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Posts Tagged ‘government waste

The IRS Does Star Trek – Badly

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I love Star Trek and have since I was a kid.  I’ve watched every episode of every series repeatedly.  I’ve seen every movie and regularly pull out quotes from them during social situations.  I play Star Trek Online.  I created my own ship back when TNG came out.  I’m a Trek nerd and I am not ashamed to say so.

I’ve been watching Star Trek: The New Voyages and while I was not at all pleased with the episode Blood and Fire which had a gay love scene, I just fast forward through that and keep going – just because it’s Trek, done reasonably well.

I watch all the fan made stuff too – even the stupidest stuff, done low budget, with some of the worst acting imaginable.

So when I heard on Friday that the IRS had this 2010 training video set in the Final Frontier, I figured I would have a look.

It’s utter crap….and it cost $60,000!

I’ve seen low budget fan films that went for less money but were better made.  And as it was designed to be one of those corny training videos, but turned out to be a waste of taxpayer dollars, I will not be sparing or merciful in my criticism of it.   I already hate the IRS to begin with, so now, out comes my Cudgel of Unfair Browbeating.

  1. Better Fitting Uniforms  - Every one of these people look like cosplay rookies at a convention.  All are in TNG uniforms except the old crone at communications who was wearing a TOS frock – which was the wrong color for that uniform.  TOS operations officers wore red.Perhaps that was a good move, since female TNG uniforms were one piece form fitting and – well, no one wants to see that.
  2. The Comm Officer – This lady used the name “Uhura”.  Frankly, I found it pretty wrong, since Uhura is a Swahili word, specifically chosen for the character, because she was of African descent.  Anyone who knows anything about Trek understands that Uhura’s character was specifically chosen to be a black woman – because she represented, in one character, Roddenberry’s equality vision for Star Trek.But I guess we should, instead, we should call her Ujinga – which is Swahili for “ridiculous/foolish”.
  3. Overweight Spock – This guy looks like he mind-melded with a cheeseburger, which I wonder if he tried to claim as a deduction.  Maybe with the budget, someone could have sprung for a couple bucks of liquid latex to at least blend the ears in.  Or maybe they could do something better with the hair, since that looks like someone made a beanie out of a plastic trash bag and put it on his head.
  4. Backwards Bridge – The forward consoles for Ops and Conn are in this half circle pointing away.  But of course, we’re dealing with the IRS, so a badly designed, inefficient bridge works – since the tax code is pretty much the same.
  5. The Captain’s Chair – The thing looks like someone took an office chair and taped boxes to the side arms and a TV remote on top.  I’ve seen some pretty cheesy mockups, but that is pretty much as bad as it comes.
  6. The IRS Building as the Ship - Really, people?  At least when Mel Brooks did Jews in Space, the Star-of-David ships were funny and made sense.  This just looks stupid.  They called it the Enterprise-Y.  I just say, why?

So there it is – another IRS mistake, dripping in lamesauce, and deserving of as much public mockery as can be wrought by the blogosphere.  But we should be relieved that we now have Federation policy that goes after dangerous enemies – not the Romulans, the Borg, or the Klingons, but rather the dangerous tax evaders who threaten freedom.

Okay, I’m done. *crashing sound*

Read it: Highly illogical: IRS training video that parodies ‘Star Trek’ apparently lacks training value – The Washington Post.

The schlock of a video – if you want to sacrifice six minutes of your life.

 

Written by Rick

March 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Political

Tagged with , ,

Fishy Government Agency Confiscates Windfall Catch

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I really hate it when stupid government bureacracy steps in the way when a man hits pay dirt and deprives him of his windfall based on a technicality. It’s even worse when that windfall begins to fund a government-sponsored racket.  But with the way that the government is so hungry for money and wasteful with the resources that it “acquires” from people, this is a story that is more the rule than the exception.

This story begins with one of those catches by a fisherman that go into the newspapers and into fame.  Carlos Rafael, a notable fisherman in New Bedford, Massachusetts unwittingly caught a giant bluefin tuna, coming in at over 800 lbs. He was trolling the waters when the tuna got caught in his net.  It was one of those catches that happens once upon a time and can really propel the career of a commercial fisherman to legendary status.

