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Nazi Germany Comes to Utah Courtroom

December 16th, 2007 by Halli

In a ruling reminiscent of still-extant Nazi Germany prohibitions against home schooling, a Utah judge has ordered a mother to immediately enroll her children in public school, or face their removal from the home. The story is detailed at WorldNetDaily.com.

Denise Mafi has been homeschooling her four children, and believed she had filed the appropriate paperwork with the local school district last year.

In fact, she was under the distinct impression that she had already enrolled her children in public schools this year. However, when she went to court on a different matter, she was hit with “four counts against her for failing to comply with the state’s compulsory education requirement”.

In what appears to be a mistake on the part of the school district, Judge Scott Johansen has come down with both jack boots on Ms. Mafi’s neck.

“It is a long story but basically it boils down to the school district says I didn’t file my homeschool affidavit last year. I faxed it to the school district office on Oct. 27, 2006. Somehow it was lost. I have my copy,” she said on the forum.

Expect to see Ms. Mafi serving jail time, if this renegade judge gets his way.

Her crime? Taking responsibility for her own children’s education – and getting tangled in a spider web of red tape mandated by government, which many feel has no role in education in the first place.

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

Guest Post: Things in Kansas Get Even More Bizarre

December 15th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

Could the abortion battle in Kansas get any more bizarre and complex? The Capitol Journal reports that the pro-abort Attorney General of that state, Paul Morrison, has just been hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit following a multi-year sexual affair with a woman in the Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. The affair began while Morrison served as DA – and then continued after he became Kansas Attorney General.

Mrs. Carter, the purported victim, remained on the staff of the Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney after Morrison left as the Director of Administration.

The issue of Morrison’s extra-marital activities was a campaign issue last year in his challenge of pro-Life champion Phill Kline. Morrison vehemently denied that he had broken faith with his wife and even used her to publicly defend their marriage.

Of even greater import is the allegation made by Morrison’s former lover, Linda Carter, that he used her during the past year to obtain documents and information about the internal workings of the Johnson County Prosecutor’s office – particularly as it related to Phill Kline’s continuing efforts against Planned Parenthood and George Tiller.

It would seem likely that these latter charges, contained as allegations in Carter’s lawsuit, represent the most serious threats to Morrison’s political and legal future. Such unethical behavior would presumably lead to sanctions by the Kansas State Bar.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: ISAT = High School Diploma?

December 15th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

The “high stakes” test students must take to graduate from high school in Idaho is the ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Test). All sophomores take the 10th grade ISAT exam, which the Statesman describes as “the graduation test, which they (students) must pass before getting a diploma.” This raises a thought-provoking question: if a student passes “the graduation test” in the 10th grade, and thus has demonstrated the academic proficiency we require of all high school graduates, why are we strapping him in a seat for two more years, at taxpayer expense? A better approach: once a student passes the ISAT, give him his high school diploma, and then use the taxpayer dollars Idaho would otherwise have spent on his last two years of high school instead financing the first two years of his college education. By the time he finishes what would have been his senior year, he’d already have two years of college under his belt, and he and his parents would have just two years of college to fund instead of four. Plus, students who know they are not college bound could begin training for a trade in what otherwise would have been their junior year in high school.

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Posted in Education, Family Matters, Guest Posts | 2 Comments »

Press Release: Rep. Bill Sali’s Washington Weekly

December 11th, 2007 by Halli

In an effort to assure that all earmarks are publicly disclosed, Congressman Bill Sali signed a petition to address the issue of earmark reform. Earmarks are congressionally-directed spending for specific projects that are sometimes attached to bills before the House.

The petition called for Democrat leadership in the House to allow a vote on H. Res 479, a bill designed to allow Representatives to ask for debate on specific earmarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives, exposing the earmarks and allowing Congressmen to debate the value of the bill.

