Sunday, December 31, 2006

Contempt of Court in Massachusetts

***********Massachusetts: Court's in Session!***********

Suddenly the court in Mass. decides it can't tell the legislature what to do. I can't improve on the writing in this Wall Street Journal report on the latest judicial outrage.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Judas Goat

Wikkipedia's entry for "Judas Goat" reads like this: "A Judas goat is a trained goat used at a slaughterhouse and in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared. Judas goats are also used to lead other animals to specific pens and on to trucks. The term is a reference to the biblical 'traitor' Judas Iscariot.

The phrase has also been used to describe a goat that is used to find feral goats that are targeted for eradication. In many ecosystems goats introduced there mostly by European colonists are a pest or can outcompete endemic endangered species. The judas goat is outfitted with a transmitter, painted red and then released. The goat then finds the remaining herds of feral goats, allowing hunters to exterminate them.

Is it possible that this strategy is also used in American politics? In a country where those at the top want one set of policies and the general citizens want another, such a tactic might be a useful means of advancing the will of the elites while still preserving the illusion of self-government for the masses. The most likely form this concept would take is that the establishment would groom certain political figures as the "designated outsiders" who would pose as the "defenders" of the polices that the masses favor but that the establishment opposes. They would be covertly supported when needed and even attacked by establishment press organs when necessary to give the the name ID and credentials as "defenders" of the anti-establishment policies. This way, it would be possible to engineer races where even if the "establishment's candidate" loses, the establishment still wins, because the "anti-establishment candidate" was their guy too.

Signs that this is occuring would include:

1) Even when the "populist" candidate wins, he always seems to back off his populist polices but instead pushes the establishment's policies. Those that rise high began to spout the establishment's line in an effort to redefine the movement to accommodate the establishment's prefered policies. I.E.- a candidate will start calling statist policies they rose to prominence opposing "conservative" and ones they once claimed to hold as "extreme". This is done in an effort to draw followers of the person (who they still perceive to be their "champion") off in a desired direction. It will also be done in an effort to marginalize those who refuse to keep following the Judas-goat once their destination becomes clear.

2) The designated "anti-establishment" policy candidates are strikingly inarticulate and ineffective at advancing the policies they claim to support, yet they still get the media attention as the "go to" person for those policies.

3) Others who share those same views (sincerely) are never able to get the same degree of funding as the Judas-goats.

Why Don't the Feds Want This Document Discussed at Fincher Trial?

I have yet to comment on the upcoming trial of Fayetteville man Hollis Wayne Fincher on federal charges of possessing three "illegal" machine guns. Fincher is a "lieutenant commander" in the self-styled "Washington County Militia".

I tend to roll my eyes when I hear about self-appointed militia units. I'd like to have a real, regulated, state guard established, as is allowed now under both state and federal law. This would have a lot of positive effects, not the least of which would be 1) having someone around to fill in for our National Guard when they are sent all over the world, and 2) make it clear that these self-styled militias are superfluous at best.

In spite of that, I was shocked to read about the heavy-handed police-state tactics of the federal prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Johnson. Johnson filed a motion to attempt to prevent Fincher and his attorney from making constitutional arguments at the trial! Ron Wood reported in the Morning News that the motion would, "preclude Fincher and his attorney, Oscar Stilley, from arguing matters of law to the jury as a defense. The government believes Fincher wants to argue the gun charges are unconstitutional and that the prosecution must prove an "interstate nexus" for the firearms".

If the constitution is anything more than a scrap of paper, then every citizen should have the right to make constitutional arguments at their trial, whether to the judge, to the jury or to both. The feds are making the case that, "it is the court's role to decide matters of law and to instruct the jury. The jury's role is to then determine and apply the facts to the law as instructed by the court. The jury has no role in deciding legal issues, according to the motion."

How convenient. The feds can destroy major cornerstones in the protections of the Constitution and the right to trial by jury with one handy motion. Now some of you may be thinking that it is dangerous to grant juries the power of "jury nullification" of laws. Perhaps it is, but if you will look closley you will notice that this is not even the real issue here, though the feds are painting it that way. Jury nullification is where the jury on its own decides that the law is an unjust law or should not be applied in a given situation. And a lot of times that is wrong- such as when jury members of one race won't convict one of their own of crimes against a member of another race. But "jury nullification" is not what is at issue here.

(continued- CLICK SATURDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Weyrich High on Huckabee

I was distressed to read that long-time christian-right leader Paul Weyrich was high on Governor Mike Huckabee as a Presidential hopeful. Here is what Weyrich said, according to Jim Brown of Agape Press...

"Weyrich, who has been involved in politics for decades, says twice Governor Huckabee had him "on the seat of his chair" during a recent forum. According to Weyrich, the former Baptist preacher "can speak like no other candidate."

"He is dynamic, he is exciting, he believes in all the right things," says Weyrich in describing the Arkansas governor. "I think that if conservatives really got behind him, that they would bump him up to be a first-tier candidate."

I was at that event, and the Governor DID have them on the edge of their seat. The man has a gift. What concerns me is that he was selling nanny-state socialism as the "christian" position. He was selling the idea that to be "pro-life" means you are for the government taking care of people from cradle to grave. It was utter nonsense, but the way he put it the crowd was eating it up.

Being pro-life means that you believe the state should punish those who kill innocent people, either before they are born or after. Period. That is what it has always meant until recent efforts to tack statist ideology unto an expanded definition. But being pro-life does not mean that we think it is the government's job to "take care" of people, just to protect their God-given right to life. The Apostle Paul said, "if a man will not work, neither let him eat". Doesn't sound like much of a nanny-state guy to me.

It disturbs me that leaders of the Christian right like Mr. Weyrich are falling for this stuff. It may explain why the christian right is, relative to their size and willingness to work, the most ineffective group in American politics. Time after time we have worked hard to elect leaders who not only fail to enact our agenda, but lead us in the exact opposite direction. Time after time, the candidates that our leadership has bid us rally behind have turned out to be duds or worse. By now, I would expect men like Mr. Weyrich to use more discernment.

