Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shakin' up the Illinois State Museum -- add 1

Text of a letter I just submitted to the Hon. Bruce Rauner, governor of Illinois:

Recently I wrote urging you not to close the Illinois State Museum, and I got this message back: “I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to my office about bobcat hunting in Illinois. … Please know I value your opinion and thank you for sharing it with me. Hearing from people in Illinois gives me a better idea of what is impacting local communities across the state. Knowing those opinions helps me make decisions for you in Springfield.”

I guess it’s nice to hear you say you value my opinion and it helps you make decisions about my local community, but I wasn’t talking about bobcat hunting. I wrote to tell you that closing the State Museum will damage our reputation in the international scientific community.

So, since apparently no one on your staff bothered to read my first letter, I will try again: DO NOT, repeat NOT, CLOSE the ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM, repeat ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM. If you do, it will make further research on artifacts in the museum collection, including a juvenile bobcat skeleton found in a Hopewell culture burial site, inaccessible to scientists worldwide, including the anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany whom I referenced in my first letter. If you close the museum, it will look like a CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT, repeat CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT, retaliating against a community that voted against you in last year’s Republican gubernatorial primary. And I know you wouldn’t want to give anybody that impression.

For background, including my original letter and a screen grab of Governor Rauner's full response, see post immediately below dated July 15 --


I suspect that the original, in which I discussed the bobcat skeleton at some length (for such a short letter), was run through word recognition software in the governor's office and the form letter for the bobcat bill was assigned to me on the basis of a word frequency count. Hence my repetitions in the second message.

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