Just like any other politician, he says what he has to say to get elected. In 1994, he was telling Log Cabin Republicans he'd be a better champion of gay rights than Ted Kennedy.
Then, throughout his Governorship he's been a vocal foe of gay rights.
A flip-flop if I've ever seen one.
This comment, though, is less about Miller (who I have no respect for and even less dollars for anyway) and more about EnergySolutions. This was not just a stupid move on Miller's part. It was an obvious PR gaffe on the part of EnergySolutions.
I mean, look at the direction they were heading in. Positive commercials portraying them as harmless, even as environmental stewards of the non-nuclear type. Never using the "N" word in any commercials. Giving EnergySolutions Foundation dollars to environmental organizations. Repairing their reputation in the tried and true way: quietly.
By splashing their name all over downtown Salt Lake City, they have brought up the bad blood and set themselves back further than they were before they started the positive spin stuff. What was the big idea anyway? And has the person that came up with it been fired yet?
I mean, while I think stadium sponsorship is tacky, I can see the usefulness of companies such as Delta Airlines doing it. They have these big advertisements splashed all over every network and targeting every fan.
But what Jazz fan is heading into the Melta Center thinking "God, I have all this nuclear waste lying in precarious piles around my kids' swingset and no idea where to put it. I mean, it's building up in my back yard and my dog is growing a third eye. I just need to get rid of it, but how?" Suddenly, said fan looks up and like light from heaven the EnergySolutions banner is flapping in the wind. Problem solved and EnergySolutions gets another customer, right? You can see why this advertising/marketing move makes absolutely no sense on their part.
Of course, Utah was no surprise, as everyone stayed right where they were. But one issue has been overlooked, and that is the passing of Prop 2 in Salt Lake County. One blogger gives some good reasons why this should be something that is statewide, and paints a picture of life without open space.
Kudos to voters in Salt Lake County for voting for foresight.
"They just might keep me my job on Capitol Hill, where I will fight to eradicate gay marriage, then gay people, and finally anyone who doesn't believe in God! Because that's what America's about!!!!"
And the ignorant masses agree, condemn the entire third branch of government, and vote for the schmucks yet again. Does anyone else feel like we are regressing, yet again?
I wonder if they'll stop harrassing "activist judges" if they end up staying in Congress? Or maybe they'll send thank you gifts?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2006
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:Brett GarnerOffice: (801) 983-7383Cell: (801) 573-4759
Ashdown Pledges to Stop Nevada Water Grab
SALT LAKE CITY, UT--After visiting Callao, Utah last night, Democratic US Senate candidate Pete Ashdown pledged to stand up against the attempts by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to pump water from the Snake Valley aquifer. Ashdown agreed with residents the SNWA's plan amounts to a "water grab" and that "Las Vegas needs to learn to conserve."
The visit to Callao bookended Ashdown's travels throughout Utah during his 21 month campaign for the US Senate. Ashdown has visited places in Utah not visited by a major party candidate for statewide office in decades, such as: Manila, Bicknell, Tridell, Beaver, East Carbon, Green River, among others. Ashdown noted that in many of these places longtime residents cannot recall his opponent ever visiting the area.
The Callao town hall meeting was organized by Callao residents Cecil and Annette Garland, a rancher and school teacher, respectively. The Garlands, who led the fight against the MX missile project in the 1980s, have asked for help to stop what they call "an impending hydrological disaster" if the pumping starts. "We don't have any water to spare, and to take the water we have would kill this valley."
While the residents also asked questions about the Iraq war, energy independence, ethics in government, immigration, and other issues, the "make or break issue" was the water grab. Ashdown affirmed: "I think the [US Geological Survey] study needs go forward, but it will probably confirm the obvious." Ashdown also stated that this is an example of his conservative philosophy of government: "We need to conserve the Callao way of life; keeping the aquifer full conserves water and conserves the way of life." In the question it was noted that Hatch has not come out against the SNWA plan, "Even with Orrin Hatch's seniority, he's not really working for the people of Utah. He's working for media interests in California, for oil interests out of state, for pharmaceuticals of which there are none in Utah. We need somebody there that is from Utah, working with Utah, dealing with Utah, and I know I can do that."
Ashdown noted how he will bring up this and other rural issue in the future debates with Senator Hatch, including tonight's on Salt Lake City's Downtown, broadcast live on KUTV.
Way to go Cecil and Annette!
Pete is an incredible candidate who knows Utah, and has actually visited the backwoods parts of it that most residents haven't, let alone Hatch. Visiting these people and listening to their concerns and needs shows some true dedication to the state...something we haven't seen in our Senator's for a long time!
But Senator...you already have been labeled anti-gay. You and the majority of your party have been blatently anti-gay around election season for several years now. It gets you votes! So that can't be the reason Hastert and others kept Foley's reprehensible behavior under wraps. What's the real reason?
Further, being gay has nothing to do with this.
Foley crossed a line. He was writing sexually explicit e-mails to children.
Whether they were boys (gay) or girls (straight) doesn't matter. The fact is, they were children.
Supposed fear of being labeled anti-gay (a label you and Hastert would be proud to have in any other situation) is not a valid excuse for looking the other way.
I blogged about downtowns around the west clear back in April in response to the Chamber of Commerce deciding to come up with a vision for downtown that would include the church's redevelopment as well as incorporating the Gateway and other blocks in between. I didn't get any responses on what other people think would make our downtown much more memorable, aside from the stereotypical Temple Square.
This is a start.
In addition to the boring big-box downtown malls being renovated, we're looking at hundreds of new housing units, increased office space, and a new downtown grocer...Harmon's.
My only fear is that downtown will become as inaccessible as the Main Street Plaza. That, and I hope that City Creek Center doesn't fill up with more of what's in ZCMI Center..."art" galleries full of blond-haired, blue-eyed renditions of Jesus and other Mormon art. I suppose a few of those would be okay, but I'm really hoping for a Victoria's Secret. What do you think the chances are?
I'm a daily subscriber to LaVarr Webb's Utah Policy Daily, and I'm not so into the new feature: Utah's Top Issues. I just hope that other readers subscribe to it for the same reason I do...the right column and the Blogwatch (which has been a yawn lately). I usually ignore everything else in the left column. I don't need the spin...I just need the news. I don't need Utah Policy Daily to tell me which topics are most important in Utah...I can figure that out for myself.
Speaking of blogging lately...though I haven't had much time to blog or to browse blogs, I haven't noticed much outrage, much passion, or much of anything worth noting. It seems that lots of people are obsessing over numbers, tax plans, and the like when they should be crying out against the Washington County Lands Bill and the Southern Nevada Water Authority pumping plan.
As for the Washington County Lands Bill (which is still pretty hot judging from the press it's been receiving NATIONWIDE including in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times), I haven't had enough time to express my feelings on this, but I'll just say that the resistance to it from both enviro's and the Bush Administration (polar opposites) is telling...there's something just not right about encouraging more thoughtless growth in our southern-most city. What that city needs is to step back and take a look at the bigger picture: will there be enough water to support growth? Will selling off wilderness really be selling off the very thing that is drawing people there in the first place? I think so. I lived there for a year or so, and the growth is what finally drove me away. That and the traffic. Most other people stay, though, because of the beautiful landscape and mild weather...take away the landscape and all you've got left is three weeks of 100 plus weather. Not exactly enticing.
And to the Southern Nevada Water Authority pumping plan (which isn't emerging, UPD...it's been there for a while and you're just starting to notice) I have similar thoughts. It is ridiculous to think that Las Vegas will stop at anything to get water. They have suggested that they'll keep an eye on things and if the water levels drop too much, putting farmers, ranchers and endangered species at risk for losing their livelihoods, that they'll stop pumping or reduce pumping. But after putting millions of dollars into a pipeline, I think that it will take a much bigger problem than dying fish to stop them. I say build that desalinization plant...or maybe drain the Bellagio's lake!
But life interfered. I had homework to do on lunch. I had class after work. My Master's degree interfered. Does that mean my priorities are out of whack?
