Damn the Torpedoes 

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It’s the dog days of summer and it’s damned hot. Oops, make that darned hot. When it’s this hot, nobody wants to do anything except go swimming and drink cold beverages. July and August can be what we call in the biz, slow news days.

That’s why everybody in the Salt Lake City news media loves Mayor Rocky Anderson. Never a dull moment with that guy. One thing about Rocky, you always know where he’s coming from. You may or may not like it, but you know where he’s coming from.

We don’t know if Rocky likes to dine at Burger King, but he likes to get it his way. Recently, the City Council got in a snit because the mayor was exercising executive power in moves to protect gay city employees and keep city workers from accepting gifts. Miffed at what they described as his unilateral actions, the council asked City Attorney Roger Cutler for an opinion. When it came back, apparently favoring the council, Rocky balked.

The mayor then retained the services of two outside attorneys for a second opinion. Taxpayers will pick up the tab. Where the power struggle goes from there is anyone’s guess. The irony is that the city attorney works at the pleasure of the mayor. Cutler has been the city attorney for the past quarter-century, and Anderson kept him on board. Wonder if Rocky’s rethinking that one.

Speaking of placing blame, O.J. Simpson is now blaming his late wife, Nicole Brown, for her own death. True story. The Associated Press reports that in a television interview to promote an upcoming two-hour Internet chat session, Simpson said she brought it on herself. “At times, I’m angry with her because I felt that she brought a lot of this on herself. … [She was] hanging around with people she shouldn’t have been hanging around with.”

Meanwhile, Simpson continues to search for the real killer on golf courses across the country.

Speaking of murders, a guest on the Jerry Springer Show turned up dead recently after one of the show’s confrontational segments. In the broadcast, Ralf Panitz and his wife, Eleanor, accused his former wife, Nancy Campbell-Panitz, of stalking them. Nancy was later found dead at the house they were fighting over.

Police in Sarasota, Fla., are treating the case as a homicide. They are looking for Ralf and Eleanor.

And finally, this: Is there freedom of expression in the military? A former Navy petty officer has been discharged after appearing nude in Playboy magazine. “I’m not making the Navy look bad by having these pictures there,” said Sherry Lynne White, 26.

The trouble began when White, an eight-year Navy veteran, submitted a nude photo that was published in the “Grapevine” section of the February Playboy. When her superiors asked her to tell the magazine not to publish any more of the photos, White arranged for a full photo spread in the magazine. Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead.

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