Sunday, October 30, 2016

Death Threats in Jonesboro Mayor's Race?

There are six candidates for Mayor of Jonesboro. The only female candidate, Amanda Dunavant has announced she is filing a police report for a death threat she has received. She has also been the subject of hacking of both her Facebook and campaign E-mail accounts according to this report. I have heard that she has been very outspoken against corruption in city government. If the local police don't handle it, maybe its time to bring in the state police.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

How Rotten is the Legislature? Alan Clark Shines in Battle for Families

Trust overall is reaching new lows, but then Alan Clark fights for families and we get a taste of how right things could be if the good ones had more help. Start at 24:30 on this audio link to the Paul Harrell Program

Thursday, October 20, 2016

On the Ballot Issues

There will be seven issues on your Arkansas ballots this November. I advise voting "NO" to all of them. Since Conduit for Action gave a pretty good synopsis of why you should not vote for six of them I will leave you with this link to their report rather than re-invent the wheel.

The only one I disagree with is on Referred Issue #2. They say "Yes" to that one. I am going to be the model of consistency and advise you to vote "NO" on that one too. The Issue will remove the constitutional requirement that the powers of the Governor's Office devolve to the Lt. Governor when the Governor is out of the state.

First of all, a bad tree will not give good fruit. This bill is from an Arkansas Legislature which, with a few notable exceptions, proven itself to be rotten to the heartwood. They fooled people on Question 3 last year, marketing it as an "Ethics Reform" measure which "Established Term Limits". Conduit acknowledges that the other two measures they sent us are also terrible. I think this one is terrible too, in ways that we just don't know about yet. First the legislature should demonstrate greatly improved character and integrity, then we should give the measure they refer to us the benefit of a doubt- not before.

One thing I think they are trying to do with it is start a process whereby they abolish the office of Lt. Governor. A lot of people think the office should be abolished because it "does nothing". Well, the state constitution says that the Lt. Governor is supposed to be "The President of the Senate." What the Senate has done is taken most of the authority from the Lt. Governor, who is picked by all Arkansans, and given that authority to the President Pro Tem of the Senate- which is one of their own who is selected by them.

Hey, you take away the primary function of any of the state offices and it looks like a joke. In other states where the Lt. Governor is the functioning President of the Senate (instead of passing it off to the Pro Tem) that office is very important. The Pro Tem is a player as a Senator and a ref as pro tem. He is trading votes, sponsoring bills, and also deciding whose bills get decided how. That is a conflict of interest. In at least one legislative body it would be nice to have a ref who is not also a player in the game of getting bills passed or killed. A ref who is accountable to all of the voters in the state, not just from one safe district for either party.

The staff that the Lt. Gov. has should not be a waste of money. The only reason they are is that the Senate has given the Pro Tem his own staff to do the stuff that the Lt. Governor's staff should be doing if they followed the constitution. Give the Lt. Governor his function back and eliminate the Pro Tem staff. That is where the duplication came from.

But this ballot question does not eliminate the office of Lt. Governor, it only takes away his duty of filling in for the Governor while the Gov. is out of state. The cannard is that "advances in technology means the Governor can still do his job while out of state." Hey, if you believe that, try it with your boss. If tech means he can now do his job even though he is out of state then the reverse should be true as well- he should be able to use tech to stay here and do whatever he was going to do out of state from right here at home. The argument cuts both ways.

This state has had two governors in recent memory who kept collecting a paycheck from us while they were wandering all around the country running for President. They did that in spite of the fact that it meant the Lt. Governor was in charge during their absence. Let's keep them on the job, not running off to D.C. or to some party function so that they can listen to some foreigners tell them how they ought to run the state when they should be listening to us.

I understand the argument that continuity in government within the term of an office holder is good. Realistically, the Lt. Governor has never done much to change that, and continuity is only good when it is within the parameters of what the people want. Corruption without interruption is continuity, but its not good. Division of power is how you make it harder for government to do anything that does not have the broad approval of the public. Consolidation of power is how government is taken out of reach of the individual citizen. That is why I am a localist.

