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Richard Larsen: Moral Depravity of Rioting Gang Mentality

September 3rd, 2014 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

There is only one injustice, thus far, that has occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. And it’s not the shooting of a boy, because the jury is still out (actually, it hasn’t even gone to a jury yet) on the events surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown. The injustice is being perpetrated by those who take it upon themselves to be judge, jury, and executioner against the innocent citizens of the town.

Two weeks ago, on August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, a 6’2” 300 pound 18 year-old, was shot and killed in the middle of the road in front of an apartment complex in Ferguson, Missouri. Police officer Darren Wilson, who shot the young man, has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues. No charges have been filed so far against the policeman.

“Eyewitness” accounts vary greatly about what transpired that hot afternoon on the Ferguson street. But we do know that Brown was stopped for jaywalking, not because he was suspected in a nearby store robbery. It is also clear that the youth was unarmed, since no other weapon was found at the site, and all six shell casings were from officer Wilson’s gun. One casing was found inside the squad car. The final, and apparently lethal shot, was about 35 feet from the car. Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner for New York City, who conducted an autopsy on behalf of the Brown family, said “This one [the fatal shot] here looks like his head was bent downward. It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”

The response to the shooting has been understandably disturbing to many, and has resulted in two weeks of demonstrations, riots, as well as destruction and looting of local stores in and around the small Missouri town of 21,000 residents. What is not understandable, or condonable, is the violence that has dominated the news cycle 24/7 since August 9.

I would be willing to wager that nearly everyone in the nation wants to see justice served. The problem is, at this point we don’t know what justice will look like. If Brown was shot while charging and threatening the officer, justice will look quite different than if Wilson shot the youth while surrendering with his hands in the air.

Neither judicial outcome justifies the idiocy of violence and destruction perpetrated against the town and its residents. The fact that charges have not been filed against Wilson heretofore is due to the judicial process being played out behind the scenes and gathering evidence for grand jury consideration, not because of prejudice or racism. Emotionally charged racial considerations should have no bearing on the expediency of due process, especially with the eyes of the nation so focused on the rulings made in the case.

While the cogs of justice are meshing forward, demonstrations are perfectly acceptable. In America, any demonstration, however fervent, should be the unabated right of any citizen. The impetus behind the demonstrations is inconsequential since it is a constitutionally assured right, whether protesting a cop shooting, or demonstrating against war or excessive government taxation. As an aside, the word “cop” is not a pejorative, which may come as a revelation to some, as it’s an acronym for “constable on patrol.”

But when demonstrations lead to riots, violence, and property destruction, law enforcement is justified in utilizing whatever force is necessary in quelling the mayhem, and restoring law and order. To deny them that function is to deny the most fundamental requirement of our constabulary.

Those closest to the victim have called for sanity and peace, while denouncing the perpetrators of violence and destruction. The father of the deceased said a few days ago, “We don’t want no violence. Michael would have wanted no violence. We need justice for our son.” His cousin likewise called for order to return, saying, “I just want everyone to know and understand that the stealing and breaking in stores is not what Mike would want, it is very upsetting to me and my family. Our family didn’t ask for this but for justice and peace…. Please let my family grieve in Peace (and) stop the violence in the street tonight, we don’t want this happening when we protest for justice for my cousin Mike Brown, please get this message out to the people that the Mike Brown family do not want this.”

The violence has nothing to do with justice being served, but everything to do with a level of moral depravity in the country that seeks to rationalize illegal and violent behavior as a proxy for real justice. In what sort of twisted sense of judicial propriety can violence be condoned or encouraged as a rational response to a perceived wrong having been perpetrated? In what bankrupt belief system is the destruction of property and attacks on others justifiable for a wrongful death? It would appear we as a society have learned nothing in the 22 years since the Rodney King Los Angeles riots. This is despicable behavior regardless of the age, orientation, or skin color of the perpetrators.

The days of leaping to irrational and unwarranted conclusions, based on the age or color of the victim, before justice has completed the investigative process, should be far behind us. Assumptions of guilt and innocence of all involved might justify demonstrations, but never riots and provocations to violence. For they are, after all, assumptions made without all of the facts on the table. The calm voices calling for peace and justice should always prevail over those whose lawlessness is an excuse for moral degeneracy.

