Saturday, February 28, 2009

Is the Democrat-Gazette Going Conservative?

It is written that the leopard cannot change its spots. Can the Democrat-Gazette change theirs?
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The editorial page of the Democrat-Gazette yesterday was great reading. Parts of it, such as the center-piece column by David Brooks, was brilliant writing. The unsigned editorial dissected the hidden hooks in Beebe's spending plan with near surgical precision.

So what gives? Is this the same newspaper that came out against the marriage amendment? The same paper that ran column after column implying that anyone who wanted to act to protect us from a tidal wave of illegal aliens was a racist? Is this the same paper that has been in favor of just about every tax increase that has come down the pike in the last decade?

This was not just a one-day wonder. My friend and I agreed that the paper has appeared to take a right-ward tilt recently. What is behind this? A sincere change of heart? Possibly, but I have a more realistic hypothesis........

Right now, the Democrat-Gazette is in a paper war with a strong regional rival, the Morning News. The Morning News in its various forms sells a lot of papers from Fort Smith to the Missouri line. The Morning News is a traditional newspaper, which is to say, liberal. They are a liberal paper in a very conservative region of the state. Perhaps the Democrat-Gazette has spotted this weakness. The Democrat-Gazette wants to be the dominant paper up here, and maybe they decided that this is what they will have to do to get there. At least for a while.

You may recall that there is a precedent for my hypothesis. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette used to be just the Arkansas Democrat. The rival Gazette was the liberal state-wide newspaper which got all kinds of awards from other liberal news outfits. The Arkansas Democrat took another strategy. They decided to write to appeal to the readers of their state rather than liberal newsmen on the east coast.

The Democrat destroyed them in the circulation wars by hiring a bunch of crusty old populists and conservatives to write their columns. As soon as the war was won and the Democrat absorbed the Democrat-Gazette a strange thing happened. The paper shot left and became the liberal rag that now lines the bottom of bird cages in conservative homes throughout the state.

So is this rightward tilt a change of heart or a tactic to take market share from the now more liberal Morning News in conservative NWA? Time will tell, but regardless, our mission should be to build up a network of conservative alternative media.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Soylent Green Is Arkansans (and they voted for it) Part II

I am going to tell you what House Bill 1339 does, but you may not believe me. Especially when I tell you that our state house has actually passed the bill, and it comes up in the Senate as soon as next week. The bill would lock Arkansas’ electors into voting for whichever Presidential candidate won the national popular vote, regardless of how many or few votes they got in this state. If, for example, New Yorkers and Californians outvoted us, our electors would be obligated to vote for whoever they selected to be our President regardless of who won in Arkansas. The agreement would take effect when a majority of states agreed to do the same.

Why would our state representatives trade away our vote? Why would they throw away the slight advantage the Constitution gives to smaller states in the selection of a President? The answer may be found in the fact that the passage of the measure will help ensure that a Democrat is elected President.

The Democratic votes come disproportionately from a few large states that vote overwhelmingly Democrat. New York and California both voted over 60% for the Democrat in the last election. The largest Republican state with over 60% of the vote was Alabama.

Democrats are the most likely to lose an election for President in the electoral vote even while winning the most individual votes. They want to alter the rules so as to get the maximum effect for their party. That explains why every Republican in the state house voted against this bill, while most of the Democrats voted for it. The bill is good for the national Democratic Party. I am not so sure it is good for the United States in general or Arkansas in particular.

The most often heard complaint about the Electoral College is that a person can win the Presidency without winning the national popular vote.

This is presented as a problem, but it is not a problem, it is the way our system is designed to work. It accurately reflects what the United States of America is supposed to be. Our Federal government began as a bargain between sovereign states. The goal is to make the Presidency an office that requires one to have broad support over many regions of the country, not just overwhelming majorities in four or five big states. It is a system that respects the fact that ours is a big country made up of different regions and cultures.

Two measures- the selection of the President and the selection of Senators, were tilted to slightly favor smaller states because it without it they would not have agreed to help form a United States in the first place. This bill is tantamount to changing the agreement by which small states consented to form the United States. It is an end-run around the intent of the Constitution to give the smaller states a little more protection from getting steam-rolled by the larger states.

Under this bill, a candidate who won overwhelmingly in California and New York but lost narrowly in 48 other states including this one would get all of Arkansas' electoral votes, even if one of their campaign promises was to use Arkansas as the radioactive waste dump for the whole nation.

The United States is just that, a collection of states which ceded some authority to a central government by mutual consent. Change the weighted influence of the smaller states, and you change the agreement by which the United States was formed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lame GOP Response as Establishment Desperately Ignores Palin


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The GOP looked past Alaska Governor Sarah Palin when they wanted someone to give the GOP response to President Obama's address to the joint Congress last night. Instead, they chose the Governor of our neighbor to the south, Bobby Jindal. By almost all accounts, he did an awful job of it. If they wanted a Governor who can give a great speech and has a national following, they have it in Palin. If they want someone who can go over the heads of the media and connect directly with the people (when given live TV time instead of suffering edited attack pieces), they have it in Palin.

As I read the tea leaves, the GOP establishment despises Sarah Palin, because she is for real. They are trying to find some insiders to pump up as the designated outsider for the next election cycle. The purpose is to distract voter attention away from anyone serious about reform. That was Fred Thompson's job last primary season, and he did it well. This time it looks like they are pumping up either Jindal or N. Carolina's Senator Jim DeMint as the Insider's favorite faux-outsider.

Time will tell if the same tactic fools 'em again.

Soylent Green is Arkansans (and They Voted for It!)


HB 1339, the political hack employment act, would lock Arkansas' electors into voting for President whoever won the national popular vote, regardless of the vote in this state. The House just voted to pass this madness.

Word is that legislators are getting wined and dined on this one by national interests like never before. Why? I suspect it is because the way Presidential elections are done now means that most of the money is spent in maybe ten key swing states. TV and radio stations in non-swing states want a piece of that action. Political hacks who get hired to run political campaigns (yeah, three fingers pointing back at me on that one) around the nation want in on the action too. A popular vote win would spread campaign dollars out. I believe that is the real reason for the push behind this bill.

Advocates say that polls favor it, but that is only because the people are being misinformed about it by the same big media that stands to benefit from the measure. I say again something you know in your heart but is hard to keep in one's head just because they are out there so much- you simply cannot trust the mainstream media to tell you the truth. It is irrational to listen to what they have to say as if it were true because there are too many known instances where they slant it.

One man, one vote still applies the way we do it now, it just applies on a state by state basis. In order to make it apply uniformly, you would not only need to adopt this bill, you would also need to dissolve the US Senate where each state gets two senators regardless of size. I remind you that these two measures- the selection of the President and the selection of Senators, were tilted to slightly favor smaller states because it was a pre-condition for them to join into a United States in the first place. This bill is tantamount to changing the agreement by which they consented to form the U.S. without their consent. Smaller states, of which we are one, will get steam-rolled.

Under this bill, a candidate who won overwhelmingly in California and New York but lost narrowly in 48 other states including this one would get all of Arkansas' electoral votes. Even if one of their campaign promises was to use Arkansas as the radioactive waste dump for the whole nation. Even if they promised to use Arkansans as a food source for California and New York they would get all of Arkansas' electoral votes.

The UNITED STATES is just that, a collection of states who ceded some authority to a central government by mutual consent. Change the weighted influence of the smaller states, and you change the agreement by which the UNITED STATES was formed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tonight on "Guide for the Perplexed". The Emergent Church Heresy


Yours truly on air tonight.

What is the "Emergent Church"? How do its beliefs and practices vary from orthodox Christianity? Who are the leaders in this movement, and where is their financial backing coming from?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Re-post of Josh and Anna Duggar Arkansas Wedding Reception



Josh and Anna Duggar Arkansas Wedding Reception Photos.

