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Archive for the ‘Daily Response’ Category

Emitting Stupidity

Posted by Adam Graham on August 6, 2006

In Today’s Statesman, there were some letters to editors in regards to Canyon County’s reluctance to pass emission regulations. I’d missed this story, but here’s a brief summary:

But Canyon County residents were angry at Ada’s efforts to push mandatory car emissions testing.

That’s basically it. They get no sympathy from Rex Robert McCoy who has this proposal:

I am writing about the air quality and Canyon County. Dan Romero was quoted as saying, “When you start to impose more regulations and bureaucracy on Canyon County, they say just leave me alone.” My suggestion is that we will leave them alone when they quit driving Canyon County registered vehicles in Ada County. You are contributing to our air problem but not willing to do anything about it.

These drivers should be stopped, checked for an inspection certificate, and if they don’t have one, be ticketed. Once they present an inspection certificate, the ticket would be voided. I don’t understand what the big deal is to pay for an inspection once a year to ensure your car is not polluting the air.

This should apply to all vehicles that are driven in Ada County. Even the ones from other counties belonging to people who have property in those counties.

Well, Mr. McCoy has clearly got a practical mind. We can stop every single car coming out of Canyon County or anywhere else to make sure they’ve got emission stickers. We can even set up roadblocks on the Interstate. Those people from Montana, Utah, Washington want to drive through OUR city and pollute our air, they’d bettter have an emissions test.

Indeed, we’ve found the perfect way to unite right wingers and left wing Ada County residents. Just tell the left wing Ada County residents that illegal aliens are crossing the border in SUVs and it’ll get both sides to agree to build a wall around Ada County to keep out illegals and SUV drivers.

Now, this might have the effect of crippling our economy, massively inconveniencing our businesses, costing us millions in enforcement costs, and getting a bill introduced to move the State Capitol to Pocatello, but the important thing is that NO CAR would get into Ada County without an emissions test.

The big reason is that its a $15 fee if your car fails the emission’s test. Here’s a clue. Who is driving the old cars that have emissions problems? Poor people. Its a huge cost to someone who’s not making a lot of money.

I came to Boise to 2003, and I was driving an old 1982 Mazda GLC and it got somewhere between 25-30 miles to the gallon, which was good because I was earning less than 25 K a year. In March 2004, I received the card saying that I needed to get this thing certified for emissions. I drove it down to the emissions place and they’re unable to test it because the muffler was out. The car was noisier without the muffler, but otherwise I didn’t particularly need it, except to pass the emissions test, so I did about $120 muffler job.

I came back and it failed emissions miserably and I took to it my mechanic. My mechanic had to get a catylitic convert and a few other parts custom made and I was looking at another $130 or so.

I took it back to emissions and it failed again. As I’d spent $250, I thought I was done because they said they would give a 1 year waiver if you’d completed $200 in emissions related repairs. However, the county didn’t count the muffler job, so it was back to the repair shop. They did more work on it and about May 15th, I got it passed emissions. On July 1st, it died.

I got another cheap car and got a tune up for it on my own. Then in September mI got the emissions card, took the car down and it failed emissions. Another $65 later, it passed.

So I spent about 1-2% of my household income complying with Ada County’s emission law. Of course, that’s a small price to pay in order to breathe the same air as Rex Robert McCoy.

Having said that, its unfair that Canyon County residents don’t have to do emissions, but we really just have ourselves to blame. We’re the ones who have a County Commission that requires it. Its also somewhat silly to try and push this off on Canyon County, when a lot of people come to work from Boise County and Mountain Home. Really, if you’re going to do this, you’d need a statewide law.

And if we’re going to have a state law, we’d better do some things to make sure we’re not stranding poor people, particularly in areas like Bonner’s Ferry or anywhere in Northern Idaho, really. You need better public transportation. You need some type of non-profit group that will help poor people get their cars up to standards to pass emissions. Until then, this issue is just really Limousine liberalism.

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Election Night So Far

Posted by Adam Graham on May 23, 2006

The AP has called the Governor’s race for Butch Otter and Jerry Brady on the Republican and Democratic sides. Current results have Otter up 71-21 over Dan Adamson while Brady leads Jerry Cheney by an 83-17% margin.

To me, it appears that Chairman Stallings attempt to get Democrats to show up and vote in the Democratic Primary pretty much failed.

