Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Marriage is between a Man and a Woman, And There are Four Lights

Most fans of science fiction will be aware of this episode of "Star Trek the Next Generation", which may itself be a nod to some of the events in the classic novel "1984."    In the episode Captain Picard is captured by the ruthless Cardassians.   Madred is the Cardassian commander responsible for extracting information from Picard.   Picard reveals nothing to Madred, and indeed has nothing to reveal- he does not possess the information Cardassia is interested in.   Over time however, the test of wills between torturer and tortured becomes an end in itself, and Madred turns his efforts to breaking Picard's will, even if it is of no military value to his superiors.   It becomes personal.

Madred sets up four lights over Picards head, and asks him how many lights their are.   When Picard answers "four" Madred tells him that there are five lights (something which is obviously untrue).   He then administers agonizing torture on Picard for giving the "wrong" answer.   This goes on day after day.   Picard is determined to resist saying that the lie is true, and Madred is determined to break him and get him to say that what is false is true.

Finally the Federation reaches a settlement with Cardassia.  Among the terms is that Picard is to be returned to the Federation.   Madred, in one last attempt to break Picard's will, tells him that Cardassia has won even without his information and that Picard must live on Cardassia forever.  He has one choice though, he can live out his life in ease and comfort, or he can stay in the torture pit.  All he has to do to escape the torture pit is to tell Madred how many lights there are- or rather give as "truth" the false number Madred wants him to give.

Picard's face is contorted in agony as he wrestles with this choice.  Just at that moment, the guards come in and berate Madred for his failure to have Picard cleaned up and readied for release.   Madred's lie is exposed, and before Picard leaves the room his shouts defiantly at Madred that there are four lights. Later though, Picard confesses to his first officer that he was ready to break.  He was ready to say the lie was true, even believe the lie was true, to escape the relentless pressure of upholding the tiny truth regarding the number of lights.

This brings us to Marriage and the pressure to change its meaning.  Marriage is between a man and a woman.   It has been so since time immemorial.  Today's Neo-Cardassians really want us to say differently, and like Madred are willing to apply relentless pressure in order to bring this about.      They want us to say that one man and one man equals one man and one woman, and that two women equals one man and one woman as well.

This is untrue.  Those two things are not equal.   They are not equal biologically, sociologically, parentally, mathematically, or morally.   It is obvious they are not equal, as obvious as the number of lights over the head of Captain Picard.   Still, big government (and the big science which it now funds), big media, and big business, and yes to a growing extent even big religion, are all trying to get us to say that there are five lights, that five equals four, that something that is obviously not equal is equal.

Why was Madred so keen on getting Picard to accept a lie as truth on such a small point, and why was Picard so keen to resist?    Once one breaks, once one lets a master or government or the collective or whatever, define truth for us, over and against even our own reason and our own will, we become the most abject of creatures.  We become malleable on all other matters as well.  We lose our will to whoever or whatever defines truth for us.  We lose authority even over our own senses, because we dare not see what our master says is unreal, and we must see whatever phantoms our master claims are present.

The pressure that the governmental-corpro-religious axis is applying to the population in order to coerce them into saying that homosexual "marriage" is legitimate and equal to real marriage is only going to increase.   And its not just because those at the top are such fans of homosexuals.  What they are fans of is the power to re-define reality.   They crave power over truth, and like Madred and his number of lights, the particular subject over which they break one's will is not so important to them as the idea that they can break it.  The issue is just the tool.  Power to redefine truth is the goal.   In the brave new world, reality is what the Collective says it is on any given day, subject to change at their whim, and the elites control the Collective.  East Asia has always been the enemy, there are five lights, and two men are equal to a man and a woman.

Expect the pressure to increase.  It may be that one will have difficulty holding a high paying job or conducting business unless one subscribes to the collective's wish on this matter (and soon after, on all matters).   Just as Picard was ready to not only say there were five lights, but to believe it, those who cast away their free will in order to escape the collective's pressure will become vocal enemies of those who still reserve the right to evaluate reality for themselves.   Those who forfeit their senses to the collective will really believe what they knew before was a lie, and attack those who believe otherwise.

Despite all of this, and whatever else we face that I have not written about here, I choose to remain free.  When anyone or anything demands, whether through cajoling, pleading, or threats, that I accept as true something I know to be false, they would steal from me my very self.    They would annex my will and make it subject to their own.    Essential to remaining free is retaining my own judgement, my own will, and my own authority to either grant approval or with-hold it.    There are four lights, and the collective is not going to make me say any differently.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Six Million Dollars Missing from U of A, Legislative Audit Committee Asks No Questions

An audit of the accounts for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville showed over six million dollars has gone missing over the last two years.  The legislature has a Joint Audit Committee whose job is to investigate such irregularities in state institutions.   They recently held a committee meeting.

