Jul 23, 2012

Why we're broke, except for Utah

If Utaht you saw the national MasterCard go a little more over limit recently, you were right.

It somehow came to the attention of the National Science Foundation that things can get a little dry in Deseret. Nice catch, and a perfectly good reason to shovel an extra $20 million  in "research" money to the considerable spawn of Joseph Smith. Utah tax-troughers are giddy with the intellectual challenge. For instance:

"Most of Utah's precipitation falls as snow. As a result, the project will focus on how changing mountain snowpack affects water supplies for the state's growing communities, officials said."

We anxiously await the results of this research, and I submit that we'll all need Valium to cope with the shock of learning that when it snows more in the mountains, Utah gets more water. Another $20 million might extend our knowledge to undertanding that less snow produces less water.

Please notice the words "focus" in the quotation above and "specifically" in this one:

"It will look specifically at watersheds, infrastructure and technology."

if we parse it out we face a single-minded concentration -- which is the meaning of "focus" in this context -- on mountain snow and equally laser-like aiming at "watersheds, infrastructure, and technology."

A definition or three adds clarity:

--Watersheds: Every gawddam valley and divide in the state, from the beautiful Bear River to the tiniest dry wash down south in the multiwife kingdoms.

--Infrastructure:  Farms, roads, power plants, bus stations. buildings, airports, ski lifts, temples, brine shrimp warehouses, railroads, visitors centers.

--Technology: Everything with a 110--volt AC connection and/or a battery. Such an an iPod to message  Orrin Hatch that $20 million may not be enough to "focus"  on and "look specifically" at all that stuff, so send more money and if you do we might vote for you again.


it's a jobs program for a few academics, government "public information" specialists,  assorted bureaucrats, and journalists who turn a pretty good buck uncritically  passing along thin rewrites of federal, state, and local government gobbledygook headed, "For Immediate Release!"

But, on second thought, perhaps I err. After all, we have the governor's explanation that it is, ta-da, a public/private partnership.

Gov. Gary Herbert said. "This public-private collaboration among so many educational, industry and government partners in tackling a key factor in long-term economic growth and quality of life is another example of our state's can-do approach."

If you want to interpret that as a promise the swag will be divvied up among all  varieties of looters, why, I guess I sure won't editorialize against you.

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