54,632 votes have been counted in the GOP Governor’s Primary while only 13,166 in the Democratic Primary as of right now. The State’s Republican, but its not that Republican. It indicates one of two things and probably a combination of the two. One, Democrats are not as excited about the election. Two, they’re crossing over to try and influence Republican races. Either way, its a tough night for the Dems and doesn’t portend well for the Fall.

In the big race of the night, its tight. With about half the precincts in, Bill Sali holds a good lead in the 1st Congressional district:

Bill Sali 9,567 26%
Keith Johnson 7,023 20%
Shelia Sorensen 6,994 20%

Now, everyone else in the race is too far back to catch up. Vasquez is around 15%, Semanko at 11%, and Skip Brandt with 9%. Clearly Brandt made a mistake giving up his Senate seat for this race.

In other races, the Statesman’s calling Larry LaRocco the next Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Lawrence Wasden is going to get another chance at the Attorney General’s Office, crushing his primary opponent 73-27%.

Other races, the Statesman calling too close to call. I’ll stick my neck out and project that Donna Jones will be the GOP Nominee for State Controller. She leads 59-41% with 62% of the vote counted.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction Race is down to the wire. First, on the Democratic side. Those who wasted their votes to try and bring about the nomination of Vasquez are missing out on a nail-biting Superintendent Primary. Jana Jones leads Brenty Marley 53-47%.

GOP is even closer tonight. Steve Smiley has a 1200 vote lead with 62% of the vote counted, ahead 42-40%. This’ll be a late race.

And in blogging news, though its not a surprise, Julie Fanselow of Red State Rebels was elected Democratic Precinct Captain in Precinct 95. Stay here for further updates.

I’ll be hanging with the Dems at Red State Rebels where its an election open thread. The very restrictive 43rd State Blues has also opened things up for primary night.

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Daily Response: Elitism on Display

Posted by Adam Graham on November 3, 2005

The Statesman’s Letters to the Editor has some more anti-Brandi letters. I’m not going to go over them all, because I’ve responded to most of the points but Willie Lynn Hollingsworth sets a new record for elitism:

To Brandi Swindell and all of you who wrote in letters of support: “What were y’all thinkin’?” This is called an introduction to the world of politics. Or, in college lingo, world of politics 101. In this class experience, you learn many aspects of the political world. To start with, a lesson in the chapter of mudslinging. It happens. Deal with it.

Next in line would be a course called sociology 101. You learn about having your norms challenged. Take a lot of notes, you’ll need them. You might want to dabble in a few communication courses. You would learn that whining is not listed as a tool of effective communication.

And last, but far from least, a lesson from anatomy and physiology I would be helpful in your endeavors. You will learn the amazing intricacies of the human body. Especially the skeletal system, which is supported by the spine. Get one.

Wow, where does one start. Mudslinging happens and you respond to it, that’s exactly what happened in this campaign. The accusation of a “lack of spine” is so misdirected and ill-thought out, its sad. If Brandi was spineless she would have quit the campaign with all the attacks coming her way or compromised.

I don’t believe the campaign “whined” as Ms. Hollingsworth put it, but I wonder if they teaching “condescending elitism” as a communications skill. 73% of Idahoans don’t have a Bachelor’s degree. Its great she’s completing one in June, but I hope the attitude in her letter isn’t the attitude she takes towards other people. Without a Bachelor’s degree, George Washington saved this Republic. This country is free because a lot of men, many of them uneducated, fought and died so we could be free.

Education is not a virtue, its a skill, its an experience. When you strip away all the education, the fancy letters, and the big classes, what you have left is the virtue of a person. Its this value that we tend to forget.

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Brandi Swindell and Limitied Government

Posted by Adam Graham on November 2, 2005

Going to do a quick daily response to Brad Cozzens in the Letters to the Editor. Mr. Cozzens who identifies himself as an angry Republican writes:

The Republican Party that I know and love is based upon smaller government and fiscal responsibility, and I don’t see how Brandi fits into those concepts.

That’s a great question and I’ve got great answers. Lets start with a simple fact. Brandi will definitely represent a huge change in limited government compared to her opponent Maryanne Jordan.

Ms. Jordan voted 56 times year to date to increase taxes and fees in the City of Boise. 56 times and she’s not done yet. They’ve increased fees on Charitable solicitors, taxi cab rates, dance lessons, and Merry-go-rounds. It doesn’t take much to improve on a record of sticking it to the people of Boise time and time again.

