Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fayetteville First City to Reject Gay Agenda Ordinance

A national campaign by the so-called "Human Rights Campaign" to pass city ordinances that would enact punitive measures on businesses which did not submit to the homosexual/transgender agenda met its first defeat in Fayetteville last night. The measure, largely the brain-child of "Human Rights Campaign" founder and accused child rapist Terry Bean, called for a city commission to assess daily fines on local businesses which failed to accommodate homosexuals and transgendered persons to the degree an appointed commission felt they should.

In other cities, this has included forcing business owners to permit patrons to use whatever restroom they felt they identified with that day rather than their actual sex.  Opponents pointed to several reports of predatory males using the cover of the ordinance to gain access to women's restrooms in order to victimize women.   It was the battle over the same type of ordinance which led the lesbian Mayor of Houston Texas to attempt to subpoena the sermons of five area churches.

The Human Rights Campaign had targeted 200 cities. mostly with large universities like Fayetteville, where they set a goal of seeing the ordinance enacted.   Though the ordinance remains controversial in many cities they were more than halfway towards accomplishing that goal without a single defeat, until now.   In Fayetteville's case, they persuaded the City Council to vote it in over the protests of those who felt it should go to the ballot.   A provision in the city charter allowed citizens to place a repeal of any ordinance on the ballot if they got the required signatures.   Opponents did so, and the special election was held last night.  Despite an all-out effort of the city council, and the far better organization of the pro-ordinance side, the ordinance was repealed by a 52% to 48% vote.  This makes Fayetteville Arkansas the first such city to reject the proposal.

Not only was this noteworthy because it represents the first time in the nation citizens have successfully pushed back against this aggressive effort to use state force to demand compliance, but several other noteworthy things occurred.

One was that this was the first time I have ever seen a side down so much in early voting come back and win.   Early voting was heavy for the type of election it was, and the pro-ordinance side (due to their superior organization) had a twelve point lead.   They went from being up by twelve in early voting to losing by four overall.   I have never seen that happen.   The overall results are virtually always within three points of the early voting.

The second notable from this event is what led to the first:  Churches were actually being churches.  Local churches stepped up and told their congregations about the special election and urged them to go to the polls and vote to repeal the measure.  Readers of this space will know that I am not a fan of churches being captured by politicians or political parties, but speaking the truth on issues is one thing they ought to be doing.   That is why the pro-ordinance side won early voting, but lost big on election day.  Most voters for the pro-freedom side did not even know there was an election until Sunday.

The third notable was that the Republican Party did not accomplish this repeal, it was local citizens reverting to the novel concept of self-government.   The local Republican Party had no role, they basically sat this one out, though some of the best workers in the repeal effort were also members of a Republican Women's group.  I stopped by the victory party and saw all kinds of people there, Republicans, Democrats, and Awake.

The last notable is the decption.  The proponents of this measure were all about the homosexual agenda, but they masked what they were doing as a campaign for "equality" and "civil rights".   They tried to hide in a crowd of other groups, groups not based on behavior such as race, where there is still guilt and a stigma to racism.  I have to believe that many people who voted for this ordinance to stay in place did not really understand what they were voting for.  They just heard the right buzzwords.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

A Better College Football Playoff System

The results on the field this year have created a perfect storm for the new four-team college football playoff system.   It is a nightmare, a near worst-case scenario which will result in calls for changes to the system,  For how to fix it, real on....

Problem: too many places worthy contenders can come from relative to the number of playoff spots.  There are ten Division One FBS conferences in America, five "Major" conferences and five "Mid-Majors" such as Conference USA or the MAC.   There are also a few independents floating around out there, most notably Notre Dame and BYU.   With five major conferences, the present four team playoff system was bound to leave one of the major conference champions out of the play-offs.  If Notre Dame or Boise State had been strong, then they may have knocked another major conference champion out of the playoffs.

The mid-majors and the independents did not pose any problems this year, but they could in future years, and everything else that could have gone wrong did go wrong.  One of the major conference champions, probably a very impressive Ohio State team, will not get a chance to compete.  Then add to it the wild-card - the so-called "Big 12" only has ten teams left in it, so they don't have a conference championship game.

The worst thing in the Big 12 that could happen for the four-team playoff would be that two of those teams are awesome and that when they played each other during the regular season it was a super-close game with the home team narrowly winning (making people wonder what would happen if the game were replayed on neutral turf).    That was just what happened, because both Baylor and TCU look good enough to deserve a shot in the playoffs.  To make it worse, Baylor won the head to head with TCU, but TCU appears to be the one going to the playoff.

Look, it is college, so you want to keep the playoffs as short as possible.  The thing is, four games is too few to really resolve this, and with five major conferences and a couple of strong independents and many mid-majors out there they should have realized it.

