Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flood Relief: Is Mike Lee Talking Out of Both Sides of His Mouth? No, His Detractors Are.

Recently Utah Senator Mike Lee stated that the federal government should not issue flood relief funding, because it is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal government. Yet he also asked that constituents in his state receive federal flood relief. This was met by howls of laughter from Mike Lee detractors. It was the kind of laughter that is not mixed with much thought. Mike Lee's two statements can easily be reconciled.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Temple: The Greatest House of Learning on Earth

The more I participate in ordinances for the dead in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the more I develop an ulterior motive for doing so; nowhere do important truths impress themselves more clearly upon my mind than in the temple.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Craig Frank is a Resident of Utah District 57 as Evidenced by Two Out of Three Constitutional Indicators

Article VI of the Utah Constitution requires among other things that "A person is not eligible to the office of senator or representative unless the person is...a resident of the district from which the person is elected..."  In one way, Representative Craig Frank of Legislative district 57 is clearly not in compliance with this requirement.  But in two other ways he clearly is. Two out of three indicators suggest that Craig Frank should be seated as the District 57 representative when the Utah Legislature convenes on January 24th.

Reagan Myths, and Clinton Ones,Too

Did Ronald Reagan cut taxes, reduce the size of government, and energize the American economy?  Were Bill Clinton's policies the reason that the US federal government had budget surpluses? Not completely.  Both of the above ideas are largely myths.  Below is a description of what really happened, which should stand as a warning to political acolytes on both sides of any issue that the real truth is usually somewhere to the left or right of our perceived truths.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Live Blog: Condoleezza Rice Visits BYU

There aren't as many people here at the BYU Marriott Center as when an LDS Church Presidents or the Utah Runnin' Utes come to town, but it's still pretty full for the forum featuring former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fyodor Dostoyevsky and a Utah Murder

How should society handle a situation where someone's life is completely ruined through being not only falsely accused of murder, but also tried and hung by the public beforehand, and then turned back into society with not much more than an "Oops! We're sorry!"?  Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky has the answer. It requires much more than apparently Utah law will allow.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Wisdom of Diversity

In 1906, Francis Galton was attending the West of England Fat Stock Fair when he came upon a surprising discovery that has since proven very accurate.  His discovery has since become known as "The Wisdom of Crowds". Later on it was proven that crowds are generally wiser the more diverse they become.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Who's Really Affected by the Estate Tax?

The third plank of the Communist Manifesto supports "abolition of all rights of inheritance".  Many Americans make the claim that the Federal Estate Tax is an attempt to do just that. But how can it possibly accomplish nefarious Marxian designs when it affects only a very tiny minority of Americans?