Letter: Serving Americans

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  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 12, 2014 6:58 p.m.

    Have your words ever been twisted? Have you ever been railroaded by others? If so you may have some understanding of why Lois Learner (possibly) chose to take the 5th amendment and not testify before Congress. Having had my words twisted in times past and also having others try to railroad me, I fully supported her in this.

    When she exercised her 5th amendment right, tea party types in Congress tried to say she had waived her 5th amendment rights when she denied having done anything wrong. Really?, how does this do that? And if there is some rule that defines this as doing that, shouldn't people testifying before Congress be warned of this? shouldn't she have been warned? Similar to when a person is given their Miranda rights?

    At this point, the conservatives in Congress deserve to twist in the wind and be frustrated in their efforts after what they tried and are trying to do to Lois Learner. Tea party types say their are all about the law and about the constitution, well apparently not.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 10, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    I think the author of the letter may have been thinking about more than just politics. The recent case of the police officer (civil servant) who refused to do his job because he disliked the group he was supposed to be serving, for example.


    Great commentary about the true effect of the "pro-lifers". If ever there was an oxymoron, "pro-life" is it.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 10, 2014 7:07 a.m.


    First, I did not say "cradle to grave," I said making sure the resources are available to support the *child* you demanded be born. Easy to pass laws that only impact others.

    Second, "choice," as I am sure you know, refers to reproductive choice and not other activities.

    You are pro-birth when you want to force government control over a womb that is not inside your own body. You are pro-life when you support children having the resources they need to grow up - food, adequet shelter, fully funded school, healthcare.

    I know perhaps a dozen women who have talked about the decision to have an abortion. In each case it was a wrenching decision, and often they talked about being in poverty already and not having resources or support to have another baby.

    And I should note that states mandating comprehensive sex education throughout school and mandating inexpensive and widely available contraceptives have the lowest teen birth and lowest abortion rates, while states with no little or no sex ed and hard to obtain contraceptives have high teen births and abortions.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    July 10, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon

    I think Mike Richards trumped your argument. However, having read these posts my conclusion is that civil servants, and political servants have different roles. Certainly a fireman or policeman should not care about the politics of any person they serve. However, that should be the main thing a politician should care about when representing his constituency. Only the office of President of the U.S. can be said to be for all the people, as well as the Executive Branch workers who are appointed or overseen (military, FBI, Justice,ect.) by the President. Every other elected political office holder is representing a local entity. State or district.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 9, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    "With Utah being the most conservative State in the Union, the likelihood of our members of Congress voting with liberals should be somewhere between nil and never."

    What an odd statement. I assumes there are no issues in which conservative and liberal agree upon. What a profound indication of how the writer views those who don't agree with him on all ideologic issues. It is an all or nothing proposition. If a "liberal" were to come up with a good highway bill... it is mandated that Utah's delegation must vote against it.

    Mike - we are Americans first - all living under the same constitution. This attempt to divide this nation into two opposing sides is what will turn what is the arguably greatest nation on earth to yet another Iraq, a nation divided against its self sole based on ideologies.

    Its a sad statement that you make - that we must be opposed to everything the other side agree with. And it surely doesn't reflect the council of the LDS leadership.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    July 9, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    Stormwalker: "Pro-life verses pro-birth rant"

    So let me get this straight...it is not enough to advocate not killing an unborn child. You must advocate cradle to grave entitlements for that child or you are not "pro-life"???

    Is that really what you are saying?

    I suppose by that kind of logic, you can't be "pro-choice" either unless you advocate that a woman should have a choice in EVERYTHING. (e.g. can choose to not pay taxes, to not sign up for Obamacare, to carry a gun without a permit, etc.)

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2014 3:17 p.m.

    All people who receive compensation from the United States government for services rendered, are employees of the United States government. It doesn't really matter how they got the job, they are expected to perform the duties of their job according to the rules of the job description as specified by our government.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    I do not support Gay Marriage, but I don't oppose Gay Marriage either. I do support the concept that an adult American can do as he pleases so long as he doesn't infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

    I do not believe that the majority of adult Americans support Gay marriage. Just because we grant certain freedoms to others, doesn't mean that we support all the things that a person might do.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 9, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    Mike Richards said, "It's interesting to read the polls. Obama would lose if an election were held today."

    That statement could have been said about most presidents, especially at the halfway mark of a two term president. But the only poll that really counts is the one that's taken on election day. Obama won and Romney lost. Accept it and move on.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 9, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    george of the jungle said "I think the writer is referring to those who has an automatic 3% cost of living increase compounded every year."

    Then, of course, you are NOT talking about federal employees who got a 1.5% pay raise last year after no pay raises for the previous 4 years. Oh, and then there was the sequester that took 20% of the salary for no other reason than Congress didn't do it's job.

    So who are you referring to?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 9, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    @L White

    Doesn't it tell us that the majority rarely agree to do anything that is immoral or unjust?


    So you support Gay Marriage right? The majority of the country does.

    The majority of the country also supports Freedom of Choice.

    So is this tyranny of the majority suppressing the wisdom of the minority?

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 9, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Anyone else see the irony in Michele Richards lecturing us about majority rule?

    If the majority ruled then the majority of their platform would be completely ignored.

    It's only through our system that a small vocal minority, like the tea party, can shut down the entire government for throwing a fit. In a parliamentary system, the tea party and their cohorts would be completely ignored.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 9, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards, "In a Democratic Republic, the majority decides the election." You wouldn't know that by the behavior of the right wing. (Who I think would prefer a totalitarian regime as long as it's "conservative".)

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 9, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    @ george of the jungle, automatic increases have not been happening for federal employees. I've seen it in the private sector. And do you even know the meaning and context of "compounded"?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 9, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    And what pray tell does abortion have to do with being a civil servant?
    Elected republicans trot it out every election but your civil servants don't perform them?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 9, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    @J Thompson
    ...Congress is duty bound to represent the majority.


    You know,
    you are only making weakening your arguement.

    The majority of Americans are in favor of:

    Medical Marijuana,
    are Pro-choice,
    Favor Gun Control - ioncluding a complete ban on assault rifles,
    Same Sex Marriage,
    Raising Taxes on the Uber Wealthy,
    Less Coal and Fossil Fuels,
    Getting out of the Middle East,
    Tighter controls on Business,
    Raising the Minumum wage,
    Support Immigration Reform,
    Dislike the Tea-Party.

    You are entitled to your opinions,
    but you do not control Reality.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 9, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Pro-life verses pro-birth.

    I rarely hear from anybody who is pro-life - that is, they want the baby born, and they support fully funded pre-natal health care for poor women, and they want WIC and other nutrition programs to be fully funded, and they agree education should be fully funded and teachers well paid, and they agree that childcare is needed and the working poor should get help to cover their childcare expenses and that children need full medical care in clean and well run settings, and education opportunities for single mothers will improve the lives of children...

    Nope, nope, nope. None of that, it would be socialist. We'll complain about all that.

    Just no abortions.

    You are not "pro-life." You are "pro-birth" and also "anti-child."

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    July 9, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    J Thompson
    We have an all volunteer military. If you do not accept the responsibilies of military life, you have no obligation to enlist.
    We live in a Republic where the majority choose our Representatives. Those Representatives are duty bound to vote the will of the people, not to cower when policially active minorities try to change society.

    I sense someone’s guilt. Sorry you did not serve our Country, but as you stated, it was YOUR choice.
    I chose to Serve – as both active Duty and Civil Service.

    FYI – President Obama is our duly elected Representative.
    By the Majority -- Twice!
    However, you are right about one thing; he does not need to “cower” to the minority.

    L White
    Springville, UT
    LDS Church policy –
    “The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.”
    There -- Legislatively neutral, period.

