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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stuffed animals and flowers left in front of the Cox home in Puyallup, Washington, Monday, February 6, 2012.
Editorials: The bad father

Huge news. Not a lot of commentary so far. Just too hard to get your head around.

- Just evil: Blame for tragedy lies with father - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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Sunday morning, there were more than a few people who suspected that Josh Powell was a murderer. Sunday evening, there was no longer any doubt.

In between, Powell ushered his two young sons into his home in Graham, Wash., locked out the social worker who had brought them for what was supposed to be a supervised visit, and started a fire that rapidly consumed the house, himself and his two sons.

[Come to find out it was even worse than we thought.]

Family, friends and public servants will spend the rest of their lives agonizing over how it all could have happened. How a man who was being investigated in the 2009 disappearance of his wife, Susan, from the family’s West Valley City home, and who fought in every forum available to keep custody of the couple’s two young sons despite that indelible suspicion, could have been placed in a position where he could have committed such a heinous act.

Hindsight will be brutally clear. Foresight will be a little more difficult. And putting the ultimate blame on anyone other than Josh Powell will be unfair. ...

- Sorrow for the Powell boys, and none for their murderous father - Peg McEntee, The Salt Lake Tribune

... What we do know is that two beautiful boys, who were living happily with their grandparents, are dead at the hands of the man who helped create their lives. ...

- Josh Powell's pretense of innocence ends in atrocity - Tacoma News Tribune Editorial

"There but for the grace of God," is a conventional and charitable attitude toward people who get in trouble with the law. The idea is that good guys and bad guys share a common humanity that the good guys do well to acknowledge.

It doesn’t work, though, in the case of Josh Powell. Some people really don’t have a human conscience. ...

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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