Secondly, as a Boise homeowner, I support Brandi for City Council because she’ll introduce legislation within her first 2-3 weeks on the Council to make sure that someday the City can’t decide they want to take my home by eminent domain to build a big box store or a hotel. My wife and I have wanted a place of our own for years and we finally got it. It was a lot of hassle. First, we had to find the house. We had to get the home inspection, the appraisal, mortgage, grants, but after nearly 2 months from start to finish, we had our own house. In all of my life, even growing up, I’d never had a place my own. Making sure, that government can’t capriously come and take my home from me is one of the best things that could be done to limit government.

So, Mr. Cozzens, in short that’s what Brandi Swindell has to do with limited government and fiscal responsibility.

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Brandi Debate Continues

Posted by Adam Graham on October 30, 2005

Even if you don’t vote for her, you have to admit that the Swindell Campaign has people fired up about elections that generally go unnoticed. There were a lot of letters on this campaign in Today’s Statesman including one from me:

There have been a lot of statements made by liberals attacking Brandi Swindell’s character. Having heard Brandi speak, I’d like to share my observations.

Contrary to what some people say, she’s not driven by publicity. If she was, she wouldn’t be willing to give up a national platform for the city she loves. Brandi entered the public arena because she cares about people, and she was willing to put aside her own doubts about herself and do what she saw needed to be done. This is the very essence of leadership.

I’ve observed her at a recent Christian conference and noted that she doesn’t just hang around with the powerful but will go and talk and spend time with most anyone, try to understand them, respect them and learn from them. This goes to the heart of what we need on a City Council that shunned public comment on the Ten Commandments and has been condemned even by The Statesman for its arrogance.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for a city councilwoman who will listen and lead. Join me on Nov. 8 in electing Brandi Swindell to the City Council.

From Martin Johncox we get this argument against Brandi Swindell:

Call me ultra-conservative, but I believe a productive citizen has at least two of these by their mid-20s: a job, his or her own dwelling, occupational training, a marriage or children. Brandi Swindell demonstrates for a living, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she lives with her parents. When people drive by protests and yell “Get a job!” they’re talking about indulged professional activists like her. Working people with families can’t afford to get arrested.

First of all, I’m glad that by Mr. Johncox’s definition I’m a productive citizen, so I’m sure he won’t have any problem backing me if I choose to run for City Council or State Legislature as I have all three. However, I’m also a Conservative, I have a sneaking suspicion that will leave me out.

Secondly, some of the people who did get arrested at the monument did have families. The “crime” she was arrested for was minor, a lot less serious than DUI or a lot of crimes many people in the valley seem to be able to afford and deal with it.

Third, as to the concern about “professional activists,” I think we’re at the point where this is really a mute issue. Look, professional activists like Nicole LeFavour are elected to office all the time. Brandi has had experience working jobs obviously in terms of working at Yellowstone Park. Ms. Lefavour cites her own work experience in the Frank Church wilderness. She went out and worked for a Congressional campaign in New York. She has worked at normal work. Its just been over the last few years, her work has been organizing a national organization as well as a great local organization.

So, apparently Conservatives are to punish the people who stand up for our values by refusing to support them because that’s their focus rather than doing a laundry list of things we think will make them acceptable for public office. Look, we need people who professionally work for good causes, because there’s always to be more people working against what’s good full-time, non-stop.

Fortunately, state Director Kirk Sullivan has personally assured me the party will no longer assist Swindell’s campaign in any way. This should restore the party’s integrity.

Mr. Johncox claims to be a precint captain. I certainly hope we find which precinct he’s in and get him out. If Mr. Sullivan wanted to say this publicly, if he wanted it in the Newspaper, he would have said it.

As a blogger, I’ve got to be very careful. I know a lot of people and am around them quite a bit. The things I hear often would make great blog posts, but I don’t post them. The reason is that whether its damaging or not, good or bad, that some things are not things people would be comfortable being quoted on and what Mr. Sullivan said privately to Mr. Johncox is one of those things, unless he got permission to use it in the letter.

We go to Bob McDermid who writes:

“Brandi infuses every action with an extreme conservative religious viewpoint that is simply out of step with Boise residents.”

First of all, I’ve got to tell you that I get a kick out of people who backed John Kerry (and most of the liberal letter writes did, I’ll bet you bottom dollar) telling us what the mainstream thoughts in Idaho are.

