Games I play

The land in and around St. George is naturally...

The land in and around St. George is naturally a vivid red. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often drive between Saint George, Utah, and Southern California. On the return drive, the temperature in summer often starts in the 60s in Southern California and mounts to 105 to 110 degrees F. in Saint George.  I like to see how closely I can match my speed to the temperature on the drive. I call the game “driving the temperature,” and I usually must stop around 85 miles per hour which happens in the morning not far from Barstow. Today I went grocery shopping with the temperature at 98 degrees F. I spent $94.00 and now I have a new game I call “shopping the temperature.”

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Reform the US Senate

United States Senate Seal

United States Senate Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The US Senate requires reform; it does not represent the people of the US. I would prefer to reform the Senate by increasing the number of Senators so that half of them represent their states’ populations, but that would require a Constitutional amendment. We may be required to use the nuclear option, which is the elimination of the filibuster. However, there is another method of reform which retains the filibuster and does not require a Constitutional amendment, changing state boundaries.

The western interior of the US is overrepresented in the Senate, at least in the number of Senators representing very small populations. If we merged five pairs of two small states into one larger state, that would reduce the number of Senators from 100 to 90 and reduce votes needed for cloture from 60 to 54. Merging 10 states into 5 would have a small effect on the House of Representatives, but a much greater impact on the Senate. The same effect approximately could be achieved by splitting California into 5 or more states. Either option or a combination of both is possible under the Constitution as written, no amendment required.

This is my list of states to be merged with a possible name for the combined state:

Arizona and New Mexico into Alto Mexico or Upper Mexico
Nevada and Utah into Utada or Greater Deseret
Idaho and Montana into Idana or Blue Skies
Wyoming and Colorado into Coloradoming or Mountain
North Dakota and South Dakota into Dakota

Softball part 2

Southern Utah Thunderbirds athletic logo

Southern Utah Thunderbirds athletic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number one reason people visit Saint George here in warm and sunny Southern Utah is softball. With that thought in mind, I decided to create a fictitious league of teams from the surrounding area. Initially there were four teams, but I have decided to expand it to eight. These teams do not exist, but they should. My favorite is the Mesquite, Nevada team.

Saint George Dragons
Hurricane Winds
Cedar City Waxwings
Mesquite Toes
Colorado City Slickers
Santa Clara Rivers
Toquerville Trolleys
Veyo Volcanoes

Needless expense

Birth certificate

Birth certificate (Photo credit: maxim off)

In order to renew a driver’s license here in Utah, one must present three documents: an original Social Security card, a utility bill or bank statement as proof of address, and a state issued birth certificate. My original hospital-issued birth certificate from 1941 was not good enough. I had to go online and pay $25.00 for a state issued certificate. A birth certificate from Cook County, Illinois was not good enough either. The license renewal for 5 years cost $13.00 while the unnecessary birth certificate, to my mind, was nearly twice that. Additionally, I must return to the DMV office which is halfway to Hurricane so that my license will finally be issued. A real waste of time and money.

Here in Utah, the only election that really matters are the GOP caucuses. I participated in one in 2012 and no ID was required. In fact, one of the hosts didn’t know how to respond when I tried to prove my identity. When I voted in person, we showed ID. Now that I vote by mail, no ID is required. If it possible to register to vote when getting a driver’s license, and it is, it should work the other way too. A registered voter should not be put to the expense of furnishing a state issued birth certificate when the applicant can show proof of birth and already has a Utah driver’s license.

Mike Lee

Official portrait of United States Senator Mik...

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

Mike Lee is the junior senator from Utah, elected in 2010 and a TEA Party favorite. He was interviewed on the tube yesterday about the Senate rejection of the UN treaty on the disabled. One reason for the rejection that he put forward is that some lawyers interpret part of the treaty to allow abortions. That is reasoning that only a lawyer could love.