Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Tulip blogging Posted by Picasa

gas prices panacea

How many times...think back many times have you heard people complaining about high gas prices over the past say decade? Every spring and summer prices get high and some idiot pundit says this will hurt the party in power in DC, which lately has been the GOP. And what happens every year? Nothing.

And that is what is going to happen again this year. Chuck Schumer may think he found the magic bullet, or as he put it the final nail in the coffin, that will seal the deal for a Democratic majority in Congress. I wouldn't hold your breath.

It doesn't matter how high the price of gas goes, or how much profits the oil companies make by purposely shutting down or failing to build new refineries. The American people love their giant cars, trucks and SUVs too much.

While my parents are away on vacation for my father's birthday, they let me use their SUV, so that my wife and I now each have a car for the time being. And I have to admit that I have enjoyed the ability to go anywhere any time. Still, we won't buy another for a while. Taking the bus and TRAX is great as is walking or riding my bike. But understand the lure of the automobile. It defines the American dream of being able go anywhere anytime without someone telling you what to do. The Supreme Court has found the freedom to travel is constitutionally protected.

So as much as people moan and whine about gas prices, they still haven't bothered to get on a waiting list for a Prius, demand hybrids from the manufacters, or kick out those oil-loving congressmen (mostly because those guys represent oil-rich districts). So the Democrats might take over Congress this year, but it won't be because Exxon gave their CEO $400M or that gas costs $3/gallon.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Will Kanab become the next Dover, PA?

Signs point to no...but there is still time.
While Kanab Mayor Kim Lawson narrowly defeated a challenger in 2001, no one stepped up to face him during his re-election campaign last year. Incumbent council members also faced little opposition. To date, only one council member, Carol Ann Sullivan, has publicly pulled support for the resolution.

The group called Kanab Take Our Community Back committee might morph into Dover CARES II.
"We are reaching out to a broad spectrum of individuals and political groups to make sure they know about the resolution and the way it was handled down here in Kanab," said Scott Clemans, a member of a grassroots organization in Kanab that is calling for state legislators to create a method for recalling elected officials who fall from favor.
"I don't know what kind of a response we'll get, but I do know there are many folks who recognize the need for a recall law." [snip] The mayor and City Council members are autocrats rather than public servants," McCrystal said. "This is not a partisan issue. When elected officials are more interested in suppressing public opinion than listening to it, they've violated their sacred trust and need to be removed from office."
Utah has no provision for recalling elected officials. The Kanab group hopes to gather support in the state Legislature to consider passage of a recall law, Clemans said.
"I truly believe the word is getting out that there is a vast majority of people in this town that do not support this resolution, or the mayor and council in their actions," he said.

Folks are angry, but will that energy coaless into a ticket for the city council or mayor? I just hope that high school kid who the mayor tried to silience by calling up his school superintendant and his LDS stake leader runs against the mayor some day. I would donate to that kid's campaign.

Folks down in Kanab are worried about tourism, and during the radio broadcast cited a number of hotel bookings that had dissipeared specifically due to the resolution. The mayor during the broadcast said he would eventually be willing to reexamine the resolution if it really was hurting business, but he didn't think it was. A principled stand as usual.

But how can people boycott Kanab if they don't even know what's in Utah?
Images that Utah residents always thought defined their state — the golden spike at Promontory Point, Delicate Arch at Arches National Park and the Salt Lake City skyline — apparently aren't all that identifiable with Utah.
Pictures of those locations and six others that tourism officials always considered iconic to Utah were more closely associated with surrounding states, according to the survey's findings, which were released Tuesday.
"It's shocking," said Bob Syret, a Utah Board of Tourism Development member.