Mike Huckabee is good at what he does, and the Christian right national leaders are desperate to find a republican candidate they can get behind. So desperate that they may be about to make another big mistake. I have had the benefit of observing the Governor at close range for the last ten years, so perhaps I should take that into account in my assessment. Still, I am frustrated that the men who are the national leaders of the movement I most identify with keep putting their faith in the wrong men.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Power of the Media to Get You to Believe the Opposite of What is True

President Gerald R. Ford during his days as a University of Michigan football hero.
"They got some beautiful people out there, man
They can be a terror to your mind and show you how to hold your tongue
They got mystery written all over their forehead
They kill babies in the crib and say only the good die young
They don't believe in mercy
Judgment on them is something that you'll never see
They can exalt you up or bring you down main route
Turn you into anything that they want you to be

--Bob Dylan "Foot of Pride"

Gerald Ford was probably the best athlete to ever serve as President of the United States. Ford was a three-year letterman for the Michigan Wolverines, and two of those years they were undefeated national champions. He was the teams MVP in 1934. He was also a talented baseball and basketball player.

In spite of this reality, the fake reality superimposed over the actual one is that Ford was a "klutz". This was due to endless replays on television of an incident where he bumped his head getting out of an airplane. Of course, even the most graceful of us have an occasional stumble, but thanks to the power of televison, that was turned into Ford's defining moment. It was ironic indeed that the best athlete to ever inhabit the White House was turned into a "klutz" by the magic power of the media to distort reality. As Ford lies in state, perhaps the most important lesson of his short tenure in office was the cautionary tale of how the media can get people to believe the exact opposite of reality.

Maybe they Should Call on The Aboriginies

Two articles on the same day got me laughing out loud. This one says that scientists have determined that bands of aboriginies wiped out Australia's megafauna marsupials around 40,000 years ago. "If it wasn't climate, then it had to be humans," Flinders University paleontologist Gavin Prideaux, told The Associated Press. However this article says that today's Australians are calling on the military to help extinct one toad species that was introduced in 1935 because the civilian population can't control them.

Australia's big animals did go extinct suddenly according to fossil records. The scientists checked climate conditions at ONE cave and determined there was no big drought at the time of the mass extinction, "so it had to be humans". They also dated the remains using solar lumeniscence, which is a terrible dating method for stuff in a cave. From that paucity of fact they jump to the conclusion that a few bands of aboriginies with stone spears extincted all the megafauna of the entire continent in an archeological blink of the eye. Meanwhile, modern Australians can't even control the population of a single species of toad that was introduced less than 100 years ago! Does anybody else see the irony here?

PS- some of those things that the early Australians were supposed to have wiped out were huge carnivores that were just as likely to wipe THEM out.

FBI Lost Files In Leak Cases

"Excuse me sir, have you seen our files? We won't be held accountable, but if you lose your tax documents and the IRS audits you then you WILL be held accountable. You see on this Animal Farm, some animals are more equal than others"

The New York Sun reports that in 22 of 94 cases of leak investigations, the FBI has lost the files relevant to the cases.

Here is a little quote from one of their officials to set your mind at ease about the high standards of security and accountablilty that exist at your FBI: "There is no physical slip of paper on the shelf which indicates that the file has been charged out to a particular FBI employee, so therefore there is no way of knowing where the file may actually be," an official in the bureau's records division, Peggy Bellando, wrote.."

Drug Dealer: New State Giveaway Program Deals in Drugs

Have you heard all the commericals (at taxpayer expense no doubt) about how the state "wants to know your opinion" about a new state prescription drug plan. I decided to go to the website to tell them to keep their theiving fingers out of other people's pockets and quit with the nanny-state socialized medicine.

Well, it turns out that wasn't the kind of input they were looking for. In fact, there was no place to give feedback on the shoddy-looking website. I am not going to give you the URL. Anyway, they didn't really want to hear our views. There was only a form to sign up for the handouts. And believe me most of you could. A family of four could make $67K a year and still be eligible.

If you hand out almost "free" drugs to that much of your population then a lot more drugs are going to be consumed than otherwise would be. It's a plan that the big pharmacetical firms can wholeheartedly support.

With 98 million prescriptions for prozac family drugs alone each year, America is over-medicated. Bob Dole famously asked "where's the outrage?" A population in a drug-induced calm won't feel outrage, even when they should. That way your politicians can continue to mortgage your children's future with outrageous spending and you won't care.

Wake up America.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Audio: Why Human Evolution is "Mission Impossible"

Ok, I mentioned in an earlier post that a new study about genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees makes the use of the word "impossible" a fair description of the standard evolutionary scenario where chimps and humans diverged from a common ancestor six million years age. Here is a 19 minute audio file where we talk about that study and why I make the claim, and more.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Legislating the Laws of Economics

I noticed on the Roby Brock business talk site that manufacturing jobs in Arkansas took a record month-over-month loss, and that we have lost close to 7,000 manufacturing jobs in the last year. This state is hemorraging manufacturing jobs. But don't worry, our legislature has mandated a non-free market increase in the minimum wage! They are mandating by law that wages have to go up, but they can't seem to mandate by law that the manufacturers have to stay around and pay the new wages. Do you feel better knowing that you WOULD have made more money at that job if your employer hadn't left the state?

Oh, but that is not all our elected leaders have done to "help". They have grown government. So much so that government jobs now outnumber manufacturing jobs in this state by 20,000! And even some people that are obstensibly in "the private sector" like me, are selling products in conjunction with the government (medicare part D prescription drug plans). Statist politicians seem to think we can all make a living delivering government services to one another. They seem more focused on growing government rather than creating a just and friendly general climate for business.

Now some of them are posturing and chest-pounding over their bills to stop "predatory" payday lenders. The bills contain penalties for people who charges more than 17% interest, including fees. But don't worry, it is only "predatory" when check-cashing services do it to poor people. "Financial Institutions" (Bankers) would be exempted from the law! Apparently if you are high-class enough, it is not "predatory" to charge more than 17%!

