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David Ripley’s Speech for 2009 March for Life

January 26th, 2009 by Halli

By David Ripley, Executive Director of Idaho Chooses Life

It really is a privilege to have this moment … a chance to speak for and to the pro-life movement … the opportunity to cry out for the millions of abortion victims who cannot speak for themselves.

This occasion weighs especially heavy because of the historic circumstances under which we gather for the 35th memorial of mourning over Roe v. Wade.
Thirty-six years ago, the Supreme Court of the united states unleashed a holocaust on this nation that simply has no historical parallel.

The American Life League estimates that 49,489,528 children have been lost to surgical abortion since Pandora’s box was opened. But that is just an educated guess. And it does not count lives lost to chemical abortion. Nor does it account for the human destruction of women, men and families. And we simply don’t have the time here to even wonder about the opportunity costs associated with simply throwing away countless breathing bundles of talent and dreams and possibilities.

As tragic and outrageous as was the institution of slavery… i don’t think even slavery provides an accurate historical analogy – although it does give us critical lessons in evil which directly apply to our present struggle.

The only historical precedent for this abortion carnage that comes to mind is World War II. Consider all the death camps. Consider all the carnage loosed on innocent civilians by the SS troops and the Stalinists and the Japanese imperial army. Add the civilian victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima … and let us not ignore the millions of men in uniform who gave their lives on all sides of the conflict. Historians estimate the cost of World War II to be about 50 million lives.

Our pain is made more acute today by the wrenching change we are forced to witness as we move from president bush’s stellar defense of pre-born children to president Obama’s regime of unprecedented support for abortion-on-demand.

We are again confronted by the hard truth that elections have real consequences.
Our new president is a man possessed of evil intent, a man who has begun to unleash a torrent of policies and staggering public resources toward one objective: to kill the defenseless baby in the womb.

This historical moment is all the more anguishing because of the stark contrast with the compassion and integrity of president bush – America’s greatest pro-life president.

Just last weekend, Mr. Bush issued a presidential proclamation recognizing January 18th as National Sanctity of human life day. Here is a precious excerpt:

“All human life is a gift from our creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection…. The most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent.”

But this weekend, we have already seen a diametrically opposed value system being forced upon the nation, and, indeed, the world, by president Obama:

Yesterday, he signed an executive order lifting the ban on us foreign aid being used to perform or promote abortions. the first of many anvils has fallen.

America will now be an exporter of Microsoft windows, Hollywood morals … and death.

This is an especially egregious move, because it means the united states of America will be working aggressively to overturn the law in those few nations – Latin America, Europe and Asia – where it is still illegal to use murder as a form of birth control.

How heartbreaking – to witness this great nation in such a position.

In such a context, we can all better appreciate the tremendous moral leadership provided by Mr. Bush these past eight years. Before looking ahead … I want to make sure I take this moment, on behalf of everyone here, to say…. Mr. President, thank you. You were a good and faithful servant… and we pray the lord’s blessing on you and your family. Again I say, thank you.

So what shall our response be to this new and vigorous threat? What is the grand strategy to save the innocent and call our nation to a better society, dominated by the angels of our higher nature?

A couple weeks ago I had a chance to watch a fascinating documentary on the last years of Albert Einstein.

Einstein was obsessed with producing a new, unified theory in the area of physics. As a younger man he revolutionized human knowledge with his theory of relativity. It was a grand and precise recalculation of gravity, matter, energy and its relation to time. The motion of the stars and planets, Einstein believed, could be predicted with utmost detail – just as god intended.

Several years after his publication, another physicist, Niels Bor, saw in his work a great anomaly: quantum physics was born. This theory was not concerned with the great spheres of the moons and the heavens … but with how particles of matter actually behaved.

Quantum mechanics holds that the behavior of particulate matter is not predictable – but random. A grandchild of this notion is the chaos theory.

Einstein was appalled. He knew quantum mechanics was wrong. He knew in his heart there was a creator… who organized the universe with the precision of a mathematician. God was not the master of chaos. We might say, God is not the author of confusion.

In any event, Einstein spent some 25 years trying to reconcile his work on the grand universe with quantum mechanics. He failed. Scientists interviewed on the program bemoaned all the years this genius wasted.

I go through all that to get to this point: I’m confident that such a “theory of everything” exists, just because I share with Einstein a conviction that there are no accidents in a universe created by a loving Father.