How would I fix it?   You have to have three games.  The conference champions from each of the five Majors would have a slot.  The sixth slot would be the wild-card, filled by either the highest ranked independent team, or a rare outstanding team from the mid-majors, or a situation like the one we have now in the Big 12 where it looks like a conference has two worthy teams.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Judge Baker Squanders More Judicial Branch Credibility With Marriage Ruling

I see that Federal Judge Kristine Baker has struck down Arkansas' amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.   She did so on the basis of the claim that  to"deny consenting adult same-sex couples their fundamental right to marry in violation of the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

Don’t think that I am an enemy of the judicial branch or contemptuous of the law. The truth is just the opposite. It is my love for our system of government, with checks and balances and high-minded concepts like Due Process, which makes me so incensed at their cheapening. We are headed for tough times in this nation. It will not be my doing, I am only foretelling. We are going to need a judicial branch that has credibility and moral authority to help hold our society together in the coming hard times. 
That is why I object so strongly to doctrinaire leftists squandering the credibility of the judiciary by making ill-informed decisions such as the one Judge Baker just imposed on the people of this state, though to her credit she stayed implementation of her ruling pending an appeal.

Before I explain why she (like most recent courts) are using a new, novel, and erroneous, definition of the terms "equal protection" and "due process", let me point out something about the 14th amendment.   It is a mess. It turns most of the Bill of Rights on its head by putting the feds in charge of the states when the Bill of Rights were originally given to limit the federal government's power over the states.  But even then the judges are not using it right, because they often simply ignore the last clause "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

So you see judges are not supposed to use this amendment to manufacture new and novel "rights" out of thin air on the basis of the 14th, because the amendment itself says that the Congress, not the courts, have the power to enforce the provisions of the article.   Congress has passed no law mandating state recognition of homosexual "marriages".   If Congress has done anything to speak to the issue, it has done the reverse.  It has tried to say that for federal purposes marriage was the union of one man and one woman.  Yet perversely, the courts have thrown that law out too, on the basis of what they (judges) feel the 14th says despite the clear language of the article that any enforcement of the article must come from legislation passed by Congress.

But even if that provision did not exist, she would still be getting it wrong because she gets "Due Process" and "Equal Protection" wrong.  By "wrong" I mean she uses the new meanings of the term that judges have created for themselves to leverage their power and destroy self-government rather than the traditional definitions back when judicial restraint was more appreciated and practiced.

Let’s start with “Due Process”. In our system, everyone is entitled to it, but what is it? In the traditional view it means that agents of the government must act within the law when they enforce the law. For example, if they search your home without probable cause and without a warrant, they have violated your Due Process rights. The same goes if the arresting agents attempt to beat a confession out of you. If you are not allowed access to legal council when they try you, they have violated your Due Process rights. If they attempt to convict you of a felony without giving you the right to a trial by jury, they have violated your Due Process rights. 

In each of these cases, the point of Due Process is to make agents of the government follow their own laws when meting out justice. This view of Due Process is the traditional one, but radical activist judges have expanded judicial power by claiming that “Due Process” can be used to void the substance of laws, not simply validate the procedures used to enforce them. 

If I could give a more concrete example, suppose there was no law in Arkansas against driving while under the influence of alcohol. The people corrected this by passing such a law via ballot amendment. If the law said that police can arrest people and assign them 30 days in jail without bail and without seeing a judge, then this procedural aspect of the law would be a violation of Due Process. If throwing that provision out was all Baker did, that would be good, its how judges are supposed to protect us. But that is not what she has done. What she has done is the equivalent of saying that the people do not have a right to determine who can drive on public roads based on their behavior. It’s like claiming that people have a fundamental right to drive even if they drink up, shoot up, or snort up. It further claims that this “right” trumps the rights of any of the rest of us to try and protect ourselves and others by putting up legal barriers to behavior we have good reason to suspect will cause damage to innocents. 

The very term “Due Process” makes it clear that it is the procedures used by government agents that judges are authorized to rule on, not the substance of what the law determines is legal or illegal. 

Words mean things. "Equal" means something. It means "of the same value". Two men having sex may be "equivalent" to a man and a woman having sex, but it is not "equal". Two people shacking up together does not have the same social value as two people who have committed to one another before God and Man in marriage. Claiming that those two things are “equal”, that is, of equal value, devalues that choice which is really of greater value by pretending that it is not. Thus a logical case can be made that treating co-habitation as equal to marriage unjustly de-values marriage. Equal protection should not mean that all choices are equal, just that the law will protect even people who make disfavored choices or belong to disfavored groups.

Equal protection means just that, protection. It has nothing to do with what activities the law condemns. It has everything to do with the government protecting the victims of crimes by punishing those who victimized them. If crimes against blacks or gays were not investigated, or prosecuted, then they don't have equal protection. They should, that is what Equal Protection is all about.

For that matter, even drug dealers and muggers should be protected by the law. If someone just decided to blow them away because “they were criminals anyway” the law would take offense. And it should take offense because even those whose behavior is in disfavor in one area still have the right to Equal Protection under the law. As applied to this case, it does not mean that the People don’t have the authority to decide what we want to honor and recognize as a valid marriage. 

So in summary, Due Process is not a blank check for activist judges to throw out the substance of laws passed by the People. Rather it means that agents of the government should follow their own laws in enforcing the law. Equal protection does not mean that the law must treat all choices, marriage, co-habitation, necrophilia, drug-use, etc…., as equal as regards to eligibility to adopt children. It simply means that that the law should protect disfavored groups equally, even while the People retain the right to make certain choices and activities illegal or legally disfavored.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

More Musings on the Nature of the Trinity

For more detail about one God as a higher-ordering being resolving the paradox of the Trinity please see my previous post on the nature of the Trinity.