Three whistle-blowers, Brad Choate, John Diamond, and Joy Sharp, attended the recent Audit Committee meeting and were prepared to testify.   John Diamond was apparently prepared to testify that Chancellor David Gearhart ordered that documents requested by the legislature by destroyed, and that there was a growing culture of dishonesty and deceit surrounding Gearhart's administration. (Edit: Diamond had made the allegations previously but was not at the hearing at that time)   Who knows what Choate would testify to, Gearhart got a friendly judge to slap a restraining order on Choate so that Choate could speak only to the legislative committee about what he knew.

The Prosecuting Attorney for Washington County that the potential fraud case was referred to is a fellow named Jim Threet.   Threet has deep ties to people who have tremendous influence at the U of A Fayetteville.   He is married to Frank Broyles' step-daughter.    Given those relationships, there was some question as to whether Threet should recuse himself from the investigation.  In the end, he took it, and then basically punted.    He found no evidence of wrong-doing, (six million dollars gone without wrong doing?) but left the door open a crack by suggesting that the Prosecuting Attorney for Pulaski County also had the authority to do their own review of a case like this one.

That is the set up.  The committee heard Threet give that result, and they had whistle-blowers champing at the bit to talk to them, one of which has been under a restraining order which allowed him to talk to them, and only them.   Now it was time for them to be heard and questioned.   Only it wasn't.   Because Senator Bill Sample (R) Hot Springs abruptly called for the report to be accepted without any questions.   He was joined by an array of U of A friendly (or rather, unfriendly to the U of A but friendly to the establishment folks who are mismanaging it) legislators who voted with him to accept the report with no action and no questions.

Sample, I hasten to add, checked in at #8 on the Arkansas Watch "ten worst legislators" list.   I would say that Garland County Republicans have a big problem on their hands, and it is becoming the whole state's problem.   To their credit, other Republicans on the committee, Senator Bryan King and Reps Nate Bell and Kim Hammer, objected to the shut-down, but to no avail.  At press time I am still looking for a record of the vote on that committee, if one exists.

This is an excellent example of the kind of thing that has held Arkansas back. Arkansas should be one of the most prosperous states in America.  We have great natural resources, an excellent climate, and hard working people.   Whenever any entity under-performs over a long period of time, the blame rests with those who have been running it.   The insiders and ruling class of this state have held us back.

Cronyism is endemic in the "good ole boy" system that has so hindered us.   People trade too much in favors at the expense of merit.   Being an insider means that when the chips are down, doing the wrong thing for the right people, and this shut-down of the investigation appears to be an example of that.    I for one am ready for a change, and willing to work for a change.
Update: Rep. David Meeks has this testimony of events: "Senator Sample (R), made a motion to file the report. The motion passed 21-13. This kept any questions or discussion from happening. Afterward the chair said he would allow questions/discussion to happen unless someone objected. Senator Sample (R) objected. Meeting was adjourned."

The thing was folks, this was not close.   This was not split along party lines or anything close.   It was close to 2-1 in favor of shutting down this hearing with no questions!

Those who voted to shut down the investigation without questioning the whistle-blowers were:
Johnny Key, Eddie Joe Williams, Jonathan Dismang, Linda Chesterfield, Jimmy Hickey, Eddie Cheatham, Larry Teague, Wallis McCrary, Homer Lenderman, Stephen Magie, Monte Hodges,  Harold Copenhaver, Allen Kerr, Charlie Collins, Prissy Hickerson, John T. Vines, Greg Leding, Betty Overbey, Gary Stubblefield, Michael Lamoureux, and of course Bill Sample.

Those voting against this outrage were: Kieth Ingram, JAne English, Cecile Bledsoe, Bryan King, John K. Hutchison, Kim Hammer, Andy Mayberry, Mary Slinkard, Justin Harris, Charlotte Douglas, Nate Bell, Ken Bragg, and Terry Rice.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Common Core Implemented in Arkansas, and Republican Votes Made it Official

Common Core is to education what Obamacare is to health-insurance. It is an extra-Constitutional (one wonders what the NSA had on John Roberts) federal take-over of a major area of life once left to institutions closer to the individual citizen. It was implemented in a sneaky manner- bribing states to adopt standards which had not yet been written and set in place with little attention or input from parents or educators.

It is also being implemented in an obnoxious manner familiar to those who endured the launch of the "Smart Step" business in Arkansas. You may recall when "Smart Step" first came out almost all of the schools were "failing". That is because they wrote tests so hard, and gave so little guidance in how to prepare students to take them, that most were going to fail it. They designed it so that most schools would be "deficient", and therefore in need of even more centralized control and direction from the state department of education.