To get a bigger version of the photos below, double click on them.

This is a re-post of the story from October. Read my comments on the jump. I re-posted because I let the lease expire on the site where I originally stored the images, so there are no pics on the original thread.





Jim Bob Duggar and son (can you guess which?) greet guests as they arrive.


Jim Bob Duggar taking pictures of guests as they enter the event.


The stage is set as the classical musicians strum away. I believe that is Jessa Duggar at left.



At the punch bowl. At left is the recently deceased J.L. Duggar, fondly remembered grandfather.


A young man looks toward two of the Duggar daughters (in purple). Children and wholesome young ladies abounded.


Josh Duggar gives a thumbs up to the idea of being married to Anna as she looks on with approval.


Michelle Duggar greets a friend warmly.



Jim Bob and Michelle talk it over.



Josh addresses the crowd with Anna at his side.



Anna favors the camera with a smile.


Anna and Josh cut the cake, with the knife shinning with a brilliant light. Jim Bob and Michelle watch with pride (no, not THE BAD KIND) back right.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Arkansas Resolution Would Join Other States In Chastising The Feds

Jason Tolbert reports that some Arkansas house members have introduced a resolution which protests federal over reach. More than 20 states have introduced similar resolutions, and in two or three states they look close to passing them.

I hope DC gets the message that there are a lot of people unhappy with the way they are doing business out here. Right now, they are buying a lot of people's "loyalty" because they send out a lot of checks. What happens when the checks start bouncing, or are nearly worthless due to a dollar collapse?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Legislators Get Tongue Lashing From Business For Voting Against Taxes


A Tongue Lashing: Not a pretty sight
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Word has reached the Watch that Republican legislators were subjected to a tongue lashing from one of the state's business giants- in the poultry industry, for their failure to support the tobacco tax increase.

Once big business was a part of the "leave me alone" coalition with the middle class that helped restrain the growth of government. Now they have switched sides. They are the ones pushing the growth of government because they want to use government to tilt the playing field in their direction. Privatizing profits while socializing costs is one of the most used ways of doing that.

For example, a company might push for a tax increase for "education" that winds up off-loading what was formerly their training costs onto the taxpayers under the guise of "trade school" or even "higher education". Likewise, they want to offload their health care costs unto the backs of the taxpayers by pushing for tax increases to extend Medicaid into the upper middle class (in this case, up to 55 grand a year limit for a family of 4 when the median income is only 38 grand).

This was an example of big business pushing for a tax increase so that they could shift their health care costs unto the backs of the taxpayers. This fellow was reportedly very upset at the idea that these legislators voted against sticking some working class stiffs with the price tag for health care for this company's junior execs.

When one of the state's richest and most influential men starts berating you, you sit there and take it. All but one, who reportedly got up and gave the man as good as he got.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Repealing the Ban on Athiests Holding Public Office



The "Dear Leader", North Korea's Kim Jong Il, the chubby 2nd generation communist-atheist dictator who keeps his subjects in a state of starvation while their cousins to the south enjoy one of the highest living standards in the eastern world.
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Pol Pot, ruthless atheist-communist dictator who butchered one-third of the population of the nation he ruled, Cambodia.

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Joseph Stalin, the atheist-communist dictator of the Soviet Union, who was responsible for the deaths of millions of citizens and popularized the term "Gulag". Just to show you where their loyalties lie, TIME magazine named Stalin their "Man of the Year" TWICE!

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Ruthless Atheist-Communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in an idealized portrait. To see what he looked like once his grateful subjects were able to get a hold of him, click here.

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Atheist Dictator Fidel Castro in 1977. He he provided over 50 years of misrule, oppression and impoverishment of the Cuban people. I mean, if you have a 1956 Chevy there then you are doing really well. He did such a fine job that about anyone who can tries to float through 90 miles of shark infested waters on an inner tube to get the U.S. On the other hand, countless beard lice have depended on him for a home over the decades.

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Professing atheists don't often get to rule a country since the rise of Christianity, but when they do, they invariably make a mess of it. The plain historical fact is that it is a terrible idea to let atheists rule a country. This issue is coming to the forefront in Arkansas because our state Constitution still bans atheists from holding public office or testifying in court.

CONTINUED: Click THURSDAY below and scroll down for the analysis.

New Whip in Town


Others have noted that State Rep. Mark Martin (R- Prairie Grove) has started a new blog, adding to the trend of legislator bloggers. What seems to have gone by without comment is that he has himself listed as the House Minority Whip. That's a new one. He was NOT the whip when that tobacco tax went through.

The charming name "Whip" is a good indicator of what a thankless position that job can be. It is the duty of the whip to get members of a given party to stick together on critical votes. In this instance, a mental image of herding cats comes to mind. Not necessarily domestic ones either.

The GOP is on the run. I don't know how many cards any whip has to play when big business and the media and a highly medicated public all want to massively expand government, even though we clearly can't afford the government that we have now. Heck, the guys who run the GOP on a national level want to expand it too, as long as it is for their friends. Can a whip get anyone to fall into line in that environment? Can the rush off the government spending cliff be stopped in that environment? Well, we believe in miracles here I suppose.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Does AR Really Want Hillary Care (Universal Health Care)?

Under the Cigarette tax bill, families with incomes of $55,125 will have access to insurance under ARKids First Medicaid insurance. 1 That income is $17,000 higher than median annual income in Arkansas. 2 See long list of 16 benefits in red font below – better benefits than most of you have!

Liberals and conservatives alike have labeled ARKids the cornerstone of an agenda pushed by an advocacy group founded by Hillary Clinton. 3

Arkansas DHS Tom Dalton stated at the inception of the ARKids program, "This program will put us in a very small group of states that virtually provides a kind of universal coverage for children. Few states will cover children up to 200 % of the poverty level. I don't know of any in the South." 4

Private insurance is covering 55,000 fewer children than in 2000. 5

Can't we get some legislators on board to oppose the necessary Appropriation bill to expand this ARKids program?

According to the Democrat Gazette, no one is opposing the expansion. 6

And according to an article in the Jonesboro Sun, "The intense focus [on children's insurance] is driven by Democrats' effort to incrementally expand access to health insurance. " 7

I believe the majority of Arkansans would disagree with giving free (or with minimum co-pay) insurance to families making $17,000 higher than the median annual income in Arkansas.

As of Sunday, Feb. 16, 09 "The bill to change the ARKids eligibility from 200 percent of the federal poverty limit to 250 percent has yet to be filed, said Department of Human Services spokesman Julie Munsell." 8

ARKids is the Arkansas version of the SCHIP program. President Bush vetoed the SCHIP program in 2007 because he disagreed with the expansion of the program, and every Republican candidate in 2008 took a stand agreeing with his decision. 9

More Details

ARKIDS First Medicaid insurance is one of the health programs to be expanded under the cigarette tax. The present eligibility requirement allows family up to 200% of federal poverty level to receive benefits, which is $42,4000 for a family of four. Governor Beebe's plan using the cigarette tax increase would expand the income level to 250% of poverty level (or $55,125 annual income). An income of $55,125 is approximately $17,000 higher than median annual income in Arkansas) 6

There is a push in Arkansas to fund ARKIDS at 300% by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (this is the organization founded by Hillary Clinton and one of the main liberal groups who threatened suit against the implementation of the ban on homosexuals the state adopted as a result of a ballot initiative). 7 This would essentially be universal health care for children and a major step toward universal health care for the nation. And what would that do to private insurance companies and the economy?

And what will that do to health care in our nation. When a doctor of one large group in our city was asked what Obama's looming health care plan will do to our medical care, he responded that we are already suffering the consequences. He said the number of internal medicine doctors and general practitioners in their group had already dropped from nine to three doctors. He said if he were to die, it would take at least a year to replace him in the group. What will it be like when health care becomes universal?

