Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Please continue to speak up!

Last Minute Message about the House Environment Energy and Technology committee hearing on the Moratorium Bill (H689) on March 2nd.

From Peter Remmen of Coalition for Healthy Idaho Communities :

It is critically important that people throughout the State of Idaho - not just in the Magic Valley - know about the dangers of coal-fired power plants. Please call your Idaho friends and relatives right away who live outside of Magic Valley and tell them that the Moratorium Bill is crucial to the welfare of this state. Ask them to call or e-mail their legislators right away to tell them Idaho isn’t ready for coal-fired plants. In particular, lawmakers who sit on the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee must hear about this by Thursday, March 2. There are several coal-fired plant proposals in the works all across southern Idaho. Idaho is one of only a couple of states that doesn’t have the pollution of coal-fired plants, and that is a good thing. We are the third fastest growing state in the nation, and clean air and water are part of the reason. To guarantee we don’t lose this battle, we have to have input from all over this state. You’ve done a great job in letting legislators know that Magic Valley isn’t ready for this. Now, let’s make sure lawmakers from the rest of this state hear from their own constituencies that they must support a moratorium.

If you haven't already done so, please contact the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee through email and express your opposition to coal-fired power plants in Idaho. Go to the legislature's website above and select "How to Contact Legislators". Then procede to select the House Environment, Energy and Technology committee, and send an email to the entire committe on the form provided.

Also, don't forget to continue to write a Letter to the Editor every month - particularly to the Times-News and to The Statesman. There should be letters oppositing Sempra in every day's paper. We don't want to drop the ball here after spending so much time and energy getting the public's attention. And FINALLY, keep obtaining signatures on the petitions that are circulating around the Magic Valley.

For more information and contact links for legislators, county commissioners, and newspapers, go to Coalition for Healthy Idaho Communities.
(Guess we just don't have enough money invested in our legislators to earn our right to be heard??)
The air and water you save will be your own!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Contact your legislator!

From Senator Clint Stennett (District 25), Senate Minority Leader:
February 27, 2006
Legislators need to be aware that residents are watching how we handle this sensitive issue. There needs to be persistent pressure from the public on legislators to get this issue right the first time. Once this facility is operating, we will not be able to "unring the bell".

Sempra officials told the House Environmental and Energy Committee yesterday that if they passed the moratorium (H689), they would take their industry elsewhere. I only hope that Idaho Legislators will not take that as a threat. This is a new industry to Idaho. We are not set up to address all the concerns this industry will bring along with it. If we permit this industry out of fear and blindly open our borders to this industry without taking the time necessary to set up the crucial processes to protect our resources and the public, we will be selling out Idaho and all the residents of Southern Idaho at this time.

If Sempra cannot respect the time necessary to prepare ourselves for them, then they don't deserve Idaho. Please continue to share your opinions with other legislators, as well as your neighbors, friends and family and ask them to do the same.
Previous entries regarding SEMPRA:
Protect Idaho by supporting HB689!
SEMPRA coverage in the Times-News

Posted at Gooding Drinking Liberally:
Jerome Cty Coal-Fired Power Plant FACT SHEET

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What Really Happened (by Cindy Sheehan)

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 by www.CommonDreams.org

Dear Friends,
As most of you have probably heard, I was arrested before the State of the Union Address tonight.

I am speechless with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost in our country.

There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press. (Shocker) So this is what really happened:

This afternoon at the People's State of the Union Address in DC where I was joined by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik Rahim and John Cavanagh, Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of the Union Address. At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: "2245 Dead. How many more?"

After the PSOTU press conference, I was having second thoughts about going to the SOTU at the Capitol. I didn't feel comfortable going. I knew George Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew that I couldn't disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the ticket and I didn't want to be disruptive out of respect for her. I, in fact, had given the ticket to John Bruhns who is in Iraq Veterans Against the War. However, Lynn's office had already called the media and everyone knew I was going to be there so I sucked it up and went.

I got the ticket back from John, and I met one of Congresswoman Barbara Lee's staffers in the Longworth Congressional Office building and we went to the Capitol via the underground tunnel. I went through security once, then had to use the rest room and went through security again.

My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, and fourth seat in. The person, who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People's House because I was, "Protesting."

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just got back from there."

I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shirt that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable that I would be arrested...maybe I would have, but I didn't.

There have already been many wild stories out there.

I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back.

I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government. That's why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That's why I am not going to let Bushco take anything else away from me...or you.

I am so appreciative of the couple of hundred of protesters who came to the jail while I was locked up to show their support....we have so much potential for good...there is so much good in so many people.

Four hours and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out. Again, I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight.

Keep up the struggle...I promise you I will too.
Cindy Sheehan

Virtual Town Hall Meeting w/ Larry Grant

Last November, Larry Grant became the first Idaho congressional candidate to launch a campaign blog. Grant now plans another first: a live blogging session that will serve as a virtual "town hall" meeting for voters across Idaho who are interested in learning more about Grant, his campaign, and his stands on the issues.

The one-hour "live blog" session will start at 8 p.m. Mountain/7 p.m. Pacific on Monday, February 27. People interested in taking part can log onto the Grassroots for Grant, where Grant will be standing by to field questions and take input from voters.

"No matter where people live in Idaho, they'll be able to visit the blog and take part in a real-time conversation about the issues they most want addressed this election year," said Grant, a Democrat seeking the 1st District seat.

Julie Fanselow, manager of the Grassroots for Grant blog, will moderate the session. People who cannot log in live on February 27 can send questions in advance to julie@grantforcongress.com. The session will be archived for later reading at Grassroots for Grant .