(continued- click FRIDAY below and scroll down for rest of article)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Human Evolution: Before it was Impossible, Now it is Even More Impossible

From "The Creation of Adam" by Michelangelo

I know something can't be "even more impossible", but I am astounded at the amount of faith Naturalists have in the theory of evolution as an explanation for all biotic diversity obsevered on Earth, including people. Yet more research came out today that shows the old cannard of "we share 98.5% of our genes with chimps" is innaccurate. It turns out that was only a measure of the similarity of genes that we shared. The real similarity is now closer to 94% because "it is estimated that humans have acquired 689 new gene duplicates and lost 86 since diverging from our common ancestor with chimps six million years ago". Similarly, they reckoned that chimps have lost 729 gene copies that humans still have.

The researchers still kept their heads firmly inside the box that says "evolution" produced all these differences from the chimps, but this is what the results mean to an objective observor: The standard evolutionary scenario, where humans and chimps diverged from a common ancestor around six million years ago, is so improbable that the use of the word "impossible" to describe this belief is far more rational than holding it.

Secularists often speak of a "War between God and Science". There is no such conflict. There is only a conflict between Theism and Naturalism posing as science. When your Theology differs from your real science, it just means that either your Theology is bad or your science is bad. Right now ours is bad because it has been hijacked by Naturalism, which rules out any willingness to even think about "supernatural" causes for natural events regardless of the evidence.

Secularists have imposed a monopoly of Naturalism posing as science on our public school science cirricula that is holding us back from discoving the true nature of the world around us. The sooner they were dethroned the better.

As per last time we had a dust up on evolution, I am willing to defend my statements in the second paragraph in debate with members of the media who are on the opposite side of this issue. I'll debate them or any champion they name in any fair format. Last time, this challenge went unanswered, nor can it be successfully answered this time. I'd cut them or their champion to ribbons. I would do this not because I am smarter than they are, but because truth and fact are against them. The next time you read a member of the media painting ID or creationists as moronic knuckle-draggers remember that they are unwilling to defend the position they have so much FAITH in.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Perfect Example of How Secular Left and Religious Right Both Get it Wrong

In Pennslyvania the federally-funded program to match workers with employers banned certain employers from posting job openings. The folks they banned are those who have religious preferences in their hiring. For example a parochial school who has an opening for a teacher or a librarian or a janitor may prefer an applicant of their own faith for the position. Too bad for them. There is a federal rule against using the program to help employers who "discriminate" on the basis of religion in their hiring.

The jobs-matching program has become so large that it is the way to get to the best talent pool of employees in the state. The program's administrators are taking a position that the ACLU would concur with. The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group that fights discrimination against Christians in the law, has come to the defense of the religious institutions. It argues that the best employees for a Presbryterian Church school are going to be Presbryterians, or at least believers, and that the real discrimination in this case is against Christians (and those of other faiths who want to hire their own to run their religious institutions).

I lean to the idea that religion is not an immutable characteristic like race, and so if an employer wants to prefer a Presbryterian over a Wiccan it is their own business and there should be no law against discriminating against them- at least as long as they are hiring for a non-government entity. Nevertheless, both sides seem to be missing the larger point. If this point were addressed there would be nothing for liberals and conservatives to fight about, and that would be a good thing.

The point is that the government has no business being the entity that matches employers with employees in the state of Pennslyvania, or any other state. They are running an employment agency. There are private employment agencies (at least their used to be before the government started muscling in) that can do that job. The free market can do that job, so why are the taxpayers being called on to do it? The answer is likely that big business prefers it that way. They would rather the taxpayers provide them with employees than have to use their own dollars at a private employment agency.

Once the government is doing a job extra rules and regulations come with the deal. Including the goverment's prohibitions about propping up a particular sect. I don't think that is what is happening should they help churches find a Presbryterian janitor, but bureaucrats tend to err on the side of caution.

It is time for secular left and religious right to join together for the purpose of reducing government, starting with goverment programs that are really corporate welfare. Let's face it, some will always be on the lookout for any government effort to "impose religion", while others will always be on the lookout for "government persecution" of believers. If the government gets out of the employment agency business, we won't have to fight about whether the government employment agency is helping to "establish a religion" or "discriminating against Christians".

Let's get goverment out of areas of life where the free market can do a better job so that we will have that much less to fight about.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Balking on Eliminating Grocery Tax

We just had an election where candidates for both parties ran on eliminating the state sales tax on groceries. I argued that if Beebe and company won you would never see that money. Candidate Beebe said he would rather "under-promise and over-deliver."

I liked that line. It sounded good and was smart politics. Saying you will "over-deliver" gives hints of a committment without ever actually making one. Now people are waiting on Beebe et al to "over deliver" on the non-committment to "phase out" the grocery tax, "revenues permitting". With over $800 million in surplus, if revenues don't permit now then they never will. The problem is that it seems Beebe is dangerously close to under-delivering even on his under-promising.

As for John Brummett and the rest of the liberal columnists who are now questioning some of Beebe's cozy ties with special intrests and his failure to push harder to repeal the grocery tax I can only say, "Then why did you shill for the guy nonstop the whole campaign? Please don't try and distance yourselves from him now, after you worked tirelessly to get him elected. He is your guy now, whether you like it or not."

State Rep. Benny Petrus, a house leader, says eliminating the grocery tax may not be the best way to help low income Arkansans. He leans more toward income tax relief. Rep. Horace Hardwick has proposed phasing out 4.5 cents of the six cents of the food tax over the next three years, and leaving on 1.5 cents which are "already committed", along with all of the local taxes on groceries. Somehow I don't think that is what the average voter thought they were getting when Governor elect Beebe talked of "phasing out the sales tax on food". In Benton County, sales taxes are nine percent, so even in the unlikely event that all of that "phasing out" actually happens we will still pay half of the sales tax on food items.

