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David Ripley: Where DO GOP Candidates Stand on Abortion?

October 10th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Susan B. Anthony List issued a scorecard on the Republican presidential contenders this past weekend, and issued the following assessment:
The group asked each candidate to sign a pledge relating to four key pro-Life issues:

Appointment of strict constructionists to the federal bench; Appointment of persons with pro-Life values to direct the Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Justice and the National Institute of Health; End taxpayer support for abortion and organizations that promote or commit abortions; Support legislation to prohibit abortion after a preborn child is capable of feeling pain.

SBA reports that five of the candidates have signed their pledge, committing themselves to such principles if elected president: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

All five of those candidates, it should be noted, have legislative and public records to bring real confidence to that pledge, with Congressman Michele Bachmann at the head of the group.

Mr. Cain and Mr. Romney, currently leading national polls, chose not to sign the pledge.

Both men, while articulating pro-Life values, took a rather legalistic view of the specific issues presented by SBA.

Mr. Romney – who already has substantial problems with the pro-Life community because of his support for radical abortion policies while governor of Massachusetts – declined to commit himself to appointing only pro-Life people to the posts at NIH, Justice and HHS. In a national opinion piece, Romney defended his position by arguing that the SBA Pledge “unduly burdens a president’s ability to appoint the most qualified individuals….”

Mr. Cain, who is without any kind of record on abortion, declined to sign the pledge because of his reading of the section on fetal pain: “I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro life issues” but the Congress must advance legislation like the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. He did indicate that he would sign such legislation if elected president.

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

David Ripley: Death Caucus Opens DC Office

October 6th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The old Hemlock Society – now repacked as “Compassion & Choices” – sent out a press release this week announcing that it was opening a new office in Washington, D.C. A permanent presence in Congress is an outgrowth of the work the assisted suicide advocates did during the debate over ObamaCare.

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer lauded the development, characterizing their agenda for “death-on-demand” as a matter of empowering consumers.

The rest of America should properly shudder – at least so long as Obama is president. As his health care bureaucracy under Kathleen Sebelius continues to be erected, new regulations are being developed to insert the federal government into every aspect of health care. And there, a welcome member of the inner circle, will be the lobby advocating for an early end to seniors and the disabled.

Idaho and many states have rejected their philosophy and definition of “compassion”. So this organization is following the path that many social radicals have followed in past decades: using the dimwits in Congress to imperiously impose nationally what the people and their state leaders have refused. (Abortion is the perfect example). They shall raise money from embittered wealthy sons and daughters, or spoiled media stars to spread around the nation’s capital. Before long, new language will be inserted into massive legislation requiring that we accept early demise as a matter of “good” social policy.

In the years ahead, the pro-Life movement will have to become increasingly aggressive about challenging DC politicians on their views regarding end-of-life care.

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

Richard Larsen: Examples of Character and Class in ISU Athletes

October 5th, 2011 by Halli

Richard Larsen

Sometimes a slight diversion from the troubles and concerns of the world is warranted, and to me, this is one such week. With ISU Homecoming week has come ample time for me to reflect on the immense contributions Idaho State University has made to my life, and the role it’s played in shaping my intellectual, cultural, and social composition.

Writing this piece before the Homecoming game with Portland State, I’ve no way of knowing how the game will turn out, but I hope victoriously for the Bengals. There seems to be a new attitude among the Bengal faithful, and the team, that is somewhat reminiscent of the attitude and atmosphere on campus in the 1980 season when Dave Kragthorpe brought a new game plan and a new batch of student athletes on campus. Those elements turned the nations longest losing streak of 17 games into a winning program in one year, and into national champions by 1981.

Sometimes football, and athletics in general, can be more than just games. They often provide a window into the character and courage of the participants. Their performances on and off the field can provide inspiration and examples of courage and determination that extend far beyond the fields of play, and their influence felt far beyond their season.

For example, I reflect back on the 1996 season when a stellar Bengal cornerback, Marcus Jackson, made a massive hit on an opposing player. So massive, in fact, that Marcus was paralyzed from the impact of the tackle. The Dome fell silent in the moments that followed, as thousands of prayers were undoubtedly uttered for that courageous young man.

Yet even today, Marcus Jackson stands as an example of character, optimism, and courage as he has dealt with his physical challenges, and that example has made a memorable impact on all who knew him then and all who know him now. ISU inducted Marcus into the Bengal Hall of Fame in 2005, and his jersey number 25 has been worn by Bengal players who manifest the courage, determination, and tenacity that Marcus displayed as a player and as a man after his football career. Not surprisingly, considering his determination and character, Marcus returned to ISU as a quadriplegic and finished his degree.

