Clear the Filth | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Clear the Filth 

Budget problems persist because of misplaced priorities. More on the LDS church's presence at the Capitol. Plus, we just can't seem to get enough polygamy.

Pin It

click to enlarge news_hitsmisses1-1.png

Clear the Filth
We read every day about the piles of garbage at our national parks, but we forget about the piles of garbage in the U.S. Capitol. These are the politicians who would rather focus on a female legislator's use of the word, "motherfucker," and Sen. Mitt Romney's screed against the "president" than on any workable compromise to the budget impasse. Don't they get it yet? This is a classic distraction technique, and might be the president's only real skill. But our congress members need to look at the real problem. There are serious safety issues in national parks that require employees, former National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis wrote in The Guardian, and it's not up to the kindness of strangers, which USA Today touts. We can talk about air travel safety, too, but it's up to Congress to lead instead of grouse.

Moroni's Mirage
Well, here we go again, and Marty Stephens, the former House speaker and now LDS church spokesman, is right. "It seems strange that there are those that don't want us to be involved in the public arena when our views oppose theirs, but they do want us to be involved when they are hoping we'll support their position," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. The debate, of course, is about broadening the state's hate-crimes legislation to include the LGBTQ communities. The first law Utah passed in the '90s was revised in 2015, and is still largely unenforceable. But there are ways, and Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, might get it done. He's focusing on "victim targeting" instead of "hate crimes" to eliminate First Amendment concerns over free speech. But let's focus on the real issue: the church. It wouldn't matter what position it takes if lawmakers would vote independently instead of waiting for church pronouncements.

Ah, Polygamy
It was 123 years ago on Jan. 4 that Utah became the 45th state. Yea, Utah, except that we had to give up polygamy to do it. We say "except" because polygamy persists and news outlets like the Trib continue to write fondly, if nostalgically, about it. A front-page Sunday story in collaboration with The Guardian U.S. illustrates just how interested Utahns are in this banned-yet-enduring practice—this time in Missouri. Maybe outsiders think of polygamists like the Amish, which they are not. But hey, it's quaint. The Trib story did mention, way down, about sexual abuse and how law enforcement kind of overlooks polygamists until someone complains. Still, there seems to be a continuing appetite for news about these polygamist compounds and the men who purport to talk to God about "how great Thou art."

Pin It

About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

More by Katharine Biele

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • Training the Media

    Police Pout, Famous for Stupidity
    • Sep 23, 2020
  • Mask Flak

    Cutie Uproar, Rape Kits Caught Up
    • Sep 16, 2020
  • Dare to Care

    Fail to See the Humor, The Reactor Factor
    • Sep 10, 2020
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Focus on the Men

    Some seem to think men leaving the workforce will result in fewer marriages. The Park City School District fires back at a shadowy group. Plus, what's behind those strange mailers you might have received?
    • Nov 27, 2019
  • Fraud Gets a Pass?

    The implications of parents filling out their missionary kids' ballots. Plus, how UTA figures to muck it up again.
    • Aug 14, 2019

© 2020 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation