Monday, October 25, 2010

Historic 25th Street Height Limits Redux

A number of thorny questions arise as we approach an important November 4th Council meeting

Red meat political news is in short supply this morning; so we'll throw out a couple of possible discussion items from our WCF back-burner queue:

On October 14, the Standard-Examiner reported that the Ogden City Council was in the process of hiring a "facilitator" to serve as a sort of "psuedo chair" for November 4th's council work meeting, wherein discussion of a 25th Street height ordinance amendment will be on the agenda. Within our own earlier article on the subject, we opined thusly:
Somebody obviously believes the stakes are high enough that our city council can't be trusted to run their own meeting, so the taxpayers will be paying an unnamed sum for a professional facilitator to "facilitate" the November 4 dog and pony show
Last Friday, The Standard-Examiner editorial board also leapt into the fray on this topic, taking it one step further, panning the "facilitator idea" in no uncertain terms:
The Ogden City Council does not need to have a paid facilitator referee its consideration of a building heighth increase proposed for Historic 25th Street. The debate, which we acknowledge has been very contentious in the past, is whether to allow some buildings to be 55 feet high rather than 45 feet.[...]
It's self-defeating to assume that Ogden's city council can't handle this specific issue debate sans help. Also, the council is paying someone with our money to do a job that is supposed to be done by the council chairwoman, Caitlin Gochnour. It is her responsibility to lead the council through its decision-making process. We have already witnessed that Gochnour has the skills and fairmindedness to handle debate, including the 25th Street issue.
And earlier in the week, the Standard also published this Councilwoman Gochnour letter, "clarifying her position" on the Historic 25th Street height limitation debate, from which we'll clip this except:
The Council is currently considering a petition to increase the existing height limit. Since the initial discussion of this topic, I have had much time to reflect on the controversy and mull over options. I have always believed it is vitally important to preserve and protect the historic character of the district, but that this needs to be balanced with encouraging economic development.
The compromise I brought forward was to support increasing the height limit to 55 feet only if additional language were added to the ordinance, including comprehensive guidelines for rooftop additions to existing historic buildings. These criteria are used by several cities nationwide to guide appropriate rooftop additions in historic districts. [Emphasis added].
Taking into account the above information, it seems obvious to to us that a number of thorny questions arise as we approach this important November 4th Council meeting, such as these, for instance:

Whose idea was it to hire a facilitator in the first place? Is the hiring of a "hired hand" even appropriate in this instance? If Councilwoman Gochnour didn't feel up to the task of "chairing" the 11/4/10 meeting, wouldn't it make more sense for the very capable Vice-chair Susan Van Hooser to serve as the backup Council Chair "stand-in?" As to the "facilitator" issue, we whole-heartedly agree with the Standard-Examiner:
Do Blair and others really believe that both sides of this issue can only be attained if a hired hand guides them through all the information? That's nonsense. The Ogden Council can do this job on its own without wasting our dollars.
And what about Chairwoman Gochnour's conduct in this matter?

Is it appropriate for the Council Chair to be operating with height limit amendment proponents behind the scenes, and publicly expressing her tentative support of a "compromise solution" even prior to public input and full council deliberation?

And there are more questions:

Is it even possible to prudently balance the preservation and protection of the delicate historic character of the 25th Street district, against the aggressive pro-economic development impulses of the Godfrey administration?

And with regard to the "additional (protective) language" which Ms. Gochnour mentions in her letter, the only such language that's been heretofore publicly reported is this:
The amendment under consideration by the city council would prohibit existing buildings on 25th Street from being increased in height through rooftop additions or additional stories unless:
• Documentation is presented establishing that additional height is within the limits of the building's historical construction.
• The addition is not visible from the front of the building or from the sidewalk on the same side of the street or across the street.
So, in the event that the proposed ordinance fails to make specific reference to federal historic preservation guidelines as Ms. Gochnour has suggested, will our City Council Chair and the rest of the Council stick to their guns and reject the ordinance outright, due to that defect?

