Opinion - Commentary - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/Opinion Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) Arne Duncan: A test for the tests http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58539060-82/students-schools-states-tests.html.csp As a parent, I want to know how my children are progressing in school each year. The more I know, the more I can help them build upon their strengths and interests and work on their weaknesses. The more I know, the better I can reinforce at home each night the hard work of their teachers during the school day. The standardized tests my kids take are one gauge on the dashboard, but parents and educators know that tests are not the only indicator. Last week, state education chiefs and district sup... As a parent, I want to know how my children are progressing in school each year. The more I know, the more I can help them build upon their strengths and interests and work on their weaknesses. The more I know, the better I can reinforce at home each night the hard work of their teachers during the school day. The standardized tests my kids take are one gauge on the dashboard, but parents and educators know that tests are not the only indicator. Last week, state education chiefs and district sup... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 58539060@www.sltrib.com Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:13:01 MDT Dionne: The blue-collar imperative for Democrats http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58539049-82/democrats-clinton-working-class.html.csp WASHINGTON -- In Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn is giving Republicans a real scare in a Senate race the GOP thought it had put away. Some of her new momentum comes from a sustained attack on David Perdue, her businessman foe, for his work shipping American jobs overseas. One ad includes a quotation from Perdue about his outsourcing past: “Defend it? I’m proud of it.” The tagline: “David Perdue, he’s not for you.” Meanwhile in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, trailing in the polls against Sena... WASHINGTON -- In Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn is giving Republicans a real scare in a Senate race the GOP thought it had put away. Some of her new momentum comes from a sustained attack on David Perdue, her businessman foe, for his work shipping American jobs overseas. One ad includes a quotation from Perdue about his outsourcing past: “Defend it? I’m proud of it.” The tagline: “David Perdue, he’s not for you.” Meanwhile in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, trailing in the polls against Sena... 58539049@www.sltrib.com Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:06:01 MDT Will: The fictitious ‘war on women’ http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58537388-82/gardner-udall-women-state.html.csp DENVER — One of the wonders of this political moment is feminist contentment about the infantilization of women in the name of progressive politics. Government, encouraging academic administrations to micromanage campus sexual interactions, now assumes that, absent a script, women cannot cope. And the Democrats’ trope about the Republicans’ “war on women” clearly assumes that women are civic illiterates. Access to contraception has been a constitutional right for 49 years (Griswold v. Connecticu... DENVER — One of the wonders of this political moment is feminist contentment about the infantilization of women in the name of progressive politics. Government, encouraging academic administrations to micromanage campus sexual interactions, now assumes that, absent a script, women cannot cope. And the Democrats’ trope about the Republicans’ “war on women” clearly assumes that women are civic illiterates. Access to contraception has been a constitutional right for 49 years (Griswold v. Connecticu... 58537388@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:39:01 MDT Cepeda: Exposing our darkest thoughts http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58537381-82/darkness-ebola-heart-african.html.csp CHICAGO — Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “heart of darkness” about a hundred times lately. It has been used to reference the African continent, the Ebola outbreak, the newly discovered origination point of the HIV virus, as well as beheadings by the Islamic State and Syria’s terrorist tactics, among other calamities. Often it’s an entertainment-related reference to the film “Apocalypse Now” by Francis Ford Coppola. This past week I heard one of the producers of the zombie drama “The ... CHICAGO — Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “heart of darkness” about a hundred times lately. It has been used to reference the African continent, the Ebola outbreak, the newly discovered origination point of the HIV virus, as well as beheadings by the Islamic State and Syria’s terrorist tactics, among other calamities. Often it’s an entertainment-related reference to the film “Apocalypse Now” by Francis Ford Coppola. This past week I heard one of the producers of the zombie drama “The ... 58537381@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:35:01 MDT Milbank: Making Ebola a partisan issue http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58537360-82/ebola-nih-collins-research.html.csp WASHINGTON — Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, administered a dose of truth to political Washington last week. For this honest service, Collins was pilloried. In an interview, Collins shared with the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein his belief that, if not for recent federal spending cuts, “we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this” Ebola outbreak. This should not be controversial. His conjecture was based on cold budgeting facts. NIH funding between fiscal y... WASHINGTON — Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, administered a dose of truth to political Washington last week. For this honest service, Collins was pilloried. In an interview, Collins shared with the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein his belief that, if not for recent federal spending cuts, “we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this” Ebola