Where we bring you fresh opinions on Idaho government, observations on life in general, great recipes, and an opportunity to comment on them all!

RSS Feeds, Etc.

Get New Posts Via Email! Enter your e-mail address and hit the 'Subscribe' button. Your address will never be sold or spammed.


Where we bring you fresh opinions on Idaho government, great recipes, and an opportunity to comment on them!.





Conservative News

General Interest

Idaho Falls Links

Idaho Politics

Left-Leaning Idaho

Libertarian Links

Pro-life Organizations

Jerry Sproul, CPA

Please take a moment to visit our sponsors!

David Ripley: Abortion’s Bloody Business on Trial

April 30th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Gosnell trial in Philadelphia is coming to a close. But the trial is no longer just about a murderous abortion doctor who long ago abandoned any pretense of the Hippocratic Oath. The public revelations of what happens behind the heavy dark curtain has put the abortion industry on trial.
And make no mistake: Gosnell’s horror show is not some aberration.

Planned Parenthood has long fought for abortion at any place, anytime. They fought President Bush tooth-and-claw when he supported the Born Alive Infants Protection Act some ten years ago. It was their public policy to ensure that a doctor should have as many swings at the defenseless baby as necessary in order to guarantee a corpse is produced.

And don’t be deceived that the unhealthy, contaminated, barbaric treatment of women at Gosnell’s shop is unique. As a by-product of the Gosnell trial, nurses at a Planned Parenthood clinic have come forward to describe an abortion factory in Delaware as “ridiculously unsafe”. Former Planned Parenthood employee Joyce Vasikonis told reporters, “They were using instruments on patients that were not sterile.”

This is the way that these supposed “advocates for women” treat those they claim to serve; imagine the barbarity they use in treating those innocent babies, deemed “enemies” of their world view.

The Gosnell trial has also put members of the media on trial. They have been weighed and found wanting. Most of the main stream media simply turned its back on the story. Liberal writer Marc Lamont Hill admitted as much in a posting on the Huffington Post:

“I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights… there’ a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left… I think it’s dangerous.”

Yes, dangerous for women and babies, certainly. But the failure of our nation’s 4th Estate to perform its basic function is dangerous to the nation on a very basic level.

But despite that unspoken conspiracy, the truth is leaking out. The conscience of the nation is being challenged. Even the ethics of journalists are being challenged by the facts of this Gosnell trial, hearts are being reached. (See the heart-moving interview of a journalist by Governor Mike Huckabee on his Fox News Show).

The truth shall set us free.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Richard Larsen: Is the Constitution an Anachronism?

April 24th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

One of the most specious and inane arguments in politics today is that the Constitution is an arcane, anachronistic document created by imperfect men, and that it is therefore illogical to interpret it literally. They assert that the founding fathers didn’t have a “crystal ball” and couldn’t have foreseen issues like privacy in the 21st century, and so those of us who believe the Constitution to be a social contract limiting the powers of government must be “out of our minds.”

The first of those arguments is a logical fallacy. The tu quoque fallacy asserts that since the founders were imperfect, whatever they may say or do is equally imperfect or questionable. That would be tantamount to saying that because a certain physics instructor is specious, illogical, and misinformed about history and our system of governance, that he’s equally inept and tenuous in physics. Such a conclusion is obviously faulty logic, and based on a false premise.

The second argument is equally misguided. The founders didn’t need a “crystal ball” to foresee 21st century challenges. A constitution is by definition, “a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state is to be governed.” Consequently, the founding fathers didn’t need to be aware of “privacy” issues, or the internet, or any historically contextual development that may prove intellectually taxing to those who presuppose in their unwarranted arrogance, that they should have.

The structure established by the Constitution created legislative bodies that could adapt to changing times, by passing laws to deal with such vicissitudes, while the foundation, or fundamental principles, could endure, protecting the individual over the presumed and evolutionary expansion of the “rights” of the state. Plus, provision for changing the text of that social contract was made through the amendment process, which has been done 27 times to date.