But I think Einstein missed an important clue about the cosmos. We see parallels and great mystery in the moral universe. On the one hand, god is the author of human history and we already know how the great story of our creation and redemption ends.

On the other hand, we are free moral agents, free to choose good or evil. Free to choose between our will and his.

That is chaos, my friends, like watching rush hour traffic heading home to meridian.

How does god organize human history into a great moral saga of redemption when each of the actors, you and I, are free to act in any number of ways? I don’t know … I just know that the Lord somehow completes his purposes without violating our free moral agency.

So, looking at the problem at hand, what is the grand strategy for ending abortion?

I do not believe there is one. There is no strategy, and there never has been.

I began thinking about this question after listening to Judie brown, president of the American Life League when she honored us last month with a guest speech at our annual Christmas dinner & auction. She lovingly chastised us for getting enmeshed in politics and incremental legislation. Instead, Judie’s vision is to go after pershonhood amendments in each of the states.

I think Judie is right and a great moral force in this nation whom I admire. But I also think Judie is mistaken.

Abortion is a monster with many tentacles that has warped every institution in our society. Look at our politics. Look at our courts. Our schools… even our churches. An evil of this magnitude has corrupted our morals, our discourse. Virtually no family in America has been left untouched.
Our strategy must respond to this urgent and viral evil on all levels.

The pro-life strategy of side-walking counseling outside abortion clinics must continue.
Our work in elections must continue … in the hopes of beating back the spread of government-sanctioned death, and denying political power to those who do not value the individual as a work of god’s own hand. To abandon the field of politics and public policy to avowed enemies of the pre-born child is tantamount to surrender.

We must press the legislature and congress to affirm human dignity, and demand these institutions provide a different moral leadership to the children and families in Idaho and America.
We must support our pregnancy centers with greater financial resources.

We must challenge the courts and press for judicial reform, demanding these barons of liberalism restore the principles of our nation’s founding documents.

And we must defend the pro-life message over a cup of coffee in the lunchroom.

In short, God is the grand strategist. You and I are but the particles he may use to make a difference in someone’s life.

So whether you are a teacher who reaches out to a scared student, or a deacon who pushes the pastor to wage war against the deceptions spreading through our pews… or a volunteer at a pregnancy center, or a person who makes the sacrifices necessary to run for office … God has a place and plan for you in this battle. And you are needed now more than ever.

While there is no single strategy for defeating abortion, I do believe there are vital principles which we must practice if we are to shorten the time of the holocaust:
The first is prayer. More than ever, we need to be in prayer for ourselves, for the pro-life movement and for our president. We need to ask the lord to prepare our hearts and minds for battle. We must seek his blessing and direction. And we ought to trust the Lord to intervene in the life of president Obama.

You and I know that prayer changes things. It changes us and it changes the world.

President Obama can be saved … just as the lord reached down and took hold of me. As I reaped the whirlwind i had sown, the lord answered prayer and poured out his grace upon me. I was once every bit as committed to abortion as Obama. Yet … here I stand by his mercy.

I would suggest that there is actually reason to hope for Obama. Clearly the lord has given this man a great array of talent and charisma. Mr. Obama also has a burden for injustice. His infatuation with Abraham Lincoln runs broadly – and perhaps, under the great weight of responsibility and God’s intervention, Obama will come to actually understand the grand principles which drove Lincoln to such heights of greatness.

President Lincoln seemingly always understood that the nation’s founding principles demanded an end to slavery. Our founding fathers appreciated from scripture that the universe carried a moral law – a natural law – which imbued each human being with certain rights because he was created in God’s image. And while they had the vision to articulate these ideas in documents like the declaration – they did not have the courage to carry them to their logical conclusion. Slavery survived the revolution.

Lincoln, too, initially lacked the courage to attack slavery. But I believe that Lincoln increasingly relied upon the lord as the pain and horror of the civil war developed. His wisdom and clarity matured through suffering.

Perhaps Mr. Obama, too, will come to understand that it is not race or class or man’s fanciful ideologies that matter – but the dignity of the individual. All individuals. As reflections of a Mighty Creator.

And it is more than tragic that the first black president of this great nation is so committed to defending the death machine at planned parenthood – which has waged war against black babies with particular vehemence since the days of Margaret Sanger.

One can only explain this grave paradox by appreciating that Mr. Obama suffers under a spiritual deception made more potent because he would reject such talk as ridiculous. I know this deception can only be broken by the lord’s intervention, because I have personally lived this story. So we must pray for him.