While I'd vote for Hardwick's bill if it was the best I could get, Speaker Petrus may have a point. With a surplus this high, they could, if they cared to, give us a tax break equal to eliminating the entire sales tax on food. A handy way to do this would be to give us a per-person exemption on income taxes that is closer to that of the other states. Currently, our personal income tax exemption in this state is among the lowest in the nation (a mere $20 tax credit). Giving us a $1,000 per person exemption would be a good way to get us the rest of that grocery tax money back, and put us more in the middle of the pack as far as having an equitable and family-friendly income tax structure goes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Nothing to See Here, Go Read Deuteronomy

The very fact you are reading this, instead of your Bible shows our Governor that you are not as perfect as he is! I get this from his comment that people "should spend less time reading blogs and more time reading the Bible".

Sorry Governor, they are both a part of a healthy mental diet. It would be difficult to apply what we learn in the Bible to our lives if all we ever read was the Bible. The Bible tells us to watch out for guys like you, and the blogs help us to realize that you are one of those guys.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Reserve of Judicial Credibility Must Be Adequate

The State Supreme Court has REALLY got in the Ledge's puddin with this one. They ruled last week that Sen. Johnson's 400K appropriation bill to repave the streets in his home of Bigelow was unconstitutional. They said state money is supposed to be appropriated for the state as a whole, and not local projects.

That would mean that most General Improvment Fund money was spent in error. That would mean no pork fund for legislators to buy votes in their district with.

Now I do seem to remember something in the state constitution that would lead me to believe that the judges have a point. I am all for judges knocking down unconstitutional laws, and telling the ledge "you can't do X" is different from saying "this is the amount of money you must spend on X". One limits government for the benefit of the people, the other expands it at judicial whim.

I guess I am saying that the judges may well be right this time! My worry is that they have pushed the ledge too far with tyrannical rulings like Lakeview. Eack time they overstep their rightful bounds they erode their own credibility. They may not have a reserve of credibility left when they need it to sustain a challenge to their legitimate authority. We may need them someday to preserve our civil rights against encroachment.

The ledge would be wrong to make this the issue they crack down on the judges over, but the fact that there are other things out there where they NEED reigning in may give them all the excuse they need. And that would be a pity. A pity the courts are bringing on themselves.

Not One of These Taxes Existed 100 Years Ago

Accounts Receivable Tax
> > Building Permit Tax
> > CDL license Tax
> > Cigarette Tax
> > Corporate Income Tax
> > Dog License Tax
> > Federal Income Tax
> > Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
> > Fishing License Tax
> > Food License Tax,
> > Fuel permit tax
> > Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
> > Hunting License Tax
> > Inheritance Tax
> > Interest expense
> > Inventory tax
> > IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
> > Liquor Tax
> > Luxury Taxes
> > Marriage License Tax
> > Medicare Tax
> > Property Tax
> > Real Estate Tax
> > Service charge taxes
> > Social Security Tax
> > Road usage taxes
> > Sales Tax
> > Recreational Vehicle Tax
> > School Tax
> > State Income Tax
> > State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
> > Telephone federal excise tax
> > Telephone federal universal service fee tax
> > Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
> > Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
> > Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
> > Telephone state and local tax
> > Telephone usage charge tax
> > Vehicle License Registration Tax
> > Vehicle Sales Tax
> > Watercraft registration Tax
> > Well Permit Tax
> > Workers Compensation Tax
> >
> > COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago,
> > and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
> > We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class
> > in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
> > What happened?

From Jim Price

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bush says Pregnant Lesbian Will "Make a Fine Mom"

That is right. Instead of "this is not a good situation for that child, or a good example for our country", or even "No comment", the man some misguided conservatives still look to for support of the traditional family lavished the praises on Mary Cheney, who along with her "partner" are expecting a baby- it is unknown who actually fathered the child.

"I think Mary is going to be a loving soul to her child. And I'm happy for her," Bush said in an interview with People magazine.

"Mary Cheney is going to make a fine mom and she's going to love this child a lot," he said, according to an excerpt from the interview.

Cheney is of course the daughter of VP Dick Cheney. Until 05, she was employed with the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Now she is "pushing the envelope" on homosexuals gaining access to children.

Response from Christian Conservative leaders and readers across the nation was to close their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears, and say "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA" real loud until whoever was pointing these facts out to them went away.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Protesters In Bentonville Today to Say Wal-Mart has "Broken Faith With The Family"

The Watch has gotten word that at least 20 protestors from across the country will demonstrate at Wal-Mart International HQ today.

"We don't come as people saying "we despise Wal-Mart". We come as people saying "Wal-Mart return to what you were. Return to what Sam Walton started you to be so we can shop at your stores again." said Cal Zastrow. Zastrow came from Michigan with his two sons. The protest was organized by Flip Benham, who is known as a strong proponent of protecting children from abortion. The groups website is

Certainly one of the issues is that Wal-Mart continues to sell "Plan B", the "morning after" abortion pill, but that is only one of the group's concerns. Others are that Wal-Mart continues as a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and that they have not committed in writing to cease their funding of Planned Parenthood and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this month Wal-Mart issued a statement saying it would cease funding "controversial causes" without specifying what it considered controversial. This was in response to threat of a "Black Friday weekend" boycott by an alliance that included the powerful American Family Association led by Don Wildmon. AFA called off the four-day boycott in response to the Wal-Mart statement, taking a "wait and see" attitude for now. Other members of the alliance behind the boycott, including "Save Walmart", were not satisfied and did not join Wildmon and AFA in the suspension of the Black Friday boycott. Wal-Mart's numbers that month reflected the first year-to-year loss in company history.

We will follow the story today as it develops.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Judge Makes a Monkey Out of Himself in Evolution Case

The media reported that Judge Jones shot down arguments from Intelligent Design advocates.

A popular Creationist Website has a startling report about judicial misconduct. Their report follows:

Judge John E. Jones has become somewhat of a celebrity of late, traveling and speaking about his judgment against the Dover, Pennsylvania School Board on December 20, 2005. He has stated that he felt his opinion should set forth the case once for all that intelligent design is not science but religion in disguise, and wanted to write it such that it could be used by other courts in other states so that they would not have to argue from scratch. He has been declared an “original thinker” and has been praised by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the year.

