Quanah Parker’s House Joins Geronimo’s Teepee

It’s not every day you can lean on the dining room table that once belonged to the Comanche’s last war chief, Quanah Parker, and wonder if your feet are going to crash through the floorboards.

The table that once hosted Teddy Roosevelt and Geronimo is now surrounded by a house that’s collapsing due to lack of funds and lack of will power.

Quanah Parker's House near Cache, OK.

Quanah Parker’s House near Cache, OK.

Somehow a nation that puts a minor figure like Sacajawea on its coinage can’t coordinate the rescue of a house that personifies a man who successfully lead his people through the transition from savagery to civilization.

Quanah Parker was the foremost warrior of his time, the real “Lord of the Plains.” Parker was a cruel, ruthless raider who recognized the Comanche way was ending. Instead of living out his life as a despondent ward of the Great White Father, Parker became a businessman, hob–knobbed with the famous and represented his tribe in Washington.

The house symbolizes the transition. Cattlemen driving herds north needed grass and water, both of which Parker had in abundance. They asked what he would need from them in return for grazing rights.

Parker said build him a house just like the one the commandant of Ft. Sill lived in — only bigger. And thus Star House was born.

Parker lived in it until his death in 1911. His last direct descent to occupy the house was Linda Parker Birdsong. In 1957 the Army decided to take her land and use it for a firing range. Birdsong was promised the house would be moved, but in typical Pentagon fashion Star House was dumped in a field and the contractors abandoned it without reinstalling the stoves or providing a connection to running water.

Although it was uninhabitable, it wasn’t neglected. Birdsong sold the home to the uncle of the present owner, Wayne Gipson, and it served as an amusement park tourist attraction.

In 1985 the park was forced to close by skyrocketing insurance rates — another gift to America from trial lawyers — and the revenue dried up. Keeping a two–story, eight–bedroom house in good repair proved too expensive for Gipson, who lives on the proceeds of a small restaurant and trading post.

Now the house is on the verge of disintegration. The roof is gone from much of the rear and the second story is so unstable and dangerous, I didn’t risk trying to see it for myself.

In 2015 a reporter from the New York Times came to visit and he was optimistic that a May flood, which ruined most of the rugs and wallpaper, might have a sliver lining. “I think the best thing that could have happened is the flood,” said Chenoa Barhydt, a Comanche Nation official. “This will start a conversation about saving it.”

It was a short conversation. The house dried out and the promises dried up. Gipson said although the Comanche nation promised extensive help, nothing materialized.

And there the situation stood until a grant paid for an architectural assessment report. Just stabilizing Star House will cost $200,000. Restoring will run over a million. After the report Comanche Nation officials promised to spring for pocket change and register a “savethestarhouse.org” website to take donations. But digging the change out of the sofa must have been a bigger challenge than expected because the website is dead.

Let’s put this in perspective. The most recent figures (from 2006!) show the Comanche nation made a $35,000,000 profit from their four Oklahoma casinos and, with one exception, for the next ten years revenue has increased. Yet the nation is passing the hat among outsiders to raise money to save the last home of its greatest war chief.

Part of the problem is Gipson, a non–Comanche. The nation wants him to give up control of Star House, evidently out of the goodness of his heart. The other is foundations and government won’t donate to an individual for a restoration project of this type. Someone will have to establish a 501(c)3 tax–exempt charity to accept donations, a project beyond Gipson’s means, but well within that of the Comanches.

Gipson may not be the easiest person to deal with, but he’s obviously not viewing Star House as a profit center. If he had, Gipson would’ve been selling Parker’s furniture piecemeal over the years to collectors.

The feds spent $199 million building the Museum of the American Indian; the Comanches make millions in profits off their casinos each year and Gipson made $8.00 in sales the day I visited.

The Comanches, Oklahoma and/or the feds must to come up with a solution that includes Gipson and saves the house. Now. Otherwise Star House is going the way of Geronimo’s teepee.

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Obama Internet Giveaway May Open Pandora’s Box of Porn

Porn hookPresident Obama has a new administration initiative, supported by tax dollars, to close the Internet pornography gap. The divide is caused by ill–gotten gains that give too many Americans fast, broadband access to the booming porn industry; while other Americans are reduced to lurking in seedy newsstands, sneaking peeks between the pages of lurid magazines and hoping the clerk doesn’t notice their free browsing.

ConnectHome “will bring high–speed broadband access to over 275,000 low-income households across the US.”

