Need a Translator? Kidnap One–Takeaway from President Trump’s UN Speech

by Robert John Stevens, September 21, 2017

I thought of this non-humorous idea and mentioned it to my semester’s team of BYU Spanish Translation students yesterday evening, who are working on an on-campus internship for WriteExpress.

We were all witness to the regime’s [North Korea] deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.—President Donald Trump

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Utah County Proposal to Balance Authoritarian Control with Liberty for New Subdivisions

Letter to various Utah County Employees, September 21, 2017, by Robert John Stevens

Hi Craig (Bostock), Brandon (Larsen), Jay (Montgomery), Bill (Lee), Brian (Voeks), and Glen (Tanner),

Please consider this proposal to balance the authoritarian control that Utah County demands and enforces with personal liberty and private property rights:

Rather than delay subdivision approval, by default impose the worst-case, most expensive remedies, and immediately grant subdivision approval. I call this the guilty until innocent approach.

Then while citizens are making other improvements, preparing to build, and building their homes they can pay for tests and implement lower cost remedies as needed.

This way, no county department delays progress.

For example, by default, assume the groundwater table is high. Then, rather than delay subdivision approval, citizens may choose an expensive wastewater treatment system, that in today’s dollars may cost $25k, and may require hauling in a great deal of soil that perks.

Then as citizens work through other issues they can pay to have traditional underground water monitoring performed, perhaps using piezometers, hoping the tests will reveal lower groundwater, so they may implement a lesser expensive solution.

If it is realized that the underground water table is too close to the surface, then the property owner may immediately begin working on other remedies such as digging drainage ditches, installing lateral drains to manholes or building French drains powered by solar or electrical energy (just as Provo City may require electrical-powered sump pumps in residential basements).

Another example is water quality. By default, the Utah County Health Department may impose a costly water quality treatment remedy. Using this guilty until proven innocent approach, citizens are not delayed.

If the property owner buys and transfers water rights to the property, has a well dug and the water quality is tested and proven to be acceptable, the costly imposition will be removed or reduced.

In a free society, private property rights are honored and respected and citizens may immediately move onto their property and begin improvements. In a socialistic society, citizens must always seek permission and it is very difficult for them to navigate government regulations, especially if multiple government agencies or departments are involved.

In a socialistic society, the government may choose the remedies, products, and services, thus picking winners and losers. In such a condition, innovation stalls.

I believe what we have now leans too far towards socialism.

My proposal takes a middle ground and offers the following benefits:
1. No government holdups for subdivision approval after surveying and title work is completed.

2. By default, the most expensive remedies are required until tests prove otherwise (the guilty until proven innocent approach).

This approach may be applied to many county and state requirements for subdivision approval, across several departments, and would help open the door to free-market solution providers and innovative solutions.

I hope this all makes sense. Feel free to ask questions or schedule me for roundtable discussions.

Sincerely,

Robert Stevens

How does Utah County Determine Water Depth?

by Robert John Stevens, September 20, 2017. Letter to Craig Bostock at the Utah County Health Department, Provo, Utah.

Hi Craig,

Please respond promptly to this email by detailing the process of determining water depth on a parcel. This is a fair, sincere request and deserves a reply. Here’s a draft for you to correct based upon my experiences with the Utah County Health Department (UCHD) since 2008:

The old way:

1. Dig one or more holes deeper than six feet. If the water depth is six feet deep or deeper, no more monitoring is required.

2. If the water depth is less than six feet then UCHD will monitor it QUARTERLY for a year using piezometers (perforated 6″ PVC pipe encased in gravel).

The new way.

1. Dig one or more holes deeper than six feet. If the water depth is six feet deep or deeper, no more monitoring is required. Or is it?

2. If the water depth is less than six feet then UCHD will monitor it MONTHLY for a year using piezometers (perforated 6″ PVC pipe encased in gravel). These tests are good for only five years.

3. Despite monitoring, at the Health Department’s discretion, the top of a black/gray line seen in the soil will determine water depth.

4. If at any time water is seen on the property, that will determine water depth and will override all previous methods.

5. Tests are invalid after subdivision approval. A new hole must be dug before a waste-water treatment system is installed for the Utah Health Department to make any last-minute adjustments.

Are these correct? Please help us all understand.

Sincerely,

Robert Stevens
CC: Bill Lee, Brandon Larsen, and Brian Voeks (Please get involved because there are no market pressures for Craig to reply nor document UCHD’s rules for determining water depth).

How Did Humans Survive Without Modern Waste Water Treatment?

by Robert John Stevens, September 8, 2017

I was denied an appeal on Wednesday from a board of four Utah County residents, one was Larry Ellertson a former Utah County Commissioner. I hope my follow-up email, also posted below, offers insight.

Dear Craig (Bostock), Jason (Garrett), Ralph (Clegg) and Carl (Hollan),

Congratulations again on denying my appeal on Wednesday.

At the taxpayers expense, at least six county employees were paid to be at Wednesday’s meeting plus a county lawyer to represent you. I had no representation.

A woman was there recording the event. I give no authorization for that to be used.

You managed to uphold Jason’s water depth reading of 18″ that Craig then required to be written on my subdivision plat, which reading was observed from a 3′ hole, even though you know there is no precedent in Utah County or Utah State Code that justifies that approach as accurate science.

Within days, the water drained and the hole was empty.

An 18″ water depth will require a $24k waste water treatment system vs one half that cost.

You convinced the appeal board that a gray/black line in the soil represents the water table at some time even though you know the material was never analyzed in a lab, nor do you know if it formed from the Lake Bonneville shoreline 14,500 years ago.

You ignored that confirmation by Hugh Hurlow, Senior Scientist at Utah Geological Survey:

2. When an excavator digs a six-foot trench, I see one or more layers of gray-black sediment in the trench walls. What are those layers and do they help determine previous groundwater levels?

If they are dense clay, they may be previous deposits of lake mud (higher levels of Utah lake or, if much older, Lake Bonneville); or if they are more coarse-grained and contain organic material they may be old soil horizons. They probably do not provide information on past groundwater levels.

You ignored the fact that the gray/black matter is found at difference depths. What possible explanation could there be for that? Another of Hugh Hurlow’s answers:

4. Why does the depth of those layers differ in nearby trenches? For example, the layers in two holes dug 280 feet apart differ by 10 inches.

That is not a huge difference geologically, but reasons for the difference may include variation in the land surface during the time the layers were deposited (for example, a slight hill/depression that was submerged beneath an older, larger version of Utah lake), or differential subsidence of the land surface after the layers were deposited, or they are not exactly the same layer.

You convinced the appeal board that water depth can be higher for a lot in the middle of two others of lower depth even though you know that water depth follows the slope of the land and my three lots are relatively flat.

You used fear and told the elderly appeal board that using the same waste water treatment you approved for both neighboring lots would be insufficient and may contaminate the underground water when you know if waste water ever reached the underground well depth of 140 feet deep, it would be filtered.

Craig then used more fear and said waste water may reach Utah Lake and contaminate that water when you know that treated and untreated human waste has been dumped into Utah Lake for decades and that animal and farm waste contaminates our streams.

You also know that until recently, probably all of your ancestors back to Adam dumped waste on their own property but somehow they survived long enough to reproduce and you exist; however you would probably not exist if government regulations made it impossible for them to immediately move onto their land.

You tossed out the entire year of official water depth testing on my lot using pedometers by claiming tests are only good for five years.

Jason claimed the ground was dry when he observed water in a 3′ hole even though he knew it was the wettest winter snow melt off since 1983, and even if there wasn’t mud on his boots the ground underneath was soaked and draining.

I had hoped that the discussion would have revolved around possible lower-cost remedies such as:
A. Till the ground so the dirt soaks up future moisture
B. Install an underground lateral pipe back to the manhole for gravity-fed draining
C. Install a sump pump at the lowest point and pump water uphill to the manhole
D. How to convince UDOT to cover the pipe under 7300 South that conveys flood water across the street to my lot

I had hoped that new, innovative remedies would have been proposed by you.

Installing an alternative waste-water system was never the issue–stamping my plat with an 18″ reading, upholding phony science and unscientific water depth testing was.

You read Utah State Code saying water depth can be determined by a black line without giving me a copy to read and cross examine.

Two of the four board members upheld you even though one had trouble keeping awake during the meeting.

By default, you were right and I had to prove you wrong, not the other way around as it should be.

If you must comply with one-size-fits all state code then why do you have 290 pages of county land-use ordinances?

Did the Founding Fathers establish a system of government to create top-down laws on all issues? Or should lower levels of government be given the freedom to override upper levels wherever the U.S. and state Constitutions not apply?

