Lacey Smith

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Analysis of Selected Senate Bills

In Current Events, Politics on February 12, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Utah’s Legislature is in full swing. To help you get involved, we are analyzing selected House and Senate bills with a short summary and a position (strongly oppose to strongly support). If one of these issues concerns you, please contact your legislator and talk to them about it. You can find out who your legislature is by visiting the Utah State Legislative District Map site.

Here are the selected Senate Bills:

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Importance of Starting Young

In Current Events, Politics on January 14, 2014 at 1:01 am

I recently attended a training in advance of the start of the Utah Legislative Session. While I am intimately familiar with the process in Idaho, Utah has it’s quirks – including an asininely short 45 calendar day session – that have made it hard for me to get my arms around.

The training itself was quite good and definitely cleared up a few things for me and it was a great chance to network and meet people in real life I’ve only met on Facebook. However one of the things that struck me was relatively middle aged the participants were. In fact, with a few notable exceptions (including my 15 month old daughter), I may have been the youngest person in attendance. Read the rest of this entry »

Federal Extortion

In Current Events, Politics on October 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

It appears that Congress may have reached a deal today and that the partial federal shutdown might be coming to an end. In other words, the Republicans have realized that either way the American people lose and hopefully this way they will lose less and so they (the Republicans) are caving to the demands of the president and Senate democrats.

It’s a really shameful way to run the country, but this federal thuggary is what you get when your government gets far too big and the people get far too reliant on it’s services.

Meanwhile, all over America people are struggling. Some of them are having difficulty because of the uncertainty that comes with a partial government shutdown. But many more are struggling because they rely, in one way or another, on the federal government.

For example, the southern counties of Utah rely heavily on tourism dollars. Their economies are almost completely dependent on whether or not the federal government keeps the national parks open. In fact, a week ago, just a few days into the shutdown, nine Utah counties declared a state of emergency. When Utah brought a plan to the Feds to open the parks they said “Nope.” But then they so graciously allowed us to do it their way.

When I heard the news report, I immediately thought This feels an awful lot like extortion to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Misleading Facts and Critical Thinking

In Current Events, Education on October 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

My sister recently shared a video from Upworthy about wealth distribution in America. It leaves the distinct impression that things are unfair in America’s economic system. It uses facts and sources to back up it’s point. And it is very convincing.

However, it also left me with some questions. Lots of questions.

Questions like: Did the overall standard of living go up as well? How does the poverty level today compare with the poverty level in the decades they were comparing? In other words, in real dollars, has the poverty line moved or stayed the same? Has opportunity to join the ranks of the wealthy gone up or down? What caused this? How does America’s poor compare with the wealth and poverty of other nations?

Without debating the actual facts of the video, the message it sends or the mistaken concept of wealth as a finite resource instead of a renewable or expanding resource, I want to address these sorts of videos as a general whole. Read the rest of this entry »

Count My Vote counts on ignorance

In Current Events, Politics on September 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Utah’s Count My Vote initiative took formal steps last week (Wednesday, September 18) by filing paperwork with the Lt. Governor’s office. This allows them to start counting signatures for a ballot initiative which would end Utah’s Caucus system. This debate is really heating up as the Utah Republican State Central Committee took up the issue over the weekend as well.

Count My Vote appears to be hip, popular and smart sense. After all, who doesn’t want to marginalize the fringe crazies? Who doesn’t want their vote to count? Who doesn’t want more flexibility in the polls? Who doesn’t want more voter participation?

It sounds sooo good.

But it’s a power-grab and it’s funded by a few people with deep pockets. More than that, CMV preys on voter ignorance, using catchy phrases and smart campaigning to chip away at voter rights as it attempts to destroy one of the most grassroots forms of government in the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

On Rights, Government and God

In Current Events, Politics on April 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Last Monday about mid-morning, my facebook page started popping up with a bunch of my friends changing their profile pictures to a red square with an big white block equal sign (=) in it. These friends were expressing their support for “equal rights” (which is really code for gay marriage) in light of the Supreme Court hearing on California’s Prop 8.