ARKids coverage includes the following according to ARKids pamphlets given out in school systems. Do your children have health coverage this good? And if so, at what cost?

Physician Office Visit
Immunizations
Inpatient Hospital
Dental Care
Home Health
Chiropractors
Laboratory and /x-ray
Durable Medical Equipment
Prescription Drugs
Outpatient Hospital
Vision Care
Outpatient Mental and Behavioral Health
Speech Therapy
Podiatry
Medical Supplies
Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner


To view documentation and read this article online see this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2009%20-%20ARKids%20Do%20we%20want%20to%20support%20Hillary%20care.htm

For another related article entitled, "Arkansans Paying Higher Percent of Their Income For Welfare Health Programs than Other States, see this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%20-%2009%20AR%20paying%20more%20in%20health%20care%20than%20other%20states.htm

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Your's Truly On Webcast Radio Show

Tonight at 10:00PM, Yours Truly Will Host a Netcast Call-In show called The Guide for the Perplexed.

Tonight the Guide talks with historian Micheal Harrod about the fallacies of cultural relativism, which is one of two unbalanced viewpoints regarding culture. The one extreme is thinking that our culture can do no wrong, and the rest are always wrong. The other extreme is thinking that it is all relative. Either extreme leaves no room for examination or improvement of our culture.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What No One Else Will Say on Expanding ARKids First

"Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism" - Thomas Jefferson.
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During the presidency of Grover Cleveland, he had the opportunity to provide federal financial aid to a deserving orphanage in New York City during a severe economic crisis. This was his response:

"I will not be a party to stealing money from one group of citizens to give to another group of citizens, no matter what the need or apparent justification. Once the coffers of the federal government are open to the public, there will be no shutting them again... It is the responsibility of the citizens to support their government. It is not the responsibility of the government to support its citizens."

And that was a DEMOCRAT President.

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The people of this nation have become corrupted since Cleveland's time. A man that noble could not get elected in this day and age, when the average voter thinks that the role of government is to "provide for their needs" rather than protect their God-given rights. Because the people have become corrupted, those who would desire to lead them must act corruptly as well. They must go along with using government, that is to say force, to take the earnings of some citizens in order to give those earnings to other citizens to whom it does not belong.

The pre-1865 Democrats had a huge blind spot. They really believed that they had a right to force a narrow group of people to work their fields. Today's Democrats are blind completely. They believe they have a right to force other people to work to provide them health care, education, "affordable housing" ect...

If the Republicans feel any differently, they apparently lack the courage to plainly say so. This article on the expansion of ARKids First tells a tale of universal approval. Perhaps the Republican legislators know that they would be voted from office if they attempted to tell people the truth- its not a "right" if the government has to tax somebody else in order for you to do it. And increasingly who we are taxing are the children themselves. Politicians have turned to debt to finance their wild promises, taking the credit for themselves, but leaving the burden of payment to the next generation. This tactic is as immoral as it is ubiquitous.

There comes a point where an economy simply cannot afford any more government programs, no matter how worthy. We are long past that point, but fiscal trickery has created the illusion that we can get away with it just a little longer. The 2x4 of reality is about to thump the American people up the side of the head. We just can't afford any more government, it doesn't matter if you think its a good idea or not.

If an expansion of ARKids is such a great idea, let it come at the expense of less worthy government spending, not the pockets of taxpayers present or future. Governor Mike Beebe's expansion of this welfare program- and that is what it is even if the recipients throw in a small co-pay- comes mostly from Federal Funds. Where are they getting the money? They are either going to borrow it or inflate it. The former is stealing from the next generation, the latter is stealing value from every dollar that will be earned or saved.

The lesser part of the financing comes from a tax on smokers. That is already a declining revenue stream and by this time next year modern science might develop a pill that will allow them all to kick the habit. Or taxes might get so high that there will be a huge black market for tobacco products. That is one of the unintended consequences of piling the taxes on one narrow product. Then we have to spend more on law enforcement since state policy is incentivizing a whole new group of "criminals". At any rate you can expect the revenue stream for the program to erode, but the costs of the program to escalate beyond projections.

Expanding welfare programs to people making $50,000 a year at a time when the economy is collapsing is madness. We can't afford the government we have now. As soon as the foreigners quit loaning us money this whole thing is going to go up in smoke. Why are we trying to push MORE people into a program that any reasonable person can see is heading for a crisis? When it fails, the people hurt the most will be those who were lured into it the deepest.

AR Paying Higher Percent of Income for Welfare Health Than Other States

The cigarette tax, according to the Governor, will fund 23 health programs in Arkansas with $178 million in 2010 combined state and federal funds. 1 (See the LONG list of welfare type health programs on DHS website already funded in Arkansas at this link. http://www.state.ar.us/dhs/sgFamily.html Note they can be accessed in Spanish as well as English.)

Arkansas, despite having the 2nd lowest per capita and median income in the nation, is already providing many health programs to people with higher incomes than other states are providing. In other words, Arkansans are paying a much higher percent of their income for welfare health programs than most other states. As you read the figures below, keep in mind that Arkansas's median income is $38,134 ($12,006 less than the national average of $50,740) 2

Arkansas is only one of 9 states that provides state funded prenatal care under the SCHIP program (it was the 7th state to do so). Based on federal government regulation, the state can legally and is providing prenatal benefits to illegal aliens, based on the idea that these children of illegal aliens will be citizens when they are born. 3

These prenatal benefits are provided to women with an income of 200% of federal poverty level or less, which equals $42,4000 (about $4,000 more than median income in Arkansas) for a family of four in 2008. (The national average for these programs is $133% of poverty level) 4 These benefits inlcude (A) Prenatal services (B) Delivery (C) Postpartum services for 60 days (D) Family planning services, including tubal ligations (E) Services for conditions that may complicate the pregnancy (in other words any health problem while they are pregnant.) 5

ARKIDS First Medicaid insurance is also one of the health programs to be expanded under the cigarette tax. The present eligibility requirement allows family up to 200% of federal poverty level to receive benefits, which is $42,4000 for a family of four. Governor Beebe's plan using the cigarette tax increase would expand the income level to 250% of poverty level (or $55,125 annual income). $55,125 is approximately $17,000 higher than median annual income in Arkansas) 6

There is a push in Arkansas to fund ARKIDS at 300% by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (founded by Hillary Clinton and one of the main liberal groups who threatened suit against the implementation of the ban on homosexuals the state adopted as a result of a ballot initiative). 7 This would essentially be universal health care for children, a major step toward universal health care for the nation. And what would that do to private insurance companies and the economy?

Arkansas is also one of twenty-seven states that asked for and received waivers to use Medicaid money for family planning (also at 200% federal poverty level - $42,400 for family of 4 ) 8 "Using an 1115 demonstration waiver, Arkansas was one of the first three states to expand Medicaid family planning services beyond the 60-day postpartum period." 9

ARKIDS and prenatal care are both aspects of SCHIP. SCHIP was designed for families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid. Created in 1997 by federal law under the Clintons in Washington, SCHIP is the largest expansion of public health insurance coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 10 Arkansas was one of the first states to voluntarily participate in these programs that are often referred to as socialist programs. They were just another way of getting Bill and Hillary's universal health care program through piecemeal after they couldn't get it past at the federal level. 11

The prenatal care plan was implemented by change in an administrative regulation in July 2004 by the Arkansas Department of Human Service (DHS) with no input from the legislature, the representatives of the citizens of Arkansas. 12 This procedure creates welfare health programs and grows government needs without representation of the people. Now the Governor needs a tax to sustain and expand their programs, and private enterprise is left out of the picture.

