The faculty government at California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo will vote Tuesday evening on a resolution to cap the amount the university will pay for security at speaking events at $5,000. The Cal Poly College Republicans say the bill is …
Y’all need to back off Tyrone Hankerson. The Howard University law school student at the center of a school embezzlement scandal says all the financial aid he has received is legit. The 25-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia suffered the heat of a social media …
The federal government is no stranger to out-of-control spending. The national debt has now reached a startling $21 trillion!
That’s not all: Congress recently passed an omnibus spending package that will cost $1.3 trillion. But wasteful federal spending doesn’t stop there.
The federal government has misused your money on various pet projects, both large and small, over the years. It’s time to expose this waste.
Read on to discover five more absurd examples of government waste, as described in Sen. Jeff Flake’s 2017 Wastebook report.
$1.5 Million Spent Studying Fish on Treadmills
University of California – San Diego study spent a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to measure the endurance of mudskipper and bluegill fish on a treadmill.
Sounds like a fishy use of taxpayer funds!
While the National Science Foundation regularly gives grants to universities for research purposes, that taxpayer-funded research is best when it has some tangible benefit for the American people who pay for it.
$1.7 Million Spent on a Comedy Club Featuring Dead Comedian Holograms
The U.S. Department of Commerce spent $1.7 million to help construct a comedy museum in Jamestown, New York that will “resurrect” dead comedians – from Lucille Ball to George Carlin – in the form of holograms.
The holograms will perform in a basement bar for visitors of the National Comedy Center, as a way to attract tourists to Jamestown.
While tourists might chuckle at the holographic comedians, the $1.7 million bill for the project on the taxpayer’s dime is no laughing matter.
$3 Million Spent Studying the Jaws Theme and People’s Perception of Sharks
In 2016, taxpayers funded a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to study the public’s fear of sharks in relation to the Jaws theme song and music played during documentaries.
Researches noted, “this study specifically highlights the need to raise the public’s awareness of the effect of background music in shark documentaries in hope that it would decrease the extent by which they are affected by it.”
With federal debt soaring, the feds should work to be better stewards of our tax dollars and ensure that every research project funded is a worthwhile use of those dollars. Spending $3 million to study the Jaws theme’s impact on shark perception is not.
The Department of Defense Spent $2.4 Million to Learn How to Get More “Likes” on Social Media
The Department of Defense funded a $2.4 million study to “counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information,” as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Social Media in Strategic Communications program.
The researchers examined 1.1 randomly selected photos on Instagram and analyzed numbers of follower on social media accounts.
More than $2 million is a hefty price tag for taxpayers to spend on research that could (and has) easily been done by private groups.
$3.4 Million Spent on Hamster Cage Matches
Over the past twenty years, the National Institutes of Health has spent $3.4 million studying aggression and anxiety in more than 1,000 male hamsters.
The study, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, involves pitting juvenile male hamsters against each other at Northeastern University in Boston.
Much like a hamster wheel, our national debt continues to spin out of control. It’s time for the federal government to stop wasteful spending on pet projects and use our hard-earned tax dollars in a more responsible manner.
While many of these examples may seem funny, wasteful spending is no joke.
The federal government has spent millions of your hard-earned tax dollars over the years on pointless projects, and the cost borne by current and future taxpayers only continues to grow.
The post Five Outrageous Ways the Federal Government Has Wasted Your Money (Pt. II) appeared first on Americans for Prosperity.
Coleman Hughes, a black student at Columbia, goes there. His essay begins like this:
In the fall of 2016, I was hired to play in Rihanna’s back-up band at the MTV Video Music Awards. To my pleasant surprise, several of my friends had also gotten the call. We felt that this would be the gig of a lifetime: beautiful music, primetime TV, plus, if we were lucky, a chance to schmooze with celebrities backstage.
But as the date approached, I learned that one of my friends had been fired and replaced. The reason? He was a white Hispanic, and Rihanna’s artistic team had decided to go for an all-black aesthetic—aside from Rihanna’s steady guitarist, there would be no non-blacks on stage. Though I was disappointed on my friend’s behalf, I didn’t consider his firing as unjust at the time—and maybe it wasn’t. Is it unethical for an artist to curate the racial composition of a racially-themed performance? Perhaps; perhaps not. My personal bias leads me to favor artistic freedom, but as a society, we have yet to answer this question definitively.
One thing, however, is clear. If the races were reversed—if a black musician had been fired in order to achieve an all-white aesthetic—it would have made front page headlines. It would have been seen as an unambiguous moral infraction. The usual suspects would be outraged, calling for this event to be viewed in the context of the long history of slavery and Jim Crow in this country, and their reaction would widely be seen as justified. Public-shaming would be in order and heartfelt apologies would be made. MTV might even enact anti-bias trainings as a corrective.
Though the question seems naïve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t. The progressive response to this question invariably contains some reference to history: blacks were taken from their homeland in chains, forced to work as chattel for 250 years, and then subjected to redlining, segregation, and lynchings for another century. In the face of such a brutal past, many would argue, it is simply ignorant to complain about what modern-day blacks can get away with.
Yet there we were—young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended—benefitting from a social license bequeathed to us by a history that we have only experienced through textbooks and folklore. And my white Hispanic friend (who could have had a tougher life than all of us, for all I know) paid the price. The underlying logic of using the past to justify racial double-standards in the present is rarely interrogated. What do slavery and Jim Crow have to do with modern-day blacks, who experienced neither? Do all black people have P.T.S.D from racism, as the Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist Donald Glover recently claimed? Is ancestral suffering actually transmitted to descendants? If so, how? What exactly are historical ‘ties’ made of?
Hughes goes on to lament the double standard the public applies to famous black writers. For example:
The celebrated journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates provides another example of the lower ethical standard to which black writers are held. In his #1 New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, Coates explained that the policemen and firemen who died on 9/11 “were not human to me,” but “menaces of nature.”1 This, it turned out, was because a friend of Coates had been killed by a black cop a few months earlier. In his recent essay collection, he doubled down on this pitiless sentiment: “When 9/11 happened, I wanted nothing to do with any kind of patriotism, with the broad national ceremony of mourning. I had no sympathy for the firefighters, and something bordering on hatred for the police officers who had died.”2 Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Bari Weiss—a young Jewish woman—was recently raked over the coals for tweeting, “Immigrants: They get the job done,” in praise of the Olympic ice-skater Mirai Nagasu, a second-generation Japanese-American. Accused of ‘othering’ an American citizen, Weiss came under so much fire that The Atlantic ran twoseparate pieces defending her. That The Atlantic saw it necessary to vigorously defend Weiss, but hasn’t had to lift a finger to defend Coates, whom they employ, evidences the racial double-standard at play. From a white writer, an innocuous tweet provokes histrionic invective. From a black writer, repeated expressions of unapologetic contempt for public servants who died trying to save the lives of others on September 11 are met with fawningpraise from leftwing periodicals, plus a National Book Award and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant.
Hughes says this double standard is common in society:
But we make an exception for blacks. Indeed, what George Orwell wrote in 1945seems more apt today: “Almost any English intellectual would be scandalised by the claim that the white races are superior to the coloured, whereas the opposite claim would seem to him unexceptionable even if he disagreed with it.” Only a black intellectual, for instance, could write an op-ed arguing that black children should not befriend white children because “[h]istory has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people,” and get it published in the New York Times in 2017. An identical piece with the races reversed would rightly be relegated to fringe white supremacist forums. In defense of such racist drivel, it won’t suffice to repeat the platitude that ‘black people can’t be racist,’ as if redefining a word changes the ethical status of the thing that the word signifies. Progressives ought not dodge the question: Why are blacks the only ethnic group routinely and openly encouraged to nurse stale grievances back to life?
Read the whole thing. It’s very, very brave. Hughes is a black undergraduate at an Ivy League university, yet he has no been afraid to say what has been unsayable. That man has guts.
By the way, his essay is not merely an exercise in whataboutism. He addresses real philosophical and moral concerns in it. He focuses on blacks, but as a general matter, if you read the mainstream press, you’ll find there’s a tendency to treat gays and other minority groups favored by liberals with kid gloves — as if they were symbols, not real people, with the same virtues and vices that everybody else has. For example, in a previous job, I observed that some liberals in the newsroom viewed local Muslims through the lens of the culture war between liberals and conservatives, and did not want to hold them to the same standard with regard to extremist rhetoric, apparently because doing so might encourage conservatives in their own biases.
Another personal example: last year, I wrote several posts about Tommy Curry, a radical black nationalist who teaches philosophy at Texas A&M (see here and here). In his written work and spoken advocacy, Curry advocates what can only be described as anti-white hatred. Don’t take my word for it; go read the blogs I wrote, which quote generously from, and link to, Curry’s own work. A white man who spoke the same way about any racial minority would never have been hired by a university — A&M hired him knowing exactly what they were getting, because he had published — and would never be retained by one after his racism became known. I linked in one of the blogs to a podcast (subtitled, “White People Are The Problem”) on which Curry was a regular guest; on that particular episode, this philosophy professor argued that white people cannot be reasonable, because they are white.
Imagine being a white student in that man’s class.
But there is a different standard for bigots from the left. The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a long piece about the fallout from my blogs, and positioned it as Curry having suffered because he wanted to “force a conversation about race and violence” — a conversation that people didn’t want to hear. The writer — no doubt reflecting the biases of his own professional class — could not seem to grasp why people would be really offended by the unapologetic racism of Tommy Curry’s writing and speaking. This is precisely the double standard that Coleman Hughes decries. It is lucrative for radicals like Curry, Coates, and others, but a just society should hold us all to the same standard of discourse and morality. This is one aspect of the Enlightenment that I am eager to defend. It’s not only morally right, but practically, observing it it is the only way we will be able to keep the peace in a pluralistic country.
