Friday, August 31, 2012

Deseret News: Ex-mayor of Ogden, Matthew "Boss" Godfrey, Doesn't Miss His Old Job Even a "Little Bit"

Trust the ass-wipes at the Mormon newspaper to try to rehabilitate the reputation of the "little shite."

By: Blackrulon

Off-track but still relevant. There is a story in today's Deseret News (August 31, 2012) by Lee Benson (brother of federal judge Dee Benson) about former mayor  Matthew Godfrey. It repeats Godfrey's claims about all of the wonderful things he did for or to Ogden without touching on the reality of his time in the Ogden City mayors office:
Editor's Addendum: Trust the ass-wipes at Utah's Mormon Newspaper to try to rehabilitate the reputation of the "little shite."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 GOP National Convention - Day III

Romney is scheduled to take the podium sometime after 10:00 p.m.;  so don't forget to "pop" your No-Doz

In our frenzied interest in covering the 2012 Utah GOP Convention from start to finish, we'll once again post our trusty C-SPAN streaming video link, for the convenience of our GOP friends who might no get C-SPAN on their own TEEVEEs:
It's Mitt Romney's BIG NIGHT; and for those folks sitting on the edges of their seats awaiting Romney's nomination acceptance and campaign kick-off speech, the most recently revised schedule which we've been able to find indicates he'll take the podium sometime after 10:00 p.m.  So don't forget to "pop" a few No-Doz, folks; you MAY well need it.  According to the GOP's disclosure, "This schedule [is] subject to change at any time," of course.

Although we have a back-breaker of a personal schedule this afternoon, we'll make every effort to find the time to paste in a few new Pre-Day III online stories prior the convention's 7:30 p.m. call to order, in the hope of dredging up a little extra WCF reader discussion.

The Speech

Followup and Blowback

          Weber County Forum Thursday Morning News Roundup

          Utah restaurant and bar owners claim lawsuit settlement "victory;" and Ogden officials seek "blue ribbon" designation for rehabbed 1.1 mile Ogden River stretch

          We'll put the spotlight on several interesting items from the Northern Utah print media, as we wedge in items of local interest amidst our continuing 2012 GOP National Convention news coverage:

          1) Via the Standard-Examiner we learn that "Utah restaurant and bar owners are toasting the settlement of a lawsuit in their fight to get the state to allow drink specials," as the the Utah Hospitality Association settles its federal lawsuit:
          This morning's AP story reports that "Allen Whittle, the association’s vice president and owner of Bogeys Social Club, said the state agreed to allow establishments to change their drink prices daily, but they’re still not allowed to advertise them as specials or discounts."

          Nor can can Utah hooch-serving establishments participate  that venerable tradition of American dram shops and public houses across the land: "Happy Hour."

          Assistant Utah Attorney General Kyle Kaiser puts it all in context, we believe, reminding the gleeful UHA plaintiffs that "there was [actually] no victory this week, noting the only thing the association won was “peace of mind.” “We didn’t do anything. We did not change our position. We did not give them anything,” sez spoilsport Assistant A.G. Kaiser (quite rightly wethinks).

          An even further reminder for the lumpencitizens of Utah, we think, that under the autoritarian thumb of the Utah nanny-state, civil liberties "victories" are usually achieved only in tiny "baby steps."

          2) "Wildlife officials are thinking about naming a newly rehabilitated stretch of the Ogden River as one of the best places in the state to catch fish." "On Sept. 20, the state’s Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council will decide whether to designate a 1.1 mile stretch of the Ogden River a Blue Ribbon Fishery,"
          according to this morning's Standard-Examiner story:
          Practitioners of the art of catching the wily trout-fish will immediately note that a "blue ribbon" designation would at least technically put that re-habbed 1.1 mile stretch of the Ogden River in the same class as some of the greatest trout fishing rivers in America.

          Go figure.

          Wednesday, August 29, 2012

          2012 GOP Convention - Day II - Updated

          Added bonus: A few post-Day One news tidbits to spark a little WCF conversation/discussion

          Tonight's the second nite of the 2012 GOP National Convention, folks.  And if you think the big party's all over, inasmuch as Mitt Romney already secured the GOP presidential nomination last night... you ain't seen nuttin yet.  Tonight's the night when all the other extreme GOP wackos will be marched out to rant on and have "their own day in the GOP political sun." Watch "it" tonight on C-SPAN and be amazed:
          We couldn't be more impressed by C-SPAN's coverage, BTW, a place where the live gavel-to gavel coverage isn't interrupted by the incessant bleatings and posturings of the pathetically self indulgent Major Media "talking heads."

          And here are a few post-Day One news tidbits to spark a little WCF conversation/discussion, as we embark upon the 2012 GOP Convention Dog and Pony Show Day Two :
              Update 8/30/12 5:30 a.m:  The Salt Lake Tribune carrries three items concerning GOP V.P. nominee Paul Ryan, who was the closing speaker at last night's convention session; and the Standard provides a danged good editorial, focusing on tonight's Mitt Romney coronation acceptance speech:
              Don't let the cat get yer tongues...

              Standard-Examiner: Ogden Commits to $4M Bond for Water Pipes

              Sodden Query: Is there no one on the Ogden City Council who is capable of operating a simple hand calculator?

              For archival consistency we'll post the latest concerning the 2012 Ogden Water Rates re-set fiasco, as the  Standard-Examiner reports this morning that The Ogden City Council last night voted to approve issuance of "$4 million in bonds to rebuild a 100-year-old water pipeline that is one of Ogden’s main suppliers of water," and that "[i]t’s also expected that $13 million in bond funds will be requested in fiscal year 2014 to pay for the design and construction of a new water treatment plant":
              Beneath this morning's S-E story, the ever-savvy Dan Schroeder offers a comment which puts the Council's multi-stage borrowing/spending scheme in context, wethinks:
              Borrowing money at 2.6% interest is a reasonable thing to do under the circumstances. What's not reasonable is borrowing another $13 million at 4% interest when you have more than that sitting in the bank earning less than 1% interest. The utility funds' enormous cash balances are the big secret here that nobody talks about. For that matter, it was ridiculous (but harmless) for the water fund to borrow money from the sewer fund, when the water fund has $6 million (probably more by now) of its own.
              Why borrow $13 mil at relatively high interest when the city already has ample cash "parked" in the bank, drawing "peanuts," we ask?

