Monday, July 31, 2006

Tickled Pink!

Abu Zarqawi has joined Code Pink's hunger protest. His name was submitted by a prankster from the D.C. chapter of

Abu Musab Zarqawi listed on Code Pink's roll of protesters who are "fasting" in hopes that U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jim Lagrone, Campaign Train-Stops

Jim Lagrone will be making old-fashion campaign train-stops on the Arkansas Missouri Railroad passenger train. He will be making the Springdale to Van Buren run, with a stop in Fayetteville. The date is Saturday, August 19th. This should be really fun! Train tickets are discounted if you purchase them through the Lagrone Campaign.

Fundraiser for Jim Lagrone & Jim Holt, The Fish Fry

Jim L. is dishing up the fish, but where is Jim H.?

Ahh, there he is. Off to the side drinking while Jim L. is working hard.

Ok, Jim H. joins in on serving the fish and fries.

Jim L. gives the thumbs up on the food. He's right. The food was absolutely great!

The food is so good that Jim L. starts chomping down while serving.

Fundraiser for Jim Lagrone & Jim Holt, The Speeches

I was fortunate to be invited by a friend to the Jim & Jim fundraiser at Charleston Lake Park. Asa Hutchinson was able to stop by. Asa said the Republican Party was working hard to support each other. He remarked that he liked where they were in the polls. I've heard comments that all the candidates had expected lower results. Asa said in the election the differences will be very clearly defined. He spoke on
the matter of credibility; what you say in private should also be what you say in public. (Hint, Hint, Beebe). The rest of the speech was about the issues he's been campaigning on.

Jim Lagrone said that he is running because Daniels has done a very poor job in making sure Arkansas elections were fair and accurate. He cited the disenfranchisement of Arkansas soldiers and the current 3 lawsuits (soon to be 4). He also talked about the ethics of Daniel's state staff working on the campaign, the use of the State Web Site for Daniel's election and questions regarding his relationship with the ES&S. He also criticized the contract with ES&S and the issues the counties have with the voting machines.

Jim Holt stated that the election is about Life or Death. Jim went on to describe the differences between the Republicans and the Democrats. He ran through most of the issues: judges, rual schools, taxes, pro-life, gay marriage and foster parents and immigration.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sit and Wait

Teaching Casey to sit and wait helps with getting a picture of him.

Stop by and see more at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

Lessons From Bows

Find a quiet place in the garden and take a nap.

Stop by and see more at Friday Ark and this weeks Carnival of the Cats

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Asa Hutchinson, Fighting Meth

Asa Hutchinson again produces a set of plans to a state problem. On wednesday he proposed a six-point plan to fight the state's rising methamphetamine problem. I'm sure that these points came from Hutchinson's experience as head of the U.S. DEA.

1. Establish A Bureau of Drug Enforcement Within The Arkansas State Police
2. Expand Drug Treatment Courts in Arkansas
3. Provide Additional Funding to State Drug Task Force Programs
4. Work With Congress to Fund a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Designation in Arkansas
5. Increase Information Sharing and Coordination
6. Increase Drug Education Programs Through Private Sector Funding

So, once again, while Hutchinson lays a plans for Arkansas if elected governor, Mike Beebe says Hutchinson did a lousy job in Washington and goes "me too" on some of Hutchinson's ideas. I'd like to know why Beebe didn't implement these plans while he was in the legislature and as AG?

The Six Points

The Microwave Generation

Ahhh, we Americans live the good live and we don't appreciated it. So says Victor Davis Hanson. We are not only ungrateful for what we have,
We expect almost instantaneous success in everything we do

We also expect to get what we want and get it when we want it. This generation of Americans are very spoiled brats. However,
The good life sometimes can be lost quite unexpectedly and abruptly when people demand rights more than they accept responsibilities, or live for present consumption rather than sacrifice for future investment, or feel their own culture is not particularly exceptional and therefore in no need of constant support and defense.

I think too many people see American's affluence as a birthright, an entitlement. Many people have worked hard and sacrificed so that these whiners can live the American Dream. These ungrateful babies harp on the failings of our country while helping themselves to the generous bounty that our political and economic freedom have created.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Don't Look Directly at Her

This reminds me of Medusa.

