Alternate Realities Roundup 3/28 | Buzz Blog
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Alternate Realities Roundup 3/28



Conservationists and animal-rights activists team up to fight sweeping ag-gag law in Idaho.---

Top of the Alty World

“Conservationists join animal rights groups to challenge Idaho ag gag law”--High Country News

With the Obamacare enrollment deadline approaching the health plan is still fighting an uphill battle.--The Economist

Data brokers operate in an industry in the shadows, profitting off the sale of consumers' personal data.--CIO

Mother Jones runs down the top five issues in President Obama's NSA proposal.--Mother Jones

Top of Alty Utah

Healthcare advocates struggle to enroll Utah's “young immortals” before the Obamacare enrollment deadline.--Salt Lake City Weekly

A citizen-organized Clean Air Fair this weekend also doubles as a green solutions competition.--Salt Lake City Weekly

A study shows Utah would fare well during a zombie apocalypse.--Utah Politico Hub

A Republican Salt Lake County Council candidate is looking to scoop up Democratic votes.--Utah Policy

State attorneys filed a motion to correct 90 errors in their brief defending Utah's ban on same-sex marriages.--Q Salt Lake


In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Salt Lake City Weekly's “Best of Utah” edition, paper founder John Saltas talks about the lasting power of print and the limitations of (anti) social media.

“As you read, you learn more about your community and yourself than you could from even the most perfectly worded tweet. As you read, you don’t have to count up how many other people “like” what you like—you simply look around the room and see that life exists, it is not transmitted.

People are eating their food, not licking pictures. And that barroom chatter going on at the table next to you? It’s a real conversation, not a staged blast of noise for your latest Snapchat. I don’t suffer from social-media envy. I do use it, just not without boundaries. I tweet. I take pictures of food. I “like” comments. I used to post social and political commentary, but all that did was teach me how much I didn’t know about my good friends.

You can have a political discussion in a live social setting and walk away with a broader knowledge of that topic. Have the same discussion online and—God forbid—the very same friend will de-friend you on Facebook because they discovered you support the manatee. Social media is a really dumb name for something so the polar opposite of social.”--Salt Lake City Weekly

The Long View

Men's Journal looks at the fight to grant asylum to interpreters who have helped U.S. Forces abroad in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who are now viewed by their countrymen as traitors. In the case of Afghan interpreter Janis Shinwari, the exodus of U.S forces meant he and his family would becoem a target for Taliban retaliation.

“After five years of Taliban death threats, he'd been marked for death in a plot U.S. intelligence officers had intercepted. He stashed his wife and two kids with in-laws and went to live on-base while still working as an interpreter, but then word leaked that Allied forces were leaving, closing bases and laying off the many thousands who'd helped them – Afghan linguists and drivers and political fixers, all of whom had risked their lives for the vision marketed by U.S. leaders of a free and decent Afghanistan. Zeller knew what this augured for the collaborators left behind; he'd seen the severed limbs of captured allies left in burlap at the gate of his base, wrapped in warnings to repent before Allah.”--Men's Journal