Letters: No government trust


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  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    June 23, 2013 4:25 a.m.

    What I find interesting is the belief that the government cannot be trusted by those who have different political leanings than the party in power. The american people have been lied to by politicians since time immemorial. Politicians lie to the people. Unfortunately, it's the way they gain and hold power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 20, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    Re: Ford De Treese

    Interesting, particularly since you live in Prove Utah, but in case you don't know, the basic doctrine of the LDS Church is that the natural man is an enemy to God, and man by nature is carnal, sensual, and devilish. In other words, people are not by nature good, but bad. Now you may not agree with that, but I believe that millions of pages of American law, all for the purpose of making people do good things, and punishing those that do bad, proves the religious point. I don't for a second believe that people are by nature good, nor do I believe that the Constitution believed that government was going to be basically good. Otherwise the Bill of Rights would not have been necessary.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    June 20, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    The Government wants their actions to be totally private. They want our actions to be monitored every step of the way. I thought this was supposed to be a free country. Go figure.

  • FreedomFighter41 Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    If Russ Bender suffered from chest pain, would he go down to the guy working at 7/11 or McDonalds to for attention? Or would he go to a doctor?

    Why is it that the least educated and qualified in our society are the most vocal? Folks like Rush, Glenn, etc.

    Why then, do folks with Masters degrees in Recreation Administration and work experience as an elementary school teacher (who then retires early to live off the government) feel qualified to voice against scientists who have studied the climate for years? These folks have much more education and experience. Why should anyone trust that he has anything enlightening to say about Obama?

    Russ, I would appreciate if your letters actually offered non-partisan solutions. Rather than rehash old AM radio talking points.

    Offer a solution or do something other than complain and obstruct!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 20, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    "So why would I EXPECT my government officials to be Perfect? They are not Evil... but they are not Perfect. They make mistakes"

    2 Bits. If this was the general feel from the right, life would be grand.

    But, to many people in this country, (this board is a good example), Obama IS evil. To many, he has not made mistakes, he is making calculated moves to destroy America.

    Heck, I am very unhappy with lots of things that have happened under Obama. But, I dont see an evil person.

    I think Bush was a good guy. I think Romney is a good guy. And, I think Obama is a good guy. I have disagreements with each of them, and I also have agreements.

    The level of hatred for this president is something I have never seen. And those that hate him the most fancy themselves as "patriots"

    Imagine that.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    I like what you said. But so devoid of the usual partisanship we're used to.

    I admit that Bush made mistakes. There... does that make it all better? Now if we can only get the other side to admit that OBAMA can make mistakes... we'll be on our way to a REAL discussion.

    My understanding of human nature is that we have weaknesses. So why would I EXPECT my government officials to be Perfect? They are not Evil... but they are not Perfect. They make mistakes (especially when ANY decision is seen as a "Mistake" by ~50% of the population at any given time).

    So IF our government is made up of mere mortals, and mortals have weaknesses... seems to make sense that you would expect some mistakes and want to WATCH your government (not cover for them like the US media is today). If you travel outside the US today... you would see that the story they are getting about Obama's perfection is NOT the same message we get from our media and the usual posters on this website.

    They need to be watched. That's why the founding_fathers required 3 separate but equal branches.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    @ 2 bits

    "But quit pretending nobody on the right objected to the Patriot Act under Bush. That's absolutely not true."

    Really? In 2005, Hatch had an open forum here in Salt Lake City about the Patriot Act. the vast majority, who were identified by the Dnews as conservative, supported the Patriot Act.

    In fact, this very paper reported:

    "Wednesday to Sen. Orrin Hatch, a principal author of the controversial anti-terrorism legislation. Hatch, R-Utah, hosted a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at the University of Utah to examine the Patriot Act and other federal laws being used in the fight against terrorism.

    At the outset of the congressional hearing, Hatch said he was especially interested in hearing from witnesses "details of any specific abuses" of the act.

    "Unfortunately, much of the rhetoric regarding our nation's anti-terrorism laws appears based on misinformation and unjust speculation," Hatch said."

    In other words... "Trust us. We know what's best!"

