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Richard Larsen: Liberals’ View of Conservatives Not Factual

July 28th, 2009 by Halli

Richard Larsen

It’s always amusing to observe the benighted, simplistic fashion by which some from the political left characterize and demean those from the right. Last Sunday’s Idaho State Journal provided a perfect example with a “letter to the editor” by Leonard Hitchcock. Although attempted satirically and tongue-in-cheek, it nonetheless accurately characterizes the typical liberal perception of conservatives, which warrants a brief analysis.

His letter begins, “The Republicans’ conviction that big government is bad government rests upon a simple premise: It is good that the poor, the ignorant, the sick, the old, the foolish and the unlucky suffer the consequences of their various disabilities; it is good that they are victimized by the clever and rapacious; good that they sink to the bottom of society. Their misery serves as a salutary lesson for the rest of us, motivating us to be the exploiters, not the exploited, and, providentially, they also provide a source of cheap labor, which the economy requires.”

First off, there is little evidence that the contemporary Republicans in Washington have much less of an opinion of big government than the Democrats do. Truncated to a single line, we could fairly accurately characterize the actions of the Republicans as being for big government, and the Democrats as being for bigger government. An ancillary to the latter corollary could be, in the era of Obama, they advocate explosively burgeoning, liberty infringing, generational debt-producing government.

I can’t speak for Republicans, for I feel that the party has to a large extent divorced itself from its principled roots. But from a conservative or classical-liberal perspective, we hold to Thomas Jefferson’s mantra, “That government governs best which governs least.” That’s why there were specific functions identified in the Constitution at the time of the founding that articulated precisely what the government had the power to do. That great masterwork further declared that all rights and powers not enumerated to the federal government were reserved to the people and the states. It was written so precisely as to “guarantee” maximum individual freedom while restricting government’s ability to make us subservient to it.

In most basic terms, the premise for conservatives is “viva la liberté.” For with every expansion of government, individual freedom is further eroded. With every trillion dollar spending plan or budget, our economic freedom is further encroached, since those funds will come out of our pockets. Many of us live on fixed incomes, and when government seeks to increase taxes on everything from energy consumption, to health care, income, property, and even soda pop, our economic liberty is assaulted. Increased regulatory and statutory control over our lives, combined with restrictions on our constitutionally guaranteed rights serve additionally as an affront to liberty. In short, when government expands its reach, liberty is sacrificed.

Now let’s see if Mr. Hitchcock’s unflattering depiction of conservatives as miserly holds up. Last year, Arthur C. Brooks of Syracuse University, authored a book titled “Who Really Cares:The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism” based on massive data research which surprised even the author, an avowed independent. Perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of the subject, Brooks discovered that although liberal families’ incomes average six percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal household. He also found that conservatives also donate more time and give more blood. And here’s the real knock-out punch; those who disagree with the notion that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition. Read that last line one more time just to let it sink in.

So not only is it erroneous to refer to “rich conservatives,” since liberals average six percent more in income, so is it erroneous to, even satirically, characterize conservatives as miserly and penurious. Conservatives apparently give, while liberals think the government should. The logical deduction is that conservatives are charitable with their own money, while liberals are magnanimous with others’.

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

David Ripley: Update on Obama Care

July 23rd, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

During an interview with CBS news face Katie Couric, President Obama indicated, for the first time, that he was not seeking to establish federal funding of abortions as part of his health care “reform”. According to Life News, Obama claimed that, “I am pro-choice (sic), but I think we also have the tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care.”

The strategic retreat by Obama follows a public claim by a pro-Life Democrat, Congressman Bart Stupak, that he has 39 other Democrats in the House who will vote with him to make sure that abortions are not part of the health care package. In fact, Rep. Stupak told reporters yesterday that he intends to help present pro-Life amendments in the House Energy & Commerce committee when it considers the ObamaCare legislation – perhaps as soon as today.

Obama’s radical legislation has already passed two key House committees – but its fate in Energy & Commerce is uncertain. Despite blusters by Speaker Pelosi, there is reason to believe that there are not enough votes to pass it out of this crucial committee.

Meanwhile, Congressman Walt Minnick issued a public statement just prior to the President’s news conference last night, indicating that he would vote against the current form of ObamaCare, largely because of fiscal concerns.

That is all well and good; it proves again that Minnick is not crazy. But it is very sad that moral concerns do not inform Minnick’s view of this serious threat to America’s welfare.

