Posts Tagged utah

Creating An Inclusive Society

The Inclusion Center of Utah, formerly NCCJ Utah, hosts an annual adult residential retreat known as the Inclusion Summit.  I had the opportunity to attend this year’s summit, at Camp Tuttle in Big Cottonwood Canyon east of Salt Lake City.  What follows is a description of the shape of the gathering, some of the contents and my reflections on the experience.

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Filthy, Stinky, Jobless Occupiers: Newt’s Dirty Little Secret

Please go “rec” this diary at DailyKos Logo.OccupySLC150

Within seconds of the unfortunate death of a homeless man in Pioneer Park, the Utah freak-show cheered in unison; “SEE? We told you! The Salt Lake City occupiers are all homeless, drug addicts!”

For many Utahns, it was better than if the historicity of The Book of Mormon were provable.

I got pissed. I grabbed my video camera and went down to the new camp at Gallivan Center. I interviewed ONLY people who had or were still camping. All of them had jobs and NONE were homeless.

This is a snapshot of those interviews (Full interviews at OneUtah.org )

We can fight this plutocracy-funded propaganda by publishing many and often, ad hoc interviews of the regular Americans who are showing up for Occupy. We must do it locally, keep it “close to home.” Keep it real.

Last Saturday, Newt Gingrich stepped up the smear campaign against Occupy Wall Street (I didn’t know, you could get high on Cialis).

It was a full-guns-a-blazing frontal assault on every single American including the assholes that cheered when he said the “…after you take a shower” part. Check Mika Brzezinski’s gut reaction.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Expect great things from Occupy Salt Lake City (OccupySLC)

For those of you who don’t know, Salt Lake City is VERY liberal. We like to say, “Salt Lake is a world class city surrounded by Utah.”

The massive show of police force for the Pioneer Park eviction on November 12th was clearly orchestrated by PERF/DHS. There were at least 4 policemen for every camper.

I’m SURE DHS threatened Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder with funding cuts to get him to mobilize every scrap of metal in the county with flashing lights.

SLC Mayor Becker was punked by DHS. He was so disgusted about having to evict the occupiers from Pioneer Park, he disappeared (“vacation”) the next day. Chief (police) Burbank proved by his actions throughout the 2-year Tim DeChristopher sham trial, to be a great and respectful advocate of civil disobedience.

Christ, protesting in SLC, you practically have to BEG to get arrested. The authorities are on our side. If we can nudge them over, we will have won!

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Open Letter to Chief Burbank and Mayor Becker: Let OWS Campers Stay!

Mayor Becker and Chief Burbank,

Please don’t let the media put you in reactive mode. It won’t make us safer and might create issues where there were none before.

Its been a month, by your grace. Before booting everyone from Pioneer Park; think about how many homeless die in Salt Lake City every month? Certainly its more than one?  It must be more than one.

I don’t see the basis for attributing this death to the circumstances at Pioneer Park. Not without SOME numbers.

Chief Burbank, the media is telling us you can’t do your job and keep Pioneer Park safe with the OWS campers there.  Is that really true?

I think we all know, you couldn’t wish for a more cooperative group.  Heck, they all love you and you know it!  The DeChristopher group has nothing but high praise for you.

Is it possible that homeless deaths in SLC have gone down since the Occupy group started camping in Pioneer Park?

What are the numbers?

Is it possible Pioneer Park is actually a SAFER place for the homeless after hours as the result of the OWS campers.

Tell us the numbers?

Popular movements will always tax law enforcement disproportionately. But please, do not let this important movement and message from the people, be muzzled because of the inconvenience.  Don’t let them win.

Thank you both for your sincere efforts, patient service and generous wisdom.

My Sincere Regards,

Cliff Lyon

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Judge Dee Benson Sentenced Tim DeChristopher to Two Years Federal Prison

Judge Dee Benson sentenced Tim DeChristopher to 2 years in federal prison. Tim was led away in handcuffs, but no before making this powerful statement. As time permits, I will write about the tortured logic Judge Dee Benson (former Chief of Staff for Senator Orrin Hatch) used to justify sending DeChristopher to federal prison AT YOUR EXPENSE, instead of graduate school at Tim’s expense.

Protesters who attended the sentencing began blocking traffic and are being arrested as I write this.

 

Tim DeChristopher Post Sentencing Protests Uncut from Cliff Lyon on Vimeo.

Thank you to defense attorneys Ron Yengich, Pat Shea and Elizabeth Hunt for an amazing job, pro-bono. They will file an appeal. Stay tuned.

