REAL BUSINESS BUZZ

  • Who is John Ziegler, the subject of David Foster Wallace’s “Host’?
    by Jennifer Graham on October 6, 2022 at 3:00 am

    John Ziegler with his microphone in his home office in Camarillo, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Rick Loomis, for the Deseret News The most famous talk radio host you’ve never heard of is probably John Ziegler. For years, the Los Angeles podcaster and author bobbed tantalizingly close to the highest levels of talk radio stardom; he filled in when Matt Drudge had a radio show and says for a while, he was being groomed to fill-in for Rush Limbaugh.In 2005, Ziegler was profiled by noted writer David Foster Wallace in a famous cover story for The Atlantic. In more recent years, Ziegler became known for his heterodox politics — he was conservative by most measures, but he didn’t like Donald Trump. And that cost him. “In a very real sense,” Ziegler mused after Trump’s 2016 win, “my show was an experiment to test whether it was possible for a radio show that simply called things like I saw them, and which didn’t consciously pander to the bulk of the ‘conservative’ audience which listens to talk radio, could endure.” The experiment, he concluded, failed. Although he stays busy with podcasting and other projects, Ziegler’s most regular work these days is parenting his young daughters and tending to his 57,000-plus followers on Twitter, where he goes by “Zigmanfreud.” More recently, he made waves for being one of the earliest skeptics on Twitter raising his eyebrows regarding allegations of racial heckling at a Duke-BYU women’s volleyball game.Although he has no connection to BYU, or even, for that matter, to Utah, Ziegler was interested in the story because it indulged two of his passions: excoriating the news media and ferreting out the truth about widely believed stories that don’t pass the smell test.“There have been many times, probably far too many times, that I have jumped on hand grenades for people I have no connection to,” he said in a recent interview over Zoom. “I have this bizarre quirk in my DNA where I really care about truth and justice, and it really bothers me when people are accused of things that didn’t happen, and it was obvious to me from very early on in the BYU-Duke story that what was being alleged did not happen.”BYU’s investigation, which was later reviewed by the West Coast Conference, found no evidence of racial slurs and several commentators eventually backed off from their criticism of the school and its fans. It was the latest in a string of questionable stories Ziegler says he’s debunked, from actor Jussie Smollett saying he was the victim of a hate crime, to a 5-year-old said to have died in the arms of a professional Santa Claus. Ziegler’s occupational hazard may be courting controversy, but the “host” has managed to build a career betting against the house. John Ziegler sits in his home office from where he does his radio and TV interviews in Camarillo, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. He worked for KFI AM radio in Los Angeles from 2003 to 2007 and now works on a variety of documentaries and podcasts. His latest podcast, which he hopes to release next month, is called “The Death of Journalism.”Rick Loomis, for the Deseret News When Wallace, the much vaunted writer who died by suicide in 2008, chose Ziegler as the face of conservative talk radio for his deep dive into what Wallace called a “frightening” industry, Ziegler was 37 years old and laboring in a late-night slot on KFI AM in Los Angeles, where he worked from 2003 to 2007. It was, Wallace wrote, “either the eighth or ninth host job that Mr. Ziegler’s had in his talk-radio career, and far and away the biggest.” That, according to Ziegler, was one of three inaccuracies in the opening paragraph of “Host.” Ziegler gives Wallace more leeway on his job history than he does on the other things he says were wrong. (Ziegler says he did not drive a U-Haul from Louisville to LA, as Wallace wrote, and lived in Burbank, California, not near Koreatown.) But Ziegler was willing to dismiss much of what was wrong in the piece as creative license, even though the 23-page article broadly painted talk radio as negative for society.“John Ziegler is not a journalist — he is an entertainer,” Wallace wrote. “Or maybe it’s better to say that he is part of a peculiar, modern, and very popular type of news industry, one that manages to enjoy the authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, objectivity, and responsibility that make trying to tell the truth such a drag for everyone involved.”Ziegler, who grew up Catholic in Philadelphia, said he didn’t know who Wallace was when the writer first contacted him in 2003. Wallace was then teaching at Pomona College in Claremont and his novel “Infinite Jest” had garnered acclaim, but Ziegler didn’t look into the background of the stranger who wanted to shadow him for weeks and didn’t know until the article came out that it would be a cover story for a major magazine.Even if he had, he wouldn’t have known that the article would become one that would trail him for his entire career. After Wallace’s suicide at age 46, “Host” and other essays published in the collection “Consider the Lobster,” along with Wallace’s novels, had heightened value. A signed first edition is going for $917 online at this writing.“(Author and commentator) David Frum, when he and I met, the first thing he said to me was, ‘A hundred years after you’re dead, that’s all anyone will know of you, that David Foster Wallace piece.’ “I thought, is that a compliment? It was an odd thing to hear, but it’s probably true. From the standpoint of history, it’s an odd claim to fame.”Ziegler said that he doesn’t regret giving Wallace access to his life and career, although he probably would have handled it differently if he’d known who the writer was. “Frankly, he was so personally unimpressive that it never occurred to me to bother to find out who he was because I didn’t think there was any chance he was anybody of note — kind of hilariously, in retrospect. Had he been a homeless person, I would not have been surprised.“I’m sure he was very amused by the fact that I did not know who he was. … But maybe it was a better story because I just didn’t care. (I said,) ‘Here I am, warts and all, write what you want to write.’ And he did.” Prompted off camera by his daughter Grace, 10, John Ziegler demonstrates how he is often very animated during recorded discussions. He was photographed in his Camarillo, California, home on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022.Rick Loomis, for the Deseret News Although he earned a degree from Georgetown University in government, Ziegler began his career as a sports broadcaster. This was in the early years of the “Rush Limbaugh Show,” when conservative talk radio seemed new and hot. Soon enough, as Ziegler told Wallace, he figured “maybe my controversial nature would work better on talk radio.” Given the volatility of talk radio, having a CV punctuated by a certain staccato is something of a badge of honor. “Somebody in the industry said, if you haven’t been fired a lot, you’re not any good,” he said. And Ziegler, like many others in the field, often seemed to find a better job after the loss of one.As Ziegler pointed out in a letter to the editor of The Atlantic, by the time the article “Host” was published, he was no longer broadcasting late at night, but had moved to the more desirable 7 p.m. slot and soon thereafter published a book called “The Death of Free Speech,” in which he detailed how he got fired from a sportscasting job after making a joke about O.J. Simpson’s innocence. It was the first of multiple firings for saying extremely controversial or taboo things. Indeed, once he was “fired, rehired and fired again within a three-week period by an FM station that was going through a major format shift from traditional talk to ‘All Madonna, all the time.’” he wrote in “The Death of Free Speech.”“I certainly do take chances. But that’s what makes for good talk radio,” he said. “No one ever accused my shows of being boring. That was never a concern.” One need only scroll through Twitter to see that others have accused him of many other things. In fact, Ziegler makes a habit of retweeting, without comment, every pejorative thrown his way. He’s even become controversial among conservatives. Working with co-host Leah Brandon, another veteran of KFI in Los Angeles, he was part of “The John and Leah Show,” which lasted 19 months on a small network of 24 stations and ended shortly after Trump was elected. “There was no path,” for the show after Trump’s election, said Ziegler, who was and remains vehemently anti-Trump. “That created friction between Leah and I,” he said. “I wasn’t going to waste anyone’s money, but there just was no path (for the show’s success) once Trump won.”These days, Ziegler tweets voraciously, usually about sports and politics, and sometimes about the family he never thought he’d have. In a couple of years, maybe sooner, it will be impossible to believe that my two girls once went to school voluntarily dressed like this to celebrate the official start of Halloween month… pic.twitter.com/RgJU4eTkJs— John Ziegler (@Zigmanfreud) October 4, 2022 He said he never intended to get married because he didn’t want to subject a wife to the lifestyle and controversy that comes with being a host. But that changed after he met his wife-to-be when, on the five-year anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks, he invited local teachers to be on his show to talk about how 9/11 was being taught in schools.After meeting the middle-school teacher who would eventually become his wife, Ziegler said his co-host told him, “You should date her.” They’ve been married 12 years, and have two daughters, 10 and 5. “Ironically enough, if I were in talk radio, I’d be a far better host today than I ever was in my life. … But the industry has changed so much that there’s really no place for somebody like me.” Ziegler said he has survived the lean times because he has been frugal with money and invested well, knowing that the industry was unpredictable. He also has had numerous other projects, such as making documentaries and writing for publications that include Mediaite, where he was one of the first people to question the validity of a viral story in 2016 of a 5-year-old dying in the arms of a mall Santa Claus. John Ziegler helps his daughter Grace, 10, do her homework at the kitchen table of their home in Camarillo, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Rick Loomis, for the Deseret News Using the same sort of reasoning that caused him to be skeptical of the BYU-Duke story, Ziegler pointed out a lack of details and a puzzling timeline. Despite the red flags, there were a burst of headlines that still exist on the internet such as “Sick child dies in Santa’s arms.” The newspaper that first published the column later updated the file to say that the facts of the story couldn’t be verified, causing other news outlets that wrote about the story, including The Washington Post, to publish what amounted to retractions.Ziegler applies an equation he invented to determine the probability of a story being untrue. “You give three things a rating on a scale of 1 to 10. First, what is the level of evidence that you would expect to see if a story was true? Take that number and divide it by the actual evidence in existence. Then multiply that number by how much the news media wants a story to be true. Any story that gets a number 25 or higher is probably false.