Friday, December 31, 2010

Patriots On Watch Net Radio: Mark and the Mayor

Listen Here.

Mark talks with small town Mayor Frank Gilbert about the news of the day, juxtaposed against Big Ideas. The two come from a heartland perspective.

Topics: The dollar as a reserve currency and its dynamics with military power. Texas vs. the EPA, Love as a Choice, and How The Establishment Co-opts big voices for limited government.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The History and Current Impact of the General Improvement Fund

Arkansas state government finds itself in a strong fiscal position, when compared to the disaster that is going on in other states. The credit for this goes not to any of our current political office-holders, but rather to the wisdom and virtue of men who lived 150 years ago. The men who wrote the state constitution of 1878 deserve the credit. They placed in that document a requirement that the state submit a balanced budget. They also wrote into it a requirement that we have a vote of the people before the politicians are allowed to put the people into debt.

For the last fifty years, much of the political class in this state has devoted great energy toward getting around these protections. To some extent they have succeeded. Various bond issues and amendments have given state government more power to increase the debt load on taxpayers than they once had. Debt is a tax on tomorrow. That’s proven to be a favorite tax for today’s politicians from either established political party.

Still, the conservative manner of government mandated by our constitution means that business is conducted in opposite order of politician’s preferences. In general the state collects money today that it will not spend until tomorrow. During the interim, the money is placed in interest bearing accounts. The interest that is collected on that money before it is spent is put into a separate account, called the “General Improvement Fund”, or GIF.

-editor's note: a friendly legislator called to let me know that the GIF is also fed when actual revenues for certain programs exceed budget. As such, there is a small-government dynamic for GIF. Legislators are motivated to keep baseline budgets small in these areas, hoping that revenues allotted to them exceed budget and get moved into the GIF so they can dole it out. Still, it's doled out as a one time shot rather than a new and higher baseline budget for next year. That is real inside-ball stuff, and you can judge for yourself how well that serves to restrain spending.

This fund often has a significant amount of money to disburse. For example, in 2009 there was over $58 million in the fund. The state did have a large surplus that year- since spent, but it does show the kind of numbers we are talking about. When divided among 35 state senators and 100 state representatives, it’s still a pretty good chunk of change. Even in 2007, each State Senator had about $750,000 that they could give to basically anyone they thought worthy. That’s changed of late, but I get ahead of myself in the telling of this tale.

...continued on the jump....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Patriots on Watch Net Radio: Fractional Reserve Banking

Listen here.

Adherents of Austrian Economics are right about a lot of things, but the one thing they are wrong about could cost them a victory against central banking. That's a victory that the heartland of America desperately needs them to win.

The World Turned Upside Down in Brummett vs. Murphy

What crazy times we live in. Liberal columnist John Brummett just penned a column pounding on long-time Republican contributor Madison Murphy. Murphy Oil is a billion dollar company. You may remember them from the Murphy Promise program, where every graduate of the El Dorado school system is given a full ride to college.

You may be saying "Mark, what's unusual about Brummett using his column to attack people who support Republicans? Its what he DOES!" True enough, but in this case Brummett is calling Murphy out for not being conservative enough. The issue is the number of state owned vehicles in the highway department. It turns out virtually every employee has one. Governor Beebe has asked for a review to make sure this level of spending is justified. Murphy, who was appointed to the highway commission by Gov. Huckabee and is now the chairman, told the Governor that they need them all.

In a personal note on this story, in another lifetime I knew Madison Murphy. We all change. I was young and too full of myself. Murphy was so libertarian that he once told me that he believed almost all roads should be privately owned. Like I said, we all change.

Actually, recalling Chairman Murphy's former views on highways points to a common tactic of big-government politicians of all stripes (of which Mike Huckabee is one). Take someone who may be opposed to a given program and put them in charge of it. Do it under the guise of you wanting them to "clean it up." Once its THEIR program, they decide it is not so bad anymore- and become ardent supporters of its expansion. Former education Secretary Bill Bennett wrote on this phenomenon back in the Reagan administration.

While there is lot's more I could say, and have said, about the way the Highway Commission does business, I have a day job to get to. I know much of the brouhaha is Brummett backing Gov. Beebe against an independent highway commission which dares to be independent, but I am still amazed at this little part of the world turned upside down.