Salt Lake Tribune Report, KSL story  

 

 

DeChristopher gets 2 years, $10K fine for botching federal auction – Salt Lake City Tribune

Activist gets 2 years prison for thwarting auction

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Ending In-State Tuition for the Undocumented–H.B. 191

Representative Carl Wimmer introduced H.B. 191 to a house committee this past Friday. H.B. 191 seeks to end in-state tuition for undocumented students. This bill will have little real effect on immigration issue and it marginalizes a group of innocent people.

Rep. Wimmer initially ran for his seat based on improving children’s educational opportunities. I would like to thank Representative Wimmer for his strong position on education as education is an important component in the stability and progression of the world economy and our home country. I believe like Representative Wimmer that children’s educational opportunities are important for all human kind not just “our own kind”

HB 191 seeks to make it difficult for qualified undocumented children to receive a higher education, due to the economic challenges HB 191 will present if in-state tuition for undocumented students is repealed. When I asked a young man at East High in the AP Art Program what his college plans were, he responded “I don’t really have plans [to go to college] because my 4.0 isn’t going to do me any good.” Before that response I had no idea the challenge this young man was facing through no fault of his own.

The hardworking student is not the problem. The federal government is the problem. I ask all of you don’t be complicit on that problem.

Our government due to its egregious lack of action since 1986 to implement sound immigration policy, is what has created the situation we are in today. HB 191 seeks to not only punish the wrong faction of our society, but also seeks to limit their opportunities and thereby create an under-educated and idle population.

Utah’s legislative body should not indirectly punish the children of the parents who brought them here illegally. Many of the undocumented students who graduate from US high schools have been living in the country for five years or more and have already strengthened their lives through our great public school system. By providing a path to affordable education, students can train for careers, find jobs and become taxpaying citizens.

In 2002 the Utah Legislature had passed legislation that allowed undocumented students to qualify for instate tuition as long as they attended 3 years of high school and planned on becoming legal citizens. Which was a great piece of legislation brought for from forward thinking lawmakers.

According to a recent report by the American Association for State Colleges and Universities, a “large portion of undocumented alien students are likely to remain in the United States, whether or not they have access to postsecondary education. Accordingly, it would seem to be in states’ economic and fiscal interests to promote at least a basic level of education beyond high school to alien students, to increase their contribution to economic growth while reducing the prospect of dependence on public/community assistance” (AASCU 2005). Students with a degree are more productive, less likely to need government assistance, and help to maintain a strong state economy (National Immigration Law Center 2005a).

According to Utah Commissioner of Higher Education, William Sederburg, “Even though this [in-state tuition] program affects only a few hundred [590] students throughout the state, we’re supportive of anything that helps students get a higher education who wouldn’t otherwise have that opportunity.”

Education has a crucial role in the cultivation of our society and in sustaining our political and cultural heritage. America is the mother of freedom and democracy and has instilled those values within every child educated by our system. The few hundred students that will be affected by this legislation salute the American flag and most have pledged to that same flag their entire life and believe in the values that motivated their parents to break the law and bring them here. It would be simply cruel to make it more difficult to obtain an education in the country they love. The deprivation of education takes an inestimable toll on the social, economic, intellectual, and psychological well-being of individuals and poses an obstacle to individual achievement. So I urge all of you to contact your elected officials and ask them to vote NO in advancing this specific legislation.

I would like to and with this quote from one of our founding father, “An education is the investment with the greatest returns.” –Benjamin Franklin

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Mike Lee Full of Non-Answers: Live-blogging the Granato Lee KUED Debate

Mike Lee wants to leave health care reform up to the states.  Really? How exactly would THAT work?  I assume he would leave it to the free market.  In other words, he would do nothing.

When Mike Lee was asked about heath care, all simply repeated the States Rights meme.  I’m sure Carl Wimmer was cheering. Whats a freaking useless answer.

Would Mike Lee have each state do their own thing?  What would that mean if I had an emergency in Tennessee?  What if I moved to Arizona to help patrol the border?  Would my Utah plan provide reciprocity?  Sounds like REALLY BIG government to me.  A bunch of REALLY BIG little ones.

Hell, whats the point of a union if you have to think about it every time you cross into another state?

At least Granato answered the question clearly.

Mike Lee is the slimiest kind of politicians and thousands of Utahns will vote for him simply because he repeats the Tea party memes.  Mike Lee is NOT for Utah,  Mike Lee is for Mike Lee.

Link to KUED

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Utah Can’t Afford Steven Sandstrom and Ex-Cop Carl Wimmer

On the same day that “Patrick Henry Caucus” founder Rep. Steven Sandstrom unveiled his anti-immigrant bill without a clue how to pay for it, Carl Wimmer announced that Utah must reject $150,000,000 federal dollars being offered to Utah schools.