I would bet this that the mainstream of Idaho doesn’t think Christianity is a disqualifier for office. The author goes on to write:

She is in the same league as the homophobic Rev. Fred Phelps. Phelps argued before the City Council that if Boise allowed one religious display on its property, it must allow him to erect a monument commemorating the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay man murdered in a homophobic hate crime in Wyoming in 1998. If the council hadn’t acted, Phelps would have had legal ground to erect his hate memorial here in our home town.

This is utter nonsense. Phelps never sued to get his monument into Meridian or into Nampa and they just ignored him. Why Alan Shealy and Mary Anne Jordan didn’t is because they wanted the monument out.

City Councilman Alan Shealy gives us another reason not to vote for Mary Anne Jordan by endorsing her. He writes:

Make no mistake. This is no time for experimentation in our city government.

Sorry, Mr. Shealy. This City Council is broke and it needs fixed.

Michael De Angelo writes:

The best qualification this princess of the religious-Nazi wing of the Republican Party has to offer is as proselytizer for a hunk of rock that was a marketing ploy for a Cecil B. DeMille movie. Her efforts to have government control what may happen within the confines of a woman’s body and to prohibit contraceptives, and regarding the Terri Schiavo fiasco, are obscene.

Wow, this guy’s a lovely gentleman. Nice Ad hominen attacks. Bryan Fischer actually had a great point in his blog on Friday regarding the DeMille attack:

Maryanne Jordan’s stated position in today’s Statesman contains a number of errors or misrepresentations. First, she cavalierly dismisses the gift of the monument back in 1965 as simply part of “movie promotion.” However, the “Ten Commandments” movie came out in 1956. Surely Jordan must realize nobody promotes a movie nine years after it has been released, especially in an era before VHS and DVD.

Enough said.

Dave Washburn hits the nail on the head with a great letter, here it is:

Brandi Swindell, shame on you. How dare you be good-looking! Don’t you know that if you want to run for City Council, you have to pull out all your teeth but one, grow a wart on your nose, either cultivate or paint ugly pimples all over your face, let your hair turn into a rat’s nest, gain at least a hundred pounds, and — oh, wait, that’s only if you’re conservative. As long as you toe Dan Popkey’s line, you can look however you want to. Now I’m all confused…

Well, that was it. There was a note of the bottom of the Letter to the Editor’s on Popkey column attacking Swindell:

Editor’s note: Dan Popkey apologizes today on Local 1.

Unlike, the rest of Popkey’s columns, this wasn’t on the Internet and I don’t take the Statesman at home. Boise Guardian has a summary of it:

In his Sunday column, Popkey acknowledged that he knew better and shouldn’t have said things about Brandi’s good looks.

If that’s all, its good that he apologized though if he said he knew better that to me always begs a question. If you knew better, why the heck did you do it in the first place? Unlike the rest of Popkey’s columns, this one’s not online, so I can’t quote it. I’ll take a look at it at Wal-Mart tomorrow and if its interesting, I’ll blog about it.

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The Weekend Response: A Time for Home Schooling

Posted by Adam Graham on October 23, 2005

I’ve not done one of these in a while, but I’m going to respond to some letters to the Editor in the Idaho Statesman.

Sheilia Francis writes in regarding new educational standards proposed by the board of Education:

Why does the Idaho State Board of Education feel it necessary to change graduation requirements?

This is a ridiculous request of students, and it would be the end of programs such as music, theatre, arts, and other extra-curricular activities.

Now for those of you who missed it, basically there’s new Educational standards requiring students to pass a test of basic competency to make it into high school from 8th grade.

On one hand, I understand her concern but if students can not read, write, or do arithmatic (the 3r’s) on a basic level then the rest of it doesn’t matter, because they’ve left school unprepared for the realities of life.

I think, the concern about the arts is valid. Clearly, the Founders never had a mind a society where everyone was just a corporate robot. Might I suggest homeschooling? Homeschooled mothers are amazing. I’ve seen so many who’ve dedicated themselves to schooling. They get traditional school lessons done in a few hours and then the kids have time for art and music and all kinds of things.

Other than that, a great reform is specialized high schools like they have in New York where kids can go to a High School that specializes or vocational schools. I believe in school choice in a way that parents are going to have a lot of choices for their kids and kids will be the winners.

In the current structure of public schools, however, you can’t send a high school who can’t read, write, or do math at that level. I saw a kid who because of social promotion was continually promoted, but struggled through 4th grade books. He graduated high school and ended up working at a ski resort. I don’t know how much better he can get because he has a high school diploma that’s virtually worthless.

