Why critics are wrong about opposition to Prop 2

On August 23, 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced its opposition to Proposition 2, the citizen initiative seeking to create a state marijuana program. Speaking on behalf of the Church, Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy said, “The Church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy.” He continued, “Our hope and expectation is to bring the broader community together, including all those who have a lot of experience and understanding in what we can…

AirBnB opponents in Cedar City miss the mark

There’s no politics like local politics. After an incident in which a tour bus was parked overnight in a residential neighborhood for a swim team renting a house on AirBnB, the residents of the area started a push to try and ban all nightly rentals in R1 zones. The planning commission rejected the proposal 5-1 last week, but the city council chose to hear more from both sides of the issue at last night’s council meeting. Opponents, however, failed to make a particularly cogent case for a full ban. The…

Three Implications from the Omarosa Tapes

Omarosa Manigault Newman, bearing a name that sounds concocted by a pretentious author, started in the spotlight by being the most memorable contestant from Season 1 of NBC’s The Apprentice. She returned for a couple more seasons and has done work here and there for Donald Trump ever since. After his shock election victory, Trump kept Omarosa, giving her a trusted position in the West Wing. She was unceremoniously dismissed last year, and one of her first gigs was appearing on another reality show (Celebrity Big Brother). Master of making…

Mark Shurtleff’s version of justice looks a lot like payback

Watching the legal cases against Mark Shurtleff and his hand-picked successor John Swallow collapse was very hard. I was one of the first voices calling for Swallow to resign (which it took him a year to do), and the case by all appearances seemed to have been killed by incompetence, not on its own merits. While I continue to believe that the two of them are guilty as sin, the legal system performed as it should, placing as much emphasis on process as substance. This is the foundation of a…

Don’t Bogart the facts

Most Utahns do not know what it is like to smoke pot or use cannabis in any of its commercial forms. I do. I smoked lots of pot when I was a teenager – lots of it. I bought it. I sold it. It’s no secret among people who really know me and I do not mind talking about it. I do not care who knows about it. My kids know. Any close co-worker knows. I unhesitatingly reported it on my application to get a Top Secret security clearance when…

More Russian ridiculousness

About the same time Peter Strzok was sneering and thumbing his nose at a congressional inquiry, Robert Mueller was preparing the next meaningless step in his “Russian investigation”. We are a year and a half and millions of dollars into this charade. It is becoming clearer as time goes on that there is no evidence linking the Trump campaign to anything, and that the Mueller investigation is simply a pathetic attempt to delegitimize a sitting president through contrived bureaucratic scheming. The latest indictments confirm this ongoing farce. If we recall,…

Kavanaugh conniptions

“My Judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent, and interpret the law; not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history, tradition, and precedent.” – SCOTUS Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at White House Nomination Speech. The next nominee to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Supreme Court has been announced. Washington D.C District Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh is the President’s pick out of four finalists. And the hysteria from the left…

Protecting Utah’s small businesses against “Big Music”

Now here’s an issue that has me seriously conflicted. On the one hand, I hate background music. I hate it in restaurants; I hate it in supermarkets; I hate it at the dentist’s office. What’s more, I doubt that I am alone. I have yet to have a friend invite me to Olive Garden to listen to the music, and incidentally to pig out on breadsticks. On the other hand, I hate Big Music, the duopoly of ASCAP and BMI that licenses and controls all that background music, and so…

Border Wars

The newest strategy by the left to delegitimize the Trump administration and foment division is to blame Trump for policies on the U.S Border. Of course, every failing policy from past administrations is now Trump’s fault, even when he tries to correct them. The media recently exploded with accounts of “children separated from families at the border”. Cries of inhumanity began to circulate in prime time news. The new reality is peddled as “Racist Trump” or “Nazi Trump” implementing dehumanizing immigration policies at the borders. However, there are several difficulties…