Friday, September 19, 2008

Conservatives are Scared -- Patrick McPherson

Sorry folks, I can't resist commenting on an article on page 7A of today's Omaha World-Herald, "Study finds conservatives more easily startled." A similar article also appears in today's Washington Post at

While I tend (obviously) to the conservative side, I'm really not sure whether I am more startled than others of scary things or threats as the articles imply. That's not the point of my discussion.

What seems absolutely ludicrous and what I am scared of is that someone gave good old non-controversial Professor Hibbing of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln money to do this study in the first place! This money didn't come from some silly earmark. No, it came from a grant from the National Science Foundation courtesy of your tax dollars!!!!! Doesn't the National Science Foundation have better things to do with your money? Apparently not.

One could ask a lot of questions about the validity of a study that includes only 46 individuals, but let me suggest that maybe we ought to be asking the following questions:
  1. Why are we spending your tax dollars on frivolous studies like this?
  2. Why when we have money to spend on such studies do we feel that agencies and organizations like the National Science Foundation are sacred and immune from tax cuts because of the weighty things they do for our society?

  3. Why in the world do we have a professor at our hallowed state university wasting his time and our tax dollars (both from the grant and certainly from the dollars we citizens pay him through our taxes) to pursue such inane knowledge?

  4. Finally, if earmarks are bad (and I believe them to be very bad), are grants provided by a bunch of foundation bureacrats, funded by your tax dollars, any better?

John Hibbing and Harvey Perlman (Chancellor of the University) can be proud of this wondrous study they have produced, but I say don't waste our federal and state tax dollars for what they apparently believe enhances the 'research' study status of the university (more research grants and dollars = more status)and the 'publishing' credits of Hibbing!

Guess I'll stay home on Halloween so I can avoid undo terror to my psyche......


Pete said...

Good point

Anonymous said...

Yeah I like the way the scaredy cat, easily frightened people are supposed to be the conservatives...seems the other way around to me.,

Anonymous said...

How is this knowledge not worth having? It provides insight into the human condition, which is a large part of what science tries to accomplish. Ironically I'm sure political strategists have known this for quite some time as Fox News is constantly pushing fear of a falling sky. I'm sorry if the results of this study came out unflattering to your set of beliefs.