    Sorry if you disagree with it, but if you are going to lecture, you are going to need to lecture the LDS Church – not me.
    I will follow the Prophet.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    51 percent or more of Americans support abortion, marriage equality, and the civil rights act of 1964. 51 percent or more Americans do not support bribery for free speech, shorter voting times, and the elimination of min wage.

    The repubs have lost the popular vote in White House elections in 5 out of the last 6 elections.

    So if repubs want to be ruled by "the majority" then I say, "Amen!"

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    I think the letter writer and many of you are not understanding the difference between a Civil Servant, an elected official, and a political appointee. I would encourage you to figure out the difference before posting.

    A civil servant is an competitive employee. He/she applies and is hired for a job somewhat like a private sector job, interviews, applications, etc. They are generally paid on a scale where everyone in the same job is paid in the same salary band and their jobs are classified based on the position description and responsibilities. Political affiliation is not an issue, it is inappropriate to discuss, and they serve the pubic regardless of their politics.

    An elected official is just that, elected by the public in a certain area. They are politically affiliated.

    A political appointee is in a position deemed by Congress to be appointed by the President. They are not necessarily aligned with a political party, but serve at the pleasure of the President. He can hire, fire, replace, etc. for any reason he/she deems appropriate. Most agency heads are political appointees.

    Please learn the difference. It makes you look foolish when you don't.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    J. Thompson:

    According to Gallup, 53% of Americans (i.e. the majority) support keeping Roe v. Wade. So by your logic, our representatives should abandon their efforts to overturn it.

    Guess what? The rights of the minority become much more important if you are in the minority.

    And BTW, I was forced to become a soldier. You must be too young to remember the draft.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    I think the writer is referring to those who has an automatic 3% cost of living increase compounded every year.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 9, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    As usual, there are those who think that the exception to a rule becomes the new rule. No one is forced to be a soldier. We have an all volunteer military. If you do not accept the responsibilies of military life, you have no obligation to enlist. A woman who has been raped or the victim of incest can go to a hospital where she can get the help that she needs, she doesn't need her employer to pay for her abortifacients. If she wants to buy an abortifacient, she can do that with her own money.

    We live in a Republic where the majority choose our Representatives. Those Representatives are duty bound to vote the will of the people, not to cower when policially active minorities try to change society. The courts give everyone the right to be heard, but they cannot change the Constitution just because a small group have their feelings hurt because 97% of society disagrees with their demands. If they want a parliamentary system, they should consider moving to a country that has that kind of government. America is a Democratic Republic.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 9, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    @Open Minded,

    With all due respect, how can any civil servant, elected official, or business owner serve people if those demands are diametrically opposed?

    If your church teaches you not to assist, pay for, or promote abortions and the President of the United States tells you to fully fund abortifacients, what are you going to do? Are you going to follow God or are you going to follow the President?


    With all due respect,

    God said not to kill.
    I served in the Military.
    Yet as a member of the LDS Church, killing [i.e., diametriacally opposed] was authorized.

    And Yes -- Many of us struggle with that.
    For the rest of our lives.
    and may God be the Judge on that, and have mercy on our souls.

    BTW -- the Church does oppose abortions,
    but you are still wrong about there being no absolute!
    Time and again, you and others convienently ignore or intentionally leave out the "Exceptions" to that rule as well.

    Rape, Incest, life or health of the woman.
    Decisions to made by her, her Doctor, family and clergy.

    The Church is politically neutral regarding legislation about abortion.

    Are you going to follow God?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    In the Ultra book of values the street sweeper is just as important to society and the voluntary military person.

    Civil servants, sometimes called public servants, are all a cut above the ordinary citizen, but only because they have been given the authority and duty to be employees of society.

