It’s about that time again…election time! And that jolly bunch of folks on capital hill are chomping at the bit to secure the 37 Senate seats up for grabs this November. Naturally, this calls for action! Press conferences! Funny politician-isms like describing things that “give taxpayers the blues.” According to GOP Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona the leading cause of Blues fest is all the pork-fried projects the stimulus has been stimulating. So they released a 74-page report Tuesday, slashing through 100 of the some 70,000 projects funded by the White House’s economic-stimulus plan weeding out what they call wasteful. And guess what? Yoga made the pork list!
“The list, released Tuesday, takes particular aim at such academic work, such as $1.9 million to the California Academy of Sciences to identify ant species, $677,462 to Georgia State University to study primate responses to unfairness, and $294,958 to Wake Forest University for research on yoga and menopause.” [USA Today]
More specifically, the study was to focus on whether integral yoga “can be an effective method to reduce the frequency and/or severity of hot flashes” in breast cancer survivors. WE know the enormous benefits such scientific studies have provided for patients! But of course poilticos have a ball making fun of menopause…and cancer? and addictions?
Other slams on the list:
The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center was awarded $71,623 to study what the report calls, “Monkeys Getting High for Science.”
Bonnie Davis, a spokeswoman for The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said the “small grant has helped protect very important research that will have significant impact on public health in regards to cocaine addiction and the issue of relapse.”
Granted the idea behind the list (besides political braggadocio) was to point out where the stimulus is remiss in getting Americans the “best bang for our buck,” so, hey we might be cool with putting a wee hold on the $25,000 to support the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio. But scientific research to benefit cancer patients and drug addictions?
The criteria for the list also has to do with whether or not these projects create jobs, and in essence, stimulate. But if keeping people healthy and alive isn’t stimulation we don’t know what is!
Pertinent Q’s for yous: Should yoga-related research be considered worthy of government funding? Is it necessarily related to economic “stimulation”?
Continued reading: Breast Cancer Survivors and Hot Flashes: The Search for Nonhormonal Treatments. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 26, No 31 (November 1), 2008: pp. 5008-5010 © 2008 American Society of Clinical Oncology.