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Fomenting Phallicies 

Cloaked Hiring, Down and Griddy

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Fomenting Phallicies
Yes, we understand how gun safety is just like teaching safe sex. Exactly. That is, if we teach kids that when the guy sticks his penis in a vagina, well, it's like pulling the trigger. That is pretty much the argument from Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Pleasant Grove, who compared gun-safety education to sex education. Maybe we should combine the two? For instance, teachers can say you must always keep the gunlock on, just like a condom should be kept on to promote safe sex. Don't pull the trigger unless you intend the bullet to reach its mark. And if you accidentally shoot someone, it's just like getting a girl pregnant. If the person dies from a gunshot wound, it's just like someone getting an abortion. It's stunning to see how far gun-rights activists will go to make sure everyone has their own weapon. You can't compare the continued expansion of the Second Amendment to the weakened state of sex education unless you equate the need for more and bigger guns to erectile dysfunction.

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Cloaked Hiring
Secrecy. The arguments are always the same: There are better and franker discussions behind closed doors, candidates don't want their employers to know they're looking for a new job, public revelations could be just embarrassing. Yes, on the embarrassing part. Just look at the recent school board dust-up in California, where the entire board resigned after realizing its Zoom meeting was public, and the parents they belittled were listening. A recent NPR story highlighted the intentional barriers to freedom of information. And now, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that legislators want the public out of final selection for university presidents. While there's no evidence that you get better candidates that way, there's plenty to show that public input is important. These are public institutions, not private businesses, and secrecy is antithetical to their mission.

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Down and Griddy
In this era of fake news and wishful thinking, it's good to know that mainstream news networks still bring us perspective and in-depth reporting. In the wake of the Texas' power grid overload, the Deseret News dug deeper into Gov. Greg Abbott's porous claims that green energy was to blame—and hooray for fossil fuels. Turns out that while Texas has a lot of wind energy, coal and gas are the big providers and just as vulnerable. Rocky Mountain Power noted that wind turbines in Wyoming come equipped with a cold-weather package that keeps them from freezing. RMP may have its problems, but it's stepping up its preventative maintenance program and has yet to charge ratepayers anywhere near the thousands that Texas' stand-alone system allows. Texas' scarcity pricing ensures reliability but has caused power bills to soar—into the thousands.

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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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