Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Defending Conduit's Legislative Scorecard

Conduit for Commerce had a legislative scorecard that I was very complimentary of. No sooner had I complimented it than Dan Greenberg of Advance Arkansas put out a piece highly critical of their scorecard. Advance Arkansas and Conduit have very similar mission goals. They could either be allies or competitors for the "market" of economic freedom people. Greenberg decided to treat them like competitors and launched on them. I shared my views about it in some audio files which were played on the Paul Harrell Program. In addition to playing them on the show, they also put up the clips by themselves. You can listen to my critique of Greenberg's critique here. This is an example of a contrived and unnecessary fight among people who would be better off making peace and working together IMHO.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ranking the Legislators 2017

Conduit for Commerce has come out with their rankings for all legislators from the 2017 session. It is very comprehensive and I noticed that a lot of the names high on their list were names that were also high on our list of top legislators from the 2015 session. They don't explain it in their article but I think that the names that are underlined and have an asterisk were those who voted against the Governor when they needed to on a couple of big bills. I.E. those are the ones who will stand up for fiscal responsibility even when its not cool and the price could be high (the Governor finding them a primary opponent for example).

For the past several sessions I have gotten with four other activists and we had our own vote on who the best and worst legislators were. This list looks good enough that I don't feel the need to do that this time around.  I endorse their list, even if I don't agree with every bill they scored and how they scored it.

What do the numbers tell us? That there are six really good State Senators in the Arkansas Legislature and after that there is a really big drop-off in quality. It also tells us what kind of score Asa Hutchinson would get if he were a state senator- that score is "-19". We know that because that is the score that Jim Hendren got and he is the Governor's nephew and point man and votes with him pretty much right down the line.

The House has 100 members instead of the 35 the Senate has, so you would expect to find more good ones, and there are but not that many more. (NOTE: I don't agree that Sullivan was the #1 member of the house.)  Ten of them are really solid, like the top six senators, but after that there is a more gradual tapering of quality. The top ten is really strong and the next 15-20 are pretty good too. In the Senate once you get past the top six, things go downhill fast. It is like by then they have decided what they are and they go there. In the house they are still a work in progress and could go either way. I am not even going to link the house rating. Check the article out to see it yourself.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

In Training to Receive the Mark of the Beast

Revelations 13:16-17

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[a] the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
 I don't know what I believe about eschatology. It has always been the most unfathomable to me (along with early Genesis which I am finally convinced that I do understand) and I figured that I had a difficult enough time trying to live up to the parts that were easy to understand. I do know that when I was growing up it seemed very unlikely that we would have a one-world system, yet everyone was talking about it coming and how they would refuse to take "the mark of the beast", whatever it is or was. So much so that I can remember thinking "how could they get away with forcing people to take such a mark, too many people would know that it would be making a deal with the Devil?"

Now days it is very clear that the ruling class is pushing for a one world system, and it seems either plausible or maybe even inevitable. Yet no one seems to be talking about "the mark of the beast" anymore. It is amazing how much the world has changed since I was a teenager. The technological improvements have been wonderful. But more power has not made man better, and the noise has made us a lot less contemplative of life's larger questions.

One thing I have learned about evil over the years is that it does not describe itself as evil, at least until people are hopelessly sucked in. Rather, evil tries to present itself as good. That dishonesty is just a part of the evil. When and if the time comes they are not going to say "everyone who wants to deny God so we world rulers can try to take His place in league with Satan line up here to get your mark." It is going to be a lot more seductive than that. Not that truth can stay hidden to those who want to see. Despite an intense propaganda campaign with all kinds of claims about itself, I suspect the rottenness and corruption of the system will be plain enough to anyone who cares to see it.

But people will not want to see it. A lot of folks who consider themselves "good people" will line right up for, even if they don't buy the system's claims about itself. Why? They will tell themselves that they need access to the system so that they can do good with it. They will assume that they themselves will resist the corrupting influences of the system that they see in others.

