Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fraudship Coalition: Liberal Clergy Pimp for Big Business

A group of powerful Arkansas businesses that appear to be among the biggest employers of illegal aliens in the state have joined with a group of liberal clergymen who misrepresent God on a number of social and economic issues to form the so-called "Arkansas Friendship Coalition".

The coalition's mission is to prevent Arkansas and other localities within the state from defending themselves against the onslaught of illegal aliens which have plagued some of our cities. Many of the members of this group represent business interests who have profited by hiring illegal aliens. They say in their mission statement "Immigration is a federal issue. State and local money should not be wasted trying to fix a problem that ultimately only the federal government can solve."

Meanwhile, across the state line in Oklahoma and elsewhere, states are already fixing it. Illegals there are fleeing the state in advance of tough new state and local laws going into effect. This undermines the coalition's position that state and local money is "wasted" in trying to deal with illegal aliens.

But the name of the group is even more fundamentally dishonest than that. It is not about "friendship". For the business side, it is about being able to access limitless supplies of illegal foreign labor in an effort to depress wages below honest free-market levels. It is about making money by cheating legal workers rather than pleasing customers. The Bible has some things to say about withholding wages from workers, but the faux-clergy in this group don't seem to know or care what the Bible says on this or any other issue. Half of them are from Christian "churches" that either approve of homosexual "marriage", or are not sure.

They are all clergy with official titles, and I am just a regular Christian who loves God. When people claim the name and moral legitimacy of God but feel no obligation to preach or obey the clear teachings of His Word, then I have no problem labeling them as frauds. False prophets. Workers of iniquity. And so they are here.

Despite their deceitful cloak of nobility, this is pure profit motive trying to buy the mantle of moral superiority for their shady business practices. For some people, anyone who makes a lot of money is automatically respectable, but for the rest of us, it matters how they got it. I have more respect for an honest ditch-digger than a corporate millionaire who cheated his way to the top. I have more respect for "trailer trash" than I do for "mansion trash", because they ought to know better. Instead, it appears some of our mansion-trash even lack the sense of shame for wrong-doing that many of their lower-economic class countrymen still retain. Indeed, here they are bold enough to portray their rapacious behavior as a virtue!

As for the liberal-rent-a-clergy, their motives are obscure, but the perversion of their doctrines are plain. Their aiding and abetting the destruction of what is left of the Founder's America is consistent with their past conduct. They seem to be in favor of corrupting and undermining everything that protects our Judeo-Christian heritage, including secure borders. They are impostors masquerading as men of God, of the sort who hate the reality of what they only pretend to be.

If anyone wants to hear what the scriptures say (and how they have been twisted) on the issue of illegal immigration, here is a nine minute audio on what the scriptures say about "public benefits and illegal aliens".

U of A Poll and Arkansas Republican Presidential Primary

The University of Arkansas conducted its annual poll on Arkansas values. I think they oversample towards the left since they say things like only "53% oppose homosexual marriage" when the actual number in the real marriage amendment election was more like 75%. They also threw in a so-called "equal rights amendment" question with no context in order to get uninformed folks to say it was a good idea. Still, these are quibbles. There was some good data in this poll.

The question I think many of us are interested in is the looming Arkansas Presidential Primary on February 5th. Not the Democratic side- Hillary! is a forgone conclusion in that one. Rather, the numbers on the Republican side are what people are interested in.

The poll basically lumped all respondents, Democrat, Republican, and Independent together. It did not directly measure strength against other Republicans. So in the poll Hillary! was listed with 35% of the vote, while the top three Republican vote getters were Guiliani and Huckabee with 8% each and Fred Thompson with 5%. That is NOT indicative of what their vote percentages will be in absolute terms, but it is relative to each other.

Here is my estimate based on their results as to how the figures translate into a GOP-Primary. I repeat, their poll did not have the data this way, I simply used their data and calculated what the totals would have been if the responses had been sorted by party....

(analysis continued on jump. hit TUESDAY below and scroll down)

Any GOP Candidate, Including Paul, Can Beat Hillary

Hillary Clinton: High Negatives

Hillary Clinton has such high negatives that any Republican Candidate has "a chance to win". This takes "but can they beat Hillary" off the table as an election issue. By these numbers the answer, no matter who the candidate is, is YES, they can beat Hillary.

Ramussen Reports has a poll out today that shows Hillary! can't break 48% of the vote, even against Ron Paul. Her numbers are consistently from 44% to 48% of the vote (50% only against Tom Tancredo), no matter which candidate she is polled against. Paul had 38% in that poll, but he got that 38% support from only 58% of the voters, since 42% said they did not know enough about Paul to form an opinion.

This supports my long held contention that "can they win the general" should not be the deciding factor for who Republicans support in the primary. Republicans could take a heap of dung from the GOP elephant, fashion it in the shape of a man, and THAT would have a decent shot at keeping Hillary! under 50%.

