bright enough to know you have to declare a firearm when checking in for a flight, not bright enough to UNLOAD and then PROPERLY HANDLE the weapon when declaring same. Skycap suffered minor shrapnel injury in his foot because this dumbass took a loaded weapon to the Salt Lake airport. Security scare: Gun accidentally discharged at Salt Lake City airport – Salt Lake Tribune

A passenger checking a gun accidentally discharged his weapon on the curbside of Terminal I of Salt Lake City International Airport.

The passenger was declaring his weapon to Sky Cap when he either mishandled or dropped it, said David Korzep, airport operations superintendent. The semiautomatic pistol had one bullet left in the chamber, Korzep said, and when it struck the pavement, shrapnel hit the foot of the Sky Cap employee. He was treated on the scene and not transported to the hospital.

Mother Love, Daughter Rape

Why it’s important that parents of gay children love and accept them just as they are, and why Utah is a deeply strange place:

A Gift, from the Homophobic Culture « One Utah

When we watch the LDS church claim they aren’t homophobic, and that common ground can be reached, even while they destroy bills that would help reach that ground, we are just watching a big, none too subtle, wink and nod at the culture of hate. When we see the single largest cultural influence in Utah raise money to take rights away from people based on beliefs they have no right to export onto others, we are simply watching the same long drawn out battle that has gone on with women, non white races, youth, counter culture, etc etc etc. We are watching fear and ignorance and a desire to hold on to power being turned into a poisonous brew that claims to be the culture of family values. And it certainly won’t be exported in the same way to everyone, but it is still poisonous.

Because in that culture, a culture that teaches people in a million subtle and not subtle ways that to be GLBT is to have something wrong with you, to have something that should be cured, or fixed, some people get the message more directly than most. And act on it.

And that is their “family values.” When your mother arranges your rape.

Pat Bagley, SL Tribune Cartoonist Extraordinaire

Yes, Virginia, there IS satire in Utah. Don’t miss the “GOP Values Party!” cartoon…. or the “Senator Orrin McClownshoes” one… or the “Digitally Enhanced Pixelated Basin” one … oh, just keep clicking the little seagull.
The Salt Lake Tribune — Pat Bagley

Here’s a few selections of Bagley’s cartoons just in July and June:


We Republicans are the Values… PARTY!!


Digitally Enhanced Pixelated Basin

and my personal favorite, now that Al Franken has finally taken his Senate seat:


I think that’s Harry Reid on the left (naturally), and it’s definitely Borin’ Orrin on the far right, of course.

Gay rights advocates strut political clout in Salt Lake – Salt Lake Tribune

Gay rights advocates strut political clout in Salt Lake – Salt Lake Tribune
There was glamor and glitz, and at times a playful gaudiness Sunday during the Utah Pride Parade on Sunday in downtown Salt Lake City.

Yet beneath the surface of the rain-soaked celebration of Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, there was also the sense of a rising surge of political activism that almost transcended the spectacle with its brightly colored floats, rainbow banners and the marching, dancing men and women in brightly colored attire.

“This year it is about everyone coming together and showing how much clout we have as a community,” said Coko Catoure Deazarea, Miss Gay Utah. “I believe we are at a turning point, where people are beginning to stop looking at being gay as a sin.”

Utah Roller Derby

Beware Zombie Rinkwomen! Utah has a lively roller derby scene, with avid fans and some truly awesome, Amazon-like warrior women. Check this photo out from the City Weekly blog.

Roller Derby: O-Town Report

“This was actually the best game we’ve had so far. It was back-and-forth the whole bout, very competetive, lots of stress and anger on the floor due to the score being so close–it was awesome. We got a broken tailbone, broken glasses and huge rink-rash bruises. The final score was Sucker Punch Sweethearts 132, Ladies of Capone 122.”

