Sunday, December 28, 2008

YEAR END THOUGHT

In the closing days of 2008, there seems to be some distrust on my part, as to where we are going and how we are going to get there.
It is interesting to note, that oaths, do not seem to be very important now. That our word, means little, and contracts even less. And is the direction of our Country, the right direction, or just misdirection, for a slight of hand trick?
Tomorrow, when we wake up, will all of what we are seeing just be a dream? And will our youth take up the call and prepare to be the wise leaders we need, or just the followers, continuing in our circle for future destruction?

Over a couple of thousand years ago, the youth of a nation, which on the world scene, was called enlightened, took upon themselves to attach their life to an oath, which would make them better citizens as they became adults. They took this oath at the age of 17, and it followed them until they passed away. It read:

We will never bring disgrace on this our [Nation],
By an act of dishonesty or cowardice.
We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the [nation]
Both alone and with many.
We will revere and obey the [nations] laws,
And will do our best to incite a like reverence and
Respect in those above us who are prone to annul them
Or set them at naught.
We will strive increasingly to quicken the public’s sense
Of civic duty.
Thus in all these ways we will transmit this [nation],
Not only not less, but greater,
And more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

The word [city] was used in the original as it was administered to the youth of Athens Greece.

Never has there been a more defining time for all, to participate in civic duty, to fight for the constitution of this country, to honor the sacred things of our nation, and be willing to fight for the right.
To demand transparency in all aspects of leaders. To become involved in meetings, and public gatherings, and in all things to be true to specific principles that have made this country the mighty nation, it has become.

It should be the role of every citizen, to make sure we do better today, than we did yesterday. And that leaders are found, who are more interested in honor and truth, than political expediency and self serving interests.

Can the trip, we are taking on a dead end road, at break neck speed, lead us to something we have not found in previous generations? Is it right, that we expand government, but short change the involvement of people? That we allow interference from Washington, to override participation on a local level? Should the education of the people, be taken from the people, and placed on the desk of some bureaucrat?

The outlook for this country in the next year, will be the test, as to what we will become. We will either be served by those we elect, or will become their

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ARE WE DETERMINED TO REPEAT HISTORY AND BECOME EXTINCT?

The country, is facing a threat, that will change the lives of every citizen as well as future generations. And a threat of some very serious health concerns seems to be also in the future.
The homosexual agenda, is dark and sinister, and of course, fraught with problems. But those pushing this nonsense, do so, because they need a cause. And of course it does not hurt, that a liberal media is willing to push and shove this moronic agenda without any thought on what the consequences could be.

There is a serious need to make sure, that no citizen believes, that in order to be a classified as a good American, there is a need to accept everything that comes down pike, in the name of diversity or tolerance.

The Homosexuals and their moronic supporters, have only two things
they really want, and if allowed to proceed, will set in motion, events which can never be turned back, even when the real outcome will be seen and the created problems will be raging like an uncontrolled fire.

The first, is to be a protected class.
When one group receives the status of being listed as a protected class or in this case, their actions, then specific negative actions taken by people, whether intentional or unintentional, can be called discrimination.
Making homosexual behavior legal, by making sexual orientation a protected class, will allow the dangerous second issue to come into play.
This is what all the whining and marching is all about.

Sexual Orientation as a protected class, will give them the second thing, which they want more than anything else, which is, the ability to sell their bizarre, unacceptable behavior to schools, churches and the rest of our community institutions, as normal behavior. This is the light at the end of their bizarre tunnel. To quote a gay spokesperson, just last week: “we need to get people to buy off on the fact, this is normal behavior”.

When there is a questionable agenda presented, it is shown in the best light, time and time again. The press will run with it, leaders sell it, we see it in movies and on TV. It is run over and over again in order to break down the public resistance.


The public needs to think of the things, over the years, that have been allowed, under the guise of “we need to be tolerant“, and how much that has cost, and what society is currently paying. It is clear now, how it all happens. First we abhor, then we tolerate, then we accept, and then finally we embrace.
This country, contrary to the beliefs of the left, and re-writers of history, was founded on some very conservative, Christian principles.
Our forefathers said lots of things, that are used by the misinformed and the changers of facts, But regardless of how they have twisted certain statements, the founding fathers knew the principles which would work and serve, as a firm foundation for this country. These were Christian principles, founded on biblical knowledge and acceptance of that knowledge.
We now have, some so called Christians, who in an effort to show how liberal they are in their thinking, are willing to accept stupid and unsupported
Behavior, such as seen in the Homosexual agenda.
These liberal thinkers in order to promote their beliefs on homosexual behavior, use terms like; “I have one in my family, so there is nothing wrong“, “we are tolerant“, “we believe in diversity“, “we believe in equal rights“, “we do not discriminate“, and a number of other terms, to hide and justify what they are really planning on doing to society.
There is also a group of malcontents, that are best described as liberal thinkers. This group is willing to accept the homosexual agenda, because to do so, shows to themselves, they are an enlightened lot. Even if the light they are looking at is from a candle they are holding. They brag on their education, they brag how smart they are when it comes to the issues, because they are unfettered. They believe that integrity in the public process is old, and not in vogue.
As a group, they have no use for religion. They even have designs on re-writing history to their own very narrow view.
It will be this same group, once the homosexuals are accepted, that will push for child molesters and pedophiles to be protected classes as well.

People now must understand, that being at a crossroads in this country, requires people with integrity, high morals and a belief in the principles the founding fathers espoused, that made this country great and gave rights and privileges, that are held so dear.

Surprisingly, the conservative voice, is a more controlled voice on the issues.
It is the other groups, such homosexuals and others, that have the loud voices, and because of these loud voices, they get most of the media attention on their issues. The homosexual agenda, is now getting that attention, not because it is right, but because it sells.

Citizens everywhere must look at this homosexual agenda for what it really is. See it in the light of day, with clear, wide open eyes. Just because homosexuals are loud, does not make them right. The out come of this tussle, will determine if our society will continue to exist and has a future.

Remember, that before you were an adult, you were a child, and you were a child because two people, a male and a female, married and produced the child.
There is no way in nature, where two men will produce anything such as a child, and it also goes for females.

The history of the world, has shown, where the homosexual agenda was allowed to continue, the society fell apart and ceased to exist. Even to this day, there are many countries that do not allow homosexuals within their borders. They fully understand history, and therefore do not want to repeat it.
No one should be deceived into believing that “wrong is right” regardless of "THE LOUDNESS OF THE VOICES".

Friday, October 31, 2008

TRUTH CAN BE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Every so often, an article comes along, well written, with the facts and the truth on an issue, which can be supported by minutes, records, both private and public. This is one of those articles. Research on the dates, the names and the participants mentioned in this article have proven to be factual.
The Wasatch Current is proud to recommend this article and gives Mr. Wells full credit.


On the eve of what may be the most important election of our time, the financial catastrophe that many believe will most influence Tuesday's vote remains only partially covered by the major media. IBD has run many articles and editorials on the mortgage meltdown, including a 7,500-word history from Web magazine American Thinker on Thursday. This timeline is condensed from that article, written by M. Jay Wells. It lays out the essential facts of the crisis, which at its heart is a tale of misguided government intervention rather than a failure of free-market capitalism, as argued by presidential candidate Barack Obama.

1933-38
President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated "New Deal" reform programs designed to affect the mortgage market and homeownership. Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, was established to facilitate liquidity among lending institutions.
1968
As part of President Johnson's Great Society reform plan, much of Fannie Mae became a privately owned yet government-chartered company, a government-sponsored enterprise, or GSE. Fannie Mae bought home loans to preserve liquidity in the mortgage market. Though private, it remained backed by the federal government.

1970
President Nixon chartered Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, as a GSE to compete with Fannie Mae.

1977
President Carter, pressed by grass-roots organizations (though opposed by the banking industry) signed the Community Reinvestment Act to boost lending in poorer communities, regardless of the borrowers' ability to repay their home loans.

August 1989
Amid the savings and loan fallout, Congress enacted the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act. It mandated public release of lender evaluations and performance ratings, boosting pressure on the banking industry. Such oversight enabled bullying abuses of community organization groups such as ACORN to further influence lending practices.

1990s
Community organizer Barack Obama worked closely with ACORN activists. Employing the intimidation tactics of radical activist Saul Alinsky that Obama had learned and was teaching, activists crowded bank lobbies, blocked drive-up teller lanes and demonstrated at the homes of bankers to browbeat them into risky lending in poor and minority communities. Those who resisted were accused of racism.
At first, the GSEs resisted purchasing risky mortgages. Eventually the Clinton administration instructed them to substantially increase the percentage of these mortgages in their portfolios.

February 1990
Madeline Talbott, a well-known radical ACORN leader and banking industry agitator, challenged the merger of a Chicago thrift, Bell Federal Savings and Loan Association, which responded that it was being bullied into irresponsible "affirmative-action lending policy."

1992
Enforcement of CRA was "sporadic," as the Washington Times notes, until a flawed Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study asserted that there were "substantially higher denial rates for black and Hispanic applicants than for white applicants."

October 1992
Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, warned about the impending danger nonregulated GSEs posed. He worried that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were changing "from being agencies of the public at large to money machines for the stockholding few."
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., countered that "the companies served a public purpose. They were in the business of lowering the price of mortgage loans."

November 1994
President Clinton addressed the housing issue: "I am committed to a new and unprecedented partnership between industry leaders and community leaders and government to recommit our nation to the idea of homeownership and to create more homeowners than ever before."

June 1995
Republicans won control of Congress and planned CRA reforms. The Clinton administration, allied with Frank, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did an end-around by directing HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo to inject GSEs into the subprime mortgage market.

1997
Cuomo said, "GSE presence in the subprime market could be of significant benefit to lower-income families, minorities and families living in underserved areas."

1998
By falsifying signatures on Fannie Mae accounting transactions, $200 million in expenses was shifted from 1998 to later periods, thereby triggering $27.1 million in bonuses for top executives.

April 1998
HUD announced a $2.1 billion settlement with AccuBanc Mortgage Corp. for alleged discrimination against minority loan applicants. The funds would provide poor families with down payments and low-interest mortgages.

Fall 1999
Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers issued a warning: "Debates about systemic risk should also now include government-sponsored enterprises, which are large and growing rapidly."

September 1999
With pressure from the Clinton administration, Fannie Mae eased credit requirements on loans it would purchase from lenders, making it easier for banks to lend to borrowers unqualified for conventional loans.

2000
The Senate Banking Committee estimated that, as a result of CRA, $9.5 billion had gone to pay for services and salaries of ACORN and other organizers.

Winter 2000
The City Journal warned that the Clinton administration had turned CRA into "a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks," committing $1 trillion for mortgages and development projects, most of it funneled through the community organizers.

March 2000
Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., proposed a bill to reform Fannie and Freddie's oversight in a House subcommittee on capital markets. Rep. Frank dismissed the idea, saying concerns about the two were "overblown" and there was "no federal liability there whatsoever."

June 2000
Competitive Enterprise Institute President Fred L. Smith Jr. on the Treasury Department's $2 billion line of credit to Fannie and Freddie: "As long as the pipeline is there, it is like it is very expandable. . . . It is only $2 billion today. It could be $200 billion tomorrow." Because of Democrat obfuscation, Smith's "tomorrow" arrived in 2008, when Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson put Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship.

April 2001
The White House, releasing the 2002 budget, declared that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is "a potential problem" because "financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting federally insured entities and economic activity."

February 2003
Fannie and Freddie's regulator warned that unexpected problems at a GSE could immediately spread into financial sectors beyond the housing market.

June 2003
Freddie Mac reported it had understated its profit by $6.9 billion.

July 2003
Sens. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and John Sununu, R-N.H., introduced legislation to address regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill was blocked by Democrats.

September 2003
Treasury Secretary John Snow testified that Congress should enact "legislation to create a new federal agency to regulate and supervise the financial activities of our housing-related government-sponsored enterprises" and set prudent and appropriate minimum capital adequacy requirements. But Rep. Frank replied: "I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis."

October 2003
Fannie Mae disclosed a $1.2 billion accounting error.

November 2003
Greg Mankiw, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, warned: "The enormous size of the mortgage-backed securities market means that any problems at the GSEs matter for the financial system as a whole. "

September 2004
Regulators reported that Fannie Mae and CEO Franklin Raines had manipulated the agency's accounting to overstate its profit. Fannie Mae ran radio and TV ads ahead of a key Senate committee meeting, depicting a Latino couple who fretted that if the bill passed, mortgage rates would go up. Again, GSE pressure prevailed.

October 2004
Rep. Baker again warned about the coming crisis: "Although their bonds bear the disclaimer 'not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government,' the market does not believe it and looks right past the companies' risk strategies to the taxpayers' pockets."
Rep. Waters said: "Through nearly a dozen hearings . . . we were trying to fix something that wasn't broke. . . . We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines."
Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.: "And you have about 3% of your portfolio set aside. If a bank gets below 4%, they are in deep trouble. So I just want you to explain to me why I shouldn't be satisfied with 3%?"
Fannie Mae CEO Raines: "Because . . . there aren't any banks who only have multifamily and single-family loans. These assets are so riskless that their capital for holding them should be under 2%."

January 2005-July 2006
Sen. Hagel, with Sens. Sununu and Dole and later Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reintroduced legislation to address GSE regulation.
Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan testified that the size of GSE portfolios "poses a risk to the global financial system. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to bail out the lenders (GSEs) . . . should one get into financial trouble."

January 2006
Greenspan, in a letter to Sens. Sununu, Hagel and Dole, warned that the GSEs' practice of buying their own mortgage-based securities "creates substantial systemic risk while yielding negligible additional benefits for homeowners, renters or mortgage originators."

March 2006
Sens. Sununu and Hagel introduced an amendment to a Lobbying Reform Bill directing GAO to study GSE lobbying and requiring HUD to audit the GSEs annually.

May 2006
After years of Democrats blocking legislation, Sens. Hagel, Sununu, Dole and McCain wrote a letter to Majority Leader Bill Frist demanding that GSE regulatory reform be "enacted this year" to avoid "the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."
John McCain addressed the Senate: "Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae's regulator reported that the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were 'illusions deliberately and systematically created' by the company's senior management.
"Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator's examination of the company's accounting problems. . . . OFHEO's report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay."

April 2007
Sens. Sununu, Hagel, Dole and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., reintroduced legislation to improve GSE oversight.
The New York Times wrote that the "democratization of credit" is "turning the American dream of homeownership into a nightmare for many borrowers." The "newfangled mortgage loans" — called affordability loans — "represent 60% of foreclosures."

September 2007
President Bush: "These institutions provide liquidity in the mortgage market that benefits millions of homeowners, and it is vital they operate safely and operate soundly. So I've called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens independent regulation of the GSEs. . . . The United States Senate needs to pass this legislation soon."

2007-08
The housing bubble began to burst, bad mortgages began to default, and finally the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac portfolios were revealed to be in collapse. And the testimony is evident as to why.
As Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute put it, "Fannie and Freddie were . . . the poster children for corporate welfare."

September 2008
Rep. Arthur Davis, D-Ala., now admits Democrats were in error: "Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues, I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie: We were wrong."

Today 2008
The narrative is of another failed socialist experiment, this time a massive federal effort imperiling the whole U.S. banking industry.
Top recipients of contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since 1989:
• Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.: $165,400.
• Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.: $126,349.
• Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.: $42,350.

Monday, October 27, 2008

WILL THEY EVER GET IT?

Once again, the Utah State Legislature has shown just how little they regard the citizens, they are supposed to serve, and how little they regard each other as well.
It is quite obvious they have real problems. And of course some of these are not going away, anytime soon. And hiding them is going to be a big problem for the future as well.
It is amazing to the casual observer, that a group of people, who should be on the errand to do the peoples business, are more concerned with back stabbing, saying off the wall things and then when caught, claiming they were out of context. The uncivilized talk, actions and then masquerading as servants is getting really old. There are some wonderful people in our Legislature, But they need to do more, than be wonderful people.
There are two things, that most, wish the legislature would finally get;
Number one, the citizens need some serious action on the problems with out the dramatics. The halls of the capitol are not stages. And Number two, is it too much to ask, that you just do your duty, and represent the people with the intentions to do your best with what you have? It would seem, that some of the antics that are going on, show the need for a ring master.
The latest, stupid, moronic act, is the one involving Hughes and Riesen. Hughes is a Republican. Not a smart one, but a Republican never the less. So in his stumbling, and doing his imitation of Statesmanship, he gets himself involved with those, who could do him harm. Never allowing his brain to realize, that if he is involved with anything that could open the door for the Democrats to have a field day with the Media, they would do it. He needed to remember, that backslapping between the parties, in public and private, are practice slaps, until the knife is in the hand. So he says something, He does something, He opens the door for the Media to be used, which they are good at, to make problems for him. He is his own worst enemy.
And then along comes, a trouble maker by the name of Phil Riesen, who in an effort to try and mend fences with the media, which really have no use for him, due to things he has said and done, while trying to impress the lesser lights of management on a few TV stations,. He is desperate to show he has value, he not only wants to make a problem, from one Democrat to a Republican, but get his name in the paper, and try and sure up, his sagging credibility with the press. This guy releases information, that he has no idea if it is factual or truthful.
So, in the massive Chest game we call a legislature, we end up with a committee meeting, which in the end, accomplished nothing. Wasted a lot of time and energy, not to mention the money, to agree to disagree over the conduct of knaves, who will never be knights.
For the people, it is checkmate, end of game. Do we start a new game in January?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

THE BAILOUT, WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT.

The questionable collapse on Wall Street of some of the largest players in the banking and mortgage industry, should raise a number of questions, and be a cause, not for panic, but of review, of our personal finances. It has been repeated over and over, that the devil’s is in the details. And it is these details, some glossed over, some buried, and some ignored, that every business, home owner and consumer, should make a concerted effort, to understand. Make no mistake, this bail out, whether you are for it or against it, is going to cost taxpayers for years to come. And if it does not work, it is quite possible, that we could go into a deep dark depression, that will take years to recover from.
There are those who believe we need to do something, if nothing more that to make sure, other countries are paid and paid in full. There are those, who believe, that government should take over the financial markets, and create another layer of government intrusion which would control the financial dealings of everyone.
Why is this happening now?
The money people, those that invest, lend and buy investments, have exceeded their ability, to control their debts. The timing has been off. And much of the money, everyone thought was going to be available, has not made it to the table. The financial markets are out of control, and getting ready to crash. The cause is poor planning, greed, poor timing, and manipulation of investments for the quickest return, with higher yields, which created the greatest risk. And now, things are out of control.
Why are we seeing the biggest of the biggest, now in financial ruin?
The greed factor, along with shaky loans, and housing down turns, caused these giants in the market, to borrow more and more, with the hope, that conditions would turn around, and the loans could be paid back. Such desirable conditions did not materialize, creating a problem of too much borrowing, and then robbing Peter to pay Paul, with promises of tomorrow. Many of the larger firms were left holding the sack, so to speak, and unable to capture the returns necessary, in real money to continue.
The firms were free and easy when the market was working and money was plentiful. And like the ant and the grasshopper story, when hard times hit, they were not prepared to weather the storm.
Will the Government do something? And what are they going to do?
Depending on who you want to listen too, there are some misguided souls, who believe the problem is government, or the lack of government involvement in Wall Street. But the truth, is, if the government would not have tried to be a banker, would not have inflated the currency, and drowned the market in printed money, so the money supply was too plentiful with out much backing, the whole mess would not have happen. What is the government going to do? They will do a fix. Temporary at best, short sighted, and with more political wrangling than necessary. Citizens will find, no end to attachments for the fix, by those whose job it is, to do something.
What started out as a simple agreement last year to lend money to the largest banks and brokerage houses, who were short of cash, turned into a money pit. The loans were not enough.
In March of this year, Bear Stearns, due to greed, poor practices, inside wrangling, found themselves out of options, and out of money. The Feds ( the Federal Reserve) stepped in and arranged a 30 billion loan, which made it possible for a buyer to step in. The Buyer was JP Morgan, the purchase was made with taxpayer dollars, at less than true value of the company and the stock. JP Morgan, made the sweetest deal of any business in 2008.
And now panic has set in, and we see Fannie Mae and Mac, Lehman Bros, Merrill Lynch and the insurance company, AIG. All facing cash short falls. The Federal Reserve, did not have the money necessary to bail out the problems, so they effectively went to the people (the actual Government) and borrowed more money from the treasury. What they borrowed, with what they had already put into this so called saving deal, will exceed one Trillion Dollars.
With this sweet, sweet deal, one must ask, where did all the money go, the companies had? The question is valid, the answer is hard. In truth, some was lost due to shaky loans, inflated home values that did not exist, and in many cases, the money never did exist.
Defaults on loans, foreclosures on homes, due to falling prices, and large unrealistic loans, thereby producing deals, in which home owners owed more on their house, than it was worth. People were falling behind for a myriad of reasons, on every loan from cars, credit cards, homes, business and the personal loan, which had no backing of product.
Now the government comes along with a 700 billion bail out, which will go to one trillion. There are those who believe home owners, should be bailed out of bad loans. And on the other side, are those who believe, home owners are the problem, and they should take the brunt of the financial collapse.
But the main player in all of this problem is greed. And to reward greed, is to go against common sense, and fair play. But the Government, is now in a position, that politically, they must do something. As to what, when and how, remains to be seen. But this is certain, taxpayers should pay attention to the details. They should view with skepticism anything that sounds to good to be true. And the last thing, which is the most important, taxpayers will pay, regardless of the fix. And we can count on seeing increases in taxes, a refusal to continue the Bush tax cuts, and blame from the misinformed on everything, from the War to Social Security, but no one will have the intestinal fortitude, to attack the greed factor, and allow those who are greedy, to lose.