The only exception is, ironically, someone like Guiliani. Any GOP candidate sufficiently liberal to provoke the Christian right to support a third party candidate or sit on their hands will blow this election. In a two-way race where about everyone votes, every other Republican stands a chance.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We Are All Terrorist Suspects Now

Suspected IRA Terrorist With Many In Network

I have learned from Capitol Hill Blue that there are over 755,000 names on our government's homeland "terrorist suspect" list, and that the number is growing by over 200,000 names a year. As the article points out, the number of names on the list may soon make it useless- if the suspect list is so large then what is the point of having a list?

Just this I say- being on the list, or having some point of connection with someone on that list, gives some in the government an excuse to eliminate your Constitutional rights. That gives the government much more power over its subjects and the subjects much fewer protections from the government. And that is what those arrogant, power-mad fools in D.C. want. That's why the focus is not on securing our borders, but on monitoring us all in our own hometowns.

If the borders were secure, if they quit issuing travel visas to people from terrorist-leaning countries, then they would have much less justification for the power grab. People would not assent to being subject to government monitoring at any time. As it is, corporate-bought politicians can count on the corporate media to keep the sheeple insecure and fearful enough that they will relinquish their constitutional protection FROM their government in exchange for empty promises of protection by their government. Just look up at a traffic light the next time you are at a medium-sized or above city. The cameras are there.

But never mind those cameras. We all have six degrees of separation. If they can get up to a million or two people in the United States on that "suspected terrorist" list, then they can basically spy on any of us on the grounds that we "have a connection" to someone on their list. And another thing, are there really 755,000 legitimate "terrorist" suspects in the United States? That is absurd. It sounds to me like it does not take very much to be suspected of terrorism. The "well if you don't do anything wrong then you have no reason to worry" crowd just does not understand the realities of how relentless government is about extending its power over the lives of ordinary people, but they better learn fast.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Schalfly Et Al on Huckabee

The great Phylis Schalfly, who founded Eagle Forum and stopped the ERA in the 70s (and again this year in Arkansas) files a report on Mike Huckabee. Huckatiers are not going to like this report.

A few of the gems:

"He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles," she says. "Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee."

Paul Pressler, a former Texas judge who led the conservative Southern Baptist revolt, told me, "I know of no conservative he appointed while he headed the Arkansas Baptist Convention."

Zac Wright, a spokesman for incoming Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, was asked this year why 15 Huckabee agency heads had been retained. Most of them were "Clinton people," he replied, not "Huckabee people." Mr. Huckabee told me many of his agency heads had "apolitical" responsibilities.

"Former GOP state Rep. Randy Minton is not impressed. In 1999, he was urged by the governor to back a gas-tax increase. "I'd taken a pledge against higher taxes, but he sniffed that my constituents didn't understand what we have to do in state government to make it work," Mr. Minton says. "His support for taxes split the Republican Party, and damaged our name brand." The Club for Growth notes that only a handful of the 33 current GOP state legislators back their former governor."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mother of All Tax Hikes

Democrat Charles Rangel, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has submitted a budget that contains "The Mother of All Tax Hikes". That is a 4% tax surcharge on households that earn more than $150,000 a year (bringing their marginal tax rate to 44% of income).

Maybe you think this does not apply to you because your household makes less than $150,000 a year. Think again. The real struggle is not between classes, but between citizens and their governments. Citizens versus a government that has grown so vast, intrusive, and powerful that it has morphed from our servant and has now become our master.

Don't let them divide and conquer. A tax increase on any of us is a tax increase on all of us. For example, say I sell furniture and part of my pay is based on commissions. That tax will slam the furniture business because folks in that income range are the ones who could afford to buy it- at least they could until the money that I once had a shot to earn is given to Charles Rangel. See, I have to convince people that I have something they want so bad that they gladly give up the money. Rangle's advantage is that he uses the power of the gun to coerce people into giving up their earnings whether they want what he is selling or not. There is money in the government's hands or money in the private sector's hands. Every dollar they take from the private side is one lost to private citizens like you and me, and gained by them.

Of course, before we castigate Democrats for taxing, maybe we better think about the morality of Republicans and borrowing. From George Washington to Bush II the official national debt grew to 5.4 trillion dollars. That debt is now on track to reach about 10 trillion by the end of Bush II. Imagine, this one man's administration has managed to come close to doubling the national debt acquired in the entire history of the American Experiment.

The problem is not taxing, and its not borrowing. Its SPENDING folks. Its SPENDING folks. Its SPENDING folks. Get it?

