Friday, January 28, 2011

The Utah State Legislature vs. The Disabled


Why I lose sleep every January and February

A while ago, I got into a bit of a “discussion” on facebook.  It all began when my friend started a thread on his wall.  It got me a bit frustrated, but I debated whether or not I should respond, because it was started by a good friend.  In the end, I did.  I said, “Rhetoric like this is what makes me lose sleep every winter when the Utah state legislature meets.”  He asked me to clarify that.  I did, and others joined in.

What followed was a discussion that I’ve had a number of times when I get on this topic with the conservatives that are so plentiful out here in Utah.  It goes basically like this.

  • They:  The government shouldn’t be responsible for taking care of people, they should take care of themselves!
  • Me:  So, you’re saying that the government shouldn’t help us pay Jacob’s medical bills?  You mean we should pay what would amount to literally over $7,000 a month ourselves?
  • They:  You pay that much?
  • Me: No, but we would have to if we didn’t have help from government programs. Jacob’s life literally depends on government programs.
  • They: Well, of course, the government should help people like you, they just shouldn’t help people who are leeching off welfare.
  • Me: But when the representatives in the legislature talk, they don’t make any distinctions.  They just talk about cutting funding.  That makes me lose sleep.
  • They: Well, conservatives wouldn’t cut funding for the disabled.  Some government programs are necessary.
  • Me:  Whatever you say...

So, today, I got this email from a group that sits in on legislative committee meetings and reports on them to those in the disability community.  It said:

“The Social Services Appropriations Joint Sub-Committee voted on a base budget this morning  that eliminates or reduces programs that impact people receiving services through DSPD (Division of Services for People with Disabilities)...” 
The letter went on to enumerate the items in the DSPD budget that were being cut and gutted.


Fortunately, this is just a subcommittee meeting, and there is much lobbying that can (and in my opinion must) be done to prevent that.

There are a few arguments that I’ve had on the ‘net where I would sincerely wish I would lose.  This, unfortunately, is one of them.  I’d gladly wish that I were wrong if it would help me sleep better.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords, Jared Loughner, Sarah Palin, and Barak Obama

My thoughts on the Arizona shooting and its aftermath:

   1. It was a senseless tragedy, perpetrated in a senseless way, by a senseless man.
   2. I can’t think of a single thing I’ve heard Sarah Palin say that didn’t make me cringe.  HOWEVER - this shooting is not her fault.
   3. The only thing I can think of that Jason Chaffetz has said that I’ve agreed with was his praise for Gabrielle Giffords.  This shooting isn’t his fault, either.
   4. Who’s fault is it?  Jared Loughner (assuming he’s convicted).
   5. Is Jared Loughner crazy?  I think ANYONE that points a gun at another human and shoots is, on some level, crazy.  There is a lot of craziness in the world. 
   6. All the pundits on the right and (mostly) on the left that are blaming this tragedy on the other side are grandstanding and should shut up.
   7. All of the pundits who are saying we should all tone our rhetoric down a notch are smart and should be listened to.
   8. All of the pundits who are saying that we should tone down our rhetoric, while also pointing the accusing finger at their opponents, are idiots and should be ignored.
   9. The American political system has always been based (for good or ill) on compromise and working together.  In recent years, the viciousness of the rhetoric, and the selfish need for the spotlight has gotten so intense that compromise seems impossible. When the shouting gets too loud to hear the talking, bad things happen.  Let’s not repeat the 1860’s.
  10. Gun Control does not work.  If someone wants a gun, they can acquire one, regardless of the legality or their mental state.
  11. An armed populace does not work.  Bystanders drawing weapons and returning fire could have changed a single man’s rampage into a full-fledged shootout. In a crowded parking lot, imagine the bloodbath that could have caused.
  12. Obama is not a perfect leader.  Still, I liked what he said at the funeral.  Especially the part where he said, “I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it.  I want America to be as good as she imagined it.  All of us -– we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”
  13. I also like how he made the whole speech about the victims and the heroes, not so much about politics.

When I originally created the Mo’Boy Doctrine, it was designed to be invoked when people got all bent out of shape over things that didn’t matter.  However, this incident, and the political crisis that it has pointed out, matter, and matter a lot.  Still, the best chance our country has rests in our abilitiy to not get bent out of shape.  So, I invoke the doctrine anyway. 

Let’s all take a deep breath, and work together for a change.


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.


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