Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Matheson: Unlabeled dishes No, torture Yes

Taking time out from voting to torture people and detain them indefinitely without charges, Congressman Jim Matheson has taken another hard stance, this time on dishware. Matheson is hitting China hard for adding extra mineral to our diets, insisting that lead-happy dishmakers label the leadware that they ship over here by the millions. Take that! And if you don't shape up, we might make you underline some of the words! You have been warned.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How high is Sandy's cost of living if the city administrator can't live on $151,000?

Thanks to the Trib's persistence in prying bonus figures out of Sandy City administrators' cold undead fingers, we now know that Mayor Tom Dolan and his 12 buddies sit around giving each other bonuses on a regular basis. (Boy, won't the Utah Taxpayers Association be all over that!)

For other city officials who are behind the curve, The Trib offers an instructional diagram, roughly translated as: "You approve my bonus, I'll approve your bonus."

The most impressive yield is by Sandy City Administrator Byron Jorgenson. For administering a city of 100,000, Mr. Jorgenson makes a salary of $151,000, plus (so far this year) $12,500 in bonus money. Sandy residents can't really complain about that. I mean, his salary is only 150 percent of the governor's salary, and he's worth way more than that, especially since, according to Sandy City,

"A large part of Mr. Jorgenson’s leadership strength comes from his high standards of personal ethics and integrity, which he exemplifies himself and demands in those around him."

And that's why Mr. Jorgenson deserves such a huge bonus -- because he spends so much time demanding integrity from others.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Should Harmon's provide armed guards?

$7.64--"For these?" It offended my sensibilities, but I didn't have the juevos (sorry, Minutemen) to tell the Harmon's checker, "Nevermind. I declare these grapes to be overpriced." Instead, I carried my purchase to my car, clutching it to my side lest someone try to nab my booty. And when I got home, I went straight to the Huffington Post, scanning headlines for that article I skipped the first time. Let's see . . .

21 Reasons To Hate Hillary . . .

Why Hillary Should Die . . .

Drop Out Already, Hillary . . .

One thing I already learned? Skip the grapes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Texas: We're taking good care of all 416 -- er, 425 -- er, 437 kids

The State of Texas continues to impress with the individualized attention it is paying all them FLDS types. Today, Texas officials disclosed that they were only off 21 in the number of kids they have in custody. 437, 416, who's counting? (Not Texas, apparently.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

$1,000+ hookup fee for UTOPIA? That's insane!

I've largely been a proponent of the UTOPIA concept, and was optimistic that it might become available in my new home, but this quote from this morning's Trib is enough to make anyone slam on the brakes:

Utopia's board of directors is developing a new business model it hopes finally will place the struggling, municipally owned network onto a solid financial footing. As part of that plan, it wants to require each new customer to pay a hefty fee upfront.

"We've identified a range of around $1,000, but eventually it could be two to three times that amount," said Utopia's chairman Alex Jensen.

I'm sorry; did I read that correctly? Apparently so:
Utopia's board is negotiating with several banks about providing financing for the connection fee so that customers who don't want to pay upfront can make payments over time. "If that [financing] is what customers want, it would be like going down to RC Willey and buying a piece of furniture," said Jensen, the Layton city manager.
Financing a hookup fee? Up to $3,000 just to be allowed to pay a monthly internet fee? Right. Maybe if it's superfast, makes breakfast every morning, and picks up my dry cleaning. Holy smokes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sutherland Institute to host flat earth conference

The Sutherland Institute is celebrating Earth Day by hosting a week-long conference urging more oil dependency and nuclear waste. A booming green industry hurts the economy and hurts the poor, says Institute president Paul Mero. "I mean, just think about it: global warming could mean having to buy one less winter coat," he said. "We're all about the poor people, you know."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Voting against one's economic interests: Dumb when you're poor, principled when you're wealthy?

This is not a comment on the recent Obama/bitter controversy, but the context in which that arose did bring to mind a conversation I had with a Utah acquaintance a while back. Musing about some low-income friends who consistently vote Republican solely because of their passion for guns, he wondered, "Why are they so stupid? They're voting against their economic interests."