“(BYU-Duke volleyball) was a 45,” he said, adding of his equation, “I should probably copyright this.”As for the future, Ziegler plans to continue with podcasting; not surprisingly, his next project, available within the next few weeks through Workhouse Productions, will take on what he sees as the disintegration of credible media. It’s called “The Death of Journalism.”“I am not a conspiracy person … but I believe truth is in grave peril in this country,” he said.He does not, however, see a path to another talk radio show, either local or national, saying that the medium is now “therapy for Trump conservatives. There’s no space for people who are going to challenge the thinking of the audience.” This bothers him, not only because of the implications for the nation, but because he worries about how his daughters see him, as someone without a “regular” job, who is most always around and talks a lot in front of a fake background in his home. “It’s very difficult to explain to my 10-year-old what I do, even though she sees the Emmy (award) in the living room and thinks it’s cool.” (The Emmy was for 9/11 coverage for a TV talk show in Philadelphia that he worked for from 2001-2002.)Talk radio, he says, has gone from broadcasting to a large audience, to “narrowcasting” to “cultcasting” in the Trump era.“Ironically enough, if I were in talk radio, I’d be a far better host today than I ever was in my life. … But the industry has changed so much that there’s really no place for somebody like me. I’m a square peg in a round-hole world.” John Ziegler plays with his daughters Grace, 10, (facing front) and Diana, 5, in the courtyard of their home in Camarillo, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Rick Loomis, for the Deseret News

  • Housing market: Boise first to see yearly price drop, Zillow says
    by Katie McKellar on October 6, 2022 at 3:00 am

    New homes in Eagle, Idaho, are pictured on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News At the height of the pandemic housing frenzy, Boise was not just discovered. It was flooded with buyers. That’s when housing market hawks first locked on to the Idaho metro for its eye-popping price increases. Since then, fascination with Boise has persisted — but now as the U.S. housing market has tipped into recession territory amid higher mortgage rates, some days hovering near 7%, there’s a new obsession with Boise. It was first to the party. Now, as sales stall, inventory levels explode and prices begin to taper, Boise appears to be among the first to the hangover. So what’s happening in Boise, and what’s in store for the western metro now that the U.S. housing market has shifted? New homes are worked on in Meridian, Idaho, on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News National buzz Over the past two years, Boise has had numerous moments in the national spotlight.For months, it has consistently ranked among the most “overvalued” housing markets, according to Florida Atlantic University research. Moody’s Analytics recently deemed it the nation’s most “overvalued,” saying Boise home prices are nearly 72% overvalued based on market fundamentals. Related This ‘overvalued’ Western city could see home prices fall up to 20% if recession hits Housing market needs ‘difficult correction’ to balance out, Fed says. In the West, it’s already happening Boise was also recently called out — along with other markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix — for what Fortune termed “early-inning housing busts,” noting these “bubbly” markets, while they’ve been at the highest risk of home price corrections, they’ve also seen inventory levels spike over the last five months. Boise inventory is up 298%, Phoenix up 317% and Las Vegas up 192%, Fortune reported, using Realtor.com data. Boise was also among the first to post a year-over-year home value decline in Zillow’s Home Value Index. The city saw a slight, -1.2% dip according to the index’s seasonally-adjusted data through Aug. 31, with a typical home value of $515,432, down from $521,690 as of Aug. 31, 2021. That dip is slightly bigger using Zillow’s raw home value index data focused on the Boise metro area, which hasn’t been smoothed or seasonally adjusted, and is a figure Zillow researchers have been using because they say it more accurately captures the state of the market in real time given the current “volatile inflection period.” Boise housing market among first to see a year-over-year decline (-1.2%), according to @Zillow Home Value Index. See Boise (green line) compared to other major cities in the West #utecon https://t.co/lqJSK5orOL pic.twitter.com/6G1I90jr1U— Katie McKellar (@KatieMcKellar1) October 4, 2022 According to that raw data, the Boise metro area saw a 3% year-over-year decline, with a typical home value of $491,232 as of Aug. 31. That’s down from $506,201 in August 2021. However, when Zillow’s Boise metro area data is smoothed and seasonally adjusted, it shows a 1.3% growth in prices year-over-year. Still, it’s a far cry from the double-digit, year-over-year price growth the metro was seeing in the middle of the pandemic housing frenzy. In August of 2021, that $506,201 typical value was almost 45% up year-over-year from $349,505 in 2020, according to Zillow’s raw index.So what does all this mean? New homes advertise for sale in Meridian Idaho on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News Is Boise in a housing bust? National data shows Boise’s housing market is coming off its peak of high home price growth from a year ago, in July of 2021, when home prices were up over 47% year over year, according to Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist for Zillow. “If you look at Boise … price growth was kind of front-loaded compared to many U.S. metro areas,” Divounguy told the Deseret news. “So Boise went into the market with already pretty high prices, and momentum really built up during the pandemic and just peaked. And then mortgage rates rising this year made things worse.” Related 70% of home sellers in Boise, Idaho, drop prices, most in nation Housing recession deepens: Homebuilder confidence falls, homes sell below list price What that data doesn’t show is a “bust” or an indicator that Boise’s market is going to come crashing down. “Not at all,” Divounguy said, adding that sellers are still in “a very comfortable position,” with many sellers now choosing to stay put if they’re locked in at a low rate. “They can just pull back. And if they pull back and inventory stops increasing, you’re not going to see a lot of price cuts.” If enough sellers “price their homes reasonably, price their homes to sell,” he said they could still sell their homes for a significant price higher than even two to three years ago. T.J. Pierce, a real estate agent specializing in midcentury homes in Boise, Idaho, sits in front of one of his listing on West Robertson Drive in Boise on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Pierce has noticed a dip in housing sales but doesn’t “expect to see a 2008 again” and does expect the prices to come down a bit.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News What are locals saying? If you ask Boise real estate agents about whether Zillow’s data matches up with what they’re seeing in their local market, they say home price growth is beginning to level off — but they’re also quick to point out the issues of sensationalizing Zillow’s year-over-year price decline. “The sky is not falling,” said TJ Pierce, a real estate agent with Mid-Century Homes by Anthology, which specializes in homes built in the ’50s and ’60s in Boise. While yes, the days of wild home price increases over the last two years are over, in large part thanks to the Federal Reserve’s fight with inflation and rising interest rates, Pierce said the market isn’t crashing down. It’s stabilizing. “Everybody knew it wasn’t going to last,” he said. “It’s just a matter of how long.” Becky Enrico Crum, president of Boise Regional Realtors, said Boise’s housing market was strong before pandemic remote work opportunities, low interest rates and other factors accelerated demand in the Idaho metro. Now, that’s “leveling out.”“The buyers are determining what that’s going to be,” Enrico Crum said, adding that while demand has since slowed, there are still “buyers buying.” “We’re headed back to a normal market,” she said. Related U.S. housing slump is here to stay. What does that mean for Utah, the West? What does that mean for Boise home prices, if they’ll plateau, dip or drop? Enrico Crum said it’s hard to say. “We don’t know where the prices are going to finally land, because we’re still in process. We don’t know.” As for all the national buzz, including reports that Boise is “overvalued,” Enrico Crum said “we’re always going to be in the news because we’re something to talk about.” At the end of the day, she said Idaho home prices accelerated because of the state’s quality of life, affordability compared to other states and its own growth. “The reality is that people are going to continue to come here, that’s not going to change. I don’t see that changing,” she said. Now, as inventory levels recalibrate, she said “we’re headed to a more balanced market, which will be great because we haven’t seen a balanced market in four to five years.”Pierce said there’s “too many good things going on” in Boise, from a healthy job market to its outdoor recreation offerings, for the metro to see a dramatic housing crash. It would take a major economic shift, not just in Idaho but across the entire nation, for home prices to take a significant tumble. Pierce warned against reading too much into Zillow showing Boise’s year-over-year price decline. If the trend is reflective of anything, he said it’s “honestly because we’ve had such an aggressive incline … because (home prices) were so low to begin with four to five years ago.” Related Why are house prices so high? Blame remote work, not ‘speculative bubble,’ Fed study says Pierce also noted Idaho is a nondisclosure state that doesn’t require public disclosure of property sale prices, so he questioned Zillow’s home value accuracy. Zillow stands by its “Zestimate,” which it said is “calculated using millions of data points, of which sold data is only one. This means that generally, we receive this data point from home sales in Idaho through our membership in local REALTOR© Associations and MLSs.”Zillow also says the Zillow Home Value Index is “generally a better indicator of movements in the housing market than many alternatives. Many similar measures of housing market appreciation use a repeat-sales index, which rely on houses that have sold more than once and do not capture the full housing stock. ZHVI takes into account almost all U.S. homes using the Zestimate, including homes that have not been on the market for decades.” New homes are advertised for sale in Eagle, Idaho, on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News Idaho home prices Zeroing in on county-level data, according to the Intermountain MLS website, more populated counties like Ada County (home to Boise), are still showing