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Idaho House Highlights – April 22

April 22nd, 2009 by Halli

By Representative Tom Loertscher, R-31

It used to be that some around this process said there was a “Tractor
Factor” in the Idaho legislature. There were enough agriculturally
oriented legislators to recognize when spring had arrived and it was
time to get home to plant and bring this process to an end. That made me
think that this sometimes is a lot like types of ag equipment.

Tractors are like the state budget, you can’t operate without one and
now we are in the throes of finishing up on the budget for 2010, along
with some corrections to the 2009 budget. The budgeting process this
year has been more fluid than any I can remember, with many changes
along the way and not having a firm idea of what the numbers might look
like. Coupled with some disagreements with the executive branch about
how it should be done have lengthened the session a few days.

There is an old adage on the farm when you are approaching a hill in
the field you need to be in the right gear before you begin the ascent,
or you might not make it. And there are times when a bigger tractor
would come in handy but with limited resources it is not possible. And
that pretty much explains the budget dilemma this year. The Medicaid
budget cleared the House this week spending almost a billion and a half
dollars, and a larger share of that is slated to come from the Feds than
ever before. All we can do at this point is to hope that this tractor is
in the right gear.

One of my favorite farm implements is the plow. Seeing that dark rich
soil turned as you move through a field is very satisfying. Some times
in the legislature success and satisfaction can be measured in what does
not happen. A bill to make drastic changes in liquor licenses failed in
the House this week. It would have most certainly increased the number
of alcohol by the drink establishments and would have made it possible
to have those outside cities. We plowed over this one for a long time,
both in committee and on the floor.
My dad always told me that his favorite time of the year was the
harvest and that there was no feeling quite like seeing that red wheat
flow into the bin of the combine. The harvest is the culmination of the
farm year whether it is with the combine, the swather, the baler or the
digger. Harvesting is also one of those things that can’t be rushed in
most instances, because a year’s worth of work would be spoiled. On
the other hand if you don’t move when the crop is ripe it could be
lost as well. That is how it goes with legislation. We have been working
for weeks on several measures that needed to mature before they came to
the floor for “harvest.” Water issues were some of those having to
do with recharge of the aquifer and another was the Cystic Fibrosis
legislation.

Then we have the seedbed makers and planters and grain drills, those
machines that are the beginning stages of most if not all crops.
Sometimes good ideas around this place take a great deal of preparation
before they are planted. And I have seen the opposite when things get
introduced and passed too quickly. We sent one measure to the floor from
State Affairs this week that will make some changes to the redistricting
process. We’ve been contemplating these for a couple of years. It
looks like those plantings will soon bear fruit.

And then some of us have bulldozers. Let your imagination wander a bit.
That’s a whole other article by itself.

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

Andi Elliott: Idaho Falls Tea Party a GRAND SUCCESS!!!

April 21st, 2009 by Halli

By Andi Elliott, Tea Party Organizer

The Great American Tea Party was held in Idaho Falls on the banks of the Snake River on the evening of April 15th. And, it was indeed “great”! In spite of wind and rain and with temperatures hovering just above freezing, nearly 1200 people gathered to support a common cause…to protest the massive spending and taxation forced upon us by our very own government.

Peaceful protesters lined Memorial Drive with their homemade signs… “ We the People”, “Stop Pending my Future”, “Give Me Liberty-not Debt”, and “It’s the Constitution, Stupid”! These messages were not indicative of political parties or groups. They were a plea to an out-of-control government from their bosses…the people. People who, much as the early colonists did back in 1773, were trying to send a stern warning to those in control. The “people” are fed up with the burgeoning debt load which spells economic disaster for the greatest country in the history of the world.

Some of the participants had attended Tea Parties in Rexburg, Pocatello, and even in Boise, held earlier in the day. Parents brought their children of all ages as they wanted them to be a part of “living history”. Young and old alike were present, all with the same goal of preserving the freedoms and economic stability of America.

Former Idaho State Senator, Mel Richardson, was the keynote speaker. He spoke directly to the hearts of the people. The crowd cheered when he told them that we must remain united and demand that our voices be heard.

In my opening remarks as organizer of the event, I told the swelling crowd that as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution never did I ever think that I would now be taking part in a second American Revolution. Only this time, the revolution was to protest the oppressive forces from within our country.

As a final gesture reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party of 1773, a giant tea bag was thrown into the river. Over 1000 signatures of modern Patriots adorned the 3 enlarged copies of the Declaration of Independence which will be given to Senator Crapo for delivery to the President. We hope and pray that perhaps then Washington will hear the message…We the People have spoken…STOP THE SPENDING!