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Posted in Family Matters, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Property Rights | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: America’s Beleaguered Middle Class

February 28th, 2014 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The middle class in America is shrinking; numerically in terms of the percentage of the total population, as well as qualitatively in terms of the quality of life. Most of us consider ourselves to be members of the middle class, and we’re being squeezed by declining real income and rising expenses, as we increasingly shoulder the inflationary costs of corporate America, and the burdensome costs of government operations.

Consider the following middle class statistics as researched by Bill Moyers and PBS. Middle class is roughly defined as those households ranging in income from $25,500 to $76,500. At $51,017 the real median household income in 2012 is even less than it was at the end of the ’80s, and it’s down 9 percent from its high in 1999, with the biggest portion of that decline, 8.3%, in just the past five years.

The median net worth of a family in 2010 was $77,300, compared to $126,400 just three years earlier. In 46 of our 50 states, the poverty rates have increased over the past five years, and the national poverty rate is over 15% for the fourth year running. The last time that happened was in 1965. More and more families are dropping from the ranks of the middle class into poverty.

One of the greatest factors adversely affecting median household income is the loss of jobs and extended unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the Participation Rate, which is represented as a ratio or a percentage of the total population, is at the lowest levels in 50 years, with about 62.8% of the population working. According to the BLS U-6 data, 13% of the population is still unemployed or underemployed, and marginally attached to the labor market.

On the cost of goods and services the picture isn’t much better. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most relied on figure for calculating the year over year inflation rate. According to Forbes, the BLS has changed the way it calculates the CPI 20 times over the past 30 years, including new formulas and indices that have separated the volatile food and energy components and created a separate “Core” inflation rate. By some economist’s calculations, these changes have resulted in a significant dissociation between what the government reports as the inflation rate, and what we see in reality for the prices of goods and services that we buy.

Earlier this month Forbes declared, that “The CPI is not a measurement of rising prices, rather it tracks consumer spending patterns that change as prices change. The CPI doesn’t even touch the falling value of money. If it did the CPI would look much different.”

According to the BLS the CPI was up 1.6% last year, and has hovered between 1-4% over the past five years. But if the inflation rate were calculated now the same as it was in 1980, inflation over the past five years would’ve been between 5-12% per year. For example, average out-of-pocket healthcare costs have nearly doubled in just the last seven years, from $2,035 to $3,600.

Domestic energy prices have likewise increased dramatically. Over the past 10 years, energy prices have more than doubled as government energy policy has become increasingly ideological and counterintuitive. Increasing energy costs adversely affect the middle class disproportionately.

These data paint a distressing picture of the current status of the American middle class. And prospects for improvement are virtually nonexistent since the basis for the middle class demise is causally connected with the policies emanating from, and firmly entrenched, in the nation’s capital.

As best-selling authors and Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele explain in their latest book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, “What is happening to America’s middle class is not inevitable. It’s the direct result of government policy, and it can be changed by government action.”

The solution to this malaise should be relatively simple, and recognized by everyone from the chairman of the Federal Reserve to the AFL-CIO. In fact, the labor organization perhaps worded it most succinctly in a piece titled, “How do we fix the U.S. economy?” They declared the first step must be “to put America back to work because high unemployment keeps wages down. Our goal should be ‘full employment, meaning everybody who wants to work should be able to find a decent job.”

What’s stifling job growth is the expansive overreach of government regulation. Last July, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey showed 74% of small businesses are positioning themselves to slash hours, lay off workers, or both because of increase regulation, primarily because of the Affordable Care Act. Investors Business Daily has a running list of nearly 300 large companies that are reducing hours for employees to get below the 32 hour threshold mandated by the Act. And that’s all from just one piece of legislation.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform published research two years ago that illuminates the role government has played in suppressing job growth. The committee reported, “Many regulations and legislation – both existing and proposed – exacerbate the uncertainty created by today’s volatile economic environment. Virtually every new regulation has an impact on recovery, competitiveness, and job creation.” The president’s own Economic Advisory Panel came to the same conclusion, and reported, “regulations are harming businesses and job creation.” This panel went on to suggest several measures that could be implemented in order to quell the expansion of such job-destroying regulation.

