Utah’s Fake News And Single Sided Compassion: Park City ICE Action

Here’s a case study of local Utah media ginning up emotion by spinning a mundane report and presenting only one side to suit their bias/narrative.

A few days ago, Utah news outlets ran with a report that Park City Latinos were ‘panicking’ and in ‘fear’ after being targeted by ICE. Here are a few examples: ABC4, Fox13, SLTrib, etc.

The news was spun for some emotional pap and glossed over the following:

  1. Only those who committed crimes (besides entering illegally) were arrested: “According to Park City police the arrests were part of a normal operation by ICE agents and only those with criminal records were taken into custody.”
    “He said his son and nephew were taken but he was left behind despite being in the U.S. illegally.” (ABC4)
    Additionally, the SL Trib states that some of them had re-entered (ie been previously deported).
  2. The operation was a normal operation – it was under Obama’s guidance as Trump is just issuing new guidance (just today) and has thus not yet been implemented. Yet the media would prefer you believe all this angst is due to some Trump policy. It’s BS just to try to demonize Trump or any enforcement, for that matter (under Obama, it ok but the same thing under Trump is of the devil…).
  3. Given they have a criminal background (felonies), it seems the media and the virtue signalling organizations, couldn’t give a rip about the possible victims these guys have left in their wake. Nope, it’s all about families being separated.
    Here’s the thing: plenty of citizens and legal immigrants commit crime and are separated from their families understandably, no one cares about them no should they (“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”). There we care about victims. BUT if an illegal immigrant flouts our law at the border/visa entry point and commits additional crime…well, that’s different! No, it is not!
  4. Speaking of Trump policy: Here’s a gem from today. Apparently, he’s cool w/ DREAMers committing ID theft and not having to inform the victim thereof. Nope, they get the same free pass Obama gave them. So no, they sure don’t have much to be ‘fearful’ of.
  5. The media continues to intentionally conflate illegal immigrant with “immigrant”. The two are very different things.
  6. Lastly, why is this stuff only focused on Hispanics? They are aware that plenty of illegal immigrants who are (hopefully) deported aren’t Hispanics, right? Sure they know – but that doesn’t fit the ‘racism’ narrative they’ve been pushing all these years (especially now that Trump is in office).

This crap has been going on for years and will only increase if allowed. Certainly, the media and illegal immigration proponents/enablers will continue the one-sided compassion and attempt to ‘wag the dog’ for the foreseeable future. I hope the dog is now alert enough to this crap and will bite the fake news media’s hand.

Food: A New Sin Tax For Utah?

That’s right. I’m going to say it again: Food is perfectly eligible as a sin tax.

…and by sin, I’m referring to the politician’s and crony organizations’ sin.

Utah legislators are contemplating raising taxes on food because they’re worried about a budget shortfall. It’s funny how that may be the case after we’ve spent, bonded and redirected who knows how many millions or billions on crap outside the proper role of government. I guess all those cute ‘it only costs a tenth/half percent of the budget or it’s just a few dollars a day’ projects add up and you start to fall short for important stuff…like more useless projects government shouldn’t be involved with.

Rather than just slapping everyone with another tax hike, maybe they should look at cutting some of the crony capital junk (UTA, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce front group boondoggles come to mind, among others). How about also ditching wasteful incremental budgeting with all it’s skunks, while your at it?

On the local level, we keep hearing that RDAs for a new, unnecessary city hall building won’t raise taxes. As I said in the past, it’s robing Peter to pay Paul and the piper will come calling when taxing entities find they’ve fallen short of money because the RDA etc. ate some of it up. The above is another example of the fallacy of the city council’s argument.

Finally, politicians don’t own all the guilt. The public (you and I) will band together to form groups demanding stuff like recreation centers, theaters, RAP taxes which impose on budgets and, ultimately, on families. Hopefully, we’ll consider the propriety and whether it’s a core governmental function or not next time we want something, else we’re our own worst enemy.

Tax Vampires: Our Schools Now Is The Latest Political Elites’ Front Group

In December, I highlighted an article on front groups used by Utah political power brokers (with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce as the typical hub). The latest front group they’ve come up with to raise you taxes is “Our Schools Now”.

With the legislative session, Our Schools Now has popped back up to make their push to convince you to raise everyone’s taxes. Don’t fall for it. This is a good time to review the article that traces all the connections and front groups used by the people you aim to benefit from this latest push:

WHO CONTROLS UTAH? An Investigative Report on Utah’s Elite Political Brokers

It’s not just the DC swamp that needs to be drained. We need the “drain the swamp” in Utah as well.

Kissing Cousins: Salt Lake Chamber Of Commerce – Utah Government Elite Interconnections Wag The Dog

The article is lengthy but ends up being an easy read as you delve into the various front groups used to create nifty confirmation bias for politicians to justify their tax and policy excesses favoring connected businesses.

The article (WHO CONTROLS UTAH? An Investigative Report on Utah’s Elite Political Brokers) starts with a key points summary but it is well worth the read for the details supporting the conclusion:

When discussing public policy in Utah, it is important to recognize that policy elites use every tool at their command to achieve the results they want. Any pretense of objectivity is just that – a pretense.

It’s fun to have your finger on the scales of government power. It’s a good time to be a crony capitalist in Utah.

Ironically enough, the article misses the most recently created Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce front group:

Our Schools Now

Gee, I have no idea why Zions Bank would want to run a group that seeks more bond money. Oh and the address for Our Schools Now? It’s co-located with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.

And these folks still wonder what produced Trump.

Tony Yapias Charged With Rape

I was going to just post this on the Utah Rattles microblog but my comments and two articles made it too long and better suited here.

I didn’t know him on a deeply personal level so I can’t comment on his personalty. I know he liked playing the race card against people opposed to him. Nevertheless, this just about knocked me over when I saw it. I’m still shocked.

The article seems to indicate that he may have used her “immigration status” as leverage.

Prominent Latino activist Tony Yapias charged with rape

The defendant was also aware of the victim’s immigration status. As part of the text exchange on March 21, court documents indicate, Yapias stated: ‘I’m at meeting about immigration with representatives from Washington D.C.’

SL Trib article clarifies why Davis County will be prosecuting this instead of Salt Lake County:

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said police initially brought the case to his office, but he asked Davis County to take over. Gill said he has known Yapias for years, their paths crossing in Utah Democratic Party circles and on community work on immigration issues. Gill said he had appeared on Yapias’ radio show during the previous election cycle, so he passed the case on to another prosecutor to avoid any possible conflicts.

They aren’t kidding when they say he was prominent, either. He was a lead in lobbying the LDS Church on the Utah Compact (I think he’s even in the photo op from that) and, as I recall, was also a staunch opponent of e-verify and big proponent of HB 116 likely teaming with LDS Church lobbyists, Senator Bramble, and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce to lobby for the bill’s passage. He also coordinated a bunch of the amnesty marches in Salt Lake. So yea, he was prominent.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty so we’ll see where this goes but based on the evidence presented in the article this doesn’t sound like it will end well for him. I’m still dumbfounded at this whole thing.

Prop 1: Funding The UTA Money Pit With Government Kickbacks

Back in June, I warned that I would be surprised if city and county governments didn’t put the UTA tax on ballots because of the “incentive” the legislature gave them. It’s a fiscal incentive better known as a ‘kickback’ which would normally be highly unethical if not illegal but since the legislature did it, it’s ok…  Please read the above linked post for details on the kickback along with a list of the other tax increases this year and links to UTA’s bad financial audits. You can also go directly to the 2014 audit here or read a related article from the Salt Lake Tribute here “Audit blasts UTA, says it gave millions in sweetheart deals

Rather than reinvent the wheel and post my own summary on why we should oppose Proposition 1, let me paste in an excellent summary I was sent in an email (original author is Heather Williamson):

…Also, we are concerned that another tax is being considered against us. And I mean against, not FOR us. Taxes take more dollars out of our pockets which we can simply can not afford. Governments should be expected to work within their existing budgets just like my family and I have to.

However, I am equally concerned with where our tax dollars are going. Almost half of the tax proposal will go to the Utah Transit Authority. UTA has been less than frugal with their funds. I find it offensive that I am being asked to be more frugal with my money, so UTA doesn’t have to be with theirs.

At the end of 2010, UTA was millions of dollars in debt, and the debt continues to rise. The following year over $600,000 was spent on international travel, which an audit released called these ‘work trips’ unnecessary and a misuse of public funds. UTA also signed a deal with a contractor in Draper, which according to another audit, lacked the proper legal documentation and defied UTA’s own rules and regulations. After the deal experienced failure after failure, UTA lost roughly $2 million dollars and did not seek compensation. The auditors concluded that this put “tax dollars at an unnecessary risk.” According to the same audit, UTA legal counsel advised to recover the $2 million, however the executive board decided that the loss was acceptable.

UTA executive bonuses have totaled close to $2 million dollars a year, and that is not including the bonuses that UTA is withholding to report on. According to the same audit, UTA has not reported all compensation to Utah’s state transparency website. Two years ago, General Manager of UTA made over $400,000; General Counsel made over $350,000; and the Chief Operating Officer made over $300,000 and their compensation continues to rise. This government entity is asking for more money, because it has paid itself into debt. And now they are asking me and the other county residents to restrain our budgets even more to pay for their lack of basic budgeting skills. This sales tax, if approved, will increase UTA revenue by millions a year. However, when does it stop?

I have nothing further to add other than to ask you to please vote NO on Prop 1.

Various Thoughts Post

I don’t get much time to post anymore so I’m just putting some thoughts down on a variety of issues in what amounts to a first draft with no real review/editing.  Thus the very generic title, no comment section, and uncharacteristic scant source links.

