Friday, August 29, 2008

Unfortunately, McCain Picks a Good One

John McCain may have just won the Presidency with his pick of reformist Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President. Palin is the one choice he could have made that reaches out to three key pools of potential swing voters:

1) People who go by "feeling tone" rather than issues- "feelers" rather than "thinkers". This is a significant slice, if not the majority, of swing voters. Palin is likeable. Understand that I am not putting such people down. Most of them can make the correct decision about a person that they spend lots of time interacting with. In other words, in real life "feeling" usually works for them. In politics, especially when they get only carefully controlled views of the candidates, it often doesn't. Many politicians fit the description one Democratic Senator used for Bill Clinton: "An unusually good liar".

2) Conservative Christians who tended Huckabee. Palin is one of them. She is a corruption-fighting pro-life NRA member who defends traditional marriage (with some caveats). The areas where she does not line up with God's standards for civil government are unknowns to most conservative Christians. These folks, including presumably the Governor herself, have been mis-led into thinking that applying the Christian walk to public policy is just a matter of two or three hot-button issues rather than an interconnected world-view.

3) Democratic-voting women who are angered by Hillary Clinton's loss to Obama. This will be the smallest of the three swing groups, because most of these folks will vote Democrat no matter how angry and bitter they are at Obama. This is especially true of the so-called "feminists" in groups like NARAL and Emily's List. The real hard-core liberal women won't vote for McCain-Palin no matter how enraged they are over Obama vs. Clinton. Many of them spend their lives angry and bitter anyway, so voting that way won't be much of a change for them. But some will come over. Each vote McCain-Palin gets from these gals is like two votes- one lost for Obama-Biden and one gained for them. In an election where the country is evenly divided, even a group that is one half of one percent is meaningful.

The GOP establishment is not too crazy about Palin, and that is a good thing. Expect the corporate media to savage her. These folks want to keep the taxpayer money skids greased, and Palin has a well-earned reputation of opposing corruption. Still, if she can survive that, I expect McCain has just won the election with his pick. That is a bad thing for two reasons:

1) The economy, due to titanic bi-partisan thievery and mis-rule, is going to come crashing down in the next four years no matter which side gets in. It is going to be like getting elected Captain of the Titanic seconds before it hits the iceberg. People will still blame the folks "in charge" at the time a disaster that in reality was decades in the making becomes manifest.

2) Palin is a friendly, sincere, three-button conservative Christian. The conservative Christians will use her selection to tell themselves that "everything is OK" with their continued efforts to "take back" the Republican party. But everything is NOT OK. They never had the party, we were always used, and they never will. She will be the enabler that Lucy uses to get Charlie Brown to put all his heart and effort into trying to kick that football for one more election cycle.

Much of the rest of the country is already justifiably outraged at the Christian Right for their part in foisting the disaster that is the Bush administration on America. If they have a lead role in imposing the personally immoral and politically fascist McCain on the country, what little credibility they have left will be gone. At some point, it will become clear to even the most die-hard Christian Conservative that they need to search for political options beyond the GOP. Sarah Palin puts off that day of reckoning one more election cycle at a time when our country is in crisis. By the time reality hits, it could be too late.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dem-Gaz /Are Lou Dobbs and 56,000 Arkansans Bizarre Too?

The Arkansas Democrat editorialists are back with their scare tactics – tactics to humiliate anyone who takes the lead on conservative issues in order to frighten anyone else from stepping forward. (See this link from this blog explaining the tactics these editorialists use:

This time George Arnold signed his name to the hatchet piece on the leader of Secure Arkansas, Jeannie Burlsworth. It is ironic that his article, which is designed to put the fear into conservatives, accuses Burlsworth of scare tactics. Not only is it ironic, but it is a great example of psychological projection (a defense mechanism in which one attributes – projects- to others one's own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions.) See this link for Arnold's entire article:

And all these articles are basically the same. They have the template all written, just substitute the name of the conservative that dares to be bold, add a few details, and Voila', another hatchet piece.

Arnold admits that these anti illegal immigrants "are everywhere." But in his closing paragraph he says, "I still hold out hope that there’s room for a serious, fact-based discussion of immigration to this country. Unfortunately, those who think like Jeannie Burlsworth will have nothing to add to such a conversation."

Arnold is basically saying that certain people like Jeannie (and the rest of us) should not have a voice in the discussion, even though 90% of the people agree with us, as we demonstrated when we obtained 56 thousand signatures in 39 working days.

Arnold closes his article with these words, "We’ve got to rise above the irrational kind of fear she’s peddling." And what do these editorialists peddle? Misinformation, fear, and propaganda.

Arnold calls Burlsworth bizarre and pretends she is a "black helicopter" conspiracist because she has concerns about the North American Union (the merger of Mexico, Canada, and the United States.) and the NAFTA Superhighway. I guess Lou Dobbs of CNN is also bizarre because he and his investigators expressed outrage over these issues in special TV programs and were concerned about our sovereignty. See these links for these videos.;

It is hard to know if these editorialists are so blind that they can't see the reality of these things they call conspiracies; or if they know the truth and are just trying to fool the people. On some issues we know the answer; they do know the truth and are trying to fool the people. On this North America Union and NAFTA Super Highway, we wonder.

