Your Tax Dollars Are Hard At Work

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I have been holding this discussion on the back burning for a few months now, but it is time the see how fucked up the spending of the United States Government actually is and how it would appear there is no stopping the irrational spending anytime in the near future. I’m fairly confident when I say I do not think I will see reductions in idiotic spending in my lifetime. For decades, people have heard tales of the crazy government-funded scientific research that our tax dollars get spent on. Seemingly insane studies are often conducted in these research situations and, to the naked eye, they seem like useless wastes of money. But just how useless are these crazy research situations? While a study may look silly or useless on the surface, it’s always a good idea to take a further look at the impacts of the study and its results. In our ever-changing social, physical and technological world, there is so much left to explore that it might just take a few seemingly unorthodox measures to get us to a place of understanding. Listed below (in red) are four (4) of (out of 100,000+) my personal favorites for idiotic government funded research paid for by my tax dollars. Information was grabbed from a few lists that show only partial lists with an average assumed cost of $2,000,000,000,000 and were continuously funded during the recent government shutdown.

  • How long can a shrimp run on a treadmill?
    Really? Do we need to spend $3 million just to watch shrimps run on a treadmill? Actually, yes, if we want to begin to understand the effects of bacteria on mobility, according to National Science Foundation spokeswoman Maria Zacharias. The National Science Foundation’s page on the study explains that these tests help us better understand the effects of pollution and a crustacean’s natural immune defense system have on the survival of the species. Since the survival of the species can not only affect the environment but also the fishing and seafood industry, the study of a shrimp’s ability to run away from predators and survive when its health is compromised by human influence through pollution, is pretty important.
  • Does playing FarmVille on Facebook help people to make friends and keep them?
    FarmVille is a simulation game on Facebook that allows users to create a virtual farm, grow and harvest crops, trade and exchange seeds with other farmers. At first glance it seems ludicrous that $315,000 would be spent on attempting to study the real social aspects of an online game, but is it really? With more and more time being spent online with friends, the impact of these activities on our health, happiness and attitudes is an important concept to explore. This study happened to show that relationships that would otherwise have been “left stale” were actually built up through the game. Imagine how this information can transform the lives of people with physical and mental disabilities preventing them from taking part in real-life interaction.
  • How do you ride a bike?
    According to the Senator’s report, $300,000 was spent in 2009 helping scientists study how humans ride bicycles. Since the velocipede has been around in many forms for well over 100 years, you might think this a completely useless study. But, how often has the design of the bicycle changed over the course of that 150 or so years? The NSF report on the study notes that spending the time to study how humans ride and handle bicycles will give designers insight into ways they may improve bicycle design. This could result in bicycles that are more comfortable, encouraging increased usage, and more accessible, allowing a wider variety of individuals (including those with certain physical disabilities) the ability to utilize this healthier form of transportation. The future impact this could have on life spans, health and healthcare costs as more and more people are able to ride and get the benefits of exercise from improved bicycle engineering, can have a powerful affect on many industries and socio-economic classes.
  • Can Twitter predict the stock market?
    Twitter, an online social networking and micro blogging site allowing users to converse in 140 character blocks, has almost become a household name. Its trending topics are discussed on CNN and famous actors like Ashton Kutcher have been known to use the site to reach out to fans and spread the word about upcoming projects and events. Recently, the air maneuvers that were part of the attack which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden were narrated live on the Twitter account of an individual who had no idea what he was witnessing. Since market movement is all about public perception of economic and news events, it makes sense then that the tweets of this vast network of relatively connected individuals might give some insight into market movement. The NSF spent $25,000 to find that in fact, “measuring the collective public mood by analyzing millions of tweets can predict the rise and fall of the stock market up to a week in advance with up to 90% accuracy.” It’s hard to argue the value in that statement.

But the money isn’t just thrown at stupid research, they spread your wealth everywhere as if it were fertilizer to promote and stimulate growth in areas which are otherwise meant to remain barren. If you want to get paid for doing something stupid, just turn to the U.S. government.  The U.S. government is paying researchers to play video games, it is paying researchers to study the effects of cocaine on Japanese quail and it has spent millions of dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly.  The amount of money that the government wastes is absolutely horrifying.  Do you remember all of that political wrangling over the debt ceiling deal?  Do you remember how our politicians told us that there were cutting spending as much as they possibly could?  Well, it was all a giant lie.  As you will see below, the U.S. government is spending money on some of the most stupid things imaginable.  What makes all of this even worse is that we are going into enormous amounts of debt in order to pay for all of this.  We are borrowing billions of dollars a day in order to pay for stupid stuff that no government on earth should ever be paying for.  Trust me, you are going to find it hard to believe some of the stuff in this list.  It is almost inconceivable what our politicians are doing with our tax dollars. This list isn’t in a particular order of importance, it is, however, a cross-section of how the U.S. Government pisses my money facing into the wind. Follow the imbedded links to the entire event of spending our money.

  1. The U.S. government is spent $750,000 on a new soccer field for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.
  2.  The Obama administration plans to spend between 16 and 20 million dollars helping students from Indonesia get master’s degrees.
  3.  If you can believe it, the U.S. government has spent $175,587 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior”.
  4.  The U.S. government spent $200,000 on “a tattoo removal program” in Mission Hills, California.
  5.  The federal government has shelled out $3 million to researchers at the University of California at Irvine to fund their research on video games such as World of Warcraft.  Wouldn’t we all love to have a “research job” like that?
  6. Fannie Mae is about to ask the federal government for another $4.6 billion bailout, and it will almost certainly get it.
  7. The U.S. Department of Agriculture once gave researchers at the University of New Hampshire $700,000 to study methane gas emissions from dairy cows.
  8. According to USA Today, 13 different government agencies “fund 209 different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs — and 173 of those programs overlap with at least one other program.”
  9. A total of $615,000 was given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize photos, T-shirts and concert tickets belonging to the Grateful Dead.
  10. China lends us more money than any other foreign nation, but that didn’t stop our government from spending 17.8 million dollars on social and environmental programs for China.
  11. The U.S. government once spent 2.6 million dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly.
  12. One professor at Stanford University was given $239,100 to study how Americans use the Internet to find love.
  13. The U.S. Postal Service spent $13,500 on a single dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
  14. The National Science Foundation once spent $216,000 to study whether or not politicians “gain or lose support by taking ambiguous positions”.
  15. A total of $1.8 million was spent on a “museum of neon signs” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  16. The federal government spends 25 billion dollars a year maintaining federal buildings that are either unused or totally vacant.
  17. U.S. farmers are given a total of $2 billion each year for not farming their land.
  18. The U.S. government handed one Tennessee library $5,000 for the purpose of hosting a series of video game parties.
  19. One professor at Dartmouth University was given $137,530 to create a “recession-themed” video game entitled “Layoff”.
  20. According to the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. military spent “$998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida”.
  21. The U.S. Department of Agriculture once shelled out $30,000 to a group of farmers to develop a tourist-friendly database of farms that host guests for overnight “haycations”.
  22. The National Institutes of Health paid researchers $400,000 to find out why gay men in Argentina engage in risky sexual behavior when they are drunk.
  23. The National Institutes of Health also once spent $442,340 to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.
  24. The National Institutes of Health loves to spend our tax money on really bizarre things.  The NIH once spent $800,000 in “stimulus funds” to study the impact of a “genital-washing program” on men in South Africa.
  25. The U.S. government spent $100,000 on a “Celebrity Chef Fruit Promotion Road Show in Indonesia”.

Any politician, government employee, or any other ass-hat that claims that there is not a lot of irrisponsible spending that can be cut out of the federal budget is lying to you. But this shouldn’t alarm the American public since we already know that the U.S. Government thinks the people of the United States of America or too stupid to see through all the deceit. The U.S. Government has accumulated the biggest debt in the history of the world and they are adding to it at a rate of about 150 million dollars an hour. Our politicians strut around as if they are the smartest and wisest leaders in the history of the world, but the truth is that someday people will look back in horror at the decline of our once great society. The federal government needs to stop spending so much money on stupid things and needs to stop pushing our national debt to nightmarish new levels. Unfortunately, the corruption in Washington D.C. is so deep and so pervasive that it is going to be almost impossible to turn it around.

Need more to digest? In 2012 a top 10 list of ways the U.S. Government wastes money, here is a regurgitation of that insightful list of waste.

  • 1. There’s an app for that 
    So many wasteful programs, I hardly know where to begin! How about with $100,000 in prizes offered by the Department of Energy to develop an energy app that would help users track their energy usage in their home. It’s a novel idea as our energy resources are finite and the DOE has pushed both consumers and businesses to utilize the available green energy subsidies available to them. However, there’s just one slight problem with the DOE contest: Apps that do this already exist — at least five of them to be exact. Perhaps someone should invest in an app that tracks apps for the DOE?
  • 2. Alms for the rich 
    Just because you made $66 billion in net revenue doesn’t mean you won’t take a handout when one is offered… right PepsiCo.  (NYSE: PEP  ) ? According to Coburn’s report, Pepsi and Theo Muller Group are teaming up to open a yogurt manufacturing facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in New York. Unable to use the supplied municipal water in the yogurt-making process, or the $4.2 billion in cash on its balance sheet, Pepsi gladly accepted slightly more than $1.3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce to build a new aquifer-direct water supply system, a new road leading to the plant, and to improve the parks’ wastewater capacity.
  • 3. RoboSquirrel 
    Researchers at San Diego State University and the University of California Davis spent a portion of a $325,000 National Science Foundation grant to construct a robot squirrel to answer the question of why rattlesnakes rarely attack squirrels that wag their tails. Using a taxidermied squirrel that is housed with other squirrels so as to smell realistic, and coupled with heating wires in its tail and body, researches marched RoboSquirrel into the lion’s den, or should I say snakes’ garden, and determined that a heated and wagging tail does indeed play into their defense mechanism. According to researchers, RoboSquirrel 2.0 and RoboKangaroo are in the works. As for me, I can’t wait for RobotChicken!
  • 4. From arts and crafts to World of Warcraft 
    For those of you that thought your grandparents spent the entire day quilting or quietly reading, think again. A research team in North Carolina used $1.2 million from a National Science Foundation grant to study 39 individuals, aged 60 to 77, to see how their cognitive function responded after playing Activision Blizzard‘s  (Nasdaq: ATVI  World of Warcraft for two hours every day for two straight weeks. The results showed no improvement for those who tested with high levels of cognitive function prior to the test, however some improvement was noted for those who tested with lower cognitive function. I guess we can tell Eli Lilly  (NYSE: LLY  )  to move over as we no longer will be needing solanezumab or any of its other Alzheimer’s treatments for further testing as long as we have World of Warcraft.
  • 5. Red planet pâté  
    Don’t let the small fact that NASA has absolutely no manned fleet at the moment stop you from thinking that it isn’t actively spending money on potentially fruitless programs. Take for instance the nearly $1 million spent annually on developing a so-called “Mars menu.” In order to stave off food monotony, researchers spend roughly $1 million each year to have test subjects simulate space conditions and rate the food being tested based on taste, their overall health, and the mood it puts them in. The only problem is that the first manned mission to Mars is likely two decades away at the earliest.
  • 6. Because I’m the wiz! 
    Michigan State Police, in an effort to deter drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel of a car, apportioned $10,000 in federal funds to purchase 400 talking urinal cakes from a Maryland-based company called Wizmark. The urinal cakes, when activated by a motion sensor, would encourage users at local bars to consider getting a cab if intoxicated and, of course, remind them to wash their hands! As Sen. Coburn’s report points out, for around $100 on Amazon.com  (Nasdaq: AMZN  )  Michigan State Police could have acquired breathalyzers that they could have instead passed out to local bar owners instead of the urinal cakes. When will people learn that everything is cheaper on Amazon?
  • 7. Shoot first and ask questions later 
    The Missile Defense Agency really, really likes to build things. According to Waste Book, the MDA has not once, but twice, begun the build-out of interceptor missiles without first finishing the research and testing that should have been completed prior to their construction. Not surprisingly, delays, failures, and system upgrades were needed to both generations of missiles, which have cost taxpayers at least $1 billion and caused costs on the project to soar fourfold.
  • 8. Miniature golf yields a maximum confidence boost 
    Not to be outdone by RoboSquirrel, researchers at Purdue University in Indiana used part of a $350,000 National Science Foundation grant to examine the benefit golfers might gain if they used their imagination better. Researchers placed 36 participants in front of two different-sized golf holes and used optical illusions to make them appear bigger or smaller than they actually were. The findings showed that those who putted toward the smaller hole but perceived it to be bigger were more successful than those who perceived it to be smaller than its actual size.
  • 9. Ship mates? 
    It’s a great thing that our Navy is manned by some fantastic men and women overseas, because its leaders in Washington aren’t making it easy for future generations. In late 2010, the U.S. Navy split what could amount to $37 billion in contracts to build 55 new littoral (near-shore) combat ships between two companies, Lockheed Martin  (NYSE: LMT  )  and Austal USA. While the thinking here is that two companies could build these ships twice as fast, they somehow failed to grasp that the defense systems, design, and software used on each ship would be different; meaning that crewmembers can’t simply be transferred from one ship to another without being retrained. This “boo-boo” is slated to cost taxpayers a minimum of $148 million.
  • 10. What’s the buzz about? 
    Let’s end on a strong note, like a $939,771 experiment funded by the National Institutes of Health in Michigan and Texas that tested fruit flies to discover that male fruit flies are more attracted to younger female fruit flies than older ones. According to researchers, a hormone that female fruit flies produce wanes over time, which makes male fruit flies less attracted to them despite researchers’ countless efforts to test this theory even in the dark. The scary news is that this testing may soon be expanded beyond just fruit flies.

