When I started watching her first policy speech, I thought my comment would be related to what seemed to be a change in her dressing, and the visible new spectacles, changes made perhaps after the outrage over her $150,000 wardrobe (see article here), then her admission that that kind of dressing is not her style as she is "frugal" (see article here) and now today news that the most highly paid person on the entire McCain-Palin campaign is her makeup artist, not a policy advisor (see article here). Confused? I am. Isn't the country facing a contraction, recession, depression or some version thereof? Aren't people really hurting - losing homes, jobs, savings? This is odd and insensitive.
But alas, it got worse.
Then I listened some more, and I thought that my criticism would be the obvious inconsistency with previous speeches. Two previously announced spending freeze promises by the McCain campaign, and resistance to the fiscal stimulus in the face of the dire need of emergency funds for people, and here was promises for "full funding". Great, if she can find the money. But she's supporting causes that Senator McCain has not by his vote many times in his many years of service in the US Senate. Confused again? I am.
But alas, it got even worse.
Then I listened some more, and I read this article - Memo to Palin: Fruit Fly Research Has Led to Advances in Understanding Autism and listened to the clip therein:
"Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not."
Is it me, or has Governor Palin mocked scientific research and then called for diversion of funds from scientific research? Now that always gets me worried.
In an earlier post (such as Can Governor Palin please clarify?) and elsewhere I have expressed concern for Governor Palin's dismissive stance on science as it relates to the environment.
- My concern was not a pro-academia position, although I am pro-academia and pro-research.
- My concern was not a "tree-hugging" position; although I do admit significant genuine affection for nature.
- My concern was and is a survival stance. People should not be digesting life threatening toxins quite prevalent in Alaska (which can flow elsewhere). The Governor has not seemed to take any steps to either stem the inflow or clean up the messes. As VP, what would be her position on these toxins on a national and global basis?
Today, the research she objects to is directly related to assisting in finding out the causes of the special needs that was the subject of her policy speech; the special needs she's fully funding. Confused? I am.
From the article:
"[S]cientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for..nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.
The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism."
Now, is it that the Governor is so anti-science that she does not believe in finding out what causes these special needs so that they can be addressed in a thoughtful, structured and strategic manner? Because that is quite disturbing to me. Or, is it that the Governor is just uniformed? Because that is also quite disturbing to me.
Can someone ask Governor Palin what she thinks about funding for research in general? In anything - psychology, water, biology, religion, anything, any subject whatsoever. What about funding for life threatening diseases? Wait a minute, what does she think about health care providers? Should we even have those? They use science to do their work. What about science in schools? The leading countries in the world have significant numbers of their citizens excelling in science and engineering. Or has she missed that bit of news? Does Governor Palin know how many people are employed because of science whether as scientists, or because of the innovations science allowed to facilitate employment?
Respectfully, she is running for Vice President of the USA. 9 times in history, the VP has had to step up to the top job because of circumstances. This is a job with immense responsibility, not to the US but to the world.
Respectfully, can someone please inform Governor Palin that science and research is ALL about the public good.