( ASSOCIATED PRESS, MSNBC AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

WOW! WHY NOW?

A recent article in the Deseret News, quotes Senator Howard Stephenson, on how he and other members of the legislature, are going on the attack, to challenge the media, to prove everything the media may say, which could be construed as negative, about the legislature and its members.
Perhaps, the good Senator and his fellow members of the legislature, have forgotten, that deeds in the past, have placed them in this ugly spot light and this jousting with the media, may turn into a run and hide exercise for the legislature.
Recent events in the Legislature by the leadership and others, have demonstrated, that in many cases, the Utah legislature, may be out of touch with the very citizens, they were elected to serve.
And the lack of connection, may be the reason, the Legislature feels picked on and disrespected.
Everyone realizes, that mistakes can be made . Some are by omission and confession on these indiscretions are soon forgotten. But the acts of co-mission, they are different. They should carry a heavy penalty. Those who participate in this activity, should not ask if, but how the media will expose them, along with all the participants. On this matter, the press should not leave any stone unturned in the exposure of who, when, what and how.
Instead of whipping up the members of the legislature to spend their time and energy in a cause that has been brought on by themselves, due to the lack of transparency, closed doors, and deals with lobbyists, there are much better pursuits. And one of those, would be to read the bills. And if the legislative process must go slower to accomplish this, and some of the pet projects do not get approval, then so be it.
A careful review of some of the actions in the past, with the resulting criticism, should offer to Senator Stephenson evidence, the plan to fight the press is ill conceived, and will just lead to more time wasting effort.
The press will do what the press does.
Here is a reminder of some bills passed, which have left a bad taste in the mouths of many and caused the media to snoop around in their microscopic review..
1. How can anyone forget, House Bill 466. Put together by a lobbyist and soul selling attorney.
Citizens in Garfield and Wasatch, have taken the brunt of this misstep. The town of Daniel, has and will be spending in the future, precious tax dollars to defend themselves, from fools, and legislative foolishness. With out going into detail, the biggest disappointment, is the Legislature, who are sworn to defend, to be honest, etc, etc., passed this bill without even a whimper. And when asked why, confessed they had not read it. But it passed unanimously. Enough said.
2. Senate Bill 81 a bill that would start a process of removing illegal activity. In reducing the financial pressures on citizens and the taxes they pay. The bill passed, but then panic set in. The legislature started to listen to some loud but obnoxious voices, who really were short on intelligence and long on words. The legislature decided to allow the bill not to become law until 2009. And in the mean time, a committee was selected to hold hearings through out the state. The Legislature instead of taking ownership, wanted to find excuses to make changes and modifications to placate the selected few. Towards this effort, a preponderance of groups opposed to the law, to start with, were allowed to wring their hands, and bleed their heart at hearings. Very little time was given to those who supported this bill. And in fact, experts, came to town to discuss the experiences in other areas, with similar problems, and they were given five to seven minutes to respond. It became obvious from the beginning, the legislature had no intention of allowing this bill to become law, until it could be changed and watered down.
Gee! Senator Stephenson, you are complaining about the press? What about the citizens, that will be left unprotected, from the horde of illegal’s, coming to our state and taking the benefits, that others have worked so hard to achieve. In this case, the press is your friend, and perhaps you should not bite the hand, that will give you support, from enforcing the important parts of this law.
3. There are many others, but this column would be remiss, if the subject of ethics was not mentioned. Ethic reforms have been on the mind of citizens for a number of years, but low and behold, not on the mind of the Legislature. The fact, that such a bill can not see the light of day, is telling. Gifts from lobbyists and others, seems to be the guiding light as to what laws are proposed. Influence from lobbyists seem to hold more sway than the feelings of the citizens.
So the legislature is unhappy with, what they believe are unfair attacks on their value as a whole, and the leadership? With what has taken place, could you expect anything less?
It seems that perhaps a house cleaning is in order in the next election.
Forget about the press. Represent the citizens. Return the gifts. Read the proposals before they are voted on. Become transparent. Stop the closed meetings. Do the right things for the right reasons. And remember, "just because you can, does not always translate," that you should"
So some still want to do battle with the press? Sometimes the best defense in dealing with the press is the silent treatment. Try it, before you spend too much time on the taxpayers nickle. The voters will be watching.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

ELECTION INFORMATION

In the last election, there were lots of discussion regarding those who were running for office in Wasatch and the surrounding counties.
This post was criticized for not giving the information sooner rather than later. In an effort, to silence the critics, if that is possible, this post will be discussing the candidacy of of all those running, whose election could have a positive or negative impact on the citizens.
The author of this blog, does not profess to have a crystal ball, with all the answers, and in many cases, is not committed to one party or the other, but to character, because good government, requires good people, and contrary to some of the accepted norms, not all the good people are found in one party. Of course with that said, there have been some disappointments, when we thought we were electing the best in a particular race, and found when in office, they were the same as the scoundrel, that was sent packing.
When it comes to politics, newcomers to the process, must be prepaid for the possibility of disappointment and disbelief.
Stay tuned for the latest.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WILL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST EVER GO AWAY?

Evidently, discussions of existing conflicts of interest within the walls of and on the boards of, Heber City, seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Issues of such behavior, have largely been ignored, and in fact, have been encouraged by those who should know better.
The City Manager has concluded that if these conflicts are ignored, which based on e-mails, seems to be his solution, they will go away.
Conflicts of interest seem to be found in some of the most important places of city government. There are severe conflicts of interest on the board of Adjustments. There are people serving on this board that are using this service to enhance their position before the City Manager and the City council and in fact there is even one who will be working for the city in the coming weeks. There are many little committees, many whose existence is neither known of , or sanctioned by citizens, where those with conflicts, are allowed to ply their trades, to influence and persuade, for their own personal gain.
The mayor of Heber city has used his appointive power, with advice and consent of the City Manager to appoint only those, that will continue the influence of the mayor and manager and ensure a particular out come. A classic example of this, seems to be how the public has been treated when it comes to the fence ordinance. There have been citizens, whose rights to a speedy conclusion on this matter have been compromised and ignored. The Board of Adjustment for 25 years has obeyed the law, as it pertains to resolving issues within 30 days as outlined in the Heber City Code as it relates to issues before the Board of Adjustments. Now, those with conflicts of interests, an engineer, an architect with assistance of those who will not read the code but rely on others for their information, have decided, with the help of the City Manager and the Planning Department, that today, this law does not apply. So now because of these people with such severe conflicts of interest, in which the City Manager has refused to address and the Mayor has refused to consider, are now putting their uninformed opinions on the law, at the expense of the rights of Citizens.
To solve this injustice, will require a lawsuit, which, based on information now received, will be instituted. Talk and reasonableness has not been able to get City Officials to do the right thing. Perhaps, a lawsuit will. And if the citizens prevail. Can we hope, that part of the settlement will mean the end of those who have prostituted their position for personal gain.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

THE NEED FOR A CITIZENS LEGISLATURE

The founding fathers of America, like the founding fathers of the state of Utah, believed that citizens, should have no entanglements, and if that was the fact, they would and should provide the answers and the solutions associated with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that would come before the legislature.

But as government continued, a few groups discovered, their potential service in the legislature, could be a means, to personal enrichment. They also discovered, their actions could produce influence and acceptance for future use for themselves and a selected group of friends. And stepping over the line between what should be done, and what was eventually done, did not pose any serious problems for them.

Much of this unseemly behind the scenes manipulation in the beginning, was done in secret. Meetings in back rooms, were conducted, and sweetheart deals were struck. Associations were formed and secret societies were constituted. Of course later, and as in our day, these associations came out of the closets, showed themselves, and after extensive public relation projects, were accepted by the citizens. It became obvious, that first, these groups were abhorred, later they were tolerated, then accepted, and now we find people from all walks of life, fully accepting and embracing their agendas and methods.
Surprisingly, this acceptance has been done in a blinding, look the other way configuration, that allows wrong doing to be winked at, with the hope, that even with all the wrong, there may be some good that will fall from the table, and allow citizens to have some participatory expressions, in all the wrangling.

In the Federalist Paper Number 25, Alexander Hamilton wrote: “For it is a truth, which experience of ages has attested that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those with whom they entertain the lest suspicion.”

In the legislature, there are people that are well known, and very respected. But even such fondness, must not become a toleration or an acceptance of any questionable action that may take place. In many cases, there is a need to be suspicious of actions, conditions, and some of the compromising that may be seen. Suspicions need to be enlightened by asking the right questions, and educating oneself on the issues. Realizing the potential for deal making, posturing due to position and the increases of advantage while injuring a people in a process that was created by the founding fathers of the State, who knew and believed it was inspired by a higher power is very real.

Abuse of power, of specific groups, has continued and seems to have, not only been more acceptable, but more devious and destructive.
What are the groups, that people should shun as elected representatives? There are not many, but those who fall in these groups, destroy the process, the honesty of the process, and the outcome. These groups take it upon themselves to make decisions and support the decisions, not based on what is best for the people, but what is best for the associates of these groups. And of course, what would be the best out come for “ME”.

A Large group, that over the years, has caused suffering and loss is the Attorneys that are sent to the legislature as representatives and lobbyists. Many times people believe, because one of the groups are Attorneys, they would practice fair play, and seek outcomes that would be in the best interest of the people. Nothing can be further from the truth. Attorneys, for the most part, and there are some exceptions, measure their action, not in goodness, not in fair results, but in dollars and cents. Those of this group, that brag they are part of the Trial Lawyers Association, always look at every law, in the light, as, what it will bring, in terms of money in litigation.

Have we seen tort reform? Have we seen ease for regular citizens being able to use the courts and the law? Of course not. Attorneys are not for ease, but for making it hard and costly to seek a solution to misunderstandings between people.

The Law that was created in a previous legislature, HB 466, was the product of three players, and one just happen to be an attorney.
The people can not afford, to send such, to represent them. And doing so, places citizens in jeopardy of losing rights, representation and generally being cast aside in a process that should be pure and unadulterated.

Another group that has caused so much grief and cost, some hidden until later, and in some cases, costs that must born upfront, are educators and those who profess to be the friends or the fair-haired supporters of education.

A careful review, of the union goals for education, shows, of everything they list, the top is the money, the bottom are the students.

When citizens, although in good faith, send educators to the legislative process and ask them to serve, like the attorneys, they seem to loose sight as to why they were sent and who they represent. They start participating in a process, that sends money, in most cases without strings, to associates and friends of education. They will not support substantial changes in many issues, unless they can attach conditions to pending legislation, that will benefit education, regardless, if it will work or not. Usually it is not the end result, that is the most important to the product, but the spending and the allowance of those to spend the funds of the taxpayer without adequate checks and balances.

