October 2, 2021 (Photo Credit: Stand Up For Idaho, FB)
Stand Up For Idaho (SUFI), an Idaho Falls based nonpartisan citizens’ organization actively advocating for the rights and liberties of all Idahoans, has launched a YouTube channel.
The group currently has four videos on their YouTube page, each part of a forum the group recently conducted with candidates running for local office in Idaho Falls. The forum was moderated by popular KID NewsRadio (92.1 FM) Talk Show Host Steph Lucas.
Editor’s Note: In a front page article printed in the Idaho State Journal (Journal) on Wednesday, October 27 (Pocatello officials question Worley’s views on guns, local sovereignty), “several city officials” were said to question Mayoral candidate David Worley’s support of the 2nd Amendment and individual rights, apparently calling them, “fringe beliefs.” While, according to the article, “Other local politicians who contacted the Idaho State Journal with concerns about Worley’s views declined to speak on the record,” his opponents in the race for mayor, current Mayor Brian Blad and City Council Member Chris Stevens, are quoted in the piece. You can find the article on the Journal’s Facebook page. Here, David Worley responds:
On Sovereignty, Freedom, and Radicalism
By: Pocatello Mayoral Candidate David Worley
My position on local sovereignty is clear and rooted in the principles and ideals of the American Revolution. However, my detractors argue that it is extreme and radical to assert that local government officials have a right and moral obligation to resist the tyrannical acts of a higher level of government. In reality, what is radical is the idea that the only appropriate response to tyranny is surrender.
If the duty of a lower level of government, a lesser magistrate, is to obey the orders of a higher government power in all circumstances; when did this begin? Should the thirteen colonies have yielded to King George III? Should the colonial legislatures have stopped at petitions to the British Empire? Should Samuel Adams, a tax collector, have served the king instead of forming the Sons of Liberty? The answer is clearly no. There is a time to refuse the orders of the king.
“…resistance is justified when it comes to protecting fundamental rights such as the right to provide for your family, bodily autonomy, or the right to keep and bear arms.”
My opponents want you to believe that I am lawless and reckless, potentially plunging us
into “chaos and anarchy.” This is far from the case. I recognize the same limitations the
Founders recognized in the Declaration of Independence on the right to resist tyranny. These types of conflicts are not to be had over “light and transient causes.” However, resistance is justified when it comes to protecting fundamental rights such as the right to provide for your family, bodily autonomy, or the right to keep and bear arms.
During the pandemic, federal and state mandates shut down or curtailed the activities of
businesses deemed “non-essential.” This was a direct attack on the property rights of business owners and the right of people to put food on their tables. People lost their jobs, businesses, and homes. No government program even came close to compensating for the damage these policies did. Our local officials did nothing to resist COVID restrictions, or were advocates for them.
The federal COVID vaccine mandate is a direct attack on bodily autonomy. No one
should live in fear of losing their job or becoming a second-class citizen due to a private medical decision. Yet, my opponents have said little or nothing about resisting the mandate or protecting our right to control what goes into your own bloodstream.
Only tyrants need a disarmed citizenry. Any attempt to disarm a free people should be
resisted. Local law enforcement should interpose on behalf of the citizens they serve. The
alternative is for our police to actively assist tyranny from a higher level of government or
passively let it happen. The Declaration of Independence is clear “to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men.” The central purpose of government is to protect your God-given rights. Failure to do so is a dereliction of the highest duty of government.
It is true. I gave a speech on the Second Amendment to a group of patriots who formed a
militia in response to a direct threat to the right of Virginians to keep and bear arms. Our nation was founded by brave men who were willing to fight for their freedom, and I am proud that the same spirit still exists in the hearts of many Americans.
What was truly radical about Virginia’s situation in 2020 was that the state’s governor,
Ralph Northam, was trying to pass a law that completely violated the United States and Virginia constitutions – a law that was such a naked attempt to disarm the people of Virginia that 86 of Virginia’s 95 counties passed resolutions saying they would not enforce it. Bannock County has a similar resolution regarding any Federal attempt to violate the Second Amendment.
“I will fight for our freedoms; my detractors have shown in word and deed they will not.”
