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Andi Elliott: Thank You, Clark County Sheriff’s Office!

January 10th, 2012 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

What a heartwarming story…Dogged Determination Rescues Pooch! Many thanks to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department for responding to this dog’s misfortune and especially to former neighbor, Chief Deputy Boyd Eddins, and to the SAR folks. Thankfully, Chester had the good fortune to fall into a mine shaft located in Clark County and not in Jefferson where he lives.

I can recall many instances of animals needing help in Jefferson County that were ignored. There was the missing prize Boxer that was left tied to a tree for three days in the cold because the Sheriff would not respond. (I heard that the owners were not happy when they finally found their dog.) Then there was the little Chihuahua puppy that was thrown against the wall resulting in a broken shoulder. Even with veterinarian documentation, the sheriff’s department ignored the cruelty this little one suffered. Then there was the badly starved horse over east of Roberts this past spring.

Just think of the terrific headlines that would have been possible had Sheriff Olsen responded with help for the mother dog with two broken legs left without vet care… “Sympathetic Sheriff Cares for Canine” or “JCSD Cares for Crippled Canine? How about “Owner Charged with Animal Cruelty”?

It’s a wise sheriff who knows the value of positive publicity. Before moving to Jefferson County, I was nominated as the State Public Affairs Officer for the Virginia Wing Civil Air Patrol and I’ll gladly volunteer to help Sheriff Olsen create a positive public image. Good job, CCSD!

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

Richard Larsen: Question Everything, Except…

January 10th, 2012 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The renowned iconoclastic atheist of the left, Christopher Hitchens, before graduating from mortality last week declared, “I have to say that I appear as a skeptic who believes that doubt is the great engine, the great fuel of all inquiry, of all discovery, and innovation.” His Washington Post Obituary said of him, “Mr. Hitchens was a self-styled contrarian who often challenged political and moral orthodoxy.”

Nearly everyone could find something to both love and hate about the man. He was a hero of the left as long as he was launching polemics against Republican presidents from Nixon to George Bush. To the anti-religious left he was a veritable “god” for his scathing diatribe against religion with his Book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” He remained a darling to the progressive crowd even after he declared that Bill and Hillary Clinton were “liars,” and only lost some of the liberal adulation after he defended the Iraq War.

Hitchens arguably epitomized what all cognitive and rational human beings should be, whether we agree with his personal conclusions or not. For is not our ability to reason, to self-examine, and to explore rational alternatives what separates us largely from the rest of the animal kingdom?

The intellectual challenge issued from Euripides to the great black author, Ernest Gaines to “question everything” resonates with the rational man. An old Irish saying seems to bring this inquisitive cognitive function back to where we started with Hitchens, “Questioning is the door of knowledge.”

But we see all too clearly in society today that we cannot truly “question everything.” One would think there is nothing more sacrosanct than questioning God, but apparently there is. There are sacred cows, messianic figures, hallowed ideologies, and quasi-religious belief systems that are not to be questioned. And what may be surprising to some, this strict orthodoxy of what is not to be questioned is imposed from the “progressive” left. And they use tools of intimidation, logical fallacies, and bigotry to enforce their version of intellectual orthodoxy, with the full participation and support of the mainstream media.

One of their most effective tools of intimidation they utilize against any heterodox questioning is the use of labels. For those who are non-conforming enough to question manmade global warming, they use pejorative monikers like “deniers” or “flat-earthers.” And for those who have the audacity to question the validity and authenticity of the president’s birth certificate, they employ the dastardly title of “birthers.” The disdain and bigoted loathing ooze menacingly from their lips and keyboards as they invoke their pejorative labels.

But it’s not enough to ascribe such nefarious titles to these heinous “questioners.” They invariably take it one step further by employing one of the most common logical fallacies so loved by those of specious thought; Appeal to Motive. The “deniers” must be anti-science, because they possess the temerity to question the validity of the pseudo-science behind the global warming advocate’s conclusions. And the “birthers,” well, they must to be racist to question anything produced by “The One.”

These methods, universally applied against heterodox “questioners” raise a host of questions. Why is skepticism so politically incorrect these days? Is not skepticism a healthy and logical subset of the critical thinking process? Is skepticism a casualty of an educational system that teaches people what to think rather than how to think? Can people now only question claims or information if they comport with a political correctness litmus test?