Even assuming that the proposed ordinance does contain language satisfactorily requiring that Historic 25th street projects conform to "comprehensive" federal historic preservation guidelines, are there other issues which the Council should consider, before amending the standard for height limits on 25th Street?

We certainly haven't made our minds up about the wisdom of even a carefully drafted blanket amendment to the 25th Street District height ordinance, especially since no actual and palpable project plan is on the table.

And with that, we now invite our WCF readers to chime in with their own views on this topic.


Curmudgeon said...

On the question of the wisdom of hiring a facilitator to oversee presentations at the work session:

1. Let us recall the Godfrey administration's history of withholding information from public bodies considering policies it wants approved.

2. Let us also consider the recently reported incident in which the Mayor submitted to the Water Quality Board a consultants report that he admits neither he nor his staff apparently had read, containing false information about America First CU's financial support for the river project.

Given that sad history, if the facilitator is charged with insuring that all sides are given ample opportunity to present their views fully and freely and their supporting evidence on the proposed height change, then hiring the facilitator might have been a good idea. We will have to see how the work session procedes.

But past performance on the part of the Godfrey administration offers no grounds, I think, for confidence that it will, unassisted, provide accurate and balanced information this time.

Dan S. said...

Rudi, you asked:

"Is it appropriate for the Council Chair to be operating with height limit amendment proponents behind the scenes, and publicly expressing her tentative support of a "compromise solution" even prior to public input and full council deliberation?"

Answer: Yes.

It's not only appropriate but necessary for legislators to discuss issues with interested individuals outside of formal meetings. This is called lobbying, and it's protected by the first amendment right to petition. The first amendment also protects a legislator's right to announce her position in advance of a vote if desired. This is often desirable as it saves citizens from wasting their time lobbying lawmakers who have already made up their minds.

The alternative view, I suppose, is that council members are supposed to walk into meetings knowing only what's in their bureaucrat-prepared information packets, then listen to citizens opine for three minutes each, then give the administration unlimited time for rebuttals, and finally make up their minds and vote. I find that process highly undemocratic. Sadly, democracy seems to be a dirty word these days.

RudiZink said...

Good answer, Dan, and I agree with you. The question was merely posed in Socratic fashion, to stimulate reader discussion; but I believe you got it exactly right.

I also find it encouraging when council members bring forth and push their own initiatives and proposed legislation, as Caitlin has done. That's how its done in full-time legislatures, and that's how it ought to be done with our part-time council too, I believe.

Lets hear it though, from from other WCF readers who may have opposing views. I'm sure not everyone is in lockstep on this.

Keisha said...

It looks to me like Councilwoman Gochnour hasn't made her mind up even "tentatively", even though she initiated the compromise solution. At the the bottom of the SE article she's quoted with this:

"Given that this decision is complex and involves many different interests and opinions the Council will be holding a work session on Thursday, November 4th to discuss this issue openly with stakeholders and the public. I look forward to this dialogue as I believe it will help me to further understand this issue and make a more informed decision."

Dan S. said...

Rudi: Glad you agree!

Along the same lines, have you ever noticed that reporters often refer to state and federal legislators as "lawmakers", but at least here in Ogden, they never use that term for council members? That's presumably because the council members rarely "make" laws, which are almost always written by the administration. Thus, the role of the council is merely to approve laws (or in rare cases, vote them down).

RudiZink said...

"Along the same lines, have you ever noticed that reporters often refer to state and federal legislators as "lawmakers"...?"

Point well taken, Dan; and I'm making a mental note right now to frequently refer to Ogden Council members as "lawmakers" in the future!

Fed Up With Godfrey said...

The current height ordinance "ain't broke," and it therefore doesn't need to be "fixed."

This latest proposed ordinance revision should be "deep sixed."

O-Town Native said...

This pansy Steve Conlin needs to get his ass kicked.

This will happen very soon in Ogden, I predict.

Caitlin the Outa her League Housewife said...

Poor ole Caitlin Gochnour is a babe in the woods, as she cuddles up to Boss Godfrey on this.

Sad to see this inexperienced housewife compromising in an area where she should hold fast.

Sad, VERY sad.

Conlin for Mayor said...

I have Steve Conlin's back; and his flank looks pretty solid as well.

I have heard not one good reason as to why this ordinance change should not be considered.

It is obvious why Bruce Edwards would post anonymously and threaten to do harm to Steve Conlin: other than body slam Godfrey to the mat, Bruce Edwards is a blight on 25th, as someone who has to look at his lurching and greasy/filthy neighbor across the street knows to well.

Steve Conlin for Mayor.

Pissed said...

Rudi for Mayor in 2011! Electing Rudi in 2011, the Great-great grandson of Lorin Farr as Ogden's first mayor seems like the obvious solution to the Boss Godfrey problem.

That's just my 2¢

Rudi for Mayor said...

Steve Conlin for groveling Texas carpet-bagger whore.

Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

Whoa? Is Tom running for mayor next year?
That would be Veeeeeeery interesting!

Curmudgeon said...

In re: Council Chair Gochnour:

Oh, I don't know. As I recall it was the Councilwoman who brokered the compromise regarding the City's contributing $100K in funds for the Mayor's Outdoor Downtown Year Round Popsicle which included a provision that the city's contribution would be the last dollars spent. A wise provision, it turned out, since the Administration (a) failed to raise the many hundreds of thousands more it assured the Council private donors were just itching to pony up as soon as the city committed I think it was a quarter mil he was asking for, and (b) spent RAMP funds in ways it was not authorized to do, and had to return to RAMP all the money it granted Ogden when the project tanked. Not a dime of that returned money came out of the $100K city commitment thanks to the Gochnour-brokered "last dollars spent" agreement.

Being chair of anything usually necessarily involves, if you're going to be effective, brokering compromises between different groups in order to achieve much of anything. Whatever we all might think of Hizzonah's judgement and public ethics, the voters of Ogden returned him to office last election, and there are many many matters on which he and the Council must cooperate effectively to get done what must get done. Whether anyone likes it or not, that's the simple truth of the matter.

Some of what she's brokered has been wise [the Popsicle compromise], some less so in my view. But the dismissive [and gratuitously insulting] claim that she's merely a housewife seems well off the mark to me.

Watching the Latest Slate of Carpetbagging Ogden Dumbasses said...

"I have Steve Conlin's back..."

That, along with a couple of dollars will get you an espresso at the local coffee shoppe, dopey.

Please fade back into your own insignificance, "Conlin for Mayor."

Conlin For Dogcatcher said...

Steve Conlin for DogCatcher!

This moron Conlin mortgage broker certainly has MY vote!

Knows Tom said...

Perhaps "Tom" will run; maybe not, Committee to Elect Conlin 2012. One thing's for sure... he'll kick Boss Godfrey's or Conlin's ass in any public forum debate, regardless of whether he runs on his own, or supports some other qualified candidate.

Nobody in politics is better at "winging it" on the stump than "Tom."

Write that down, so you don't forget it.

old buildings are cool said...

"Is it even possible to prudently balance the preservation and protection of the delicate historic character of the 25th Street district, against the aggressive pro-economic development impulses of the Godfrey administration?"

The answer is NO. As everybody knows, Mayor Godfrey believes that all buildings are obsolete after 20 years, and that after that period they should all be torn down.

The whole concept of Historical buildings is a complete anathema to him. It therefore comes as no surprise that he'd probably like to tear every 19th century 25th Street building down.

The council needs to move ultra-cautiously on this, given Godfrey's reckless throw-away mentality.

Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

Knows Tom:

He may know how to "wing it on the stump", as you put it, but if his presentation sitting in front of Bruce Edwards shit hole is any indication, I doubt if he knows much about personal presentation, hygiene, or how to pick associates/acquaintances.

On that day, at least, it looked like he could have been the janitor for the biggest slob on two bit street.
Bruce did not even have the common sense to sweep out his doorway, fix his broken windows, or remove the garbage he had decorating the front of his store.

Not very "mayoral" to this casual observer; if you want more Edwards petulant hissy fits, Vote Tom.
If you want reasoned and intelligent common sense and sharp business acumen, Vote Conlin.

Either way, BE out of town on a rail should be a no brainer.

Take It To The Bank said...

"Tom" collected over 500 UEG petition signatures in front of BE's place over two days, from eager citizens who couldn't wait to step up and sign in front of the Historic Helena. Normal people don't seem quite as disposed to hate BE as you, I guess.

And it's great to see that you're already running your smear campaign against "Tom," who hasn't even entered the mayoral race yet.

One thing I can guarantee for sure: Steve Conlin, the Texas Mortgage Carpetbagger, will NEVER be Ogden's Mayor, regardless of who else enters the 2011 race.

You can take that to the bank.

Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

Its a fine thing, ethic reform.
Contributing time to make it happen is laudable.
Kudos to our tolerant blogmeister.

But, everyone who knows, hates Bruce Edwards and his slummy building.
It is a shame that one of the most historic of all the historic buildings on 25th was given to this rat-bag by his mom; no way he could have earned it on his own merit.

It would be a bad call to campaign to "save" historic 25th in front of the Helena. It would be a bad call to lease a store space from Bruce "stinky" Edwards. It would be a bad call to have an endorsement from the loser on your campaign materials.

Collecting signatures from Farmers Market attendees out of the front of his pee hole?
Tom's call I guess: it seemed to be at least a marginal success.

I would not mention on the campaign stump that I was an associate of Edwards; winning against Godfrey crook or no.

Edwards is a laughing stock and a blight, as far as the bulk of voting citizens of Ogden are concerned.

His famous 3 foot high "F*ck Ogden" graffiti on his Historic Building made it clear: this man is an asshole, and could care less about his neighbors.
I would hope that me TF had more common sense; it surprised me that the building wasn't cleaned up for 30 minute before the card table was set up to gather signatures.
Who actually lives like that?
Other than people who earned the right to a mattress on skid row>

Blinded said...

If you're such a big Steve Conlin fan why don't you ask him why he doesn't get his buddy who owns the Chinese restaurant to clean it up. Seems to me both of you have selective blinders on.

Take It To The Bank said...

Hey CEC2012! How's your own deodorant working? Smells bad around here as a matter of fact, thanks to you. The municipal election's in 2011, not 2012, by the way.

And in case you haven't noticed, real estate candidates don't fare well in Ogden City elections. Ask your pals David Phipps and Mark Hains about that.

Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

Tona's restaurant serves perhaps the best sushi in Northern Utah; I have been in every inch of the Tona Restaurant, from basement on up, extensively.
It is very clean; to even compare Tony and Tina to Bruce "stinky" Edwards really shows your colors.

You have not a clue.

As to whether Conlin would do well in a race for Mayor?
He would do better than most; right now it comes down to him or Kym.

I might vote for either; the both despise Bruce Edwards, and rightly so.

life ain't fair said...

"I might vote for either; the both despise Bruce Edwards, and rightly so."

Quite rightly indeed! Bruce inherited Money and Property and you didn't. BWAAAAAA! It just ain't fair!!!

Get used to it sonny. Don't be such a crybaby. Life ain't "fair." Try to man up, and do try to quit being such a crashing bore.

Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

You don't think Bruce Edawards is asickening eyesore?
You support what he currently does with his slice of Historic 25th?

I have seen people earn things, and take good care of the things they earned. I have seen Bruce Edwards, and what he did with what was given him.

And, I have seen this played out, this theme, my whole life.
Its a truism. Ill gotten gain brings out the true character of the recipient.

You are defending the indefensible, simply because he kicked Godfrey's ass a few years back. Move along, this is now; now, Bruce Edwards is an eyesore, and DETRACTS from 25th street.

Conlin contributes, regardless of his politics, he contributes.
As does Mr. Zink; which is why I was surprised to see him put side Edwards crap hole. RZ can do WAY better.

universal justice said...

Hilarious! While Bruce Edwards does whatever the hell he wants, and lives the Life of Reilly, Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 writhes in his misery, and comes off as a jealous little prick.

Committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

Yeah, Bruce "stinky" Edwards is the neighbor who has 100 crack-head cars parked on his lawn, throw garbage all over the street, and runs his leaf blower at 3 in the morning.
He does just what he wants. And, he is an ass.
Others do just as they want, and are good neighbors.

You just don't get it.

Again: its a truism. Ill gotten gain brings out the true character of the recipient.

Bruce "stinky" Edwards is a gem.

WCF moderator said...

Izzat you Stephen? I'm finding it increasingly hard to believe that Dumb Steve could be so stupid all on his own. What's up? Are you two tag teaming Weber County Forum?

Be honest!

committee to Elect Conlin 2012 said...

What are you talking about, unregistered "moderator"?
Don't tell me YOU want Bruce "stinky" Edwards as a neighbor as well?

You all are stretching your credibility to the breaking point.

It's on thing to know that Gondolas to the stars are a bad idea, and to do good political satire on your own property, and its even better to get your way in a court of law.

It's quite another to be Bruce "stinky" Edwards; most people get it.
You, obviously, do not.

David S. said...

It says this work session is going to take comments from the public.

1. Since when? Usually, the only thing you get for going to work session is an opportunity to sit quietly with blood pressure rising as you listen to council members politely question city bureaucrats as they condescendingly tell them why they have no choice but to follow their master, or to listen to Godfrey imply that they are stupid and so is the public.

2. Often, these work sessions are so packed with said bureaucrats, that there is no room for any person who is paying their salaries - the public. Maybe this one will be in council chambers where there will be room for the unwashed masses - we can hope.

Blinded said...

committee to Elect Conlin 2012,

I wasn’t referring to Tona’s but rather to the Star Noodle that is owned by Steve Conlin’s buddies at Provident Partners Realty. Since PPR has taken over the property it has done nothing but go downhill (as have several other downtown properties that they control) and yet Steve seems to think that’s OK while he has you blast Edwards. Edward’s property at least has a façade on it rather than insulation hanging out of the front of a boarded up building.

Give me a break. You’ve got blinders on.

Blinded said...

David S.

I couldn't have said it better.

CTEC 2012 said...

You have a point about Star Noodle. That place is an eyesore x 10.
Its a bit of a stretch to call the Steve Conlin's buddies, though.

My point would be: it will cost 100's of thousands to fix the mess created when those idiots took down that super sweet Dragon Sign, ripped off the facade, and then left the place a dump.

Bruce "Stinky: Edwards crap hole would take a few dozen pieces of glass, and a couple of guys with a broom and a sense of civic responsibility.

So, although I agree with you about Star Noodle, I am afraid I see no connection between the two, except: one was royally fucked up by idiots and has been purposely left as a mess, the other could be fixed in an afternoon except the owner absolutely refuses to do it.

I have asked "Stinky" Edwards and his realtor buddies why he doesn't clean up his eyesore, and his answer is basically misdirection and petulant poor me'ism.

He thinks it is funny; he has a chip on his shoulder, and is missing a part of his character that most people take for granted.

You would never know this, of course, if he hadn't received this windfall. He would just be some slob of a loafer punching-out sheet metal down at Lifetime, and complaining to the boss.

Danny said...

Speaking of Star Noodle, recall the youtube video of the self-important incompetent who fouled the place up, in fancy suit and all.

Click Here

Self important incompetent.

Friend of Matt.

Same thing.

Tell me again, what is the material that attracts maggots?

Noodle me this....batman said...

Question....Is Conlin a buddy of Scottie Doo? Back in his development department days he was workin deals on the SN and other properties through other channels....just saying

CTEC 2011 said...

Question.... define "buddy".
To my knowledge, Mr. Conlin is a likable guy, and has a lot of business associates, friends, acquaintances, and warm and kind family.

I have no idea what you mean by "buddy". I consider him a buddy, yet we disagree on more than half of all topics in regards to local business and politics.
But we find common ground in enough areas for us to be buddies.

