Thursday, 2 February 2012

How Stupid Is The Utah Legislature?

One of Utah's greatest assets is political cartoonist Pat Bagley, who has perfected the fine art of skewering Utah's idiotic legislature as the orgy of mutant dinguses that it is. One cartoon from earlier this year is proving particularly prescient:

Right on cue, a passel of wrong-headed and hideous time-wasters are cropping up. Let's take a brief tour of how our lawmakers spend their time, shall we?

First on the docket is Sen Aaron Osmond (R - South Jordan) and his mysterious, sneaky "file," which is apparently the first step on the journey to legislating human life as originating at conception (actually earlier than conception if they decide to Go Full Mormon and swing for the fences).

Osmond has yet to touch match to gasoline, but according to the Salt Lake Tribune:

[Osmond] hasn't decided if he will need a constitutional amendment to define when life begins. But he has opened a file for a resolution, which could simply state the sense of the Legislature or it could be the first step to amend the Constitution..."That's where we're headed. There's no doubt we're trying to define when life begins, when a person becomes a person," Osmond said.

On the "burn the Earth, lease the ashes to Rio Tinto" front, Representative Ken Sumsion (R - American Fork) has hand-crafted an impressively idiotic waste of taxpayer time and money in the form of an esoteric court argument based on an 1894 law that will attempt to seize federal lands:

[Sumsion] has introduced a bill that would direct the attorney general to file for declaratory judgement in U.S. District Court on grounds that Congress promised in the 1894 Utah Enabling Act that it would dispose of its lands in the state and give Utah schools 5 percent of the proceeds...Sumsion's claims -- that there was a contract or, especially, that there's any legal remedy -- are disputed by constitutional scholars, who expect the state to make no headway in court.

Time well spent, Representative Sumsion!

Our last example of mean-spirited, time-wasting "message" legislating is brought to us by the city of Bountiful, where I spent most of my confused youth. Representative Jim Nielson (R - Bountiful) would like to make it harder for consenting adults with better things to do with their time to get divorced:

Before a married person with children can even file for divorce, they would need to complete a free state "divorce orientation" course, under a bill that cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday. The measure also would reinstate a 90-day "cooling off period" between when someone files for divorce and when it may be finalized.

"Cooling-off periods" and classes and other onerous state requirements are just like mandatory ultrasounds before abortions or any number of clumsy, horrible state actions that serve one purpose and one purpose only: to wag the Finger of the State in disapproval of an adult's free and individual choice.

Even setting aside squandered time and money, the government has no business officially moralizing in this way. Of course that has never even slowed our legislature down, let alone stopped them.


  1. I would say pick better fights. A free divorce orientation course and 90 day cooling off period seem reasonable. The divorce orientation course serves to let people know what they can and cannot expect from divorce and assumption of debt. The orientation is also useful to giving the expectations for child custody cases. Wah a free class and 90 day cooling off period. Even if I'm off the mark a bit on this one...little fish in a big ocean...It's not the end of life as we know it...I'm just a little underwhelmed by the cause...sorry.

  2. 90 day divorce orientation course is quiet reasonable. But most of the couples may feel painful to stay together after applying for utah divorce.

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