We can not afford a welfare state at home and garrisoning the world abroad. Continuing our current course is not an option, and the dollar as a currency is quickly becoming unraveled as that becomes apparent to the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Study on Evolution of Vision Demonstrates Blindness of Evolutionary "Scientists"

...................The gene for the light-sensitive opsin exists in the hydra, and is expressed in the blue areas.
"Oakley said that anti-evolutionists often argue that mutations, which are essential for evolution, can only eliminate traits and cannot produce new features. He goes on to say, "Our paper shows that such claims are simply wrong."
- from "Dawn of Animal Vision" article at Science Daily.

Professor Oakley is bluffing if he doesn't really believe his own baloney, or blinded by his own biases if he does. What his paper really does is say that hydras have the gene for opsin, and sponges do not. The rest is pure speculation based on naturalistic assumptions, not science.

What team Oakley did is measure for the light-sensitive protein opsin in a primitive life form called the hydra. He then tested for those same proteins in sponges and found them lacking. From that, he claims that he has "shown" that the dawn of vision was sometime around 600 million years ago. How did he get that date? That is when evolutionists speculate that sponges first evolved into cndarians like the hydra. He also maps out a proposed series of genetic alterations that might have occurred to go from no opsin to opsin.

When you remove the biased assumptions, you will notice that the man hasn't "shown" anything, other than hyrdas have this type of protein and sponges don't. He has not "shown" that hydras and sponges even evolved from a common ancestor, much less demonstrated that it happened 600 million years ago. He simply assumes that they evolved from a common ancestor and again assumes that his evolutionary time line is correct. He then proposes a series of genetic steps that would be needed to go from non-opsin to opsin. Then he assumes that happened too.

The fact is, we don't even know if the opsin in hydra's helps them respond to light or not. But even if it does, we have no evidence as to whether or not it uses pathways that are a precursor to animal vision.

It used to be in science that "showing" something meant that you replicated it in the laboratory or observed it in the field. For evolution, the new standard is that if you can imagine a way to connect any two facts with an evolutionary explanation then your imagined way must be accepted as "proof" that it did happen that way and any creationists who question your speculations are "simply wrong".

Dr. Oakley is "simply wrong" about what his paper actually demonstrates
. Rather, his attitude demonstrates that a philosophy called naturalism, which makes an assumption that the universe can never be impacted by supernatural forces, that has high-jacked classical science. Classical science was willing to follow the evidence wherever it led. Naturalism posing as science rules out in advance any supernatural causes or effects. Since that is so, the most unproved natural causes are considered "proved" if the only alternative evokes a super-natural explanation. To a secular trained person, they read this and they go "of course, natural explanations only". That shows a blindness to reason.

Assumptions are not science. Science is a method of determining truth about the natural world by following an ordered series of steps called the scientific method. If Oakley has really wanted to make his point he should have observed in the field or replicated in the lab a sponge developing the opsin gene that is present in hyra. In fact, he really would need to establish by experiment or observation in the field that sponges can evolve into creatures like the hydra as well. He did none of that. He simply found that one creature has this gene and the other does not, then filled the rest in with unproved speculation. That's not science. Its faith.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Huckabee Switches Brands of "Jesus Juice" on Illegal Immigration

Which of these politicians from Hope is willing to blatantly lie to you? (Hint: Its a trick question, as this article will make clear)

Morning News reporter Doug Thompson wrote in 2006 "Gov. Mike Huckabee Thursday denounced a bill by Sen. Jim Holt that would deny state benefits to illegal immigrants as un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life." In the same article, Huckabee also said,"If they're using a fake Social Security number, they're paying Social Security taxes and will never receive any benefit. It would be closer to the truth to say they're subsidizing Joe McCutchen and Jim Holt more than the other way around." and this jewel, "Something that's not worth sharing is not worth celebrating. This is the kind of country that opens its doors. This bill expresses an un-American attitude."

Huckabee further described the bill (similar to a measure already passed in Arizona by the voters as prop 200) to deny public benefits to persons in this country illegally as "inflamatory, race-baiting and demagoguery". When told that the bill's sponsor (former Senator Jim Holt) was also a Christian, Huckabee famously and irreverently replied "I drink a different kind of Jesus juice".

As almost his last act in the Governor's mansion, Huckabee took $10,000 of the taxpayer's money from the Governor's Emergency Fund and gave it to the government of Mexico in order to facilitate the construction of their consulate in Little Rock.

Fast forward to October 2007. Mike Huckabee is close to breaking into the first tier of Republican Presidential Contenders. He is close to persuading the bulk of Christian Conservative leaders in the South to get behind him. There is one problem. Those people and their constituents see the illegal immigration issue the way Holt did, and would rule out Huckabee as a candidate if they knew his actual position on the issue. So he does a 180. He tells them the exact opposite of what he has been telling people when he was the Governor of Arkansas. Here is what he said at the Value Voters conference (in which he came a close 2nd to Romney)....

