Monday, February 4, 2008

voting, and why are the flags at half mast?

Tomorrow is our primary and I still don't know who I'm voting for.

This is a cry for help. I'm informationally-challenged when it comes to finding out the real scoop about the candidates. So for all you politically-savvy people out there, how do you get good information? I have tried random internet searching but it seems I just get a lot of opinionated propaganda and not much substance. I'd like to be an informed voter, but I'm pressed for time so I need an efficient good source of (hopefully relatively unbiased) information.

For this primary it may be too late, but I have confidence that the people of Utah will vote overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney so my vote will not count for much here. But I would still like to become better informed.

BTW, I will not be voting for Mitt. :-)

Second issue for the day: Why were all the American flags flying at half mast this weekend? Was there some national tragedy I was unaware of? They were already half mast before the super bowl, so it couldn't have been out of pity for the Pats. :-) I have a suspicion, and this is only a theory, that it is because Gordon B. Hinckley, the LDS president, died and his funeral was Saturday. Now, I have nothing against appropriate ceremonies to mourn for Mr. Hinckley, but it makes me wonder what are the criteria for deciding to lower all the American flags? I remember they were lowered at Ronald Reagan's death, and September 11. But am I being silly to think it is a little out of place to lower the flags for the death of a religious figure? I don't know why - something about the connection between the LDS church and the American flag just bothers me. Something about separation of church and state. Or, is this not the reason at all for the half mast flags?

Anyone? Anyone?


Tammy said...

Yes, it is my understanding that the flags were lowered for the death of President Hinckley. I also find this somewhat disturbing, because of the obvious church-state connections. I have been meaning to research the "rules" for when the flag should fly at half mast but have not gotten around to it.

Politics - your vote will count A LOT if you vote for Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama. The Democratic primary is a very close race here and delegates are assigned proportionately - it is NOT winner take all - so go out and vote!

Tammy said...

I just found this online. If Governor Huntsman authorized it, then it seems it is permissable to honor a state figure. Is Pres. Hinckley a state figure, or a religious one?

"Only the president of the United States or the governor of the state may order the flag to be at half-staff to honor the death of a national or state figure. Unfortunately, many city, business and organization leaders are half-staffing the flag upon the death of an employee or member. Instead, it is suggested to half-staff (if on a separate pole) the city, business or organizational flag. The federal flag code does not prohibit this type of half-staffing."

Tammy said...

Flag Code Violations in the News

Utah, Jan. 27, 2008. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman ordered US and state flags flown at half mast for Gordon Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Section 7m authorizes a governor to half-staff the US flag upon the death of a present or former official of the government of the state, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from that state who dies while serving on active duty. Governors may not half-staff the US flag for religious leaders, according to the Flag Code.

Tammy said...

That last was from

Hunca Munca said...

Thanks Tammy. I have once again revealed my ignorance of the political process. After I wrote the blog I was thinking to myself that my vote actually WILL count - so thanks for confirming this. I did vote this morning, and I'll be interested to see how "Super Tuesday" turns out.

Thanks also for the info on the flags. I rest my case. :-)