Is Steve Bannon Overrated?

Steve Bannon has declared war on the establishment, but why should we care?

President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist plans to support challengers against incumbent Republican senators in the 2018 midterms, a move that has received plenty of media attention and responses from both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Bannon fancies himself a kingmaker, but it’s unclear if he actually wields that power.

“When you want to talk about why there’s no repeal-and-replace, why there’s no tax cut, why there’s no tax reform, why there’s no infrastructure bill, you saw it right there,” Bannon said on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “McConnell and [Tennessee Sen. Bob] Corker and that entire clique — establishment, globalist clique — on Capitol Hill have to go.”

The senators in this “globalist clique” that Bannon is reportedly targeting are Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

He is back as the “executive chairman” of Breitbart, which regularly promotes the notion Bannon wields massive power over the conservative movement.

Lead stories on the website Saturday included: “Sebastian Gorka: Steve Bannon Like Obi-Wan Kenobi — ‘If You Strike Me Down Now, I Will Be More Powerful,’” and “Steve Bannon Declares ‘Season of War’ Against GOP Establishment.”

Breitbart isn’t the only place quick to hype Bannon’s influence. Mainstream outlets, who Bannon has regularly referred to as the “opposition party,” enjoy casting Bannon as the man behind Trump’s curtain. And while he wouldn’t want to admit it, the former White House aide has a very friendly relationship with the press.

“Very heavy leaker,” one Washington political reporter told The Daily Caller. Bannon declined to comment.

Breitbart is a large conservative news outlet, but does that make Bannon a kingmaker? If that’s the case, Rupert Murdoch, Sean Hannity, Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh would be deciding primaries around the country.

Bannon isn’t like the Koch brothers, whom he frequently bashes, and won’t personally influence elections through spending money. Breitbart, however, is heavily funded by financier Robert Mercer, who Bannon reportedly met with to discuss the 2018 midterms. Notably, Bannon is not targeting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in his 2018 race, who enjoys the Mercers’ financial backing.

Mercer and his wife Diana have already donated $300,000 to a super PAC supporting Kelli Ward in her primary bid, backed by Bannon, against Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake. Friendly Breitbart articles supported Ward in her 2016 primary run against Sen. John McCain.

She lost that race.

So did Breitbart-backed Paul Nehlen in his 2016 fight against House Speaker Paul Ryan.

So did Breitbart-backed Chris McDaniel in his 2014 race against Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.

One Bannon-backed candidate, however, recently notched a win.

During much of August and September, Breitbart went on the warpath against Alabama Republican Sen. Luther Strange in his failed primary bid against Roy Moore.

Breitbart backed Moore — while Trump supported Strange — and the press eagerly credited Bannon with the victory.

But Moore is a well-known political figure in Alabama, whose victory hardly needed the support of a conservative news outlet.

“Bannon didn’t get into this until it was very clear that Strange was not going to win,” one longtime Alabama Republican political operative told The Daily Caller. “I thought Luther was going to lose from the beginning. The principle reason was that it was just a bad campaign.”

“The Strange loss was not a result of Bannon.”

Bannon’s battle against Republican incumbent senators, however, continues and Trump responded to two questions before a cabinet meeting Monday about it.

“I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from,” Trump said, adding that Republicans have failed to repeal Obamacare.

Later that day, while standing next to Trump in the White House Rose Garden, McConnell was also asked about Bannon’s efforts.

“Our primary approach will be to support our incumbents and in open seats to seek to help nominate people who can actually win in November,” McConnell said. “That’s my approach. That’s the way you keep a governing majority.”

McConnell named four failed 2010 anti-establishment GOP candidates to make his case — including Todd Akin, who riffed on “legitimate rape” and Christine O’Donnell, whose past included witchcraft.

Moore has been leading Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the polls and Alabama has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992. A Fox News poll out Tuesday night brought bad news for Moore, showing him tied with Jones at 42 percent, with 11 percent of voters undecided.

Moore is having trouble winning over moderate Republicans, according to an operative in the Yellowhammer state, thanks in part to the former state Supreme Court chief justice’s history of making naughty comments.

Moore referred to “reds and yellows” in a recent campaign speech, and once said he “didn’t know” if sodomy should be punished by death.

Another candidate backed by Bannon is Michael Grimm, who is seeking to retake his congressional seat in New York from fellow Republican Dan Donovan. Grimm lost his spot in Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion. The former congressman has also admitted to hiring illegal immigrants and threatened to break a reporter in “half … like a boy.”

And the Arizona candidate Bannon perpetually pushes, Kelli Ward, has “blind ambition,” according to a statement issued Tuesday by two former Breitbart staffers who worked for her campaign.

Whether or not Bannon has the power to pick Republican leaders, the establishment will fight back.

“Creating a civil war inside the Republican Party may feel good,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity last week, adding, “But I think as a strategy, it is stunningly stupid. I’m just being really honest.”


Freedom Festival Speech 1997

At this season when we memorialize the arrival of our forbearers in these valleys of the west, it is fitting that we celebrate freedom, the reason for their coming here. Human liberty is such a precious and remarkable thing that it is worthy of a great festival.

We’ve heard this remarkable choir tonight. They sing with such tremendous power. This choir has become a great national treasure. Its roots reach back 150 years to the pioneer beginnings of these mountain communities. We have had a wonderful time listening to them. I wish they could go on all evening…I would wish particularly. At the conclusion of my remarks, they will sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which has stirred audiences throughout the world.

Mine eyes have seen the coming of the glory of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored
He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on
He has sounded forth the trumpet that will never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat
O be swift my soul to answer Him, be jubilant my feet
Our God is marching on
In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free
While God is marching on

This great hymn of hope stirs us now as it did more than a century ago when it was first sung. I promise you, every one of you, that you will be moved in your hearts as you again hear these talented voices singing out these marvelous and eloquent words. These words speak of the theme of this meeting: that theme is recognition of, and trust in the Almighty, who has guided this nation since its inception. I salute Crystal Jolley for the excellent talk she has given.

A news magazine writer asked me the other day during an interview concerning my belief concerning the Constitution of our country. I replied that I felt it was inspired, that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were brought forth under the inspiration of God to establish and sustain the freedom of the people of this nation. I told him I looked upon the Founding Fathers as men who believed in God, as men who prayed to God, as men who recognized God and wished to do His will. What a singular and remarkable group they were! As I look across the world today, I search in vain for such a group has walked together across the stage of history when this nation was born.

Charles Malek, Secretary General of the United States, once said on this campus, “I respect all men and it is from this respect for none that I say there are no great leaders in the world today. In fact, greatness itself is laughed to scorn. You should not be great today; you should sink yourself into the herd. You should not be distinguished from the crowd; you should simply be one of the many.” He continued, “The commanding voice is lacking, the voice which speaks little but which when it speaks, it speaks with compelling moral authority. This kind of voice is not congenial to this age. The age flattens and levels down every distinction into drab uniformity. Respect for the high, the noble, the great, the rare, the specimen that appears once every hundred or every thousand years is gone. Respect at all is gone. If you ask people whom and what people do respect, the answer is literally nobody and nothing. This is simply an unrespecting age; it is the age of utter mediocrity. To become a leader today, even a mediocre leader, is a most uphill struggle. You are constantly in every way and from every side pulled down. One wonders who of those living today will be remembered a thousand years from now, the way we remember with profound respect Plato and Aristotle, Christ and Paul and Augustine and Aquinas.” He concluded, “If you believe in prayer my friends, and I know that you do, then pray that God send great leaders, especially great leaders of the spirit.”

Just think of a moment of George Washington, of Franklin, of Madison, of the Adams’s, of Thomas Jefferson, and their associates who signed the Declaration of Independence, or participated in the Constitutional Convention. Where in all the world today can even one or two such men be found, let alone the great aggregation that participated in the birth of America?

