Home » Science » Porn Surfing at the NSF — Your Tax Dollars at Work

Porn Surfing at the NSF — Your Tax Dollars at Work

[Hat tip to my colleague and friend T.R. for referring me to this story and for these prefatory remarks:] The National Science Foundation are the primary gatekeepers to government funded scientific research, and in particular are the enforcers of the global warming and Darwin cults, making sure that any scientist who wishes to receive grant money toes the line on the politically correct story. The news story below describes how a good number of them spend their day. The novel excuse offered by one of the miscreants reminds us, in its inventiveness, of some of the excuses offered by Al Gore acolytes for why the earth is warming, notwithstanding that its been cooling for the past decade.

EXCLUSIVE: Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation
Number of cases overwhelms watchdog, costs taxpayers

Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.

The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.

“To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request. “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.”

The budget request doesn’t state the nature or number of the misconduct cases, but records obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act laid bare the extent of the well-publicized porn problem inside the government-backed foundation.

For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.

When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official’s porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.

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26 Responses to Porn Surfing at the NSF — Your Tax Dollars at Work

  1. Some NSF employees were looking at porn on work computers… thus Intelligent Design is science and Darwinism is wrong?

  2. ” … he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women.”

    He could have, alternatively, given the money to the Carmelite nuns who teach school in the Philippines or Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, who look after countless orphans and otherwise abandoned children – even in my own parish in Toronto – or the midwifery training program run by a Protestant obstetrician friend of mine in Uganda.

    There is no shortage of poor women around the world who serve useful causes and do not help corrupt men.

  3. Denyse, You raise an interesting question for Richard Dawkins: If we had to choose one or the other, helping “poor overseas women” by (1) frequenting at taxpayer’s expense porn sites that pay these women a cut, the porn sites presumably constituting a purely secular activity or by (2) donating money to Catholic/Protestant charities that care for these women by providing shelter, food, and medical care, these charities constituting a religious activity, which should we prefer? I suspect RD, given his virulent hatred of religion, would opt for (1).

  4. Well, Bill, I can’t read the mind of the most formidable intellect in public discourse (Dawkins’s own view of himself). I can’t read anybody’s mind, actually.

    But it is worth keeping in mind that the poor hookers are often addicted to harmful substances – much more likely to ruin one’s health and shorten one’s life than religion and prayer typically do.

    Some hookers are in some kind of bondage – family debt, for instance. Or foolish relatives have sent them off to the city with someone, to find “jobs”. Um, yeah.

    So if a guy has any spare money and really wants to help poor women, the charities run by nuns and Protestant Christian women missionaries – who commit to a poor lifestyle on principle – will do far more good than financing the lifestyle of the pimps of the hookers.

    This post was written by Denyse O’Leary, the most formidable intellect in raccoon riddance on Latimer Avenue in Toronto.

  5. Yes, Denyse, but the nuns will also infect these otherwise hookers with the religion meme. So will the evil of religion outweigh the other evils and cause RD to side with the now retired NSF official?

    By the way, what if this NSF official’s porn usage had not been discovered but instead it was found that he secretly supported ID and tried to funnel research dollars that way? Presumably that would have made not only the Washington Times but also the Washington Post.

  6. How many ID grant proposals have ever been submitted to NSF? My guess is zero, but I am happy to be corrected.

  7. “Infect otherwise hookers with the religion meme? ”

    That would be a big problem according to many current pundits because the otherwise hookers would live a lot longer and have more children who survive. Like, they might even actually marry guys who care about them, or something, and care about their children. Can’t have that, can we?

    “So will the evil of religion outweigh the other evils and cause RD to side with the now retired NSF official?”

    Oh, maybe. I guess if the selfish gene is better propagated by Western sex tourists forcing themselves on starving girls, maybe Dawkins must support it. He is free to make a statement if he wants. I am sure it would be carried worldwide.

    It depends on whether you believe in Dawkins’s selfish gene or not. And there has never been any good reason for thinking it even exists.

    If NSF money was helping ID research, you can be sure that a whack of tax burdens would be holding conferences about the “crisis.”

  8. MeganC, the Catholic Church expects its clergy to be celibate and disciplines them if they are not, irrespective of their preferences.

    I doubt NSF has the same views.

  9. O’Leary,

    Does ‘celibate’ have a different meaning in the Catholic Church?

  10. MeganC, are you a troll?

    Obviously, “celibate” has the same meaning in the Catholic Church as anywhere else, otherwise incidents like this would not be a scandal.

    I have cautioned you on another thread. Either say something useful or go to another list.

  11. Yes, MeganC is a troll. This troll has been removed. MeganC’s purpose here was certainly not to have a useful discussion.

  12. Khan: ID relevant research by ID supporters has certainly been supported by the NSF — indeed, my own early work on randomness was supported with an NSF postdoctoral grant. But research proposals that specifically name ID and indicate that the research is intended to support that hypothesis would, I strongly suspect, not get funded. But I’m happy to be proven wrong. Anyone? Anyone?

    P.S. It would be interesting to write up essentially the same ID research proposal in two ways, one making the ID connection explicit, the other cloaking it, perhaps even by suggesting that the research actually supports Darwinism, and then seeing which variant, if any, gets accepted. If enough of such proposals are submitted and if only the “cloaked” variants get accepted, that would be strong (experimental?) evidence that ID is being systematically discriminated against.