And when are these editorialists going to learn they are the ones out of touch with the people and reality? They need to get out of their little media world and listen to the common folks, most of whom they seem to despise.

Past the Glitz, Conventions and the Root of the Problem

Enjoy the shows, your children will be asked to help pay for them.

Luke 16:15 - And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

The conventions of both dominant political parties are taxpayer-funded staged infomercials that are obstacles to progress towards government integrity. Most of the money for these shows that is not from the earnings of taxpayers comes from contributions from giant global corporations whose primary loyalty is not even to the United States. How can good political fruit be borne from such corrupted trees?

The original purpose of the conventions has been eliminated. The nominees are no longer picked at these conventions, the process is managed by insiders now so that it is all decided by the time the show of "counting votes" is done. Instead, their purpose is all about the corporate media having an excuse to give hundreds of millions of dollars worth of coverage to the two political organizations preferred by the global corporations which own that media, to the exclusion of all other political organizations.

The global interests are simply using their resources to condition the American Sheeple as to which candidates for office are "acceptable". Acceptable to them and their interests that is, not ours. For example, they want to continue the multi-billion dollar Fed bailouts, to be paid for by the future earnings of our children of course.

To the average viewer who is awed by the color glamor and noise and motion and sound of the political spectacles that are the Republicrat conventions, their high-dollar production values are cause to give those two parties respect and credibility. But that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. From a God's eye view, using taypayer money borrowed from the yet-unborn, and money from global interests given for selfish motives, in order to put on a spectacle which bedazzles the less discerning members of the population is not a badge of honor, but a mark of shame.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Joys of NAFTA Hit Local Industry

Did anyone catch the article at NWA News that was mis-titled "Shaky economy hits Superior plant in form of upcoming layoffs"? Superior Wheel is a large manufacturer of wheel rims and other automobile parts.

Reporter Brett Bennett (who as far as I know was not the one who made up the title) tells us they will shut down the "facility in Pittsburg, Kan. Once the Pittsburg plant is closed, the company will be left with three remaining U. S. plants in Fayetteville, Rogers and Van Nuys, Calif.

In addition to the plant closing, the company said in a press release that it would lay off 65 employees at other plants and not fill 90 open positions. "

OK, so far it sounds like maybe the terrible economy is to blame. But wait! Bennett also reveals this key fact:"Besides the four current U. S. plants, the company has three plants in Mexico that will not be affected by the layoffs".

Ahh. So no we see that the hard times, closings, and layoffs are not spread across the board, but they are only cutting back at US plants. A quick fact check will tell you that their Mexican plants did not even exist pre-NAFTA. In fact, they did not even announce plans to build their second gigantic Mexican plant until 2000! In a more quiet way, they built a third plant in Mexico in 2006 while closing another U.S. facility in Tennessee not mentioned in this article. So two years after they complete their latest Mexican plant we get the story that "hard times" are causing them to shut down and scale back at their U.S. plants.

The obvious truth is that it is NOT the hard times that is forcing them to close those plants down, its NAFTA. While they were and are shutting down U.S. plants they were building them in Mexico. And every expense involved with shutting down their plant and shipping the equipment to Mexico will be a tax write-off for the company. Then they get duty-free access to our markets, on trucks that are no longer U.S. licensed.

Our bought-and-paid-for politicians have sold us out to the globalists. That is the real story here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Higher Ed Task Force Final Report Fatally Flawed

The Task Force on Higher Education has released its final report. They assumed incorrect premises, asked the wrong questions, and therefore made the wrong recommendations. As usual, the recommendations were not just wrong, but expensive as well. It is a 59 page report, and I simply don't have time to type out my contrarian take on it. Instead of typing out this response, I have done an audio file which is about 45 minutes long, but this is important.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What They Got for Their Contributions

Columnist David Sanders has his ear pretty close to the GOP ground in this state. That is why his recent column on Mike Huckabee has such a high impact. In unusually blunt language, Sanders communicates that the loyal Republican contributors in this state are tiring of Huckabee. As one contributor told Sanders concerning the former Governor, "You really have to ask yourself what we got out of the deal."

The answer is less than nothing on most issues.

When I say less than nothing, I mean that by splitting Republicans in the legislature he actually advanced liberal causes faster than a Democratic Governor could have done in the same circumstances. Government grew faster, education was centralized faster, and taxpayer debt increased faster, than it could have under the Democrats he was running against. More than one former Republican legislator said that when Huckabee proposed a big-government idea all of the liberal Democrats would be for it. Half of the Republicans would go along with it just because it was a Republican's idea. The principled conservative Republicans would oppose it, but they then found themselves isolated from their own party and Governor.

Only a united front could have prevailed against the state's abhorrent print media, but Huckabee curried their favor, and got it as long as he betrayed conservatives.

Former legislators like Randy Minton, Peggy Jeffries, and others found out what it was like to try and be the conservative you campaigned as when Huckabee ran the party and the Executive branch. It was to be marginalized by people whose ideas were not as good as yours. Huckabee, as a phony conservative on most issues, did not like real conservatives around to show up his counterfeit.