Can anyone deny that they were raised up unto this very purpose, that working together, they brought forth on this continent an independent nation at the risk of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor? It is my conviction that while we’ve had a few great leaders since then, there has not been before or since, so large a group of talented, able, and dedicated men as those whom we call the Founding Fathers of this nation. For as long as they lived they acknowledged the hand of the Almighty in the affairs of this republic.

We have on our coinage and our currency a national motto. It simply says, In God We Trust. I know of no other nation with such a motto. Other nations use, By the Grace of God, but none other categorically states, In God We Trust. This is the foundation upon which this nation was established: an unequivocal trust in the power of the Almighty to guide and defend us. The hand of God was manifest when the United States of America came into being. It was evident even before then. Before disembarking from the Mayflower, our pilgrim fathers drafted and signed the compact which would become the instrument of their governance, the first such document drafted on this continent. It began with these words, “In the name of God, Amen.” It went on to say that the signers, “by these present, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic.”

When George Washington resigned his commission as General of the Army he wrote, “I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last act of my official life, but commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendents of them to His holy keeping.” As Crystal has reminded us tonight, in his first inaugural address in 1789 he stated, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and ignore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

We posted the colors tonight and stood and gave a pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands. We said, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. That phrase, one nation under God, essentially comes from Abraham Lincoln. In the great Gettysburg address he stated, “This nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom.” That phrase was not in the pledge of allegiance that was spoken when I was a boy. Back in those days, all of us in grade school, if the weather permitted, would form at the front steps of the school. The flag would be posted and we would recite together the pledge of allegiance before going into the building for our daily school work. I am grateful for the addition of the words, One Nation Under God. To me, it is tremendously meaningful.

There are those in this nation today who would delete all this reference to Deity. They would take it out of the pledge of allegiance. They would take it from our coinage. They would remove it from any mention in our national life. John Wesley Heele has written, “Gettysburg was the high water mark of the rebellion. It involved the destiny of the union. Realizing this, it was Lincoln who at while battle was being fought was driven to his knees to struggle like Jacob of old, alone with God, until in Lincoln’s own words, “God told me he would give me Gettysburg and I believed Him.” When the news of the victory reached him, he gave to God the glory and set aside a day of national thanksgiving.

When Mrs. Margaret Thatcher was on this campus and I was talking with her, she said, “I cannot understand it; you have the motto, In God We Trust on your coinage and yet you cannot mention the name of Deity in the classrooms of your schools. She wondered, and I wonder about our consistency.

At this meeting tonight, the first verse of our national anthem was sung. We seldom hear the third verse, which include these words,

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”

As boys who would grow to become citizens of this nation, we repeated the scout oath including these words; On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country. Now that is even being challenged in the courts of the land. According to the Wall Street Journal, the state of New Jersey last year passed a law banishing the mention of God from state courtroom oaths. Following this action by the legislature, a county just decided to ban Bibles for such oaths because, “You know who is mentioned inside.”

Without acknowledgement of deity, without recognition of the Almighty as the ruling power of the universe, the all important element of personal and national accountability shrinks and dies. Are we so arrogant as to believe that we can get along without Him? We see the manifestation of that arrogance in the great host of social problems with which we deal these days: teen pregnancy, abandoned families and broken homes, failure to recognize the property and rights of others, gangs of young people aimlessly cruising the streets of our cities, and many other problems like these have resulted in substantial part at least, from failure to recognize that there is a God to whom someday, each of us must give an accounting.

The wars in which this nation has been involved during this, the most bloody century of all time have resulted from the greed, the avarice, the arrogance, the conceit, and egotism of men in power who sought to enslave and exercise dominion over others. Their very attitude has been totally incompatible with recognition of the Almighty to whom each of us is accountable.

