Friday, August 19, 2016

On the Air with Paul Harrell on Media, Party Platforms, Pre-K, and Higher Ed

I talk media, pre-K, platforms, and Higher Ed with Paul Harrell. Go to minute 25 in this link.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Higher-Ed Bubble in Arkansas - State University Opens Mexican Campus

Did you know that Arkansas State University was partnering with Mexican officials to open a campus outside of not only Arkansas, but the United States? It is true, and our globalist state officials are cheering them on all the way. Meanwhile, here is a chart which shows inflation in college tuition and textbooks compared to inflation in many other sectors. Spoiler alert- things the government threw lots of money at got more expensive faster.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Perspective On Pre-K and the AR GOP Platform

The recent news about Pre-K is a perfect microcosm of the delusion and dysfunction of our political system. It might even be more correct to say that it is a reflection of the delusion and dysfunction of our whole society, of which the delusion and dysfunction in the political system is a mere reflection.

The story is this, the Republican Party of Arkansas delegates voted to remove all mention of Pre-K from their platform. Some conservatives comfort themselves that the party can still make what they consider conservative platform planks. That is a part of the delusion, self-chosen unfortunately, that I mentioned earlier. The Republican Governor and legislators will not stop spending money in ever increasing amounts on Pre-K regardless of what is in the platform. The "platform" exists only to help members of the Republican party to dupe themselves into believing that they have some say-so about anything while the real decisions about policy are being made in Washington or even further away by whoever runs the global corporations which fund the Republican party.

Governor Hutchinson has called for a steady increase in pre-K funding. In the typical pattern, when the Democrat House Minority Leader called for increasing pre-K funding by ten million dollars, Hutchinson responded in "conservative" fashion by only increasing it three million dollars. That is the range of the debate in public policy these days. The Democrats propose spending a lot more money on a program and the "conservatives" respond by suggesting a smaller increase. Nothing that happened vis-a-vi the platform is going to change that behavior. It is not going to change until people quit outsourcing the job of protecting their liberties to these two DC-controlled and globally funded but morally bankrupt political parties and seek other ways to do representative government.

When the scope of the debate is whether public funding for Pre-K should be increased by three million dollars or ten million dollars, then the conservative position is unrepresented. The conservative position is that the best thing for almost all Pre-K children is to be raised in their own home by their own families. People who sacrifice financially so that their children can be raised in their own home by their own family should not have to sacrifice again to pay for child care for those who make other choices. The conservative, and libertarian, position is that government has no business jumping in on one side of that lifestyle choice.

If they insist on jumping in and taxing one group of citizens to support the lifestyle choice of another group then the case can be made that it should be on the side of those who sacrifice financially to give their children the loving and stable environment of being raised in their own home by their own family. Even difficult family situations can be better for a child's emotional development than being raised by a carousel of strangers who make nine bucks an hour in a state-institution. Little children belong in families, not institutions.

I can remember when that was the standard conservative position, now it is not even close to being on the table by any office holder in either party, regardless of what an irrelevant platform says. The assumption of both sides is that the state has to tax people who think four years old is too young to be sent off to a state institution in order to pay for Pre-K for those who don't think its too young. I think kindergarten is too young. Actually, when I consider how insane DC-controlled public education is becoming, the most humane position is that no child at any age should be subjected to it! The only reason it may still be a moral choice is that local communities and individual teachers are not fully on-board with the education establishment's agenda.  They can add some measure of humanity to the situation.

I taught public school for twelve years and I have looked at the Pre-K studies. The so-called "advantages" of Pre-K is that the kids are taught to what is tested in public school more than home raised children and so they do a little better at first. That goes away in a few years once schools move beyond what was taught in Pre-K. Nor does that advantage even exist when you compare those children to home-raised children in homes where education is valued. This is one of those cases where it should not matter whether you are a Christian fundamentalist who believes God ordained the family to be the institution to train up small children or whether you are an atheist evolutionist who believes we evolved so that children are to be trained up in such social structures. Either way, these expensive efforts to force the state into children's lives at an earlier and earlier age make no sense.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Does the GOP Try to Purge Conservative Office Holders?

Mark and Paul Harrell talk about it starting at 24:30 on this link.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

86,000 Criminal Aliens Released by ICE Instead of Deported
Following is a Transcript of Chairman Jason Chaffetz 3 minute Video on "Criminal Aliens Released by the Department of Homeland Security" at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/embed/2QOwAJ2ez6U  Published April, 2016

Preparing for this hearing has been - it's hard to keep your cool in preparing for this meeting.
Let me tell you the heart of why we are here today.  Immigration, and Customs Enforcement [ICE].  I have met with the men and women who work there, wonderful hardworking, dedicated people who do a hard and difficult job.