Sparkle Patterson reads Dan Popkey the riot act in her letter to the editor and she may have hit a little too close to home with one of her comments:

I suppose this is indicative of your behavior towards women in general. If you don’t like what they have to say, you belittle them.

In a marriage, if you acted with so much contempt for your wife, you would end up divorced. As a newspaper journalist you should be reprimanded.

Popkey has mentioned in previous columns that he is in fact divorced, but never what was behind it. I don’t know and neither does Mrs. Patterson. Still can’t wonder whether the association will occur to people reading it.

In endorsing Mary Anne Jordan, Marlene Strong writes:

Hot-button social issues such as those espoused by her opponent have no place in city politics

I would agree accept for two things. First, Brandi hasn’t just focused on social issues. Secondly, Brandi didn’t bring social issues to the municipal level, Ms. Jordan did by voting to remove the ten commandments monument.

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Dan Does the Brandi-Bash

Posted by Adam Graham on October 16, 2005

The radical left has gone into more Brandi Swindell-bashing. First on Friday, we get this letter to the editor from Penny Dunlap:

It is wonderful that a young person in Boise wants to run for City Council, however, I find something lacking in Ms. Swindell’s resume — a college education.

Perhaps Ms. Swindell should use her time to further her education before running for City Council…pursuing higher education would hopefully broaden her perspective.

Okay, yeah I remember there was that part of the City Code that requires members of the City Council to be College Graduates…oh wait, that doesn’t exist.

It would appear that Ms. Dunlap may need to go back to school on statistics. 77.4% of Idahoans don’t have a Bachelor’s degree according to the US Census Bureau. In addition, we elected 17 legislators last year who had not finished a Bachelor’s degree. Shirley McKague has served 5 terms in the legislature despite never going beyond High School.

Dan Popkey had some things to say on this issue this weekend. First, he’s mad at the Idaho Republican Party for letting Brandi Swindell use their resources to run the campaign:

That’s been the practice. Party stalwarts worked hard for former Mayor Brent Coles, a Republican, and incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter, a Democrat. But until now party infrastructure — offices, voter lists, staff — have not been employed in non-partisan contests.

Hey Dan! Guess when non-partisanship died in Boise city government? When the mayor and the council showed themselves to be San Francisco style liberals by removing the Ten Commandments monument. If liberals will stop our cities from becoming a ground zero in the culture wars, we wouldn’t be here. Dan goes on:

I’m baffled Sullivan picked Swindell for this leap into non-partisan elections. Jim Tibbs might make sense, but not an extremist who opposes condom use and has zero experience with the collaborative skills it takes to make a city work.

Councilwoman Jordan is a businesswoman who sells police supplies. She’s toiled in the vineyard of local issues as president of the West Valley Neighborhood Association and a Planning & Zoning commissioner. She’s worked on Foothills preservation and transportation planning. She’s been on the council since 2003 and has a degree in political science.

Swindell graduated from Meridian High School but has no college degree. Image is everything. Good looks got her TV time on O’Reilly…

Wow, so she only gets on TV because of her looks, not because of anything she has to say or contribute…hmm!

SEXIST ALERT! BIG FAT SEXIST ALERT!

Can you imagine someone writing this about a liberal woman, “Why she only gets on talk shows because of her looks.” It would not be tolerated, but the editorial board of the Statesman just gives it a wink and a nod. Its okay to be sexist if you work for the liberal media.

Also if Jordan is such a great councilwoman and has the great personal skills, why did she support the brilliant idea of not even holding a public hearing on the Ten Commandments issue.

In my lifetime, the national debt has gone up more than 8 trillion dollars under college educated “smart people.” Wasteful government programs are started by these same people. The Boise City Council is full of elitists who think they know so much better than the people who elected them and don’t care what the uneducated masses think. We need Common Sense from a citizen of Boise and not just another arrogant politician. That’s why Brandi should be elected.

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The Crime of Political Incorrectness

Posted by Adam Graham on September 21, 2005

About six days ago, I blogged about Reverend Bryan Fischer’s statement on the Dalai Lama’s visit to Idaho. For a refresher here’s what he said regarding the Dalai Lama’s visit:

“He was very likable but I think his view of evil is simplistic. There is no dialogue that is going to stop an insane terrorist from attacking innocent people. His views on human nature are also very naive. He believes we are born good, but parents know you don’t have to teach your children to be bad. They know how to do that. You have to teach them to be good. He also doesn’t believe in a creator. If the colonists had been Buddhists, we wouldn’t have the United States.”