"Using an 1115 demonstration waiver, Arkansas was also one of the first states to expand Medicaid family planning services beyond the 60-day postpartum period." 13 Arkansas Medicaid provides family planning services to women with income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. ($42,400 for a family of four in 2008.) 14

Yet Arkansas has a lower median income than every state but Mississippi. 15 In other words the percent of money Arkansans are putting into welfare type programs is much higher than other states. (2006 figures) 15.

ARKIDS and Family Applications are provided in Spanish, and applications for ARKids and FAmily Services are also printed in Spanish. 16

Considering the money already being poured into health programs in Arkansas, is the expansion of these programs really needed, especially in the time of economic crisis? Is this really the best use of the money even if a cigarette tax was a good thing to do.

For documentation of these facts see the documentation at end of article at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%20-%2009%20AR%20paying%20more%20in%20health%20care%20than%20other%20states.htm

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Darwin Delusion


Yesterday was "Darwin Day", and they did it YET AGAIN. Another study was released that purported to tell us something about how this or that evolved into something else. Yet when one looks at the details of what they found out, the actual evidence tends to falsify the hypothesis that the purported evolution ever occurred. Put another way, the studies reveal how evolution happened- miraculously and always always always in the unmeasurable past.

The biggest threat to the advancement of modern science is not creationists but rather the dogmatic naturalism that controls modern science. Under the bondage of strict naturalism, dots must be connect by doctrine that are not connected by data. Under the bondage of strict naturalism, evidence can only be interpreted through one narrow lens. Under the bondage of naturalism, some hypotheses are not even allowed to be explored. All of this can actually retard the advancement of real scientific inquiry.

Aren't certain flavors of dogmatic creationism a bigger threat to scientific advancement? No, if only because they have no real power in the scientific community. They are just as dogmatic, but are not in a position to hinder progress as much. The radical naturalists ARE in such a position, and they are therefore a bigger threat to free inquiry than the religious fundamentalists they regularly attack.

Day after day, week after week, I read articles which claim they have discovered some new evidence for the macroevolution that they assume happened. The phony claims are so numerous that I can't even take note of them all. It is a mountain of lies trying to shout down the truth. Once in a while, I get fed up with it enough to take note. Darwin Day, yesterday, represents one of those times.

In this article they report the results of measurements of the genomes of macaques, orangutans, chimps, and humans. The scientists assumed they all evolved from a common ancestor 25 million years ago, with chimps and humans sharing the most recent common ancestor 6 million years ago. They wanted to see where along the evolutionary line the genetic changes occurred. Were they spread evenly over time or did they cluster at some point?

I will let them tell you what they found:

Eichler's research team found an especially high rate of duplications in the ancestral species leading to chimps and humans, even though other mutational processes, such as changes in single DNA letters, were slowing down during this period. "There's a big burst of activity that happens where genomes are suddenly rearranged and changed," he says. Surprisingly, the rate of duplications slowed down again after the lineages leading to humans and to chimpanzees diverged.


Please allow me to translate into plain English. The genes show the most "changes" in humans. The "changes" were not evenly spread out over time, they accelerate towards the human end. Yet once chimps and humans diverged, these reorganizations quit happening at the rate necessary to explain the vast differences in chimp and human genomes within the time they think it happened.

Now they don't dare consider what this evidence points to, but since I don't have grant money to lose I will spell it out. The evidence they discovered fits perfectly with creationist theories that humans are the result of Intelligent Design. There was not a "burst" of genomic reorganization that later "surprisingly" slowed, at least not by naturalistic evolutionary means. What they have done is find the fingerprints of the Designer in His handiwork, but they are locked into a dogma that will not let them consider it as such.

Instead they have to say EVOLUTION clustered all the changes on the human end of these genomic changes. They have to say that EVOLUTION somehow produced a "big burst" of activity that for some reason slowed. Notice we have never observed "evolution" producing changes of this magnitude, just as Creationists have never observed God creating a new type. The mind-set is that same, but only one side seems to get a pass. Creationists say "God did it" and they laugh that off as a non-answer. But they do the same thing by ascribing god-like powers to a process that has never been observed to have them.

They should admit that the actual results they found are not what they would EXPECT to find if the evolutionary hypothesis is true. They should EXPECT that the changes should be more or less evenly spread out over time, and the rate of change should be consistent with the rate of change we can observe now, somewhere anyway. They should not have to refer to some mysterious "burst" of genomic reorganization that they can neither observe in the field or make work in the lab. That is to say, make work in the lab apart from performing an act of intelligent design.

You see, there are some examples of genes being rapidly reorganized in higher animals, such as mice that glow green from genes normally found in jellyfish or goats that give milk rich in medicine. But these examples of a "burst" of genetic reorganization are invariably the result of intelligent designers performing genetic experiments and creating new types of organisms not found in nature. So whenever we see rapid genomic reorganizations in the present, it is due invariably to intelligent design. Why don't we at least consider the idea that rapid reorganizations of genomes in the past are on account of the same force?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nutt Way Over-Limit: May Pull Old Trick Out on Scholarships

Former Arkansas and current Ole' Miss. coach Houston Nutt.
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The key to building a successful college football program is recruiting. National signing day has just come and gone, and experts in the world of college football are reviewing the strength of recruiting classes at schools around the country. If they were in any conference other than the SEC, both Arkansas and Ole Miss would be credited with strong groups of freshman recruits. The real surprise for Ole Miss however, is the shear number of solid recruits they offered scholarships to. Thirty-seven players signed up to become rebels.

Some observers are scratching their heads on that one, because NCAA rules limit schools to 95 total scholarships to eligible football players. By that scoring, Ole Miss only had 27 scholarships to offer, yet they signed a whopping 37 players. What gives? How can he promise 37 young men scholarships when he only has 27 openings?

Nutt probably has several strategies to deal with "overbooking" of scholarships. I want to give you an example of the lengths he went to at Arkansas to open up scholarships. My guess is he is going to use the same tactics at Ole Miss, because he wants to build his team with his players. Having a class that big, full of pretty good football players, should give him a very competitive team three to five years down the road. To get them on campus, my guess is he will do what he was known to do at the U of A, but in a big way. Here is how it goes down:

Take a player who is a senior who maybe got beat out by an underclassman or who is not a good fit with your system and call them into your office. Tell them they are not going to make a contribution and that you want them to give up their scholarship for their senior year. They can stay on the team, but you need that scholarship for your over-sized frosh class. In return, you promise to fund their college for several years once their eligibility is used up.

You see, while their are strict limits to how many scholarships a school can give out to eligible players, there are few or no restrictions on continuing to pay people who once played for you, but have used up their eligibility. So the senior who was on scholarship for several years under the previous coach becomes a walk-on who plays for one play, using up their eligibility. Then they get a full scholarship for three more years to pursue a masters or whatever they want to do with it.

I suspect that come fall, there will be a number of Ole Miss players who give up their scholarships even while they nominally remain on the team in exchange for a longer full-ride. Good strategy to maximize your talent or a crummy choice to offer a young man, or both? You make the call.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mayor Frank Gilbert Writes Every Legislator on HB1339

Gilbert is the Mayor of Tull, Arkansas in Grant County.

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HB1339 is a bill that would bind Arkansas' presidential electors to vote for whoever won the popular vote nationwide regardless of who won in this state. A supporter of the bill gave every reason they could think of for the bill, and I gave my rebuttal to their arguments, on this thread. Here is the letter that the Mayor sent to each legislator.....

Dear Representative Abernathy:

I hope you will help defeat House Bill 1339. This back-door attempt to alter the way America elects its president is wrong on several levels.

First, any bill that has the stated goal of ignoring votes cast by a majority of Arkansans, under any circumstance, is unworthy of support. If most voters here cast their votes for a candidate, why should that selection be ignored in favor of voters in California, New York, or any other state? Absurd.

Second, those who are put off by the constitution’s process for electing a president and vice president should have the courage of their convictions and go through the process of amending the constitution. It has been done before and can be done again. Trying to subvert the constitution by state legislative action is not only dishonest, it is dangerous.