So, there y’all go. And, I only scratched the surface here. Makes me want to look into other public information for other countries in the world. I wonder where the United States ranks in wasting taxpayer money. It’s easy to find defense budget spending but I am wondering if there is a comparative list globally on frivelless spending. For fun, visit U,S, Debt Clock to see how out of control the pending is.

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We The People Has Been Temporarily Disabled

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Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, We the People has been temporarily disabled.

As a result, you will be unable to create or sign We the People petitions. Once government funding has been restored, We the People will be re-enabled. Petitions that were open as of October 1, 2013 will have their deadlines extended.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at USA.GOV.

That above statement is actually from the https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ page which re-directs you to http://www.whitehouse.gov/we-the-people-temporarily-disabled page. How do I know this? I was actually looking for a specific petition for something I was going to attempt to write which I felt worth sharing. That story to come here in the very near future. I just thought I would share this information as I found it kind of entertaining with this partial government shutdown and all. This crap just amazes me. Why not shut down Whitehouse webpages. I bet the Whitehouse still has WiFi though, just a thought.

Is the United States still “viewed” as a world superpower?

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I really find it interesting listening to the people around me, different media outlets, and on different forums because everybody seems to have an opinion about not having an opinion. Here’s mine. Eventhough we have the most feared military ever known to mankind we have a government which operates like a freaking barrel of monkeys. We rely on jackasses to make decisions for our country that are heard and seen worldwide. Yet, we the people only worry about what the new flavor of coffee will be at Starbucks. We trust the elitist group of Fucktards with the operations of our country when they should be the last damn people on the planet to be given the keys to the country. As citizens of the United States of America why do we sit back everyday and just watch as we get our asses handed to us? Personally, when it comes to politics and politicians, I could really give a flying fuck simply because most of them were elected to do a job yet choose not to do it everyday as their personal way of not doing business as usual. We have stood for this for way too many years. People are finally pulling their collective heads out of their asses and realizing that there is nothing left, there is no hope, and if we recover what will be left standing will not be what was promised. I have been accused of disliking our President on more than one occasion because I think that everyone in that office should be held accountable for their actions, their words, and the ability to make the best decisions for this country. Am I wrong for wanting our President to be responsible? When the politicians can play well together it is the American people who get punished. Why? We didn’t fuck things up. We didn’t write checks that can’t be cashed. Do the politicians listen to the masses, listen to the people who put them in power, or give a shit how their stupidity reflects on us as a country? The answer is a big fat fucking NO. But they sure worry about their fucking legacy though. Here’s my legacy. I get up every morning to go to work to provide an income for my family, to provide healthcare for my family, to put a roof over our heads, and to put food on our table. I pay my bills with the money I earned and I stay well within a very balanced budget. My children will remember me for being a good father who looked out for their best interests first. I don’t want to die and my wife and kids be stuck with a big fat bill. On the other side of the court we get to constantly see and hear how our government is broken, how we as a country are broke, and how the politicians have their heads so far up in the clouds that they really don’t care about any of us. Why do I need to pay for what another jackhole politician fucks up? Why does one single American need to bear the responsibilities of politicians because those politicians can’t and won’t do their damn jobs? Why? I will tell you why. Too many Americans have just thrown up their hands in disgust, they waive the white flag signaling their surrender, and accept that they will be a slave to the very government which was democratically elected to protect them. Do you feel protected? Do you feel secure? Me either. I wake up every morning amazed that the Stars and Stripes still wave and our fucking country wasn’t given away overnight in some dark backroom deal. I can’t even watch television any longer because the only thing that is ever on is the stupidity of the day provided by our fantastic politicians. But they are elite, they don’t have the same rules as us, they don’t have the same laws as us, and they