This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
When you think of the Boy Scouts of America, the words "be prepared" might come to mind, as well as images of supervised wilderness hikes, community jamborees and instilling in young men's souls a commitment to patriotism.
At the BSA's Utah National Parks Council offices in Orem, the image could be expanded to include doing away with public education, forming militias to fight the tyrannical federal government and, of course, stamping out Obamacare.
The BSA rents office space to various groups and does not particularly endorse the messages of its renters. It made that clear in a statement when a meeting at its offices highlighted the family of LaVoy Finicum, the Arizona rancher killed in a standoff with federal officers during the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
The Finicum group, Liberty Rising, was featured during a constitutional seminar Saturday at the BSA offices. The $15 per-person class discussed "federal government overreach and how Americans can reclaim their heritage," according to organizers. The proceeds were dedicated to helping the Finicum family.
The BSA said in a disclaimer that allowing Liberty Rising to rent the building should not be interpreted as supporting or sharing the views of the group.
But that Utah County BSA office is a favorite haunt of a group that meets regularly to discuss ways to exert liberties against the tyrannical government.
Recent meetings discussed the "draconian" public education system, attempts by the feds to take our guns and ways to get around the federal Affordable Care Act.
Speakers have been people who operate on the fringes of the Republican Party like Oak Norton, a leader in the anti-Common Core movement who has suggested in the past that Alpine School District promotes socialism, and Lowell Nelson, the former vice chairman of the Utah State Republican Party who was rebuked by party officials for suggesting while he was a party officer the abolishment of public schools.
Among the topics advertised in the meeting's notice for discussion:
"What does the beast in Revelation have to do with education?"
"Why are people afraid of freedom, particularly in education?"
"Why are values declining? Is it intentional?"
"What's coming in government mandates, and what are our politicians signing on to without understanding the consequences?"
"Why should you strongly consider pulling your children out of public schools?
"What options do you have?"
Perhaps a new "hate-the-government" merit badge could be on the horizon.
No room in the parade • Nikki Cunard, the Democratic candidate for House District 45 in southeastern Salt Lake County, knows she has work to do to enhance her name recognition against three-term incumbent Republican Steve Eliason.
So she was anticipating a great opportunity for exposure at the annual Butlerville Days Parade, sponsored by Cottonwood Heights on July 23.
Her campaign staff filled out the necessary paperwork months ago, and she was given an entry number and parade route details about a week before the event.
Then, with a couple days to go, she was informed she couldn't be in the parade because she was not an incumbent, just a candidate.
So by the city's rules, incumbents get an advantage over their nonincumbent opponents by receiving all that crowd exposure in a celebratory atmosphere.
If it's any consolation, Eliason didn't ride in the parade, either. He could have, but he had other obligations that day.
Democratic Senate candidate Ash Anderson also got snubbed, while his District 8 incumbent opponent, Brian Shiozawa, a Republican, was allowed to enter.
But at least the discrimination was bipartisan.
Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams rode in the parade and received much goodwill. His Republican opponent, Dave Robinson, didn't get to participate.
The Southern strategy • Perhaps the nonincumbent candidates snubbed by parade officials could use the tactics of Utahns determined to show their devotion to the controversial Confederate flag.
They just pop in the parade line without permission and strut along with all the approved entries as though they belong there.
That happened in American Fork last month, when a group entered the parade and carried the flag, which many consider a symbol of racist hatred, behind a decorated golf cart.
The city later apologized and condemned the group's actions. And Eagle Mountain, another Utah County enclave, is considering a policy change after a group of longtime participants carried the flag for the first time without giving notice to organizers.
And leaders in Herriman apologized last summer after a group flew the flag. That group was approved, but parade organizers were unaware the Confederate flag would be part of the display.