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David Ripley: Rich Blessings This Thanksgiving Day

November 26th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

As we gather in our homes with friends and family on this day of remembrance – we pray the Lord’s blessing on your family, our state and nation.

This is a day to bring to mind all the blessings God has bestowed upon us as individuals and as a nation. While the present political leadership offers near constant cause for anxiety – we do well to look over America’s long history, to days when our leaders humbly recognized the necessity of God’s intervention on our behalf. On this day, may you join us in asking Almighty God to raise up such leaders once more.

Here are a few excerpts from Thanksgiving Proclamations issued by statesmen in nobler times:

“[It is] our duty as people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.”

- President George Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1795

“I have thought fit, according to the ancient and laudable practice of our renowned ancestors, to appoint a day of Public Thanksgiving to God, for the great benefits which He has been pleased to bestow upon us, in the year past.”

- Governor Samuel Adams, 1795

“No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy….I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that … [they] fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union.”

- President Abraham Lincoln, 1863

“May we on that [Day of Thanksgiving] in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us during the year past by Almighty God.”

- President Franklin Roosevelt, 1933

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

Richard Larsen: There is Much to Be Grateful For

November 23rd, 2009 by Halli


By Richard Larsen

It’s been said that life is what happens while we’re making other plans. It seems characteristic of human nature that in the process of eking out our existence and dealing with the vicissitudes of life, we sometimes are remiss in reflecting on the bigger picture and the bounties that are ours.

Our bounties are many, and we have to start with America herself. Our great country was conceived by the Declaration of Independence which proclaims that life and liberty are the inalienable gifts of God – natural rights – which no person or government can rightfully take away, and affirms that these are indeed God-given rights, not bestowed by man or governments. It affirms that the purpose of government is to secure our God-given inalienable individual rights, and that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Our Declaration reduced government from master to servant for the first time in history.

Our United States of America is not perfect. No temporal entity operated by man can be, yet the principles upon which this country is founded are divine in nature, and the resulting government by and for the people, originally was the most ennobling and free on earth. The Pilgrims early on realized freedom in commerce was concomitant with political freedom, and rejected communism, presaging the current struggle for the future of America.

The American people are the most giving in history. When there are calamities, conflicts, and just causes, Americans are there either as volunteers or giving generously of their means to assist. As Alexis de Tocqueville said, “America is great because America is good.”

We must always be grateful to our men and women in uniform who vigilantly ensure our liberties, freedom, and security on a daily basis. I am reminded of a list of truisms that declare: it is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble. It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. Without their service, what we know as America would not be, and we would conceivably all be speaking German.

Idaho is a magnificent place to live and to raise a family. Tucked away in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, Idaho affords an environment that is relatively unaffected by many of the evils and social scourges that modern society contends with. We can walk to the park and downtown, and perambulate around our neighborhoods mostly without the fears and apprehensions associated with urban milieus. And here in Pocatello we’re literally within minutes of magnificent forests with clean, flowing streams, lush vegetation, and indigenous wildlife.

With the prevailing value system, Pocatello is a perfect place to raise a family. Largely absent are the pestilences and curses of more urban settings, while an attitude of friendliness and neighborliness prevails. Pocatello is small enough we can claim one another as brothers and sisters even if no other immediate family members live here.

Gratitude and thankful hearts require a degree of humility. The world doesn’t owe us anything, but in humility, we are thankful for what we do have and what freedoms and privileges are ours.
And ultimately, since all blessings are bestowed by God, we express our deepest gratitude to him, as did the Pilgrims, for our country, our state, our families, and the temporal blessings that are ours to enjoy.

It is requisite of us to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. We should look upon the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. And we should reflect upon the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of freedom, of which we are the beneficiaries. Their tremendous examples can become a compelling motivation for us all.

Of all people in the history of mankind, we have most to be grateful for. We thank God for our blessings, and pray for resolve to protect and preserve them.

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

David Ripley: Another Saturday Night Stick-up

November 23rd, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The liberal gang running Washington, DC these days staged another health care stick-up tonight, with all Democrats giving Harry Reid enough votes to consider ObamaCare in the weeks ahead.

Two “moderate” Democrats staged some drama in order to extort more goodies from Democrat leaders. Sen. Landrieu gained an extra $300 million in Medicaid benefits for her state in exchange for a ‘yes’ vote to proceed. She and other supposed pro-Life senators allowed the legislation to clear yet another hurdle—despite the fact that the Reid language on abortion funding compromises the conscience rights of every American taxpayer. (U.S. Catholic bishops call the Reid version “the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues”.)