Now it turns out that 90.9% of his 6,004-word opinion about whether intelligent design is science was lifted “virtually verbatim” from ACLU documents. A new study released today on Evolution News details the comparisons and discusses its implications. The entire study can be downloaded from Uncommon Descent and Discovery Institute. Here is the Executive Summary from the study conducted by the Discovery Institute:

In December of 2005, critics of the theory of intelligent design (ID) hailed federal judge John E. Jones’ ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which declared unconstitutional the reading of a statement about intelligent design in public school science classrooms in Dover, Pennsylvania. Since the decision was issued, Jones’ 139-page judicial opinion has been lavished with praise as a “masterful decision” based on careful and independent analysis of the evidence. However, a new analysis of the text of the Kitzmiller decision reveals that nearly all of Judge Jones’ lengthy examination of “whether ID is science” came not from his own efforts or analysis but from wording supplied by ACLU attorneys. In fact, 90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim1 from the ACLU’s proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” submitted to Judge Jones nearly a month before his ruling. Judge Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU. The finding that most of Judge Jones’ analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones’ examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design.

While it is not uncommon for judges to quote material provided by the lawyers in the case in their rulings, the extent of his borrowing is “stunning,” according to John West, co-author of the study, considering how much credit Jones himself has taken for it. “For all practical purposes, Jones allowed ACLU attorneys to write nearly the entire section of his opinion analyzing whether intelligent design is science,” West wrote. “As a result, this central part of Judge Jones’ ruling reflected essentially no original deliberative activity or independent examination of the record on Jones’ part.” The Discovery Institute had early published an analysis of the arguments used in the Dover decision in a book entitled Traipsing into Evolution.

(continued- click "WEDNESDAY" below and scroll down for rest of story)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

School Bully

On Monday Paul Greenberg used the power of his statewide editorial page in an attempt to bully a single state representative, Mike Kenney, out of his support for parental choice. At issue was whether parents will have the choice of having their children take the "Common Core" courses or the math-intensive "Smart Core" track. Greenberg et al wants the "Common Core" option removed, forcing even the least talented and motivated in math to take courses like trigonometry and calculus in order to graduate high school.

My own view is that each parent knows their child's limits and talents a lot better than Greenberg and the more choice they have for their children the better. Read here if you want to know more details about why this is a bad move. I applaud representative Kenny for his common-sense approach, and I hope he does not knuckle under to Greenberg's bullying. I don't like bullies, and I like fascists even less. The Demo-zette editorial staff seems to have a tendency toward both.

Bryant School Board Votes to "De-annex" Paron

The print media seems to have buried this important story. The Bryant school board has voted to "de-annex" the Paron school district. You remember Paron from the election, right? The print media was assuring us that Paron had to be shut down against their will. Candidates and people like us who were trying to defend Paron were shouted down as "extremists". Ho-hum. Those guys need to get some new material.

Well, it seems the Bryant school board has finally figured out what I and others have been trying to tell since this thing started. You don't want a hundered hostages in your classrooms who don't want to be there and whose parents don't support them being there. Public schools should be community schools. They should have the support of the community. Shutting down an effective school on such flimsey grounds is bound to produce bad feelings. People are tired of being pushed around and they should be.

With de-annexation, control of Paron will pass to the state, but the state board has to approve the move. They may tell Bryant that since they took the consolidation money, that hot potato is all theirs!

"No Child Left Behind" Letter to the Editor


Apply policy elsewhere

I believe the citizens of this great country have the right to demand that the No Child Left Behind nonsense be redefined and enacted for other professionals.

Let’s see, how about No Patient Left Behind? All doctors must save and make healthy each and every person they see, regardless of age, genetics, diets or disease. We should legislate that we’ll all live forever in happiness and health.

How about No Tooth Left Behind? Dentists must save every tooth in their patients’ heads, regardless of extenuating circumstances: sugar intake, diet, negligence. How about No Crop Left Behind? Farmers can’t lose even one plant, regardless of weather conditions, supply and demand, pests or diseases.

How about No Merchandise Left Behind ? Everyone who markets products must sell every single thing in the store with nothing left over, regardless of economy, supply and demand or need.

How about No Defendant Left Behind ? Public defenders must never lose a case. How about No Plaintiff Left Behind? Prosecutors must never lose a case. (Hey, everybody wins.)

How about No Heathens Left Behind? Everybody in the world must become a Christian. Everybody goes to Heaven-no matter what.

Teachers are the only human beings in America who are held to this ridiculous standard. God himself does not reach all of his children, but teachers have to. This legislation is a horrific violation of the civil rights of teachers in this country. It is clearly discriminatory and should be repealed.

North Little Rock

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New "Steering Committee": State GOP to Look to Big Business for Direction

This long article on the state Democratic and Republican parties is worth a read. There are only two things I want to comment on for the article.

One is that the Democrats are adding a place in their party structure for homosexuals. I don't mean that they will have a place at the table for someone regardless of whether or not they are homosexuals, I mean they will have a place because they are homosexual.

In a perfect example of why its going to be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgement than for the Democratic Party, they are also adding a slot for someone from the "faith community". Faith in what? Not the God of the Bible, for such a person would be morally obligated to show the homosexual their need to repent. It is less an appeal to Christians than a mockery of them.

Willett thinks he can get away with adding a homosexual auxillary because, “All it will come down to is at the end of the day, people are just getting sick and tired of it,”. He may have a point, they may be wearing Arkansans out by constantly pushing the envelope. After a while there is a tendency for some folks to "define deviancy down". If America does not quit tuning out it's Christians, I expect we will be having this same discussion in ten years over polygamy and man-boy "love". At the very least, the GOP can no longer get away with hitting that hot button if people see that they are not going to do anything about it either.

And that brings us to the current political party who is experiencing difficulties, Divine Judgement-wise. Of course, they are the ones who have been playing Christians for fools for some years now. At least the Democrats, until recently, didn't try to falsely pass themselves off as the champions of God's people. It is no wonder the Big Election Judge in the Sky is throwing down on the hypocritical party first.

Well, the duplicity is set to continue. The people that are good at this business know how to make you think they said what you wanted to hear, while actually avoiding any such committment. You have to parse some of these folks real close to find out what they really mean. Take for example Chairman Senator Gilbert Baker's answer on how to decide where the state GOP goes from closely.....

"Baker said he plans to appoint a steering committee of business leaders in the next few weeks to review the party’s strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations to improve the party.

“I want to re-engage the business leadership in this state. They already have reached out to us, and we will reach back,” he said.

“I also want to engage those that are involved in our party from the social conservative standpoint. Folks, those dogs do hunt in this state and this nation,” Baker said.

Got that? There is one group he wants input from and another group he would simply like to keep working. He wants to form a committee of business leaders- and I can only assume he does not mean a guy who owns one hardware store- to steer and "improve" the party. Social conservatives, on the other hand, get a vague reference to keeping them "engaged". At what? Presumably engaged in carrying out whatever plan the Big Money Boys come up with for the peasants to labor at. Good ole huntin' dogs!

Beebe did get a healthy slice of big business this round, and it is not because they wanted a "fair shake". It's because they were convinced that he was "their guy". If the two parties want to get in a competition to see who can be the biggest- excuse me- corporate slut, then I cannot say who the "winner" will be, but I know who the "loser" will be.- all of us. That includes the big business community that is honest enough to want make money pleasing customers, instead of spending their time, energy, and effort getting special favors from the government.

Spending the Surplus

Well, ole Brummett had a good mental exercise going on in his column today. He "spent" the $840 million surplus in 20 column inches. That is a lot of taxpayer earnings per word. I lack his audacity, but I thought I'd play along as well.

Let's see, Brummett says we should spend $350 million of the $840 million complying with the court's orders for school facilities improvements from the Lakeview case. I have a more modest amount in mind for the time being.

My plan is to set aside two million to pay for the impeachment trials of four of the seven state supreme court "justices" who are most determined to usurp the authority of the other two branches of government. I realize we would need a constitutional amendment to allow the ledge to impeach them, but we can submit that to the electorate for no extra charge. I'd defer any major outlay increases for public schools until 1)We figure out which branch of government is supposed to determine how much is spent and for what, and 2) we start fixing the things that can be fixed without money. Like classroom discipline.

Brummett wants to set $240 million aside in an emergency fund that would give us some cushion for any shortfalls caused by a sales-tax cut on food. I like the idea of a cushion, it sounds prudent, but that amount is equal to the ENTIRE sales tax amount on food for a year. He suggests going along with Beebe's plan to cut it in half. I'd cut it all, and leave the reserve the same. Actually, let's make it an even 250 million and get rid of the absurd retail sales tax on energy used for manufacturing. That one will pay for itself by generating more economic activity.

Brummett also thinks we should fork over another 168 million dollars to the state's higher ed system. That is in addition to the 150 million dollars they just got in loans by a vote of the people. As you might suspect, my attitude is if they wanted $318 million from us they should have asked for that amount in the election we just had. They asked for and just got permission for an extra $150 million, so no surplus soup for you Higher Ed!

Brummett also want to let Governor-elect Beebe have his 50 million dollar slush fund to pick winners and loses as far as businesses go. I prefer to leave that to the free market, so no surplus soup for the Gov. elect either. Brummett also says we have 30 million in bond dect obligations, but I don't know why that has to come out of the surplus, it is supposed to come out of the operating budget and that is where I'd take it from.

Brummett may have tried that sleight of hand to get the GIF money pork down to two million dollars. I'm OK with that low amount.

So that's how Brummett spent the whole wad of $840 million. I seem to be having some trouble spending that much money that I know I did not earn. It is from the labor of others. I seem to have spent only $254 million, $250 million of that to allow room for tax cuts. What should I do with the remaining almost $600 million dollars? Well, maybe I am just one man and shouldn't decide how to spend $600 million dollars that has been earned by my fellow citizens. I think I should just tell all those special interests with their hands out to blow it out their ears. I'd declare a dividend of $500 per tax return and/or raise the personal exemption amounts to more reasonable levels.

CIA Bugged Princess Diana So the Brits Will Bug You

We now have word that the United State's Intelligence Service had bugged Princess Diana's phone the night of her fatal car crash.

You may be wondering why your tax dollars should be spent bugging the phone of the ex-wife of the Prince of Wales. Good question. This article gives the answer in as oblique, mild and non-alarmist a tone as possible. It says, "In a move that raises fresh questions over transatlantic agreements on intelligence-sharing, the surveillance arm of the US has admitted listening to her conversations as she stayed at the Ritz hotel, but failed to notify MI6."

Now here is what that really means: Laws in each country forbid the home-grown intelligence services from spying on their own citizens without probable cause. So what happens is that our boys spy on their citizens, their boys spy on ours, then they share information. We really need laws regulating this exchange of information.

In the meantime, hey British MI6, you can kiss my colonial caboose, and tell the CIA I said so!

Firing Complaints at Rogers Attempt to Slow Illegal Invasion

This article outlines Roger's Mayor Steve Womack's efforts to get members of his police force certified to enforce immigration law. He has applied to the feds for the training program.

One Manny Gomez, head of a chapter of the race-based organization LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking them to reject Roger's application for the program. The head of this race-based organization claims that the training would lead to "racial profiling".

Much of the article consists of Gomez saying that Rogers can't prove that a "majority" of its serious crime has been committed by illegal aliens- but Womack does say that on the most serious drug charges, 25 of the 57 arrested were illegal aliens. OK, maybe that is not a "majority", but isn't that plenty enough to justify joining the federal program?

I also could not help but notice that much of the article was over whether Rogers had ever been formally accused of racial discrimination. Seems to me if an application can be de-railed simply by an ACCUSATION of racial discrimination then this program is too PC to do any real good.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Baker Re-Elected as State GOP Chairman

The word is that Senator Gilbert Baker was re-elected to the Chairmanship of the state party today. There was no serious opposition reported. The e-mail from the state party announcing the meeting to select a chairman also contained pointed endorsements for Baker's re-election from the only two GOP office holders left at the Congressional or State level- Governor Mike Huckabee and Congressman John Boozeman.