There can be no doubt of the sickness in our society today. We cannot build prisons fast enough to accommodate the need. Humanism has replaced worship in the lives of so many. We are forsaking the Almighty and I fear He is forsaking us. We are closing the door against the God, whose sons and daughters we are. We sang, “My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty.” We need to sing again and again the fourth verse of that hymn:

Our Father’s God to Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing
Long may our land be bright, with freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might, Great God our king

Going back to George Washington’s first inaugural speech, he voiced the hope, “that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.” He went on to say, “…there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained.” The psalmist of old wrote, “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Paul the apostle declared, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I believe we are paying a very high price for our increasing secularism. Jefferson said, “God who gave us life, gave us liberty.” Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of God?

Lincoln declared, “What constituted the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts; our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirity which prized liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands everywhere.”

We go back to the prophetic words of Alexis de Tocqueville, who came here from France as a young man in the early 1800s. After traveling widely he said, “I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors, in her fertile fields and boundless forests, in her rich minds and vast commerce, in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic congress and in her matchless Constitution, but not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and her power. America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

I am convinced that if we are to continue to have the freedoms which came of the inspiration of the Almighty to our Founding Fathers, we must return to the God who is their true author. We need to worship him in spirit and in truth. We need to acknowledge his all powerful hand. We need to humble ourselves before him and seek his guidance in all that concerns matters of state. Do we believe in the separation of church and state? Of course we do, but that belief does not preclude a petition to the Almighty for wisdom and guidance as we walk through these perilous times.

We celebrate the freedom of our nation. We hold this festival in remembrance of this greatest of all boons and blessings. May we look to him as the author of our liberty. Is it too much to expect that prayer, public and private, be once again established in our national and private lives? Then with a general acknowledgement of the God in whom we put our trust, we may expect a diminution in our social problems, an increase in public and private morality, and a renewed sense of freedom and liberty. I realize that after the choir sings we shall have a benediction on this sacred service to be offered by Senator Bennett, but if you will bear with me, I wish to conclude my remarks with a few words of solemn prayer. I invite all of you to lower your heads and close your eyes.

Oh God, our Eternal Father, thou who presides over the nations and their people, we come unto thee in prayer. We thank thee for this great and sovereign nation of which we are citizens. Touch the minds of those of our Congress that they shall stand tall and independent in defense of the liberty of the people. Bless the chief executive. He is our president. Let thy spirit move upon him to bring to pass those measures which will lift the burdens of government from the backs of the people and keep this nation under God, a citadel of freedom standing as an example to all the world. Bless the Supreme Court of the United States which in recent days has declared unconstitutional a measure designed to secure the religious liberty of the people of this nation. May a way be found under thy divine inspiration to bring to pass another measure which will be sustained by the court. May thy peace rest upon this nation. May we as a people look to thee and live. May the benevolent hand of the almighty protect us from the evil forces of the world. May humanism and secularism bend to an increased knowledge of these our Father and our God. May a spirit of brotherhood spread throughout the land. As we pray to thee, we do so in our manner and respect the prayers of others who speak after their manner. That thou wilt hear us all as we lift our voices in behalf of our beloved nation. Almighty Father, hear us, guide us, protect us, make us both strong and benevolent before the world. Forgive our erring ways. May we turn back to thee in our search for wisdom, for guidance, for direction, we humbly ask in Jesus’ sacred name, Amen.

(Source: Freedom Festival, BYU Marriott Center, Provo, Utah 1997)

Source Article Found Here:

Chaffetz Resignation Sparks Conflict, Compressed Campaigns in Utah

In any other year, Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s decision to resign would have sparked a crowded Republican primary. But as one Utah GOP operative put it, this year is not like any other year.

Consultant Chuck Warren sat down with a state lawmaker Friday morning to talk about a possible run for Congress. The lawmaker pointed to a picture of his family and his home and said, “Why would I give that up to go up there and pound my head against a wall?”

Warren said gridlock in Congress, the tense political environment and the unrelenting news cycle have some of the typical contenders passing on the congressional race.

“This is the first time I’ve seen, and I’ve seen this a lot where you have an open solid red congressional seats, … that you don’t have everyone who thought about running for Congress since college throwing their that into ring,” he said.