Finally, the compromise that led to the Electoral College at this country’s founding met a need that remains to this day. Small, largely rural states were worried about being overwhelmed in national elections by their more-populous neighbors. That concern is as valid today as it was in the 18th century. We have every right to use our position in the Electoral College to protect ourselves.

I certainly hope that you will be counted among those who will look out for Arkansas’ interests in this matter.

Sincerely,


Mayor Frank Gilbert
8416 Dogwood
Tull, AR 72015
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His press release on the matter, along with legislator responses, is on the jump, click TUESDAY below and scroll down.

Connecting the Dots/Cigarette Tax to Abortion & Planned Parenthood

1. The Governor's cigarette tax will be used to leverage more Medicaid money. "That money combined with federal matching funds would mean a total of $178 million in 2010."

"Malone spoke after a two hour presentation by Thompson in which they shed more light on Beebe's health plan, which the governor has proposed be funded by tax increases on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. That money combined with federal matching funds would mean a total of $178 million in 2010." http://www.nwanews.com/adg/National/249502/ [$178 million taken from taxpayers and put into government bureaucracy instead of the private sector – not too stimulating to the economy]

2. Twenty-Seven states have asked for and received waivers to use Medicaid money for family planning – Arkansas is one of those states. Medicaid is now the largest single program providing taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood, which is the number one abortion provider. Once we accept Medicaid dollars for a program, the Feds sets the standards; we can't pick and choose without their consent. Obama, Pelosi and the Washington Democrats will set the standards for Medicaid. Medicaid already mandates abortion funding in cases of rape or incest or when pregnant woman's life is endangered. http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_SMFPE.pdf

There is a push now to repeal the Hyde Amendment. An ACLU article reads, "Passed by Congress in 1976, the Hyde Amendment excludes abortion from the comprehensive health care services provided to low-income people by the federal government through Medicaid. Congress has made some exceptions to the funding ban, which have varied over the years. At present, the federal Medicaid program mandates abortion funding in cases of rape or incest, as well as when a pregnant woman's life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury." The article goes on to say the Hyde amendment is discriminatory.
http://www.aclu.org/reproductiverights/lowincome/16393res20040721.html

"The Medicaid program was never intended to pay for family planning services. Yet, beginning in the 1990s, states started applying for Medicaid waivers to allow them to add family planning for Medicaid-eligible recipients. Because of the waivers, Medicaid is now the largest single program providing taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood performs the majority of abortions in the United States and has been accused in multiple states of crimes such as forgery, fraud, doing illegal late-term abortions, and covering up statutory rape." http://www.stopp.org/agenda/prevention.php

Planned Parenthood rejects abstinence education. I am now researching the extent of Planned Parenthood in Arkansas. I have learned that Planned Parenthood will be doing comprehensive sex education for middle and high school students in Hot Springs and Little Rock this fall. I don't know if these are school based health clinics conducting these or how they are funded. . http://www.plannedparenthood.org/arkansas-eastern-oklahoma/

3. Family planning and abortion have often been referred to as "health care" and "health issues." Therefore, the cigarette tax money could well be spent on Planned Parenthood type programs and count toward keeping the Governor's promise to spend the tax money on health programs.

"Beebe said he believes the money will help provide the "basic fundamentals of health care" throughout the state to low-income people who use community health centers and other programs in the plan. Beebe also said, "It is a comprehensive package."
http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/250694/

Planned Parenthood refers to their clinics in Little Rock and Fayetteville as "community based health care agency[ies]" saying they serve 20,000 people in Fayetteville, Little Rock, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=9663

4. $87 billion package of the proposed US stimulus bill [more than 10%] was set aside to help states with Medicaid costs that would allow states to expand their family planning services. [That indicates how important "family planning" and funded abortions are to the President and Washington Democrats and how much money will be going to Planned Parenthood.]

For rest of article, click Tuesday below. Or if sent here, just scroll down, or go to this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2009%20-%20Connecting%20the%20dots-cigarett%20tax%20to%20abortion.htm

Tonight, Yours Truly On Internet Radio


Obviously I am not the 12th century Rabbi who wrote the original "The Guide for the Perplexed", but I understand his desire to help people reconcile their faith with the evidence from the natural world and the challenges of living in a faithless society.


Tonight at 10PM central: The Guide Talks With Christian Adventurer Cal Zastrow

Cal Zastrow has smuggled Bibles into Communist China and protested abortion clinics in Mississippi. Hear his report on that, the personhood amendment initiatives, and why the protection of innocent human life is a prerequisite for a free society.

Click here for the show page with the player on it and the call-in number (although I am not sure we will have time for calls tonight).

Monday, February 09, 2009

Does TLC Hate the Duggars?


Josh and Anna Duggar at their Arkansas wedding reception.
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UPDATE!!!!

There is an unverified report that Jim Bob Duggar's father passed away today, from a long-term illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Duggars at this time.

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The Learning Channel has a show about Arkansas' large Duggar family, but is it trying to make them and their new in-laws (the Kellars) look bad? That is the accusation from Josh Duggar's new in-law, according to our source. The in-law is married to Anna's sister and was a groomsman in the wedding. Here are some eye-opening excerpts from his report.....
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"TLC did what media usually does: they twisted things to make them say what they wanted said. The supposed focus on sex (at least on the Kellers side) is NOTHING compared to what TLC has made it out to be. They want everyone to think this is what conservative fundies are focused on, but at least with the Keller family, this is the farthest thing from the truth. TLC has done a good job of using their show as a tool to change some things into UNreality."
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"Just for the record: the whole Jim Bob/Josh sex talk on the day of the wedding was staged. Shawn and the camera crew told Jim Bob to get Josh and "have the talk." They said they "needed" to get it for the show. Yet more evidence of how the producer(s) are skewing this to focus it more on sex."
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"The producers of the show did a fairly lousy job of revealing the reality of who the Kellers are. The interview where Dad Keller is talking about the wine/grape juice thing was about 45 minutes long. They only put two clips in it to make the dramatic statements that everyone wants to see. How do I know? I was sitting the sanctuary the whole time"
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"Why weren't we interviewed on the show? I despise the whole TLC thing. The producers asked my wife three times if they could interview her, and she refused each time. I told them point-blank that I didn't want to be on the show. Why were we in the wedding to begin with? Because we love Anna.
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"The assistant producer asked me to sign an optional waiver form so that they could use my name and not blur my face on the show, and he told me it was fully optional. I told him I didn't want to sign it if it was optional and he complied with my wishes. I thought I was off the hook. But then, when pictures were being taken before the wedding, the main producer (good ol' Shawn) confronted me on the platform in front of most of the wedding party (including Josh and Jim Bob) and the other 50 people sitting in the sanctuary. He told me (in a loud voice) that I had to sign the waiver. We got in an argument about it in front of everyone and When I refused because it was optional, he said that if I didn't, he wouldn't permit me to be in the wedding because he wasn't going to destroy his show over one person who didn't want to be on TV.

Jerk.

I signed the waiver to keep the peace in the family. However, this was evidence to me that the Duggars weren't in control of TLC. It is definitely the other way around.

Oh, and Shawn (because I know you read this forum), your assistant producer lied to me about my wife signing the waiver. He used that as a ploy to try to get me to sign it. She was never approached about signing it and you filmed her and used the footage without her authorization, which if I remember correctly, is AGAINST THE LAW."

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Beebe Doctrine: A Constant Search for Isolated Groups of People to Loot



Divide and conquer. If the people of this state are greedy and unprincipled enough, the Governor's plan to pit us against one another group by group should continue to result in significant revenue enhancements to the one group that really matters- government.
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A distinct pattern is emerging from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe. When humans display patterns, it is often because they are following a strategy. Find the pattern and one can draw reasonably conclusions as to what the strategy might be.