A Lesson From History

Thomas Sowell takes us back to World War II and asks
What if the people, institutions, and attitudes of today were somehow taken back in time to World War II? What would have been the result? Would we have ended up winning or losing that war? What about the great cry of the hour, a cease fire?

A pertinent question, because the world is asking for a cease fire between Israel and the terrorists, Hezbollah and Hamas. The history of Israel is replete with cease fires, deals and negotiations and Israel is no better off because of them. Israel can not even trust the all-knowing, distinguished members of the United Nations to discharge their own resolutions.
Sowell describes what happened to a cease fire between France and Hilter.
During this period Hitler offered to negotiate peace with France and England.
Did this de facto cease fire lead to peace? No. Like other cease fires, it helped the aggressor.
It gave Hitler time to move his divisions from the eastern front, after they had conquered Poland, to the western front, facing France
Hitler attacked and France collapsed in six weeks

I find it absolutely amazing that people don't seem to learn from history. Another cease fire isn't going to stop Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas from trying to wipe out Israel. If they find they are losing, they will try to negotiate a cease fire so that they can build up again. Hopefully,Israel and the United States won't fall for that.

Lack of Posts

The lack of posts have been due to the fact that I've had several meetings and I'm suffering from a lack of sleep. I've not been sleeping well. I keep waking up 3-4 times a night. I'm scheduled to do a sleep study in a couple of weeks. The doctor thinks that I may have sleep apnea. Hopefully, the problem get resolved soon. I'm finding it harder to function.

Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Democrat Party, We Finesse

I got a big hoot from John Brummett's column today. He said that it's all well and good that the
Republicans enjoy the advantage of being themselves on cultural values

Republicans like to speak the truth, don't flip-flop and aren't two-faced. Democrats, on the other hand, must finesse. After all, Democrats must learn to suck up to those
rural conservatives in Arkansas will still vote Democratic out of habit and from a personal connection.

John's a bit peeved with Mike Beebe because he forgot that
The Democratic candidate's challenge is to connect with rural conservatives while taking the liberal base for granted without appearing too much to be taking it for granted

Yeah, Mike Beebe got caught telling a gay group that he supports gay foster parents then he turned around and said he'd support legislation banning gay foster parents.
Mike Beebe had been doing very well on the finesses of his Democratic gubernatorial bid until he stepped in it the other day with gays. He got caught finessing, which is not to finesse at all.

So, lying is just finessing. Of course, Arkansas has a fair number of Democrats who were great at finessing.
Clinton, both Pryors, Bumpers, Lincoln, Marion Berry, Mike Ross - that's how you do it.

Mike Beebe's big mistake was, he was caught.

Vietnam, The Moving Wall, motorcycle Parade

Fortunately I arrived at the Wall before these guys did.

A parade of several hundred bikers arriving at the Wall.

I think the parade stretched out for several miles. Quite a few of the riders were veterans.

Vietnam, The Moving Wall

I was able to see the Moving Wall today. The Rogers VFW did a great job! I was glad to see that many people showed up to see it.

Reading the Preamble of Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"In honor of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States who served in the Vietnam War. The names of those who gave their lives and those who remain missing are inscribed in the order they were taken from us."

I wonder if it was a friend or a member of his family.

Summer Jazz

I found a new jazz musician. Jazz-guitarist, Corey Christianson. He was the featured musician at the KUAF Summer Jazz Concert. His playing was smooth, rich, mellow, and silky. I bought his CD and plan to purchase the one that's coming out in a few months.
There are 2 more concerts left. For more information on the concerts, go to the North Arkansas Jazz society web site,

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cat Agility

The tunnel is set up for Casey's agility training, but Tigger finds it's a great place to lie in.

Bows decided that she too would lie in the tunnel.

Eli doesn't seem to get the concept that you're suppose to go through the tunnel, not on top of it.

See more at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats this week at Creatures of the Earth

DogGone Hot

There's nothing like a dip in the pool when it's so hot. Casey really enjoys the pool.

Let's play a game of catch the water from the hose.