But I've got to tell you what's going on in Homeland Security, what's going on with Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] is one of the most infuriating things  I think I've seen in this government yet.

In a three-year period immigration customs enforcement has released more than 86 thousand criminal aliens into the American public.  These are people that were here illegally, got caught committing a crime, were convicted of that crime; and then instead of deporting them, they were just released back out in the United States of America.
All told they had more than 231 thousand crimes they were convicted of - 86 thousand of these people.

In 2015, 196 of these people were convicted of homicide and ICE released them back into the public rather than deporting them. 124 of those that were released between fiscal year 2010 and 2015 went on to commit homicide.

Let me give you some other stats. In 2013, ICE released 36,007  criminal aliens -  criminal aliens - who were here unlawfully and present in the United States.As of September, 2014, 5,700 of those individuals went on to commit additional crimes.

In March, 2015, ICE Director Sarah Saldana testified before this committee that during fiscal year 2014 that ICE released  another 30,000 individuals with criminal convictions. In fact, ICE released 30,558 criminal aliens in 2014 who had a combined 79,059 convictions instead of deporting them.  Of those 30,558 criminal aliens, 1,895 were charged with another crime following their release.

Their convictions included  sex offenses, assault, burglary, robbery, driving under the influence and ICE told us that in 2016 the agency released 19,723 criminal aliens with a combined 64,197 convictions including 934 sex offenses, 804 robberies, 216 kidnappings and 196 homicide related convictions and that's on your watch.

They were here illegally; they got caught committing a crime; they were convicted of the crime; and instead of following the law and deporting them you released back out into the public and they commit more crimes. How do you look those people in the eyes?  How do you go back to a family and say you know they were in our detention but we just thought it would be better to let them out in the United States of America.  That is so wholly unacceptable. 

I want t to show you this football stadium.  This is Notre Dame football stadium,  You've released more people that were convicted of a crime that should have been deported than you could fit into that stadium.  You would still have people waiting outside the line.  Those are the criminals that you released instead of deporting.  One of the people that is very passionate about this issue and has spent a lot of time with that is our colleague Mr. DeSantis of Florida.  I would like to yield time to him. 

Does anyone believe any of this will change if Hillary is elected President?

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Welfare Fraud By Arkansas State Government Officials

We are making some good radio here. Go to 24:30 on this link....

Monday, August 01, 2016

My Conspiracy Theory on Why the Indictments Haven't Come Down



Many people in Arkansas know that there have been rumors for a long time regarding potential FBI indictments of some prominent players in Arkansas Republican politics. And not just on the nursing home stuff. That is not news. I mean a couple of people have been convicted of taking bribes in this state, but no one has even been charged with making the bribes, except for one fellow who gives every indication of being a "bag man" and not the true source of the bribe. That much is not news.

In late May and early June there was an uptick in buzz about pending indictments. I kept hearing talk that indictments were "imminent" and that it would involve large numbers of Republicans, including some well-known names. The total numbers were in excess of fifty people! But the clock kept ticking and nothing happened. I was assured again that indictments were pending just as previously described.

I know that sometimes the FBI will leak word of impending arrests to provoke suspects to try and move money in preparation to flee the country. It is a common tactic when you are pretty sure, but not that sure. For a while I thought that might be what was happening. But now its August, and that would not even explain why talk of pending mass-indictments has remained talk. Even the talk has died down.

I do have an explanation that makes sense though. It has to do with the two-party hustle. The two political gangs headquartered in D.C. that have captured the government of the United States from its people collude to ensure that none of their upper tier ever have to face justice for their criminal actions. By mutual consent, high level members of either gang simply won’t get prosecuted no matter how serious their crimes. Ordinary citizens like you and me on the other hand, must constantly live with the anxiety of running afoul of their expanding lists of edicts over every aspect of our lives.

Years ago a friend texted me to the effect that now that we know that the Bush administration was also funneling guns to Mexican criminal gangs the Republicans would lose their taste for prosecuting “Justice” Department Secretary Eric Holder for doing the same thing (under the banner of operation “Fast and Furious”). Some of the guns funneled to the Mexican drug cartels under this program were used to murder U.S. law enforcement officials, and numerous Mexican civilians.

I replied to my friend (correctly as it turns out) that Holder would not have been prosecuted even if the Bush side of the two-party system had not done the same thing, because no one that senior in either political party ever gets prosecuted regardless of what they do. We have a two-tiered system of “justice” in this nation where the ruling elite who run both major parties form one group that makes the laws over us, but are for all practical purposes exempt from those laws themselves.