Monday, December 27, 2010

EPA and Texas on Collision Course Over Carbon Emissions

Obama's team is attempting to force through regulation what it could not get in legislation- limit C02 as a pollutant. Texas is the only state to refuse to abide by the new regulations. The EPA says they are going to implement them against the will of Texas, starting January 2nd.

So You Lost Your Election

Iowahawk, who commented on this blog a few times back in 08, has a four-star piece up called "So You Lost Your Election, an Outplacement Guide". The more-than-a-grain of truth at the center of its barbs are what makes the humor work. It's a good read.

Patriots On Watch Net Radio: Mark and the Mayor

Listen Here.

Mark and small town Mayor Frank Gilbert look at the news of the day, and principles for life, from a heartland perspective.

Progressive Arkansas Dips Low for Guest Columnist....

....that would be me. When someone wants me to do that, I usually let them post what I write first, then put it here. Luke Hobbs & company at Progressive Arkansas have tapped me to write a guest column. It's about the history and current political impact of the oft-mentioned but rarely understood General Improvement Fund. It should show up here anytime now.

The Evolution Agenda, The Cliff Notes Version

For the full version, go to the audio.

A recent Rasmussen poll said that 40% of Americans do not believe in evolution, at least not large scale evolution, which some refer to as macroevolution. I am amazed that after a generation of media and Hollywood propaganda, and most especially education system indoctrination, that so many of us still are not buying the baloney. And though I can’t prove it in a short newspaper column, it is baloney.

Man-made global warming as a threat to the planet is baloney too. The main difference is in the case of global warming people are catching on that that particular tube of baloney is indeed baloney- and baloney that is past its expiration date. I believe that global warming will one day prove to be only the second biggest scientific hoax of our time, after the idea of godless macro-evolution.

It’s nice that so many people still don’t accept the government position. The current government position is that we are not divinely Created, but rather the product of chance evolution. Oh, some may blather that it’s not the government position, but rather the “scientific” position. That’s hogwash. Science is largely government funded these days, and scientists are trained in schools that receive government funding as well.

So which position is most convenient to the political class? The idea that we are divinely created means that we have rights that limit their potential power over us, and also limit their moral authority to subject us to social experimentation. The idea that we are naturalistically evolved means that we have no divine rights and there are no moral limits to what they can do to shape us. Clearly, the government funded education system is producing government funded scientists who affirm and re-affirm the ideas that are in the interests of their paymasters.

I find that this is often done on the flimsiest of evidence, or even in the face of contradictory evidence. Government funded science makes a presupposition that divine intervention into nature has not and cannot happen. Once they do that, the most unlikely evolutionary explanation of the evidence can be accepted over the most likely creationist explanation. The problem is not in the evidence so much as how they allow themselves to evaluate it.

Our Founding Fathers took the exact opposite position of the ruling class of today and their bought priestly caste of scientists and educators. They said in the Declaration of Independence that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”. The equal part was not in respect to virtue or strength or wisdom, but rather referred to the idea that the royal classes were not inherently superior to the common people. Their “self-evident” truth was the exact opposite of what is declared “self-evident” truth today in every government textbook and institution which asserts, but does not prove, macro-evolution.

I did notice in the poll that young people tended to accept macroevolution more than older folks. That’s Hollywood and government schools at work. Still, I find it odd that younger people who tend to not believe the government about anything are the ones who most often accept the government’s position that they are the product of naturalistic evolution.

They are most often willing to believe, and usually for good reason, that the government is up to no good and lies to them constantly. Yet oddly, they tend to uncritically accept the government evolution mantra. Why do they believe that this is the one issue that the government is telling them the truth about?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Patriots on Watch Radio: The Evolution Agenda

Listen here.

People - especially younger people who do not believe the government about anything, have often been conditioned to accept the government position that they are the product of naturalistic evolution. Mark makes the case that Global warming is only the 2nd biggest scientific fraud of modern times.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wrong Way to Go No Matter Which Way You Lean

The crazy liberals at the Arktimes are right about the Little Rock Airport scandal. Should the mis-appropriation of public money be overlooked if you have an executive who is good at bringing in government grants? Or rather, if one is in the right "club" in LR social circles should it be overlooked?

So does who you are in with counts more than what kind of life you live in some quarters? I have noticed that in much of Arkansas "conservative" does not mean you are for limited government, it just means that the people who have always run things should keep running things, no matter how they run them.

They also make a valid point that the Tea Party should be all over this. So far they have not been. I predict it is only a matter of time though, perhaps post-holidays.

Though monuments and physical plant are up at the airport, actual passengers are down. People don't want to pay six dollars for what used to be free parking, even if they are walking into a glistening terminal. The liberals in Fayetteville City government tried the same principle by putting parking meters on Dixon street. It drove away customers there too, just like the raising of fees at the LR airport.

That's the harsh beauty of the market. It does not care what label you want to pin on yourself. It only cares how well your actions serve the customers.


"Liberty is the friend of Christ because it allows people to do what they want to do. And people soon learn that when combined with virtue, liberty produces great blessings, but when unrestrained by virtue, liberty is destructive. And when they then look to attain virtue, they often recognize that it is not in them, ...but that they must turn to God. Liberty is ultimately evangelical."


‎"Those who elevate "tolerance" (by which they really mean "acceptance") above all other values, are intellectually incoherent. They endorse an absolutist relativism."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Immigration to Factor in Census and Redistricting

Here are the numbers for the census. The South and West have swelled in population, but FOX news has a front page story about something I noticed in the data- much of the gain in population has come from states with the most growth in illegal aliens. Paradoxically, districts flooded with illegal aliens get more Congressman per legal voter because apportionment is determined by the number of persons counted, not legal residents counted.

Is this the new incarnation of the 3/5ths rule?

The One Way Mirror of the State

Our government now seems obsessed with collecting as much information as possible about you while just as obsessively attempting to hide everything they do behind a cloak of "national security". Glenn Greenwald reports.

Monday, December 20, 2010

FCC Plan to Seize Internet Will Have Delayed Release

Unlike broadcast media, there are no intrinsic limits on the amount of internet out there, so there is no justification whatsoever for the feds to attempt to seize control of the net. But they are going to try it anyway. Originally the plan, which has been developed in secret, was set to be released tomorrow. Now it looks like they need a few more days.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Surprise to Grow FedGov by Unanimous Consent

This time it was the so-called "food safety bill" that will feed the FDA monster until it controls even small family farms with sales under a million dollars a year. Monsanto and ADM must be proud of their Senators!

So is your local farmer's market now a federal issue? Are you not capable of smelling your own food for spoilage without federal oversight? Limited government types, if you place 100% of your chips on the GOP in 2012, you are Charlie Brown gullible. They don't represent you, and they won't change unless you make yourself some place else to go. Don't wait until you can no longer remain in denial that you have been betrayed again, because then its too late to find another option. Start building one now.

more info about the bill

Four in Ten Americans Hold Creationist View....

....the rest are wrong....

I am amazed that after fifty years of mass media propaganda, 40% of the American public has not bought into the macroevolutionary baloney. Anthropogenic global warming will prove to be only the 2nd biggest hoax of modern naturalism posing as science.

Academia is REVOLTING

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mine Baby Mine

South Arkansas has hundreds of millions of dollars of lignite- a type of coal which can be converted into oil. Now, will the ecofacists let them mine it?

Altes Files Bill To Raise Taxes to Repay Feds

I don't think Arkansans elected a record number of Republican legislators so that they could propose increasing taxes on workers in order to pay back the least popular entity in America- the federal government. Still, I am not a legislator and Denny Altes is. Altes is proposing an increase in taxes so the state can repay the 300 million dollars we owe the feds for loans to our state unemployment insurance fund.

This brings several questions to my mind, and some possible answers as well. First of all, the Constitution of this state prohibits state government from putting the people into debt without a vote of the people. I don't remember voting to let the state government borrow 300 million dollars from the feds, do you? Nope. So by what authority did the state enter into this apparently illegal agreement with the feds? If our state government has breached the state constitution with a violation of this magnitude, what is to be done about it?

Unfortunately, the people have a choice of two teams, neither of which seem to want to take seriously things like oaths and constitutions, and people don't seem the least bit interested in forming a team of their own to really take back their state government. So I expect that, yes it was an egregious violation of the state constitution, and no, nobody up there will do a thing about it except raise your taxes. And until people get fed up enough about it to ignore the ire of the establishment media and get their own team they will continue to get this kind of government.

If the people had their own team of people who respected their oaths, we would not be in this debt in the first place. Now that we are, some feel that its time to determine who should pay to get us out of it. My answer is: Not the working men and women of this state. Rather it should come from existing government spending, specifically from the budget of the person most responsible for illegally getting us into debt. The money should come from first of all Gov. Mike Beebe's "quick action closing fund" whereby he gets to pick winners and losers instead of letting the market do it.

That would be 50 million a year, so we can get 200 million of it in his four years right there. What about the other 100 million dollars? How about the General Improvement Fund Money? That comes from interest earned on state accounts. Historically it was divied up among the legislators for local improvement projects and widely regarded as "pork". Once the old line liberal democrats lost control of the distribution of this money, they had people sue to curtail the legislature's role in doling it out. Governor Mike Beebe now controls this money too, and gives it to legislators who play ball with him. To be fair, that's how almost anyone on the other team would handle it too. Still, this money should be used to pay down the debt to the feds, assuming we want to pay them back after what they have done to the country. That way, the person most responsible for this likely illegal and unconstitutional debt will at least have it taken out of his budget rather than the family budgets of hard working Arkansans.

Pryor Helps Stop So-Called "Dream Act' (Amnesty)

Showing that he has a stronger sense of political self-preservation than outgoing Senator Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor today was one of six Democrats to join with a majority of Republican senators in stopping the so-called "Dream Act" from coming up for a vote in the lame-duck senate. After their repudiation by the electorate in November, the Democratic leadership is attempting to cram through as many controversial proposals as possible before they are replaced in January.

The Dream act would have provided a pathway to citizenship (besides waiting in line like legal immigrants have to do) for illegal aliens under 30 who claimed that they entered the country under the age of 16. Of course, that would allow a whole new wave of "chain migration" as they could begin leveraging their citizenship to bring in other family members.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Patriots On Watch: net radio

30 minute audio here.
Mark and small-town Mayor Frank Gilbert give their take on the news of the day from a constitutional, libertarian political view within a Judeo-Christian context.

Macro Evolution is False Part Two Thousand Four Hundred and Twelve

Scientists were "shocked" to learn that "new" genes in fruit flies were just as essential to survival of the organism as "old genes." That's not supposed to happen, if macroevolution is true. They keep finding what they are not supposed to find, but they won't ever question their premises.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

POW Radio: Singularities and Silver

30 minute audio here.
Mark discusses the techno-concept of a "singularity"- the rise of technologically created super-human intelligence. The philosophy behind it may have a bigger impact than the actual technology. Also, is the run up in silver prices over with?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

84 Million Mexicans to be Given "Trusted Access" to US?

They have dropped the term "North American Union", but proceeding with the idea. DHS Directer Janet Napolitano has announced a program that gives up to 84 million Mexicans "trusted access" to the U.S. They would not have to go through customs, just wave a card at a kiosk in U.S. airports.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is the 1st Amendment....

....only there to protect individuals that the government deems are "journalists?"

Asst. Secretary of State Phillip Rowley seems to think so. One of the things that can disqualify you for consideration as a journalist is "having a political objective."

They would be laughable if they weren't the people running the world and dropping real bombs.

Silver Not Done With Run Up

A silver dollar, from back when America used real money.


People have been asking me if silver is about done with its big run up. It has gained about 70% since August. In terms of price, its gone from $18 to $28 or $29. I don't think its done either. Here's why...

JP Morgan has been holding massive "short" positions in the silver market which have artificially lowered the price. That one bank once held 40% of all COMEX shorts on silver according to many sources. Recently, they have tried to unwind from these positions. The rise in silver price means they are likely taking a savage beating on them. It could not happen to a nicer bunch of market manipulators. We have very little information, but what little we have indicates that they are only 1/3 of the way done with the unwinding. This unwinding will allow silver to go up to its true, unmanipulated, price. It should continue to gain there over time, but more on par with the dollar's decline rather than racing ahead of it for real gains.

