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View Full Version : Former Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire Dies



jrkeller
2005-Dec-15, 03:10 PM
Former Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire has died (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051215/ap_on_go_co/obit_proxmire). I fondly remember Proxmire's Golden Fleece Awards (http://www.taxpayer.net/awards/goldenfleece/history.htm) and feel we could use a few more like him in Congress right now.

Swift
2005-Dec-15, 04:17 PM
I'm sorry he died, but I do not fondly remember Proxmire's Golden Fleece Awards. Some were legit, but others were not, and gave a bad name to things that actually deserved funding. IIRC, a bunch of his awards went to space research. I remember one went to some NSF study of frogs, it was all of about $12,000, and it was actually very good research and a bargin at that price. I suspect the Senator spent more than that on press releases for his awards.

Van Rijn
2005-Dec-15, 08:30 PM
I agree with Swift. While "The Milkman" never met a dairy subsidy he didn't like, his Golden Fleece awards often demonstrated that he didn't understand the issue he was complaining about. NASA was one of his favorite targets, and while I have my complaints about NASA, his gimmicks didn't help at all. I was happy when he left office and I could forget the phrase, "It has been Proxmired."

publiusr
2005-Dec-15, 10:43 PM
I don't mind telling you that I despised that man with a passion that would shake the Nine Hells.

He was the worst enemy spaceflight ever had.

I thought he was already dead.

At least he won't be doing any more damage.

jrkeller
2005-Dec-16, 02:01 AM
He was the worst enemy spaceflight ever had.

IMO NASA is its own worst enemy. Followed closely by Dan Goldin



I thought he was already dead.

So did I

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-16, 06:28 AM
That reminds me of the time travel short (I think it's from the 80') where Proxmire in an attempt at preventing SF from introducing even more ways to waste money traveled back in time to cure Heinlein's tuberculosis to keep him from writing.
On coming back he found he had been ridiculed as the "cheese senator", the US had a strong scientific grounding and had just started allowing russia access to the space program, by letting them pay their way by decommissioning nukes. Admiral Heinlein hadn't allowed them to play before.

That said, I loathe his style of mindless votemongering by focusing solely on jobs for his voters to the detriment of everything else, including his voters longterm benefits.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-18, 05:25 AM
That said, I loathe his style of mindless votemongering by focusing solely on jobs for his voters to the detriment of everything else, including his voters longterm benefits.

well, that pretty much describes any congrescritter, I'm afraid. Proxmire just had the good luck (smart marketing) to get notice for his "Golden Fleece"

(I loathed one representative so much I left his district - and wrote to tell him so)

Sammy
2005-Dec-18, 04:29 PM
I'm aware of many cases in which he caused scared bureaucrats to kill valuable research for fear of being "Fleeced."

EPA had (and may still have) a research program on alternative pest control methods, aimed at reducing the use of traditional toxic pesticides. A promosing approch is to interfer with insect's/pests reproductive cycles by various means (such as agents which keep them from reaching sexual maturity, or agents which cause them to attempt to mate at the wrong time of the season). Proxmire slammed an early study as "...studying bug's sex lives..." Needless to say, many promising efforts were cancelled to avoid getting burned again.