See more at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs at Mickey's Musings

Back Home After Dinner

Tyler has finished eating so he's heading back to his hideout. He's attracted the attention of Tigger.

Tyler's place is under the hostas. I've noticed that I've not had any snail damage since Tyler has been living under them.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

UK, Personal Kyoto Protocols

OK, this global warming crap is just getting sillier every day.
A radical plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions by rationing the carbon use of individuals is being drawn up by government officials. The scheme could force consumers to carry a swipe card that records their personal carbon allocation, with points knocked off each time they buy petrol or tickets for a flight. Under the scheme, all UK citizens from the Queen down would be allocated an identical annual carbon allowance, stored as points on an electronic card similar to Air Miles or supermarket loyalty cards. Points would be deducted at point of sale for every purchase of non-renewable energy.

Just what the UK needs, another way to depress their economy. Is the UK going back to the horse and buggy? Whooops, can't do that! All those horses will produce more methane gas and further increase global warming. I guess everyone will have to start walking.

Stem Cells, Federal Funding

It's interesting that President Bush's first veto is the federal funding for stem cell research. I'm glad he did. There are too many people who question the morality of destroying embryos (killing babies) and then utilizing human parts in research (are we just things?). This doesn't stop the use of stem cells, it's just that federal money won't be spend on it. If people who support stem cell research really, truly believe in it's potential, they will find ways to fund it. So far, I've seen nothing valid that supports claims that stem cells will be this wonderful cure-all. I'm worried that unscrupulous researchers are hyping up stem cells just to make money.

Maryland's Wal-Mart Bill

Well, I see Wal-Mart got some good news. A federal judge has decided that Maryland's Wal-Mart Health Care Law violated federal law. This is not only good news for Wal-Mart but also for other business' that Maryland would attempt to add to the law. Maryland is going to have to find other ways to cut it's $4.6 billion annual Medicaid tab. I have one suggestion that might trim that budget, deny Medicaid benefits to illegal immigrants.

Israel, Part 2

I am shocked, just shocked! The Arab leaders aren't backing Hezbollah and are supporting Israel's actions!
With the exception of the Palestinians, the Arab world appears to be united in blaming Iran and Syria for the fighting in Lebanon. Until last week, Arab political analysts and government officials were reluctant to criticize Hizbollah in public. But now that Hizbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his top aides are in hiding, an anti-Hizbollah coalition is emerging not only in Lebanon, but in several other Arab countries as well.
But the response on the Arab street has been so disappointing for Hizbollah that its leaders are now openly talking about an Arab "conspiracy" to liquidate the Shi'ite organization. The few Hizbullah supporters in Ramallah, the Gaza Strip and some Arab capitals have therefore been directing most of their criticism against the Arab presidents and monarchs, accusing them of serving the interests of the US and Israel.J Post

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of "these irregular phenomena" is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community Arab Times Online

It appears that the Arab countries are also tired of the terrorist tactics of Hezbollah and Hamas. They are probably ready for some peace and are willing to leave Israel alone.
I have a sneaky suspicion that the Arab countries and the rest of the world are happy that Israel is doing the dirty work of eliminating the troublesome little buggers. Lebanon, while parts of it are being destroy, must be happy that an infection will at last be taken care of.
For the millions of Christian Lebanese, driven out of our homeland, "Thank you Israel," is the sentiment echoing from around the world. LFP

Krauthammer has an article up that echoes my thoughts.
But the Arab states know that Hezbollah, a Shiite militia in the service of Persian Iran, is a threat not just to Lebanon but to them as well. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have openly criticized Hezbollah for starting a war on what is essentially Iran's timetable (to distract attention from Iran's pending referral to the Security Council for sanctions over its nuclear program). They are far more worried about Iran and its proxies than about Israel. They are therefore eager to see Hezbollah disarmed and defanged.
Fine. Everyone agrees it must be done. But who to do it? No one. The Lebanese are too weak. The Europeans don't invade anyone. After its bitter experience of 20 years ago, the United States has a Lebanon allergy. And Israel could not act out of the blue because it would immediately have been branded the aggressor and forced to retreat

The world is using Israel and will not critize it. They are going to let Israel continue to move into Lebanon, destroy Hezbollah, and then make sure Israel returns any territory back to Lebanon.
But only one country has the capacity to do the job. That is Israel, now recognized by the world as forced into this fight by Hezbollah's aggression.