If, and there are always ifs, the remaining unwinds have a proportional effect as the unwinds so far then silver should see roughly another $21 in gains before its rate of gain levels off. How fast will this be? We don't know, but it took from August till December to unload the first third. If they continue the same pace, we are looking at $50 silver by the end of 2011.

That's a lot of ifs, and the future does not always continue past trends, but its how I'm betting.

"Justice" Breyer Says Founders Would Have Allowed Gun Control

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, in an impressive display of illogic, contended that the Founders would have allowed further restrictions on firearms.

He reasons that Founding Father James Madison was more worried that the Constitution may not be ratified than he was about granting individuals the right to bear arms.

Madison "was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize" said Breyer.

Madison's priority was to get the states to sign up for the bill of rights to prevent an new constitutional convention from undoing the original. Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer told FOX new's Chris Wallace.

In Breyer's view, since Madison only wanted it in there because that was necessary to keep the states on board, it somehow justifies ignoring the 2nd when "circumstances change."

I don't think I'd want to do business with a guy like Breyer. Say he wants to rent a car from me this week end. We agree to a price, but I insist that he pay 50 cents a mile for all travel over 100 miles. He does not want that clause, but I won't rent him the car without it, so he agrees to the deal.

By Breyer's reasoning, if something comes up that he did not anticipate, he can drive the car as far as he wants without paying extra. Somehow, he thinks that since he only agreed to it because he couldn't get me to sign the contract without it, then he doesn't really have to honor it "if circumstances change." "Sure I broke my word, but I never wanted to give that word, I only did it because that's what I had to say to rope you into the deal." Does that sound like an honorable position to you?

The Madness of DC

This photo recently appeared on "The Drudge Report." It shows an elderly nun being genitally grouped by a Muslim, Habib-wearing TSA guard. In the background, the federal flag. All my life, it's been a symbol of justice, hope and freedom. Now, it's the symbol behind this madness.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Killing the Messenger

Assange: Who does this man terrify?

In primitive societies, when a messenger brought bad news, the king hearing the news would often respond by killing the messenger. That’s where the phrase “kill the messenger” comes from. It’s an immature practice. Killing the messenger does nothing to change the truth of the message. It solves no underlying problems. All it does is keep the negative information from getting out for a little bit longer.

Our modern leaders would never do anything so primitive as killing the messenger, would they? Consider the case of Wikkileaks founder Julian Assange. He published secrets given to him by a homosexual member of the armed forces who stole them off a hard drive. The soldier, Brad Manning, is in custody and awaiting trial for stealing the data. That’s fair. Manning betrayed his uniform, but what about Assange?

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has called Assange a “High Tech Terrorist.” Ex-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has called for his assassination. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he should be treated like “an enemy combatant.” Others slightly calmer voices have suggested that he be charged with espionage.

We should be concerned when these members of our ruling class attempt to incite a spree of messenger-killing against journalists who release information embarrassing to the United States government. The government is not the country- the people are the country, we just have a government. And it appears that government has been lying to us, has been caught lying, and now wants to correct that problem not by ending the lying but rather assassinating or criminalizing those who inform us of those lies.

Among the revelations, the U.S. is sending ground troops into Pakistan to hunt militants. Sending armed forces into another country is an act of war- I take offense to it when I hear reports of Mexican soldiers coming on our side of the border and shooting. Yet here we are, secretly doing the same thing in Pakistan. Did Congress declare war on Pakistan? Did we even have that debate? What happens when the Paks start shooting back? Are we about to be dragged into another war- this time with a nuclear-armed nation that has a population of well over one hundred million persons?

It’s Julian Assange who is telling us the truth about what our government is doing, in their own secret words, and our government that is lying to us. Why in the world would we join in on the messenger-killing? We need to know the truth in order to make good decisions and vote for the right people. If punishment is to be meted out, let it be toward government officials who haven’t told us the truth.

Really there is no difference between what Assange is doing and what the New York Times does when it leaks secret information in its stories. If the ruling class gets away with killing this messenger, which one is next? Actually, I don’t think they are worried too much about the New York Times anymore. The big media is no longer serving the role of government watch-dog. They now have a cozy relationship with the ruling class. That’s why none of them broke these stories. They had to be broken by a free-lancer like Assange. And that’s why many of them are attacking him instead of defending him.

