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Consequences Tough to Take for Kimball Mason, “Poster Boy for Corruption”

July 24th, 2007 by Halli

Interestingly enough, Mason gave himself this descriptor. Having been convicted of 6 felony counts of grand theft and forgery in March of this year, Mason was sentenced to a minimum of 3 years and up to 10 years in prison, in addition to a sentence for earlier charges. Mason was accused of altering judges’ orders, forging judges’ names, and stealing evidence from the Idaho Falls police evidence room.

Mason has served as Bonneville County prosecutor as well as Idaho Falls City prosecutor, during which time there were numerous complaints about his arrogance and seemingly unethical behavior. But few expected his crimes to be quite this serious. Apparently, appearances were not deceiving in this case.

Personally, I’ve been gleefully singing “He’s in the jailhouse now…” around the house for months.

But now that his prison term has commenced, Mason instructed his attorney, Ron Swafford, to petition Judge Woodland to let him out of jail. No surprise here – apparently this is common in such cases. However, it is particularly revealing to examine the reasons Mason feels he should be let out after serving only a fraction of his minimum sentence, as reported by Newschannel 6, KPVI.

Of course, Mason only has the best interests of others at heart. His absence from the crowded Idaho Corrections system would free up space for more deserving criminals (that would be all other criminals). Mason would be happy to perform community service (I, for one, don’t even want to see him picking up trash along the highway). And finally, it is clear that his absence from home is causing “severe mental and emotional damage to his minor children.”

The last reason is certainly the most compelling, as no one likes to see innocent children suffer for the crimes of their parents.

But the bottom line is this: actions have consequences. True, for years Mason acted with impunity, but his “luck” finally ran out. He even confessed to some of the crimes, once cornered. And now he is trying to dodge the consequences of his actions.

What a difficult lesson for every human to learn! An individual may choose his actions, but he cannot choose the consequences. Whether you choose to defy the laws of physics, the laws of the land or the laws of God, there will be consequences. Short of extraordinary circumstances (which some would call luck), you will suffer (or enjoy) the results of your choices now, or in the future.

Besides irate Idaho Falls taxpayers, Mason’s children and other family members are the real victims of his crimes. Too bad Mason didn’t consider them while he was pilfering from the evidence room, or stamping a judge’s name on a document. Over the years Mason was committing his crimes, I wonder if he gave any thought whatsoever to the impact his actions would have on his family. If he truly cared for them, he would have kept his nose clean.

Sadly, it is also true that the innocent often suffer the consequences for the actions of others. But if Mason is kept in jail to serve his rightful sentence, perhaps his children, at least, will learn the relationship between actions and consequences, even if he never does.

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Posted in Family Matters, Idaho Falls Issues, Politics in General, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Idaho Values Alliance Executive Director Bryan Fischer Invited to Appear on O’Reilly Factor

July 24th, 2007 by Halli

It’s true – Bryan Fischer, of Idaho Values Alliance, has been invited to appear on Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor Wednesday, July 25. The only sticking point is finding a local facility capable of linking up with the national cable news outlet.

Bryan was contacted by Fox to discuss enactment of “Jessica’s Law” in Idaho. “Jessica’s Law” mandates a minimum 25-year jail term for adults convicted of sexual assault of a child. Idaho’s law mandates a minimum 15-year sentence on the second conviction. Bill O’Reilly is campaigning for the enactment of “Jessica’s Law” in all 50 states.

Be sure to read the following guest post by Bryan on the subject.

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Posted in Family Matters, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Idaho, O’Reilly and Jessica’s Law

July 24th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Bill O’Reilly has been leading a campaign to see that every state in the Union has a “Jessica’s Law” on its books. “Jessica’s Law” was passed in Florida in the wake of a terrible kidnap, rape and murder of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford, and establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for any adult found guilty of the lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12.

That is a sticking point for Mr. O’Reilly with regard to Idaho’s sex offender statute. Idaho law does not require a mandatory minimum sentence for the first offense by an adult who sexually molests a child. Idaho law requires a mandatory 15 year sentence only for a second offense, and only for those who have previously committed a crime that would require them to register as a sex offender.

Idaho lawmakers evidently were intent on granting judges a certain amount of discretion in sentencing first-time offenders, to allow them to take mitigating circumstances into account, and still appear to be reluctant to impose a mandatory minimum sentence for first offenses.

