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David Ripley: Finally a Righteous Word from England’s Royalty

January 12th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A very challenging commentary appeared last month in the journal, First Things. Written by Lord Nicholas Windsor, great-grandson of King George V, the article decries the moral state of modern Europe. Of particular concern to the nobleman is the massive abortion rate in England and the old Christendom, which he calls “a mortal wound in Europe’s heart”.
We have become accustomed to hearing only dribble from the old royalty of England (e.g., the coming wedding or Prince Charles’ vapid enthusiasm for global climate management). Perhaps that is why it is so stunning to read something like this coming from the Court of St. James:
“[Abortion] is a historically unprecedented cascade of destruction wrought on individuals: on sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, future spouses and friends, mothers and fathers destroyed in the form of those to whom we owe, quite simply and certainly, the greatest solidarity and duty of care because they are the weakest and most dependent of our fellow humans.”
Lord Nicholas goes on to declare the industrialized destruction of human life now rooted across Western Civilization “one of the most egregious abuses of human rights that society has ever tolerated.”
“The practice of abortion is a mortal wound in Europe’s heart, in the centre of Hellenic and Judeo-Christian culture.”
Refreshing words from a very influential member of Europe’s high society. May the Lord cause his words to pierce the hearts of leaders in a disintegrating culture.
It is worth reading his whole commentary – follow the link.

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

Richard Larsen: Relevance of Constitutional Reading on House Floor

January 10th, 2011 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

For some, the first-ever reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives this week was merely symbolic, having no meaningful significance to the country or to the legislative process. To others, not only was the symbolism powerful, but it represented perhaps the beginning of a return to fundamental principles in the governance of our nation.

Based on reactions and even the debate prior to the reading, the symbolism was both positive and negative. The positive, as mentioned, comes from the perspective that there is some effort to return the country to its constitutional roots, since it’s obvious from the legislation that has emanated from Washington for many years that few of our federal legislators have ever read, much less understood, the Constitution.

The negative symbolism was evidenced by a reluctance of some to read the original version of the Constitution as ratified in 1787. To some, the reference to slaves being “three-fifths of all other persons” was politically incorrect, even though the phrase was later voided by the abolition of slavery. This reluctance to peruse primary documents and commentary contextually with the reality in which they were penned is a symptomatic ailment of contemporary historical analysis that has led to massive historical revisionism.

Most textbooks these days say little of the historical verities that “formed us a nation,” but devote entire sections to politically correct topics written from an “enlightened” 21st century perspective. As such, historical revisionism is an illegitimate process of “whitewashing” history, and a willful distortion of historical fact in such a manner as to make certain events more or less favorably perceived. Such a practice is antithetical to legitimate scholarship. As an example, we see the process employed with regularity by contributors to the Journal who willfully ignore the vast primary source material evidencing the Christian influence in the founding of the nation, in favor of scant evidence to the contrary, in order to secularize, or make politically correct, our history and portray any Christian influence as nefarious.

The reading of the Constitution is significant also because it is that document to which federal elected officials are required to declare obeisance and fealty. They don’t take an oath to do the will of the people, to enact good programs replete with good ideas, or to create new programs that may be popularly viable. They take an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution.” Consequently, it’s imperative that those officials know the language thereof, and understand the limited enumerated powers stated therein, and abide by those limitations, whether it comports with their personal ideologies or not. The language is specific, and limiting, which was even admitted to by then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama who, on a 2001 PBS radio program, admitted the Constitution gets in the way of implementing his ideology.

James Madison recognized this problem over two hundred years ago, when he said, “If congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

This has to be a bit disconcerting to those who think the document is archaic and anachronistic rendering it insignificant. If our elected officials take an oath that demands by their “sacred honor” that they “support and defend the Constitution,” the document is not only relevant today, but its content is to govern every decision they make in our behalf. Ezra Klein, a Washington Post columnist, earlier this week in an MSNBC interview asserted that the Constitution is “too hard to understand” because it was “written over a hundred years ago.” You can’t get much more specious than that as a reason to disregard our founding document!

To those like Klein, the Constitution is a “living” document which, as Thomas Jefferson warned, has become “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” They willfully ignore the fact that, as Jefferson declared, “To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. … [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers. … In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

While the reading of the Constitution this week on the floor of the House may have been largely symbolic, those of us who love America and what she stands for hope that it is much more than that. We pray that it represents a return to constitutional principles of governance.

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

Andi Elliott: Animals Never Treat Humans Like This

January 10th, 2011 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

You know…I’ve rescued animals for decades now…and I’ve never known one to be cruel or neglectful towards humans no matter how poorly it had been treated or cared for. Never have I seen a cat leave a human to survive on its own dealing with parasites, disease, and never-ending pregnancies all while expected to provide for its own food and shelter.