I had written earlier about how man is made in God's image so that what we have in a body (and mind), soul (emotions and basic desires) and a spirit (a life force which animates and connects the two, and values connection to the Divine) are mere shadows of God's version of these features, so that with Him each of these things is a complete personality, separate in will but united in Nature.  In fact the root word for "image" where it says in Genesis Chapter 1 that man was made in God's "image" is the word for "shadow".

Man is a "flattened" version of the original.   You might imagine us as two-dimensional representations of what was three dimensional.   The features you see on the image won't be as complete, won't have all of the same texture and capabilities, as the 3D original.    The soul of Man is a flattened (and now unfortunately marred by sin) image of who God the Father is.  Our body and LOGOS, the reasoning principle of the mind is a flattened image (again marred by sin) of God the Son, who can be in absolute service to the Father because His emotions and intentions are all Holy (since ours are not, our reason is often at war with our intentions and emotions).  Our desire to connect with others, especially the perfect fellowship of the Divine, on the deepest levels, is a flattened image of God the Spirit.   It is opposed by our Flesh, which wants to turn the focus away from such fellowship and subordinate it to other appetites.  Since God has no Sin Nature, He has no counterpart to our Flesh.  All of His appetites are subordinated, or I should say in perfect agreement with, those of the Spirit- the desire for perfect fellowship is pre-eminent.

Muslims sometimes say that Christians worship three Gods.   This is of course not true.   Our dispute with them is not over the number of Gods, but the nature of God.   He is a higher-order being than we are.  We are mere shadows or images of what He truly is, and the parts of the image must necessarily have less depth and texture as their corresponding parts on an original expressed in more dimensions.  Note this does not apply when an image is made of an image.  That is, when the Bible says someone had a son "in their image" the loss of texture and dimension argument does not apply because you are making an image of an image (no dimensionality is lost) whereas when God made man that was creating an image of an original (dimensionality was lost).  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Herd Closes Ranks in Garland County

I had written earlier about how activists in Garland County were trying a magnificent experiment- they were reverting to self-government!  Instead of accepting whatever candidates they are offered from either half of the one party with two-faces (and here) that has so mismanaged the country, they picked their own candidates.   Then they helped them get on the ballot as independents.   One of those candidates went down to defeat, but the other, Mike McCormack, is in a run-off with Republican Fred Hawthorne for Sheriff of Garland County.

McCormack is the former Chief of Police for the city of Hot Springs, by far the largest in Garland County.   Hawthorne is a corporal in the Sheriff's Department.   While both seem to be good men, qualification gap in the two is as wide as the Grand Canyon.  McCormick is running on his qualifications.  Hawthorne seems to be putting his chips on herd-identification.

Look at that list of Republican office holders who have endorsed Hawthorne.  Tom Cotton, Bruce Westerman, Asa Hutchinson, Tim Griffin, Leslie Rutledge, Dennis Milligan, John Thurston, and then some local ones.  Maybe he used their names without permission.  That is not all that unlikely considering Hawthorne ran an ad in the paper right before voting began that claimed he had a poll showing him with 68% of the vote.  His actual vote was 43%,

Why did the Hawthorne campaign spend good money to propagate this falsehood about his support levels?  There is a certain weak-minded segment of the voters who will vote for whoever they perceive is winning.  These people are losers, a drag on good government, who somehow feel that  it will make them into "winners" if they vote for the one who wins.  In what looks to be an effort to fool such herd-thinkers, Hawthorne ran an ad claiming he levels of support over 50% greater than the support he actually had.

If those candidates did give permission for their names to be used, then it is pretty clear what their priorities are.  It would mean that each would rather their political tribe win one local election than see the citizens of Garland County have a well-qualified Sheriff.  That's party over principle, and party over people even.  At least people outside their clique.  

This is the problem with party spirit.  It can't admit the truth.  It forces even the good ones to take up for the bad ones.   That is why it is so morally corrosive.  Not only can they not admit to the simple fact that McCormick is the better candidate, the worse their candidate is relative to the competition, the harder they must work to prop him up.   You don't see the good candidates for Sheriff around the state advertise the list of state-wide and federal politicians who endorse them.  They can stand on their own feet.  When one can't, the party rallies to support them, and thus actively works against good government.

I hope that the citizens of Garland county can see past "celebrity endorsements" from just-elected politicians who have done nothing for them, representing the interests of a political party which has done nothing for them, and simply vote for the best candidate on the ballot regardless of labels.   I applaud the activists in Garland county who decided to try reverting to self-government.  We at Neighbors of Arkansas believe there should be more of us who are sick of the way the two parties are destroying America (or if you like, one destroys America and the other pretends to be the opposition to it but never really does anything about it) and are willing to do something about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How Arkansas Senate Republicans Can Avoid Enraging Their Base, Even With Dismang as Pro Tem

I am not sure that the Republican party is even interested in pleasing their base anymore.   Though professional excuse-makers try to spin it, there is now there is plenty of evidence to suggest they are merely the controlled opposition for one pro-government party which has two faces, even if not all of their officeholders are in on the deception.

The Arkansas Senate is a good example of the profound disrespect the Republican political class routinely displays for those who fought hardest to put them in office.   The message of not only the base but the people of Arkansas generally, was that they rejected the Democrats and they rejected Obamacare. This includes the so-called "Private" option endorsed and funded by the majority of Republican Senators in 2012.