I found Hughes’s essay via Prufrock, a free daily digest that comes to you in e-mail, to which you can and should subscribe by clicking here.
A prominent pediatrician is denouncing a study out of a Texas university that claims affirming an adolescent’s gender confusion is best for the child.
To the disappointment of Jewish students and Israel supporters, the student government at a northwest university last week passed a BDS proposal requesting the school divest itself of organizations with ties to Israel.
A professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey has attracted attention after a disturbing, racist rant he wrote against white children and their parents. Of course, the great irony — as you may notice when you see his profane rant as it was captured on Facebook by The Daily Caller — is that James Livingston…
The post Rutgers Professor Goes on Disturbing Rant Against White Children and Their Parents appeared first on Conservative Tribune.
The fallout continued over the weekend after Friday’s announcement that University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias was stepping down amid a scandal involving a health center gynecologist accused of sexual assault. The school said Nikias, along with school’s executive committee on its board of trustees, had decided he would resign from his post for his handling of sexual assault accusations against George Tyndall, a former gynecologist that had worked in the school’s health center for nearly 30 years.
Animal rights activists forcibly broke into a farm supplying Whole Foods with eggs and stole chickens in broad daylight last week. Local farmers worry that in their zeal to save chickens the activists actually endangered them.
The Direct Action Everywhere “rescue,” which involved hundreds of activists transported to Petaluma, California, on seven buses on May 29, comes as the latest action targeting Whole Foods or businesses connected with the supermarket giant.
“They were bused in,” Toni Brooks, a neighbor of the targeted Sunrise Farms property, told The American Spectator of the estimated 300 to 400 activists descending on the city about an hour north of San Francisco. “They marched up the street with signs saying, ‘Funeral Procession.’”
Brooks’s husband Phil, also a local farmer, found the rhetoric confusing given that the poultry on the targeted farm produce eggs and not meat.
“All of them are for eggs,” Brooks told The American Spectator. “There are no meat birds here. They were yelling at us that we were ‘baby eaters’ because we eat eggs.”
The protesters came from Animal Liberation Conference 2018, an event hosted by the Save Movement and Direct Action Everywhere at the University of California, Berkeley. Wayne Hsiung, the cofounder of Direct Action Everywhere, laid out the group’s purpose to activists immediately before the event, cryptically labeled “Action #4” on the conference schedule. He told them that they traveled to Petaluma to rescue sick birds before leading a march up a road. The action resulted in 40 arrests.
“They got down into the chickens before the police got there,” Phil Brooks, who confronted the activists, explained to The American Spectator. “They pried the door open using crowbars. This is a steel building — brand new, million-dollar building. The employees inside tried to hold the doors closed.
“They barged their way in and there were women who were employees — they were grabbing the women and throwing them down, out of the way. The women tried to hold them back but they just kept pushing the women out of the way and they went right on in.”
In another building, the activists absconded with a dozen to several dozen chickens. They draped white cloths around the chickens they labeled sick or injured and black cloths around dead ones.
The farm houses several hundred thousand chickens. By entering the farm without a foot bath or other standard precautions, the activists, critics say, threatened with sickness the very birds they claimed to save from sickness.
“All farms in today’s world are very high biosecurity,” fifth-generation farmer Trent Loos explains to The American Spectator. “You cannot afford to let anybody to come on your farm. People can put the entire population of chickens in jeopardy.”
As they ignored farm-specific customs to protect animals, the activists dismissed civilizational ones to protect people, as well.
“The women and the guys were going in between these vans and using it as a bathroom,” Phil Brooks explains of the makeshift, open-air bathroom on the farmer’s property. “Oh, yeah. One guy, I yelled at him. I said, ‘Hey, what are you wiping yourself with?’ It was totally unsanitary and uncalled for. There was garbage all over, plastic bottles from water, and whatever they were eating.”
Brooks concedes that, after prodding from him and other locals, the protesters thoroughly policed their trash. But they drew a line, and flashed a “peace” sign, when asked to remove their excrement.
Apart from livestreaming the event, the protesters invited the local media and dispatched drones to document from the skies. But farmers say that, despite the extensive preparations to chronicle the action, the demonstrators never bothered to educate themselves on the proper hygienic protocols for close encounters with farm animals.
“In the United States and in California, cows, hogs, and chickens have received viruses from immigrants, where the people passed a virus to the animals,” Loos points out. “H1N1, for instance, was passed from the people to the animals.”
Local farmers find out in the coming weeks that if an action taken to save animals results instead in widespread animal deaths.
The post Animal Rights Activists Endanger Chickens in Massive ‘Rescue’ appeared first on The American Spectator.
Michigan State’s Lorenzo White breaks loose for a first down against the University of Southern California Trojans during the first half in the 74th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1988. All-American running back at Michigan State.