Monthly Archives: June 2009

The People of Utah

As fate would have it, I have known Joe Cannon for 30 years. Joe is the editor of the Deseret News. I met him just shortly after I joined the LDS Church in the Washington, D.C. area but before my wife, Sally, joined. He helped to teach her the Good Word every Wednesday night at 7:30 for nearly a year. In other words, he’s a good friend and I admire him greatly.

Just before Sally and I moved from DC to Provo to attend BYU, Joe pulled me aside and, in all seriousness, told me, “No matter what you see or hear out there in Utah, the Church is still true.” read more

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Privacy

In a post-911 world, privacy is an elusive ideal. The Patriot Act alone gave government broad powers to be more intrusive in our private lives. And while those powers, arguably, can become too intrusive, few people would argue that 911 didn’t change the way we think about such things.

Technology alone has changed our ideas about privacy – not James Bond-like technical advancements (although I’m sure spy equipment isn’t what it used to be), but reasonable technology designed to share information about our lives. read more

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State Tax Subsidies

Utah isn’t the only state to favor some private businesses over others. My friend, Darcy Olsen, who runs the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, recently described what’s going on in her state.

As I speak, the Arizona State Supreme Court is deciding a lawsuit to determine whether cities in Arizona can give taxpayer subsidies to private companies.

In 1910, at the state’s constitutional organizing convention, Arizona’s founders banned gifts to private companies through sad experience. In the closing decades of the 19th century, local governments borrowed money to force-feed private railroad development. Pima County outside of Tucson, for example, took out $300,000 in bonds in 1882 for a railroad that promised to build some 100 miles of track. The money was spent but the railroad dissolved after a mere 10 miles of track was constructed. The bonds were worthless, but taxpayers were still on the hook for the money. read more

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Gay Rights at the Local Level

After another round of devastating defeats at the State Legislature and now, with Jon Huntsman moving on, gay activists in Utah are trying out a new strategy. They’re focusing on more liberal city and county governments such as Summit County, home to many of the resettled California snobs in Park City and other progressives who despise historic Utah.

Last week, the Summit County Council passed a resolution in support of gay rights. Not having the political courage to call the resolution what it really is, the Council titled it “Inclusive Communities: A Vision For Common Ground.” Of course, the “common ground” portion pays homage to the gay rights group Equality Utah and their “Common Ground Initiative.” And why not? They wrote the resolution. read more

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