Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

The Life I am Choosing: The Greatest Threat

February 19, 2009

Allie of The Life I am Choosing has a very elegant response to the most recent bile from Chris Buttars.

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Senator Chris Buttars: Conservative Moneywrench

February 11, 2009

With the Chris Buttars apparently jonesin’ for some capital punishment in the state, The Voice of Utah figured out the good senator’s game.

A fine bit of deduction, Voice.

The Voice of Utah Lampoons Senator Buttars

March 4, 2008

The Voice of Utah is one of my favorite local blogs; their satire is second to none (and their research seems to be pretty accurate). Their recent entry, “Buttars’ illegal-immigrant/lifestyle ancestors give one pause,” is just about their best yet in exposing the hypocrisy of those who veil their prejudices, ethnocentrism, and even outright bigotry behind the thin gauze of “law and order.”

Centerville Citizen and a First Presidency Message

December 26, 2007

In a day when some think that Utah is “for war,” it is worth recalling with the Centerville Citizen the words of the First Presidency during WWII—a war which was unquestionably a just war (at least in the Atlantic Theatre). How much more should we take to heart their words during this current explosion of U.S. military adventurism?

A Prayer for Compassion

December 20, 2007

Rob reminds his readers of the need for compassion, empathy, and charity with a great prayer. An important message to consider at this time of year.

Real Christmas Spirit

December 18, 2007

Now here‘s a family which understands Christmas.

No doubt, they are hardly unique. I’m sure there are many individuals and families around the nation (and world) who forgo the conventional commodified Christmas for one more representative of him for whom the holiday is named. But we’re so bombarded by slick ads, cloying Christmas specials and bad music that these simple and yet powerful acts of Christian charity are overlooked and undervalued.

The Brand family may not be receiving presents this year, but the gifts they will obtain through their unselfishness will be priceless.

(Thanks to Farnsworth for the heads-up)

Street Prophets on Congress’s Christmas Resolution

December 13, 2007

Blogger Pastor Dan noted another example of conservative church-state-Christmas lunacy.

Overtreated: The Case for Single-Payer Healthcare

December 13, 2007

Steve Olsen, one of the most lucid writers in the Utah blogosphere, has written a nice post on Shannon Brownlee’s book Overtreated.

Brownlee’s (and Olsen’s) points are very relevant. It very much makes sense that in a free-market system where the ultimate goal is maximization of profits, health-care institutions would be less interested in curing illness efficiently. It is only rational (if amoral) that they would be more focused on keeping a catheter to your wallet.

For those who insist that the U.S. healthcare system is not a truly free-market system: you’re right. But it is a whole lot closer than the European systems which routinely provide more efficient care (not to mention the “socialized” VA system).

And yet still free-market apologists complain; most perplexingly about “undiscriminating” overuse (or abuse) of our health-care system, a complaint which I’ve addressed before. I would really like to know who these people are who “abuse” our health care system. How many people are making the regular, routine visits to their physician recommended to maintain optimal health? Just how many people are seeking professional medical advice at the first signs of developing problems? I’m betting the numbers are low. I suspect that to improve overall health in the U.S, we should be encouraging more use of the health care system (albeit use dictated by patient need rather than industry profit as mentioned in Overtreated) not less. The conservative attitude that we should just “walk it off” when our body warns us about health problems and only seek medical attention when things get serious courts disaster.

Side Streets in SLC

December 3, 2007

Amen, Jen!

Pro-Public Education Bloggers

September 30, 2007

The fight over vouchers continues unabated here in the state of Utah, and there have been a great number of very worthy arguments against over the course of the last month or so. Here are some of my favorites

Many have responded to the voucher defence by Sutherland Institute spokesman Paul Mero (who prefers his quiver privately fletched at public expense). The Voice of Utah and The World According to Me both challenged the flawed arithmetic, research skills, and reasoning of Mero’s press release (If the staff of the Sutherland Institute was largely publically educated, would that mean the flaws in the press release actually help their case?).

Mero not only presents inaccurate information, but makes the ludicrous assertion that public education has threatened the LDS faith with “cultural extinction” (yes, Paul, the LDS faith is certainly dwindling in Utah, isn’t it?). Accountability First, a great source for exploring many aspects of the voucher issue, condemns Mero’s use of religious demogogury. Jeremy’s Jeremiad takes Mero to task for pining for the idyllic early days of Deseret. Rob at the Utah Amicus does as well, and also points to an article by BYU emeritus professor of history Thomas G. Alexander challenging Mero’s vision of Days Gone By (must be one of them Ivory Tower liberals!).

But Mero wasn’t the supporter of welfare for the rich whose data seems flawed. The Third Avenue notes that one advocate determines the average cost of private schools by excluding the more expensive schools from his average. This makes perfect sense—why account for data which doesn’t support your previously determined conclusion?

Voucher-supporting legislators apparently don’t mind using manipulation and bully tactics in support of their pet cause. The Third Avenue finds it reprehensible that key Republican legislators have threatened to blackmail local businesses. The Voice of Utah, however, sees another, more understanding excuse for their behavior.

Wasatch Watcher questions the integrity of pro-voucher campaign leader Jeff Hartley, who attempts to mislead the public about the nature of the pro-voucher campaign.

The Davis Dijeridu links to the astounding lack of quantifiable data in support of the theoretical claims of the voucher folks.

And finally, Steve Olsen at Utah Amicus boils both sides down to their essential arguments, with the aid of the Ogden Standard Examiner.

There are plenty more good ones where those came from. But I’ll stop at these, a sampling of the best responses to the voucher argument.