Our Constitution established a system of governance that could stand the test of time, as long as citizens valued freedom more than tyranny. A system that, if held fast to, would assure that no one person, or oligarchical self-anointed leaders, could become totalitarians in a republic so structured. And it included guaranteed rights and privileges, for the first time in history, not granted by a monarch, ruler, magistrate, or benevolent dictator, but acknowledged to have originated from deity for all men. This is perfectly illustrated by our current president’s admission that, “I am constrained by a system that our Founders put in place,” although there’s precious little evidence of such constraint.

Is it a perfect system? Obviously not, especially in light of our contemporary crony-capitalism, that corrupts government and capitalism. The founding fathers maintained that for the republic to endure, we must have a moral people, which is the only real anachronism from our founding era, casting the most ominous clouds of doubt over the perpetuity of the republic.

When it is argued that the Constitution is a “living” document, implication is made that the precepts and principles of the Constitution are not applicable to today and provides an excuse for all types of scurrilous and specious assertions for expanded government largesse at the expense of our freedom and our money. To say that the Constitution is a “living document,” hence, not to be taken literally, is akin to asserting that the Ten Commandments are really just “Ten Suggestions.” It also affords proponents of the “living document” theory latitude to pick and choose cafeteria-style, which rights established by the Constitution are legitimate or applicable today. Some like freedom of speech for themselves but not for those they disagree with, for example. And some absolutely detest the freedom to bear arms.

Judicial precedent and daily judicial decisions are judged against the basic principles and rights specified by the Constitution and statute to provide applicability to today’s milieu. In that way alone is it a “living document.” Statute is how the fundamental principles of the Constitution are codified in a changing social structure, but the Constitution provides the baseline.

James Madison, regarded as the Father to the Constitution, said, “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” We have witnessed this over the generations since the founding of the country, and we see that process of “silent encroachment” of government on the freedom of the people accelerated over the past few years in a way never before witnessed. We see government dictating terms of property ownership, dictating terms of access to health care, and dictating terms of energy use and private consumption, for starters.

The Constitution is not a “living” document. The Founders were specific in their language and did not mince words. They meant what they said. It was written precisely to prevent the incursion of government into our lives to the extent that we see it occurring today proving it is not an anachronism. It is a social contract to assure and guarantee fundamental freedom and liberty for all generations of Americans, and its relevance is reasserted every time a new official is sworn into office, vowing to “uphold and defend the Constitution.”

The survivability of our republic is dependent upon a knowledgeable and informed electorate, committed to liberty. We need to be intimately familiar with our founding documents, especially the Constitution, and hold those accountable who seek to subvert the freedoms of those who are intended to have ultimate power in this republic: We the People!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

David Ripley: Why Language Matters

April 23rd, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Sen. Marco Rubio has come under gentle pressure from some conservative quarters over his adoption of the term “undocumented ” in his bid to persuade Americans that the Rubio/McCain/Schumer plan to deal with illegal immigrants is good for the country.

The left has been using the power of language to manipulate Americans for many years, and this debate gives us an opportunity to examine how it is done, why it is done and the impact on public policy.

Breitbart traces the fight by the left wing to cleanse the media of the term “illegal immigrant” because it is “offensive”: As far back as 2004, academics have been pressuring the Associated Press to drop the terminology. For years, the AP resisted, saying that the term was accurate because it described a “person who resides in a country unlawfully”. But politics is everything.

Just this month, the AP announced that it would no longer use the term.

The same cleansing has occurred in the abortion debate, though over a much longer period of time. The media refuses to call groups like Idaho Chooses Life as “pro-life” – while having no trouble describing Planned Parenthood as “pro-choice”. Of course that is frustrating because it drains so much of the debate of its importance.

But the manipulation of language by the Left often has real-world consequences. During this past legislative session, abortion advocate John Rusche – Democrat leader in the Idaho House – “officially objected” to the use of the term ‘abortifacient’ during floor debate because “Emergency Contraception doesn’t cause abortions”.