Without going into my view of same-sex marriage, Prop 8, etc., this got me thinking again about rights. More specifically, what are our rights? How does our view of rights agree with and contradict the Constitution? How do we understand Constitutional rights and is the Bill of Rights all inclusive?

It has taken me several weeks to accurately draft a response to these questions, so if this post seems stale it’s because I have been working carefully to put the right words in place. Sometimes haste is not our friend.

This train of thought is really a continuation of a discussion I had in some depth with my cousin over guns. His argument is that while I might have a right to keep and bare Arms, the government has a right to regulate and limit what I can and can’t keep. “Uninhibited gun ownership is not a god-given right.” Read the rest of this entry »

John McCain, you are a twit.

In Current Events, Politics on March 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Following the epic 13 hour Rand Paul filibuster last Wednesday, the liberal Republicans have been out in full force. Both John McCain and Lindsey Graham have thoroughly expressed their distaste of the Tea Party before but couldn’t help making it known again. Frankly, I’m a little surprised that we haven’t heard from Orrin Hatch as well in all this.

Among the attempts to shame Sen. Paul, Sen. Graham created a shame chart (showing the number of Americans killed in the U.S. by drones vs by Al Qaeda) and Sen. McCain used the term “Wacko Birds” and said Sen. Paul’s filibuster was “unhelpful.” In fact, the old, angry has-been that the American people rejected twice as president of the United States has the gall to even claim he and people like him were the future of the Republican party.

Frankly, Senator McCain, you are a twit.

The American people rejected you, Senator. They rejected you and your vision for America twice. They rejected people like you. They don’t want your brand of “freedom”. Read the rest of this entry »

Titles of Honor

In Current Events, Politics, Religion, The Real World on February 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

After a  busy-life forced hiatus (thanks, Superbowl… glad you only come once every three years or so), I had intended on returning to blogging with a totally different topic. I thought I was done talking about women, our roles, etc. and was moving on (after all, the giant wheel of government spins on, powered by insanity and ignorance). However, then I saw this article last Friday in Salon titled Stop calling us wives and moms.

Very little has made me so angry in a long time.

The article outlines a petition on WhiteHouse.gov to President Obama’s usage of the terms wife, mother, sisters and daughters (particularly in his SotU). While I agree that his “‘Father Knows Best’ paternalism” is condescending, I was far more bothered by the sentiments expressed by the petitioners that “Defining women by their relationships to other people is reductive, misogynist, and alienating to women who do not define ourselves exclusively by our relationships to others.”

Oh please gag me now. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Inauguration Day

In Current Events, Politics on January 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

We will return to regularly-schedule programming in just a moment…

But first, some information about Inauguration Day (Observed) 2013.

Since the Constitution mandates the President of the United States be sworn in on January 20, today is just formality, pomp and circumstance. The real deal happened yesterday.

According to ABC News, the known inauguration costs as of January 19 total over 13 million dollars, but that figure was just preliminary. Now, not all of the cost will be shouldered by the American taxpayer. In 2009, the inaugural events cost $170 million and the Presidential Inaugural Committee received $53 million in donations. Of course, that leaves $117 million unpaid for. I’m sure the American taxpayer didn’t pick up tab…

So, whether you could stomach watching the Obamas walk the parade route with the cheering crowds looking on (or you were just exposed to it as a job hazard) or  you hid the whole day from it, happy inauguration day! Throw a party. The president sure did.

After all, I’m sure we had nothing better to do with $13 million.

Mike Crapo and losing our souls

In Current Events, Politics on January 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

So much for a regular posting schedule…

I am working on a couple of posts for next week, but this is one of the reasons I didn’t go into print journalism: I’m not so good at regularly churning out articles.

This Mike Crapo story is getting to me, though. It’s enough to postpone what I was going to share and talk about this first. Read the rest of this entry »

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