Monday, January 28, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday night President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away. There is much coverage in the media regarding this event. On the way to work I heard news reports twice on NPR. I wanted to share two clips about President Hinckley. I will miss his sense of humor and the humility he had as a witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Buyer beware....haven't they always said that?

As some of you know I work in the real estate industry, although I am not a Realtor. This morning on the today show there was a story about a homeowner who is suing her Realtor because they paid more for their house than the neighbors. Buyer beware. If I buy a car from a dealer and then someone else buys the same car for less, can I sue? Of course not. You watch the story and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tammy Blogs...

Tammy and I switched our family website to a full-fledged blogger site instead of having it hosted by our ISP. The new address is She has started getting into the technical side of blogging and even created an online scrapbook. So I thought I would try.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Idaho Tax conundrum...

There is a challenge facing the Idaho legislature. How to handle the tax mess. In Idaho there always seems to be feast for famine with revenue sources. There is a state legislator Brandon Durst, who is younger than most legislators and is a member of the minority party, but he has made some interesting observations about the tax situation and those in leadership and how their opinions change like the direction of the manure smell in the wind. He is not my Legislative Representative, but I do agree with many things that he has said in the past. It really looks like he is out to support Idaho families first.

It appears that some legislators like to work on keeping themselves in office by supporting businesses (that can't vote) as opposed to voters. An interesting read for sure.

"In response to some complaints that I heard from residents at a recent District 18 Legislative Forum, I would like to provide the following historical review of Idaho tax policy.

Before the 2006 Special Session here is what Jim Risch had to say (link here):

“The net result of my proposal is a $50 million dollar tax cut that will take affect this year and every year. The maintenance and operations levy is the driver of property tax increases and this will remove the cause of the enormous increase in property taxes when values escalate. Idahoans should not have to worry about being driven out of their homes by property tax increases just because they had a huge rise in the value of their home. The primary beneficiary of this property tax relief is middle-income Idahoans.”
After the 2006 Special Session here is what Jim Risch had to say (link here):

“I am overwhelmed by the two-thirds vote by both the House and the Senate for property tax relief. Difficult issues usually result in a close vote, but Idahoans saw that this plan provides immediate and permanent property tax relief while substantially helping education."
Last summer, here is what House Republican Leadership had to say about tax exemptions:
"I'm going to work through it, you bet," [House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake] said. "There are issues on the list that obviously I don't agree with, but still, we'll work through them." (link here)

"Most of these exemptions have a strong constituency politically so the ability to go and do a massive overhaul - don't hold your breath," said Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. (link here)
Here is what was said this week by those same folks (link here):

"What's broken? We have a tax system that is bringing in more money than we are spending," [House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke] said.

"What I have heard from this committee is, once an exemption is established it should stay established," Lake said.

And finally, lets consider the thoughts of these same lawmakers last year during a debate on a bill that would have given a huge tax break to business (link here):

Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, sounded a similar note. “You need to ask yourself who is demanding the services” that impact county budgets, he said. “Is it ag? Is it mining and timber? I don’t think so. It is residential.”

"Yes, for this year, we do shift some taxes,” said House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot.

First, let me make a few observations:
  1. The beneficiaries of the 2006 Special Session property tax bill has not been "middle-income Idahoans."
  2. The 2006 Special Session property tax bill has not provided "immediate and permanent property tax relief ."
  3. Attempts to reign in the dozens of business tax exemptions were half hearted.
  4. There has been a systematic and calculated agenda to continue to shift more of the tax burden on to homeowners.
  5. Current House Majority Leadership is more interested in offering tax relief to businesses than they are to working families.

Let's be clear, the only way that homeowners will see real tax relief is if the tax burden is shared more equitably. This means that we need to eliminate some of the sales tax exemptions that are in reality nothing more than corporate welfare. It is undeniable that this will not occur as long the Idaho Legislature continues to be led by the current leadership team which takes its marching orders from the likes of IACI and the Idaho Association of Realtors. This is not political rhetoric, but rather a simple observation of quotations made by these legislators. I've said it before and I will say it again, I will not support legislation that will have the intended consequence (whether expressed or implied), of shifting more of the burden to Idaho families. I am committed to ensuring that Idaho is best place to do business, but doing so on the backs of Idahoans isn't good for anyone in the long-run. The approach must be worker-centric and business-centric, not one or the other. Workforce development and training must be our aim, not more tax cuts. If there are highly qualified individuals, there will be an employer ready to offer them a good job. This helps workers and it helps business."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Politial thoughts on Mormonism

As the Presidential Primary season continues on I wanted to share some thoughts on Mormons that were shared by a religious political figure, JFK. He shared this in 1963, President David O. McKay was prophet at the time.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Here we are in the midst of the writer's strike and not too much new to watch on TV. So a few weeks back I signed up with I thought it would be a good way to watch some shows that I had not seen before. Since NBC couldn't come to a new agreement with Apple the NBC shows are no longer on iTunes, but on hulu. After I got my login I went on the site and looked at a couple clips of shows...I even posted one on this blog. While I was browsing clips I saw that there were full episodes of shows that I had not had the opportunity to watch when they were on the air primarily Firefly and Roswell. I have heard some good things about both of them and they have actors in them that are on other shows that I like so I thought it would be a good way to test hulu. well, with both programs the pilot episodes were not available. I actually got errors on both saying that the episodes were not available at that time. Then I was directed to the second episode of each series as alternatives. Why would I want to watch episode #2 if I had not seen episode #1?So needless to say I am not too pleased with my hulu experience thus far. I am not sure if I will give it another chance or not. For now I am going to stick with my Friends and Alias DVD sets.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Myths and Realities

Previously I blogged about learning how to embed video on this page. It is interesting to see that the Church has embraced the internet to share the message for the restored gospel and educate on what the Church is and what it is not. The Church released another video, so I thought I would try it again. From
" A 10-minute video originally produced for the large number of journalists visiting Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics has been updated and posted on Newsroom today to help counter persistent myths about the Church.

Myths & Reality was developed as a primer on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was shown to a large gathering of NBC producers and reporters before the 2002 Games to help orient them to Mormon beliefs, practice and culture. NBC was the official media sponsor of the Olympics in 2002 and invited the Church to make a presentation to its large Olympic Games team."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Time to catch up!!!

If you have read this blog before you may know that I love the show "Alias". It went off the air a couple of years ago and I bought the DVDs to watch whenever I want. Well JJ Abrams created "Alias" and "Lost". "Lost" was not a show I ever started watching because there was never enought time and I didn't want to get into another show. With the WGA strike there are not too many new episodes out there, so I think that I am going to start watching "Lost". When I was pondering this, I wondered how I could get up to date on "Lost" and learn the storyline. I mean, I knew there was a plane crash, there were "others", but not too much else. Well this afternoon while surfing the Idaho Statesman website I found a short synopsis of the past three seasons. Watch it a couple of times and you'll be caught up on "Lost" too!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm Starvin'!

When we get together as a family we have a good time. With my brother Clark, my brother Cort, his wife Emily, my wife Tammy and I play games or watching movies; we crack each other up. We always make little comments or quotes from the past that bring back the memories. Here is one that we share all the time.