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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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What the pundits say: There oughta be a law ...

[Above: Vox.com updates Schoolhouse Rock.]

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Like the congressman in the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoon, "I’m Just a Bill," editorial writers and their friends today are saying, about many things, "You’re right. There oughta be a law."

Time to crack down on fraudulent ‘BizOps’ — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

"It would be proper karma indeed for an ‘industry’ that has done so much to undermine Utahns’ faith in their attorney general’s office — and, in the process, in their government as a whole — if the Legislature were to crack down on those businesses’ most disgraceful practices.

"But revenge is not the reason why state Sen. Curt Bramble is right to start the process of writing new laws that would make it easier to prosecute the bad apples in a relatively new kind of enterprise known as business-opportunity enterprises. Or BizOps, for short. ...

It’s time to toughen penalties for wildlife crimes — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

"For too many poachers, the decision they make to break the law is an economic one. The value of poaching treasured mounts for sale is worth more than fines they’ll will face if they get caught.

"That’s not right. It’s time to make poachers more likely to face punishment other than a blow to their wallets. ..."

IRS targeting makes case for simpler tax code — Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial

" ... At the heart of the matter is a tax code that is ridiculously complex and an IRS that is simply too powerful because of it. The agency’s job is to collect tax revenue, not silence political opposition. ..."

Antiquated, burdensome laws hurt craft brewers — Evan Feinberg | For The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

" ... The worst example is the "three-tier" distribution system, a Prohibition-era regulatory system set up to protect big beer distribution companies. These laws prevent small breweries from distributing and selling their own beer — forcing them to sign deals with powerful companies that have costly distribution licenses. If you can’t sell your own product, it’s difficult to get your business off the ground. ..."

New law regulates OSSAA — Tulsa World Editorial

"Gov. Mary Fallin did the right thing when she signed House Bill 2730 into law last week.

"The measure forces transparency on school athletic associations, in particular the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association, which represents more than 450 public and private high schools. ..."

Or that there already is a law, and it oughta be obeyed.

Judge should release courtroom testimony central to case against Angel Garcia — Deseret News Editorial [No, not that kind of testimony.]

"Angel Vizuet Garcia is charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl over a period of years. It’s the sort of case that shocks a community and leads people to question how such a thing could go undetected.

"The case is, by any definition of the word, newsworthy in a state that values children. But at least one definition of newsworthy has to do with the public’s need to understand the nature of the charges and to keep the justice system accountable for how it adjudicates such serious allegations.

"Unfortunately, an important portion of the preliminary hearing that ended with Garcia being bound over for trial — the testimony of the young alleged victim — has so far been kept from public view. ..."

Red Oak board ignores public, Iowa law — Des Moines Register Editorial

"Sometimes novel interpretations of old law create new law. That seems to be the intent of the Red Oak school board and the school district’s attorney.

"The board is insistent on discussing the anticipated dismissal of the high school principal in meetings closed to the public, despite the fact that students, parents and the principal himself have asked for the meetings to be open, and the Iowa Public Information Board has told the school board that the discussion should be done in public. ..."

States should fully comply with PREA — Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier Editorial

"It’s easy to say that folks who end up in prison deserve whatever they get. But is it all that easy to say this when what they get includes rape?

"The Associated Press reported that Arizona is one of nine states that have informed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder they will not try to meet the federal standards intended to stop sexual violence in the nation’s prisons. At least nine other states have said they can’t meet the federal standards yet but are actively working to comply. ..."

Or, in at least one case, a mere law won’t be enough. But we should get to work.

Sick, angry men must be flagged — Tacoma News-Tribune Editorial

"Stopping killers like Elliot Rodger isn’t as simple as passing a law. But sharing more information about them – before they blow up – could help. ..."

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