Do you know what a Lazlo Letter is? Saturday Night Live’s Don Novello (“Father Guido Sarducci”), posing as Lazlo Toth, wrote letters of public interest to many important politicians and organizations. The response he got in many cases was most hilarious. It was clear that the letters were never read by anyone, and boilerplate responses were sent. Sometimes the contents of the original letter and the responses were so much at odds that very dark humor was created.
I wrote a letter in all earnest to Sen. Feinstein very strongly opposing the continued funding of the James Webb Space Telescope, with detailed arguments. Here is my letter sent to the Senator through her space-limited webmail link:
With regard to the shutting down/continued funding of the James Webb Space Telescope, I believe that the most crucial information is not being taken into account. This aspect has to be brought into the overall issue.
I have discussed this matter partially in my blog site. In addition, the matter is known to the NASA Leadership and to the White House.
It may be that they do not read blog posts (Why not?!). But even in that case there is no reason to assume that I supported the JWST. If one just read the title of the blog in the body of the letter above, it said: “Why the James Webb Space Telescope should be shut down.”
Anyway, I tried to inject the one and the only honest scientific input into the process. The one and the only voice against a scamming, money-grabbing scientific establishment backed by the media and other powerful groups. With a known science fraud as their scientific helmsman! Lord have mercy!
Senator Feinstein has chosen to not receive my message.
This is all I can do. It is no skin off my nose. As an Arabic proverb has it: I have neither a male camel nor a female camel in it.
Here is the response I received:
Dear Dr. De:
Thank you for writing to express your support for funding the James Webb Space Telescope. Your correspondence is important to me, and I welcome this opportunity to respond.
As you know, the James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, and will be used to capture images of the universe’s first galaxies and stars, as well as to search for Earth-like planets. The President’s fiscal year 2012 budget requests $355 million for the continued construction of the James Webb Space Telescope; however, the House Appropriations Committee voted on July 13 to eliminate all funding for the telescope for fiscal year 2012.
At this time, the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which I am a member, has not considered the NASA funding bill for fiscal year 2012. However, please know that I recognize the importance of the James Webb Space Telescope, and I will keep your thoughts in mind throughout the appropriations process for fiscal year 2012.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Should you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
United States Senator
The question in my mind is: Is there a boilerplate response for those opposing the JWST?!
To get a small taste of the Lazlo Letters, go to amazon.com and use the “Look inside” feature!