Thursday, September 07, 2006

California legislature weighs in on Pluto

Apparently the California legislature feelt the need to add their .02 to the Pluto debate and it seems they're not happy about it. But as you'd expect, their reasoning is pretty thin:
WHEREAS, The mean-spirited International Astronomical Union decided on August 24, 2006, to disrespect Pluto by stripping Pluto of its planetary status and reclassifying it as a lowly dwarf planet;
Thats right. Those "mean-spirited" poo poo heads. How dare they disrespect the little guy! That's unamerican and no, don't remind us that the IAU isn't just americans. Pluto deserves respect!
WHEREAS, Pluto was discovered in 1930 by an American, Clyde Tombaugh, at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, and this discovery resulted in millions of Californians being taught that Pluto was the ninth planet in the solar system;
Yeah! Hear that! It was discovered by an American, which means it's the best planet ever! And let's make an appeal to the status quo and assume that Californians (who are Americans btw) are incapable of learning anything new! God knows that Hollywood proves this with all the forumlaic movies it puts out.
WHEREAS, Pluto, named after the Roman God of the underworld and affectionately sharing the name of California's most famous animated dog, has a special connection to California history and culture;
That's right. We need to let Disney cartoons determine how we do science and percieve our universe. Because we all know there's magic and gigantic devils, just like in Fantasia.
WHEREAS, Downgrading Pluto's status will cause psychological harm to some Californians who question their place in the universe and worry about the instability of universal constants;
That's right! Californians are really worried about universal constants not being constant. If Pluto isn't a plannet who knows what could happen next!? We could wake up tomorrow and the gravitational constant could change and we'd all float away!!! Imagine the psychological harm and the number of people who are now going to have maladaptave tendecies to feel they must hold onto something lest gravity shut off.
WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet renders millions of text books, museum displays, and children's refrigerator art projects obsolete, and represents a substantial unfunded mandate that must be paid by dwindling Proposition 98 education funds, thereby harming California's children and widening its budget deficits;
Furthermore, let it go on the record that California was also against man landing on the moon because this required that textbooks updated. Apparently Califoria school districts are so poor that they are also unable to afford a pen to have students write in a quick "^dwarf planet". But at least they also have to be against Intelligent Design by this token since that would require additional textbooks.
WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet is a hasty, ill-considered scientific heresy similar to questioning the Copernican theory, drawing maps of a round world, and proving the existence of the time and space continuum;
Yet California does somehow endorse the Copernican theory even though it replaced the Geocentric models dispite the fact that, should that happen today, textbooks would undoubtedly be wrong. Furthermore, California makes the unfounded assumption that Pluto is a planet and anyone disagreeing is denying reality instead of an arbitrary definition.
WHEREAS, The downgrading of Pluto reduces the number of planets available for legislative leaders to hide redistricting legislation and other inconvenient political reform measures;
That's right. There will be no Gerrymandering on Pluto anymore. Because that was such a problem in the past.
WHEREAS, The California Legislature, in the closing days of the 2005-06 session, has been considering few matters important to the future of California, and the status of Pluto takes precedence and is worthy of this body's immediate attention;
Who cares about balancing California's budget. We need to squabble over something that's not our busisness!
now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly hereby condemns the International Astronomical Union's decision to strip Pluto of its planetary status for its tremendous impact on the people of California and the state's long term fiscal health; and be it further

Resolved, That the Assembly Clerk shall send a copy of the resolution to the International Astronomical Union and to any Californian who, believing that his or her legislator is addressing the problems that threaten the future of the Golden State, requests a copy of the resolution.
That's right. After all our logical fallacies used to make our claims what are we going to do!? Write letters! Take that you meany IAU...

Now back in reality land, I'm thinking this resolution has to be a parody. There's a lot of idots in California (not as many as in Kansas), but this really takes the cake. Either way, thanks to the Bad Astronomer for linking to this.

EDIT: Apparently, this bill is a joke. It's legit, but was more written in jest. Still, I wonder if the 53 cosigners read the bill before adding their name.


Anonymous said...

I am *shocked*, John that you would fail to defend the honor of the ninth planet! I hope you will spend some time contemplating the error of your ways the next time you are hanging out at the *Clyde Tombaugh Observatory* there on campus.


TheBrummell said...

Why do people confuse changing a name with complete loss?

Pluto is no longer named "Planet", it's now named "Dwarf Planet". The IAU didn't blow it up, or push it out of the solar system. They just changed the name of category we stick it in!

Stephen said...

Hey, i looked for planet Pluto the other night using my 7x35 binoculars. It just isn't there, i tell you!

It looks to me that the California legsilatature has a sense of humor after all.

Paul D. said...

Imagine! Next thing ya know those pesky scientists are going to expect us to believe that matter consists of little particles that are so small we can't see them with the unaided eye or with a light microscope.