The "Private" option (which is not even really private, it just has private entities benefiting from a government program) is nothing other than the exact method by which the Republicans in Arkansas caved to the Democrats on Obamacare. Pro-"private" option Republicans were rejected by the voters in election after election.   In spite of this, the Republican State Senators are about to march down to Little Rock and vote for one of the architects of the Republican cave on Obamacare as the President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Johnathan Dismang was elected the designated President Pro Tem by the previous Republican Senate- one which had five more pro-"private" option Senators than the current Senate does after the voters did some house-cleaning.   Back then the choices were Dismang and Johnny Key, who was also for Obamacare.   The new crop of senators are mostly acting like they are somehow bound by the actions of the prior, more liberal, Senate in their choice of leader.

Conservative Senators Gary Stubblefield has tried to mount a challenge to this odd choice, but he can't seem to get enough votes. Even some of the more conservative holdovers are acting like they vowed to back Dismang no matter what last year, instead of just selecting him in preference to the other choice at the time- someone who made even more bad calls than he did.

If Dismang had changed, these Senators might be able to argue that they could keep their word to the voters to oppose the "Private" option version of Obamacare even while voting him in as President Pro Tem, but there is little evidence to suggest he has and much to suggest that he has not.   This excellent piece by Conduit for Action explains some of the particulars on that, both in the House and the Senate.

So far I have just outlined the problem.  That is always the easy part.  Fortunately a solution is also available, should the Republicans have any interest whatsoever in pleasing their base, listening to the message the people as a whole just sent at the polls, or even simply keeping their oaths of office.   You see, Dismang is about to be elected to the office of "President Pro Tem" of the Senate.  The "tem" is Latin for "acting" or "temporary".   This raises the question, who is supposed to be "President Pro Permanent"?

According to the Constitution of the Great State of Arkansas, the Lieutenant Governor is to be the President of the Senate.   When Arkansas was a one-party state and that party was the Democrats who tend to a herd mentality even more than the Republicans that did not matter so much. It was all "good ole-boy" stuff so it did not matter how power was divided on paper.  Then Mike Huckabee got elected Lt. Governor and the Democrats changed the rules of the Senate so that the Lt. Governor was stripped of almost all of his power.  If Huckabee had been interested in hanging around as Lt. Governor he might have challenged them on it, but since he was angling on being Governor soon anyway there was no motive for him to press the question.

Other states, such as Texas, have very similar wording in their state constitutions as to the role of the Lt. Governor and in those states the office is very powerful, some would say the most powerful in the state except for Governor.  The difference is not in the wording of the Constitutions, it is that in Texas and other states they follow their state constitution on this question and in Arkansas we have not.   Then our chattering classes in the media make snide remarks about how "useless" the office is.  Well, yes I suppose any office would be "useless" if the legislature made an extra-constitutional move which had the effect of stripping away its most important function, but that does not mean the office is worthless, it means the legislature is derelict.

Our state at one time thought it important that at least one chamber of the legislature be presided over by a person who answered to all of the people of the state, not just a single legislative district.  That is why we need a Lt.Governor.   We saw what happened in the House last year, when Davy Carter went crazy and tried to make the house vote on the exact same bill, day after day until they gave him the vote that he wanted.   I was disgusted by it, but he was not "my" legislator and did not answer to me.  At least one chamber of the legislature should be run by someone who answers to the whole state, and that is what the Lt. Governor is for.

It is interesting to note that some senators have talked of sponsoring a bill that would ask people to vote to abolish the office of Lt. Governor.  And with Amendment three passing (using deceptive language that it would "establish" term limits when it was in fact greatly weakening them) Dismang could wind up as President Pro Tem not for one or two sessions, but for many years.  My position is that a man who wants that much power should have to answer to the whole state, not just one Senate district.

Look, I am not a Tim Griffin fan, to put it mildly.  People who read my stuff know that, but this is not about my personal preferences, this is about the Rule of Law.  The fact is he is Lt. Governor and the Constitution says that the Lt. Governor is the President of the Senate.   He ran on the idea that the Lt. Governor is President of the Senate.  He should be making all of the decisions that the "President Pro Tem" has been making in our recent history, including who chairs what committee.

All of those Senators who won't back Stubblefield over Dismang because they  "gave their word" that they would vote Dismang for Pro Tem can still vote Dismang for Pro Tem, but if they want to also "keep their word" to the voters to oppose the "private" option and uphold their oath to the state Constitution then they should do two more things.  They should vote to repeal the rules the Senate put in after Huckabee was elected which stripped the Lt. Governor of power the state constitution says he should have and replace those rules with ones that comport with what the Constitution says.   Then they should call up Griffin and ask him to get to work.

Amendment 6, section five of the Arkansas Constitution reads...

5. Qualifications and duties of Lieutenant Governor - Succession to the governorship.
The Lieutenant Governor shall possess the same qualifications of eligibility for the office as the
Governor. He shall be President of the Senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein in case
of a tie vote.

In Robert's Rules of Order as they were at the time, it was typical that the Chairman or whoever was presiding over a voting body only vote in the case of a tie.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Rush an Excuse-Making Machine for the Controlled Opposition

 'The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.'- Lenin

Rush Limbaugh got on the radio today and said that the Republicans might get a mandate tonight, but he is not sure that they even want one.   I don't think they do either.  He also asked "a mandate to do what" since they have no message and have not said what they would do differently if they win.

