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Guest Post: Those Who Preach Tolerance Are Actually Most Intolerant

November 24th, 2008 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

I always marvel, though I shouldn’t be surprised, when those who claim to be most tolerant and open-minded, end up being the most intolerant and bigoted of all. Yet this is exactly what we have witnessed with the passage of Proposition 8 in California which amended the California Constitution to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Radical activists opposed to Prop 8 have collectively proven their own bigotry and intolerance by destructive, vindictive, and retributive retaliation against individuals, businesses, and churches that stood up for traditional marriage. They have vandalized LDS temples, invaded evangelical churches, and assaulted praying Christians in San Francisco’s Castro District. Ponder for a moment the duplicity and hypocrisy here.

I cannot believe that these people are themselves homosexual, as I have never known one to have such violent and bigoted dispositions. Rather, these are the zealots who have taken up the cause in their behalf.

There are some, even one writing for this paper, who seem to think that religious groups have no right to be involved in fundamentally moral causes in the political arena. I am grateful for the Catholics, Baptists, Protestants, LDS, and other religious organizations, and their church leaders, who had a backbone and determination behind their convictions to take a stand in defense of traditional marriage, in spite of the hate, bigotry, and discrimination perpetrated against them by those claiming to be so tolerant. There are many organizations who seek destruction of the institutions and values which made America great. Are we to assume that there should be no groups who should stand in opposition to them?

Consider as well how ludicrous the notion is that these religious groups should lose their tax-free status for standing up for what they deemed a crucial moral issue for society. Were the groups organized to fight Prop 8 non-profit? Should they be taxed because they engaged in the public debate on a socio-political issue albeit on the opposing side? The duplicity only compounds itself.

I found the language of the opponents to Prop 8 to be as warped as their sense of propriety. Those who supported the proposition were reaffirming the critical holistic definition of marriage. To them, Prop 8 was a positive reaffirmation of the traditional institution of marriage. But to the opponents, they were “hate-filled,” “bigoted,” “angry,” and “intolerant.” The only hate-filled, bigoted, angry, and intolerant propaganda I saw in media or the internet was coming from the opponents.

Marriage is a bedrock institution upon which all others build for a foundation. Marriage is about the potential for a mother and a father to procreate, to love and to nurture a new generation within a family unit and providing optimum environments for their rearing. Because good and strong marriages are recognized as the foundation of a strong nation, marriage is accorded some rights and responsibilities to further strengthen families. Thus the predicate for the benefits of traditional marriage is not “civil rights” or even romantic love, but shared responsibilities for nurturing a new generation and perpetuating a nation. By definition, homosexual coupling cannot procreate and does not provide a father and mother. Thus gay marriage seeks to change the predicate for marriage.

It’s also not about “civil rights.” Ask any of the 70% of blacks in California who voted for Prop 8 if they see a difference between the demand of rights for the homosexuals and minority civil rights. There’s a crucial difference. Minorities didn’t have a chance to choose their skin color, but homosexuals do choose to follow their inclinations toward homosexuality. Regardless of whether there is a chemical or DNA component that inclines one to believe he was born a certain way, one ultimately makes a choice to follow that inclination. Minorities in their quest for civil rights had no such decision. The 1967 Supreme Court decision Loving v Virginia did not redefine marriage, it simply removed the racial discrimination component practiced in some states.

Reaffirming marriage as the union of a man and a woman does not deny homosexuals the basic civil rightsaccorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation that I know of are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens–including the right to marry. However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whomever they want. A person cannot marry a child, a close blood relative, two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person. Such restrictions are based upon the accumulated wisdom of Western civilization and societies and cultures around the world for millennia.
Robert P. George, the brilliant law professor at Princeton University, has written, “The obligations and purposes of law and government are to protect public health, safety, and morals, and to advance the general welfare.” He asserts “that acceptance of the idea that two persons of the same sex could actually be married to each other would make nonsense of key features of marriage and would necessarily require abandoning any ground of principle for supposing that marriage is the union of only two persons, as opposed to three or more.”