Congressman Sali said, “Spending of taxpayer dollars should be done in the light of day, under the scrutiny of the public eye. Taxpayers are entitled to know where their tax dollars are being spent. This isn’t about Democrats versus Republicans. This is about restoring transparency and accountability to an institution that has lost the confidence of the American people.”

If the petition receives 217 signatures, Democrat House leaders are required to schedule a vote on H. Res 479. Should this bill pass, the House would be required to publicly disclose earmarks and allow for greater transparency in the Congress.

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

Guest Post: Romney Speech on Religious Tradition in America

December 11th, 2007 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There’s something very disconcerting in the realization that a candidate for the highest post in the land feels a need to make a declaration regarding his religion. After all, Article VI of the Constitution mandates that there is not to be a religious test for public office. Yet Mitt Romney, a member of the LDS Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) obviously felt compelled to make such a declaration this week.

Nearly 60 years ago, John F. Kennedy made such a speech, obviously similarly compelled to make such a statement. He said then, (I quote only portions as you will be able to ascertain that the paragraphs are not contiguous) to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in September, 1960, “Because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured – perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again–not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me – but what kind of America I believe in.”

“I believe in an America where… no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”

“For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew – or a Quaker – or a Unitarian – or a Baptist.”

“Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end – where all men and all churches are treated as equal – where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice.”

“I ask you tonight to judge me on the basis of my record … instead of judging me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we all have seen that carefully select quotations out of context from the statements of Catholic Church leaders…”

Mitt Romney, sounding rather Kennedy-esque, proclaimed in his Houston speech this week (again, I quote only portions of the text), “Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am an American running for President. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.”

“It’s important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.”

“We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion.”

“Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage. Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: the equality of human kind, the obligation to serve one another, and a steadfast commitment to liberty?

“They’re not unique to any one denomination. They belong to the great moral inheritance we hold in common. They’re the firm ground on which Americans of different faiths meet and stand as a nation, united.”

Hugh Hewitt, law professor, evangelical Christian, and conservative talk show host who wrote a book about Romney said after the historic event, “The speech will shame many critics into if not silence, at least a more guarded display of hostility to faith, while reminding millions of people of faith about the glories of religious tolerance. Rescuing the campaign of 2008 from the theological inquisition it had sometimes become will be one of the legacies of the speech, as all candidates and many commentators will now simply be able to say: ‘I agree with Romney and reject the imposition of theological litmus tests on presidential candidates.’”

Even Chris Matthews of MSNBC called it “the best speech of the campaign,” and added, “For the first time in this campaign and it has been long already, I heard greatness this morning.”

Theological differences should not be used as the basis for rejecting a candidate. Differences in values, vision for America, and positions on issues should provide the line of demarcation for whether a candidate wins our trust and our vote. Those who vote against a candidate based on religion are ignorant, bigoted, or both.

We should no more vote for or against a candidate based on their religion than we should vote for or against a candidate based on their gender or skin. The only exception I can think of is one that is antithetical to American standards of equality, liberty, and tolerance like an adherent to Shariah law that places national interests in subservience to their theology.

This is too great a country, with too many good people, to allow religious or ethnic intolerance a role in the selection of our leaders. Political parties are anxious to convince prospective voters of the breadth of their “tents,” referring to the diversity, tolerance, and disparate political views which create a composite of their respective parties. In light of that, the LDS Church must have a very broad tent of its own, to claim such political opposites as Harry Reid and Mitt Romney.

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

Guest Post: Idaho Pro-Lifers Enjoy a Tremendous Night

December 11th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

Mr. Phill Kline, former Attorney General of Kansas, delivered an inspiring and thoughtful speech at Friday’s Christmas Dinner & Auction in Boise. He made a tremendous impression as he both encouraged and challenged hundreds of pro-Lifers in attendance.

Drawing upon the historical lessons of slavery, Kline described abortion as the central challenge of our time. In order to maintain the abortion regime, Americans have sacrificed many institutions – and even the idea that there is such a thing as objective truth.

