Monday, June 26, 2006

Utah County Commission Seat A

The Citizen's Resource event at UVSC featured speeches from the two candidates for the Utah County Commission. Gary Anderson spoke in person while Jerry Grover (the incumbent) was unable to attend and has his brother read a statement.

Grover's speech was... dry. It was like listening to someone read a resume consisting primarily of bullet points.

Anderson had the obvious advantage of speaking for himself. He was dynamic and articulate and offered a focused message. He is very concerned about the huge transportation problem we have in the county and sees that as a priority for the commission.

Anderson used to serve on the commission years ago and has felt they needed his experience and focused direction again. I agree. I'll be voting for Gary Anderson in tomorrow's election.

Commercial Ads in Political Campaign Email

I just received a last minute email from the John Jacob campaign. It was a letter from his wife. The email had a graphical banner at the top. The banner was the campaign logo and a picture of Mrs. Jacob.

If you click the banner, you end up at the website for the company that sent the email rather than the Jacob campaign. There is no link to the campaign website at all in the email.

My email reader hides images in email messages by default. The "alt" text is "The Ginormous MailChimp Sale." So, instead of a picture of Jacob's wife, I'm treated to an ad for MailChimp.

If I were on the Jacob campaign I would be furious. I'd also be looking for a new email company.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Charlotte Ducos Explains Jacob/Cannon Immigration Debate

I received an email inviting me to post an essay by Charlotte Ducos of Eagle Mountain, the same place John Jacob is from. You can read her entire report which is available as PDF. She concludes her report with her own conclusions about the immigration problem, bringing in her views as the wife of a recently naturalized citizen. She is very persuasive.
We cannot afford to send someone who is starting from scratch in Washington to participate in this debate. At this point I feel a need to also give credit to Mr. Jacob. He does have some good ideas. He took a great deal of time with me to explain his position. He does have well-formed opinions, they are just not opinions I feel I can endorse. I can honestly say that I have studied this issue, and our two candidatesÂ’ stances on the issue very thoroughly, and I give my opinion, without reservation, that Representative Cannon has the strongest position on immigration. Examine the issue, decide for yourself, and then donÂ’t forget to vote Tuesday, June 27.
A few other snippets from the article:
[Jacob] seems to feel, in a nutshell, that the only reason there is an immigration problem in this country is because employers want cheap labor, immigrants will do it cheap, the jobs are there for them, and so they come. His solution is to deport all of the workers, thus forcing employers to raise wages to compete with other industries and then American workers will do the work the immigrants have been doing—problem solved. In fairness, Mr. Jacob does believe in strengthening the borders, but philosophically, he seems to feel that if we remove the jobs, the illegal worker problem will take care of itself.
[Cannon] does not believe it is necessary to deport those who are here illegally in order to penalize them. Our government pays the cost of those deportations, and because of the long lines to enter the country through other existing visas, the most likely path for those who are deported is to sneak back in again illegally. If we instead give them a program that allows them to come out of hiding, to become documented, to pay the penalty for being here illegally and to gain—not citizenship or residency—just the right to work, we can begin to clean up the system.
She asserts,
There are some jobs that most Americans just donÂ’t want to do. This is unfortunate, and could be the subject of a story of its own, but it is a reality. I have a neighbor that owns a landscape company. He raised his wages to attract American workers, but could not get any to come. My father tried very hard to hire local teens and unemployed, but with few exceptions, they would rather go without work than do the jobs he was asking them to do.
It is worth reading her entire essay. The document also includes a completed questionnaire from both candidates on the subject of immigration. Reading the candidates answers on the questionnaire was more useful than the discussions in the debates I've heard.

Video of recent Cannon-Jacob debate

Citizens' Resource, a non-profit group dedicated to helping educate Utah County voters, has put together many excellent events in the last several months. They sent out an email this evening with the following information:
Our appreciation to those interested voters who came from both ends of the valley (as well as in-between) to attend the 2006 Primary Candidate Expo, our recent series of candidate debates & speeches at UVSC -- where all candidates in all races for the fast-approaching local Primaries were represented.

We feel the event was a success with good attendance and coverage by the local and national press (CNN’s political unit sent a crew from D.C. for the 3rd Congressional debate).

We’re also pleased to announce that thanks to UVSC Studios and Engineering and Orem City Community Channel, video coverage of the 2006 Primary Candidate Expo will be broadcast daily at 12 NOON & 7 PM on local cable television during this final week before PRIMARY ELECTIONS, 8 AM – 8 PM, NEXT TUESDAY, JUNE 27TH. This same coverage may also be viewed on demand via Google Video at our website,
I recommend to anyone interested in these races--especially if, like me, you are still undecided about the 3rd Congressional candidates--to watch this video. It is well worth your time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Foot in Mouth: Cannon vs. Jacob

In last week's debate between Chris Cannon and John Jacob, both candidates made a few verbal gaffes. How fun that we can point them out!

Cannon: Cannon made the silly comment that he only accepts campaign contributions from people he agrees with. This opens him to the easy but fallacious charges of guilt by association. Jacob pointed out that Cannon had received and returned contributions from (now) convicted felon Jack Abramoff. Cannon responded by saying that, "Jack Abramoff is a great guy!" He immediately realized what a stupid thing he had said and corrected it to say, "He was a great guy, but he got bent." Nice. Even if true, not such a wise thing to say.

Jacob: When pointing out the folly of trying forcibly deport 12 million illegal immigrants, Cannon jokingly used the phrase "throw the bums out." (It didn't sound as weird in context as it sounds here in print.) Jacob responded by saying (roughly), "Right now I'm working on throwing one bum out." The audience reaction to this low blow was quick and somewhat mixed. Jacob immediately added, "It was meant to be sarcastic." Sarcastic. Okay...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chris Cannon interview on KCPW

Chris Cannon had an interview on KCPW. I really like to hear candidates in this sort of setting. It is a great way to figure them out. Cannon is aware of the anti-incumbent feeling in the air around the country. I'm definitely feeling it! I don't know as much about Cannon's voting record in particular as I know I'm disappointed in the results we've gotten from the current Republican congress.

The thing I like about Cannon is the realistic viewpoint he has. He recognizes that building a wall on the border won't solve all our problems (because of visa overstays, etc.). He knows the players in Washington and has connections that will help him work the system. I'm not sure how rapidly Jacob will be able to set up those networks. Cannon has a lot of the nuance I like to see in a good thinker.

He doesn't sound very apologetic about the massive spending increases and the giant deficits.

Tomorrow morning will be a debate between the candidates. I may not catch it live, but I'll definitely be listening.

John Jacob Interview on KCPW

I enjoyed listening to John Jacob on KCPW. I was more persuaded by Jacob in this setting than I was in the debate on June 10th. He said a few weird things (like he seems to think that foreign spying is equivalant to domestic spying) but overall was pretty articulate. He pointed out some of the things that are at the root of my frustration with Cannon and the Republican Congress in general. It might be worth voting for Jacob if for no other reason than to send a message. Let's stop spending like crazy and growing the government!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Tale of Two Flyers: Cannon vs. Jacob

I attended last Saturday's debate between Congressman Chris Cannon and his primary challenger John Jacob. Frankly, I'm not thrilled with either candidate. I'd like to share a few thoughts, both pro and con, about the two candidates in the next few posts.

I suspect a lot of thought goes into the campaign literature that is handed out at events such as this. I suppose that it says something about the candidate to see what he or she chooses to put out.

Chris Cannon's flyer was an 8 inch square glossy trifold. 270 words, 1 possible typo. The flyer was devoted to quotes from four or five people attesting to different aspects of Cannon's character.

John Jacob's flyer was a simple 8.5x11 piece of white paper, printed on one side with a fuzzy printed signature on the bottom. 398 words. It was a "letter of intent" stating core principles for Jacob's campaign.

Which candidate made better use of funds?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

No Copyright For DRM'd Works

A commenter on Slashdot just made the most interesting argument. He argues that copyright is granted with the expectation that the work will eventually enter the public domain. Accordingly, he argues, works that can't enter the public domain because of Digital Rights Management restrictions shouldn't be granted copyright protections.

I think the key concept in intellectual property laws should be that the creations *must* enter public domain at some time, and remain in the public domain [forever] after that. Therefore, the law should provide no protection at all to anything that's protected by anything other than the law itself, or for that which isn't fully disclosed.

No copyrights for anything distributed with any sort of DRM, no copyrights for anything distributed under proprietary standards, no protection for any software distributed without source code.

I think this view is a bit extreme, but it certainly raises a valid concern about DRM.

Utah Blogger Conference

My wife and I won't be able to attend because of previous commitments, but it appears that a bunch of Utah bloggers are going to get together on Tuesday, Jun. 13th, 2006 up in Sandy. Pete Ashdown is going to be there along with some other well known Utah personalities in the business community.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Love Immigration

Most companies are not well served to have the same CEO forever. Fresh blood, fresh ideas, and fresh perspectives are vital in a world full of imperfect people. That is one reason I think a flow of people between the different countries of the world is a good thing.

On the flip side, every culture has been concerned about being eliminated or marginalized. Look at the resistance and opposition there has been to the United States around the world. People of other countries don't want us to impose our culture on them. I suspect that most people in the US have similar feelings about outside cultural influences. We are comfortable in our familiar culture and we don't want to be forced to change because of a rapid influx of immigrants.

So we allow and encourage emmigration and immigration to facilitate the flow of ideas and information around the globe, but we do so with numerical limits to prevent any culture from being overwhelmed by fresh blood, thus killing the old blood.

Deciding on the right number of immigrants is not an easy task. I think we need to loosen up the current restrictions a bit and make it easier for people to immigrate the right way.

I also want to come out in opposition to a group called "Americans for Better Immigration." This group seemed to be pushing for some of the same things that I want, but after reviewing their website I concluded that they really want only a very small amount of immigration. To them, less is more. I see their view as unworkable and selfish. This is a wonderful country and I want to welcome in as many people as we can reasonably support. As we lift these immigrants up, we help the whole world with the rising tide.