Posts Tagged ‘National Science Foundation’

The Government’s Endless Orgy of Spending

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, September 26th, 2013

This is article 499 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

I frequently marvel that a loon like Nancy Pelosi could have become Speaker of the House and is currently the House minority leader. Recently she said, “The cupboard is bare. There’s no more cuts to make. It’s really important that people understand that. We cannot have cuts just for the sake of cuts.”

This is dishonesty on a galactic scale. It also provides an insight into why, short of the mandatory sequestration that went into effect last year when Congress could not come to any agreement on any cuts, the government continues to spend money in ways that are just short of criminal.

In July, a Rasmussen poll determined that 62% of likely voters thought the government should cut spending in response to the nation’s economic problems. That percentage was actually down from the previous month’s 65% and was the lowest support for reduced spending since August 2012.

That same month, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that 83% of Americans disapproved of the job performance of Congress. Approval of President Obama’s job performance was closely divided between 45% approval and 50% disapproval.

There are any number of think tanks and citizen’s organizations that keep tabs on government spending, but their periodic reports and news release seem to have no impact whatever. That’s something that members of Congress and others inside the Beltway know.

At a time when Republicans and Democrats will lock horns over raising the debt ceiling and the President thinks that any effort to defund the Affordable Care Act is the result of the Republicans “messing with me” and not a reflection of how widely disliked Obamacare is, it is instructive to look at just a few of the ways public funding is being regularly and routinely squandered in ways that are obscene.

As just one small example, one good way to save taxpayer dollars would be to shut down the National Science Foundation (NSF). It is spending $5.7 million on a project to develop card games, videos and other “educational” programs “to engage adult learners and inform public understanding and response to climate change.” The Climate Change Educational Partnership (CCEP) was established by Congress in 2009 and, to date, it has already spent $46 million on the “threat” of something that doesn’t even exist, global warming.

One of the NSF’s grants went to a study of what motivates workers, love or money? It cost $179,784. Another NSF grant, $2.25 on Tasmanian Devil facial tumors. This is an animal native to an island off the coast of Australia nowhere else. Part of another a half-million dollar grant was used to develop a video game the stimulated a high school prom. The NSF funded $350,000 to Purdue University to study how golfers could improve their game.

The NSF may take top honors for insanely wasteful programs and projects, but there is hardly a single department of the government that does not do the same thing. All that whining and wailing about sequestration was really about having fewer dollars to waste and fewer people with which to waste it.

For example, the Transportation Security Administration lets 5,700 pieces of unused security equipment sit in storage in a Dallas, Texas warehouse. Worth $184 million, it costs the TSA $3.5 million annually to lease the space.

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Government grant of the day: Feds give $880,000 for study of snail sex

by Doug Powers on Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is article 469 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

First came news of a $400,000 grant to Yale to study duck genitalia (with taxpayers getting stuck with the bill), and now it’s time to double down:

The National Science Foundation awarded a grant for $876,752 to the University of Iowa to study whether there is any benefit to sex among New Zealand mud snails and whether that explains why any organism has sex.

The study, first funded in 2011 and continuing until 2015, will study the New Zealand snails to see if it is better that they reproduce sexually or asexually – the snail can do both – hoping to gain insight on why so many organisms practice sexual reproduction.

“Sexual reproduction is more costly than asexual reproduction [just paying for the drinks can end up running into the thousands of dollars over a lifetime - DP], yet nearly all organisms reproduce sexually at least some of the time. Why is sexual reproduction so common despite its costs,” the study’s abstract asks.

For that kind of money they should at least be able to train the snails to lead White House tours.

“Why is sexual reproduction so common despite its costs”? Seriously?

The Feds also included extra funding so researchers can figure out why snails travel faster than the government’s promised “bullet trains.”

Bonus item: In the last five years the government has spent over a million dollars on puppetry-related items. Maybe they put on a little show for the snails.

