Saturday, December 31, 2005

Mom, 13, is ruled a sex crime offender

I was shocked when I read this. I nearly choked on a Pepsi.

It appears that this 13 year old infant who became pregnant by a twelve year old is now a child sex offender for having intercouse with the afore mentioned infant. I don't know what to make of it. It is incredibly ridiculous to me that children this young are engaging in sexual activity, and even more ridiculous is that the government is actually holding one of these children out as being a perpetrator.

If the courts were to charge anyone of a crime it should be the children's parents -- charge them with being incredibly lousy parents. My heavens, 12- 13 year olds should still be playing with dolls and avoiding the other sexes cooties.

This is one of those cases that make me long for the past. Kids could be kids for more than 11 years.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2006 Filing Season

It's that time of year again, New Years is about here and soon the tax filing season will be in full swing. During, this time of year my wife & children are pretty much orphaned and my blog will likely fall in that category. However, I'd like to give my business website address that is under construction and will be fully operational in a few weeks.

As a reminder I'd like to offer a few last minute tips to lower your tax bill. If you are wondering if your withholdings are insufficient you can submit a new W-4 before your last paycheck for the year is issued, the IRS has an excellent calculator on its website to determine your withholding allowances. You can also make extra contributions to your 401k. Purchasing a hybrid vehicle is an excellent last minute tax saving move if you can get your hands on one, the deductions are available to individuals as well as businesses and the state of Utah has a substantial tax credit in connection to the purchase of that vehicle. If you anticipate extraordinarily high income from a business, you may be able to reduce your liability by making purchases of business assets. You can write off as much as 100,000 dollars of asset purchases made before year end 2005, there are restrictions and issues that apply so contact your tax professional for details.

Thanks for your readership, and plan on regular posts after 4/15/2006 .

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Homesteading: An Interesting Solution to Skyrocketing Housing Cost

Steve U suggested an interesting idea to solve the out of control housing prices (this maybe a little more applicable to So. Utah than the rest of the state). If by chance the state could finally get land the Federal government has been promising to give back to Utah, offering developments to "homesteaders".

Its an interesting idea that I really like, although I'm sure it would be several years before anything would likely come of it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bob Schultz -- "We The People"

On Steve U's blog there was a commenter on the budget post that kept refering to a Bob Schultz and We the People. The commenter had a high opinion of this man and asked Steve Urquhart to render an opinion of Mr. Schultz's arguements about the legality of the income tax. It is apparent that Steve didn't feel the need to bother with this (Steve's a smart man thats why he gets elected) likely because of the lunacy of the arguements.

Concerned Citizen -- Quatloos (an organization devoted to uncovering financial fraud schemes) has rendered an excellent opinion of Bob Schultz. I suggest anyone who has been approached about such schemes and scammers pay a visits the the above mentioned website.

I do appreciate the dramatics that Mr. Schultz likes to resort to, some of his antics have included threatening the IRS to arrest him (this was predictably toned down after Lynne Meredith, fellow scamer, was indicted) and even going on a hunger strike to draw attention to himself. He's just another swindler selling lies to eager listeners like Concerned Citizen.

Update: this is a recent decision involving a WTP disciple.

Monday, December 19, 2005

UTAH QUARTER: Mormon symbol doesn't belong on coin

Ah yes the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board.... They published an editorial this weekend that seems fairly ridiculous to me. I guess they think that everything about Utah must be politically incorrect. The article states, "The beehive is a beloved and enduring symbol of Mormon culture. The federal guidelines for the U.S. Mint's popular 50 State Quarters Program prohibit depictions that are specific to one religious organization. If you know anything about Utah history and the symbols of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you know immediately that the beehive should be disqualified. " Nevermind the fact that the beehive is on the state flag, nevermind the fact that Utah's nickname has always been the "Beehive state", and nevermind the fact that the Mormon church has always avoided symbols as items of worship. As Charley Foster so aptly points out in his blog today, "by the Tribs logic the atheist's lawsuit against the Highway should have been based on the fact the beehive is on the crosses, and not the cross itself."

