naked light bulb

Otis at work


Of This
And That...


01/07/15--Voices In My Head Unhinged! Earth's Rotation Slowing!?

11/05/14--Wait— What!? The Elections Happened Already!?

09/29/14--Voices In My Head Spooked! Trouble Not Brewing In the Republic!?

08/29/14--Killer Cop Goes Free! Republic Braces For Riots!

10/24/13--Heeled Republicans Insist They Get Democracy Now

10/05/13--Republicans To Fight Emancipation Proclamation Next

07/15/13--Pope Francis Changes Rules For Heaven and Hell: Muslim Paradise Gets Bump

01/05/13--Boulder Cop (Taxidermist) Shoots (Bags) Crazed Killer (Old and Feeble) Elk (Trophy)



























































































































































































































































































































































































































































         Vol. 1; Dispatch #1        

• • •

The Dust Bowl This Time


How The Tea Party’s Scorched Earth Attack On The
Affordable Care Act Is Drying Up The Land
That Was Made For You And Me


A Political Endorsement


A Dream



And lo I beheld a once bountiful land now with seeds sewn but neglected...

And the land failed to yield the fruit that would edify and replenish it as it would were it cared for wisely and well...

And the land began to wither and its earth to blow away…

Until finally accursed, the land fell barren and lay wasted…

And without providence, became its own grave.



Colorado--Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin must have breathed the longest loudest sigh of relief in her political life when she got the news.

The ruling handed down by Judge Ronald A. White of the Federal District Court in Muskogee, Okla., on Sept. 30, that the federal government could not subsidize health insurance in states that refused to establish marketplaces1 no doubt validates—at least in her mind—her choice not to embrace healthcare reform. It also cements her relationship with whackadoodle2 high priests and sorcerers of the mad Tea Party movement to whose screw-loose and rickety wagon she’s hitched her political fortune and, more importantly, pledged the health and welfare and economic heart and soul of Oklahoma.

After initially3 supporting federal subsidization of state health insurance exchanges, Governor Fallin changed her tune when very loud local whacko birds squawked and the national whackadoodle brain trust, as it were, indicated obedient whackos who want whacko support as they climb the whacko ladder are dead set against affordable healthcare for all. Period.4 Straightforwardly the presumably good governor did indeed do an about face. In fact, not only did she change her mind, but she decided to do her bit to spread dogma and disinformation5 to a constituency that trusted her to sort out all the whacko dogma sh!t and do what’s best for Oklahomans.

The ruling is likely to mean those states that refused healthcare reform will end up reaping none of the benefit but a full share of the burden from an Affordable Care Act that even conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks admits is working and lowering healthcare costs.6 And the economic and social time bomb of the uninsured in those states will keep ticking. While the issue is likely to find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court for clarification and resolution, the immediate concern here now as the decision to renew the governor’s employment status looms, becomes whether the crazy Kool-Aid the whacknotized governor drank at the mad tea party will doom Oklahoma first.


I was having coffee with an old friend and fellow Okie expat at a lovely outdoor café in a leafy neighborhood near downtown Denver in the Magical Kingdom recently, and whilst solving the most vexing issues of our time in hopes of saving the world, we got on to the subject of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin. A chronic clipper of whacky and/or disturbing news stories, my old friend remembered seeing something in the New York Times about her throwing down on Muslims and Sharia law in a fundamentalism Armageddon death match a couple of years ago or so, and we’d both watched in disbelief and then genuine horror as the execution debacle at the state penitentiary down in McAlester unfolded on national TV a few months ago.

He pointed out the governor seemed more than a little unstable, guided by voices, even—and not in a good way (or even by the band).7 Especially so, we both thought, throughout all the clearly illegal legal maneuvering in her wild-eyed mad dash to kill the horrible murderous black man whose fate could not be delayed one second longer for any reason whatsoever—not even for reasons of competency.

“She just doesn’t seem that Christian,” he said, noting she’d refused to allow legislation guaranteeing infants and toddlers insurance coverage to come to a vote in the state house so the callousness of the whackadoodle position when they voted it down would be neither a news story nor election issue.8 “Just easily led.”

A college textbook publisher, he was understandably concerned her flavor of crazy seemed to be empowering the whole spectrum of politically inbred whackadoodles—specifically, the history revisionists and science skeptics. His biggest concern was that there would be a Texas school board-style movement to teach Oklahoma school children crazy stuff—religious or otherwise—that would put them behind the eight ball when competing against students from other states in the college admissions process. And also, they would believe crazy stuff!