This is an opportunity for Israel too. For the cost of eliminating Hezbollah, Israel can negotiate with the Arab countries for recognition and peace. They can even get the Arab countries to do something about the Palestinians.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Oh Boy! It is so hot and sticky! You just stand outside for 5 minutes and the sweat starts dripping off you. With all the rain we had last week, the lawn and weeds are growing very nicely. It sure is nasty, trying to work outside. I'm having to do just a little every evening, just before sunset. I think it's a little harder for me this year because of my hot flashes. The Clonidine helps some, but I still get uncomfortable and irritable. Actually, I'm surprised I haven't killed some one yet.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I'm getting an information overload from all the stuff being written about Israel. The Truth Laid Bear has a great page of just about everything including posts from Bloggers from Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.
I've been very concerned about the reaction of the rest of the world. I figured that the majority would be condemning Israel. I wasn't surprised when the UN put up a resolution to condemn Israel. I'm very happy that the U.S. is sticking with our friends. I was a bit surprised to see the Vatican condemn Israel. Is the Pope now supporting terrorists?
The best news has been the statement from the G8. Maybe there's a little hope that the world will starting taking the threat of Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hamas-Islamists seriously. I wonder if they're secretly very happy that Israel is doing the job they should be doing.
I've been listening to Fox most of the day and I've been hearing people say that this is World War III. I wouldn't consider it WW III just yet. The potential is there. I, being a Christian, have been considering this along with what is said in Revelations. Are nations and events moving along to the Big War, Armageddon? It's very interesting to see the main characters being put into play against Israel. It has definitely energized my prayers.

Winn Rockefeller

Fox News just reported that Lt. Gov. Winn Rockefeller has died. AP is reporting it too. It's so sad after seeing him battle his disorder. I was praying with others that he would be healed. My prayers and thoughts to his family.

Arkansas Courts

You know the Arkansas Courts are really out of control when liberal New Yorkers start praising it.
Liberal New Yorkers may be surprised, but when it comes to enlightenment, their state's highest court could learn something from its counterpart in Arkansas

Yep, they're talking about the Court striking down the law that barred gay couples from fostering. You know that something is terribly wrong when liberals say that something good has come from the Arkansas Courts. This should impel the legislature to correct the mistake of the Court.
Arkansas may have a problem with doing that if Mike Beebe is elected. While Beebe appears to be flip-flopping on the issue (his answer depends on who he's speaking with), he is a liberal Democrat. He ,therefore, supports gay foster parents.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Crazy Cat!

I think Tigger has had way too much Catnip!

Visit Friday Ark for more!

He's Still Around!

I rarely see Tyler, but I know he's still around. He's been eating the food I leave and gives me a gift of poop.

Visit Friday Ark for more!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Carl Rove, Kissing Up to Racists

I listened to Karl Rove's address to La Raza ("The Race"). You know, one of the far-left white-hating Hispanic lobbying group. They're fairly similar to the KKK and the Nazi party.

He was basically spewing the same old crap on Bush's immigration policy. Guest worker programs, iometric ID card, that thing that's amnesty but we don't want to call it that. There was one bit of change, he said we do need to secure the border. (Yeah, it's been 5 years after 9/11, you think we should start looking into that!)
The current system is broken and we need comprehensive reform. (No we don't. We need to ENFORCE the laws we currently have!)
Rove went rambling on about how immigrants have been coming to American and becoming part of it. The point he seems to miss is that our ancestors came to American legally.

What I want to know is why a senior advisor to the President is pandering to an blatantly racist organization such as this. It is positively shameful and appalling.

Go here to listen.

Why Doesn't the Plame Go Out?