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

Richard Larsen: Spirit Behind the Tea Parties Must be Perpetuated

April 21st, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There was a certain sense of empowerment and cohesiveness at the Pocatello TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party held at the Pocatello City Hall parking lot on Wednesday. For many, it seemed comforting to know that they weren’t alone in feeling like our country is being steam-rolled to a socialistic state where those of us who work hard to provide for our families are shouldering the costs of an out-of-control spending machine in Washington. Participants were unified against expansion of government, encroachment into the private sector, restriction of freedom, and against the massive taxes that will have to be eventually levied to pay for all the spending being done in Washington.

Our nations’ founders intended for there to be a check and balance system where the power and authority of one branch of government could not be expanded at the expense of the others. This check and balance system was designed to prevent governmental excess and oppression of the people. But when the legislative and executive branches function in lock-step usurping not only constitutional power granted to the people and the states, but the people’s capital, a sense of helplessness and disenfranchisement ensues.

The event Wednesday seemed to assuage some of that feeling of helplessness, and seemed to be an eclectic gathering of common people who are not revolutionaries or extremists. They’re just American citizens fed up with the bailouts, the spending, and taxes. It truly was a nonpartisan group, as we have seen all too clearly through the years that no political party has a monopoly on fiscal responsibility and restraint. The government spent more during George Bush’s eight years in office than any other administration in history, and the current administration is well on its way to dwarfing that. Many of us thought spending under Bush was unrestrained, but what we see now is out-of-control spending on steroids.

Rather than being unified by party, those at the rally were unified by a common sense of fiscal responsibility and frustration at the perceived anti-American actions of the federal government. The spirit of the gatherings nationwide could well be captured by one very young protestors sign, “My future is being mortgaged,” and another, “Why do I feel like a ship passing by Somalia?” an obvious metaphoric comparison of current government actions to piracy,” and another “Tell the politicians to cut their budgets; we’re already cutting ours.”

In February, I watched the live CNBC report by Rick Santelli from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade in amazement as he launched into a diatribe against Congress and the President for their plan to reward bad behavior by having fiscally responsible citizens help pay the mortgages of those who have been less responsible. Santelli said maybe it was time to consider another Tea Party symbolizing our collective disapprobation of the tax-and-spend mentality dominating Washington. Traders on the floor cheered him on (mind you, the CBOT is based in Chicago, not exactly the heartland of conservative political values). as he pled to the camera, “President Obama, are you listening?” From that heartfelt plea by a single citizen, a nationwide grassroots movement was spawned.

While polls still show significant support for our new president, he has become the most divisive president in modern history. According to Pew Research, Obama has a 61 point partisan gap between Republicans and Democrats. George Bush, by comparison, was at 51 points, and Bill Clinton was at 45 points, three months into their terms.

It’s hard to say whether the Tea Parties represent an actual movement or were simply a flash in the political pan. If they were a one-time event, the affects will prove ephemeral, as Washington seems impervious to pleas of restraint and discretion in spending and taxation.

But if it was the start of a grassroots movement of concerned citizens for the future of the country, the affects could be monumental. It took just two-and-a-half years from the symbolic Boston Tea Party of 1773 to the Declaration of Independence. If the participants of the 2009 Tea Parties want to have a real impact, they need to keep that spirit alive and growing for the next year-and-a-half to alter the composition of Congress, much like disaffected voters did in 1994. If the rallies didn’t catch the attention of decision makers in the nations’ capitol, you can bet that a realignment of congress in 2010 will.

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

Idaho House Highlights – April 15

April 15th, 2009 by Halli

By Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-31

Most legislative sessions eventually come down to a showdown between the legislature and the governor. It doesn’t look like this time around will be any different. Governor Otter is not happy with us on several fronts, the most obvious of which is revenue for roads. We debated a two cent increase for quite some time and the comments expressed were creative. “This is such a piddley little amount” and “If your car gets twenty miles per gallon and you drive twenty thousand miles per year it will only cost you a dollar a month” were two of the most memorable ones. I voted no. Rural Idaho will pay more because we have to drive further to do our business than urban folks do.

