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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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Western Punditsphere: The wild, or not so, west ...

As is often the case, definitions matter.

These days, for example, does the Wild, Wild West mean the land the way white folks found it hundreds of years ago? Or does it mean allowing people to do what they want, where they want, when they want? ...

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State trapped on faux roads and hoax highways — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"The devotion of the state of Utah and some of its local governments to the cause of having every cowpath, creek bottom and wheel rut in the state declared a public highway is not only an embarrassment but an expense that the taxpayers of this state should no longer be burdened with.

"... efforts by state and local officials to claim so many such rights of way, mostly for the purpose of making it easier for those public lands to be developed, despoiled and robbed of their worthiness for wilderness designation.

"If our elected officials stick with this delusional campaign, it threatens to make their other losing legal pursuits — e.g., their defense of the state’s Amendment 3, banning same-sex marriage in Utah — look small and cheap in comparison.

"But, because such anti-federal windmill-tilting goes over so well with the Republican base, there seems to be no end to this muddy road."

A Utah population bomb — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

" ... Although this suggestion is likely to inspire passionate debate for and against, one very important step that needs to be taken is to make sure we have enough highway and freeway lanes to meet our state’s transportation needs over the next couple of generations. If we don’t have enough lanes to move 5 million-plus of us through the state, it will significantly harm the standard of living and business growth in the state. ..."

Prepare Today for Twice as Many People — LaVarr Webb | Utah Policy

"Research conducted by Utah Foundation indicates that Utah’s population may nearly double by 2050. That seems like a long ways away, but it’s really not. I won’t be around, but my newly-born granddaughter will only be 36 in 2050. She’ll probably have a young family by then.

"So how do we preserve Utah’s enviable quality of life for her and the other 5 million Utahns in 2050? The decisions and investments we make today will determine what sort of state our children and grandchildren will inherit. ..."

The myth of the wild — Jonah Goldberg | The Los Angeles Times

The notion that America was ‘wild’ when Europeans found it is more than a little racist; it assumes Indians didn’t act like humans everywhere else.

The truth about Cliven Bundy’s standoff with the feds — Thomas Magstadt | For The Denver Post

"... There’s no doubt that Bundy’s standoff with the federal government plays well in many parts of the country. It has all the things Americans love — cowboys, horses, guns, cattle — and at least two things Americans love to hate — taxes and intrusive government.

"On the other hand, public lands belong to all of us. We’re all taxpayers and polls consistently show that a lot of us are less than thrilled with a) how much we pay into the system; and b) what we actually get for our money. It’s not so much that we mind paying taxes, it’s rather that we’d like it better if everybody paid their fair share — including the Koch brothers and cowboys like Cliven Bundy. ..."

Dismiss Cliven Bundy for what he is — a guy trying to dodge a bill — Casper Star-Tribune Edirorial

Phoenix will always have trouble with air quality — E.J. Montini | The Arizona Republic (Video)

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