The Golden Hookah Award: Why Women Fight in Bars, Etc.

By Craig Bannister | October 7, 2010 | 5:29 PM EDT

Golden Hookah Award

( - presents this week’s “Golden Hookah” to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for spending $918,856 to fund a five-year study of “Alcohol and Bar Violence.”

The Golden Hookah is the symbolic token that confers on government agencies that win our “What Were They Smoking Award” for outrageous government spending. presents the award weekly to a component of the government that has distinguished itself in taking the hard-earned money of taxpayers and sending it up in smoke.

The NIAAA, a component of the federal National Institutes of Health, wins this week’s award for its $918,656 “Alcohol and Bar Violence” grant. This grant funded a study that determined, among other things, that bar fights tend to occur in venues that are relatively dark, dirty, noisy, hot, and crowded and that are frequented by a clientele of younger, less agreeable, less conscientious, more impulsive heavy drinkers--and that women who get in a bar fights have consumed, on average, four times as many drinks as their normal intake.

Inspired by stories that exposed federal grants used to subsidize research on hookah smoking in Syria and Jordan, the “Golden Hookah” symbolizes how a prodigal government squanders the taxpayers’ money on outrageous, unconstitutional and unconscionable programs.

Each weekly video presentation of the “Golden Hookah” includes a “Taxpayer Tally,” indicating how many average American households need to work hard and pay taxes all year just to fund the winning program.