What is it about police busting into people’s homes—and the wrong ones at that? Must be part of the post-Sept. 11 defense momentum, along with a creeping culture of fear and violence. There was a sad reminder when the Ogden public safety building was renamed for an officer killed during an otherwise routine marijuana bust. If that weren’t tragic enough, Ogden police—wearing black—powered their way into the home of a 28-year-old father who turned out to be the wrong mark. Meanwhile, in Vernal, police interrupted the deathbed farewell of a man and his wife. Police had come to confiscate prescription drugs the woman had been taking in relation to her colon cancer. The man has since filed a lawsuit alleging unreasonable search and seizure. But it’s hard to know what’s unreasonable these days as police are unable to distinguish marijuana and legitimate prescription drugs from the nation’s war on drugs.
If it weren’t bad enough that cops are busting down citizens’ doors, Utah has its own thought police working overtime to ensure everyone is politically correct according to them. The Lehi City Council, for instance, decided to rename Morning Glory Road to Morning Vista Road, based on objections from an incoming business that “morning glory” had sexual connotations. Then there was the curious incident of the off-again-on-again Herriman High musical All Shook Up. One “community member” complained about language and cross-dressing, which sent the school board scurrying to cancel the performance. At some point, cooler heads prevailed, and the show goes on with revisions. But really, can’t we stop the knee-jerk reactions and ignore the jerks who cause them?
Is this a trick or are there really some good things shaping up for the 2013 legislative session? First, Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, continues his quest for better early-childhood education. This time, he’s asking for private dollars to fund at-risk preschools, with the promise of payback if the programs succeed. And on another front, he is seeking an end to boxcar bills, the suicide bombers of lawmaking—no one knows what’s in them until it’s too late. Follow that with an attempt by Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, to change the rule forcing lawmakers to vote even when they have a conflict of interest. It’s enough to make you giddy, especially coming from members of the Republican majority. We’ll see how far they get once the session starts Jan. 28.