He then advances perhaps the most significant detriment to redefining marriage: “The acceptance of same sex marriage would result in a massive undermining of religious liberty and family autonomy as supporters of same-sex marriage would, in the name of equality, demand the use of governmental power to whip others into line. The experience of Massachusetts as well as foreign jurisdictions is that once marriage is compromised or formally redefined, principles of nondiscrimination are quickly used as cudgels against religious communities and families who wish to uphold true marriage by precept and example.”

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Efforts to redefine marriage are not based legally or even logically on civil rights or discrimination, but a militant effort to force acceptance of a certain life-style by intolerant and bigoted extremists who now seek retribution against people of faith and principle.

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

Guest Post: Revolutionary Idea to Strengthen Idaho Families, Reduce Cost of Public Education

November 21st, 2008 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Rep. Steven Thayn has proposed a novel, even revolutionary idea which will strengthen Idaho families, strengthen the parent-child relationship during the first five years of a child’s life, enable more children to show up in first grade ready to learn, and reduce the overall cost of public education. Intrigued?

In a nutshell, here’s the idea: pay parents who bring their children to the first day of first grade ready to learn.

Study after study shows that parents make the best early educators for their pre-school children. They are the ones who read to them, instill in them an early love of learning, and build their vocabulary and language abilities in their most formative years.

(In fact, prolonged exposure to daycare settings retards a child’s language development since so much of his verbal interaction is with others whose language skills are as limited as his own. A child at home, on the other hand, engages in constant linguistic interaction with an adult, which quietly yet steadily improves his grasp of grammar and expands his vocabulary.)

Plus, strong families are correlated with a host of taxpayer savings over time, as children who come from stable families have higher graduation rates, use fewer social services, have fewer substance abuse problems, have lower incarceration rates, and have higher income levels as adults.

A weak parent-child relationship, on the other hand, is strongly correlated with lower graduation rates, higher use of social services, increased rates of drug use, higher levels of unwed pregnancies, higher levels of incarceration, and lower adult incomes.

All of the positive correlations reduce government spending and can lead to lower taxes. All the negative correlations require more taxpayer funded remediation costs, leading to more government spending and higher taxes.

In fact, Thayn estimates that strengthening Idaho families could reduce the cost of state government by $770 million per year, or about 26 percent of the current state budget.

Simply put, public policies that strengthen the Idaho family are not only good for Idaho families but good for Idaho’s quality of life and good for Idaho taxpayers.

Rep. Thayn’s idea is simple: let’s resist the pressure to expand government-run kindergarten and pre-K programs and instead reward parents whose children do not use government kindergarten schools and yet whose children can pass the kindergarten test and demonstrate that they are ready to start the first grade.

Under his proposal, parents whose children can pass the kindergarten test, thus showing they are ready for first grade, would be paid $2,250, one half of the $4,500 it costs the state to strap that same child into a kindergarten seat for a year.

Talk about a revolutionary approach to merit pay!

This is the ultimate in merit pay for educators who demonstrate, based on the academic performance of their students, that they can deliver the goods.

There is a cherry on top for schools in Thayn’s proposal. Schools would receive $1,125 (1/4 of the cost of teaching that same child in a classroom for one year) simply for administering the test. Thus the schools benefit from the productive work of parents who bring ready-to-learn students to them on the first day of school.

The remaining $1,125 would represent the net savings per child to Idaho taxpayers.

Thayn’s article, which you can access at the link below, contains a chart showing that if 5,000 of the 25,000 kindergarten-age students in Idaho were educated at home, the net savings to taxpayers each year would be $5.6 million.

However, as more parents are drawn to the idea, if 80% of kindergarten-age children were educated at home instead of in state-run schools, the savings to taxpayers would grow to $22.4 million per year, and $44.8 million would be returned to Idaho families to reward them for educating their children at home and lowering the cost of public education.

What’s not to like?

Rep. Thayn intends to introduce legislation this coming session to put this in place, and the IVA will support his efforts. Please let me know what you think of his innovative proposal, which you can do simply by replying to this Daily Update.

(Thayn is also proposing innovative legislation for Grades 1-12 and post high school education, about which more later.)

When it comes to pre-K education, the pro-family community has been playing defense for years, fending off relentless attempts to expand government-run, expensive, taxpayer-funded education to younger and younger children.

It’s time to go on offense, and let opponents of family-centered early education play defense for a while.

