Archive for Utah

Utah Seeks Political Power By Giving Up 3/4ths Of It


Salt lake city

Aside from salt and religion, not too much comes out of Salt Lake City -- well, unless you're a Mormon. And most of what I know about being a Mormon I learned from The Book Of Mormon -- the musical. I can't say that lifestyle is for me.

But I don't think that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members are stupid by any means. They may be horny  (Utah leads the nation in pornographic purchases) but they are pretty savvy as a whole. They number 15 million members world-wide. Yet if they are the motivating factor in this latest scheme to become more relevant in the political world, they may have crested with Mitt Romney and now are walking back from that experiment.

According to The Hill:

In 2016, an unusual state could snatch the coveted first-primary spot away from New Hampshire if its legislature gets its way: Utah

The Utah state House voted overwhelmingly on Monday in favor of a bill that would allow the state to hold its presidential primary a week before any other state in the nation, via an entirely online system, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

This is quite interesting on a number of levels. First, the primary is to be totally online. Yep, no open polls. Only internet voting. That's pretty progressive if you ask me. The state is 68% Mormon. I just never thought of all of those folks as being so progressive. Actually, the opposite might have been my first thought. I see now that I was wrong. You learn something new every day.

Yet here comes the confusing part. The state wants to up its profile as being politically meaningful. By pushing to become the first state in the nation to hold a primary, a spot normally held by New Hampshire, Utah very well might become more relevant. It could happen. But there's something else that could happen too if they choose to make this move. They'll have to face the wrath of Reince Priebus and the entire RNC.

Currently the state sends 40 delegates to the GOP nominating convention.

If Utah goes through with the change, its 40 GOP delegates to the national convention will be cut down to just nine.

Nine voices for a state that could have 40. That's roughly a 3/4 cut. Does that make them more or less relevant and meaningful or just another small voice at the convention?


Republicans Traumatize School Children By Starving Them, Forcing Them To Watch As Their Lunch Is Tossed Into The Garbage

Republicans Congress

Republicans in Congress

They cut back food stamps. They drop long term unemployment benefits. They trim millions from the SNAP program. To Republicans, that's not cutting aid  to the needy. It's austerity. That's just taking freeloaders off the rosters. Those poor will find another way.

Really? How about in Utah? Or the rest of the country?  CNN:

(CNN) -- Dozens of children at a Utah elementary school had their lunch trays snatched away from them before they could take a bite this week.

Salt Lake City School District officials say the trays were taken away at Uintah Elementary School Tuesday because some students had negative balances in the accounts used to pay for lunches. But they admit the situation should have been handled differently.

Elementary school kids are being punished by the Republicans because their parents can't find work and don't have the money or wherewithal to cover the essentials. Is this the face of the GOP's austerity program -- starving kids?

starving kids

So the GOP takes the food out of students' mouths, embarrasses and stigmatizes adolescent kids in front of their peers by actually going over and taking back the food they've already been handed. And what do they do with the confiscated food these starving young kids need to keep going?

What else-- they make the kids dump their food into garbage cans in front of the rest of the students. Talk about traumatizing young people.

And how about the school's public ridicule of the kids, stamping their hand or foreheads, making them wear a Hester Prynne scarlet letter so everone else can laugh and ridicule the poor kids? That's what the Republicans have done. But lets not blame just them. The Democrats let this happen with their approval of a farm bill that cut SNAP. There's blame to go around. And here's a clip from the Ed Show where Shultz goes off the charts over this tragedy.


Young Moochers in Utah Get Their Lunches Taken Away - Serves Them (and their Dads) Right!

The photo is from this page:

The photo is from this page:

The picture luck would have it, I found this picture on a page about the importance of children in Utah eating healthy lunches.....what irony!  No money, no eatee in at least one Utah school which took lunches away from children whose parents had gotten behind in their meal payments.  The cafeteria actually served them lunch, took it back, and threw it away because the parents, not the children, were in arrears with the lunch money.  Looks yummy, doesn't it? Here's the page it's from: Help Me Grow, Utah.

The nerve of these children thinking that they deserve a free lunch!

Apparently the Bible believers are perfectly okay with this behavior because it says in Exodus 20:5 that "You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me."   So no lunch today, kids...we'll let you look at it, smell it, anticipate eating it...then watch us throw it in the trash because of your fathers' iniquities.

Here's the story on Daily KOS

If these kids want to eat, they should work! Stop depending on their parents...stop believing that the school would care enough about its students to actually be sure they could make it through the day. They could be janitors, shine shoes for their teachers, clean the blackboard, discipline other students, wash the principal's car...but no free lunches...after all, who the hell do they think they are?  Children?


Video- ‘Why Are You Hating on Blacks?!’ Hannity Guest Goes Off the Rails in Fiery Apartheid Segment


Tsk, tsk. Via.


GOP Refuses To Pay Government Shutdown Costs


Zion National park

Well, Utah is unhappy with the Obama Administration, the department of the Interior specifically. So are the states of  Arizona, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, New York and Tennessee.

But their anger is actually misplaced. Their problem is actually with the GOP and the House of Representatives. They're the ones who voted to defund the government, not the Department of the Interior.

Each of these states makes millions every year from revenues derived directly or indirectly (tourism related) from their federally maintained national parks. Parks like the Grand Canyon and Zion National park.

In the past shutdowns, these states were actually rewarded with money paid post-shutdown, to make up for their losses. Well, it seems the Republicans on the Hill this year have decided not to do that this time

So the next place the states took their demand was the Department of Interior. And they're saying no dice. Due to the sequester, they don't have the funds. They had gone to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell who had told them in the past her department had been authorized to make that repayment for direct lost revenues. But that money came as part of "post shutdown funding bills" voted on by the Congress. She herself could not guarantee that money, but suggested that if past history was any indication, the state should lend their parks the money to stay open. When the shutdown was over, Congress would authorize funding for them to be repaid.