Or are constitutions dead? Unalienable rights certainly are or you would have recognized and defended my property rights.

Because property rights are basically dead, the state giveth and the state taketh away.

Isn’t one of the purposes of smaller governments to welcome innovation and function as incubators? How can that be one with crippling regulations at every level?

Again, congratulations on your victory. You ignored previous water depths and chose the one you wanted at the expense of plausibility, sound reasoning and liberty.

I’ve concluded my reasoning isn’t enough and that I need basic legal and presentation skills or a good lawyer.

No waste water treatment system is perfect. None can protect against mother nature or biblical events like the recent two trillion gallons of water that rained upon Houston.

Good government recognizes there is a tradeoff between protecting health and protecting private property which allows people to live on their land and make improvements without government interference.

God intended us to live our lives by the sweat of our brow and by living on our own property.

Utah County’s massive regulations have kept us from living on our own land for fourteen years. All I can do is fight, make serial improvements and sell parcels to pay for the development costs.

Sometimes an old man parks his car on our land. His family farmed it and lived there before government interference. They had no waste water treatment system and drank from a shallow well.

Five of our seven kids are now grownups and never learned the meaning of hard work that comes from living on one’s farm.

How will you defend your actions and the corrupt regulations you uphold at Judgment Day?

I have included Hugh’s email response in its entirely below for your review.

Sincerely,

Robert Stevens


Responses from Hugh Hurlow, April 10, 2017 to my questions below:

1. How may I best determine the groundwater table at any given location?
The U.S. Geological Survey publishes groundwater levels at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/. Select Utah from the Search by State/Territory pulldown menu, then zoom to your area. In the lower-left part of the screen, select Groundwater Sites, and under that select both Active and Inactive Sites, and you will see quite a lot of sites in your area. You can view and download the data for any given well by clicking on the teardrop, then on Access Data in the window that appears. The Active sites are good because they show historical trends and include the most recent data.

2. When an excavator digs a six-foot trench, I see one or more layers of gray-black sediment in the trench walls. What are those layers and do they help determine previous groundwater levels?
If they are dense clay, they may be previous deposits of lake mud (higher levels of Utah lake or, if much older, Lake Bonneville); or if they are more coarse-grained and contain organic material they may be old soil horizons. They probably do not provide information on past groundwater levels.

3. If those layers do provide evidence of historic groundwater levels, how can I determine the age and duration of those levels?
Layers like that can sometimes be dated by small fossils (bivalves) called ostracodes, either by paleontology or the chemical composition of their shells, or by radiocarbon dating of woody material if preserved. These are pretty specialized and expensive techniques, so you would need to get in touch with someone from one of the local Universities that are interested in dating the layers. You could call the geololgy departments to see if anyone works on lake history and see if they want to look at the trench. The ages would more likely relate to the history of Holocene (younger than about 10,000 years) or Pleistocene lakes than groundwater.

4. Why does the depth of those layers differ in nearby trenches? For example, the layers in two holes dug 280 feet apart differ by 10 inches.
That is not a huge difference geologically, but reasons for the difference may include variation in the land surface during the time the layers were deposited (for example, a slight hill/depression that was submerged beneath an older, larger version of Utah lake), or differential subsidence of the land surface after the layers were deposited, or they are not exactly the same layer.

5. What other evidences may I use to determine current and historic groundwater depths because digging trenches present many variables to consider such as the pressure of the incoming water, the saturation of the dirt and the dirt’s ability to transport the water out versus up?
Search the Active Sites in the U.S. Geological Survey NWIS cited above, and find the well(s) with the longest time record. Some of them could go back to the late 1930s. Alternatively, if you are interested in pre-historic groundwater levels, I think that one or two of the professors at BYU has been interested in using old thermal spring deposits to look at past lake level, groundwater, and climate history. Try Greg Carling or Steve Nelson in the Geology Department.

On Structure and Genius

A 24-year old named Mallory who is dating my son Andrew boasted in complaint form that her family is more structured than ours. My thoughts on that:

Anyone can enforce or obey structure, even the convict or those with mental illness. The genius though, takes inspiration, and creates structure, simplicity and beauty where non existed. I’d rather be a genius.—Robert John Stevens, July 30, 2017

Dear Mr. President, Abandon Obamacare and Return the Power to the People

by Robert John Stevens, July 24, 2017

Submitted online to both President Trump and Senator Mike Lee

Dear Mr President,

If you want the public to put pressure on their representatives to abandon Obamacare then present them information that persuades. Please consider my plan:

1. Take the top 50 reasons people go to doctors, tell the American people the average cost of each visit, how much is spent on the doctors’ administrative staffs, absorbed by the insurance companies and how much the doctor actually receives. Do the same for the top 50 surgeries.