See article at Idaho Values Alliance for link to Rep. Thayne’s article.

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

Guest Post: Homosexual Jihadists Strike Again

November 18th, 2008 by Halli

Halli’s note: Can you say “SODOM AND GOMORRAH”?

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

A mob of enraged homosexuals surrounded a small group of Christians who were praying and singing in San Francisco’s Castro District Friday night, threatening to kill them, and were restrained only by San Francisco riot police who escorted the small band of intercessors to safety.

A 4:45 YouTube clip of the scene can be accessed through the second link below. Be advised that it contains offensive language, shouted in full-throated vitriol at Christians, whose worst offense was peacefully singing “Amazing Grace.”

When the leader of the group was asked, “Why are you here?” the leader of the prayer group said simply, “We’re here to worship God, and we’re here because we love you.”

In response, they were doused with hot coffee, soda, and alcohol, spit on, hit on their heads either with their own Bibles, thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly. Said one woman, “They started saying, ‘We’re going to kill you.’ They started taking our pictures and saying, ‘We’re going to kill you. We know who you are.’”

One male member of the prayer group was sexually assaulted, being touched and grabbed in a sexual manner with some in the crowd actually trying to take off his pants.

When the police asked the woman who was beaten with her own Bible if she wanted to press charges, she replied, “No, tell him I forgive him.”

As they were escorted out of the Castro District, one man screamed into the camera, “We don’t ever want them coming back. Do you understand that, other Christians? Do you understand that, other Mormons? I’m talking to you, people. Yeah, you. Stay out of our neighborhood if you don’t like us. Leave us alone!”

Mind you, this is in response to a group that had not preached and had not attempted to proselytize anyone.

One member of the Tyrants of Tolerance said, “They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk, and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech, which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood.”

So much for the inalienable right not only to “life” to also to “liberty,” which means the freedom to go where you want to go in public without fear for your personal safety.

Two things are striking here. One, any objective observer would have to say that all the tolerance and the love was being demonstrated by the Christians in this encounter, and all the hate and rage was being demonstrated by homosexuals. Perhaps the truth is the exact opposite of what we have been told incessantly by the Old Media.

Second, the parallels between enraged homosexual activists and Muslim jihadists is getting harder to ignore. In this encounter, vitriolic homosexuals threaten to kill these Christians just because they are Christians, just as radical Muslims threaten to kill Christians and Jews just because of their religious affiliation.

Just as Muslims have made it illegal for Jews to even travel to let alone live in Arab countries, so these homosexuals have made the Castro District in San Francisco off-limits to Christians, under threat of death.

We may be on the verge of a new kind of domestic terrorism, driven by the mindless rage of homosexual jihadists who, just like their Muslim counterparts, cannot tolerate either religious freedom or democracy.

Sparks fly as ‘gay’ activist mob swarms Christians

YouTube – Chased out of the Castro District – 11-14-08

Michelle Malkin » Anti-Prop. 8 Mob Watch: Christians in San Francisco’s Castro district

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

Guest Post: Will Obama Force Americans to Pay for Coerced Abortions?

November 18th, 2008 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

World attention has focused on the tragic abuse of Arzigul Tursun, a Chinese woman now imprisoned in a hospital by the Chinese government because she has committed the crime of not killing her child. They will force her to submit to an abortion later this week.

While conducting their manhunt for Mrs. Tursun, government agents threatened to confiscate her family’s house and property unless she killed her baby. Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey has publicly appealed to the Chinese Ambassador for mercy, and an end to China’s barbaric practice.

This is the reason that the American government has refused to send tax dollars to support the UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA). As recently as June of this year, the State Department recertified that UNFPA was ineligible for US support because of its cooperation with China’s abusive treatment of women and babies.

Yet President –Elect Obama has indicated he will reinstate funding for UNFPA as part of his extensive efforts to repay a large campaign debt to Planned Parenthood.

Will the American feminist movement stand silently while Obama moves to legitimize the abusive treatment in China?

Frankly, we don’t hold much hope that integrity will drive the Left to stand up to such oppressive practices. We watched as our own chapter of Planned Parenthood fought tooth-and-claw to kill legislation designed to protect Idaho women and girls from coerced abortions. It was a stunning example of the Abortion Movement’s disingenuous claim to support a “woman’s right to choose”.