The proposed law was so extreme and such a clear threat to the right to keep and bear
arms that groups like this sprouted up across the state. The right to gather and organize with one’s fellows to protect the freedom of yourself and your community is as old as recorded history. Again, the truly extreme position is to presume that the only suitable response to tyranny is capitulation.
My opponents also challenge the idea that an official can decide which laws are
unconstitutional or immoral. Their concerns would be justified if I argued for arbitrary power, but that has never been my argument. My views are summarized best in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
“One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.
…How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
This is why the Founding Fathers appealed to the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” in the
Declaration of Independence. I claim no arbitrary power for local government, only the same concepts of rights, justice, and law that have been recognized in Western thought for hundreds of years.
Finally, this right and responsibility to resist tyranny has an ultimate check against its
unjust use, the people. The Declaration of Independence states that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Suppose the people decide at some point that I, as mayor, have unjustly resisted a higher level of government. In that case, they can and should remove me from office at the next election or through a recall if a speedier removal is required.
I am offering the citizens of Pocatello a clear choice between two fundamentally different
views on government. I will fight for our freedoms; my detractors have shown in word and deed they will not. So if you want change in Pocatello, make your voice heard on November 2nd.
With Your Vote, Lets Hope Pocatello Doesn’t Remain the Same
By: P.A.G.E. Cofounder Heather Disselkoen
“What’s Not Reasonable are spending choices made outside what the average Pocatello citizen might spend on a similar purchase.”
Custom cabinetry and granite countertops ($14,775); new furniture (Legal: $7,098; HR: $4,574; Police: $1,168; Fire: $10,708); chairs for Council chambers ($1,195); Refrigerator ($1,699). These are just a few of the recent city expenditures. More perplexing expenses include: Sandpiper ($584); Café Tuscano ($236) and Texas Roadhouse ($242).
The public understands operating a city is expensive. The 56-page September Claims report contained purchases of $3,708,002 with $577,123 of that in purchasing card purchases. Our city organization needs equipment, materials and supplies to complete their work – repairs or replacements will also be necessary. That’s reasonable.
What’s not reasonable are spending choices made outside what the average Pocatello citizen might spend on a similar purchase. Many were angered to learn of the recent office renovations involving custom cabinetry and granite countertops. This decision is certainly not reflective of all spending, but it’s absolutely questionable when you consider the decision in light of the city’s large deficit. To avoid layoffs and balance the FY22 budget, $1M in capital improvement revenue was reallocated and large cuts to capital expenditures/ improvements were necessary.
Equally difficult to understand is why after the CFO cautioned departments to watch their remaining FY21 spending, a remodel of the Building Department was undertaken. Council never discussed or approved it within the FY21 budgeting process. Why was Council excluded from decisions regarding a remodel and prior to any discussion about the future of the City Hall building? Some of those costs include: Labor, materials, framing costs ($27,946), department lighting ($2,804) and Power, data, essential lighting ($7,827) – all in addition to thousands in new flooring (which was discussed/approved for FY21.)
“The current Council majority prefers to set the budget and hand off a vast majority of financial decisions and oversight to the Mayor and Department heads—no questions asked…”
When your property tax dollars leave your wallet, they are entrusted to the taxing entity levying them. Does that taxing entity get to decide how the money is spent with no accountability to the public? No.
Our Constitution set up a system of checks and balances to ensure no one area of the government gains too much power, especially over public monies. We have representation on Council to ensure responsible use of public money. This doesn’t mean Council should micromanage every expense, but they are tasked with setting the budget and ensuring sound financial policies based upon best practices are both in place and enforced. To fulfill these duties, Council must have access to accurate reports, receive regular communication and be able to confirm adherence to policies.
This is the crux of the division within current Council—to what degree does the council exercise that financial oversight? The current Council majority prefers to set the budget and hand off a vast majority of financial decisions and oversight to the Mayor and Department heads—no questions asked—only weighing in on those spending approvals that are statutorily required to come before Council. The Council minority strongly believes it is their fiduciary responsibility to ensure public monies are spent wisely, policies followed and to have a role in city financial decision-making to offer more fiscal transparency.
