Monday, December 26, 2022

Cotton, Boozman, Safely Re-elected, vote for Omnibus Bill with Many Gun Control Provisions

  Gun owners of America gave a few of the worst examples of anti-2nd Amendment provisions in the Omnibus Act......

🚩Massive 14.1% ATF budget increase to facilitate Biden’s Pistol ban 

🚩50% increase for the ATF part of the budget that maintains the illegal near-billion record gun registry 
🚩$700+ million in funding available to bribe states to pass “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation Laws 
🚩 Money for anti-gun CDC research while the agency suppresses self-defense statistics 

Eighteen Republican Senators joined the Democrats to pass this measure. Two of them were Tom Cotton and John Boozman. Tom Cotton talks a good game, but when the chips are down supports the establishment. This was also recently shown by his support for Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader. McConnell was another one of the 18 Republican votes for the measure, along with the usual suspects like Romney and Susan Collins. 

Boozman doesn't even talk a good game, except sometimes during the six weeks before the election. He's mostly silent and inert as the Republic collapses around our ears. I'll let you form your own opinion as to which approach is the worst. ...The guy who doesn't even pretend he is representing us or the guy who does when he's really on the establishment team. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Cotton, Quoting Pro Wrestler Quoting FB Coach, Will Back McConnell

 When a unit under performs for a long time and the leader of that unit has sufficient authority and resources, it is almost always the fault of the leader. Especially when they use those resources in a way that undermines part of their own brand. Donald Trump has blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who controls a lot of campaign funds, for the poor performance of Republican senate candidates. There is discontent, and not a few have suggested that McConnell be replaced as Leader. 

When the chips are down, you can count on Senator Tom Cotton to let his true establishment colors show. Citing the wisdom off a pro wrestler citing a football coach, he is supporting McConnell

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Lockdown and Vaxx Authoritarians Now Selectively Appeal to Single Christian Virtue- Forgiveness (for Them)

 "The Atlantic" has come under harsh criticism for suggesting that people should let bygones be bygones concerning the vast harmed caused by authoritarian lock-down and vaccination policies. Zerohhedge has an article citing numerous responses from angry people who lost loves ones, who have been disabled, or whose mothers had to die alone, due to useless authoritarian measures and under-tested vaccines that have been increasingly shown to be unsafe. Those who implemented these measures are now suggesting that "forgiveness" is in order. 

These are in large part the same people who reject God and take pains to expunge Christian values from all of society in exchange for the shifting sands of their own opinions. Yet when caught in monstrous crimes against their neighbors, they selectively appeal to the primary Christian virtue of forgiveness. Not for your sins against them, mind you. You are still to be held to full account for each and every perceived micro-aggression. They mean that you are to forgive them. Not due to their heart-felt repentance, but rather their desire to evade justice and accountability.

Well, scripture is something that I know a little bit about. I've a Youtube channel that is primarily devoted to the study of Genesis for example. And I've noticed that the same bible that says "love your enemies" and forgive them also says that government is supposed to be a minister of God to honor those who do good AND bring wrath on evil doers.

So yes, the Christian ideal is that we should forgive those who sin against us, and that civil government should punish them. It is a tension. There are two things that are true at once that seem in conflict in this world but the conflict is resolved in Christ.

So in practical terms, if you were to write an encouraging letter to a penitent Anthony Fauci as he serves his life sentence, you would be doing well. If you were to feed a hungry former doctor or bureaucrat who has been stripped of all of their possessions as partial compensation to their victims, then you would be doing a good thing. Unlike the woke mob, Christians do have mercy and do forgive. But this does not mean that we do not also pursue justice.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Democrat Candidate for Auditor of State Arrested

 The Democrats were careful to say that "we did not recruit her to run". Wow. Terroristic threatening of a Judge? This is not jaywalking! So they tossed her right under the bus. 

Arkansas Democrats, your party just gave you "permission" to vote for Libertarian Simeon Snow for Auditor of state. Not that you ever needed it. 

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Libertarians Win Ballot Access Case (Again)

Federal Judge Kristine Baker ruled in favor of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas and against Secretary of State John Thurston on Friday, saying the states recent changes to ballot access law for new parties was unconstitutional on six counts. The party only had 2020 ballot access due to an injunction against enforcing the law until the constitutionality of the law was determined. That access is now assured.

Among the complaints, the state legislature had changed the number of voter signatures required for ballot access from 10,000 to 3% of the vote (over 26,000 at the last election), and that new parties should not have to file with the major parties 425 days before the election because new parties nominate by caucus and thus do not participate in the primary. Regarding the timing and the level of scrutiny the state should undergo, in 2019 I was plaintiff in a case that touched on the same issue for independents and my case was a primary cite for the court in determining those issues. 

Congratulations to the Libertarians for winning in court. The state legislature has a rather thuggish habit of waiting a decade or so until the judges are not looking and changing the law back again. This upcoming documentary will investigate that shameful record. 