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

Guest Post: Free Market Capitalism Made America Great, not Socialism

November 18th, 2008 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

For some inexplicable reason, even when a “better mousetrap” is created, there are those who cling stubbornly to their old inferior system of rodent extirpation. When a better technology for accomplishing specific tasks is developed, some people unabashedly defend their old inferior system. So it seems to be also in economics, that even though socialism has failed everywhere it’s been tried and capitalism and the free enterprise system has succeeded wherever it’s been applied, that there are those who tenaciously advance the failed notion that attempted equality trumps freedom.

This issue rose to preeminence during the recent presidential campaign in large part because of a common “Joe” who asked about Senator Obama’s taxation system that would adversely affect Joe’s ability to buy a plumbing business. The Senator’s response was that it’s better if we “spread the wealth around” to those who don’t earn it.

In the midst of the national and international financial crisis now fomenting global financial markets, the lines of demarcation between free markets and socialism have been blurred dramatically. Congressional passage of a massive nearly one trillion dollar “bailout” of troubled financial institutions has added fodder to those who claim unbridled and deregulated capitalisms’ failure has brought us to this point.

Free markets often ride waves of profitability or anticipated profitability to excess, before the markets correct and return to more realistic valuations. The dot-com era of “irrational exuberance” is a case in point, where excessive valuation of anything having to do with the internet was priced to extreme levels, only to be brought back to earth after that bubble burst. The artificial burgeoning of real estate valuations of the past decade are no exception. Market values cannot simply continue to increase unabated. And with the increasing number of mortgage defaults by those who couldn’t afford their homes, facilitated and encouraged by bad governmental policy, it was inevitable that a correction in real estate valuations would occur. And it has.

In part due to global economic slow-down, but mostly in anticipation of more onerous regulation and taxation of the producers in this country, the U.S. markets had their worst post-election decline ever, for a week. Only on Thursday when President Bush spoke on the eve of the G-20 World Economic Conference about the successes, viability, and necessity of free-market capitalism was the decline reversed, with an intra-day swing of over 900 points on the DJIA.

Markets cheered as Bush reminded global leaders, “At its most basic level, capitalism offers people the freedom to choose where they work and what they do … the dignity that comes with profiting from their talent and hard work. … The free-market system also provides the incentives that lead to prosperity — the incentive to work, to innovate, to save and invest wisely, and to create jobs for others.”

The President explicated further, “Free-market capitalism is far more than an economic theory. It is the engine of social mobility — the highway to the American Dream. And it is what transformed America from a rugged frontier to the greatest economic power in history — a nation that gave the world the steamboat and the airplane, the computer and the CAT scan, the Internet and the iPod.”

Empirically capitalism has done what socialism could only dream of: cumulatively lift billions of people from abject poverty to a standard of living that exceeds any in human history. American poverty, as defined by our government, affords a quality of life that is the envy of any living in poverty elsewhere in the world. U.S. Census data indicate that those living below the poverty line in America have a home (rental or own), at least one car, at least one television, a DVD player, and still work less than most generations have had to for sustainability of their standard of living. It’s not socialisms’ promise of equality that made the U.S. the global economic leader that it is, but rather capitalisms’ equality of opportunity.

Even while realizing that government doesn’t produce anything, or do anything to increase productivity, but is perpetuated because of its ability to extract funds from those who do produce, government does have a role in a free-market system. It should foster policies and levels of taxation that are not debilitating to the growth and success of the economy, and it should properly and wisely regulate for the protection of the public it is supposed to serve. As the Constitution states, government is to “promote the general welfare,” not pay for it.

Contrary to what we have been told throughout the past election season, our financial market failures are not due to deregulation, but rather due to improper regulation. Continued efforts to reform Fannie and Freddie were rebuffed by their protectors in Congress. Sarbanes Oxley, designed to prevent another Enron fiasco, is the most onerous regulation placed on American commercial enterprises, yet it intentionally excluded Fannie and Freddie, again because of their protectors in Congress. Governmental efforts to pressure banks into providing mortgages for those who couldn’t afford them created the “subprime” mess. Government has done more to destroy our economy in recent years, than it has to promote and expand it.

