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So when you think of Mormons, I'm betting at least some of you think of the Osmonds. Oh yes, the LDS royalty, the long-since faded away singing clan that now seems to only consist of Donny and Marie! A few of you may know that they've dabbled into right-wing politics a bit, but did you know they've got an elected Republican politician from within their family? Guess where?

If you guessed Utah, you are correct! Say hello to State Senator Aaron Osmond, son of one of the lesser known Osmonds (one of the two deaf brothers, so understandable why you haven't heard of them).

Aaron Osmond was appointed to Senate District 10 (a mix of mainly South Jordan, a little of West Jordan, and Herriman) in 2011, replacing the incredibly odious Chris Buttars (enemy of LGBT equality beyond even normal Utah GOPers, said that a school funding bill was "[This baby is] black, I'll tell you. This is a dark, ugly thing.", and also said that "Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with").

Everybody thought Aaron Osmond was going to be better at first (what with his fight to end the practice of keeping bills intentionally secret until the end of the session), but he's turned out to be pretty bad, with a focus on schools. For example, he voted in favor of (and pushed pretty hard for) banning sex ed (other than abstinence) in schools. Thankfully, this was vetoed by the governor. Not school-related, he voted to prohibit the recording of agricultural operations in Utah (passed after an animal-rights wrong found and recorded massive amounts of animal abuse from a couple of Utah farms). He also voted to authorize the carrying of a concealed weapon without a permit, this bill also thankfully vetoed by Governor Herbert. And Senator Osmond might be connected to the laughably corrupt state Attorney General, John Swallow.

But Osmond isn't done yet; just today, he called for the end of complusory education. Let's take a look at what he posted on the Utah State Senate website and which the Deseret News found, shall we?

"Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system," Osmond wrote. "As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness."

Osmond wrote further that in the current state of public education, teachers do not receive meaningful support from parents, while at the same time parents become frustrated that schools are not able to meet the individual needs of their children. Osmond told the Deseret News that there is a need to shift the public mindset to viewing learning as an opportunity as opposed to an obligation, while also reinforcing the idea of liberty and choice.

"Let’s let them choose it, let’s not force them to do it," he said. "I think that’s when you start seeing the shift."

Osmond said he is not advocating that students stop attending school, but instead that the culture be changed from an obligation to a choice. He gave the example of kindergarten, which nearly all children attend despite no requirement to do so.

"When the choice is available to them, they’re choosing kindergarten 92 percent of the time," he said. "We have to shift the culture more than just the process."

But wait, there's more:
State School Board member Leslie Castle said she agrees that schools have become burdened with nonacademic responsibilities, like daily nutrition, basic health screenings and behavioral counseling. But the reality of Utah's increasingly diverse population is that many children require those services.

"We live in a society where some children require help beyond the ability of their parents," she said. "Those students don’t deserve to be punished, they don’t deserve to be disqualified."
But Castle said ending compulsory education would affect far more than just culture. She also worried the tone of Osmond's article was indicative of the general sentiment in Utah's Legislature, which she said has continued to place responsibility for student success on teachers and schools while failing to provide adequate support or funding.

Utah's public education system is currently the lowest-funded in the nation in terms of per-pupil spending.

(Ellipses and bolding mine, to indicate skipping around the article and emphasis respectively)

So yeah, Aaron Osmond is a moron and even the usually spineless school education system leaders are implying it. I hate to be so acerbic (a word I learned in public school, no less), but Osmond is not fit to be a legislator, even in a state like Utah.

Sadly, he faced no opposition whatsoever in 2012, and considering he's both an Osmond (as I mentioned in the beginning, basically royalty here), and in a very conservative part of the state, the prospects don't look good for us. Here's hoping that his actions can mobilize enough people to build up a coalition to eventually oust him out of office.

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Comment Preferences

  •  oh that legislature! you never know what they (5+ / 0-)

    will come up with next.....sigh.

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:37:56 PM PDT

  •  Yes. (11+ / 0-)

    It's hard following state political activity here in Utah. It was bad enough before the gerrymandering following 2000 and 2010 censuses. Now, really, we have to rely on Herbert of have one of his random lucid moments. Well, at least has them in once in a blue moon.

