Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Don't We Elect Leaders Who Won't Take the Money?

"So you think you want to start a revolution? Well, you know." Something like that goes the old song from the Beatles.

Actually, I wouldn't mind starting one. Now, I'm not talking a gun-firing revolution, not a violent revolution,  just a revolution in the way we elect our leaders.

The candidates take contributions, sometimes from private citizens whose only interest is to elect the best person, but sometimes from those who are hoping the candidate might them them out a little once they are elected.

So, the candidate gets elected, the person comes calling, congratulating the newly-elected official, and then saying, "Hey. I've got this problem. . . ." Sometimes, its a worthy cause, like, say, education. Even if it is a worthy cause, though, that is no way to run a government. Legislation shouldn't come from a system of paybacks. It shouldn't favor the rich, and as long as we have the system we do, the man with the money has a better chance of getting a legislator to draft a bill for him than others do.

Oh, most of our bills have no such influence, I would guess. But, enough of them do. Enough to sour me on the system.

How long to we let this go? Do we just resign ourselves to this being the way it is? Of a truth, I tell you, we don't have to accept this. We are the voters. If we don't want to vote for those who accept contributions, we don't have to. If it means enough to us, we can vote for the person who says, "No, I'm not going to take that money." 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Imagine World with Most Cars as Moving Billboards

So, with school buses now rolling down the streets with advertisements on them, how about your car?

Hm, just a thought. You could sell rights to advertising on your car for, say, $100 a month -- make it $250 to doll it up real nice.

Now, some of us don't have fancy enough cars to attract advertisers. But, then again, perhaps this is a way to get a free paint job, and get paid for it. Can't beat that.

If such an idea were to come of age, it would be interesting to see how many car owners would sell ad space on their cars. Those with nice cars would probably say, "No, don't need that income and don't want you to mess up the nice paint job I already have." It might be it would be the poorer folk who end up selling ad space on their cars.

Or, perhaps the ad rates would increase for the Cadillacs and Mercedes, pulling in a few more customers. If enough sign up, our city streets would never be the same. Imagine a world in which most of the the cars were moving billboards.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sugary Cereals Need Not Apply

Sugary cereals need not apply.

The sides of school buses in the Jordan School District are now for hire. The first advertisements were unveiled this week, with four buses having ads.

If all the buses in the district attract advertisements, the district stands to make a quarter of a million dollars per year. So, add me to those who think the advertising a good idea -- if those who advertise are watched by school administrators, and the administrators are saying they will need to approve each advertisement.

So, from the day when advertisements were limited to yearbooks and sports stadiums, we now have this. I've heard say one Utah school took some heat for advertising sugary cereal in the lunchroom. Suppose I can see why. The fear is that students will view the advertisements as being endorsed by the school.

Hm, perhaps. Or are students savvy enough to realize an advertisement is an advertisement, that it is the company speaking, not the school. If we do have concern that it might be considered an endorsement from the school, then place disclaimers at the bottom of the ads, saying something like, "This advertisement does not constitute an endorsement of the product by the school."

Advertising on buses differs from advertising in the lunchroom, however, as it it the general public the ads target, not the students.

I'm tendatively

Consider Keeping Common Core Sans Federal Dollars

It appears Common Core, that education-improvement program so hated by some states rights people, does come with federal funding.

The program might have been designed by a groups from the states, but the press is reporting that it comes with federal dollars.

Are these new federal dollars, or were they already in place? I'm assuming they are new, and since Common Core has been in place about two years, I'm assuming the new funding came just ahead of all the angst over the deficit, for I do not suppose such additional spending would have been approved at a time we so concerned with trimming our belt.

So, let's go back to the federal government and demand that the new funding be removed, nationwide. This will prevent a few pennies from being added to the national deficit -- and every penny counts. The timing for such a request will be favorable, since the taste of too much federal spending is still in our nation's mouth.

And, without that funding, Common Core can remain, free of charges from states rights advocates that it is bringing us under federal control. While other funding will have to be found for Common Core, go that route.

You might suggest the hitch in this suggestion is that it might be Common Core cannot survive without the federal funding. Well, how much does it cost? How much would we, as  a state, have to come up with to keep it once the federal funding is eliminated? Can we come up with it, and if state government funds cannot cover it, why not collect contributions.

Should our educators be convinced Common Core is a plus, keep it, unless we can see it is not a good program. I, for one, though, do not suppose I have learned enough about the program to feel my judgement better than theirs.

Keep it. Keep it if it good. If the problem is the funding, not the program, get rid of the funding, not the program.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Time to Quit Ignoring Sixth Amendment

It would be hard to find a part of the Constitution less heeded than the Sixth Amendment.

We simply haven't figured a way to make it work.

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial," says the honored document. Yet, crimes routinely are prosecuted not speedily, but much later -- often years later.

Instead of abiding by the Constitution, we practice the principle, "The wheels of justice grind slowly."

So, let's do something to speed those wheels up.

While reading and listening to the news of the Cottonwood football coach accused of sexual relations with a youth, I thought how much a person, if innocent, surely wants the case quickly brought forth and settled. The person's reputation is at stake. He or she wants that reputation cleared, and cleared quickly.

Sometimes, only a speedy trial can provide that justice. In the Cottonwood case, though, charges were dropped, which is the equivalent of a quick and speedy trial.

I also thought of the Josh Powell case, and how he, too, claimed innocence and could have said, "I have a Sixth Amendment right here." In retrospect, we wonder but what there wasn't enough evidence to bring the case to court, but surely we also would want time to gather evidence for a conviction instead of taking the case to court prematurely.
Here's what we can do: Let the accused have the option of invoking the Sixth Amendment. When they invoke it -- asking for a speedy trial -- then we hold a discovery court. inviting every witness we know of, and bringing every evidence we have available, and everything is presented to the court.

It does seem there will be many cases where all the evidence should be available quickly. In the case of the Cottonwood coach, for example, ist seems much or all of the evidence would be from witnesses? Is is so hard to round up all the witnesses up in a day or two? It seems the evidence could be assembled quickly, with witnesses on both sides quickly identified.

So round them up and hold this court of inquiry, this discovery court.

The court then judges whether it is reasonable to expect that more evidence will come forth if waited for. If it appears the evidence is already available, the case is given a quick court date.

It is time we implement the Sixth Amendment. Here is a way, a mechanism, to bring practice to the principle of a speedy trial.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Good Education? How do We Count the Ways?

What is the heart of a good education. By what shall we measure it?

Is it the accumulation of facts? Is a good education measured by how many tidbits of information  the student memorizes?

Or is a good education one that prepares a person for a job? No more, no less.

Wouldn't a good education be one that trains the mind to think, one that creates artists and scientists and inventors?

Or is the most important thing life skills? how to do your taxes, what a mortgage is all about, how to dance, and so forth.

It could even be suggested a good education is one that creates a good person, a good member of society, someone who stays out of jail, treats his neighbor right, and goes to work each day.

America is reflecting on its fall from the pinnacle of education, concerned that we are no longer considered the world's best-educated people. I would suggest, as we reflect on where we've been and where we're going, we not measure our success in just one of the above ways.

But in all of them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

States Rights Not Reason to Dump Common Core

Would you ask what I think of Common Core?

To be truthful, I perhaps do not know much about Common Core. I know it is a program that sets standards for education. It seeks to spell out and specify some of the things students should be learning. I know it is a program the governors' association -- that would be the National Governors Association -- came up with. Well, the NGA and another group, the Council for Chief State School Officers, came up with it.

I've heard some states rights advocates oppose Common Core, wanting Utah to not be guided by a national agenda. From what little I know, the program is not being run out of the federal Department of Education.