    If conservatives were all "up in arms" over the Patriot Act, why have they reelected Hatch once again?

    If the right was really against the Patriot Act, then who keeps voting Hatch back into office?

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    The partisan bickering in this comment thread, while totally unsurprising (indeed, I would be surprised if it DIDN'T happen), sheds a lot of heat but almost no light on the topic of government trustworthiness. It also doesn't help that the letter that started this "discussion" was extremely biased and provocative. The problems at the heart of the examples Mr. Bender cites are not unique to any one party; in fact, they are likely a byproduct of human nature when it comes to acquiring and wielding power.

    In light of this, the real struggle to "right the ship of state" and restore trust is not truly a conservative vs. liberal battle (though the powers-that-be love to have it characterized that way, because that virtually guarantees the status quo); no, the real struggle is between the institutionalists/corporatists and the populists. Whether it is the libertarian protecting individual freedoms from big government, or the socialist protecting the laborer from the entrepreneurial "bourgeoisie", the common theme is that power should ultimately rest with the people as individuals (to the extent possible) rather than with faceless, unaccountable institutions.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    "It just makes you sound so biased and blinded by partisan venom to pretend that no Republicans of Conservatives (many in the Tea Party included) protested extensively on the over-reach of the Patriot Act when it was proposed by the Bush Administration. "

    Tea Party didn't exist in 2001. Every Republican in the Senate voted for it in 2001. Heck, all but 4 Republicans voted for the extension in 2011 (Paul, Lee, Murkowski, Heller voted against it). Sure there are some who opposed it... there sure weren't many of you though.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    You complaining, "STOP playing political games"... is surely the pot calling the kettle black. YOU are the poster-boy for playing political games.

    The reason I tend to not totally trust government is... the government is made up of people like you and me. Some people worship their politicians as SUPER-Human. I see them as mere mortals. Just as corruptible as you and me. So that's why I don't totally trust Obama OR Bush.

    I think we can trust the government as a whole, because they watch each other, and we watch them. But when they start hiding things from us (as both Bush AND Obama have done)... then the trust starts to slip. And when we have a national news media that seems to feel the President is off-limits... I can't watch them, so trust slips again.

    I have the same trust for government as I have for people. I know they have their own motivations (which are not always mine) and their own sense of ethics (which is not always mine), so I'm wary of them until I know enough about the individual to trust them.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    182,000 Iraqi citizens were killed by Saddam's chemical weapons, i.e. WMD. How many deaths does it take before people admit that WMDs were in use and that WMDs had been used and that the deaths of ANY person by chemical gas has been outlawed since WWI?

    Those who tell us that WMD were not being used in Iraq either are lying or they refuse to read the U.N. reports that detail the use of those WMDs.

    Then, they try to say that Republicans are lying!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Because I listen to Fox News for short periods sometimes, and believe that Fox is only the tip of the iceberg for their point of view, I agree with Russell Bender that “there are a whole lot of us who do not trust our current government”.

    I also believe that there is a whole lot of people in the outside world who believe the American people do not trust their government and are smiling and filled with joy at having Americans fight their war against the American government.

    The only thing is, all of the distrust is based on hearsay, opinion and other imaginary things. Not a single charge has been filed for someone doing something wrong. The fox reporting and discussions are populated with the words like: I think, looks like, probably, what I would have done, may and may have, etc. etc. etc. And it goes on, day after day, week, month and year.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    SEY hey,

    I am saying that power now rests and has rested in the American people since the adoption of the Constitution. That it may have been misued, not used, or "abdicated to bureaucrats and other professionals outside of our control" is not the government's fault, but that of the citizens who hold, or held, the ultimate power. Stop thinking of the government as an entity separate from the people. As Lincoln observed, we have a government "of the people." If that government is not to the liking of the majority of the people, they have the power to change it. Ergo, I reject your defeatist, right-wing conclusion that "Citizens have lost control. Regulators and security agencies rule us." If anything, a little introspection is in order: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    Marx WA wrong when he said religion was the opiate of the masses. The true opiate is voting. It gives users the illusion that it can actually solve problems and gives them a high from the illusion of doing something positive when just the opposite results. That's why Edward Snowden had to go outside of the system to have a real impact.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    It is finally time...