If you think about it, this arrangement between the members of the two political clubs, the Republicans and the Democrats, makes a lot of sense for the higher ups. If one of them ever prosecuted high ranking members of the other party when they were in power, they might find the tables turned on them the next election. To avoid the prospect of unpleasant payback, its best for them to just pretend to make members from the other side follow the law, but not actually hold any of them accountable to the same rules they jointly impose on us peasants.

I first realized this was happening back when Bush Jr. beat Al Gore. I thought that at least some of the crimes perpetrated by high-ranking members of the Clinton administration, including perhaps one of the Clintons themselves, would be investigated and prosecuted. As soon as G.W. Bush took office, he announced that he wanted a “new tone” and that they were not going to worry about which Democrats broke what laws. Since that time, members of the political class have been more and more brazen, while even the pretense of accountability is becoming rarer and more hollow each year.

The establishment press covered for the powers-that-be, as they always do. They hailed it as an example of how America is superior to third-world countries where every time a new group comes to power they use the law for political prosecutions of the group that was just ousted.

Well, excuse me, political prosecution of the ousted group is one type of corruption, but there is also the opposite kind: political non-prosecutions of the ousted group, as a quid-pro quo for future non-prosecutions for your side’s team. Our rulers aren’t less corrupt than the third world governments the media was disdaining, just more sophisticated in the form that corruption takes.

Getting back to our current quandry, I think Hillary Clinton has brazenly broken the law with her mishandling of classified emails. FBI Director Comey lied when he told Congress that no prosecutor would prosecute under similar circumstances- there are people who have gone to prison for less egregious circumstances. That is not to mention that the missing emails could shed light on play-to-pay operations involving foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. And unlike Eric Holder, or Karl Rove, or Roberto Gonzales, Hillary Clinton had no intention of stepping down after being caught brazenly breaking the law. The others at least used resignation as a sort of "get out of jail free" card. As long as they dipped out of the spotlight for a while, they could avoid prosecution.

The Clintons violated this protocol when she got caught brazenly breaking the law but insisted on forging ahead and being the nominee anyway. And lots of powerful people wanted her to keep forging ahead, to protect Wall Street and Foreign interests against a populist ground-swell in both parties. I think a lot of Republicans balked when they heard she was going to both escape prosecution for brazenly illegal actions and she was not going to leave the spotlight. Some of them wanted to push back.

My theory is that the FBI was threatening to arrest Republicans all over the country, including a large number of them in Arkansas. The idea was that if Hillary is prosecuted, they would be prosecuted too. They got the message. Once she got let off the hook the Republicans in Congress took no action against Comey, and no action against Hillary on the email scandal. They basically let it go after the bare minimum of hand-wringing. Now it seems all the "imminent" indictments of Republicans just went away.

We will see. I mean, those indictments could come down tomorrow and I would be shown to be completely wrong. Frankly, I don't see how the FBI can make mass arrests of Republicans so soon after letting Hillary go without destroying whatever credibility they have left, but we will see. If they let the fifty or so people they were going to take to trial here go past the statues of limitation then you will know that the two-party hustle has reached a new low.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Better Way to Do Politics: Mark on the Paul Harrell Program

Go to 25:40 at the link below to catch my segment:

https://soundcloud.com/paulharrell1776/initial-reaction-reviews-jason

Monday, July 18, 2016

Womack as Chair Dashes Hopes of Anti-Trump Movement at Convention

Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack was the Chairman of the Rules Committee today. As Chairman, he acted to end the hopes of those Republicans seeking an alternative to Donald Trump as their party's nominee. He did so by blocking a motion for a vote to have a roll-call vote on another motion to "un-bind" delegates. That is, many delegates are bound by party rules to vote for Trump on the first ballot even if they personally would prefer someone else.

SEE VIDEO HERE
UPDATE: New story with more details here.

Womack as Chairman declared that the voice vote was for keeping the delegates bound. A state delegation from the floor challenged that determination and asked for a roll-call vote. A majority of delegates from seven states are required to force a roll-call vote. Womack told the Colorado delegation that only six states supported it. The Colorado Chair said that ten state delegations had agreed to support it, and wanted to know who the states were so he could tell who did not keep their word. Womack refused to tell him and tried to go on with business. The state delegation for Colorado walked off in protest.

