Nearly A Million Dollars In Stimulus Money Spent Towards Teaching African Men to Wash Their Genitals

 

Perhaps sending some of these would have been more cost effective

 

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…

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Cops Bust In, Guns Raised…In A Bust Over Raw Milk?

Dyer Sez: I came across this story on the Setting Brush Fires blog. California cops organized a bust of a raw foods market; I’m not sure what dangers they thought they faced, but the stores video cameras showed the cops entering the premises with guns drawn like it was high noon at the OK Corral.

I’m not a raw foodist (nor even a heath foodist, for the most part) so perhaps I am underestimating the dangers that some organic broccoli or raw milk might pose.

To watch the video, click here.

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Digging Through Your Trash To Save The Planet – Here Come The Green Police

Dyer Sez: Once again, government has decided that it needs to track and trace the minutia of our daily existence in the name of the public interest.

The latest stratagem to be rolled out is the use of RFID tracking chips to monitor whether you are properly recycling your garbage. The plan is that these chips will be implanted in your trash bins in order to monitor the weight of your trash. If there are discrepancies in the amount of your trash and recyclables, uniformed investigators will be sent out to dig through your refuse to determine if you are separating your trash properly. If you are caught violating the ‘green’ statute you will receive a fine or, according to a Fox news story, be forced “into educational programs meant to instill respect for the environment.”

A number of cities (including areas of Idaho, Ohio and Michigan) have decided to utilize this program to track waste in the name of the public interest. But are the motives behind such heavy handed methods a case of ‘green’ idealism with apparent Orwellian tendencies, or simply a way to criminalize yet another minor aspect of life in order to enforce the rules of a ‘nanny state’ and to generate revenue for government (and private) coffers? Considering the oppressive direction our government has been moving in at a steady chugga-chug-chug in recent history, one could say that either – or both – of these ideas may be the end to the means.

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9/11, Koran Burning Preachers, And Mosques At Ground Zero – How Did We Get Here?

Dyer Sez: This past weekend, we remembered the ninth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. While I was in mourning for that terrible day, as many were in the US, I also was grieving what we have lost as a country in the years after the event itself.

Since the infamous attacks, we have seen our civil liberties shredded and tossed aside at an alarming rate; the searchers at airports (including the body scanners which have recently been rolled out, which show you – and your children – completely nude), DNA databases, ‘free speech zones’ for speaking out publicly against our government, a variety of attacks on the right to bear arms, our library records being seized and mulled over by intelligence agencies, and so on.

One would think that we, as Americans, might have learned from our history (or the history of any dictatorship) and spoke out in one voice to tell the powers that be that these injustices would not stand. Instead, most of the country is wrapped up in political infighting and Monday morning quarterbacking of going-ons inside the beltway.  It seems that we have lost the ability to look at the government behind the politics and hold accountable those who ultimately work for us, and along with it the will to stand up and point out the misadventures of our government…unless it’s something that makes the ‘other side’ look bad. Our ire has become selective, which has demoted true anger to nit-picking.

Even worse, no one has really been held accountable for 9/11 itself. After the attacks, there was a lot of finger pointing and gnashing of teeth, but very little action in the way of bringing someone to task for either the attack itself or the massive intelligence failures which allowed the situation to happen in the first place.

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Man Found Guilty Of Being A Moron On Facebook And Sentenced….To the Army

Dy’er Sez: Our criminal court system is supposed to be set up to determine one’s guilt or lack thereof, and to assign punishment to those who have broken a law. But, according to an AP story, a new court ruling in a recent case has set the legal precedent to allow for those found guilty of a crime to be compelled to serve in the military at the whim of the judge presiding over the case – in effect, allowing the sitting judge to become an agent of conscription for the federal government and the military.

The case itself is a tad odd on it’s surface. 23 year old college student Zachary Lambert decided that it would be a good idea to post a blurb on his Facebook page that he was going to break the record of the Virginia Tech shooter, who killed 32 people during a shooting spree on VT’s campus a couple of years ago; the comment was, without question, in incredibly poor taste.

Lambert was later arrested on charges of making a terrorist threat, which was downgraded to a misdemeanor harassing communications charge, to which he pleaded guilty to.

Then Circuit Judge Tracey McCooey handed down the sentence and placed him on probation, ordered him to perform community service, apologize to the community…and join the military.

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…the heck???

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Sec. of Education Duncan Orders New Types Of Student Assessments; Will this (Finally) Change The Face Of Standardized Testing?

Dyer Sez:  Looks like Education Secretary Arnie Duncan might be a little worn down from all the grief raining down on him from educators and teacher associations; maybe the lack of an invite to the last NEA  national pow-wow may have clued him in to the discontent of educators with the federal government’s involvement in public schools.

National standardized testing (a recent phenomenon which came of age after the passage of the No Child Left Behind act) is a much maligned and somewhat dysfunctional part of the public school landscape. The result of putting so much emphasis on these tests is that instead of receiving an education, children and teachers are being corralled into teaching/learning how to take the test (and, perhaps, game the system a bit) in lieu of a rich curriculum based on the actual impartation of knowledge and critical thinking about the subjects being presented.

But now the worm may be turning, just a bit.

Sec. Duncan has stated that $330 million dollars (which came out of the Race to The Top fund) has been awarded to two separate groups whose goals are to come up with alternative student knowledge assessments which may move away from the end-all-be-all tests which are currently in place.  

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