    Time for folks like Mike Richards and Russ Bender to place your political footballs into the closet and to actually contribute to our politicl dialog. Time to stop destroying and to begin to repair. Stop acting like the political king-men, full of sour grapes, who merely desired power and start acting like true Americans. We live in trying times. Times that will test the hearts of all men. What have your words and actions revealed? If you died today, would you say that you are prepared to meet your maker? We know that today is a probationary period a time for us to prepare. Each one of us must prepare to meet our maker someday. And be held accountable for the contributions we gave society.

    It is time to stand up talk and carry the title of liberty. Will you folks continue to play partisan games? Act as king men? Or will you finally start caring about America's well-being?

    It is time to put part affiliation and ideology aside and start fixing America. She is dying slowly and repubs seem content to merely point the finger.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    According to Mike Richards, trust must be earned. This is a fascinating statement, because it stems directly from a fundamental philosophy about human nature. It assumes that people are basically evil. If you assume that people are fundamentally good, you trust them until they prove to you by their actions that they are not trustworthy. If you assume people are by nature evil, you do not trust anyone, often even after they have tried their best to prove their trustworthiness to you. Thank goodness our society, our economy, our government, and especially our Constitution, which Mike so ardently defends, are all based on the notion that people are basically good. Otherwise, we would be living in an authoritarian regime and would not be trusted with any rights or liberties. I'm grateful the Founding Fathers had a higher opinion of human nature than Mike Richards and those who share his pessimistic view.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I have no trust in the government because a dem is in the White House. When Bush & Cheney were running things I had complete trust in the government. They were inspired.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 20, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Mr. Bender's customary list of "outrages" has been shortened. How 'bout the birth certificate? How about Hussein Obama, the secret Muslim jihadist? Did somebody edit that stuff out?

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Russell, if you really thought we were living in an Owellian society and that government were untrustworthy, you would not dare publish such a critical letter in a public forum. You would be hiding in your basement, waiting for the Gestapo or the Stasi or the KGB to come and haul you off. So, please repeat after me: "Hyperbole."

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:33 a.m.


    STOP right there!

    You accuse others of being deceptive then you commit the exact same sin.

    "Your assertion that Dick Cheney is to blame for thinking that Saddam had WMDs neglects everythng that Bill Clinton said about WMD. It neglects everything presented to Congress by the CIA. It neglects all the members of Congress who voted to go to war."

    I remember the GOP controlled congress. I also remember the bullying bush administration very well too! They, with their dirty tactics of "you're either with us or against us, mushroom cloud, axis of evil, don't forget 9/11, don't cut and run, and freedom fries" mentality bullied congress into a corner. If they stood up to the playground bully, they'd be painted as cowards, weak against terrorism, and hated America. So they went along with the program. Went along with the playground bully. And folks like you were cheerleading them all along the way.

    The truth is, if repubs held bush to the same standard they've held Obama, 99.9 percent of our current problems would never have existed.

    Mike Richards, it is time to STOP playing political games and START caring for America.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 20, 2013 9:09 a.m.


    You're asking the wrong question. What you should have asked is why Obama feared the citizens to the extent that he felt he had to lie to us. What drives a man to lie? Why would he be more concerned about retaining office than having integrity? The simple fact is that Obama threw us all under the bus so that he could retain office. He cared only about what he wanted. He knew the facts about Benghazi. He thought that he could "control" those facts. He was wrong. He was wrong about controlling the facts about the I.R.S., about investigation the AP, about Fast and Furious, about spying on every one of us. He started to lie and then found out that he couldn't get away from his lies.