One House member itemized the amounts that will be spent this year by the Idaho Transportation Department and the figure is very large, even with current revenues. And that is not taking into account the new GARVEE authorization that passed the House on Friday and is on its way to the Governor for signature. I voted no. More debt in these times is not a prudent thing to do. We are told we have to continue because we started and we will not be able to finish without more debt. Never mind the effect debt has in a climate of decreasing revenues. The Good Book has some great advice, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”

Another showdown is on the way over state employee salaries and how to administer them. Here again it has been interesting to see the mixed messages that have been coming from the Governor’s office and we still don’t know if we have a solution that is acceptable to him. I rather think that we will soon have the answer to that if he starts to use that big ugly red veto stamp. I was visiting with one of my colleagues the other day and he told me the Governor was not happy. I responded that I don’t believe we are in charge of his being happy or not.

We have arrived at that time of year when we all wish we would have concluded our business by now. Spending Easter week in Boise is not what we had in mind, and going into the middle of April is not good either. When there were more farmers in the legislature they wanted to get back to the fields when the weather warmed up. In our neck of the woods things are still a bit wet but I’ll bet that won’t last too much longer.

Speaking of farming, a long Saturday at home was great, and even if the ground was too wet to plow, it was about right to get the spreaders and loader going to do some cleanup after a long winter. Some might say that I should have brought some of the spreading equipment back with me to speed up this process, or whatever other metaphor might be appropriate.

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Posted in Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Bryan Fischer: Boston Tea Party – Over a Three-Cent Tax Increase

April 14th, 2009 by Halli

Please check this link for information about a Tea Party in your Idaho city.

Idaho Values Alliance

Tomorrow’s Tea Party Boise will climax with a 12:30 p.m. rally at Capitol Park, right across the street from the state capitol.

Yours truly will be the MC for the event, and guest speakers will include Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett, a fierce opponent of tax increases, Rep. Dick Harwood, author of a resolution designed to protect Idaho sovereignty under the 10th Amendment, and Rep. Phil Hart, who knows as much about the malignant growth of the federal income tax as any man alive. I hope you will join us. Details can be found at www.teapartyboise.com. Founding Father Ben Franklin is also expected to put in an appearance.

The original Boston Tea Party, an event which energized the drive for American independence, was triggered by a three penny per pound increase in the price of tea. According to Jane Cook, writing at Townhall.com, this today would be like being forced to shell out $9.98 for a pound of Starbuck’s Pike Place Roast instead of $9.95.

Tomorrow’s Tea Parties – in Boise and elsewhere – have been triggered, on the other hand, by an $800 billion stimulus package, a federal deficit that will run to $1.75 trillion this year, and annual trillion dollar deficits for years to come that will place an unbearable tax burden on us, our children, and their children and grandchildren after them.

By 1773, Boston merchants had been chafing for three years at the unfair market advantage this tax had given to London tea merchants, who had been given a monopoly over the North American market. The monopoly and the tax were in essence a stimulus package for the East India Trading Company, an effort to keep the company from economic collapse. It was too big to fail.

When three ships loaded up with tea arrived in Boston Harbor on Nov. 29, 1773, local residents decided they’d had enough. Armed colonists prevented the ships from being unloaded for more than two weeks.

Leaders such as Sam Adams were angered that colonists were being taxed and yet had no elected representatives. Taxation without representation, they argued, was fundamentally unjust.

(Today, with 40% of the American people paying no taxes at all, we have something even worse: representation without taxation. As an observer said, “He who robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.”)

But corruption was also a driving force for the original Tea Party. Customs officials – including sons of the Massachusetts governor – were pocketing personal profits from the tea tax.

Hmm… burdensome taxation coupled with rampant corruption. Something seems rankly familiar here.

The Boston Tea Party involved more than 5,000 of Boston’s 15,000 residents, who gathered at Faneuil Hall on December 16, 1773 to see if the governor would send the tea-laden ships back to England.

All hell broke loose when they received word that the governor would allow the ships to unload their cargo. Said one eyewitness, “You’d thought that the inhabitants of the infernal regions had broke loose.”

Late that same night, 200 tea partiers, poorly disguised as Indians, boarded the ships, used hatchets and axes to break into the chests of tea, and by 9 p.m. that night the contents of every chest – 45 tons worth – had been tossed overboard, while thousands watched from the streets.

They then marched off the boats and down the street with a fifer leading the parade.

As an editorial in the DC Examiner says, this original protest thus “was neither spontaneous nor a mere lark.” Planning had been taking place for weeks prior to the gathering, and Sam Adams had established a pre-arranged signal (his announcement at the meeting, “This meeting can do no more to save the country”) for the boarding of the ships.

As “Clarendon” says, “They were committing an act of insurrection, not political theater.”

His Majesty’s troops did nothing to stop the Tea Party. In fact, the British Admiral, John Montague, leaned out of a window as the patriots marched by on the street below. “Boys,” he said, “You have had a fine, pleasant evening for your Indian caper, haven’t you? But mind, you have got to pay the fiddler yet.”