He is not one of those concerned about using tax dollars to grossly expand the number of abortions committed against America’s preborn children – nor does he seem troubled by the notion of bureaucrats rationing health care for the elderly and disabled.

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

iFAN First Addition: Twenty-three to Three

July 22nd, 2009 by Halli

We hope you enjoy this post from a new “alternative” source in Idaho Falls.

Guest Post by Silence Dogwood, reporting for the Idaho Falls Alternative News

July 17, 2009

In a landslide vote last night, the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee (BCRCC) voted to begin endorsements of issues as well as non-partisan races. The endorsement policy includes a clause allowing the BCRCC to lend financial support (to the tune of 25% of annual expenditures) to such causes.

Those who were anticipating the vote on the endorsement issue worried early-on as Senator Bart Davis (RINO-Bonneville County) embarked on a stall campaign, picking apart Jonathan Haines’ revisions to the by-laws. This, despite knowledge that numerous other counties in the state of Idaho had expressed interest in duplicating what they anticipated would pass in the BCRCC’s by-laws. One representative from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was even attendance to see the historical changes put into place. At Davis’ 15-minute mark of “clarifications,” he was interrupted by Dr. Don Schanz (PCO) asking that the revisions be put to vote. The motion was seconded, and the votes were tallied. The revisions were passed with exactly the two-thirds vote required.

It was now ten minutes to the proposed closing of the meeting, nine o’clock, and Schanz moved that the committee skip ahead to what most in attendance saw as the most important issue of the evening, a vote on the endorsement issue. The motion carried. The opposition to the endorsement issue immediately began plan of attack number two, a call to adjourn. The motion failed, as those in attendance apparently did not want to leave without finalizing what had been on the BCRCC’s agenda for three months.

BCRCC Chairman Damond Watkins set the stage for how the remainder of the evening would continue. Those in favor and those in opposition to the endorsement issue would each present three people to speak for three minutes each. A coin was tossed, and those in favor spoke first. Larry Lyon (PCO and former Idaho Falls City Council Member) spoke first. He felt so strongly about the importance of the issue that he had flown in from Texas to be able to speak and vote on the issue. Others speaking in favor of the endorsement were Jon Burrup and Schanz.

Davis was the first speaker in opposition. He stated that he felt passing such a measure would strain the brand of the Republican Party. One couldn’t help but wonder how votes such as those of Representative Mike Simpson’s, supporting then President Bush’s bail-out of private institutions strained the brand, since the national Republican Party Platform specifically prohibits the bail-out of private institutions.

State Senator Dean Mortimer was next in line to speak in opposition, followed by the final speaker in opposition . . . oh, wait, nobody else currently elected is in opposition to this measure. Well, then, I guess the opposition only had two speakers . . . no, wait, Kathy Stanger asked if she could step up to the plate with permission of Watkins. Stanger was later found stating, “Would somebody please hit me over the head if I ever go to another political meeting in Bonneville County?”, to which Rebecca Casper (PCO) replied, “I hear you sister!” We are compelled to ask, “If the two of you would rather be beaten over the head than attend a BCRCC meeting, maybe it’s time to consider the other party!”

Schanz moving closing remarks included the point that the Idaho Republican party Chairman Norm Semanko had stated that it was only the BCRCC themselves who were restricting endorsements in non-partisan elections. Schanz stated that the BCRCC had shackled and handcuffed themselves and that a vote in favor of the proposed amendment would take off the shackles and allow the BCRCC to endorse any candidate, if they so chose.

The ballots were cast, the votes were tallied, the measure passed 23-3.

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

David Ripley: Minnick Folds Under Pelosi Scowl

July 21st, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Over this past weekend, Minnick staffers distributed an article by the Congressional Quarterly touting Congressman Minnick’s “independence”. According to his staff, “Walt is far and away the most independent person in Congress, and [yet]is still seen as a valuable member of his caucus thanks to his experience outside of politics.”

No doubt many operatives in the state’s media will happily pass along this sales job – so necessary for Minnick to succeed in convincing Republican voters of the 1st CD that he deserves to be returned for another term.

But the truth is something else again.

Many of us have suspected that Minnick is being given wide berth by Democrat leaders to help him con Idaho voters into believing that he is not really a liberal, not really a Democrat. But when the chips are down, leaders like Pelosi know they will get his vote.
That theory was tested and proven just last week.

