One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the absolute lack of fiscal responsibility exercised by government agencies. What our tax money is spent on in the so-called war on terror boggles the mind. For instance I would really like to know how snow cone machines are used to thwart the plans of terrorists:
The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) is a federal- and state-designated agency responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties.
The WMSRDC recently purchased and transferred homeland security equipment to these counties — including 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700.
The machines were funded by a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program. The request for a snow cone machine came from another county, but all 13 counties received them.
The purchase raised some questions at a recent Montcalm County Board of Commissioners meeting. Commissioners wondered about the machine and questioned its purpose.
The Michigan Homeland Security Grant Program’s Allowable Cost Justification document, dated May 9, 2011, says the snow cone machines can make ice to prevent heat-related illnesses during emergencies, treat injuries and provide snow cones as an outreach at promotional events.
Emphasis mine. You can justify anything so long as you’re willing to stretch definitions far enough. I’m curious what heat-related illnesses can be better avoided through the application of snow cones over regular crushed ice. While I’m not a biologist I believe human beings are capable of intaking ice whether it is flavored or not.
I’m also at a loss how consuming ice, flavored or not, will help with heat-related illness. The common complication related to heat is dehydration. Anybody who has studied winter survival techniques understand that the consumption of snow actually further dehydrates a person.
I wish government agencies would just be honest and say, “We want a snow cone machine because snow cones are fucking delicious.” If you’re going to piss away money on frivolous gear at least have the decency to be honest and not attempt to bullshit the public.