Freedom is the heart of capitalism, and we should be vigilant over the next few years to ensure that free market capitalism, which made America great, isn’t sacrificed at the altar of “change” to the chants of “fundamentally transforming America.”

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

Homosexual Tolerance

November 11th, 2008 by Halli

And by that, I mean tolerance on the part of homosexuals, seeking their own so-called “rights”, while trampling all over the rights of others.

An elderly woman attempts to express her opinion outside the Palm Springs City Hall, and is robbed of her cross, shouted down, and intimidated ON CAMERA.

This video says it all:

San Fransisco State University Republicans

Is it too late to donate to the passage of Prop 8?

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

Guest Post: Racist Taunts Against Blacks

November 11th, 2008 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Blogger Rod McCullom reports that gay activists hurled racial epithets at black homosexuals this week, evidently blaming the black community, which voted 70-30 for natural marriage, for the success of California’s marriage amendment.

According to this blogger, “[T]he ‘blame the blacks’ meme is being commonly accepted by some so-called ‘progressive’ gay activists.”

Blacks were subjected to “taunts, threats and racist abuse” at a homosexual-rights rally in LA on Sunday night outside the LA temple of the LDS church.

One gay black student reported, “It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercombie polos and Birkenstocks. ‘YOU NIGGER,’ one man shouted at me. If you people want to call me a FAGGOT, I will call you a nigger.” (Note: original spelling and punctuation preserved.)

Someone else said the same thing to him on the next block, and he was told that “the niggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them.” He and his friend were carrying “No on Prop 8″ signs but were still subjected to the racial abuse.

Three older men accosted a friend of his, shouting, “Black people did this. I hope you people are happy!” and they were soon joined by a young lesbian couple with Mohawks and Obama buttons saying they were “very disappointed with black people.”

When his friend pointed out he was carrying a “No on Prop 8″ sign, one of the older men said it didn’t matter because “most black people hated gays” and that it was wrong to think that black people had compassion.

Another blogger reported receiving several phone calls from blacks, both straight and gay, who were called “niggers” and were accosted in their cars and told that it was “because of you people gays don’t have equal rights and you better watch your back.”

McCollum reported that at least a dozen racist comments had had to be removed from his pro-gay blog, such as “Black people make me feel like s— when it should have been a night of celebration for all,” and “F-K you niggers.”

(To their credit, leaders of both Truth Wins Out and People for the American Way issued statements condemning these racist outbursts.)

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

Guest Post: Post Election Reflections

November 11th, 2008 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Watching Barack Obama’s Chicago speech Tuesday night brought me to a realization of how much his election has meant to so many people. Up until that time, everything to me was policy, statements of belief, background, and the political alliances that had brought him to that point in history.

Tuesday, however, I started to see what his election means, especially to Blacks. To see the tears of joy shed at that seminal moment was a touching experience. And the next day when Sherri Shepherd from The View said, “To look at my baby and go, you don’t have to have limitations…” as she broke down in tears. Another Black commentator made reference to always feeling like an American but feeling like they never totally belonged, and that now, for the first time, she feels she can unpack her bags.

I was a youngster when John Kennedy was in the White House, and so my memories, in large part, are shaped by the imagery around his “Camelot” created by photographs and recollections of others. Some of my most poignant images are those of young children growing up in the White House, and of John and Caroline playing in the Oval Office with President Jack reading or on the telephone. I can’t help but imagine the endearing images of two more adorable children growing up in the White House again, and the timelessness those images will capture for generations to come. But many of this generation lived through those ugly racially charged years when social conventions were stereotyped and societal roles precast based on skin color. To those, especially, I can only imagine the sweetness of this moment for them. I think Sherri Shepherd’s comments capture the breadth of this moment in history, “You don’t have to have limitations.”

The powerful imagery in my mind of future pictures of the Presidents, with a President Obama pictured amongst that select crowd of white men moves me. It truly makes me proud to live in a country where it does not matter what your skin color is for you to realize that there are no limitations to what is possible with hard work, tenacity, and conviction.

