Archive for September 2nd, 2011

The many ways in which the United States financially props up Israel

| September 2, 2011 | 2 Replies
The many ways in which the United States financially props up Israel

According to Antiwar.com, the American taxpayers are financially propping up Israel in ways downplayed by the media of both the U.S. and Israel:

In the past 10 years alone, Americans have given Israel the equivalent of approximately $200,000 per Israeli family of five. In addition, there have been weapons subsidies, loan forgiveness programs, special trade preferences, and other generous gifts from American taxpayers to Israel. In fact, despite being one of the world’ smallest nations, Israel receives more U.S. tax money than any other country.

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Our shitty priorities

| September 2, 2011 | 1 Reply
Our shitty priorities

Here’s the problem, as described by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

Our trains, even in the busy Northeast corridor, are second rate, our airports are embarrassments, our dams are leaking, and our bridges are crumbling. Taken as a whole, the average age of our public capital stock has risen from 16 to 23 years over the past four decades, “suggesting great underinvestment in public infrastructure,” Mike Mandel says.

The American Society of Civil Engineers agrees. In their most recent report card, they gave our solid waste facilities a C+, our bridges a C, our rail a C-, our energy infrastructure a D+, our dams and schools a D, and our roads, levees, and inland waterways a D-. Nothing got an A or a B. All of this is common knowledge.

Instead needlessly destroying people and property in the Middle East for the past decade, we could have been addressing America’s decrepit infrastructure by investing in America. We would have been simultaneously creating high-skill long-lasting jobs. We failed to do what we needed to do because our priorities and our political system are insane and self-destructive.

We had the money to get the job done, but we blew it, as described by Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post:

When [George W. Bush] was campaigning for the White House in 2000, the government was anticipating a projected surplus of roughly $6 trillion over the following decade. Bush said repeatedly that he thought this was too much and wanted to bring the surplus down — hence, in 2001, the first of his two big tax cuts. Bush was hewing to what had already become Republican dogma and by now has become something akin to scripture: Taxes must always be cut because government must always be starved.

The party ascribes this golden rule to Ronald Reagan — conveniently forgetting that Reagan, in his eight years as president, raised taxes 11 times. Reagan may have believed in small government, but he did believe in government itself. Today’s Republicans have perverted Reagan’s philosophy into a kind of anti-government nihilism — an irresponsible, almost childish insistence that the basic laws of arithmetic can be suspended at their will.

I’ll end with a proverb:

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

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Watermelon carrier

| September 2, 2011 | 11 Replies
Watermelon carrier

Do you have one of these watermelon carriers? I didn’t think so.

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PBS cannot find a time slot for new Bill Moyers show

| September 2, 2011 | 2 Replies
PBS cannot find a time slot for new Bill Moyers show

Bill Moyers is returning to broadcasting, hosting a show called Moyers & Company, that “will focus on one-on-one interviews with people not often heard on television.”

PBS says it can’t find a timeslot for Moyers’ new show. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) accuses PBS of not understanding its own mission.

The show will be distributed for free by American Public Television.

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