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Published On: Mon, Dec 14th, 2009

Stimulus Wasteful Spending: Ants, Puppet Shows and Bobber the Safety Dog

Remember the first 1,000 page bill that no one in Washington read?

The one that Congress didn’t even author as it was later revealed that Apollo Alliance drew up.

Here’s a little nugget to make your brain hurt: nearly $1 million is to be spent on Ant Research.

From the AZ Tucson.com: “In exchange for the $950,000, Arizona gets two jobs at ASU and 1.46 at the UA, according to a database of stimulus spending released at the end of October by the federal government.

The ant studies have the ignominious distinction of joining a $25,000 grant for socially conscious puppet shows, an $88,000 Georgia paving project for a street already recently repaved, and a $21,000 grant for “Bobber the Safety Dog” costumes to help kids understand the importance of wearing life vests.”

photo: TaxRebate.org.uk

It’s so easy to get sidetracked, so let’s stay focused: almost $1 million for 3.5 jobs.

Do you feel like you’ve just bought hundreds of $300 hammers and a few dozen over priced toilet seats?

The Deseret News added some of this to their analysis in 2014:

“Like puppets? Even if a person is afraid of them his or her taxpayer money is being spent on them. In 2013, the U.S. government spent roughly $1.1 million on “puppetry-related” expenses.

In 2010, the taxpayer-funded National Science Foundation awarded the University of Central Florida a $199,754 research grant for “Efficient Control and Transmission of Digital Puppetry.”

The UCF website explains the project thusly:

The purpose of this project is to improve the quality of experiences that can be provided by the puppeteering paradigm (more varied behaviors, enhanced quality of service, reduced latency), while simultaneously reducing the barrier to entry (cost and complexity of set-up, cognitive load on puppeteer, need for extensive training).

In February 2013, the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts invested $25,000 into something called “In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask,” a Minneapolis project that will “support the development of a new work by puppetry artists in the Sampo Box Program.”

In 2009, tax dollars also funded research involving “puppet choreography and automated marionettes” at Northwestern University to the tune of $358,410, or roughly 19 weeks worth of White House visitor tours.

UPDATE: Link disabled, no longer working

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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