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Richard Larsen: A Few of the Mendacities of 2009

December 30th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

This past year has yielded a bumper crop of prevarications. While it would take volumes to codify them all (heck, I think Harry Reid’s alone would rival “War and Peace”), there are a few that we should remember as we look forward to what the new year may have in store for us.

Perhaps the biggest whopper of 2009 was Obama’s assertion that his administration would usher in a new era of “fiscal responsibility.” After launching the budget deficit (year over year revenue minus the spending) from $250 billion to over $1.7 trillion, it begs the question, what exactly do they consider fiscal responsibility? The debt limit has been raised another $2 trillion to $14 trillion, as congress attempts to keep pace with the president’s insatiable appetite for spending.

To put that in perspective, it would be like someone making fifty grand a year running up a $300,000 credit card bill. And this is “fiscal responsibility?” The most amazing detachment from reality is manifested by Obama disciples who echo, almost in unison, “But it’s Bush’s fault for spending on the wars.” Yeah, kind of like it’s Michael Jordan’s fault that the Chicago Bulls have won no NBA championships since he retired.

At a small-business forum last month the president said, “While I believe that government has a critical role in creating the conditions for economic growth, ultimately true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector.” We might well ask then, “Why are you seeking to destroy the private sector?” Not content with owning the auto industry and then gifting half of it as political payback to the unions, and not content with controlling the banking and financial services, he is now on the verge of taking over another one-sixth of the economy by controlling the health care industry. I guess based on the presidents’ own words, we cannot anticipate any “true economic recovery” since the government is taking over more and more of the private sector.

We have to include in this list the repeated efforts of majority leadership in Congress who have accused the Republicans of “blocking health care reform.” Excuse me, but don’t they control the House, the Senate, and the White House? The Republicans couldn’t do a thing to stop health care reform even if they wanted to! And not just based on votes, but with House and Senate leadership rewriting rules along the way to ensure passage, all the Republicans can do is make a lot of noise and attempt to mobilize citizens against the health care takeover.

On the global warming front, the biggest stretch of credulity of the year was stating that the “science is settled.” That declaration coming from the White House after one of the key climate research units establishing the “science” and the argument for man-made global warming was revealed to be “cooking the books” of environmental data and fraudulently misrepresenting it. So let me make sure I understand this properly. Because the pseudo-scientists at the Climate Research Unit manipulated data, controlled the “peer review” process for climate studies, and rigged their computer models’ code to depict global warming, regardless of the data input, we are to understand that the “science is settled?” Hmmm. Seems to me Bernie Madoff could have taken some lessons from the White House on “spin.” Heck, he could be a White House economic advisor by now! They’re going to need someone with his Ponzi-scheme expertise to handle all the questionable fiscal activity occurring in Washington these days.

One of the biggest has to be the health-care takeover itself. Are we really supposed to believe that we’re going to get better health care with the government running it? That it’s going to be “deficit neutral” after they cut over $400 billion in Medicare spending? After all, when has the federal government ever really “cut” anything, except military spending? And for it to get to “deficit neutral,” the Congressional Budget Office has to use trickery like 10 years of revenue against 6 years of implementation. They must be taking lessons from the Climate Research Unit in fudging numbers!

The president a few weeks ago held a banking confab where he pressured banks into lending more to stimulate the economy. I think I’m experiencing déjà vu. Isn’t that how the whole subprime lending crisis was created? Government pressuring banks to lend more, and to people who had no credit worthiness for the loans they got? Government just never seems to learn.

Space constrains me from delving into the satire of a non-stimulating “stimulus,” the “jobs created” and “jobs saved” claims of the White House, and how we’re going to be safer by reading terrorists their Miranda Rights and housing them in the U.S.

So what can we expect for 2010? I would bank on more of the same, unless our national leaders somehow stumble across some common sense and a conscience. Happy New Year! I guess.

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

Richard Larsen: Our Traditions are Worth Preserving

December 22nd, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

It’s been said that the only constant in life is change. While there is undoubtedly much truth in that, some change is desirable, and some is not. Change in relation to the traditions of our forebears should not be taken lightly, as it seems to me they not only define who we are as a people and a culture, but they provide substance and meaning to our lives associated with something bigger than “me,” and they provide evidence of what we value. There’s also a certain degree of “connectedness” with previous generations precipitated by holding onto multi-generational traditions.

