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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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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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