Saturday, July 02, 2022

Bragging About Corruption in Broad Daylight

 


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The "Arkansas Economic Development Commission" hands out taxpayer money to favored business interests. The overall philosophy of the commission can be taken from their own about page where they describe Arkansas as a place where we have "a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively." I haven't noticed the same amount of responsiveness towards us everyday flesh and blood citizens. 

So it appears that this state commission which hands out taxpayer dollars has an executive director who gets a big bonus every year from a private group. Hey, what do you call it when a state official gets money from private interests for doing their job a certain way? Everywhere else on this planet, it is called a bribe. Usually, it is done in secret. In Arkansas, it is called a "performance bonus" and it is done in broad daylight. They brag about it like it is something good for the state. 

Would there be, after maybe one or two degrees of separation, a connection between the people who fund this "Economic Development Foundation" and those who benefit from the taxpayer funded largess of the Commission? You can bet on it. If we had an actual media in this state with real investigative journalists instead of frauds who are only there to parrot and defend the establishment's looting, you would already know about these connections, because the media would be talking about it. 

Instead, they, including Michael Wickline who wrote this bit, are hip-deep in this effort to con the public into accepting this open bribery of public officials as normal behavior. Then, to add insult to injury, Wickline attacks independent forces that are trying to clean up state government, like Conduit for Action and Bryan King. Not only will pseudo-journalists like Wickline refuse to do their job, they actually attack others who try to do what they are supposed to be doing.

Remember Moore's Media Maxim: The establishment media does not exist to inform the public. The establishment media exists to protect the establishment. 



Friday, June 17, 2022

The NRA is Not Your Friend

 In Arkansas, we have an independent state-based gun rights group (Gunowners of Arkansas) that hasn't been captured by the establishement or become rife with corruption. But if you look at the history, if you look at the record listed at the bottom of this post, you will see that the NRA have been controlled opposition tasked with incrementally negotiting away our rights for some time. 

Further, there is an Arizona group trying to expose the corruption in the NRA. They mailed me a flyer that I found very interesting. Here is the front page. Click on image for a larger view. 


Here is an interview in which the #2 in Gun Owners of Arkanas talks about the real work of the NRA and shows why a legislator who is NRA endorsed (Bob Ballinger) actually writes terrible gun bills.....




Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Primary Surprises, Not Surprises

 A good summary of the Arkansas 2022 Primary Election Results can be found here

Insurgent candidates for state-wide offices and congressional seats were thrashed. I've been telling my friends for years that you don't take on the establishment choice in the primary of that party. Not for big offices where you are not personally known by many of the voters. Try running as an independent or start a new party. Then you have all the way to November to get your message out and you are not after a group of primary voters that your opponent is going to have Orwellian level data collection on. 

If you don't have the money they have, at least you both have the same amount of time. When time is in short supply, money is going to be even more dominant. They've never listened. And the results yesterday were quite similar to what they have been for the last twenty years....insurgents get thrashed. Even the ones who are good candidates. 

Doc Washburn didn't even get 20 percent for Governor on the Republican side. Chris Jones dominated on the Democrat side. Jan Morgan did about the same for U.S. Senate. Conrad Reynolds was in my mind a more serious candiate than Morgan, and did better against Congressman French Hill, but still only got 41%  of the vote. Party people are often herd people and they tend to go which way the herd goes. Outsider campaings only work if you are a billionaire who is aleady a household name with basically your own media and you are better than the news anchors at working that media. IOW, Donald Trump is an anomoly. 

Boozman won big. The Democrats passed on former Independent Dan Whitfield to elect Natalie James. There was no real Democrat establishment candidate in that race as the big money interests who run the DPA (and the RPA) are fine with Boozman and are going to let Ms. James twist in the wind with no support this November. I don't think Whitfield would have beat Boozman either, but he would have made the race a lot more fun. 

The only close aspect in the state-wide offices was that Leslie Rutledge managed to avoid a run-off in a six way race - which is pretty impressive when you think about it. She may have also ended a couple of political careers that needed to be ended with their poor performances, though I look for Washington County Judge Joseph Wood to have a future for local offices. 

The State Senate level and below is where insurgent campaigns can under some circumstances have a chance, because at that level people are more likely to vote on personal knowledge of the candidate or their family and less likely to take cues from party brass. Add to that ...this cycle gave us re-drawn district lines so that some incumbents were put in disadvantaged situation compared to the norm. If there is ever a time to make insurgency work, it is after redistricting. 

In District 3 Alderman Steve Crowell beat Senator Charles Beckham. In district six, JP Matt McKee unseated establishment Republican Senator Bill Sample. In Senate district 22 on the Republican side, establishment tool James Sturch finds himself six points behind and in a runoff facing State Rep. John Payton. 

