Archive for category Ethics
Of course, ALEC stands for “American Legislative Exchange Council”, and has been in a bit of hot water since years worth of it’s documents were exposed in 2011.
After several months of research, PBS’s “Moyers & Company” program briefly breaks away from it’s standard format of inviting interesting people who are not usually seen on American media to sit down and discuss issues with Moyers. Instead, the show offers a 30 minute documentary about the secretive organization which has been introducing corporate friendly legislation since 1973 without any public oversight.
Thirty minutes is nowhere near enough time to cover this story, but Moyers has produced many other documentaries which every American should see. They usually have you sitting there with your mouth open, wondering why nobody else is talking about this.
This organization is of local interest for every state in the union, but is of special interest here, due to ALEC’s very recent conference which was held in Salt Lake’s Grand America Hotel.
The show will air on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. on KUED and again at 2:30 p.m. on KBYU. You can also watch the program here anytime.
Take a look!
Update: Here are videos from two of the people included in the Moyers piece plus another one from the first speaker when they were in Salt Lake:
And check this out:
This is one great lady!
No doubt about it!
There is no better man to tell you about what might have happened in the recent Wisconsin election:
Nobody will ever know if the people of Wisconsin were stupid enough to be swayed by months of television advertising, religious indoctrination, (which always tells them to vote Republican), scary unions, which will never come close to making the kind of money that some were able to pour into this “election” from who-knows-where, people who got phony robo-calls, telling them they wouldn’t need to vote if they signed a recall petition which only needed 100,000 signatures, but got 900,000 signatures, or something else.
You tell me.
Brad’s archive of mischievous election going-ons is someday going to be as large as the Mormon genealogical archive if we don’t get rid of these voting machines.
Paul Mero’s Defense of HB 363 Invokes Contested Notions of Freedom, Virtue and the Role of Government
Paul Mero’s defense of HB 363, the now vetoed “never have sex unless you’re married and straight and do it in the dark in the missionary position” bill is an interesting read (I was traveling and missed Mero’s piece the Trib when it was published). In his op-ed piece, Mero invokes freedom, virtue, the proper role of government, the need for laws to teach us what to do, and the view of sexuality as a dangerous narcotic. Despite a rich array of arguments, his argument can be summed up as “It’s wrong to have sex before marriage so we should teach people that it’s wrong to have sex before marriage.”
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Loud raps shook a cozy home and brought the husband rushing to find two armed ICE officials standing gravely in his door frame with a picture of a woman. “Does this woman live here?” They briskly inquire. They go on to explain that the woman in the picture is registering stolen cars to his address. The husband quickly responds “no.” They request to come in and ask the rest of the household. When the wife looks at the picture and says “no.” The ICE officials verify the wife’s name and detain her for being in the country undocumented although she’s been married to a U.S. citizen since 2006 and applied for political asylum way before then. They deposited her into a white van carrying various others.
Since then this family has diligently been navigating a bureaucratic maze that finds them no closer to attaining asylum or citizenship for her than before. They endure ICE agents staking out their home. The wife endured a chemical burn from a monitoring device ICE has required her to wear around her ankle. Their son cries out in fear for his mother.
I hear people say being here in the U.S. undocumented is a legal violation. Well, our immigration system is a human rights violation.
Approximately 392,862 deportations have occurred within the past year. A record. More deportations than ever before. Can you even imagine the other stories out there? We were told about a few more this eve and are convicted to help.
Most undocumented workers create revenue through taxes for the U.S. Generating billions in revenue for the government. Most are going to through the process of attaining citizenship and pay thousands to navigate the paperwork by hiring an attorney. They can only hope the attorney doesn’t over charge them. They pay thousands to the U.S. government in form and application fees to get through the citizenship process. Not to mention the copies that need to be made for this process (475 pages in one packet) that needs to be duplicated and sent more than once. This process includes shipping fees and more. This social injustice is about economics. What would happen to our economy if mass deportations occurred?
We learned that the undocumented community will need toys during Christmas as well as clothing and food. A few of us have committed to learning the process to navigating the citizenship paperwork to provide a support to the community.
Let me know if you can provide assistance with this issue. It’s the most pressing human rights issue in Utah and YOU can help solve it by working together to call on the Federal Government to FIX this system and by volunteering your time to collect resources for these families. <3
The above is Utah family’s story that a few of us USJ members heard yesterday eve and again, we are convicted to help.
KUTV is reporting that UDOT told Governor Gary Herbert’s Chief of Staff about the $13 million settlement to a losing bidder on a UDOT project prior to the governor’s press conference where he denied any knowledge of the settlement.
It was Monday, September 13th, that Governor Herbert held a news conference.
At that news conference, Herbert defended himself against accusations that his office is for sale.
But it was also at that same news conference, that UDOT’s Executive Director, John Njord, admitted the 13 million dollar payment had been made.
Almost immediately, the governor was asked if he knew about the payment?
Media: “Were you aware of that payment, governor?
Gov. Herbert: “No, this is the first I heard of it.”
But was this the first time the governor’s staff had heard about it?