Sending this group to represent the average citizen in the legislature, has created unsupported drains, acceptance of increase power, and private deal making, ever making the education unions a lot stronger, with less and less transparency.

Like the Attorneys, educators and their friends, have created more problems, than have been solved. It is not that education is wrong or that spending the money on education does not value, but the people need to know really what is happening and understand how their taxes are being spent and by whom. And there is always the need for transparency.

Another group, are the developers and their associates. Unlike the groups of attorneys and educators, the developers hide little, but spend big dollars, in support of votes for their particular legislation, that in many cases is overriding what seems to be the will of the people. This group has produced legislation that Interferes in competent land use referendums and generally ignores the needs of people as it pertains to zoning, and the implementation of growth restrictions in particular areas.

In the last legislative process, as in times past, the people have been short changed, deceived, and led down the garden path. The many outcomes of developer sponsored legislation, has proven to be costly, without merit, and dangerous to current and future citizens alike.
The final group, that seems to be more dangerous, more deceitful, and more ominous than the other three groups, are the lobbyists. This group is without conscience, usually with out integrity and morality.
When they do what they do, it is with the idea, that all things are “fair in love and war”. They have a tendency to give even smoky room deal making a bad reputation.
Money to this group is just a means to the final result. Anything goes seems to be their motto. But the point must be made, that without the support of the members of the legislature, lobbyists would be out of a job.

The need for a citizen legislature, is more important today, than at any time in our history.
In 1855, in writing a treatise on government, John Taylor wrote:
“We believe that legislators ought to be chosen on account of their intelligence, honor, integrity, and virtue and not because they belong to some particular.. Clique.”

When citizens go to the polls, there is a need for intelligence, understanding of the problems that are being faced. There is a need to send a citizen to be our representative from Wasatch County, without entanglements, without promises, believing that transparency in service is not just a talking point, but a reality.

Wasatch County may never have another opportunity, like this.
We need a citizen legislature not business as usual. If people really want change in the legislature, then citizens must be sent, not those groups that put themselves first. Give citizens a chance to represent citizens.

Friday, February 29, 2008

POWER OF AN APPOINTED OFFICIAL OVER AN ELECTED OFFICIAL

I have waited for sometime to post this. But a couple of incidents have occurred, which made it necessary so everyone can understand what is going on in Heber City Utah. And why so many citizens are asking the most important question of the day: "Where are the people who have been elected to run this City, and why have they not done their duty and perfected their service?"

Another firestorm has been started by the questionable actions of the Heber City Manager. It seems he has forgotten his role as a City Manager or is he the Mayor?
Give him though, the benefit of the doubt, supposedly he has been subbing for the Mayor for a long time. And it is easy to see how he could be confused.

In one breath he is called the City Manager and in the next, the Mayor gives him the Mayor’s authority, a very confusing situation for everyone. The Mayor delegates his power?
This type of delegation, brings up a very interesting question. Can a sitting Mayor delegate his power to a non-elected official?

In trying to answer this question, the Heber City Municipal Code must be reviewed. In 2.08.020, item A, we find the following: “The mayor shall preside at all meetings and in case of the mayor’s temporary absence or disability, the City Council shall elect one of its number to act as mayor pro tem, who during such absence or disability, shall possess the power of mayor.”
Many usually interpret this statement to apply to the weekly meetings. But, could it be construed, to also mean, the council has the mayor’s authority when the Mayor is out of the City, and therefore, he, meaning the mayor, cannot confer such power, to a non-member of the city council or one who is not elected?

In looking for the duties of the City Manager, we read the following from the Heber City Code: 2.14.040, item3. “The governing body may not delegate to the manager: The mayors’ legislative or judicial powers;”
Now, if the Council cannot delegate to the manager, the power of the mayor, can the mayor delegate to the city manager, the mayor’s power?
Keep in mind the meaning of “judicial”, which according to Black’s Law Dictionary is: “An act which involves exercise of discretion or judgment.”
Now, if the mayor cannot confer his power, and the City Council cannot confer their power, or the power of the mayor to the City Manager, where would he get his power to hire someone, without the advice and consent of the City Council?

Once again, the City Manager of Heber City has demonstrated his propensity to violate the limits of his power and move into dangerous territory that demonstrates his belief that he is a King rather than a Servant.

Now everyone can see what the latest firestorm is all about. The City Manager, without advice and consent of the City Council, has taken upon himself to hire an Airport Manager.
The mayor’s office or even the City Council will not be able to cover the City Manager on this issue. It is obvious, the activities of the City Manager in the hiring, did not include the advice and the consent of the Mayor or the City Council. And if they did not advise or consent, will they do so after the fact, to save the City Manager?
And now citizens are finding out, the new appointee has at least two relatives already working for the City. Does that look right?

The bigger question must be raised again: Where is the City Council on this issue? This is not the first time, the City Manager, has gone off on a crusade and done his thing.

Heber Citizens should know, the current city manager, by virtue of the Heber City Code, regarding the city manager, which our current manager wrote, gives him more power than any other City Manager in the State of Utah.
Careful reading of 2.14.040, sections D, E, F, G, H, I, and J. Show we do not need a City Council, a Mayor and a few other people. The city manager is empowered to do it all.
But is he? It seems City Managers will do as much as they can get away with, so unless there are some sharp, knowledgeable, elected officials to supervise, and make sure the law is obeyed, City Managers run amok.

