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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 Skip Ambrose) A western sandpiper feeds on oiled insects that collect along the edge of evaporation ponds operated near Cisco by Danish Flats Environmental Services, which processes wastewater from oil and gas wells.
Western Editorials: Energy (dirty and clean), education, body cams, Hitler ...

Utah should never take a polluter’s word — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

" ... Republican icon Ronald Reagan said, "Trust, but verify." Republicans who rule in Utah should, when dealing with pollution-heavy industries, boil that down to simply, "Verify." There is absolutely no room for trust. ..."

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A shot in the arm for renewable power — Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial

"A bit of good news for New Mexico’s economy — it appears the much-discussed and anticipated SunZia transmission line to generate wind and solar energy for Western states is going to be built. ..."

Mixed-bag school start — Deseret News Editorial

" ... this new school year brings reasons for optimism, as well as reasons for concern, when it comes to the state of public education in Utah.

"First, the optimism. The State Office of Education reports that Utah high school seniors own the highest composite ACT scores among their peers in the 12 states that require the test of virtually all seniors. ...

" ... On the side of concern is a not-so-positive trend in the conduct of the State Board of Education. ..."

Math bias just doesn’t add up for boys, girls — Spokane Spokesman-Review Editorial

"Let’s start with a simple truism: Women can perform mathematical and scientific calculations as readily as men. So why do so few of them have jobs in science and technology fields? ..."

The case for police body cameras, from Ferguson to Denver — Denver Post Editorial

"The uncertainty that has roiled a St. Louis suburb in the aftermath of a controversial police shooting might very well have been lessened if there had been video evidence of the altercation. ..."

Police cameras aren’t the answer to problems like Ferguson — Bloomberg View Editorial, via sltrib.com

" ... equipping police with cameras and audio recorders means that they’re constantly conducting surveillance on innocent civilians — and potentially storing it all. Police frequently enter private homes and encounter people in medical emergencies who may not want to be filmed. Some officers may be tempted to record people on the basis of race or religion. And some departments have asserted that the public has no right to see such footage. ..."

No room for Hitler references in political discourse — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

"Score one for Godwin’s Law.

"That’s an adage that governs Internet discussion forums. It has two important parts: First, that the longer and more heated an argument, the more likely it is that someone will invoke Adolf Hitler; and second, that once someone does toss Hitler or other Third Reich figures into the discussion, it is effectively over. Nothing productive, the thinking goes, can happen from that point on.

"Charles Cloud proved it right. Cloud, the husband of state auditor Cynthia Cloud who last week lost his bid to unseat state Rep. David Northrup, R-Powell, enlivened the political discourse in House District 50 by referencing — who else? — Hitler. And what subject did the challenger deem appropriate for such a comparison?

"Northrup’s support for pre-kindergarten programs, that’s what. ..."

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