"We envision this as a virtual town-hall meeting for Idaho's far-flung 1st District," Julie told me. "A chance for folks to ask Larry questions even if geographical, health, work schedule, or family factors prevent them from attending a real meeting with the candidate."

NOTE: Larry Grant is running for the 1st District Seat. Even though residents of Gooding (and Magic Valley) aren't able to vote for Grant, it would be in the best interest of Idaho's well-being if we (a) participated anyway so we can become informed so we can help spread the word, and (b) pass the word on ESPECIALLY to those in District 1. (If you aren't sure which district is which,
Jim Hansen provided a map for us!)

Residents of District 2: We are in the process of inviting both
Jim Hansen and Craig Cooper to Gooding for a future Drinking Liberally get-together, so you will have an opportunity to meet with them as well. Julie Fanselow will also be our special guest at the first Gooding Drinking Liberally gathering on March 3.

Gooding Idaho Drinking Liberally!!

Gooding has its own chapter!

Check out the little dot on the USA map at Drinking Liberally!

At our first gathering on March 3, we will have a special guest joining us... Julie from Red State Rebels and Larry Grant for Congress. She is a fountain of information and a great source of inspiration. Please join us and we can all visit and commiserate together!

QUIRKY FACT... One of the first DL chapters set up in the United States was BOISE IDAHO!!! It was the third or fourth chapter! {Gooding is about #133...}

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Speak for Yourself (by Cindy Sheehan)

NOTE: I am also a member of the Gold Star Families For Peace and have had the honor of communicating with Cindy personally. The membership dues for this organization are higher than anybody would willingly pay and we wish to run out of eligible members. In the meantime, we work for Peace.
--Diana Rowe Pauls
Proud Sister of an Idaho Marine, KIA 9-3-04

Speak for Yourself ...by Cindy Sheehan
While we were camping out in hot and humid Crawford, Texas last August, trying to meet with George Bush and trying to end the war, a right-wing organization called Move America Forward to oblivion?) started a bus tour called: Cindy, You Don't Speak for Me.

Move America Forward does some nice things, like sending coffee to our troops. It is unfortunate for the families of the almost 2300 killed troops that the organization doesn't send non-defective body armor, GPS devices, or IED jammers to save the lives of the troops that have been put in harm's way for the politicians' lies and cowardice and corporate greed. I think these things would be a little more useful than coffee.

Move America Forward has every right to exist and to express their views. However, the organization claims to be "...a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to supporting America's efforts to defeat terrorism and supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces." When in all actuality MAF supports George Bush's war of terror against the world and against America. And if Move America Forward is non-partisan, then I am the darling of the White House.

I truly don't believe that sending coffee to our troops and putting yellow "Support our Troops" magnets on cars is supporting the troops.

Coffee is good, I love coffee myself.

I just don't understand how sending our young and brave people off to die in a war that has been proven over and over again to be based on lies is supporting the troops.

I don't understand how cutting the VA budget and closing VA hospitals is supporting our veterans.

I don't understand how exposing our brave young people to depleted uranium, white phosphorous and enhanced napalm is supporting them. I don't understand how forcing our troops to use WMD's (and also conventional weapons) against innocent fellow members of the human race is supporting our troops.

Deborah Johns is a member of Move America Forward and as a mom who has a son in the Marines, is a vocal critic of mine and has been telling everyone that I don't speak for her for months. She in fact is planning a new "Cindy, You Don't Speak for Me" event in San Diego where I will be speaking on February 27th at the Thomas Jefferson Law School.

I have news for Deborah and for the rest of America and the world:
I never said I spoke for Deborah, or anyone else.
I speak for Cindy Sheehan. Only Cindy Sheehan.

I expect everyone else to speak for themselves. That is each and every one of our duties and responsibilities as Americans and human beings. I wish someone would show me anywhere that I said I ever spoke for anyone but myself.

Whether Deborah likes it or not, I don't want her son to die in this illegal and immoral war. With all my heart and soul, I do not want her to become a Gold Star Mom. Whether one supports the murder and mayhem (on both sides), or not, it is not a good thing. As a matter of fact, it is an indescribably awful and disordered thing to bury a child. I don't want anymore Gold Star Moms to be made by and for the chickenhawks who cower behind their desks and send other people's children off to fight their imaginary battles.

Deborah Johns blames "al Qaeda" for our military deaths (including Casey Sheehan's) in Iraq! Please, trust me, if I did speak for Ms. Johns her opinions would be more informed.

Casey was killed on April 04, 2004 by Shi'ite militia loyal to Moqtada al Sadr in Sadr City, Baghdad . Even George Bush says that most of the killing in Iraq is done by "Saddamists and rejectionists" and the terrorists are the "smallest" group. (Speech given by George Bush in December, 2005 in Philadelphia). There was no al-Qaeda operating in Iraq before the 2003 invasion by American forces. Saddam had no ties to al-Qaeda. As a matter of fact, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose somewhere.

However, Moqtada al-Sadr is another story. He fomented the rebellions in Fallujah and Baghdad in April of 2004 that killed many of our troops, including Casey and 11 others on the 4th. He is a Shi'a cleric who is an Iraqi by birth and citizenship. He is the leader of the Mahdi Army who killed Casey and so many other American soldiers. He is one of the 82% of Iraqi citizens who want the US out of Iraq and apparently one of the 49% who think that it is okay to kill Americans (Recent British Military poll). I don't think it is okay to kill Americans, for God's sake, Casey was killed. But I also don't think that it's okay to kill Iraqis, either. The killing is continuing because George Bush and his band of criminals invaded a country that was no threat to the United States of America. Now the war profiteering, warmongers are forcing our children to occupy a country that is now (thanks to BushCo) in the middle of a very bloody civil war. When is it going to stop?