If I had to live in Utah again, I’d become a fan of these awesome women, who have a crusher-crash-chick vibe going and a refreshingly DIY approach to team regalia and player numbering. I’m not sure if it’s the black lipstick or the glowing, zombie-like eyes, but if I saw these women skating at me, I’d run like hell. They’re totally awe-inspiring.

Healers’ hands blessed by many faiths

St Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake holds an annual Blessing of the Hands of healers. It’s the hospital where Mom was during her last illness, and our family got a lot of support from the Episcopal priest who runs their pastoral care program, Fr. Lincoln Ure. This event sounds just like Fr. Linc; I experienced the regular Wednesday Eucharist with him and some of the staff when Mom was upstairs, and the following week, I had to go back after she passed. Those people are some powerful healers, and I got a sense of how deeply they care for one another’s spiritual needs.

Healers’ hands blessed by many faiths – Salt Lake Tribune

Few of the St. Mark’s Hospital employees who reached out their hands for a blessing from Imam Shuaib-Ud Din understood the words he spoke in Arabic.

But that didn’t much matter.

It was a gift to be received, one of many Wednesday during the eighth annual Blessing of the Hands at St. Mark’s.

An estimated 100 of the hospital’s 1,600 employees spent time on the lawn at the rear of the hospital, washing their hands in blessed water and having their hands, palms upturned, blessed by Din of the Utah Islamic Center, representatives of the Buddhist, Episcopal and LDS faiths, a nondenominational chaplain and an Arapaho healer.

Living in Utah, Sooner or Later You Either Convert

… or find yourself drunk, high, half nekkid, and screaming at people in Sugar House Park. The latter path is the one I’d have taken if I’d stayed on in Salt Lake instead of moving away.

Absence of pants nets charges for man in Sugar House Park – Salt Lake Tribune

Court documents accuse the 36-year-old of hiding in the park and jumping out and scaring women and bicyclists. At one point, the documents say, he stood in a roadway, pulled down his shorts and began screaming at cars while naked from the waist down. Police arrived to find him smelling of alcohol and carrying 1 gram of marijuana.

When Your Mom Gets Baptized Into Some Weird Church After She Dies

It would piss you off, right? I know it would really make me angry if that happened to my mom, but I can’t check because the information is hidden behind a registration wall AND a “member in good standing/temple recommend number” wall. Because when she was alive, she was really horrified by the idea that everyone in her family had been baptized against their will, after they died, and that someday she would, too.

Well, it’s apparently happened to President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. I think it’s a terrible breach of spiritual protocol, the church’s own supposedly “hard and fast” but frequently broken rules, and the normal bounds of human decency.


I ran across this first at Wonkette, but it’s such a personal issue for me (growing up as I did in Utah, as a non-Mormon) that after the first horrified reading, the flip, arch style that usually makes me giggle like a twelve-year-old wasn’t what I wanted to quote. So I went to the source:

AMERICAblog News| A great nation deserves the truth: Did the Mormons baptize Obama’s mother, after her death, without his knowledge or consent?

A reader sent me a tip about this last week. But it’s a sensitive topic, sure to cause the President some anguish, so I waited until I could find more information. I now have more information. And what I have is troubling.

A reader contacted me last week, saying that last year, in the heat of the presidential campaign, the Mormons had posthumously baptized Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. Baptizing the dead of other faith’s, secretly and without the consent of their families, is a common Mormon practice. For the past fifteen years the Mormons have caused quite a stir by forcibly baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims – in other words, converting them to Mormonism – despite strong objections from the Jewish community.

This issue comes up every few years: the Utah church has to put out a lot of fires and claim that members had overstepped the rules by baptizing people who were still “within living memory” and/or baptizing people who had died in the Holocaust. In a way, this practice completes the “final solution” of the genocide, by erasing the Jewish identity of each victim.