And quickly the fiddler demanded his due. Parliament responded by passing the Intolerable Acts, revoking the colonial charter of Massachusetts and sending 5,000 additional soldiers to occupy the city and take up residence in people’s homes. They shut down the port of Boston, and removed all civilian governing authority, replacing it with Royal rule.

General Gage immediately went about trying to confiscate gunpowder and arms stored in towns throughout the colony, actions which eventually produced the Second Amendment, which protects the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms.”

The Intolerable Acts also gave rise in time to the Third Amendment, which prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers in private homes. The Crown also prohibited even peaceful assemblies in the wake of the Tea Party, giving rise to the plank in the First Amendment that guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

It is that plank that guarantees the right of the people to host Tea Parties in public places all across the fruited plain. It will be instructive to see if local authorities make further attempts, as they have done in come cities, to block peaceful tea parties based on permitting issues or some such thing.

Today’s Tea Parties are mild and sedate in comparison to the risks taken by our forefathers. Perhaps some of that temperance is due to the fact that we ourselves elected the people who did this to us.

Tomorrow’s protests are important, and we can hope lawmakers will take note. And yet if tomorrow’s Tea Parties do not lead to a concerted grassroots effort to elect genuine social and fiscal conservatives at all levels of government, conservatives who take a solemn oath not to raise our taxes and a sacred vow to protect traditional values, in the end it will be nothing but “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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

David Ripley: Notes from the Battlefield

April 14th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Last week Sen. Patti Anne Lodge held an “informational” meeting with various lobbyists concerned about HB216, legislation which would secure a pharmacist’s right of conscience. As Chairman of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, she is apparently trying to determine whether to give the bill a hearing. (HB216 passed the House of Representatives on a 48-21 vote on March 31st).

The room was filled with representatives of the Medical Establishment – including lobbyists for St. Luke’s, St. Al’s, insurance carriers – and even a pharmacist/lawyer, purporting to represent the interests of pharmacists, who argued that the bill is “bad legislation” because it does not sufficiently protect employers. (He even went on to express his concern for how this legislation could impact Planned Parenthood’s ability to dispense killer drugs like Emergency Contraception and RU-486).

It was a curious meeting, disturbing in the array of allies recruited by Planned Parenthood to carry its water on further compromising the integrity of health care professionals and institutions.

Nearly everyone in the room paid lip service to the fact that “pharmacists already have the right to refuse to participate in morally-compromising services” – right before they launched into long speeches about their imagined dangers to public health should HB216 become law.

It takes some real work to make sense of their position. If pharmacists already have such rights, then how could there be any dramatic consequence should those rights be codified? Either the profession is currently protected by conscience rights, and guided by professional ethics which drive pharmacists to care for their patients – or it is full of rogues restrained only by the power of employers to compel pharmacists to follow orders.

After some reflection, it seems that large employers – like Walmart and St. Alphonsus – are concerned that HB216 would force them to actually respect the conscience rights of pharmacists, even when it is inconvenient. Several lobbyists in the room spoke of their hospital’s need for “flexibility” in dealing with conscience objections. That translates into raw power. These big institutions want to be able to pay lip service to the “rights” of their employees – while retaining the power to intimidate, manipulate or otherwise coerce these pharmacists into hewing the party line.

That makes “conscience” not a “right” – but a polite courtesy.

And that is the reason the Bush Administration spent years developing rules to enforce Congressional platitudes which had failed to protect real people working in huge institutions driven by profits and a post-Christian medical ethic. A mountain of evidence was developed by HHS which showed health care providers facing persecution and harassment because of their religious beliefs.

(It is not an accident, after all, that many of the people we faced in that room last week were the architects of SB1114 – the Idaho Euthanasia Bill.)

The American people seem to grasp what is stake over the battle to protect health care providers – doctors, pharmacists, nurses – from a political and economic agenda first advanced by Planned Parenthood. A national poll was conducted at the end of last month to test the public’s reaction to President Obama’s attack on conscience protections for health care providers. An astonishing 87% of those surveyed believe it is important to “make sure that healthcare professionals are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections”. (Fully 65% of respondents felt it was “very essential”).

Once again, the wisdom of The People is confirmed. Our basic trust in medical advice and treatment is based upon a belief (hope?) that those professionals are acting with integrity to ensure our health and welfare. Conscience protections help secure public confidence in the medical professions.