There’s no telling what daft nit-wits whipped into reactionary frenzies by the self-important dregs and shameless bottom-feeding pea-brained political hacks of a desperately deluded political caucus will decide to embrace and burn their villages over—or something to that effect. “There’s only a degree or two of zealotry,” he said, “between a fundamentalist and an extremist. A few degrees of reactionary and/or religious fervor between an ever-obedient fundamentalist Christian state and a vengeful fundamentalist extremist state.”9

But it was Fallin’s bungling of the healthcare issue, we both agreed, that had the potential for real long-term social and economic devastation. It was the apocalypse on the horizon that (along with climate science and most science in general) whackos denied. We both knew families that had been decimated by healthcare/insurance disasters. We both had Okie friends who’d moved to other states to get healthcare coverage.10 

Even if the governor, drunk on whackadoodle Kool-Aid and hallucinating at everything and everyone through angry mad tea party eyes, thought there was a worthy point to be made by doing an about face on the issue, from a business perspective it was so devoid of reason it would be reckless not to question her competency as a chief executive. The vastly overstated cost to the whacknotized voters she says she's concerned about will be dwarfed by the social and economic costs dumped on the state when healthcare-less Baby Boomers start to get sick and collapse all over the waving wheat that sure smell sweet when the wind comes right behind the rain.11

Forbes, in its never-ending crusade to save the world through capitalism, explored the issue recently. The Affordable Care Act was exactly what small business owners needed most, Richard Lorenzen writes in Forbes online. One in four small business owners are uninsured; 83% of the uninsured will qualify for coverage under the ACA. He goes on to say the ACA is actually a major step towards creating a more prosperous America.12

Businessweek says it’s inevitable—and for good reason. In an article entitled “Why Red States Will Expand Medicaid, Like It or Not,” Jon Tozzi says that when an uninsured person gets hit by a car in a state that has not expanded Medicaid, the treating hospital doesn’t get paid. As a result, hospitals may increase their rates to insured patients to make up for the uncompensated care. It’s very simple: Hospitals want Medicaid expanded, he says, and governors listen to hospitals. Red state taxpayers are already subsidizing the uninsured in other states. That can’t sit well with the Good People of the great state of Oklahoma.

What competent chief executive walks away from 100 percent funding (for three years, 90 percent thereafter)—not financing—funding for healthcare reform that must happen one way or the other.13 Rejecting virtually funded reform for a system horribilis will almost certainly begin to dry up the inflow of much needed skills, talent and other assets no doubt drawn toward states with better healthcare options for their families. Such an unstable situation is likely to make business nervous and perhaps start to look for more politically stable economies and long-term viability. It doesn’t take an economics genius to see the drain of key assets and inability to replace them will very quickly choke the life right out of an organization.

Consider the Littleton family... once upon a time, from Ada, Oklahoma.



Eric Littleton was born in Ada, Oklahoma, in 1967, and graduated from Latta High School just south of Ada in 1986. A gifted athlete, he was an All-State-caliber point guard and shortstop. However injuries his senior year in high school kept him from pursuing his athletic potential. Fortunately he was also a good student.

After graduation Eric married his high school sweetheart, Marci, also a gifted student at Latta’s arch rival Bing High School on the other side of Ada. The two attended East Central University in Ada, and worked toward degrees in Education. Marci wanted to be a science teacher; Eric wanted to teach English. 

Eric and Marci came from salt-of-the-earth families in the heart of the heartland. Eric’s mother ran a bookkeeping office in Ada for many years and his father was an electrician and school board member at Latta. Marci’s mother was a special education teacher in the Bing public school system, and her father was a high school teacher at Bing, as well as a college professor at East Central University and Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.

Like their families, Eric and Marci had strong religious convictions and were active members in the Church of Christ. From camp counselors at Pettyjohn Springs church camp to mission work in Japan and Russia a few years later, they gave unselfishly of their time and themselves.

After two years at East Central University in Ada, they followed their dream to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Eric had been named a Dean E. Smith Teacher Education Scholar. He also became a student assistant coach for the fabled Tarheel varsity basketball program under the tutelage of Dean Smith—at the time, the winningest NCAA division one college basketball coach in history, and by universal agreement, one of the great coaching legends in American sport.

In 1990, Eric graduated on the Dean’s Honor Role with a degree in Education. Marci completed her degree requirements in Science Education in 1991. Their plan was to explore the world of college coaching. Mindful it would mean short-term contracts, always looking for opportunities, frequent relocations and house hunts and job searches for Marci, they were also aware the perks would be considerable, from advance degree opportunities to the dynamic nature of college campuses and towns themselves. More importantly for Eric, it would mean the chance to mold talented kids into skilled men. With the credentials and the fields they chose, in terms of employment opportunity, the world was their oyster.

Sure enough, Eric was hired immediately by the University of Arkansas-Little Rock as an assistant coach, and Marci took a job teaching at a private Christian high school in Little Rock. After helping turn their program around (from 10-20 to 20-10) in two years, Eric discovered the draw on his time was considerable. He’d underestimated the amount of time recruiting would keep him away from home and Marci.14 When the opportunity to become the first ever head basketball coach at a brand new high school in the Oklahoma City area and be home every night with his family came along, they jumped at it.

So in 1992, Eric and Marci returned home to Oklahoma and a brand new high school in the affluent suburb of Edmond just north of Oklahoma City. Eric became the first ever head basketball coach (and an English teacher) at Edmond North High School, and Marci took a job as a science teacher at nearly new Edmond Santa Fe High School not far away.

