Sunday, March 25, 2012

Whither Science?

We had a really nice fundraiser for Martin Heinrich at our home last night.  We had about fifty guests and raised around $5K for Martin's campaign war chest.  That is not much these days when you figure what the Super Pacs can do to a candidate.  They will certainly come after Martin in his Senate race against Heather Wilson if he wins the primary, which he will.  Heather Wilson will reap much benefit from those Super Pacs.  Don't forget she served for three years on one of Karl Rove's right wing boards and she will reap the benefits.  

An interesting thing came up during Martin's talk.  We had several scientists at the fundraiser and they were aghast at the demise of science and reason in this country.  Martin then put out this frightening factoid.  He is the only engineer in the entire house of representatives.  One engineer out of 435 members.  There are only two scientists in the Senate and the House.  Two!  And then as we all know there are probably a couple of hundred creationists/fundamentalists.  And only one atheist that has come out publicly.  There are bound to be many more.

I was sent this photo by a friend recently that shows Bruce King, Helen Hardin, and her daughter Margarete.  This was taken by Cradoc Bagshaw,  Helen's husband, in 1978 when Bruce was running for his second term as Governor.  I was his press secretary.  Helen, a good friend to us,  was an accomplished artist that I attended St. Pius X high school with in the early 60's.  She died young from cancer but her works of art are still highly sought after.  I am lucky  to own some.  Her daughter is following in her foot steps, and those of her late grandmother Pablita Velarde, and is a prolific and successful artist.  I often wonder what Helen would think of politics today.  She was such a decent and moderate woman that I think she would have been in a state of disbelief at the makeup of our congress.


Bubba Muntzer said...

Once in while you'll hear a clip from the movies they showed us back in school, movies about the wonders of science. The narrator spoke in a confident, assured voice. It sounds quaint now, but there was no question. We were sure about what we were doing. It was all science based, had stood up to the scrutiny of the scientific method.

That confidence is gone. Narration is done in ironic or worried tones. Millions have turned back to what they see of as more assured, religion.

Why? Science got us a health care system that can cure anything but that most of us can't afford. It got us poisoned water and air. It got us tremendous wealth and no way out of poverty, there's more of it. It got us an economy here in New Mexico that depends on piling up ton after ton of radioactive waste that long after this civilization is gone will be sending out tumor causing rays to greet whoever arrives after us.

If you think of us as being on a trajectory, in mid arc, we have blown through most of the booster fuel and are coasting. We don't know where we're going, don't know where we'll land. Heather Wilson would have us pour on more fuel. What about Martin Heinrich? What's his plan?

Well, it's to get elected, apparently. To be fair he's constrained by the system he's a part of, by Party and national politics, money, polls, a public that's half engaged, uninformed and prone to decide on emotional factors that reside far back in the unconscious.

There is an opportunity for a Democrat to take the lead, lay out a vision. No one's doing it now. Barak Obama and Harry Reid are busy promoting this so called JOBS bill that will remove most of the remaining regulations on finance capital.

Read what William K Black and other former bank regulators say about it. Black is a law professor now but was in several bank regulatory agencies and had a lot to do with uncovering and prosecuting the savings and loan scandal in the 80s.

There is an opening for someone who can truly voice the concerns of all of us, who will stand up to his own party and this bail out, coddle to the rich, don't do anything that will piss off the right mentality that grips Democrats, our whole delegation included.

Look, $5 thousand, 50 people? That $100 per person. You all wouldn't vote for a populist? A lot of people are stretching their imaginations and pretending that Barak Obama is for working people, but they would love to stop fooling themselves and vote for somebody who really is. What about it, Mr Heinrich? Do you have the courage?

Donald F. Schiff said...

Jim, that was a great fundraiser you and Bobbi hosted last night. I really enjoyed myself. Thank you!

I've always enjoyed listening to Martin talk policy, but he's really settled into his power now. Gravitas, meet auctoritas! I'm going to work very hard to make sure Martin Heinrich is our next Senator.

Abq Dude said...

Lawyers seem to dominate congress with a total of 116; no wonder governmental policy making is so bad.

Bosque Bill said...

Jim, I was very impressed hearing Martin speak so eloquently in your lovely backyard. I could tell he was speaking from strong beliefs and heartening that I agreed with everything he said. We have to get his progressive voice into the Senate to speak for New Mexico.

And again, my thanks to you and Bobbi for being such excellent hosts.