What the GOP loyalists got for their contributions to Mike Huckabee was a knife in the back. Not only did he make no effort to build a GOP bench in the state, he (like Clinton) actively discouraged any other stars to rise up lest they become rivals. They acted alike in that it was all about them. When each left, their party on the state level took a dive because of the vacuum. The Democrats were entrenched enough to bounce back from that, but the GOP was not.

The state Republican party under Mike Huckabee found itself with the biggest FEC fine of any party in our nation's history. That is what GOP loyalists got for their contributions to Mike Huckabee.

What GOP loyalists got was a man so determined to represent the interests of illegal aliens over the legal citizens that worked hard to elect him that ICE felt he was a security risk who could not be advised of upcoming actions. A man who illegally used Arkansas taxpayer monies and facilities to bring a Mexican consulate to Little Rock and who hurled multiple insults at people who wanted the rule of law to prevail over corporate and foreign interests. That is what they got for their contributions.

What they got, because he actively encouraged it, was a cult of personality built on a man, not good governance based on intellectually sound policy.

Readers who have followed these pages know that I have long testified to what Sanders has now confirmed- Mike Huckabee may have done well for himself here, but he was bad for conservatism and bad for his state party.

Guiliani To Give Keynote Address at Republican Convention

Pro-abortion, Pro-gun control, Pro-globalist, Pro-adultery, Pro-cross dressing former NY Mayor Rudolf Giuliani has been chosen by the GOP establishment to give the keynote address at the Republican convention. It is unknown at this time whether he will choose to wear a suite, a dress, or nothing at all for his address to the assembled delegates.

According to MSNBC Rudy Giuliani will give the keynote address at the GOP convention. They report that joining him will be pro-abortion California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently refused to act to stop the state judiciary from imposing homosexual "marriage" in his state, was also given top billing, along with pro-abortion first lady Laura Bush.

While the report said that McCain's former GOP rivals for the nomination will also get a chance to speak, none were mentioned by name and it is unknown whether Congressman Ron Paul will be permitted a chance to talk the convention out of the mass political suicide that would entail from sticking to the GOP's current corpro-fascist course of unsustainable government growth and belligerent interventionism around the globe.

Wildly unpopular President George Bush and Vice President Cheney were also mentioned by name as having a speaking roll at the convention.

On hearing of the liberal line-up, one activist responded, "Conservatives don't appear to be welcome at this year's GOP festivities."

"That is why many of us have left the party" his fellow replied.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Brummett Decries Harsh Words From Bloggers

"With great power comes great responsibility"

"Not all anonymous posters on blogs are creepy, cowardly, bitter, mean, vile, crude and consumed by ignorance, intolerance and hate. It's just that the very nature of this free-speech forum seems to lend itself to persons tending toward some or all of that." writes Brummett in his latest.

I tell you I want to write about other things, such as the recent spate of school-takeovers and near-take-overs by the State Board of Education. The Decatur case is one. The educrats have gotten laws passed where every newly elected school board member is required to attend their "training" before they can assume office. My reports are that the "training" largely consists of telling them to shut up and let the superintendents run the schools in a PC manner, and pounding in their head what terrible consequences can flow from giving their administration professionals a hard time. Then, when administrators blow it and loose control of the finances, who does the state hold accountable but the very same local school board they bludgeoned into kow-towing to their administrators!

That is the kind of stuff I want to write about, but Brummett keeps pulling me back like some anti-logic magnet of darkness. I'd like to talk about how we can get the trains to run on time, but the spectacle of the train wreck that is Brummett's writing draws my gaze instead.

I stare open mouthed at reading him complain of the "creepy, cowardly, bitter, mean, vile, crude and consumed by ignorance, intolerance and hate" of other's writing. It's like the pot calling the snow-bank black! Brummett seems to have a problem with people other than him acting this way, and his problem seems to center on the fact that many bloggers use anonymity to avoid blowback for their attacks.

"A blog is an online site available by a mere click of the mouse to people with nothing better to do than sit around all day and read it and post anonymously, and publicly, in response to items on it.

These posters make up pen names. They write the most despicable and bogus things about named people. Then they hit the send button and, cloaked from liability for their words, commence re-picking their noses." he writes.

While I am not defending bogus attacks, I do want to point out that there is more than one way to be cowardly when writing "fighting words" about others. One way is to use anonymity, as in vandalizing someones car when they are not there to confront you for it. Another way though, is a bully picking a fight with someone where the bully knows their firepower is so greatly disproportionate to the targets that the victims simply can't protect themselves from the bully's attacks, and have no way of launching an attack that could seriously harm the bully.

Such is the case for an editorialist who has a paper read by 100,000 readers. They can savage people with near-immunity from harm. Their victims have a pea-shooter, they have an RPG. Because of their firepower and the credibility of the platform they launch these attacks from, the amount of harm they can do from even one misleading disparaging column is greater than an anonymous blog poster can do in a decade. With great power comes great responsibility. It is one thing to abuse that power, but then to use it to heap scorn on others for doing the same thing on a tiny scale, who have not sown a tithe of the bitter seed he has sown, is unconscionable.

