Red, White and Boo | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Red, White and Boo 

How our symbols are co-opted by others. Rep. Rob Bishop sticks his nose in overseas poaching. Plus, big electric brother invades our space again.

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Red, White and Boo
Are we being too P.C. or just now paying attention to how we're being co-opted? Let's talk flags—and maybe statues. Well, for sure Colin Kaepernick started a dust-up over some Nike shoes with an imprint of a Colonial flag. You know, it has racial implications. Meanwhile in Utah, Colonial Flag owner Paul Swenson is eating it up, and maybe profiting from it. Stick it to the "losers" is the message from the right. We've had the same reaction to pushback on Confederate statues and flags because symbolism is what it's all about. "A symbol derives meaning from its uses and the perceptions of those uses," writes American Civil War Museum historian John Coski. And we know who's using those symbols now. Sadly, our most visible symbol, the American flag, is being co-opted by right-wing extremists, too. Americans need to take it back before someone changes the image to a golf club and a tank.

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Concerned For a Change
It's nice to see U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop concerned about torture, killings and rape. Oh, if you're thinking this has something to do with the way we treat immigrants, no. This is about federal efforts to stop overseas poaching. Bishop is now demanding accountability from the World Wildlife Fund about how federal grant monies are being used, according to a Deseret News article. The sudden concern is due to a BuzzFeed News investigation that turned up civil rights abuses in Asia and Africa. The investigation claimed WWF inadvertently funded spy networks and bought assault rifles for guards in national parks. We all know assault rifles mean nothing good, except maybe not Bishop, who is a vocal supporter of the NRA. To WWF's credit, they hired an international law firm to investigate.

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Shock Me
Rocky Mountain Power gets what it wants because, you know, energy. We use a lot of it and we're going to need a lot more. So RMP has to push its way into unwitting neighborhoods to build bigger and stronger power lines and poles. West-siders, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report, aren't happy about the Beck Street Transmission Project. It means poles some 30 feet taller than those existing and a new 138-kilovolt line in the public right of way. Marathon Petroleum needs more oomph from its electrical service, so basically, it's saying, "Bite me." Resident pushback has helped some in the past. A substation on the eastside was rebuilt more efficiently in 2010, but South Jordan has had to file a complaint over potential new power lines there. Meanwhile, this might be a reason to vote for David Garbett for mayor. He's promising to push for the Marathon refinery to move out of the valley.

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