Word on the controversy with the Benton County delegation and on others issues has been widely reported in the mainstrea media.

Your comments?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cheney's Gay Daughter Pregnant

"Mom's" to be? Cheney and "Partner"

I want to start by saying that anyone who thinks they can trust the Republican Party to protect "Traditional Family Values" is either ignorant or willfully delusional. An examination of the facts simply will not support that contention. The two parties currently in ascendency differ only in the rate at which they are willing to oversee the redefinition of "family". The facts may be painful to come to grips with, but there comes a point when it is simply immoral to continue to pretend that a given political party is still representing your interests. For the sake of our nation, the best of us must face reality.

The facts of the case are these, Mary Cheney, daughter of the Vice-President, is openly homosexual and paraded her "partner" at Republican events- while she was a paid employee of the Re-election campaign of Bush/Cheney. That is correct. Those donations that conservative family people gave to the campaign went in part to pay her salary. But don't worry, even if you did not give to the campaign, as a taxpayer, you still did your part to add to the Cheney family fortune, the vice president's other daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, is on leave as deputy assistant secretary of state after having her fifth child with her husband in July.

Mary Cheney is pregnant. We don't know the particulars- like who the father is. Nor does that seem to matter to all these staunch defenders of family values. They all seem content to let "Heather have two mommies" if one of them is the Vice-President's daughter. I wretch thinking about the stench of hypocrisy coming from the paragons of family values who do worse than stay silent on this, but who actually attempt to dupe values voters into supporting Bush-Cheney.

Huckabee Plays the Race Card

Governor Mike Huckabee has shown himself quick to play the race card on the issue of amnesty for illegal aliens. In a move sure to please big business donors who rely on a steady supply of illegal labor to drive down wages, Huckabee said that "One of the great challenges facing us is that we do not commit the same mistakes with our growing Hispanic population that we did with African Americans 150 years ago and beyond. We're still paying the price for the pathetic manner in which this country handled that,"

"I think frankly the Lord is giving us a second chance to do better than we did before," Huckabee said. His comments were made the the Little Rock "Political Animals" club.

Governor, not only are you playing the race card in an effort to silence rational debate on an important issue, your analogy is outrageous and offensive to everyone who respects the rule of law- a large group of Americans which does not include yourself.

What are you doing with your second chance to make up for what was done to African Americans? I'll tell you what you are doing. You are wronging them again by bringing in a new underclass to drive down wages and opportunities for our own underclass- a group which disproportionalty includes the descendents of those same African Americans you speak of. And then you have the gall to pose on your moral high horse and look down on those of us who seek to protect our working class when you do it.

Repent, hypocrite, and do not add to our sins against the slaves by cheating their descendents at the behest of your corporate masters, and most of all, for the sake of your own soul if nothing else, do not blaspheme the Lord by invoking his Name for your lawless corruption and self-righteous blather.

There is a world of difference between people who were kidnapped and brought here against their will and made slaves versus people who snuck into our country without our consent and in violation of our laws. To both groups, we owe justice, but justice for the latter includes deportation. The main mark for their favor, and their main point in asking for lenient treatment is that corrupt Government officials like you have been sending mixed signals to them that it is OK to break our laws and come here, cutting in line in front of honest immigrants who work hard and play by the rules.

Huckabee: Hispanics Offer U.S. 'Second Chance'

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Wednesday the nation is being given a chance to make up for past racism by the way it handles the influx of Hispanics.

Huckabee, a Republican who is considering a run for president in 2008, said Arkansas has made progress on racial justice and has a fresh opportunity to do the right thing in the way it welcomes the growing Hispanic population... [More]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

State Republicans to Meet to Elect Leaders: Huckabee wants Baker to Stay at Helm

From the RPA


Little Rock (Tuesday, December 05, 2006) -- The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) State Committee meeting will be held on December 9 in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Statehouse Convention Center. Leadership positions for the next two years will be selected at this meeting.

State Senator Gilbert Baker (Conway) has served as Chairman of the RPA since December 2004.

On the future of the Republican Party of Arkansas, Baker stated, "Our party is at a crossroads and requires continuity and stability in leadership. We've done a lot of good things over the past two years, but we also realize there are extreme challenges to work through.

"We have started the process of making necessary adjustments to make our party stronger and as vibrant as ever. I have been encouraged by members of the business community, party leaders, and other activists to run for another term as chairman. There is a sentiment that we need a measure of continuity and stability as we begin to rebuild," Baker concluded.

"Gilbert has provided steady leadership for our party," stated Governor Mike Huckabee. "Moving forward, it is imperative that we have some level of consistency and continuity within our leadership to ensure that we are vibrant for the 2008 election cycle.

"In talking with Gilbert, he does understand the needs we have as a party and the hurdles we face. I, also, believe Gilbert's fundraising abilities and ability to unite people will be critical to moving our party forward," Huckabee concluded.

"I look forward to continuing to work with Gilbert Baker as Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas," stated Congressman John Boozman. "He has provided a valuable service to our party over the last two years."

Boozman continued, "As we move into an important election cycle in 2008, Gilbert understands the importance of fundraising, further developing our grassroots programs, and aggressively dealing with the challenges we face as a party. He has started that process, and I look forward to being a part of that effort."

Where Every Child is Above Average

State Education Director Ken James is trying to build mo- mentum for what the paper calls "the elimination of an “opt-out” clause" that allows high school students to follow an easier curriculum with parental permission. That's biased language. I'd just call it what it is- eliminating parental choice on whether their kids take advanced or basic courses. About 10 percent of Arkansas’ eighth- and ninth-graders this year selected the "Common Core" rather than the advanced-math laden "Smart Core" courses. Common Core selection is up to 40% in some districts.

I applaud the parents who realize that their children are not mathmatically inclined and so make the appropriate decision to put them in "Common Core" rather than the harder "Smart Core" classes. I suspect that more than 10% of parents should do that, but one cannot expect a person to be completely objective about their children. Many will put them in the advanced classes and then spend the next four years pressuring the child's teachers into watering down the classes.