His record is one of tax cuts and tax increases, with the net result being a gain in tax revenues for the state. The tax he likes to cut is a general one- the sales tax on food. In other words, this tax cut is popular with just about everybody. And here is HOW he would like to cut the tax on groceries: as incrementally as possible. That way, he can get credit for cutting taxes three or four times even though it is the same tax.

More instructive is his pattern of tax increases. One was on natural gas well production. At the time, we were expecting tremendous revenue growth from projects in the Fayetteville Shale play even at the old tax rates. He proposed increasing them many times over, so that some warned it would discourage some projects. Time will tell if natural gas production fails to meet the original rosy estimates, but so far its not looking good.

Beebe taxed a very narrow group but did not use the revenues for the benefit of that group- I.E. he did not use it for road maintenance in the counties who would need more highway dollars because of the increased truck traffic. He spread it around the state and into his own control through a "quick closing fund". So he found a narrow group that was out of favor with the people (high gasoline prices at the time had people mad about almost everyone that had anything to do with hydrocarbons). Then he stuck them with a big increase to getting back even more than he gave up with the grocery sales tax cut.

Now he is doing the exact same thing. This time the narrow group that is looked at disfavorably by much of the rest of the population is smokers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, they don't drive up health care costs for the simple reason that smokers die an average of 7 years sooner, leaving off some of the most expensive years of life. But that did not stop the Governor from singling them out for big tax increase for benefits that could apply to the general population. And again the state revenues to the general fund from this tax increase will dwarf the 30-40 million dollars the population will get back through the grocery tax cut.

So a pattern is established here. Draw out the broad-based tax cuts, and dole them out in tiny bits so as to repeatedly get credit as a tax cutter, but every time you do, find some small isolated group and hammer them with large tax increase that nets you more money than you gave up. Last time the isolated group that was looted for the good of "the whole" was natural gas producers. This time it is smokers. Next time it could be left-handed midgets that like to fish.

Or it could be a group you are in. And if you have not cared about those other groups when it was Mike Beebe's turn to step on them, then you ought not to get too upset with people if they don't care when it is Mike Beebe's turn to step on you. What makes civilization possible is the capacity to feel moral outrage over an injustice done to a stranger.

Government leaders who appeal to our corruption by offering us "services" by taxing some random group whose actions have no special connection to the services offered will lead us to a society where no one is safe. The state will be on the constant prowl for the next small group to loot, and the only defense will be to pay your lobbyist more than the next guy so that they get the knife not you.

What a pathetic way to live, each of us begging for our neighbor's bread to men who are supposed to be our public servants. But that's the way it is going if we don't do an integrity check and I mean yesterday.

Misunderstandings About Government Stimulus

What is government? Ultimately it is nothing more than the entity which claims a monopoly right on the use of force over a given group of people. Government, ultimately, is force. It is using the threat of punishment- backed by force- to either make people do or not do something regardless of their wishes to do or not do it.

That is why some, libertarians come to mind, want to put strict limits on what the government can do, including the circumstances under which it can use force. Constitutionalists are cousins to libertarians, allowing local governments more leeway, but desiring strict and defined limits with meaningful checks and balances on the powers of the central authority.

Opposite them are the statists. The ones on the left are called socialists and the ones on the right are called fascists. Their cousins, varying only in degree and not in kind, are today's Republicans and Democrats. They both support huge and intrusive centralized government power, but sometimes quibble over whose friends should benefit from that vast coercive power. One wants to rob Peter to pay Paul, and the other desires to rob Paul to pay Peter, but both take it as a given that government ought to be robbing somebody (even if, in the case of using debt, it is the next generation they are robbing) in order to finance some end that they believe justifies their means.

I say all this in hopes of getting you to the place where you realize that all this chatter about government stimulus plans is based on a premise, and that premise is a flawed one. It assumes that the libertarians and constitutionalists are wrong about what a central government is supposed to do, and that the socialists and fascists (event the kinder, gentler ones called Republicans and Democrats) are right. The former groups maintain that government exists to protect the rights of its citizens, and the latter assumes that government exists to meet "needs" of basically any sort whatsoever the government itself assumes ought to be met. It may be "affordable housing for all" or it may be national greatness in enforcing "a new world order". Or, in the case of a government stimulus plan, they see the government's job as "getting the economy going".

To Constitutionalists and some of the more moderate libertarians, the best thing government can do for the economy is insure contracts are enforced, protect against theft, including theft by fraud, and otherwise stay small so that more resources are available to the productive private sector. The philosophy of our current government has taken us in the polar opposite direction- a huge government that is in the way of every effort to increase honest productivity, but so huge that it is both unable and unwilling to perform its legitimate core functions of protecting people against fraud.

Indeed, big government is in on the fraud. It facilitates the fraud. It draws its membership from the ranks of the institutions responsible for the fraud. It designates its Peters and Pauls as "too big to fail" which is another way of saying "too well-connected to prosecute". Big government, in need of constant borrowing, so needs big finance that instead of prosecuting fraud in this sector, it actually bails out the insiders to the fraud.

(I am running long here, please catch the rest on the jump by clicking SUNDAY below and scrolling down).

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Thomas Paine Day - also called Freethinkers' Day- Failed in Senate Committee

Sixty-Six Arkansas House Members Voted on Jan 22, 09 To Commemorate Thomas Paine Day.
"It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes," Thomas Paine said.
Rep Lindsley Smith of Fayetteville was the sponsor of the bill.

Following are excerpts from Arkansas Democrat Gazette article : http://www.nwanews.com/adg/National/250756/ See the quotes from Paine's works below the excerpts.

"An Arkansas Senate committee balked Tuesday at recommending a bill that would designate a day to commemorate Revolutionary War patriot Thomas Paine.

"Paine would be commemorated yearly on Jan. 29 by a proclamation issued by the governor under House Bill 1086 by Rep. Lindsley Smith, D-Fayetteville.

"A motion by Sen. Steve Bryles, D-Blytheville, for the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee to endorse the bill failed for the lack of a second by the committee's other members.

"The action came after Sen. Randy Laverty, D-Jasper, questioned Paine's writings on religion in Paine's book The Age of Reason after reading to committee members some writings that Laverty later said were given to him by an Eagle Forum member, whose name he couldn't recall.

"I laud him for many of the things that he did, but apparently at some point in the writing of that book, if this is true information, he had some very disparaging things to say about the Bible. It's naturally a concern to those of us that believe in the faith of our fathers," Laverty said.

"She [Rep Lindsley Smith] said she has had her religion questioned by some people, and that she attended a Methodist church for 40 years and now attends a Unitarian church.
End of excerpts from article.

Sampling of Thomas Paine Quotes (See links below where you can find these quotes)

Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason and more contradicotyr to itself than this thing called Christianiy. Thomas Pain, The Age of Reason.

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Chritian or turkis, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profits. Thomas Pain, The Age of Reason.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. Thomas Paine

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst. It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes. Thomas Paine

For the names of legislators who voted for this bill and those who voted against it, see this link: Vote was taken January 22, 09 http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2009/R/Pages/Votes.aspx?rcsnum=2257&votechamber=House

For documentation on these quotes by Paine go to this link, and they are at the very end of the article. http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2009%20-%20AR%20House%20voted%20to%20honor%20athesist%20John%20Paine2.htm

Hurray for Three Arkansas Democrats: Sen. Taylor, Reps. Adcock and Flowers

We don't get to say Hurray for Democrats too often, but this is one time we can.

The two following Democrat Representatives were the only two Democrats who voted against Governor Beebe's Cigarette Tax which passsed by one vote but still has to be voted on in the Senate.