I believe, along with thousands of members of such organizations as Military Families Speak Out , Veterans for Peace , Iraq Veterans Against the War , and Gold Star Families for Peace , that supporting the troops means bringing them out of this mess alive, whole and healthy.

We peace groups are struggling so hard and so tirelessly so that our brave young men and women walk off of the airplanes bringing them home to their families and not be unloaded from the cargo area in a cardboard box as Casey and so many others have been. Our brave troops that have been killed meaninglessly and senselessly were human beings who deserved to have wonderful, long, and productive lives: not baggage, or cannon fodder for our homicidal, out of control, misleaders.

Accusing the members of our peace organizations of not supporting the troops is patently manipulative and ridiculously false: we are the troops; we have children, spouses, and other relatives that are troops. We love the troops. We support them as we are calling for their immediate and safe withdrawal.

I encourage Deborah Johns and the others who have their own opinions and their own voices to speak for themselves…and not advertise who doesn't speak for them. I could list thousands…even millions of people who don't speak for me, and whom I don't speak for, but that is counter-productive.

Please speak for yourselves.

In these days of the stealing of our freedoms while telling us it keeps us safe, please speak for yourself.

In this dark hour of the suppresion of our civil rights, please speak for yourself.

In these inconceivable and horrifying times of our leaders committing crimes against humanity and inhumane torture, please speak for yourself.

If you speak for peace and justice, please speak louder and more often.

Cindy Sheehan is the proud mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was 24 when he was KIA in Sadr City, Iraq on 04/04/04. She is also the author of Not One More Mother's Child available at www.koabooks.com. Cindy is the founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace. Cindy is above all the very proud mother of Carly, Andy, and Janey Sheehan who hold down the fort in California.

Friday, February 24, 2006

New Hunting Tags

Under the category of "If I don't laugh, I'll cry..."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A white house source stated that Congress is considering awarding Vice-President Dick Cheney the Medal of Freedom, the national highest civilian commendation, for his act of bravery in shooting an attorney.

The source was quoted to say "All Americans have wanted to shoot a lawyer at one time or another and Cheney actually had the ____ to do it".

In a related story, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which issues hunting licenses, said that it will start requiring hunters, wishing to bag a lawyer, to have the new "lawyer's stamp" on their hunting license. Currently Texas hunters are required to carry stamps for hunting birds, deer, and bear, at a cost of $7 annually. The new "lawyers stamp" will cost $100, but open season will be all year long.

The department further stated that although the "lawyers stamp" comes at hefty price, sales have been brisk and it is believed it will generate annual revenues in excess of $3 billion dollars the first year. Other states are considering similar hunting license stamps.

Six Degrees of Separation isn't enough

More of my head scratching...

Yes, I realize that it is a small world and getting smaller every day, but still! I am especially aware of how difficult it can be to separate friends/family from our businesses in small "worlds". I live in a small community which can have married couples, brothers, parent and child, buddies, etc. involved in conflicting interests which arise from their service or employment in city government or school districts, and so on. I realize that even going to the doctor may mean that you will see your mother-in-law's best friend... which means that whatever you tell the doctor may get back to the in-laws no matter what "confidentiality expectations" you may have. When you live in a rural area, this is to be expected. We do the best we can to prevent conflicts of interest, favoritism, and nepotism--but it does exist.

Knowing all this and accepting the reality of it does NOT mean that I can stomach all of the Bush connections related to Iraq, the elections, government positions, Halliburton, and so on. I am stunned at how Bush could place Mike Brown as head of FEMA and how he could even consider Harriet Meyers for the Supreme Court (didn't he learn anything from the Katrina fiasco?). The only real qualifications they had is that they supported Bush (think "Kool Aid"). And now, the Port Authority situation... we are being called paranoid if we question the wisdom of this act?? The links between Bush and UAE have concerned me greatly... they have long family and money ties and somehow have never been held accountable for their involvement in 9/11. Our citizens have been so numb that they think that Iraq and Saddam were responsible for 9/11 but don't even realize the connection between UAE and that terrorist attack! How dumb can we be? We've let this slide for almost FIVE years now... of COURSE, Bush thinks he can get away with it... how have we shown him any differently?

This administration is in bed with each other and with other wealthy powerbrokers. This paves the way for tyranny and protects them from the consequences of their actions. Check out the article posted at 43rd State Blues. Whether it is a hunting accident or a war that kills thousands or putting America's security at risk or a director incapable of directing his way out of a paper bag, these incestuous relationships are not acceptable and MUST be stopped.

Is it a conspiracy or am I paranoid?

Sometimes, as I hear about the lastest activities in our government, I wonder if I'm going crazy or not. Am I one of "those" people who believe in alien abductions and conspiracies behind every grassy knoll? (No offense to those of you who have been abducted by aliens...) I can't figure out why else I am so frightened and concerned about our government but so many others are okay with what is going on. I just looked at the Bush Approval Ratings and Idaho Republicans STILL have an 80% approval rating! What is UP with that? Are they BLIND? In a COMA?