First, if you know anything about the Mormon Church, there are no symbols. I'll grant you the angel Moroni is the closest (the statue on top of all temples). I don't know why the church keeps the beehive on the pulpit of the conference center, but I assure all of my readers that Mormons don't see the beehive as a symbol of worship or reverence. The beehive was intended (as far as I understand) as a symbol of being industrious, of self-sufficiency -- all traits that are desirable to a society.

Second, why shouldn't a symbol that has been an intricate part of the state's history be excluded from the commemorative quarter. It's not like the beehive is a swastika, or the confederate flag of the old south. If they wanted the Angel Moroni on it, than I could see the religious offense. It just seems like the same old ACLU/Cliff Lyon/Rocky Anderson BS. If there is anything Mormon-esque it must be opposed and taunted all in the name of protecting the delicate feelings of oppressed non-LDS people residing in the State of Utah.

I guess someone should probably sue to get rid of the seagull as the state bird. After all the seagull has its roots with Mormon pioneers. Actually everything in regards to the state except national parks and skiing is likely offensive by SLTrib standards.

Friday, December 16, 2005

More Buttars !!! Outlaw Gay Clubs.

Buttars wants to pass a bill to outlaw gay clubs in public schools. This issue was answered pretty strongly when in 1995, a group of East High students asked to form a gay-straight alliance, resulting in a firestorm of debate over homosexuality. The issue made it into a lawsuit and eventually East High and other districts in Salt Lake County relented allowing such clubs to exist. I was unaware that these clubs are all over Salt Lake Valley. McCoy of the ACLU called Buttars timing curious, " 'I suppose it has to do with the Provo (High alliance and) being an election year.' It is not unusual for some Republicans to introduce conservative, moral legislation in an election year, and if Democratic lawmakers vote against the bills then GOP challengers have an issue to take after the Democratic incumbents. "

I appreciate what Buttars wants, however I disagree with him. Buttars used this reasoning when he announced the bill. " I'm concerned about gay clubs. In my mind, if you are in the chess club, what do you talk about? Chess. If you are in the dance club, what do you talk about? Dance. If you are in a gay club, what do you talk about? I just don't believe members of sexual orientation clubs should be sanctioned by the public schools what they are talking about even a part of the public schools. They should not be allowed to have that on school property at all. It's just wrong." Give me a break! How does he view these clubs -- some kind of gay brothel in public schools. However we live in the real world where there are kids that struggle with these issues. Although I believe homosexuality is immoral, I can't dismiss the clubs as septic pools of immorality. These kids have to deal with depressionn, low self-esteem, and persecution from other students they deserve the right to assemble for support.

Senator Buttars, I don't know what kind of sterile bubble you live in. I don't know if West Jordan is that kind of town. People have different back grounds, opinions, and ideas. Your "more holiness give me" approach to life may be a great way to live and perfect ideal to preach in church, but as a voter your desire to eliminate any opposing ideas is a turnoff -- its almost Hitler-esque.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Year-end tax planning

It is the year end and many people are calling asking about how they can lower there tax bill. Here is my top ten list.

1. Own your home -- Home Mortgage is fully deductible on both the state of Utah tax return (at the moment) and on the Federal Return.
2. Pay a full 10% Donation to your religion of choice -- Normally charitable deductions of more than 2% would trigger an audit. However, living in Utah you have the advantage of living amongst a religious majority that is required to give a full 10% and everyone can take advantage of this.
3. Donate to Katrina related charities -- The charitable deduction limitations are lifted on all Katrina related donations.
4. Contribute 4,000 dollars to your traditional IRA -- If you aren't covered by an employer sponsored retirement plan you are eligible for a full 100 % page one deduction.
5. Purchase a Hybrid vehicle -- They are expensive, but there is a sweet page one deduction on your Federal return, and an even better credit from the state of Utah.
6. Use your car to run errands that are business related -- If you own a business you are eligible to deduct during the last few months of '05 48.5 cents per mile (44.5 cents for 2006) of all business related miles. If you can run errands as an employee you are eligible for the same milage rates, however the deduction is limited to 2% of gross income. Documentation needs to be kept to substantiate the claim.
7. Start a small business -- If you have a hobby that you are talented at, try going into business. Your business expenses are 100% deductible, and you would be eligible to depreciate your assets.
8. Set up a small business corporation -- As a sole proprietor, you are eligible for many great deductions. However, there is a 15.3% tax on the net income of your business on top of the income tax. As a corporation you may be able to limit the amount of SE tax involved.
9. Purchase Assets -- Whether or not you are in business, there substantial deductions available in connection with the purchase of assets. The IRS allows a deduction of estimated sales tax paid for the year with additional large ticket sales tax added on top of the IRS estimated sales tax. Buy purchasing a car or a boat you may be able to have larger deduction than your state income tax paid would have provided, and when you use the state sales tax deduction your state tax refund isn't taxable. If you are in business you are able to deduct as much as 102,000 dollars of 100% business use property costs (limitations apply use a professional)
10. Have a family -- When you get married and have children you are entitled to many tax credits that for many families zero out federal tax liabilities. The child tax credit is 1,000 dollars per child up to three children, and a portion of the credit left over can possibly be refunded. The exemption is 3,200 dollars per person. A family of 5 has 16,000 dollars of write off available in exemptions alone.