Seems the GOP  turned their backs on these states, once again.

Grand Canyon

Well, when Utah and the other states DEMANDED the repayment of the money they loaned their own parks, it fell on deaf GOP-led Congressional ears. The Representatives voted to repay furloughed workers but not the parks.

So, now it's up to the Republicans to clean up their spilled milk. Two GOP bills have been proposed, one to repay the states for this past government shutdown and another to force them to pay in case of another closure. According to the Hill:

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is pushing a bill aimed at ensuring national parks remain open in the event that the government someday closes down again.

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has another bill that would require states to be repaid for expenses within 90 days after a shutdown ends. The House committee will consider it on Wednesday as well, and there is a companion bill in the Senate.

Sadly for the states, it doesn't seem that the congressional leadership is in any hurry to see these bills happen.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) does not yet have plans to bring either bill to the floor, his office said.

So much for the Republicans caring about the damage they've done. They're trying to put the blame on the Department of Interior as if they have extra money sitting around since the sequester. This is just another example of the Republican passing the buck tactics and their true lack of compassion. They're bulls in a china shop and they refuse to pay for what they've broken. Let's see how long these Red states take to become purple -- with rage, now that they've been stiffed.


Teens flee polygamist sect of Mormon Church, learn what the president & saltwater are, women aren't subservient "poisonous snakes"


escape key

Zach Bowers is a "plig." No, I'm not being insulting, nor was that a "pig" typo. "Plig" is short for polygamist child, and Zach and his brother grew up in a Utah polygamist compound. His dad married two sisters and raised 32 children.

About four years ago he had an argument with Polygamist Dad, left home, and joined an ongoing exodus-- read: escape-- from the sect. Of course, not all Mormons practice polygamy. The main Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavowed that a century ago, but per a report in the Los Angeles Times, Zach defected from "the secretive Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a breakaway sect of the Mormon Church that practices polygamy, dictates almost all aspects of people's lives and casts women into subservience."

He's 18 now, and he, his older brother, and his younger half-brother live northeast of Las Vegas with a caring married couple, along with their two kids, in a six-bedroom house.

They're adjusting well, but learning about "the intimacy of a nuclear family" with "parental figures" and living a more mainstream life has been challenging:

On his first ocean swim, Zach gulped water and nearly vomited: He'd never heard of saltwater. They've learned how to talk to girls, whom church elders warned "to avoid like poisonous snakes." [...]

Sect members who escape their compound are largely invisible to society, and are often without birth certificates or Social Security numbers. [...]

Zach was home-schooled — lessons involved reading the Bible and the Book of Mormon exclusively — and he was forbidden from watching TV or reading newspapers. He left the sect with little grasp of math, science or history. Multiplication tables baffled him and his reading skills were below normal. Zach admits he didn't know who Osama bin Laden was until the terrorist leader was killed in 2011.

"I didn't even know what the president was," he said. "I knew there was somebody over the United States, but I didn't know they called it the president."

Both Zach and Isaiah were once told how to wear their hair, what type of shoes to wear. They could never take off their long-sleeved shirts in public and had to wear long underwear year-round.

No birth certificates or Social Security numbers would make it impossible to vote for a president they never knew existed, as well as any other candidate or issue.

It took a few months for Zach to realize girls weren't poisonous snakes and to realize what "Star Wars" movies were. And understandably, the brothers now distrust organized religion.

But because of the couple that took them in, they are learning what a loving family really is.


Lots of security necessary at Sundance Film Festival premiere of "After Tiller" about abortion providers, patients

abortion clinics maddow show

These four clinics have been targeted, threatened and are struggling to stay open.

I often write about post-Dr. George Tiller efforts to provide reproductive health services for women all over the United States. It's getting more and more difficult, as you can see in my post Despite murder threats by anti-abortion extremists, a new clinic is trying to serve Kansas women.

It's Roe v. Wade's 40th birthday, yet pro-forced-birthers are harassing and intimidating easy female targets and using hostility and scare tactics on physicians and other personnel that offer legal abortions. Clinics are closing, health services are disappearing, and women are being deprived of care as well as their rights.

And Dr. George Tiller, one of the brave health care providers who never allowed these extremists to intimidate or stop him from legally helping women who depended on his services, was murdered.


Now the Sundance Film Festival is premiering a documentary called "After Tiller." Just showing a movie about Dr. Tiller created an atmosphere similar to what the four clinics pictured above are experiencing. The L.A. Times:

For starters, police and armed sheriffs in green jumpsuits made a show of force outside the Temple Theater. Attendees had to have their bags searched and were checked by guards with hand-held metal detectors. After the movie screened, two police officers stood at the front of the auditorium as the directors of the abortion documentary — and the four doctors featured in the film — answered questions from the audience.

"After Tiller" is an intimate and heartfelt look at the four doctors who legally perform third-trimester abortions in the United States, doing so even after the 2009 assassination of such a physician, Dr. George Tiller.  [...]

Late abortions make up less than 1% of all abortions performed in the United States... Small discoveries like that drew the duo to the subject. [...]

The women turn to these late-term procedures for personal and medical reasons, including fetal anomalies, the health of the women, and sometimes because the women don't even realize or admit to themselves that they are pregnant.

For many of these patients, and their male partners, the decision is an agonizing one. And the doctors themselves frequently discuss moral questions themselves. ... They voice concern about what desperate measures women might take if their services were unavailable. As to whether the protests against what he does ever gave him doubts regarding his work, Dr. LeRoy Carhart said, "I never even give it a second thought."

Please read more about the film here.


tiller cartoon anti-abortion