outbreak. This should not be controversial. His conjecture was based on cold budgeting facts. NIH funding between fiscal y... 58537360@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:28:01 MDT Washington Post: Wiping away the Soviet past http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58532815-82/memorial-soviet-letters-russian.html.csp The old trunk weighed more than 81 pounds. It was crammed with handwritten letters sent between 1946 and 1954 that were held together with string and rubber bands. The letters revealed the love story of Lev and Svetlana Mishchenko, a couple separated by Lev’s imprisonment in the Soviet gulag after World War II. What made the letters extraordinary is that they were uncensored, smuggled back and forth from the Pechora prison camp in the far north. The letters became the basis for Orlando Figes’ mo... The old trunk weighed more than 81 pounds. It was crammed with handwritten letters sent between 1946 and 1954 that were held together with string and rubber bands. The letters revealed the love story of Lev and Svetlana Mishchenko, a couple separated by Lev’s imprisonment in the Soviet gulag after World War II. What made the letters extraordinary is that they were uncensored, smuggled back and forth from the Pechora prison camp in the far north. The letters became the basis for Orlando Figes’ mo... 58532815@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:01:03 MDT Washington Post: Fault-finding on Ebola http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58532818-82/ebola-government-health-budget.html.csp The Ebola virus reached this country at the height of the 2014 campaign, so perhaps it was inevitable that the political parties would try to exploit it. To Republicans, the situation proves once again that President Obama has failed to protect Americans. In one of the milder versions of this allegation, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal published an op-ed faulting Mr. Obama for spending Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources on grants for exercise and healthy diets rather than fighting ... The Ebola virus reached this country at the height of the 2014 campaign, so perhaps it was inevitable that the political parties would try to exploit it. To Republicans, the situation proves once again that President Obama has failed to protect Americans. In one of the milder versions of this allegation, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal published an op-ed faulting Mr. Obama for spending Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources on grants for exercise and healthy diets rather than fighting ... 58532818@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:01:03 MDT Bloomberg Op-ed: Renewables will go nowhere without better batteries http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58533033-82/solar-government-storage-energy.html.csp One of the truisms of the 1970s was that solar power was a pipe dream. The price was too high — not just a little too high, but absurdly high. When Ronald Reagan came into office and ripped out the solar panels that Jimmy Carter had put on the White House, conservatives saw it as a triumph of economic rationality over wooly-headed fantasies. But like so many other things we learned in the ’70s, this fact is rapidly becoming a non-fact. The cost of solar power has fallen off a cliff — it is now l... One of the truisms of the 1970s was that solar power was a pipe dream. The price was too high — not just a little too high, but absurdly high. When Ronald Reagan came into office and ripped out the solar panels that Jimmy Carter had put on the White House, conservatives saw it as a triumph of economic rationality over wooly-headed fantasies. But like so many other things we learned in the ’70s, this fact is rapidly becoming a non-fact. The cost of solar power has fallen off a cliff — it is now l... 58533033@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:01:03 MDT Bloomberg View: As oil prices fall, gas tax should go up http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58532734-82/tax-gas-oil-congress.html.csp Whenever the price of oil spikes, it’s a sure bet that some U.S. politicians will propose another gas tax holiday. So now that oil has fallen below $85 a barrel, and with America’s highways and mass-transit systems starved for funding, is anyone in Washington sensibly calling for a gas tax increase? Of course not. Raising the gas tax is bad politics — and will remain so even after the November elections. But the economic case for a gas tax hike is compelling, and Congress should be paying attent... Whenever the price of oil spikes, it’s a sure bet that some U.S. politicians will propose another gas tax holiday. So now that oil has fallen below $85 a barrel, and with America’s highways and mass-transit systems starved for funding, is anyone in Washington sensibly calling for a gas tax increase? Of course not. Raising the gas tax is bad politics — and will remain so even after the November elections. But the economic case for a gas tax hike is compelling, and Congress should be paying attent... 58532734@www.sltrib.com Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:01:02 MDT Op-ed: Don’t hurt real cab companies in favor of ‘app cabs’ http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58530325-82/cab-app-cabs-companies.html.csp When I was mayor of Salt Lake City, most members of the City Council were sold on UTOPIA. It was “innovative.” We would be “pioneers.” It would be a “boon” to our “modern” city. I blocked our city’s participation in UTOPIA. I took a lot of heat, but I considered, with the help of independent experts, the applicable public-interest principles. My conclusion: UTOPIA violated those principles. Now, cities that adopted UTOPIA are facing horrendous costs to homeowners because the projections of UTOPI... When I was mayor of Salt Lake City, most members of the City Council were sold on UTOPIA. It was “innovative.” We would be “pioneers.” It would be a “boon” to our “modern” city. I blocked our city’s participation in UTOPIA. I took a lot of heat, but I considered, with the help of independent experts, the applicable public-interest principles. My conclusion: UTOPIA violated those principles. Now, cities that adopted UTOPIA are facing horrendous costs to homeowners because the projections of UTOPI... 