    Your assertion that Dick Cheney is to blame for thinking that Saddam had WMDs neglects everythng that Bill Clinton said about WMD. It neglects everything presented to Congress by the CIA. It neglects all the members of Congress who voted to go to war. When you conveniently "forget" the facts, you're mimicking Obama. Do you really want to walk down that road?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 20, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    Someone once said that Obama's ignorance is only exceeded by his arrogance. Well, it seems liberals are eager to put their trust in ignorance and arrogance but the rest of the country is getting a real education at the hands of the IRS, Eric Holder's Dept. of Justice, Hillary's Dept. of State and the NSA. Trusting them is insane!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 20, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    "Obama has offended America. He's had his highest officials lie to us"

    Mr Richards.

    Lets just say for the sake of discussion that you are correct. I assume that you are talking about Benghazi. So, take this forward.

    What is the outcome? What did it change? You think Romney would have won?

    Now, compare that to these

    Dick Cheney - “There is no doubt that Saddam now has WMD."
    Condoleezza Rice - "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

    The whole premise was that Hussein was amassing nuclear weapons.

    These kinds of lies or inflammatory statements convinced the American people that we needed to go to war.

    Seriously. Think about the ramifications of the two situations.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    All you Democrats who think Conservatives didn't protest the Patriot Act when it was proposed by the Bush Administration need to WAKE UP! WE DID!

    It just makes you sound so biased and blinded by partisan venom to pretend that no Republicans of Conservatives (many in the Tea Party included) protested extensively on the over-reach of the Patriot Act when it was proposed by the Bush Administration. To pretend there was no protest from the right... is just obsurd. People who know the Constitution (and the "radical right" knows their Constitution) KNOW the Patriot Act while probably needed IS a big risk when put in the hands of big government and people who would build a surveillance-state or a police-state if the majority will let them.

    But quit pretending nobody on the right objected to the Patriot Act under Bush. That's absolutely not true.

    And the same for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" under Bush. The "radical-right" fought it then and shut it down... just as they fight it now.

    Same for WallStreet bailouts... we fought it under Bush AND Obama. But we don't win every battle.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    So, Curmudgeon, are you saying that power rests in the American people now? On what planet? To the contrary, political power had been abdicated to bureaucrats and other professionals outside of our control. Citizens have lost control. Regulators and security agencies rule us.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    I think we can trust the government as long as we can watch them and they are transparent.

    Of course I don't have the time or the means to watch what the government is doing all the time. In the past this has been the job of the US News Agencies. But recently it seems they have turned a blind eye to what the government is doing (maybe out of respect for government secrecy or something?... I don't know). But they don't watch the government the way they used too. Or at least they don't report what they are seeing (if it's negative) unless somebody leaks it in another country. But the US News doesn't seem to be able to report anything negative about the news now days (UNTIL it's been revealed by somebody else)

    I don't know why this is happening. And it didn't start with the Obama Administration. It's been going on longer than that.

    The media's incessant hammering on too much secrecy in the Bush Administration... combined with the Obama Administrations sincere promises to be "transparent" if elected, just ring so hollow now.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    I wonder how many of these people who cite Orwells' book as their new bible actually read it, either recently or by force in high school? It sure seems to be a hot item these days, someone on AM radio must be referencing it a lot.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    "The entire notion of the American Revolution was to diffuse and weaken government power so that it would not be concentrated in one man, one party or one group."

    Try applying that statement to the Utah state government, where power IS concentrated in the Republican party. The federal government, on the other hand, is characterized by congressional gridlock, obstructionism, endless investigations, and little progress in solving the nation's pressing problems. Clearly, power in Washington is NOT concentrated in one man, one party, or one group. So if the purpose of the American Revolution was to diffuse and weaken government power, it has succeeded spectacularly on the federal level, not so much on the state level.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    What will it take for the apologists for "their guy" on BOTH sides to admit they trusted him beyond what was wise? NO government official, elected, appointed or hired deserves such trust. NO ONE can avoid the temptation to abuse government power once they have it.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Gee. That's funny. The miracle of google can do wonders!

    In 2005, Russell seemed to trust the government! He wrote, "It is sad that we put up with the above-mentioned deaths but become almost rabid about bringing our troops home. At least they are doing something useful and good for the people of Iraq."

    So not only did he trust the government, he also ignored the constitution. For where in the Constitution does it authorize the use of our armed forces to invade another country to "spread good?" Iraq wasn't a threat to the USA nor had they invaded us.