The second principle is the personhood of the child in the womb. This should be the great touchstone of the pro-life movement – affirming the humanity of each and every life, from conception to natural death.

As we look forward to dark and challenging days, we must be vigilant against despair. The third principle I would urge is to hold onto the precious hope purchased for us at a great price.
We have already won because of Christ’s victory on the cross!

Whatever the headline of the day proclaims or predicts … we know how this great human saga ends.

The fourth principle is “aggressive love”. Under no circumstance can we afford to sit back, waiting for the train to run us over. We must continue to press forward: offense, offense, offense!

To that end, we are at work on two important pieces of legislation for this current session. One will provide death certificates in cases of miscarriage. We believe this will provide comfort to families who have suffered real loss. It will also affirm the personhood of each and every pre-born child.

The second bill will create a pharmacist right of conscience. All across the nation, the abortion lobby has been trying to punish pharmacists who refuse to participate in dispensing abortifacients. We expect the Obama administration to help them advance this evil through federal rules and congressional action. We must act this session to give these medical professionals the same rights enjoyed by medical doctors in Idaho since 1972.

This last will be an especially bloody battle.

I ask for your prayerful and active support throughout this session.

And lastly, we must always be guided by the principle that the pro-life battle will be achieved one victory at a time – one person at a time. Our success ought to be measured by the single life saved.

In closing, I will tell you I am anxious for the battle which president Obama brings. If we are faithful, the coming years will be rife with opportunities for god to demonstrate his loving power.

I would like to leave you with one final quote from president Bush’s final proclamation to the nation he loves:

“The sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women. On this day and throughout the year, we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law. We also encourage more of our fellow Americans to join our just and noble cause. History tells us that with a cause rooted in our deepest principles and appealing to the best instincts of our citizens … we will prevail!”

Amen.
And may god bless you for being here today.

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

Idaho House Highlights: January 21

January 21st, 2009 by Halli

By Representative Tom Loertscher, R-31

The usual way for a session of the legislature to start resembles a big
class reunion more than anything else. Old acquaintances are renewed and
we try to get settled into our quarters. And while every year seems to
take on a mood of its own, this one is the most unusual to be sure.

Governor Otter’s State of The State and budget address were combined
again this year and is the first of its kind that I have witnessed
around this place. Revenue projections being what they are, there was
not a lot of applauding going on. For the first time in memory there was
not any mention of how well the state is doing. Nor was there mention
made of how bad things might be, even though it was on the minds of all
who were present. He is calling for a reduction from last year’s
original budget, before the holdbacks, of seven and a half percent.
Interestingly enough his numbers look very optimistic compared to the
legislative revenue projectors.

As the week wore on it was hard to tell who had the longest faces, the
members of JFAC (Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee), or the
heads of agencies. Agencies don’t like to see budget reductions and
legislators, in general, just like having more money to spend. Maybe
that is a little harsh but in reality it will be difficult at best to
make ends meet as we try to hit a moving revenue target. It shouldn’t
be too big of a surprise that December income figures were down
substantially, and according to the Tax Commission January is not
looking great either.

As I talk with colleagues there are two distinct groups, those who are
in despair and those who regard this as an opportunity. Every great
challenge in life does have a great opportunity attached to it. Let me
explain.

The Department of Agriculture put on a breakfast at their headquarters
and showed us some of the programs they administer. As part of their
budget preparation the Governor has required them to submit a zero-based
budget, or one that is built from the ground up. Director Gould had the
staff research all of the statutory requirements of the agency. With
what we are experiencing now we will be able to look at just exactly
what has been mandated, and if we do this right we will be able to weed
out those things that are not necessary.

After our first Health and Welfare meeting last week Representative
McGeachin and I met with a group of providers for the developmentally
disabled and they have come up with some ways to save dollars in those
programs. And that is the way it is with other agencies as well. One of
the first things we should be doing is evaluating mandates that we have
in law and take some of the budgets off autopilot. We have been rolling
all of these automatic increases in our budgets for years, and now we
have the golden opportunity to revisit these matters.

Over the weekend I met with a group of educators and the conversation
there was not one of despair, it was concern, but not despair. They too
have ideas about how to make the money go farther. First on the list was
testing, next was making textbooks last longer and third they see on a
day to day basis how money could be saved on administration.