58530325@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Op-ed: UTA’s use of reserves reflects sound planning http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58530327-82/uta-reserves-budget-million.html.csp I would like to clarify some information regarding UTA’s proposed 2015 budget as described in the Salt Lake Tribune article, “UTA budget would dig $44.5 million into reserves.” While we commend the article for reporting on UTA’s customer focus initiatives such as adding service miles and hours, restoring holiday service on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day and improving the WiFi experience on FrontRunner, it leaves the false impression the agency poorly plans its financial affairs. Th... I would like to clarify some information regarding UTA’s proposed 2015 budget as described in the Salt Lake Tribune article, “UTA budget would dig $44.5 million into reserves.” While we commend the article for reporting on UTA’s customer focus initiatives such as adding service miles and hours, restoring holiday service on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day and improving the WiFi experience on FrontRunner, it leaves the false impression the agency poorly plans its financial affairs. Th... 58530327@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Op-ed: Hatch deserves praise for long history of helping children http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58530363-82/hatch-care-sen-utah.html.csp With all the big-money lobbyists in Washington, it’s sometimes hard to find a public servant who’s looking out for the little guy. But Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch is looking out for the littlest of us all: children. That’s why the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children was so proud this year to recognize Sen. Hatch as a Defender of Children – an award Voices for Utah Children heartily seconds. Sen. Hatch’s recent leadership included critical issues for kids. H... With all the big-money lobbyists in Washington, it’s sometimes hard to find a public servant who’s looking out for the little guy. But Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch is looking out for the littlest of us all: children. That’s why the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children was so proud this year to recognize Sen. Hatch as a Defender of Children – an award Voices for Utah Children heartily seconds. Sen. Hatch’s recent leadership included critical issues for kids. H... 58530363@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Op-ed: It’s time to get Utah out of the marriage business http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58530364-82/marriage-utah-full-rights.html.csp With the Oct. 6 decision/non-decision by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ verdict on same-sex marriage to stand, Utah supporters of the ruling are excitedly looking to the legal future of gay rights. The Utah Legislature will have its hands full this next session with a host of related bills. Through attorneys Paul Burke, Brett Tolman and John Mackay, Utah’s gay community has put the Legislature on legal notice that it better behave itself.  But has the fat lady... With the Oct. 6 decision/non-decision by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ verdict on same-sex marriage to stand, Utah supporters of the ruling are excitedly looking to the legal future of gay rights. The Utah Legislature will have its hands full this next session with a host of related bills. Through attorneys Paul Burke, Brett Tolman and John Mackay, Utah’s gay community has put the Legislature on legal notice that it better behave itself.  But has the fat lady... 58530364@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Op-ed: ‘One Wasatch’ would show that Europe got it right http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58530387-82/ski-resorts-became-french.html.csp Almost 30 years ago, when I decided to make Utah my home, I was struck by certain similarities between the Wasatch mountains and “Portes du Soleil,” a major ski interconnect weaved around Morzine, the French ski town where I grew up in the Alps. Even though it boasts more than 200 ski lifts, like Courchevel and the Three Valleys, this huge area was never planned to be interconnected. It just developed on an idea from Jean Vuarnet, the hometown Olympic Champion, who back in the ’60s thought it wo... Almost 30 years ago, when I decided to make Utah my home, I was struck by certain similarities between the Wasatch mountains and “Portes du Soleil,” a major ski interconnect weaved around Morzine, the French ski town where I grew up in the Alps. Even though it boasts more than 200 ski lifts, like Courchevel and the Three Valleys, this huge area was never planned to be interconnected. It just developed on an idea from Jean Vuarnet, the hometown Olympic Champion, who back in the ’60s thought it wo... 58530387@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Op-ed: These 3 questions for doctors will lead to smarter patients http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58532611-82/health-care-literacy-patients.html.csp If you’ve ever felt lost in a conversation with a doctor during an office visit, struggled to understand medication labels on a prescription or felt overwhelmed as a health care provider explained the intricacies of a medical procedure, you’re not alone. In fact, nine out of 10 adults in the U.S. have difficulty understanding basic health information, a problem in health circles known as “low health literacy.” Health information comes in many forms, including medication labels, physician visits,... If you’ve ever felt lost in a conversation with a doctor during an office visit, struggled to understand medication labels on a prescription or felt overwhelmed as a health care provider explained the intricacies of a medical procedure, you’re not alone. In fact, nine out of 10 adults in the U.S. have difficulty understanding basic health information, a problem in health circles known as “low health literacy.” Health information comes in many forms, including medication labels, physician visits,... 