Not everybody will be jaded. There will be some "true believers" who want to get wrapped up in something bigger than themselves (but not God). They will take the mark "on their foreheads". That is to say, it will reflect the state of their minds- they will really believe. Others though, will just take the mark on their right hand- they will do the things the system wants them to do in order to maintain their access to the system no matter what is going on in their minds. They won't necessarily buy into it- at least not at first. They may even think that they will just be using the bad system for some "good" purpose. They have to take it in order to stay "relevant", in order to be "players."

If Revelation is such a mystery to me, how do I know all of this? Easy. It is already happening. Right now I see this very thought process occurring in lots of otherwise decent people. People who think of themselves as the good guys, as decent people, will go right ahead and voluntarily put their name on an institution that they will privately admit is corrupt to the core. And they will do this for the very reasons that I described above. They will want "access". They have convinced themselves that they can use a corrupt institution to accomplish good things- things that the institutions leading lights are opposed to doing. And they think they can out-use those professional users without becoming tainted themselves- they thought that they might be never even seems to occur to them.

Yes, I am talking about the Republican Party, among other institutions. I don't think an institution has to be 100% pure or moral before I lend my name to it- once I was a part of it then it would not be 100% pure any more anyway. But I am opposed to joining an organization that I know is systematically corrupt and which tends to make those who join it worse instead of better. The generally upright people I know who are heavy into it are miserable, and the dirtiest and willingly deceived who are in it seem the most supportive of it as it is now. Why would any decent human being want to join an outfit like that? Why would they remain in such an outfit? For all of the reasons I outlined above.

I can't tell you how many people I have talked to inside it that admit to me that it is bad and getting worse. Some make excuses about trying to "change it from the inside" but mostly they don't say that anymore. They are too ashamed to because people have tried to do that my whole adult life-time and its only gotten worse not better. Anyway you might as well try and join the Gambinos and try to "change them from within". Mostly, they say just what I outlined above- they know it is rotten but they want to use it to accomplish some personal goal that they see as good. Well, the system is using you too, your name and influence, to give the cloak of credibility to what they are doing, even if you don't approve. You are supporting and enabling it by continuing to be a dues-paying member.

I visited with a guy the other day who once ran as an independent for a county position and did very poorly. Now he wants to run as a Republican. I told him that I knew lots of men who tried to use the system for good purpose without becoming either corrupted or miserable, but maybe he would be the first. He actually wrote back agreeing that in the past every single person he supported for leadership in the party let him down and went back on what they said they would do with it. I guess he considers himself made of finer clay than those other guys who went in and let him down. I don't think so much of myself. I want to be surrounded by people who will help me be better, not worse.

For a believer, this world is not our home. We hope for a better country, the land above. And as such we should not have the same compulsion to be a "player" in a corrupt system. Our spiritual forebears knew this. They were thrown to the lions because they would not burn a pinch of incense to the Emperor as though he were a god. Some folks who say most of Revelation has already happened think that this is the "mark of the beast" that Saint John the Revelator was referring to. They refused to pay homage to a corrupt institution, or lend their name to it. It finally crashed in on itself due to its own corruption. That caused a lot of hurt- mostly to those deepest inside it. The Christians could not have saved it anyway, because it was being judged by God and was not meant to be saved. All they could have done by staying in and supporting it was get in His way.

Sure, there were centuries of rebuilding required, but that rebuilding was on a firmer foundation than state-worship and Emperor worship. Their descendants built the political systems which became the Republics of the West, which granted mankind more freedom and stability than had ever before been known. Our refusal to participate any longer in a corrupt system may or may not have the same effect, but it is still the right thing to do. I am not advocating just giving up mind you, but leaving the corrupt system which offers you hope of personal advantage and "relevancy" and starting something new which is not mired in rot even though it offers you nothing but self-sacrifice. Both your grandchildren and your soul will be better off.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Libertarians to Submit “New Political Party” Petitions Monday

On Monday, June 12 at 10:00AM, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas will be delivering petitions to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office to become a “new political party” for the 2018 elections.  This will be the fourth consecutive election cycle in which the LP has petitioned to be a “new political party” in Arkansas.
Arkansas law requires a new political party to collect 10,000 valid voter signatures during a 90-day period.  Over the past two months or so the party has collected over 15,000 signatures.  After some brief remarks from LP officials at the State Capitol, and opportunities for reporters’ questions, the petitions will be delivered to the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sorting Truth on Seth Rich Murder and Wikkileaks Source

I have never seen the establishment close ranks so fast on a story as they have with the Seth Rich murder. Even though there are enough facts out there so that real journalists ought to be curious and ask questions as to whether the official story adds up, I don't see one iota of curiosity about it from the establishment media. Instead, they seem like they are in a frenzy to attack whoever raises questions about it.

