Alternate Realities Roundup 1/24 | Buzz Blog
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Alternate Realities Roundup 1/24



A ceasefire in Sudan has ended violence that has killed thousands, but can the country stay strong against a collision of economic developers, missionaries and other groups seeking to control the destiny of this impoverished African nation?---

Top of the Alty World

“South Sudan Reaches Ceasefire, But Will Nascent State Survive Oil-Fueled Neo-Colonialism?”--Democracy Now!

Los Angeles becomes an unlikely model in the west for urban sustainability.--High Country News

“If I didn't sell drug, I'd be dead”; a profile of Americans left in the lurch since losing unemployment benefits last month.--Mother Jones

President Barack Obama may find himself allying with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in trying to fast track the controversial “NAFTA on steroids” Trans-Pacific Partnership.--The Nation

Top of Alty Utah

A proposed bill would make it so Utahns carrying holstered weapons in public could not be charged with disorderly conduct.--Utah Political Capitol

The Salt Lake City Police Department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive on-body cameras without the expense being reviewed by the city council.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Lake City Weekly fact checks claims made in an LDS Church produced video about why the Legislature shouldn't normalize the state's liquor laws.--Salt Lake City Weekly

The Salt Lake District Attorney was denied a request for a grand jury in the case of police shooting and killing the unarmed, 21-year-old Danielle Willard.--Salt Lake City Weekly


Truth-Out considers the United States Democracy deficit brought on by the 2010 Citizen United case that allowed for unprecendent levels of corporate money to be dumped into elections.

“The Citizens United ruling gutted the ability of Congress and the states to put common-sense limits on this runaway spending, and the effects haven’t been subtle. In the wake of these campaign finance changes, outside political spending by Super PACs and other channels has reached an all-time high of $1 billion, the Associated Press found. And now, a case currently being considered by the Supreme Court, McCutcheon v. FEC, could could allow even more money to flood our political system. This isn’t the kind of “democracy” Americans of any political background want. A recent poll shows that more than nine in ten Americans think it’s important for elected officials to reduce the influence of money in our elections.”--Truth Out

The Long View

Salt Lake City Weekly previews the 2014 Legislature by asking readers to submit their ideas for laws they could pass if they had power and how it would work out. Here's an example.

“It would be legal to issue civilian citations for stupidity.” —submitted on Facebook

How It Would Work

This would be a game changer—especially if funds from stupidity citations were directed to the state general education fund. The “Fool Fine” would make Utah’s bottom-of-the-barrel per-pupil spending status skyrocket for at least a generation—till the better-educated generation comes of age and revenues from the Fool Fine decline. On the downside, civilian-issued stupidity citations would give rise to a whole new court system and class of attorneys hired to prove what is or isn’t legitimately stupid. Court battles could be highly contentious, especially in settling drunken arguments like determining who would win a fight between a pirate and a ninja.--Salt Lake City Weekly