I was really looking forward to this finally disappearing out into the wasteland. After all, Novak said that no one intentional leaked Plame's name and that he was the one who sought our officials seeking answers.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney, Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of revealing Plame’s CIA identity in seeking revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration’s motives in Iraq. AP

This is a stupid, childish lawsuit, it doesn't have a prayer and it make the Wilsons look all that much more nuttier. You just want to clutch your head and mumble, "make them go away". Sighhh!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Joe Wilson, Blabbermouth

Novak spoke this morning and I've been laughing all day! Bwaaahaaa! Do you hear all the Democrat's balloons bursting? Whoooweee!
Novak adds that he got Plame’s name from Joseph A. Wilson IV’s own biography in Who’s Who, establishing yet again that Ambassador Munchausen was not exactly the sort of husband a cautious CIA would choose for an agent whose identity it meant to shield from public eyes

OK, let get serious. Novak says that Fitzgerald knew all along who the identity of the sources he used in his column of July 14, 2003. So, Clarice Feldman asks the big question we all want to know;
If Fitzgerald knew by January 12, 2004 who the leaker was and that it wasn’t Libby or Rove, why did he later call them to testify before the grand jury? Was it simply to determine whether he could trap them into making perjurious statements, something the law does not permit?

Mmmmm, I hear the crickets chirping.

Hurray for Israel!

Finally, Israel is fighting back at the terrorists that have been attacking it. It's about time! I'm amazed at the restraint Israel has had so far. But I guess Hezbollah's and Hamas' deliberate invasion and killing of Israeli soldiers were the straw that broke the camel's back. Heck, I would have wiped them off the earth long ago. I don't believe in being nice to your enemies. You have peace when you destroy your enemies.
Israel is going to be condemned by the U.N. Kofi Annan has shown that he is a friend of the Arab nations and not of Israel. I hope the U.S. stands firmly with Israel. It looks promising so far.
"This is a terrorist attack and it is clearly timed to exacerbate already high tensions in the region and sow further violence," U.S. National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said. "We also hold Syria and Iran _ which directly support Hezbollah _ responsible for this attack and for the ensuing violence."

I just hope that President Bush doesn't back down under pressure from U.N.

AP Story

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The States, Battle Grounds for Illegal Immigration

Opinion Journal notes that the battle over illegal immigration is moving to the states.
In Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, illegal immigration has become a hot issue not just in congressional races but in races for governor, attorney general and the state legislature.
In Arkansas the GOP's candidate for attorney general, Gunner DeLay, is blasting his Democratic opponent for supporting a bill as a state legislator that would allow children of illegal immigrants to take advantage of a state scholarship program. Democrat Dustin McDaniel calls the attacks against him "inflammatory and inaccurate."

Miniter believes that Republicans are hoping to win elections by running on an anti-immigration platform. He doesn't think that it will work and will eventually turn against them.
For Republicans on the state level, pushing anti-illegal immigration policies is dangerous political strategy that rarely delivers much more than short-lived gains. California Republicans went down the anti-illegal alien road and the party hasn't recovered since.

Miniter has a problem. He uses California as an illustration as to why anti-illegal immigration won't work. California is a liberal Democrat state. The state is controlled by voters in Los Angeles and San Francisco, who are extreme liberals. No way, no how would they vote to stop illegal immigration. However, in the more conservative states, the push to stop illegal immigration would work for Republicans. What will happen is the illegals will be pushed out of states controlled by Republicans and they will move to states controlled by Democrats. Those states will have their social services overwhelmed by illegals, forcing them to raise taxes. They'd have more crime, so they need more police and more taxes. The illegals will start taking over a lot of jobs so there'd be increased unemployment. Lovely picture, isn't it?

Democrats, Ideas and Visions

It looks like the LA Times is admitting that the Democrat party has no visions or ideas. Not only that, it's telling the Party to get off it's duff and stop waiting for voters to get tired of the Republicans screwing things up. This moment is now, they say, for Democrats to offer some breakthrough ideas. They are correct in saying that ideas and visions have driven American history and politics.
The fact is that the parties that have won elections over the long term and have been able to build governing majorities are those that have put forward a vision that both inspires the American people and responds to the concerns they face at the time.

