Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

According to the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) a peace lobby group in Washington, the break down for US federal income tax spending for 2007 was as follows:

43% Military Spending
20% Health Care
12% Poverty, housing and income support
11% National Debt interest
7% Government operations police, courts, etc.
3% Education and Jobs
3% Science and the environment
1% Diplomacy

Read more on their site


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ABC News Primetime recently ran a test to gauge reaction to Muslim racism in the USA. This video on YouTube.com shows quite surprising results: 15% approved racism, 32% challenged racism, but most surprising is that 53% were silent. Obviously this is just one test so it doesn’t represent the broad US opinion, however it does raise the difficult question: What is the US national attitude towards Muslims living in America?

It made me think about a recent conversation I had with an estate agent in London. He was a perfectly decent guy (as far as estate agents can be !!) and we had several conversations about quite a range of topics, however, after telling me about a Muslim woman who had looked at the same property he was showing me, he said “I cant help it, but every time I look at a Muslim, all I can see is a terrorist”. I said nothing, as I was taken aback, however I did think, (and I’m Irish) that if that had been 15 years ago, in the 1990’s (the time when there were IRA bombings in London) he would probably have said “…every time I look at an Irishman all I can see is a terrorist”.

Terrorist actions have more effect than just a terrifying consequence for their victims, they can also polarize a community in the country attacked, which can have long lasting, and often hidden, effects.

So it seems to me that the essence of racism is focusing on the actions of a few and then treating everyone from that country or race as if they have the same attitude. I’m not sure how to combat this because we are constantly bombarded with images of the horrors in Iraq. however, I am sure that 99% of their population, like us, just wants to live a decent life.

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tibet cc sanferan

Many images from the Tibet struggle over the last few weeks have been censored by the Chinese Public Security Bureau, however Wikileaks.org has created an archive of these censored images, which only hint at the brutality which has occurred there in recent times.

View the Wikileaks photo archive here.

The biggest challenge now for the Chinese government is can they keep a lid on the situation during the build up to the Olympics. Michael Portillo, in Times Online, has drawn parallels with this situation to the German 1936 Olympics when Hitler used the occasion to showcase Natzism.

Read Michael Portillo’s article here.

China is desperate for the Olympics to be a success, however they also fiercely resist any foreign intervention in their “internal” affairs and they now wield enormous economic weight, so it looks like there will be major political poker behind the scenes over the next few months.

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yosemite cc

As the US economy and dollar falls virtually on a daily basis, wealthy Gulf states,
rich from the huge increases in oil prices in recent times, have set their
investment sights on significant chunks of US property and companies. But could these investments ever be used for political leverage?
This CNN Video explores the issue.

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It was always on the cards and only a matter of time until Barack Obama
confronted the Race issue head on. Obama refused to abandon his controversial pastor, Jeremiah Wright over his comments on race. This speech and the reporting of it by different sources has caused a wave of comment. View a clip of the speech first…

Read a detailed view in the Guardian here or the Irish Times summary of the story here And also look at the CNN discussion on Larry King show here.

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Iraq war

On 20th March 2003 the USA invaded Iraq and over the last 5 years its never been out of the news. So much has happened during that time its hard to get a complete view. Channel Four has compiled a five minute overview to bring you up to date.

Iraq War in 5 minutes.

Also on Channel Four – The award winning film: “Battle for Haditha”

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