The answer to that one is obvious, though Rush Limbaugh did not say it and most Americans are in denial about it anyway.  They would not do anything differently.  Nor have they done anything differently in decades.  Name one major policy difference between G.W. Bush and Barack Obama.  There is none.  Even "Obamacare", the expansion of socialized medicine, was just Bush's Medicare Part D program writ large.   Bush expanded socialized medicine more than anyone since LBJ and Romney developed the template that Obamacare was based on.  Those running both parties want the same thing.  The Republican Establishment does not want to stop Obama.  They share many of his goals, so long as their friends are sufficiently cut in on the loot.   

We have one party with two faces.  Once you accept that, what before was confusing becomes clear.  The one party wants to expand government, because government has become a looting machine for the insiders.  The bigger it gets the more loot it generates.   So the one face of the party has one side that expands government, and the other face pretends to be opposed to them.  They are the controlled opposition.  They don't exist to stop the other face of the party, they are there to absorb the energy and commitment of the people who want to stop it.  They do so in order to control those people, lest their energy and desires become a part of a movement which really wants to do what they only pretend to do.

Of course not all members of the controlled opposition are aware of what they really are, otherwise it would not work.  The ones that are not in on the ruse are attacked mercilessly by the "leadership" of their own party if they ever make a moves that threatens to seriously slow down the looting machine from its smooth operation and constant expansion.    The leadership of both faces of the One party get along with each other much better than they do the outsiders- those not privy to the fraud- in their own party.

Rush Limbaugh keeps saying things about the Republicans like "they seem afraid to boldly express conservative ideas."   That is pathetic excuse making.   They are not afraid of expressing those ideas, they don't agree with those ideas.  They have a distaste for espousing them.   He says things like "we just don't have anybody who is articulate in defending conservatism like the left has."  Do you think out of a Congress and Senate half made of Republicans they could not find one articulate person?   The excuses are absurd.  They are only thrown out there so Americans can keep denying the reality that there is only one party in Washington.

If the Republic is going to be salvaged, people who right now are trying desperately not to see the truth about this subject are going to have to find the courage to face it.   Then they are going to have to look around and find others who have also done so and start the real work of selecting and electing candidates locally.  They are going to have to actually revert to self-government instead of continuing to outsource the job of selecting their leaders and guarding their interests to these thieves in Washington.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

State Senator Bryan Kings Explains Why the PO has Cornered Future Legislatures

State Senator Bryan King of Green Forest has twice made the Arkansas Watch list of Top Ten Legislators.  One reason is that he tells his constituents the truth, even when it paints members of his party in a negative light.  That is a refreshing change from the typical pattern where even the good ones feel obligated to cover for the bad ones.   Here Senator King calmly and rationally explains what a horrible position future legislatures have been placed in by the actions of his Obamacare-loving colleagues. ......

Expanding Obama care in Arkansas has put future state budgets in the red
For the past biennium the architects of the private option have been telling everyone that the health care plan is a good deal for Arkansas. The reality is that the private option implemented Obamacare in Arkansas and is threatening to put future state budgets in the red.
Many voters and legislators have given the benefit of the doubt to the architects of the private option, in large part because we haven't yet had to pay for it.  Even people with the best of intentions may change their minds when the bills come due.

In the case of the private option, Arkansas doesn't have to begin matching federal funding until Fiscal 2017. That presents a grim financial prospect for the freshmen class of legislators who will be elected in November. In January they will take their first oaths of office, and before they complete their legislative careers they will have to figure out how the state can possibly afford hundreds of millions of dollars in additional expenses brought on by the private option.
Based on the state’s economic performance over the past five years, it’s reasonable to assume that state government revenue will grow at a rate of 3.14 percent over the next five years. However, we should keep in mind that assumptions of a 3.14 percent growth rate are an optimistic “best case scenario.”
State revenue growth is slowed by a downturn in the economy, which could result from any number of possibilities – a crisis in the oil-producing regions of the Middle East or a sudden spike in inflation rates, for example.
But if we are willing to assume that nothing unexpected happens in the Middle East or on Wall Street, we are looking at growth in Fiscal Year 2020 of $184 million over the previous year. This year’s freshmen legislators will be the General Assembly’s veteran leaders in the regular session of 2019, when the budget for Fiscal 2020 must be approved. Their duty will be to distribute that $184 million in projected growth to the state agencies that provide vital services.