Now, this is his statement of honest disagreement with the Dalai Lama’s views, but Joyceann Fick wrote in letters to the editor to the Statesman:

Fischer seems to think he alone has cornered the market on “acceptable” beliefs. That he would actually criticize the tenets of the Dalai Lama only proves how narrow-minded and intolerant Fischer’s message really is.

He didn’t say that the Dalai Lama’s beliefs were unacceptable, he said they were wrong. He disputed and challenged them, he respectfully disagreed and expressed his opinion. He took the good, the bad, and as a pastor called to speak the truths of the Christian faith, he pointed out what were the problems in this message. Last I heard, debating and discussing viewpoints was an American tradition, apparently not when the Dalai Lama is here. We’re to have our religious leaders pretend down is up and 2+2=5 to please the left. Next up, we have Kurt Caswell, from Lubbock, Texas who just had to join in from 2,00 miles away:

I find it astonishing that a spiritual leader would help to cultivate an atmosphere of fear and vengeance over hope and light…If Fischer would only compare his words with the words of the terrorists he wishes to kill, he’d find his world view is identical…

If the colonists had been Buddhists we would indeed have a United States (see Fischer’s comments), but instead of a United States founded on acts of terrorism against the 500 Indian Nations, we’d have, perhaps, a true union of states and peoples.

Wow, now Christians who after politely sitting through a speech by the Dalai Lama and disagree with him are the equivalent of Al Queda terrorists. This is Mr Caswell’s attempt to spread hope and light instead of vengeance.

Secondly, Fischer had a point. America had a very strong protestant (particularly reformed influence) in its founding. Books have been written about the role Scottish Presbytrianism played in the country’s founding.

More importantly, the point he made is that the Declaration of Independence refers to a Creator and the rights, King George violated were given to us by the Creator. If you believe there’s no Creator, how do you fight a Revolution based on violations of rights He gave you.

However, there were some people who had some common sense about this, among them was Stacey Boone:

According to an article in The Idaho Statesman on July 24, the Dalai Lama is believed to be “an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion.” This is religion. This is a form of Buddhism. Since the state is not supposed to support one religion over another, I wonder if Gov. Kempthorne and his office will be promoting a visit and speaking engagement to Idaho’s children by Billy Graham or maybe the pope.

Now our state, because of the White Supremacist problem up North for many years is always ready to show itself diverse and tolerant with things like this, but I have to question where the ACLU was. Apparently, they’re warming up for their fight against Christmas trees and manger scences. I’ve heard garbage about Buddhism being a philosophy, but most people are going to say its a religion. The Seperation of Church and State, the danger of religion in the public square can only be used against Christians.

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The Statesman v. Thomas Jefferson

Posted by Adam Graham on June 30, 2005

In today’s Statesman, there was an editorial on the Ten Commandments monument. The Statesman of course is sticking to its guns in opposing the monument:

“Government did not give us our rights,” the Rev. Bryan Fischer, coalition co-director and senior pastor at Boise’s Community Church of the Valley, said Tuesday. “God gave us our rights. That is the foundation of our government in the United States.”

Separation of church and state is one of America’s most precious freedoms.

So, they’re taking issue with Pastor Fischer’s view on rights coming from God? Lets go to the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Guess what? Jefferson said our rights came from God. Now, let me stop here, because our good friend, Radical Russ is going to tell us that the founders, particularly Jefferson was a Deist and that it was a deistic God. Those who go around saying the founders are deists haven’t looked the term up in the dictionary. Take a look at this definion of “deism” from Dictionary.com

The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.

So, lets go further down in the Declaration of Independence:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in general Congress Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…

If God left the world alone, after creating it, why are you appealing to Him? Doesn’t make sense, unless the Founders weren’t deists.

How about Thomas Paine, lets take a look at The America Crisis

I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent.

Wait, Mr. Paine, if God abandonned the world, then he doesn’t really have a choice about it, does he? Unless, Thomas Paine wasn’t a true deists.

What about Benjamin Franklin? Lets take a look at his speech calling for prayer at the Constitutional Convention calling for prayer

I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age.

How can God govern in the affairs of men if he abandonned the world? Perhaps, Dr. Franklin wasn’t a true deist.

Finally, Mr. Thomas Jefferson speaking for himself (and not a committee as he was when he wrote the Declaration of Independence:

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Wait, why tremble if God’s abandonned the world. Maybe Jefferson wasn’t a true deist, either.