See how that works? Bureaucrats design "accountability" tests so hard that the test results show that the test takers need to be more accountable to the bureaucrats. You need their "help" you see, to solve the synthetic "crisis" which they themselves arranged.

Smart Step was watered down year after year once they got more control, and scores thus "improved". That allowed lots of politicians to claim credit for the "improving scores" while other tests which did not have a constantly moving bar showed that academic performance in Arkansas declined even as the amount spent on education doubled.

When government tries to take over additional swaths of human life, one can expect pushback. Formerly local school districts and individual states could decide what children under their purview were taught and how it was tested. Now, the centralizers demand control of that aspect of existence as well. So people are failing these tests, as planned by the bureaucrats. And many parents were stressed about it.

 But the racist socialists in this administration never take responsibility for the negative consequences of their rapacious power-grabs. That is why Obama's racist and socialist Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan said this in response to the push-back from his ongoing Common Core power grab: “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback (against Common Core) is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.”

But at least we have the Republicans to protect us from this outrage, right?  Wrong actually.   People have to get it out of their heads that we have one party which wants bigger, more centralized government and another which wants smaller, more decentralized government.   What we actually are two parties who want bigger, more centralized government, one of which pretends otherwise in order to (under false pretenses) absorb the votes and political energy of Americans who are opposed to such centralization of power in Washington.   The ruling elites have Democrats to grow government and they have Republicans to pretend to want to stop them.  Please wake up my friends.

Federalization of education is one of those many issues on which you have no choice America, if you continue to stick to the Republican-Democrat template at least. This has been true for a long time, but many of us are just now waking up to it.  We are noticing rhetoric less and actions more.  Consider that G.W. Bush and Ted Kennedy worked together to impose "No Child Left Behind" on us, which used the exact same tactics of funding attached to late-coming impossible standards that Common Core is using.

It is not just the federalization of education on which the two establishment D.C. based parties leave you no real choice.  Indeed, you have no choice on any issue in which the underlying question is centralized power vs. decentralizing it.   In addition to both parties desire to federalize education, both parties want open borders, central banking, bail-outs for the uber-rich, global trade agreements, the use of debt to buy friends, international "aid" and interventionism, and of course domestic spying and a police state to control your rage once you finally realize how much they have stolen from you and your children.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee came out in favor of Common Core in a letter to Oklahoma legislators even as other states further along in the process are backing away from it.  Huckabee falsely claimed the program would not impact local control of schools.   When he ran for his second term as Governor he also claimed he was for local control of schools, but he wasn't.   To him "local control" just means "you can decide how you accomplish the goals your masters on high assign you".  I consider local control being able to freely pick your own goals.

But Mike Huckabee is the Republican past.  Let's talk about the present.   The people of this state for the first time since Reconstruction voted in a Republican Majority to both houses of the state legislature.  This was done with a clear mandate to stop the implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas as much as a state possibly can.   Instead they sold us out once their lobbies got cut in for enough of the gravy, as they went from "Lions of Liberty to Lap Kitties of the Left" in the six short months between campaign season and the session.

But not only did they stick it to you on Obamacare, they did the same on Obama's plan for education- Common Core.   The Beebe administration has always treated the legislature like a doormat, and this issue is no exception.  The ADE went around implementing Common Core without legislative approval. But starting in 2011 and especially in 2013 they got it, thanks to Republican votes.   Republican Senator Johnny Key of Mountain Home was the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 814 of 2013.  It was co-sponsored  by some of the most doctrinaire hard-left people in the legislature, Joyce Elliot and Eddie Cheatham.   The bill made Common Core official for Arkansas, read it for yourself if you doubt me. Still, only one Republican (Rep. Stephen Meeks) in the whole legislature voted against it.

Anybody can make a mistake you say. OK, how about two in a row then? That was not the only time Republicans voted in Common Core essentially without opposition. In 2011 they also overwhelmingly supported SB 383 sponsored by Eddie Cheatham. Cheatham did lie to them about what the bill was, claiming it was merely a clean-up bill when it really was the first important step to change the law necessary to implement Common Core on page 6, section 14. Still they should have known not to trust Cheatham- we activists knew better (that same year we named him the 2nd worst legislator in the state of Arkansas), why didn't they?

Even though some of them have been quick to claim that Cheatham deceived them on that bill (which he did), notice that they did not come back the next session and repeal it. Instead, they again gave unqualified support to yet another bill to implement Common Core in Arkansas with Cheatham's name on it (this time as a co-sponsor). Sometimes, people want to be lied to, in order to give them an excuse to do what they really wanted to do anyway.

