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Archive for the ‘United States of America’ Category

Enough said

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 5, 2015

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(And this list is by no means complete…)

Posted in American Empire, American intervention, Iran, military intervention, United States of America | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Not in my name

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on August 5, 2014

NotInMyName
This sentiment is simple, clear, direct. Not in my name. According to the very controversial book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt:

Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.

These subsidies to Israel come out of the money I and other Americans pay in taxes. Not in my name. Not in our name. Enough.

Here’s a quick history lesson of recent events from Le Monde:

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Posted in Israel/Palestine, life, politics, United States of America | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeing less of the forest for fewer trees

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 15, 2013

The University of Maryland has published this study of Global Forest Change, meaning forest loss, as illustrated by this image:
forests
“The map shows forest change from 2000-12. Green areas are forested; red suffered forest loss; blue showed forest gain; pink experienced both loss and gain. Results from time-series analysis of 654,178 Landsat images in characterizing forest extent and change, 2000–2012.”

The high-resolution global map linked to above is actually an interactive online tool that zooms in to provide highly detailed local images, down to a 30m resolution. The article by James Morgan in the BBC News reports that 888,035 square miles were lost during that period in question, offset by 30,888 square miles of new forest gained, for a net loss of 579,153 square miles in total. Brazil decreased its forest loss by half between 2004-4 and 2010-11, whereas Indonesia had the biggest increase in deforestation, more than doubling its annual loss in 2011-12. Paraguay, Malaysia and Cambodia had the highest rates of forest loss. Additional conclusions: “In the United States, the “disturbance rate” of south-eastern forests was four times that of South American rainforests – more than 31% of forest cover was either lost or regrown.” and “Overall, tropical forest loss is increasing by about 2,100 sq km per year.”

Between 2001 and 2012 “the Earth lost a combined ‘forest’ the size of Mongolia, enough trees to cover the UK six times.”

Posted in BBC News, environment, forest loss, life, United States of America | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The legacy of American involvement

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 3, 2013

It’s a clear enough chart:
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Which belies any statement that “the US intervention in Iraq is over,” or that “the Iraq war is over,” or that “Iraq is at peace,” or that “there is now an inclusive and democratic Iraq in place.”

What we have, now that the United States has ended formal military intervention in the region, is an ongoing, full-scale civil war in Iraq. Sunnis versus Shi’ites, with massive civilian casualties on all sides, and minority religionists being wiped out or forced to immigrate.

This is the immediate legacy of American involvement in Iraq. There is blood on the hands of every individual in every US administration since George W. Bush first invaded Iraq. Too bad there aren’t going to be any war crimes trials.

Posted in American Empire, American intervention, Iraq, Iraq War, Islamic extremists, Islamic militants, Islamic terrorism, life, military intervention, United States of America, US military | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State of Working America

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 31, 2013

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The Economic Policy Institute is a left-of-liberal think tank that publishes The State of Working America, now in its 12th edition. This 500 page, incredibly well documented tome contains a mass of information on income, wages, jobs, mobility, wealth and poverty, along with tables, charts and graphs, essentially making the argument that for the last few decades income inequality has increased, wages for working Americans have gone down, jobs have been decimated or converted to low-paying service employment, social mobility for those in the middle and lower classes has rigidified, and “the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer,” to quote an old phrase.

The EPI also makes policy recommendations: support workers rights and union organizing, increase the minimum wage, fight against “free trade” agreements like NAFTA, increase spending on the social safety net, etc. The EPI in general and The State of Working America in particular, provide all the factual ammunition you’ll need to fight and win your arguments against your conservative, moderate, or even liberal friends, not to mention make the case for building a democratic socialist United States.

Posted in democratic socialism, economics, jobless recovery, labor unions, life, Marx, United States of America, US economy, US middle class, US ruling class, US society, US working class | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ladies and gentlemen, the vanishing middle class

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 29, 2013

It’s a set of platitudes mouthed by all American politicians everywhere, that “the middle class is the foundation of this country’s prosperity,” that Washington “is doing everything possible to strengthen the middle class,” and that “the future looks bright for the American middle class.” Absolute hogwash! Here are a few more charts and graphs, thanks to the Business Insider:

middleclasscharticle_fig1-2
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middleclasscharticle_fig3-2

Nothing up the sleeves of the American ruling class, except for the demise of the American middle class.

Posted in capitalism, jobless recovery, life, politics, United States of America, US economy, US middle class, US ruling class, US society, US working class | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

USA! We’re Number One!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 29, 2013

It’s official. The United States is #1 at creating rich people. Here’s the chart (based on this study):
original
The consequences of this “wealth creation” is an ever widening gap between rich and poor, the decimation of the American middle class, the potential for societal segregation, social unrest and class warfare that is exacerbated by such class dynamics. This income gap is the highest since the “Roaring 20s.
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What’s more, even prominent moderate-to-liberal individuals are beginning to see this as a problem.

Then, there’s so many other ways that the United States excels at being #1 in very bad shit. Here are the graphic representations, including the first one mentioned above:
MaternityLeave_1USExceptionalism_Vacation_0
USExceptionalism_SickDays_1EducationSpending_1
EducationSpending_1-1MilitarySpending_0
USExceptionalism_WeaponExportsUSExceptionalism_PrisonPop
USExceptionalism_GunsUSExceptionalism_Sweetner_0
CalorieConsumption_1USExceptionalism_HealthCareCosts
USExceptionalism_DrugCostsFirstDayDeaths_0
SuperRich_0Inequality_0
Makes you fucking PROUD to be an American! Third World Banana Republic, here we come!

Posted in American Empire, capitalism, corporations, homeless, life, politics, poverty, United States of America, US economy, US middle class, US military, US society, US working class | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The American Experience

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 1, 2013

The joke goes that California is like a bowl of granola. What’s not fruits or nuts is flakes. Well, these United States of America was once described as a melting pot. Not only are immigrants nowadays shunning assimilation, but the idea of the American melting pot was always something of a myth. Various commentators are fond of now calling the American experience a salad bowl. Here are some maps to convey the notion that this country is a vast patchwork of races and ethnicities that are a long way from blending together into some homogeneous whole, if that was a possibility at all.

Ancestry_Nugget

USE_And_Alaska

Posted in American Experience, assimilation, California, melting pot, racial & ethnic diversity, United States of America | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »