Potheads make bad laws

Now that the Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative has inched closer to obtaining a spot on the November statewide ballot, it is a good time to get absolutely real about what policies, and their societal effects, are at stake. Supporters of the measure argue that good people are being forced to break the law just to relieve chronic pain. Opponents argue that this initiative is simply the first step in a broader campaign to legalize pot, as in Colorado. So who is right? Every statewide ballot initiative permits supporters and opponents…

What does gun control even mean?

America is home to approximately 300 million firearms. One study suggests that 78 percent of Americans do not own a gun; 19 percent of Americans own half of all firearms; and, three percent of Americans own the other half. The Vegas shooter was in possession of 42 guns, bringing 23 of them to the hotel with him. Understand there is no correlation between owning a lot of guns and being a mass murderer, even if mass murderers sometimes own a lot of guns. In fact, it seems there is no…

Pump the brakes in reaction to Bears Ears

The hot story this week is the presidential decree establishing the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. With a swipe of his pen, President Obama set aside over one million acres of Utah wilderness as land too sacred, too historical, too intergenerational and too pristine to be left in the control of anyone and anything short of the all-seeing and all-powerful federal government. Utah conservatives are up in arms. They say President Obama abused the Antiquities Act (he did). They say his timing in doing so as he leaves…

Misplaced loyalties are not a virtue

I felt a great sense of loss after separating from Sutherland Institute just over two years ago. A lot of work had been put into building its conservative brand and reputation. Furthermore, an impetuous and unceremonious firing only heightened my feelings of loss. It was stunning and it hurt. But, as with most of life’s trials, there was a silver lining, a liberation of sorts that perhaps many conservatives and Republicans should experience. Shortly after separating I received a call from the Governor’s office inviting me to stand with Governor…

No amount of smart justifies Trump

Over my lifetime, like all of you, I’ve had the chance to work with great colleagues who have become dear friends. One of these friends of mine is Janice Shaw Crouse – a beautiful lady, inside and out. Janice has her Ph.D., was a presidential speechwriter for Bush senior, an appointee by Bush, Jr. as an official US delegate to the United Nation’s Children’s Summit and the Commission on the Status of Women. Janice was a longtime senior executive for Concerned Women of America and she’s a very accomplished author…

Mormons for Hillary

As if it matters at all, the Clinton campaign has created a new support group in Utah: Mormons for Hillary. The initial group is comprised of over 100 Latter-day Saints who say they are voting for Hillary – 120 founding members to be exact. At the forefront of this new group are self-identified Republicans, such as attorney David Irvine. I say “self-identified” because typically Republicans, such as Irvine, are rarely viewed by others as Republican – mostly they are called RINOs, Republican in name only. But even that doesn’t matter.…

The Mero Moment: Civil Asset Forfeiture – July 28, 2016

Imagine you are a motel owner and local riff-raff has been using your property to sell their illegal drugs. You take every reasonable step to prevent these crimes from being committed on your property – you buy flood lights, put up fences and video cameras. But the buying and selling continues until, one day, your local police and the Feds swoop in to break up the drug ring. In the course of arresting the drug dealers, authorities confiscate your property. Yes, the Feds take your motel from you as part…

The Mero Moment: A Revolution in Education – June 23, 2016

It is time for a revolution in education in Utah. Yes, I know. Every few years a bunch of do-gooders comes along determined to fix everything that is wrong with education. When I talk about a revolution in education, I’m not talking about fleeting movements or technical fixes. I’m talking about fundamental changes to how we view education built upon truths we’ve already learned. The kind of revolution in education I’m talking about is like the American Revolution, not the Russian or French revolutions. I’m not talking about destroying all…

The Mero Moment: The Open Society and the End of Freedom – June 9, 2016

If there is one redeeming aspect of his character – if any at all – people seem to like that Donald Trump says what’s on his mind. People who like Trump often say that they like how he speaks. People like candor. I, too, often “think out loud,” just say what’s on my mind in the moment. But, unlike Trump, my candor can get me in trouble. Trump, it seems, is made of Teflon for many voters. But this commentary is not about Donald Trump. It’s about thought and speech…

The Mero Moment: The politics of self-righteousness – May 12, 2016

LDS Living magazine had an interesting article about overzealous Mormons who basically compete to be more righteous than the other. This phenomenon elevates Mormon culture ahead of actual commandments. We see it all of the time. Everyone knows someone who is hypersensitive and overzealous about some feature of the Gospel – like food storage or church service or cola drinks. You can see these dysfunctions most clearly in settings where Mormons are clustered and dominate a population. For instance, take a look inside the LDS Church office building. The first…