Dee's 'Dotes

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Updated: 4 years 44 weeks ago

It just gets better: Incentives for businesses touted to be “good” for economy

Mon, 2009-12-14 12:03
The Silicon Business Journal has reported that Ebay will add 450 more jobs to its global operations on Utah. Good for Utah? It’s certainly good for Ebay.
Get this: Ebay will receive $30 million from Utah in tax incentives to add these 450 jobs. Make sense? Do the math:
450 jobs =If each new hire pays $10,000 a year in state income tax (a hypothetically optimistic scenario), that would generate $4.5 million. That’s quite a bit less than the tax incentives Ebay will reap from its expansion.
And more people will be laid off soon from how many state budget cuts? And this will help the economy how?

Legislators get brand new toys while citizens will feel impact of budget cuts

Mon, 2009-12-14 11:51
While budgets are being slashed, Utah legislators have and will reap the benefits of new technology: brand new laptops and cell phones.
The justification for this? According to an article in the Deseret News:
….legislative leaders point out that the new computers were authorized several years ago when the state was swimming in money.
Well there ya go. Now that makes sense.
Even though monies in excess of over $1 million are being cut from state budgets, monies that were already approved in prior budgets, legislator’s won’t feel the impact of that with their new toys. Here are the costs:
The new cell phone and service contract — which will cost around $145,000 a year — is already built into the Legislature’s ongoing budget. So the new phones aren’t costing the state additional tax dollars. And the Legislature is taking, on average, the same budget cuts as the rest of state government….Michael Christensen, head of the Legislative Office of Research and General Counsel, said the state will pay $12,031 a month for the phones and service.

Wow. Utah’s priorities really need more scrutiny. This expenditure is not responsible given what citizens are facing in terms of the impact of the looming budget cuts.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Legislators, listen to the people: No raised taxes on food!

Wed, 2009-12-09 12:03

(cross-posted on Utah Legislature Watch)

A poll conducted by the Deseret News/KSL-TV on raising taxes on food has yielded these results (published in the Deseret News):

….65 percent of Utahns say they definitely or probably oppose increasing the food tax. The survey of 408 Utahns, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, found 33 percent definitely or probably approve of raising the tax.
Two polls published on Utah Legislature Watch support these results as well (here and here).
Despite what some legislators say will be a “break” with a credit at income tax time for low income earners, this will hit those in need more on a daily basis since this population spends a higher percentage of their wages on basic necessities.

Utah legislators, listen to the people: Do not support a reinstatement of the former rate of sales tax on food!

Raising taxs to balance Utah's budget???

Sun, 2009-12-06 03:32
Take the poll on balancing Utah's budget by raising taxes (or not) - after reading the article on a group of Utah Senators who are pledging to block any tax increase proposals.

No Escalation! Protests

Sat, 2009-12-05 13:56


A small group of people braved the bitter cold in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 3, 2009 to protest the surge of troops to Afghanistan, joining 100 cities across the nation last week in the common message: No Escalation!


Foreign Nuclear Waste: House members now being touted as "anti-American jobs"

Fri, 2009-12-04 12:02
Never mind the fact that nuclear waste poses a serious health threat to everyone and everything on our planet. If the U.S. does not accept the 20,000 tons of N-waste to Tennessee wtih 1600 of it coming to Utah, the entire economy will be undermined.

So says Energy Solutions and its advocates in the U.S. House, according to an article in today's Salt Lake Tribune, reporting the overwhelming vote by the House to keep the waste out of the U.S.

"We are not surprised by today's vote," EnergySolutions President Val Christensen said in a statement. "We are disappointed that the House of Representatives voted to place American jobs at risk."

I think what they meant to say was that it will hurt their corporate profits.

The next move will be from the Senate.....if they ever move to get a co-sponsor and take action. Neither Utah Senators have made any such moves.

Makes sense since, according to the article, Senator Bennett has ties to Energy Solutions Pollutions.

Vanessa Pierce, executive director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, says the Senate was likely just waiting for the House to give its nod before moving on its waste importation bill. Pierce and others now want Utah Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch, both Repubicans, to lend their support to the measure. Neither Utahn is a cosponsor of the bill. And Bennett, up for reelection in 2010, already has accepted about $50,000 in campaign donations from EnergySolutions.
Opponents of the bill say that it is anti-American jobs and trade.

Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida argued against the bill during a brief House debate Wednesday. He called it an "anti-jobs, anti-trade" bill that would undermine economic recovery.

"In effect, this bill is going to hurt businesses in their area of trying to create jobs and promote economic growth," Stearns said.

But Congressman Matheson, D-Utah, says otherwise:

Matheson disputed that premise, noting that it would actually preserve disposal space for domestic businesses.

"I don't know of any other country that takes imported waste," Matheson said. "For trade to exist, you have goods and services going in both directions. Not just in one. I don't understand how this in any way can be described as a restraint of trade."

The fight isn't over. It will be interesting to see how the Senate addresses this bill, if it does. If the corporations profiting from the potential influx of foreign waste get their way, what's to stop them from pushing for higher levels of waste being imported? Where will the line be drawn? What has to happen for all of our politicians to wake up? In the meantime, engage in the comments on the Tribune site, lobby your legislators, write letters, take a stand and have your voice heard. Don't let the corporate monsters scare you into thinking, with their greedy spin, that accepting the foreign waste will further hurt America's economy. What it will do is further hurt Americans with more health risks. Who will pay for the care, then of those that get ill from more potential exposure?

Afghanistan Escalation

Wed, 2009-12-02 12:02
The peace community around the nation is outraged at Obama's announcement of the deployment of 35,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But should we be surprised? Obama promised the reduction of forces in Iraq and further escalation in Afghanistan during his presidential campaign.

Regardless, not only are more lives going to be lost in an escalation that shouldn't happen, but billions of taxpayer dollars are going to be spent on this escalation, further impacting domestic programs that provide essential services to human beings in the U.S.

This is an outrage.

There are numerous actions being held around the country this week in reaction to Obama's announcement. Here in Salt Lake City I hope people will come out to the event listed below to raise their voices:


Afghanistan: No Escalation Vigil – December 3, 5:30pm Afghanistan: No Escalation! Vigil, 5:30 – 6:30pm
100 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT

“Chris and Chris” Bill: A Marriage in the Making?

Wed, 2009-12-02 11:53

Utah’s ABC 4 has posted a breaking news piece about openly Anti-Gay Senator Chris Buttars teaming up with openly Lesbian Representative Chris Johnson to co-sponsor Johnson’s gay rights bill.

The 2009 Legislative session brought much controversy to the floor over Buttars’ public remarks on gays. To hear of Buttars even considering such a move is astonishing.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Education Budget: Meeting Today’s Demands

Mon, 2009-11-30 12:18

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Always a hot topic in the Utah Legislative Session, the budget discussion for education will once again address how to meet the demands of Utah’s changing demographics.

That is, if Utah’s legislators decide to recognize that Utah is not the same as it was a decade, and more, ago.
The Salt Lake Tribune has published an article on how students are doing in the state. On the surface, Utah looks good:
Utah students have a higher high school graduation rate than the nation on average; they have a higher average ACT score; and they meet or beat national averages on nationwide math, reading, writing and science tests.
But statistical examination of the breakdown paints a different picture:
When statewide results are broken down by race, Utah’s racial groups, including white students, sometimes perform below national averages for their peers, a Tribune analysis shows.
The article goes on to offer explanation to the “statistical paradox” of Utah’s student performance, especially given the fact that Utah has the lowest per pupil spending and highest class sizes. Added to this is Utah’s declining high school graduation rate.
According to Education Week reports, Utah had the highest high school graduation rate in the country in 2004. By 2006, Utah had slipped to 26th in the country.
Interviews with teachers and other officials offer further insights about the realities of teaching in Utah.
“As we fall farther behind in funding it should be no surprise to anyone that student achievement follows,” said State Superintendent Larry Shumway. “Our teachers are doing the best they can, but we aren’t providing the support for student learning that we ought to be providing.”
At the root of discussion is money. There are differing viewpoints on education spending.
[Jay Blain, a math teacher at Cottonwood High in Salt Lake City] Blain believes Utah’s relatively low per-pupil funding and large class sizes are the main reasons Utah students are falling behind.”Resources matter,” Blain said. “Tell me that it wouldn’t matter to have 30 kids in an algebra II class instead of 40.”
Will legislators agree?
[Sen. Howard Stephenson, co-chair of the Utah Legislature's Education Interim Committee]
He said the way to improve Utah education is by attracting more quality teachers to classrooms. But to do that, he wants to boost teacher pay by putting schools on more efficient year-round schedules to save money.Putting more money toward education would “require higher taxes,” he said. In the past, Stephenson has said Utah should be a model for other states when it comes to eliminating waste in education spending.
[Rep. Greg Hughes, co-chair of the Education Interim Committee]
“If test scores were directly tied to funding then the District of Columbia would have the highest student test scores in America,” Hughes said, referring to the troubled Washington, D.C., school system, which spends the third-highest amount of money per student in the country.Though he said he’s not opposed to increasing education funding, Utah simply faces funding challenges other states don’t. Utah has the highest proportion of school-age children of any state in the nation, and about 65 percent of Utah land is federally-owned, meaning it can’t be taxed for schools, he said. “I don’t know how you ever overcome that,” Hughes said.
One thing for sure. Utah’s population is not the same as it was a decade ago. The demographics are changing and have been for quite some time. I’ts time to put education money into these changes. It’s not fair to impulsively and prematurely react by stating that taxes cannot be raised to fund education. While legislators are moving ahead with raising the taxes on unprepared food, a human necessity, they are balking at raising taxes to fund the education for our state’s children? Is not education also a human necessity? Where is the logic in not examining ALL possibilities, including raising taxes for this critcal need?

4th Annual Community Coat Exchange

Sat, 2009-11-28 13:28
The Community Coat Exchange was a success! We gave close to 90% of what was donated. Here are videos and links to photos of the event:



News Coverage by KSL TV - Fourth annual Community Coat Exchange helps Utahns stay warm
November 27th


SALT LAKE CITY -- As the weather gets colder, a lot of people are in need of warm winter coats. The fourth annual Community Coat Exchange helps provide coats to those in need.

People dropped off extra coats at the Salt Lake City Library Plaza Friday. Those who needed a coat could get one, no questions asked.

Exchange organizers say there has been a decline in donations this year.

"This is indicative of a larger need this year for families during this time. Maybe people aren't giving away things and maybe people are more in need," says Deanna Taylor with the Community Coat Exchange.

Leftover coats will be given to the Crossroads Urban Center Thrift Store at 1385 W. 840 S. in Salt Lake City.

Those who didn't make it Friday can still drop extra coats off at the center.

Local Action: Making Dreams Come True - You Can Do It

Tue, 2009-11-24 11:47
Today is Green Blog Action Day, a project of Green Change which was inspired by the global day of blog action on climate change. The topic: Local action. Check out all the Green Blogging going on over at Green Change to see what people around the country are writing about local action. My local action topic for today is a story about how I grew into taking action on a local level that is making a difference in my community.

As a young child I decided that because there was so much greenery on the earth my favorite color would be green. I grew up appreciating the beauty of our planet due to the inspiration I had from family that influenced my love for life. That inspiration led to personal practices that have helped me to work towards reducing my footprint on the world. One of those practices is that of consuming only what is necessary. This continues to be a practice which I constantly examine and refine in my life. I buy clothing at thrift stores and make my own jewelry and handbags, for example. I grow a lot of my own food. I compost. I recycle. I take public transportation and walk as much as possible. It is no wonder, then, that the Green Party, a party that promotes values near and dear to my heart, would eventually become "home" to me.

Local Action=Personal Responsibility


As a younger woman growing up in Frederick County, Maryland, about 50 miles west of Baltimore, each Thanksgiving I would watch with intrigue as the local news would air the piece about the huge Thanksgiving Feast organized by this amazing woman - Bea Gaddy, the
"Mother Teresa of Baltimore", a woman who grew up in poverty and rose above her life's challenges to become a successful advocate for human beings on our planet.

Each year I would continue to be inspired by the stories published about Bea Gaddy and her efforts. I would think to myself "I want to be like her when I grow up." She demonstrated a level of community action that touched my heart and warmed the souls of tens of thousands of people through the years. Then one day my wish began to come true.

Local Action=Following Bea Gaddy's Mission

I became involved with the Green Party when I moved to Utah in the late 90's because of everything the Green Party advocates with regards to life on earth. I became active at the national level and met many great people. One person I met from Rhode Island, Greg Gerritt, told me
about the Rhode Island Green Party organized "Winter Coat Exchange" held each year on Buy Nothing Day, the day after Thanksgiving....the heaviest shopping day of the year. This year is the 12th year for the Rhode Island event where thousands of coats are now collected and
given away. All types of community organizations have become involved. The idea: "If you need a coat, come get one. If you have a coat, we know someone who can use it." As I learned more about this event, I knew that I had to organize a sister event in Utah.

Local Action=Community Action

I had participated in Buy Nothing Day actions before. At malls and shopping places I would join dozens of activists in "anti-carol" sings, with messages about the pitfalls of consumerism, including its impact on our planet. But something just wasn't working.
Shoppers would hurry past us as we sang and any leaflets we handed out ended up on the ground. I was frustrated. There had to be something else that could be done on this day to have more of an impact. Something that would touch the hearts of people as they spent their money on material goods that day. The concept of a coat exchange was something I decided to pursue.

Local Action=Pulling people together for a common good.

The first Community Coat Exchange was held in Salt Lake City, Utah The day after Thanksgiving in 2006, with about 300 coats collected, and 100 given away. TV cameras showed up and people responded positively to the idea. The next year we collected about 400 coats and gave away 200. Last year we collected over 700 coats and gave away 600. We now have 5 collection sites. People from all walks of life participate. The event is growing. Next year we hope to have a sister event in Ogden, a city north of Salt Lake City. We have more community partners. We get some media attention, but there still seems to be more "news" at the malls where people are shopping. No matter. As we grow, we touch lives and warm hearts in our local community.

As I reflect on this growing event, this local action, I have come to realize, on a small scale and relevant to my world, that my wish has come true, thanks to everyone in my life who has influenced me - my amazing and wonderful husband, my parents, my grandmothers, my
siblings, my children and grandchildren, my wonderful friends, my Green Party colleagues from around the country, and others in the world who have inspired and influenced me.

I am growing up to be like Bea Gaddy.


My desire now is to continue to grow and serve our community in ways that all people will benefit from efforts such as the Community Coat Exchange: A local action that has made a difference to the lives of countless people....to the life of the disabled man who just
needed to talk to someone (and get a coat)....to the families of refugees who were in need of coats for the cold Utah weather....to the war vet who was struggling to get the care he needed to survive....to the women who were being sheltered in a domestic violence victim shelter and needed winter wear for their children....to the homeless men who came to stock up on winter wear for the weather in which they were forced to live....to the school children who collected coats at their schools for the event....and for the many people who realized that shopping on Black Friday was not as important as giving back to the community and taking pause to consider how to better protect and prolong the life of our planet.

Local Action=Making dreams come true. You can do it!

Ethics Reform in Utah: The People Speak

Mon, 2009-11-23 11:57

(Cross-posted at Utah Legislature Watch)

Authors at Utah Legislature Watch have posted numerous articles in the past about Utah Legislators Ethics. This year will be no exception . since even before the session begins, there is already continued talk about ethics reform.



Last week the Deseret News published an article about a bill that has come out of committee on ethics reform. the bill proposes the formation of an independent panel which would serve as a clearning house for complaints against legislators.
The proposal, allowing private citizens to initiate complaints, would bring in an independent voice to ethics enforcement on Utah’s Capitol Hill for the first time. Currently, only sitting lawmakers can bring allegations against their colleagues and the complaints are judged solely by other legislators meeting behind closed doors.
Utahns for Ethics in Government is not entirely satisfied wtih this bill, however. The group is currently working on a citizen’s initiative that would overhaul the ethics process. The article quotes member Kim Burningham,
“We still have some major concerns” regarding transparency and fairness, “We believe in a lot more openness.”
Other ethics adovcates are on board with the initiative such as Utahns for Ethical Government. There continues to be debate between these groups and legislators regarding the language and “loopholes” in the initiave. The few comments to the D-News article so far allude to legislators being nervous about handing things over to the citizens.
As well they should be. It’s time for the people to oversee the activities of their employees, the state legislators, to ensure transparency in Utah’s government.

Buttars at it again....

Fri, 2009-11-20 02:10

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)
Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, is quoted in the Desert News as saying that the recently passed ordinance (supported by the LDS church) to protect the rights of gay people with regards to housing and employment could result in “unitended consquences”.

“There’s a lot of questions. I’m not jumping to conclusions. I’m going to stand still and let the dust settle,” he said. “I haven’t changed my mind about anything, but I do believe people have fundamental human rights. All people do, and that includes the gays. But you’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t give all those unintended consequences.”
I’m not sure what Buttars means by “unintended consequences”. Could he possibly mean “unforseen”????
Besides, just what are “unintended consequences”? The article fails to quote the anit-gay Utah Senator on that.

Power to the People: Mobile Home Owners’ Rights

Mon, 2009-11-16 12:14
(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

This past Saturday mobile home owners held a rally at the Salt Lake City Library to raise their voices in support of the more than 75,000 mobile home owners in Utah. According to a piece on KCPW’s website, hundreds were expected, but snowy weather impacted the numbers which reduced to about 40, according to a Salt Lake Tribune article on the event.
Typically, mobile home owners reside in mobile home parks where the land upon which their homes sit are owned by an entity.
Data compiled by[ Steve Anderson, president of Utah Manufactured Homeowners Action Group] Anderson showed that since 2004, lot rents have risen between 15 and 87 percent, while the consumer price index rose 11.2 percent each year.
Further, landlords in the past have held the right to notify home owners with only 90 days notice of a change in hands and notice to vacate. This resulted in home owners, especially those on fixed and low incomes, to have many who had lived much of their adult lives in the same home, to scramble to find housing since moving a home is quite an expensive venture.
“We’re treated as if we’re a closed market,” Anderson said. “We’re not a closed market. We’re a captured market.”
That captive situation exists, Anderson added, because it costs up to $20,000 to relocate a manufactured home from one park to another. And many mobile-home dwellers are retirees, widows, senior citizens and veterans living on tight budgets.
After years of no action for the protection of rights of mobile home owners against landlord greed, the Utah Legislature finally last yera passed a law required land owners to provide 9 months notice of transfer of ownership and notice to vacate the premises.
The group of homeowners will continue to put pressure on legislators this year to improve the rights of persons living in mobile homes. This will include making it attainable for home owers to form cooperatives with the intent of buying out the land owners.

Food Sales Tax Saga: Continued

Sat, 2009-11-14 13:31
(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Who benefits from food sales tax breaks? Why, everyone of course. Food is a basic human right, whether you are rich or poor. Everyone must had food and must have it accessible.
But there are legislators who feel that the food sales tax break was too much of a benefit to the wealthy and therefore should be reinstated. The state’s Tax Review Commission announced its support for the restoration of the food sales tax rate an, in an article published in the Salt Lake Tribune, the chair of the commission stated:
Like the other groups endorsing the idea of restoring the full food sales tax, the commission said it sought to create a more stable, sound tax base and was not motivated by the desire to increase revenues to help plug an estimated $850 million budget deficit.
“In my mind, the real issue — in spite of the emotional effects — is efficiency,” said Commission Chairman Keith Prescott. “There’s an efficiency issue that doesn’t reach its target audience. By taking the sales tax off food, it gives too much benefit to the wealthy — an unintended, not well-thought-out result of what we got.”
Huh? Excuse me? The article continues:While consumers have enjoyed the reduced sales tax on food, implemented in January of last year, state coffers have missed out on an estimated $160 million in revenues.The commission preferred revenue refunds that would be cost-effective and easy to implement. Several options were discussed, such as tying the benefit to the federal earned income tax credit, adding a few lines on the state’s tax return or increasing the pool of food stamps. Again: Huh? This would clearly hurt struggling families and citizens living at the poverty level. Get a credit when they file their taxes? How would that help with daily needs and cash flow? It wouldn’t! Using the excuse that the sales tax on food must be raised for everyone in order for the wealthy not to be able to “get away” with that benefit is really, really lame. Don’t impose what I consider a sanction on everyone to get revenue from the wealthy. Tax the wealthy on other things such as luxuries. A luxury tax (skiing, recreational vehicles, etc.) would certainly be more in line that with the mindset that the wealthy need to be paying their relative share of taxes in this state.

