After years of free-range kids campaigning, a state legislature has taken heed: Utah just passed the Child Neglect Amendments, affirming that common activities like letting your kid walk to school or leaving them in the car while you duck into a shop are not neglect or child abuse.
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Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate and Trump "critic", is to run for the Utah senate seat vacated by Orrin Hatch's retirement.
Romney's run has already faced some resistance: the head of the state's Republican Party criticized him for not having deep enough ties to the state. Jenny Wilson, a Democratic candidate running for Senate in Utah, said this week that "Utah families deserve another Utahn as their senator, not a Massachusetts governor who thinks of our state as his vacation home."
If elected, the former governor would bring strong name recognition and influence as a first-term senator. While former aides expect Romney to push for conservative policies in the Senate, they also believe he will rebuke the president when necessary and potentially clash with him on some policies.
What ... what if he only votes with Trump 85% of time, like GOP rebel Jeff Flake? This could be revolutionary. Read the rest
A class action suit by some of the 3,500,000+ Wells Fargo customers defrauded in the company's fake account scam was foundering in Utah, thanks to the company's insistence that its binding arbitration clauses also applied to the accounts it fraudulently opened (that is, by agreeing not to sue the company for defrauding you over the accounts you opened, you were also agreeing not to sue them if it opened a bunch more accounts and forged your signature on the papers).
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In 2016, the deep-red, Mormon-dominated state of Utah had to choose between voting in favor of a rapist, or in favor of allowing women to control their own fertility, and they chose the rapist.
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White folk in Utah's San Juan County claim that districts drawn to actually represent the local demographics unfairly discriminate against them.
Via The Salt Lake Tribune:
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Last year, Shelby ruled the voting districts in San Juan County, which today is home to 16,895 residents, are unconstitutional and violate the rights of American Indians. He ordered the county to redraw them.
Utah state senator Todd Weiler (@goptodd, (801) 538-1035) made his nutjob-religious-grandstander bones by proposing preinstalled mandatory porn-filtering software on all mobile phones, has found a new calling: calling for the revival of the state's moribund "porn czar" in order to stamp out the scourge of sexy women's magazines, especially Cosmo. Read the rest
Yesterday, Rep Jason Chaffetz [R-UT; DC office: (202) 225-7751; Utah office: (801) 851-2500; email; Twitter] defended his plan to take away the health insurance of 22,000,000 Americans by saying "rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care." Read the rest
Jason Chaffetz is a Republican lawmaker who led the Benghazi and Clinton email witch-hunts in his capacity on the Congressional Oversight Committee; when he returned to Utah for a town hall meeting, he was met by thousands of angry constituents who chanted "do your job" and called on him to investigate Trump's many irregularities, from foreign interference with the election results to his refusal to release his tax returns to his many conflicts of interest. Read the rest
The landlords at City Park Apartments stuck memos on their tenants' doors last week, outlining a "Facebook addendum" requiring tenants to Friend the building on Facebook or lose their lease. Read the rest
A Utah State House of Representatives bill would outlaw doxing—publishing someone's private info with the intent to facilitate harassment—but the EFF says the planned law's language is so broad it would target free speech.
At fault, Sam Machkovech reports, is the fact that the law doesn't clearly define its terms.
[Lead sponsor State Representative David E.] Lifferth's suggested amendment, on the other hand, offers no such specific, harassment-minded qualifiers in regard to "personal identifying information." The legislation as written would punish citizens for posting a laundry list of information about anyone if a court determined there was intent to annoy, alarm, or offend them, including names, birthdays, phone numbers, place of employment, photographs, or other realistic likenesses. The penalty for first-time offenders would be a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Among other things, such legislation might limit citizens' ability to hold public officials and other influential members of society accountable for their actions.
Lifferth has promised to fix the bill's language. Read the rest
Rocky Anderson is suing the agency for spying on him (and everyone else in Salt Lake City) during the 2002 Olympics -- he's added his name to a mass lawsuit against the NSA, FBI, George W. Bush, Michael Hayden, Dick Cheney and 50 "Does." Read the rest
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has published photos of what they claim is their prophet's talking magical rock.
WARNING: The video above graphically depicts a murder, including scenes of a man bleeding to death after being shot by a police officer. Read the rest
Sarkeesian was willing to go on with the show at Utah State University -- as she's done after all the other death threats that she's received as a speaker -- but wanted attendees checked for firearms. Ogden, UT cops refused, citing Utah's open-carry firearms law. At least one of the threats cited Gamergate. Read the rest
I'm heading to Salt Lake City this week for Westercon, followed by an appearance at the SLC Library on Monday. Next week, I'll be in PDX for three library gigs: Beaverton, Tigard, and Hillsboro. See you there! Read the rest
The latest update in the saga of Kleargear (previously) is downright bizarre. Having invoiced unhappy customers for complaining online about their crappy service and then ruined those customers' credit rating, the company now refuses to acknowledge a judgment against them from a US court because they insist that they're located in France and weren't served there. Read the rest
I'm delighted to announced that I'll be the guest of honor at Salt Lake City's Westercon 67 this July -- Westercon being the annual convention for science fiction fandom west of the Mississippi. There's quite a fantastic roster of other guests as well! See you 44 days in SLC! Read the rest