The first day of E-File is 1/15/2006.

I hope everyone has a good year.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The "flatter" tax appears to be the plan.

The governor released his proposed budget on Friday. "This budget is a lot more Santa than Scrooge," Huntsman said. The budget includes a much needed pay hike for state workers (my mother works for the state and the last time they saw a cost of living raise was in the 1990's) a raise for teachers, and a raise for law enforcement. There was also a sum of 176 million dollars set aside for Medicaid, an initiative the governer has set forth to make get all Utahns insured. All of these spending increases paired with the record 60 million dollar tax "cut" (I'm still sceptical about the "flatter" tax) is giving the governor a jolly Ole' Saint Nick attitude about the state.

I appreciate the removal of the tax cut on food greatly, it is a truely repressive tax. However, I'm very hesitant to embrace a system that on the surface appears to be of benefit to the wealthy first and foremost. As I demonstrated in a previous post, the flat tax will be a hike to a great deal of people. Unless the proposed credits are far more substantial that the original proposal demonsrated (a flash calculator on the Gov.'s website when the governor originally announced the flat tax that I can't find anymore), I doubt that this will be a cut to the average wage earner. If anyone has seen a concrete explanation of the proposed credits, I'd like to hear about it before I can give the flat tax a strong vote of confidence.

Other than my rant about the flat tax, Bravo Mr Huntsman! The pay increases for state law enforcement/general employees, and the raises for public and college educators is very much needed. The other spending will be beneficial as well, I'm sure.

Friday, December 02, 2005

St. George among top 5 U.S. cities in home value appreciation

In the DesNews this morning it was announced that housing prices are soaring, with my home, St. George leading the pack. "With an appreciation rate of 31.57 percent, St. George earned a No. 4 spot among 265 U.S. cities and was the only Utah city to break the top 20." St. George apparently beat out Orlando FL. The article interviewed the owner of REmax in SG and he attributed the price increase to out of state investors. "They are buying everything." El-Bakri said, "but you've also got 38 million baby boomers that are getting ready to retire. Today, I'm driving down the street and my car says it's 61 degrees, and it's December. I actually played golf yesterday. This is the lifestyle that people want." Although the weather may be good in St. George, it sure is cold if you aren't in a home here now.

The driver of this housing market, I suspect, is almost purely speculative. On average I have at least one client call me a week about building spec. homes, and all of the new business clients I see are new construction start-up businesses or realtors. This growth can't be sustained without a starter home market, and soon the starter home market will be totally out of reach for the start-up families. It is frustrating to me to see a market in this town (void of industry other than construction, and medicine) where the only housing BARELY under 150k is a home on wheels.

Forgive my coming rant.

The prices in St. George are ridiculous. From the city's website, the average salary in St. George is $1,351 dollars a month, the median family income is 40k, and a neighbor in my last neighborhood just sold a 1100 sq. foot townhome (no yard) for 205k. Judging from my memory of a personal finance class I took as a freshman in college, generally a family or individual should only take on, and banks are likely hesitant to give a loan at payments more than 30% of their income. Given that, for the average wage earner owning a home is an impossibility, at 40k a year even owning a small townhome is pretty much out of reach, so how can this market be sustained?

Something has to break here. Without an influx of major industry to St. George the house values will either fall drastically, or other communities (Cedar City, Mesquite, or Kanab) will have to serve as a home for many middle class families. As supply is (I believe) starting to outweigh demand, I feel that many people will suffer the disappointment of seeing meager returns on their home equity. However realtors argue and historically land prices don't drop drastically, therefore I think that many middle-class families (like mine) will have to leave St. George to live in rural surrounding communities and commute to SG, or leave the area all together, in order to obtain the American dream.

Damn it I need a raise!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

5% flat tax urged for Utah..... sort of.

The Utah Tax Reform Tax Force, although unable to solidly come up with a specific recommendation urged that the state go with a 5% flat tax along with a 50% credit for mortgage interest, and a 50% credit for charitable contributions, according to DesNews. One specific recommendation task force made was for the removal of the sales tax on food. Upsetting to some members of the task force was that they were unable to agree on one specific recommendation and passed along several options. Rep. Roz McGee, D-Salt Lake, a longtime proponent of removing the sales tax, was also disappointed the task force only passed a "concept" and did not support a specific proposal. "Voting things out as a concept is an abdication of the responsibility we had as a task force," she said. "We've worked for seven months. . . . To vote things out that are concepts is a disservice to our fellow legislators and to the public." Bramble defended the task force "the deep review of the state tax system was commendable and is already successful. " The Chair of the task force says their are many things that can be done, keeping our existing system may be best.

Here is my basic take on the flat tax:
(This isn't fully representative of the states proposal, it is a generic representation)

Average citizens -- Using current state sytem
AGI 50,000
Itemized 20,000
Exemptions (6)14,100
Taxable Income 15,900
Tax (7%) 1,113

Average citizen -- Flat Tax
AGI 50,000
Tax (5%) 2,500*
(Proposed credits not accounted for, because I don't know how they are proposed to work)

Tax increase 1,387

Rich Citizens -- Using simplified current state system
AGI 1,000,000
Itemized 70,000 (limited)
Exemptions completely phased out
Taxable Income 930,000
Tax (7%) 65,100

Rich Citzens -- Flat tax
AGI 1,000,000
Tax (5%) 50,000 *

Tax Decrease 15,100

The flat tax is the biggest joke to me because it is clearly a tax cut for the wealthy. I thouroughly believe that the task force found that there was no way to reform the tax system using the flat tax that would not negatively effect the middle class, however being in a Republican stronghold they couldn't fully dismiss it. The current system is pretty darn equitable, even though it seems to be a hassle, the average joe will pay less in taxes under the system of deductions and credits than under a flat percentage tax. I'd have to suggest the state offer a child tax credit, and I would have very few complaints about the states tax code. The state currently has very few tax credits that positively effect families, which seems pretty schizoid in a majorly religious conservative stronghold.

I'm very happy that they made the recommendation that the sales tax on food be eliminated. Steve U posts that the cities are going to fight removing the sales tax on food tooth and nail. Steve wrote,"This seems a bit strident, especially since the cities will receive significant inflationary and expansionary increases in their revenues this year, not to mention significant increases from franchise fees they place on top of escalating energy costs." If there was ever a tax that hurt the poor it is this one, good job Task Force. I hope the legislature follows through with this suggestion.

Cindy Sheehan..... Your 15 minutes are up.

This picture was on Obligatory Anecdotes. Cindy Sheehan being mobbed by her adoring followers. Oh.. wait... no one is there but reporters? Too bad you sold out your son's honorable memory for 15 minutes.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas v. Happy Holidays

Today on many of the talk radio shows the debate about whether or not Christmas infringes on the rights of the non-Christian or Atheist was being discussed. Atheists claim that any reference to any certain religions belief in God (Christ) in a public place is a infringement of their rights. What is the problem?!? I'm sure a good portion of Americans don't even know that Christmas has anything to do with Jesus Christ and Christianity, most people think it is about a mythical character called Santa Claus - an advertising gimmick created by Coca-Cola. Easter is about a bunny that lays eggs, right? I guess that the atheistic left won't be satisfied until Christmas is officially called Claus-mas ...oh wait it is called in public a generic "Holiday".

