Many years ago I read where the federal government was appropriating money to study the mating habits of the Japanese quail. It incensed me then.... and today when we read this story, it still irritates the hell out of me.
But this one is worse.
Now that we have learned the deepest physical and psychosocial aspects of this bird's reproductive process, we must reach out further to understand it more. For a grant of $181K, we must know what the bird's sex drive is like on cocaine.
Will we learn anything from this? Only that birds on dope have sex more, or less. That's about all.
If so, how will it affect people to know this? Gee, how hard can answering this question be?
If this gets you upset, then maybe this will just push you over the limit into "really pissed off" status, real quickly. There's a whole lot of waste you may not be aware of, much of tied to research grants like this one.
If you are not fully agitated by now, you either know or are one of those academics, possibly a Senator's nephew/niece or friend of the family who could not get a job with a doctorate in zoology. So that means you (or someone you know) told dear uncle/auntie and he/she asked what you were interested in doing. He/she told you to go to some university with a government grant in your pocket. He/she then tagged it on and earmarked it, into the next piece of legislation. You were then able to study some bonehead concept on the taxpayers' dime.
We have all heard the arguments for and against both social and corporate welfare, now let me introduce you to academic welfare.
It's a simple thing. When a professor (or someone trying to become one) gets taxpayer money from the government to study something, it's academic welfare. This doesn't mean anything to the man or woman who has been out of work for a month or longer and cannot pay their bills. It doesn't mean anything to the man or woman who busts their rear ends everyday to stay free from government dependence, and may have to work until they die because they must foot the bill for this kind of crap.
In 2011, the TEA Party supporters must make this an issue on a huge scale. The elected officials must listen or they can/will be fired in 2012.