Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Against Mormon Marriage??

Stenar at Bloglet thinks that it is hypocritical of the Mormon Church to lobby Congress? First off Mr. Stenar, (Is that his real name?) it's not the "Mormon Church" that is lobbying congress. It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urging it's members to lobby congress.
In a response to one comment about this post on his blog, he says, "...I am gay. I cannot procreate naturally..."
To me this is the whole heart of the issue. Being gay is UN-natural! It is AGAINST nature! Stenar said it, not me.
Maybe the Federal Constitutional Amendment should be called the amendment to protect natural marriage.
By the way, I have contacted my Senators and urged them to vote for the amendment. Does anybody really believe they would vote against it?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Win big, get suspended!

A new rule for High School football in Connecticut means that coaches whose teams win by more than 50 points will face a one game suspension for an unsportsmanlike act.
Now I can agree with not running up the score, but, this rule would apply even if the third string players are in.
I believe that is a big problem with public schools in this country. Every one is so worried about a child's emotional state, that we aren't teaching them what things are like in the real world. Once they hit the work force, they are going to have a very rude awakening when the opposing team (competition) runs up the score by doing all they can to steal customers.

America, American? Not in Michigan schools!

I came across this editorial from a Michigan newspaper. It begins, "Censoring the word "America" from our own schools is something Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden would never have thought possible. Michigan has done it without a whimper."
The Michigan Department of Education is trying to ban the teachers in their state from using the words America and American. Now tell me honestly, when you hear the word America, do you immediately think of all of North America and South America? How about if you hear the word American? Does your vision also include Mexicans and Canadians?
The editorial goes on to say, "Instead of focusing on better teaching methods and educational resources to help our hard-working teachers and parents, the Department of Education spends its energy on confusing, misleading, historically inaccurate and counterproductive wordplay."
Have there been times where you think our Utah Department of Education also spends it's energy on things other than better teaching methods and educational resources for our hard-working teachers and parents?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Some people just attract attention.

So Dell Schanze is in the news again. What is it about him and trouble? Maybe he should just stay far away from Draper. It would seem that someone in Draper has something against him and wants to see him punished in some form.
His "Totally Awesome Computers" commercials were annoying to a lot of people. Does that mean we have to exact revenge? Can't we please just go a couple of months without seeing him on T.V.?
Now maybe if he had done those commercials anonymously, then not everyone in the state would be able to identify him as Dell Schanze when they see him on the streets or in the air.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Anonymity, again!

A column in the Tribune (hat tip Utah Policy Daily) talks more about anonymity on blogs and comments.
I still think that posting or writing anonymously is chicken. There are very few times where posting anonymously is truly justified. Does posting or writing with your true identity make you more open to retaliation or criticism? Yep, it sure does.
Does that mean that one should hide behind anonymity? I don't believe it does. When I was an elected official, I did not take anonymous comments into account in any decision I made. I also didn't take comments from people who were not my constituents as seriously as those who were. It is a fact of life. If you want elected officials and even constituents to take your comments seriously, write with your true identity. Don't hide behind anonymity claiming that it is needed to avoid retaliation. Look for a future post from me highlighting just what kind of retaliation I've had to go through because I don't hide behind anonymous writings.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My blog reached a milestone!

According to Technorati, which tracks over 34.5 Million blogs, 55% of bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. And 11% of bloggers update their blogs at least weekly.
So from all this, I figure my blog is in the top 11% of all blogs tracked by Technorati. I know, that's not a great thing, but, the numbers are interesting anyways.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More troubles for Diebold

An article posted yesterday at Computerworld talks about more troubles for Diebold's e-voting machines. The article quotes Diebold spokesman David Bear as saying, "Instead of recognizing the advantages of the technology, we keep ringing up 'what if' scenarios that serve no purpose other than to confuse and in some instances frighten voters."
Another part of the article says, "A Diebold spokesman did not dispute Hursti's findings but said that Black Box Voting was making too much of the matter because the systems are intended to remain in the hands of trusted election officials."
Now let me say that I don't believe in conspiracy theories. Working with computers day in and day out, I believe that I am knowledgeable enough to make an educated decision about electronic voting machines.
Having said that, I believe there have been enough questions raised about the security of these machines that I am very concerned about the accuracy of an election using them. Let me explain why. I believe that for the most part, the people who have access to the machines are "trusted election officials." Now keep in mind, I said for the most part. All it takes is one malicious person to have access for a few minutes. Doesn't that concern anyone? I believe that the big elections in this country are heavily influenced by money. Big money. So how much would it cost for a malicious person to have access to one of these machines? Probably a lot less than one might think. Would we ever know that this is what had happened? Probably not.
I also believe that this is an issue that is non-partisan. Democrats could buy access to a malicious person just as easily as the Republicans could.
Do I think paper ballots are perfect? No. Do we want to replace something that has imperfections with something else that has just as many imperfections?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Anonymous or not?

In yesterdays Utah Policy Daily newsletter, they talk about posting anonymously on blogs. I have always had a policy of not posting anonymously to my blog and not allowing anonymous comments. The newsletter says, "Anyone who is confident in their opinions and positions ought to have enough courage to let readers know who they really are and not hide behind anonymity." I cannot agree more. If you are so afraid of your opinions, then I think that the politicians that you comment about should not listen to your opinion at all.
The newsletter also says, "Postings of anonymous bloggers ought not to be taken as seriously as postings of bloggers willing to put their real identities out there."
In my opinion, post with your true identity or don't post at all!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Watch me talk out both sides of my mouth.