Yet abuse of judicial discretion is the very reason lawmakers establish mandatory minimum sentences in the first place. Citizens who care deeply about protecting the sexual purity and innocence of young children are naturally predisposed to want a child molester to be removed from society, period, both in the interests of justice and to prevent the molester from violating additional victims.

We’ve just witnessed, in Maryland, what can happen with the abuse of judicial discretion. As you are aware by now, a judge there dropped charges against an English-speaking immigrant who repeatedly raped a seven-year old girl, despite solid DNA evidence and multiple witnesses, because the judge claimed to be unable to find an interpreter who could speak his native language. Citizens are naturally outraged when judicial discretion allows such a gross violation of justice, and are understandably reluctant to give judges that kind of power.

It is well established that the recidivism rate for pedophiles is very high, and that a convicted pedophile released back into society is likely to offend again. Research indicates that far too often, a predator is rarely caught the first time he molests. A first arrest may only come after multiple offenses that have gone undetected.

The reality is that even a first time offender has imposed a life sentence on his victim. The child will deal with the aftermath of what has been done to him (or her) for the rest of his life. In the interest of justice, which requires that the punishment fit the crime, we should have no hesitation requiring a perpetrator to live with the consequences of what he has done for the rest of his life.

Further, when an offender molests a young child and robs that child forever of his sexual innocence and purity, we should make sure he never has a chance to inflict that pain on another young victim. Our stance as a state should be that someone who molests a young child has, by doing so, forfeited his right either to life or liberty, period. We should make sure that a sex crime against a child is the last crime the perpetrator gets a chance to commit.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

GLENN BECK COMING TO IDAHO FALLS

July 23rd, 2007 by Halli

It appears that Idaho Falls is “on the map” to stay as the city continues to attract big names this summer.

Yes, Glenn Beck, star of radio and television, will be the headliner at the Idaho Region 7 Republican annual summer barbecue to be held at Riverbend Ranch in Idaho Falls on August 4.

Beck, rising from teenage disk jockey to nationally ranked radio talk show host with the Glenn Bock Program, is now also seen as well as heard nightly on CNN Headline News. He is also a contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America. Locally, Beck’s radio program airs on KID 590 on AM. Beck is also the founder and editor of Fusion Magazine.

Glenn Beck takes often-controversial positions on such issues as the war in Iraq, political correctness, Islam, President George Bush, and stem cell research. Beck is pro-gun, anti-abortion, and delights in skewering liberal hypocrisy. His opposition to the theory of global warming was recently the subject of his live appearances in his “Inconvenient Tour” in June.

For tickets to the Idaho Falls event, or for more information, email to mick.webster@yahoo.com or call 542-2502 after 5pm.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, General, Idaho Falls Issues, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Hate Crimes Laws and the Threat to Religious Liberty

July 23rd, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

While the current campaign to add sexual orientation “hate crimes” provisions to federal legislation has been temporarily turned back, the case of a Canadian pastor and two Australian pastors illustrate the importance of continued vigilance on this matter.

While proponents of hate crimes bills insist they represents no danger to free speech or religious freedom, Alberta Pastor Stephen Boissoin’s experience gives the lie to that claim.

Five years ago, he wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper in Alberta criticizing the normalization of homosexual behavior. Two weeks later, a homosexual youth was beaten, and even though Boissoin had no connection to the assailants, he was accused of influencing the assault through what he had written.

Hauled before the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, he now faces the possibility of a stiff fine for doing nothing more than advocating for a biblical view of sexuality in a public forum.

(One wonders why the newspaper hasn’t been hauled into court, since they published the supposedly inflammatory letter.)

In Australia, two Christian pastors were convicted under a “hate crimes” law for “vilifying Islam” simply by quoting from the Koran during a seminar on jihad. They were finally released last week to once again debate religious beliefs, but only after incurring $500,000 in legal costs.

Said an observer, “The shocking thing about this law is that truth is not a defense. In the eyes of the law, it’s not a matter of whether or not these two men told the truth – they did – but whether someone felt bad about what they said.”

Unless the faith community in the U.S. is vigilant and recognizes the extreme danger the homosexual agenda in general and hate crimes laws in particular pose to First Amendment rights, those rights will continue to be in jeopardy.