Some Idaho lawmakers readily understood that this legislation is rooted in the 1st Amendment’s protection of our religious freedom, and eagerly stepped-up to protect pro-Life pharmacists at a time when they are under assault in every corner of America. Others seem quite intimidated by the power and prestige of institutions like St. Alphonsus and St. Luke’s, and seem unsure about how they should proceed. At stake is not simply the caliber of health care in Idaho, but the general state of religious liberty:

Dr. John Bruchalski is quoted in today’s SF Examiner as saying, “If conscience is compromised, then freedom becomes a farce”.

Let us pray that the leaders of the Idaho Senate, including Sen. Lodge, can yet see their way through the fog of war to find the great principle at stake with HB216.

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

Richard Larsen: Obama’s Eurpean “Blame America” Tour

April 13th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There is a common malady that afflicts many of our American comrades, known as the Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), where everything wrong with the world is blamed on our former president. A corollary to that is BAS, or the “Blame America Syndrome.” Regrettably our president seems to have contracted both.

Less than three months into a new administration and America’s role as a world leader is capitulated and subservience shown by our president to foreign powers. During his trip to Europe last week for the G20 meetings in London (what some pundits have called Obama’s “Bash America Tour”), the new president clearly evidenced his BAS.

To cut a little slack, however, we have to remember that he’s a rookie at this. After all, he only had been a community organizer and a State Senator before advancing to the U.S. Senate. And he’d only served there for 143 days before he began running for president. So we can attribute to his naïveté the full-waist bow to the King of Saudi Arabia (how’s that for subservience?), the gift of an Apple iPod to the 82 year-old Queen of England (loaded with Obama’s speeches and some other things), Michelle’s repeated touching of the Queen (I didn’t go to Harvard, yet even I know that’s anathema!).

And we’re not just talking about minor things like on Saturday when he referred to “Austrian” as a language. No, that’s just one of those verbal faux pas like when he referred to visiting all 57 United States during the campaign. And not like the answer to a BBC reporter’s question about causes for the global financial meltdown. Although that rambling diatribe did generate some immensely humorous missives with the BBC and The Guardian that make for some enlightened reading for those who swallow hook-line-and sinker the American mainstream media twist of the trip. But even that vapid answer followed the pattern for the rest of the trip: blame America for everything, and by default, blame it all on George W. Bush.

Two brief examples characterize his theme in Europe. In Strasbourg he said America “has failed to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.” Really? In what way is Europe pre-eminent to the United States except in secular socialism? In one fell swoop, America is no longer the one remaining super-power of the world and anti-Americanism is legitimized by the “leader of the free world.”

He further subordinated America’s global leadership role when he stated that our country has “shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” He must have been reading Jimmy Carter’s books, for he sounds just like him.

Syndicated columnist and analyst Charles Krauthammer said of Obama’s actions in Europe, “When Kennedy arrived in Paris, he did not attack Eisenhower and the United States. When Obama was elected president, he became president of all of the United States, including Americans who opposed him, and he owns American history, including a past he may not have wanted to engage in. I think what he did is, in order to gain the adoration of the crowd, he denigrated his country in a way that I think is disgraceful.” I couldn’t agree more.

Among his inscrutable statements was one to the Turkish Parliament, where he said, “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.” If he was speaking of ancient history, I would understand where he was coming from. But there have been precious few significant contributions to the world from the Muslim world for 600 years. Their extremists have provided us with cause for increased security at airports and other segments of our infrastructure. Maybe that’s what he was referring to.

For all his efforts at American obeisance to Europe, European pundits were not nearly so impressed as was the American media who still maintain a “slobbering love affair” with the new president. Perusing analysis from UK sources, for example, his efforts fostered more derision than praise.

Seems to me that last year when Michelle said she was proud of America for the first time, she was echoing the sentiments of the entire Obama household. How sad that the President of the United States should have such apparent disdain and contempt for the country that he leads.

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

Bryan Fischer: U.S. has been Fighting Islamic Fundamentalism Since Colonial Era

April 10th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Values Alliance

As we watch the Somali pirate incident unfold in the Middle East, it serves as a reminder that, besides 9/11, Islam has had one other shaping influence on the history of the United States: we have a navy thanks to the sea-going Islamic thugs of Thomas Jefferson’s day, the Barbary Pirates.

Even prior to our Declaration of Independence in 1776, Islamists under the control of an Ottoman warlord in Algiers were pirating American ships and enslaving their Christian crews. Thus our forefathers had early experience with state-sponsored terrorism, as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya all joined in the fun.

