Friday, February 5, 2010

Idea from outer space

I think the Howard Astronomical League is really awesome. I love science related stuff, so this club sounds like something that is right up my alley. However, it is really annoying when clubs like HAL put their hand out and start begging for tax dollars.

HAL is restoring an antique telescope, and they have been unable to raise enough private donations to complete the restoration. Therefore, HAL members have convinced our "generous" legislators to give them in excess of $25,000 in tax dollars to fund this restoration. Fix it with subsidy, right? Of course, they use all the buzzwords like "education" and "public-private partnership" to rationalize this expenditure that they are unwilling to spend their own money on. It seems shockingly stupid to me to fund a project like this with public funds, especially during economic times like these.

Given a recent letter to the editor from a HAL club member, it is apparent that some of the HAL club members do not understand the difference between public and private:

This so-called pet project is not a private endeavor. The Observatory Project is a partnership between the men, women and children who make up our not-for-profit educational organization, and the county to further public education, science education in particular.

Ummm, yeah. That does not mean that your project is not a private endeavor. What's more, Howard County already spends more than half of the total budget on education (without any required economics courses, interestingly. I think that's how they manage to keep most people fat, dumb and happy.)

You want to steal my tax dollars to refurbish your telescope? I'm sorry HAL, I'm afraid I can't do that.

However, if you'd like to make a donation to this interesting project, do so here.