A teammate of Marcus’ was Telly Lockette. An outstanding linebacker from Miami, Telly was expected to make a huge contribution to ISU’s defense. All those expectations were thrown into doubt when he went home to Miami for the summer after his freshman year where he was struck in the back of his head when a fight broke out at a club. Telly suffered a fractured skull from the melee and he remained in a coma for four days. Subsequently he went through two major surgeries to place metal plates in his skull. He returned to ISU football, and became a two-time All Conference linebacker. Glenn Alford, former ISU Sports Information Director said Telly was “Perhaps the best true leader in ISU sports. Other players would follow after him like chicks behind a mama duck.” After graduating from ISU, Telly was a Florida State Championship-winning high school football coach in Miami, and was recently hired as a head coach at a university in Louisiana.

Glenn Alford and ISU Track Coach, Dave Nielsen, this week reminded me of Nicole Dudek from Littleton, CO who was a multi-event track and field athlete at ISU. In 1991, her senior year, she was expected to win the heptathlon, but came in third in horribly stormy weather at the Conference Championship meet in Bozeman. As disappointed as she was in her performance, she was determined to do more to help the team in scoring. Although she had very little experience in the intermediate hurdles, she entered, and subsequently won the Conference Championship in that event. A little-known fact about Nicole makes this feat even more amazing: Nicole competed with a pacemaker in her chest! Coach Nielsen said that performance, and all her years at ISU, were characteristic of her mental and physical strength and determination.

Sports can sometimes bring out the best, or the worst, in competitors and spectators alike. But these examples, and many more from ISU that I have insufficient room to mention, stand as testaments to the indomitability of the human spirit, and as monuments to the courage, tenacity, and determination of many of our student athletes. Long after the cheers of the game have faded away, and the euphoria of victory has subsided, these men and women of courage will remind us of the human component of athletic competition and the caliber of young people that compete at Idaho State University.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: House GOP Resumes Fight to End PP Funding

October 5th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

As you’ve probably read, the Congress reached agreement on another short-term funding resolution for the federal government on Tuesday. That authorizes spending through November 18th. While the action avoids more D.C. drama – the abortion industry is still getting its large slice of the pie.
Work is underway in both the Senate and House on appropriation bills to fund the government through the end of FY2012.

Pro-Lifers in the House are putting their energies behind several important measures to restrict taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and its abortion agenda:

The draft House bill includes language to protect health care facilities from discrimination simply because they refuse to participate in abortions. It seems this has a good prospect for surviving the inevitable fight with Senate Democrats.

House conservatives are again going after the $330 million taxpayers give Planned Parenthood each year. Specific language would require that no taxpayer money would be given to the nefarious organization unless it can certify that their affiliates and clinics no longer perform elective abortions.

Title X is also targeted for elimination by House Republicans.

There are other provisions of the House spending bill which go after elements of ObamaCare. The most important is probably the language which delays implementation of the whole law until 90 days after all legal challenges to the law are resolved. It is hard to see how Reid & Company will swallow this idea, since they have banked the future of their party on jamming ObamaCare down our collective throat.

Harry Reid has already proven that he would rather shut down the entire federal government than give away funding for his partners at Planned Parenthood. Given the fact that House Republicans have folded once on the question of funding for Planned Parenthood, much of this language should be viewed as a statement of principle – or perhaps a commitment to enact such cuts if pro-Lifers can gain a majority of votes in the Senate following next year’s elections.

That certainly is frustrating. The simple truth is that pro-Lifers control just 1/3 of the federal government’s spending apparatus. But we must not let discouragement excuse us from pressing the battle. The end of taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood is within sight.

There is probably no more effective more way to reduce abortions in America than to cut funding of the nation’s largest provider – short of reversing Roe itself. Our job is to continue to press until the spigot is turned off.

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

David Ripley: Life Chain a Great Success!

October 4th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Many faithful pro-Lifers came out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to lift signs and prayers for the babies threatened today and tomorrow by abortion. As thousands passed through the Boise Mall, we pleaded with our neighbors to spend a moment with us – calling to heart the silent carnage which daily occurs in Idaho’s Abortion Capitol.

Most people were friendly: many honked, gave a thumbs-up.

Of course not everyone was receptive to our message. One middle-aged woman honked and began yelling out her window at a friend who held a sign, “Take my hand, not my life”. The sign carried a photo of a baby’s hand inside the protective hand of a loving mother.

“I’ve never seen such an offensive sign in all my life! You people should be ashamed! I’m a good Christian and I am totally offended!”

We’ll assume she is, in fact, a good Christian. And we are certainly safe in believing that she was offended by the photo and message. The question remains, “Why?”

