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The Daily Response: The Truth About John Kerry

Posted by Adam Graham on September 23, 2004

Ingeborg Dickerson had a heart-wrenching letter to the Editor in today’s Statesman:

It read:

Over three decades ago, I was the young mother of two small children living in San Antonio, Texas, when my husband received orders for Vietnam duty. One day our son returned from nursery school in tears, wanting to know if his daddy was a baby killer, because the mother of one of his little classmates had said so. After all, John Kerry had accused the American military before Congress of the most heinous crimes in Vietnam, and families like ours had to live with the results.

Thanks, John Kerry. Thanks for traumatizing our children. Thanks for getting my car egged and tires slashed. Thanks for emboldening the North Vietnamese to mistreat our POWs and keep them captive for years. I had joined a “Waiting Wives” group, and these women had similar experiences. Just a few years ago, while making small talk with a respected and educated neighbor, I mentioned that my husband had been a commander in Vietnam. The man automatically said, “Oh, a baby killer.” Thanks, John Kerry, for demonizing an entire generation of fine American men.

Powerful stuff and this is really what the Swift Vets need to lead with in my opinion. The debate over was Kerry in Cambodia is not as compelling as the simple fact that Kerry was in Washington and did real last harming to American soldiers returning from Vietnam.

I do want to address the anti-Bush letters to the editor. Reading through what these people are right, I feel like somebody’s giving them talking points.

First, they’ll talk about the state of the environment, which hasn’t gotten measurably worse under President Bush. The air is no dirtier than when Bill Clinton was in office. The President has opened various areas up to development and changed the roadless policy. The roadless policy was not good for our environment because it made it harder for firefighters to get to fires.

Second, they’ll cite the number of uninsured Americans, but this “problem” has existed since 1992 and a Clinton Presidency made no difference and a Kerry presidency will make no difference. In addition, President Bush has a plan for health care.

Thirdly, they’ll cite the lost jobs but the truth that is America prior to 2000 had an inflated economy that ignored the economic fact that in order for a company to be successful, it had to bring in more money than it spent.

This is my standing response to all unoriginal anti-Bush screeds.



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High Marks from Who?

Posted by Adam Graham on September 19, 2004

Rarely do I take issue with a hard news piece, however the headline in Yesterday’s Statesman screamed, “Bieter Gets Good Marks for 8 Months on the Job” (this referred to Boise Mayor Dave Bieter).

Well, I looked into the article because I was curious if they’d done a poll of Boise residents or who gave the Mayor high marks. I found two actual people who made comments about Bieter:

“I’d give him high marks for his first few months,” said Boise State University political science professor Jim Weatherby.

So who gave him high marks? A college professor, which last time I checked, doesn’t represent the mainstream of Boise.

What else was said worthy of the description? Well in the body of the story.

“He is involving the neighborhoods more, and that is greatly appreciated,” said Michelle Kay, president of the Southeast Neighborhoods Association.

That’s nice, but hardly overwhelming. The interesting part of the story is the sidebar where they asked his former opponents (who won a combined 48% of the vote) thought of Dave Bieter’s administration. While they had some praise for Bieter, they all pounced on Bieter over the Ten Commandments monuments issue:

Chuck Winder, 2nd Place:

“Disagrees with Bieter’s handling of the Ten Commandments issue. Winder said the city should have stood up to the group that threatened to put an anti-gay monument in Julia Davis Park. He said he would not have supported moving the Ten Commandments monument.”

Vaughn Killeen, 3rd Place:

Should have fought harder to keep the Ten Commandments in Julia Davis Park. Would have been better to battle an out-of-state hate group instead of Boise residents.

Max Mohammadi, 4th Place:

Botched the Ten Commandments issue and put himself at odds with residents.

Botched means “ruined through clumsiness” and Mr. Mohammadi is exactly right. So this constitutes high marks according to the Statesman? Please.


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The Right to Marry

Posted by Adam Graham on September 16, 2004

Former “Republican” State Senate candidate Harry Lear had the following in today’s Statesman :

A constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is neither a federal issue or a states’ rights issue. Individual freedom of voluntary association comes from nature, not the government. You are born free. You can freely create a government. But your government cannot then prohibit everybody else’s non-infringing freedoms.