Relations with Russia are deteriorating, and while we can feel sympathy for what the parents want to believe about their son, many more lives are potentially at stake and the moral thing to do is continue to seek the truth about this story. Right now the Russians are getting the blame, which they deny, and tensions are high. If they are innocent of this act and it really was Rich doing the leaking, some of that pressure for conflict can be released.

A major question in the investigation is whether or not Seth Rich was the source of Wikkileaks documents from the Democratic party which were damaging to Hillary Clinton in the closing days of the 2016 campaign. Specifically proof that DNC officials colluded to cheat Senator Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. Where did Wikkileaks get the data? The two leading theories are 1) Russian Hackers and 2) the worst stuff did not come from a hack at all but rather was a "leak" from a disgruntled insider.

The biggest support for theory #1 is that government spook (and proven liar) James Clapper testified before congress that all the Federal intelligence agencies agreed that the data came from a Russian hack. That version of events is repeated endlessly by the media. The biggest knock against the biggest support for theory #1 is that Federal intelligence agencies in general, and James Clapper in particular, are well-documented liars. Having already led us into a war with Iraq based on politically motivated faulty intelligence, we would have to be fools to take them solely on their word with a line of investigation which could take us into conflict with nuclear super-power Russia.

And yet, all they are offering us is their word and most of that anonymously. The intelligence agencies have provided no proof to back their assertions that the Wikkileaks information came from Russia. So what we have are the word of known liars. It is not like they have some super-secret evidence they can show to Congress but not us either. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is about as conservative as the come, and he says even the Intelligence Agencies' report to them has no hard evidence  to show the connection,

"I do not believe that the evidence at this time proves that the Russians are the ones who hacked the DNC. We have heard every report from the intelligence groups that are making their reports and they have weasel words in them, and they are based on opinion based on someone who is probably a strong liberal democrat,”

The strongest evidence against the Russians being the source- and thus Rich being the likely source, is that Assange himself steadfastly denied that his source was a state actor. Further, he strongly implied that Rich was the leaker and has offered a reward for information leading to the capture of the killer. So far as we know Assange has never lied to the American people. In addition a former British Ambassador, Craig Murray, said he went to Washington and picked up the leak documents and it was an inside leak and not a hack. A shadier character, a hacker from New Zealand named "Kim Dotcom" claims that he knows that Seth Rich was the Wikkileaks DNC leaker and that he helped him. That would explain how Rich, who was in the IT department for the DNC but would not normally have access to all of that leaked info in the course of his regular duties, gathered the emails.

The Rich family then attacked Dotcom and claimed that Dotcom tried to hack their dead son's email account, prompting Dotcom to issue a statement warning them against defamation. Dotcom has offered to provide his evidence "to the authorities" but since he is under indictment in the U.S. it is plausible to assume he is angling for those charges to be dropped in exchange. The joke is on him, no one in the ruling class on either side seems the least bit interested in even solving the murder.

That is the other bizarre thing. It seems like it would be very easy to catch the killer. Rich was conscious and talking when police got there. It seems like he could have told them something about who attacked him, yet the PD has not given us any hint of a description of an assailant. In addition, the police were wearing body cams. That footage seems to be missing. There were also cameras filming every possible entry Rich could have used to get to the spot where he was gunned down- though none in the two block area where the crime happened. Whoever did it either was caught on those cameras entering or leaving the crime scene or they took just the right path to avoid being caught on camera - not exactly consistent with the incompetence of a "botched robbery" hypothesis. You have a still-living victim talking to police who could have at least told them which way the suspects went, and cameras nearby on most avenues of escape. Yet despite all of this there is not even a mention of a "person of interest".

