Oh John McCain, I'm so glad you're gone. But I wish you would actually leave! Through Cosmic Variance I found out John McCain has a Twitter feed. That's pretty amazing for a guy who doesn't understand computers or even use email, but hey, everyone's capable of change. Or maybe not all of us. McCain posted a list to Twitter of the "TOP TEN PORKIEST PROJECTS" in the stimulus Omnibus spending bill. Now c'mon, guess what number 2 was. Guess! OK, did you guess that it would be some small amount of money that went to science and public education? Good for you! You win... well, nothing, except the chance to bang your head against a wall. Here is the tweet in question:
#2. $2 million “for the promotion of astronomy” in Hawaii - because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy
Ah, McCain. Maybe you've changed enough to learn some new tech, but it's nice to know some things don't change, like that you're an antiscience know-nothing. But then, he helped set that standard with his ridiculous planetarium ravings. Let's be clear: astronomy needs to be funded. It's one of the best public-relations field science has. People love astronomy. And putting that aside, astronomy is important. I don't think I need go into that here, but you can always read this if you're fuzzy on the details. Also, it touches the philosophical aspects of our lives, like how we got here and and where we're headed. Perhaps platitudes about such things satisfy some people, but some of us are pretty well concerned with reality. That's why we study it. And then there's the bottom line: that 2 million dollar investment will keep people employed in a high-tech industry. What is it about Republican leaders that they don't understand it's not pork, it's investment and that equals stimulus. Building a bridge that isn't needed to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars is pork. Putting money towards science is making sure that we stay on the cutting-edge of technological capability in the world. See the difference? Geez, this isn't rocket science. Speaking of which, let me point out the contrast of McCain still actively unwilling to support science and science education to Obama's wanting to fund NASA and science in next year's budget and in the stimulus bill. Interesting, isn't it? So, Senator McCain, let me make this clear: you, amateur exorcist and creationist Bobby Jindal, and the rest of your backwards-facing antiscience reality-denying brethren may huff and puff and say ridiculous things -- and I'm sure you'll continue to do so -- but a lot of people see right through it, and a majority of the American voting population rejected it last November. But please, feel free to cling to such notions. Those of us in the reality-based community will make sure we wave as we pass you, but don't expect us to linger on your reflection in our rear-view mirrors. We're too busy looking ahead.