Over the years I have noticed agencies don’t have the best ideas on
how to be efficient. Some of the best ideas come from the hands on folks
who actually deliver the services, and even recipients have great ideas
for improvements. And as for me, I think this is going to be the
opportunity of a life time. I’ll keep my sleeves rolled up.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Education, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

Guest Post: Thank You Mr. President

January 21st, 2009 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

In one of his last acts as President of the United States, George Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation marking “National Sanctity of Human Life Day 2009”. It is the last such public declaration of pro-Life principles we are apt to see for quite awhile.

Please take a moment to savor these words from a national hero:

“All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique and worthy of protection. ..[O]ur country recognizes that each person, including every person, waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world.”

As we await the onslaught of destruction stemming from the next President’s rabid commitment to abortion-on-demand, it is well to pause and give thanks for the extraordinary leadership offered by George Bush during these last eight trying, productive years.

The critical evaluation of Bush’s presidency has just begun; certainly there are failings which continue to trouble conservatives. But some, like Fred Barnes, have already attempted to quantify Bush’s successes as president; on his top-ten accomplishments list, however, Barnes fails to acknowledge Bush’s most important contribution to America.

Without doubt, Bush is America’s greatest pro-Life president. His only real competitor is Ronald Reagan, who is first in the hearts of pro-Lifers. But Bush’s record of accomplishment is actually wider and deeper – perhaps even more long-lasting than Reagan’s.

Foremost among his accomplishments is the failure to fail to betray his expressed principles for the sake of political expediency. That probably sounds like a back-handed compliment – but the truth is, we have come to expect the need to explain away certain actions by endorsed presidential candidates. Not so George Bush.

Still ranking among his most extraordinary moments as president is the national TV address (in prime time, we remind you) in August, 2001 when President Bush proudly defended his pro-Life value system and refused to be cowed by the Abortion Lobby and their pals in the national media into supporting the destruction of human embryos for their stem cells.

But there are other precious moments.

Bush led efforts to finally secure the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. He appointed pro-Life justices to the Supreme Court and beyond. He signed the national Unborn Victims of Violence Act. And he took aggressive steps to get America out of the business of exporting abortion like wheat and Hollywood mores.

Thank you so much Mr. President for your faithful leadership. You have well-earned our love and a season of rest for you and your family.

May God save the United States of America as we turn the page of history.

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

Guest Post: Obama Guilty of Inaugural Excess

January 21st, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

One of the most remarkable characteristics of this republic of ours is about to be played out on the world stage. The peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, from one administration to the next, is truly amazing. That it should occur in the midst of such financial turmoil in our economy, and with two wars being fought, is a testimonial to the viability and vibrancy of America.

I can’t help but marvel at the dichotomy of media coverage from four years ago and this year’s coverage. As preparations were being finalized for George W. Bush’s 2nd inauguration, we were not in the midst of a recession. The economy was clicking along especially coming off the heels of the dot-com bubble, the attacks of 9/11, and the collapse of Enron and Worldcom. We were involved in a global war with two very active fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In that context, President Bush was universally castigated by the media for staging an inauguration that was to cost more than any other. The sentiment was captured by Will Lester, an Associated Press writer, who pointed out that President Bush’s second inauguration will cost $40 million alone in private donations for the balls, parade and other invitation-only parties. He queried, “With that kind of money, what could you buy? 200 armored Humvees with the best armor for troops in Iraq. Vaccinations and preventive health care for 22 million children in regions devastated by the tsunami. A down payment on the nation’s deficit, which hit a record-breaking $412 billion last year….”

The charge of elitism and inappropriate ostentation spilled over to the politicians, as well. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, suggested inaugural parties should be scaled back, citing as a precedent Roosevelt’s inauguration during World War II. He declared, “President Roosevelt held his 1945 inaugural at the White House, making a short speech and serving guests cold chicken salad and plain pound cake,” according to a letter from Weiner and Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington state. They continued, “During World War I, President Wilson did not have any parties at his 1917 inaugural, saying that such festivities would be undignified.”

Now we fast forward to Inauguration Day 2009. The nation is still at war against radical Islamic terrorism with major operations being conducted on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But unlike four years ago, the economy is contracting into a recession, and with the proposed governmental actions by the new administration which sound increasingly like the proposals of Herbert Hoover and the first two moribund terms of FDR, we may be on the verge of a depression.

