"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" Thomas Jefferson
My first post this year and imagine my surprise when I realize that my last post of 2014 was on the exact same topic. Back then, the church had to quickly scrub a webpage of what looked like their plans for this announcement. Apparently, they were preparing this almost exactly a month ago. Now we know they were indeed going to issue a statement. Since I covered this in greater detail earlier (see prior link), I’ll be brief.
A few of days ago, the LDS Church came out and pushed for LGBT non-discrimination legislation…so long as it is exempt from it.
Its easy to mandate rules on others you are exempt from, I guess. And that’s the problem. At this point, they’ve undermined any credibility they had on this issue. If you’re going to advocate for a law for everyone else (including your own members), then you best be subject to it as well. If you are unwilling to follow such a law, it might be better to just not say anything at all.
I just can’t take anyone seriously who says: ‘This is a great law everyone should follow as long as I don’t have to’.
UPDATE (March): It is now well known that the church is backing the bill (SB296 – Antidiscrimination And Religious Freedom Amendments) that it is exempt from while leaving members with no such exemption (“good for thee but not for me”). The Baptist’s* Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission have a good write up on individual religious freedom concerns related to the bill: Is Utah’s LGBT-religious liberty bill good policy?
*Yeah, I know the Baptists are not aligned with the LDS Church on doctrine but the article establishes common ground (religious liberty), is very respectful, and well written.
This caught my attention on Fox13’s website: LDS Church clarifies it has not announced support for statewide LGBT non-discrimination bill.
It appears that the church may be in the process of pursuing an expansion of sex-orientation non-discrimination law in Utah. While the church official’s response (see link/text on the Fox13 site) seems to distance them from any further laws (besides the 2009 law), the church’s email ends with a statement that seems to indicate that the webpage was a work-in-progress for some sort of new announcement:
“This is a beta site and is not a final product. Additional edits and changes are possible before it reaches final completion.”
Maybe the final sentence in the response is just poorly written or intentionally cryptic. I don’t know, but I’ll take it at face value based on past experience. As noted by the LDS Church response, they supported a similar localized law in 2009…and made sure they were exempt from the law. Back then, I opposed what they were doing as it epitomized a “good for thee and not for me” attitude.
It sounds like the church may be preparing to push for government power to force acceptance of behaviors some of the community and its own members (and the church itself) consider immoral. In doing so, they intrude of private property rights and rights of association of their own members but, through carving out a special exemption, the church is not subject to adhering to this coercion itself.
These are the types of laws that we’ve seen force private bakeries (here too) and wedding reception/service businesses to violate their moral beliefs (or close shop) despite their attempts to find alternative accommodations for the clients (who clearly had predetermined to force acceptance via litigation).
If this issue is indeed so important – then step up and remove the exemption and allow the same policy to affect the church’s properties (such as BYU housing etc). To sum: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.
Based on what I watched and read regarding James O’Keefe’s operation in North Carolina this year, he could use similar methodology to target Utah’s elections (frankly made much easier with our ridiculous vote by mail only program).
Essentially, thanks to Utah’s past and continued distribution of the voter list (albeit now just to politician’s pet groups/projects) via the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, O’Keefe would have what he needs to run a similar sting here: voter name, address, age, phone and vote history. In North Carolina, he used the voting history to identify inactive voters (I think he looked for those who had not voted in the last three elections). The only hope would be a poll worker to ask for ID, which I understand is not a strict requirement in Utah (again, even easier with mail-in only voting).
Hopefully, we clean our voter rolls and identify voters who have moved and those attempting to illegally vote (like non-citizens…again in North Carolina). I would prefer that we just take the simple steps to respect that citizens’ right to vote is not beholden to political favored industries’ desire for marketing or data-mining information and prevent easy methods of voter fraud. Let’s not be embarrassed like North Carolina, please.
I’ve written about Utah’s roughshod dispensing of the voter list and the security compromise voters are forced to choose in order to simply exercise their right to vote. Some things improved very slightly but much work remains on the issue.
Fortunately, after contacting the Davis County Clerk’s office to discuss the changes to the law, it appears that they are ready and willing to help those with any reasonable security risk to mark their records private so not everyone an their dog has access to their personal information and voting history.
For the military and those in government, it should be easily to qualify and include their family members as Daesh (the accurate name for ISIS) continues to threaten attacks on US soil specifically targeting the aforementioned groups. If you live in Davis County, I highly encourage you to contact the clerk’s office and see if you qualify. They are ready and willing to help (I was impressed by their courtesy, candor, and professionalism when I called to gather information – kudos to the Clerk and his staff!).
If you live in another county, I would still contact your clerk’s office to gather this information. It serves a twofold pupose – easily protect your identity and you and your family’s safety.
I found out that, in mid October (I understand it was on or around October 21, 2014), the Bountiful City Council participated in a site visit at Park City’s City Hall. I would consider this fair warning that the mayor and council may be up to prepping another push to get a new city hall (and a few more projects like a museum). Get ready for another push and prepared to vet their plans as they seem prone to costly legacy projects.
For background on their last (very expensive) attempt, see these posts. Stay vigilant – as I noted in the linked posts, the Bountiful City Council is prone to sneak things through when the heat is off…
Back in 2007 I put together a set of immigration reform suggestions (click here for the the final post that includes links to the other reforms). Please note, that those were very much a first draft and there are several things I would change (especially regarding when “z visas” could be allocated – primarily thanks to Obama’s unconstitutional use of executive action).
I thought it was time again to put up some principles those suggestions were founded on. This is just a very quick set of thoughts. Nothing more.
No omnibus or comprehensive behemoths no one can read nor debate and vet. All bills will be publicly available for review a minimum of one week days prior to a vote. If amended, the same applies prior to the final vote on passage.
The federal government has proven itself entirely untrustworthy of implementing enforcement measures (we’ve been burned on various occasions to include the 1986 amnesty). That adage goes “fool me once…” and we’ve been fooled more than twice. Enough.
E-verify is fully implemented prior to any amnesty being granted. Those here illegally will remain such and likely retain their current jobs as E-verify only applies to new hires. Turning off the job magnet will greatly help the situation. Enforcement also includes heavy fines for businesses who violate E-verify requirements and don’t check their new hires – this should also help reduce human trafficking.
Enforcement targets will be defined and must be met. Thanks to Obama’s stunt, an agreement will be necessary that no executive actions will delay enforcement measures and targets nor can an action begin issuance of amnesty provisions prior to the above being met. Doing so, should automatically trigger funds being removed or not allocated to the amnesty program and the program to immediately cease operations.
Truthfully, the way Obama doesn’t care about constitutional norms, I really don’t think it would be wise to deal with him at all on this – it would be fine to pass the enforcement provisions but wait for the next president to negotiate with on amnesty (Obama has proven himself entirely capricious and totally untrustworthy). He really screwed this whole thing up with his latest unlawful stunt. I hope the next president won’t be so prone to fits of executive fiat when s/he doesn’t get their exact way. At least waiting for the next president would give us time to find proper means for decent background checks and entry verification.
No Taxpayer Burden
Taxpayers will foot no bill whatsoever. The illegal immigrants and/or their employer will pay the full cost of any amnesty program. Amnesty recipients will be permanently disqualified from public benefits (private charities are not barred from providing assistance) excluding emergency, life-saving care and law enforcement assistance. Employers must provide a bond for their amnestied worker and provide health insurance (no corporate welfare subsidies by taxpayers).
Identity Theft disclosure and Restitution
It is no secret that illegal immigrants use stolen social security numbers (often of children) and fraudulent documents (see this week’s report on ABC4: Child identity theft in Utah is growing, but you can protect your children*. They must disclose those used and pay restitution to the victims. Failure to do so, would result in legalized status termination and they are deported.
Proper Background Check
It will probably take a couple of years to find new and effective methods for illegal alien background checks and verify time in country. We want to be able to prevent document fraud related to establishing time in country and identity for background checks (find means to verify with utilities, other record keeping agencies). I prefer no amnesty for those here less than eight years – ie when the last amnesty was attempted. A two year time period for this type of study will also be enough time to get a reasonable president in office who won’t arbitrarily torpedo efforts.
No Citizenship, No Chain Migration
Simple as that. They are entirely ineligible from becoming citizens (even if they marry one) and can not petition for additional family members from entering.
Terminate Birth Citizenship
Include a provision that ends the practice of granting citizenship children born to those illegally within the country.
Fairness to Prospective Legal Immigrants
System revamped to give priority to those who actually respected our laws enough to wait in their home countries. This can be done prior to enforcement measure implementation since it does not pertain to illegal aliens. The system needs to be more efficient.
Consider partnering with temporary labor agencies (private sector) to provided bonded labor for those who need seasonal labor. This also could be done right away as it doesn’t pertain to illegal aliens.
I may add to this post but we’ll see… as I just wanted to keep things based on principles and not get into the weeds on details (I just don’t have the time anymore). For more details, refer to the first link above and associated posts I put up years ago (even those really are just a first stab that need refining).
UPDATE: A succinct read on why amnesties tend to be doomed from in inception: Why Amnesties Fail
*Note: It is highly recommended to protect you child’s credit using the instructions in the article but do note that it will not protect them from employment record corruption, fraudulent tax burdens/earnings, and/or medical identity corruption associated with unauthorized use of their Social Security Number.
Wish I could go into more detail on this but don’t have the time. This is just a note of concern.
In Davis County, the election was run as a mail-in only election (ie ballots were mailed out to registered voters and they had to either mail them in or hand deliver them). Personally, I really don’t at all like this methodology. It makes me very uncomfortable and exposes the process to increased risk of fraud for one of the most fundamental rights we have. Let’s face it, it isn’t hard to grab someone else’s ballot, fill it out and mail it in or disrupt stuff by stealing ballots. This is the low hanging fruit – certainly, there are more intricate methods to “stuff the ballot box” that this method opens up. Nor is there really any way to verify voters’ identities.
It should also be noted that Davis County and a few other Utah counties are not the only ones experimenting with this stuff. Other states are as well and raising concerns which are being picked up by national media:
I really hope this ends up as the one and only trial of this type of voting. The vast majority are able and should be willing to get off our butts, go to the voting booth with ID, and in the process, disrupt potential voter fraud.