Traditionally, growth money is distributed to public schools from kindergarten through grade 12, to colleges and universities, to prisons, to health care services and to the many smaller agencies that make up state government. Each entity gets a percentage of the total revenue, which is their traditional “piece of the pie.”
Long-standing tradition may come to an end when budgets for Fiscal Year 2020 are written because the private option is on pace to eat up almost all of the projected growth in revenue. That means schools, colleges, universities and prisons will have to live on less.
Under the provisions of the Arkansas private option, as it’s now written, in Fiscal Year 2020 almost every penny of growth money will be obligated to paying for the private option. Why? Because in Fiscal 2020 the state will have to contribute 10 percent of the total costs of the health plan. Even though 10 percent may not sound like much it will amount to $181 million.
In other words the state Department of Human Services, which administers the private option, will get $181 million of the $184 million in total growth money available in Fiscal 2020. That leaves only $3 million for the entities that have traditionally received a share of each year’s growth - public schools, higher education, cities and counties, prisons, law enforcement and economic development.
Public schools will fare better than others because the Arkansas constitution mandates that the legislature provide for an adequate education. However, the constitution has no similar mandate for higher education, so state-supported colleges and universities are looking at stagnant budgets in Fiscal 2020 and beyond.
If our economy continues to perform as it has for the past five years, and if the private option remains in place, higher education can count on annual increases in their state aid of only 0.22 percent over the next five years. Colleges and universities will have to pay for any increase in operating costs by raising tuition and fees.
Budgets for prisons, drug courts and parole systems are projected to increase at a rate of 2.4 percent a year, again if we base assumptions on the performance of the past five years. The Human Services Department would grow almost twice as fast under this scenario. Its budget would increase by 4.7 percent, mainly because of the necessity of paying for the private option. Arkansas prison officials are pleading for revenue to build more facilities to house the steady and dramatic growth in the inmate population, but there will be no additional funds if the private option absorbs all growth.
If we experience an economic slowdown the private option will become an even greater burden on the public treasury. In that event, state government will have to slash budgets and cut services.

Everyone wants transparency and accountability in government, and everybody has different ideas about how to achieve them. One way is for policy makers to open their eyes and honestly face the issues. We have bought something and soon we will have to pay for it. The architects of the private option have an obligation to look at the numbers and consider the long-term fiscal security of colleges, universities, prisons and the numerous state agencies that stand to lose a share of their state revenue while Human Services receives an ever greater share.
Denial of reality is not constructive and it’s an unwise policy for governing. It’s like throwing your credit card bills in the trash instead of paying them, in the hopes they’ll go away.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Who to Vote for in Fayetteville City Council Races and Why

What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.

The city council election in Fayetteville might be the most important election in the state this year.  This is not only because Fayetteville has been a great city, a jewel in the crown of our state, but also because the contrast between the candidates is so vast.  The political distance between even Tom Cotton and Mark Pryor is not so vast as the distance between the liberal-fascist slate of candidates and the "conservatarion" slate.

Fayetteville has had a leftist city council for years.  Most residents put up with it as long as they restricted their activities to pedestrian level incompetence and issuing toothless proclamations about how much better they are than the rest of the state.  The new breed of liberal is not so harmless because the new left does not look much like the old left- rather it looks a lot like the old fascism.

The council passed Ordinance 119.  This measure would set up a commission with the power to fine private businesses $500 per day if the commission felt that the private business was not being accommodating enough to commission-favored groups. Expect the commission to function similar to the one in Colorado who demanded that a baker make a wedding cake for a homosexual "marriage" even if it violates his conscience.   The same thing happened in Oregon. Once privately owned businesses had the right to refuse service to any customer.  Now, that is only true if the customer is not a member of a special class of citizens.

Opponents of 119 say that the ordinance could lead to mandating that businesses allow patrons to use their restrooms according to what gender they claim to identify with, rather than the restroom appropriate to their sex.   Supporters of the measure scoff at these claims, but let me ask you, did any of you think 15 years ago that cake makers would be forced out of business simply for choosing not to make wedding cakes for homosexual "marriages"?

What seems outrageous and outlandish today is what happens a few years down the road.  I can remember when homosexuals were only asking for their acts to be made legal on the basis of "what happens in my bedroom is not the public's business."  I don't want my daughter to have to deal with males lurking about inside the women's restroom at the mall, and based on the history it is not far fetched at all to see that happening under 119 in a few short years.

Look, the "conservatarian" slate is much more conservative and religious than Fayetteville on average, just as the present city council is more authoritarian, aggressively anti-Christian and leftist than Fayetteville on average.  This is a consequence of the big middle not getting very involved in politics.   The media is going to try to tell you that the one side should be disqualified because they are too extreme in their views while failing to inform you that the other side is at least as extreme on the other side.

That is ignoring the important question.  The most important question in this race is not who is the most extreme in their views, but rather who is the most willing to use government force to impose those views on you.  The fascist left wants the machinery of government to impose their views, the libertarian-leaning right have their own views, but they don't want to use the machinery of government to impose them on you- they want to destroy the machinery.  The conservatarians who are running are not running so that they can seize control of this "Civil Rights" commission and start using it to beat up on businesses which discriminate against Christians.  Rather they are running so that they can abolish this commission altogether.

So this election, citizens of Fayetteville, is not a question of who is left or who is right.  It is not even a question of whether homosexual marriage should be recognized by the state.   It is an election between freedom and fascism.   Those who want fascism simply because today the machinery favors their cause are fools, for it may favor a cause which they oppose tomorrow.   The best policy is freedom from government interference so that voluntary choices between individuals defines our society.   Dismantle the machine so that none of us have to worry about it being seized by this faction or that one and used against us or our neighbors.

With that being said. here is the Freedom Ticket....
Paul Phaneuf for the Ward One  (south half of town) seat held by incumbent Adella Gray.
Josh Crawford for the Ward Two seat (central part of town between I 49 and Hwy 45) held by incumbent Mark Kinion.
John La Tour for the open seat in Ward Four (west of I 49) left by departing Alderwoman Rhonda Adams.