Not one horse have I known expected a human to live in a small pen standing in their own filth year after year and with absolutely no shelter from the bitter cold and snow or blazing hot sun and inadequate food and water.

Having dealt with hundreds of dogs, not one of them chained a human up leaving them exposed to the elements with crappy food (have you checked what you’re feeding your dog…if it is loaded with corn and wheat, maybe you should feed it to a cow), and periodic water (yes, animals become dehydrated in cold weather as well as summer). Nor have I seen a dog chain a human and allow, as my cousin says, “any male who happens to wander by” to rape her.

Perhaps we should learn some lessons from the creatures over which we’ve been given dominion.

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

Andi Elliott: Radicalizing Youth Through Public Education

January 10th, 2011 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

Just this week I received a course catalog from The Heritage Institute located in Washington State which specializes in courses for teachers. Browsing through the course listings, I came upon some rather “interesting” course topics.

For example, there is a course entitled “RISING UP IN PROTEST: Inspiring Students Thru Social Justice Issues”…sounds like something straight out of a Marxist playbook. Then there is “GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL: Roots of Global Inequality” followed by “LESS IS MORE” which teaches us that “we Americans” are consuming too much. Part of the material used in this course comes from a Seattle-based “activist filmmaker”.

How about “WORLD WE WANT: Self-Design Courses for Teacher Activists”. Funny, when I was a teacher and actively involved with the Tea Party, my administration was VERY unhappy. Now, they are teaching teachers to be activists. Wonder if it makes any difference as to whether you are a Liberal or Conservative.

All I can say, is that in too many cases we can’t turn out students who can read and write and perform ordinary mathematical tasks, but we certainly can train our teachers to teach them how protest and to manipulate these “minds of mush”. Parents, I hope you are awake out there!

Andi Elliott

Tea Party Patriots Idaho State Coordinator
Idaho Falls Tea Party Organizer
Patriotic Resistance Idaho State Coordinator
Idaho District 2 Coordinator Anystreet.Org

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

Richard Larsen: Eminent Domain for Greenway is Unconstitutional

January 5th, 2011 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There are fundamental principles upon which our republic was founded that are so critical that they are inviolate. Principles so primary, that the elimination or subordination of them diminishes and minimizes the nation, and even our community. Individual property rights are among those.

Our Declaration of Independence, which codified the Lockean Creed, declares, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Lockean Creed substitutes “pursuit of Happiness” with “property.” Ownership and control of private property are at the very core of these principles, without which people are not citizens, but are merely subjects of whatever government is in power over them.

The Idaho State Constitution in Article 1, Section 1 embodies this when it declares in Article I section I, “All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are … acquiring, possessing and protecting property…”

In the context of the current debate over open spaces and completion of the Portneuf Greenway, that one line, “acquiring, possessing and protecting property” should discourage the city fathers from following the recommendations of special interest groups in the city from forcing greenway completion through the exercise of eminent domain. Especially when coupled with Idaho Code Title 7 chapter 7 section 701a which specifically prohibits the transfer of private property through eminent domain when it is used as a pretext to transfer that property to any private organization.

The ultimate determination in the issue should be the Idaho Constitution itself, which states in Article 1 Section 14, “RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMAIN. The necessary use of lands for the construction of reservoirs or storage basins, for the purpose of irrigation, or for rights of way for the construction of canals, ditches, flumes or pipes, to convey water to the place of use for any useful, beneficial or necessary purpose, or for drainage; or for the drainage of mines, or the working thereof, by means of roads, railroads, tramways, cuts, tunnels, shafts, hoisting works, dumps, or other necessary means to their complete development, or any other use necessary to the complete development of the material resources of the state, or the preservation of the health of its inhabitants, is hereby declared to be a public use, and subject to the regulation and control of the state. Private property may be taken for public use, but not until a just compensation, to be ascertained in the manner prescribed by law, shall be paid therefor.”

There is no allowance within that article that can be construed to include completion of a bicycle and pedestrian path! The property owners along the Portneuf are fully supported by the Constitution to preserve and protect their private property rights. As a blogger on the Journal website recently stated, “A nature walk doesn’t trump private property rights.”

Ours is a country of laws, and the primary codex upon which those laws are founded are embodied in the Constitution. That document, along with the State Constitution, clearly explicates and delineates the minimal authority of a government, and whatever powers of government were not identified in the Constitution were reserved unto the states or the citizens collectively.

George Swenson’s letter to the editor earlier this week provided great insight into how these unconstitutional concepts can grow and trump fundamental principles of property ownership rights. Based on his experience in California, before “escaping” to Idaho, he “had direct experience with this concept. Yes, it starts out innocently enough, an advisory board to recommend purchases of small amounts of land for nice things, like bicycle trails, parks, and other wonderful and popularly supported uses of land.”