Of course, what Rusche would not admit is that the Left – including members of the medical profession – have conspired to change definitions so that pregnancy no longer means what we all understand it to mean. By their cynical cleansing of the abortion debate, a new life simply doesn’t exist until the fertilized ovum manages to attach itself to the uterine wall. Since Emergency Contraception is specifically designed to interfere with that process, pregnancy doesn’t happen. And you can’t have an abortion if you don’t have a pregnancy to begin with.

Pretty slick, right? So slick in fact, that it is very difficult to even address Emergency Contraception in legislation because of the intentional abuse of language by operatives like John Rusche and the liberal media.

Even more important: Manipulation of language, words, has profound consequences because it is the medium of rational thought. An idea generally requires words to exist, and we certainly need words to communicate our ideas to another. Win the battle for the dictionary and you can sometimes deprive your fellow citizens of truth altogether.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Jesse Higgins: Open Letter to Governor Butch Otter

April 23rd, 2013 by Halli

By Jesse Higgins

Dear Governor Otter,

As a longtime supporter and a conservative I am writing, and asking others that read and agree, to ask you to explain some recent actions. Note: Representatives and Senators may be contacted at

Although I agree with your veto of H0121(smoking in bowling alleys) I am not sure I agree with all of your reasoning. Since you stated in your veto letter “Given legislative concerns about “social engineering,” particularly in regard to my proposal for targeted expansion of the grocery tax credit” (more about that later) it appears you are acting like a spoiled child, saying, if you will not give me what I want I will not give you what you want.

The supporters of the “Clean Indoor Air Act H0121 state “Public Place” as their justification. They confuse public and private property. Just because I allow the public on my property I should not be forced by government to relinquish what is left of my PRIVATE PROPERTY rights. As I look at the last few years of legislative action, I see an attempt by government to remove even the illusion of PRIVATE PROPERTY in Idaho.

House bill H081a is a different matter. How dare you veto a bill that will return 31 to 32.4 million dollars to the taxpayers of Idaho and claim the state cannot afford it! You were elected on a platform of conservative principles that include smaller government, lower taxes (this is what we are talking about), and less intrusive government. I am not even asking you to cut the budget of any government agency – just reduce the rate of growth by 1.5%. This is not you’re money. This money belongs to the people of Idaho. Give it back when you have the chance.

I am sending a copy of this letter to each of my legislators urging them to allow your veto of H0121 to stand and asking them to over-ride your veto or H081a. I am also asking the media to print this letter and asking each person that reads it to contact their legislator in support of these requests.

Jesse Higgins
Aberdeen, Idaho

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Andi Elliott: Jefferson Star Thriller

April 18th, 2013 by Halli

By Andi Elliott, Idaho State Tea Party Patriots Coordinator

I used to hate Wednesdays. It was the day my music teacher would come to our home and I despised my piano lessons. But now I can hardly wait for Wednesdays to arrive and with it my next edition of the Jefferson Star. The investigative journalism is awe inspiring. It’s as if I am reading a serial thriller and don’t want to put it down.

Our elected prosecutor, Rob Dunn, is being portrayed as a multi-headed Hydra wearing many hats resulting in multiple conflicts of interest. And this week’s edition talks of secret council meetings and improper use of the legal technique of “quiet title” in order to acquire property for the city. And it gets better. The resignation of a City Councilman (too bad, we need a “good guy” in there) because he cannot continue to work under the circumstances in which he feels people are being deceived heightens the suspense even further.

Then to top it all off, a councilman comes forward with a recording about Dunn’s threat towards him. And to think, all this in our little Jefferson County where weeks go by with nothing more exciting than a trespassing citation being issued. I’d better check to see that my Star subscription isn’t due to expire soon. I’d hate to miss the next exciting issue.

Andi Elliott

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Should Our Children Belong to the “Collective”?

April 16th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Just when we think the secular assaults against the nuclear family unit can’t get any worse, we disturbingly learn that they can. Now a host on a minor cable news network claims that we have to get over the idea that our children are ours, and accept the fact that they belong “collectively” to all of us.

Melissa Harris-Perry, a host for a weekend show on scarcely watched MSNBC, was taped in a “lean forward” (euphemism for “lean more left”) promo for the network, said that children don’t belong to their families they belong to the collective.

The host declared, “We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”

The context seems innocuous enough; continue to engage in insanity (doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results) by throwing more money toward education. The answer to our educational inadequacies and failings is always more funding, to some. Heaven forbid that we should consider using what resources we have more efficiently and effectively, and focus on teaching content that increases academic performance, instead of all the social engineering, and politically correct indoctrination that is so pervasively “taught” in our public schools.

Some don’t even think her terminology, referring to collective ownership of our kids, in the promo is controversial. The New York Times, and other media and extremist organizations have leapt to her defense. What should not be lost on us is that such entities are ideological compatriots to the host, and are firmly predisposed to the collectivist ideals of the left.

I’m sure the folks over at NAMBLA would rejoice over such a concept of collectivist ownership of our kids! And what about all those unborn children that are never given a chance to take their first breath? Should that not likewise be a grave concern to the collective?

In free societies, as America was originally founded to be, private property ownership is sacrosanct. The second line in our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Lockean Creed, upon which that statement is based, equates private property with pursuit of happiness.

While children are not considered property, and are not “owned,” the responsibility for rearing, teaching, and nurturing them is a private one, owned by the parents who brought them into the world. For those who lack the temporal means to support those children, there are safety nets that allow for community support of such disadvantaged children. Even that, however, does not diminish or transfer the very personal and private responsibility of rearing children to the state, or to the collective.

If all of this sounds familiar, it should. Last year in the midst of the presidential campaign Team Obama posted a slide show on the campaign website, with much fanfare, about the Life of Julia. It revealed the Obama Team dream of governmental (in this context, euphemism for “the collective”) involvement at every stage of life, from birth to death, and how the government would be the nurturing parental surrogate through each stage.

Karl Marx said, “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” Ms. Harris-Perry mirrors this sentiment: the children are not ours, they belong to the collective, and we need to abolish the notion that they are ours. Marx also said, “Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.” The MSNBC host would make Marx proud.

Who has the right to dictate how a child is to be reared? Certainly not the “collective,” and certainly not the government. It’s a private parental, and familial matter. Or at least it should be. The more government encroaches into health care management, social-engineering dictates, and redefinition of fundamental roles in society, the less control parents have over something as fundamental as the rearing of their children.

It is not just the economic aspects of socialistic and fascistic collectivism that must be resisted and repulsed, but perhaps even more significantly, the social and cultural collectivist agenda must be rejected. We have to recognize this steady encroachment for what it is, and that it is clearly antithetical to a free America.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

David Ripley: Reflections on the 2013 Session

April 11th, 2013 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

It’s been about a week since the new Legislature finished the work they intended, with legislators returning to their districts.

So how did Idaho fare?

Democrats and powerful lobby groups are clearly happy with the session, to judge by their public comments and other press reports which show that Democrats have a new sense of power in the 62nd Legislature. That is particularly true in the House, where Democrats and moderate Republicans combined to impose Obama’s Insurance Exchange upon the people of Idaho.

Despite fierce protests from Idaho business leaders, citizens, pro-Life groups, agriculture and the Idaho Republican Party, Idaho is now a full-fledged junior partner in an unconstitutional scheme to remake the economy and culture under the guise of “health care”.

Idaho Chooses Life strenuously fought ObamaCare coming to Idaho, but we were simply overwhelmed by the immense resources Blue Cross and their allies brought to bear. We were further hamstrung by the large number of freshmen in the building who seemed dazzled by the attention given them by some of the state’s most powerful lobbyists. It proved nearly impossible to reason with some of these folks, who clung to the mythology that, somehow, Idaho would be able to protect its sovereignty by submitting to federal control of our health care industry.

Particularly disappointing was the failure of the Legislature to adopt our “Religious Liberty Amendment” – which would have at least pushed back at the Obama Administration’s evil plan to force Christian employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs as part of their company insurance policies. Many of those voting against our amendment proclaim pro-Life values, some even voted for a “memorial” to Congress just last year on this very topic; but when it really mattered, too many were apparently intimidated by the power of the insurance lobby or the federal government or both.
Idaho’s religious liberties, as guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions, remain unguarded.

