Monday, February 25, 2008

Be Positive!

One of the cultural beliefs of the department that I work in is titled "Be Positive." It goes on to say, "I contribute to a positive and optimistic work environment."

An article in Saturday's LDS Church News (see here, subscription and login required) made me think about this cultural belief in relation to my blog posts. Am I truly contributing to a positive on-line environment? The article says, "In this society, with its newfound high tech forms of media, there seems to be a new license to blast away at will, especially anonymously. Certainly authors of angry comments on the Internet can't be as hateful as they sound. Can they? Or are they more childish than children?"

I'm going to try and take this issue to heart and be more positive in my posts. A wise rabbit once said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Texas Governor defends Boy Scouts of America

The Washington Post posted an Associated Press article (see here) talking about Texas Governor Rick Perry's new book, "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For." The article describes Gov. Perry's feelings about the ACLU attacking the Boy Scouts of America. It quotes him as saying of gays he knows, "I believe in valuing their lives like any other, as our God in Heaven does," but, he says discussion of sex has no place in scouting. I couldn't agree more. I guess I have a book to add to my wish list.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adoptees Lose Again

The Utah House of Representatives voted down HB289 today. I have posted some of my feelings on this bill before. I want to make it clear that this bill will not affect me at all as I have already found out identifying information regarding my birth parents. I listened to the floor debate regarding this bill. The vote was close with 35 representatives voting for the bill and 36 representatives voting against the bill. During the floor debate, Representative McGee noted that the position of LDS Family Services was against this bill. I found it very interesting that Representative McGee would point this out and I'm sure that this had an affect on this bill failing. Representative Janice Fisher spoke in opposition to the bill saying it would be devastating to have someone knock on the door 30 years after making "the terrible decision" to "give up" a child. This speaks volumes to me as it shows that Representative Fisher has not been involved in a adoption case because if she had, she would not have used the terms that she did. Several representatives spoke in favor of the bill pointing out that adoptees have the innate desire to know what the circumstances are surrounding their birth. I would like to publicly thank my representative, Representative Barrus, for voting for this bill.

I'd like to express some additional feelings about adoption and about this bill. There are many reasons why adoptees want to know who their birth-parents are. Some of them are for health history. Others are just wanting to know what the circumstances were surrounding their birth. I love my parents. They are the ones who raised me. They are the ones who taught me the things that I know today. Nothing could change the way I feel about them. Having said that, there were still some questions that they couldn't answer. They couldn't tell me if certain health issues were in my genes. They couldn't tell me why I was placed for adoption. These are questions that I wanted answers to. The only way these questions could be answered was by contacting my birth-family. I believe that any adoptee would have told their state representative to vote for this bill.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Where's the backlash?

It's President's Day, and I haven't read a single article about how the Utah State Legislature should not be meeting today. When the legislative session began on 21 Jan 2008, there were several articles about people saying that the legislature shouldn't meet on Martin Luther King Day. So where is the same clamor for not meeting on President's Day? Was MLK really better than George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Here comes 80 MPH?

HB406 is making it's way through the legislative process. This bill would allow the Utah Department of Transportation to increase speed limits above 75 MPH in certain circumstances. I can think of some great candidate areas on the interstates in Utah. The drive on I-80 west of Tooele would be a great place to increase the speed limit. I think this bill has some well thought out scenarios which would make raising the speed limit acceptable.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trasparency in Government Finance Passes Senate

The Utah State Senate passed SB038, Transparency in Government Finance, today. The bill now moves on to the House for consideration. Interestingly enough, my senator, Dan Eastman, voted against this bill. I previously sent him an e-mail asking him to support this bill. Is Senator Eastman against transparency in Government Finance or does he have some great insight as to why this bill is a bad idea? I've sent him an e-mail to ask why he voted against it. If he actually does reply to a constituent, I'll post his reply here.

Update: Be sure to read Senator Eastman's comment posted to this blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why should illegal immigrants get a break?

Yesterday the Utah House of Representatives passed HB241 which removes the capability for illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition to attend colleges and universities. I'm very much in favor of this action. I don't care if you are Mexican, Canadian, or some other nationality, if you are not here legally you shouldn't get a break from the government. To me, this isn't about race, it's about breaking the law and being rewarded for it.

My paternal grandfather came to this country legally when he was 12 years old. Nobody gave him a break, nor did he expect anyone to.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Why do I blog?

A conversation with a friend of mine got me thinking about the question of "Why do I blog?" I thought I would post some of my thoughts as to why I write on this blog.

I post information to this blog that I find interesting. I try to write this blog as if I were talking to friends. I know from watching my logs that I don't have a huge following. That's not why I do it. I also want to make note of the fact that I gain nothing monetarily by having this blog. So far I have spent about $25 to run this blog. That is direct money that I have paid out of my pocket.

So why do I do this? I do it mostly to have a record of my thoughts. I kind of think of it as my own on-line journal.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

There's still hope

There is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate, SB38, that would require cities to post financial information to their website. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I'm a big proponent of Woods Cross posting the annual budget on the website. This would be a huge benefit for the citizens and would require very little on the part of Woods Cross City. This seems like a no-brainer to me. The bill is titled "Transparency in Government Finance" and it would seem to me that cities that don't post their budget information on their website, don't want that transparency.

Contact your State Senator and urge them to vote for Senate Bill 38.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

HB289 won't increase abortions

Utah State Representative Kenneth Sumsion is sponsoring a bill, HB289, (see here) this legislative session that deals with allowing adoptees to be able to legally find their birth parents after the adoptee is 30 years old. There are those who claim this would lead to more abortions. I disagree. Statistics show that access to original birth information does not cause higher abortion rates, nor does it lower adoption rates. The states with access to open adoption records, Alaska and Kansas, have lower abortion rates (14.6/1000; 18.9/1000 respectively for women age 15-44) compared to the national rate of 22.9 (source: Alan Guttmacher Institute). HB289 also includes several safe guards, including, the adoptee must petition a court to begin the process; the court, after making several findings, apoints a confidential intermediary; the adoptee must pay the costs for the intermediary; and the birth parent can say no to the request.

I think it is interesting that in most cases of adoption, people lobby for "do what is best for the child" until the "child" is an adult. Then it quickly turns to "we must protect the privacy of the birth parent."

I believe that those who are against this bill fall into one of the following categories. They are a birth parent who hasn't been honest with their spouse about what happened in the past, they are somebody who has not been involved with a adoption case at all, or they are a adoptive parent that hasn't told their child that they were adopted.

I would ask you to put yourself in the shoes of an adoptee (like me). How many times have you gone to the doctor for some ailment and he asks, "Does (fill in ailment) run in your family?" To which you must respond, "I don't know, I'm adopted." Maybe you take your child to the doctor for some ailment, and they same thing happens. These are situations that adult adoptees deal with on a regular basis. Do you know your full health history? I don't. Do you know what your mother was doing when she went into labor? I don't. Do you know why you like certain foods? I don't. Do you know if twins are in your genes? I don't.

Passing HB289 makes sense.