It’s impossible for me to separate myself from those familial traditions at Christmastime. The singing of Christmas carols around the family piano while my mother played, with a perpetual smile gracing her face as she relished the moment. The group treks through the snow to friends and neighbors, delivering homemade fudge, divinity, pecan rolls, hand-dipped chocolates, and a loaf of hand-kneaded bread. All made, and gifted with love and appreciation for the intended recipient. We sang at least two Christmas carols for each visit, and with four brothers, two sisters, and musically gifted parents, we sounded pretty good. And although I’m not Catholic, I used to love going to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Bernard’s in Blackfoot, for there was a special ambiance, and a feeling of anticipation that was rich with the spirit of Christmas.

Most endearing and defining was Christmas Eve, with the family gathering in the family room around the Christmas tree, where my father read the verse selection from Luke 2 about the birth of Christ, and we shared thoughts on the importance of the event in our individual lives.

We have sought to perpetuate those traditions, and have added new ones to further enrich the family Christmas experience. We have a box under the tree that is specially marked for the Savior, and we each ponder what we will give to Him on this, His birthday. We review what we wrote down last year, to see how we did, and if we delivered on our gifts to Him. Some of the promised gifts from years past have been things like “more time with family,” “more time studying His word,” or “a more grateful heart.”

Those of other ethnic and religious backgrounds have equally profound traditions marking their observance of their particular holy days and celebratory observances. For all of us, our traditions speak volumes of who we are and what we value in life. But for a Christian nation, one whose very foundation was laid by men and women of faith, such traditions provide a cultural depth and cohesiveness based on common values of freedom, liberty, and faith.

It’s impossible for me to think of tradition without mentally referencing one of my deceased mother’s favorite movies, “The Fiddler On the Roof.” In the opening scene, a precariously perched violinist plays an instantly familiar tune from a steep pitched roof, and Tevye speaks of tradition: “For instance, we always keep our heads covered, and always wear a little prayer shawl. This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, how did this tradition get started? I’ll tell you. I don’t know. But it’s a tradition. And because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do. . . Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as…as…As a fiddler on the roof!”

That’s why it saddens me when multi-generational traditions at a national level are abandoned or threatened. Little things like a generic “Holiday Greetings” in lieu of “Merry Christmas!” on the White House “holiday greeting” cards, and the near elimination of the White House nativity scene in the East Room. Granted, these are minor things, but they are symbolic to a nation that is already immensely divided with feelings running deep over a transformation of a country steeped in Christian tradition into something other than “American.”

Since some of our multi-generational traditions with religious roots may have less significance to the leaders of our nation, it perhaps places the onus more literally on us, to observe and perpetuate our traditions, and even expand them. I can’t help but rejoice at the success of the Handel’s Messiah “Sing In” and how that has grown in scope by the move to the Stevens Performing Arts Center, and involvement by ISU music faculty. By so doing, the scope and inclusiveness, and value to the community is broadened, hopefully making it a permanent traditional fixture for the community as a whole.

However you observe, or choose not to observe this holy season for Christians and Jews alike, I extend my warmest wishes for a joyous, and tradition-rich Christmas to all.

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

David Ripley: Green is the New Red

December 16th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Green is the New Red

As global celebrities continue to kibitz in Copenhagen about various schemes to “save the planet”, it would be well to pay attention to the underlying connection between the green movement, socialism and the abortion lobby.

China has taken advantage of the summit to justify its forced abortion policies, arguing that its elimination of some 400 million babies is among civilization’s greatest contributions to preserving the planet’s eco-health. By doing so it has exposed the dark anti-life agenda driving many environmental activists. Lest you think that China is some isolated anti-human voice, take note of the fact that the British government has long advocated similar views. And just last week, a Canadian paper published an editorial entitled, “The Real Inconvenient Truth”.

The radical premise of the Financial Post editorial is that “a planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate….” For that writer, the big question is not whether the planet is warming or cooling – but the simple fact that there are too many humans.

