Privacy

26 Mar 2008

Government must not invade nor circumvent individual privacy. I and many others haven written extensively over the past several years of the dangers inhereant in many of the directions our Federal Government has pursued since the terrible attacks upon us, September 11, 2001.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is a difficult issue for many. I simply see that if we allow the continued erosion of our basic freedoms and privacy, the United States of America will become a police state sooner than we might realize.



Infrastructure

26 Mar 2008

It is important that the people have reliable infrastructure for society to function and grow. Roads are one type of important infrastructure. Water, sewer and electrical service are others that are quite often recognized. Fire, police and ambulatory services are also very important parts of our infrastructure.

One type of infrastruture upon which all of the rest now depend is telecommunications. The 100+ year old model of a government regulated monopoly no longer works in this day and age and is no longer necessary. The technologies have advanced beyond the point where this model made sense.

Our government needs to cease actions that protect these ancient, 19th and 20th century monopolies. There are better ways.

We in Utah are developing a problem with overcrowded roads. We’re not yet at the point where it will be a crisis. There are many other states whose cities are far worse off than we. Still, that’s no excuse to wait until the need is upon us. We must be proactive and find solutions to these looming infrastructure issues.

Road congestion could be eased considerably if there were other good resources to permit large business to locate some of their large facilities in less crowded areas. We are building a new road and the new commuter rail (long overdue) is ever closer to opening up service.

The UTA public transportation system was, 10 years ago, a system to be envied. It was convenient, efficient, affordable and safe. Since the introduction of light-rail, which was, and remains, a good idea despite it’s poor execution, UTA has all but completely destroyed it’s once good name. Costs have soared and services dwindled.

Telecommunications infrastructure is of critical importance to society, today. Not only because so many other infrastructure systems rely upon it, but also because businesses and individuals need fast, affordable, reliable access to local and global information. The UTOPIA Community MetroNet is an example of how we can properly provide such infrastructure.



Education

26 Mar 2008

Many, many people have been asking me about education. I am very grateful that they have also shared their views and ideas. Those discussions have already, in this early stage of my campaign, help expand my viewpoint. There are ideas that I had not encountered before, many of which have good merits.

I believe that education is the great key to a stable, prosperous, self-sufficient society.

In 2006-2007, Utah’s K-12 education system ranked 38th among the 50 states.

In 2005, education in the United States ranked 13th in the world.

According to EducationWeek’s January 2007 report, Utah ranked 20th among the 50 states in the liklihood that a student born and educated here would “succeed” in life. Not too bad, but I know that we can do better.



Transparency

26 Mar 2008

Many politicians do seek input from their constituency. This is very good. However, very few provide much, if any, communication back to those they are to represent. They hold various meetings behind closed doors. What was discussed?

We have a system of representative government. True representation, however, requires transparency and two-way communication.

I hereby vow to conduct my campaign and my service in office as transparently as possible. I will share information regarding the topics and substance of all meetings, conversations and communications which relate to any work I do as your State Senator.

I hereby vow to communicate with those I represent, to provide them with information as issues, bills and conversations evolve, to listen to the true desires of the majority of those I represent, to vote according to my constituents viewpoints.

I ask only the you, too, participate in this process and provide me with true information such that I may take good action.



Family

26 Mar 2008

We in Utah are lucky. Our legislative bodies have not (yet?) attempted to legislate some of the anti-family practices we’re seeing in other states. But we need to be vigilant and not allow ourselves to peer over the edge of this particular slippery slope.

Government should not meddle in the family. Parental rights are very important to me. The parents and the family as a whole are the best resource we have. They can teach, nurture, encourage, support and develop their children, crafting model citizens who have learned to do the same for their children. When governments start reaching inside of families, it seems inevitable that the impact will be destructive, despite the best of intentions.

Of course, it is still necessary, at times, to protect children from heart-wrenching situations and environments. We must always be careful when stepping in to break up a family and make sure it’s only done when no other reasonable options remain.

You shouldn’t be taxed because a loved one died. The people shouldn’t feel that their government is treating them with utter disdain. Does it feel as though your government says, “We’re very sorry for your loss, but we’re going to take some ridiculous percentage of the estate,” I want to permanently end estate and inheritance taxes.



Running for Utah Senate District 23

17 Mar 2008

Earlier today, I registered to run for the Utah State Senate in district 23.

I am not a politician. I have no desire to be a career politician, as in, I am not running in order to “play the game.” The game is not what truly interests me. Of course, there is a game and at times it must be played, though, I will endeavor to minimize those.

I believe that Government of, by and for the people should follow these core values:

  • Family First
  • Transparency of Representative Government
  • Education
  • Provide infrastructure
  • Protect individual privacy
  • Reduce and eliminate the over-taxation of businesses and individuals
  • Spend, save and invest wisely
  • Encourage business and trade

I am running because I feel that more can be and needs to be done for these values. There has been much good legislation in Utah, there have been some questionable items and some that bring more serious cause for concern.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.



Nadia, Pooh & Piglet

24 Jan 2008

This afternoon, I spent about 30 minutes playing with Nadia in her room. At one point, I had her favorite nap-time blanket laid out. She could see the “patch” in the corner of it that has a small picture of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet on it. She was fingering it, so I said, “This is Winnie the Pooh and this is Piglet,” several times while pointing to them myself. Within a few seconds she pointed at Piglet, so I said, “That’s Piglet. Can you point to Winnie the Pooh.” She immediately did so, then looked up at me with a big smile while still holding her finger on Pooh.

About ten minutes later, I was recounting this story to Charlotte, who had since entered the room. When Nadia hear me say, “Winnie the Pooh and Piglet,” she looked up, came straight over and pointed to Piglet, then when I asked her if she could point to Pooh, she did. Charlotte was quite impressed.



Nadia Drops a Hint

23 Jan 2008

Tonight, Nadia and I had “sent” Charlotte off to the Temple and the grocery store, so we were the only ones at home. We mostly played together and only watched TV for about an hour; two VeggieTales DVDs.

During the shows, I paused the DVD player and went into the kitchen. Nadia followed and poked around the kitchen for a couple of minutes before leaving for the living room. A moment later, she returned with the remote control for the DVD player, which she held up to me. After I accepted it, she lead as I went back into the living room where I un-paused the show for her. A song started about 5 seconds later and she was dancing happily as I returned to the kitchen to finish what I had been doing.

Subtle, isn’t she?

The remote control was in a place where she would of had to climb up on the couch, then back down to retrieve and deliver it. So it was no small feat for her. She had climbed up and tried to get down from the couch a few times earlier today, falling a couple of times (I caught her, she never got hurt, though she did scare herself). I had “helped” her to turn backwards and scoot her legs over the edge first to learn to safely descend from the couch, which she started doing on her own during the evening when we were alone.

When I told Charlotte this story after Nadia was in bed for the night, she couldn’t stop smiling. It’s amazing how many things she’s putting together so quickly. We have one very smart little girl, here.



Nadia’s First Pretend

20 Jan 2008

Today, Nadia went into the kitchen, opened her drawer and pulled out a plastic cup and a plastic spoon. Then, she walked back to me into the living room, holding the cup under her left arm with the spoon in her right hand. She was stirring the imaginary contents of the cup with the spoon. When she found me, she walked right over, smiled up at me and offered a taste of whatever it was she was making.

Charlotte was in the kitchen preparing a meal at the time. I suppose that Nadia decided she wanted to cook, too. This is the first time that either Charlotte or I know of Nadia pretending.

Nadia is just so much fun.