Imagine that: I did not support the Gondola or Chris "folly" Petersen but do support !ADVENTURECITYOGDEN! built on private money, do not support the current administration yet agree with raising the height limits on 25th, vote almost exclusively Democrat yet support Terry Thompson for Sheriff, like the idea of a riverfront project but absolutely hate the way the current incarnation looks,...

I can be "buddies" with people I disagree with politically. Go figure.

The polarization of the current political climate suggests fear on both sides, and like many polarizing issues, points to the fact that both ends of the dichotomy are simply wrong.

The sooner the Godfrey Administration is a bad memory, and the soonerWhite America is dead and buried, the better.

no false prophets said...

BeJeebus! This CTEC 2011 guy really has his nose up Godfrey's Butt!

Danny said...

CTEC 2011,

In fact, may admire Godfrey himself, for his work ethic, imagination, drive etc. He also seems to be a good church and family man (the famous slap to his wife, notwithstanding.)

But what he is hated for, is his dishonesty, his condescension, and his arrogance, and the fact that he is often wrong,and heedlessly so. (In fairness, some of these are a weakness sometimes, of youth.)

In sum, his positives are offset, and then some, by his defects, the latter, sadly, being ones he could easily cure, one supposes.

And as to his defects, he is applying them to other people's money - our money, and to our city.

So yes, we can agree and disagree. Having different opinions is not so bad, is it?

CTEC 1011 said...

I support strong arm, back room, Chicago style administrations.
Very Machiavellian, in that once rising to power, I think that the elected should just push ahead, willy-nilly, and run rough-shod over their constituents, trying to do exactly as they want, until the next election, when the public has the duty to either re-elect or no.

My problem with Godfrey is the same problem I had with Nixon: he is an incompetent. I know this because I hear about his machinations, his attempts at sly crookedness, his used car salesman greasy lackeys. The list of failures, half-steps, and weak-kneed silliness has grown long with each year.

I think America needs strong leaders who are willing to take you out, not a PTA committee who does things by some sort of sweet-breathed consensus.
Think Huey Long; not Barack Obama or J. Carter.

The best leaders are drunken mob bosses with superior fire power; with henchmen that would make Liddy look soft.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: " He also seems to be a good church and family man."

Neither of those qualities seem to me to be important in electing any public official. Of a mayor, I want to know if he or she can and will run the city efficiently, honestly, and well. Period. We're not electing mayors to be Fathers of the Year or Husbands of the Year or Pious Pauls of the Month. We're electing them to be the city's CEO. If he [or she] can do that well, I don't much care about their family arrangements or whether they go to church regularly or at all.

That applies as well to County Commissioners, Council members, state reps and senators, Congressmen, US Senators and Presidents. I want someone I think can and will do the job well. I don't care if he or she is a good spouse or loving parent. Just as I don't care if the pilot flying the plane I'm in is nice to his momma or cheats on his spouse, just as I don't care if the guy running my IRA mutual fund is a steady churchgoer or not, so long as he runs the fund well.

Part of the reason I think we get saddled with so damn many incompetents and crooks in public office at all levels is that we spend far too much time looking at and thinking important characteristics[good spouse, good parent, steady church goer, etc.] that are wholly irrelevant to the job we're thinking of hiring them to do.

Danny said...


You make a valid point, but I feel you overstate it.

A landlord will run a credit check on you, not because he wants to lend you money, but he wants to know your character, in your dealings with others.

If a man cheats on his wife, I would not trust him to refrain from cheating me. If he abuses or neglects his own children, I would not want to associate with him at all, for he lacks character.

If a person is a faithful churchgoer, scout leader, community volunteer, whatever, it tells me something useful about the person.

Wisdom and competence, as you suggest, are important. But so is character. What that means, is different for each person, but for me, it simply means honesty, aka good faith, aka golden rule.

Whether the guy who runs your IRA is honest is important, just as whether he is competent.

Sadly, most leaders today, are neither.

When will the good ones step up?

Danny said...


You also overstate your point and make a confused argument.