(continued on the jump)

Constitution Party Candidate Chuck Baldwin Gets Endorsement

Best selling author Dr. Jerome Corsi has two #1 selling books on the New York Times best-seller list and is a regular contributor to Human Events online and especially World Net Daily. He has just endorsed Chuck Baldwin, running on the Constitution Party ticket, for President of the United States. Here is a sample of Baldwin...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paul Greenberg Editorial Praises First Lesbian in Ar Legislature

(From email by Chris Andersun)

Paul Greenberg, editor of the editorial page for Arkansas Democrat Gazettte, is at work once more in his usual efforts to PROMOTE AND/OR DESTROY particular legislators in Arkansas. Every time a conservative pops up with some good conservative idea like passing laws against illegal immigration, Greenberg brings out his BIG GUNS and keeps up the barrage of fire until he SCARES every conservative into retreating in fear that he/she will be the next object of Greenberg's POISONOUS GALLONS OF INK.

Ironically, Greenberg has accused these conservatives of SCARE TACTICS in almost every negative article he has written about them. If you are not familiar with the type of editorials he writes about conservatives, see the quotes below.

BUT, Greenberg can't heap enough praise on legislators who promote homosexuality, illegal immigration, and school consolidation. On August 26 Paul Greenberg wrote an entire 600 word PUFF PIECE on the "first openly gay legislator in Arkansas," the legislator who was given credit for stopping a bill that would have banned adoption by gay couples in Arkansas.

Of course Greenberg never mentions her homosexual lifestyle; he is much more clever than that. He praises Webb exuberantly for giving back a campaign donation in the GIGANTIC amount of $1,000. Even Greenberg asks the question, "Why should this be news?" Of course, he gives a good answer for that question but none that gives any clue about the real reason he is praising her.

(Interesting note: Paul Greenberg's son, Dan Greenberg, is now a Republican representative and has voted very conservatively. And years ago Greenberg appeared to be a conservative. Perhaps his son will help undo some of the damage his father has done.)

Compare the following sections of Paul Greenberg articles on conservatives and then a section of his article on Kathy Webb.

"When the Gunner DeLay / Jim Holt / Denny Altes types start pushing away the largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority in the state and country by shouting about ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ! at every turn, is that Mike Huckabee’s fault ?

"When the scaremongers in what remains of the state’s GOP talk about cutting off funding for medical care—even pre-natal care—for illegal immigrants, that’s certainly not Mike Huckabee’s fault; he understands the danger of trying to reduce the Republican Party to an exclusive club of the native-born. Besides, every one of those babies is going to be a native-born American citizen right out of the womb, and don’t you know they’re going to remember how their mamas and papas were treated ?

"Talk about an effective way to produce a whole generation of rip-roarin ’ Democrats. Cut off health care for innocent children ? Deny them a fair chance to compete for college scholarships ? No wonder Mike Huckabee famously said he doesn’t drink that kind of “Jesus juice.” Neither do most of us Arkansans when we think about it. Those kinds of ideas just push even more people away from the GOP here in Arkansas." Read entire article at this link:
Following is the first section of his editorial on Kathy Webb by Greenberg. Compare that to the one above and ones that follow on a couple of conservatives.

"You had to know something was strange about Kathy Webb, and not just because she happens to represent the People's Republic of Hillcrest in the Legislature. And no, we're not talking about the commission on global warming that she got established, or her wanting landfills to recycle Styrofoam. Never mind her ownership of a popular Asian restaurant and the likelihood that she knows how to eat with chopsticks.

"But now Representative Web has gone and done something even stranger, namely refunded a campaign contribution. Seriously.Turns out, politicians can do that. It's legal and everything.Who knew?

"It seems Ms. Webb turned down $1,000 in contributions from some electric power companies who might have business before her commission on global warming. Sounds reasonable. It sounds so reasonable that…hey, wait a second. Why should this be news? Isn't it just the right thing to do? Don't our elected representatives make it a policy to avoid such conflicts of interest?

"Sadly, no. It says something—and not something good—about American politics when a legislator's rejecting such contributions is news. (EXTRA! EXTRA! Ethics spotted in Little Rock). In a better world this wouldn't be news at all. "
(From editorial titled "Strange sighting, An exception to a dismal rule" in Arkansas Democrat Gazette". No link for this one because I could not find online.

For rest of article, click Wednesday below or if sent here, just scroll down.

Bill Gwatney Shot at Dem. HQ?

I just received word that State Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney was shot one hour ago at state Democrat Headquarters. The shooter was a white or hispanic male in his 40s. No word on how the former legislator is doing. Please let us know if you hear anything.

Martial Law in Arkansas

Helena-West Helena Mayor James Valley has laid down the law after a series of shootings and other criminal acts in the delta town. Among the regulations that will be enforced by the 38-man police department is a 24-hour curfew zone in which "no loitering, or “hanging out” will be permitted. All foot traffic, bicycle, horseback, moped, motorcycle, riding mower, golf cart or other mode of transportation will be subject to stop and investigation."

“Without these drastic measures, the citizens in these affected areas will continue to live under siege,” commented the mayor.