Rafael filed the proper paperwork, had the tuna permits, and notified the fishery regulators immediately on the catch. However, when he rolled to the dock, the NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement immediately confiscated the mammoth tuna because it was caught in a net, rather than with a rod and reel. Rafael didn’t try to hide it or anything, nor did he know it couldn’t be caught in a net. But that didn’t dissuade the feds to helping themselves to it.

Thing is, bluefin tuna at that size can go for quite a pretty penny. Enormous catches like this can easily fetch a quarter million or more on the market. So, the NOAA has indicated that if a violation exists (which they surely will), the proceeds for the tuna, which will be sold in consignment overseas, will be put into the Asset Forfeiture Fund. In other words, Rafael’s catch will be a windfall boon for the NOAA’s AFF, which has a long history of misuse and abuse.

Essentially, the AFF is a $50M slush fund that pays the salaries of administrative law judges that decide cases to bring against fishermen. In other words, a good old fashioned conflict of interest where those deciding cases against fishermen are directly compensated from the fund that collects the fines assessed from said fishermen. Additionally, this fund has had very little, if any, oversight and accountability and is used to pay for fleets of boats and vehicles and finance wasteful travel to exotic destinations. And they stand to make another quarter million because Carlos Rafael did the right thing considering the circumstances.  It wasn’t like he tried to catch this tuna; it just happened.  And with the local notoriety of the NOAA OLE’s activities against the commercial fishing industry as of late, they’re not going to let this catch slide through their bureaucratic net, despite all the spin that the NOAA administrators attempt to produce.  In they end, NOAA OLE stole this catch and are using the proceeds to line their own pockets.

The way I see it, if Rafael actually did something wrong, the money should be put towards charities that work towards conservation of ocean life, or relief efforts for cleanup of pollution, or something.  The fact that it’s going to the Asset Forfeiture Fund says that this story’s fishiness isn’t because the fisherman is telling a yarn about catching a whopper, but rather, about collecting a whopper windfall from a citizen.

In the end, Carlos stands on the dock, no fish, no money, and a written warning in hand from the NOAA OLE as the only testament for his fish story. A sad story indeed, but typical of the federal government these days.

 

Written by Rick

November 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

For Pro-Choicers, It’s Only About the Money

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If pro-choice advocates truly believed in keeping government out of the debate of abortion, they wouldn’t accept federal funds for Planned Parenthood.

Well, the Government averted a shutdown in the 11th hour and President Obama took the credit for hammering out a deal which keeps the government running without the distractions of social issues.  The thing is, the Democrats were full-ready to shut the government down because the GOP dared to suggest that one of the cuts should be to Planned Parenthood.  In short, Democrats were about to tell the military and the rest of the civilian support world that if Abortions-R-Us didn’t get paid, no one else deserved to get paid either.  In the end, they showed their true colors – something you don’t see from the Lib-crats.

Every year, the US Government shells out

What gets me is photos like the one to the right, particularly the woman with the sign in the center of the photo.  Yes, it’s pretty crude, even for posting on The Rabid Conservative, but

If she were speaking the truth, she would be saying, “Keep your Boehner out of my Government subsidy”.  For these pink-clad tarts, it has nothing to do with reproductive rights – for nothing in the spending bills tell them they can’t go out and get preg-ed and have abortions at will, at the drop of a hat.  No, this is all about protecting the pro-choice gravy train – ensuring that if a woman wants an abortion, they can get the government (through Planned Parenthood) to pay for it. 

If these women truly wanted the government out of their…uhh…business, they wouldn’t make such a big deal out of this.  In other words, if pro-choice advocates truly believed in keeping government out of the debate of abortion, they wouldn’t accept federal funds for Planned Parenthood.  So why are they have their proverbial panties in a bunch?  Because the GOP is threatening to cut off the money, that’s why.