It has been said that in an empire of lies, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. I’m not willing to trade knowing the truth about what my government is doing for a false promise of security from that government if only we let them eliminate certain messengers.

Malzhan to Vanderbilt

Former Arkansas assistant coach Gus Malzhan has left his job as Offensive Coordinator for Auburn to become head coach at Vanderbilt. #1 Auburn has had an overpowering offense this year, and Malzhan deserves much of the credit. Of course, so does Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton, the Tiger's QB.

Auburn has managed to hang on to Malzhan by giving him a huge raise.

Vanderbilt has consistently been a cellar-dweller in the hyper-powerful SEC. As a small private school in a league of big state schools it is at a massive financial and institutional disadvantage. Malzhan has never faced a challenge as big as turning Vandy into an SEC grid iron winner. Can he pull it off?

I wouldn't bet against him. The key is recruiting and Malzhan has a strong selling point for offensive recruits. He can tell the top QB prospects in the nation that he will put them in a system that will maximize their potential. Young wide receivers can be coaxed to a school where they throw forty times again and still win. Offensive linemen can be a part of a dominant high-scoring machine. Malzhan has a case he can make to talented recruits- on offense.

His best strategy will be to use his well-earned reputation as an offensive genius to land a batch of high-powered offensive players and then try to outscore people. Actually, Auburn has taken that strategy to the BCS title game. For Malzhan, going .500 in the SEC would be a laudable goal. What's the next step? A head coaching job at a school that gives him the base he needs to recruit good players on BOTH sides of the ball. Still, winning at Vandy in the SEC will be very satisfying, especially victories over a Houston Nut led Ole Miss.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Populist John Brummett?

Unaccountable Power is not good. Even John Brummett seems to be getting that idea.
Is John Brummett going populist on us? The antics of lottery director Ernie P. seem to be driving him to it on at least the issue of popular accountability.

On a side note, it appears columnist Mike Masterson has won the Citscapes "Best Newspaper Reporter/Columnist" award. That was by popular vote of the readers. Funny how when lefty newsfolk get together and vote themselves an award, it goes to guys like Brummett. When the actual readers, the consumers of the news, get a vote, it goes to guys like Mike Masterson.

Hey, if John Brummett is seeing the light, then I say hallelujah, come on in brother! I would not want to hinder anyone who is willing to drop false premises and embrace truth. The premise here is whether virtuous people can be their own masters or whether a small ruling elite is needed to wield the real power. Jefferson and Hamilton had this argument back in the time of the Founders and it continues today.

Brummett has, until recently, been the willing tool of those who favor rule by a small group of elites. In fact, his major function has been to marginalize, demonize even, figures who pose a challenge to the would-be elites of this state. My position is ultimately closer to Jefferson than Hamilton. If the people have virtue and good information they are most capable of being their own masters. My fear is that we are both losing the virtue needed for self-government and losing access to the information needed for self government.

An immoral people may need a ruling class, but the ruling class itself will over time be corrupted by too much unchecked power. Lawless people would use freedom to destroy themselves and others. For a while they may be better off under tyranny, but ultimately tyranny is not better for anyone, even the tyrants! I use tyranny here to mean not necessarily a single ruler, but rather concentrated power over others that has few outside restraints.

That's a long digression, but bringing it around, I wonder if the true source of Brummett's disgust is that Ernie P. won't answer questions from the press. In other words, this outsider is acting like he's a part of the ruling circle even above Brummett who imagines himself as part of that same circle. Even if that's the case, its progress. I agree with his dismay over the "unaccountable kingdoms" set up in Arkansas government and in the nation.

To me the biggest example of that is the judiciary. The issue rulings which sometimes make little sense, but no "journalist" even tries to pin them down with the hard questions. If they tried, I suspect the judges would mostly act like Ernie P. This is a glaring hole in public accountability. Judges have assumed power for themselves over the two other branches of government, yet reporters who will mercilessly grill people in the legislature won't even question even the most blatantly extra-constitutional decisions of the bench.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Little Late Perhaps....