Daesh (ISIS)/War-on-Terror

Obama’s very inept handling of the region helped precipitate this despicable crime group accurately know as Daesh. Right after the success of the Iraq surge, Obama intentionally spiked the SOFA and gave us an arbitrary withdrawl without the residual force to buffer Suni/Shia and keep ISIS-like groups at bay. Later, he pushed for the rebelion against Asad without heed of who would arise in such a power vacuum (McCain get’s credit for this too) meanwhile ignoring the Green Movement in Iran (and subsequently guaranteeing Iran’s ruling regime nukes). Besides Asad he helped screw up Lybia (again with inept handling) and provided an opening for radicals there too where we wound up with a dead ambassador and securtity detail in Benghazi on a September 11 anniversary (Hillary’s State Dept is deserving of blame for awful basic security). As an added bonus, he just about pulled the same thing in Egypt.  He’s practically pulled the same stuff in Afghanistan (already a tougher operation than Iraq) when presented with surge force options for high, medium, and low risk of failure (based on troop numbers).  He opted for the low troop, high rist option and here we are today. Lives have been impacted and allies left twisting in the wind.

Confederate Flag

Some screwed-up guy murders nine people and all the media and people want to do is focus on a flag.  No one seems to want to figure out why this guy snapped or how to prevent/indertict such a person in the future, instead, we’re going to ban Dukes of Hazard memorobelia.  It’s absurd. South Carolina and other ‘flag states’ can deal with the flag (preferably without a frenzied, knee-jerk reaction but thoughtful consideration). Nope, we’re going to focus on a flag and totally ignore the perp and the crime.

Gay Marriage

Government should just get out of the marriage business. My guess is this isn’t over and one gay leader (Takei) is ready for the next step: diluting individual religious right once protected by the First Amendment.  Forcing businesses and laborers to, literally, cater to them when alternatives abound will continue and be expanded upon. No one should be allowed to steal another’s labor or turn them into your forced servant. The ACLU is cool with it apparently deciding the some rights are more equal than others. At the local level, the LDS Church has some complicity in this with the new law they helped pass to force businesses while exempting themselves from the same law. When I called the church on how they could reconcile this, the spokesman noted that they had really taken a beating in the media etc by standing up for traditional marriage. So they threw their members under the bus (who by the way took just as bad a beating and are still expected to stand up for biblical marriage with the bonus of continuing to take the beating).  Anyway, Utah should just get out of marriage, ASAP.  Oh and, yeah, polygamy and other alternatives will be legalized – deal with it.

Obamacare

Twice saved by Justice Roberts, each time with a Constitution crushing decision: First, include a tax in any law and you can do whatever you want no matter how intrusive it may be in an individual life (an anethma to the clear intents and debate into the framing of the constitution found in the Federalist Papers). Second, judges can now moonlight as legislators and re-write legislation even when it was clealy spelled out in black-and-white writing and the intent from those drafting the provision was clear. No need to make the legislators revisit the issue and change it to a new intent, just do it for them (no idea why what point the legislative branch serves now). No do I know what the Constitution is for – it is totally ignored or just twisted in what ever convenient manner is now desired (we don’t no stinkin’ amnedment process!).

Republicans

The useless party with poor leaders beholden to the Chamber of Commerce and other crony capital elites. Besides Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and others they do not serve as an opposition party.  Sure the media hates them and wants to destroy them but they continue to try to curry favor with them so they capitulate more than oppose. Limbaugh nails it when he said they act more to make socialistic policies palatable than oppose them.  Hope that changes and they start talking to the American people instead of continue to try to filter everything through the media and their intere$t groups… Principles should always take precidence over party.

Illegal immigration

More consititutionally destructive stuff from Obama with willing complicity of the Republican establishment elites and their Chamber of Crony Capitalist befactors. They know of the identity theft (SSA says 75% engage in this), document fraud, and tax fraud committed by illegal immigrants and are A-OK with it. Here again, the LDS Church is involved wher it tells members to do the right thing no matter how hard it may be but then gives illegal aliens a free pass on key standards. It’s a clear double standard and shameful. All members, regardless of legal status, should be held to the same standard – either the stated high standard or the seemingly new standard where members get to pick and choose laws to follow (even if it may involve a felony like ID theft and involve victims) so long as some personal hardship can be demonstrated. Seriously, is a cup of tea worse than trashing a child’s identity, credit, earnings, and medical records?

Anyway, one court has stood up to Obama’s massive power grab on arbitrarily making up immigration law (whis is in violation of constitutional separation of powers – not that we really have a guiding constitution anymore) but given the Supreme Court’s record as of late, don’t count on that standing.  Roberts will just pencil something in.

Update: As an added bonus, the Supreme Court is also ok with not requiring anyone to show they are actually a citizen to be able to vote.

OPM Leak

More inept work what will continue with no accountability. OPM’s head made it clear that ‘no one is responsible’ for the massive screw-up. No one will be held accountable of fired just like all the other failures (Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Snowden, Domestic spying, the border crisis, IRS scandal, Healthcare.gov site, on and on). The loss of SF-85 and other sensitive personnel data will have negative implications for many years to come.

Parting thought: The Constitution is effectively dead and not much more than a distant memory. Hopefully, that will change and future generations will recognize its wisdom (including the amendment process) and bring it back to prominence.  One can only pray this happens sooner rather than later or after a very painful experience.