    To carry Mikes logic a little further, even though the Utah representatives of Utah are elected by conservatives in Utah, when in the condition of being a part of the national government, they should represent all the people of America and not just Utah.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    FreedomFighter41 - Interesting that you left unions and left leaning mega-donors out of your list. I have not heard where Romney has ever engaged in large donations to any politician - wherewas the hundreds of millions donated by George Soros and Tom Steyer are well documented. As for the unions, the latest estimates I have seen are that they donate nearly $600 million a year to political causes.

    So exactly why were all of the people upset by the Kock brothers and corporations making donations so silent regarding the contributions of unions and liberal donors? The leftist interpretation of the 1st Amendment - you are entitled to free speech - if you agree with us.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 9, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Why should our elected official represent "everyone" when only a few have enough money to bribe them with "free speech"?

    The rest of us are struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, folks like Romney, Koch Bros, etc have millions to bribe our elected officials with.

    Until we get rid of special interest bribery, our "democracy" will continue to be an oligarchy.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    July 9, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Lois Lerner is the poster child of government gone amuck. Instead of viewing their resposibility as a servant of the public, they view their role as a dictator who imposes their political will on those who fall under their control. The servant becomes the master, accountable to no one.

    The bigger the government becomes, the more this mentality will pervade the system. I hope it is a small minority, but it is still a huge problem nonetheless. We need to root this corruption out whether it is on the right or the left.

    The EPA, the FDA, the education system, and the Justice Department are all examples where abuses of power lead to less freedom, not more.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 9, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I'm not sure where you're heading with this, Darrel. Maybe just a chance to throw a rock at government. Truth is, most people who are civil servants, nearly all, are dedicated, conscientious people.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 9, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    @Mike Richards:

    Our Republic is dedicated to "liberty and justice for all," the Bill of Rights balancing the will of the majority against the rights of the minority. Your "winner rules with an iron fist" scheme denies the very foundation of the representative republic.

    In a pure democracy 51% beats 49%. Your idea would remove the voice of the minority and only allow that minority rights condescendingly granted by the majority. In your view there is no political compromise, no ability to see - or acknowledge - the minority. Only the strongest group has power, only the strongest group is heard. It functions like a dictatorship and, based on most of your other statements, you endorse a theocratic dictatorship where the majority is presumed to be the party of a God and the minority are presumed to be sinners who oppose God.

    I know you think your majority actually would be ordained of god and righteous and all, but... That is what they all say. And then they reign with blood and horror.

    A parliamentary system would be preferable, where coalitions must be formed to govern. All voices are heard.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 9, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    @Open Minded,

    With all due respect, how can any civil servant, elected official, or business owner serve people if those demands are diametrically opposed? If you have a sign on your door that says, "No shoes, No shirt, No service" and some of those shoeless, shirtless people demand service, while at the same time those who respect the rules tell the owner that they will take their business elsewhere if he changes the rules, what would you do? If your church teaches you not to assist, pay for, or promote abortions and the President of the United States tells you to fully fund abortifacients, what are you going to do? Are you going to follow God or are you going to follow the President?

    When society is divided because some have lost all belief in absolute right and wrong, and some in society start to demand that society change to enable them to destroy themselves (drugs), to destroy the family (ssm), to corrupt the minds of the youth (why I have two mommies), what is a "civil servant" to do?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 9, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Liberals think the are elected to rule, not serve. I make that statement from close observation! Term limits would solve this problem but of course liberals are opposed to that!

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    LDS liberal. Why exactly do the rich and wealthy need to serve you? If the people are paying their salary, that is one thing. If they start their own business, that is another. They have taken risks and worked hard to get what they have. I simply do not understand the mentality of - you have been successful therefore you owe me. As a small business owner I have good years and bad years. During good years some of my employees assume that they should be entitled to someof my profits. Funny thing, in bad years none of them are interested in foregoing their salary.

    The rich and wealthy, as you put it, pay far more in taxes than do the middle class. The most annoying thing to hear is someone who pays little, if any, taxes complaining about others not paying their fare share.