58532611@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Op-ed: The best school-reform ideas come from educators http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58533065-82/teachers-utah-educators-students.html.csp If you wanted a reliable medical opinion, you would ask a doctor, not a politician or pundit. If your car needed a tune up, you’d go to a garage, not a grocery store. And if you were looking for strategies to improve your community, you would start at home! That’s why we believe the best ideas for transforming Utah’s public schools come from educators right here in Utah, not politicians or self-appointed experts who have little or no experience in classrooms. In our combined 70 years working in... If you wanted a reliable medical opinion, you would ask a doctor, not a politician or pundit. If your car needed a tune up, you’d go to a garage, not a grocery store. And if you were looking for strategies to improve your community, you would start at home! That’s why we believe the best ideas for transforming Utah’s public schools come from educators right here in Utah, not politicians or self-appointed experts who have little or no experience in classrooms. In our combined 70 years working in... 58533065@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:03 MDT Pyle: Even for a bleeding heart, it’s all about me http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58529215-82/com-http-www-2014.html.csp Before delving into lies other people tell, I should fess up to one of my own. It’s not an overtly told falsehood so much as a widely held impression that I have never bothered to correct. Until now. Grizzled old liberals like myself are generally presumed to be kind and caring human beings. Our hearts bleed for the poor, the dispossessed, the minorities. For the children. And it all flows from an enhanced dose of love for one’s neighbor. Bull. I’ve been at what the wonderful William Safire cal... Before delving into lies other people tell, I should fess up to one of my own. It’s not an overtly told falsehood so much as a widely held impression that I have never bothered to correct. Until now. Grizzled old liberals like myself are generally presumed to be kind and caring human beings. Our hearts bleed for the poor, the dispossessed, the minorities. For the children. And it all flows from an enhanced dose of love for one’s neighbor. Bull. I’ve been at what the wonderful William Safire cal... 58529215@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:02 MDT The Commentariat: A sampling of reader comments posted on sltrib.com http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58530217-82/com-sltrib-comments-commenting.html.csp “I was hoping for Rob Zombie. Disappointed yet again.” — Nephi_Allred commenting on the Oct. sltrib.com article, “Mormon Tabernacle Choir reveals its Christmas guests” “If only the editorial writer practiced brevity. One sentence suffices.‘Utah’s concealed-carry law is seriously flawed.’” — UtahDave commenting on the Oct. 16 Tribune editorial, “Utah’s laws place gun rights over free speech” “One of the giants of our profession is Richard Aregood, who used to write Pulitzer-winnin... “I was hoping for Rob Zombie. Disappointed yet again.” — Nephi_Allred commenting on the Oct. sltrib.com article, “Mormon Tabernacle Choir reveals its Christmas guests” “If only the editorial writer practiced brevity. One sentence suffices.‘Utah’s concealed-carry law is seriously flawed.’” — UtahDave commenting on the Oct. 16 Tribune editorial, “Utah’s laws place gun rights over free speech” “One of the giants of our profession is Richard Aregood, who used to write Pulitzer-winnin... 58530217@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:39:02 MDT Rolly: Education standards and gay marriage: A right-wing heyday http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58524636-82/common-core-eagar-fundraising.html.csp The two elections of President Barack Obama have spurred a virtual cottage industry of conspiracy theorists and fearmongers who have created their own foundations, PACs, think tanks and other clever tools to wrest donations from real patriots who see doomsday coming soon. Can you say “death panels?” What about “Kenyan” or “Socialist” or “Muslim” or “America hater?” Fueled by hate-talk right- wing radio, real Americans are so worried about that man in the White House, they’re opening their wallet... The two elections of President Barack Obama have spurred a virtual cottage industry of conspiracy theorists and fearmongers who have created their own foundations, PACs, think tanks and other clever tools to wrest donations from real patriots who see doomsday coming soon. Can you say “death panels?” What about “Kenyan” or “Socialist” or “Muslim” or “America hater?” Fueled by hate-talk right- wing radio, real Americans are so worried about that man in the White House, they’re opening their wallet... 58524636@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:30:01 MDT Washington Post: Yemen unravels http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/58532921-82/yemen-houthis-obama-forces.html.csp President Obama cited Yemen as a model for U.S. operations against the Islamic State last month, not long after he told an interviewer that the intervention in Libya was his greatest foreign policy regret. In fact, the two countries offer similar lessons in the deficiencies of Mr. Obama’s strategy. By backing local forces with airpower in Libya, the United States and its allies were able to overthrow a murderous regime — but, as Mr. Obama acknowledged, the failure to assist with building a state... President Obama cited Yemen as a model for U.S. operations against the Islamic State last month, not long after he told an interviewer that the intervention in Libya was his greatest foreign policy regret. In fact, the two countries offer similar lessons in the deficiencies of Mr. Obama’s strategy. By backing local forces with airpower in Libya, the United States and its allies were able to overthrow a murderous regime — but, as Mr. Obama acknowledged, the failure to assist with building a state... 58532921@www.sltrib.com Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:38:01 MDT