One can only speculate, of course. But the odds are extraordinarily high that she is one of those women deeply wounded by abortion – hers, or that of a loved one. It is easier to strike out in anger than it is to look at the pain and take responsibility for whatever decisions she has made in the past. The Lord of Us All paid the price for whatever sin this woman committed; but the healing He offers is more complex. The defenses of anger and blame will have to be eroded by His love so that He can reach down into that deep place and stop the bleeding. There is no doubt that He is at work in her life even as this update is posted.

We can trust that our annual foray to the Boise Mall is a fruitful opportunity for the Lord to touch hearts. In cases such as this, perhaps that touch feels more like a prick of the conscience.

We ask for the Lord’s complete healing of that woman. And His blessing of all the faithful who took the time to stand with us.

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

Richard Larsen: Selfishness of Radical Environmentalists

October 1st, 2011 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

I am continually astounded at the selfishness and egotism of some individuals, and some special-interest groups. An attitude that’s pervasive with anti-growth, anti-development, anti-progress groups that, by their actions, proudly and arrogantly proclaim, “I’ve got mine, so now I’ll prevent everyone else from getting theirs.”

Perhaps the most blatant, self-serving, and extreme versions of this selfishness is manifested by radical environmental groups. I’ve never been a big George Carlin fan, but his characterization of the radical environmental movement was spot-on. In his distinctive sardonic fashion, he would say, “We’re so self-important. Everybody is going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all, save the planet. What?

“I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths, people trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. There is nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The people are (bleep).”

As inhabitants of the “blue planet,” we should all be “environmentalists.” We have a vested interest in protecting our habitation, preserving our quality of life, and ensuring the same for future generations. The problem arises at the extreme ends of the environmental protection spectrum.

Case in point is the ongoing “megaloads” issue in North Idaho. If you’ll recall, Canadian-based Imperial Oil, the world’s largest producer of synthetic oil harvested from oil sands, is investing $8 billion in expanded operations in Alberta. Included in that investment is $100 million in transportation costs to transport 35,000 tons of South Korean-made mining equipment across northern Idaho’s U.S. Highway 12, which has been handling over-sized loads safely for 20 years, from the Port of Lewiston.

Environmental extremists groups like Advocates for the West, Natural Resource Defense Council, and Friends of the Clearwater have done everything imaginable to prevent the shipment of the oversized loads over Idaho and Montana highways to Sweetgrass, MT where they cross the border into Canada. They have petitioned the respective Transportation Departments in the two states, they have filed injunctions and lawsuits in court, and even had some prepubescent malcontents from their ranks attempt to block the shipments by “sit ins” on the highways.

Let’s put this in perspective. Like it or not, oil is the literal fuel to our economy. The U.S. economy, and the world economy are struggling in spite of all the Keynesian “stimulus” spending that has buried the nation in debt. This week alone the Dow Industrial Average gave up 700 points in two days because of indications of another global recession. We’re still hovering at nearly 10% unemployment (closer to 17% according to the Wall Street Journal), and government is adding more and more deterrents to economic growth and job growth than ever before through regulation. There were 604 new regulations added in July alone. These shipments represent significant economic activity, job generation, and more energy production, all of which are sorely lacking today.

Frankly I would understand such resistance to these shipments if they were permanently damaging the state and our resources. But these are trucks, hauling equipment. They pose a minor inconvenience for midnight travelers.

Opponents argue that they could fall into the river. Anything’s possible, but everything we do has risks. When the rewards for the risks ventured are greater, we do them. Are we to the point in society where we are only willing to try something that’s 100% safe?

Interestingly, these groups are also fighting large shipments by Weyerhaeuser, a “green” energy company, that wants to ship oversized loads of equipment to a mill in Alberta that will generate fewer CO2 emissions from their facility there. If they were consistent in their assertion that they’re “saving the earth” shouldn’t they be facilitating, rather than blocking those shipments?

But such logical contradictions are commonplace with such illogical extremists. A recent blogger on the Journal weblogs admitted honestly, “Yes, I’m a walking contradiction. My concerns for Highway 12 are for the aesthetics…” That was after admitting the wind turbines west of American Falls are, “pleasing to the eye” even though such wind turbines permanently alter the landscape and are killing thousands of birds, many of which are on the Endangered Species List.

The risk to reward ratio is superb for this venture. The risk is negligible while the reward is significant in the form of increased supply of oil for everyone and economic velocity which the country is in short supply of these days. There is nothing to be gained, yet much to lose by blocking these shipments. The earth is not “saved” by successfully blocking them, leaving the only benefit as an inflated sense of self-importance and a “feel good” sensation for those extremists. The price of which we pay collectively.

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

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