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Obama Stimulus Money for Video Games and Racial Studies

by Cliff Kincaid on Saturday, May 26th, 2012

This is article 369 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

An important revelation from author Edward Klein is the name of the Obama ally who allegedly offered a $150,000 bribe to Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright to be quiet until after the 2008 election. Klein named him as Dr. Eric Whitaker, executive vice president and associate dean at the University of Chicago Medical Center. A close friend of Obama, and black himself, he leads the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) at the medical center.

Klein’s book, The Amateur, which has been ignored by the major media, will reportedly be number one on the forthcoming New York Times list of nonfiction bestsellers. One of his revelations is that Wright, in a tape-recorded conversation, admitted that he didn’t know if Obama, after 20 years at his church, had given up his devotion to Islam.

It was subsequently disclosed that Whitaker’s University of Chicago Urban Health Initiative received $5,862,027 in federal funds under Obamacare.

The rest of the story is that the medical center is part of the University of Chicago complex, which acknowledges receiving 217 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) awards (Obama stimulus money) totaling $105,856,751 from the Department of Education, Department of Energy, National Endowment for the Arts, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

One of the stimulus grants went to Joshua Correll, a University of Chicago professor who operates a “Stereotyping & Prejudice Research Laboratory” that has been working since 2000 to develop and refine a first-person-shooter video game that was originally designed to ferret out allegedly racist cops in order to re-educate them.

However, Correll is white and his researchers include only one black person.

Correll specifically received $154,563 in stimulus grant money for what is called a collaborative project at the University of Chicago which “outlines a series of studies investigating the role of individual differences in executive functions (EFs) in expression of implicit racial bias.” This appears to be academic jargon for identifying and naming alleged racists.

Whether Correll’s stimulus money directly went for the further development of the video game or not, the game has been a major focus of his attention. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and now specializes in “Stereotypic associations between Black people and danger.”

“Our working hypothesis is that in American culture, black is often associated with danger and crime and physical aggression,” Correll told National Public Radio. It is a “stereotype,” he said.

Tell that to the victim of a black mob in downtown Baltimore where a manager was violently attacked after he tried to stop the looting of his store. Maryland state delegate Pat McDonough had previously called attention to attacks upon citizens in Baltimore by roving mobs of black youths. This video shows a white tourist being beaten in downtown Baltimore by a black mob that steals his belongings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwoEh-ZwlCI

Correll’s other area of expertise is said to be the “moderating effects of training/expertise on bias.” In other words, isolating and re-educating the alleged racists.

The Chicago Medical Center connection to the attempted silencing of Wright raises a series of questions about how federal money is being used in Chicago and other parts of the country to benefit Obama’s base and further his partisan political interests.

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Earth Day and the Great “Sustainability” Lie

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

This is article 52 of 95 in the topic Environmental

Americans are paying the hangman for the rope.

It is estimated that since the origin of the global warming hoax in the late 1980s, Americans have seen $50 billion of their dollars thrown down the climate change rat hole.

In a January CNSnews commentary, Elizabeth Harrington noted that “A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the United States (has been) funding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ authority on alleged man-made global warming, with $31.1 million since 2001, nearly half of the panel’s annual budget.”

“In a Nov. 17, 2011 report, ‘International Climate Change Assessments: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Oversight of U.S. Funding’, the GAO found that the State Department provided $19 million for administrative and other expenses, while the United States Global Change Research Program provided $12.1 million in technical support through the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSP), averaging an annual $3.1 million to the IPCC over 10 years–$31.1 million so far.”

The forthcoming UN Rio+20 IPCC international conference in June will switch course from the discredited global warming hoax in favor if its fundamental agenda, the imposition of a global government that reflects the UN’s goal of a worldwide socialist economy. The sovereignty of individual nations will be subject to the dictates of a small group of UN bureaucrats.

The theme will be “sustainability.”

There is a reason that the upcoming Earth Day, April 22nd, falls on the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the former Soviet Union’s first dictator. Everything associated with the environmental movement has communism as its basis.