The ACLU has said it will investigate, citing possible violations of the 4th amendment. Mayor Valley responded by inviting them to the dangerous areas so they can experience what it is like to be shot at!

I yield to no one in my respect for the constitution, and our regulars here will know that I have protested against things like the so-called "Patriot Act" because they infringe on our liberties. The U.S. constitution is not being violated by the Mayor's actions though, and here is why- the U.S. Constitution was meant to limit FEDERAL government power, not state and local. I realize that people- including judges, don't seem to understand that anymore, but it is a matter of historical and legal fact.

In 1874, when our state constitution was written, judges, politicians, and the general populace were not so ignorant of these distinctions as they are now. That is why our state constitution in Article 2 section 4 carries a similar provision about the right to freedom of assembly. If the Federal Constitution's provisions applied to state government, then the provision in the state constitution is superfluous. The reason they put it in the 1874 constitution is that they knew that the 4th Amendment was only a check against what the executive branch of the Federal government could do. It did not apply to state and local governments. Since they wanted the same protections from state and local governments, they put a similar provision in the state constitution.

If the ACLU wants to find a constitutional provision that the mayor may actually be violating, they may want to look at Article 2 of our state constitution.

That being said, I do want to point out that self-government, including constitutional republics, only work for a virtuous populace. Apparently parts of Helena-West Helena are populated by a large contingent of wicked folks. Our form of government simply will not work if that is the case. Indeed I fear our country as a whole is losing the capacity for self-government as we slide into depravity, moral relativism, and plain old evil. If these trends are not reversed I fear that at some point all of our protections against government will be tossed aside as desperate citizens turn to a strong leader to protect us from one another.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Then You Must Be a Prostitute, John

Brummett colleague Fred Garvin
"Either Julie Wilson is an idiot or I'm a prostitute." writes John Brummett in his August 10th column. Wilson is the vice president for corporate development at a Fort Worth-based division of Chesapeake Energy. It is hard to believe she is really an idiot. As far as Brummett being a prostitute, or at least a presstitute, I simply assumed he always knew it.

What Wilson has said that raised his ire was that paying retired journalists to do infomercials for her energy company was about the same as advertising on news programs. Brummett took this to mean, perhaps rightly so, that she was implying that buying a bunch of ads affects how the media covers stories. I find that to be true and getting truer.

For example, the owner of Brummett's newspaper chain is a financier. His company sells government bonds to make money. Also, big food processors in this state buy a lot of ads. Keeping that in mind, try getting fair media coverage for a political candidate (if you can find one these days) that wants to 1) quit using government bond issues to finance everything when we have the cash on hand to pay for it without paying commissions to bond traders, or 2) is serious about restricting illegal immigration so that the big food processing and construction interests have to pay legal free-market wages for their labor. Any candidate who wants to get in those big players puddin' is going to be subject to reams of personal abuse by Brummett and much of the rest of the brothel too.

On the national level it is even worse. Global corporations control all major media outlets, so when an anti-globalization, non-interventionist Presidential candidate like Ron Paul comes along, NBC (owned by big global corporation and defense contractor GE) does not cover him fairly. Heck, he was blacked-out by most of the media until it was too late for him to win. When they were forced to talk to him in the debates, they were mostly insulting: Carl Cameron "Credibility sir, do you have any?" : or Hannity sniggering into an open mike while Paul is in the middle of answering a question- but perhaps Hannity saying "oh no, not again" when learning that Paul had won yet another text-message debate poll is a better example.

That is not to impugn every reporter that works at the Democrat Gazette or Morning News. I personally know a number of them that are as fair as any human can be considering we all have our biases. John Brummett is not one of them. Neither is Seth Blomley nor a few more I could name.

But maybe both Brummett and I are wrong about his little moment of self-realization. Here is a good test: We vote on a flawed lottery amendment in a couple of months. Will these papers fairly cover the flaws in the proposal, or will they let that pass because a lottery will mean a big state agency with lots of advertising dollars to throw their way?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Higher Education Living Large

It seems that the university-provided home of the old University of Arkansas at Fayetteville President is not spiffy enough anymore. It will be put up for auction, minimum bid $400,000. The new one under construction (not pictured) will cost $7 million dollars!

The problem with higher education is not the amount of money we give them, it is the amount that they spend. Voters in Arkansas have been asked to pay higher taxes for higher education, and we have. We have been asked to go into more debt and we have. Now we are being asked to vote in a lottery, all of the profits of which will go to higher education. We shouldn't.

Right now we are throwing money at marginal students who would not go to college if they had to use more of their own money to attend and perhaps don't have the tools for college anyway. A lot of those students who never should have gone in the first place spend a year or two throwing taxpayer money away then drop out. Many of those who graduate have to move out of state to find work. We already turn out more college level graduates than the state has jobs that require a degree. To this extent our universities subsidize surrounding states at the expense of our taxpayers.

The lottery will drain money from some of the poorest, most desperate people in this state so that university presidents can have gold-plated faucets in their seven million dollar mansions. When it comes time to spend funds to clean up the terrible social costs associated with gambling don't expect the lottery that made the mess to chip in. The proceeds from the proposed lottery are 100% earmarked for higher education. The bill to clean up the mess will be passed to the rest of us.