"We need to make it clear that we will say no to amnesty, and no to sanctuary cities, and no to the idea that there can be some complete ignoring of the fact that our laws have been broken," he said. "I do not blame those who want to come here. I blame our government for sitting on its hands for over twenty years and letting this problem get completely out of hand. Build a border fence, secure the border, and do it now," Huckabee implored.

He got a standing ovation from the crowd when he accused the government of making it more difficult for the average American to get on an airplane in their own home town than it is for an illegal alien to get across an international border.

And on Huckabee's website the "kind of country that opens its doors" talk is absent. His new message is....

* My number one priority is to secure America’s border.
* We have to know who is coming into our country, where they are going, and why they are here. We need a fence along our border with Mexico, electronic in some places, and more highly-trained border agents.
* Those who are caught trying to enter illegally must be detained, processed, and deported.
* Illegal immigrants already living among us who commit crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and incarcerated or deported.

In a move that is Clintonesque in its brazeness and shamelessness, at the same conference Huckabee took a swipe at Romney for flip-flopping!: "It's important that a person doesn't have more positions on issues than Elvis had waist sizes."

When questioned by OneNewsNow reporter Jim Brown if the remark was aimed at Romney, Huckabee responded by saying he "was simply mentioning that one of the things we look for is consistency, and consistency is a good indication of authenticity. I do believe those are qualities that people want in a leader."

It seems that Mike Huckabee has switched to Holt's brand of "Jesus Juice", at least until after the election.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Clinton's Illegal Chinese Money Keeps Flowing

I am astounded by the brazenness with which Hillary Clinton accepts foreign money, and the scale of the operation by which it is funneled through a network of Chinese-Americans who are clearly not using their own money.....

from the article...

some of the poorest Chinese neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been swept by an extraordinary impulse to shower money on one particular presidential candidate -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury

Get the rest of the L.A. Times article here.

Government Permission To Hold Church in Rogers

The City of Rogers has asked a religious group to obtain the "proper permits" before holding church services in their home. The story is here. This group is apparently some sort of non-Christian Jewish offshoot (as opposed to fulfilled Judism called Christianity). The nature of the sect is not the point. The point is that the only government permit these people should need to assemble and exercise their religion is the Constitution of the United States. The city of Rogers should back off.

Now I understand that there is a problem with parking, but that is a separate issue. If someone who attends that service is parked too far in the street or something, then ticket that car for that. The idea that we need approval from multiple layers of government to do things that the highest law in the land clearly authorizes us to do is rubbish.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ron Paul Video Gets 360,000 Looks

There are thousands of Ron Paul videos on the net. This one alone has gotten a huge number of looks. Is Ron Paul smooth? No. Does he project "good 'ole boy"? No. Is he someone that people who can only think in partisan sound bites are comfortable with? No.

But in his own academic with geekish undertones way, Ron Paul is a great communicator. It helps that the ideas he is communicating rise above the limitations of the package they are wrapped in to inspire people. Some people want a good package first, and worry about what is inside the package second, but Ron Paul is so uncool that he is cool. Hip young people that took no interest in politics before he came along are willing to do crazy things to promote this guy. People are tired of slick, tired of good 'loe boy, and tired of plastic candidates. They want real. Ron Paul is real. Click pic to play this widely watched video.

Lottery: Brummett Says 42 States Can't Be Wrong

Brummett, in a round-about way, admits in his column today that Ronald Reagan was the right choice for America, since he says "42 states can't be wrong". Above is an electoral map from 1980 showing that more than 42 states supported Reagan. Of course, he was not really talking about Reagan. He was attempting a psychological ploy called the "bandwagon effect". This technique pressures people to do something, not on the basis of whether or not the people think it is a good (in any sense of the word) idea or not, but rather "because everyone else is doing it". You may recognize this ploy from when your 14-year old is trying to convince you to let them do something stupid. Still, the technique often works in Arkansas because much of the state suffers from an inferiority complex that the state print media carefully nourishes. That way, they can intimidate and browbeat the public into giving up what the public wants just because the elites tell them it is "backward".

I am going to need a little space to dissect this column, so you can catch the rest on the jump by clicking "Thursday" below and scrolling down.......

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Huckabee Shows Thin Skin to Christian Right

The American Family Association Radio show recently had a long section about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee recently complained that leaders of the Christian Right were not rallying to his campaign simply because they doubted his ability to win, even though he was the one who reflected their values. Some have rallied to him though, as this fawning article from Janet Folger "It's Huckabee or Hillary") shows.

The audio has plenty of quotes from Huckabee: his paper-thin skin; "it's all about me" attitude; and sense of entitlement are on full display. Mike Huckabee presumes he is the only candidate in the race who reflects the views of the average conservative Christian, and that the only conceivable reason many Christian Right leaders do not back him is that they are more devoted to being close to power than their proclaimed ideals. Typical Huckabee hubris. I wonder why Huckabee thinks he is entitled to the Christian Right vote more than other struggling conservative candidates such Congressman Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, or to some extent Senator Sam Brownback?

