5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the Internet

We're gonna go ahead and guess that only a small percentage of you like to browse government websites for fun. That's a real shame, because buried among all the boring and useless information about "doing your taxes" and "signing up for health care" and lists of those fascist "don't dig up the streets looking for pirate gold" rules, you can find nuggets of bizarrely fascinating material. Here, bad mini-games, cartoons made by psychopaths, and other, harder to define insanities abound -- all funded by your tax dollars, of course.

Advertisement

5
The NSA's Kids' Site Is Even Creepier Than the Adult One

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetNSA

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The NSA is not exactly the most popular group with kids today, which is weird because they have a sweet hip-hop turtle and everything! What more could you ungrateful little brats want?!

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetNSA
Suspiciously not pictured: Eddie Snowed-in, the gossipy penguin.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Since 2005, the NSA's CryptoKids characters have tried to steer the youngest Americans into embracing a fun and wacky career in code-breaking. Each CryptoKid has an elaborate backstory, which means that some poor bastard had to come up with nine different explanations for why an anthropomorphic squirrel would give a shit about cryptography. For example, there's T. Top, the Linkin Park-wannabe turtle whose hobbies include computer programming and consistently spelling "cool" like a douche:

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetNSA
Another bearded Web user posing as a 14-year-old.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

And then there's Decipher Dog, the apparent leader of the kids. What's his "Favorite Project"? He's really stoked about that time he helped his stepmom set up a home Wi-Fi network ... which he says he monitors to see what programs his stepsister is using.

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetNSA
Decipher Dog says: "I know what porn you like, and I'm judging you!"

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

4
The U.S. Mint Store Makes SkyMall Look Classy

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetUS Mint

Of all the areas of the government, the last one you'd expect to be so strapped for cash that they have to resort to late-night infomercials is the U.S. Mint. If you'd asked us to describe what usmint.gov looks like without visiting it, we would have guessed "Wikipedia, but plainer." The truth is closer to "basic cable channel at 2 a.m."

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetUS Mint
"We also pay CA$H for your gold!! We ... have no shortage of cash."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Go ahead, try to spend that curved coin with a baseball glove on it. Maybe the folks at the 7-Eleven will take such pity on your shitty counterfeiting skills that they won't even call the cops. Bored of seeing Washington and Lincoln's faces on your pocket change? The U.S. Mint has your back. You can now purchase this set of 25 Warren G. Harding $1 coins for just $32.95 -- and no, because we know it's the first question on your mind: There's no household limit.

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetUS Mint
Collect the full "Heroes of the Teapot Dome" set!

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The U.S. Mint also offers coins featuring the First Spouses! Impress friends and amuse surly newspaper vendors, who certainly won't beat you ferociously when you try to pay them with currency featuring images of Lucy Hayes and Ida McKinley, celebrating such achievements as "organizing the first White House Easter Egg Roll" and "crocheting slippers for charity"!

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetUS Mint
We can't show you what's on the reverse of the limited Lewinski edition.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

So obsessed is the mint with the First Spouse series that they didn't let bachelor president James Buchanan disrupt their flow. They posthumously married him to the abstract concept of Liberty.

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetUS Mint
Liberty gave herself to everyone, which is why hubby Buck in the background looks so sad.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The bronze medal of the second George W. Bush inauguration reminds us that "freedom cannot be denied." But savings cannot be denied either! And remember, when buying those William Henry Harrison coins, shipping may take longer than his one month in office.

3
The Missile Defense Agency Protects America by Ripping Off Atari Games

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetMissile Defense Agency

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The Missile Defense Agency has a very important mission: stopping hostile missiles from hitting American soil. Such a tech-intensive and crucial agency requires the best and brightest, so how do they convince people to join? Why, by using their massive budget to put a crappy Flash game on their employment page, of course.

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetMissile Defense Agency
"Uh ... sir, some kid put in the Konami Code and now has full control of NORAD."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

If that game looks familiar to you, then congratulations, you're an old-school nerd from back when that used to mean something (mostly wedgies). Yep, the government is employing a rather shameless rip-off of classic Atari arcade game Missile Command:

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetAtari
"Actually, we funded that, too, to subliminally train '80s kids to pilot drones."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The Department of Defense called their knock-off "The Interceptor," and it consists of four levels spent protecting generic cities from a barrage of explosive balls. Are they projectiles sent by a hostile power? A poorly timed refuse dump from the International Space Station? Aliens? Your job is to mindlessly click the "throw missile" button, soldier, not to ask questions. But whether you save America from the explosive meatballs or doom it to a spicy death, the reward is the same: a screen inviting you to learn more about the agency ... which leads to a 404 error page.