[photo credit, Lynn Arave, Deseret Morning News. (c) 2006 Deseret Morning News]

Sounds like someone has their work cut out for them. First off, people are dumb. Usually questions about Utah are on Jeparody! Why do people confuse Utah with Arizona, Colorado, etc? People most people who took the survey are probabbly from the Northeast. Those folks never had a clue where Utah was unless they went skiing/hiking there. All the big western box states for them blended together. For Utahns, they don't know where those Northeast states are exactly, only that they are "on the East Coast," so the ignorance is mutual.

ripe for the pickin'

New York, Pennslvannia, Connecticut and California should be where the democrats' bid for a majority in the House is either found or crushed. NY has two blow outs at the state level that should discourage GOP voters from the polls (Hillary and Elliot), this formula helped Mellisa Bean in 2004 with Barrack Obama crushing Alan Keyes. Same goes for Penn possbily if the Santorum-Casey race continues to be a snoozer...although the Swann-Rendell race should keep GOPers interested. Connecticut, should Joe Lieberman prevail, would also face snoozers of statewide elections. California will be a hard fought battle for the governorship. E-bay millioniare versus planet hollywood millioniare.

Also going for the democrats this year is all the scandals. It seems almost every member of the California GOP delegation is tied to some sort of scandal, whether it be Doolittle and his wife's 15% cut of every donation, Pombo's ties to Cunningham's bribers, Dier's rumors of homosexuality, there are too many to name. But NY GOP just got itself a big headache:

Sweeney showed up drunk to a frat party near, but not in his district. The one good note: "It was reported that one student approached the Congressman with drug paraphernalia and asked to take a picture. The Congressman refused." When fratboys say you are openly-drunk, I take that as an expert witness testifying.

It will be interesting to see whether the Democrats' "Northeast Strategy" plus all the scandal fall out from Duke-stir will help them take back the House.

Here's to hoping.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

1 down, 2 to go

Monday was an 8 hour thrill ride for the sake of Due Process, Equal Protection, and The Freedom of Speech. Glad that is over with, even though I enjoy constitutional law.

Next up, tomorrow I match wits with a guy that argued against Miranda in at SCOTUS on a criminal procedure exam. I am sure Dickerson will be a topic of discussion, and I am happy to have the guy live out his high light, especially since his 7-2 loss in 2000 would now likely be a 5-4 loss now. Even though I have disagreed with him, I think Cassell is a great teacher and fair minded judge. He has trouble at times seeing things from the Public Defender's tilted view of the world, but generally I would say he is a good person.

Everyone likes Prof. Richards who will be giving me my last exam, but I don't think I am such a big fan. First off, he blows me off when I raise my hand. Granted I am a talker in all my classes and I could see how I might be annoying or distracting to discussion, but I can think of several other worse offenders at my law school. Plus, he lets others go off on tangents becuase he possibly knows them from first year.

But my real beef is that he has given us no clue what to do to prepare for this test, and the amount of information is staggering. At least my notes are crazy long.

Just now my wedding videographer arrived and delivered the DVD. For those of you keeping score, my wedding was last June. We had a nasty fight over the bill, giving me a remedial contracts lesson and general frustration with business transactions. Hopefully it won't be too cheezy. He has granted us permission to make copies of it, so I will use that permission to place it on google video and send the link to those who were at the wedding or those we wished could have come. Ah the joys of technology.

Monday, April 24, 2006

lifting my head up

sorry for the non-existent blogging lately. I am studying for my law school exams which will kick off in a manner of minutes and last 2 weeks. So light blogging in the next while.

Ethan seems pretty modest, so I will link to the Deseret News article about SLCspin and him. As far as I know, he is the first local blogger to get some MSM love. I think it is because of his short but biting commentary. Mine are much more long winded and often focus on outside events...although I love to write about Kanab because it is indicative of a larger problem with red-state cities (the blurring of church and state and officials sticking their noses into the town's most personal business).

But I love how the press covers blogs, with a picture of a computer on the blog's home page. Even better is Ethan's quote: "In the end, I'm just a dude with an Internet site. If everyone stopped reading it tomorrow, I'd just disappear."

We all love to read your commentary, which is pretty fair and honest I would say. Perhaps he has no love for Hatch. But really, the man is fraud. The only good thing I can say about him is that his seniority means that if he wanted to, he could get stuff for Utah. But he doesn't.

Well, my exam's here. See you all on the flipside.