Can the Democrat party come together and formulate some ideas? I have some doubts about that. The party now consists of two large groups - a very vocal left wing socialist group and the traditional Democrat group, the FDRs and John Kennedys. They are fighting to see who controls the party. You just have to see what is happening to Joe Lieberman.

The LA Times misses a point. If the Democrats really tried to run on the ideas they do have, they'd lose. More taxes, more government, less guns, homosexual marriage, open borders and a weakened national security isn't exactly what the American people want.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Slogans, Asa Hutchinson & Mike Beebe

It's time I started looking at our state races more in depth. Let's start with the top office. The governor's race, with Asa Hutchinson (R) and Mike Beebe (D). So, I checked out their websites and they both have a helpful little tab called "Issues". While scrutinizing their pages, I noted they both have a campaign slogan. That's good. Slogans can define who you are and what you wish to accomplish. Hutchinson's was prominently displayed, as if he was proud of it. Mr. Beebe, you might want to dig yours out of the paragraph. It didn't stand out.

Mike Beebe's: "Believe in Arkansas"
Believe; to accept as true, genuine, or real. It's a passive verb. It requires no action, nor does it require work. You can sit back in your recliner and declare "I believe". It's a slogan that's more emotion based, enticing you to "feel good". I think Mike Beebe had accurately defined the Democrat party. If you read what Beebe says, you realize that he has no solid goals he wishes to accomplish. He states general objectives he wishes to see in Arkansas but no particular steps to getting them done. It's just a wishy-washy, feel good, do nothing, mish-mash of drivel.

Asa Hutchinson: "Grow Arkansas"
Grow; to spring up and develop to maturity. An action verb. It sounds aggressive and demands that something must be done. Growing must have goals; to produce fruit, shade or fuel. Asa Hutchinson did well to choose this slogan. It says that he has goals and ideas that he intents to work hard to see them accomplished. If you look at Hutchinson's Issues page, he clearly defines his goals. Under the Grow Arkansas he's "laid out eight key principles for how Arkansas can accomplish that goal." Republicans have ideas about where they what Arkansas to be. However,unlike Beebe, they have clearly stated what steps and goals they intent to follow to make Arkansas better. Republicans know where they are going, and they have an action plan and a map to get there.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Perfect Summer Morning

It was such a beautiful morning. The temperature was in the mid-60's. Trixie and I went for our usual shopping trip to the Farmer's Market.

At this time of the year, the Market is loaded with flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Since the morning was so cool, it was a perfect day to walk around Lake Fayetteville with Casey. Casey took a couple of dips in the Lake to cool off.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Morning Meditation

There's nothing like a quiet spot to think on a beautiful summer morning.

Visit Friday Ark for more!

A Tough Week

It's nice to lay out in the backyard enjoying a bone. Trixie has had a bad week. Trixie is afraid of thunder and firecrackers. Yep, every night this week she's been hiding in the closet. Trixie can relax now!

Visit Friday Ark for more!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Divinity Hotel Project, Fayetteville

I watched the City Council on television. The Divinity Hotel proposal was passed by the Council. I was very impressed with the council members. It was very obvious that this was a very difficult decision for them. On the one hand, people were concerned that a building that tall would not fit in with the character of Dickson Street. There were also concerns about traffic on Dickson, which is narrow. Shirley Lucas made an interesting point. The city has spend quite a bit of money asking for citizen input about the vision of the city. She said that if this passes, it would be a slap in the face of those people who participated and suggested to limit buildings to 6 stories.
Those for the project mostly spoke of the economic benefits that it would bring. Don Marr said that he could not ask for people to vote for sewer, roads and trails in September and then turn down a $70 million building.
What ever happens on this site the city of Fayetteville will have to deal with it. If this hotel fails, it will be just another business that has failed on Dickson. Something else will eventually come along. Dickson Street will always be changing. It will be different 20 years from now. For better or worse, who knows?

Arkansas' Surplus

Yup, it's already starting. Legislators are making plans to spend the anticipated $ 721 million in surplus funds when they meet in the 2007 legislative session.
“Anytime you’ve got money, sure it’s going to be a topic for discussion because people always want to get their hands on it, that’s for sure,” said Rep. Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart, who is to become speaker of the House, the House’s top post, in January.