In February, KPMG, a Swiss entity and “a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services” operating in 152 countries, held a conference that attracted “more than 600 top CEOs and senior business leaders from many of the world’s major corporations.” It was held in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the United Nationals Environmental Programme. Among those attending were former President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It issued a report, “Business Perspective on Sustainable Growth: Preparing for Rio+20 and offered recommendations “to scale-up investment in sustainable development, provide strong price signals on resource scarcity and environmental impacts” and “deliver new platforms for public-private collaboration at the international and national levels.”

In other words, the UN is laying the groundwork to ensure that its bogus sustainability agenda will offer enough inducements to the global business community to ensnare them in its control.

In an article by Terence Corcoran in the Financial Post, he characterized Rio+20 saying, “It’s as if the high priests of Occupy the Planet and the Green Apocalypse—having run their old socialist and environmental engines into the ground—have stumbled across a new set of rationalizations and slogans.”

As if the Obama administration hasn’t wasted billions on its green energy agenda, funding one failed renewable energy company after another, the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced in March that it will sponsor its third annual “GreenGov” Symposium September 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

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‘Your Tax Dollars at Work’ Update: Shrimp on a Treadmill

by Doug Powers on Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

This is article 331 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

nullIt’s been over a year since I first heard that the government was spending a half million dollars for a study of shrimp on a treadmill. It’s the first research project of its kind since the Surgeon General’s office during the Clinton administration commissioned a study of the effects of an elliptical machine on Robert Reich.

The “Let’s Move” program for crustaceans must be going well, because the total expenditure on the study is now almost $200k over the originally reported half-million. But that’s still fairly cheap for a study being done purportedly to help define the effects of global warming on marine life:

Reports of $500,000 of taxpayer funds to study a project that has shrimp running on a treadmill hit the headlines early in 2011. A recent report now shows that $682,570 in grants has been awarded to the research effort.

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF) website, the money has been granted to the “Taking the Pulse of Marine Life in Stressed Seas” research conducted by biology professors Louis and Karen Burnett at the College of Charleston. The research page describes the professor’s “big question” as “How are human-made marine stresses affecting the marine life that we need?”

The website describes the process of the Burnett’s experiments, “First, a crustacean is infected, by injection, with the same types of disease-causing bacteria that are commonly encountered in the wild. Next, the animal is placed on a specially built, mini underwater treadmill. Then, the organism’s vital signs, such as its heart rate and blood pressure, are measured (as a proxy for fitness) while it walks on the treadmill–similar to the way that a person’s vital signs are measured while he or she& walks on a treadmill during a stress test. Finally, the treadmill performances of infected crustaceans are compared to those of their uninfected counterparts.”

Maybe shrimp, lobster and crabs would be a little less stressed if people weren’t grabbing them and throwing them on treadmills — just a thought. By the way, any shrimp that are unable to make the cut are donated to the White House.

What these reasearchers are not discussing is what is placed just outside the tank to make the shrimp run so fast, and it’s kind of cruel if you ask me. Somebody get PETA on the phone:

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Scandal and Insanity at Penn State

by Paul Driessen on Saturday, December 10th, 2011

This is article 140 of 329 in the topic Global Warming

In a repeat of Copenhagen, on the eve of the Durban climate change gabfest, someone released another horde of emails from alarmist climate researchers, including Dr. Michael Mann, whose infamous “hockey stick” was headlined in the 2001 IPCC report to justify the Kyoto agreement and demands that nations slash fossil fuel use and economic growth.

Meanwhile, back on Dr. Mann’s campus, Pennsylvania State University was confronting the sordid Jerry Sandusky affair. Sports Illustrated summarized the Augean Stables task in an article titled “Missteps at every turn: Efforts to clean up Penn State reveal how deep the institutional problems lie.”

As SI noted, a key judge in the case, Pennsylvania’s governor, Penn State’s new athletic director and even the attorney appointed to head up a “full and complete” internal investigation all have deep and longstanding ties to the university and/or its big-money football team. Noting these and other “blatant conflicts of interest,” the magazine quoted new PSU president Rodney Erickson as saying, “Penn State is committed to transparency to the fullest extent possible” [emphasis added] – in view of relevant financial, personal and other considerations, and special exemptions that Penn State enjoys from disclosure laws.