That’s good news for pornographers. They can always use new customers. Thirty percent of all data transferred on the Internet is porn according to The Huffington Post. While porn sites have more visitors than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

HuffPost also contends poor people are already online and elevating their heart rate. Mississippi is dead last in per capita income, yet this state leads the nation in average time — almost 12 minutes — spent per porn site.

There are a number of possible explanations. The extra time could be due to initial stupefaction on the part of Mississippi viewers or the Internet connection could be so turgid that viewers don’t want to waste time waiting for a new site to load. It’s even possible there’s a single Internet terminal in the library and viewers have to hot–seat the only chair.

Certainly closing the porn gap is not the official reason for the program, even though it’s likely to be the result.

Once again “it’s the children.” Cnet.com explains, “The effort will initially connect nearly 200,000 children to the Web.” Or as administration flacks put it, “While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends.”

Still there is nothing preventing low–income students from logging on after they finish their free school breakfast or doing the work in study hall. They could even join a homework club and do the assignment after school before trudging home to their www.desert.

But this is an administration that discourages initiative and responsibility and encourages lining up in the freebie queue.

Yet the clichéd reason isn’t true, as we’ve come to expect from Obama. The Tennessean looked at Nashville and found that of the 5,200 homes targeted, only half contained any children, school–age or otherwise.

Administration dreamers no doubt believe the students will be spending the majority of their time on LetsAskArchimedes.com and not joining the epidemic of teens exposed to pornography. Those unable to resist the temptation to browse on the wild side have a grim fate in store, courtesy of Obama.

Webroot.com writes, “Pornography viewing by teens disorients them during the developmental phase…when they are most vulnerable to uncertainty about their sexual beliefs and moral values. A significant relationship also exists among teens between frequent pornography use and feelings of loneliness, including major depression.”

Parents concerned about the feds opening a sewer in the living room will discover blocking software and other parental monitors — assuming the kids have parents who will monitor — add additional cost to this “free” program.

Obama personally announced ConnectHome in a visit to Durant, OK. There the hapless Department of Agriculture (?) will be giving $50,000 to the Choctaw Nation for it’s web–in–the–wigwam program.

The amount is small, but Air Force One touched down exactly 2.2 miles from the Choctaw Casino Resort, an Indian gaming establishment that grossed an estimated $461,666,666.00 in 2010 according to NewsOK.

Since the Choctaw Nation claims “Almost all the profits of the tribe’s business enterprises are poured back into services for tribal members…” wouldn’t 50K for Internet be included?

The rest of the 27–city program is being paid for by various Internet providers and cellphone companies that know which side their bread is regulated on, but don’t expect ConnectHome to stay tax dollar free.

The FCC is already talking about expanding the Lifeline program to pay for Internet service. Lifeline is a spectacularly wasteful and incompetent federal program I’ve written about here and we pay for it to the tune of $2.2 billion yearly through cellphone taxes.

The Boston Globe quotes Jascha Franklin-Hodge, the city’s chief information officer, “Many students, especially lower-income students, may be able to get online in school, but when they go home, for reasons of affordability and access to equipment, they’re not able to get online.”

It may turn out those kids were the lucky ones after all.

Introducing another social pathology to join all the others low–income homes already suffer from hardly seems like an improvement, but that’s the way government works as it “helps.” Meanwhile the rest of us can sit back and watch Obamaphone meet Obamanet.

Tom Coburn Will Be Missed By Conservatives

This is Sen. Tom Coburn’s last year in the Senate. It would have been his last term anyway, because he’s an honorable man and adheres to his term limits promise.

He first ran for the congressional seat held by a buddy of mine from college: Mike Synar. I would not have supported Coburn because at that time I was a deluded Democrat. Fortunately I changed and he didn’t.

Complete details are in my latest Newsmax Insider column, link below.

Remember you don’t have to fall in love with the column to post a link on your Facebook page, like it or tweet about it. I can use the readers and Newsmax doesn’t make it easy to find me.

(Sometimes I’m just happy if readers don’t want to enter Ebola quarantine after finishing it.)

Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/ows3wob

Hooray for the Death Penalty!

Anti capital punishment memeFor a brief moment I almost believed the mainstream media when I read: ‘Oklahoma Execution of Murderer Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong.’ ‘Oklahoma Governor Calls for Independent Review of Botched Execution.’

My initial response was horror, too: You mean that violent sadist is still alive?!!!

But the execution wasn’t botched. Clayton Lockett is dead, dead, dead and good riddance. The ceremony may not have been esthetically pleasing to capital punishment opponents, but any execution where the murderer winds up dead is, by definition, a successful execution.