Canadian pastor faces legal reprecussions because of hate crimes laws (
OneNewsNow.com)

WorldNetDaily: Case over ‘vilifying’ Islam settled

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Leaugue of Women Voters Wants to Deprive Women of the Right to Vote

July 23rd, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

In one of the oddest Reader’s View pieces to appear on the pages of the Idaho Statesman, the co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Idaho advocated today that Idaho’s women be unconstitutionally deprived of their right to select their own state Supreme Court justices.

In arguing that justices ought to be selected by an unelected and unaccountable committee rather than by the voters themselves, these authors mysteriously argue against the right of Idaho women’s to vote, and in essence argue that Idaho’s women should meekly surrender this right to a commission with no accountability to the electorate.

What’s even worse, the authors make no mention whatsoever of the Idaho State Constitution, which, in Article V, Section 6 unambiguously states “The justices of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the electors of the state at large.”

If these women are right, that an unelected committee is better qualified than voters to choose judges, the League of Women Voters of Idaho should try to amend the constitution rather than simply ignoring it.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature | No Comments »

Guest Post: A Look Inside the Global Warming Religion

July 23rd, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

It’s been so hot lately that it naturally leads many to make some comment about global warming. Yet I find it interesting that a review of state by state record high temperatures shows that nearly all records were set in the early 1900’s. Idaho’s high, for example, was 118 in 1934. We’re a long way from that.

“Man-made global warming,” not to be confused with climate change which is natural and occurring all the time, is a hoax foisted upon the populace in the name of a new secular pantheistic religion. It’s a theory that ascribes the global variances in temperature that occur naturally in the environment to man and since man is evil and really an alien to nature, he must be reigned in, forfeiting freedom to the omniscient and omnipotent state to govern our consumption choices. After all, the government knows better than we do about what kind of car we should drive, how much energy we should consume, and how we should live our lives.

It truly has become a veritable secular religion with some. Since it is pantheistic, not surprisingly Mother Earth is the deity. The articles of faith include the doctrines that climate change is caused by man, and that global warming will be catastrophic and destroy the earth as we know it. Its list of commandments include driving hybrid cars, using fluorescent light bulbs, strapping methane traps to the hindquarters of cows. It submits that magic federal dollars taxing us for our conspicuous consumption will solve the problem as we acquiesce to the demands of the Church.

It even has its own indulgences. You know, where you can buy forgiveness for your sins. They’re called carbon offsets. The degree of sinning you commit against Mother Earth is determined by calculating your carbon footprint. That is, how much of an impact you have on the earth by your very existence. They don’t tell you that the primary source of CO2 we emit as humans is actually caused when we exhale. But to them, that apparently is proof positive that man is evil. And we’re not supposed to remember the 1970’s when cars were equipped with catalytic converters to convert automobile exhaust to CO2 since that’s a natural component of the atmosphere. We’re also not supposed to question why the prophet of the church who produced the great evangelical movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” in order to convert the world has ownership in the company that sells the indulgences. That would be anathema!

They even have missionaries. The “prophet” of the church, you know, the one who produced the great evangelical movie, has been out training missionaries to serve as emissaries of the message of doom until everyone is converted. His mass media department is huge! It includes the best of Hollywood in producing films like “Happy Feet,” where children are taught how evil man is because he’s threatening the penguins environment (of course the fact that Antarctica is actually cooling and the ice shelf there is thickening is inconsequential – those are mere facts that shouldn’t get in the way of proselytizing).

The other major component of their mass media department of course is all of main-stream media that blames everything on global warming. If it’s too hot, it’s global warming. If it’s too cold, too rainy, too dry, too humid, too arid, too many hurricanes, too few hurricanes, tornados… it’s all blamed on us for causing global warming. Hardly a day passes that some headline can’t be found promulgating the tenets of their religion. Very effective indeed!

And of course there are the unbelievers. Those of us who question the tenets of the new religion are branded as “deniers,” or “flat-earthers.” We are heretics since we fail to conform and be converted. Just because the science is unsettled doesn’t mean anything. It affords the believers a cause celebres to honor in the absence of any theological alternative.