Huckabee seems to take the position that since he is the candidate who reflects their values then they should endorse him early regardless of the odds. I find at least two problems with this. The main one is that Mike Huckabee does not exhibit any understanding whatsoever of the biblical position on the purpose and limits of human government. He presumes to be the darling of the Bible Believers while advocating policies that are opposed to what the Bible itself teaches. He is a big-spending nanny-stater open borders globalist. No one who really understands what the Bible teaches about the purpose and limits of civil government could ever hold such views.

So even though Mike Huckabee seems to think that the problem is that leaders of the Christian right are hypocrites for not backing him, the real problem may be that Huckabee is simply wrong on the issues for these people. Despite his ego-centric views to the contrary on the matter, his positions don't define what it is to be "Christian Right". In fact there are a number of other struggling candidates whose philosophy of government is more in tune with theirs than is that of Huckabee. If the leaders of the Christian Right wanted to early-endorse a long-shot in tune with their views regardless of their chance to win, there are better choices than Mike Huckabee.

Maybe the leaders of the religious right are being careful after they lost a boatload of credibility by helping foist George W. Bush on us. If they push Huckabee the same way and he wins, I predict they will lose whatever street cred they have left. Speaking of Bush, they also discuss in the audio link (briefly) Bush's comments that people of all faiths "all pray to the same god". They rather lamely say, "well, he's not a theologian." Bzzzt. Wrong answer guys. The problem isn't that Bush is not a theologian, the problem is that Bush is a heretic.

I could go to the Adult Sunday School class at the First Baptist Church in Pea Ridge and they will know what the Bible says about the subject. They aren't theologians either, and you don't have to be to know these things. You just have to be an orthodox Christian. I am beginning to wonder, because of his own confession, if Bush really understands what it means to be an orthodox Christian, and I am certain that he does not govern biblically. Thus it disgraces the faith when the average person thinks that Bush policies are "the way a Christian governs".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fox Admits North American Union is the Goal

President Bush and others dismiss allegations that they are trying to set up a European Union style "North American Union" with the dollar replaced by a single multinational currency like the Euro. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is out pushing his book so hard that he forgot to stick to the script. He cavalierly admits the "long long" range goal of what they are doing is just what has been done with the European Union and the Euro. Here it is.... http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/october2007/091007_fox_admits.htm
Its no conspiracy theory, its fact. See the interview on Larry King and decide for yourself who you are going to believe- Bush's non-denial denials or your lying eyes and ears.

Clinton Crime Wave on Video

Folks, I know that the Bush-Clinton administration covers for their Republican and Democrat halves, but it still amazes me how brazen they are about it. Apparently it is a violation of Federal Election Law for a candidate to spend over $25K in a fund raising event, but others can do it on their behalf if the candidate is not coordinating with the event organizers. David Rosen, Hillary's finance guy, just dodged a bullet in court over the Peter Paul fund raising efforts. They did not report the millions raised by Peter Paul and company. The Clinton appointed judge went over the top in his efforts to separate Hillary from Paul, and get Rosen off by denigrating Paul. Still, Peter Paul has it on tape that Hillary herself (not just Rosen) was in the loop for planning this event. He plays the tape at the end of this 13 minute video.

From Sandy Berger, who stuffed top-secret documents in his socks and then destroyed them, to Chinese money making its way into Clinton coffers, to Hillary herself. Bush is currently attempting to pressure Texas into releasing an illegal alien who murdered two little girls because international "courts" say he should. Why is he so disinterested in protecting us from what the puppet-masters want us to believe are his political "opponents"?

Coulter Pounds Huckabee on Illegals

This Ann Coulter column started off like a journey down memory lane for me because I recognized the quotes she used from past Arkansas news stories. It was like a brief of Huckabee's effort to demonize people upset about illegal aliens, as well as former Senator Jim Holt or any other legislator who attempted to address the legitimate concerns of their constituents. It makes a good read (warning: she does not think much of Fred Thompson either)

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Journalist Willing to Publish Truth on Test Scores

The article "Mind-boggling - ADE Celebrates Bottom Quartile Test Scores As low as the 18% percentile" (posted on this blog Oct 4) laments the fact that the media won't give an accurate picture of the test and performance measures of the Arkansas educational reforms. 1

However, one person in media has been willing to publish the truth and paint the correct picture on test scores. Here are excerpts from that article entitled "Big Money For Small Results." at this link http://www.wpaag.org/Ed%20-%20Arkansas%20Steadily%20Falling%20Behind%20on%20NAEP.htm

"According to Pelley, state financial records show that in 1983-84, public schools received about $ 560 million in state funds and about $ 106 million in federal contributions. Just two decades later, in 2005-06, those numbers had quadrupled to $ 2. 3 billion and $ 574 million respectively. Meanwhile, student performance measurably declined and the plan to hold teachers accountable for classroom performance became a convenient excuse to siphon billions more from the public’s wallet.