For example, I know a local marriage therapist who charges $90 an hour but after the insurance companies take their cut, he only receives $9. Americans would be shocked to learn that as I was.

2. Show the American people how much they’d save if they could bypass all that bureaucracy in terms of top-selling items they want.

3. Tell the American people the truth that pleases the human Spirit–that the federal government has no business managing health care and must give it up. If states want to act as incubators and experiment with programs, let them or totally return the power to the people.

Regards,

Robert John Stevens
Provo, Utah

Job Interview Tips with Questions to Ask the Interviewer!

by Robert John Stevens, July 14, 2017

Here are HireStrategy’s tips for interviewing for a job. Emily Glezen emailed these to me. I particularly like the questions to ask that are listed at the end:

· Connect your experience to the job.

· We recommend providing detail and depth in all or your responses.

Thing to be prepared to speak to:
· The company and why you’re interested in working there.

· Your strengths.

· How you’ve overcame challenges in the future and examples.

· Why they should hire you (Speak directly to the job qualifications)

· Why you left past jobs

Tips:
· Be honest about what you don’t know, but what you would do to find out the answer.

· Be conversational and do not give short answers! If you do not have experience with something, tell them something you do have experience with that is similar and explain your familiarity what that technology. We never recommend just saying ‘no’.

· Do you research on the company – Be able to speak to why you want to work there.

· If you worked with a Technology, make sure you can explain where you worked with it and how you used it.

· Remember to have a copy of your resume on hand for the interview as the manager will be referring to it and it will be easy for you to point out your experience as it pertains to the job description.

· Highlight key points in your resume that pertain to the job description.

· Be prepared to speak to every bullet point on the job description and your resume.

· Allow up to 30 minutes in the interview, it may go longer so please plan accordingly.

· Answer the questions clearly and concisely and stay professional and on topic at all times.

· Do not bring up any negativity about previous employers or positions and stay positive and focused.

· Close strong! Express to the Manager that you are very interested in the position and learning more about next steps.

Advice about when they ask ‘do you have any questions for me’:
Companies love to talk about themselves! The hallmark of a good interview is a 50/50 conversation. You want the interviewer to spend as much time speaking about themselves, the company and position as you should be speaking of your own background. The best way to engage an interviewer is to ask great questions, here are some examples:
1. What do you like about working here?

2. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of this role?

3. What type of profile do you think would be an ideal fit in this position?

4. How would you describe the team culture?

Trump: Since Signing the Declaration of Independence, ‘America Always Affirmed that Liberty Comes from Our Creator’

by Robert John Stevens, July 2, 2017

“Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago, America always affirmed that liberty comes from our creator,” Trump declared. “Our rights are given to us by God and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is returning that power back to where it belongs — to the people.” — President Donald Trump

Most Americans do not understand the concept although once they do they know it is true. The concept is the American Creed—it is what sets us apart from previous governments in history.

May President Trump say this repeatedly at every opportunity he can.

Escrow.com Scam Explained

by Robert John Stevens, June 14, 2017

Feedback to escrow.com on my last transaction:

The experience was fast and great but you really need to tell the world that your non-concierge service is flawed — that if immediately after the buyer receives the domain he changes his contact information, then the seller has no way to prove the domain was transferred to the buyer and may lose the domain and not get paid.

I was lucky that my buyer was honest and notified escrow.com that he received the domain I sold him.

I have not discovered any problem with the escrow.com concierge service and pay the extra fee. Both services work but the low-cost one is sort of a scam since they know of the problem above that I’ve notified them about three times.

Homestead Land for $10k Down?

by Robert John Stevens June 11, 2017

This ad appeared in KSL.com Classifieds on June 9, 2017. I emailed Sarah, told her I forwarded it to Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee, sent her two articles I wrote, and asked if she would let me know if she gets a response from her ad.

Family with $10K to put down on Agricultural Acreage to start a homestead. The problem is work is in Provo so the land has to be within 30 miles of Provo. We’d really appreciate any consideration. Thank you. Contact Sarah 801-494-9189

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