Category Archives: Radio Commentaries

All Good Things Have an Ending

The older I get, ten years does not seem that long ago. But ten years has passed since I christened the Mero Moment to today when I lay it to rest.

When I began these radio commentaries Barack Obama just had been nominated by his party for the presidency, something named Lady Gaga hit the stage, the Summer Olympics were in China where Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt became household names and, more importantly, the Unites States economy began to crumble. Within in a few weeks of my inaugural Mero Moment the federal government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and several major financial institutions filed for bankruptcy to begin the Great Recession of 2008. read more

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Pot Initiative Proponents and Opponents Deserve Each Other

For the past 30-something years, especially the last 18 years here in Utah, I have made freedom my business. But I guess I have not done a very good job as its advocate because even really intelligent people either do not understand it or still choose to prioritize self-interest.

Throughout these ten years of commentaries, I have described freedom in minute detail – from its essence to its processes – and, regardless of the angle, I am convinced most people (even guardians elected to serve and protect it) do not really get it. read more

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Alex Jones Is Not Worth Trashing The First Amendment

Are Facebook and Twitter responsible for the content of their users? Some people argue that both mega-companies are publishers, no different than a book company or a news agency. The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter argue they run tech companies, not newspapers.

Of course, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos runs both! Should Bezos apply the same content standards to Amazon that he does at The Washington Post? Should every non-fiction book on Amazon be held to the Post’s standard of journalistic integrity or be banned? Bezos would fire a Post reporter who lied in a story or who fudged the truth a bit. Should he also insist on dumping disreputable books from Amazon’s web site? read more

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3D-Printed Guns are a First Amendment Issue

The First Amendment is many things. One thing it is not is the Second Amendment. A Unites States senator from Florida introduced legislation that would ban the publishing of instructions on how to make a 3D-printed gun. Utah’s Senator Mike Lee blocked the bill from being considered. The 3D gun is a Second Amendment issue. Instructions on how to build it are a First Amendment issue.

The differences are so clear that I need to invoke a tag line of the cartoon dog, Droopy: “What’s all the hubbub, bub?” read more

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Charge More, Nag Less

Utah is considered a desert climate. On average, Utah receives about thirteen inches of rain every year – only Nevada receives less. Our northern back country mountains get about sixty inches while parts of southern Utah only get about five inches a year. And yet Utahns consume lots of water – the most water usage per capita in the United States.

Combine low rainfall totals with the highest usage in the nation and it is no surprise many people ring the alarm bell of water shortages this time of year. Many alarmists often pick one point in time as if that moment represents the entire picture – like a warm winter being evidence of global warming or a cold one proving the theory all wrong or how some people measure air quality during the couple of weeks of inversions every winter. read more

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Preserving the American Political Tradition is the Goal

Former FBI Director James Comey recently called on voters to elect Democrats this November saying, “Policy differences don’t matter right now. History has its eyes on us.”

And just a few weeks ago, conservative George Will authored an op-ed titled, “Vote Against the GOP this November.” Will wrote, “In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him.” read more

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We Will Be Okay

Even as I slip on my brand new “Impeach 45” t-shirt, I feel prompted to use this time to remind and assure everyone that we will be okay. America will endure well because it was constructed to endure well. Our dead white fathers were many things but, above all, they understood human nature and built a nation that could withstand tremendous shocks to its system and could repair damages in due time.

My “Impeach 45” shirt displays my concern that Trump threatens systemic elements of our constitutional republic and democratic processes. That is it. Wanting him out of office has little to do with his often-insane level of ignorance about freedom. Americans have survived a whole bunch of leaders who fit that category. The real concern is threats to freedom’s support system. read more

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Utah Education is Blind to Kids Needing It Most

As Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke laments a new poll revealing that over half of Utahns oppose a ballot initiative to raise the gas tax to increase funding for education, I wonder why Utahns fail to understand the nature of public education. A person can be pro-education and still oppose a gas tax. What a reasonable person cannot do is claim to be in favor of public schools but only the schools their children attend.

The real problem inside Utah public education is the failure to embrace all Utah children. The money is there. Utah spends more of its budget on education than any other state. The outcomes are there. Utah has higher graduation rates than states that spend as much as three times more per pupil. Utah’s middle to upper class kids do well because the entire public school system – from standardization to family structure – serves them well. read more

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Justice Kennedy Divided America

In the span of 30 years on the United States Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy changed the face of America and, in doing so, created Donald Trump and deepened our political divisions. While Justice Kennedy is receiving great accolades for many important court decisions that he authored, his legacy should be judged by his activism more than by any wisdom he provided.

Even after authoring Lawrence and Obergefell, perhaps Justice Kennedy’s greatest effrontery was his 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upholding Roe v. Wade, wherein he wrote, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Actually, at the heart of liberty is order and a broad American consensus about the meaning of human life. If he did nothing else, this concept alone makes Justice Kennedy perhaps the greatest enemy of freedom on the Court since Chief Justice Roger Taney’s Dred Scott decision. read more

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Court Rules Correctly on Sales Taxes

Since the advent of an Internet marketplace, states have been forbidden from collecting sales taxes for online purchases made out-of-state. States, such as Utah, have opted to work around that prohibition by encouraging online consumers to self-report on state tax forms and by creating direct agreements with large online sellers such as Amazon to collect taxes. But, by and large, those methods have been inefficient and unpredictable.

Well, all of that will now change with the Wayfair decision.

The United States Supreme Court just ruled that the old law governing collection of online sales taxes has become unfair and anachronistic. In a 5-4 decision, dominated by conservative justices, the Court corrected years of tax inequities and market distortions overturning its own previous decisions. read more

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