The other wild card in this is the "hacker" known as Guccifer 2.0. The original Guccifer was a Romanian hacker. This one claimed to be but not only does that appear to be untrue, there is considerable evidence that he is not even a hacker. Read this report if you want to examine the detailed evidence, but it appears to me that Guccifer 2.0 only came on the scene after the DNC realized that it had been hacked. No documents that Guccifer 2.0 released on his own proved to be damaging to the Democrats. I examined the evidence and it looks like Guccifer is a front for the DNC trying to make their leak look like a Russian hack. No matter what version of events Guccifer told, the common thread was that the Russians were behind it. Even the version where Guccifer 2.0 said that Seth Rich was the Wikkileaks leaker, the Russians were inserted into the chain of events.

Until the U.S. intelligence services provide us a report with evidence pointing to the Russians that is as convincing as the report I linked to above indicating Guccifer 2.0 is a fraud, the most reasonable conclusion is that Seth Rich was the Wikkileaker- without Russia or Guccifer 2.o anywhere in the chain. The other thing that could tip the balance away from that conclusion is that the D.C. police solve the murder and it turns out to be someone who had robbed other people in the past.

When the fact change, my opinion will change. My opinion will not change because people who are less interested in truth than I am snarl at me or call me names because I won't switch my views to those the media insist I have on this issue regardless of the quality of the evidence. This could be a random tragedy, or it could be something really big.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Either a Patriarch or a Case Worker

I think a lot of Arkansans have been moved- in all sorts of directions - by the sad case of the baby attacked by rats in Magnolia. The teenage parents (Erica Shryock and Charles Elliot) are now being prosecuted for neglect leading to abuse. The facts of the case are still being gathered, but my initial take on the situation is that these are not particularly evil people but they are particularly incompetent people. They look like a couple of not-very-bright teenage screw-ups to me. I don't think they have the wherewithal to manage their own lives in today's complex society, much less raise children on their own.

They will probably have to go to prison. If they were a member of the ruling class they might get off- like Judge Wade Naramore did when he left his two year old son to die in a hot car. But he had the assistance of a Hot Springs police department which conveniently "lost" the video tape evidence showing the child's last agonizing hour of life. Without visual evidence of the child's pain all the jury sees is the parent's pain so it is harder to convict. I promise you the system will not "lose" the evidence when they prosecute these two clueless kids.

I think there are a lot of people like that in prison. Not particularly evil, just terrible screw-ups who cannot manage their own affairs without hurting themselves or others. There are a lot of people like that who are not in prison too. People like this are the heart of the argument for the paternalistic welfare state. I want you to zoom out a minute and use this tragic event to make some larger connections. Here is a quote from the famous Ronald Reagan speech in 1964 called "A Time For Choosing"....
This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
Here is the thing, I am totally with Reagan in principle on the idea of people running their own lives better than experts can run them. But that's me as I am now. That's the people I work with and politic with. It's not these kids or the people like them. Left and right are shouting past each other. The left is screaming that we need bigger budgets and more programs so that people like this don't wind up in situations like the one they are in. The right hollers back that we don't need our taxes raised so that (as Gingrich put it) "the government can hire our cousin to tell us what to do."

The right is exactly correct- for them and their friends. There is an underclass though for which that is not quite right, at least until they get older and wiser. There is going to be a slice of every population which is going to need either a patriarch or a case worker.  Today the system and the laws and the economy and culture are totally one-sided in favor of the "solution" being the case worker rather than the patriarch. That is partially the fault of the right, for their side of the argument of late has been to show how they do not need more government regulations and overseers.

What the caring-right should be arguing is that the poor don't need a case-worker, but that they need a patriarch. We don't need programs to provide housing at taxpayer expense to screw-ups. Victorian England did a lot wrong, but in one respect they had a better solution. That is, a culture and economy where young people like that were household servants of some successful person. They did not live in a slum somewhere and onlt showed up to trim the yard or clean the house. They lived on the same grounds as the owners. There these young people can see how successful people operate. They can have access to the resources they need- including someone to make big decisions for them. In return, they could relieve the Patriarch (or Matriarch) of the day-to-day stress of all of those errands and household tasks that today's person on the go does not have time to deal with.