My latest headspinning experience...
I received an e-mail this morning that shared some mind-blowing information about the security and integrity of the voting process in America:

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S. [Source]

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the US voting machine industry. [Source]

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.[Source] [Source]

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." [Source] [Source]

5. 35% of ES&S is owned by Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines. [Source] [Source]

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a long-time friend of the Bush family, was caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee. [Source] [Source] [Source]

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice- presidential candidates. [Source] [Source]

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the US and counts almost 60% of all US votes. [Source] [Source]

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters. [Source] [Source]

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail. [Source] [Source]

11. Diebold is based in Ohio. [Source]

12. Diebold employs 5 convicted felons as developers. These are the people who write the voting machine computer code. [Source] [Source]

13. Diebold's Senior Vice-President, Jeff Dean, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree. [Source] [Source]

14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years. [Source] [Source]

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio. [Source] [Source]

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! [Source] [Source]

17. 30% of all US votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail. Bush's Help America Vote Act of 2002 has as its goal to replace all machines with the new electronic touch screen systems with no paper trail. [Source] [Source]

18. All -- not some -- but ALL of the voting machine errors detected and reported went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates. [Source] [Source] [Source] [Source] [Source] [Source]

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother. [Source] [Source]

20. Major statistical voting oddities (odds on the order of 250 million to 1!) -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated by experts. [Source] [Source] [Source] [Source] [Source] [Source]

I haven't researched all of the sources yet... but if this is saying what it LOOKS like it's saying... my hopes for salvation (or at least a glimmer of progress!) this November may only be spitting into the wind. I do not WANT to believe that our system is SO corrupt that elections are rigged... but COULD IT BE TRUE?

I don't know... it just seems that there is SO much INSANE stuff going on with our government (the sale of ports to UAE, Mike Brown in charge of FEMA, the legislative actions against same-sex marriage, HARRIET MEYERS!) and we are prevented every which way in our attempts to halt the madness. And 80% of Idaho Republicans still approve of Bush.

It's getting to the point where those jokes about "Bush supporters" and their "Kool-Aid" don't seem nearly as funny any more.

UPDATE: I've been trying to locate any credible sites to provide legitimacy to the concerns about the validity of the election. So far all I've been able to locate is from yet another blog, Vote Fraud Allegations Gather Steam. Is this topic just blog chat or is there any legitimate coverage and investigation about it? {Not that blog chats aren't legitimate but you know what I mean!} However, it seems that Black Box Voting is has intensively investigated this issue and is continuing to publish updated findings.

UPDATE: This is still a current topic of discussion in Florida. Check out this article: Watchdog Group Questions 2004 Fla. Vote

UPDATE: A whistleblower is arrested in California: Man Pleads Not Guilty in Voting Device Case

Thursday, February 23, 2006

From "Drinking Liberally"

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Outsourcing

Bush has illegally wiretapped American citizens
because of the urgency of the "War on Terror."

Bush holds detainees without charge or trial
in the name of waging the "War on Terror."

He condones torture, opens library records,
& governs in secret...for the "War on Terror."

But he stands fast by the port security deal:
if we can't outsource our own US security...
then the terrorists have already won.

Shouldn't some rights be more worth fighting for?
Raise a glass to our rights (& not to "the Right")
at our weekly democratic drinking club.

Find - or start - a chapter near you.
posted by Justin Krebs at
8:23 AM

FYI... Coming soon to Gooding, Idaho!!

Share your health care story...

Democratic Candidate for Congress (2nd District) Jim Hansen wants to hear about how your family addresses your health care needs... Stop by his online forum and let him know. God knows it would be nice to have a representative in DC that could comprehend our situations... unlike those who have lived in a protective bubble most of their lives (or have their own personal medical teams following them around).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Protect Idaho by supporting HB689!

This is NOT just a south central Idaho issue!!
Yes, those of us here in the Magic Valley are VERY concerned about the threat of Sempra's placing a coal-fired plant in our region--but all Idahoans MUST be aware that it will only be a matter of time before others are proposed for YOUR region as well! There are a number of other coal-fired plants being planned for Idaho. Once Idaho opens the door, these corporations (who are unable to build in other states) will start bringing even MORE coal plants to Idaho.
We need Idaho citizens voicing support
This bill is designed to establish a two-year moratorium for approving and building coal plants in Idaho and is co-sponsored by a number of Magic Valley legislators.

It is vitally important to take some time to assess these types of projects and this bill will provide much-needed time to determine the benefits and negative impacts of coal-fired plants in our state.

Currently, a hearing on the moratorium bill (HB 689) is scheduled for March 2, 2006. (PLEASE SEND YOUR SUPPORTIVE FEEDBACK AND NOTES OF APPRECIATION TO: Representatives Block, Jaquet, Field (District 23), Smith (District 24), and Brackett - as well as Senators Coiner, Stennett, and Gannon for their bi-partisan sponsorship of this very important bill!)

The hearing is in front of the House Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee. It is VITAL that ALL Idahoans contact the individuals on the House Committee for Environment, Energy & Technology to encourage their support for the moratorium bill--ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT.

You can contact the members either individually or collectively. In addition, please contact your OWN representatives and senators and urge their support as well.

House Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology
Email All Legislators On This Committee

Or contact them individually (especially if you live in their district!)

Representative Dell Raybould - Chair , Republican
District 34, Rexburg

Representative R. J. Harwood - Vice Chair , Republican
District 2, St. Maries
Representative Jack T. Barraclough , Republican
District 33, Idaho Falls

Representative Julie Ellsworth , Republican
District 18, Boise

Representative Clete Edmunson , Republican
District 9, Fruitland

Representative Mark A. Snodgrass , Republican
District 20, Meridian

Representative R. Steve Smylie , Republican
District 15, Boise

Representative George E. Eskridge , Republican
District 1, Dover

Representative Ann Rydalch , Republican
District 32, Idaho Falls

Representative Eric Anderson , Republican
District 1, Priest Lake

Representative Stan Bastian , Republican
District 14, Eagle

Representative Russ Mathews , Republican
District 33, Idaho Falls

Representative Elaine Smith , Democrat
District 30, Pocatello

Representative Nicole LeFavour , Democrat
District 19, Boise

To learn more about this issue, contact:

Protect Our Children...

