Tuesday, September 19, 2006

questionaire from conservative group

The following were yes or no questions. As you see I instead answered with a sentence.

Protect the American Family Survey
Public Advocate’s 2006 Federal Candidate Questionnaire

Name: Hal Spake
Address: P.O. Box 1388
City/State/Zip Norman, OK 73170-1388
Office Sought: U.S. House District 4
Party: Democrat

1. Will you reject any and all financial or other support from the homosexual lobby?

I accept support from Americans who embrace the concept of universal human rights.

2. If elected will you refuse to hire homosexual activists in your office?

I will employ Americans who espouse the ideal of universal human rights.

3. Will you vote in favor of Rep Marilyn Musgrave’s Traditional Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly defining marriage to a union of one man and one woman?

Government should not be in the marriage business. Marriage is a church issue.

4. Will you vote against any and all so-called “hate crimes” legislation which, in essence, mandate longer prison sentences for people who have thoughts or opinions not approved by the government?

I am unaware of any mechanism for monitoring thoughts.

5. Will you vote against any and all so-called “non-discrimination” legislation which require “sexual orientation” to be treated the same as sex or race in all hiring and promotions, essentially having federal officials dictate the personnel policies of private businesses and violating the Constitutions’s guarantee of the freedom of association?

This nation was founded on the principle of universal human rights. I oppose legislation that undermines this concept.

6. Will you vote to repeal Rep. Barney Frank’s 1990 “Frank amendment” prohibiting the government from denying entry to immigrants for having “membership” in subversive organizations or teaching or advocating subversive views,” which allowed the 9-11 hijackers to legally enter the United State despite past ties to terrorist groups?

Two hijackers names were on a watch list, but because Arabic spelling is not standardized they were not identified. This question if framed in a lie and is not a valid question.

7. Will you vote in favor of any and all legislation exercising the right of Congress under the Constitution to remove the issue of so-called “gay” marriage from the jurisdiction of the federal courts and activist judges?

Government should not be involved in marriage. Marriage is a church issue.

8. Is homosexuality an immoral lifestyle choice?

Romans Chapter 2, verse 1, tells us God alone judges what sin is.

9. Do you believe that you can respect homosexuals as people while opposing the political agenda of the homosexual lobby?

Please define the agenda of the homosexual lobby?

10. Would you vote to impeach judges who legislate the homosexual agenda from the bench?

Judges rule on legislation. Congress legislates.



Please print name as well

Return to: Public Advocate of the U.S.
C/O Survey Dept
5613 Leesburg Pike, Ste 17
Falls Church, VA 22041
703-845-1990 (Fax)

copyright © halspake 2006

Sunday, September 03, 2006

News link and comment from a fan

RE: http://www.adaeveningnews.com/homepage/local_story_244121111.html

I've spoken extensively to Hal and he is one of the most knowledgable people I've met. His many years abroad in some very troubled parts of the world have given him a perpective of what is happening in our country & world that few of us will experience. He has lost friends to terrorism and yet he doesn't hate. And his love of his country shines through in every word he speaks about it! Combined with his intelligence and willingness to examine every view and aspect on EVERY issue (what an amazing trait) his presence in the Congress will most certainly lift that body of government to a more effective level of governance.

This is a intelligent, thoughtful and reasonable man. He will be no one's "rubber stamp" and I for one say hooray, we finally have a chance to vote for a statesman from Oklahoma, not a political hack!

Tom Cole votes with this president 97% of the time. A this president has forced one bad policy after another on us. I am uncomfortable with a 8.7 trillion debt that is 51% foreign owned. I'm uncomfortable that state governments are being forced into selling our roads and bridges to foreign interests. Our ports STILL unguarded, our borders left porus so that industry has plenty of cheap labor. We can't afford 2 more years of Tom Cole NOT thinking but just endorsing anything this Administration can conjur!

I'm tired of unreasonable justifications for war and I fear this president's love for pre-emptive war is going to engage us in a 3rd middle east conflict with Iran. And I fear even more that with this President and his current "rubber stamp" congress that the troops amassing on the Iranian border will be launched before enough new people can be elected to the congress to rein in this out of control Administration!

I hope everyone takes the time to give Hal a long hard look. Oklahoma will be proud of this guy, who will "serve" Oklahomans and not HIS PARTY.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ltr on Right to Work


Thank you for the post card.