              Is there no one on the Ogden City Council who is capable of operating a simple hand calculator?

              Tuesday, August 28, 2012

              2012 GOP National Convention: Basic Convention Watchers' Nuts-and-Bolts - Updated

              Be sure to check back here frequently for the latest in news worthy developments, folks

              Update: Romney Nominatated

              For those gung-ho WCF readers who are champing at the bit to follow the 2012 GOP National Convention, which will finally kick into action this afternoon (for real) at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (if all goes well), we'll helpfully post a few links containing the basic convention watchers' nuts-and-bolts:
              Over the course of the day and evening we'll be obsessively hovering over this story, of course, adding online news and op-ed commentary tidbits which we stumble upon whilst Googling.  So be sure to check back here frequently for the latest in news worthy developments, folks.

              Pull up your Barcloungers and make sure you've got plenty of  Orville Reddenbachers on the ready, O Gentle Ones. Perhaps its just us, but we believe this week's convention will be one helluva lotta fun.

              And one more thing... Don't let the cat get your tongues.

              Updates 8/28/12 - A few timely and topical items to whet our WCF readers'  political discussion appetites:
                Update 8/28/12 3:42 p.m.: It's all over but the shouting, AFAWC. The State of New Jersey just surpassed the 1144 votes needed for Romney's nomination. Romney is now officially nominated to face Obama in November.

                  Monday, August 27, 2012

                  Ron Paul Libertarians: You Cannot Vote for Mitt Romney

                  As long as the Democrats are opposed to Neocon wars for plunder, would libertarians be better off voting for the Democrats?

                  Provocative political challenge thrown down to our libertarian WCF readers, by Gentle Reader Eleanor Thompson, lodged on the unofficial Weber County Democrats Facebook site:

                  "Here is a good explanation WHY the Libertarians among us should either plan on voting for Obama or STAY HOME. I would like to send this one out to all the Libertarians on Weber County Forum":
                  Ms. Thompson then hammers her point with this selected quote:.
                  ....As long as the Democrats are opposed to Neocon wars for plunder, as advocated by Niall Ferguson and others, then libertarians would be better off voting for the Democrats. If the Democrats then stop living according to principle, all that is left for many is antisocial behavior. I worry about that. America needs to start doing the right thing. We could be a powerful and peaceful nation at the same time. We have to be both for our survival!...
                  So what about it, O Gentle Readers of the libertarian philosophical persuasion?

                  Does Ms. Thompson make a valid point?

                  Saturday, August 25, 2012

                  Bob Bernick's Notebook: Ghost of HB477 Still Haunts Utah Legislature

                  And the beat goes on in Utah, Land of the Sheeple...

                  Just to kick-start some discussion on an otherwise slow news day, we'll revert as a lead-in to yesterday's strong Standard-Examiner editorial, which lambastes Utah state legislative leadership (GOP leadership -- who else?) for gouging the Utah Democratic party with a ridiculous $14,250 fee to fully release a lousy three boxes of  records of the state redistricting process, pursuant to the Democratic Party's (and the Utah media's) still-unfulfilled GRAMA requests:
                   The Standard hits the nail suarely on the head, wethinks:
                  Many might presume that this noxious stance of Utah Republicans is due to their ignorance of what transparency in government means. However, that may be too simple of an explanation. Given the Legislature’s history, it’s likely that Republicans are taking this thuggish stance because they can.
                  Given a feckless state executive branch and the overwhelming GOP majority in the Legislature, this and similar disrespect for the taxpayers’ business will probably continue.
                  And in the interest of putting a finer point on this grade-school-style conundrum, we'll link for our WCF readers' reference a fine Bernick Utah Pulse editorial piece, which reveals some of the grubby background political nitty-gritty, and opines in no uncertain terms about what Utah GOP "leadership's" arrogant posturing really means for those who seek transparency in Utah government:
                  Plainly Utah's GOP legislative leadership learned nothing at all from last year's HB 477 debacle. Indeed, as the Standard also earlier warned, they're back to their old tricks again, only with a slightly different citizens be damned gameplan.

                  And still, Utah voters keep electing these same  arrogant and secretive charlatans over and over again...

                  And the beat goes on in Utah, Land of the Sheeple...

                  Friday, August 24, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: Ogden Swears Off Obscene and Profane Language Ban

                  All's well that ends well, we guess

                  Good news for fanciers of the First Amendment (and common sense), as the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that Ogden City Public Services Director Jay Lowder's proposal to outlaw obscene and profane language at city parks and recreation events has been unceremoniously  deep-sixed:
                  Here's the money quote:
                  [Chief Administrative Officer Mark] Johnson said that while various legal experts have told the city the ordinance was, in fact, constitutional, the decision was made to drop it and look for other ways to curb poor sportsmanship.

                  “We were concerned with how the ordinance was being interpreted in the public and the reaction we got from that,” he said.

                  “We decided it would just be easier and create less headache for the city council if we dropped it and went about things another way.”
                  The passage of this vague and free speech unfriendly ordinance would inevitably invite strong legal challenges which the beleaguered Ogden City taxpayers could not well afford to defend, especially by means of bizarre legal theories cooked up by Ogden's so-called "legal experts."
                  All's well that ends well, we guess.

                  Update 8/25/12 8:12 a.m.:  The Salt Lake Tribune's all over the story too:

                  Thursday, August 23, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: Election-Year Politics Keep Sequestration Threat Alive

                  Yes, gentle readers, there's plenty of congressional blame to go around

                  Top-notch story in this morning's Standard-Examiner, bringing to the local public forefront a federal budgetary "'knife' that threatens to lop 10 percent off 2500 defense programs starting Jan. 2," according to the Standard's syndicated military columnist, Tom Philpot:
                  Taking into account our local economy's dependence on the Hill Air Force Base cash cow, this is definitely a story with local implications, folks.

                  For those readers who may need a memory refresher, Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson presents the background on this dilemma "for the 99.99 percent of Americans who aren’t budget wonks":
                  Last summer, Congress passed the Budget Control Act (BCA), raising the federal debt ceiling and pledging to cut budget deficits by at least $2.1 trillion from 2012 to 2021. Of that, cuts of $900 billion were included in the BCA — with half from defense. Congress then created a “supercommittee” of 12 of its members to achieve the remaining $1.2 trillion of deficit reduction through more spending cuts or tax increases.
                  Sequestration aimed to promote agreement by creating an alternative that seemed worse: automatic cuts in defense and non-defense spending. The theory was that the fear of sequester would so upset Republicans (against deep defense cuts) and Democrats (against domestic cuts) that they would negotiate a more acceptable package. By the same logic, Congress would then approve the supercommittee’s plan.
                  Wrong. The supercommittee didn’t agree, and Congress didn’t vote. With hindsight, this is unsurprising, because the sequester is not neutral. Though defense spending represents 19 percent of the budget in 2012, it would absorb half the cuts. Moreover, many entitlements (Social Security, Medicaid) were excluded from cuts. As supporters of domestic spending, Democrats had less reason to fear sequester. Similarly, the sequestration imposed no automatic tax increases; this appealed to Republicans. And because sequestration itself wouldn’t start until 2013, failing to agree in late 2011 had little political fallout.
                  So: The sequestration now scheduled for next January means about another $500 billion in military cuts over the decade. These are in addition to the $487 billion in defense reductions already in the BCA and billions of earlier cuts ordered by former defense secretary Robert Gates, who ended some major programs including the F-22 stealth fighter. Nor do these cuts count the automatic reductions occurring from withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan. Even without sequester, defense spending is estimated to fall to 13 percent of the budget in 2017.
                  Just like clockwork, there's plenty of finger pointing from both sides of the congessional political aisle, of course, as this issue looms as a party-partisan major federal election issue this year, and our federal congress-critters continue to dodge their legislative/budgetary responsibilities, even a mere 73 days shy of the November election:
                  Fascinating quote from Rep. Justin Amash (R) of Michigan, ("a libertarian lawmaker who frequently bucks his party for not being stringent enough on spending"):
                  I think it’s completely hypocritical for the people who voted to raise the debt ceiling, who voted for sequestration, now to be calling it ‘devastating.'
                  Yes, gentle readers, there's plenty of congressional blame to go around.

                  We'll be keeping a close eye on this story as it develops.

                  The floor's open for your ever-savvy comments, O Gentle Ones.

                  Don't let the cat get your tongues...

                  Tuesday, August 21, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: North Ogden Hires Godfrey’s Firm for New Economic Development Plan

                  Conflict of interest? You be the judge

                  Just as gentle reader Smaatguy earlier predicted here at Weber County Forum, the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that North Ogden City has hired Boss Godfrey's whiz-bang, private economic development consulting firm, Better Cities, to "help vitalize the commercial district in North Ogden" at a cost to the North Ogden taxpayers of $38,000 over the next year:
                  “I told them I would play Santa Claus and to give me their wish list, and we would see what we could do,” Godfrey said, possibly confusing the issue of who's truly acting the part of the real Santa Claus in this new scenario.

                  Earlier this month, the Standard revealed (and we reported), that Better Cities had reached a similar agreement with North Ogden's neighbor to the north, Box Elder County, once again provoking the ethical question which we raised in our 8//12 article update, "Under what circumstances, if any, would Godfrey's representation of multiple municipalities (or local government entities) along the Wasatch Front constitute a conflict of interest?"

                   Conflict of  interest? You be the judge.

                  So what about it O Gentle Ones?  Is there an aspiring business ethics expert in the house?

                  Monday, August 20, 2012

                  What's Up with the Standard-Examiner, People?

                  Dan wonders why the drones in the Standard-Examiner wiped out the link to his original online document

                  "Whoa." Looks like Dan Schreoder's kickass recently published online SE letter, an abbreviated version of the blockbuster essay that Dan posted on WCF just few day ago, has finally found it's way to be posted (in "shortened and edited" form) on the S-E website:
                  Referring to the S-E comments section, Dan wonders why the drones in the Standard-Examiner wiped out the link to his original extended comment:
                  To clarify, the headline should really say that there's no evidence of *net* job growth.

                  (I tried to leave a longer comment a little while ago, with links to both S-E articles and to the full report on Weber County Forum, but my comment has now vanished.)
                  What's up with the Standard-Examiner, people? Are the Standard and Weber County Forum in an adversarial position again?

                  Sunday, August 19, 2012

                  Why Congress Cannot Pass a Balanced Budget

                  Not so complicated when it's laid out in simple math

                  By: OneWhoKnows2

                  This fellow lays things out pretty well. It’s understandable, but nerve wracking. The video is only 5 minutes, but quite illuminating.

                  Here's the eye-opening video:

                  Not so complicated when it's laid out in simple math. The pain that he's talking about? Remember, government’s biggest source of income - people like You & Me. Start getting ready for it as best you can.

                  The floor's open for your comments, folks.

