Thursday, May 18, 2006

How To Make $2 Million To $5 Million A Year

First, donate $3000 to Chuck Grassley. He'll then turn around and get $50 million from everybody, including our great-great-great grandchildren.

Second, try to get more public money.

Third, spend 10 years snowing and stringing along various communities on your idea. Make sure the big newspaper in the state is in your back pocket and refuses to print anything other than your press releases and the occasional minor criticism by a rogue reporter.

Finally, just make shit up:
Earthpark officials said they expect the center to turn a profit of between $2-5 million a year.

What? Do they plan to attach a casino onto the side of the thing?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Future Of EarthPork

2008: River City, Buxton, Lithograph City, or Sevastopol.





You've met someone who seems really cool, creative, and fun. This person is unemployed at the moment, but really looking hard - meeting with people, getting the word out. They have some unique ideas that seem promising. So you think about hiring them, and you start to check out their resume and references. In doing so, you find a few problems.

First off, their desired salary is way out of budget for the position. And while they have some good ideas, their figures seem inflated. If so, the profit to the company might not even cover their salary.

Secondly, they have been out of work for a very, very long time. In fact, they seem unable to get beyond the first or second interview with anyone. Your sources tell you that while some people are very attracted to this person's creativity and ingenuity, others have found them stubborn, overbearing, and difficult to work with.

Finally, you run a background check and find out that they are unable to get credit, they're constantly moving around and seem unable to establish a stable environment, and they've inexplicably changed their name three times in the past few years.

So, would you hire them?

(Cross-posted at SNAD.)

EarthPark: Bat Wings And Nautilus Shells

It used to be Iowa Child.

Then it was called The Environmental Project.

Now it's EarthPark.

From Radio Iowa:
Bill Menner, Executive Director of Poweshiek Iowa Development, says they've announced a partnership with Siemens to be the "technology provider" for the rainforest, and have rolled out a name for the project -- "EarthPark."

Menner says Siemens has been in the forefront of the technology industry and that the new developments have been in the works for some time. Grinnell is one of four communities vying for the project.

Menner says the project’s board will make a decision soon. They're still working on the site selection, talking with the four towns interested in hosting the project, and Menner says by the time the board meets next month they hope for a decision. Pella, Riverside and Tiffin are the other three communities in the running.


Did they nick the name from this concept called Earth Park?
What is Earth Park?

The Earth Park concept is intended to rescue humankind from ecological extinction by means of a mass exodus from the planet. The posulate behind the concept is that ultimately the only workable method to preserve the biosphere of the planet from the alterations of mankind is to remove humanity from the surface of this world. This will produce a sustainable environment that will preserve the biodiversity of the planet for future generations to enjoy.

Since humans are at present entirely dependent upon the terrestrial ecosystem, a transfer to artificial and sustainable habitats will ensure long term survival. This will serve to protect the human species from large-scale disasters, such as nuclear conflict, asteroid impacts, or an outbreak of a devastating plague.

Under the Earth Park concept, virtually the entire human population of the world will emigrate to artificial habitats, leaving the earth as a wildlife refuge that will gradually recover its proper ecological balance and diversity. To be successful over the long term this must be a universal migration, and no pockets of reproductive humanity can remain on the surface of the earth.

Unintended goof or ironic? You make the call.

Actually, the Iowa "EarthPark" already has a web site (, which appears to be the same as the old Iowa Child web site, and it boasts that it will be opening on Earth Day in 2010.

Within the EarthPark web site is this bullshit from Ted Townsend:
The attractive power in this idea is strong enough to generate financial self-sustainability. Yes, the full range of earned income opportunities should cover annual operating expenses. Moreover, the ten-year economic impact statewide is quesstimated between one and two billion dollars.
Ted Townsend can't get the thing built without a shitload of deficit-funded pork spending courtesy of fauxscal conservative Chuck Grassley. How does he expect over a million people to come to Grinnell or Riverside or some other podunk town to keep it in the black? The Botanical Center in Des Moines has been running $2 million in red ink over the past three years and it has about a half million people within a 30 miles radius of it.

From the press release today:
Project Executive Director David Oman noted that [the project] has a construction and start-up budget of approximately $155 million.
Somehow this project gets cheaper by the year!

Also from the press release:
Grimshaw Architects partner Andrew Whalley, speaking from London, unveiled two exciting conceptual images of what the Project could look like, each based on an inspiration from the natural world—the bone structure of a bat wing and the curvature of a nautilus shell.
Yes, Iowa is especially known for bat wings and nautilus shells.

Maybe Mr Whalley meant these bat wings?

Rainforest Announcement Today

The Des Moines Register is reporting that the Rainforest Con Artists are going to hold a news conference this morning to announce some new bullshit that the media will eat up.

Do you think they're going to announce that they're taking over the Des Moines Botanical Center? You know, the one that has lost $2 million in taxpayer dollars over the past three years.

Not likely.

Maybe Tom Vilsack is going to ream the taxpayers some more and give David Oman $95 million to turn the Newton Maytag factory into the Rainforest after it closes in 2007.

It's anybody's guess, but I'll have a post later this morning after it happens.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mini Jungle Dome Losing Money

While it is not an entirely analogous facility, I'd be violating my oath as a Pork Forest Basher if I failed to mention that the Botanical Center in Des Moines is losing money hand over fist.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the Pork Forest is all about research and being "for the children," but at it's core it's a very large enclosed garden. Such facilities tend to be giant taxpayer evidenced by the Botanical Center's losses in 2005 ($437K), 2004 ($600K), and 2003 ($851K). That's right, over the last three years, Des Moines's taxpayers have kicked in almost $2 million to keep the place open.

Yep, that's very financially responsible.

(Cross-posted at TuskandTalon)