At best, you seem to say we need strong leaders who are competent, and who forge ahead disregarding political calculation. Fair enough.

But they also have to be on the right track. They have to be going in the right direction.

(Obama's right hand man, Rahm Emanuel, strikes me as brilliant, and competent, just wrong, for instance.)

And yes, they have to be good people.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Man is a selfish creature. Everything in life is a selfish act. Man is not concerned with helping others, yet he wants others to believe he is. Mankind's true saviors are not those who led exemplary lives, but those “evil people” who have enabled man to pass as Good. Perceptive scholars have it that most of history's saints have surreptitiously indulged in life's rewards while offering another public picture to the naîve multitude.

Intrinsically evil people are often hypocrites who make a show of their Goodguy Badge; without an enemy to plague them they could never in any believable sense become Good.

This is not to say that one should not be angered at an injustice or speak out against whatever violates one's security. That is the first law, the law of self-preservation. But we must consider the motives behind the selection of an enemy. Without a cause to take his mind off his own wretchedness he would be lost. Paradoxically, these are the hypocrites who shun any manifestations of "negative" propensities. Their vocabularies are turgid with terms like "true," "charitable," "integrity," "spiritual," "equality," "moral," "ethical," etc. Those who wish to gain acceptance from "respectable" people must be Good. The worthy gain it through individual strength of personality and accomplishment. Public figures simply wear a Goodguy Badge out of pragmatism.

Religion, having created billions of "unworthy" followers, is the number one wholesaler of Goodguy Badges. Christian doctrine has become outmoded and unbelievable, even to the most feebleminded. One wonders, "How is it possible for people to be so stupid as to believe the lies?" Could it be that among the psychological crutches that Christian dogma has provided, the most obvious is the easiest to overlook? Beyond its horrors and personal repressions, Christianity provides an ingredient essential to the masses' emotional equilibrium: the Goodguy Badge. A "man of God" can fleece unconsciously willing victims even easier than a hustler peddling non-Godly wares. The Goodguy Badge that the evangelist supplies in exchange for his thievery ensures his success. Those with a minimum of guilts will become their own victims, and their few inner demons will become the engine for various excesses and vices.

How refreshing it would be to hear a political candidate say: "I don't believe in God, but in the protection of citizens' health and safety. I plan on placing my friends in executive positions. I will pocket what funds I can get away with, but see that the rest is spent on necessary social improvements. You will have no voice in my decisions any more than you ever had. You will have to accept my judgment, which you will, so long as you are reasonably comfortable, have freedom of movement and opportunity for advancement. If I succeed in fooling the public, the public will have themselves to blame. For I warn you that I am as crooked as any politician can be. Despite my unsavory profession, I will try to keep all of you as happy as possible."

Good guys; p'tah!

RG Howell said...


"he is an incompetent. I know this because I hear about his machinations, his attempts at sly crookedness, his used car salesman greasy lackeys. The list of failures, half-steps, and weak-kneed silliness has grown long with each year."

You have precisely described Steve Conlin.

I've worked with him at 2 differnet jobs. Trouble is he doesn't have the scruples of a good car salesman.

Randy Howell

Marv said...

RG Howell:

Sour grapes.

Curmudgeon said...

Off topic, but I thought I'd mention at the SLTrib has a long article reporting that its paper sales are down, as are paper sales at the DN, but that its on line subscriptions are up substantially, as they are at the DN. Then, way way w-a-y down at the bottom of the article, it mentions that other Utah newspapers have [inexplicably] managed to increase their paper circulation yet again... one of them being Ogden's very own Standard Examiner.

Imagine that....

Viktor said...

Ya Curm, ever since prices on Depends and Baby Diapers went through the roof folks around here been using the Standard to sop up excess anal droppings of all sorts. That's bout exactly what the so called newspaper - the Standard - is best for, and that is why their paper sales are holding steady, or slightly increasing.

Sopperup said...

By Jove Vik I think you have stumbled onto the biz formula that the Standard can ride on into the future with - print up a bunch of shit then in the same production run provide the absorbent news print to soak up the smelly by products!

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