Well, a UDOT spokesperson now tells ABC 4 it is not.
He also tells ABC 4 that in a Thursday, Sept. 9th phone conversation, four days before the governor’s news conference, Njord told the governor’s chief of staff, Jason Perry, that it had paid a settlement.
To which ABC 4 immediately asked, “Was the 13 million dollar figure discussed during that conversation?”
We were told, no, it was not.
Curiously, UDOT says Njord told Perry the exact amount Monday morning (again, Sept. 13th) before the governor’s 2pm news conference took place.
Which raises this question?
If the governor’s chief of staff was told about this before the governor’s news conference, did he really not tell the governor about it?
I can come up with only two possible explanations: Either the guv’s Chief of Staff is totally incompetent for not giving the governor this very important information, knowing it was the topic of the press conference. Or Herbert is lying.
What do you think?
There used to be a time when civil servants went out of their way to avoid ANY appearance of impropriety.
But this begs an interesting question – Is Governor Herbert inept or corrupt? link
Here’s what I know; after almost two terms, were there EVER ANY appearance of influence or corruption in the Corroon Mayoral Administration, you’d have heard about it.
Both my predeliction as well as my instinct tell me, no contest. If we elect Peter Corroon, Utah WINS BIG!
PLEASE help make the unimaginable happen!
The Mansion is NOT For Sale Rally tomorrow is designed to flesh out the facts.
Thanks to pressure form OneUtah readers, Carl Wimmer has recanted his rookie move and, predictably, banned me from his Facebook page.
Wing nuttery is a professional sport in Utah and relative newcomer, Carl Wimmer is trying as hard as he can to out wingnut the rest. If his recklessness is any indication, we are probably safer with Carl the Politician than Carl the Cop.
I can only assume that Carl Wimmer, as a product of Taylorsville public schools, is unfamiliar with the concept of hypocrisy.
This post is a reminder that today and tomorrow are the last days to sign the Ethics and Fair Boundaries petitions. You can sign online by going to: http://www.utahnsforethicalgovernment.org/ AND http://fairboundaries.org/ (Note: these sites are busy, but be very patient and you will be able to complete the process without much hassle).
The anti-ethics/fair boundaries pushback began during the last session of the Utah State Legislature. They passed a law laying the groundwork for a disinformation campaign to get people to remove their names from the petitions. It gives initiative opponents an extra inning to play after the other team has left the field. If the number of signers falls below the threshold of 26 of 29 state Senate districts, then the initiatives won’t get on the ballot in November.
The opponents of ethics reform and fair boundaries want us to trust them, but their tactics make them appear very untrustworthy. It’s like B. Traven’s “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948).
In one of the scenes in the movie a Mexican bandit leader, Gold Hat (played by Alfonso Bedoya), is trying to convince Fred C. Dobbs (played by Humphrey Bogart) and company that they are the Federales.
Dobbs: “If you’re the police where are your badges?”
Gold Hat: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see those badges. I want some way to check up on the ethics of legislators, and I want fair boundaries that allow the voters to choose their representatives, not the other way around.
“The authoritarian character worships the past,” wrote Erich Fromm in Escape from Freedom. “What has been, will eternally be. To wish or to work for something that has not yet been before is crime or madness. The miracle of creation—and creation is always a miracle—is outside of his range of emotional experience.”
Republican Gomorrah, Max Blumenthal
I find myself pondering the tawdriness of Kevin Garn’s confession of naked hot-tubbing with an underage teen girl. The image of a 28 year old man getting naked with a 15 year old girl is equal parts pathetic and creepy.
Why not simply approach a woman his own age? Why a teenager? To be honest, the incident tells us a great deal about Kevin Garn that I’d rather not know. And the warm and welcoming and forgiving embrace he received from his Legislative colleagues is distasteful.
House Speaker Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, was visibly upset following Garn’s confession and was the only legislator to speak afterwards.
“I don’t know the man you speak of, but I know the man I consider a friend, a leader and an asset to the state of Utah,” Clark said. “I would ask my fellow colleagues that their hearts might be open, and that we wish you and your family all the best and we hope that you remain with us.”
I can’t help but wonder how many of Garn’s legislative colleagues can imagine themselves in the same situation – a nubile 15 year old giving them googly eyes. How many of them suspect they themselves might have succumbed to temptation as well? The ready forgiveness they seem to be offering is a disturbing insight into the mindset of many of our legislators. Garn’s statement could have paraphrased “It was a long time ago which means it meant nothing and she’s a bad woman for going to the press. She should have kept silent instead of betraying me” – and his legislative colleagues seem to want to agree. In the past, the woman in question could simply have been ignored and discredited. No more and now Garn must resentfully defend his actions. Read the rest of this entry »
So, deciding that being bought by more money is better than being bought by less money:
A House committee gutted a proposed bill that would have capped campaign contributions for state candidates.
The Supreme Court is wrong – money is not free speech. We need real campaign finance reform – clean, publicly funded elections. Look this is a question of ethics and is it any surprise that the people who are doing their level best to stop meaningful ethics reform would also do their level best to stop meaningful campaign finance reform?