  13. Whether we like it or not, pornography seems to have been a by-product of human sexuality at least since recorded history began. Societies have, at various times, indulged it or tried to suppress it. Neither approach stopped it.

    Nor has religious affiliation been as successful at immunizing believers against sexual misbehavior as its adherents like to believe. The scandal of abuse by a few Catholic priests has already been alluded to and there is surely no need to remind onlookers of the cases of other prominent Christians who have fallen below the standards of morality they preached to others.

    As for charitable donations, I cannot speak for Richard Dawkins but I know I would prefer to give to those that do not include proselytization as part of their program.

  14. But research proposals that specifically name ID and indicate that the research is intended to support that hypothesis would, I strongly suspect, not get funded.

    perhaps you should try and find out if your suspicions are correct?
    I’m just wondering bc both you and Denyse have been talking a lot about hypothetical scenarios where NSF money was used to fund ID, but he last time I checked NSF doesn’t just hand out money without a proposal, hypotheses, budget, etc. so it would be hard for this hypothetical program officer to funnel money to ID even if he wanted to.

  15. Clearly “peer-review” at NSF has more meaning than we thought.

    Reg: Thanks for your outrage. It restores my faith in humanity.

  16. Our science was better before government grants, and this is one glaring reason why.

    He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women.

    And how can this sick SOB even think this much less say this. Isn’t this extraordinarily dim bulb aware of the issue of sex slavery? Girls — not women — coerced, often through violence, into doing things they would not otherwise do.

  17. Reg — Some NSF employees were looking at porn on work computers… thus Intelligent Design is science and Darwinism is wrong?

    This isn’t about “some” the matter appears to be so rampant the job was not being done i.e.:

    The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.

    Why aren’t you outraged?

    With regard to your question as to whether ID should be considered science, it seems evident that this crowd lacks the capability of answering it.

  18. That retired official should be forced to reimburse the taxpayers money.

    Next the NSF needs a good network admin who can block access to porn sites.

  19. Next the NSF needs a good network admin who can block access to porn sites.

    LOL. Gee, where can the National Science Foundation go to find someone with that sort of technical aptitude?

    If nobody inhouse can figure that out maybe they should look up Dave Scott :-)

  20. If you guys are lamenting about a bunch of bureaucrat watching porn at work, what should we say, us French, about the fact that at least two of our ministers are paedophiles??

    By the way, please could you tell me why none of the good ID books have been translated yet in French?

  21. If you guys are lamenting about a bunch of bureaucrat watching porn at work, what should we say, us French, about the fact that at least two of our ministers are paedophiles??

    Give us time.

  22. Hi tribune7, (20)
    I like the way you answer, Short, effective and with a touch of humour.

  23. Nakashima and Mr Joseph are in complete agreement!

  24. Dr Dembski makes an interesting point in comment 3.
    This in turn raises an interesting question for William Dembski: If we had to choose one or the other, helping “poor sick children” by (1) frequenting at taxpayer’s expense porn sites that pay these children’s mothers a cut, the porn stimulating the viewer’s entirely nonmaterial consciousness or by (2) donating money to charities that research the childhood diseases, using biological methods rooted in the Theory of Evolution, these charities constituting a secular materialistic activity, which should we prefer? I suspect WD, given his virulent hatred of secular materialism, would opt for (1).

  25. —–Learned Hand: “Seversky is not defending pornography. He is observing that it has been around for a long time, and is difficult to suppress. At no point does he make a moral judgment in favor or pornography. His point appears to be a criticism of the implied connection between the subject’s position as an NSF staffer and his misdeeds, not a defense of those deeds.

    Seversky’s first point is that pornography is not worth fighting. For him, society has tried as various times and places to stop it, but they just couldn’t get the job done. That is what is called the famous Darwinist “it’s-just-reality-you-are-going-to-have-live-with-it” defense. They do the same thing with pre-teen sex and abortion.

    Seversky’s second point is that pornography is a “by-produce of sexuality,” meaning that it is quite natural and to be expected. That is yet another defense.

    —-“In other words, the institutions of science and the institutions of ID are both staffed with human beings, with human failings. At no point does Seversky “defend[] pornography.”

    On the contrary. He is, in yet his third defense of pornography saying this: A commitment to a Christian world view is no more likely to curb pornography than any other world view. That is obviously a ridiculous statement. Whoever heard of a Darwinist recommending self control the sake of a higher good? Whoever heard of a Darwinist pointing out that immersing oneself in pornography is like is like pouring sewer into the mind? Whoever heard of a Darwinist warning gullible onlookers that pornography can enslave the will and destroy the faculty of reason? Seversky’s point is very simple: Pornography is not worth fighting, and, in any case, religion offers no mental, volitional, or moral tools to fight it. That is a defense of pornography.

    —-“Seversky’s point is exactly the opposite of what you imply. In fact, he explicitly refers to “a few Catholic priests” (emphasis added). He does not suggest in any way that the failings of a few are extensible to the many; it appears, in fact, to be entirely contrary to his point.”

    Wrong again. Seversky’s point is that Christians are hypocrites. For him, they fall short of their own standards, which is an extension of his earlier argument. We should not try to fight pornography, pornography is natural, and Christians are hypocrites for preaching against it because some of them have failed their own test of morality. For seversky, and for you, I suspect, pornography is not nearly as big of a problem as those who criticize it.

  26. Sorry, my last post for meant for BarryA’s thread.

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