One of the problems the citizens have, is the city manager, by the current code, is allowed to serve as a non-elected council person, but with out any accountability to citizens who supposedly he was appointed to serve.

The Mayor, it seems, is unwilling or unable to control or otherwise resolve the issues found in this City.
And where are the five that were elected to serve. At this point, they seem to be rubber stamps and simple “yes” people. Perhaps in the present environment, that is now found in Heber City Government, the citizens may be seeing the reason the present council is not needed. The people can get tape recorders to say “yes” at the right time.

And what about the City employees, who have had to endure the ravings of the City Manager. The employees, according to sources, have been threatened with their jobs if they speak to the press or talk to anyone outside of the City office. It must be evident to some people, that Heber City Government has grown faster in the percentages, than the population. Is this evidence of some ole fashioned kingdom building or poor government?

Between the problems the city is having with fences, which the City Manager has put in his two-cents, and tried to run roughshod, with staff and other misguided individuals, over certain boards plus threatening employees, changing items that have come from the planning commission to the city council (remember they are the board, the only board, of recommendation to the Heber City Council), hiring without the advice and consent of the City council. Manipulation of funds, so it appears, that we need a tax increase, yet, there seems to be enough seed money to build a new city hall. And the loss of employees, plus the hiring practices of requiring more from an applicant, but hiring less. It is time for the City Council to come to the aid of the citizens, show they care and they want to do the right thing. Perhaps, part of the right thing may mean sending Mr. Anderson down the road. And at the same time taking control of the Mayor until the next election. And this needs to be done quickly, so the city Manager does not get another three-year contract, which the citizens will have to pay for.

The call is now out for the City Council to do their job. Investigate the problems, correct them, and houseclean as well. Anything less, will demonstrate to the citizens, what many have suspected for some time, the current administration does not care. They are not in charge. And they love using rubber stamps.

The citizens of Heber City, elected three new faces on the Council. Where are they? Investigating that issue, shows the citizens may have made a mistake. We are seeing no service. No questioning of what is going on. No obvious taking control. So unless things change, the citizens may have been better off leaving the old council people in place.

The plea is, the City Council should start taking control. Let the citizens know, you are there to do the right thing. Get rid of 2.14 of the city code and if you elect to hire another manager, make sure he knows his place and understands the law that he will be operating under.
And perhaps, maybe the people will start to have confidence in their elected officials.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A RACIST BEHIND EVERY TREE

I suppose that I would be remiss, if I did not make one more final comment on a mole hill, that has now been allowed to be a mountain.

The press in Utah, must have a real political agenda, even though the respective editors suggest that no such thing really exists.

What I want to mention, is the tempest in a tea pot, that involves a member of the legislature and something that he said, which some claim, offended them.

And the organization that seems to be getting the most press out of this, is the Utah local NAACP. And of course in their righteous indignation, they are calling for the resignation of this legislator.

The real question is, will the people of Utah allow the most racist organization in Utah, dictate any policy or action? And will the Legislature, in an effort to be their friend, cave-in to such foolish and unwarranted demands?

The local chapter of NAACP mirrors the same insane mind set, as the national organization. And one must be reminded how that mind set really works.

The use of any word they find distasteful, is considered racist by this group. The courts are considered racist. The government, both federal, state and local are considered by them, as racist. And above all, they have a propensity to use all this nonsense, to make money, and to see how far they can flex their muscle.

But if you really want to see the weakness of their position, and the only way they get strength, is to use the press, remind yourself of a number of incidents that have occurred in the last year or so.

There was a federal legislator who was under investigation by the FBI. When the national organization of the NAACP heard about it, they could hardly wait to call a press conference, and with the likes of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, proceeded to denounce this as a racist witch hunt. Of course they were amazingly silent when in the freezer of the legislator, investigators found a sizable amount of money, that he could not account for.

Then there is the case of the LaCross players being accused of rape. Once again, the players and the system were accused of racist activity. And once again the NAACP was amazingly silent, because when the dust cleared, no such thing happened, and in fact, the so called victim, lied and misled everyone. But were was the NAACP to denounce her?

And in California, the Riverside County Sheriff arrested and charged a black man who was active in a chapter of the NAACP. This group did what they do best, make mountains out of mole hills, based of course, on their lack of facts. And of course they did point out, as they always do, that all police use racial profiling.
In the end, the man was guilty and guilty of a heck of lot more. But then of course, where was the NAACP? Did they go on vacation? The truth is they owe the country, the State of Utah, and the legislature an apology.
I say this, because they are big on wanting the same from others, who they consider, did some wrong to them or one of their members, whether real or imaginary.

And then who can forget, all their rhetoric in the O.J Simpson debacle.

Having grown up on the West Side of Salt Lake in the 40's and the 50's, and seeing the interaction of neighbors, demonstrates to me, there are a lot less racists, than the NAACP believes there are. I remind all, that Alberta Henry, was one of my neighbors. Knew her well, and even though she is now gone, she would be first to acknowledge, that in our area, neighbors were neighbors, and we all got along, interacted, and cared for each other.

The current organization of NAACP, reminds one of a bunch of pot stirrers, that see a racist behind every smile, every tree, and in every business.
They need to tone down the emotion, resolve to get the facts, and do not read racist in every word or deed. And as far as the legislator is concerned, I have heard what he said at least seven times. I still do not see where what he said was even close to being a racist comment, and for those that still believe that is the case, I remind all in the immortal words of, I have no idea who, "it takes one to know one". The NAACP would do well, to take this to heart.