Skilled Deflection | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Skilled Deflection 

Deflection abounds nationally, but also locally; how the Native Americans got it right and how Utah sure loves its dissidents.

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Skilled Deflection
The buzz about Donald Trump's strategy is his skill at deflection. But we should talk about the Utah Transit Authority, or even The Salt Lake Tribune. A recent front-page story detailed how Babs De Lay—how dare she—complained about noise from TRAX screeching around a corner near her home. Yeah, she'd complained for a long time. Then she was made a board member of the esteemed and embattled UTA, and voila, they started oiling the tracks and slowing down. You know, someone leaked this information to the Trib, which dutifully followed the document trail. OK, run the story, but this is not front-page news. And how great is it that UTA is addressing a problem? Remember disgraced board member Terry Diehl, who was indicted for hiding up to $1 million from the IRS? And, hey, at least KSL Channel 5 saw fit to hail Frontrunner as it moves to better service and electrification.

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Bears Ears Bull's-Eye
The Native Americans got it right, in essence asking that everyone think before they act. Utah's Diné Bikéyah leaders are asking a United Nations body to stop the expedited management process for the cute little puzzle pieces that once were Bears Ears National Monument, according to a Deseret News report. Why? Because there is no plan. They want to protect "cultural, social, sacred and environmental resources" as the flurry of news has increased interest in the area and consequently, looting. A Salt Lake Tribune commentary by geologist Brian Jones points out that Bear Ears now has a bull's-eye on it, and people don't realize that the feds, by law, can actually protect the area. "The people are here and there's no plan," he says. That's because it's all about politics, not protection.

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Dissident Love
Why do Utahns love our dissidents? Not the Hare Krishna types, but the gun-toting zealots who flip off the federal government and stand firm in their right to run over anything in their way. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that militia leader and Utahn William Keebler tried to detonate an explosive at the BLM's Mount Trumbull complex near the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. We know about the militia. They're the ones the Second Amendment allows to go off half-cocked. They're the ones who rode their ATVs defiantly through Recapture Canyon and took hostage the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge because it's their right. And they're the ones who nominated Phil Lyman of Recapture fame to be a GOP cadidate for state representative. It's enough to give you whiplash if you believe in the rule of law, but then love to hate it.

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