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Crossing Over 

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Wow, that Republican National Convention in Philadelphia was really somethin’, huh? (SNORE!)

What a happy bunch of campers. And what a diverse group of people. My land, didn’t they have just about every race and creed on display? Let’s give central casting a big thumbs-up.

As David Brooks of the Weekly Standard said, this ain’t your grandpa’s Republican Convention. “This isn’t a normal Republican Convention. This is reparative therapy for Caucasians,” he wrote. The event was “just like a Utah Jazz basketball game. The people in the stands are mostly white, while the people performing down below are mostly black.”

Salt Lake City news media did several features on Utahns at the Republican National Convention, leaving the impression that Utah Republicans were playing some pretty big roles there. Former BYU and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young said a prayer at one of the sessions. Well, if that isn’t important, what is?

And don’t count out Gov. Mike Leavitt. After he wins election and serves Utah for four more years, Leavitt says he might serve in the Bush cabinet when Dubya wins in 2004. Is that confidence or what? On the other hand, it may be a trial balloon to let Utah know Mikey may not serve out his full four-year term before bolting to D.C.

There were other Utahns in the spotlight. Although some 400 people were arrested during protests surrounding the Philadelphia convention, the very first was Utahn Sean Diener. The founder of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition was arrested attempting to dump four tons of manure with a message for Dubya: “Meat stinks—for animals and human health and should be taxed.”

Here’s something right out of the X-Files: Satellites will control sprinkling systems in West Jordan. That’s right, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Jim Woolf reports that 13 test homes in West Jordan will have satellite receivers to tell the sprinkling systems when to water. There’s no word on whether the satellites will be alien tamper-proof.

Speaking of spooky stories, a Jonesboro, Ga., man told police he killed his wife because she refused to have sex with him. The Associated Press reports that Edward Heckman, 64, shot his wife Janet, 58, while she lay in bed, and then buried her in the back yard. What a sport.

Here’s some good news from the Smartbomb Health Watch: It’s never too late to quit smoking, according to new research. Giving up smoking, even late in life, reduces much of the risk of lung cancer. Young readers may interpret that to mean they can quit later. Not so: Experts predict that 1 billion will die of smoking-related illness during the coming century.

Finally, this: Crossing Over With John Edward is a new talk show with a live audience—but the guests are deceased. The show airs on the Sci-Fi cable channel. Some of the guests may have in fact been smokers.

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