I thought about it. Assuming -- as we did -- that Democrats are more likely to help low- and middle-income people, and assuming -- as we did -- that Republicans are more likely to help upper-income people, that meant . . . .

"I'm voting against my economic interests," I said. "I should be voting for Republicans."

Well, that's different, he seemed to suggest; it wasn't stupid for me to vote principle over pocketbook. But it was for his lower-income friends? Hmm . . .

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's not easy remodeling green - recommendations for green contractors, architects, engineers?

Either my Google skills are deteriorating, or there aren't that many green-oriented contractors, architects, and engineers for residences in the Salt Lake area. I found several for businesses, but not many for homes, and some of those just do new construction, not remodeling. Does anyone have personal experience with any, or with project managers they would recommend?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Those Tanner Transmission ads

I've just been subjected to seen my 5,000th Tanner Transmission commercial -- you know, the one where the guy turns toward the camera and scowls, "Leadership: It comes from acting by doing." Sheesh, you'd think he was leading the Great Raid on Cabanatuan or something instead of offering us all a power flush.

Anyway, I just have to say: Tanner Transmission, how do you pay for all that advertising? I see your face almost as often as Siegfried & Jensen's. And how about a new one once in a while? The only ad I want to see over and over for 20 years is this one:

Thank you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Qwest says, "What's this fiber thing?"

First, Qwest actively campaigned against UTOPIA and its lightning-fast fiber. That didn't kill it. Then it sued UTOPIA, but that didn't kill it either. So now Qwest has announced that maybe it will have to consider, sigh, actually offering fiber to those annoying customers who like their internet speedy.

"Qwest later this month will reveal how much it intends to spend in Utah and where the new service will be available," the Trib reported. So what was the point of issuing a press release with no information in the first place? Could it be related to the current hearings on additional bonding for the UTOPIA fiber project? Nah, must be a coincidence.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

'Sexually suggestive ads' on D-News site - ironic ad placement?

In this morning's D-News, a letter writer complains of the "sexually suggestive" advertising on the News' website. Wonder how she liked seeing her letter:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Horiuchi's developer buddies fill up the trough

First, a laugh-out-loud moment from the Trib this morning:

Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon has raised nearly $148,000 for his re-election campaign. GOP opponent Michael Renckert has raised $700. That roughly resembles the anticipated margin of Corroon's victory.

Now, a groan-out-loud moment:

Randy "Never met a conflict of interest I didn't like" Horiuchi is up to his old tricks, racking up $63,000 toward his re-election campaign. The primary donors are--do we even need to say?

More than half the incumbent's contributions ($35,900) came from home builders and real estate management firms, including North Star Builders, Wasatch Pacific and Cottonwood Development.

Well, you know what they say: Developers are a girl's best friend. And being a councilman means never having to say you're sorry.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hundreds detained, 400 children removed--can't wait to see *that* warrant!

A lot of the court filings are still under seal, but there must have been something really amazing about the anonymous call that sparked the FLDS raids in Texas. Otherwise, we're having a hard time figuring out how one report of one underage marriage (which should be fully prosecuted) would justify the wholesale rounding up and detaining of an entire community. If a call went out that someone in a Sandy neighborhood was a child molester, would all of the kids in the neighborhood be taken, all the men confined, and all the women "relocated"?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Silliest spin of the quarter (Utah's flat tax)

One of those laugh-out-loud moments (not in a good way): The Trib ran an article this morning about how everyone except rich people will pay significantly higher taxes under Utah's new flat-tax option, but the State hasn't publicized that little fact. Governor Huntsman's spokesperson Lisa Roskelley then gave the silliest quote possible on the subject:

"It's not fair to say they will be [negatively affected]. They could say, 'I would rather pay more taxes,' and choose the flat tax this year," she said. "The reason it's optional is they can choose which is best for them."
Nice to know that Huntsman's spokesperson has a finger on the pulse of the people.