For Lib-crats, it’s all about the money.  Let’s take another topic: teaching intelligent design in public schools, or public displays of Christianity at school events.  When these topics come up, the American Crazy Liberals Union is the first to step in and say, “oh no no, that violates the Establishment Clause!”.  Since the Establishment Clause is all about Congress establishing a religion, the Lib-crats make the point that since the schools are Government-Funded  they can’t teach anything that even remotely hints at religious overtones.  Lib-crats threaten cutting off tax-exempt status to churches that preach politics from the pulpit.  Why?  That establishment clause again – because of the money spent.

The government spends money on abortion – plain and simple.  This isn’t exactly keeping Uncle Sam out of the topic of so-called “reproductive rights” because what it does is it advocates for one side of a controversial issue by funding it.  Cutting off funding doesn’t mean the government has suddenly gone pro-life, it only means that they won’t fund the pro-choice effort either. 

Defund Planned Parenthood and let them stand on their own.  Let’s spend federal money on things that benefit ALL Americans, not just the ones that choose to devalue life through slaughter of the unborn.

Written by Rick

April 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm

The Conservative Underground – Day 34

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Wasted Money for Wasted Effort

Today, I gotta just go off on the new Capitol Visitor’s Center (CVC). It’s an utter disgrace, but not at all suprising. Essentially, it’s acutely indicative of all that is wrong in Washington, today.

Right out of the barrel, the project management team should all be fired and sent to jail for gross negligent mismanagement. When the CVC was pitched in the ’90′s, it had an original project cost of $71 million. After cost overruns, gross waste, and boondoggling ballooning, the final project cost was $621 million – yes, nearly TEN TIMES the cost!  The project also came in three years behind schedule. So, from a Project Management point of view, the project was over-budget, behind schedule, and, as we’ll see here, not within good quality standard. In short, it’s another governmental project failure.

They hid one mistake. James DeMint (R-SC) came through on a preview tour only to find that some dunderhead identified, “E Pluribus Unum” as the national motto, rather than “In God We Trust”. You would think with all the money spent, they could have hired a 7th grade US History teacher to correct them on their “oversight”. The reference that it was the motto was subsequently plastered over temporarily, even though the column would cost $170,000 to replace.

Additionally, many references to the religious and faith heritage that our Founders UNQUESTIONABLY held were omitted from the displays. As visitors enter, they see the words, “We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution”. Of course, this may be true now, since the left-leaning Congress and anti-faith hack groups like the ACLU have made it a point to help Americans to forget that George Washington said these and other words, which acknowledge that the Founders did their work as God-fearing, reverent men:

‘…[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge.’

And yet, historians want us to forget that this nation was founded under a fundamental principle of freedom to worship our Lord.  

You did know that the words, “LAOS DEO” are inscribed at the very top of the Washington Monument and emblazoned over most every single monument in Washington. Bible verses on the Liberty Bell, the Ten Commandments on the Supreme Court doors. Did you know the very first thing that 1st Congress did was go across the street – to church…for TWO HOURS, to worship the Almighty Creator and celebrate their new country.

We used to consult God as our Oracle. I guess Congress feels that the Constitution (which they don’t consult, really) is more authoritative than God Almighty. But with the high-and-mighty pogues in office now, I wouldn’t be suprised if Nancy Pelosi wants God’s job. After all, she’s doing so well running the House with her big 18% job approval rating.

Finally, Hopeless and Hapless Dingy Harry Reid made the point that the Visitor’s Center would be a good thing because, “In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”.  Harry is put off by all the stinky tourists coming in, so he’s walled them off so their stench won’t reach his sanctimonious, self-righteous nose.

So, to sum up, let’s see, Congress made an extravagant doormat, absent of references America’s Faith Heritage, woven with wasted taxpayer dollars, just so Harry Reid won’t have to smell you if you start sweating in the summer heat and drop by the Capitol for a visit.

Hope you enjoy it!

(and we really want these clowns running health-care, the housing and auto industries, and telling talk radio stations to balance it out because it’s not fair?) Puuuleeeeze….

-R

Written by Rick

December 8, 2008 at 11:51 am

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