State Senate District 28 is of the most interest to me- Incumbent Bob Ballinger drew four primary opponents and a Democrat opponent in November, due in large part to a serious of dubious ties and scandals, along with a general failure to do his job well. One of them is the man he unseated four years ago, the top vote-getter Bryan King. Back when we were voting "Ten Best" and "Ten Worst" legislators, Bryan King nabbed the top spot after being rated #2 twice. Ballinger made the top ten once himself, before his substance had time to put perspective on his talk. King isn't a corpoprate sock-puppet and he isn't a reactionary demogogue. So I'm wondering if a guy like that still has a place in today's GOP. We will see in a few short weeks. 

District 35 will also have a run-off but there was no incumbent there. Tyler Dees faces Rep. Gayla Hendren-McKenzie. If a Hendren loses up there, it could be the start of the end of a dynasty. 

There are 100 house seats in Arkansas. Only seven will have run-off elections. And that's weighted to the Republican side. The Democrat party in this state is woefully under-competitive. So is the Republican side in my opinion, but that's what happens when the establishment tips the scales too often. Outsiders start getting smart and quit signing up for an unfair fight. 

Karen Baker held her seat against a challenge from Gunner Delay. We may need a recount for the court of appeals race between Wendy Wood and Stephanie Cassidy. With judges, it is true we elect them, but by law they can't tell us much about what kind of judge they would be, so the elections we have in my mind are not as legitimate example of public expression as other office.....or at least they wouldn't be if the two establishment parties didn't have a near choke-hold on ballot access. 




Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Thurston Brags About Using State Resources to Register Republican-Leaning Demographic

 Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston is sending his employees around the state with "mobile offices" in conjunction with a veteran's group in order to register more veterans to vote. They will also be encouraging all veteran-adjacent voters to "dedicate their vote to a veteran". I know this because he is public about it. He is proud of the effort. 

I'm a veteran. I am all for veteran's voting. And if people want to "dedicate their vote to a veteran" that's good too. I think the effort is a worthy effort. But it isn't proper to do it with state resources. Paid state employees who work for a Republican SOS are out spending their workdays registering more voters in a demographic that has long swayed heavily Republican (and is 90% male for that matter). Some of you who are more partisan in your thinking, like the Secretary it would seem, may not see any problem with using state resources to bolster the position of your political party. But what if the shoe was on the other foot?

What if a Democrat Secretary of State sent half of his employees out to register black voters? What if they asked voters to "dedicate their vote to a civil-rights leader."? Or even a campaign to register women voters while urging people to dedicate their vote to a great woman? My guess is that many would cry-foul and be indignant that their tax dollars were being used to selectively push to register voters in groups that tended to vote against their chosen political tribe.

The principled position is that if it is wrong to use state resources to favor one party then it is also wrong to do it for the other. 

Until voters consider the integrity of the process to be more important than winning the next election, we are going to be ruled by thugs, even if they have affable front-men to take the edge off that truth. 


Thursday, March 03, 2022

Redistricting Maps 2022

 Now that they seemed to have passed court inspection, this might be a good time to share the 2022 Arkansas redistricting maps. https://arkansasredistricting.org/maps-2/

Friday, February 18, 2022

Why Bother With Primaries? The Establishment Media has Already Picked Nominees

While it is nice KHTV 11 gave the Libertarian candidate fair coverage, it is pretty clear they did so in an effort which was grossly unfair to the non-establishment candidates in the two established parties. In the Republican primary they simply dismissed Doc Washburn on the grounds that Sarah Sanders had raised more money, and in the Democratic primary they dismissed all of the candidates except for Chris Jones on the same basis.
 
It makes one wonder how Dr. Gary Bland feels. When he tried to run for Secretary of State, the Democrats had him move "to the back of the bus" to make room for Susan Inman who ran a terrible campaign and lost big. He was a good soldier and instead of running for Secretary of State, ran for Lt. Governor, where of course he lost big to a well-known and well-funded incumbent who consistently gets fawning media coverage. Have the Democrats consistently disrespected him?

 I think so, but the media is disrespecting him and ALL of the candidates except for the big-money establishment leaders with reports like this one. How are people supposed to make a good choice in the primaries when the media ignores all but the establishment favorite candidates right out of the gate?

Thursday, July 01, 2021

What Happens to Our Loans if the Dedicated Federal Fuel Tax Goes Away?

 It sounds like the Biden administration wants to divert federal fuel tax money to the general revenues. That way he can spend it any way they like, not just on highways. We are not sure yet if this includes the portion returned to the states. If it does, many states will have a big problem, including Arkansas. Politicians have gotten in the habit of taking out a bond issue financed by 20 years of Federal Highway Fuel Tax revenues. If those monies now go to the general revenues of FEDGOV, the state will have to make good on those bond payments with other money, from somewhere. 

I've had a long history of opposing such bond issues. They basically give whoever is in charge now the budget of whoever will be in charge 15 or 20 years from now. Ironically in this case, Mike Huckabee could have spent all the federal highway money that otherwise his daughter would get to spend. Basically, the politician who takes twenty years of highway dollars and spends them in eight better hope he made the right decisions, because that money isn't available for the next guy (or gal).