If you’ve visited my website www.halspake.com you know I’m a retired federal employee. One of the things not mentioned is that at several posts I served as a representative for the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), a professional organization that represented all Foreign Service employees in disputes with management.

On your pre-printed card you state that, “Forced unionism is just plain wrong, and in the next sentence added that, “No one should be forced to pay union dues in order to get or keep a job.”

Union jobs typically pay more, have better benefits, safer work environments and offer job security not found in non-union jobs. Job security can be important especially when the employer engages in unlawful activity, as happened in Tulsa, when the John Pickle Company imported workers from Pakistan, imprisoned them, locked them in barracks, fed them food that had passed the date of expiration and did not pay them. Also, employment of undocumented aliens is common in States where Right to Work has passed. Unsafe working conditions and abuse of workers are common. In fact one frozen food company, in Texas, that forced the union out, and that has been repeatedly cited by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, has an underground reputation for finding tattered remains of coveralls in meat grinding equipment. Because their workers are undocumented there is no way of proving or disproving these rumors.

I would like you to know that I will never stand in the way of someone who wants to work in a non-union shop for less money, fewer benefits and job insecurity. I do believe that if a person wants the benefits of a union job, they should be union members. No one should be allowed to free-load on the gains made by other workers.

Please join me in my efforts to limit the activities of companies that displace American workers by hiring illegal aliens. Enclosed is a contribution envelope for your consideration.


Hal Spake

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An Evening Next to Dense Matter (A Black Hole)


Last Thursday night, after listening to several speeches, I found myself seated next to a Fox TV manager. Our conversation turned to politics and I asked why he was a Republican. He said, he did not believe in big government and wanted a responsible budget process.

When I pointed out that the current administration had vastly expanded the role of government and had already run up the largest debt in history he changed course and said he wanted to the opportunity to become wealthy and for his three daughters to become wealthy.

I told him that the current tax policies disadvantaged working Americans. I added that wealth was created through the development of infrastructure. The GI Bill after WWII, with low interests and no down payment, created a housing market drove a booming post war economy, and that those who went to school on the GI Bill gave the U.S. an educational advantage in world markets for two generations. I then added, that trickle down economic did not work. When money rises to the top it stays there and with our current tax policies, the investments required to maintain our physical and human infrastructure would decline as increasing amounts of tax revenue are used to pay interest on a ballooning debt. I also pointed out that some states were already selling toll roads and bridges to international investors. I then told him his daughters would never be wealthy and along with the rest of the middle class would be reduced to serfs if we continue on the path of our current economic policies.

He again changed course and said he was a Republican because of Bill Clinton and went to explain how embarrassing it had been to explain, to a 10 year old daughter, what oral sex was. I asked why the media had not focused on the mistress of Vice-President Bush, suggesting that the media may be selective in what it reports. I also, pointed out that it was not Clinton that caused a nightly national discussion of oral-sex but Fox News, and that it was he and others at Fox had been actively engaged in educating the youth of America about oral-sex.

He looked stricken, then said he support the President because of the wars we were fighting. At that point I said I had to go listen to my son’s jazz group, “Farewell Valentine,” that was playing at Othello’s.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Death Grip on Constitution

Published: May 21, 2006 12:00 am

Extremists have death grip on Constitution
The Norman Transcript

Editor, The Transcript:

I'm profoundly disturbed by recent news reports indicating Vice President Dick Cheney aggressively urged the National Security Agency to intercept domestic telephone calls without a warrant -- even when NSA lawyers reviewing its legality opposed the idea. That President Bush initially denied our government had been spying on Americans is equally alarming.

Next, the administration backpedaled and characterized the surveillance program as being legal and limited in scope. However, evidence suggests the program violates our Constitution's Fourth Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, our vade mecum (bible) when I worked for the NSA, which prohibits domestic wiretapping without a warrant. Wednesday one major news network reported it learned journalists have been targeted through the use of illegally obtained phone records, and NSA was attempting to identify who leaked to the press the reports?about the existence of secret prisons, government sanctioned torture and warrantless wire taps.