One such “flat-earther,” the head of NASA, Michael Griffin, recently questioned whether the earth is at it’s optimum temperature, considering there have been periods during the earth’s atmospheric history that have been much hotter and much colder than it is now. He was denounced as a heretic by the “believers,” and has had to recant his comment saying that “unfortunately, this is an issue which has become far more political than technical, and it would have been well for me to have stayed out of it.”

You can even be a traitor for not accepting conversion. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., at the Live Earth concert in New Jersey last week shouted to his congregation of adherents that those of us who are nonbelievers are traitors. “This is treason and we need to start treating them now as traitors,” he yelled.

I fear an inquisition by this new church. We may be pulled over for driving older cars or SUVs that use too much gas, and charged with sins against the church. We may face unwarranted “strip-searches” of our homes by officers of the state with “GW Police” emblazoned on their backs (for Global Warming, not George W) to see if we’re using the cork-screw type fluorescent bulbs or not, and whether we’re using too much energy. Never mind that the new bulbs have mercury in them and require a $3,000 trip by a HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) cleanup crew to cleanup from a broken bulb.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Reid Bryson, often referred to as the “father of scientific climatology,” recently called man-made global warming “a bunch of hooey.” He says “the climate’s always been changing and global temperatures are going up because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.” He reminds us that the Vikings farmed Greenland for hundreds of years during the Medieval Warm Period, when the planet was much warmer than it is now without any help from industrial activity. Today those Viking farmsteads are covered by glaciers. In fact, Bryson argues that warming global temperatures are “just getting us back to normal.” With such eminent dissent from “consensus” views, it is obvious the issue is more political and dogmatic than it is scientific.

Man is part of nature, but unlike other living occupants of this earthly domicile, we are sentient and can make decisions based on empirical evidence. We are stewards of the environment, and as such, should make wise decisions to not pollute or intentionally damage our environment, and to manage and utilize our resources prudently. But those of us who are not yet converts to global warming needn’t feel compulsion to convert just because of the hysteria and illogic of the proselytizers.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | 5 Comments »

Guest Post: Hate Crimes Bill Defeated for Now

July 20th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Unable to break the Republican-led filibuster that blocked passage of an effort to remove some U.S. troops from Iraq by next spring, Sen. Harry Reid withdrew the defense spending bill to which the hate-crimes measure had been attached.

Reid’s spokesman said it could be a “long time” before the senator brings the defense bill back to the floor, which also then could put an indefinite hold on the hate-crimes bill.

So we have been given a reprieve for now on a bill that would eventually criminalize thought, endanger religious liberty and freedom of speech, and violate the sacred principle of justice that every victim should have the equal protection of the law.

Thank you for your calls to Sen. Craig and to Sen. Crapo in opposition to the hate crimes measure. Your voice was heard! We will keep you posted if efforts are made to revive this dangerous piece of legislation.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts | 6 Comments »

Press Release: Rep. Bill Sali Asks Congress to Support Environmental Benefits of Columbia and Snake River Dams

July 17th, 2007 by Halli

From the office of Rep. Bill Sali

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A resolution by Congressman Bill Sali asks Congress to oppose removal of the dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and recognize the environmental benefits of keeping the dams in place. The resolution carries significant support of key Idaho agriculture groups, water users and the Port of Lewiston.

Sali’s H. Con. Res. 184 lists about three dozen reasons why the dams should remain in place, noting the positive impact that the dams have on commerce, agriculture, recreation and power generation. The resolution says removing the dams would prove costly and would do nothing to benefit salmon populations that travel upriver to spawn. The resolution also points out that removing the dams would have negative environmental effects because the power now generated by the dams “would require building or buying energy generated from coal or natural gas plants, which are far more expensive and produce ‘greenhouse gases’ which some feel contribute to global warming.’”

“If Congress truly believes as I do in clean, renewable energy, why would we want to breach these dams and replace them with coal or natural gas plants that generate greenhouse gases?” asked Sali. “There’s no evidence that breaching the dams will help improve salmon numbers. But there’s plenty of evidence that Idaho and other states will pay a hefty price – environmentally and economically – if those dams are taken out. I’m hopeful that Congress will recognize the importance of the Snake and Columbia River dams and will join with me in voicing strong support to keep these important structures in place.”

Norm Semanko, a spokesman for the Coalition for Idaho Water Users, said his group “strongly supports Congressman Sali’s resolution. It would be a major step towards returning science, logic and practicality to the Pacific Northwest’s salmon recovery efforts.” The group posted a copy of the resolution on its website at www.idahowater.org.