All in all, it was a very disappointing session for the pro-Life movement. Not only did we suffer defeat on the Obama Exchange – this legislature failed to pass a single pro-Life bill. That has not happened since the late 1990’s.

We will have more to say about all this in coming days. But know that our resolve is strong to move Idaho forward in defending the innocent and their mothers from the scourge of abortion. It is too early to give up on this Legislature, despite its horrible beginning.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Richard Larsen: Same-sex Marriage, An Illogical Counterfeit

April 10th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Two cases were argued before the U.S. Supreme Court last week addressing the issue of same-sex marriage. This is not an issue of rights, as proponents maintain, nor is it an issue of Biblical marriage, as opponents contend. It is, rather, based in natural law, and is an issue of seismic significance to our culture, our society, and our civilization, and cannot be cavalierly “redefined.”

Dr. Patrick Fagan, a sociologist and psychologist has said, “The family is the fundamental building block of society and predates the state and even the societies it builds…At the heart of the family is the mother and father who bring their children into existence.” This is a self-evident truth, regardless of who said it, and anthropologists, biologists, sociologists, and politicians have reiterated that very sentiment. The family is the building block of society and civilization, and the cornerstone to that foundation, or the genesis of it, is a mother and a father.

Foundations must be strong, and built to withstand the elements, corrosion, and the test of time. Otherwise, the structure built thereon will inevitably crumble. If a foundation is made with unmixed cement or just water, as same-sex marriage tries to do, the foundation is weak, and the structure (our civilization) built thereon will crumble. When we tamper with, and attempt to socially-engineer the foundational elements and institutions to civilization and our society, the results will be destructive.

Redefining marriage based on who one purportedly loves, is a spurious dilution of our societal foundation. Rarely in human history, has marriage been based on who one loves, but has always been about perpetuating the species, and forming familial units that construct the foundation to civilization. Sometimes it’s included multiple spouses of one sex or another, but always it has been based on propagational properties, whether age or fertility exceptions apply or not. Any semantic change to the definition is only that, semantic, and does not change the biological or anthropological verities etymologically embedded in the term. Such a change to accommodate same-sex “marriage” would therefore be nothing more than creating a verbal counterfeit to the real thing. Simply calling my Tahoe a Hummer is a lie, and does not change the fact that it’s still not a Hummer.

Nor is there a “right” to marry whomsoever or whatsoever we please, or profess love for. Such a right is as most other “rights” claimed by those in our society who feel somehow shortchanged, slighted, or disadvantaged. The “right” is not codified in any legal document, much less our founding documents, just like the “right” to health care, or the “right” to a good job. Heterosexual marriage, however, is codified in natural law, as attested by biological and anthropological fact. The test is simple: try building a civilization or a society from scratch with anything other than natural law, heterosexual marriage.

Marriage, historically, has always represented the legal, moral, and cultural recognition of the binding relationship of opposite sexes. Merely definitionally reducing marriage to nothing more than a state legitimized relationship between “people that love each other” is antithetical to the factual basis to our existence as a civilization. The fact is, marriage has always been about protecting society, at least in part, through the possibility of propagation, protection and the creation of family units.

The law of unintended consequences has certainly been manifest elsewhere as natural law, social mores, and societal conventions and institutions like marriage have been redefined and engineered to accommodate exceptions.

Scandinavian countries that have redefined marriage are experiencing a meltdown of traditional marriage. British demographer David Coleman and senior Dutch demographer Joop Garssen have written that “marriage is becoming a minority status” in Scandinavia. In Denmark, a slight majority of all children are still born within marriage. Yet citing the 60 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate for firstborn children, Danish demographers Wehner, Kambskard, and Abrahamson argue that marriage has ceased to be the normative setting for Danish family life and poses a significant risk to the future stability of Danish society.

There are undoubtedly exogenous contributory factors for the Scandinavian states. But the eradication of natural law and social mores in favor of a politically correct or supposedly amoral redefinition of basic social conventions indisputably are the incipient causes to the unraveling of the family unit.

Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, recently said, “I think you can have social stability without many intact families, but it’s going to be really expensive and it’s going to look very ‘Huxley-Brave New World-ish.’ So [the intact family is] not only the optimal scenario … but it’s the cheapest. How often in life do you get the best and the cheapest in the same package?”

Pastor Rick Warren made a fundamentally true and valid observation in this regard. He said, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” Many are the arguments against same-sex marriage, and none of them frankly have anything to do with discrimination or homophobia.

Doug Mainwaring, an avowed homosexual, proves Warren’s assertion. “Two men or two women together is, in truth, nothing like a man and a woman creating a life and a family together…Marriage is not an elastic term. It is immutable. It offers the very best for children and society. We should not adulterate nor mutilate its definition, thereby denying its riches to current and future generations.”

Words have meaning, and marriage, as the cornerstone to civilization, is copiously imbued with it. I have yet to hear a logical or cogent explanation as to why a binding homosexual relationship must be a marriage as opposed to a civil union or legal partnership. Rather than weakening and diluting the foundation to our society, we should be strengthening and encouraging it. After all, our future, and stability, as a society is dependent on it.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – April 8

April 8th, 2013 by Halli

Rep. Tom Loertsher, R-Bone

Every year we have what we call the “Going Home Bill.” Some years it is about how to balance the budget and this year it was the Education budget. While there were a few other bills that remained to be done in the final few days, this was the one that drew the most attention. This was the week that it took to do about a half of a day’s business due to the slow-down in the Senate the previous week.

History will be a better judge of how well we did this year than trying to evaluate the session at this time. But then why not try anyway? So here is a little run-down of what we did and some of the effects of all of these new laws.

The biggest and most controversial issue by far was the Health Insurance Exchange bill. It consumed the discussion for several weeks and may be the matter on which history will judge us the most critically. You may be asking just what the effects of this process will be? The only honest answer is that we just don’t know yet and won’t know until there are more answers from Washington, D.C. There are so many variables at this point and we are hearing new little unpleasant details almost daily, or so it seems.

Personal Property Tax has to be the number two big deal worked on, again over a several week time frame. At one time it looked like the issue would die altogether and then there was suddenly a bill that came forward from the counties. The process in the bill is cumbersome but should have a positive effect on small businesses.

One noteworthy outcome for the education budget this year is that the general fund increase this year was in excess of eleven percent, which is not bad for a year that general revenues are predicted to come in at an increase of under three percent. Even the minority party supported the budget.
Time will also tell if we should have looked more carefully at Medicaid redesign and the counties’ medically indigent responsibility and the Catastrophic fund. It is sure to be the most talked about issue over the interim.

There is a long list of other things that did not get the attention of the press much or even mentioned for that matter. Federal land management, horse racing purse enhancement, tribal liquor licenses, election law clarifications, and changes to Idaho road law just to mention a few.

It has been a session to remember and now that it has come to a close, the criticism and/or praise is about to commence. And as for me, I had a funny feeling Sunday afternoon in finding myself at home going through the cattle instead of heading back to Boise. I could tell that the Duramax had the same pangs because I had to chain it to the shed to keep it from taking off on its own.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Education, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Rep. Tom Loertscher | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: The Agenda Behind “Anti-Discrimination” Laws

April 5th, 2013 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Usually when a new statute or ordinance is created at the state or local level, it’s in response to a problem that needs correction. Such is not the case with the “anti-discrimination” ordinances being considered by several states and municipalities across the nation. As such, they are agenda-driven ordinances which solve nothing, but by the law of unintended consequences, can open a veritable Pandora’s box of legal and social problems.

These ordinances seek “to prohibit discriminatory acts in housing, employment and public accommodations based upon sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.”

Proponents of such ordinances and statutes claim they will “guarantee the safety for everyone living in the community.” There are, in fact, many state, federal and local laws on the books that seek to ensure residents’ safety; none can guarantee it, as evidenced by the police logs which are rife with infractions against the safety of others. Much like so-called “hate crime” laws, these ordinance single out a specific classification of people, granting them extraordinary legal protection beyond that afforded all other citizens.