know it. I think that any law or bill that is passed for the American people should affect the all American people straight across the board. The elite should not be able to opt out or waivered out or able to buy their way out. What is good for me should be good enough for politicians, Congress, the Senate, and even Mr. President. If it is good enough to be a part of my life than it should be good enough to be a part of their lives as well. But, we know better. We know that they get choices we as the American people don’t have. It has zero to do with party affiliation because they have the blank checks written out by force from the American people. Well, piss off, I would like to close my checkbook from this point forward. I just want them to do their fucking jobs, worry about the American people first, and start being responsible for their actions. Is that too much to ask? I still say that one day I will wake up and there won’t be an America any longer. It won’t be my fault. But I will get blamed and you will get blamed for any and all of their fractured failures. Why can’t we point our finger and tell them to their face that we think they are doing an absolutely fucking lousy job running our country? I think we know that they don’t care. I think we know that they are beyond taking what the American people want into consideration. I didn’t fuck this country up! I think when the government wants to cut back it should start with their paychecks. Perhaps if we talk to their wallets they would better understand the rest of us. If these politicians, the President and Congress included, were working in the factories of America they would be fired. When you don’t do your job in the real world you get fired. You are punished for fucking up. You are held responsible for your actions. Unfortunately over the years the elite politicians have a protocol which allows them to do their absolute worst work in the best interests of the American people and still have a job the next day. Must be nice not to have to give a fuck about anything and still get a fat paycheck every week. Personally, I have to give a fuck, I have to care, because if I don’t then I can’t pay my bills, can’t feed my family, and would have to find us a nice box to cozy up into out in the vacant lot somewhere. Not the politicians, they don’t have our rules, they don’t have our resolve for doing the right thing whether anyone is looking or not. Here’s to you, the fucking politicians, you are fired. And, because you fucked over our country for so many years you have been stripped of your fucking titles and status, you have been stripped of your retirement packages and your lifetime elitist healthcare. Now you are fucked so just move on, better yet, go ahead and get the hell out of the country which you so desperately have tried to destroy. I’ll hold the door for you, just get to walking. Don’t look back because we don’t want you back, we want you gone. Does anyone actually think that any of them care that there is at least one person, me, pissed because they choose not to do their fucking jobs? Yes, I know, they could care less. Fuck them all. I extend that same sentiment which they extend to me. Just shut the fuck up, suck up your whining pride, wipe your noses, and fix everything that you have fucked up. Everyone says they agree that shit is broken, stop trying to swing deals and just fix it, period.

Defund Obamacare (“Affordable Care Act”)

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Defund Obamacare

Don’t Fund Obamacare

Sign the petition and tell Congress: Don’t Fund Obamacare!

On 01 October 2013, millions of Americans will be required to enroll in Obamacare and could lose access to their doctors and be forced to pay higher premiums and higher taxes. But there’s still time to stop it. Republicans in Congress can stop Obamacare if they refuse to fund it.

Under normal circumstances one would never find anything to do with politics coming out of my mouth. However, since this goes way beyond the normal political rhetoric I feel almost obligated not to remain silent. I realize this decision will separate me from allies, friends, and even some family. All I ask is that you take the opportunity to review what is going to become something in all of our lives in the very near future. I don’t have a particular political alignment or agenda and I’m not asking anyone to “choose sides”. I am asking that each person I reach make the conscious decision to live with yourself and what you decided to do. This petition has nothing to do with me or my blog and all I am doing is sharing the information which can be found publically on the internet. As a father I find it is my duty to let everyone know that we do have a choice if we choose to be heard.

This will be the only time this subject will be mentioned here. I hold no opinions of those who choose to act or who choose not to act. Consider this an opportunity to review your future is it is what you choose to remain silent and let happen. That is all from me now and as far as I am concerned the subject is now closed. You have the information now which is available publically to all Americans. This isn’t about politics, it is about the future of healthcare for myself and fellow Americans.