While reading my current edition of Astronomy magazine, I noted an article about the effects of our illustrious Congress shutting down the government, due to their failure to pass a budget by Oct. 1, 2013.
More than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed and government-funded work deemed nonessential was suspended. Scientific endeavors, and specifically astronomy, were hard hit. During this political holdup, 98 percent of NASA employees (more than 17,000 people) were prohibited from working. Work on all missions in progress was suspended. The National Science Foundation was forced to furlough 98 percent of its employees.
During the shutdown, which ended Oct. 17, federal employees were not allowed to conduct business or research. During the second week, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory was forced to shut down. Scientists who have applied for and received time on federally funded telescopes missed their scheduled time. This process of funding research takes many months.
I am really fed up with the constant flow of letters I read in the “Letters to the Editor,” lambasting our president, when he is burdened with having to deal with that useless bunch of clucks in the House of Representatives. Their actions are, to say the least, worthy of some sort of “Dilbert Award.”
If they had been in business on Dec. 7, 1941, we would have lost World War II. Boys, don’t sweat your next campaign funds. There aren’t going to be any.