The situation in northern Idaho has been a concern of many Idahoans. It doesn't help that the murderer/child rapist has been connected with a previous murder/rape of a child in California. If you haven't caught the MSNBC Datelines recently (where they caught online predators who thought they were meeting a 12yo or 13 yo boy or girl), you really should. You will see how many of them looked like our teachers, our priests (some WERE)... and you need to know that they are ALL someone's NEXT DOOR NIEGHBORS!! What is the most frightening is that many of these people are REPEAT offenders -- even if they only have been caught once! They leave looooong lines of victims in their past.

Thus said, I just had a NEW experience today. I put MY address in
Family Watch Dog and discovered, to my SHOCK, that my new next door neighbor is a registered sex offender (for rape). I now need to decide how I should handle this, feel about this, and how to best protect my family while respecting his individual rights as well. I have to keep in mind that what he was convicted of MAY NOT mean that he is a threat to my family. But on the other hand, it might. I live in a small town, so I may be able to find out enough information to feel "safe". Or I may not. I don't know yet. I DO know that I am glad to be aware of my next door neighbor's status, as I have a teenage daughter as well as three young boys (my friend reminded me today that boys are at risk of pedophiles as well...).

Family Watch Dog Enter your address... you will then be directed to a map of your town/neighborhood with a little "house" icon at your address. All the little colored boxes are Sex Offenders, different colors = different offenses. Click on them and you get a name & picture of the person along with his crime.
Two other sites to be familiar with:
Idaho State Police Sex Offender Registry
National Sex Offender Registry

NOTE: I am not in ANY WAY supporting or encouraging or suggesting that the individuals listed below are harassed or intimidated etc. in any way. See below:

The information in the sex offender registries is provided only for the purpose of protecting the public. It is not to be used for the purpose of harassing or intimidating anyone. A person who uses registry information to commit a criminal act against another person is subject to arrest and prosecution under section
18-8326 or 18-8413, Idaho Code

Be counted!

The Coeur d'Alene Press is running a poll on the governor's race. I hope that everyone of intelligence (I know, it's a snide comment but STILL!!) will go to that site and be "counted".

Yes, Idaho is known as a "red" state but I truly believe that there are more of us out here than people think. We need to start speaking up and out! Right now, it seems that we are doing pretty well via blogs and e-mails but can Joe Citizen really hear us from our computers?

Place your vote at the "poll" and let Idaho citizens know that we are not willing to sit back and shut up any longer... and invite others to speak up also!

Poll status as of 2/22/06, 10:50PM:
Republican Butch Otter 51.2%
Democrat Jerry Brady 43.4%
Neither 5.4%
Total Votes: 3155

UPDATED Poll status as of 2/22/06, 3:40PM
Republican Butch Otter 51.4%
Democrat Jerry Brady 43.5%
Neither 5.1%
Total Votes: 3459

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney's Got A Gun

Aerosmith and sarcasm... GREAT COMBO!!

More of the same...

I'm so glad that we have so many talented and funny people who come up with the greatest jokes and pics so we can laugh about this!

It's the only thing that keeps some of us from crying ...

For more...

My earlier post

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

White House Finds Humor in Hunting Mishap

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting accident is to joke about it. President Bush's spokesman quipped Tuesday that the burnt orange school colors of the University of Texas championship football team that was visiting the White House shouldn't be confused for hunter's safety wear.

Hunter Shot by Cheney Has Heart Attack

The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday. Peter Banko, the hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, said Harry Whittington had the heart attack early Tuesday while being evaluated. [Emphasis added.]

The Brad Blog wants to know why it wasn’t mentioned during the daily press briefing.

BobHarris.com Poll Of The Day
How will the White House explain Dick Cheney shooting a guy in the face?
· Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt all shot guys in the face, too
· The Patriot Act gives Cheney the legal authority to shoot guys in the face
· The victim's face was harboring Al-Qaeda's #3 man
· If you're innocent, you shouldn't mind a shotgun blast to the face

Buckshotgate:Crooks and Liars
Mary Matalin on Cheney's shooting

Shooting Safety Rules
KNOW YOUR SAFE ZONE OF FIRE AND STICK TO IT. Your safe zone-of-fire is that area or direction in which you can safely fire a shot. It is "down range" at a shooting facility. In the field it is that mental image you draw in your mind with every step you take. BE SURE YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR COMPANIONS ARE AT ALL TIMES. Never swing your gun or bow out of your safe zone-of-fire. Know the safe carries when there are persons to your sides, in front of, or behind you. IF IN DOUBT, NEVER TAKE A SHOT. When hunting, wear daylight fluorescent orange so you can be seen from a distance or in heavy cover.

"Maybe it's a good thing Dick "had other priorities" during Vietnam. Imagine how much damage to his own platoon he could have done with an M16 and a 30 round clip?"
Posted by Ernesto D.February 14, 2006 01:02 AM

Thanks to Carolyn from Make Them Accountable for gathering all of this and MORE! If you haven't signed up for her newsletter yet, please do so now!

Julie at Red State Rebels directed me to a Washington Post article that provides some great points! Thanks, Julie!