All of the founders were more likely non-religious theists, which is defined as:

Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

Its clear that no one really believed in the absentee landlord that modern deists speak of.

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Daily Response: Answering the Questions

Posted by Adam Graham on June 22, 2005

In today’s Statesman Robert Bungard asks some questions and I’ll give them some answers.

He begins:

Some of you out there would like to prohibit abortion. At the same time, you are against birth control.

That one’s easy. Abortifacents destroy fetilized human life, just as abortion does. I don’t oppose all birth control, but those who do would tell you that both are the same in that both treat children as diseases.

You also want a tax cut. At the same time you are members of tax-exempt organizations that in many instances are little more than private clubs.

The problem is not too little taxes, but too much spending. In addition, good churches and charities take care of the community’s needs and can reduce the amount we have to spend in taxes in care for the poor and correcting problems caused by poor morals.

Another weirdity is about worshipping a being who was all about peace. Yet you are all about war.

Couldn’t be further from the truth. I opposed Gulf War I, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo actions. Christians are a little more nuanced than that. I was also undecided going into Operation: Iraqi Freedom.

Maybe, we view “peace” a little different than you. Peace seems to be defined as the absence of US military forces. China is at peace, its people are in bondage to the government, and live in fear of their lives. That’s what Christ called “peace as the world gives it.”

Patrick Henry, one of those crazy warmongers cried in 1775, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others might take but as for me, Give me Liberty or give me death!”

Finally, you are trying to teach creationism and intelligent design to our young people. The plain fact is that evolution has occurred.

Hey, scientists disagree with you, not as to microevolution (small changes in a species as a result of climate) but as to macroevolution, the idea that you can take one species and get another through natural selection.

Indeed, since when did it become, “The Fact of Evolution”, last I heard it was “The Theory.” Not all intelligent design people are creationists and the two are different. Intelligent design teaches there was a pattern of intelligence, rather than just mere randomness involved in creating the universe. You want to think its God, or a space alien, or time travellers that’s up to you. That’s outside of science.

Some intelligent design people believe in some Evolution helped by the designer. And you know what? That’s okay! We’re in a free country where we can think, debate, argue, and find the truth. Perhaps, it will be a while until we can move beyond 19th century theories as sacred to biology. As one Chinese scientist observed, “In China, you can criticize Darwin but not the government. In the US, you can criticize the government but not Darwin.”

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Where the Lottery Money Comes From

Posted by Adam Graham on June 2, 2005

The Statesman has an Editorial today calling for the winner of the Powerball to come forward with his name. According to the Statesman, he doesn’t have much choice. They write:

Simmons doesn’t think the law will let him keep the latest winner’s identity secret for long anyway.

Then they conclude, that its his moral duty to come forward and they explain:

Let the governor hand you your oversized check with the TV lights glaring. Millions of people with dreams like yours contributed to your sudden wealth. They would like to meet you. You have a tradition to uphold.

Yes, the lottery is a wonderful tradition. Rarely has such a system been devised that robs both winners and losers.

The winner of the $200+ million powerball jackpot is taking time to plan. That’s good, because people who buy lottery tickets generally have no clue about handling it.

Bankrate.com has an article on 8 people who lost all of their winnings. One interesting quote is from Bud Post who lives on Social Security and food stamps after winning the lottery said, “I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare.”

So good luck avoiding the fate of these “lucky folks.” Also, where did the money come from? It came from desperate people, poor people, those on public assistance who have little, but thanks to a government campaign to manipulate and deceive citizens into pouring hard-earned money down a sinkhole have taken money that should have gone to necessities to play a game that they have no chance of winning.

In that $200 millions are included the rent of people so desperate to believe they should get ahead, that they spent their rent money on it. The person who won the Lottery gets to be the Grand Sucker, the prophet of greed and avarice.

The Statesman’s right for once. It all comes with the package.

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Whiners and The Cool People

Posted by Adam Graham on April 26, 2005

Wow, it’s been ages since I’ve done a daily response. Anyway, no time like the presence to dive in. First we’ve got a really great later from James Stewart who is tired of families of those who have gone off to Iraq complaining. Mr. Stewart wrote:

I served my time for 25 years to keep them safe and sound and my family didn’t bellyache the way some of these people are doing. They all better thank the good Lord that we don’t have to talk Japanese or German after World War II. There were a hell of a lot of men and women that never came back to become fathers or mothers…All we can do now is praise them in the past and pray for those that are now serving. God bless them for doing their share as I did.

