Monday, August 2

Government insanity, part 3,256,968.

I realize that research projects can sometimes produce distant benefits, but I really have to wonder who approved the following grants, and why:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has so far awarded $1.44 million in federal funds to a project that, among other things, is estimating the size of the population and examining the “social milieu” of male prostitutes in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
But hey, that was a relative bargain compared to this one:
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.
In case you might have thought that the tipsy Chinese gals were working in, oh, San Francisco or some such, you're being too logical: The gals in question live in China. But that won't keep the findings of the study from having direct application in the U.S., since our culture is so similar to theirs.

The NIH has also spent over $2 million on a study that, among other things, seeks to incease condom use among intravenous drug users in Kazakhstan.

The NIH also spent $400,000 of your money funding a study of the link between drinking and having sex among homosexuals in Argentina. The study paid to send researchers to six bars in Buenos Aires to interview customers in an effort to discover what quality about those bars might encourage risky sexual behavior.

How much longer will voters and taxpayers put up with a government that pisses away money on crap like this?

I can understand that there could be a public-health reason to study the effects of booze or drug use on risky sex here in the U.S. But Argentina? China? Kazakhstan? Vietnam?

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