year-over-year home price growth, with a median sales price of $565,000 for single-family homes as of August, up 6.6% year over year. However, hop over to a more rural county — like the much smaller Adams County, located three hours north of Boise — and you’ll see some of these markets, with much smaller inventories, posted year-over-year price declines. For example, Adams County’s median sales price of single-family homes fell -37.7% year-over-year in August to $357,500, down from $574,500 in August of 2021. Note, however, Adams County’s home inventory is much smaller, with 39 active listings in August compared to Ada County’s 2,374. In August, only six homes sold in Adams County. Here’s a county-by-county breakdown of Idaho’s single-family median home sales price and its year-over-year change as of August, according to the Intermountain MLS website. This list excludes some counties that did not record a single-family home sale in August 2022 or 2021 to compare. Ada County: $565,000, +6.6%.Adams County: $357,500, -37.8%.Boise County: $562,000, +22.2%.Canyon County: $440,990 +7.2%.Cassia County: $290,000, +34.9%.Custer County: $252,500, +9.8%.Elmore County: $346,725, +11.1%.Gem County: $393,723, +0.3%.Gooding County: $294,500, +15%.Idaho County: $350,000, +16.67%.Jerome County: $394,875, +29.47%.Latah County: $452,000, +25.6%.Lincoln County: $220,000, -7.3%.Minidoka County: $275,250, +15.9%.Nez Perce County: $357,000, +11.6%.Owyhee County: $325,000, -37.8%.Payette County: $387,500, +23.6%.Twin Falls: $359,900, +2.9%.Valley County: $700,000, -8%.Washington County: $252,000, -20.5%. Related Buying a house? Here’s what volatile mortgage rates are doing to your purchasing power

  • BYU football: Cougars’ only 2 wins over Notre Dame were close, intense
    by Jay Drew on October 6, 2022 at 3:00 am

    BYU’s Todd Watkins hauls in a must-have pass against tight defense by Notre Dame’s Dwight Ellick. This reception allowed BYU to keep the ball and run out the clock to beat Notre Dame 20-17 on Sept. 4. 2004.Stuart Johnson, Deseret News After he was one of the top 10 high school quarterbacks in the country out of Redmond, Washington, in 1999, Matt Berry’s career at BYU didn’t go as well as the former Prep Star All-American would have liked.Various injuries, such as two broken hands, derailed Berry’s time in Provo, and the 6-foot-5 signal-caller eventually gave way to future NFL second-round draft pick John Beck. “It was a wonderful game. We were fortunate to get a victory. We had a very solid team with (Todd) Watkins, (Austin) Collie, Dennis Pitta, Brady Poppinga, who had a couple of sacks, some very good players who would go on to do incredibly well in the NFL.” — Former BYU QB Matt Berry on the Cougars’ 20-17 win over Notre Dame in 2004 But Berry will always have the night of Sept. 4, 2004, at LaVell Edwards Stadium.“I think that was definitely my signature win,” Berry told the Deseret News on Monday.And it came against the mighty Notre Dame Fighting Irish, no less.Taking over for Beck in the second quarter of the season opener after Beck had suffered a shoulder injury, Berry threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Austin Collie — the first TD catch of Collie’s brilliant career — and a game-sealing 37-yard pass to Todd Watkins to lift the Cougars to a 20-17 win in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 65,251 in Provo.That win, in what would be the final seasons for BYU coach Gary Crowton and Irish coach Tyrone Willingham, was BYU’s second over the Irish after the Cougars stunned ND 21-14 at Notre Dame Stadium in 1994. It still stands as the Cougars’ last win in the series. Notre Dame has won the last three matchups, all played in South Bend, Indiana. The Irish got revenge in 2005 with a 49-23 win as Charlie Weis’ crew crushed Bronco Mendenhall’s team in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus.After BYU joined Notre Dame as a college football independent in 2011, the Irish won by scores of 17-14 and 23-13 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, in the first two games of what was supposed to be a six-game series between 2012 and 2020.Which brings us to 2022. The No. 16 Cougars and 2-2 Notre Dame will square off Saturday at 5:30 p.m. MDT in Las Vegas in the ninth meeting between the faith-based schools. Notre Dame leads the series 6-2.Berry, now living in Sandy, Utah, with his former Cougarette wife and the CEO of a health care software company he co-founded, said he will be there in Sin City, cheering on the Cougs.The father of three daughters heavily involved in sports might just share some of his memories from the breakthrough 2004 win, as he did with the Deseret News the other night.“It was a wonderful game. We were fortunate to get a victory,” Berry said. “We had a very solid team with Watkins, Collie, Dennis Pitta, Brady Poppinga, who had a couple of sacks, some very good players who would go on to do incredibly well in the NFL.”Berry remembers glancing into the crowd before the game, and although it didn’t match the 1993 crowd of 66,247 — the largest crowd in stadium history — that watched No. 3 Notre Dame pummel the Cougars 45-20 in Provo, it was more packed than he had ever seen it. Related Cougars successfully appeal targeting ejection, and the latest on BYU injury front Underdogs in Vegas? No. 16 BYU relishing that role against Fighting Irish If BYU doesn’t play cleaner vs. Notre Dame, it won’t matter what uniforms they wear “I remember the awe of playing Notre Dame and having them come to Provo,” he said. “It was the most people (at LES) in a long, long time. I remember it was standing-room-only.”BYU jumped ahead 20-3 in the third quarter after Collie’s big TD and withstood a big Notre Dame comeback engineered by quarterback Brady Quinn. BYU took over with 2:23 remaining and was able to run out the clock, thanks to Watkins’ big catch.