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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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(| Courtesy Photo) The edited Wasatch High yearbook photos of students.
That sounds familiar: Secret meetings in doughnut shops, airbrushed cleavage, net neutrality ...

These news items strike a familiar note:

Apparently, the new go-to place for having conversations about government corruption is your local doughnut shop.

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Troubling advice on public records — The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Editorial

" ... Who knew about this so-called ‘hush money,’ and when did they know it? The path to answers led last week to Thomas ‘Ryan’ Lamb, former legal counsel for the Department of Administrative Services, or DAS. It was Lamb who negotiated those settlements for the department. ...

" ... Lamb also testified that [Gov. Terry] Branstad’s legal counsel, Brenna Findley, advised him to not use email or other written communication to discuss controversial issues. That written communication would create a public record. Instead, Lamb was told to share information face to face.

"For example, after the settlements issue was first reported in the Des Moines Register, Lamb met with Branstad’s chief of staff at a Dunkin’ Donuts to talk about the issue. ..."

You know, like ...

John Swallow may have broken law by using Johnson’s houseboat — Robert Gehrke | The Salt Lake Tribune | Jan. 30, 2013

"Over doughnuts at Krispy Kreme in Orem, John Swallow deflected Jeremy Johnson’s suggestions that he had done anything improper in trying to help his friend derail a federal probe into his business dealings. ..."

Too much cleavage for ‘CBS Sunday Morning’?JimRomenesko.com

Reminiscent of ...

Students say altered yearbook photos meant to shame them — Erin Alberty | The Salt Lake Tribune | May 28, 2014

Bare shoulders covered, necklines moved up for some.

And, an I told you so ...

Net Threats — Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie | Pew Research Internet Project

"Experts say liberty online is challenged by nation-state crackdowns, surveillance, and pressures of commercialization of the Internet ..."

Don’t forget net neutrality in plotting Utah’s online future — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune | June 27, 2014

" ... Unmentioned is the fact that broadband Internet service in the United States is controlled by a handful, usually non-overlapping, of for-profit companies. They are neither effectively regulated by government nor pestered by competitors and, as a result, their product costs much more and provides a lot less than the services found in most other industrialized nations. ..."



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