$384,949 Federal Money to Study Duck Penises While Federal Workers Being Furloughed

March 1, 2013, the dreaded sequestration descended upon the nation.  The mandatory budget cuts were supposed to make life difficult.  Over the past three weeks, we’ve been reporting on a number of federal expenditures that should be cut while others should not be cut.

For example, the White House continues to spend $227,000 a year for calligraphers when a computer can do it just as well and a whole lot cheaper.  The White House is also continuing to pay someone over $100,000 a year to walk the presidential pooch.  To date, there is no indication that Obama will curtail his frequent visits to the golf course or limit the exorbitant family vacations and use of Air Force One.

What the White House did cut were the public tours, which really only affects the American public and not the White House staff.  The Secret Service employees who were involved in the tours are just being reassigned with other duties and perhaps losing some overtime pay.

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One of the more disgusting things I’ve seen involving the sequestration and the budget cuts was Sen. Harry Reid’s inference to the reduced military budget and the tragic death of 7 Marines who were training in Nevada.  Reid’s use of the tragedy was unthinkable and unpardonable in my mind as well insensitive and insulting to the families of those who died.

But perhaps one of the more questionable spending issues I’ve seen in the past several weeks involves the study of duck penises.  It seems that the National Science Foundation has been using $384,949 of taxpayer money to fund a Yale University grant for this study.  The grant, which was actually made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus), is for a project titled:

“Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia.”

The description of the grant reads:

“The project examines how reproductive morphology covaries with season, age, and social environment in a diverse sample of duck species that differ in ecology, territoriality and breeding system.”

The gist of the study, which was launched in 2009, focuses on the fact that a number of duck species males have cork-screw shaped penises.  As a wildlife biologist, I have seen this in variety of ducks.  However, the researchers at Yale have the wild idea that this odd shape is somehow due to some evolutionary sexual conflict and that by studying this phenomenon it will somehow benefit man or ducks in the future.

To begin with, evolution is not a science, rather it is a religion that believes in billions of years of godless random genetic mutational changes that gave rise to a complexly designed and extremely orderly universe.  In fact, evolution defies many of the basic known laws of science including the laws of biology, chemistry, information and physics.  It has never been observed in its truest form and cannot be repeated by experimentation- i.e. you cannot randomly create life from non-life and you cannot randomly create information from non-information.  Evolution is just as much a religion as creationism is.

Therefore, funding such a study should be a violation of the non-existent separation of church and state.  However, let me ask you this: Which is more important – funding tours of the White House for families and schools from across the nation or studying the shape of a duck’s penis?

In fact, if you defunded this grant, used a computer to generate White House calligraphy invitations and told Michelle Obama to walk her own dog like everyone else does, that would save the taxpayers over $700,000 a year which could be used to keep the tours going or prevent Border Patrol agents from being furloughed.

What the government really needs to do is keep the politicians away from the budget and spending.  Bring in a number of average American moms and dads who struggle to keep their homes, feed and clothe their families.  Let them go through the federal government’s financial dealings and clean up all the wasteful and useless spending like studying a duck’s you know what.  If they did, I bet you we could reduce government spending by several trillion dollars easily and have a balanced budget in less than three years.

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