This anti-human agenda is not operating only on the global scale: In our beloved Idaho, we are aware of a very close working relationship between the League of Conservation Voters and Planned Parenthood of Idaho.

Charles Krauthammer – one of America’s most incisive commentators – published a piece in the National Review entitled, “The New Socialism”. He, too, has observed the destructive, even totalitarian, impulses driving the modern environmental movement. His focus is not so much on the abortion lobby connection as it is on the fact that the current green movement has been taken over by old-school socialists who see it as a cynical cover story to achieve their long-sought ends: The destruction of capitalistic freedom and redistribution of wealth on a global scale.

Any reasonable person knows that we have a personal and corporate responsibility to care for creation, to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us. Yet we must be wise about the evil agenda driving today’s green movement, and resist its intentions to rob of us freedom – indeed, to rob us of life itself.

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

Richard Larsen: Corrupt Science Behind Global Warming Argument

December 16th, 2009 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said “We will return science to its proper place…” That is a noble goal, one that I concur with. But when the scientific method is sacrificed for ideology, it’s no longer science.

Science is a branch of knowledge which deals with facts and data systematically in order to prove the operation of general laws, whether biological, environmental, or physical. Yet it’s becoming increasingly obvious that what Obama meant was that science would be used not in proving theories and making sound policy based on empirical data, but it would instead be used selectively in order to advance predetermined policy, even with doctored data.

As explicated in my last column, the United Kingdom based Hadley Climate Research Unit, which is responsible for ground temperature readings from which NASA’s satellites are calibrated and which is replete with “global warming” myrmidons, has been engaged in unethical scientific practices. Phil Jones, director of the Unit, has since stepped down, and Michael Mann is under investigation by Penn State for systematic doctoring and erroneous reporting of data used by the climate monitoring gurus.

And it’s not just for doctoring the data, which they have failed to produce in spite of repeated official requests. Their unethical practices go beyond that. They sought to suppress research of global warming skeptics and polluted the system which defined “peer reviewed” studies. These dubious activities have even embarrassed fellow scientists who likewise believe in man-made global warming. These more serious scientists recognize that “Climategate” has contaminated the scientific community, and reeks of selling out legitimate scientific pursuit in order to advance a cause.

Nate Silver, renowned statistician, called the Unit’s actions “unethical,” and that “it happens all the time.” Tim Ball, former climatology professor, said it marked “the death blow to climate change,” while Patrick Michaels, former state climatologist for Virginia, told the New York Times, “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.” Former NASA climatologist John Theon said, “This whole thing is a fraud.

This adulteration of the scientific process is not only a blemish on the scientific community, but it is the primary source of the information, data, and computer modeling utilized by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. Consequently, all climatic and environmental policy and treaties being proposed by the United Nations as well as our own government, based on the fraudulent data and research generated by the Hadley group is fallacious. If the premise of the man-made global warming argument is predicated upon faulty data, models, and conclusions, any governmental policy based upon the same falls like a house of cards.

The White House response to this scientific manipulation was, “I don’t think there’s any scientific dispute of this.” In other words, it doesn’t matter that the scientific process has become corrupted, it mattered that their ideological agenda was supported. The data the White House bases its conclusion on is the very data doctored by the Hadley Research Unit!

Carbon dioxide emissions have increased steadily since 1998, which according to Mann’s climate model, means global temperatures should have increased commensurately. However, it is clear the temperatures have not increased but have actually dropped in the same time period, erasing a century of “global warming,” and thereby challenging the premise of the global warming alarmists. This disconnect between CO2 emissions and global mean temperatures is captured in the CRU’s Dr. Trenberth comment, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Empirical scientific evidence of a causal relationship between carbon emissions and global warming is lacking, and the computer models are not predictive. Nonetheless, there are some in the scientific, academic, journalistic, and governmental communities who have swallowed hook, line and sinker, and promulgated the now obviously false notion that cataclysmic consequences await mankind if we don’t dramatically curtail our CO2 emissions – colloquially referred to as reducing our carbon footprint.

