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Press Release: Sali Criticizes Flag-folding Ban, Calls on Feds to Restore Ceremony for Veterans

October 30th, 2007 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Sali today called on the National Cemetery Administration (a division of the U.S. Veterans Administration) to end its poorly-conceived ban on the reciting of the meaning behind the flag-folding ceremony sometimes used at veterans funerals.

The ban was imposed following a complaint at Riverside National Cemetery in California, where someone reportedly objected to one of the many religious references in the flag-folding ceremony. The 11th and 12th folds honor God, and the last serves as a reminder of our national motto: “In God We Trust.”

Sali said, “I am stunned that federal bureaucrats are now denying our veterans the freedom of religion that they fought to protect. It saddens me that our nation’s veterans will not be laid to rest according to their wishes and their beliefs. For their sacrifice on behalf of their nation, we should show our veterans our gratitude they deserve by treating them with grace and dignity, and that means honoring their final requests.”

In a letter to Gordon H. Mansfield, Acting Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, Sali and other Members of Congress wrote, “We find it appalling that the change in policy may prohibit national cemetery employees and volunteers from reciting the 13 steps, and that the ban extends to Veterans Service Organizations like the American Legion and the VFW, which often provide volunteers to assume flag-folding duties and the playing of Taps at veterans’ funerals.”

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Politics in General | No Comments »

Press Release: Sali Votes to Continue Ban on Internet Taxes

October 30th, 2007 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Sali, a sponsor of a bill to permanently ban Internet taxes, voted Tuesday in favor of a bill that would keep the ban in place for another seven years. H.R. 3678 passed unanimously.

“A tax on the Internet would deal a devastating blow to a growing segment of our economy. Virtually every company and every consumer doing business on the Internet would be hurt by an Internet tax,” said Sali. “Congress hasn’t gotten much right so far this year, but this vote is something Americans can definitely applaud. But we must not give up on a permanent ban, which would go a long way toward stimulating additional growth, investment and innovation in e-commerce.”

Congress passed its first moratorium on Internet taxes nearly a decade ago. Sali is one of 242 cosponsors of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, H.R. 743, which would make the tax ban permanent.

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

Guest Post: Kansas High Court Delays Grand Jury Probe

October 30th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

LifeNews.Com is reporting that the Kansas Supreme Court has granted George Tiller a temporary stay in the convening of a grand jury with a charge to investigate his notorious late-term abortuary.

Under a rather unique statute in that state, Kansas citizens can petition a court to demand the sitting of a grand jury. The law requires the filing of 2,449 signatures on a petition; Kansans for Life offered up almost 7000. Once petitions are certified, the law requires a grand jury to be summoned within 60 days; Tiller’s was supposed to be seated today.

Tiller’s lawyers have been scrambling to find a way to stop the probe. They went first to a district judge, demanding that he bar the petitions. Judge Paul Buchanan refused, finding that citizens had correctly followed the law.

His lawyers then went to the friendlier Supreme Court – which issued a restraining order yesterday, saying that it needed more time to consider the legal arguments raised by Tiller’s legal team. Chief Justice Kay McFarland wrote that the court reached its decision based upon the “virtue of the unique circumstances of this case and to allow full consideration of [Tiller’s] petition.”

In other words, the chief justice is suggesting that, while the Kansas law empowering citizens to convene a grand jury in pursuit of justice is valid and constitutional – because this petition involves abortion and the “special” person of George Tiller, the Supreme Court ought provide “special” consideration. This appears to be a despicable double-standard, in which the Abortion Industry is held to a different standard of law than the rest of us.

Mary Kay Culp of Kansans for Life is quoted as saying, “We don’t expect a lot out of this court when it comes to this issue, so I’m not overly surprised.”

One of Tiller’s attorneys told a Kansas paper that he expected it could take more than a year for the state Supreme Court to resolve all the issues he and his colleagues have raised.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: CMA Says National Law on Abortion Clinics Needed

October 30th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

Following Phill Kline’s actions against Planned Parenthood in Kansas, the Christian Medical Association issued a call for increased oversight of abortion clinics across the nation.

Dr. David Stevens, in a press release from CMA yesterday, said, “This case raises larger questions we should be asking about abortion clinics nationwide. If just 29 records from one Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Kansas have produced 107 criminal charges, isn’t it possible that similar abuses are also occurring at other of the 860 Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide? With our tax dollars supporting Planned Parenthood, the public has a right to know.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the CMA went on to express his concerns about late term abortions and the impact on preborn children.