There is no valid statistical information cataloguing discrimination based on sexual orientation, to my knowledge. All information currently available is anecdotal, at best.

In the absence of empirically verifiable data, we must look for an alternative motive behind the proponents of such laws. We need look no further than the plethora of websites advancing the radical LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) agenda.

The agenda is well defined by their own advocates. Jeff Levi proudly proclaims, “We are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a protection from wrong. We also have a right to see government and society affirm our lives.” That they seek public affirmation speaks volumes about how they view themselves and their lifestyle.

Gay rights activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen outlined a six-point plan in their book After the Ball, referred to by activists as “a gay manifesto,” which laid out the agenda for how the beliefs and attitudes of ordinary Americans could be transformed to affirm the lifestyle. As they stated, “The agenda of homosexual activists is basically to change America from what they perceive as looking down on homosexual behavior, to the affirmation of and societal acceptance of homosexual behavior.” They described how the movement should use “propagandistic advertising to depict all opponents of the gay movement as homophobic bigots who are ‘not Christian’ and the propaganda can further show them [homosexuals] as being discriminated against, hated and shunned.”

Recent polls indicate a growing level of acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle. These data provide empirical evidence which invalidates the movement’s premise; that they’re discriminated against by public opinion. But the problem is in the agenda of those who promote the lifestyle, and seek extraordinary protection, and redefinition and alteration of fundamental social conventions and institutions to affirm the lifestyle of 3% of the population.

Alan Sears and Craig Osten in their book The Homosexual Agenda, identified the four stages that the movement has gone through to reshape the issue. It’s now in the fourth stage of legitimization where, with the full backing of the American Psychiatric Association, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and the education establishment, and even local school districts, the issue has been taken from a treatable psychological disorder to normal, if not preferred, lifestyle in less than 40 years.

Most of the movement’s success can be linked to reshaping the argument from a moral and logical debate to one of “human rights.” As such, all who question the movement and the practice are labeled as “homophobic,” “hateful,” or “intolerant” toward those who are merely “different.” And they do so with all the acrimony, animus, and vitriol they can muster and get away with in print and the airwaves.

Society has been reprogrammed to assume they’re victims, even with all the laws on the books preventing discrimination and assuring Equal Opportunity Employment protections. With the passage of “hate crime” legislation, they now have super protection where opponents can and are literally deprived of their freedom of speech for expressing opposition to their agenda. In England and Canada, ministers have been arrested for referring to it as a moral issue. Following our current course, the same will undoubtedly occur here in the not-too distant future.

There is a sharp distinction that needs to be drawn between acceptance of those of different persuasions, and acceptance of the militant, extremist tactics of the movement advancing their cause. Conflating the two is illogical and fallacious.

And this is not a “civil rights” issue like racial discrimination, because it is completely self-defined, based on inclinations and behavior. All one has to do to qualify for protection under this ordinance is claim to be homosexual or transgendered. Civil rights issues cannot logically be based upon what one merely claims themselves to be, without creating inequality under the law.

George Orwell said, “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” That is precisely what we are witnessing now, as those who accept and promote normalcy, the orientation which perpetuates the species and forms the anthropological and biological foundation of our culture and civilization, are publicly excoriated for having the temerity to publicly express it.

These “anti-discrimination” laws and ordinances have no needful basis in reality, and should be rejected. We openly and compassionately accept each other regardless of orientation. What we don’t accept is the radical agenda implemented to promote it.

One final note, as well. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) added protection for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals as a form of sex discrimination illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And in 2012 they expanded protection for transgender status and gender identity. Interestingly, in spite of copious data on other forms of possible employment discrimination, including religious, there is no data provided for any of those classifications. There clearly is little empirical justification for this type of ordinance, other than anecdotal, but compelling evidence that it’s agenda-driven.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

« Previous Entries

Copyright © 2oo6 by Powered by Wordpress          
Ported by ThemePorter - template by Design4 | Sponsored by Cheap Web Hosting