So where from here?

Republican Senator Jon Kyl predicted beforehand that if Reid won 60 votes last night, there’d be a 97% chance that Reid’s bill eventually passes the Senate, and is obviously pessimistic about the chances of substantial amendment in coming weeks. Other observers are not so sure.

Politico’s analysis suggests that there are profound divisions within the Democrat Caucus on the question of a “public option” and a floor fight will surely take place over the dead-certain increase in abortions driven by “free” government money. (Utah’s Sen. Hatch has already indicated he will lead that effort).

With 61% of Americans opposed to tax-funding of abortions, and 54% opposed to the socialist principles of ObamaCare, hope remains that the public’s will shall yet be heeded. But clearly earnest prayer is needed; we must ask the Lord to intervene on behalf of our children.

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

Andi Elliott: Open Letter to Congress

November 19th, 2009 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

Congress:

When people realize how you have betrayed our country, where are you going to live?

We saw in August at the Town Hall meetings how arrogant you’ve become.

You’ve called us some disparaging names…Astroturf, Tea Baggers, Extremists…yet Major Hasan is not an “Islamic terrorist”???

You ignored us when over two million of us marched on DC. You failed to join us at the “House Call”.

You blatantly state that you don’t have time to “read the bill”…yet you vote on them.

You approve people to govern us who they themselves have failed to obey our laws.

You fail to prosecute the lawbreakers in your ranks.

We overwhelmingly opposed socialized medicine… yet you forced it on us.

Congressman Guitierez is ready to push the Amnesty bill through Congress…does he think we will stand silently by while he inflicts further damage on America?

Obama spends his time visiting foreign lands and demonizing our country. He is not a true American or he would see the greatness and generosity of our America.

We have radical czars placed in power by a president who is out to ‘fundamentally transform” our America. Yet, Congress does not question.

We the People are your boss and WE have sent over 5 million “pink slips” to your offices. Did you notice?

The Virginia and New Jersey elections sent a resounding message to Congress…did you hear us?

So, let me ask again… “When the people realize how you have betrayed our country, where are you going to live?”

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

David Ripley: Senate Leader Disappoints Again

November 19th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Harry Reid was just plain giddy yesterday as he presented the cooked numbers attached to his version of ObamaCare. (This is not the place to debate those numbers, but we can’t resist temptation to offer stock sales in numerous bridge projects for those who just want to believe).

The key issue is how Reid deals with public financing of abortion.

There were numerous promises made by Sen. Reid, a member of the LDS Church, that he would not support taxpayer financing of abortions. Well, put another chalk mark on the wall of lies Reid has told in order to advance his selfish political interests.

Reid’s edition of national health care does deal with abortion funding by including a weaker version of the Capps Amendment rejected by pro-Lifers in the House. In stark contrast to the Stupak language, Reid has included a provision which explicitly authorizes the Secretary of HHS to include abortion-on-demand in the so-called “public option” insurance plan. Perhaps worse, Reid demands that the Secretary of HHS (a rabid pro-abort Democrat, by the way) ensure that there is an insurance plan in every market which provides coverage for elective abortions.

This last feature appears to violate current Idaho law.

If you’re not worried yet, see what California’s Sen. Barbara Boxer has to say about Reid’s so-called “compromise” on the issue of abortion funding:

“Senator Reid did an excellent job of crafting language….”

To repeat earlier warnings on this website, the crucial issue is not the millions in tax money squandered to subsidize Planned Parenthood’s death machine: The crucial issue is that Reid’s “compromise” will lead to millions of additional murdered babies who would otherwise survive.

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

Richard Larsen: Berlin Walls in America

November 19th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

This past week not only commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it also marked the 45th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s immortal “rendezvous with destiny” speech. It could hardly be considered coincidental that the most ardent foe of totalitarianism who arguably played the most pivotal role in the dismantling of Soviet Block oppression and totalitarianism would have one of his crowning achievements celebrated in conjunction with his immortal clarion call of freedom.

“I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers…The idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election, whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down. Man’s age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”

Reagan spent his life advancing those founding principles of freedom upon which this country was established, and vehemently decried the oppression of the totalitarian regimes of Eastern Europe. Just two years before the symbol of communist oppression was torn down by freedom seeking Germans, Reagan stood before the wall in Brandenburg and challenged the Soviet Premier, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Erected in 1961 to prevent the mass exodus of oppressed East Germans fleeing the dismal, blighted, hopeless existence imposed by communism, the Berlin Wall became the symbol of human oppression. It not only physically prevented escape from communist and socialist oppression, it represented the psychological prison of the communist system where individuals and liberty counted for naught, and all that mattered was the state and the masses.

It represented the dismal failure of the promise of communism to the masses: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” an aphorism gaining in acceptability by our “leaders” in Washington. The 1500 souls fleeing East Germany daily for freedom, and away from the “promises” of socialism, clearly illustrated that not everyone was granted according to his needs. Else, why risk life, limb, and family, for the uncertainty and risk-filled existence in the West which had not the “assurances” of cradle-to-grave security communism claimed to afford? They pined for freedom!

Ronald Reagan stood heads and shoulders above all others in articulating the depravity of the communist principles, and extolling the ennobling, enriching, and fulfilling qualities of freedom in stark contrast thereto. And while there were growing socialistic tendencies within the United States years ago when he uttered those inspiring words, his greatest concern was of the growing threat from without our borders: the Soviet tanks, missiles, and nuclear arsenal poised to vanquish freedom from western civilization and coerce upon all flesh, the ignoble, character-killing, meaninglessness of “the common good.”

We have no Berlin Wall now, separating the free from the oppressed. But we have “Berlin Walls” being constructed, even as we speak, which symbolize just as efficaciously the oppression of coercive, totalitarian government on the people. They are symbols of government ascendency and superiority over the individual which curtail liberty. The Berlin Walls now being constructed are not in Europe, for Europeans have learned their lesson, and are moving more and more away from the principles represented by the Berlin Wall. No, the walls are now being constructed in our own country. They originate as pieces of legislation, and then are signed into our legal codex as dictums to the masses. We must buy health insurance, or be fined or imprisoned. We must pay for a bailout of unsound financial institutions. We must pay for failing auto makers to keep them limping along, a mere shadow of their previous greatness. We must declare our firearms on our tax returns. We must allow the use of our money to fund the infanticide of the unborn. We must pay exorbitant taxes on our energy use in order to “save the planet.” We must risk the very future of the nation in order to feed the insatiable spending appetite of politicians seeking to expand their political base.
The Berlin Wall has been dismantled for 20 years, now. Hopefully Americans will not look up 20 years from now realize that we’ve erected our own symbolic versions of the same.

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

David Ripley: Justice for the 14th Victim

November 14th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Military prosecutors announced yesterday that they were filing a 13-count murder indictment against Maj. Nidal Hasan for his jihadist rampage against fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood. That is well and just, but glaring in its oversight of the 14th victim – the preborn child of Francheska Velez, one of the soldiers gunned down by this Islamic terrorist last week. Velez was on maternity leave when she stopped in at Ft. Hood, only to lose her life.

It is outrageous that the military, operating under the political pressures of the Obama White House, have ignored federal law (the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a.k.a., “Laci’s Law”) by refusing to acknowledge the 14th life ended by senseless carnage.

Members of Congress need to demand that Obama’s pro-abortion politics be set aside in favor of straightforward justice.

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

David Ripley: You Won’t Believe This

November 12th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Threats of sending people to jail if they don’t submit to the federal government’s power grab; cuts in services for seniors; tax hikes for employers, exploding federal deficits – all of these gifts are being shoved upon us by the Liberals controlling Washington in their quest to expand health coverage.

But on the way to taking control of another huge chunk of the American economy, the Liberals apparently forgot to ask – will our bill lower insurance premiums for working Americans?

During the campaign, Barack Obama was habitual in telling voters that he had a plan to lower insurance by $2500 per year. No doubt some believed him. But that was all just happy talk. Now that he is president and cheerleader-in-chief for health care overhaul, no such forecasts are coming from the White House.

In fact, according to a story on Politico.Com yesterday, none of the Democrat leaders has even asked the question about ObamaCare’s impact on insurance premiums – the data point of most concern to working families. No studies have been conducted in Congress to even guesstimate the impact ObamaCare would have on premiums.

According to the story, about 170 million Americans receive insurance through their employers. Under the Pelosi-Obama plan, these folks – you and I – would receive no financial assistance. Our job, apparently, is just to pay more in federal taxes and higher insurance premiums, year –after-year. (Or, to quote a pundit – Our job in ObamaLand is to shut up and sit down).

This staggering oversight says everything you need to know about the folks running DC these days. They could not care less about the working middle class.

Read the unbelievable details for yourself: http://politico.com/news/stories/1109/29421.html

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

David Ripley: Abortion Lobby Rallies to Protect Minnick

November 11th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Reports have surfaced that Planned Parenthood is running a phone in SW Idaho, asking Idahoans to call Rep. Minnick and “thank him” for backing public-financing of abortions.