“A key allegation in [the Kansas] case is that the abortion clinic staff consistently failed to accurately determine the age of the unborn baby, and thereby broke the law that disallows late-term abortions except in exceptional cases.

“Aborting an unborn baby after 22 weeks not only poses increased risks to the mother, but also inflicts pain on the developing baby. Testimony before Congress by Dr. KJS Anand noted that hunger and pain may be the earliest emotions to develop in the fetus,” Dr. Stevens said.

Dr. Anand has also testified that a partial birth abortion procedure beyond 20 weeks would involve “prolonged and excruciating pain” to the preborn child.

The American Life League reports that the first court hearing on charges filed by Phill Kline in Johnson County, Kansas is scheduled for November 6th. If convicted on all counts – which include 23 felonies – Planned Parenthood could face fines of over $2.5 million.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Guest Post: Enumerated Powers Act Would Help Restrain Congress

October 30th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

In every new Congress since 1995, Rep. John Shadegg has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359) which would require Congress to cite specific constitutional authority for every part of every piece of legislation.

His bill is predicated on the 10th Amendment, which says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.”

Naturally, since Congress refuses to bother with constitutional restraints, the bill has languished for 12 long years, despite the fact that Shadegg’s bill is perfectly in line with the thinking of the Founders.

For instance, James Madison pointed out that the Constitution reserved only “few and defined” powers to the federal government, while the states retained powers that were “numerous and indefinite.” He declared that the Founders had established a form of government in which the powers of the federal government would principally involved “external objects,” such as “war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce.”

Speaking of the “general welfare” clause, which fans of big government use to defend massive federal programs, Thomas Jefferson said, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, the federal government’s contribution to the “general welfare” of the Republic was in confining itself to the specific and well-defined role the Constitution reserved to it. There is simply no warrant in the Constitution for perhaps 2/3 of what the central government does.

Perhaps while we harangue our senators to give us judges who will respect the original intent of the Constitution, we should insist that they do the same.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: American Military Heroism Deserving of Our Support

October 30th, 2007 by Halli


By Richard Larsen

What would you say to someone who placed themselves in peril to save your life? Are there any words adequate to express the deepest, heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for someone willing to sacrifice their life so that yours could be preserved? These are undoubtedly some of the introspective questions Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell ponders these days.

Petty Officer First Class Luttrell was the lone survivor of SEAL Special Forces Team 10 which was on a covert mission two years ago looking for a terrorist leader in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. They crossed paths with three locals, and, exemplifying the morality and decency of those who serve wearing the American military uniform, allowed the three civilians to leave, even though by so doing their mission and their lives may be compromised.

Within an hour the four SEALs were surrounded by a hundred Taliban fighters. In the ensuing battle, all four soldiers, Luttrell, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz, and Matthew Axelson, were badly injured. Unable to secure a signal to radio in their location for reinforcements, Lt. Michael Murphy moved to higher ground, exposing himself to the lethal barrage of bullets being hurled at them by the terrorists. Murphy was able to get a radio signal and successfully called in their location, but was hit by several bullets while doing so. He even ended his call with a “thank you,” before he terminated the call and began moving to shelter from the hail of bullets. That was the last time his team members saw him alive.

Regrettably, the chopper sent to rescue the surviving team members was shot down, killing all sixteen on board. The enemy then overwhelmed the remaining SEALs, killing all but Marcus Luttrell, who, in spite of dehydration, a bullet wound to one leg, shrapnel embedded in both legs, and several cracked vertebrae, was able to amble seven miles on foot where a friendly village fed him, cleaned his wounds, and protected him. With the assistance of one villager, Luttrell was able to get a message to a Marine outpost which successfully extracted him from the midst of enemy territory. The protection afforded by the friendly village led Luttrell to later tell The Washington Post, “In the middle of everything evil, in an evil place, you can find goodness. Goodness. I’d even call it godliness.” Luttrell recounts his experience in a recently published book, “Lone Survivor.”

For his heroic efforts to save his fellow SEALs, Lt. Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor afforded our living and fallen heroes. At a ceremony this week where President Bush presented the award to his surviving parents declaring, “With this medal, we acknowledge a debt that will not diminish with time and can never be repaid.” Accepting the medal for his son, Dan Murphy declared, “While I’m crying inside and my heart’s breaking, my chest is puffed out and I’m saying, my son, this is what he did and I hope the country appreciates it and realizes it.”

We all should appreciate and realize the inexplicable personal sacrifice and commitment made by these brave souls who place themselves in harms way to reduce the possibility that we will be. Whether or not we object ideologically to the conflict they are or have been engaged in, all the way from World War I through Vietnam and contemporary Iraq, we are the beneficiaries of their commitment to preserve our way of life, our freedoms, and our security. Those who fight the terrorists who have vowed to convert or destroy us make the same, if not greater commitment since they volunteer, as those who fought the Nazis of World War II, or those who fought the communists in Vietnam. The enemies are no less real today than they were then.

These men and women who serve in the military exemplify the standard by which our culture and society should ascribe the appellation of “hero.” Are there exceptions to this standard? Of course, but “exception” is the operative term. They all volunteer for this duty which is all-too-often a thankless job; maligned by some, disrespected by others, not sufficiently appreciated by many of us.

Some of us either couldn’t or didn’t serve in the military yet are sometimes criticized as being “chicken hawks” when we praise our soldiers for their efforts in our behalf. Such logic is specious at best, for almost all of us support education and law enforcement, and are beneficiaries of the service and commitment of teachers and policemen who competently and capably perform their duties. Can one only be an avid advocate of education or law enforcement if we are teachers or policemen ourselves? The concept is ludicrous. For as Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” All of us should be ardent supporters of those who commit to protect and serve us, praying for their successful completion of their mission and safe return home.

Famous athletes’ fame is fleeting, and their actions off the field of competition rarely match their prowess on the field. Actors and musicians can act, sing, and dance, but all too frequently, their antics in their private lives prove a dearth of true character making them hardly worthy of emulation. Our military personnel, however, volunteer to serve their nation, protect our liberties, and vanquish those who seek our overthrow or destruction. Where better to look for contemporary heroes, men and women deserving of elevating to hero emulation status, than in the ranks of our military. Not just for our young people, but for all of us.

Their sacrifices, sometimes including the ultimate sacrifice, are made for all of us who are Americans. Regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation, they serve us all willingly, capably, and nobly. For such they warrant our admiration, respect, support, and utmost gratitude.

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Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sali: New SCHIP Bill Contains the Same Old Problems, Puts Poor Kids Behind Wealthy Families and Illegal Aliens

October 27th, 2007 by Halli

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Sali issued the following statement following the passage of a new bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, H.R. 3963. The bill passed 265-142.

“This bill is worse than the one President Bush vetoed. This new SCHIP plan costs more and yet it insures fewer kids,” Sali said. “This is massive, mindless spending that will do nothing but drive up the deficit and force children to pay for this mess when they’re adults.”

Like its predecessor, which was vetoed by President Bush, the new bill still allows states to enroll people in SCHIP even if they’re earning three times the poverty level. The bill still makes it easier for illegal aliens to gain access to benefits by loosening the identification necessary to verify eligibility. The bill also leaves 700,000 adults on the “children’s” health insurance program.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, National Sovereignty, Taxes | No Comments »

Making the Streets of Idaho Falls Truly Safe for Drivers

October 23rd, 2007 by Halli

Distractions while driving can cause accidents. Few will dispute this premise. However, the effectiveness of laws outlawing specific driving distractions is very much in question.

Many states and cities, including Idaho Falls, have or are considering laws to prohibit speaking on a cell phone while driving. And certainly all drivers have noticed erratic and possibly dangerous behavior by drivers on cell phones. (A rhetorical question must be asked here: if cell phone talking for average citizens is banned, wouldn’t it be reasonable to prohibit law enforcement personnel from speaking on radios or cell phones as well?)

But are cell phones the greatest distraction drivers face? Or are cell phone users targeted only because their specific activity is easily visible to outside observers? Just how many personal freedoms is the city council willing to take away in the name of safety? (“He who is willing to give up liberty for a little security….)

However, if we are to eliminate one driver distraction, is it not incumbent upon us to eliminate all dangerous distractions?

Any driver must admit there are other events or actions that are more potentially hazardous in a moving vehicle, and I dare the Idaho Falls City Council to take them on. They include:

Transporting a child under the age of 12
Transporting two or more children of any age
Children climbing out of child restraints
Listening to a music
Engaging in conversation with a passenger
Scratching an itch
Drinking/spilling coffee, water or soft drinks
Eating
Driving through school zones
Driving while angry, emotionally upset or unstable
Driving after a traumatic experience such as a near miss, minor accident, receiving a traffic ticket, etc.
Laughing
Driving while needing to relieve oneself at a restroom
Spotting an attractive person of the opposite (or same) sex
Attempting to read roadside signs or to locate an address
Driving while tired, hungry, lonely, thirsty, etc.

At a minimum, please outlaw child restraints, because drivers often engage in dangerous actions when children learn to disengage the buckles. On second thought, don’t bother. It would be much safer to ban all children in moving vehicles.

All passengers in the front seat must go, along with all radios, CD players, MP3 players, etc.

School zones must be eliminated, because the constant changing of speed and the presence of small children darting in and out of traffic are dangerous distractions.

All signs, including business, street and traffic signs must be eliminated, along with all food and drink inside vehicles.

Driving to or from the hospital, doctor’s office, funerals, law offices, court hearings, legal proceedings or any other events or locations where the driver may experience emotional distress must be curtailed. A designated driver or public transit must be used in such instances.

Pedestrians must be prohibited along roadways.

Driving within 30 minutes of watching a comedy or tragedy, or engaging in an argument with a significant other, must be prohibited in all cases.

And, of utmost importance, police officers must insist that all drivers visit the restroom within 5 minutes of sliding behind the steering wheel, and at least hourly while on multiple-destination city excursions. (Of course, if an officer is in doubt as to the condition of a driver, he could always administer a roadside porta-potty test. Admissibility of such a test in a court of law has not yet been determined.)

Go ahead, Ida Hardcastle and Karen Cornwall. Try it, Tom Hally and Mayor Fuhriman. Jump on board, Mike Lehto and Joe Groberg, if you must. But once you start down this road, you’d better finish the job.

Because you care, we’re holding you responsible for making our city streets truly safe.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Idaho Falls Issues, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Romney’s Biggest Problem

October 20th, 2007 by Halli

The Hill reports that while speaking at the Values Voters Summit Friday, Mitt Romney said he understands why some folks say they won’t vote for a Mormon. That’s because they’ve been listening to Mormon Democrat Senator Harry Reid.

It is true that Harry Reid gives Mormons a bad name.

Romney, whose Mormon faith was once anathema to evangelicals and other Christians, appears to be gaining support among religious conservatives, as indicated by his reception Friday. Many observers still expect Romney to deliver a JFK-style, “much-anticipated speech about his Mormon faith”, but will apparently have to wait a bit longer.

At the very least, Romney deserves points for nailing a very visible hypocrite, while not taking himself too seriously.

We’ll be staying tuned.

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Posted in Family Matters, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Phill Kline and the Kansas Abortion Wars

October 19th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life

Imagine a multi-billion empire with the proven ability to flout the law wherever it operates. Imagine a conglomerate with demonstrable influence and even protection from judges, attorneys, government agencies – and especially the media. You might think it impossible that such a corporation could operate in modern America. You’d be quite mistaken.

Planned Parenthood holds a unique and privileged position in American society. It not only operates above the law – it does so with financing from taxpayers.

One would be tempted to accuse Planned Parenthood of gross arrogance; in fact, we have done so often in this very column. But deeper reflection suggests that may not be an accurate adjective. After all, arrogance implies an inflated, unrealistic view of the world, and one’s place in it. Sadly, Planned Parenthood is all too justified in its belief that it is required to operate only by the rules it creates for itself.

Take, for example, the supposedly straight-forward question of child sex abuse.

Every state has some sort of law requiring professionals to report suspected cases of sexual abuse to law enforcement. But Planned Parenthood, despite its frequent contact with pregnant, underage girls is unofficially exempt from those laws. In some jurisdictions – they have been granted formal exemptions by ding-dong judges or corrupted Attorneys General who share their value system.

We go through this long lead-in to put new developments in Kansas into perspective.

Prosecuting Attorney Phill Kline has just filed 107 criminal charges against Planned Parenthood of Kansas; 23 of which are felony charges involving performance of illegal abortions.

Imagine the shock rippling through Planned Parenthood’s entire corporate structure!

This development is the latest in what can be called “The Great Kansas Abortion Wars”.

Kline has spent much of the past few years working to hold the Abortion Industry in this state accountable to the law. While Attorney General, he scrutinized the evil deeds of America’s most notorious abortionist, George Tiller. Kline’s work laid the groundwork for the 30 criminal counts now pending in that state against Tiller. Kline’s investigation also prepared the way for the pending Grand Jury hearings, scheduled for October 30th, regarding Tiller’s late-term abortion facility.

Never before have Planned Parenthood and their comrades been held to account. Phill Kline is indeed a national hero. We appeal to pro-Lifers across the country for prayers on his behalf as he, rather unbelievably, seeks to fulfill his oath of office.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | 5 Comments »

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