Back from Pittsburgh

By Andrew W. Griffin

Oklahoma Watchdog

Posted: August 17, 2009

reddirtreporter@gmail.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – Flying back from Pittsburgh, Pa. yesterday morning, your Red Dirt Reporter began typing a piece about my trip to the Steel City datelined “Somewhere Over Ohio.”

The trip was well worth it in that RDR was able to meet fellow journalists, bloggers and think-tank types who take a serious interest in where America is going, particularly in the age of Obama and the neo-Marxist agenda of the far left.

Flying into Pittsburgh on Thursday August 13, and a very informative taxi ride to the Sheraton hotel along the Monongahela River, we got settled in, did a little writing and met a couple of people affiliated with the Franklin Center and Sam Adams Alliance, both of which were attending the weekend’s RightOnline conference affiliated with Americans for Prosperity.

Interestingly, Netroots Nation, the liberal blogging convention, was also taking place in Pittsburgh, right across the river from us and was featuring liberal luminaries from Bill Clinton to Howard Dean.

The first night, at a dinner at a local Italian restaurant, approximately 30 of us crammed into a small room, enjoying ravioli, wine and conversation. We got a better sense of who was working where and how they got involved with freedom-focused journalism. There is a great and growing group of conservative and libertarian activists, writers and thinkers who are fed up with the liberal media and their Obama-worshiping ways.

And this is where I should inform readers that big changes are in store for Red Dirt Report and your Red Dirt Reporter. In the very near future, I will be transitioning to a new site – Oklahoma Watchdog – and will be focusing on government corruption, political issues in Oklahoma and related issues. Red Dirt Report will still be operating daily, as it has since July 4, 2007. Stories from Oklahoma Watchdog will be regularly linked at Red Dirt Report.

So, look for more investigative pieces from your Red Dirt Reporter, a.k.a the Oklahoma Watchdog.

But back to Pittsburgh – the rest of the weekend was informative, interesting and the highlight for this political junkie was the inspiring speech by Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Pat Toomey, who is running against elderly and confused incumbent Arlen “Magic Bullet” Specter.

While we missed the Saturday speakers, including Michelle Malkin and Ed Morrissey, this reporter came away from Pittsburgh having learned a lot via some great seminars that were offered. One of the most important being a discussion of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how to go about that.

Perhaps the most inspiring moment of the trip to Pittsburgh was the early morning taxi ride to the airport on the day I left. My driver, a Nigerian immigrant who became an American citizen in 2007, was the most upbeat and positive person I've met in a while. The driver had lived in Lagos and London and said Pittsburgh was a slice “of heaven.” He loved the pace of life, the livability and the people. He was able to buy a nice house in Pittsburgh and was going on and on about the city and how far it has come since it's rougher days 20 years ago.

And what little I saw of Pittsburgh, I would have to say that things are going well. A Steelers game was going on the first night I was there and the gold and black jerseys were everywhere. Things are buzzing in Pittsburgh, that's for sure. And next month they are hosting the G20 summit. Amazing!

Back here in Oklahoma, I guarantee that FOIA requests will be made in the coming months and that serious questions will be asked. While Oklahoma is blessed with some great representatives, there are some that need to be investigated. They need to be held accountable.

That is where Oklahoma Watchdog comes in.

As we like to say here, ‘stay tuned!’

Copyright 2009 West Marie Media

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