I Am Liberal

I found this blog at Liberal Idaho... the author began with "Hopefully this will ring true with many of you." Oh, yes, it DID. (Except for the part about the church... my PASTOR doesn't preach politics but many people in the church object to my beliefs and one person even requested my removal from our church... I strongly encourage others who consider themselves Christians to check out the links under "Jesus: The First Liberal".)

I am a rare breed in Idaho. I attend church every weekend. I have three kids and a dog. I work Monday through Friday at a small Internet software company. I love my wife. I have a college education and will pay for it over the next twenty years. So what's so rare about me? I have chosen to follow an ideology that is rare in my social circles and rare in our great State. I am liberal.

"I'm so glad God won this election," a friend said to me as I sat in our Sunday School room on a Sunday in the Fall of 2004. I cringed inside and thought to myself, "Oh how mistaken you are." You see, my church background is such that I was expected to vote Republican. Thankfully the church that I and my family attend does not preach politics from the pulpit, but it is assumed that everyone leans to the Right. Afterall, doesn't Jesus?

The answer is no, he doesn't, and he doesn't lean to the Left either. He cares for the plight of the disenfranchised and the causes of the needy and downtrodden. He cries out with the pain of the U.S. marine dying in a ditch and weeps the tears of the Iraqi mother clutching her dying child to her breast. His battle cry is not created in an election war room but is formed on the lips of a child as she sobs a prayer asking for someone to love her in her abusive world. He seeks to break molds, tear down walls, and destroy stereotypes. The Jesus I know sets people free - free from the dogma, the bigotry and the fear of the unknown. He leads me forward, opens my mind to new possibilities and grants me the opportunity to see others as I want them to see me - as a human being with the desire to be truly free and to be fully loved.

So you see, I am a liberal, not because of the way I vote, but because I have taken on the burden of loving, caring, and working to ensure that others can enjoy the freedom that I do.

SEMPRA coverage in the Times-News

I wasn't able to have a letter printed in the Times-News because I'd already had one published for February, but I still wanted to express my opinion to the editors about the recent coverage about SEMPRA. This is the letter I sent to Chris Steinbach, Editor.

While reading the articles, I realized the people in Texas were pleased about the economic benefit of their coal plant. The first thing that came to my mind is that they sold themselves (and their future generations) for a temporary economic "fix". They were obviously a poor rural area and were limited on options--maybe they didn't have any other choice but to prostitute themselves. However, to truly address the concerns of those of us who are protesting the coal plant, the reporter should have included opinions of health workers or scientists. The concerns expressed by many highly intelligent and experienced individuals here in the Magic Valley were NOT addressed by similar counterparts in Texas. The Texans interviewed were so happy by the green that they don't see the black. In each photograph, I looked for the coal plant in the background... not one picture included it. Was that deliberate or an oversight? As for our struggling economy, I believe we have intelligent and educated leaders in our communities who are researching new industries which will BENEFIT our economy, not destroy our air and water.

As for the local supporters interviewed in today's Times-News, I also lived in a home with a coal furnace. I don't know if it had "filters" or not, but I do know that we had many respiratory issues during the winter and I had to wash black residue off of the walls regularly. To think of similar smoke settling over our valley makes me very frightened for our future. I don't mean to be snide or judgmental, but surely that couple wasn't the best you find to find a "supporter" for the coal plant? Was it impossible to locate someone who was educated in science (water, air, ag science, whatever!) or economic growth/impact or ??

I will not pretend to understand how people measure impacts of certain toxins and pollutants on our water, air, soil, and health. However, it doesn't take a scientist to recognize that our society has been ignorant of the repercussions of toxins (whether related to dairies, fish hatcheries, nuclear power plants, etc.) in the past. Many of those who were not ignorant have unforgivably looked the other way in order to increase their profits. It is so difficult and expensive to clean up these messes (nuclear waste, damage to the water table and Snake River, air pollution, etc.). Usually by the time the public recognizes the need to repair the damage, the people who created it are long gone. We are cleaning up after our grandparent's decisions (whether through ignorance or deliberate... does it matter?) and our own grandchildren will have to clean up after us.

Right now pregnant women are told to limit their diet of fish due to the impact upon their babies from the mercury they will ingest. How can we blow off mercury pollution when we already are aware of this impact? Pollutions and toxins are being researched to see how they've impacted the high rate of learning disabilities, autism, attention deficit disorders and more. How can we in good conscience approve this plant with the knowledge we DO have at this time? We should learn from the past and not repeat our mistakes.

Personally, I would prefer that before we consider allowing another toxic industry in Idaho, that we finish cleaning up the nuclear waste that has built up over the years. One toxic mess at a time, for the sake of our children.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Spittin' In The Snake"

Check out "Spittin' In The Snake"--a blog filled with wonderful and intelligent writings!

Bumper Stickers

I needed a chuckle! I checked out Peter Hansen's website today (I haven't been there for a while and needed to catch up) and found a great link. The title alone made me laugh (and cry!):

"Of Course It Hurts;
You are Being Screwed
by an Elephant"
Needless to say, I had to look into it! I discovered that the link refers to bumper stickers and how someone once said, "if you are going to get an idea across to Americans, it has to fit on a bumper sticker."

Unfortunately, I believe that to be true... that is the only way I can comprehend how so many Americans still think that my brother died to keep America free, to save us from terrorists, and as revenge for 9/11. (If you didn't know, my brother was killed in IRAQ... not Afghanistan.) Bush cannot say anything sensibly using words that aren't printed in "My Pet Goat", so he doesn't have to work hard at "dumbing it down" for the general population of Americans. And they slurp it up like Jell-O pudding. No chewing required.

