Tag Archives | Utah

Senator Orrin Hatch To Poor: Do More For The Rich

Senator Orrin HatchAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

According to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the poor and middle class aren’t doing enough to share the economic burden in America. In a speech on the Senate floor, the 77 year old Republican, whose net worth is estimated from $2 to $5 million and takes in a $174,000 per year salary from the Senate, said that the poor “need to share some of the responsibility” of the deficit, and that he preferred the Republican approach of “shared prosperity.”

Hatch went on to say that “51 percent of wage earners, of all households, do not pay income taxes.” He attempted to clarify a few sentences later, saying that payroll taxes were the same thing as social security taxes.

Senator Hatch appears deeply out of touch with exactly what “poor” people endure and where most of the federal budget goes. The richest Americans Hatch felt the need to so quickly defend pay less taxes than the previous generation, and the only people who really pay any taxes are those who earn so little they don’t qualify to pay according to the tax code, or are unemployed.… Read the rest

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An Environmental Advocate Faces Jail Time For Peacefully Derailing The Government’s Auction Of Utah Land

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Environmental hero or another illegal tactic of a peaceful activist? Jurors are often told that they must come to a verdict based on the law and not their moral conscious. Should DeChristopher get a 4 1/2 year prison sentence, or should his trial lead to a reconsideration of the law? AlterNet reports:

Tim DeChristopher is scheduled to be sentenced in a Salt Lake City courtroom by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on July 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for fraudulently bidding in December 2008 on parcels of land, including areas around eastern Utah’s national parks, which were being sold off by the Bush administration to the oil and natural gas industry. As Bidder No. 70, he drove up the prices of some of the bids and won more than a dozen other parcels for $1.8 million. The government is asking Judge Benson to send DeChristopher to prison for four and a half years.

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FBI Releases Utah UFO Files

FBI vaultLee Davidson reports on new FBI document releases for the Salt Lake Tribune:

On April 4, 1949, FBI agents in Utah sent a cable marked “urgent” to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. It said an Army guard at the Ogden Supply Depot, a Logan policeman and a Utah Highway Patrol officer in Mantua each saw from miles apart a UFO — which they said exploded over Utah.

Under the title “Flying Discs,” the cable said they “saw a silver colored object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon” that “appeared to explode in a rash of fire. Several residents at Trenton … [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions followed by falling object.”

That and other documents show the FBI was investigating whether UFOs were real, and it figured they could be. Such documents are now available in “The Vault,” vault.fbi.gov, a revamped FBI website for documents that have been released through the Freedom of Information Act and have been recently or often requested.

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Utah Approves Gold & Silver Coins As Currency

Via Talking Points:

The Utah House of Representatives has approved a bill that allowing gold and silver coins to be used as currency, though unlike similar bills in other states, it doesn’t force anyone to accept gold or silver as legal tender.

House Bill 317 was introduced by state Rep. Brad Galvez (R) last week, and passed the House by a vote of 47-26. It will now head to the state Senate for a vote.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Galvez explained: “This is a step in preparedness, a step in security that allows us to be able to help hold up our economy as the dollar continues to shrink.”

As TPM has been documenting, there’s been a recent push for gold and silver coins to be used as currency. Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R) recently reintroduced legislation to force his state to conduct all monetary transactions with U.S.

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Two New Dinosaurs Discovered in Utah


Illustration from Utah Museum of Natural History

The two new dinosaurs found in Southern Utah are said to have more horns on their head than any known dino. Now the only question is whether they were functional or just fashionable? From National Geographic:

Two newly discovered horned dinosaur species from an ancient “lost continent” are some of the most surprising and ornate yet found, paleontologists say.

The new dinosaurs are members of the ceratopsids, the group of dinosaurs that includes Triceratops. The animals were generally four-legged herbivores with horns and bony frills rising from the backs of their heads.

The larger of the two dinosaurs, Utahceratops gettyi, had a 7-foot-long (2.3-meter-long) skull, prompting study co-author Mark Loewen of the University of Utah to compare the animal to “a giant rhino with a ridiculously supersized head.”

The other new dinosaur, Kosmoceratops richardsoni, is “one of the most amazing animals known, with a huge skull decorated with an assortment of bony bells and whistles,” study leader Scott Sampson, also of the University of Utah, said in a statement.

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Utah Uses Eminent Domain to Seize Land of … Uncle Sam

Medical Marijuana isn’t the only issue which has states challenging federal power. ABC News reports:

Photo: Donar Reiskoffer (CC)

Photo: Donar Reiskoffer (CC)

Utah is itching for a land fight. A battle with Washington over territorial rights and state sovereignty. It wants to spark a revolt in which Western states attempt to wrest control of federal lands within their borders.

The Beehive State might just get its way, too. In March, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a controversial law authorizing the use of eminent domain to capture some of the millions of acres that the federal government owns here.

The law was tailor-made to provoke a lawsuit, possibly reaching the US Supreme Court, and to inspire other Western states to enact similar legislation.

While it’s unusual for eminent domain to involve the taking of federal lands, this law is a byproduct of many Utahns’ frustrations: The US government owns more than 60 percent of the state, thus dictating whether land has been set aside for preservation or can be accessed for mineral deposits.

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Yes Men Dupe Utah With Call For Gay “Final Solution”

Pranksters the Yes Men held a bogus press conference in Salt Lake City, posing as an organization called “Patriots for a Moral Utah,” and called for a “Final Solution” of the forced removal of gays and lesbians of Utah. Amazingly, the event seemed believable enough for local reporters…Utah’s ABC 4 reports:

The so-called press conference was held at the Utah State Capitol at 1:00 p.m. Monday.

The woman claimed that…Utahns should get behind the initiative that would force homosexuals to relocate to New York City, Portland or San Francisco. According to the woman, who claimed to be Nora Young, homosexuals who chose not to relocate who be forced to undergo therapy that would “rehabilitate” them from homosexuality.


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Utah Aborts Logic and Reason, But They Weren’t Using Them Anyway

Mutterhals writes on the Black Sun Gazette:

For most Americans, science is akin to magic. We don’t know how much of this shit occurs, but as long as everything keeps humming along smoothly we feel some sense of peace. The problem with this state of being is that it allows for all sorts of rival interpretations on things that are basically cut and dry.

I’ve had many arguments with religious types regarding abortion, and most cannot wrap their heads around the fact that the gestating fetus is indeed a part of the woman whose belly it’s in, which seems fairly straightforward. I don’t mean to go all Amazon woman on you, but I have to believe the fervently religious who protest in front of abortion clinics and wish death on doctors who perform the procedure have to be somewhat perturbed that a woman, a lesser being according to their holy bible, is in charge of this impending life.

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Utah Eyes Slashing Senior Year Of High School To Save Money

Chris ButtarsBy Sahil Kapur for Raw Story:

Imagine being forced to skip your senior year of high school. Or having the option.

If you live in Utah, that could become a reality. In an effort to bridge a $700 million budget shortfall, Republican state Sen. Chris Buttars has put forth a plan to eliminate 12th grade in high school, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Facing a wealth of criticism from parents, teachers and students alike, Buttars defended a scaled down version of the idea wherein students simply had the option to exit before their final year, claiming the proposal could save the state about $60 million…

[continues at Raw Story]

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