This November, channel your inner Grumpy Cat. Just say "no" to the ballot questions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Senator Alan Clark Challenges the System on State Abduction of Children

Most reasonable people will acknowledge that there are times children need to be removed from homes for their own protection.  Sometimes parents are on drugs, or so crazy that they can't even take care of themselves, much less children. Sometimes there is a live-in boyfriend or relative who is a sexual predator. When parents fail to do their duty there are times when it is just and right for others to step in, including the state.

But when I says "parents fail to do their duty" it is understood that it is their duty to do. It is not the state's duty. The parents are not doing a job on behalf of the state. Rather it is the duty of those who created that human life to nurture and protect it. Where there is a duty, there is a responsibility. Where there is responsibility, their should be authority. Where there is responsibility and authority, there should be a right.

While parents sometimes fail to live up to their responsibilities our total modern state tends to intervene more than it should. Right now, families in Arkansas are losing their children to a Child "Protective Services" division which is too quick to remove children from families for reasons that are insufficient. That is a big reason why there has been an explosion in the number of children "needing" foster care. Parenting has not suddenly gotten worse, but the state of Arkansas has grown quickly more assertive in using its power to remove children from homes "for their own protection."

State Senator Alan Clark (R) of Lonsdale has led the charge in pushing back against a system which has become overly aggressive in removing children from their homes. Every parent in the state should thank him for pushing back against an arm of the state which is going beyond its just duties. When writing the headline for this article, I started to write that Clark was pushing against the state's "Child Protective Services" because that is what they call themselves. But what they call themselves is not what Clark is pushing against. What he is protecting against is the State abducting children from their homes even when they are not in real danger. Maybe they are in danger of being safely and lovingly raised in a manner and according to beliefs that a hyper-liberal judge does not approve of, but that's not a "danger" children are supposed to be "protected" from in what purports to be a free society.

Indeed, Clark pushed back against one of those judges too, Patricia James. Judge James ordered the removal of children from homes even when the DHS caseworkers thought the children should not be removed. He issued the judge a subpoena to answer before a legislative committee for some of her rulings. Of course the establishment press got in a tizzy about this, because they represent the elites. The elites want to separate what happens in state government from the will of the people as far as they possibly can. This means that, for one thing, they want the legislature to be utterly supine before the courts. And until this they mostly have been. Do we elect judges too? Sure but they have rigged it so judges can't talk about any issues so people are voting in the dark. And when you vote in the dark, dark money of the sort which has found its way into judicial elections in this state almost always wins.

The papers asked a bunch of judges and lawyers what they thought of the legislative branch showing the least little bit of gumption in pushing back against a lower-tier member of a judicial branch which orders them around all the time. Naturally the judges and lawyers thought that giving the Legislature any authority to investigate any aspect of the Judiciary was a terrible idea. I think its a great idea because I believe in checks and balances just like the Founders. I also believe in separation of powers, but not the way these people define it- where there is no check or balance on the judiciary and so they separate the legislature from their powers!

Clark did not get anywhere with his subpoena of James because the usual suspects, the "leadership" in the legislature Sen. Jonathan Dismang and Rep. J. Gilliam, shot down the attempt. But he is getting somewhere with his investigation of DHS procedures. It turns out that there is a pre-disposition to remove children from the home, and this has precipitated a rise in foster care. I think he will be able to successfully roll back some of this abuse of power, if we stand behind him. In other words, I am reporting good news for a change and on this issue in particular that is very refreshing.

Look, parents who live a little different life style from what the elites think is proper should not live in fear of having their children abducted by the state. Raising children is the duty and responsibility of the parent, and I know most of you will agree that unless the child is in real danger, like mortal danger or danger of sexual abuse, the state should not be in the habit of removing children from the home. I have often said that the next revolution is going to be fought over this issue. If the state keeps overplaying their hand, one day they are going to try and take the wrong redneck's kids. Not some isolated loner, but someone with lots of friends and family in the woods around them. If the worst happens, I don't think the Prosecutor would want me on that jury. Alan Clark should have support from both the people and from the elites for his work in diffusing a potentially devastating situation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Did Bush Family Plan a Sting Operation on the Trump Tape?