What makes James Hansen’s conclusions on global warming so sacrosanct that they are to be no longer scrutinized? Is it because Al Gore declared, “The science is settled?” What makes a digitized image of a birth certificate immune from expert scrutiny? Is it because of a cult-like devotion to the one whose citizenship is in doubt? Is it because one must be a racist since Obama’s the only one for whom the issue has arisen?

Perhaps even more troubling than the consequences of possible man-made global warming or an ineligible president, is the fact that people who would otherwise be considered intelligent and astute, would be so ideologically motivated as to not only fail to question such things themselves, but to intimidate others into not questioning them; that they would be so ideologically motivated and intellectually disingenuous as to be willing to ignore material facts and data which would not hold up in a court of law. That they would be so willing to “believe” that they will ignore substantive evidence that any objectively thinking person would find cause to be skeptical.

If you are a practitioner of these tools of intellectual conformity, you’re part of the problem. If you’re a questioner who seeks the truth in spite of efforts to quell or stifle your inquiries, congratulations! You still have a mind and have the courage to use it.

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

David Ripley: Abortion Lobby Spins Idaho Lawsuit

January 6th, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A story last month in Newsweek attempts to portray Pocatello woman Jennie McCormack as the next Norma McCorvey, more victim than perpetrator. She is the woman at the center of a lawsuit which seeks, among other things, to create a “right” to easy abortion access.

This woman apparently killed her preborn child – during the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester – using RU-486 pills she obtained over the internet. McCormack tells her sympathetic media confessor that she decided to end the baby’s life for the sake of her other children. (Quite a burden for those siblings to carry).

In a lawsuit against Bannock County prosecutor Mark Heideman, Ms. McCormack argues that not only does she have a right to an abortion – she has the “right” to access an abortion provider. Her constitutional gripe is that there aren’t enough abortion providers in Southeast Idaho. So far, she has found a sympathetic audience in federal judge Lynn Winmill. (In fact, we are hard pressed to recall a single instance when Winmill has denied demands from the Abortion Lobby – but that is fodder for a congressional investigation).

The upshot of this lawsuit is a drive by the Abortion Industry to legalize the use of RU-486 at any stage of pregnancy and without medical supervision. Such a circumstance would contradict regulations issued by the FDA when it approved the deadly drug – in which they limited its use to the first 49 days of a pregnancy, as well as requiring a physician’s involvement to protect the health and lives of women using it).

This lawsuit highlights one of the great lies behind the Abortion Industry’s claim that it is all about protecting women. The strategy to remove any restrictions on the sale and use of RU-486 is all about money.

We encourage you to read the disturbing account of McCormack’s crusade to expand abortion in Idaho for yourself by clicking here.

As an aside, we would urge Ms. McCormack to be cautious about her present role as professional victim for the Abortion Industry. We had a chance to meet and talk with the original Norma McCorvey when she came to Boise in 2010. She continues to carry a heavy burden for the role she played in moving Planned Parenthood’s agenda. It is hard to see how this ends well for Ms. McCormack.

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

David Ripley: A Portrait of Heroism

January 4th, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho Statesman shares the important story of a young Pocatello woman, Jenni Lake. Her death from cancer was at least expedited by her decision to protect her preborn baby from the dangers of chemotherapy. She gave birth to Chad on November 9th. She died on November 21st, just prior to her 18th birthday.

Ignoring the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, we must marvel at the pure courage and strength this young woman displayed in choosing life for her baby.

We are more familiar with stories of courage coming from men in combat. But most of the time those heroic moments are built upon split-second choices. Jenni’s decision to put herself at greater risk for the sake of her baby is bravery of a different magnitude. Each day, each hour – her decision could be reversed. One can be sure that many times over the course of her pregnancy people urged her to save herself by destroying the vulnerable baby within her womb. No doubt, as she lay in the quiet of the night, doubts and fear challenged her decision.

Yet she was a person committed to defending and honoring the gift of Life within her. Unlike many in our society whose moral vision extends only to the boundaries of their own skin, Ms. Lake had a deeper, richer, more truthful understanding of our unique value as God’s creation.