To the atheistic left, back off! December the 25th (CHRISTmas) was started by the Roman Catholic Church at the Nicene Council as the commemoration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. A large number of Christian churches don't even believe that December 25th is the accurate birthday, but you must accept that CHRIST is the reason Christmas was created. LET IT GO! If you want to have more holidays off I'm fine with that. Thailand has a Buddhist holiday called Songkram (a nationwide water fight in the middle of summer) probably the funnest holiday I've ever experienced -- write Congress about this one. We can include Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, just to make everyone happy. Just let Christmas be called Christmas.

Utahn tries new tack in battle over Net porn

There was an article, about a project that Ralph Yarro is working on. The project is CP80, a nonprofit organization that proposes that the existing Internet infrastructure of ports and protocols be used to categorize all Web content into channels, allowing Internet users to choose the type of content they want to receive —— much like cable television. He also is calling for supportive legislation that will make sure that adult content providers follow regulation keeping adult content restricted to adult designated channels "and putting laws in place to make pornographers who violate the law accountable, similar to the way the Federal Communications Commission regulates television and radio."

I think this could be a feasible solution to the pornography issue. It doesn't restrict freedom of speech, but it does create some protection to the public from viewing pornographic content inadvertently. Although it would likely create another form of government bureaucracy, I would have to support it because of the danger pornography represents for families and children. I would personally like to see porn eradicated from public accessibility. I find the idea that the degradation of women and sexual relations the way that pornography does, as a form of speech that the framers of the constitution intended to protect absurd. However, since the courts have ruled in favor of the smut there needs to be strong regulation of this form of entertainment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Congress: Iraq must be won in Washington

In a recent article by Fred Barnes and a post at Reach Upward, there is alot to worry about with the vocal discent of prominent Democrats on Iraq. Fred Barnes brought up the point that the war in Vietnam was nearly won when Congress cut funding for the war and began the pullout that ended with the 1975 fall of Saigon. Congress seems to be heading down that path again. John Murtha, a Vietnam vet normally described as a war hawk called for the withdrawl of military troops, which led to a rather weak Republican led resolution for a complete withdrawal from Iraq (made with some kind of weak reasoning that this would "force the Dem's hand"). This kind of opposition to the war is extremely dangerous, because it gives the insurgents the encouragement they need to just continue on -- they don't have to beat American troops in Iraq when they can win in Congress.

This is exactly the reason that people like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and John Murtha need to support the war. We are in Iraq, disagree with the reasons we went there or not, we can only win this war by staying the course. Unfortunately alot of the damage has been done, the insurgents see that psychologically, they are heading to victory. Victory will not be won militarily, because of the Vietnam war we must now win psychologically. Victory for the U.S. will come only when the insurgency sees that America will stay the course and will continue to aid Iraq in the cause of democracy for as long as it takes. Victory will, and seems to be, coming to the insurgents by the how negative public opinion polls get and Congress' swaying their opinion of the Iraq war with those poll numbers. Congress seems to be more like grass swaying to the wind.

This issue is fundemental to the War on Terror, we are in Iraq, it is a central front on terrorism, and no matter what reasons got us there we must stay in Iraq untill the insurgents seen no other option but surrender.

Carter heads to Utah, brings feisty views on issues

The Tribune discussed Jimmy Carter's latest book and his views on Christian fundalmentalism. While I don't agree with him on many issues, I must say that he has articulated some good arguments in regards to some of the most volitile issues that face our country. Minus the Iraq war, and his resurrecting old Democrat rhetoric regarding "rich and poor", he makes two great arguements about abortion and gay marriage.

"Rather than letting the controversial issues remain so divisive among our citizens, perhaps we should separate the two basic approaches, by letting governments define and protect equal rights for citizens, including those of "civil unions," and letting church congregations define "holy matrimony." This is a great point, especially in a nation that has separation between church and state. Marriage, while holy and sacred in most religons, is a sacred rite that shouldn't be defiled by homosexuality. However, it is a religious rite, and there needs to be an allowance for civil unions to allow monogamous gays to enjoy some legality to their relationship.