Rep. Pam Adcock Dist.35 6205 Hinkson Little Rock AR 72209 Bus. 501-568-3398 adcockp@arkleg.state.ar.us
Rep. Stephanie Flowers, Dist. 17 104 Main Street Suite C Pine Bluff AR 71601 Ph: 870-535-1032 Fx: 870-535-1032 flowerss@arkleg.state.ar.us

They are the only two Democrats who broke with their Governor and Party on the cigarette tax which passed by only one vote. So all the Democrats and all the Republicans who voted for the bill will know that each of them could have defeated this bill - a bill that in all likelihood will fund abortions in the near future when Governor Beebe gets matching funds thrugh Medicaid, and Obama and the Democrats push through the the Freedom of Choice Act. And I know there are many, many Democrats who oppose abortion.

Then Senator Jerry Taylor, as reported in the newspapers, said he intends to vote against Beebe's tobacco tax increase when it comes before the Senate. In the 35-member Senate, the number of favorable votes the bill needs to pass is 27. A special thanks to Senator Jerry Taylor who too has given us many good votes in the past. There are seven Republicans in the Senate. If we could get one more Democrat and keep all Republican votes, the cigarette tax could be defeated in the Senate.

Go to this page to see a list of legislators in alphabetical order by Senate and House that is easy to use to contact legislators in your district or the Republican legislators to ask them to stand together against this bill. The legislators are labeled as Democrats or Republicans on this list and phone number and emails are on it as well. http://www.wpaag.org/AddressesArSenate.htm

The Republicans who took a stand against the Governor's cigarette bill talked abut the "waterboarding" they went through at the hands of the Democrtic leaders. Wonder how much "waterboarding" these Democrats who broke with the party will go through. Maybe they need a thank you from us to balance the heat they may get.

Gov Beebe's Cigarette Tax (HB1024) Passed House by One Vote

If either one of the following Republicans had voted against the bill, it would have been defeated. But it must still pass the Senate.

These Republicans have given us some good votes in the past, but we are very disappointed with their votes on this bill.

These Republicans voted with the Governor on his cigarette tax bill:

(R) Rep. Rick Green, Dist 66 1807 Bunker Hill Van Buren, AR 72956 Ph: 479-470-9911 Fax : 479-421-0195 mailto:mgreen@arkleg.state.ar.us
R) Rep Robert Dale Dist 70, 90 Claud Hottinger Road, Dover, 72837 479-498-2467 redale70@yahoo.com
(R) Rep. Bill Sample, Dist. 30 2340 North Hwy. 7 Hot Springs AR 71909 Bus: 501-321-0040 Fx: 501-321-4249 sampleb@arkleg.state.ar.us
(R) Rep. Tim Summers Dist. 99 P.O. Box 1805 Kimberly Place, Bentonville, 72712, 479-464-1060 summerst@arkleg.state.ar.us
(R) Rep. Beverly Pyle, Dist.83 1017 Dorothy Drive Cedarville AR 72932 Bus: 479-474-6158 Fx: 479-474-8386 pyleb@arkleg.state.ar.us
(R) Rep. Roy Ragland, Dist. 90 P. O. Box 610 Marshall AR 72650 Bus: 870-448-6640 raglandr@arkleg.state.ar.us

The following two Democrats voted against the bill: (They must have real courage. I hope to meet them some time)

Rep. Pam Adcock Dist.35 6205 Hinkson Little Rock AR 72209 Bus. 501-568-3398 adcockp@arkleg.state.ar.us
Rep. Stephanie Flowers, Dist. 17 104 Main Street Suite C Pine Bluff AR 71601 Ph: 870-535-1032 Fx: 870-535-1032 flowerss@arkleg.state.ar.us

"As the Dem Gaz reported "Gov. Mike Beebe's effort to raise taxes on cigarettes and other forms of tobacco squeaked through the state House of Representatives on Thursday after one Republican referred to "waterboarding" tactics of Democratic leaders applying pressure to undecided members. "

"Fort Smith Republican Rep. Frank Glidewell, speaking in the House against HB1204, said the tax would usher in big government and had grown to include too many health-related programs.


"The fathers of the New Deal would have been proud," Glidewell said.
He also said towels needed to be passed out to lawmakers, quipping: "I thought waterboarding had been outlawed." Link to full article in Arkansas Democrat Gazette. http://www.nwanews.com/adg/National/251539/

I guess we now know that 22 of our good Republicans can take the heat and "waterboarding" for Republican principles. One Republican in particular took an extra amount of heat, Republican Ed Garner. He did a TV debate with the sponsor of Beebe's bill on Steve Barnes TV show. He did such a good job that I think he became a threat to the media, so they did a couple of unfavorable articles on him. Thanks especially to Republican Ed Garner for his courage and calm, intelligent, professional skills in debating.

The bill still has to pass the Senate now before Beebe can sign it. At least one Democrat has said he would vote against it (Senator Jerry Taylor). We have seven Republicans so we would only need one more Democrat to defeat it if the Republicans can stand the "waterboarding" and all stick together. It takes a 75% majority for this tax increase, and there are 35 Senators.

Friday, February 06, 2009

HB1339 and HB1204

The print media continues to misrepresent HB1204, the tax increase on tobacco products. The DemGaz this morning claimed that monies raised by the measure will go for "rural health centers", an expansion of ARKids first, a trauma system, and maybe even do your dishes and eliminate halitosis.

I say the truth is that as the bill is actually written, it won't do anymore to fund any of that stuff than any other tax dollar committed to general revenues. So who is telling it to you straight, this little ole' blog or the mighty DemGazette? Please read the text of the bill yourself and see what they have put in writing. Then use what you discover to make a rational decision about who is a more credible source for information for you.

I suspect that Beebe wanted to use almost all of the revenue raised by HB1204 that is not going to the trauma system (in other words about 3/4ths of the loot) for matching funds from Medicaid. So what sort of expansion of Medicaid was in the works from the Obama administration? "Family planning", which has always meant contraceptives and abortion. Planned Parenthood, the nation's #1 abortion provider/referrer, has been the organization which has benefited most from Medicaid's "family planning" "services".

To be commended are Representatives Pam Adcock and Stephanie Flowers, the two Democrats who broke with Beebe to vote against this bill. If they realized that it was a taxpayer funding for abortion/contraceptives bill more than it was a trauma center bill, then they are the sharpest crayons in the Democratic box. I got inside word that at least one of those two DID realize the future abortion/contraceptive implications for the bill. Good for them. As for the rest of the "pro-life" Democrats, their walk did not match their talk. Meanwhile on the Republican side, Rep. Roy Ragland may have made a quick end to his rumored campaign for Lt. Governor by not only voting for a tax increase in a time of government budgetary surplus, but doing it on a vote that also steps on Pro-lifer's toes. Ouch.

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HB 1339, the political hack employment act, would lock Arkansas' electors into voting for President whoever won the national popular vote, regardless of the vote in this state. Word is that legislators are getting wined and dined on this one by national interests like never before. Why? I suspect it is because the way Presidential elections are done now means that most of the money is spent in maybe ten key swing states. TV and radio stations in non-swing states want a piece of that action. Political hacks who get hired to run political campaigns (yeah, three fingers pointing back at me on that one) around the nation want in on the action too. A popular vote win would spread campaign dollars out. I believe that is the real reason for the push behind this bill.

Advocates say that polls favor it, but that is only because the people are being misinformed about it by the same big media that stands to benefit from the measure. I say again something you know in your heart but is hard to keep in one's head just because they are out there so much- you simply cannot trust the mainstream media to tell you the truth. It is irrational to listen to what they have to say as if it were true because there are too many known instances where they slant it.

One man, one vote still applies the way we do it now, it just applies on a state by state basis. In order to make it apply uniformly, you would not only need to adopt this bill, you would also need to dissolve the US Senate where each state gets two senators regardless of size. I remind you that these two measures- the selection of the President and the selection of Senators, were tilted to slightly favor smaller states because it was a pre-condition for them to join into a United States in the first place. This bill is tantamount to changing the agreement by which they consented to form the U.S. without their consent. Smaller states, of which we are one, will get steam-rolled.