Periods of rising middle class income coincide directly to periods of economic expansion and growth. And not coincidently, those are also the periods when diminution of government regulatory control over the engines of the economy occurred, the most significant of which led to the declaration by then-president Bill Clinton, “The era of big government is over.”

The best way for people to increase their station in life is with a good job. Ronald Reagan once called jobs the “best welfare program.” And the best way for good jobs to be created is with a healthy economy that is vibrant, growing, adapting, and adjusting to global and domestic market vicissitudes. And the best way for that to be facilitated is to get government out of the way of trying to micromanage nearly every component of the economy. If the private sector didn’t have to work around overreaching regulation and interference, market efficiencies in the private sector could unleash the creation of jobs, market synergies, and economic growth.

The job situation will not improve appreciably until the cost of doing business starts dropping. Last year the Small Business Administration reported that regulation costs American business $1.75 trillion per year, and costs small businesses as much as $10,585 per employee. Just the costs of Obamacare, Financial Regulatory Reform, and new EPA regulations, are projected to increase that cost per employee as much as 30%, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

””In 2012, the President said, “This country doesn’t succeed when we only see the rich getting richer. We succeed when the middle class gets bigger. We grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out.” He was correct. But it’s time that our policies begin reflecting that stated priority.

The history of mankind is littered with fallen nations and governments that overreached by centralized planning, stagnated their economies, and collapsed under the massive weight of their inefficiencies. Hopefully Bartlett and Steele are correct, that the utter collapse of the middle class is not inevitable. But for it not to be, a reversal of our current trend is critical, and the sooner the better.
Succinctly stated, we have shrinking income, inflation in energy and food “skyrocketing,” as was predicted five years ago, a weaker dollar, a ballooning debt, and a national security-risking deficit. The costs of all these challenges are landing squarely on the back of the middle class. A strong middle class equals a strong America. We can’t have one without the other. And our current policies are killing both.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, February 10

February 11th, 2014 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Probably the last thing that a legislator would have been thinking about at the beginning of this last week, took place as the week began. All things were on high alert as protesters attempted to blockade the entrance to the Senate. The security personnel in the capitol aided by the State Police stepped up to the plate and contained the situation. There have been protests staged in the capitol in the past, however not of this magnitude.

It was the week for the Farm Bureau to be in town, and in talking with them about their concerns, I’ll bet you can guess what their biggest concern is– – water. Of course that is not all we talked about because there are so many things that can happen during each legislative session that affect agriculture. It’s always good to see people from home and to talk with him about the issues. One piece of legislation that should be particularly of benefit to Idaho agriculture is to gain some flexibility with EPA regulations that are coming down from the feds. It will be a long process for Idaho to take control of these issues through our DEQ, but it is thought at least, that this will be of great help to agriculture in the long run.

This was also Association of Counties week at the capitol. There were commissioners from most of our counties and we had a chance to discuss local issues. Those discussions included personal property tax, repeal of the medically indigent law and the catastrophic fund, and interestingly enough our rural counties are very much concerned about the public defender commission that the governor talked about during the state of the state. The counties in District 32 are telling us that they are reluctant to participate in such program because it will cost our local taxpayers so much more than is currently being demanded. The model that seems to work for our rural counties is the one where they contract for public defender services.

Medicaid expansion suffered a blow this last week as the House Health and Welfare Committee declined to introduce (print) a measure to implement what the Department is calling Medicaid Redesign. There have been some small groups of legislators meeting to discuss healthcare issues in the state but they have not been successful in coming up with any type of a workable solution. I don’t think there is anyone here who disagrees with the idea that we have to get something done with this issue. It just doesn’t seem to be this year. I find it even more interesting that not very many in the legislature want to even talk about the Medicaid. It is also interesting that a bill has been introduced to reinstate adult dental services, which was one of the programs that was eliminated during the economic downturn. So I guess in our own way, piece by piece, Medicaid will be expanded anyway.

Prior to a big meeting that the State Affairs Committee was having mid week, that we knew would be well attended with possible security concerns, two Idaho State Police officers stopped by to visit before the meeting. I am very impressed with their professionalism and I know all members of the legislature will attest to that fact. They have our profound gratitude for their service.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General, Property Rights, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Andi Elliott: Shocking Lack of Animal Cruelty Laws in Idaho

February 6th, 2014 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

Our animal cruelty laws in Idaho are a sham and too many law enforcement agencies turn a blind eye to those we have. Our legislators in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Agriculture have designed the system so that production animals may even be treated more horrendously than companion animals. We certainly wouldn’t want our farmer/rancher legislators being held accountable for cruel practices.

Now the Idaho Dairy Industry headed by Idaho’s largest dairy, Bettencourt, is today introducing an “Ag Gag” bill designed to keep people from filming acts of animal cruelty on farms. It even goes so far as to make it a first time felony by merely filling out an application for employment for the purposes of doing such. But animal cruelty itself requires three convictions before it becomes a felony.

In 2012 Bettencourt employees were charged with the most egregious animal cruelty. The video is sickening. Needless and wanton acts of animal cruelty on cows that were confined in milking stalls. One employee spent 102 days in jail; others fled, I’m told. Bettencourt Dairy owner says, “I love my animals and I’ve been in the dairy business since I was a kid. Animal care is a number one issue in our facilities.” Really, then why support an Ag Gag Law? What do you have to hide?

Bettencourt is a supplier of milk for Kraft which makes cheese for Wendy’s, MacDonald’s, etc. Call you reps and the companies and tell them “No institutionalized animal cruelty in Idaho!”

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Posted in General, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Property Rights | No Comments »

Andi Elliott: Utility Company Mailing List

December 13th, 2013 by Halli

by Andi Elliott

OK, I have to ask…how many of us would use Rigby’s utility bill mailing list to send out a personal letter even if it were available to us?

And is it even ethical to do so? Please tell me that City Attorney Rob Dunn footed the bill for this mailing. Is there proof that he did so or is this something else that taxpayers unwittingly paid for? The City of Rigby has slightly over 4000 residents and 994 families as of the last census. That’s a lot of families and a whopping postal bill.

I bet the Jefferson Star or the Post Register would have printed his letter at no charge with much greater exposure too…but then most of their audience couldn’t vote in the Rigby elections. Or, wonder why Dunn didn’t send out his public plea in the regular utility bill mailings and save postage. Oh, that’s right. He couldn’t wait that long. The city elections were right around the corner and if Sites and team had won, they promised to investigate city shenanigans. It’s becoming clear now.

You know if Dunn conducted business above board and in full public view he wouldn’t have felt as if he had to personally contact each utility customer saying “Don’t make me an issue in the election”. It’s a good thing he isn’t City Attorney in Idaho Falls…then he’d have to have contacted nearly 21,000 households. Now there’s a whopping postal bill!

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

Andi Elliott: Baloney

July 21st, 2013 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

Like many of you, I consider the George Zimmerman trial a witch hunt and an absolute sham…a judicial and political travesty of justice. The failure of the prosecutor to look at the evidence objectively is unconscionable. It is their duty to see that justice is done. Period. Not to manipulate, distort, promulgate lies, withhold evidence, and twist the case into something it never was. Their sworn duty is to see that justice is carried out…not to prove only guilt but also to prove innocence.

And these are the very reasons that I can identify with Zimmerman having just experienced many of the same tactics at the hands of the Jefferson County Sheriff and the Prosecutor albeit on a much less serious level. And five days after having been notified of my acquittal, the prosecutor tells me that this is the way the justice system is suppose to work.

Hogwash! How disingenuous after two years of repeated lies, waiting months for Discovery that proved they had the wrong person, unethical behavior by the Sheriff’s department, obfuscation, objections, and deliberately drawing out the process as long as possible. However, the delay proved to be very useful for my defense as it became difficult to remember lies told so long ago.

