False Positive | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

False Positive 

Also: Borderline Ridiculous, Average Transparency

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False Positive
We don’t know if anyone has fessed up to the religious hoax that caught the Deseret News in all its embarrassing naiveté. Fox News reported that the “Center for Responsible Christian Living” took responsibility—but Fox News was one of the media organizations that got punked along with the D-News. There were many media orgs that ran the press release about the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in “extraordinary emergency session” to say they were sorry they were homophobic and now want to say yes to gay rights. Oh yeah, these are the people who say they love you even though you’re a sinner, and you think they suddenly changed their minds? Good on the D-News for later running a story about its gullibility: “The story is completely false.”

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Borderline Ridiculous
The U.S. border is long and massive if you consider our coastline, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and, of course, Mexico. Now add a 100-mile buffer all the way around and free that area from any environmental restrictions—all in the name of border security. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, sponsored House Resolution 1505 to “prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands which impede border security on such lands, and for other purposes.” That caused the Pew Environmental Group to go ballistic, and for good reason—an unprecedented license to destroy wildlife habitat and wetlands, they say. Take a look at the map—it includes the Statue of Liberty, Glacier National Park in Montana and many more. Indeed, it may be difficult to police the borders in protected areas, but we should ask what we destroy for security.

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Average Transparency
President Obama took office amid promises of a massive government-transparency initiative. Maybe no one realized how hard it would be to push government into the light. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group recently gave Utah’s transparency Website—Utah.gov/Transparency—a C. Darn. What could we be missing? Information on agency lobbying contracts, information on state ethics and no comprehensive information on how to request public records. You can’t find much in the budget area, either. But, to Utah’s credit, the site has a search function and is easy to navigate. It’s hard to know what effect the progressive U.S. PIRG has on local governments, but we do know a bad transparency ranking from the conservative Sutherland Institute sent the city of Lindon back to the drawing board. They went from a D to an A .

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
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

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