In short, it’s been a powerful time for me emotionally since Tuesday as these thoughts have flooded my mind. But alas, our leadership should not be selected based on emotion, even though I’ve indulged after the fact. I would much rather have someone in that post whom I didn’t fear to be antithetical to my belief system and perception of America, regardless of color.

Logically, my apprehensions of an Obama Presidency are many. Those concerns were raised even further last week when he announced to a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” It finally dawned on me what kind of change he was talking about. I had presumed he wanted to change the government, to change the climate of discord, acrimony, incrimination, and extreme partisanship in D.C. If he genuinely wants to transform America, he will have a revolution of sorts brewing before he gets his first wealth redistribution plan or Freedom of Choice Act passed through Congress.

Call me old fashioned, or anachronistic in this “progressive” age, but there are certain principles and values that were incorporated into this country at our most insipient stages that have created of our original thirteen British Colonies the greatest country in the world. If anything, those principles and values should be reaffirmed, strengthened, and reinvigorated in order to ensure our perpetuity and continued growth and success. I don’t think the nation needs to be fundamentally transformed.

More evidence surfaced this past week that provides even more concern, from an interview a few years ago when he disparaged the Constitution, saying that the country “has suffered from a fundamentally flawed Constitution that does not mandate or allow for the redistribution of wealth.” The only flaw of the Constitution, that I can think of, was the handling of the slavery issue, but that was necessary to have all thirteen colonies ratify the founding document. To me, the Constitution was a divinely inspired document which created a new nation based on the fundamental principles of life, liberty, and the individual pursuit of happiness, which is inextricably linked with individual property. It is not “fundamentally flawed.”

I have mused over the election commentary this last week claiming we’re all now “united.” Remember the headlines in 2004? “Bush 51%, Kerry, 49%: A Nation Divided.” Fast forward to 2008, the headlines were: “Obama 52%: Obama Unites the Nation.” I didn’t know 1% made the difference between a nation divided and a nation united.

My emotions are full of anticipation at the prospects of a Black man in the White House, but logically the signs are omnipresent that the next four years may indeed represent an effort to “fundamentally transform America.” Even with my apprehensions, I’m proud to say, differences aside, that he is my President, for I am an American first and foremost.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Guest Post: A Very Dark Day for America’s Forgotten Citizens

November 6th, 2008 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

Certainly history has been made. We would like nothing better than to be able to join in the celebration over Barack Obama’s historic victory. His election is truly a breakthrough for people of color – and for the nation as a whole.

But we are overcome with grief for the millions of preborn children who will suffer their worst days in the “Age of Obama”. We would like to look forward with hope, as do so many black and Hispanic Americans, to the fruits of America’s first black president. But we are restrained by the certain knowledge that America’s minority communities will be further decimated by a racist Abortion Industry, led by Planned Parenthood. This death machine will be coddled and funded by a new president sold out completely to the belief that a desire to shed one’s self of an inconvenient, if innocent, baby ought to be permanently protected by the U.S. Constitution.

There are many painful ironies here. Barack Obama is the personification of the Civil Rights movement, its glorious triumph. Yet his rise to power has been fueled by a callous and willful disregard for the civil and human rights of America’s preborn citizens. His historic victory was achieved in large measure by the most pedestrian of methods – trampling on the rights and lives of those even weaker.

Obama’s bloody competition with Hillary Clinton to gain the endorsement of Planned Parenthood on stacks of dead babies will serve as prelude to the most dangerous period in history for America’s preborn children.

While he may have great difficulty enacting the Freedom of Choice Act, Obama will have a long and unbridled period during which he can further pollute the federal bench with abortion partisans. Even in a single term, Obama will greatly strengthen the Abortion Industry’s stranglehold over federal case law.

And that brings us to yet one more irony in this election: Moderates like John McCain played a pivotal role in frustrating President Bush’s ability to rescue the federal judiciary. That sad legacy sapped McCain’s energy and resources during this past general election. No doubt he will not feel compelled to play a similar role in the days of Obama’s reign.

The pro-Life movement must face the coming storm with courage and faith.

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

Guest Post: Local Issues and Candidates

November 3rd, 2008 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

“Tip” O’Neil, the former Congressional Speaker of the House once said, “All politics is local.” While of questionable grammatical structure, the statement is nonetheless correct. As often as we grapple with the national issues on these pages, it all ultimately comes down to the local level where the impact is genuinely felt.