Arkansas Republicans seem to be the staunchest supporters of Donald Trump in the Union. The Governor is speaking at the convention, as is the Attorney General and Senator Tom Cotton. Ex-Governor Mike Huckabee will also be speaking. And now Congressman Womack uses his Chairmanship to deny a roll-call vote on what would have been the most controversial issue of the night. I am amazed how fast the top of the Arkansas Republican party went from cool towards Trump to carrying more water for him than anybody.

Libertarians to Field Candidate in Special Election for State House

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Max Brantley Has His Own Facts on Gas Bust



I was amused to see this today on Arktimes:

Fact: A higher severance tax wouldn't have discouraged exploration in the boom years and it didn't prevent the exodus of the exploration companies when market forces dictated it was time to go. The tax was always a marginal issue, except in what it could have produced for lasting benefit in the state.

Well, no. Those are not facts at all. They are opinions. Ill-informed opinions at that, and placing the word "fact" in front of ill-informed opinions does not make them any more factual.

The facts on Arkansas' severance tax for natural gas are outlined here. We had a very low tax rate for natural gas extraction when the boom started. Once the companies came here Gov. Beebe and his cohorts in crime increased the tax rate 10,000%. How do you think any business considering expanding to our state would think about that? If you saw the state of Arkansas increase tax rates on a specific business 10,000% in one year as soon as that business had sunk a lot of capital expenditures into the state would you be in a hurry to come here?

The massive increase in tax rates combined with a fall in gas prices and the profile of most of our gas wells all contributed to a 10% decline in revenues the following year. Can you imagine how much economic activity had to drop in order for revenues to go down from a tax whose rate had increased 10,000%? Brantley asserts as "fact" that the tax rate was "always a marginal issue" but even if it was, a lot of business deals are decided on the margin. If you are going to make ten cents on the dollar spent, but Arkansas wants five cents of that dollar in new taxes, then you just lost half you profit. Why not go next door and use your capital to dig wells over there?

I will say I agree that more attention needs to be paid to the environmental protection part of the equation, and also that Right of Way laws in Arkansas can be embarrassingly favorable to the corporate entity which wants to come through and very lax in upholding the rights and interests of property owners- unless you are one of the good ole' boys I am sure. Then allowances will be made. In short, my opinion, which I do not confuse here with fact, is that there may need to be some law and policy changes regarding energy distribution in Arkansas, but raising the gas severance tax is not one of them,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

GOP Convention Speaker's List Heavy on Arkansas Ties


UPDATE*********
Now I see an even longer list of speakers has appeared, with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on it as well. It looks like the Arkansas Republican Establishment has bought into "Making America Great Again"

*****************
The Republican Party has released a list of speakers for their convention in Cleveland. While many prominent Republicans have refused to attend the convention, three of the 67 speakers have Arkansas ties. Former Governor (and current Florida resident) Mike Huckabee, current Governor Asa Hutchinson, and current Attorney General Leslie Rutledge are on the speaker's list. Hutchinson has been quoted as saying he will be given a "prime time" spot. That despite is strong endorsement of Marco Rubio during the campaign.

Here is the whole list.....

Pastor Mark Burns                                                     
Phil Ruffin                                                               
Congressman Ryan Zinke                                        
Pat Smith                                                                  
Mark Geist                                                                
John Tiegen                                                             
Congressman Michael McCaul                                 
Sheriff David Clarke                                                 
Congressman Sean Duffy                                        
Darryl Glenn                                                            
Senator Tom Cotton                                                   
Karen Vaughn                         
Governor Mike Huckabee                                       
Mayor Rudy Giuliani                                              
Melania Trump                                                         
Senator Joni Ernst                                               
Kathryn Gates-Skipper                            
Marcus Luttrell                                         
Dana White             
Governor Asa Hutchinson   
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge    
Michael Mukasey 
Andy Wist          
Senator Jeff Sessions        
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn   
Alex Smith         
Speaker Paul Ryan    
Congressman Kevin McCarthy 
Kerry Woolard .
Senator Shelley Moore Capito 
Dr. Ben Carson
Co-Chair Sharon Day

Natalie Gulbis
Kimberlin Brown
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Peter Thiel
Eileen Collins
Senator Ted Cruz
Newt Gingrich
Michelle Van Etten
Lynne Patton
Eric Trump
Harold Hamm
Congressman Chris Collins
Brock Mealer
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Governor Mary Fallin
Darrell Scott
Lisa Shin
Governor Rick Scott
Chairman Reince Priebus
Tom Barrack
Ivanka Trump
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Chris Cox
Senator Mitch McConnell
Tiffany Trump
Governor Chris Christie
Donald J. Trump Jr.
Governor Scott Walker