by Yremia Johnson
Research institutions have a new reason to fear for-profit universities now that they are both in the grant writing game. By donating billions to campaigns in the recent election for-profits have gained large degrees of influence on a variety of officials who will create federal- and state-level research grants. Republican John Spanner was a major recipient of monies from these institutions, and proprietaries have already capitalized on a major research grant that he initiated on the morning after he was reelected.
Fiscal conservative Spanner has railed against limousine liberals who flagrantly waste taxpayer dollars purchasing three-ring binders to hold drafts of legislation. “Why are we buying binders for pieces of paper that no one reads anyway? Everyone knows staples are cheaper than binders. So what we need is a super stapler capable of binding up to 7000 sheets of paper with a single punch.” Spanner arranged to have nearly half a billion dollars in federal money allocated for research and development. These funds were awarded to his father-in-law’s alma mater.
Forty-seven state universities have levied complaints stating that they have already developed this technology in efforts to deal with their own massive paperwork issues. However, these schools were not eligible for the grant because it was specifically written to support “new research” in staple technology.
Faculty Emeritus Punchy Stapleton of the Institute for Development of Administrative Technology at LeekyPenn University is outraged that his designs are ineligible for federal money. He claims to have developed a stapler so sophisticated that it can accurately gauge the number of pages in a stack and automatically select the appropriate staple size. “My stapler can hold 852 varieties of staples for any occasion, bind documents as small as two pages and as thick as 20 000. I’ve even used it to affix aluminum siding to my house, and the damn thing even works in zero gravity!”
Stapleton funded the design, development, and production of this super stapler by pooling his office’s $350 budget for “general supplies.” He is convinced that with a $454 million budget for research and development he could produce either 1) a stapler fully equipped with artificial intelligence, a clocking device and capable of time travel or 2) a stapler capable of flying directly through the sun and returning to earth with samples of its core.
Spanner believes Stapleton’s designs to be dangerous to national security and has authorized $4 billion in federal money to investigate Stapleton and his supposed ties to cylons and terminators.
According to Spanner, “Fully clocked/ heat shielded/ time traveling/ self-aware staplers could be the most formidable weapon ever created by humans and also the most unpredictable. Imagine if the A-bomb could just explode whenever it felt like it!”