Fayetteville voters can consult this map for more details about what ward they live in.


Mark is an advocate of a philosophy of government called Localism.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

You Sound Whiney When You Complain Holding Your Nose

John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House by the permission of every Republican Congressman including those here in Arkansas, is out raising large sums of cash for homosexual Republican candidates across the nation.  This is while judges that Republicans appointed continue to assist the forces of darkness in the insane war on natural law that is the push for state approval of homosexual "marriage". Meanwhile, Karl Rove "The Architect" of George W. Bush's two Presidential wins is out raising money to destroy the Tea Party.

This and countless other data points clearly shows conservatives that the GOP establishment is trying to get rid of them.   Indeed the Republican establishment will spend millions to support candidates which will disrespect conservatives, and also spend more millions attacking candidates who do respect them.   In spite of this, in what has to be one of the most stunning displays of willful ignorance and refusal to face reality in American political history, many of my conservative friends will in the next month trudge down to the polls and vote for a straight Republican ticket.

As I said, many of these people are my friends.  I have known them for years.  But if you are one of them and you go vote straight Republican ticket again I really don't want to listen to your whining and complaining about the Republican party over the next two years.  You are the one responsible for their behavior because you still voted for all of their candidates.  You enable them, so your constant complaining about what they do after you continue to enable them is becoming beyond tiresome.  It is reaching the point of a mental disorder.   Face the reality about what they are, and then DO something about it.   I guess this is sort of an online intervention.

The evidence is obvious that continuing to do what you have been doing has not worked and there is a strong case to be made that doing government this way cannot work.   Government cannot work as the founders intended with the tight monolithic political system we now have.  But I don't want to put too much on you now.  We should talk over the next two years about what to do next time so that we are not in this same situation again.  For now, let's take baby steps to real self-government.

Pick a Republican who is not worthy of your vote (if you are realistic you will have several to choose from) in an office where there will be the least amount of consequences and show your displeasure at the party forcing your to hold your nose on all the others by NOT VOTING for that candidate.  Maybe you can vote for the Libertarian as a further protest vote or maybe you just leave the race blank.  It does not matter.  What matters is that you free yourself from the neurotic compulsion to vote for every single candidate offered by a party whose leadership holds you in contempt.

I suggest Lt. Governor.  After all, Congressman Tim Griffin is a very close Karl Rove associate.  He would never be where he is if not for Rove.  The Club for Growth put him on their list of "Tea Party Betrayers" but I disagree with that label only because Griffin has never been anything other than an establishment Republican.   The office he is running for is not very important- it has been unfilled for about a year with no apparent consequence.   Even if the Democrat wins, John Burkhalter is the kind of Democrat who will bring embarrassment to the Democratic party for lots of reasons.    Where is the downside for conservatives expressing their displeasure with the establishment's offerings in this race?   There is not one, but I am afraid some people are like that internet picture of the horse tied to a plastic lawn chair.  It stays put because it has been captured in its mind even though it could exercise freedom at any time.

Look, it does not have to be that race. Pick your own.  But please, in the name of all that is good and right, don't go down there and vote for every one of those sorry expletives again and then spend the next two years complaining about the way they do nothing while the country is being destroyed around us.  They could not get away with it unless you did nothing about it first.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What I Would Have Said at the Candidate Forum, Question 5

 Some of you may know that I filed for Lt. Governor as an independent in an effort to advance a lawsuit by Neighbors of Arkansas against the unjust changes made in the law in 2013. These changes make it harder to get on the ballot as an independent. I will not be on the ballot as part of the remedy, but I remain confident that the law will soon be thrown out as unconstitutional. Similar laws have in the past, and there is no way there can be “equal protection” under the law when one's access to the ballot can be made harder every time one attempts to access the ballot outside of the two parties whose misrule has so harmed our nation.

During that process, before it was clear that our (three of us sued as candidates, the other two for local offices) being placed on the ballot was not going to be a part of the remedy, I held myself out as a candidate. I even got invited to a forum. One co-hosted by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce and the Union County NAACP. This forum is to occur on September the 30th. Since I went to the trouble to answer the questions (in case access to the ballot this cycle was still an option) I thought I might as well share my answers with you. With that set up, here are the questions which will be asked at the forum tonight and how I would have answered them. If you don't think the system is broken, compare how I would answer them by how they are being answered by the candidates that the system is offering you.....

Question 5...

Incarcerated persons are often released with few life skills in place, do you think a retraining program would benefit this state and decrease the rate of return to the overwhelmed prison system.

That depends on how you do it. I believe we need to re-think our penal system. The first step is to distinguish between those who are really bad people and who are just screw-ups. Some people are in prison right now because they need to be. Others are in prison because they were not as lucky as me when I was young and stupid.

The wrong way to do it is to further fatten the prison-industrial complex with a vast, expensive, and centrally planned prison job training program. If this group was the type to thrive in an institutionalized educational setting then they would be honors graduates, not convicts. We have to meet them where they are, not throw more money into methods that are not reaching them.

