Monday, September 11, 2006

Utah County Republican BBQ

I like, Utah Conservative attended the republican Utah County BBQ last week. It was about what I expected. Out of order questions that can be answered by reading the bylaws and food followed by a unanimous vote. I came for the meeting to fulfill my responsibility as Neighborhood Chair then left before the BBQ because, no offense, but I'd rather be home with my 3 year olds than hanging out with the county power structure for the party.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Free markets and internet pornography

Pete, you pretty much got what I was trying to say. Let me propose an alternative position that plays to your strength on this issue, might be more consistent with your personal values and makes it clear that you want to do something to help families handle internet pornography. You own Senator Hatch on this technology thing (this is no surprise though).

My impression is that the free market idea doesn't work well here because many families are technology-aliterate in the sense that they are afraid of technology and don't spend the time to figure out what their options are. In 20 years, that will be different, but for now, that's the way it is.

The FDA (or whoever it is) puts out the food pyramid which is supposed to give nutrution-aliterate people a quick and easy guide to making good food choices. It is still a free market in that people can buy whatever food they want, but the government has done something to help people understand their choices.

Why not propose a similar thing here? ... "As your senator, I will work with a broad bi-partisan coalition to help American families understand the strengths and pitfalls of their Internet filtering options. An educated populace can then make choices that will enforce their family values on Internet content. I will alos seek to increase Federal funding of research that investigates better filtering solutions" (I threw the research thing in because research is important to me :))

The closest parallel I can think of is movie ratings. In a free market, ratings would be optional and families would just choose which theaters to visit. And really, that's what we have. We have a ratings system which puts clear, simple information in the hands of families and then they decide. A similar rating system for Internet Service Providers may also be helpful for families that don't understand Internet technology.

And finally, the miracle of the free market isn't always a good thing. For example, public education may or may not thrive in a free market. The charter school experience will bear that out one way or the other. Government welfare and social security, while serving a critical role our society, is completely contrary to pure free markets.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Best Disc Golf Course in Utah (County)

Would be the new Art Dye Course in American Fork. We played the first 12 holes this morning (before I had to get home). Interesting layout, unlike Bicentennial in Provo. Challenging, but not overwhelming like the Rock Canyon Course.

The course at Solitude, discussed in the
Salt Lake Tribune a while back, is fun but I lost 2-3 discs. I made an epic 1,229 foot drive downhill on no. 18 at Solitude but sadly I was about 500 feet right of the hole when it finally hit the ground. That's another par 4 at most courses.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What I wish Pete Ashdown would have said about Internet pornography

Recently, I mentioned that I wouldn't vote for Pete because of his position on Internet pornography (that was buried in a post about how much I like his thinking on the feed-the-hungry reverse fundraiser). Pete left a comment on my post in his usual unassuming way, which is a refreshing attitude to see in a political candidate.

Here's the gist of what I had hoped Pete would have said:

"At Xmission, I've done a lot to give families the tools they need to control the information that comes into their house over the Internet. While we haven't solved the problem, we have made significant progress. The Federal Government can and should play a role in requiring internet service providers to give all parents the same tools. In the 10 years since the rise of the WWW, very little has happened in the private sector to solve this problem. It is time for the government to intervene. In addition, the Federal Government can and should fund research into more effective ways to identify and classify objectionable content. This is a particularly difficult problem since the United States Government can not regulate the creation of content throughout the world. But with some ingenuity and creativity we can and must do a better job of giving families the tools they need to filter content.

My opponent, and most other sentors, lack the experience and knowledge needed to understand or propose such legislation. I do. I have the vision and the know-how needed to give parents the tools they need to filter material that they find objectionable. Rather than make empty promises and spew hollow rhetoric, I have plans and an agenda based on my N years of experience as one of Utah's first [or Utah's first?] internet service providers."

The thing about Pete is that he's not a phoney on this issue. He's got the background to make some progress on the issue and he's done good stuff at XMission, but that's not what his platform is about. I respect that, but I wish it was different.