Democrats are pushing hard to increase the number of abortions committed in America by creating a tax-funded “right” to free abortions. Their first stride in that direction targets low-income residents of Washington, D.C. – most of whom are black – by providing, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, government-paid abortions. Most Republicans and many Democrats were appalled by the action and fought Speaker Pelosi on the House floor to ensure that American taxpayers were not further burdened with the guilt of abortion-on-demand.

For a moment, it appeared that Pelosi might lose. But she held the vote open and began calling her markers. After appropriate pressure, she persuaded four Democrats to switch their votes.

According to the Family Research Council, Idaho’s Walt Minnick was among those who folded like so much wet paper.

There is no big surprise here regarding Minnick’s pro-abortion politics. What is rather surprising is the lack of integrity he demonstrated by switching his vote on such a vital moral question. Rep. Minnick’s vote shows a complete disregard for the deeply held religious and moral convictions of most Idahoans; his initial opposition to paying for abortions in the nation’s capital suggests that even he is troubled by the implications of greatly expanding the nation’s abortion rate.

The vote also raises troubling doubt about Minnick’s claims to be a “fiscally responsible” legislator. At a time of astronomical deficits – what can justify expanding government spending on something as heinous as abortion?

Congressman Minnick has repeatedly cast votes designed to confuse voters – but those votes were “throw-away” matters, cases where the radicals running Congress had the luxury of accomplishing their outrageous designs while giving vulnerable members like Minnick a free pass to look good back home.

But when it matters, when push-comes-to-shove, Minnick proved his first loyalty is to Speaker Pelosi – not the people of the First Congressional District of Idaho.

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

Richard Larsen: Eugenics Alive and Well in Age of Obama

July 21st, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Planned Parenthood is perhaps the most justifiably vilified contemporary social entity. And understandably so, especially to those of us who believe in “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,” for this organization is perhaps the largest promoter of abortion in the United States. Yet before a “woman’s right to choose” became their mantra, their raison d’être was eugenics.

Eugenics is “the study of, or belief in, the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics),” according to In other words, eugenics is a radical, fascist concept of socially engineered Darwinism, governmentally enforced. The concept gained much prominence in the early 20th century, not only because of the evangelism of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, but because of what was happening in Germany at the time.

Margaret Sanger’s perspective on eugenics was to gradually rid the human population of “undesirables,” including minorities, the impoverished, and the “weak-minded,” thereby improving the remaining population. She spoke favorably of abortion as being an option to reduce undesirable populations, as evidenced by some of her radical statements, “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” and by identifying those whose numbers should be reduced as “…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born. She forcefully argued for the sterilization of “genetically inferior races.” An African-American pro-life group has declared, “That many Americans of African origin constituted a segment which Sanger considered ‘unfit’ cannot be easily refuted.” Lending credence to their claim, Sanger in 1939 organized The “Black” Project which sought restrictive reproduction by those she thought were “least intelligent and fit.”

The German version of eugenics not only articulated the eradication of undesirable races, they actually attempted it. They identified strata of the German population for elimination, including homosexuals, criminals, degenerates, dissidents, feeble-minded, idle, insane, religious, and weak. Conservative figures indicate over 100,000 people were killed for purposes of “cleansing the race,” along with 6 million Jews, and over 400,000 forcefully sterilized to prevent propagation.

Not surprisingly, many of Margaret Sanger’s’ early devotees were Nazi sympathizers, speaking at her rallies and contributing to her monthly publication. Sanger published several books which address the issue of eugenics and population control, and also contributed regularly to the Socialist Party newsletter.

Three recent events prompted me to delve into this nefarious history. The first was when Hillary Clinton accepted Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger award earlier this year. Said Clinton, “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her…Yet we know that Margaret Sanger’s work here in the United States and certainly across our globe is not done.” The natural follow-up question for her would be, “What parts of her vision would you like to see completed?”

The second event was an interview the New York Times conducted with sitting Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, where she said, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.” You may want to read that quote again, especially the segment about “population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

The third event was when I realized who the Obama administration’s science tsar is. John Holdren, Obama’s Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, co-authored a book with Paul Ehrlich, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, which argued that for the sake of population control, some women should be forced to abort their pregnancies and that the general population could be sterilized by lacing our water supply or food supply with infertility drugs. He also advanced the idea that single mothers and teen mothers should be forced to give their children to other couples to raise and that people who “contribute to social deterioration” can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility,” in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized. He recommended that a transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and dictate reproductive standards, enforced by an armed international police force.

