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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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(Above, vector control technician Bobby James pulls cupfuls of brackish water throughout duck hunting perserves to count mosquito larvae to determine whether to spray the area. West Nile Virus is still a threat in Utah. The end of August is the time when cases of West Nile Virus peak. Salt Lake county mosquito abatement workers are still spraying known mosquito breeding spots, especially around the state fairgrounds in preparation for the upcoming fair and west of the SLCInternational airport in preparation for the upcoming October duck hunt. (ALL PHOTOS WERE TAKEN WEST OF THE AIRPORT) Photo by Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune) 8/29/08 SLc
Western Editorial Sampler: All manner of debates ...

The candidates aren’t the only ones arguing these days:

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Man vs. mosquito: — DDT: Big gun against West Nile virus — Provo Daily Herald Editorial

Utah’s first West Nile virus-related death has now been confirmed in Box Elder County. There will be more. They are the unfortunate statistical casualties brought on by the national ban, since 1972, of the most inexpensive and effective mosquito-killer every devised — a chemical called DDT. ...

Comedy vs. politics: — O’Reilly, Stewart, and SNL ... — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

... The serious impact of the rise of cultural commentary and spoofs is that it cements an interpretation of the candidate within wide spreads of viewers’ minds. Palin is an idiot, for example; President Obama is comically disengaged; Mitt Romney is a plutocrat; Vice President Joe Biden is a gaffe-ridden pol. However, behind the satire lurks some truths. These spoofs are not media creations. They are exaggerated reactions to how candidates, and media celebrities, behave in the public eye. ...

— New Mexico vs. air pollution: — A step forward for Four Corners

A proposal by Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to resolve a lawsuit over cleaning up air quality around the Four Corners caused by the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station is a solid first step. ...

— Boy Scouts vs. their own past: — The shame of the Boy Scouts — Los Angeles Times Editorial

The ignominious history of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America — and the attempts over the years by the organization’s executives to cover it up — have been sadly detailed in court cases and, most recently, in an investigation by the Los Angeles Times. ...

Scouting defies its own values — San Francisco Chronicle Editorial

An organization that purports to help instill values of responsibility for well-being of country, community and self in young men has failed to demonstrate those values itself. ...

Meanwhile, examples of compromise, real and encouraged:

PXP deal shows that diverse interests can work together — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

... The Wyoming people spoke, and for once, at least, everyone listened and rallied behind a common goal. ...

Voters should support compromise in local legislative races — Bozeman Daily Chronicle Editorial

... Reflecting the mood in much of the nation, Montana’s elected leaders are more polarized than any time in memory.

It’s for that reason that voters should be looking for candidates with the demonstrated ability to compromise. ...

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