Even if Common Core were a federal program, though, I would not be too quick to oppose it on that basis. If it is a good program, I'd say why not let it stay? Opposing a program just because of who came up with it doesn't seem the best way to decide if it is good. If you are concerned that it isn't a state program and you do not want something with such national flavor (45 of the 50 states are signed into Common Core), take what is good about the program and create and run your own state version. (That might mean letting go of some good resources from the NGA and CCSSO, though.)

Judge the program on its own merits. I may be with the Article I, Section 8, and 10th Amendment folks on some things, but I am not ready to ax Common Core based on those two parts of our Constitution.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Do We Remove Parent Just for Drugs?

Yes, I do believe a parent on drugs is not a healthy environment for a child, and society is not wrong to step in.

If you are to talk about rights, do not overlook the rights of the child. A child cannot opt out of a bad environment on his or her own. If society does not protect the child, it will not be protected. I argue that a child has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- and if the parent is endangering that right, protecting the child is in order.

Oh, but, I do waver. Not that something should not be done to protect the child, but is that something the removal of the parent from the home? Taking a parent out of the home is a precarious thing. Taking a family apart is a precarious thing.

I can only say I think on it tonight, wondering if the safety of the child warrants such a move. I am not imagining how else society (okay, government) can step in other than removing the parent.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ease up on Drug War by Lightening Punishment

'Tis time for a change up in the drug war, lest we lose it.

Time to quit tossing so many people in jail.

I pick up Sunday's paper and what do I read?  "Mass incarceration hasn't made us safer," says the headline. It's an article by Jess Rigelhaupt, written for the Free Lance-Star in Fredricksburg, Va. (The article was reprinted in the Deseret News.)

"The United States is the largest jailer in the world," Rigelhaupt writes, noting we have 2.3 million people locked up. "It has an unrivaled incarceration rate," he says, explaining that one out of every 100 adults is behind bars.

Now, however is it, in America, that we could be locking up more people than any other nation? Is this in America, the land of the free?

Rigelhaupt lays it at the feet of the drug war. More than half of the new sentences to state prisons from 1985 to 2000 were for drug offenses, he says. And, he tells why. The nation got "tough on crime in the mid-1970s, with longer sentences, mandatory jail time and new reasons for sending folks to jail on drug offenses.

Well, lay the article down. I don't know that we are losing the war on drugs, but we are losing the war for public support of a war on drugs. However are you going to justify the war when it has led us to pack more people into prison than any other nation? That doesn't fit the image of the land of the free. If you are the land of the incarcerated, it is hard to claim you are also the land of the free.

So, let's quit tossing so many people in jail. No, I'm not talking of legalizing drugs, not at all. But, let us step down the penalty, lighten it up.

Instead of jails, halfway houses. Let's place drug users in monitored housing. I suppose some would say they will still be incarcerated, but, if they are to so be considered, it will be to a lesser degree. Require them to live in the housing, and chase them down when they wander too much, but don't actually lock them up unless they are testing positive or buying drugs.

Instead of getting tougher on drugs, get lighter.

Now, one of the negative effects of drug use is that the drug user is less inclined to go to work. Drugs tend to take a person out of the workplace. So, as a punishment, let's require them to work. Whenever work can be found outside the housing, give them work leave for the day to do the work.

Perhaps there is a chance such a move might be good for our employment numbers. Many a drug user is without a job. If we take a segment of our society that is not working, and place them in jobs, employment should increase. We won't find jobs for them all, but pushing them at the job market will be a pressuring force to drive up the number of people working.

And, fight the tendency to over staff the housing. I don't know what would be a good ratio of workers to residents. Is one attendant for every 35 residents enough? Perhaps.

The monitored housing approach would mean the residents would be tested regularly, perhaps even daily. As long as they are clean, they maintain their privilege of coming and going from the housing. If they are not clean, then they are restricted. And, if they still get in trouble when simply told they have to stay home, then finally lock them up.

It's an easing of the punishment for using drugs. I wonder but what it might prove a more effective way of reducing usage.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ahead in Dimes 10-1 not Enough to Secure Victory

Okay, what did we learn today?

