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Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Say hello to my little friend." Tony Montana in Scarface

Yesterday's headline read, "Guns front and center on the Hill".  Of course, they are.  The population of this state loves their guns!  I am always about full disclosure, so I must admit I don't own any guns, and I don't understand some people's obsession with them.  Having said that, I also have many friends who are gun owners and I don't have any desire to "take their guns away".  I understand the second amendment and am very aware that it is here to stay.  I do, however, believe in sensible gun legislation along with better access to mental health treatment to deal with the violence that pervades current society.  I fully understand we cannot stop all crimes, but we still have laws and many of them are quite successful in curbing behavior that endangers members of our society.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving did not throw their arms in the air and proclaim they would never be able to stop everyone from ever getting in a car after drinking.  Instead, they fought hard for sensible legislation which has had a significant effect on drunk driving violations and accidents.  Those are the facts!  I realize, some of you don't deal in a factual world because as Stephen Colbert so eloquently said, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Anyway, enough pontificating!  Here in Utah, our legislators are busy making it easier to access guns.  One bill would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.  Another would allow local law enforcement to arrest federal agents who attempt to seize guns from Utah residents.  February 20th became known as "Gun Day" on Utah's Capitol Hill.  Super!  I may have mentioned we have an embarrassing public education system and virtually unbreathable air, but our legislators have more pressing items to discuss.  After all, in March 2011 Utah became the first U.S. state to name an official state gun,  the Browning Model 1911 automatic pistol.  I guess I shouldn't be too worried...the poor air quality will probably make me too sick to even notice the guns.  That is  until, some person who should have gotten a back round check before being sold a gun shoots up another mall, theater, or school. Way to go legislators for yet another "bang up" day on the hill.  


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking...don't they?" Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz

When Dorothy asks the scarecrow how he can speak if he does not possess a brain, he simply replies, "Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking..don't they?"  Here in Utah some of the loudest people are easily the most brainless.  Ok, I am just going to say it...Gayle Ruzicka is an idiot!  She is constantly spewing her bigoted and ridiculous nonsense to anyone who will listen.  Unfortunately, our state legislators listen a lot.  Of course, most of the time I think their skulls are filled with straw too so that is not surprising.

For those of you outside the state, Gayle Ruzicka is president of the Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group. She and the Eagle Forum are quite influential in Utah politics.  Here are a few tidbits taken directly off the Eagle Forum website:

We support constitutional amendments and federal and state legislation to protect the institution of marriage and the equally important roles of father and mother.We honor the fulltime homemaker and her rights in joint income tax returns.

We oppose the feminist goals of stereotyping men as a constant danger to women, while at the same time pushing women into military combat against foreign enemies.

Eagle Forum successfully led the ten-year battle to defeat the misnamed Equal Rights Amendment with its hidden agenda of tax-funded abortions and same-sex marriages.

We oppose and deplore the dumbing down of the academic curriculum through fads such as Outcome-Based Education and courses in self-esteem, diversity, and multiculturalism.

We oppose liberal propaganda in the curriculum through global education and Political Correctness

We oppose the feminist goal of federally financed and regulated daycare.

Ruzicka and some Republican legislators have been vocal about their opposition to the International Baccalaureate program, an academically rigorous program offered at some Utah high schools.  This program is highly regarded and educates students to compete in a global economy. The program was developed in Geneva, Switzerland in the mid 1960's so clearly it is "foreign" and therefore dangerous and bad. I believe some critics have actually used the word "anti-American."  What nonsense!

Utah's public education system is mediocre at best.   When my son was invited to an awards ceremony honoring his outstanding academic achievements in high school, he refused to attend.   I asked him why and he explained that he had not really worked very hard and certainly did not deserve to be honored for anything he did in high school.  I wish I would have been more educated about the International Baccalaureate  program and that I had given both my children an opportunity to experience such a challenging and diverse curriculum.  Thank goodness my kids are bright and have gone on to be successful college students despite the substandard experiences they had in high school.

In today's newspaper, Paul Rolly, a regular Tribune columnist wrote, "Conservatives:  You have I.B. grads in your midst!"  No....say it isn't so!  Rolly does a great job poking fun at Ruzicka and the straw brained legislators who agree with her.  What an enjoyable read!   Thank you Mr. Rolly for making me laugh this morning.  All day I have envisioned Mrs. Ruzicka sitting in a corn field quietly singing...

"I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain..."


Monday, February 18, 2013

"But why is the rum gone?" Jack Sparrow

Saturday's newspaper had a couple giggle producers.  The first was an article titled, "Bill: Once and for all, you can order drink before food."   The article tries to clarify the confusion which has erupted recently over whether or not it is illegal to order   alcohol before food.  You see, it would seem Utah lawmakers have a lot of time on their hands as they are " considering a bill to clarify Utah liquor laws to make it clear diners are allowed to look at menus while sipping alcoholic beverages without placing an order of food."  Scandalous I know...

On another note, the front page headline read, "Having a baby?  Wait for good air".  I mentioned the air quality here in Salt Lake City in my last blog.  It is literally so bad here that doctors are recommending when it is healthiest to try and conceive a child.  The president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment actually is quoted as saying, "get out of Salt Lake City to conceive."  This is certainly disturbing news for anyone who lives here and considers breathing important.  Yet, our state legislators are quite busy with other pressing matters such as when I can or cannot order a drink in a restaurant.  As much as I enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail, I am actually more concerned about the horrible air I am breathing.  Oh well, while I am driving less to do my part for better air quality I am also quite sure I can't make any profound changes on my own.  I just opened the liquor cabinet...thank goodness my rum is not gone!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

"I'll be back...."

Yes, I am finally back. It has been well over a year since I blogged. I needed a break! My experience with the morning talk show set me back as far as writing. I was so frustrated when I last wrote and felt a bit like my voice would never be heard by the people in Utah. Frankly, I felt that the predominant culture really couldn't care less whose feelings they hurt and were perfectly comfortable with the status quo. During that break a lot has changed for my family. Gratefully, we no longer reside in Draper. We are living in a great area in Sugar House and are unbelievably happier with our surroundings. We have friendly neighbors and enjoy a thriving city life. For the most part, we are free of the Mormon suburban judgement that plagued our daily life for six years and that is a very good thing!
A friend reminded me of this blog the other day and so I decided to get back to it. I still have a lot to say about Utah, and sadly I usually say it to myself every morning as I sip my coffee and read the local paper. Not a day goes by that something does not either infuriate me or make me laugh out loud. Utah is the gift that keeps on giving if you are looking for the crazy, strange, and ridiculous! I thought I may try a new approach and share my morning with you instead of just talking to myself. I am hoping maybe some of you will respond. If I have to start answering myself I fear that may mean this place has finally affected the state of my mental health.
So here goes... Yesterday's Salt Lake Tribune had an article on the front page entitled, "Utahns launch a sticky-note protest of S.I. swimsuit issue."...Pause for laughter and a moment for your chin to return to normal position... According to the article, co-founders of a Utah non-profit, Beauty Redefined, are trying to fight what they deem as negative female body images. They are trying to accomplish this task by placing "stylized sticky notes" over the images in Sports Illustrated current swimsuit edition. I realize you are still laughing but seriously I am not making this shit up. The article also reports that some fans of Beauty Redefined went to a Barnes and Noble bookstore "armed" with these sticky notes and proceeded to work their way through a stack of these magazines. The store manager was apparently displeased and asked them to leave the store.
We have a lot of important issues to deal with in Utah. We rank 50th in the nation in education spending and our air quality is abysmal. But fear not..."sticky note activism" is on the job!