As dire as things are, a logical person might well think that the new administration would be sensitive to the plight of the nation, respectful of our service men and women, and avoid the excesses of the Bush administration in the 2004 inauguration. Alas, there is no such logic to be found. The UK Times and Newsmax report total costs for the 2009 inauguration to be approaching $160 million. That’s nearly four times the cost of just four years ago. Bush was criticized in large part because his $40 million inaugural price tag was $9 million more than Clinton’s second inauguration. So what are we to think of a price tag four times larger?

Granted not all of this $160 million is coming from public funds, with about 1/4th of it coming from private donations, corporate and individual. But does that make it any less inappropriate for such excess and lavishness in such challenging times? And what strings are attached to such contributions? How many of the contributors are about to sidle up to the public trough to request TARP funds or a government bailout in the next year?

There is only praise, adulation, and outright veneration for the massive and ostentatious Inaugural plans from the media. No rhetorical questions of how that much money could or should be spent, no criticism for the impropriety of such excess in troubling times, and no charges of being “out of touch” with the plight of working men and women in the country. And there are no denunciations of impropriety by celebrities as there was four years ago.

Just as we see the media condoning improprieties of Obama appointees, and moving swiftly to excuse them away, the media are essentially singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” for the next president. They failed their due diligence in vetting candidate Obama, and they will, due to their biases, likely fail in their due diligence in their coverage of President Obama as well.

The excesses and costs of this inauguration and the media adulation of the president elect make this seem more of a coronation than an inauguration. Is this “coronation” typical of what we can expect for the next four years? Are we to become accustomed to the most expensive, the most excessive, and the most grandiose of everything? Or is this an anomaly, and will we return to a modicum of modesty, prudence, and parsimony?

Whether a matter of extreme narcissism or just detachment from reality, the extravagance of this inauguration forebodes a stupendous willingness to spend other people’s money for what appear to be self-aggrandizing reasons. I was concerned before about the propensity for profligate spending; now I’m downright scared.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Guest Post: Time for Idaho to Go Away from Voting by Mail, Toward Photo ID

January 19th, 2009 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

More disturbing information is slowly trickling out regarding voting irregularities in Ada County in November. Over 33,000 voters registered to vote in Ada County alone on Election Day, but the public has no way to find out who these newly registered voters are – and county election officials claim they won’t be able to make the list available until March.

This is a staggering number, and may include any number of fraudulently registered voters. The numbers are obviously high enough for these voters to have had a material effect on any number of races. It turns out that producing a fraudulent copy of a power bill, for instance, is so easy a caveman could do it, and poll workers are certainly not trained to serve as document examiners.

It turns out that a disturbing number of voters who registered before Election Day turn out not even to live at the addresses under which they registered, and the folks who do live at these addresses have never even heard of them. There is evidence that some out-of-staters may have registered by mail, requested an absentee ballot, and voted by mail, never having lived or possibly even set foot in Idaho.

A federal panel yesterday upheld a Georgia law that requires voters to present government-issued photo identification before they cast their ballots, and surely Idaho must move in the same direction to prevent voter fraud.

Vote by mail has been specifically rejected by the legislature, but Ada County election officials neatly sidestepped this restriction by sending an absentee ballot request to every voter in the county. Such massive vote-by-mail practices create an exponential opportunity for voter fraud and must not be repeated.

Let’s hope the Idaho legislature tightens up registration and voting procedures to close the loopholes that wind up disenfranchising legitimate voters. Perhaps we should do away with early voting and absentee voting, except for those with a legitimate reason, and move back toward Election Day truly being a day of decision when all voters turn out together at their respective polling places to make the decisions that are central to a functioning republic.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Is Capitalism Dead?

January 14th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

One of the distinguishing characteristics of America versus European or Asian nations is a commitment to the principles of free market economics. This is the conviction that entrepreneurism by individuals can create products and services of sufficient demand that wealth can be created; that those emerging companies can then adapt, expand, and create more products and services that create more wealth, more jobs, and generate the necessary capital to fund expansion.

This concept of free-market economics, or capitalism, has as its foundation, freedom. Freedom to work for whom we desire, freedom to create a company if so desired, freedom to create products and services, and the subsequent freedom to spend the fruits of our labors according to our desires and needs. For in a capitalistic system, the means of production are owned by individuals, and the private sector, rather than by government. This principle made America the economic power that it is.