From the conventions, and whether the caucus-convention system is a good thing.

Some say, you know, that since we are a Republic, the caucus system is the way to go, as it allows us to elect someone at the caucus meeting who goes on to convention and votes on our behalf.

The American way.

Well, we learned it is hard to run a survey to determine who will win. I heard that said this past week, and I think I know one reason why it is so. The candidates make their speeches, swaying votes this way and that, and all the campaigning to that point often goes out the window. Money spent, money lost.

As a person who does not like money running politics, I like this.

I understand Mia Love and Scott Howell both gave good speeches. Both won.

I'm told Orrin Hatch outspent Dan Liljenquist 10-1. Hatch did dominate in convention, but failed to get the 60 percent necessary to eliminate Liljenquist. Now, 60 percent would seem a likely achievement when you outspend your opponent by such a resounding margin, but it didn't happen.

Victory, then, for the small-budget contender.

Well, I remain with mixed feelings on the caucus-convention system. If the participation that was experienced in the caucuses a month ago was the norm, I would say do not (and do not and do not) get rid of them. It was too precious to see people there, caring and involved in the process and enjoying.

But the thing I do not like about the caucus-convention is this: We go to the caucuses in the name of being involved, only to hand over our right to vote to a political activist. My feeling has been: I'll cast my own vote, if you don't mind. Thank you.

My thoughts on the caucus-convention system have been tempered of late not only by observing this year's process, but also by being out campaigning. Too often do I run into those who simply do not show any desire to be involved. I can understand how they might, then, be willing to elect someone to study out the candidates for them.

Trick is, though, for the most part, those who would just as soon someone do the studying for them are not likely to even show up for the caucus meeting.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Break Warnings about Cartels? They're now in Utah

In one way, Utah might rank as a state most affected by Mexico's drug cartels, not border states such as Arizona and Texas.

This because Utah has one of the greatest percentages of land owned by the federal government.

Pick up Wednesday's Deseret News, if you haven't thrown it away yet, and read the article titled, "Watch out for marijuana grows," telling how Mexican drug cartels are hiding large marijuana farms on Utah's public lands.

The more public land a state has, the more likely the cartels will want to farm there.

The cartels are not satisfied with trafficking drugs across the border. Being reasonably smart, they realize raising marijuana in the U.S. not only places their product closer to its market, but also sidesteps the problem of smuggling it across the border.

Southern Utah is seen as the part of this state where the cartels are most likely to raise their marijuana. I don't know for sure, but wonder if that is partly because of the interstate highways I-15 and I-70.

So, with good growing conditions, the availability of federal land and good traffic routes, Southern Utah is likely a plum growing location for the cartels.

I read with interest in the DesNews article about how a DEA officer warns Utahns to be cautious in the back country this spring and summer. I guess the idea is, you don't want to accidentally run into the cartels if they are protecting the secrecy of their farms at all costs.

It reminded me of other travel warnings about spring breaks, of how travelers are sometimes warned of traveling into Mexico because of the cartels.

Now, those travel warnings are right here in Utah.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why is America the One Thing Not Worth Giving to?

Is paying your taxes a patriotic thing?

I know it isn't considered such. Some of us even think it patriotic to oppose paying taxes, because Uncle Sam doesn't deserve the money, won't spend it wisely, or whatever.

And, some of us thinking it shows we are wise, prudent citizens if we save ourselves from paying anything we don't have to to the government.

We talk of how we shouldn't want to elect a candidate if he or she can't handle his or her money so wisely as to avoid unnecessary taxes.

I disagree.

We think it good to give to charities. We think it good to give to college athletics. We think it good to give to a lot of things. Why not to America?

Why is it America is the one thing that isn't worth giving to? Why is it that America is the one thing we all say we love, yet none of us would toss so much as an extra dollar to?

Steer Clear of Buying Breakfasts for Voters

I would say, don't even buy them the dinners.

Don't buy them the breakfasts.

Running up to Saturdays state conventions, candidates have been buying breakfasts, lunches and dinners for delegates who will be voting for them.