                  Friday, August 17, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: Ogden Company to Build 430 Dishes to Generate Electricity

                  Not exactly your typical Boss Godfrey-style broke-ass startup

                  Tantalizing Mitch Shaw story in this morning's Standard-Examiner, reporting that a local company which you've probably never even heard of,  i.e, Ogden’s Infinia Corporation ( headquartered at Ogden's cash-cow, BDO), is all set to harness some impressive new solar power generation technology, out there on the border of Utah's west desert, at the Tooele Army Depot.  Here's the lede:
                  OGDEN — A local company is helping the Tooele Army Depot supply its own power, a move city officials say will bring high-paying jobs to Ogden.
                  This fall, Ogden’s Infinia Corporation will begin a $10.8 million project to construct 430 “PowerDishes” on a 15-acre site at the depot. 
                  Standing about 15 feet high and looking like an old-fashioned TV satellite dish, the PowerDish uses the company’s Stirling Generator platform to convert the sun’s heat into electricity without the use of water.
                  When the Tooele project is finished, it will provide 1.5 megawatts of electricity to the depot.
                  Eager technology buffs can read the full S-E story here:
                  Curious about how a "Stirling Generator" works? Check out this boffo live diagram from the Infinia Corporation website:
                  And sorry, WCF stock trader folks, this company doesn't appear to be publicly traded. Believe me, your blogmeister already checked. Look however at this robust list of top companies who DO have a financial stake in this new venture:
                  No doubt about it, this ain't no typical  Boss Godfrey-style broke-ass startup.

                  We'll be standing by with "abated breath," btw, to find out just how much hard-earned taxpayer dough Ogden City's "crack" Ogden economic development department  "payoff team" coughed up to lure this company to Ogden's BDO, of course.

                  EOM.  Time for our WCF readers to chime in.

                  We know you're out there; we can hear you breathing.

                  Thursday, August 16, 2012

                  KSL News: The Case For A 'Local First' Mentality

                  Can we see by a show of hands how many of our WCF readers have joined in this burgeoning "shop local" movement, and already make it a point to patronize our locally owned, home-grown businesses first?

                  Thanks to a tip from another sharp and alert Weber County Forum reader, we'll put the focus this morning on a highly enlightening  KSL News story which will give boosters of our Utah state and local economies something to seriously contemplate the next time the local media breathlessly report that yet another national cookie-cutter-style restaurant chain or cavernous  retail box store outfit sets up shop in their own Utah city or town. 

                  Here's the eye-opening lede:
                  SALT LAKE CITY — Spending money at local businesses can have a bigger impact on the local economy than spending those same dollars at national chains, a new study states.
                  Research conducted by Civic Economics detailing the amount of revenue returned to the local community by locally-owned, independent businesses showed that 52 percent of all revenues went back into their communities compared to about 14 percent for national chain stores.
                  The report also indicated that local eateries returned nearly 79 percent of revenues compared to just over 30 percent for national restaurants.
                  Overall, locally-owned, independent businesses return 382 percent more dollars to the Salt Lake City economy than chain retailers, explained Nan Seymour, executive director of Local First Utah.
                  “Four times the amount of dollars stay in our community when you spend at a local business," she said.
                  Here's the full article, for our readers' perusal:
                  “The more that we support our local businesses, the better they do.” “The more they can provide local jobs and local products … and the more revenue we all receive from that,” says U of U academic and urban planner Bob Farrington.

                  “Local is becoming a huge movement,” adds Betsy Burton, co-owner of Salt Lake City's King’s English Bookshop.

                  So what about it, folks?  Can we see by a show of hands how many of our WCF readers have joined this burgeoning "shop local" movement, and already make it a point to patronize our locally-owned, home-grown businesses first?

                  The floor's open, O Gentle Ones.

                  Wednesday, August 15, 2012

                  KSL News: Extremely Dumb Man Accidentally Shoots Self in Nevada Theater

                  Rule #1: Smart folk don't pack heat with a "live" round chambered

                  By: Ozboy

                  To my gun luvin buddies, and those who laugh at them:

                  Check this out!
                  Too stupid; and too bad this wanna be hero wasn't there in the Denver theater packing heat for self protection. Maybe he woulda shot himself in the ass before the real killer got up and did his mass murder trick, thus alerting the police before the real mayhem commenced and as a consequence saving all those lives! He coulda been and woulda been a genuine hero!!!

                  Yep, proof positive that the real answer to this horrid and evil gun violence plaguing our country is more guns in the hands of incompetent wanna be Rambos!

                  Editor's addendum:  Amazing how often stories like this pop up. Didn't they teach this moron in his Concealed Weapon Training Course that nobody in their right mind "carries" any firearm "about his person" with a "live" round already chambered? What exactly DO they teach these people in these Concealed Weapons qualification courses?

                  Comments, anyone?

                  Tuesday, August 14, 2012

                  Duelling Editorials: GOP Insiders Waffle on Romney's GOP VP Choice - Updated

                  In the Ogden City red meat political news front, we're flummoxed.  Suffice it to say the "red meat" news is S-L-O-O-O-W today. In that connection however, here's something political in the national news from the Standard-Examiner: Gird up your loins, Utah people, and take heed, folks, as there's a new line of political discussion on Weber County Forum, involving the 2012 U.S. Presidential race:
                  Classic quote from my good friend, Weber County GOP Chair, Matt Bell:
                  It’s awesome, a winning ticket.
                  Some other politically-seasoned Republicans are not so cock-sure about the wisdom of the Paul Ryan selection, however:
                  So what about it, WCF readers?  Was the selection of  Paul Ryan as Romney's Vice Presidential candidate a boon to the GOP party? Or will Ryan's weird anti-feminist, anti-medicare and pro-war positions not only remove Romney's presidential aspirations to the dustbin of U.S. presidential election history, (just as John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign did) but also take down the current  GOP's House majority?

                  The floor's open for discussion, people.

                  Don't let the cat get your tongues.

                  Update 8/17/12 10:45 a.m.:  The Standard "accepts" our invitation to weigh in on this topic (in a roundabout way,) and offers its own strong editorial opinion regarding the "wisdom" of Mitt Romney's V.P candidate pick:
                  Ya gotta admit that it's always a "crack-up," every time some uber-conservative refers to the Standard as a member of the "liberal" media, no?

                  Monday, August 13, 2012

                  Reality "Bites": Experts Warn Ogden That Profanity Ban Could Be Unconstitutional - Updated

                  Our take: the Ogden City Council has more important work to do than bringing about an Orwell-style Ogden nanny-state
                  If you want to prevent something like fighting, then you ban fighting and you send in law enforcement when people do fight. It’s hardly ever constitutional to ban speech to prevent something else. You have to ban the ‘something else.’
                  BYU law professor Frederick Gedicks
                  Experts warn Ogden that profanity ban could be unconstitutional
                  August 13, 1012
                  I think it will be an uphill battle. One of the major problems is where they are proposing this. Parks are like the Colosseum; they have always been the place where people come together. They are the ultimate place for free speech.
                  I completely understand where they are coming from, but the solution is not to ban the content of the speech. The focus should be more on the actual conduct they are trying to prevent.
                  University of Utah law professor Erika George
                  Experts warn Ogden that profanity ban could be unconstitutional
                  August 13, 1012

                  To the Standard-Examiner's credit, they've ferreted out advice (for the City Council's enlightenment, we hope) on Ogden's proposed anti-profanity ordinance from the experts, constitutional law scholars at both of Utah's two law schools:
                  Hopefully the Ogden City Council will write this down so they don't forget it: "Experts say banning speech is almost never constitutional."
                  While this morning's S-E story reports that "[t]he city still has some time to adjust the ordinance before the council votes,"  we'll go out on a limb and urge the Council to drive a stake through the heart of City Public Services Director Jay Lowder's bone-headed ordinance, and to do so immediately.

                  And we additionally hope the Council won't waste valuable time trying to placate Mr. Lowder in a probably futile attempt to craft an ordinance based on the "vestigial" constitutional doctrine upholding bans on "fighting words".  The doctrine's all but dead as far as most informed folks are concerned. "Tellingly, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to uphold any convictions for fighting words since 1946." 

                  Our advice to the panty-waisted Mr. Lowder:
                  If fighting erupts any time at any Ogden City-sponsored recreational event or any city-owned recreational facility, advise city employees to adhere to the firm rules of American constitutional jurisprudence, and simply call the cops. 
                  It ain't that complicated in the final analysis, in our never-humble opinion.

                  Our City Council has more important work to do than bringing about an Orwell-style, language correct Ogden nanny-state, dont'cha think?

                  That's our take; and we're stickin' to it.

                  And with that, what say YOU?

                  Update 8/16/12 10:00 a.m.: The Standard chimes in on this topic this morning, with this strong, no nonsense editorial, hitting most of the major points we made up-thread:

                  Saturday, August 11, 2012

                  Centerville Hair Braider Wins Lawsuit Challenging Utah License Rules

                  It'll be highly enlightening to find out whether Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's office takes this towering victory for personal liberty up on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court

                  Good news for advocates of entrepreneurial liberty this morning, as the Standard-Examiner reports that "a Centerville woman who braids hair to supplement her family’s income has won a federal lawsuit against the state over its licensing process for her craft, arguing state regulations violated her right to earn a living":
                  More from the Institute for Justice, the libertarian-oriented law firm which (with the help of local co-counsel) succeeded in striking down Utah's heavy handed Big Gummint licencing scheme.  We frankly can't blame 'em for tootin' their own horn:
                  Our GOP-dominated state government makes plenty of political hay by "posturing" as a fierce opponent of overbearing government regulation. It'll therefore be highly enlightening, wethinks, to find out whether Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's office takes this towering victory for personal liberty, and glaring defeat for government over-regulation, up on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

                  Friday, August 10, 2012

                  Salt Lake Tribune: Ogden Considers Profanity Ban to Restore Sportsmanship

                  The proposed language could hardly be any more vague and ambiguous in our never-humble view
                  We want people to come to our sports events and feel safe and comfortable and to not have to listen to a bunch of idiots who can’t control their anger
                  Ogden Public Services Director Jay Lowder
                  Ogden considers profanity ban to restore sportsmanship
                  August 9, 2012
                  I don’t think its right for us to come up with something that is ambiguous and difficult to enforce. It doesn’t seem like good legislation to me.
                  City Councilwoman Amy Wicks
                  Ogden considers profanity ban to restore sportsmanship
                  August 9, 2012
                  Clearly unconstitutional.
                  Civil Rights Attorney Brian Barnard
                  Ogden considers profanity ban to restore sportsmanship
                  August 9, 2012

                  The Salt Lake Tribune is all over yesterday's anti-profanity ordinance story too, with a typically  craftsman-like Cathy McKitrick write-up, demonstrating the hard work of a top Utah journalist, and incorporating a few "pithy" and informative quotes:
                  Looks like at least one Ogden City Council member has her head on straight (as usual).

                  Here's Mr. Lowder's proposed ordinance text, which we've grabbed from the SL-Trib article left sidebar:
                  Pursuant to Utah Code Annotated section 10-8-50…no person shall engage in disorderly conduct…or disturb the peace by using obscene or profane language, in any park, playground or recreational facility owned or used by the City, or at any recreational event that is organized, operated, managed or sponsored by the city.
                  As we said before, we wish Mr. Lowder the best of luck. This language could hardly be any more vague and ambiguous, in our never-humble view.

                  Wednesday, August 08, 2012

                  Wednesday Morning Ogden City News Roundup - Updated

                  Ogden City weirdly gets set to ban profane language; and Box Elder County "ponies up" for its new "heretofore secret jobs creation weapon"

                  Amidst what we'd otherwise characterize as yet another slow news day, we'll shine the spotlight on a couple of news interesting items appearing in this morning's Standard-Examiner which nevertheless believe to be at least somewhat worthy of note:

                  1) Under a banner headline on the S-E front page this morning, we're greeted with this interesting story, indicating that our Ogden Recreation Division, perhaps feeling a mite under-utilized since the January departure of administrative department slave-driver Mayor Boss Godfrey, is setting forth on an ambitious project of its own, i.e., to clean up the "potty mouth" in Ogden City-owned parks, playgrounds or other recreational facilities:
                  Implementing such an ordinance will be easier said than done of course, inasmuch as any attempt by City Public Services Director Jay Lowder to regulate free speech runs the risk of stepping on the pesky  First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly "prohibits the making of any law...abridging the freedom of speech."  So in our never ending effort to keep our WCF readers informed of the operative issues, we'll present a couple of background First Amendement legal online resources which frame somewhat neatly what the Ogden City Council might -- and might not be able to lawfully do in the realm of anti-profanity legislation:
                  We'll be following this story as it develops, and wish the language-prudish  Mr. Lowder luck, noting the broad operative rule in American constitutional jurisprudence, that "[o]n its face, profane language is generally not a punishable form of speech. The exceptions discussed above are narrow in scope."

                  2) As a followup to Saturday's WCF article, which we characterized a "bad news for the Northern Utah jobs picture," the Standard carries another related story this morning, reporting on the bleak "jobs crisis" in Box Elder County, which had already "lost nearly 1,000 manufacturing jobs and about 300 public-sector jobs," even prior to last week's devastating ATK Space Systems NASA contract snub.

                  Not to worry, lumpencitizens of  Box Elder County.  Help is on the way.  According to this morning's S-E story, Box Elder County officials have appropriated a fair-sized wad of dough... and to top it all off, they have a heretofore secret jobs creation weapon!  Click the link below to learn all about it:
                  Yesiree folks! Looks like former Ogden Mayor Boss Godfrey has finally landed a lucrative public sector project, under the moniker Better Cities, now that he's all fully set up as a consultant in the private sector:
                  Bonus question: Whatever happened to Godfrey's other company, American Municipal Consultants, which he formed a mere six or so months ago? It had an awfully short shelf life, or so it seems to us.

                  The floor's open for any WCF readers who'd like to help us out with any of the above.

                  Update 8/9/12 7:48 a.m.: One sharp-eyed reader informs us privately that Godfrey is beefing up his staff, and that he's also taken his his Bozo Act to Provo City:
                  Plainly said, now that Godfrey's "entered the private sector,"he's not letting any grass grow under his "tiny size 4-aaa feet."

                  Sodden query: Under what circumstances, if any, would Godfrey's representation of multiple municipalities along the Wasatch Front constitute a conflict of interest?

                  Tuesday, August 07, 2012

                  Senator Curt Bramble: Standard-Examiner Editorial Board Missed Points on Ethics Reform

                  Bonus reader query: Is there anyone amongst our savvy and politically battle-weary WCF readership who's buying Senator Bramble's lame excuses?

                  Laughable and self-serving guest commentary from Utah County's State Senator Curt Bramble this morning, responding to Friday's hard-hitting Standard-Examiner editorial, Our View: Unethical enablers, also the subject of our own 8/3/12 WCF writeup:
                  "My central focus has always been to protect the integrity of the political process from the buffetings of self-interested parties. I believe we’re on the right path," sez Senator Bramble, with a completely straight face.

                  That settles it, right?  The state legislature's coincidental efforts to (temporarily?) ban electronic petitions, and to "raise the goalpost after the ball was in the air", during the heroic grassroots 2010 UEG ethics reform petition drive had nothing whatsoever to do with either making a mockery of the provision in the state Constitution that enshrines the right of the people to propose, adopt and repeal laws, or with thwarting UEG's efforts to allow a chance for the Utah lumpencizens to put a serious ethics reform measure on the ballot.

                  We'll file this one, of course, under the topic label "Alternate Reality Department," folks.

                  Bonus reader query: Is there anyone amongst our savvy and politically battle-weary WCF readership who's buying Bramble's lame excuses?

                  Monday, August 06, 2012

                  Salt Lake Tribune: President Obama’s Road Not Taken Includes Utah

                  Obama hasn’t set foot in Utah, one of just seven states he has yet to hit since taking the oath of office

                  By: Ray

                  Obama's Road Less Traveled includes Utah. Here's the front page article in today's Salt Lake Tribune discussing President Obama not visiting Utah during his tenure thus far:
                  Particularly interesting were Rep. Jason Chaffetz's comments:
                  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, may be a campaign surrogate for Romney but said he would welcome a visit from Obama, noting that the president referenced Intermountain Healthcare in his first joint address to Congress and may benefit from visiting its hospitals.
                  "President Obama is perpetually in campaign mode, so if he doesn’t see any prospect of winning he’s not going to stop by," Chaffetz said. "I remember him famously saying we are not red states or blue states — we are the United States of America. But we are a flyover state for this president. It’s too bad."
                  If the president were to visit the state, Chaffetz said: "I would show up at the airport, but I’m not sure Jim Matheson would."
                  Wow. Given his and other Utah politicos well trumpeted despisal of the the President why would he?  True there are many of us who would welcome a visit but given his struggle to be re-elected, I don't blame him a bit for not spending time in the state of Zion.  Maybe he will in his second term.

                  Sunday, August 05, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: County Agrees to Pay for Matthew Stewart's Defense

                  Bringing veteran defense attorney Bernie Allen aboard the Stewart defense team even at this early stage of the proceedings proves to have been a very savvy move

                  Significant interim victory in the Matthew Stewart Shootemup case, folks, as the Standard Examiner reports this morning that Weber County prosecutors have stipulated to put the County on the hook to help cover defense costs for Matthew Stewart, including "fees for a mitigation expert, investigator, ballistics experts and psychiatric evaluations," at a cost to the county which "could reach six figures":
                  No doubt about it, bringing veteran defense attorney Bernie Allen aboard the Stewart defense team even at this early stage of the proceedings proves to have been a very savvy move.

                  Perhaps the kid will get a fair trial after all.

