Planetariums in Politics

20 09 2008

So if you’ve kept up with this blog, you know I’ve so far avoided much political posturing.  In fact, this is the only post I’ve ever used a “politics” category or tag.  That’s because I’ve seen too many popular blogs use politics as a means to attract readers.  This post is not to rile a bunch of “hooray for my side” sentiments, it’s simply to point to a political uh-oh that I care about.

Last week McCain was defending Palin’s pet projects and spending record. Then he criticized Obama for seeking large earmarks himself — almost $900 million, according to McCain’s sources.  “That’s nearly a million every day, every working day he’s been in Congress,” McCain said.  To me, this is just political noise like the rest of them, and I’m barely paying attention.

But then he says, “And when you look at some of the planetariums and other foolishness that he asked for, he shouldn’t be saying anything about Governor Palin.”

Now he has my attention.

It doesn’t take much digging to find out what McCain was alluring to. It’s right here in the official record, first item.  I’ve already heard from the folks at the Adler.  The request was valid.  And after visiting Adler this past summer with professionals from all over the Earth, I can assure you that real education is going on there and the American public should be proud we have it.  The Sky Theater of focus here could certainly use some updating, especially when you consider how much we’ve learned since it’s construction.

But McCain didn’t give the Adler as a specific example.  He said “planetariums”, as in all of them.  At what point did it seem like a good idea to call our nation’s most vast and ancient of educational institutions “foolishness”?  This comment, mostly ignored by the rest of the news media, has driven home a point about the Republican party of the last eight years that I can see being echoed in the one led by McCain — that education and science aren’t nearly as important as making sure the world knows we like fightin’!  I would even go so far as to call the addition of Palin to the ticket a sign of anti-science policy.  I’ve had it with firing scientific advisors who won’t forge documents, allowing oil companies to determine their own environmental impacts, and pushing for schools to compare students in a strictly numerical sense instead of allowing for qualitative assessments.  (I have a whole blog post in my mind about that last one, but I’ll hold off for now!)

I have no love for any candidate.  I’m not supporting any individual or party.  But I am ready for whoever is willing to let teachers run their classrooms again, give approving nods to real scientists and experts, and stop this blasted war.  Is that too much to ask?

Oh, and could they sound just a little smarter than Bush?  That’d be nice.




5 responses

20 09 2008
Jamie Holts

Well said Great information, keep up the great work!

20 09 2008
Nick Jones

It doesn’t sound like to much to ask, but for some reason it is…

25 09 2008

Definately too much to ask for from a broken political system, a hollow shell of the framers intent. Or perhaps i am just dissillusioned.

Anyhow, I would be really interested to hear if you think this has any merit.

1 10 2008
Dave Smith

Maybe he was just upset about earmarking planetariums, which could be explicitly funded in an appropriations bill.

In any case, I was hunting down old friends and roommates–of which, you were both–and tonight it was your turn to be stalked. What’s up with you these days?

1 10 2008
Terry Johnson

Dave Smith! It’s been years! Drop me an email. My addy is listed right up at the top.

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