My thought is, though a dinner might seem a small gift for a candidate to be giving to a voter, and while it might seem not enough of an investment to swing a vote, steer clear, anyway.

If you don't think it is helping your campaign, if you don't think it can, then why do it?
And, if you think it will help your campaign, all the more reason not to do it. If you think it will, that is a warning you might be buying their votes.

Steer clear. Buying a breakfast might seem like a small thing, but steer clear of it, anyway.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Don't Slap Away Warren Buffett's Hand

If a billionaire wants to give you a billion bucks, don't turn him away.

I'd recommend Uncle Sam take that money.

Some time ago, Warren Buffett suggested he and other fellow richlanders should pay a higher share of taxes. That suggestion earned him the honor of having a congressional bill named after him. President Obama and some other Democrats wanted to have every millionaire pay a minimum of 30 percent in taxes. They called their plan the Buffett Rule, and yesterday -- the day before Tax Day -- the Senate rejected it.

I don't know enough about the effects of the Buffett Rule to know if I would favor it. But, I do know our governing leaders should be jumping to take the money Buffett is offering. Set it up so he and his fellow richies can voluntarily contribute, supposing you don't want to actually tax them more. Do something. Don't let that money just set there on the table.

America is a poor boy these days. Don't turn Buffett away. What is that saying? Don't bite the hand that feeds you? Well, don't slap away the hand that wants to feed you, either.

Monday, April 16, 2012

'Few Men have Virtue to Withstand Highest Bidder.'

"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." -- George Washington

No time to post much, so I will return to posting a George Washington quote, as I did a week or two ago. I admire Washington much. Next to the Savior, he would be close to the man I admire most. But, not being too much of a scholar, I have never known how much wisdom he offered, till I started reading his quotes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is Owning a Business Protected by Constitution?

I'm neither scholar enough nor lawyer enough to know, but I wonder if the Supreme Court has ever considered how government regulation squares with the Fourteenth Amendment.

". . . nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Is the right to own a business a constitutional right, inasmuch as a business can be considered property?

If it is, government restrictions against setting up shop might be in question.

This would be a delicate topic for the Court, for if we do consider businesses to be property, then what of the right of a person to open a medical practice -- without training and without license.

My inclination is to say we need training and licensing in medicine, so how would we square this with the Fourteenth Amendment?

Perhaps the Founding Fathers were thinking only of land and physical property when they wrote the Fourteenth Amendment. I do not know. But, inasmuch as businesses can be bought and sold, there is good argument they should fall under the Constitution's protection.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

If there's too Much Regulation, Why don't We Shed Some?

You could probably poll elected officials in Utah and the majority would say there is too much government regulation.

Why, then, is it seldom heard of one of them proposing legislation that would reduced the amount of regulation? Would it really lead to bad haircuts, for example, if we tossed out licensing for hair care? Just said, Go ahead and cut hair. If the customers don't like the way you cut it, they probably won't frequent your business long.

If we looked at our industries one by one, searching for regulation that we could clean from the books, there would surely be a lot of regulations we would decide to keep.

But, we would find many to get rid of.

If we really think there is too much regulation, why, then, don't we get rid of some? Why?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Want Choice When it Comes to Buying Electricity

Tell me, again, why the only place I can buy my electricity from is Rocky Mountain Power.

I see no reason why as many companies as might want shouldn't be allowed to sell me electricity. I should be able to buy it from a wind farm, for that matter, if I should so desire.

The power lines could be government-owned, with the power from the various providers all running together in the same lines. I remember back where I grew up, on a farm near Paul, Idaho, how the irrigation water for all the farmers came down the same ditch, and it was government owned, by an entity known (I believe) as the Minidoka Irrigation District.

It was a sound system, and it worked. We each didn't need our our ditch all the way from the well. A government-owned ditch allowed everyone's water to be in the same ditch. Electricity could be the same, owned by different parties, but all moving down the same "ditch," the same electric line.