This lottery proposal is rotten to the core. At a time when most of us are having to cut back, colleges are getting more cash than ever. If they lack funds, it is only because they manage to spend it even faster than we shovel it in to them. Universities don't need more money, and working families don't need less.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Applying Lessons From Game and Fish Windfall

The whole of state government finds itself with a lot more extra money than the families it is taking the money from, but the State Game and Fish Commission finds itself with a windfall even relative to the rest of state government. The commission recently signed a deal with natural gas companies regarding the extraction of resources on Arkansas state lands. That deal will get them about 30 million dollars a year. In addition, they get money from user fees and licenses. In addition, they get about $20 million dollars a year from the Federal government (which does not let the fact they they are the world's largest debtor prevent them from giving money to seemingly everyone in the world). If that was not enough, they also get almost half of a one-eighth cent sales tax.

Many around the state are upset that the State Game and Fish Commission is keeping all of the oil and gas money from public wildlife lands for its own use. While I understand their point, a plain reading of our state constitution shows that no other use could be made with the money. While the legislature still has to appropriate the money Game and Fish wants spent, the ledge is constitutionally barred from appropriating it on anything else. It is the same with the Game and Fish share of the sales tax. The constitution says it is theirs and thus cannot be legally diverted to roads, education, health care, or any other use.

Some in the ledge want to play word games about what areas of spending can be classified as Game and Fish expenditures. Other folks want to take some of the money no matter what the constitution says. I have a lot more sympathy for environmental interests who wonder why Game and Fish is even in the natural gas business on what is supposed to be wildlife refugees, not oil fields. Of all people, John Brummett had the only answer consistent with the rule of law: If the ledge wants some of this money then they need to refer a new constitutional amendment overturning the old ones and get it passed by a vote of the people.

State officials are naturally reluctant to do that. Changing the constitution should not be done lightly, and it is and should be a lot of trouble. The problem with the two amendments in question is that they give zero flexibility about where Game and Fish proceeds are to be spent. A constitutional amendment that gives zero flexibility about where money is to be spent cannot be adjusted to unforeseen circumstances, and NO ONE is smart enough to foresee them all!

Now I want our esteemed legislators, education officials, media mavens, and regular citizens like me to think about the sublime truth of the above paragraph and apply it to our upcoming debate on the proposed lottery amendment. That amendment is even more inflexible than the two amendments so many now find unsatisfactory when it comes to how profits are going to be spent. They must all be spent on higher education. It does not matter if 20 years from now the feds promise to fund 100% of colleges. It does not matter if distance learning makes the cost of a college education one tenth of what it is now. It does not matter if there are children starving in the streets of Little Rock. It does not matter if gambling addictions in this state sky-rocket as a direct result of the lottery and cause the cost to taxpayers for social services to escalate by millions of dollars. All the profits from this lotto proposal are constitutionally bound to higher education. None of it could be diverted to clean up the social messes gambling is known to cause.

I am begging my fellow citizens to oppose this flawed lottery proposal, even if you think some kind of lottery is OK if done properly. Good grief, right now we are dealing with the blowback from inflexibly written constitutional amendments regarding assignment of monies. How could our leaders be so foolish as to make that same error even as we are wrestling with the consequences of the same type of shortsighted policy mistakes? Some people have zero ability to apply logic and the lessons of history to public policy, unfortunately when they win, the rest of us also have to live with the consequences of their ignorance.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Letter To Editor on Illegality of Illegal Aliens Attending College

In Arkansas Democrat Gazette, August 5, 08 (See link below)

Emphasis added

Laura Kellams, in a recent news story, stated," It's just a question of how much the students should pay to attend, not whether they can attend. Higher Education officials say no law requires colleges and universities to verify students' legal status for admission."

Kellams' statements could be propaganda. She quoted a Department of Homeland Security statement that it "does not require any school to determine a student's status,"but she doesn't give the rest of the story. According to Internet blogs, the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's Pat Reilly said that the only way foreign nationals can attend college in the United States legally is through the agency's International Student Exchange and Visitors Program.

Reilly explained why they don't go after the illegal aliens in colleges: The agency is more worried about enforcing immigration law in the workplace because it's the prospect of jobs that lures immigrants to the country illegally in the first place.

In 8 U. S. C. Section 1621, postsecondary education is listed as one of the state and local benefits for which illegal aliens are not eligible. Then why shouldn't the question be whether illegal aliens can attend college in Arkansas ?

This is a question numerous citizens should ask our governor since Mike Beebe was quoted by The Associated Press as saying," If you don't like the law, you try to change it in the way this country was set up and designed to change the law."


The Number of Ilegals in US Fell 11% in Ten Months

The following excerpts are taken from USA Today entitled "Study: Illegal resident decline by Emily Bazar." (Google lists 168 related articles in US and 77 related articles in the Canadian Press. Google "Illegal immigrants leaving" for other articles.)