**Whose** rights are being violated? Legislative session hot spot on GLBT issues

Sat, 2009-11-14 13:04
(Cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Last week Salt Lake City passed an ordinance that protects persons seeking employment and housing from discrimination because of sexual orientation.
Done deal? Not a chance. According to a Deseret News Article last week state legislators are gearing up for what promises to be once again a hot topic for the 2010 legislative session.
Government and civic leaders said Wednesday the fight will be much tougher in the conservative Legislature, though the odds of passing an anti-discrimination law may get a boost from the Mormon church’s endorsement Tuesday of the Salt Lake City Council’s ordinances. Lawmakers could do three things when they come into January’s general session: They could adopt a statewide law similar to the city’s; they could actually repeal the city ordinance and ban all other local governments from doing likewise; or they could do nothing, which would let the city ordinance stand.
Rep. Chris Johnson, D-Salt Lake will be introducing a bill much like the Salt Lake City’s passed ordinance to afford all persons equal protection with regards to housing and employment.

There are, of course, conservative legislators, ironically property owners, outspoken on the issue:

Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said he expects the issue to come up next session.
“I don’t know where it will go,” he said. “It depends on whether they try to plow new ground with it.” Waddoups said he would be willing to support legislation protecting employment and housing rights for gay Utahns if current statutes are unclear.
However, Waddoups, a property manager, said he wants the “right to protect the image of my company” against gay employees “out flaunting the gay lifestyle” during work hours. He said he also had concerns about similar behavior among his tenants. “I’m not going to put up with that on any of my properties,” Waddoups said.
Gayle Ruzicka, the president of the right wing “pro-traditional family” Utah Eagle Forum feels that property owners are now being discriminated against with regards to the right to rent property to whomever a private property owner wants:
“The housing the LDS Church owns around Brigham Young University would not have to rent to a couple living the homosexual lifestyle,” Ruzicka said.
“But I as a private property owner would, even if I disapproved of that lifestyle,” said Ruzicka. “I call that discrimination” against the property owner.
So would this mean then, that if a property owner is a racist against blacks, that their rights are being violated? How about disabled people? But wait, let’s not stop there – how about (gulp) a white woman married to a black man? Mercy me, shades of the 60’s!
The Sutherland Institute, a right wing think tank in Utah, which countered the Common Ground Initiative (a series of anti-discrimination bills) last session with its “Sacred Ground Initiative”, countered the LDS church’s support of the Salt Lake City Council’s action:
“As a public relations opportunity, the LDS Church’s statement before the Salt Lake City Council may assuage the minds and soften the hearts of ‘gay rights’ in Utah,” the Sutherland statement read. “As a policy statement, it is problematic.”
“The approved ordinances before the Salt Lake City Council are unsound in principle, clarity and effect.”

There are legislators who intend to introduce a bill that mandates that municipalities will not be able to do what Salt Lake City did in the state of Utah. This hints of the tragic legislation several years ago that mandates that cities cannot discriminate against contractors because they do not pay a living wage to their employees (overturning a Salt Lake City ordinance to prioritize hiring contractors to those which pay its employees a living wage.)


There are thousands (maybe even tens of thousands) of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender citizens in Utah. They contribute to our communities and our economy like all other citizens do. In fact, there are many successful business owners who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender. All citizens in Utah, regardless of any type of orientation, deserve equal protection under the law.

Honor Veterans with Peace

Thu, 2009-11-12 11:58
I am posting this message from a Green Party colleague in Arizona in honor of Veteran's Day which was sent to urge people to support the Green Party which is the only political party with a platform that promotes peace:


The Green Party is the Peace Party, the one voice in the political array that doesn't rely on about-face justification for continuing international violence underpinning notions of a superior calling for our nation.  What does that mean?  On Veteran's Day, what is the price of war?

I'm from a military family.  My dad went into the Navy right out of high school, and is a Pearl Harbor survivor.  After the war, he went Army, to finish his twenty years.  Growing up, I attended 13 schools before I finished 9th grade, most of them in rural villages, where the Nike missile base was a barracks for the privates, the missile "silo" was a cramped metal trailer, and the two families with kids were temporary outsiders.