As despicable as these concepts are to normal-thinking Americans, such radicalism seems to be prevalent in the administration, especially as ardently as the president supports abortion. All this lends credibility to the idea that those in power now are not “pro-choice,” but that they are indeed “pro-abortion.” It seems that eugenics is alive and well in the era of the Obama administration. And it raises the provocative question, should these people be in charge of American health care?

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

David Ripley: Ginsburg Not Alone in Washington

July 15th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Unfortunately for America, Justice Ruth Ginsburg is not the only devotee of Eugenics loose in the nation’s capitol.

WorldNetDaily reports (07.13.09) that President Obama’s “Science Czar”, Professor John Holdren, is an advocate of fascist policies to control population growth and save “Mother Earth” from sundry apocalyptic threats. This former “Teresa Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy” at the Kennedy School was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 20 as the Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology.

It is probably safe to assume that many members of the U.S. Senate were unaware of his radical policy views at the time of his confirmation, despite the fact that he proudly proclaimed many of his outrageous views in a landmark book published in 1977. Co-authored with Paul Ehrlich, the book was entitled, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment.

Professor Holdren advocated an international police force to ensure that human populations were forcibly reduced across the globe. This global regime would also have authority to allocate both natural and renewable resources based upon optimal population figures for each region of the planet.

In Holdren’s opinion, the U.S. Constitution could be stretched to accommodate compulsory abortions and forced sterilization.

Holdren and his compatriots went so far as to argue that international law should be established to mandate farming-out children born to teenage mothers to families deemed “more suitable”. (One is tempted to accuse Holdren of direct theft from the Official Nazi Playbook on this point).

The WorldNetDaily article documents the rabbit trail Professor Holdren followed when the ‘70s fad of a “population crisis” morphed into the present hype about “global warming”. To be current, Holdren has added a clarion call for a global tax on “greenhouse emissions”, perhaps to pay for his abortion police teams.

As the popular media continues to sedate the American public with stories about Michael Jackson, it is vital that patriots confront the reality that some scary people – very scary people – have gained significant power in the nation’s capital. The drug-induced, utopian fantasies of 60s radicals have been carefully nurtured, repackaged and brought into the White House; these notions now appear as cap-and-trade taxes, government-run health care and nationalized credit markets.

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David Ripley: Sanger’s Eugenics Vision Influences Supreme Court

July 14th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Many times over the fifteen years we’ve been battling Planned Parenthood and other allied social engineers, we have charged that the “Sanger Vision” is alive and driving the pro-abortion movement. And each time we are not-so-politely rebuffed and ridiculed by the Abortion Lobby: Sanger may have advocated the purification of the human race through birth control, abortion and forced sterilization – but those thoughts have long been removed from our thoughts, they regularly protest. Please ignore the fact that we target blacks, Hispanics and the poor with our services with great success.

Despite such blather, truth is a powerful thing; it manages to seep out beneath the most tightly locked doors.

In an astonishing interview with the New York Times Magazine, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg boldly admits that she has always understood Roe v. Wade as a mechanism for ensuring that “populations we don’t want to have too many of” would be reduced through the execution of their undesirable offspring. She goes on to bemoan the fact that her colleagues in the federal bench have blocked efforts to provide tax-payer funding of abortions for these “undesirable” peoples.

As we watch the opening hearings on Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, it is well for the nation to take due note of Ginsburg’s comments. It is absolutely appalling that a sitting justice of the U.S. Supreme Court could publicly proclaim such views and remain a member of the bench; it is now beyond debate that she should never have been confirmed in the first place. Nominated by President Clinton, Ginsburg sailed through her confirmation – despite a long and sordid history of working for organizations like the ACLU.

Will Sotomayor be allowed to join Ginsburg on the court without careful scrutiny of her dark prejudices? Does she share Ginsburg’s belief that there are various classes of people – some worthy of survival, and others which should be “weeded out”?

Given the fact that Sotomayor shares Ginsburg’s commitment to abortion “rights” and judicial activism, these are legitimate and crucial questions which ought preoccupy members of the United States Senate these summer weeks.

Is there a hero in the Senate willing to confront Judge Sotomayor and pull the truth out of her?

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

Richard Larsen: Science Takes Backseat to Technology

July 13th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

In April, President Obama declared that “the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.” But actions in Washington over the past few weeks prove that ideology is sitting firmly in the front of the class, and science may have been kicked out of the room, as Congress narrowly passed their massive tax on energy (cap and trade bill), and the Obama administration has tried to silence a dissenter on global warming in the EPA.