    Another letter from Mr. Bender states his opinion about the Iraqi and Afghanhi people:

    "No doubt they are looking forward to a free and open society — which would be in violation of Islamic law. Their hatred of our freedoms will immediately disappear. Their compassion and sympathy for all of humanity will automatically increase."

    How's that working out? Death and chaos still rule these 2 countries.

    Given the evidence from 2005 and all of his anti-climate change letters in between, one can easily say that this letter too, lacks any credibility.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 20, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Trust must be earned. For an administration to be considered "trustworthy", that administration must have shown that it protected the Constitution because that is the singular purpose of having a Federal Government. The people set up the rules and embodied those rules in the Constitution. The government acknowledges it subservient role by ALWAYS protecting the rights of the people, even when protecting those rights becomes unpopular. The government would have us think that we are the rebellious children who can't be trusted and that it is the adult when just the opposite is true. We, the people, are the adults, and the government is the spoiled "brat" who can't be trusted.

    Obama has offended America. He's had his highest officials lie to us. He has pretended that he was "out of the loop". In short, he's played us for fools, and now he has the gall to speak about "trust".

    He has not earned our trust. His actions have destroyed all trust. At this point, I doubt that he could ever regain our trust. He's proven too many times that he cares only for himself.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    On one hand we have government leaders calling for prosecution of Snowden for revealing the scope of the surveillance, as it is classified. Then we have the president saying the surveillance is 'transparent'.

    The contradiction does not escape those of us with a brain.

    If the program is transparent, then there were no secrets revealed by Snowden because it was all in plain public view, thus not secret.

    If Snowden did reveal secrets, then the program isn't transparent, it is secret. (This is the more likely scenario, as we even have a 'SECRET' court rubber stamping every warrant request.)

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    "In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson

    The entire notion of the American Revolution was to diffuse and weaken government power so that it would not be concentrated in one man, one party or one group. Ultimate power was to rest in the people themselves. Americans in general appear no longer appear to want that responsibility, so they have removed the constitutional chains and given men and women in government to create mischief almost at will.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    Nixon only problem that started impeachment was he lied. Why is it acceptable mow.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    Did I miss Mr. Benders letters during the most disastrous period in our Nation's history...you know, the Bush/Cheney years?

    Remediating the damage that Bush and his brand of "patriots" did will take decades of great leaders like President Obama.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    "of which several really stretch constitutional limits, such as "Fast and Furious," "

    While certainly a tragedy, not sure which Constitutional limit was tested.

    "the inexcusable tragedy in Benghazi, "

    Yes it was a tragedy, and inexcusable, if only we felt the same ire everytime four of our Soldiers were slain. They barely get a blip on the news.

    "the spying on all of us and the government... plus the collection of millions of emails and phone calls by the NSA, all in the name of security from "terrorism,"

    This was all legal, and has been since the Patriot Act was passed. While I too applaud its protest, I wonder where all this was nearly ten years ago?

    "snooping on James Rosen of the press" this is yet to play itself out, but it appears DOJ was investigating a leak (a good thing) but no criminal charges were filed (so free press does prevail).

    Those that want to find a conspiracy often can. For humor, please reference the numerous jokes on the NBA draft lottery, how a conspiracy can be seen for each and every team that could have won.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    What, no complaints about climate change?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 20, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Sure you can trust the government, just ask a Native American.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 20, 2013 5:11 a.m.

    The problem, Russell, is that only now do you "not trust the Government".

    I guess that you trusted "the Government" under Bush when the Patriot Act was introduced and accepted the warrantless wiretapping as good for National Security.

    I guess you trusted government under Reagan with Iran Contra.

    I guess you "trusted the Government when Cheney said "“There is no doubt that Saddam now has WMD.” to garner support for a war that was unnecessary and cost of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. But you probably gave them a pass.

    Unfortunately, Russell, people, especially those who are extremely partisan, tend to only "distrust the government" when the other side is in power. They give their side a pass.

    The government has been untrustworthy for a long time. Where have you been?