Many have literally cheered the purported demise of capitalism with the housing and financial collapse of 2008. But far from a failure of capitalism, what we have witnessed is a government-created calamity. Lending institutions are naturally averse to lending their capital to people who are not likely to repay it. But when the Community Reinvestment Act was implemented during the Carter administration, the pressure was placed directly on banks to do just that.

This coercion only increased during the Clinton years when then-Attorney General Janet Reno declared they were going to aggressively pursue lending institutions not in full compliance with the CRA. The squeeze was on for banks to lend where otherwise they would not. But with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac serving as guarantors of those loans, the incentive for mortgage bankers to avoid risk of non-repayment was essentially thrown out the window.

After the collapse of Enron, Congress passed the most stringent and onerous regulation governing publically traded companies ever. The intent was to prevent another Enron from happening, yet Congress intentionally excluded Fannie and Freddie from coverage under that regulation. Two years later, Fannie was doing the same thing Enron did, cook the books to make their earnings appear better than they were.

Capitalism takes risk, but not imprudent risk to lose capital. Without government policy forcing banks to make the loans they did, and without the explicit guarantee of those mortgages by the corrupt Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie and Freddie, we would not have had the collapse of the financial system we’ve witnessed this past year.

In all likelihood the real estate bubble would have still happened, as the Federal Reserve had reduced the Fed Funds Rate and the Discount Rate to such a point that long-term investing in real estate was suddenly more attractive. But bubbles come and go, whether it’s tulips in the Netherlands, dot-com bubbles on Wall Street, global oil futures, or domestic real estate valuations. The bubbles burst, markets correct, and we move on. But not so easily this time.

The failure of government to properly regulate their own mortgage enterprises jeopardized our entire financial system. And yet some say that deregulation has created this milieu even though the National Registry of all government regulation is larger now than ever before since it was created in the 1930s, at over 80,000 pages. Regulation is not a panacea to cure all potential abuses, but smart regulation can be. What Congress has done to our financial institutions and to our economy is inexcusable. They bear full culpability and not only are they not held accountable for their abuses, but they’re throwing money at the situation to try to fix what they broke.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor said recently in the Wall Street Journal, “The present crisis started not because capitalism was allowed to run its selfish course, but because the government interfered with the operation of private businesses and allowed excessive growth of money and credit.”

Survival of the fittest is an evolutionary principle that applies as aptly to free market capitalism as it does to biology. The worst thing government could have done was to step in and play “god” to the financial markets to determine which survive and which do not. Free markets do that on their own when allowed to. We see it every day. And the notion runs in direct contradistinction with what the President Elect said this week, “Only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy.”

The government should not be trying to spend our way out of the recession by throwing money at it as they have. In all likelihood the efforts will not only fail but will encumber many future generations with a federal debt unlikely to ever be repaid. Sounds a lot like the mortgages they forced banks to make, doesn’t it?

Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University has proposed a capitalist solution. He said, “Just let the defunct firms fail, and the healthy ones purchase the assets.” Now that would be capitalism that we can believe in.

Economics professor Walter E. Williams was even more blunt. He said recently, “The blame for our current financial mess rests with government… In the clamor for more regulation over our financial institutions, has anybody bothered to ask whether people in government know what they’re doing?” Centralized planning has never worked. What we need is more free-market economics, not more government control.

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

Breaking News:Idaho Sen. Russ Fulcher replaces Little in Senate Leadership

January 13th, 2009 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

Pro-family Idahoans got some great news yesterday when Sen. Russ Fulcher was chosen to replace socially moderate Brad Little as Senate Republican caucus chairman. The vote was taken by secret ballot, and is an indication of Fulcher’s growing stature and respect among his colleagues.

Fulcher now occupies the fourth spot on the leadership ladder in the Senate, and will serve as the spokesman for the 28-member Republican caucus.

This is a significant trade-up for the conservative movement in Idaho, and gives conservatives another reliable, principled vote on the powerful Senate State Affairs committee.

Fulcher sponsored a critical pro-life parental-consent bill two years ago, and was the co-sponsor of last year’s grocery-tax credit bill, which will represent the largest tax cut in Idaho history when fully implemented. The governor yesterday pledged hi

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

Guest Post: KIDO Interview is First Break in Sex Abuse Cover-Up

January 11th, 2009 by Halli

From David Ripley, Idaho Chooses Life

In our last posting we strongly criticized Idaho’s “corporate media” for failing to pick up on an important story from Byran Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance. That criticism is more than justified – but it is not deserved in the case of KIDO’s Doug McConaughey. He conducted an on-air interview with ICL’s David Ripley on Saturday morning about Planned Parenthood’s role in protecting sexual predators.

