Andrew McCullough's Blog

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our disfunctional State

June 22, 2010

I realize that I may not be saying anything that is not already widely known, but I have to vent my frustrations anyway. First of all, I do not drink. I have never had even one; and I doubt that I ever will. It does not fit my lifestyle. But, I am well aware that there are others who do. And, since our national experiment in prohibition ended in failure, purchasing and consuming alcholic beverages in legal, even in Utah. (We still think we can engage in marijuana prohibition, which is equally stupid, but that is a subject for another day). In fact, in Utah it is the State that sells the alcohol, thought a network of State liquor stores. Needless to say, we mark up the price a bit more than other places which allow private sales. In other words, this is the one State activity that MAKES A PROFIT! And it is substantial profit, bringing in money for many other State government activities.

And here is the crazy (and I do mean crazy) part. The legislature cut budgets across the board this year, due to decreased tax revenues. And State liquor stores were cut as well. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that, in line with legislative guideleines, the State liquor-control board today voted to close one liquor store, and to cut hours at 16 others, the busiest in the State. In other words, to save money on salaries ond other expenses, they cut their profits by an even greater amount. THE STATE DELIBERATELY CUT ITS PROFITS TO SAVE MONEY!

In any other Staste, the people who thought this up would be immediately fired. In Utah, of course, it isn't really about the money. It is about making sure that nobody thinks we approve of this terrible habit in our midst. And, if State spending must be cut, the liquor stores must be cut, even though we are losing more money than we are saving!

If this isn't enough to make you disgusted with "politics as usual", it sure should be. Citzens of Utah, rise up and throw the rascals out. You have nothing to lose but a bunch of idiots who "lead" us.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Latest news and views

June 18, 2010

I have been meaning to write something for several days, and have been so busy. I know that everyone has been overdosed on Ronie Gardner's execution; but a few final observations. I spend part of Thursday evening at the State Capitol at a vigil held by death penalty opponents. I don't know that I had a lot of personal sympathy for Mr. Gardner; but I am not comfortabel with the porcess. While there was no doubt that he did the deeds for which he was condemned, ther are so many instances where mistakes have been made. A few years ago, the Fovernor of Illinois commuted death penalites en masse adter being given statistics of how many mistakes are made. I recently represented a man who was put in prison for up to 15 years for an armed robbery he did not commit. Luckily for him, he was released after only four and a half years of being wrongfully imprisoned. Yes, I know that due process is given; but the penalty is so final; and it is so brutal. My father used to say that the death penalty reduced us to the level of the man who committed the awful crime. Perhaps the worst part was the cheering, gloating, jeering and celebrating at this death. Kind of reminds me of the Roman crowds who cheered while watching gladiators fight to the death. I would like to think that we have come a ways in being more civilzed since then. And finally, the "tweet" issued by the Attorney General, evidencing such smugness. Mr. Shurtleff, surely you must have more dignity than that.

In other news, the two Republican candidates for the Senate are beating up on each other, both claiming to be more conservative and more protective of "Utah values" than the other. Maskes me wish we had a Libertarian candidate in the race, though I remind voters that the Democratic and Constitutional parties do have candidates. I hope people will give thes alternatives a good look. The self-righteousness that prevails in the Republican Party leaves much to be desired. I only wish both of these guys could lose.

In Orem, a champion of family vlues who regularly volunteers at the Missionary Training Center has been accused of the rape of a 17 year old girl. What bothers me and others is that she went back to his house a week after the first instance and was assaulted again. So, I would like to withhold any judgment until we know what happened. Something like this can ruin a man's life; and we just don't know whether he did anything wrong yet.

This week the video of Senator Sheldon Killpack being pulled over for a DUI was released, after a long fight over it by the media. Now eveyone has an opinion as to whether he weaved, wobbled or whatever. I kinda wonder why this man should be held up to such a microsope, and to ridicle because he was an elected official at the time. Perhaps we just enjoy cutting the high and mighty down to size. I think it might be better if we just give him the same presumption of innocence that we all demand for ourselves.

Stay tuned for more news and views of Utah; and please consider helping me in my campaign to make Utah a little more open and a little more free.
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