But, anyway, back to Bumper Stickers... despite the critical words I said above, there are still bumper stickers that make me laugh! I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours!! (And if you like bumper stickers, you can even buy a book called "Actions Speak Louder Than Bumper Stickers"!)
Slower Minds Keep Right
Police State:
Coming Soon to a Democracy Near You
My Kid is an Honor Student;
My President is a Moron.
Paris for President!
(She's smarter than Bush.)
The righteous were wrong
in Jesus' time, too.
Jesus was a liberal.
Now, what was your point?
GOP does not spell GOD.
Don't Blame Me!
I didn't vote for his father either.
Never underestimate the power
of stupid people in large groups.
Doing my part to piss off the radical right.
What exactly are the conservatives
Democrat by the grace of God.

Drink Liberally!

One of my frustrations about being blue in a red state is the lack of people who I can talk to...

I get most of my interaction with other blues via e-mail and blogs, such as this one and Red State Rebels and the others on the list along the right side of your screen. (Under Idaho Dems: UNITE! )

I just learned about a group in Boise that sounded like fun. It's called "Drinking Liberally". As I looked into it, I realized it is a NATIONAL organization. Basically, people get together to have a drink and discuss liberal thoughts, concerns, and issues.

For the folks who live in my area... what do you think? Would you be interested? Do you think we could get one started? I was thinking that we could meet at Rowdy's on Thursday nights and have a pop or a beer? Even though some of the groups I looked into really do drink, too many of us around here don't, so I wasn't crazy about the name... but I think that we can live with it, especially since we would then have the support and identification of the national organization. It's not like anybody is going to FORCE you to drink alcohol!! Tell me what you think!!

As for those of you who live elsewhere, I included a link for starting your OWN chapter over on the right as well! (Under TAKE ACTION)

Ten months out...

I think I've found a new blog that I will enjoy: Thoughts from Idaho

I found a US map that shows our "colors" ten months prior to the next election. Sadly, most of Idaho still thinks Bush is doing a good job. On a happy note, the rest of America seems to notice that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes!

Fellow Idahoans, I don't care if you are a Democrat or Republican or an Independent or a Martian... we MUST start talking about what is going on. We MUST start educating our fellow Idahoans. We cannot afford to continue going in this direction...

What's wrong with this picture?

Okay, I'm not proud of my reaction... it was insensitive and heartless... but I couldn't help but begin laughing hysterically when I heard on the news about Cheney filling his millionaire friend's face with peppershot in Texas this weekend. I mean, it isn't like Cheney hasn't been taking potshots at American citizens for how many years now? And one of his buddies forgot to ID himself and Cheney pulled the trigger. Oooops!

After I caught my breath and started paying attention to the newscast, a little snippet stood out. It seems that Cheney, God bless him, has his own medical team that goes wherever he goes... even hunting for quail!

Wait... my family doesn't even have insurance but Cheney has his OWN personal medical team? I want to know who is paying for this!! If it is coming from our taxes, then I want an explanation!

UPDATE: Now people are discussing Cheney's blaming the victim, how the incident was publicized, Cheney's 70 kill count for the day (um, can we spell OVERKILL?), and his lack of legal stamp.

Maybe this incident will be the poster child of how this administration is:

On sale! T-shirt riddled with holes that says:
"My Lawyer Went Hunting With Dick Cheney And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt!"

..."no wonder he got five deferments from VietNam."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Flip Flop?

Senator Brent Hill replied to the letter I sent the Senate. He stated that

"... I am committed to let the people of Idaho make a decision as important as this one."
At first I thought, "How nice, he CARES what Idahoans want..." but then something in the back of my mind kept knock, knock, knocking...

Didn't Idahoans vote for term limits in 1994 and in 1998? Didn't our legislators fight against it? Didn't they repeal OUR vote in 2002? Hmmm... was Senator Hill (who wants Idahoans to make our own decisions for what we want in Idaho) one of those legislators who did NOT support what Idahoans wanted in Idaho back then (when we wanted something that wasn't in his own interest)? Gee...! He WAS!! I guess its been a long three years and he's forgotten? Or thought we had forgotten?

Here is a basic summary of how Idaho legislators respect the opinion of the people (or "See How Our Legislators Abuse Their Power"):
{I'm open to corrections if any of this is incorrect!}

In 1994, Idaho voters instituted term limits through a voter referendum. The measure passed with 59% of the vote.

Stunned, lawmakers put the measure on the ballot again in 1998. Despite a brutal campaign of political rhetoric and lies, the Idaho voters reaffirmed the measure with 54% of the vote, in favor of term limits.

Not to be dissuaded, lawmakers sued to overturn the term limits in 1999, on the grounds that term limits unconstitutionally denied voters the right to suffrage. The Legislature won their lawsuit, and term limits were struck down.

The decision was appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, which ruled that the term limits law was indeed constitutional, and term limits were upheld.

Just days after the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the term limits referendum, the Legislature drafted a bill to override the term limits.

Naturally it passed, and term limits were repealed.

Enter the Governor. The Governor sided with the will of the people, and vetoed the legislation. Term limits were upheld.

Within 36 hours, the Legislature overrode the Governor's veto. Term limits were repealed.

Down but not out, the citizens of Idaho have put a referendum on the 2002 ballot to restore term limits AGAIN.

However adding insult to the Idaho voters, the legislature used taxpayer
dollars to fund a misinformation campaign, and thanks to confusing wording on the ballot referendum (a "no" vote meant "yes"), term limits were defeated at the ballot box.