I mean, is my Master's degree really all that important if somewhere in the world an innocent civilian is being killed in the name of "democracy"? Should I be worrying about homework when our world is careening towards climate catastrophe? Should I be reading academic nonsense whan my partner's mother is dying and President Bush's veto of stem cell research is precipitating her demise (even though she still loves Bush with all her heart)? Should I be cutting construction paper for my latest homework assignment when the right I have to be with my partner for the rest of my life is so uncertain?
The answer is unclear. I have these deeply held beliefs and opinions and these deep need and want to express them.
We had a discussion in class the other day about Plato's Cave and my professor made a comment about how sometimes we have to focus on something besides the things we know to be true, because sometimes they're so overwhelming, and you realize that they're so nearly unsolvable, that if you dwell on them you spiral out of control. You get deeply depressed. You feel helpless.
This is how I felt when I watched President Bush's speech to his sheep when he got off the plane last night. I thought about the shadow's he was casting on the wall in front of these people in their cave, and how they wholeheartedly refused to accept anything else but these shadowy representations of reality that this administration works overtime to create. I thought about how many of these people would always believe every word the President speaks, regardless of how many times he misrepresents the truth. And I thought about butting my head against the cave wall trying to change someone's mind.
And I went to do homework. Because this is something I can have control over. I can control my own future and destiny, and I can get a Master's degree, and love my partner, and work hard to get the things I want and need, and live a happy life.
And luckily, I can have this avenue to protest and express my opinions. So, in light of that, here is my protest sign that I would have taken if life had not gotten in the way:
God Bless President Bush.....
For Vetoing My Mom's Right to Live
For Sending my Brother to Iraq
For Lying to Me
For Being Able to Sleep at Night.
But now that these places, like Sugarhouse, have character and attract people that may have some money to spend, big box stores and developers are looking back at those once-forgotten areas with big appetites.
Have they stopped to think that if they tear down the eclectic collection of shops and replaced it with God knows what, that the crowd that keeps those sidewalks full might go elsewhere?
I know I would. I would follow Rocky Mountain Grill, the Free Speech Zone, Sugarhouse Coffee (though it would have to change it's name) and 10,000 Villages wherever they went and forget about Sugarhouse.
What's the next neighborhood these locals will bring out of the dust only to get ushered along by big developers with deep pockets and shallow ideas?
Between supporting a Republican, spending more time on the road than in his city, implementing pro-gay and pro-environment policies, Rocky has got people on both sides of the aisle that have no love left for him. Democrats call him a traitor, Ethan at slcspin can't stop talking about Rocky leaving town for this or that, and "moral values" people like Gayle Ruzicka have already RSVP'ed his spot in hell for his liberal pro-gay policies.
Then, you've got folks that can't say enough good things about him. Some are even saying he deserves a halo for everything he's done.
Can I remain ambiguous? Rocky is a little extreme for me on some things, but on others.... he rocks my world!
Supplies: I honestly think that a fresh, clean notebook is worth any dollar amount of tuition. It has been one of my favorite things since I could write. If I got a notebook every year for my birthday, it would be my very favorite present (this is not to suggest to those of you who I have explicitly requested give me money for new clothes for my birthday that a notebook will adequately replace said dollars. My clothes are falling off people! For this year, at least, I can buy my own notebooks. After this year, feel free to take up the practice). And it has long been one of my biggest school-shopping dilemmas: should I get a two-subject notebook or two separate notebooks and a binder?
On to clothes. I have set aside $100 for some new clothes, which is hardly adequate considering that I basically need an entirely new wardrobe now that I've lost nearly 30 pounds. But I suppose it will have to do for now, unless people get the hint for my birthday (one month and 20 days folks!). However, at my second job our department won a contest and I get a $50 gift card to spend in the store on clothes, bringing my total to $150! Hurray! Maybe I can get some new shoes too!
And then to books: only $234 for my first semester...but that's only for two classes and that's at the used price. I'm beginning to remember the weight of books in a backpack...which gives me a strange sense of exhiliration.
And finally, technology: Is it bad that I'm seriously looking into an Apple laptop just so I can get the free Nano iPod that goes with it (or a hefty discount on a bigger iPod)? Then I was thinking about it, and I've got a few older laptops at home, so I don't really need a new one...why not just save that $1200 or so dollars and just buy the iPod? Or maybe a new Palm. I'm really going to have some organizational issues, with tracking both jobs, classes, assignments, and social stuff I'm bound to miss something without a hefty planner and/or Palm. But then, I already have a Palm...which leads me back to the question: why not just save the $200 or so for the Palm I'd really like, and just get an iPod (Do you see a pattern here?)?
I keep having this dream that it's somewhere around midterm and I realize I haven't attended a single class. I've had it now off and on for six months or so. Eery.
I recently had a conversation with my best friend about expectations. I have another friend, we'll call her Angie, that moves from job to job, gets into less-than-mature relationships with girls that also can't hold jobs, and when she found she was four credits short of getting her high school diploma in her third semester, dropped out rather than buck up and finish it over the summer. And I'm having a hard time with the gap between us.
What makes a person like me do what it takes to get that diploma, that degree, and that job that I can stick with for the rest of my life? Why did I feel the need to push myself to finish that Associates degree by the end of the summer after high school, while another friend (only six credits short) did not? Why do I feel the need to get a Master's degree, own a home, and pay off my debts, while Angie seems to have goals which she implies will always remain only goals? What makes us so different?
Expectations make us different: I cannot remember a time when I didn't know that college was the next step. I have always had the encouragement to not only finish what I start, but to do well at what I do.
Sometimes I wonder why that is lacking in Angie's life. Her mom held a job for 30 years and recently retired with a full benefit. She is a good example, but maybe not a good encourager.
I may not have always had the best examples, but I've known what an honest, hard-working person is like, and I've always known that's what I have to be. And most importantly, I've always had that love and encouragement that never ceases to remind me that I am capable of anything.
I'm feeling even more sorry for this guy. But then, that's a pretty normal, everyday thing.
I'm feeling oddly like this woman. Only a few weeks ago I got a call from the SL County sheriff saying some guy had my license in his house...luckily, it had my address from six moves ago. (Maybe not six, but certainly it wasn't current).
I'm feeling like actually supporting a Republican for Mayor of Salt Lake City. What's wrong with me? Well, he says he'll keep up with many of Rocky's most liberal policies, and let's face it: Rocky would never endorse a Republican if he wasn't up to snuff. Plus, he's from Delta...small town boy in the big city is bound to bring some good perspective.
I'm looking forward to October when this group will be in town. And we thought all gay men were just accessories (I mean that in the most loving way possible, boys)!
I'm wondering why I moved to South Salt Lake again? (Just kidding, Dad...I've never been to one of these places...I promise! Would I go without you? Come on!).
I'm feeling even better about boycotting Starbucks. Sorry Sarahbellum, but my coffee spot is WAY better than yours! They even have "Mom's Special Recipe" banana bread that really gets me going...and I am not a fan of bananas. Unfortunately, they don't have a website yet, but check out RAW BEAN, on 600 South and West Temple. Apparently, if you visit more than once the owner will recognize you and smile. I wonder if, by the third time, he'll know me by name? Oh, and they gave me the banana bread free just for knowing it was Mom's Special recipe...keep that in mind.
I'm feeling like I live in Portland...it's dumping rain outside my window! In August in Utah! What the hell is going on? I think I better save this before the power goes out and make sure my car isn't getting washed away in the flash flood!
Haven't been much for blogging lately, but that's due to several lame (and some not so lame) excuses...many of which I often dig up to explain to various friends and family why I haven't written them a letter/e-mail/postcard for two years.
But it hasn't been two years since I've written in my blog...so what's to complain about?
It's not that there's a shortage of news or worthy subjects to discuss. Not like I wouldn't love to go on and on about Orrin Hatch's priorities, Rocky's resignation, the Washington County Lands Bill, the Southern Nevada Water authority and questionable Senatorial practices by a certain Mormon Democrat, the Middle East crisis (aka WW3), or softer subjects like the Farmer's Market(which I haven't been to in three weeks!) and the beauty of the city in the summer.
