Despite a judge's ruling that the NSA's metadata collection is likely unconstitutional, Obama looks to spare the program.---
Top of the Alty World
“As Judge Rules NSA Surveillance "Almost Orwellian," Obama Prepares to Leave Spying Program Intact”--Democracy Now!
What President Obama has said about addressing climate change differs drastically from what's he's done on the issue.--Rolling Stone
Just in time for the holidays, 1.3 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits at the end of this month.--Mother Jones
Between 150 and 200 species are going extinct daily, an accelerated rate 1,000 times greater than the established “natural” rate.--Salon
Top of Alty Utah
Utah's largest teachers union, the UEA, has fired its government-relations director.--Utah Political Capitol
Publius Online looks at Utah GOP Treasurer candidate Rick Votaw.--Publius Online
Clean-air advocates blast a Department of Environmental Quality attorney for receiving an award defending oil refineries and a power plant.--Salt Lake City Weekly
The director of the Utah Center for Eating Disorders explains that more people have eating disorders than you might think.--Salt Lake City Weekly
Bill Moyers reflects on the history of the National Rifle Association.
“Started after the Civil War by two former officers of the Union army who were disconsolate that their troops had shown such poor marksmanship in battle, its purpose was to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” Now, its conscience as cold and dead as Charlton Heston’s grip on his gun, the NRA has become the armed bully of American politics, the enabler of the “gunfighter nation,” as cultural historian Richard Slotkin calls it, whose exceptionalism of which so many patriots fervently boast includes a high tolerance for the slaughter of the innocent.”--Truth-Out
The Long View
David Fetzer was beloved luminary in the local Utah arts scene. His mother, Betsy Ross, writes of his tragic passing after having accidentally overdosed on prescription painkillers.
“As I write this, I’m looking at a photo of David standing next to a man in a chicken costume at what might be a state fair. David looks straight into the camera with a serious face, as though all is normal, as though he is not being photographed with, well, a fowl. I laugh, because it is so David: so unpretentiously, quietly funny; someone who lifted others all the time because of, at least in part, his willingness to make himself silly. At the time of David’s death, Jerry Rapier, directing producer of Salt Lake City’s Plan-B Theatre Company, with whom David had worked, described him as being “the light of the room, every room he entered, every time he entered it.” The laughter, when it comes, however, is always in short spurts, and is often followed by anger and varying degrees of despair. David did not want to die. David should not have died.”--Salt Lake City Weekly