Of license plates and condoms. It could be a book title, starring the state of Utah. CNN picked up on both issues because, how should we put it, the topics are stupid. Gov. Gary Herbert blushed because, you know—sex. He shut down a condom campaign that was seeking to make people (men) take notice by printing bawdy, silly messages on the wrappers. Wyoming, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, went all the way with its campaign "Ready to Ride Wyoming." But Utah is simply horrified. Former Salt Lake School Board member Amanda Corry Thorderson put it this way on Facebook: "Sex happens, governor, whether you like it or not. If you want to curb HIV, unwanted pregnancy, STIs—all of which are problems in Utah—then get them out to the people who need them. Hiding your eyes, burying your head in the sand and clutching your pearls [are] the reasons you've got the problems you do."
You're So Vain
Now onto the license plate controversy. We know how sensitive and innocent Utahns are, so you certainly wouldn't see sexual innuendo on a vanity plate. On the other hand, certain political commentary appears to be A-OK. Sharp-eyed teacher Matt Pacenza was stunned when he saw the plate "DEPORTM" on the street. This is a state that generally supports immigration. Turns out, the DMV has also OK'd FUHRER, while rejecting COVFEFE, 666 CEO, MERLOT and HAIL NO, among others. Well, the DMV just doesn't know how all this happens, but it hasn't exactly got a great vetting process. Maybe Utah's lucky. CNN says a lawmaker in Oklahoma wants to get his state to approve this plate: "DJT2020, Make America Great Again." It's free speech, the lawmaker says.
"At least 24 Utah cities, counties pledge to use renewable energy by 2030," a Trib headline says. This is good news, as long as you survive until 2030. So much of our movement toward clean energy and air is simply aspirational. Vox reporter David Roberts offered a roadmap to sustainability after a study last year saying it's technically and economically feasible to run the U.S. economy entirely on renewables by 2050. It would take, he notes, an "unprecedented level of government activism, a skein of incentives, mandates, standards, and laws unmatched in U.S. history." In business-crazed Utah, that's unlikely as former Gov. Mike Leavitt demonstrated at a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting. He sang the praises of the proposed inland port, likening opposition to that of light rail, according to the Deseret News. But the port adds pollution while the rail takes it away.