Sunday, October 24, 2004

"How am I hurting your marriage?"

The most common and difficult question to answer from proponents of gay "marriage" has been this: "How does the state recognizing my love and marriage lessen your love or marriage. An article in the Salt Lake Tribune, by Paul Mero, provides a succint answer: "During the audience question period a young lady pointedly asked me why her 'two moms' were considered a threat to traditional marriage. Great question!

This young lady seemed to be bright and healthy and clearly informed about the world around her. She looked like the beneficiary of two moms. She looked loved. And so I responded honestly - as far as I knew, her two moms were no threat to my family or anyone else's family. But then I told her that such sentiments have nothing to do with Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 is only concerned with the public policy of marriage. It represents the state interest in marriage. It has nothing - nothing - to do with the personal relationships with which we all live. Proof of this is most obvious when we consider that homosexuals may freely marry in all 50 states, in any of the churches or belief systems that bless such relationships, and that homosexuals, just like any other two individuals, are free to enter into private, legal contracts sharing their personal and economic lives. Amendment 3 is not about those relationships. It only regards the state interest in marriage."

Rove is the Devil? Show me the brimstone.

The Salt Lake Tribune had an article written by a high school classmate of Karl Rove. Of course Rove spent some time in high school here in Utah. I eagerly jumped into the article, hoping to gleam some interesting insights. While I did learn some things about Rove I hadn't known before, I didn't get anything meaty from the piece. Instead, the author falls back on silly claims. His only solid accusation of a Rove "dirty trick" was this : "For Karl, winning is the only goal and the tactics used have no ethical, moral, factual or even legal restraint. The latest edition of Rove's smear campaigns came in the form of the Swift Boat Veterans' now totally discredited version of John Kerry's Vietnam service. It did what smear campaigns always do. It diverted attention away from what really matters. "

Dr. Brian Moench, the author of the piece, really owes his readers something more substantial. I was looking forward to the meal that never arrived.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

KSL debate between Beau Babka and Chris Cannon

Cannon was asked about the record deficits. He responded that we just need to make government more efficient. Is he kidding? That’s not going to put much of a dent in a budget composed largely of entitlement spending. That can’t be the answer he really believes. Is this where it has to lead as the majority party pushing the pork?

Babka hasn’t said anything very impressive thus far. Particularly, his answer about the Federal Marriage Amendment was weak. He started picking on the proposed Utah amendment (Amendment 3) and showed that he doesn’t seem to understand the ramifications of the amendment very well.

Babka does present himself well. I haven’t agreed with one of his stated positions yet, though I think he seems like a credible contender. I didn’t have that impression before this debate. He advocates strengthening out borders and was willing to denounce illegal immigration. Many are unwilling to do so. Cannon’s answer on this question was just to say, “75% of people agree with my position when it is explained to them.” But what is your position?!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Apology of Teresa Heinz Kerry

Yahoo! News - Statement of Teresa Heinz Kerry

"I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian...As someone who has been both a full time mom and full time in the workforce, I know we all have valuable experiences that shape who we are..."

Brad pointed out that she gets cast as the wicked witch, so everything she says gets spun that way. So, to continue to give her the benefit of the doubt (I don't always, although I should), she basically misspoke. She does that a lot, do I. I'm just not on a national stage.

Teresa Kerry attacks teachers, librarians? - The real running mates - The real running mates
(I know this has nothing to do with Utah politics, but it ticked me off just the same.)
From USA Today's interview with Teresa Heinz Kerry: (emphasis mine)

"Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?

A: Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about."

Excuse me? NRO's Kerry Spot gives us this information from the White House:

"Inspired by her second grade teacher, she earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Southern Methodist University in 1968. She then taught in public schools in Dallas and Houston. In 1973 she earned a master of library science degree from the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a public school librarian in Austin [until 1977]."

I have a sister, two aunts, and who knows how many friends employed as public school teachers. I teach two classes at the state college down the road. It's not easy work--and working full time trying to teach eight-year-old ESL kids how to construct a sentence is a ton harder. But then again, what do I know? I've never had to slave away at managing up to $1 billion dollars in trusts and accounts.

Then again, to give Teresa the benefit of the doubt: maybe she wasn't slamming teachers. Maybe she honestly didn't know that is what Laura did.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Ivory not on ballot

KSL News: Ivory's Name Will Not Be on Ballot

This announcement just broke while I was watching KSL Evening News--the county clerk has ruled that Ellis Ivory will not be allowed to be on the ballot to replace Nancy Workman. "Until a vote and certification...(by the Republican committee)...he can't be on the ballot." (very rough transcription)

Despite the post below about my dislike of part of Ellis Ivory's campaign, I'm actually not against him winning. (I really don't care much one way or another.) But I've been against the replacement action, mostly because it seems a little sleazy and underhanded. As a write-in candidate, he has, at least in my opinion, an honest chance.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Ellis Ivory--Rich Man for Mayor?

Salt Lake Tribune - Opinion: "Nevertheless, Ivory can claim with a straight face that he will be an independent mayor because he will not accept any campaign contributions, will not take a salary and will not drive a county car or use a county credit card. Though any candidate is beholden to his party, and Ivory will be no exception, he will, in fact, be free from the influence that comes of campaign contributions."

On the face of it, the idea of a candidate refusing to get paid, and refuse to use county credit cards or cars, is a great one. It's not like Salt Lake County is the richest county in the nation, and the extra money that could be saved could be used for great programs or events (or whatever).

But...once I gave it a little thought, I started to feel uncomfortable about it. It is a wonderful idea, but an impractical one for most of the citizens of the county (or of any county). Most of us can't work for free for a term of office--we have to support families, pay bills, etc. I'm not sure the other two candidates for mayor can afford that--and that doesn't make them greedy. It just makes them normal.

Ivory's pledge, while good-hearted, may have the effect of raising the bar of office to only those who are rich enough--not just rich enough to run, which is an entirely different problem--but rich enough to serve.

Diversionary Tactics: The wacky argument against Amendment 3

The Salt Lake Tribune published a piece today by Jim Allred opposing Amendment 3, the Utah Constitutional Amendment to define marriage and deny any other union the same privileges as marriage. His argument? There's no good way to tell who is a man and who is a woman. "While taking some of the innocent joy out of the application process, stripping for verification is inevitable."

This statement is so silly it is hard to believe that Allred is serious, though he must be. There really is no hint of irony or satire in his piece. While it may be true that there are people with genetic qualities that make gender determination difficult on that level, this argument is a red herring.

Let's leave the determination of gender to doctors. If there is question, the opinions of doctors can be entered in a court of law and a judge can make the determination. That is the point of having judges after all, to make the judgment calls when the law can't be so specific.

To say we shouldn't enact amendment 3 because Allred doesn't know how to tell a man from a woman isn't a very compelling argument. Why doesn't he give us his real reasons?

Hannity Insanity

What a rip-off! Outrage over a planned visit of Michael Moore to Utah Valley State College, where Keryn teaches geology occasionally, prompted a visit by Sean Hannity. Hannity agreed to waive his speaking fee to come and rebut (in advance?) Moore's speech. He only asked that the school's donors cover his travel expenses. When the tab came to $50,000, a lot of people, including me, were furious. He charged the school for three legs of a journey that included his travel to the third presidential debate in Arizona. He was coming here anyway. It would have been reasonable to charge for the accommodations (if any) while he was here and for the price of his flight from Utah to Arizona. Asking donors to pay for his debate coverage travel is shameful. I'm told the money didn't come from student fees, but that's no excuse for this outrage.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

In a bubble

President Bush has been accused of ignoring the news and listening only to a small group of close advisors. There ought to be more candid debate and discussion. Eliot Cohen, writing at Opinion Journal, had this to say:
    "Political leaders, except those of the very first order, can and do become detached from the realities of the world around them. Surrounded by sympathizers and sycophants, subjected to a ceaseless torrent of criticism, consumed by an unending stream of work, deprived, for the most part, of the spontaneity of unstructured debate, the danger is not that they will say things that they do not believe. It is, rather, that they will come to believe things because they have said them, and to act accordingly."

Perhaps it isn't always enough just to want to be a truthful politician.