    While I am not wealty, I try and follow the teaching of thou shall not covet. (except for a 911 Carera S4 - it does not say anythingabout coveting you neighbors car)

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 9, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    ECR makes a good point. There is a difference between civil servants and elected officials. I think most civil servants do a pretty good job and I am disheartened when they are reviled and demonized for selfish or political purposes. Elected officials need to move from hyper-partisanship when they are elected and endeavor to serve all the people instead of particular constituencies. They need to be pragmatic and moderate so that solutions to problems can be found. They need to find a way to seek common ground with other elected officials, otherwise they have failed. The idea that elected officials should not compromise is a sure path to destruction.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I have no scientific measurements to back this up - just long experience as a civil servant. The VAST majority of employees, federal, state, and local who work in the public sector - who compete and are hired for jobs (not political appointees) treat the customers (the public) fairly and without regard to political affiliation. I have worked as a uniformed Army soldier as well as a scientist in a federal civilian agency and the political affiliation of our customers is never discussed, never taken into account, and it is not an issue. We serve the public proudly regardless of whether we agree with the policies from the political appointees or not.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 9, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    Mike --

    The letter to the editor said this:

    "Those who would claim to be our civil servants need to understand that they serve all Americans, not just those with whom they agree."

    I work for the DoD -- civil servant.
    Police, Fire, Mailman, School Teachers, et.al = Civil Servants.

    We do not get to pick and choose who we serve and protect.

    ALL Americans, period.
    No party cards allowed.

    Elected Officials should act and behave the same way.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 9, 2014 7:33 a.m.

    Representatives are elected to represent the will of all the people of Utah, not just those who elected them in their district. The Constitution does not divide a State into districts. It allows a State to have Representatives based on the population of the State. Utah is the most conservative State in the Union. ALL of our Representatives should agree on ALL legislation and be unified when they vote. That has not happened.

    Senators are elected to represent the State. With Utah being the most conservative State in the Union, our Senators must vote conservatively, or they are voting against the will of the people.

    With Utah being the most conservative State in the Union, the likelihood of our members of Congress voting with liberals should be somewhere between nil and never. That does not mean that they should disregard the phone calls or emails from liberals, but they should educate those liberals WHY they must vote to represent the majority of the people of Utah.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 9, 2014 6:29 a.m.

    Last I heard, the military is supposed to protect all of us not just the "good" Americans. And last I heard, the term public servant (referring to elected officials and government employees) were supposed to do their job for all of us, not just the ones they might support politically. And I always thought that people or businesses that provide goods and services to government were supposed to give the services to any citizen, not just the ones they might see in the pew next to them on Sunday.

    However, it appears that we now have a new right of religious conscience that says "if you don't like 'em, you don't have to give "em the service, the goods, etc". Apparently the newly discovered "right" to discriminate is in place. Wonder where that will lead us all. Pity every minority, every one who sees and lives differently from the majority. You know have a target on your back. And the arrow used is now religion.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 9, 2014 5:48 a.m.

    The author makes a broad assumption - civil servants only serve those with whom they agree - but has no evidence or references to back up that assumption. There may actually be some evidence but that doesn't change the fact the the author has failed to provide them.

    Second, the author makes another bold assertion - "If they find ... they should consider a different line of work". Why should they find another line of work. Wouldn't it be better to establish a plan for what to do when one is compromised, like decide to do the right thing, rather than find another line of work.

    I suspect that the author might be confusing civil servants with elected officials. The civil servants I know do their job to the best of their abilities and they carry out the policies of the government. They may not always agree with those policies but they carry them out, because that's their job. If a citizen disagrees with a government policy, it's not the fault of a civil servant. Change comes from our elected officials, not from civil servants deciding to act against the policies of the government.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 9, 2014 5:30 a.m.


    This Republicans serve only Republicans,
    Democrats serve only Democrats just has to stop.

    BTW --
    This same thing applies to the RICH and Wealthy,
    and the new non-human Corporate "entities".