Police would be fined for refusing to profile

Police would be fined for refusing to profile

I give Republican Representative Sandstrom credit for his bravery.  Today, amidst a mixed crowd of Anglo and Latino Americans who took time out of their day to do their civic duty to protest this big, expensive, government intrusion, unless they were lurking in the shadows, I saw not one supporter of his new proposed Arizona-lite law.

In response to repeated questions about the cost of trying and locking up people otherwise accused of jay-walking or rolling stops, Sandstrom finally said, “whatever the cost, it will be worth it.”

When asked how the law would deal with the many law enforcement professionals who will refuse to participate in racial profiling, Sandstrom got really animated and  announced they would be fined.  OK?  Get it?  This genius is going to fine local law enforcement for refusing to act outside their jurisdiction to conduct mass racial profiling of Utahns who have the misfortune of having light brown skin.

Ex-Cop Carl Wimmer make's Glenn Beck look sane

Ex-Cop Carl Wimmer make's Glenn Beck look sane

Independent estimates put the cost of such a law in the two to three hundred million dollars range per year not counting economic cost of the lost business from boycotts.

On the way home, I heard Carl Wimmer UT-R Herriman on KCPW.

Carl calmly explained that this gift to Utah schools was nothing more than a ploy to buy votes for Obama. Instantly, I considered the possibility that Obama might win Utah in 2012. Then, I woke up and reminded myself that Carl Wimmer is a Utah Republican whose constituents accept this logic as easily as they do the piss poor education their kids get in Herriman, Utah. But hey, if it was good enough for them, its good enough for their kids…I guess.

Someone please remind Carl Wimmer that Utahns pay federal taxes too.  Read more about Carl Wimmer here.

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Senator Hatch Vows to Bring Banksters to Justice!

Via Think Progress. Who knew? Senator Orrin Hatch is “going after” the evil bankers who stole our money. Or he will, sometime after the Republicans have 60 votes in the U.S. Senate. “If we had 60 votes, we could change a lot of things,” he said.

QUESTIONER: Clearly the bankers lied to this end, to get tens of billions of dollars in federal money and then celebrated their fraud by giving large bonuses to themselves. They are literally bank robbers. My question to you is, why are you not calling for their arrest [...] and to have them tried and put in jail because of their fraud?

HATCH: Well, I will be calling for it, if we can prove criminal action. I think there are some people who are committing criminal action, no doubt about it. Look I’m not happy with this Wall Street bill [...] it’s just another way of controlling our lives. Do you wanna know what’s good about it? Nothing. Wanna know what’s bad about it? Everything. [...]

QUESTIONER: Senator, I have a follow-up question. I don’t think you get it, sir. We’re angry at the bankers, I don’t want to hear all this about the government, and the difficulty. It’s the criminal activity of the bankers that is destroying our economy, and the world economy, and if you could just stand up to them? [...]

HATCH: [...] If they commit crimes, they oughta go to jail. We are going after that. I’m a member of the Judiciary Committee, I am going after them!

That’s the kind of strong personal commitment to justice that we all want to see in our elected representatives. Go get ‘em!

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Mike Lee: Taxpayers Ought to Bail Out BP

Via Think Progress:

A week ago, U.S. Senate candidate Mike Lee sat down with the Salt Lake Tribune’s Robert Gehrke for a wide-ranging interview. When asked if taxpayers ought to pay the economic costs of the BP oil spill, Lee answered candidly.

SL TRIBUNE: Currently there’s a cap on liabilities that BP is expected to pay $75 million dollars. There’s legislation that Bill Nelson sponsored to increase that liability to $10 billion dollars. The oil companies say that will put them out of business. Is that something you would be supportive of, increasing that cap on liability for environmental damage?

MIKE LEE: No.

SL TRIBUNE: Why is that?

LEE: This company is reliant, the entire industry, is reliant on the insurance its provided by law. Now had that cap not been in place, we would be facing a completely different question. But you have a set of settled expectations that you give to a business when it decides to make an investment in this. Our country benefits from this type of activity and allows us to produce more oil and allows more of our petro dollars to remain in the United States. We’ve relied on that, and to take that away I think would be a mistake.

SL TRIBUNE: Does that leave taxpayers on the hook for part of the damage?

LEE: Well yea probably does. And the government can look at that and say look, we put this damages cap in place, so we understood what that meant.

SL TRIBUNE: Isn’t that equivalent to a bailout?

LEE: I don’t think, well, I don’t think that’s equivalent to a bailout. I think that’s the government saying there’s some things its going to — if you look at the Outer Continental Shelf, something over which the United States has jurisdiction, and the United State wants to clean that up, then it’s free to do so. There’s nothing in that liability cap that requires the Federal government to do it. Well I’m not sure that necessarily means the taxpayers will end up paying the bill. It maybe the industry generally will just contribute to it. In fact I would expect other people involved in offshore drilling will have a part of the clean up because they would want to to show this can be done safely and when disasters do happen it can be cleaned up.

