Defense budget funds Gallo

Innovation at the trough; the 2007 Pig Book listings for Department of Defense.

CAGW

The U.S. defense budget gave us the Internet and thermo-nuclear obliteration. For a quick peep at what our tax dollars are up to now, we go to some 2007 Pig Book listings for defense and homeland security appropriations.

We'll skip the $1.2 billion F-22 project and lower our sights to the $1.35 million set aside for the Obesity in the Military Research Program, proving that MREs aren't that bad after all. But to cover its bases, Congress threw in $1.6 million to improve the shelf-life of vegetables.

With wine you dine; hence $5.5 million for the House of Gallo better-late-than-never study of "basic neuroscience and the effects of alcohol on the brain." If that doesn't pan out, there's $5 million in the budget for alcohol breath testers.

And don't try to fake it and take the wheel anyway. There is $12 million to pay the American Trucking Association to recruit and train "highway professionals to identify and report security and safety situations on the nation's roads."

The list goes on: $3.2 million for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program ($109.1 million since 1995), $7 million for the SA-90 big brother surveillance blimp, and $12 million for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium in Kentucky. The latter protects "citizens living in rural areas by training emergency responder teams" just in case Al Qaeda flies a plane into Bubba's barn.

About the author

    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.

     

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