Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Porkulus - where has it gone?

The Fall 2009 issue of UCLA Engineer arrived today. Upon reading (see page 17), I learned that "Professor Vasilios Manousiouthakis has been awared $2.1 million in grant funding to build a state-of-the-art hydrogen fueling station on the UCLA campus." The source of the funds are a "$1.7 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and a $400,000 grant from the state's Mobild Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC)." This money "will go toward the construction of one of the largest hydrogen fueling stations in California". My first thought after reading this was, gee, I wonder if Professor Manousisouthakis has one of those Honda FCX Clarity which runs on hydrogen and which is only available in Southern California. My second thought was, what the hell is wrong with Californians? They're bankrupt and still spending as if they're rich!

Since I'd skipped straight to that article, I wondered what else was going on at my alma mater and perused the rest of the magazine to find (see page 8-9) $3million in Stimulus funds going to something called The Clean Energy for Green Industry Fellowship. Turns out this will pay 33 students over the next 5 years a $33,000 stipend each to study energy storage, energy harvesting (what?), and energy conservation. So, basically, the American taxpayer will be paying people to go to school. I'm all for grants and even received grants when I attended UCLA for which I am eternally grateful, but in this economy I think this might just be a waste. Or a boondoggle that this Professor Diana Huffaker thought up to save her own job.

Then I found this article at Drudge. It's a list of where some of the stimulus money went. It's wasteful. It's pork. It's bribery. It's our money being used for nefarious purposes, for buying votes, etc. This is insanity.

- $300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.
- $30 million for a spring training baseball complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
- $11 million for Microsoft to build a bridge connecting its two headquarter campuses in Redmond, Wash., which are separated by a highway.
- $430,000 to repair a bridge in Iowa County, Wis., that carries 10 or fewer cars per day.
- $800,000 for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., serving about 20 passengers per day, to build a backup runway.
- $219,000 for Syracuse University to study the sex lives of freshmen women.
- $2.3 million for the U.S. Forest Service to rear large numbers of arthropods, including the Asian longhorned beetle, the nun moth and the woolly adelgid.
- $3.4 million for a 13-foot tunnel for turtles and other wildlife attempting to cross U.S. 27 in Lake Jackson, Fla.
- $1.15 million to install a guardrail for a persistently dry lake bed in Guymon, Okla.
- $9.38 million to renovate a century-old train depot in Lancaster County, Pa., that has not been used for three decades.
- $2.5 million in stimulus checks sent to the deceased.
- $6 million for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minn.
- $173,834 to weatherize eight pickup trucks in Madison County, Ill.
- $20,000 for a fish sperm freezer at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota.
- $380,000 to spay and neuter pets in Wichita, Kan.
- $300 apiece for thousands of signs at road construction sites across the country announcing that the projects are funded by stimulus money.
- $1.5 million for a fence to block would-be jumpers from leaping off the All-American Bridge in Akron, Ohio.
- $1 million to study the health effects of environmentally friendly public housing on 300 people in Chicago.
- $356,000 for Indiana University to study childhood comprehension of foreign accents compared with native speech.
- $983,952 for street beautification in Ann Arbor, Mich., including decorative lighting, trees, benches and bike paths.
- $148,438 for Washington State University to analyze the use of marijuana in conjunction with medications like morphine.
- $462,000 to purchase 22 concrete toilets for use in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri
- $3.1 million to transform a canal barge into a floating museum that will travel the Erie Canal in New York state.
- $1.3 million on government arts jobs in Maine, including $30,000 for basket makers, $20,000 for storytelling and $12,500 for a music festival.
- $71,000 for a hybrid car to be used by student drivers in Colchester, Vt., as well as a plug-in hybrid for town workers decked out with a sign touting the vehicle's energy efficiency.
- $1 million for Portland, Ore., to replace 100 aging bike lockers and build a garage that would house 250 bicycles.


wolfie said...

What's the matter with you? Do you hate basket weavers and floating museums? Creatifasciracistdenierbigot!


Oh wait,....

Anonymous said...

Umm...a hydrogen fueling station...where is the required hydrogen coming from for the fueling station?
Is he going to hook up super refrigerators to manufactor the
hydrogen? Or is he going to pipe it in from a local refinery that produces hydrogen from c2 and c3s?


Jason said...

I'm going to add you right now. Thanks for getting back to me.