There are some issues of local concern and some candidates on the local level that can make a difference to us in Eastern Idaho. One of the primary issues facing us is the future of Portneuf Medical Center. Having read everything available on the issue before us on Tuesday’s ballot, I have come to the same conclusion as Craig Bosley, whose judgment I respect immensely. He said in a column a short time ago, “I believe the advantages of the partnership are many, and Legacy’s new model of partnering with a community hospital is precisely what we need and what we want. We have an opportunity to work with ethical people, an ethical company and actually create the best of both worlds. Let’s do it.”

There are few people I respect and admire as much as Ralph Lillig (District 29 Senate). How many people do you know who have been in four branches of the U.S. military? Ralph has done that, and served also with distinction in law enforcement in California. Although a transplant to Idaho, Ralph has core values and the integrity for the office that would make him a superb Senator representing Pocatello.

I was very impressed with Chris Stevens (District 30, Seat B) a couple months back when I met him. He’s a young, dynamic man with his head on straight, which is refreshing this day and age. He was criticized a short time ago by an ideologue who took umbrage at Stevens’ campaign slogan that had “Freedom” at its core. That’s exactly the kind of focus we need our legislators to maintain. Our nation was founded on principles of freedom and minimal governmental intrusion in our lives, and I appreciate his focus on principles dear to our founding fathers’ hearts.

That reminds me of when my father was first elected to the Legislature in about 1962, the Idaho Constitution stated that the Legislature would meet for no more than 60 days every 2 years. He used to always say that it should have stated “the legislature shall meet no more than 2 days every 60 years,” to keep government out of our pockets and out of our lives as much as possible.

Another young man took the time to stop by my office for a lengthy visit a while back. James Dorman (District 29, Seat B) seems to have the same values relative to government’s role as Mr. Stevens, and I was immensely impressed with his commitment to service. Men and women who have served in the military have a unique perspective on the role of government and an appreciation of the freedoms we enjoy here. Having served in Iraq, Mr. Dorman commands my immediate respect, but his apparent sound judgment resulting from that service simply confirm that he would serve the people of Pocatello well. Besides, I will take a soldier over an attorney anytime, when it comes to judgment and values.

I have to confess I don’t know Paul Romriell, candidate for Sheriff. But I have known Lorin Nielsen for nearly 30 years. Lorin, in my estimation, is the epitome of a superb sheriff. The programs for youth he has instigated and his outreach programs, and his openness and approachability combine with his integrity to make him a tremendous asset to the area. I’m grateful for him being willing to take the job for another four years, at least.

One of my heroes in local government is no longer involved in governance. Jim Guthrie was an outstanding County Commissioner and it was our loss when he didn’t run for reelection. We would never have had the budgetary fiascos and assessor office debacle if he was still there. Steve Hadley has done a superb job trying to hold the line on spending and maintaining public accountability of the Commissioner’s office, but he can’t do it alone. His opponent proved a couple weeks ago that he has no idea how the property tax system works, so he isn’t even viable for a position like County Commissioner. Not only does Steve need to be retained, but he needs some help. Karl Anderson is a capable and studious man who would serve Bannock County well. I’m always partial to those who have run businesses and know how to meet budgets, run an enterprise, and make executive decisions. Karl brings that expertise to the Commissioners office.

Ken Andrus (District 29, Seat A) has been a tremendous resource to me and many others in Eastern Idaho. As the only member of the majority party from Pocatello he has been invaluable with his connections, knowledge, and ability to get things done behind the scenes. We’re fortunate to have him representing us.

For the U.S. Senate race, I probably align better ideologically with Rex Rammell. But in politics one can’t afford to be a purist; practicality and reality must weigh heavily in our decisions. Rex can’t win, and can only take votes away from Jim Risch. The last thing the country needs is to have Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in total control. It is crucial that Risch be elected, not only for his views and expertise, but to prevent a filibuster-proof majority from being attained in the U.S. Senate.

If you’re an informed voter, be sure to vote Tuesday. If you’re not, do something else. We don’t need ill-informed or uninformed voters choosing our leaders.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Taxes | No Comments »

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