The Council hasn’t had access to the necessary, detailed reports to “keep eyes on” City spending. They’ve received three detailed reports to date. In part, this is due to the current institutional view that once a budget is approved, that pot of money is for spending “however” the experts (Mayor and department heads) choose. It seems oversight isn’t welcomed.
“Like it or not, the Mayor is accountable to the Council for departmental spending.”
Assuming reasonable explanations exist for questionable expenses, shouldn’t Council members be well informed in order to answer constituent questions and not be in the dark to the same degree as the public? If a purchase is “justified” as the Mayor proclaimed last month regarding the high-dollar office remodels, he needs to provide justification to the Council without defensively overreacting. Transparency and consistency of policy is also key to building trust. Why are there no written policies governing outlying expenses such as restaurant charges? Like it or not, the Mayor is accountable to the Council for departmental spending. To refuse to answer questions, says everything. The public needs to know those entrusted with the use of public monies are being watched. That’s accountability and that’s why we must elect individuals who respect checks and balances and will fulfill their respective fiduciary roles.
During the October 14, 2021 Work Session, the outgoing CFO reviewed city financial policies and made numerous recommendations/suggestions to the Council to improve those policies. It was evident, some policies are not being adhered to and/or enforced and some policies lacked the teeth necessary to bring departments into alignment. He also stated the city violated current financial policy in order to balance the FY22 budget – a fact the minority members tried urgently to get the other members of council to acknowledge and correct.
Looking back at a 2016 ISJ Editorial, “What Did We Learn From ‘Pavegate’?”
“Somehow during the past three years — at least — council members seem to have become less important in the realm of keeping Pocatello running smooth and transparent. It would be unfair to blame Mayor Blad — or former mayors . . . for any perceived weakening of the City Council. The blame rests with the inhabitants of the Gate City who elect council members. We should expect our City Council to not only work with whoever is mayor, but to be the eyes and ears of the community when it comes to shaping city policy and monitoring the actions of city employees. The city of Pocatello is one of the largest employers in our community behind Idaho State University, the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District and Portneuf Medical Center. City government is big business. And the City Council is the board of directors.”
This speaks truth. We play a large role, too. We need to choose council members willing to be our eyes and ears and a Mayor amicable to financial transparency. Unfortunately, Council members have continued to abdicate their role and until recently, we allowed them. That began to shift two years ago. More and more citizens have opened their eyes to the reality that exists within city government and now seek representation that serves them. Criticism is not negativity – it’s narrowed and focused on improvement with the goal of making something better. With your votes, let’s hope Pocatello doesn’t remain the same for another four years. Let’s improve it. That’s the point!
Stand Up for Idaho (SUFI) will host their second monthly Liberty Dinner at the Snake River Event Center (Shilo Inn), 780 Lindsay Blvd. in Idaho Falls on Thursday, November 4. The featured speaker for the event is Representative Karey Hanks (Dist. 35).
The SUFI announcement of the event reads, “From farm girl with humble beginnings to State Representative. What drove her into politics, what does it take, and what hardships are endured?”
October 27, 2021 (Photo Credit: Zoo Idaho FB Page)
Zoo Idaho is holding their annual, “Zoo Boo” event this coming Saturday, October 30, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Sponsored by Lookout Credit Union, it features a multitude of fun, Halloween-themed activities.
The description on the Zoo Idaho website reads, “If you are looking for a howling good time this Halloween, Zoo Boo is sure to deliver. Come dressed in your favorite costume for this Halloween bash from 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Trick or treat around the zoo and participate in fun activities provided by our vendors. Dress to impress and enter our costume contest: individual and group prizes! This is a not-so-spooky, safe trick-or-treating atmosphere. Have a fanging ghoul time!”
Zoo Idaho is located at 2900 South 2nd Avenue in Pocatello.
For more information, visit the Zoo Idaho website by clicking on the flyer, here:
ChaseStrong Gym is hosting a Halloween deadlift party tomorrow, Thursday, October 28, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The party includes a deadlift competition, a costume contest, and food & drinks. Everyone in the family; moms, dads, grandparents, and kids is invited. Stop in and see what the ChaseStrong culture is all about!
ChaseStrong Gym is family friendly! They have classes for student athletes, moms, serious athletes, novices, and people of all ages who want to gain the benefits that come with a professional trainer teaching proper weight lifting technique. Their members hold numerous state weight lifting records, but also include those new to weight training.