Give me choice, even if it does mean the government owns the power lines. I'm fine with that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In America, Did You Say?

In America, there might be only one electricity provider in each community.

And, one gas company.

In America, the government often franchises out ambulance service, so only one serves a community.

Sometimes, even the number of taxi companies are limited, and you need a franchise from the government.

In America, they limit how many medical schools there can be in various states. Yes, that's in America, too.

In America, sometimes you have a choice of one when it comes to insurance companies offered through your workplace.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Joseph Gives Us Early Example of Government Welfare

It is Joseph, the same who was sold into Egypt, who gives us one of the earliest and best examples of government welfare.

Of government taking over an industry, to save it.

Of government reaching out to save the economy.

Yes, Joseph conducted a massive and far-reaching government program, he did. There were seven plenteous years, and then seven lean years. Joseph had the government store up food during the good years, then allocated it out during the bad.

The point is, not all government is bad. Not all government intervention is bad. Not all government welfare is bad.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Free Enterprise Wonderful, but not Perfect

In all our love for capitalism, we must not think it perfect.

Nor must we think the free-enterprise system without flaw.

Years ago, a doctor up in Bountiful told me I definitely needed neck, high-back surgery. I declined, and have been healthy ever since (in that part of my body). There is an error in our system. If the doctor who performs the surgery is the same as who makes the diagnosis, he is going to be inclined to call for surgery.

Months ago, I had my car in at Pep Boys. Their electronic diagnosis said I needed a new alternator. They were ready to do it, but it occurred to me if my battery was not going dead, how was it that the alternator was going out? That was such a natural question that it seems Pep Boys should have been asking it, before I did, instead of justifying charging me hundreds of dollars for a new alternator.

I write that off, too, as an example of private enterprise being too anxious to make a dollar at my expense.

I'm sure you, the reader, have stories of your own.

Free enterprise is wonderful, but not perfect.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Declare the Unborn as Human, then Abortion Endangered

"If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's (Roe's) case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the amendment."

So we read from the decision of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal across America. The decision noted that no legal case could be cited in which a fetus was held to be a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Court also held that, "The law has been reluctant to endorse any theory that life, as we recognize it, begins before live birth or to accord legal rights to the unborn."

So, what if a state were to pass a law, defining the unborn as living humans, and according them legal rights?

There is a movement across America to do so. But, surprisingly, every effort so far has failed. Mississippi, Colorado, Virginia . . . all have mounted such efforts, and all have failed.

In Utah, Sen. Aaron Osmond considered introducing such legislation this past session, but chose to pursue other legislative matters, instead.

If Utah or another state does pass such legislation, then a new court case could come up through the courts, be appealed to the Supreme Court, and Roe vs. Wade be overturned.

In making its decision in Roe vs. Wade, the Court conceded that if personhood is established, then the unborn lays claim to the right of life guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The scientific evidence that the unborn is a living human has only grown since 1973. Now, if only a state will declare the unborn to be human, and to have rights, thus rendering no longer true the Court's assertion that no such law exists.

Then Roe vs. Wade will be ripe to be overturned.

Friday, April 6, 2012

To Look at this Picture is to Say the Fetus is Human

This picture making the rounds on the Internet -- I saw it on Facebook -- makes as strong an argument against abortion as anything. The baby is said to be but 12 weeks into gestation.

"Don't know how anyone can look at this and say that is not a person." said Russell Brooksbank (a Facebook friend of mine) when he saw the picture.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

We Now Give Those Who Speak Spanish Ability to Vote

This coming election, a group of voters having been disenfranchised in the past will be disenfranchised no more.

Those who speak only Spanish.

The ballot has been printed only in English, but, with the 2010 census showing so many Spanish-speaking residents in Salt Lake County, the county will be required to print Spanish ballots.

Whether more Spanish speakers will actually come vote, I do not know. But, in theory, they should. If the ballot isn't even in the language you speak, it would seem you wouldn't likely turn out to vote.