“But, by design and not by accident, the concept grows. Large tracts of land are bought to preserve, you guessed it, open space. The “advisory” board is given taxing authority, special assessment districts are contrived in a way to force homeowners to pay for more purchases, and soon the Open Space Authority (so much for advisory) has more land than can be maintained — so fences are put up and the public is kept out.”

He concluded his letter, “I would strongly urge the mayor and City Council of Pocatello to reject this cute little reptile before it grows into the monster it was bred to become.”

This is just one more example of government, at any level, overstepping their constitutional and legal bounds for the sake of a “good idea.” Is the greenway a good idea? Yes, of course, but good ideas don’t trump legality and fundamental constitutional principles. It’s imperative that all levels of government revert to doing what is lawful and principled and not acting simply on “good ideas.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Property Rights | No Comments »

David Ripley: Confronting the Government-Abortion Industry Partnership in Idaho

January 5th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Most pro-Lifers are aware of the financial support given to Planned Parenthood by the political class. Most of us deeply resent the fact that they use our tax dollars as if it were their personal property, to embroil us as stockholders in an evil corporation.
But the partnership between government and the abortion industry goes far beyond mere tax dollars.

Let’s consider Idaho’s own Central District Health, a public agency centered in Ada County. This agency of local government has the purported mission of protecting the public health. One must assume that a good part of their activities are actually effective at fulfilling that charge. However, a recent article from the Idaho Reporter demonstrates that they are also a driving the Left’s social agenda.

“Central District Health forgets abstinence for birth control on new teen website,” written by Dustin Hurst informs us that the public agency is no longer interested in promoting abstinence to Idaho’s teens. Following the lead of Planned Parenthood, its website all but concedes that teenagers will be sexually active and our job is to help them do so “responsibly”. Their section on birth control doesn’t even bother to mention the most-effective form of pregnancy avoidance: abstinence.

In an interview with the news website, Dave Fotsch, public information officer for CDH, explains that his agency believes teenagers probably don’t want to talk with their parents about sexual issues. Even more striking is the outrageous assumption that “parents probably aren’t comfortable talking with their kids about it.” Therefore, the liberals controlling this public agency are, obviously, compelled to act on their biases.

But Central District Health’s working partnership with Planned Parenthood goes well beyond promoting their shared social and political agenda.

We have learned that employees of CDH are now pimping Boise high schools students, promoting the website and giving area teenagers handouts about sexual issues – including promoting HPV vaccination and abortion.

The handout explicitly states that CDH staff will refer pregnant girls to Planned Parenthood abortuaries if they are interested in “terminating their pregnancy”. All without parental involvement, of course.

In essence, this public agency is functioning as an arm of Planned Parenthood: encouraging premature sexual activity among vulnerable children, then happily shipping them off to Planned Parenthood’s abortion business when the inevitable happens.

Everyone wins: CDH gets more grant money from the Obama social engineers to spread the gospel of promiscuity, Planned Parenthood makes more dough killing babies. Even the pharmaceutical industry reaps financial reward from birth control pills, vaccines loaded with side effects. Yep, great for everyone – except the babies killed, the children abused and the families betrayed.
And let’s not forget about us dumb taxpayers.

It is an outrageous and immoral arrangement that warrants legislative action.

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

David Ripley: Obama’s Death Panels – Be Worried

January 4th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Even for those of us engaged on the front lines of the pro-Life struggle, there is some disagreement and confusion about the full implications of Obama’s latest move in health care: The Christmas Eve regulations dealing with end-of-life consultations.

Of course, we can assume that if Obama is for such regulations, there is plenty of reason to worry. That anxiety is greatly heightened by the fact that the “death panel” regulations were promulgated by Dr. Donald Berwick – the head of CMS, and self-confessed champion of health care rationing.

Wesley Smith, for instance, wrote an early column on the new regulations indicating that he wasn’t very concerned.
But a deeply troubled doctor, Milton Wolf, published a very persuasive article in the Washington Times on the subject: “Lies, damn lies and death panels”. It persuades us that the new regulations are indeed, cause for deep concern over the future of government-run health care. Here is one key statement:

“Promises from the White House notwithstanding, Mrs. Palin was indeed right. Death panels are all too real, and no family deserves to be caught up in them.”

It is imperative that the new pro-Life majority in Congress pursue repeal of ObamaCare with vigor. If that is not attainable in the short term, then every possible means must be used to stop ObamaCare and its attendant regulatory scheme from taking root until the American people can remove Barack Obama from office.

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

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