Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Proposition 71: The New Gilded Age

When the creators of Proposition 71 spent tens of millions buying a constitutional amendment in California to permit human cloning research, they promised CURES! CURES! CURES! And what are people spending hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money on? EXPENSIVE FANCY BUILDINGS! EXPENSIVE FANCY BUILDINGS EXPENSIVE FANCY BUILDINGS! From the story in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

The governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is expected to give final approval today to a package of grants that will prompt a construction boom at academic campuses throughout the state.

More than three-quarters of a billion dollars in laboratory construction will get under way as early as next month, seeded by $271 million in facilities grants made possible by the passage of Proposition 71.
And not a workable building designed by "The General," that prefab contractor, either. We are talking high end, expensive architect, all the add-ons, type buildings. Example:
At UCSF, planners had to figure out a way to shoehorn a stem cell research center into the space-constrained confines of their hilltop Parnassus Heights campus. So they tapped one of the world's top design firms, Rafael Viñoly Architects, which delivered a striking plan.

The Institute for Regeneration Medicine will be housed in a silver, terraced structure that snakes uphill along the winding curves of Medical Center Way - tucked behind the 16-story towers housing the campus' major research labs.
I would have hoped that at a time when California is literally drowning in a $20 billion in deficit, that some restraint would be shown. But who was I kidding? This is the kind of moral corruption, pigs-feeding-at-the-trough kind of excess that undermines the people's confidence in government and our ruling institutions.

Somebody ought to sue: Hint. Hint.



At May 07, 2008 , Blogger Dimer said...

Indeed this is the kind of moral corruption that leaves people in serious doubt of our government's capabilities. I would much rather see trillions of dollars spent tracking down weapons of mass destruction that only Bush knows the location of. As for excess, the corporate kick backs of the Bush administration surely pale in comparison to money spent on new research labs. Thankfully the government money that we've saved from slashing the NIH budget can be used to subsidize the no bid contracts. Unfortunately, I can actually watch the money being spent California, where I can keep my eye on it; I'm far more comfortable with it being wasted half the world away where I can't see it.

At May 07, 2008 , Blogger Wesley J. Smith said...

dimer: Thanks for dropping by. The one has nothing to do with the other. The people of this state are borrowing about $7 billion when interest is included. And the people in charge of that largess are being profiligate and using the money in ways that they did not tell the people they would use it for when asking for the right to borrow the money. That is wrong.

At May 08, 2008 , Blogger bmmg39 said...

Dimer, is it actually in the pro-ESCR playbook to bring up Iraq/Katrina/Halliburton when you're losing the actual debate on ESCR, or is it just a remarkable coincidence that so many of you do it?

At May 08, 2008 , Blogger viking mom said...

These shrewd administrators know that -at the VERY least-
they get a NEW BUILDING out of the embryonic stem cell cash.

Tho maybe - if the mounting successes of the adult style stem cells keep piling up -

the administrators can quietly switch their fancy NEW research labs - to the stem cell ethical (and scientific) WINNERS - adult style stem cells

(that do not come from embryos that are "Mengele-ized" to get human tissue.)

Then, California will get at least a part return on their foolishly spent money.


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