To take a specific example, this young couple did not have the wherewithal to manage their own lives and Judge Wade Naramore had so much going on that he tragically forgot his own child in the back of a hot car. I submit to you if the Naramores had taken in these young people as their household servants then both tragedies would have been avoided. Shryrock would have, with guidance, been a loving nanny even as she is a loving mother. She is just not competent as a stand-alone mother in a house full of viscous rats. If the Naramores had constant access to someone who could watch the kids a bit while they were off attending to their high-powered duties then their own child would not have been lost. We are only going to see more tragedies of both of these kinds until we make some changes- starting with the way we view patriarchy.

Right now the tax laws are not set up to encourage that- in fact they discourage it. The same with liability laws. The culture has twisted the lower class until a lot of them consider that it is a disgrace to live in a comparative mansion as the household servant of a power couple. The reality is that is much better for them than living in a rat-infested dump with no clue or access to a way to become a successful person. The poor would be much better off with a patriarch (or matriarch) than a case-worker. But the other problem is that our ruling class is tilting toward social Darwinism rather than Christian duty. The latter encourages caring patriarchy, the latter disdains it. We have an unworkable and unsustainable society because of the present condition of our hearts and heads. Both rich and poor are going to have to rethink things.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Going Off the Rails is a Verb: Judge Wendell Griffen