Prior to 1776, American ships had some measure of protection from the Royal Navy, which was replaced by French protection during the war for independence. But when that expired in 1783, U.S. ships came under attack again almost immediately, with the taking of the merchant ship Betsey by Moroccans in October of 1784.

Between 1785 and 1793, 13 American ships were captured along with 119 crewmen by Algiers alone. This was followed by the capture of the USS Philadelphia in 1804 with its crew of 307 sailors.

(As a side note, Lt. Stephen Decatur gained naval immortality by leading the USS Intrepid into the harbor of Tripoli, boarding the Philadelphia under cover of darkness and torching it, an act Admiral Horatio Nelson called “the most bold and daring act of the age.” Said the pope, the Americans by this action “had done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christendom have done for ages.”)

Congress had begun dishing out handsome ransom payments to rescue ships and free enslaved American sailors. In other words, the first thing our forefathers tried, in responding to Islamic terrorism, was appeasement.

Two future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, were dispatched in 1786 to London to negotiate a peace treaty with the Dey of Algiers. They reported the Dey’s reason for his Islamically-inspired hostility towards America:

“[I]t was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Does that have a familiar ring to anybody? This mindset is part of Islam, root and branch; always has been, always will.

This commitment to jihad, you will note, occurred long before American “imperialism,” before any use for oil had been discovered, before there was a state of Israel, and before America had done anything to anybody. Militant jihad, then, as it does today, stems from a profoundly dangerous religious impulse that sees only the World of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the World of War (Dar al-Harb), with the world of Islam spiritually obligated to use force to subdue the infidels and bring them to belief in Allah and his prophet.

President George Washington warned Congress in 1793, speaking of the Barbary Pirates: “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace…it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” This speech led directly to the creation of the U.S. Navy in 1794.

Washington clearly understood one thing: the only language state sponsors of Islamic terrorism understand is force. Diplomacy, bribery and appeasement, in the end, are a fruitless waste of time and resources.

For a time, politicians at that time were as split on national defense as they are today. Some, such as John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, were pro-Navy and wanted to assert American strength abroad to secure international trade and respect. Others – including Jefferson for a time – wanted to spend money on domestic expansion rather than confronting America’s enemies on distant shores.

By 1800, 20% of the annual federal budget was consumed with tribute and ransom payments to Islamists.

In total, between 1500 and 1800 over 1 million white Christians were captured by Muslims and subjected to imprisonment in fetid prisons or brutal slavery. To escape the brutality, some embraced Islam by “turning Turk.”

After the Pasha of Tripoli declared war on the U.S. by cutting down the flagpole in front of the U.S. Consulate, Thomas Jefferson found his inner hawk and took us into our first war against Islamic fundamentalism.

Jefferson’s instructions to his naval officers were direct: “subdue, seize and make prizes of all vessels, goods and effects belong to the Dey of Tripoli” and take whatever measures “the state of war will justify.”

From May of 1801 to June of 1805, the Marines fought the battles immortalized in that familiar line from the Marine Hymn: “to the shores of Tripoli.” The Mameluke sword that Marines wear on parade and at formal events today memorializes the covert land operation led by William Eaton that resulted in the capture of the second largest city in the Regency of Tripoli.

However, while Eaton engaged in his heroics, and before he could make his way to Tripoli, Jefferson negotiated a peace treaty that ended that particular war with another ransom payment and a promise from the Muslims to stop attacking U.S. ships. Jefferson declared his version of “peace in our time.”

But Muslims feel no obligation to keep their word to infidels, and attacks resumed in 1807, leading to a second war against terror in 1815, under James Madison. After diplomacy and bribery once again failed, Congress issued a declaration of war, and now-Commodore Stephen Decatur quickly defeated the enemy at sea and forged a tough new treaty, “dictated at the mouth of our cannon.” The power of Islamic radicalism had finally been broken.

Europeans powers were emboldened by America’s courage. The Anglo-Dutch shelling of Algiers in 1816 led eventually to the colonization of Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, and by 1923 most of the Islamic world was under Christian control, with the Islamic Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire the last to fall.

Though many Muslim leaders backed Hitler – the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood is famously pictured in a photograph chatting up the Nazi leader – the pattern of Muslim defeat only began to reverse after World War II as increasing numbers of Muslim countries became independent of Christian colonial rule from 1946 through 1971.

In 1972, having shaking off the Christian yoke, Muslim terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games and hijacked a German airliner. The rest, as they say, is history.

