Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Those In Charge

In my job I have to deal with absolutely horrible things every day. I report on stories that make me shake my head in shame, gape in shock, and sometimes question the value of humanity. There are days that I come home so weighted down by the news that I just want to grab Meg and run far away. On those days, the one thing that usually keeps me going is the mantra "it's just a freak incident." Of course there are days that mantra doesn't work -- and most of them have to do with the Utah state legislature.

This year is no different.

The legislature this year is facing a record budget deficit. They are going to have to make HUGE cuts to the budget in order to keep the state in the black. However, is that what they are concerning themselves with? Well, kinda, but most of their energy is actually being spent on bills that either cover their asses, or address "issues." And the ones that do deal with the budget? Well, either they are totally ridiculous, or just maddening.

Here's just a sampling:
  • A bill making it legal for parents not to put their small children in booster seats, if they are less than four miles from home, and traveling less than 45 miles an hour. You know, because no one ever gets in accidents in those conditions.
  • A bill creating a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT creating a secret board that has to review any ethics complaint, and vote on it practically unanimously, before it is released to the public. It gets rid of that whole transparency thing.
  • A measure legalizing the ownership of monkeys. Oh, wait, no it doesn't, because this bill doesn't actually HAVE ANY TEXT. It is being proposed by a lawmaker trying to teach a lesson to his daughter. I am guessing that lesson is how to waste taxpayer money.
  • A bill requiring all women seeking an abortion, medically necessary or not, to undergo an ultrasound and have all of the features of their unborn child pointed out. I find this one especially insulting because the legislature could instead be fighting to provide the same services to women to want to keep their babies -- and don't have the money for such medical care.
  • Oh, and finally, the bill making everyone's list: Senator Chris Buttars plan to save money by getting rid of the 12th grade. Or rather, to make it optional. He says kids don't really do much in that last year anyway, so instead of improving the education system so they do, we should just get rid of it. Hell, if we're following that logic, why don't we just get rid of schools altogether?
I really try to be as non-partisan as I can when reporting on the legislature. After all, is isn't my job to tell people what to think, but rather to tell them what is going on, and let them make their own decisions. But, when stuff like this is going on, and everyone isn't as outraged as I am, I wonder if anyone if even paying attention, or if it has all just become noise.

I hope not.
Oh, how I hope not.


Dual Mom said...

Get rid of grade 12?

Oh dear jesus just shoot me now. That has to be one of the most ludicrous things I have heard in a long time.......

Heather said...

Yeah, grade 12 totally sucks. So does grade 5. And I didn't have a great grade 7 or 8 either, so we can skip those. Come to think of it, Chris Buttars sounds like a genius! One of those geniuses that makes it into the Darwin Awards every year.

Miss Yvonne said...

My kid was way ahead of the game on that 12th grade thing. When he was 8 years old, he tried to convince us that school only went up to 11th grade. Well ha ha, jokes on him because he's a senior this year! He's gonna be super pissed if that stupid bill passes.

Kelly said...

The car seat thing really gets to me, the majority of accidents happen under 45 mph. I think last week my daughter Mack proved that, if she would have had Mea in the car without her booster, I just can't even imagine!
If they get rid of grade 12, those kids go straight to college at 17? God help us. I'm not ready for Mack to go now, I can only imagine what my panic level would have been this time last year if she would have been "leaving" me. Stupid. All of it.

Janine@Phantom Zucchini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janine@Phantom Zucchini said...

Ok, let's try this again because I am a perfectionist that way:

Great. Just when I was getting in the groove of my new life direction - complete apathy - I read this and get ANGRY.

The abortion thing. Hello. As if women who need to make this decision do not realize that their unborn is actually human. Oh, you mean this thing has a head? well, nevermind then. I hate any suggestion that women take this decision lightly. HATE IT.

Ok, back to not giving a shit.

Amanda said...

So what are you saying? Could you do any better?!?!?

Oh wait, Meg, Luke - oh hell, Sally & Scamper - could do much better

Sam said...

Shudder. This list genuinely scares me.

Waiting Lisa said...


Gina said...

I can't decide which one of those makes me want to stab someone the most.