Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thailand in Chaos

I heard a report on the radio that made me quite worried this morning, Thailand under martial law due to a coup against Prime Minister Thaksin. Coups are always scary, because it is never clear how the government of the country will emerge after the dust settles. The Thai people deserve better than the corrupt power mongers who rule that country under the guise of allegience to the Thai king.

I served an LDS mission to Thailand and I truely (I know it sounds cheesy) loved those people. These people would bend over backwards to make sure you were comfortable no matter how poor and dilapidated their living conditions were, and I don't think there are a more (non-Christian) Christlike, loving people on Earth. I really hope that the major strides towards open religious policies over the past several years will not be eroded. Some major allies of Mormonism and Christianity were in the overthrown government, and I pray that the voices that were friendly to Thai Mormons won't be silenced.

I hope that everything works out all right. Please keep the Thai people in your thoughts

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Signing Off Until After October 16th

It is near the end of filing time for 2006, and I'll be abandoning my blog until the final filing deadline has passed. I hope you have extended if necessary, and that you are ready for the October 16th filing deadline.

See you all later

Helpful Links


Utah State Tax Commission

National Society of Enrolled Agents find a true tax expert in your neighborhood. (shameless plug)

Ed Zollars Tax Update for interesting tax discussions oriented to tax professionals.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Five Years Later

It has been a haunting day. I would feel like I was committing a sacrilege by harping on politics today. It has been somewhat cathardic reading the many remembrances of 9-11 throughout the blogosphere.

SLCSpin has a list of other blogs who have recollected on personal memories of 9-11. Feel free to share your memories here, and follow this link to SLCSpin and read some of many thoughts from that awful day 5 years ago. We all have one thing in common we will never forget, and we all remember it like it was yesterday.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

DesNews -- A Refreshing Approach to the Office of Salt Lake Mayor

With all of my ranting about Mayor Andersen, I thought I would give those who question what I stand for an idea of what kind of mayor I would support. DesNews has an article about Jenny Wilson, former Salt Lake mayor's daughter, who has thrown her hat into the ring for mayor. I found a couple of her comments refreshing:

"We need a mayor that is willing to work with all sides, I think that we're at a time in the city's history where establishing relationships is absolutely key. Frankly, that's a different leadership approach than our current mayor." "I won't be organizing rallies for any national cause, I have a greater interest in spending my time on the business of running the city."

Wow, a mayor focused on the affairs of the city, that sounds like a great idea.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kearns High School -- Class of 1996

I had the opportunity to go home to Kearns for my 10 year class reunion. It was really fun. I skipped out on the formal celebrations and attended a Kearns High home football game. Kearns won a rare victory of 40-0 over West High another working class school. It was exciting to see Kearns win. Some things never change though, the game was rough and there were a ton of cops at the game, but that is how I remember Kearns.

At the picnic I saw a lot of people whom I hadn't seen since graduation. It was interesting to watch old personalities jump out. I found myself quickly assuming the former role of class clown. I was impressed at the paths my classmates had taken, many had graduate degrees or were in the process of doing so, some were working with very prestigious companies, all very remarkable for kids coming from a school and area that is largely dismissed as a "ghetto".

I'm married into a family where most of the kids attended Skyline, the sports equivalent to Notre Dame or Miami in Utah high school football. I've occasionally been teased (always in fun) this time of year by my bro's and father-in-law about my Kearns background. However seeing classmates who have made so much of themselves, I'd have to say I've never been prouder of where I'm from. Kids from my neighborhood may not have won in sports back in school, but they are winning the game of life as adults.

Forgive me for the nostalgia, it was nice to revisit old memories.

Rocky Andersen -- Too Legit 2 Quit

I couldn't find a source on this because I heard it on TV while I was out of town -- I apologize for not citing my source. Apparently Rocky lambasted Jim Matheson because he wasn't "Democrat enough". What does he mean by this, is Matheson not Democrat enough because isn't towing party lines by echoing the "Bush-lied, Bush is a war criminal, we can't win the war" rhetoric? Is he not Democrat enough because he had the courage to vote against party lines, and voted his own mind regarding the marriage amendment? I guess thinking independently is unacceptable in the Democratic party of Ross Andersen.

I grew up in Kearns UT which in Utah has a bit of reputation for being a rough area. I'm guessing everyone has seen behavior of little hoodlums who attack weaker peers in order to gain a sense of power and strength. This tirade of Rocky reminds me of the short, scrawny gangsta' kid who has, due to the incontrollable rage brought on by short man syndrome, become a part of the tough crowd. After the "chiquaqua" hoodlum becomes one of the crowd he is the loudest barking and most vicious defender of his position as a hard core gunshot'. Rocky, who has become a part of the hard core liberal crowd by being a extremely vocal voice of opposition to conservative Utah, thus decides he needs to attack a winning Democrat like Matheson who seems to threaten him by doing a good job of representing his constituents and who actually seems to use thought and reason in his policy decisions.

I don't know if anyone else sees the parallels, but I had fun with it. I'm grateful for politicians like Matheson, who have moral courage to vote the dictates of their hearts. I keep hoping that voters on both red and blue sides start to reject extremists politicians who have no original thought of their own, only the talking points from their respective parties (Rocky and Hatch).

Rocky has quit, please follow suit Senator Hatch.

If I misunderstand the story please correct me.

Tax Reform, The Finished Product?

As long as the Special Session occurs, it sounds like we may be trying an interesting and unique (as far as I know) form of taxation in the state of Utah. I have written much on my disdain for the flat tax, and my skeptism that a flat tax would have produced a tax cut for the majority of Utahns. My initial skeptism on the first flat tax proposal turned out to be correct.

Then the Governor suggested the idea of a dual tax system, which I initially was not fond of, however I have changed my opinion as information has turned up. The flat tax which will turn up benefits for the wealthy and the poor will be used, as well as stretched out brackets and a reduced top tax rate for the regular system which is most benefit the middle class is available. This policy seems like beneficial tax policy for Utah taxpayers across the spectrum of Utah incomes.

I appreciate the innovation which the Governor and the Legislature have shown in coming to this new tax proposal. Although I'm not sure this tax system is the best system, I believe this will be a meaningful tax cut for the majority of Utahns. I'm excited to see tax cuts from Utah.