Governor Mike Beebe, who to his credit voted against the lottery, says that the oft-plagued government entity will get more scrutiny this legislative session. Sigh. The time for scrutiny was before the amendment was voted on. Then the time for scrutiny was when they were drafting the bill to empower it. Sadly, the big media in this state refused to do that, leaving the electorate, sans readers of this blog and a few other ignored voices, woefully ignorant of what they were voting on.

Patriots On Watch: Tag Team Edition

Listen here.

Mark tag-teams with Mayor Frank Gilbert to give their analysis of the news of the day.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wikileaks, Inflation, and Bernake

So who is the "traitor", a whistleblower who is not even an American citizen, or Fed Chairman Ben Bernake? I think neither because the Constitution defines that word narrowly, but NIA has an interesting perspective.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Kharma on State Education and Lotteries

The feds announced huge potential prize winnings for states if they would just change their education structure so that it made them eligible to compete for billions in prize money. Only 11 states could win, but of course many more than that "bought lottery tickets"- that is to say, they made expensive changes in the way they ran their education departments in an attempt to win the "grant" money. Now some of them are looking around wondering how they are going to pay for all the changes they enacted.

I find it ironic. These states did not mind hustling people with a government-run lottery whose proceeds went to education. Now the educrats themselves have been hustled by what in essence was a lottery. This is a perfect example of why I believe it is time for states to pursue a policy of "rational de-linkage" from federal polices, to the extent that we can. So far, our legislature has done the opposite. They have gone for the cheese every time, even if it meant that the state would have to spend a lot more than it was getting. Partnering with the most indebted institution in the history of mankind, that's your long term business plan? Really?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

POW Radio: Liberty and Tariffs

Listen here.

Sometimes, the globalists seduce the liberty movement into backing their issues. One of those issues is tariffs. Mark presents two cases where the use of tariffs is the moral (supportive of liberty) choice. In so doing, he reluctantly crosses intellectual swords with the great Gary North. The moral use of tariffs is our subject tonight.

New Nickel Coming?

The Senate has passed a bill describing what conditions must be met before the alloys of US coins can be changed. This is of course a prelude to their being changed, much like the penny was changed from copper to zinc in 1982. A pre-1983 penny has a melt value that is close to triple its face value.

My guess is that the next target is the nickel. It is currently three parts copper to one part nickel. It's melt value is over 120% of its face value, and its about to go higher. The US government continues to debase the currency with reckless abandon, but since the Euro is having an even bigger crisis, it is masking much of
the fallout.

JP Morgan, metal manipulator for the fed, has taken a huge long position in copper. What's up? Do they know about a war coming up? Are they trying to force more silver production by driving up copper? Something else? We don't know, but it bears watching.

My Spiel on "The Deal"

When I last turn the radio off, Rush was delaying declaring his opinion on "The deal" that would extend the current tax rates and extend unemployment benefits another year. I wanted to get my .02 of a Federal Reserve Note in on it.

The deal is business as usual. The pattern is nothing new. Republicans have always wanted to cut taxes and Democrats have always wanted to increase social spending. That is exactly what has gotten us into trouble. Quick, what's the underlying problem in our economy? If you said "too much debt" you still don't get the prize because even a child can see that by now. Everyone can, except the two-gang cabal in DC. They want to continue to spend and not pay for it. This deal is just the latest example of that.

Debt loads on all levels are crushing this economy and eliminating growth potential. Much of the debt is bad debt that should be liquidated, but the government insists on propping the bad debt up because the politically-connected entities which own the debt don't want to pay for their mistakes. They prefer the losses be socialized, even if they continue to privatize the profits.

If this deal used existing stimulus money to extend the benefits, it would be a good vote. Much of the stimulus money is just political pay-off to special interests anyway. But it doesn't do that. While holding tax rates at their current level (and an increase in taxes with the economy this fragile would be madness), spending will go up again. That means debt will go up again. And debt is the real problem- one which neither party seems willing to seriously address.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I Also Do Web Design

Here is a website I did for local attorneys. If you need an attorney, see them. If you want a simple website built for your business from scratch at a reasonable price, see me.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Is Wikileaks Assange a "Terrorist?"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is a "hi-tech terrorist." I guess that makes him way more dangerous than low-tech terrorists like those pictured above. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has called for his assassination. Newt Gingrich says he should be treated like "an enemy combatant."