Smart Core is pretty tough. It requires four units of math — including algebra I, geometry, algebra II — and one additional unit from a list of courses like trigonometry and calculus. Three units of laboratory science also are required. The alternative 22-unit Common Core requires no math beyond geometry, and only biology and a physical-science course are required.

James claims, inexplicably, that students need Smart Core’s depth of math and science instruction whether they plan to enroll in college or work as a pipe fitter. He said 52 percent of Arkansas college students require remediation upon admission and that 76 percent of Arkansas employers say recent high school graduates lack adequate math and reading skills. James may need some remediation himself if he thinks eliminating the Common Core option would reduce this problem. If percentages are that high, it is clear that many students are not getting what they need in those "Smart Core" classes. So then does it really make sense to force more students into those classes against their will and against the will of their parents?

James admits that there would not be enough math teachers to go around if he eliminated the "Common Core" option, and it sounds like a lot of the ones we have now are not getting the job done. Not that I blame the teachers. I used to be one. I know the score. Many administrations will not permit teachers to hold students accountable, whether with discipline or grades. They then blame the teachers when the students wind up unprepared in college. Then guys like Ken James come along and suggest the solution is forcing more kids into the advanced classes that are already failing to prepare 52% of their students for college.

Denying choices to parents is not the way to improve education. Dumping 40% more students in an advanced class that neither the students nor their parents want them to take is a recipie for disaster. Can you imagine being the teacher of a class where you get 40% more students who have no proclivity for advanced math and whose parents object to them being there? What a nightmare. Even scarier, James hinted that he does not need the ledge to eliminate choices for parents. He noted that the state Board of Education could eliminate the opt-out clause itself, but the move will have more impact with state lawmakers’ support.

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Where Have All the Conservative Candidates For President Gone"

"Look, he may be a little farther to the left than you like, a little too big government, but we have to rally around him in order to stop Hillary! Get with the program. Sheesh, you religious nuts are unappeasable."

GOP party line on the prospect of former Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin getting their party's nomination for President in 08

Ok, so that hasn't happened- yet. But there is not much for a Christian Constitutionalist to cheer about in the current crop of GOP hopefuls. Even the liberals are starting to notice how weird it is that in a supposedly "conservative" party, all they have to offer up are "moderates"- i.e.- liberals. In this FOX news column, liberal Elanor Clift wonders aloud why, if the Republican grassroots are so conservative, there are not better conservative candidates for President on the GOP side.

She even refers to Mike Huckabee as if he were the conservative darkhorse. We know that he is socially moderate on moral issues and liberal on fiscal issues. Moreover, he is a statist rather than a "self-rulist". He prefers big government solutions, even to emphasize conservative values- which is itself not conservative by some measures. And of course, he has displayed no concern on border issues at all.

So what about it? Why isn't there a strong conservative candidate? Do the insiders that control the money and media undernourish conservative politicians in the party and give them "moderates" a wild build-up?

Will conservatives be asked to vote for a pro-abortion candidate for President because "he's not Hillary"? Will they finally see they have been had, or will they have another gulp of Kool-aid? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Thumbs Up for "Deja Vu"

Wow! Once in a while Hollywood does it right. Deja Vu, starring Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton, and James Cazaviel is four star.

The cinematography is fantastic. The dialouge is fresh and the movie is full of characters that you care about. Good action without overdoing it. They build up tension instead of immediately going from one scene of violence to another. Without giving anything away, the plot is so nuanced that The Lady and I left thinking there were a couple of holes in the story, but on further reflection and research we realized that the directors knew what they were doing and the holes actually tell an extra story not explicitly revealed in the movie. Fascinating.

In addition to the pluses of the movie listed above, I thought the movie handled faith in God in a positive light without beating people over the head with it. Cazaviel makes a chilling villian in his few scenes. It is clear he does not want to be type-cast.

Bruckhiemer has done it again. If you want to see a good action-mystery-thriller with great acting and a positive tone, I'd reccommend "Deja Vu". I might even experience it again sometime.

Your Cell Phone Can Be Remote Bug, Even When "OFF"

I did not believe it until I found verification. Our government can and has used ONSTAR systems and cell phones to remotely listen in on conversations. As far as we know, they have always gotten a warrant, and the people were the kind where there was indeed probable cause. Still, it is scary to think that even if you have powered down your cell phone and closed it up, it can be remotely turned back on and listening in on you.

Combine this with word recognition software and enough processing power, and you could have something similar to the "Carnivore" program on cell phones. In Carnivore, the government routinely scanned the emails of random people for key words like "explosive".

Even if our government does not use our cells to listen in on us themselves, rumors abound that intelligence services do reciprocal spying on citizens of other countries. They then share data in order to get around democratic safeguards. I can see the say coming where such random bugging of citizens to listen for anti-government key words is technically feasible. The "Can we?" has always been a bigger limiting factor than the "Should we?". Mankind has shown himself unable to resist doing whatever he is able to do.

For details of the technology and how it has been used, click.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Contempt of Court: Widespread Outrage as Court Retakes Control Over State Education

State officials from the executive and legislative branches were barely able to conceal their rage as the State Supreme Court Voted 5-2 to take back up the Lakeview School Funding case. The court has re-appointed "special masters" for the rest of Arkansas government. Justices Hannah and Gunter dissented on the court's decision in unusually strong language.

The gauntlet has been thrown down
. Now the other two branches must either take strong action to check the courts, or be permanently under their boot heel. It is time to take this contest between branches to the ultimate authority in this state: the people. That can be done by means of a constitutional amendment. The only time the legislature can refer a constitutional amendment is during a regular session. If they don't do it now, they will have to wait two more years before they can act.

Ledge, for the good of the Republic, step up and do battle. Refer the appropriate amendments and work to get them passed. Two amendments are needed. One amendment that allows for the impeachment of state supreme court justices by the legislature for attempted usurpation of power of the other branches, and another that makes it clear that the legislature, not the courts, decide what levels of funding for education are "constitutional".

CONTINUED: To read some of the strong commentary from leaders around the state on this ruling click "FRIDAY" below and scroll down, or if sent straight here just scroll down.