Thursday, July 31, 2014

Movin’ on Up.

Drove through Duchesne today and saw something that wasn’t there the last time I was in town.

Duchesne’s got a stop light!

I can’t swear to how long it’s been there, but I don’t remember it being there last summer when I was at good ol’ Al’s Supermarket.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Separation of Me and State.

I was reading the comments on this story when it occurred to me that people really don’t understand the constitution.  Oh, they know the buzz words, like “innocent until proven guilty” and “freedom of speech”, but they really don’t get it.

Several people commented on their belief that Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow are guilty as hell of  unlawful activity during their times as Utah State Attorney General.  They were quickly slapped down with the so called constitutional “presumption of innocence” (according to my sources, those words are not actually in the constitution). 

Here’s the problem: “Presumption of Innocence” is a judicial tenet, not a requirement of the general public.  Courts, judges and juries are required to consider an individual legally innocent until proven guilty.  I, as a individual citizen, am not.  I’m allowed to, in my own mind, convict anyone of anything on any amount of evidence, or lack thereof, I want to.   And I’m even allowed to tell other people that’s what I believe.  So, when I say that I think Shurtleff and Swallow are guilty as hell, that I think they will be found guilty in a court and that I hope they get the maximum sentence allowed, don’t tell me I’m violating their constitutional rights.  Unless I’m on the jury, I’m not.

The other one I see a lot (from both sides of the political spectrum) is “don’t [pick one: tell them to shut up, call them an idiot or boycott their business], they have a constitutional right to free speech.”

Well, ya they do, but that only applies to the government telling you to shut up.  My freedom of speech allows me to let you know I think you’re an idiot and that I think you should just close your mouth before you prove I’m right.  (Oh, and you, too,  have the right to tell me to shut up before I prove that I’m the idiot you’re calling me.)

Furthermore, businesses are able to restrict the speech of their employees, particularly when it has an effect on their business.  Consider the Duck Dynasty debacle.  Many people got on A&E’s case when they cancelled the show because of something that one actor said.  Screams of infringing on his constitutional right to free speech were all over the place.

Let’s make this easy.  If you went to a restaurant and the manager asked “How many are there in your in-bred redneck party tonight?”, would you expect them to keep their job?  Or if the server asked “Do you really need that cheesecake, isn’t your ass fat enough already?”  When the manager came by, heard that and fired the server, would you demand that they be rehired on the grounds that it infringes on their rights?

It’s pretty simple; in general the constitution was written to limit actions in the public sector, not on the individual citizen scale.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oh, give me a home..

…where the buffalo roam,

and the deer and the antelope play.

Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake, although the lake is so low right now that it should be called Antelope Peninsula.

The Great Salt Lake frozen over in the middle of July?

Nope, the lake is way too salty.  Even in the dead of winter here, it wouldn’t even get ice around the edges.  What you see here is just salt left over from evaporating water.

They say the lake is down a full foot from it’s normal level, we’ve been in a drought for a couple years.  All that sand in the above picture is normally covered with water.

I think the maps on my GPS need updating.

More buffalo:

This is how close they get to the road.

The Jeep above the north shore.

The White Rock Beach campgrounds.  Kind of desolate.

A California Gull (the state bird) on a California Prius.

The restaurant at the beach serves Buffalo Burgers.  Had one a few years back, good stuff.

A few shots of some bleached out driftwood I noticed on the side of the causeway.

And finally, something man-made left out there to rust in the salt.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mass* Exodus from LDS Church on Pioneer Day.

* Well, hey, even just a single person has mass.

According to a local news station there was a mass of somewhere between 12 and 20 people that picked today to mail in their membership resignation letters to the LDS Church.  These people are doing this to show their support of Kate Kelly, who was recently excommunicated for refusing to give up her Ordain Women movement.

To be honest, I’m only posting on this subject because I wanted to make that “mass” pun.   And make fun of the news organization (Fox 13) that referred to 20 out of 15,082,028 as “mass”.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Madison