Mr. Stewart really makes a good point. I think the problem is really generational. Mr. Stewart came from a generation that didn’t brag, that did its job and didn’t stand around waiting for a pat on the back. That’s not my generation. We expect to be recognized for the smallest sacrifice and to whine all the way while doing it. I’m the same way in my own work.

The fact is that this country is free because people became inconvenienced for the cause of American liberty and continued self-government. Ted Williams may very well have been remembered as the greatest player who ever lived had he not gone off to fight in World War II. Willie Mays lost 2 prime years of his career to Korea. I mean we need more Pat Tillman’s, less whiners and that goes for me also. That’s what makes the greatest generation so great, they’re unassuming about the whole thing.

Meg Young had a letter on teenagers. She sounds like a nice girl whose had some bad experience with people, she writes:

I smiled at the woman waiting next to me; she scowled. Then I noticed her keys on the counter in front of me. She snatched them up and gave me another suspicious look. Did she think I was going to steal her keys?

Walking home, I recalled other incidents: the department store clerks with their eyes on me waiting for me to steal something, the man waving his middle finger when he had to stop at the crosswalk, art museum docents following my friend and me around the museum.

Adding this up, it seemed that adults generally distrust or dislike young people. Teenagers are not bad. Why is it that people suspect us of doing bad things?

Wow, its a pretty good question. Like I said, from what she writes she sounds like a nice girl. If she’d actually say, “Good morning” to a stranger she’s a lot friendlier than most teenagers who seem to be caught up in their own little world.

The answer is kind of like racial profiling. The biggest challenge is to learn as much as humanely possible not to judge people you don’t know based on how they look. Eventually, she’ll grow up and won’t have to deal with the teen discrimination, but a lot of us will still be overweight or a minority. This may be my letter to the editor this week.

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Correcting the Left

Posted by Adam Graham on March 31, 2005

My letter in regards to the Terri Schaivo case was published in today’s Statesman:

I could not believe how far off Charles Yates was in his letter to the editor in which he alleged that the fight for Terri Schaivo’s life wasn’t about her right to life, because if it had been, “We’d spend more money on schools than we do on prisons.” Mr. Yates should read the governor’s budget. The budget for adult and juvenile corrections is $156.6 million, the budget for schools $1.38 billion, eight times what we spend on prisons.

Also, “We’d control guns so kids couldn’t go to school and kill kids.” It’s already against the law to bring a gun to school. I’d also point out the largest number of deaths to occur at a school was caused by a bomb, not guns.

He also accuses pro-lifers of defending clinic shooters, when no responsible pro-life leader supports shooting abortionists.

On the same page, there were attacks on Brandi Swindell for going down to Florida. What really bugs leftists about Ms. Swindell is what she represents. Polls are showing that the younger generation is trending pro-life. She represents the coming defeat for a culture of death as a new generation embraces the sanctity of human life.

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Daily Response: Are You Ready Yet?

Posted by Adam Graham on March 23, 2005

The Statesman has an incredibly whiny lead editorial demanding that Governor Kempthorne hurry up and appoint someone to fill the seat vacated by Senator Jack Noble. While it’s important, I don’t see how the Statesman demanding Kempthorne hurry up is going to help anything.

Qwest deregulation passed and Senate District 21 had no one representing them on the vote which causes a problem:

Voters in 34 legislative districts at least can hold their senators accountable on Qwest…But because District 21 has no senator, voters have no one they can hold to account.

As the Statesman noted, Kempthorne supports Qwest deregulation and so would anyone he appointed. In addition, people appointed to these type of vacancies tend to fill out the unexpired term and go home. So, how is having a Senator who will vote Yes on the bill and not run again going to help matters? Also, can’t they hold their two House members accountable? This is not a crisis, despite the Statesmen’s whining.

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The Daily Response: From the Neville Chamberlain Department

Posted by Adam Graham on March 14, 2005

Brent McNealy wrote the following:

I also believe we (the United States) need to turn around and sit down with both Iran and North and South Korea and start peace talks. This is what Osama fears the most. Peace between our neighbors and us.

–If it were only that simple. The US has been negotiating with North Korea. However, contrary to what Mr. McNealy says, it’s not the US at its best to appease our enemies despite their oppression and their nuclear proliferation. If you want to find out how appeasement works, ask Neville Chamberlain.

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