Sex Ed Be Damned
Not to belabor the point, but—sex. More specifically, sex education. Buried deep in the Deseret News story on sex offenders being released from prison is the reason they are there in the first place: "What we found is that our offenders lack some of just the basic concepts in sex education and human sexuality and personal boundaries," the Utah Department of Corrections' Victor Kersey said. We know you probably think he's talking about illegal aliens or poor people from another planet, but he's really talking about you and your neighbors. Utah needs to get over its misguided and puritanical belief that sex education is teaching kids to do it like rabbits. Something's not working. Rape was up 11.36 percent last year, and the 15-to-19 age group accounted for the most arrests for rape from 2013 to 2017.Think about it, and call for comprehensive sex ed in Utah.
This Land is Whose?
A land grab by any other name is simply a land grab—unless you call it the Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018. That sounds benign enough until you look at the purpose: "To establish the San Rafael Swell Western Heritage and Historic Mining National Conservation Area in the State of Utah, to designate wilderness areas in the State, to provide for certain land conveyances, and for other purposes." Yes, mining and conveyances. Neither the Grand Canyon Trust nor the Ute Indian Tribe think this is a good idea. Rep. John Curtis and soon-to-be-retired Sen. Orrin Hatch cooked up the scheme, though the Utes think it's another of Rep. Rob Bishop's "deceitful tactics." Support for Utah public lands appears to be growing. Some 20 elected officials have signed amicus briefs to oppose the shrinking of national monuments. In the people vs. the extractive industries, the people's voices are getting louder.
If you're a Democrat, you probably don't care, but the Republicans are simply having a come-apart—still. It's all about SB54, the law that allows candidates to gain ballot access by gathering signatures, potentially avoiding Utah's incestuous convention-caucus system. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that "right-wing groups" want the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case. First, not all the signers were right-wingers. The Green Party of Utah also wants SB54 gone, and is siding with the Eagle Forum, among others. The question is two-fold: Should political parties be able to decide how their candidates are picked and/or should states be able to make that decision? If it's overturned, candidates will once again be at the mercy of party extremists. Maybe that's what Utah wants.