The LDS people who do this are operating from a spiritual compulsion: they truly believe that everyone on Earth must be enrolled in the record archives after death, and supposedly these dead souls can “choose” to accept a faith that has been imposed on their memory via an efficient, if not unholy bureaucracy. These people take on the role of victim when living relatives object to the practice of baptism for the dead, because their beliefs are being attacked. This, I find to be almost as offensive and infuriating as the practice itself. It’s spawned a huge industry, and of course as the archives are available to anyone to search, the hobby of geneology owes a lot to the efforts of countless workers who’ve scoured the Earth, searching out and scanning birth, death, and census records. Not to mention the countless well-meaning members who go to their local temples armed with the records of the dead, being baptized and anointed or whatever takes place, wearing their spey-cial tem-ple gar-mints.

Personally, I think it’s all a bunch of crap.

Sorry, family members and friends. That’s my opinion.

I’m a believer in Christ, and I’d like to think that there will turn out to be a Heaven where all our dead family and friends are waiting for us (and of course, OUR PETS are waiting impatiently, too). But I’m enough of a rationalist to realize that there may be nothing at all after death, or something so unimaginably different from our living existence that it can’t be put into human context, let alone words. I prefer to be a follower of the Way while I’m still alive and kicking, and I struggle try to live a more spiritually grounded life and reach out to people in need. I don’t succeed at it, much, but I try. This whole issue of one faith imposing itself on people’s dead loved ones, no matter what they believed (or didn’t believe), just bothers the shit out of me.

I did try to pull some records from the FamilySearch.org site (no linky love for you! ) and was rather surprised to find that I could get a text document with Mom’s name, birth date, death date, AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER without having to even register. I attempted to register under a bogus name and found that to get to the REALLY good stuff, you have to give an actual record number proving that you’re a member in good standing. But I did look at records for various Colorado Springs relations on my mom’s side – this is probably how my cousin Bill did most of his research for his genealogy hobby, and the family history book that he self-published.

I can almost hear Mom holding forth now on today’s news; she’d be adding another note to her “to be read after my demise” papers via dictation as we speak.

Rowland Hall-St Marks Had A Marketing Problem

The problem was the “saint” in the name, as Utah is the state of the Saints. The Salt Lake private school has changed its name so that it will seem less parochial sounding and easier to market to local families looking for an educational alternative.
Rolly: A sign of the times? – Salt Lake Tribune

Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School has been a prominent fixture in Utah education for about 130 years. Founded by the Episcopal Church, the school has proudly boasted on uniforms, school communications and signs its motto: “Nihil Longus Deo” Never Far from God.

Until now.

The school began this year to put a little distance between it and God.

A recent letter sent to the Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s community from marketing and publications director Susan Koles noted the new logo, sans the Latin motto, and said that on public displays and official communications, the school will be referred to as Rowland Hall, dropping the St. Mark’s part.

Apparently it’s the “St.” that’s the sticky part.

Koles told me that while school officials will always be proud of its Episcopal tradition St. Mark’s was founded in 1867, Rowland Hall in 1880, and they later merged, it has been independent of the church “for a long time, although we still have an Episcopal chaplain and the school teaches world religions and ethics.”

A marketing firm hired to assess the school’s image found that because of the “St. Mark’s” part of the school name, many people believed it was a parochial school, which it is not. Hence, the move to a more secular public image.

The school’s official name still is Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s, and it will appear that way on diplomas. It just won’t be publicized.

It’s too bad, really. My niece Raeanne graduated from there, and a relative by marriage got married there in their beautiful, English style chapel. My pre-teen encounter with a full-on High Church marriage service is one of the experiences that led me to become an Episcopalian.

Salt Lake Rocks! First Porn, Now Liquor!

This cartoon via Salon by Keith Knight covers all the essential points about what makes Utah (specifically Salt Lake) “Funique.” Weird liquor laws (which are going away July 1), extremely rowdy, drunk crowds in bars due to either weird liquor laws or everybody acting out to spite the Majority Religion, and FRY SAUCE!

Some long-delayed props to Salt Lake by the K Chronicles.