It makes me wonder if they will be seriously thinking about returning some it back to the taxpayers. It'll be something to make sure our legislators do. At least Asa is saying the right thing.
Republican candidate for governor Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday that he expects a “battle” in the next session over how the surplus should be spent.
“I believe firmly that at least — at least — half of any surplus that we have should be used for tax relief for Arkansans,” Hutchinson said. “Starting with the repeal of the grocery [sales ] tax.”

The Democrats are not as enthused to returning at least half of the surplus.
“We’ve got significant needs on the horizon in education and in education facilities and human services,” said Sen. Jim Argue, DLittle Rock, the current Senate president pro tempore. “For now, I think we need to celebrate our stronger-than-expected economy and wait for the budget hearings so we can get a better picture of the expense side of the equation.”
Sen. Shane Broadway, DBryant, said he would prefer to spend the money on schools or a cut in the state sales tax on groceries.
[Rep. Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia] said legislators need to consider a rainy day fund first, then prepare to pay more for educational needs.
"Money for improvements to public school buildings and equipment might devour a chunk of the surplus", said Sen. Shane Broadway, D-Bryant, who is the chairman of the Senate Academic Facilities Oversight Committee.

It would appear that if Mike Beebe is elected in November, the taxpayers may see little of their money returned to them. One more reason to make sure that Asa Hutchinson wins the election!

AR Democrat Gazette
The Morning News

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Star-Spangled Banner

A lot of people don't know all the words to the Star-Spangled Banner. What is sung is the first verse of the entire song. However, the song has 4 verses. While the first verse is good, the best verse is the fourth.
Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand. Between their loved homes and the war's desolation; Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: "In God is our trust!" And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

More on the Hamdan Decision

In an earlier post I had said that this SCOTUS decision wasn't as bad as the MSM and the Democrats were portraying it to be. Noel Sheppard at the American Thinker thinks that the Republicans will benefit from this in November's elections.
when combined with another leak by the New York Times of a counterterrorism program just six days prior, Republicans were actually handed a tremendous gift dramatically improving their chances to hold both chambers of Congress in the November elections.

Noel has comments from both Democrats and Republicans and notes the disparities between them.
Amazing difference, isn’t it? On the right came a determination to use this Court decision to create legislation that would not only address the detention centers at Gitmo, but also how captured terrorists should be treated in the future. On the left came the typical castigations of the president and his policies without any suggestion as to how this matter should be resolved

It brings up the debate on the War on Terror. Which party is going to be best on winning that war? Which party to going to make sure that once we capture terrorists, they can't harm anyone again? Which party is going to treat terrorists like U.S. citizens, with full access to our courts?
When the legislation comes up to give President Bush the authority he needs to try terrorists under the military legal system, the Democrats are going to be screwed. They will have 2 choices: 1) Give President Bush what he wants on the military tribunals or 2) Oppose the legislation, still lose the vote and be perceived as wanting to grant U.S. citizenship rights to terrorists. Either way, President Bush and the Republican party win. Come the November election, they will once again have shown the difference between the two parties when it comes to defense and national security.

Fayetteville Taxes

Signs like these are going to start popping up on streets where the City of Fayetteville would like to spend money generated from the tax increase. The idea is let the people visually see where the money would be spent. Nifty idea!

Adam Wallworth, Northwest Arkansas Times, has a very good article on the taxes. I particularly like the schedule of anticipated bond payoffs:
Dennis Hunt, senior vice president with Stephens Inc., the city’s bond underwriter, prepared a schedule that shows the anticipated payoff of the bonds, depending upon which are approved. The schedule uses anticipated payoff, rather than scheduled payoff, to reflect the expected growth in sales tax.

• The earliest payoff date would be May of next year, if voters only approved the $ 2. 1 million trail project.

• If the two sewer project questions are approved, the $ 42 million in bonds would be paid off in September 2014, about a year later than the current sewer tax is to be retired.

• Bonds on the $ 65. 9 million street projects alone would be paid off in December 2015.

• Approval of the sewer and trails would have a payoff date of October 2014.

• If voters approve the streets and sewer questions, the tax would last until November 2017.