This is madness. Terrorists blow up bus loads of shoppers and school children. Enemy combatants engage in, well combat. Assange leaked documents. Some of them have placed Iraqi's who cooperated with U.S. forces in danger because Al-Quida now knows who they are. Other than that, what he's done is leak documents that embarrass politicians. I am ashamed of our politicians whose fascist streaks are so strong that they equate embarrassing them with real terrorism.

The revelations of Assange are no threat whatsoever to the United States. They are a threat to the fabrications of its government officials. They are a threat to the grandiose utopian nation-building fantasies of the dandies in the state department, but that's not the same thing as America. The real America is only made stronger and more secure when the deceptions of its government are exposed.

Once we were a nation that valued a free press as a check against government. Now there is little media left that is not in bed with the government, and some of those few left are rapidly being labeled as "terrorists" for reporting things that the government does not want you to know.

Responsible leaders should step forth and denounce this hysteronic nonsense of equating journalists, even reckless ones, with "terrorists" and "enemy combatants."

Arkansas Bank Not "Too Big To Fail"

Rumors continue to swirl that First Southern Bank of Batesville has purchased fradulent securities. When Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan Chase do that, they take them to the Fed's discount window and exchange them for cash or Tbills, possibly at or near face value. Not so the smaller banks. They have to pay for their mistakes, whereas the big NY banks that are cozy with the government simply dump their bad bets on the taxpayers via the Fed. The Federal Reserve is shaping up to be a shell corporation where the banks can trade their bad stuff for good stuff, ultimately at the expense of the taxpayers.

If the report is true, First Southern is in trouble.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It Continues (Fed Gov to Regulate Internet)

Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman and Domestic Enemy

I reported here that the Fed Govs attempt to seize control of the internet had begun. It now appears that a much bolder step was in the works the whole time. The Washington Times is reporting that the FCC is working on a secret proposal to regulate the internet under the Orwellian claim that it will make it more free!

Moore's Collary to Thatcher's Maxim

Margaret Thatcher, the fabulous former Prime Minister of Great Britain, once stated that "The problem with socialism is that pretty soon you run out of other people's money."

That maxim is true, except that with a fiat currency, one never runs out of money. You can always print more. What happens instead is that the money runs out of value. So the problem with socialism with a fiat currency is that pretty soon after you run out of other people's money, your money runs out of value. That's Moore's collary to Thatcher's Maxim, and we are seeing it play out now with the Euro.

Mustain Will Be Better in the NFL- If Chance Comes

I'm taking off my Public Policy Wonk hat and putting on my Football Coach hat again. You may remember I most recently donned it by opining that Broderick Green was the wrong guy for a go-to runner in the Hog offense. I suggested Knile Davis would do much better. A few weeks latter, the Hog coaches saw it that way too, and the Razorback rushing attack is now one of the strong points on the team.

For reasons I don't have time to go into now, I think Mitch Mustain could have a future in the NFL, if some personnel guy is smart enough to give him a chance. The USC offense is all wrong for him, and he is still good in it- only a dropped pass kept him from leading the Trojans to victory over Notre Dame last week. They did not even have a deep snap offense in that game, even when they were down in the last minute! Who these days makes their QB take seven steps back in that situation?

Mark my words, if Mustain gets signed, he's got a future in the NFL. In fact, he will be better at running a pro-style offense than he is in the college offense (of the 1980s) that USC runs.

So Does that Apply to Judges Too? How About Secretary of State?

Brummett's column today actually made sense as far as it went. It pointed to the problems we have with the State Game and Fish Commission and the Little Rock Airport and even the Lottery Commission. Those are all run by appointees rather than elected by the people. John actually writes in favor of the accountability of elections.

I agree with this column, as far as it goes. What I want to know is how he reconciles his position with ideas that judges should not be elected, but appointed. And especially his position that offices such as Secretary of State be directly appointed by the Governor alone.

If its a bad thing to seal off the State Game and Fish Commission from the Consent of the Governed via elections, how about 1/3 of the state government? And of course the judiciary is the branch that is expanding its own power at the expense of the other two branches.