SI ended the article by asking, “Is Penn State cleaning house? Or simply rearranging the furniture?”

The same question applies to Dr. Mann. In the wake of Climategate 2009, Penn State hurriedly exonerated him and his department of any wrongdoing, as did NOAA and the National Science Foundation. The blatant whitewashes reflect the desperation of organizations intent on preserving their money train and perpetuating the Hollywood façade of manmade catastrophic climate change.

All three organizations are at the forefront of climate alarmism and its agenda of “radically transforming” the energy and economic foundations of modern nations. As IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has said, climate change is “just a part of” the effort “to bring about major structural changes” in “unsustainable” economic growth, development and lifestyles.

The agenda involves slashing carbon dioxide levels to 80% below 1990 levels. That would carry the United States back to emission levels last seen during the American Civil War – devastating the economy.

Together these institutions receive billions of dollars in annual government grants that foster one line of thinking on “global climate disruption” – another term concocted to spin weather and climate events as unprecedented disasters resulting from hydrocarbon energy use. Delegates from all three institutions get to attend annual climate confabs at exotic 5-star resorts, to promote “the cause” of ending mankind’s “addiction” to fossil fuels and establishing “global governance” under UN auspices.

For all these institutions, full-blown independent investigations – with adverse witnesses, cross-examination, and access to data and records denied to previous investigators – could result in lost income, prestige, and power over public policy decisions. Honest, replicable, truly peer-reviewed, robustly debated science into the causes, effects and extent of climate change would do likewise.

For Penn State, the global warming treasure chest may well exceed the Nittany Lions football cash cow. As meteorologist Art Horn has noted, the university received a whopping $470,000,000 in federal grants and contracts between 2010 and 2011. Neither Mann nor Penn State is saying how much went to climate research.

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Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap

by Publius Huldah on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

You can not responsibly support a proposed Amendment to Our Constitution unless you have read and understand the proposal and how it would change our Constitution. You must look behind the nice sounding name!  Will the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) really “reign in” the federal government? Will it really “show them” that they have to balance their budget the same as we do?

Or does it actually legalize spending which is now unconstitutional?  Is it actually a massive grant of new constitutional powers to the President and the federal courts – a grant which will cut the Heart out of The Constitution our Framers gave us?

Amending the Constitution is serious business – and you are morally bound to get informed before you jump on The Amendment Bandwagon.

So, lay aside your giddy joy at the fact that all 47 U.S. Senate Republicans are co-sponsoring the Balanced Budget Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 10 (March 31, 2011).  Let’s go through it.  What you believe the BBA will do, and what it will actually do, are two very different things indeed.

But First:  How Did We Get a National Debt of $14.4 Trillion?

Congress gave us a debt of $14.4 trillion which increases at the rate of $4 billion a day.  Let us look at a few of the items which comprise this $14.4 trillion debt:

Congress spent $2.6 million to teach Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly. Congress appropriates $147 million a year to subsidize Brazilian cotton farmers.  Congress spent $3.6 million to fund a study of the sex lives of dope-smoking, menstruating monkeys.  Congress paid $500,000 to paint a salmon on an Alaska Airlines passenger jet.  Congress appropriates $6.9 billion a year for the National Science Foundation where they fund such research as that which revealed the amazing fact that sick shrimp do not perform as well on stamina tests as do healthy shrimp.1 Citizens Against Government Waste’s pig book shows Congress spent $16,547,558,748. on pork projects last year.  In Sen. Tom Coburn’s Waste Book 2010, which lists 100 spending projects, he shows that $1.5 million was spent to spruce up apartments in Shreveport, La. before they were torn down.

All this spending – every penny of it – and trillions more which is not here listed – has one thing in common:  It is all unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress in the Constitution. Congress has no constitutional authority to spend money on these projects.

So!  It was Congress’ unconstitutional spending which put us in the mess we are in today.

What Does Our Constitution Permit Congress To Spend Money On?

WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established a Constitution wherein the powers WE delegated to the federal government are limited and defined – “enumerated”.  Read the list at Art. I, Sec. 8!  Basically, all WE gave Congress authority to do for the Country at large is international relations, commerce & war; and domestically, the creation of an uniform commercial system (weights & measures, patents  & copyrights, a money system based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & road building.)  Some Amendments authorize Congress to make laws protecting civil rights.

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The Great ‘Climate Change’ Taxpayer Rip-Off of 2011

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, January 16th, 2011

This is article 47 of 329 in the topic Global Warming

The Great ‘Climate Change’ Taxpayer Rip-Off of 2011

By Alan Caruba

Unless I am seriously mistaken or misinformed, the rate of unemployment in the U.S. remains high and the foreclosure rate on homes is approaching the level of the Depression years. Two major bond rating companies, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s just warned that, if the federal government doesn’t stop spending and borrowing, America’s Triple-A highest ranking will be down-graded.

Along with all the other things in the federal budget wish list for 2011 are millions to be spent on climate change.

It helps to understand how obscene this is if you pause to consider (1) there is not one damn thing anyone can do about climate change, (2) climate change has been researched and studied since the late 1980s, enough to fill an entire wing of the Congressional Library to hold all the reports, and (3) the only climate change Americans really need to know about is what the weather will be tomorrow.

With a tip of the hat to Climatequotes.com and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) report on “research development, fiscal year 2011”, let me share just a few of the ways the Obama administration intends to squander your money.

The magic number is $2,481,000 and it represents specific amounts devoted to “climate change” research or other programs requested for the 2011 budgets by an alphabet soup of federal agencies that include the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Agriculture (DOA).

The figures cited all come from chapter 15 of the AAAS report and you can access it via Climatequotes.com

NOAA’s total budget request is for $5.6 billion, an increase of 17%. It intends to devote $437 million for climate research funding, an increase of $77 million over last year.

Over at the National Science Foundation (NSF), its budget of $7.4 billion (that’s a lot of science!) includes a request for $480 million for Atmospheric and Earth Sciences, $765.5 million for NSF’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program and $19 million for a joint program with DOE “to promote education in clean energy research. An additional $10 million would fund “Climate Change Education” in the nation’s schools. It’s not education, it’s indoctrination.

The Department of Energy which currently is projecting that permits for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico won’t be forthcoming until, maybe, June. DOE seems oblivious to the fact that the price of oil is set to hit $100 a barrel and higher costs will hit everyone driving anything using gasoline or diesel fuel. Fuel oil prices will rise and any business that uses oil or anything made with oil will be forced to raise its prices. In short, everything.

DOE, however, is in no hurry and, of course, the Obama administration is dead set against ANWR or off-shore exploration and extraction of the BILLIONS of barrels of crude oil projected to exist.

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Climate Change: The Musical

by Doug Powers on Monday, October 4th, 2010

This is article 53 of 329 in the topic Global Warming

It’s bad enough that our tax money is pumped into a bottomless pit of “climate change” crockery, but to have to pay extra to give the hoax “jazz hands” is even more maddening.

From the New York Times:

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $700,000 grant to the Civilians, a New York theater company, to finance the production of a show about climate change. “The Great Immensity,” with a book by Steven Cosson (“This Beautiful City”) and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), tells the story of Polly, a photojournalist who disappears while working in the rain forests of Panama. The grant is a rare gift to an arts organization from the foundation, a federal agency that pays for science, engineering and mathematics research and education.

I’d seen the Carthage Community Theater’s musical production about the life of their most famous local resident, Phantom of the Chakra, but this sounds like an even bigger production (suggested titles: A Consensus of Cats; South Pacific Rising; How to Succeed in Scamming Without Really Trying; Hypocrite on the Roof; A Funny Thing Happened to My SUV Caravan on the Way to the Climate Change Forum; The Wizard of Ozone; Ed Begley Superstar; Annie Get Your Green Job and Seven Carbon Offsets for Seven Brothers).

Yeah, it’s a waste of tax dollars earmarked for science, but I guess it beats funding the important scientific pursuit of surfing porn — or maybe not.

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