It's more like a shortage of time. All I can think about lately is my two jobs, graduate school looming in the fall (Westminster College is about to suck more money out of me than I am currently worth), my house, my girlfriend and our upcoming wedding, money(the perennial issue), my lack of fitting clothes (due to a recently lost 25 pounds!), back pain due to non-fitting bras (I know you wanted to know), and trying to keep up with my most important friends (you know who you are). Particularly one who finally made out with the girl she's been dating for more than a year!
Anyway, it's been a busy summer. I started writing another book last night...I often start and stop on these things. We'll see if I ever get one finished...or published. The first seems somehow less likely than the second! Ha! In between all that I try to do a load of laundry and weed the yard. Being an adult is pretty lame sometimes. About as lame as my excuses.
I was shocked to find that Jim Matheson was not one of them. Below, the letter I wrote to him this evening:
Dear Representative Matheson:
I have long been your supporter and found you to be fair-minded. However, your recent vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment has left me disappointed and wondering if my vote was misplaced.
To me, this entire argument is about religious beliefs in what constitutes a holy union. And each person has the right to believe what they will. However, the founding fathers called for separation of church and state when this country was created.
I do not ask that any church recognize marriage in any of it's forms, be it gay or straight. I ask only that our country offer to each and every one of it's citizens the right to choose who they will spend the rest of their lives with, who should make medical decisions for them, who should help raise their children, who they should purchase homes with, who should inherit their property, and who they should file taxes with.
Fair-minded people everywhere should recognize the fundamental rights that are being withheld from the GLBT minority simply because someone's individual beliefs tell them God would not bless such a union. But that isn't what this minority is asking for. They are simply asking that the country they love recognize their rights as consenting adults. This is beyond unfair. This is morally wrong.
Representative Matheson, I would love to hear your thoughts and justification for your vote before elections in November, so I may determine whether you truly deserve that support I have given for so long.
I only hope he has good reason...because I'm not sure who else I could, in good conscience, vote for. He has long been a source of pride for me, but this recent vote has shaken my convictions in him. I'll let you all know if and when he replies, and what he says.
If only gay sex caused global warming
Why we're more scared of gay marriage and terrorism than a much deadlier threat.
By Daniel Gilbert,
Daniel Gilbert is a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of "Stumbling on Happiness," published in May by Knopf.
July 2, 2006
NO ONE seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won't involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium. The odds of this happening in the next few decades are better than the odds that a disgruntled Saudi will sneak onto an airplane and detonate a shoe bomb. And yet our government will spend billions of dollars this year to prevent global terrorism and … well, essentially nothing to prevent global warming.
Why are we less worried about the more likely disaster? Because the human brain evolved to respond to threats that have four features — features that terrorism has and that global warming lacks.
First, global warming lacks a mustache. No, really. We are social mammals whose brains are highly specialized for thinking about others. Understanding what others are up to — what they know and want, what they are doing and planning — has been so crucial to the survival of our species that our brains have developed an obsession with all things human. We think about people and their intentions; talk about them; look for and remember them. That's why we worry more about anthrax (with an annual death toll of roughly zero) than influenza (with an annual death toll of a quarter-million to a half-million people). Influenza is a natural accident, anthrax is an intentional action, and the smallest action captures our attention in a way that the largest accident doesn't. If two airplanes had been hit by lightning and crashed into a New York skyscraper, few of us would be able to name the date on which it happened.Global warming isn't trying to kill us, and that's a shame. If climate change had been visited on us by a brutal dictator or an evil empire, the war on warming would be this nation's top priority.
The second reason why global warming doesn't put our brains on orange alert is that it doesn't violate our moral sensibilities. It doesn't cause our blood to boil (at least not figuratively) because it doesn't force us to entertain thoughts that we find indecent, impious or repulsive. When people feel insulted or disgusted, they generally do something about it, such as whacking each other over the head, or voting. Moral emotions are the brain's call to action. Although all human societies have moral rules about food and sex, none has a moral rule about atmospheric chemistry. And so we are outraged about every breach of protocol except Kyoto. Yes, global warming is bad, but it doesn't make us feel nauseated or angry or disgraced, and thus we don't feel compelled to rail against it as we do against other momentous threats to our species, such as flag burning. The fact is that if climate change were caused by gay sex, or by the practice of eating kittens, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.
The third reason why global warming doesn't trigger our concern is that we see it as a threat to our futures — not our afternoons. Like all animals, people are quick to respond to clear and present danger, which is why it takes us just a few milliseconds to duck when a wayward baseball comes speeding toward our eyes. The brain is a beautifully engineered get-out-of-the-way machine that constantly scans the environment for things out of whose way it should right now get. That's what brains did for several hundred million years — and then, just a few million years ago, the mammalian brain learned a new trick: to predict the timing and location of dangers before they actually happened. Our ability to duck that which is not yet coming is one of the brain's most stunning innovations, and we wouldn't have dental floss or 401(k) plans without it. But this innovation is in the early stages of development. The application that allows us to respond to visible baseballs is ancient and reliable, but the add-on utility that allows us to respond to threats that loom in an unseen future is still in beta testing. We haven't quite gotten the knack of treating the future like the present it will soon become because we've only been practicing for a few million years. If global warming took out an eye every now and then, OSHA would regulate it into nonexistence.
There is a fourth reason why we just can't seem to get worked up about global warming. The human brain is exquisitely sensitive to changes in light, sound, temperature, pressure, size, weight and just about everything else. But if the rate of change is slow enough, the change will go undetected. If the low hum of a refrigerator were to increase in pitch over the course of several weeks, the appliance could be singing soprano by the end of the month and no one would be the wiser. Because we barely notice changes that happen gradually, we accept gradual changes that we would reject if they happened abruptly. The density of Los Angeles traffic has increased dramatically in the last few decades, and citizens have tolerated it with only the obligatory grumbling. Had that change happened on a single day last summer, Angelenos would have shut down the city, called in the National Guard and lynched every politician they could get their hands on.
Environmentalists despair that global warming is happening so fast. In fact, it isn't happening fast enough. If President Bush could jump in a time machine and experience a single day in 2056, he'd return to the present shocked and awed, prepared to do anything it took to solve the problem.. The human brain is a remarkable device that was designed to rise to special occasions. We are the progeny of people who hunted and gathered, whose lives were brief and whose greatest threat was a man with a stick. When terrorists attack, we respond with crushing force and firm resolve, just as our ancestors would have. Global warming is a deadly threat precisely because it fails to trip the brain's alarm, leaving us soundly asleep in a burning bed.
It remains to be seen whether we can learn to rise to new occasions.
Read, for instance here from a candidate who wishes he could do more. Read also articles here, here, and here that lay out rumors involving Harry Reid and ties to the Washington County bill Senator Bennett is working on.
What I'm wondering is why there isn't more buzz? This is potentially an underhanded deal with political pressure from both sides pushing something that is obviously going to affect the people, places, and species in the area far beyond what they're letting on. Citizens on both sides of the border, and even in California, should be questioning their leaders on this.
Is it because the Snake Valley, and many of the other affected valleys, is home to only a few people that don't hold enough political clout? Is it because these valleys are dusty and sparse anyway? Or is it because a few populated areas just cannot find other ways to quench their thirst?
I'm tired of living in a world where conservation is never the first solution, but the last resort.
Why haven't desert cities like Las Vegas and St. George introduced some common-sense measures like xeriscaping, low-flow faucets, restrictions on daytime watering, and other conservation initiatives that simply make sense given their location? Do these people honestly believe they can keep living like they do with no consequences? Why should good people in Utah and Nevada have to lose their livelihoods so a housing development in Vegas can sustain expansive green lawns and pools?
I read a work of fiction titled "The Tamarisk Hunter" by Paolo Bacigalupi in the last issue of High Country News about a west that doesn't seem so far off: A place where no one can tap into the water because the bigger, better, richer people downstream hold all the rights and have no sign of conscience. Where the states surrounding the Colorado Plateau have been abandoned and turned to ghost towns in a huge drought, while the Colorado flows on to places like Vegas and California.