It’s a fair historical assessment to say that the end of the colonial era ushered in the era of Islamic terrorism. Because of the fundamental, dark energy in mainstream Islam to subdue the infidel by force, Islamic nations are simply incapable of governing themselves in a way that does not in the end lead to violence against non-Islamic nations.

Colonial rule by the Christian nations of the West kept this demonic energy bottled up for 250 years, but the era of independence for Muslim nations has let the beast out of the cage. He can only be driven back into his cage by force.

All cultures and all religions are not morally equivalent. President Bush was wrong and naďve to believe that the hunger for political freedom is universal and burns in every human heart. Because Mr. Bush is a Christian, he has within him the Holy Spirit, and the Christian Scriptures are clear: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).”

For President Bush, the hunger for liberty seems natural and normal to him, as it was to the Founders. 2 Corinthians 3:17 echoed across the colonial landscape during the war to preserve our independence, and became part of the divine inspiration for our quest for independence. It became a slogan which animated and energized the willingness of our forebears to pledge their fortunes and their sacred honor to the cause.

The hunger for freedom and liberty burns within the Christian breast, and within the breast of those who have been raised in a Christian milieu. It’s almost impossible for us to believe that everyone in the world does not share that hunger.

But where the Spirit of the Lord is absent, as it is in Islam, there is no hunger for freedom. In its place is a thirst for domination, subjugation and control.

Mr. Bush’s naďveté led him to believe it is possible to use American power to build democratic nations in countries historically dominated by Islam.

Mainstream Islam does not anywhere advocate freedom, for Muslims or for others; there is simply no parallel to 2 Corinthians 3:17 anywhere in the Muslim scriptures.

Instead, Islam advocates the involuntary imposition of sharia law everywhere in the world, and justifies the use of jihad until all the world is subject to an Islamic caliphate. They will not rest until the crescent and star waves over the White House.

President Obama is likewise wrong and naďve to believe that Islamic nations can be appeased through diplomacy and concessions. There is simply no way to “make nice” with nations who have a spiritually inspired zeal to subdue us or destroy us. His naďveté is placing American safety and security at grave risk.

While Christianity teaches that conversion must be the uncoerced choice of the free human will, Islam teaches that conversion or submission must be imposed if necessary on the unwilling. The only choices the Koran gives to us as infidels: conversion, submission, or war.

It’s quite likely that today’s Somali pirates see themselves in much the same way the Barbary Pirates did: holy warriors waging al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea. As did the Barbary Pirates, they likely see themselves simply as a warrior caste righteously engaged in the mainstream Muslim doctrine of armed jihad.

Here is how the Heritage Foundation concludes its report on the history of our war with the Barbary Pirates:

“Obviously, and thankfully, not every Muslim is obligated, or even really inclined, to take up this jihad…But that does not mean they are all opposed to such a struggle any more than the choice of many Westerners not to join the police force or the armed services means they do not support those institutions.

“It is very easy to chalk it all up to regional squabbles, economic depression, racism, or post-colonial nationalistic self-determinism…But as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situation becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.”

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Idaho House Highlights – April 8

April 8th, 2009 by Halli

By Representative Tom Loertscher, R-31

There are times when a task seems so overwhelming or intimidating that
you would rather not be anywhere in the area. That happened to me this
week when the Idaho Education Association had a meeting in Boise and
they invited all members of the legislature to attend their
“hearing.”

JFAC does not provide a method for the public to be heard during the
budgeting process and with that in mind the IEA had this meeting so we
could “hear” their concerns. It was most interesting and in spite of
my trepidations about going, and the complaints voiced, I learned some
things. Teachers have the feeling that they are not appreciated for what
they do. Testing always comes up in these forums and I tend to agree
that testing as we have been doing it takes a lot of time away from
teaching. They favor the idea that school districts should be
consolidated. They desire that we should use our reserve funds to keep
them whole.

One of the things I really enjoy at these kinds of events is the
meeting after the meeting. Representative Ken Andrus and I talked at
length with a couple of teachers from our part of the state and it was
interesting. At first it was difficult to talk to them, because of the
pent up anger about the level of funding for schools that has come from
JFAC. We explained the consequence of using our reserves for ongoing
expenses. Those moneys can only be spent once and then in these types of
situations there is no means with which to replenish the fund. After a
few minutes of discussion they were still not happy, but at least I
think they had a better understanding about how difficult this budget
year is for the legislature. I was glad that I attended.