“A huge body of factual technical data contained in the body of the resolution overwhelmingly justifies its purpose, intent and conclusions,” Semanko said. “This resolution combines into one focused, powerful position statement all the crucial issues that form the basis of our unrelenting stand against the efforts of the radical environmental elements that want to tear out the dams. It is rooted in both common sense values and clear methodical scientific logic. Congress needs to pass this resolution.”

“The Port of Lewiston believes that recovery of endangered salmon and steelhead runs is paramount,” Port of Lewiston officials told Sali. “As your resolution points out, fish runs have been returning at record numbers over the past six years. This demonstrates that the region can recover endangered fish runs and maintain the multi-purpose benefits of the Columbia and Snake River dams. Congressman Sali, your Resolution provides clear, factual information. The Port of Lewiston appreciates and supports your efforts. We hope Congress will do the same.”

The Idaho Farm Bureau said, “Congressman Bill Sali’s resolution makes a strong statement that we support. This is tough subject for the House of Representatives and we are proud of Congressman Sali’s strong leadership on this issue and being out in front of it. The dams on the Columbia and Snake River systems are important resource and transportation system for our members.”

The Idaho Grain Producers Association said, “Access and use of the Pacific Northwest river system is essential to Idaho’s grain industry. Without this cost-effective and environmentally friendly option to transport grain to foreign markets, agriculture would cease to exist in many parts of our State. We commend Rep. Sali for bringing this issue to light.”

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Governor Otter Determined to Raise Taxes Despite $247 Million Surplus

July 17th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

State controller Donna Jones reported yesterday that the state is awash in surplus tax revenue from the current fiscal year, to the staggering tune of $247 million.

Said Jones, “Taxes are too high on Idaho’s families. Instead of looking at raising taxes to pay for road and bridge repair, the Legislature could potentially use $200 million of this surplus to tackle Idaho’s backlog of road repairs.”

Governor Butch Otter said last week that in his judgment it will be necessary to raise taxes on Idahoans by $200 million to pay for necessary road repairs, and his spokesman said yesterday that his position is unchanged on his insistence that our tax burden needs to be increased, $247 million surplus or no.

Said Jon Hanian, “Unfortunately, what the governor has said is that, in some cases, we’ve got to bite the bullet and do what’s necessary.” Most Idahoans are going to think that a $200 million bullet is pretty expensive piece of ammunition.

If the surplus were applied to road construction and repair, another $47 million would still be left over for other one-time needs.

On top of the $247 million surplus now in hand just from this past year, the state has already socked away $121 million in the Budget Stabilization Fund, $101 million in the Public Schools Stabilization Fund, $60 million in the Economic Recovery Reserve Fund, $58 million in the Millennium Fund, and $98 million in the Permanent Building Fund.

Thus, the state of Idaho is currently sitting on a grand total of $685 million in taxpayer funds, and this seems like a particularly awkward time for the party of smaller government and lower taxes to insist on adding to the already heavy tax burden Idaho families bear.

And make no mistake: the surplus has come from the wallets of ordinary working Idahoans. The Statesman says, that since corporate tax receipts are actually down for the year, the excess revenue has come “from unexpectedly high individual income tax returns.”

The surplus, if handled wisely by the state’s Republican leadership, could open up possibilities for meaningful tax relief such as an across-the-board grocery tax credit for all Idaho families and an education tax credit which would greatly expand parental choice in education.

Idaho families have already been socked with staggering increases in property tax assessments, wiping out most of last year’s property tax relief and leaving them stuck with a 20% sales tax increase.

Ada County taxpayers are looking at another tax hit, as their property tax load will increase to pay for the new College of Western Idaho, which is already the recipient of $5 million in taxpayer largesse. Ada County citizens will naturally be spooked to know that though their tax load will jump by a minimum of $4 million to pay for the new college, there is simply no guarantee that the increase will stay that low.

According to today’s Idaho Statesman, the new board members of the College of Western Idaho merely say “they want to keep property tax contributions close to campaign estimates.” As the Statesman accurately reports, the $4 million per year is “just a guideline; state law would permit the board to set a levy considerably higher.”

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Taxes | No Comments »

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