Pot initiative proponents and opponents deserve each other

For the past 30-something years, especially the last 18 years here in Utah, I have made freedom my business. But I guess I have not done a very good job as its advocate because even really intelligent people either do not understand it or still choose to prioritize self-interest. Throughout these ten years of commentaries, I have described freedom in minute detail – from its essence to its processes – and, regardless of the angle, I am convinced most people (even guardians elected to serve and protect it) do not…

Evidently, liquor is not always quicker

Utah is a liquor control state. In other words, the state heavily regulates the sale and consumption of liquor. Some states have more stringent regulations in place, including complete prohibitions in some counties within those states, but Utah remains a state that will tell residents and visitors when and where and how they can drink liquor. Every legislative session there seems to be talk of new bills designed to either loosen these regulations or tighten them. Several years ago, the Legislature created what is now called the Zion Curtain requiring…

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…

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: 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 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…

The Mero Moment: Political Fundraising – May 16, 2016

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Observing campaign finance policy today, he could just as easily say, “Current campaign finance law is the worst form of electioneering, except for all the others.” The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran stories about a fundraiser that Governor Gary Herbert hosted for his reelection campaign. As reported by an unnamed lobbyist, present at the fundraiser, Governor Herbert and his election team were eager, implicitly unethical, to raise money. Doubling down on the…

The Mero Moment: In Defense of Signature Gathering – January 28, 2016

As candidates for Utah public office begin to position themselves for this election year, nearly all of them face the dilemma of the fallout from a new state campaign law, most commonly referred to as SB 54 or the “Count My Vote” compromise. The new law allows a candidate access to a primary ballot, circumventing Utah’s traditional caucus/convention system, through a reasonably easy signature gathering process. This new process was primarily designed by its authors to allow more seemingly moderate candidates to get around more ideological voices inside the Republican…

The Mero Moment: Property Wrongs – January 14, 2016

If American liberty has any meaning at all, property rights are at the center of that meaning. So important were property rights to our founding fathers that you can hardly read any of their writings that do not mention them. So it’s with no little amount of curiosity that our founding fathers replaced the word “property” among our inalienable rights with the term “pursuit of happiness” in our Declaration of Independence. This subject has been written about and debated endlessly within the freedom movement. Libertarians insist the exclusion was a…

The Mero Moment: Deceptive Rhetoric from Utah’s Pot Lobby – January 7, 2016

By October 1987, the disease AIDS was still a mystery for the medical profession and for most Americans. AIDS gained a higher profile as it began to take the lives of several prominent people in the entertainment industry. In Congress at the time, a representative from West Hollywood, Henry Waxman, was chairman of the House subcommittee on Health and Environment, the subcommittee assigned to look into the problem of AIDS. Waxman was a dedicated liberal and loyal friend of the entertainment industry. In October 1987, Waxman moved the first congressional…