Judge Wendell Griffen recently ruled to block the spate of executions the Hutchinson administration scheduled in Arkansas. Then he went outside his court and joined the anti-death penalty protesters. By this act he demonstrated that he was not judging the specific issues of the cases on their merits in the law, but rather reacted to his personal abhorrence to the death penalty.  The state supreme court banned him from hearing any more death-penalty cases because of concerns that he would impose his personal feelings over the letter of the law in such cases. He wrote about his thinking on the issue in his blog which is called "Justice is a Verb".
Look, I like opinionated people who let their opinion's be known a lot. I am one myself. I am even in the middle on some of these issues. For example I think judges should be allowed to comment on their view of the legal reasoning used in precedent-setting cases. Not cases before them, but prior cases. They should be allowed to do what the judges in the actual case did- write an opinion. They are currently banned from doing so in campaigns for office- but that is the only way that voters can make an informed choice about who to vote for. I think judges should be elected, but electing them from a position of ignorance, as the current rules in this state demand, only gives us the illusion of choice.
Did Griffen go too far in this case? Yes, obviously. He was ruling not on the facts or the law, but based on his personal political views. But I suspect that almost all of them do it. Griffen just did us the favor of being radically honest in showing his bias. I can't hate the man for that. Really, I have more against the ones who do it but pretend to me that they are being objective. Giffen is just a bad judge. They are bad and dishonest judges.
I also have mixed feelings about the death penalty. Not on whether it should be banned because it has its place, but rather I question whether the way it is being currently used is just. In this particular case I find the Governor's proposed kill-a-thon of dubious integrity. One reason for that is because it appears that our government lied to the drug company about what they intended to use the drugs for. The pharmaceutical company has asked for them back and the state seems to be in a hurry to get these guys dead before the drug companies get a court order for Arkansas to return the drugs. It seems to me that except in war,  justice and deception are uneasy companions. In some of the cases, I don't think there are two eye-witnesses to the crime. As a believer, I am mindful that under the law of Moses the death penalty was permissible, and even demanded in some cases- but it also emphasized that "a person shall not be put to death on the testimony of one eye witness" (Deut. 17:6 ESV).
Judge Griffen's blog is titled "Justice is a Verb", but I am here to tell you that mindless virtue-signalling is also a verb. Self-righteous moral preening is a verb. Going off the rails is a verb. That is what Griffen is doing with his thinking here. He starts off fine, but a few paragraphs in he quotes Matt. 25:44-45 and uses the scriptures badly out of context. It appears even his religion is subservient to his politics. I find the abuse of scripture, the attempt to co-opt God and harness His name to advance one's political agenda, to be equally morally offensive whether coming from left or right.
I don't favor mixing religion and politics for politics always seems to come out on top and abuses religion. Instead I favor politics being subservient to religion, but that is a very tricky thing for our self-deceiving human hearts to pull off. Though Griffen may be honest about his biases as a judge, he is not honest enough to master that. Few of us are on a consistent basis. I am certainly not immune from the temptation. I had written to the Judge about this before in the relative privacy of his own blog, but those comments seem to have vanished. I suppose they "didn't fit the template".
What does he write about the classic passage about the sheep and the goats? "That nurture has helped me realize that the way we treat marginalized and vulnerable people, those Jesus described as least among us, is the way we treat God. This insight challenges us to see marginalized and vulnerable people as surrogates of God in every society, regardless to our notions of empire"
and later he writes.....
"Do we see God in people without healthy food?  Do we see God in people who do not have clean water?  Do we see God in homeless people?  Do we see God in sick people?
Do we see God in people we mass incarcerate and kill in the name of empire?  Do we see God in immigrants we refuse to welcome?
Do we see God in people who are desperate, destitute, hated, and helpless?
Lord, when did we see you …?
Do we see God in murder victims?
Do we see God in their grieving loved ones?
Do we see God in the people who killed?
Lord, when did we see you …?
I am struck by the moral and ethical inconsistency of people who insist that justice requires society to kill people who are condemned because they killed others. "
First of all let's talk about his distortion of God's word. In the Matthew 25 passage when Jesus says "the least of these" He is not talking about every human being on the earth. He is talking about "these". And "these" by looking back a few verses to verse forty, are His brethren. So Christ is making a statement about seeing Him in His brethren. Griffen hijacks the words of our Savior and attempts to apply them to several of his preferred victim's groups regardless of the relationship with Jesus Christ that any individual in those groups may or may not have. In so doing he bends religion in an effort to turn it into a political statement. When the right does that, its a sin. When the left does it, its a sin. When libertarians do it, its a sin. When I do it, its a sin.
We are supposed to respect human beings because Adam was made in the Image of God back in the beginning, and because it is still His intent for us to be in that image, but murderers are not "surrogates for God". Illegal aliens are not "surrogates for God." Neither are poor people, at least not simply on the basis of their being poor. That is not what this passage of scripture teaches. Rather, human beings are surrogates for God only on the basis of their relationship with God- whether or not they are The Lord's brethren. This passage of scripture is properly a call to be saved and to see God in people who are saved, not a call to some political action on behalf of selective victim's groups.
And indeed Griffen is being selective. When he insinuates that we should view "immigrants" (without of course distinguishing between those who came legally and respected the laws of our nation and those who crept in like thieves) as surrogates for God he is ignoring the pain that many of them have caused people in this nation. Mexico has run off much of its criminal underclass into our nation and we have suffered for it. Seeing the victims of these illegal invaders as "surrogates for God" would imply that we should take political action to stop illegal immigration, but that is not the side of things that Griffen wants to see. The same muddled thinking displays itself with his insinuation that we are to view as "surrogates for God" both the killers and the families of the victims- as if God was somehow at war with Himself.
All of these groups, and ourselves, are morally accountable beings. That does not make us "surrogates for God." We can only honestly see God in them after they have asked God into their hearts. Until then they are but men, though made after the likeness of God and still due respect. That respect includes holding them morally accountable for their actions and not treating them as some brute beast merely caught in nature's wheels and therefore no more accountable for their actions than when the fox kills the hare. Yes, when Christians break the law the price for that lawbreaking should be paid. Even other Christians should insist on it, for there is no other way to operate with justice.
We can talk about the integrity of the process in giving out the death penalty, but for someone who claims the name of Christ to oppose the death penalty itself is fake moralizing and empty virtue-signalling. It makes out the moral preener to be more righteous than God Himself, for Genesis 9:6 declares "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed....". That was God Himself talking, yet some people will, in His name, pretend that their contrary position on this issue is more righteous than His. And Griffen has the nerve to complain that he is "struck by the moral and ethical inconsistency of people who insist that justice requires society to kill people who are condemned because they killed others". The one he claims is God has that position! So Griffen thinks that his own God is morally and ethically inconsistent. Talk about one's politics hijacking one's faith!
The good news for Judge Griffen, and all of us, is that God is able and willing to forgive our impudent and ill-reasoned assaults on His character and wisdom. He is able and willing to forgive our attempts to subordinate His Word and His desires to our mere political views. Yes, we have sinned in doing those things. We should not excuse ourselves because there is no excuse. Our sins are real- but if we humble ourselves and repent then they are also forgiven - the price for them paid through the suffering of Christ Jesus.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Early Genesis: The Revealed Cosmology

