$12,000 FOR ANTI-TERRORISM SNOW CONE MACHINES?
This bizarre story of government waste almost makes you want to join the tea party! And it's silly yet obvious proof that the people in power shouldn't be. I don't know if this is just corruption or incompetence--could there really be a snow cone machine lobbyist? Well, someone got to Michigan and spent nearly 12 grand on these machines for their terrorism-fighting abilities. When this was resoundingly mocked at by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Keith Olbermann, the defenses are even more laughable. And forget bullet-proof vests, a request for a popcorn machine was denied!
Residents of western Michigan need fear terrorists no more. Courtesy of a Homeland Security grant, 13 counties are now prepared to thwart any and all terrorist attacks with… snow-cone machines.
According to the Greenville Daily News, the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC), “a federal- and state-designated agency responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties[,] … recently purchased and transferred homeland security equipment to these counties — including 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700.” (WOOD-TV of Grand Rapids puts the price tag at a mere $6,200.) WMSRDC got the money for the machines and other equipment via a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program.
What, pray tell, does a snow-cone machine have to do with homeland security? Says the Daily News: “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.”
WMSRDC executive director Sandeep Dey echoed this justification, telling the Daily News that the machine “is used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security.” “More importantly,” he added, “they (homeland security officials) felt in a medical emergency the machine was capable of making ice packs which could be used for medical purposes.”
(No, this story isn't from The Onion.)