanted.If they ask, I’ll tell them what I think but that’s a rare thing.  Uganda is not like the U.S.  Or is it?

One thing about Uganda is it actually has a potential for a brighter future; a moderate amount of oil has been discovered in western Uganda, far more that the country could consume itself (but not enough for a full-scale refinery operation).  Also, the country is landlocked, so shipping the oil is problematical (Kenya will rob them blind for pipeline rights).  So there are problems with making use of it. Negotiations as been going on for almost 6 years to figure out the contracting to even get started.  Government corruption, misuse, and waste are a major impediment (no surprise there).

One of the older girls I’ve worked with is Ritah Namwiza and, out of all the ‘kids’ (now young adults) that I work with over there, Ritah is one of the most impressive. Intelligent, resourceful, caring, and guaranteed to be a success in life.  I was NOT surprised when she got got picked by UNAIDS to work with them.  She is spending time in Geneva and Sweden at the moment and will go back to Uganda soon.  But in all our dealing, politics really hasn’t come up very much at all.

SO imagine my surprise when I read this from her on Facebook:

As a Ugandan tax payer, I am pledging to hold the government accountable for every penny they spend. Ugandans pay the government to deliver good leadership and we expect nothing less of that!

With the Global Economic Crisis closing on to the rich countries who have been aiding Africa, it is time for African leaders to wake up. Can we put our money where it is most needed? Can our parliaments stop thinking i-pads and start thinking health care?  Can we cut government expenditure on say entertainment and invest in agriculture…..

I had to comment to all of this, after I was done laughing.

That makes you a charter member of the Ugandan Tea Party! :D No matter what ugliness the media tries to paint the Tea Party, this is EXACTLY the kind of declaration that started us and is our primary focus.

Have to use different symbology though; the Tea Party yellow of the Gadsden flag matches your president’s color. But do NOT discount the need of coming up with an effective imagry to mark your efforts. Our stupid little Teapot in red white and blue with ‘TeaApproved’ across it was detested by the local establishment, for it now represents their first defeat in 25 years.

If you girls want to get started in what we call grassroots activism, I’ll be happy to help all I can.

It looks like my next political campaigns after 2012 will be in Uganda;  their election cycle is 2015 and that gives us time to get Ritah and similar sharp, bright go-getters elected.

And my ‘daughter’ Irene Birungi has also chimed in on the effort-  as a member of the ruling party cadre, no less! (Going for change things from inside).  She insisted I make the following image- which used the text from a bumper sticker on the Ugandan flag- as a sticker that she can distribute.  I told her, I hope the bail isn’t too high if she gets jailed for this.  :)  She also had me create a T-shirt with it.

So now I’m aiding efforts to fight the professional political class on 2 continents.

Posted in Politics, Uganda, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

 
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