Under this bill, a candidate who won overwhelmingly in California and New York but lost narrowly in 48 other states including this one would get all of Arkansas' electoral votes. Even if one of their campaign promises was to use Arkansas as the radioactive waste dump for the whole nation. Even if they promised to use Arkansans as a food source for California and New York they would get all of Arkansas' electoral votes. The UNITED STATES is just that, a collection of states who ceded some authority to a central government by mutual consent. Change the weighted influence of the smaller states, and you change the agreement by which the UNITED STATES was formed.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Big Brother is Watching Your Milk


BUSTED! CRIME IN PROGRESS. This child is consuming non-pasteurized milk, which the state health department seems to think is a terrible health hazard, unless it is from goats. Confused? Not as badly as the state Health Department!
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At a time when citizens on the left and the right are deeply divided on so many issues, it is refreshing when an issue comes up that gets support across the political spectrum. And boy do I mean across the spectrum. People from ultra-liberal Max Brantley to me liked this idea, and that is about as big a spread as you can get. Rep. Mark Martin of Prairie Grove filed a bill which was supported by types as diverse as dope smoking field hippies living in the commune to gun-toting survivalists living in the compound.

What was this consensus idea of the year? It was a simple one. To wit: That people in Arkansas be allowed to sell small quantities of raw (unpasteurized) milk to people who wanted to buy the same. This is perfectly legal in most states in the Union. Most of us over 40 have probably had unpasteurized milk from the parent's or grandparent's milk cow back on the farm. And of course every baby that is breast fed gets access to unpasteurized milk, presumably because the dolts at the state Health Department haven't thought to make it illegal yet!

To compound the absurdity of the current ban on sales of raw milk from cows, the sale of raw milk from goats is already legal by state law. Rep. Martin's bill would have made "parity" with raw milk from cows and goats. There is no logical reason why the state Health Department would insist on a ban on the milk from one animal while milk sales from the other animal are perfectly legal.

But the fact is that Joe Bates and others from the Health Department did lobby, and lobby hard, to kill Rep. Martin's little bill to give people from the natural state back one little freedom that we never should have lost: the freedom to buy or sell raw cows milk without the permission of the government.

It is appalling to me that the state treats us like such children. This should not even be controversial- and as I have noted, it isn't. People from far, far, left to far, far right and at all points in between don't have a problem with letting their neighbors choose for themselves what kind of milk they want to buy. But your nanny-state bureaucrats do have a problem with it- they are not in charge of it and therefore you should not be allowed to do it.

Joe Bates and company at the Health Department don't think you are grown up enough to buy milk without their permission. Does it comfort you to know that you will roll your carcass out of bed and go to work in the cold tomorrow morning in order to pay taxes so that Joe Bates can make more money than you do in order to protect you from yourself regarding milk?

The dairy lobby, which sells the Joe Bates approved milk, got together with the nanny-staters at the Health Department who don't trust you to run your own life and stopped Martin's bill. Thanks to their taxpayer-funded efforts, you are still protected from your own desire to buy cow's milk from a cow. If Martin tries again we will see if the legislators- and my guess is that most if not all of them have tasted unpasteurized cow's milk- will listen to the WHOLE FREAKING STATE FROM MAX BRANTLEY TO MARK MOORE AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN or listen to a few control-freak bureaucrats (and the lobby for milk processors).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crime Rate at Record Low in City that Cracked Down on Illegal Aliens

Irving Texas took a lot of national heat for their local efforts to fight crime- including illegal immigration. Our own Governor claims that illegal immigration is strictly a federal issue. The results in Irving say otherwise. Crime there has dropped to the lowest rate since measurements began after their tough polices to get rid of illegal aliens.

Tonight, Yours Truly On Internet Radio


Obviously I am not the 12th century Rabbi who wrote the original "The Guide for the Perplexed", but I understand his desire to help people reconcile their faith with the evidence from the natural world and the challenges of living in a faithless society.

Tonight at 10PM central: The Guide Talks with an officer of the League of the South

A prerequisite for finding the right answers is asking the right questions. Instead of "how can we save the United States" the proper question might be "can the USA be saved, and if not what should replace it?". Stephen Fowler, CEO of a corporation with over a hundred employees, says "it's too late", and talks about his group's efforts make the crack-up as painless as possible. Is he right? Find out.

Click here for the show page with the player on it and the call-in number (although I am not sure we will have time for calls tonight).

Monday, February 02, 2009

Why A Vote for Beebe's Tobacco Tax is a Vote for Abortion and Other Dot-Connecting


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Lots of politicians in this state like to talk about how they are "pro-life". We are about to find out how many actually mean it. They are being asked to "give up" the unborn in exchange for what is likely an empty vague promise about "rural health care" centers.

Sure Governor Mike Beebe and the national Democrats have their trail covered pretty good, so that four years from now the "pro-life" legislators who vote for the tobacco tax (and thus for taxpayer funding of abortions in Arkansas) can have some fig leaf of protection that they "didn't know" about the plans for the excess funds from the cigarette tax. But they can know if they want to, because I am about to spell it out. The ones that are really pro-life will want to know, the posers will find a way to stay ignorant of what is going down.

I can see Beebe and company laughing at how those church people will help him get this "sin tax" passed, completely unaware how their piety is going to be used to provide taxpayer funding for abortion providers and contraceptive distribution to their 15 year old grand daughters.

The proposed tax increase will provide four times the money needed for the trauma center. Beebe is dropping vague hints about the rural "health centers" that will be funded with the excess, once again to dupe the church-going rural types into helping him pass something that they would be completely against if they knew what was happening in the background. Beebe can count on the state's loathsome print media to keep the lid on this thing until it is too late, and maybe even then.

You see, Beebe also says he wants the extra revenues to go after some unspecified "matching funding" that will be available through Medicaid. But Medicaid has been tightening its belt, where would they be offering more dollars? The answer can be found in the original "stimulus package" that new Democratic President Barack Obama offered. Over ten percent of the funding in the original plan was for matching Medicaid money for "family planning". This has always been a euphemism for contraceptives and abortion. The biggest receipient of such monies has traditionally been #1 abortion provider/referrer PLANNED PARENTHOOD.

The Republicans and some pro-life Democrats threw a fit over giving over 10% of the stimulus money for such a program, and so Obama took it out for now. Still, his intent is clear. His priority is known. Obama wants to increase Medicaid funding for contraceptives and abortion. The "rural health clinics" that the good Christian folks of rural Arkansas are hoping to see from this tax will offer abortions in their hometown.

Some liberals have countered that the Arkansas Constitution bans the use of public monies for abortion. That can be over-ridden by Federal law, such as the mis-named "Freedom of Choice Act". This bill, which Pelosi and Obama badly want passed into law, will basically ban the states from restricting access to abortion in any way. Combine it with the new Medicaid funding, and you have the perfect plot to bring abortion providers to rural Arkansas.

The critics are way off base in other ways too. For example, they assume smokers should be taxed more for health care because smoking causes health problems. While it is true that it causes health problems, the effect is normally to shave an average of about 8 years off the end of a person's life. In other words, smokers don't cost more in health care because they die sooner and do not live through the last decade of normal life where medical expenses really shoot up.

Representative Ed Garner has a plan to fund the trauma system without a tax increase. It would not have any leftover money to build abortion clinics in rural Arkansas or enrich the coffers of Planned Parenthood, it just funds the trauma system. Actually, it may fall a few million short of raising the 26 million dollars needed, but at a time when we have a 300 million dollar state surplus, it surely makes more sense to do it that way than to raise taxes for four times the amount needed for the trauma system.