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Bear Left!

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Volume III, Number 113 January 2003

This Week's Article:

Another Insult to the Developing World

Tim Francis-Wright

Amidst all of the hubbub in Washington in the last few weeks, about Iraq and North Korea and yet another huge tax cut, was a story that exemplified how the Bush administration feels about much of the world. In an interview with Newsweek, Andrew Natsios defended the size of the American foreign aid budget by claiming, essentially, that a larger amount would wreck the economies of the world's blighted nations.

Natsios runs the United States Agency for International Development. He is the same official who explained to Representative Norman Delahunt during a House committee meeting in June 2001 that spending money on antiviral therapy for African AIDS victims was foolhardy. He claimed that Africans "do not know what watches and clocks are. They do not use western means for telling time." Natsios, of course, was dead wrong then. And he has not lost his penchant for placing his foot in his mouth in the course of an off-hand remark.

[Click on the title to read the whole article.]

This Week's Article:

Paul Corrigan is not writing this week.

Last Week's Articles:

I See Republicans

Paul Corrigan thinks about what the new year will bring with the Republicans in control of the federal government.

Good Money After Bad

Tim Francis-Wright examines the mutant economics of missile defense.

The Comfort of Illusion

Paul Corrigan wonders why Americans are so apt to believe the illusions that politicians conjure.

Reaping Dividends

Tim Francis-Wright shows the real winners of a proposed cut in dividend taxes.

[Click on the titles to read the whole articles.]

Older Articles:

Articles from previous weeks are in our archives. If you're not careful, you might learn something.

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Links of the Week (double the usual)

  • Kennedy Unbound: After 40 years in the Senate, Ted Kennedy is finally his own man (Charles Pierce, Boston Globe Magazine).
  • Rebel MPs Deliver War Ultimatum: The Labor government faces a crisis if Britain enters a war against Iraq without the backing of the United Nations (Michael White and Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian).
  • A Split-Screen in Strike-Torn Venezuela: The strike in Venezuela is a rara avis, a strike led by business owners and an oil company, not by workers (Mark Weisbrot, Washington Post).
  • MIT Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws in Antimissile System: MIT is finally examining charges that some of its scientists fudged data to make an antimissile system appear effective (William Broad, New York Times).
  • A Tax Plan Rooted in the Bush Pedigree: Favoritism to the rich is yet again the obvious Achilles' heel of the Republican Party (Kevin Phillips, Los Angeles Times).
  • Vice Grip: Dick Cheney has been an unerring source of bad advice, bad judgment, and bad politics since becoming vice president (Joshua Marshall, The Washington Monthly).
  • So Close to Cataclysm: In 1972, the British government came close to physically moving all Catholics out of Northern Ireland (Henry McDonald, The Observer).
  • Long Live the Estate Tax!: Removing the estate tax is an insult to democracy and an attempt to create another Gilded Age (Bill Gates, Sr. and Chuck Collins, The Nation).

Links of Previous Weeks are in our voluminous archives.

Check out our Link Library for news, opinion, and just plain interesting stuff!

Fact of the Week

From 2000 to 2001, the poverty rate in the United States (the percent of persons living in households below the poverty line) rose from 11.3% to 11.7%. This is the first year-to-year increase since the increase from 1991 to 1992. Perhaps conidentally, 1992 was the last full year of the term of the original President Bush.

Obviously, the solution is to spare rich Americans the burden of paying taxes on their stock dividends.

United States Bureau of the Census, Poverty in the United States: 2001.


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