The right way to do it is to open the Bible, and note that they did not even have prison as we know it even for some very serious crimes, much less for the screw ups. What they had were “cities of refuge” where the criminal could go and stay until their time was up. They had to live in one of a few cities, away from their old influences. Not nice places, but at least they could interact with some people who were decent role models and keep some toe-hold in the private economy. says is costs Arkansas $24,300 per inmate. And add a few thousand of job training on there and you are pushing $30K. Meanwhile our small towns are dying while our prisons are stuffed. Why not take that same money and make some towns who volunteer for it “cities of refuge” for certain offenders? Housing two of them to a cheap motel or apartment would be maybe $3,000 a year each. Give another $6,000 to the city for the trouble of having them and then another $6,000 tax credit to any employer in town who hires them. Their food and bills are on them and their family, but with a tax credit available even if they are nearly worthless to an employer at first, someone should hire them for up to the amount of the credit. That is saving about a third of your money and they keep getting life skills and growing up so you don't have to “re-train” them. The whole experience is training, and not in being a gangster, like they would get in prison. The screw-ups win, society wins, the small towns win, the employer's win, the taxpayers win, the prison-industrial complex loses and I can live with that.

So what if a screw-up has a little kid they are taking care of and a job and what have you? Here is where you have to see beyond the superficial to understand how tough justice is actually more merciful. Proverbs says that a fool when struck may become wise. For the right person a caning would be the fastest job-retraining program in the world. It would be better in that situation to offer them an alternative sentence of a caning than sending them off to either prison or a city of refuge. They can take a beating and consider their debt paid, and two weeks later they are back at work and loving their kid.

You don't offer that choice to the real bad guys, they belong in prison. But you offer the option to the rest and let them decide if it is better for them than prison. Don't deny them that choice out of a false sense of being too kind to let them make their own decisions.

We don't have the money to pay for a new statist program and they don't work anyway, especially in an economy destroyed by the fiscal mismanagement of these two DC based parties.


Mark Moore is a proponent of a philosophy of government known as "Localism".  In the end, it is either going to be globalism or localism, because no other view of government can protect its population from globalism.   To learn more, check out Mark's book "Localism, a Philosophy of Government."

What I Would Have Said at the Candidate Forum, Question 8

 Some of you may know that I filed for Lt. Governor as an independent in an effort to advance a lawsuit by Neighbors of Arkansas against the unjust changes made in the law in 2013. These changes make it harder to get on the ballot as an independent. I will not be on the ballot as part of the remedy, but I remain confident that the law will soon be thrown out as unconstitutional. Similar laws have in the past, and there is no way there can be “equal protection” under the law when one's access to the ballot can be made harder every time one attempts to access the ballot outside of the two parties whose misrule has so harmed our nation.

During that process, before it was clear that our (three of us sued as candidates, the other two for local offices) being placed on the ballot was not going to be a part of the remedy, I held myself out as a candidate. I even got invited to a forum. One co-hosted by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce and the Union County NAACP. This forum is to occur on September the 30th. Since I went to the trouble to answer the questions (in case access to the ballot this cycle was still an option) I thought I might as well share my answers with you. With that set up, here are the questions which will be asked at the forum tonight and how I would have answered them. If you don't think the system is broken, compare how I would answer them by how they are being answered by the candidates that the system is offering you.....

Question 8...

Violent crimes are increasing, is there a proactive measure that can be initiated during your term in office?

NICIC.Gov says: The crime rate in Arkansas (2011) is about 34% higher than the national average rate. It is higher than any state except South Carolina. Property crimes account for around 89% of the crime rate in Arkansas which is about 33% higher than the national rate. The remaining 11% are violent crimes and are about 39% higher than other states.

As I studied and researched in order to give your question a proper answer I tried to find a common thread. What did Arkansas and South Carolina, the two states where apparently there is less respect for private property and person, have in common? What is the common thread? Then I remembered the GOP presidential debate in 2012. Ron Paul was booed by an audience of people who claimed to be Christians. His offense was that he cited the Golden Rule. There was a lot of hypocrisy in that room that night, and there is nothing more corrosive to moral character than hypocrisy. We will never have enough cops and guns and prisons to restrain a population which is without moral inspiration.

This ties into everything else I have been saying about the way things have been done in Arkansas. The people running the show have set a very poor moral example for everyone else. When people see the powerful getting whatever they can get no matter how they get it, it makes them want to do the same. They may not be powerful enough to enlist the government to help them loot like the insiders do, so they use the tools that they have. If you want them to act better, you need the people running the show to act better.

When people are in Little Rock trying to form coalitions to loot everyone else, how can you complain when people on the street form a coalition to loot everyone else? The upper crust of one town puts on their suits and ties and goes to Little Rock and tries to talk the legislature into using government force to take money from other towns and give it to them. They don't call it robbery. They call it “economic development.” Street crime merely cuts out the government middle man. When thugs pin you against the wall and take your wallet, its not robbery. For them and their family, its “economic development.” The answer is not in any of these idiotic program proposals, the answer lies in the human heart. It's a question of moral inspiration and it starts at the top.

If you elected Mark ( a spokesman could have stood in for me) I guarantee you that he would help you set the moral example that we need. Need I say. Because you can't build enough prisons or hire enough cops to control a population without moral inspiration.


Mark Moore is a proponent of a philosophy of government known as "Localism".  In the end, it is either going to be globalism or localism, because no other view of government can protect its population from globalism.   To learn more, check out Mark's book "Localism, a Philosophy of Government."