• Approval of all four questions would result in the tax being needed until January 2018.

So, if all bonds are approved they would by paid off in 10 years. I do know that the transportation bond isn't enough for the roads we need now. I wonder if the proposed grocery tax elimination will allow Fayetteville to come back with another bond proposal to put back the projects they've had to cut from the city's transportation proposals.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Game Addiction

I only walked into Office Max to pick up some pen refills. After finding the ones I needed, I walked around looking at stuff and talking myself out of buying those cool paperclips(I have plenty), a fancy new pen (I'd lose it), or a neat post-it dispenser(I don't need it). I walked by a bin of games they were trying to get rid of (they were cheap). There it was, lying on top of all the rest of the games. It was no use, I had to buy it.
I have books of Sudoku in my car, in the bedroom and in the living room. Now, I can waste more time playing it on the computer. Help me!

Jim Holt, Republican's "Extremist"

MICHAEL R. WICKLINE's column takes a look at Jim Holt.
In the race for the state's top executive offices, Republicans portray the Democratic slate as "too liberal for Arkansas" and Democrats paint the Republicans as "extremists."

Michael is right in that Jim will be the polarizing candidate on the Republican ticket. I don't think that it may be a bad thing for the Republican party.
He's the candidate most clearly marked " rightly or wrongly" as the extreme element of the Republican ticket, the link that Democrats hope will hamper GOP gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson in his contest with Democrat Mike Beebe for governor.

Although the Democrats will try to paint the rest of the Republican candidates with the same brush as Holt, I don't think that it will work. Asa has made it clear that he has his own ideas and plans for Arkansas. Based on what Asa has been saying, it will be tough to plant the extremist label on him. It won't stop the Democrats from trying though. That's OK. Let them waste their money.

It may be that sandwiched between Holt's ultra-conservatism and the Democratic liberal slate, Asa will appear to be the moderate, mainstream candidate. That appearance will appeal to most voters.

Arkansas Grocery Tax

I've been hearing this from most politicians concerning Arkansas' really big revenue surplus.
State Rep. Horace Hardwick, R-Bentonville, said he will pre-file a food tax reduction measure for the upcoming legislative session and released a draft of the legislation in an interview Tuesday

Asa made a comment about reducing grocery taxes on Saturday.
Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson's campaign released a statement saying Hutchinson "has made a firm commitment to tax reform in Arkansas that includes eliminating the state sales tax on groceries. Rep. Hardwick's plan is a good place to start the discussion on how, specifically, to get there."

A cut in the grocery tax is a really good idea. It will especially benefit people with lower incomes. There's a lot of stuff we can live without, but food is not one of them.
As the bill reads now, the measure would phase out state taxes on "the sale of food and food ingredients" by 4.5 percent of the total state sales taxes of 6 percent.
The proposed reduction would come in steps. The first reduction would be a 1.5 percent drop beginning July 1, 2007. That would be followed by 1 percent drops each year until the 4.5 percent reduction was accomplished on July 1, 2010

It's nice that the biggest cut comes first. Too bad we'd have to wait a year before it would begin.

Republican, Ice Cream Social

Ahhhh! There's nothing like a rootbeer float after several hours in the hot sun. Asa and Jim Holt doling out the ice cream. Of course, there were speeches.

Jim LaGrone, citing election problems and 2 lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court, said that he intents to get rid of voter fraud in Arkansas.

Gunner DeLay spoke of making sure that the Attorney General represents the legislation and the people of Arkansas.

Jim had to leave but Bobby thanked everyone for their support.

Asa compared the plans he had for Arkansas and the ones from Mike Beebe. Ummmm, we're still looking for them.

Republican, Rodeo of the Ozarks Parade

Washington County Republican Womens float. It was HOT! Most people rode on various candidate floats.

Nearly all the local and state wide candidates were present. Asa Hutchinson.

Cephus Richard with Matt Mendenhall.

The Holts came well prepared. Along with tall Uncle Sam, they had bicycles and a horse-drawn carriage.

What a trooper Jim Lagrone was! He must have run the parade route at least twice meeting people and shaking hands. Did I say it was HOT?