The political party now ruling the country has abandoned all principals of checks and balances in government. It puts objectives and membership above the law, routinely ignores concerns for privacy protection and the First Amendment, and resorts to totalitarian tactics to intimidate those who oppose them. I?feel our?country is in peril if we don't wake up and take our government away from the extremists who have a death grip on the Constitution.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Are you in the "Zone?" Then SHUT UP!

I read in DemoOkie that a free-speech-zone has been established in Stillwater for those who want to protest Bush policies. I gather that those who support Bush are not confined to specific locations.

The idea and use of the word, "Free-speech-zones" is repugnant. We should use a more apt word like, "free-speech-stockade" or "free-speech-gulag". If we use the words and phrases of the right wing, they've framed the issue, and won the argument.

The Bill of Rights does not restrict free speech to prisoners but extends it to all people in this country. Perhaps we need to have one of the State legislators ask the Attorney General his opinion on free-speech-stockades in Oklahoma. If the AG says they are illegal, then Oklahomans don't have to go to jail to express their legitimate concerns about the Bush government.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A letter from an old Foreign Service friend

The following letter appears in this month's Foreign Service Journal. Peggy was my mentor while I was in Jerusalem. We have been good friends ever since.

Letter to the Editor

With deep sadness I depart the State Department, prematurely ending a 24-year Foreign Service career, voluntarily leaving what had been a largely rewarding career in which I raised two daughters to know and appreciate the world I spent almost four decades traveling. I take this action because I believe that State is no longer effectively representing the values and priorities that have been the foundation of our security and the source of American strength. The dissonance between many of the actions and policies implemented--cherry-picked pre-war intelligence, pre-emptive war, secret foreign CIA detention centers and torture, warrant-less domestic spying--and my own values, common sense and experience has simply become too great.

I recognized that successful Foreign Service Officers must have an exceptional tolerance for ambiguity. I understand that higher strategic aims often necessitate compromises in pursuit of the ultimate objective. During my postings in South America, the Caribbean, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Washington I have also had serious doubts about some of the policies of previous administrations. Until recently, however, I took some solace in the belief that State itself, while ultimately the policy implementation arm of the administration, was, within policy-making councils, playing an important role as a voice of reason, experience and realism.

I can no longer take such comfort. Like our intelligence agencies, State is increasingly becoming a mere political arm of the administration which, for political reasons, continues to exploit post 9/11 emotions.

One need not be an expert to see the damage that the conduct of the faultily conceived, inexpertly understood and ineptly executed Iraq war, as well as the politicization of the "War on Terrorism" have done to our standing in the world and to the ideals that historically have been our most powerful attributes. We are failing to accurately analyze why the world is responding as it is and instead focus our efforts on how to force the rest of the world to accept our values and perception of the way life should be.

US leadership must, by example, be worthy of emulation, in order to build a worldwide support base. Force will not replace this need long term and the backlash will eventually obliterate the good for which the US historically has been a beacon of light.

Additionally, State is now unable to truly effectively serve as advisor on, or implementer of its public diplomacy mission. State’s public diplomacy role is suffering from poor but superior-pleasing management, decreased funding and an inability to recognize and respond to current realities. Our best minds are often managing illusion or treating symptoms, not addressing underlying causes. The military, however, which has almost unlimited resources to project the administration’s "message", is incrementally taking over State’s public diplomacy operation.

Also, our current policies directed at developing countries fall far short of their purported goals, inviting disaster. Despite our rhetoric to the contrary, we have gradually become part of the problem. In Africa, for example, the few continue to grow richer while more than half of the 900 million Africans live in destitution, earning no more than a dollar a day--literally not a cent better off than when I first set foot in Africa in 1968.

Within State Department’s Africa Bureau, where I most recently functioned in public diplomacy for 16 countries of West Africa and as the public affairs liaison on HIV/AIDS, I see distressingly few significant results of our policies, despite the valiant efforts of officers everywhere. This is particularly true of policies related to the $15 billion dollar HIV/AIDS program executed by the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) with a constant eye to maximizing positive domestic political publicity. The recent appointment of political appointee Randall Tobias (and former CEO of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly) to now head the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as function as overall Foreign Assistance Director, will result in even further politicization of our foreign assistance program.