    •  We've got to keep trying though. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Youffraita, Words In Action, avsp

      No giving up. No surrender. Utah used to be Democratic, and it used to have proud Democratic Governors and Senators. It can do so again. But we've got to change something about the Utah Dems. Whether we figure that voters will vote for the real Republican if we give them a fake one, or we strive for reasonable, honest moderation, we need to change something.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:25:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe the keys are always Salt Lake, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd, UTvoter, Gygaxian

        Wasatch, Tooele, Weber and Carbon (specifically Price) counties. If we could expand our existing strengths in those counties...

        It would help if we could recruit Democrats from safe blue states into those counties. In many cases, the actual numbers would not have to be that great. Higher turnout would help. And if our Democratic clerk would stop with the huge voter roll purges (70K last year) right before the election...

        Security state zombies are everywhere. ☮ ♥ ☺
        Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

        by Words In Action on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 04:42:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No hay problema compadre (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          Lots of voters move from California to SL county.   After immigration reform goes through, lots of new Democratic voters will be on the rolls.

          "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

          by Utahrd on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 06:31:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd say the restrictive voter registration rules (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          Are probably the worst. I mean seriously, having to register up 30 days before the election? No same-day voter registration? Incredibly narrow rules for valid ID? All because the county clerks (besides the SL County one) whined that "we don't have enough time or energy to make it easier"? Pathetic.

          Also, straight-ticket voting is a terrible thing here in Utah.

          But yeah, Salt Lake, Weber, Summitt and Carbon counties are where we need to expand. I don't know about Tooele, it seems inhospitable to Democrats at the moment, but it could be a good candidate for future Democratic expansion. Carbon County is definitely an overlooked area though.

          We just need to flip a few thousand votes in a couple of elections to double our numbers in the legislature.

          Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

          by Gygaxian on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 12:44:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gotta Say I've Retreated to Trying to Preserve (5+ / 0-)

    civilization somewhere, anywhere, south of Canada. I don't have the energy or resources for the extensive amount of territory where that's a multi-generational project.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:43:47 PM PDT

  •  that seat (8+ / 0-)

    bramble used to have that same seat, and he wanted to cancel 12th grade.

    maybe it's in the water.

    i mean, when you lose the commenters at the d-news, you've lost the battle . . .

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:46:14 PM PDT

  •  It makes perfect sense to . . . .an ELITST! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Just Bob, avsp, Nattiq

    After all--

    --Why educate someone who will likely be unemployed or a temp worker at minimum wage?

    --Why educate someone who will know their rights and the history of workers' labor victories only to become an uppity worker?

    --Why educate someone who will only learn how things could have been different, and therefore suffer horrendous depression?

    --Why educate someone who can't pay their own way?  If your parents did not do the proper planning for their offspring, so be it!

    --Why educate when it costs the taxpayers money for something that has little or no return on investment?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:53:40 PM PDT

    •  But of course, if we have only one life (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Youffraita, avsp

      Maybe understanding it as best we can to vote in a way the stewards the future generations to the best possible future would be a nice thing.

      Ah, just kidding!  Where's the $$$$$$$$$$$ for the 1% in that?

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:56:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In regards to learning about worker's rights (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Einsteinia, Youffraita, Nattiq

      They have no fear of that. No school in Utah save maybe the University of Utah will ever teach anything substantial about workers rights. Gotta save more room for ancient Egyptian pharaohs that aren't honestly important or endless classes on World War 2/the Civil War that we really, really already know. I mean, frick, even my most labor-friendly history teacher in high school had to skim over the Progressive era because there simply wasn't much time left.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:15:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Currency is like the alphabet, a tool to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      communicate value and relationships.

      So, why do we pretend money has intrinsic value? Because, like the alphabet, it used to be reserved for the use of privileged populations, who used it to exercise dominion over their fellow man and are still reluctant to let go.

      Monopolizing money and levying a charge for its use makes for an easy life. Just ask any of the banksters.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 03:11:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this osmond writes his own/stuff? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Gygaxian

    Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

    by renzo capetti on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:09:55 PM PDT

  •  92% go for it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But what about the children of the 8% that don't? That adds up to a lot of children that are being hurt by their parents neglect.

    How many of those parents wouldn't be parents if Utah wasn't so full of forced birthers?

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:36:04 PM PDT

  •  Time to stop calling them conservatives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Gygaxian, Ahianne

    Conservatism is about not wanting to change things, at least not quickly.

    He is a radical.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:58:01 PM PDT

  •  Well, if they all got LDS charity, then the state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    wouldn't need a separate program to feed and educate them.

    They'd just have to become LDS, right?

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 10:02:32 PM PDT

    •  You have no idea how many LDS voters (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, UTvoter, Ahianne, JPax

      and politicians actually believe that. And I say that as a believing Mormon myself (if a very leftist one, by American standards). There was one legislator (Mike Kennedy, I forget where he represents) that said "charity care" would be sufficient for healthcare needs. He's apparently a doctor, but thankfully the other doctor in the legislature (Brian Shiozawa, also a Republican but representing the far more moderate/blue area of West Valley City) has publicly called for the governor to expand Medicare, and even agreed with one of our House Democrats on a radio show in how to do so. Here's a podcast of the radio show, it's really good (though you'll have to slog through the long conversation on the state AG)

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:27:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of the problems with focusing on (0+ / 0-)

    objectives or results is that agency, the force that actually does things, gets muddled. When it's a matter of blaming the victim, both the actor or perpetrator of the crime and the act itself get left out of consideration. The same is true when the education discussion focuses on the students, the recipients of information, rather than the providers and the payers.

    The objective perspective, one that is focused on results, also ignores that it is not possible to force any sentient creature to do what one wants ("horse, water, etc.") and that the reason we pay public servants to deliver public services is so we can fire them when they don't and hire someone else. Just issuing demands only works for sucklings at the teat -- or that's how it seems from the perspective of the neonate. (Economists assume that production and trade are driven by demand, but that only shows that the people who study economics haven't progressed beyond the perceptions of the suckling).

    The threat of starvation, depriving humans of the sustenance necessary for life in order to force them to work, is only effective as long as it isn't carried out. Because, it is practically impossible for starving people to be productive, just as it is impossible for dead people to do anything at all. So, the threat is all that's available, until the deprivator's bluff is called. That's also true when the starvation is imposed on a target population to set an example. Eventually, the deprivators get exposed and then the jig is up.

    But, deprivation is like thievery in that in some people it not only develops into a habit, but becomes vicarious. That is, the object of theft or deprivation is immaterial and the act is what counts. In other words, thieves steal to steal, not because they actually want what they take away, but because acquisition by stealth makes them feel good. (Which may explain why the stealth bombers are not considered a success).

    Senator Osmond may not be a deprivator. But, it seems pretty clear that he's got a problem keeping straight who does what to whom and for what purpose. He apparently does not understand that we don't rear and educate children for their own good, but for the social good. Because, if the next generation is not healthy and well educated, then society as we know it will disappear. So, since society benefits, society needs to pay for what it wants done. Of course, that's difficult for people who don't do to understand. Talk is cheap. Everything else has a price.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 03:02:42 AM PDT

  •  Wait, not sure I understand this point (0+ / 0-)
    Say hello to State Senator Aaron Osmond, son of one of the lesser known Osmonds (one of the two deaf brothers, so understandable why you haven't heard of them).
    If he's a politician, how does he communicate with his constituents while on the stump? How does he make speeches?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 04:49:11 AM PDT

    •  He's not deaf, but his dad is (0+ / 0-)

      His mother isn't deaf either. So though he can communicate normally, he also knows sign language.

      The dad is one of the deaf brothers, and he's the son of the deaf dead. Aaron Osmond is Donny and Marie's nephew, and Viril Osmond (Aaron Osmond's dad) is the deaf one. Hope that's understandable.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 12:15:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time to send a NEW WAVE of settlers.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... into Utah, to clean out the heathen savage native population, and settle the area with good Christian souls.

    Amiright?  Amiright? ... /snark, sort of.

    •  Heh, but with all the refugees and new immigrants (0+ / 0-)

      We're doing that ourselves.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 12:16:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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