"Pelley said this didn’t occur by accident.

“Some years ago, an Arkansas Department of Education executive, Gayle Teale Potter, told me a Gallup Poll indicated [that ] the Arkansas public would be more willing to pay more taxes for education if the standards were raised and an effective accountability system was in place,” Pelley wrote in a wide-ranging e-mail and in response to questions about her latest research.

“It is obvious that accountability is not working when the newspapers across the state report that the Arkansas Department of Education director is jubilant over nationally normed scores that are 7 percentile points lower than they were 20 years and billions of dollars ago when accountability standards were something new. This proves my theory that when educators are accountable to the government rather than the people, there is no authentic accountability.

“ The composite score for seventhgraders on the nationally normed test just released for this year is 50 percent, or 11 percent lower than the score in 1990 (a 22 percent scoring decrease ) and 7 percent below 1984 ’s score (a 14 percent decrease ) when the accountability system was initiated in Arkansas billions of dollars ago,” Pelley said. “And the paper reports that ADE director Ken James is jubilant and calls the latest news fantastic.”

For rest of story click go to the link above, click Monday below; or if sent here by link, just scroll down.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

McDaniel Embarrasses Halter

Secretary of State Dustin McDaniel announced that he was rejecting Lt. Governor Bill Halter's ballot measure to bring a lottery to Arkansas. McDaniel said the proposal did not adequately define what a lottery was. Ouch.

McDaniel did not have to do that. He could have called Halter on the phone and privately asked Halter to touch up the proposal. Or, and maybe this was what the problem was, Halter should have run it by McDaniel in advance to OK the language before he officially submitted it. Neither happened.

It seems there is significant tension between the rest of the Democrats in state government and Bill Halter. Is it resentment at the way he swooped in-state and bought the office? Is it allies of Pryor seeking to marginalize a man (Halter) that some have suggested could mount a primary challenge from the left to Pryor for his U.S. Senate seat? Stay tuned.

Selected Sun Tzu

The master general who wrote "The Art of War" has been read for centuries. We would be better off if his advice were heeded even today....

He who wishes to fight must first count the cost. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue... In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
- Sun Tzu

n the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it.
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War

The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
- Sun Tzu

The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
- Sun Tzu

Huckabee Shows Strength In Iowa Poll

The Des Moines Register has a new poll out for likely Iowa Caucus goers. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has made strong gains to third place with 12% of the vote. Mitt Romney leads with 29% and newcomer to the race Fred Thompson has 18%. Huckabee leads both Rudy Guiliani (11%) and John McCain (7%). Once again, a number of establishment-media designated "second tier" candidates are close to or even pass one or two of the establishment-media designated "first tier" candidates. Despite the fact that the media has devoted outrageous amounts of coverage to pumping up their own top four, and despite the disproportionate resources of the candidates favored by big corporate money, when it comes to actual strength on the ground in middle-America the "top tier" is little distinguished from the rest.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Does Bush Want Hillary Clinton to Win?

To many partisan U.S. Citizens who follow politics, there is strong antipathy towards the other side. It always surprises such people when they see unmistakable evidence that though the members of each team may dislike the other, the guys at the top get along great and see themselves as an elite class who have more in common with each other than they do their "supporters" on either side. The ignore or conduct half-hearted investigations of one another's alleged misconduct. Despite election-year prattle, they by and large govern with the same policies, even when the clear majority of the population opposes them both (see illegal immigration).

In all of that context it is believable that President Bush wants Hillary to succeed him, not whoever the Republican candidate is. You will recall that the Clinton's and the Gore's had friction at the end, and the former more often stole the spotlight from the latter than they helped him. They would not even deliver Arkansas for Gore. Then Bush Sr. proclaimed Clinton to be like another son to him. W. Bush picked a V.P. who is not available to succeed him and in fact made no move at all to groom a successor, despite an unprecedented willingness to jump into GOP primaries all over the country. He is pushing through as many neocon and globalist policies as possible, even ones that are extremely unpopular and over the objections of members of his own party who worry that his actions are ruining their chances for 08. The Bush family controls much of the money spigots in GOP circles, and it seems that they have dried up.

This week, he vetoed a bill that would greatly expand socialized medicine for children, claiming the bill was "too expensive". This from the man who gave us the prescription drug plan. He rarely balked at big spending before. Don't get me wrong, I am glad on a policy level that he did it, but he almost never did anything I agreed with before, why would he now? One possible answer: to keep health care alive as an issue for Hillary. If most of the country already has socialized medicine she could hardly win votes promising it to people- especially once they get a good taste of it.

