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Utah Repeals Anti-Transparency Law 80

Posted by timothy
from the opacity-the-law-for-behives-and-ski-mountains dept.
oddjob1244 writes "After enduring two weeks of public fury, Utah lawmakers voted Friday to repeal a bill that would have restricted public access to government records. While Senate President Michael Waddoups accused the media of lobbying on the issue and others blamed the press for biased coverage that turned citizens against them, Sen. Steve Urquhart said bluntly: 'We messed up. It is nobody's fault but ours.'"
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Utah Repeals Anti-Transparency Law

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 25, 2011 @08:34PM (#35618558) Journal
    You didn't "mess up", except in the very limited and weasely sense that you 'miscalculated the level of bullshit that you could get away with'.

    I'm pretty sure that you didn't just trip on your way into the state senate and accidentally draft and pass a bill. That would be "messing up". You can't do something that complex just by accident.

    While the attempt to simultaneously diminish your guilt and 'take responsibility' is rather cute, it is entirely false. Everyone who assisted in passing this bill didn't "mess up", they quite deliberately tried to get away with something. The only 'error' involved was miscalculating what they could get away with.
  • Fine, so "they messed up" and the bill was repealed. Is that enough to really fix the problem? Was the problem the bill itself? No. The problem is the intent and mindset of the people who drafted, promoted, and passed the bill. Such mindsets never change, even if they admit publicly "we screwed up"; they don't actually believe they did screw up... they just got caught trying to screw you over. It's the people behind the bill that need to be repealed as well. Does repealing the bill also make them go away for good? No.

    People of Utah, your work isn't done.

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Friday March 25, 2011 @09:30PM (#35618920)

    While Senate President Michael Waddoups accused the media of lobbying on the issue and others blamed the press for biased coverage

    Let's not forget that one either. That there are people that won't admit any part of it is wrong. That there exists a "unbiased" view of anti-transparency that would convince the average citizen that transparency is bad for our society.

    These people are the exact type of people that have no business being in government.

    If you can't understand that all information, ALL INFORMATION, that the government possesses, creates, or receives is the PROPERTY of The People... then you are completely unsuited to be a champion of the people, a guardian of our ideals, specifically those relating to freedom.

    The only exceptions that I will accept as reasonable are a very narrow area regarding national security.

    Trade negotiations are NOT national security, and the bus schedules are not owned by the government in a way that allows them to enjoy copyrights.

    The biggest problem with this story is this Waddoups douchnozzle that does not understand any of this and, right at this moment, still thinks he is right.

    The Senator is just a weasel as you said.

  • Now THAT'S funny! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutchmaan (442553) on Friday March 25, 2011 @10:07PM (#35619196) Homepage
    A politician complaining about the media "lobbying" the public. I can't imagine a better definition of irony!
  • Re:We won? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Friday March 25, 2011 @10:30PM (#35619322) Journal

    Your definition of "progressive" bears very little resemblance to any actual political party or movement bearing that label. I fear that you have taken the bait and fallen enamored with the word --- "Oh yeah, progressive, that must be good. I'm for progress" --- and failed to recognize the only thing that they have a desire to progress is the power of the state.

    You've even invented the obvious complementary position with which to paint the "foes of making things better"

    Well, let me remind you of one of the policies of the actual progressive movement. A policy that lead to the rise in power of organized crime: Prohibition.

    So, let's stop demonizing people here. Everyone with a political philosophy has the goal of fixing what's wrong, although there are wildly varying opinions on how to achieve that, and what exactly it is that is wrong.

    Well, everyone that is, except those whose philosophy is "say anything to get as much for myself as possible, and to hell with everyone else." Unfortunately, this latter group, although I'd like to believe it is the smallest of the philosophies, is uncommonly good at actually achieving office...

  • Re:FOI request. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Friday March 25, 2011 @10:34PM (#35619352) Journal

    It would cost a lot less if, instead of publishing the documents, they stored them in some kind of machine-readable form, and used automatons to fetch, copy, and deliver responses to requests made using a standardized set of machine instructions....

  • Re:We won? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 517714 (762276) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @12:43AM (#35620020)
    Reactionary is the correct term for what he described as regressive, and he did not make them up. They do not wish to make things worse, but they do wish to undue certain aspects of "progress" Many fundamentalists regardless of name of their god are reactionary. Back to nature groups, survivalists, Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites, a lot of Mormons, America First groups are all reactionary to varying degrees.
  • Re:We won? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ppanon (16583) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @02:27AM (#35620312) Homepage Journal
    Don't go looking for good government from those who claim that good government is not possible. They have every motivation to prove themselves right, consciously and subconsciously.
  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by I(rispee_I(reme (310391) on Saturday March 26, 2011 @03:32AM (#35620482) Journal
    The national security loophole is bullshit. Here's why:

    An informed electorate is vital to the continued existence of a democracy. A democracy that keeps information regarding its own activities from its electorate endangers itself. Thus, the national security loophole is itself a danger to national security.

    There is no valid reason for a government to ever keep its activities secret from those it governs. The potential conflict of interest is too great- it is reminiscent of the logic puzzles wherein someone of unknown honesty is asked, "Are you a liar?"

    Emotional appeals for national security based on the safety of those engaged in espionage are not relevant. The individuals in question, without exception, agreed to exchange their safety for their government's. And, as stated above, invoking national security endangers the invoking government.

    Your paraphrasing Potter Stewart's opinion on pornography [wikipedia.org] is apt- in that that opinion is famously subjective and useful only to those who wish to set themselves up as (or be ruled by) potentates.

    As for myself, if I must be ruled, I would prefer the rule of law to the rule of man.
  • Re:We won? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr.bhtooefr@org> on Saturday March 26, 2011 @06:39AM (#35620888) Homepage Journal

    There's nothing to oppose them anyway, much of their power comes from buying off the government, and then getting the government to ignore its own laws to get more power...

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