Our freedoms are not up for grabs at any government level, federal, state, or local, not even down at the department of marriage licenses. You don’t ask the state for permission to get married. You’re simply choosing to record or register your marriage with the state for the convenience of future property-rights determination. The marriage license clerk cannot tell anybody not to marry because he is black and she is white — or because she and she are gay.

Does Mr. Lear believe the state shouldn’t ban incest? We ban incestuous marriage and restrict people’s “right to marry” for moral reasons. While it’s true that there are genetic problems, that’s not why we ban incest. We ban it because we believe that family life shouldn’t be subject to sexual tensions, that parents have a sacred trust to never violate their children, even if it’s consensual.

We ban people from getting married, we tell the clerk that if they’re related, there’s no way we’ll let them get married because we believe it’s wrong. It’s no different than with the homosexuals. Just like not being closely related is part of traditional marriage, so is being of different sexes because as Alan Keyes has said, the “principle of procreation has got to be present. We remove that from marriage and it becomes a joke.

We have to look at it, why we give special benefits to marriage. It is not to benefit the individuals in the marriage, it’s to benefit society by supporting the continuation of the human race, and giving children the opportunity to be born into a stable home and raised in a safe environment.

People who talk about marriage as an individual right fail to understand marriage is not about the individual. Marriages are performed traditionally before a minister and licensed by the state because it involves the whole of society and all Heaven and Earth.


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The Daily Response: Stepping Outside the Box

Posted by Adam Graham on September 13, 2004

Reading an article today in the Statesman’s letters to the editor. I had to just say, “Wow!”

Dean Worbois wrote,

“Because I insist on being generous with watering my yard, I have healthy trees and a pleasant, cool yard. With the trees and cool yard, I need no air conditioning.

“And I’m saving water. Lots of it. Here’s how.

“On an average summer day, I use 480 gallons of water to keep my yard, trees and gardens a pleasant place to be.

“I could get rid of my pleasant yard, get an air conditioner, and stay in a noisy house with cold air blowing on me. To provide an average day’s electricity for my air conditioner, Hells Canyon Dam would pass 30,940 gallons of water through its turbines.”

I have to admire that rather than whine about the environment or his electricity bill, Mr. Worbois is using his God-given intelligence to cool his house and help the environment. We need more people thinking proactively rather than like bureaucrats.

Mr. Worbois includes his letter this way,

“Conservatives want me to buy air conditioners and electricity for their profit. Conservationists want me to turn my lawn into a desert to save 480 gallons of water while using 30,940 gallons.

“I keep my cool, my cash, and my ability to enjoy summer by not listening to either.”

First, I would never suggest using something you don’t need (unless I worked for Idaho Power). Second, Mr. Worbois raises a point about environmentalists who do things that are for ill in the long term but keep things “natural”.

I prefer the approach of the Mr. Worbois of the world who in a non-idealogical way do what is right for the Earth in the long term and I applaud him.


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The Daily Response

Posted by Adam Graham on September 9, 2004

Virginia Hemingway wrote the following in today’s letters:

Everyone should be outraged that this regime has created the largest deficit ever: $375 billion last year. Perhaps the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent and the cost of our “weapons of mass destruction” have reversed the four consecutive years of surpluses under the previous administration.

–Ms. Hemingway is right that the deficit is outrageous (she’s wrong about the amount, it’s even higher), however what is John Kerry going to do about it? There is no “there” there with Senator Kerry. There’s no alternative.

Second point, the economic downturn began at the tail end of the Clinton Administration and 9-1-1 helped as well. In addition, we’ve learned more and more that the great economy of the ’90s was based on false footing.

Last month, I included an excerpt of Sukhvir Singh’s “Letter to the Editor in which he excoriated the authors of the song, “Rain, Rain, Go Away” (written by 16th Century English authors). Today there was not one but two letters to the editor defending the song.

