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Wear a Mask, The Election Was Not Stolen

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Read a Book
Let's talk about the people in charge and how they make up the rules as they go along. First up: schools banning books. It doesn't take much these days to activate parents—or anyone—once they see something posted on social media. Take the Canyons School District, for instance. The district pulled nine books from high schools because, you know, "porn." Well, it was because one woman saw videos on social media showing something sexually explicit. She didn't have high schoolers, but she was "exhausted" watching the videos (rather than reading the books), a KSL story said. The district tried to defend not following its own policy to review the books first before removing them. The issue blew up as Parents United called it sex in schools, but the district has since returned the books, maybe because "a lot of these books were about marginalized and oppressed identities, and it's important that students with these identities have access to books that relate to them and put them in a positive light," the ACLU told the BYU Daily Universe. The lesson? Read the books.

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Wear a Mask
Next up: masks, the role of government and death panels. All of this is up for debate while people continue to get sick and die because they have the freedom to do that. The Nebraska attorney general is suing a county health director after she issued a mask mandate for Omaha. And Utah Jazz great and anti-vaccine advocate John Stockton lost his Gonzaga season tickets for refusing to mask up. Despite fact checks that refute his claims, "Dr." Stockton claims he has done "significant research" on pro athletes who died from the vaccine. In Utah, the Legislature is working overtime to clear the way for COVID. Robert Gehrke of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote about how House leaders—all male—tried to bully two Salt Lake County Council members—both women—into voting against their duly-enacted county mandate. When they wouldn't budge, the Legislature changed its own local-control rules to overrule county mask orders. Republicans love to talk about how you can't mandate caring, but you can apparently mandate a lot of disdain.

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The Election Was Not Stolen
Even if you weren't thrilled to hear Gov. Spencer Cox bearing his testimony during his State of the State address, you might have been surprised at his defense of voting rights. He smiled, he gestured and, yes, he even teared up during the speech, in which he called on Utahns to "unite" and be nice. But Cox also accused outlier Republicans of spreading "unsubstantiated claims and flat-out lies" based on the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen. Sure, he was pretty milquetoast overall—and particularly about masking and testing requirements—but when it came to voting, he was the man. Of course, he also used to be the lieutenant governor who ran Utah's vote-by-mail elections.

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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.

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