It is the “culture of tolerance” which allows many contradictory ideas and values to coexist in today’s society; our legal system is the most obvious casualty of such relativism. Laws can be created to protect children from sexual abuse, for example – and then ignored if such protections might threaten the empire of legalized abortion.

Kline’s heroic leadership in Kansas was honored by Idaho Chooses Life during the banquet. David Ripley, Executive Director, presented Kline with the 2007 Wilberforce Award. Inscribed on the plaque are these words from the great hero of the anti-slavery movement:

“The labors of a whole life to relieve the wants and necessities of
our fellow creatures are but an imperfect expression of thankfulness
to the God who gave Himself for us.”

Ripley described Mr. Kline as a “genuine American hero”. The enthusiastic response of the crowd made it clear that Idaho pro-Lifers agreed.

We ask for your prayers on behalf of Mr. Kline, his family and staff. As they confront the evil of Planned Parenthood’s practices, the political and media pressure upon the parties has been quite intense.

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

Guest Post: Courage Needed to Cut Wasteful Spending

December 5th, 2007 by Halli

By U.S. Rep. Bill Sali (Idaho-01)

Thomas Jefferson once recommended “the employment of the pruning knife” whenever spending gets out of control. How right he was! Families can only spend what they collect in earnings; in the same way, government should never spend more than it collects from taxpayers. Government should also be careful never to waste any of those hard-earned tax dollars.

Following Jefferson’s admonition to “prune” expenses that cause deficits or are just plain wasteful is the right and proper course of action, whether at home or in government. It’s that simple.

What Jefferson did not say is that pruning the size of government requires something that seems increasingly absent in Washington, D.C.: courage. Courage to do the right thing. Courage to say “no” to bloated spending even when some of that bloated spending is packaged with money that will benefit one’s home district.

Not long ago I voted against bills containing billions of dollars in wasteful spending. These were plainly hard votes. On one hand, the bills contained projects that I directly fought for and supported, including money for a detox center in Boise, for the nursing program at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, for improvements at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow and for improvements to U.S. 95. On the other hand, those good projects were craftily bundled with waste and bloated spending to achieve passage of those projects that would never pass if proposed separately.

As a freshman congressman, I am proud to have successfully advocated for these Idaho projects. I’m also proud that the Idaho delegation secured $8 million in support of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, an exciting event and one Idaho is proud to host. I am a strong supporter of those games just like the majority of Idahoans and Americans.

My very first bill that received the approval by the House was one recognizing Idaho’s selection as host of the 2009 World Winter Games. During my tenure in Idaho’s Legislature, I was widely recognized as a top advocate for Idaho’s disabled residents, and I’m proud of those efforts.

It would have been easy for me to vote in favor of the bills containing my personal projects. That would have been a significant political victory for me as a member of the minority party and a freshman, allowing me to rejoice about projects signed into law that I helped secure for Idaho. But whose victory is more important, my own or the taxpayers in Idaho? I decided it was more important for the taxpayer to come before the pride of individual members of Congress. Here’s why:

Those same bills that contained funding for my Idaho projects also contained wasteful and outlandish programs that Idahoans should not be forced to subsidize with their hard-earned money: $1 million in funding for the naming of a public policy center after former Sen. Tom Daschle, $400,000 for jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and enough money to give the bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Education raises — on top of the $95,300 the average bureaucrat there already earns. That’s almost twice the salary of the average teacher in America.

Idaho taxpayers also would have been stuck paying $335,000 for the historic preservation of a baseball field in Montana, $301,500 for the International Peace Garden in North Dakota and $100,000 for signage in Los Angeles’ High Fashion District.

There are no parades for those who vote against spending money in Congress. There are no celebrations when excessive spending is defeated. Nonetheless, I am convinced Americans still agree with Thomas Jefferson. They know it would have been wrong for me to take pride in any success for Idaho, knowing the costs that Jefferson would have “pruned” were part of the price tag. While it was politically hard for me to vote no, I knew it was the right thing to do.