One wrote like a child psychologist suggesting that rather than “trying to “punish” people for expressing their own opinions about rain, why doesn’t Singh spend some quality time with his daughter and write a poem about loving the rain. This will teach the child to value her own opinions and help her develop into a strong, confident adult.”

Another did an extensive defense of “Rain, Rain, Go Away” and its origins quoting extensively from a website.

Perhaps those telling the Keep the Commandments people to do something more productive with their time should get in contact with these people.


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Daily Response Emotional Fix For Social Security

Posted by Adam Graham on September 6, 2004

Steve Burk wrote in today’s Letter to the Editor Section:

The very thought of Social Security being cut makes my blood boil. I am sure there are a lot of other Americans that have paid into Social Security their entire lives and are just as furious to know that all that money will not be available when our turn to retire comes around.

The solution is simple. Quit paying Social Security benefits to those who have never paid a penny into Social Security, and take away Social Security benefits from the bureaucrats that have so conveniently arranged it so their Social Security benefits will never be affected.

This is reminds me of the idea of balancing the budget, by reducing the pay of Congress. They earn approximately $150,000 a year and if you cut their pay to zero, you’d save $80 million. That won’t solve a $400 billion defict, but it makes us feel better.

President Bush has the right solution to this. We need private retirement accounts, we need long term reforms to the system not short-term, fell good bandaids which won’t make the system any more solvent.


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The Daily Response: Purple Heart

Posted by Adam Graham on September 3, 2004

There’s only one letter to the editor that I’ll respond to today:

Todd Kimsey of Moscow writes,

I am writing this letter as a former infantry Marine combat veteran of Gulf War I (Desert Shield/Desert Storm). Many of my comrades in arms acquired the Purple Heart, many for friendly fire incidents and slight injuries that did not require hospitalization. I strongly believe that all my fellow Marines deserved their Purple Heart medals, no matter how minor their injuries.

Reading the requirements for the purple heart, it is true that friendly fire injuries can get the Purple heart if enemy fire was present and medical attention was required. While gaining 3 purple hearts for 3 minor injuries has been though to lessen his heroism by some, the real question about Kerry’s 1st and 3rd and Purple heart is, “Was enemy fire present?”

He then says:

I feel very strongly that the display at the Republican National Convention of “purple heart bandages” is a slap in the face to every veteran who has ever served their country. This display of un-American desecration of medals for military service sickens me and the implication it makes about other Purple Heart medal recipients is nothing short of slanderous.

What has been reported less than the original incident is that RNC chairman Ed Gilespie requested that Delegate Morton Blackwell stop distributing the bandaids and Blackwell complied. I think Mr. Gillespie was right and it’s time to move on.


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The Daily Response: August 27th

Posted by Adam Graham on August 27, 2004

Here are some thoughts on today’s letters to the Editor:

Steven Csik thinks President Bush isn’t Conservative:

“Traditionally, Republican and conservative values have included separation of church and state, respect for privacy and due process under law, balancing the budget, and going to war only as a last resort and with clear purposes. George Bush doesn’t believe in any of these values.”

First, Mr. Csik makes a point regarding balancing the budget, a 454 billion deficit is certainly not conservative. The rest of it is non-sense. First, Saddam Hussein defied the world for 12 years before we invaded. I’d say all things considered, we’d been pretty darn patient in Iraq. However, I fear Mr. Csik has confused Conservative Republicanism with Liberal Rockefeller Republicanism for the rest of it.

He then writes,

If the upcoming Republican Convention for presidential nominee were really a search for someone who best embodies Republican values, the convention could pick from among such thoughtful Republicans as John McCain, Pete Domenici, Richard Lugar, or Colin Powell. Instead, the convention will probably crown, without discussion, the incumbent, George Bush, even though he poorly represents traditional Republican or conservative values.

Can that be changed? Maybe enough Republicans can raise their concerns to Republican officials about George Bush so that the convention will reconsider this automatic coronation and pick a better representative of conservative values.

First of all Lugar and McCain already appeared for the American people. Secondly, under our current system the people decided in the Primary who they want and in every state 80-90 +% of voters voted for George W. Bush. It’s interesting that liberals who’ll complain about Al Gore losing the popular vote would gladly dump the democratically chosen nominee of the Republican party.

Larry Lugar, a self-identified humanist wrote a letter where he made this point regarding Stem Cell Research:

It was a movement in 13th-century Italy that brought us the Renaissance. Like those supporting stem cell research, it was the humanist movement that gave man the ability to halt plagues instead of depending on God…

Many of those who pioneered medicine such as Louis Pasteur were Christians. In addition to this, whatever their methods, they did not make mankind into a cannibalistic race that destroys its own young to further its medical research. This is the difference between Medical Pioneers and Mad scientists.


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Don’t Buy Gas and Other Thoughts from the Looney Left

Posted by Adam Graham on August 26, 2004

From Today’s Idaho Statesman, we have these fine opinions.

Michael Murphy wrote,

“Real Christians wouldn’t engage in rhetoric or push a divisive referendum. They would vigil 24/7/365. That’s real commitment.”

–I love it when people who are not Christians say what real Christians would do. While the Bible does say to pray without ceasing, it does not apply that Christians are to do nothing but that. Paul, who wrote that managed to engage in plenty of rhetoric. defines rhetoric as “The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.” This has been practiced by every Christian preacher throughout the ages.

Jamie Parker has an interesting letter in her regarding Christians urging a boycott of Hollywood films:

She writes,

“In response to “Film industry is evil” letter.

“If you are a person with religious conviction and values, you might want to think about this before you buy your next tank of gas:

“I am the clerk, and by giving me a paycheck you:

1. Support my pro-choice stance.

2. Support my agnostic viewpoint.

3. Support my same-sex relationship.

4. Support my belief in keeping Idaho wildlife protected for future generations to enjoy.

5.Support the love I have for myself and my beliefs.”

–Last part shows her humility. In all seriousness, though, she misses the point. In her capacity as a store clerk she’s not destroying American culture. What she does away from her work is her business.

The problem with the entertainment media and why many of us feel a need to avoid it is that in its capacity as the entertainment media pushes sexual immorality, violence, and all kinds of iniquity. Why should a conscientious Christian participate in something they view as corrupt and immoral? Also, why gas is a necessity in this world so we can get from place to place, the same can’t be said of Hollywood movies.

One author wrote from a Christian perspective regarding, Mayor Bieter:

“It sounds like Dave Bieter is a follower, not a leader. I think so many of us thought Dave Bieter was a strong leader and would be a good mayor, but it proved wrong.

“If the people of Boise would have known that Dave Bieter would have been such a follower and didn’t have the nerve to stand up for the rights of the people, he would never have been elected. My family certainly would have never voted for him. “

Mr. Bieter has been many things, but one of them hasn’t been a follower. Since this Ten Commandments issue started, everyone but Bieter and Alan Shealy had little to say publicly. Mr. Bieter’s leadership hasn’t been weak acquiescence to Council Alan Shealy’s rabid secularism, but a strong push.

Bieter rather than being weak (which works far better politically), he has instead played the role of tyrant. Not only failing to defend the rights of the people, but actively fighting to stop the people from exercising their rights.

Finally, for those who don’t know, in Idaho, we’d irradiated wolves who threatened livestock and the lives of people. However, many liberals think reintroducing wolves is a great idea despite the risk to ranching.

Rick Hobson had a letter to the editor today where he responded to a prior writer who suggested “killing the wolves”,

“Mr. Hahn’s “might as well go ahead and kill them now” could be dialog from a century ago referencing buffalo … or native Americans.”

Now first of all, the buffalo were never the threat to livestock that wolves are. Indeed, the Buffalo has come back for the reason that it’s meat is commercially usable. Some have even suggested that Buffalo could replace cows in various parts of Montana as the buffalo would be better adapted to conditions there. So killing the Buffalo was stupid and shortsighted.

What Mr. Hobson does in the second part of this quote is stunning. He just declared killing a dangerous animal morally equivalently to killing a Native American. Here, exposed for all to see is the view of environmentalism. Wolves and other vicious beasts are more important to them than human beings.

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