To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, May 27, 2024


Views From The Heartland



Fall has come to my farm in Oklahoma.

Light frost makes for cool mornings

This summer, 110 degrees plus made me think it would never rain again, but finally after a little moisture from up above, I was able to work the fields and plant wheat again for the hopes of next year.

I will now care for the cattle through the winter.

Observing a herd of cattle is similar to behaviors of people. If you drop one chunk of alfalfa hay to a hundred head, a few bosses will eat it all and not let the rest have any.

That’s probably where the word bossy originates.

In America, the people’s tax money ends up in one spot, and the bosses of the herd, like hogs at the trough, are there to take the lion’s share.

Working alone, I think of all the times my youngest son would help on the farm. He joined the Marines to help America be safe.

Bryan is gone now.

His life ended in Iraq at the age of 22. But he opened the door to more questions than answers.

His death has led me to observe a few things.

Soldiers are regarded as heroes, but make one-sixth the wages of private contractors.

Military leaders end up on the boards of giant oil companies and defense contractors, while soldiers leaving the military can’t find a job.

Politicians give our tax dollars as aid to foreign dictators who then buy weapons from our defense contractors to control their people. And large corporations extract natural resources to then sell back to “we the people.”

Politicians end a lot of speeches with “God Bless America” but use our tax dollars to fund the largest killing machine the world has ever known – the deaths of millions in Vietnam and close to a million in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush and Cheney can “lie” the people into war a decade ago, and never be held accountable.

Today, Bush can even throw out the first pitch at the World Series.

In America, stories of 10- to 12-year-old little girls missing or killed receive months of news coverage, but a 10-year-old girl in Afghanistan, when killed by our drones, gets zero news coverage.

I am sure she is God’s child as are American girls.

Most Americans will choose news that has the most entertaining and flashy news commentators.

Large corporations can control our government and our news with enough money.

A few people will speak out, but most won’t.

America, once the home of the brave, has changed to silence.

Recently, watching Occupy Wall Streeters and the connection with Iraq Veterans Against the War, along with many Vietnam veterans, makes me think the home of the brave is coming back.

On a farm, the first of many rounds has to be plowed or mowed before you can produce a crop. And it’s the slowest and requires the most preparation.

Demanding Bush and Cheney stand in front of a Judge Judy-type person would almost combine the next several rounds.

As the money connections of big oil banks and contractors are rolled to the surface, hopefully people will see the injustice of how our tax dollars are used.

John Scripsick lives in Wayne, OK where he is a full-time cattle rancher and farmer. His son Bryan was killed Sept. 6, 2007 in Iraq.  

PHOTO: John Scripsick



  1. John:

    You nailed it!

    Terrific piece. It should be required reading for the fools–fools that we voters elect unfortunately–in Washington. Thank God there is another out there trying to get people to listen and realize what a bunch of pompous asses politicians are.

    Keep at it my friend.

    Thank you for sharing it…and thank you for having a son like Bryan. I only wish he was still with you.

  2. John, my sincerest condolences on the loss of your precious son. It’s hard to lose a fine young person. I know. I worry about the obsene political situation, too. I write to my senators/congressman and they write back ignoring my suggestions and complaints, blathering about their own priorities. We can only hope that as a result of more and more of us complaining, some young challengers will hear our discontent and take those issues as their own and replace the rotten Washington establishment. And to do that, we have to refocus our voting patterns and select the RIGHT candidates instead of party candidates. Congratulations to you for speaking out in the Observer.

    • You hit it: Vote for the right candidate, not the party. We’ve seen how little these two parties have accomplished for the benefit of this country and its people. They’re traitors to the people who elected them. Hopefully voters have had enough and will send them packing.

  3. November 17,2011 @10:55 pm
    John, Your loss is so deep and personal that I know it is still difficult for you. Your son was someone that 90% of our elected representatives, state and nation, will never be able to understand – the concept of supreme sacrifice. All of these people who make the decisions for these so-called “police actions; wars and whatever they want to call it – should have to be the first ones to go or their oldest child should go. I realize this sounds so bitter. Americans must begin to understand that the U.S. CONSTITUTION is still here. Many of us-everywhere-need to read it from the 1st word to the last amendment.And we MUST REMIND OUR REPRESENTATIVES that this all they are. The next election day should be the last day for many of them.

    • Amen! When the isolated politicians have to face sending their kids…or better yet, themselves…to these wars in worthless Third World dumps, they might have a different view. It’s time to THROW ALL THE BUMS OUT! They can’t–WON’T–work together for this country and its people. They’re selfish, arrogant fools who should be run out of office. Maybe it’s time for a third party–the AMERICAN PARTY. Seems the current two party system has proven to be an abysmal failure.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.