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetMissile Defense Agency
Surprise! Just by choosing to play, you failed the job interview.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Good job, agency literally responsible for making sure we don't all explode.

2
FEMA Wants Kids to Fear Space Weather

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetFEMA

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The children's website for FEMA has a bunch of disaster fact sheets to help kids know what to do during every conceivable disaster. Which is great! Surely nobody can mock such a noble and useful effort. Why, there are helpful how-tos here for surviving everything from a landslide to a home fire to ... "space weather"?

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetFEMA
You'll know it's coming because the space dogs will start howling.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The Space Weather pamphlet informs kids that, in the event of a solar flare, it's perfectly normal for your toilet to stop working. Which is ... odd. First of all, why would one of a child's primary concerns during a gargantuan solar storm be a working toilet? They barely use that thing anyway, the filthy little animals. Plus, is that even true? Solar flares mostly affect electronics, right? Is this pamphlet aimed at well-off Japanese kids with their fancy talking commodes, or are solar flares way worse than we've been led to believe? Where is the space weather pamphlet for adults, you bastards?!

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Then, when you've finished reading and memorizing all the fact sheets and the many, many poo-disposal-related tips, the real fun can begin: The FEMA site also includes an interactive comic called Disaster Master, in which a bunch of children that God clearly hates come across a wildfire, a tornado, an earthquake, a tsunami, and more, one right after another. As you follow the story, you're presented with multiple-choice questions about what the kids should do in each emergency, and none of the options are "repent." You get two chances to make the wrong decision, because on the third it's "game over, those children are all dead by your hand."

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetFEMA
But the toilet is safe, and that's what's important.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

1
The Department of Labor Has a Brutal "Ways to Die in a Mine" Cartoon Series

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetDepartment of Labor

Look, we get why it's important to make children aware of mine safety. Their lungs are rubbery and resilient -- great at breathing coal dust -- and we need their little hands to reach into tight spots and grab our valuable minerals, but nobody wants them dead. Children, if possible, should be alive. We get that. We're not monsters. What we don't get is why the Department of Labor apparently employed the children themselves to make its hastily slapped together mine safety website:

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetDepartment of Labor
Seems like that time would be better spent in the mines, that's all we're saying.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

In these fun cartoons, the generic boy hero (let's call him Trespassing Timmy) is depicted playing with explosives:

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetDepartment of Labor
"You will be propelled into the air like in a movie, and it will be awesome. DON'T DO THIS."

Jumping into a quarry while aiming directly at a clearly visible, exposed rock:

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetDepartment of Labor
That's like 3 inches deep. He would have died anyway.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Or sitting under an apparently moving vehicle:

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetDepartment of Labor
"I welcome death. Maybe this time I won't be pulled back. Maybe I will know peace."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Once Timmy gets inside the actual mine, the cartoons play out like a particularly mean-spirited Choose Your Own Adventure book -- will you be crushed to death by the rotting timber or the crumbling wall? Do you fall from a faulty ladder or a broken winze? Do you pet the snake? Turn to Page 42.

5 Sites That Prove the U.S. Government Sucks at the InternetDepartment of Labor
Hey, kids, can you find Timmy in this image? Hint: You should NOT pet the snake.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement


Gavin is installing stained glass windows on his bunker so when zombies bust through on Day 1 there will be a cool gothic vibe. He also has a Twitter.

For more things our tax dollars are probably being wasted on, check out 11 Things the CIA Is Keeping From Us.

Related Reading: If you prefer to read about websites by terrible people, FOR terrible people (to hook up), click here. And while we're on the subject of dating websites, did you know one exists for women behind bars? If you'd rather read about more "official" websites that are unbelievably awful, click away.

To turn on reply notifications, click here

420 Comments

Load Comments

More Articles

6 Infamous Scandals With Crazy Details The Public Forgot

Sometimes the stories after the stories are even stranger.

79

How 'Star Wars' Tried To Fix Its Most Awkward Moments

For as much as people love them, the 'Star Wars' movies have gotten rather awkward from time to time.

134

At Least Your Thanksgiving Wasn't As Bad As Kid Rock's

Bawitdaba, pass the green beans.

2

5 Big Tech Scandals That Didn't Get Enough Attention

The tech industry is constantly changing like a swirling, confusing vortex.

68