These people have been the gatekeepers of the data, contaminated the peer review process for publication, and conspired to silence and pressure critics. In short, any “peer reviewed” studies or publications even remotely connected to these climate research gatekeepers is of dubious scientific value.

Investor’s Business Daily recapitulated the actions at the Hadley Center, “With the revelations from what is now being called “Climate-gate,” many people are beginning to see a grand scam in which data were deliberately distorted; peer review was gamed by manipulating and stacking the process; critics were smeared, black-balled, de-funded and even fired; opposing papers were kept from publication; and politically savvy scientists worked in concert with journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and interest groups to deceive both opinion leaders and the public to further their agenda.”

Since their data is contaminated, their process corrupt, and their computer models flawed, the argument that man is causing the earth to warm has officially collapsed. When scientists have to rig the data and scam the system to sell their conclusions, the whole thing is officially bogus.

Even if the U.S. Senate fails to ratify the Copenhagen Treaty, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty to reduce carbon emissions, the Obama administration has a “plan B” to gain control over our energy consumption. Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they will treat carbon dioxide (CO2) as a “dangerous pollutant.” This ruling will give them the power to control all areas of our energy consumption without so much as a legislative vote.

What’s ominous about this is the fact that the EPA is basing that ruling on the fraudulent data provided by the Hadley Center. Dr. Alan Carlin, an EPA senior research analyst at the National Center for Environmental Economics wrote that the EPA finding is based on the data manipulation of the CRU.

Earlier this year the President said of those scientists working in stem-cell research, “It’s about letting scientists do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

He is exactly right. But the principle has to be applied universally to all scientific disciplines including climate science. Otherwise, the computer input rule of “garbage in, garbage out” will have more specific application to environmental science than computer science.

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

David Ripley: Senate Democrats Keep Abortion Funding

December 11th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The U.S. Senate took up the Senate version of the Stupak amendment – prohibiting the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortions – on Tuesday. It was sponsored by Democrat senators Nelson and Casey, along with Utah’s Republican Orin Hatch.

Sadly, the language to protect the conscience rights of American taxpayers was defeated on a 45-54 vote.

38 Republicans, including Idaho’s Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, supported the pro-Life amendment. They were joined by 7 Democrats.

2 Republicans supported the coercion of taxpayers – Collins and Snow, both from Maine – along with 51 Democrats. Senator Lieberman joined them in supporting to expand abortion, despite his Orthodox Jewish faith.

Plenty of punditry has been expended in the days since trying to divine the future of abortion funding as well as the fate of ObamaCare itself. Some are convinced that the last battle over abortion expansion has yet to be waged, since the Senate and House versions of ObamaCare are so widely different. Other observers have begun to speculate that there will be no conference committee at all; rather, Democrat leaders will simply ask the House to support the final Senate version in a final up-or-down vote before New Year’s Eve. This latter strategy would mean pro-Life Democrats in the House would be forced into abandoning the Stupak language, for which so much blood has already been spilt.

But will they do it?

Conscience is among the most important gifts we’ve been given by the Creator – yet, in politics, it is the thing most easily compromised. Already we see signs that Sen. Ben Nelson is wobbling around after losing his amendment; one press story has him saying that he’s not sure whether he will oppose final passage of ObamaCare now that it will certainly include massive abortion funding.

From what we’ve seen so far, it appears that pro-Life Democrats in the House are made of sterner stuff. Yet it is not too early to begin a serious prayer effort on behalf of Rep. Stupak and others who will face tremendous pressure to abandon preborn children for the sake of Obama’s dangerous political ambitions.

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

David Ripley: Obama Offers Up First Batch of Prenatal Stem Cells

December 8th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Obama’s National Institute of Health announced on Wednesday that it was offering up 13 new cell lines for research, after harvesting the cells from preborn children killed for that purpose – presumably by the federal government itself. The embryonic stem cells are the first fruits of the president’s decision in January to use federal tax dollars to harvest and research cells collected from aborted children.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times (12,06.09) carries a report that two firms in Massachusetts are making great strides on using stem cells collected using non-cannibalistic methods. Biocell Center has opened the first amniotic-fluid stem cell bank. This center allows for research on stem cells collected from babies’ amniotic sac – which does not involve their destruction.