Granted, the hour was early – but it was still a respectful and important exploration of a crucial issue. In fact, it may be the first such public discussion in Idaho.

For years we have run across tell-tale evidence strongly suggesting that Planned Parenthood has adopted a policy of ignoring evidence of sexual abuse when dealing with teenage girls – the not-famous-enough “Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell” policy used by PP affiliates across the country. Some law enforcement officials over the years have taken note of the strange gaps in the data between the number of sexually active girls and reports coming from Planned Parenthood to law enforcement. Officials in Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, California and Ohio have conducted investigations. The Abortion Lobby has fought them tooth-and-claw under the guise of “protecting the privacy” of girls – i.e., the victim. (We’ve often speculated that the Abortion Lobby views these victimized girls as just so much “collateral damage” in their war to establish abortion rights in America, but surely some employees are deeply troubled by the industry’s role in facilitating the abuse of teenage girls).

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare reports on its website that 1-in-4 Idaho girls can expect to be the victim of sexual abuse by the time they reach 18.

Here is part of the reason so many victimizations occur:

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that some 12,000 Idaho girls were receiving “Family Planning Services” from Planned Parenthood and other agencies in 2005. How many of these girls were being victimized by a predator? Manipulated or coerced into getting birth control or abortion so that the abuse could continue?

Our estimate is that less than 600 reports of teenage sexual abuse were filed in 2005; that is only 5% of cases encountered by Planned Parenthood and their cohorts. Most disturbing, less than 60 of those reports were filed by ‘medical personnel’.

Those figures may give you a better idea as to why we are so concerned to learn that Boise Planned Parenthood has given safe harbor to a staffer from Ohio who is accused of enforcing a “Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell” policy when subordinates encountered evidence of incest or other sexual abuse.

We applaud McConaughey for the courage to use his public forum as a vehicle to educate the public about the serious potential threat to Idaho’s daughters. But our criticism of his media pals at the Statesman, KTVB, Press Tribune and the rest stands.

More than ironically, when visiting that same Idaho Health & Welfare website, we ran across this admonition:

“Silence protects the Abuser. Silence allows the victimization to continue.”

Perhaps the editors at the Statesman should ponder these words and their role in protecting Planned Parenthood from public accountability.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – a Pre-session Look

January 10th, 2009 by Halli

By Representative Tom Loertscher, R-Iona

About this time of year my friends begin to ask when the legislative session will begin. This week my answer has been that we had just met for a day and that we are now organized. One fellow remarked that he didn’t think it was possible for such a body to get organized. But we are, and what that means is that House leadership was elected and committee assignments have been given and we are now ready for the session that will begin on January 12. As for Leadership we still have the same majority leadership team and all committee chairs remain unchanged.

It is no secret that we are looking at revenue shortfalls and lower projections for the coming fiscal year, and because of that I am asked frequently what I think about the situation. And even of bigger concern for those that ask is what all of this means to them as taxpayers. I can’t remember a time when I have had more constituents express more concern abut the prospects of seeing tax increases. And while I don’t have a crystal ball by any means, I think there are some things we can and should do as we begin this legislative session.

I look at things somewhat as the average citizen does when it looks like there is going to be less money to go around. A lot of us need new cars or the sofa is showing its age and there is not going to be enough money in our budget for these items. And down on the farm there is the twenty year old tractor or the irrigation system that needs updating and the hail storm this summer took ninety percent of the corp. What do we do, whether we like it or not? We delay those purchases until we have the resources to acquire them. First and foremost this year as the legislature convenes, we need to not take on new programs and delay some things until our prospects look better. And that means no new state employees, not even one.

The next item on our list should be to revisit and/or at least delay the requirements in law that cause annual increases in our budgets. There are far too many budget items that are on “Automatic Pilot” as it were, and reason would dictate that we at the least suspend some of those items for this next year. There is good reason for some of these mandated increases, but in tight fiscal circumstances we should revisit these matters.

When it comes to Education, particularly Public Education, it will be a more difficult task. While there is no easy answer to this dilemma, what we should be doing is looking at the other two largest budgets, namely Health and Welfare and Corrections to find resources. We made a commitment to Education when we shifted funding from the property tax to the State, a commitment that I and many other legislators take very seriously.