Except for aunt Marianne, who was a navy nurse, the military didn't want women, so we four daughters were not expected to enlist. As a woman, I was often told I had no right to an opinion in favor of peace, unless I had a brother or a cousin in combat. Like many of you, I decided that the way you best fight war is to get there ten years beforehand, and prevent despair by fixing what was wrong.

My husband's family was also military. In their Appalachia, no one was drafted-- they were Volunteers. His dad never saw a plane close-up, til he climbed into one, to learn to fly it for WWII. He re-upped, and finished his military career by teaching ROTC, in a building on campus that a Quaker-led group, including me, would stumble into one day, and occupy long enough to pray for the dead, and the still living. My as-yet-unmet husband's only brother was among the unnamed for whom we prayed. His unarmed reconnaissance plane was shot down, the last fatality from Tucson. Until the next war.

Type your cut contents

How do we count the cost? There was the warrior's widow who, with two toddlers to raise alone, commenced a writing and publishing career with a Memorial Day article, asking for peace. She never remarried, and, she was eventually disabled with a brain tumor, and my husband and I became her caregivers. That is the part of the war that extends forever-- that the one who should be there to help, years later, is, instead, a name my hand touches on a Wall, as I touch the places where he should have been, and was not, and the differences that it made, to people I care deeply about, and people who will never even know that he existed.

How do we, in the Green Party, honor the vet, on this Veteran's day, the one who lived, the one who did not? I have marched so often over the years, stood in vigils, helped tie a ribbon around the Pentagon. I've been cheered, been ignored, been spit on by old men with VFW hats. My husband, too, had marched against the War, and, in haunting, last letters back, his brother blessed the marching.

The only "thank you" big enough for Veteran's Day is taking up the duty to find a better way.  Praise of their courage, in a speech or a flag-colored bumper sticker, is too small. Throwing one beloved corpse upon the next, to justify having thrown the first, is sad beyond grief.  The truest word is that they are lost to combat because we did not work hard enough to build a world where war was avoided, because peace was the better option.

They planted a Peace Rose on Dave's grave, but it was gone by the time we buried his wife beside him. The next year, my husband and I took my dad back to see Pearl Harbor again. And last month, my cousin Clifford's son, Aaron, was killed in Afghanistan, leaving a widow and two young children, and we all cried again.

No more names on a Wall, or bumpersticker praise for the Vet. Raise your voice. Raise our collective voices, supporting those who speak for peace, and who stand on the platform of our party to do so, and speak through the megaphone of their candidacy, and challenge the war-makers at the one place they can be displaced-- the ballot box. Ballots can unmake bullets, but only if the Party committed to peace endures, and for that, we need your support.

This is not a small thing, and we are the only political Party that does it. If our Party is silenced, then we become spectators in a stymied, broken version of democracy, and the wars go on.


How do we count the cost? There was the warrior's widow who, with two toddlers to raise alone, commenced a writing and publishing career with a Memorial Day article, asking for peace. She never remarried, and, she was eventually disabled with a brain tumor, and my husband and I became her caregivers. That is the part of the war that extends forever-- that the one who should be there to help, years later, is, instead, a name my hand touches on a Wall, as I touch the places where he should have been, and was not, and the differences that it made, to people I care deeply about, and people who will never even know that he existed.

How do we, in the Green Party, honor the vet, on this Veteran's day, the one who lived, the one who did not? I have marched so often over the years, stood in vigils, helped tie a ribbon around the Pentagon. I've been cheered, been ignored, been spit on by old men with VFW hats. My husband, too, had marched against the War, and, in haunting, last letters back, his brother blessed the marching.

The only "thank you" big enough for Veteran's Day is taking up the duty to find a better way.  Praise of their courage, in a speech or a flag-colored bumper sticker, is too small. Throwing one beloved corpse upon the next, to justify having thrown the first, is sad beyond grief.  The truest word is that they are lost to combat because we did not work hard enough to build a world where war was avoided, because peace was the better option.

They planted a Peace Rose on Dave's grave, but it was gone by the time we buried his wife beside him. The next year, my husband and I took my dad back to see Pearl Harbor again. And last month, my cousin Clifford's son, Aaron, was killed in Afghanistan, leaving a widow and two young children, and we all cried again.

