Dy’er Sez: We in the US are most certainly feeling the strain of the current economic crisis, and every program rolled out to date has not turned the tide against the slow crumbling of our economy. One could wonder if the bailouts and stimulus programs which the government touted as the reparations needed for our flagging monetary situation were actually designed to help the citizens who pay into the coffers of government at all – or if they were intended as last ditch efforts to loot the treasury before the whole thing tumbles down.
According to CNS news, $823,200 dollars worth of stimulus money has gone into a program which seems to have no bearing on helping our economy in the least. Apparently the gist of the program, which is being implemented by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is to send teams of researchers into Africa with the aim of teaching African men how to properly wash their genitals after sex.
I’ll pause for a moment so that last paragraph can sink in…
Africa is a continent plagued by a myriad of diseases, the foremost being HIV/AIDS which has run rampant through many countries in the region. The proponents of this million (well, nearly a million) dollar study claim that the spread of the disease may have to do with the reluctance of African men to be circumcised, so they want to see if simple washing of the genitals after sex might cause the levels of transmission to recede.
Part of the abstract for the grant reads as follows:
“NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications,” the grant abstract states. “We propose to evaluate the feasibility of a post-coital genital hygiene study among men unwilling to be circumcised in Orange Farm, South Africa…The aim of the proposed feasibility study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a post-coital male genital hygiene procedure, which participants will be asked to practice immediately post-coitus or at least 12 hours after”.
There are many people who believe that the United States should be monetarily responsible for the impoverished countries of the world. While I do admire the idealism in this sentiment, I also realize that we are currently in an economic depression, with many of our own citizens already starving or on the verge of ruin. We simply do not have the money in our coffers to help the impoverished nations of the world.
To be frank, spending nearly a million tax payer dollars to send people to a foreign country to teach them how to wash their balls is simply ludicrous. We here at home are watching a daily hemorrhaging of lost jobs, record braking foreclosures, ecological disasters (like the recently oil contaminated gulf coast) and growing numbers of homeless – sending any tax payer money abroad without a very good reason is, at best, contemptibly corrupt and, at worst, treasonous.
Add to this mess that the money came out of the stimulus purse, and the situation is even worse. Exactly how is this particular study (which is going to take place in a foreign country with mostly foreign doctors/nurses/instructors) going to invigorate the economy? The answer is that it’s not.
Our government needs to understand that while they like to gain some sort of moral high-ground (when we’re not blowing up someone’s wedding feast with a drone) in the eyes of the world by helping poor countries, now is not the time to squander what’s left of our dime on ineffectual studies which may look good for academia but do little to avert our current problems. If we don’t start to pull some of this wanton spending back now, we will end up looking just like the third-world countries we are trying to help…and, perhaps, even worse.