We have been increasing Health and Welfare programs and eligibility for too long. I was challenged by a colleague last week about what ideas I have for controlling this budget. I was watching national news the other day and listened as the governor of Nebraska talked about how they have reduced their Medicaid increases to three percent per year. We need a page out of that book. What we should be doing is what Nebraska has done, change the Medicaid program from an eligibility driven system to a needs based system. As I visit with Medicaid providers I always ask them if they have ideas about how to save money in their programs. They tell me that they see ways to save but regulatory requirements prevent them from implementing changes. Space here does not allow for a thorough discussion of what I would like to see done in this budget. And none of that discussion involves eliminating any essential programs.

I am not one to be pessimistic or for wringing my hands at the first sight of tough times. I tend to regard this not as a crisis but as an opportunity. We have the chance to do some over due evaluating of our spending habits. In light of the national mess in which we find ourselves, and the uncertainty that our taxpayers are facing in their personal situations, how could we even entertain any thoughts of increasing taxes of any kind. After all, as tough as this may all seem, I don’t share the view that our best days are behind us. The sun will rise again.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Guest Post: Yesterday’s Wisdom Applied to Today’s Problems

January 9th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

With the plethora of wise men and women who have preceded us in this mortal sojourn, perhaps this time of transition provides an opportune time to review some of the astute and prudent insights offered by great minds from previous generations. Certainly some of the challenges facing our nation and our society this coming year can be seen through the lens of proven wisdom. In this light I thought I’d cherry pick a few of those quotes that have been validated by history to provide a little sagacious insight for the context of what our politicians are threatening to do for the next few years.

Winston Churchill once declared, “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” With all the talk of our incoming politicians intent on increasing taxes, creating up to an additional trillion dollars worth of stimulus (national debt), and a massive infrastructure building program to “stimulate the economy,” (more national debt) Churchill’s statement seems, well, “Churchillian.”

Unemployment stands currently at 6.7%, and most economists anticipate it could rise to 8% before it begins to stabilize. That could be another 2.5 million lost jobs before the hemorrhaging stops. That’s the same number the new administration has declared they want to create with a New Deal type rebuilding program. I just have a hard time visualizing all those unemployed bankers and wizards of Wall Street out there building bridges and highways.

Racking up more federal debt will not apply the desired tourniquet to the jobs hemorrhage. Even after the stock market collapse of 1929, and the depression settling in by 1931, our nations’ biggest industrial collapse actually occurred in 1937, five years into the New Deal of FDR. In 1939, after a full decade of frantic federal spending, unemployment was still over 17%. FDR’s Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, lamented, “I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started.”

I think Churchill was correct. Government can’t create an economy. The best thing government can do is create an environment that is conducive to growth, with reduced taxes and a regulatory environment that facilitates private sector growth.

George Bernard Shaw, although a self-avowed socialist, was nonetheless bright enough to observe, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” Reviewing the electoral map by county of the last election lends tremendous credence to Shaw’s observation. With few exceptions, counties heavily dependent on the public dole voted for the incoming administration, while those not dependent went the other way. The square miles of land won by the new administration were 580,000, while 2,427,000 voted the other way.

In his inimitable cynical style, writer and journalist P.J. O’Rourke once wrote, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!” With talk of providing universal health care, the financial costs to the nation of essentially nationalizing 1/5th of our economy are staggering. All this expense providing health insurance for the approximately 10% of our citizens who don’t have it! There has to be a better way.

The “great communicator” Ronald Reagan, observed the practices of government, and summarized, “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” If that doesn’t capture the mindset of our current congress, even in light of our economic conundrum, I don’t know what does. But if we’re going to emerge from this recession any time soon, that mindset has to be altered. Washington is on the cusp of becoming another Detroit, New Jersey, or New York, all of which have been in economic thralldom because of that mentality.

Thomas Jefferson warned over 200 years ago, that, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.” It appears increasingly that’s the kind of government we’re headed toward. He further warned, “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” This bodes ill for us all with the increasingly strident notion that the government should regulate every aspect of our lives, from what we drive and what we eat, to how much energy we consume.

Perhaps the best idea for governing, however, was uttered over 2000 years ago by Cicero. He said, “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

I wonder if Roman leaders wish they would have listened to him. It’s painfully evident that ours won’t.

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

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