These excerpts and the ones from the Center for Immigration Studies are evidence of these three facts:

1. Illegal Immigration was caused by the non-enforcement of our laws.
2. Enforcement works and sends illegals to other areas of the US and out of America.
3. The theory pushed by the Bush administration, McCain, Obama, LULAC, La Raza, etc... that Comprehensive Immigration Reform AMNESTY is needed to deal with illegal immigration has been proven false.

Quotes from USA Today
"The number of illegal immigrants in the USA has fallen sharply as state and federal officials intensify a crackdown on undocumented migrants and jobs grow scarce in the faltering economy, according to a report Wednesday by a group that advocates reduced immigration."

"Using Census data, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) estimates that the illegal immigrant population dropped by 10% to 11.2 million from August 2007 through May."

"Pat Reilly, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, cites her agency's workplace raids, deportations and efforts to track down illegal immigrants with criminal records. Tougher enforcement "has made entering and staying in the United States illegally less attractive as the probability of being arrested and detained is greater than ever before," she says."

Following are the findings of the study Center for Immigration Studies entitled Homeward Bound: Recent Immigration Enforcement and the Decline in the Illegal Alien Population at this link:

*Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May 2008 after hitting a peak in August 2007.

*The implied decline in the illegal population is 1.3 million since last summer, from 12.5 million to 11.2 million today.

*The estimated decline of the illegal population is at least seven times larger than the number of illegal aliens removed by the government in the last 10 months, so most of the decline is due to illegal immigrants leaving the country on their own.

*One indication that stepped-up enforcement is responsible for the decline is that only the illegal immigrant population seems to be affected; the legal immigrant population continues to grow.

*Another indication enforcement is causing the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in their unemployment rate.

*The importance of enforcement is also suggested by the fact that the current decline is already significantly larger than the decline during the last recession, and officially the country has not yet entered a recession.

*While the decline began before unemployment rose, the evidence indicates that unemployment has increased among illegal immigrants, so the economic slow-down is likely to be at least partly responsible for the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.

*There is good evidence that the illegal population grew last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately.

*If the decline were sustained, it would reduce the illegal population by one-half in the next five yea

For rest of this article see this link:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Halter Lines Up Another Big Donor for Lotto Campaign

Some people can suck-up like a remora to the big-money crowd.
Lt. Governor Bill Halter has persuaded Warren Stephens to contribute $50,000 to his campaign for a state lottery whose profits must go to fund higher education. This is on top of the $300,000 contributed by Little Rock real estate developer John Bailey. Those two contributions along with Halter's own make up the vast majority of funds raised for the campaign. Not exactly a grassroots effort.

Why would those men want to associate with Halter's flawed lottery proposal? We can only speculate. The Baileys may want to one-up another prominent Arkansas family, the Murphy's of El Dorado. Murphy Oil's "Murphy Promise" scholarship program is winning raves all around. Maybe John Bailey saw this as a way to get his own family's name on a scholarship endeavor. Murphy Oil is putting up 50 million dollars and directly using it for scholarships. Maybe Halter is telling him he can be a part of something that will generate 50 million a year in scholarship money and thus outdo the Murphys.

One difference in the two approaches is that the lottery money will come from the pockets of predominately poor Arkansans, not the profits of an oil company. The other difference is that trading my $4 for a gallon of Murphy USA gasoline is a moral economic transaction where both sides can win, gambling isn't a moral economic transaction because for me to win, you have to lose. It thus violates one of the most fundamental moral laws, the golden rule.

As for Stephens, who can tell what is motivating him? I am sure that he is not going to be out any money for this though. Some of the lottery campaign fund will be spent on ads in Stephens newspapers, likely more than the $50,000 he is putting up. But the big prize is the advertising budget that will be part of the "operating costs" of the lotto. So state media outlets like the Stephens newspapers stand to make a pile of money as the lottery commission spends advertising money in order to entice new suckers. This does not bode well for our chances of getting fair and accurate reporting on the wisdom of this lottery proposal from our state media.

Now there is one area where I feel Halter has gotten a bum rap. I don't want to take up for him, nor do I want to trash him. My goal is to tell the straight-up truth and sometimes that will mean defending and other times attacking. The ratio of the two will be dependent on the integrity with which public men operate. Halter's office has gotten criticized because they have done some work promoting the lotto proposal on duty.

Folks, not only do I not see anything wrong with that, but Halter's opponent (Jim Holt) in the election, whom I of course supported, promised to do the exact same thing and nobody raised a word of complaint. He did not promise to support a lotto amendment, but he promised to use the office to rally support for ballot initiatives that the people wanted but the legislature refused to pass. The media attacked Holt in every way, fairly and unfairly, but I never heard them raise the issue of whether or not it was proper for the Lt. Governor's office to push for ballot measures. The only ones that griped about it were political people who wanted the Governor to be like a little dictator with no agenda allowed outside of the Governor's. It is a public policy measure, so what's the issue with pushing for it on public time?

This lottery proposal is terrible public policy, and even if you favor letting people gamble, doing it by expanding government and giving the state a monopoly on the business is the worst possible way to do it.

Anarchy in Los Angeles/Warning to Arkansas

Excerpts from following article: Comments at end of email.