It's already happening, albeit on a much smaller scale. These folks in the toughest and roughest terrains in Utah and Nevada will be left out to dry, their livelihoods, and indeed the livelihoods of many generations before them, will be nothing but dust, while the folks with the money and the right political connections forge ahead without even a glance in their directions.
I love the Basin, as I have written before. It holds a very special place in my heart, and I hope beyond hope that something can be done. But I am just one. It will take more than myself, Kim Christison, and a few speculating newspaper articles to catch the attention of the powers-that-be. I am calling on all fair-minded people to write letters-to-the-editors of papers in Utah and Nevada, letters to Harry Reid, Bob Bennett, and Jim Matheson. Letters to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, particularly to Harry Reid's son that sits on the board. Posts on blogs. Links to posts. Whatever you can do to draw attention and let them know that this will not go down quietly.
EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT.
But specifically, the haters should see it. And by that I mean the disbelievers like our Republican Congressional delegates in Utah and the vast majority of their constituents. My neighbors. My family. My long time friends. They should see it most of all people, but you should see it too. Even if you already know global warming is a fact. You should see it to reinforce your good habits, or help you create new ones, or to discover a new angle for convincing your mom, your neighbor, or your boss to implement some environmentally friendly policies into their lives.
You should see it to know where you shouldn't live if things don't change. Utah seems to be pretty safe from the rising seas...but what other horrors await us if we don't make a change?
Check it out at www.climatecrisis.net, calculate your carbon imprint, and read through the list of simple things you can do to reduce your impact now. Tonight, when I got home, I unpacked three boxes from our move and labeled them "Paper/Cardboard," "Plastic," and "Aluminum." Recycling is just one thing I can do. And next, I'm going out to the shed to pump up the tires on the new bike my partner bought me about a month ago that I have yet to ride.
My goal is to stop preaching something I don't live. Sure, I work for an environmental organization, and in my capacity I can order post-consumer recycled paper and plastic products, and be sure that most of our aluminum and plastic gets recycled. But I don't lead the exemplary life I know is necessary. Not only necessary, but rewarding. In many ways.
Also, check out:
http://www.utahpower.net/Article/Article22009.html to purchase renewable energy for $1.95 a month
and let me know what other great websites you stumble on!
I think it may well be worth it! This week, we got three items: fresh garlic, English peas (I'm looking forward to some steamed with butter, and I might whip up a chicken salad!), and cherries.
Spotlight on the Cherries: OMG, these cherries are so absolutely delicious I can't stop eating them...and we all know what happens when there are cherries involved. But can I just say that everything, including the $175, is worth these cherries. They are perfectly red, a wonderful combination of perfectly balanced sweet and sour, and best of all, they are organic and were produced less than 30 miles from our home!
And so...it is my suggestion to you that when the next season comes around, you seriously consider a CSA share as well. There are about four listed on the Utah's Own website, plus links to other locally owned and operated businesses you should frequent. Trust me, folks, the cherries alone are worth it!
It was spectacular. Not in terms of scenery or breathtaking vistas, though it has those too, but more in terms of solitude.
We camped in the Baker Creek campground, which had about 15 of the 40-some sites filled both nights we stayed. No one camped within earshot of our conversations.
We hiked up to the gnarled bristlecone pines and got a good glimpse of thousands of years of history. From there, we could see the basin stretched out in front of us, a barren landscape of brown and green, dotted with an occasional steadfast ranch.
We ate in the town of Baker, at a place owned and operated by some San Francisco natives that make fresh ravioli every day. The town is home to about 337 people, at least one of which is gay, as evidenced by the rainbow sticker in the window of his cafe and shop. Another gay-friendly shop-owner was located across the dusty Main Street, and she flew a rainbow flag in honor of equality, and her son.
It's a laid-back, lazy kind of place, with a wholesome feeling about it. My partner and I, for a few minutes, thought "hey, we could live here." She could work for the Park Service, I could work from home, or work at one of the cafe's or galleries, or work for the Park Service.
I imagined a life where I had to make my own music because the only radio stations that come in out there are Country and Gospel. I imagined lazy days on the front porch, writing or painting. I imagined close friendships with people who knew us and accepted us for what we are.
Then, I realized we already have these things. We have close friendships with good people, both gay and straight, who accept us and love us and would do anything to help us should we need it. I have the ability to write or paint or be lazy on my own front porch (which I own!). I can make my own music even if I can tune in to any kind of music I would ever want to listen to.
I realized how much I love the west. The fact that I can live in a metropolitan area with good food, good music, Farmer's Markets and Arts Festivals, with streets and streets of people that would love and accept us if only they knew us. And the fact that, should we tire of the city, we can escape only a few hours away to the Basin, or to the Arch or the Canyon, or to the geysers of Yellowstone.
We live in a spectacular place, surrounding by spectacular vista's and breathtaking views, and beautiful solitude.
I talk big. Yeah, there are a lot of things I don't like, and even if I weren't a lesbian, I probably wouldn't go back. But deep down, there are no grudges against the church or what it teaches. There is an abhorrence for the people, for the most part, and how they interpret those teachings. Even sometimes for the leadership and specifically their stance on gay marriage.
Then she said that her wish for my partner and I was that we would meet an open, loving, and accepting LDS couple that would befriend us and blast those walls of stereotype we have created for all people LDS.
LDS Couple, oh LDS Couple, wherefore art thou, LDS Couple?
He proved that he may very well be in the pocket of church authorities when he recently wrote to Senators encouraging them to vote yes on the Federal Marriage Amendment right in time with letters from Church authorities.
But the church won't run the country if Mitt is elected? Maybe not officially, but its policies are intircately woven into his policies...so read up here and decide for yourself if you're willing to have Mormon dogma on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Orrin Hatch has brought up the perennial flag-burning amendment. AGAIN. I think deep down in his heart, he knows it's an assault on free-speech and freedom as a whole, but it gets his conservative Utah base fired up, so he keeps pushing it...at the opportune times before elections.
Gay marriage is at the forefront. We haven't heard much about it since 2004, but it somehow got Bush his second term, so other Republicans are looking at it as a way to divert attention from failings in Iraq, Katrina, sub-par health care, the huge national debt, and deep-rooted corruption, so they bring it up again, trying to throw right-wing Christians into a frenzy, while fair-minded people everywhere roll their eyes as the real issues get pushed aside.
Politicians have already started kissing babies! Figuratively speaking. "We have to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment because it's about children!" "We have to repeal the estate (or cleverly worded "death") tax for children!" "We have to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for our children!" Funny that in the off-years, more school and child-geared programs get funding cuts. Or in Utah, more poor children don't have dental care in favor of a parking complex. But we should definitely give millionaire children a break! Particularly Bob Bennett's. That's right folks, it's all about children when using that frame of reference will get you elected. Otherwise, forget them! Let them make their own way!
Wedge issues, wedge issues, everywhere! In a word: Immigration. Everybody has a "hard-line" stance, but few have real solutions. As it has been with other favorite wedges: abortion, health care, Social Security, gay marriage. Politicians love to tell you they stand with you on your side of the issue, without really telling you what they're going to do about it. And usually, they end up doing the opposite of what they promised.
That's right, it's election season, and trying to see through the spin to what folks really stand for gets tiring...I suppose that's why people vote right down the Republican or Democratic ticket. It's hard to really see who a person is when they're running for office.
But then, it depends on which side of the argument you're on. A ranking of 43 out of 50 is dismal to those of us who believe in the rights an individual should have to choose who they marry and when they have children.
But, Gayle Ruzicka is thrilled. Well, also a little disappointed that Utah wasn't rated dead last. That's LAST Gayle, not first.
It baffles me that people are fighting so hard to restrict the rights and freedoms each American should enjoy. It baffles me that they're fighting to restrict sex education so they can leave a legacy of ignorance, unwanted pregnancies and disease. It baffles me that they think a sixteen-year-old girl should get her father's permission to abort a child that may very well be his own.
But then, when has Utah not baffled me?
Stenar, on his Bloglet, makes some very good points. Read more. There are many forms of "non-traditional" marriage out there.
Let's apply the "slippery-slope" argument the other way. Suppose they ban gay marriage, then Mormon marriage, then outdoor weddings, then JOP weddings, and soon you can only get married by a white male Baptist preacher in a church in Louisiana. Hey folks, once you start restricting freedom and start taking away rights, what stops you from taking away more and more and justifying it in the name of God?
Soon you won't be able to get child tax credits unless you have the church-mandated seven kids, and any divorced family...wait, I take that back. Divorce isn't the real threat to marriage and family...gays are. Right. Sorry about that.
Maybe the Sutherland Institute will have it's way and no one will have a real family unless the wife stays home, barefoot and pregnant with the latest addition to the quiver, and the husband works hard to provide for the roost. I'm sure the extreme right wing is thinking this would be a good thing. But why should this group of people define the morals and values for the rest of the country.
Middle Americans need to stand up and say that an attack on anyone's rights is an attack on their own. After all, who's to say it won't be them next?
Unfortunately, in our recent home purchase, the logistics of that were a little harder to work out. You see, I work downtown, but my partner works in the Fort Union area. So, we could live close to one or the other but be many miles from one or the other at the same time.
So, we compromised. We found a home in the middle, slightly closer to downtown and on a bus route. So, since my partner drives a scooter, we use less gas because I can catch the bus or, if I could ever get up on time, ride my bike to work...a mere 30 blocks from home.
And in the future, maybe when my partner gets into the police force, we can move closer to downtown. I am not afraid of living in a neighborhood where life doesn't stop at 6 pm.
I did want to make an announcement! My partner and I, after three and a half years of our relationship and over a year and a half since we got engaged, have finally set a date for a commitment ceremony and send-off reception here in Utah and a real marriage in Canada! Here's to September 22 and 26th, 2007!
I already bought a dress...I suppose thinking and dreaming about the wedding has taken up even more of my time than any of the above mentioned things.
By the way, my partner is amazing...she has painted, fixed and cleaned our house until I love it more than I ever thought I would.
Oh, and apartments suck. Ours charged us $938 for cleaning and carpet. Warning: DO NOT LIVE IN BIG APARTMENT COMPLEXES.
Case in point-before moving to this particular complex, we lived in a six story building in downtown SLC. We broke our lease because we lived on the sixth floor, my partner's knee went out, and the elevator kept dying. And the landlord gave us every penny of our deposit back. Big apartment complexes just don't care...they're like Walmart or other big faceless companies...they just want your money. Trust me folks, the pool and fitness room are NOT worth it. You probably won't use them that much anyway.
Anyway, I plan on continuing my little hiatus at least through this weekend, after which I think I might come out to LaVarr Webb. He doesn't think that being an anonymous blogger is acceptable. Or at least that anonymous bloggers shouldn't be taken as seriously as those that post their names front and center. I think I'll spend the weekend pondering this move, and I'll let you know sometime next week.
Christian Burridge http://burridgeforcongress.blogspot.com/
Pete Ashdown http://peteashdown.org/journal/
and for good measure, Orrin Hatch's blog http://www.orrin2006.com/blog.htm (hasn't been written in for a while, but interesting reading nonetheless).
It seemed obvious to me that providing equal benefits to all employees is simply fair and just. But some consider it a slippery slope. They think all sorts of things will lead to gay marriage: allowing Gay Straight Alliances or creating legal partnerships, or even allowing stores to sell Cosmopolitan magazine without a little screen to block it's racy cover. Utah politicians have not always been the most logical. It's obvious that gay marriage is a political hot button, a wedge issue that they use to bolster their arguments for things like tax cuts or road-widening or building a huge fence along the border or some other completely unrelated thing.
I tip my hat to the founders of this country that created the judicial branch (or "Activist Judges") that are the last, and sometimes only, line of defense for minorities and others who's rights are substandard to the majority. The majority is not always right.
Mr. Bush: how dare you tell countries around the world that they cannot develop nuclear capabilities, whether they be for power or weapons, then turn around and start testing again? Yes, I know Divine Strake is not a nuclear test, but in essence it is everything a nuclear test would be. It is big enough to mimic one. It will throw radioactive dust into the air that has sat dormant since the last bomb was dropped.
Which brings me to the downwinders: people have suffered the consequences of this country's actions in very painful ways. Cancer, loss of friends and family, and an inhibited chance to live the American Dream. Perhaps you aren't at fault for this, but you are at fault for insulting them again, rather than helping them in their recovery efforts.
The West Desert is not a wasteland. For some reason the powers that be seem to think they can dump, pump and blast the desert until it becomes one. I will not stand by while this happens.
Mr. Bush, I protest.
So do Dee Taylor, SLCSpin, The Utah Amicus, The World, According To Me, Utah Democrats, Liar Paradox, Jen's Green Journal, Obiter Dicta by Steve, One Utah, Part of the Plan, and Progressive Utah.
I did notice that the emotions didn't really seem as sustained as they should be. I mean, people clapped and whistled and yelled and occasionally gave a standing ovation, but I thought things would be a lot more energetic, considering the opportunity Democrats have to actually make their voices heard in Utah.
We have a Republican president with a 29% approval rating, and Republican-led Congress with rates barely better. We're standing on a precipice here when even Utah has had a 14 point swing in approval for Bush, and Democrats should be seizing this opportunity. I hope that by November the lack of energy I saw will pick up and Democrats will do just that.
A few notes on some candidates I saw that made me wish I was in the right part of the state to vote for them. Chris Burridge, for instance. He was by far the most energetic of the US House candidates, and in addition he happens to be a former missionary companion to a guy from my home town. A Mormon Democrat in action! Congrats and good luck to him, especially with the news that Chris Cannon has a long fight ahead of him! Jacob garnered a bigger percentage of votes at the convention, which may well mean that in the primaries Cannon will find himself out of a job! All of this bodes well for Burridge, a young guy with a fantastic family and a bright future.
Pete Ashdown was great too! I loved his sense of humor, his tech-savvy presentation, and of course his wit and insights. Luckily, I can vote for him and will come November.
Christine Johnson, a candidate for the State Legislator, was also a wonderful and passionate voice for district 25. She will face off against Josh Ewing in District 25. Josh was great too. We heard them in the Stonewall caucus meeting. I support either candidate, though if I was in 25 I would probably vote for Christine. Not just because I'm biased (she is a lesbian after all), but because she knew what she was talking about, she was extremely passionate and intelligent, and I feel that she could get things done. It would also be great to bolster up the female minority on the hill.
Overall it was a great time and I'll be there again next round. Looking forward to the elections and more excited phone calls from my partner about Cannon's misfortunes. :)
Legislators have continued to deny and shut down any attempts at ethics reform that would require them to report any gifts from lobbyists and refrain from voting when there is a conflict of interest.
Our lawmakers should know that their time in office isn't about them...it's about their duty to serve the public as elected officials. They should be accountable to us above anyone else. Their opposition to these simple ethical rules tells me that something is seriously wrong, and makes me really want to know who these guys are having lunch with. I want to know who is influencing their votes. It certainly isn't me or you.
So, to try and get past what some would call a major stigma, Romney plans a Kennedy-esque speech to try and reassure the American people that politicians are guided by the Constitution before the Bible...or Book of Mormon.
Problem is, I've seen the inside of the church. I've lived in a state that 1,720,434 Mormons call home. And I know that nothing guides their life more than the church. Not necessarily the Book of Mormon (as evidenced by the overwhelming number of Mormons that are still Republicans despite views in direct opposition to said Book), but by the church.
And the influence the church has over its members is overwhelming. The use of guilt and reward is such that anyone who would vote incorrectly, or stand up to something the majority of members believe in, would soon have a visit from an authority, a phone call, or a cold shoulder from the entire congregation on Sunday.