First of all, would you good folks out there just stop it? Stop looking at everything in terms of "if this helps my guy its good and if it hurts my guy its bad." For one thing, that is the very definition of persons over principle. But more immediately, people who have locked themselves into evaluating everything based on whether it hurts their champion or helps them will not be able to get what I am trying to say in this article, or a whole bunch of other stuff in this world that is going to be even more important to understand long after this election is in the books.

Everyone is talking about how disgusting that tape was, and it was disgusting. It described behavior that if actually carried out should put someone in prison, unless your name is Bill Clinton apparently, or possibly in the morgue if done to my wife or daughter no matter what your name is. But while we are all looking at the spectacle of the tape's content I don't hear much if any talk about the source of the tape. I guess we are to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Somebody made a tape of Donald Trump, with encouragement from Billy Bush, talking like a pig. And they kept that tape for eleven years. They just kept it in their files waiting for the chance to use it. And they decided that the time to use it was now. Not in time to help Ted Cruz get the nomination, but in time to stop Donald Trump from taking over the Republican Party by winning the Presidency.

So there is some force out there that is malevolent enough and far-sighted enough to do that- get a tape like that and hold onto it (or conversely the knowledge that it was out there) for eleven years just in case this Trump guy ever decided to challenge the system. Now who could be behind the making and release of this tape?

One person who could have been the source for the tape is Billy Bush himself. Bush is a close relative of the two ex-President Bush's and Jeb Bush. He is part of the Bush Crime Family which has long had an alliance with, and is now supporting, the Clinton Crime Family. Remember that the elder Bush once ran the CIA. The Bush family knows how to do espionage and intrigue. Even though Billy Bush has done puff pieces for his whole media career, his college major was politics and government. The acorn does not fall far from the family tree.

Billy Bush made it a point to suck up to Donald Trump over a decade ago. See this You Tube video for examples. In one of the interviews on the tape, he asks Trump about running for President. They were worried about it even back then. An outsider coming in to mess up their club. And I believe that they took steps to deal with that potential threat. Billy Bush sucked up to Donald Trump, got to know him well enough to know his weaknesses, and then started a lewd conversation with him while a camera and microphone were secretly recording. How many other people even knew that convo was out there on tape?

Trump did not run in 04, but the tape waited in their files just in case. When Trump jumped in the race they did everything they could to get it down to Jeb and Trump, but America was so sick of the Bush's that Jeb could never get it down to him and Trump. And the Bush family was certainly not going to unleash the tape in order to help Ted Cruz secure the nomination. The insiders that run both parties like each other a lot better than they do the outsiders in their own parties.

You may think that Billy Bush had no motive to make this tape because it makes him look bad too. It cost him his job. Understand that people like Billy Bush get taken care of when they do what the system wants them to do. It is doubtful he would have even had that job if his name was not Bush. At any rate, the Bushes have an extensive PR machine which works to refurbish their image. Whether it is following G.W. around with a camera when he dances with the wounded warriors they use as props or putting up bill boards asking if people miss him yet. But bottom line: They sacrificed a public reputation pawn to capture the biggest threat on their board.

Even if Trump was set up, it does not excuse what he said. Even if it was entrapment by Billy Bush, Trump went along with it. I am not writing this to excuse Donald Trump. I am writing this to get you to understand the depth of the intrigue, duplicity, and corruption at the highest levels of this nation's political process.