The administration’s indifference to suffering everywhere--now evident both at home, post Katrina, and in our activities internationally--makes it increasingly difficult to be optimistic. Despite the administration’s truly massive PR, its AIDS policy will eventually become a permanent "blot" on our record as millions will perish unnecessarily. Its AIDS policy is making an entire generation of Africans unwilling pawns in its quest to impress American voters with its own perceived morality. AIDS is the biggest threat faced by Africa where two-thirds of the world’s 40 million HIV/AIDS patients live. It contributes to a marked drop in productivity, to increased despair and is feeding a growth in political instability.

Of the 40 million stricken, only 471,000 now receive anti-viral treatment from our 15 billion dollar program. African leaderships have been pushed by the U.S. to emphasize abstinence and de-emphasize condom use—or lose funding. These policies will lead to a reversal of progress in the treatment of AIDS. Simply stated, Africans, in the millions, are expendable if it serves the re-election needs of politicians. This, coupled with African leaderships sometimes mired in increasingly skillfully executed corruption (which we verbally criticize but often effectively ignore when in our perceived "interest" to do so) simply adds to growing frustration.

Careerism at State cripples critical thinking. And within State’s internal bureaucracy, professional punishment and sophisticated, targeted retribution, for any deviation from "the message" are increasingly effective and expertly hidden behind a shield of multiple maneuvers using personnel system "mechanisms" designed and scripted for deniability. Officers are discredited, promotions, tenure and assignments jeopardized, "investigations" opened, careers destroyed.

Edward R. Murrow said that you cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home--never truer than today when loyalty and being "on message" trump critical analysis and forthright honesty. I fully realize that for others in the Department who may privately share my views, my decision to depart may be unacceptably costly in personal terms. I personally regret, however, that I did not take this action earlier. I clung to the hope that we would right ourselves. Unfortunately that has not happened in the years since 9/11 and I do not see it on the horizon.

I hardly believe that my premature departure from State will have any effect on the course of U.S. foreign policy, but I am compelled to add another voice to what I hope becomes a groundswell against the directions we have taken. Were I to remain silent any longer, I would be contributing to this deception by lending credence to the illusion that things are as they ought to be.

They are not.

Peggy S. Zabriskie
Newly Retired U.S Diplomat, Department of State

Profile of Hal

Hello all,

I am posting this portion of Hal's bio in the blog because the profile section limits the number of characters we can use to 1200.

Hal Spake was raised in Norman. He attended Washington Elementary, West Junior High, and Graduated from Norman High. In 1966, he joined the Air Force and served with the Security Service, a military component of the National Security Agency in Brindisi, Italy and at Clark AB, the Philippines, where he met Luzviminda Martinez Rosales, his bride of 37 years and mother of their four children, two of whom are adopted.

Their oldest daughter helps agencies and organizations meet federal requirements to obtain grants for Drug and Alcohol Prevention Programs. The oldest son works for the U.S. Post Office in San Francisco, the youngest son is a guitar teacher and professional jazz musician and their youngest daughter is a part-time student interested in drama and voice.

After receiving an honorable discharge, Hal studied Political Science at Central State University in Edmond, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree. Between 1972 and 1979 he worked both part and full-time in the National Guard and after graduation was employed by the Veterans Administration as a Personnel Clerk. In January of 1979, Hal resigned from the Army National Guard’s Infantry Cadet Program, to begin a 22 year career with the U.S. Department of State.

Mr. Spake served in Jakarta, Indonesia; Abidjan, The Ivory Coast; Frankfurt, Germany; Manila, Republic of the Philippines; Jerusalem; Nairobi, Kenya; and briefly in Mogadishu, Somalia; Pretoria, South Africa; and Ankara, Turkey. He worked as a communications officer, a systems manager, a procurement officer, a communications security officer, a budget and fiscal officer, a top-secret control officer and an information management officer responsible for all U.S. Government communication activities in South Africa and Turkey.

He also served as acting Administrative Officer in Jerusalem during an unexpected emergency. As well, Hal served on several Ambassador Self-Help Committees, determining which community self-help projects would be funded by the Agency for International Development (USAID). In addition he was a member of the Embassy’s Country-Team in South Africa and Turkey, helping to implement strategic U.S. objectives.

During his tenure with the State Department Mr. Spake received numerous cash awards, for costs saving ideas; Meritorious Step Increases, for performance; Superior Honor Awards and a Meritorious Honor Award.