Jefferson County taxpayers…you have just spent two years of taxpayer money on a misdemeanor trespassing case that was nothing short of a trumped up vendetta. The files are available for your inspection should you have doubts about my complaints. Five full days of trial strung out over 17 months. Murder cases are tried in less time than that.

And is it too much to ask that the evidence be examined BEFORE charges are filed so a whole court day is not wasted covering up your malfeasance? I’m guessing that the plan was for me to cry “uncle” but instead I say “baloney”…unadulterated “baloney”. This was a textbook case of abuse of power if there ever was one and follows in the same vein as the “Barbie” fiasco. Do we really not have serious crimes here in Jefferson County to attend to?

But in retrospect, I should thank you for proving my innocence. The state’s witnesses were some of my best “defense”…as they were in the Zimmerman case.

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

Andi Elliott: Legal Fabric Unraveling

July 16th, 2013 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

Every so often serendipity happens. For me it was in June when my husband was on the witness stand testifying in my third trespassing case. The prosecutor asked my husband why he felt the need to accompany me on my animal cruelty investigations. He sat there silently, a very long pause. I could see those wheels turning. Engineer’s brains work differently from the rest of us I’ve found. Then John said…Because I’ve learned that you are not seeking the truth. I’ve been with Andi the last two times you have charged her with trespass, yet I haven’t been charged. Needless to say, I was very proud of him for having the courage to say what needed to be said at that appropriate moment.

And so the acquittal was entered into court records which ended a 6 year long ordeal with the Sheriff and the Prosecutor. But justice has yet to be served. You see, there is the deputy that admitted under oath about creating documentation AFTER he charged me. And there are those who filed false complaints against me in violation of Idaho law. And as you would suspect other unethical behavior occurred during the course of my trial.

For six years I have witnessed a travesty of justice taking place in Jefferson County. I’ve written before about the “rule of law” and how it has been circumvented by a small group of county officials. We have become complacent with the “rule by men” and we have failed to stand up to them and have emboldened them. Our failure to stand up to them has made them reckless. When our Prosecutor can undertake the “quiet title” process without lawful authorization and when our Sheriff can pressure a citizen into signing a false citation, then we have allowed tyranny to insidiously infect our county’s legal fabric.

So, I have filed a complaint against the deputy. And I am asking the Sheriff and Prosecutor to file charges against those who have falsely accused me. By the way, when I asked them to do so in the “mother dog with broken legs” case I was totally ignored. And then there is a slander suit to initiate followed by civil suits. As John Paul Jones is noted for saying, “I have not yet begun to fight.”

Remember, every time you witness or experience injustice and remain silent, you allow officials to usurp power. It’s time that We The People of Jefferson County Idaho step up and reclaim our rightful place and reaffirm to county officials and employees that WE are their bosses and they are to abide by the law.

This could have been you in my place. Think about that.

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

Andi Elliott: Jefferson County’s London Bridges

May 20th, 2013 by Halli

by Andi Elliott, Jefferson County

I’ve seen the poster of the 9 bridges of Jefferson County that have been determined by the Idaho Transportation Department to be structurally deficient. And these bridges need to have diminished speed limits and weight limits and immediate repairs. I’m reminded of the nursery rhyme, London Bridge is Broken Down.

“London Bridge is broken down…How shall we build it up again?”

“We’ll build it up with gravel and stone,” or we can prop it up with railroad ties and plywood, as has been done in Jefferson County.

“Gravel and stone will be washed away….” or the railroad ties and plywood can slip and rot.

“We’ll build it up with iron and stone….” which probably would be prudent if we’re planning for long time structurally sound bridges and public safety.

One of my neighbors, upon hearing about the public safety hazards posed by the county bridge system, lamented about what would happen if a potato truck passed over such a bridge and brought it down. I’m thinking about what would happen if one of our school buses loaded with children were to result in “London Bridge came falling down”. Perish the thought and the law suits that would ensue. Am I the only one thinking that safe and reliable bridges are more important than a new high school?

Andi Elliott

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General, Property Rights, Taxes | 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!

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Property Rights, 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

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

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