Check the Tribune article out. He has made a better ex-preident than he ever made a President.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bush forms an alliance with Ghengis Khan

Just an idea for Cindy Sheehan and the rest of the anti-war gang for more Bush hating propaganda.

Think about it, Bush uniting with Ghengis Khan's Mongol armies, America would be free to rule the world's oil supply!!! It makes for pretty interesting propaganda

Monday, November 21, 2005

Diversity declines at university

In the Tribune today there was an article about declining diversity at the University of Utah. "We do not feel enough is being done to make sure we (Hispanic students) are admitted [to the U.] and stay until we earn a degree," said Daisy Ramirez, Hispanic Student Association president and "Social Justice" major. "It's already sad to be the only one of color in your classes. . . . Now, it's getting worse." Many diversity proponents argue that admission requirements (a student admitted to the U. must score at least 18 on the ACT test and have at least a 2.6 grade-point average) are geared toward middle-class white Americans.

Pop quiz, what does diversity mean? When I think of diversity, I think of differing opinions, points of view, backgrounds, etc. in this sense diversity should be a subject inclusive of all people. But, as I'm starting to understand, diversity seems to be a more PC word for affirmative action. Don't get me wrong I believe affirmative action has done a lot to progress equal right for minorities and women. The problem is no one wants (or dares) to let go of Affirmative Action, least of all the hard left. It seems to me that Affirmative Action and "diversity requirements" are statements to Hispanics, African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Gays, and Lesbians that you aren't strong enough, smart enough, able enough to make it through this world yourself. These "diversity" requirements will continue to foster mistrust and inequality among races in America for generations to come.

I would defy American institutions to drop diversity requirements. There are more important issues to be addressed in college, i.e. helping students progress expeditiously through their desired fields of study, instead of wasting time in liberal indoctrination courses. We have some strong examples of minorities who have succeeded: Conde Rice, Clarence Thomas, and Colin Powell. However, time and time again liberal minority leaders have derided these people as sell outs, because they have the courage to say that minorities need to stop using race as an excuse for failure.

Tip for colleges and universities: Maybe diversity training should be focused at some liberal arts and social science professors? Some of these professors have no respect for opposing viewpoints. I majored in Business, thereby circumventing most of these types of professors. However, SUU (I'm sure any college has their share) had a sociology professor that was notorious for tyrannically belittling students who dared openly oppose his liberal rhetoric.

I'm glad I missed diversity indoctrination... I mean requirements. I'm sure some will discount my viewpoint because I didn't go through a school that had rigorous diversity requirements, but thats the way I see it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Spending: The Utah Democrat predicts problems

Here is a good example of why people like Matheson, he was the sole member of the Utah congressional delegation to vote down Congress' ridiculous excuse of a spending reduction act. Cannon and Bishop "begrudgingly" voted for the bill. This bill, instead of curbing spending in areas that are actually out of control, cut Medicaid and aid for deadbeat dad recovery services. Matheson pointed out after the vote that this bill will do little if nothing to curb the deficit, after taking into account another 56 million dollar tax cut. "It's kind of embarrassing that this is called the deficit reduction act....This is a missed opportunity for some belt-tightening by members of Congress,"Matheson said. "If there was ever a time for shared sacrifice, this is it." Republican's dropped drilling in Anwar in order to get this bill passed.

One of the reasons why Matheson is so popular among constituents is he has been very conservative in regards to federal spending. In regards to federal spending even amongst the most loyal conservatives there is a feeling that Republicans have shown the restraint of a drunken sailor. On this point Pete Ashdown should take notes, people are tired of seeing Republicans spend spend spend. Cannon and Bishop, how do you begrudgingly vote for a bill? If you don't want to vote for something shouldn't you not vote for it, but wait that would be sticking your necks out wouldn't it. Anwar is the most annoying part of this, a provision that would have been a start to ending our dependence on foreign oil, was dropped for rather Scroogish spending cuts.

P.S. One of the latest bills passed included another pay hike for Congress. Matheson, again, was the only member of the Utah delegation to vote no. So while Utah Congressional Republicans are taking pay raises from poor single moms, Matheson is sticking to his principles.

