Andrew McCullough's Blog

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This and that

September 24, 2009

It has been a month since I blogged, and there is so much going on. But there is no way I can comment on all the stuff that needs commenting, so I will just hit a few high notes.

First, a relatively non-political note that an old "friend" passed away last week, Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary. The very first concert I attended as a 14 year old was one of theirs, in the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, NY. It was a wonderful experience, and was followed by at least 7 more of their concerts over a span of many years. Not really totally divorced from politics, as PP & M tirelessly campaigned for social justice in the world. She will be missed by those of us who grew up enthralled by the 60's folk music scene.

Yesterday, I argued the first appellate case in Utah over the application of a recent law providing for the compensation of a person who has been incarcerated for a crime of which he is later found to be innocent. The attorney general is quite determined to avoid compensation without total and absolute proof of innocence. In the meantime, a man who spent over four years in prison for a crime he almost certainly did not commit, continues to suffer from the disruption of his life. For more information, see my website at, and read my brief to the Utah Court of Appeals. A decision on whether he even gets a hearing where he can attempt to prove his innocence will be rendered in a few months.

Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah's Third District was interviewed on KSL radio over an incident at the airport where he was directed to the extra scrutiny line, and had to choose between being man-handled by TSA personnel or screened by the new machine which creates a virtual image of the person nude. He protested and was given a very hard time. All appearances are that he was picked out for special treatment because of his efforts to outlaw the virtual nudity machine. Some onlookers say he was obnoxious. I rather doubt he was as obnoxious as I would have been in the situation. Thanks, Congressman, for standing up for freedom. And I must ask the question: Are we any safer because airport personnel can pull a congressman out of line and subject him to humiliating searches? Having been subjected to the enhanced security treatment a few times myself, I am convinced the answer is "no".

A couple of weeks ago, the President spoke via satellite to school children to encourage them to stay in school and take their education seriously. Now, I don't like everything he is doing. As a Ford stockholder, I do not like the fact that GM is now government owned and appears to have a better deal with the UAW than does my company. I do not approve of his handling of the economy, but I do think he has tried to make the best of a bad situation. I am NOT a Democrat, as I agree with Republicans that the President's party does not know the value of taxpayers' money. But, before the speech, I listened to a sobbing, hysterical mother on the radio who said she was trying to avoid her daughter listening to the talk, as she would be "indoctrinated in socialism". My reaction was that this woman probably should not be allowed to have children, as she is likely to indoctrinate them in lunacy. As Utah Chair of the Libertarian Party, I sometimes have to wish a plague on both "major parties". But the hysteria and the hate need to be diminished. Listening to the right wing radio and other media, one would think we have been invaded by the worst sort of totalitarian despots. I really do hope that hate will lose out. And it is so unfortunate to see the Republican Party so dominated by it. Maybe one of these days, people will give us Libertarians a chance to help govern; and I hope we will prove wiser than those who have gone before us.

If you too have had enough, check out and join the fight to bring sanity back to government. Do something to help, and try not to make things worse. And, by the way, while the Party has not formally endorsed the effort to bring Utah a redistricting commission dedicated to taking partisan politics our of the redistricting process, I support the effort. Contact me to sign the Petition to put this on the ballot. Hopefully that is a small first step to bringing better government.


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