“I remember coach Crowton said, ‘Hey, just throw it as far as you can to Watkins,’” Berry said. “That was when I was throwing with sort of half a hand (due to the fracture suffered the previous season against New Mexico) but it got the job done. Watkins made an incredible leaping catch to give us the first down and we kinda grinded out the clock from there.”Berry said because of leaders such as punter Matt Payne (who pinned the Irish inside their 20 six times), Fahu Tahi, Curtis Brown, Daniel Coats, Cameron Jensen and Aaron Francisco, the Cougars were “not intimidated at all” about playing the Irish. BYU’s Naufahu Tahi high steps his way to a touchdown vs. Notre Dame football. Sept. 4, 2004. Stuart Johnson, Deseret News 1 of 8 BYU’s John Beck throws a pass vs. Notre Dame football game. Sept. 4, 2004. Stuart Johnson, Deseret News 2 of 8 BYU’s Chris Hale blocks the punt by Notre Dame’s D.J. Fitzpatrick Sept 4, 2004. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News 3 of 8 BYU head coach Gary Crowton along the sidelines during game against Notre DameSept. 4, 2004. Stuart Johnson, Deseret News 4 of 8 BYU’s Riley Weber celebrates their victory over Notre Dame Sept 4, 2004. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News 5 of 8 BYU Todd Watkins celebrates his long reception with from Matt Berry. The pass led to a touchdown against Notre Dame Sept 4, 2004. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News 6 of 8 BYU fans celebrate their winning ways against Notre Dame Sept 4, 2004. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News 7 of 8 BYU’s Brandon Heaney and Notre Dame’s Mark LeVoir scramble for a fumble Sept 4, 2004. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News 8 of 8 “There is some sort of heightened respect with Notre Dame, whether you go there or whenever you play them,” he said. “I would say it is a heightened respect due to the legacy they have, but there was zero intimidation. Regardless of what the (odds were), or what the expectations were around us, the feeling in the locker room was that we were going to win.”Crowton said after the 2004 game that it is “so fun” to beat Notre Dame “just because it is such a storied program,” and predicted the victory would give the Cougars momentum to put together a great season. But that didn’t happen. BYU lost 37-10 to Stanford the following week — Berry suffered another hand injury the third play of the game and was replaced by third-string QB Jason Beck and then fourth-stringer Jackson Brown — to begin a three-game slide that included a 42-10 loss to Reggie Bush and No. 1 USC in Provo and a 28-27 loss to No. 21 Boise State at Albertsons Stadium. Related Cougars share why opportunity to face Notre Dame in Las Vegas is a big deal What Bronco Mendenhall said about past BYU-Notre Dame games Berry returned for his senior season in 2005 when it was apparent John Beck was going to be the clearcut starter, bypassing opportunities to go elsewhere, and the Cougars made a return visit to South Bend. No. 9 Notre Dame pounded the Cougars 49-23, with Quinn racking up 467 passing yards.Was Sept. 4, 2004, his proudest moment as a Cougar?“I don’t know, maybe,” he said. “I am still proud to be a Cougar. I don’t think it is any secret that I had an opportunity to go elsewhere, but didn’t. I am very proud of that. … It was a win people still talk about, or bring up to me. They remember how exciting that game was, and just being there to see it all.”And watch the last time BYU beat Notre Dame.Reliving the 1994 win at Notre Dame Of course, BYU’s win in Provo that September night wasn’t the first time the upstarts from out West knocked off the Mighty Irish.  BYU-Notre Dame BYU vs. Notre Dame all-time results No. 10 Notre Dame 42, BYU 16 (1992)No. 3 Notre Dame 45, BYU 20 (1993)BYU 21, No. 17 Notre Dame 14 (1994)Notre Dame 33, BYU 14 (2003)BYU 20, Notre Dame 17 (2004)No. 9 Notre Dame 49, BYU 23 (2005)No. 5 Notre Dame 17, BYU 14 (2012)Notre Dame 23, BYU 13 (2013) On Oct. 15, 1994, BYU traveled to South Bend after having been walloped 42-16 and 45-20 by the Irish in 1992 and 1993 and rode off with a 21-14 win over No. 17 Notre Dame that became known as the beginning of the end for legendary Irish coach Lou Holtz.Current coach Kalani Sitake was a true freshman on that squad that got a two-yard touchdown run from Jamal Willis with 14:57 remaining in the game to take a 19-14 lead. Hema Heimuli’s two-point conversion run capped the scoring and the Cougars carried their own legendary coach, LaVell Edwards, off the field on their shoulders.“That was fun. You are going against Lou Holtz. You are going against a program that when I was in high school we had a lot of guys in the St. Louis area that played for Notre Dame. So just seeing everything there in South Bend was awesome,” Sitake recalled Monday.“Being a true freshman and playing in that game was a lot of fun. I think there is a scene, a picture where Jamal Willis is jumping over the goal line, and my kids saw the picture. It is framed up here (in the BYU football offices lobby) somewhere. Jamal is jumping in for a touchdown. BYU coach LaVell Edwards and Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz talk at midfield following game Oct. 15, 1994.Mark Philbrick, BYU Photo “My wife (pointed to the picture) and said there is daddy. My kid points at Jamal and I say, ‘No, I am the guy down here blocking for Jamal jumping over the top.’”Sitake said he still remembers how well Notre Dame fans treated the Cougars, even though BYU had broken through with the historic win.