No more names on a Wall, or bumpersticker praise for the Vet. Raise your voice. Raise our collective voices, supporting those who speak for peace, and who stand on the platform of our party to do so, and speak through the megaphone of their candidacy, and challenge the war-makers at the one place they can be displaced-- the ballot box. Ballots can unmake bullets, but only if the Party committed to peace endures, and for that, we need your support.

This is not a small thing, and we are the only political Party that does it. If our Party is silenced, then we become spectators in a stymied, broken version of democracy, and the wars go on.


How do we count the cost? There was the warrior's widow who, with two toddlers to raise alone, commenced a writing and publishing career with a Memorial Day article, asking for peace. She never remarried, and, she was eventually disabled with a brain tumor, and my husband and I became her caregivers. That is the part of the war that extends forever-- that the one who should be there to help, years later, is, instead, a name my hand touches on a Wall, as I touch the places where he should have been, and was not, and the differences that it made, to people I care deeply about, and people who will never even know that he existed.

How do we, in the Green Party, honor the vet, on this Veteran's day, the one who lived, the one who did not? I have marched so often over the years, stood in vigils, helped tie a ribbon around the Pentagon. I've been cheered, been ignored, been spit on by old men with VFW hats. My husband, too, had marched against the War, and, in haunting, last letters back, his brother blessed the marching.

The only "thank you" big enough for Veteran's Day is taking up the duty to find a better way.  Praise of their courage, in a speech or a flag-colored bumper sticker, is too small. Throwing one beloved corpse upon the next, to justify having thrown the first, is sad beyond grief.  The truest word is that they are lost to combat because we did not work hard enough to build a world where war was avoided, because peace was the better option.

They planted a Peace Rose on Dave's grave, but it was gone by the time we buried his wife beside him. The next year, my husband and I took my dad back to see Pearl Harbor again. And last month, my cousin Clifford's son, Aaron, was killed in Afghanistan, leaving a widow and two young children, and we all cried again.

No more names on a Wall, or bumpersticker praise for the Vet. Raise your voice. Raise our collective voices, supporting those who speak for peace, and who stand on the platform of our party to do so, and speak through the megaphone of their candidacy, and challenge the war-makers at the one place they can be displaced-- the ballot box. Ballots can unmake bullets, but only if the Party committed to peace endures, and for that, we need your support.

This is not a small thing, and we are the only political Party that does it. If our Party is silenced, then we become spectators in a stymied, broken version of democracy, and the wars go on.
vhere.

Housing and employment protections for gays and lesbians

Wed, 2009-11-11 11:56
The Salt Lake City Council has become the first Utah City to pass ordinances that will prevent unfair housing practices based on sexual orientation.

In a rare move, the LDS church attended last night's council meeting to support the ordinances.

THE LGBT community has been working hard to foster a relationship with church officals.  Progress has been made and this is a step in the right direction.

Read the Deseret News article here.

Read the text of the LDS church's statement here.

Robbing from the poor to make the poor poorer

Wed, 2009-11-11 11:48

The Deseret News reported today that two Utah Senators are pushing for a restoration of the 6+% (from the current 1.75%)  sales tax on unprepared food.

 

Senate budget chairman Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, and Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, in separate statements said it was a mistake when Utah legislators bowed to the “influence” of former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and cut the food tax.

This tax restoration would place undue burden on poor people.  Why should there be a tax on something everyone must have?

One legislator doesn’t think that such a tax would impact poor people:

 

For more than a year, Rep. Kay McIff, R-Richfield, has been trying to get lawmakers to put the tax back on food and, through other means, give tax cuts to low-income Utahns.

 

McIff says the food tax cut really didn’t help low-income Utahns that much, but instead went to large Utah families or more well-to-do Utahns who buy a lot of food — people who likely really don’t need that kind of a tax cut.

From what source does McIff get his data?  What does he mean “didn’t help low-income Utahns that much“? Where is the evidence to back such a statement?

I’m willing to bet that poor people spend most of their income on food while rich people spend a fraction of their income on food.

Taxing food is preposterous.  Don’t hurt families this way.