I have taken to calling the last 20 years of our Republic the "Bush-Clinton Administration" because regardless of their rhetoric, the broad thrust of their polices has been identical. I now think that it is a distinct possibility that George W. Bush wants Hillary Clinton to win the next election. Even if he does not, his actions are those of a man who does.

Maybe Not Tough Enough to Stand Up to Terrorists

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani interrupted his speech to the NRA to take a cell phone call from his current wife, Judith. He left his audience sitting there listening to him take the call. Some suggested it was a bizarre stunt of some kind. Then other reports of the same type of behavior surfaced. People would pay $1,000 a head to be with Guiliani at an event. Then his wife would call on the cell ten minutes after he got there, and he would disappear for the duration of the event taking the call. The evidence suggests that when Rudy's wife calls he will stiff everyone else and take the call. And Guiliani, if you believe his spin-meisters, is supposed to be a "tough guy".

Fred Thompson is another one who is supposed to be the Alpha-male type. And yet, he has already gone through three campaign managers. At least one of them came outright and said that the reason he left is that the candidate's wife was calling the shots. That would be Jerri Thompson, a person of little prior experience or accomplishment in managing political campaigns.

On the other hand, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is NOT supposed to be a tough guy. Some of the more virulent critics even revile him off as a weak man, a craven appeaser. And yet, Ron Paul does not let his wife of 50 years run his campaign. He does not jump every time she calls on the cell phone. In fact, the day of the Iowa Straw Poll his wife collapsed and was sent to the hospital where she was given a pacemaker. Dr. Paul did not skip the event to be at her bedside-he was at the Straw Poll.

I imagine I will take some heat for being blunt enough to say what most men (and many traditional women) would only think about these incidents, but Guiliani and Thompson seem to be inordinately controlled by their wives. I think this is because both men led lives that were personally immoral in their conduct with the opposite sex prior to their current marriages. Because of that, it would be understandable if their current wives were somewhat less trusting of their spouses than is Mrs. Paul of hers. Judith Guiliani may well throw a fit if Rudy Guiliani fails to answer her calls because in the back of her mind she has doubts about what he might be up to. Mrs. Paul is secure in her position and in her husband's devotion. This frees him to do his duty to the campaign (and perhaps later the country) even if she is in the hospital. She understands and supports her husband.

I believe that Americans must let go of their superficial ideas about what a strong man is. Staying faithful to, and keeping happy, the same woman for 50 years is a sign of strength. Spending decades of one's life chasing loose women around or developing a pattern of betraying one's spouse is a sign of weakness. Those men are not even dealing with their own wives from a position of strength and moral authority. For the many threats facing America today, we need a strong man, not strutting, tough-talking Hollywood strong man, but a real strongman. That starts with one who has ruled himself well. We have some wanna-be tough guys braying about how they will stand up to "the terrorists", maybe I would be more convinced if they were not intimidated by their wives.

Time To Heed Bennett's Advice - Get Gov't Out of Education

Time to Heed Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett's Advice - Get Government Out of Education

The article recently posted on this blog Thursday, October 4 , "Mind-boggling/ADE Celebrates Low Test Scores (Even at the 18% percentile)" reminds me of the quote by former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett's statement in 1989, "I'd give the education reform movement another five years. If we're not able to get our schools back to where they were in 1967, after spending 40 percent more, then maybe we should just declare bankruptcy, give the people back their money, and let them start their own schools."

It is time to heed that advice and give the communities back their schools and local control. I heard even Republicans say in 2003 that local control hadn't worked so we needed to try government control. How long now will we give government control free reign? We keep hearing people demand that we pull our troops out of Iraq because they say we can't win, it isn't working, and it is costing too much money. When are we going to start demanding that the government get out of education and quit spending our tax money for reforms that are not working? Bennett was talking about 40% more; in Arkansas we are now talking about 300% to 400% more being spent on education with no real positive results.

Educational spending from 1996 to 2001 doubled, going from $ 1. 4 billion to $ 2. 8 billion. It gets worse. Adequacy education consultants for Arkansas reported that total education revenue from federal, state and local sources soared to an astounding $ 4 billion in 2004-05. Four billion dollars to achieve what ?

Link to the article above entitled "Mind-boggling/ADE celebrates low test socres (even at the 18% percentile)": http://arkansaswatch.blogspot.com/2007/10/mind-bogglingade-celebrates-low-test.html

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mind-boggling/ADE Celebrates Low Test Scores (Even at the 18% percentile)

No Mention Made of the Graduation Rate Slipping 10% this last year in Arkansas
Graduation Rate in 1992 was 88% and in 2006 it was 71% (17% lower)

Once more the Arkansas Department of Education and the editorialists at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette are determined to make the public believe that government control and more money improves education. They are actually once again celebrating Arkansas test scores that at best have to be described with the oxymoron, "STEADY, BUT FALLING BEHIND." 1

In relation to the recent NAEP scores, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) press release actually included this mind- boggling statement, "Recent educational reforms have produced higher test scores across the board for Arkansas students in recent years, and Arkansas performance standards have been judged by national organizations to be some of the most rigorous and closely aligned with NAEP of any state in the nation. 2

(Has anyone seen an ADE Press Release on the graduation rate falling 10% this last year (from 2006 to 2007?] Wonder how they would spin that? 3 Watch for some finagling of these numbers by 2007. How can any education program be improving when you are failing to educate 29% of the children in Arkansas - 71 % was the graduation rate in 2006, the last reported rate. )

Ken James is also quoted in a recent newspaper story about the most recent NAEP scores: "In 2005, our scores fell at or very near the national average, but because the rest of the nation showed improved performance, we have slipped a bit in terms of state rankings in all areas, save mathematics at the fourth grade." Even before this slip in state rankings, in 2005

Only nine states scored lower than Arkansas on the 8th Grade Math NAEP Test in 2005 [That would be in the bottom quartile] or at the 18th percentile.
Only twelve states scored lower than Arkansas on the 8th Grade Reading NAEP Test in 2005 [This would be in the bottom quartile] or at 24th percentile
Only sixteen states scored lower than Arkansas on the 4th Grade Reading NAEP Test in 2005. [That would be at the 32 percentile]
Only 18 states scored lower than Arkansas on the 4th Grade NAEP Math Test in 2005. [That would be at the 36 percentile] See other negative national measures on Arkansas bulleted below. NAEP Test Scores. See this article and link for more on these NAEP Test Scores: "Did we win the Olympic Gold Medal on the Arkansas NAEP, or did we Bomb It? You Decide!" http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20scores%20-%20NAEP%20Olympic%20Win%20or%20Bombed.htm

How can our test scores be the most rigorous and closely aligned with NAEP of any state in the nation as ADE contends and have scores even lower than those reported above on the NAEP this year? And why in 2005 did 50% of Arkansas students score Proficient or above on our state benchmark scores and only 34% scored Proficient on the national NAEP if the tests are aligned so well?

For a starter, keep in mind that on these rigorous Arkansas benchmark tests a student on the Arkansas 8th grade math who scores only 39 points out of 80 points (less than 50%) is considered Proficient (Equivalent to a B or B+. ) ADE requires that teachers give students with anything less than a 60% an F, not a B. In other words, as I wrote in an article before, the testing system has been corrupted.

The bottom line is that scores have no real meaning now thanks to the government control philosophy. Education has become totally politicized so the scores are totally corrupted – the powers that be interpret them anyway they want and can change the cut off scores or difficulty of the tests anyway that is necessary to prove their programs are working. And even though the reforms are heralded over and over as transparent, 99% of the people can't prove them wrong. The teachers and many citizens know it in their heart but can't get it out to the public because the media is on the side of government control. See this link for a long article entitled "Testing System corrupted, No Correlation Among NAEP, IBS, and Benchmark Tests." http://www.wpaag.org/Testing%20-%20Debacle-No%20Correlation%20NAEEP-ITBS-Benchmark.htm

Other national negative measurements of Arkansas Educational System. It is obvious that Arkansas has not received any benefit from the billions added for education in recent years: (taken from email earlier in 2007)
· Test Scores on nationally normed tests are 11 Percentile Points lower in 2006 than in 1990 (a 22% decrease)
· College Remediation Rate is 51.6% (46.6% in 1995); National Average is 33%
· Only Nine States Scored Lower Than Arkansas in 8th Grade Math on NAEP Test
· Only 28% of AR students pass test on AP courses, while 59.4% pass nationwide
· Fordham Foundation Gives Arkansas an F on Standards
· The National Report Card on Higher Ed. Gave Arkansas a D+ In High School Preparation for College. They graded states in six areas. Arkansas received a D+, a F, three C's and one incomplete. (That averages out a D)

· Educational Reforms Have Cost $1.4 BILLION which equals a 3% sales tax in Arkansas.

For rest of this article see this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Ed%20-%20Arkansas%20Steadily%20Falling%20Behind%20on%20NAEP.htm or click Thursday below; or if sent here by a link, just scroll down.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

3rd Quarter Republican Presidential Fundraising

Not all numbers are in yet, specifically the critical "cash on hand", but the amounts raised are in. Numbers are in millions of dollars...

Mitt Romney (10):
********** (plus he loaned himself at least five million more)
Rudy Guiliani(10):
********** (down 40%, dismissed his fund raiser)
Fred Thompson (8):
Ron Paul (5):
***** (up 114% from last quarter)
John McCain (5):
Mike Huckabee (1)
Others- inconsequential or not reported

For commentary, click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down, or if sent straight here, just scroll down.