(Rejected) Letters to the Editor (V. I)

This week is a slow week. I spent the weekend in Idaho at my grandparents for my brother and grandfather’s birthday, and my grandparents still live in the dark ages (that is, they have no Internet). So this week, I’ll be sharing letters I’ve written to The Salt Lake Tribune that were never published. Enjoy!

Who to Support?

With regards to the conflict between outdoor retailers and the Utah state government, I find it difficult to decide whom to support. On the one hand, I can sympathize that Utah should not be bullied by business to determine policy. The retailers should not be surprised by the governor’s resistance to threats.

On the other hand, though, this assumes the state government is representing the best interests of all its residents (including those voting for the opposition). Given that most campaign funds comes from out of state, the shady process by which GOP legislators are nominated, their responsiveness to lobbyists and special interests (particularly those representing lots of money, or the LDS Church), and the low engagement in all Utah elections (let alone local ones), I honestly feel the retailers are closer to representing Utahn’s best interests. What an unfortunate situation!

An Eye for an Eye in Feminist Politics

In Rolly’s column on Friday, March 24th, I read that the Women’s Caucus for Utah’s Democratic Party is considering allowing men into the caucus but weighting their vote so it’s worth 68% of a woman’s vote, a comment on Utah’s gender gap in wages (the most recent figure actually suggests the gap is actually now 70%). I did a lot of gender gap research that’s frequently cited locally; multiple stories citing it were even written in this paper. I find it ironic, then, that if I were seeking to be a member of this Caucus, my vote would be so weighted, given that I did a
lot of research highlighting this issue.

Obviously I agree with the message. The method, though, makes me queasy.

Judging Draper

The episode seen at Draper’s town hall shows that sometimes politicians are heartless because their constituents are twice as heartless. They’ll never be my neighbors; not after that.

A Well-Earned Pulitzer Prize

At the U, I can get The New York Times, USA Today, Financial Times, Deseret News, and the Salt Lake Tribune all for free off the news stands. Of those, I pick the Tribune. This is not just because I want to support local papers. Your Pulitzer Prize is well-earned. The Tribune has serious talent, and both informs and facilitates a healthy skepticism necessary to know and understand the truth.

I was glad to hear the Huntsman family rescued what I believe to be Utah’s finest paper (if not a fine paper, period) from that toxic deal that eventually would have killed the Tribune as we know it. Thanks to their patronage, I can expect more quality work, keeping me informed no matter who may be angered by what’s said.

I look forward to seeing it.

UPDATE: I found this letter some time ago when browsing for another letter of mine the Tribune published. It seems that after a certain point I was getting published all the time by them.

EPA Is No Longer On Our Side

Trump’s disregard for environmental quality should finally hit home for residents of Salt Lake City, with the EPA’s consideration of loosening environmental regulations. We’ve been subjected to terrible air for years, finding ourselves in unpleasant national TV news spots parading images of people wearing masks (like this is Beijing) in soupy air. It was nice to have at least the Federal government on our side as the legislature went through its annual ritual of complain-about-the-air-but-do-nothing-again (nothing angers me more than to hear rural representatives say they don’t like coming to the city because of the air, then enforce hard-line free-market policies helping make the air worse). Unfortunately, though, we’re losing that ally.

UPDATE: Turns out this last one was not actually rejected! Read on the Tribune’s website here (and join discussion in the comments).

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