“I was so impressed by the Notre Dame fans,” he said. “So much class. Getting off the bus and them clapping for us, it was such a cool environment. Even when we left with the win, standing ovation when we left.“They really appreciated the way we played that game,” he continued. “Just a great environment, great history behind it. Just looking forward to playing them again and seeing their fanbase in that stadium, mixed with ours. It is going to be a lot of fun.“It is a football game, so it is going to be intense. But there is going to be a lot of respect and sportsmanship and class I know from the fans and definitely from the players on the field.”Cougars on the air No. 16 BYU (4-1) vs. Notre Dame (2-2)Saturday, 5:30 p.m. MDTAllegiant StadiumLas Vegas, NevadaTV: NBCRadio: KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM/1160 AM

  • What does socialism mean? Is socialism opposite of capitalism?
    by Ben Murton on October 6, 2022 at 3:00 am

    Zoë Petersen, Deseret News Walk into any world history classroom in Utah, ask “what is socialism,” and you’ll receive a relatively stable answer: It is an economic ideology where the government is in near total control of the means of production. For the majority of the time since the early 1800s, this has been the standard, universal definition with little controversy. And yet, when I walk down the hall in that very high school, I hear echoes of teachers giving several different answers to that same question. In economics, it might be a muddy middle ground between “capitalism” and “communism.” In government, it might be “government which reduced inequality.” In an English class, it might be one of many things. Now, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with having various meanings for common words. But issues with definitions instead arise when two specific things happen simultaneously: when a word’s meanings are too vague and numerous to derive any genuine use, and when these words have intense political ramifications.  Related Socialism isn’t what you think it is, but it’s still not what we need right now The trouble with having muddy definitions for divisive words comes from how easy it becomes to use these words to misinterpret and vilify those with whom one disagrees. Take that same word, “socialism.” Many older people are accustomed to its classical definition, nearly synonymous with “communism.” But when a new Gallup poll shows over 50% of millennials “feeling positive” about “socialism,” some may worry. Have pro-Marx, anti-free market ideas taken over the younger generation? No. In that same poll, over 80% of young adults also “felt positive” about “free enterprise.” Most of the words politicians and pundits use aren’t like “socialism.” Some do have genuine meaning and purpose yet are still very reductive. Take “right” and “left.” It has recently become incredibly fashionable for my generation’s influencers to take so-called online “political compass tests,” websites that can supposedly distill one’s entire policy worldview down to a dot on a graph.The trouble with these tests is not just that they oversimplify, but that they do so by encouraging the use of “right” and “left” to describe oneself, where most people have an infinitely more complex outlook. If you look up “right” and “left,” you may find various definitions describing one’s social beliefs, or perhaps whether they prefer the “individual” or the “collective,” or maybe just how interested they are in “change.”  Related Meet the socialist woman who confounds the left and right It would be far more useful to accept that “right” and “left” often aren’t especially useful for understanding precisely what others believe. For instance, how might you describe a candidate like the French politician Marine Le Pen, who supports both a wealth tax and enormous reductions on immigration? Or how might you use this simple scale to describe a third-party candidate who is undoubtedly not “centrist” but doesn’t adhere to either side? You can’t. Instead of running down an exhaustive list of all the “right” or “left” attributes a person or policy might have, why not just explain their specific positions?Political disagreements over definitions are also far from new. In the mid-1940s, when the “ism” rocking across the world was fascism, George Orwell published “Politics in the English Language,” arguing how “meaningless” words had been hijacking otherwise useful discussion and had boiled functional language down to simple smears. To Orwell, the word fascism had “no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” It would be hard to argue that the word “socialism” has become much less than the same, or even that seemingly positive words like democracy, justice and truth have become nothing more than filler. China brands itself democratic, Vladimir Putin purports the justice of his regime and, in my favorite example, Pravda, the name of the Soviet propaganda machine, translates to “truth.”  Related Perspective: The socialist at the dinner table The point is not that we should abandon words like right, left, democracy, justice and truth — that would be absurd. Instead, we need to consciously understand or explain precisely what these words mean each time they are used and empathize with the definitions other groups tend to choose, lest we continue to be trapped in the speculative pitfalls these words inspire. As for “socialism” and “fascism,” just as Orwell argued, purely ideological, meaningless words like these can and should simply be thrown out.Ben Murton is a senior at Corner Canyon High School and the founder of Polempathy.org