                  Saturday, August 04, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: Ogden's Lindquist Field Aims to Diversify Offerings Beyond Baseball

                  101 ways for the Ogden Raptors to keep (or get) their ballpark rent current

                  Lindquist Field
                  Interesting Roy Burton story this morning, exploring the myriad of non-baseball events hosted by Ogden's own hometown Ogden Raptors management, to maximize use of  Ogden City's magnificent Lindquist Field downtown baseball park and multi-use facility.  Lindquist Field definitely ain't your grampa's baseball-only park, people. Read up, folks:
                  The Raptors' latest non-baseball event? This is one which might  be of interest to those of us in Northern Utah who may be fanciers of the ancient "juice of the barley":
                  Great to see the Raptors cleverly finding ways to stay (or get) current with their ballpark rent, don'tcha think?

                  NASA bypasses Utah’s ATK For Post-Shuttle Vehicle Contract

                  Decision leaves the future of hundreds of jobs in Box Elder County in doubt

                  Bad news for the Northern Utah jobs picture and the Utah economy in general, folks, as both the Standard-Examiner and Salt Lake Tribune report that Utah-based aerospace firm "Alliant Techsystems’ plan to use its Liberty rocket to eventually transport astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station was left unfunded on the launch pad Friday."

                  Here's the lead from this morning's Standard-Examiner  front page:
                  OGDEN — ATK Space Systems in Box Elder County was bypassed Friday in its bid to win part of nearly $1.2 billion from NASA to develop a new commercial space launch system to carry American astronauts into space.
                  The decision leaves the future of hundreds of jobs in Box Elder County in doubt.
                  ATK already laid off more than 2,000 employees as the space shuttle program wound down. It hoped to avoid further layoffs by building more solid-rocket motors for its proposed manned launch system, called Liberty.
                  Read the full S-E and Trib stories here:
                  Needless to say, Utah 1st Congressional District Representative-for-life Rob Bishop R-UT  is practically apoplectic about this development:
                  U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, in whose congressional district ATK is located, said he and the rest of Utah’s congressional delegation will not take the decision lying down.
                  The real question... what will Bishop and the rest of Utah's federal congressional delegation be able to do about it?  Not much, we'll suggest.

                  Added bonus question:   As frequent and loud Obama critics, what exactly did Bishop and the rest of Utah's congressional delegation expect?  Seems obvious to us at first blush that Utah will be paying the foreseeable and probable price for its crackpot right-wing political extremism.

                  But what do our Gentle Readers have to say about all this?

                  Friday, August 03, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: Ogden Approves $108,000 to Promote Airport, Allegiant Travel Company

                  City council votes to "push" another wad of taxpayer dough to Allegiant Travel Company

                  In the aftermath of all the feverish fanfare surrounding the announcement that commercial air service will begin at Ogden-Hinckley Airport on Sept. 20, we finally get the "rest of the story" from the Standard-Examiner, which informs us this morning that "earlier this week the city council voted to amend the city’s Outdoor Recreation Company Assistance Program to allow money from the program to be pushed to the airport and the Allegiant Travel Company, who on Sept. 20 will begin commercial jet service between Ogden and Phoenix, twice a week":
                  Sodden questions:
                  1. When, if ever, will Mayor's crack team of Ogden economic development geniuses manage to lure a business to Ogden, supposedly one of the top U.S. economic "hotspots," without compelling the beleaguered Ogden taxpayers to "push money" and "sweeten the pot"?
                  2. If the Ogden-Phoenix air commute route is so danged promising, why does it require a taxpayer subsidy at all?
                  Just axin', folks...

                  Standard-Examiner Editorial: Our View: Unethical Enablers

                  Bravo, Doug Gibson and the S-E Editorial Board.
                  The truth has always been that the dominant political force in our state does not want real ethics reform. They have crafted "baby-steps" ethics laws that allow them loopholes to freeload food and gifts and also retain their ability to gobble up all the campaign cash they can beg for and maintain elite relationships with lobbyists.
                  Standard-Examiner Editorial
                  Our View: Unethical Enablers
                  August 3, 2012
                  Voters, please remember when you go to the polls, which of your legislators support real ethics and which legislators are enablers of the current imperfect system.
                  Standard-Examiner Editorial
                  Our View: Unethical Enablers
                  August 3, 2012

                  Top notch editorial in this morning's Standard-Examiner, saying everything that needs to be said, in the wake of this week's Utah Supreme Court decision in the UEG legislative ethics reform initiative matter, about the current state of Utah legislative ethics:
                  Bravo, Doug Gibson and the S-E Editorial Board.

                  Thursday, August 02, 2012

                  Salt Lake Tribune: Push for Ethics Initiative Will Continue, Backers Say - Updated

                  Fascinating political sideshow developing in relation to this matter, too, as sharp-eyed  UEG officials catch a bogus 2010 electronic signature originating from Utah House of Representatives computer

                  Encouraging news for supporters of the UEG Ethics Reform Initiative who were disheartened by last week's Utah Supreme Court ruling, which "snuffed out" any hope that this landmark measure would be placed before Utah lumpencitizens on the 2012 General Election ballot, as the Salt Lake Tribune reports this morning that the fight to put the Utah legislature's ethical feet to the fire ain't over yet:
                  Yesiree, the dedicated and stalwart folks of the UEG plan to pick up the pieces and start all over again, with a goal of qualifying this measure for the 2014 ballot. And why not, we ask, inasmuch as the UEG probably has pretty much of its 2010 petition-gathering apparatus still  in place?  "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," according to the old folk ax, right? Hopefully this planned second effort will finally get it right.

                  Fascinating political sideshow developing in relation to this matter, too, as it seems that the folks of the UEG caught "somebody" red-handed, filing a bogus signature on a UEG 2010 electronic petition via a Utah House of Representatives computer, of all places.  House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo of course knows "nuttin' from nuttin'" about this criminal act, which is pretty much par for the course with our corrupt Utah legislature, don'tcha think?

                  It gets interesting and interestinger, dunnit?

                  So who wants to throw in their own 2¢, O Gentle Readers?

                  Update 8/2/12 12:45 a.m.: Considering the circumstancesUEG has a relatively upbeat post-mortem on their website; and it comes as no surprise that they're already looking for volunteers:
                  Your blogmeister has already notified UEG officials that he's "ready to roll" as a petition gatherer this next go-round. Howbout vous?

