Volcanos and earmarks and oil and gay rights

-Big Story in today’s paper edition about how Utah ranks 13th in the nation for earmarks. It lists earmarks that Sen. Bob Bennett, Rep. Jim Matheson and Rep. Jason Chaffetz have requested, which leads me to wonder, this early Tuesday (Yes!) morning what is up with Rep. Rob Bishop?

Rob may be too busy saving ATK Thiokol to bother himself with smaller earmarks. I’m not saying he’s wrong — 2000 potential readers could lose their jobs, after all — but it is funny how it ceases to be a much-criticized earmark when it is his ox being gored.

– Got an email from Equality Utah discussing efforts to promote non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The goal is to get cities to stop discriminating against gay couples, thus getting around state legislative efforts to turn gays into second class citizens.

Notice I don’t say “sexual preference.” Your sexual makeup is not a choice, it is how you are. Equality Utah’s mail says:

In case you missed the SL Tribune article on Friday, 2 more non-discrimination ordinances were passed. Park City Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council unanimously approved protections in employment and housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We celebrate Park City for being the 3rd in the state to pass these important protections, joining Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County.

Join us tonight in Ogden for a Council Work Meeting!

Ogden City Council Chambers, Tue, April 20th 6PM,  2538 Washington Blvd. 3rd floor

Landslides in North Salt Lake, volcanoes in Iceland, all reminders that we’re just passengers on this big ball of mud otherwise known as planet Earth. It’s funny how we keep getting angry that these things cause us inconvenience — the airlines pushing for resumption of flights claiming officials overreacted are particularly scary.Sure, they’re losing money, but who’s going to scream if a plane load of people goes down?

– Am I the only one who’s noticed that the price of gasoline is rising steadily, over $3 a gallon? Last time I filled up it cost me $42. and I’m just a poor journalist.

I remember how, two years ago, when the price of gasoline was nudging $3 and then $4, there was a massive hue and cry, we were all going to be doomed and/or bankrupted. Now, everyone pays $3, and you can bet it will nudge $4 again, and seems fine with that. If anything, I swear I see more massive vans and pickup trucks toodling around Ogden, each one burning gasoline at a furious and, presumably, expensive rate.

Are the people happily paying $3 a gallon the same ones who were outraged when — as gasoline was hovering around $2  — I proposed tacking on a $1 a gallon tax for mass transit? Probably — I was accused of trying to stifle the economy, ruin poor people and generally being a jerk just because I thought it would be better for us to collect that money and not the Saudi Arabians who, remember, hate our guts but love our money.

Now they’re getting rich again, and we’re paying $3 a gallon again, and all’s right with the world?

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6 Responses to Volcanos and earmarks and oil and gay rights

  1. Sylvia says:

    Here’s a hodge-podge response: I’m sad people are losing their homes; that is never good, but every time I drive past Bountiful and North Salt Lake and see how they just keep going up and up, it makes me sad and a little angry. The city planners should have set a no-bldg line around the base of the mts, just below the Bonneville Shoreline, years ago and stuff like this would not happen and we’d still have beautiful foothills to explore.
    As to gas, I don’t think it’s a bad thing for it to go up–that prompts conservation. I’m just irritated that UTA cut Frontrunner routes. Maybe this will spur them to bring them back. One can always hope . . .
    Here’s something to add to the hodge-podge: why are we so scared of nuclear power and raise such a stink about it when, with the exception of Chernobyl, they have killed no one–unlike coal mines?

  2. Charles Trentelman says:

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you on nuclear, Sylvia, except for two things:

    I don’t trust the nuclear industry OR the government, not ever since they said Utahns were expendable (a LOTof people died from those tests and a lot are still sick)

    and, I don’t see any solution to the nuclear waste issue.

    Solve those two problems, I’m with you.

  3. Dan Marks says:

    “Notice I don’t say “sexual preference.” Your sexual makeup is not a choice, it is how you are.”

    That’s just marketing hype. This is ridiculous to have another protected class. The laws we have are plenty. Tolerance (dictionary def.) is one thing, normalizing and embracing is quite another.

  4. Juan Ramon says:

    Dan is right… and wrong. Gender identity is not “marketing hype.” Children don’t have a clue about marketing, but they know who they are. When your child comes to you scared because they don’t fit into the gender role assigned to them, they aren’t making a bold marketing decision.

    We do have plenty of laws and it is ridiculous to have another protected class. Why can’t people just practice what they preach: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Tom Jefferson wrote, “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” Note: we have a BIG government.

  5. an old, old man says:

    As to gas prices, how about this: This is all part of a grand master plan by evil Capitalists to part us from our dollars. They figure — rightly — that we consumers are a lot like those little frogs. You know, the ones in the famous pot of water on the stove. They don’t object when the burner is turned on because the water only becomes gradually warmer. They become accustomed to it and then, suddenly, it’s TOO LATE. IJust clever marketing. We Americans will buy anything if the marketing is good enough.

    And landslides. How many people remember the hue-and-cry several years ago when the Utah Geological Survey was ordered by our state legislators to stop publishing maps of geologic hazard zones? It was an obvious sell-out of consumer protection by those legislators who are either directly involved in land development or beholden to generous campaign contributions, Jazz tickets and other perks from the developer and real estate lobbies. Those hazard zone maps used to warn people that foothill hillsides which consist of alluvial deposits from ancient lake Bonneville are prone to slippage — a natural process known as “mass wasting.” It won’t be long before some genius realizes they can find a way in court to stick the rest of us for the cost of stabilizing their unstable home.

    And what’s up with Robbie Boy? Nothing new. Just normal Bishop hypocrisy.

    Then I find myself often wondering how much “sexual orientation” on the part of teenagers is really orientation or just a really terrific way to get some attention? Kind of like the way Hollywood and sports stars advertise the fine arts of tattooing and piercing, they advertise the “normality” of homosexuality. And, boy, if a kid wants some attention, all they have to do is “come out” even if they’re still not mature enough to fully understand all the implications of what they’re doing. If the idea so common among our role models is that publicity — even bad publicity — is better than none, seems to work so well for them, then why won’t it work for someone who just recently realized that sex sells.

  6. Michael Trujillo says:


    The U.S. Government, via the U.S. Navy, has been operating Nuclear Power plants for decades and has never had an accident. They’re called Nuclear Submarines and Nuclear Aircraft Carriers. (Alas, they’ve discontinued operating Nuclear Cruisers.)

    I understand your hesitation to trust plants built and operated by the lowest bidders with the highest paid lobbiests, and I don’t know the answer to that problem, but I want to assure you that there are thousands of quality former nuclear propulsion plant operators in this country who, if allowed to run a plant with safe guards similar to the Navy, could run a safe operation.

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