In many ways, it was as close to a dream job as he could imagine; it was close to family and friends there in Edmond and the Oklahoma City area, and it was only a couple hours drive to the Ada area where both of their parents still lived. And it was right in the middle of a very active Christian community, with a half-dozen mega-sized congregations and several Christian K-12s and Oklahoma Christian College (now University) all within five miles of each other. If the Bible Belt has a buckle….

After suffering through a 6 –16 inaugural season, Eric turned Edmond North into a perennial league contender, with multiple 20-win seasons and state playoff appearances. One of the best parts was that friends and family got to come to games. (His parents often drove up from Ada for games and spent the night with him or his brother who lived nearby.) He and Marci became very involved in and developed deep ties to the community—especially the Christian community—in central Oklahoma.

Then in 1998, Eric and Marci decided to take a leap of faith. Cascade College in Portland, Oregon, which had recently reopened under the guidance and as an affiliate of Oklahoma Christian University, wanted Eric to take over their fledgling basketball program. Ever adventurous, it was an opportunity for Eric to take over an NAIA level program, and for Eric and Marci to do what they saw as mission work. It was a chance to spread Christianity to the dark and rainy northwest. As much as anything, though, they were seeing and doing as much as they could. Soon it would be time to settle down and have a family. But not yet.

Two years later, an even more unlikely opportunity came along—a head coaching position at a prep school in Okinawa, Japan. They thought it would be a grand adventure and wonderful learning experience so they took it. Just like that. They both taught English and Eric was head basketball coach and they lived in an apartment on the beach. And were paid well for it. Very well.

After a year, though, they decided it was time to go home. It was time to start that family, and wonderful as life on a beach in an island in the south Pacific was, it wasn’t where they wanted to stake their claim. So they returned home to Oklahoma for good, they thought, to start the next phase of their dream. Eric took the high school head-coaching job at Sand Springs, a Tulsa suburb, and soon Marci was with child(s).

On April 16, 2003, Solomon Hobbs and Isaac Hobbs Littleton were born.

Anyone with more than one child knows that when the second and any subsequent children come along, the increase is much more than a single addition to your family, its an exponential explosion. The young parents soon learned what most of their friends and family already knew: Parenting takes a heck of a lot more than a village. Ideally, it takes a small vibrant city with a first-rate school system, great cultural opportunities, and most importantly, a healthy supply of friends and family—otherwise known as babysitters.

Fortunately in 2004, Edmond came calling again—this time it was Deer Creek High School. With the aforementioned school systems and babysitters front and center on their minds, they jumped at the chance to move back to the Oklahoma City area and a Christian community to which they had deep ties.

A good thing, too, because a few months later, their third child—Carolina Grace (Gracie)— was born May on 31, 2005. 

In a little over two years, their family had grown from two relatively carefree young adults to five demanding personalities whose immediate interests were not always clear to each other.

That same year, with their suddenly huge family and all that would mean going forward—and Eric’s dad recently diagnosed with prostate cancer—Eric made the sudden and unexpected decision to leave coaching. In addition to spending time with his family, he also wanted to spend time with his dad. (They caught the cancer early but everyone was understandably worried.) Also, they had decided to home school their children.

Financially, Eric and Marci were very fortunate. They’d been paid extremely well in Okinawa and had saved a nice nest egg. For the last couple of years they’d been buying up rental properties in Oklahoma. Managing them was already more than a full-time job. So now he would focus primarily on his family, and plan his 9-5 world around them.

It was also during this period Eric began selling real estate.

Selling real estate, for the right personality, can be a lucrative proposition. Eric had that personality—equal parts coach and philosopher, endlessly supportive, with contagious energy and excitement. He wasn’t selling real estate; he was facilitating lives. And in a place as affluent (and growing) as the northern Oklahoma City and Edmond area, it can be a very lucrative proposition. Not surprisingly during the course of selling homes to and for wealthy clients he made several politician friends who were either buying or selling—including, as fate would have it, then Congresswoman Mary Fallin, who was looking for a house in the Quail Creek area in northwest Oklahoma City. Soon Eric found the perfect place for the congresswoman, and over the following years a friendship developed based on mutual political and religious sensibilities.

Since returning to the Edmond area to raise his family, Eric had become increasingly more active in politics. A social and fiscal conservative, he attended fund raising events and rallies and helped with campaigns for the GOP.

Then that fall the Littleton family’s world began to disintegrate right before their eyes.

* * *

Taken September 2008 at Lake Texhoma. From left to right: Solomon, Eric, Gracie,
Marci, and Isaac. First signs of the onset of the disease went unnoticed at the time.

In October of 2008, one of Eric’s twin five-year-old sons, Solomon, was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome.15 This devastating disease is characterized by the sudden or gradual development of aphasia (inability to understand or express language) and an abnormal electro-encephalogram. In Solomon, it caused the loss of all his fine motor skills (small muscle movements—synchronization of fingers and hands with the eyes, etc.) and gross motor skills (large muscle groups and whole body movement—capacity to stand up, walk, climb stairs, etc.). He lost the capacity to feed, dress and bath himself. He lost the capacity to go to the bathroom by himself. On bad days Solomon couldn’t recognize Eric or Marci or his baby sister Gracie or even twin brother Isaac. On June 27, 2009, eight months after he was diagnosed, he spoke his last words.

A year later, leading pediatric neurologists all over the country were telling them to spend the rest of their time and money making Solomon comfortable.

Then, while their child was deteriorating right before their eyes, the thing happened to them that has happened to so many families in so many places. In early 2009, their insurance company began refusing to pay claims for their stricken son’s medical care and treatment. And the war that so many have fought—the war to get insurance companies to pay what they’re obligated to pay but somehow find ways around—was taken up by the Littleton family. The result was that systematically Eric’s insurance company—the same insurance company he’d paid premiums to for twenty-four years and one of the largest managed care providers by enrollment—began refusing claims for all his family members, until finally they dropped his wife Marci altogether. When Eric protested they asked him if he’d like to cancel his entire family’s policy.

Angry but certain the law was on his side, he went through normal channels of redress. But the state insurance commission could do nothing. The insurance company was within their rights according to Oklahoma’s insurance requirements as it regarded their particular situation. Turns out it was a loophole in the language of his insurance policy that allowed them to set aside the claims of a client-in-good-standing for 24 years.

If the situation needed some laws changed, Eric knew politicians. Suddenly, however, they were all too busy to return his calls. His friend Kris Steele, then Speaker of the House, wouldn’t even meet with him. Finally he decided to seek an audience with his old friend, the newly elected governor, Mary Fallin. But when he tried to approach her at a Sarah Palin whackadoodle feed in Tulsa, he was headed off by her aides and told she couldn’t touch it (it being the insane practice of insurance companies setting aside their obligations for no other reason than it would be expensive to honor them) because it was “political suicide.”

Turns out his friends in politics not only would do nothing to help Solomon, they actually took steps to make sure nothing was exactly what was done.  For three years in a row, House Speaker Kris Steele killed legislation (HB 1624) that would have forbid insurance companies from refusing care and treatment to children like Solomon with neurological diseases—including those on the autism spectrum—before it ever reached the floor for a vote.16

This was not an Obamacare issue (though Obamacare would have made this common insurance industry practice illegal) that makes whackadoodles see red. This was not an issue of government overreach that sparks understandable outrage. This was pure and simple weasel-like cowardice of the most despicable kind: the fear of bought and paid-for politicians to go against the wishes of their insurance industry patrons who would finance their reelections—or the opposition.

Stunned by yet another disappointment and reeling from a sudden dark vision into politics behind the big smiles and big speeches, he did what he had to do to survive: he sought out resources in the community that could help. Sadly, however, one of the wealthiest public school systems in the state had nothing to offer by way of qualified special education or special needs therapy.

Finally, when his church turned its back on him, it was the coup de grace.

I sat in a Bible study one morning in Edmond while my Solomon was dying, and a brother in Christ that I love dearly said “Eric, I don’t believe in this situation [insurance company refusing payment for Solomon and ultimately dropping his family's policy] it’s the job of the government to get involved. I believe this is the church’s issue. Government can’t do what people, specifically people of faith, can do.” I smiled and with tears running down my face said, “Thanks for pointing that out. Solomon’s medical bills this month will be $26,432.64. Would you like to write me a check now or should I come by your office later?”17

After they sold all their rental properties, drained savings, cashed in teacher retirement accounts, sold or borrowed against everything they owned, then borrowed from family, they finally had to choose between paying their mortgage or paying for Solomon’s therapy. So the bank took their home. Eric is understandably loathe to give a total out-of-pocket figure simply because he doesn’t want to think about it, but says it's well over a million dollars. (That’s a million dollars in real people money, not a million dollars in one percent money.)


Wish I could say this is where a hero emerges and steps up to save the day, that suddenly a bill was signed, a law was changed, that an insurance executive realized his company was destroying lives in service to its profit-maximization-at-all-costs philosophy of fleece, that a public outcry of It’s Not Fair! changed the hearts and minds of board members. But none of that happened. Instead, Solomon became the latest victim of unchecked, free-based capitalism’s war on the society that was its greatest champion. Eric and Marci became the latest casualty in the insurance industry’s systematic purge of its obligations because they can in certain states. The Littleton family became another victim of a socio-political process that is insanely out of control.

To wit, its become standard practice to appoint industry heads to cabinet posts and political advisory positions and, for all intents and purposes, let them decide what profit levels their industries require and then write both the legislation that makes it so and the talking points explaining to taxpayers why it’s a good thing their money is being used to increase energy and insurance industry profitability while public services and policies to shore up that which might benefit the vast majority of Oklahomans suffer or are eliminated altogether.18

What happened to Solomon and Eric and Marci and the whole Littleton family is what happens when you let foxes make the rules for the hen house. It’s what happens when a governor and state assembly coddle big industry and whackadoodles because they’re afraid if they don’t give them everything they want they’ll take their contributions19 and give them to their opponent.20

Quite simply, the most fundamental fiduciary expectation that an insurance company has was set aside because to honor it would have been a draw on their bottom line. That they should deny coverage to a policyholder in good standing for twenty-four years because it’s suddenly clear they’re going to be unprofitable going forward is nothing short of immoral! That it is legal for them to do so in states like Oklahoma is unconscionable and socially embarrassing.21

And that is what drives a native son to finally say enough and exile himself and his family from their beloved birthplace and home.

* * *

Following is a copy of the letter Eric mailed and emailed to Governor Fallin on July 21, 2011:


July 21, 2011

Governor Fallin,

It is with the deepest sadness that I write this letter. As I write, I am preparing to leave my beloved home state and move to another state. Simply stated, I am sad that I have to leave. I am Oklahoma-born and Oklahoma-bred, and I thought I would be Oklahoma-dead. I truly believed that I would raise my children here. I truly believed I would see my grandchildren born here. I truly believed I would be buried next to generations of Littletons who have given their hearts and their souls to a state we love dearly. After graduating from college I traveled and lived all over the world, but I returned home to Oklahoma so my twin sons, Isaac and Solomon, would be born in the heartland of our country…Oklahoma. I believed with every fiber of my being that Oklahoma would be home to future generations of Littletons, but sadly I’m wrong.

I am writing to you because I hold you in high regard on so many different fronts. My dealings with you personally clearly reflect a level of integrity and faith that I admire. I truly believe that you alone possess the skill, intellect, and conviction to ensure that no more Oklahoman families have to encounter the struggles that my family has endured over the last two and a half years.

As you may remember, one of my twin sons, Solomon, contracted a rare neurological disease called Landau-Kleffner Syndrome in October of 2008 when he was five. Over the subsequent months Marci and I traversed the country desperately seeking help for our son who was literally dying in front of our eyes. Over the course of only six short months, Solomon went from a perfectly normal, high-functioning little boy to losing the ability to feed himself, dress himself, bath himself or toilet himself. On June 27, 2009, only eight months after this ordeal began, Solomon spoke his last words. Then, by October of 2009, we sat in front the nation’s leading pediatric neurologists from Boston and Cook’s Children and heard them say, “We suggest you spend the rest of your time and money making Solomon comfortable.” Solomon was totally unresponsive. He had lost all his fine motor skills and his gross motor skills. And his regression continued.

Adding insult to an already devastating life-circumstance, our insurance company refused payment for Solomon’s treatment. Our insurance company became combative over the phone. Our insurance company systematically began refusing all claims made by our entire family—from ear infections for little Carolina Grace to trips to our family practitioner for Isaac’s flu bug. Ultimately we received a notice in the mail that they were dropping my wife, Marci. They continued their belligerent tone by asking, “Would you like to go ahead and cancel your entire family’s policy at this time?” Out attempts to get help from the insurance commission were unsuccessful. Our attempts to get an audience with the Speaker of the House were unsuccessful. Our public school refused to help us. Quite candidly, in my family’s time of deepest need, the very people we thought were in a place to help us turned their backs on us.

So, with a dying child and a grieving wife, I began writing the checks out of my savings. I cashed in all of my retirement. I mortgaged my house. I borrowed money against my cars. I borrowed money against a family lake home. I borrowed money against a family boat. My parents began helping us and ultimately sold our family home that my grandfather and father built decades ago. My parents and I have no money left, and we are in debt. My personal home in Edmond is now in pre-foreclosure and I’m packing my bags and moving out of state where Solomon can get the insurance coverage he needs. Governor Fallin, the only mistake I made over the last two and a half years is, sadly, that I didn’t leave Oklahoma earlier.

I am pleased to report that over the last eighteen months Solomon has regained 90% of his gross motor skills and 50% of his fine motor skills. His cognition and response to verbal commands is increasing. He rides his bicycle. He bounces on the trampoline. He loves to run and jump in the waters of our beloved Texhoma. Just over the last four months Solomon has begun using sign language to communicate with us. He still hasn’t spoken since June 27, 2009—over two years ago—but we believe he will speak again. The therapy we’ve been paying for out-of-pocket for the last two and a half years turned the tide of Solomon’s regression and, praise God, now he’s progressing. We have been witnessing God’s powerful healing of our son one day at a tine, one therapy session at a time, one hour at a time for the last two years.

And as I leave Oklahoma, I am forced to ask, “What will happen to all these other children and their families I’m leaving behind in Oklahoma?” What happens to the eight-year-old daughter of the single mom who works two jobs and still doesn’t have enough money to get her daughter therapy? What happens to the 10-year-old boy whose family doesn’t have the financial resources to pay for this therapy? What happens to the twin girls whose family isn’t blessed with a support group like ours who can give them money? What happens to the children of Oklahoma…what happens to our children…Oklahoma’s children? Who will take care of these kids when their parents are gone?

Governor Fallin, this isn’t an economic issue. This isn’t a social issue. This is a fundamental Christian issue. It is a biblical issue. And I stand convinced that you alone possess the ability, the conviction, the intellect, and the influence to change this unbiblical status quo. Another great woman of history was put in a position to change an injustice, to save her people, to influence change that reflected God’s goodness and God’s mercy and God’s justice. But, it wasn’t without risk. And when she sought counsel on what do she heard the words, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance…will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to [this] position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

Governor Fallin, I come to you with humility. I come to you a broken and contrite father, husband, and businessman. I lie prostrate at your feet carrying absolutely no judgment, no condemnation, and no pretense. I come to you wondering, “Who knows, maybe you have come to this position for such a time as this. Will you help the children of Oklahoma and their families who have been left behind and forgotten? I pray God’s consuming Power over you. I pray God’s consuming Protection over you. I pray that He gives you every tool, every gift at His disposal to achieve His purposes in our great state.

Humbly submitted,

Eric Littleton22


The Governor has never responded.


The decision to rend oneself and family from their home is one of the most heartbreaking decisions a family will ever make. It is the destruction of the part of oneself and family that identifies with a homeland; it is the decimation of identity drawn from physical and spiritual roots; it is separation from the people, land and ideas from whence you came. Eric’s family was under siege by the institutions of a state in the throes of a socially retarded and financially reckless political caucus, and a community who thinks itself chosen and special, but in truth is easily led by wealthy social manipulators who only pretend allegiance to conservative social causes and the middle class plight, but are actually all about their own one percent agenda. The ordeal left them emotionally devastated, spiritually exhausted, financially destroyed.

Eric, however, didn’t have the luxury of indulging the spirit-sapping sadness and disappointment he felt over the options left him and his family. Instead he sent out a hundred resumes to school systems in states that had good healthcare options for his family, specifically: Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Texas. 

Certainly Colorado and Massachusetts, and even Illinois were obvious choices; they’re all noted for both the quality and breadth of their healthcare coverage. But Mississippi? Texas!? There’s almost nowhere the whacko birds crow louder!?

As it turns out, however, Mississippi and Texas both had very good options in terms of what they offered Solomon. Both states had school systems that offered, among other services, communications disorder classes for kids with a wide range of communications challenges of varying degrees and pathologies.

When an offer came from a relatively new high school in the northwest Dallas suburb of Flower Mound, Texas, a part of the Lewisville school system—one of those they’d researched that had impressive resources—they took it in a heartbeat. That it was an hour or so from the Lake Texhoma area on the Texas-Oklahoma border where his parents had moved was a happy coincidence. Those had been few and far in between lately.

Eric had never been more thrilled about a job offer as he was about the assistant basketball coach/English teacher position at Flower Mound High School. It was a fairly affluent suburb not unlike the Edmond area, and had a lot of the amenities planned communities, as it was, often do. Most importantly, Eric and his family were fully insured.

Soon they discovered another happy coincidence—that there was a strong support network and community of families with members who had Landau-Kleffner Syndrome in nearby communities. No doubt they’d been drawn to the district for similar reasons.

That was three years ago. Today Eric is head basketball coach (he was promoted his second season there) and high school English teacher. His first year there his team set a school record for wins; the next season, his first as head coach, they won 18 games. This year they’ll play hard, Eric says, battle until the final buzzer, and other euphemisms for it’s going to be a challenging season because we were decimated by graduation.

He sees his family every night and they get together with his parents and brother’s family at Lake Texhoma as often as they can. He says there are days when the hurt and anger and bitterness surface, but those days occur less frequently. They try not to spend time wallowing in the past or drowning in the worry of the future. They live in and are thankful for each moment now.

Eric rides his bike to school in the morning and home at night after games and practices. He says the rides give him time to take inventory of the things he has to be thankful for: “My kids are alive, my family is intact, I remain married to my best friend and high school sweetheart, we have a home to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, a job where I’m making a difference in other people’s lives. We’re doing well!”

Isaac, Solomon’s twin, says he wants to join the Peace Corps after high school, and his little sister Gracie talks about being a teacher. Eric knows their experience traveling all over the country—practically growing up in Ronald McDonald Houses and hospital waiting rooms and clinics—has effected them profoundly. They’d met so many families—often children their own age—during what was for many the most difficult time in their life. How could it not impact them profoundly?

Solomon was diagnosed with Landau-Kleffner Syndrome six years ago this month. Since watching their son drift off and then deteriorate right before their eyes, Eric and Marci have done whatever it took to get him the treatment and therapy he needed. The result has been a remarkable turnaround and steady improvement. Solomon has regained most of his gross motor skills, and a good portion of his fine motor skills. Everyone’s greatest hope is that, like a friend they’d made in the Landau-Kleffner Syndrome community a few years ago, the right switch would get flipped, as it were, and he’d just wake up. Completely.

Though Solomon continues to show remarkable improvement, he still has not spoken since June 27, 2009.





A report on NPR’s Planet Money that draws its facts from the U.S. Census Bureau23 says it costs about $10,000 a year, give or take a couple thousand depending upon where you live, to educate a child through high school.  Add a few thousand more for a share of other services (roads, postal, police, fire, et al), and it’s not unreasonable to estimate the cost to the state to raise a kid at  $175,000, maybe even $200,000 in some places.