After announcing in April that he would not seek re-election, Chaffetz signaled he might leave Congress before the end of his term next year. Last week, he followed through, announcing he would resign effective June 30.

His departure has set off a special election  in a state that has not experienced a House vacancy since 1929. And while the Utah legislature and governor spar over a special election date, Republican candidates are already jumping into the race to succeed him, before the window closes on one of Utah’s four House seats.

“If you’re going to run, you’re going to run. It doesn’t matter when they pick the date,” Warren said, noting that the seat may not open up again for several years. “This is your one shot.”  Read Full Article Here:

Will He or Won’t He? Hatch Keeps Utah in Suspense

Hatch’s 2012 victory in the face of a tea party challenge could discourage potential challengers, said Hansen, the senator’s former campaign manager.

“I think they look at it and say, ‘Look, if we try to challenge him, he’ll just beat us again,’” Hansen said.

Utah strategists say the anti-establishment environment from 2010 has fizzled with respect to Hatch. A spokesman for conservative group FreedomWorks, which supported Hatch’s 2012 challenger, said it was too early to determine whether the group would be involved in Utah.

“That momentum that claimed the position of Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah is not really there right now,” said Jason Perry, head of the Hinckley Institute that has conducted polls of the electorate. He said most Utahans approve of the job Hatch is doing, even if many believe he should step aside.

Chuck Warren, who worked on voter contact and grass-roots consulting on Hatch’s 2012 campaign, said he did not think outside groups would get involved against Hatch this time. He pointed out that those groups are focused defending more vulnerable Republican congressional seats.

“They have bigger problems,” Warren said.       Full Article Here….


ABC News Has Given Us the Word of the Week: PALTER

On Saturday, March 12, ABC News with its web edition emblazoned the headline: “Democrats, some Republicans, condemn Preet Bharara being ‘fired’.”

This, folks, is “paltering” and why the press continues to lose credibility with the public – especially conservatives.

Paltering is using truthful facts to deceive. This is what ABC News did sadly and the press we count on to be an honest check and balance and watch dog continually do now. Their motto: “Agenda Trumps Facts.”

If one was to only read the headline, which most people do, one would assume that there are national Republican elected officials upset by the firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  This was not then or now the case.

Read the whole story

Don’t Let Kings Peak Hit You, On the Way Out

By Chuck Warren

Guess what? Utah and Salt Lake City are going to survive the Outdoor Retailer Association leaving. And the people of Utah – stewards of this place we call home – will continue to honor and protect a place known as Bears Ears, Monument, along with every acre, public or private.

No more of the twice annual trumpeting from downtown Salt Lake City where threats to boycott or leave — first because the Salt Palace was too small – so it was added to; then not enough hotel rooms with a convention hotel connection to the Salt Palace—it’s on the way to being taken care of; the claim Utah’s liquor laws are too strange, yet in the summer and winter when the Outdoor Retailer shows are here it seems there is plenty of pale ale and Jack Daniel’s sold – and liquor laws were changed somewhat; again, for them.

And always, the one I have personally taken great offense to, goes off into the sunset with them as well – that Utahans do not respect, nor take care of the beauty surrounding us.

In reality, with two decades of bullying by the Outdoor Retailers, Utah has been blackmailed into spending tax dollars specific to the threats of leaving, and upon the spending, promises to stay here.  Appears though, there are some folks biking in Moab, or climbing the cliffs of Zion who have short memories and spoke to the Governor with some very forked tongues.

So let me remind them, plus share with Utah citizens what Outdoor Retailers shouting and stomping of feet has already seen purchased by you for them. And let you appreciate what this promise broken, to stay – if… has cost. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – no pun intended Patagonia.

Now remember, two exhibitions. One summer, one winter: with estimates of together bringing $40 million to the economy.  In 2004 the Outdoor Retailers said if the Salt Palace was not expanded – it would say, “bye, bye.”

