Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Utah legislators got a lesson in humility today, and we can only hope they learned something from it.
When they ramrodded the the bill gutting Utah’s open government (GRAMA) laws through the process in less than 3 days, they even admitted doing it on a non-election year to stifle voter backlash. I don’t care what the party is, being a one-party system like Utah has developed into just begs for governmental abuse, and on this our leaders didn’t let us down. Over the last few years they have passed laws making it harder and harder to get citizen initiatives on the ballot. They have refused ethics legislation, despite the public outcry for it. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
What they (hopefully) learned is that they, in fact, do not have absolute power. The public uproar, justifiably fueled by the media, was intense and had no look of dwindling soon. Despite all odds, turned in favor of the legislature by the legislature, a citizen initiative to repeal HB477 had cropped up already and was flourishing. After the 2007 citizen referendum that eventually repealed the legislature’s school voucher puppy, I don’t think they were ready to let us slap them in the face again. So they repealed HB477 in a special session called for by the Governor. Yea for them. Now, let’s just see if they can retain this sense of humility for more than 3 days.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I got this from another teacher today and thought that even if it is made up, like a lot of e-mail stories, it’s still hilarious.
At a high school in Montana, a group of students played a prank - they let three goats loose in the school. But, before turning them loose, they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2, and 4.
School administrators spent most of the day looking for No. 3.
I’ve gotta respect the creativity of whoever dreamed this one up, even if they just dreamed up a story.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Earlier this month I wrote about Utah’s HB477, the bill that made all our Legislator’s electronic communications private and exempted them from our own state GRAMA (Government Records Access Management Act) laws, even though they are sent and received on state owned (read: citizen owned) cell phones, computers and internet access. It went from a blank paper, with nothing more than HB477 on it, to the Governor’s desk in less than 3 days, with no debate and no public input. The Governor, a rubber stamp arm of the Utah GOP, signed it.
The public outcry was amazing. The news media outcry was intense. And, in my opinion, because the news media show no signs of letting the issue die before the next election, several legislator’s have done an about-face and admitted it was a mistake to vote for it. One said he was actually blackmailed by the Republican leadership – threats to defeat any and all bills he introduced or co-sponsored, they wouldn’t even be allowed out of committee. Another one fell short of claiming blackmail, but claimed he voted for it because he knew it would be harder for him to get bills introduced. A couple other have come out and are calling for a recall vote.
It all reminds me of a fictional character from the 90’s sitcom “Family Matters”, Steve Urkle. For those of you who never saw it, Steve was super-intelligent and a total klutz. He was always destroying things, and his tag line comeback was always a oblivious sounding “Did I do that?” Exactly what the illustrious lawmakers for the State of Utah are doing. Ramrod an unethical and self-serving piece of legislation through, and when those pesky masses get all uppity and threaten their unbridled power, they look stunned and ask “Did we do that?”
Where were your cojones back before you knew your constituents would want them for your self-serving vote?