Conservatively, let’s say the state of Oklahoma has a $175,000 investment ($120,000 in education, and $55,000 for other services) in every born and raised Okie (through the age of 18, at least). Certainly among the greatest financial investment outlays the state makes year in and year out, naturally protecting it and insuring it yields an optimum return would be not only in the job description, but one of the very top priorities of any state chief executive.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oklahoma ranks 6th highest in the country in percentage of citizens without healthcare coverage.24 To put a number on it, that’s 632,000 Oklahomans without healthcare coverage out of a population of 3.8.million—about 1/6th of the total population.25 That’s a disturbing snapshot of just how many Oklahomans are unprepared for medical exigencies both common and catastrophic, and how precarious of a predicament Oklahoma’s largest financial investment outlay is in.

As mentioned earlier, not only do the states that rejected healthcare reform sharply increase the chances that native sons and daughters—and the state’s investment therein—relocate to more certain healthcare options for their families while they start small businesses26 or get advanced training or educations and buy houses and begin to yield returns on the original investment to another, they’ll also almost certainly see a drying up of the inflow of much needed skills, talent and other assets now also drawn to states with better healthcare options for their families.

It’s a fair measure of her ineptitude and inappropriateness as a leader that Governor Fallin subordinated her first best instinct to embrace the federally funded health exchanges when wealthy whackadoodles flogged her and dangled shiny opportunities in their mad tea party in front of her. It was a well-polished and spun betrayal of what’s best for the vast majority of Oklahomans and blind embrace of a politically expedient but dizzyingly deluded and destructive philosophy.

Governor Fallin is treating healthcare like her ticket to a better gig, and sick and dying Oklahomans as stepping-stones for her deluded ambitions. Her soft-headed flip-flop is smelling more and more like a social and economic burden now and for years and even generations of Oklahomans to come.

No executive in the world would be rehired if he or she bungled the most valuable blue chip investments of the organization—the very foundation upon which their future health depended—because he or she had a side-agreement with an outside consultant to spout a pure crazy but fashionable policy of self-destruction offered up with feigned righteous indignation and disguised as common sense. Governor Fallin’s allegiance to national tea party weasels threatens to plunge the state into darkness and despair because of the entirely predictable healthcare disaster that looms for states that opted out of the Affordable Care Act.

* * *

There was something familiar about what’s going on in Oklahomaa déjà vu sensation. Everything about it sounded familiar...but different. And then it hit me: Weasels! And the worst kind—Political Weasels! We’ve got the same problem in the Magical Kingdom! Clearly it doesn’t matter whether they’re weaseling for a spot on a team-one percent-Hillary ticket in a deep purple state or a whacko-bird-coddling team-one percent-whomever ticket in a fire engine-red state. It’s in their DNA. Once enchanted by ambition, a switch is activated and all of the sudden their reticular activator sees only blue skies ahead for touched and chosen and probably already babbling idiots.

It never crosses their mind that they’re wreaking havoc in the real people world with real people problems and real monthly bills. In fact, so focused on their own path to power are they that most don’t even know it’s all falling apart around them because the people they surround themselves with only tell them what they want to hear. Before you know it, they’re all drunk on crazy Kool-Aid or sick from poison frack-water and can’t see—or worse, don’t care—that they’ve betrayed the citizens who elected them for the shiny promise of the chosen idiot visions they keep having because of dingle-berry nit-wits whispering in their ear.

Oklahomans, Americans, the whole world deserves better than lipsticked and hairsprayed soft-headed whack-job puppet queens—and kings, for that matter—of the  tea party and the one percent and anybody else with their eyes on some other prize than what’s best for the citizens of the land that was made for you and me.

Otis Keyes endorses the other guy.


O. Keyes
Colorado, October 2014






1. “U.S. Cannot Subsidize Health Plans in States With No Marketplace, a Judge Rules,” by Robert Pear, New York Times; Sept. 30, 2014; <>. (return to text)
2. Derived from the term “whacko birds,” originally coined by Republican Senator John McCain, quoted in an article in the Huffington Post to describe the extremist/Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, loosely led by Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. “John McCain: Getting Back To Maverick, With An Eye On Retirement,” by Jon Ward; Huffington Post, 3/7/13;]). Not to be confused with the Country Club wing of the Republican Party, fecklessly led by John Boehner. (return to text)
3. “Anti-Obamacare forces drove Gov. Mary Fallin's health care decisions, emails show,” News OK; 9/30/14. (return to text)
4. Ibid. Probably. Fallin has refused to turnover 31 emails, requested under the Open Records Act, of correspondence to various outside interests during the decision-making process surrounding the Affordable Care Act. (return to text)
5. Ibid. Turns out the easily led governor drastically overstated the cost of healthcare reform to the state by well over half. Also, the Kool-Aid drunk governor failed to impress upon Oklahomans the fact and significance that the federal government will cover 100% of the immediate increase in costs, and 90% of it from now on. As chief executive of the state, the merits of such a sweetheart deal can be neither denied nor passed up without serious questions of competency arising. Apologists have suggested that she and her staff may have misunderstood the ACA altogether. Either way, a serious error in judgment may indeed bring the economic recession Oklahoma has managed to avoid. (return to text)
6. PBS Newshour: Brooks and Shields (commentary), Oct. 3, 2014. (return to text)
7. Guided By Voices is an indie rock band formed in 1993 in Dayton, Ohio. (return to text)
8. Nick’s Law, after Nick Rohde. HB 1624, legislation to insure infants, sponsored by Sen. J. Paul Gumm. As a result, Tea Party-drunk members of the state house flogged him and ran a candidate against him for the first time in 14 years, and defeated him. (return to text)
9. And it can happen fast—as fast as four years, in fact. The by most all accounts successful Henry administration that came to a term-limited end four years earlier was the picture of moderation even as whackadoodles were starting to swim upstream to spawn. Every time Sarah Palin came through the state slobbery middle-aged white men and heavily made-up middle aged white women—no doubt all concealing heat—clamored over and slithered around each other for seats in what can only be described as a whackadoodle orgy of deluded lost souls. Bang, bang! Wink, wink! (return to text)
10. I myself was diagnosed with a temperamental heart in 2002—one king-hell pre-existing condition that precludes my ever looking homeward for healthcare. I thank my lucky stars every day I’m alive I was living in the Kingdom of Colorado when I was afflicted and diagnosed with Class IV Congestive Heart Failure in 2002. At the time, Colorado had Obamacare-like healthcare before Obamacare was a thing. And even poor damn fool small business owners who couldn’t afford health insurance were covered for many health issues—including Congestive Heart Failure. If for some crazy unfathomable reason I should ever want to leave Paradise, what with that king-hell pre-existing condition and all, it behooves-the-hell-outa-me to seek out states in this union and places on this planet with similarly held values. (return to text)
11. Oklahoma!, Rodgers & Hammerstein, 1943. (return to text)
12. “Is The Affordable Care Act Really Bad For Business?” by Richard Lorenzen; Forbes, 4/22/13. Richard Lorenzen is the CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands, a public relations firm in New York. <>; <>. (return to text)
13. “Why Red States Will Expand Medicaid, Like It or Not,”
by John Tozzi; Businessweek, July 30, 2014.<>. (return to text)
14. While at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Eric was part of the coaching staff that recruited an under-sized point guard from a local high school who would go on to become a five-time world champion with Los Angeles Lakers, an Oklahoma City Thunder and NBA fan favorite, a former president of the NBA players union, and brand new coach of the New York Knicks, Derek Fisher. (return to text)
15. < syndrome.html>. (return to text)
16. “Nick’s Law Fails,” by Wayne Rohde, The City Sentinel, March 10, 2011. <’s-law-fails/>. (return to text)
17. From interview with Eric Littleton. (return to text)
18. Upon election, Fallin quickly filled her cabinet with bankers (Bancfirst CEO David Rainbolt) and oil and gas people (Devon Energy chairman and CEO Larry Nichols, Lumen Energy founder Robert Sullivan, Jr.), and assorted financiers, wealthy attorneys (career politicians), and big businessmen masquerading as small business experts (Preston Doerflinger, Dave Lopez, Larry Parman) and began the predictable process of giving them and their kind everything they wanted all the time. The oil and gas industries routinely threaten to curtail their drilling and go elsewhere if they don’t get the terms they want. “Oil Firms’ Reports Strike Different Tone than CEOs’ Warnings on Production Tax,” by Warren Vieth; Oklahoma Watch, May 20, 2014. (return to text)
19. $31,550 from Cheasapeake Energy, $26,280 from Devon Energy, and $22,335 from Bancfirst. (Influence Explorer: Campaign Finance, 9/30/14.) (return to text)
20. When State Senator J. Paul Gumm (D) of Durant tried to get HB 1624—Nick’s Law—to the State House floor for a vote, he enraged the insurance industry and whackadoodles so much that they publicly flogged him and financed the opposition in the next election. (Gumm had run unopposed for the last 14 years. He was beaten.) (return to text)
21. And everybody from the insurance agent on the phone who asked if they’d like to terminate their policy to the Bible school buddy who has deeply held convictions about government getting involved in private sector matters—except for doing something about the God-forsaken homos trying to get married and the slutty whores who think it’s all about them, of course—to the cowardly Speaker of the House hiding under his desk and refusing to meet with him or even return his calls, to the lipsticked and hairsprayed whackadoodle-drunk governor Eric once called a friend, they’re all out of their whacky half-wit daft and deluded sheepish minds if they even wonder otherwise! (return to text)
22. <>. (return to text)
23. Planet Money: NPR, “How Much Does The Government Spend To Send A Kid To Public School?”, by LAM THUY VO, June 21, 2012; <>. (return to text)
24. <>. (return to text)
25. “How Will the Uninsured in Oklahoma Fare Under the Affordable Care Act?”, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 01/06/2014; <>. (return to text)
26. And it’s not just small businesses. Everybody’s a potential resource in the 21st century economy. Anybody who has a computer and knows a little code can conceivably bring an economic windfall to a tax base. The state legislatures and chief executives of those states that don’t understand this—or worse turn a blind eye toward it because their whacko political patrons insist this is how they do—are doomed to get bit in the ass by the beloved dog they’re neglecting to feed—or take to the vet. (return to text)



(Grateful acknowledgement is hereby made to The Littleton Family—Eric, Marci, Solomon, Isaac and Gracie...for being.)