If anybody has wondered why my blogging pace has slowed down, it is because my book-writing pace was picking up! The result is the most important book I have ever written, or could ever hope to write. The two books on localism as a political philosophy only have the potential to change the world. Genesis, the Revealed Cosmology has the potential to change people's view of God.

Print Version.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Kal El Finds "Superman" at Crater of Diamonds

Nine year old from Centerton finds large diamond.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

HB1222 and Doing Well by Doing Good

I don't have time to connect the dots, but the dots themselves are very interesting. The Arkansas Legislature is debating whether or not they should pass a bill which would allow corporations (like Wal-Mart for example) to get a tax credit for up to 65% of what they give to "non-profit" organizations which will administer a scholarship program with the money. It starts with a small total possible contribution level at first, but the sky is the limit in coming years. Combine the tax credit with tax deductions possible on the federal level and basically the company would re-direct almost all of their state tax dollars into the scholarship program or potential federal tax breaks.

So far no real injustice done. Sure the public schools will grouse about losing the money, but if they are not educating the children, if the children are in a private school funded with this scholarship money, then why should the public school get the money for that child? That said, I would rather rebuild strong public schools which were really locally controlled than have vouchers where as a practical matter the "choices" offered were not locally controlled. Does your "choice" of health insurance company do you any good in an environment where central government micromanages your "choices"? Well it won't be any better when they do it in education.

I think kids and parents are better off when they are not just consumers of a limited array of products but rather participants and stakeholders with real say in what their children's education looks like.  But I digress, let me show you something else...

That is a org chart put together by some folks in Colorado who noted uncomfortable ties between Wal-Mart heir James Walton and some proposed charter schools. It seems like they were mixing profit and non-profit schools in the same facility- leading to a situation where the non-profit could be expending funds in a way that could bolster the profit side, and they proposed to have a landlord which turned out to not be a non-profit at all but rather an LLC run by a board with connections to the school board. IOW, all the profits could be hidden as rent payments.

Taxpayers spend an enormous amount of money on schools. Some of them are doing well, but others are not. I think that corporate America has been looking for places where there is money to take and they noticed schools had a lot of money. I see a situation here where Wal-Mart gets tax credits for its donations to a "non-profit" which is funded by the Walton Foundation  who then steers scholarship recipients into schools which are owned by other Walton interests. I.E. Wal-Mart's tax dollars don't go into the general treasury, they get "donated" to a fund which then largely spends it on schools owned by some of Wal-Mart's biggest stockholders. It would be like you being able to direct most of your tax money into a fund to buy things from your own business! I wish I had time to fill in more of the blanks. Any full time journalists out there want to take this one on?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Certificate of Need Laws - In Health Care Government Is the Problem

As our political leaders stand in front of us and build up one interventionist health care idea after another let's remind ourselves that government intervention in health care helped produce our high-costs. IOW, their prior intervention has caused problems that they now propose to fix with even more intervention. Here is a study from the Mercatus Center and George Mason University about certificate of need laws and their huge negative effects on health care in Arkansas.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Vaccine - Autism Link Explained

Short version, if you are pregnant, don't get vaccinated. Don't give the MMR, or Chickenpox virus to your child before the age of three. Many details from solid studies are put together in this article.