                  Outdoor Industry Association Throws Down the Gaunlet - Updated

                  Herbert told: Change environmental course or trade show will leave
                  We’re going to lose this convention because of a political stunt.
                  Jim Dabakis, Chairman of the Utah Democratic Party
                  Standard-Examiner: An ultimatum
                  August 2, 2012
                  [They're] killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
                  Peter Metcalf, CEO/President of Black Diamond Equipment
                  SLTrib: Outdoor rec industry lashes out at Utah’s public lands policy
                  August 2, 2012

                  Both the Standard-Examiner and the Salt Lake Tribune report this morning that Utah government's right wing extremist political policy is on a collision course with Utah's economic interests, as the Outdoor Industry Association, the fifteen-year host of Salt Lake City's Outdoor Retailer Show, "one of the world’s largest outdoor gear trade shows, is threatening to pull their biannual expo from Salt Lake City if Utah’s governor doesn’t change course on environmental issues":
                  "It is disappointing that Utah — a place that draws outdoor businesses and enthusiasts alike — has not had a collaborative policy relationship with the outdoor industry."  Instead, at least recently, "the industry is often surprised and frustrated" by Utah's public lands policy, Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the OIA says.

                  And yes folks, this is a very big deal for the Utah's economic well being, inasmuch as this gigantic trade show "draws more than 25,000 people and injects more than $40 million into the Utah economy annually," according to the S-E story.

                  It'll be fascinating to see how this story plays out on the cusp of the 2012 General election, as Governor Herbert sweats out Mr. Hugelmeyer's 30-day ultimatum, no?

                  Update 8/3/12 9:15 a.m.:  Informative followup story from the SLTrib's Judy Fahys, fleshing out the Outdoor Industry Association's issues... and introducing "sagebrush rebellion pushback" from Utah legislative "throwback" West Valley City's Rep. Fred Cox:

                  Standard-Examiner: Emotions of Judge Questioned in Stewart Case

                  Grade school county attorney tactics in the Matthew Stewart civil property forfeiture case?

                  In the interest of keeping WCF readers fully abreast of all developments surrounding the Matthew Stewart Shootemup Case, we'll highlight this morning's Standard-Examiner story, which amounts to a followup to a couple of Northern Utah media stories which we featured on 7/21/12, involving the related civil forfeiture action, wherein Weber County lawyers are attempting to seize Mr. Stewart's residential property:
                  The S-E's Mr. Gurrister reports that Weber County lawyers are apparently attempting to turn the tables on civil defense lawyer Emily Swenson, who's attempting to disqualify 2d District Court Judge Decaria from the cased, claiming the judge’s emotional reaction to Officer Francom’s death was evidence of bias.

                  In a bizarre plot twist, Mr. Gurrister reports this:
         his motion filed Tuesday, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith wrote that Swenson was more emotional at that meeting than DeCaria was.

                  Smith’s motion suggests that, following Swenson’s line of reasoning, she should be disqualified from the case.
                   Are Weber County lawyers seriously contending that Ms. Swenson has an emotional bias which would operate to Stewart's detriment in this matter?

                  This strikes us as a grade-school litigation tactic, merely designed to confuse the issues, folks.

                  So what do our Gentle Readers have to say about this?

                  Wednesday, August 01, 2012

                  Standard-Examiner: Ogden OKs Bonds to Fix Water Pipeline

                  Even bigger borrowing and spending is coming up on the near horizon

                  The Standard-Examiner reports that the Ogden City Council last night embarked on the next stage of implementing its 2012 water rates re-set fiasco, which it meekly and ineptly approved , over substantial lumpencitizen objection, on May 22, 2012.  As a followup to borrowing a cool $1 million from the sewer fund, the Standard's Mitch Shaw reports that "[t]he city council adopted a resolution Tuesday night to issue $4.5 million in bonds to fix a century-old water pipeline that supplies Ogden with much of its water":
                  We forewarn that even bigger borrowing and spending is coming up on the near horizon, whereby Ogden City rate payers will be ultimately burdened by at least $13 million in additional long-term, relatively high interest rate bonding, for a project which could otherwise have been more prudently and inexpensively financed, for the most part, by simply "tapping" existing cash reserves and current revenues.

                  Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

                  Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Supreme Court Ruling Ends Ethics Initiative Bid

                  "If a grassroots group like ours couldn’t qualify this initiative for a statewide ballot, I don’t think it can be done." - David Irvine, Utahns For Ethical Government attorney

                  Devastating news for supporters of the UEG citizens ethics reform initiative the morning, as the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Utah Supreme Court has ruled in favor of corrupt business as usual in Utah government, and aids and abets the state legislature in making a mockery of the provision in the state Constitution that enshrines the right of the people to propose, adopt and repeal laws.  Here's the gist:
                  The Utah Supreme Court tossed a bid by Utahns For Ethical Government to get their rigorous ethics initiative on the November ballot, apparently dooming the effort for this election cycle.

                  The Court, in a one-paragraph order issued Tuesday, said that the district court should have granted the request by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to dismiss the lawsuit.

                  The high court’s decision ends a protracted battle that began in August 2009, pitting the Utah Legislature against a group of former lawmakers and good-government crusaders who argued that the Utah Legislature lacked the necessary ethical guide rails and oversight.

                  The order, signed by Chief Justice Matthew Durrant, said a full opinion on the case would come later.
                   Check out the full story here:
                  "This is a huge disappointment, because the practical effect of the ruling … is that the statewide initiative right written into the [Utah] Constitution has pretty much been erased by statute," said David Irvine, an attorney for Utahns For Ethical Government and former Republican legislator. "We had hundreds of volunteers put thousands of hours into this effort and if a grassroots group like ours couldn’t qualify this initiative for a statewide ballot, I don’t think it can be done."

                  "It's a bad day for ethics in Utah. But what's new?" - Trib Reader

                  The floor's open for you post-morten comments, O Gentle Ones.

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