  • Family policy: What do House Republicans propose? | Opinion
    by Patrick T. Brown on October 6, 2022 at 2:45 am

    Michelle Budge, Deseret News From COVID-19 shutdowns to woke nonsense in classrooms, Republicans in states like Florida and Virginia found electoral success in responding to parents’ concerns and in directly addressing the cultural and economic threats undermining their families. Now, Republicans in Washington, D.C., are starting to lean into that same framing — and stand to reap the rewards. The Republican Study Committee, one of the most influential groups of conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives, last Thursday released a comprehensive agenda on family policy. It is a welcome collection of proposed legislation and ideas that demonstrate the Republican Party’s newfound willingness to advance policies that will strengthen family life, from unborn children to the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit.Republicans have always been good at resisting the latest progressive incursion in the culture war and talking about the importance of the family. But Republicans have not always been as good at advancing a constructive policy agenda that would help working-class families deal with the burdens of everyday life. In a day and age when marriage and fertility rates are at record lows, and when too many parents feel overwhelmed by the financial challenges of supporting their family and protecting their children from Big Tech, it’s long past time for the Republican Party to marry its pro-family talk to a more robust policy agenda. Thankfully, the agenda produced by the Republican Study Committee under the direction of chairman Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., takes a much-needed next step that acknowledges that the forces undermining American family life are both cultural and economic. First and foremost, the committee recognizes the need to give parents more tools to protect their kids online. Changing laws that govern how kids access the internet — from requiring minors to have parental consent to open a new social media account to giving parents more ability to see what their children are viewing and posting — is essential. Republicans should champion these ideas and stand up for parental rights in the classroom, in health care decisions and in the public square. But in addition to some of the culture-war issues that Republicans have successfully run on, the Republican Study Committee’s agenda includes a host of promising ideas that would strengthen parents’ ability to provide for their families and balance the demands of work and home life. Giving workers more flexibility in accruing paid time off, affirming the importance of parental choice in child care programs, and expanding 529 savings plans to cover expenses relating to homeschooling are all practical solutions to families’ economic needs.  Related Perspective: What family policy should look like in post-Roe America Is marriage dying? Poll ponders pressure points in finance and relationships No conservative approach to family policy would be complete without tackling the marriage penalties that plague our tax code and safety-net programs, making it more economically advantageous for low-income couples to cohabit rather than marry. The new policy agenda proposes reviving marriage as an economically beneficial institution for low-income and working-class couples by removing these penalties, as well as by making it easier for individuals to enter the middle class by offering a broader array of workforce training options as opposed to the college-for-all mentality that has been dominant for too long. There are some other bread-and-butter conservative policy ideas as well: strengthening school choice, protecting faith-based social service providers from discrimination, protecting girls’ sports and cracking down on child pornography. Notably, in a post-Dobbs America, the study committee devotes a section to greater efforts to support moms facing unexpected pregnancies, including making fathers responsible for child support during pregnancy, providing more funding for safety-net services and strengthening laws against pregnancy discrimination. As always with such a wide-ranging list, further discussions are needed; some ideas don’t go far enough, and some need to be fleshed out a little more. The agenda positively mentions Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s Family Security Act, but falls short of a full endorsement. Romney’s plan would be a dramatic step toward ridding the tax code of marriage penalties, providing real assistance to ordinary families struggling to cover the costs of raising children and supporting pregnant moms — all in a budget-neutral way. A conservative pro-family agenda requires something like the Family Security Act at its core. But for a party that is too often content to rely on vague platitudes rather than putting out concrete party platforms, the Republican Study Committee’s family policy agenda is a welcome reminder that there are still lawmakers interested in doing the vital work of governing. Not every one of the more than 80 recommendations will come up for a vote, but taken together, they provide a compelling vision of what a Republican Party that cares about parents’ interests should prioritize if it takes back the House next month.  We hope that Republicans will have an opportunity to prove that their commitment to family is more than talk by enacting much of this agenda in the next Congress. Patrick T. Brown (@PTBwrites) is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Brad Wilcox is a Future of Freedom Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.