The Mormon church, unlike the Catholic church, is not just a set of beliefs. It is a lifestyle. It is a culture. For someone to say they will put the interests of the Constitution above and beyond the interests of Mormonism is hypocrisy. After all, is it in the interests of the Constitution to write in an amendment that would discriminate against at least 12.6% of American households? NO. But if Mitt Romney were to veto such a measure, that would be in direct conflict with his beliefs, and he would never do it.
So, for those of you who have not seen the inside, let me tell you now...Mitt Romney will not be able to separate his Mormonism from his politics. If you're comfortable with that, than by all means, vote for him. Or, find out more about the church here and then determine if you're comfortable with that ideology and dogma sitting on Pennsylvania Avenue. Otherwise, trust your gut and vote for the other guy.
Which is why it's so important that two major developments regarding development have occurred. First, Senator Bob Bennett and Representative Jim Matheson have introduced a bill, which can be reviewed here, that would help direct growth through the sale of some less biologically important public lands to fund conservation and stewardship of other more biologically important public lands. At least, that's what it says now. And when you think of it like that, it's a good idea. Regardless of this logic, several groups have come out vehemently opposed to any sale of wilderness areas, including SUWA, the Utah Chapter Sierra Club, and the Wilderness Society.
Everyone knows, of course, that bills will change. Over the course of the bill different interests will push for different changes. Some will be accommodated and others will not.
I hope that the interests that are accommadated are more environmental than developmental.
Everyone knows also that development in Washington County is inevitable. It will happen whether it is properly planned for or not. Which is why I hope that the Lands Bill introduced by Bennett and Matheson can be a positive force for quality growth.
In the meantime, however, the second development has occurred. Washington County commissioners, and representatives from the Nature Conservancy, the Oquirrh Institute, and Envision Utah signed a memorandum of understanding in April that would, in effect "manage Washington County's explosive rate of growth."
"The incredible growth in this area, combined with the outstanding natural features and unique landscape, make it absolutely essential that a blueprint for future growth and development be established that will protect the lifestyle unique to southwestern Utah," Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. wrote in a letter of endorsement that Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert signed on his behalf during the Utah League of Cities and Towns' mid-year meeting in St. George in April.
I hope the bill really creates a framework for positive and sustainable growth in the county, but in the meantime I applaud Washington County, the Nature Conservancy, the Oquirrh Institute, and Envision Utah for taking the lead in creating that framework themselves, rather than reacting negatively and stubbornly to the bill created by Bennett and Matheson. It shows true leadership to do something more than just react.
Well, I've been listening in to KCPW, Anonymous, and I hear you. I love that I can tune into news at 10:30 at night, rather than jazz. I have nothing against jazz...but sometimes you just want more news. And BBC news at that...which is much less ethnocentric than American news.
There are a few things that bother me. KCPW seems to have a lot more "commercials" or "endorsements" than KUER...but I do like that the owners of the individual little businesses do these themselves. It's interesting to hear the voices that support local radio.
That's the other thing...KCPW just feels so much more local. You know they're just in a little studio down the street...where KUER is in this big building up on a hill that you have to have a security badge to get into. I've never tried to get into KCPW, but it seems to me that it would be a lot easier and homier. They've got MUCH better local news coverage, to boot. KUER just throws some things in the breaks between All Things Considered and other news programs.
Anyway, I wanted to give a shout out to Anonymous for tipping me in to such a great local resource!
A huge chunk of Utah higher education students are Mormon. And a huge chunk of those are female. They are told to go to college, where they will meet their eternal soul mate. Believe me, I've been there. I was lucky to have parents that told me the point of continuing your education was to...continue your education.
- Use public transportation or carpool at least two times a week.
- Keep vehicles tuned up and the tires properly inflated to increase fuel economy up to 7%
- Turn off the car while waiting. Don't idle more than two minutes.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs that are 70% more efficient and last longer.
- When at home, turn the thermostat down 3 degrees in winter and up 3 degrees in summer; when not home turn heat or air conditioner off whenever possible.
- Use a swamp cooler or ceiling fans in the summer rather than central air conditioning.
- Turn off lights and electrical appliances when not in use.
- Wash clothes in cold water, saving 50% of the energy consumed by a washing machine.
- In the summer months, run your dishwasher while you are away; in winter months, run it while you are at home.
- Purchase at least one block of renewable wind energy.
- Use a curbside recycling bin.
- Make the effort to recycle glass.
- Purchase recycled products whenever possible.
- Stop junk mail by adding your name to a do-not-mail list. Learn More at New Dream.
- Take reusable items to a local charitable organization or thrift shop.
- Water less frequently and only during the coolest time of the day, usually between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
- Use a water-efficient drip irrigation system for trees, shrubs and flowers.
- Turn the faucet off while washing hands, brushing teeth, and shaving.
- Only run the clothes washer and dishwasher when full.
- Buy locally grown produce and dairy whenever possible.
- Support local farmers by joining community-supported agriculture where you can purchase shares and receive fresh veggies every week.
- Reduce consumption of meat by one serving per week.
Utah Amicus says: Everywhere I go I hear from both Republicans and Democrats that it is time for a change. Every time I attend an event where Pete speaks, I go away with a greater understanding that Pete is the man who should replace our current Senator, a man who has lost touch with the citizens of Utah.
Has Senator Hatch lost touch with Utahns? Emphatically, yes! Standing up against nuclear waste storage in Utah does not prove you truly care about what happens to us more than what happens to your major donors. For example, Senator Hatch believes:
- Warrantless wire-tapping is okay, as long as you are President Bush.
- Global warming is a farce created my Michael Crichton.
- Flag burning is a sin punishable by death...or something close to it.
On the other hand, check out Pete's blog. In it, he talks about important issues such as global warming with knowledge of the subject he gained from reading actual books and papers on it. He lists his opinions on several issues here. He talks about his reasons for his beliefs in a clear and concise manner that is becoming of a U.S. Senator. He also has a Wiki site, where he encourages voters to help influence his campaign!
His blog, his Wiki and his website in general show that Pete will be more frank and up front with his constituents and be far more responsive to and representative of the people that elected him. Hatch will continue to do what Hatch does...which is nothing that helps the people back home.
I urge you to vote for Pete Ashdown in November. It's time for a change in Washington.
Hottest Small Cities (less than 150,000)
1. Yuma, AZ
2. St. George, UT
4. Coeur d'Alene, ID
5. Bellingham, WA
8. Idaho Falls, ID
9. Casper, WY
10. Bremerton-Silverdale, WA
13. Prescott, AZ
14. Bend, OR
15. El Centro, CA
16. Logan, UT
18. Greeley, CO
Hottest Midsize Cities (150,000-450,000)
5. Reno-Sparks, NV
9. Provo-Orem, UT
10. Bakersfield, CA
11. Boise, ID
13. Tucson, AZ
17. Tacoma, WA
18. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
Hottest Large Cities (450,000 or more)
1. Las Vegas, NV
5. San Bernardino-Riverside, CA
6. Phoenix, AZ
15. Salt Lake City, UT
17. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA
19. Sacramento, CA
20. San Diego, CA
You see, this little sticker, which states boldly "Everyone Welcome Here," has a quintet of hand-holding rainbow people. Apparently our favorite councilman, Terril Honey, thinks that means they are gay, or, even worse, encouraging gay people to visit. According to the New York Times (THE NEW YORK TIMES PEOPLE....THIS IS GETTING A LITTLE OUT OF HAND!) he refuses to post it because he thinks it might offend some of his customers.
Mayor Lawson to the rescue! In order to bridge the sticker argument, he's decided to introduce a new sticker that is basically the same, but minus the rainbow people. The Chamber of Commerce is planning on putting out a new sticker in time for tourist season too.
So, everyone welcome here....except YOU PEOPLE!
Photo by Tom Nedreberg
Please remember to e-mail Pam Schuller at the BLM with your thoughts on why nuclear waste shouldn't be stored in Utah, or send her a letter at the following address:
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Salt Lake Field Office
2370 South 2300 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
For sample comments to put in your letter, click here.
And, check out other what other bloggers are saying!