— Bill Sali is a U.S. representative from Idaho.

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Posted in Congressman Bill Sali, Guest Posts, Politics in General, Taxes | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Phill Kline to Speak in Boise Friday

December 5th, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho Chooses Life is honored to announce that former Attorney General Phill Kline of Kansas is the Guest Speaker at the annual Christmas Dinner & Auction.

Mr. Kline, who now serves as the Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney, has been at the center of an important legal struggle for several years. His investigations of Planned Parenthood and notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller have led to criminal prosecutions against both. These pending cases pose a profound challenge to Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Conviction on even some of the 107 criminal charges being brought by Kline may jeopardize Planned Parenthood’s Title X funding. Senator Brownback has already introduced legislation in the US Senate seeking to end our role as Planned Parenthood’s largest investor.

Phill Kline is a fifth generation Kansan, born in Kansas City. He is one of five children raised by a single parent.

He received his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1987.

A few seats remain for the event, scheduled from 6-9 pm in Boise. If you’d like to attend, we urge you to call 344-8709 immediately for details.

Phill Kline to Speak in Boise on Friday

Idaho Chooses Life is honored to announce that former Attorney General Phill Kline of Kansas is the Guest Speaker at the annual Christmas Dinner & Auction.

Mr. Kline, who now serves as the Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney, has been at the center of an important legal struggle for several years. His investigations of Planned Parenthood and notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller have led to criminal prosecutions against both. These pending cases pose a profound challenge to Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Conviction on even some of the 107 criminal charges being brought by Kline may jeopardize Planned Parenthood’s Title X funding. Senator Brownback has already introduced legislation in the US Senate seeking to end our role as Planned Parenthood’s largest investor.

Phill Kline is a fifth generation Kansan, born in Kansas City. He is one of five children raised by a single parent.

He received his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1987.

A few seats remain for the event, scheduled from 6-9 pm in Boise. If you’d like to attend, we urge you to call 344-8709 immediately for details.

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

Guest Post: Tasteless Expressions of Free Speech have Consequences

December 3rd, 2007 by Halli


By Richard Larsen

Our actions, words, and expressions can sometimes spawn unintended consequences. Even when acting within legal parameters of free speech, what we say and do can harm our causes and cast aspersions on our country. Such was the case last month in China.

Reminiscent of the fall-out from Natalie Maines infamous statement at a London concert of the Dixie Chicks when she declared their disapprobation of the current President hailing from Texas, the U.S. team of women at the World Bridge Championships in Shanghai displayed a sign declaring “We didn’t vote for George Bush.”

The gesture, although legal free speech, was tasteless, even though, according to the women, it was impromptu, scribbled on the back of a menu that was displayed prominently at an awards dinner. As a result of their actions, the non-profit United States Bridge Federation is facing the possibility of corporate sponsors withdrawing their support, and the team members facing sanctions, including suspended membership in the Federation and a ban from national and international competition.

Jan Martel, president of the Bridge Federation, said afterward, “This isn’t a free-speech issue. There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.” The team members have contested that claim saying their speech cannot be censored and they are free to express themselves publicly, even overseas. Even though free speech is a right for Americans to enjoy, tasteless expressions still have their pejorative consequences.

The Federation is right to impose sanctions since the team’s actions reflect badly on the team, the Federation, the corporate sponsors, and the sponsoring country.

Team members have been stunned by global reaction to what they saw as a spontaneous gesture, or as Gail Greenberg, team captain, put it, “A moment of levity.”

It should be obvious to that even humorously intended gestures and expressions can have harmful consequences. Although intended as mirth, the act illustrated how even lightheartedness can be as classless as expressions made in seriousness.