Who is Responsible for the Afghanistan Withdrawal Debacle?
By: U.S. Senator James Risch (R-ID)
The catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan has been thoroughly canvassed. The Biden administration’s failures in its retreat have been discussed at length. The fallout from President Joe Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan the way we did will tarnish America’s reputation.
All of this has been covered. Why, then, is it still important to talk about it now?
It bears discussing because in the administration’s haste to end a war without preconditions or guarantees of Americans’ safety from the Taliban, the Biden White House squandered 20 years of blood and sacrifice, reopened America to the threat of terrorist attacks, and damaged the United States’ credibility on the world stage.
By the administration’s own admission, it abandoned hundreds of Americans and left thousands of Afghan allies vulnerable to the murderous Taliban. My office received countless calls from Idahoans who had friends or family members trapped in Afghanistan, and I am deeply thankful that we were able to get every single Idahoan safely out of Afghanistan.
It’s heartbreaking that the same cannot be said for every American. Thirteen U.S. service members tragically lost their lives to a suicide bomber in the rushed and chaotic evacuation. And because of the Biden administration’s cataclysmic mismanagement of its withdrawal, Afghanistan is once again a breeding ground for terrorism.
A blunder of this magnitude begs the question: who is making foreign policy decisions in the White House? Nobody seems to have a satisfactory answer.
During an August 21st news conference, President Biden claimed we had “no indication” that American citizens were struggling to access the Kabul airport. At almost exactly the same time, reporters in Afghanistan were describing the extremely dangerous conditions facing U.S. citizens trying to get to the airport – something later admitted by Biden’s team.
President Biden asserted he ordered the withdrawal from Afghanistan based on the advice of senior U.S. military advisers. Yet last month, top Pentagon officials testified under oath that they advised the President to keep 2,500 troops on the ground and were not asked for advice on the withdrawal until August 26th, directly contradicting the President’s claim.
In a July interview, President Biden said a collapse of the Afghan government and a Taliban takeover of the country was “highly unlikely.” Yet, a memo sent that same month from the Kabul Embassy reportedly warned that the withdrawal as planned would result in the very debacle that unfolded. During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken for information about that memo. He refused to disclose it.
This memo’s existence indicates one of two possibilities: the President knew about the coming disaster and lied to the American people, or the President’s advisers never informed him about it. Either conclusion is deeply disturbing.
Is President Biden responsible for these failures, or are others in his administration pulling the strings?
Congress has a vital oversight role to play in foreign policy, a charge I take seriously as the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, the lack of answers and absence of accountability we’re currently receiving from this administration is shameful. I pushed Secretary of State Blinken hard at last month’s committee hearing and intend to do so again during the next Afghanistan hearing.
In only nine months, this administration’s miscalculations have weakened our allies, emboldened our adversaries, and left Americans less safe. If the administration doesn’t take drastic steps to execute a strong, accountable approach to foreign policy, I’m afraid to see how the remaining years of the Biden White House unfold.
President Biden and his administration must be accountable for their decisions, and they must do better.
(City of Pocatello Press Release, October 27, 2021)
Starting next month, the Marshall Public Library will be accepting a different type of currency for overdue fines.
November 1 marks the beginning of the library’s “Food for Fines” food drive, meaning that for every non-perishable food item they donate, patrons can have their fines forgiven by one dollar. For example, if a patron has $10 in fines, they can bring in 10 cans of food when they return the item and all is forgiven.
“Thank you to the community for their continued support of those in need,” said Kristy Lyon, Lead Reference Librarian. “Over the last six years we’ve gathered more than 6,100 items.”
The library will be collecting food for The Idaho Foodbank.
The library asks that donations include only shelf-stable foods such as canned fruits, vegetables, meats, soups, boxed meals, pasta, peanut butter, and jelly. The library cannot accept home-canned items, opened foods, or foods past their expiration dates.
“Food for Fines” ends December 11.
The program does not include replacement fees for lost or damaged materials, card replacement fees, or future overdue fines. If you have replacement fees for lost or damaged materials, ask library staff about a payment plan.