In March, Alan Carlin, a senior research analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, asked agency officials to distribute his analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases, carbon emissions, and anthropogenic global warming. He called for the agency to look at the science behind the arguments which he accurately claimed had “gaping scientific holes” in them. With such an honest assessment of the science, the new administration, with its profound respect for science over ideology, would certainly welcome the report which was replete with peer-reviewed research. Apparently not. Carlin’s director, Al McGartland, forbade him from having “any direct communication” with anyone outside his office about his study. He said, “There should be no meetings, e-mails, written statements, phone calls, etc.” In other words, he was censored.
It’s easy to see why, since his report didn’t jive with the ideology already heavily invested in by the administration. Carlin states in his opening remarks, “The issue is whether the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis meets the ultimate scientific test—conformance with real world data. What these comments show is that it is this ultimate test that the hypothesis fails; this is why EPA needs to carefully reexamine the science behind global warming before proposing an endangerment finding.” He continues, that the AGW argument,“is currently an invalid hypothesis from a scientific viewpoint because it fails a number of critical comparisons with available observable data. Any one of these failings should be enough to invalidate the hypothesis; the breadth of these failings leaves no other possible conclusion based on current data. As Feynman (1975) has said failure to conform to real world data makes it necessary from a scientific viewpoint to revise the hypothesis or abandon it. Unfortunately this has not happened in the global warming debate, but needs to.”

The data Carlin is referring to, is actual, not computer modeled, global temperatures which have remained flat over the past decade, and even cooled slightly. In fact, just five months ago, all four major global temperature tracking outlets released their 2008 data showing that temperatures have dropped significantly over the last year. California meteorologist Anthony Watts says the amount of cooling ranges from 65-hundredths of a degree Centigrade to 75-hundreds of a degree. In other words, the drop in global temperatures last year alone, in spite of increasing amounts of carbon emissions concentrations over the past ten years, was enough to erase all of the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. The tracking agencies indicate that it was the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down. To my knowledge, not everyone quit driving cars last year, or quit exhaling, neither did all the coal-fired plants discontinue operations last year, and thermostats were not set uniformly to something other than 72 degrees.

Since the actual empirical science does not support the Jeremiads of the global warming doomsayers, their conviction in their pseudo-science is reduced to, gasp, a matter of faith. The ardent believers are many, and most are those who mock Christians and other people of faith. How’s that for an amusing dichotomy? Even Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.”

The backlash against the “consensus” is growing, as the scientific community is finally speaking up about the evidence. Joanne Simpson, recently retired Ph.D. in meteorology expressed relief that she is now able to speak frankly about the fraudulence of the AGW alarmists. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who participated on the UNs IPCC climate committee claims that man-made warming is “the worst scientific scandal in history,” and a group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding that the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is “settled,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

It looks more and more like this administration doesn’t respect science, but respects the pseudo-science that will provide justification for their ideological objectives, including the asinine assault on our economy called “cap and trade.” And they’re doubling down with a new G8 accord to reduce our carbon output to 1910 levels, committing, as the Investor’s Business Daily puts it, “economic suicide.” Somehow I don’t think this level of respect for science is the “change” we “hoped” for.

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

New On-line Newspaper

July 9th, 2009 by Halli

I have just learned of the Intermountain Christian News, an on-line newspaper. I urge you to visit with website and spread the word!

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

David Ripley: Abortion History Damages Later Parenting

July 6th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A groundbreaking study by the Elliot Institute has just been published, and finds that an abortion history is “particularly damaging to the parenting process”.

The article has been published in Current Women’s Health Reviews. It looks at the psychological reactions to various types of child loss and how they might affect a mother’s relationship with children born after the pregnancy loss.

“Losing a child before or at birth, for any reason, can be a profound source of suffering,” said the study’s author, Professor Priscilla Coleman. “However, the emotional responses after an induced abortion are more likely to go unresolved and to persist for a longer time period.”

“In many cases, women may suppress thoughts and emotions related to an abortion because they have not been able to process or openly discuss negative emotions,” Coleman added in a press release from the Elliot Institute.

Coleman pointed out that a modest estimate predicts some 130,000 new cases of abortion-related mental health problems each year.

A recent study out of New Zealand, conducted by a pro-abortion researcher, found no evidence that abortion provided any mental health benefits to women, while many studies have shown profound negative consequences for women who succumb to Planned Parenthood’s propaganda.

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

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