Here is the Tribune article: Spending: The Utah Democrat predicts problems

Friday, November 18, 2005

Evolution debate hits the beer aisle

Wasatch Beers is changing the label on its 2002 Unofficial Amber Ale — a title that once raised a ruckus with Olympic officials — to "Evolution Amber Ale." Buttars doesn't seem to amused, "I guess some people are going to get a chuckle out of it. I don't see anything funny about it," Buttars said. "Anytime someone (tries to) sarcastically exploit issues of morality in those kinds of ways is very unappealing. But it doesn't bother me, whatever they put on there."

Rock on Greg Schirf! I think they idea is fun. Buttars you need to lighten up man, since when does Darwinism equate immorality?

Here is the link to the DesNews link:,1249,635162236,00.html

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Buttars, it's okay! Evolution doesn't mean your religious beliefs aren't true.

In the The Senate Site blog and a recent DesNews article, Chris Buttars announced that he is preparing a "confidential" bill on evolution. Buttars said that the bill will challenge the Utah Board of Education's position, and could include certain disclaimers before evolution lessons. "I believe with the President of the United States that Intelligent Design should have an equal place in evolution lessons." Gayle Ruzicka said, "We are not asking that the State not teach evolution, but one, teach evolution as a theory, and two, include more than one viewpoint." To be fair Buttars said that ID should be taught in philosophies, a point to which I agree with him.

In my opinion, it is very dangerous to force teachers to teach accepted scientific theories with disclaimers. Evolution falls in the realm of science, because it is derived of empirical evidence that can be tested by the scientific method. Intelligent Design cannot fall in the realm of science, because it cannot be proved or disproved by experimentation and observation. The problem is that for some Evolution threatens their deeply held beliefs, just as for atheists Evolution becomes the bedrock proof that their is no God. Here is what the religious right and the atheistic left need to keep in mind, Evolution is the best explanation that science has for the creation and existence of species in this world -- but it doesn't mean there is not God. On the other hand ID is based on a rather vague one and a half page section of the Bible -- it is meant to be believed or disbelieved, proved or disproved by means of prayer, scripture study, and faith.

Buttars -- we can't force a faith based idea that exist in only in literature to be taught as science, and we can't teach a generally accepted scientific theory with disclaimers that it is "just theory". Intelligent Design if it is to be taught in schools must be left to philosophy, and evolution should be taught as the unencumbered as science. I don't think evolution should challenge a belief in God. For example, isn't evolution to an extent one of the main tenants of Mormonism (that we are all trying to evolve to be like God) therefore I see evolution and ID as being (however slight) complimentary.

Here is the link:,1249,635161898,00.html

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Excellent News!

In a recent Dan Jones poll, 48% of Utahns said it is time to give someone else time in Hatch's Senate seat. This is very good news to myself and any other Utahn who is tired Senator Hatch. With the recent withdrawal of Steve Urquhart, conservatives and those opposed to Hatch need to take a good look at Pete Ashdown.

I personally think Ashdown is a great candidate. Take a look at his campaign website:

Who's the most popular politician in Utah?

In a recent Desnews poll, Jim Matheson came out with the highest approval rating of all Republican Congressmen, Senators, Huntsman and Bush. This news may be a shock to some who view Utah as a land of indoctrinated drones that vote only Republican. For example, SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson called the political conditions of this state "Taliban-esque". How could this happen?

It could be that Utahns may not be as drone like as some like to believe. Democrats need to take note, it is possible for a Dem to hold office in this state in counties other than Salt Lake. As a conservative, I've been rather impressed with Matheson. He has sought to represent the issues that affect his constituents without getting wrapped up in the ever tiring partisan bickering. He has been a strong representative rather than an obnoxious soapbox preacher of liberal rhetoric.

As Utah voters, we need to seek politicians that are Utahns foremost before we concern ourselves with party affiliation. Some Utah politicians such as Orrin Hatch and Rocky Anderson spend far too much time deriding views that they are opposed to, rather than representing voters needs. When our politicians become more concerned with the publicity they get in the national spotlight, it is time to elect other people. Dems can win, they just need to concern themselves with being representatives rather than special interest lackeys.

Here is the link to the poll:,1249,635161648,00.html