It would be impractical to print the ballot in very many languages, but, when a foreign-language population becomes large enough -- as is the Spanish-speaking portion of Salt Lake County -- then it becomes justified to print the ballot in that language.

Some will argue that English is the language of America, and if others want to come here to live, they should learn our language. We should not pander to them.

I would say, in reply, that whether you think learning English should be a requirement, at present, it is not. The laws of the land are what they are. They have gained citizenship, are Americans, and therefore have the right to vote.

But, cannot if they cannot even read the ballot. Oh, they could go vote, but they would be taking shots in the dark.

'Tis a good thing to make it so such a reasonable-sized portion of the population -- without a way to meaningfully vote in the past -- now has that opportunity.

When you can do good, and help someone, that is charity. Why should we not want to show charity in this matter? Why would we suppose they are not worthy of our charity? They are citizens. They are fellow Americans. Giving them the ability to vote is the right thing to do, the right way to treat them

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Requiring Picture I.D. Could Disenfranchise Some

Does requiring a government-issued picture I.D. to vote disenfranchise some?

Such was one of the topics on The Nightside (which is on KSL Radio in the evenings). In the past, all you needed to do was sign next to your name, but now a person must show the picture I.D.

Since some do not drive, riding the bus instead, there are many who simply do not have a driver's license. For the most part, those with out the I.D. are among the poorer of society.

Are we disenfranchising them?

Me thinks we are. Most people have no other government-issue picture I.D. than their driver's license, Without that, there is nothing. Now, you can argue that a person can get an I.D. other than a driver's license, and that they need some kind of I.D. to cash checks, and identify themselves, anyway, so the I.D. card is the thing they should get.

True. But some don't. Some are going to show up to vote, unaware of the new rule, and be turned away. Only a small number, it is true, but that does not make them expendable. We should provide a way for them to vote.

Just thinking on the spot, one thought would be to I.D. everyone who has I.D. and let those vote who don't have picture I.D. but allow their votes to listed where someone could contest them within the next few days. All those signatures would then have to be matched with the signature they signed with when registering to vote. Maybe there would be so few without I.D. that they all could have their signatures checked against their registration signatures, for that matter.

Fair is fair, but leaving someone out is not. Everyone who is eligible to vote should be allowed to do so.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

They Say We Should Not Force Our Morals Upon Them

I come up with no good thoughts tonight, as I contemplate yesterday's topic. Utah is a peculiar state, dominated by a single religion, and the backlash against that has many crying that we should not thrust our beliefs upon others, that we should not force our morals upon others.

Will I think on it some more, and then write? Or, will I move on to another topic Tomorrow?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Religion Influences, but Majority Rules

With a simple twist, the will of the majority as influenced by a religion can be sold simply as undue influence by religion -- period -- with nothing being said about how the majority does have the right to its say, nor a thought being given that people do have a right to be influenced by religion as they make government decisions.

Of course, some would say, "No, they do not have the right to be influenced by their religion, as church and state should be separate."

We were discussing the mega million dollar lottery, I and friends, and of course it was noted that Utahns flock to Idaho to participate. My mind flew to a news headline that had referred to the lottery as being the "Utah Lottery," with thought being, so many Utahns buy tickets, it is, in essence, their lottery.

As my friend spoke, all the tax money being lost by not allowing a lottery right here in Utah was mentioned. And, the fact came up that Utah is a rare state to not allow gambling. (Utah and Hawaii are the only states banning it.)

The notion that government should not be dictating what people do with their own lives was touched upon.

Then, the kicker. "Now, go ahead and tell me religion doesn't run this state." Those weren't his exact words, as I cannot remember them, but they are close. He might have said, "You tell me, this isn't a theocracy."

We parted, and I was left to consider it all. It would be much later that I came to think of what would have been the right thing to say. I should have asked, "If it the majority who are against gambling, is it wrong for that majority to be being influenced by their religion?"

Perhaps more thoughts tomorrow, unless I chase off to a different topic.