We have received several calls from outraged constituents.

The phone banks are a sure sign that Minnick is feeling the heat from Idaho voters, upset that he would confuse health care with killing babies in the womb. Even worse, his vote against the Stupak Amendment this weekend signals his comfort with using the force of government to make each of us pay for elective abortions. We pray that grass fire spreads throughout Idaho.

The fight over health care this weekend has successfully ripped the cover of deception from the hands of Obama and Pelosi regarding abortion funding. Confirmation that their legislation would bring a major expansion of abortions in this country comes from the Abortion Lobby itself.

The New York Times reports that the president himself is “uncomfortable” with abortion-funding restrictions placed in the House bill and is urging Congress to rewrite the Stupak Amendment.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) issued a statement that they will not support any legislation with the Stupak Amendment in it. Likewise, Planned Parenthood. Their leader, Cecile Richards, told media yesterday that “Planned Parenthood has no choice but to oppose HR 3962 (the Pelosi bill).

Mr. Minnick’s friends at NARAL (a political action committee funded by abortionists) has publicly declared that they are focusing their lobbying efforts on preventing the Senate from adopting language like Stupak to restrict abortion funding.

What business does an Idaho representative have with such radicalism?

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

Richard Larsen: Obama’s Midas Touch is Gone

November 9th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

To an extent, both major political parties can claim some victories from Tuesday’s elections. But there are some certainties that can be gleaned from the outcomes, one of which is that President Obama’s Midas touch is now gone. Having actively campaigned for gubernatorial incumbents Jon Corzine in New Jersey, and Creigh Deeds in Virginia, Obama’s efforts in their behalf were rebuffed, as both lost, and Deeds, handily. Considering the national mood, they may well have lost because of Obama, rather than in spite of him.

As important as the outcomes were for many, perhaps more significant is the pattern which seems to be in evidence. That pattern looms even larger in light of comments after last year’s election which had all but buried the last vestiges of the GOP.

After a disastrous attempt to force socialized medicine on the country during Clinton’s first term, voters swung the political pendulum away from the power grab by gaining the Virginia and New Jersey governorships in 1993. What followed in 1994 was a record gain by Republicans as they retook control of the House and the Senate after maintaining minority status for over 40 years.

As former Clinton advisor D. Morris points out, the election outcomes for Virginia this week are virtually identical with 1993 results. The Clinton administration backed the Democrat candidate, Mary Sue Terry for governor. Terry lost by a 58% to 41% margin, virtually identical with Deeds’ margin of defeat this week.

In New Jersey, the pattern is equally evident, as the 1993 election featured Democrat Jim Florio seeking reelection against Republican Christie Todd Whitman. The race was close but Whitman, who later served as EPA Administrator in the Bush administration, pulled off the upset. So likewise for 2009, the New Jersey gubernatorial race was close but Democrat incumbent governor Jon Corzine was defeated by former US Attorney Chris Christie in one of the most liberal states in the country. Christie’s victory marks the first statewide election victory by a Republican in New Jersey in 12 years.

The compelling question is whether the trend will continue into 2010 as it did in 1994, when all 435 congressmen and a third of the senators are up for reelection. It probably has much more to do with which party is most motivated next year. Based on this year’s election results, the Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Parties, and massive demonstrations across the land against administration policies and congressional actions infringing on individual liberty, it would appear that the right of the political spectrum is most motivated for the time being. I have a sneaking hunch that the chagrin over how the country has lurched left will not subside by then.

The economic climate is much different now than it was in 1993 or 1994. By 1993 the minor recession at the end of the George H. W. Bush administration was already ended, unemployment was hovering at about 7% and dropping, while now it is at 10.2%, and likely to go higher before it begins to improve. Also, the budget deficit was narrowing at that time, in stark contrast to the monstrous deficit created in just ten months that dwarfs the government debt of the previous 233 years. While GDP has turned positive for the third quarter ‘09, there can be no real improvement on main street unless the employment picture begins to improve.

If the hubris manifest by the administration and congressional leaders continues unabated after this electoral rebuke in New Jersey and Virginia, many of them, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, could be adding to that 10% unemployment rate. And many of us will rejoice at them being in the unemployment lines they created.

There is no doubt that statistically the country is more conservative than liberal. As I have mentioned before, question D3 on the bipartisan Battleground Poll provides the evidence. 60% of the American electorate considers itself to be at least somewhat conservative.

Many of that majority didn’t bother to vote last year since they didn’t feel like they had a horse in the race. If they truly care about this country, you can bet they won’t be sitting out the next few elections.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

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