Mike Lee’s philosophy is what I call “Wall Street Socialism.” Corporations want to privatize their profits and socialize their losses (or simply dump negative externalities like oil spills on the public). Bumper-sticker version: “Taxpayer Bailouts for Billionaires.”

Vote for Sam Granato, or else this guy will be our new senator.

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Updated: Rookie Apologizes: Carl Wimmer Hypocrite of the Week (former cop, Utah House Rep)

Thanks to pressure form OneUtah readers, Carl Wimmer has recanted his rookie move and, predictably, banned me from his Facebook page.

WimmerSmuckUtah has no shortage of wingnuts trying to out wingnut each other.

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.

Please join the Carl Wimmer Wrong for Utah Facebook page.

Carl Wimmer hypocrit

Carl Wimmer Utah Republican Hypocrite

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Matheson Forced into Primary With Claudia Wright, Utah Citizens Candidate

Congratulations to Claudia Wright, Tim DeChristopher, Ashley Anderson, Julianne Waters, Jordan, Loren and so many others from Peaceful Uprising for the amazing win!

Claudia got 45% of the delegate vote to Matheson’s 55% at today’s Democratic State Convention.

My take on the story. Tim DeChristopher raised a bunch o’ money for his legal defense, more than was needed, so he and Julie and Michael Mielke decided to for PeacefulUprising.org (original site) to inspire others to acts of civil disobedience.

Among PeacefulUprising’s many actions over the past year was to meet with Jim Matheson to help him understand the critical nature of the climate energy problem. Jim of course refused to acknowledge them and kind of pissed them off basically.

At first, they did try to work within the State Democratic Party structure to find a candidate. For obvious reasons to anyone who understands the party system, challenging Jim from within the system wasn’t going to happen.

Having little other choice, they ran a Craig’s List ad to recruit someone to run against him.
The next day, DeChristopher anonymously posted a want ad on Craig’s List seeking a progressive candidate with “a strong commitment to defending fundamental human rights over corporate profits.” The ad listed qualifications for Congress and the annual wage of $174,000. Links to the ad floated around Facebook and Twitter, although most interpreted it as a joke. “[The ad] was put up there partly out of frustration,” DeChristopher says. Lafon adds, “This was after we tried to get as many people as we could to run against Rep. Matheson.”

GOP and Democrat conventions are Saturday – Deseret News, May 7, 2010

Democrats have a race, too – Salt Lake Tribune, May 6 2010

McEntee: Challenging Matheson and raising hell – Salt Lake Tribune, May 3 2010

Challenger Claudia Wright expects to take Rep. Jim Matheson to a primary – May 3 2010

County Dems hold Convention – St. George Spectrum, April 20, 2010

Matheson Challenger Campaigns in St. George – St. George Spectrum, April 19, 2010

Jim Matheson vs. Democrats – Salt Lake City Weekly, March 3, 2010

More later gotta go.

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The Internet. The Present and Future of Politics

Nixon, Kennedy, JFK, 1960 Presidential Election, Richard M. Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Presidential debate 1960It was 1960 during the Presidential election between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. The polls were running neck and neck and there was no clear-cut winner until one event that changed politics forever.

It was the first ever televised presidential debate.  It was not so much the substance of the debate that had such a profound impact, but rather how each of them appeared on the new medium of television.

On one side you had Richard M. Nixon the sitting Vice President who sported a slight five o’clock shadow which, against the black and white picture, made him appear brooding. Along side was a young and photogenic JFK that the camera took too immediately. This event catapulted then Senator Kennedy into the White House and into history.

John Mccain, Barack Obama, Presidential election 2008Fast forward to the 2008 Presidential Election, again we had cross generational candidates. Both Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama were very adept at television so there was no real advantage there like in 1960, but what made the difference for Barack Obama was just as profound if not more than television was for Nixon and Kennedy. It was the internet, and it made all the difference in the world to who now occupies the White House.

Obama’s campaign took a page out of Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign and built up an army of supporters by using social networks, blogs, and websites to raise millions from small donations solicited on the Internet.

The Republican Party must learn from this and meet the Democrats internet advantage head on. The internet is the future of politics and the party that uses it most effectively will be the ones who raise the most money and win elections.

Right now we, as Republicans, are the scruffy faced Richard Nixon and the Democrats are the JFK. It need not be that way. Conservatives and Republicans dominated the Internet till around 2006. We can take it back, and must get it back to stop Barack Obama from making this country no longer the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

Reposted from a blog article I wrote on the Emery County Republican Party website.

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