My own District #25 Senator Stennett and Representative Jaquet RESPECTED THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE and voted "
NAY"!! REMEMBER THIS if the majority of the Idaho legislature decides to actually respond to the will of the people regarding term limits... because we can still WRITE IN!!!

You need to know who the current Representatives and Senators are who NOW declare that "YES!"-- they believe Idaho citizens should decide for themselves regarding same-sex marriages-- but OVERTURNED our previous demand for TERM LIMITS previously...

HOUSE Representatives who repealed the vote of Idahoans:
Barraclough, Barrett, Bedke, Bell, Black, Block, Bradford, Clark, Collins, Crow, Deal, Denney, Eskridge, Field(13), Field(20), McKague, Moyle, Raybould, Schaefer, Shepherd (8), Stevenson, Trail, Wood, Mr. Speaker
{Contact info
HERE. Contact your Representative and see if they can explain this inconsistency. Of course, those of us in District #25 can just send our thanks to Representative Jaquet for respecting the will of the people!!}

SENATORS who repealed the vote of Idahoans:
Andreason, Brandt, Bunderson, Burtenshaw, Cameron, Darrington, Davis, Geddes, Goedde, Hill, Keough, Lodge, Richardson, Schroeder, Stegner, Williams
{Contact info
HERE. Contact your Senator and see if they can explain this inconsistency. Of course, those of us in District #25 can just send our thanks to Senator Stennett for respecting the will of the people!!}

Does anybody want to take a WILD guess as to how many Democrats are on this list?????? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

{See House Bill #25

More about how our State Legislature respects the will of the people...

US Term Limits

"Idaho voters passed term limits on their legislature, statewide officeholders and local officeholders in 1994 by 59% of the vote. In 1998, the legislature placed an "advisory" question on the ballot, asking voters to reaffirm their support of term limits. Voters did so. In 2001, state and local office holders sued Idaho voters in a case that made its way to the Idaho Supreme Court, where the court ruled term limits constitutional. In February 2002, the Idaho Legislature ignored the vote of the people and became the first state in the nation to repeal their term limits law." (Emphasis mine.)
From National Conference of State Legislatures

"Idaho made history today, becoming the first state to repeal term limits. The governor vetoed the bill, but the Legislature overrode the veto on a vote of 26-8 in the Senate and 50-20 in the House. Idaho lawmakers said they felt that term limits proponents had been dishonest in their campaign to impose term limits, and that voters didn't get fair information about the real consequences of term limits."

(Can we use this excuse to repeal an initiative for a ban on same sex marriage? I don't think it's fair to pretend that Idaho chooses this ban to support "family values"... that is DISHONEST. It's bigotry and homophobia in its simplest form.)

Top Ten Lousiest Excuses Used by Idaho Legislature to Overrule the Will of the PEOPLE
Here are the top two... check out the full article for the rest... it's funny!

#2 The 1994 Idaho Term Limits Initiative media campaign was bought with money coming from outside the state of Idaho.

FACT: So are most of our legislators. Sounds as if you are suggesting the people can be bought, but elected officials can't.

#1 The legislature is on an equal footing with the people and has the power to override a citizen initiative.

FACT: In Luker v. Idaho, (1943), the Idaho Supreme Court held that the legislature and the people are on equal footing. The legislature has the power to override an initiative because of this. It is pointed out in this court case, and many others, that there are legitimate reasons why the legislature has this power. Citizen initiatives may be constitutionally unsound or statutorily or fiscally impossible. However, the 1994 Term Limits initiative has been found to be sound, both constitutionally, and statutorily. Although the legislature has the POWER to repeal an initiative without legitimate reason, they do NOT have the moral authority. To do so is an ABUSE of power.

Family Values? Or Homophobic?

To Idaho Senate Committee on State Affairs,

As Idaho's government considers putting a ban on same-sex marriage, I hope that we also consider other laws which will also be needed to protect our "family values" in Idaho.

What is the current status of laws against adultery? How many are arrested each year and what is the average prison sentence? If we started throwing adulterers in jail, perhaps they would think twice about cheating next time and we'd have fewer divorces, fewer single parent families, etc. That would be GOOD FOR IDAHO'S FAMILIES!

We also need to beef up the laws which are designed to enforce the payment of child support because we all know that many noncustodial parents are not current with their support. We should develop a registry of delinquent parents and have their pictures printed in the newspapers. If we started punishing those who do not support their children, then maybe the rest would either make their payments or maybe even stay married! That would be GOOD FOR IDAHO'S FAMILIES! (We need to also SEVERELY punish the employers who "pay under the table" so the State can't catch them.)

We should also start punishing all individuals who conceive babies out of wedlock. Oh, and also, according to the Bible, divorce is prohibited unless it is based upon immorality--so let's repeal any laws allowing no-contest divorces. Jesus said that,
"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."
(Mark 10) So we've got a lot of Idaho men and women we need to prosecute as well. That would be GOOD FOR IDAHO FAMILIES!

Let's close our bars because drunkenness is not in the best interest of our families either. No more Playboy magazines and porno channels via our satellite... let's make it against the law to have any sexual references on our local channels as well. Let's clean up Idaho and make it a FAMILY VALUE state!! That would be GOOD FOR IDAHO FAMILIES!

Obviously, you know I'm being sarcastic... but if Idahoans are not truly just being "homophobic" but REALLY want to have our laws protect our "family values", then let's at least be consistent!!

{Internet favorite, originally "written" to Dr. Laura, altered to fit Idaho's legislature.}

Dear Idaho:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual cleanliness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

A proud Idahoan,