Advanced Cell Technology is building stem cell research material by collecting a single stem cell from babies in the womb – which also preserves the baby’s life. Their efforts are presently focused on curing blindness.

The advances from these two firms are just a piece of the ground being gained by researchers using non-destructive methods for exploring the wonders of God’s creation, and underscore the fact that killing a preborn child for her stem cells is a willful and unjustifiable choice.

Obama’s stubborn pursuit of killing in the name of “research” and “health care” is becoming more a study in the failings of human nature than a noble pursuit of helping people.

As Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia so eloquently put it this week, “… we make a distinction between killing and health care.”

Let us pray that it is a distinction the American people can hold onto as we continue to labor under a morally-corrupt national leadership.

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

Richard Larsen: Falsified Data Used to Promote Treaty

December 1st, 2009 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

Next month the United Nations is gathering in Denmark to work on the Copenhagen Climate Treaty, ostensibly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Language within the Treaty itself should alarm any sentient being, especially Americans, as it calls for creation of a transnational government that would supersede our Constitution and subvert our sovereignty. That entity would have the power to directly intervene in the financial, economic, tax and environmental affairs of all nations that sign it.

The most stirring and compelling voice of logic and reason against the Copenhagen Treaty has been that of Lord Chris Monckton, former advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At an address at Bethel University, Monckton said, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen any transnational treaty referring to a new body to be set up under that treaty as a ‘government.’ But it’s the powers that are going to be given to this entirely unelected government that are so frightening…. The sheer ambition of this new world government is enormous right from the start—that’s even before it starts accreting powers to itself in the way that these entities inevitably always do.”

The fraudulent and ignominious premise upon which this threat to American sovereignty is being perpetrated is that of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). In unusual candor, the Club of Rome, a premiere global think tank, has revealed how such a “crisis” as AGW can be used to effect political change. They have said, “The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.” By claiming AGW as a crisis which is man-made and hence, reversible by changing consumption and energy production, they have concocted a scheme whereby national sovereignty is reduced, and a global governing body can dictate, tax, and meddle in national affairs on a global scale. The climate change mantra is touted as a means by which the global order based on the nation-state ought to be reconstructed based on political reasons, not environmental. The clarion call for “reduced carbon footprint” is merely the means to an end. And the end subverts our Constitution and our national identity.

Regrettably, these global plenipotentiaries have accomplices in the academic and scientific world. Carbon dioxide emissions have increased steadily since 1998, while mean global temperatures have dropped in the same time period, erasing a century of “global warming,” and thereby challenging the premise of the AGW alarmists. Since empirical scientific evidence of a causal relationship between carbon emissions and global warming is lacking, those in the scientific and academic world with similar objectives to the Club of Rome and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC), have falsified data, manufactured false “hockey-stick charts,” and created computer models projecting cataclysmic consequences for mankind if we don’t collectively revert to stone-age level subsistence.

Evidence of this conspiracy was on full display last week when emails from the Hadley Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, England were hacked and released globally. This is the unit that is responsible for ground temperature readings from which NASA’s satellites are calibrated. The emails prove that the temperature data was manipulated in order to show the results they wanted.They included documents written by Phil Jones, Michael Mann and other leading scientists who edit and control the content of IPCC reports. Even NASA’s James Hansen has been caught manipulating data and calculations used by AGW computer models.

The misconduct exposed by the emails is so blatant that one scientist, Tim Ball, said it marked “the death blow to climate change.” Another, Patrick Michaels, told the New York Times, “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.” Retired NASA climatologist John Theon said earlier this year, “This whole thing is a fraud. We need to educate the public about what we’re going to get into unless we stop this nonsense.”

While this all reads like a conspiracy theory, the evidence is ample that the conspiracy is real. It is a conspiracy to erode national sovereignty and individual liberty and create and grant omnipotence to global governance. And it’s based on a “cause” perpetuated by fraudulent and falsified data, and the Copenhagen Treaty is the means by which their objectives are to be met. All legislation and treaties based on the pseudo-science of man-made global warming should be discarded in the dust bin of execrable man-made concoctions, along with the fallacious and maleficent global warming theory upon which they are based.

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