That is why I am urging people to stop obsessing on the highest levels of the process, and start the long hard work of re-building an honest political system at the lowest levels of this nation's political process. Do it outside the two parties that have destroyed this nation's future with debt while taking care of their friends. Do it with us at Neighbors or start your own thing with your friends. I know that is more work than just cheering on the red-blue entertainment show that the ruling elites are telling you is you exercising your freedom. It will be work, but it will also be real self-government. Something that, if you are willing to face up to it, we do not currently enjoy

Friday, October 07, 2016

Just a header for my other blog

That I am trying to get in the cloud....but do check it out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Legislator Reveals Superpowers Even Beyond Those of the Governor

Why is this man smiling? Maybe because he can change laws without following rules?
Is your legislator one of the regular legislators who must abide by the rules of their chamber, or are they one of the special ones to whom the rules do not apply? The answer could determine whether they have to go through the normal process to get the laws of this state changed or whether they can change them using their own methods for fun and profit. Falling into the "special" category is Senator, and President Pro Tem, Jonathan Dismang (R) Beebe.

To give you an idea of just how "special" Senator Dismang is, I want you to recall when Governor Hutchinson recently pulled his shenanigans on funding the Medicaid Budget with his version of Obamacare within it. He could not get the necessary votes for a bill which funded his plan. So, in a scheme too bizarre to be a House of Cards script he directed Team Red to pass an appropriation bill which funded his plan, but also contained a provision which defunded his plan. That gave a couple of the fence-sitters the cover they needed to approve the Obamacare funding. He then line-item vetoed the part of the bill which defunded it, leaving the part which funded it intact.

At the time there was a giant dust up about whether that was legal, because the Governor only had authority to line-item veto appropriation items, and vetoing the line which cut the funding was not an appropriation. They tinkered with the language in an effort to mollify the critics, and so far have gotten away with it, but the move was highly controversial because of the bright red line between appropriations and changes to the law itself. Even the Governor can draw heat for crossing that line- it does not matter if it is for so subtle a violation as that described above.

Well, Dismang's X-man power seems to be that he can crash through that line with impunity. It seems no one can or will call him on it, be it the Establishment Media, the Governor, his fellow legislators, or what have you. It falls on your humble blogger to reveal to you the extent of this mighty-mutant's potentially extra-legal powers.

You see prior to Dismang deciding it was a bad idea, Arkansas insurers got a tax credit for providing health insurance to their own employees.  Obviously Arkansas Blue Cross was the big beneficiary on that one, with their having so many more employees in the state. Well, Senator Dismang put a provision in an appropriation bill last session which deleted that tax credit language from Arkansas law. And his language passed without a whimper of protest.

Now some of you may be thinking "That's not an appropriation, that is changing the legal code. It's a change in the law. How can he do that in an appropriation bill? I mean even the Governor got raked over the coals when he sets a foot over that line. This makes the line seem like its not even there." Yes, that's my point. Either a powerful mutant walks among us, or our legislature is that mucked up so that some members have to follow the "rules" and others do not in order to change the law.

Now your humble blogger takes note of the fact that on paper this loss of tax credit would seem to hurt Arkansas Blue Cross, and yet they are big supporters of the Senator. To the point where they hired a highly qualified lobbyist whose qualifications included being the Senator's long-time buddy. I don't think he would knowingly do anything to hurt them. It is my guess that this is simply a small part of the giant welfare fraud that Arkansas' ruling class is perpetrating against federal taxpayers. The fraud is so systemic to the "Arkansas Works" and "Private" Option plan that I don't think the program can be sustained without the dollars obtained by fraud.

It is my guess, and I would like a full time media person to investigate this, that there is some arcane provision in Obamacare where FEDGOV does not pay the health care costs of a person if their employer gets a tax credit from the state for providing the coverage. So by eliminating the tax credit we simply get the feds to foot the bill. Arkansas Blue Cross is not harmed because they just get the money from the feds instead of the state. That is kind of cheesy, but its not a huge deal. The huge deal is the way it was done- without objection from anybody.

This is one of the many problems with electing legislators by party. Those at the top of the party hierarchy make the rules and ignore the rules when it suits them. It is my view that almost all legislators should be elected as independents, or at least via a different political organization than that which elects the Executive Branch candidates. It is the only way to keep up the tension between the branches that the Founders wanted instead of collusion among branches to act in the interest of a political machine run out of state and funded by global money.