Thursday, September 25, 2008

Budget Cuts

During an emergency session for the Utah’s Congress, the lawmakers were poised and forced to cut more than $270 million from the budget. They are instructed to keep all budget cuts away from education. Instead of any cuts to education, they are likely to eliminate many jobs and scale back on many programs. These cuts will likely be decided later today.

May I make a few suggestions?

1. Eliminate all vehicle privileges for state officials, including the Highway Patrol and administration. We will cut down on a lot of unnecessary cost by taking away their opportunity to drive their car on the state’s dime. Taxpayers do not want to pay for executive staff to drive to the movies, to the mall, and to Macey’s in state funded vehicles. If the majority of the citizens have to provide their own transportation to work then so can the rest of the State’s officials. (I’m also pointing at you, Provo City!)

2. Post a call for bids to privatize the Utah State Hospital immediately. Millions of dollars are wasted at the USH every year in unnecessary building costs and unproductive programs. True Republicans would advocate for smaller government and this is your chance to fulfill your platform of smaller government! There is also a lot of unnecessary and wasteful bureacracy within the State Hospital that is eating a lot of the budget up.

3. Immediately pull the plug on any funding to anything that should never have received funding including the REAL SOCCER STADIUM! Political party conventions also.

4. Cutting Executive Office staffers. You can do your own job Governor Huntsman.

5. Change the priorities in the prison system. If there is a violent/sexual offender then they are to remain in jail. If he/she commits victimless crimes (a crime that has hurt nobody except themselves) then the perpetrator is to go free. This will free up the prisons' budget and will open the prison system for more violent offenders ... which will free up the police on the streets because the violent ones are remaining in jail…and not being set free because of overcrowding.

6. Privatize the expensive FrontRunner Train system and TRAX light-rail.

7. Force UVU, WSU, UofU, SUU, Snow, CEU, etc. to be more profitable. Universities and colleges are capable of this (they are smart people, right?) I'm not advocating an overnight pullout of all funds, but I'd tell them they have 5 years to be self sufficient because their funds are being eliminated. They should be given the opportunity to sell to a private institution. The new Library in Utah Valley University is a waste of public funds.

8. Flat tax. (I would prefer no income tax). It's unconstitutional anyway, and it eats up potential sales tax revenue. Let the people earn their own money and keep it.

9. Spend money on a major internal audit so we can find unnecessary state institutions to weed out waste.

10. Promote industry to move to Utah by eliminating corporate tax and subsidies. Let them keep their earnings and pay their employees. Those employees will pay plenty of sales tax to run this monstro government.

These are just a few of the ideas I can think of. It’s going to be frustrating watching what budget cuts occur with these people running the show. I guarantee they make things worse. Help! Get me in there!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Two influential philosophers are making a point that must be expressed. It shouldn't matter who is what religion, when, or how...when it comes to the election. Their names are Nielsen and Nietzsche.

Nielson and Nietzsche both believe that a belief in God affects morality. If it were at all possible for the two of them to discuss each other’s arguments, they would agree on the argument that the nonreligious human is capable of great morality. Although Nielson and Nietzsche believe in secular morality, they will disagree on the argument of who are more morally correct, seculars or non-seculars. They would not be enjoying each other’s company for too long.

Nielson believes that it doesn’t matter whether there is a belief in God or not, both the secular and non-secular are capable of being moral. He states: “if a believer loses his God but can keep his nerve, think the matter over, and thoroughly take it to heart, life can still be meaningful and morality yet have an objective rationale”. Basically what he is saying is that a believer and nonbeliever alike are capable of morality. This is a good Libertarian philosophy that I believe in.

An example of Nielson’s logic is the Seinfeld episode when Elaine Benes discovers that her boyfriend, David Putty, is religious. “Putty” believes that he is morally right and refuses to steal the newspaper in front of his neighbor’s apartment door even though he wants it really bad. However, he asks Elaine, the secular one, to steal it for him. Elaine refuses because she retains her moral values. The newspaper remained in front of the apartment door. No crime is committed. This demonstrates Nielson’s point that both secular and religious are capable of moral values.

On the contrast, Nietzsche believes that a completely secular outlook on life actually enhances morality. Case in point, Nietzsche states: “Indeed at hearing the news that ‘the old God is dead’, we philosophers and ‘free spirits’ feel illuminated by a new dawn; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, forebodings, expectation—finally the horizon seems clear again…the sea, our sea, lies open again; maybe there has not been such an ‘open sea’. In other words, Nietzsche believes that once God is taken out of our lives it seems as if we are actually more capable of morality than ever before. Atheism is not a requisite for Libertarianism, as a Libertarian will usually disagree with this philosophy. I believe that those who belong to a church ARE capable of great morality.

Using the same Seinfeld scenario as before, Elaine asks Putty why he won’t steal the paper and insists that Elaine steal it. Putty says: “Thou shalt not steal”. Putty goes on to explain that it is okay for Elaine to steal because she is going to hell anyway for not believing in God.

Nietzsche would see this scenario and argue that Elaine is the one with the morality because she believes in not stealing, for society’s sake, regardless of her status of going to hell or not. Putty is the one lacking in morality because his mind is clouded and has no purpose for not stealing other than the fear of God, Nietzsche would argue.

In conclusion, both philosophers make an excellent argument about the belief in God affecting moral choices. However, these philosopher’s arguments do not completely agree with one another. Religious and non-religious alike would benefit from reading both Nielson and Nietzsche, as I know David Putty and Elaine Benes would have benefited too. So in this election, don't discriminate because someone is a member or is not a member of any church or religion. I know for me personally...I'd rather just not know. Amen.