Freedom Forum

Official portrait of United States Senator Mik...

Official portrait of United States Senator Mike Lee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Senator Mike Lee appeared yesterday at a GOP sponsored Freedom Forum at the local college. With less than 12 hours notice, I decided not to attend. My comments that follow are based on an account published today in The Spectrum, our local Saint George newspaper.

Attendees cheered as Lee spoke about the national debt. Lee said, “If we start now, we can make some relatively modest cuts to a lot of programs to make them sustainable. It will hurt a lot of people who depend on (these programs), and the poor suffer the most when we do that. We can get to a point where we get the balance and we don’t have a $1 trillion annual interest payment, but these things have to be done more gradually.”

Apparently, Lee did not explain that under the Ryan plan, annual deficits will be cut gradually while at the same time the composition of the budget is shifted dramatically to favor military expenditures over safety net programs. Under GOP leadership the elderly and the poor suffer most during recessions and the Great Recession is no different. Instead of increasing our military budget, we should be making dramatic cuts there so that we can maintain or increase our safety net programs. Depending on the source, the US has between 700 and 1,000 foreign military installations, and we are moving into the African continent, an unstable area that will lead to more wars. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman nor should we.

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The facts, just the facts

Trayvon Martin shooting protest 2012 Shankbone 25

Trayvon Martin shooting protest 2012 Shankbone 25 (Photo credit: david_shankbone)

Today’s edition of the local paper, The Spectrum, contained a letter to the editor so wrong that I decided to do some research. The letter mis-characterized Trayvon Martin as a man 6 feet 2 inches tall who bullied George Zimmerman. Martin was a male, not a MAN, aged 17 and his vitals at the time of death: 5 feet 11 inches and 158 pounds. George Zimmerman, the night he shot and killed Martin was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 185 pounds, according to police records. That meant he outweighed Martin by 27 pounds as well as carrying a concealed weapon.

If the altercation took place in a boxing ring rather than on or near a sidewalk, Martin would have been classified as a middleweight while Zimmerman was a cruiserweight, which falls between light heavyweight and heavyweight. Cruiserweight is THREE boxing categories higher than middleweight; it was a mismatch in Zimmerman’s favor, not counting the advantage of a concealed weapon over a package of Skittles.

Government jobs dip, unemployment ticks up

Utah

Utah (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

“Government jobs dip, unemployment ticks up,” screams the headline in today’s local newspaper, The Spectrum. Could it be that the two are connected? Maybe. The jobs decrease may be linked to the sequester said Carrie Mayne of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Government jobs here in Utah have declined for six straight months. Overall though, Utah has a much lower unemployment rate than much of the country.

Colors

Colorful Silhouette

Image by stephenccwu via Flickr

How brown was the town

How black was the kayak

How blue was the shrew

How green was the teen

How pink was the cotton candy

How orange was the pumpkin

How mellow was the yellow

How tan was man

How glad was the plaid

How purple was the grape

How violet was the ultra

How infra was the red

How polka was the dot

How sweet was the beat

And the band played on