Part of the Plan
Jen's Green Journal
The Utah Amicus
Eric Hamilton's Reality Check
Running, but not out of breath
Utah Planners' Corner
The State of the Beehive
Not only did he veto the natural parent bill that passed the legislature this year as well as several other damaging bills, and come out against nuclear storage and Divine Strake, he's recently come out with a goal of increasing Utah's energy efficiency 20% by 2015.
He's my kind of Republican.
The BLM has said that if they have enough public opposition, they will be able to bar nuclear waste from being dumped in Utah's west desert, a mere 45 miles from the Wasatch Front.
I for one, do not want it in my back yard, my home.
According to Gov. Huntsman: "Utah is not a dumping ground for the country and I will not allow this to happen on my watch. We must join together and say 'No Way' to nuclear waste."
I'm hoping anyone reading this will do as I have done and send comments to the BLM. The BLM is accepting public comment until May 8.
Letters may be addressed to:
2370 S. 2300 W.
SLC, Utah 84119
Emails may be sent to Pam_Schuller@BLM.gov
Drop me a comment if you sent something in! Or, if you have the time, attend a special press conference on Friday at noon in the auditorium of the State Office Building just north of the Capitol. Show the powers that be how much you care about the place you call home.
I WILL NOT BE SILENT ANYMORE
The lies we spin
for our family, our friends
Our G.S.A.'s become "Drama Club"
Our thoughts and voices become dubbed
We get scared when people inquire about our lives
We don't know how to take that dive.
We don't know what they would think, or react
Would they be disgusted or just face that fact
We are not ashamed, but there is silence
about who we are and love, we
don't want to be an inconvenience
But I have come to a conclusion
I love who I am, and I have made my decision
I WILL NOT BE SILENCED ANYMORE!!!!!
Read more about the Day of Silence observation in Utah Wednesday by clicking on title, above.
Is it fiscal responsibility to send our soldiers into hostile territory without proper body armor?
Is it fiscal responsibility to spend more and more on war while simultaneously cutting taxes?
Is it fiscal responsibility to tell a mother that blatant racism deserves the dollars that could have saved her son?
Cindy Purvance gives us the top ten reasons to screw the Gays. Finally we understand!
Fear and Loathing in Salt Lake City discusses the slippery slope that gay marriage may lead to. And to think I could have married my set of horses! Maybe my best friend could marry her collection of Barbie dolls!
Sons of Perdition promotes the proxy gay marriages of several prominent LDS church leaders. As you may know, the LDS church performs proxy baptisms and marriages for deceased people all the time. Why not this?
Since the dawn of time humans have gone around fighting for scraps, gnawing at ancient bones, better known as grudges, and pissing on fire hydrants to mark their territory.
An e-mail has been circulating with a speech by former governor of Colorado, Dick Lamm. After checking to make sure it was true through several hoax sites, I found out that it is indeed. Read it below:
I HAVE A PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA RICHARD D. LAMM
I HAVE A SECRET PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA. IF YOU BELIEVE, AS MANY DO, THAT AMERICA IS TOO SMUG, TOO WHITE BREAD, TOO SELF-SATISFIED, TOO RICH, LETS DESTROY AMERICA. IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO DO. HISTORY SHOWS THAT NATIONS ARE MORE FRAGILE THAN THEIR CITIZENS THINK. NO NATION IN HISTORY HAS SURVIVED THE RAVAGES OF TIME. ARNOLD TOYNBEE OBSERVED THAT ALL GREAT CIVILIZATIONS RISE AND THEY ALL FALL, AND THAT "AN AUTOPSY OF HISTORY WOULD SHOW THAT ALL GREAT NATIONS COMMIT SUICIDE." HERE IS MY PLAN:
I. WE MUST FIRST MAKE AMERICA A BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY. HISTORY SHOWS, IN MY OPINION, THAT NO NATION CAN SURVIVE THE TENSION, CONFLICT, AND ANTAGONISM OF TWO COMPETING LANGUAGES AND CULTURES. IT IS A BLESSING FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE BILINGUAL; IT IS A CURSE FOR A SOCIETY TO BE BILINGUAL. ONE SCHOLAR, SEYMOUR MARTIN LIPSET, PUT IT THIS WAY:
THE HISTORIES OF BILINGUAL AND BICULTURAL SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT ASSIMILATE ARE HISTORIES OF TURMOIL, TENSION, AND TRAGEDY. CANADA, BELGIUM, MALAYSIA, LEBANON-ALL FACE CRISES OF NATIONAL EXISTENCE IN WHICH MINORITIES PRESS FOR AUTONOMY, IF NOT INDEPENDENCE. PAKISTAN AND CYPRUS HAVE DIVIDED. NIGERIA SUPPRESSED AN ETHNIC REBELLION. FRANCE FACES DIFFICULTIES WITH ITS BASQUES, BRETONS, AND CORSICANS.
II. I WOULD THEN INVENT "MULTICULTURALISM" AND ENCOURAGE IMMIGRANTS TO MAINTAIN THEIR OWN CULTURE. I WOULD MAKE IT AN ARTICLE OF BELIEF THAT ALL CULTURES ARE EQUAL: THAT THERE ARE NO CULTURAL DIFFERENCES THAT ARE IMPORTANT. I WOULD DECLARE IT AN ARTICLE OF FAITH THAT THE BLACK AND HISPANIC DROPOUT RATE IS ONLY DUE TO PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION BY THE MAJORITY. EVERY OTHER EXPLANATION IS OUT-OF-BOUNDS.
III. WE CAN MAKE THE UNITED STATES A "HISPANIC QUEBEC" WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT. THE KEY IS TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY RATHER THAN UNITY. AS BENJAMIN SCHWARZ SAID IN THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY RECENTLY: "...THE APPARENT SUCCESS OF OUR OWN MULTIETHNIC AND MULTICULTURAL EXPERIMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED NOT BY TOLERANCE BUT BY HEGEMONY. WITHOUT THE DOMINANCE THAT ONCE DICTATED ETHNOCENTRICALLY, AND WHAT IT MEANT TO BE AN AMERICAN, WE ARE LEFT WITH ONLY TOLERANCE AND PLURALISM TO HOLD US TOGETHER." I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL IMMIGRANTS TO KEEP THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE. I WOULD REPLACE THE MELTING POT METAPHOR WITH A SALAD BOWL METAPHOR. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INSURE THAT WE HAVE VARIOUS CULTURAL SUB-GROUPS LIVING IN AMERICA REINFORCING THEIR DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN AMERICANS, EMPHASIZING THEIR SIMILARITIES.
IV. HAVING DONE ALL THIS, I WOULD MAKE OUR FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP THE LEAST EDUCATED - I WOULD ADD A SECOND UNDERCLASS, UNASSIMILATED, UNDEREDUCATED, AND ANTAGONISTIC TO OUR POPULATION. I WOULD HAVE THIS SECOND UNDERCLASS HAVE A 50% DROP OUT RATE FROM SCHOOL.
V. I WOULD THEN GET THE BIG FOUNDATIONS AND BIG BUSINESS TO GIVE THESE EFFORTS LOTS OF MONEY. I WOULD INVEST IN ETHNIC IDENTITY, AND I WOULD ESTABLISH THE CULT OF VICTIMOLOGY. I WOULD GET ALL MINORITIES TO THINK THEIR LACK OF SUCCESS WAS ALL THE FAULT OF THE MAJORITY - I WOULD START A GRIEVANCE INDUSTRY BLAMING ALL MINORITY FAILURE ON THE MAJORITY POPULATION.