Utah agreed to the blackmail and expanded:

2005-6 Expansion – $58 Million budget

$46 Million from Salt Lake County

$4 Million from the State of Utah

$8 Million from Salt Lake City

515,000 square feet of exhibit space,

164,000 square feet of meeting rooms,

45,000-square-foot ballroom

66 meeting rooms.

If you haven’t seen the addition you really should, it is yours. And since it has pretty been empty fairly often through the year, other than when the Outdoor Retailers came to town, it’s easily wandered into.

Must be some kind of new math, but how exactly does the spending of $58 million by Utah to keep $40 million in the state, leave an $18 million shortfall that doesn’t really seem to matter to the Outdoor industry; as they continued to threaten and ask for more and more each year. In fact, the current legislative session was in the process of budgeting $2 million to this year’s summer show.

And now, now citizens of Utah.  The threat from this group has become a reality. Twenty-years of give and take-take-take, counts for naught. Yet, most of all, of being incredible hosts to the retailers and those who buy their gear.  Certainly, Utah and its people must being doing something right in the management and protecting of lands, as it appears both those coming to visit and others coming to stay increase significantly yearly.

Guess it’s a question of which came first? Utah, or the Outdoor Retailer Association? Easy enough, and we’re stay and they aren’t. They’re going to pick up their toys and after two decades of Utah politicians and citizens rolling out the welcome mat and putting up the fists full of tax dollars; they’re going to go play their game of “I want’, “you need,” and “we own you”, somewhere else because a population of citizens, where probably 60% can trace ancestry to early pioneers, are not good stewards of the land where we live, work, and recreate.

The CEO of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, had already said his company will never come back to Salt Lake City.  Every Utahan should read his blog of Jan. 11, 2017, that begins with: “Every year, millions of people visit public lands in Utah to climb, hike, ski, hunt, and a heck of a lot more.  I’ve skied, climbed and fished the wild streams of wild Utah for years.”  Now, hold on to your hats because this is the really good part, he says: “THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OWN THESE LANDS – AND UTAH REAPS THE REWARDS.”

It is shame, but I am sick of society where adults bully, make threats and boycott … especially when a city and state has kissed their horses petunia for the equivalent of a $40 million gun held to our heads twice a year and best of all, live in a state that is owned not by those who live here, but “the American people.”

I think we were all tiring of the constant threats. You would think without, as Mr. Chouinard, puts it, the retailers and the “gobs of money,” and being a “cash cow”, enough so our politicians would “bend over backwards” in welcome; that without them we become a third world country, his quotes, not mine.

When “Will & Grace” airs 10 episodes next year, I am not going to boycott it because Debra Messing is a liberal. I will watch it and laugh. I am not going to boycott films because of liberal actors. I wish people would grow up.

Yes, Mr. Chouinard, we are well aware outdoor recreation in Utah is a $12 billion industry and supports 122,000 jobs.  And in your blog it is kind of you to mention other uses of Utah’s very public lands.  As you say: “Sure, we use these lands for energy and grazing and other things too.”

I’m with you Mr. Chouinard, as you so well put in your blog, “I say enough is enough.” Utah simply needs to remind the Outdoor folks we have loved them, appreciated them and thanks to the exposure they have helped Utah gain nationally and internationally, our rooms are full, the wait at restaurants downtown long, and other shows or will book the Salt Palace; and Zion Curtain or not – a good Whiskey Sour can be had.

I think with Mr. Chouinard and in the tone of his blog, he has shown his level of respect for the people of Utah, who are among the best stewards of lands public or private anywhere in America. Apparently, much the same lack of decorum shown in Thursday’s phone call to our government leaders. If the retailers want to take their goods and go smoke joints in Denver, Godspeed.

And no, we don’t want the door to hit you on the way out, but your arrogance has many among the three million Utah residents who have spent lifetimes of respecting and preserving the place our ancestors were driven to live, and at one time even had the U.S. government declare war upon them; give a bonus not asked for, but well deserved – our goodbye and the one finger salute.

Yvon Chouinard’s blog about Utah can be found here: