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Lottery payouts increase! (But education funding doesn’t.) ... And other swill you wish you didn’t have to read

Betty Shelby

Don’t worry, Betty got paid

In the aftermath of her much-publicized manslaughter trial, Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby has returned to work, albeit not as a patrol officer. Shelby will receive roughly $36,000 in back pay from her time on administrative leave, by the way.

Shelby was put on administrative leave in September 2016 following an incident where Shelby  killed Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man. Shelby has since returned from her leave, presumably stopping by payroll first in order to collect her salary from the last nine months, during which she did not do her job.

Following Shelby’s trial, the foreman of the jury released a letter stating that “many on the jury could never get comfortable with the concept of Betty Shelby being blameless,” but that, since Shelby had apparently followed her training, she could not be considered guilty. Please do not think about the fact that it is possible for a police officer to follow their training to the letter and still gun down an unarmed civilian. Retraining our police officers would be more expensive than the occasional legal fees and backpay. 

An unnamed juror was quoted in the Frontier, saying, “I don’t think she’s a bad person, she just shouldn’t be a cop.” 

But we’ve been assured of Betty’s good intentions, and that’s more or less the same thing as being competent. The occasional dead civilian is just the price we pay for excellent police work.

Meddling bureaucrats shut down Shadow Mountain just because it poses a ‘risk to life’

A bunch of panty-waisted know-nothings at the Joint Commission, a nonprofit that accredits hospitals, have temporarily revoked Shadow Mountain’s accreditation because a few videos surfaced showing the director using Judo holds on mentally ill children. Also there was a riot and a few allegations of misconduct. Okay, fine, “sexual” misconduct.

    Now, before you jump to conclusions and start blaming people, let’s just set the record straight on a
few things:

  • It has been said that Shadow Mountain has an insufficient number of nurses. This makes it sound like Shadow Mountain is woefully understaffed. However, children are typically smaller than adults, so it stands to reason that they shouldn’t hire as many nurses. The fact that the children in question are mentally ill just makes their job easier.
  • While it is true that there have been 30 confirmed cases of neglect or abuse at the facility since 2014, it’s also true that a lot of those kids are really irritating and probably had it coming.
  • The current head nurse once lost a job at SouthCrest because she was shooting up in the bathroom when she was supposed to be working in the ICU. The Joint Commission would probably rather they hire some nerd, but whatever. We all party.
  • Video shows Mike Kistler, CEO of Shadow Mountain, restraining disruptive students in unsafe ways, as well as ignoring children who are attempting to hurt themselves. Look, Kistler isn’t a nurse or a doctor, but he does have a black belt, so he probably knows exactly how much pressure to put on the kids without leaving any marks. Plus, everyone knows that the best thing for a child in crisis is to be physically dominated by a grown man until they internalize that violence is only justified when it is used against them.

All in all, Shadow Mountain probably doesn’t suck more than your average Tulsa middle school. Outsiders may feel that’s a bad thing, but here in Oklahoma we know that when the system lets you down, well, you just haven’t lowered your standards enough.

Oklahoma legislature feels pretty good about skidding across that finish line

Following a session wherein very little got done and the state remains hundreds of millions of dollars under budget even under optimistic projections, members of the Oklahoma legislature stated that, all things considered, things went pretty well this time.

Sure, they didn’t do anything to raise teachers’ salaries, but Mary Fallin signed an order to raise lottery prizes! That way, people will buy more tickets and education will get funded by the free market, as God intended. We are given to understand that this arrangement is a good thing, and not the act of desperation it appears to be. Also please ignore the fine print where the lottery no longer has to give 35 percent of its earnings to education.

But hey, it isn’t all bad! They finally completely eliminated all wind energy incentives in Oklahoma. Now all those greedy wind-barons will have to open their treasuries. We are sure they’ll get around to the incentives the oil and gas industry gets next time, right?

Plus, they added $575 million in recurring annual funds! Well, unless the new cigarette fee gets struck down in court. In this case, a fee is like a tax, but a tax requires a supermajority to pass and a fee does not. After a judge listens to this argument and agrees that it makes sense, all of our problems will be over. One of them, anyway. Well, part of one.