By her actions Ms. Lake lived a good life, turning her personal tragedy into a deeply hopeful searchlight of hope for people around the world. (Her story has already appeared in London papers).

There is no doubt that God will continue to use her story to teach and inspire us. Perhaps she will even change the culture.

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

Richard Larsen: Merry Christmas IS Politically Correct

January 1st, 2012 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

This time of year we celebrate a very significant birthday. The birth of one who so dramatically affected history, that it provided the line of demarcation in reference to the human timeline. Anno Domini, Latin for “the year of our Lord,” contracted to AD, is affixed to all legal documentation signifying years since that important birth, and BC, or “Before Christ,” represents the human timeline before that historically documented advent.

Birthdays are significant for they acknowledge the arrival of someone who has touched and influenced the lives others. They’re much more than just acknowledgement of a single day representing their arrival on the scene, but rather celebrate the contributions and influence of one’s life on others. Based solely on the universally accepted Gregorian calendar, there is no more significant birthday than Jesus Christ’s.

Academics seeking to secularize the de facto Gregorian calendar dating system used globally, have attempted to replace the AD and BC designations with the more nonsectarian references of CE and BCE, or Common Era and Before Common Era. But try as they might, they just can’t seem to get away from the dating system centered on the birth of one Jesus of Nazareth. However they choose to reference it, it’s still based on the birth and life of Jesus.

Even though December 25th is not the day Christ was born, it has become the worldwide custom for acknowledging and celebrating it. The actual date of His birth is unknown, although Biblical scholars are in unanimity that it was not the 25th day of the twelfth month. Recognizing it at that time was very convenient early on since pagan festivities were in full swing at that time of year and it allowed early Christians to celebrate Christ’s birth unnoticed since they wouldn’t appear conspicuously celebrating at a time the pagans weren’t.

The tables have turned over the centuries. Here in American apparently 92% of us celebrate Christmas, while only 6% claim they do not. And only 25% of those, according to the same Rasmussen survey, indicate that they celebrate a holiday other than Christmas at this time of year. When you do the math, that’s 92% that celebrate Christmas, 1.5% who celebrate a different holiday, 4.5% who don’t acknowledge any holiday this time of year, and 2% that don’t seem to know.

Yet in spite of the overwhelming celebration and support of Christmas, there seems to be no shortage of “Grinches” intent on dampening the spirit of the season. The ACLU in Tennessee sends out letters to 137 school administrators admonishing them to not focus on “one particular religious holiday,” (wonder which one they mean?) Carolers are thrown out of a post office. The governor of Rhode Island declares the official state Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” Stores direct their employees to wish customers “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas,” apparently incognizant of the fact that the numbers (92% versus 1.5%) are firmly in the “Merry Christmas” camp. And misguided and intolerant groups and individuals force the removal of the iconic symbols of the Holy Day, like Nativity scenes, somehow believing their rights are impinged upon by such displays

Much like the academicians who just can’t bring themselves to acknowledge Christ’s birth in their scholarly works, cultural secularists take umbrage at even the reference to the holy day based loosely on his birth.

To those of such thin skin, intolerance, and narrow mindedness, I would gently direct them to review their calendar, which lists the official federal holidays each year. Right there in black and white it says “Christmas” on December 25th. It doesn’t say “Holidays,” or “Seasons,” or any other politically-correct yet factually errant appellation, it says “Christmas.”

And the efforts to cleanse the country of Nativity scenes, whether on public property or not, is as illogical and misguided as removal of Pilgrims from all Thanksgiving festivities, or Old Glory from 4th of July celebrations would be. The icons and symbolism of holidays are fundamental to holiday observance.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” To rational people, recognizing a national holiday that happens to have “Christ” in the name, no more constitutes an “establishment of religion” than a public prayer does. Yet efforts to thwart those outward expressions is clearly a violation of “the free exercise thereof,” perhaps not by congress, but by intolerant and misguided malcontents exercising the tyranny of the 1.5% minority.

As long as the official calendar says “Christmas Day,” then Christmas programs, Christmas trees, expressions of Merry Christmas, and the symbolism of the holiday are themselves politically correct, appropriate, and culturally viable. And in that spirit, I lend my voice in contributing to the chorus of the 92% with my own, “Merry Christmas to all!”

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

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