Master of the Obvious | News | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Master of the Obvious



Master of the Obvious

President George W. Bush has come up with a new plan to reduce the number of forest fires—cut down the trees before they burn. Conservatives and timber industry officials are hailing the Bush proposal as a breakthrough on forestry management and have dubbed the president as the “master of the obvious.”

The president made the comments after Air Force One flew low over the 420,000-acre Biscuit fire in Southeastern Oregon, according to the Associated Press. He challenged environmentalists to for once shut up and listen to reason. “When you let kindling build up and there’s a lightening strike, you’re gonna get yourself a big fire.” (Yep, he really said that.)

Some environmentalists have wondered aloud how clear-cutting thousands of acres with large bulldozers would increase the health of forests. But administration officials say they don’t understand the situation.

• Following his new logging proposal, Bush was met by 1,000 or more angry protestors in Portland, upset with his relaxation of environmental standards, his proposal to go to war with Iraq, and what protestors said was rampant government corruption. Administration officials were caught by surprise and wondered, why such a hubbub?

• Closer to home, the Utah Legislature may go into special session to revamp the state’s death penalty law. Utah, apparently, is one of many states that has been caught flat-footed by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that executing the mentally retarded falls outside constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

Because Utah law does not define mental retardation, it is feared that anyone charged with murder could claim retardation as a defense, said House Speaker Marty Stephens. By making a law that defines mental retardation narrowly, Utah could get to execute more people, whether they’re retarded or not.

• Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s pledge to root out polygamy because “it is against the law” has folks in Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz. on edge. Officials from the twin polygamous border towns say the A.G. is targeting them, although unlike convicted polygamist Tom Green, they have not gone on TV to brag about their lifestyle.

“People tend to lump the Tom Greens with the people in Colorado City, and nothing could be further from the truth,” attorney Max Wheeler told the Deseret News.

Of course, Tom Green is completely different from those other polygamists. The others don’t hawk magazine subscriptions.

• Here’s something from SmartBomb’s “Celeb”-file: Pop icon Britney Spears says the best thing that’s ever happened to her family is the recent divorce of her parents. “My mom and dad, bottom line, do not get along,” reports the AP. Nonetheless, Britney says she is still distraught over her own breakup with ’N Sync’s Justin Timberlake. “He was my first real love, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to love anyone like that ever again.”

Hit me, baby, one more time.

• Speaking of blonde bombshells, here’s something that didn’t make Bill Frost’s Tube Town column: The Parents Television Council has released its “10 Worst” shows in prime time and taking the No. 1 slot is none other than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You go, girl.

Buffy was given the top slot for the show’s graphic violence, sex and an element of the occult. Things, of course, that would never occur in Hilldale or Colorado City.