Look, Beebe and the ADE were implementing this thing without legislative authorization just like he did with the state health exchange under Obamacare.    That should be a scandal in itself, but an even bigger scandal is that the Republicans like Johnny Key are sent to the legislature to fight programs like this, but are instead sponsoring and voting for the bill that authorize them.  Indeed this bill sailed through the senate without opposition and only one opposing vote in the house- Rep. Stephen Meeks.

This tale of betrayal is very similar to the state health exchange situation, where Beebe acted without legislative authorization to form a health care exchange.  Instead of passing a bill to put a stop to it,  Republicans Mark Biviano of Searcy and Senator Johnathan Dismang sponsored the bill (hb1508) to authorize what Beebe had already been doing- even though voters sent Republicans to the legislature to stop the implementation of Obamacare by the states.

The reason Arkansas has implemented Obamacare and Common Core is because Republicans in the legislature not only allowed it, not only failed to fight it, but actually drove the process.     I do not know why some people stubbornly cling to the fantasy that people who support limited government should continue to invest 100% of their political eggs in the Republican basket, but it is an absurd and dangerous error contradicted by enormous volumes of evidentiary and historical fact.  At some point people with sense and virtue will have to accept that we need a better way to send candidates to the legislature, and to local offices.   That is why I support Neighbors of Arkansas, a group of local patriots working to seek out and elect independent candidates to the state legislature and to local office.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Conway Paper Demonstrates True Function of Establishment Media

Blogger Nicolas Horton from the Arkansas Project ran a piece about the city Council in Conway amending the rules in order to award a no-bid contract on the purchase of a large artificial Christmas Tree.   It appears that a local supplier got $130,000 for the tree, substantially above the going market price.  I am glad he did the story, saving me the trouble as I had heard about this apparent cronyism as well.

But not everyone in Conway was glad the light of journalistic integrity was shone upon this matter.   Among the most upset seems to be the folks at the local paper, the Log Cabin Democrat.   The ran not one but two articles attacking Horton for writing the article.   Horton skewered their attack pretty well in his rebuttal.

That's right friends, their city officials are caught red-handed in cronyism and the establishment media in that town does not attack the corruption, they attack the person who is informing people about it!  Why?  Because that's what establishment media does, it protects the establishment.  It attempts to define the bounds of acceptable opinion to channels of thought- bounds set by those whose sole qualification to do so is that they are a part of the group which are running things now.

 People have to get it out of their heads that mass media exists to inform the public.   That is absolutely untrue in our present culture of dishonesty.   Whether we are talking national media, state media, or local media, they are not there to inform the public.   They are there to prevent the public from really being informed. Their mission is to distract and mis-direct people from real stories.   They want you to keep up with the Kardashians.   People like Horton and I want you to keep up with the multitude of ways government officials and their cronies are presently ripping offyou and your children.

The media in this state are gate-keepers for the insiders who run it.   A man who found himself an insider almost by accident as a young man, before his conversion to Christianity, once explained to me that "to be an insider they have to know that when the chips are down, you will do the wrong thing for the right people".   This is never overtly stated so bluntly, it is just taken for granted that what is right and wrong varies depending on who does it.   Are they in the in-crowd or outside it?

As an aside- I believe that is why the media in this state don't even know how to tell the truth about Secretary of State Mark Martin.   They don't think he is in the club, yet he is getting reasonably close to some real power in this state, and it is freaking them out.  They are not sure that when the chips are down he will do the wrong thing for the right people, but rather subject them to the same rules and standards of justice which everyone else has to follow.   That is something which ruling classes in every place and age find down-right repugnant.

Such a mind-set has resulted in Arkansas consistently under-performing despite its vast resources, good climate, and generally honest and hard-working people.    We should not be one of the poorest states in America, yet we are and have been for over a generation.    Whether it is a sports team, or a company, or a military unit, or a state, when an organization under-performs over a long period of time, its always the fault of those who are running the thing.  That would be the establishment of this state- the ruling class.

The Conway Log Cabin Democrat, along with the Demozette, serve as gate-keepers of information for the same folks who have held Arkansas back with their cronyism.   Once you understand that then what was once inexplicable becomes perfectly clear.   Why would the paper lash out at Horton for uncovering this story?  Why wouldn't they instead offer him a job as a reporter?   Those very questions are based on the false premise that the Log Cabin Democrat exists to inform the public.   They actually exist in order to protect the establishment.

Not only will they refuse to inform the public, they will actually trash the bloggers for doing the job that they should have done were they honest journalists.   Many of them are not honest journalists,  they are posing as journalists in order to make sure that the people who have run things are the ones who will keep running things.  The honest reporters that are left are like a rare jewel.

Tonight I raise the glass to young Horton and the citizen-bloggers who uncover stories like this.   Every real journalist, whether blogger or working for a paper, should do the same.