According to hysterical coverage by USA Today (Headline: Botched execution could slam brakes on death penalty) “Clayton Lockett, 38, struggled violently, groaned and writhed after lethal drugs were administered by Oklahoma officials Tuesday night, according to eyewitness accounts. State Corrections Director Robert Patton halted the Lockett’s execution, citing vein failure that may have prevented the deadly chemicals from reaching Lockett. He eventually died of a heart attack.”

In a sane world the inefficient Oklahoma execution would slam the brakes on frivolous death penalty appeals. The goal of the left is to step–by–step end capital punishment. First the electric chair was deemed ‘inhumane.’ So government switched to lethal injection. In return the left attacked the chemicals used.

Since no subject has ever walked out of a lethal injection meeting alive, it would appear the original chemical cocktail works fine, but I’m not a judge that grants spurious legal relief. Over the years drug manufacturers have been under relentless legal assault.

Today the proven, effective drug, thiopental, is unobtainable and states are forced to experiment. This is fine with opponents, because rather than taking the blame for banning the effective and humane drug, they shift blame to the state for using a substitute.

Leading to an interesting pharmaceutical contrast. The same political class that is morally outraged by lethal injection, is equally outraged when the state of Oklahoma bans the off–label use of abortion–inducing drugs by requiring doctors only administer the drug in accordance with FDA protocols.

It’s exactly the same strategy the murderer’s lobby uses to prevent the use of thiopental. Yet regulation that saves a truly innocent baby’s life is unacceptable, because it impedes a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ While the other instance is a barbaric throwback to savagery when it restores balance and justice.

In fact Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, made an unintentionally hilarious comment in the wake of Lockett’s passing, “Somebody died because of the state’s incompetency.”

The second contrast involves medical professionals. Doctors with a sense of justice have been prevented from participating in executions by means of a leftist perversion of the Hippocratic oath. State medical societies threaten doctors with penalties and loss of medical license. Yet abortionists have no problem with ‘first do no harm’ during their procedures, even though harm is the goal. As a result executions are conducted by penal employees who may or may not have adequate training.

Which justice opponents also use to attack governments like Oklahoma.

This problem lends itself perfectly to a genuine ‘bi–partisan compromise: let late–term abortion doctors perform really late term abortions on murderers. Of course the left won’t agree.

The campaign against the death penalty has all the trappings of modern gestures of misplaced moral authority: Achieving the goal comes at someone else’s expense.

Arguments against the death penalty have three main components: The death penalty is not an effective deterrent, it is cruel and unusual punishment and life in prison is a more severe than death.

But since when did deterrence become the benchmark for a law’s utility? Prevention is an equally valid way to judge a law’s effectiveness and the death penalty has a 100 percent success rate in preventing future murders. Laws against robbery don’t always deter robbers. Laws against sawed–off shotguns didn’t deter Lockett. And, laws against speeding don’t deter the readers of this column, yet the laws remain on the book.

Death is the final earthy punishment, but that doesn’t make it cruel. Dennis Prager has made a strong case for the moral authority of the death penalty based on the Bible and the fact we are made in God’s image.

The facile counter–argument that ‘eye for an eye’ law no longer applies because of its savagery is historically ignorant. Lex talionis, outlined in Exodus 21:24, is actually a legal innovation that restored fairness in the law by holding everyone responsible regardless of his station in life. Eye–for–an–eye meant that a rich man could not buy his way out of punishment, while the poor man suffered severe consequences as happened in pagan cultures. It made the law truly impartial and just.

The final argument has always been incoherent. If the death penalty is inhumane how can these compassion tourists advocate a punishment that’s worse? Simple, they are lying. I’ve driven by Huntsville prison in Texas more than once and I have never seen inmates hanging bed sheets out of the window demanding they be put our of their misery.

If murderers were offered a chance between death and life in prison, almost every one would choose life. Then murderers would be free to endanger the guards, medical staff and other inmates in the prison, but the exhibitionist left can’t be bothered with that petty detail.

In spite of years of anti–death penalty propaganda in the mainstream media, 55 percent of the public still favors the ultimate punishment. But reporters keep trying. In January Oklahoma executed Michael Lee Wilson with another mysterious drug cocktail. In an effort to elicit sympathy for the unsympathetic reporters say his last words were, “My whole body is burning.”

But I don’t think that was in reference to the execution. I think he was referring to his destination, because not all near–death experiences are glowing lights and fluffy bunnies.