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Before I begin, I want to clarify something I previously said about this year's legislative session. It was unfair and needs to be addressed.

Several weeks ago, I suggested that everyone on Utah's Capitol Hill should be flogged and hanged by the neck for a full minute at the start of each day that the Legislature is in session. This is to remind them that we take what they're doing up there very seriously.

For the record, I was NOT referring to the Capitol Hill custodial staff, groundskeepers, UHP troopers, cafeteria workers, students, some of the media, or anyone else up there who wasn't specifically elected to make our lives vastly more miserable. I apologize for not making this clear from the beginning.

I most certainly wasn't referring to my daughter. On Tuesday, my wife and I drove to the Capitol and watched Christie present information about a University of Utah research project she is helping to conduct regarding the evils of sex trafficking in Zion.

Like most average voters in Utah, I didn't realize just how big of a problem sex trafficking really is. I wasn't even aware that sex trafficking does not refer to people engaged in sex while driving to and from work.

Plain and simple, it's about slavery — the trafficking of human beings for the purpose of profiting off their coerced degradation. Someone needs to make that clear to people in a position to do something about it.

My daughter wasn't the only one presenting research findings that day. Other displays addressed water shortages, ground squirrels, raspberry pests, diabetes, effects of chemotherapy and even "Lung Setd8 mRNA Expression Peaks During Alveolar Formation in the Rat." Whatever that is.

Here's a link to "Research on the Hill":

I spoke to several of the researchers, including Monica Scott from the U., who is studying violence suffered by immigrant women too afraid of deportation to report it. Compared to what I knew before, I learned a lot from her.

Hopefully, my daughter and the other undergraduates accomplished some good at the Capitol. While I watched legislators cruise the displays, it occurred to me how difficult it is to get the attention of someone being assailed by 3 million people with problems.

Everyone wants their particular set of problems fixed by legislators who have the smarts and resources to fix only some of them. There isn't enough money in the entire state to take care of every problem or need we have.

If there were enough money, we wouldn't need a legislature. All we would need is one person, two at the most, to sign checks. Every problem would get a wad of money thrown at it.

Most people complaining about the Legislature — especially me — couldn't do that job. I've heard that it requires a certain understanding of finance, cooperation, education and concern for the public well-being.

I'm not very good at any of that. If I were dumb enough to run for the Utah Senate, and you were even dumber enough to elect me, I would be a disaster.

I don't like Republicans in general, I don't like any one religious group (including mine) imposing its will on everyone else, and I really dislike being bossed around by the general public.

I'm guessing a lot of Utahns aren't good at those things either, which explains why so many of us sit back and complain rather than jump in and try to do accomplish something meaningful. My daughter and her colleagues at least educated me about that.

Robert Kirby can be reached at or