It's one thing to realize that Utahns would rather kiss the butt of their gun than their spouse. It's another to imagine wildlife trophy heads replacing white Jesus paintings above the mantle. Yes, Utah is all about guns. While we're not yet yearning for The Purge, there's just something delightsome about decapitating wild animals. The Hill recently noted escalating frustration among big-game trophy hunters that their guy in the White House has informally put a hold on elephant hunting. Back in Utah, the argument from trophy hunters is about "managing" the wildlife population, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Sound familiar? You might remember the president blaming the nation's wildfire epidemic on a lack of tree management. In fact, "management" might be the new euphemism for "harvesting" or "thinning the herd." But it's really about trophies.
Nothing to See Here
Tired of hearing about the Inland Port? Just don't worry your little head about the wetlands, the pollution and the traffic. This will be the economic deliverance Utah has been waiting for—at least since we sent the outdoor retailers packing. But let's talk ethics—that moral principle that no longer applies to public officials. Consider Michael Jensen, the Salt Lake County councilman who faced allegations of nepotism and misuse of public funds when he was county fire chief. The Salt Lake Tribune said Jensen worked in a culture of "loyalty over ethics."Now there are calls for him to resign from the Utah Inland Port Authority. Jensen knows best, however. There's no need for the public to know what the Agency's doing, he 'splained to the Deseret News. It's just a bunch of guys getting together over a glass of milk. They just don't want you to know when they spill it.
Aren't we divided enough? Politicians have long sought to turn the Utah Board of Education into a partisan body. Frankly, no one is sure why. Already the state board has a number of kooky members, foremost among them is Lisa Cummins. But we'll venture to say most voters wouldn't be able to name even one of the 15 members. What do they do? They argue about the Common Core, musicals, God in schools and other weighty subjects. The Utah Supreme Court is now figuring out if partisan school-board elections are constitutional. The Sutherland Institute seems to think we should have a dual election path—just to further confuse things. The state board is already highly conservative and so you have to wonder why all the controversy. Or perhaps, as some lawmakers suggest, why don't we just get rid of it?