Graffiti vandals turn violent in LA
"LOS ANGELES (AP) - One man got stabbed. Another got shot in the chest. A 6-year-old boy was temporarily blinded when he was spray-painted in the face...

Over the past 2 1/2 years in Southern California, three people have been killed after trying to stop graffiti vandals in the act. A fourth died after being shot while watching a confrontation between crews in a park.

"We have seen a marked increase in these graffiti-tagging gangs taking to weapons and fighting to protect their walls, their territory, their name," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Robert Rifkin.

Los Angeles County has battled graffiti for decades, spending $30 million a year to paint over or clean up the emblems, names and other images spray-painted on stores, concrete-lined riverbeds, rail lines, phone booths, buses, even police cars...

"If we see someone calling the police, then we target them," said Mario Garcia, 20, who describes himself as a former tagger trying to become a professional artist. "You are trying to stop me from what I live, what I believe in and what I breathe? We are not going to let no one get in the way." ...

Police tell residents to resist the urge to confront graffiti crews.

"It's not worth the risk," Rifkin said. "Take a deep breath, back off and call law enforcement." ..

In an attack last month, two youths spray-painted the face and body of the 6-year-old boy who spotted them scribbling gang signs on a wall near Compton. The boy recovered from chemical burns to his eyes.

On the same day, a 51-year-old auto mechanic was shot in the chest in Los Angeles when he confronted two suspected gang members painting the wall of his shop.

Another man, Michael Lartundo, 26, was stabbed in the hand and arm after yelling at a group of graffiti vandals scrawling on a wall in March behind his brother's house in suburban Whittier.

The most recent attack occurred July 15, when a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed after rival graffiti crews converged on a Los Angeles park for a fight. The victim was in a crowd of onlookers.

Last August, Maria Hicks, 58, was shot in the head and died after flashing her headlights and honking at a teenager spray-painting a wall near her home in Pico Rivera, a blue-collar suburb east of Los Angeles. Four people have been charged with murder.

Ten days after Hicks died, Seutatia Tausili, 65, was fatally shot and her grandson wounded when he told taggers to stop vandalizing a trash can outside their home in Hesperia in San Bernardino County. Three men were charged with murder.

Robert Whitehead was shot to death in 2006 in the Los Angeles County area of Valinda when he tried to keep taggers from marking a neighbor's garage. Investigators arrested one man with alleged ties to the Mexican Mafia, a prison gang."

The following comments on this original post sum up what many of us fear for Arkansas and our nation.

"Hello? Anarchy calling. Los Angeles soon to become Tijuana.....

If you live in Southern California like I do you know that there are more areas that you can not go through than areas that you can go through due to the threat of possible violence. Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, East LA…the list goes on of whole cities that, unless your a latino, you shouldn’t feel safe in. No need for immigration control you say? We’re giving this state back to Mexico one city at a time. Vote for a Democrat so we can speed up the process….

This is what happens when you allow a foreign culture to invade." (Other comments on the original article from which these excerpts were takenc can be found at this link where you can read the entire article.)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Upper Level Meth Drug Dealers Are Illegal Immigrants, Police Chief Says

Following are excepts from the Jonesboro Sun August 2, 2008. The remarks were made at a meeting of concerned citizens. This article is just one more instance of why it is urgent that Arkansas pass laws to prevent more illegal aliens from coming to Arkansas.

Yates [Jonesboro Police Chief] weighs in on drug woes
JONESBORO — A cultural wave of drug abuse and violence has started across the country, and Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates said he is concerned.Unlike the drug and cultural revolution of the 1960s, this new shift is more tied to gang activity, Yates said...

Most of the fight against the sale and consumption of illegal drugs occurs at the local level, but some national policies are making the problem worse, even in Jonesboro, Yates said...

Over the last couple of years the bulk of methamphetamine has come into the city from Mexico, Yates said...

Working as a Drug Enforcement Agency officer in Atlanta during the mid-1990s, Yates said he noticed a huge swing in the amount of meth moving across the Mexican border after the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted.

Local meth dealers were hampered by laws passed by the Arkansas Legislature in 2005 limiting the amount of ephedrine or similar drugs that could be purchased. These substances are a primary ingredient in producing meth.

When local supplies withered, “Mexican Ice,” as its called on the street, began to appear in greater quantities, law enforcement officials said.Mexican meth tends to be higher quality, which makes it more dangerous, Yates said.

Many of the upper-level drug dealers who control the flow of meth out of Mexico tend to be illegal immigrants, the police chief said. ..

Although drug problems relating to illegal immigrants in Jonesboro are negligible, Yates said it still affects this community.To stem the tide of Mexican meth, Yates said more inspections of cargo on the border are necessary, and all immigrants need to be accounted for.

“I’m not against people coming here to find jobs and improve their lives,” Yates said. “What I can see is how illegal immigration affects the law enforcement side of the equation.”

Some of his opinions about how to curtail the area’s drug problems aren’t “politically correct,” and Yates said he’s more than aware of that.“If I get into trouble for telling the truth, so be it,” Yates said.

For rest of this story see this link: (ID=34121
(Link will probably be gone in a day or so) You might be able to find it in their archives.