VI. I WOULD ESTABLISH DUAL CITIZENSHIP AND PROMOTE DIVIDED LOYALTIES. I WOULD "CELEBRATE DIVERSITY." "DIVERSITY" IS A WONDERFULLY SEDUCTIVE WORD. IT STRESSES DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN COMMONALITIES. DIVERSE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE MOSTLY ENGAGED IN HATING EACH OTHER-THAT IS, WHEN THEY ARE NOT KILLING EACH OTHER. A DIVERSE," PEACEFUL, OR STABLE SOCIETY IS AGAINST MOST HISTORICAL PRECEDENT. PEOPLE UNDERVALUE THE UNITY IT TAKES TO KEEP A NATION TOGETHER, AND WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MYOPIA. LOOK AT THE ANCIENT GREEKS. DORF'S WORLD HISTORY TELLS US: "THE GREEKS BELIEVED THAT THEY BELONGED TO THE SAME RACE; THEY POSSESSED A COMMON LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE; AND THEY WORSHIPED THE SAME GODS. ALL GREECE TOOK PART IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN HONOR OF ZEUS AND ALL GREEKS VENERATED THE SHRINE OF APOLLO AT DELPHI. A COMMON ENEMY PERSIA THREATENED THEIR LIBERTY. YET, ALL OF THESE BONDS TOGETHER WERE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO OVERCOME TWO FACTORS . . . (LOCAL PATRIOTISM AND GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS THAT NURTURED POLITICAL DIVISIONS . . .)" IF WE CAN PUT THE EMPHASIS ON THE "PLURIBUS," INSTEAD OF THE "UNUM," WE CAN BALKANIZE AMERICA AS SURELY AS KOSOVO.
VII. THEN I WOULD PLACE ALL THESE SUBJECTS OFF LIMITS - MAKE IT TABOO TO TALK ABOUT. I WOULD FIND A WORD SIMILAR TO "HERETIC" IN THE 16TH CENTURY - THAT STOPPED DISCUSSION AND PARALYZED THINKING. WORDS LIKE "RACIST", "XENOPHOBE" THAT HALTS ARGUMENT AND CONVERSATION. HAVING MADE AMERICA A BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY, HAVING ESTABLISHED MULTICULTURALISM, HAVING THE LARGE FOUNDATIONS FUND THE DOCTRINE OF "VICTIMOLOGY", I WOULD NEXT MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ENFORCE OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS. I WOULD DEVELOP A MANTRA - "THAT BECAUSE IMMIGRATION HAS BEEN GOOD FOR AMERICA, IT MUST ALWAYS BE GOOD." I WOULD MAKE EVERY INDIVIDUAL IMMIGRANT SYMPATRIC AND IGNORE THE CUMULATIVE IMPACT.
VIII. LASTLY, I WOULD CENSOR VICTOR HANSON DAVIS'S BOOK MEXIFORNIA — THIS BOOK IS DANGEROUS — IT EXPOSES MY PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA. SO PLEASE, PLEASE — IF YOU FEEL THAT AMERICA DESERVES TO BE DESTROYED — PLEASE, PLEASE — DON'T BUY THIS BOOK! THIS GUY IS ON TO MY PLAN.
"THE SMART WAY TO KEEP PEOPLE PASSIVE AND OBEDIENT IS TO STRICTLY LIMIT THE SPECTRUM OF ACCEPTABLE OPINION, BUT ALLOW VERY LIVELY DEBATE WITHIN THAT SPECTRUM." — NOAM CHOMSKY, AMERICAN LINGUIST AND US MEDIA AND FOREIGN POLICY CRITIC.
If what the governor says is true, maybe we didn't really evolve yet. Maybe we still are dogs. But life teaches us that we should grow and become better with each passing generation. If we truly have evolved into humans, then we should be able to look past each other's differences and unite in the celebration of those differences.
It is not the ideas of multi-culturalism and tolerance that are bad. It is the people in the midst of all this that believe they are. People on both sides of the racial divide are guilty. A white man hates a Mexican woman because she cannot speak English, while the Mexican woman hates a black neighbor because he is big and scares her, and the black man hates a white man because he has had everything handed to him.
We all have our greivances. Every single one of us. But if we are ever to evolve into something more than dogs, we have to have a higher ideal in mind. We have to stop fighting for scraps. We have to stop gnawing at those ancient grudges and ripping open past wounds. We have to stop marking our territories. After all, the greatest capacity we have as humans is the ability to care for one another. If we cannot do that, we will most certainly fail.
Friday night I worked my first night at a second job...a second job I got because, as I told a good friend today, I make enough to live as I am now, and I'm not okay with that. I have goals: marriage, kids, etc. So I get a second job and suddenly work nearly 60 hours a week.
Anyway, while the night went by quick, I'm still sore.
Saturday morning was the big move. It only took an hour to get the stuff out and twenty minutes to get it into the new house. Unfortunately, the move caused me to miss the Democratic County convention.
BUT SCOTT MCCOY GOT THROUGH!!! I'm glad he could do it without my partner and I, and I only hope we can help in some way in the future.
Anyway, met a lady my dad's friend keeps trying to set up with him. She was cool. Had a cool accent. I don't think he's ready. Maybe I should remind him.
Then had a barbecue at a friend's house and fell in love with a dog we probably can't have. We have a serious lack of good fencing on our property right now. And me with two jobs and my partner in retail with rotating shifts, it would probably be unfair to bring a dog in. Plus, I don't want the cat freaking out.
Sunday I mowed the lawn for the very first time. My lawn. It was a beautiful experience. Finished cleaning out the apartment and then went to work at Job 2. And I'll be back at it tonight.
But the good news is, Job 2 gave me the discount to get a pair of Ugg's for $6.80. I've wanted them as long as I can remember. It's pretty sweet.
"In 2006, it's wrong that they have to live in that fear," he said about the stories he heard during the meeting.
But the only way that we can stop living in fear is if we are accepted and not marginalized.
I only hope that Miller truly feels remorse and has truly had a change of heart.
"Maybe their well-being trumps my beliefs, my rights to express myself."
Is this something he really believes?
He then pulled his head back out and remarked that the sand was warmer than he last remembered it being.
Though muffled, reporters thought they heard Hatch say something about the scientific consensus on global warming being "science fiction."
He then went on to say he didn't think the Bush administration would doctor anything to their benefit, such as watering down reports of global warming to make the problem seem less pervasive.
"They've never done that before," he said, burying his head further in the sand when the reporter mentioned the doctored intelligence that got us into Iraq.
Though several scientists have gone on record as saying they had been censored by agencies and administration officials, Hatch spat sand when it was suggested they might be telling the truth while risking their jobs.
"Science fiction," he said.
Senator, please pull your head out of your ass...I mean, the sand, of course.
My thoughts: Vanity Fair, according to the Sierra Club, "has probably done more to stoke the engines of consumption and materialism in this country than most advertising agencies." And so, they conclude, it's almost hard to stomach a green edition. I remember a year or so ago I got a gift subscription to Mother Earth News. In the first issue I received, greens were blasting the magazine for putting a celebrity on it's cover and guffawing at celebrities building "green" homes the size of my home town. I had one thought for them: get off your high horse.
After all, if environmentalism and living green is reserved only for those that do it for the right reasons, as these greens seem to think it is, then a difference will never be made. It is only when it become popular and mainstream, even chic, that the green movement will start to make a difference globally.
And so it is that each time a magazine comes out promoting a green lifestyle, regardless of the kind of magazine it is or what it has promoted in the past (and probably future), I celebrate. Getting the word out to people who may not even have thought about it and making them think it's the only way to live is a good thing. People should live green for all reasons...not just the right ones.
Read "50 Ways to Save the Planet" from the latest Vanity Fair.
The Environment and Christians: They Can Co-Exist!
The National Council of Churches of Christ has an extensive website on it's Eco-Justice Programs which I have discovered on this fine Earth Day. I have always believed the Christian faith requires that we treat our surroundings with respect, but it seems that opinion falls on deaf ears. It's good to see I'm not the only one who thinks that way.
They even created a special sermon resource for Earth Day Sunday! And you can browse subjects back through Earth Day '99.
More of their issues include:
Climate & Energy
Land & Wilderness
It's heartening, isn't it?
More Great Earth Day Sites to Browse
The Nature Conservancy: With "Messages of Hope" from celebrities like Tom Cruise and Jane Goodall
New American Dream: Learn about your impact in the Turn the Tide section and more ways to live the American Dream with less STUFF throughout the website.
Earthdaynetwork: Call it the Earth Day Home Page if you will. Get resources for hosting your own event and measure your ecological footprint. Also talks about Religious celebrations of Earth Day. Hallelujah!