An article in today's Deseret Morning News talks about the ongoing lawsuit over the crosses that are erected to honor Utah Highway Patrol Troopers who die in the line of duty.
The last paragraph states:
"American Atheists is asking a federal judge to order removal of those crosses located on government property. The group also suggests that the crosses be replaced with a more secular symbol, such as the Utah Highway Patrol symbol, which is a beehive."
Another article in today's paper talks about the selection of the design for Utah's state quarter. It quotes Margaret Hunt, chairwoman of the Utah Quarter Commission, about the beehive design for the quarter, "Others felt it had too close a tie to religion."
So on memorial markers the beehive is secular, but, on a quarter it has too close a tie to religion? Interesting.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Utah State Quarter?

So the Utah state quarter is going to commemorate an event that happened before Utah became a state. The driving of the Golden Spike happened on May 10, 1869. Now we are going to put two trains with what is supposed to look like a railroad spike between them on our quarter. Above the "spike" will be the year 1896, the year Utah became a state. My belief is that people will erroneously think that the Golden Spike was driven in 1896.
Just this morning, Mary Nickles on KUTV 2 said something to the effect of "Now we'll all know when the spike was placed, 1896, it's right there on the quarter."
Good luck to all the US History teachers out there after the quarter is released.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy Birthday UPD!

It was two years ago Sunday that Utah Policy Daily first started sending out their daily political newsletter. They've come a long way. Congratulations Utah Policy Daily!

Cities need good PR person

An article in Sunday's Deseret Morning News says that federal budget cuts could lead to fewer police officers on Utah's streets.
In my opinion, the reason things like this happen, is most cities don't have a person who is good at PR. Most citizens would be going to bat for their cities, if they knew exactly what these grants accomplished.
Let me give a hypothetical situation. Say a city police department receives a grant to help buy new police equipment. There should be someone employed or contracted by the city who writes up a press release and sends it out to the press. An article about the grant and specifically what it will help buy as well as how it will help the city keep property taxes down should definitely appear in the next city newsletter. Then when the president recommends reducing or removing these grants, the citizens can relate to what they will lose in their city.
If cities aren't willing or able to take these steps, then they must face the risk of losing the grant.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Don't vote for him, he's a D#$*&!@%

There's a post at Davis County Watch that says, amongst other things, "Where (Pete) Ashdown begins to fail is in choosing to be a Democrat." So, because I'm a registered Republican, I'm not supposed to vote for a Democrat? (Oops, I said the D word.)
To be honest with you, there are quite a few positions that Pete Ashdown has that I agree with. Yes, there are some that I disagree with. Orrin Hatch has positions that I also disagree with. Tyler's post goes on to say, "I feel as much as anyone that there ought to be a better person for Senator than Hatch. But, Urqhart (it's spelled Urquhart) isn't running anymore." He makes it sound as if just because someone is a Democrat (I did it again) we shouldn't vote for them even if our views align more to theirs than to the Republican candidate.
Is party affiliation really that big of an issue?
I say vote for the person, not the party. I feel sorry for anyone who goes to the polls and punches a straight party ticket. I have many times voted only for Republicans, but, I've selected each candidate on their own merits, not their party.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mayor Anderson, scoop your own poop!

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune talks about recent changes in personnel at the Salt Lake Mayor's office. The article talks about having one of the staffers clean out a bird cage. I'm sure part of this cleaning includes taking care of bird poop. Mayor Anderson's Chief of Staff is quoted as saying: "I've done it, and I'm the chief of staff. It's just something that needed to be done."
What a terrible quote! There are many things that need to be done in my daily life, blowing my nose, getting a drink, flushing the toilet, etc. Some things should just not be delegated. Cleaning up poop is one of those things. If you don't like, or don't have time for, cleaning bird poop, don't have a bird!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Zoning for Dollars

An article in the Deseret Morning News talks about a new law to take effect on July 1, 2006. The law will change the way that sales tax is distributed to municipalities. Woods Cross is mentioned in the article as one of 10 cities that must conform to a unified method of collecting sales tax.
The article quotes Murray Mayor Dan Snarr as saying, "I worked so hard to bring online all these wonderful retail benefits, But I don't reap any benefits from it. I don't get the sales tax." This law really shouldn't come as a surprise to Mayor Snarr. This is something that was talked about by the Utah League of Cities and Towns in 2001. They titled it then, "Zoning for Dollars." There was even a report given by Senator Bell to the ULCT Legislative Policy Committee in November of 2003 that talked about his ideas to change the distribution formula. This isn't something new.
I would be very surprised if Woods Cross has to raise property taxes to deal with this new law. The City Recorder in Woods Cross when I was on the council was very well aware of the possibility of these changes coming. In my opinion, any city that must raise property taxes because of this law has not been fiscally responsible in the past.
Zoning for dollars has always been, and always will be, a bad thing.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Day without an immigrant or a day without Latinos?

I'm a little miffed that the May 1, 2006 boycott is being called "A day without an immigrant." I think a better name would be "A day without a Latino." It seems to me the only immigrants that are calling for a boycott are Latinos.
Probably the biggest reason this bothers me is because my grandpa was an immigrant. He came to this country from Holland when he was 12 years old. He went through the proper channels and died as a U.S. citizen. There are no Caucasian Native Americans. All of us have immigrants in our heritage. The biggest difference I see, is that the majority of our immigrant ancestors came here legally.
My grandpa considered America his country. He learned English, even though it was not easy for him. He taught his children to love America. I never saw a Dutch flag in his hands. Did he love Holland? Yes! He talked with fondness about the canals and the flat country, however, the United States of America was his country.