Friday, March 28, 2014

This is what we get

This is a predictable result of the austerity framework that has dominated our politics since the 1980's.
Because we have such fear of taxation and government spending (except on war, of course) that we don't fund our institutions. The institutions have to seek funding from other sources. Those other sources tend so be wealthy megalomaniac nuts who, unsurprisingly, want something in return for their "investment."

Like, for instance, YOUR SOUL!!!!!

 So we get shit like this:

(Via Salon)

A major funder of “creation museums” has been selected — strange as it may seem — to be the commencement speaker at Montana’s leading institution of science, Montana Tech, the mining and engineering school in Butte that has produced some of the world’s top geologists.

The speaker is Greg Gianforte, a conservative billionaire whose philanthropic endeavors include funding museums whose purpose is to discredit Darwinism and persuade visitors that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that North America’s geology was carved by Noah’s flood, and that dinosaurs coexisted with early humans.

Now why would a science school invite an anti-science fanatic to give its commencement address?
Funny you should ask!
Odder still is the fact that Gianforte is no stranger to science at all. He is a computer scientist, who built a massively successful company. . . And he has donated money to Montana Tech for its computer science program
The objectors are not only upset about Gianforte, but also the inclusion of his wife, Susan, in the program.  She was invited to co-deliver the commencement speech with her husband.  Susan Gianforte is a vociferous opponent of laws designed to protect gay people from being targets of discrimination.  She believes businesses should have the legal right to refuse service to gay customers, and she has been leading the charge against an anti-discrimination ordinance that is now being debated by the city council of Bozeman, where the Gianfortes live.

So, pretty much exactly the type of couple that an institute of higher learning would want to associate itself with. But in these times we live in, everything's for sale.


EcoRover said...

Thanks for covering this important issue. In your closing, did you mean "So, pretty much exactly the type of couple that an institute of higher learning would NOT? want to associate itself with."?

Professor Chaos said...

Yeah, it was attempted sarcasm.