As tasteless as this act was, it comes nowhere near the defamatory and insulting actions and comments of former President Jimmy Carter. Over the past few years he has lauded totalitarian leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, praised former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Yugoslav strongman Josef Tito, and former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu. He’s also sided with former North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il against U.S. foreign policy. He has regaled our current President abroad by calling him “America’s worst president,” and claimed that the U.S. was more problem than solution around the world. Indeed, his global efforts denouncing the United States and undermining U.S. foreign policy, even abroad, has earned him the moniker “The Worst Ex-President.” So much for the notion that “politics ends at the water’s edge.”

Carter’s charges against the current President are even more inscrutable in light of the fact that Carter’s abandonment of the shah in 1977-78 helped lead to the Islamic revolution (and the murder or imprisonment of many of the Iranian leftists who had supported overthrowing the shah), the emboldening of the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan and the rise of radical Islam worldwide.

Certainly the actions of our former President have done much more harm to American interests and our perception around the world than a group of outspoken bridge players. Yet inexplicably he continues to spew his anti-American venom around the globe, and is hailed by some as a bold outspoken critic of American foreign policy.

Another example of bad taste was on display at a political rally in South Carolina last week when a woman asked presidential candidate John McCain, “How do we beat the b****?” The reaction of those in attendance left little doubt as to who the McCain supporter was referring to, as laughter filled the room, and McCain responded uncomfortably, “May I give the translation?” followed by, “That’s a good question,” Although criticized by political pundits for not denouncing the questioner, McCain went on to explain how he “respects Senator Clinton.” However incorrectly Senator McCain handled the question, the error clearly lies with the questioner. Although just a private citizen, she seems to be as oblivious to the fact that such language cheapens and degrades the public political discourse as former President Carter and the bridge players are.

Jim DeMint, Senator from South Carolina, when asked about the McCain rally incident responded with wisdom and class, “I think it’s a huge mistake for us to show that kind of disrespect to any candidate.”

Each of us needs to realize that even though we enjoy the freedom in this country to express ourselves, it should be done tastefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully. Criticism of actions, policy, and issues is proper. Name-calling, aspersions, and ad hominem attacks cheapen the public discourse and mitigate the potential good that can result from thoughtful and deliberative dissent.

Consequences of our indiscriminate expressions of free speech cannot be deemed censorship, since they’re not imposed by government. But associations, groups, and sponsoring entities can require a respectful decorum when being represented by common citizens, and fallout from indiscretions can be swift and substantive, as illustrated by the retribution heaped on the Dixie Chicks after their folly, with slumping CD sales, and radio disk-jockey’s refusing to play their music.

We may not be as high profile as those cited, but we all contribute to, or detract from, the quality of public discourse. Consequently, we can all make the personal decision to be a contributor to a mature, thoughtful discussion, or a gutter-dwelling dialogue that contributes to the ideological divisions so pervasive today.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Kansas Abortion War Expands

December 3rd, 2007 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

The Kansas City Star is reporting that another grand jury may be convened to investigate Planned Parenthood. This is a separate proceeding from the criminal charges they already face as a result of the efforts by Johnson County Prosecutor Phill Kline.

Attorneys from Planned Parenthood went to court last week, demanding that Judge Kevin Moriarty stop the grand jury from investigating additional criminal issues surrounding Planned Parenthood’s abortion operation in Kansas. He refused to do so. Judge Moriarty did, however, delay the seating of the grand jury until December 10th so that Planned Parenthood could pursue appeals.

The paper reports that they intend to do so – following the same path taken earlier by their compatriot, George Tiller.

This latest action is the fourth distinct legal action against the abortion industry in Kansas.
George Tiller faces criminal charges, as well as an additional grand jury investigation. The same is true for Planned Parenthood.

This phenomenal state of affairs is unprecedented in the history of America’s abortion industry – and all is the result of groundwork laid by Phill Kline. Developments in Kansas will have national implications.

We seek your prayers on behalf of Phill Kline and the attorneys working with him.

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

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