Another topic that has caused some turmoil is the way salaries for
state employees are being lowered. The arguments center around the
amount of the reduction and how to administer it. The technical issues
are a little complicated but the principle is if we were to approve a
lower reduction for employees than for teachers, and if we are going to
use reserve funds to make up any differences, then to be consistent I
would say that we should dip into those reserves for teachers as well.
It is not right to be willing to use those funds for one and not the
other, no matter what the consequences might be.

Another bill (S1158) making its way to the House floor is one to
partially shift medically indigent expenses from the state to the
counties and cause a property tax increase for all of the counties. This
falls in the category of an unfunded mandate, and by the way it also
will create a new level of bureaucracy in the Department of Health and
Welfare. All of this is in the name of balancing the budget. Two new
state employees to do what the counties already do. And by the way
again, this new layer of review will be paid one hundred percent by the
counties, (property taxes) no matter what it costs. I’m not making
this up, that’s what the bill says. I’m sure glad we will not be
raising taxes to balance our budget, but not so glad we will be raising
property taxes to balance the counties’ budgets.

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Richard Larsen: Twenty-First Century Tea Party

April 8th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

On a cold December night two-hundred and thirty-five years ago, a few dozen men boarded three English ships heavily laden with English tea in Boston and tossed their contents into the harbor. The event became pivotal for American revolutionaries protesting King George’s ability to tax the colonists without representation. This revolutionary event, “The Boston Tea Party,” has become iconic to an America that resents unjust taxation, and lack of accountability in levying taxes.

That same revolutionary spirit seems to be building nationwide. “Tea Parties” are being planned across the nation in protest of proposed profligate spending, proposed increases in taxes, and a spineless congress that serves as a rubber-stamping lapdog to the new administration.

Not surprisingly, the national media, which the media analyst Bernard Goldberg claims has maintained a “slobbering love affair” with the new president, is refusing to cover the story that seems to be growing exponentially in momentum. Media’s reticence proves their complicity and their ideological bias, for they provided a national forum for a single protesting anti-war activist camped outside Crawford, Texas, but refuse to cover the thousands of planned “tea parties” across the nation.

A simple internet search turns up plans for an April 15 demonstration against Washington’s fiscal irresponsibility in over 1500 cities nationwide, with some of those anticipating up to thirty-thousand participants.

This is pretty remarkable. Those who are fiscally and socially conservative usually don’t engage in the typically over-sensationalized symbolism of protests. After all, most of them have jobs, work hard to support their families, and are usually considered to be among the “silent majority.”

The attitude behind this mentality is captured fairly well in an email I recently received. It declared, “There’s a storm a brewin’. What happens when good, responsible people keep quiet? Washington has forgotten they work for us. We don’t work for them. Throwing good money after bad is NOT the answer. I am sick of the midnight, closed door sessions to come up with a plan. I am sick of Congress raking CEO’s over the coals while they, themselves, have defaulted on their taxes.

“I am sick of the bailed out companies having lavish vacations and retreats on my dollar. I am sick of being told it is MY responsibility to rescue people that, knowingly, bought more house than they could afford. I am sick of being made to feel it is my patriotic duty to pay MORE taxes. I, like all of you, am a responsible citizen. I pay my taxes. I live on a budget and I don’t ask someone else to carry the burden for poor decisions I may make. I have emailed my congressmen and senators asking them to NOT vote for the stimulus package as it was written without reading it first. No one listened. They voted for it, pork and all.

“O.K. folks, here it is. You may think you are just one voice and what you think won’t make a difference. Well, yes it will and YES, WE CAN!! If you are disgusted and angry with the way Washington is handling our taxes. If you are fearful of the fallout from the reckless spending of BILLIONS to bailout and “stimulate” without accountability and responsibility then we need to become ONE, LOUD VOICE THAT CAN BE HEARD FROM EVERY CITY, TOWN, SUBURB AND HOME IN AMERICA. There is a growing protest to demand that Congress, the President and his cabinet LISTEN to us, the American Citizens. What is being done in Washington is NOT the way to handle the economic free fall.”

No doubt many of us sympathize, and feel the same frustration with the demagoguery of the politicians in Washington, the seizing of once proud companies that symbolized the manufacturing expertise and financial prowess of American industry, and the proposals to spend our nation’s future into oblivion.

I’ve never been the type to protest. I’ve always thought it to be too long on symbolism and short on substance. But this one that’s brewing nationwide is based wholly on substance, and the symbolic significance is validated by the groundswell of support all across the fruited plain.

Washington’s collective irresponsibility has lit a match to the American revolutionary spirit, and each week throws more kindling on the growing conflagration. If the current batch of “leaders” don’t want themselves numbered on the unemployment rolls in a couple years, they’d better wake up.

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

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